Fantastic Beats And Where To Find Them: Vol: 3

Back By Popular Demand!  

(Not really – just always wanted to type that!) ūüėȬ†

“The thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud… I may not dance your dances or speak your language. But be a blessing to somebody. That’s what I think” – Maya Angelou.¬†

We are going to have to wait AGES¬†for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but here – in the groovy sector of the blogosphere – you don’t have to hold¬†out too long for¬†Vol. 3 of those¬†Fantastic Beats.

Love the way this blogging platform allows me to insert music into my fiction Рto evoke mood, or enhance the wow factor. Sometimes, however, an irresistible, uproarious tune will pop up, but its deliriously distracting vid prevents it from inclusion Рhere, all the best examples have been presented. 

Besides, it seems like an eternity since the frivolous and frenetic dancathon that was Fantastic Beats Vol. 2. 

Hey, DJ Brad, you ask, where do we begin? 

What better place than @ the beginning?!

Detroit,¬†to be exact.¬†During the ’80s, when house music appeared, the much rougher sound¬†of¬†techno music¬†also emerged; one of its pioneers was¬†Jeff Mills.¬†After all this time, he is still experimenting with various kinds of infectious beats.¬†Recently – to my sheer delight –¬†he has incorporated¬†strong¬†sci-fi-vibes into a more ambient direction of his work.

Just the other day we stumbled across this zany vid to a fave old skool classic –¬†what a swell buncha’ fellas!¬†

No disruption. No damages. Just dancing. Delightful.

But why the masks for dancing in the street, amigos? 

If you’re worried about getting nabbed for “social disorder” then, blazes,¬†Brad¬†should’ve been put behind bars long ago, by Jove!¬†ūüėČ

“In these science fiction stories – even against enormous odds – people still feel the urge to go on, to discover… I understood it wouldn‚Äôt be easy to materialise some of these ideas slightly beyond the dance floor in electronic music. Actually there‚Äôs quite a lot of resistance against changing or using music in other things” – Jeff Mills.¬†

As you may have noticed, Paul Birken has become synonymous with my Fartlighter Bradventures. 

This following track can be found on Mr. Birken’s own YouTube channel, which is – as the neighbours can attest – visited every day.¬†

As far as we know, he even compiled the vid himself! 

Actually, the original Drvg Cvltvre track is kinda meh, but add a Paul Birken Remix and РWAHEY! Рit is transformed into a stupendous stomper: 

“The only thing that you have that nobody else has¬†is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can” – Neil Gaiman.

For the next tem, it was a case of looking for a cool vid, and decent sound quality. One fine example initially slated for this next spot has been taken down.

No worries: regularly listened to this stylish stand-by whilst writing fiction @ our Southeast Asian retreat a few years back.

Sandwell District was the sensational Рalbeit short-lived Рcollaboration between DJs Function and Regis (who is one of my faves).

The video is the short film: Tunnel of Love (1977) featuring Tamara Beckwith and Edward Tudor Pole.

Mesmerising…

 

“Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance” – Confucius.¬†

“Variety is the spice of Bradscribe,”¬†as they say.

It’s not all¬†about¬†bompity-bompitybomp records one after another here.

Fantastic beats can be found across many diverse musical genres.¬†Besides, you never know what you’re going to get on this site, but it’s best¬†to¬†prepare yourself for gorgeous grungy gems such as this next item.

Many thanks to the¬†Transexual Swiss Rebels –¬†yes! Them again –¬†for reminding me of the rich cultural heritage that is African-American music:

“Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy – your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself” – Annie Leibovitz. ¬†

It would be interesting to learn¬†what inspired¬†Steve Hillage –¬†legendary frontman of 70s psychedelic rock band: Gong –¬†to make the transition to techno music by the 90s.¬†He has adapted to it rather well, for how about this for fusion: never seen/heard anyone else playing electric guitar over electronic dance music.

If one could attend one more music festival, then it must have System 7 on the bill. Mr. and Mrs. Hillage have gained a reputation for being one of the best live acts in the land.

As you can see here, this vid was shot in the living room @ Brad Manor (hence the belly dancers):

Get on the good foot, Loki!¬†ūüėČ

“Towards the end of the 80s, when Acid House exploded, we felt, you know, we had found our new musical home…¬†and we just thought: we’ve seen the future! This is gonna be fucking massive, man! Electronic! Dance. Music. Eureka!” –¬†Steve Hillage.

Twenty years ago, coinciding with my giddy times @ university, the Tresor label (based in Berlin) brought out some of the most snazzy techno tunes, a lot of which helped me plough through some particularly difficult Рor just unbelievably dull Рessays.

Discovering YouTube eight years ago helped me to delve into the scintillating back catalogue¬†of¬†one of that label’s most innovative lights: an excitable – and highly enjoyable – bunny known only as Brixton. ¬†

Reckon a DJ just stands there, fiddling with a Roland TB-303, a Roland TR-909, or whatnot? 

Trust Brixton to put the LIVE into live set!

And remember: if at first you don’t succeed… just dance!

Cheers!

 

“What just happened? Please tell me nobody kissed me…” – Tony Stark.¬†

 

 

 

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Thor: Ragnarok: The Bradscribe Review

HERE WE GO! [SPOILER-FREE]

Thor: “It’s… not possible…”¬†

Hela: “Darling, you have no idea what’s possible.”¬†

“This’ll be such fun!”¬†Loki¬†purrs during one typically delirious scene in the fizzy and frenetic funfair that is¬†Thor: Ragnarok.

For once, we can trust the word of the God of Mischief. 

Anxious not to repeat¬†Thor: The Dark World’s lacklustre response,¬†the powers-that-be¬†have gone out of their way to pile¬†a whole Hemsworth of great stuff into this¬†Chapter 5 of the MCU’s Phase 3.¬†Gone is The Dark World’s pompous and plodding tone – now it’s The Thor The Merrier!¬†

Obviously, the real test here was all about how impressive Cate Blanchett could be in the role of Hera, Goddess of Death Рone of my All-Time Fave Comic Book Characters. Huzzah, this is a mighty-fine-antlers-and-all performance. Cate looks and sounds stunning, and when Hela decimates each and every warrior in sight she does get pretty breathtaking. 

More wonderful than “Wonder Woman” that’s for sure! ¬†

And that awesome shot of the Odinson Brothers taking up their laser cannons and blasting their way to freedom is certainly one that you will be seeing plenty more times on this site! 

“This is madness…” – Loki.¬†

What a delicious pitch: Lord Of The Rings meets Guardians Of The Galaxy. With a dash of Krull. And Gladiator.

Thor: Ragnarok’s¬†non-stop action does not take place merely on Asgard:¬†Thor¬†finds himself transported from New York to Norway before¬†falling onto¬†the candy-colour junkworld of¬†Sakaar,¬†controlled – appropriately enough – by the¬†incomparable¬†Jeff Goldblum¬†as the¬†delightfully daffy¬†Grandmaster.¬†When his involvement was first announced, it seemed certain that Jeff would not¬†disappoint in this role, and our faith has been rewarded. And then some.¬†

Shame that the Grandmaster’s Champion had already been revealed to us through the Trailers.¬†Mark Ruffalo¬†was great in both Avengers movies, but never as entertaining as this.¬†Both Hulk and Banner¬†are a joy to watch, especially when interacting with¬†Thor.¬†Chris Hemsworth¬†is as impeccable as ever, his¬†comedy chops have vastly improved as the MCU has evolved.

At first,¬†Tessa Thompson’s¬†casting as¬†Valkyrie was bewildering, but she is allowed to put in a surprisingly groovyalbeit groggy –¬†turn.¬†A valuable addition to The Revengers, Valkyrie can down hefty bottles of alien alcohol in seconds¬†AND defy the laws of physics in a single leap!¬†Speaking of things unnatural, it was so good to see Dr Strange again, even if his teleporting seems to outnumber his lines…¬†

Taika Waititi¬†has become the Main Man around here this week.¬†Watched the hilarious¬†What We Do In The Shadows¬†this Halloween week to get acquainted with this visionary director from¬†New Zealand.¬†It’s amazing what an effervescent feel Taika has added to these comical-cosmic ripping-retro proceedings.¬†

The director’s own motion capture performance¬†as¬†Korg the Kronan¬†is¬†suitably endearing, and received plenty of laughs around the auditorium during both of my viewings.¬†But¬†watch some of the interviews he’s done and you will find that Taika can be a Hela-va lot more hilarious.¬†(And¬†you know Brad hates to brag,¬†but that Stan Lee cameo turned out just as predicted! ūüôā )

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 should have been as enjoyable as this. 

