Stranger in a Strange Land

Based on cover art for Iron Maiden: Stranger in a Strange Land Album, story is a sci-fi/western depicting the life of a futuristic bounty hunter making his fortune chasing outlaws through the universe.


1. Part one

Stranger in a Strange Land

A Science-Fiction Western


The infinity that is space, a world filled with serene light, uncountable stars in the deep darkness and with dying and forming stars abounds with many life forms. Yes, space is alive. The entire universe, our galaxy, and even the many solar systems are filled with many such life forms. They are filled with many that love, aspire and fight in war, and there are others that are peace loving. Many forms of life are in the universe, and they live scattered throughout its cold vastness.


It is far out in the depths of space, out past the edge of massive arms of the Milky Way Galaxy and out beyond the dual nucleus of the K Class Star known as Andromeda, into the tri stars of Orion that this story begins. It is here that a lone planet, out of five planets, orbits the planet Dwarf ‘kin 7, around the life-giving dwarf star of this world. A lone ship approaches the orbit of this world, a passenger liner, not unlike the ancient ones that crossed the seas on Earth that slid silently toward the bright radiant dwarf-star that makes up the sun of this solar system.


The planet is like Earth, a little smaller in size, and it has a shorter orbit and rotational period in comparison to the planet Earth. A solar day is ten hours long, and a year is three hundred days. The planet is temperate to searing in levels of zones on the planet. It is sixty two percent making up the land mass, with forty percent seas that cover the surface of the planet on one side.  Gravity is zero point, nine bars of Earth, a little lighter than planet Earth’s gravity zone, it has nitrogen oxygen and more heavy metals in the atmosphere, making it a little thicker than Earth’s ozone.


It is here that the ship has arrived, bringing visitors to this world, and a stranger to finish the job he had taken on Earth.


Dirken Dilemna, an interstellar bounty hunter, stands clad in the familiar jeans, a simple old style western vest and boots and over the top a brown leather duster hangs low, over the top of his Astro-automatic that hangs low in the holster attached to his belt and tied to his leg. Dirk is that of a Cyborg, a half-man, half robot. He is constructed like a typical cyborg; with a real human body with alloy implants and a combat chassis attached to the body of the human that in the years was said to make humans stronger. He is the man/machine assigned to recover the desperado in this age of 2456 A.D and he travels to the planet far out in Orion’s belt where the villain had fled.  


The ship thundered as it hit the retro-rockets and slowly it descends toward orbit, where it took station to complete one orbit before slowly descending into the atmosphere. As it sinks deeper onto the planet, the skin of the ship heats up as it rubbed and created friction against the atmosphere. A few minutes would elapse and the massive ship would appear in the blue sky above the many land-masses that is scattered throughout the greenish-blue oceans that make up forty percent of the seas on this planet. It slowly descends to the planet, landing in the sea with a gentle splash, and slowly would steam toward the shore, and the docking crew that awaits its arrival.


Sitting on the bridge of the ship somewhere, Captain Rejnik sat in the chair as the ship slowly descended toward the planet. As she turns her head, she casts a quick look at the bridge of her ship. A reptilian helmsman named Raja sits at the console in the front of the control room. Seated next to her, sits the insect-like navigation named T’Lsss St. John pushing the buttons on his computer console. At the Communications station, a young humanoid named Kristen Troi sits at her console. Captain Dtor Joski, a young human sits in the center station. Folios Catilis, a feline being sits at the science station.  This crew is now in control as it successfully guides the ship to the planet from SOL and Earth.  They have brought the three hundred passengers successfully on their journey to another world and one of those passengers the bounty hunter who would take back a villain.


Fifteen minutes later, the ship would wallow to an abrupt stop and slowly the gantry opens, stretching out like a giant arm, as it reaches for the ship and the huge doors on the side of the ship. The double doors hiss as they equalize the pressure of the outside, and crews from the planet rush across the gantry, attaching the umbilical cords from the planet for power and other services for the ship. It is here that Dirken checked his chronometer.


“Welcome to Planet Dwarfs ‘kin 7.” The announcement said, “Planetary conditions are as follows: Weather is clear with patches of rain clouds in regional foothills. The current temperature is twenty-five degrees centigrade, pressure is pressure is twenty-nine point nine nanobars on the scale, and gravity is point zero nine of Earth. Local time is seventeen hundred. We have docked at the main space station of Dwarf’s cove. All passengers who are continuing onto Astro 7, in Andromeda, the ship will be departing tomorrow morning at eight A.M Local Time. Enjoy your stay, and thanks on behalf of the crew for your journey with us.”


