A Rake by Starlight - Chapter 10

Submitted by C B Wright on
WHEREIN Our Hero’s Daring Plan Encounters an Unfortunate Wrinkle

The Fool’s Errand was not a tempting target for most pirate ships, and Grif was almost completely convinced they were the only ship in the system. That said, as they sat in orbit around Uru he couldn’t shake a vague sense of paranoia. They’d launched the fuel drones thirty minutes ago—four unmanned, cylindrical craft designed to dive deep into a gas giant’s atmosphere without being crushed like a grape, collect all the hydrogen they could, then return to the ship for processing. It would take another hour or two before collection was complete. Until then, Grif had nothing to do but keep the ship in orbit and twiddle his thumbs.

He was impatient to leave, but the ship needed fuel. He sighed and waited.

A Rake by Starlight - Chapter 09

Submitted by C B Wright on
WHEREIN Our Hero Senses a Limited Opportunity and Resolves to Act Now

The Wardroom of the Fool’s Errand was Grif’s second-favorite room in the ship.

As part of a military vessel it had been the officers lounge and mess, but when he first bought the ship it had been entirely gutted. Grif spent a great deal of time and money trying to restore it to its former grandeur, and to a large extent he had succeeded admirably. A year ago, however, they had to gut it again—in order to prevent one of the greatest heists in modern history from being blown apart by a simple, overlooked detail. Putting the Wardroom back together had been an all-consuming project for Grif, and it was only very recently—in the past few months—that the room felt right again.

The floor was covered in a dark synthetic material that looked very close to polished wood tile. The paneled walls were also faux wood, and the standard ceiling light panels were replaced with globe lights. The light was softer and worked well in the space, giving the room a more refined, less sterile feel. The Captain’s Table stood in the center of the room, smaller tables were set against a bulkhead wall, and on the opposite side was a bar that Grif always kept well-stocked.

Missing Links: Part Four

Submitted by C B Wright on
New York City, 2AM

Phillip Henry is dreaming his favorite dream.

He’s retired, sitting in his living room, watching television when the doorbell rings. He tries to ignore it, sinking further into his favorite chair and trying to concentrate on the infomercial for denture cream so strong it can also be used to tile your kitchen floor. The doorbell rings again, and again, and again and again until finally he decides whoever it is isn’t going away.

He turns off his television, gets out of his chair, and goes to the front door. Standing on his stoop are two men in dark suits, wearing dark sunglasses, waiting stoically for the door to open. Phillip tightens his bathrobe and opens the door.

“Agent Henry, the United States Government requires your help on an urgent matter.” No introduction, no preliminary small talk. “It is a matter of National Security, and the President himself has requested your involvement.”

The two men stand there expectantly, waiting for him to answer.

Phillip straightens, looks at both men, and nods once.

“No,” he says.

He shuts the door, locks it, and goes back to his chair, smiling as turns on the television and turns up the sound to drown out the urgent ringing of the doorbell.