1.57 - Little Captain

1.57 - Little Captain


 

I stare at the white ceiling, testing my limbs, making sure I can still move them. I reach both hands towards the ceiling and stretch my fingers, no shackles. Hallucinations and paralysis aside, that was some great sleep. I move to sit on the edge of the bed. Whoever took me wasn’t worried about me wandering free. That means it wasn’t anyone tied to the armed forces, they wouldn’t be that sloppy. Wasn’t the drug dealers, they would have just shot me. I do some more stretches just to loosen the stiffness in my body. I must have been out for a while. According to my wrist comp I’ve been out for three days and my location is, out of range. That’s strange. I’ve been to all kind of places and never had that issue before.

I survey my surroundings, a white room with random bright colors thrown in. A green rug, red door, blue bed sheets. The whole thing seems organized, yet chaotic. It’s a ship, an old one with some modifications, based on the accommodations it’s a frigate. I take it back, could be military. It might be a ship belonging to an independent commander from the Galactic Federation, a scout, trailblazer or whatever. I don’t have anything to do with the Galactic Federation, I never worked any missions for them. Okay, what else, luxury items for sure. The accommodations are small for a regular bedroom, but likely part of the captain’s cabin. Wait, what is that?

A Picture frame shifting through a series of pictures stands out more than anything else now that I’m looking at it. The pictures are of my parents, my brothers, me. Some of these pictures I’ve never seen, I’m not sure who would have these. My parents maybe, but they wouldn’t be on a ship, and it could be Edan, but I’ve never seen some of these pictures. Pictures of me graduating the academy, he wasn’t there for that. He was in jail, and my parents didn’t come. No, this is Edan’s ship. He’s the only person sentimental enough for this. I swipe at the frame, there’s hundreds of pictures here, all family. I should be worried about why I’ve been abducted by Edan. Still, I can’t help but take the time to duplicate the photos to my wrist comp. Just, in case I want to look later.

The door slides open when I press the button, captain’s quarters like I guessed. Glancing through the window to my left, we’re in space, traveling right now, cruising speed. Dead ahead, another door, likely leading to the rest of the ship. Some kind of artwork I don’t understand hangs on the wall to the right. Right beneath it is a couch pulled out into a bed. On the couch is none other than my little brother, sleeping. I want to go over and punch him in the face for abducting me, but he looks stressed out. He’s so careless when he’s up and moving about. But right now, asleep, I can see all the worry in his face. He finally looks his age. I’m wondering if he’s worried about me, some big bounty on his head, or whatever he’s hiding in this ship. I’m mad, really mad, madder than I’ve ever been at him. Still, seeing him, like this, frowning, grinding his teeth and moving restlessly in his sleep, along with all the pictures of our family, I’m just sad. We missed so many years together, and we can’t get them back. I take a seat on the arm of the couch and poke his cheek, just making sure this isn’t a hallucination.

“Stop,” he smacks my hand away after the fourth poke.

“Did you abduct me,” I keep poking.

“Stop,” he tries to slip away and falls to the floor, tangled in the blanket he was using.

“You look ridiculous.”

“Not as ridiculous as you did being dragged through a crowd like you fainted.”

“You did abduct me?”

“Yeah, but it was for your own good,” he stands up freeing himself from the sheet.

“You drugged me, and dragged me into space. My wrist comp doesn’t even know where I am. How is that for my own good?”

“You didn’t understand the game.”

“The game? Explain it to me before I make sure you eat through a straw for the next month.”

“You couldn’t if you wanted to,” Edan takes a seat. “Imagine you’re me, the ultimate transporter. You’re making some deals in the night market as usual. Nothing big, don’t work by your house. Getting some small things for personal use, ship upgrades and all that.”

“Get to the point.”

“I’m getting there, why don’t you sit down and listen. Want a drink?”

“I just woke up from being drugged, by you, and you’re offering me a drink.”

“It’s always a good time for a drink,” he smiles.

“Focus, why did you abduct me?”

“Well, I’m hearing rumors about some psychopath tying up drug dealers and demanding they stop dealing drugs. Personally, that’s hilarious to me. But the thing that caught my attention is the description of the dealer. Some big military acting, proper speaking, asshole with a shiny green arm. Well, that sounds like my big brother. But, my big brother wouldn’t try to go at a group of criminals solo. He knows he can call his little brother, a criminal. But I wasn’t sure, so I started watching them to see who’s watching. Turns out, you were watching them too. They were going to kill you. Your options were to kill them and face retaliation or lay low. You don’t know how to lay low, and I didn’t want to lose another brother. I figured, I missed you so much, I’d bring you with me on my next trip. That way, I don’t have to cremate you when I get back,” Edan gives me a big fake smile, but I can tell he’s just as mad as I am.

“You could have just told me.”

“When? Between gunshots? You clearly weren’t planning to back down. You were moving toward the violence like a nutjob. I see why you decided to march off to war, you love the chaos and the rush of it all. I know you; you would have just kept pushing until you died or got arrested for murder,” he throws his hands up then sighs, “even if I told you, you wouldn’t have listened.”

I make my way to the small cart holding a dozen or so bottles of alcohol. I pick a purple one in a language I can’t read, and pour a glass. I hand it to Edan, before taking a big sip from the bottle myself. A chill runs down my spine. I cap the bottle and take a seat next to Edan on the couch. I can’t deny anything that he said. I wouldn’t have listened, I never listen.

“Where are we?”

“You still mad at me,” he asks as if we’re kids again.

“No,” I lie like a big brother trying to spare his little brother’s emotions as a kid.

“I think you’re mad.”

“Yeah, but I get where you’re coming from.”

“Good enough,” he takes a sip. “Kwasi,” Edan calls out, “display current location and route.”

The windows are closed and lights in the room are dimmed. A light on the ceiling shines down and flickers before displaying a hologram of what looks to be a planetary system, but not one I’m familiar with, before expanding out and displaying another before expanding once more displaying what looks to be a massive space station.

“What is this,” I ask in confusion.

“We’re picking up some equipment in The Revrell Republic and transporting it to some rebels in the Draconian Empire, then coming back with some other stuff. We’ve also got some equipment to drop off to The Meteorians, so we’ll be out here for a while. Specifically, we’re just inside The Republic right now.”

“I’d ask if you were insane, but I know the answer.”

“Runs in our family,” he smiles.

“I’ll give you a tour of the ship, and get you up to speed on the mission,” Edan finishes his drink and waves for me to follow.

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