Hello Imaginary Friends,
My wife and I have bought a house and are in the middle of moving and setting things up.
Since I don’t want to neglect you any more than I have, I’ll be posting a multi-part story. It was recently rejected by an anthology but I plan on resubmitting it.
I really like this story. Let me know what you think.
My fake smile turned to anger, “Do you have any idea what powers that blaster?” The guards exchanged uncertain glances. “A tiny fusion generator.”
Suit started to laugh and the guards followed as if I’d said something terribly funny. He was still laughing when he started to pull the trigger. One of the great powers that Sol gave me was the ability to change the intensity of fusion reactions. A sun is effectively a large fusion generator. Using this ability I overpowered the gun’s fusion generator.
When Suit tried to shoot me his gun exploded, taking his hand with it. It wasn’t made to conduct that much fusion energy. I could have made it take out the whole deck but that wouldn’t have been nice.
When I heard the fire alarms, I tried to turn them off but couldn’t. They must have detected the virus and cleansed their system. The explosion that had taken Suit’s hand off had also triggered the alarm. Fire doors fell around the area of the explosion, trapping the guards. I barely managed to duck under one of them before the area was sealed.
Playing with the fusion generator on the gun had left me feeling weak and useless. Somehow, I managed to make it to back to my shuttle’s airlock without being seen or collapsing. There were still two guards and I had no idea how to stop them. I had faith that I would be ok. I turned the corner and the two guards ran towards me and caught me before I collapsed. They dragged me into the ship. I saw two naked men in the airlock and realized that Sofia and Rose had taken their battle armour.
After the two men had been thrown back into the hallway I said, “Doc, are we ready to go?” I reached towards a stimulant patch.
Cutting her off I said, “If I try to navigate in this state, we all die.” She nodded and I slapped the patch onto my neck.
I’m sure you’ve been told that it’s impossible to go faster than the speed of light, and that’s true, but like any laws there are loopholes. Most ships use a form of warp drive. The concept is simple; create a bubble around your ship, pull it out of regular space, and then move the universe around it. Easy right? Only if you’re not the navigator.
We’ve mapped and automated most space jumps inside our solar system, getting out still proves difficult. If you don’t have a pre-calculated route, you need to do the calculations yourself. A computer helps but there’s a certain amount of precognition that’s needed to come out the other side alive. There are other Precogs, who work as navigators, but most ships stick to the normal routes.
When escaping the biggest, baddest warship in the Venusian Empire with something you’ve just stolen from under their noses, it’s best not to use a predictable route. I plotted the course with the computer and then put my hands on the controls. I went to my happy place and jumped out of real space. I was going to drop us on the other side of Saturn but I got a flash telling me that was a bad idea. I settled with jumping into orbit of Ceres. It’s position inside the asteroid belt means it’s almost impossible to jump to, and difficult to attack. It’s one of the few dwarf planets not to be conquered by the empires.
Every muscle in my body ached and distracted me from the constant calculations and adjustments I had to make. The stimulant patch kept me from passing out but my mind was still hazy. It was a hard trip.
Once we were in stable orbit, I passed out.
When I woke up, Rose was wiping my forehead with a cold cloth.
“Time for a vacation, I think…” I stood up and started punching keys on the computer. I didn’t want to say goodbye, “I hear the Beaches of Europa are beautiful. Sofia, do you own a bathing suit?”
Cradling the baby King, she ignored me.
“Hal, we have to bring him home,” Sofia looked over at Rose who nodded.
“Not a beach? Fine, how about the Mercurial Castles? I hear the food is spectac… ” I didn’t finish. Sol decided to reinforce my orders, showing me all the horrible things that would come to pass if I didn’t do my duty. He is compassionate and caring but not subtle. I fell to the ground.
When I was able to think again I stood up and looked at my crew. “Doc, I have good news and bad news. Bad News: you can’t take the King home yet. Good News: Congratulations you’re a mother.”
“The King needs to be raised properly or he will become a tyrant. Sol has told me you’re the best choice. Not that I needed him to tell me that.”
“Where will we live? What will we eat? I don’t know the first thing about raising a child! You can’t give me a child and just kick me off!”
Going to my desk, I pulled out identification papers, “These will be your new identities, the donation from this job has been put into an account for you and little Kingie there. And I’ll let you in on a little secret.” I lowered my voice to a whisper, “No one knows the first thing about raising a child. Especially not the first time.”
“Earth? I guess it’s a good place to start a life. But I don’t know if I can handle doing it alone.”
Putting her hand on Rose’s back gently, Sofia said, “You’re not alone. I’m going with you.” She looked at me with sad eyes.
Nodding I handed Sofia that rest of the identification papers. “What about…” Sofia’s voice trailed off.
“Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. I’ll be picking up some new crew on Earth when we drop you off. They can never replace you, but they’ll be ok.” I tried to sound brave and like I knew what was going to happen. I didn’t. I had no clue what would happen after we dropped them off on Earth.
I did know one thing. Sol would provide, the way he always had, and the way he always will, until the day he chooses another Speaker.
Let me know in the comments what you think.