Brooks' apartment had seen better days. A single room no bigger than 10 feet by six with a single bed, a table which supported an old re-heater and a wall mounted digi display. The walls were plastered with marks of both corrosion and damp with attempts to cover up made through the use of aged X-Metal band posters. Tannus, the Hydan Wraith who had worked with Brooks not eighteen hours ago to try and end a Red Claw smuggling operation, was sat hunched over the end of Brooks' unmade and dishevelled bed.
"This room is unbecoming of a Wraith" Tannus muttered to himself as he instinctively applied an emphases to the title Wraith.
"Shove it Bone!" Replied Brooks as he leafed through a selection of thin platiboard disk holders. Brooks paused a moment as he found his chosen one, placed the remaining stack on his table, unfolded his selection, withdrew it's contents and placed it carefully within the Digi-Display mount on his wall. The display came alive with a series of luminous shapes and from inbuilt speakers a roar suddenly erupted. It sounded to Tannus like a bar of metal being scraped against more metal while a domesticated pet was being going through vivisection in the background. Tannus looked at Brooks through pained eyes.
"And this is?" Tannus asked.
Brooks smiled wider than Tannus had seen in quite some time. "Tyrannosaurus Decks!" Brooks called out over the rising volume "Isn't it the best?"
Tannus was familiar with X-Metal. Being partnered with Brooks he had learned that the Human had only one love, and that was of music, but this particular type of music. Tannus had spent the time learning about all types of music that had come before, and how in it's hay day on Terra-Prime the genre of Metal had split into so many different sub genres which had constantly moved to reinvigorate themselves as each generation matured. X-Metal, or Xeno-Metal was just the latest in a long line of music varieties. It prided itself in having no lyrics, or even much of a tune, and instead tried to sound as alien to Human ears as possible. Of course the Human audio spectrum was a lot narrower than that of the Hydan, so to what sounded to Brooks as 'aggressive noise' was to Tannus nothing shy of pure audible pain.
"Look, Brooks!" Tannus almost shouted the words over the deafening noise "we need to speak about the operation".
Brooks swiped a hand in front of his digi display, pausing the music. The sudden silence was almost as much of a surprise as the music itself. The Human Wraith paused for a moment before pulling out a digi pad from his inside jacket pocket. After a series of two finger swipes and slides Brooks located what he was looking for and fed the information to his wall mounted digi display. The screen shifted as it's image mutated from the previous audio/visual information to the new input. Rows of data scrolled across the display at an almost unintelligible rate before Brooks held up a hand pausing the display once more.
"Here!" Brooks blurted out almost enthusiastically "at the same time as our raid on the Red Claw there was another deal going on, just three levels below us!"
Tannus studied the data and nodded in agreement. Brooks was right, while they were fighting with the Kratel over fake Shock Drives, another deal, presumably the real one, was happening right under their noses "What's HQ say about it?"
Brooks' brow furrowed "they're not happy. Orders are to finish up what we have here and return to the Bastion".
"Impossible!" Tannus' barked his response at Brooks, the unusual reaction took the Human by surprise "there is no way they would ask us to leave the case! We should investigate the site of the trade, see if we can locate the ones responsible and bring them to justice!"
Brooks shook his head with grim determination "our orders are clear bro, we gotta go".
Without so much as a word Tannus stood from his perch at the end of Brooks' bed, picked up his coat and made for the door. Brooks didn't attempt to stop him. On more than one occasion the Human had gotten in the way of Tannus while in a bad mood, and every time he had been left sprawled on the floor with a black eye, a broken nose or worse.
Tannus left Brooks' apartment and paced the direction away from his own. He knew his orders, he knew he had to gather his equipment, burn all records that may tie him back to his lodgings within the Block and leave for Wraith headquarters. Despite knowing this he found himself going instead to one of his safe locations outside his apartment. Tannus knew that within the safe site he would find secured away from prying eyes a set of stealth suits that had been modified to remove their digital serial signature making both them and him within untraceable from Wraith headquarters.
What Tannus was committing was nothing shy of mutiny and he knew as much, but one thing the Wraith also knew was that they were never recalled from a mission early unless the recall came from above the Wraiths themselves. There was something about the deal that the Accord themselves knew would be an embarrassment and with or without support from Wraith headquarters, even without the support of his partner; Brooks, Tannus was going to get to the bottom of it, and it would take nothing shy of the Bastion itself striking him down before he was about to let a bunch of Red Claw Grunters walk off with genuine Class-A Shock Drives!
Greetings friends and welcome to the next part of the Tannus & Brooks story for First Law: Override!
For those curious as to what happened before you can pull up the (revised) edition from the First Law: Override book found at www.firstlawoverride.com.
Enjoy, stay safe and be excellent to each other!
- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley