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

ZNJRavenHairedRogue45Final episode!

Previously… Zach and councilman Sam Storm duked it out – Zach knows Storm tried to start a war between Mars and the Moon.

Episode 45

Storm tighten his bear hug on me, making it harder to breathe. “I’ll crush the air out of your lungs!” he repeats. “You will die a criminal for attacking a Councilman!”

“Zach, Merinda and Elena really want to help!” HARV tells me in my brain.

I knew I didn’t need Elena and Merinda’s help to take out Storm. Thing was, as it stood now, it would be my word against his that he was trying to start to war. The guy had the resources to weasel his way out of this or escape. I needed to get him to admit what he did in public. The best way to do that was to let my psi friends go at him. I had drawn him out now I should let them have the pleasure of finishing him off. After all with Merinda being from Mars and Elena being from the Moon, they had the most at stake here.

“Bring em in, HARV!” I say out loud.

I accent my words by clamping my fists hard into Storm’s ears. The force of my blow forces Storm to release his bear hug on me. Stumbling to the ground but remaining on my feet, I make a fist and show it to Storm.

Out of the corner of my eye I see Merinda storming at us from one side. She has Carol and the rest of her posse close behind. I also see Elena teleporting in behind us. She has a skinny man with a beard following her; he is on all fours and panting like a dog. Yeah, you don’t want to make Elena mad.

“How dare you hurt a councilman!” Storm roars at me. “You’ll spend the rest of your little life in prison for that.”

I point to Elena and Merinda closing in on us. “Ah, don’t think so. Not when my psi friends are here to make you sing the truth.”  

Storm laughed. “I’ll just tell people they mind washed me into talking! I’m loved by people who will never believe that I started a war between Mars and Earth!”

“Dude, one, the evidence will prove that’s not the case. And two, I’ve just recorded you saying that.”

For some reason THAT was the time Storm decided to run. I wasn’t going to let that happen though, especially since he was dense enough to try to run past me. I simply stick out my leg and let him trip over it. He makes a very not so graceful head first dive into the mud.

“You ass!” he mumbles face still in the dirt. He starts pushing himself up from the ground.

Elena ports herself (and what appears to be her pet man) right next to the fallen councilman. She puts a purple boot on his back. “Stay down!” she orders. “I am taking you to the Moon for prosecution!”

The councilman stops pushing upward and drops to the ground. “You have no proof!” he groans.

Elena turns to the man she has on a leash. “Speak!” she orders.

“Woof!” he barks obediently.

“Speak words!” Elena orders the man.

“Storm paid me to reprogram the SRIP computer system to crash into the Moon,” the man says.

“Very good,” Elena tells him with a pat on the head. “Now go back to being a dog!”

The man obediently rolls over.

Elena points dramatically at Storm. “Like I said, I’m taking you to the Moon!”

By this time Merinda and the others have reached us. At first I’m surprised nobody else seems to be paying attention to the commotion then I realize everybody around us who’s not us is sleeping.

“No Elena, I insist we take him to Mars for punishment!” Merinda says walking up right next to Elena.

“So why’d you do it Storm?” I ask though I was pretty sure I knew the answer.

“I’ll never tell you!” Storm growls.

“Tell him!” Elena, Merinda and Carol order.

“Well as you know I’ve been a fan of Earth first. I thought putting Mars and the Moon at each other’s throats by either having the Moon kill one of the Mars leaders or then crashing the ship into the Moon would have been great for Earth! Not only that but since I am retiring from politics and going into new media this would be a great story to cover!”

So there we have it. Typical greedy politician wanted everything his way.

Elena and Merinda locked eyes with each other. “He’s mine!” they both said.

“Ladies, I think I might have a solution. Since Storm is guilty but nobody innocent got hurt…”

“Well our SRIP got reprogrammed!” Tezza points out.

“Well yeah but that can be unreprogrammed,” I say.

They all nod. “Which brings me back to the not so good councilman. I agree if you leave him on Earth he may not get the punishment he deserves. Plus if either of you takes him it could start an incident…”

They all looked at me with tilted heads and open eyes so I went on. “I think you should let him retire but reprogram HIM to do something useful with his life like help feed the poor or walk non-robotic dogs.”

They all smiled.

“That’s an outrage!” Storm barks. He stops barking. He smiles from the ground.

 Epilogue

After saying our goodbyes Elena actually gave Merinda and her crew a teleport back to the Moon. (Elena and Saturn hit it right off.) From there they would discuss a new Moon Mars treaty and then catch a shuttle back to Mars. The now good councilman announced his retirement from politics immediately to go live in the South Pole and work with saving sick penguins.

Driving home, Carol leans over towards me from the passengers seat, “So you’re cool letting the Councilman go?” she asks.

I nod. “Yeah, he could have done grave damage but we stopped him thanks to a mind reading dog. Now, he’s a changed person. A better person, the world is better for it. So justice was served.”

HARV appears in my dash. “Actually Zach, for you this case was fairly low stakes, you just saved the Moon and Mars from a messy possible war. Normally you save the Earth from being destroyed!”

“No reason why I can’t have an easy case once in a while I tell him!” I smile knowing that my next case probably will be more dire. But for now I’m just going to enjoy the ride home.

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2 responses

  1. Starting May 4, M-F wil be Serealities’ first daily interactive serial where Zach has a new adventure. Be sure to vote every day!

  2. If you want to begin a new adventure, isn’t there still the matter of Dr. Randy Pool’s missing pen pal, mentioned in Episode 1?

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