Probably the oddest thing in the Universe…

The yellow, brick-like ships hummed slowly away, into the blackness. The constructor fleet had finally completed their task; the Earth was gone. All the Earths. Every Earth in every alternative dimension had been boiled away into the ether, each leaving behind just the faintest whiff of ozone and nitrogen. If there had been any people around to see the explosion they would have called it ‘beautiful’. But there weren’t, so they couldn’t.

It was silent.

Deafeningly silent.

A few seconds passed.

Then a few more.

And then, with a tiny squeak and small flash, She popped back into existence. She was small, yellow, leech-like, and probably the oddest thing in the universe.

The babel fish’s natural shifting abilities made them incredibly hard to kill; they just phase from one dimension to another until finding somewhere less hostile, or with a Jacuzzi. Dimensional jumping tires Babel Fish and leaves them rather peckish, but it keeps them alive so they very rarely complain. What this means in practices is that the delicate Babelfish is one of the most difficult life-forms to kill. They are more cunning than the fox-race of Babbage VIII, who only spoke in clever riddles whenever strangers were around, more evolutionary advanced than amoeba aren’t, and more evasive than a free slot with Eccentrica Gallumbits, triple-breasted whore of Eroticon Six.

This particular Babel Fish was special. She had travelled across the universe, through time, and even through Yeovil, all in the ear of one very extraordinary, ape-descended Earth creature called Arthur Dent, who, despite all the odds, had somehow become one of the most important beings in the universe. He was also dead. For the first time in decades, this small Babel Fish was alone. And She was mourning.

She had never felt this way before. An empty chasm had yawned open in her heart, whilst boiling rage percolated her mind. Her time had always been spent quietly translating for Arthur, feeding off his brainwave energies and transmitting them out to the galaxy, She’d never had time to experience such depth of emotion before. She had helped him for so long; helping him understand Altarian, Viltvodle, French, and even Vogon.

Vogon, She thought. The word kept running around her massively complicated brain. Vogon. There it was again. She looked up and saw the silent yellow ships in the distance, and remembered it all. The energiser beam, the sudden heat as the planet burned beneath Her, the desperate act of preservation, and leaving Arthur behind.

Vogon. Every time the 5 letters ran through her mind she winced in pain. She’d been translating for Arthur for long enough to know the word and know that it wasn’t pleasant. She scanned her memories, trying to piece together everything she could recall about Vogons. Vogshpere, Constructor Fleets, terrible hygiene, obsessive bureaucrats, anger issues, airlocks, and iron mallets.

She started to swim away through the emptiness of space, her small tail gently flicking left and right, following in the wake of the vast Vogon Constructor fleet. She had a plan.

Revenge, She thought, Revenge.


Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz smiled at a job well done. He caught his smile in the reflection on the vidiscreen and stopped. It just didn’t look right when a Vogon smiled, more like someone had hit an over-ripe watermelon with an axe, so they tried their hardest not to. He looked around the bridge to make sure that no one had caught him in the act, and went back to being smug. Decades of work and frustration, a disciplinary hearing, a court case even, were all put behind him. Jeltz had finally completed the clearing work for the greatest civil works project this arm of the galaxy had ever seen, and the hyperspace bypass could now be constructed.

It’s just a shame, Jeltz thought, that no one will use it. But orders are orders, and they can’t be countermanded.

Jeltz leaned back, went to put his bloated feet up on the dark green control panel that looked more like it was congealed than manufactured in front of him. He struggled to lift his legs high enough and after a few moments grunting slammed them back down to the floor. He sighed heavily, and closed his eyes to take a well deserved rest. As much as the universe wanted this Vogon to have a bad day he would simply be too stubborn to allow it. Just when his eyes closed, a small red light began to flicker on the console, unseen.

Being but a few centimetres long, it wasn’t hard for the Babel fish to swim onto the Vogon ship. Auxiliary exhaust ports rarely run hot and had a very good knack of leading directly into the most delicate workings of any spacecraft. She happily bobbed through air vents and maintenance ducts, setting off unanswered proximity alarms and intruder sirens as She went. The crew were relaxing and celebrating in traditional Vogon manner, beating beautiful, scuttling jewelled crabs with iron mallets, and were too busy to answer the calls.

