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    Visions of Angels

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    Heat
    Baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh

    Posts : 4229
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    Join date : 2010-11-08
    Age : 5
    Location : A swirling vortex of uncertainty

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    Visions of Angels

    Post by Heat on Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:00 am

    Chapter 1: Fleeing Destiny

    Rainn ran down the back alley, hoping he would arrive in time. He and his ‘friend’ had made an arrangement; if either of them was more than five minutes late without prior notice, the other could leave, and the deal would fall through. He could use a portal, of course, but the risk of being spotted by someone unsavoury was far too great.
    Finally, he arrived at their meeting place, a dirty, out-of-the-way bar. Probably home to all sorts of criminal scum, Rainn imagined. He brushed a stray brown leaf off of his shoulder, took a deep breath, and swung open the door. As soon as he did, every single person in the bar whipped around to look at him, hoping he wasn’t a cop. He immediately put his hands in the air in what he hoped would be a reassuring gesture.
    “Nothing to see here, folks.” he said. Satisfied that he wasn’t going to arrest them, the other patrons resumed their conversations, except for one reptilian humanoid sitting alone in a booth, nursing some sort of drink. Rainn immediately sat down across from him.
    “I was afraid you would not come…” the alien said in his characteristic drawl.
    “The shuttle was delayed.” Rainn lied. He then quickly changed the subject to avoid being questioned. “So, what have you got for me?”
    “A name.” the reptilian said in-between sips. “I found the merc who tried to kill you.”
    Rainn pricked up his ears. “Tell me more.”
    “He is Trudeau. Leon Trudeau. French asshole.” he quickly added, earning a subdued chuckle from SRainn. “He bragged about hiding a bomb on your ship.”
    “Did he mention who hired him? ZFT, or…” Rainn stopped short of mentioning Cadmus. He definitely didn’t trust the reptilian enough to tell him about his origins.
    “No. But maybe, he will tell you.” He noted Rainn’s confused expression. “We met two days ago. He said he was going to spend a week at Andromeda Hotel & Casino on Coreli. You know the one.” Rainn did know the one.
    “How do you know he was telling the truth?”
    “I don’t. But he had no reason to lie, and you, dear friend, have nothing to lose.” the reptilian whispered.

    -----

    Aster looked down at her tablet. She’d been staring at it for over an hour and a half, trying to write a letter but just not finding the right words.
    Or just not daring to say them, as Branley had told her the last time she’d tried.
    She took one final look at what little she’d written. “Beloved Rainn, I apologise.” It was a terrible opening, she thought. It made her think of some desperate damsel, begging for help, even though she was doing nothing of the sort. “I beg you, Seran Dol-Abi, you’re my only hope.” That sort of thing.
    She swiped her finger down the screen, closing the word processor without saving the unfinished letter, put the tablet away, and lay down on the couch, quickly falling asleep.

