Breaking the Ice Chapter 9

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic


Don't forget to read the other chapters! Don't forget to read the other chapters. https://www.booksie.com/519559-breaking-the-ice-chapter-1 https://www.booksie.com/522730-breaking-the-ice-chapter-2
https://www.booksie.com/524716-breaking-the-ice-chapter-3 https://www.booksie.com/527604-breaking-the-ice-chapter-4 https://www.booksie.com/534223-breaking-the-ice-chapter-5-part-1
https://www.booksie.com/540992-breaking-the-ice-chapter-5-part-2 https://www.booksie.com/542994-breaking-the-ice-chapter-6 https://www.booksie.com/547703-breaking-the-ice-chapter-7
https://www.booksie.com/554658-breaking-the-ice-chapter-8

Submitted: July 01, 2018

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Submitted: July 01, 2018

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Considering Morice's warning, Breccia was none too excited to meet Riker. She spent the evening tidying up Nessa's apartment. (Who was a problematic hoarder at best and a complete slob at worst). She also spent the evening keeping watch over Nessa's Koffing, who was injured during the squabble in Verandi.

Upon waking in the morning, she made herself a small pot of coffee, scraping what little was left from Vanessa's dwindling supply. After, she dressed, grabbed the coat loaned to her by Morice and set out for the Operations Building across the way.

Despite her illness, her lungs were on the mend. She still had a nasty cough and there were times her chest felt like tightened glass. Regardless, she was determined to 'keep up the rouse' so she could start work immediately. If Morice was right and Riker really had vouched for her, she didn't want to let him down.

Aurora island was similar to Cianwood in it's design. Though, unlike Cianwood, which was a city built upon a sandy beach front, Aurora consisted of concrete sidewalks and trodden dirt paths. The salty, warm scent of sand and surf were exchanged for bitter winds.

As she approached the Operations Building, she noticed its complete lack of windows. There was no natural light on the inside. Most of it illuminated by dimmed scones hanging from the ceiling.

The entrance room was devoid of wall fixtures. The secretary, Ms. Morre, had a few pictures on her desk but little else.

“I'm swinging by the pub after I get off.” She was busy chatting into her XTransceiver, which was situated between her ear and shoulder. Her meowth, an Alolan breed, was grooming herself on the desk top.

Ms. Morre continued to prattle on in ignorance of her guest. “I thought I'd get a drink or two...well what else is there to do around here?.... I'm heading inland on the 12th.....Travessia has the best shops, I need food that isn't bean salad for the 2nd week in a row....” Her eyes snapped to the new arrival. “I have to go Jess....Yeah, see you then.” Putting her cell in the first drawer, Ms. Morre folded her fingers. “Glad to see you up and about dear. I suppose you're here to see Riker?”

“Yes'm.” Breccia's answer rendered a chuckle.

“Ma'am huh? How I wish the other low lives around here showed me such respect.” The secretary scratched her Meowth behind the ears when she rubbed against her shoulder.

“She's beautiful.” Breccia said.

“I've had her since her egg days .” Ms. Morre pulled what looked to be a poffin from her purse, giving it to her companion. The Meowth gave it a two second sniff before devouring it whole. “At least this one doesn't talk.”

Breccia's brows came together. “Is that a common issue?”

“Not for us, thank goodness. It was a problem back in the day...mostly because the damn thing never shut up.” Ms. Morre smiled. “But you'd have to ask my friend. If you don't mind an old lady gabbing your ear off, that is.” Her words were nearly drowned out by the purrs of her Pokemon. “Jess use to be such a firebrand, but all the years she spent blasting off into the stratosphere caused a little brain damage.” The intercom beeped and Ms. Morre broke the conversation to answer. “Yeah?”

Riker's voice could barely be heard through the static. “Is the girl here?”

“I'm sending her up now.” There was another hiccup of static before the line went dead. “Better hurry on up. His chat with Lars must've put him in a foul mood.”

Lars?

Hearing Lars had been in before didn't help Breccia relax. This meant Riker was likely pissed and short tempered.

