Undercover intelligence operation
1,216 words; about a 6 minute read
Location: Planet MG66273
The transporter effect released the away team a few Kilometers outside of a small mining operation ran by the Lissepians. Amanda looked around and gained her bearings. "We are meeting our transport 3.2 Kilometers south, southeast of our current location."
"Received. Communication blackout in effect, good luck," came the response.
The burst had been so small that the pirates hadn't noticed it. Neither had the miners, too busying mining the ore to keep people alive to even blink at a spike of activity for a nanosecond. Even from the distance the away team could see the mine, the tall buildings and even hear the faint sonic ring of drills. The landscape was rocky, overcast on the day and pitch black at night. A barren world with resources being restricted, terraforming gone not quite according to plan and stopped once valuable minerals and metals had been found. No, this was not a world for life, but a world of labour and heavy air. But at least the atmosphere was breathable.
Matt looked around what most would consider a barren, lifeless rock. Sure it was being mined for its resources, but they could have terraformed it at the same time. No reason to just strip it clean and leave it as an empty husk afterwards. "I hope they've at least got a cantina on this rock. A few drinks will go a long way in establishing our covers before we board and head out."
Vinstril was meeting up with Aetius in one of the busier ports that Planet MG66273 had to offer and then the pair were to meet with a new contact for their operation. “My old friend” Vinstril gave a normal greeting when he saw his fellow Lissepian.
Aetius smiled, raising two fingers to his forehead. "The stars have shone bright on you," he said, his dark eyes on the other man before he looked around. "One day, I hope that they'll find a way to remove that ore smell from this place. But today is not the day."
“Perhaps” Vinstril replied with a chuckle “care for an ale while we wait on our new friends.”
It would only take the away team 15 minutes to cross the distance. Amanda directed the team to take cover behind a train of ore carts while she verified that their contact was among the two having the conversation. "That's out contact." She whispered pointing out Vinstril.
Vinstril was starting to get slightly aggravated that the other party hadn’t showed up her. “Where are they?” He asked Aetius who had the same information as he.
The Half Vulcan gave a nod before stepping out into the open. "It is logical to exercise caution in unfamiliar surroundings. Given the current galactic climate I am sure you would understand." She paused for a moment,motioning to her team. "My associates and I were told you might have some employment opportunities."
Vinstril smiled and looked over at Aetius “we” he paused and lowered his voice “might have employment.”
Aetius looked at him, considering it for a long moment before looking back at Amanda and Ryan. "There are opportunities, but you'd have to prove yourself," he said, his voice firm.
Matt knew this was coming, there was always the 'test' one had to pass. Knowing he had a part to play, he visibly rolled his eyes at the men in front of him. "Whatever little scheme you've got that you want the unknown, untested strangers to handle for you is obviously not something you're actually worried about or all that important. If it was important, you wouldn't be handing it over to unknown strangers who could, or based on the talent of the locals we've seen so far, would fail. So lets skip the bullshit and get down to business."
"Perhaps there is room for compromise? I am certain you know of our previous Vocation and the skills we bring to the table.surely we can forgo the more mundane test of loyalties and still satisfy your concerns?" Amanda stepped in.
“What do you think?” Vinstril ask Aetius with his eyebrows raised.
Aetius was watching Matt, studying him for a long moment. "I think he's arrogant bordering on stupid," he said, holding Matt's eyes before smiling. "Who might very well have a death wish. A gambler, perhaps. And she..." he looked at Amanda, raising an eyebrow. "Seems to think that I take unmarked references as a given. But a compromise can be offered..." he held his hands up, as if to say he was being generous with it. "There's something I need. You can get it for me, and I will know you're to be trusted. Rather than working your way up in my crew, that is. Which, we can do if you wish. Watched every second and out the airlock the moment you show signs to betray me."
The Halfe Vulcan studied the man's expression for several seconds without a hint of intent or emotion. She spoke finally "Your terms are acceptable." She then nodded to the others for them to stand down. "May I inquire as to the nature of this.. job?"
"Very well," Aetius reached for a small disc, their version of a PADD. He pressed it and a small map projected between them. "At this location, there are several torpedoes. We need them removed from there and taken to our ship. If they can't be salvaged...destroy them. It's a Vindarin munition base."
Amanda reviewed the information, then handed it to the others to review. "It should be a simple task to complete." She replied with an even, unreadable tone.
Aetius nodded at that, taking a deeper breath. "Complete the task and meet me here. You have 48 hours. If you succeed...well, you are more than welcome to join us."
"A little light on pertinent details." Matt observed as he handed the device to the next member. "Security is gonna vary based on a number of factors that aren't given here. How far from the nearest contested area it is, just how valuable it is as a strategic asset, that sort of thing. If its close to a contested zone, they're gonna be more alert to this sort of raid. If its farther away, not that glamorous a posting, and not all that important in the overall scheme of things, meaning other sites could easily pick up the slack, then they're going to be more relaxed, sloppy, and vulnerable to a small strike team."
"How you do it is up to you, but these are all the details we have," Aetius said as he watched Matt. Out of the two, he trusted him he least. Vulcans didn't have a reputation for lies, but the man before him seemed over confident. However, it did sound like he knew his things. "You will meet us here when you are done."
She allowed a slight nod. "Very well we will do as you ask and return when the task is completed."
"We're on the clock." Matt said wryly, "we'd best go find a suitable ride and get this done."
"Agreed, it would be unwise to test our new associates patience at this time." She nodded. "I believe we will find suitable transport near the spaceport on the other side of the compound."