Tales of Timmy Tim – Episode 1: Granddad’s Portrait

This is a short story series I’ve been working on. It’s a story about a cook, Timmy Tim, who comes from a long line of fearsome space pirates, and his sidekick, Slink. It’s meant to be a fun and humourous little bit. It was also inspired by the 90s game, VGA Planets.

1

The occasion called for baked apples and fresh roe, garnished with asparagus, string beans, and carrots. It was exquisite, refined, and no well-to-do, highfalutin aristocrat ever disapproved of it. The galley was empty, almost silent, except for the tapping of a chef knife on a wooden cutting board.

“Slink, I’ve outdone meself. Capt’n will say, ‘Well done, Timmy. Well done, Timmy! Ten shares o’ loot for ya. No, twenty shares of loot for ya!’”

“Twenty shares would get me that new soap.”

“This is the one, Slink.”

“Yes, Timmy, it’s the one.”

“Today, we make our mark.”

“Today, we make our mark, Timmy.”

“Riches and glory.”

“Riches and – “

“Slink.”

“Sorry, Timmy. It’s just: you’ve out done yourself.”

“I know that. Now listen! If you want to bring out the flavour, slice ‘em end to end, like this.”

He chopped off the tips of the beans and halved them end to end. His hands were steady, graceful, and as precise as a surgeon cutting into a chest wall.

“Timmy, what if he doesn’t like it?”

“Slink.”

“I mean, does the ambassador like blue spadefish?”

“That’s enough, Slink.”

“What if he gets sick?”

“Slink!”

Slink was just a lowly deckhand; he washed pots and pans, the ship’s hull, and the occasional dead body. He only worked a few hours after midnight, so the rest of the time, he sat in the galley and watched Timmy cook.

The intercom bonged and carried the voice of the ship’s computer, “Attention, crewmembers: Ship approaching. All crew standby. Ship approaching.”

Timmy and Slink pressed their faces against the window and watched the ships dock in the darkness of space.

“Slink, that there’s a cruiser, as strong and strurdy as most Federation vessels.”

“It’s quite big.”

“The ambassador’s arrived; finally, he’s our way out.”

“That would be lovely, Timmy.”

“It won’t be long now: I’ll be on the bridge makin’ Granddad proud.”

Not far from the window, in a prominent position on the wall, there was a painted portrait of a grizzled man. He wore the crimson uniform of the Bands, held two knives on his lap, and over his left shoulder was an aerodynamic spaceship zipping past stars and planets. Timmy stared into the unwavering eyes of his granddad. A reverent minute passed before he pressed two fingers to his lips and placed them on the painting.

After the cook returned to meal preparations, Slink took a turn to stare at the painting. He glanced back at Timmy, shuffled his feet, and returned his gaze to the penetrating eyes of the depicted pirate. Once more, he looked at Timmy, then back at the portrait, and then hesitantly spoke.

“Timmy?”

“Yes, Slink.”

“Did your granddad cook much?”

“Course not; he had a ship to captain.”

“I suppose. I suppose. I suppose you don’t get a reputation like that by frying fish.”

Timmy glared at Slink. Before he spoke, the galley door swung open, and in barged a man wearing an eye patch and a long crimson overcoat.

“Cap’n!” exclaimed Timmy.

“Lads, up front!” the captain commanded.

Timmy and Slink scrambled forward, stumbled over each other, and made a frantic attempt to stand at attention.

The captain scrutinized the two crewmen. He stopped in front of Slink, pursed his lips, and asked, “Who are you?”

Timmy answered, “He’s Slink, sir; he cleans the dishes, and he manages other bits here and there. Don’t worry, sir; I’ve cooked up me best plate yet: baked apples and fresh roe, garnished with aspa…”

As his superior drew uncomfortably close, Timmy stiffened, his knuckles whitened, and he was overwhelmed by the scent of fermented fruits. Without his slouch, Timmy was two heads taller, so the captain gripped the cook’s smock and pulled his face to meet his own.

“The Dread Pirate Timaeus Tim was an inspiration to us all, his father less so, and then you. We need more than your best. The Feds are paying us a fortune to wine, dine, and transport the ambassador. The wining and dining had better go well; is that understood?”

