Canto 79 – Riding the Magic Carpet (The Blue Thread)
Arkin Cloudstalker and his six Lazerstone companions returned to their little scout ship at the downport. One of the Lazerstones carried the angry head and torso of the bounty hunter, Ace Campfield.
“I don’t know how we are going to fit seven of us in this little two-man scout ship,” complained Arkin. “It’s barely supplied well enough for two.”
“You forget that the Lazerstone collective are not humanoids. We don’t eat food. We don’t breathe atmosphere. We don’t even sleep. Besides, I can’t leave any of my kind on a non-resonant rock like this one. We must all go with you to a better source of crystal.”
“You aren’t going to leave me here with no arms or legs, either, are you?” complained Campfield. “And I make eight if you are counting me.”
“Seven and a half,” corrected Arkin.
“We could completely destroy him,” recommended the Lazerstone carrying the mechanoid
“He could prove useful yet, especially if we re-program him,” said Arkin.
“Well, the machine-man is right, then. If he counts, he makes too many.”
As they reached the berth of their star ship, Cloudstalker was surprised to see the woman he knew as the Black Fly standing there in her full black body suit with one of the Snarcs Brothers, the one called Cinco Snarcs.
“What? What are you doing here? And didn’t the Snarcs idiots strand us when they disappeared from Hyde Park without warning?”
“We is not abandoning you, boss,” said big-nosed Cinco Snarcs. “Sir Emerald Man with his greeny wishes came and snorkeled us all away to sell fish-skin socks in anudder time and place.”
“He means the Snarcs brothers had to be in another time and place for the White Duke’s purposes, so a Time Knight whisked them away.” The black fly pulled off her black mask as she spoke, a beautiful fall of auburn hair revealing a beauty that Arkin had not thought possible. She was a lovely lady of about his own age.
“So, you two are here to help cram us all into a little scout ship we were left with by fleeing Snarcses?” Arkin’s voice sounded far more cross than he had intended.
“We don’t do the sardini thingy with space men, no,” assured Cinco Snarcs.
“We have a patrol corvette called the Magic Carpet,” said Black Fly.
“So, we will all fit on your Magic Carpet?”
“It can handle up to sixty troops and a crew of four.”
“Good. We need to return to Tron’s base at Outpost as quickly as we can.”
“Ah, yes. But only after one further stop. We must also visit a planet called Djinnistan.”
“What will we find there, genies?”
“Djinn, Peris, and Afrits, yes.” Something about the Black Fly’s charming smile bothered Arkin just a bit.