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At the Circus - Chapter 4

Posted by StarMountainKid , 09 February 2013 · 307 views

Later that night, Zarkor is sleeping peacefully in his room in the Lightship when suddenly a loud knocking reverberates through the ship.

Bang! Bang! Bang!

Zarkor is awakened by the noise and mutters sleepily, “Huh? Whah? Is that you, Zerak?”

A deep, authoritive voice calls out, “Open the airlock!”

Zarkor sits up, still drowsy.  “Oh, damn! What is it now? Who is it?”

“It’s the Galactic Security Guild!” the voice shouts.

“The Galactic Security Guild?” Zarkor says to himself. Then to the voice, “What’s this all about? Who is it again?!”

The Galactic Security Guild! Open up!”

Zarkor hesitates a moment, then asks innocently, “Why?!”

“Because we want to come in and arrest you, that’s why!” the voice yells.

“Arrest me?! For what?!” Shouts Zarkor in dismay.

“For owning and operating an illegal holo-game!”

“What?!” Zarkor says in disbelief. “An illegal holo-game?!”

“Just open the stupid airlock!” the voice shouts out in desperation.

Zarkor lies down again and pulls the cover over his head. “Go away!”

“If you don’t open the airlock, we’ll blast it open!” the voice warns.

Zarkor pulls the cover down slightly. “Who are you again?!” he asks.

“Alright boys, bring the artillery up here!” the voice yells.

“Okay, okay!” Zarkor says in frustration. “Can you wait ‘till I get dressed? I just got out of the shower!”

“Ready, aim…”

“Stop! I’ll open it!”

Zarkor hovers out of bed and drifts through various corridors to the airlock. He opens it and four guards appear. “About time!” one of them says. “You’re under arrest, and don’t try anything funny.”

Looking at the guards in alarm, Zarkor protests his innocence. “You can’t arrest me! I don’t know what you’re talking about…what holo-game?”

“Don’t worry, that will be confiscated later,” the guard says. “Right now you’re to come with us.”

Zarkor hovers back a little. “Who’s gonna make me?” he demands defiantly. The guards dismiss Zarkor’s threat and begin to approach.

Realizing he has no alternative, Zarkor reluctantly enters the airlock, squeezing in with the guards. “You’ll be sorry when Uncle Zebon hears about this!” he warns.

“Just come along quietly, now.” The head guard says routinely.


Later, locked in a jail cell somewhere in the Galaxy, Zerak is cursing this unexpected turn of events.

“It’s all Cousin Billy’s fault,” he complains to himself, peering at the bars around him. “If he hadn’t sold me that stupid game none of this would have happened. Wait ‘till Uncle Zebon hears of this!” He drifts about the cell in agitation. “I almost wish Zerak were here. I never got to play that stupid game, anyway. I stayed up all night trying to hook-up the cables. Maybe I should have read the instructions. And the stupid controller has forty-seven buttons, not to mention seventeen joy-sticks! I don’t see why it’s illegal anyway. So you’re manipulating living beings that have thoughts, feelings, emotions, free will…well… Anyway, it’s only a game. Stupid game!”

A guard approaches Zarkor’s cell. “Well, Prisoner 486117,” he says sarcastically, “your court date has been set, but there’ll be no bail for you, fella. Judge says for an appalling crime such as yours bail could not be set high enough. Besides, he knows your reputation. You’d run”

“No I wouldn’t!” protests Zarkor.. “I’d stay and face my trial because I have the utmost confidence in my acquittal! I’ve done nothing wrong!”

“Ha!” the guard bellows contemptibly. “You’ll be lucky to get a trial! Judge Vector doesn’t take these cases lightly! Your time roaming the Galaxy is over, bud! You’d better get used to seeing these bars in front of you; you’re going to be seeing them for a long, long time! He he.”


At about the same time, Zerak and Uncle Zebon are in Zebon’s den talking. Zerak says, “I don’t like this, Zebon. It’s not like Zarkor to be missing for so long. I fear he may be in some kind of bad trouble.”

Just then Uncle Zebon’s robot servant appears at the door. “Message just came in, sir,” it says. “Seems your friend Zarkor has gotten himself in a bit of a jam. He’s in Galactic Central Lockup right now. You know what that means,” he adds ominously.

“I knew it!” Zerak shouts. “We’ve got to do something, Uncle Zebon!”

“Hmm….Galactic Central, Uncle Zebon considers. “I just hope Judge Vector isn’t presiding in his case.”


