Characters in this post
View character profile for: Cassandra Jones
View character profile for: Dr Jade Black
View character profile for: Jamie Eastlick
View character profile for: Dr. Artemis K. Pritchard VI
View character profile for: Thomas Plisken
Posted: Aug 10, 2018, 9:23am
‘Thomas, this is a bad idea,’ said Jamie, as he sat in his chair in the Giant’s lounge, a book in one hand and a pen in the other. He had been scribbling away for the last few hours now, filling page after page with notes that he refused to let Thomas see.
‘What?’ said Thomas, putting on some dilapidated mining gear, ‘No it isn’t?’
‘When was the last time you actually had a good idea?’
‘Hey, I made that alcohol that saved us from those mushrooms, right?’
‘Okay,’ admitted Jamie ‘When was the last time you had a good idea that didn’t involve you being lucky and drunk?’
‘Right,’ replied Thomas, pointing a metal finger at Jamie in a could-have-been-threatening-but-really-wasn’t kind of way, ‘Those might have been few and far between but I’m telling you this is the only way we can safely scout the ship.’
‘We can wake Artie up? The only organic component is his brain, which, I will admit, if damaged might be a major loss to the fields of science. Although perhaps not to our fields of peace and quiet.’
‘Oh, yes. Just wake Artie up, aye?’ said Thomas mockingly, walking around to the slumped heap of Artemis’s ILIAD unit. Propped up in a corner of the ship, Artemis was still sleeping. Where his eyes might have been on his computer screens, little Zs floated up and down. And there was a little mechanical whirring every so often, as if he was snoring. Thomas then gave the robotic body a swift kick, a few bolts dropping from the metal. The snoring stopped for a moment, but then shortly resumed. ‘As sound asleep as your gran after 3 Christmas sherries.’
‘Fine,’ shrugged Jamie, slamming his pen against the page of his book, ‘But I am not coming.’
‘Yes, you are,’ said Thomas putting on the helmet.
‘Thomas,’ said Jamie, finally snapping his book closed, ‘I have been an engineer for I don’t know how many years, and I am telling you – you cannot make a broken spacesuit helmet air tight with sticky-backed plastic and super glue.’
‘Actually,’ said Thomas, looking through a large crack, ‘It was Sellotape and Gorilla Glue.’
‘Oh, that makes it perfectly okay than,’ said Jamie sarcastically.
‘Good, thanks,’ said Thomas, calling him on his sarcasm, ‘Your one is over there.’
‘I really hope I die before you,’ said Jamie, reluctantly putting on the broken, makeshift space suit.
‘Because marker the scutters use on the memorial wall has only enough ink for one of us.’
Olcdia, Over Lord of the Seven Dark Stars of the Nebulian Galactic Pool, looked upon his mighty realm and disappeared. Once, he had done so because he had no worlds left to conquer. His iron rule had stretched from one corner of the universe to the other, with no less than 30 different populated worlds and trillions of lives living under his absolute and majestic rulership. Olcdia was the most powerful, most feared, most revered, and most important figure in the universe.
But now it was gone. It had crumbled under the onslaught of his most hated enemy: Democracy.
The vile stench of the will of the people had once been confined to only the gutters of his society, spoken of only by those about to be executed. But in the last century of his millennia long rule, it had snowballed down a cliff. It seemed with each of his new attempts to crush a movement, two new ones sprung in the ruins. They bred and moved like cockroaches, eating away at everything that was so beautiful and good that he had built.
And now he was forced to flee. There might have been no more worlds left to conquer in this universe, but there would be in the next. He would have to start again, by himself. It might be difficult at first, but Olcdia was sure that any universe would learn his terrifying power. They would learn how it was he singlehandedly killed a million soldiers and took a world without breaking a sweat. His power would be feared and awesome.
Olcida climbed into his escape craft, just as he heard the calamity of his last few faithful guards fighting the revolutionaries outside his throne room. The escape craft was small and box like, just big enough to house him and just small enough to slip through a crack in the universe.
He engaged the engine and prepared for the journey. The feeling of static electricity began to build around him, making his hairs stand on end. He began to feel very heavy, like an invisible weight was weighing him down. The small computer lit up with his destination: Universe 270C.
The last glimpse of his universe that he caught was of a revolutionary leader bursting in with weapon in hand. And then, he was in a different place.
In fact, he was in a very big place. Perhaps 270C was a universe of giants. It was as if everything was 4 times larger than him. He put on a simple, air tight space suit and stepped out of his escape pod.
He was on a ship, clearly, and he seemed to be in an engine room of sorts. There was a warp drive, quite a powerful one. Perhaps he could use this massive ship as his first means of conquest? It was a bit battered, but he could fashion it into something useful.
Before Olcdia could think any further, he heard the thundering of footsteps down a corridor. For a moment he made a plan to pounce and take these intruders by surprise. It sounded like two different individuals, bipedal no doubt, and even though they were giants they would surely fall to his superior fighting skill and power. But perhaps it would be wise to observe them from a quiet place first. They might even be of use to him.
And so Olcdia slunk into a dark corner of the massive spaceship and waited for the two bipedal creatures to round the corner.
