DON’T Fire At Will! What’s ‘E Ever Done Ta YOU?!
“Gotta hand it to ya, Totem Pole – either you’re hard as nails or scared as shit: WHICH ONE IS IT?!” – Griff.
Whilst trying to deliver vital consignments of food and supplies to the long-suffering peeps of the planet Woebegon in the Vairdafujarwi System, Brad Company barely managed to dodge some unwanted attention from a cluster of Zandokan patrol-ships.
Will it be a classic case of out of the marzipan and into the ire as they head towards the hopeless station of Dork’s Drift?
In amidst all this excitement, the irrepressible Battleforce-Commander-turned-blogger is bound to bump into an ol’ frenemy…
“Innit bloomin’ marvellous?!” Brad wondered as the Calista Blockhead descended into the planet’s atmosphere.
“No mat’er ‘ow many marksmen the Empire can muster, as long as I’m onboard, they can’t put in a precise shot on target! Aah… the gift a’ bein’ – ‘an bein’ wiv – a groovy galactic ‘ero – it’s GREAT ‘avin’ me arahnd, eh…?! ‘Ello… …?”
“Yo, Brad,” Helmsman Gaz suddenly drawled. “Look lively, m’man – the Purple Haze is entering this sector @ 2:10-“
“Kronsteen?! What in blue blazes is that nerk an’ ‘is combo: Oprah’s ‘Ombres doin’ follerin’ us-?!”
“Don’t slouch, Blondie,” warned Second Officer Lexi Waldorf. “But MY sensors have also picked up the Harsh Mallow coming out of hyperspace just beyond the Rigellian Ridge-“
“The Harsh…? Uff, stone the flamin’ Porgs, that’s none other than-“
“Ya gotcha! Moab Mungoflumpz: the notorious Gundagun bounty hunter.”
“Blimey, ya’d ‘avta be notorious wiv an ‘andle loike THAT… What in Edrio Two-Tubes’ name is goin’ on ‘ere?! Is this a convention, or what?!”
“Hey! Yer not only a groovy galactic ‘ero, but quite th popular one- Whoa, ‘eads up, mate,”
Harris fiddling with the Intercom. “Yer ol’ mukka: Kronst is ‘ailin’ us!”
“Well, fer cakes’ sake, fella! Switch ta Audio – dahn’ wan’ ‘is ugly mug breakin’ our main screen! Nah, on second thots, let’s jus’ skip it – Company! We got work ta do! I can’t stop ta mess arahn’ – the original Fartligh’er’s in tahn!”
“Just don’t do anything I would do, and definitely don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. There’s a little grey area in there and that’s where you operate, alright…? That’s not a hug, I’m just grabbing the door for you. Good luck out there” – Tony Stark.
“Okey-dokey, then, y’all know wotcha doin’?” Brad softly exclaimed to Lexi as he loaded his backpack with survival kit, supplementary respiratory apparatus and extra rations of cupcakes.
“Sure thing, Commander,” she nonchalantly replied, leaning against the doorway of the Battleforce-Commander-turned-blogger‘s cluttered quarters. “Gaz, Lee, Monty and I will deliver the goods, Okizaki will beam us back when we’re done, while you check in with Supervisor Waldo – aow, for goodness sake…” she stepped closer staring intensely into th hapless hero’s deep blue eyes. “You be extra CAREFUL out there, Brad – something tells me this just might be -“
“A trap? Heh, isn’ everythin’ in this “business,” lov…?”
“Well, also, watch out for the rest of ‘is goons – they’re as demented as fudge and have no hesitation to take matters into their own hands-“
“Or take their own fists inta other people’s mat’ers – yeah, I know, I’ve run inta them on numerous occasions…”
“Nevertheless, I’m still going to keep my eye on you… just in case…”
“Really appreciate that, lov. I want ya ta know that-”
“Blimey Charley, Brad!” Chief Engineer Harris Wrench interjected. “Why d’ya ‘avta get mixed up wiv Kronst- huh, talk a’ the Devil! Would ya Adam-an’-Eve it? ‘E’s tryin’ ta ‘ail ya AGAIN!”
“Well, shut ‘im orf. Again! Let’s get on wivvit, Company!”
“But what if ‘e follas ya down there? An’ confronts ya, like?”
