Her life as a recruiter has taken Enher-Dahl to places that she had not imagined, but when the Citadel lends her out to the Sector Guard for a spying mission, she is a little confused to be the only choice. She has no skills in espionage and even less tact.
Her contact is a mystery until she meets an Enjel on a tour who seems to know a bit about her. Ulises is a Guardian in search of the same things she is...perhaps.
Confronting a broken world, a kidnapped Enjel and hostages in soul form used as a power supply is way above her pay grade.
“The headset is on the table. Knock when you are done and we will release you.” Trakka waved her to the headset and the desk in the centre of the room.
He left the room, and she was alone. With care, she took a seat on the small chair, and she adjusted the headset so it would fit on her skull and the mouthpiece would be in position. She sighed and set it on her head. A moment later, her mind spun out and she was standing in a room with three very concerned members of the Sector Guard and the Nyal Guardians. The uniforms gave them away.
“Recruiter Enher-Dahl, thank you for taking this call.” A woman seated in a chair with a face-framing headset smiled. “I am Relay. This is Breanik and Tesh, Guardians of Lurutek.”
“Pleased to meet you all. What do you need?”
Breanik put his hand on Tesh’s shoulder. “Tesh’s sister went on vacation to Nurmegar, and two days after she came back, she fell into a coma.”
He took a deep breath and Enher let him talk.
“Her body’s life signs are good, but her mind is blank. There is no cognitive brain activity. Her soul is gone.”
Enher leaned forward. “You have my attention.”
Tesh was tense, but he didn’t speak.
“I looked into it to see if there was a pathogen involved, and while there are others who have fallen ill the same way, I cannot find the link between them aside from Nurmegar.”
She winced. “And you cannot ask the fallen because their minds are no longer there. Even a Reader wouldn’t have anything to hang on to.”
“Correct. We don’t know what happened, and it seems only to infect half a percent of those who go to the vacation world. I have found fifteen hundred victims so far.”
Enher’s eyes were wide. “That many and no one noticed?”
Breanik shrugged. “All different walks of life, all different worlds. The only thing they have in common is—”
“Nurmegar. Got it. So, why did you call me?”
Relay lifted her hand. “It was our recommendation. We had our people look into the best operative to find out what was going on, and your name kept coming up over and over.”
“Operative? I am a recruiter. All I do is assessments on different species.”
Relay nodded. “And that is what is needed here. We would like you to go undercover and find out what is happening to these people, and if possible, we want you to get their souls back.”
Enher rubbed the back of her arms. “I am not an undercover operative. I have no training.”
Relay nodded. “We have a data burst for that, tailored to your peculiar mental structure.”
“Why me in particular?”
Tesh looked like he wanted to say something, but his partner held him back.
Relay smiled. “Reedamani are rare, even on your world, but your kind are also known as gamblers, and Nurmegar is known for its casinos. You will be part of the crowd and exotic at the same time. It is the ideal setup for going undercover.”
Enher nodded. “Will I be on my own?”
“No, we have an agent meeting you there. It will appear that you have begun a relationship while on vacation.”
She groaned. “I am very, very bad at relationships. I hope that whomever you send has a thick skin. This is not going to go smoothly.”