Haldan Thane, Book 6 early draft

Hi all, it’s been such as busy year as we’ve done a lot of building and still have much painting to do.  I’ve been dreaming of writing, but have been so busy, I haven’t been able to do much more than jot down a few ideas here and there.  But now I’m on Christmas holiday, and I’m sitting outside in my favourite spot under the wisteria, with a breeze blowing and a sleepy dog lying nearby.  And so, without further ado, I present an early draft of a new adventure for my Haldan Thane readers:

‘What are you reading?’  Vyalla sat next to Haldan, leisurely stretching out her legs on the extended chair in the visitor’s room.

‘The Record’, Haldan replied.  ‘Some grublifters tried to make off with one of the androids at Gearmid Lanta.  They’re saying that there hasn’t been this much excitement in Iqium since the former mayor was arrested’.

‘Hey, that was your friends and I’.  Vyalla smiled.

‘I still can’t believe you melted Wort’.  Haldan grinned at her.  ‘We’ll have to keep you away from Rylomos for awhile’.

Vyalla slipped her arm around Haldan.  ‘I was trying to rescue you’, she whispered in his ear, before kissing it.

Haldan scrunched his neck and shoulder, laughing.

‘Didn’t you want me to save you?’  Vyalla poked at his belly, making him spasm with laughter.

‘Look you’, Haldan said, grabbing her hand and leaning close to her face.  ‘Now who’s teasing who?’  He kissed her sweet lips.

After a minute, she lay her head on his shoulder, then raised it again when a clacking sound came from outside the door.

‘Sir!  Sir!’  Reginald squawked as the door swished open.  ‘Sir!  Oh, and Lady Vyalla’.  The skinny robot stood there looking at them with his green lens, wearing a new yellow chest plate.

‘The cargo ship’s ahead of schedule?’ Haldan guessed, raising his face to the robot.

‘No, Sir and Lady’, Reginald corrected.  ‘Tutherin said it was a starfighter of unknown ownership.  It’s on it’s way here!’

‘What?’  Haldan and Vyalla leapt to their feet, with Haldan dropping the newspad onto the chair cushion.

‘It’ll be here by the time we return to Mine Control’, the robot reported.  ‘In fact, there it is now’.  He raised one of his scrawny arms and pointed to the viewport.

A black ship, red lights streaming down its sides, was slowing and hovering over the landing platform just outside.

Rushing to the little control room, they found the communications panel chiming insistently.  Haldan and Vyalla pushed a few buttons, then a voice speaking Standard came through.

‘Calling mine station.  This is the Orpethic.  Do you copy?’  The voice sounded human.

Haldan leant to the communications microphone, hesitating.

‘This is the mine station, Crilum.  We copy, Orpethic’.  He glanced at Vyalla.

‘We copy that, Crilum.  Permission to land and enter.  Repeat, may we have your permission to land and enter?’

‘Orpethic, permission granted.  I’m unlocking the airlock now’.

‘Oh, visitors!’  Reginald fretted.  ‘And I’m not wearing my best shirt plate’.

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