Heist of Houses

2033

Ray Nothnagel

Security Guard Gosutar of House Torme, supplemental log. Dated Third Revolution, Tenth Hour, Year 133 Post KU

I don't know how long I can survive down here. They probably won't find me in time. I think someone needs to know this anyway. This notepad may be all that's left of me by tomorrow.

This all started this morning. Home base monitored a signal from the River Fuluto border, and someone had to investigate. It was a nothing job; wild animals trip the sensor all the time. So naturally, I was the one that got stuck with the job.

When I got there, though, I didn't find animal tracks. It was boot prints, and they were heading directly into the base. I should have radioed in then and there. That was my crucial mistake. But I had to know more, I had to follow the tracks. So I did. By the time I caught up with them, they were nearly at the warehouse.

At that point, it occurred to me to call in the intrusion. I tried, but my radio just kept sending back static. Maybe they were using some kind of jammer? This is above my pay grade, to be honest. This is the sort of question I would really like to ask a superior about. Sure would be great to have a working radio.

I kept following them. I counted eight intruders, all of them armed with projectile weapons and some kind of explosives. I started to realize that raising the alarm in any way aside from my busted radio would mean my death. If I was going to die here, it was going to be for something more than just raising the alarm.

I did get close enough to identify them. They were wearing any insignia, but I could tell immediately that they were from House Korzof-Moti, just from the way that they were. From the way that they talked. This wasn't entirely unexpected, since they had come from across River Fuluto. Still, it confirmed a lot of what we all thought about the Moti.

I couldn't heard everything they were saying, but I did pick up on one thing from their discussions, which is that they were planning on stealing some Junardms. This is what I'm here for, I thought. I wish I'd been able to follow through. They said something about a large food transport that they were going to use to sneak them away. This would be a great thing for command to know, so I tried the radio again. Still nothing but noise.

They got to the main area of the warehouse. This was usually pretty heavily guarded, so I was really surprised when they just walked in. Did they have someone on the inside? How? Every security guard here was of House Torme by pure breeding for at least two generations. Had we been betrayed by one of our own?

I caught the closing door behind them and continued to follow them. Once they were inside the warehouse, they split up into 3 groups. I followed the largest group of 4. One of the groups went to what I later realized was the crane control room. I'm not sure where the others went off to, but the four I kept following were headed into Main Junardm Storage.

I feel like at this point, I should point out that I had never been inside Main Junardm Storage. It's above my pay grade, and they only let the senior people in there. So when I stepped onto the catwalk that overlooked the place, I was a little bit stunned. I knew that the Junardm trade is what had made House Torme in the last two generations, but I'd had no idea it was this extensive. The room was at least fifty length unit tall, and much longer than I could even hope to guess. Most of it was underground, so the size of the building from the outside doesn't really show just how many of these things there are.

It was at this point that I heard the alarm. Someone had finally found them out, I thought with relief. It wouldn't be just me, stalking them impotently. But then the weird thing happened: I saw other security guards running away from the intruders. A diversion? No! That meant I had to stay on these ones. I checked my radio again—still jammed.

I heard a mechanical sound, some powerful electrical engine running. The way it echoed through the building, it took me a minute to find the source: a large crane device mounted to the ceiling was moving towards one stack of Junardms. I looked down, and then noticed the two I'd lost track of earlier moving around among the stacks, putting something on each stack, all except for the one stack. That's when I noticed the ground transport. Just large enough to carry some of these things, the transport was pulling up right near the same stack. And around the entire room, I couldn't see a single other security guard.

As the crane extended downward, apparenlty to grab onto that stack, I noticed one of the Moti was sitting on the crane's chassis itself, riding on it along the ceiling of the room. When it settled on its final location above their target track, he raised a wide-barreled weapon of some kind, and I heard four faint "thud"s. I couldn't make out exactly what had happened, but nothing was blowing up, so I guess it could have been worse. After a moment, that one swung around the edge of the chassis and onto the crane wire itself, descending with the grabber toward the stack.

I ran down the stairs from the catwalk, trying not to make any noise, and hid behind the stacks, one after the other, sneaking closer to where they were. Finally, I was just one stack away from their target, when I saw something out of place. My hon-koteka ran cold as I realized what it was. I had never been this close to an explosive device, and I did not know what to do. In a panic, I grabbed the thing and pulled; it was attached to the Junardm with some kind of adhesive.

I must have made some kind of noise while struggling with it, because the next thing I knew, two of the Moti were behind me. One of them grabbed my radio and threw it away. They both just looked at each other, and without a word, just shot me. I'm sure you've already seen the hole in me. I'm having trouble breathing, so I can't call for help, and I can't move my legs, either. Not a good sign.

The rest is kind of a blur as they left me for dead on the ground. I could see their targeted stack of Junardms being moved by the crane, presumably onto their transport. Then everything went quiet for a minute, and suddenly the world came crashing down around me. One of the stacks fell over me as the Junardms exploded into bits, but the rubble mostly fell around me, with a few pieces forming a small protective shell sort of thing. Pieces of the roof, the dirt underneath, fell on top of the shattered stack. Looking around, I can't help but think that the destroyed Junardms must be an important part of their plan. Maybe they're hoping that Torme won't be able to tell how many Junardms there are in this debris. They're probably right.

I can't imagine I'm going to be found anytime soon. If this note is all that's left of me, I hope House Torme is able to recover the stolen devices. I hope my family is taken care of—I know I haven't always been there for them, but I hope that my House is there for them in my death. I can feel it coming for me.

Log recovered by Torme Reclamation Task Force, Sixth Revolution, Year 135 Post KU

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