Dirken did not hear any of that as he took up his saddle-bag, and adjusting the duster he wore over his body. He lifted his saddlebag, and heads to the doors, the mass of people clear now as he stood alone in the entry foyer of the ship. He picked up his hat and placing it on his head before walking with the typical heavy footsteps of boots, to descend to the shore of the planet. He heads toward the main gate where little men stood, clad in the uniform of the local militia.


The men were stocky, and well built, with long beards, close set eyes, and long shaggy hair. The uniforms they were a leather vest with silk sleeves, and pants that matched, along with boots. The emblem of the planet is a triangle with three stars on each side, which is emblazoned on the breast of their tunics.


“Welcome to Dwarf’s gate, Mister Dilemna.” The rough looking dwarf said, “Any fruits, vegetables, alcohol, or illegal firearms to declare?”


The Cyborg merely managed to turn and open his coat revealing the Astro-automatic at his side. He flipped out the interstellar ID 01110101010100110001. They used a hand-held device to scan the bar, and it identified him as a bounty hunter working for the interstellar committee of the Federation who assigned on the case of Baden Bart, that fled the planet Earth and came to this planet to elude the Federation Authorities.


“Ah! Welcome, to the planet mister Dilemna.” The man chortled, “I have followed your recent exploits. Nice piece of work that one was.”


The recent exploit has been on the planet Ambrosia 2, located in the Antaries Galaxy, in which he had apprehended a fugitive with force for the local authorities. He had jumped bail and ended up single handedly rounded up his whole gang. Dirken merely nodded, tipping his hat as he passes the ground crew, and his heavy boots echoing on the wooden dock.


“Much Obliged.” He muttered, “Which way to the inn?”


Dirken’s voice had been enough to be heard, but it also surprised the young dwarf who greeted him. The bounty-hunter is a fair sized man, tall and well built despite the allow implants, but surprisingly his voice is very quiet, an almost lisp.


“Go down the street and to the right.” The man replied, “Ask for Miss Casey. She’s the proprietor.”


“Much Obliged.” Dirken repeated, and with that he flips a coin to the man who caught it. It was a gold coin that was worth over one hundred Yulee on this planet as currency.


“Thank you, Sir!” He gasped elated, “Anything you need from the local Militia, don’t hesitate to let me know!”


Dirken walks with heavy footsteps toward the building, keeping his duster closed as he enters the interior of the space port. It is a greenish-yellow building in which was two stories, the interior was a pressure pot of people all here to gain transportation to and from this planet. A lot of the visitors here are tourists to this world.  As he crosses a main street, his head pans to the many buildings here that are in many strange shapes and are many sizes. Electric, air and anti-gravity vehicles roam the streets here, and roll past him as he steps onto the far side of it, turning the corner. It is here that a large building making up the post-office is here, the flag of the Federation fluttering in the breeze, along side the triangle and three stars flag, colored a deep maroon color in the cool breeze. He walks down the side-walk, one block and on his right was the inn, just as the gantry-operator had said.


Dirken went to it immediately, and as he walks toward the door of the polygon shaped building, colored a deep blue, that he passes many tourists who eyed him warily, holding their children back as he passed. The Bounty-hunter ignored them as he moves to the door that slid obediently open for him. Walking toward the desk, the inn is typical of an inn, lavishly decorated with old school furnishings, with a desk on the wall of the interior of the building and two elevator shafts in the exact center of the room. Many couches circle the room around the lifts and a few people sits talking with each other.


“Greetings, sir how can I help you?” The staff member of the hotel asked, as he stands behind the desk.


“I’d like a room.” Dirken said, as he flipped out two silver Yulee coins.


“Ah, I have one just in mind, third floor, and on the corner.” The man said, “Quiet and off the beaten path.”


“I’ll take it.” The Bounty hunter replied, putting in a cigarette into his human lips.


“Sorry Mister Dilemna, There is no smoking here in the building.” The man said, “If you must, however, you can go outside or enter our smoking room.” He pointed to the doors of a room, and inside the cloud of smoke could be seen there.


“I see.” The Bounty-hunter said, “I’d like to go to my room.”


The desk manager hit the button and a bell on the desk dinged. A moment later, and beside him, a youthful looking dwarf woman appeared. She is clad in a maroon uniform that is tight, shapely to her body, and showing a lot of skin, in the right places with attractive cleavage.