She pushed on, until She found herself at a steel grate. Through the slats, she saw the squalid interior of the Vogon bridge, gleaming with all the pearlescence of a damp toad, and the rising and heaving bulk of the sleeping Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz. She forced her head through the gaps in the vent and slid her little yellow form through, stopping once in the middle to catch her tiny breath. It was a tight squeeze, but for a creature that finds it’s natural home in ear canals, it was nothing She’d not done before.

Like a bullet from a very odd rifle, She flew across the room at speed before colliding with a vidiscreen with a gentle thud. She waggled her head, trying to shake the daze out of her mind, and quickly relocated her bearings. Jeltz’ massive, snoring shape loomed in the low green lighting, rising and falling with every breath. The little Babel Fish darted out of sight, fearing that she’d been spotted and would soon be on the receiving end of a fatal smack from a half dazed Vogon. But no such thing came. And as She snuck back out of the shadows, Jeltz slept ever deeper.

For any other creature it would just have been easy enough to force their way into the computer banks, sweet talk the AI into being your friend simply by talking to it in a soft voice and announcing yourself as anything but Vogon, ask it nicely to set the self-destruct circuits going, and get the hell out of there before you’re blown to pieces or forced to listen to some Vogon Poetry. But She had a distinct disadvantage, notably her lack of fingers, inability to talk, and desire to be extremely cruel.

Instead, the little Babel Fish, the Universe’s greatest organism and most advanced translator ever conceived, slipped her way deep inside Jeltz’ ear canal.

‘Foul,’ she muttered in her mind, ‘but this is for Arthur.’ If her mouth could smile, it would have. Wide, toothy, and smug. ‘I wonder how much fun I can have with it?’ And she nestled down for a long ride.


“Captain?” A voice sheepishly broke the silence. “Caaaaptain?” Jeltz laboured with the opening of his eyes. There stood in front of him a very young Vogon, barely grown into his green battle armour, stood firmly to attention. “Captain,” he repeated for a third time, “the Vice Admiral for you Sir, to congratulate you on the job well done…” He trailed off, perturbed. The captain had paid extremely close attention to every word the young private had said with a growing level of hatred, because what the young Vogon has said wasn’t quite what Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz heard;

“Captain, the vice admiral for you sir, to punch you in the throat for being a arcturan mega-slug with breath like dead wildebeest…”

Jeltz roared out of his seat, startling the ever shrinking private and making him back away at pace. “Tell that snivelling toad of an Admiral that when he comes in here I’ll punch him so hard on his massive nose you could use the impression as a birthing pool!” He reared up to full height, arms failing in anger, snot and bile flung from his nose.

The private was now all but cowering in a corner, “Y-yes Sir,” he whimpered, “of course right away”. He scuttled out, worried how the Vice Admiral would take the news, but very sure he wouldn’t get a word of it wrong.

“If that poxy desk-handle thinks he could best me in a fight then so be it! Take my rank away, lock me in a Dentrassi Prison prism, I don’t care! No one speaks to Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz like that!”

And as the vast Vogon roared and ranted, in his ear sat a very smug, contented Babel Fish, happy in the knowledge She was about to have the most fun of Her life.


It’s Not Fair

“Why is there a man crouched under your cloak?”

“What man?” The Goblin King thrust his pelvis out even further, his leather boots creaking with the strain.

“Jareth,” Sarah pinched the bridge of her nose in frustration, “the man who is playing with glass balls.”

“There’s a man playing with my glass balls?” The man in question stood and reached under Jareth’s armpits to glide a pyramid of glittering orbs around his palm, “They are pure crystal, I will have you know.”

“What… wait, you know what, I don’t ca… NO! No, no, no, no! You cannot do that here. Or anywhere else for that matter!” Sarah strode over to the Skeksi/Podling pile up that had jammed in the meeting room door. “I have told you time and time and time again, you cannot fit your oversized thrones in here, and you certainly cannot have the Podlings carry you in on them,” she snarled, “it’s insanely illegal!” She hooked a hand around a huge Skeksi collar and hauled one out. It was a brave move, and one she regretted entirely when her fingers sunk into a rotted rodent snack hidden inside, but it had the desired effect of uncorking the doorway. The rest of the Skeksis surged in, carrying with them the fetid stench of mouldy vegetables and week-old corpses.

