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Seeker - Sample (Chapter 2)

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1 Seeker - Sample (Chapter 2) on Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:02 pm

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Guardian of Chaos
Seeker - Chapter 2


Copyright © Chaos Nova 2014

Written by: David Noe
Edited by: Laura Loolaid
Cover: Laura Loolaid
Proof-reading: Kayleigh Marchant

Seeker introduces Jewel Harper, a specialist bounty hunter working for an organization known as The Seekers. The first half of Jewel’s journey is now available on Amazon; the other Chosen stories remain yet to be unveiled.




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The corridors and criss-crossing catwalks of Rystar station were easy to get lost in, but Jewel, dwelling here between jobs, had made good use of her minimal downtime and the sprawling hive could not dissuade her. The bright, multi-colored store-fronts started to dim, marking the arrival of midnight. The translucent wall sections were slowly darkening, creating the illusion of a twilight. The hikari-plate walkways curving out of sight caught the last fleeting rays and carried them to the station’s inner depths.

Jewel favored this time of quiet. She took a little extra time measuring her steps before boarding a station transport unit. After a bit of motor-humming she found herself in the quietest section, on the doorstep of a secluded bar called ‘The Jenevere’. Just like the rest of the station, it was deserted. Even the bartender had left his post. Jewel instinctively settled into the corner-most booth and keyed in her order at the tabletop menu. She forwarded the bill to her shuttle, and waited impatiently. She was rewarded with a Rystar staple, rabbit lasagna, and a small glass of lightly carbonated water. Jewel had simple tastes but savoured every bite. Although meager in its size, the meal had satiated her enough. Content, Jewel pushed her plate into the receptacle, relaxed in her seat, and nursed the remainder of her drink with a careful eye on the entrance. For a brief period, Jewel could enjoy having the establishment all to herself. She often planned her drop-off's to coincide with the station’s nocturnal stage. Her penchant for solitude was in stark contrast with the vehemently social ways of her homeworld, Ar-Kaos 4.


A well dressed gentleman appearing in the doorway ended her moment of bliss. He made a determined stride in Jewel's direction. She tensed up and mentally recited the location of her concealed weaponry.

“Seeker Jewel Harper?” He approached the booth. She didn't acknowledge him, but observed covertly that the new arrival was tall, a few heads taller than her, with broad shoulders. His wrinkled face a shade of sienna, with mahogany eyes and a slightly deformed beaky nose - a combination Jewel had often seen among Rystar’s Old Guard. He placed a thick paper folder on the table. Jewel raised an eyebrow, intrigued. Paper documents were a rare sight, especially in the world of bounty hunters.

“This folder contains information on a private contract that only you can fulfil. Inside, you will also find a forward payment in the form of authorized Standard Credit prints. It would be in your best interest to read what is written within.”
Jewel maintained her focus on the entry-way. She was unimpressed by the man’s self-assured attitude. With a frown that consumed his entire face, the man gave off a sigh before bowing his head and turning to leave.
Fare well, Seeker.”


Jewel spared a glance to the departing figure. Something began to nag at the back of her mind, as though she had missed something, something important. It soon developed into an intolerable itch. Giving in to the anger, Jewel shattered her glass in the receptacle, snatched up the folder and headed for the door.

The material felt rough on her fingertips. Even in her once-wealthy childhood home, Jewel had never known the texture of paper until the day she received her Seeker credentials. It had been written on a scroll almost as expensive as her shuttle, which was then hidden away in the Grand Archives. All Jewel had to show for her efforts was a three-dee still, and an entry in the Seeker data network.

Jewel maintained a tight grip on the folder. When she reached the docking bay, a familiar voice called out.
“Hey, Valkyrie! Val!” An elderly man jumped down from his makeshift seat of crates and boxes next to Solitaire with an almost youthful vigor. The patches and labels on his jacket displayed his status as a Seeker of high rank. He welcomed her with a smile and waited for her to get closer.

“You're a hard person to find, you know that?” He was still smiling.
“Not so hard apparently...” Jewel absentmindedly tapped the contract.
“Uh oh...” He ran a hand through his thinning silver hair.
“Uh-oh what, Overseer Raptor? Private contracts aren't against the rules.”
He let out a short laugh. “Maybe not, but you still have to pay a fee... And you know...”
“What?” Jewel was growing impatient.
“Ha, there's an old Seeker adage that goes something like 'Private contracts are nothing but trouble.”
Jewel rolled her eyes, “How eloquent.”
They came to a stop at the opening shuttle door. Raptor pulled a smoke from his pocket and lit it.
“Why are you here?” Jewel was now clearly irritated by the continued presence of her mentor.

“I just came to check in on you. I don't often get the chance with these early morning visits of yours.” He took a deep pull on his cigarette. “If I didn't know any better, I'd say you’re doing it on purpose...”
As she was about to reply, Jewel noticed Raptor's gaze drift down the mostly vacant docking bay.
“Is there a problem? I do the job, I turn it in, and I get paid. Has the formula changed in my absence?”
He remained silent for a moment. “Believe it or not, you have people in this universe who worry about you. Myself included. I find it hard to believe that your entire life revolves solely around running jobs for the Seekers. What do you do with your down-time? How do you unwind?”

Jewel had been caught off guard. She wasn't used to being questioned, especially by Raptor.
“That is my business. And I would care to remind you of that... Overseer.”
He ignored her response.
“What I see is, you get a job, jump off, catch your mark, drop them off, get paid, get the next job. You're like a machine, existing solely to fulfill contracts... When do you relax? It’s not healthy.”

Jewel's frown deepened. “I will be the one to decide such matters. If you had ten seekers like me, you wouldn't need to hire all those slackers and idiots!” She almost spat. “I get the job done and I don’t bring negative attention to the industry. I speak with respect Overseer, but I will not hold my tongue on the matter.”

Raptor tossed his finished smoke over the railing. “I think that's the most emotion you've shown since you qualified. If I stop asking about how you spend your down-time, will you remember that you’re not in charge of the recruitment policy?” After a moment of silence Raptor let out a deep sigh and turned to leave.
“I see I've outstayed my welcome. I just ask that you heed my warning, Valkyrie. Private contracts are nothing but trouble.”

Jewel rolled her eyes again. “If that's what you're worried about, rest easy. Any semi-decent jobs on the network, I won't even open it.”
Raptor began the long march down. “I would like to believe that, I really would.”
Jewel tried to think of a good send-off and failed. “Nothing but trouble,” she muttered to herself in a mocking tone. She made a mental note to hold onto the folder until she had checked out the Seeker network.


As the shuttle’s hatch locked in place, Jewel finally relaxed her shoulders and took a deep soothing breath. She tossed the folder on the desk and sank into her seat.

Welcome back, Jewel Harper.
Awaiting input ---


Jewel found a comfortable position before focusing on the console.
“Connect to Rystar Service - Seeker Network Bounty directory.”

Connecting...

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