[Mock-Fiction] III - In Amore et Bellum

Note: Please read the Formal Notice movella. It should be on the list on the right hand side.

Protest piece. Third in the series after 'I - Requiescat in Pace' & 'II - Memento Mori'. Enjoy x

Cover by Secrets Unfold

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9. Seven - The MB Tardis

~ Because Vesp wanted a 'head'

 

Vesp’s vessel, the MB Tardis, was a state of the art Christopher-Columbus-style ship. At the same time, it was just as much a killing machine as everything else Vesp owned. The ship was completely bullet-proof, fire-proof, and cannons and other projectiles caused very little damage to it. The oars did not require man-power to stir [but the fifty mercenaries offered to do it anyway… you know, to save energy] and weapons could be found everywhere – from anti-tank missiles to deadly lasers; from ballistae to even a miniature catapult. At the front of the ship, an antique harpoon was mounted.

 

“What is that for?” asked Richard.

“It was originally used for whale hunting, but when that was banned everywhere, it’s just… there, I suppose,” replied Vesp.

They were seated in a cabin.

“Where is Myra?” Richard wondered.

“Still no luck with her, eh?”
Richard scowled but didn’t say anything.

Vesp laughed, “Oh, stop looking so glum! That sort always comes over in the end.”

Si,” said Richard bitterly, “in fairy-stories.”

“I’m trying to make you feel better, stop ruining it.”
“She makes my skin crawl.”

“You’re scared by her?”

“No,” he said, “just extremely annoyed.”
“Then you mean she ‘gets under your skin’?”

Richard stared at Vesp, “You’re not making me feel better.”

“Ah, well, at this point nothing will,” Vesp got up, and poured himself a glass of water.

 

Richard rested his face in his hand and asked, “How come you aren’t wearing the Halo suit?”
“Hmm? Oh, that. It’s a safety hazard.”

“And it’s not when we’re sitting around in the Bureau?”
“I wear it then for Rogue’s benefit.”

Scusi?”
“You really need to drop that accent.”
Richard ignored the remark, “Rogue’s benefit?”
“It was a gift,” sniffed Vesp, “Long story short, she got it out of one of the wars in Guatemala. I can’t remember which one – there where a good six or seven of them – but she’d took it as her share of the booty. The rest of the stuff was divided between the mercenaries. She gave the suit to me – Rogue said there ought to be a more futuristic look to Timelords.”

“So all of the stuff on the suit works?”

“Of course it does, what would be the purpose of wearing it otherwise?”

Richard smiled sheepishly, “Halloween?”
“You, sir, do me offence along with the lovely lady who’d given me the gift.”

Richard shrugged, “It’s a weird gift to give.”

“It’s very Rogue-like,” agreed Vesp, “She’s always liked weird things. If it’s creepy and dangerous to the average person, it’s cute and amazing to her.”

 

Just then, the door to the cabin opened, and Myra stepped in with a fishing rod in her hands, “G’Afternoon, gentlemen,” she said, smiling at Vesp whilst glowering at Richard.

“You didn’t catch anything?” said Vesp.

“Nope.”

“You can’t fish in these waters,” said Richard, “Your bait won’t keep still.”

“Thank you, Mr. Wikipedia,” said Myra, glaring at Richard, “But I didn’t intent to catch anything.”
“Then why go fishing?”
“Oh, I don’t know: to get away from you?”
That stung. Richard said, “Why? What’s so bad about me?”

“How many characteristics do you want me to list?”

“Stop it, both of you,” said Vesp, splashing water on Myra’s face.

She scowled, “What was that for?”
“For teasing the fish with your bait when you didn’t intent to catch and eat any.”

 

A sailor burst through the door, “Cap’n! Cap’n! There’s a ship coming our way and it don’ look friendly!”

Vesp furrowed his brows, and walked briskly out of the cabin. Richard followed him out and found Vesp looking through a telescope.

