Category Archives: satire

AeroQuest 4… Adagio 19

Adagio 19 – The Last War Before Now

If you actually read that last Canto instead of skipping it to get to the good parts, especially the naked-girl parts of which I am not promising you any, like most readers do, you may have noticed that both Tron Blastarr and Arkin Cloudstalker were veterans of a war that happened in the Imperium’s Pan Galactican Rim, Space Cowboy country.  The Imperium had for two hundred and thirty-six years been expanding unimpeded and colonizing empty system after empty system.  The problem, of course, is that the systems weren’t exactly empty.  They had merely been cleansed of sentient and intelligent life by an unknown alien presence that came to be known as the Faceless Horde.

Battles took place, and planets would become empty of intelligent creatures like dolphins, whales, apes, Earthers, Nebulons, Galtorrians, Fusions, and other aliens capable of speech, culture, and organized militaries.

And the strangest thing was, the planets were simply empty after the battle.  No bodies of defenders.  No evidence of attackers.  Rumors began that the enemy ate the dead from both sides.  Of course, this was not based on the remains of cannibal cook-outs.  While there were a few of those sites with long-dead skulls and fire-pits for making barbequed people, they were all created by the usual Galtorrian and Dion cannibal cults that had been eating their own as well as other sentients since the Imperium was formed.

But then, finally, captured study specimens, mostly Earther-humans were released by the Horde to return and tell us what they knew.  The Scondians were literally faceless.  They were a race of black, eyeless, faceless creatures that lived entirely on soaked-up starlight, or more groundedly, sunlight.

I got a lot of first-hand information about them because one of Ged Aero’s most prized Psion Teenage Mutant Space Ninjas, Billy Iowa, was one of those captive study specimens returned to the Imperium. 

It was discovered that the Horde War was mostly a matter of misunderstanding.  The creatures did not need to eat because they were made mostly of coherent light energy.  Their bodies were primarily containment constructs to carry beings made mostly of low-temperature thermo-nuclear plasma.  Once killed, they simply dissolved into the air.  The Imperial forces had slaughtered billions, but didn’t know it because the bodies were gone by the time living observers were there to see them.  And Imperials didn’t find any Humanoid or allied alien bodies because the Scondian Faceless Horde were fascinated by them, needing to study them to discover why they didn’t dissolve when deceased.

Billy told me that he was only able to communicate with them when a Scondian who went by the name Rahotep invented a translation device that turned their clicks and popping sounds into Galactic English.  Nothing in Scondian society actually had a name.  “Scondian” and “Rahotep” were simply randomly chosen designations from the computer’s Galanglic database.

So, once the two very different kinds of intelligence could communicate, the misunderstanding of what the two sides each were, and what their goals were, the war ended in a flash.  The differences were great enough that no one actually was interfering with anyone else’s way of life.  Co-existence became easy.

Not so easy came the acceptance of the peace by those like Tron Blastarr, The Degenerate, Arkin Cloudstalker, Razor Conn, and Fez Amin.  They had experienced a myriad of impossible battles against the Scondian Scorpion ships, and came to deeply despise an enemy that had inflicted so much damage and pain with no apparent pay-back.

That’s when the veterans of the Horde War began moving to the border with unknown space to lick their wounds, build new fleets, and turn the act of privateering into complete and illegal piracy.

Many scientists, myself included, felt that the peace settled upon at the end of the Horde War was a mistake.  The Scondian Horde did not offer any cultural exchange or opportunity to cooperate in shared space.  They simply returned the Pan Galactican planets and properties and outstations they had cleansed of people and forbade further colonization in their portion of the Orion Spur.  That was bound to cause trouble sooner or later.  I mean, how can a greedy, acquisitive race of sentient beings like the Earthers, or the lizard-like Galtorrians, or the Human/Galtorr Fusions ever be satisfied that sentient beings with planets and a culture of their own not only forbid profiting from trade and commerce with them, basically in order to take advantage of them, or, even more galling, deny them planets, stars, and property to steal from its rightful owners?  They can’t be satisfied.  Piracy, after all, is what moves history forward.   But then came the massive influx of Nebulons in their Space Whale Cruisers, moving into Imperial range for no apparent reason.  By the billions, the little blue Space Smurfs were invading with a culture no more easily understandable than that of the Scondian Horde.  A new enemy to go to war with and exploit in any way possible made the Imperial navy and Admiral Tang forget all about the Faceless Scondian Horde.

