Blitzen isn't just the name of a reindeer.
A message flashes on and off on a large black screen -- it simply says, "Don't trust Blitzen." Andien couldn’t get that image out of his mind. Every time he closed his eyes he saw it on every Video Monitor throughout the city of Pittim. He has been closing those eyes a lot the last few days for short periods of time. He’s been on a Man Hunt for five days now.
Yeilla, Andien’s partner, got back into the Local Transport – with food in hands. Andien had been taking another one of his little sleep times. “You had that dream again, didn’t you?”
“It’s not a dream, and yes I had it again.” Andien took the food offered him. “What is this?”
“What did you expect?” Yeilla asked. “There isn’t much open this late at night.”
Andien sniffed the food. “Is this stuff even edible?”
“The rodents in the Waste Removal Container thought it was.” Yiella smiled, but Andien didn’t see it. “Any sign of our criminal yet.”
“No, I haven’t.” Andien started eating his food after he noticed Yeilla eating hers. “I don’t think she will ever come back here.”
“She’ll be back,” said Yeilla. “She has to if she wants to get off this planet alive.”
Andien almost said something when movement caught their eyes. “Did you see anything?”
“I thought I did,” said Yeilla. “Maybe it’s her.”
Out of the darkness, next to a building, came a female. She looked all around her. Then nodded her head. The female then crossed the street – and entered a house quickly. Andien and Yeilla waited until she had entered before they got out of their Transport. Yeilla headed for the rear of the house while Andien walked up to the front door.
Andien ran for the front door, and just before reaching it he kicked it open with both feet. As he entered the house he pulled his hand weapon. He quickly scanned that room with his weapon panning where he looked. Andien spun around when he heard movement.
“It’s only me,” said Yeilla. Standing next to her, with hands unseen behind her back, was the female they saw early.
“How did you get to her so quickly?” Andien asked.
“She was coming out the back when I got there,” answered Yeilla. “Probably because she saw us as she returned.”
While Yeilla took Shandi into Headquarters Andien headed to talk to someone about his ‘Blitzen’ dream. “Did you get the information that I asked for?” Andien asked.
“Yes and no,” said Helane. Andien sat in a chair opposite Helane in a very small, cramp, office.
“What does that mean?” Andien asked
“It means I got it, but you’re not going to like what I found out.” Helane picked up a folder on her desk – and handed it to Andien. “Read it yourself.”
Andien opened the folder, and scanned the contents with his eyes. “According to this there isn’t anyone named Blitzen, except the obvious one, or anything like that in the system.”
“I checked all my resources, and I couldn’t find anything,” said Helane. “It’s probably someone who is using that as a Secret Name, but even if that’s true I should have found out something.”
“Thanks for trying.” Andien got up and headed for the door. Just before leaving he turned back toward Helane. “I’ll put the Credits in your account within the next twenty-seven hours.”
Andien didn’t return to Headquarters. His next stop was to talk to Noram – his Mind Master. He paced around another office. That one was a lot bigger than the last one he happened to be in. “What is wrong with me? Why do I keep seeing that flashing message, and why is it one word at a time in different colors?”
“I can’t answer those questions,” answered Noram. “Only you can do that.”
“Then why am I here?” Andien asked. “Why do I give you two hundred Credits an hour?”
“I’m here to listen,” answered Noram. “I can advise you, but the final decision is up to you. Why do you think you are having this dream?”
“I don’t know – and it’s not a dream,” said Andien. “At least I don’t think it is. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s definitely not a dream.”
“If it’s not a dream then what is it?” asked Noram. “You are the only one who seems to be having this. How long has this been going on again?”
“Almost two months now,” replied Andien. “It’s always the same too. Everywhere I look, every black screen I see those three words keep appearing.”
“Is that the only dream, whatever it is, that you have?” Noram asked.
“They start out normal.” Andien sat in a Foot Chair. So did Noram – at each other’s feet. “Then suddenly they turn to those three words.”
With a lot to think about Andien decided to walk back to Headquarters. It didn’t take long before Andien started seeing the message again. Everywhere he looked he saw it. “It’s definitely not a dream. I’m not asleep.” No one seemed to notice that Andien had been talking to himself.
The walkway on both sides of the streets were busy, but they weren’t that packed. “Can’t they see them? They sure aren’t acting like they do.”
On the roof, and sometimes lower or ground levels, of almost every building there were Video Monitors. They were also known as Information and Media Monitors too. During the day they are being used for both media and information, but at night they are big black screens. “It’s night, and the screens should be black – but they aren’t.”
Suddenly Andien woke up – in his Local Transport. His partner, Yeila, had just gotten back in the Transport with some food. “It wasn't all a dream after all.”
“Did you say something?” Yeila asked.
“I’m just talking to myself again.” Andien accepted the food that yeilla offered him. It wasn't a bad dream – or was it.