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The Devils Are Dreaming of a Blue Angel

A Space Mystery

By Evan LordPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 11 min read

The Devils are Dreaming of a Blue Angel

a space mystery

By Evan Lord

Chapter One: The slip

Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say. But as they also say, when in Rome...

I’ve been screaming my lungs out like a little girl and I don’t care who does or doesn’t hear it.

Both the moon and the earth appear roughly the same diameter from here. Not quite walking distance home, but it could be worse. Gauging anything accurately is impossible at the moment because I haven’t stopped tumbling end over end for three hours. Two hours and...43 minutes to be exact. Which means I still have seventeen minutes of life support left.

I hope this thing is recording. I just discovered this function.

Ahem, I, Ewan T. Ladd, age 27, tech journalist, part-time private investigator, decent enough guy, I suppose. Abs, aspiring author, beloved son, uncle – do hereby speak my last will and testament into this...AWESOME device keeping me alive in the vacuum of space for another sixteen minutes. Whoever hears this, forgive my language. Seriously. Fuck this.

I have...fifteen and a half minutes to get my story out and there’s no time left to embellish. I’ve uncovered the secret of secrets; the crime of the millennia. If I were a soulless sociopath, I’d take understandable pride in conjuring up a plot so evil to begin with – and for getting away with it for so long. I came THIS close to blowing the whole thing wide open tonight.

The prestige I would receive in solving a case like this – and the justice that would be served – and the lives that would be saved – and the respect and adoration I would have banked – all of it could have propelled me right into the IN with all the pleasures IN membership bestows.

Look. None of us is Gandhi or Lorthanthru, right? Or Lennon. I’m not perfect. I’ll admit to being just shallow enough that I indeed DO want to live on the Carpet – up there where all the good stuff is just heaped on you. And so do you, whoever you are. Don’t get all self-righteous about it. We all feel that way. Well, we of the lowly surface caste, anyway. 'Dedicated work and faithful service' can only get a person into the IN if that work garners sufficient ‘public adoration and respect’ – respect I hope I’m not about to squander entirely here. Not that it matters. I mean...fourteen minutes.

The femme fatale, whom I met in a bar earlier this evening, and who just marooned me, is as intoxicating as any dusty bottle in the cellars of the Stellen Continental. Nicer legs. Her plans for me were barely visible under a tousle of hair so ginger, it inhaled the light.

But it wasn’t the lady who ensnared me.

You have to understand something. Good and decent people have weaknesses. Mine is an uncontrollable lust. Powerful. Primal. I can’t keep blood in my brain once I’m aroused. I see it and I have to experience it; to caress it; to ease myself inside it – to push every last button and stroke every fragile surface of it. And then I write about it.

“Someone offers you a ride in a Clarion,” she said, “you take it.”

Damn skippy, you take it. It's a tech scriber's wettest, wildest dream. The world wouldn't be ending in the next hour – or two. So, yeah.

The new, 2339 Clarion Luge Mark IV, recently stolen, and from which I’d been ejected into the middle of fucking nowhere, is a dignified boast of graceful ego; featuring every conceivable wonder. Twelve of them exist in the entire quadrant – and every recipient is numbered among the IN. Nobody in my caste has ever seen an actual Clarion in person – let alone escaped the atmosphere in one. And I scribe new tech to a quadrant-wide audience. So, yes. I put my plans and my planet on hold for a quick hop with a pretty girl.

A Luge is a gleaming, flattened teardrop of seamless, sinuous black with no markings whatsoever – aside from the trademark Clarion coronet embossed on that sexy, pointed tip. An orgy of form and function, the craft is able to achieve escape velocity without breaking a sweat and is the only consumer vehicle of its kind to feature Cool-Skin. All of the re-entry. None of the heat. Its elongated reverse teardrop airframe allows for maneuvers bulkies will never come close to matching.

“Don’t activate the beep,” she mouthed. “ cool.”

“No. Wait. Wha –!”

And now here I am, gentle listener, spinning wildly in space; trapped between worlds. No space suit. Ten minutes to live. No one hearing my screams.

