James Michael Bush: Eat, Play, Write, Travel

What Happens When You Write With Wine

Lately, I've been doing my 100 Day Project on short stories. I'm sure you've heard me talk about it. Well, today was a long day and I didn't get around to writing one of my dwarven stories. So, as I sat here drinking wine at ludicrous speed, I contemplated just skipping it today. But forget that noise! I made a commitment to myself, and I aim to stay true, y'all. What follows is the insane sci-fi story that fell out of me like a toilet baby. I hope you love it, but I'm sure you'll just think it's super weird. I sure do.

The Canadians are Dead?

Earth’s entire Royal Space Navy surrounded the small planetoid, led by the best ship in the fleet. The mid-sized cruiser dubbed Jack’s Bootknife wasn’t the biggest in ship around, nor was she the fastest. Other starships in the armada held far better records of service, and were armed to the teeth with much more cutting edge weaponry. But none of that mattered, honestly. What made this particular vessel so unique was the captain and crew; they were the only humans left in Earth’s military.

Androids made up the remainder of the Royal Navy, as they didn’t require pay, used almost no resources, never slept, and did exactly as the Planetary Leaders advised. And those idiots on the Planetary Leaders Committee did whatever the King asked them to do, regardless if it was wrong or not. And that is exactly why Jack’s Bootknife and her crew were best suited for any jobs that required an experienced mind and a set of balls the size of Uranus.

Findley Fortuna, the captain of this reckless crew of badasses, gazed at the odd satellite that had been orbiting Earth’s moon for the past three days without any offering any communication whatsoever. She straddled the captain’s chair in her normal attire for such dire situations; grey sweatpants, a black t-shirt that read “Eat A Dick” and a pair of black framed glasses with no lenses.

“Hail the rock again, Jed,” she ordered the communication officer.

“Why, Findley? Them fuckers haven’t responded yet. Let’s just fucking shoot ‘em in the face. Well, I mean, like, the face of their stupid ass ship-rock-thing,” the hillbilly from Columbus, GA said in a thick southern drawl.

“Just do what I said, you dick,” the captain snapped back.

“Fine, but you know they ain’t gonna say shit,” he replied with a sigh, then punched a few buttons and adjusted sound levels for this transmission. This time, he went off script, as the the message crafted by the Planetary Leaders had not elicited a single response from whomever was inside this big grey ball made of some unknown rock from who-knows-where. “Dear shit-heads from space," he began, "we know you’re in there. Open the fuck up or we’ll beat down you’r front door with a gotdamn nuclear blast. Sincerely, The People Who Are Gonna Kick You’re Asses.”

“Real professional, Jed,” the captain said and rolled her eyes. Sometimes she hated his guts, but the man was damn useful on her crew. Jed spoke every language on Earth, including ones not used for centuries, like Vietnamese, Spanish, and the dialect of English that Canadians used back when they were still alive.

“Just doin’ my duty, ma’am,” Jed replied with a grin.

“Azman, can you please tell me that we’ve determined the chemical make-up of that rock? Or that our scanners have penetrated the surface to find if there is actually anyone in there listening to Jed’s stupid mouth?”

Jed flipped his captain the middle finger and went to use the toilet.

Azman, the science officer, smiled wide at Findley and looked very excited. Azman hailed from the Earth’s most wealthy and affluent country, The Peoples Republic of India, which had engulfed most of Asia, including China, many decades ago. His family was so rich that Azman could buy his own fucking destruction class starship, but the truth was he just wanted to smoke weed and make testable observations in space.

“Findley, you will be very pleased to know that I have discovered the chemical compounds that make up this planetoid. The initial problem was the outer layer of this rock is completely alien. Some kind of dust from a galaxy far, far, away.”

“If you want to make jokes about a star war, get the fuck off my bridge,” Findley barked at the man.

“Ok, ok. But truthfully, the first dozen feet of that thing’s surface is nothing but space dust. Just leftovers from the primordial beginnings of our universe,” Azman said while making his I Have A Surprise face.

“I hope there is a but coming,” Findley said testily.

“Butts don’t cum, stupid,” Jed added as he glided back into the room wearing a nasty smirk on his face.

“Oh, for fucks sake, Jed, would you keep that shit to yourself, please?” the captain replied, throwing an unopened protein bar at the communication officer.

