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

ZNJRavenHairedRogue29Vote at the end of this episode!

In the previous episode, HARV is under some kind of denial of service attack as they head for Mars. Zach decides that a reboot is the only option.

Episode 35

We get out of the elevator on to the hotel’s rooftop. I can see the shuttlecraft coming to take us to Merinda’s ship. All in all I would say I was making progress on the case, except of course now HARV was under some sort of attack.

HARV are you still with us?” I think.


Come on, HARV!” I mentally coax.

I hear in my mind three quick beeps, three long beeps and then three quick beeps. It’s an SOS. For HARV to resort to Morse code this had to be even worse than I thought.

Merinda gazes over at me. “Zach, are you okay?”

“Yeah buddy you look kind of pale,” Maxxx notes.

“I’m fine,” I half-heartedly reassure them. Rubbing my stomach I tell them, “I just grabbed a bad taco at the taco hover…”

Merinda moves over to me and places her hand over my stomach. “Perhaps I can help,” she says calmly.

“Ah, okay… but usually there’s just one thing that relieves this,” I tell her.

Zach, just relax,” I hear Merinda say in my head. “The bionics in my brain give me psi powers. One of my abilities is to heal… I can sense what’s going on between you and HARV. You need to let me heal you both.”

Ah, how?” I ask. “You going to reboot my brain?”

Merinda smiles. “Actually yes,” she thinks.

That could work!” Carolina says in my head. DOS, my mind is getting congested.

I know in the old days back when a computer was having problems a reboot would often do the trick. Still, I couldn’t say I was thrilled about having my mind rebooted.

Don’t be a baby,” Carol thinks to me. “You’ve had me and so many other psis playing around with your white and gray matter this is no big deal. If you want, I can reboot you.”

Carol I know you have a powerful mind but my mind is built for healing,” Merinda thinks.

“The shuttle says it will be on the ground in one minute,” Alicia informs us.

“Zach I can have you feeling better by then,” Merinda tells me. Holding out her hand she says, “trust me…”

I take a deep breath and then another. “HARV?” I think out one last time.

Once again all I hear is three quick beeps three slow beeps and three quick beeps.

“Help me,” I tell Merinda.

Merinda puts a hand on my midsection and another on my forehead. “Just relax, Zach.”

I feel warmth on my head and in my gut. Not just the warmth from Merinda’s touch but an extra type of warmth that I can only describe as hot coco on a cold day warm. My entire body starts to relax.

The next thing I know Carol is standing behind me for support. Not sure why until my knees buckle.

A slight jostle from behind, “Come on, Tio wake up, you’re heavy…”

“Carol, give him a second to recover,” I hear Merinda order.

The first thing I see when I open my eyes are Merinda’s incredibly green eyes. She smiles. “Welcome back. How do you feel?”

HARV are you in there?”

The numbers: 1 2 3 scroll in front of my eyes. “I’m back, Zach.”

“I’m fine, thank you, Merinda.”

“Why did you have to make him pass out to fix an upset stomach?” HAL50 asks.

“I wanted to give him a complete reset,” Merinda says. “It’s good for the body and the soul.”

“Now that Mr. Johnson’s tummy ache is over, may I suggest we head to our ship?” Tezza says pointing at the shuttle that has just landed.

“Of course,” Merinda says.

We were going to have to figure out who or what attacked HARV. That would lead us closer to Merinda’s would be attacker. But something else was troubling me: Merinda was much more powerful than I had thought. I wasn’t sure I liked the fact that I was just finding out now that she could read minds and project her thoughts… The question is what am I going to do about it? Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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2 responses

  1. Hi Marta, we do occasionally jump into politics with WD when writing for Rita. It’s just part of the flow when you write a comic about inter-office relationships part of that is dealing with people with different political views. Am trying to tone it down though.

  2. This comment has nothing to do with The Raven Haired Rogue but is the only way to contact you regarding Working Daze since I do not wish to EVER comment on Go Comics (too clickish) even though I am a member and subscriber. So you need not post it here, but I respectfully hope you will heed what I have to say. For the most part I have enjoyed Working Daze because it is a wonderful geeky strip (although I will admit that I prefer Comics Kingdom’s ‘intelligent Life’). But of late it has for some bizarre reason suddenly become political. I avoid politics and all political strips of any leaning on Go Comics. Therefore I have removed Working Daze from My Comics and subscription. I hope that in the future you will leave your politics at the door and Working Daze will return to the geekyness that I have enjoyed in the past.

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