“Come this way, sir.” She told him elated, and he follows, his heavy boots echoing on the tiled floor. People started to notice him now and turning the people eye him fearfully as he passes them by, carrying his leather saddlebags at his side, his duster hanging open revealing the Astro-Automatic pistol at his side.  He managed to step into the lift that opens for him with a whoosh and it closes as the Bellhop touched the electronic panel, which makes the lift move rapidly upward. 


“Third floor.” The computerized voice said, and the lift doors snapped open. Dirken managed to step off as the young woman led the way and handed him the key after opening it, stepping aside to allow him to step into the lavish room.


It is well lit and very large; a bed sits in the center of the room beyond. A small kitchen is on the left side, and a closet on the right. A sitting area with a table and chairs sits catty-corner to the bed. Here, Dirken put his saddle-bags down, and removing his revolver he placed it on the table.


“Fancy-smancy.” He grumbled, “Pshaw.”


He managed to walk to the window and opening it, allowing the cool breeze to enter the room. He removed his duster, and it revealed the plaid vest he wears over his ripped upper body. His skin is a tanned, colored a light brown color, and the alloy implants visible on his upper body, as a network of metal that covered his body.  Dirken did not require sleep, and turned to his saddle-bags to open them, revealing a tool-kit that is specifically for his robotic implants. He took out a small cup, and opened it, taking a spoon that he ate the concoction of what appears to a K-ration type instant food. He sits in the chair as he ate silently, and he quickly examines his revolver that lay on the table. The weapon glistens in the light, the promise of a lethal end if you messed with the man who held the weapon. Dirken is an ace using this weapon of choice, but also was an expert in hand-to-hand combat of the ancient martial arts.  He quickly checked the load of sonic shells that he used in his revolver, clicking them in and closing it with a snap. He checked it over, as he spun the chamber with a whizzzzzz sound. The revolver made a thump on the table as he places it on the table, his weapon ready for use to eliminate his target at will.


Turning, he began taking inventory of the shells he brings with him, and other weapons. He manages to bring twenty-five sonic grenades, over five hundred rounds for his pistol, a few ancient versions of the Claymore Mines, and a combat knife, also a few throwing darts. Here he managed to pull out papers, scanning them quickly that was handed him at the Federation HQ.  He begins reading about his target for bounty, but not without plugging in a cable to a small device on the table. Taking the other end he plugged it into his nano-bot implants.  There is a beep a moment later as the device conducted a full diagnostic, which he performed nightly to keep himself at peak performance.


As night fell, Dirken closed his human eye, and shut down the nano-systems as he meditated, keeping alert at instant reaction time if he must react to a visitor or anything happening around him. His scarred body shone in the low light, as he sits in the chair, the green monitor flashing as it runs through all systems of the Nano-bot implants.  When it completes by morning, the device beeps as it finished. He knew he is ready for his assignment, and opening his human eye and his robotic eye, they focus on the empty room around him.  He is alone in the room.  


A knocking made him turn his head and as he reaches out, that he grabs his revolver, clicking off the safety, and he points it at the door. It is an instinctive reaction. He has been ambushed overnight by the target’s henchmen before on other assignments, learning of his arrival and more than once he has taken lives away from those who got in his way of the bounty associated with his target.


Slowly he rises from the small chair, and walks toward the door, but not without putting on the hat that hangs from the back of the chair.  Another knock sounds on the door.


“M…Ser.i.c.a!” The broken voice said cheerfully.


“Who is it?” He managed to bellow, and there was a click in the door. The knob turned and the door opened, as Dirken aims his weapon and his finger finds the trigger quickly.


The pile of towels lowers, and there is a scream. The maid, as she enters, sees the revolver, and it being aimed at her. She dropped the towels, and quickly turns to flee toward the door. He managed a grimace when seeing the maid and the door slamming behind her. Here Dirken moves to the stack of towels, picking them up and taking them to the lavatory.


“Oh Shit!”


He put the revolver in its holster, and slid on the duster that draped on the chair. Turning he grabbed the remote nearby, and clicking on the TV, the flash of a menu screen appears. As he hits the button, he changes the channel to the picture of two dwarf people, a man and a woman who appear on the screen.


“Today’s news: July 13, 2456 A.D, in today’s news…” The voice said, he grimaced, changing the channel.


