“Oh, someone is coming this way. Sounds like the police are doing shop checks. Best get ready for things to get interesting.” Max informed the others, then began to pull his Mobile Suit out of the flat space storage.
Nico and Nala nodded, ready to do their best innocent shoppers act. The furniture here was not a prohibited item, it was just smuggled to skip the duty fees. That was a small crime in the grand scheme of things, and only relevant to purchasers after they tried to leave with the goods.
So far as anyone knew, Max and Nico hadn’t done anything wrong yet.
He did check in on their shipment though, and the Replicator units were safely stored in a perfectly legitimate area of the under city, hidden among stored food products, near the compost facility. The incoming forces appeared to be the planetary police, but it looked like they hadn’t caught onto his transaction, but had been alerted by the movement of people in for the battle.
With the Mobile Suit on, minus the helmet, and a long coat over top of it for fashion, Max looked fairly normal for a Reaver, but definitely stood out in the crowd of tourists up above. Nico was the same way, and Nala was giving longing looks at their armour.
“Sorry, we didn’t bring any spares, the storage space is very limited. But I’ve got an extra force field generator you can borrow. If you don’t return it, I’ll put it on the resort’s tab.” Nico suggested.
Nala smiled and shook her hand. If she couldn’t return the generator, then having it charged back to her boss was the last of her concerns.
The sounds of the shop checks were getting closer, and Nico turned to Max with an excited look.
“So, how are we playing this? Personal Cloaking devices, running out the back door, or my personal suggestion: Plasma Cannons.”
The furniture sales girl looked at her in horror.
“Tell me she’s joking. My boss will kill me if there’s a gunfight in the store. And a Plasma Cannon? Where would you even get one of those?” She asked.
“From my storage space, see? Plasma Cannon.” Nico proudly announced as she took it out and slung the large rifle over her shoulder.
“Put the gun away. They’re carrying stun batons.” Max chastised her.
A stun baton wouldn’t do anything to Nico even if she wasn’t wearing armour, but the extra plating should make the hits less annoying if the police did get violent.
The clerk raised her hand. “I vote for option two. There’s an emergency hatch in the floor, and since we’re all closed up, I say that we all exit that way and pretend like we were never here at all.”
“While that doesn’t sound like as much fun as a Plasma Cannon, I suppose that we can do it that way. If we get out of here in the next 30 seconds, that is.” Nico agreed as she tapped into the hidden security cameras to alter the footage.
From what she could tell, most of the people here didn’t know that they were under surveillance the whole time. If they did know, they would have done something to avoid or interfere with the footage, and not just run by. But she couldn’t tell at the moment who was monitoring the footage, so it might have been set by the boss, and they normally didn’t have anything to worry about.
The store clerk opened a hidden hatch and ushered the trio through, then closed it behind them and sealed it closed.
“Hopefully, they won’t find that.” She whispered as she followed them through the rarely used, dim corridor under the shop.
“I doubt that they will even look for it. Once they realize that you’re closed for the day, they will move along. They should have thermal imaging scanners with them that can look through the window shutters and see that there is nobody inside.” Max replied.
“I also left the door unlocked. So, if they do force the shutter open, they won’t have to break anything else to come looking for anyone inside the store. My biggest concern is that they’re going to trash the place out of spite and I will get blamed for it.” She sighed.
“If your boss gives you trouble, give him our names, and we can square up with him. It will be a lot less hassle if we get out of here smoothly and back to the resort than if we get into a big mess with the police.” Max told her with a wink.
Nala nodded. “They’re solid. Even Boss Alix had to be nice to them when they came in, so you know that anyone who asks will find out about them fast enough.” Nala agreed.
“Alright, follow me down this tunnel, and it will take us up into one of the residential districts, then we can hide in a coffee shop or something. Maybe you should change back into tourist outfits though because that’s much more normal here than wearing full-body armour.” She informed them.
Max sensed her amusement as he took off his armour and already had tourist garb underneath, as well as her envy that he had a storage device.
“Now we should blend in.” Nico agreed, shaking out the hem of her dress to hide the fact that she had strapped a pistol to an inner thigh mount.
“Well, as much as possible. A pair of humans still kind of stands out, you know?” Nala laughed.
She gestured to herself, with tight curls of hair, six fingers and rough, almost tree bark skin, then to Nico, who was all cybernetically augmented flawless Kepler pale skin.
“What if I modify it so that it looks more like the local, would that work?” Nico suggested as she did exactly that, and altered her shell to match the locals, then tweaked her facial features to add the distinctive cranial ridges and the single flared nostril that defined the features of the local population.
“Good thinking. One human is much easier to hide,” the store clerk agreed, and led them into the streets.
It was only when they had gone a half dozen blocks and Max couldn’t hide his laughter anymore that she finally noticed that this too was attracting attention.
One obviously wealthy alien tourist, with three local beauties showing him the sights around town, gathered plenty of envious glares as they went, and jealousy from the other women who thought that the three of them had landed a sugar daddy for the day.
“Let’s just go get some coffee and a painkiller. This day is giving me a headache.” Nala sighed as she came to the same conclusion.
So much for her plan to help her friends in the shops make some money off the big fish from the human Colony Ship.
Max laughed and patted her on the head. “It wasn’t a total bust, we got to see a few shops, and you still earned your commission for the day, since you did get us through the market safely.”
“I just hope it stays that way. Do you have some sort of scanner in your equipment? You seemed pretty confident about what was happening around us.” Nala replied.
“You could say that. But I’ve also got pretty well-trained senses.”