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

ZNJRavenHairedRogue23Vote at the end of this episode!

Before heading to Mars, Zach needed to decide if he should contact Electra. Readers decided it would be better for him to wait until he’s on the ship to contact her.

Episode 23

“Do you wish me to interrupt Electra’s surgery?” HARV prompts.

I think about it for a moment or two. I figure I have to go to Mars whether Electra wants me to or not. Plus, she would quite likely want me to go because I am on a case. When you are as dedicated as Electra you know what it’s like to get the job done right. Additionally, the last thing she needed in the middle of an operation was to be thinking of me on a case. “No, I’ll contact Electra from the ship,” I tell HARV. “I’m sure she’ll understand.”

“Let’s hope she does,” HARV says. His eyes start to blink quickly, a sign he’s processing something. “Zach, the rest of Merinda’s team is in the lobby. They look anxious. They will be here in three minutes.”


Turning my attention to Carol I say, “I’m actually glad you are here for the initial meet and greet. I want to see if any of them act more guarded around you.”

“So, do you want me to poke their brains?” Carol asks.

I shake my head. “Not yet. Just in case Tezza with her bionic brain is the potential killer I don’t want to tip her off.” I smile. “Still, just seeing how they each react knowing you are a psi can be a help.” Pointing at Alicia I tell Carol, “Unfreeze her. We want everything normal when the rest get here.”

“Wait!” Merinda says, finger raised. “How do you want Saturn and I to act?” she asks.

I shrug. “Business as usual. Saturn is safe and all is good with the worlds.”

Merinda takes a deep breath. “I can do that…”

“Merinda’s team is in the hallway,” HARV informs us. “It is time, as they say, to get the show on the road.”

I give Carol a nod.

“You can move and everything is fine,” she tells Alicia. “We are about to greet the rest of your crew, everything is great.”

Alicia snaps back to life she gives a wide smile. “I am so happy our crew is back.” Heading out of Merinda’s room she calls to us, “come, and let’s give them a proper greeting.”

We all follow Alicia into the suite’s living area. Maxxx, Tezza and Hal 50 are already in the room. Maxxx is a short, thick man with brown hair and a solid chin. The type of guy you can tell is comfortable in a brawl. Tezza is a tall, slim woman with dark brown hair and radiant blue eyes. A quick look and you know she’s the type of woman who could sell snow to an Eskimo. HAL50 looked like a life-sized Ken doll with just a hint of orange in his complexion to inform onlookers that he was an android. Of course his plastic perfection should let even the daftest observer realize that he was not human. Still, I guess his makers didn’t want to take any chances.

The three of them smile when they see Merinda holding Saturn.

Tezza approaches Merinda and Saturn first. “Glad you are back safely,” she says, petting a very content looking Saturn.

“Yes, I am so happy I called Zachary and his team to help my team.” Merinda says. She smiles widely as she addresses her people. “I am so pleased with Zach’s performance that I have invited him and his aid Carol to go back to Mars with us for a reward.”

Now this was going to prove interesting to see how the others would react to the news. History has taught me that security folks usually hate it when I am around; they don’t appreciate me stomping on their territory.

Maxxx walks up to me, his face one giant grin. Patting me firmly on the back he says, “It will be so great to have you on the trip! We can swap stories!”

Of course, history doesn’t always repeat itself.

Looking over at Tezza I see her eyes wide open, her fists clenched and her hair on edge. “So, it’s true you are canceling your appointment with the World Council over this man!” Tezza gasps and shouts at the same time.

Now, there are a couple of ways I can handle this. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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One response

  1. It’s better to let Merinda handle her own people. I don’t really trust Maxxx (or anyone else with 3 X’s in their name, for that matter) and Zach is already on Tezza’s “ship” list.

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