Offspring Ch. 008byTalemaster©
The Oktonian woman turned up at seven. I had rescheduled my lessons to fit better into my day. Nothing special happened. I was lying low in that department for the time being. I dressed in civilian clothes. At eight o'clock reception called me and informed me a Mr. Feng was there to see me. I told them to send him up to my room.
He was a slim short man in his late thirties, early forties with distinct Chinese features and very intelligent penetrating eyes.
"Sit down Mr. Feng, would you like a drink? A beer perhaps?"
"Not Mr. Feng, just Feng please. A beer would be lovely."
I joined him in a beer and lit a cigarette.
"Oh good," he said, "I take it you don't mind me smoking either?"
I offered him a cigarette.
"So, what can I do for you Major Walters?"
"For a start you can call me Frank. Then I want you to sweep this room for bugs."
"You won't find any bugs here, Frank. I look after the surveillance gear in this hotel. The Oktonians aren't very good at this sort of thing. I'd know if something like that went on. Arden told me you had a job for me."
I showed him the shagging room. He didn't even blink. Maybe he had seen something like it before.
I want one or more cameras in here that show what goes on on this platform," I said.
"Is that what I think it's for?" he asked.
"If you think this thing is for fucking you are absolutely right."
"Good, that's not a problem. I suggest two cameras, one here and one here. A small computer to store the inputs, programmable as to timing. There is enough storage on the device to hold a week's worth of recordings, non stop. Is that acceptable?"
"That'll be fine. What'll that set me back?"
"Five thousand credits, cash."
"Done. When can you do it?"
"Tomorrow, same time? I need three hours max."
"Couldn't be better. I'll have the cash ready for you."
We shook hands on the deal and went downstairs to the bar where we had another couple of drinks. He gave me a card with his telephone number in case something unexpected happened and we needed to reschedule.
"Tell me Feng, how long have you been on Okton4?"
"About ten Earth years now."
"I take it you get around a bit in your job. You'd know pretty much everything that goes on. There is something I need to know."
"Come on Frank, you should know better than to pump me for information. You wouldn't want your business blown all over the landscape either. Fair go."
"No Feng, I don't want to know anyone's business. I am just curious if you've ever seen anything of Oktonian manufacture, say a watch, a mobile phone, a computer, light bulbs, anything."
"It's strange you should ask that. This is really weird. Everything you see comes from us. Even the clothes they wear are made here on the spaceport from imported materials. I've never come across this sort of thing anywhere else. There is always local stuff around. Not here though. They seem to make nothing. Even the cooking is done by humans, but that might be because they can't understand our food. Their limit seems to be making coffee and mixing drinks."
"Any idea why that might be?"
"They must be keeping their intelligent and able people elsewhere. All you see in the spaceport are Oktonians of very limited ability. They make good servants, that's about it."
"Thanks Feng, let's leave it at that for now, I have a hard day ahead tomorrow. See you tomorrow at eight, don't bother with reception, just come up."
We shook hands and I went up to my room. It had been an eventful day. I was bushed.