Part 4: An Emu Goes to The Market
They stood hugging for what felt like a long time. Sophia didn’t know what else to do to comfort him. In their little ship in the middle of an asteroid field that was once his home, all she could do was hug him back. The more she tried to avoid thinking about her body being against his the more she noticed how shapely he was. Under his slightly loose clothing, he was in very good condition.
An alarm pulled her out of her thoughts.
She sat back down at the navigation controls and saw that there was another ship coming towards them. “That ship has its weapons aimed at us.” It was big, at ten times the size of their ship.
“I don’t understand. That’s a royal cruiser,” Phil’s red teary eyes looked at the ship in utter confusion.
“That’s a cruiser? I’d hate to see a battleship.” She hit a few buttons on the control panel and said, “Royal Cruiser. This is the Phillip Two. We are unarmed please advise.” She’d meant to ask why it was the Phillip-Two and what had happened to the first. In the stories she’d read there were ten different ways the first had been destroyed.
“Phillip-Two, you are in a stolen royal yacht. Lower your shields and prepare for boarding.”
Looking up at the Prince, she waited for him to say something. When he didn’t she said, “They think I stole your ship. What do you want to do?”
“Um… I guess we surrender?”
Shaking her head, she said to him, “Are you sure? They could just as easily shoot us when our shields go down.”
He opened his mouth and nothing came out. Before he could say anything the cruiser hailed them again, “In the name of his highness Abernathy First of his name and rightful ruler of the galaxy, lower your shields.”
Without hesitation, she pushed them back into hyperspace. Once again without coordinates but this time she knew she could change them as they travelled.
“We’re running? Why are we running?” Phil’s voice became shrill and his eyes tried their best to imitate a kicked puppy’s.
“Abernathy isn’t one of your siblings and the only Abernathy in the stories was a rich mining tycoon. I had a bad feeling about them.”
His eyes widened and he just stared at her. Finally he yelled, “You just turned us into fugitives!”
“Better than dead!” she yelled back.
“WARK! WARK!” yelled Hagrid.
Both Sophia and Phil jumped and turned to the door. Hagrid was swaying left and right and making choking noises. Eventually he just gagged and spit up a large ball of feathers and something electronic.
“That’s the tracker.” Phil bent down and picked it up wiping it off on his jeans. “We have the tracker. I know someone who can help us. We need to get to The Market.”
She gave him a disdainful look and waited for him to tell her where it was.
“Oh right it’s um… the ship should know.” She searched the database and found that it wasn’t on a planet, it was an entire solar system. Twelve planets, three hundred moons, and several floating ships. It was immense. “Thank you for saving our lives.”
“My pleasure. I like being alive. I hate to be practical when our lives are being threatened ever five minutes but we need fuel and food. Hagrid has eaten most of what was here before and you’ve eaten all the cereal I brought.”
“We’ll be able to get everything we need at The Market.”
* * *
“We need the moon called Shimerman.” The moon was located closest to the sun and the databanks said it was one of the roughest places in The Market.
“Do you have any weapons?” Sophia asked as the were getting ready to go.
“No and if I did, I’d leave them behind. There’s only two laws on Shimerman and the first is that if you want to kill someone you do it with your fists.”
“What’s the second?”
“Don’t piss off Little Sister.”
He reached for the button that opened the airlock and looked at Hagrid. He opened his mouth like he was going to ask a question and then closed it and shook his head. “She runs the place. We’re not going anywhere near her.”
There was something thrilling about stepping off the ship onto an alien moon. She was less thrilled when she noticed the rest of the shoppers. They were human, or at least human looking. They were different shades of brown, pink and beige but they could all be from different places on earth. Where they differed was the style of clothing, tattoo, and piercings.
The entire planet looked like a bad Blade Runner rip off. It was the grimy future that eighties movies loved.
Part way to their destination Hagrid made a strange whistling noise and walked away from them in the wrong direction. Phil looked like he was going to try and stop the bird but didn’t. Sophia wasn’t worried, she’d placed a short-range tracker on him. Hopefully he’d stay out of trouble.
They were going was a little shop called Buck’s. The owner, who she assumed was called Buck, sat in the back of a large room that looked vaguely like a trash yard, if everything in the yard had a little tag with a price.
“You, My Friend are supposed to be dead!”
Buck and Phil hugged a quickly and awkwardly. The hug of people who’d once been close but now didn’t know what was acceptable.
“Not yet but someone is trying hard. I took this tracker off my hull it was laced with explosives.” When Buck gave him a sceptical look he added, “Ok well… she took it off. Can you tell me who’s tech this is?”
Buck took the tracker and looked at if for a little before getting an eyepiece that looked like the ones jewelers used. After what felt like years he said, “You really don’t know?”
“No I don’t. Who’s tech is it?”
“It’s Galactic Royal Tech.” Buck paused frowning. “This has your sisters royal signature all over it. Your sister was trying to kill you.”
If you’re enjoying this year’s serial story why not check out those from past years?