Six Hours Earlier
Paresa System. The Nova Imperium
“You want me to liberate what?” Kara asked loudly and her contact made a furtive gesture for her to talk quieter. He nodded,
“3 tons, that’s all we need. Here’s the location and schedule the err, target keeps. We have a very special interest in the, ahh,” he replied and paused as he struggled to find a word.
“Meat? You want me to steal three tons of Animal meat?” she replied again, whispering in an overly dramatic way.
The Nova Imperium contact nodded again in earnest.
Kara Walden often struggled with identifying humour. She found her own jokes hilarious but her past was littered with the ghosts of practical jokers who had made bad judgement calls with their comedic timing and choice of target.
“Are you joking with me? Is this whole thing being recorded for use on a light entertainment channel?” she asked, checking for hidden cameras or disguised show hosts as she spoke, but the seedy bar they were in was empty of anyone except the bar tendering automat and a looped recording of a holographic stripper that flickered badly at key moments in his routine.
“Because if it is, I swear you will lose an eye faster than you can say, OW! My eye!” she warned and poked her plastic drinking straw at him.
“No, no joke, we really need those canisters. The credits are good, honest,” he replied defensively and slid the mission contract across to her.
“Animal meat? You know I once broke into President Hudson's private Diamond store,” she grumbled under her breath but signed the contract anyway. She was well aware she needed to pull off several more of these mundane jobs before she would be trusted enough to handle the big contracts.
“So, what else have you got?” she asked as she scanned through the handful of jobs available to her.
“Not a lot, it’s a quiet week,” he apologized. “Unless you feel like taking on some passengers?”
“Paying Passengers or Passenger trafficking?” she asked, her tone dangerous once more.
“Nova Imperium might hold to traditional Imperial values on slavery but I’m not your average traditional traditionalist,” she said as if it made all the sense in the world.
“No, no not Slaves but reporters and a couple of business-men who conveniently want to go to Jadikinon, the same system as you will find the ah, Meat transport,”
Kara weighed it up quickly and shrugged. It was only a two-jump journey. The money was ok but it was the reputational gain with NI she was after.
“Sure, why not. I’m a people person after all. Everyone wants to go to the same place, its quite a good bundle of work. Must be my lucky day,” she said and pressed her thumb to the contract acceptance box.