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NULL SPACE - Part 13

The man floated in space once more. While he had a name before he joined ANGEL, now he was only known as Zolurious. It his predecessor went by that name too and if he had a discipline then he too would be called Zolurious. Having names pass through from master to apprentice was standard among the ANGELs, it lead to a strong reputation which was important to having people follow the law.

However now he felt like he was bringing shame to his name. He had almost captured Criminal #5638 back in Ark-Neon but she had escaped. Zolurious hadn’t been able to chase them because of the civilians that might have been hurt in the process. But what had really harmed his efforts was the refusal of the Myth Military to aid him in his search. It seemed that the criminal had a companion, probably the person who had released her back on XJ453. The Mythians had said that the man’s name was Jeran Ortrott but Zolurious had yet to figure out why an illustrious Mythian hero would be assisting a criminal like #5638.

What was much more frustrating was that he hadn’t been able to track them down since they had fled from Ark-Neon. He had gotten reports of them on both Zen and Quill but in both cases they had left before he had been able to arrive there. They also seemed to be cloaking their faster than light drive signal, a common practice for criminals, which made them even harder to track.

Zolurious needed to figure out the criminal’s objective before she was able to make any more progress on it. With the amount of technology that her criminal records said she possessed he would need to capture her soon to prevent her from doing anything harmful. However she was still keeping a low profile and had so far avoiding using any detectable forbidden technology. Zolurious didn’t know if this was deliberate or not but he suspected that it was. The only two other options was that she had yet to acquire the materials that she would need or that she wasn’t as knowledgeable as her record indicate. However Zolurious couldn’t take a change that it wasn’t the latter so he needed to find her quickly.

A holographic window popped up in front of him and he rubbed his chin as he looked at it. It was a report he had requested from Quill. It seemed that Jeran had been keeping a daughter there, one who had been sick with an incurable disease. The report continued to explain how when he had left he must have taken his daughter with him. That explained something at least. Criminal #5638 must have convinced Jeran to help in exchange for healing his daughter. It was a commendable goal but that didn’t make the use of forbidden technology better or legal.

Zolurious concluded that the criminal must be using Jeran as a means of gathering the materials that she needed. It would also explain why there hadn’t been a blatant displace of her powers yet. Her records indicated that she had used her powers quite freely before she was captured. Now with Jeran’s daughter taken that must mean that the #5638 must have the materials or be close to acquiring them.

Zolurious decided that he would probably apply for Jeran in court and ask if they could give him a lighter sentence. He would still need to be punished but his noble desires should probably earn him some leniency. #5638 on the other hand should be severely punished, getting an noble person to break her out of her jail and then leading him about with his hopes up deserved nothing less. Now he just needed to find where the criminal was and where she was going. He open up a communication link with the General who was chasing Jeran, they didn’t want to assist him but he would have to give them not choice, after all things could get much worse if he didn’t act soon.

—————

Back in Jeran’s ship Null woke Jeran to inform him that, “You daughter is waking up soon. I wanted to tell you because I thought that you would want to be there when it happened.”

Jeran rolled out of bed and landed on the floor. “Thanks.” Said Jeran as he walked over toward his daughter. It wasn’t a long trip because they were all in the bunk room which had three bunk-beds for a total of six beds. It was an efficient arrangement and just like many other military light cruisers. It only disadvantage was that it was a bit cramped.

He knelled down near the bed that Silvia was sleeping and and passed his hand across her forehead. He sat there waiting for her to wake up until eventually she began to rouse. She turned her head back and forth before opening her eyes. She looked up at the bottom of the top bunk for a moment before turning her head side to side. She stopped when she saw her father.

She smiled faintly and said, “Hey dad, how are you doing? I’m glad you came to see me once me before…” She stopped speaking as if not wanting to think about what she would be saying next.

Jeran reached out and clasped her hand, “It’s going to be all right Silvia, I managed to find a cure for you. You will be up and about in no time, I’m sure of it.”

Silvia smiled again, “You’re so nice to say that dad but you really shouldn’t lie, mother wouldn’t have liked it. I know you have been looking but it doesn’t really exist. But thanks for coming back before it was too late. Now I think I need some more sleep, you will stay by me when I sleep won’t you?” Silvia laid her head back down on the pillow.

