Orphan Star Chapter fragment 2

The woods were dark and cold; mist hovered over the forest floor in a thin layer. Two humans and an Ackt warrior slowly swept through the woods, weapons at the ready. Alex held himself still, even slowing his heartbeat down. Wearing no cloths he stood against the edge of a bush, one of the humans passed within 3 feet of him to his front the other to his rear on the other side of the bush. Several minutes after they passed and he could no longer see them through the trees he allowed his concentration to relax. To someone looking at where he was standing it would have looked as if he had materialized in front of them as he faded into view. The colors of the forest and bush he stood against swirled around on his skin for a second before settling to his normal lightly suntanned looking skin. Carefully listening and watching he headed back in the direction that he had come from the day before. Having penetrated the perimeter of the search for him, he was heading in the one direction that they would be least likely to be looking for him. Though if anyone had more than two pieces of gray matter to rub together they would be looking for him to come back. The only way off the planet was back at the compound.I had been stupidity on his part. He knew there were evil men in the world. Agents of the empire had hunted him for all his life. But this was something outside his experience, beings that hunted other sentient beings for the fun of it. He had gotten in a conversation with an old grandfatherly looking man and mentioned that he was going to be catching a spaceliner to Krenice. As he usually did when the old man had casually asked about his family he claimed to be an orphan with no blood kin that he knew about. While technically true this was not accurate. He had a very large and loving adoptive family. Most of a battalion of Altairian Guards would drop everything to help him if he asked. And his adoptive parents ta’Kall and Ari would put their lives on the line for him as they had proved in the past. However when away from Bannermans world he as policy claimed no one to protect them in case he was uncovered. Though as far as he knew there was not the active search now that there had been when he was a child and teenager for the project children there was still a ISS death mark on him and all the other children that might still survive. So to anyone off of Bannermans his standard story was that he was alone in the universe and his papers and documentation supported that story. In hindsight it was obvious that the old man, Gerik Mentan by name and professed historian had been very carefully pumping him for information about who might miss him if he disappeared. Then finding that he would not be missed, (a totally false assumption, but true if the information he had given Gerik had been true) Gerik had invited him to hop a private flight to Krenice. In his arrogance Alex had not even thought that it might be a trap. Of course even now he wasn’t truly in danger of his life. He could have escaped and even killed the entire ten person hunting party that was at the hunting lodge at any time. But he wasn’t of a mind to commit mass murder even of people that were trying to kill him and he didn’t want to have to display any of his abilities where a possibility of it being seen and talked about. Most people wouldn’t believe the stories that could be told about him by witnesses but if those stories got back to the ears of agents of the empire it would start a fresh hunt for him throughout the sector by The ISS. The best solution would be to draw through normal means the attention of the local sector authorities to this group and let the law deal with them. Their blood would not be on his hands then. He could only hope that he could pull it off.
35 kilometers later Alex silently crouched in the branches of a large tree overlooking clearing that the hunting lodge and primitive space field had been built in. Alex telescopically focused his eyes on the single ship and the two buildings that were in the clearing. Looking at them from a perspective of perhaps one hundred meters. The ship, a hundred meter long Extat Class scout ship converted into a small yacht had its hatches closed and presumably locked. The small shack about 2 hundred meters from the ship that lay between the ship and Main lodge building housed a very modern class four space beacon and automated landing controller. They would be controlled from the main lodge but should also have primary control panels physically built into the units, including access to the ftl communications unit. Alex sat and observed the lodge and clearing for three hours carefully calculating how many people were there and where they were located. He also looked for any electronic perimeter security systems. Other than a passive tingle field for keeping small insects away from the lodge itself there did not seem to be any other active security systems. The tingle field looked like a red tinged soap bubble over the hunting lodge to his electromagnetic senses its field strength only a couple percent of what a full strength environmental force screen would be.
Alex considered when would be the best time to try for the space COM. If he waited for dark he would have even less chance of being seen. Even with his skin in chameleon mode there was distortion when he moved and at night that distortion would be invisible. On the other hand if he went now before most of the hunters returned then there would be less eyes to detect him. Also right now the space beacon was unguarded by anyone. However there might possibly be a guard posted after dark and the hunters came back in. All he needed was to have to silence a guard and have him missed while he was accessing the COM. He didn’t want to have to kill anyone if he could possibly help it, and if he had to wade through 20 hunters to escape then someone would get hurt and he didn’t intend it to be him. Also if he had to show any of his abilities to survive then there was sure to be someone who would talk later. He wasn’t going to kill everyone here just to silence them. Some things he couldn’t live with. No one believed him to be near and there were only a few people around and they were in the lodge at the moment. He decided to go now.
Circling the clearing till he had the scout ship between him and the lodge he silently and invisibly moved out of the brush at the edge of the clearing. Taking his time so as not to move to fast and cause visible distortions he moved up to the side of the scout ship and circled around it. Moving back toward the center of the scout ship to get the comshack between him and the lodge he started across the empty expanse between the ship and the shack.
Halfway across the 150-meter distance to the shack he heard a discordant whine from behind him. The port on the ship was opening. Smoothly he lowered himself to the ground and went still. Two people came out of the ship arm in arm a man and a woman. They must have been in there most of the day as he hadn’t seen them enter the ship in the 4 hours he had been observing the clearing.
“I don’t like this!” the woman observed in a low voice as she walked past Alex a couple feet away. “This kid he brought in is scary. He looks 18 or 19 standards old but he didn’t react at all when they gave him his head start. Just looked at everyone as if memorizing their faces and then he just loped away as calm as you please. He wasn’t the least bit scared. It’s not natural. It was as if he knew that he wasn’t in any danger.