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The Caper Commences

by on December 16, 2014

Sarah May Raxenpaxerflirk had seen some big starships in her time. She had once waitressed on the EarthFleet cruise liner Myrmidon during a particularly memorable summer. She had even had a romantic encounter with one of the pool squids. Sarah May had thought she had found true love in Domingo Kirrexanvex, she really had. Alas,  Domingo had warped away to medical school and never looked back. Sarah May sighed, not for the last time, remembering that night they had watched the turquoise sunsets of Magel Five. Then, with a mental jerk, she brought herself back to the present. The Myrmidon had been big. Charlotte’s Moon, however, made it look like a toy boat in a child’s bath.

It had been a dreadnought-class warship, built for some massive conflict in another quadrant. Sarah May hadn’t kept track of the details of the war, but she had seen holograms. It had been upsetting. She hadn’t heard who won. After the war, the dreadnought had been snapped up by a major entertainment corporation and turned into the biggest space casino this side of Betelguese. Charlotte’s Moon did a billion-credit business every night, and consequently had a security grid more powerful than some planets.

Sarah May was, as one might expect, terrified about sneaking aboard a heavily armed casino ship to retrieve the Orb That Should Not Be Named. Her guardian angel tried to reassure her. “It’s a cinch,” Constance said. “You sneak in, find the thing, and sneak right out again!”

“But can’t you just fly in and get it yourself?” Sarah May pleaded.

“No,” Constance explained patiently. “I can’t intervene in human affairs unless you, specifically, are in physical or spiritual danger. Of course, if you’re in danger, all bets are off!” She paused, noting that Sarah May didn’t seem reassured. “But I am not at all suggesting you should deliberately place yourself in peril so I can help. Not at all. Just… just do what Mr. Stamper says, okay?”

As the otter and the squidling waited in the teleport line to board the Charlotte’s Moon, Sarah May remembered her instructions. “Mr. Stamper, sir, “ she gurgled timidly, “what should I do?”

“Be quiet, please,” he said. “This part is tricky.”

He pulled a device out of his pocket and began to make adjustments to it. The line inched forward. Sarah May could see the security robots scanning everyone who stepped onto the teleport pad. She made a quick deduction. “You’re going to change the teleporter so it beams us into the vault where the Orb is!”

“No,” Mr. Stamper said. “The vault is shielded against teleportation. Impossible to beam into. So is everywhere else except the entrance area and the sickbay.”  He made a final adjustment. “Now: can you act seriously ill?”

Sarah May hesitated. “I don’t know…”

“Actually, acting is a bad idea. Let’s go realistic.” The device booped quietly. Sarah, without any warning, threw up violently on the deck. Medical attendants rushed in. Mr. Stamper explained that Sarah was his ward and that she had been exposed to Star Lord Flu, but she hadn’t shown any symptoms till now. The closest medical facility equipped for SLF was on the Charlotte’s Moon. Both Sarah May and Mr. Stamper were beamed aboard without so much as a glance from the security ‘bots. “Right,” Mr. Stamper said once in sickbay. “Now we’re on board. Next: the vault.”

“I hate this,” Sarah May said weakly. A medical squid rushed forward to check her vitals. Then he paused. “Sarah?”

Domingo!” She could’ve died. Instead, she threw up again.


For previous chapters in Sarah May and Mr. Stamper’s story, go here. Thanks for reading!

  1. This is interesting!

  2. Mr Stamper returns! I really like how you’ve built the tension — will they/won’t they make into the vault without detection? And the ending was a kicker. I can’t wait to read what happens next, Michael.

    • Whether they will or not is a question I haven’t even settled on yet. We’ll soon see. 🙂

  3. Love your twists and turns!

  4. Meg permalink

    Oh, I see romance on the horizon. And a side note: I imagine Mr. Stamper as an otter Mr. Peabody. Does Mr. Stamper wear glasses?

    • Yes, he does, when he wants to read vault combinations or duty reports from when he was in the Space Otter Corps. He’s very meticulous, is Mr. Stamper.

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