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by on January 20, 2015

Sarah May had been near panic before. Now she was beyond panic. She was positively terrified. She was going to die. Any second now, she and Mr. Stamper would be thrown into a thermal reactor and she would die. She’d never see Domingo Kirrexanvex again, never get into medical school, never see her squidling sister Melinda grow up. She was about to perish in fire.

So was Mr. Stamper. A tiny bit of irritation spiked in Sarah May’s mind amidst the storm of panic. The otter seemed awfully calm. Why, he acted as if getting tossed into a thermal reactor was all in a day’s work. He acted as if he’d had it happen before. She didn’t expect him to dissolve into bouts of weeping, but he could at least have looked a bit worried. A mere twitch from the otter would have relieved Sarah May’s feelings very much.

He didn’t twitch, however. As a matter of fact, he had faced death by reactor before. Otter Corps business. A Starlizard War Fleet had tried to invade Earth. They’d had railguns and planet-stopping graviton beams. The Corps had him. Of course he’d gotten captured, and of course they’d threatened to toss him to their reactors. Then the Starlizard commander had the bright idea of making him watch as they stopped the Earth in place. He didn’t bother to explain that he had no emotional connection to the planet. His otter ancestors were only distantly related to Earth otters. He had been on the bridge as they aimed the graviton beams. The commander took some pride in explained exactly what would happen when the planet slammed to a halt. He went into some detail regarding air masses and 1600 kilometer per hour wind blasts and shifting polarities, so much detail that he hadn’t seen Mr. Stamper going for a concealed blaster. He was still monologuing when the space otter shot him. Escape, after that, was easy. So was blowing up the Starlizard War Fleet, since they had so helpfully shown Mr. Stamper the way to the reactors.

He didn’t have a blaster now. What he did have was a word. “Sarah,” he said quietly to the squidling being marched along beside him, “do you remember what we were looking for in the first place?”

“Sure,” Sarah May said, puzzled. Why bring this up now? “The Orb That Should Not Be Named.”

“Name it.”

“I can’t,” she said, now aghast. “You know what happens when….” Then Sarah May got it. “Oh. Oh.” 

The guards decided that this was quite enough chit-chat. “Here, you!” one said, leveling his laser rifle at Sarah May. “What’re you going on about?”

“Oh, nothing,” Sarah May Raxenpaxerflirk said sweetly. “I was only wishing we’d managed to find the Orb of the Whangdoodle before we died. That’s all.”

“Well,you didn’t and now you’re about to die,” the guard said, missing her point entirely. He felt it was now time for a last speech, as per tradition. “We’ve reached the reactor. We will now throw you into it, as milord Baron von Fluffingfluff commanded. Prepare to meet  your-”


“What was that?”


This story was part of the Angel and Space Otter story arc. Thanks for reading!

  1. Another entertaining read! Your names crack me up. Orb of Whangdoodle is my favorite.

  2. Meg permalink

    Yay, Mr. Stamper, for saving the day! Such a fun read. Thanks, Michael.

  3. Jennifer G. Knoblock permalink

    You had me at the otter named Mr. Stamper. 🙂

  4. Baron von Fluffingfluff is a name that really commands the utmost respect and fear. Also, I love this line: “He was still monologuing when the space otter shot him.” I often think about taking drastic measures myself when people go off monologuing 🙂

  5. For ever after, if anyone has the nerve to ask what I’m talking/whispering/complaining about, my response will be only a stern faced : “Otter Corps business.”

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