Roderick, the sheriff and two of his deputies took four horses from the stables and rode them out of town. When told how far out they had to go, the Sheriff insisted on going by horseback because he was too old to be strolling that far out of town by foot. Roderick understood and didn’t mind taking a horse. It was something he’s had to do more than once whenever visiting the town that looked down on any mode of tech transport. Roderick had always wanted to learn how to ride, so visiting this colony helped him learn the right way, which was useful whenever he had to use horses to track down an outlaw with the Sheriff.
“Your riding skills have improved.” The Sheriff noticed.
“I’ve had lots of practice.” Roderick said as he rode with the three men towards the location where the unmarked ship was. It only took the better part of ten minutes to ride towards the spot where the unmarked vessel was located. There were two men watching the spacecraft, waiting for the men on Mrs. Wilson’s land.
The Sheriff turned to face Roderick. “What do you suggest we do?”
“I prefer we act in a way that doesn’t result in us having to shot anyone.” Roderick replied. “I know you don’t like these things, but we’re out of town and they’re used to bring peaceful ends to what could potentially be a shoot out.” Roderick pulled out a small sphere from his pocket which wasn’t any larger than a tennis ball.
“What the hell is that?” The Sheriff asked.
“It’s a short range, EMP charge.” Roderick answered as he tossed the sphere when the two men’s backs were turned. The ball landed softly on the ground and rolled until it was underneath the spacecraft.
“Nice toss.” One of the deputies commented.
“Thanks.” Roderick replied as he tapped the back of his ear. “Activate.”
The two men realized something was wrong when the ship lost all power and went offline. That was when Roderick, the Sheriff and his two deputies came riding over the hill and down towards the two men who were taken completely by surprise. They tried to draw their weapons only to find out that they were also affected by the small device.
“Throw up your hands.” the Sheriff called out. “You’re both under arrest.”
“On what charge?” one of the men called out.
“How about flying an unmarked spacecraft.” Roderick answered as he strolled up. “That’s a big no no with the Rocket Patrol.”
One of the men tried to grab a metal pipe, but Roderick was too quick as he drew his phaser and floored him with a stun shot. Rather than risk anything, he turned the weapon on his friend and floored him with a stun shot as well.
He turned to the Sheriff. “Have your men watch these jokers while we find out what their friends are doing on Mrs. Wilson’s land.”
“Sounds good to me.” The Sheriff replied as he nodded to his men. “Secure the prisoners and we’ll be back soon.”
”Yes Sir.” one of the deputies replied as he hopped off his horse and proceeded to cuff both men’s hands behind their backs.
“Let’s get the rest of them.” The Sheriff growled as he kicked his horse in the ribs and charged back up the hill. It only took a few moments to ride towards the section of land where Roderick’s ship told him they were prospecting. When Roderick and the Sheriff arrived on the scene, it was evident that they were doing more than just looking around.
“They’re actually digging for something.” the Sheriff observed.
“What could possibly be down there?” Roderick asked.
“How the hell should I know?” The sheriff replied.
“I am not detecting any minerals below them, Commander.”
“I’ve got this feeling they’re not looking for anything that was naturally in there.” Roderick thought as he reigned in his steed. “I think they’re looking for something that was buried there.”
“I’m not smitten to wait and find out.” The Sheriff said as he kicked his horse and charged the two men. “Hands up!” He called as he rode down towards where the two men were standing.
While it was evident that the two men were surprised, they had come prepared as they both pulled out disruptors and fired at the Sheriff. Both of them had missed but the second shot knocked the lawman off his horse and sent him crashing to the group. Roderick came charging up behind him to assist but one of the two remaining thugs grabbed the sheriff and held the disruptor to his head.
“I want you to drop your laser and surrender,” he called out, “Or the old man gets it!”
Roderick hopped off his steed and did as he was told, dropping the laser pistol the ground. “Relax Sheriff, it’s going to be all right.”
“Now kick it over here!” the thug called out.
Roderick was about to kick it but instead he grabbed another ball from his belt and tossed it into the middle of the area where the thugs were. At first they all thought it was a grenade based on how it looked, but it wasn’t. It was another short range EMP and while people were busy trying to find cover the charge went off, disabling all their disruptors. Roderick’s laser pistol however was not effected, nor was his link to Red. Both were made with chips that were immune to EMP blasts. Roderick picked his laser pistol back up and immediately fired it at the thugs, knocking two off their feet and to the ground. The third that was holding the sheriff charged at Roderick and was able to tackle the Ranger before he got a third shot off. The two of them rolled on the ground and wrestled for the only working pistol there, but finally Roderick got the best of him and used the butt of his gun to pistol whip the man into unconsciousness. The forth man was also near Roderick and was carrying a large rock over his head, ready to hurl it at the Ranger.
It was this point where a shot rang out. The man standing there with his rock dropped the boulder to the ground as he began to bleed from the hole that just opened in his chest cavity. Roderick turned around to see where the shot had come from. Standing there with her young daughter was Mrs. Wilson, who was holding a shotgun. She pumped the barrel and looked around.
“These men are trespassing on my land.” she harshly told him. “I have every right to shoot them.”
Roderick smiled as he stood up. “Yes, you do. It’s also legal to shoot someone if you do so in assistance of an officer of the law. What you did was perfectly legal; even if this turd doesn’t make it.”
The Sheriff who was unharmed got back to his feet and used the cuffs he had on him to immobilize the other three thugs who were only stunned. He tipped his hat in Mrs. Wilson’s direction.
“Thanks for your help, Mrs. Wilson.” the Sheriff called out.
“I came as soon as I heard someone was over here doing something.” Mrs. Wilson said as she looked over at Roderick. “This is the second time you’ve helped us out, Commander.”
“I think you helped us this time too.” Roderick said as he walked over to the where the men were excavating. “What on Jupiter’s moon are they digging for down there?”
“Scanners indicate that it’s a small metallic object, Commander.”
Mrs. Wilson walked over to it as well. “The reason why my husband bought this ground was to search for relics from the species that used to live here. A single artifact could be sold for tens of thousands of credits on the open market.”
Roderick paused for a moment as he listened to Red give him more readings of the soil. “There are at least three of them about four or five feet deeper into this hole. If you keep digging after we go, you should have more than enough to fund further digs.”
“How do you know that?” Mrs. Wilson asked.
“I can’t tell you.” Roderick answered. “But it’s true.”
“Thanks for your help.” Emma called out as she ran up and Roderick a big hug.
“You’re welcome.” Roderick said as he turned to the Sheriff. “We’ll take these guys back to the jail and I’ll have a transport come down and take them all to the capital planet to stand trail.”
“Good.” The Sheriff said as he let out a deep sigh. “Cause it’s getting rather crowded in there.”
“I know.” Roderick said as he picked two men up off the ground. “Let’s get moving, it’s a long walk back to town!”