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by on April 14, 2015

Being a guardian angel is tough work. For one thing, everyone expects it to be like the TV show with Roma Downey. You fly in, make pals with people, get your glow on and deliver the Message of the Episode, and fly out again with the problems solved in 45 minutes with commercial breaks. In real life, however, angels are rarely able to solve people’s problems in 45 minutes. The fastest Constance had ever done was a three-hour intervention to convince her charge to ask one person on a date instead of another, and even then it was touch and go. Constance had to smite someone with a plague of zits. In the end, the guy wound up happily married in Wisconsin with a family of five. The zit-smitten person went into the fashion industry and made millions. It all worked out.

Another problem is that everyone assumes guardian angels are supposed to protect their people from every conceivable danger. Constance had known some angels who practically lost their halos when their charges got so much as a scraped knee. Their people, in consequence, wound up living very boring lives, no risk, no fun. Constance, however, believed that life needed a bit of risk to make it interesting. The trick was to allow her people to experience a bit of peril, while keeping them safe from really serious peril. Skydiving was okay. Eating a plate of poisoned shrimp scampi was not. Running off in search of buried treasure was okay;  going down a tunnel filled with death traps in order to get to the treasure was not. It was all in one’s perspective.

Some people, however, complicated things way too much: Mr. Stamper, for instance. Constance had thought everyone understood the parameters of the mission. Get in, get the Orb That Should Not Be Named, get out. Easy. But now here she was stuck on a shuttlecraft with two terrified alien squidlings, and there was no sign of Mr. Stamper anywhere. “Honestly,” Constance grumbled. “I should’ve stuck to protecting Earthlings. But no, I had to go galactic.”

She tapped a certain spot on her halo, which opened up a communications channel to Angel Central. “Yeah, hey, Sparky. I need a location fix on someone. Oswald Stamper, otter, coordinates 207 mark 99. Also a peril confirmation status. Thanks.”

A short pause, then her halo chirped. “Sparky? He’s where? Of course he is. What about…. what you do mean, slightly mortal peril? He is or he isn’t, now which one is it? Oh, never mind. ”  Constance unfurled her wings. “You two, stay here. Get yourself some snacks from the replicator or something. I’m going after the otter.”

She vanished from the ship in a spray of light. Sarah May didn’t even have time to ask the ship’s computer to replicate a glass of tea. In two seconds, Constance was back again, dragging a slightly singed space otter behind her. Outside the shuttlecraft, Sal Carmine’s battle cruiser exploded soundlessly.

“You should have left me there,” Mr. Stamper said.

“Stuff it,” Constance said. “You’re not getting blown up in a warp core breach. You got the Orb? Great. Let’s scoot.”

“You have no idea. I thought… Natasha…”

“Yeah, yeah, your girlfriend’s really alive and really a otter mobster’s daughter named Bianca. I know, I know.”

Mr. Stamper glared at the angel. “You knew. And you didn’t tell me.”

Constance shrugged. “Yeah, I didn’t. Now, you wanna whine about it or you want to fly this shuttlecraft out of here so we can all live to fight another day?”

“Someday, angel,” Mr. Stamper said, as he powered up the shuttlecraft’s warp drive, “You and I are going to have a discussion.”

“I’ll mark that on my planner. Now can we go?”

The shuttlecraft blinked away into the vastness of space.

This story is part of the Angel and the Space Otter story arc. I suppose it technically concludes it, except that Mr. Stamper is probably going to have a bit of a discussion with Bianca soon. So there’s that to look forward to. 

  1. Jennifer G. Knoblock permalink

    Oh, to have your imagination…the halo communicator is brilliant.

  2. Interesting that the angel’s charge didn’t want saving. I have run across a lot of those kind of people in life. There is just no pleasing them! Nice story.

    • I’ve met some of those people too, I will admit. Not space otters, mind you, but still….

  3. I hope my guardian angel is sarcastic like Constance.I like a protector who can give me some guff for my choices.

    • I expect a lot of guardian angels are sarcastic; it must be a frustrating job sometimes. Like yelling at the TV when your favorite sports team is losing.

  4. Well as much as I wouldn’t want you to conclude Mr Stamper’s story, this is a pretty good ending. As in happy as well as well-constructed. I wouldn’t have wanted him to be whangdoodled to his death.

    • I wouldn’t have wanted that either. It would have made for an interesting epitaph, though. And, I will say, this may the end of the current story arc with Mr. Stamper, but it is certainly not the end of his story. 😀

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