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Last Flight of the Admiral Stalkforth 5

As he turned to go down the ladder, the Officer heard a commotion outside. He dove down through the square opening in the floor and did a handspring on the ground, landing in a defensive crouch. In a flash he produced long sleek gun barrels from under his sleeves.

His soldiers stood to the left, aiming their rifles at a small dirty man squatting on the ground.

“What is the situation Lieutenant?” the Officer said.

One of the soldiers whipped around and saluted. “Sir, the individual over there”—he pointed at the seated man who smiled bemusedly—“is none other than Igrid Pleth.”

“The Mogavie System Mutilator?” said the Officer in disbelief.

“The one and only, sir.” The soldier turned back to the seated man. “What are you doing here? Who smuggled you in?”

The Officer swore, retracted his weapons, and stood up. “At ease soldiers, this man is no longer a fugitive.”

They lowered their rifles hesitantly. “Sir, I don‘t understand,” said the Lieutenant, “he terrorized an entire solar system for ten years. His mind is a theater for unremitting sadism, he is an abomination.”

“If I remember,” the Officer said slowly, “the Grand Patriarch intervened on his death sentence and committed him here, to Lumina, for rehabilitation.”

Igrid Pleth yawned and stood up. “Good afternoon fellows, I’ll be off now.” He bowed slightly, then trotted to the thick border of trees and vanished into the green.

The soldiers stood in silence for a moment, staring at the spot the ex-criminal had recently vacated. Finally the Officer said, “All of you return to the ship, I won’t be needing your assistance any longer. Of course, stand by at all times for emergency beams.”

“Understood Admiral Grefa.”

“Blast it, I am not the Admiral!”

The soldiers marched in single file across the clearing, their boots quiet on the hard earth. When the last one had disappeared into the trees, the Officer flicked open his wrist-unit and activated its holo-keypad. He leaned in and whispered a series of words then typed up and beamed several messages in a matter of seconds. Next, he produced a long thin cord from his belt. He hooked it into his wrist, ran it up his arm, and plugged it into a jack behind his earlobe. It bonded to and assumed the color of both his uniform and skin, so that it is was invisible to the naked eye. When he was satisfied that all was ready, he set off for the Malfan Glade.