Crane – Intergalactic Hero – The Voyage of Ineptitude-Episode V – The Signal

Episode 1 Bloorp and the Camouflage Door http://wp.me/p1MCtp-5d

Episode 2 Getting Ready http://wp.me/p1MCtp-1U

Episode 3 Blast Off http://wp.me/p1MCtp-2j

Episode 4 Planet Taupu http://wp.me/p1MCtp-7r

Crane stared at the 3D hologram of his father. Why on Planet Taupu was a beacon emitting a picture of him. Of all the planets in all of the Universe, Crane had landed randomly on this particular ball of rock for no other reason than getting a rest, restocking on food and hopefully gather some fuel for the Arkadia 2.

‘Where is it being transmitted from Bloorp?’

‘The signal is very weak Mr Crane. It looks like it’s source is to the north of the planet. There is some sort of interference which is disrupting the message’

‘Can you make anything out?’

‘Your father appears to be repeating something over and over again’

‘What is he saying?’

‘He is saying “to find me son, remember what I called your mother” ‘

Could it be true. Could he still be alive? Surely if Commander Higgins hadn’t killed him, his father would have contacted him during the the ten years that had passed. What did he mean “remember what I called your mother’?

‘ Ok. I’m prepared to be disappointed but if there is any chance there’s even a message from my father or some clue to what happened to him we have to find out. How long to get there?’

‘From here, even in the Arkadia, it will take us until morning.It is the other side of the planet’

‘Ok. Set the Autopilot and everyone have a rest. We might have an interesting day ahead’

Bloorp turned towards him.

‘Vorisians need no sleep. We will look after the ship Captain Crane’

As Crane and the crew headed for their beds, Bloorp, Exar and Red Urzu Bird stared out onto Planet Taupu. Bloorp knew some of what was ahead of them, but even he could not determine exactly what would happen, in what order, or whether it would all end up well. What he did know though, there was great danger…..!

———————————————————————————————————————-

Crane thought he was dreaming. He had been thrown from his bed, and lay on the floor wrestling with his duvet as if it was his worst enemy. Unfortunately, he was actually lying on the floor, wrestling with his duvet, as if it was his worst enemy. As he came to, he realised he wasn’t dreaming. Lights were flashing, sirens were wailing, even the duvet was shaking. He waved his hand to open the door and ran towards the hub…………

He entered the Contro Hub to find lights flashing, sirens wailing but no duvets to fight with.

‘What’s going on?!!’

As usual, it was his Vorisian guests who were calmest of all, oh and Mrs Tompkins, who appeared to be making a fresh pot of tea.

‘We appear to have company Captain Crane’ said an extremely calm Bloorp.

On the giant screen 20 metres away a large triangle appeared to be spinning through the sky ahead of them.

‘I hope you’re going to tell me it’s not as big as it looks and all those sticky out things are not weapons of mass destruction’

Bloorp turned towards him and his normal face appeared in his circular window, the equivalent of a human head.

‘It is indeed 50 times larger than Arkadia 2 and the ‘sticky out’ things as you so neatly describe them are indeed hydrogen fusion weapons which will completely destroy us if used in any way shape or form’

‘So why is it not blowing us out of the sky?’

‘Because…….it cannot see us’

‘What do you mean it can’t see us? We’re not that tiny, and, it’s just about knocked us out of the sky’

‘Exar and I have managed to hide Arkadia from them using a boson shift disruptor and some complicated algebra’

‘You never cease to amaze me………wait a minute…..what’s that?’

A tiny flash of light appeared in one tiny part of the Triangular craft……..

‘It would appear a small craft has been released from the main ship and is heading to the surface’

‘Where’s it headed?’

‘Exactly the location the signal is coming from’

Oh great, thought Crane. Having landed on a random planet, having unbelievably discovered a message from his father, it couldn’t just be as simple as finding his father still alive and head home together. No, someone with the largest spaceship he’d ever seen, had sent something to the surface which would inevitably not be a soft fluffy pillow.

All of a sudden, the noises stopped. everything returned to normal.

