juddering was getting intolerable. Ross yelled. “Fuckin’ hell.
Pete! Fly steady!”
Peter struggled with the flight stick. “This is tough! I don’t
think this craft is aerodynamically stable!” Keeping his eyes on the
large domed window at the front of the space capsule, Peter guided the capsule
round a spread of sparse clouds. Far below, the deep blue of an expansive
ocean could be seen. The shaking was getting worse. “The thickening
atmosphere is to blame, not me!”
Ross reached across Peter and touched one of his screens. The shuddering
stopped almost immediately.
Peter was stunned. “Amazing!”
Ross pointed. “D.S.C. – Dynamic Stability Control! You had the
fucker turned off!”
The ocean appeared much closer now. Peter pulled back on the flight stick.
He looked at his screens. The altitude was just over one mile above the
waves. “Ross? Better do a scan. See if you can see those hippy escape
Ross was fiddling and twiddling the controls on his console. “Well
ahead of you there. First scan is almost complete… Done!”
“Excellent! Found anything?”
“Well, I’ve found what I think are the escape pods, but they’re
well below the surface. Almost a fuckin’ mile!”
Pan shouted from his stool at the back. “Cool! They sank!”
Ross shook his head. “I don’t think so. They seem to be gathered
neatly around a round structure. They’re down there on purpose.”
Peter leaned over and looked at Ross’s screen. “You’re
right! Do you think there’s some kind of base down there? I assumed
this planet was uninhabited.”
Ross nodded. “The fucker’s have found a safe haven! Let’s
get down there and fuck up their lives!”
Peter checked his screens. “I’m not sure if this craft is able
to travel under water.”
Pan stood up, banging the helmet of his spacesuit on the low ceiling. “This
suit can!” He said, his voice muffled by his visor. “Give me
a mother of a weapon and I’ll take them all out single handedly!”
Peter and Ross were amazed. That was once of the bravest and most stupid
things their friend had ever said. Still, they could not think of anything
“Okay with me.” Peter said.
Ross was more reluctant, but agreed. “I guess so. But I’d much
rather be the one doing the fuckin’ violent stuff!”
Pan was sympathetic. “I know, mate, but that’s the way the cookie
crumbles.” His mind wandered. “Hmm… Cookies…”
“Fuck, Pan! Concentrate!”
Ross turned back to his weapons console and checked the inventory list.
“There’s a load of fuck-off hand-held devastation devices in
the cupboard in the airlock. Get in there, make your choice, and then we’ll
dump you in the water. With luck you’ll be heavy enough to sink to
the bottom without a problem.”
Pan opened the hatch and began to step into the side airlock. He paused
for a moment. “Once I’ve mashed up those bony-armed hippies,
how do I get back to the surface?”
Ross and Peter were silent.
Finally Peter shook his head. “I don’t know.” He looked
at Ross. “What about you?”
“Ross shook his head. “I haven’t got a fuckin’ clue,
Pan nodded. “No problem. I’ll wing it!” He stepped into
the airlock. The door whooshed shut behind him.
“Right.” Peter said, pushing forward on the flight stick. “Going
“Are you sure we’re securely docked?” Commander A’Doner
Moonbeam was standing next to the side hatchway. He looked out of the
small porthole window. “Erm… Yeah, sure.” He took a
quick glance out of the rear window. “Looks like the other globules
have docked, too.”
The commander struggled to his feet. “Good. Open the hatch. Let’s
see what this deep under-water place we’ve discovered can…”
There was a screaming whoosh as fast stream of water flooded into the
lentil escape globule. Moonbeam yelped. “Owee! Cold!”
Commander A’Doner was fuming. “You wirey arse-pumper! Close
the hatch! Now!”
With an incredible struggle, Moonbeam managed to close and lock the hatch.
The flow of water stopped.
The commander waded through the knee-deep water towards Moonbeam. When
he reached his assistant security chief he screamed. “Evacuate the
airlock of water first, you bony bastard mother of a butt-weasle!”
The commander punched Moonbeam hard in the gut.
Moonbeam doubled up, and then vomited hard. He whimpered. “Yes,
commander.” He looked up at the hatch controls and pressed a couple
of switches. There was a rumble as the water was sucked out of the airlock.
“Done, I think.”
“Open it. Then go through.”
The assistant security chief nodded and opened the hatch. He peered through
it. “It looks, like, a bit spooky in there!”
Commander A’Doner kicked Moonbean in the back. “Go!”
Once Moonbean had tripped and stumbled through the hatch, the commander
followed. Once he had passed through he turned. He could see Daisy Muff
shivering in her skimpy translucent outfit at the far end of the globule.
“Come on, my dear. Whatever’s in this place I’ll still
need your special services!”
After a moment of hesitation, Daisy followed.
In the glaring light of twin suns, Pan plummeted boots first towards the
swelling ocean half a mile below. He moaned. “Oh, yeah! So good!”
Peter’s voice spoke over the communicator. “Glad to hear you’re
“It’s not that.” Pan said, his voice muffled. “It’s
the cheesy paste I’ve just discovered. It’s like there’s
a party in my mouth, and the whole galaxy’s invited!”
Ross spoke. “Concentrate, Pan! You’re about to hit the fuckin’
“When?” Pan asked as he examined his suit’s beverage
At almost two-hundred miles per hour, Pan, cocooned in the relative safety
of his space suit, slammed into the sea.
Pan groaned. Although his suit was well-padded, the shock of deceleration
was still tremendous. He watched a hoard of bubbles swirling outside his
visor. “Alton Towers has nothing on that!” The water was getting
rapidly darker. Pan looked at his head-up display. “I’m sinking
very fast – about three metres per second!”