    -----

    Rainn groaned internally as he left the cool, air-conditioned interior of the shuttle for the baking heat of the Corelian outdoors. He quickly put on a cheap pair of sunglasses he’d bought before the flight, and made his way towards the long, winding queue at passport control. After the customs officer had spent a worryingly long amount of time examining his passport (and, even more worryingly, failed to notice that the word ‘passport’ had been misspelled 'pasport’ several times inside it, which should have made it obvious that he was dealing with a forged document), Rainn was finally able to leave the spaceport and catch a train to the Andromeda Casino.
    Upon arrival at the Casino, Rainn was immediately greeted by an immaculately dressed doorman. He therefore assumed that the casino would be a rather formal, stuffy place, and began to worry that he was underdressed. Luckily, it was anything but.
    He crossed the lobby and, after briefly considering going to the casino floor, he walked into the restaurant, deciding that he might as well get something to eat before trying to find Trudeau. He was still expecting it to be full of classy gentlemen in suits, smoking cigars and discussing business deals. Instead, he found himself in a noisy club, full of casually-dressed people being served by elvish waitresses and waiters in comical, revealing outfits. Rainn sighed, sat down at the bar, and ordered a drink from the bartender, a hooded elvish woman wearing a shirt which was about two sizes too small and thigh highs.
    As he sat there drinking, he noticed a closed door across the room, guarded by two stern-faced men who were certainly the best-dressed individuals in the whole establishment.
    “Hey.” he asked the bartender. “What’s going on there?”
    “I dunno, some private poker tournament. I served a few of those guys the other day, they’re uber-shady.” she replied while pouring a drink for the patron next to him, an already drunk Terugan. “But they tip well, so what do I care?”
    “I see.” Rainn muttered. “Any names?”
    “What are you, some investigator?” she said.
    “Le-Leo something…” the Terugan next to him stuttered out.
    “Leon?”
    “Yeah! He never paid for his round…”
    “Thank you, you are a great and generous man. Let me buy you a drink.” Rainn said, passing the bartender several coins. “What’s your name?”
    “I’m Yon, matey…” he said, as he grabbed onto the bar to stop himself falling off his chair. Rainn frowned as he watched the drink he’d only just bought fall to the floor. He reluctantly decided to buy Yon another drink, and continued questioning him.
    “Nice to meet you, Yon. So, can you tell me anything more about them?”
    “Them arseholes? Yeah, there’s about a dozen of 'em, plus this one creepy goth lady who never talks to anyone.”
    “That’s interesting, very interesting.” Rainn stroked his chin to emphasise the point. He was hoping to keep Yon talking by making him feel appreciated, a tactic he’d discovered in a magazine for detectives, even though he was drunk enough to tell him everything Rainn wanted to know anyway.
    “Aye, they’re all hanging around that feckin’ creepy goth chick. They’re even… either trying to bang her or get something from her.”
    “It’s always one of those two, isn’t it?” Rainn wondered out loud. “I wish I could get in there.”
    “Say no more.” Yon said, and before Rainn could react, he ran towards the guards and yelled “I have a bomb!” They promptly tackled him to the ground, and started searching him.
    Rainn couldn’t help but facepalm at the stupidity, but then he realised that he had an opportunity. So, while the guards were distracted, he dashed up to the door, and opened it wide.
    Inside, five men of varying species were sat around a table, playing cards. One of them, a Vrai with absurdly long hair, was looking at Rainn like he’d just seen a ghost. “What the fuck? What the fuck?” he repeated with a thick accent.
    Suddenly, another one of the men got up, drew some sort of gun, and took aim at Rainn.
    “Well, now, there’s no need for that.” Rainn said.
    “Oh, fuck off.” the man replied, and pulled the trigger. Rainn fell to the ground immediately, struck down by some invisible force.

    -----

    Rainn woke up, not knowing how much time had passed or where he even was. In fact, at first the fact of his being awake or not made no difference to how aware he was of his surroundings, since he was apparently blindfolded and couldn’t hear anything. Nor could he do anything about this, since his hands were tied to something Rainn assumed were bedposts. Gradually though, sounds began to reach him, including three different voices which seemed to be forcefully debating something in an alien language, hoping to not be understood. However, and unfortunately for them, Rainn spoke the language in question.
    “Why in fuck’s name did you bring him here? Oh man, the lady is going to be so pissed…” one of them was panicking.
    “What does it matter to you if she’s pissed?” another said.
    “It matters to me, and if you want to get paid, it should matter to you as well.” a third voice replied.
    “Look,” the panicked voice said. “That guy shouldn’t even be here. I thought I’d killed him.” Rainn suddenly realised that he was in the presence of Trudeau, his would-be killer.
    “So what, we just found a living testament to your sheer incompetence? Great, you’re definitely getting on the team now!”
    At this point, Rainn decided to interrupt them. “Hello, gentlemen.” he addressed them in the language they were using. “I’d appreciate it if you untied me.”
    “Oh, for fuck’s sake!” one of the men cursed in Earth English, realising their prisoner had understood every word they said.
    “Hey, Leon?” Rainn continued. “Nice job killing me!”
    The men cursed at once, and left the room one-by-one, leaving Rainn alone for a while, and giving him some time to try and get out of his restraints.
    About half an hour later, the men returned, this time with a fourth person in tow.
    “This is the spy?” a female voice asked. She sounded strange, like she was trying to mask the real sound of her voice.
    “Yeah. He walked in on our… meeting.” Trudeau said.
    “Hmph.” the woman said, as she approached the bed. She suddenly reached around Rainn’s head, and removed his blindfold.
    Rainn then saw a disturbingly pale, dark-haired young woman, clad in a long, flowing black dress, and behind her, two humans and a Vrai.
    As soon as she looked into his eyes, the woman gasped and took a step back, as if she couldn’t believe her eyes. She turned to the mercenaries and hissed “Leave!” They immediately complied, leaving the two alone.
    “Rainn, oh poor Rainn, why the hell did you of all people have to show up here?” she sighed. “You always ruin everything.”
    “Hold on. You know me?” Rainn yelled. “Who are you?”
    In response, the woman simply turned around. In a split-second, her hair colour changed, from jet-black to blond. She turned to Rainn again, but now, she looked completely different. Rainn couldn’t believe her eyes as he realised exactly who was standing in front of him.
    “Aster? Oh my god, it’s you!” Rainn couldn’t quite decide if he was amazed or exasperated. “What are you doing here?”
    “That is absolutely none of your business. Now, why don’t you teleport out of here like a good boy?” Aster hissed.
    “No.” Rainn said flatly. “I came here to find a man who tried to kill me, and I’m not leaving here until I settle that score.”
    “And that gives you the right to interfere with my plans?” Aster barked.
    “What? No, I don’t want to interfere with anything. Just let me have a chat with Leon Trudeau and I’ll be on my way.”
    “Well, you can’t. I might need him.”
    “Who said I’d hurt him? I just want to know who hired him, that’s all. I don’t care about your plans.”
    “Fine, I’ll talk to him. But you have to leave this planet as soon as you get your answer.”
    “That’s fine with me!” Rainn said. “Now, can you please untie me?”
    “I could.” Aster smiled. “But I actually quite like seeing you like this.”
    “Really? Really?” Rainn said, even as Aster was leaving the room.
    Great, he thought. So he wasn’t just being held prisoner, he was being held prisoner by the last person he wanted to see, and as much as he wanted to, he couldn’t escape until he got the answer he wanted.

