Howdy! It’s #BlogBattle time again, hosted by Rachael Ritchey! Check out the link for all the rules and info. This week’s word is TROOP.
Today, I’ve brought back Frankie and Fyrn because I couldn’t resist any longer. 🙂 Catch up on their full story here (as well as a PSA about their projected future).
Genre: Science Fiction
Captain Frankie Baum thought he was picking up a regular cargo. What he got was a top member of the royalist resistance force. After a run in with the galactic police force, they’ve crash landed on a planet populated by Frankie’s least favorite military force- the F.R.O.G.s…
Frankie shoved open the spaceship’s door and sauntered down the ramp, plunking down two canvas folding chairs in front of the ship. Fyrn joined him a few minutes later after peeling herself out of the cockpit chair. She found him comfortably reclined in one chair, wearing sunglasses, and popping open a can of some beverage.
“What are you doing?” she asked. He glanced up at his troublesome cargo and offered her a drink.
“Waiting. The F.R.O.G.s are very particular about their little forest here. They know we landed and they’re on the way. I can’t do anything here without their permission anyway,” he replied. Fyrn re-adjusted her purple hair in its ponytail and sat down. She blinked rapidly three times and settled back with a film over her eyes that would protect them from the sun.
“That’s handy,” Frankie remarked, taking a sip of his drink.
“What’s this?” Fyrn inspected the can.
“Atelectan brew. Not the best I’ve ever had, but it’ll do in a pinch.”
Fyrn took a cautious drink and a rich, but slightly bitter, nutty taste filled her mouth. She crossed her feet at the ankles and tilted her head back towards the gentle sun.
“How long do you think we’ll be here?” she asked conversationally.
“Depends on how quickly I can charm the F.R.O.G.s into helping.”
“How long has that been in the past?”
“Well one time they did throw me in prison for a few days…”
“Can we avoid that this time?”
“Potentially. But my ship happens to be in pretty bad shape, so repairs might take a few days,” he warned.
“Good.” He downed the rest of his beer. “Don’t look now, but we’re surrounded.”
Fyrn casually glanced around at the treeline and saw…nothing.
“How can you tell?”
Frankie stood and stretched lazily.
“Are you guys going to sit and watch us all day, or can we talk?” he called. Fyrn jumped to her feet as figures emerged from the trees. The scouting troop numbered seven, all dressed in green and grey camouflage gear, carrying some unpleasant looking guns.
“Captain Frankie Baum,” the leader strode forward.
“Ah, my least favorite F.R.O.G., Captain Leroux,” Frankie replied, extending a hand just the same. Leroux shook it while taking in the smoking ship behind them.
“Seems you’re in a bit of trouble,” he said.
“You know you’re smarter than you look,” Frankie said and Leroux grinned.
“What do you need this time?”
“Permission to be here for up to a week and…some help with repairs.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch that last part?”
“I need some help with repairs,”
“Did the mighty mechanic just admit that he needs some help with his junker of a ship?”
“No, I didn’t admit my ship was a junker.”
“Just get a new one!”
“I will if you shave that ridiculous mustache.”
Leroux put a hand protectively up to his neatly groomed facial hair. “Never!”
“Look, do you have parts I can use or not?”
“That depends. Who’s your friend?”
“My aunt’s brother’s sister’s mother’s cousin.”
There was more than one look of confusion and finger tapping accompanying mental calculation to see what exact relative she was. That’s when Fyrn decided to step in. If this was Frankie’s method of charming the locals, then they were in trouble.
“Captain Leroux, I didn’t want to admit this, but I’m undercover at the moment. This fine gentlemen has agreed to escort me to Sauros as part of my cover,” she explained in a low voice.
Captain Leroux regarded her for a moment, switching glances to Frankie who was giving a fairly good “you’re impeding justice,” look.
“Can I see your badge?” he asked.
Fyrn pulled out a slim ID screen and handed it to the captain, missing Frankie’s quickly masked expression of surprise. Leroux carefully inspected it before handing it back.
“My apologies Officer Aleryn. We’ll give you whatever assistance you need.”
Fyrn smiled. “Thank you so much.”
Leroux turned to Frankie with an apologetic look.
“You know I’ll have to call it in,” he said. Frankie shoved his hands in his pockets and started rattling off a list of the supplies he’d need. Another of the F.R.O.G.s hastily wrote everything down. Leroux stepped off a few paces and pressed his radio transmitter.
“General Rathson, please,”
Fyrn saw a look of pure loathing cross Frankie’s face and began to understand why he hadn’t wanted to crash land here.
A few hours later, Frankie was ordering another mechanic around as they began repairs on the starboard engine. Fyrn sidled up when he was alone.
“So, Officer Aleryn,” he began.
“It’s fake, idiot!” she whispered.
“And you just happen to carry a galactic officer’s ID badge in your pocket?”
“I got it new right before you picked me up.”
“Ok, well I don’t really believe you, but I guess I should thank you for getting this stuff for me,” he graciously said.
“I don’t really want to stay here either. Need any help?” she asked brightly as a F.R.O.G. paced by.
“Sure!” Frankie loudly replied before instructing her to bring him a piece of machinery.
“So, they don’t seem too bad,” she ventured.
“Nah, besides some superior looking facial hair. But me and the head honcho have some unfinished business from a while back,” he grunted before defeating a stubborn bolt.
“Anything that might delay us?”
“Not unless he comes down here to see why a known smuggler is transporting a galactic officer. Leroux hasn’t thought to ask yet. ”
“Oh. That could be a problem.”
“It could. See this belt here?” he pointed down into the engine. Fyrn nodded. “Leroux has been smiling at you for the past five minutes. I need a new one and I’m not very good at flirting.”
Fryn looked over at the eager F.R.O.G. captain. She grabbed the cloth flung over Frankie’s shoulder and wiped her hands before tossing it back in his face.
“I’m getting a discount for this,” she threatened.