Sarah backed off quickly to her position at the head of the table, disguising her nausea with a well-placed hanky, and kicked Jareth out of her seat. There was a spasm at his forehead which she took to mean a raised eyebrow at her insolence, but it was rather spoiled by the thick make-up that already elevated his brows to impossibly high angles. She could not care less. Since returning from the Goblin Castle and its infernal Labyrinth as a teenager, she’d been determined to shrug off her naïve petulance, and part of this grand objective was to do something sensible. The PR firm she had joined was this sensible thing: a guaranteed salary, no one cared if she got a bit wrinkly, and best of all, there were no masks. Apart from the occasional coffee break spent with Hoggle and the rest, life was perfectly normal. Until the Goblin King pranced out of the cleaning cupboard.

Striking a majestic pose in a flurry of glitter and feathers, he had commanded Sarah to turn His Kingdom and that of His Compatriots into Stellar Holiday Destinations. It came as a shock to him[1] when he was shoved back into the cupboard.

The second time he appeared, he bought his so called “compatriots”, and Sarah would never forgive him for it. A screeching, belligerent gaggle of hell-birds descended upon her office, followed by a regiment of slaves hauling along platter after platter of foul and stinking food stuffs, refusing to leave until she acquiesced to their demands. It was mortifying. The poor receptionist still had a nervous tic; her boss journeyed down from the thirty-third floor and promptly threw up; and the cleaners – well let us just say Sarah would have to do her own cleaning from there on in. It only took them two hours to wear her down, but between the crotch twitching and the general gruesomeness of the Skeksi court, Sarah found herself drawing up a contract for them.

If Sarah was honest, it could have turned out much worse. Not by much, but they did pay her generously[2]. Jareth was an egotistical and extravagant moron so it was easy to create a media campaign that showed the sun shining out of his pert arse. And the Skeksis’ land was simply gorgeous, full of the most sensational fauna and flora she had ever seen, so not a lot of work was needed there. But there were some… issues.

“General… GENERAL! Don’t you start screaming at me.” Sarah tried to turn to face the current Skeksi Emperor, but his putrid breath still hung on the air so she ended up taking a strange twisted stance that ostensibly put her body facing him, but kept her nose as much as possible out of the stench zone. “Have you even bothered to read the copy of the Human Rights Convention that I emailed you?”

He stared at her disagreeably.

“Any of the hard copies I gave you?”

He adjusted the fall of lace down his bloated front.

“The man I sent to follow you whilst reading the Convention aloud?”

Here, the General gave a smug shrug and glanced over his shoulder at his court. His less emaciated than normal court.

“You- you- For Christ’s sake! You can’t keep kidnapping people for their life essence! I cannot set your country up as a top tourism destination until you start treating people as people. Not slaves. Not resources. I want my assistant back this instant or I’m ripping up your contract. And you,” she spun towards the snickering royal behind her, “you have no room to talk. I’ve seen the latest reports from my people in the Labyrinth.”

“They managed to escape from the Oubliette? I was going to make them all Knights of the Bog of the Eternal Stench. Such a pity.” He leant over to the General, “So how did you do it?”

“We tricked the spithead into dropping himself into a pit,” the overgrown bird cackled as another tugged out a roll of parchment to write notes, “are you as clever as we?”

“Well, now you see the Labyrinth is my own personal creation. My magnum opus if you will…” Jareth began, his bulge shivering with barely contained delight. A goblin sprung up out the bin with its own notebook in hand.

Sarah watched with dismay as the meeting spiralled out of her control, as the two rulers began exchanging pro-tips for kidnapping and other illegal activities. Her to-do list lay abandoned on the table. There was no way she was going to address the problem of the Fireys bursting into spontaneous song and decapitation in the middle of a tour group. Nor was she going to be able to discuss the cease-and-desist letters from the Gelfling community against the Skeksis. She groaned, feeling the words she promised herself never to say again course up her throat,

“It’s not fair!”

[1] Though not to anyone else.

[2] If curiously. She still wasn’t sure what to do the Landstrider coach-and-pair.

Questy McQuestface

Chapter 1: The Draw

The old town hall of the village of Huron sat proudly over the village square, its thatched roof glowing golden in the light of the evening sun. On a stage in front of the wooden building, the town council had gathered behind the Mayor as he hushed the assembled townsfolk. He was a stocky man, but despite his position of authority he did without the grandeur usually associated with heads of governments.

