Cosmic tales 2 zulgahoik, p.1
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       Cosmic Tales 2: Zulgahoik!, p.1

           Richard C. Parr
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Cosmic Tales 2: Zulgahoik!


  Richard C. Parr

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  Cosmic Tales #2: Zulgahoik!

  Copyright (C) 2015 by Richard C. Parr

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  This particular copy of the eBook series Cosmic Tales is licensed for the enjoyment of everyone. It may be freely distributed to others without conditions. Thank you for supporting the author by downloading and reading this story.

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  "I'm just saying that you remind me of people from my planet," said Elwood. "You're always walking around with a bottle of beer and an Australian accent. Like a rock star."

  "So what? Every planet has a southern hemisphere and an east coast," replied Wingclipper, continuing through the long fragrant grass and causing a sack of purple pollen to puff into the air. Every direction they turned, they encountered captivating smells and luscious flowers attracted to the scents of their bodies. The Chromium Bullet had brought them to a plentiful meadow on the edge of a dense forest crying with the sounds of unfamiliar wildlife.

  Wingclipper peered through his electrical focals and focused a mile into the distance, then drained his beer to the last few drops, swilling around the remnants and pouring it into the grass, dissolving a helpless young flower.

  "No sign of him yet," he said, wiping his mouth.

  "Can we really trust this ex-military pilot? Is he even a good friend of yours?" said Rodeena.

  "One time we attended a party together. This soldier who everyone knew as a crackpot tried to shoot Kristapon for making a crude joke about his state of mind. The bullet narrowly missed Kristapon because, seeing the situation coming, I knocked the shooter off balance. Now he owes me one for saving his life. I know it was many years ago, and he's probably forgotten about the party, but a deal is a deal and the debt is still outstanding. Besides, I'm certain he will be happy to see us. You would be pleased to see me if I hadn't seen you in years. Well, wouldn't you be?"

  Rodeena gave a hideously fierce scowl of disapproval, and then Wingclipper turned to Elwood.

  "I promise you, Elwood Makelove. I am not from your planet. I have never been there, and I am certainly not, as you have stated, a rock star. Wait. What is that groovy tune?"

  Without warning, a bass sound erupted from overhead and blew through their chests. A dark green ship covered in stickers of famous galactic bands soared and descended into a thicket, irritating a small flock of mutated cattle and sending them into a clearing.


  "I can see it, I'm not blind!" said 234 in response to Bink.

  "Great," said Elwood. "So not only are we stranded on a planet where the foliage is in love with us, but now we are about to be trampled to death by possibly the cutest and squishiest cows in the galaxy."

  "Oh, honey, they are so cuuute. Don’t they make you want to cry? Cry on me, sugar. Go ahead."

  "Get off me," said Elwood, shrugging off 234.

  Suddenly the flock of cattle separated and two large explosions rocked the surface, causing everyone to collapse. Chunks of meat flew in all directions as two mines detonated simultaneously, leaving two huge craters and an unethical slaughter.

  "Oooh nooo," said 234. "All the cute cows are splatty boo."

  "That was awesome," said Wingclipper. "We have no money but at least we can eat. Earthman, get some sandwich bags from the ship before the meat loses its freshness."

  "You are one sick individual," said Rodeena. "Come on, Elwood." She forcibly dragged him until he was walking beside her, accompanied by Bink, leaving Wingclipper and 234 to their own devices.

  "You know, sometimes I feel that I am so lucky to have you as a member of the crew," she said as Elwood struggled to keep up. "Whenever you're not around, I have to deal with those two and their strange conversations. When you're here, I feel like you are someone I can really talk to and properly get to know. Your planet sounds incredible and your story fascinates me. Not like those two runaways. I swear the sooner I can get off our ship, find my home and get my life back on track, the quicker this stress will disappear. I just want stability. I am fortunate to have you around when things unexpectedly take a turn for the worse."

  At that moment, the ground they were trampling on flipped 180 degrees, sending them upside down in a flurry of grass and flora, underground and washed down a tunnel in a stream of rushing water with their surprised screams pursuing them on a rapid journey to an unknown location.

  "I believe you were mentioning something about things happening unexpectedly," Elwood called out behind him as the two were carried by the force of liquid through a tubular funnel into the depths. "Rodeena, it's times like this when I miss the safety and comfort of my predictable planet."

  "Are you seriously suggesting you would rather be in a mundane repetitive job going to and from home every day, so you can pay bills and wait to retire before you travel and live the life you always dreamed of living when you were really young?"

  "No. It's just that I am scared of tunnels. On my planet they are designed only for trains and illegal immigrants."

  "Then we fit right in here."

  As much as the stunningly fast ride was a partially enjoyable adrenaline pumping moment of shared madness, light abruptly entered and Elwood instinctively shielded his eyes. Within seconds the two emerged, shooting out of a circular hole in the side of a yellow stained chalk cliff, falling a hundred feet into a pool of turquoise green directly below. As they surfaced, they watched their guns get carried away in the midst of the speeding stream. Instinctively, Elwood clung on to Rodeena's tail, and being the vastly stronger swimmer, she guided them to a set of rocks where they climbed out and surveyed the area, catching their breath after the incredible ride had come to an end. They had been brought to open pasture with light green fields dotted with black bushes springing red berries, the scent of which was amplified far beyond what Elwood was used to experiencing in the Yorkshire countryside.

