Thursday, July 5, 2018

Star Talker: Part 20: Sneaking About


Daesha had been rather thorough in her tour of the apartment. The lower floor consisted of the public areas, a common room with a sofa, some plush chairs, and a viewing screen, the kitchen, a dining room, and the slaves' quarters, which one reached by going through the kitchen. The upper floor contained the bath, Rha'han's chambers, some sort of training room, a study, and a small guest room. The study had caught my eye instantly, with its wall to wall books and the large computer station nestled between the bookshelves. After Daesha's tour, I asked to be left alone in the study to read. Daesha had billowed happily and left me to my own devices.

The tech station was painfully easy to hack into. All residents of Centauri Prime were required to maintain certification in at least basic level computer programming and hacking in order to ensure the security of the Archives. Rha'han's terminal had only basic localized security protocols one would expect for a home computer. There would be no sensitive information on this device. Most entities kept such files in encrypted data clouds accessible only by certain, often portable, devices, or kept locked away in closed networks behind heavy duty physical security measures.

It took a moment to find the web portal, but I managed to link up to the Centauri network and pull up a few articles. My father's tongue was probably the least likely to be known in this sector of the quadrant, so I started rifling through Gizan data mines for information on djinn keys. If I were going to accomplish anything, I needed to upgrade my access level, and I sincerely doubted Rha'han was going to grant me any semblance of freedom any time soon. I also checked news reports from the Lo'Rahni, Centauri, and Jin Fai networks, and not a damn thing was mentioned about the recent attacks by the Jin Fai, the victory of the Klotharan forces, or the destruction of my facility. Not a single word. A fact that didn't bode well at all for me.

I captured a few screenshots of the pertinent sections of the tech manuals for djinn keys on my Arkiv, closed out those windows, and brought up the console. I assumed it would be simple enough to dig up the wireless connection code. Having the access on my Arkiv would be invaluable. I didn't expect to get much time with a native terminal. Not when I could go tattling to the CSF about what Rha'han and his people had done.

"What are you doing?"

I yelped and fell out of my chair as the screen flickered and the display was replaced with an enormous image of Rha'han's face, frowning sternly down at me like the bull god Apis, golden eyes glowing with displeasure.

"Nothing," I said.

His eyes narrowed. "You are a terrible liar."

I shrugged, staring up at his frighteningly huge face from the floor. "Well, I'm not trying."

"You will answer me," he said in a low, deceptively calm tone.

"Not right now," I said, rolling under the desk and yanking a number of power cords out of the wall, hoping at least one of them was attached to the terminal. The hum and whirr of the electronics died with a low moan as the screen went black.

~*~

Rha'han stared incredulously at his suddenly black screen. Nothing about this blasted woman made a single iota of sense. Her fearlessness completely baffled him. It was quickly proving to be a problem. If he was going to convince his uncle to let him keep her, he had to get her under control as soon as possible. With an interplanetary war on the horizon, any perceived weakness could not be allowed. Gritting his teeth, he set off for his apartments with a furious growl.

2 comments:

  1. Even though it's quite some time ago that I read part 19, I instantly picked up on the story and am so happy you are continuing. Sexy as ever!
    Welcome back :)

    Rebel xox

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  2. I love this story so much. I look forward to more (hopefully soon?)

    Cara T

    ReplyDelete