“Can you trace his last location?” said Murrdurr? “You know, like, do that tricky computer wiz stuff you do?”
“I’m looking now, I’ve got a bug inside most of the ships we use should someone take off with one. It’s a good way to ensure we either get the ship back or at least the person who took it.”
“Have you bugged mine Dwaigon?” Murrdurr asked with a suspicious tone, his eyes narrowed.
“Yes, everyone. All ships we fly.”
“But how did y…”
“Besides the point, anyway, it says here Ithicas ship was destroyed only a few hours ago. That might explain his lack of being here”
“Well, hasn’t he picked up a new ship?”
“I don’t see any of his other ships moved and he hasn’t spent any money since then so unless someone just gave him one I doubt it”
“So he must be floating around in his pod somewhere then, right, lets go pick him up. Where did he lose the ship?”
“Looks like the Tama system.. huh, that’s strange. I can’t see who destroyed his ship. Normally that information is logged but here, there’s nothing”
“His ship just destroyed itself?”
“No, obviously not. Not unless he activated the self destruct mechanism on his own ship but I disabled that on most of his after he almost blew that Orca up for a bet when he was drunk”
“I remember that, he canceled it on, what? One second was it?”
“Yeah. Which is why I’ve disabled it on his ships. It’ll still countdown so he gets all happy about the game but it won’t actually blow up. Looks like he lost his capsule too. No records here either. This is weird. I’ve never seen anything like this”
“Well, shouldn’t he be back at base then if he lost his capsule? He’ll be busy raging around the place as usual, that’s probably why he’s not here.”
“Hang on, I’ve bugged the medical system too, let me check”.
Dwaigon tapped and swiped away at his wrist mounted computer for a few seconds before he stopped, staring at the screen. He shook his head slightly and continued tapping. Another pause, this time he looked up and straight at Murrdurr.
“It says his mind attempted to download back to Ishomilken where he had set it to but was diverted away. I didn’t even know that was possible. It shouldn’t BE possible.”
“Well, where did it get diverted TO?”
“It doesn’t say, there’s just a station ID code but there’s no corresponding station in the database. Either it’s a new station that’s not been listed yet, unlikely, or its a station someone has gone to great efforts to keep hidden. I’ve not seen or heard of that since the war. We need to speak to Nashh”
“Right, I understand” said Nashh with the air of authority of someone who has employees to understand for him.
“Do you?” came the hesitant reply from Dwaigon.
“You don’t understand do you.” sighed Dwaigon.
“Uh… it really depends how you define ‘understand’ in this situation.”
Dwaigon glared at his CEO as he pulled out a crayon and paper.
“What are they doing there?” asked Zephyr Blackhawk, his one eye staring at the door to the office of Nashh Kadavr. His other eye, a white sphere now twitched in its socket as it too span round. He activated the retinal implant hidden inside, augmenting his vision with the heat signatures of both Dwaigon and Nashh in the office, exactly as they had been every time previous.
“C’mon, I have things to do” he exclaimed as he stomped back to the couch and flung himself down next to Mr Spaxi who only just moved his legs in time.
“What, exactly do you have to do?” Spaxi inquired.
“Things. Important things. I’m have projects”
“I thought you were just hounding an industrial corporation in a wormhole?”
“That’s an important thing to do. I’m training them in ship to ship combat.”
“Do they know they are being trained?”
“Good point, well presented, no.”
As Mr Spaxi was about to press further into the nature of Zephyrs ‘training’ program he was interrupted by the sound of the deadbolts sliding back from behind the office door. It flung open and Nashh strode out with an exhausted Dwaigon in tow. As Mr Spaxi started to puzzle why Dwaigons fingers were appeared to be coloured Nashh stopped in front of the assembled pirates.
“Well?” said Takeda Kashada “Da fuck did you call us in for?”
“Men, boys, Zephyr”
“Fuck you Nashh”
“We have an issue. Dwaigon informs me that Ithica has disappeared. It seems his ship was destroyed by and unknown force which then also destroyed his capsule. His mind was then diverted from its attempt to restore from his clone here in the medical bay and, instead, appeared to go to a station that doesn’t exist”
A group of puzzled faces looked back at him. He paused and then realised that a pause might invite questions. He continued quickly.
“Stations, as we know, have to exist in order to be used, therefore, we have a hidden station somewhere. Someone is hiding an entire station for some reason and that can only mean one thing: something worth hiding.”
The group of faces looked less puzzled now, some were starting to smirk greedily. Classic pirates, so easy to predict. A humanitarian mission would interest few of them but a chance to make bank? Well, that’s a different story.
“I propose we find Ithica, in doing so, we will find this hidden station. By finding the station we find whatever is worth hiding an entire station for. When we find that, we steal, destroy, kidnap, ransom or extort whatever it is we find.”
“And how do you suggest we start?” said a strong, quiet voice from the back. Nashh looked up to see Zimzat lounging on a chair with his feet up on top of the TV.
“Zimzat, my old friend” said Nashh, “Good to see you again. What brings you back here?”
“I got your broadcast. It sounded intriguing. Enough to warrant at least making an appearance. After all, you still owe me. Maybe if this goes well, you can settle your debt.”
“One step at a time. Lets find this station first and we’ll talk later”. Nashh and Zim locked eyes, neither willing to look away first.
“When you two have finished eye fucking each other maybe you can tell us where you expect us to start” said Known Associate. Glad of the excuse Nashh turned to face the assembled pirates once again.
“We believe the only way to hide a station these days is in a wormhole. I suggest you start there. Any questions, direct them to Dwaigon. I have an important thing to do.” With that, Nashh span on his heel and retreated into his office before Dwaigon could protest.