“Listen! He’s threatening me!¬†Hey, Sparkles! Here‚Äôs the deal…” – The Grandmaster.

Thor: “Hey, let’s do¬†‘Get Help’… Come on, you love it.”

Loki: “I¬†hate it.”

Thor: “It’s great; it works every time.”

Loki: “It’s humiliating.”

Thor: “Do you have a better plan?”

Loki: “No.”¬†

Thor: “We’re doing it.”

Loki: “We are not doing ‘Get Help’.”

With a film as warm and welcome as this,¬†Thor: Ragnarok’s¬†niggles are thankfully few and far between.¬†Perhaps the main annoyance for me centres on¬†Hela’s¬†insufficient screen-time. Both the character and performance deserved far more attention.¬†Sources say that as much as 30 minutes were trimmed from this Final Cut; it will be very interesting to find out what those Extras entail.¬†Personally, this film could go on for many hours more and it would be impossible to become bored! ¬†

From Thor hanging around with¬†Surtur,¬†to the “Lord” ūüėȬ†of Thunder leading his own¬†Asgardians of the Galaxy¬†off into the technicolour cosmos,¬†these scintillating 130 minutes easily provide the¬†Most Entertaining Cinema Experience of¬†2017.

With the only challenge to its supremacy coming from¬†Disney’s¬†delightful little adventure romp:¬†Porgs In Space¬†finally coming out of hyperspace¬†NEXT MONTH,¬†this third (and final?) solo trip to Asgard¬†looks set to become the¬†Bradscribe Movie Of The Year.¬†

Honestly,¬†Thor: Ragnarok¬†is precisely the sort of pure escapist sci-fi/fantasy rental¬†that would have¬†fed¬†my VCR¬†for weeks¬†thirty years ago –¬†the praise doesn’t get any higher than that…

Who would have thought that Ragnarok could be this much FUN? Heimdall’s Eyes! This IS SUCH FUN!!

 

BRADSCRIBE VERDICT: 

TOTALLY THORSOME!

 

“To be honest, I expected more” – Hela.¬†

 

“You May Dispense With The Pleasantries, Commander”: THIS IS IT! BRAD CONFRONTS ZAN DOKA!!

Duel Of The Cakes…

 

This is the Final Episode in the Firm And Shapely Trilogy ‚Äď if you want to catch-up, here are Episode I & Episode II

Good. I can feel your anger. I am defenceless. Take your weapon! Strike me down with all your hatred, and your journey towards the dark side will be complete…” – Emperor Palpatine.¬†

 

BLAZES!

We CAN’T wait any longer! Get ON with it, already!

 

“Command Ztation, zeez eez ZT 3-2-wurn. Code Clearence Blue,” announced the Zandokan pilot as the¬†Zoulzukker approached the Imperial Ztodgeztonker. ¬†

“Ve’re ztarteenk our apprurch. Deactivate ze zecurity jhield!”

A Command Ztation officer¬†watched their approach:¬†“Infirm Lord Zegreatme zat Commandair Zubizmaar hez errift.”

In the Imperial Foyer, the Dark Lord strode towards a turbo-lift, anxiously awaiting its occupants. The doors slid aside and two guards exited, followed by the leader of the Kriegzlide Killzquad and his prisoner, who gazed at Zegreatme with complete calm.

“Zeez eez a Rebel zat zurrendaired to uz. Although he deniez eet, Ay believe zhere may be murr uv zem, end Ay requezt pairmizzun to conduct a furthair zearch uv ze area… He vuz armed… urnly weev zeez.”

The Commander extended his hand, revealing the egg-whisk that¬†the¬†Battleforce Commander-turned-blogger¬†had “borrowed” from the canteen on Wotsit IV;¬†Brad¬†chortled heartily.

“Gourd verk, Commandair. Leaf uz. Conduct yer zairch end breenk heez combpanionz to me.”

“Yez, may Lord.”

Zmutti Zubizmaar and the guards withdrew. The rotten antagonist and the¬†groovy protagonist¬†stood alone in the oddly tranquil beauty of the place… until¬†Zegreatme¬†growled and flung the whisk aside.

“Ze Emprah hez been expecteenk yo,” the Dark Lord muttered as they walked back into the flagship.

“I know, me Lord.”

“Zo,¬†yo hef accepted ze truth zat – hey! – Ay EM Ze Beeg Cheeez-”¬†

“I’ve accepted the truth that you are a big-“

“ENNUV!” They halted abruptly. “DEMN YO, FERTLITTAIR! VHERE’Z MAY VUKKEEN’ ZAMZUNG?” ¬†

“Jeez, Zeggy-baby, haven’tcha got over that yet?!¬†Anyways, it seems ages since we last locked antlers, sotaspeak.¬†Ya know what? I missed ya, Zeg yeah¬†yeah, I’ve actually missed ya, you stormin’ biochemech tosspot, you!¬†Funny thing is… I reckon that… yeah, you kinda missed me too, coochie-coo…” ¬†

The Dark Lord bristled:¬†“UFF…! DURN’T MEK ME DEZTROY YO…”

“Nah-ah, I know ya¬†missed me-”

ZYLENZ! AY VEEL NUT LEEZZEN…”

“…That is why ya couldn’t destroy me. That’s why ya won’t bring me ta yer Emp’ror now-“

“GAH! YO AIR A DEEKWAD, AZ ZE EMPRAH HEZ FURZEEN…”

‚ÄúSearch yer feelin’s, tosspot-‚ÄĚ

“YO DURN’T KNUR ZE PAH UV ZE EMPAH!”

“I feel the conflict wiv- Jeez! That ‘eadache yer givin’ me dahn’ ‘arf split!¬†Let go o’ yer Caps Lock, already! Fer goodness sake, flamin‚Äô Nora‚Ķ”

“Uh, we had a slight weapons malfunction, but uh… everything’s perfectly all right now. We’re fine. We’re all fine here now, thank you. How are you?” – Han Solo.¬†

Just as they rounded a corner, Brad hurled himself into the Dark Lord, sending him clattering and swearing inanely into the wall opposite.

As mad as a bicycle, the reluctant infiltrator dashed off with a gaggle of guards in hot, clanking pursuit. To one side, a door slid up; instinct compelled him to hurl his ripped bod through. He found himself in a sizeable hall Рpenetrating blackness prevented him from sussing out how large. 

A transparent screen – several metres high –¬†met his startled gaze on the port side. Countless glittering stars dazzled his retinas as he gawped into the infinite vastness of¬†space…

“BEHULD!!¬†Ze ultimet pah in ze uneevuzz! End eet eez… ULL MAIN…”¬†

The abrupt, booming voice reverberated malevolently. Your hero slowly turned, and there, in an opulent throne sat the most imposing figure Brad had ever encountered. It was bedecked in brilliant purple biochemech armour, and wrapped in the most extravagant crimson cloak. No head could be seen. That despicable voice emanated from within an oversized, conical silver-plated helmet as worn by the Varlok warlords of olde. 

“ENTAH, Bred Fertlittair! Ay hef been expecteenk yo…”

“Oh, blazes… That voice… That cloak…! Ya gotta be-‚ÄĚ

“Prezizely, Commandair!¬†EMPRAH ZAN DOKA: RULAIR UV ZE UNEEVUZZ!

“Az lung az Ay vield ze PAH COZMEEC, Ay em ULL PAHFUL!¬†Lurng hef Ay ewetted zeez day!¬†Ay vonted to meet ze wun end urnly¬†Kekchairmair…¬†Beefur heez eeneviteble extairmeenation, heh heh heh…¬†Prepare to meet thy DOME, Urfmairn!!”

“Who talks first? You talk first? I talk first…?” – Poe Dameron.

“Wherevair Ay look,¬†ze Rebel bandz air zcattered end demurelized¬†acrozz ze ztarz…

“Eet ezz urnly a mattair uv tem beefur yer peeteeful leetle bend air crujt, end¬†may gallant furzez march to ze vinal veectory!”

“Pfah, YOU… are the one ‘oo’s doomed,¬†Zan –¬†we may be few, we may be poor, but the Rebellion’ll be the end o’ ya – of that, ya can be sure!”

“Ha! Nut even yer louzy poetry ken harm me!”¬†Emperor Zan Doka sneered.

“Yer gravely mistaken, Chief… Ya really think that yer despicable ideology o’ hate will prevail…?¬†‘Ere, check it aht: as long as dudes like me stand oop ta the likes uvya-“

“Laike yo?! Heh, yer NUTHEENK,¬†Bred!¬†Juzt a homelezz zupairmudel weev a blaztair!”

