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

ZNJRavenHairedRogue43Vote at the end of this episode!

Previously… Zach and his team learn that councilman Sam Storm is most likely the one who wants to kill Merinda from Mars.

Episode 43

I needed to go face to face with Sam Storm to catch him in the act. Well not in the act exactly but watching the act that he knew would lead to the death of one of the leaders of Mars. But first I had to get some sort of hint of evidence to confront him.

“HARV you gotta get me something to tie Sam Storm into SRIP’s programming,” I semi-plead.

“I’m trying Zach but right now it might be easier to get me to talk the Moon and Mars into becoming allies…” HARV says.

“Hey that’s unfair!” Tezza protests. “We do do some things with the Moon. We can’t help it if the Mooners are arrogant snots.”

“Wait, the Moon did help with the SRIP interface. Right?” I say.

HARV nods. “Yes that is one of the few times the Moon and Mars have gotten along…”

“They charged us a mint for that interface,” Merinda says. “But it was worth it – kind of.”

It hit me. SRIP had been planning on crashing into the Moon all along. The Earth’s first politician Sam Storm had wanted to start an incident between the Moon and Mars all along. But to do that he would have needed help. Moon help.

“HARV find me something, anything to link Storm to somebody on the Moon who helped program the SRIP interface…Storm was on the Moon surly he had some contact with somebody from that team!”

HARV’s eyes flash red. “Zach I talked to Elena and she gave me access to all Mars security cameras. I got something! During his last trip to Mars, Storm stayed in the same hotel as Sid Finch.”

“So?”

“Finch is a low level psi but a high level computer interface engineer who was second in command in the SRIP project.”

“That can’t be a coincidence,” Carol says.

“Well it could be, but it most likely isn’t,” HARV notes.

“HARV, contact Elena and have her get a confession out of Sid.”

“Actually Zach, Sid is on the Earth today. He is in the Old Rock Hotel here in Frisco…”

Yep that’s all I needed.

I move to the door and say, “Time to go greet the good councilman….”

“Do you want us to come with you?” Carol asks.

“I’d love to give that guy a piece of my mind!” Tezza says.

“I’ll give him a piece of my fist…” Maxxx says.

“I’ll put him in a deep sleep!” Merinda says.

“Woof!” Saturn barks.

Heading out I shake my head. “No I don’t want to spook him. At least not yet…”

I walk up behind Storm who is casually standing on a walkway gazing up at SRIP.

“Fine ship isn’t it?” I say.

Storm nods. “It’s an interesting ship. Of course I prefer ones made on Earth.”

“Yeah but you can’t get most Earth ships to fly into the Moon killing a member of the Mars royal council and starting an interplanetary incident,” I say calmly.

Storm turns quickly to me. At first his eyes are wide open, he is surprised by what I said. His eyes narrow, he smiles. “Zachary Nixon Johnson,” he says.

I nod. “In person… I’m surprised you recognize me.”

“Actually,” the council member says, “I’m surprised YOU recognized me.”

“My computer pointed you out,” I tell him.

“Ah, the legendary HARV,” Storm says, catching me off guard. He knows more than I thought he would. “I assure you Mr. Johnson I have no idea what you are talking about…”

“You know normally when a politician says that I believe them. But in this case I think you know exactly what I meant. Maybe I should let the world know about your fondness for rockets and death?”

“Is that a threat Mr. Johnson?” Storm asks.

“Yeah pretty much,” I shrug.

Storm casually grabs me by the shirt and easily lifts me off the ground with one hand. “I don’t respond well to threats?”

Apparently he is bionic,” HARV says in my head.

“Yeah I kind of figured that out…” Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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