Kat was piloting the shuttle, taking the search team down to the third moon of Pacifica VI. It was desolate, filled with craters mountains and dust. They were all wearing atmosphere suits. Yuri didn’t need one to survive, but the helmets had built in communicators.
Leon and Allison double checked their blasters.
“Do you anticipate conflict on this mission?” Yuri asked.
“Never mind them,” Kat said. “They’re just hoping for trouble.”
“Actually,” Allison corrected. “I’m hoping for a nice, simple mission with no complications or real danger. But there are times in this life when our hopes are for the best but our experience makes us anticipate the worst.”
“There isn’t anyone out there who wants the worst of a situation,” Leon agreed. “But you’ve gotta be prepared for it all the same. Frankly, I’m surprised you aren’t checking over your blaster.”
“I did it before we left for the mission,” Kat said. “Right now I have to focus on flying us, in case something goes wrong during our descent.”
“Well thank you Miss Pessimistic,” Allison said.
They landed and moved to the crash site.
“Yuri,” Kat ordered. “Calculate its trajectory based on where it crashed and the damage. Then calculate probable drop zones for the cargo. Leon, take Allison with you and examine the immediate area. Look for any signs that the cargo may have been dragged away. I’ll examine what’s left of the ship. Keep in contact and call if anything happens.”
Kat went to work. The transport had been thoroughly unloaded and stripped down of anything valuable by the Pacificans.
“Couldn’t leave it intact for our investigation, huh?” Kat muttered. There was nothing useful for her to examine. Maybe things would have been different if she had gotten there before the scene had been ravaged by a slew of Pacificans but, as it was, any evidence that might have existed was gone.
She activated her communicator. “Leon, anything?”
“So far just a bunch of footprints,”Leon said. “Probably from the Pacificans who already went over the site.”
“We may need to take another route,” Allison said. “This area is way too contaminated. These are experimental blaster pistols, right?”
“What do you have in mind?” Kat asked.
“Well, maybe the pistols have something we can track,”Allison said. “Like, maybe their power sources have an unusual element or something.”
“But we don’t know how they’re made,” Leon said. “You think the Pacificans are just gonna tell us what they used?”
Kat considered it while Leon and Allison argued over the communicator. “Maybe they won’t have to tell us.” She said. “You two come back here and help Yuri check the probable drop areas. I’m going to… borrow the weapon data.”
“Awesome!” Allison exclaimed. “We’ll have this done in no time.”
“Just don’t get caught,” Leon said. “I really don’t fancy another brawl against a Pacifican.”
“Whatever happened to the big, tough warrior who isn’t afraid of anything?” Allison asked.
“He promised his boyfriend that he wouldn’t take careless risks,” Leon said.
“Don’t worry,” Kat said. “I won’t get caught. And if I do, I’ll take responsibility. Paul won’t get mad at you.”
Kat worked carefully. Security would be tight around the actual design, but there were other ways. First, she found the defence contract. Then she checked the company and exactly what they’d ordered before their end of the contract had been marked as complete. It wasn’t a flawless method since there was no guarantee that the materials weren’t for a different contract, but it was the most effective way to get the job done without getting detected.
She scanned the orders for something distinctive that was ordered within the right time frame. That’s when she noticed it.
She quickly connected her communicator to the Cerberus. “Ophelia, can you scan the moon for dodonlium?”
“Dodonlium?” Ophelia asked. “What exactly is the situation down there?”
“I believe that dodonlium was used in the pistols,” Kat explained. “If we can find a source of it on the moon, we can find the crates.”
“All right,” Ophelia said. “We’ll look into it.”
“Did they buy it from Akumil?” Farah wondered.
“More likely they found another planet that has it,” Lucy said, she was working quickly on her own console. “One that we don’t know about.”
“You’re already looking into it, aren’t you?” Ophelia asked.
“I’ll be careful,” Lucy said. “Don’t worry.”
“I’ve found it!” Farah declared. “Odd, it’s nowhere near the crash site. It’s almost on the opposite side of the moon.”
“Send them the coordinates,” Ophelia said. “Tell them not to take the shuttle within twenty kilometres and to have their weapons ready going in. Just in case.”
“Someone doesn’t think the crates got there by chance,” Lucy stated.
“No, ” Ophelia said. “I don’t.”
A Quick Message from the writer:
Hey, Everyone. I just wanted to take a quick moment to thank you all for reading Voyages of the Cerberus and to wish you all a happy, enjoyable and safe holiday season whether you celebrate Hearth’s Warming, Hogswatch, the Solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Saturnalia, Christmas, or any other holiday.