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The Rogues Gambit

By Toby Nixon All Rights Reserved ©

Humor / Scifi

The Rogues Gambit

The air in the cheapest backwater garbage hole you could find in the Galaxy, was thick with Cannabin Extracts. I had a sore throat. My mouth was so dry my tongue had stuck to the roof of my mouth and I was completely blinded by my eyelids. I couldn't lift my head and I was damn near out of credits. Some big thug yelled at me and before I knew it I was out in the alley leaning into the trash chute.

A droid came over and lifted me up onto it's shoulder, to which I protested, "Get your oily bolts off of me Skipper before I unscrew your battery."

"Jessie if you are going to get so wasted on those dabs, not only should you stay in the ship, but you should at least be available when a job shows up looking for you," Skipper responded coyly and obviously not bound simply by the auditory Commands of his Captain.

"You found some work?" I slovenly slurred surprise.

"Jessie if you would listen to me the first time I say it, you would not need me to repeat it." Skipper paused for a second letting me stand on my feet as he pushed me down the space station transparent alley to the ship, "Yes, a rather upset planetary King was inquiring, if you knew where to find his daughter and I offered your services."

"WHAT?" I gasped, "You told a King, whose daughter I recently had a one night stand with and ran out on, that I knew where find his lost daughter?" I punched skipper and his titanium alloy just rang with the sound of my knuckles. My knuckles screamed out in agony as I realized it was incredibly dumb of me.

"He offered a sum of 50 million credits, knighthood and land title," Skipper's face just had that wide tooth-like grin that was always unnerving in a fight.

"Well, how are we supposed to find them?" I said rubbing my knuckles and my eyes.

"You already have. There is an over 99% probability that the description of the kidnapper is probably your friend Captain Jack Shelly." If Skipper had eyes he'd be rolling them at me.

"That foul dog, is always up to something. What I want to know is why you only call them my friend after they've done something really horrible." I stood in front of him shaking my swollen fist at him, then I saw the Cannabin dispenser and thought better of it. I extended my tag card and it spewed forth a small container of the oily natural residue that stuck to the tag.

Skipper grabbed it away from me and said, "I need you awake for the bloody assault on the Dreadnought." he said as he hauled me into the ship and strapped me in the Pilot's seat.

"I've taken the liberty of finding the Dreadnought and plotted a course to intercept." Skipper said as he locked himself into the gunners chair.

"I wont do it, it's crazy, gimme back my Cannabin, that's that Zero-G Nova I've been hearing so much about." I said as he simply stretched his motorized arm and flipped the switches to release the docking clamps and shoot us around the Galaxy at relativistic speed.

The Galaxy peeled back as the Dreadnought appeared in the screen, it dwarfed the ship by a thousand times. I sighed a little relief as I saw that it's fighters had been obliterated and the fighter dock was nothing but a smoldering hole on the side. There was a Royal Battle cruiser that was still here in bits and pieces. That meant that the pirates main weapon was still online.

Without thinking I fired into its main and secondary batteries with the new vaporization plasma beam cannons I had just installed. I flew in and attached to the structure with a magnetic field. Then I tuned down the gravity generator, which some call tractor beams to pull the cargo bay door off. First it folded outwards, then it launched into the fields base and flew over the canopy. It narrowly missed the hull, but that was what shields were for, deflection of debris and energies.

I spun the ship about and centered it in the cargo bay and cargo swam outside as the air rushed out into space. As soon as the air left space suits came pouring out of internal airlocks like flocks of birds with guns. Skipper fondled the turret controls and made an unthinkable massacre of the pirates. Bodies floated around in clouds of blood and smoke billowing to the stars. Parts of their armored space suits floated seemingly without understanding where they had came from. You'd think that Skipper was a bloodthirsty military bot, but I've seen him carry children out of fires and give donkey rides for hours with the exact same expression on his face. That smile was always unnerving.

"There were 327 bodies on board at the last port of call. I've just killed 284 that leaves just 33 possible combatants even if none of the personnel died defending the ship from the Royal Battle Cruiser. Chance of success is high, you must bring her back alive."

"For peet's sake, I have to bring her back alive? What exactly is the chance of success?" I said mockingly.

"One in six." He said without any expression but the smile the factory gave him. His round white plastic ovoids with fiber optic sensors, just looked blankly as usual at me.

"Okay, that was stupid of me to ask, remind me 'never to tell me' the odds." I was being assaulted out of the flight chair by a giant robot and into a space suit. Then I was shoved out of the airlock with a gun being carried by Skipper, who was flying with the help of his tiny jets.

We collided with the hull and Skipper took out a plasma cutter and cut into the airlock door. He pried it off with his hardened metal hands. Air escaping and screams silenced, emergency air control locks screeched shut. Then he crawled inside with the prowess of a cat. Then tossed me like a sack of potatoes down on the deck. He then turned around and pressurized the cabin and opened the emergency locks manually.

I had expected to be in a fire fight, but we cleared the hall to the bridge without any personnel, not even a cleaning droid. That seemed odd even for a pirate ship, this was the corridor towards the bridge. Then a drunken Jack Shelly stumbled out onto the promenade. Laser sword in hand. More leaning onto it than threatening. He pushed a button on his belt and Skipper stopped and his lights went down. His primary motor function field had been jammed.

"All you had to do was call, if I had known you were coming over, I would have let you in, Jessie."

"You know why I am here..." I lowered my gun and bowed.

"Shut up! YOU DON'T CALL, YOU DON'T WRITE, now all the sudden I took your girl and you want her back." He was shaking, visibly enraged. "You killed my entire crew, where the fuck am I going to get more now?"

"You kidnapped a Princess and ransomed a planet. I am just cleaning up, here to get the girl, just put down the sword Jack and you can walk away." I still had my gun on him, ensuring me a hit if he did anything.

"I can't do that. Not now. My ship's a wreck, I have no crew. Just let me keep the girl. You can be my first mate."

"I can't let you keep her. Think about it. I may have gotten her pregnant... They won't let this go." I said as I bowed my head.

"Well then I am fucked, unless I can get you out of the way."

He raised his Laser sword and I shot him somewhere in the torso causing him to drop his sword, then I aimed and shot him in his head....

I pushed the button on his belt and Skipper stumbled forward. "Did I drink something, I feel a bit funny?"

I went to the other room and she was tied gagged and blindfolded. I took off the blindfold and gag and she bellowed, "Jessie!... You drugged me and left me. You could have just left."

I said mockingly, "My hero, I thought I was going to die!"

She grabbed me and kissed me. "How did you do it?"

"Luck, I guess..."

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