Transport containers for dangerous goods bring new insights and questions.
My listening device in the comm array had recorded two interesting messages.The first message was from Hurston security.”Termination of highest alert. Spy and supporters uncovered in critical departments. Employees will be fired and will no longer receive support from Hurston Dynamics. Normal operations can resume.“Looked like they had caught the hacker who had put Loreville on alert. The second message was from an unknown sender, recipient was Hurston Dynamics headquarters. The message was encrypted with the same algorithm as the last message with information about the killer satellite that I had intercepted.
“Information regarding satellite prototype E.Project status yellow. Spy caught. Security hole that led to the incident in the cave closed.Transport container for weapon component E leaking. New high security solution required.“
I opened a whiskey-coke and plopped down on the red sofa in the Star Runner kitchen. This was good news, a cause for celebration. After a hearty swig, I slid deeper into the soft cushions of the seat and relaxed. The sender believed the spy was the reason for the security breach. He had no idea that I was intercepting communications and had broken the encryption. I raised the can in the air and toasted an imaginary guest. “Well done Zero.” I said to myself with a grin. The advantage was on my side, now all I needed was a new lead.
Worryingly, though, the transport containers for the weapons component were leaking. I couldn’t help but think of the crashed ship that had been transporting the warfare agent. One crew member had come down with a strange illness. The poor dude had direct contact with the transport containers. Goose bumps stretched over my body. We were dealing with a really dangerous weapon. The risks were not to be underestimated. Hurston Dynamics knew that, too. That’s why they needed new high-security solutions for transporting the weapon component. Suddenly, I had an idea. I opened my Mobiglass.
A few days later, I was standing in the storage room of a Hurston Dynamics outpost. The shipping container I pulled from the shelf looked ominous. It was a sphere bolted together from several plates. It was suspended in a transport device that looked like a cage. The sphere floated almost freely and glowed yellow in several places.
Inside the sphere was a highly sensitive substance that exploded in quantum flight. A warning sign clearly indicated this. I didn’t understand the physics involved, but I understood that I had to transport the stuff carefully. Hurston Dynamics also had to be careful in transporting the bioweapon warfare agent. They needed a special solution, maybe a specialist. That was the weak point I wanted to address. I had hired on with a company that specialized in transporting hazardous materials. If Hurston Dynamics needed that kind of service, I would be there.
I had already done a few jobs for the company when it came, the job I had been waiting for. It sounded mysterious and dangerous. The order said something about toxic waste. They were to be picked up from an outpost on the moon Aberdeen. There were no details, the client was a dummy company. The last lead we had on the bioweapon led to Aberdeen. That couldn’t be a coincidence, or so I hoped.
I had almost reached the outpost when a warning appeared on my instruments.
“Private property. Leave area immediately.“
What was that nonsense. I had a mission and was ordered here. I ignored the message and landed right next to the building. Before I got out, I checked my coordinates just to be sure. I was in the right place. Then I saw a marker on the map, just a few miles away. The Klescher high security prison. Somehow, I thought that was creepy.
As I stood in front of the airlock, things seemed weirder and weirder. The outpost was an Emergency Shelter. Why was an emergency shelter on private property that was not allowed to be entered? It made no sense. I shrugged my shoulders and went into the airlock. With a hiss, the inner bulkhead opened. With a long step I entered the room. My gaze wandered. On the left was a medical couch. Further back in the room were shelves. Just to the right in the entryway, under a window, were two packages. Both had “biohazard” written on them. A shiver ran down my spine. This was my cargo. I didn’t even want to know what operations were performed here and what was in the packages. With the first package, I was about to enter the airlock when something caught my eye at the very bottom of the shelves.
I put the package back on the floor and approached the shelf. I could not believe my eyes when I saw what was stored there. It was the same decontamination kit we had seen in the cave. My mind was racing. An image slowly formed in my mind. The image took shape like a vase on a potter’s wheel. An Emergency Shelter in a restricted area, with a prison nearby. Could this be possible? My eyes fell on the packages of organic waste, then on the decontamination kit. Had the agent been transferred to new shipping containers here? Was it stored in the prison? Or did this have nothing to do with the killer satellite at all?
A maximum security prison would be a safe place to hide. No one could get in or out unchecked. Klescher was deep underground. All that could be seen on the surface was the entrance and some ventilation shafts. On my departure from the Emergency Shelter, I flew over the prison. I looked out the side of the cockpit window at the massive building. No, this was not a place I could just walk in and snoop around. I had to inform the activists. Maybe a stakeout would turn up something. If we found a trace or even the agent, I was ready. I had a license to transport dangerous goods and experience from my work for the special company.
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