Back to The Aliens of the Flaming Red Sun

A New Problem, the other SubmarineEdit

Purple was feeling the controls that would make the boat dive while Blue had drawn his tentacles into a ball with fright at the back. Was there time to pick up the electric generator? A voice came over the communication system,
“It’s all right! You can turn the lights back on, it’s me, Brownie and I’ve brought a friend.”
Blue and Purple both gasped with relief, Purple put on a small light in his boat but was careful as the battery was nowhere near fully charged. As the other sub approached Purple could tell that one was much less powerful than his baby and the engine wasn’t running smoothly at all. Finally the other boat was alongside his, the old tramp came over and announced,
“We’re in luck, my friend here will exchange your boat for this one. “
Purple pointed out that didn’t look like a good exchange, but the tramp reminded him that the master’s submarine was being hunted and their enemies had broadcast its description far and wide.
“You’ll be safer in a boat that your enemies don’t expect.” the ‘friend’ added from the other boat.
“What’s in it for you?” Purple asked raising a tentacle suspiciously.
The ‘friend’ wriggled his tentacles craftily and told them he had contacts who could alter the master’s sub till its owner or regular driver wouldn’t recognize it. Purple felt sad about what would be done to the beautiful sub that had carried them so far. Still he could see the logic of what the criminals said so he went over and examined the other boat.
“This rusty old tub is no better than those cheap wrecks the master gets to carry low ranking servants.” Purple thought,
“The engine isn’t as good as I’d like but it’ll run.” Purple told them after he’d finished checking the new boat, Purple didn’t say what he felt, instead he just asked the tramp, “Couldn’t you have got a faster boat? We’re in danger every moment that we’re here.”
“This is the very best boat that I could get at short notice.” Brownie answered and held his tentacles in a way that should have suggested disarming honesty. But secretly the old tramp put a tentacle into his disheveled robes and felt the tokens the ‘friend’ had given him when he didn’t insist on a better boat. Brownie looked forward to what he could buy with all those resources. Could Purple trust that tramp? Brownie’s friend looked tough and desperate might well be armed, so Purple felt unsure aboutrefusing.

The three fugitives got into the old tub, at least there was no passenger section so they were all together as equals. Meanwhile Brownie’s ‘friend’ sped off in the much better submarine and made his way downstream to the sea. Then the ‘friend’ set off fast towards the illegal haunts where they bought stolen craft. The criminal knew hunters were looking for the powerful boat that Purple had driven and that he was now driving. He headed for open water well away from the coast as he could be seen if he stayed too near the shore.

The ‘friend’ started vibrating his tentacles in a way that suggested extreme derision.
“What sort of an engineer was that?” the criminal thought, “He didn’t even notice that there’s no generator in the broken down sub I’ve given him. He didn’t even notice that I discharged the battery in that sub just before I handed it over to him. They’ll be stranded near the cave so I’ve got time to sell this good submarine off before I tell the slave catchers where the fugitives are and collect the reward for finding them.”

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