Chapter 5: At the Security Office


“Dang! Where’s he off to now?” The middle-aged security guard, clad in light armor, squinted at a round crystal screen mounted on a swiveling base.

“Dunno… they’re both moving way too fast to keep up!” his younger but higher-ranked colleague said, as he turned the screen around to adjust the field of view.

“There, boss! They’re standing still now!” the guard pointed excitedly.

“Got it!” He adjusted the screen, putting their target near its center, and turned a knob to zoom in. The two figures on the screen were talking, although no sound was transmitted to the device.

“I wonder what they’re… whoa! What was that?” The older man was wide-eyed, leaning closer to the screen for a better look.

“Telekinesis,” the younger one replied. “He’s pinning her with his big vector. Look, now he’s using his other vectors to search her stuff.”

Damn! That’s gotta hurt!” The guard snapped his fingers for emphasis.

“Wait…” His colleague had a worried look. “She’s not moving! Did he actually…”

He was cut short by a bright purple flash behind him, as well as a sudden gust that blew his hair with a whoosh. The two turned back to look at the same man they were seeing in the screen, but now in the flesh – a hulking giant, with charcoal-black skin and red hair and beard, dripping with rain, whose head barely brushed the ceiling.

“Gotta remember to tell ‘em to renovate all these offices to spec”, the enormous man grumbled. “Look how cramped this is. Not everyone’s tiny like you guys, you know.”

“Uh… Mr. Urdunnir?” the senior employee said. “Did you manage to get anything out of her?”

“Why do you…” Urdunnir’s eyes turned to the screen. “Hey, were you two just sitting here, watching me? God! I can’t believe the losers they’ve got working here. No wonder that thing got stolen.”

“Oh, uh… no, we’re on it!” The officer hurriedly fiddled with the screen. “We were just following the invader, of course. Visor, give me corridor 23B!” he commanded the device, causing the image to fizzle out and then reform into a darkened corridor.

“What the hell are you doing?” the giant roared.

“Uh, trying to locate the object, maybe it’s still in the…”

“You idiot! Haven’t you scanned for it?”

“No, sir…  the only device we’ve got for that requires psychic activation, and no-one in the night shift has the power to…”

“Raaaargh!” Urdunnir yelled in frustration. “As good as nothing, all of you!” He fumbled in his coat pockets for a bit, and produced what looked like a carbon-fiber block with a small green crystal screen. It looked tiny between his massive fingers, although it would fill a grown human man’s hands. “Find Nimban,” he spoke into it.

The device made a low gurgling noise for a few seconds, and then followed it with a despondent chime. “Never mind,” Urdunnir said. “Out of range. Guess she was telling the truth. It’s ported out.”

“Wow, that’s bad,” the security officer said. “But don’t worry, we’ll get the police on it first thing in the…”

The giant just glared at him.

“I mean, right away, sir! Right away. I’ve got the duty officer’s contact around here, somewhere…” He started digging around his desk for it.

“And you,” Urdunnir turned to the older guard, “what the hell are you just gawking at me for? Go get that girl from the roof! We can still interrogate her.”

“Sure thing, boss!” The guard stood up and hurried out of the office.

“Here it is!” The younger officer reached toward his telegraph, a notepad in his other hand. “I’ll have them send someone ASAP.”

“No,” the large man interrupted him. “Not someone. I want the best one they’ve got.”

“Not a problem. We’ve got a good working relationship. They won’t send just anyone they find wandering around. But I’ll make it clear that it’s important, just in case.”

The giant grabbed the officer’s chair and turned it around, so the two were face to face. “You don’t understand. This isn’t just sensitive equipment that’s missing. It’s not just your job that’s on the line here. Hell, I make more than the planetary branch CEO here, and my goddamn job is on the line. Who’s the best damn investigator in this entire city?”

“B-best investigator?” The security man was rattled. “That would be, uh, Inspector Kasser, hands down. But he doesn’t apply, of course, so…”

“The hell he doesn’t. Get him in here, now.

“But, sir… he works homicide, and in an entirely different district, so there’s really no way…”

“Are you deaf? I want this Kasser guy in this very office. I don’t care what’s his district or department. Whatever it takes. And I want him here by the time I’m back with my coffee. Is that clear?

“Y-yes, sir!” The young man was sweating profusely. “I’ll… I’ll find a way to…” Urdunnir disappeared with a flash before he could finish his sentence.

The security officer gulped, looked at his notepad, and then turned to his telegraph. “Well… crap.” He took a deep breath, and pressed the ‘call’ button.

Continue reading in Chapter 6: The Contact