I should explain why I’m not dead already.

The woman from the bar gave me the slip. Literally. The Clarion Luge features next-level emergency evacuation tech called a SLIP – Single Lifeform Interdimensional Protection. The bubble I’m reporting live from isn’t structural. It’s an omniversal attenuated HALATED deep field envelope that’s keeping me safe, warm and breathing. I’m literally in another dimension right now. How cool is that? Arcturian tech.

I don’t blame her for kicking me out of a vehicle traveling at the speed of scary. The owner of the Luge is playboy and celebrity, The Richard. The Richard had been alerted to the car’s departure and wasn’t pleased. He’d have been even less pleased to discover the strange man horsing around with his spunky girl amid all that fine cockpit leather and polished mahogany.

“You broke orbit in my car? What the hell, Danene? Are you insane? You can’t just break like that. You have to file a –”

“Richard,” she scolded. “Relax. I won’t put any dings in it.”

“Better not. Are you committing grand theft alone or is someone else with you?”

She shot me a wink. “Nope. Just me. I needed a little airlessness, R-three. You know. Get out and see the night sky... I got so lonely waiting for you.”

This performance went on like that for a few minutes. She had him where she wanted him. Not so with me. I was praying she hadn’t noticed me trembling like a first-year khelon about to shed. We’d have been fine if he hadn’t suggested she engage the interior cameras to take in the view of what she claimed she wasn’t wearing at the moment. All I know is that the hairs propped up on my arms and neck, my scintillating skin turned blue, turned white...then pow. I was summarily pooped out through the solid side of the hull. Right through it with no impedance whatsoever. Didn’t feel a thing. It’s just. Agh. So cool.

His ears must have been burning because I’d barely finished trashing him minutes earlier.

“What are you doing with that guy?” I said. “He’s such a dick.”

She smirked. “Oh, and he’ll never let you forget it.”

“Dick Dick Dick the private dick who’s an actual dick.” We both blurted, “3D2D! Jinx!”

Yes. THAT 3D2D – an ironic nickname for the savior of mankind adored across a THOUSAND WORLDS...or whatever. I mean, come on. His actual given name is Richard, his middle name is Richard and his last name is Richard? No ego there. The Richard family is as IN as it gets. And did you know it was the Richard clan who first conceived the IN and constructed the earliest version of the Carpet? Of course he’s in the IN.

In fairness, Three Dick Two Dick is dashing, clever, oozing with social credit and his martial arts skills are legend. Perfect jaw. Great hair. The best toys. Oh, And, yeah. He did save the world. Twice. He’s also the quadrant’s most famous private detective. That counts for something, I guess. How do you not hate a guy like that?

Hold on ­–

Can anyone stop this thing from spinning for one goddamned second?!


It just stopped. God, please let me live long enough to write a product review on this thing.

(Whispered) Oh, shit. Oh, shit.

An Orion ship just passed under me about a hundred miles down. That would not be good. No no no. Shit. I worried about this. Everybody fears the Orions for the same reasons. It’s one thing to die. We all do that. It’s one thing to get eaten. But the Orions eat their prey slowly and methodically – tapping the maximum terror and pain possible before I expire. Terror and pain. That’s what sustains them. Stay away, ugly, stinky giant reptiles. Go back to your underground shit holes like nice dinosaurs.

Now I wish I were in a VALT; which is nearly as uncomfortable as being eaten slowly. But at least a VALT system is invisible if the transponder isn’t activated.

All interplanetary craft are equipped with standard safety features by law. These include environment suits, escape pods, and a lower-budget version of a SLIP called a VALT that’s like a big plastic garbage bag. People hate them because you can’t draw a breath in one and it isn’t see-though. Once deployed you get dosed with Precuron gas – a paralyzing agent that keeps you on the edge of death – preserved, but unable to move a molecule. A VALT keeps you alive, but Jesus. They call them body bags for a reason.

“5 minutes.”

Oh, a SLIP comes with a countdown voice, too. Nice.

