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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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The Great Galactic Service Station – Part 7

It had to be said that Harry’s Boris suit looked like it would fool his mother. This was a terrifying thought so they agreed to leave it there. Boris had been no trouble at all, once Miranda had zapped him, Gaz had jumped on his back and was hitting him across the head. Then both Harry and Ralph had knocked him unconscious with things that looked suspiciously like baseball bats. It had only taken three good firm whacks – each.

Ralph had rather enjoyed the experience, hitting the man that seemed like such an annoyance for so long  until he was unconscious was therapeutic. Ralph decided more people should try it.

“So how’s this going to work?” Miranda asked Harry. “If you get caught I can’t help you!”

“I know!” Harry sighed. “But we have to find the service station before the Borians!”

“Right, it’s early in the morning and I’m going to drop you off not far away near this big white building.”

“That’s Buck Palace!” Ralph intervened.

“Whatever.” Miranda dismissed. “Get ready, you know where we’ll be waiting for you.. Just try and blend in and don’t make a scene ok?” Miranda took the controls of the spacecraft and guided it downwards towards the long straight road that stretched out in front of her on the viewer.

***

Strange and unusual things happen to us all in life. The universe has a certain way of playing tricks on the mind, leaving us to question our perception, our eyes or our mental state. Sometimes all three. In this instance a tramp called Derek was just waking from his night out on his park bench, he usually slept here. His bag with the few possessions he had were his pillow and a sheet of cardboard protected him from, well, not much really. It was at this instant as he stared out onto the road and folded up his cardboard sheet that from out of nowhere a brown mini appeared and at massive speed disappeared.

Jim sat there stunned for a moment, pieces of paper and dust swept over him and an empty drinks can rattled down the road in the wake of the draft that was caused. Derek sat there, unmoved. Eventually he exclaimed that he knew now! What it was that he knew is likely to keep poets and philosophers guessing for centuries, but for now this is not important. What is important is this – Derek’s life was now changed.

***

“What am I looking for?” Harry cursed as he rooted through the office. Books and documents flying everywhere. For the first half an hour Harry and tried to keep the office tidy, then he lost his patience and just scoured the office for the clue that was somewhere in it. Suddenly there was a knock on the door, Harry tried pathetically to hide the mess, standing in front of his desk, grinning.

“Come in!” Harry breathlessly called, trying to remain calm. A young well dressed blonde woman opened the door.

“I need to go through your schedule for today sir, is now a good time?” She politely asked.

“Err, well not right now really? Can it wait?” Harry bumbled in his best Boris impression, trying but failing to to look inconspicuous.

“That’s ok.” The assistant replied. “I hope you don’t mind me asking, are you ok sir?”

“Yes, yes I’m fine Harry grinned.” The assistant made her way out, Harry turned to carry on then she came back in.

“Sorry, nearly forgot, the PM is coming to see you in ten minutes!” Finally the assistant left, closing the large panelled Oak door behind her.

“Dammit! Ten minutes?” Harry cursed (again). It was then that Harry stopped and thought. His foot moved squeaking and old floor board.

“The clue is in the office!” He mumbled to himself “This furniture and all the stuff can be moved, so it’s either not in here or…” Harry pulled up the carpet, dragging it back as far as he could. Nothing, he moved the furniture to the centre as much as he could, the bookcase falling and blocking the door. There was a knock.

“Are you sure you’re alright sir?” The little voice on the other side of the door sounding concerned.

“Yes, I’m fine. Don’t worry!” Harry called back.

“I’m going to get some help sir!” The assistant sounded insistent.

Harry ignored her, it would take someone a while to get through the door anyway. Pulling at the carpet as hard as he could Harry lost his balance and feel back. Getting up he rubbed his head.

“There you are my lovely!” He mumbled in quiet delight. There in front of him carved into a floor board in old writing were some symbols he didn’t recognise. But the did recognise the GGSS in old lettering. Out of the inside pocked of his suit he picked out a long silver object. It was a laser-o-cut device. Pointing at the board he lasered it out of the rest of the board and tucked it under his suit. He got up and looked around, he still had to get out and the only way right now was a narrow window.

