Chapter 1 – Once Again, Brave Warrior, Forth Into the Breach (page 5 of 7)

It’s argued that, if you can’t survive the delevator, you have no business traveling across the Universe. It’s a stupid argument as some of the galaxies finest uninaughts have suffered crippling injuries while just heading down to use the executive bathroom, but it’s no argument for a man like me, Tek Jansen.

That’s all well and good, but as to why the space commission thought it was okay to adorn the ceiling of the delavator with pointy spikes of impervium alloy I’ll never understand or agree with. Just looked like earmark appropriation to me.

Against my greatest wishes, the hum of de-acceleration came on and I hit the floor with rib-cracking fury. My injury was only punctuated by a moment of silence followed by the other, second, painfully inevitable ding. I had arrived in one of the few strongholds in the galaxy and Valentine was standing right there waiting for me.

“You’re late,” she said, hands on her thick, milky hips. “You can’t be late, it’s bad form.”

She grabbed the coat tails of her ten million dollarenmimbi suit, pulled it straighter than it already was, huffed, puffed, and stormed back to her private office.

“I’m not late,” I sputtered between gasps of blood-aerated breath, “You didn’t reset your watch for cough hack, hack”. My point would have been more succinct had I not barfed up three ounces of punctured lung, but she doesn’t observe daylight wasting time, so it really wouldn’t have mattered either way. Still, as a man of principal, the bloody sputters deserved the utterance just the same.

A team of uniformed squad assistants rushed in and helped me to my feet, the quasi-medic running a repairitoner across my battered body, immediately returning me to flawless health and cleansing the greater portion of my colon.

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