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Errant Venture: The Pertinent Tangent

Part 5

Security was fairly lax for a starport. One would expect that it would be hard to break into a starport, but apparently this was not the case. Khanier worked out the lock codes on the gate that kept people out of the space yacht storage, and, with a click, the motley crew sauntered on into the space yacht area. There were many space yachts, mostof them owned by people so rich they’d never bat an eye at the loss of just one. But for their purposes, the crew decided, they would have to pick one that wasn’t terribly recognizable.


“Look at that one over there. It looks like a frog!” Virgil pointed out the space yacht which indeed looked like a frog.  It was quite ugly.


“Yeah, that one belongs to the Count of Gertrude.  He owns the system you know.  He commissioned it for his son as a fifth birthday present.  It was all over the news last year, Virgil.” Rick explained, “The kid likes frogs, and named the yacht after his pet- Froggy.”  In large bold yellow letters on the side of the space yacht, ‘HMS Froggy’ was emblazoned in Terran Standard.


Virgil gave Rick a blank look, not knowing what the gunslinger was talking about.


Rick smirked, “Oh right, I forgot you live in a cave.” And kept walking.


Wall and Harnet had stopped near a rather standard looking space yacht that had the name written in Latin, a name meaning “Bold Fortune”.  It was a rather nice ship, but nothing special.  Any fool with 500,000 credits could buy one for themselves at their local mordish ship dealer.  The ship was sleek and stylish, rather unusual for a mordish design, but then they had been trying to cater to the large human population in the last decade or so.  It was called a Powell-class personal cruiser, the odd name owing to the fact that the mordish didn’t know Terran culture and history very well, so they named it like they named their own designs: after famous military commanders and heroes.


The maintenance guy, a rather unassuming human in black overalls (the better to hide stains), approached the impending troublemakers, wiping his hands on a rag. “What can I do for you folk?” He said with a smile.  The quintet glanced at each other, a bit nervous.  They hadn’t expected somebody to actually be here.


Surprisingly, Khanier acted first and quickly, summoning up his mental powers and attempting to jam the man’s mind so he would not remember meeting the five gentlemen.  The élan could sense something was wrong though, inside the man’s mind, for the man clutched his head and… changed.


It was all wrong for a human.  The eyes became overlarge, black, and featureless, and then became many things as it shifted around.  The nose retreated into the thing’s face and disappeared as the mouth shrank and the skin flickered with sickening shades of colors and became different things, scales, pink human skin, furry.  Bone structures could be seen changing and shifting under the skin.  It writhed in pain as Khanier held onto the thing’s slippery mind, demanding one question- <<Who are you?>>.  The élan could feel it trying to escape him, but it couldn’t.  It wasn’t strong enough.  Shrieking hideously, the thing sank to its knees.


It was like no alien they had ever encountered.  Sessra could change the color of their scales and often did unwillingly as strong emotions washed over them, but the Sessra didn’t have this level of control.  Rick, Harnet, and Wall stared in horror and wonder at the thing before them.  Virgil, however, seemed to know what it was.


“Son of a bitch!” the tiefling exclaimed.  His eyes narrowed as he got out his plasma rifle. “… Get in the ship.”


It broke the spell.  Wall and Harnet fled towards the door of the ship where Harnet busily hacked the door locks in record time.  Rick was close behind, and glanced back to see Virgil vaporizing the thing’s head with plasma, hearing the corpse hit the tarmac with the distinctive thump of a dead body.


Virgil stood over the body, glaring.  Then he looked at Khanier. “You’d better stay the hell out of my head unless you want to end up like that.” He said in a low menacing tone to the élan.  And then they boarded the ship.



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