“Huh, an’ you are a-”¬†

“ENNUV!¬†AIR, Lurd Zegreatme! Ve vood be honaired eef yo cood jurroin uz…!”

Brad sensed a gargantuan fella lumber in to stand beside him.

“Eet eez UNWAZ to queztion ze Rulair Uv Ze Uneevuzz, Urfmairn…”¬†Zegreatme grumbled.

“Oh yeah? I’d like to see how far ya get wivaht him strainin’ on yer leash, Zeg-“

“Urgh yeah? Ay’ll ZTRAIN YO unteel yo tell me VOT yo deed wiv may VUKKEEN’ ZAMZUNG, Bred!”¬†

“Ya know what?!¬†I shoulda shoved it in yer Imperial Cake’ole! Blimey, it’s bloomin’ big enough! Then ya’ll be sure NEVAH ta lose it!”

“Yo knur vot?!¬†Ay’m gonna LOOZ EET een a meenut, Urfzcurm!¬†BAY SHOVEEN’ YO OAT ZE VUKKEEN’ AIRLOCK!!”

“Huh, try it,¬†coochie-coo. Just try…”¬†¬†

“ZVIVEL ME ZYDWEZ!!” the Emperor roared.¬†“Vood yo juzt LEEZEN to ze pair uv yaz?!¬†JEEZ! Yo two verr MEDD fer each uzzair!¬†How ken ve rezturr peaz end belendz to ze¬†Uneevuzz wiv yo DEEPWEETZ conztently beeckaireeng, heh? HEH?! JEEZ!!”¬†

“Fergeev me, may Mazter…”

“NUR! Ay zwear! Yo two veel be ze deff uv me! Ay ken juzt enveezage¬†ze pair uv yaz teemeeng urp end ovairthroweeng me!”¬†

Brad’s cute eyes lit up.¬†

“‘Ey!! Tha’s a thought…” he whispered, nudging¬†the Dark Lord playfully in the ribs.¬†“Whaddya say, Zeggy-baby?! Why dahn’ we team oop an’ take dahn this-“

“NUR!¬†‘OW DARE YO, URFMAIRN! AY VEEL NEVAIR TURRRN EGENZT MAY MAZTER, FOOL!!”

“We can DO this! Come ON…! Aow ya picked one ‘elluva time ta turn yella, fella…”¬†

“ZYLENZ! YO DARE CALL ZE DAKK LURD UV ZAN DOKA A COWARD?! VUKKIT, BRED, WUN MURR WYZAZZ LINE FROM YO EN’ AY VEEL HEET YO ZO VUKKEEN’ ‘ARD, YO’LL BE VLYEENK!!”

“WOO…! You EAT CAKE wiv that mouth?!”¬†

“JEEZ, zhere yo two gur… EGEN!”¬†wailed the exasperated Zan Doka.¬†“Dyzan demmit!¬†Deedn’t ze pair uv yaz hear me ze virzt tem?! ‘OO eez Emprah eround ‘ere? HELLUR…?!¬†‘Oneztly!¬†Zeez beekkereeng eez geeveenk me en ‘eadache!”¬†

“YOU got a split’er?!”¬†Brad¬†cried in dismay.¬†“‘Ow’d ya think I feel?! ‘Ad nuthin’ but grief given ta me by the pair uv yers ever since I wuz brough’ ‘ere!”

Brad’s cute eyes lit up again.¬†

“It- say! We do ‘ave some’t in common! ‘Ey!! Tha’s a thought…¬†Whaddya say, Big-Wig? Why dahn’ we team oop an’ take dahn ol’ lanky Lordy Fog’orn ‘ere? Like, I’m easy, either way, man…”

“ENNUV!”¬†th Emperor roared once more.¬†“Yo TRY oor patienze ULL TOO QUEEKLY, Fertlittair! Yo VEEL be zentenzed to deff!”

“Come again?”

“DEFF!!”

Yer overconfidence is yer weakness,”¬†exclaimed¬†Brad.

The Emperor spun round and spat: Yer zoftzpotz fer peenball macheeenz end kek eez yerz…”

Zegreatme¬†nudged¬†Brad mockingly in the ribs and whispered:¬†“Eet eez purrntlezz to rezeezt… DEEKWAD…”

“Power is the only freedom that I seek. Absolute power is absolute freedom” – Omega.¬†

“Lord Zeg, leave uz,”¬†Emperor Zan Doka exclaimed.

“Ez yo weesh, may Mazter…”

The Dark Lord bowed ostentatiously, but snarled at¬†Brad¬†before departing:¬†“Zee yo latair, deekwad…”

“Yeah, already missin’ ya, Dork Lard…”¬†the¬†Battleforce Commander-turned-blogger¬†drawled as he watched his arch-nemesis depart.

“Nice. Gotta hand it to ya, Chief; tha’s one well-trained poodle ya got there. Foul-mouf’ed, lousy tempah per’aps, but still, nice…”

Brad froze, staring at a delectable object on a stand beside the¬†Emperor’s throne.¬†

‚ÄúYo vont zeez…” The Emperor snarled, turning to regard a slice of chocolate cake¬†with abject scorn.¬†“Durn’t yo…?”

‚ÄúThat’s… that’s a slice o’ me fave! You can sense that…?”

“Zenze it?! Ay ken hear yer ztomach rumblin’ frurm ‘ere, Urfmairn!”

“An’ ‘oo’s fault is that,¬†Chief…?¬†Blazes… ya enforce blockades; annex ‘ole planets; subjugate – even xterminate – entire species!¬†All the while, thousands… oh Dyzan, millions… are starvin’! They despair!¬†They ‘oller!¬†They curse ya!¬†An’ wotcha doin’, all the while…? ‘Oldin’ fancy dress parades? Openin’ new Imperial space stations…? Playin’ golf…?!”

“Nur, Ay rule!”¬†

“Nah, YOU SUCK!!¬†Ya really think that I’m jus’ gonna lounge arahn’ an’ let ya torment the galaxy wiv yer… yer-“

All of a sudden, your hero felt a tingling sensation in his mind as the Emperor held aloft his long, spell-casting talons.

“Yezzz, yo VONT TO TEK ZE PLAZ BAY MAY ZIDE… Yo VONT to eet ze kek, Bred… EEET… ZE… KEK…”

“Uh… yeah, man… I wanna eet ze… ‘ang on…!”¬†Brad¬†shook his head,¬†holding the tasty-looking wodge in his gloved hand, sniffing it.¬†

“Uff… poisoned!”¬†he roared and hurled it angrily at the Emperor.¬†“Think ya can fool the Cakecharmer ‘imself wiv dodgy bakes, eh?!”

The Emperor struck back:¬†“Eef yo veel nut be turned, yo veel be-!”

“‘OLD! ‘Ang abaht, Zan – I got a bet’er idea… …”¬†

“Put down your weapons! No one, but no one, dies in the palace without a command from the Emperor” – Klytus.

“GAH! VUKK!!” the Emperor roared as he burst out of his own throne room into the main corridor, throwing frustrated Imperial arms in the air. “VERDS FAIEEL ME!!”

Zegreatme and the Praetorian Guards sprang to attention.

“Zat Urfmairn… eez ‘ard verk, iz’e nut, may Mazter?”

“Ya ken zay ZAT eggen, Zeg! VUKK, ‘e’z zumzeenk elze…¬†Een ULL MAY DAYZ, Ay hef NEHVAIR beefur met ‘ee’z laike…”¬†Emperor Zan Doka grumbled.

“Vot eez thy biddeeng, may Mazter?”

Uff… vukk knowz… Vot muzt wun do agenzt ze PAIRFECT combeenation¬†uv¬†pecz, abz en’ bunz…¬†GAH! Vot KEN wun DO against zuch a… ZUCH A- GAH…!”

“Do nut fret,¬†Mazter,”

“Nur worries… Lord Zegreatme! Zhere eez zumzeenk trubbleen’ me… Pat yer head…”

“May Mazter…? Ay do NUT undairztand…”

“Do nut look zo zairprized, Lurdy –¬†Pat yer head… Know, rub ze tummy at ze zame tem-“

“But VHY, Mazter…?!”

“GAH! VUKK! DO NUT QUEZTION YER EMPRAH! HOW MENNY TEMZ MUZT AY TELL YO NERKZ, HEH?!¬†HEH, jeez…”

“Fergeev me, Mazter; ez yo veesh,¬†May Mazter…”

“HA!! Yo KEN do eet! Ay knew eet; I KNEW IT! Ha…! That’s one thing I can’t abide¬†about¬†you extremistsyer ALL shout, an’ NAH clout. Jus’ a sad bunch o’ blind, obedient automatons.¬†‘Oo¬†NEVAH question authority; ya CAN’T even exhibit yer own initiative!¬†YOU are the lot who will meet thy DOME! DONUTS… the lot o’ ya…”

“May Mazter, vot…?!”