“Yes, well, there is a but,” Azman said, and Findley stared daggers at Jed, daring him to make another stupid comment. “You see, under all that space dust is something shocking.” Hitting some keys on his controls, Azman brought an image onto the main display.

The entire crew of Jack’s Bootknife stared in confusion at the oddly familiar picture.

“Are those McDonald’s hamburger wrappers?” the captain whispered.

“Yes, Captain. The entire planetoid is composed of rubbish from fast food restaurants. It’s incredible,” the Indian science officer replied in awe.

“Why is that incredible?” Jed asked. “Half of the fuckers are probably mine. I always eject my leftovers from drive-thru out into the black. What’s the big deal, y’all?”

“Well, I suppose the big deal is that this giant fucking ball of Earth garbage is covered in a dozen feet of space dust from the beginning of our universe,” Findley said. “How could that even be possible, Azman?”

“I don’t know, Captain. This is where my information on the planetoid ends, for now. I will continue to scan it and search for more,” he said, just before going nose-deep back into his work.

“Jed, hail the Planetary Leaders. I need to tell them this isn’t hostile and we can just drag it out to the new trash belt beyond Neptune,” Findley ordered.

“Aye, aye, Cap…” was all Jed was able to get out before the communications app on his console suddenly lit up. “Uh, captain… the big ass ball of hamburger wrappers is hailing us. Want me to answer?”

A fearful and confused silence filled the deck. Finally, after several heartbeats, Findley nodded her head. Upon the screen, seated in a large chair made entirely of Burger King’s whoppers boxes, was a being with dark brown and pebbly skin. It’s eyes were bright yellow, and the creature had a wine-dark mouth. When it spoke, the voice sounded like the gurgling end of your soda, as you try desperately to suck the last few drops into your straw. This message, Findley noted, was being broadcast to the entire human race via a supercharged and completely unblockable transmission.

“Humans of Earth, I bring you ill tidings. I have traveled here, alone, to give you a message. My people are from a universe which is parallel to this one. We have been hunted almost to extinction by your equivalents on our Earth. As such, our remaining fleet of ships fled that horrible place and have been searching for a new home. With our advanced spacefaring technology, I found a way into your universe. My leaders sent me through to test the gateway, and to recon this version of Earth. I have found you to be just as vile and contemptuous as our humans, back home. But I have not located a single member of our race on your planet. Tell me, have you killed the all of the Fleisch in this universe?”

“Uh, hi there, Meat Man,” Findley said, suppressing the urge to laugh. “We, fortunately, do not have sentient hamburgers on this version of Earth. I’m sorry that the humans in your universe have done this to you. Is there anyway that we can help you and your people?”

“Yes,” the talking burger patty answered with hatred in its sickly yellow eyes. “You can DIE!”

All of the inter-dimensional dust suddenly shook free from the ball of fast food trash hovering in space. Two immense cannons forced their way outwards at an incredible speed. The force of those large weapons firing sent a shockwave through the dark void, rattling the entire cruiser and knocking the crew off their feet.

Then the massive barrage of french fried potatoes splattered uselessly against the hull of Jack’s Bootknife.

With a big roll of her eyes and a sigh to match, Findley opened a channel to the rest of the fleet and muttered, “Open fire. Give Meat Man the whole arsenal.” Within seconds, the strange encounter was but a memory, as was the planetoid made of hamburger wrappers and french fry containers. “Ok, good job. Return to your scheduled duties,” the captain added.

“Us too, Captain?” Aliz, the French navigation officer asked while lighting a cigarette.

“No, let’s hang out just in case the rest of those idiots decide to show up,” Findley told her, and then added, “Man, the Multiverse is one weird and fucked up place, isn’t it?”

“Shit yeah!” Jed shouted happily. “You remember that giant basset hound the size of Jupiter?”

“Nope,” the captain responded.

“Oh, come on! The one that only spoke in pig latin and bled constantly for no reason? Tell me you remember that.” Jed begged.

“Doesn’t ring a bell, sorry,” Findley answered, suppressing her laughter, the rest of the bridge crew following along with her ruse.

“Fuck y’all, man,” Jed grunted. “I know you remember. How could you forget a thing like that. Especially when it happened twice, gotdammit!”

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