Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Part 13, Chapter 4 - The Adventures of Zzt

And now we're high in the air en route to Scotland, aboard the "deafening, cold and dark" gas drone with your friend and mine, Zzt. The unlucky Psychlo had sunk into "deep apathy" at his plight, but then heard a sound that wasn't the drone's engines, but the "Mark 32 'Hit 'Em Low, Kill 'Em' heavy armored ground strafer." Nup is with him, flying escort!

Zzt's hope fades quickly as, instead of lowering a ladder or something, Nup just keeps in formation, completely oblivious to the fact that the drone has a passenger. He can't even stay with Zzt the whole time - they didn't load up the '32 all the way because they didn't have the fuel "cartridges," so even though the "strafer" is all but immune to enemy fire due to its armor, it'll either have to break off or, if Nup is clueless, just fall out of the sky.

There's a brief moment when Zzt considers wrenching his way into the drone's control box, but the thing is so armored that "not even a piece of blast artillery could open it." So there's nothing left for Zzt to do but resign himself to two or three days of discomfort, the only solace that he has enough breathe-gas to not suffocate. I guess all Psychlos carry around three days' worth of the stuff when they go outdoors?

Just sit and wait. That was all he could do.

Damn Terl! Damn Nup! Damn the company!

And all on half-pay and no bonuses.

Oh Zzt, don't ever change. This was a mercifully-brief chapter, but next time we're back with Jonnie as the process of stopping the gas drone begins to unfold. Slowly. Over fifty excitement-free pages.

Buckle up.

Back to Chapter Three

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