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The Money Reform Party

Star Woes

Chapter 32

As soon as he learnt that Mark and Tamara had been captured by the Empire, Dan Polo collected Hewie where he had left him happily playing a slot machine and chewing his tobacco. He made his way to Dandini and prepared to have a showdown with his long-standing friend, but the Sovereign Administrator's grovelling apology made Dan realise that no benefit would be gained by falling out with him. Moreover, the more he thought about it, the more he realised that there had been no way that Cirrus City could stand up to an Imperial Star-cruiser.

Instead, hurrying as fast as they dared without appearing to do so, just in case there were some suspicious Imperials still lurking about, the two men made their way to the docking area, boarded the Jubilee Endeavour and cleared for take-off.

In extra-orbital space, they saw the Imperial Star-cruiser position itself for its hyper-space jump. Dan wanted to contact the Aldershott Revival as soon as possible, but he decided to wait until the Imperial ship was on its way. Eventually, after disgorging its rubbish, the giant ship disappeared into hyper-space.

When he did send his message, Dan wondered what a miserable looking figure his hologram would present, so he said nothing about the disappearance of the royal pair. Instead he just requested an immediate rendezvous.

With the co-ordinates for the hyper-space trip calculated, and the jump commenced, Dan sat down with Hewie to assess the situation and to work out how much blame lay at his own door.

"Hot damn it, Hewie. I never even got a chance to rescue them."

"Pppt," agreed his sidekick.

As soon as the Jubilee Endeavour was safely docked aboard the Aldershott Revival, Dan and Hewie hurried to meet the colonel. They did not have far to walk as he had come down to meet them, as had Kerry and Jerry.

"Oh, it's so good you've come back," called Jerry. "We have a problem."

"You have?" asked Dan.

"You said that this rendezvous was urgent, Captain Polo. Where are Her Grace and his Highness? Jerry what's this problem?" The colonel fired off his questions.

"They've been captured!" gasped Polo. "On Cirrus City. I couldn't do anything!"

"Who? Mark and Tamara?" asked Jerry.

Dan broke down and sobbed, nodding his answer.

"Is that your problem, Jerry?" asked the colonel.

"No. We just got word that Bacchanalia's brewery is malfunctioning."

Dan looked up.

"Hey man, that's bad. You guys like your beer."

"Yeah, but it's not as bad as your news."

"What were you saying, Captain Polo?" demanded the colonel, trying to get things prioritised.

"I wasn't actually saying anything, colonel. I was sobbing with grief."

"But you say captured, not killed?"

"Yes, sir."

"Then we'll have to rescue them."

"Hey, I was about to suggest that," cried Polo, a tad peevishly.

Next: Chapter 33

Previous: Chapter 31

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