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Aeroquest… Canto 14

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Canto 14 – Sorcerer 3

 

Trav thought this Dana Cole girl was hot stuff.  She seemed to like him.  She talked nice to him.  She made him feel at home in Slaghoople Manor.  She looked really sexy in a fake fur bikini.

“So,” she said, “your name is Trav Dalgoda and you seek the fabled Hammer of God.  Why do you seek it here?”

Trav slouched back comfortably on the synthetic rock sofa.  “My friend Frieda told me it was here.”

“Who is this Frieda?”

“Oh, she was my invisible friend in third grade at school on the planet Questor.  No one else could see her, but she was always nice to me.”

Dana took his hand and slipped an electronic ring on his finger.

“What’s this, then?”

“That is a little something to help me get to know you,” she said.  “Now, you say this friend was invisible?  Did others think you were crazy?”

“Well, yes.  Actually, I sometimes thought I was crazy myself.  It’s hard to believe anyone as handsome as me could be as truly wonderful as I tend to be.”

“He speaks truthfully,” said a tiny voice from the ring on Trav’s finger.  “At least he believes it is so.”

“How interesting,” said Dana.  “I know a man named Count Appleby that you must meet some day.”

“Is he wonderful too?”

“Oh, yes.  He believes he’s the reincarnation of Napoleon.”

“Who would that be?”

“Didn’t you study ancient history back on the planet Questor?”

“Oh!  Well, I…  You know, sometimes there isn’t enough time for study when you’re growing up to become one of the most important men in the Milky Way!”

“He is now untruthful,” said the ring.

“Well, isn’t that something!” marveled Trav, ogling the talking ring.

“Here comes the boss,” said Dana in a purr of dark intent.

“Oh, good!” said Trav.

Rocko Slaghoople was a balding, but massively-muscled cave man who looked quite dangerous.  His brutish face had but one thick eyebrow across his beady-eyed visage.  His powerful arms looked like they were dragging on the floor.  His arms seemed even longer than his legs.

Traveling next to Rocko on metal legs came a white-robed Synthezoid, or artificial man.  His soulless white eyes had no pupils and his head came to a point like some kind of conehead.

“Hello, boss,” said Dana Cole.

“Hello, my beauty,” answered the Synthezoid.

“Hello, Mr. Rocko,” said Trav.  “I understand that you might know something about the Hammer of God.”

“Whu…?” grunted Slaghoople.

“The Hammer of God!  The Ancient artifact!  Everyone says you’re the man to see about such things.”  Trav’s voice cracked with sudden desperation.

Rocko looked stupidly at the Synthezoid.

“Yes,” said the artificial man, “and my intel claims that you know something about the Crown of Stars.  Weren’t you with the infamous Tron Blastarr when he stole it?”

“Well, I…”

“I am even told that you came away with the item.”

“Who… who are you?”

“I am called Sorcerer 3, and I am your new partner in this little quest.”

sorcerer

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Aeroquest… Canto 13

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Canto 13 – Dino-Man

 

Fred 3576 was tied to one side of the tree, his girlfriend Wilma456 was trussed to the other side.  Their pet, Dino6476 was laid out dead and ready for skinning, much too dangerous to try to keep as a live captive.  The two cave youths looked at Ged with large, fearful eyes.

“I can’t wear that!” moaned Ham, looking at the fur loincloth young Fred was wearing.

The Nebulon Princess grinned at Ham.  It began to dawn on all of them that she now understood the words being spoken around her.  Ham blushed.

“We have to find that clown of yours before he can do some real damage.  Unless you think you can do the riding beast, you are going to have to use what that boy is wearing as your disguise.”

“Ged?  What are you going to do about the riding beast?”  Ham seemed nervous about the grim determination he obviously saw on Ged’s face.  Ged could tell just by looking that what came next was going to traumatize Hamfast Aero.

“I’m going to skin and eat this thing.”

Ged’s environment suit was laid aside.  Ged sat down next to the dead raptor with his lectroknife.  The blade shimmered with barely controlled energy.  He slit the beast open from throat to groin.  He quickly peeled back the hide, and then spent about half an hour stretching and preserving the hide on the gray ironwood frame he made from tree branches.  The meat he carved off was eaten raw with special cat teeth he grew in order to eat the meat.  Then he began to analyze and absorb.  Complex DNA patterns formed in his inner eye.  He had never gone further than imagining this process before, yet he knew he could achieve it.  He ate more as he began to change. The skin of his face split at the nose ridge and fell away to reveal scales.  The bones of his face began to elongate into raptor form.  The more he changed, the more he felt the need to eat.  As his own previous flesh sloughed off, he had to replenish his own mass with the flesh of the raptor.  After another twenty minutes, Ged Aero had become a dinosaur, a Dionysian velociraptor.

