This is Chapter Four in my sci-fi series starring Kreke, a man of mystery and intrigue, solving crimes throughout the galaxy with his investigative reporting. Each installment will contain the link to prior chapters:
Kreke: Intergalactic Investigator - CHAPTER ONE
Kreke: Intergalactic Investigator - CHAPTER TWO
Kreke: Intergalactic Investigator - CHAPTER THREE
Colonel Lanthop sat on the battered sofa of the safe house and contemplated his options. It was a miracle he’d gotten out in time. He could see clearly now that he was being made the scapegoat for the debacle in Karib. Secrets that the Emperor couldn’t allow to escape had been ferreted out (with his anonymous help) out by that damn reporter, Kreke. The world now knew the part he had allowed to be uncovered but they didn’t know the most horrible half of the secret. Kreke had only gotten the military’s part of the conspiracy, he hadn’t uncovered the fact that the Emperor, not the military dweebs on Karib, was behind the plot. And the real story as to what the planet was being groomed for was still hidden.
Colonel Lanthrop’s wrist unit buzzed with the encrypted code that he had given to his trusted lieutenant. He tapped the holo display and Trent’s haggard face formed in front of him.
“Well, my trusted friend, do you have my passage arranged on the fleet freighter? I’ve got to get off this hell hole planet, this safe house won’t hold up for long.”
“Colonel, I’ve got good news and bad news,” Trent began solemnly. “Yes, you’re booked on The Iridum leaving at Oh-Eight Hundred for a straight line hyper trip to Earth. The bad news is that the Emperor has authorized High CommanderShr’e Alblee to utilize a pair of Hunter-Seekers to trail you. It’s going to be hellishly difficult to get you to the terminal with Hunter-Seekers on your trail.”
Colonel Lanthrop’s face turned white as he reeled mentally from the news of Hunter-Seekers being deployed on his behalf. The most efficient - and by far the most expensive - tool in the arena of tracking a living creature, they were considered a last-ditch effort and only for the most important targets. And TWO of them were being unleashed in his pursuit.
With the freighter’s departure time only hours away, there was little time to prepare a plan that would succeed in his escaping from Karib.
Andrea followed the droid through the opening in the hallway and found herself in another empty tunnel, the same pristine white as the outer tunnel but much smaller. The droid rolled steadily ahead and Andrea hurried to catch up, her SkinSoft boots making no noise on the metallic floor. Within a few minutes, they encountered what appeared to be a dead-end, a solid wall of white blocking the passageway. The droid lit up the wall with an ultraviolet beam and a key code panel appeared. He entered a complicated numeric sequence into the keypad then recited an eighteen-word mnemonic code phase. A small panel opened up and aimed a beam at the droid for a few seconds. A pleasant chime sounded and a panel slid silently open. The droid turned to Andrea and motioned her through the portal.
The panel closed immediately behind her, leaving no trace that a doorway had ever existed. A glide panel activated under her feet and carried her forward. She gazed around in awe unable to control the urge to look everywhere at once. She momentarily forgot her fear about why she was summoned here to the Inner Sanctum. Never had she imagined such opulence existed in today’s world. The hallway appeared to be marbled with gold veins and the walls were lined with works of ancient art that she was sure until now had only lived in history books.
The glide panel came to a halt in what appeared to be a private living chamber and sank back beneath the floor. When Andrea turned around to look behind her the wall had sealed shut. She was enclosed in an area measuring about half the size of her apartment, but much more luxurious. The furnishings were plush and the decor was very soothing. There was soft music playing she now noticed for the first time. Spying a sophisticated auto-chef in the dining area she realized her thirst. She programmed another soy latte to replace the one left in her office and sat down on the amazingly comfortable BodyFit chair in a pale burgundy skin.
Now that she had a minute to think, all she could think was that this made no sense. To be suddenly summoned to the Executive Suite, then brought to the Inner Sanctum, only to be enclosed in this private chamber. And not a word of explanation.
Stay tuned for Chapter Five!