Lockdown - 07 by Alexander Shaw

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SUMMARY: Just in case you hadn't heard it enough, this story used to be called 'The Neutral 3 Incident'.

Chapter 7 – Level 7-170 Rental Workspaces G+H.

--/Day 3 17:42/--
--/Level 5-025 Rentmaster's Office/--

"No, I'm full up at the moment, in both 4-025 and 5-025." Daniels the Lorast Rentmaster said. "Work or retail space is something of a premium down here, this close to the Reactor shaft anyway. You'd be better off checking out higher up." With that he looked away from his visitors and started going through a pile of forms on his desk.

"Anywhere you'd know of in particular?" Davan asked. He, Tenzanin and Torn stood in Daniels' small dreary office. On either wall to their left and right was displayed sections 4-025 and 5-025 as schematics, little green lights marking full allotments, red ones marking vacant. Almost everything was lit with green already.

"Well..." Daniels said, trying not to show his annoyance, "I think I heard something a few hours ago about a bar being burned out on level 170. Could look into that, I suppose." He leant back in his chair, blocking the view of his unwanted visitors. A few silent seconds passed and Daniels looked out from behind his papers. Davan, Tenzanin and Torn were still standing there. Davan was grinning. Daniels scowled and reached for his office comm-phone.

"Thanks for your help." Davan said cheerfully.

--/+2 minutes/--
--/Level 7-167 Bar ‘Private Party'/--

The doors whooshed open, the dimly lit interior of the establishment was tastefully designed, Farn always thought when he entered. For a place that specialised in naked dancing girls, that was. Farn had decided against going back to the Asteroid for a short while, just on the off chance that Jarek and his cronies decided to show up again. He strode over to the shiny black bar and pulled up a stool. He waved at the scantily clad barmaid, who gave him a knowing look and poured his usual. He'd heard that all the bars on level 167 had increased dramatically in sales of Glan Fannis since he'd moved to the station eight months ago.

The drink was placed in front of him and he smiled his thanks with his best award-winning smile. The barmaid sneered back, then moved off. Ah, he thought, to be young and popular. Then his thoughts darkened. He remembered back to the conversation with that she-devil, Wren. Find the Nethrek psycho and stick to him like glue until I call for you, she'd said, you're one of the only ones on the station who knows what he looks like. Farn sipped his Glan Fannis, enjoying the burning feeling as it slipped down his throat. How was he supposed to find this damn nut-job, it was a big station after all. The door whooshed open behind him.

"Dark Ocean. Triple." A hard, gravel-engraved voice sounded nearby Farn as he pondered his problem.

"Of.. of course, sir." The barmaid stuttered. There was an edge of fear in her voice. Farn turned to look, he didn't like it when the ladies felt threatened. There was an armoured man at the bar, wearing a sturdy combat suit. He had a face that looked like it was simply scar tissue with features tacked on as an afterthought. It was the Nethrek psycho he was supposed to be finding.

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