One Night at Kedasi - Epilogue
1. Legal Ramifications
“Kedasi, is a planet unlike any other – Well, because it’s not a planet, it’s actually an asteroid, and boy oh boy is it infested.” A clip showing a creature with more legs than necessary, and a gaping maw of chittering mandibles played. “Once a glittering monument to times long passed, this theme park asteroid is now home to an unknown species of bug. While we haven’t had any time to research, we can tell you they’re hostile, bear a corrosive substance that is a death sentence, and are generally unpleasant.”
Captain Tanskyrock pushed pause on the recording. “Not very typical of a distress recording, is it?”
His first mate, Clement looked at the frozen video screen with puzzlement. It had paused on an image of a hundred beetle-like creatures staring down an old-timey street. “Usually, it just plays the UCP fanfare and tells us to respond.”
Tanskyrock nodded. “Well, I don’t want to go to a bug planet.”
“Asteroid,” corrected Clement.
“Even worse. Who’s the lad on board familiar with legal proceedings?”
“Reede, sir. Studied law on one of the outer worlds.”
“Yes, bring Reede in.”
A half hour later, after a lengthy explanation about the rights of the universal working person and basic safety precautions, Tanskyrock knew they had a case. “So, what you’re telling me is that this asteroid violates just about every code there is in terms of construction and worker safety?”
Reede, a skinny man with an undercurrent of chaos to his movements squirmed. “I can’t say for sure without going down there myself, but even the lack of a sign to warn outsiders of the infestation would be grounds for investigation.”
Tanskyrock clapped his hands together. “Good enough for me. Clement, get us on a call with the UCP and the leader of the Asteroid Construction Union.”
“We’re not going to stop?”
“Oh, we’re going to wait right here. I don’t want to get my ship taken from me by UCP goons. But first we’re going to kick off legal proceedings that will make sure no one visits this rock ever again.”
2. A Drink, and Distant Vengeance
Zip sat in the same corner booth at Martins where she had always sat. It had been three days since their return to Prota, and with every swing of the door, her hand dropped to the pistol at her side. So far, the news feeds were empty about their little stunt, but a leak had just gone live that the Manchesters were in deep shit. That meant every patron coming through the door could be a potential assassin.
“You know I’m good at what I do, right?” asked Techni, guzzling down a drink so black it looked suspiciously like motor oil.
“That video had Jack’s prints all over it.”
It was at that moment, Tom returned from the bar carrying a large glass filled with colored liquid and several small squirming things inside of it. “Is Zip still worried about assassins?”
“Yes,” answered Techni.
“I am also worried about assassins.”
“Ye of little faith, the both of you.”
At that moment, an alert came over the tablet Zip had set in the middle of the table. She had set it to ping when any news of the Manchesters made it to the top five channels. She immediately clicked the alert and a full screen of a news reporter appeared. “While reports are unconfirmed, Captain Tanskyrock of the ship, Fury, stated that the Manchesters were in violation of nearly a hundred labor laws. In addition, records have uncovered efforts by the Manchesters to recoup investments by putting recovery teams in extreme danger.”
Zip looked up at the bar. “I’ll drink to that.”
“It’ll never stick,” said Techni.
“You’re probably right, but I’ll still drink to it. This thing just became so public that any attempt to have us killed is going to look a whole lot worse for the Manchesters.”
Techni lifted her glass. “Alright, but you’re buying. Paying off that charge for the antimatter guns wasn’t cheap.”
“Restocking them won’t be either, but just this once, I’ll get it. To Lars.” Zip lifted her own glass.
Tom wrapped several appendages around his bowl and raised it. “To a friend.”
“To a stubborn bastard,” said Techni.
Zip smiled and drank. It hurt, but they were safe. For one moment, in one day, there was just a little bit of justice in the galaxy.
That's it for One Night at Kedasi! Thank you to everyone that has read along over the past 11 months. I really enjoyed going on this journey and I hope you did. On the off chance anyone reading this knows a literary agent or someone who wants to publish a comedic sci-fi novel, please drop me an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. It's rough trying to find a publisher out there! If you want to read my other work, there's plenty on the site, and links to my publications in my profile.