Thursday, June 19, 2014

Blood on the Stars - Part 1: Secrets & Lies - CH. 5 (3)

Carefully, Hans looked over the case, running his finger along every seam and edge. Eventually he stood up without opening the case, his face grim. “That case has got a hidden tracker on it. As soon as we open that case it’ll turn on and we’ll have the Armed Forces surrounding us within fifteen minutes. I thought you said that it was non-traceable merchandise that you were getting us.”

“What?” Chimmey looked down at case and back at Hans. “Are you sure? My source assured me that there was no way this case would be traceable by the Armed Forces. It was to be registered as damaged and destroyed at destination.”
“I’m sure and I’m guessing your source had no idea that they had planted a hidden tracer on it. It’s not something most people know about, let alone how to detect them before the case is opened and the tracer is activated.” Hans shrugged. “I know about them because a friend of mine helped to design them.”

“So you can deactivate it then?” Chimmey sounded hopeful, but his face was grim.
“Yeah, it’s tricky, but I can do it. Unfortunately for you, this brings the value of your product down a bit in price. There really is no one else you can sell this too. Unless you want to sell it to an enemy of yours just to watch them go down, but chances are you’d end up going down with them.” Hans crossed his arms and a small smile playing on his face.

“How much are you thinking?” Chimmey asked. There was no doubt that he was a good business man. He wasn’t about to argue with Hans, but he was being careful not to give him too much ground either.
“I’m not sure, but how about this – can you hold our credit for us? I’m thinking we might need a fairly large favour for three people when we’re done with what we’re planning.” Hans forced his voice to remain calm, ignoring the look of confusion on Duke’s face.

“That all depends on the scale of the favour you’re talking about.” Chimmey was still being careful, but Hans felt sure that Chimmey would agree to what he was about to say.
“It would involve getting lost – very lost. There is a small chance that the Armed Forces may become aware of what we’re about to do and they will not be happy about it. If they end up being as unhappy as I think they will be we may need to hide for awhile.” Hans tried not to make it sound as serious as it could be, but he was pretty sure he failed in that judging from the look on Chimmey’s face.

“What you’re asking is very dangerous and, therefore, very expensive. This is only one possible outcome of many?” Chimmey was thinking fast on his feet and Hans couldn’t help but be impressed with professional response.
“Yes, it is one outcome of many possibilities. To be honest, we’re not sure what is going to happen, but I do believe in being prepared for anything.” Hans shrugged and dropped his arms. “For all I know, we may just end up dead and you’ll have a very substantial profit because you’ll never hear from any of us again.”

“I’d be sorry to be losing your business. You’re a shrewd man, but you still haven’t mentioned what sort of reduction in price you’re looking at.” Chimmey said. He hadn’t lost track of the reason for this digression.
“Let’s just leave that up in the air for now, but call it half a million creds on average. It all depends on what we may need from you after this is all said and done.” Hans held out his hand to shake on it. Chimmey hesitated for a moment and then shook his hand.

“I know it’s really none of my business, but what are you two planning to do with this gear? I can’t imagine anyone needing these things for anything that could get you into that much trouble.” Chimmey looked from Duke to Hans in search of an answer. When none came he just shrugged. “As I said – it’s none of my business. Good luck though.”
With that Chimmey and Szelok got into the ship and taxied it out of the bay door. Hans manually shut the bay door behind them and went to pick up the case. Duke hadn’t moved at all, but his eyes never left Hans. It wasn’t until Hans looked at him that he finally spoke.

“Okay, what the hell were you talking about back there?” His voice was quiet, but there was no mistaking the rage beneath it.
“I told you and Honora that I’m being kept tabs on. There is a reason they erased my memories, there is a reason Ken Ho called me out of the blue and it is not out concern for my well being. I’m not a conspiracy nut, you know that, but there is a lot more to this than just looking for proof of aliens. I don’t know what it is, but I have feeling we’re going to find out one way or another.” Hans held Duke’s stare until he could see the other man relax a little.

“Then you really think it might come to that?” Duke walked towards the exit and Hans followed him.
“I don’t know for sure, but it is a possibility that we all need to be aware of. We all have tomorrow off, I believe. Why don’t you and Honora stop by my place tomorrow and we’ll discuss our plans then.” Hans smiled as he stepped outside.

“Yeah, sure.” Duke locked the door behind him. “We’ll see you tomorrow at 1000h?”
“Sounds great.” Hans stopped in his tracks. “Shoot, I forgot to turn Alice back on from privacy mode. Watch this I’ll be right back.”

Hans put the case on the ground and dashed back to the door. He unlocked the door and stepped inside. Speaking in a hushed voice Hans called out. “Alice?”
“Waiting, sir.” Came the equally quiet response.

“Did you record everything that happened here tonight?” Hans asked.
“No sir. I have also inputted the algorithm that you have given me that will activate only on your command.” Alice said.

“Great, replace the missing footage as best you can. After you have done so please run the program and record as normal for the rest of the night. I’ll see you in a couple of days. Good night Alice.” Hans hated to admit it, but he was getting to like his virtual assistant here. He locked the door behind him and ran back to Duke.
“Sorry about that. I can’t believe something that important slipped my mind. Someone would be getting suspicious if an entire night of footage went missing.” Hans smiled as he picked the case back up.

“You’re right about that. See you tomorrow then.” Duke went off his separate way.
“Tomorrow.” Hans turned and headed in the opposite direction. He had a lot to do tonight before he could get some rest. He wanted to make sure he was prepared to go over the exact plans to be prepared for any question that Honora and Duke might have tomorrow. He wanted to be prepared.

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