((Read from the beginning here))
“Well, what do we have here?” I was looking at the expenses of the Greene family over the last two weeks. Everything seemed normal, but one thing jumped out at me. In the last two days, credit transfers had been made to a pre-paid card. They were moderately large – easily enough to cover the cost of a cheap hotel room as well as feed a person for a day or so. I dug a bit deeper, trying to find additional information on the location and usage of the card. Miss Greene was definitely planetside, as these prepaid cards could not be purchased or used in the Mars colonies. Where, I would probably find out in an hour or so.
As this tracer ran, I went for a walk. I passed by several cubicles, where members of my staff were busy working on upgrades to the satellites OS, fixing problems that came up from other departments, or helping with the UIs for various projects going on at ARC. Which cubicle was Jake’s, again? They all looked the same to me. I shrugged and walked out of the office. If he needed me, he knew where to find me.
Instead, I went towards the docks. The station consisted of several concentric rings rotating in place, connected by several elevator shafts. The docks were the furthest out from the center, for obvious reasons. The programmers and scientists were one circle in, and the living quarters one ring in from them. Finally, security, engineering and executive offices were in the smallest ring. I didn’t like going up there, everything felt more constricted and, well, pressured.
Down by the docks, though, my steps felt a bit lighter. Checking the screen by the elevator, I noticed that Ari was working down in dock 3 today. I headed over in that direction, running into Archer on the way. The test pilot was working on repairs to a…skimmer? Would a low-atmosphere vehicle be useful with that many spikes on it? I thought about asking Archer, but then realized that it wasn’t that important. Instead, I continued my search for Ari. She wasn’t in Dock 3, and no one had actually seen her yet that day. Interesting…I reached for my PDA to contact her. Before I could send her a message, however, the PDA blinked at me. A new message?
I opened the message. It was the results of my search tool. I skimmed the contents, then immediately contacted James.
“This is Varnum.”
“James, this is Q. I got the results of the last search.”
“I found the general area that she is staying in. She’s been using a pre-paid card, getting funding sent to her by her parents. Do we have any assets in the area?”
“I’m sure that we do, why?”
I took a deep breath. “Because I wasn’t the first person to find this all out.”
((Continue on to Part 4 here))