Simry enjoyed her escape from a world of shunning and rules that did not apply to her. Life in the Citadel could be difficult, but it had its rewards in the shape of education and friendships.
Being asked to seek out a Guardian and keep him sane from dozens of worlds away was one of the hardest assignments she had ever taken on, and it was also the most rewarding. She rescued the Guardian’s soul, kept his spirits up and made sure that he was able to survive until physical help could arrive.
N’kad was on the edge of giving up when the ghost entered his mind and took over his situation by lodging herself in his soul. The stranger in his mind was brash, annoying, and yet, she kept his attention every moment that she was with him. He would travel quite a way for a woman like that. She was his hero, after all.
Simry ran a hand through her hair and smiled as she made her way through the ship. Even in her astral form, she had all the mannerisms of her body.
She walked through the walls, passed through the floors and stuck her face into sealed crates. When she concluded her search of the trade vessel, she snapped back into her body.
Her right hand trembled as she lifted it and typed in all clear. An icon flicked on her screen and the ship continued on its way.
A chime rang and she triggered her support chair into levering her upright.
Riasa wandered in and inclined her head. “You have done well today. Three ships caught with minor infractions and two with major disturbances. Now, come on and get some dinner.”
Simry chuckled and eased herself out of her station. “Is Natu busy off world again?”
“Saving lives, one rescue at a time.” Riasa grinned. “Come on. The new cook has promised something befitting Citadel Teklan.”
“Oh good. A mix of sweets and crackers.” Simry chuckled.
“And nuts. Don’t forget the nuts.” Riasa linked arms with her and hauled her out of the monitor station.
Simry grinned and enjoyed the chance to stretch her legs with the administrator of the Citadel. “So, to what do I owe the pleasure of your company today?”
“Nothing in particular. There is a situation developing and I need to know where you are in case someone has to make a move. If it does happen, it will all happen quickly. We are waiting for confirmation.”
“You are making me nervous and kinda excited.” Simry raised her eyebrows.
“Eat first. Then get to sleep. If we need to call on you, I will.”
Simry mulled that over until she was eating, and then, she looked up at her Resicoran friend. “The seers have said something.”
“Rika, one of the new ones. Yes. She knows that you will be needed, but her timelines are fuzzy.”
“Fair enough. No caf for me tonight. Any idea of a general guess?”
Ri sighed. “Sometime this week. That is as close as we can get. Can you stay close to home?”
Simry laughed. “When do I do anything else?”
Two nights later, Simry was woken, wedged into her bodysuit and steered toward her station. When the biojacks came out and Reset plugged her in, she knew that things were more serious than she had imagined. She was going to be in for a while.
Riasa and Natu stood next to her.
Ri smiled. “We have the signature and the world you need to aim for, as well as the relay routes. This is going to be a bit of a journey, but we promise to keep your body up and running.”
She blinked and asked, “What am I doing?”
Natu put his hand on her shoulder. “You are saving a life. A man is trapped hundreds of feet below the surface of an empty world. You need to find him and keep him alive until a rescue team can get there.”
Simry looked at the data patterns, and she eyed them warily. “These will take me deep into the Imperium.”
Ri nodded. “That is where he is. You have his location, you have his mind, go save the hero.”
Simry made a face and settled back, staring at the mental readout on the screen. Tracking people was not her favourite pastime, but if it saved a life, she would do what she could.
She drew in a deep breath, and when she exhaled, she separated her astral form from her physical. With a focus on the route, she loaded her body into the broadcast terminal and sent herself in search of the man with the mind print she was looking for.