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Late in the 42nd Century events were moving in such a way that inevitably lead to those great calamities which follow. Indeed, mighty empires had carved up the galaxy between them and enslaved or discarded the inteligent species that inhabited 'their' worlds without a second thought. It is in this setting that we find our unlikely heroes, the prodigous Ahdkaw, the ever-inebriated Ed, the always lovely Lyric, the squirrely Nub, and the mighty Horab. This band of misfitted adventurers set off from a small planet known as Earth upon a vessel dubbed the S.S. Joshua Norton, setting sail across the sea of stars in search of adventure and fortune.
Late one afternoon, Horab sitting in a lawnchair turned to Lyric who was tatting some lace and said, "Have you noticed a certain lack of adventure lately?" pausing only to slay a rabid cow-lion.
Lyric replied, "Why, now that you mention it, it has been getting a little stale."
"That's it then! I shall build a starship and we will go to the stars in search of adventure and fortune! Nub! Get the manufacturing thingies ready! I'm gonna build me a starship!"
Months and months passed as Horab designed and programmed his robots to build him a starship capable of travelling the incredible distances between stars. As time wore on, other Thuddites helped out with design choices such as where to put the beer fridges and the number of laser turrets to put on the front. Only a couple of weeks away from the scheduled launching date, Horab invited Lyric, AK and Ed to check out the interior. Horab had done the whole inside in a lovely blueish/grey scheme which matched the white space jumpsuits perfectly. Upon Lyric's entering of the ship however much was amiss.
"Ughh! How can you stand these drab colours, Horab? Orange and brown outlines? Grey-blue with grey surfaces? You need some interior redesign, young Fibslager!"
And with that Lyric started interior-decorating with an authoritative zeal which would make Martha Stewart fear for her life. Horab, AK and Ed were stunned at first, but knowing better, they went and found the mess hall.
"So you say this fridge will always be full of beer?" asked AK, pointing to the infinite beer fridge Horab had been bragging about earlier in the week.
"Yeah, sure thing. Never been empty, and always full," replied Horab
"So if I say..." AK opened the fridge and began pulling out one beer after another, handing one six pack after another to Ed, who in turn began opening and draining the contents thereof, "...just take out all this beer and give it to Ed and keep doing it until it looks empty, when I open it again it'll be full?"
"Sure thing, dude," replied Horab grabbing and cracking a beer.
Seemingly having emptied the fridge of it's contents, AK then closed the door, and a split-second later opened it again. Befor ehis eyes was a full compliment of ice-cold beer as promised by Horab.
"Holy shit, piss and vinegar! You weren't kidding!" exclaimed AK.
Horab only smiled and tossed AK a cold one.
Much merry was had that day indeed, Lyric redid the entire interior of the Norton in a lovely pastel-and-tweed collage with fresh flowers beside every hatchway and nice little ensembles here and there. Horab, AK and Ed meanwhile, drank themselves stoopid and before they passed out, managed to not only start up the ship, but set it on a course to some unknown destination, several million light years away. Awaking to find themselves lost in space, with a rather perturbed Lyric who had a picnic planned for that day, they gathered in the mess hall to decide what to do with themselves and their spaceship. Whatever it was they decided that fateful evening is not known by anyone, only that it led to the history we all know today.
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A small, blue-green, and slightly purplish planet lay before a small vessel moving quickly yet slowly towards it. The planet, called %hjs)@OJ by it's inhabitants, and c-34-44173 by the Gord Loriyan Complex (never mind who they are this point, you'll regret meeting them soon enough); who coincidentally are the current employers of the crew of the small starship moving enexorably closer. The vessel, the Unregistered StarShip Joshua Norton makes a single orbit around the planet dodging it's larger satellites and finally skimmming across the atmosphere, slightly at first and then breaking into a faster than sound freefall towards the planet's surface. As the vessel comes closer the surface it seems to slow down ever so slightly yet progressing in losing speed until coming to a rest a few hundred meters above the ground [ Longest run-on sentence 3v3r! LOL! ]. The ship slowly descended with three legs extending from it's hull, upon which it came to a rest. As the people of c-34-44173 gathered round to see the strange thing from the sky, a hole opened on the underside of it and a ramp extended to touch the ground. Out of the brightness blaring from the passage, walked five figures who would change the course of the people before them forever.
"I hope the damned translo-matic works this time," said Horab cracking a beer,"last time it made things a lot harder."
"Just try not to make them worship your cigarette pack this time, OK?" Lyric said.
"Aye, maybe this'll be a planet of Kylie Minogue clones!" AK continued, "With illicit rivers and scandelous trees!" [ i dunno :b ]
The five Thuddites walked down the length of the ramp babbling incoherently about how to break the bad news to the inhabitants that gathered before them, and what to do if the translo-matic didn't work.
"Ahem. Hi there!" Horab started with a wave.
The inhabitants waved back and replied in chorus, "Hi there!"
"My name is Horab Fibslager, and this is Ahdkaw, Lyric, Ed and Nub, and we are under the absolute dictorate declaration of the [i]Gord Loriyan Complex Supreme High Command[/i], here to relocate you via suspended animation and miniaturisation to a more suitable world. This planet has been declared zoned for Commercial Projexts Type z49-zmmm02278. Thank you for your cooperation."
The people sat looking stunned at Horab, as if unable to comprehend a word he was saying.
"We have beer and lots of hot chicks!" shouted Ed who then pointed dramatically up the ramp.
