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

ZNJRavenHairedRogue19Vote at the end of this episode!

Zach has questioned “super hero” Twoa Thompson to learn if her company, HUMM, might be involved in the attempt on Merinda’s life. Carol has offered to help to scan Twoa.

Episode 20

“Let me scan her, tió,” Carol says to me, never taking her green eyes off of Twoa. “I can tell if she’s telling the truth.”

Twoa curls her fingers into fists and shakes them at Carol. “Just try, psi!”

I think about it for a moment. What Twoa said about HyperUltraMegaMart actually benefitting from an Earth-Mars trade agreement? It made sense. Stepping between Carol and Twoa I tell Carol, “No need. I think we can trust Twoa,” I say the last part loud enough so Twoa can easily hear me without resorting to super hearing.

“Of course you can trust me, Zach-boy, I am one of the good gals,” Twoa exclaims holding her hand out for me to shake it.

Shaking her hand I say, “Please don’t call me Zach-boy. I am not a sidekick.”

“Of course,” Twoa says in a tone that doesn’t match the words.

Twoa releases her grip on me and extends a hand to Carol. Carol eyes Twoa’s hand as a snake handler would eye a cobra. Carol cautiously extends her hand to meet Twoa’s. The two lock their grips and glares on each other. I let them tighten their grips. Neither of the ladies gives any ground or hint of pain. I step in between them.

“Ah, ladies this is no time for a mental spitting contest,” I tell them.

They both turn their attention to me.

“We’re ladies; we don’t spit,” they say at once.

They release their grips, giving each other a smile of acknowledgment.

Twoa leans towards me. “So, brave Zach; are you satisfied with my answer?”

I nod. “Yes, I am.”

“If you need anything else you know how to summon me!” Twoa shouts, for no apparent reason. She lifts her arm and flies off.

“I still think I can take her if I had too,” Carol tells me.

Pointing to the elevator I say. “Let’s get to Merinda’s suite. I have an idea.”

“Let me guess; you need me to take Alicia out so you can talk to Merinda in private,” Carol says following me towards the elevator.

“Bingo,” I say, walking into the elevator.

Carol turns to HARV. “That means yes. Right?”

HARV simply nods.

We find Merinda in her bedroom sitting on her bed with Saturn contently in her lap. Alicia is of course standing vigilant by Merinda’s side.

“Mr. Johnson, I am so glad you found Saturn and that you are here!” Alicia tells me anxiously. “The rest of the staff will be here soon to also personally thank you.”

Carol taps Alicia on the shoulder and says, “Sleep standing for me…”

Alicia’s eyes shut and her head drops.

“We need to talk alone for a moment,” I tell Merinda and Saturn. “I have an idea.” Moving next to Merinda I say, “I want you to cancel your meeting with the World Council.”

“Why?” she asks.

“This will delay whoever wants to harm you, giving me more time to figure out which one of your staff it is.”

Merinda looks at me, weighing my words carefully. “If I delay, what would I tell the Council?”

“You need to go back to Mars for personal reasons,” I tell her. “They are politicians they will totally relate to you putting your needs in front of those of your people.” Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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