‘The large craft has left Mr Crane and the object has landed on the surface’

‘Okay, unless anyone thinks this a bad idea, lets scan for a landing place and head to the signal beacon’

After a few grumbles everyone returned to their stations, probably knowing what was coming wasn’t going to be a walk in a lavender scented meadow.

—|———————————————————————————————————|—

‘ TEN miles……..!’

‘I’m afraid so Mr Crane. The nearest landing spot where we can land the Arcadia 2 is ten miles away, the rest has to be completed on foot’

‘But, they landed something a lot closer did they not?’

‘It was probably a much smaller craft Mr Crane’

‘Ok so what’s the reason we can’t land closer?’

‘100 metre tall ice spikes….and that is just for starters…….there are also large holes caused by volcanic activity with frozen ice blobs extending right across the ice field’

‘Volcanic activity-from when?’

‘Calculations show the last volcanic activity in this area was………last Wednesday’

‘Last Wednesday……….😳’

‘Yes, Mr Crane…….last Wednesday’

‘So, lets recap……we have ten miles of giant ice spikes, giant ice holes and an active volcano to cover on foot, then, probably something nasty to contend with at the other side’

‘Yes. That would be a reasonable summary Mr Crane’

‘Okay, lets land her as close as possible, and get ourselves ready to leave first thing in the morning……..’

———|—————————————————————————————————|———

Bloorp, Exar, Crane and nine of the crew set off at daylight with the aim of completing the ten mile walk in a few hours, reaching their destination before the suns went down……….

Within a few yards they realised the task ahead might not be straightforward . The fresh deep snowfall made even putting one foot in front of the other somewhat difficult. Add in the fact Fittipaldi swiftly fell into a 20 foot hole and had to be rescued, it was obvious the 10 mile trek might not be as simple as first thought.

Half a mile in Crane realised this trek might take for ever. Deep snow, large holes and large ice spikes reaching over 100 metres into the sky. He wondered what else might be waiting for them……..

‘I was just thinking Bloorp……you can teleport things from one place to another. So how about you teleport us all another 9 miles and save us all this nonsense?’

‘I’m afraid it’s not that simple Mr Crane…..teleporting an inert metal object is easy, producing a forcefield is easy, but quantising a human atom by atom and recreating it metres away never mind 9 miles, is quite a feat’

‘What’s the worst that could happen?’

‘Well, Mr Crane……I suppose the worst thing could happen would be teleporting only to find your insides on the outside…..’

‘Yeeeeucchhh’

‘Well, you did ask’

Crane decided trudging ten miles in a volcano spattered snow field with giant spikes and deep snow, was more appealing than being turned inside out.

————————————————————————————————————————

The Grek smelt food and lots of it. He licked his lips and callowed the others. The ability to leap from spike to spike, withstand -24 deg c and have razor sharp claws, gave the Grak a slight advantage in this inhospitable environment. The frozen lake in the centre of the snowfield was their normal feeding area with Terrin fish being easy to catch and plentiful. But, he could smell something he’d not smelt for many years, flesh…….the pack closed in on the unsuspecting crew of the Arcadia 2……

————————————————————————————————————————

The crew trudged on through the snow and ice. Exar was able to warn of large hidden holes under the snow, but, having to walk round the large ice spikes was turning 10 miles into 20. After a few hours it became obvious they were not going to complete the journey before dark………

‘I suppose we can dig some holes into the snow and camp overnight…..will be cold, but I can’t see any other way…’

As Fittipaldi plodded around another huge ice spike, he became the first human ever, to stare a Grek directly in the face. This was a big mistake. Mainly due to the fact Grek’s hypnotised their victims before doing bad things to them with their fangs, claws and incisors. Fittipaldi found himself lost in the eyes of his new friend. He could see fluffy things, clouds and a warm fire, whereas, the Grek could see his first non fishy meal for many months. The Grek slithered down the ice holding the gaze of his new found victim. It had the advantage of having four eyes, so doubling the hypnotising power of a bi-eyed Grek………………….

