The touch of his hand to the ID scanner had lit flags in more than one place. Reactions were varied as to the news that he was still alive and kicking. Though one might argue that the results were similar. Armed personnel were dispatched to the hotel in question.
The Ricardo was not what you would call a five star hotel, not four, either. Three would be stretching it but it might, on a good day, manage that. What it lacked in amenities it made up in proximity to both the ‘strip’ and the port for normal crewed ships. Its rates were reasonable, if varied, and it knew when to enforce rules and when to turn a blind eye. And it had been fully booked from top to bottom by some podder who also had left a note that food would be covered as well, though the crew was on its own for booze.
Faster than light, faster than warp, faster then tachyons themselves, the news of a party where free things exist. The Ricardo was the place to be because a crew had come in and had been paid a big bonus. They all were happy and willing to share their largesse. Doors were left open as the party floated from room to room and floor to floor.
)Ecko 1. Sit rep. Consierge confirms the rooms are all booked in targets name but he is not sure which room he is in.(
)Ecko 4 and 6. I want access covered. Check everyone going in or out. 2, 3, 5 start at the top and work your way down, room to room. Hell, he is Gallente libertine, bed to bedamned bed if you have to.(
As they moved into position in what they considered a studiously casual fashion they did not know that another team was watching them. “I count seven.”
“Which means at least 8. I am betting a full 10. The commander is somewhere nearby but offsite. Too many for you, we just try to get word in and hope he can slip the net.”
“We tried getting word in. They know how to guard doors and so he is trapped. You’re right, too many for me to handle alone. So you are coming in with me.”
“I am a tech, support, not an agent! I have no idea how to . . .how to . . . you know, do what you do.”
“Did you train to be a tech or did you know it all before you joined?”
“About 3 years of support training, you know that.”
“Well then, school is in session for the next level of support. The close ‘watch my back’ level. Lesson one. They are really easy to spot, you know why?”
He frowned. “They walk like they have sticks up their asses?”
She nodded. “Military goons don’t mix well in this situation. On the other hand we are not going to sneak in. We are just locals ready to party.” She unbuttoned a three snaps on her blouse and mussed up his hair. “Follow my lead.”
)Top three floors. Nothing.( The disgust was apparent in the voice.
)Five to go then, Keep sharp.(
“Keep sharp, he says. he has NO idea what it is like in here.” Ecko 2 stepped across the couple on the floor and tried not to kick over the stacked cups by the door. He was not sure but he thought the fumes themselves were starting to get to him as he experienced a flash of disorientation.
Ecko 3 nodded and looked back to make sure 5 was well placed for overwatch. “Next room.”
“We find this guy I am gonna hit him extra just for dragging us into this den of sybarites and hedonists.”
“Remember. alive until we know where the journal is. Then long enough for us to have teams track down every one of his damned clones. We are gonna erase this one so thoroughly only God,himself, will know what hell he was sent to.”
The couple on the floor stirred and the girl declaimed. “I need to ‘powder my nose’, why don’t you go get us another bottle and we can find us someplace more,” She sniffed at Ecko 2 and 3, “More private.” She swayed as she went between them and the young man staggered down the hall in search of the bottle.
“Don’t be redundant.” They moved into the room after her. Now very familiar with the standard layout of the hotel it took but a moment to check behind the furnishing, in the bedroom, leaving only the bathroom where they could hear her singing off key.
“We could ask if she was alone in there.”
“Would we trust her to tell the truth?”
“Wait for her to come out?”
“If she takes too long you want to explain to 10 why we are still on this floor?”
“I didn’t pay the damage deposit, did you?”
Interior doors are not meant to hold back a solid charge from a trained professional. On the other hand, said professional is not trained to handle a tile floor that had been liberally soaked and soaped. He skidded across the room and into the wall with a sickening crunch. His partner had only a moment to take this in before the lid of the toilet connected with his skull and he lost consciousness.
She stepped out into the hall to find Ecko 5 laying on the floor, soaked in rum and sprinkled with broken glass. The support tech stood above him. “I found that bottle you sent me for.”
“Still think we are outnumbered?”
The tech reached down, picked up another bottle and hefted it grinning at Free.
)Ecko 2, respond. Ecko 3, 5, respond(
“One is an accident, two coincidence.”
“Three, sir. All three are out of contact.”
“I know, three is enemy action. He is in there and somehow they gave themselves away.”
“We going in?”
“No, Cannot risk it. He would make us kill him and we would be back to square one. Signal all men to pull out quietly. We can only hope that the other three will be recovered.”
Mike snoozed on the shuttle back to Bereye.
Ever wonder how many battlegroups have tripped across another roam and wound up in a fight they did not plan to have. Is that a bad thing or a good thing?
IF I get on tonight a few of you will find pressies (of the virtual type)
Oh and than k you for the words of encouragement. This is off the beaten path for me as there is very little Eve in here other than as a backdrop. But as one of you mentioned, it does make you think about that backdrop we move through.
fly it like you won it