A new day dawned at the picturesque village of Parohm.
Yet this was not going to be another day of leisure for the one the Triamese called ‘The laughing Pathman’ or ‘The Great Galt’ as he called
himself amid the cyberspace world known as the Nexus.
As Galt slowly stirred in his soft bed he reached out and felt the warm form of the girl he’d met the previous week, she warmed a little to his
touch and he felt the boozy fumes of the previous nights doings fade away.
In his eye’s these were the glory days. Far from his home Faction and answerable to no-one but himself he was master of all he surveyed. It was
still dark. The second and third-floors external shutters, installed at some expense, kept out the daylight nicely.
The light armoured pick-up was the first to arrive two blocks distant and the Galt’s keen ear picked it up. Yet as he did so, as if with some
synchronicity his lady in the bed began responding to his earlier touch and soon his mind was on other things.
Meanwhile the pick-up truck containing several armed Triamese enforcers now debused and lined the buildings along the river and faced the direction of
Galts workshop retreat.
Following the enforcer truck was an airborne trio of Fell Ryders, not allied to any faction but only to adventure, women and that which provided it,
gold. They travelled in no vehicles, but on portable flight unit’s that were about the size of a backpack which they wore to fly about in.
Similar to Watch Ryder’s but with a more baser approach to all levels of life, they preferred a life with any rules and would sell their unique
ability’s to the highest bidder. That bidder was no miser when it came to those he was patron to.
The three descended to near-ground level, but stayed lofty from the enforcers, knowing they were jealous and envied their equipment’s ability for
powered flight. They looked past them and watched as another land-based vehicle approached them.
This was their current master, a Caucus Zealander named Sten who hated Galt with a blazing intensity.
He too worked within the Nexus, writing as ‘Stenman’. A Nex Warrior of some note and Galts sworn nemesis.
Over the course of many months the time had come for a showdown, with Galt as the besieged.
Sten was accompanied by another, a tough and veteran Isol warrior who was his personal bodyguard, confidante and sometime friend Merth.
Sten had felt insulted and humiliated at the stinging and barbed wordings from the Galt. They’d been spread around the Nexus by this one called The
Galt. Time and time again an entry onto the Nexus logs, read by many thousands, was being made. Daily in some cases. Initially laughed at, then
ignored, before finally upsetting and annoying too many of Sten’s ally’s and contacts something had to be done. Many were starting to desert his
own Nexus logsite and even questioned his own story’s and ways. This was unacceptable and now the whirlwind had arrived to tidy up his mess once and
for all. He was a senior Nexus writer afterall!
There was even talk on the Nex boards that House Soliter would be severing it’s ties with his lucrative trade-mission’s that exchanged data-chips
for mono-atomic gold. Some even claimed House Jade’s northern frontier would now be switching it’s patronage to a less beleaguered Nex
This was the culmination of many months work. Locating and tracking down the Galt had taken time and resources, months of scouring the land of Triam
for clues and references. Narrowing down and prioritizing as the net drew tighter.
It was a random enquiry at a girly house that saw him directed to exactly to where Galt’s workshop was. He wasn’t sure what it made, some said it
was parts for two-wheeler signaling, other’s it was something else entirely.
One thing was for certain in Sten’s mind.
The playboy Pathfinder had made his last entry onto his Nex Log that many thousands were reading.
A sharp voice snapped Sten out of his thoughts.
“Well, make your call Stenman, we can’t wait any longer!” Trelt barked at Sten on the radio-net.
“Give the devil the dish then!” The Zealander said to him knowing that to tarry would allow Galt time to prepare, as it was he was likely to be
asleep and inside.
All three of the Fell Ryders now opened the throttle on their machine packs and launched themselves from the riverside towards the Pathfinders
Workshop and Home.
All three stopped and Trelt began the declaration that was required by Triamese Law.
“Galt the Pathfinder!” He addressed the building. Moving around it slowly as he spoke, scanning for body heat through the walls and shutters.
No Fell Ryder had equipment akin to artifact-level, but their scry-helms, at a pinch, could do the job of scanning buildings in this way.
The other two followed.
With a skill that Sten appreciated over the Radio-net Trelt progressing though the summons declaration. He’d well-memorised it, having jotted down
the key bits on his wrist slate; translated as it was from Triamese script the evening before.
“It is decreed that Galt the Pathfinder of this place shall be apprehended and brought to a court of law for the following offences.” Trelt
shouted the words with his scry-helm’s chin-piece and visor raised.
This was important for it meant no speech-modulaters could affect the words, they had to be from a natural voice and Trelt made his full intent known.
Although mercenary’s, he and his Fell Ryder’s were lukewarm ally’s to The Zealander’s fledgling faction of Nexer’s. Yet they relished the
justice due to this one, they too had been slandered and insulted by Galt. Trelt continued now describing the offenses.
“Slanderment of a Triamese business, besmirching the good name and character of Sten Zealander along with several others whose names will be made
known to you. Whoremongering and upsetting the natural order of things to this land.” Of all the offences the first and last were the serious ones.
Sten was an outlander and low on the pecking order for the most part and the whoremongering charge was practically a mis-crime in Triam, such was the
indulgence in it.
Now Trelt detected movement. Two bodies now moved about inside and he dropped down to the first floor level and flattened himself against the coarse
wall. He could take no chances. As a Pathfinder Galt was almost certainly armed. More than a match for Enforcers, being as he was on his own turf. The
other two Ryders followed in his lead. ‘Now we’ve got your attention Galt!’ Trelt's wicked mind gleamed. ‘It’s time to see if you can dance
as well as you make out on the Nexus.’
“Leave this building, submit to Triamese authorities or face extra-judicial consequences.” Trelt shouted out before slamming down his helmets chin
and face visor.
Trelt reached for his slung SCAR carbine and chambered a round knowing that the noise would herald it’s own authority in the ears of the Galt. Twice
more the cocking sound echoed. Aython was around the front and Perep at the roof.
“There’s no escape Galt this is your last chance!” Trelt boomed, this time with his helm closed, the voice now taking on a scrambled, sepulchral
The wordplay was over.
It was time.
He signaled to the other two and all three began their attack.
Three times the Fell Ryders swooped past the Galt’s building at half speed.
Each time they opened fire on the windows and entranceways with their carbines. Repeated gunfire raking the rendered breeze-block masonry and almost
penetrating it in parts. Concentrating their fire on the shuttered windows the flyer’s had some success with bullets piercing the thin metal.
Supported by the contingent of Triamese Enforcers the ground force now scurried forward, shotguns and pistols in hand, one piece of cover at a time.
They’d been long since on the wane to Galt’s doings. Wandering womanising and swaggering about like a macho-man was one thing. But this one who
claimed he came from the Unifier and had a reckless license to do almost anything had used up his grace and chances. With generous support from the
wealthy Sten they soon switched their allegiance with little argument to the contrary.
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