Offspring Ch. 015byTalemaster©
I sat in the bar with a beer trying to find the courage for the next step. There was considerable risk in what I intended to do. Part of my problem was that I didn't know how clear a picture I needed of my destination in order to get there. The city I wanted to travel to lay on an estuary of a fairly large river. The infrared image I had must have been taken towards the end of a very hot day because the warm landmass was in sharp contrast to the considerably cooler body of water. This gave me a pretty good idea of the layout of the city. It also showed what in all probability where the port facilities. From here on it was guesswork. The only Oktonian building material I knew of was that grey concrety looking shit the spaceport island was made of. It seemed reasonable to assume that the port was paved with the same kind of stuff. There were what I reckoned to be warehouses, a broad wharf road and what could be huge cranes, judging by the position of those barely discernible blobs. That was about all I had to go by. The question was, was it enough? It had to be, because there was no more information forthcoming on that front. I had picked a spot between two warehouses adjacent to what I took to be a crane of some sort.
Just in case the wharf was brimming with workers I decided not to go there in my human form. A small monkey would be ideal, I thought. I could get out of reach quickly if there were creatures around, climb up almost anything and, since monkeys masturbate, I had a ticket home.
Time was getting close to my lesson, there was nothing further to do than to decide to take the risk or not.
Here goes nothing, I thought when the Oktonian woman plunged down on my prick.
Well, something happened, because I found myself on the concrete of the wharf. The buildings were monstrous in size until I realised they only looked so huge to me because I was barely a foot tall. Looking around for predators in the sky that might consider me a meal I found the coast clear.
I had guessed well. In front of me there was a huge crane that could move on wide tracks parallel to the wharf. Not much different from the cranes I had seen in lots of ports all over the galaxies. Form follows function, I thought. There was a ladder leading up to a platform with a control cabin. I quickly went up the ladder to get a better vantage point.
I heard noises. There was some activity on the far end of the wharf, about a mile away. A ship had docked there and human looking creatures were loading something. I was too far away to make out much detail. Otherwise there was no sign of life.
Feeling very vulnerable in my present form I examined the platform and the cabin in detail so I could go back there again and masturbated myself home. I had done it!
As always, the Oktonian woman wasn't any wiser. I got dressed and went to the bar for a stiff drink. I needed it.
I fought the urge to ring up Feng and tell him what I'd been up to. There wasn't all that much to tell him anyway. I decided to wait until I had some more information. Next, I decided I would go there at night and see if I could get any closer to where the activity was. I had a restless night.
The place at the end of the wharf was floodlit. The loading was continuing. I had arrived on the crane platform as planned. I climbed down the ladder and walked towards the light, carefully scanning my surrounds for patrols. There weren't any. That meant whoever was there felt secure, which in turn meant there were no opposing forces.
It didn't take long for me to get there in my human form. I went as close to the action as I dared, careful to stay in the dark. There was only one cargo, as far as I could tell. They looked like high pressure gas cylinders of varying sizes. Huge trucks arrived with these cylinders which were picked up by what looked like old fashioned forklift trucks. The vehicles appeared to run on electricity, judging by the noise they made. That made sense. With those huge reserves of lithium at their disposal they could build very efficient batteries of monstrous sizes that would have been prohibitively expensive elsewhere.
Two gas cylinders were mounted on the roof of the cabin. I guessed they drove a generator that replenished the batteries when power was low and no charging station nearby. No Earth shattering technology here. I was hiding behind one of the parked trucks when the generator cut in. There were no exhaust fumes, only water vapour. The cylinders contained hydrogen.
The crews were mostly Oktonians. About five percent of the personnel were human, which surprised me. The humans seemed to be in charge. From the bits of conversation I overheard they were speaking Federation Intergalactic, the lingua franca all over the populated worlds.
Trucks were coming and going. The road they were travelling on was wide, very wide. Evidently built to carry much more traffic. It wasn't difficult to follow the road and stay out of the headlights. The trucks didn't travel far. They stopped at a terminal building about the size of a football field. Not daring to enter there, I still saw enough to determine that this was where they charged and stored the cylinders. I circled around the well lit compound and found what I was looking for. A huge building with large pipes leading into it. The pipelines went from the building to the sea. Water for hydrolysis. Next to this was what looked like a fair sized nuclear reactor, which presumably provided the electricity needed for the process. Again, nothing new as far as technology was concerned.
The staff I could see around the reactor were mostly human, with Oktonians relegated more or less to labouring tasks. I had seen enough for now. I looked for a sheltered spot I could return to, pulled myself off and was back at the hotel in a flash. Again, only half an hour had passed here. Time for a drink.