Roderick and the Sheriff walked towards the part of town where his ship informed him the two intruders would enter. It was easy to notice the two men as they approached the town, as their high tech designer clothes and the space pistols by their sides were dead giveaways.
“How do you want to handle this, Jerry?” Roderick called out to the Sheriff as they approached the two men.
“I’ll lead on this one,” Jerry answered. “I appreciate the back up.”
“That’s not a problem.” Roderick answered as he stood by his friend’s side.
Jerry was a good Sheriff, but one who was well aware of the kind of trouble that came to town whenever someone off world strolled in unannounced. The town didn’t like people introducing new technology to the town folk as they preferred to use a little as possible and many swindlers tried to prey on the people with new gadgets in an attempt to temp them into giving them a good profit for items that are dirt cheap to produce. They had no idea what the two men were coming to town for, but Roderick had a feeling it wasn’t for anything legal.
When they were within twenty feet of the two men, Jerry was the first to speak up. “Put you your hands, no guns in town.”
“I’m not giving up anything.” The taller of the two called back. “What gives you the right to ask?”
“This township is tech free.” The Sheriff called out. “No walking in with phasers or disruptors of any kind.”
“We’re not here for any trouble.” The second man called out.
“Your unmarked vessel would suggest otherwise.” Roderick snapped back at him.
“And who the hell are you?” the second man then asked.
Roderick grinned. He forgot that most people were not used to seeing him in his dress uniform, which was much different from the standard patrol garb. “My name is Commander Benjamin Roderick, Rocket Patrol.”
“Commander, their blood pressure is spiking…”
Whenever Roderick was confronting someone, his vessel would always monitor their heart rates and that allowed him to know when the shit was going to hit the fan. A spike in blood pressure meant only one thing: they were about to draw on him and the Sheriff. Roderick grabbed his laser pistol and drew with lightning quick speed, firing a single shot which blew the shorter man clean off his feet. Roderick’s weapon was set to stun, so the short man was still alive and lying on the ground with the wind completely knocked out of him. Roderick pointed the laser at the other man who hadn’t been quick enough to draw his own weapon.
“Use your left hand and slowly put
it on the ground.” Roderick barked at the other man.
The taller of the two did as he was told, using his left hand to unholster his weapon and slowly place it on the ground.
Jerry was a little stunned by what had just transpired. “What the hell? Ben, why did you draw on them?”
“They were about to draw on us.” Roderick answered.
“And you know this how?” Jerry asked. He had been watching them both and couldn’t tell and he considered himself a professional.
“I don’t think you really want to know how.” Roderick answered as he approached the big man and picked his gun off the ground. “There’s a nice cozy cell waiting for you and your friend. Pick him up off the ground and let’s get going.”
The taller man did what he was told and they all walked back to the Sheriff’s office. Once they returned there, Roderick locked them both up after searching them for more weapons or electronic devices that could help them escape. Roderick then took a small device out of his pocket and placed it on the desk. It was about the side of a baseball and the Sheriff watched as Roderick pressed a button on it and a green light came on and the small device started to buzz.
“What the hell is that?” the Sheriff asked.
“Something that blocks other devices from working.” Roderick said as he grinned as his prisoners. “That means you can’t call anyone left at your ship for help nor can they attempt to teleport you back to their location.”
The sheriff didn’t like using tech in his town, but considering this one was preventing off world trouble makers from getting out and causing more trouble… he was willing to make an exception. Besides, the Rocket Patrol needed whatever tech they could to protect the town like theirs from people like the two thugs that now dwelled within his cell. “Can you put it somewhere else where it won’t attract much attention?” he politely asked.
“Of course.” Roderick said as he picked up the small device and then placed it on the mantle behind his desk. There was a picture frame of his wife and kids, so Roderick hit the device behind that frame so no one else could see it. Once the device was stashed away, Roderick turned his attention towards the two men rotting in the Sheriff’s cell. “Now, you care to tell me what you have against the Rocket Patrol?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” The tall man answered.
“Your blood pressure went through the roof the moment I identified myself.” Roderick continued. “So much so that I’m pretty sure you guys were on your way to drawing your weapons when I beat you to it. So what do you have against the Rocket Patrol?”
“I’m not telling you nothing!” the shorter one finally managed to spit out. He was still wheezing from being fired at earlier.
“You were going to fire on me, I want to know why.” Roderick asked. He wasn’t going anywhere until someone answered him.
The two men said
nothing. Roderick finally had enough and gestured to the Sheriff. “Watch
these two, I’m going back to the hearings.”
Once Roderick was outside and away from prying ears, he felt comfortable to speak. “Roderick to Red Five.”
“What can I do for you, Commander.”
“Has there been any further activity around the unmarked spaceship?” Roderick quickly asked as he walked back to the courthouse.