Very close and very presently…
‘Have you died yet?’ asked Thomas smugly for the 20th time, as he and Jamie trudged through the SS Eliro.
‘I wish,’ replied Jamie, looking desperately uncomfortable in his patchwork space suit.
They had ‘parked’ the Giant in the derelict’s hull. As in, right in the metal of the ship. The docking port that Giant had used last time was no longer operational, so they had made their own. To be fair, it was a small hole, and they hadn’t actually made it. Just sort of widened it.
Behind Jamie and Thomas was Artie, still fast asleep. He was hovering along, a backpack strapped to his body and a rope tied around what could have been his neck. The other end of the rope was tied around Jamie’s waist, slowing tugging the floating, sleeping Artemis through the ship.
‘The fuel link and warp drive should be just around this corner,’ said Thomas, studying the psi-scanner. ‘Wait, I’m picking up a signal.’
‘No,’ said Thomas, ‘It looks like that is on the other side of the ship. It’s a big ship, you know.’
‘Yes, thank y-‘ began Jamie, but he stopped when he heard a rustling in the corner of the room. ‘What was that?’
From out of the shadows sprang Olcdia.
‘OH MY GOODNESS,’ shouted Thomas at the top of his lungs, which luckily hadn’t burst from a vacuum. His eyes were wide, his heart beat fast, and he looked down at his feet. ‘What a cute cat!’
‘[Surrender now, you fool!]’ meowed Olcdia.
‘Why is there a cat this spaceship?’ asked Jamie, bemused and unimpressed.
‘Who cares!’ said Thomas, bending down to scoop Olcdia up in his arms.
Olcdia was, as it turned out, a cat. Grey hair and orange eyes, he was a perfectly ordinary cat. A perfectly ordinary cat who had once ruled an alternate universe. A ruler of an alternate universe that was now being cradled in Thomas’s arms.
‘Yep,’ said Jamie, moving over to one of the machines in the room, ‘Definitely not Plisken.’
‘What’s your name?’ cooed Thomas, nuzzling his helmet against Olcdia’s.
‘[Olcdia, bringer of death and rightful ruler of the Galactic Pool, you pathetic creature],’ Olcdia meowed.
‘What’s that?’ said Thomas, ‘Your name is Mog?’
‘[No, you insufferable fool],’ Olcdia meowed, ‘[Although that is a nice name].’
‘So it is settled, your name is Mog,’ said Thomas happily.
‘Right,’ said Jamie, stuffing two items into Artie’s backpack, ‘I’ve got the fuel link and the drive. Leave the cat and let’s go.’
‘Leave Mog?’ said Thomas, shocked.
‘[Leave me?]’ Mog meowed.
‘Yes, we don’t have a quarantine facility on the Giant. I would rather not die of a freaky space disease,’ explained Jamie, already walking away.
‘Don’t you worry, Mog,’ said Thomas in a whisper, ‘I won’t let the bad man do anything to you.’
‘[I thank you, kind creature,]’ purred Mog.
Thomas now had a pet cat.
27 Minute Later…
‘We are going to die, aren’t we?’ said Jamie, sitting back at the science desk in the cockpit.
‘Will you stop moaning?’ sighed Thomas, tapping away at the pilot’s controls, ‘Fortune favours the brave, you know?’
‘So does death,’ moaned Jamie, ‘The fuel link is fitted and the drive is installed.’
‘We will be fine.’
‘[We better be, human,]’ meowed Mog.
‘Why is the cat here?’ snapped Jamie.
‘It’s quarantined,’ explained Thomas, and he swivelled the chair next to him to face Jamie.
‘That’s not quarantine,’ said Jamie, ‘That’s a shoe box with ‘quarantine’ written on it in a black marker.’
‘Details, details,’ said Thomas, charging up the drive with one hand and petting Mog with the other.
‘You didn’t spell quarantine correctly.’
‘Jade said it was fine.’
‘Jade is asleep!’
‘Let’s go!’ shouted Thomas, ignoring Jamie and he slammed the controls with his fingers.
The Giant was suddenly not in space.
It’s difficult to describe what warp drive is like. It is kind of like being drunk. Although much more unpleasant. And if you find being drunk unpleasant, then imagine that. Or don’t, if you find it unpleasant.
And then the Giant was in space. In fact, it was parked neatly in a shuttle bay, ticket for the day in the windscreen, on Tuesday two weeks from now. Or more accurately, Tuesday two week from then, also called today.
You see, warp drive is like a game of darts. You are always aiming for the treble 20, that’s where you want to go. But Jamie’s bodged warp drive installation, coupled with the fact that the Giant was about as together as china in a bull pen, meant that rather than like a game of darts it had been like a game of darts while drunk. They had missed the treble 20, bounced off the wire, and into someone’s pint. If that pint was two weeks into the future. Which was now now.
It was complicated.
And the warp drive had burnt out.
‘Cass!’ shouted Thomas as he jumped down out of the shuttle and onto the pavement below, Mog perched on his shoulder. Down the street, he could see Cass and a few new companions doing something ungodly. Something that everyone dreads. Something that chills you right down to the bone. Community Service.