Artwork by Andrew de Guzman
Calen couldn't help but be a tiny bit flattered by the job the councilor had offered her. Such an assassination could only be entrusted to someone highly skilled.
Or... highly expendable...
She had little doubt as to which the councilor thought she was. But Calen fully intended to prove her worth as a hunter. If the The Spirits guided her well she would achieve a kill that no other scarlati could ever hope to achieve. There would be glory in the afterlife for her.
Her first order of business was penetrating the zelenca's underwater city. Not an easy feat since she could neither breathe underwater or swim. The next thing she would have to do is procure a method of avoid detection while she tried to discover the spies.
Fortunately, Councilor Chum had provided a solution on both counts. Calen had to give him credit for thoroughness. Her data pad indicated a location on one of the larger islands where she could find her supplies.
It was a quick flight. She landed Blue Sun, jumped out and then touched a button on her wrist control panel to send the ship into autopilot.
Calen eyed the Oboi sub warily. The councilor had assured her that it would be just like flying her own starfighter. Only in water. In truth, the prospect terrified her. Coming from a desert planet, her people viewed water with awe. It was something to be respected and feared. And now she was about to pilot through it.
She opened the small cabin and found the remaining supplies. An environment suit designed to fit most bipedals and a cloaking wristband. The suit was designed by the zelenca for when, on those rare occasions, they had distinguished air-breathing visitors. Essentially it was a second skin that filtered the oxygen out of the water for the visitor.
Doning the suit, she climbed into the submarine's cabin and powered up the engines. The ship hummed to life and lifted off the ground. Gripping the controls a little tighter than normal, Calen aimed the ship toward the vast ocean and plunged into the water.
For a moment she forgot about the suit and panic briefly took hold as the cabin filled with water.
But the suit seemed to have no trouble with its job because despite being surrounded by liquid she had no trouble breathing. Calen calmed herself and then adjusted the ship's heading toward the zelenca city.
As the ship sliced through the ocean's depths effortlessly, Calen couldn't help but pause and absorb her surroundings. She had never before seen anything so alien. Or so beautiful.