The evidence of a conspiracy in the Stanton system became more and more dense. Xeno Threat, large corporations, I tried to link the informations.
There were worse places to be stuck than New Babbage. My Cutlass was still in repair and the IAE opened its doors soon. Two good reasons to rent a Hab at Nest Apartments. The comfort and space was much better in the Habs on the planet than in the orbital station Port Tressler.
From the window of my hab I had a great view of New Babbage at night. The lights of the city sparkled more diverse and colorful than the stars of the night sky. I stood at the kitchen counter and poured myself a whiskey. The meeting with Chhris and the information about the scandal at Microtech confirmed that I could not remain silent. The machinations of the big corporations and the oppression of free peoples had to come to light. But how was it all connected? Where should I start?I waved the whiskey glass. An oily film ran viscously down the rim of the glass. The informations I had circulated in my head. I just could not grab it. With an empty gaze I stared into the glass and let my thoughts run free. After a while I took a sip, put the glass aside and took the data pad. The soft yet sharp taste shook me. I had an idea.
On the data pad I captured the information and started to link them. The corporations wanted to stop exporting ore from Stanton. Shubin was involved in illegal trade, drug deals, contract killings. I had to think of Kylo. A little melancholy, I looked out the window. An Origin 100i flew by at some distance. The CEO of Shubin was named Arlington. The Arlington Gang. Was that a coincidence? Or were the Arlington brothers of the gang related to the Shubin CEO?
And then there was Xeno Threat and the announcements in the major landing zones. There had been talk of a great injustice. Brubacker had speculated that the corporations might have commissioned Xeno Threat to destroy Port Olisar. This would eliminate the only possibility to export ores and the companies would not be directly connected with the attack. And now Microtech was secretly selling weapons-grade chips to criminal organizations. Perhaps to Xeno Threat? My head was spinning. I took the glass of whiskey and drank it all in one go.
As I tried to refill it, I found that the whiskey bottle was empty. It flew into the garbage in a high arc. At that moment my Mobiglass beeped. It was a message from Marsden Analytics. They had information for me and wanted to talk to me about it personally. After I put on a fresh T-shirt, I went to the meeting place at Wally’s Bar.
The music boomed in the background, the laser show twitched over the bar. I was standing with Melinda, one of the founders of Marsden Analytics, on the upper level of Wally’s Bar in the semi-darkness, a little away from the big ruble. The noise level was so high that nobody could hear our conversation. “We have analyzed the data you brought back from the wreck at Hurston,” Melinda said. “The attackers were clearly Xeno Threat.” “This was not the first time I came across pirates from Xeno Threat in a wreckage,” I replied, “Are they trying to shake up the Stanton system? “Not yet,” Melinda said. “It looks like, they’re just a reconnaissance squad. They’re probing the situation, making a little booty in the process. But we fear there may be a major attack coming.” My heart started beating faster. “Are the big companies involved in this?” I asked in an irritated voice. Melinda shook her head. “We couldn’t see any connections to the corporations in the data.”
I was dissatisfied. I believed that there was more behind it than could be seen at the moment. I was not allowed to remain silent. I had to keep going. My gaze wandered down over the bar. Rows of beer bottles and whiskey glasses were pushed across the counter. I paused. “Stay under the radar.” I admonished myself. Publishing information, that is Brubacker’s job. Getting information, that was mine. I sent a message to Brubacker and Chhris.