“Nutheenk yo ken get ta greepz weev, Zeg… Oh! Wun murr theeng…¬†Remove the blockades from Gondabek, Otthon IV and¬†Burgonya. Oh!¬†And – while you’re at it – withdraw the garrisons from Oberon and Shazbot…! And Tufluk!¬†‘Tiz yer Emprah’s weel! EDVENZ EET!¬†KNOW…!

“Ze Urfwomairn!¬†She’z urn ze Detention Levil – Ay VONT to zee hair! Tek ME to ‘AIR, zumbuddy!!”

One Shokk Trooper stepped confidently forwards: “Shee eez held een Cell wurn-wurn-3-8.¬†Let me ezcurt yo, Yer Highness!”

“Gourd… GOURD! A faine example uv Eemperial deezcipline, zeez boy!¬†Lead URN, Troopair…!¬†Mek ware, MEK WARE!¬†Rulair uz ze Freeken’ Uneevuzz, comeen’ thro…”

And with that, they marched away down the corridor.

Rounding a corner, away from any Imperial bods,¬†the Emperor noticed a couple of curiosities: clearly, this individual seemed too short to be a Shokk Trooper; and a most-recent blast point could clearly be seen on his right pec…

He stopped the¬†Trooper in his tracks, and exclaimed:¬†“Zhere eez zumzeenk… very femeeliair¬†aboat¬†zet voice… Yo zed “Yer Highnessss…”¬†

The Ruler of the Universe looked up and down the corridor, ensuring that they were indeed alone. Then he reached over, and – clasping the shocked Trooper‘s shoulder¬†and jigging it a lil¬†– began to speak in a more groovy voice:

“It… IS you, innit… Bagel…?¬†Thank Dyzan, I thought ya wuz a goner!¬†SO GOOD¬†ta see ya again, kid… …”

“Go and seek out Baltar. Tell him I am displeased. Tell him I offer a choice: deliver the Battlestar… or deliver his head” –¬†Cylon Imperious Leader.¬†

“Blimey, Commander!¬†Ya jus’ gotta tell me ‘ow ya got ‘old o’ th Emperor’s cloak!”¬†Bagel¬†enthused as the two Rebels marched towards the Detention Level.¬†

“Aww, this is an awesome piece o’ snazzy clobber, innit?¬†Nah worries, kid! Ya see, it wuz like this: we-“

“HALT! Ze pair uv yo!”¬†shouted the armed, female Zandokan sentry as they rounded the next corner.¬†She¬†scowled at the Emperor, aiming her blaster ominously…

“We-heh-hell! This is TOO GOOD to be true…¬†I’m not standin’ for the likes a’ you… Your Slyness… HEY!¬†What are you starin’ at me like THAT for…?! I’m gonna-!”¬†

“WETT!” cried the young Trooper.¬†“Durn’t yo knur who yo air deeeleenk wiv ‘ere?!”

“Why should I give a fudge…?”

Abruptly, the “Emperor” flung off his helmet.¬†“‘Cos I dragged me firm an’ shapely buns across the Imperial Lightnin’ Field ta getcha, LEX!”

“What-?! BRAD?! But how…?” his Second Officer cried as she flung off her helmet.

“Ya bally well know I’ve always got a plan as ‘ot as me pants…!¬†But what the blazes are ya doin’ in that get-up-?”

“Uff, look who’s blabbin’…”

“Ya’ll never get quali’y screen toime masqueradin’ as a ‘Trooper, lov…”¬†

“Yeah? Well, I didnt plan to just hang around in a cell actin’ out that tired ol’ damsel-in-distress clich√©-!”

“Yeah? Well, I didnt plan ta sit arahn’ on me firm an’ shapely buns jus’ worryin’ abahtcha!”¬†

“Well, cheers for your concern, Commander…”¬†She turned to the Trooper and gleered:¬†“And I suppose, right here, we have, none other than…?”

The Trooper flung off his helmet. “Bagel Looney, atcha service, ma’am!”

“Ugh! Put that helmet back ON! I risked my neck all for… this?! Really –¬†too short for a Shokk Trooper?”

Aow, bloomin’ ‘eck, don‚Äôt you start…!”

It- say! Where’d you get THIS?!”¬†Lexi gasped, fondling the rich sheen of¬†Brad’s¬†new crimson velvet wrap.¬†

“Who’dya think? ‘E’s th only one ya can get it from…”

“Yes, but HOW DID YOU get hold of th Emperor’s cloak?!”

“Aww, this is an awesome piece o’ snazzy clobber, innit?¬†Nah worries, lov! Ya see, it wuz like this: we-“

“DEMN YO, FERTLITTAIR!! YO TRIED TO FOOL ZEGREATME?!”

“Uh oh…”

The Imperial tannoy crackled and whined up and down the corridor; Brad’s headache throbbed even more, as his arch-nemesis bellowed maniacally. ¬†

“BY ZE PAH UV ZE EMPAH, YO VEEL PAY FER ZEEZ OATREJ!!”

“Gawd…! Lays it on a bit thick, doesn’t he?!”¬†Lexi gasped.

“Uff, tell me abaht it…” Brad groaned.¬†“This gaff reeks o’ faschismus, dunnit?! An’ I’ve ‘ad this pair a’ barmy biochemech barnpots screamin’ in me lug’oles¬†all mornin’…¬†Come on, amigos, let’s gerrahtav’ere!”¬†

They raced away; six legs encased in biochemech armour – it made such an awful racket…¬†

“‘ERE! VHEREZEVUKK YO GO?! AY VEEL NUT LET Y’ULL EZKEP!!”

“‘Ow we gonna get aht?!” worried Bagel, as they reached the overcrowded Imperial Flight Deck.¬†“We can’t jus’ nab a new crate under these nerks’ noses-“

“Aww, no worries, Bagel! YES, WE CAN! Wiv me badass cloak an’ flawless Zandokan accent, we’re gonna nab the¬†‘Ead ‘Ombre’s own crate:¬†the Zentinel.”

“Huh, you sure your buns can get that far weighed down in all that armour?”¬†Lexi¬†frowned sceptically.¬†“Whatever you do,¬†don’t trip over your cloak… Your Highness…”

“Heh, sweet… Ta fer th tip, Officer!¬†Okey dokey, those bozos bet’er bewareRuler O’ Th Frickin’ Universe, comin’ through-“

Just as Brad jumped out to expose himself, Lexi tugged him back and sprinted stealthily across the concourse.

Bagel¬†gawped as – silently, shockingly – she made mincemeat of the ground crew:¬†“Who is she…?! She’s… beautiful…”

“Wakey, frickin’ wakey, oor kid!” Brad swiped the lovestruck lad gently over the head. “Yes… YES! She’s opened the ‘atch! C’mon, Boy Blunder, we’re movin’ in!”

Through volleys of laser-fire, the dynamic duo bungled aboard just as the hatch began to close – at least, the youngest fella made it onto th bridge…

“This bucket o’ bolts is never gonna g- Brad?!”¬†Lexi yelled.¬†“What the blazes are you doing back there?!”

“‘Arf a tick, lov,” he shouted. “I got me cloak stuck in the door…”¬†

“…I’ve never before met your like. You’re a hero, don’t you see that…? You really prefer death to a kingdom? I’m disappointed. I’d much rather see you on my side, than scattered into… atoms… but, as you wish…” – Emperor Ming The Merciless. ¬†

“PUNCH IT, LEX!”¬†the¬†Battleforce Commander-turned-blogger¬†(eventually) wailed,¬†and the colossal ion engines of the Imperial Zentinel¬†shuddered and howled into life.¬†Within seconds, the tired – but triumphant – trio found themselves zooming away from the¬†Imperial flagship.¬†And… YES!¬†As expected, whenever Zan Doka’s vessel blasts off,¬†the Imperial Lightning Field¬†is automatically deactivatedHUZZAH!

On-board, Brad¬†flopped into the co-pilot’s seat next to Lexi.

“Whoopee-doo, we did it…! Hey, whaddya think: Bagel in the Company-“

“No, NO!!” the Officer swung round and fumed.¬†“No WAY¬†is¬†that weasel becoming one of us! Goldarn it, Brad!¬†You’re STILL smarting over losing¬†Mitch. I know; heck, we all are… he was… irreplaceable.¬†This reckless little…! He’s NEVER going to make the grade. You saw yourself¬†how reckless he is…¬†Teach him not to endanger the rest of the Militia, if you want to, but NOT on the Calista! Not near us!”