  "Still, it could be worse," said Rodeena.


  "We get captured right now without our weapons for protection."

  "Hula oda hula! Hula oda hula!"

  Cries came from a row of red bushes next to the river bank, and four faces wearing white masks rose up. The locals aimed their intricate weaponry capable of formidable firepower at the two illegals, and one member of the group came forward to the rocks. Straight away Elwood and Rodeena clasped their hands and placed them above their heads.

  "I believe you were mentioning something about how it could be worse," said Elwood.

  "Hada oh wah shewado do dah," said the group's female leader, advancing in a cream robe stained brown. His arms were covered in what Elwood thought was black leather, and he saw how the locals' hands were wrapped tightly in dark cloth.

  Rodeena swallowed hard before speaking.

  "Had ih no Rodeena Salvoyant, had ih nem Elwood Makepeace, a nu tikow uhowa halonoha eeha," she said, sparking a look of bewilderment from Elwood. The four locals seemed to relax slightly and the leader lowered her weapon.

  "What did you say to it?"

  "I said we're tourists."

  "Ee ho halla go we guu ga no gasahaetutu, weee sosa go wanam shaaa. Nil la huk!"

  "It said this is not the place for tourists and we should have made prior arrangement with their council for visitation rights. Trespassers get killed. We should tell the truth. Gaa suloo lonneafashaawedo soo la. Fee gumnai fasha lujuja edroo nobiigigiwak wiidiido com sa."

  The other three put down their weapons and came forward.

  "Translation, Rodeena?"

  "I said the truth is that we are escaped migrants who were kidnapped
by a deranged captain and a gender confused robot, and that we are looking for temporary shelter."

  "That's a complete fabrication."

  "The part about the robot and the captain is true."

  The leader stepped forward causing Elwood to take a step back. It gently beckoned him with an outstretched finger. Elwood complied, responding slowly, allowing the leader to run her finger over the bridge of his nose and around his cheek when he got closer.

  "Yuuhuwa o hish binooo giko wagtebek keekee i hho?"

  "She wants to know what you stole the healthy skin off and how much you are willing to bargain for it."

  "The skin belongs to me."

  "De wekk uishin naae dee," said Rodeena. The leader scowled and sighed, then said, "Sh ii hef devaacaca, noo yu sum."

  "She is disappointed in your selfishness."

  "All edsa fe oushi iu cuhh, all esa ceffi losheh eh ne."

  "She wants to know what planet and city you come from."

  "Earth, Hull."

  "Mo aram ef gok ihwik."

  "She says hell on earth?"

  "Close enough."

  "Waa, si joo nosh tish, Roveena Savaloy, et nem Elwood Makepiss."

  "She wants us to follow her."

  "I'm not following them anywhere," said Elwood with his feet firmly rooted to the rocks. "What if they chain us by our arms to the pipes of some creepy abandoned underground bathroom next to a boiler room?"

  "Elwood, at least show some politeness and decency. We are visitors to this planet. We don't want to make new enemies."

  A local marched up to Elwood and prodded him forward with what appeared to be an electronic spearhead. Elwood felt a zap travel through his arse and he accompanied the others. The local began to sniff him and run a finger through his hair.

  "Tea tree. Stops the snowy weather. Looks like you could do with some." The local grunted and ignored him as they continued.

  **** **** **** ****

  "Sir, I have assessed the numerous probable outcomes of our meeting with Kristapon. I have concluded that it is unlikely to go well. I must forewarn you of the highly likely chance he has forgotten about you, for you are not remotely memorable in terms of character, and his mere memory of the event in which you saved his life is no more than a flittering remnant of a drifting turd in his subconscious mind."

  "234, this man has always been jealous of my cunning ability to harbour unusual cargo, and knowing this, I'm going to bribe him with a bottle of my very own Zolgahoik beer."

  Wingclipper handed a bottle to 234 who instantly analysed its contents.

  "Sir, this is merely standard military issue pissner disguised with honey aroma washing detergent. My system calculates that it will taste like a soapy beer glass with a hint of cashew nut."

  "But the skills he acquired from his pretentious beer tasting days will convince his brain that he is experiencing a rare wonder."

  Just then Wingclipper halted. He saw Elwood and Rodeena get flipped upside down and vanish underground, watching as the terrain of flowers rotated back into its original place like a secret hatch blending back into the landscape.

  "Sir...I just wet my banks."

  "Don't worry, tread carefully. I bet you this field is an advent calendar of trap doors."

  Bink stayed where it was, torn between helping the two disappearing crew members and wondering whether or not to follow Wingclipper and Robowuss. At the same time, a thudding vibration travelled across the ground and created a miniature earthquake. Wingclipper stood firmly as 234 crouched at the sight. From the trees emerged a robotic assistant in a much more stained metallic grey, taller and wider in stature and seemingly impregnable and destructible in nature.

