A clandestine meeting on an unknown non-aligned planet:
The two men faced each other across the table, neither trusting the person opposite.
“You have confirmation of the transfer of funds?” said the man on the left
“You can guarantee the merchandise will be at the place agreed?” replied the other.
The first man reached inside his coat, the other made to draw a pistol. “It’s OK pal. I’m showing you the position of your goods.” He produced a comm link and pushed it over the table. “Speak to your own man on the spot”
“You have confirmation?”
“Yes,” said the voice at the other and of the conversation. “I am informing “Freedom’s Seed” now.”
“Excellent. I’ll see you soon.” The comm .link was passed back across the table.
The man on the right then produced a palm computer. He pressed an icon on the screen. “There,” he said, “the funds are in your account. Pleasure doing business with you.”
The two then went their separate ways.
UNA Monitoring Station X13G:
Private Eugene Metarzan sighed with relief. The end of another boring shift watching blips on a screen. Nothing exciting ever happened. “I wish the commies ‘d invade. At least there’d be a point to this.” The person taking over arrived.
“Hi Eugene, anything new?”
“Hey Norm,naw, just the usual. You know, our ships watching them, their ships watching us and a few civvies making a living.”
“Cool. Hey, you seen this picture of my new baby?” Norm took out his wallet and proudly showed the photo. They both looked at it, turning away from the instrument panel. A red warning flashed briefly on the screen then vanished as the source moved out of range of the sensors.
“D’you see that?”
“What? It was nothin’”
Eugene went for some rest and Norm began his shift.
Red Blok Monitoring Station CtHa54Z10:
Sergeant Timoshenkov left the bridge hurriedly and headed for the shuttle bay. He could hear footsteps approaching and he was eager not to be caught. A shot whizzed by his ear, ricocheting off the wall. He ran on towards the bay. He had only minutes left. He jumped into the shuttle and started the engines. It lifted off the floor and he moved forward as fast as he could towards the closed bay doors. The first contact made the small vessel shudder but almost burst the doors. He reversed, crashing into the wall behind him. Would he damage the shuttle too severely? Would he be able to leave the station? To his relief the shuttle again lurched towards the doors. This time he was heading into open space and safety.
The bomb Timoshenkov had planted exploded. The station became an orange ball of flame and debris flew in all directions. The shock wave hit the shuttle and Timoshenkov struggled to control it. He opened a comm link.
“Freedom’s Seed? Are you receiving? You are good to pass through this sector. No one will see you. I’ll see you at the rendezvous point. Timoshenkov out.”
Somewhere in the DMZ between UNA and Red Blok space:
The “Freedom’s Seed” moved through space as unobtrusively as possible. Her systems were running at minimum capacity, reducing her profile. Her crew was keeping an electronic eye out for any other vessels in this volume of space. Not that it was likely, of course. No one came to this godforsaken part of the universe unless there was a very good reason. The only other ships “Freedom’s Seed” was likely to encounter would be either UNA or Red Blok patrol corvettes. Her crew wanted to avoid that eventuality devoutly. Whichever side intercepted them the same thing would happen. Red Blok forces would send them to an uncertain fate on some remote prison planet. The UNA would impound their ship, hold them prisoner and then, after some half- hearted negotiations, hand them over to Red Blok authority. The Red Blok would then send them to the aforementioned uncertain fate. They had come too far and failure was not an option so they watched and hoped. “Freedom’s Seed” was looking for something, something specific; something that should be waiting at these coordinates.
Then the sensors registered the signature they were waiting for, they had found it. ‘It’ was a cargo container. Their organisation had gone to a lot of trouble and expense to secure the contents of this particular container.
“Bring in the container” ordered the captain “and let’s head for Sigma Five.”