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   Chapter 9 No.9

High Steaks By Christina Engela Characters: 5779

Updated: 2018-06-30 12:02

"Hmph." Peg grunted softly, right behind her and looking over her shoulder.

"Lasers." Mei grinned at Peg, thinking on her feet.

"Right." Peg smiled back. "Lasers."

Mei pushed the doors open slowly. The doorway led into the back-end of the hospital's maintenance workshop. As the rest followed behind her, their flashlights added some illumination. There were more shelves inside, littered with what looked like gas cylinders, welding equipment and electric motors. There were large workbenches along the walls, and what looked like a lathe, and beside it, a band saw.

A large open space on the floor showed where the hospital serviced and repaired its own ambulances. One was currently parked over a service pit. Another stood beside it on the concrete floor, on sturdy-looking axle stands, with both front wheels removed. Behind all that, a dull gray steel roll-up door stretched right across the width of the room. Mei turned on the lights. After the long trek in the dark with only flashlights to light their way, they were blinding. Behind them, a larger rectangular object stood against the far wall, covered in dust sheets.

Gary went over to the mysterious shrouded form, and began pulling at one end of the dust covers.

"C'mon Phil!" He called. "Gimme a hand!"

Phil and some others went to help, including the rest of his security guards from the palace. When they'd finished removing the covers – and after the dust had settled, and after they'd finished coughing – they saw what was under it. It looked like an old city bus! But no… But yes – yet, it looked different! The rows of windows along the sides were absent, and the whole thing had been painted white. A little rust or a small dent here and the

ter of garbage cans, the 'cat' smiled to itself as it rose to its feet from where it had taken cover, and carried on walking in the opposite direction.

"Meow." Tracey Ferris smiled to herself in the dark. If there was one thing that stood out about Tracey Ferris, a registered deep-space bounty hunter recently stranded on Deanna – and former guest at the Fancy Chancy Motel in Lugaluru – it was that she detested rules. She made her own, naturally, but the benefit to making her own rules was the luxury of being able to disregard them if or when she felt like it.

It started in childhood, she reminisced while moving down a dark alleyway in northern Lugaluru, with bed-times and getting-up times, do this, don't do that – comply, comply, comply! Right now though, the world under her feet had gone totally nuts – well, probably not as nuts as what she saw in the motel – but close! Tracey Ferris was a stranger in a very strange land! Things had taken a turn for the surreal! There were no friendly faces here. Well, okay, save one! There was only one place she could think of at that moment that seemed appealing – and it lay outside the city!

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