The next morning I quickly did a couple things before getting a shower and getting dressed. I did a quick check on the departing ships manifest for the last two days to see if my two wayfaring girls actually got off the planet. The had done so and the planet they were heading for was a far better choice than Preston. I also saw my technician friend had done the same on the same ship. He must have caught up to the girls and convinced them to come with him. I showered and put on my uniform including my sidearm and blade.
I had spent the previous day in meditation and testing my psionic powers. I liked to meditate before my powers as there is something quite relaxing about sitting naked in the lotus position and just being who I am. I felt though that I had made some progress in my powers. Telepathy was slightly easier so the routine tasks of life sense a getting the surface thoughts of people were definitely easier to do. As a clairvoyant I felt like I was getting no where. The one thing though I could say was my awareness had definitely improved. I used my powers to increase my strength and I found I could lift even more than before. I was pleased that I was making progress even though it was slow.
My guests arrived in the morning. The three of them were interesting to say the least. The leader was a retired Marine Captain for the Republic Marines by the name of Quincy Frost. He was tall and had grey hair and a beard. He was also an investor in speculative ideas which this adventure was speculative in nature. The other two were a brother and sister combo. They were employees of Frost named Jason and Janet King. They were both average height and build but they brought their unique skills to the task being that they were both former Asteroid Belters. Their knowledge of mining was pretty high so that is what we were looking for in the system we were going to do further exploration on. They brother and sister didn’t talk much leaving that part to frost who scar on his right cheek stretched from his lower eye to a centimeter from the corner of his mouth.
The reason they had chosen me was because this particular system had my name on it. I had surveyed it many years ago with the Scouts and my name was there along with the three others including my first love – Joshua Sanchez. It was the same system that had the planet he had died on. I felt a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach as it also meant crossing the border of the Republic into unclaimed territory. I looked over the offer and the job and decided to take it. My job would be doing what I did best which is being the starship operator plus running the sensors doing survey work. It would be the other three actually with their feet on the ground so to speak although one of the things we wanted to check out was he asteroid belts so it would actually be more space walking than actual walking.
I learned that since our survey as small outpost had been established there by independent minded people trying to make a life for themselves away from the Republic. They had little law if any and no real government. I was also told that pirates had taken up residence on one of the worlds as well. I now could see why the pay was so good. The name of the system though would hunt me the entire time – The Sanchez System. I told the three of them I would have the ship fully ready in a week. I would need to make sure our cargo bay would have all the supplies it needed and all maintenance done. Captain Frost said that would be wonderful and we signed the contract. I filed it through the system on my ship and made sure all the legalize was correct according to Republic interplanetary law.
The three of them left but I had to still do some work. It would really only take about three or four days for the ship to be ready. I needed the other three days for a few other things I had to finish up, one of which was to contact the Preston Psionic Institute and get that portable storage device in their hands. Sabine was counting on me and as much as I found Preston distasteful I would have to venture out in it. I had done my homework the night before so all I had to do was travel to the location and hand over the information. I geared up by putting my body pistol under my jacket. It was a Scout Service issue body pistol so if it registered on the detection devices of Preston that would be a problem. That of course did not mean it could not be physically searched for and found. it was not as good as my father’s handgun (it was less accurate, had less power, had fewer rounds and was lighter so it was useless to hit somebody over the head with it) but it was better than being completely unarmed. I also did my hair up in a braid and bun combo. I then slipped my detection proof dagger into it so it could not be seen.
I went through customs without a hitch. They probably saw retired scout and passed me through but I couldn’t count on that all the time. Once I hit the door of the starport I picked up a breathing mask and put it on. To fit in with local customs I also wrapped my head in a turban and facemask to hide all my features but my eyes. Even so I knew I was still going to stand out as a female on this planet as all women pretty much wore head to toe dresses that concealed their physical form as well. I was afraid my ass in my tight pants and cleavage were going to stand out. At least my face would be concealed if things went to crap.
I found my way through the city taking public transport a couple of times until I found the slum I was looking for. Preston is depressing as it is grey and black with the occasional white throne into in the propaganda posters. I found the seemingly abandoned building I was looking for and went through the side door. I felt the telepathic scan as soon as I closed the door behind me. I returned it with the proper password. Then a figure stepped from the shadows. It was a woman because she was completely covered in her mask, dress and head turban. Only her eyes were visible and one of them was blue and the other one was brown.
“I am Suvan. Welcome fellow telepath. May your mind always be swift.”