Six levels up, the lift's doors opened Simikus stepped out onto the crowded public mall of the Wayamr commercial quarter—and straight into the broad chest of a Consolidated Guardsman.
"Slow it down," said the Connie.
Simikus felt numbed to the core, as if one of his prods had misfired in its holster and paralyzed him. With a look of disgust, the Connie brushed him aside and continued walking his beat. Simikus watched the officer's back until the burly Human became lost in the crowd.
When he could feel his legs again, Simikus started walking…more slowly this time.
"Lighten up," he muttered. "There's no need to get all paranoid just yet. The plan is good, it's working perfectly." He looked around, found the corridor he was looking for and headed down it.
Several turns later, Simikus stopped outside the door of his new home, the pod of Ograd Paxa. Ograd Paxa. He smiled; he would have to get used to using that name from now on. Looking to his left and right, Simikus double checked for any passersby. Seeing none, he drew Paxa's finger from his breast pocket and pressed it to the access panel next to the door.
The door to the pod clicked open.
He was in.
Simikus closed the door and immediately reprogrammed the pod to accept his own fingerprint. He then disposed of the lonely digit in the recyke vat. He would be glad once he'd reattached his own finger.
He looked around the tiny dwelling. For a sewer worker, Paxa kept an amazingly clean home. It had been years since Simikus had been inside a room that didn't smell of sludge.
"Well, never you mind keeping this hole in order. By this evening you'll be shopping for something much roomier and a maid service to keep it clean."
Simikus rummaged through Ograd's closet. Ograd Paxa had a surprisingly large wardrobe.
"Five outfits!" Simikus was flabbergasted. Then his eyes alighted on one in particular. "What style! Who would ever have guessed you had such taste, Ograd?" He pulled a dapper coverup from the rack.
Dressed in the dead Nicovan's clothes, Simikus apprised himself in the mirror. The deep yellow coverup with its dark blue piping contrasted nicely with his creamy green skin and black eyes.
"You already look rich," he cooed to himself.
He angled his head for one last look at the lobe pointing straight off the back of his skull; nice and shiny. He looked great. He felt great. He was great!