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Artemis 9: Part 13

To Make a Pirate

By Arthur ArmstrongPublished 8 months ago Updated 7 months ago 5 min read
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Artemis 9: Part 13
Photo by Andrés Gómez on Unsplash

The Cosmic King escorted Alison and I around the room, introducing us to everyone present. Humans and humanoid creatures, of both Earth and Celestial origins, greeted us warmly and told us bits about themselves and their cultures.

One human population from the Pleiades system had been here on Earth for nearly as long as the Orion system. They had clothes of beautifully beaded cloths and grand, colorful feathers decorating their headdresses. They offered to show us a dance from their home that involved calling to the Spirits of the land to the passionate playing the drums. I could feel the power of the Earth in the rhythmic sounds echoed off of the marble walls. I liked them.

Despite everyone’s cheery disposition, I still felt some thing was amiss.

What was all that business before? Who are these people really? And what do they want with us?

I don’t know Alison thought, maybe they really are who they say they are.

I pulled Alison aside,

Look, I don’t know what it is, but this is all weird. I feel something is off with these people. We might even be in danger. Now, Astaria and I landed in a spaceship just outside of Atlantis. If it’s still there, I think I could pilot us out of here.

Alison looked at me curiously.

Oh, really? You saw them fly it one time and you think you can get us home?

Astaria said it was refurbished by Earth humans using Earth human technology. When we were flying, it seemed to work no differently than the touchpad on a laptop… give or take a couple things, maybe.

So your plan is to-

I’m going to do what any good pirate captain would do. I popped the collar on my Captain’s coat, I’m going to commandeer myself a ship.

Alison grinned widely.

Alright, Jack Sparrow. What about Astaria? Don’t you think they’ll try to stop us?

I have a plan for that. Just leave it to me.

Alison nodded as our Star Sovereign approached us, “Enjoying your party?”

“Oh yeah, sure. It’s great,” I replied, “The living Crystal fountains are wild. I’ve never seen a diamond dick before.”

Alison spit out her drink.

“Well I hope you got to try the crabcakes. Atlantis has the best crabs available,” The king said as he smiled and began to circle the room once more.

So what do you say? Do you wanna commandeer a ship?

Alison looked around the room as if to check and make sure no one could hear.

Alright, but how do we even know the ship is still there?

Good point. Perhaps we could convince Astaria to give us a tour of it? If it’s not there, then there’s nothing to suspect us of and we know that we have to find a new way out.

And if it is? How do you plan on getting Astaria out of the way?

As I said, you just leave that to me.

I hope you know what you’re doing.

“Are you enjoying the party, your Majesties?”

Astaria had popped up beside me so suddenly, I shouted, “JESUS! Don’t you start with a creepy shit that Yogal was doing or I’m libel to hit you,” I said, trying to joke away the feeling of my heart in my throat.

“Apologies your majesty, Astaria said, smiling.

“Hey Astaria, do you think you could give Alison and I a tour of the spaceship later? I didn’t really get to see how it worked since we were in such a big hurry,” I asked.

“Of course, your majesty. There’s no risk of invasion here in Atlantis so we should be safe enough for a leisurely stroll,” Astaria quipped.

Alison raised her eyebrows.

“Perfect! We can’t wait,” I replied.

How?!

I told you, leave it to me.

“Astaria, I’m curious. You’re from Pleiades but you work for an Earth government, yes?” I queried.

“Both are true statements, yes,” they replied.

“So, if you had to choose between the two for some reason, which would you choose to support?” I asked.

Astaria looked at me quizzically, “Well, I think that would depend on the situation. Why do you ask?”

“No real reason. Just curious,” I answered, casually.

What are you doing? You’re gonna give us away!

Not at all. I was testing to see if they possess blind loyalty. They don’t, which is good news for us.

What exactly is your plan?

Never you mind that. Let’s just enjoy the rest of our party.

I took a large swig of my Atlantean whiskey and Coke, Gods this stuff is good.

Astaria lead Alison and I down the torch-lit hallway, back to the room of the crystalline windows with bioluminescent fish, up the silver stairs, and to the elevator.

“This is all a lot more impressive when I’m not being dragged away against my will,” Alison commented.

The heavy scent of the surface smacked us in the face as we ascended. The “sun” shone brightly on the fields of lavender and mint whilst bees buzzed happily about them. As we approached the entrance to Atlantis, I could feel Alison becoming nervous.

What happens if it goes wrong?

It will be fine, just leave it to me.

The gates opened to the darkened platform that held the (much larger than I recalled) spaceship. As Astaria touched the bioscanner and swore again, the door to the ship opened and we climbed aboard.

Astaria sat in the captain’s chair and touched the pad on the armrest. The inside of the ship begin to glow. The high windows reflected the interior back at us. It was more spacious than I remembered. It had just a few seats and some strange shelving along the walls that didn’t have floor to ceiling windows. The ship seemed quite bare.

Astaria spun the captain’s chair around, “Well, this is it. She’s not much, but she works great.”

“Speaking of, how does she ‘work’?” I asked.

“Well, this touchpad is pretty much it. Double tap and hold to ascend. single tap and hold a decend. Circles clockwise is faster, circles counterclockwise is slower. Drag your finger to change direction. Yeah that’s about it,” Astaria answered.

“What about abduction stuff? Or weapons?” Alison asked.

Astaria chuckled, “Well this particular ship is equipped with neither, I’m afraid.”

Damn. Still. A ship is a ship.

I promptly walked up to Astaria and hit them over the head with one of the heavy blue flame torches that I had stolen and put out with one of the living crystal in fountains at the party.

“What are you doing?!” Alison shouted as Astaria fell to the floor, unconscious.

“I’m getting us the hell out of here,” I replied as I sat in the captain’s chair and we began our ascent from the hidden city.

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Series
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About the Creator

Arthur Armstrong

A being of duality, poetic irreverence, and maddening nonsense.

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  • Alex H Mittelman 7 months ago

    This is fantastic! I’m going to read your other stories now, too! Great work!

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