[Aishta's Garage, Ga-Koro-Nui; afternoon]
I didn't have a clue.
Not a single, freaking clue.
I had been through every vehicle manifest I owned. I searched though the piles of datapads that listed every make and model of airship ever produced in the past two centuries. I even had my computer go through the entire parts compendium to locate something, anything that resembled what I was staring at.
Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
That cop had me stumped.
I sat in the heart of the airship, tools in hand, kneeling over the most bizarre contraption I had ever laid eyes on. I didn't dare touch it, or even send a single volt of power through it I was so spooked over this. Whatever this was, this was completely illegal, extremely science-fiction, and so in the realms of government conspiracy that I half-expected a crack team of special agents to swarm in at any second. I had spent a lifetime on the streets, putting together and taking apart from scratch every type of machine imaginable, sometimes using junk, other times getting lucky and some rare government hush-hush tech falling into my hands. I'd thought I'd seen it all. Those code-cracker hacking systems in the mainframe? So last year; many of the gangs already had the firewalls for it. Experimental turbo boost? Yeah, I've seen bicycles with bigger engines on the racetracks. A pair of Gatling guns that pop out of secret compartments upon the push of a button? Try one criminal with a hand-held auto-targeting RPG; war of attrition NOT on the g'ment side here. I could go on with all the "fancy" do-dads I saw. Really I wasn't impressed; I've seen basic police cruisers that impressed me more. That is, until this.
I tipped my hat to them in silent respect. Clearly they had something never seen before.
To make matters worse, I couldn't exactly examine the sucker either. I was too afraid to remove it, let alone touch or power it up. But that wasn't the most of it - this device was larger than it looked. Significantly larger. So much so that it was built directly into the ship itself. Now the device wasn't that large, but from it webbed a series of tubes and wires that spanned and ran lengthwise and completely around the ship. Whatever it did it affected the craft as a whole. Thus my cation.
So, the question was... what to do?
Well, I managed to deduce ONE thing: it emitted a field of some type. As foreign as the design was, there were a few select key parts that I DID recognize. Within the external wiring and tubing looping throughout the craft I could spot at regular intervals emitting-type devieces whole fields would roughly overlap the other, effectively covering the whole ship and, if my calculations served me right based off the power converter, manufactured material watt capacity, and rough craft energy output, about an inch or so outside the craft. That rules out a type of shield - any shield or force field within an airship would destroy it, period. It could be a cloaking device, but it was unlike any model I had even come across, and why would you want to make the inside of the ship invisible? That didn't make sense. The only thing that came close to the design was a disruption field... but what was it disrupting? And again, why the entire of the craft? Nothing made sense, and without dissecting it that would be impossible. Which would leave evidence, and I would burn my favor on that... I mean, it's not as if I could-
Copy. Yes! Brilliant!
I AM a genius.
Pulling out every scanner and vehicle diagnostic tool I had I began a thorough scan of the ship, from top to bottom, side to side, no crook or cranny left untouched. Within the hour I had a detailed schematic of the airship, complete with material compounds and alloy recognition software spitting out results. If I had the time and resources I could make an exact duplicate of the craft; I had neither. Then again, I wasn't interested in the craft.
It was the prize in the center I was interested in.
I did this on a separate server, then saving the data on a disposable drive, wiping the server afterwards, using the deep-scrambling option on my memory cleaner to make sure if that hard drive was ever recovered there would be no way to discover anything useful. Putting that disposable drive in a safe place I went back to work, the parts I had ordered this morning finally arriving. Let's see: replace wing, re-build engine, and replace gyro in stabilizing system.
Hopefully I would get done by nightfall.