Escape from Mordicrom
A Space Opera Story by Wuckster
Orgum Stallos grumbled to himself as he walked clumsily across the outer surface of the spaceship. He had always found spacesuits to be bulky and difficult to maneuver in, and he'd never gotten the knack of walking in the magnetized boots that kept him from floating away into space. He also really hated cleaning, and the Solar Iguana was a very dirty spaceship indeed after it had ducked into a massive dust globule in an effort to avoid detection by the military fleet of Mordicrom. The crew of the Solar Iguana had just ripped off the famous Valeris Emerald, which was the Emperor of Mordicrom's most valued possession. It was rumored that whoever owned the emerald would have wealth, power, respect, and the ability to make a flawless soufflé.
The heist had almost gone without a hitch. There was a master counterfeiter on the crew of the Solar Iguana by the name of Yuntai Kxlryn who had made a nearly perfect replica of the emerald. Orgum had developed an algorithm that allowed them to bypass the security codes in the vault, while the acrobatic Monkeyman twins Utos and Batos had made the actual switch. Their pilot Vetiver Corlaris had kept the engine running on the Solar Iguana while the heist took place and they had managed to escape without detection. Unfortunately the Emperor of Mordicrom had been entertaining a lady friend at the very same moment and knew something was wrong when his legendary Fish Cheese Soufflé suddenly collapsed into a heap of mush.
Needless to say, the Emperor of Mordicrom flew into a howling rage and immediately ordered his military into action. What had originally appeared to be a clean escape, was now a desperate run for dear life for the Solar Iguana and its hapless crew. Vetiver Corlaris had managed to obtain some highly illegal technology that allowed the ship to exceed the safety standards for speed within solar systems and he was an excellent pilot, so he managed to keep the Iguana ahead of the Emperor's ships, despite their much more powerful engines. A few nuts and bolts had shaken loose, but the sturdy little spaceship had managed to stay structurally intact.
After some fancy maneuvering through the thick cloudy atmosphere of a nearby gas giant, it appeared that Vetiver had managed to shake off their pursuers, but unfortunately a few hours later the main force of the imperial fleet popped up on their radar and began firing their massive laser cannons at them. Orgum had managed to design some powerful shields that absorbed the brunt of the impact from the lasers, but one expensive solar panel did get vaporized in the process. Luckily it didn't control any of the ship's vital functions, although it did knock out all of their video screens and the crew would not be able to watch any of their tele-dramas until they could get it repaired. Orgum had become very obsessed with the soap opera "As Arcturus Turns" and he was highly displeased that he was not going to be able to find out who the father of Atalantia-Forex 2's child was.
Still, Orgum had to admit that missing out on his favorite tele-drama was still preferable to being blown to smithereens, and shortly after that Vetiver had spotted the dust globule, which seemed to have gotten the fleet off their tails. At least for the time being. Unfortunately, the dust globule seemed to have been formed of some strange, sticky substance that adhered to the surface of the spaceship and was gumming up the navigation systems. Vetiver had gotten them out of the globule, but they weren't going anywhere else anytime soon. The ship was going to have to be cleaned off right where they were in the middle of outer space.
They played a high stakes game of Space Rummy to determine who would get the honors, and unfortunately for Orgum Stallos, he was the big loser. He could have refused, but this would have involved being forcibly ejected from the Solar Iguana without a spacesuit. The crew members were not at all sentimental about each other, especially after a job had been completed, and Orgum was not foolish enough to back out on the agreed upon terms of an honest wager. Thus he found himself on the outer surface of the ship wiping off some sort of space slime.
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Tevun-Krus #49 - Best of 2K17Science Fiction
Well, we here at Tevun-Krus have been doin' this sort of thing since 2014. What is "this sort of thing"? Best-Of issues, of course! And 2K17 is no different-- That's a lie! Best of 2K17 is different, in that this time we wanted* to bring you 38 bran...