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

ZNJRavenHairedRogue40Vote at the end of this episode!

Previously, Zach is pretty sure that SRIP is the one who wants Merinda dead. Of course the trick is they are about to blast off in SRIP.

Episode 40

“Madam, Merinda do you wish me to ignore Earth authorities and take off to Mars?” SRIP coaxes. “I do not need their guidance….”

“Well, Zach what do you think?” Merinda asks me.

“Probably not a good idea to irk off ground control,” I say in my most serious voice. “We’re in no hurry. Certainly no need to create an incident. Especially since you will need to bring me back to Earth.”

“Zach, raises a fine point,” Merinda says.

“And of course my lady Merinda makes the wisest choice,” Alicia agrees.

“No need making my PR job even harder,” Tezza agrees.

“I’m in no hurry,” Maxx says.

Hal50 just shrugs.

“Woof!” Saturn barks in agreement.

The good news is that I for once had all of Merinda’s people kind of on my side. At least as much on my side as a group of people who suspect I suspected one of them to be a murderer can be on my side. The challenging news was I was starting to think the only way I would get to SRIP was to out and out accuse it of being the possible killer.

HARV you got anything out of SRIP? Any way to pick its brain?” I mentally ask.

The word NADA rolls across my eyes.

I take a deep breath.

Tio what are you thinking?” Carol asks. She concentrates on me. “No, you can’t be thinking that…”

Wait what is he thinking?” HARV asks anxiously. “I so hate not being able to read his mind…”

Carol just shakes her head at me. HARV’s holographic eyes pop open.

Zach, you do realize we are inside of SRIP right now….” HARV lectures.

I admit it’s a gamble,” I think back.

“Okay, why are you guys just staring at each other?” Maxx asks me, HARV and Carol.

“They are communicating telepathically,” Tezza remarks.

“What’s so important you have to talk about it in secret?” Maxx asks.

“They are thinking which of us might be a killer,” Hal50 says.

“True,” I say holding up a finger. “But I’ll bet credits to soy donuts I’m not thinking what you think…”

HARV do you know where the control room is here?” I think.

Of course….”

A glowing green holographic arrow appears in front of my eyes. It points to a door towards the front of the ship. I start casually walking towards that door.

“Zach, where are you going?” Merinda asks.

“This ship is such a marvel. I really want to see the brains that hold everything together. It’s not for me so much as it is for HARV…”

HARV picks up on my lead and starts walking ahead of me. (There are advantages to being a hologram.) “Yes, this SRIP is SO amazing!” HARV gushes. “I must see what makes it tick…”

My hope now was that SRIP didn’t see where I was going with this. But if my educated hunch was right and SRIP was the potential murderer here then I had to make sure that when I confronted SRIP I was close enough to his brain to shut him down fast before he could react.

“Passengers aboard. I am preparing to blast off. Please do NOT take you seats as I wish to kill you all!” SRIP announces.

We feel and hear the ships engines rumble and roar to life.

The good news is my hunch about SRIP was right. The bad news is SRIP was pretty sharp. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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One response

  1. Kirk was able to reason with Nomad; I’m sure Zach can pull the cyber-wool over SRIP’s optical sensors.

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