Why was Kyra here? No idea, and why were they taking her prisoner into his tower? Do I save her? Of course! Where was 'Landro? No idea there either. His gallery, what was that all about? Interesting, perhaps I could find him there. What did 'Landro want with the Kinsloab device? Why hire a Hatfuntaan?
I shook my head. Heart pounding. Questions only led to more questions, and even they were not helping me. I relaxed my breathing, showed my heart to normal.
A sound caught my attention, a metal door closing. A I heard footsteps approaching I clambered up into the pipe and duct work overhead. These were not cautious steps but loud and heavy.
Two workers stepped into view, one much older than the other. The young ones some first. "I don't know Gunnar, that guy is an ass. I just don't like how he does business."
The older man spun on his heels to face the younger man. "Look, I got it. D'Landro is an OK boss. Pays well and doesn't get in your way so long as you do your job, this new gu-"
"He's an ass. Why, I heard that last week he shoved the workers into an airlock!" The younger man spoke in an animated banner, tossing his arms around as he spoke. He ended with his shoulder and arms in a big shrug. "Tell me that's OK."
"I hear you, I get it," I could tell this was not the first time the two had this conversation. The older exasperated man done with this line of talk. He stepped forward and cup his hand over the younger man's mouth. The young man's eyes grew wide and he stopped talking. "You continue talking like that and you are liable to find yourself floating in orbit around this station! Maybe buried out in the asteroid's dust! You keep this up, someone heard you, and I could ended up right next to you!"
The younger man threw his arms up in the classic hold up position, the old man named Gunnar stepped back. This time, the younger man spoke much more quiet. "I just don't get it. I thought D'Landro D was the boss, the big kahuna. His younger brother comes along and BLAM! suddenly he is in charge."
"Well, enough of your chatter. Let's get the problem with the Atmocondenser on this level figured out," Gunnar pointed in the opposite direction had came. The other man held his ground for a moment until Gunnar spoke again. "Chop chop, let's go. Kemmer won't like it if his conference room is too humid."
The younger man - not done with the conversation but quelled for the moment - turned and headed into the darkness of the hidden parts of the maintenance section. Not ten steps later I could hear him start up the conversation again. All I heard from Gunnar was a soft sigh.
I sat in my perch high off the ground until the two withers had finished their work and left. I was alone on the darkness and silence. More questions assaulted me. D'Landro was no longer in charge? This could be the reason behind the sudden change in operating protocol for his organization. Kemmer? No idea, never heard the name before. I opened a comm link. "Jonsey, I need you to look something up on the system. You have a moment to spare?"
"Sure thing, boss," ever cheerful. "Whatcha need?"
"Look up 'Landro and any family connections," I whispered.
"That bugger has family?"
"Sound like a younger brother has joined the family business and taken over the operation."
"Oh boy, that does not sound good. Think this means more trouble?"
"Nothing we cannot handle," I had a fleeting thought. One that seemed crazy, but one that might just work. "Say Jonsey, if you do not hear from me for a bit it may be because I have gotten myself captured."
"What?!" I heard some large and metal clunk through the comm. "Why would you do that boss?"
"It may be the best way to get to Kyra and if I can get them to think I know something about the Kinsloab, it might just get me close to D'Landro."
"Or his brother," he had a point. "You better watch yourself, boss. What me to come over, be your wingman?"
"No Jonsey, nothing I cannot handle," I'd been in tighter spot before. "You stay there and get the Spahn up. I may come running and I do not want to get there and find the ship not ready to go. You get her running for me Jonsey."
"You got it boss!"
I clicked off the comm and thought a moment. It came to me. I jumped down from my perch and headed back to the lift area. Once there I spotted the lift, far above, on its way down to our level.
On the wall opposite the lift was a control panel. Using my multi-tool I keep on my belt I pried open the front panel. From the inside I pulled a handful of wires out, then a small circuit board. I moved a few of these around, cut a wire and reconnected it in the wrong slot, and generally made a mess of things. It would take them a while to figure out this would never work, but I only needed to to appear to work for a few minutes.
As the lift slide into view, but before anyone inside might see me, I noticed two pair of legs inside. I turned my back and waited.
The lift came down and only a soft whoosh of air marked when the glass door slid open. I started taking loud enough to make sure they would hear. "That's right. D'Landro has no idea about the Kinsloab, this new guy Kemmer doesn't know either. Yeah, I'll keep the location secret, they'll never get it out of me," I paused a moment. I didn't know how smart these two guards were and I wanted to give them time to think, time to work it out, and figure out their next step. "No, they have no idea we have a woman in the inside. She isn't in the database, only I can ID her, so I'll keep my distance. Don't want to slip up and give her up."
So far no reaction. These guys were slow! I was going to have to help them. Maybe if I raise the stakes. "Roger, Operation Takedown is a go. Let Black Snake Seven know, we are a go for tomorrow morning." Black Snake Seven is the 'secret' code name for the commander of Space Patrol!, Commander Richer. We released the name in faux inelegance documents a few years ago as a decoy. It is still playing well for us. It was also just what I needed to wake them up.
"Freeze!" Shouted the chubby one finally. "Don't move!"
I turned to find his laser pistol raised at me, the business end shaking from nerves. I started to raise my hands and as my right drew near the control panel, I snagged a fist full of wires and yanked. Plus and sparks sounded from the panel followed by a gust of grey smoke. The light over heard began to flash.
"I said freeze!" He stepped forward. "Don't touch anything else!"
I turned to them with a smug smile. "What seems to be the problem, boys?"
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