“Y’know me, ‘Arris! Got a few wisecracks an’ put-dahns lined oop.”
“Delivered in yer own, inimitable way, nah doubt?”
“I was wondering when El Kapitan would get a chance to use his popgun” – Palmer.
“UFFF, FFFLAMIN’ FAJITAS!!” Brad growled as a laserblast slammed into his shoulder. He’d only just walked through the door and found the welcome not as hospitable as he’d hoped…
“‘Ere, what th blazes?!” he spluttered as he flopped to his knees. “Since when are the bad guys such good shots…?!”
“When the bounty on ya is so frickin’ high!” drawled the all-too-familiar peel of Captain Kronsteen, psychotic leader of Oprah’s ‘Ombres, as he lunged over to switch on the desk lamp, illuminating his unmistakable, twisted features.
“Flamin’ Nora, look what the Wompa dragged in… What the blazes didya do with Waldo?!”
“That moofmilker? Had a close encounter with my rifle butt – left ‘im zedding away on the couch in the next room. Personally, yer only good use ta me, Fartlighter, is as target practice, but I’ve come here fer the shop – so let’s talk it, fella.”
“Okey-dokey, but I’m seriously dischuffed by this bonkers twist – I’m in an ‘urry, so bet’er make this snap’y. Spill the beans, fella – wotcha want?”
“Oh really? Your high cheekbones an’ insuff’rable pecs are suddenly in big demand now, huh? So… here we are, dumbass, two thrill-seekers meeting in a Dyzan-forsaken hole o’ the galaxy, while the hopelessly inept Federation crumbles – you really believe you’re serving a just cause?”
“‘Ey man, chill, know wha’ I’m sayin’? Why can’tcha be mo’ migh’y fine, Kevin Bacon an’ dandy? Like me an’ me Company? Why d’ya ‘avta be such a-“
“ENOUGH, Dipwit! Don’tcha DARE say anythin’ goldarned SMART. Why should I spare a thought for these… dregs? It’s not my problem…”
“Not yer…?! Oof, reverse thrust wiv THAT attitude, Crotchstain. I tell ya: the last thing Brad wants ta do is sit back an’ wateh while the provincial planets suffer. I see NAHbody else intervenin’ – so it’s got’a be us. Heck, if we can make a diiff’rence, we’ll certainly try-“
“Uff, spare me,” Kronsteen muttered irritably. “Reckon I shoulda’ finished you off when I ‘ad the chance – shoulda’ aimed straight fer yer heart instead, but YOUR ticker’s bleedin’ far too much already-“
“Shoulda’ thought a scrote like you wouldn’t know where the heart was anyways…”
“Ha! Cute… From what I hear, Fartlighter, you’ve become quite a sought-after dude since your little fracas with the Emperor on his flagship Hacked off just about every Imperial nerk this side a’ the Oort Cloud, AND – of course – we witnessed you recently escaping from prison-“
“Yeah, heh heh, get’in’ quite notorious in me middle age, ain’ I?”
“An’ I hear Zan Doka ‘imself has despatched his very own cut-throat praetorian division: the Kriegzlide Killzquad ta bring ya back – ya know what I can get right now fer handin’ you in…?”
“Egg custard tarts?”
“Wrong again, Bright Eyes – yer bounty now stands @ 75,000 creds-“
“WHOA, would ya Adam-an’-Eve it! I’m now worth more than me own crate? HA!”
“DON‘T crack wise with me, fella – one wrong move an’-“
“An’ you’ll BOTH be kissin’ the dirt! So DON’T try anythin’ stoopid!”
The door swung wide open and they turned to watch a grotesquely obese Gundagun dwarf waddle frantically towards them, brandishing a blaster.
“Blimey Charley!” Brad gasped. “It’s a talking beachball on legs!”
The seething three-footer turned his blaster on the Cakecharmer. “An’ don’t SAY anythin’ stoopid neither!”
“Grief, that’ll be the day with this jackass…” Kronsteen sighed.
Moab swung his blaster towards the Ombres’ Head Honcho instead. “YOU! Kronsteen? Are coming with me! Somebody levelled a sizable bounty on your despicable head!”