She kept this in mind when clambering up the stairs, deciding against the elevator when she noticed a large group of grunts on board. As she ascended, she counted her footsteps, finally climbing to the top floor and going into the hall with hesitation.

Riker's two guards were standing out front of his room. Neither offered her so much as a glance. From within muffled voices could be heard, though the conversation seemed very one sided. The door cracked and the last dribble of the exchange leaked out for everyone to hear.

“I'm not putting any more time or effort into something that can't guarantee a profit.” It was Riker, and Ms. Morre was right, he wasn't happy.

“Yes sir...” Despite not seeing him, Breccia could hear the scathing contempt in Lars' voice. “But if we'd-”

“You're dismissed.”

The silence that followed cracked like a whip. Upon leaving the room, his lab coat unbuttoned and his eyebrows furrowed, Lars took one look at Breccia and sent a glare of contempt in her direction. One of the guards attempted to lead him down the hall and he tore his arm away, swearing and stomping to the elevator with his shoulders hunched.

“After all we've lost and he has the audacity to ask-” Riker continued to rant, speaking to his Pokemon as she stood beside his desk. “After all we've lost this week.” The first to see Breccia when she entered was Arlia, and, as to be expected, she was none too pleased. Breccia was sure that if she had a dollar for every shit look thrown her way in the past few days, she wouldn't be in need of a job. “It's fine girl.” Riker talked his Blazikin down, patting the creature's arm when she took a step towards their guest. “Go stand outside with Bruce and Sallis.” Arlia obeyed, though begrudgingly. “I apologize for her attitude. If it means anything, she acts that way towards everyone.” He drew the curtains on the wide set of windows behind him. After, he turned on the lamp near by. “I made sure to let Lars know you were starting in the lab as soon as possible.”

“He seemed-” Breccia swallowed. “Unhappy to see me.”

“I terminated his little project.” Riker answered. “A year spent and countless of dollars wasted. We have nothing to show for it save for death.” Like he had at the pub, Riker examined Breccia. Her umber, knotted ponytail hung off the side of her head and her dusted, tan skin made her stick out among the natives. “I know this region isn't the nicest, and our operation here is struggling to find ground, but I requested you based solely on your past work.” He took a seat, inviting her to do so as well. “From what I've been told, your father was a busy man.”

Hearing her father mentioned made Breccia wonder if gossip about him had been spreading. (She wasn't fond of the idea.)

“He was a saint in his own way.” She answered after a short pause. “I wonder how someone like him managed to make something like me.” Her father was a caring soul that did everything in his power to help those in need. He was always a glass half full kind of guy who was willing to get his hands dirty if need be. Breccia couldn't help but feel a pang of regret upon thinking of his accomplishments.

“He was a smart man from what I've heard. A doctor, scholar, former gym leader.” Riker leaned forward in his seat. “According to Vanessa Carter, his daughter takes after him in many ways.”

“I know my way around a lab.” Breccia said. “You're putting too much stock in me otherwise.”

Opening a folder on his desk, Riker leafed through it for a moment or two. “Allow me to ask a couple of questions. I'm guessing you met Lars on the way out?”

Breccia nodded.

“If I were to blame him entirely for this fiasco, would you consider that fair?” He asked this as if he already knew the answer.

At first Breccia thought it to be rhetorical, but she responded regardless. “Mistakes happen.”

There was a sigh.

“Mistakes are money.” Riker said. “Especially for a senior member who has been working in our lab for more than a decade. You don't sympathize with failure, because then it becomes a habit.” He pointed to Breccia. “And YOU don't come into my office acting like I made a mistake in trusting your talents. I need confidence, not some shy little brat who's afraid of her own shadow. Am I clear?”

“Yes sir...” The response came at a whisper.

“You begin work tomorrow. You'll be at the lab, at nine, every morning from here with a Pokemon of your own.” He spun around in his chair then, facing his back to her while messaging his temples. “You're dismissed.”

 

Chapter 8: https://www.booksie.com/554658-breaking-the-ice-chapter-8

Chapter 10: https://www.booksie.com/559485-breaking-the-ice-chapter-10


© Copyright 2020 Richard Mapes. All rights reserved.

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