It’s that time of the week again and that means a #BlogBattle has come your way! Today, Frankie and Fyrn have made their return, as promised. This week’s word is News. Initially, I thought it would be difficult to work it in, but it didn’t end up being as hard as I thought. What was hard was trying to trim this entry down to the required 1000 words. On the days I don’t talk so much in real life, I make up for it with talkative characters I suppose. Anywho, enjoy this post while I suffer through the first day of summer school!
(If you missed the first part of this story, you can find it here. Or I’ve made a handy page to keep track of Clancy & Tanya and Frankie & Fyrn, who are now my champions of these battles. You can find all posts neatly arranged in chronological order under Crossroads to Adventure!)
The policeman’s significant jowls were quivering with anger by the time Frankie got around to opening the airlock.
“You’d better hope I don’t write you up for hindering an investigation!” he waved a pudgy finger under Frank’s nose and led three other officers onto the ship. “Search everything!”
They spread out through the ship. Frankie decided to stay with the head officer since he couldn’t keep track of all of them at the same time. He winced as they went through the kitchen that was in the process of getting torn to pieces by a zealous officer. The common area was getting the same treatment and the third policeman was looking through his flight records in the cockpit.
“What are you doing out here?” the officer asked as he started tossing the bedrooms.
“I got stranded on the moon a few days ago. I ran out of fuel. I thought I had enough to get to Carmine but I didn’t factor in having to go around some asteroid debris. I tell you these contractors are going a little too crazy with the asteroid removal in Greeve’s Belt. And who names an asteroid belt after themselves anyway?”
“Enough!” the officer broke in. “You said you were stranded on the moon.”
“Yeah, I was. Tell you what, that was the worst landing of my life. Don’t know how my darlin’ held together. But we’ve been through some tough times together…” Frankie had learned a long time ago to keep talking in order to distract someone from what was right in front of them.
“Sir!” the officer with the flight records came running in. “The transporter pad was activated an hour ago.”
There was a nasty gleam in the chief officer’s eyes.
“Was it? And how do you explain that?” he turned on Frankie.
“Easily. I said I was stranded without fuel right? And here I am. Now as far as I know, ships can’t fly without fuel, unless you know something I don’t. Anyway, I’ve got a buddy down on the main world. Real friendly type, comes through in a pinch, so I contacted him. He agreed to loan me some fuel so I could get to Carmine. I’m trying to find a job. See, once I find one, I can get him some money for the fuel. He transported up two barrels to me and I emptied every last drop into the tank…”
The chief held up his hand to forestall the pilot who was beginning to grate on his nerves with his endless chatter. It was rather coincidental, him being out here and them tracking the fugitive known as Fyrn to the same coordinates. All he needed was to check his story and then lock him up for assisting an enemy of the state. The news stations would snap that up. The royalists had begun to stir up some sympathy for themselves even among the elite who supported the new empire wholeheartedly.
Frankie led the way back to the engine room where two empty barrels sat in the corner. He’d used them before for extra fuel and now, thankfully, they were empty. He nudged with them with his boot and they made an empty booming sound. He lifted his shoulders as if to apologize for them being empty. The officer checked the fuel gauge and turned back to Frankie.
“You said you filled the tank and it’s already a quarter empty,” he smirked, confident he had the pilot now.
“I said I emptied the barrels into the tank. They didn’t quite fill her up and this old girl burns a bit on takeoff. I don’t need a job just to pay my buddy back for fuel, I’ve got more than one repair to make here. Shoot, I could even get a whole new ship!” which would never happen. He loved his current ship despite her current flaws.
The policeman growled in frustration. Everything had been accounted for.
“Any sign of her?” he asked his officers who all shook their heads.
“Who you looking for anyway?” Frankie butted in. Might as well try to wheedle some information.
“The leader of the royalists, or at least a high ranking member of their rebellion. They’ve led two massive strikes against government military outposts in the last week. They must be stopped!” the chief spat.
“Don’t you watch the news?” another officer asked Frankie.
“I’ve been out for a bit. My ship doesn’t really pick up news channels. But that’s terrible, man! Law and order need to be upheld or else what do we get? Chaos, that’s what! I’m glad you fine gentlemen are looking out for everyone here, that’s really…” Frankie gave them all a smart salute.
“All right! There’s nothing here,” the chief decided. “Let’s move out.” Frankie filed after the officers, more than ready to get them off his ship. Before he stepped back over to his own ship, the officer turned to Frankie. “You don’t fool me with your talk of law and order. I know a smuggling ship when I see one. I’ll be keeping an eye out for you.” He promised. Frankie smirked a little as he punched the airlock button and the doors slid shut.
He waited until the cruiser detached and sped silently away into space before turning away. He’d better go let Fyrn out. He wanted a straight story before he took her anywhere. He went to his room, where he paused to replace a picture of himself and three other smiling men in uniform on the shelf before going to the built-in bed. He felt under the mattress and pressed an uneven bump and the locks disengaged. He lifted the top of the shelf and the mattress up and Fyrn stared up at him. He helped her out and dropped it back into place. She gratefully took in several lungfulls of fresh air and stood by the vent that pumped cool air through the ship. Frankie crossed his arms.
“Start talking,” he said.
🙂 Hope you enjoyed! Get ready for Clancy and Tanya to continue their story next week!