My mission is to find what HQ is calling "Sin City". Apparently they believe the criminals of Klendathu have survived and have built themselves a fortified bunker which I am to infiltrate. Several drop missions have already been made to check up on the prisoners, but on discovery of the empty bunker, strategies have been put together to discover what has happened. I am the third mission sent to solve the puzzle by infiltration, because the other two haven't been heard from. HQ hasn't denied the possibility that there may be remnants of the bug threat still alive on this planet, but they reassured me many times that it is an improvability. The problem with an improvability is that you can't be sure.
We stopped sending supply crates to see if it would weed them out, bring them again to the surface, but it hasn't worked so far. There has been traces of human activity from time to time which has led to the theory that the prisoners might still be alive, but I have only 48 hours to hopefully find out the truth. The reason they're giving me such a short amount of time is because the other two agents haven't returned.
"What are you thinking about," Jenkins asks me.
"Nothing really, just where we're going to find shelter."
He gives me a look as though he doesn't trust me. I don't blame him, he's a psychic and he can't read my thoughts. I spent over two years building up a wall blocking psychic scans. When the Black Ops supervisor couldn't even read what I wanted for breakfast, I was used for infiltration all of the time. More than one psy has been dropped on Klendathu. It did do some dammage though, I don't dream, I can't. Intel said this was a good thing, because psys couldn't get information out of me when I was asleep, but I think people need to dream, like they need to eat and drink. There haven't been any adverse side affects as of yet, but I don't doubt there won't be some.
"Should we not warn the others?"
T'Olis's question caught me somewhat off guard, I was in some kind of stupor thinking, I've got to be careful of that, "If you really want to, but not everyone's as friendly as Tasker."
"Your attempts at humor are unsuccessful. I would advise you to terminate these attempts," T'Olis points out.
I smile, "And they say T'Phettians can't tell a joke."
T'Olis's face twists in what looks like a smile, "I am better at it than you are. When I was first introduced to human culture I did not understand the importance of humor, and I have found it quite simple to accomplish."
"What makes you think you're funnier than I am?"
"Humor as such has been attempted upon your world for thousands of years, I am only making up for lost time."
"Ouch, T'Olis two, Ra...Porter one."
T'Olis looks in the direction of the bunker, "You have distracted me from my original question which is a hard thing to accomplish. Should we not warn the others RaePorter."
Jenkins lets out a little burst of laughter at his mistake, and I kindly correct him, "It's not RaePorter T'Olis, just Porter. I know, we started off saying Rae, but it's just Porter."
T'Olis stares down at me, "What is the use of saying Rae before your name?"
Thinking fast I respond, "I used to be called the Railway Man, but I decided it wouldn't be a good thing to say it out loud to very many people. My name's Mike Porter."
I think I've pushed him off the trail because he seems distracted, but Jenkins is giving me an odd look, it's going to be hard fooling him. A muffled shout wafts over to us and we all turn to look, prisoners are pouring from the bunker in a panic, I didn't expect to get my answer so soon. Twenty prisoners are shoving their way through the open doors, and I see one get snatched by his legs before he makes it completely out. He's dragged back inside by some unseen force, and the other prisoners are running past us. Jenkins is vainly trying to find out what's happened, and T'Olis is fighting off a few trying to get to his supplies. This is what I'm here for, and despite the few grumbles of warnings emitted in my direction as I run towards the bunker, none of the other prisoners seem to care. To my surprise however, Jenkins is right behind me with T'Olis on his heels. I search the dark corridor for some trail or direction, but all I can see is the flashing neon light down at the other end. It serves to be more of a headache than real light. I approach cautiously, I hope the bugs aren't still alive, a pistol's not going to be much of a defense. As we get down to the end the corridor splits off into two directions, one to the left, and one to the right. The corridor to the left looks as though it's been thrashed, lights torn from the ceiling and walls are broken and strewn about the floor. Some sort of gas is escaping a vent. The other corridor looks almost brand new except for the fine layer of dust which covers everything.
Without warning Jenkins throws me against the bulkhead, he's got my pistol against my face plate. "What kind of prisoner has a pistol?"
"The kind that uses slight of hand to steal it from a guard on his way to the platform."
"On the ship you said the reverse probably happened to you, the cryogenics shut off your mental imagery while logical thought remained, yet I still haven't heard a thought of yours, or have seen what you've imagined."
"I'm a killer remember, I'm not normal."
"Then you say to get as far away from the bunker when everything's calmn, yet you run to death when the commotion starts. Who are you and what are you doing on Klendathu?"
I've been a tactical officer for many years, and I've been trained to deal with suspicious psys, but he seems awfully paranoid and determined. Quickly I twist to my left getting out of the path of the gun. Grabbing his hand and arm I trap it and twist the gun out of his hand. I throw a fast rear leg round house and point the gun at him. I don't think anyone ever realizes how swift and agile Skinnies are until you see them move for yourself. Just about as fast as I took the gun from Carl, it's now pointed again at me, but by a seven foot tall alien. Carl gets up and stands next to T'Olis. "What do you think we ought to do with him?"
"Let us take him to the city. He is just another criminal."
"Sin City?..." oops, shouldn't have let that slip.
Jenkins' eyes narrow to mere slits, "How do you know about the city?"
Jenkins laughs a little more hartily to my taste, it means there's something up his sleeve, "Rumors? No one knows about the city except for SICON officials. What agency do you work for? You better answer truthfully, because my friend T'Olis doesn't like it when people lie," and to add to the statement T'Olis cocks the pistol.