I had been trying to clam Donaley down for about 10 minutes. Evidence that had been collected at the Star Slammer crime scene had seemingly been stolen. "Don't worry Donaley, I'm sure that Draykus had a good reason for taking the evide--" In mid sentence, the door to the bar opened and in walked the man of the hour himself. Judging by the smile on his face, he had heard Donaley's rants from outside. Draykus quickly walked over to Chief Laric and explained the situation. Judging by the amount of both of the men's laughter, this had been quite the misunderstanding by Donaley, which I was beginning to learn was something to be expected. While Donaley was hard working and honest, he wasn't exactly one who thought things through to a rational conclusion. Soon Laric brought Draykus over and we had a formal introduction. I learned that Draykus had been given clearance by Lieutenant Luganis to aid in the investigation and that he was simply running the evidence bags to him for further testing. After talking for a while, Draykus and I had come to the conclusion that the Mechan who was seen entering the bar was the most likely culprit. After discussing a few ideas, Draykus and Laric decided that the best course of action would be to divert energy from two fusion reactors on the station to establish a disruption field. They felt that this was the only way to distinguish the Mechan technology in the suspect's suit, from the Mechan technology used by the space station itself. I was skeptical of this, it was so low tech, why didn't this station have a better security system? Did they not think that anything like this could happen? Draykus must have seen the look of disdain on my face because he looked at me and gave a quick shoulder shrug. Laric stepped aside for a moment to talk to some engineers to relay the plan that he had just constructed. As I was trying to listen to Laric on the radio, Draykus turned to me. "Well Detective, what do you make of all this?"
All I knew at the moment was that I was tired of being in this bar that was starting to smell from the stench of decay and dried blood. "Tell you what Draykus, why don't you and I go out for drinks and talk things over, I really doubt that we are going to get any proper thinking done here." "Sounds great, why don't we catch the Darter up to the upper section of the Cavern, I'm sure that we can find a perfectly respectable bar there." As Draykus and I were discussing our plans, Laric came back over and gave us an update. "Well gentleman, I can't seem to get a clear answer on the percentages with diverting the reactors, I am going to have to take a Darter train to the upper ring to sort this all out." This was the first time that I realized that I had never asked about the upper ring of the station, I knew that the central ring was where many residents of the station lived and I knew that the lower ring was where the onsite prisoners were kept (when it wasn't filled to capacity) but I had no idea what was housed in the upper ring. "What exactly is the upper ring used for Chief? I feel silly, but I suppose in all the rush and commotion, I simply forgot to ask." Laric gave a quick chuckle and answered. "That's perfectly alright Kraaus, the upper ring is where all of the government facilities are located. All of the major decisions that happen on Kel Arcol take place up there. I will go ahead and make my way up there now, it will take almost 2 hours via the Darter since we are on the other side of the station. Lieutenant Luganis will be accompanying me with the evidence from the Star Slammer. Why don't you, Donaley, and Draykus go discuss the case and meet us at the science facility in the upper ring in say... 3 hours." I was pleased that Laric wanted to go ahead, he probably planned on using the time that we weren't up there to sort out the reactor issue with the engineering specialists. Whatever he was doing, it didn't really matter, Draykus, Donaley and I were going to go get some drinks.
The three of us waited about 5 minutes at the Darter platform, Luganis and Laric had taken the train right before ours and were headed to the upper ring. We were all making small talk when the familiar blue light that signaled the entrance of the Darter shown brightly in front of the station. Silently it lowered itself to the ground and we climbed aboard. "Well we have about 10 minutes before we reach the upper section of the Cavern, what say we discuss other possible ways of finding this Mechan." I realized that it was rude to contradict Laric's plan with the fusion reactors but it simply didn't seem to be a solid, and for that matter safe plan. We discussed other possibilities for the whole ride, none of which seemed to be plausible. Where was this Mechan hiding? Why was he so hard to find? As I was pondering all of these questions, I looked out the window and saw that we were arriving at our destination station. As we stepped off the Darter, we immediately saw a bar directly behind the station. "Looks like we have a winner!" Donaley said. Draykus and I looked at each other and shook our heads, laughing at Donaley under our breaths. The bar that we had spotted was called the Cosmos and it was blazing brightly with orange and green neon lights. The sign even had a comet on it that shot across the roof of the bar. It was quite the spectacle. We quickly entered the bar and found a seat. With the Darter ride we had only left ourselves with about 50 minutes to discuss the case and get some drinks. Luckily we had a very quick and courteous waiter that took our order almost immediately when we sat down. "Two Shock Rockers and One Cosmic Collider? Will that be all?" "That will get us started, thanks." When the waiter left, the three of us took a few minutes to get to know each other a little bit better. "Why don't you tell us a little about yourself Draykus?" I said with a smirk. I could tell that Draykus was sensitive about his identity as periodically he would subconsciously cover the section of his badge that said "Escalon Aegis." "Well to tell you the truth, I had initially planned on working here on the station undercover. Once I saw the horrible state of the crime scene, I figured my services would be better used if I joined the investigation." I thought that this was very interesting, and I wondered why exactly he would want to go undercover in the first place, but since we were still getting to know each other, I didn't want to pry into his business too far. About 40 minutes later we had all been through our stories and I had been through 5 Shock Rockers. Donaley had been talking to Draykus for about 5 minutes asking him various questions about how he became a commander, many of which he was not answering.
