The door silently slid open to reveal a sparse room. The smell of lavenders drifted from a stack of neatly folded clothes waiting on the edge of the only bed in the room to be placed in a nearby wardrobe, which stood against a side wall with its doors closed. A small, empty basket laid carefully next to it. On the far wall, a small, old, cluttered desk and chair invited the intruder to enter the nearly neat room and work on some research.
The Inquisitor walked over to the desk and placed the newly obtained datapad on a corner near a pile of older datapads. She pulled the chair slightly away from the desk before sitting in it. Inhaling a quick breath only to slowly exhale it, she reached over the datapads to pick up a Holonet transceiver and a slicing cylinder. Turning on the cylinder to run updates, she placed the two devices on the nearby bed. Lifting the pile of datapads off the desk, she sorted them into three piles. She placed one pile back onto the desk; she relocated another pile to the bed. The third pile consisting of three datapads rested in her lap as she activated a specially designed terminal on the desk.
A single beep breaking the silence announced the cylinder had finished its updates. Reaching over the growing pile on the bed, Riverche pressed the off button on the device before returning her attention to the terminal. Pulling up a program designed to search the Holonet, she typed a couple of strings into it, and sent the crawler on its way. Within moments the terminal flooded with news articles, commercials, public records and stories of the Bladvak Corporation. “Interesting!” She exclaimed reviewing the information. “You’ve been very busy lately.”
One article stood out amongst the rest: Liquidating Assets of the Late Esther Willinger
Usually, she would skip over these type of articles, but this person was a shareholder in Bladvak. The estate lawyer wanted to quickly liquidate all remaining assets, which included her portfolio of stocks and bonds. With the help of a specialized program, she managed to purchase the targeted portfolio for almost nothing under the name of Julian Hardstand. In another program, she created the persona to go with her new identity, and arranged for an in depth tour of her new investment.
Grabbing one of the datapads in her lap, River meticulously marked the pad and transferred the information of the sell and fake ID onto it. On the other two pads, she loaded varies programs designed to aid her in her mission. Confident that all the programs needed for this outing were located safely on the various datapads, she added them to the pile on the bed.
At the wardrobe, River opened the doors and started separating her laundry. Business outfits laid neatly on the bed’s foot. The rest filed into the wardrobe. She pulled out a traveling bag from the bottom of the wardrobe, along with a small box containing old and unused credit sticks. After choosing a one of the unused sticks, she replaced the box in its corner.
She returned her attention to the active terminal. Finding a connecting port, she proceeded to download the account information and a little spending credits onto it. Quickly, she wrote a program for the stick that emptied incoming funds through a series of transactions back into a designated, untraceable account. “Time to go!” The Inquisitor thought out loud.
Her hands quickly shuffled the small pile of items into various pockets in the waiting bag. All but one of the outfits was neatly secured in the large center pocket. The small datapads hid in a small inner pocket. The outer pockets protected her devices. She changed into the last remaining outfit and picked up the full bag before exiting the room for the shuttle.
The shuttle bay was busier than normal when she arrived. Lines of ships and busy personal filled the sides. The center was kept clear for ships to take off and land. Near the end on the left side of the hanger, Nash, a trusted and talented human pilot, patiently stood in front of his unmarked ship. Riverche approached the shuttle and politely greeted the human. “Ready?”
Handing her a datapad, “Whenever you are. We already have clearance.” He replied following her up the ramp of the shuttle.
They walk past the small cargo hold and into the ship’s cockpit. River sat in the seat next to the pilot’s and Nash took control of the ship. Reaching over her to punch in the coordinates, Nash asked, “Where to?”
“Oh, here!” Pulling up the information on the location of the corporation, River showed the location.
Nash finished putting in the coordinates and returned his attention to piloting the ship. Once they entered hyperspace, he turned to the Miraluka. “We will be there shortly. What is my part in this?”
“You’re my personal pilot, who is dropping me off to tour my new investment. Once I am on the station, you are to remain with the ship and no one is to touch it.” She informed the pilot never taking her attention away from the datapad in her hands.
“Understood. How long do you think this will take?”
“Unsure. Oh, there is one more thing. While you are waiting, do me a favor and activate the program on this datapad.” Placing the datapad on the control panel, Riverche leaned back in the chair.
