• T. Mark Mangum

Mr. Mason and the Carions Part 2

Part 1 should be read first click here if yo have not read it yet. Mr. Mason and the Carions Part 1.

Briesta and I made our way back to DSCS-5. Briesta took a docking station for her ship, the Brie, down a few spots from my ship, Explorer 1.

“Well, Briesta, what next for you,” I asked?

“Darling, we are going to shower, make love, have dinner, and make love again. Then sleep,” She kissed me, and we made our way back to her quarters.

Upon waking from a very blissful sleep, we had a light breakfast, coffee and chatted a while.

“I’m going home to Migdedo. I need to resupply the Brie and plot my revenge against Tellis and the Carions. I suspect I will be doing some research and figure I might as well enjoy home while doing it.”

“I have some unfinished business here, and then I think I will head to Gelk.”

“Why Gelk,” Briesta asked?

“It is the seat of the region’s Prime. I plan on taking anything I can put together on the Carions and Galtis Riel to the prime and make them do something about it.

“Oh love, the actions of the Grand Taosan Galactic Empire are slow and methodical. Do you really believe you can sway the beast into motion before it decides to,” Briesta asked?

“Most folks don’t like dealing with the system, but I’ve done it so often for my business. I believe I have an angle of persuasion. Mason and Associates, Adventure and Travel Service ranks at number one, as the benefactor of fifteen Other Worlds. I know a couple of people,” I said.

“Good darling, good, thank you. Keep in touch Love. I hope our paths cross the next time I’m out and about,” Briesta said. We embraced, and she walked me to the Brie’s exit station.

I went to my ship to ensure all was well. So many things can happen if you aren’t around and the authorities try to contact you. Luckily I have a standing account here on DSCS-5 and a rapport with the dockmaster.

“Joe,” I said. The Dock Master was sitting at his desk in the austere office, his people moving about the large station, taking care of the docking system.

“Mr. Mason, how has your stay on DSCS-5 been going. What can we do for you,” Joe asked?

“Well, Joe, have I got a story for you,” I said.

“Great, coffee? I love hearing your stories, Timothy. But it seems odd that anything exciting could have happened to you here on the station,” Joe said.

We got our coffee and sat in his office, where I proceeded to relate the past few days’ events, beginning with Josiphus Wander’s attack. I finished my coffee and the tale about the same time.

We sat in quiet for a moment. Joe sipped his coffee; I contemplated more coffee.

“That is quite the story, Timothy. WOW! Just unbelievable. I am happy to hear you’re OK,” he said. We went back to being quiet.

“Do you mind if I stop by after my shift Timothy, I have something I want to ask you,” Joe asked?

“What time will that be? At some point, I need to go to the detention center and speak with Josiphus, see if I can’t get him to tell me why he attacked me,” I inquired?

“Oh, let’s say 13:30,” He responded. I agreed and headed to the Explorer 1.

On the ship, I contacted my partners at Mason and Associates, Adventure, and Travel Services.

Again I relayed the story of the encounters with Galtis Riel the Carion. My partners were just as intrigued as Joe.

“So what I have found out so far is that the Carions are a loose nit group of organizations”…

“Pirates,” Burges interrupted.

“Space Pirates,” Hombre added.

Joannes, Burges, and Hombre, my partners and associates, were on the screen in conference windows discussing with me and reviewing the data that I had transferred via the Central Galactic Communications System.

“Pirates, I guess Galtis Riel is a pirate, but there were no records in the system of anything like that in the past,” I said. “The Carions disagree with the Government’s laws of noninterference and non-exploitation of the 10,000 Other Worlds. They visit undeveloped worlds where they pilfer relics and even take specimens of the local species for display purposes.”

“As zoo or taxidermy showpieces,” Joannes ask?

“There is a rumor of a zoo, but I suspect the latter. I believe the Carions collect for private collectors who want unique pieces for their collections. We know the types of folks here,” I said.

“Sentient beings,” Burges asked?

“That is unclear at the moment, Burges,” I responded.

“Do nothing cowards who want to present a facade of adventure-ship, knowledge, and bravery, without actually leaving the comforts of Mother Taosa,” Hombre said.

I have sent over the scans of the Gransdorian Battle Cruiser that attacked Ms.Provins and me. Let’s input the data to our World Monitoring Satellites at our destination planets and set up alerts, so we know if they show up where we have interests. Burgess, can you get that done,” I asked?

“On it,” Burgess replied.

“What type of response do you want to give the bastards if they show up? A Gransdorian Battle Cruiser is a big deal boss,” Hombre said.

“Let’s start with a full inventory of what we have in the supply. Get the Frum fitted and set up for an extended expedition with an emphasis on protection and defense,” I said.

The Frum is a heavy cruiser owned by Mason and Associates, Adventure and Travel Services. Its skin is heavily armored, along with defense shields and a unique weapons package. We use the Frum to support planetary survey expeditions and extended stays for scientists cataloging the Empires 10,000 Other Worlds. With the right crew, like my crew, it could take out a Gransdorian Battlecruiser.