While Donaley and Draykus were talking, I took a moment to look out the window of the bar. At this time, I can't deny, I was drunk as a skunk so the dazzling lights that the Cavern had to offer where that much more hypnotizing. I finally settled my sights on a particularly interesting sign, a gentleman's club called the Wild Thing. This sign was not neon, but was entrancing because it was a large plasma screen that stretched the whole length of the building. On the sign were some of the girls who worked the club, they were scantly clad and saying catchy phrases to draw in customers such as "Come on in, we don't bite...unless you want us to." Just as I was about to turn away, something caught my eye. The large sign seemed to have a small area of distortion traveling across it, almost as if someone was walking by with a pane of glass. Had I not been staring at the sign I would have never noticed it, what in the world could it have been? I almost turned to my companions to share my concern, but then I had a realization. I was so drunk that I must have been seeing things that weren't there, "How embarrassing," I thought to myself. Shortly thereafter, it was time to get on the train and head up to the science facility located in the upper ring. I could barely walk back out to the Darter station. "Geez Kraaus, such a lightweight. You're lucky that we have a 2 hour ride ahead of us, I would hate for you to go into the governmental sector stone cold drunk." Even though he said it sternly, I could tell that Draykus was giving me a hard time because every time he would say something about me, he would elbow Donaley and smile. After what seemed like an eternity, the Darter train finally showed up, by now I was feeling the full effects of the Shock Rockers, the whole Cavern was spinning in a Kaleidoscope of different shapes and colors. Donaley and Draykus took me under the shoulders and, together we boarded the train. Shortly after we had taken off we took a sharp turn towards the exit tunnel of the Cavern, that's when it happened. "Oh crap! I'm gonna be sick!" I quickly opened the window of the train and leaned outside, the incredible speed of the train whipped my head and sent wind screaming past my ears. With a quick and violent exhale, I quickly rid myself of the 5 Shock Rockers that I had consumed. Of course since the train was in such rapid motion my offering was evenly spread over most of the windows immediately behind me. As I sat back down in my seat and closed my window, I could hear the commotion of the passengers that were seated behind me. I had never been so embarrassed in my life, red-faced I turned around in my seat to about 30 angry eyes staring at me. "Sorry" was all I could muster, I quickly turned around and settled myself low in my seat. This was going to be the longest two hours of my life.
Finally, after spiraling through many tunnels and many areas of Kel Arcol, we arrived to the Governmental sector. During our journey all of the passengers on the train, with the exclusion of my company and one woman, had gotten off at various stops throughout Kel Arcol. Each of them had a different comment that they shared with me as they left. "Gross!", "Lousy Drunk!", and "Sicko!" were just a few. At least, during the 2 hour ride, I had sobered up considerably. "We are about 5 minutes away from the station Kraaus, how are you feeling?" "Much better." I said. "I feel pretty much back to myself." "That's good, because Donaley has something that he was wanting to tell us about the Governmental sector." For the first time during the whole trip, I sat up from the slouched position that I had put myself in. I realized at that point that I had put a horrible crick in my back. Oh well, deserved I suppose. Donaley suddenly turned to me and with a proud look on his face began his commentary on the Governmental sector. "As I'm sure you have noticed by now, we have spent most of our time together in the central hub of the station. We are now going to be traveling to one of the outer rings." I already knew what Donaley was going to say, he was going to talk about the lifts on the station, I had ridden one when I had first gotten here to get myself out of the central ring. I didn't want to spoil Donaley's moment though so I let him go on. "If you noticed when you were approaching the station, each ring has spoke-like connections to the central hub, kind of making it look like a large bicycle tire. Each of these spokes houses a lift system to send you to and from the outer rings. They are quite fast and efficient, we will only spend about 5 minutes in the lift to get to the upper ring from the central hub." "Excellent Donaley!" I said with fake enthusiasm. "Let's head to the nearest lift then." After about a 5 minute walk we noticed a large sign. "Lift B - Science Facility" "This is the one!" Donaley said with unwarranted gusto. As we entered the lift, I was amazed at how large it was. It seemed to be about 100 square feet in total. "Wow these are the largest lifts I have ever seen." I said with amazement. "Yeah, we have large amounts of people who use these lifts everyday so we have to make them this large so there aren't wait times during the busy portion of the day." "This must not be the busy portion then." I observed. There were only the three of us and the one woman who was traveling with us on the train in the lift. The woman was busy looking at a data pad and it appeared that she was speaking with someone. "Anyone know who our tag along is?" I asked curiously. "Not a clue, but based on her clothing she looks official. I suppose we should leave her alone since she seems to be busy." Since it was Draykus who had said this to me I took it much more seriously and left the woman alone for the remainder of the ride.
