Calen stood on a small island and clenched her fists in an effort to control the need to pace restlessly. She didn't like this situation. A zelenca councilor had contacted her and told her to meet him at this precise location on his home planet.
Most of the planet was entirely covered with water but there were still a few small islands. The one Calen stood on was completely bare of any features and was just large enough for her to land her ship.
She felt totally exposed.
She had no idea how friendly the zelenca were but she imagined it would probably be fairly easy to pick her off right now if anyone felt so inclined.
Calen had been standing in this spot for over one standard hour with no sign of the councilor. If she hadn't been so on edge the gentle sound of the lapping waves might have lulled her to sleep. She found her reaction to the sound odd since this was the first time in her life that she had ever seen so much water in one place.
Out of the corner of her eye she caught a small movement beneath the ocean surface. She responded instantly by pulling out her pistol.
The being seemed to be swimming toward her. Calen climbed on top of her ship for a better angle and aimed her gun at the movement. She wasn't sure what it was but she refused to die a coward's death.
Councilor Chum emerged from the water. Calen watched with interest as he stood up on land and his fin separated into two legs.
She holstered her gun and jumped down. "You're late, councilor."
"I've been in this area for some time. I had to make sure neither of us were followed."
Calen put her hands on her hips, hoping to convey her annoyance. "Get to the point."
"You understand that I am counting on your absolute discretion?"
"My planet is in danger, Ms. Natari, and I need your help. Suffice to say that I... know... there are Imperium spies here. However, the board refuses to listen to me unless I have more... shall we say... hard proof?"
"I see. So wish for me to expose these spies. And my compensation...?"
The councilor handed her a data pad. "These are some leads along with the price I am willing to pay for such a service."
Calen scrolled through the data pad for a moment. "You must care about this a great deal. Your price is more than acceptable. I'll take the job."
"My planet means everything to me, Ms. Natari. I refuse to let it fall to those Imperium scum."