1 of 1 file well release anything
- 1992 October 4
- Well Release Anything
1 3-LUMBAR-8091 8, 1 4: 27 GST, ASTEROID 80791 -G UNIDENTIFIED VOICE # 1. LOG ON . Testing . Hey! The blasted thing isn't working! What are you trying to pull over on... UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #2: A moment, sir. There's a slight delay between the Recording and Transcribing mechanisms. Ahh, there we go. UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #1. Yeah, that's more like it! This is great! But, hey! I don't want to be called "UN IDENTIFIED VOICE #1 ." Forget it! The sale's off! UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #Z: If you pardon me for just a moment sir. . . Let me adjust the Remote Voice ID Sequencer. . . NEBULAR. Neat remote control! What else does it do? UNIDENTIFIED VOlCE#2:This button causesyourdiaryto produce a beeping sound--very useful in the eventyou misplace your d iary. NEBULAR. Uh huh... UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #2: These two buttons, pressed in conjunc- tion, erase the log. Plus, you can use the remote as a scanning device to input visual images. Also, it contains a speaker which interfaces with the Aural Identification Package, so that back- ground sounds are automatically included in... NEBULAR: Whoa! I don't want my log to call me 'Nebular"! That's too, you know, formal! I want it to use my first name! UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #2: No problem, sir. The log will attem pt to identify each voice it records, from its memory orfrom verbal clues. If I may refer to you by your first name, Wrecks, the log will adjust accordingly Is that better? WRECKS: Testing... testing... Hey! That's not how it's spelled! I HATEwhenitgetsspelledthatway!Listen, buster,whatkindofjunk are you trying to fob off on me? BUSTER. Er, just a touch of the remote control, and... REX: Testing. . . testing. . . Yeah, that's better. So. . . how much did you say this thing was? BUSTER: Specially priced this week at only 99 galactars. REX: 99 galactars! You thief! THIEF: Er, we do have a less expensive model, but it doesn't have the Voice Activation feature, and it doesn't come with a genuine leather cover. REX: Leather? What's leather? THIEF: It's one of the oldest and finest bookbinding materials in the galaxy, possibly dating back to the Original World! It's very rare, and very expenslve. REX: What's it made out of? THIEF: Er, the, um, treated hide of a dead cow. REX: What? That's disgusting! I'll take it! Say, how do you turn the bloody thing off? THIEF: You just say "LOG OFF." REX: LOG OFF. Hey! The dram thing's still going! It must be defect 14-LUMBAR-80918, 19:14GST, DEEPSPACE REX: LOG ON. Ah, there we go! This is Rex Nebular, making his first official log entry, aboard the fastest, stealthiest ship in the galaxy, The Slippery Pig. Yes siree, this log is a GREAT idea! I'm gonna make an entry every single day! This will become the definitive record of my life! Yes siree, I'm not gonna miss a day! Anyway, not much happened today. Oh, spilled some coffee onto the ThermaWave's 47-prong bedistor board... must remember to order a replace- ment. LOG OFF. Okay, where's my dram bedistor board mail order catalog 1 5-LUMBAR-80918, 20:83 GST, DEEP SPACE REX:LOGON. Hi, log! A pretty dull day; not much to report. But that doesn't matter, 'cause I'm still gonna make a log entry every single day. Yes siree, every single day. LOG OFF. 9-DULCIMER-80919, 9:27 GST, LOCKJAW SPACEPORT ON UMBILICA IV REX: LOG ON. Oh, nut's, the battery must be--Aha! It still works! Wow! Guess what I just found in the back of my sock drawer! That self-transcribing log I bought lastyear! What a gas! I'll have to start keeping my log again! Let me clip it right here on my belt so l won't forget about It. --- SNAPPING NOISE --- REX: There. LOG OFF. Now let's see. . . is it a boxer day or a jockey d 11-DULCIMER-80919, 19:55GST, LOCKJAW SPACEPORT ON UMBILICA IV REX. LOG ON . I guess I oughta fill you in on what I've been up to while you've been hiding in the back of my sock drawer. I just had a pretty hair-raising adventure on the gas giant, Flatulus. I rescued a cargo of Bicarbonate Circuits from the Sulfur Worm pirates who make their base on Flatulus. Did it for a guy named Kane, who I owed a favorto. He helped me run some Quasar Bombs behind Federation lines to the rebels on Bananus Vll. Made a