The futuristic weather channel appears on the screen next and a chart appears there with a notice about sunshine, a few clouds, and the temperature which reads about twenty-six degrees Centigrade or Seventy five degrees Fahrenheit. A mellow music echoes the room as he watched the report that flashes on the screen. Quickly, Dirken found out it is going to rain here with a little fog following it, making the approach harder on his target outside the city. He knew that his bounty is more if his target was living and not deceased, however, and he might be forced to eliminate him all together.  

“Great.” He murmured, frowning at the screen before he turns to walk toward the door. Upon approaching the door, he glances at his chronometer. It read nine-thirty, local time, as set by Dirken’s own hand. Stepping through the door, he closes it behind him, and locks it, with an electronic sign ‘Do Not Disturb.’ With heavy footfalls he walks down the hall toward the lift, and pressing the button, the door opens with whoosh, allowing him to enter. Exiting the inn, a few minutes later, he found the Livery Stable, where he managed to step through the gate.


“I need a horse. I’m heading to Pell’s gate.” The proprietor smiled as he turns, but a look of fear appears on his face, seeing who it is making the request.  The man working the Livery, his face has paled three shades of white when seeing the Bounty hunter.  Even in the future, they still used Horses, and other animals for transportation into the rustic and wilderness countries. The horse here is an animal with six legs; a little larger than the size of an Earth horse, but it was is shaggy with long hair all over its body.


Pell’s gate was inland a few kilometers, and near a large river that flows through the semi-desert terrain that made up this planet’s surface. He has a job to do.


“That will be five hundred Yulee.” The proprietor said. He is a wisp of a man named Sam Cummings, who had also been a target for the Bounty hunter a long time ago. He surrendered and spent time in a penal colony. The proprietor of the Livery Stable knew why the bounty hunter is here, and what he is after.  Sam knew there would be no way in hell for the target to escape, and it would be dead or alive. Dirken was a hired killer, and despite his implants is a one tough hombre.


The bounty hunter managed to flip out five gold coins onto the counter that jingled as they fell against each other. Taking up the gun he assembled, a long rifle that he slipped it in a holster that he strapped to the horse. It is an Astro-Repeating rifle, a futuristic rifle with large caliber slugs, and long range. There was a scope attached.  A set of saddle-bags brought with him was placed on the futuristic looking animal and putting his foot in the stirrup as Dirken raised himself up to mount the animal.


He took up the reins and turned the animal toward the gate and with a nudge of his feet, the animal bolted forward through the gate. He is on his way to destiny. He manages to follow the road away from the futuristic town and as he enters the planet’s outer harsh environment. It is here that he scans the terrain with the robotic part of his body. He is able to sense heat and it would be a fair day today, relatively cool to travel. The rider nudged the horse, and it speeds down the trail further and further away from Dwarf’s Cove.


An hour or so later, the rider came upon the gate, making up the rustic Pell’s Gate, a settlement away from the main cities near the mountains, a mining town that searched for Platinum, Rodium and various elements in this area. A fence stretches off in both directions on either side, and in the middle of the desert is a vast grass-land where the equivalent of Earth cattle graze on the lands, fenced in around the town. Dirken managed to use his implants well, scanning the land here carefully, there was nowhere for an ambush except for the mountain area pass that he already went cross. As he approaches the outskirts of the town, the desert around this town is dry and desolate, outside the lush grass-land that was irrigated by water that was pumped in from the coastline. Dirken managed to nudge his horse and here he crosses through the gate of the outskirts of the town.


It is dusk by the time he reached Pell’s Gate a fair distance of 50 kilometers away, and utilizing as much daylight as he could to get here in a reasonable amount of time. He did not want to be caught out in the desert after dark, this planet known for its large poisonous creatures that roamed the night. Also during certain parts of the three hundred day year, this planet a lot shorter in rotation and orbit than Earth, it is known for the hostility of the terrain, the temperature of the desert here over fifty four degrees Centigrade.


The rider let out a breath as he approaches Pell’s gate, and as he enters the rustic town, he steers his mount toward the nearest Saloon called Kinshaw’s Peak. It is a bar with a typical saloon doors entry, and a neon sign outside, the place where he will find his target for his bounty unaware that he is here. Dirken got off his mount and stretched, pulling his rifle from the holster. He quickly tended to his mount, tying it up at the hitching post, as he steps on to the wooden walkway that stretched out along the front of the buildings. Next to the Saloon is a hotel, a general store, and so forth like the ancient western towns on Earth of the Eighteen Hundreds.  He carried the rifle and his saddlebags toward the hotel, and stepping into the room through the door, he tipped his hat, greeting a young reptilian being named Ihss’trr who ran the place.


