MAKE CAKE NOT WAR!
“He is the fool saint,
The golden stranger living forever
On the edge of reason.
Let your guard fall and he is there!” – The Ghola’s Hymn.
“Damn your circuits, Nacho!” Major Spoiler seethed. “Where is that bounder named Brad?!”
The megalomaniac way in which the officer’s bulbous head wobbled like that as he barked informed the
clueless fearless troupe: Brad Company that somethin’ serious was brewin’.
And it wasn’t Brad’s Earl Grey…
“He is right here-“
“Then bring on that renegade Battleforce Commander, curse you!” the officer thundered.
“Give him time, sir. He broke a leg running through a comcam vector and has been in a rotten mood ever since we left orbit, so-”
“No biog, Nacho – just put him on…”
The Commander hobbled forward: “Yo, Big Ears! How ya doin’?” Brad chirped.
“Harrumph. Impudent to the last…”
“Yeah, well, whatcha want? The burrito is getting cold and I’d much rather spend more time with that, know wha’ I mean-?”
“The Zandokans are back in your sector! We need you now, more than ever – the way you led the Resistance and drove five divisions of Zandokan Shokk Troopers off Marsbar was… exceptional-”
“Only ‘cos those dozy ‘tards knocked me cake onto the floor…”
“Don’t be so… so self-effacing, Commander. You’ve got to take this job. You see… you really don’t have a choice in the matter. May I remind you that the cred-count for you bozos has tripled since our last vid-conf. And let me tell you: the Calista Blockhead is a top-of-the-line Sentinel-Class Starship which you stole and-“
“Whoa, whoa, WHOA! Let’s get something straight here, fella – when yours truly puts in a request for something, your desksuckers turn me down! If I don’t take it, I don’t get anywhere; I’m a Commander – I commandeer things, simple as, DAMMIT…”
“Hmm,” the self-righteous turniphead growled. “That’s your… philosophy is it?”
“Ahem. We could take away your commission…”
“Ha, try it coochie-coo. Just try…”
“Now listen here, Commander. I have just about had enough-”
“Sweet, me too! Shut him off, Lex…”
And with that, the amazing Lexi flicked the monitor off. The renegades were left in silence once more.
“He needs you,” Lexi purred sarcastically. “He needs the famous Brad-“
“Yeah, well. Who doesn’t, lov? Now that’s done, let’s see where we can go… Okey-dokey, help me over to the nav-console, Nach.”
“Yo, you got it, boss! Er, which is your jammy leg? Is it that one?”
“IT’S THE ONE WITH THE PLASTER CAST, EEE YA DOZY HA’P’ORTH! For goodness sake! Flamin’ Nora…”
“Brad is a real man’s man” – Angelina Jolie.
The pips on Lexi’s console started bleeping far too regularly for comfort.
“Don’t tell me…” Brad face-palmed. “That’s who I think it is… is’nit?”
“Yep,” she muttered reluctantly. “A Zandokan K8-Class battle-cruiser de-cloaking off the starboard bow.”
“Nuts… I TOLD you not to tell me…”
“Er, Commander…” Lexi gulped. “They’re hailin’.”
“Bummer- fine, put ’em on the screen…” Brad groaned.
Sure enough, Brad’s arch-nemesis: Zegreatme filled out the screen, smug and supercilious as always:
“Look how old you’ve become…”
“It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage-“
“D****d inzolent c*r, Bred! Ve should haf conzigned you to ze stazziz toobs on Altair IV vhen ve hed ze chence!”
“Yeah well, sorry ta disappoint’cha, fella, but th-“
“ENNUV, Bred! Your kek-guzzleeng days air ovair! By ze vay… how is ze leg…? Air could get zum of meh agents to admineestair a CLEEN BREK to your uddair leg. Zhen, Cammandair, you vould attain vot hes alluded you yer whole life: conseestency, heh heh heh…!
“Damn you, you Zandokan moof-milker! Tell me, Zeggy, why are you Zandokans so-”
“ZYLENZ! En’ leesen! We eemplore you, for the oompteenth tai-eem, Cammandair – do NOT get embroieelled in Zandokan matterzzz-”
“Blimey Charley, this is the livin’ end. Shut ‘im off, Lex,” Brad seethed.
In that moment, Ensign Crow Magnon yelled: “TORPEDOES COMIN’ IN!”
“SHIELDS UP!” Brad blurted.
He grabbed the Com as a piercing red light shot across the main monitor. The blast shook the Bridge. Chief Engineer Harris Wrench yelped as his quesadillas fell onto the floor.
A wicked Zandokan chortle erupted on the main audio channel.
“Heh heh heh, zat vill teach you to sweetch me urf in meed-sentenz, Bred-fool! Ehr… juzt one more theeng: our Empeerial Tractair Beeem haz juzt confeescated ALL YOUR KEK! Zo long, zuckairs, HA!”
In a flash, the Zandokan ship blasted off into hyperspace.
“Jeez, Brad…” Lexi cried, glaring at her console in alarm. “He’s right! They’ve seized ALL OUR CAKE from the storage units-”
“Argh! Why, I oughtta… oof; that does it! Set a course for the Wotatease System; cake- (sorry) make OUR jump to hyperspace!”
“Brad is only getting more handsome with age. He also bears a striking resemblance to the iconic Robert Redford…” – Entertainment Weekly.
“Eef you vont zees job done properly, Major…” Baal Maag, the top Zandokan assassin, growled through the vid-comf monitor: “you should tell me more about zees renegade cammandair-turned-bloggair…”
“Very well,” Spoiler spouted, contemplating the traits that best defined the man. And then he realised the sheer immensity of his task: the cake, the burritos, the kebabs, the katsu curries, the beef and jalapeno bake; not to mention the dakgalbi, and bibimbap buffet, the copious cups of tea, and yet more oodles of scrumptious cake…
“Oh Lord… where do I begin…?”
Meanwhile, just outside the Yuhafbinhad Nebula…
In the Calista’s cafeteria, the cool-as-fudge Terran Commander was waiting for his tea to brew.
“Come on, damn you. Come ON!”
While those Zandokan feckwits were streaking ever further away across the galaxy – with Brad’s cake, don’t forget! – Brad Company had HAD to beam aboard the Ambassador of Wahtalaf. Initially, Brad had baulked at such a costly diversion, until Lexi reminded him that here, some of the finest confectionery this side of the Oort Cloud could be obtained…
“First things first, Your Excellency: howsaboutta cuppa tea?”
“Let’s not concern ourselves with that just now. It’s a long and complicated operation-“
“What?! To make tea? Come, come, fella, there’s really nothin’ to it – it’s a piece of cake- HA!”
“No, I mean the operation we want you and your band to undertake. PLEASE, Brad, you ARE the celebrated Battleforce Commander-turned-blogger; Scourge of the Necroscoffers of Nippleheim. Can we count on you to incite rebellion among the Screwheads of Shakatak? Force them to overthrow the Flaccid Empire of Scrotum IV and restore freedom and ping pong balls to the galaxy?! Eh, Commander…? What say you?!”
“Do you take milk and sugar?”