The Raven Haired Rogue by John Zakour, Illustrated by John Dallaire

RHR10Vote at the end of this episode!

In the previous episode, Zach and the team found Saturn, the dog from Mars, and learned somebody wants to kill Saturn’s companion, Merinda. But now, the World Council has sent drones and they want to talk to Zach. In response to his proposal of arriving a couple of hours later, readers voted the drones get pushy and try to force him to go right away.

Episode 11

The three drones lock their laser sights on me and three red dots appear on the middle of my body. I raise my hands slowly.

“It appears the World Council wants to see you now,” HARV tells me.

“Yeah, typical politicians. It takes them forever to get anything done yet they think their time is so much more valuable than ours,” I mutter to HARV and Carol. Turning to the floating drones, I remind them, “My future mother-in-law, Helena, is the one who sent you. There is no way she would let you kill me. Electra, my girlfriend, and her daughter, would be WAY upset.”

“We are the latest in drone technology. We are equipped with the PAIN weapons system,” one of the drones said, like I’m supposed to know what that means.

HARV leans into me and for some reason whispers, “It stands for Person’s Attitude Instant Neutralizer. It causes a subject to experience the worst pain in their lives without actually killing them. It’s quite nifty.”

Now Carol leans into me. “Now, that is something my grandma Helena would do to you.”

I don’t doubt Carol on that one. Helena has made it clear that while she does tolerate me (after all I have saved the world a few times), she doesn’t think I am nearly good enough for her little girl. Thing is, there has been a threat to Merinda’s life. I need to get to the bottom of that before it’s too late.

HARV how much do these bots cost?” I ask mentally.

Each drone cost 10 million credits…”

That seems pretty pricey…”

Agreed. The drones should only cost 5 million credits but the WC pays extra for the gold chrome. They justify that by saying tax payers expect them to have the best.

Okay, so it would be expensive to destroy the drones plus it probably wouldn’t be a great career move getting the World Council angry at me, especially since my future mother-in-law is on the Council. I need to get out of this peacefully but still get my way. I look over at Saturn sitting contentedly in Carol’s arms. That’s my key to getting out of this. The problem now is that I can’t move too quickly without the drones activating the PAIN system.

Carol, float Saturn over to me,” I think.

Carol releases her hold on Saturn and he glides over to me. I take Saturn in my arm and show him to the drones.

“Shoot me now while I’m holding a cute dog from Mars in my arms and you will cause quite the media uproar,” I inform the drones.

The drone’s red lights start blinking.

“You have an incoming message from esteemed Council Woman Helena Gevada. Do you accept?” the three drones ask in unison.

“Ah, sure…”

The holographic image of my future mother in-law appears in front of me, being projected from the middle drone. Helena is a strong confident woman, much like her daughter. In fact, she is so confident she has no problem letting her hair grow grey. Something you don’t see much of these days.

“Hello, Zach,” she says.

“Helena,” I say.

“Hi, abuela,” Carol says.

“Zach,” Helena says, “I may have been a bit too forceful trying to convince you to come see me first. But I really do feel it will be in your best interest to see me before you make another move.” Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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