Monday, October 31, 2011

Part 1, XV

  Space moose are big.  Fact of life.  They are really really big.  Two of them put together was about the same size of my ship.  And there were three of them.
  “No wonder the government sent a warship out to do this,” I said.  “One of those things could destroy a ship.”
  “Should I bring out the prodding sticks?” Rimana asked.  I nodded, and she pushed some buttons.  Four huge metal rods came out of the ship, one on top, one on bottom, and one on each side.  They bent near the ship and faced out towards the moose.
  “They’re electrified,” I muttered, watching them.
  “How do you know?” Carter asked, looking at me.  I shrugged.
  The three moose also noticed the rods, and were turning towards us. It was terrifying.
  “Batnter?  Back up?” I said.  The moose moved their tails to pick up speed.  The ship backed away, but they were gaining on us.
  “Question,” Twitchy said, flattened against her chair.
  “Go ahead,” I said.
  “What are we supposed to do with the moose once they’re off the freeway?” she asked.
  “Lead them out into open space, right?” I tried.
  “Yeah, but how far?  I mean, right now they’re in open space, but if we leave they’ll just get right back on the freeway.”
  “Rimana, you said we have very weak guns?” I asked.
  “Good.  Shoot the one in front,” I ordered.
  “You want me to what?” she asked.
  “Shoot it, just enough to get it mad,” I told her.
  “Are you insane?”
  “Batnter, start spinning the ship.  The instant Rimana shoots the moose head for the nearest asteroid belt,” I said, ignoring Rimana.
  The ship turned.  There was a small thunk as the missile left the ship.  The moose in lead stopped dead, turned downward slightly, and moved faster than I thought was possible.  The other two followed.
  “Batnter, go!” I shouted.  “Quickly!  Carter, put us on alert!  Move faster!”
  Red lights started flashing.  The ship picked up speed, and soon the moose started falling behind.
  “Batnter, slow down,” I ordered, starting to calm down.  “Carter, take us off alert.  Make sure the moose keep following us.”
  “You want them to follow us all the way to the asteroid belt?” Batnter asked.
  “Yes.  But take us a ways away from the freeway,” I told him.
  “At this speed we’ll be there in thirty minutes,” he reported.
  “Good.  So we should be done in time for lunch.”

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