Space Cowboy

“Are we there yet, we’ve been flying for hours?” said Lando.

“Relax we’re almost there. We would’ve been there already, but someone blew out one of the engines making a trip to the other side of the solar system.” grumbled Jack.

Jumping of the couch Lando said, “You’re still holding that against me? I told you I thought the bounty was 100,000 woolongs not 1000. That decimal could’ve fooled anyone. “

Pinching his eyebrows Jack says, “A grown man can’t tell the difference between a comma and decimal,” Jack throws Lando his jacket, “come on we’re about to jump out of warp space.”

Jack and Lando jump out of warp space near the now inhabited Venus, they dock their ship, the Jukebox, in at Venus’ spaceship garage and take a shuttle down to one of Venus’ most popular casino, Heavy Hitters.

“Our target is here?” asked Lando.

Jack looks around surveying all the people and says, “Yea he should be, but this place is packed more than usual so we can’t just walk in guns blazing.”

Lando smirking says, “You know that’s not my style anyway let me see his picture again,". Jack pulls out his phone and shows Lando the hologram of their target. “What’s his bio?”

Jack says, “The guy were looking for is Micky Robinson, an ex-criminal who used to work for a small organized crime group known as Neptunes. Micky got caught selling one of the galaxy’s most dangerous  drug known as blue tomale. Once he got caught he spilled the beans about his organization to save his own skin. He alone was the cause for more than 15 members arrest. You could say that the Neptunes weren't too happy about that, hence that’s why we’re here.”

“I hate dealing with rats.”

“They really want this guy he's got 15 million woolong bounty on his head.  He's probably under witness protection so don’t do anything stupid when you see him. And make sure he's alive this time please.”

Lando nods and the two of them split up and begin their search. It took them no longer than 20 minutes to find their man. He finds Paul at a poker table drunk and boasting about his winnings.

Lando calls Jack and says, “I found our boy. I could see why they put a hit on his head.”

Jack says, “ Alright stay there I’ll be there in a sec.” Lando hangs up and walks over to the table and sits next to Paul.

Paul yells, “ We got new blood over here now things are getting interesting!”

Lando smiles and says, “ Things about to get a whole lot more interesting in just a minute. So Micky Robinson you come here often? Wouldn't mind spending the rest of my days hiding here.”

“H- how did you know my name?”

“Oh I wouldn't worry about that. Right now the only thing you need to worry about is coming with me, I have a few friends who would like to have a word with you.” Lando then taps his pistol against his groin. “ And don’t get any bright ideas either wouldn't want things to get messy.”

“Who was it, was it the Neptunes? If it was just kill me now I knew I couldn't run forever. At least I spent my last few days having fun. ”

“Oh well that’s the things I blow the bounty if I blow you away.”

Paul stares at Lando. Paul then flips the table on him and starts running. Lando gets the table off of him and starts chasing Paul.

Lando calls Jack and says, “He’s on the move you see him?”

Jack sees Paul running with Lando chasing him and says, “Yeah, gonna try and cut him off, don’t lose him” Jack tries to run ahead, but is slowed down by a crowd of gamblers.

“Where the hell are you I’m losing him?”

“He didn’t pick the most spacious area to get caught.”

“Hold on I got an idea.” Lando pulls out his gun and shoots it at the ceiling. Everyone in the casino starts running for the exit.

“What was tha… you know what I don’t even want to know I’m going out the back,” said Jack.

Paul is pushed and shoved by numerous people as he tries to make his way outside. Paul makes it outside and grabs a random woman running out the casino and pulls out a gun and puts it to her head.

Paul sees Lando and yells, “Leave me alone, let me walk away and she won’t get hurt!”

Lando stops and points his gun at Paul.

“Didn't you hear me leave me alone or else I’m gonna shoot this lady!”

“That would be a real shame, but I’m not part of a charity organization sorry lady today just isn't your lucky day.”

Woman flails and screams. “You son of a bitch! I hope you go to hell! Get this man off of me!”

Paul points the gun at Lando and yells, “You cowboy scu…”

Lando shoots Paul’s gun out of his hand and shoots Paul in the shoulder. Paul lets go of the woman to tend to his wound. Jack shows up mere seconds after the confrontation and handcuffs Paul. The woman asks, “What did he mean when he called you cowboy, who are you?”

Lando says, “Just a humble bounty hunter ma’am.”

Jack and Lando walk Paul to their ship. Once inside they tie Paul to a chair and tape his mouth and put him in the storage room. They power up their ship and type in the coordinates to Triton, one of Neptune’s moons, and take the warp gate.

Jack begins to cook food while Lando takes a shower. After thirty minutes they both sit down on the couch and eat.

“What you make this time big guy,” asks Lando

Jack says “Chicken stew, we’re kinda low on chicken so there isn’t as much in it as usual.”

“Uhh Jack, there is no chicken”

“Relax it still tastes the same.”

“I don’t think that a stew without chicken would qualify as chicken stew.”

