Tuesday, December 18, 2018

A New Dope Part 4 of 8

MEANWHILE IN THE STREETS OF THE CITY OF FOOLS… A Skyrider sand boat whizzed through the crowds pursued by four sprinting light-rainpoopers as RBC perched on the rear of the glider, all of his torso hatches wide open as be blasted ice cubes at their pursuers. Flyswatter effortlessly weaved between and around the city’s denizens and their ware-laden booths as a stormpooper air cruiser suddenly appeared behind him.

“Dammit,” cried Fluke, eyeing his rear-view mirror. RBC opened another tray of ice cubes and began firing at the new target.

The stormpooper driver behind them had a hard time keeping up with his quarry with all the ice cubes caroming off his helmet. Finally he slammed right into a yawning hipposaurus. He flew out of his seat and right into the giant beast’s mouth who promptly gave the soldier an exploratory taste before spitting him out again.

Flyswatter and company pulled into a narrow alley and where the alley opened into a dead-end cul-de-sac he found a giant space oliphant and parked under his great belly.

“There’s a big bag of space peanuts in it for you if you hide this sand glider for us for an hour! cried old Opie Wan Kablooey.

“Okie doke,” said the oliphant.

A small neon sign marked the back door of the Booze hound Bar and Grill.

“This looks like as good a place as any,” said Ben.

The humans entered the bar where the Elephant Man Band writhed on stage, blowing their saxophones while the lead Elephant Man singer belted out a Rod Stewart cover: “If ya think I’m sexy and you want my money, come on baby shake my flapdoodle!”

“Hey,” said a gorgeous pig-snouted one-eyed man who was covered in scabs and dandruff as he stepped in front of Ben and Fluke.

“Are you a pilot?” said Ben.

“You see that big abominable snowman-looking fellow over there?” replied the scab man.

“He’s a pilot?” asked Ben.

“He doesn’t like you.”

“That’s fine,” said Ben. “We’re looking for a pilot with his own ship. We need a lift in a hurry.”

“And you know what else?”

“Yeah, we need to keep it on the Q.T. As in no government interference.”

“I don’t like you either.”

“Oh well. You have poor taste in people. Nobody’s perfect.”


In a flash, Ben flung open his light saber and the scab man was gutted; cleaved in two down the middle. His two sides fall to the floor as old Ben stepped between them and Fluke scampered behind him. Ben walked up to a great white beast who looked like a space snowman.

“Are you a pilot?” asked Ben.

“Fuck off,” said the snow beast.

“Don’t you like me?” asked Ben.”

The beast roared an ungodly roar, his wide open jaws an inch from Ben’s face, his breath the foulest stench in three space counties. With a sudden blue flash Ben cleaved him in two.

“Boring conversation anyway,” said Hand Solo with a wink at the old man. He sat at his corner table leaning against the wall.

“Are you a pilot?” asked Ben.

“Best one in three space counties,” said Solo. “I’m the owner/operator of the renowned Aluminum Fulcrum.

“Never heard of it,” said Fluke.

“Sure you have.” said Hand. “It made the Cannonball Run in 3.4 space seconds.”

“I never heard of it either,” said Ben. “But we’re desperate. Can you get us to the Dego Blah system in a hurry? We wish to avoid - imperial… interference. If you know what I mean.”

“Well that’s my specialty,” said Hand. “It’ll cost you extra though.”

“Now look here!” said Fluke.

“That’s fine,” said Ben. I’ll give you three bags of space money.”

“That sounds reasonable.”

“Once we arrive of course.”

“Oh I’ll need a deposit.”

“No can do,” said Ben. But Solo’s attention was elsewhere. He stared at the front door. Ben suddenly realized that the band had stopped playing. He followed Solo’s gaze and saw a pair of stormpoopers at the door. One of the Elephant Men was pointing their way and trumpeting something indistinguishable.

“Back door, barked Solo, bolting from his seat. “Follow me.”

The three slipped into a tall staff service area and before the towering giraffian line cooks could say anything they rushed by and out a side door into an alley. “Where’s your cargo?” barked Solo.

“In my Skyrider around the corner.”

“It’s just the two of us and two banking robots,” added Ben.

“Banking robots?” said Solo, as he followed Fluke around the corner. “This doesn’t sound good. What kind of white-collar monkey-business are you guys up to?”

“Never mind!” said Fluke.

“All right. All right,” said Solo as he leapt into the rumble seat between the two machines. “Just get us the hell out of here. I hope you drive like Steve-the-Queen.”

Fluke threw the vehicle into hoverdrive and they tore ass out of the alley.

Solo kept a close eye on the roads behind them, watching out for authorities while barking instructions at Flyswatter. “You drive pretty good, kid. Ever think of becoming a pilot?”

“Oh, I can fly. It’s in my blood.”

“Takes more than blood to fly a ship like the Aluminum Fulcrum. It’s all any one man can handle. There! make a left into that hangar!” Flyswatter made a hard left which nearly toppled Solo out of the vehicle. He grabbed onto RBC who squealed and blared in protest.

