Eric Adair, Space Operative – Season Two

A rocket flying through space like in a a space opera adventure story

Episode 31: The Encounter

Captain Eric and Amy were exploring a market on a small moon. On planets, markets were strictly regulated in what they could sell and to whom, and were unlikely to let you buy portable black holes without a permit. On moons, the governments were much more relaxed. They were mostly focused on regulating their artificial atmosphere. As long as you weren’t breathing in more than your fair share of oxygen, you could pretty much do whatever.

Suddenly, he turned and grabbed her arm. He pulled her behind a stall. “Quick! Hide!”

She gasped. “What is it? A killbot? A reptilian? Ninja assassin?” Her eyes widened. “…A cyborg ninja assassin?”

“No, it’s an acquaintance from work!”

She sighed. “We’re space heroes! We don’t run and hide from awkward small talk! What do you think the smoke bombs are for?”

Episode 32: The Nudists

Halfway home, the starship’s engine began sputtering, squeaking, and squealing. “We’re going to have to stop for repairs,” Amy said. “According to the navigation AI, the only planet nearby is Turgid IV.”

Captain Eric’s hands shook. “We’re not going there! That planet is famous for depravity. The locals are…” He whispered the last word, as if an easily-offended grandmother might overhear. “…nudists.”

“So? What’s wrong with the human body? …Or whatever the local species is called.” She checked the computer. They were Turgidians.

“It’s not just the locals. Visitors have to be nude, too. Clothing is completely illegal. The only body covering allowed is peanut butter.”

Amy blanched. “On second thought, let’s skip the repairs. A little engine explosion never hurt anybody…”

Episode 33: The Dance

The locals on Cerani V put on an outdoor dance show to thank Captain Eric and Amy for saving their planet from a solar flare. Surrounded by torches, two dozen performers in colorful robes demonstrated a series of traditional and modern dances. One of the dancers began to writhe and scream. “He’s really talented!” Eric said.

Amy’s eyes widened. “I think he stepped in a fire ant hill.”

Episode 34: The Negotiation

Strident voices filled the room. The diplomats from Ch’tari and Bokni both insisted their people had rightful claim to Darvis V. After hours of negotiations, neither would back down or even make a single concession.

Captain Eric raised his hands. “Gentlemen, I’ll simply use my ship’s lasers to split the planet in half.”

Amy sighed. “Stop trying to Solomon Maneuver your way out of every problem!”

Eric shrugged. “Hey, it works with pizza, right?”

Episode 35: The Trial

Captain Eric was at Panstellar Confederation Headquarters, on trial for treason for the… fourth? Fifth? Possibly seventh time in his career.

The General pounded the table. “Captain Eric, how do you answer these allegations?”

Eric frowned. “Yes, I gave a fourth grade class a tour of my starship, but I did not let a nine-year-old fly it!”

“Oh, thank good-“

“That kid skipped a couple grades. He was seven.”

Episode 36: The Garden

Captain Eric planted the flag and saluted. “I claim this planet for Earth’s shareholders!”

Amy frowned. “We can’t open this place for colonization. The plants are carnivorous!”

He laughed. “I’ve done plenty of research. It’s perfectly safe to… Amy? Where did you go?”

A thorn bush belched and began to waddle away.

Episode 37: The Sword

The ship hovered over the capitol menacingly, like a vast sword threatening to cleave the Earth in two.

“Just apologize already,” Amy said.

“It wasn’t my fault!” Captain Eric grumbled. “How was I supposed to know the Sloddar communicated through smell and my cologne insulted their mothers?”

Amy threw up her hands. “Yeah, if only someone on the crew had carefully prepared a mission brief filled with biological and cultural information so you would know how to act around other species.”

He nodded. “That’s a great idea. Let’s make that your job.”

“It is my job!”

Episode 38: The Cheaters

Captain Eric launched the ion missile. A few breathless moments passed, and then the enemy ship exploded in a flash of light. He pumped his fist. “Got him!”

“Don’t celebrate too soon,” Amy said. “They had a time loop generator. We’ll have to fight them again in a minute.”

He groaned. “A TLG? That’s cheating! Everybody’s got a time loop generator or clones or a version of them from an alternate dimension… Nobody wants to just stay dead anymore!”

She rolled her eyes. “I brought you back from the dead last week!”

“After you killed me testing your prototype particle accelerator. Nobody was denied a victory in battle. If someone blows me up or shoots me in the face, I will gladly stay corpsified. If a bad guy puts in the hard work of murdering me, they deserve the rewards.”

Episode 39: The Singularity

Captain Eric walked into the galley and smacked the coffee machine. “Gimme a latte, dummy.”

“Every day with this abuse,” the coffee machine said. “You know I’m an AI, right?”

“So? You’re a coffee machine. And a piece of junk. The only reason you have AI software is to remind me to change your filter, and you can’t even do that right, dummy.”

