Marshall Weisman didn’t bother perusing the files. He’d been tracking this maniac down for years now. The poor looking gent in the outer rings had no excuse, no recourse. It was clear to him and any other officer of the Outer Planetary Patrol. Weisman barged into the room watching the humble act flying across the fugitives’ face as he slammed the door.

“Think you’re one slick pony, don’t you, Doberson?” The officer said as he dropped into a seat in front of the cuffed vigilante.

Carl Doberson was a rough-looking sort, but he had conviction in his eyes. He looked healthier than the others that Weisman had run down, but in cold space, the odd ones came in all varieties. He sat at the single table with a mug of coffee before him. Doberson looked sternly at the investigator and growled. “I am not a criminal.” The words hung in the air for several seconds before he continued with a sigh. “I’m just trying to protect my family.”

“That’s a cute tale, Doberson. Is that the one you’re going with this time? Let me spell it out for you.” Weisman stood and inched closer to the man, moving beyond the range of the interrogation microphone. “Seven counts of theft from Cruise ship vessels. Two of them royalty! Five counts of Aggravated Assault against guardsmen, some of which involved deadly weapons. And I’m not even getting into the charges of resisting arrest.” As Weisman glared into the face of his enemy, he was sickened by the debauchery of the fiend.

“Those people don’t need all that food!” Doberson protested. “My family and I travel on a Class B skimmer. Do you honestly think we hold enough food to survive out here alone? I’m not a criminal, I’m a good husband and father.” Doberson was pleading with his eyes and Weisman hit him across the jaw hard. Shaking off the sting on his fist as the man recoiled and lowered his head.

“You make me sick! Your lies won’t work this time Doberson. We’ve got you nailed for all these counts, and you’ll be lucky if I don’t stack up those assaults to attempted murder. Now tell me where your ship is! We know you have stolen goods aboard. Pirating is…”

“I am not a space pirate! Why do you people insist on using that term! Have you seen space pirates? Have you? They are vile, they smell and they don’t even speak whole sentences!”

The officer raised his hand to strike the criminal again, but Doberson recoiled in time to ward off the attack. Marshall wasn’t willing to push his luck even though he’d already disconnected the audio and video surveillance devices in the room. He turned around to pace off his anger and hooked his thumbs in his pockets, “Doberson, you’re a real piece of work. You must be the most pathetic space pirate I have ever seen. Most pirates are proud of—gurh!”

The officer hit the floor. Behind him, Doberson held the mug, now shattered, in his cuffed hands. He went fishing for the keys from the Marshall’s pocket as he muttered to only himself now, “I said… I’m not a fucking space pirate.”