“Uh-huh – not near YOU ya mean…”

“You GOTCHA, Commander…”¬†

“Received… an’ un’erstood…”

Brad¬†sauntered off to salivate over the gleaming Imperial Coffee-Maker while Bagel fiddled with the¬†Imperial Zuperduper Ztereozoundzyztem,¬†loading some blisteringly dark and grungy drum n’ bass.¬†Brad peered in and a big dopey grin spread across his handsome chops:¬†“Excellente!¬†Those are the same kicks-as-a-mule beats I listened ta when I wuz your age, kid!”¬†

“Gawd, are you boys gonna be¬†headbanging all the way back to base?”

“Sure, Lex!” Bagel chirped. “Why the ‘eck not?! Wanna dance… babe…?”

“Uff, just a finger-lickin’ minute, here…”¬†Lexi bristled, rising menacingly out of the pilot’s seat.¬†“Just who do you think YOU are calling ‘babe’, Bumfluff…?!”¬†

Of course,¬†the¬†Battleforce Commander-turned-blogger¬†had to wade in and settle the dispute:¬†“Now then! Now now! What’s goin’ on ‘ere, now? Then…?¬†Let’s NOT end this adventure wiv anuvva foight, puh-lease!¬†Be cool!

“Lex! Chill, lov.

“Bagel! Manners, puppy…”

Before settling back for the long journey home, your hero relayed a quick message to the Ztodgeztonker:

“ATTENTION, dipwits!

Uh, situation normal groovy.

If ya still want yer Tosspot-In-Chief, I left ‘im on the Garbage Level;¬†the dinner is in the cat; an’ – ah yeah! – I left a Sonic Disruptor in the [CONNECTION LOST]

Thanks fer ‘avin’ me! LOL¬†

CHEERS! 

Deke Wad ūüėČ

X

“You came in that thing? You’re braver than I thought…”Princess Leia Organa.

BRAD FARTLIGHTER WILL RETURN

 

Norse Mode: The Rough Guide To Thor: Ragnarok

Thank Fudge It’s Thorsday!

This’ll Be SUCH FUN!

“I’m not overly fond of what follows…” – Loki. ¬†

“In a world of portentous blockbusters getting ever darker, it’s a joy to see one throwing on the disco lights.”

And that happened to be just the first review¬†of¬†Thor: Ragnarok –¬†set to be the biggest – and most entertaining – of the solo Thor movies.¬†Here, the Mighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against The Hulk, his former ally. The God of Thunder¬†must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful HelaGoddess of Death – from destroying¬†Asgard.¬†

In Norse mythology, Ragnarok is translated as Twilight of the Gods. The myth tells of the eventual destruction of the universe and mankind, as well as the deaths of several key figures in Norse Mythology, such as the gods Odin, Thor, Loki, Heimdall et al. 

So…

Billed as a fun and funny, colourful and crazy cosmic caper… Thor: Ragnarok just MIGHT kill off a bunch of main characters?!

Hmm, more than any other Marvel movie, it will be¬†interesting to see how¬†this latest MCU instalment plays with our emotions,¬†as well as juggling with our expectations…

“Hela is the Goddess of Death, and I’ve had incredible fun playing her” – Cate Blanchett.

“Oh, I’ve missed this!”¬†rasps Hela, Goddess of Death, strikingly played by¬†Cate Blanchett.¬†

That could be Brad gleefully uttering that line as it seems ages since we were treated to a blockbuster that turned out to be just an inoffensive, energetic and entertaining slice of escapist fantasy fare. 

As you may have already gathered, Hela is one of my All-Time Fawe Comic Book Characters. She first mesmerised me in a poetic and moving Tales Of Asgard that accompanied The Mighty Thor #314, (Hela Рthe Goddess of Death Рhas wrought havoc in Valhalla, twisting it into the icy foreboding image of her own dreaded kingdom: Niffleheim. Only the bold and sagacious intervention of Odin РRuler of the Gods Рsaves Asgard).

During this past year alone, numerous classic Thor ishs (specifically featuring Hela)¬†have come my way – the depth of her characterisation is astonishing.¬†How far¬†Thor: Ragnarok¬†will delve into her character, and not rely on just malevolent quips and badass fight sequences, remains my primary concern.¬†Visionary director:¬†Taika Waititi¬†(he prefers to be referred to as a visionary director, or better still: “visionist”!)¬†assures us that, as Marvel’s first female movie villain:¬†“Cate has destroyed the idea of your typical villain.”

In the original comics,¬†Hela is Loki’s daughter.¬†Now, bet you all the groats on Sakaar: the makers have twisted this – she’s become Odin’s¬†(disowned) daughter; this, at least, would help explain how she was able, so dramatically in the first Trailer, to catch – and breakMjolnir.¬†(But hey, Lord of Dipwits here managed to guess only 1.5 out of 14 on the¬†Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 Soundtrack¬†so proceed with caution!)

Hela is: “not a queen, or a monster, she’s the Goddess of Death!”

And your correspondent is still so looking forward to seeing how she is brought to life on the big screen!

“Thor finds out much about his family and tries to save his planet and the universe, while overcoming the machinations of a grand funny fun figure such as myself” –¬†Jeff Goldblum

“Hey, Sparkles! Here’s the deal. You wanna get back to As-place? Asberg?”

Yes,¬†Jeff Goldblum – verily, for it is he! –¬†speaks this line while portraying (quite flamboyantly, it has to be said)¬†the Grandmaster,¬†an immortal trickster¬†who maintains control over the populace of¬†Sakaar¬†by giving them a constant fix of gladiatorial games.¬†Sakaar looks like an irresistibly¬†fizzy and candy-colourful addition to the MCU – it’s the sort of galactic world one always wanted to see on the big screen.

The Grandmaster¬†is a villain who stormed into my Marvel collection last year¬†via (reprints of) The Avengers.¬†The storyline in which¬†the Grandmaster¬†transports Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to his¬†arena¬†to fight a team of super-villains: Contest Of Champions,¬†provided the core element of this movie.

You’d think that playing a blue-skinned alien would pose no challenge for Jeff as he has already played one way back in¬†Earth Girls Are Easy (1988);¬†but his Hollywood clout has spared him the ignominy of that daily five-hour make-up job; instead, he sports a snazzy lil blue splodge on his chin.

Just seen a hilarious exclusive clip, concerning the “Lord” of Thunder(!)¬†and it so happens to be¬†Classic Comedy Gold(blum)!¬†Actually, as it turns out,¬†Jeff¬†is quite the “Grandmaster” when it comes to improvisation.¬†Apparently, the majority of his lines ended up being randomly improvised, to the full consent of the director. Forever the visionary.

Jeff “Must Go Faster, Must Go Faster!” Goldblum Forever!¬†

If the rest of his scenes are anything to go by, it sounds like the Power of ROFL will be unleashed!

Let’s hope so! ūüôā

“NO TEAM, ONLY HULK!” –¬†HULK.

And, of course, how could we get through this guide without the big, green fella. After all, this cosmic caper was billed as Thor vs. Hulk. 

Not only did this movie present Chris Hemsworth with the opportunity to refresh the character of Thor,¬†it gave Mark Ruffalo the chance to reinvent the portrayal of the Green Goliath.¬†As we saw in the Trailer, Hulk¬†is allowed to speak a lot more. It seems like he will have more lines in this movie than both Avengers movies put together!¬†Here, we get to see the premise of¬†Planet Hulk –¬†the Incredible one is a champion gladiator on a distant alien planet: in this case it’s Sakaar; it’ll be intriguing to learn how he got there…

Let’s not forget that cameo appearance by the Hulk’s fellow Defender:¬†Doctor Strange.¬†How and where¬†Stephen (the ever-immaculate Benedict Cumberbatch, of course!)¬†will appear in this movie is a particularly perplexing matter –¬†actually the thought of dear Bennybatch being underused here is a slightly disorientating one…¬†

Last, but by oh no means least(!)¬†is¬†that essential¬†Stan Lee¬†cameo. Betcha he’s the Demon Barber of Sakaar – the one who shears the godly Goldilock’s locks! ūüėȬ†

For me, what’s so cool about each movie of¬†the Marvel Cinematic Universe¬†is¬†its boldness in¬†reinvigorating the whole concept of what a comic book movie should look – and feel – like.¬†Kudos to Kevin Feige et al for daring to select the most unexpected talent of¬†visionary director Taika Waititi¬†and allowing him to imbue this unique and harmless 130 mins bundle of fun with the¬†“kind of energy and¬†crazy sort of Flash Gordony-tone that it has.”¬†

Oh yes, get that energy. 

