Thomas Zahn

The Brains of the Operation


Thomas had a privileged upbringing. He had his choice of school, university, and life. By his 20th birthday he had graduated with honors and had earned a residency at the Grand Medical Facility on Coruscant. During the day he cared for the sick and dying, but at night he spent his time satiating his boredom by slicing whatever was challenging or interesting. He’s yet to come across a system that he couldn’t breach given enough time—-and curiosity.

Contented with his lot in life, the days passed by until the night when the hospital was evacuated due to a radiation leak. Hundreds of critical patients had to be rushed out of the building to waiting emergency crews, but he couldn’t account Jurris—-for an elderly gentleman who always smiled despite his chronic pain. When two Republic officers told him that he couldn’t go back in to look for him, Thomas sliced the security pad on a side door and snuck up to Jurris’ room. Thomas found him dead which explained why he was left, but it didn’t elucidate why there were no signs of radiation on any of the instruments.

Jerry rigging a medical scanner to detect the invisible killing atoms, Thomas began looking around when until he heard screams and metal being torn. While curious, he wasn’t so eager to meet whatever was wreaking such destruction. Finding the security cameras offline and unpowered, he made his way back out the side door.

Two days later the hospital was all but fully open. One floor was still being quarantined for further testing, but that wasn’t right. It should have taken weeks for the building to be cleared of radiation. The media didn’t seem to think that of any import; rather, they touted how effectively the ordeal was handled under the leadership of Supreme Chancellor Palpetine.

Thomas found countless conspiracy theories on the nets, but one of them held his attention. It wasn’t nearly as grandiose or flamboyant as many of the others. It was simply that a VIP needed the facility. Thomas found this intriguing and began slicing footage from every camera that pointed at or lead to the hospital. They were all blank. This only confirmed his suspicions. It would take the resources, and idiocy, of a government to pull off such an inane cover story and wipe the hard drives for all camera for kilometers.

Tracking down the originator of his preferred theory, Thomas found and began messaging with somebody with the handle “Winston.” When asked how he came up with the idea of the VIP, he suggested that it was the only solution with any real foundation in truth. Everything else was too improbable.

These last few days were nothing like the years before. Thomas felt alive and intrigued. He had to know what was going on. So his next night shift, Thomas snuck into the restricted area and was immediately overcome with a sense of fear, as the warmth in his body fled. Everything was crushed, bent, and destroyed. It looked like a monster had rampaged through the floor, but, unlike the vids, there were no marks from an impact. There were no burns from blasters or explosives. It was as if everything was crushed by something not quite real. Beating a hasty retreat, he left the restricted area, eager to see what Winston had to say about the ordeal.

Unfortunately, Winston had nothing. Thomas knows that if he didn’t solve the mystery, it would destroy him. Over the next year and a half, he sliced every computer and server that might have had any information from that night. He met a lot of strange people during his exploration, but found no solid leads.

This would have been depressing if it weren’t for his work in the hospital. His patients were all making drastic and unexplainable improvements. While he was thrilled to see so many people feeling so much better, he felt like another mystery was looming over him, but this one was much more insubstantial.

It wasn’t until Winston messaged him, suggesting that he might know what’s going on, that the ever-persistent, gnawing curiosity in him began to subside. Despite their use of better-than-military-grade encryption, Winston wanted to meet in person, so taking a leave of absence, Thomas chartered a flight to Abhean.

Thomas Zahn

Nothing on Abhean Maeldoun