Just as Ged had imagined, Ham was nearly in shock over the transformation.  He’d seen Ged grow scales here and there, and change color a few times.  He’d even seen the fangs grow in once or twice.  But this was the first time Ged had let anyone else witness how completely his ability allowed him to change form.  He knew it was disgusting and awful to watch, but he felt the time had come to reveal what he could truly do.

“Ged?  How did you…?”

“Truly amazin’ Bucko!” Sinbadh gasped.

The Princess took Ham in hand and made sure he followed through with the plan.  She stripped the captured Fred of his Bam-Bam shorts and then undressed Ham, before putting the caveman disguise on him.  Ham was too far gone to protest or be embarrassed.

“Thaank you, Princesssss,” said the velociraptor that was Ged Aero.  “You and Sssinbadh ssstay and guard the prisonerssss.”

The Princess firmly shook her head no.  She stripped the girl of her Raquel Welch 1,000,000 B.C. bikini and put it on.  Her small son she stripped naked.  “We go,” was all she said.

Ham mounted on Ged’s saurian back and the Princess got up behind him.  The little blue boy was wedged safely in between them.

“What is to become of us?” cried young Fred3576.  “You killed our Dino.  You can’t just leave us here in the wild naked and tied up!”

“No harm will come to you,” hissed Ged.  “Sssinbadh will ssstay and guard you.”

“Blimey!  Ya kin count on me, Cap’n.  As long as ye don’t eat me.  I am yer faithful dog!  Space dog, that is!”

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Aeroquest… Adagio 4

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Adagio 4 – Don’t Go Here

I have to tell you, brilliant as I am, I will probably never figure out the reasons for the existence of things like the Bedrock Culture of the planet, Don’t Go Here.  I do know that the first colony that archeologists uncovered from there was a back-to-nature group that had a weird religion that insisted they reject all modern technology.  After a number of years, their culture began to be inundated with marooned starship passengers by the Stardog Corsairs.  It was claimed that the only entertainment that had been left to them were a handful of cartoon holovids and one holovid player.  The Flintstones took on a kind of religious significance among the growing population of the planet.

Evidence clearly indicates that the first colonists were Galtorrian refugees from the planet Dionysus.  They were a group of Galtorr/Human Fusions, Earthers, and a group of humanoid saurians known as Dions on Dionysus.  You know what that mix looks like, right?  Lizard men and half-lizard-men with humans mixed in.  They brought with them saurian pets and work animals of the kind usually referred to in Galactic English as the dinosaurs.  They also brought numerous Dionysian plants.

Now, Dions are not accustomed to wearing clothing anywhere but in space.  They have natural scale armor and even their private parts and prehensile tails are covered by living leather and scales.  That’s a fashion choice that makes me cringe a little.  The humans who came with them were dedicated to the idea that it was only right to wear as little clothing as they could get away with in honor of their Dion friends.  Even the primitive monkey people who were brought along as slaves, those peculiar furry pygmies known as Lemurians, were taught to wear nothing beyond the occasional synthetic fur.

I guess it only made sense when this back-to-nature group with their cartoonish ways and chosen primitive lifestyle were mixed with castaways from all over, and marooned spacers stripped of all tech gear, they were bound to mutate into a blended culture unlike any that had grown up anywhere else.

bedrock

For clothing, a few electrical material synthesizers were created from scrounged parts of the scuttled colonial ships.  Thus, synthetic furs could be manufactured for clothing, since organic material was plentiful, but furred animals didn’t exist on the planet.  Synthesized stone-foam wads could be easily hollowed out to make stone homes that looked almost exactly like the homes in the Flintstones holovids.

The fake orange furs with black triangles on them came to be known as Fredsuits.  White fur dresses became known as Wilma Skins.  Blue fur went into Bettypelts, and Brown was for Barneysuits.  Bam-Bam Shorts and Pebblespelts, also known as Bonehead Skins, rounded out the major styles.  Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty, Pebbles and Bam-Bam became the most common names chosen by colonists and castaways alike.  They began to distinguish themselves from one another by adding numbers to their names.  Most ridiculous of all, the most common vehicle developed by the highly imitative culture was the foot-powered car.  They gave up all practical value in order to imitate the cartoon show.

By the time the Aero Brothers arrived, the culture of the planet Don’t Go Here had degenerated into something unparalleled in history and monumentally silly.

 

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