When we arrived to our stop the lift door opened to a very industrial setting. Most of the buildings were a metallic gray color, which was a stark contrast to the Cavern where we had just left. The science facility loomed large about 200 feet in front of us. "Wow, look at that, it's huge." I was truly amazed by the sight of the massive building. "This is one of the greatest research facilities in the galaxy!" Donaley exclaimed. "Let me show you gentleman to the forensics lab so that we can have a closer look at the evidence." As we entered the massive building, we were greeted by Lieutenant Luganis. "Hello gentlemen, welcome to our facilities, let me take you to the lab." We followed Luganis down a short hallway, turned a corner and entered the lab. "Now this is what I have been waiting for!" For the first time I had actually seen evidence of amazingly advance technology on the space station. Forensic equipment that I must admit, I had never seen before was covering tables and advanced mathematical charts where projected on the white walls. Luganis led us over to where he had placed the evidence. "There is a specific piece that I want you gentlemen to look at. I think that it might be a piece of the Mechan's armor. It may have broken off during his struggle with the bar tender." Interested I waited for Luganis to pull out the bag. "Oh my...Oh my, oh my." Luganis said in monotone. "What is it? What's wrong?" I was concerned now. "Well, the piece I wanted you to look at, it seems to be missing."
Without thinking, I snatched the bag from Luganis. "How can this be?!" I said frustrated. I crumbled the bag up in my hand and was ready to throw it in the trash can when I noticed something strange. "I don't think that this bag is empty gentlemen." I said with an astonished tone. "The contents inside seem to be cloaked in some manner." "Oh my god, do you know what this means!" Luganis said in a tone that was half fear half frustration. "Mechan armor is designed with nanomachines that are inherently connected to the Mechan's brain waves. The nanomachines from each Mechan's suit will only react to what that Mechan thinks and does. Even though this part of the suit has broken off, the nano machines are still connected to the Mechan's thoughts and actions. The bastard has cloaking abilities, and I imagine he will be employing them until we catch him or, God forbid, he escapes. I think as long as this piece remains cloaked, we can safely assume that the Mechan is still on the station. Quick take out the piece and lets see if there is any visibility." I unwrapped the bag and removed the small piece. It kind of resembled a small piece of glass, somewhat visible but only if you were looking for it. I was about to share the observations with the rest of the men in the lab when it hit me like a ton of bricks. "Oh. My. God. I saw the bastard, I saw him!" It came flooding back to me now. "When we were at the Cosmo Bar getting drinks, I was looking out the window, I saw a distortion very similar to this in a sign across the street! The bastard is trying to escape via the rooftops! We need to find Laric and see how his progress is coming along with the engineers! This Mechan is going to be almost impossible to find, as much as I am against it, we need that disruption field!" "Alright calm down Kraaus." Luganis said smoothly. "We will go down to the engineering block and inform Laric as to what we have discovered. We'll get the bastard, don't you worry." As the three men were leaving the forensics lab they were met by the woman they had seen in the Darter and in the lift. "Can we help you young lady?" Luganis said with a smile. "Yes, actually you can, I'm looking for a Lieutenant Luganis." "Well, you have found him, how may I help you?" "I am here to hunt down a criminal that is here on Kel Arcol, my sources tell me that you gentleman are on a hunt for the same man. I am offering limited services to aid you in detaining this criminal, although I prefer to work alone, I would be stupid not to enlist the help of so many qualified men." "We could use all the help we can get, what's your name young lady?" Luganis asked. "Darnek, Rienne Darnek. I have to run an errand down in the Cavern, but I would love to meet with you gentleman in the near future to discuss the details of the case." "Sounds like a plan!" Lugais said. "We will meet you back here ASAP for a debriefing, time is short." With a quick nod Rienne quickly make her way back to the lift. As soon as the doors to the lift were closed and the lift was in motion she half smiled, "I'm in." she said to herself as the lift took her back to the central hub.