Although he had already checked more than once and knew himself to be alone in the maintenance corridor beneath the Wayamr district's atmoscyke plant, Simikus nevertheless looked about the shadowy space before setting the panel aside.
Deep within the compartment, nestled snuggly against the coolant pipes, were dozens of frosty vials—each laden with the frozen ka'frindi he had patiently smuggled from the sewage plant.
As ka'frindi, the fungus could have provide him with a comfortable lifestyle—by Nicovan standards anyway—for years to come. But, with the secret he had discovered about the delicacy, instead of comfortable, Simikus was going to be rich beyond his most outlandish imaginings.
He ran a hand across his chilly stash, noting his missing finger.
"Ah, yes. Time to fix that." He reached around one of the frigid conduits and brought forth his long absent appendage. Using the pilfered medical device, he thawed and reattached the finger.
"Welcome back, my little friend," he said, flexing the finger until it regained its former flexibility.
Dressed in Ograd's yellow suit, his ka'frindi horde safe, and his finger reattached, Simikus was ready for business. He replaced the floor plate and then quietly stole away from the maintenance corridor.