#27 A Blaster Cap

Kenom pushed the door open with such force that it knocked down the Pluton who was behind it. Kenom gave him a stern look and the Pluton rushed off. There were about twenty Plutons huddled on their knees up toward the front of the dome. They were obviously frightened. They were being comforted by the Pluton priest who was assigned to this dome. Kenom walked up to him and said, "It's alright, there is no need to be frightened, someone just threw a small electro-blaster cap at your door. There was no real damage."

The Pluton priest reassured his flock and came over to Kenom. "How do you do, patrolman,...." he hesitated waiting for Kenom to give him his name. "Patrolman Kenom," said Kenom, "I have been asked to investigate this incident." "Ah yes, Patrolman Kenom," he said," ..my name is Leader Scott. I am the priest leader of this dome. Won't you have a seat." "Thank you," said Kenom, "I just wanted to see if everyone was alright in here before I checked the damage. I haven't determined if it was a blaster cap for sure, it was just my guess. I will return later when I have more information." "Very well," said Leader Scott, "I'll be here." Kenom was rather surprised at how calm Leader Scott was.

Kenom went out and started to inspect the door. Enew came up with a patrolman. "This is Patrolman Skinlin," said Enew, "he was walking near the dome when the blast went off." "How do you do patrolman," said Kenom, "tell me what you saw." "Well," said Patrolman Skinlin, "I was walking over to my duty station when I heard this blast right behind me, I thought it was a Figgnon attack, I've never heard anything like that before, and I've been here for two war seasons. I looked around and saw all this smoke so I headed for the south tunnel as fast as I could." "I see," said Kenom, "What else?" "Well," continued Patrolman Skinlin, "that's about it. I don't remember much else... accept all the panic." "Alright, patrolman, thank you, we may need to talk to you again. And by the way," Kenom said, as a parting shot, "next time something like this happens, keep your head and go directly to your duty station, you wouldn't have been much help out in the tunnel if this had indeed been a Figgnon attack. Your place is at your duty station." "Yes sir." replied Patrolman Skinlin.

Kenom and Enew inspected the door further. "It was an electro-basting cap alright," said Kenom, "see these small bits of grey powder mixed in with the black soot that can only come from a blaster cap." "I agree." said Enew, "It must have been thrown from a short distance too, because those things go off rather quickly once they are armed." "You're right," said Kenom, who ever threw it could not have been more than thirty feet away. "But this is odd;" said Kenom, "see how the main blast marks are high up from the floor?" "Yes," replied Enew, "it must have still been in flight when it went off." "Yes, "but also notice that the blast marks are evenly spread, if it had been coming towards the door the blast marks would have made a much larger pattern because of the force of the throw." "I see," said Enew, "but then where..."

Kenom looked up. Above the dome was the ceiling for level two. It was a good ten feet above the Relig-u-dome. There were a number of catwalks crisscrossing the ceiling; these were used by repairmen so that they could get to the lights and the wiring. "It must have been dropped from up there," said Enew. "That's my hunch too," said Kenom. "But who.." "That's what we will have to find out my friend." interrupted Kenom. Kenom decided to talk further with Priest Leader Scott. He asked Enew to round up all the Flecktons stationed on level #1, to find out if they knew anything, and to get their names.

Kenom had no trouble getting into the Relig-u-dome this time, all he had to do was knock once. Having priority duty papers had its usefulness he thought,- when one wanted to get something done. Priest Leader Scott greeted him warmly, and they sat down to talk. "Tell me Leader Scott," said Kenom, "do you know of anyone who might like to frighten you?" "No one specific," he said, "but we Godforce believers are not well liked among the Fleckton population here on Ob. They are God believers you know, and they object to our being here. We hope to change that, the Central Inclusion Department tells us the Flecktons are on the list for Galaxy inclusion. We hope to make them all Godforce followers so the transition will be smooth. These things take time however; organics don't give up their belief system easily." "I understand." said Kenom. Leader Scott continued, "For the most part we stay to ourselves in our Relig-u-domes. We use our other dome for a broadcast station where we run the Relig-u-channel on Universal-vision.

We seldom have any personal contact with the Flecktons unless they come to our dome for repair work." “I see”.said Kenom, "My duty partner Enew is questioning the Flecktons now, maybe he will turn up something." "We Plutons would rather not make a big deal out of this," said Leader Scott, "we don't want to lose our foothold here on Ob,... you understand." "Yes I do," said Kenom, "but I am afraid we cannot let this pass without a response. We must get to the bottom of this because Zimtel command cannot have this sort of disruption in the compound." "Of course, I understand," said Leader Scott, "we will cooperate fully." "Thank you." said Kenom, and he bid the Priest Leader goodbye.

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