Cassie raised an eyebrow. “And we’re supposed to believe that she’ll show up out of nowhere and demand that Nick flies her back to her old life even though she’s never done that before? Take it from someone with a difficult mom. I get sick of her, but I wouldn’t risk her life or the lives of all the people here.”
Maru frowned. “I’m sure that you’re not as difficult she is. She’s been determined to have her own way since she was a child and her mother and father indulged her too often.”
“Okay,” Cassie’s voice stayed low. “We’ve got it. She’s hard to deal with and you’re not impressed by her parents’ discipline methods. Is there anything else?” Continue reading Venus Spy Catcher: Part 10
Maru looked up at me, blinking, as the door opened. It wasn’t that he was especially short. It was just that the door to the ship was a couple feet off the ground.
As he stepped inside, I realized that, if anything, he might be taller than I was. The stealth suit in “silver fake Xiniti mode” gave me an inch or two.
He met my eyes or at least the part of the helmet and mirror shade lenses that covered them. “I’m sorry to interrupt. Jadzen heard that you’d talked to Iolan and then Geman and Dalat and then disappeared into your ship.
“Is anything wrong?” Continue reading Venus Spy Catcher: Part 9
My implant requested that it be allowed to present my identification as a Xiniti representative. I gave it my approval and added that I’d need to keep a connection to the ship’s AI as it was my assistant. Cassie must have had the same conversation because the door opened and we were both allowed to enter. A small glowing representation of the ship followed me just as a representation of the gun floated on her hip.
As we floated through the door, Cassie glanced over at me. “For a second I thought it wouldn’t let the gun in. Abominator tech sets off alarms for these peo… Uh… things.”
I didn’t reply as I was looking at the room we’d stepped into. Continue reading Venus Spy Catcher: Part 8
“No,” I told her. “I didn’t think to try that, but you know what I just thought of? I should be trying to listen in on them now.”
Ignoring her reply, I turned on the sonic receivers in the suit, setting them to focus on the buildings and hoping the walls weren’t thick enough to prevent sound from escaping.
I heard Dalat’s nasal tenor. “Do you think they can hear us? A lot of actives could probably still hear us.”
Geman replied in his much lower voice, “I don’t know, but if you’re worried, we should just use implants.”
After that, I didn’t hear anything. Continue reading Venus Spy Catcher: Part 7
Geman’s voice carried through a storm of technical details about the ansible network. “Are you okay?”
Dalat looked up at me. “You’re looking kind of white, kid? Did you just get an implant?”
“About a week and a half, maybe two weeks ago…” My voice trailed off as my implant gave me the exact number of seconds. I took a breath, concentrating on the process of breathing as I’d learned to do when meditating.
It was better. The roar of detail became background noise. Continue reading Venus Spy Catcher: Part 6
I wished we had Daniel there because given what I’d heard it sounded like someone was organizing people against us. Daniel could have sorted that out in seconds. Between Cassie and I, all we had going for us were our combined insight into people.
I might have been underestimating Cassie, but I wasn’t optimistic.
As Cassie waved at them (“Hey!”), I used the implant to ask her, “Did you overhear what he said before he turned around?” Continue reading Venus Spy Catcher: Part 5
Cassie and I both looked at him, but I spoke first. “Your entire stock? I’m hoping it’s gone in the multitudes of happy customers sense and not in the swarms of unhappy villagers with pitchforks chasing us sense.”
It drew its branches upright and spoke with the air of someone whose pride had been touched. “I’m a respectable businessman. I only deliver the best service and this sort of place is the exact sort of client I specialize in.”
“Captive?” Cassie grinned, winking at me. Continue reading Venus Spy Catcher: Part 4
Back in our rooms at the council building half an hour later, we sat across from each other at the table, all of us thinking over what we’d been doing.
I looked over everyone. “I don’t know about you, but I feel like I have less direction than I had before we talked to Iolan. I mean, it sounds like Iolan’s already got the ansible under investigation and he didn’t offer to let me in. Plus, we’ve got a population that’s ready to freak out either because we can breed with anyone or because the Dominators might come for them. Also, I don’t feel like we got much of a direction from that party the other night.” Continue reading Venus Spy Catcher: Part 3
I stood next to one of the counters in Iolan Mekus’ lab, considering sitting on it but then reconsidering when I noticed the same kind of square chips that had absorbed our biological samples.
Standing then, I asked, “So okay… If you think they’re using admin accounts to communicate and then deleting the specific logs of their ansible use, then who are the admins?”
Iolan grinned, but barely. “I see where you’re going, but it’s not that easy. That was my first thought. The other two admins are Geman, who is no fan of the Ascendancy government and Dalat, the other pilot, who is in his own world. I know anybody could be a traitor, but the two of them are poor candidates. I’ve been forced to look elsewhere.” Continue reading Venus Spy Catcher: Part 2
Department for the Analysis of Alien Artifacts, K’Kassa, Issakass Homeworld
The being that sometimes called itself Lee reformed in front of the building. A body formed around him with barely a thought, so little that he took a moment to check what form he wore. It wasn’t anything special. For the moment, he was bipedal with four limbs, blue-green scaled hide, and while he couldn’t see all of his face, it was obvious that he had a long snout.
He wore a short robe with a tool belt.
He was, he recognized, a typical, lower caste Issakass male, the sort of being that would never be noticed walking into a government building—not that it mattered. Continue reading Venus Spy Catcher: Part 1