Twin Suns, Ray Guns And Puerile Puns About Brad’s Buns…
This is Episode II in the Firm And Shapely Trilogy – you can find Episode I ‘ere:
“What chance do we have? The question is “what choice.” Run, hide, plead for mercy, scatter your forces. You give way to an enemy this evil with this much power and you condemn the galaxy to an eternity of submission. The time to fight is now!” – Jyn Erso.
Well, that escalated quickly!
Despite fighting off Tenko Tash’vaa’s monologues as well as his goons,
Brad and Lexi remain holed up inside the villain’s headquarters on Wotsit IV in the Midlanoware System.
Time is running out, and there is little hope of ever finding that reckless young spy: Bagel Looney…
But now, across the street, out of the clouds with a deafening drone
descends the most feared and infamous cruiser in the entire Imperial fleet:
Kriegzlide Killzquad have arrived…
“Getcha lousy biochemech mitts offa me!” Lexi protested as two giant Killzquad gooms seized her and began dragging her out.
Another two grappled with her companion.
“NAH!! Leave ‘er alone!” yelled the Battleforce Commander-turned-blogger. “She’s gonna beat the stuffin’ outta yas!”
“Hush urp, Urfmairn!” grumbled Zoltan Zovran – the Kriegzlide psychonaut too deranged even for a regular Shokk Trooper division to manage. The ruffian suddenly raised his Particle Accelerator Lance and jabbed it into the back of the Battleforce Commander’s head.
The squad, and their hostages, emerged onto the hot, crowded street. As half of those milling about – or just hanging around, wasting their Imperial time – consisted of the occupying Zandokan garrison, so Zubizmaar’s lunatics could avoid the hassle of gawping bystanders for a change.
As delirium seeped over him, Brad’s groggy eyes could just about discern a lone, armed Shokk Trooper emerge from the bustling throng and approach the group. With some urgency.
“A chenge uv ordairs, yo lot!” it barked. “Ze Emprah hez infairmed ze Wotzeet Proveencial Offizer zat zeez preeznair be brurt to ze Zentient Towair, een ze Men Zquare, fer ferzair eentairrogation!”
And with that, he forcefully snatched the Earthling. The Killzquad stared uneasily among themselves.
Commander Zmutti Zubizmaar looked the most disbelieving.
“Hmm… Zoundz laike a lurda covfefe to me, Troopair…” he snarked. “Ve vere zent ‘ere pairzonally by ze Emprah! OUR uddairz come STRET frurm ZAN DOKA IZZELF! Shur me YER uddairz, Troopair!”
“Directeev: Zero-seex-zero-ett – yo ken doneludd eet frum ze men Empeerial Moaneetor…”
As they started to depart, Zubizmaar signalled them to halt: “Troopair! Vot eez yer urpairateenk numbair?”
He raised his blaster at them as they trudged away, crying out: “Two-wun-ett-zeven! Ze Urfzcurm ztayz weev uz! BREENK HEEM BECK ur-”
“Ur whut?!” ZX2187 barked, not stopping, not looking back… “Yo vood shoot en Empeerial Troopair een ze beck…?!”
“‘Twood NUT be ze firzt tem, fool… Geev our preeznair beck, KNOW!”
“C-come urn, Earthman, murve!” the Trooper muttered nervously as he nudged your hero in the back.
As this unlikely pair wandered off down the street, the Killzquad watched in bewilderment.
“Vell, ZEEZ wuz NUT een ze zcripp…” Commander Zmutti Zubizmaar stood akimbo, shaking his repulsive head: “Yo ‘ombrez! Tek ze gell ta ze sheep – Zoreen! Follair zem! Ve durn’t dare lewz NEIZAIR uv zeez deepweetz!”
Zoreen Zeegazeeg – a ruthless spy/assassin in his own right – stepped forth.
“‘Tweel be may genueen pleazure, zah!”
And before anyone could cue some suitably dramatic music, he had vanished into the crowd…
Strangely, Trooper ZX2187 looked anxious, glancing every which way before nudging Brad into a narrow alley.
Your hero frowned in confusion: “…’Ere, ‘ang abaht… yer goin’ the wrong way…”
“No, we’re not! In ‘ere, quick!”