Later, Zarkor is led out of his cell and into a court room. Hovering before a large desk, a Judge of his species scowls down at him. “You have been found guilty as charged!” the Judge says scornfully. “The Galactic Council sentences you to life at hard labor on the Prison Planet!”

“But Judge!” Zarkor pleads, “I haven’t got a lawyer! I haven’t even had a trial! How can there be a verdict with no trial?!”

Judge Vector scoffs, “We’ve dispensed with those annoying formalities!” he says.  He turns to a nearby guard. “Take the prisoner away!”

“But…but! This isn’t fair!”

“Isn’t fair?” the Judge says in agitation. “Another ten days for contempt of court!”

Poor Zarkor is lead away by the guard, lamenting the unjust treatment he has been shown. “You just wait!” he calls out to the Judge over his shoulder, “when my friends hear about this there’ll be a harsh reckoning!” Then, unhappily to himself, “I wonder if I have any friends anymore?”


Some time later, Zerak and Uncle Zebon arrive on the planet where Galactic Central Lockup is located. They drift directly to Judge Vector’s court room.

Hovering anxiously before the Judge, Uncle Zebon declares, “Judge Vector, I demand to see my client, Mr. Zarkor!”

“Zarkor, Zarkor…,” Judge Vector mumbles, “doesn’t seem to ring a bell, sir. Do you know his Prisoner Number?”

“No, I don’t know his Prisoner Number!” Uncle Zebon says in disgust. “There doesn’t seem to be any record of him ever being on trial here!”

“We only identify Prisoners with their Number, sir,” the Judge states.

Zerak speaks up innocently, “He looks a lot like me, Judge, only bluer!”

“If you don’t know his Number, sir, as I sais,  I can’t help you.”

Uncle Zebon glares sternly at the Judge. “You don’t know who I am, do you, Judge? My name is Zebon, Your Honor. Perhaps you’ve heard of me.”

“Ah, Zebon! Of course!” Judge Vector says with delight. “I haven’t had the pleasure of having you in my Court yet…but I’m expecting.”

“A pleasure you’ll never experience, Your Honor,” Uncle Zebon replies with distain. “I want your prisoner Mr. Zarkor released immediately into my custody, pending trial and all litigation!”

“I see,” Judge Vector says, looking down over various documents on his desk.  “Well, the only case I’ve heard this morning is some rascal whom I convicted of possession of an illegal holo-game. A horrid crime I may say. Sentenced him to…let me see… life at hard labor on the Prison Planet. A sad case, but a just sentence.”

“That’s Zarkor!” Zerak shouts. “Life at hard labor?! And on the Prison Planet! Zarkor’s never labored hard or otherwise in his whole life!”

“It will be good for him then,” the Judge says pleasantly.

“Your Honor, I don’t like how this case has been prosecuted!” Uncle Zebon declares. “All this sounds suspicious to me! I think I’ll do a little inquiry into the circumstances of this sentence, Judge.  I’m sure Your Honor would not mind a further examination of this matter. Illegal holo-games, hmm.  Could be an interesting subject for investigation. I think I’ll speak to Zorak about this, he may be of some help.”

“Now, now, friend Zebon,” Judge Vector says a little anxiously. “The Bench knows of your reputation and the standing of citizen Zorak. Perhaps the Bench has been a little hasty in this case, in that there was no trial before sentencing. An unusual procedure, granted, but in these cases… Perhaps an assuagement can be arranged. A lighter sentence, perhaps.”

“I want Prisoner Zarkor in my custody within twenty-four hours!” Demands Zebon. “If not, I’ll see this matter goes to a higher authority!”

“Yes, I see,” Judge Vector says uneasily. “I believe this can be arranged. After all, I want to be fair in these matters. I’ll notify you personally when the prisoner is available. Until then, the Guild will provide you with suitable accommodations.”

“No thank you, Your Honor,” replies Zebon.  “I’ll remain in my ship if you don’t mind.”

“As you wish,” Judge Vector replies. “These proceedings are temporarily concluded,” he announces The Judge quickly puts on his hat and disappears out of the room.

Zerak turns to Uncle Zebon. “Do you think we’ll get Zarkor back, Uncle Zebon?” he asks hopefully.

“I think so, Zerak. I’ll notify Zorak of our problem. If anyone can get results, he can.”

As they drift out of Judge Vector’s courtroom, Zerak murmurs, “I wonder where poor Zarkor is now?”

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