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Book: Hippies
Chapter 12: Eerie Blue Glow

Commander A’Doner was still finding it hard to comprehend the gargantuan dome of blackness that had risen out of the sea to completely enclose all the surviving hippies of the destroyed Lentil Seed. “Back in the globules!” He yelled. The commander dived back into the top hatch of his globular escape capsule, almost wedging his swollen flabby mass in the round opening as he did so.

On the escape globules around the commander’s, hippies stumbled, fumbled and staggered wildly as they attempted to get back inside. Many simply fell into the swelling sea, too stoned and emaciated to care.

The blackness that now enveloped them was total; the only light coming from the bobbing escape globules themselves. Commander A’Doner hammered at his globule’s instrumentation in desperation. Behind him the globule’s top hatch folded closed.

“We’re going to die!” A voice wailed. It was Moonbeam

The commander could not stand pessimistic yellow bellies. “Shut up, you worthless, mouldy ring burglar!” He screamed, yanking at some controls. “We’re getting out of here!”

Moonbeam began to moan like a scabby wolf as the globule began to lurch violently from side to side. “These globules can’t fly, they’re landers only! Doomed, we are! Doomed!”

“They may not be able to fly,” the commander said, “but they can sink!”

With an incredible bubbling sound, the globule quickly descended below the waves.

Moonbeam was looking at the output of the scanner. “Whoa! That black stuff has, like, disappeared! It’s no longer on our sensors! The route below is clear! It must all be above us!”

Commander A’Doner grinned. He turned to Moonbeam. “I’ve outsmarted death again!” He looked back at his console and looked at its readouts. His depth was currently 87 metres and descending at a rate of three metres per second. Trailing behind were the six other hippy escape globules. The commander was a little surprised. He had not expected to see all of the others following. He had expected at least half of them to forget to close their globule’s hatches and drown. He activated the communicator. “This is your commander. Report your status.”

The reports that were returned renewed the commander’s lack of faith in his subordinates.

We’re, like, trippin’, man! Feels like we’re sinking…

Everythin’ is, like, jelly. My feet are as soft as pancakes. Awesome…

Hey! Did you just, like, look at my reefer? Ah, yeah, man! Suck on this...

Oh, man! This is the greatest funk of my existence…

They were all as stoned as retards. But they were hippies, and that was normal. Still, Commander A’Doner was not happy. He switched off the communicator. Those brainless hippies were as much use as papier-mâché machine guns. What he needed was to regroup his forces, find a way to gain the upper hand over that annoying British Navy submarine, and return the Supreme Layzee Sponjer to the hippy home world. With the Supreme Layzee Sponjer reinstalled as leader, the commander could continue his plans for galactic domination. He would then assume power once again from behind the throne, controlling the Supreme Layzee Sponjer’s actions, and using the respect and reverence his people had for their leader to fulfill his megalomaniacal dreams. After all, it was he who had first appointed the Supreme Layzee Sponjer as leader. It was he who had been the driving force behind the expansion of the hippy empire. It was he who had forged the largest fleet of lentil-armoured starships the galaxy had ever seen. Although many hippies had not backed his plans, he had somehow succeeded. But when the Supreme Layzee Sponjer had disappeared he had almost lost his exalted position. Only his quick announcement that he personally would lead the rescue mission had saved him from a severe public thrashing. That and the extreme lazyness of the hippy home world’s chief thrasher, of course.

Commander A’Doner checked his console’s readouts once again. The depth was now 1,352 metres and still falling. The six other globules were still close behind. The spherical nature of the lentil escape globules was certainly pressure resistant, but not indefinitely so. This descent into the depths of this strange ocean could not continue much longer.

A light appeared from below, illuminating the surrounding water in an eerie blue glow.

Commander A’Doner leaned forwards and looked down through the forward window.

Daisy Muff, who and been snoozing next to him sat up, startled by the brightening light. “Wow, that’s beautiful. What is it?”

The commander’s eyes widened. “It looks like were not the only ones down here. There’s a bright light on the ocean floor!”

Peter strapped himself into the pilot’s seat right at the front of the cramped but luxurious interior of the Death Reaper’s space capsule, the small vessel normally reserved for the use of the ship’s captain only. The three-metre domed window in front of him filled his field of vision, the view only interrupted by two flat-panel touch-screens and a control stick.

“This capsule seems adequate.” Peter said, pulling on the stick. “Lucky this was onboard, with that rainbow black stuff swallowing up all the attack craft in the other hanger bay.”

“Fuckin’ black rainbow fucker!” Ross mumbled.

