| Val woke up one morning at no particular time, as was his custom on days with out work. His small safe house on this planet had a stunning view of the massive GF(Galactic Federation) shipyard, and the window extended out so one can lay on it and have the sensation of suspension from a great height. It still gave Val chills to look out and see a massive skeletal structure being built a thousand meters below his feet. The massive anti-grav skids on which the crafts sat took a large portion of the planets substantial wind generated energy and converted it into lifting power. Val still couldn't fathom how it was more economical to build such a ship within a massive gravity well, but they did it.
He stood staring out the window and thumbed open a small container of feild rations. He chewed the dried protien biscuit for a few moments then turned and stepped into a dry shower. Even though Val could afford a water shower, it would look suspicious and wasteful on this desert planet. He couldn't, however, afford to lose another safe house this year and he was fairly confident that some young lieutenant from the GF was looking to get step promoted by catching him. Val smiled and thought it might be fun to play cat and mouse with the lieutenant should he exist.
Dismissing the thought, Val threw on his shorts and shirt and stepped out his small door...The hall was deserted and even if someone did see him they'd just assume he was a newly discovered sentient species. Which didn't happen often but the galaxy provided endless "life" worlds. Even so Val chose to stick to service stairs as he ran up and down the tall building, on the very remote chance someone recognized him as a last remnant of an extinct race. Well...for all he knew, he was the last one, with both parents burried thirty-five years on Mathis.
Val forced himself to keep running after an hour on the stairs, reminding himself that the galaxy has three times as many stairs as it does sentients, which Val guessed to be about a gazillion. At an hour and a half of running Val finally started back to his safe house. The door was set to retinal recognition and he just strode into his apartment. His calves burned and thighs ached, but he wasn't done. He stepped into the micro-sim and chose a "random" scenario/workout. It sent him through tumbles, hand over hand climbs, narrow shafts, etc, all while quizing him on politics and customs from a hundred worlds, forcing him to do advanced mathematics, making him name all the moving parts of a faster-than-light fold drive. It was exhausting. The last bit included a knife fight with a "small" anigav, which although his mind was alert, for the life of him he couldn't describe other that it was mean. semi-sentinet, and nearly impossible to kill without an anti-matter gauss rifle and at least 3 kilos of Ni-Am(a wicked combo of ammonium-nitrate and nitroglycerin, bless the twisted minds on Mathis). The sim obliged him and conjured up the gun and explosive. Val tossed the Ni-Am and the anigav caught it in an tentacle claw apendage. Val brought the barrel up and shot the Ni-Am. The affect was akin to well...once again Val had trouble describing it. Messy was pretty acurate...
A small tone sounded in the sim's headset. It was an incoming call. From off world. With all the technology in the known galaxy such calls were rediculously expensive and only a few had the connections to find out his number.
"Accept call," Val said in a clear baritone. He manually disconnected the feed's video and set a random voice synth to prevent voice print ID. He didnt think anyone had access to such old Mathian military personnell files, but no sense in taking chances.
"Do you have any idea what number you called?" Val asked. He had a slight smirk on his, he liked
messing with the powerful.
"Yeah, I do." an un-synth'ed voice replied. He hadn't heard that voice in a few years, and it wasn't
entirely a surprize, but it wasn't welcome either. The smirk slid off his face. Val keyed off the
voice synth, leaving up the video block.
"I was wondering when you'd catch up. How's Caniwei this time of year?" Val asked.
Dren just laughed and the line went dead.