Arden is presented with a new task which brings him more into the center of the political machinations of Deadrock.
- 📖 Outside of his room, stood two familiar muscular men. Upon seeing them, he holstered the pistol again. During the brief moment he held his gun out , the two men kept a straight face, not bothered by him at all. They just stood there silent, but Arden understood.
They led him not to the usual haunt, but to a more quiet part of Deadrock. There was less commotion on the street and the buildings became more clean, although still functional in their design. Instead of almost temporary looking container like structures, more durable buildings had been constructed into the side of the glacier. Almost brutalistic in nature, grey slabs of concrete reinforced by big darkened steel beams.
- 📖 The interior was warm and welcoming. Brown tones from wooden furniture where separated by red tones of the carpet. They guided Arden to a small room just to the side of the entrance. A small table amidst two bookshelves. On a chair behind the desk sat the familiar face of the Arbitrator, resting his metallic arm on the table and with the other pointing to one of two chairs in front of the desk. In one sat Karthik and the other was empty.
"We have a lot to discuss. Now that you are acquainted with Deadrock, and from what I've heard, Deadrock with you."
- 📖 "Deadrock is changing", the Arbitrator began. "Although not on the righteous side of the law, there were rules and it provided a safe-haven for those that abode to them. These rules are being forgotten and corruption is nurturing in its place."
The man, so far affixed to the gaze of Arden and Karthik, turned his head away to the side and sighed. There was a moment of silence before he continued.
"Cole Hammond was part of the old law. A sore spot for the powers that be. So he had to be silenced such that he would not be a martyr for the cause."
- 📖 "The accusations against Cole are grave and with the law being corrupted, we must use a ploy to get him out of prison."
The arbitrator produced a data pad from behind the desk and put it in front of Arden and Karthik.
"This will be the first step. A simple sleight of hand. One pad for another. Can I count on you?"
- 📖 This all sounded fishy to Arden. But it was futile to ask the plan behind it all. The arbitrator choose every word carefully, being cryptic on purpose. Arden was just a pawn, a scapegoat if things would go badly. What part Karthik played in this game he didn't know.
He was in this position before. Same person that made him an offer. The costs were high back then and he guessed they wouldn't be cheap this time around either. Leaving this place wouldn't be easy either. His ship cleverly held in hostage if he wouldn't agree. The arbitrator would be excellent in chess.
Arden nodded silently.
- 📖 "Glad we come to an arrangement", the Arbitrator continued. "The data pad in question belongs to one Qasira Santos."
With the mention of the name, Karthik, as of yet sitting relaxed in his chair, tensed up.
"The data on her pad is not important, but rather what is on this one. If they can frame Cole, we can frame someone of them. Creating a dispute between them. As you might have guessed, she belongs to an inner circle, maintaining the current law. So she won't be an easy target."
- 📖 "She will be attending an important meeting tonight. This is your opportunity to enter her appartment, locate the safe and exchange the pad therein. There shouldn't be much obstruction, but I think it is something you two can handle without issue."
The Arbitrator stood up from his chair. Arden had forgot how tall he was, the first time he saw him, towering above him, looking down onto him with a conspicuous smile. He grabbed the pad and held it in Ardens direction.
"You best get going and prepare."
🎲 Start Progress (Troublesome): Infiltrate Qasira Santos' appartment (Challenge)