“And why doesn't it.”

“Because there is no chicken!”

"Well we start to miss out on things when you're broke."

"What happened to the 1000 woolong reward we got for that last guy?"

"That's repair money for the warp drive you broke. Just relax, once we turn this guy in we'll have enough money for all the chicken you want."

“We better I’m tired of sitting around with nothing to eat.”

“One more thing I heard what you said back there about the lady did you really mean it, did you?”

Lando scratching his head replies, “Well to tell you the truth I really don’t know. You know we can’t waste our time with every single person that gets in the way. But then again I don’t like being the cause of an innocent person’s death. I usually don’t think about it.”

“I guess I can’t blame you. Next just don’t be so convincing you had me scared for a minute there.”

Lando laughs, “You think too much about the world. You gotta learn to just go with the flow with things. It’ll solve most of your problems,” he gets up pats Jack on the shoulder and asks, “How’s our plant doing?”

Jack says, “He’s in the storage room, he might need to use the bathroom. You think you can handle that?”

Lando walks towards the storage room says, “I was never good at changing diapers so don’t be upset if he’s messy.”

Lando walks in the storage room and finds Paul asleep. He taps Paul’s cheek and says, “Hey buddy time to wake up.”

Paul wakes up and tries to talk, “Mmmmm Mmmmm.”

“Hold on someone put tape on your mouth,” says Lando as he begins to rip the tape of Paul’s mouth.

Paul screams, “You better let me you bastard! I know people, people like you’ve never seen! These guys will flip your sh…”

Lando kicks Paul in the face and makes him fall on his side. “You know you talk too much Paul,” said Lando.

Paul spits out blood laughs, “You still don’t get it, you think a guy who snuffed out most of the Neptunes would go without protection. I got the galaxies finest witness protection program coming for you. You see it’s a policy that those under the program are required to have tracking devices put under their skin. Sure I lose some privacy, but it pays off when hot shots like you try to mess with a guy like me.”

“Like I said you talk too much,” said Lando as he kicks Paul in the face again.

Lando walks out the storage room and tells Jack the news, “We might have a small problem on our hands. Turns out our guy was really under witness protection and has been giving our position to these guys once he got on the ship.”

Jack sighs and says, "Damnit why can't we just get one easy job?"

"How long do you think we have before they get here."

"If they've been tracking him since we left then not that long. Go power up the Little Lady. We’re gonna wait for them at Jupiter.”

Lando nods his head runs towards his hangar gets in his ship and powers up the Little Lady.

Lando radios Jack and says, “I’m in, open the hangar doors.”

Jack replies, “I just picked up 3 ships on the scanner they’re coming out of warp.”

Three small fighter ships appear out of thin space and barrage the Jukebox with lasers. Jack trying to maneuver the Jukebox yells, “The Jukebox is taking hits you gotta get them off of me.”

“I’m on it,” says Lando as he positions the Little Lady behind one of the attackers and fires on the it. The pilot tries to maneuver his ship to dodge Lando’s attack, but is too late. He hits his fuel tank and the ship explodes. “I think that got their attention,” says Lando.

“Don’t get too excited, you got two on your tail,” says Jack.

“I’m going to have to get a little fancy with these guys. I’m gonna try and lure them to Ganymede you to the warp gate and get out of here and I’ll catch up.”

“That’s way too dangerous Ganymede is way too populated for you to have a dogfight on. Go to one of Jupiter’s uninhabited moons.”

“Too late already I’m too close to change moons now. Worry about our bounty and get to the warp gate now!”

“I’ll wait at Triton’s space station you better make it back.”

Lando laughs, “If I didn't know any better sounds like you’re gonna miss me.”

“Don’t get ahead of yourself I just need you alive so you can pay me back the damage you did to my ship. So try not to get shot down.”

Jack takes the warp gate and starts his trip to triton. Lando and his 2 pursuers begin to enter Ganymede's atmosphere. One of his pursuers lines him up and makes an attempt to lock a missile on him. He maneuvers by turning off his engine and pulls up. He slows down dramatically causing both his pursuers to fly past him. He then flips the engine back on and lines up one of his pursuers and fires at his wing causing his plane to flip over and plummet to the moon’s surface. Lando attempts to do the same to the last pursuer, but he maneuvers just in time to dodge a fatal hit. Lando then dives down causing his last pursuer to get on his tail. He flies through one  Ganymede's canyon and shoots a missile at the top of the canyon. He then turns on the afterburners to dodge the falling debris, but his pursuer isn't so lucky and is crushed by the debris. Lando flies out the canyon and back into space and makes his trip Triton.

Jack jumps out of warp space and docks in at Triton’s space station. Jack then goes to the storage room to check on Paul and finds him crying.

Paul asks, “Why do you people do this.”

Jack shocked to see him crying says, “It’s a way of life. Don’t know what else I would do without it to tell you the truth.”

