Thursday, 8 October 2015

Yet Another Day in the Block - Part 2 - A First Law: Override short story

Region six eight four was run down, possibly more than any other region of the Block Tannus had the misfortune of venturing into. Weather he liked it or not, this was where Tannus needed to be if he hoped to discover the truth of what really happened.

With reluctance he turned his re-breather up via his wrist mounted control. As a Hydan he struggled to breath on Honos which had been terraformed for Human lungs, the problem however was that even for a Wraith, re-breather filters were not cheap but unfortunately this region had been allowed to fall into disrepair as most extractors failed due to corrosion and toxic clouds present within the lower levels of the Block.

Due to their innate resistance to toxins and radiation the Kratel were at no disadvantage within these regions and it did not surprise to see row upon row of Kratel refugees lining the walls of the region asking for a credit chip here and there. It sickened him to his bones, watching these degenerate excuses for humanoids begging like this. Yes they were fleeing some real or imagined threat from their home world, seeking aid from the infamous Lady Tramn and her Red Claw bruisers, but you would never catch someone of the noble Hydan blood sinking as low as to ask someone for credits.

As he waded through the rows of mite infested Kratel, Tannus arrived at the site of the previous trade off. He could feel his inner voice kicking itself, he should have been here after the real deal. If he hadn't relied on the information sent from the Bastion and instead his own intuition then he would have found this site and caught the culprits in the act. Instead he was forced to sift through their rubbish in the hope of finding something of use.

With a hefty kick of frustration Tannus launched a stacked pile of rubbish from the region's street into against a corner. The junk hit a wall and the unmistakable sound of metal on metal resounded through his finely tuned ears. With a start Tannus paid immediate attention to the sound, he had heard it plenty of times before when he had experienced sickness while residing in his Block apartment and how after a strong sneeze or cough his re-breather filter would be forced out of it's mounting and launch itself across his room before hitting his metal walls.

With gloved hands Tannus picked his way through the pile of junk that littered the floor, he knew the sound came from here, all he had to do was find... And there it was, nestled between an empty can of Second Best and spent capsules of Spike, a re-breather filter. It was small and round, no larger than a physical credit chip and other than the typical residue you would expect from spending time surrounded by rubbish it was clean and free from corrosion. Tannus quietly collected the filter whilst eyeing his surroundings, his keen and trained Hydan eyes watching for anyone who may be observing his current actions. Rather surprisingly no one was paying him any notice as if a combat suit dressed Hydan rummaging through rubbish was the most normal thing they had ever seen. Something about this did not feel right and with a quick step Tannus made for his safe room.

The safe room itself was a storage suit held within the lower reaches of the Block. It's region was so dilapidated that not even the Kratel posed a threat risk, and the only real requirement Tannus required for security was a top of the line filtration system allowing for maximum efficiency but zero traceable emissions. Within the safe room Tannus held a secure battery powered container that had been sealed by the best biometrics he had been able to locate outside of Wraith security on one side of the room. Only a matter of feet away from this was his work desk complete with low-power digi-station. Currently the station was humming to life while Tannus stood crouched in front of the screen studying the acquired filter with his naked eyes.

The filter was indeed the same make as his own, this was troubling as that meant it was intended to be used by only one type of clientele, a Hydan much like himself. It appeared that the filter itself had burned out, which explained why it had been discarded into the rubbish. Beyond that there was little to suggest the filter had any further information to surrender. Tannus however knew something that most others did not about each of these filters; they were indirectly coded to the user's own DNA.

Back when the Hydan had attempted to colonise other worlds they quickly encountered issues with atmosphere, and much like the Humans had done with Honos they transformed the very worlds themselves to be suitable for their own breathing requirements. Where this was not possible or when they were required to visit the world prior to completion, the intra-dermal implant had been designed. Imbedded within the skin itself this flat device would release a specially formulated enzyme that allowed the Hydan to essentially breath the atmosphere providing certain requirements were met. The implant required only two things, a regularly changed filter to be surgically installed either within the neck or cheek of the user to allow for a waste gas to be released once collected and that the implant was calibrated to the exact DNA of the user allowing the correct volume and potency of enzyme to be released at the right time. This level of re-breather could then be calibrated on the fly through any digital device with local wireless capabilities. Every single re-breather as a result of these calibrations therefore produced an enzyme who's qualities were as unique to each other as the user's finger print, by proxy so was the waste gas produced and vented through the filter. Tannus knew this and as such with an analysis of the filter he also knew that he could obtain a waste-finger print that could be traced back to the very re-breather of it's user. Once that was known it's user's identity would also be known. Obtaining that information however would require a hardline to the Wraith's secure database held within the Bastion itself.

With a vibrant flash Tannus' terminal announced it's completion of the filter showing it's age, how much waste it had filtered and more importantly, the waste-fingerprint Tannus needed. With a dual finger swipe he closed the analysis tool and opened a video channel. The video stream fuzzed and blurred, clearly obscured slightly by the radiation and thick pollution present outside Tannus' safe room before the image distorted and the face of Brooks was revealed.

"Hey Bro, you ok?" Brooks asked, a clear concern present in his voice "You took off bloody quickly before".

Tannus nodded before locking eyes with Brooks "Yes, and I'm ready to return to Head Quarters".


Greetings friends!

So here's part 2 of Yet Another Day on the Block, and things are starting to heat up for ol' Tannus eh? What do you think is going to happen? Think Wraith HQ is going to be happy with him using their database after telling them to abandon the case? Who do you think the filter belonged to? What were they doing there and why would they be working with a Red Claw smuggling operation?

I guess you'll have to wait until next time! Until then stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

No comments:

Post a Comment