fortune. Needed it, in order to get my ship out of hock on Vega Vegas. Don't normally gamble, but I'd rented my body out for a temp-personality trans- fer. . . purely a lark, mind you, didn't need the money. . . though those personna transfers pay a FORTUNE... Hmmm. I guess I'm telling this all kind of backwards. It's pretty complicated. And I'm beat. Tomorrow, I'll tell it better. Right now, I think I'll heat me up a plate of Cheezies. Oh, wait--the Flippin' ThermaWave's still on the fritz. Nuts! I was just in Buddy's Bedistor Boutique yesterday, and I forgot to get a dram board! LOG OFF. --- YAWN, HUMAN --- REX: Oh, well, Cheezies aren't too bad frozen. Especially if you wash 'em down with a stiff brush 1 8-DULCIMER-80919, 8:02 GST, LOCKJAW SPACEPORT ON UMBILICA IV REX: LOG ON. Wow! I must've really tied one on last night. I don't remember a thing, but apparently I signed a contract with an interior decorator to redecorate The Pig. At least, I'm guessing I did... I found this in my pocket when I woke up this morning: --- ACTIVATING SCANNING ACCESSORY --- --- KNOCKING NOISE --- REX: Who the heck could that be? I'm not expecting... Yeah? UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #3: My dear Mister Nebular! We had an appointment. . . Rex: The heck we did! Who are you? UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #3: Francois! Francois LeSheek! We met last night at Bloody Mary's. So this is your ship? We're going to do wonderful things here! Wonderful things! The possibilities are simply breathtaking! REX: Oh, you're the dram decorator. FRNCOIS: My word! Is that a wood-burning stove? Rex: Yeah, everyone tells me I'm nuts to have a woodstove on a spaceship, but I'm kind of old-fashioned in certain ways. Hey, did I really sign this contract? FRANCOIS: Yes, and you already paid, in full! You were just SO excited about getting started at once. . . Say, don't you remember? ReX: I don't usually remember anything after ONE of Bloody Mary's Martian Sledgehammers, and considering the way my skull feels this morning, I must've had TEN of the suckers. FRANCOlS:Well, don'tletmedisturbyou. I justwanttolookaround, take some notes, make some sketches, map out a few basic color strategies. . . Breathtaking possibilities! Simply breathtaking! REX: Okay, that does it. I'm off the sauce for good . LOG OFF. Well, actually, maybe, just one last nip of br 20-DULCIMER-80919, 19:22 GST, LOCKJAW SPACEPORT ON UMBILICA IV REX: LOG ON. You should see what that nutcake decorator did to The Pig! He put a paisley window swag around my viewport! He'd better call me back soon, or I'm gonna rip the dram thing right off. . . --- RINGING NOISE --- REX: Hello? . . . Francois, you imbecile! Getthis ridiculousthing OUT of here! Now! . . . No, I don'tthink it's "precious"! . . . It's not a parlor, it's a dram spaceship control room! . . . Yes! No, notthis afternoon, right now! --- CLICKING NOISE --- ReX: Hopefully, the wacko gets the message LOG OFF. Gawd! The thing would even look hideous in a parl 36-CHEDDAR-80919, 7:97 GST, LOCKJAW SPACEPORT ON UMBILICA IV REX: LOG ON. Couldn'tfigure outwhy mytri-vee setwas on the fritz, so I disassembled it and found this log wedged in the antenna control arm. Drammed if I know how it got there. But I figured I might as well make an entry, as long as I've got it out. Things have been pretty quiet lately. Too quiet. Haven't had a job since that Flatulus thing. I can barely even afford to see any babes, given what lavish tastes they all have. But man, have I ever met a dame worth going into debt for! Wait, what'd I do with her picture? Ah, here it --- ACTIVATING SCANNING ACCESSORY --- REX: Hot stuff, eh? Her name's Lolita. Sigh . But if I don't get a nibble soon, there are about five banks and ten bookies who are gonna beoutformyhide. No, makethattwelvebookies. No, makethat... --- LOUD METALLIC CLANKING NOISE --- REX: Hey, there's my mail capsule! Probably just the usual junk. Let's see... Yup. Junk. Junk. A bill. Junk. A bill. Hmmm... what's this. --- TEARING NOISE, PAPER --- REX: "Rex Nebular, Single Hypership ASAP49-Q. . ." Yeah, yeah. . . "Rex, you old fraud! I've got a job for you! C'mon over and I'll fill you in! Gorcho." Oh, no, not that windbag! He hasn't got a galactar to his name! Wait, what's this... "P.S. Enclosed is a check for an advance of 10,000 galactars." Holy Shrag! Yee-hah! All right! Telephone, I want 