Rog walked over and opened the closet door. Sitting against the back wall, slightly hidden from direct view was a rather large round object. “Holy Shiott, Von, where the frail did you get this,” said Rog.

“Bring it over here. Ever see one of these before?”

Rog shook his head side to side. “Didn’t know they still existed. How did—“

“It was a gift.”

“Come on Von, you don’t get a Ji Shield as a gift.”

“You do if you pulled Zeke’s hoodie from the fire.”

“No shiott?”

Von laughed. “No shiott. Dauculus campaign, I’m sure you’ve heard of it.”

“No fricken way,” said Rog, “are you telling me–“

“Yep, recruited by the Hynerian himself, and it was a damn good thing he did,” Von winked.

“So you were Zing Tao?”


Rog’s chin moved to his chest and his eyes rolled up as if he were peering over the top of imaginary glasses. “You’re shiotting me, right? I mean what would a Zing Tao be doing on this little podunk ship?”

“Right now, looking at some sorry ass cowhand with his tail between his legs,” laughed Von. “Hold that shield and tell me what you feel.”

Rog stood taking the shield in his right hand. The center section glowed a warm orange and then Rog felt it. “Holy crap Von, what is that?”

“Feel familiar? Concentrate.”