captain hadley

4

“Our hearts quiver so, and human life is such a mystery that, even in the case of a civic murder, even in a murder for liberation, if there be such a thing, the remorse for having struck a man surpasses the joy of having served the human race.”
      - Combeferre, V.I.II

10

Hadley Fraser: a Timeline
1. 2001 - 2002 Les Miserables, Marius Pontmercy
2. 2005 The Far Pavilions, Ashton Pelham-Martyn
3. 2006 Doctor Who, Gareth
4. 2006 - 2007 The Pirate Queen, Tiernan
5. 2009 - 2010 The Fresh Beat Band, Reed
6. 2010 Les Miserables: 25th anniversary concert, Grantaire
7. 2011 The Phantom of the Opera: 25th anniversary concert, Raoul de Chagny
8. 2012 Les Miserables: 2012 Film, National Guardsman
9. 2013 - 2014 Coriolanus, Tullus Aufidius
10. 2014 - 2015 City of Angels, Stine

Searching for Apex, part 2

Hadley and Lumen kept watch as Nyota inspected what they considered the most unlikely of targets, sliding open hidden panels on the walls and scanning small lanterns. Lumen had said he saw her work like this once with the hidden room, but it was still strange how efficiently their captain moved. Hadley found herself wondering how often she’d done it before.

“That’s it for here,” Nyota whispered as she rejoined them. “Come on. There’s one more place I want to try.”

Lumen dimmed as far as he could go without dozing off as they slipped out into the streets. Nyota led them down the steps and across the short path, instinctively avoiding the camera arcs despite her confidence that SAIL had command of them with the program she’d given it. It never hurt to play safe.

“What are we going to find in the shop?” Hadley muttered as she followed her captain inside. It really didn’t seem like the kind of place for what she thought of as sneaky spy stuff.

“A lot of trouble if we were planning to steal any of the goods,” Nyota replied, heading upstairs. “You can bet the shopkeeper has absolutely everything counted. She has a quota to meet. As strangers, we’re the easiest suspects, and even I can’t bluff my way out of that. Ah. Here we are.” She aimed the Matter Manipulator at a large grey Apex plush toy, hesitating when she spotted the gleam of lenses where its eyes should have been.

“Captain? Whatcha find?” Lumen asked.

“Clever,” Nyota breathed. “I thought it was just a biometric reader like the lanterns, but they’ve rigged cameras into its eyes. Esther, I hope you’re awake for this.”

“You’re lucky I’m a bit of an insomniac,” the old woman said. She sounded a bit cross, but that vanished when she got the data Nyota sent her. “This doll is actually a spy camera… I suppose I should not be surprised. The Miniknog controls every aspect of Apex lives and culture. I’m going to attempt to trace this camera’s signal… Thank you for finding this.”

“It was a lucky one,” Nyota replied. “…We should go back. The dummies I set in our room will only last so long.”

The morning passed peacefully enough. Their host offered them breakfast, though he was noticeably relieved when Nyota informed him that they’d brought their own rations. Lumen traded some of their extra supplies to replenish his stash of medicine, but by midmorning, in the relative privacy of their room, Nyota informed them that there wasn’t much more they could find here.

“The doll was an excellent find, but there’s only so much in an inhabited outskirts town like this one,” she said, keeping her voice low.

“Did you figure out where—where we’re going next?” Hadley asked. She had a feeling it would be best to keep their full purpose quiet.

“Not the endgame, but I can get us closer.” Nyota showed them her Matter Manipulator’s screen. It was displaying the surface survey of a dark planet. “I found the coordinates of—” She stopped, gently set the device on her bed, and stood up. She walked over to the door, her feet making no sound on the hardwood. The other two saw her lips move: One… two…

Nyota yanked the door open, stepping aside to let the Apex on the other side tumble past. She shut the door again and planted a foot between the intruder’s shoulder blades, not hard enough to hurt yet, but enough to make a point that getting up too quickly would be a bad idea. “One of the things I have learned over the years,” she said quietly, “is that the Apex are a subtle race, but we are not built for stealth. Do you have a name?”

“O-Oldarva,” the other Apex mumbled, her voice muffled by her sleeves. Her arms were wrapped around her head to protect herself, leaving only a few tufts of ginger hair poking through. “I’m sorry, I didn’t, I…” She made a quiet noise, like the hiccupping sound that comes before a sob, then let out a long breath. Her voice was a little calmer as she said, “I saw you last night.”