A teen missing on Peria (Part 1)

Planet Peria
Close to a big comercial spaceport

This mission was supposed to be a humdrum for the journeyman Bounty Hunter Roxor. He was traveling on his way back to the Corporate Sector when a call came from House Benelex's local office on Peria. A local hunter should have picked this mission, but none was available before the week after, and the client, a high executive of Morgath Industries, was a high priority for House Benelex. Both companies are contributing sponsor of the Corporate Sector Authority, so Roxor decided to do the job himself.

The Morgath's executive's 17 years old daughter was missing. Local authorities think she made a fugue, but the parents believe this is a kidnapping of some sort. Roxor left his old but very well maintained Sheathipede-Class transport shuttle in the local spaceport and went to interrogate the parents first.

He gathered as much information as he could. He took the genetic print of the girl as well, to be able to track her at short-range. Before leaving, she deleted her last communications as well as the security videos from her residence. It wasn't unseen for a teenager to be so gifted in hacking, but viewing her background, it was doubtful she did that by herself.

While Roxor's B2-X droid was retrieving the deleted videos, the parents were explaining why they didn't believe she left totally by her own will. Maybe influenced by someone, forced, or blackmailed in some way. The psychological profile of the girl, named Sasha, made by her private and expensive corporative school, seemed to show that the parents were right.

It was strange that the police, supposed to be quite efficient on a corporate area in a rich planet, didn't take that into account, nor retrieving the deleted videos and comm logs by themselves. These private cops don't deserve what they charge for, or something else was happening.

B2 finally projected a short fuzzy holovid. Cams of the building showed Sasha going out of the house using the rear door. The backdoor camera showed that a speeder-cab took her there. With the retrieved security vids, B2 put on the screen some of the text messages Sasha exchanged with apparently a guy with an unidentified number. It was very difficult nowadays to use an unidentified number on this kind of planet unless you have solid hacking skills or strong connections with the authorities. Indeed using a fake or proxy ID was easier and more discreet.

The messages were indeed smart enough to avoid mentioning any actual place. They spoke only the necessary, and no trace of the typical adolescent's romance in these messages. Only that they were preparing something secret for 2 weeks from now, without telling anything about what this thing was.

Roxor's first conclusion was that this couldn't be the typical teenager fleeing with a boyfriend. Morever, the person who deleted the logs and used the unidentified phone (was he/she the same?) was good enough to do these things, but not good enough to permanently erase his traces nor using a fake ID as a professional and clever hacker would have done. Maybe some connection with the local police due to the obvious ineptness of these guys at this point.

Considered as an official judiciary assistant on this system, Roxor accessed the police network and tracked the taxi taken by the girl. It seemed to have driven the girl on the outskirts of the town. But Roxor's old instinct told him it was too easy. He asked B2 to double-check that, and the little droid quickly found that the cab couldn't have reached his next ride on time that day, due to the distance and traffic, but he did. So someone must have altered the cab files and tracking system. Once again, a skillful individual, but not state of the art kind of work.

He explained his first conclusions to the parents and told them he was going to bring back her daughter. They were convinced to have hired the correct guy. House Benelex has a solid reputation in these matters, and their rates are according to that.

In the following hours, Roxor found the taxi. He stopped it and examined the internal system of the speeder, as well as its piloting droid. It was clear that its data have been altered. The alteration has been made by legitimate access into this system, not by a hacker of some sort. Someone with superuser access to the cab system. Someone like the owner of the cab company, a system administrator, or a cop...

An hour of work later, Roxor found the ID of the cop. A sub official named Alex Drapper, of the town police corp, 30 yo, human, actually on leave. He also found where the taxi really left Sasha: the spaceport. Roxor launched B2 on the search of Alex Drapper current location and head on to the spaceport.

The spaceport security cams showed the girl arriving and heading on an area uncovered by the security cameras. The typical area where you want to conveniently do your private or dirty business. After a few questions and a few credits released, Roxor heard the name of a guy with whom Sasha has spoken that fateful day. The name of this guy was Wilanto Gilshine...

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