Captain Roland Boon had been floating around in space longer than his oxygen starved, stimulus deprived noggin could recall. Without the luxury of a spacecraft to noodle around in; stretch his legs once in a while and actually sleep in a blessed human bed, he had become quite inhumanly grumpy.
The last star he saw flying past his field of vision he had called a particularly viscous name. Indeed, it had been the only thing he’d given emphasis to all month.
Boon had been floating in the vacuum of space for four solid years ever since an accident on the station sent his 5ft, hairy little body hurtling light years into space. You see, he shouldn’t have been messing with the generator when he hadn’t read the instruction book. Everybody else had died. Jones the cat had died; burnt up quicker than setting light to a human hair and equally smelly.
But, Boon was wearing his space suit and somehow the blast, rather than splitting his atoms asunder, had sent him like a pinball into the cosmos. And that wasn’t the strangest thing; he had been without oxygen for 3 years, 11 months and 29 days.
It was Christmas day, Boon had always loved Christmas, the family gathered around the naffly decorated tree and Grandpa pissing his pants after too much cherry brandy. Not that he liked his family overmuch, but it was the principle of the thing. Boon had no wife or children himself; who would want a short, overly hairy, foul mouthed pervert? But his brothers, all of whom were well over 6ft tall, extremely muscular and annoyingly good looking, all had wives. However, none of them had Boon’s special gift.
Boon had afforded himself a little present seeing as there was no one else around. He’d messed his spacesuit. After 3 years, 11 months and 29 days of constipation it had flooded out in one go making him look a little like a weeble. Appropriate, Boon thought sourly, the spacesuit was not designed to accommodate human waste and the smell was atrocious, an infinity of drifting through space with the smell of his own excrement for company. At least he’d not been sick.
Seconds later Boon was copiously sick, plastering the inside of his helmet with rancid, bilious green fluid. It was then that Boon’s luck changed.
Boon took a deep breath of nothing, his mush of a brain having already forgotten that he was suspended in his own waste like an immortal goldfish left to swim in a cruelly neglected bowl. The comparison was more apt than Boon could ever give it credit for – for he was in fact immortal – that was his special gift. His organs and functions, however, were susceptible to the ravages of time and space, but he would survive them no matter what. In so many ways it was more of a curse than anything. However, lady luck did shine on him at that moment. A solar wind pushed him in the direction of a small white fleck floating light years in the distance and 10 years later he was floating alongside it.
A small round asteroid that had been following a trajectory for Boon’s privates for quite some time hit Boon at the exact moment he arrived at the object, and Boon gasped in pain, flung an arm out and was from that moment forward attached to a homing beacon. A homing beacon of dubious origin, but still recognisably a homing beacon. Boon was smart enough to realise that now he was either being gently pulled in the direction of an inhabited planet or, with any luck, a vessel would be out searching for the device.
Boon was over 5000 years old but that pain never got any easier to bear, especially when your spacesuit is so bursting at the seams with waste matter that you can’t bend over and cup yourself at all. eventually the pain eased and the flashing lights went away and Boon took stock of this new development. the beacon looked fairly new but there were no markings denoting planet or spacecraft, odd that, perhaps some military peice of hardware? Either way it said to Boon – civilisation! after all this time drifting alone he had had some outrageous luck.
Unfortunately the beacon was emitting a very low frequency noise as part of its operation. This noise, unbeknownst to Boon, could be otherwise described as the ‘brown note’ whatever or whereever this peice of fortune led him, Boon was going to do it in a sea of his own faecal matter.
Boon ached, a dull gnoaring at his innards as they continously tried to void what was no longer there to void, great heaving retches left him breathless and immense bowel spasms continually racked his poor immortal frame. His spacesuit now resembled a large, odious beachball, in fact Boon was close to drowning in his own filth, it was only his special gift that kept him from dying due to massive internal bleeding, or the effluvia filling most of his lungs. He couldn’t move, he had to do something. Reaching carefully down inside his tortured spacesuit Boon located the knife strapped to his filth matted thigh.
It became a delicate game of cat and mouse. Boon’s trembling fingertips managing to brush the hilt of his dagger, the dagger eluding his grip as the sheath slips down his leg. The exertions forced more gas and liquid to flow from inner space to outer space. Finally he felt the knife come loose, but failed to make a successful grab on the handle, letting it float gently out of reach. Boon tried to whip up a current in the fragrant brown jus within his suit, hoping that the knife would be channelled into his waiting palm. He froze. What if the knife were to sink all the way to the bottom?