“Can I help you, ssssir?” She asked, and he managed a nod.


“I’d like a room with a view.” He said, and flipped out the coins onto the wooden table.


“Please, come this way.” She replied quietly, as she led him up the stairs and down a hallway to his room. Dropping his gear on the table, he tipped his hat as he young reptilian woman smiled at him.  He checked his revolver at his side and knew at the Bar next door was his bounty, who is said to have taken up residence there as he hid from the law working the mines.


“Have a stable boy tend to my mount and take it to the Livery.” He said, as the young reptilian woman managed to nod her head in agreement.


Dirken readied himself for the bar, mentally and physically. He did not know what to expect from his bounty.


“Will I have to kill him or not?” Dirken asked himself, “Will he come peacefully?”


There are too many variables for the Bounty hunter to consider. He couldn’t compute what the outcome of the confrontation would be.


“He might even blow me away.” The Cyborg thought. “And I can’t enlist the sheriff or his deputy. They would just get their men killed if they put together a posse.”


He knew what he must do, and confront his target alone. Dirken knew he worked alone for a reason, and this was one of the reasons why.


“Too much innocent blood could be spilled.” He thought, considering all the alternatives that would be put ahead for this outcome. Turning he walked toward the bar where his contact would be, and the target.  Glancing at his chronometer on his wrist, Dirken read the time. ’19:35’ it said, and he knew it was still not time.


Crossing the street yet again, Dirken headed to the office the Sheriff, who no doubt knew he was in town, and he was going to make doubly sure to keep the civilians back. He approached the office, and found the Sheriff was not in his office, he was out on the town somewhere.  Turning to the Deputy who sat with his feet up, Dirken grimaced at such a laid back attitude of the law enforcement of the town.


“Ah, the hell with it.”  Dirken muttered, “I’d better go get him before he gets wind I am here and tried to flee. Then I will have to kill him.”


Exiting, the bounty hunter walked down the dark street, the glow of neon lights flickering all about the town. He saw the bar in which he was to meet his contact and he turned to walk with heavy footsteps toward the dim lights and the low music he could hear from the interior of the bar.  When he stepped through the saloon type doors, he managed a pan to the interior of the darkened bar. It is very large, with a bar on the one wall, where patrons sat drinking. A juke box sat catty-corner from it against the wall and in the low light of the bar itself many tables are scattered throughout.


Sitting at the bar, a dwarf-like resident clad in a flight suit sits drinking across from two robotic drones that sit tending bar picking up the empty drink glasses. Across from him is a green ogre-like creature, clad in a slinky maroon dress over her curvy figure, her long blond hair falling to her shoulders and partially obscuring her blue eyes. Across from her is the stud card table, and there is a small creature with a bulbous head, and two forward set eyes sitting there. The dealer is the target that Dirken had come for. A pistol sits on the table as the outlaw Baden Bart sits on the dealer side, flipping cards to the players. He is not noticed in the dim light, as Dirken put a cigarette on between his lips and with a thumb struck the match to light it. When he is noticed Bart almost dropped his cards as the bounty-hunter stood in the low light.


“I wouldn’t if I were you.” Dirken warned, drawing back his duster to reveal the large caliber Astro-automatic that sits in the holster at his side. “Dead or alive, you are coming with me.”


Bart leaned back casually, his hand slowly reaching for the weapon. Dirken’s hand flashed to the revolver at his side and as Bart grabbed the weapon that the bounty hunter drew his pistol and pulled the trigger, nailing two of his henchman in the shadows with lightning reflexes. There was a shot, and the bounty hunter’s gun still smoked as he stood there in the light, a scream echoed the bar as patrons ran for cover. The bounty-hunter had been shot in the chest, but he still stood there as he popped three rounds hitting the target in the shoulder.  Bart screamed as he hot rounds hit his shoulder and cut through his flesh, shattering the bone in his arm.


Dirken did not flinch as a patron hit him with the chair, and turning the bounty-hunter grabbed the patron by his throat, lifting him off his feet and slamming him into the wall behind him.  Dripping blood, Bart staggered to his feet, as he tried to aim his weapon, and could not make his arm function well enough to shoot straight.


