Sunday, June 28, 2020
Sunday, June 14, 2020
Saar was modifying Anderson's power converters when he showed to pick them up.
“Wait out side. I'll get 'em for you.” Saar then plugs in the data chip and begins cracking. There are 8 files. All of various degrees of complexity, therefore various degrees of time to crack. Saar goes to work on the easiest. Time stamped photos of a corporate party in Kazawan City. The photos seem to focus on one individual in particular. It will take a facial recognition app to try and figure out who he is. Fifteen minutes tops. While the comp runs the program Saar looks up at the wal-vid broadcasting the latest scream sheet.
“Gang violence breaks out at the Synapsis club between off-duty Omni Security and the Binary Dogs. No information yet on why these off-duty officers were at the club or why they engaged gang members, but Omni Security has requested anyone with any information on the whereabouts of Officer Jones [Picture] or Omni Contractor Hernandez [Picture] please contact Omni Security immediately. They should be considered armed and dangerous.”
A series of video camera footage just outside the entrance of the club in the top floor of a high-rise is being looped showing Jones and Hernandez entering the club with two other men. Quick head shots of the deceased Binary Dogs are displayed, then the usual quick reactionary crowd shots of the average Vanders citizen at the scene complaining about police corruption, the drug-trade and the poor colonists stuck in the middle trying to earn a living.
“What the frak?!” When Saar left Jones and Hernandez they were heading to the Below Zero to collect the cash Bargar Vas promised them for getting the water turned back on out at Oh-Rif. What were they doing hours later at the Synapsis in a gunfight? And where is Schmidt? Sergeant Schmidt ran the mission out at Oh-Rif. Last he knew he had just got done debriefing the chief and collecting credits. Well it sure as purple-acid-rain did not concern Saar at the time. “My fraking fingers hurt.” He winced as he stabbed his deck for the readout.
Paulo Song, Omni Sun, COO Omni Horron Research Facility, responsible for the agra-augmentation program being conducted there.
“Tell him I'm not here.”
Saar bends back over his comp and begins an extraction program on the next most easily hacked piece of data. Six hours. “Run it.”
“He says he can't really leave until he sees you.” the apartment's com crackles again. Aw hell, Saar punches the door access code. Anderson and Yang come back in with a well dressed man. Obviously Kazawan City, not a colonist. Anderson introduces him as his boy Hugo Rossi. Both Rossi and Saar look at each other trying to figure out why in the hell either one them would be talking to each other. Rossi trimmed out, good job obviously, standing in a pumped cube in the dome talking to cut up, electrocuted, dying computer hack. Saar was concluding once again he was shit at choosing friends.
“My employer, Mr. Down, would like to talk to you if you wouldn't mind?”
“Can he patch me up?”
“I hope so, or I've taken a two-hour tube ride for nothing.”
“Who's your boss?”
“Collace Down. His son just returned from Xxcarvis. He is concerned about his son, the condition of his return, and for some reason now he wants to talk to you. He also advises that we try and leave the dome as soon as possible.”
“Down is big in the professional circuit,” Anderson beams, “his son, Flare is probably the top celebrity sports star on Skalvil. I've raced against him before, he's totally cool.”
“What was reported. Some unknown armed group had taken over the facility, disrupted the water flow. Don't know why. Attracted a whole bunch of attention. How could it not. Angry colonists were outside ready to force their way in if the water didn't get turned back on. My group secured the facility, engaged the terrorists. We killed some. Some got away. Looks like they killed the whole staff their too. Didn't make much sense. Still doesn't. But it paid. Once we contacted Omni with a sit-rep the salaried boys rolled in and told us to go home.”
“The official report is they came across Flare in life-pod orbiting the gas giant at 0304. Still 2 parsecs out from Xxcarvis. Word is he was never on Xxcarvis. No trace of his ship, his crew. He is not okay. Something happened to him. The surviving scout from the mission I have been unable to find out who or were he is. Probably under lock and key at their base here in the city. I was able to find out the body of the dead scout had been transferred to Oh-Rif. So I want to ask you again: What did you find?”
Saar let the stimpacks take him far away from his singed skin and lacerated torso. “They had some EMP device. Detonated in the power room. Brought the whole facility down. No power, no communication. They killed all the staff and took a body. They fled on boat out into the Skalvil Sea. We found it beached on the north shore. Original crew bound and executed. Most likely killed before the terrorists used the boat to enter Oh-Rif. They fled into the wastes on a four-wheeled ATV. The frequent acid-rain storms had quickly made their trail impossible to follow. Schmidt returned to the Omni tower to debrief and collect pay. I came home to find, well all of you.”
Saar looked at the rest of the PC's. They all seemed happy with their drinks. “All I can say it didn't make any sense.”
“I want to take a look at that body. Do you think you can find it for me?”
“Sure, were do you think we should look?”
“There isn't much north of the Skalvil.” Downs picks up a remote from the table and turns on the his holo-vid. A three dimensional image of the rain scarred wastes of Skalvil in brilliant display. The Skalvil Sea was prominent then the display zoomed into the terrain north. Three colonies were identified: Krunner Farm, Harean Station and Horsail.
“Harean Station is a slug farm, protein bases for you poor colonist’s food supplies out there on the plains and you poor dome'ers living on subsidy. Krunner Farm harvests Hellboria Wood. Very hard, very colorful when back lit and very expensive. My bar top here is a nice specimen. Horsail is a fracking operation. Anyone heading north via ATV's cannot get very far without living, knowing or being supplied by one of these colonies. Someone is going to know who they are and where they are. I suggest you start out immediately. Omni knows as much as this too. If they are hot to track down the terrorists, they will be heading there soon. But then again, now the facility is back up maybe not so soon. Hugo here has tuned up the Trell III, a capable back country air raft. Enclosed of course. He has agreed to accompany you all. As a top mechanic you shouldn't have to worry about breakdown.”