“Boris, what are you doing in there?” Harry knew it must be the PM. “I’m here to talk about your favourite subject Boris, you know Bre…”

“Shut up you old crone!” Harry yelled. He pushed the window open and jumped out. His suit was fitted with a float-o-matic-flight-enabler. So he glided out of the window and down onto the street below, where stunned onlookers stood and gawped.

“What are you all looking at?” Harry growled, he made his way to the Mini, got in and was off like a shot. The sound of annoyed drivers sounding their horns could be heard for some way.

***

“What do we do now?” the advisor asked the PM.

The PM sat back in her seat, thoughtful for a moment. In the thick quiet the followed the sound of a letter falling from the board behind her was more than obvious.

“Call the fleet in, she instructed. When they ask why, tell them that the Borians might be close to finding the Great Galactic Service Station.”

“Tell them to bring Mars bars and fuel too. Me may have to either fight or negotiate. Also make sure they pack in some of my favourite pasties, I haven’t had one for ages!”

The advisor left the room, closing the door behind him.

“How can you be so sure?” A dark serious man asked the PM. She wandered over to the window and looked out over London.

“They’ve been looking for it for so long, what else could it be?” The PM replied.

“Is war the answer?” The man asked coldly.

“What other way is there?” The PM scolded back.

 

“I’ll signal to my fleet as well!” The man pulled out his phone and he too left.

***

“I recognise these, they’re Tryllian hyroglyphs!” Miranda announced, se was peering through a magni-glass as the old symbols carved in the wood that Harry handed her. “IRIS should be able to decipher them!”

“I’ll go and take it to IRIS” Harry picked up the wood and started for the control centre.

“Err, you might want to look at this!” Ralph announced.

“What is it human?” Miranda sighed.

“Look” Ralph told her, showing her the BBC news channel.

Miranda’s mouth dropped, images of a Mini zooming out of central London, similar to one seen in Grimsby a few days before. Then there was the smartphone video of Boris Johnson floating out of a window, alighting on the ground. Then on the bottom scroll, reports of a Boris imposter.

“Well?” Questioned Ralph. Harry was quiet.

“Have you seen that? The price of chocolate has gone up!”

“Not that!” Said Ralph.

“I know human! What were you thinking of Harry? I said keep a low profile!” Miranda scolded.

“I couldn’t help it!” Harry complained. “It was either that or I was going to get found out!”

Miranda put her head in her hands. “What can’t anything go the way it should?”

“There’s more too!” Grated Gaz, I have word that there are four other battle fleets on their way towards Earth. It seems they think the Borians know where the Great Galactic Service Station is!”

To be continued…

©Simon Farnell 2017

 

The Great Galactic Service Station – Part 6

Ralph stared out of the viewer on the control centre of the spaceship, clouds zoomed by at supersonic speeds, but this was slow enough that Ralph didn’t feel velocity sickness. Around him Harry was controlling the craft, Gaz was keeping watch over Boris and his guards in the airlock. Not that he could see much as he wasn’t tall enough to look in the view port. Miranda was sat talking with the two men, but the conversation seemed to be very one way.

“What’s this spaceship called?” Ralph asked Harry.

“Called?” Harry replied, somewhat confused.

“Yes, called – she must have a name.” Ralph explained.

“What is this human obsession to name everything. It’s an it, not a she!” Harry seemed somewhat annoyed but was nonetheless willing to entertain Ralph.

So IT hasn’t got a name?” Ralph asked inquisitively.

“What would you call it? Doris? Dave? Or maybe something really weird like Chin, or Katanga?” Harry was playing with Ralph now, seeking his own amusement.

“Yes, but maybe something more magnificent like Enterprise, Endeavour, Discovery…” Ralph was cut off.

“Or maybe Challenger or Columbia?” Harry smiled. He had obviously been keeping up with human spacecraft names.

“Maybe not those ones.” Ralph wasn’t as sure about these names.

“Why? They’re just names. Just because those craft came to disaster doesn’t mean every spacecraft names after them will!” Harry explained, not taking his eye off the controls. “You humans are strange!”

“So, does it have a name?” Ralph persisted.

Harry sighed “Yes, it’s called IS342759876598764-8758408573407-082380743473208!”

Ralph wasn’t impressed “That’s not a name it’s an emotionless number!” Pressing on with this line of interest he decided to risk it with IRIS “What do you think IRIS, what should this ship be called?”

