Homecoming Part 2 Edit
A Gamble, Made Edit
It didn't take long for me to grow tired of the droll conversations going on in the room.
I opened the doors to go out, only to see Krios trying to chat it up with a pair of guards. The men had standard black enforcer armor. (terrible choice for blending in on an ice world.) On the armor was an insignia that was a thin knife piercing a skull. (A Stiletto knife, no doubt these were the General's men.)
I tried to ask them were I could find a Billiard table, but they just looked at each other like I was spouting gibberish. Krios chimed in that he sometimes couldn't make out what I was saying either. Disregarding him, I asked them where I could find the nearest bar. They gave me directions to the residential area.
Heading towards the district, I couldn't help but notice how beautiful the place seemed to be. Everywhere I looked there was snow. The buildings were painstakingly designed with practicality in mind, but were ornately modeled. The sun had come out and caused the place to almost sparkle and glisten. If it was even just a tad bit warmer I wouldn't mind staying here.
I managed to find the bar and make it inside. Fortunately there was a billiards table on a raised platform in the place. Taking my time to unwind and relax, I played a round by myself.
This was hardly the first time playing pool. I learned quite a lot about how to play from other trainees when I was 'recruited' into Damos's forces. I wasn't the best at the game, but I figured that I had at least good enough skills to be above average.
I heard someone climbing the stairs and heading towards me. I turn my head around to see a drunk noble sunder towards me. He was tall, with a big gut, short dark hair, fancy clothes, and a monocle. (I never understood those types of spectacles.)
He greeted me. "Why hello there good sir- WOAH! What happened to your face?" (I could smell the booze on his breath.) Rolling my eyes, I just tell him "It's a long, boring story, you wouldn't be interested".
"Hm". He thought to himself. He pointed at the table and asked if I wanted to play a game. He clumsily got a pool stick and cube, and proceeded to waywardly rub the two together. Seeing this as a chance to play against someone new, I took him on.
He did show some skill for someone who was intoxicated. He's definitely played the game before. Still, in the end it was an easy victory for me.
"Good Show!! Congratulations, and good game Mr. dog!" He exclaimed. For a noble, he took the lost rather easily. I guess being drunk helps loosens them up a bit.
He grinned sheepishly. "Want to make this interesting?" He reached into his jacket, and brought out a large sack of what I could only assume was thrones. "I wager forty profit factor, that I'll win the next round! Care to take the bet?"
Some of his earlier candor was gone. He seemed just a little more focused, but was still waving back and forth a little. (Maybe he was sobering up?)
I shook my head. "I'm afraid I don't nearly have that much money sir. However, I do have this." I unlatched my prized Power Sword along with its scabbard from my belt, and put it on a nearby table.
His eyes seemed to sparkle with glee. "AH! Well, in that case...." He put his thrones back into his pocket, and brought out an extravagant Lazgun. One look and I knew the thing was best quality. A gun like this would certainly be of use to me. I took the gamble, and began the second round.
I started off first, and was holding a good lead, but during the middle of the game, things took a turn for the worst. In no time at all, he took total control of the game. Despite my best efforts to make a comeback, he ended up winning the game.
"Well played, but it seems that I claim victory this round!" He hastily grabbed both of the weapons, and neatly put them on. "Oh, and before I forget, there is one more thing you need to know. You'll get a kick out of this! I was never drunk!!"
Enraged that I've been blindsided by this man, I grab his jacket, and push him into the wall, calling him a cheater. He laughed heartily. "Do you really want to do this? I won fair and square. If you couldn't tell that I was hustling you, that is your own fault for being so gullible. Face facts, I got the eight ball in the hole, and thus won the game. It's just that simple."
I wanted to tear this man limb from limb. I wanted to crush his bones right then and there. But he was right. I took his offer and lost my best weapon in a fair game. He simply outplayed me. Reluctantly and slowly, I let go of him. Hanging my head in shame.
"That's better." He stated. He walked down the steps, and turned around to face me. "Take pride dog! For you have been bested by none other than Lord Nordshimm!!" He put on airs, and made an elaborate bow before exiting the bar.
The Rogue Traders of Tarron Damos Edit
With the noble gone, I turned to the barkeep who was chuckling to himself. "Do you know who that guy is?" The man looked at me incredulously. "You don't!?"
I replied, "No, but judging from your expression, if I had known I would probably still have my sword on my belt".
The bartender started talking about the noble. That's Lord Nordshimm!!"
This went on for a whole minute until I got the name right.
"As I was saying, Lord Nordshimm is well known around these parts, and is a regular here. He's one of Tarron Damos's top ten executives. The man is an avid and excellent gambler, and is infamous for it! He's a successful Rogue Trader under the employ of Damos, and has proven himself invaluable to the man."
I pondered on this for a moment. "Top ten executives you say.... Would that be in the same group as Admiral Zachary and General Alexi?"
He nodded. "Aye, all the Rogue Traders gathered to this world today are part of that group closest to Tarron Damos."
With curiosity in my mind, I decided to dig deeper. "Well, in that case, what can you tell me about the General?"
I noticed a shiver run down the man's spine. "The man is an enigma. They say that he was working for Damos since the early days of his career. According to rumors, he was fighting during the siege of Jika, and is by far the most highly trusted out of the entire group. He's supposed to be a shadow, the type of soldier no one should know about. I can't tell you any more than that I'm afraid."