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Filed under aliens, humor, novel, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney, Pirates, satire, science fiction

AeroQuest 4… Canto 102

Canto 102- How to Fly a Dinosaur

Things were a bit crazy on the surface of Outpost as the airless planet began preparing for the coming space battle with Admiral Tang and the Imperial Fleet.  But King Killer was certain it had to be like eating cake and ice cream down there compared to what he had to do up in orbit.

He paced back and forth in front of the ten pilots he had lined up on the flight deck of his command ship.

“You men are the cream of the crop of new pilots.  You are already designated as wing commanders.  And the ranks of ship captains and vice admirals above you are completely empty and waiting to be filled.  And yet, between the ten of you, you have already crashed twenty ships.  And you are lucky those were these bulky Triceratops cruisers.  Their Ancient tech makes them practically indestructible and easy to repair. Every pilot who has crashed a Pterosaur fighter so far, all two hundred and fifty-three of them, are dead.  And their ships are destroyed.”

All five cavemen from Don’t Go Here, and all three M’uduai from what King was calling Squidworld, and the idiot from Geogenesis, and the rockman from Dekastria nodded their stupid heads at the same time.

“Do you actually understand me?  Or do your heads just do that because you see the others do it?”

“Yes, Admiral Killer, Sir!” they chimed in unison.

“Zukkuua. Kuakuua Killer, Kua!” shouted the rockman who didn’t know Galactic English yet.

“You mean, yes, you understand me?  Or, yes, you are just imitating the others?”

“We understand you, Admiral Killer, sir!”

“Slikka ku Kikk kik?” said the rockman.  Then he appeared to be thinking about it.  “Zukkuua, Kuakuua Killer, Kua!”

“What did he say?” King asked.

“He said he understands, but wonders if you understand him?” said the caveman in the thick reading glasses.

“Teach him Galactic English, dammit!”

“Uh, yessir!  Admiral Killer, sir!”

“Okay, now, these men will be your teachers, as they are some of the finest pilots anywhere on the frontier.”

King indicated the three pilots standing behind him.

“Elvis the Cruel has more kills in battle than any other pilot I have ever heard about.  With the Pinwheel Corsairs he has killed more than nine hundred space ships and more than a thousand ground targets.”

Elvis stepped forward, gave a jaunty salute, and then said, with a cigarette stub hanging off his lip, “Thank ya, thank ya very much.”

All ten pilots clapped.

“Apache Scout has been the number-two pilot in the Lady Knights Corsair Band for fifteen years.  He was one of the most effective fighters in the First Battle of White Palm.  He also helped plan the overall battle plan for that invasion.”

The huge, well-muscled descendant of old Earth Apaches stepped forward and saluted with a stern face.

The pilots all saluted back and then clapped.

“And I hope the third trainer, Vince Niell will be the most help to you.  He started as a rookie pilot from Don’t Go Here.  He took up piloting aboard the first starship designed by Ancient technology, the Megadeath.  He has swiftly become a peerless pilot, maneuvering that ship in ways I have never seen done before.”

Vince, still wearing his mirrored sunglasses inside the spaceship’s fighter flight deck, stepped forward and saluted.

They all saluted back and clapped.

“Perhaps, Admiral Vince, you can tell us a little bit about how you learned to pilot your ship in combat?”

“Um… yeah, well, you see, sir…  um… Actually, the ship kinda taught me herself.  I kinda developed a close working relationship with my baby and she sorta does whatever I can picture in my head for her to do.”

“Wait a minute!”  King’s head was suddenly swimming in a sea of shock.  “You mean your ship is telepathic?”

“Um, yeah.  I think it’s kinda a feature of all these Ancient starships.  The Triceratops I tried out after Tron first brought them here seemed to read my mind as easily as the Megadeath does.”

King Killer hit his own forehead with his gloved fist.  Why was he just now hearing this?  He had a sudden urge to punch Dr. Hooey in the face again.  Too bad the stupid Time Knight was not present. And too bad the problem wasn’t really his fault.

“Willy!  Willy Culver!  Get out here this instant!”

The man who wasn’t supposed to survive the imprisonment on the planet Stanley came out of the tool room obediently.  King punched him in the eye and knocked him out cold.  King knew there was a good reason he had saved that man’s life.

“Okay.  You all heard Admiral Niell’s advice.  The next time you fly, think at your stupid starship until the damned thing thinks back!”   

