57. The Ancient Engines of Deimos, Part IV   2 comments

Meanwhile in Space…

Episode 57: The Ancient Engines of Deimos, Part IV: A Friend Indeed

Timmy stood outside of the restaurant and noncommittally stared at the people walking by. They were not aware of the mystery surrounding him and his friends. They were happy to be out of the house and exploring the history and majesty of Deimos. Timmy had been one of those happy people before the incident in the exhibit. Now, he was anxious. He supposed he should look at the people to see if Sundance was among them, but he already knew that he wouldn’t be.

“Any sign of him?” Astralyn stepped outside and joined Timmy. She rubbed her hands together in the futile attempt to warm them. She watched as Timmy shook his head. “I’ve searched all over the restaurant and I couldn’t find him. That is so strange. He wouldn’t just up and leave.”

“Do you think he went back to the exhibit?” Timmy heard the words leave his mouth, but he felt no allegiance to them. He shook his head in response to his own question. “Something is wrong.”

“I don’t know what to think at this point,” Astralyn said. “I know that he can be spontaneous at times, but this is ridiculous. Maybe he went back to the StarTango. Do you want to check the exhibit while I check the parking lot?”

“I suppose that’s a start.” Timmy was loathe to go back into the exhibit, but if Sundance was there… “I’ll call you on the communicator if I find him.”

The two of them were about to go their separate ways when a young man approached them. He was dressed in a maroon robe and he looked excited. He waved at them to get their attention. Timmy and Astralyn tried to avoid him, but he was persistant.

“You two are looking for someone, right?” he asked. “A shortish tall guy with reddish hair and pink shorts?” He saw them both stop and acknowledge him. “Finally. I’ve been looking all over for you.”

“What do you know about the captain?” Timmy asked, stepping towards the man.

“I know that he’s been kidnapped and that he is in grave danger,” the man said. He looked around him cautiously to see if he was being watched. It was rare to see a Caretaker outside of the exhibit and he was sure he was drawing attention to himself.

“Please tell us where he is,” Astralyn requested.

“Of course, but there are a few things I need to tell you first, but we can’t talk out here.” The Caretaker began to herd the two of them off of the street. “Hey, let’s go to this little restaurant. I hear the seafood is to die for!”

Astralyn tried to tell the man that they had already eaten there, but they were already pushed inside when the front door opened. She looked to Timmy and saw him just shrug. He supposed if it meant that they could find out some information on Sundance it was worth the inconvenience.

The Caretaker quickly took his robe off and hung it up on the coat rack, joining the other guests’. He was left with a stark white one piece pajama outfit. This brought more attention to himself than the robe ever would have, but this seemed to be the lesser of two evils.

The host picked up three menus from her podium and led them to the far left side of the restaurant where they could least offend other diners with the Caretaker’s leisurely attire. She placed the menus on the table and quickly left them to serve other incoming guests.

“I know what I’m getting!” The Caretaker quickly picked up the menu and started browsing the seafood section. “What are you getting?”

“We aren’t very hungry,” Astralyn said. “But you were saying about Sundance being kidnapped?”

“Yes, I am quite sorry. Let me introduce myself. My name is Caretaker Benjamin.” He extended his hand to Astralyn, who shook it on ceremony. He then extended his hand to Timmy, who shook it reluctantly. “I am a Caretaker and I help the others with the maintenance of the engines. We’ve been doing it for about three centuries.”

“We’re very well acquainted with the history of the engines,” Timmy said impatiently. “But what does this have to do with the captain?”

“Well, there is a group of Caretakers that believe that the Engines of Deimos were used to supply power to a massive ship while there is another group that believe the engines were used to power a war machine, a weapon.” He clasped his hands together and lowered his head as if he was praying. “They are quite displeased with the settlements on Deimos and wish nothing more than to wipe them off the face of the moon. They’ve been hoping for a chance to resurrect the engines and bring their diabolic plan to life. That’s all it’s been, a plan, until now.”

Timmy felt a knot forming in his stomach. He knew where Caretaker Benjamin was going with this and he didn’t like the implications at all.

A waitress walked by the table and Caretaken Benjamin flagged her down. “Yes, thank you. May I have a large Jupiter Iced Tea and a plate of your best seafood!” The waitress took down the order and asked if Timmy and Astralyn would like anything as well, not knowing that they had been there mere minutes ago. When they indicated that they wished for nothing, the waitress rushed off to put in the order. “Hey, could you spot me? As a Caretaker, I don’t make a whole lot. Thanks.”

“What does this have to do with Sundance? Quit stalling!” Astralyn asked again, growing frustrated with him.

“The engines have never been reactivated until tonight,” Caretaker Benjamin replied. He sensed Astralyn’s impatience. He was hoping to have stalled just a little longer until the food arrived. He was starving. “The other Caretakers saw your friend touching it and now they believe that he has the power to turn on the war machine.”

“What will they do to him when they realize that he doesn’t have that power?” Timmy sighed and lowered his gaze to his hands. “What will they do with him when they find out that they have the wrong guy?”

Astralyn and Caretaker Benjamin looked at him with puzzled expressions. Timmy could sense their confusion and said, “I touched it, too, remember?” His hands started to shake. “I… I’ve been noticing some weird things happening to me. I…” His voice started to break. “I can fix things with my hands, things that are broken. When I touch them, things come to life that were previously dead..”

“So, you’re the one who activated the generator?” Caretaker Benjamin looked at Timmy with awe in his eyes. “That is most surprising…” Then he realized that this may not be good news for their friend. “So, to answer your question about what they might do to your friend.”

“Save it,” Astralyn said. She got up and wrapped her arms around Timmy in an effort to console him.

“When the auto pilot was tampered with, I fixed it.” Timmy sighed. “When the console on the carnivorous robots’ ship didn’t work, I just touched it and it worked. It was me all along, and now…”

“We can’t worry about that right now.” Astralyn patted Timmy on the head. “We just have to focus on getting him back safely.”

“Yeah, they’re not going to be too happy when they find out that your mate’s not the one they’re looking for,” Caretaker Benjamin said. “They probably won’t keep him around for too long before they come looking for you.” Astralyn glared at the Caretaker for his carelessness. “Sorry. Alright, let’s get out of here.”

The waitress returned just in time with Caretaker Benjamin’s food. He smiled as he looked up at her and said, “Can I get that to go?”


The three allies exited the restaurant with purpose. Astralyn had a plan all worked out. “Benjamin, I need you to take me directly to Sundance. We don’t stop for lunch or a drink; you will take me directly to him or so help me God…”

“I get it! No munchies,” Caretaker Benjamin said, flinching.

“What about me?” Timmy asked.

“The last thing we need is for the Caretakers to find you,” Astralyn replied. “Get back to the StarTango and wait for us to return.” She saw the disappointment in his face. “I know you want to come with us, but it’s for your safety.”

“I know, thank you.” Timmy smiled. “Bring him back.”

Astralyn nodded her head and tapped Caretaker Benjamin on the shoulder, signaling that she was ready to be led. The two of them walked towards the exhibit site. Timmy watched them leave before he left for the parking lot. He prayed that they will find Sundance alive and well.


Posted July 2, 2012 by Xanto P. Jones in Flash Fiction

2 responses to “57. The Ancient Engines of Deimos, Part IV

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  1. I’m simultaneously laughing and going, “DON’T SPLIT UP!!!!” Tension and slapstick, it works!

  2. I agree with Larry, Don’t split up!

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