“We come together on this solstice night, to draw from amongst you a champion. For too long has this wretched dragon decimated our livestock and scorched our crops.”

The crowd cheered in unanimous agreement.

“As was prophesied years ago, one amongst us will one day rid us of this foul beast, to bring freedom and security to our lands!”

More cheering. Mayor Torgorson was popular, and an anti-dragon speech was always a crowd pleaser.

“In this cauldron are the names of all the eligible warriors of the village – and Elder Sonnesyn, writer of the prophecy, High Priest of Huron, will draw the name.”

The priest stepped forward in traditional robes with silk embroidery and a pointed hat. He reached into the cauldron and pulled out a piece of parchment. Without waiting, he shouted the name he had drawn.

“Kate Torgorson”!

The crowd cheered, not realising the awkwardness of the situation. The Mayor urged quiet, as his daughter made her way to the stage. She was a diminutive presence, but in athletic shape.

“There must be a mistake” the Mayor said to the Priest, away from the crowd, “you drew the wrong name”!

“I did advise that adding girls to the draw might result in this happening.” The Priest protested.

“I had to keep the feminist lobby happy” the Mayor explained, bypassing for the moment his familial connection.

“The feminist lobby? Who’s that?”

“My wife, mostly” replied the Mayor, realising that as well as losing his daughter to death-by-dragon, this turn of events probably also meant his imminent divorce.


Chapter 2: The Council

“You can’t demand special treatment just because she’s your daughter!” one of the council members barked.

“We can’t just keep doing it over again until we get to the right result, it’s not a referendum!” another chimed in.

“But she’ll be killed” Mayor Torgorson protested.

“Father I want to do it – I want to prove myself.” Kate interjected.

“Quiet girl, you don’t know what you’re talking about” her father said, regretting it as soon as he’d spoken and seeing rage build in his daughter’s eyes.

“See, she wants to fight” the first council member declared “its always somebody’s son Torgorson. It’s just bad luck for you that she’s the first girl.”

“Fine…” the Mayor conceded as his daughter beamed a smile at him. “Sonneyson will train her as he does all the champions.”

“Thank you father”

“Don’t thank me yet, I still have to face your mother… Goodness only knows how I’ll survive that conversation.”


Chapter 3: Training

Kate knocked on the door of the circular building on the edge of the town where the old Priest Sonneyson lived alone. He answered the door and ushered her quickly inside. Kate was surprised to see a series of boxes on the floor, containing the Priest’s few belongings and ceremonial garb.

“What are you doing?” Kate asked, somewhat rhetorically.

“Packing. Leaving.” replied Sonneyson, hurriedly scooping the last of his mugs into a box.

“But you have to train me…” Kate protested “That’s your job – you’ve done it for every champion we’ve ever had!”

“Different now. Never a girl before.”

Kate, viewing this comment with the same sympathy as a bull seeing a red rag waved in front of them, was about to launch into her usual tirade, but Sonneyson cut her off.

“You might as well know – the whole prophecy is a fraud. I’m a fraud. The town council came up with the idea of a prophecy years ago as a means of making it seem like they’re dealing with the dragon problem without having to assume any actual responsibility themselves. I haven’t been training the champions – when we told the town we were going to train away from everyone, we actually just went to Mandalas and I treated them to a night of heavy drinking to celebrate their imminent death.”

“You have got to be kidding me.”

“I’m not… Look… I have armour, a sword, and a bow, they’re over there somewhere – take them, they’re yours.”

“What if I just tell everyone what you’ve told me?”

“I’ll just deny it and accuse you of being a coward. And everyone will believe me because I’m ‘High Priest’ and you’re a woman.”

“Really taking the moral high-road here aren’t you?” Kate’s tone was a mix of defeat and resentment.

“I’m not going to be a part of getting anyone else killed. Goodbye.”

Sonneyson jumped through the doorway and was half way down the road before Kate could formulate a reply. She looked over to the suit of armour, sword and bow, and walked to them. She held out her hand and felt the cold steel on her fingertips. She pulled the sword from its scabbard and saw her green eyes reflected on the shining blade.

