An Inheritance of Stars

An ominous fortelling

Governor Nagino entered his personal office and locked the massive hardwood doors behind him. As he turned the lock he ran his fingers across the ornate carvings which graced its surface. A barely precipitable button was pressed, and the room was proof against all kinds of spying. The system was completely custom made, and in some aspects highly illegal. After it had been installed, he had personally disposed of the engineer’s body. Nobody alive knew the details of his personal security system, and Omar planned to keep it that way. Crossing the room, the Governor sat down behind a massive hardwood desk; its off world wood heavy and ornate. It’s weight and shipping cost would have been greater than the shuttle which had brought it aboard the station.

As expected, the vidscreen had two separate calls waiting. He put the first on a silent setting; able to see and hear, but mute to the conversation and then answered the second. The screen showed the expected caller; the notorious information broker known as Retread.

“Greetings Governor; It’s good to speak to my most illustrious client. It took a little bit of effort to bypass the communications block around New Haven, but I got your request for a chat, and thought I’d oblige.”

Omar smiled showing his teeth. “I’m not surprised; I had heard that conditions in the city have become quite deplorable. It’s not difficult to see that someone of your talents might be able to make a significant profit…if he could get his hands on the right supplies. Not to mention that such materials could make your own life infinity more pleasant until this situation is resolved.”

Retread’s expression didn’t change. “How can I help you Governor?”

Omar’s dark eye’s glittered. “Find my son Lars. He is on that deplorable station, and if he is alive and you bring him out safely you’ll be richly rewarded.”

“You don’t mince words, and that’s fine. I can tell you now and for free that your son is alive. As for bringing him out, if it’s possible I’ll do it. You’ll have to do something about the quarantine barrier outside though; I don’t know that I could get him to you unharmed past a warship.”

The Governor smiled that shark smile again. “He’s my son, I’ll make sure that he has safe passage. When I’ve got him, you’ll get your payment.”

“About that. If you can get one person off, you can get more. I’ll tell you what. Payment for this job will be for you to hold up your end of the job. Get us a ship with room for 100. You know very well that the plague has passed and there’s no further danger of infection. Get us a ship and safe passage out of the quarantine zone, and your son gets a guaranteed seat on the boat. Once you’ve got your boy I’ll keep the ship, and we can each be on our merry way.” Retread watched in silence as the Governor’s face twisted with rage at the terms. “Oh, and you might as well make sure that the ship is well stocked. Say 6 months of fuel and rations. That ought to cover the cost of the rescue mission.”

Omar sputtered slightly before getting his voice under control. “It looks like I have little choice in the matter. But be warned. In 10 days the system will vote on the issue of mutant non-human rights. Technically the city still has the right to vote and learn the results. The ship’s computers will automatically allow this regardless of the state of emergency…its a feature” his face twists in disgust “to prevent the _ oppression of the citizens_. Either way, the vote is likely to generate some….tension amongst the remaining populous. I’d move quickly if I we you, before things really get bad.”

As Retread nodded, the Governor cut the connection. He waited a moment before activating the waiting first caller. “Did you get that?”

The cyborg face of the criminal/mercenary Schwartz stared back, his artificial eyes unblinking. “Yes. I’ve already been in communication with an assisted of my own on the station. I believe the information broker will utilize my operative in the coming mission; he is close enough to the inner circle that he is likely also one of the 100 designated rescuees.”

“Excellent, it sounds like you’ve got this well under control. Be warned though; there is more to the time limit that I gave Retread…Indeed the vote takes place in 10 days; however regardless of the result, 10 days after, the station will suffer a critical malfunction, and will be destroyed by the cleansing fire of humanity’s purity.” Omar laughed maniacally for several moments before speaking again.

“On a related note. I have a job for someone who specializes in the mass failure of systems. Would the quarantine blockade be too large an impediment for this kind of operation?”

Schwartz paused a moment before speaking. “I’m not sure how you heard about Gemini 5, but I assure you that my presence at the facility was purely incidental. However in this particular case I believe we can fulfil the contract regardless of any blockade; 10 million credits will be placed in holding designated in an account I will send you. Once its done, my associates and I will take the money, and depart the system.”

Omar nodded. “Done.” He manipulated his accounts for a moment. “Its ready. I’ve set it up to unlock based on IGN reporting the destruction of New Haven. I hope that it’s satisfactory?”

“Yes.” The connection terminated abruptly.


From another terminal Retread watched from his supposedly cut connection. As the conversation ended he turned to a figure standing out of sight of the pick-ups. “It looks like the Governor is playing for keeps. Begin taking precautions to defend the station from sabotage, and lets see about alternate arrangements for mass evacuation…at least as mass as we can manage for more than 60 million refugees.” Retread gave his orders, and turned towards his console. He didn’t even note the departure of the other person.

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Karthos

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