Departing for Andromeda
“I don’t suppose NOW would be a good time to save, would it?” I asked nervously. Looking around the fairly crowded Skate-O-Rama, we tried to avoid colliding with the various people looking curiously at us as they passed. We glided towards the center of the zero gravity rink, away from the edge where the hooded figure had been.
“I think we’re going to end up having to surrender,” Serena said, nodding to the top of the opposite side of the rink.
Looking up, I saw that the first hooded figure from the restaurant stood on one end of the rink. Turning around, the second hooded figure stood behind us. There was no way we could make our way out of the rink without one or the other catching us. “Man, this is almost as bad as Space Quest IV,” I said.
“At least they are not shooting at us,” Brad pointed out.
“Yet…” I added.
I do not think they want to make a scene,” he said, motioning to the skaters around us. “And I think it would be wise for us not to make a scene as well. Perhaps we should turn ourselves over to them?”
I looked to Brad, pretty sure he had short-circuited. “Yeah, because letting them capture us will make them kill us so much quicker,” I pointed out. “Wouldn’t it be better if we split up? We do outnumber them…”
Serena, though, had a thoughtful look in her eye. “No, he’s right. Here we’d risk drawing even more unnecessary attention to ourselves. I think it best for us to face them and see if we can take them out in a more private location.”
I looked up again at the hooded figures, standing patiently on either end. “Well, if you say so,” I said, motioning for Serena to lead the way.
We made our way through the skaters to the edge of the rink, where we climbed the stairs back onto the main walkway. As Brad had predicted the two cloaked figures quickly made their way to our sides.
“Well, well, well,” a somewhat familiar male voice said from the first cloaked figure. “You led us on quite a chase.”
Serena gasped and turned towards the figure, quickly pulling the cloak from his head. “Blackthorne Rogue, you jerk!” she said with a smile, relaxing significantly. I instantly recognized Blackthorne, the head of the Ia Galaxy government and a long time Space Quest fan.
Blackthorne and his companion laughed. “Man, we really got you guys!” he said with a smile. “I told you that I would meet up with you here.”
“Yeah, but I wasn’t expecting you to chase us down, especially when there are forces on the move powerful enough to kidnap the Two Guys,” Serena pointed out.
“I’m sure the cloaks didn’t help,” Blackthrone’s companion said with a distinct Scottish accent. She removed her cloak to reveal Estir Dalin, one of Blackthorne’s assistants.
“Estir!” Serena said. “Will you be accompanying us as well?”
“At least as far as Andromeda,” Estir said. “I’m not sure if I’ll be able to stay for the entire journey. The Space Pope requested Blackthorne, and I need to get back to working on character designs for Quest for Infamy. But you never know…”
“Anyways,” Serena said, “You know Josh, already. This is Brad. They’ll both be accompanying us on the journey.”
“That’s great,” Blackthorne said. “The more, the merrier! Well, I think I need to get back to Monolith Burger. I didn’t get a chance to eat earlier…after all, I have to have some hamburgers in my face!!!!”
Estir rolled her eyes at this comment. “C’mon, Blackthorne!” she said, pulling him along.
“You can meet us at Docking Bay 94!” Serena called out as the two of them disappeared in the crowd. “Speaking of the docking bay, we should probably head there ourselves. I told Tawmis that I was just going to get my food to go and come back there, so he’s probably wondering where we are.”
The three of us headed through the crowded spaceport until we reached two large doors marked with the number 94 above them. As we approached, the doors opened automatically, revealing a large traditional looking wooden sailing ship docked beyond. “Um, Serena,” I said, looking over the large ship. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that ship supposed to sail in water, not space?”
“Arrr…Ye would be mistaken, Laddie,” a voice called from the side of the ship. Pirate Captain Tawmis stepped out towards the door, “She may look like a sea-vessel, but she’ll sail us wherever I steer her.”
“Actually,” another voice said from atop the ship, “She’ll sail wherever *I* steer her, as I’m the one manning the wheel.” I looked up to see Peg Leg Bones Brady, one of Tawmis’ crew, standing on the deck looking down at us.
“Aye, details, details,” Tawmis said. “Anyways, haven’t ye seen that movie, Treasure Planet? It’s a similar concept, that’s for sure.”
“Ah, well, that makes sense, I guess,” I said.
Before the conversation could continue, the doors to the docking bay swooshed open again, revealing a young woman with long dark hair. “Hey guys,” she said. “Is it Sayturday yet?”
“Sayfrand!” Serena said with a smile. “So glad that you could make it! How are things in the Phoenix Republic?”
“Great now that we’ve made an alliance with the Activision Expanse,” Say responded. Say was one of the chief representatives from the Phoenix Republic, and she had been working hard on raising social media awareness for their government and several others.
As Serena introduced Say to the group, the door opened again as Blackthorne, holding a burger in his hand, and Estir entered. “Mm….Nothing beats a good Monolith Burger!” Blackthorne said.
“Arrr, Serena, this be everyone who’s coming with us?” Tawmis asked.
“No,” she replied, looking over the group. “There’s one more person who’s supposed to be arriving. We’ll also be picking up a delegation of Andromedans to join us as well once we reach the Two Guys’ headquarters.”
As she finished speaking, the doors opened again, revealing the final member of our group and one of my closest friends, Princess Jessie of Sierra Planet. “Jessie!” I said in surprise. “I didn’t know you’d be joining us!”
“It came as a surprise to me as well,” Jessie replied. “But I’m glad to be of any help that I can.” I introduced Jessie to the rest of our troupe.
“Everyone’s welcome on this journey,” Serena said. “This is the caper to end all capers, and all fans of the Two Guys from Andromeda are counting on us to find them and rescue them!” She turned to Tawmis. “Captain, if you’ll be so kind.”
“Aye, maties!” Tawmis said, ushering us onto the ramp that led up to the deck. “If ye’ll be coming this way, we’ll be departing soon.”
We made our way up to the deck of the ship, where Tawmis’ first mate, Audio Dane, stood ready to receive us. “The crew reports everything is in tip-top shape, Captain,” he said with a salute.
“Arr! Let’s get this voyage underway, then! Mr. Brady! Take us out!”
Brady radioed the docking bay, informing them of our departure. As the bay was sealed, an artificial gravity and environment shield was activated around the ship, keeping us safe from the vacuum of space and allowing us to continue to have air to breathe. The docking bay’s exterior shield separating us from space lowered, and the thrusters below us engaged, taking us out of Starpoint Station and into the vast expanse before us. Serena called out from the upper deck, “Next stop, Andromeda!”