The people looked at each other a moment, and then charged up the ramp. Horab pushed a button on a remote control and freezing-gas and miniaturisation-gases were released on to the people. The five Thuddites made their way up the the ramp. A couple of minutes later, Horab came back out with a broom and dust-pan and collected the now shrunk and frozen former-inhabitants of the place. Horab re-entered the ship, the ramp unextended and the hatch closed behind him…
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"I've found vinegar, it's a large cloud approximately 17 parsecs away from us," Ahdkaw said, "And it's malted!"
"Yes!" Horab replied.
Life on board the Starship Joshua Norton had become a little quiet of late, they had not come across anything of interest at all in about two and a half months, and supplies could not be stocked up on. All the essentials were available of course, thanks to the ingenuity of Nub's Infinite Food Machine, although it didn't come without it's faults. It couldn't do vinegar right. Not that anyone particularly missed the sweet tang of malted vinegar on their food, especially Ahdkaw, who in fact never liked the stuff in the first place. But nevertheless, Ahdkaw had always wanted to find a cloud of malted vinegar in space. Everyone laughed at the idea of course, but (probably intending to prove him wrong) they set out in search of the mystical vineger cloud of the void.
As was said, two and a half months passed, and the search had been fruitless, until today.
"Is anyone setting a course to this vinegar cloud then?" Lyric asked after a long pause.
"Good idea yeah" replied Horab, "Nub"
Nub ran over and fiddled with some of the knobs and the starship slowly began to turn. Ahdkaw had insisted during the initial design phase of the ship, that all pilots controls should be made from 1950's knobs and switches. He didn&'t want to be able to understand how to use them though (he had held his hands up in dismay when asked), he just thought it would be a good idea at the time.
"Beer?" Horab had cracked another and offering it to Ahdkaw.
"Ah don't mind if I do, cheers."
"I'll have one too guys!" Lyric called from across the bridge.
"They're in the fridge," said Ahdkaw and Horab simultaneously.
Lyric stomped off in a huff to get a beer, but seemed very relaxed when she returned with a bottle and Ed and they both sat down at Ops.
"Oh shit," Ahdkaw said and looked out the front of the starship, "What's wrong nub?"
"We're nearing the vinegar cloud."
"Oh right, was the alert necessary?"
"Just keeping you all awake for the big moment."
Everyone gathered to the front of the bridge and looked out at this enormous vinegar cloud, more than they could possibly take with them. The scoop extended away from the starship, and scooped some vinegar. It clamped shut and retracted.
"Everyone down to the mess hall," cried Nub, "I have prepared Yorkshire Fish & Chips with buttered Teacakes and Tea for you all."
"Woohoo!" went Ahdkaw and ran as fast as his little legs could carry him.
Lyric, Horab, and Ed did so a little more sedately knowing full well that it would take some time to get the vinegar from the scoop, through testing, and then into the vinegar bottle on the table. There would be plenty of time before the vinegar arrived.
They arrived about three minutes later to find Ahdkaw already munching away through loads of fish and chips and butties, and the vinegar hadn't even arrived!
"Ey AK," said Lyric, "shouldn't you be waiting for the vinegar to arrive?"
Ahdkaw stopped eating, put down his knife and fork and looked towards them all stood in the mess hall doorway, "I don't like vinegar, remember?"
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Ahdkaw danced about the mess hall to the phat gabber beats being forcefully ejected from the intercom speakers. Nub lay on his backside atop one of the longish cafeteria style tables bloated and sick looking, not far from a pile of puke. Horab melted further into his chair puffing on a smoke and bobbing his head to the phat beats which were so loud he wasn't sure if he was thinking along with the beat or if the bass was simply drownign out the in between thoughts. Finally without warning, Horab threw down his cigarette, jumped up, and held his beer up high.
"I've got it!" he shouted. No one paid him any notice however, as they were unable to hear anything past the massive bass hits.
Realising this finally, Horab staggered over to one of the wall panels and muted the music.
"I'VE GOT IT!" Horab shouted.
AK jumped and nearly hit his head on the ceiling, and ed came running out from behind a door looking wild-eyed and bolting from one direction to another. "Got what, where? What's going on?" Ed shot out.
"Don't have to yell, mate," said Ahdkaw.
"Err, my bad. I've got what we've got to do though" said Horab.
"Turn the music back up?"
"No no, we'll get to that later. What we need is a space bar or a party or something. There's got to be one of those things floating about!"
Horab slapped a few buttons on a console and a directory came on it's screen.
"Looks like there's a bar in the next sector over. Perhaps they'll have hot,
alien chicks." said Horab.
"Alien chicks? You wanna do it with alien chicks? is that even possible?" asked Ahdkaw.
"I dunno, but I can find out."
"I'd do an alien," chimed in Ed, "but I'm not sure any aliens would wanna do you horab…"
"Er, why?" asked Horab, a little puzzled.
"Humans are gross, I wouldn't do it with a human. Even if you paid me a lot of money!"
Horab shuddered a bit and then started shouting at the intercom, "Hey you crazy ship computer thing, take us to this space bar here." The ship's computer beeped a few times and lights came on and then replied, "Do I get a please with that?"
Horab wasn't sure what to do about that, so he simply said, "Er, please?"
The computer said, "Your welcome," then the ship folded in on itself and stretched a good million-or-so miles from end-to-end, as it made it's way towards the point of destination.
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