Sunday, May 25, 2008

Space Pirates, Yet Again

Remember The Muppets television variety show? There was a comic space opera segment called "Pigs in Space." Funny stuff.

For some reason, I think of that when working on my space pirates novel (still no title). It's not quite as witty and funny as the goofy puppets, but I'm having fun with it. The beginning was posted near the first part of May (I can hear the television voice-over narration: "Previously, on Space Pirates"), and here's installment number two ("And now, on Space Pirates").

Smiling, Kristoff stood a moment longer in the crow’s nest, a low-profile turret above the crew deck, and stared out into black, starlit space. He’d rather be here than anywhere.

Descending the ladder to the deck, he caught the low intense sounds of voices in muffled argument. Great. Corrigan and Wyatt, or Corrigan and Alerio, or Corrigan and anyone else.

No. From the next level down. The passenger cabins. Already?

He strode along the crew deck and clattered down the companionway, finger-combing his hair and tucking in his shirt as he went. Since negotiating for cargo, he hadn’t considered trivial things like a shower and a clean shirt. Hope nobody’s allergic to stink.

Down the last step, around a right angle, and he entered the passenger quarters. Two men, faces red, stood nose to nose and chest to chest.

“Afternoon, gentlemen—”

“You will not speak to her, you will not look at her, you will not be in the same room with her—”

“She’s a free woman!”

“She’s mine!”

“She’s not a crate of cargo!”

“Gentlemen.” Kristoff gripped the men by their shoulders and smiled, not happily. "This is a freighter first and a pleasure cruiser a distant second, but we aim to serve our guests. We can’t do that if they don’t behave. Now, there’s a corner of the cargo deck where you can beat each other to a squishy pulp, but you will not block the passage, and my crew will not clean up the blood.”

The belligerent idiot “owner” of the unnamed woman tried to pull away from Kristoff’s grasp, but without success. “Who are you?”

“Helmer Kristoff, captain of this fine vessel.”

“Fine vessel?” the idiot sneered. “More like a death trap.”

The lover grabbed the idiot by the shirtfront. “A death trap, and you brought her here anyway? You son of a—”

The idiot threw a punch. It landed poorly, skimming the other man’s cheek. The lover responded with a knee to the groin.

Kristoff grabbed fistfuls of the combatants’ shirts behind their necks, and dragged them along the passage, through the common room, through the guest galley—where he almost lost his grip on the struggling men—then down the companionway to the cargo deck, the idiot and the lover trading curses and half-landed blows, most of which struck Kristoff, if they struck anyone.

Corrigan looked up, wiping his hands on a greasy rag. “Want help with that?”

“You can lock the cage, as soon as I toss ‘em in.”

Slapping his palm with a business-size wrench, Corrigan grinned.

The lover flailed at the idiot, who flailed back. Kristoff pushed them inside the cage. Just as Corrigan grabbed the door, Kristoff saw a blur out of the corner of his eye.

Pain exploded in his head. Comets and constellations whirled before him—then all was black space.
c. 2008, Keanan Brand

6 comments:

Eaglewing said...

Very entertaining - eagerly await more! Sounds like quite an eclectic group of characters you've got onboard that ship too :)

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Oh, Keanan, this is superb, I am loving it.....dare I say it, you are turning me into a sci-fi fan?!

You got me with this consummate captain who is so in command; I have a weakness for ship captains; even if it is a space-ship. :)

KEANAN BRAND said...

Eagle - Glad you like it!

You're right about the eclectic group; sometimes, I think I have TOO MANY characters, 'cause I lose track of them. I have a list of who's who, but even then I stumble on the details.

Lavinia - Just call me a sci-fi evangelist! (laugh)

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Keanan, take heart...as I've whirled around blogland today, I've seen so many posts dedicated to the spirit and history of this special holiday. It is sad, as you say, that many of these high-sounding concepts now seem somehow lacking in adherents. A culture of pleasure and ease and self-seeking individuality has taken root, in a way. Sacrifice and honour have palled, somewhat--they're not held in the high esteem they used to be, to a certain extent.

It is up to the current generations to impart the ideals that established the foundation for the freedoms we enjoy, to the younger generations.

We say here in Canada, "Lest we forget".

willow said...

I thought I was the only one out here who says "P-I-G-S I-N S-P-A-C-E"...tee hee. (in a low mysterious voice)

KEANAN BRAND said...

Willow, what was the name of the medical soap opera segment? I can see Miss Piggy in her mask, as if she's a surgical nurse, but I can't remember the title.