Unity - Ann N


After a spell in the rehabilitation centre known as the Harlequins, Unity is able to re-enter Union life and has proved herself useful to many people in the Legion.

Clan: Harlequin


Unity Goes on a Date

“You have beautiful eyes. Mesmerising.”

Unity briefly stopped scanning the restaurant to once again examine the woman sitting opposite her. Captain Della Talread, commanding Bravo Company of the 6th Power Armoured Assault Regiment, 1st Airborne Division. Favouring her left arm due to wounds sustained while seizing a position held by Earthborne geomancers. Negligible threat. Decorated three times for conspicuous bravery, including the Union Star for charging a storm gun nest without cover to allow her platoon to withdraw. Above the captain's collar a filigree of scars were still visible where the shrapnel from the grenade she had thrown to end that threat had almost cut her own throat. Apparently loyal.

This was Unity's seventh time being dispatched to this same restaurant by General Deepcut. Each time the pattern was the same. She would be assigned a partner, to be met at the restaurant, and instructed to “get to know them”. At the briefing in his office General Deepcut would display considerable discomfort or embarrassment, emphasise repeatedly that the mission was entirely voluntary and that he would not be “offended” if she refused. The positive qualities of the assigned partner would also be detailed, somewhat haltingly. Initially there had also been puzzling assertions that the General did not normally consider it his business to interfere in his officer's personal lives.

Harlequin indoctrination had impressed on her that she was expendable, that she was a weapon, that she must do what was required for the good of the Union without hesitation or remorse. General Deepcut had never required plausible deniability before, but Unity had been trained to recognise the signs. These missions were to be undertaken as a “private” citizen of the Union, without the apparent support of Department S. The General had mentioned that he had discussed the first mission with Evie, Ms. Minver, so whatever the purpose it had been sanctioned by the Closed Council itself. Unity didn't think, she agreed, untroubled by doubt or reflection.

For the first six missions to the restaurant her assigned partner had been male. The first three had been officers in the Legion of Unity, their records as impressive as Captain Talread's. The next three had been a scholar, a trader and a poet. All presented minimal physical threat, all were outwardly loyal to the Union. Unity had discovered few commonalities between the six.

Unity's eyes swept on, examining the room, while she analysed the captain's words. Those eyes changed colour slowly, chaotically, all the shades of the Storms above.

* * *

“I'll kill my wife.”

Unity rapidly considered the import of this statement. If General Deepcut was planning such an operation against Anja Sedlak it seemed reasonable to assume that the General would ask her to act in at least a support role. Force deployment seemed most plausible at the family home, with the College of Horizons a possible secondary operational theatre. Part of Unity was already mapping out insertion and extraction routes, as well as possible ambush sites and covert loiter zones.

Another, smaller, part of Unity's mind considered how the arrest of General Deepcut for conspiracy to murder a Union citizen would be best achieved. Disabling the General would pose limited difficulty, extracting him from Department S while minimising casualties would be more challenging. A variety of familiar strategies and options sprang easily to mind.

Unity allowed a puzzled smile on her face.

It seemed probable that the General had not meant the statement in earnest. Unity was unsure what had prompted it.

“Are you really… Is that suitable?”

General Deepcut had been staring fixedly at a point just above her head since shortly after she had returned to his office. The General had handed her a package from his wife Anja, a dress she apparently thought appropriate for the evening. (Did this indicate suspicions of Mist or Runic magic use?) Unity had changed swiftly into it in the privacy of her own office. The General's question must refer to the dress.

Unity considered the question. The red silk dress had a much lower cut and higher hemline than she was used to and its design precluded any possibility of concealing weapons. It was obvious too that she was completely unarmoured. However, she still possessed her concealed claws and was at almost full Storm charge. Her legs were almost completely unrestricted giving her eye mobility. The backless nature of the dress would also allow her to easily unfold her wings, though that and the lack of sleeves would reveal her tattoos. A veteran of the War of Confederacy Aggression, such as Captain Talread, would be all too aware of the capabilities linked to those Storm-imbued tattoos anyway.

“If the evening's objectives have not changed I believe it will be adequate, General.”

General Deepcut seemed somewhat stunned by her answer but waved her out of his office.

* * *

“Your eyes are pretty too, captain.”

A menu of possible responses, programmed by Harlequin conditioning and taught in infiltration training, had fanned into Unity's subconscious. A response of some sort had clearly been required. Unity had selected this one essentially at random from those options likely to appear friendly.

Her conditioning suggested this particular statement should be followed by a positive change in facial expression. Unity smiled.

The effect on Captain Talread was dramatic. The captain's situational awareness simply collapsed; her attention entirely on Unity. Unity noted that certain tertiary escape routes that would require cooperation from the captain to utilise would now be closed. An immediate physiological response was also apparent. Unity had already noticed some unexpected pupil dilation responses, but the effect was now unmistakeable. Also apparent were signs of increased heart rate.

As the captain stared at her, Unity quickly assessed the restaurant for any hostiles likely to take advantage of this strange reaction. She perceived no anomalous movement or attention. Debriefings following these missions had been curiously perfunctory, concentrating on her opinions of the mannerisms and physical attractiveness of her partners. Nevertheless she scanned and memorised the faces of the restaurant patrons and staff as she had been trained, and additionally noted changes in the table layout in case they held any geomantic or ritual significance.

Captain Talread's spoon slipped from her hand and splashed into the bowl beneath. An explosion of soup drew Captain Talread's attention and she looked down, her wide-eyed study of Unity ended. The Captain's cheeks coloured as she mumbled, “call me Della”.

Unity experienced curiosity about her mission, a worrying sign. She had not received reinforcement conditioning in some years now. With the elimination of the Harlequins no further conditioning was likely to be conducted. She should not be feeling curious; she would have to report this breakdown in her optimal functioning.

The purpose of the mission still eluded her.

With thanks to Ivan who wrote this fic for Unity's eternity.

bio/game2/unity_bio.txt · Last modified: 2009/03/10 17:51 by gm_james