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   Chapter 34 No.34

High Steaks By Christina Engela Characters: 5832

Updated: 2018-06-30 12:02

This was the scene that greeted McMillen, Carver and two of Angel One's security guards as they finished rematerializing at the bottom of the stairs leading up to the Palace. The transmatter still worked, despite all the abuse it had received at the – er, hands – of the terrifying rectangular shaped creatures known as red-horned wildebeest!

As they made their way to the stairs, Brandon Carver noticed the two security men in gray uniforms escorting the Deannan Republican Army's fearless leader, James Eregut McMillen, were walking funny. Considering the near-mauling the crew of Angel One – and the other two 'angels' as well – had received, Carver supposed they were very lucky to still be walking at all. Even McMillen seemed to be walking with a slight limp. Sudden noises made him jump – and then scream at people.

All three ships had suffered heavy internal damage, as well as some minor dents and scrapes on the outside of their hulls as they bumped into each other while adrift in orbit. Surface observation sensors on Angel Two were damaged, and Angel Three's were completely inoperable – smashed in a collision. Angel One's sensor array had been knocked out of alignment and had to be repaired. All three ships needed attention, and it would be several days before all three ships main engines could be restarted!

Most of the three crews were injured and traumatized to various degrees – but fortunately there had been no fatalities. Captain Bates had broken down completely – last seen in the sickbay, hiding inside a blanket-fort, in the fetal position, sobbing uncontrollably. McMillen himself had muttered something on the transmatter platform just now about never wanting to see a steak again – with or without corners.

lled, leaning closer to the door. Then again a little louder, "Fred? It's Marla. Marla De Bris. I was here the other night with Danielle?"

No reply seemed forthcoming. Perhaps Fred was being cautious – which under the present conditions seemed to be wise.

"Fred, she's gone!" Marla said loudly. "I think they got her!"

The door vibrated softly, and there was a muted click as the lock disengaged. The door silently opened, and she saw the startling form of the Arborian plant-creature opening it from inside.

"Come inside." Fred said, waving her in with several limbs at once in a serpentine fashion. "Quickly!"

Marla stepped inside, sidling around the very visibly busy shrub-like entity that was Fred the Aroborian. Fred quickly closed the door and locked it from inside. In the stark silent space that was the slumbering night club, this close to him, Marla could sense the intense vibrations coming from him. Each leaf, each stem vibrated with life – a different sort of life from other plants… ordinary plants. Fred was alive – not in the same sense as regular inanimate plants – but in the way that animals, such as human beings, were alive.

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