High Plains Drifter: A Short Story

1310 Words 6 Pages
The High Plains Drifter seemed to hang in space: illusion, of course; it was actually traveling at a high rate of speed. Despite its ornate appearance, it was classified as an intra-system barge, and they could move, not as fast as an inter-system cruiser but they could still move. Its owner was the Royal Duchess of Spine, Kaitlin Caitlin Adderlink; it was chartered out of the Broxun system; and it could easily carry 50 people, in luxury. At the moment there were only three people aboard.
The only crewman, Angus McNight was on the pilot’s bridge. The Duchess of Spine, Kaitlin Caitlin, was on the top deck. An activity deck: it had a pool, hot tub, exercise equipment, and a juice bar. A tented dome covered it, providing a beautiful
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Brox Rook literally translated into Iron Rock, the common name for their home planet. “About sixteen hours,” he said.
She thought about it for a moment and said, “Let me get out of my court clothes and clean up a little, then I’ll take over so you can get some sleep.”
“Aye,” he said with a smile. “But I’ll only need a couple of hours. After that, just wake me when you’re ready. I’ll take over, so Yee can sleep some.”
“Aye,” she said, unconsciously mimicking his accent. It was contagious.
She went down a deck to her stateroom, slipped out of her court clothes, she had to wear them at the Marshal’s after-incident inquiry, then slipped into a nice warm shower. About an hour later she returned to the lounge. She was wearing a baggy pair of sweat pants and an old T-shirt with a picture of “Benny” on it. He was one of her favorite singers from her preteen years, also her first celebrity crush. She had a terrycloth bathrobe loosely tied around her and wore a pair of pink fuzzy house-shoes. She drug her feet across the carpet to keep the fuzzy shoes from slipping off. At the bar, she put together a pot of
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It would give her a chance to read or even just daydream for a while. She had a book in her pocket and knew the exact location of a slice of cheesecake she had hidden for just such an occasion.
She called out to Angus. “Let me get a cup of coffee and I’ll be right there.”
“Change of plans,” answered Angus.
“Who says?”
“Your daddy.”
Thermion Rindfield Adderlink, the king of Broxun, Snake to his friends, that meant there was no getting out of whatever it was. She made her way to the pilot’s bridge and read over the message.
“Sounds like some sort of emergency,” said Angus.
“It always is. How long before we get there?”
“We should be on Mud Hill in about three hours. You should probably get yourself a power nap before we get there.”
“Aye,” she said without any attempt at an accent. She took the note with her and read it as she crossed the lounge. Just before she left, she took one last, longing look at the unmade pot of coffee and felt the half-read book in her pocket.
“Always something,” she

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