Location - Dobu Spaceport - Olian Cloud
Dobu Spaceport was a busy place. With the fall of the UBC the concourse had become a gathering place for trade with small-time vendors and individuals with goods to trade.
Every rent-able space had been turned into retail space and the lounges, eateries and common rooms were now the theatres for private exchanges and less public business. Business was good here. The collapse of the major cryto-currencies and the legitimate galaxy-wide financial networks had taken a toll on everyone, especially after a decade of war.
Everyone except those businesses that were designed to operate outside the legitimate financial channels. Smugglers, pirates, and dealers in illegal and prohibited goods and services had seen a boost to their profits. With the might of the GDF gone from the galactic theatre, local authorities tended to turn a blind eye or outright legitimise former criminal activity because it was the only truly profitable game in town.
Still, even the flow of illegal business needed to maintain some kind of order. The station-keepers had surveillance drones everywhere, and the fines for disturbing the peace were steep.
Still, Chayne scanned his surroundings with a cautious eye as he walked toward the access lifts. This was mostly out of cautious habit, but it was a critical part of his larger plan, and he could not tolerate afford any surprises or distractions. Moham was a Korvus and that meant he was logical, thorough, and mentally arrogant. It would require just the right motivation to convince him to undertake the work that Chayne was going to propose. He shifted the slim case that he carried under his arm and touched the small device attached to his chronometer. If the report from the agent he hired to plant the trojans in Mohan’s systems were accurate, the info should transfer seamlessly to his device as long as he could distract the Korvus for long enough and be close to one of the data ports.
He approached Moham’s place. The Korvus turned its reflective face plate toward him.
“Felik sent me.” Chayne handed Moham an encrypted data key. After scanning the key and verifying the authority to trade, the Korvax handed it back.
“This proposition, Felik thought was too private to entrust to my encrypted communications network, and yet he sends you. This seems illogical." Mohan declared.
Chayne placed the lock box on the console in front of the Korvus.
“That will be made clear to you in a moment." Chayne responded in the most servile manner he could muster.
"In addition to delivering the proposal I am also charged with providing necessary resources so that the project may be undertaken immediately, if accepted.”
“Unexpectedly efficient. Though your employer may be dangerously overconfident. His reputation for shrewdness is well known however, so you may present his proposal.” Moham’s mechanical voice seemed to inflect and pause in patterns and contain almost emotional emphasis. Something Chayne had never encountered in communication with a Korvus before. It was unsettling.
“We have intercepted a message from the Trader Zendichez. He claims to be in possession of an Atlas fragment." he started slowly. " And he is selling it."
"If it proves to be true, sooner rather than later, word will get out. We will make sure of it. Maybe others fragments can be located. Felik would like to tap this potential market before anyone does..."
"What what market would that be?" Mohan asked genuinely interested. Chayne continued.
"We would like your assistance in supplying this future demand and reaping a profit from it. Felik proposes to market replicas of Atlas fragments to buyers willing and able to pay the price that such a rare commodity will command."
"Felik wants to create replicas of something none of us has seen? Or know it is not a tall tale? For all we know it could be a con. Just like the one Felik is planning." if Mohan knew how to laugh he would have laughed at the preposterous idea.
Chayne knew he needed more time. They needed the identity of the pilot Mohan was brokering some deal for on behalf of the trader Pulegimog. Their contact assured them that person was to be one of the invitees to Zendichez auction. The data would be in the servers Mohan kept on his digital log book.
"That can and will of course work to our advantage, if the buyers will be as secretive as we anticipate, we should be able to conduct business for some time before the hoax is revealed. The profits alone worth any risk." he tried to convince Mohan.
"To enjoy profits one needs to be alive. I am not sure the risk-reward is worth it. I have it on good authority that even some emissary from the USSF is attending. Even the bloody Armada is rumoured to have been invited." Mohan said scanning Chayne's face at the revelation. The young man tried to hide the shock.
"No, I don't think I need that kind of enemies even if the opportunity for profits be as good and unique, as I can imagine it will be. I have enough enemies already as it is..."
Chayne's blood turned cold at Mohan's last words. Part of him felt the words were being directed at him. Before he could utter another word, the Korvus swiftly lifted his left hand, bringing a small bluish las-gun to bear, with impressive speed and shot him squarely in the neck. He felt a sudden hot explosive pain on his throat, his eyes widen in fear and panic, gasping for air as he choked on his blood. A few seconds later he was no more. His lifeforce bled into the dirty floor of the smugglers' den.
"I will send your head to Felik. See how much he will pay me from not doing the same to him." the Korvus said to the corpse as the man's warm blood pooled around his lifeless body.