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   Chapter 15 No.15

High Steaks By Christina Engela Characters: 5172

Updated: 2018-06-30 12:02

"Are you fucking nuts?" Tim shrieked at Jonnulass Mc Watt Deire angrily. Clearly this wasn't the greeting – or the thanks Deire had been expecting! The grin faded from his bearded old face. "You put us through that thing?"

"Well – er.." Deire stammered.

"We're lucky we didn't arrive inside-out, or looking like flat crispy biscuits – with shoes on! And yes!" Tim lowered his tone, looking pointedly at Dory. "That actually happened!"

"Garn!" Deire cried. "We jus' pulled y'all out in the nick o'time!"

"Well, thank you very much, Mr. Deire!" Tim retorted, stepping down from the transmatter platform. "But I'd rather take my chances with those… those… storm troopers – than be 'rescued' as… human soup!"

"I dunno what yer all upset about!" Said Deire, a little shocked. "The transmatter's all sorted out now! After we got our share o'that reward money*, we bought us a new one!"

[* See "Loderunner", in which Timaset Skooch and his crew discover a lost Corsair treasure.]

Tim glanced round. The antiquated transmatter equipment he remembered seeing there the last time he was aboard the Celeste, was gone! In its place he saw new, shiny tech, smooth clean consoles and blinky lights!

"On the level?" Tim asked sheepishly, before he could stop himself. Deire nodded, grinning again.

"Boner fidey! Good t'see yer Boss!" Deire grinned, as he and Tim leaned into a man-hug, which looked to Dory like a small rugby scrum with lots of back-slapping and laughing.

"How did you find us?" Tim asked, finally showing gratitude for

ent they were in, being inside a cargo ship stuck on the tarmac of a hostile space port! The centrally located elevator connected all three levels of the chambers to the sides of the cargo hold, which ran along the center of the ship – but it wasn't Dory who was shocked, it was Tim!

Gone were the worn, dirty, mats and grime-caked interior side panels! Gone were the dented and abused doors! The elevator car-computer – which usually shouted, swore and screamed at everyone in sight to the point where they felt like asking a box of shiny new razor blades out on a date – quickly snapped open the doors and practically sang a welcome for them!

"HELLO, MISTER SKOOCH!" It greeted in a friendly tone. "GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN! WELCOME BACK!"

Tim's mouth flapped as he searched for words. As they went in, the smell of new carpet was nearly overwhelming in the car. Deire grinned from ear to ear at Tim's astonishment. Even Dory smiled, although she wasn't really sure why.

"Upgrade?" He managed to say. "What did you do?"

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