A Story from the Jenkins-Verse – Contingency – Prologue – What If?

Granth scowled, his black eyes narrowing on his grey skin, the Corti reexamined the information presented In front of him. The intel he had hacked from Trig’s systems had been horrifying to say the least. It was only the latest in an ever growing stack of information related to the Human species he had aggregated. The small grey figure shook his head, the actions taken to quarantine the system for the time being wouldn’t help. He was certain that even the rumors of the system being indefinitely interdicted would eventually amount to nothing.

They needed a backup plan, in the likely event the humans managed to escape the Guvnuragnaguvendrugun Confederacy’s attempted imprisonment. His contacts indicated he had very little time to act. The fleet would be en-route to the Sol system shortly. Granth turned to a communications terminal and entered in his personal encryption code. The reptilian Locayl Captain Hshrif, he called him for high risk specimen acquisition.

“Granth, how good of you to call. What can I do for you today?”

“I need to you pick me up some high priority, high risk specimens. I’ll pay you three times the usual rate for these,” Granth replied, cutting directly to the chase.

The Locayl ran his clawed finger along his chin. He mulled it over for the moment before saying, “You don’t usually offer that much for specimen retrievals. What gives?”

“As I said, it’s very high risk. I need you to go into the Sol system and acquire specific Human specimens for me. The system is currently under quarantine so you will have to do it covertly. You only have two standard weeks however according to my contacts. Get in and get out. If you don’t you won’t be able to escape the star system indefinitely.”

Hshrif thought about it for the moment, “I’ve seen the news about that Jenkins Human. Killed a Hunter raiding party on Outlook on Forever with his bare hands. I also heard that another Hunter raiding party struck their planet. They know we’re out here. What makes you think they won’t fight back when we try and snag one?”

Granth just let out a mirthless smirk as he said, “Don’t worry, it’s worse then you think. I need you to find me trained human warriors. Keep them sedated the entire time until you get them here however.”

Hshrif shook his head, “You are asking me to risk a lot. I’m not certain that triple the usual rate will cover expenses for this, let alone make it worth it.”

Granth shook his head, “Everyone seems to think that just isolating these Humans will be enough. That they won’t be able to breach the quarentine without our seeing. By all logic they shouldn’t even exist, their planet is a class 12 DeathWorld. But the logic doesn’t apply here. we have to be ready just in case. They’ve already proven they are able to push beyond what the average individual is capable of. And that’s an untrained individual. Imagine what a trained warrior could do.”

Hshrif snarled, “I am, that’s what I’m imagining with this frown.”

“Then you understand why this is nessecary. I’ll even agree to pay you triple now, plus 10% for each warrior you bring me,” Granth said, playing to the pirates greed.

Triple plus 10% was just too much to pass up for the Locayl, “Alright, I’ll get you what I can. But just so you know I will be out of there before this interdiction starts, with or without your specimens.”

Granth nodded in agreement and closed the channel. He then went to his terminal and summoned one of his many assistants to his office. The new intern came in as reqested waiting for orders. Granth looked at him and said, “I want you to start going through the planetary registry of all surveyed planets. I want every planet that is classified Temperate Class 10 or above referenced and the date of survey for each planet. Then I want you to contact our usual acquisition experts and send them out to those worlds to resurvey those worlds and to give us an idea of what is currently there.”

The nameless intern nodded and went to carry out his orders. Granth turned and looked out his window on the garden world his laboratory was located on. The Corti looked out at the world scowling. The risk was great, the chance for catastrophic failure high. However, someone needed to develop a contingency. It had to be done.