Thursday, December 17, 2015

Koreshi Chronicles - Chapter IX: The Prodigal Son

Kim’s gear sent out the coded signal which opened the hatch. It was a modest aperture, large enough to admit his gear, but just barely. Inside the Creighton auxiliary station he exited his armoured shell and made his way to the inner door; it hissed like an unfriendly pet as the pressure equalized and his ears popped. Kim was a hardened soldier, a member of the South’s most elite forces even before he was enhanced. Nature and experience had made him master of his fear, Dr. Bearden’s unnatural experiments had made him fearless, and yet he felt trepidation entering his creator’s lair.

He was accompanied by two GRELs as walked the brutalist halls to Bearden’s office. The doctor was in.

“Come in, Mark, you look well. Sit down, sit down, my boy. How are you faring?”

Bearden lept from his chair, his white hair contradicting the eagerness in his movement. He approached Mark Kim without restraint, as a family member would, and just when he would expect a loving embrace, the doctor put his hand on Kim’s head, rolling it this way and that as though inspecting a melon.

“Any discomfort? How are the headaches? Is the new software update working well? You haven’t been keeping me apprised…”

Mark put up an interfering hand as he tried to pull his head, much as a tortoise would, back into his shoulders.

“I’m fine,” Mark said, although his laconic interruption went no further.

“Alright, alright. I’m just concerned with your wellbeing. None of you ever tell me how you’re doing. I’m left up here to rot in this barren northern wasteland.”

“You have your work,” Mark said tersely as he drew a shoebox sized containment module from his bag.

Dr. Bearden’s eye lit up like a child on his birthday. One could almost imagine the jolly old man shaking the box up near his ear to guess at its contents. But he didn’t have to guess.

“Oh, excellent, excellent! No difficulties in delivery I see. I’ve been waiting on this for a long time.”

Kim suppressed a sigh and managed not to roll his eyes. “If that’s all, I should be going.”

“What?” Dr. Bearden cried. “Nonsense, you must stay to see how the implanting goes. I’ll need 36 hours to prep the webble but after that the surgery should be quite straightforward. We may see results within two or three days after that.”
“I really haven’t the time. I must return to Pioneer.”

“Come now, Mark, how often do you get a new brother?” Dr. Bearden pleaded.

“How is the subject?”

Dr. Bearden shook his head in exasperation. “He’s fine. You can speak to him if you like. Why, I’m sure you two already have so much to talk about.”

“Will the Sand Rider genetic material perform as expected?” Kim asked, trying to steer the conversation in another direction.

“Oh, yes, undoubtedly. We won’t have the rejection issues you and your siblings experienced. Remember those terrible eruptions Katerina had? They made her so self-conscious. No, this Sand Rider blood is as near to pure as we could hope for and will help bond the modified GREL DNA beautifully.”

“Good. I’ll report your progress to Katerina through the Gemeinsam once I’m done with their training exercises in Pioneer. It should only take a few days.”

Dr. Bearden was suddenly sullen. “Won’t you at least stay for diner? We never see each other, Mark.”

“I’m afraid I simply haven’t got the time. The Bear will be expecting a report. Good day, doctor.”

Kim hastily found his way back to the safety of his gear and once he was outside, in the northern wastes, sighed in relief. Grateful for the long ride back to Pioneer and a few days of shooting up northern gear pilots.

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


Hermes 72 - Heavy Gear RPG - Most artwork Copyright 2002 Dream Pod 9, Inc.