Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Day 19: 2034 (34300 book, 151,385 total)
Well, we have a decision today. It's not the one I would like, but it is one. Russ leaves for New York on Friday. He'll be flying out (he already has a ticket). He won't be back until around Christmas, if he can make it then.
I will be staying in this house. The furnace doesn't work, but I have electric heaters and the water boiling on the stove helps quite a bit (though everything is starting to get damp!).
So there we have it.
My writing has not exactly been inspired the last couple days, but at least I got some done.
The Aquarium was a larger building than he had expected. Inside was a gate where a person used a credchit to pay the way in, but that would have too easily been traced. Royce signaled the guard over, who let them in through the private door.
"The Chief Magistrate is waiting for you in Room A, sirs," she said and nodded down a hall. She looked nervous, and Zerod had the 'feeling' she knew how dangerous it was for the three of them to be meeting here.
They walked down a hall lined with glass, behind which was water and things moving. Some were exotically colored -- far brighter and prettier than Zerod had expected, but it still gave him an odd chill to have all those alien eyes watching him as he passed.
The door to Room A stood open and Cailin had settled herself in a chair where she could see it. She nodded a greeting to them, looking worried and excited at the same time.
"I think I have them," Cailin said after Royce had closed the door and before they had settled in the chairs near by.
There was a glass wall to the right as well -- and more of the fish. Zerod could not put his back to them, so he settled across the table from Royce. Cailin was handing over her pocketcomp to her brother, but she turned to Zerod and nodded.
"I think they're out in a group of hotels out along the edge of town, up by the lake. It was hard to track, but I found that two of them have fake IDs and after that, it was a matter of trying to track their movements. They're cagey bastards, though. They never got together, and never used public communications, but I saw that messengers passed from one group to another."
"Good work," Zerod said, taking the computer from Royce and checking over the data as well -- faces and information slid over the screen in quick displays as he scanned from one to the next. "You're right -- it looks likely to be them. I can't tell if one of them is the assassin or not. None of the faces look familiar."
He ran through the scans from the IDs a second time, hoping for something-- but he knew none of them. She had picked up on twenty-five people she tagged as part of the mercenary group.
There could be more, of course. There was likely at least one more.
Zerod took a little more time to look over the layout to the hotels and checkout the rooms to which the men had been assigned. They were spread between two hotels and had rooms close to each other on two different floors of each hotel. The rooms commanded a good view of the grounds below, and were close to the rooftop landing pad.
Zerod pushed the pocket comp away and looked up at his two companions, trying to get the plans in his hand to coalesce into something coherent.
"The way they are split up, we can't take them all at once," Zerod said with a shake of his head.
"We have to split up our own forces," Royce replied. "Cailin and her people to take one hotel, while I use Felisa Corporation Guards to go into the other one."
"That's illegal for you to use the guards in the city," Cailin pointed out.
"Fine me afterwards. Or let someone bring it to court --"
"No, no. I'll just make you all City Guards for the duration," she said. "Someone will likely protest anyway, but right now, I think we need to worry about other things. I think if we can get enough to outnumber them two to one. I know that's not good odds, since these are trained mercenaries, but it's the best we're going to get."
Royce nodded agreement, looking distant for a moment as though he was calling up all the data he could on his own people.
"They are bound to be heavily armed," Zerod said. "Remember that we have an assassin working with them -- someone who can easily manipulate even the most secure computers, and slip at least small shipments in. I can't say what they will have, but it's bound to be dangerous."