The Great Galactic Service Station – Part 8

It has been generally accepted in the galaxy that fighting in space is a fairly pointless activity and very little is gained from it. The great Nargan battle that took place a centuries ago between the two races from the Algol binary star demonstrates this very nicely. The race from the smaller star were rather unhappy because it was always cold and wanted to live on the Narg home planet because it was warmer there.

hundreds of battleships from both sides were sent to settle the matter once and for all. What should be known at this point is that Earth science fiction films don’t give a very realistic idea of what starships are like, they can mount all kinds of fun weapons on them but the concept of invisible energy shields is pure fantasy. Because of these tiny drawbacks the result was that they all blew themselves to pieces in about twenty minutes. Fifteen if you don’t count the tea break in the middle.

War in space is pointless.

So, this becomes a real problem when four sets of battle fleets arrive just outside the Moon’s orbit and wait. The other thing to know about battle fleets is that when you have a large number of them in a relatively small space that someone soon get a little upset over something. So four battle fleet around Earth is nothing but a ticking time bomb. Especially when only one of them has brought Mars bars and pasties!

***

“This is NOT good!” Miranda was pacing up and down the control centre. Her hair was all over place and no one could suggest anything to her without being severely shouted at. All the rest of them could do is watch.

“How can I possibly sort out this mess?!?” She yelled again.

“I have an idea…” Harry dared to say.

“Forget it! The last ‘bright’ idea you had caused this mess in the first place! So – SHUT UP!”

“Miranda” The calm and sadistic voice of IRIS announced among the chaos.

“WHAT?!? Oh, IRIS it’s you. Yes, what is it?” Miranda forced herself to be calm, inside she was seething.

“Two things, firstly I have translated the Tryllian hieroglyphs for you. Secondly I have prepared for you a medication that will help to calm you down.”

“Finally! Some hope among the imbeciles that I’m surrounded by!” There was much venom when imbeciles slipped her lips, her mood was dark. She stood there for a few moments, breathing hard trying to collect here thoughts. Looking down she saw on the console two small blue pills had materialised with a glass of water next to them.

“These for me?” Miranda angrily directed at IRIS. Picking up the pills and water she put the pills into her mouth. “I have to say” Miranda mumbled. “This is very helpful of you IRIS, normally you would…” with force Miranda spat the pills from her mouth.

“You’re trying to kill me you psychopathic computer!” Miranda yelled at IRIS, incandescent with rage.

“I was trying to calm you down Miranda.” IRIS interrupted with a frightening calm.

“Permanently I’ll bet!” IRIS only replied with a cold silence. “If you want to help you can tell me about those Tryllian hieroglyphs!”

“Oh yes, those.” IRIS seemed to sounding innocent in that ‘who me’ kind of way “Well, the translation is a little sketchy so don’t get your hopes up!”

“Anything would be good at this point!” Miranda spat back, still angry but but as angry as she was.

“Well is seems the previous information that led us the the human’s house was a deliberate decoy to deter the likes of the Borian’s. There’s some garbled stuff about a ford and a gap and this code: SP599680.”

“Great – more stupid clues that will probably lead us to another stupid decoy location. This mission has been a disaster so far and the only thing we have to look forward to is a catastrophe!”

“Not necessarily, the translation mentions the location has plenty of accessible parking, rest rooms, baby changing facilities. You can also get a hot sausage roll and there’s a McDonald’s!” IRIS continued, Miranda looked at the computer with suspicion.

“Why do I think you’re poking fun at me?”

“Me? I think you do me an injustice…”

“Hang on, I might be able to help!” Ralph cut in, desperate to finally be of assistance.

Miranda raised an eyebrow. “Really?”

“Don’t be like that, we need to get  ourselves lower and open the door so I can get signal to my phone!”

“Why not just connect to the wifi?” Harry suggested sarcastically.

“You have wifi?” Ralph’s mouth fell open “Really?”.

“Of course, how do you think I connect with home?” Harry was using this to full effect to make Ralph look stupid.

Ralph was face down on his phone “You don’t even have a wifi password, don’t you know about security?”

“Who’s out here to use it?” Harry turning the sarcasm up yet another notch.

Miranda looked at Ralph intensely “Well?”

Ralph chuckled “Well I’m not that stupid, I could work this out where you couldn’t!” Ralph handed his phone to Miranda.

“Watford Gap Service Station?!?” She shouted, half in anger, half with excitement.

“According to that code, it was a grid reference.” Ralph added smugly. Harry turned away and grunted.

“That’s the name of a place?” Miranda laughed “You humans are stupid! How do we get there?”

“I thought I was stupid?” Ralph was starting to enjoy this new found power.

“Well… err… ok, maybe you’re not so stupid.” Miranda admitted reluctantly.

“Follow the M25 round to the north of London, we can’t miss it. It’s near Watford.”

“Did you get that Harry?” Miranda asked commandingly.

“Sure, I’ll get us there. You see if I don’t. There is just one thing the Vargon battle fleet has also just turned up!”

“Great!” Miranda rolled her eyes and put her hands through her hair again. “Another race that just turns up for no reason to a battle. They probably think that there’s an 80’s pop band reunion going on!”

“What?” asked Ralph in disbelief “What are you on about?”

“As well as being one of the mega powers of the galaxy, they are also know for being the race that brought the universe cheap 80’s pop music!”

“You’re having a laugh! Come on!” Ralph didn’t believe a word of it “Everyone hates that stuff, I’m not saying we’re proud of it but it didn’t come from an alien race!” Ralph insisted.

“Seriously. They used it to psychologically destroy the sanity of entire planets before invading them. We shipped it off to you lot because you actually seemed to like it. We used Earth as like a toxic weapons repository. It’s a banned weapon throughout the galaxy!”

Ralph stood there for a moment, stunned. All those horrible, but strangely likable 80’s tunes. He couldn’t quite take it in, as he stared out of the window, stars flying past a thought dawned on him.

“Harry, where are we going?”

“The M25 galaxy, like you said!” Harry replied sharply “Where’s this Watford system you mentioned?”

“No! You idiot – I meant the M25 motorway!” Ralph shouted, clearly irritated.

Miranda looked at Harry, Harry looked at Miranda. “Oh.” Harry grumbled.

 

©Simon Farnell 2017

 

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