A Frum is a creature found on Cket-a3. It is a furry, six-legged beast with grasping extremities at the end of the appendages closest to its head. The frum stands tall at the haunches about 12 feet and can grow to 25 feet in length, a formidable beast. So we named our heavy cruiser the Frum. Of course.

“The laws give us a lot of room as the benefactors of our destination planets as far as response goes, even destruction and death of violators,” Joannes said.

“I find that a satisfying bit of information Joannes, thank you. However, we should think about gathering information and knowledge. If we blow them up, then we won’t be able to ask questions,” I said.

“This disheartens me,” Joannes said. “The Grand Taosan Galactic Empire has existed for hundreds of thousands of years. The noninterference protocols have existed for much longer than that.”

“Yes,” I said.

“Protection of the 10,000 Other Worlds from interference is just a thing advanced species do. Hell, we even teach them to our children in school!”

“Joannes,” I said.

“I know, boss, but it just concerns me that any citizens of the Empire would have trouble with the protocols. I don’t understand,” Joannes continued.

She was an emotional soul deeply feeling this happened once in a while. I could see Burgess and Hombre on the screen, Burgess smiling, Hombre shaking his head.

“And this Galtis character is acting like a pirate, how ancient. It is just not dignified. I mean, with our technology, a manufactured skeleton of a Quill could be had in less than a day with the right permits and a couple of inquirers to find the right manufacturer. Why be a thief,” Joannes continued. She was almost finished, I could tell, because she grasped her head with both hands.

“It is a good thing the Empire protects the 10,000 other worlds, but of course they do. After all, you can’t claim to be a Galactic Empire unless you claim the entire Galaxy. Right?”

“Right,” I said.

“The report says Galtis Riel is a Gleb. A Gleb! Harshtain is the very first world invited by the Taosans to Join The Grand Taosan Galactic Empire. The Gleb have been Taosan now for more than a hundred thousand years,” Joannes continued.

“Holy hell, that makes it worse,” Hombre said.

“Hombre,” I said, shaking my head. “Joannas, are we good,” I asked?

“Sorry, go ahead, boss.”

“You all are familiar with the Gleb, I assume. They are the dominant sentient species on their world. They are bipedal but spend considerable time in a slightly hunched position to allow them to use their extra-long arms for walking or running. They are amphibious and have a hard shell that covers their back. The species varies from 4.5–6 feet tall when standing erect,” I continued.

“Boss those specs on the Gransdorin Battle Cruiser, have come back, the CDS contacted the Gransdorin space vehicles guild, the original owner reported the ship stolen several years ago, not much more information to go on,” Burgess said.

“See if we can get the original owner’s data,” I said.

“I queried the CDS for possible locations of the Battle Cruiser using the engine variance signature. The CDS query came back with no available data,” Burgess replied.

“That’s odd,” I said.

“Do another check in an hour and get back to me. I have a meeting with the Dock Master in a few. Get to work on the Frum,” I told them.

“Sounds like a plan. We will chat soon,” they all responded in kind. I cut the connection and got a drink.

A few moments passed, and Joe arrived.


“No, thank you, I will be quick, and I really shouldn’t stay long,” Joe said.

“Oh, is something wrong,” I asked?

“Well, I am in violation of all kinds of protocols here, but I wanted to let you know that there is a Gransdorian Battle Cruiser on its way to DSCS-5; it is seven days out. They asked for docking permission yesterday. I just thought it odd. Your story and all, I wanted you to know,” he said.

“That is very odd, we just completed a query of the CDS looking for the ship that attacked me, and the system had no results,” I told Joe.

“Could be a glitch. The system will update in a few hours. You should try again later. I should go,” Joe said.

“I have plenty of time, Joe. There is no rush,” I said.

“Thanks, next time,” He turned, walked to the exit station, and was gone.

I put together a couple of messages.

“Briesta, Timothy here, the Carions and their Gransdorian Battle Cruiser are seven days out from DSCS-5. They already have docking permission. I will keep you updated,” I sent it.

“Hombre, That Gransdorian Battle Cruiser is on its way to DSCS-5. It is seven days out. Get yourselves and the frum put together and get here quick,” I pressed send.

I sat with my drink, staring at the wall pondering this new information.

Well, I have seven days to prepare. I might as well take care of my other business here on CSDS-5, Josiphus Wander.

*************** TO BE CONTINUED **************

Copyright: T. Mark Mangum, 2020. All rights reserved. No part of my story may be copied, reprinted, or published without my written consent.

T. Mark Mangum, is the product of the 60s and 70s, his imagination, wonder, thoughts, and ponderings, emboldened by Star Trek, Star Wars, Conan the Barbarian, and The Hobbit. He loves a good story and hopes you will love reading his stories. Veteran, Father, TTRPG, and Board Game Junkie. He spent 20 years in the United States Army, another 10 working for the government, before realizing he should write.

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