Boon relaxed everything lest he disturb the sharp pointy time bomb loose within his suit. He waited a couple of hours until he felt a sharp prod in his nether regions and he made a swipe for the blade. The swipe was wide and swept the knife away in a wave of human compost. Boon cringed at his stupidity.
Adding to his misery, it just seemed to be getting hotter and hotter in the confines of his ballooning space suit, and since nothing could produce such heat internally Boon concluded that the problem must be external. He surprised himself from time to time with such shrewd observation.
It really was getting incredibly hot. And soon the contents of the suit were bubbling away and Boon’s skin was feeling the pinch of 1000 degree temperatures.
The little hairy man had in fact entered the atmosphere of a little brown planet and he was burning up like a boil in the bag salami. The molten waste in his suit was furiously cooking him alive, expanding even more within the taut lining. Something had to give.
As he entered the planets outer atmosphere, the planet’s gravity started to exert its influence on him and more importantly his ‘cargo’ a gently increasing spin was applied to the musty contents of his strained spacesuit. the turbulence of his entry into the ionosphere then added a vigorous shaking to the fetid brew and thus it was that the contents of Boon’s suit became like a filthy espresso martini, shaken and stirred.
His suit exploded.
with the addition of heat and shaking the contents tripled in size and the suit could no longer maintain its valiant fight against pressure and in a final moment of glory exploded in a silent display of Boyle’s law in action. Perhaps fortunately for Boon the contents then immediately flash-froze under the influence of the deep cold of space, unfortunately the sensation of being instantly frozen into a giant ball of your own waste matter was not a pleasant experience and Boon was simultaneously crushed and frozen.
The giant dirty ball accelerated towards the ground, gaining momentum at an alarming rate. Like some sort of god of the dung beetles Boon plummeted towards the unyielding surface of the planet.
Had Boon still been wearing his suit and not caked in three-foot deep compacted shit, a visual display would have informed him that the planet he was serendipitously aimed for was called ‘Herp’s Hive’; a quiet mining town on the outer fringe of the galactic spiral. The only thing keeping this little conglomerate going was the presence of turbinium, vital to the construction of graviton weapons of immense power.
Devon ‘Handful’ was enjoying a beer after a hard days slog in the mine, squinting against the ever-present swirls of wind-bourn dust he tipped his head back and let the cool liquid cascade down his throat in a stream of gassy refreshment. Between gusts of dust he thought he saw a giant brown iceberg hurtling towards the main reactor, which, by some incredible feat of mine-colony engineering, was at the epicentre of the fragile snow globe they called home. He kept an eye on the clouds of dust where he had last seen the object, and sure enough, a bit further down he could see the comets’ nutty tail. It shattered the protective dome far up in the sky and Devon, unable to take his eyes off the threat, fumbled his environment suit helmet over his head. Shards of dome fell from the sky and for a moment he lost sight of the comet, but there it was, moments away from impact. A siren went off in the cantina, and a calm voice instructed citizens to don their environment suits and gather at the safe zone. Devon braced himself.
But nothing happened.
No huge explosion destroying the main reactor. No giant mushroom cloud engulfing the colony in radioactive ash. Nothing but a large hole metres away from the main reactor that tunnelled deep down into the labyrinth of mine shafts below. An intricate lace work of human endeavour that up until that point was structurally sound and safe to navigate. It had since become a death trap. Devon was one of the first miners to volunteer, despite the risk, on a mission to haul the lump out and repair the network of tunnels. He was a skilled Crawler, and had thoroughly earned his nickname ‘Handful’; which was short for ‘Handful of Dirt’, because he always had his hands full of something dirty.
A team of five disappeared into the dark hole and didn’t resurface for five days, by which time they’d looped a harness around the brown rock that was said to smell like ‘sulphur from Satan’s backside’. It took another day to haul it to the surface, by which time the entire population of Herp’s Hive was stood around the large crater gawping at the careful operation, some even cheered Handful’s name. Then disaster struck. The white speck that Captain Boon had assumed was a homing beacon was in fact a homing missile, and a monumentally evil being had just triggered the detonation sequence remotely. A small red light somewhere within the crystal turd began to blink. Boon had all of 1 second to consider his foolishness before the whole mess exploded into a million pieces of razor-sharp shrapnel…
TO BE CONTINUED