It wasn’t easy infiltrating the Taylortech facility used as a refining plant in stationary orbit near BANCE-4. The people of Proxima Centauri were already paranoid enough after their colony almost collapsed a century ago — but after the recent dustup between Jordan Taylor of Taylortech and Alfus Bannon, our illustrious Cydyne CEO, relations have been tense between our two companies.

In fact, cooperation has hit an all-time low since we banded together to mine Mercury way back when. Probably didn’t help that we tried to inject a virus into all of their CyDyne androids to ensure that they couldn’t “glitch” and they found out about it. Maybe we should have asked first?

Corporate espionage is all the rage again and the Proximans are squarely on Taylor’s side of the fence. Their facilities in the Proxima system did account for nearly 50% of their employment after all, so they hold the purse strings.

So when I walked onto Mikko station off a shuttle, I went with zero backup and full deniability by my bosses. My ass was hung out to dry — but I had to find C5421021OCT before it entered the Sol system to do some serious damage. If one of the Glitches made it into a Cydyne facility, the bug would spread like wildfire.

“She” — the fictitious Susan Basquiez — disappeared after our incident on Erdis. It took far too much of my bribery credits just to get that much information, but it led to three ships that departed soon after our brief encounter. The first two were easy to rule out, but the Perforio proved impossible to find.

Their captain, one Portia Addair, hired mostly ex-cons and fringe types to keep costs down. As part of that, apparently they changed their ship designator enough that the transportation folks had them on their radar. I was able to figure out they were mining palladium — and one of the best markets for palladium is right here on Mikko.

Working my ass off as a repair tech for refining equipment was almost as glorious as it sounds. It didn’t leave me much time to chase down leads, but I did eventually hack into the cargo master’s system to find a ship matching the Perforio’s specs. It had parked a few cycles ago and was in line to be unloaded soon for processing.

It was about that time that I was really caught off guard with a meeting request – from Captain Addair herself. She evidently discovered I’d been looking for her and wanted to touch base. We met in the Wollaston Watering Hole near the docks. And I was even more surprised because it was “Susan” herself who met with me…


Looking for more creatures for your Aliens & Asteroids campaign? Check out the rest of the articles about the system!

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