“You cause me a lot of grief, Wieler. You know that?” *Piktun said. “And you’re going to pay for every minute I was indisposed because of my association with you.”
“Hey, I told you to keep our business dealings quiet and anonymous. Not my fault you got sloppy.” I replied, half in jest.
I was thankful just to be back in communication with her, knowing she was safe.
“Tell me one more time what happened.” I asked, fully aware we were on vid and she could see my smirk.
“You know damned well what went down.” She scowled at me on the monitor.
“Indulge me.” I said, employing my infamous boyish charm.
Her eyes narrowed, her brow furrowed. She opened her mouth to speak, then closed it, shaking her head slightly at herself, suppressing whatever she was about to throw my way. She looked at me again, shook her head once more, then replied.
“Fine. You win.”
“Special Agent Dex Nera, ma’am. I’m going to need you to immediately cease your activities and allow me to escort you to our security office for some questioning.” the Concord officer said with practiced formality.
Piktun noticed his gun hand was tense, already near his weapon. She knew the standard procedures, and realized officer Nera was probably accustomed to his suspects making an attempt to bolt and flee at this point in the conversation. She had nothing to hide, and no intention of running.
She powered down her multiple monitor setup, her primary tool for the profitable business of trading on the markets, swivelled on her chair to face officer Nera, and spoke.
“Do you have your warrant in order, officer?” she asked, inflecting slight annoyance and command into her voice.
“Yes ma’am. If you could please place your hands on your lap, where I can see them, I’d be happy to produce the documentation.”
Piktun complied, slowly placing her hands on her lap as officer Nera reached into one of his breast pockets, producing a small datapad, and thumbed it on.
A small hologram came to life and played a recording. “By order of Republic Internal Security, an apprehension warrant has been issued for the detainment and questioning of Piktun, in relation to her association with Matar Colonel Roc Wieler, under section 2, subsection 14, paragraph B of the Republic Code of Law.”
“I see. Very well then.” She stood, allowing herself to be cuffed by officer Nera, watching as a sweep team came rushing into her office and began disassembling her equipment. She filled with violated fury.
“I’ll have you know, officer” she stressed the word with authority, “that if any of my equipment or data is damaged, corrupted, comprimised, professionally shared or lost, you will be hearing from my legal team. I understand your need in this situation, but I will not tolerate any violation of my rights as a private citizen of the Republic. Have I made myself clear?” she spat.
“Understood, ma’am.” officer Nera nodded towards his team, slowing them to a more reasonable level. The equipment wasn’t going to up and walk away from them; no sense in rushing through the job making careless mistakes that would cost them all later.
Discreetly, she was escorted to the nearest station for processing. It wasn’t anything she was unfamiliar with, nor were the passersby, barely acknowledging the incident in passing.
Once the paperwork was filled out, and she was left in a detention cell, she didn’t have to wait long for someone of importance to come her way.
Sergeant Murdoch spent the next ten minutes pacing around the cell, staring her down as she sipped quietly on some herbal tea that was provided for her comfort. He was an ape of a man, a fellow Caldari as was Piktun, but one that obviously had worked among the Brutor for quite some time and compensated for his lack of physical stature by adapting his presence to mimic theirs.
Finally, the man ape spoke. “I know that Roc Wieler is guilty of treason and slavery. I don’t care what the media says. I don’t care what the senate says; he’s guilty and we both know it.”
Just like that, Piktun knew she had won. She sipped her tea slowly, never taking her eyes from Murdoch, allowing his frustration to rise.
It was clear he had reached the pinnacle of his career years before, and wasn’t going to advance no matter how many years of service he put in. He was grasping at straws regarding Wieler, hoping to ride the media bandwagon to fame and fortune. The critical flaw in his plan was that Wieler had been acquitted by the highest court of law in the Republic, and Piktun was not some pushover, unaware of her rights, or without her wits.
She sipped her tea again. It was delicious, and very soothing as it went down.
Murdoch looked like he was going to pop a vein. His face was turning more crimson by the second. She simply waited.
Within seconds, he couldn’t contain himself any longer, slamming his meaty hands down on the table in front of her.
“You will tell me what the two of you are involved in! I know you’re up to no good, and you’re both going to be put in stasis for a very long time once I get to the bottom of it!”
Piktun sipped her tea once more, placing the cup gently on the table, looking up with delicate, sincere eyes, directly at Murdoch.
“Listen to me, buffoon. Your warrant was obviously bogus, which is enough to get you fired without pension on its own. Beyond that, you have no evidence whatsoever to support your claims, and you’re trying to re-open a case already tried by Tribunal Law, which is illegal. Your techs will not be able to decrypt my data protocols, which were activated the second your sweep team began disassembling my equipment, and it won’t matter anyway, as the data will wipe itself in the next 15 minutes, regardless of where you duplicate it to.
You’ve inconvenienced me for your pathetic and failed career advancement agenda. You’ve delayed my income for the day, which is more than you will make in ten lifetimes.
You’ve publicly humiliated me to potential clients by bringing me here in broad daylight; for that alone I should sue you for loss of income and defamation of character. But to top it all off, you smell like sewer shit.”
A vein in his neck joined the chorus of veins in his forehead. His temple lobes pulsed violently. His eyes were filling with blood and tears, threatening to burst from their sockets. His hands scratched against the table upon which he still leaned.
“My attorney should be here shortly. I would advise you arrange for my release before she arrives. I assure you that every minute this is prolonged will be very unfortunate for you, Sergeant Murdoch.”
She allowed herself a faint smile then, picked up her tea, and drank in another mouthful. It really was quite delicious, and she savoured each mouthful.
Sergeant Murdoch slammed his fists against the table, storming out of the detention cell. In the distance, he could be heard yelling “Get that fucking bitch out of my goddamned station!”, and within minutes official apologies were documented, and an escort offered, which was declined.
Piktun took the local transit to return to her offices. By the time she arrived, her equipment had already been returned and reassembled, exactly as she had left it.
She sat down, spinning in her chair, before having her AI run a full diagnostic on her gear. Within seconds, it found several bugging devices, both hardware and software, and systematically removed each.
Twelve intrusions and half an hour later, she was confident her equipment was secure, and got back to work.
I slapped my knee, laughing wholeheartedly. There was a reason I respected this woman. “So, you managed to get the booster shipment out without issue?”
“Don’t even kid, Wieler.” Piktun replied, resulting in me laughing even more.
“Alright, alright.” I waved my hands instinctively in a calming gesture at the vidscreen. “I’m glad you’re back. Did we miss any windows of opportunity?”
“Our assets are in order, and continuing to profit as always. Is there anything else, Wieler, or can I get back to work?” Piktun asked sternly, still not enjoying the amusement I was.
“Nah, I’m good. Stay in touch ok?” I said.
“Will do. Piktun out.”
Ah, it was a good life some days.