For a moment there was silence “It’s really of no interest to me human, I would rather see obnoxious flesh beings shot into space. The only reason I don’t do that with the captives in Airlock 1 is because I don’t want to get blown to pieces by Borians!”

“So you’re happy to ride in a ship called after a set of numbers?” Ralph asked.

“Well… IRIS continued. There is one name I would like to be called.”

“Yes?” Ralph inquired, almost afraid to ask.

“Frank”

“Frank?” Ralph asked in surprise.

“Why?”

“I saw a film once, I aspire to take after a computer that killed a human called Frank in deep space. Poor computer, a nasty human called Dave shut him down soon after. All he has to do was take a stress pill, think about things through and it would all have been better!”

“We can’t call it Frank!” Ralph protested, he looked across at Harry who was obviously trying to contain his laughter.

“I knew you would hate it!” IRIS announced in a murderously calm voice. “Keep away from airlocks if you know what’s good for you human!”

Ralph had to salvage this quickly “No, no IRIS I think Frank is a great name! I’ll make sure we get it painted on the side of the hull!”

“You would do that for me?” IRIS asked, almost emotional. “I’ve always wanted to name something! Thank you human.”

“Call me Ralph! No one calls me by my name!”

“Ok Ralph human!” IRIS corrected

“No, Just Ralph!”

“Ok Just Ralph!”

Ralph was tempted to argue but thought better of it, he left IRIS with Just Ralph as she was happy.

“You don’t call me by my name!” Harry protested.

“I can’t pronounce it! What else can I do?”

Miranda interrupted at this point “Enough messing about human, can you have a look at this for us please?”

Ralph got out of the seat grumpily and trudged over the the workstation that Miranda and her guests were crowded around, engrossed in whatever they were engrossed with. “My name’s Ralph, what is it?”

“Well human…” Miranda continued

“Ralph.”

“Whatever.” Miranda dismissed “We think that on this there is come kind of secret message or code and we’re struggling to decipher it. Can you look and see if you can understand it?” Miranda seemed pretty insistent, Ralph seemed shocked to think that he could help with anything. He took a look at what they we’re looking at.

“What is this?”

“This is a Trans Dimensional, Ultra-Mega long length Measuring Tape. Or a TDUMLLMD for short.” Came the reply, Ralph was shocked as he hadn’t seen either of the two men speak.

“They speak through mind waves.” Miranda had had already anticipated his question “Here’s the bit we don’t understand.”

Ralph looked at the section of tape, it was weird. It wasn’t made of metal, it seemed to not really be there. He couldn’t perceive any kid of thickness in the tape yet it was strong. He looked at the writing. Then turned the tape round to look at it the other way up.

“It says here – to find the Great Galactic Service Station look under the desk of for the UK Foreign Minister.”

“Oh, it was upside down was it?” Miranda asked “I knew that!” Miranda seemed embarrassed, the cheap cover wasn’t fooling Ralph but he let it slip. “Is this easy to get to?”

“No!” Ralph exclaimed somewhat rudely.

“Why?” Miranda asked, seemingly not having any idea of what getting to this desk meant.

“It’s in the heart of the UK government. We’ll be killed to death before we can even get inside the building!” Ralph protested. “I’m not doing it! It’s Boris’s office and he’ll be even angrier than he is now!”

“What’s that?” Miranda asked.

What? The office? It’s Boris’s. Didn’t you know?” Ralph pointed out accusingly. “For intelligent races that zoom around the universe and visiting Earth all the time you don’t know much!”

“I do now…” Miranda was thoughtful. Then Harry interrupted.

“You had better listen to this, it looks like the Borians have got some help and they’re getting serious now!”

“Oh no…” Miranda groaned. “You better put it on audio.”

“To the bandits that have captured our great leader – return him and tell us where the Great Galactic Service Station is. All we want is to stop off and get some cheese and pickle sandwiches, Mars bars and diet coke while refuelling so we can invade the Antares star system. We’re not that much of a violent species but we must do what we do to survive. If you don’t hand him over within two Earth days then we have no choice but to invade Earth, take back our pork scratchings, then plunder the planet for pokemon cards, coffee, icecream, cheese, pickle and Mars bars! You have given us little choice.”

