Canto 107 – A Group of Space Goons is Called a Goon-o-plex
The situation on Rimbaud Memorial Outstation began with a single Space Goon, as they all almost always do. Infestations, I mean. Space Goons reproduce asexually like microscopic amoebas do, by splitting into three parts after eating something. And then each part split off from the original grows into a new Goon. First you have one. It eats a cat. Then you have three. They eat another cat, a plate of unattended Italian meatballs, and a decorative plant. Then you have nine. Six of those get into the food pantry. One finds the last living cat on the outstation. And two more eat a small gambler who lost everything playing deep-space poker and drank himself into a coma with gargleblasters. Then you quickly reach eighty-one. You get the alarming idea, right?
“Mon dieu!” cried Banzai. “They will consume everything edible on my entire station! Please, friends, you must help me round them up and herd them out an airlock.”
“But isn’t that too cruel to do to a sentient creature?” asked Dana Cole, still shivering and naked at Trav’s command.
“They are not even as smart as Goofy Dalgoda,” said Ham Aero.
“That’s right!” cried Trav “Goofy” Dalgoda. “We must space them because they are too stupid to live.”
“No, they are able to live fine in space without space suits,” I told them all, calling upon my scientific acumen and nearly omniscient memory. “They will just float happily out there with nothing to eat, at least until they collide with a planet or asteroid, or some other place with gravity.”
“Do I recall correctly when I remember that in a feeding frenzy, a hundred Space Goons start eating people… at least those made of flesh and blood?” asked Duke Ferrari, showing something more than just mild concern.
“Naw, I think that’s just a spacer myth told because Space Goons come from unknown space and not enough is known about them,” suggested Ham.
At that same moment, a Space Nudist serving girl disappeared in a goon-o-plex of a hundred and three Goons. Muffled cries were heard, followed by munching sounds, and then no more serving girl was to be seen.
“How do we get them off the outstation?” asked Banzai.
“I has some middlin’ experience with Space Goon cat-nip recipes, I has,” volunteered Sinbadh, offering his cooking skills.
“What did he say?” asked Banzai.
“He says he’ll cook up some Goon-bait to put in the airlock,” I translated. “If the smell is right, they will all follow the bait out into space and reproduce out there.”
“But Oi will needs sum special Goon grub to make it with!” announced Sinbadh.
“What do you need?” Banzai was desperate.
“Ol’ shoe-leather, some turpentine, Samothracian onions, a dash o’ me own special sauce, and all the bar soap you can muster from every fresher on the whole outstation, me buck-o!”
Swiftly the star-dog cook got to his business. Banzai kept the ravenous Space goons, now over a thousand strong, occupied by throwing them a few non-paying customers and one or two of his ugliest serving girls.
Then Sinbadh returned from the kitchen with a pot of extremely smelly stew. He ran past the Space Goons to an emergency airlock, grabbed hold of a support beam with one hand, opened the air lock with his foot, and while Space Goons, outstation staff, and customers alike were sucked out into space, threw the pot of smelly goo out too. All of the Space Goons followed it out. As Sinbadh closed the airlock again, we could see that only about fifty percent of the people in the area the Space Goons had infested were lost to the void. None of those who were in our party failed to secure themselves against being sucked out of the station into space. So, the ploy was at least slightly successful.
“How did you fools manage to survive this?” cried Sorcerer 15, standing near the concourse doorway with an angry look on his white, Synthezoid face.
“You again?” Trav cried, pulling out of his hidden super-pocket that held items in an interdimensional bubble, his latest acquisition, a brand-new super-illegal Skortch ray gun.
“I’m ready for you this time Dalgoda!” said Sorcerer, pulling out a mirror-shield.
Trav shot Sorcerer 15 in the feet. As his artificial feet disintegrated, he dropped and broke the mirror-shield.
Trav then shot him in the torso and disintegrated the rest of him.
“I hate to admit it, Trav, but your obsessions prove useful at times,” Ham said.
“You will now politely give me the illegal weapon,” said Banzai Joe. “Be careful not to accidentally put a hole in the outstation that will kill us all…”
Trav grinned. First, he pointed the weapon at Banzai’s midsection. Then he handed it carefully to the outstation’s manager. “Of course. I will get it back before I leave, though. That weapon of massive destruction belongs to me. And you owe it to me to give it back. After all, I heroically saved your entire station.”
“Yes, yes… But only when you leave. I actually owe the star-dog much, much more.”
That little soiree was not the first time I had nearly lost my life to a Space Goon infestation. And it wouldn’t be the last. But it was easily one of the fastest and most ironically amusing.