Category: Chaz


Ninker

“Rog. Wake up. Rog! Do you hear me son. Get your arse out of bed. Those lamkurs are not going to milk themselves.” To know Rog’s father was to know Rog. Honest as the day was long with a vocabulary colorful enough to match the brilliant sunsets that graced the ranch. He was the kind of hynerian who did business with a handshake. His word, like his heart, was pure gold.

Rog kicked the bunk above his head. “Chaz, cover for me this morning. I did something to my arm last night and I don’t want to have to explain to the old man what happened.” Chaz didn’t budge.

Rog kicked the bunk again. “Hey ninker, let me put it this way, milk the lamkurs for me this morning and I’ll make it worth your while, maybe even let you pilot the hopper in the canyons tonight.”

Chaz leaned down from the top bunk. “Ninker?” You want me to cover your, how did dad say it, arse, and you call me a ninker. What did you do to your arm anyway?”

“None of your business,” said Rog, a bit irritated with the lip from his little bro. “Of course, if you don’t want to take my shift there is always plan B.”

Chaz laughed. “Plan B? And what pray tell is plan B?”

“I jump up there and kick your arse with my one good arm, ninker.”

“Hey, crip, talk don’t cook rice. Give me the code for the hopper and I’ll consider your predicament. You know, I do have a certain sympathy for your situation, being hurt and all,” said Chaz in his most patronizing tone. It wasn’t often he had the upper hand with his brother and, no pun intended, he was going to milk this was all it was worth.

“Whoa, no code bro. I promised you a chance to pilot, but you ain’t gettin the code.”

“No code, no shift,” shot back Chaz.

Rog jumped out of the lower bunk, grabbed Chaz with his one good arm and pulled him to the floor. “Sombeech,” wailed Rog as Chaz landed on his injured arm. “Get the frail off my arm.”

“Code first,” said Chaz, not budging.

Rog reared back and popped the shiott out of his little brother. “Damn it Chaz, look what you made me do,” said Rog as he realized now he was going to have to explain why his brother had a bloody nose.

“Me? You throw me to the floor and punch me in the face and I made you do it,” said Chaz, more pissed than hurt although he was playing up the blood for all he could. Blood always did create a little drama.

Rog didn’t respond, which was not like him. “Rog, hey, you alright?”

“I think this arm is in worse shape than I thought. Here’s the deal. You go milk the lamkurs. Come back here, I give you the code and you take me out to old doc’s place. Deal?”

Chaz locked eyes with Rog and weighed the change in tone in his voice. They weren’t playing anymore. “Look me in the eye and give me your word.”

“You have my word,” said Rog. “Now get out to the barn before the old man comes looking for me again. And make it quick, this arm is killing me.”

“Trev, he’s in pain. Is there anything more you can do?” asked Yul.

“If I shoot him up anymore, we risk killing him,” said Trev.

“I’m comming Kyra, he needs help now.”

“Yul.”

“What?”

“Von and Kyra are operating in stealth mode. No communications in, none out,” said Trev.

“You’re shiotting me,” snapped Yul, realizing there was nothing to do but wait. “Frail me!”

Categories: Story, Rog, Chaz, Yul, Trev

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So Long Lil’ Bro

Rog closed his eyes as the vortex pulled Bravo-Four-Zero into its center. The physical sensation of artificial gravity and unexpected g-forces brought back a flood of memories both good and bad.

Rog and his younger brother had spent many hours blasting through the canyons just south of their father’s ranch. Skirting the canyons in their hopper at high speed was not without danger and required absolute trust from your co-pilot. Those times, Rog often thought, brought him and his younger brother closer together than anything else they had done.

“Rog, which gate is ours? asked Chaz. Chaz was five years younger than Rog and had always tried to live up to Rog’s expectations and earn his respect. The age gap eliminated any sort of sibling rivalry and instead created more of a mentor relationship between the brothers.

“Look for gate nine. That’s ours.” said Rog.

“Are you nervous Rog?”

“That feeling in your gut Chaz, that’s excitement. This is going to be no different than a ride through the canyons on our hopper. Besides, we always talked about what space travel would be like. This is our chance.”

“Hey, Rog, there it is, our gate.”

“Wait here Chaz.” Rog walked over to the Hynerian with the data slate. What should have been a rather short conversation became quite animated. Chaz couldn’t hear what was being said, but he had seen his brother’s indignation on many occasions. There seemed to be a problem. Chaz was more amused than concerned and couldn’t wait to hear how Rog had handled the apparent dispute.

“Everything okay Rog,” said Chaz, looking a little more worried now that he could take the measure of Rog’s demeanor.

“Seems they only have one of us listed on the flight manifest. You’ve got a ticket to ride brother,” lied Rog, trying to smile as if everything would be okay.

Chaz stood silent, a thousand thoughts running through his head, trying to comprehend what he had just heard. “Well, you are going to work that out aren’t you. I mean, we were promised we would be on the same vessel.”

Rog looked forlorn, a look Chaz had never seen before. “I’m afraid this is one fight I can’t win. But you’ve got a seat and that is one mighty fine ship. Now I don’t want to hear no back talk. You know I can take care of myself. I know where you are and once I find my passage I will track you down like a wayward pampus,” said Rog with a forced grin.

Rog reached out to tussle Chaz’s hair in part to break the mood and in part to hide the look of falsehood he was sure Chaz would pick up on. Once separated, the chances of a reunion were about nil and Rog knew it.

“Hey Rog,” teased Yul, “closing your eyes ain’t gonna make this ride any easier.”

“Yeah, um, about that . . .”

Before Rog could finish, their little vessel began to shake violently. No one was smiling or teasing now.

Categories: Story, Rog, Chaz, Yul.