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Chapter 14 Ė The Chapter with No Name (page 1 of 10)

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As I neared the ship's helm I paused to appreciate the magnificence of the technology that made up our unassuming craft of equally luxuriously and predatory capabilities. It's one thing to have a large fleet of capable craft, but it's quite another to out-perform the competition by a factor of perhaps a thousand or so, and it's the very standard for crafts commissioned by New Terra.

Ships like this spare few expenses, and all of the exceptions are in the invisible realms of safety and the like, so you'll have the most fantastic craft in the future history of the universe to come to enjoy if you ever ride one, at least until the first seal is blown. At least, that's what the review by felatio-centric walrii of Aquatica-17 said, and they are the preeminent authority on the blowing of seals.

I approached the door and it whooshed open with engineering so precise you almost wish your elbow pads were made by the same people, or at least the air seals on your spaceship.

Whoosh went the door as it opened and I was back in the thick of the catastrophe that threatened to unravel like a bootleg Hilfiger jacket ten minutes after it's purchased.

The command cabin was littered with loose paper flying through the air and the crew was in a state of chaos that I couldn't have imagined even from a World Series upset. In my defense, I hadn't yet heard what had gone wrong, but I was about to find out all too well.

"Relax, everyone," I said with a degree of arrogance barely even appropriate for me, "I'm here now, what's the problem?"

Under normally disastrous circumstances such a statement would immediately bring order back to the room, but on this occasion it had no effect at all. Jehovina was tapping madly if not futilely at her earpiece, Little N was running around flailing his arms for reasons unimaginable but still comical and Cappy was pacing swift circles around his master recliner.

This was more than a little bit unsettling, even to a man with nerves as steely-alloyed as my own, even if only forged by unmentionable flames.

My first instinct was to grab Melo and ask him what was going on, but his windmill action was enough to decapitate the pumpkin right off a headless horseman, and I knew better than to cross his path at such times. I walked up to Cappy's terror-rosied face and stopped him in his man-tracks, "What's going on?" I asked him.

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