"Master?" The Chimopteran waited at attention for further orders.

"Yes." It took one enormous stride for Maximillian to cover the distance to the main tactical display. "Launch in thirty seconds. Send the signal to the droid's machine mind to expect a friendly human delegation on arrival. It is to spend as little time as possible dealing with their inane formalities."

"Yes master," the Chimopteran saluted, but did not leave Maximillian's side.

"What is it?"

"The ah…" O'Ronry struggled for a diplomatic way to bring up the subject of the bounty hunter. "The…independent contractor has also requested permission to launch his vessel."

Maximillian swung his gaze dramatically towards O'Ronry, the twin slits concealing his optic sensors flashing red with menace.

"Explain the maintenance difficulties that we are experiencing with the outer bay door."

"B-but master, we ah…we aren't experiencing-"

A huge gauntleted hand fell heavily on O'Ronry's shoulder.

"Explain the maintenance difficulties," Maximillian tightened his grip and was pleased to hear the Chimopteran's shoulder dislocate, "that we are experiencing with the outer bay door."

"Ahh!" Cried O'Ronry. "Y-yes master."

The Chimopteran trotted towards the command and control center where a number of other uniformed Chimopterans huddled around the main control banks. A few cast nervous glances towards Maximillian. With grim satisfaction he pretended not to notice.

Several seconds later the bridge deck shuddered beneath his metal-shod feet as the drop torpedo containing the mimetic hunter blasted from tube six. The drop torpedo was a sub-light cloaking torpedo nearly invisible and shielded from even the most sophisticated detection methods. It was normally used for stealth raids, and was exorbitantly expensive, but Memnoc had assured Maximillian it was in the best interest of trade relations with the humans. Maximillian had not even bothered requesting an atmospheric flash warhead be included "just in case".

Whatever it took. Whatever humiliating lengths he had to go to in order to placate Memnoc and the humans. It would all be worth it if he was the one that finally brought down the nefarious Linus Guthry.

– Zack "Geist Editor" Parsons (@sexyfacts4u)

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