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The Night Shift, 6 Lares 276 LC

 
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Savant



Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 355
Location: Rangstadt, Allied Europe, Earth, NEC

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:16 am    Post subject: The Night Shift, 6 Lares 276 LC Reply with quote

***********************************************

TERRANOVAN INSURGENTS BLAST REFINERIES!
MANCHURIAN EXOTERRAN IN RUINS!
KSM BACKPEDALS IN WAKE OF TRAGEDY!

Three days ago, extrasolar partizan forces destroyed two of the three new "Concordat" heavy ore refineries under construction across the planet, and the shockwaves of the explosions are still being felt throughout the boardrooms and on the floor of the CMEC. Commonwealth Integrity Directors announced early this morning that MANET would not be publically traded on the CME floors until such time as the damages were recovered.

KSM officials were far more positive about the event despite their loss of an announced 440M $P. One official, who remained nameless, was quoted to have said "We're in this for the long haul. We know which dog is going to come out ahead, and we're going to bet on it."

The only company involved which seems honestly pleased about the situation, however, is GALCAP - with the destruction of MANET as a viable opponent in the heavy ore extraction fields, Gallot officials report a new deal being brokered for their orbital refining stations as well as the construction of a new series of small, modern cokers and smelters within the Cora range. Director Eleni Cohl said of the tragedy: "It's awful, but this is Caprice. If there's one thing we all know, there's profit to be turned somewhere, and Gallot has always been there to turn a defeat into a victory."

***********************************************

Gregor Micharin dropped the nearly translucent plastic news sheet, abandoning it to drift its way down past the dirty aleyway streets to the bottom of the trench. He kept up with the news, but he was on the case and this one was a doozy.

That damned Terranovan serial killer was still out there, and his last attack had been brutal - an apartment block set on fire, a hole in a freeway that resulted in the plummeting deaths of fifteen, and probably another hundred wounded passers-by. The bloodhound drones had lost him, as had the keff purpleskins, but his own department had managed to trace the trail back here, to this cluttered and dark alleyway.

Micharin might have been scared without backup. The alley had long, dark shadows, and the road didn't entirely connect to the buildings beside it - there were odd unlit gaps that blended perfectly into the shadows, and the corners of the alley were littered with jagged scraps of sharp metal which could easily hide a bomb or a sensor.

Fortunately, Micharin wasn't stupid. He raised his hand, and behind him the two Little guy combat Mounts turned on their floodlights. The dark was shattered by blazing white, and even the detective had to squint before he, his escort, and the three junior constables headed in.

The report from the bloodhound drone that managed to get this far before being shot down was simple - the place was being occupied by someone who needed a very tall vehicle bay. That Terranovan combat Mount, no doubt, demon that it was. Sensor passes from above revealed that the place was abandoned, so he wasn't worried about live resistance. Traps, on the other hand...

"Mister Alak, open the doors. Careful for traps; I wouldn't be surprised if our broken cog threw a wrench in." he gestured as he stepped aside, and one of the two Mounts lumbered forwards.

"Looks clear inside, sir." Alak reported once his sensor pass was complete. It only took a nod from Micharin and the Mount reached forward, tearing the thin tin door open easily...

.....

The place was previously occupied all right. From the look of it, it was his mother. The place was impeccably tidy, and even dusted - no prints or anything of use in the distant corners of the garage or the single office against the wall. The rusted out tool box was rifled through and then neatly put back into order at some point as well, and everything had been arranged. Whoever this was, he was either obsessive-compulsive or highly paranoid about hygiene.

Or just worried about leaving genetic evidence. Micharin frowned as he ducked his head into the office, hoping to find something he could use. Desk, chair, area cleared away for sleeping - aha, there. On the wall. He crouched down to read the tidy black letters.

"You took my husband.
You took my child.
You took our peace.
You took our future.
Now I'm going to take them from you."

He stayed hunched over, glaring at those tidy, impeccable black letters for a long time. Only the passage of several minutes and the annoying ring of his phone roused him from his sour reverie.

"Micharin here," he said in a clipped tone, "Go ahead."

The responce was quiet, but it made him inhale and let out his breath noisily, relaxing as he did so. "Gregor, this is Karas. I'm back from that field training. What've I missed?"

Micharin stood up, rubbing the back of his neck with one hand as he tilted his head forward and spoke into his phone. "Cog, we've needed you. Can you get down to Beta 19-21? Car 97, look for car 97. Where are you?"

"Woah, what's happened?" The worry in Karas's voice sounded tinny over the phone.

"Got a ping on our Terranovan psycho. I want to get on the conveyor before Cid shows up. Rust, Karas, this guy's qualifiably insane. I mean, really. A-level insane."

"Slag, Cog, I'll be right there. Give me fifteen, I'll hop a veetol."

"Right. Make it quick." Micharin hung up and put his phone away, stepping back out into the main garage. He addressed the other corpserfs. "Let's sweep this place for everything it's got. Pingbot get the map of the place yet? Yeah? Okay, let's take it apart before Cid and his Keff buddy show up and spoil the fun."

Micharin scowled and crossed his arms, staring back into the office. Whoever was doing this just wasn't sane, and at the same time had the skills and the technology to give the Earthers more than a problem. What sort of lunatic planet would send an insane man to their neighbours, armed like that? He scowled. Maybe the Earthers were right to be at war with them after all.

Behind him, behind and above, up in the rafters of the garage, coiled up like a snake, beyond the grating and worked up into the subflooring of the building above, a set of camera apertures tightened in on Micharin and his accomplices. The darkness clung to it like a cowl, and no amount of investigation would reveal it. It watched, greedy, sucking off of the knowledge that the corpserfs gleaned. Patience, for it at least, was a virtue.

A virtue that would soon pay off.
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