Canto 118 – The Mission Aboard the Super Rooster
“What do we know about the unknown ship?” Ged asked Naylund.
“Very little. Scanners don’t get normal life-form readings. We can’t identify the craft by its design or visible features. It is a mystery apparently come from deep space in the unknown.”
“Monsters from outer space?” asked Sara with an ironic smile.
“Possibly. You and Junior should go with Naylund and I to look it over out there.” Ged put a hand on her shoulder. “Who else among the students would prove useful?”
“Billy Iowa’s clairvoyance can help us anticipate dangers and see beyond walls. And he probably won’t go without Gyro. But Gyro’s molecular transmutations could come in handy too maybe.”
“You have become quite an insightful leader,” said Naylund. “You make me proud.”
“Thank you, Daddy. But part of what we have been learning is how to rely on multiple leaders who can shift responsibilities as needed on the spur of the moment.”
“Go find Junior, Billy, and Gyro and give them the orders,” Ged commanded Sara.
“Yes, Sensei. By your command.” She scampered off towards the Akito House.
“Do you know where we can get workable vacuum suits?” Ged asked Naylund.
“Yes. There a little bit steam punk and a little bit old-fashioned, but they are serviceable Tech Level Nine. They are actually from my old starship that brought me here over a century ago.”
“Okay… Then I imagined they are thoroughly broken in.”
“Yes, but hopefully not too broken. Space travel has not been a common thing on this planet for over a thousand years.”
“Something we probably should’ve thought of when we borrowed the Ancient Hammer to build our space port.”
“You are probably right.”
The walking and talking ended in front of the Super Rooster on the old-fashioned launch gantry that Junior, Gyro, and Taffy King had created for it. It was a strange-looking craft that made Ged long for even the Megadeath to look at it. It had none of the elegance of the Leaping Shadowcat.
Gyro met them in front of the launch gantry. He was also all smiles, but with none of the irony Ged had detected in Sara’s grin.
“I built this thing, Sensei,” Gyro said proudly.
“I know you did. But you built it for Shen-Ming-sama, did you not?”
“Perhaps I better ask him to borrow it.”
“You know it is the only other spaceship besides the Red Dragon that we have available, and that Ancient thing could be way too dangerous to use for this mission,” reminded Naylund.
“You go on ahead. I need to ask…”
Ged turned back towards the Palace of a Thousand Years and focused his signal on Shen’s Tower to avoid the message being intercepted.
“What is it, my son?” Shen Ming asked when Ged keyed the commo-dot on his. neck.
“I need to borrow the car keys, Dad.”
“The keys to the Rooster, you mean. By all means. But drink no gargleblasters and wreck it not. Until the new ones are designed and built, it is the only car we really have.”
“I promise. Not a scratch or a dent.”
“Go with my blessing, then.”
Ged turned back to where Gyro was watching for his return.