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The Protagonists We Love #8
Interview with the survivors
Shaw Dillon sits in the hostess’ chair, looks into the camera and says, “Good evening North American Union, and welcome to another episode of News Talk. Tonight our guests are the women all Earth is talking about. Their story is the subject of the best selling Galactic Geographic series and the inspiration for the award wining movie, Rapier. They are two of the few survivors of that ill fated ship. Please welcome Kathy Erin Masters and, her adopted daughter, Cynthia Elaine Masters-Black.”
The audience applauds as the girls walk onto the set. Kathy is wearing a form fitting black dress similar to the hostess’, with the hem reaching mid thigh. Her ensemble is completed by stylish shoes and accessorized by a dagger strapped to her left upper arm, and a laser pistol holstered on her right hip slung low, gunfighter style. Cindy is wearing blue slacks with a white blouse and a blue vest. Her waist long blonde hair is in a braid that is tucked into the back of her blouse. She has a rapier on her left hip and a slug thrower on her belt by the buckle holstered for a left handed draw. They walk up to the hostess, waiving to the audience as they go, and sit on the loveseat next to the hostess’ chair.
Kathy says, “Thank you Shaw,” as they sit. Cindy looks over and nods to her.
Shaw Dillon reaches over and takes Kathy’s hand in hers, and with a conspiratorial grin asks, “Kathy, the Galactic Geographic stories and the movie make you look so brave, but tell me, girl to girl, weren’t you terrified being in the clutches of the notorious Commodore James Black and his crew of brigands?”
Kathy and Cindy stare at the hostess blankly for a moment. As Cindy starts to speak Kathy stops her, then she replies to Shaw, “James Black was a kind and gentle man Shaw. Brigands? The crew of the Rapier, and for that matter the crews of all the Commodore’s ships, were far from brigands.”
“But Kathy, you girls were prisoners on his pirate ship for nine years!”AC
Cindy growls, “We were not prisoners! And we were definitely not pirates!”
Shaw’s expression goes from conspiratorial to surprised. Before Cindy or Shaw can say another word Kathy cuts in, “We were privateers, not pirates. And once we were inducted into The Brotherhood we could have left anytime we wanted to, we were not prisoners.”
Shaw responds with, “Okay, so you weren’t prisoners. But not pirates? I mean what is a privateer? What’s the difference?”
Kathy sits back into the loveseat and places her hands on her thighs. “Though the pirates ‘follow’ the bylaws, sort of, they don’t obey much else. Privateers operate under a Letter of Marque and Reprisal as well as The Bylaws of The Brotherhood,” states Kathy.
“Huh?” the hostess mumbles.
Cindy replies, “A Letter of Marque is essentially a contract. It tells the privateer who they can raid and who they can’t. It also lists any other conditions the contracting government places on the raiders.”
“Governments do that?!”
“Yes Shaw, governments do that,” Kathy answers flatly.
For a few moments the hostess is flabbergasted, and the audience softly mumbles amongst themselves. Shaw Dillon composes herself and takes a different tact. “Cindy, do you regret not having a normal childhood? And how do you plan to make up for your lack of education?”
Cindy stares at the hostess for a few moments. Kathy whispers in Cindy’s ear to which she replies, “No mom, I’ve got this.” Cindy’s eyes sweep the audience, she can tell they want to hear her answer. She says to the control booth, “Run clip five please,” then points to the closest camera, and points to her left sleeve, “Give me a closeup of my forearm after the clip.” Turning her gaze to Shaw Dillon Cindy says, “No one has had a better childhood than I have. I’ve visited seventeen worlds, learning about their colony’s cultures. I’ve come to know ten alien species, and participated in three first contact situations. As to education, I’ll comment on that after this clip, which was created by the North American Intelligence Agency based on the Rapier’s logs, my mom’s and my ‘interviews’, and Chinese black boxes from the ships involved.”
The vid clip shows the Rapier and two Chinese warships. One of the ships is a destroyer escort that is breaking up. The second ship is a heavily damaged destroyer. The Rapier is moving, keeping the disintegrating ship between it and the destroyer. The destroyer keeps trying to get a good shot at the Rapier. Suddenly, the Rapier fires rail guns at a large chunk of wreckage between it and the destroyer. As the wreckage shatters the Rapier fires rail guns and particle beams again. The rail gun shots pass through where the wreckage was, followed by the super charged particle beams. The shots hit the destroyer at the engineering compartment. They bleed off the neutron armor energy, with one shot penetrating the hull. The particle beams hit the hull breach, passing into the compartment and strike the antimatter containment tank. This causes a catastrophic explosion, destroying the ship. The audience cheers.
Cindy speaks, “Shaw, I made that shot when I was twelve. To make a shot like that requires a masters level understanding of applied mathematics.” She points to a tattoo on her forearm. “This designates a masters level understanding of antimatter reactors. This one means I have a senior navigators understanding of hyperspace travel. You don’t want to get lost in hyperspace. All these tattoos show I’m qualified to be a starship captain. I also speak Mandarin and Latin. Plus I can read Ancient Hebrew and Ancient Greek, my dad insisted I study the scriptures in the original language with him. Can you name any other seventeen year old on this planet that is that well educated?” She sits back and pulls down her sleeve as the camera moves back so all three women are on screen.
In a shrill voice Shaw states, “What dad? Your parents were killed by the pirates! And if you are so smart why are you constantly being expelled?”
Cindy gives Shaw her withering glare, which knocks the shrill right out of her. In a calm, stern voice she replies, “My birth parents were killed when the America was boarded, that’s true, and that’s why the crew of the Rapier adopted me, to makeup for wronging me. Commodore James Ulysses Black is my dad, just like Kathy is my mom. As to being expelled all the time, your schools aren’t educating kids, they’re indoctrinating them. You’re raising a bunch of lemmings, and they will follow the other lemmings over the…
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