“That’s what I thought when I was part of the Neptunes. I had it all fast cars, nice clothes, the big house. Life was good, but then I met this woman about 7 years ago. It didn't make since she was different, she was innocent. She knew I was part of the Neptunes, but she never liked it when worked with them. She always begged for us to run off to some distant planet and get married. I wanted to, but I told her I couldn't. I didn't want them to find her through me so I told her to runoff on by herself.”

“So how’d you end up on Venus?”

“I found out she had a girl and that they were both on Mars. So I went there to see them. They both looked beautiful, but they were having money issues. I started dealing more and gave them almost all of it. I finally got caught and decided it was time to leave the Neptunes. I knew they weren’t going to just let me leave so I made a deal that if they let me go I’ll tell them everything I know about the Neptunes. A few of my good friends got locked up, but it was worth it. I was free and I went back to mars to go live with them. Only thing was she found a new man.”

“Wow did all that work just for her to turn around and marry a new guy.”

“She claims that I wasn't giving her enough money and that she needed him to help put food on the table. She wouldn't even let me see my daughter. So I went to Venus got drunk and decided to live the rest of my days being drunk and having fun.”

“That’s some heavy shit.”

Lando comes out of warp drive and beeps in on the radio, “I made it back how’s our plant doing.”

Jack walks to the bridge of the ship and opens the hangar door for Lando. “He’s doing alright. He uuhh told me some things kinda making second guess our decision.”

“Awww fuck he told you a sob story didn't he come on big guy don’t get soft on me. We went through a lot of trouble for this guy.”

“Ehhh I guess you’re right.”

Lando walks in and asks, “You ready.”

Jack nods.

“Alright then lets get our boy in.”

`Jack unties Paul from the chair and puts him in cuffs. Jack and Lando walk Paul off the Jukebox and take a shuttle Triton. It’s not long before their shuttle touches down.

Paul asks, “Before I die can I ask one favor?”

Jack says, “Sure what is it.”

“Can I call my daughter to see how’s she’s doing?”

Jack looks at Lando. Lando rolls his eyes and says, “Sure why not.”

He hands Paul his phone and dials the number for him. Lando and Jack wait outside the shuttle until Paul comes out.

Pauls says, “Thank you.”

Lando replies, “Time to cash you in.”

They walk to the Neptunes headquarters. One of the guards recognizes Paul and leads them to the main room.

“Mr. Corello your guest have arrived,” said the guard

The guard leaves and closes the door behind him. Corello turns around in his chair and says, “Gentlemen come in. You can call me  I see you found my old friend.”

Lando says, “Yea and we went through a lot of trouble to get him too.”

“I bet you did, but I assure you it was all worth it. 15 million woolong it was right?”


Corello walks over to Paul, pats him on the face and says, “And he seems to be alive and healthy. Very good I’ll have the money in your account right away.”

“Thanks. Let’s go Jack.”

“Oh no you can’t leave yet, you’re gonna miss the show. You see Paul here has done a horrible thing my organization and now he owes me a long and painful death.”

“Ehh I think I’ll pass. Not a fan of watching someone get tortured”

“Don’t like the sight of blood huh? Very well you two enjoy your trip and don’t spend the money all at once.

Lando and Jack turn around and begin to leave the room. Just as they get too the door Jack’s phone beeps.

Lando asks, “What is it?”

Jacks replies, “Got another bounty.”

“On who and how much.”

“It says 50 million woolong for leader of the Neptunes Joseph Corello, wanted dead or alive.”

Lando and Jack both turn around, pull out their pistols and point them at Corello.

Corello asks, “What the hell are you guys doing.”

“Someone just put a hefty bounty on your head and we’re about to take it,” says Lando

“You think my men are going to let you just walk out of here with me?”

“Of course not, but you’re lucky enough be wanted dead or alive.”

Jack says, “If you don’t mind Mr. Corello we’ll be taking Paul too.”

“What kind of people are you,” asks Corello.

“Just a couple of humble bounty hunters is all,” says Lando.

Comments (3)

Teion Ensley-Ellerbe (Student 2015)
Teion Ensley-Ellerbe

I like the idea, it could be a bit more fleshed out. It made me think of "R.I.P PD" but in space. You could have added in some comedic element to take away from the overall serious nature. The Sci-Fi was pretty good as well.

Richard Yoeun (Student 2015)
Richard Yoeun

The story reminds me of an old show that use to come on. The name Lando brought back some awesome memories and the way you have it like Cowboys with the bounty and Space integrated is well put. The way i I seen the science fiction come into play on the story was with the whole "Space Cowboys" theme. It's a thing I've seen before, and coming from one who watches a lot of old time cartoon about space cowboys, I would say you did really well in making the story seem real. Like when Jack and Lando go search for Paul in a casino. The way you took the reader on that little situation that happened was well. I like the way you ended the story because it makes me wonder what happens to Corello after they delivered Paul. Making the decisions they made at the end was something I did not see coming. Bravo.