Eversyn scrutinized the picture on the screen then studied Simikus. If there was anyone on the Rock with a need for tight, efficient security it would be the Starview Lounge, since everyone—who could afford it—frequented the place. The captain had no reason to question the scan. Still…
"You know what they all say about Neeks. They all look alike," Eversyn said. Everyone but Simikus laughed at the insult. "So I'm sure you won't object if I run a background check on your friend."
"Of course not." Caravello's smug grin stayed firmly in place. "I understand."
Petrified, Simikus watched as Eversyn laid the data pad atop the desk holoscreen.
"Don't worry, Wilfor, it's just routine," said Caravello, his tone calm and reassuring.
Simikus nodded meekly, but he was trapped nonetheless. His forged Ograd Paxa ID would be all but useless now, since the only officially registered identification he had was as Simikus Giff. He had planned to remedy that detail after he had been paid his fortune. If he tried to run, the Connie would definitely arrest him and run the check anyway.
As he walked what seemed like the thousand meters to the desk, Simikus became aware of the angular case of ka'frindi biting into his chest. It's just ka'frindi, he reminded himself, perfectly legal. Eversyn would simply assume it belongs to the Starview. They serve it on their menu, after all.
"Place your palm on the pad," Eversyn instructed.
In utter defeat, Simikus wiped the sweat from his hand and complied. With all three of his eyes closed and his breath held, he waited for Eversyn to slap a pair of sono-cuffs on him.
But he didn't. Simikus half opened one eye.
"Is it broken?" he asked.
"My apologies, Master Caravello, Master Dyll," Eversyn said, ignoring Simikus.
Rudof shrugged and smiled. "No apologies are necessary to me, Captain. You're just doing your job; which, I might add, is more than can be said for your predecessors."
"Indeed, Captain; I completely concur with Master Dyll," murmured Caravello.
Eversyn pocketed his data pad and rose.
"I hate that I missed our dinner, Rudof. And, unfortunately, I must be on my way again. The more I think about that explosion at the sewage plant, the more it troubles me."
"How so?" Dyll asked. He rose, obviously preparing to walk the Connie captain to the door. A blush spread over the captain's face at this sign of courtesy from the Rock's richest resident. "Do you think the missing Nicovan are responsible?"
"Possibly. But it's just as possible that they're dead and that the real culprit is still at large."