* * * * * *
I woke up after a short nap to an insistent buzzing. I was disoriented and it took me a moment to realize it was the hanger door indicating someone was requesting to be let in. I thought hopefully it was my brother coming back and he simply forgot that his thumbprint would unlock it but a quick glance at the security cam revealed it was some official with a e-clipboard and a stern expression.
I hurriedly opened the door to the office and mumbled an apology about falling asleep and too much work. He looked at me doubtfully as I was a mess from not having shaved or showered in a couple days combined with very little sleep, but he came in anyways.
"Hello Mr Kodachi," he started, "I'm the inspector for the Port Authority and I'm here to check out your," he paused to check his board, "frozen vegetables."
OK, I'm lying a bit here. My surname 'Kodachi' is a fake name I legally changed to when I was in the Navy. It is an ancient Achuran word meaning "short sword" and in my youth I thought it was a cool moniker. But when this tale takes place I was still using my father's family name. While an intrepid investigator could probably figure out who my family is, I see no reason to drag my father's name through the mud right off the bat. So I'll use my adopted name instead. Back to my story.
I began to panic a little. I had no idea if this was Rusack's contact in the Port Authority or someone else that was going to be very surprised to see the "frozen food" was not food much less frozen. Plus I wasn't sure where the forms were or which ones I needed and Korannon wasn't back to take over that part of the task.
I fumbled my way with the assistance of the inspector in getting the forms out of the terminal and answering questions he was asking. All seemed to be going well and I was starting to relax when he said, "Ok, now we just need to take a look at the crates."
"Of, of course!" I stammered, getting very nervous again. I led him into the warehouse proper and we went to the nearest container. Then I ran back to the terminal to get the code for opening the container, and with shaking fingers I pulled it up, printed it out, and ran back to the waiting inspector.
We opened the container and by the packaging inside it was quite obviously several brand new Gallentean ATVs. I was sweating furiously at this point and I looked at the inspector trying to keep my panic from registering on my face, my mind racing with possible excuses and denials.
"Well, well, what do we have here," he said with a stern frown on his face. He put his clipboard's reader over the nearest ATV package bar code and read off what it detected. "One unit of Desirree Incorporated HC-1200 All Terrain Vehicle... well that's a problem, son."
Before I could stammer out the first of my excuses he pulled a card out of his breast pocket and ran it over the reader's scanner. "There we go! Two hundred kilos of frozen carrots." Then he winked and put the card back in his pocket. "Had you going there for a second, didn't I?"
As relief flooded me I started to laugh and became a little light header. I bent over and put my hands on my knees and the inspector cracked up howling at my discomfiture."You prick," I muttered, half pissed and half appreciative of the prank.
I stood up straight and took a deep breath while the inspector watched me with a shit-eating grin. "You new guys are so easy," he said. "Anyways, you're done with the Port Authority. Contact Rusack and let him know the 'frozen veggies' are free to go."
I thanked him and we shook hands. He left and I sat down to let the adrenaline get out of my body.