“Never send a woman to do a man’s job? Well… let’s test that theory…”


Chapter 4: Confrontation

The dragon’s lair was deep within mountains, a day’s ride from the village. Kate rode alone, but behind her came the village council, at a distance far enough to be hidden from her, but close enough to observe her progress.

Kate had tied her long blonde hair back out of her eyes and had crudely drawn the family crest onto the shield. She reached the point in the valley where the river was widest and the dragon usually drank – according to one of the elders who was vague when asked how he knew this.

The dragon was awe-inspiringly huge, with teeth that out-shined her sword (and she assumed, correctly, were also sharper than her own blade). The dragon’s red skin blazed in the evening sun but for the moment its wings remained dormant.

Kate dismounted her horse and walked loudly alongside the river, stomping loudly on the gravel and stones, occasionally splashing a foot into the stream. The village council watched.

“What is she doing?” one whispered.

“Stupid girl’s going to get herself killed faster than that asthmatic boy we sent a couple of years ago” another answered.

Kate banged her sword against her shield as she paced further towards the dragon, who had now turned his head to look at the source of the noise, which had disturbed what until that point had been a very relaxing Saturday afternoon.


The council held their heads in their hands. This was a waste of some very finely crafted armour. The dragon stood motionless, apparently unthreatened.

“AND I AM HERE TO MAKE PEACE WITH YOU!” Kate bellowed, to the surprise of the council and the dragon equally.

She threw down her sword and shield, and followed them with her bow.

“The girl’s insane” the first councilman stated, incredulous.

“Maybe it’s a trick… Lull the dragon into a false sense of security…” the other offered, not genuinely believing it, but not coming up with any other explanation for her behaviour.

“False sense of security? It’s a dragon you fool, it can kill her with a swat of its tail!”

Kate continued to stride towards the beast. The dragon spread his wings wide and roared, showing his full set of teeth. Kate lowered herself into a kind of reverential bow.

“Peace?” the dragon spoke, in a booming Shakespearian voice. “Every year you send a man to kill me and now you talk of peace? I have no need to make peace with you!”

Kate finally came to a stop, well within striking distance of the dragon’s wings. “I am Kate, daughter of the Mayor, and I am no man.”

The dragon pulled his wings back to his body and cocked his head to the side in surprise. Kate continued;

“We have lived as enemies for many years, but it doesn’t have to be this way – I’m prepared to negotiate a truce between us. One that will benefit us both.”

“I could incinerate you where you stand, girl.”

“I have no doubt, but one day one of our champions will kill you – and if not one of ours, the next village, or the one after that. Or we could live together, under each other’s protection.”

“Tell me what you propose.”

“We will breed some livestock and grow crops each year exclusively for you – you can come and eat whenever you like. In return, we stop trying to kill you, and get the other villages to do the same. If the time comes that other villages attack us, you defend us.”

“How will you get the other villages to agree to stop attacking me?”

“Simple – they won’t have any reason to want you dead. And to prove that you’re not ill-willed towards them, you’ll let me ride you from village to village to explain our arrangement.”

The dragon roared angrily and reared up, spreading his wings threateningly. “Nobody rides me.”

Kate took a few steps back and her foot landed on her shield. She wondered briefly if she should pick it up, but decided against it. Instead she repeated her demand;

“You will let me ride you – as a passenger, not a master.”

The town council, from behind a rock, nocked arrows in their bows. This had been one of the more interesting encounters, but they always ended the same way. Angry dragon, charred corpse.

But the dragon calmed, and took steps forward until his face was inches away from Kate’s, searching it for signs of treachery. Finding none, he stepped back.

“I agree to your proposal.”

“Bloody hell” the first councilman exclaimed.

“What do we do now?” the second asked.

“Same thing we always do – go back to the town and explain what’s happened, take all the credit and throw ourselves a big parade.”

“What about the girl?”

“Give her a job that sounds impressive but is ultimately powerless?”

“Prime Minister?”



Chapter 5: Back At Home

“That’s it?” asked the Mayor, as Kate finished recounting her tale around the dinner-table. “That’s all that happened?”

“That’s all – the dragon is flying down next week for the ceremony making me Prime Minister.”

