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NULL SPACE - Part 4

Ark-Neon loomed up in front of them. The large space station would have seemed imposing if it wasn’t covered with glowing signs advertising and promoting various services. The brilliant lights and colors make it hard to look at. The station was large enough to house a around ten thousand people. Most of them would be visitors or staff. Not the biggest resort station by a long shot but fairly popular in this section of the galaxy.

Jeran requested permission to dock through his ship’s terminal and the approval was quickly granted. He slowly brought the ship into docking carefully avoiding many of the much larger ships docked there. After his ship was parked the prepared to disembark. He asked Null, “Do you want to come with me? This place can be a little much if you aren’t use to it.” It was the truth, Ark-Neon wasn’t were the rich people came relax it was more like a constant party for people looking for a wild time or to forget something.

However Null was already at his heals. “I’m fine. If I leave everything to you then we will be spending another week eating nutritional paste and reading days old news.” Jeran winced at the comment, although it was fairly close to being true. It was probably better to bring her along after all.

“Fine, but you should probably do something about your hair…” Jeran pause for a second remembering the sort of people who tended to vacation at Ark-Neon. “Actually you hair if fine. You don’t need to worry about it at all. However if anyone offers you an easy way of making money refuse them, it isn’t worth it.”

“I’m not stupid or naive. I know better then to do something like that. You don’t think this is my first time in a place like this do you?” Said Null. Jeran sighed and lead the way. He had been a father for long enough that he must had instinctively began warning her other things just like he would have with his daughter.

The space port was crowded, filled will all sorts of sorts of people. Most of them were human, but there were a few members of the other sentient races. In there galaxy there are four known sentient races, however they were all really different from each other so they tended not to interact too much. However there was always the strange individuals who became fascinated with the other species and visited them. Some places didn’t like visitors of other species but Ark-Neon didn’t care who or what you where as long as you didn’t cause too much trouble and had the money to pay.

“First we are going to go visit my friend Aben. I told him that we would be coming so he is expecting us. If there is anything usual that you will be wanting then he will be able to get it for you. You can trust him… more or less. I would suggest not mentioning anything about your knowledge of forbidden technology. Not that he would turn you in but he would try to use it in some sort of profit scheme.” Said Jeran as he lead Null through the crowd.

After a few minutes of traveling through the crowd they arrived at a small store stuck between two larger stores. It reputed to be a pawn shot and while Aden was willing to purchase something off you if you needed the money but Jeran know that it was only a front. Aden bought and sold all sorts of other things as well, including information. The door bell dings as Jeran and Null entered Aden’s store. It was disorganized, but not cluttered or dirty and Jeran was sure that Aden knew where everything was in his store.

“Hello. Aden are you there? It’s me Jeran.” Said Jeran in a loud voice. Aden was commonly in the back or doing something else so he wanted to do. There was some fumbling in the back and a well dress man stepped out from the back. He was a bit shorter the Jeran and a little bit chubby. Aden referred to his weight as a sign of the success of his business. It was just now that Jeran noticed that Null was almost at tall as he was and definitely taller then Aden.

“Oh, hello Jeran. You took longer to get back this time.” He looked over and Null and then back at Jeran. “But I can see why. You found yourself an interesting woman there, I didn’t know you were into that type.” Aden smiled in a friendly way like he was genuinely happy for Jeran. “I’m glad to see that you have finally gotten over the death of your wife. And about time if I might add.”

Jeran shook his head slightly, “Really it isn’t like that. It is purely a business relationship. Right?” He turned his head to Null in an attempt to get conformation but Null chose to remain silent.

Aden only smiled wider before saying, “Sure sure, if you say so. I know when not to talk about something. So instead lets get to business. Did you find anything interesting on XJ453? I have a few more leads of you want me to get you them.” Aden managed to play the friendly used ship dealer perfectly. He was everybody's friend and always seemed to have what you needed.

“Not right now. Currently I’m on to something but I need some supplies to make it happen. Some of it might be a little bit strange but I trust you will be able to acquire it.” Said Jeran and he motioned toward Null, “Can you tell him what we will be needing.” Null nodded and stepped aside with Aden to explain what she would be needing. After a few minuted the stepped apart of Aden walked back over to Jeran.

“This is some serious stuff you are wanting. You could get in trouble if anybody found out, but trouble. Are you sure that you are alright with that.” Said Aden in a warning voice. He always wanted his consumers to know what sort of trouble they would be in for before selling them anything. “I mean really, the information I sold you was one thing but this is something completely different.”

“Yes, I know Aden. However this is the best chance that I have. I can trust you to get me what I need right?” Said Jeran. Aden stiffened a little at the word trust, it was like a magic word against Aden. He couldn’t betray somebodies trust in him because that was the core foundation that he built his business on.

Aden slapped Jeran on the back and said, “Of course, when have I ever let you down. I can get you want you want and at good rates too. However even with my discount it won’t come cheap. Most of that stuff is black market material. It might also take me a couple of day to get it all. Why don’t you pay a trip into town with your woman there, you never spend enough time relaxing. It is always work, work, work for you.” He winked at Jeran before retreating to the back room before Jeran could insist that their relationship wasn’t like that.

“You friend is interesting. But he seems to place a lot of trust in you. I know I wouldn’t want to sell someone the material I wanted to get.” Said Null when Aden had left.

“Yeah, Aden places a lot of importance in trust. He used to be a spy working for Karzian, however he was betrayed by his partner on orders from Karzian and left to die. He almost didn’t make it out alive.” Jeran and Null walked out of Aden’s shop while he talked. “Aden doesn’t take well to betrayal and he refused to betray somebody else. You also shouldn’t take him lightly, I heard a rumor that his ex-partner is homeless, penniless, and wanted by the Karzian government.”

“I’ll keep that in mind. So are we going to do what Aden suggested and visit the city?” Said Null.

“Well, we still need to go shopping for food supplies, but that can happen later. First I was thinking of stopping to grab something to eat. I know that you wanted something to eat other then the nutritional paste that I had on the ship. They have a lot of interesting restaurants here. I hear they even have a Nitoian restaurant if you are looking for something that will almost kill you.” Said Jeran. He was joking about eating at a Nitoian restaurant, the Nitoians were one of the four sentient races and one of the things they were know for was eating things that were usually quiet fatal for human, on the plus side human food was the same for them.

“I think I will pass on the Nitoian restaurant. I didn’t get frozen for 107 years just to kill myself eating something there. Other then that I will leave the choice of restaurant up to you since I don’t know where anything is or how much food has changed in 107 years. However I will retain the power of veto if you bring me to a place which only serves nutritional paste, also no fast food.” Said Null. She seemed to be more talkative now then she had been on the entire ship ride. Maybe the liveliness of the space station was rubbing off on her.

“Well I know a restaurant that serves a nice array of alien meats and vegetables. We could eat there.” Said Jeran as he lead the way forward. Alien, especially related to food, usually meant non-sentient animals which had been found on various other planets. While sentient life was very rare in the galaxy, other forms of life were found scattered around the galaxy. Some of it had just been genetically engineered by humans, while others had just evolved on the planet after humans left it there, but the rest were genuinely alien and were usually edible