Ross was sitting just behind Peter at the weapons console. His hands were a blur of activity across his screens as he armed every offensive and defensive system he could find. Murmurs of “Oh yeah! We’ll need one of those fuckers!” and “Cool! That’ll fuck ‘em up, the fuckers!” could be heard, accompanied by devilish chuckles. He was obviously quite pleased with the array of destruction at his fingertips.

Pan had just managed to squeeze himself in through the small hatchway. It closed behind him and locked with a buzz of servos. “Hey!” Pan said, looking at his two companions. “How come you two get the cool seats?”

“Because,” Ross replied, still configuring the capsule’s weapons, “you insist on wearing that bulky fuckin’ space suit instead of one of these snug-fitting armoured jump-suits!”

Peter turned and pointed to a small round opening in the ceiling. “If you can get through there you can go up to the top turret. I bet it’s a great view from up there!”

Pan looked up. He shook his head. “I’ll never get up there.”

“If you take the suit off you will.”

“Never!” Pan shouted, looking sternly at Peter. “I made a solemn vow not to take this suit off until it has been completely emptied of all snacks and beverages. I will not break that vow!”

Both Peter and Ross knew how seriously Pan took his solemn vows, especially regarding food, so they said nothing more about the suit.

“I guess you can sit at the back and monitor the engines, then.” Peter said.

Pan looked round at the complex array of digital readouts on the back wall. On the floor a low fixed stool was the only seating. “That’d be cool.” He said, sitting down. He selecting a Twinkie from his suit’s ‘American Classics’ menu. It shot into his open mouth with a satisfying thwack.

Peter touched the ‘Start’ symbol on his right hand touch-screen. The space capsule’s engines hummed to life. A deep throbbing pulsed through the small vessel.

Pan looked at his readouts. “The engines are running.” He said, spitting crumbs. Some of them ricocheted off the back wall and onto Ross.

“If you’re gonna keep eating,” Ross said, “close your fuckin’ visor first!”

“Sorry.” Pan said. His visor hissed shut.

Ross turned to Peter. “What are we fuckin’ waiting for? Let’s go and tear those escaping hippy fuckers a huge new fuckin’ arse!”

Peter smiled at Ross’s eloquent grasp of the English language. He reached over to his left-hand screen and pressed what he hoped was the ‘Launch’ symbol.

With an incredible bang, the Death Reaper’s lower hanger bay doors folded open. Immediately, the space capsule dropped out from the underside of the giant submarine. Pan, Ross, and Peter gasped as their stomachs seemed to lodge in their throats. Pan, the only one not strapped in to a seat, smashed into the ceiling.

“Fuckin’ A!” Ross yelled. “Yee fuckin’ harr!”

The space capsule accelerated at a phenomenal rate towards the blue planet below.

Doctor Mario Kart examined the frozen fragment of rainbow black stuff in the test tube. He’d just spent the last ten minutes carefully chipping away at the inside of the Kath monster’s – formally General Kath’s – mouth. It had been a difficult task to get any of the rainbow black stuff out, but finally he’d managed.

The doctor stepped away from the transparent tube that held the Kath monster. “OK-a, I have-a my sample. Captain, please-a shut-a the door.”

Captain Codd heaved his hefty metal body over to the tube. “Anything to help, doctor.” His semi-metallic voice boomed. He slammed shut the small opening in the front of the tube. It hissed as the door sealed.

“I must-a study this-a substance urgently.” Doctor Mario said, walking into his private laboratory. “Please-a watch over these-a two.”

Captain Codd replied, his expression as cold as his metal-clad body. “Anything to help, doctor.” He started to march heavily up and down the sickbay, his eyes locked in focus on the two transparent tubes. The Kath monster and the Supreme Layzee Sponjer were motionless in their frigid prisons. No way were they leaving.

On the sickbay’s polished floor, several black specks lay unnoticed by the dominating presence of the mechanized captain. As he whirred and hissed and stamped up and down, the black specks melted and returned to a liquidized state. They moved slowly across the floor, merging with the drops of oil that had found their way out of Captain Codd’s joints. The occasional flicker of colour sparkled across their surface.

The captain continued his pounding march round the sickbay, thinking nothing of treading in the small harmless pools of oil he was creating. He made a mental note to mention the leaks to Doctor Mario as soon as he returned. Oil leaks were a sign of inefficiency, and efficiency and the need to function optimally within a well-defined set of parameters suddenly seemed very important.

The oil stuck unseen to the soles of his feet, and cycled through a billion shades of red, green, and blue. Quickly, it crept through the microscopic gaps between the captain’s armour plating, turning a deathly shade of infinite black as it did so.

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