Thursday, December 15, 2011

Part I, IXX

  ABP’s, Asteroid Belt Passageways, are very important to space travel.  Basically, they are tunnels that go through the asteroid belts surrounding each sun.  Without the ABP’s, interplanetary travel would be practically impossible.
  Space squids, the nastiest creatures in the galaxy, find dismantling spaceships a very rewarding thing to do.  Space squids usually inhabit asteroid belts, and if one finds its’ way into an ABP the result would be disastrous.  ABP’s are manned, since they have to keep moving to stay in the same spot.  They are also heavily armored, to discourage space squids from entering.
  The fact that a space squid had gotten in to an ABP meant at least four people were already dead.  Possibly more, if the captain of the ship to discover the squid hadn’t seen it until it was too late.
  Approximately five movies later we reached the ABP in question.  The squid had disassembled the guardhouse completely.  It was a sad sight.  The squid was waiting for fresh meat just inside the passageway.  We sat there and looked at it for a good fifteen minutes, wondering how to get it out.
  “What weapons do we have again?” I asked.
  “Nothing big enough to kill it,” Rimana answered, glaring at the squid.
  “Are the prods pointy?” Carter asked.
  “Yes, why?”
  “Because if we lured it out, we could have it chase us around a bit, and then flip the ship around and stab it,” he explained.
  “What are the odds that that would work?” Twitchy asked.
  With Batnter at the helm, not very good, I thought to myself.  Rimana looked at me, her eyes glowing.
  “If Velose were at the helm; very good odds,” she said.
  “Are you saying I can’t do as good as her?” Batnter asked, offended.
  “Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying,” she told him.  “Our captain happens to be the best helmsman in the entire galaxy.  It’s nothing against you personally.”
  “Who decided that she’s the best in the galaxy?” Batnter demanded.
  “Harvey Macbeth,” Rimana said evenly.
  “As in, the most wanted pirate, like, ever?” Batnter asked.
  “No, the one that’s a dentist on Heshq,” she snapped.
  “How do you know that?” I asked her, ignoring Batnter’s comment.  She looked at me again, her eyes glowing even more.
  “I know everything.”
  How do you know Macbeth? I asked her mentally.  How do you know I know him?  I shook my head.  “So do we have a plan yet?” I asked everyone in general.
  “Yes,” Twitchy said.  “You and Batnter switch places, the cat angers the squid, we’ll pretend to run away in order to lure it out, and then we’ll suddenly flip around and Rimana will stab it with our electrified antennas in an area that will hopefully be vital.”  It was hard to tell if she was being sarcastic or not.  I decided she was.  I also decided to ignore it.
  “Good plan, any objections?” I asked perkily.
  “None at all,” Batnter said, smiling.  He would get to be captain for a few minutes; he was happy with it.
  “Right!  Let’s go.”  I stood up and switched seats with Batnter.
  “Rimana, fire something at the squid,” Batnter ordered.  She rolled her eyes and pushed a few buttons.
  “We need to get closer and angled towards it more,” she told me.  I nodded and moved the ship.  I loved being helmsman, more even than being captain.  “That’s enough.”  She hit more buttons and a small missile came out of the ship.
  The squid jerked violently when the missile hit it and spun to face us.
  “Is that thing even bigger than the moose?” Carter asked.
  “Possibly,” I said, backing away from it.  I turned the ship around and headed towards the asteroid belt.
  “It’s following us,” Carter reported.
  “Good,” Batnter decided.  “I think this should be far enough out.”
  “No, it takes time to get the sticks electrified enough,” Rimana said.
  “Oh.  How much time?”
  “Three minutes left.”
  I sped the ship up.  Twitchy switched the viewscreen to see what was behind us.  The squid was catching up.  I went faster and moved the ship left and right.  The squid kept up easily.  Finally Rimana announced that it was done charging.
  I closed my eyes.  I felt the ship around me, and the space outside.  The stick was sticking out at an angle.  I jerked the ship forwards and up.  The squid followed.  I made the ship do a summersault while turning right. The squid backed up, just enough to make the point of the stick go into the back of its head.
  The squid jerked violently, and became still.  We all stared at it.
  “It’s dead,” Rimana finally announced.
  “Yeah,” I said, letting go of the controls.  “Mission accomplished.  Yay.”
  “I never would have thought to summersault the ship,” Batnter admitted.
  “How will we get the squid off the stick?” Carter asked.
  “I’ll go tell Nevir we’re having fried calamari for dinner tomorrow,” Rimana said, grinning.
  “Isn’t it illegal to eat space squid?” Twitchy asked.
  “Not that I’m aware,” Rimana told her.  “Get a couple of volunteers to dress up in space suits and get it off.”
  “Who would volunteer to get a dead squid off a stick?” Carter asked.
  “Twitchy, make a general announcement,” I ordered, standing.  “Ask for volunteers to get a dead space squid off the outside of the vessel.”
  She did as I asked.  Several people volunteered.
  “See?” I asked Carter, smiling.
  “Fried calamari for dinner,” Rimana said, rubbing her scar.

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