Calling Jika Edit
I thanked the bartender and left the place. I was glad to learn some new information, but that joy paled in comparison to my rage at losing my best weapon. Before everything is through on this planet, I need to figure out Nordshimm's weakness, and exploit it to get my sword back.
In the meantime, I needed to make my report to Jika. It was important that I make contact with them while I was here, otherwise there would be consequences for me later. I headed towards the main tower in the middle of the city.
I made my decision on what I was going to tell them. They may be my official superiors, and were not much different from Nathan when it comes to how they treated me; but there was one thing that the Admiral gave me that the other officials didn't. Working under Nathan Zachary gave me the freedom to move around as I pleased. The officials of Jika kept me on a short leash, but Zachary couldn't care less about what I did.
To that end, I was willing to alter my report to make it look like we captured our new ship from a group of scientists practicing tech heresy. I didn't put anything about Rome in it. Also, I made an inquiry for Gladius to become a sanctioned mutant. Lastly, I put my suspicions concerning Krios, but inputted that I needed more time to be certain of his allegiance.
I must say, if the tower looked intimidating from a distance, I wouldn't know how to describe it from up close. The structure was taller than a sky scraper; it touched the clouds it was so high. It also had several smaller spires protruding from it. At the top of one spire there were several satellite dishes, and a large antennae sticking out in the center. That was my destination.
Oddly enough, once I got to the tower, I saw Krios pass me by. He was waving at me with a ridiculous grin on his face as he rode inside a jeep. What was more disturbing, however, was his driver and the side passenger of the vehicle. They were either two feminine faced men, or two butch women in full military gear......... *Sniff* *Sniff* Perfume, definitely women....... was he..... into that type of women!?? (Ugh, doesn't matter.)
Once inside, I went through the long, tiring process of getting clearance to use the facility. Fortunately, the place had an elevator, so I didn't have to climb all the way up. At one point, I had to put my badge into the elevator's card slot in order to gain entry, but after that I was allowed inside the communication's room.
I saw a small group of tech priests in the corner, but I paid them no mind. Everything seemed to be normal in the place. I was greeted by an assistant, and lead to an open booth. I dialed in the coordinates and number, and waited.
It was quite some time before my supervisor picked up on the other end. He wasn't interested in talking this time, choosing instead just to get the downloadable file that I made. It was a very brief call.
With my business concluded, I exited the building. I was still angry from earlier, so I decided to let off some steam by heading towards the shooting range.
Shooting clay pigeons wasn't as soothing as I had hoped it would be. I still felt the need to tear Nordshimm apart. As it stands though, doing that would only get me into trouble, so I would have to settle for this.
My ears start ringing.
Looking to my right, I saw another person standing next to me. He, or she, was heavily armored from head to toe. (Although, not as much as a Space Marine.) The Rifle he held was a monster of a weapon. I never saw anything like it before, but I've heard rumors about what I believed it was.
From the make and design of the weapon, it appeared to be a Vindicar sniper rifle. Not something you would find at any gun store.
Another shot, more ringing in my ears.
How was I supposed to relax with this asshole shooting his gun in my ear!? I moved far away from him.
Just like that, an explosion rocked the fort. Looking up, I saw the top of the communication spire was destroyed, smoke billowing from the burning rubble. Comms equipment on top of the building fell, crashing into the residential district far below. The sniper ran past me, heading towards not the tower, but more to the resident district.
What happened!? Did a missile hit it? No, there would be no place for something like that to be fired from. A bomb then? That was far more likely; But with the security measures in place, HOW?
Immediately, several armed guards entered the shooting grounds, and surrounded me and aimed their weapons at me. In slow, deliberate motions, I put away my Laz Rifle, and put my hands in the air in surrender. The leader of the guards stepped forward. "Officer Greaves Fenrir, you are coming with us."
A pair of the guards grabbed my arms on both sides, and proceeded to carry me. At first I cooperated, until I saw the truck they were going to put me in.
I...... am not entirely sure what came over me. In that moment, I got flashbacks of being held prisoner in my youth..... The memories, over came my sense of judgement, and I started fighting against the guards.
They probably were not expecting such resistance. They sloppily clamored over each other to try to restrain me, but ended up tripping over each other. (I think one of them bit me.)
With a sigh, the leader took out a taser and used it on me........ It was not a pleasant experience.
Next thing I know, I was put inside a straight jacket attached to a stretcher, and was muzzled. I was then wheeled to the rest of my crew, who were all too happy to make light of my current state.
Everyone was gathered in the hall, including the other Rogue Traders.
The back doors of the hall were opened, and Nicole Zachary walked into the hall. "EVERYONE SHUT UP!" She yelled, getting everyone's attention. "I have an announcement to make. During the attack on the tour, General Alexi Faux Shot Harahknivi was murdered!"
Gasps could be heard throughout the entire room. I myself couldn't believe it. How could something like this happen!? This place was locked down tight: How could anyone do these things!?
Nicole continued. "As it stands right now, the only people who could have pulled this off, are in this room."
"We are now in a state of emergency, and are now in complete lock down! No one is leaving this planet, until the traitors who orchestrated this are apprehended!"
The room exploded in accusations from all the Rogue Traders. Everyone seemed to be in a hurry to pin the blame on someone else. I even noticed Nordshimm, may he rot in a jail cell, threatening a pair of tech priests.
This was bad. Especially since I was one of the last people to use the particular spire that was destroyed! This time, I might die from a bullet fired from an 'ally' than from an enemy.
I need to get out of this jacket, and clear my name soon.
To Be Continued.
Logs and Links
Greaves Log: Homecoming Part 2