Kingmonkey thought long and hard on what his next move should be. Antikas was still in the infirmary at Hyperial station. monkey thought he could wait it out until Anti’s recovery, but he was decidedly less than welcome at this station.
Despite the easing of aggressions between Quantar and Hyperial, their was still quite a bit of tension wherever he went in the station.
Antikas had reacted poorly to his suggestion to continue arti hunting. It was the aged scientist’s belief that monkey was irresponsible. Normally monkey wasn’t too sensitive, but that had hurt his feelings. monkey didn’t feel he was irresponsible, he preferred the term ‘fun-loving’. Surely there was nothing wrong with enjoying one’s time in space, that’s why he paid insurance premiums. Wasn’t that proof of his responsibility?
With an almost physical force, and idea struck kingmonkey.
I know how to prove my responsibility. I’ll steal Anti’s ship and go arti hunting by myself to make up our losses.
Within a few hours, monkey had snuck into the launch bay wearing Anti’s Solrain flight suit. The sleeves dragged on the floor, and the legs were rolled up so many times that they were wider than they were long. In order to conceal his identity, he also wore Anti’s helmet, which was easily twice the size of his head.
The flight controller of Hyperial station looked at him with some suspicion as he logged his flight clearance.
Hyp Controller: “State your destination and mission, please.”
Kingmonkey: Uhm, I’m Antikas of the Solrain Empire and I’m an official TRI scientist. I’m going out to scout for… quantum stuff.
Hyp Controller: “Am I to understand that you’re engaging in scientific research on behalf of TRI?”
Kingmonkey: Yup, you betcha.
Hyp Controller: “Will you be performing your experiments within sovereign Hyperial space?”
Kingmonkey: No. Yes. No. Should I? No, I think I’ll go to Sol space.
The agent looked at him, somewhat confused by the diminutive pilot who stood before him. monkey was having a hard time; his helmet kept slipping down his head. He had to hold it up with both hands while talking.
Hyp Controller: “Professor Antikas, could you please clarify your mission?”
Hyp Controller: “Now?”
Kingmonkey: OH, oh, right. Yeah, um, I’m gonna go to the uh, Narrow Canal and um, scan some anomolies there.
Hyp Controller: “I wasn’t aware there were any anomalies in that sector.”
Kingmonkey: Well… that’s my mission… I’m going to make one.
The agent was stunned. He looked around to see if anyone else had overheard this exchange.
Hyp Controller: “You’re going to create an anomaly? Is this a part of TRI’s new research?”
Kingmonkey: Oh, yeah. It’s really top secret, but I’m such an important scientist that I’ve been left in charge of the whole project. I, Antikas, am really a genius.
Hyp Controller: “Is there any special clearance form that we should file for you?”
Kingmonkey: No, thank you, I’ll be fine. I’m just telling you because I like the way you look.
Antikas would surely benefit from this course of action, monkey thought. And if he could sway this agent into an alliance with him, he could get better landing clearance and general status with Hyperial. monkey decided to pursue this idea. Antikas would be so happy that monkey had made him a special arrangement with Hyperial Flight Control.
Hyp Controller: “You… like the way I look?”
Kingmonkey: Sure, I mean you’re a nice lookin’ guy, and uh… maybe we could get better acquainted and discuss some future clearance stuff late.
Hyp Controller: “umm, I don’t know what to say. You want to get together to discuss… future plans?”
Kingmonkey: Yeah, maybe you and I could work out some kind of deal. Maybe over dinner?
Hyp Controller: “Okay. Where will you be when you get back?”
Kingmonkey: I’m staying in the infirmary. The name is Antikas, come and see me any time.
Kingmonkey was launched within minutes. He felt happy that he was able to provide for his ailing wingman. Antikas would surely be quite happy with him when he got out of the infirmary.
Kingmonkey reached the Narrow Canal and began his 9-point search pattern. Over the course of the next two hours, he found 8 artifacts. The best were a size 2 power plant and a PB-3.
He conversed on the open comm with other pilots throughout space. All the while, keeping up the pretense of being Antikas.
Yes, sir. Anti’s gonna be real happy.
… the Tails continue