Part 5: An Emu Causes a Ruckus
The trader called Buck looked apologetic as he said, “This has your sister’s royal signature all over it. Your sister was trying to kill you.”
The Prince must have been expecting it because his face drooped sadly as he asked, “Which one?”
“Oh wow! You’ve really been out of circulation haven’t you? Wowee!”
“Listen Buck. I’ve been shot at, tracked, almost exploded, and threatened multiple times by a large bird. That’s just recently. Stop with the gee-golly routine and tell me what’s going on.”
Looking a little hurt, Buck said, “About the same time you disappeared, your other family members started dying. The Ageless King and Queen started getting paranoid and stopped going out in public or filming their family events. About two years ago, your uncle Benedict challenged Elizabeth’s claim to the throne with six super-heavy-destroyers. It wiped out your home world and sent your sister into deep hiding. Benedict’s execution was mandatory viewing for the year after.” He shuddered. “Still gives me nightmares.” After a small pause he added, “Congrats on being second in line to the throne. Figuratively speaking… I think the actual throne blew up with the planet.”
“Great! My entire family is dead except my oldest sister and she’s trying to have me killed. What else could go wrong?”
The statement was immediately followed by a large Emu wark and a crash.
Shuddering visibly, Sophia said, “Why’d you have to say that?”
Running outside they saw Hagrid, with a fish in his mouth, being chased by a small group of people calling for “Little Sister.”
Swearing Phil and Sophia ran after Hagrid. They were a little ahead of the mob but not by much. Sophia yelled, “Hagrid you stupid bird. What did you do and why are you heading away from the ship?”
As if in answer Hagrid stopped, gently deposited the fish on the ground, turned towards her and vomited a football-sized silver egg that was blinking with pink light. Sophia stopped chasing him and stood trying to understand what had just happened.
The mob arrived and one person screamed, “BOMB!” and the entire group turned and ran.
Sounding utterly defeated Phil sat down and said, “That’s a planet buster… We’re dead.”
“You’re awfully pessimistic Prince Phillip.” At first Sophia thought the voice was coming from Hagrid and she fought the urge to giggle. The voice was high pitched and squeaky, the kind of voice used by grown women to imitate young girls.
The voice came from a small child that was walking towards them with a silver tube that looked like a large Tupperware. Looking closer Sophia saw that it wasn’t a girl but some sort of robot toy. She was three feet tall with red yarn hair, a plush face, and silver metal limbs. She wore a bright yellow sundress and her face smiling the creepy smile that only dolls can accomplish.
The doll took the container and placed it around the bomb closing the lid and pressing a large red button on the side of it.
“This will contain the blast and disperse the energy wirelessly into our power grid.” The explanation sounded ridiculously cute. Sophia found herself fighting the urge to pat the doll on the head.
“Hello Little Sister,” said Phil in the same sad, deadpan voice. “Sophia, this is Little Sister. She’s the AI that runs this moon. She’s as ruthless as she is adorable.”
“Hello Prince Phillip and Sophia. Thank you for the flattery. Can any of you explain how this bird swallowed a planet buster?” She smiled.
They all looked at Hagrid and for a split second Sophia expected him to speak. Instead he started to preen the feathers on his butt.
When no one answered and it was obvious Hagrid was ignoring them Little Sister said, “I think someone is trying to kill you and I think I can help.”
“Oh?” Phil asked still sitting on the ground looking mopey.
“Have you heard of the Database of the Ageless Kings?”
“It’s just a story and not a particularly coherent or good one at that.”
Ignoring him, Little Sister continued, “The Database of Ageless Kings is a repository of information that is only accessible to the Galactic rulers. It’s a massive computer that records everything that happens in the galaxy. It’s said that it has over a billion years’ worth of data.”
“It’s a myth that my family liked to spread to make us seem nearly omnipotent.”
Little Sister leaned in with a smirk, she looked excited, exactly like a young child about to tell a secret, “It’s also said that database can affect reality, not just record it. It’s said that an heir can re-rewrite history.”
“It’s just a story. Even if it existed only the crowned heir would be told where it is. I mean —” Phil was cut off by Hagrid head butting him.
Little Sister giggled and said, “I know where it is and I’ll tell you… for a price.”
If you’re enjoying this year’s serial story why not check out those from past years?