Cunning Planning

The Good Son
Aimless and sorrowful, Mergawa walks the streets...

Morning comes with soycaf and a heavy feeling for Mergawa. It is his duty to visit the hospital, see if anyone actually survived. His duty, and the only thing to do. News feeds refrain from including any names of survivors, and they’re too preoccupied with speculating as to the perpetrator anyway. Better find out by himself, anyway. Almost unconsciously, he plots the course to the hospital with his comlink. Time to find out.

The receptionist is short, plump, human, round her forties. The hospital’s walls are a dull grey, which must have formerly been white, and the silence is only broken by the frequent announcements. That’s what you get for not upgrading your DocWagon membership.

“Excuse me, are there any survivors from yesterday’s fire at the establishment #36587-2?”

She looks at him impassively for a little while, and turns without haste to look at her comlink.

“There are a Mr. Anthony Chatzis and a Ms. Nina Volioti…”

She makes another pause, flicking her eyes between Mergawa and her comlink.

“…and you are authorised to visit them. However, they are both in a critical condition. I must instruct you to limit your stay to five minutes maximum. Rooms 424 and 425.”

Once again, she turns her interest to the comlink, but Mergawa is already on his way.

A Conflict of Interest
The night's never boring.

Athens. What a mess. But at least you can find peace here. Well, not exactly peace, but a state of non-war. It’s not due to the absence of dangers, but mainly due to them not bothering to take interest in you. After all, if you were capable of becoming a threat to anything, you wouldn’t be living here. You’d be living in a more interesting place, and busying yourself with threatening it, or them, or whatever, thinks Demian as he is strolling back to his small apartment.

Walking into a small and insignificant back alley, he stops, in order to avoid disturbing the scene unfolding in front of him: four heavy-set men are transporting a huge-looking, probably unconscious guy. They gently rest him at an opposing wall, and run towards the other end of the alley. Probably ran into a fight he couldn’t handle. Demian slowly paces toward the end of the alley, and then he stops again. His cyberears’ sound damper and his glasses’ flare compensation kick in, as the alley is wreathed in blue flame. The building opposite the guy explodes violently.

It was a house of ill repute, and it was also said, that its apparent function as a brothel was just the front for operations and transactions ranking quite higher on the illegality scale. Now, it is a torch under the night-sky. Piercing screams accompany the crackle of fire, and the wooden building creaks as it begins to collapse. Interesting. Demian walks towards the guy lying opposed to it. He keeps a safe distance from him, while gently patting his cheek to wake him up.

Mergawa’s eyes begin to focus. And suddenly, consciousness comes with a rush of adrenaline. He sees the elf crouched in front of him; moving back in reproach. “Who are you?”, Mergawa asks him. “You may call me… Jonathan”, slowly he retorts.

“What happened here?”

In response, Jonathan offers a hand to get him up. He is way too heavy for a guy of his stature. And his skin feels… synthetic. Headlights are flashing from both ends of the alley. Lone Star. Never too late… Demian retreats to a nearby area, where neighbors are starting to converge in order to watch the proceedings.

Mergawa gets closer to the flaming establishment, idly watching his former home and job burning down. With an incessant noise, the roof collapses. People must be dying inside. Pretty much, the only people he ever got to know. How did this all come to be? Shit.

DocWagons come wailing, he can hear them stopping in front of the main entrance. And a Lone Star detective seems to be approaching him.

“Excuse me, may I ask you some questions?”. Mergawa turns to face him, a round-faced, middle aged man, framed by the flames and the sparks. In the background, Lone Star watchmen are asking onlookers to clear off, and surround the area. “Yes, indeed”, Mergawa answers. “What is your name?” – “Mergawa”. The detective pauses, and Mergawa’s comlink detects his attempt to scan his SIN. The cop frowns.
“Were you here before the explosion?”
“What was your business?”
“I worked there.”
A small pause ensues.
“Could you report any events you witnessed prior to the explosion?”
What a model cop…
“…No. I was unconscious at the time. There are witnesses…” with the corner of his eye, he seeks Jonathan, but the elf seems to be gone.
“I may ask you to present yourself for further questioning within the next days. You are obliged to appear.”
“Fine. But, are there any survivors?”
“Any survivors will be brought to the Hippocrates hospital.”
“…Thank you”
The detective has already turned his back on him, and observes Lone Star emloyees in fire-proof uniforms putting out the flames.

Mergawa returns to his apartment. Once there, he starts browsing the Matrix. That’s what he does best, after all. He seeks any information regarding the incident. Bloggers tend to respond faster than news agencies, always stalking bad news like vultures. Most of them attribute the fire to retribution from the Mafia. Did Tony have such enemies? Who knows…

Well, I will, soon enough, he thinks as he nods off…


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