Saturday, 27 October 2012

Red Queen

The room was bare and dark. I sat on a folding steel chair at a plain table steel table, and it was cold enough that I found myself shivering. I remembered being captured by Renfred Tor and his men had captured the dropship that was to take him to Luthien where I was to report the success of operation Dragon and be rewarded with more opportunities to serve the Coordinator.

The door to the room opened and a tall man dressed in an off the shelf business suit entered the room. “Ohayo gozaimasu Captain Miura Yorunabi san. Or should I say Proctor Sinvalie of House Mailai? How about Mr Thomas Jones of the Free World League? My, my you do get around.” The man chuckled. “You may call me John.”

“I am Tai-I Yorunabi Miura of the Draconis Combine Military Service, my serial number is 848163-2980-8. I am a prisoner, and under the articles of war that is all I will tell you.”

“Miura san, may I call you Miura?”

“I care not what you call me, I will tell you nothing.”

“Muira, what war are you talking about?” John said while sitting down.

“The war that exists between House Kurita and House Steiner” I replied.

“Oh, you mean that war…” John leant back in his chair as if considering the import of the answer.

“Do not take me for a fool John, but I know you must be an agent of LOKI. We both know that the War of Succession still rages on, even as we speak.”

Ah, yes the Third Succession War. The one that ended five years ago when the Archon sent out a peace proposal to all the other leaders of the great houses.” John paused, “As far as the Lyran Commonwealth is concerned the war is over. I suggest to you that your war is over.”

“Just because your Archon has declared peace, doesn’t mean that the war is over.”

“Would you like some tea, Muira san? I could do with a drink myself, and as a student of all things Japanese I understand that tea has a certain solemnity about it for your people.” John signalled with his hand and a few minutes later another man entered the room with a tray with cups and a pot of tea.

“What game is this?” I said.

“No game Muira san. Just a nice cup of tea.”

He poured two cups and took one, taking a sip. “See, not poisoned, no tricks here.”

“How do I know you haven’t taken an antidote to any poison that is in the tea?”

“Muira san, if I wanted you dead, you would already be dead.” He looked at me and smiled.

I took the tea, it was plain, but I found myself thirsty, and drank it.

“See, drinking that wasn’t so hard after all. A cup of tea, a nice chat and then you can go.” The man who called himself John smiled at me.

“You are going to let me go without questioning me?” I said, not believing what I’d heard.

“Yes. No tricks, we already know every thing that we need to know. This isn’t an interrogation, because we have already interrogated you. You can’t remember, because we don’t want you to remember. Every thing about the operation Code Dragon, your mission to investigate Duke Ricol, the money making schemes that you were running on the side with House Malai. We know it all.”

“What do you want of me?”

“Ah, now that is a good question? I think you know that we know everything about you. Things that if they were known by your bosses would shorten your opportunities for any future career prospects.” John said looking at me, judging me, and waiting for my answer.

“What if I say no?”

“You won’t, we already know you won’t. You may look all Japanese, and act like one, but we also know that you didn’t take your own life when you could’ve. We found the poison tooth, which you could’ve used at anytime. You didn’t, therefore we are certain that you will take us up on our offer to work for us.”

I pretended to mull over what John had said. I could see that if I wanted to live that I had little choice in the matter. However, later, things might change. “If I say yes to your offer, how does this work?”

“You leave, and we will be in contact when needed via a Comstar message from our House Malia agent.”

“That’s it?” I said.

“One thing Muira san. You cross us, and Subhash Indrahar will have a copy of our interrogation transcript to read. You understand what that would mean, don’t you?”

I certainly did, I would be dead before I knew I was dead. “It seems I have had an offer made to me, which in all politeness I cannot refuse.”

John smiled at me, “Good, I’m glad that is settled, you may leave, and have a nice day.”

I stood up and left the room. My life my own, for what it was worth?

The man who called himself John looked at the fat ISF Captain leave. The chances that they would get anything useful from turning one of ISFs own agents was slim, but it cost LOKI nothing to try. The worst that could happen would be that Yorunabi would be killed, which given what he knew about the man would still be a win for humanity.

NB: This was written for a BattleTech Universe Forum writing competition that was cancelled, and the story above is part of what I submitted. This story was driven by me wanting to know what happens in the parts of Decision at Thunder Rift by William Keith that occurred off stage. Stylistically the conversation changes character perspective, which probably needs to be re-written.

Anyway, the big battle is tomorrow, so this story fragment is to give you all something to read until such time as I get around to writing up the report next week.

1 comment:

  1. I like it. Nice tight writing, gets the reader into the plot quickly, and leaves the reader wanting more...