Alexander Outland: Space Pirate 1-23 - G. J. Koch
ur jump cleared and the pressure against our bodies let up.
“You can let go of me any time,” Slinkie snarled. Her mouth was against my skin.
“Mmmmm.” I wondered if I could hit the reverse coordinates with my foot. Another seven minutes like this and I could die a happy man.
“Nap. No joke. Let me go or I’ll bite you.”
“I knew you’d finally come around.”
“I’ll bite you at the point where it’ll kill you.”
“Your words say ‘let me go’ but your body says ‘Nap, you da tomcat’. My Great-Aunt Clara always said that the words themselves were only about seven percent of the communication. So, I’m going to listen to your body. It wants me, and it has the other ninety-three percent going for it.”
Slinkie put her teeth against a spot I knew actually could kill if she bit hard enough. “I mean it.” It’s hard to say that sentence with your mouth open and your teeth against someone’s neck. I certainly was after feeling her do it.
“Just bounce a little bit while you bite me. I think I’ll die happy that way.”
Sadly, before Slinkie could either bounce or bite, the alarms went off, big time. You don’t survive in space by being slow to react to an alarm. Slinkie was out of my arms and off my lap in a second, I was monitoring shields and navigation, Randolph was checking hull, engine and drive integrity.
“Sensors show nothing, Nap,” Randolph said.
“I have nothing, too. Everything looks right, we’re where we’re supposed to be according to computers.”
We all looked out the windshield. Three hundred years of space travel, and somehow, we still called them windshields. Or maybe it was only me. Anyway, nothing. Of course, I’d made sure we weren’t landing in any planet’s airspace, so we should’ve been seeing nothing. But we were seeing nothing that would cause alarms to go off. Which was a lot more unsettling than seeing something.
“I’m going to Weapons,” Slinkie said. She dashed out. Her voice was on the com in less than a minute. “Scanning for hostiles.”
I waited, counting down. Sure enough, in less than twenty seconds, a different voice came on the com. “Alexander, what in the galaxy is going on?” A quavering, peevish, authoritative voice. The Governor never missed his cues, even if I wanted him to. “And why aren’t we on Thurge? I was looking forward to the baths. You know how I love the mineral baths there.”
“Yes, sorry, Governor. Had a little problem, had to leave. We’ll find you a mineral bath somewhere else.”
“Why do you let him stay?” Randolph muttered.
“Because it was my fault he got deposed.” It wasn’t wholly my fault, but it had been enough of my fault that I’d felt guilty. And the old guy wasn’t so bad.”
4 out of 5