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

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

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Zach and Merinda searched Tezza’s room and found lots of stuffed animals; some of them had knives in them. That makes two crew members with knives hidden….

Episode 37

“I repeat! What happened to us?” Hal50 demands.

The others all fixate their glares on us. Tezza, Maxxx and Hal50 were red and ridged with anger. Alicia looked frantic and confused. My team of Carol and HARV were somewhere in between.

Saturn just stood there staring up at us.

Merinda and I exchange glances. I don’t need words or telepathy to know she was blindsided by this turn of events. She was still expecting everybody to still be asleep as she commanded. Taking a quick glance out the window in Maxxx’s room I notice that everybody outside is still motionless.

“Why are you in my room?” Maxxx asks firmly. “Merinda I know you are my leader but we on Mars value our freedom and independence. I consider this an invasion of privacy!”

“Because it IS an invasion of privacy!” Tezza adds, her face growing more red by the moment.

I decide here the best defense is to go on offense. “Here’s the deal!” I say firmly. “There has been a threat to Merinda’s life. It was a threat made by one of you!” I accent that last statement by pointing dramatically at Merinda’s crew.

“Threat by who?” Alicia asks.

“By whom,” HARV corrects being as helpful as always.

I soften my stance a bit. “That’s the kicker. Not sure who the who is,” I tell the crowd.

They all murmur.

“Then how do you know there was a threat?” Hal50 asks.

“Yeah,” Maxxx adds.

I point to Saturn. “Saturn picked up threatening thoughts….”

“Wait, so you are investigating us on a thought the dog, thought he heard….” Tezza says not even trying to cover up the disdain in her voice.

“Okay, when you say it like that it does sound a tad whacky,” I admit.

I know what I heard in my mind!” Saturn thinks at all of us.

“And you all have to admit that Saturn is quite perceptive,” Merinda says.

“Yeah for a freaking dog!” Hal50 says. “But I’ve still caught him drinking out of the toilet!”

Hey! It was just that one time and I was thirsty and it was clean!” Saturn protests. “This world is still biased against beings that don’t have hands and opposable thumbs!”

I think about how I was going to play this. I could be coy. I could still on the offensive. Like my old mentor use to say, when in doubt be offensive.

“I found enough knives in all of your rooms to make you all suspects!” I say with conviction.

“Wait you went through all of our rooms?” Tezza exclaims.

“Well, not Alicia’s. I didn’t need to. Not that I’m certain she’s innocent but I’ve seen her love of knives up close and personal. But yeah, I had Merinda give you all naps so I could work in peace. That’s when I found you all have enough knives to start a Ginsu store.”

“Of course we all have some kind of knives!! We’re from the Mars working class!” Tezza says. “Knives are part of what makes us, us.”

She is right,” Merinda thinks to me. “My people pride themselves on being good with knives…”

You could have mentioned this to me sooner, Merinda!”

Sorry, Zach being part of the ruling class I let that slip my mind. I blame myself. When you have everything done for you your mind gets lazy. DOS, I’m not sure I even remember how to open up a door without a servant or a computer to do it for me. “

Okay, so the knives weren’t the best clues. But Merinda’s statement sent my mind off in another direction.

“HARV how do the doors in this ship work?”

Well SRIP wasn’t very forthcoming with any information but a brief scan shows they are computer controlled.”

What if the computer is down?” I ask.

Scanning I see there are manual override buttons on the wall next to the doors…..” HARV answered.

Suddenly, it hit me. I knew where those threatening thoughts were coming from….Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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