He grimaced, “They don’t look friendly at all,” he pointed at the approaching ship and handed the telescope to Richard, “That, there, is my bitter rival.”
Richard looked through the telescope and frowned, “Simon Cowell is your rival?”
Admiral Simon Cowell. Yes, he is. He got booted out of the UAF for offending the Emperor, and decided piracy was a good way to deal with it. It’s funny,” said Vesp thoughtfully, “He’s usually bothering the Empire’s borders, not roaming around the Indian Ocean.”

“It could be to do with Bengal’s relations to the UAF,” Myra pointed out.

“Hmm,” Vesp shrugged, “Could be,” he cupped his hands around his mouth and bellowed, “Prepare the weapons!”

The sailors scurried around the ship quickly, as the mercenaries appeared on deck. They knew how to handle the weapons on the Tardis. Of course they did. Rogue taught them everything about survival. Richard wouldn’t have been surprised if the mercenaries knew how to fight in outer-space.

 

Myra handled a ballista attached to a banister.

Richard frowned, “Get away from there.”

“I can handle myself,” Myra replied angrily.

“Hold your fire!” Vesp commanded.

The unfriendly pirate ship was waving a white flag.

“Let them approach!”

The ship [The BS Nuisance, it appeared to be called], sailed forward. There was a moment of silence. Then rope-tied grapple hooks propelled into the air and landed on deck, scraping across the wood, until they caught onto something. Pirate’s dashed across the rope, crazy smiles on their faces.

“Who the hell lowered the force-field?!” yelled Vesp, frantic. He growled, “Never mind! Fire, you fools! Fire!”

 

The was a volley of blasts, but it wasn’t long before the pirates from the other ship had landed on the Tardis. The mercenaries abandoned the ship firearms, and engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the pirates. Richard stood back to back with Myra, throwing blows at burly pirate that stank of onions.

“Watch out!” cried Richard, throwing Myra out of the way. A blade slashed through his cheek.

The pirate laughed as Richard ran his fingers over the cut. He growled and leapt at the bigger man. The pirate parried his attack, and kicked at his knees. Richard faltered for a moment, his head spinning. The pirate swung a knife over Richard’s head, but Richard caught with his sword with as much grace as a man with a face wound. He wrenched the blade out the of the pirate’s hand. The bigger man back up, hands raised in surrender. Richard slit his throat, and the pirate crumpled.

Requiescat in Pace,” he said bitterly.

 

The ship had suddenly gone quiet. Dead bodies lay sprawled everywhere, the seagulls cries mingled with that of vultures. Richard spun around in every direction. Two mercenaries had fallen, and about fifteen pirates from the other ship. Sailors that had been caught in the fray were limping, but no-one dared make a sudden move.

“Looking for something, il Mentore?”

Richard turned slowly, expecting the worst.

He growled at the sight.

“Uh-uh,” said Cowell, “No sudden moves, or this precious piece of work gets it.”
Myra looked outraged, but Cowell held her in a headlock, a dagger to her throat.

“The Queen is offering a huge bounty for your capture, and who’d be better at doing it than me, eh?” Cowell continued.

 

Richard saw some movement behind Cowell. Vesp was getting up and was moving toward the front of the ship.

“I thought you were against Lodovico Smith,” said Richard, continuing to distract him.

“Oh, I am, but Prithy Choudary has other plans, you see,” Cowell smiled, “and she has money to burn; so why not do this job for her? It’ll remove an annoying rival as well as gain me a fortune,” he turned his head to a side and called the other pirates on board.

Vesp turned the harpoon inwards, the deadly projectile aimed at Cowell’s head. It screeched as it turned.

Cowell snapped up his head, “What the…?”
Requiescat in Pace,” as Cowell’s head exploded on impact of the fired projectile. The mercenaries wasted no time gawking at the sight, they rushed up to the border of the Tardis and cut off the ropes. There were several splashes as pirates fell into the sea.

 

 The dagger clattered to the ground, and headless Simon Cowell crumpled. Myra rushed and tackled Richard with a hug.

“Do not. Say. A. Word,” she said, burying her head in the folds of his clothes.

Richard lost his balance momentarily, feeling giddy and surprised, but then regained his composure and said, “Er… you have a bit of brain on your shoulder.”
Myra looked up and grimaced, “I said, shut up!”

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