At that moment, they barged into an empty hovel halfway down one side. Brad spun round to watch the Trooper remove his helmet and reveal not a green-skinned Imperial grunt, but:
“Bless me blueberry muffins! BAGEL!”
“Shoosh, Commander! Ya wanna let everybody know where we are…?!”
“The longer we’re here, the less luck we’re gonna have…” – Han Solo.
“Too short for a Shokk Trooper?” Brad Fartlighter muttered cynically, massaging his sore bonce.
“Huh? Shucks, man, done pret’y well up until now…”
“‘Ave ya really, kid? Jeez, wanna know the reason why I didn’ pounce on ya jus’ now? Ya said: “Earthman,” instead o’ “Urfmairn”…!”
“Did I…?! Fudge… ‘Sfunny, there may ‘ave been some slip-ups earlier; it’s gettin’ well dodgy – I reckon some o’ the Shokk Troopers’ve kinda sussed me aht… Ya gotta ship? I’m itchin’ ta get offa this rock!”
“Not so fast, Lil Itch – we ain’t goin’ nowhere jus’ yet! Those Kriegzlide goons ‘ave snatched me Second Officer – ya’d bet’er polish yer accent… ‘cos we’re gonna break inta the Zoulzukker an’ get ‘er th blazes aht before they can get ta the muvvaship!”
“‘Er?! Yer Second Officer’s a woman?!”
“Whoa, a gold star fer keepin’ oop, Bright Eyes! She came all this way ta getcha back – an’ now both of us ‘ave ta get ‘er back!”
“You came ‘ere ta get me an’ all?”
“Nah, I came ta keep me eye on ‘er-“
“Well, you’re doin’ a fine an’ dandy job o’ THAT!”
“An’ whose fault wuz that then, fella?! Cos o’ you, dipwit, I’m further from Lexi than I’d like! I’m gonna need me own Shokk Trooper’s togs ta pull this ruse orf – we’ll ‘ave ta coax one of ’em in ‘ere…!”
“Easy peasy, Commander – be back in a jiffy…”
And with that, the reckless Rebel wandered off up to the main street; just two minutes later, in burst a suitably perplexed Shokk Trooper.
Brad waved and chirped: “‘Iya, amigo! ‘Ow ya doin’? Got any Doritos on ya…?”
The next minute, Bagel wandered in to see Brad standing over the fallen felon, extracting its armour.
“I shudder ta think, kid: what did ya say ta this nerk?”
“Simple: ‘If ya wanna catch the Wanted cake-lovin’ Brad Fartlighter, come wi’ me’…!”
“You…!” Brad gasped, then chortled: “You’re a crafty lil nerk, Bagel, I’ll givya tha’… sheesh!”
Suddenly, he grabbed said crafty lil nerk by the collar, and retorted: “JEEZ, kid! Ya’ve REALLY dropped me buns in the fire NOW! Outta ORL’A goons ya coulda brought in ‘ere, ya HADTA pick aht ol’ Zeeg? One of the most demented bunnies I’ve EVAH run inta! DAHN’T need this – ya KNOW I’ve ALREADY got an ‘eadache…”
“SOZ, Commander, but- but ‘ow wuz I supposed ta know…?!”
The Commander loosened his grip, and replied gently: “Yeah… ‘ow… were ya supposed ta know… Too late, we’re in deep, now – ‘elp me wiv these boots, will ya? (This is the part abaht bein’ an ‘ero I detest the most: takin’ other fellas’ clobber orf). C’mon, kid, we’ve got an appointment wiv da Killzquad ta keep!”
While Brad nonchalantly scanned up and down the street, counting Imperial sentries, working out their next plan of action, Bagel stared in such a befuddled state at the Battleforce Commander-turned-blogger.
“Are we really doing this?!” whispered Bagel.
“We’re gonna do this!” whispered Brad.
“Congratulations. You are being rescued. Please do not resist” – K-2SO.
“How’d ya end up ‘ere, Bagel?!”
“Bah! Got shot dahn by a Zkorpion – thought it best ta infiltrate the Shokk ranks – tha’s ‘ow I’ve managed ta stay undetected fer so long-“
“Too darn roight ya were undetected, ya dozy donut! We all thought we’d lost ya altagevvah…!”