“Yes, sir,” Timmy nodded.

Another crewman entered, opened wide the galley doors, and announced, “The Ambassador of the Amphibious Autocracy, Archduke Ardrick Alleyworth.”

The story continues in Episode 2: Baked Apples and Fresh Roe.


If you are interested in reading more Tales of Timmy Tim, episodes are released monthly at My Patreon. – TS

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ACTION NEWS: Inside The Cognitium War

Hello, good evening, and welcome to this special edition of Planets Magazine Action News. I’m Jim Chancellite, coming to you Live! from the Cognitium War!

As always in these special reports, there’s tremendous amounts of excitement here at Broadcast Center. We’re joined tonight by military expert Col. Tolliver South, late of the Federation Navy, who is able to be with us live in the studio.

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Founder’s Landing, Day Two, 0100 (Delivery Time)

Airlock On Delivery Vessel, Helmet On

I was standing just inside the hatch, looking down the barrels of two hand disruptors, each held by an identical crewman. But I was in combat armor; no need for a little thing like that to intimidate me.

“Oh, please!” I said through the suit’s speaker. “It’d take you half an hour to burn through my armor, and that’s if I was polite enough to stand still. Why don’t you put those silly things down and let me finish my delivery?”

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Founder’s Landing, Day Two, Past Midnight

Suit In High Orbit; Strong Stench Of Terror

Gradually, I came out of it to see the face of Founder’s Landing tumbling overhead. A little at a time it started coming back to me; I was… I was… cargo?

OSTRICH TO CARGO, DO YOU COPY, OVER — OSTRICH TO CARGO…

Even as I clicked my mike in response, it came to me I’d been hearing them for a while. Suddenly, I realized where I was and what was happening. I’d passed out after all. I checked the timer — no, still on schedule. Thank the gods.

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Founder’s Landing, Day One, 2350

Airlock In High Orbit; Tinny Taste Of Adrenaline

“You about ready?” Eddie asked. “Your window’s coming up, in about–“

“FIVE MINUTES!” Sanchez’s voice blared over the intercom. Eddie grimaced.

“Yeah, in about five minutes or so. Give or take. Just, you know, kinda guessing at it.” He helped with one of the clamps, checked the holster, and handed me the case. “We’ll be watching for you at the rendezvous in ninety minutes. Don’t miss us, or it’s a long walk back home.”

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Founder’s Landing, Day One, 2325

High Orbit; Smell Of Scorched Insulation And Ozone

Molly’s betrayal hurt, and that’s the truth of it. It was still too close to think about.

But everything else — that Confederate, and then Intel getting involved. The riots, and the raids, and all the explosions… and my own job: moving money secretly offworld, without government knowledge. It all added up, and in a way I didn’t like.

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Founder’s Landing, Day One, 2310

Deserted Mansion, Wrong End Of A Blaster

“They call that desertion. Barring Imperial instructions to the contrary, I’m here ’till I die.”

At that she smiled, and it was lovely indeed. “I’d be only too pleased to help you with that, Martin… dearest Martin,” she said… and pulled the trigger.

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Founder’s Landing, Day One, 2255

Deserted Mansion, Overgrown Grounds

“Well, now; as I live and breathe. Dear Martin it is, and no mistake! And how are you this fine evening?”

Queen Molly in person. That was all I needed. No, seriously; it was: If she had been late, or if my note to her hadn’t arrived, it would have screwed up my plan. Not badly, but enough.

I put on a winning smile and made my best leg. “Milady Queen! Delightful to see you, as always — truly delightful! I do hope you’ve brought some friends with nice strong backs?” I could just see them moving behind her in the murky night. “Excellent. Do come this way.”

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Founder’s Landing, Day One, 2245.

Tunnel,Dark And Musty

I bet she had a pretty smile, but if so she was saving it for someone special and I didn’t qualify. I tried anyway. “The way I see it, you can hide in the tunnel and hope the cops don’t stumble over it, or you can stay in the District until tomorrow and sneak back into the Zone after all this settles down. I know some people–“

“I just bet you do,” she snapped. “I’ll find my own way, thanks!” And then she started walking — the wrong way, back toward the club. I almost let her go, but good sense prevailed.

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