Uninvited Guest (Adventure) - Calen Natari Saga 12

Calen followed the bartender to his home but had to put off paying a visit for a few hours while her cloaking device recharged.  She sighed with exasperation.  This demand for secrecy in an underwater city was going to make every task three times longer than it really had to be.

At last, the power bar reached full charge and Calen pushed herself away from the small crevice she had hid in and swam toward the dwelling.  There was only a single door and no windows, a feature Calen found to be extremely alien as her people lived in wide-open tents.  But given water currents and pressure, the lack of windows made sense.

The door was locked by a basic keypad.  On land, Calen would have easily been able to bypass such security measures with a trick she learned from raiding with her tribe.  Unfortunately,  the trick required a pistol.... how was she going t--

The door slid open, startling her.  The bartender swam out, very nearly running into Calen as he deposited what looked to be a pile of trash in a receptacle a few meters away.  Calen had been a breath away from reacting but then remembered that she was invisible.  But there was no telling how accurate these zelenca were with their other senses.

Never one to waste an opportunity, Calen slipped into the dwelling, taking care to disturb the water around her as little as possible.  She moved to a dark corner and watched as the bartender returned and paused for a moment in his doorway as if he sensed something.  Could he have seen her slip inside?  She was almost positive that he hadn't.

Calen forced herself to stop moving in order to avoid detection, causing her to float freely around the cave.  The effect was difficult for her to handle.  As a land hunter she felt more than a little vulnerable floating above her potential target.

Her plan seemed to have worked.  The bartender shrugged and swam over to what appeared to be some sort of food preparation area.  Attacking this man was not going to be easy.  Calen was completely out of her element here.  Her normally lightning-fast reflexes would be slowed.

She carefully removed her knife from her boot and allowed herself to drift all the way to the ceiling.  Then, lining herself up as best she could, she pushed off with all of her might.  It was only a short distance to charge but the bartender must have felt the movement in the water because he dodged to one side, easily evading Calen's assault.

Calen retaliated but the bartender was able to move around her with the natural grace of one born for the water.  He was still not able to see Calen but as soon as she attempted to stab, he deflected.  Foregoing the knife, Calen attempted to grab her target and wrestle him into submission.

They were evenly matched, each vying for the dominant position.  The bartender was slowed only by his inability to see Calen's limbs and Calen was unable to get a firm grasp on the zelenca's slippery skin.  As they thrashed and tumbled about the cave, Calen's cloaking device somehow got knocked off of her wrist.

Calen flickered into full view and the man stopped mid choke-hold when he saw who is assailant was.

"You're not from around here," he said, his voice sounding like a gurgle in the water.

"No, I'm not."

"A zelenca would have known better than to make direct attacks underwater.  Always move with the current.  Why are you here?"

"I need information.  And you're going to give it to me."

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