“So let me get this straight; Your name got picked from the cauldron, it took all of one sentence to convince the council to let you go, Sonneyson refused to mentor you, but it didn’t matter because you didn’t manage to get into an actual fight anyway, you made friends with the big bad dragon instead, and the council made you Prime Minister…”


“What kind of a hero’s journey do you call that?”

“Pretty successful one I guess.”


Cyril leant over his telescomatic 3000 and willed the gods to let him find something tonight.

#Black #MoreBlack #MoreBlack

As he scanned the sky the telescomatic 3000 tweeted his progress.

#MoreBlack #MoreBlack #WaitThatMightBeSomething #GoBackYouUselessMeatSack

Cyril glanced down as the iPad in his lit up with new tweets.

#NotThatFar #BackABit

He inched the telescope back until the iPad flashed again.





“Crap,” said Cyril slumping to the ground.


“British stargazer Cyril Bucket yesterday discovered what is said to be the first new space object since the discovery of Styx, a small moon orbiting Pluto in July 2011.” said the perfectly coiffed anchor woman from Fox news. “Cyril’s telescomatic 3000 live-tweeted the discovery in the early hours also claiming the object was on a collision course with the Earth, a suggestion that is yet to be confirmed by science,” she said the word science like it left a bad taste in her mouth.

“Indeed Madison. Fox news have been trying to get hold of a representative of NASA since the story broke without success. However, one person who has been quick to dismiss the claims is President Trump; and we can go to the great man himself now as he addresses the nation from the Whitehouse.”

The camera cut to a video showing Donald Trump sat in a chair by a roaring fire with a white cardigan over tan slacks. He picked up his pipe and took a long drag then put it carefully in a gold ashtray on the table by his recliner.

“My fellow Americans, I’m here today to put your minds at ease, there is no ‘asteroid’ on a collision course with earth. How do I know? Asteroids are not real. I mean who here has ever seen an asteroid?” said President Trump. “I believe that this so called asteroid will turn out to be just another hoax put upon the American people by the Chinese and their puppets in the world scientific establishment. An establishment that I have promised to rid America of. If almighty God would have wanted us to know how things worked he would have put them in the bible. I urge all God-fearing Americans to go about their business as normal, if we ignore it and go on buying high quality American-made electrical items, I guarantee it will all go away. Goodnight and God bless America.”


Bill Gates sat at the head of the long polished oak table and sipped a particularly excellent Frapin Cuvee as the rest of the group took their seats. The heads of Apple, Coca-Cola and Walmart were looking at Bill expectantly while ExxonMobil, BP and Sinopec were just making themselves comfortable.

“We all know why we’re here right?” said Bill Gates.

“We have a government to blackmail?” asked one CEO.

“We have restrictive new laws to force through?” asked another.

“We have irritating start-ups to force out of the market?” suggested the third.

“Jeez don’t any of you watch the news?!? There’s a massive asteroid heading for earth that will likely wipe out all life on the planet.”

“But, Mr President Trump said there was no such thing as asteroids,” said he BP CEO scratching his initials into the priceless desk with a small penknife.

“Yes but he is a moron, remember we put him in charge so we could all save money by flouting environmental rules.”

“Ha Ha Good times,” said the CEO of ExxonMobil.

“Look, we have 72 hours to get a plan together,” said Bill in a voice that brooked no argument. “Then we have maybe a week to put it in to action. Now let’s focus on what is really important, how do we make this mission a tax benefit?”

48 hours later and the finer points of the tax arrangement had been ironed out and the greatest minds in business put their heads together to come up with a plan to save the earth…


“So we’re all agreed?” asked Bill slumping into his chair. “This is the plan we’re going with?”

“Yes,” groaned the CEO of ExxonMobil. “We’ve been thinking for hours and no one else can think of any other films where they successfully blow up the asteroid and save the earth bar Armageddon. What are we supposed to do come up with an idea of our own?” A wave of chuckles washed around the room at the absurd notion.

“OK so we plan to round up eight of the best deep sea oil drillers in the world and blast them up there to dig to 800 feet in and then set of a nuclear detonation that will make the asteroid split apart and miss the earth?”


“Do we need to find a team where one of the guys is sleeping with his boss’s daughter?”

“No but if we can find one that would probably work better.”

“Fine,” said Bill with a sigh. “Let’s get our people on it.”


“Good morning Randy.”

