Zooming in the dark, Sarah’s craft heads toward the Dragon Inn.
Dragon Inn is located in the Zone 5 aka Dragon Mountain Zone which is between Zone 25 Humuzei outpost (where Amelio’s friend David lived) and Mount Sediq where Amelio was heading to find Brutus. The record that Max had obtained of the whereabout of Amelio abruptly ended around that area. It was several hours after Pollux has set beneath the horizon and the kids have all fallen asleep on the transporter. It was all quiet on inside and outside of the craft with lights blinking from the front and bottom of the craft.
As the five of them approach the destination, ADA, the school robot who had also had boarded the transporter start to receive information gleaned from analyzing photographs taken of Flo’s abductor.
ADA: Master Fiona, I just received the analysis of the photographs.
Sarah: what does it say?
Fiona: yes, what does it say?
ADA: There was a large but blurred logo with the letter V on it.
Sarah and Fiona (in unison): Verati?
ADA: Yes, it would seem so. The logo had the letters BGBM after it.
Fiona: beta Gemororium b Mining. But what do they want with Flo and my transporter. ADA, can you locate Verati and send him a message.
ADA: What message would you like to send?
Fiona: Give me back my transporter and friend. What else?
ADA: Sure. I have a diplomatic template for abduction negotiation. Shall I use that?
Fiona: Sure sure be diplomatic. Ask him why he has taken them.
Lights on ADA blinks rapidly for a while.
ADA: Message sent. But return signal indicate that Verati is in a meeting.
Fiona: Meeting? At this hour? Probably flirting with his harem.
Kabushini Verati is a well known celebrity on beta Geminorium b. He inherited his father’s empire of mining the planet and selling them in the local network of star systems and some back to Earth. He is very smart and knows his business well. A very rational person, the first thing that he did when he assumed the position as chief of the company was to streamline the entire business to near perfection. That earned him a huge accolade and fame at the age of 22. However, as he got older, he started meddling in underground trade of forbidden metals and diamonds and surround himself with a harem of women.
beta Geminorium b like many large gaseous planets in the local star system has rivers of carbon which has within them icebergs of diamonds. These diamonds are officially off limits to civilians and businesses and can only be used by temples for worship. But Verati, also a astute student of STEM, invented a machine that would suck and deliver the diamonds to underground market with nearly no trace. Officials have eventually found a way to trace the operation of such diamond sucking machines, but it is very difficult. It is estimated that the officials have only discovered a tiny fraction of the total operations on the planet and most often than not, the discovery occurs after the operation ended.
Sarah: Let’s wait what he has to say. We are almost at the Dragon Inn.
Fiona let go of a sigh and sinks back into her chair. Far in the horizon, some lights are blinking. That is the landing zone for the Dragon Inn. Sarah punches in the landing sequence. She looks back at the kids to see if they have awaken because of the rapid deceleration. The kids don’t even feel a thing and keep snoring and drooling.
Touching down at the Dragon Inn, Sarah turns to Fiona.
Sarah: Fiona, stay here. It’s very late at night and we are deep in the mountains. Let me go in and check what’s inside the inn before we all check-in. You stay here and take care of the kids. Here’s the stun gun if you need it. Or call me on emergency.
Fiona: Be safe Sarah.
Sarah: I know the drill Fiona. Don’t worry. My hubbie is a cop. He taught me all these protocols regarding approaching dangerous grounds.
Fiona: Alright then. I stay here and watch the kids. Call you if there is any trouble.
(to be continued）