Peter spoke over the communicator. “That’s good. You’ll
be at the bottom in less than ten minutes.”
Pan activated his suit’s entertainment system. “Just enough
time to watch a few classic Simpsons clips!”
Commander A’Doner, Moonbeam and the other surviving hippies stood
at the centre a large domed room. Daisy Muff cowered at the commander’s
side. The room was lined with what looked like rusted metal panels, partly
covered in slime and mould. At the centre of the domed ceiling was a bright
blue light. The air was dank and rancid. Several hippies had already hurled
their guts, and several more had lit-up and were taking deep satisfying
draws on their long, thick reefers. Idle chit-chat was growing in volume.
Doey Limprist, the former chief engineer of the destroyed Lentil Seed,
swayed over to Commander A’Doner. He waved gaily. “Hi!”
The commander scowled. “What do you want, shit miner?”
“Well,” Doey said, fumbling with his groin. “I was just
wondering, now that we’re down here deep under the ocean in this
smelly and deserted dome, what exactly we’re, like, going to do?”
Commander A’Doner took a deep breath, and raised his corpulent frame
to its full height. He looked around the room, his robes billowing. “Shut-up
The room fell silent.
The commander spoke. “Our great ship was destroyed by those Navy
bastards, and most of our crew mates were murdered by them, too. And all
we were left with after that wicked attack were our seven escape globules.”
The hippies groaned in agreement. One hippy at the far side of the room
collapsed as his huge inhalation of drug-saturated smoke took effect.
Commander A’Doner continued. “Thanks to my remarkable leadership
and wisdom we are now safe and sound under an alien ocean. Now we can
concentrate on our primary mission once again. We will rescue the Supreme
Layzee Sponjer from his prison onboard that malevolent British submarine.
We will disfigure and marinate those that imprisoned him. And the hippy
civilization will dominate the galaxy for eternity and beyond!”
The hippies cheered feebly with joy. Many arms were raised slightly.
Commander A’Doner smiled, reveling in the adoration of his crew,
and the nuzzling of his groin by Daisy Muff.
Doey Limprist was still standing in front of the commander. He was not
as joyous as his crew mates.
The commander looked down at him. “What’s wrong with you,
ring stabber? Celebrate like your fellow hippies. That’s an order!”
Doey did not look convinced. “What you said was, like, quite motivational,
The commander narrowed his eyes. “You guess?” He slapped his
palm down on top of Doey’s head. “Of course it was. I am your
leader. It’s part of my job to keep you all happy, content and motivated.
Now, act happy, content and motivated!”
Doey took a step back from Commander A’Doner and rubbed his head.
“I will be happy, content and motivated when you explain exactly
how we are going to live down here with only the limited air supply, food
and reefer rations in the escape globules. And how we are going to get
up to that British submarine without any means of even getting out of
this filthy stinking long-abandoned alien deep-sea slime dome? And how
will we avoid that black stuff that forced us down here in the first place?”
By now all the other hippies – those that were still conscious,
anyway – were quiet and listening.
Commander A’Doner looked around the large domed room. All eyes were
on him. He had to think quickly to maintain control of his stoned crew
and continue to hold their respect. “This dome has obviously been
abandoned for a very long time.” He said. “But there is one
thing down here that we can utilize to get back up to the surface.”
“Like, what’s that?” Doey asked.
The commander pointed straight up. “That light. It has obviously
been functioning for many centuries since this place was abandoned. Its
power source must be strong and reliable. We will use it to escape.”
He punched the air like a true hero. “We will use its awesome abilities
and be victorious!”
The hippies cheered feebly once again.
But not Doey. He took a step towards the commander. “I would really
like to know how that light can…”
A bullet – small, fast, blunt and true, passed through Doey’s
head. The bullet clanged off the room’s corroded wall long before
the hippy’s lifeless body had slumped onto the soggy floor. The
other hippies looked at Doey’s corpse. Only the haze of their drug-soaked
minds kept them from being completely shocked.
Commander A’Doner spoke. “His negative attitude would have
been our undoing. His death was necessary.” He shouted loudly and
raised his arms. “We cannot fail!”
The hippies cheered feebly yet again. Within seconds a dozen more reefers
were ignited. Seven more hippies collapsed to the sodden floor.
Commander A’Doner grinned confidently at his crew. But behind his
grin his mind was filled with deep anxiety and dread. He envied his dopey
crew and their spongy small brains that enabled them to so easily believe
his bullshit. They were indeed happy, content and motivated by what he
The commander knew that there was a good chance they were doomed.
Above there was only blackness, the brightness of the suns having long
since faded away. But below, there was now an eerie blue light. It appeared
to be getting brighter.
Pan realized he must be getting close to the bottom. He turned off the
classic Simpsons clips he was watching, retracted the snack dispenser
from in front of his mouth, and prepared to land.
The light appeared to be rising now, but in the wrong place.
Shit! Pan thought. I’m off course. He decided to complain to Peter.
He activated his communicator. “Hey, Pete? You dropped me in the
wrong damn place!”
Other than the crackle of static, there was no reply. And then Pan remembered.
High-frequency radio communications do not work through water. Double
A second later Pan slammed into the ocean floor. A cloud of silt washed
up, accompanied by numerous wriggling worm-like creatures. Slightly shaken
by the force of the impact, Pan struggled to his feet, brushing off some
of the worms that were attempting to chew through his suit. He wiped some
silt from his visor and looked around. Through the clearing cloud he could
see the blue glow. It looked quite far. And uphill, too. Triple shit!
Grumbling like an arthritic old man in a pharmacy full of hormonal teenagers,
Pan began to trudge awkwardly along the uneven sea bed.
This was going to take a while.