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Sunday, March 25, 2018

A Space Story (part ii)

This is part 2 of an ongoing story with the ingenious +Mike Raven at The Blog Of Thog.

We were cruising through the galaxy, not really doing anything, avoiding the long arm of intergalactic law. It’s a good life, if you don’t expect too much. Food was plentiful, but kind of bland and entertainment was scarce. Sure we had video games, and some card games, and some video players, but all that time hiding among the rocks and debris of space was tedious.Tempers were short.

“Captain, we have a ship coming from the direction of the Terra Galaxy,” the first mate screamed, a little shrill, a little loud, crashing through the dead silence of the bored, listless cabin. It startled me, snapping me out of a daydream about glorious Filtimino tacos, filled with beast and space sauce. I would kill for one of those.

I spilled my coffee in my lap, burned like the fires of the sun. Pain shot down my legs, up my back, seared into my brain, twisted my face into spasms of ugliness. I leaped into the air, my face contorted in a mask of agony.  

I ran over to the second in command, grabbed his iced tea and poured it over my pants. People all over the cabin were looking at me as if I had gone crazy. Blank, staring faces following my every movement. All of them grabbed their drinks, holding them tight.

“What the hell, man? What was that all about, you screamed like a girl.” I said, feeling a little foolish. Commander of a ship filled with space pirates, ne’er do wells, cut throats and criminals startled out of all my cool by a little shriek, from a hardened criminal. 

“Hey, what do you mean by that?” All the female members of the crew said, almost in unison. 

“Well, I didn’t really mean anything, I was just startled and the pain was clouding my judgment. It was just a slip of the tongue. Look, you guys know I love you, right? All of you. Each and every one of you. Without you girls, and you guys, all of you, and I don’t think of you as men and women, just valued crew members. It was a silly mistake...”

“And the ship is still coming toward us. It doesn’t seem to see us, it is sending out a low radiation scan, but it seems pointed toward the asteroid just in front of us.” The first mate said, puttting down his bottle of water, on the far side, away from where I could reach it. I rolled my eyes up in my head, nobody had listened to a damned thing I said.

“OK, I said, turn 75 degrees to the starboard and head out of range. Keep an eye on that ship. Has anybody ever seen anything like that before?”

“I think it is a Terran ship, it looks small to be out so far, lightly armed, slow and poorly defended. We could probably win a battle with them, if we had any ammunition, and our reactor was repaired, and our weapons office wasn’t in the brig for stealing the last of the donuts.” Baldrid, The science officer said. He was the oldest guy in the crew, and knew a lot of things about a lot of things.

I filled my coffee, and sat down, waiting for whatever happened next, I was wide awake, nothing would catch me off guard again.

Klaxons blared, lights flashed the cabin was filled with light and noise. I jumped up, spilled my coffee on my shirt, agony.

“Police Cruiser, coming fast, from the Sirius.” Somebody yelled.

“Quick, land on the asteroid, and hide.” It was stupid, but what else could we do?

“The one the Terrans are looking at?”