Episode from Tevan Keanu's Past #1

Nothing in the darkness moved. Not even tree branches or blades of grass. There was no wind to speak of. Just the warm night air.

That's how it seemed, at least, to the two sentries standing guard on the perimeter of the Bloody Fist base. They didn't see the shadow move across the pathway behind them, not even in their peripheral vision. There was no way they could. The sentries had fallen victim to the same mistake that many others before them had, in many different places: light pollution. By standing so close to the light posts which illuminated the base's gates, they ruined any benefit of natural night vision. And so Tevan Kearu was able to move into the base unnoticed.

The Bloody Fist smugglers had made several mistakes, far beyond the sentries' blunder, which allowed Tevan easy access. First, they had set up shop on a world so full and teeming with animal life, and large animals to boot, that sensor alert systems were troublesome. The smugglers had installed them, of course. The problem lie in the fact that a large portion of Baroonda's animal population was nocturnal, and would frequently trigger the sensors at night, when the sensors were most necessary. This led the smugglers to leave them turned off most of the time. They would periodically activate the sensors to see what was around, but nothing ever was, besides large predators and their smaller prey.

The second mistake was that the smugglers were too predictable in the way they managed their sensors. Tevan had been on-world for a little more than a week, studying their patterns and habits. They always activated the sensors at dusk, and at 2 hour intervals until sunrise. That told Tevan how long his window of opportunity would be. Further, the sensors used at the base were cheap, low-grade models, favored by small operations like the one Tevan was observing. Even further, whoever manned the sensors didn't pay a lot of attention to them, which was much more important when your sensors were little better than trash compactor fodder.

Tevan had run exercises, small test runs, to see just how attentive the smugglers were. Even when he was running full speed through the jungle, right towards the base, the smugglers had given no obvious reaction. So either they were very patient and devious, or very stupid. Tevan felt confident that he was up against the latter.

The mission was a simple, at least in its objective: infiltrate the base of the Bloody Fist smuggler's organization, download their complete files, and upload a program into their main computer that would allow Imperial Intelligence to track message traffic and shipments. Of course smuggling was against the law, but beyond that, Tevan didn't really know what the big deal about the Bloody Fist was. They were a very small operation, relatively speaking, with personnel numbers only in the hundreds, and their cargo rarely got more exciting than foodstuffs or basic maintenance materials. But his role was not to question, only to perform. Whatever Bloody Fist had done wrong, besides the obvious smuggling, they had caught the attention of Imperial Intelligence, and that was a serious matter.


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