“There are three more life signs. Two of them are traveling further south, away from the town. They are not an immediate threat. One is remaining with the unmarked vessel.”
Roderick paused and thought about it for a moment. “Keep watching these two men who are heading south. When they stop where they’re going, I want you to do a deep rock scan of their surrounding area. I'd like to know exactly what they’re looking for down there.”
When Roderick returned to court, he immediately started to sift through his papers and look for specific disputes. He then came across a few he thought were very interesting, land disputes over mining rights to certain territories that more than one party is trying to stake as their own. Roderick grabbed the two files and marched back into the courtroom. “I apologize for the delay, but I had pressing Rocket Patrol business. Now, I need address a specific case. I am looking for Wilbur Tennant. Is Mr. Tennant here?”
A man stood up from the crowd. “I’m Wilbur Tennant.”
“Mr. Tennant.” Roderick started as he opened the file. “The land in question detailed in your dispute; where is it located?”
“It’s located about ten miles north of town.” Wilbur answered.
“Thank you.” Roderick said as he tossed the file back onto the table. “Please come back tomorrow and we’ll settle your dispute then. I need to do some research before hearing your case.”
Wilbur was a little confused but he nodded. “Yes, Sir.”
Roderick open the other file he found in the docket. “Is there a Mrs. Annabelle Wilson present?”
He looked around and finally a woman only a few years younger then himself stood up. Roderick recognized her almost immediately. It was the same women who answered the door when he returned Emma to the town the night before. Roderick took a deep breath, and continued. “Hello Ma’am. Can you tell me where the land you’re claiming is located?”
“Yes, Commander.” Annabelle replied. “It’s located, twenty miles south of here. My husband claimed it five years ago and after his death, ownership of that land should have fallen to me.”
“Commander, the two men who have left the unmarked vessel have stopped walking. They are standing in the exact spot she claims is her territory.”
“Start a deep rock scan.” Roderick whispered.
“I’m sorry, did you say something?” Mrs. Wilson asked.
“Nothing; I was just thinking out loud.” Roderick looked at the docket again. “And there is a Mr. Montgomery who claims that the land is his. Mr. Montgomery, are you here?”
A man on the other side of the courtroom stood up. He was wearing a very expensive suit, had a walking stick and other accessories that told Roderick all he needed to know about this fellow.
“I’m here as well, Commander.” He answered with a smile. “Will you need some time to research this case as well?”
“Not really.” Roderick said as he tossed down the file. “I hereby rule in favor of Mrs. Wilson. The land and everything on and under it is hers and hers alone.”
“On what grounds?” Mr. Montgomery roared when as he had no idea what was going on.
“On the grounds that I doubt Mrs. Wilson can afford the hired men that are currently on her land, trying to steal its resources.” Roderick answered. “Nor do I think she hired the two thugs to come into town to raise some trouble. It’s clear that their job was to distract me and the sheriff long enough for your men to pillage Mrs. Wilson’s land before I had a chance to make a decision regarding this case.”
“This is outrageous!” the old man roared, veins popping out of his head.
“No, it’s criminal.” Roderick pulled out his laser pistol and fired it in the courtroom, hitting Mr. Montgomery pretty much in the exact same place where he hit the shorter fellow on the outskirts of town. The beam which was still set to stun knocked the well dressed man clean off his feet and he landed hard on the wooden floor with a loud thud. Roderick then approached a man and picked him up off the floor. “You’re under arrest.”
“On what charge?” the old man asked through the pain.
“Let’s start with mischief, which is what those two men you sent into town were doing.” Roderick answered. “Trying to delay these hearings also counts as obstruction of my duties as well as the most important charges which are wasting my time and pissing me off!” Roderick bound Mr. Montgomery’s hands behind his back and then turned to face the rest of the people who where there to settle their own disputes. “There will be no more hearings today. I will stay in town an extra day to make sure everyone’s case is heard. Thank you for your patience.”
While the people didn’t seem impressed with the early dismissal, the promise to stay in town and hear everyone out was enough to satisfy them as they left the courthouse and went back to their homes peacefully. Roderick walked Mr. Montgomery over to the Sheriff’s office and tossed the old man in a cell next to the one the housed his two thugs. “Sorry for taking up so much space in your jail.” He said as he locked the old man in his cell.
“What is Mr. Montgomery doing here?” Jerry asked.
“Do you care to tell him, Sir, or should I?” Roderick asked the old man who was now sitting on the cot and trying to calm down.
“The only person I am going to speak with is my lawyer.” Montgomery replied.
“Well, that’s all right. We’ve got other matters to take care of.” Roderick said as he turned to the Sheriff. “Jerry, I need you, two deputies and four horses.”
“What’s going on?” the Sheriff asked as he hopped out of his chair.
Roderick grinned. “We need to make three more arrests.”