"So, Bush, tell me again what a great idea being an outlaws is," Gabby
"Oh, as I recall you were the one who suggested we rob the bank."
"Yea, well I never would have thought of it if you hadn't turned me into a
criminal. I can't believe I'm in jail!"
"We're hardly hardened criminals Gabby. Besides," Soen said looking at her,
"the Captain can't keep us locked up forever. It would just be better, if we
could somehow prove we are innocent."
"Innocent?" Gabby asked unable to restrain a smile.
"Well innocent of bank robbery anyhow. If only we could get out of this cell!
I know Baaje is out there having a great laugh at my expense."
"It's our expense, and are you sure it's Baaje? It could be anyone."
"Oh it's him all right, and I intend to prove it."
"That's going to be a little hard from in here, don't you think?"
Unfortunately, Gabby had a point. Locked up there was little she could do.
There had to be a way out of this cell! Gabby watched Soen pace back and forth
in the small cramped cell, four steps to the right, turn and four steps back to
the left. She was about ready to tell her to sit down when an object flew
through the cell window. It was a rock with something attached to it. It
appeared to be a note.
Soen picked it up and read the note aloud.
Looks like the Black Feather Gang needs a little help. Be ready co-
what is that phrase you keep using? Oh yea- get the "heck out of Dodge".
Miles and I are busting you out!
Your Mumble Servant,
"What were you saying about being stuck in jail, Gabby?"
"Soen, are you seriously telling me were planning a jail break?"
"Yes, Sundance, tonight the Black Feather Gang rides again!"
"It was a great movie! Besides, Gabby," she said with a grin that looked
absolutely wicked, "it's definitely not important right now."
Soen rode fast with Gabby, Miles and Julius in tow. They
headed out of town towards a not too distant mountain range. True to
their word the boys had broken them out of jail, although she wasn't too
sure where they had gotten that phaser from. Supposedly no weapons were
allowed on Yuma. In fact CMDR Rust had searched both she and Gabby when
he arrested them. After all, someone had used a phaser on the guards at
the bank, and if Miles and Julius had a phaser...? Well, she hoped their
one phaser would be enough against Baaje.
Gabby rode along side of Soen, feeling the wind sting her eyes. She could
also hear Soen saying something about a man that didn't have a name or
something. Gabby held her tongue though, she wasn't at all sure she wanted to
know what man Soen was talking about.
Finally they reached the mountains, and after about an hour they found what
Soen declared to be the "perfect spot for a hide out". Miles heated a couple of
big rocks with the phaser and provide them with some warmth and light. Then he
and Julius walked a few feet away and proceeded to stand guard. "So now what? We
can't hide out here forever, and we sure can't go back to town."
"We don't have to. Miles and Julius can go back and watch for Baaje. When he
turns up in town again, and he will, they can follow him back to wherever he's
hiding and then we grab him. See simple, Tontol"
"Oh well, how stupid of me not to realize all that myself," Gabby said
sarcastically. "I guess I'm just not as smart as the great Dakota Mon'Teith!
After all, I'm only a humble sidekick."
Soen gave her a dirty look. Ok, so maybe it wasn't the best plan, but after
all, she was only a beginner at all this outlaw stuff. But she was a trained
security officer, and the Andorian had supreme faith that her plan would work.
However, she still wondered a little wistfully what the Duke would do in this
It had been two days since the jail break and as yet no one
had ridden out looking for them. Soen supposed it was because CMDR Rust
knew that they would eventually have to come back to town, if nothing
else to catch the transport ship of this stupid planet. It made perfect
sense in a way. Why waste time and energy looking for us when you knew
we'd eventually come to you?
"Soen, do you think we'll ever be able to get out of this mess?"
"Of course Gabby, don't worry. Everything will be..." She trailed off as they
heard someone riding towards them. It was Julius.
"Boss, we found him. Miles is at his hide out watching him now."
"Come on Tontol" Soen yelled mounting up. "Let's go!"
One hour later they all sat staring at the cabin that Baaje was using as a
hide out. It was a good sized cabin and Baaje appeared to be alone.
"So, now what Boss?" Miles asked. "Do we go down there and drag him out?"
"Yes!" Soen snapped, then "No! Wait! I have a better idea."
A few minutes later they had the cabin surrounded, figuratively speaking of
"Ok Pilgrim!" Soen yelled at the top of her lungs, "Come on out here and
reach for the sky!"
Gabby turned to look at her. Pilgrim? Reach for the sky? Just how many old 2D
movies had Soen watched anyway?
No one came out of the cabin so Soen tried again. "You'd better listen up
hombre! Either you come on out, or I'll come in there and splatter your brains
all over the wall!"
"Really Soen, where do you get this stuff?"
"Hush Gabby!" Soen whispered furiously. "Come on Baaje! Come out here and
make my day!"
Suddenly, they heard a loud noise inside the cabin, and then came the high
pitched whine of a phaser being discharged. Finally they heard a sickening thud.
Both women ran towards the cabin and Soen flung the door open and saw Baaje
lying on the floor.
"He tried to make a break out the back. Stupid of him, huh?" Miles said.
"Darn!" Soen muttered cursing under her breath. "I was hoping he'd come out
"Why?" They all asked in perfect unison.
"Because," Soen said with a look of irritation on her face, as if it were all
elementary, "Every great western ends in a shoot out."