“WHAT?! That’s the most ridiculous- There is NO bounty on me, Shrimp-”
“Lookee here, Longshanks!” the Gundagan chirped sternly, enthusiastically brandishing a gadget displaying the Captain’s mugshot. “See the eye-patch? The scowl? All those warts that spell out: ‘Bad Attitude’? That’s YOU, that is! You’re coming with me!”
“Woohoo! Way ta go, Migh’y Mo!” Brad bawled.
“An’ you, what’s-yer-face,” the dwarf frowned at the hero. “You seem to be taking a most unusual pleasure in all this… are we cool…?”
“As ice, man…”
“For the umpteenth time,” Kronsteen butted in. “Point that blaster someplace else, Short Round. Why don’tcha go fer the REAL bounty, like this-“
“Yeah, man!” Brad interrupted. “Like goin’ fer this notorious Cakecharmer-chappy – apparently ‘is boun’y is bigger than ‘is own crate, hyuk hyuk hyuk…” the Battleforce-Commander-turned-blogger quipped.
Kronsteen spun round, enraged: “You’re jus’ lovin’ this… aintcha?”
“‘ELL YEAH! Ev’ry minute, baby…”
“He’s a looney. Just like his tunes…” – Bats.
A laserblast rang out.
The lamp exploded, and in the abrupt darkness, Moab screamed and Kronsteen bellowed. And Brad yelped as someone grabbed his hand and tugged him out of the office.
“Shoosh, Commander. Hurry! We gotta split – another Zandokan patrol-ship is onto us!” Lexi whispered as they ran down the corridor. “Okey-dokey, Okizaki! Me and the blond bombshell are ready to beam up! NOW!”
Meanwhile, in the Transporter Room of the Purple Haze, two figures materialized.
“Who the blazes is THAT?!” Drogen the Transporter guy cried the moment he saw Moab standing alongside Kronsteen.
“NOT BRAD, OBVIOUSLY, DIPWIT!” the Captain stormed. “What a cosmic screw-up – you were supposed to beam up the six-foot Terran, but NO! Ya had ta pick up a three-foot Gundagan instead! GAH! Captain to the Bridge! Open hailing frequencies with the Calista! I want that-!”
“But Sir, the Calista no longer appears on our scopes…” Tabasco Tuffnutz replied.
“WHAT?! How can this be…?!”
“They made the jump to lightspeed while you were too busy monologuin’…”
‘Twas true: Tabasco stared into his monitor, squinting at the trail of ionised particles sparkling against the blackest blanket of space – the only sign the Calista had left behind.
“…An’ you LET them ESCAPE…? Hey, Dumbo, flap yer ears an’ ventilate yer BRAINS!! What do I PAY you DIPWITS for, exactly?! “Gah, fer the love a’-” The enraged Captain grabbed Moab, and growled: “Okey-dokey, Short Round! WHO set the bounty on ME?!”
“Some Terran… b-by th name of Br-Br-Brad-!”
Brad Burrito Fartlighter, I presume?!” he winced.
“Aha! That’s the bunny! What… you know him?”
“KNOW HIM?! I practically wasted this whole episode talkin’ down to him!”
“That?! That was th C-Ca-Cakecharmer…?! But… nah, that dashin’ fella couldn’t have been him – he was badly wounded in the shoulder – galactic heroes NEVER get-”
“GAH! DON’T lecture me, halfling! Fer someone so SMALL, yer mouth is too BIG!” Kronsteen hollered, hurling the pint-sized bounty hunter into Drogen’s clutches. “We’ll drop off this insignificant lil sideshow – who has no bearing on the plot WHATsoever – on that casino-planet we passed on the way over here…”
The enraged leader of Oprah’s ‘Ombres brandished his fist against the tapestry of distant stars stretching before them on the Main Screen.
“BRAD!! NEXT TIME, I WON’T hang around makin’ idle chit-chat, you’re gonna– you’re gonna- UFF!! You CANNOT evade me forever, jackass – goldarn it…
“If I havta scour the galaxy fer the
trackin’ you an’ yer accursed, goody two-shoes Company down…
GAH! Just as well yer gettin’ another blasted sequel real soon, hero – ya AIN’T heard the last a’ Captain Korsten Kronsteen!!”
“We’re just like Kevin Bacon” – Gamora.