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

ZNJRavenHairedRogue31Vote at the end of this episode!

In the previous episode, After Merinda used her mind to reset Zach’s mind to fix HARV, Zach needs to decide if he should confront her as they head to Mars.

Episode 31

The trip from the shuttle to Merinda’s rocket goes surprisingly smooth. Nobody attacks or tries to kill me or anybody else. That is good because it gives me time to think. I’m a little worried that Merinda never told me that she can read and to some extent control minds. I decide to keep quiet about it until we board her ship.

The ship itself while being mega cool since after all it is a rocket ship to mars doesn’t actually look like anything THAT special from the outside: just a long streamlined metal bullet. I am sure HARV would tell me it’s not really made out of metal but whatever it was made of was shining and silver. Like I said, ultra cool but nothing special in this day and age of teleporting.

The inside of the ship reminds me of those luxury hover buses that rock and video stars use when touring the country. I had been on one of those once when I worked a case for the clones of the Still Grateful Dead. This was a little bigger and roomier (and not nearly as smoky) but still pretty much the same.

“Welcome to our ship SRIP,” Merinda tells me with a smile as we enter the common area.

“I have made all the necessary calculations and arrangements for our return to Mars,” a semi-robotic voice informs us over the ship’s intercom. “Just tell me when you wish to take off.”

“Thank you, SRIP,” Merinda says. Merinda turns to me. “Private quarters are in the back of SRIP. I will have Alicia show you and Carol to your rooms. Zachary when we take off you may either be in your room in the back of the ship or in the common seating area near the front. Wherever you think you would be the most comfortable.”

“You know what would make me really comfortable?” I ask, locking eyes with Merinda.

She looks down without looking away. “You are wondering why I did not tell you more about my abilities,” she says.

“Yeah,” I tell her. “A PI’s best weapon is information without having complete information. It’s like fighting a ninja with one hand tied behind your back.”

You are such a drama king,” HARV says in my head.

Before Merinda can respond Alicia steps between us. Alicia’s eyes are wide open, her hair standing on end. “Ms. Merinda is a member of the Mars high council, for all intents and purposes she is royalty. She does not have to tell you anything more than she thinks you need to know. If she does not think you need to know then you do not need to know.” Alicia grabs me by the shoulder. “Got it?”

On one hand I am impressed by Alicia’s loyalty to her boss. On the other hand, I hate having people grab me. It’s just so rude.

Looking over Alicia to Merinda I ask, “Are you going to answer my question and handle this?” I move my head towards Alicia so Merinda understands what, well who, I mean by this.

“Zach, I’m sorry,” Merinda says.

“For not giving me information or for your aid threatening me?”

“Technically she hasn’t threaten you,” Maxxx says.

“She’s just doing what we’re all thinking,” Tezza says. “You are a bit overbearing.”

“I’m actually loving this,” HAL50 smirks.

“Zach I am sorry,” Merinda tells me. “I should have told you the full extent of my powers, but truthfully I don’t like to use my powers, they make me feel too different. Now Alicia please let Zach go.”

Alicia actually leans into me even more, tightening her grip. “He spoke poorly of you!” Alicia spats, turning redder with each word.

You really do have a way with people,” HARV says in my head. “Maybe you should switch colognes?”

I’m here to help Tio,” Carol thinks to me. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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