"Well," Julius said looking rather smugly at Baaje lying unconscious on the
floor, "It did sort of. I shot, and he's out."
LT Soen Mon'Teith was not amused.
They waited until dark and rode back into town. Soen didn't want to get
mobbed on the way and figured they would attract less attention in the dark.
Besides she had a little side trip in mind first.
They were in the saloon. Soen had decided to take the safe back. She told the
others it was to appease the captain in the hopes that maybe she'd go easier on
them. The truth be known though, she finally admitted, to herself anyway, that
she was never going to be able to open it.
Gabby watched as Miles and Julius carried the thing back in and put it where
it belonged. Just wait until the Captain, uh Miss Kitty saw this!
Soen gave the safe one last pained look and then kicked it really hard as
they turned to leave. She'd taken two steps when she heard something click.
Turning around she watched as the door to the safe swung slowly open. Soen
turned if possible an even deeper shade of blue. She flipped her light down to
look in side of it. It was empty!
Darn the woman! Soen swore under her breath. Everything she'd been through
and it was empty!
"Come on," she finally muttered let's go. "And Gabby, don't you dare laugh!"
"Me? Never!" Gabby said innocently and then proceeded to laugh all the way to
We sat in Sheriff Rust's office and listened fascinated as
Baaje "spilled the beans" about his whole operation. Gabby was amazed at
the tale he was telling. Every so often she glanced over at the Capt’n,
Miss Kitty trying to judge her reaction. Unfortunately though, she was
still in costume. Gabby started sneezing again just looking at all those
feathers. Never again she vowed. Never Ever!
Baaje told how he had discovered that the mountains on this planet were rich
in Lithirium, a fairly recent discovery valued for its ability to block most
basic sensor scans.
That's why the old man was able to keep it a secret he said. The old man he
refereed to was none other than William Allister III, the billionaire investor
rumored to have vanished without a trace. According to Baaje he didn't vanish,
he purposely tried to force everyone to leave Yuma so he could have his
discovery all to himself. For it turned out that because of the lithirium, it
had gone unnoticed on the original survey that the planet was rich in dilithium.
A very, very valuable mineral.
Baaje went on to say he doesn't know what happened to the old guy, but he
apparently never had a chance to stake a claim. Baaje, himself, admits he only
found out about the dilithium because he discovered the cabin which apparently
belonged to the old man. In it were all sorts of geological surveys that
Allister had done that told of the planet's biggest and most important secret.
That, Baaje said is why he robbed the bank, to scare everyone away and then he'd
"Well," Captain Lawrence said, "fascinating story. It should make a great
tale for you to tell while you rot in prison."
Come on Baaje," Rust said hauling him to his feet, "I've got a cozy little
cell for you. Lock him up Deputy."
"You can lock me up again Rust, but I'll get out. And I promise I'll be
back," Baaje said looking at everyone in the office in turn.
"Yea, yea! Lock him up Jones," Rust told her.
MIPN Jones came over and proceeded to show him to his new accommodations.
Soen gave her a dirty look.
"Well ladies," Captain Lawrence was saying, "what am I going to do with you?
After all you're still the Black Feather Gang. And the law is the law."
"Captain, I really feel that since they did find Baaje and uncover his scheme
we should be lenient."
"Maybe you're right Sheriff Rust, after all you know them both better than I
do. What do you suggest?"
"Well, Sir, I vote we let them go."
Gabby gasped and Soen looked to be in shock.
"You're letting us go?" Soen finally managed. "Why?"
"Well ladies, I feel you've learned your lesson. So you're free to go," he
said smiling amiably. "However you may want to take a look outside first."
Gabby followed Soen over to the window, and stared at the scene outside. All
their crew mates had gathered out front and they looked like a "lynch mob"
according to Soen.
"Uh, gee, Sheriff Rust we've reconsidered and maybe you should lock us up
"Yes," Gabby added, "the law is the law and we broke it just like the Cap…
uh, Miss Kitty said."
"Ladies, ladies," CMDR Rust said, "I insist you go right ahead and leave.
Really I'd feel terribly guilty if I locked you up now. Wouldn't you Miss
"Oh, absolutely Sheriff. Absolutely! Now run along and have a nice day," The
captain said smiling sweetly.
With that CMDR Rust proceeded to bodily shove us out the door. Then he shut
and locked it behind us. We were trapped! Gabby and Soen stared at the crowd
that had assembled out front. At first no one moved and then the whole crowd
began to move slowly forward. There was nowhere to run, and Soen was sure she
saw- was that Stan? Someone with a rope. Her whole, brief life flashed before
her eyes. The crowd was all over her now and she felt a rope being put around
her neck... Suddenly she started screaming and, set straight up in bed. She
looked around and noticed Crudeau over in her bunk looking at her. That's when
it hit her. She was on the Excalibur, in her quarters she shared with Crudeau.
It, it was a dream!
"Are you all right?" Crudeau asked.
"Uh yea, sure. Just go back to sleep Crudeau."
Soen looked around once more. Boy she thought, you've got to stop watching
all those old movies. They're giving you nightmares. Finally, once her breathing
had slowed down to normal she laid back down. Suddenly she sat back up. There
was something under her pillow. Reaching underneath, she pulled out the object.
In her hand she held a single black feather.