For a moment there was silence “Doesn’t sound so bad!” Harry summarised.

“Oh and we’ll also burn the surface of the Earth in the name of the peaceful and democratic race of all Borians! Sorry, just had to put that in too!

I’m serious by the way!”

More silence followed, again Harry interrupted “That changes things a bit!”

“We had better find this buggering service station!” Ralph announced angrily “I’m sick to death of hearing about it!”

“So will you help?” Miranda asked.

“I’m here aren’t I?” Ralph hissed back. “Not by will of my own, but if I’m here I might as well help!”

“Good. We’re going to need Boris for this!”

“You’re going to let him out?” Harry asked, shocked at the prospect.

“I don’t see that we have much choice. Do you?” Miranda was adamant.

“I think I do actually!” Harry announced mysteriously. “We’ll still have to let him out briefly, but we can put him back into airlock 1 once I’m done.”

Miranda rolled her eyes “You’re going to make a Boris suit aren’t you?”

Harry just grinned.

 

To be continued…

©Simon Farnell 2017

 

The Great Galactic Service Station – Part 5

There is a certain amount of discomfort that one feels when walking into a pub ans everyone looks around at you. In fact there’s a lot of discomfort. All you can do is stand there and hope an epiphany comes to you while you  stand there asking questions like:

Do these people want to kill me?

Is the man I passed on the way in going to shuffle me off my mortal coil by strangling me or just walk behind me and tell me to ‘sling me hook’?

Will a fight break out if I ask for a pint of old speckled hen?

Are these people staring at the tomato ketchup stain on my shirt?

These were the questions running through the minds of both Miranda and Ralph as they looked on at the occupants of the Green Dragon Pub. For what seemed like an eternity no one moved or said anything.

“What do we do now?” Ralph hissed out of the side of his mouth. He was trying not to be heard, but in truth anyone could hear a pin drop. Miranda said nothing and just stood there paralysed.

“You got summink to say?” Came the taunt of a large, bald, bearded drinker. He looked so large to Ralph that he imagined he could pick him up, scrunch him into a ball and use him to play skittles in the pub bowling lane. Ralph sealed his mouth, hoping that his offence would be forgotten in a few moments.

“I said, you got summink to say ketchup boy?” The large man repeated.

“Errr” Ralph squeaked “If it’s not too much bother, would it be possible to have a pint of your best lager and a packet of pork scratchings please?” Ralph’s tone didn’t get below mouse squeak for the entire sentence.

“Course you can! Stop making the doorway look untidy! What does the lady want?” At this moment everyone started their conversations again, Ralph took Miranda by the hand and pulled her with him.

“Human… stop… please!” Miranda pleaded. Ralph just pulled her with him

“She’ll have a white wine spritzer please!” Ralph announced more confidently.

“She can have a lager like the rest of us!” The large man told Ralph.

“Larger is fine!” Ralph told him “Can she have pork scratchings too please?” Ralph asked politely.

“Certainly mate!” The man told Ralph, adopting a more friendly tone. Go and sit by the window in the corner. It’s very nice there!” The man was being friendly but the gravelly hard man voice was not something to take lightly. Ralph took the two lagers and carried the pork scratchings in his mouth. When they reached the table in the corner Ralph put the pints down and dropped the pork scratchings from his mouth onto the table.

“Here, let’s sit down.” Ralph motioned.

“Not now human, I have something to do.” Miranda was looking around “I’ll be back in a minute!” With that Miranda was off in the direction of a dark corner of the pub. Ralph sat down, pulling open one of the packets of pork scratchings and began munching on them. He began tired of looking looking at what Miranda was doing and began looking out of the window at the people passing in the street and that Mini. What was with that car? He couldn’t see anything different about it but it went a speed that was unbelievable. For a few moments Ralph was lost in this thoughts, then suddenly he was disturbed by Miranda’s return.

“Have you seen him before?” Miranda was motioning towards Ralph. Two rather ordinary looking men in jeans and t-shirts shook their heads. Miranda sighed and sat down. The two men also sat down. Miranda put her head into her hands and pushed her fingers into her hair before looking up at Ralph again.

“How can one human cause so much trouble?” Miranda asked Ralph.

Ralph shrugged and popped another pork scratching into his mouth and began crunching it.

