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Chapter 10 – My Squad Atricious (page 1 of 10)



Within an hour of crawling through the peculiarly inconvenient, winding passageways of the ship, we were back at the superbly glorious helm; the engines were already warm enough to melt a somewhat smallish cube of solid water ice. We were cleared for blastoff and were ready to go. Little N had taken his motion sickness pills, Melo had done a few reps with his smartest dumbbells, and Slackman was searching for his heart medication. We were as charged up and every bit as supplied as could be hoped, and I was itching like a seaman on shore leave to get out of this place, though not quite as much a seaman shortly after that same sort of shore leave.

“Full throttle to the stars, Cappy,” I said, buckling myself in to my adjacent, albeit a purely figurehead control chair.

“What? Creeping Crab Nebulae no,” said Cappy confused, “we can’t open the throttle throat wide like an Io icehowler until we’re at least a mjarnac away, you know that.”

Cappy must have thought I was an undereducated stepchild from an alternative public school, and the rest of the crew likewise looked my way as if I’d smitten a kitten. With all the grumblings around me you’d think I’d revealed some surprising evidence in a cheap courtroom thriller during closing arguments, but this was nothing new. I’d done this a thousand times before.

Okay, maybe not a thousand, but at least thirty or forty.

“Tek,” said Jehovina, the sexy, Mexicanische communications officeress from between her full, darkly-painted, supple humanolips. “Think about Xerkinski, no creature can permit those events to go down again,” she paused before adding, “I humbly beseech thee, señor.”

Xerkinski was a debacle and a half on a good day, no two ways about it. I had an appointment with my urologist on the other side of the galaxy and the five minutes gained by a full-throttle blast off saved me a cancellation fee, though it may or may not have sparked an interplanetary war, depending on who you ask. Turns out the thrust against the small planet somewhat might have sent it hurtling in to its sun, if you want to get all technical.

“There’s no time,” I said again, unsure if I’d already said it before. “We’ve got bigger dogfish to dogfry than worrying about destroying a thousand Meccas right now.” I finished my sentence and looked at my assorted crewpersons, only to see that they had failed to share my enthusiasm for the conservation of time I’d already so entirely committed to. “Come on, blast off, we’ve got people to kill.”

Casualties of war are kind of regrettable, I guess, or at least they are to races not quite as sentient as humanity. It’s no drawback of mine, and I’ve drawn on a thousand backs, specifically with my own special recipe of indelible ink. No, not me, I see war as peace and the end of life as the continuation of somebody else’s life, specifically my own.

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