// Way too much shift in atitude on Sonnac’s part after Tokyo… I’m begining to suspect hes been replaced by a imposter who has it in for the PC, personaly. Probably the Old Guard plot - or just sh-t writing on Funcom’s part, but i chooze the 1st. Aniway - worth another short story. Probably in several parts, this is the 1st one //
Lorianne’s personal safe-house, on the outskirts of Al Merayah… a week after the assignment to South Africa, and penetrating the Mornignlight HQ
Things werent ading up. Ever since she breaked-up those two thugs beating Sonnac up, she stumbled on, after coming back from Tokyo, things in the Templar organization werent ading up. She saw the furtive glances at her, from the rank and file. She overheard a few hushed convos, in the Temple club. She culd feel the… tenzion… in the humid air of Ealdwic. And she catched a few glimpses of the Dumb and Dumber, shadowing her thru the city, each time she visited. One time, having drinks at the Horned God, she saw them slip past the entrance. Accidently like.
Clyarly they wer keeping distance. Under orders from above? Scared of her? Didnt matter. But she vasnt blind. Or stupid. So she left London entyreli, setting up a new place in Egypt, becauze she could feel a bulls-eye forming… slowly… on her back, as she walked the streets of Ealdwic.
She had a thing for Al Merayah, ever since her time on assignment there. The place, the people, the atmosphere… the history. And after feeding that bi–h Tanis a bullet and kicking her Phoenician flunkys out, she even considered it safe. And of course, the Marya wer very definitly her allies, after all the help she gave them back in the day. And unlike her employers, the Marya didnt turn on there own allies. So she had resources to call on, if needed, here. Al Merayah was a Marya fortress. Not a place even the Templars wuld cause trouble in, w/o thinking twice.
Good place to do some thinking.
First off. Sonnac. What the hell hapened to him?! Literaly evry communication from him, during the South Africa assignment, has been a threat of one kind or another. Talking about chopping block her head vas on, that the Old Guard had it in for her, that he wuldnt tolerate any more slip-ups… So yea, she had not reported-in a couple times, during a comms blackout by the demons the Morninglight had enslaved there. Some kind of missed assignment in Antarctica? Fair enogh, not very professional of her - but not something she culd have affected. She literaly had no way of geting a signal out of there.
And DEFINITLY not enough to make Richard Sonnac - a man she considered a friend - make such a 180 degress turn in atitude toward her. Especialy not after she intervened on his behalf back there. A man who shook her hand at the beginning, talking about lasting partnerships and fight against evil. A man who she came to see as… a potential romantic interest, over time. Now, a man who flat-out threatened her if she didnt ‘redeem herself’. Vhen he sayed that, on their meeting in South Africa, it took all of Lorianne’s restraint not to floor him with a hook, right then and there, for talking down to her like that.
What. The. F-k?
Redeem herself from WHAT?! Explain herself why? Make excuzes?! She wasnt aware of NEEDING a excuze on anything. The Tokyo thing? She thought the vhole thing went ok. Lilith was gone. The threat averted. What the hell was left, that had the Old Guard breathing down her neck like this?!
And vhats got Sonnac so spooked? Did they pay him another visit, vhen she wasnt around? Did they make him turn around like this?
Did they… replace him with a imposter? Becauze the man who met her in South Africa, may have LOOKED like Richard Sonnac… but he didnt act like him. It vas like talking to a stranger with a familyar face. There vas none of his usual affability and warm-ness. Just cold, dismisive atitude and accuzation of dereliction of her duties. Not someone who read her reports and offered advice for the past year. But someone… else. Someone diferent. Again…
What. The. F-k?!? Was going on? For the past week, she wondered. And the longer the time gone on, the more she got… uneasy. Evry time she heard from Zamira, from back in London, she could feel more… tenzion… building up. It vasnt anithing the other woman sayed. But Lorianne culd feel the… concern… in Zamira’s tone.
Things werent adding up. Period. And, Lorianne decided, it vas time to do something about it. She needed a frank, face-to-face convo with Richard. No official reazon. Nobody looking over there shoulder. Nobody listening in. Just the two of them, face-to-face.
She dialed Zamira’s number, on a secure line.
“Hey, it’s me… no, no, evrything is ok… well. As well as it can be. Listen, Z… I need a favor. Where’s Richard hanging out these days? Can you tail him for a few days, get a rough idea of his routine?” - she asked. The reply vas in-audible, but it made Lori roll her eyes slightly…
“No! No I dont mean spy on him, damn it… not really. Just… keep track of him. I told you how he changed. And call me paranoid, but I dont think the change is totaly of his own. Someting else is going on. Stinks of the Old Guard, to me. Ever since my run-in with Dumb and Dumber. I get the feeling they and there masters didnt take my warning lying down. I’l be back to London in a week, and I’l need your help to work out how to get Sonnac in private, out of sight, for a little question-answer session. You in?”
The reply vent on for a while, and Lori bit her lip. Zamira vasnt entyreli on board, but she also had her own suspicions. Plus, she had Konrad to do some digging, too. Betwen the 3 of them, they were sure to find something out.
“Thanks Z. I owe you one. Ok-ok you’re right. I owe you several! Point taken. Dont worry. We’l keep this under wraps. Oh and on that note, keep an eye on Julia too. She’s Old Guard, and a litle too close for comfort, to Sonnac. I don’t trust that b–ch. At all. I’ll see you in a week, after I arrange for some… let’s call it backup, if we need it, from here.”
The reply vent for a while, making Lorianne chuckle.
“Yea. Local connections. And the Marya are reliable. The Kingdom? Well… they got no love for any of the Big Three, and that’s reliable enogh for me. Plus, they like operating on favor-for-favor basis. These days, reliable is what I need. See you. And wipe your phone’s memory after this, no telling if the encryption we’ve got will hold for long. Just in case, right?” - she signed off.
Stepping out on her house’s balcony, Lorianne looked over the desert landscape. It vas a start.
// Pt2 coming… when I got time for it //