Fluke slammed on the breaks. “What the hell is that?”

“That’s a wookie, kiddo.”

“I mean the ship!”

Solo leapt out of the hovercraft. “It’s a beaut, ain’t it?” The giant mechanical contraption sat on it’s landing feet with hatches open here and there; wires and hoses hanging out of it. A tall shaggy brown-furred primate had paused his wrench-work to look at the arrivals.

“Go start her up, Chewie. No time to spare!”

“Huh?” yawned Chewingtobacca. “Rart er rup?”

“Now! Never mind the recalibrations!” Solo marched quickly toward the ship. It’s gangway lay angled down to the ground allowing access to the interior through the beast’s underbelly. Fluke, Ben and the robots followed.

“Rarirations?” gurgled Chewie.

Solo walked by him and wrenched the wrench from his grasp. “Go start her up! Now!”

“Okie Rokie!” said Chewie with a shrug, and he headed up the ramp.

“Get on board, grab a seat and buckle up!” Solo instructed his passengers. He jogged around the ship stuffing wires and hoses into nooks and crannies and slamming shut maintenance panels.

“This looks like a complete peace of crap!” said Fluke.

“May the the force be with us,” Ben murmured, shaking his head.

“We’ll need it,” said Fluke.

“Is there a meal on this flight?” asked CIBC. No one responded.

“You there!” cried a voice. “Halt!”

Everyone turned to see a small crowd of stormpoopers spilling into the hangar.

“Go go go!” cried Solo. The gang all swiftly climbed the ramp as the stormpoopers raised their blaster rifles. Fluke paused on the ramp and drew his own blaster pistol. The soldiers began firing. Fluke fired back. The engines began to roar and the gangway ramp began to rise, taking Flyswatter with it, laser blasts bouncing off the ship’s surfaces around him. Fluke fell back on his ass, unscathed as the ramp sealed shut. The ship began to shudder madly as it rose from the ground. Moments later it flew through the sky.

“Why the hell are there so many idiot lights flashing!” cried Solo.

“I ron’t row!” said Chewingtobacca.

“What the hell work were you doing down there!”


“Repairs! What the hell?”


“What are rerairs?” said Fluke, stepping through the hatch into the pilot’s cabin.

“Nothing,” said Solo. Go mix yourself a drink or make a space sandwich or something.”

“It’s time to begin your training, Fluke,” said Ben from the hallway. “Come with me.”

They entered the training lounge of the Aluminum Fulcrum where they found CIBC riding around in circles, slumped over the top of RBC, his golden feet sitting on the ground, several yards away, not attached to his legs.

“What the hell are they doing?” said Ben.

“Practicing,” said Fluke.

“For what?”

“I have no idea.”


“I don’t get it,” said Solo, peering ahead into the blackness of space. “There’s no planet here! There’s supposed to be a planet here!”

“Obviously we’re not where we’re supposed to be!” said Fluke. “Does anything on this tin can of yours work properly?”

“We’re where we’re supposed to be, kid. The planet is missing!”

“Planets don’t go missing,” said Fluke.

Old Ben Kablooey was pondering the cosmos. “There is something here all right,” he said. “I hear the cries of millions of lost souls! and I sense the crashing of falling bowling pins.”

“What?” said Fluke.

“Rowring rins?” said Chewie.

“I must be mistaken,” said Ben.

“Wait, I can see one of the planet’s moons,” said Solo. They all peered ahead where a small black space; an absence of stars, was beginning to materialize into a visible dark sphere.”

“That’s no moon,” said Fluke.

“It’s the Great Bowling Ball in the Sky.” whispered Ben.

“That’s just a silly old legend old man.”

“Oh yeah,” said Ben. “What do you think you’re looking at then?”

They stared at the massive orb as they approached it. “Well fuck a space duck,” said Solo. “What are those three giant craters? It does look like a bowling ball!”

“Get us out of here now!” said Ben. “We must fly!”

Solo pushed a lever, frowned, pulled it, frowned deeper, pushed it, pulled it, pulled it, pushed it.

“Is that how it’s supposed to work?” asked Fluke.

“No, that is not how it’s supposed to work! It is in fact not working!”

“I’m shocked,” said Fluke.

“We’re being pulled in to the bowling ball. It’s like a small black hole gravitational-”

“It’s a tractor beam,” said Ben.

They all stared silently as the bowling ball grew slowly, inexorably larger.

“I can’t get us out of this thing,” said Solo.

“We’re fucked,” said Flyswatter.

“Is it imperial?” said Solo.

“Yes,” said Ben, pondering the cosmos. “I sense a presence I have not felt…” He looked at young  Fluke and looked away again. “Have you any secret compartments on board?”

“Tons,” said Solo.

“I have a plan,” said Ben.

(To be continued tomorrow… if you can stand it…)

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