Chris¬†admitted:¬†“This was one of the best experiences I’ve had on a set.¬†We laughed way too much.”

With unanimous positive feedback from the preliminary round of film reviews, it sounds like we will be¬†laughing way too much too…¬†

“I tried to start a revolution… but I didn’t print enough pamphlets!” – Korg.¬†

“Basically what they were saying was like: “We‚Äôre a bit tired of, um, you know, this fish-out-of-water thing with Thor on Earth”, you know? So why not go towards the direction of the comic books from the Seventies and Eighties and have Thor on a cosmic adventure, you know?” –¬†Taika Waititi.¬†

“I‚Äôd loved Iron Man, you know, with a passion. I thought that was the most fresh, cool thing, in terms of superhero movies, that I‚Äôd seen in a long time,” said¬†Taika Waititi,¬†the (visionary) director of¬†Thor: Ragnarok.¬†

“I don‚Äôt know what they were smoking when they were writing those storylines [in the 70s],” he continued,¬†“but they had some pretty wacky ideas in those old comic books.”

With such critically-acclaimed comedies such as¬†What We Do In The Shadows and Hunt For The Wilderpeople,¬†Taika¬†has carved his own¬†pretty wacky niche in movies, so his brand of humour seems well suited to the MCU.¬†And if his helmsmanship was¬†not enough,¬†he did his own motion-capture performance as never-before-seen-on-the-big-screen¬†Korg the Kronan.¬†This rock-skinned supporting character, who made his debut in the Planet Hulk comic, was described by¬†Taika as:¬†“hard on the outside, and gentle like a marshmallow smudged together with daffodils on the inside.”¬†Wow, an alien with a New Zealand accent. Now this is something we need to see… ¬†

Taika also proposed the idea of including Led Zep on the soundtrack:

“I put together a sizzle reel… because there was no storyline, or anything… I don‚Äôt really know what I‚Äôm going for, so I‚Äôll just get shots from movies I think are cool [laughs] – the energy and the colour and sort of what might look cool for this film. And I put Immigrant Song over the top of it, and then played it for them.

“And they were like, “Oh that‚Äôs really cool. That‚Äôs a cool song. What‚Äôs that?”

“I was like, [deadpan] “It‚Äôs Immigrant Song, Led Zeppelin – one of the most famous songs of all time.”

“They were like, ‚ÄúOh cool, never heard it before, very cool.”

“And I was like, “Oh fuck, really worried now.” But from the start we‚Äôd always talked about using Immigrant Song in the film, because it just makes perfect sense for that character, doesn‚Äôt it?”

Aaah, AH,
We come from the land of the ice and snow,
From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.
The hammer of the gods
Will drive our ships to new lands,
To fight the horde, singing and crying:
Valhalla, I am coming!
On we sweep with threshing oar,
Our only goal will be the western shore. Aaah, AH”¬†

Led Zeppelin РImmigrant Song. 

Valkyrie: “This team of yours, it got a name?”

Thor: “Yeah, it’s called the… uh… Revengers!”

“It was all great stuff to do. I had a ball. I only wish that I’d been in it longer” – Sir Anthony Hopkins.¬†

 

The Merchant Of Menace: Rebel Without A Code Clearance

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‚Äôvaa’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: 

the Zoulzukker!

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?”

“ZX2187…”¬†

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…”

“BAGEL…?!”

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, Commanderme 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…”

“Did ya…?!”

“Course, bleedin’ o’ course I work aht! Whatcha think?! Fer goodness sake, flamin‚Äô Nora‚Ķ 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…”

 

Handle With Flair: Play it Again, Lexi!

Girl Power! With A Flash Of Fartlighter…

“Out here, everything hurts. You wanna get through this? Do as I say” – Imperator Furiosa.

Buff Encounter!

Before the dreaded Zandokan Empire can release an Official Gloat to announce the Upgrade of the formidable flagship: The Imperial Ztodgeztonker, Bagel Looney –¬†that reckless spy of The Resistancehas managed to infiltrate and sabotage its primary weapon systems.¬†During his escape,¬†he has gone “missing” on¬†Wotsit IV, in the Midlanoware System.¬†

Emperor Zan Doka himself has dispatched his deadly Kriegzlide Killzquad to Wotsit to terminate the infiltrator. 

In a daring counter-move – not content to hang around and play pinball machines with the rest of¬†Brad Company –¬†Second Officer: Lexi Waldorf¬†has snuck away in her own dubiously-acquired Zandokan scout-ship (Codename: The Femme Fatale).¬†

Before anyone can say:¬†“It was just a question of which one of them would reach him first,” she has been cornered and disarmed in one warehouse on Wotsit, by the shifty Randy¬†Flapjack and his gang – Blimey Charley! This looks like the end, already!

May Dyzan have mercy upon those poor miscreants…¬†

 

“You won’t be the first lunk’ead I’ve KO’ed, Randy, an’ th way your cohorts are eyin’ me up, you sure¬†won’t be the last!”¬†Lexi¬†yelled, her patience well and truly spent.

“Hey, Lex, take five, doll! Why don’t we-“

“No, we DON’T,¬†Flapjack… Huh, you really expect to walk outta here after callin’ me “doll,” fella?”¬†she scowled bitterly, running a nervous hand through her smokey hair.¬†

“You’d better watch it, darlin’! It’s¬†about ta get a whole lotta ugly-“

“Uff… “darling”… … Who ya tryin’ ta kid?! It’s already too darned unsightly! Never been confronted by such a sorry bunch of lameass dipwits¬†this side o’ Beta Lugosi before… sheesh!” Lexi¬†replied sternly, despite the hoodlums creeping ominously closer.

“Before we get started, fellas, lemme play this –¬†you remember Brad? That Hero of the Battleforce? As groovy as fudge, but as thick as a plank; he¬†gave me this killa tune – it’s better to break bozos like you by…”

“Doin’ the “tough chick” act, eh? Huh, that’ll be the day!”¬†

“Well, boychick,¬†that day has come, so whatever you got, now’s the time to…

BRING IT ON!”¬†

“Look, man. I only need to know one thing: where they are” –¬†Private Vasquez.¬†

Nursing a slight cut on her forearm, Lexi doubled back into the bathroom. As she entered an incongruously spick-and-span wash area, a certain Battleforce Commander-turned-blogger nonchalantly strolled out from one of the shower cubicles, frantically drying his blond tresses. With a hand towel.

“Commander…?! What the blazes are YOU doing here?!”¬†she cried incredulously. ¬†

“Hey! ‘Iya, Lex, ‘ow ya doin’?” he chirped, standing at a sink. “I saw ya shoot off – craved some adventure, so thought I’d tagalong after ya, like-” ¬†

“No, what are you doing HERE? This is the Ladies’ Room, fer cryin’ out loud!”¬†she protested, trying not to be distracted by the Battleforce Commander’s buff profile.¬†

“Aha…! That explains why it’s so… CLEAN in ‘ere. And the taps work.¬†Jeez, it’s jus’ the same ‘ere as back on¬†Revlon –¬†the Mens’ room is locked¬†there an’ all!¬†This is bang out’a order – ya dahn’ wan’ me smellin’ like a moofmilkah ‘board the Calista now, do ya?!” ¬†

“You can say THAT again, Brad. So… you’re more of a traditional galactic hero: you much prefer to drip-dry?”¬†

“Eh…?”

“Look here: Xtra Large Bath Towels are in the cabinet under the sink-“

“Blimey! They’ve got towels… provided?! Tha’s swell… Ya got soap an’ all! I really DIG it ‘ere; this place is a revelation! Ah yeah, I’m usin’ the Ladies facili’ies from now on-“

“Whoa, NOT in the buff you’re not!”¬†

“Hey, if ya were in any other Company, as token female YOU would ‘ave ta do the nude scene, so I-“

“Nah-AH! DON’T.¬†TURN Around, Mister! Keep yer nuggets where I CAN’T see ’em, fella!”¬†

“Ha ha! As ya wish-”¬†

“Grudammit,¬†Commander!¬†This was supposed to be MY mission; will people be talking about¬†my ingenuity,¬†tenacity, badassery?¬†My vivacity even?!¬†NO,¬†they’ll only be concentrating on YOUR firm and shapely buns – bah!!”

