[IC] Meanwhile on Rubi-Ka


#1
“This thread is for everyone to share what’s going on in his or her character’s life at the moment. Big or small, it doesn’t matter. The intention is not to write an interactive story but just take a snapshot of Rubi-Kan life.” -Dabblez
Source: Continuation of post by Agentcora on the Rubi-Ka Buzz in the old AO forums. Based on the previous Rimor and Atlantean ic threads.

 

A tiny opifex quietly works her way through an old Shadowlands fortress, glancing at a hand-held scanner and peering into the darkness as she squeezes past more rubble.

“Where are you, where are you…” she chants quietly, adjusting the scanner sensor once more until it gives a low ping as she points it towards the far N-NE corner of the chamber.

“There you are!” she cautiously inspects the area before dropping her backpack and kneeling by the old communications array…


#2

The other two women, as nameless as she, had gone in separate directions. She couldn’t really have picked a better piece of serendipity. This contract was almost over, had been over ever since she’d soaked the dress with the drink and let it join the shimmering blue-grey over the edge, but she had chosen to give gratis the last few many minutes and sensations of the skewed world above the great ocean of realities. How lucky.

Now, Fish stood above the edge again, a cupped hand to her face and her breath on it. She crouched on the edge and lay the spirit down, looking over the edge into the waters beyond the Brink. “That was good, Bethany,” she said, listening to the gentle dripping of condensed water from the rocks above into the water that was and wasn’t water.

“I’m happy to have served.” She watched the spirit, grown thin with her and now diluting into a mist or gas. But it regretted the choice a little, still, that persistent (sometimes irritating) spark of need and desire to stay. “Find the best things as you might. I’ll keep watch on your matters. I’ll remember you. I’ll paint you again.”

Fish listened as the mist rose, like a thin corded bracelet, halfway up to her waist. She walked backward three steps and left it to waver, then fall upon itself like a drop of water. Fish shook her head with finality, arms crossed behind her back. “Farewell, Bethany. Courage.”

The spirit swirled hesitantly at first, then flowed away. Fish remained.


#3

Montebank sat in the covered market at the Arete space station and coughed, the acrid breeze stirring gently. The tang of notum in the air, still an unfamiliar taste, sharpened the world around him into a slightly uncomfortable clarity.

His first few days on-planet had been as the briefing described. He thought back to his final meeting with the Sol Banking handler, only a week ago, but a lifetime away. The smooth, ex-Special Forces corporate had given his instructions with the same laconic manner he taught assassination techniques.

“Everyone’s a mercenary on RK. It’s a frontier town on a planetary scale. Everything has a price, and no-one does anything for free. You’ll have to play dogsbody to a lot of people before you’re even close to accepted. Still, remember your mission:”

Montebank had joined in at this point, repeating the phrase that had been drilled into him for the last 8 months. “Infiltrate, accumulate, disrupt.”

The corper smiled at the Solitus. “That’s right. Elaborate for me.”

Montebank had shifted in his carefully learned slouch. “Infiltrate the Clans,” he said. “Accumulate power and contacts, disrupt Omni-Tek’s grip on the notum.”

“Very good. Right, get out of here. Your shuttle leaves tomorrow. We’ve purged your ID from all known systems. As of now, you’re a non-person. Your handler on RK will be in touch three weeks after you land.”

Montebank squinted out at the Rubi-Kan desert. Coarse, dangerous, beautiful. He stood, shouldering the crude solar-powered rifle that he’d managed to upgrade with some basic robot parts. Time to go and see about signing up with the clans.


#4

The solitus woman moves around a small room, checking gear and packing items, occasionally pausing as if holding a silent conversation with herself.

_ I disagree. Today’s council meeting in no way changes our plans. _ she sits down to check the air filters of a respirator mask.

:: If an Omega is present, we may be required to assist. You have dedicated yourself to the Clans. This is not the time to leave. ::

_ We have waited too long for this, millennia for you Siofra. I do not consider the Omega sufficient reason to change our plans. Daneel? _

= We should travel before the storms get worse in the Outzones, and the little one who knows the way won’t wait forever. It was Fya’s idea for us to work with the Clans, but they and their battles are not what brought us to Rubi-Ka. I vote we leave as planned. =

:: Fya, your ancestors used Seysense to wage war on the Omega. You’d abandon the Clans at this time? ::

_ It was a war fought millennia ago on a world that grew to mistrust them and those related to them. It’s why my ancestors left Earth to found Viking Station, you know this. Our primary objective coming to Rubi-Ka was to bring you home, Siofra. The Clans have always been secondary. _

The woman sighs lightly, pinching the bridge of her nose as if taking a steadying breath mid argument.

Securing the respirator’s filters back in place, she adds the mask to her collection of gear; a carefully maintained mix of Rubi-Ka nomad and pilfered Dust Brigade pieces.

_ I vote we continue as planed. Consensus? _ The woman stills at the table, hands lightly folded in her lap and gaze focused off someplace in the distance.

:: Very well. Consensus. We leave as planned. ::

The woman nods and stands to don her gear. Pulling the cloak around to cover her face, she steps out of the one-room shack and into the gusting winds of the Wailing Wastes.

“One Who Wanders Far,” she inclines her head to a Yutto, “we are ready to follow you.”