  "Helloooo..." came its high pitched voice catching them by surprise.

  "Is..." Wingclipper, shocked at the contradiction in tone to its body size and strength, took a moment to gather his thoughts. "Is your ship piloted by Kristapon?"

  "It issss...he would like to see youuuu...come this wayyyy....but leave the little onnneeee...our little one will get jealoussss...."

  Wingclipper ordered Bink to stay and guard the ship as they walked into the woods, engulfed in the darkness created by the trees and the air losing its pungent fragrance. They came to a clearing and saw the sticker covered ship that resembled a battered sausage. A hatched opened and Wingclipper watched the smoke rise off the cindered galactic pepperoni. A man dressed in a torn military uniform with dishevelled hair and tattoos on each arm stepped out. Wingclipper smiled in recognition, albeit to a slightly older and rugged version of the man he had conned.

  "I love how the ship has transformed. The metal is nicely smoked, cured, even dried."

  "You always did come up with the wurst jokes," said Kristapon. The two men shook hands.

  "So you do remember me, then?"

  "How could I forget Captain Phoenix the 'Chicken Wing Dipper' Wingclipper? The man who caused me to lose my house and my job in the same week. The man whose party trick was to cause my girlfriend to disappear for an hour. The man who sold me a piece of congealed intestine that became this gently fried sausage of a ship."

  "And don't forget the man who saved your life."

  "Indeed. The man who organised the attempt on my life, only to at the last minute bail on his plans and push me away from a speeding bullet..."

  "And the man who took your change from the bar," interrupted 234.

  "Be quiet, tin man," said Wingclipper.

  "Sir, I am assisting Kristapon in his memory of you. It helps to reform a broken neural connection and create a bond by recounting events that he may not be aware of."

  "Shut up and reboot."

  Kristapon clenched Wingclipper's forearm, creating a jolt of pain, then released it and laughed. Wingclipper could still feel the firmness and immediately saw the imprint of fingers left behind.

  "Ha ha! Oh, don't worry yourself, Chicken Wing! All is forgiven. I have a completely different relaxed and easy going lifestyle now. The military was a God send. It helped me change as a person. Without it, I wouldn't value freedom and understand the true meaning of happiness. The military helped cure me of many toxic habits and addictions. BX-7, go and open a crate of pissner and bring the good drugs."

  The massive robot obeyed and walked onboard the ship.

  "I brought you a present," said Wingclipper, gesturing to 234 who was busy admiring a flock of parrot-like birds flying from tree to tree. "I said I brought you a present." 234 snapped back to reality, opened its metal drawer and gave the contents to Wingclipper. "This is genuine Zolgahoik. Honey in aroma, soapy in taste, with a slightly nutty afterbirth."

  "Bravo, Chicken Wing!" belted Kristapon, snatching the bottle and holding it aloft. "Genuine Zulgahoik: the first choice of kings and beggars. Are you sure about this? You are giving away a wonderful tasting beverage and a rare specimen."

  "Frankly, Kristapon, I don't like the stuff. I wouldn't even use it as detergent."

  **** **** **** ****

  The plumbing chamber inside the locals' base had the feel of a command centre mixed with a bathroom next to a boiler room. Computers and switchboards met dripping pipelines and the echo of droplets hitting puddles. Attached to an overhead pipeline were two pairs of chains, and attached to the cuffs of these were the outstretched arms of Elwood and Rodeena.

  "You were saying about being captured and forced to wear chains," said Rodeena.

  "This isn't funny anymore. From now on we no longer talk about possible outcomes. I never asked to be taken from my peaceful planet and be stranded half way across the galaxy, living in a big metal tampon and now about to be either eaten alive or torture tickled by a race of aliens who haven't yet discovered consonants or their own faces. I am fed up and I want to go back to the ship, hold you all ransom, fly back to Earth and forget any of this ever happened."

  "Yesterday you told me how much you love the leisure and luxury of space travel."

  "This is not luxurious travel, Rodeena. This is what hap
pens when you go backpacking."

  Rodeena focused intently on her third eye. It glowed blue and Elwood suddenly found himself able to speak but with no volume.

  "Sometimes I am grafetul for my few manipulative mutant powers," she said. Elwood ceaselessly ranted in silence for another ten minutes in a tireless tirade, prompting Rodeena to question whether all Brits had an impressive capacity and stamina to moan for hours on end about how entitled they were to executive treatment. When Rodeena raised the volume, Elwood was coming to the end of his rant.

  "...expensive. So expensive and I can't believe your race achieved planetary peace but did not discover sauces of any kind. It must be horribly dry where you live."


  "It told you to shut up," said Rodeena. The local leader advanced and prodded them with a stick containing remnants of poop.

  "Deefa ghoo gogo tikiwan earth booshitinimpawimpiwoop hollabolla dikidogoe."

  "It said take the ignorant discriminatory moisturised earth northern slave to help with the operation."

  "Hey! I don't discriminate. I make fun of everyone."

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