Written in 365 Parts: 27: Fishing

Drick was in a long queue of parked vehicles sat outside the main headquarters of the security and traffic division of Volstron Enterprises. Drick had been idling on the edges of the perimeter at various points for about three hours now. They were sure to have detected the vehicle as soon as it came near and Drick wanted them to get a good look.

The cursory amounts of evidence collected so far pointed at only one conclusion, either Volstron were covering something up or someone in their corporate structure was covering it up. Drick had a gut feeling that it was the company rather than an individual, unless it was senior management. There were two many events. The loss of thirty blocks of information. Massive legal team and out of system investigator. The offers of large sums to drop the case. Breach of justice systems, or paying someone in the department to alter evidence and monitor conversations. Then there was the public attack on Drick to warn them away.

This was not a small fish looking big in the pond, this was someone with credits and influence and they were either very sensitive or they were hiding something massive.

Drick had wondered what was keeping them on the case more than once in the past three hours. They could have taken the payout and moved on, easy credit. But here they were expending time, money, favours and effort and there may not be any reward. So why the hell was it so important?

The more Drick chewed on it the more the answer became easy. Running it several ways around didn’t make the motivation any more complex. It was because Marsh didn’t know. Because they woke up with a head full of confusion and missing memories. They were, and it was rare in the universe to find anyone over twenty who was like them, an innocent.

Marsh was, potentially if Drick were to take all of what they said at face value, a remnant of a forgotten century. An anathema, an artefact, dispossessed in time. If their story were true they were at least a millennia and a thousand light years from where they were supposed to be. That raised a huge number of questions in itself.

Drick was naturally curious, it was the mark of a good investigator. That curiosity had been selected and matured before Drick had even drew a breath. Drick was a product, more construct than most that are mixed in a vat and grown in a tube. Drick had been designed in an age that needed very specific types of organics. An age that most of the skin jobs walking around today would consider almost to be myth.

Five hundred years ago the world that the people here lived upon had been mostly a desert with two redeeming features. It had an abundance of fissionable ores and an atmosphere that could be breathed with a respirator mask or surgically fitted organic filters. The current populace had all been born or grown for this atmosphere so such surgery or hardware was unnecessary.

Back then it was a mixture of mining colonies and construction engineers. Creating building materials and changing the environment in a decades long war with the natural ecosystem. Mankind had learned how to wield war with nature and win in the gasping pollution of the twenty-first and twenty-second centuries.

Their home world may have paid an irreversible price but the technological lessons they had learned held the answer to their salvation. Mankind had gone to the stars. Slowly they had expanded into the starry void at first. Then with advances in lifespan and vehicular acceleration, coupled with the eventual control over gravity, at great extent and pace. They had altered their bodies to fit their new homes and flung themselves to the farthest reaches they could manage.

The city that was now dominating this equatorial island where most of the population lived was built by those engineers. They had vision, foresight, and the desperation to plan for their extended lives and expanding civilisation. They took local rocks and ground it to dust so they could recombine it with bio-engineered plastics from algae and lichen. Two life forms that were able to survive in the most inhospitable of places and ideal for colonial expansion.

The universe was powered by fusion generation using radioactive isotopes and plastics from these algae. The organics that inhabited these worlds were grown mostly in vats from biological material harvested from the general populace. Very few children were born anymore. Only the über rich and elite had the money to afford such luxury. Most people were grown sterile.

Drick had the vehicle’s active security turned up full but it didn’t detect the organic who was targeting the rear as it was parked in a side street where Drick had just moved to. Thankfully Drick had partial cover from her angel and was fully aware that the vehicle was in a scope. For that reason Drick was able to stay calm and allow the sniper to fire their special weapon at the vehicle. There wasn’t even the breath of an impact. An insect would had made more sound if it had landed on the roof.

But the vehicle had been hit. With a very special paintball. A traceable isotope if Drick guessed correctly that a highly tuned sensor array could follow discreetly from a distance. Which is exactly what Drick had been hoping for. The lure had worked and Drick had snagged their prey.

Drick waitied a good ten minutes before pulling away. Drick made sure to park up at two other spots around the perimeter keeping up the pretence of watching the building before moving the executive vehicle onto the main highway and heading down to the lower levels.

If Drick was correct they would be followed and if they planned this right they might get a nice catch. What Drick needed was someone slightly higher up the pay grade than standard security, someone with a modicum of power and an education, or at least a downloaded education. There was no way that Drick was ever just going to walk in the front door and get answers without more proof, so Drick had to draw someone out to talk to, and this may have just worked.

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