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

ZNJRavenHairedRogue41Vote at the end of this episode!

Previously, Zach learned for certain that SRIP is the one who threaten Merinda.

Episode 41

HARV, Carol and I rush towards the control room. Merinda and her staff follow on our heels. Of course SRIP continues to vibrate to life, which would most likely mean death to the rest of us.

“Zach if this ship gets off the ground you are doomed!” HARV says.

“Yeah he’ll probably fly us into the sun….” Hal50 groans.

“No, the sun would take too long. I am going to crash you into the moon!” SRIP informs us.

Turning to Merinda’s crew I ask, “How long until SRIP can blast off?”

“The engines can go from cold to launch ready in four minutes and twenty eight seconds,” Tezza says proudly.

“Just lovely,” I mumble.

“Hey, we can’t help it if we’re an efficient people,” Tezza says.

We reach the door to the control room. Surprisingly it opens right up for us. I hesitate.

“Oh, I thought this was going to be harder,” I say.

“Yeah this can’t be a good sign…” HARV says.

We enter the control room. It’s a fairly unimpressive, seemingly empty room with glowing light blue display panels lining the walls and the ceiling.

“Where are the main brains to this thing?” I ask.

Another glowing green arrow appears in front of my eyes. It points upwards then zooms up until it touches a spot on the ceiling.

“Shooting through this panel should totally disable SRIP,” HARV tells me.

I pop my gun into my hand.

“Zach, are you sure of this?” Merinda asks.

“Unless SRIP powers down I don’t think there is another way,” I tell her loudly.

A face of a young child with huge blue eyes and an angelic smile, appears on the wall screens all around us.

“Greetings, Mr. Johnson, Merinda, Tezza, Maxxx, Hal50, Alicia, HARV, Carol and of course Saturn!” the child says. “I have so enjoyed interacting with you all. I will take no pleasure in killing you.”

Out of the corner of my eye I notice a dozen little circular bots pop out of panels near the floor. The bots float up into the air and start whizzing towards us.

“I got the bots on the left,” Carol tells me.

Carol glares at the charging bots and squeezes her fists. The bots crumble and crush like very weak soda cans in a vice. Carol opens her hands. The bots drop to the ground…

“Wow what a woman!” Maxx says.

The bots on the right side continue buzzing towards me.

“Zach there are six bots attacking you!” HARV tells me.

“Yeah I see that,” I say spinning towards the bots. I fire six times. There are six explosions followed by six little bots shattering into many bot pieces.

“That’s impressive!” Merinda says.

“The bullets are computer controlled,” HARV informs her. “Zach basically just needed to count to six.”

“Yeah but I pulled the trigger with flare!” I say. Looking at SRIP’s image I say, “You tried taking us out with vacuum bots? That was your plan?”

SRIP’s image shrugs. “You make do with what you are given…”

I point my gun at the spot of the ceiling. “Stop stalling and power down now!” I order.

“So, Mr. Johnson it appears we are at an impasse!” the young child tells me.

“How much time do we have before SRIP is ready to launch?” I ask.

“One minute and seven seconds,” HARV tells me.

I shake my head. “No impasse here, SRIP. You power down or I shut you down for good!” A very slight pause to let what I said sink in. “HARV let me know when SRIP is ten seconds from ignition.”

“Check,” HARV says.

“Yes, you could surely disable me Mr. Johnson but then you will never learn my motive or who programmed me to crash into the Moon….” SRIP says quickly.

Okay, SRIP had a point there but I don’t have a lot of time to make a choice. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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2 responses

  1. I voted to strike a deal because Zack has been more talk that action.

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