Monday, 5 December 2011

An Eye on the Prize. Part Two

Have you read part one yet? You really should do that first, it's here Part The First.

Apparatus: Four weeks and four days earlier. Beldin Autonomous Citadel.

Alastar Herion's adept hand wielded the small melt-fork with the skill of an artisan as he applied a fix-plate onto his favourite quilt-jacket – Salmon pink with delicately gilded fighting serpents.

When the doughty and brash Hullsmen Marines guarding his quarters brought in the man who had tried to sneak past them; a breathing hard, red faced, bruised, sour sweat and old oil stinking, cringing creature. Herion very nearly skewered the intruder on the glowing end of his melt-fork. Only curiosity momentarily stayed Alastar Herion's steady, shapely, arm.

'Speak quickly or die,' hissed the exquisitely poised Augmenteer.

'Mr Herion, sir, you knows me as 'Beeler' my code phrase being 'rhubiyat'.'

Herion eyed the man, he was scrawny, scraggy and dressed in the same dirty, ill kempt, and bulky vac-suit the station Jineers wore. The Augmenteer dismissed the, red-armoured and skullmitted, marines asking them to shut the door soundly as they left.

'I am not to be approached under any circumstances, you know this. ' Herion looked down his nose at the man and spat out the code name, 'Beeler.'

'Yes, din't worry. Am not discovered, not yet at any route.' Beeler scratched at a sore on his neck and his nose twitched nervously. 'Woulds know better than to come to you looking for mercy if I weres,' he shrank back against the door.

Alastar lowered the weld-fork slightly.

'You were not followed?'

'Beeler' shook his mangy head.

'No, slipped I through jineering tunnels,' he pointed at his dirty clothes. 'That's why I's filthy.'

Alastar gave a curt nod.

'I do not care about your supposed trials. Coming here could be dangerous to me and my network so I trust it is something truly monumental that has brought you here?'

Beeler gave an ingratiating smile.

'Most monumentals, sir,' he fawned. Then looked Herion up and down, his face taking on the sly cast of a man calculating the worth of all he is and has. 'What I tell of you will most definitely gets me finded out. I must leave here now.'

'We will talk of that afterwards.'

Beeler paused and worried at a scabbed lip with a lonely tooth.

'Very well it. The Temat aristocratic woman, Name Hayja Dal-Breear, spies and carries a list of seeded-sleepers currently in your Thirdest places. It is in her case, the silver and reds one she carries with her. Is incised with the image of the furred ape.' Beeler touched his ears and quickly bowed his head in the traditional supplication of a low-gener to such a sacred image.

Alastar Herion sat down in his chair and placed his weld fork carelessly back in the brazier by his bed. A thin column of harsh smoke rose into the air as he disturbed the coals.

'Well. That is indeed momentous, Beeler. Very much so.' Herion calmly wrote out a note in his slanting, slicing hand, folded it, added his seal and called a Marine in. 'Take this note to Captain Idya Parvin of the Thirdest fast-picket, 'Perseverance'. From there, take this man to Captain Willmot on the 'Pointless Venture'. Tell the Captain to expect me within three hours when my private business will be concluded and we must be ready to leave immediately.' Herion eyed the scrawny Beeler. 'Captain Willmot will find you a place aboard, he is always looking for Jineers. I understand it is a dangerous job.'

Beeler nodded a salute to Herion but the Augmenteer did not notice. From his trunk he was busy unpacking weapons.

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