Tonight, courtesy of Lasers & Feelings by John Harper, we form the intrepid crew of the Raptor, sent to Epsilon 5 to investigate an incursion by Cyber Zombies. Before we set off, Mayre, our sexy engineer intent on meeting equally sexy aliens, has to temporarily repair the thingamajig using bobby pins until we could get to a Market World to purchase a new one. On Epsilon 5, Dr. Worm, PhD, a bemused alien explorer hoping to see something truly new, encounters a local farmer who claims they’d held off the Zombies by building a makeshift wall, but learn that the Zombies are working down inside the mines. Ship’s doctor Olivia Price, showing off, captures a Zombie, names it Aaaaagatha Aaaanderson, cuts it open, and then works together with Mayre to rewire Agatha’s brain. Mayre’s succeeds so wildly that not only is Agatha’s desire for brains gone but she was also no longer contagious and in love with the engineer.
Dr. Worm and Doc Price interrogate the awakened Agatha and discover her obsession with Mayre and continued hunger for cybernetics, like those Mayre has otherwise kept secret. Agatha leads dangerous soldier Major Talon Rune and Miku the android pilot who wants to replace incapacitated Captain Darcy, deep into the mine tunnels to where the Zombies are working. When they turn to attack, Talon collapses the tunnel on the Zombies without cutting the team off from the deeper tunnels or the surface.
In a flashback, the team visits the Market on Epsilon 5 in search of a new thingamajig. Instead, the meet the Bobby Brothers who are profiteering in their sale of bobby pins. The threats and counter-threats between the two sides eventually lead to promises for leniency and a search for their missing child, a picture of whom shows a much younger Agatha, in exchange for all the bobby pins Mayre may need to keep the Raptor flying.
Back in the tunnels, they find a strange creature as reality begins to warp and change as they discover a quantum anomaly at the center of the Zombie horde. Talon drops a grenade on the creature and the crew all find themselves together on the bridge of the Raptor with Captain Darcy awakened, but Dr. Worm quickly realizes that this is the creature taking the Captain’s form. Darcy admits that his psychic infection has allowed him to create the Zombies, which he wanted to unleash on Epsilon 5 as revenge for having his criminal empire there taken from him. The crew realizes they must destroy Darcy’s body, and when they do, the tunnel collapses, the quantum anomaly collapses, and the Zombies are restored to their former selves. In the epilogue, however, the Bobby Family swear vengeance on the crew of the Raptor.
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