“Soz, Commander – me transmit-piece got busted when I bailed outta me crate. An’ I aven’t ‘ad the opp ta fangle a way ta send any signal back ta the Resistance. Reckoned I oughtta… take on the Empire all by meself-“
“An’ worsen the situation fer th rest ovuz?! If – IF – I can getcha back ta base in one piece, the General’s probly gonna rip ya ta shreds ‘imself anyway!”
“What, Rajendra…?! ‘E wouldn’t! Get ‘is first name: “Ajaan”: tha’s the Yanduri word for ‘teacher.’ From what I’ve ‘eard, ‘e’s a mild-mannered… placid fella… … in’e…?”
Brad clasped the lad’s shoulder and jigged it a lil.
“Lissen oop: so ya got away wivvit… but sheesh, man! That wuz more reckless than anythin’ I got upta when I wuz yer age! An’ tha’s sayin’ some’t…! Be cool, Bagel – when we get back… when I meet Raj, I’ll tell ‘im tha’-“
“You DAHN’T know ‘im eivver?! What chance do I ‘ave?!”
“Shoosh, Bagel. COOLIO. Nah mat’er ‘ow it turns aht, I’ll stick up fer ya. Trust me…”
“Cheers, Commander… but ‘ow the blazes are we gonna bust inta the Kriegzlide crate an’ get yer Officer back, Mr. ‘Ligh’er, if ya please? An’… an’ what if they take off before we can reach ’em?!”
“Na worries, kid! That Zkorpion I nabbed in order ta get ‘ere – wipe me cake crumbs offa the passenger seat an’ we’ll be jus’ fine an’ dandy.”
“Yeah, but…! But wha’ abaht the Clearance Code?! ‘Ow can we gain our own access to the muvvaship wivaht one?! ‘Ow – where – are we gonna get THAT?!”
“Uff, cobblers ta the Code, kid! Seems like the only reason why these Imperial dipwits ‘ave rules is so that Brad can break ’em… We’ll find a way – I always do… …”
“Well, somebody has to save our skins. Into the garbage, fly-boy!” – Princess Leia Organa.
“…Ya ougtta know the most important thing I’ve picked up while ‘angin’ aht dahn ‘ere – but I dunno ‘ow ta break it to ya,” Bagel huffed indignantly as they marched back into the main street, their Imperial togs gleaming in the intense rays of the twin suns. “…The Empire ‘ave upgraded their biochemech armour, so ‘elp us. Notice ‘ow these new bods wear slightly darker suits… ligh’er, but thicker… Pret’y soon, blasters are gonna ‘ave little to NAH effect on ’em…”
“Blazes…” the Battleforce Commander-turned-blogger muttered, dreading how all this cosmic gubbins was escalating. “…An’ it’s only Imperial blasters that we can find ta arm the Resistance. Tha’s some’t else we’ll ‘ave ta deal wiv- Gah, dash it all!”
The vicinity of the Zoulzukker positively crawled with Shokk Troopers as they peered round the corner; Bagel threw his hands in the air with despair:
“Whoa! We’re in a tight spot-“
“Oh really? You’re tight?! Shame ol’ Zeegazeeg wuz a wimpy sprat – ‘is armour ain’ ‘arf pressin’ me buns! An’- OOF! Me pecs are posi’ively ‘EAVIN’ in this blasted breastplate!”
“Aow, quit whinin’, Commander. It- say! Guess that physique’s why the girls back at base keep talkin’ abou’cha…”
“Do they? Groovy…”
“Everybod’ don’ call ya a groovy galactic ‘ero fer nuthin’, eh…? D’ya work aht?”
“Nah. No need, kid. Got bit’en by a radioactive chipmunk…”
“Course, bleedin’ o’ course I work aht! Whatcha think?! Fer goodness sake, flamin’ Nora… Don’t wanna be mistaken fer a donut like Zeeg in these dark times-“
“Yeah yeah…” the younger fella drawled sarcastically.
Brad leaned across and rapped his knuckles against Bagel’s helmet: “No, seriously: be STRONG: that means MENTAL, as well as physical, fella! So, if ya got some’t inside there, WORK IT! Blimey, if ya’d used yer wits before an’ ‘ADN’T carried aht that dumbass raid on the Ztodgeztonker, we WOULDN’T be in this mess NOW…!”
Suddenly, a typically rasping Zandokan voice from across the street blared out:
“ZHERE ZEY AIR! Shoot ze zhirt wun, but ze ‘unky wun eez NUT to be ‘armed!”