“Sure I will and I’ll be here when you wake up again.” Said Jeran as Silvia drifted back to sleep. Once her breathing had returned to the steady rhythm of sleep Jeran turned back to Null, “I guess she didn’t believe me. I guess I won’t either after having the doctors tell me it was impossible and having my father run off in search of some fool cure.”

Null only wave her hand casually, “That is a worry for people who don’t have much time left. Your daughter will eventually be fine so she will have to believe that your succeeded. A father who went off on some impossible journey and returned empty handed to a dying daughter is a fool but one who returns with the impossible cure is a hero. You should just be glad your a hero instead of a fool, after that nothing else matters does it?”

“Well I have already shown I’m not much of a hero my deserting my country. I’ll prefer to think of myself as the fool who succeeded instead of the fool that failed. At least a fool knows that he is a fool while a hero continues to think he is one even if he had become a fool.” Replied Jeran.

“Quite so, then a fool you are and since I joined you I must be a fool as well. At least this way if we do something stupid we know it was expected of us. Also it is said that the clown’s job is a circus is more difficult then the lion tamer’s because a lion tamer makes the hard look easy but it takes real skill to make to make the easy stuff look hard.” Quipped Null back.

Jeran laughed. “Thank you, I don’t think I have enjoyed myself as much as I have since you started healing my daughter. It has been like a great load has been removed from my back.”

“You might have left the fire but the reason you feel cool is not because you are safe, it is because the oven is just beginning to warm up.” Said Null, “Sure I saved your daughter but how much time had that really bought her? We could be attacked by the Myth military and she might be hurt or kill. It could also be ANGEL who might be following us at this very minute. It could be someone who decided to threaten you to get me to do something for them.” Null took a deep breath and shrugged, “I always try to enjoy my now but I never know what is going to happen in the future. You should try to do the same and thank the stars if you manage to find a peaceful life after this. I think that is really all we can do at the moment.”

————-

The communication link between was still open between Zolurious and General Solvar. “Thank you for your cooperation General Solvar. You assistance in the matter of capturing Criminal #5638 is greatly appreciated.”

General Solvar literally spat on the deck of his ship, “Help my ass. What your doing is nothing more then blackmail. Even if you did have the right to interfere with an investigation you have no right to interfere with the private activity on a planet.”

“Sure I do. Section 348, Article 72 of the Testament clearly states that I have the right to take over a government if that is necessary for the capture of a class A criminal. It would mearly be an unfortunate side effect that the other faction in your government would be the one to be in command after I finished the capture. If fact if you wanted to go up agienst a class A criminal alone then you would be lucky if any of our troop came out alive. You should be thankful that after your first encounter with them that one of your hands is still in useable condition and that you didn’t have to replace both of them with cybernetics.” Said Zolurious.

General Solvar grabbed his cybernetic hand with his real one. When the gun had exploded in his hand the damage had been so back that his medical staff had been forced to remove one of his hands. Luckily the other one had been in better condition and had been able to be fixed. It irked him that Jeran and that woman had managed to get away from his in that condition.

The General hurumphed and said, “Even though I agreed to cooperate that doesn’t mean I’m going to let you call all the shots. These people are my soldiers and I am the one who commands them. However, since you are a member of ANGEL I have agreed to listen to you and to assist you the best that I can. “

Zolurious gazed through the screen cooly and General Solvar couldn’t tell at all what the man was thinking. Even though he talked big he really couldn’t disobey ANGEL. Eventually Zolurious spoke, “I understand. I won’t interfere with your chain of command. I will simply take an advisory role and provide backup when needed. In return all you need to do is make sure I have all the information you acquire on the criminal.”

Solvar knew that even if the ANGEL said advisory role that really meant calling the shots. It was just from in the shadows instead of in front of everyone. Solvar would have liked to reject everything this man was offering but knew that that wasn’t an option. “Very well, I will forward you all the data that we have on them. Now as part of your advisory role is there any suggestions that you would care to offer.” It wasn’t really a question. He knew that Zolurious must have some sort of plan. Solvar just wanted to know what sort of plan it was.

Solvar though Zolurious smiled for a second but he wasn’t sure. “Yes, I do have a plan. It will only take a moment to explain but I would ask that you begin working on it immediately.” Then Zolurious began to explain his plan to Solvar who soon began to smile.