Author Topic: Vanity  (Read 2084 times)

Offline Koval

  • Grand Lord Inquisitor
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Vanity
« on: June 08, 2012, 03:16:55 PM »
New Gemini, Dioskor System

"I knew it was you the instant you walked in."

"Am I that obvious?" Macauley replied with a faint smile.

"No," admitted the gentleman in brown, "but not everybody knows the things that I know."

The bar was crowded and noisy, smelling for all the world like an outhouse brewery and blasting out bass music into the street. A faint grey haze of lho smoke hung in the air, contriving to mask the odour of cheap alcohol as it formed a translucent veil across the other patrons that the vents and fans couldn't seem to shift.

Sitting in a booth towards the back of the bar, nursing a glass of amasec, was the man that Rosheine Macauley had come to find. At first, save for an untidy mop of auburn hair, he seemed indistinguishable from those around him, dressed in the same kind of light brown coveralls that about half of the patrons were wearing. However, the slightly disgusted reaction to her presence had told her much more than any outward appearances might ever have revealed.

"And what is it that you know, ser Valdez?"

"That in front of me, there is a very dangerous lady with a reason to come after me," the man observed. "But I cannot read you like I can other people. You obviously serve a powerful individual, Lady de Haven."

"Call me Marjolein," Macauley corrected him, sticking to her alias.

"Ah. Then we are down to business already, it seems."

The man rose to shake Macauley's hand, before thinking better of it as his hand touched her own. Macauley noticed that he was avoiding eye contact. "Your mistress must truly want me dead if the assassin she sends after me is but a few steps away from being Untouchable."

"You're well-informed, ser Valdez."

"Severino."

"In any case, if the Inquisitor wanted you dead, I'd have killed you already," Macauley informed the psyker, grateful that the two of them were inaudible over the noise of the other patrons and the loud thumping of the music. "And no doubt made an enemy of Inquisitor Creed."

"I have not been in Creed's service for some time now, Marjolein," Severino replied, still not looking Macauley in the eye. She found herself wanting to remind Severino where her face was, but thought better of it.

"Regardless, the point stands that the Inquisitor wants you alive," Macauley reminded him.

"I must say that this certainly makes a change from my enemies wanting me dead."

"I wouldn't blame them," Macauley sniped. "You're privy to a lot of sensitive information, Severino."

"A side-effect of being who I am, I suppose. You are no doubt aware that there are certain... attributes I possess that make me highly desirable to the likes of the Inquisition?"

"I'm not talking about that, although your abilities haven't escaped the Inquisitor's notice. I'm talking about Osmond Johm."

"Ah. That makes things more complicated."

"You're the only surviving member of his staff that knows he's dead," Macauley explained. "His other agents believe he's transferred them."

"So you are looking to ensure my silence?" Severino ventured.

"Again, if it were that simple, you would be dead by now."

"Then you are recruiting me?"

Macauley raised an eyebrow.

"Perhaps I am being too forward," the psyker sighed.

"Perhaps," Macauley agreed. "Here's how this is going to work."

Snatching Severino's amasec from off the table, Macauley chucked it lazily over her shoulder and had to stop herself from smirking when it collided with someone's head. The patron, drunkenly assuming the amasec glass had been thrown by someone else behind him, turned around and bellowed accusations, pulling a knife on a table of four people. One of them produced a stub gun and fired, but missed and hit someone else instead.

In seconds, people were either drawing weapons or rushing towards the nearest exit as Macauley forced Severino into a back room, dodging badly aimed projectiles intended to strike other patrons.

"I trust that there is a reason behind triggering a bar brawl, Marjolein?" Severino asked, finally making eye contact with Macauley.

"To make you disappear," Macauley answered. "I told you we wanted you alive."

"And how does trapping both of us in a dead-end room facilitate this?" Severino inquired.

"Like this."

Macauley gripped Severino tightly in an embrace that anyone else might have made rather enjoyable, but although Macauley was not a psychic blank, Severino nonetheless found being in such close proximity to her a truly unpleasant experience.

"Try not to move," Macauley cautioned as she produced a roughly cigar-like object from her pocket and pressed the button on the top.

---

"This is awkward," Severino stated as he picked himself up from the floor of the teleportarium.

"You're in the company of the Inquisition, Severino," Macauley told him, showing him an icon that he knew only too well. "I dare say "awkward" no longer enters the equation."

"Then you are an Inquisitor," Severino noted. "And you have brought me here... why?"

"You're here because you were right," Macauley responded. "You're here because you know that Osmond Johm is dead. You're here because you know too much. And you're here because you came only too close to knowing who I am."

"If you will pardon me for saying so, this does not make a great deal of sense."

"You're useful, Severino. I can't just kill you. But the problem is that you know too much about me."

Macauley motioned to two adepts whose presence Severino had barely registered, and they moved forward to restrain Severino's limbs. Strangely, the psyker didn't bother resisting.

"I'm sure you can guess what the solution might be."

"This is a very unusual way to recruit agents, Inquisitor," Severino sniped as the adepts lifted him off the floor.

"I wouldn't say I'm recruiting you, Severino."

"Ah. Well, in that case, I cannot say I am especially happy about this, though neither am I particularly surprised. However, if I may, I have one question before your men here take me away."

Macauley raised an eyebrow. "I'm listening."

"How did you find me?"

"I expected you'd ask that," Macauley sighed. "You must realise that I have eyes within the sector. Cells feeding me information. Some are willing. Others have yet to find out who they're working for. And let's not forget that you used to be a part of such a cell."

"Who... oh."

"Remember now?"

Severino fell silent as Macauley motioned to the adepts to take him away. She beckoned a third adept over to her.

"Have his memories and personality wiped, but try to leave the rest intact," she instructed. "He's a rare commodity."
« Last Edit: June 03, 2013, 06:35:09 AM by Koval »