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

RHR18Vote at the end of this episode!

Zach has interviewed council members Sexy Sprockets, Helena Gevada and Elena from the moon as he’s still trying to learn who wants to kill Merinda. When Merinda communicates that the other Mars travelers are getting antsy, readers voted that he head back to her place instead of trying to track down Sam Storm.

Episode 18

Zach, you really need to get back here,” Carol psionically shouts into my brain. “Merinda’s staff is getting anxious to come back…”

Carol is right; it is time to return to Merinda. I need to figure out and face whichever of her travel mates from Mars is her immediate threat. That didn’t mean I couldn’t multi-task somewhat.

I turn to Helena and Sexy and give them a polite bow, playing up to their egos a bit. “I appreciate your help, ladies. I would also appreciate it if you hear from Sam Storm you will let me know. He is a person of interest to me. After all, I believe an Earth and Mars trade agreement will benefit all.”

Helena and Sexy exchange quick glances with each other.

“We will take that under advisement,” Helena says.

“Yeppers,” Sexy says.

Elena puts her hands on her hips and leans into me. “How does a Mars-Earth agreement help the moon?”

“It shows the people of the moon that you are strong and don’t need ties to the Earth to survive,” I say.

Good one,” HARV tells me.

Elena smiles. “There is a large amount of bio waste in that, but some of it also rings true. Zach, you could have a future in politics.”

“Now that’s a scary thought,” I tell her.

Out of the corner of my eye I see Helena nodding in agreement.

“Elena, could you port me back to the Kardasian Towers?” I ask. Yes, I hate porting; but I’ve been keeping Merinda waiting too long. A good PI puts his client’s needs in front of his own fears.

“Gladly,” Elena says. She moves forward putting her arms around me.

“Do you have to hug me in front of my future mother-in-law?” I ask.

Elena just smiles. She pushes a button on her belt. The next thing I know we are standing in the lobby of the KT hotel. Elena releases me from her hug and takes a step back.

“Is there anything else I can help you with?”

“Actually there is,” I say.

Elena sighs. “You know Zach, I was just being polite when I asked that.”

Putting a hand on her shoulder and looking her in the eyes I say. “But surely you are at least somewhat interested in what Sam Storm is doing on the moon. If he really is on the moon…”

Elena dips her head a little and looks away from me. “So you want me to see if Storm is really on the moon and what he might be up to?”

“That would be ideal. After all, you don’t want Earth politicians hanging out on the moon. That would just be bad,” I tell her.

Elena nods. “Agreed.” She touches a button on her belt and disappears in a flash of energy.

“Well, that went as well as can be expected,” I tell HARV.

HARV appears next to me, projecting himself from my wrist p-pod. “Yes it did. Now let’s hope your luck holds with our next interview.”

“Ah, HARV, what does that mean?”

“I’ve taken the liberty of contacting Twoa Thompson,” HARV informs me.

Twoa Thompson is one of the Thompson Quads, four women genetically engineered to super perfection. The three remaining Quads are all the epitome of human kind, they just all also come with super quirks. Twoa, for her part, considers herself to be a superhero called Justice Babe. She flies around town in a skimpy costume beating the pulp out of evildoers.

“Why, HARV? Why?”

“Zach, for all her quirks Twoa is one of the richest women in the world. She is a major stockholder in HyperUltraMaxMart. They sell more goods than any company on Earth. It is possible they would be less than pleased with Earth getting goods from Mars.”

Before I can respond to HARV, I hear, “Zachary Nixon Johnson, I am so glad you called for my aid!”

I turn and see Twoa Thompson in all her super glory flying towards me.

Twoa grabs me locking me in a giant bear hug. “So, fellow fighter of evil, how can I help?”

I probably should tell you I didn’t tell Twoa why you want to see her,” HARV whispers in my mind. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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