Red Planet Stowaway CH.4 - The Stowaway’s New Clothes
By Nina Bau
The guard, sputtering, cussing, and flailing, tries his best to escape the poop soup, but the harder he fights, the deeper he sinks. With a final growl and declaration that your mother should be violated in multiple orifices, he succumbs to his fecal fate.
Before you can say, “Neener, neener, neener,” the approaching footsteps stop right outside the door. There’s no way you can make it to the service hatch in time and hiding in poop is out of the question. You decide to call on your limited acting experience – playing a doomed turkey in a 3rd grade Thanksgiving play – and hope for the best.
The door opens and the dark-skinned woman from earlier enters.
“I thought I heard something. What are you doing in here?”
She’s tall and athletic, damn near Amazonian. Her dark brown eyes flash no nonsense and you have no doubt that if you don’t tread carefully, you’ll find yourself taking your own diarrhea dive.
“I… um… was... on patrol. Thought I heard something, too.”
“What happened to your uniform?” she asks.
You look down at your ensemble and realize that your black boots and dark slacks are almost identical to the guard’s uniform, except you should be wearing a regulation NOSSA patrol shirt over your white t-shirt.
“I got poop on the shirt? Had to toss it?”
“Are you asking me or telling me?”
She eyes you up and down. You feel a pool of sweat gather on your upper lip.
“Telling. Definitely. That’s what happened.”
She eyes you a moment longer before sighing and throwing up her man-sized hands in disgust.
“This is unbelievable. First, Richardson gets called upstairs for an emergency, then I find Malloy naked and knocked out in the locker room. I had to slip the guards 40 Zircons just to get them to agree to carry his hairy ass to the infirmary - and now this. I thought Malloy ran a ship locked tighter than a virgin’s knees on prom night. He vouched for you – said that in a command full of alien-lovers, you were one of the few that could be trusted. You don’t want this peace treaty signed anymore than we do, right?”
You simply nod.
“Good. Follow me. We’ll get you another shirt and prepare your credentials.”
You follow her back into the corridor and the locker room. She rummages through several lockers before finding what she’s looking for. Tossing you a security shirt and cap she instructs, “Put this on. Let’s go.”
You do as you’re told, following her back into the corridor and up the metal ladder you noticed when making your Malloy escape. It leads to the upper level living quarters. You approach a door and watch as she presses her hand against an identification scanner. A red light travels up and down her hand before turning green. The door slides open with a hiss.
When you’re both inside, she turns to you.
“I’m sure Malloy went over everything, but you look like the type that needs reiteration. No offense.”
In truth, she could insult your intelligence, hygiene, and sexual aptitude – you just need to buy some time, find out what was going on, and hopefully escape with your life. From the little you’ve gathered it seems Malloy was a part of a conspiracy to sabotage the peace treaty between Earth and the aliens. This alliance means a great deal to your planet. The aliens are light years ahead in medicine, technology, and renewable energy. But there were plenty of humans who did not trust the aliens and would rather the planet go up in flames than align with them.
“It’s important that the assassination look as if it were at the hands of their supreme leader. There’s no way the International Council will agree to an alliance if the aliens are responsible for the death of someone as important as…”
Before she can finish, there’s a knock at the door.
“Saleen? You in there?”
You’d recognize that voice anywhere.
You’re more annoyed that he interrupted the mysterious Saleen before you could get the details on their sinister plans than you are afraid of Malloy. One kick to the twig and berries and he went down like an intergalactic hooker on a pleasure ship.
“Keep your pants on, Malloy. That is, if you’re wearing any. I’m coming.”
Saleen heads for the door. She’ll reach it in ten seconds and open it faster than that. You have to decide what to do next before she does.
A. Make up an excuse to go to the bathroom before she opens the door, and hope to stay in there long enough for Malloy to leave?
B. Let Saleen open the door and confront them both, threatening to turn them over to the G.B.I. (Galactic Bureau of Investigation)?
C. Let Saleen open the door and hope that Malloy doesn't recognize you in your spiffy new guard uniform, hoping to play it off like you're a part of the plan?