The Dome (Adventure) - Calen Natari Saga 15

Calen shifted her weight ever so slightly to relieve the cramping in her arms.  She had broken into the Dome several hours before the workday began, wanting to have time to examine her surroundings.  A falsified key given to her by the bartender had granted her access and after that it had been easy to avoid the basic security measures in place.

It was a relief for Calen to not be floating around.  She felt like her prey was now on her terms now, something a hunter always desired.  But the first thing she noticed was the presence of bright lights everywhere to illuminate the work place.  Her cloaking device would not last long in such an environment so it was necessary to find a hiding spot in order to preserve the charge for when she needed it most.

She ended up climbing on top of a large storage tank that was almost touching a portion of ceiling.  It was a tight fit but Calen had long ago become inured to staying in uncomfortable positions for long periods of time.  Worthy prey and the honor of making a difficult kill always made the wait worthwhile.

The images of the two suspect officials were burned into her memory.  Carrying around a data pad on such a mission was impractical.  If they showed up, she would recognize them.  Many hours had gone by since the large airlock doors opened up to admit the first wave of workers and bots into the Dome and there was still no sign of either suspect.

Two more shifts left and entered before the first suspect finally walked in.  Finally, Calen thought.  She watched the zelenca with interest as he immediately went to work overseeing a portion of the factory floor.  The bartender had been correct in that if messages were being sent, it was not from the Dome.  The official was constantly surrounded by employees giving him little chance for privacy.

Calen could see that the zelenca had limited power at best.  He supervised but Calen counted at least eight others that he seemed to answer too.  If the man valued position or wealth he would be ripe for bribery.  He was also in a key location to give the Imperium valuable information.  Invasion on a water planet such as this would be difficult.  But it would make strategic sense to try and cripple the economy by destroying its factories.  All it would take is a handful of precise attacks to completely undermine the government.

The zelenca's behavior changed subtly and he began to glance at the airlock as if expecting someone.  The change in behavior would have been imperceptible to a less experienced hunter.  Another wave of workers and bots entered and with it came the second suspect.

So, there is a connection between them.

The two exchanged data pads, a seemingly normal occurrence between the supervisors of each shift and the first suspect began to head toward the airlock door.


Calen either had to take her chances following her first suspect or stay where she was and watch the second.  Making a split-second calculation she activated her cloaking device and climbed down the storage tank with impressive agility, slipping into the airlock mere seconds before the door closed.

Brainstorming (Adventure) - Calen Natari Saga 14

"No names," the bartender said firmly.  "I don't want to know who you are and you don't know me."

Calen shrugged.  "Fair enough.  Now tell me what this resistance of yours has uncovered so far."

"Not much, I'm afraid.  Most of us are civilians and not in positions of power to really do any deep digging.  But we do know that the spies are zelenca traitors.  As you've probably figured out, it's not easy for an outsider to get around our underwater cities.  It would be impossible for a stranger to live for years here without anyone noticing.  We think that the spies probably have an interest in Shawm joining the Imperium."

"A reasonable assumption.  What actions have you taken?"

"We have no wish to undermine our own government.  Which is why you are such a convenient discovery.  We have made a point of following around those that we suspect.  But they are tricky, these traitors.  They are careful to hide their tracks."

"Tell me who you suspect," Calen asked as she idly toyed with her knife.

The bartender shook his head.  "Nothing is positive.  And we have no names.  But I can give you the images that we took of them.  There are two.  Both of them are high level officials at the Dome."

"What's that?"

"We have found that some manufacturing is best done in an oxygen based environment.  So the Dome was built to house such productions.  The thing is, that building only has interplanetary communications.  So if messages are being sent to the Imperium, it's not from there."

"It would be too suspicious to send messages directly from the Dome, anyone.  It would compromise their position."

"We thought that too.  But we have yet figure out where they could be sending the messages.  Our cities have very tight security.  This is partially why our government foolishly believes that invasion is impossible."

She slid her knife back in her boot.  "Leave that to me.  I'm going to follow up on this lead.  I'll be back if it turns out to be a dead end."

"And if it doesn't?"

She laughed.  "Consider your problem solved."