I am trying to follow through with my insane writing plan to post a chapter from this unfinished Sci-Fi novel every Tuesday. So, here is the second installment of my comedy about the end of the world if it was a lizard world, which it isn’t… or, at least, we hope it isn’t.
Canto Two – Xiar’s Captain’s Quarters
“What do you mean by Galtorr Prime?” shouted Captain Xiar at his first officer and his first officer’s Earther primate wife. The Captain had inherited his rank rather than earned it, so he firmly believed that shouting was the key ingredient in good leadership. “We can’t be at Galtorr Prime. That’s the worst place for us to be.”
“This was not the plan, Captain,” said Biznap. “We arrived here by accident.”
“Well, reverse the process. Even going back to Earth is better than here!”
“Well…” Biznap scraped the floor with his foot. “The thing is… we can’t.”
“We corrected a fundamental flaw in the program that has been there for over a hundred years. The astrogator has been rebooted with a new primary Sleer seed. It can’t find the coordinates for Barnard’s Star or for Earth either one. It will just calculate up a spot in empty space. We have been travelling using the wrong coordinates for more than a century.”
“Why can’t we go back to those coordinates?”
“They are now gone from the system.”
“How could this happen?”
Harmony Castille, the beautiful blonde Sunday school teacher, raised her hand. “It’s my fault. I corrected the math and caused the system to operate on new coordinates.”
“Really, Captain,” said Biznap. “It turns out we have been operating with faulty math for too long. Now that we’re doing it right, the machine won’t go back to the old, wrong system. We would have to map out new coordinates all over again. Re-explore the entire empire.”
“So you are telling me we have no choice but to live in orbit around the most dangerous planet in existence?”
“No, it is worse than that. No longer recycling protein by eating our tadpoles means we have to find new food sources on the planet below. We are going to have to establish a downport colony to continue to survive and grow as a community.”
Xiar sat down on his resting pad thoroughly stunned. His new wife, Shalar, beautiful and green and wearing only the satin robe made for her by the Morrells, put both arms around Xiar’s thick green neck.
“What do we know about the Galtorrians, dearest?” she asked innocently. Hugging behaviors were entirely new to Tellerons. They had seen humans do it countless times on Earther television, such as the I Love Lucy show that Tellerons loved so deeply, but they had never practiced it until Alden and Gracie Morrell had adopted Xiar’s son Davalon who Xiar had nearly marooned on Earth (accidentally). They had shown him how to do it as they showed him how to actually be a good parent. Xiar found it totally alien… but he liked it.
“I don’t really know. We have to get Farbick to work on it right away, but I believe they are lizard-men who eat meat and fight wars.”
“We knew the Earthers ate meat and fought wars,” reminded Shalar. “They didn’t turn out to be so terrible. In fact, we learned a lot about them. They were very kind and generous to us.”
“Do you really think we can be so badly mistaken about two races we believed to be our enemies? One was unlikely enough.”
“I really fear we are not mistaken this time,” said Biznap.
“Do we have their broadcasts to monitor?” asked Shalar, “We had a wealth of information at the tips of our sucker pads last time thanks to the broadcasts.”
“No signals at all,” sighed Harmony. “It’s like they haven’t invented TV or radio yet.”
“Maybe our superior technology will help us this time,” suggested Biznap.
“Not when guided by stupid brains,” moaned Xiar. “This time we are surely lost.”
“Don’t give up before trying,” said Harmony. “The Lord helps those who help themselves.”
“I don’t know who your Lord is,” said Xiar, “But fire up the ritual laser lights and let’s get praying. We need all the help we can get. Do we need to consider sacrificing a few tadpoles or junior officers? What appeases your god?”
“Ach! Educating heathens can be such a trial!” swore Harmony. “Let me get my Bible. I have some serious educating to do.”
So, there you have chapter two, which probably makes no sense whatsoever, unless you read chapter one… or possibly bought and read my published novel Catch a Falling Star. Tricky about shameless self-promotion, ain’t I?