“Good morning Madison and good morning to you America. We have a packed show for you tonight with all of the latest on the AsteroidGate scandal.”

“We do indeed Randy, a little later on we will see what those hard working industrialists over at the Global Business Council are up to but first we go live to the Oval Office where Vice President Staunton has a message for us.

Behind Madison the screen cut to the multitude of waving American flags that preceded the entrance of the second most powerful man in the world Vice President Staunton.

“Hello American! Today I have seen reports from our most trusted advisors that indicate that we may have been a little hasty in our earlier message to the people. It seems that asteroids are in fact a real thing, they are in the bible and are mentioned in the passages related to the end of days, to Armageddon,” said the Vice President. “However, now is not for fear, it is the time for the people of America to stand together and to say no to Armageddon. I have personally setup the National Asteroid Association or NAA and I urge all of you to join. Together we can get an asteroid for each and every man, woman and child in America. One asteroid is no match for a country of 320 million patriotic Americans all armed with their own asteroids. Together we defeat the evil of asteroids with more asteroids.”

The video faded out to show the pale faces of the two Fox news anchors. “The vice president there with that shocking report,” said Randy.

“Shocking indeed Randy. I for one am going straight out after the show and using my God given second amendment right to sign up for the NAA and get myself an asteroid.”

“I’ll be right behind you Madison, we can’t let extremist space asteroids push us around now is the time to stand firm and put an end to this menace once and for all.”

“Right you are Randy,” said Madison holding her hand to her ear. “Oh it looks like we have finally been able to get a comment from those egg-heads over at NASA.”

The screen behind the anchors flickered to life to show a small bespectacled man in a rumpled shirt and soup-stained tie. “Hi is this thing on?” he asked tapping the mic.

“Yes we can hear you Mr?…”

“Oh I’m Jonas Prentice, ah Mr Bolden asked me to read this message.” He held up a piece of paper almost as rumpled as he was and with a cough began reading. “Look you ingrates, we are really quite busy here doing important and very complicated science type things that you Trump electing buffoons wouldn’t be able to understand even if we took out all of the long words. So please, piss off and leave us alone so we can get on with our work, the phones ringing all the time are really quite distracting.” Jonas stopped and looked up straightening his tie. “Umm… are there any questions?”

There was a crush of noise as all of the assembled journalists tried to shout at once before Jonas picked out a specific journalist with a nod of his head.

“Janice Yung, Fox News, what is the official NASA line on the NAA will they be supplying the people of America with their own asteroids and if not why not?”

Jonas let out a long pained sigh then turned and walked off the stage.


Back in the GBC HQ Bill Gates sat opposite a barrel-chested, square-jawed uniform with a crew cut and pistol the size of a small cannon on his hip.

“How are we doing Don?”

“Pretty well, we rounded up the most motely crew of deep sea drillers that we could find and sent them down to Kazakhstan where we have the rockets. We got them all suited up and they are ready to blast off any time.”

“What about their training?”

“Well there wasn’t much detail in the movie so we skipped over that part. I’m sure they will figure it out. How hard can it be to drill a hole?”

“True, let’s get them up there.”


“And here the astronauts go now,” said Madison, talking over the video of the drilling crew waving to the cameras before boarding the rocket; there were a few minutes of nothing much on the screen and then the countdown began.


“The Fox news team have been given special permission to listen in as these intrepid men take their first steps into the unknown.”


“If they can’t do it no one can Madison.”


“If they can’t do it no one can Madison indeed Randy.”


“Now let’s go live to the cockpit as they run through their last checks.”


“What do you mean adjust telemetry?” came a baffled voice from inside the ship.

“Just turn the telemetry nob 20 degrees counter clockwise and that will open up the thrusters. We need more juice or you’re not going to break orbit.”


“Which one is the telemetry nob there’s tons of the buggers here.”


“It’s the big yellow one on the right, jeez have your forgotten your training already?”


“What training?”


“Seriously you’ve had no training at all?!? How the hell do they expect you to pilot the ship?”


“Erm… they said you were going to do it?”


