Intaki V – Moon 5 – Astral Mining Inc. Refinery

The crisp, polite knock on her office door was familiar and not unwelcome. “Come in, Bataav,” Sakaane called out in response. The door opened, then closed, and she heard nothing more. She never did, even though she knew he had entered, crossed the room, and was waiting patiently for her to look up from the document she was working on. A silent, comforting shadow.

She scribbled on the paper for a moment longer, paused to examine what she’d written, then shook her head. Sometimes it helped to write, actually apply pen to paper, rather than simply conjuring up words digitally via her neocom, but today it seemed her muse insisted on being elusive regardless. Pushing the document aside, she met Bataav’s gaze with a warm smile. “What do you have for me?”

He returned her smile and took one last step toward her desk, offering her a datapad. “Something curious.” Taking a seat in the chair she gestured to, he added, “It just came in.”

Sakaane glanced over the mail. “‘I am preparing an investigative report concerning narcotics trade near the Intaki homeworld,’” she quoted. “‘Your organization’s efforts to disrupt the activities of a Serpentis-affiliated local Intaki drug dealer, Aacryx Vultron, have come to my attention. The ILF’s aggressive push-back against this criminal is noteworthy.’ Well, it’s certainly nice to be noticed.”

Bataav nodded. “The sender is a gentleman named Zorzion, a ‘roving correspondent’ with The Scope. He goes on to say that Vultron appears to have gone to ground, which matches with our intel.”

“Laying low, to regroup after his losses to us?”

“Possibly. He might not have anticipated he’d attract our attention quite so soon after his arrival in Intaki.”

Sakaane smirked. “Surprise.” She read over the rest of the mail. “Have you run a background check on this reporter?”

Bataav accepted the datapad back from her. “It’s compiling right now. He hasn’t been with The Scope that long. Interesting that of all the daily clashes in Placid that this in particular has come up on their radar.”

“Junior reporter, on his first assignment. Could be as simple as all the really juicy stories are already spoken for by his more senior colleagues. Either way, we should take him up on his offer to comment. Never hurts to wave the flag.”

The Mahesha stood. “I’ll write up a statement. Davadas, Suresha.” Then he was gone, gliding out of her office as silently as he had come.