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Novel Transitions

The re-write of AeroQuest 3 is now complete. I just need to finish proof-reading and final edits before self-publishing on Amazon along with the other two books.

The Duo-ilogy will now be pushed into a trilogy.

And then rewriting and reworking begins on part 4 to turn the trilogy into a fourple-ilogy.

Four books? Did I say fourple-ilogy? That isn’t going to be the end if the Coronavirus doesn’t cut me short. What’s left will become a five-book thingy. What do you call that? A fiveple-ilogy? A nickelilogy? It can’t be a nickelology. That would be the study of five-cent coins.

Book one, subtitled Stars and Stones, tells how the two Aero brothers flee the Imperium because Ged faces persecution as a space-werewolf, a thing he is really not. What he really is is a Psion Shape-changer, able to rearrange the cells of his body according to the DNA of other creatures he has come in contact with and analyzed, mostly by tasting their flesh.

They come to an unknown planet where billions of people have been marooned by space pirates, corsairs, and stardogs. This planet, called Don’t Go Here has developed an entire stone-age culture based entirely on old holovids of the cartoon show The Flintstones.

The second book of the Teachers in Space Nickel-ilogy is subtitled Planet of the White Spider.

In it, Ged Aero learns for the first time that he is the prophesied return of the White Spider, a great teacher that will help Psions learn to overcome prejudice against them to use their powers to help make life better for everyone and build an empire of new stars and star-systems.

While Ged is busy learning to be a teacher and how to have some class, his brother Ham Aero is joining pirates, corsairs, smugglers, and various marginalized alien races as they rebel against Admiral Tang and the empire of half-lizard, half-human Galtorrian/Human Fusions.

In the third book, subtitled Juggling Planets, the characters learn the hard way that some of them are going to have to become leaders while others will have to be teachers. Numerous planets join in the rebellion. Some serious losses occur, as well as some significant gains. Some serious people get made fun of. Some not-so-serious people do some of the hardest work… or have the best dumb luck. And there are weird aliens, wacky technology, goofy people and strange planets, and things undreamed of in Horatio’s philosophy. If you haven’t guessed yet, these books are science-fiction comedies.

Next week, I start the rewrite of book 4, subtitled The Amazing Aero Brothers.

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From an Alternative Point of View

These are not my two sons. The picture was drawn fifteen and ninteen years before they were born. Yet they were my two sons in the cartoon story this picture was lifted from.

Am I literally able to fortell the future? Of course not. But as an overly-sensitive artistical type one could argue that there is evidence in my art and writings that my reality now was at least partially embedded in my consciousness many years ago.

Estellia the Demoness

And truthfully, looking at the truth of things based on empirical evidence is what this point-of-view post is all about. We cannot always rely on the traditional concepts of good and evil as they have been taught to us. Sometimes you have to look at how the evidence stacks up properly, and just plain intuit a new way of seeing the whole picture. Yes, this is a portrait of a fifteen-year-old former student of mine. And she was definitely evil and difficult to deal with. But she went into nursing after high school. She works in the ER where her decisive ways and ferocious insistence on having things work out in her favor because that’s the way the established rules say it must be done turn into positive qualities that are probably saving lives in a Texas hospital as we speak. It is all in how you perceive the truth of a situation and then apply it.

Comedy, of course, depends greatly on rearranging your point of view. If you are going to make a joke about something, you have to re-mix and un-match the details in ways that still make a sort of sense to the reader or the hearer of the joke. I have taught at schools like Dudwhittler’s. If you are a teacher, you recognize that that school bus carries not only that which is funny, but also that which is very true. The teacher driving the bus is a tin man who easily rusts and cries too much, thus rusting further, but you can see he has earned his heart, even if he has to drive the bus on top of teaching so he will have enough money to buy food.

But probably the most anticipated thing from a new perspective that you were expecting since reading the title is a new perspective on the Coronavirus shut-down and economic depression. That alternative take is simply this… the pandemic, though extremely hard and painful, is a good thing that happened at the right time.

I am willing to say this, even though the way the virus has been mishandled in this country is going to very likely be the death of me, because there are benefits that we simply don’t recognize without a thorough punch to the gut and another to loose teeth.

It is a good thing because it will make it harder for Herr Fuhrer Pumpkinhead to win the next election, and he will probably take a number of corrupt Republicans down to the bottom of the sea with him.

It is a good thing because it is proving to us that we can survive on less and still make our way out of the bad situation.