Medium and large ships of all shapes surrounded the space station, which held them in place by retractable, spiderweb of walkways protruding from the ends of central column. A habitat ring encircled the center of the column making the station look like a decapitated finger wearing a ring. On the far side of the column, a flat circular landing platform welcomed the smaller crafts. Nash guided the ship to a halt on the center of the landing pad. The ramp lowered to reveal a Rodian flanked by two human males exiting the only door leading into the station. “Welcome, Mrs. Hardstand. Salai apologizes she could not be here to meet you; business has her tied up. We hope you have a pleasant and productive visit. Please, follow me. Will your pilot be joining you?” The Rodian struggled to say in a heavy accent.
“Thank you. No, he needs to remain with the ship. Did she say when she will be available? I would like to at least meet my host before I leave.” Julian replied in Rodese.
“No, she left instructions for us to make sure you had access to everything you needed. I’m Kasfer, and if you need anything, don’t hesitate to ask.” He stated slipping into the more familiar Rodian language.
He escorted her down bright, long, winding, white hallways to a large room deep in the center of the station. A large Holotable stood in the center surrounded by chairs and Holopads. At the far end, a door opened to a small office decorated with a desk and terminal. “While you’re here, you can use this room as you please. I will let you get acquainted and be back in a while to take you on a tour.”
“Thanks.” Julian watched as the Rodian disappeared behind the closing door. She gently slid her fingers along the edges of the table. Peeked at the base of it and the other items in the room. In the small room at the end of the conference room, she activated the terminal without turning on the screen, and plugged a screen reader into an empty port. From her bag, she retrieved a couple empty datapads and quietly started reviewing the available files on the terminal. The more important files were safely copied onto the datapad for future reference.
The crackling of a Holopad coming to life in the main room broke the eerie silence surrounding her. A figure of a humanoid female formed to greet her as she reentered the large room. “Welcome, I’m Salai, and I’m sorry I was unable to greet you when you arrived. I have been called away on a very important business adventure and unfortunately will not be able to meet with you face to face. I have left instructions with my trusted employee, Kasfer, to see to all your needs during your visit. Please, accept my apologies.”
The Holopad quickly deactivated before response could be given. Julian studied the pad for a few moments before looking at the recorded history of the device. The prerecorded message was made long before her arrival and set to play at a predetermined time. Perfect, need to hurry.
Julian entered the small office and pulled out a trio of datapads and the slicing cylinder from her bag. Quickly returning her attention back to the terminal, she plugged the cylinder in and sent it up to tear down the security walls surrounding the stations security cameras. The cameras located throughout the station were reprogrammed to record a black screen. She saved all recent recordings to her datapads before she wiped all security files. As the cameras went down, she triggered all the fire alarms along the walkways leading to the ships docked along side the station.
She accessed the other terminals on the network and made copies of important folders to her datapads. On Salai’s personal terminal, she planted the information of the sell of the stocks and the creation of the persona behind the sell, backdated to the proper dates. She canceled all pending orders and had the refunds sent to Julian’s account. As she deleted all records of her tampering, she released the contents of the station’s computers to the Holonet. Riverche quickly gathered all her belongings; leaving nothing behind.
The conference room’s door opened to a sea of individuals running throughout the hallways on their way to battle invisible fires. She quickly followed the halls towards the landing area she originally arrived at earlier. Nash stood at the base of the ramp confused at the commotion and alarms blaring. “What happened?” He inquired of Riverche when she entered the bay.
“We’re leaving.” Riverche lead the pilot up the ramp and into the cockpit.
“We don’t have clearance,” Nash complained settling into the pilot’s chair.
“Don’t need it, just take off!”
The shuttle’s engines purred to life as the ramp slid into place. A gentle rocking motion told the travelers that the ship had separated from the bay floor. With a few keystrokes on the navigation computer, they silently left the chaotic station headed home.
Nash turned towards the Miraluka seated next to him, “So, what was the program you had me run?”
“Oh, that was to sell some stocks and bonds that I no longer needed,” She replied activating a datapad. The price of the Bladvak Corporation’s stocks had dropped severely in a short amount of time. “and you did it just in time. Thank you.”
Surfing the Holonet, Riverche quickly found news of bounties placed on Salai by former clients, whose names were accidentally released to the public. The Bladvak Corporation declared the release as an unfortunate accident that they were looking into. Not the best, but it will have to do.
Placing the datapad in her bag, “I return to report to Celevon.”