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Lore Story #1

Updated: Jan 16, 2023

Vander Morrow arrives on Amishay:


Vander stepped from the civilian shuttle and walked across a small landing pad just outside a massive building complex. It was the Institute of Science and Medicine on the planet Amishay. The building was absolutely enormous, not so much in height, as it only stood about four stories tall; but the sheer distance in which it spanned to the sides. Vander stood in awe as he stared at the pearly white building. He shook his head as he began to walk forwards through the extravagant gardens that lined the roads and paths leading towards the school. He now understood why they called Amishay the “Garden World”. The flowers ranged from blues and greens to reds and even strange off colors that Vander wouldn’t even be able to identify if he tried.

He stepped along the path that lead towards the front entrance of the Institute. As he got nearer to it, he began walking through white, stone archways and sitting areas which contained students and scientists out on lunch break. He crossed a road that sat right in front of the atrium entrance and opened one of the heavy glass doors. Inside was just as exorbitant as the outside. Chandeliers hung from the two story high atrium. Stone pillars held up the higher floors, and gardens extended across the floors; there was even a fountain that spewed water upwards! Vander laughed at the idea of it, walking towards a kiosk to meet a secretary. She looked up from her screen as he approached, putting on possibly the most utterly ridiculous fake smile he had seen in his life.

“Oh hello there!” She exclaimed, catching Vander off guard.

He didn’t know what to say but let out a subtle, hidden laugh. Eventually he smiled in return, trying to ignore the stupid look on her face as he spoke.

“I’m here to meet a Doctor Berwenski?” He said awkwardly as the lady smiled even harder.

“Oh Kayla, yes!” She said loudly as she pulled out a file. “You must be …Vander Morrow?”

“Er … yeah. That would be me.” He replied, trying to look away from the lady’s face.

“Okay. Do you have ID?” She asked, now easing her smile.

“Umm … No.” Vander admitted. “I’m a Mercenary, we don’t exactly carry our names around with us.” He informed in annoyance.

“Oh…” The lady said as her face eased to that of a normal persons’. “Well let me call her up then, okay?”

“Yea sure. I’ll go find myself a seat then.” He said as he walked towards a large couch in a waiting area. “Fuck me sideways.” He uttered as he sat, staring at the woman who once again had her fake smile on.

To distract himself he pulled out a TACPAD and began to scroll through several other incoming job offers; nothing too interesting showed up, a few assassinations, repos and what not. He continued scrolling until he saw a potential. Cargo takedown. ‘Could be interesting but maybe something for after this meeting.’ He thought. He wasn’t even really sure what he was needed for here. Something about protecting a VIP or something, but the details were sketchy as all Hell. As he pondered his options, a short, brunette woman approached him from the side.

“Hi.” She said with a smile that actually seemed genuine compared to the secretary’s. “I am Doctor Kayla Berwenski.” She said with an outstretched hand.

Vander stood and took a firm grip on her hand as he shook it. Right away he identified her as an Edler, a race from the planet Jurnaan. She looked similar to Humans but her eyes were larger, like that of an anime character, and they had a light red color to them. Vander quickly inspected the rest of her body, finding himself quite attracted to her. She was only five and a half feet tall and was quite thin; she looked no older than mid-thirties, if even that?

“I am Vander Morrow.” He finally replied, noticing that she was very aware of his personal inspection of her. Not that he cared. He held no shame.

“Of course.” She said with a serious face. “My office is this way. Follow me.” She said with a turn.

Her long hair whipped Vander gently as she spun and walked the other way. He wasn’t sure if she was flirting back or genuinely lacked interest, but he assumed it to be the former either way.


They walked for a few minutes, turning down a hallway and then following several more turns, left and right. The entire way, Kayla talked about the Institute and its founding, and … something else entirely uninteresting to Vander. He tuned out most of what she said until they approached a door with her name on it. She unlocked it and let him enter first.

“Thanks.” He said as he scooted passed her and sat in a leather chair facing her desk. She closed the door behind her, walked slowly passed him and then slouched into her chair. The smile on her face faded immediately as she opened her computer and looked at Vander.

“So let’s get right down to business.” She began. “I have an important contract to give you … should you feel up to the task?”

“I’m here aren’t I?” He questioned.

“No. It’s not that simple. You are a Mercenary, but I need the best one I can get my hands on.”

“You can get your hands on me all you want.” He jested seductively, only to receive her sigh.

“Look. Vander. This is a contract of utmost importance. So I need you to look at me and be serious. This will be a highly dangerous escort.”

“Contracted by you? Or is this funded through a buyer?” Vander now asked professionally.

“A buyer.” She said with a nod. “One that won’t let things go if they’re dicked around. You know what I mean?” “I got you.” He said as he sat up more straight. “So … I thought this was a VIP escort?” He now questioned.

“It is.”

“Then I have to ask, are you selling … a person?”

“Sort of. It’s not about the person, it’s what she has. She’s just part of the deal.” The Doctor informed.

“I am a Mercenary, but I generally don’t accept slave trading.”

“She is not a slave. Nor should she be seen as one. It’s bigger than that.”

“So she is free to go if she wants?”

“… not really no.”

“So let me get this straight?” Vander stopped, now leaning into the table. “You want me to take this ‘not slave’ to someone that has ‘bought’ her? Where she is ‘not allowed’ to leave but is …’not a slave’?”

“Vander…”

“I’m serious.” He scoffed. “You’re not making sense.”

“I’m sorry but I can only offer you the full detail when you’re given the job.”

“Then count this as the job.” He demanded. “No Mercenary is dumb enough to get themselves involved in slave trading without intention.”

Kayla sighed, annoyed but understanding.

“Fine. I can give you … some details I guess.”

“Some?”

“Yes. Some.” She said, sliding a page from her file across the desk. It was mostly blacked out but it was better than nothing. “We have a Human girl named Amethyst. Through our time and research with her, we have learned that she has the ability to understand emotions … sort of like a minor ability to read minds.”

“What?” Vander laughed. “Mind reading? That’s ridiculous.”

“Is it?” She asked in return. “Vander I’m telling you what you wanted to know. Amethyst can sense the emotions of people around her. It’s a valuable ability that our buyer wants.”

“So they know she’s a person?”

“They didn’t when they initially discussed it with us, but since they’ve invested their money, they want her as an asset.”

“So who is the buyer?”

“I can’t tell you that.”

“Kayla. I won’t deliver to any SRA installations … so I need to know.”

“Is that like a moral code or just preference?”

“That’s a rule. I won’t support the SRA. So I sure as fuck won’t give them that kind of power.” He said in frustration.

“Good to know…” She mumbled. “So do you want the job?”

“Did you even listen?” Vander now said loudly. “Yes. Which is why I’m offering it to you. We want her out of SRA territory and to our buyers safely. We’re lucky she wasn’t discovered by the SRA as it is.”

“So … you … want her out of SRA hands?”

“Yes. But our buyers can’t come into SRA territory, not without a lot of risk.”

Vander let out a laugh.

“You selling to the UDPA or something?” He jested with sarcasm.

“Yes.” She replied, stopping Vander’s laugh dead.

“I ... I’m sorry, yes?” He questioned.

“Yeah. The UPDA has requested her to Earth. They hope to use her to tell if SRA captives are lying or telling the truth. And we hope that one day she’ll develop the ability to straight up read minds.”

“That’s fucked up.”

“Not really. Vander if this works then they’ll have no need for torture and black site interrogation.” She informed. “It’s honestly a step towards a less violent future.”

He leaned back in his chair, staring into Kayla’s eyes.

“Fine. What do I sign?”

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