Interesting Company

Slowly he made his way down the dark corridor and then down a stairway into what appeared to be a very clean canteen area. There he saw a nightmare vision of a slightly annoyed looking android glaring at a young woman being attacked by what appeared to be a space zombie!

Dick Pornsak screamed like a little girl!

It didn’t take him long to realise that expelling all the air in his lungs while in a vacuum wasn’t the cleverest idea, and, to compensate, he had to take an extra long draw on the eggy earwig air from his coke cup. This made him gag and quickly turn away to soundlessly throw up his lunch.

“Oh, I say” Belvedyr stomped over towards him, looking even more annoyed “I spent months cleaning that damned floor!”

“Oh God” Dick moaned in between taking extra gulps of eggy air that threatened to overwhelm his spasming stomach again “This was a terrible idea”

In the meantime, Cass had her own problems. Startled by the sudden appearance of a hoarfrost covered space zombie, she stumbled backwards and tripped over one of the refectory chairs.

Suddenly finding herself sprawled on the floor, she screamed once more and scrambled backwards, up against a table, as the walking corpse leaned forward to offer her a hand, his face split in what he hoped was a friendly grin.

The only thing preventing Cass pulling her disruptor out and blasting hot holes in the creature was that she’d lost the weapon weeks ago, while she’d been out on the same sojourn around the ship, during which she lost all her companions.

Still leaning forward, the zombie twitched it’s fingers, indicating that she should take it’s hand.

It was hard to tell if the creature had been human or alien to begin with. It was possible, Cass supposed, that it was meant to look like this - It was a big universe after all, so maybe there was a species of aliens who just happened to look like walking corpses?

In any case, the creature was here to rescue her (or so she hoped), so she figured she'd better be polite and so, reluctantly, she took the proffered hand. Doing her best to ignore the shudder of revulsion that shot through her as it’s withered fingers closed around hers, she was helped to her feet.

“Hi” she smiled uncertainly “Can you hear me? Do you have a communicator?”

The zombie just grinned at her and gave her the thumbs up

“No, you wouldn’t have, would you”

Overcoming his fear of the walking dead in favour of securing first dibs on the hottie, Dick left Belvedyr grumbling bitterly and fumbling with his groinal attachment, while he attempted to clean the vomit off his spotless floor.

Approaching Cass, he proffered his hand and quirked his eyebrows “Well, hello there”

Cass couldn’t help but, look him up and down as he took another sip of eggy air from is coke can. Those Y-fronts really didn’t flatter. “Um, hi...” she shook his hand, more than a little relieved that he hadn’t come in for a creepy stalker-type hug instead.

“We’re the rescue party” Dick beamed

“I can’t hear you” Cass shook her head “We’re in a vacuum. Do you have a communicator?”

Dick gave her a winning smile and the thumbs up for good measure. There was no way he was letting the zombie do all the charming. “I can’t hear you” he mouthed “I haven’t got a communicator”

Belvedyr approached, vomit still dripping from the end of his groinal attachment “Are you two fucknuts really trying to say that neither of you have anything even remotely like a communicator?”

Cass looked between the three of them. On balance, she reflected, today was shaping up to be pretty weird. “So, no communicators?” she asked

“Maybe I can help with that?” said Smurf

“Oh, thank fuck.” Cass breathed “Someone normal”

“I’m the AI from Dr Pornsak’s Blue Midget”

“Good enough for me. Which one is... Did you just say porn sack?”

“Pornsak - back of the throat. He’s the big pink one in your rescue party”

“And the Y-fronts?”

“Ah, they regulate the quantum field - It’s what’s letting him walk around without a vaccsuit, but it does have the unfortunate side effect of destroying any other clothes he wears.”

Cass gave the grinning Dick a look that suggested she’d never heard anything so idiotic in all her life “Well, why doesn’t he just take them off and wear a vaccsuit?”

“He can’t”

“He can’t take them off at all?”


“How does he shit? - Wait - No, don’t answer that. I don’t want to know” she looked in astonishment between her three new companions “And the dead guy?”

“No idea. Since he hasn’t tried eating you, I think you can assume he’s not dangerous”

“You don’t know him?”

“Nah - He turned up on the other ship”

“There’s two of them?”

“There’s actually three now. Your S.O.S appears to have been phenomenally successful”

Cass grinned at the good news “Which one has the nicest quarters? I want to get the hell off this ship - Shall we go?”

“I’ll relay that back to Dr Pornsak” Smurf said, smoothly.

It was about twenty minutes later, during the walk back to where the ships were docked, that Smurf called through again.

“It seems that there may be a bit of a developing sit-” the AI suddenly cut off, leaving Cass to exchange a worried look with Dick.

“What was that about?”

“Everybody down on the floor” a voice yelled over the comms channel in Trade, as a squad of heavily armed humanoids in armoured vaccsuits moved to surround them “You’re all under arrest for desecrating a Hegemony war grave”

Cass raised her hands “I surrender”


They’re waving guns around, shouting at us in a language that we don’t speak very well (or at all?), and want to clap us in irons on their ship

Chances are they have already got to Pickman and O'Malley (or have they?)

What happens next? - over to you

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