A Life of Crime - Part II

September 2941
Borea - Rusted Hangar
Magnus System

The 'hotel' Photeus was staying in was simply a renovated UEE hangar. That was if by renovated you meant chunks of old ship hulls separating the floor space into makeshift rooms. Even though the rooms did not have proper ceilings, save for the rusted hangar ceiling above, there was a strange sort of privacy to them. The hangar echoed with various conversations, people cheering or leering over Sataball victories and losses, sexual excapades, or drug deals gone bad. There was so much noise, it all warped together to create an unintelligible sound, a white noise above it all.

Photeus was reviewing the datapad provided to him so long ago in the dead-drop on Spider. It contained the instructions on how to retrieve the artifact and the details of the plan. He read it once a night before he slept just to make sure he had it memorized before the execution date.

Preparation so far had taken months, and he took all the steps that were necessary. Every morning he used old service tunnels to sneak back into his assigned room in the Drake Interplanetary facility. He was not to keep anything related to the mission at that site.

The plan had been that the old man, whoever he was, pulled some strings and got some documents forged. Photeus was brought in as a contractor under a little known weapons contractor, Lightbend Systems. His cover is that he was a top executive with this company and was contracting for Drake Interplanetary to scout the possibility of sale of Lightbend to Drake. Drake had so many offers of small company sales, they were overwhelmed so usually did not get to check the small ones. The cover, however, put him under the tutelage of Martel Kohtour, the mark. Kohtour was distantly related to Jan Dredge, a 2nd cousin to Dredge's son-in-law. Or something, it didn't really matter.

Kohtour had taken Photeus under his wing; Photeus was known as Uther Niner to Kohtour. Lightbend's purpose was primarily torpedoes. While Photeus was very experienced with the explosive components and warheads, he was not experienced with the propulsion systems, which is where Kohtour's team had come in. Under the guise of Niner he had gained trust with Kohtour's team and gained access to several of the Drake offices and research centers. However, in disagreement with his datapad, the artifact was not held in Kohtour's drake office. Instead, he had a stash of them locked up in his vault in his home. Kohtour had showed them to Niner once, only a couple weeks ago. Kohtour was becoming excited with the purchase of Lightbend and was considering throwing in an artifact to seal the deal.

The problem was that Lightbend only existed in name only. The only 'buyers' of Lightbend products were the same ones who had set up the dummy company. A lot of work had gone into this plan and it was beginning to reach the end. The final step was to get the security codes from Kohtour somehow and stealing the artifact from his home.

Another problem the datapad did not cover was the security that Kohtour had. Kohtour had once before had an attempt made on his life by sect of angry Pirates who received a shipment of what they claimed were below-specification Cutlasses. In reality, the shady dealer who sold them had overpromised their capabilities, but since the order went through Kohtour's development group, the Pirates made for him. Since surviving the strike on the Drake offices and his home, Kohtour had increased security significantly.

Photeus was already working on a plan B, however. He hated this stealth crap. He just wanted to get this done and get it over with. The idea was to use the over-security Kohtour possessed against him. Also he had just the thing for that vault. Plan B, was slowly becoming plan A.

Photeus dropped the datapad back on the bed, grabbed his gear and opened up a panel in the floor. He entered the tunnels and made way back to the Drake Interplanetary corporate park.

Soon he would be ready. Finally this will all be over.