Shokk Troopers dashed in from all sides, blasters blazing.
“‘Ere, tha’s bang OUT’A order! Frickin’ charmin’, THAT is!” the short one protested, blasting back, but the hunky one grabbed his reckless companion and dragged him away from the action.
“Quit whinin’, Bagel! Ya see… ya SEE?! These tosspots are seriously dischuffed at what YOU did…”
After a few frantic yards of scarpering as fast as their biochemech-clad legs could carry them, the spy scowled at your hero: “‘Ere… ‘old on! I wuz only copyin’ what YOU did… Commander! ‘Ow is it tha’ YOU get ac’olades, an’ I just get grief?!”
“‘Cos I’m a PERFESSIONAL idiot! Cut the chat’er, kid – we got’a split!”
“And these blast points, too accurate for Sand People. Only Imperial Stormtroopers are so precise…” – Ben Kenobi.
“AHA! Ze Burrito end Bagel!” Zoltan Zovran cried as he crept up behind the two leads, wielding THAT particularly nasty Particle Accelerator Lance. “Ze two murzt repreehenzible Oomanz in ze galaxy een may clutchez!”
“Now now, nerk!” Brad waved a steady hand at the Kriegzlide madman, and protested: “Ya already bopped me over th ‘ead wiv that bloomin’ thing – ta do it twice would be careless…”
“Votzamattair, Urfmairn, expect mercy…? Kriegzlide Killzquad durn’t knur ze meaning uv ze verd… heh heh heh!” he snarled, aiming his weapon right at Brad.
“‘Old on jus’ a finger-lickin’ minute, ‘ere! I’m the ‘ero – ya can’t bamp me orf, not like that!”
“Uv courze…! Egen, Bred, yo air ebzolutely raight. Ze Emprah weejez to zee yo…”
Zoltan gradually swung the weapon at Bagel…
“‘EE eez ze eccurzed ZPY! ‘Ee’ll do!”
Out of a piercingly-loud, deadly flash, Bagel yelped and fell limp into the Battleforce Commander-turned-blogger’s arms.
“Ah, Jeez…! Stay wiv me, kid… …”
As your forlorn hero collapsed to the ground, clutching the lad in his trembling arms, a brood of Zandokan guards ran over to encircle him. Without warning, they proceeded to pummel the poor dude viciously with their lances and rifles.
“WETT! DOLTZ! Zat eez ze gret Zan Doka’z prize! ‘E muzt NUT – Ay reppit: NUT – be ‘armed! BECK URF!”
Commander Zmutti Zubizmaar strode nonchalantly in, and – seeing Zoltan posing triumphantly, and the prize captive hunched dejectedly on the ground – couldn’t resist wandering over to have a quick gloat. He squatted, and squeezed the crestfallen Earthman’s throat.
“Heh heh, wunce murr, yo aire BEATEN, “galacteec heeeruh”! Aah… Bred, Bred, Bred….”
Having stared too long at the still-crackling blast point on the young Rebel’s right pec, the Cakecharmer looked up with teary eyes, shaking the Kriegzlide Commander’s hand away, and defiantly muttered:
“I’m the one in da middle, ya drunken ‘obo!”
“HA…! Zteel curzed wiv zat eenfairnal “Oomarn zpeeret.” Zad…”
“Whut aboat zeez wun…?” Zoltan chirped, prodding Bagel’s still body with his boot.
“Nur, leaf eet – zeez planet payz foolz ta remurve feelth frurm ze ztreetz… Ve hef ze wun ve need – yez… Bred, ve hef yo exactly vhere yo jhood be: URN YER KNEEEZ! Broken, helplezz, hopelezz… UZELEZZ…! Bred ta ze burne – NUR MURR! Vot duzzeet feeeel laike to be a LEWZAH, tweetfez…?”
“They say it’s difficult at first, but I’m sure a big, Imperial jackass like you will soon get the ‘ang of it-“
“Uff…” the Commander grumbled, and shot back onto his feet. “Yo ‘ombrez! Poot zeez comedien aburd ze Zoulzukker…
“Ve VEEL tek heem ZTRET TA ZE EMPRAH KNOW!!… …”
Luke Skywalker: “I’m endangering the mission, I shouldn’t have come…”