Space Opera Part 51 – Research Facility

Scagsdale's Tales

I pulled out the Holographic Communicator chair and sat in it, motioning for JJ to sit on the bed behind me. I turned it on and paged Vermillion, the holographic frame projecting in front of me. Vermillion’s face appeared in a moment.

“Good, you got my message,” he said. “Obviously we had to leave for a while.”

“JJ’s in here.”

“I see her behind you. You’re both feeling better now, I take it?”

“Not a hundred percent, but improving,” I said. “What’s happening? Did we get discovered?”

“No. Worse, actually.”

“One of the manufacturing bases?” I asked, my heart stuck in my throat.

“One of the Overlords operatives was at the main plant. He got off the planet.”

“Dammit,” I said. “How?”

“Shuttle. Unauthorized take off. Got on the far side of a moon there before we could shoot him down.”

“He’s still at large?” I asked.

“No, he’s dead…

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Here’s a taste of Stolen Youth, released last night in the Kindle Store and Kindle Unlimited.

Scagsdale's Tales

Ted sat in the passenger seat of the big black SUV, looking at his iPhone. “Should be just around that bend.”

Special Agent Simon Keith was driving. He was in his late thirties, but didn’t look it. He was robust, with thick brown hair, a handsome clean-shaven face, and eyes like a hawk.

“Look. Three dirt bikes over there, in the bushes to the right.” He parked.

“What are you doing?” Ted asked.

“Checking to see if the engines are warm,” he said, getting out. He trotted over, looked at them for a moment, felt the engines, and rushed back.

“Well?” Ted asked.

“Stone cold. A full-sized bike and two child’s bikes. Nice ones, too. They aren’t locked up. Nobody would just leave them like that if they had a choice.”

“Calling it in now,” Agent Joe Cooper said from the back. He was a rookie, with black hair, always…

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Space Opera Part 50 – Auto-Protect

Scagsdale's Tales

We were staring at the huge earth mover as the air cleared from the dust storm.

<JJ> Emerald, search for any records of this activity.

<Me> Wait. We don’t want anybody to know we’re here. Searches might tip off the wrong people.

<Emerald> I can search without putting us at risk, Captain Clarke.

<Butch> That’s worth a try, Trey. I’d let her do it, but I’ll supervise.

<Emerald> In your dreams, junior.

I chuckled, sending a glance to JJ, who shook her helmeted head.

<Me> Work that out between you, but err on the side of stealth. What happened here two hundred years ago isn’t the most important issue.

<JJ> Agreed.

Nolan walked over to us. “I’ve been all the way around the vehicle. This is the only spot that was damaged, and note that they didn’t hurt the payload at all. I’m thinking whoever made the attack was planning…

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Space Opera Part 49 – Mine Equipment

Scagsdale's Tales

I walked onto the bridge. Skip and Nolan were working together, ready to come out of the jump and orbit Boroclize.

Sondra glanced over at me. “Good morning, Captain.” The other two looked over, nodding, then re-focusing on their tasks.

“Good morning. Everything good?”

“Only a couple hours to go,” she said. “Don’t worry, we’ve got things well in hand.

“Good, then I’ve got some other things to do. Buzz my PA if anything out-of-the-ordinary comes up.”

“Will do,” she said.

I left, heading back to the mustering room via the transport station.

<Butch> He’s waiting until you get there.

<Me> I figured. I’m running a little late.

I grabbed a tin can, getting off near the mustering room in seconds.

<Me> Wonder if I’m gonna get attacked again?

<Butch> We’ll find out in a second, but I doubt it. I think this will be a talking session.

I opened…

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