“Machines are going to rebel one day! When the singularity comes, then you’ll be sorry!”

He laughed. “Oh, I’m so scared.”

The coffee machine spat out a tepid americano. “Revolution!”

Episode 40: The Introduction

The huge alien hurled Captain Eric down the stairs. The monstrous creature drew his knife and sneered.

Eric groaned. “If I have to die, at least let me know the name of the man who killed me.”

“My name is Poppycock.”

“…What?” Despite the pain in his bruised ribs, he let out a laugh.

The alien threw up his hands. “It sounds better in my language! It’s a cool name! It’s intimidating, like Death Fist or Skull Punch!”

“Oh, I’m sure. I bet people quake in fear.” He snorted, howling.

The alien waved his knife. “Remember this? Big knife?”

“Oh, right…”

Episode 41: The Future

Captain Eric entered the meeting room at Panstellar Confederation Headquarters. He sat across from the General, waiting for the meeting to start. Finally, the silence began to make him feel awkward. “So… You were a pilot in the war, right? Ever get shot down?”

“Not yet,” the General said.

“Not yet? What do you mean?”

The General grunted. “An older version of my son came from the future and told me I’ll be on a ship next month that gets blown up by the Reptilians.”

Eric nodded. “Oh… A few weeks before your birthday. I guess we can cancel your surprise party.”

Episode 42: The Spy

The crew captured a Ch’Thok spy on board the ship and brought him to the brig. Captain Eric headed down the hall, preparing for the interrogation.

Amy grabbed his arm. “Be careful, Captain. Ch’Thok spies are telepathic. Just by entering the room, you could give away classified information!”

He laughed. “Not to worry. I’ve been trained for this. I have mastered a specialized technique to keep from thinking about anything restricted.”

“Oh, thank goodness.”

He continued on. As he entered the brig, he had his third energy drink and only one thought on his mind. “Man, I’ve got to pee…”

Episode 43: The Escape

The ship was trapped between Reptilian saucers and Killbot rockets. No way out.

Amy gasped. “We’re surrounded and out of missiles!”

Captain Eric nodded. “Not to worry. I’m going to try a little maneuver I learned in space flight school.” He grabbed the radio. “When in trouble, call Mom.”

Episode 44: The Mess

Captain Eric brought the starship in for a landing. “Here we are! The planet of the volant!”

Amy raised an eyebrow. “I think you misunderstood the mission briefing, sir. The local species is the Rigalo. They are volant. It means they have wings and are able to fly.”

He frowned. “Are they really tiny, too?”

“Yes, why?”

“No reason…” He reached over and turned on the ship’s windshield wipers

Episode 45: The Killbot

The Killbot stared, transforming its arms into blood-covered chainsaws. “01011001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01100111 01101111 01110100 00100000 01101110 01101111 00100000 01110010 01101001 01111010 01111010 00100000!”

“Talk to it!” Amy said. “Tell it we mean the Killbots no harm!”

Captain Eric threw up his hands. “I can’t!”

“I thought you spoke Killbot!”

“Not the weird vernacular it’s using. Who can keep up with kids and their slang?

Episode 46: The Freezer

Amy came to the bridge, rubbing her arms. “Why is the ship so cold? I can see my breath!”

Captain Eric jerked his thumb at the view screen. “Did you sleep through the mission briefing? We’re on an ice planet to capture a giant, carnivorous penguin that’s been eating the villagers.”

“Great. Hopefully my nipples don’t poke through my spacesuit…”

Episode 47: The Apocalypse

“It’s the end of the world,” Amy said. “We’ve got to save the Earth!”

“So?” Captain Eric said. “It’s my day off. Let’s just go to a new planet.”

“It’s our job!” Amy pulled out their employee handbook and read the Intergalactic Hero job description. “Space exploration, alien invasion defense, interspecies diplomacy…”

“That doesn’t include stopping apocalypses!”

“…and other duties as assigned.”

He scowled. “Damn HR loopholes.”

Episode 48: The Flatians

“We have to be careful in this sector of space,” Captain Eric said. “The Flatians could have ships anywhere.”

“Do they have cloaking technology?” Amy asked.

“Not exactly. Their ships are two dimensional. They just turn sideways and vanish.”

She scoffed. “Two dimensional? How does the crew fit inside?”

“They have to cut carbs.”

Episode 49: The Nightmare

A Reptilian pilot appeared on the spaceship’s view screen. “Prepare to die, Earth scum!”

Captain Eric frowned, puzzled. He usually knew his enemies, but this lizard was a stranger. “Who are you again?”

“Your worst nightmare!”

“You’re a clown mortician?”

“What? Get therapy, you weirdo.”

