About this blog

This is the official blog of Phoenix Roleplaying, a multi-genre simming site, created in August 2010.

Run by the players, we hope to achieve great things.

Where our journey takes us, who knows.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The letter - a story by Mischa Brendel

The letter

Lieutenant Beauregard,
You are hereby ordered to report at Headquarters tomorrow morning, 10.00 hours to colonel Gale in her office.
Major Brestle. 42nd Infantry.
The message was suspicious to say the least. First of all, he never received his orders from anyone but major Barrack. Secondly, he was always addressed by his codename: Chameleon. Apparently, the chameleon had been an animal on Earth-that-was. The creature had been able to blend into its environment perfectly, striking out at prey in an instant.
Eugène Beauregard had even been let into the Operative programme, but had been thrown out of that same programme within three months. He was very good at following orders, as long as they were orders he liked. Since it was demanded of Operatives that they’d follow orders without question, Beauregard’s attitude wasn’t appreciated. Nevertheless, he’d learnt many things in those three months, sword-fighting among them.
He looked at the letter again, like he had done again and again the night before, when he’d received it. A naïve person would have thought that he would be decorated for his efforts (if killing people could be called such) in the War, now that the Alliance had won. But he knew better. Then why had he come? Simply because he was curious. He wanted to see the face of the person who wanted him out of the way.
Finally the time had reached ten o’ clock. The higher the rank, the more lazy the officer, it seemed. A sergeant would have called someone at six. Maybe seven, at the latest. But ten o’clock or no, nobody seemed to show up.
At ten o’ five, Beauregard heard the sound of boots coming down the corridor. Four boots: two persons. One a slender fellow, the other a woman, a bit overweight. No doubt the latter would be the colonel.
As he knew they would, both officers walked right past him, never noticing him. One of them, the colonel – who looked exactly like Beauregard had thought (immensely incapable of doing her job) – pulled a key out of her pocket and opened the door to the office.
Beauregard recognized the other officer, the major. Although he’d seen him six times before, he’d never spoken to the man but he knew that this had to be Brestle.
“Where is your man?” said an agitated colonel, “I thought he was never late.”
Before Brestle could answer, Beauregard stepped out of the shadows. “That is true colonel, I never am.” Beauregard purposefully didn’t salute his superior officers. The two noticed and seemed annoyed by it, but neither of them said anything about it. Although he held the rank of lieutenant, Beauregard’s job in the war had been ‘special’ and he’d never had to work under officers other than major Barrack, who would give him his orders which he’d carry out.
Beauregard’s job in the war had been simple: find the target and eliminate it. Ruthless? Many would think so, but to Beauregard it simply was survival of the fittest. And the Alliance clearly had been the fittest. Although Beauregard had to admit that the Independents had held up surprisingly well. But in the end the inevitable had happened: the Independents had surrendered.
Still taken with the lack of proper respect from the Lieutenant, colonel Gale walked into the office, quickly followed by major Brestle. Beauregard stepped in after them, more slowly than the other two had entered. He didn’t wait for one of the two officers to tell him to close the door behind him. The door shut with a soft ‘click’, a sound that told Beauregard that the room was sound proof. Not a single word or scream would escape the room once the door was closed.
Beauregard walked over to the bust of general Chan, standing in the centre of the room, appearing to admire it.
“Lieutenant Beauregard”, the colonel began. Beauregard looked her straight in the eyes. For a moment the colonel didn’t say a word, intimidated by Beauregard’s stare. Fear because she’s hiding something. The colonel’s eyes strayed to the middle window of the room ever so briefly before she regained her composure and continued. Danger. “I want to express my gratitude to you for your fine works in the War. Your commanding officer major Barrack has informed me of your difficult duties and how you have always executed them with perfection.” Barrack is dead. “He speaks very highly of you, Beauregard.”
“Lies”, Beauregard answered.
The colonel looked confused and unsure at first, but it quickly turned into faked anger. “Lies? You dare accuse me, your superior officer of lying?!” Gale’s face turned red, but Beauregard knew that it wasn’t from anger so much as embarrassment of being caught.
“Yes, I do” he answered. “Because you are lying. Barack would never brag about me. He hated what I did and he hated me because I did it. Even though he gave me the orders, for which he hated himself. He respected me, but he would never brag about me.” Beauregard saw the terrified look in both the colonel’s and the major’s face. The major slowly backed towards Gale’s desk. The colonel however, suddenly seemed to realize that she was in fact still the superior officer and that Beauregard was nothing more than a simple lieutenant. But Beauregard knew that this too, was only a charade played by the colonel. And she was a bad performer. Nevertheless, the colonel continued.