It is a good thing because kids get extra time off from school, and probably also the chance to spend more time with the people who really teach them things we need them to know… like parents, grandparents on Zoom, teachers who don’t fear distance-learning technology, and trolls on the internet (Yes, I know that last one is risky and mainly learning the hard way, but it is also true from before the virus hit).

It is a good thing because the air is cleaner. And we have proven that we can make radical adjustments when it is a matter of life and death. And the environmental crisis is actually a matter of life and death.

So, now I’ve had my twisted say about my pretzel-minded perspective. And so you can now trash it, or possibly learn to like pretzels.

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Never Say Die

Amazingly, I am still not dead. Even though this invisible virus-monster is totally new to our species and we have zero resistance and no vaccination for it, I am in a position now that, with a lot of hard work and even more good luck, I can continue to survive and stay alive.

Of course, there are evil people out there that would love it if those inconvenient poor people would just die out (people like me who spent their lives doing useless stuff like educating the next couple of generations to be people who can read and write by being a teacher). Poor people cost rich people money.

One wealthy governor has kept his State full of beaches (that benefit economically from things like Spring Break and Easter weekend) fully open for business, thus infecting scores of people that go back to home States like Texas (where I live) to spread potential death to people whose cheap-o health insurance (like mine) won’t pay to save your life because that would cut into profits.

One wealthy President has down-played the seriousness of this pandemic up until now. He has been more concerned with suppressing knowledge of how bad it is going to be (because that could sour people in his base from re-electing him in November) rather than preparing in a way that would allow healthcare workers to adequately protect themselves as they treat waves of the infected and dying, and providing more respirators to save those whose infections are suffocating them (which he simply cannot do without limiting corporate profiteering by his super-rich CEO-type buddies).

Maybe those of us who survive this pandemic should see to it that the rich, evil dudes who made this so much harder to survive lose power and profits, and maybe even go to jail for a change.

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Nutzy Nuts

Things are not what they seem. Life throws curve balls across the plate ninety percent of the time. Fastballs are rare. And fastballs you can hit are even rarer. But if Life is pitching, who is the batter? Does it change the metaphor and who you are rooting for if the batter is Death?

If you think this means that I am planning on dying because of the Coronavirus pandemic, well, you would be right. Of course, I am always planning for death with every dark thing that bounces down the hopscotch squares of the immediate future. That’s what it means to be a pessimist. No matter what bad thing we are talking about, it will not take ME by surprise. And if I think everything is going to kill me, sooner or later I have to be right… though, hopefully, much later.

I keep seeing things that aren’t there. Childlike faces keep looking at me from the top of the stairs, but when I focus my attention there, they disappear. And I know there are no children in the house anymore since my youngest is now legally an adult. And the chimpanzee that peeked at me from behind the couch in the family room was definitely not there. I swear, it looked exactly like Roddy McDowell from the Planet of the Apes movies, whom I know for a fact to be deceased. So, obviously, it has to be Roddy McDowell’s monkey-ghost. I believe I may have mentioned before that there is a ghost dog in our house. I often catch glimpses of its tail rounding the corner ahead of me when my own dog is definitely behind me. And I am sure I shared the facts before that Parkinson’s sufferers often see partial visions of people and faces (and apparently dogs) that aren’t really there, and that my father suffers from Parkinson’s Disease. So, obviously it is my father and not me that is seeing these things… He’s just using my eyeballs to do it with.

But… and this is absolutely true even if it starts with a butt… the best way to deal with scary possibilities is to laugh at them. Jokes, satire, mockery, and ludicrous hilarity expressed in big words are the proper things to use against the fearful things you cannot change. So, this essay is nothing but a can of mixed nutz. Nutzy nuts. And fortunately, peanut allergies are one incurable and possibly fatal disease I don’t have. One of the few.

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AeroQuest Illustrations in Pen & Ink

I have been drawing these mock-Star-Wars science-fiction-heroes for thirty years. Some of these are that old. Some of them are new this year. All of them illustrate the adventures that started as a science-fiction-role-playing game and became the series of novels called AeroQuest.

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AeroQuest 3… Canto 78

Canto 78– Doom Looms (The Goofy Gray Thread)

Now, you probably remember that Trav Dalgoda was sitting up in orbit around the planet Farwind on the ship he now commanded with lots of toys to play with.  He had particle beam weapons and ion weapons that could reach the planet from space.  You can probably imagine he was in Goof Heaven and everyone else under his command had to be in Nervous Hell.