‘There is electromagnetic interference Mr Crane but I’m picking up lifeforms…..’

‘Where?’

‘All around us Mr Crane…….can’t tell exactly how many…..but, if I had to guess….there are 14 of them’

Fittipaldi wanted to cuddle his new friend. He was just about to kiss it when suddenly it wasn’t their anymore.

‘Fittipaldi…..for god sake, what were you doing?’

Prost stood over him.

‘What happened? Where did he go’

‘Vaporised…..now let’s go. There are more of his pals nearby’

The crew of the Arkadia 2 gathered in a circle ⭕️ energy blasters pointing outwards. They could hear snarling, scraping, scratching and no degree of slurping.

‘Do you hear them slurping…….that’s not right……..that’s definitely not right…’

‘What a way to go, stuck in a frozen wilderness, eaten by alien hypnotists’

‘Keep quiet Moss, we are not going to die. Bloorp, how many of them do you think there are?’

‘As i said Mr Crane, the radiation is interfering with my ability to detect them but I would say upwards of one hundred…’

‘Hmmmm, the energy blasters take 5 seconds to recharge and we have 12 of them. As long as they don’t all arrive at once…………..’

The falling snow cleared for a second…….unfortunately this allowed the crew to see the Greks, lots of them, lots and lots of them…….and even more unfortunately, the Greks to look the crew in the eyes. One by one energy blasters fell to the ground’

‘Don’t look them in the eyes you idiots…..’

Cranes words fell on deaf ears and hypnotised eyes. The nine crew members had fought bravely for approximately 3.276 femtoseconds before capitulating in the softest way since the Dorgs at The Battle of Fafflemount *

* The Battle of Fafflemount was famous for the fact the Dorgs had a passion for cakes. 10,000 of their troops had gathered to fight the Chensas on a cold Monday morning. However, distracted by the largest Eccles cake ever baked, they were decimated within an hour, indirectly by the baking women of Chensa.

The Greks closed in just as Crane realised that diverting your eyes to avoid being hypnotised, made shooting the blighters pretty difficult.

‘Any ideas Bloorp?’

Bloorp was just about to say ‘No’, when the first ball of molten rock fell.

Expletives erupted from Cranes vocal chords and, if Bloorp had known what an expletive was, I’m sure he would have used them.

‘Run!!!’

Another molten ball from hell landed 10 metres away.

BOOM!!!!!

Ice and snow went everywhere……

Crane, Bloorp and the crew basically ran haphazardly away from the balls of molten lava. No plan, no organisation, no to do list, no nothing, just legs, lungs, or in the case of Exar, a float across the ice.

Greks were obviously even more scared than humans regarding molten balls of lava, as they had scarpered.

When the team stopped running all was quiet.

Bloorp stepped forward……

‘I’m not sure why but the interference is weak here. 8 have a temporary solution to help our voyage’

Suddenly a dome of light appeared with a metal door inside it.

‘What is it Bloorp?’

‘Refuge Mr Crane……refuge…..follow me’

Crane and the crew followed Bloorp, whilst looking upwards for molten lava balls and behind for slurping, fanged Greks.

Fittipaldi, Moss, Hamilton and Senna stared at the table. Bacon butties 🥪, mince rounds, sausage rolls and cakes filled the room. Beer and Vorisian wine 🍷 filled the back of the room.

‘Bloorp!!?’

‘The interference dropped sufficiently to allow me to create this space and the protective dome around us. We are safe for now and have food for 3 days’

‘ But, How can you create something from nothing?’

‘I am only able to transfer materials from Arcadia when the electromagnetic field allows. The lava balls saved us or we might not be here’

The crew couldn’t believe their luck. From being at deaths door to beer and pies, things had taken a turn for the better. This was good. What lay ahead was much less fun.

Crane Intergalactic Hero – The Voyage Of Ineptitude – Episode V – ‘The Signal’ was brought to you by ©️DodoProductions and @qosfc1919 David Linden on Twitter email davidlinden4@gmail.com

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