    -----

    Great, Aster thought. Not only was her operation potentially compromised, it was compromised by the last man she wanted to see. She decided she’d give Rainn what he said he wanted - and hope that really was all he wanted.
    “Leon?” she said to the Vrai mercenary sipping cheap wine in front of her. “We need to talk.”
    “Oh man, I’m not off the team, am I?” he moaned. “Look, so I panicked when I shot that guy. It’s not a big deal! I’m so much cheaper than the other guys! Don’t fire me!”
    “Shut up!” Aster barked. “You’re not off the team.” Leon breathed a sigh of relief. “So, I take it you have history with our guest?”
    “Well, um…” Leon stroked his chin. It was a nervous tic of his, and Aster found it really annoying for some reason. “The ZFT put a bounty on his head. I took it, and after tracking him down, I put a bomb under his taxi. I thought he was dead.”
    “The ZFT? You mean, you used to work for the people we’re going to raid?” said Aster.
    “Um, yeah. Is that a problem?”

    -----

    “What are those ungodly noises coming from next door?” the old lady sighed, driven to distraction by the seemingly never-ending grunts and sighs coming from next door.
    “Probably some god damn kids sinning.” her husband said. 

    -----

    At the same time, Rainn was struggling with his restraints, trying to get loose and becoming increasingly agitated when they just seemed to get tighter instead. He didn’t intend to escape, oh no. He just wanted to turn off that god damn alarm clock radio. Someone had set it to 7am for some reason, and now it was blaring “Tom Sawyer” by Rush. Rainn Sulrai hated Rush.
    Just as he was about to give up and instead try and kick the alarm off the bedside table instead, the door swung open. Aster walked in, followed by Leon, who, upon seeing Rainn stretched out on the bed, with an unfortunate come-hither expression on his face at that precise moment, immediately shrieked “Oh, Jesus!”, and walked out.
    “Rainn…” Aster sighed. “What the fuck are you doing?”
    “Please turn the radio off.” he said. 
    Aster walked over to the bedside table and turned the radio off, then reached behind the bed and untied Rainn. “I had a talk with Leon. He’ll tell you everything about that assassination attempt. And once he does, you’re going to get the hell away from this operation. Got it?” she said.
    “Got it.” Rainn reluctantly said, and once he did, Aster left, shoving the Vrai merc into the room along the way and shutting the door.
    “So, Mr. Trudeau.” the clone said in a menacing tone, all while massaging his wrists. “Who ordered you to kill me?” 
    “Well…” The Vrai started stroking his chin again. “The ZFT. The ZFT put a price on your head. I collected it, and as far as they’re concerned you’re dead… that’s gotta count for something, right?”
    “So, the ZFT thinks I’m dead?” Rainn asked.
    “Yep.”
    “Well, in that case… come here, brother.” He suddenly hugged the Vrai merc, much to his surprise.
    “Well, if you really feel that way…” Leon slowly returned the hug.
    “So, mate.” Rainn said, stepping back. “What are you guys planning?”
    “Funny you should ask.” the merc said, completely unaware of the many reasons for which answering Rainn’s question was a bad idea. “We’re going to steal something from the ZFT. Something really important. If we succeed, we could bring down the whole organisation.”
    Before Rainn could ask what they were going to steal, Aster returned. “Right. Have you boys talked it out? Good.” she said. “Now, Rainn, run along.”
    Some of us have work to do.


    _________________
    Bo tutaj jest jak jest, po prostu, i ty dobrze o tym wiesz.

      Current date/time is Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:06 am