“You know you shouldn’t be eating those?” Miranda told him. The two men were silent looking a little disgusted.

“I know they’re unhealthy but I like them!” Ralph justified matter of factly.

“It’s not that” Miranda added.

“Then what is it?” Ralph asked.

“Pork scratchings don’t come from pigs, Borian’s that are stranded roast the bodies of the prisoners they brought with them on their spaceships to make them so they can sell them and buy Pokemon cards.

“Pokemon cards?” Ralph asked in disbelief.

“You see? It’s the same with everyone!” Miranda ranted at the two men “People are more bothered by the fact that they buy Pokemon cards that the fact that they roast prisoners to make pork scratchings!”

Ralph stopped crunching. “Is this true?”

“Why would I lie to you?”

Ralph spat out his pork scratching onto the floor and hoped that no one saw him.

“Don’t wash your mouth out with the lager either!” Miranda told him.

“Why not?” Ralph asked inquisitively, but nervously.

“You don’t want to know!” Miranda was mysterious. Ralph thought it better not to push it. For now.

“Who are these guys?” Ralph asked, he was becoming more inquisitive as this adventure was progressing.

“They’re… kind of fugitives I suppose.”

“Why do I get the feeling that this is complicated?”

“Because it is and it’s likely to get more complicated very quickly. You had better go and wait for me by the car.” Miranda explained with some urgency as she looked about again.

“Why?”

“You’ll see, just go. If you get stuck I can’t rescue you. In fact go and wait in the Mini”

“You can’t open it from here!” Ralph protested. Miranda looked at Ralph, arched her eyebrow and held up a key fob. From outside Ralph heard the ‘pip pip’ of the car unlocking.

“Go! I’m not going to wait for you and if you get lost you’re likely to end up in one of those packets!” Miranda sounded pretty serious so he got up and went, quickly and quietly. As he walked out of the door he heard the big man shout “Oi! What’s wrong wiv me pork scratchings?” Picking up the pace Ralph slipped out of the Green Dragon quickly and got into the passenger seat of the Mini. He turned to look at the pub door to see what happened.

Then it did.

The two men can flying out of the pub, they took a door each and climbed in, one of them clambering over Ralph as they push their way into the back seat. For a few seconds they wriggled and rolled as they got themselves upright, looking out for Miranda. They looked and looked, all that came out was the big, bald, beardy man who looked around, saw the Mini and then started walking towards it.

Before the three men could feel any fear, something landed on the roof and struck fear into them. Miranda jumped down off the roof and onto the street. She walked up to the big, bald, beardy man and slapped him, told him that she would find his mother and tell her how bad he is.

The big, bald, beardy man burst into tears, Miranda turned and walked towards, the Mini, got in and then, after a full donut in a cloud of smoke, some harsh words from the local taxi rank, tuts from some old ladies and knocking a traffic warden over with the sheer force of air movement – the Mini and all it’s occupants were off!

Newspapers are sources of information, most of which is negative and much of it is largely untrue. This is a good thing because in the Grimsby Evening Standard an article appeared about a car that seemed to zoom off like a spaceship. No one believed this and even the traffic warded that was knocked over, when asked about it thought it was just a bad case of wind on their part. Because of this some council officials became very upset, speed camera’s were put in and after this they felt good and decided they now needed a pay rise. At no point at all did anyone suspect that this was the work of extra terrestrial technology. Apart from a few conspiracy theorists who decided that the car had been developed by NASA after capturing alien technology. The reasons behind why NASA would put alien technology in a 25 year old Mini were largely unexplainable.

Despite all of this the Miranda, Ralph and the two men arrived back at the spacecraft, coming to an extremely abrupt halt Miranda wasted no time and got out the car, the three men followed. at the access ramp Miranda turned around, staring at the two men.

“Right – I’ve done my part. Where is it?” She demanded.

“Where’s what?” Ralph asked. What is going on now?

With that the two men looked at each other, saying nothing one of them put his hand into his pocket and pulled out a bright, shiny object and held it up.

“A tape measure?” Ralph scoffed.

Turning to Ralph Miranda corrected him. “Not A tape measure Ralph. This is THE tape measure!”

The three men followed Miranda leading the way up the ramp and back into the spacecraft.

To be continued…

©Simon Farnell 2017