“Don’t you want to stop playing with those red buttons, Trav?” asked Dana Cole sweetly.

“Oh, I love these weapons.  I haven’t played with things like this since that gigantic forest fire on the planet Samothrace.  You could see that one burning from space, I’ll tell you what.”

“Still, you know, there are other things to do besides constantly targeting different things that are visible on the planet.”

“Yeah, I know.  But… what, for instance?”

“Well… I. uh…”

“You know, you look pretty in that uniform.”

“Thank you, Trav.  I’m so glad you finally noticed.”

“Oh, I always notice you.  You are one hot hoochie mama!”

Dana frowned.  “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means I really like you.  In fact, I think I’m gonna need you with me always.  Hey, I can get an unobstructed target lock on the industrial complex at Cyber City!  Cool deal!”

Dana nervously undid the jacket buttons of her uniform.  She had nothing on underneath, and the full glory of her cleavage and her navel were revealed.  Her hands were actually shaking.  This seduction might be needed to save lives.

“Notice anything else about my uniform, sailor boy?”

“Yeah, Little Jester, your front came undone.  Better button up so that you won’t be out of uniform.”

Dana’s jaw set grimly.  Some forms of stupidity are too immense to be believable.  Never-the-less, no matter how exaggerated it may seem, there is almost always an example somewhere of every kind of idiot behavior.

“Did you notice how I had your ancient artifact set up on the bridge?”  Dana pointed at the evil coffee machine where it was percolating with eerie green lights in the middle of the bridge.  The other bridge officers walked around it as if it were a sleeping baby, an excessively evil sleeping baby.  Tiptoes were almost not enough.

“Ah, yes, my beautiful Tesserah!  I love the way it gleams and smells like napalm in the morning.”

“Maybe you should examine it more closely.  It’s been thirty minutes since you looked at it last.”

Trav’s grin was maniacal.  He strode over to the pulsing artifact.  He put both hands on it.  “Ah, has oo missed yer daddy?  I wuv oo, yes, I do.”

The behavior made Dana almost sick to her stomach.  As he petted the thing and nearly made love to it, she couldn’t help but think this was the worst assignment she had ever drawn from the evil creepers of Expedition One.

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Living on a Shoe String

There was an old man who lived in a shoe.

He had so many expenses, he didn’t know what to do.

Of course, I am not complaining.

Even though it’s a tennis shoe and not a cowboy boot.

I have got an ice cream truck outside. Sponsored by Hot Wheels.

And now that I have a substitute teaching job, I almost have more money than bills… well, some months… maybe.

But I still can’t afford ice cream. Or insulin.

But my neighbor lives in a house made of eggshell. And he has cancer. But he gets visits from the Partridge Family in their funky school bus. It is better to live on a shoe-string budget than an eggshell budget. But we all have our troubles. Which Aetna will never willingly pay for.

Except for the rich guy who lives on Mel Gibson Hill. He has no troubles.

He has plenty of money.

And he is the reason the rest of us are poor.

Because he pays for politicians to give him tax breaks on all that money that never trickles down the hill.

But life is good in Toonerville Town.

Unless that shoestring comes undone.

And then it takes lots more hard work to tie it up again.

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Friday Foolishness II (It Is a Great Time to be a Republican)

Image from teeshirtpalace.com

We got control of da Gubba-mint, Wuss…

To get anyting ya gotta go tru us.

Don Don Trumpatini is now in charge,

And only he can say what tings is large.

Da judges is all appointed by da Don.

So what’s legal is up ta him.

Don Don Trumpatini, I mean,

Can kill ya on any ol’ whim.

If youse sez he can’t do jest any old ting,

And get away wit it under the law,

Then ol’ Capo Bill Barr will bring on de dogs,

And dey will be eating ya raw.

picture courtesy of the Daily Beast

And don’t tink of not payin’ yer taxes,

Like all of da rich people do,

Cuz they has da money fer axes,

And can chop up especially you.

“De Dems tink dat dey can remove me,” says Don.

“Jes cuz I’ve committed some crimes.

“But as Prexy, I’ve made de crimes legal.

“So, Stoopid, youse get wit da times.”

imgur.com

And Moscow Mitch has his big ol’ back-side,

And Kanye is in his dark corner.

So dat leaves yas with no place to hide.

Cuz Hells’ gettin’ whole lots o’ warmer.

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