“Outrageous!” Gale shouted. “Lieutenant, you are…”
“THEREFORE”, Beauregard interrupted, “you have lured me here for a different reason than to thank me. Since the war is over and peace has been negotiated, I am a liability for the Alliance. I know too much about your dirty little secrets and I must be eliminated.” Silence fell. Had he been almost certain before, he was entirely certain now that he was right.
Suddenly, the major, who’d been slowly moving backwards, nearer to the desk the whole time, turned around and started to sprint the last few feet towards the massive wooden construction. He never got there: Beauregard grabbed the bust of the general with his right hand and threw it with all his strength towards Brestle. On impact, a loud cracking sound could be heard and the lifeless body of the major dropped a few feet in front of the desk. A red smear decorated both the colonel’s desk and the wall behind it.
But even before the major’s body had made it to the ground, Beauregard had flung the knife from his left hand towards the middle window of the room. The knife, which was of a special ceramic material, not noticeable on standard scanners, was something that Beauregard always hid in a special pocket in his left sleeve. The knife flew in the direction of the colonel, missing her left side by a few inch. It hit its target perfectly as it sliced the curtain next to the middle window of the room. As the knife went through the curtain’s fabric, it impacted on something. Or rather, someone. The soldier who had been planted there with a gun to kill Beauregard, dropped to the floor with the knife between her eyes, taking down the curtain with her. Gale stared at her body in sheer terror. She didn’t even have the time to notice that Beauregard had walked up to her. The lieutenant struck the colonel with a short but powerful thrust on her throat. “Consider that my resignation, colonel.” Gale fell to the ground, making gurgling sounds while grabbing her throat; she was struggling for air. “Spare your efforts, colonel”, Beauregard said, leaning over the suffocating woman. “There is nothing you can do to stop yourself from drowning in your own blood.” The colonel’s eyes grew wide. Beauregard wasn’t sure whether it was because of the terror of realizing that she would be dead within moments, or because of the lack of oxygen. Probably because of both, the former lieutenant decided.
Then, anger appeared on Beauregard’s face. A rare thing, since Beauregard hardly ever showed a sincere emotion at all. He leaned even further towards the colonel. “You should have just left me alone. I would have gone my own way and you would never have seen or heard from me again. I would have…” Suddenly, Gale’s eyes twisted upwards and then all tension left the woman’s body. Beauregard growled. He felt the urge to kick the colonel’s body, but quickly recomposed himself. Then these strong emotions faded away from the surface, back into the deep black waters of his mind. He quickly searched and stripped all three bodies of any valuables and after that, searched through the colonel’s desk drawers, which he managed to open within an instant. He took everything even the slightest bit incriminating for the Alliance. Together with what he already knew, this would be enough to ensure the Alliance wouldn’t come after him. If they had any brains.
Many people in Beauregard’s place would have either fled the scene in a panic, or tried to wipe out any evidence that would place them on the crime scene. Beauregard did neither. Although he worked fast and found the papers that interested him within minutes, he remained calm and made no effort to hide any evidence. He wanted to make sure that the Alliance knew who’d done this.
When he had all the papers and valuables he wanted, he got out pen and paper from the colonel’s desk. Many officers liked to act all fancy and use old-fashioned pen and paper and Gale had been no exception. Beauregard wrote down a warning:
You’ve tried to kill me and you’ve failed. But I will not hold this against you. However, I know enough of your dirty little secrets to be a danger to you. Try to take me out again and those secrets will find their way to the masses. Don’t bother me and I won’t bother you. Maybe we can even do business again sometime in the future.
Former lieutenant Beauregard, Special Operations
Although he found it a bit dramatic, Beauregard placed the letter on Gale’s body. He then walked over to the soldier and leaned over her. Without any expression of regret or remorse, he pulled his knife out of her head and wiped it clean on her uniform before hiding it back in his left sleeve. He glanced back one last time and then silently left the room to exit the building unseen. He would have to change his name again, of course.Solitaire. Now that sounded like a nice name.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...