I arrived in Kadear just after sunset. It wasn’t difficult following Fatu’s directions to his home. It was in a better part of town, closer to the palace, no nomadic tent encampments, quieter bars, and fewer feral dogs roaming the streets.
His door was bolted, his shutters drawn. I stood for a moment outside the door recalculating the passage of time in my head. I was pretty sure we should have met last night or tonight.
Perhaps he was called away on duty. If he did retrieve my blaster from Aldobi-rand as planned, it would most likely be hidden inside. I didn’t think Fatu would take the risk of carrying it. It was probably laying in there on the table tied with a big red bow and a note saying, ‘Come again soon.’ Yeah, right. In my dreams. But hey, it could be inside and the sooner I got it the sooner I could get off this rock and leave the snakes, manipulative rulers, murder charges, along with possible penal plant incarceration or execution behind.
I haven’t kept my eyes closed while hanging out with my mercenary buddies and getting into Fatu’s only took the effort of finding an appropriate tool to pick the lock. Lucky for me there are random junk piles scattered all over Kadear. It just required going head-to-head with a feral dog who thought I wanted the bone he found in the same pile I found a bone shard I thought I could use for my purposes.
It was a simple one room place once I got in. Kitchen in the corner – where I got myself a refreshing drink from the indoor pump - wood stove used for heating and cooking, table with two stools, bed on the other side of the room with pegs on the wall at the foot for clothes and coat, a footlocker for miscellaneous storage, and an overstuffed chair with a oil lamp beside it on another stool. Pretty sparse. Hopefully, Fatu got to make use of some of the amenities at the palace cause this certainly was a dismal gig.
I looked around in all the obvious places and some not so obvious. The floor was dirt so there wasn’t even a floorboard to hide a blaster under. No hidden panels in the walls. No false chair legs or seat bottoms. The trunk was just a trunk, nothing in it but socks and underwear. The cupboards were bare except for a few staples. No bread, no cheese. The guy lived petty sparse.
Conclusion? Fatu either hadn’t managed to procure my blaster, or I guessed wrong, and he was carrying it on him for safekeeping.
I could sit around and wait for Fatu to return, but as you know I am not a ‘sit around’ type of gal. The only way to find out exactly where my blaster was hanging out was to either track down Fatu or infiltrate the palace to see if Aldobi-rand was still wearing it.
I opted for the last.
I knew where Rand was and how to get to him.