Landing Day - Third Hour - Drog Gone It

The “statehouse” was overly opulent for the area, for the planet itself, but, Keller rationalized, that’s who Azoreth Watkins was. A displaced politician from one of the core planets, he still liked to live in what Keller described as “High on the Hog.”

“Seven well trained Drogs, as promised.” Keller said as Vas, Serena and Gil unloaded the crates. “And if you know anyone looking, I have a female and three pups I’m looking to offload.”

“You have a female Drog Kyri? With papers?” Azoreth asked incredulously.

“Well… we’re… working on that.” Keller replied.

“Without papers you have a mongrel.” Azoreth Watkins scoffed. “Best of luck to you. I’ve no use for mutts, but I do have use of your crew, if you are looking for work.”

“Depends on what you need done?”

“It is--” He paused momentarily. “A retrieval job.”

“Depends on what we’d be retrieving.” Keller responded, “and where we’d be retrieving it from.”

“Someone of importance to me was taken recently, and I’d very much like for her to be brought home.”

“A her, is it? Taken by who?” Keller asked. “The Alliance? We’re not looking for any trouble of the purple variety.”

“Not by the Alliance. By my nephew, Ivor, a simple misunderstanding, really.”

The captain balked. “Misunderstandings and missing persons aren’t really our specialty. I mean, you want someone to disappear to another planet, we move anything, goods, people, drogs, we haul all, no questions asked, but we’re not the white Knight sort.”

“Please reconsider.” He brought up an image on the screen. “This is Yasmina Hanzo, my companion. My brother charged me with the well-being of his son, and I thought perhaps a companion could help give him confidence where he was lacking. Now, he wrongfully believes her to be in love with him, I don’t believe she is in much danger, but I also believe she is not especially happy about the arrangement.”

The image on the screen was that of a beautiful young companion, causing Keller, and his ‘better half’ to reconsider their stance. Especially when there was some vague mention of compensation. “I’ll find you buyers for the undocumented Drogs as well as compensate you for her safe return.”

“Well, we’re not heartless.” Keller replied, recanting his previous statement. “If this young woman needs assistance, the Lunar Veil can’t just turn a blind eye. Any idea where your nephew may have taken her?”

“None. But my nephew is not very bright. With the elections coming up, I’d prefer not to make it known that Ivor might be associated with this scandal…”

“Might be? Or is?”

“Allegedly. And I will need plausible deniability should this unpleasantness take a dark turn.”

“You mean in case he already murdered her.”

“Ivor is not an especially violent man, but nor is he especially a forward thinking one. In case anything… unsightly has happened.”

The transaction complete, Keller made his way over to the kennel master's quarters where he'd dropped Rooster and the others. “All settled?" He asked the punk. "Soon as you're done here, take the mule and the deckhands back to the El-Vee, I’m going to hit up the local tavern, see if I can shake a few trees, that ain't no place for the cast of Olvier Twist to be hanging about.” Besides, he had his own people to meet. New Kasmir might turn out to be even more lucrative than he accounted for.

< Prev : Fellow Travelers (Landing Day - Second Hour) Next > : Oh Bugger! (Day 1, Somewhere ...)