By Richard "RJ" James
It is soon apparent that maybe you made a mistake.
You can no longer smell Malloy’s sweaty junk, but you can now taste on the air the after-effects the galley’s chicken curry had on the crew. The other downside is that you can see said after-effects bubbling lazily in front of you in a giant pool.
Before you get a good look around the room you see a guard making his rounds. On his hip he is carrying a holster that is devoid of its weapon. The location of the weapon does not remain a mystery for long as the guard takes a long look down the sight of the laser pistol before squeezing off a shot. The red beam neatly dissects a long, brown bowel log that was floating on the surface of the cesspool.
The guard chuckles to himself and secures his laser back into its holster. While he has his back to you, you decide that your need is greater than his and move slowly forward.
You crouch down and use all of the stealthy skills you possess, namely crouching and sneaking. The metal grating is behaving itself under your weight as you move carefully forward. You slowly reach out your hand and place it on the butt of the laser pistol when another turd surfaces for air. In a heartbeat the guard grabs your hand and, mistaking it for a gun, aims it at the floating stool.
Squeezing your finger, the guard fires what he thinks is a shot and you oblige him by making a sound you think is approximate to that of his pistol, namely PEW!
When the turd doesn’t fall apart in a blast of red light, the jig is up. -- Or mayhap it was because a laser pistol actually doesn’t go PEW. Either way the guard is on to your game.
With some quick thinking on your part you pull your hand from out of his grasp and point it at him as if it’s a gun. Your adversary, caught off-guard, raises his hands.
“Right, take your pistol out of its holster and place it on the ground in front of you. I don’t want to have to use this thing,” you say, waving around your “gun.”
The shaky guard does just that. He realizes a moment later that you don’t actually have a gun, and that he has been held up with a finger and a very un-convincing PEW sound.
As he moves to pick up his pistol again you turn your “gun” back into a hand and shove him. The man staggers backwards before flailing his arms trying to regain his balance. The one thing that would be really useful at that moment would be reduced gravity, but sadly – for the guard anyway – that is the one thing he doesn’t have, and he falls into the soup, screaming curses that are both very imaginative and very insulting.
As you bend down and scoop up the laser pistol you hear footsteps close to the door you came through. Glancing around the room you see a service hatch hanging open from the ceiling with its ladder lowered.