In the barrel-vaulted, horseshoe-arched halls, all in the night falls silent. Torches blaze...

Throughout the halls, a shadowy figure moves. He bends over, and opens a jar. A green mamba slithers out. Her liberator lets her be, and she slithers forth, through the halls, towards her target...

In his quarters, Mikhail tries to rest. He can't. He knows there are beasts in the walls, conspiring to bump him off. No matter; he's got loot to gather. He thinks he might know where it is...but he's not sure.

He leaves his quarters, and heads down a long hall. He sure wishes it wasn't so long.

A pair of guards corner him. They ask him what he's doing.

"I'm just wondering," he asks, on purpose, "where's the men's room in this place?"

They throw him in the men's room, and leave him in there. Mikhail smiles, and takes a brief moment to freshen up.

He then shuts himself in the stall. He stands atop the toilet, and pushes a panel in the upper wall ajar. He climbs in, and closes "the door" behind him.

In a room far below, there are books. It's like a library...only more secretive. There are computers, too. Unlike some of the jalopies in Kaduna City, these computers are recent makes...VERY recent. In fact, many of these are from higher-tech sellers than what the public's used to trading with.

In the floor, there's a vent. From beneath, someone pushes it ajar. Mikhail climbs out, and puts the grill back where it was. He stands, loads his weapons, turns off the safeties, and creeps around.

Rows and shelves of books, he passes. Computers, he passes.

He sits at one. He punches in several codes, and deviously penetrates many firewalls.

He finds the info he's looking for. He punches in more codes. When he's ready, he plugs a flash drive into a USB port. He stands, and explores the books more, as the flash drive steals, and sends, top-secret info.

Carefully, Mikhail browses the books on the shelf. Surely, there's something...

From another vent, the green mamba emerges. She flicks her tongue, and slithers around...

He sees something, on one of the book carts. It looks like a book, whose title is Harvesting Dwarf Stars. It's author, as its cover says, is Sylbert Rundine.

Mikhail handles it. As he expects, the book has no pages. It's not a book at all. It's a box. And Mikhail suspects that what's in it is dangerous...

As if though by magic, the lock undoes itself for him. The book flips open.

Inside, there's a glowing yellow gem. Mikhail stares at it. He can't stop. Around him, time slows...

The book explodes with light. Nothing else is damaged. But by the time the light dims, Mikhail's vanished. The book and stone have, too.

At the computer, the flash drive finishes gathering what there is. On its own, it ejects itself from the computer, and falls to the floor. Once there, it self-destructs...like a secret message in a Mission: Impossible movie.

Later, the green mamba comes along, having smelled the drive. She opens wide, and swallows it whole. With luck, she can digest it. With more luck, the Kadunans won't find it...