The setups

In the morning, he wrote a note to Hilde. “I need to borrow a speeder and a good bit of money. I am on to something big! Will pay it back in a couple days with interest. P.s. you owe me for breaking my arm.”

By the end of the mid morning exercise that Selina had for him, and his interrogation of her he had enough information to pass on to a Decker to make this happen. Kalel pulled out his leather captains hat with the sun goggles, wrapped a cloth across his face and prepared for his trip. He grabbed a shovel and a canvas bag loaded with something heavy, loaded it on the speeder and set out northeast. He ran the sand till he came to a ridge, he slid down the bank then doubled back running low between the banks. He was a little paranoid and he did not want them to see him coming. After about two hours of riding he slowed down to find a wire across the bankers, thin but strong. Hitting that would have ruined his day.

He came into what was once a larger thriving town, now it was a ghost town of what it was. There were still people here, businesses and shops, a ship facility and even bars. But the ghosts of the place spoke of a place of past power and glory. In the center of all of this was a building that was once the headquarters of the Syndicate and home to the one person he had come to meet with.

Kalel drove the speeder into the fence and parked it. This was a town now of mostly thieves and he did not want Hilda’s speeder getting stolen. It would be hard to live down.

He grabbed the bag and hauled to the building. The front door was locked, of course. It was a good physical lock which meant that Kalel could pick it. From his belt he pulled a lock pick set and went to work. About forty-five seconds later, the five tumblers clicked in place and the cylinder, with a little force, slid to the open position. He was slowing down or maybe it was all the extra activity he was involved in.

Kalel opened the door and walked in like he belonged here. As Kalel had learned, the key for most criminal enterprises is to act like you belong and people tend to pay little notice to you. He passed through the door and locked it behind him. He found Decker’s office and knocked. Locked of course with one of those new maglocks. This made Kalel smile, the last time he visited there was a glass window in the door and a heavy bolt. The time before that was a sliding bar lock. Then something like a dog, that he shot. From the bag he pulled a steel bar wrapped in wire with a heavy rubber handle that was hooked to a bridge rectifier and a transformer. The bar was part of a drive shaft of a ship's electrical generator. It hummed when he plugged it into the wall outlet and the lights dimmed a little. He slid the end of it up the door frame till he felt a tug. He pulled sideways and pressed a switch to turn the magnet off for a moment. Something fell sideways and a gunshot went off. He turned the magnet back on and overpowered the door lock. With a little effort, he worked it like one of the magnetically locked cd cases sliding the bolt over. The door opened and Kalel let himself into the office.

Kullen Decker was a handsome black man that Kalel had worked with a few times before and their relationship was kind of like Hans and Lando, competitive, friendly, and one of respect. Kullen had been trying to get Kalel to join the Syndicate for some time. But being an independent kept you out of the Radar of the Queen.

As Kullen walked to his office, he could see the burn marks on the electrical outlet. He had been told about the shot as well. He knew that it was Kalel as he was the only one that worried about being seen coming here and he had been picked up by the surveillance equipment at the wire.

Decker had his blaster out as he tried the maglock. A little wine and smoke came out of and the bolt stayed in place. The blaster shot released it from its misery and the door opened.

“Bloody hell! What did you do to my lock? And my grass outside?” Decker asked, pointing the blaster at Kalel. Kalel sat in the leather chair sipping some expensive drink from a crystal glass. “You know how hard it is to replace one of those things?” Kalel smiled. Even the computer monitor was displaying weirdly. Kalel held up his device. “Passkey,” Kalel said smugly then continued, “Takes care of bugs and video cameras too.” Others armed with weapons started to pour into the office.

Decker noticed the potted plant that the shotgun blast toppled. He shook his head and went and sat in his. High backed leather, imported. He waved the guards off and everyone left. “Still pulling that fruit in the canvas bag trick, I see,” Decker said with a scoff.

Kalel smiled and said, “Fresh Organic. Healthy for you.” He knew that next would come the comment about shooting blanks because he hadn’t bought ammo. Decker responded as if on queue.

“Barney! So what brings the Prince of the Desert to damage my oak door?” Decker asked with an annoyed tone. Kalel got up, walked over to the door, checked the hall to make sure the coast was clear and closed it.

Going back he opened the locked liquor cabinet and pulled out the bottle that was being saved for when they could finally stick it to the Queen. Kalel picked it up, pointed at it, and put it back into the cabinet.

“I think I have a way!” He said calmly. He paused. This would be a moment that would change his life forever. If he kept his mouth shut he could stay safe. He could sell this information and get off this stinking rock with Selina. He could go all in. Once he spilled this everyone and everything he knew and loved would be in danger.

Decker leaned back in his chair, “Son of a bitch,” he said while looking at Kalel, “Not here.” He said. The heart of the organization was underground in many ways. Down the hall, through a locked door. Then a vault door, followed by a room with combat droids and guards. Then a locked elevator to the real offices of the Syndicate. Kalel was lead. Some protested as they passed but Becker pointed to himself saying his responsibility. They came to a conference room with a white table and chairs. Decker had him sit down then joined him with paper.

He laid out a simplified version of hitting the accounts and pinning it on her Lieutenant at Queen’s Hand, using the Dragoon’s to take it down and then stealing the aircraft.

Decker stopped him right there saying, “That is the dumbest plan I ever heard. You don't steal a huge aircraft and park it at your house. You might as well leave your fingerprints and a DNA sample for her with your bloody pants around you ankles.” To Decker, Kalel clearly did not understand the scope of the job he was planning nor the sheer volume of money that could be in play. He did not understand the value of the research being done, blackmail files, and corporate bribes, and the like. The man with no bullets in his gun wanted a plane to keep doing small jobs. Decker said to him, “You are one of the dumbest thieves I have ever met, You have the job of a lifetime. You could sit back on some tropical beach on a planet with naked hula girls falling all over you and never work another day in your life and you want the airplane.” He got up shaking his head, “Airplane.”

“Stay here and let me go get part of your team,” Decker said.

Three men came into the room with Decker. Two of them were younger and the third was an older man. The younger men were the best decking team they the Syndicate had and the older man was now his financial planner and accountant.

He was asked to explain his plan again, they snickered when he talked about going into the bank and bringing out hard assets. They explained how proxy’s work and how to provide legal cover for doing this. Lawyers were the new tools. They would make him false credentials and id’s.

When he got to the part about the communication grid that got some attention from the deckers. He let them know he was doing research on this and hoped to have something soon.

After he was done, still leaving out details. They knew more about what he was talking about and what Selina had said than he did. At the end, he asked for an advance. He did not want to say he needed gas money to get home. But he did. He also needed to buy clothes.

As he was coming into Hilda’s, the realization hit. Decker never asked if he knew anything about the missing containers, he was not asked about how he got the details, and how he got the names. The jerk knew. Decker had set him up so if anyone was trailing the girl, the Syndicate could deny it, and they wanted him to figure this out.

He would have Hilde order the parts he needed and he would be paying cash. He wasn’t paying attention to they annoying water dragon that was about to knock him over like a Saint Bernard.

< Prev : Start of a plan. Next > : A Royal Visit