“Firm and shapely, eh…? Groovy.¬†Note ta self: switch ta smug-mode,”¬†Brad’s¬†big dopey grin faded instantly.¬†“Soz, Lex… seriously though, I wuz worried about Bagel; he may be completely orf ‘is nut,¬†but ‘e’s a special lil bunny – would ‘ate ta lose ‘im…”

“Yeah, this IS the Sector where our sensors lost trace of him…¬†Hey, look, I’m sorry too – you actually pulled yourself away from your blasted¬†pinball machines to watch over me… okay, you ponsed off to take a shower, but I really appreciate that you’re helpin’ me here, now…”

“No probs – ‘ey, I’ve checked aht the guard ‘ouse, mess quarters, and the… (ahem) bar, but there’s¬†nah sign o’ oor kid anywheres…¬†I’m gonna ‘ave a butcher’s in the… erm, canteen.¬†We’ll meet back ‘ere within the ‘our…!¬†Besta’ luck, Lex. You be extra careful out there, ya dig? Oh, an’ if ya run inta that lil nerk:¬†Frothy¬†Fassblender,¬†giv’im me best regards,” he winked.

“Gotcha – you be careful too,¬†Brad;¬†this place is crawling with that Zandokan garrison.¬†I’ll check out the Admin. Office – see if they’ve arrested him,¬†and – and fer goodness SAKE, Commander! Put some pants ON! That’s an ORDER!¬†Away with your “weapon,” I mean you no harm…”

“I see you’ve managed to get your shirt off…” – Sir Alexander Dane.¬†

No sooner had¬†Brad‘s Second Officer¬†broken into the Admin. Office,¬†a couple of cronies crept in behind her.

“Well well well, if it isn’t Waffle Falafel and¬†Frothy¬†Fassblender:¬†the original tosspots! How ya doin’, fellas?”¬†

“Now lissen ‘ere, girly, it’s lucky that jackass Commander o’ yers ain’t here, otherwise I’d… Just what are you looking for, exactly?”¬†Frothy snapped brusquely.

“Don’t try to act “tough” with me, Frothy – it just doesn’t suit you…¬†No, seriously, I’ve got urgent business with Tenko Tash’vaa-

“Oh yeah?! Ha ha! Ya really think Tash’vaa himself is gonna see YOU-?!” Frothy ‘fessed in disbelief.

“Ya gotta be-!”

“Kidding…? An’ I’ll tell you another thing: the Cakecharmer himself IS here on Wotsit, so you’d better-“

“WHA-?!”¬†Waffle wailed in disbelief.¬†“Fart’s here?! You’ve seen ‘im?!”

“Oof, just¬†about¬†ALL of him, in fact. He-“

“Where?!”¬†yelled Frothy.¬†“Bring ‘im ‘ere! Then we can deal wiv the pair of ya together!”

“Nah-ah! First things first, fella – Brad¬†wanted me to pass on a message…”¬†Lexi¬†stuck her index finger in the¬†air.¬†“Are you listening carefully? Only gonna pass this once.”

“Yeah, you bet! Give it to me, sugar!”¬†

“As you wish, dickwad…” she snarled, and promptly rammed that finger straight into his bronchus.

As his torso creased down, his nose “collided” with her rapidly ascending knee.¬†The woeful henchman instantly flung back, slamming onto the desk spine-first.

Waffle waited and worried, but¬†Fassblender didn’t flinch or fumble.¬†

“Hey, Waffle, don’t just gawp there – come here and I’ll make sure you two can spend the night in the hospital together-“

“Ah, jeez, NO! Please, no! Why don’t I just tell you what you want to know?!”

“Ha! NOW yer talkin’…”

“Why don’t you put her in charge?!” – Private Hudson.

“AND just WHERE do you think you’re going?!”¬†the mighty¬†Tenko Tash’vaa – the Vichyguerran extremist-turned-Imperial-stooge, a seven-foot beast, dressed in full battle-armour¬†–¬†hollered as he reared his ugly green head into the fray,¬†regarding Lexi’s presence¬†with dismay.¬†

“So, just where IS that Battleforce jackass? I show up to talk down to him but what does he do instead? He sends… uff, a woman…” ¬†¬†

“Weh-heh-hell…! We’ve only just met and already this rotten chauv’s given me a grudge ta bear…”¬†Lexi growled uptightly.¬†“Huh, what’s your PROBLEM, eh, Toadface?”

The alien chauvinist just yawned.

“Normally, I’d just be hangin’ out at some mall, upgrading my wardrobe, but since your nasty¬†Zandokan¬†chums came on the scene, I’ve had to resort to this… rough business-“

“Enough chat!¬†I will get my underlings to sort you out…”

“No need – Flapjack an’ his bum-chums are all inhalin’ dust on your warehouse floor…¬†Huh,¬†what IS it with you super-villains? How do you expect to rule the galaxy if you can’t get any half-decent henchmen?!¬†You¬†want a fight, I’ll grudgingly oblige…”

“Charming to the last, but you won’t last long – I’m too big-“

“No worries, Lofty,¬†you just provide more places to hit, that’s all…”¬†

As she wisecracked, out of the corner of her eye she became aware of yet another henchman trudging into the room.

“Actually, girly,” Tenko snarled, “I am getting tired of you and your… attitude-!”

“‘Ey, man,” this latest arrival drawled. “Tha’s nah way ta talk ta a lady…”

“At last!” Lexi¬†cried with relief.¬†“One of your nerks shows some RESPECT… Where you come from, fella? Who- WHOA! BRAD! Didn’t recognise you with yer kit ON…”¬†

Barely Lukewarm – Tenko’s dodgy right-hand “man” – gasped, rapidly wagging his finger between the two heroes:¬†“Are you… two…?!?!”¬†

“I dunno…”¬†Lexi¬†glanced casually at the¬†Battleforce Commander-turned-blogger.¬†“Are we… …?”

“I don’t know who you are or where you came from, but from now on you’ll do as I tell you, okay?” – Princess Leia Organa.

“SIR!” cried Waldo Phlegmthrower,¬†one of the other loons, lurking at the back of the room.¬†“Incoming Message on the Imperial channel!”

“Stand aside, you nauseating lovebirds! Waldo: ensure that I can send a clear message to the Empire!”¬†Tash’vaa¬†stormed impatiently, as he strode maniacally over to a control console.

Thus Рon the main portal Рopened the holographic image of a bloated, scarred and pockmarked mess of a face leering at everybody present. The hoodlums shuddered; Lexi grimaced; but Brad carried on gobbling a hefty wodge of ginger cake, totally nonplussed. 

And so appeared the grotesque visage of none other than¬†Zmutti Zubizmaar –¬†thoroughly repugnant Commander of the Kriegzlide Killzquad.

“Greeteenkz, Comrade Tenko! Vot nooz-¬†Vell, vell, VELL! Vot on Votzeet doh ve hef ‘ERE?!” he hollered hysterically.¬†“Ve come fer ze accurzed zpy, but faind – eenztead – ze leg end ‘eemzelf: ze Kekchairmair!! Veh-heh-hell… vot a turnip fer ze bookz! ‘Ow ya doin’, Bred? Remembair may nem…?”¬†

“Umm… gimme a min- AH! Dick Move, I presume?”

“Grrr… NURRR! Durn’t yo remembair our ultaircation on Alpha Indi II?!”¬†

“Yeah yeah, do I ‘ell! Jeez… Ya ambush me Company, ya cripple me ship,¬†AN’ ya ‘ave the NERVE ta confiscate me cake, fer goodness sake, flamin’ Nora…! Even if ya exile me to the ends o’ the cosmos, ya¬†really think I can forget an ubernerk loike YOU, eh, Zubi? NOT gonna say it’s groovy ta see ya ‘gain… ‘cos it ain’t… What’s yer game this time, tosspot…?”¬†

“(Heh heh, we cool – Ay’ll let zat wun pazz…) Hef yo found ze eenfeeltraitair yet,¬†Urfleenk?”

“Nah… we ‘aven’t; would ya Adam-an’-Eve it – we ‘aven’t…”

“Ya knur… I belieeeve yo, Bred.¬†Nur worries, fool; ez zoon ez may¬†Killzquad tek command uv dat Zector, ve VEEL find heem. Y’knur, our gret flagjheep got vukkt wunce beefur-“

“I should know – I wuz there!”

“Hmmmm…”¬†The¬†Killzquad¬†Commander stared, long, hard and contemptuously at the¬†Battleforce Commander¬†before spitting:

“Tash’vaa! Yo veel huld ze¬†Urfleenkz urnteel Ay erriv – eez dat urndairztood?¬†Hef nur feeeear! May¬†Killzquad veel deeeeal wiv ze zaboteur-zcurm… ull een good tem!

“ETA: fifteen Eempeerial meenuts!

“OVAIR END OAT!!”¬†

Carter Burke: “Ripley, I… You know, I expected more from you. I thought you’d be smarter than this!”

