Hello Imaginary Friends,
My wife and I have bought a house and are in the middle of moving and setting things up.
Since I don’t want to neglect you any more than I have, I’ll be posting a multi-part story. It was recently rejected by an anthology but I plan on resubmitting it.
I really like this story. Let me know what you think.
The walk back to my shuttle was as silent as before, but not as barren. People were starting to move around the Venusian ship. We must have arrived during their night cycle. That was going to make the second part of our mission difficult.
At the hatch of the ship, Suit gave me a grim look and handed me credit chip. “This is the donation you requested. You have five hours to fix your ship and leave.”
“Thank you. Your gratitude makes me feel all warm and tingly.”
He scowled and stood his ground. Two soldiers in full battle armour approached and took their place on either side of our hatch.
Walking into the ship, Rose looked relieved. She ran over to Sofia and the two hugged. Even my status as Sun-Speaker wouldn’t save me from the Venusian royal family if I had angered them. The Venusian royal family had a well-founded reputation for brutality.
“Doc. If you need to can you re-plug the warp generator quickly?”
Giving me a dirty look Rose said, “It’s not brain surgery, although I am qualified for brain surgery.”
“Good. We’re about to have…” I smelled oranges and sat down on the deck. I always smelled citrus when sol was going to speak to me. Sometimes he spoke with words, sometimes with images, and sometimes he just threw a days’ worth of memories at me. He showed me everything that was about to happen. Six hours of memories shoved into my head in seconds. I lost complete control of my body as my mind tried to cope. Glamorous isn’t it?
Shaking off the pain and fog, I stood up. “We’re about to have a new passenger and possibly injuries. Get ready.”
“What just happened?” Rose was even paler than normal and her eyes were wide in panic.
“I just got a message from Sol. He’s great, powerful, and merciful but not subtle.” All three of us covered our heart with our hands in a display of respect for Sol.
“Great. Tell us and we can avoid any bad stuff.”
“I can’t do that, Doc.”
She opened her mouth to argue and saw the haunted look on my face. She knew I was serious. I hate being serious.
Looking over at Sofia filling up a bag with extra clothes and supplies we might need, I saw her glancing at her blaster wistfully. Seeing me looking at her she said, “I know, I know. If I shoot in there they’ll know.” She pulled out a wicked looking sword and clipped it to her belt.
Beautiful and deadly, she was all curves and muscle. Her long blond hair hid the spikes she braided into it. I had vaguely considered seducing her when we first met. Sol had forbidden it. She has a greater destiny. It was probably for the best, I’m terrible at seducing.
“What?” She looked at me with one eyebrow raised.
“Just be careful out there and try to listen to me ok?”
Her answer was to stick out her tongue. She knew I was serious and hated it.
To avoid the guards we used teleportation. It was illegal, experimental, and painful. If the Venusians had protected against it we were dead. Thankfully the technology was too new and they hadn’t prepared for it.
Teleporting felt like someone was ripping my skin off with a tiny and sharp knife. The worst part is the nausea when you get to the other side. Sofia did a better job than I did at concealing the pain and sickness and we both managed to stay quiet. Any sound would have attracted the guards.
Checking my watch, I made sure I had control of the Venusian ship. The putty I had put on the panel had infected their computer system with a virus that gave me full access to their network. I could access any of their systems with my watch. Like the transporter, it was highly illegal. What? I’m a Prophet, not a Saint.
The trick to not being arrested when walking around a royal ship was looking like you belonged. I was recognized twenty paces from my shuttle. “Sun-Speaker,” an old man in cook’s clothing bent down on one knee and bowed his head. I guess the second trick to sneaking around a royal ship was to not be recognized. “Speaker, I beg of you. My daughter is gravely ill.” I saw Sofia shake her head.
“Stand up! Where is your daughter?”
“She’s the Princess’s nurse. Her rooms are next to the royal nursery.” I nodded and told him to take us to her. Sofia looked at me confused. She was wondering why I was allowing the detour. She didn’t know that my goal was to get to the nursery.
When we arrived at the door, the old man reached to the panel as if to open the door. I grabbed his hand, “You shouldn’t be here. Go, I’ll make sure your daughter is healed and safe.” The man opened his mouth to say something and I cut him off. “You’re forgiven.”
It really wasn’t his fault that this was a trap.
When he was out of earshot, I pulled out three breathers, miniature air canisters, from Sofia’s bag. They held 5 minutes of air and fit perfectly into your mouth over your teeth. I gave one to Sofia and said, “No violence unless I say so.”
She nodded and rolled her eyes at me.
Telling the panel to turn on the heat sensors in the room and to open, I walked into the dark room. The familiar hum of blasters greeted me a few seconds before the lights came on.