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

ZNJRavenHairedRogue34Vote at the end of this episode!

In order to calm everybody down Merinda used her vast mental powers to put everybody to sleep. Now is Zach’s chance to see if he can learn anything on which of Merinda’s crew may want her dead.

Episode 34

I look around Merinda’s ship to see everybody except Merinda and I are asleep on their feet. Peering out the window, the same thing. Just for kicks I activate my wrist communicator to scan for any broadcast, total silence.

“Impressive,” I tell Merinda.

Merinda gives me a wry smile. “I do have to admit it comes in handy at times.”

“Would have been nice though if you told me about these extra powers of yours,” I say bluntly.

Merinda locks her big green eyes on me. “Frankly Zach, I didn’t want to cloud the issue.”

“Cloud the issue? Your powers are a big part of the issue!” Waving at the sleeping everybody I add, “power like this makes you a threat.”

Merinda tightens her glare on me. “Don’t you think I know that!” she blares. She takes a deep breath and calms a bit. “Zach, it wasn’t your place to ponder why somebody might want to harm me. It’s your job to figure out who this is despite their reason.”

Standing my mental ground I retort, “Merinda, knowing WHY they might want to kill you helps me determine WHO might want to kill you…”

Merinda turns away from me. “Yes, I see that now. I should have given you full disclosure on the true nature of my power…”

“Here’s the thing Merinda, haven’t you used your powers to probe your people?”

Merinda nods. “I have. They all deny any involvement. Somehow whomever this is, is immune to my power.”

Looking around the room at the sleeping people, I found that hard to believe. “Okay, how long do we have until they wake up?”

“They will sleep for as long as I will them to, but I find anything more than a few minutes will cause a dissonance. So I try not to keep subject sleeping for more than ten minutes. It’s easy to justify in their minds why they missed ten minutes of their day…”

“Ah, okay, if you say so…”

I didn’t have a lot of time but still wanted to take some advantage of the situation. “Please take me to Hal50’s quarters.”

“It’s this way,” Merinda says moving towards a door at the end of the common area we are in.

“Why his room?”

“One, he was the last member of your team to attack me. Two, he has a human brain in an android body. If you ask me that’s asking for trouble with a capital T.”

We reach the door to Hal50’s quarters. Merinda waves her hand over the lock and the door pops open. Walking into the room the first thing I notice is there is no bed.

“Where’s the bed?” I ask.

“Hal50 only needs an hour of sleep each day which he takes sitting down…”

Looking around the room it’s not just missing a bed. The place is pretty barren. It has an old wooden chair and desk and nothing else. There are two doors in the back of the room I assume the small one leads to a closet. The other door must lead to a bathroom.

“Each of the walls are information screens?” I ask, heading towards the door that I believe is a closet.

“Yes of course,” Merinda says.

I slide open the closet door to reveal a row of brown suits. Rubbing my hands over the suit’s material (and checking the pockets) they are all smooth and expensive feeling. “These are real silk…”

“Hal50 likes to look his best,” Merinda says. “Those suits are handmade on Mars.”

Pointing to the other door I say, “that’s a bathroom, right?”

Merinda nods as she follows me towards the door.

Walking into the bathroom I can’t help but to ask, “Why does an android need a bathroom?”

“Well, this room was designed for non-androids. Plus, Hal50 likes to keep it for company…”

I move to an old fashion mirror and medicine cabinet on the wall over the sink. Sliding the door open I notice the shelves are bare, except for an old fashion barber’s razor with a jet black handle. I only realize what the razor is from my sense of fascination with things from the old days. I take the razor and flick it open to expose the shiny metal blade. Taking a strand of hair from my head I run it over the blade. The hair splits in two. Now what does an android need with a really sharp razor? Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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One response

  1. No sense in not having HARV and Carol available to help; time to wake them up!

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