Offspring Ch. 012byTalemaster©
Arden joined me in the mess. I filled him in on my conversation with the coroner.
"He is right about the rapists. Not that it happens often, but it does occur. It would be a good defence to claim to have been drugged by the Oktonians. No one has ever brought it up."
"I take it there are no news from forensics on the stuff we gave them?"
"A bit early for that. It'll take at least a couple of days before they can tell us anything. They need to do a lot of tests."
"What about the figures I've asked for?"
"Another day or two, they say. I checked this morning. By the way did anything valuable come out of the speeded up recording?"
"It didn't tell us anything new, maybe it's a problem with the equipment after all." I had no idea why I lied to him about that, it just came out this way.
"Pity. Better get back to work then, See you."
"See you later Arden."
I went back to my office and looked at the images again. My heart wasn't in it. There were too many things buzzing around in my head. I wrote a short report about Arden's theory about parthenogenesis and my meeting with the coroner. I mailed it off, closed shop and went home.
I was sitting downstairs in the bar when Feng turned up. I hadn't expected him for another hour.
"You're home early," he said, "what happened?"
"I couldn't work in the office today, too many things bothering me."
"Let's go up to your room, I want to show you something."
First he taped the bag into the chute. When we sat down for a beer he took something out of his briefcase. It looked like a lipstick sealed inside a very small condom.
"This might work," he said.
"What is it?"
"Why is it inside this condom thing?"
"So you can stick it up your arse."
"I beg your pardon."
"How else will you take it with you?"
He showed me how to open the seal, how to operate the camera and how to put it back and seal it again.
"The seal is watertight and if you close it properly it will be again after you used the camera. Clean it up and dry it after you retrieve the device, use it like I showed you, pack it up when you are done and shove it up your butt again. You can use a bit of oil or butter to make it easier to insert, at a pinch use spit. For now use this sachet of lubricant. Now go and put it in place. Just make sure the cover is clean before you take the camera out, I don't want you to get shit on the lens. When you get back we'll stick it into this device here and feed the signal into my computer. It'll take half an hour's worth of video."
I sat there with this thing and a sachet in my hand and for once hesitated. I had never stuck anything up my arse before and I wasn't looking forward to it.
"Go on," prompted Feng. "I want you to get used to having it up there before the tart arrives. It won't do if you shit it out while she's doing you."
I felt stupid doing it and sitting there later with a camera up my arse, but it wasn't as bad as I had imagined.
Shortly before seven Feng left.
"Good luck, Tiger," was all he said.
I decided to visit aunt Agatha again. I could test the device in the house, the village and the forest. It would show me what the thing could do, if it worked that is.
I stayed with aunt Agatha for two days trying the device under a number of conditions, in the rain, at night, at twilight, in the forest and so forth until a red light showed me I had run out of memory. When I was done I pulled myself off and was back in the shagging room. The Oktonian woman left. I could feel the camera up my arse, so it might have worked as planned. I retrieved the device, cleaned the cover before taking the camera out and waited for Feng. I didn't have to wait long.
"Dddid it wwwork?" I had never seen Feng so excited.
I waved the camera at him.
"I got it there, took the pictures like you showed me and got it back here again. If you want to know more you better get your gear set up."
Five minutes later we were watching the footage I had taken. Aunt Agatha pulling weeds in the garden, the inside of the house, a stroll through the village, the country lane, the forest, a deer, a rabbit and a sixteen year old kid pulling faces at the camera."
"Who is the kid?"
"Why ... that's me. I could hardly go to visit aunt Agatha as a grown man, she didn't live long enough to see me all grown up."
"How does that work?"
"Fucked if I know. I imagine myself like that and that's how I appear. That's all I know. I can even turn myself into an animal if I want to."
"How long did you stay at your aunt's place?"
"Two days all up."
"Amazing. Did the camera up your arse worry you?"
"A bit at first, but I got used to it quite quickly. In fact I had to remind myself to take it out when I got there."
"You reckon you could handle something a bit bigger? I've got some snazzy optics at home I'd like to put in and some more memory"
"How much bigger?"
"About half as long again, the diameter won't change much."
"Yeah, I reckon I can handle it."
Feng retrieved the stuff from the chute and put it into his case.
"Are you going to tell Arden what we did tonight?"
"I am in two minds about that. I'd have to tell him about Lata and that might become awkward with loyalties and so."
"Hold it off for a while. Today the ballgame changed. Now we have solid proof of something very powerful and very, very dangerous. I don't know if I would trust a Federation officer with it at this stage of the game."
"I am a Federation officer, Feng."
"No. you're not. You are an operator. A loner, like me. You only wear this uniform because you have little choice. You would tell these guys to fuck off, if you could, without the slightest hesitation. By the same token, to them you are an outsider. They'll drop you like a hot brick the moment you are no longer useful to them."
"I thought Arden was your friend."
"He is. I would never do anything to hurt him, but this is something else. You and I are financially independent. We think differently. We don't need these arseholes to live and to live well. A guy who only has his salary and career might be tempted to do many things you and I wouldn't entertain when his career is at stake. He'll never betray you voluntarily, but if he gets a direct order it might become a different matter. There is no hurry. Take your time and when you decide to make a move, make sure it's the right one."
This had to be good advice. There would be no liability in watching things for a while. I said as much to Feng.
He left shortly after that. It took me ages to go to sleep. I wondered what I had got myself into.