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     The elevator opened to the bridge. As the intruders emerged, there were two guards, one on either side of the elevator who upon seeing them did a double take. “Stop! Stay where you are!” 

     The guard on the left pulled his pistol out but before he got off a shot, Yojel had picked him up and had thrown him at the second guard. Both of them fell to the floor in a heap. Lucky stepped over them and approached an aging man at the captain’s seat.  

“Captain Du Monde, I believe you are sitting in my chair.” Lucky stared at the man.  

     “Why, Miss Lucretius Aedemus, my how you have grown.” Captain Du Monde turned his head ever so slowly to gaze at Lucky. She was startled that he knew her proper name.  

     “Don't call me that.” She lifted her gun from its holster at her hip. 

     He waved it away, “Put your tools away child. You don’t really think that I have forgotten our deal do you?” 

     Around the bridge, several of the ships technicians and personnel began to show looks of surprise and some of hatred as they stared at Captain Du Monde. 

     The elevator opened and the primary team walked in. Gunny and Pops surveyed the room quickly and as the entire team filled the bridge, the faces of the Royal Starr’s shipmates went slack. They were overrun just like that. There was no more resistance.  

Lucky put the gun back into its holster and kept her eyes on Du Monde. “You’ll get your due.” Then she nodded at Pops who in turn walked over to Du Monde to escort him away. 

     Du Monde shook his head. “Really, child you should forgive your father. After all, what ever will you do when you have had your fill of revenge?” He stood up and with his hand at his throat; he pulled a pin from his collar. “Take this, 'Lucky.' This ship is now yours. I hope you find what you are looking for.”  

     Lucky glared at him as he dropped the captain’s insignia comm. pin into her hand.  

     “I had wondered where you had gone off to for those years. It’s good to see you well, child.” Du Monde put his hand out. “Do we have a deal then, Lucky?”  

     She shook his hand. Of all things, she had never thought that Du Monde would affect her this way. She almost felt embarrassed. “We have a deal,” she said. Pops escorted Du Monde off the bridge and Lucky sat herself in the captain’s chair.  The captain searched the eyes around the room of about twenty personnel, all waiting for orders. She spoke into the communication pin's microphone, which echoed out across the entire ship.  

     “Attention crew of the Royal Starr: All communications have been compromised on this ship.” She said, “This ship is now under direct control of the Pirate Ship Ferryman. All your guardsmen have been compromised and are either dead or now under our control. Your Captain Du Monde has surrendered. Do not resist and you will all be spared. Set a course for the OGLE system. Prepare for jump in less than one hour.” 

     She stepped down and walked past Pops. “Bring us underway.  Pops, you have the bridge. I’ll be in my cabin on the Ferryman.”      

     Back on the Ferryman, Lucky stepped into her cabin. It was quiet. She secured her door and took a deep breath. Almost an hour had passed since she was on the waters of Mina IV contemplating the undertaking they had just achieved. On the wall was a picture of a glade where two lovers lay under the beams of twin setting suns. She barely remembered that that perfect day she spent in the warm quiet field under the suns.  

     She pulled off her armored jacket, removed one of her pistols, and laid them on the bunk beside her. Her quarters were sparse and tidy. She removed her gun holster, folded its ties neatly and set it in a drawer beside her bunk. Just as she put down one of her boots she heard a noise behind her coming from inside the closet. 

     Spinning around and bringing a second pistol up from her thigh holster, she pointed it into the closet and shouted. “Come out where I can see you or a blast from this will be the last thing you ever hear! Hands where I can see them!”   

     “Okay, okay!” A young man’s voice wavered and he stepped delicately from behind the clothes. Belts and buttons clinked. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know this cabin was occupied.”  


     “Don’t kill me.” He pleaded. “Please.”  

     Then Lucky saw he was wearing a necklace with a charm, almost unnoticeable, the chain held a tiny Alonian Pedera. 

     The boy noticed her staring and reached quickly to put it back into his shirt.    

     “You’re from Gaia.” Lucky said, pointing her gun away from him. She stood there staring at him. “Oh, my God.”  

© 2023 Mayachrome Press & D. Paul Fonseca

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