...The first glimmer of morning is gathering at the edge of the earth. I've never seen a dawn from space. It’s beautiful, but bad news for me. If things don’t go my way in the next few minutes, I can look forward to the triple threat of suffocation as my blood boils and my body freezes, a deadly basting of cosmic radiation – and the very real prospect of burning out my retinas before any of the other nastiness can befall me. Or the Orions.

Hold on. Give me a second. I’ve got to try something.

Ahem. God. Sorry for all that swearing and taking your name in vain a minute ago. I AM. Oh, that's funny. And I am ready to start making deals. I’m not a religious man. I never believed in a glowing guy in the sky. No offense. But we can both agree it doesn’t hurt to hedge my bet on the off chance that at least one of earth’s ancient religions had been right about you. So...saveth me. Hail Mary and... Allah be praised. If you spare my life, I will save the earth and all your children. So, Amen. Thank thee. And yeah. Save me.

It’s pretty obvious religion isn’t my thing.

There they are again. Crap. I asked Danene about the Orions and she’d just scoffed.

“They wouldn’t dare mess with us,” she said. “3D2D scares the hell out of them.”

(Sigh) I wouldn’t have been at the Dubai Technology Expo at all if my associate hadn’t come down with Thruther’s at the last minute. I now envy her the boils, the burning, that inky, corrosive discharge and the hallucinations. God. I knew I should have stayed away from that bar. My gut knew it. I should have just gone along with my original plan. The earth would be saved. I’d be riding high in the IN. There’d be no –

“Four minutes. Transponder engaged.”

Shit. (Sorry, God.) Crap. Well, the beep is activated, Danene. Getting pretty scared now. The transponder is flashing like a big red street lamp. Orion pirates are seconds away if they spot me. The sun is about to come out and blind me. I’m at the end of my life support. No hope in sight.

So, let's talk about me.

I'll start with why I talk the way I do – the words I use. Yes. They are 20th Century slang. But they’re so much more satisfying than the efficient, abbreviated dribble that passes for speech today in the 23's. I’m a bit of a 20th Centuryana. I go to the festivals. I date Centuryana girls. The wall of my grot is packed with memorabilia. I just prefer the vibe, the music, the art, the pop and the artifacts of that sinful, simple era. It’s easier for me to say something is cool than to describe it as E-fish like the rest of you do. "Oh, that’s so E-fish. Wow, what an E-fish thong wobbler you have going there," or whatever. The 20th Century had it going. It was decades before the disclosure, the takeover, the fake invasion, the takedown, the real invasion, the price of global freedom and the slow decline and removal of everything that was even slightly E-Fish about society. If I’m being honest, and since no one can dock me anyway, the framers blew it.

“Three minutes.”

Great. Now I have an alarm to deal with on top of everything else. I HOPE YOU CAN STILL HEAR ME OVER THAT BLARING. Since this record is now for posterity, I’d better get to the point. The world we think we occupy isn’t the world that really exists. I know. It’s an old trope. ‘We’re all trapped in the Elon. Nothing is real. The world is a stage.’ I get it. I’m not talking about that. What I’m talking about is –


There’s a...light coming my way. It doesn’t have red and green indicators. It’s blue. And it’s gaining.

Here comes the sun. Man, that’s bright.


The one glowing blue orb just separated into five glowing blue orbs and they're spinning around me – and getting bigger.

Shit. The Orions have spotted me. Jesus tits. They’re coming.

“One minute. ClarionLink protocol activated. Precuron gas deployed in ten seconds –”

One minute? What happened to two minutes? SHIT. How did I lose that minute?




The Clarion! Thank god, she –


Aaaand the Orions have arrived.


It’s a NOK–Class destroyer. Shit.


This is not E-fish. Not E-fish at all.



What are those orbs doing?


Oh, my GOD. That is not poss –

“Precuron deployed. Remain calm.”

Holy SHI –

Sci Fi

About the Creator

Evan Lord

The only rule of heaven is to follow your heart. The only rule of hell is to follow someone else's. I've written for everyone else during my career. Today, I'm following my heart and writing for people who love to read, laugh and grow.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  3. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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  • Evan Lord (Author)about a year ago

    You are my first ever reviewer...and friend for life

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