Thursday, 20 October 2016

3. The Way In



Master Jinder Sondeus had a reputation for tenacity and cunning. Like any field experienced officer in the Maker Army, he was easily bored and didn’t like to stand on ceremony if there was work to be done, and Lord Enik had given him free rein to conduct whatever investigations he saw fit in order to to thwart the Levyethin threat.
Enik himself was now in seclusion in his apartment in the Lunar Keep, with only Aethian’s assault Gobot, ‘Tackle’ serving as his bodyguard.
One thing was for sure, he thought, Tarapel was the finest technical specialist and inventor alive and it would be outright stupid not to make use of his skills. The lunar keep was no place for Jinder - not now that there was a job to be done.


“Good morning Lemin.” Said Master Sondeus as he entered the Teck area mess hall.
Tarapel was stood on the Poniard range, a blade in each hand and his back to Sondeus. With the blades set to whipping energy, he gracefully pulled back and then once again held the grips hard before throwing the smart metal blades down range to the target, allowing them to stretch out in front of him while he still held them. As the energised silver blades elongated to their full extension, satisfyingly formidable gashes appeared in the plasteel dummy standing there. Then, much like the cracking of a whip, the energised metal blades fell back towards the hilt at Tarapels control, taking their solid form again for a fraction of a moment before he once again whipped the deadly smart metal back down range again with a flick of his wrist.


“You remind me of a Salmon fisherman!” Said Sondeus, louder this time.
“Ah, Jinder! Good morning!” Replied the old Quartermaster as he turned to face Master Sondeus. “I agree. My late wife was a keen Angler and a sheer artist with a poniard too. It is, as they say ‘All in the wrist’, when it comes to the whip setting. Would you care for a cup of tea?”
Tarapel flicked the thumb switches on his poniards and the blades hurried back into their normal solid forms. He then held both blades together, lined them up flush and shook them until they locked together to form a single elegant dagger which he spun around his finger by its ring and sheathed back at his waist.


“Tea sounds good. Thank you.” Sondeus nodded as he sat down at one of the long, brightly lit mess table.
“You dance your blade well Master! I could have used talent like that in times many fold - no mistake!”
Tarapel smiled back at Jinder from the corner kitchen where he had begun to boil a pan of water.
“Too kind my Son!” He said as he wryly poked his tongue out and back in again with a wink.
“When you’ve been providing for soldiers, assets, and agents for as long as I have, the tendency is to procure a few extra talents along the way. I never joined the Temple; I barely scraped through a heavy mek academy on Goetia - but I can build things. More importantly, I can improve on existing things that are given to me, and I can back engineer alien technology.” He turned and smoothly filled a shiny metal teapot with hot water and spooned in two heaped spoonfuls of dark green Tea.


“Which leads us rather nicely to the point Lemin.” Said Sondeus as the quartermaster finished stirring the pot. “I like toys - and your toys are the best.”
Tarapel smiled and nodded as he poured two glasses of hot tea, set them down upon the mess table, and gestured to one of them.
“Thank you.” Said Jinder, taking a sip. “This is good tea.”
Tarapel smiled and nodded. “And?” Said the old quartermaster as he crossed his hands.
“And,” said Jinder,  “I would be curious to find a way of being placed down there in the Ziggurat forest, where I might be able to make Tea, walk, sit, sleep, and observe - unobserved.”
Tarapel mused and looked out of the window at the lush blue and green planet beneath them.
“To be… shall we say, invisible? - Why yes my son, of course. I have the very thing. A device of my own making which is based on the Levyethin personal spacefolder unit. The flesh burner module has always puzzled me. I have asked myself a hundred times, why do they insist on burning every last shred of themselves, post mortem, so that no trace of the flesh remains? But now, I’ve finally done it you see?” A wry smile crept across his face as for a moment he enjoyed the puzzled and excited look that the Master wore. He took a breath before continuing, allowing the moment to stretch out slightly longer.
“I cracked the technology only last night. - I now know how they move - and so much more!”
Jinder dropped his Tea and the glass shattered, spreading sparkling crystals and hot tea spraying across the table. He looked up at Tarapel in awe.
“Show me Lemin! - Show me now!”

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