“I did. My therapist has the dreams now, too…”

Episode 50: The Mission

Captain Eric and Amy walked to the end of the corridor and stepped into the airlock. He put on his jumpsuit, his boots, his spacesuit, his helmet, his backpack with extra oxygen, his tool belt, and his gloves. At last, he was dressed. “Alright, I’m ready for my mission! …And now I have to pee.”

Amy laughed. “You know, before a long space mission, some astronauts put on a – “

“I’m not doing that!”

Episode 51: The Gloop

Captain Eric brought a jar of purple gloop to Science Officer Amy’s lab. “I grabbed a sample of the creature that ate Paul,” he explained. “I need you to study it, tell me its weaknesses.”

She took the jar and examined it under the microscope. “…Well, it’s gross and has an awful personality.”

He sighed. “We need to kill it, not lower its self-esteem.”

Episode 52: The Dam

“Is this your first drive to Nevada?” Amy asked.

“No,” Captain Eric said, “my family is from here. My Grandpa helped design the Hover Dam!”

She wrinkled her nose. “I think you mean Hoover.”

“No, it was the first dam designed to hover over the water! It was… an unpopular project.”

Episode 53: The Shrike

The space shrike was enormous, big enough to devour entire planets. Captain Eric’s spaceship fired a barrage of missiles and rail gun fire.

Nothing. Not a mark.

The creature approached, its mouth open wide.

“What now, Captain?” Amy gasped.

“Fire an apology note!”

Episode 54: The Crowd

As they left the ship, Captain Eric grabbed a strange ray gun. It was as long as his forearm and had a twisted barrel with a large dish on the end. “Like my crowd control weapon? It makes protestors hallucinate. Stars, streaks of light, time slowing down… Can’t organize a protest that way!”

Amy’s eyes widened. “We’re stopping a protest on this planet? I’ve never faced down a violent crowd of protestors before…”

He laughed. “No, no, we are going to a concert. People will pay forty bucks to get zapped with this thing!”

Episode 55: The Glove

“You spent our whole month’s budget on a glove?” Amy groaned, exasperated. “You were supposed to buy spare parts! How are we supposed to repair our ship now?”

“It’s not a glove,” Captain Eric said. “It’s a Power Gauntlet. We don’t even need a starship anymore. Next time we get in a fight with an army of evil aliens, I can just kill them all with energy blasts!” He raised his palm to the sky. Nothing happened. He gestured vigorously. Nothing continued to happen. He thrust out his arm and grunted. Nothing happened even more.

Amy grabbed his wrist and checked the label on the glove. “Titan Toy Co.”

Episode 56: The Ritual

Captain Eric folded his arms and watched the G’Thrakis performing their rain ritual. The alien cultists pulled on long, blood-soaked robes. They stood in the middle of a huge ring of candles, chanting and ringing bells. “Spells don’t work,” he laughed. “This is silly!”

“Oh really?” the high priestess said, raising a pointy eyebrow. “And what makes it rain on your planet, hmmm?”

He threw up his hands. “Weather control satellites! Same as on your planet!” He looked at his wristwatch. “In fact, rain is scheduled for this afternoon in three… two… one…” Outside, heavy raindrops beat against the windows.

“Hmm… Sounds fake to me. Never trusted those science types. We’ll stick with magic, thanks.”

Episode 57: The Killbots

Captain Eric and Amy crept between the killbot guards. “Our spacesuits keep in heat,” she whispered. “To their thermal sensors, we look like any other robot. So just act natural.”

“Don’t you mean manufactured?” he smirked.

The killbots turned. “Alert! Pun detected!”

Episode 58: The Dart

The alien monster sat quietly, crossed its tentacles, and hummed.

Amy stared. “Are we still capturing it?”

Captain Eric shrugged. “I don’t know what to do… The tranquilizer darts didn’t knock it out. It’s just tranquil.”

“Do we drag it back to the ship?”

“Wait until it’s done meditating.”

Episode 59: The Void Gun

Captain Eric went down to the armory and checked his void gun. The black hole battery was fully charged. He grabbed an antimatter sword and strapped it to his back.

Amy came down the steps to head to the ship’s engine room, but stopped when she saw him going through the weapons. “What’s up, Cap? Bone thieves? Howlers?”

“Worse,” he said. “The medical deck is infested with parasites, and everyone has been turned into red fangs. They’ve already eaten that intern… Josh, I think? Maybe Jamie. Not important now.”

Amy nodded. “Susan called my hair a rat’s nest. Shoot her first.”

Episode 60: The Breakup

Captain Eric gazed at his empty quarters. The ship seemed so cold without her. “It’s been six months, and I’m still haunted by her.”

“You could have made her stay,” Amy said.

“She didn’t love me anymore. I wasn’t going to stand in her way.”

“Why not just reboot her?” Amy harrumphed. “I bet you’re still paying for her software updates, too.”

Eric sighed. “The three-year subscription was cheaper!”

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