Not Mostly Harmless

I’m gonna let you into a secret. I shouldn’t really be here.

“Will you please shut up?” cursed Lara under her breath.

No! I’ve been telling you for weeks that I’m not supposed to be here, it’s a bloody travesty. I’m supposed to be going to the Bolerian Pleasure Planet not bloody Connaught.

“Well you’re here now can’t you just make the best of it?”

No! No I can’t… You know what they have on the Bolerian Pleasure Planet? The finest food, the trippiest drugs and the dirtiest hookers in all the universe. You know what they don’t have? Psychotic aliens with a penchant for cutting off people’s heads and putting them on their mantelpiece.

“Yes, yes and I’m sure there is a nice passage in the guide already telling people that, what there isn’t is a passage telling people about Connaught. That’s why we’re here to do some research and let people know what it’s really like.”

What it’s really like? What it’s really like?!?! Look around you moron it’s fucking horrible.

As if to emphasise the point an piercing scream echoed down the street where Lara and G37894 – her own personal researchers copy of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – were hiding behind some bins.

“That could have been a scream of delight,” said Lara edging unconsciously further behind the bins.

“Argh! No stop trying to rip off my head!!!” came a panicked cry.

“They could be roleplaying?”

“Please no! Help, someone anyone I’m deadly serious that I need help.”

“Oh come on!” shouted Lara “You’re ruining my point here!” The only answer was the sound of a head being ripped from a living body.

Told you, terrible; look I’ll put that in the book. Lara saw the words Connaught: Terrible. Appear on G37894’s screen. See I’ve written it down can we go now?

“Look we’ve only been here five minutes… let’s just have a look around get a feel for the place, maybe check out a couple of restaurants and then when we have more to go on we can leave, deal?”

More to go on? You need more after hearing that?

“Shh! I think someone is coming,” hissed Lara.

No! I will not be silenced! 

Lara tilted G37894 to one side and flipped the mute button. The guide vibrated and as Lara flipped it open to disable the vibrate function the screen lit up with the word dick repeated over and over. Lara rolled her eyes and jammed G37894 into her pack just as a pair of fearsome looking Predators rounded the corner shoulder guns whipping from side to side searching for a target.

Lara inched back further behind the bins. The lead Predator tapped the second on his shoulder and pointed to the bins where Lara was hiding and in unison they slapped their wrists and vanished. Lara froze not daring even to breathe. She stayed that way for what felt like an eternity, her lungs burning screaming for air then there was a flash and the bin to her right exploded. Trash rained down from the sky and a family of green, scaly cats scattered with a loud hiss. The Predators flashed back into existence the one at the back doubling over with laughter while the one in the front cursed him out. Lara covered in trash and smelly bin water edged backwards then legged it down the nearest alleyway.

——————————————-

The day didn’t really get much better from there. In the next two hours Lara saw fifteen killings, four street fights and one of the worst slam poetry recitals she’d ever witnessed; it was almost a relief when a passing mob of Predators drunk on killing tore the beret wearing muppet to pieces. Connaught it turned out really was terrible, which G37894 made a point of saying any time Lara took him out of her pack to make notes.

Can we go now?

“Fine,” sighed Lara. “I’d usually try to get a couple of days worth of data but I think we have managed to capture the spirit of the place.”

I’ll be washing the spirit of the place out of my charger socket for a month

“I could use a shower,” agreed Lara. “We were a bit close to that poet when that big fella torn his arm off and started slapping him with it. Anyway I think the ship is just down there on the left let’s go.”

Lara ducked out from behind a gore stained building and trotted cautiously off down the street, when she reached the corner she stopped dead.

What is it?

“Tourist information,” replied Lara pointing to the little office opposite.

Don’t even think about it.

“I’ll just stick my head in maybe they have some brochures or something we can take with us for the ride home.”

Or maybe they’ll have a big knife for us they will use to pry our lid off and mess with our insides.

“Oh don’t be so melodramatic,” said Lara crossing the street to the Tourist Information office. “If one place is going to be safe it’s tourist information.”

Lara turned the handle and stepped inside the dusty little office to be confronted by a small elderly Predator buffing the flesh off a skull.

“Umm… maybe I’ll come back another time,” said Lara edging back out of the door.

“Oh no you don’t!” cried the Predator her shoulder gun swinging to point at Lara. “Get in here!”

Lara threw her hands in the air and stopped dead.

“That’s a nice skull you have there,” said the Predator looking her over critically. “It would look real nice on my shelf.” She waved her hand to a horrifying shelf crammed with the polished skulls of hundreds of creatures. “I’ve always wanted a human but never did get round to going to Earth.”

Told you so

“Hush you,” hissed Lara.

“Oh what have you got there missy?” asked the Predator. “Some kind of talking computer? Why don’t you show old Gertie?”

Don’t even think about it

Lara slid her hand into her pack and brought out G37894. “It’s my copy of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. He’s called G37894.”

I’d say nice top meet you but it’s really not

“Be nice you,” said Lara. “We don’t want to make her mad.”

I think mad is their default setting

“What’s a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?” asked Gertie dropping the skull she was working on to the desk and trundling over for a closer look.

“It’s a book with entries for everywhere in the Galaxy so people know what to expect when they visit, kind of like a travel guide.”

“Do you have an entry for Connaught?”

“That’s why we’re here to do some research and provide an entry for the book.”

“So what are you going to say?”

Shithole

“You’re not helping G.”

“Oh no, no that won’t do at all we need a nice entry so then we will get some tourists coming here. Tourists with shiny skulls we can put on our shelves. I tell you what do us a good review and I’ll let you go, skull and all how’s that?”

Lara looked at G37894, I think we can do that give us a minute. The Predator nodded and went back to cleaning the skull on her desk. Lara went to the corner of the office and crouched down whispering to G37894. “What does the entry we have so far say?”

Connaught, come for the creepy skull souvenirs, stay because you’ve been beheaded and turned into a creepy skull souvenir.

“I’ll be honest I’m not sure the tourist board is going to go for that,” replied Lara. “How about we try to tart it up a little?”

Fine but I take no responsibility for any stupid tourists who end up a head shorter and significantly less talkative… 

“Just do it,” hissed Lara. “Trust me I look much better in my original packaging. Besides don’t think they’d stop at me, I saw an iPad back there with her fascia hanging off and it wasn’t pretty.

“Kill me,” moaned Siri from the mangled tablet on the horror shelf.

Green letters ran down the screen so fast Lara couldn’t read them as G37894 drafted and discarded pitch after pitch faster than the human brain could process them. The writing got faster and faster and smoke started to creep out of the corner of the small screen. Lara waved G37894 up and down to waft away the smoke but it just got thicker and blacker until a gout of flame burst from the side of the screen. Cursing Lara dropped G37894 and as he clattered to the hard stone floor the screen lit up flashing green words showing the new entry in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for Connaught, home of the most bloodthirsty race of hunters in the universe:

Connaught the Predator Home World was known throughout the galaxy as a perfect Utopia. Here the endless war between the Aliens with their duck comrades and the Predators with their pigeon brothers was a distant thing.

 

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