Ellen Ripley: “I’m happy to disappoint you…”¬†

“So… Brad: great “hero,” hmm…? I think not – you still haven’t found your very own spy…”¬†Tenko Tash’vaa continued. “Take away your pecs and wisecracks and what are you…?¬†NOTHING!¬†Your “reputation”… heh, is vastly overrated. I will-”¬†

“Hey, man,” Lexi¬†interjected.¬†“That’s no way to talk to a groovy galactic hero…!”

“Aww, bless yer heart, Lex,”¬†Brad¬†whispered.¬†“This plank really appreciates it-”

Lexi¬†spun round:¬†“Aow, scheisse… You HEARD that?! Soz, Commander…” ¬†

“No worries, lov… Ya really think me buns are THAT shapely…?”¬†

“Basta cosi!!” yelled Tenko, waving an impatient hand.¬†“GAH! You’re BOTH insufferable! Alright, you men – dispose of the Terrans!”¬†

More henchmen lunged towards the two heroes. Brad, gnashing his rotten teeth, lunged forward to shield Lexi.

“‘Ere, get back, lov! This time, lemme deal wiv these nerks for ya…”

“Aww, lookin’ after yer Second Officer? That’s sweet, but I started this mess, fella – besides, ah hell… I’ve seen the way you brawl, Brad – best fer both of us if YOU get back…”¬†

“Okey-dokey then, suit yerself, Officer, ha ha!” he chortled.¬†“Aww, y’know, this reminds me o’ the time¬†we ‘ad ta foight our way orf Esthymon IV –¬†evadin’ the pirates at that spaceport; pickin’ oop some snazzy supplies from the Imperial ware’ouse; ‘avin’ a scrumptious fudge sundae… each!¬†AND ya STILL seized the chance to beat up some guards before we skedaddled! Ah, ‘appy times… Ya sure know ‘ow ta show a plank a good time…”¬†

Lexi¬†rolled her eyes to the ceiling:¬†“Okay, OKAY! I said I’m sorry ’bout that! Jeez, Commander, you’re not gonna let this lie, are ya?”

“No worries, Lex! “As groovy as fudge”: hey hey hey! Tha’s jus’ fine an’ dandy, that!¬†‘Ang abaht… Yer¬†not thinkin’ o’ chargin’ in WIVAHT playin’ some’t… are ya?! Not like you at all…” ¬†

She scanned the mob,¬†fiddled with her ‘Player, did a quick count and sighed:¬†“Aow, jeez…! Don’t these lunk’eads ever learn…?!”

“Course not – ya know ‘enchmen ain’t paid ta use their noddle.¬†Anyway, ya’d better get badassin’ –¬†we got fifteenBlimey Charley!TWELVE minutes now, until Zubi an’ ‘is goons get ‘ere! Look lively, lov-“

“Shoosh, Commander! Ah…!¬†Can’t get ta work without playin’ this one,” Lexi beamed heartily.

Brad’s cute blue eyes lit up at her choice:¬†“Ha! I jus’ KNEW ya were gonna plump fer yer signature track…”

“Of course!she insisted.¬†“After all,¬†every gal’s gotta have a theme tune… right?”

 

¬†“Whoever wrote this episode should die!” – Gwen DeMarco.¬†

 

The Knack Of Scant Prose: Studying The Formula Of First Prize Short Stories

Can Brad Really Win That Short Story Competition After All These Years?! 

“Ideas excite me, and as soon as I get excited, the adrenaline gets going and the next thing I know I’m borrowing energy from the ideas themselves” –¬†Ray Bradbury.

“Writing science fiction,” wrote¬†Ray Bradbury,¬†“is always the art of the possible, never the impossible.”

Winning a short story competition – one of the goals that has always eluded me – cannot, therefore, be impossible.

Having entered various¬†short story¬†competitions, mainly the sci-fi and horror categories – my hopes and expectations were set at exceptionally stratospheric levels, until¬†realizing that my name never even reached the extensive Runners-Up Lists… And so, my tender years – and even more brittle confidence – finally dissuaded¬†me from tackling short story¬†competitions.

However, recently,¬†Brad Burrito Fartlighter:¬†a decidedly English galactic hero,¬†has shot to blogosphere fame in his very own¬†“Fartlighter Bradventures.”¬†Come on! Where else could you find the awesome – and hopefully hilarious – escapades of a very English spacefaring rogue who digs Mexican grub and cake?!¬†One forthcoming instalment has been set aside – for professional consultation – so studying the art (and history) of the short story has taken up my time this past week.¬†

The¬†short story¬†originated in the medium that furnished a market for it:¬†magazines.¬†Common belief holds that the first exponent of this format was¬†Edgar Allan Poe.¬†The majority of the¬†short fiction¬†he produced appeared in the¬†Southern Literary Messenger¬†from 1835 onwards.¬†He is regarded as¬†perfecting the art of¬†striking the keynote –¬†by grabbing attention immediately with a sharp opening paragraph,¬†or even just a¬†sharp opening sentence.

At the¬†moment, it looks like¬†my ideas are flowing more reliably than my typing.¬†Once a really groovy story starts to rock, my dexterity begins to roll. All over the place…¬†

While frantically pummelling the keyboard –¬†apart from getting the ‘e’ and ‘r,’ and ‘a’ and ‘s’¬†mixed up, my fingers now¬†hit ‘v’ instead of ‘b,’¬†and bice bersa…

“A first line should open up your rib cage. It should reach in and twist your heart backward. It should suggest that the world will never be the same again” – Colum McCann. ¬†

How Рand wheredoes the effective short story begin?

“Start as close to the end as possible,”¬†remarked¬†Kurt Vonnegut,¬†when he included a list of¬†essential tips¬†on¬†How To Write A Short Story¬†in the Introduction to his 1999 collection of magazine stories:¬†Bagombo Snuff Box.¬†He also remarked that:¬†“Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.”

Within a certain (limited) word count, how much¬†characterisation can you realistically inject into a “short” story?¬†Fortunately,¬†Fartlighter is gifted with his own band of lovable rogues:¬†“Brad Company” –¬†doing their nabbing-from-the-greedy-to-give-to-the-needy¬†bit¬†across the galaxy;¬†therefore the diversity on display¬†means that a rich and variable range of potential plotlines lie in wait.¬†

Besides breaking up the text with images and quotes, a standard Bradventure can amount to 2,600 words. Naturally, the more fun you have with creative writing, you will/can (easily) produce greater quantity. The Christmas Special turned out to be such a blast that at over 5,000 words and still TWO pivotal scenes yet to be typed, a major editing job had to be applied. Thus, my inner Poe was invoked: with less words, comes greater impact.

Sharper Рand more economical Рthan a novel, the short story has to be vividly defined. 

Allow no wandering, no superfluous material Рheck, prepare to hack without mercy. 

“A short story is not only smaller… not only simpler and more compact, it is single with a more intense concentration. It should work out a single idea; make a single point; close with a single ‘punch’; convey a single effect” – Geoffrey Ashe. ¬†¬†

Unbelievably, what vexes editors and judges the most involves receiving far too many submissions that offer just a situation, NOT a story!

To set my goals straight, these are the Five Components Of A Story that take pride of place in my notes, and what any short story writer should adhere to!

  • A story reveals something about the human condition, or makes a statement about what it means to be human;¬†
  • A story tests personal character, over and over, to reveal deeper character;
  • A story has subplots that are dramatic and thematic reflections of the journey of the protagonist;
  • A story ends in a different emotional space than where it began;
  • A story is driven by a strong moral component motivating¬†the protagonist through the middle of the story, resulting in dramatically interconnected scene writing;

Perhaps some modern movie-makers should also study this list? 

Although the story may not have anything to say about the human condition,¬†at least the reader should be able to derive some fun, be engaged, (be shocked?) and – above all –¬†be entertained.¬†

To create a successful story – the One that sets judges’ pulses racing and jaws droppinga writer MUST convey their OWN ideas and style,¬†to the point of remaking language;¬†let the inexecutable unfold!

At least with my¬†Bradventures,¬†my imagination dares to be¬†adventurous!¬†It’s about time those¬†judges experienced what my writing has become!¬†

Is it not…?¬†

“The greatest American short story writer of my generation was¬†Flannery O’Connor,” Vonnegut¬†continued.¬†“She broke practically every one of my rules… Great writers tend to do that.”

Hmm, in order to get ahead, Brad has to break the rules? 

Ha! So what else is new…?!¬†

“Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water…¬†

“Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them – in order that the reader may see what they are made of…” –¬† Kurt Vonnegut.

Wish me luck!