Throwing a chair in front of Dirken, he darted for the door. The bounty-hunter followed as he rushed the door, seeing Bart hop on a nearby horse, taking aim that he targeted the figure and he squeeze off three rounds in which Bart dodged two, the third hit him square in the back and he flew from the saddle onto the hard ground.  The bounty-hunter ran toward the fallen villain and was on him before he got up, throwing a punch to knock him out before he had time to react or escape. Grabbing his handcuffs, he bound the hands of Bart firmly.


“You’re hurt!” A female voice said, and he managed to turn to see Miss Casey next to him, clad in a white tunic and a brown dress. She is a humanoid who has taken up residence on this planet a long time ago as a homesteader as an exchange program with the local government. He glanced down at his chest, a bullet hole clearly there in his chest, and a dribble of blood, but he did not feel any pain.


“I don’t have time to bleed now.” He said, taking up the cuffs and binding Bart’s feet.

“This man needs a doctor though.”


“Suzie, run and get Doc Daniels.” Miss Casey instructed, “For both men.”


The young girl ran down the street and toward the nearby house of the surgeon and doctor who practice medicine in his house.  A moment later, she returned on the run with the Doctor in tow, who carried his black bag, clad in a white jump suit.


“What happened here?” He asked, “A gunshot?”


“Yes Doctor.” Casey replied soothingly, “This bounty-hunter apprehended a fugitive from the law and needs to be patched up before he can return to Earth.”


Doc Daniels managed to examine Dirken, noting a dent in the battle armor plate that covers his chest under the shirt.


“It’s superficial, he’s not in any danger, and he’s going to hurt like hell though.” The Doctor said, and he examined the outlaw. “Get his man to my office.”


“He is my prisoner.” Dirken said, gruffly and stood up with a grimace.


“If he does not get any attention, he will need the mortician.”


“I will come with him doc!” The bounty-hunter said, and the doctor motioned to Miss Casey, “Not with a wound like that you won’t bounty-hunter. Take him and fix him up in the other room when we get to my house. A stretcher quickly arrived and they placed the unconscious form of Bart on it, and carried him to the doctor’s house.


Dirken sat in the other room as the battle armor was removed, and the young woman patched him up carefully with gauze and tape, after cleaning the bruise with alcohol. He did not even flinch.


“You are one tough hombre.” Casey told him, amused, her eyes twinkling in the light, “You should take care of yourself more than you already do.” She had noted the hand sewn scars on his ripped muscles where the bounty-hunter had patched up his own wounds after so many fire fights and damage taken on so many bounties.


“You should settle down.” She said, and Dirken despite his rugged appearance, managed a slight smile.


“Don’t worry about me Ma’am.” He said, “I’ll be fine, it takes more than that scratch to keep me down.”


“I noticed.” Casey replied, sweetly as she managed a nod of her head. “You can dress now.”


He slipped on the battle plate over the gauze patch and his plaid vest over the body armor.


“Much Obliged.” He told her, and slowly he managed to stand. The bounty-hunter still had a job to do, and one of them was to return Bart to the Federation on Earth for his trial and probably his sentence that might include the death penalty. But that was light years away and he had a long way to go.


He staggered to the other room where a waxen form of Bart lay on the table, his hand handcuffed to the table, at the instruction of Dirken. He had not gotten away or lost a man yet, but he still might with the wounds inflicted upon him. But even then only time would tell and he would still be paid the bounty for being alive or dead. It didn’t matter he still would be paid.


“What a living.” Casey mused, watching Dirken hover over the outlaw, standing on the edge of the room. She wondered how someone like him, an ex-soldier could become a bounty-hunter but understood the reasons why, as that is all Dirken Dilemna was trained to do, to be able to kill on command as soldiers did. The young woman merely arched an eyebrow, knowing it is a long way back to Earth with an outlaw such as Bart, who is notorious for escape. Casey wondered if he could handle him alone but little did she know that Dirken is already prepared for that.


Tomorrow they would leave for Earth, and Miss Casey silently wished he would take an extra day to relax, to heal from his wounds, but also knew that is not going to happen. She silently said a prayer for him and returned to her Inn and resumed her work that she had to do, leaving Dirken and Bart alone.


The next day came quickly and Dirken marched Bart at gunpoint, toward the horse. Here, he lifted him the outlaw with one hand, setting him up on the top of the animal. Miss Casey watched as he mounted his horse, and taking up the leader rope, they slowly both rode off into the desert heading back to the main city and the Space port where they had many light-years to travel on their way back to Earth for justice.  


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