Written in 365 Parts: 116: Tailing the Quarry

The visitor to the survival tent was both cautious and careful. They had led the drones on a merry dance across almost the whole length of the continent. The vehicle the quarry was piloting was equipped with stealth technology and body alteration machinery. Everytime it joined heavy traffic, as it entered and exited the two main population centres, it switched colours at the first opportunity. Long overpasses, tunnels, or under-highway sections were the best locations. It altered both identification and shape when in areas of low observation.

The watcher made sure to monitor local cameras and judiciary monitors, and noted, with little surprise, that they were either non-operational or entered self test modes whenever the vehicle did one of its costume changes. To further complicate matters, the driver used the under-city parts of the main population centre with the habits of a seasoned professional. Using tunnels and low walkways, backroutes and gang runs that were dangerous to the casual driver and bereft of camera or judiciary oversight. Locations that were unobserved by everyone was a good chance to check for tails, and to lose any unwanted observation. Had the watcher not been in close communication with additional help the quarry would have evaded them and the drones.

This was not the case. Although it had been over forty hours since the airstrike that had eliminated the survival tent the quarry had not been out of observation range for anything greater than a tenth of a second. The watcher was fairly certain that they hadn’t evaded them and that this was the person who met them in the tent.

Finally the vehicle entered the city at a sensible speed as a non-descript grey transport vehicle. It was registered to a local hire company that could be traced back to being owned by a series of subsidiary companies. This was not that irregular, there were only two big vehicle combines in the system. It was easy enough to hide specialist vehicles in offshoot organisations and only have them used by select clients. It was a tactic the judiciary also employed, primarily for governmental undercover investigations. 

The vehicle was left in a parking lot, long stay, a quick overlay from one of the drones showed it being put into the annual slots. So they obviously had this craft on a semi-permanent basis. That information was filed for later investigation into the long term parking areas of the planet. Always good to know where things could be hidden, and used without attracting undue attention.

The quarry had used the forty hours driving around, likely the vast majority on auto-pilot, to make significant changes to their own physiology. They were now clearly displaying as a male with almost no visible body hair and an exotic mix of gang tattoos. They were taller by at least six inches and had more body mass. 

They were dressed in rough street clothing, a t-shirt that would have made a vagrant look badly dressed and uncouth. A striped green and purple jacket that had been patched a number of times, and was displaying at least four illicit tags, banned in the upper city for their offensive nature. Yellow, plastic work pants, likely water and chemical resistant, and polymer boots in a bright blue further brought the outfit into disrepute.

They quickly made their way to the nearest gravity tube and passed the ident over the scanner. Good. This had been anticipated and the watcher had already instructed the support team to access all local public transport systems. The computer experts being used were amongst the best and they would have access to low level readers in the nearest couple of city blocks. There was a moments wait before the ident of Xavier Minch flashed onto their screen. A lifetime ganger born and raised at below street level. They had no fixed affiliation but they did pay their Union fees so were able to move around with little molestation aside from that which they brought upon themselves in the course of their lifestyle.

The watcher re-keyed the drones to follow Minch and the public transport, making sure to send some drones ahead to watch the various stops on the gravity tube. They contacted the rest of the team and instructed them of the next stage of the plan. If they got their guess correctly Minch would head as far down as possible, maybe level one or two and then hang out at a Union protected location. It is what they would do. It was the most logical thing for the quarry to do. And the watcher dearly hoped that they would do such.

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