Around the world people cheered as the twin rockets Fuck and You ignited spitting two roaring tunnels of flame. Slowly, then with increasing speed the rockets rose into the sky fighting off the Earth’s gravity. “Good luck to you brave men,” said Randy as the rockets went higher and higher. Then something went wrong, the engines on the Fuck started to splutter then they cut out. The weight of the Fuck pulled the You down, and with its rockets still blazing it slowly turned then began racing back towards the earth propelled by both the engines and the Earth’s gravitational pull.

Before anyone could react the rockets hammered into the ground like a dart filled with semtex; the explosion sent thick oily black smoke into the atmosphere and a tidal wave of fire that incinerated all in its path. The feed to the Fox news studio cut out in a roar of flames and a shocked Madison and Randy were back on the screen.

“Umm… Well it seems that the rocket and the mission to save the earth was a massive failure,” said a numb Randy.

“What are we going to do now?” asked Madison. “Where is the NAA? Where are our asteroids God damnit?!? The only thing that can stop a bad guy with an asteroid is a good guy with an asteroid!”

Randy held his finger to his ear to block out his hysterical co-anchor then cut in his instructions received. “We can now go live to the Whitehouse where President Trump is standing by…”

The screen cut to the frazzled President who was striding around the roof of the Whitehouse a machine gun in each hand, toupee flapping in the driving wind. He had torn the sleeves off his suit exposing his sinewy arms and his tie was wrapped around his head Rambo style. “The time is here people,” he said shouting into the camera. “It’s now or never. This menace cannot be reasoned with, it cannot be ignored it only understands one thing. Force. We need to get out there and give it to Johnny Asteroid with both barrels.” The president spun and with a wild cackle started firing into the air vaguely in the direction of where the asteroid loomed high in the sky, some 25,000 miles away.


“It is now four hours since President Trump ordered a full scale ground assault on the asteroid,” said the announcer on the radio. “Our experts put the dead from falling bullets at around ten million with, tens of millions more wounded. Hospitals all over the country are overwhelmed and have been forced to implement the Uber, surge pricing model. On the up side in the wake of the crisis shares in the US medical industries boomed with Sentera shares alone rocketing up 300%. Prime Minister May declared it a sad day for our allies but a good day for her bank balance before skipping off on her Lear Jet for her secret bunker in the Swiss alps. ”

“Bloody Tories,” mumbled Cyril clicking off the radio.

#It’sStillComing #YepDefinatelyGettingCloser tweeted his telescope as the asteroid slowly filled the sky.

“It might be the end of the world but look at that view,” said Cyril pointing to where the edge of the asteroid was lit up with flames as it started to enter the Earth’s atmosphere.

“Ya beautiful,” conceded Olga taking a hit of Vodka straight from the bottle. Cyril had been saving it for their first night together as man and wife, when they finally did the deed but it seemed a shame to waste it now that wouldn’t happen.

“I love you, you know Olga,” he said hand on her leg. “I really actually do.”

“I like you too Cyril,” she said taking another hit. “I like you too.”

Cyril wiped a tear from the corner of his eye, it really was beautiful now that he could see the detail, and the colours, blues, browns and those glorious reds and, and, “What the?” said Cyril nudging the viewfinder over to where a bright violet light appeared on the asteroid. He had just focused when it dimmed then there was a blinding flash.

“So beautiful,” he heard Olga say as if from a long distance. After a few moments when his vision finally started to clear he looked up and the beautiful, looming ball that would devastate the world was gone replaced by a thousand shooting stars.

“What? What happened?”

“It was there, then there was a flash now not there,” said Olga taking another hit of vodka. “Why not try the radio?”

Cyril bent down and clicked the radio back on. “We have confirmation, the asteroid has gone! Eye witnesses are claiming that there was a blinding flash in the sky then the asteroid was just gone! Amazing scenes! In churches, synagogues and mosques all over the globe people are declaring a miracle. Wait, wait… we have news coming in, yes there is a spokesman from NASA making an announcement, let’s see if we can cut in on the feed…” There was some static then an American voice came over the radio.

“Yes it was us. Are there any better questions?” There was an eruption of noise as everyone tried to talk at once then the spokesman cut back in. “You there, moustache; hit me?”

“Tom Billstick, ABC news; what did you guys do?”

“Death laser,” said the NASA spokesman matter-of-factly.

“What? But how?”

“Science bitches! You should try it some time. Anyway I’m off for a shower, a beer and a fucking long sleep. Let me know when our medals arrive eh?”