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

ZNJRavenHairedRogue24Vote at the end of this episode!

Zach has met all four of Merinda’s crew but Tezza, her PR person, who isn’t thrilled with Merinda canceling her meeting with the World Council. Readers voted that Zach respond to her distaste by letting Merinda handle Tezza.

Episode 24

“Merinda, my leader, how could you cancel such an important meeting with the World Council?” Tezza asks, though from her tone it is easy to tell this was more of a statement than a question.

If I was one of those macho PI’s from the old days I would have stepped in and offered some sort of reason, but as my old mentor use to say, a smart PI knows when to step back and let others do the work. And smart PIs live longer. I decide to let Merinda handle this. I would just watch Tezza, Alicia, Maxxx and HAL50. By watching I could gain valuable clues as to which one of them might want Mrinda dead.

Merinda put her hand on Tezza’s shoulder to comfort her. “TZ, my trusted advisor, Zach did such a brave and kind thing that I feel we need to award him quickly. This way we show the people of Earth how generous the people of Mars are; how we are good to our friends. I am sure the average Earth person relates much more to Zach than they do a council member.”

“True,” I tell her. “I am just a regular working Joe.” Okay, yeah that wasn’t totally true. A lot of people don’t really relate to what I do or how I relish things from the past, but still, I do have my fans.

Tezza’s head and eyes shoot back and forth from Merinda to me, back to Merinda, back to me and then they settle on Merinda. She smiles. “Yes, yes we can use this during our trip to Mars. I’ll be able to get to know Zach better so I can present him in the best possible way. If we get the people of Earth on our side we know the politicians will follow.”

I figured it was in my best interest to let the comment pass. Looking at Carol I think, “Getting vibes from any of them?”

No, but that might not mean anything because their brains are slightly different than brains of people on Earth. I may have to adapt some to read them.”

“Carol, go get what you need for the trip so we can shove off as soon as they are ready,” I tell her. Turning my attention to Alicia I ask, “How long until we are ready to roll?”

“Roll what?” she asks.

“He means ready for the trip to Mars,” HARV says, then noting, “I am fluent in Zach-speak.”

“Oh,” Alicia says. “I’ve been in communication with our ship. It says it will be ready in 90 Earth minutes.”

Since I have a little more time I think maybe I can crack the case open and therefore save a trip to Mars. I can poke a few egos and rattle a couple of mental cages to see what, if anything, shakes out. Yeah, not the most subtle PI work for sure, but sometimes the hard play is the right play. Not only that, if it works it would save me explaining to Electra that I was going to Mars. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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