Friday, March 25, 2016

Koreshi Chronicles - Chapter X: Something I Can Never Have

It was truly fascinating to watch Titan Corovan work.

Lukas was, to put it mildly, an accomplished liar.  He was quick on his feet and had an instinctual ability to say the right thing to placate a mark or adversary, to creatively edit the facts in order to achieve a fairly immediate end.

But he had no real ability to win hearts and minds.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  Lukas knew he grated on people.  He often tried to--after all, better to maintain some control over interactions with people than simply give in to being bad at it.  He'd tried to cut Ti with that remark about love and friendship, without even really wanting to.  It had been more or less automatic.

It was almost like Ti had the same problem, but in reverse.  He was trying to convince Lukas that he wasn't leveraging, him, trying to win him over like the rest, even after Lukas had called him on it first thing

But Ti couldn't help himself.  Even in calling Lukas "an ass," Ti had simply set himself up for the following compliment about arrogance producing an admirable confidence.

Part of Lukas wondered what Ti really thought of him right now, beyond the obvious recognition and need for his skills.  And, of course, his need to solve the problem of Lyta's divided loyalties.

The larger part pretended not to care.

Ti's middle game, focussed on how he'd wished he's been lucky enough to be Lukas, was an especially delicious irony.

Ti Corovan, the guy everyone liked.  Ti Corovan, all-star athlete.  Ti Corovan--the fucking mayor.  Yeah, right.  But no sign of the lie in his eyes.

It was possible that there was some truth in it, in an especially twisted way.  Todd had remarked about how Ti said the two of them hadn't been friends.  Maybe Ti, with all his friends, envied Lukas his one and only.  One would think that having split Lyta off from Lukas would satisfy Ti, but maybe he couldn't be happy with Lukas having anything he didn't.

As Ti waxed rhapsodic about "father figures," it occurred to Lukas that there could be a reckoning.  And in realizing it, Lukas couldn't believe it had never occurred to him before.

Ti was moving into his endgame.  He'd been cute about it during the briefing, but, of course, Ti actually did need Lukas for something.  Really needed him.

After all, the Bear's entire operation stood on millions in Paxton stock that the Bear had borrowed against in order to finance his other schemes.  Millions of Paxton stock that, strictly speaking, belonged rightfully to Lukas and Lyta.

And, unlike Lukas, Lyta was a terrible liar.  So Ti really did need him.

But he didn't ask Lukas for help.  No, Ti Corovan wasn't the vulnerable, asking guy.  He was the winsome, "Let me help you, then maybe you'll help me" guy.  He was the "Do it for the children" guy.  He was the use-everything-you-know-about-the-mark-against-them guy.  It was

"I want you to be your father's son."

It was a weird sensation.  Lukas had never actually hated someone before.  It felt energizing.

"So if you're in, you know where to meet me," Ti finished.

"If Lyta and Todd are in, I don't have much choice, do I?"

"Lukas, you know you always have a choice."

"Okay, sure.  You're right.

I'm in," Lukas lied.

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


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