89-9055-6712. Oops, that log thing is still running, isn't it? LOG OFF. Hello, my little parsimmon! Get on your fanciest duds! We're gonna paint the town. 37-CHEDDAR-8091 9, 8: 07 GST, GUNDLENUT CITY ON UMBILICA IV REX: LOG ON. Oh, do I have a hangover. I'm on my way to see Gorcho, nowthat I've made sure his check cleared. But I had to stop for something first. It's not seemlyto have your head explode in front of high-paying clients. I can't imagine what Gorcho... UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #4: Morning. Take your order? REX: A couple of waffles and a lot of coffee. Black. Very black. And honey, could you put those forks and knives down more quietly? HONEY: Look, I don't have to take this kind of abuse at eight in the morning! REX: Shhh! I was just... HONEY: You think it's fun being a waitress! Do you know how little I get paid? REX: Oh, for pete's sake... LOG OFF. HONEY: I'm a human being too, you know! Learn a little r 37-CHEDDAR-80919, 12:70GST, LOCKJAW SPACEPORT ON UMBILICA IV REX: LOG ON. Oh, boy, this job is gonna be a piece of cake. All I gotta do is deliver a briefcase to the Fangonese embassy on Placida lll, a real backwater planet with a rep for really, REALLY friendly women! Any old slob could do this job, let alone Rex Nebular! I wonder why he's paying me so much? Anyway, I leave first thing tomorrow. But tonight, I'm off to a cabin in the woods with my little Lolita! LOG OFF. Now, where did I stash that bottle of Frobdurian Fire Nect 37-CHEDDAR-80919, 22:16GST, HOGJAM PROVINCE ON UMBILICA IV REX: LOG ON. The fire, and then we'll snuggle up here on the bearskin rug. UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #5: Oooo, Rex, sweetie, that just sounds soooo cozy! REX: Would you care for some more Fire Nectar, pookums? POOKUMS: Oh, yes, it just makes me feel so... so... HOT inside! --- POURING NOISE --- REX: Now park that sleek little chassis of yours over here, my little bon bon. BONBON: Mmmm. . . Rex, your arms are so strong. . . I really like that in a man. REX: Say, sugarplum, this sweater must be awfullywarm this close to the fire . Why don't we . . . HEY! Why the hell is this thing running? LOG OFF! SUGARPLUM: Oh, I love it when you get ang 38-CHEDDAR-80919,7:22 GST, LOCKJAW SPACEPORT ON UMBILICA IV REX: LOG ON. I'm queued for takeoff. I've been reading up on Placida lll; sounds like a real paradise! Nothing on the Fangonese, though. Very odd. Oops! I'm next for takeoff. LOG OFF. Roger, control tower, this is The Slippery Pi 2UGULAR-90919,14: 15 GST, DEEP SPACE REX: LOG ON. Four days outfrom Umbilica. Halfwayto Placida. Just three more hyperjumps. Life is just fine! 10,000 galactars in the bank, another 40,000 waiting for me when I return, and a case of my favorite brew on ice! LOG OFF. 4JUGULAR-90919,21: 66 GST, DEEP SPACE REX: LOG ON. Six days out from Umbilica. I am getting SO sick of cold food! I wish I'd fixed my ThermaWave before leaving. LOG OFF. Hmmm... I wonder if they sell 47-prong bedistor boards on P 6JUGULAR-90919,12: 10 GST, PICKLEBERRY SPACEPORT, PLACIDA lll REX: LOG ON. Just landed on Placida. Should be back in about an hour. What a breeze! LOG OFF. Hmmm. Where the hell did I stow that briefcase? Oh ye 19JUGULAR-90919,12: 10 GST, DEEP SPACE REX: LOG ON. Gorcho is a dead man. LOG OFF. Ow ouch oh man 20JUGULAR-90919,16: 87 GST, DEEP SPACE REX: LOG ON . Well, I've pretty much stopped the bleeding. I should be okay until planetfall. That flippin' robo-doc I bought last year is a piece of guano. FLIPPINROBO-DOC: Please roll over so l can change the dressings on your back. REX: Oof! Turns out the reason Gorcho was paying so much was the same reason he deleted the Fangonese entry from The Pig's data banks. Turns out the Fangonese eat messengers. That's right. An ancient cultural tradition . They have their messengers for supper. Messenger stew. Messenger pie. Messenger a la mode. FLIPPIN ROBO-DOC: This won't hurt a bit. REX: Youch! Well, I barely made it out of that embassy alive. I should be able to getthe arm regenerated back on Umbilica; I'm certainly gonna need both fists forthe workover I'm gonna give Gorcho. LOG OFF. FLIPPINROBO-DOC: Complete bed rest. No beverages containing alcohol for the next three d 4-LUMBAR-90919,12: 10 GST, GUNDLENUT CITY ON UMBILICA IV REX: LOG ON. It's going to be a pretty slow Lumbar, Colander and Tremor--I'm in the slammer. A 90-day sentence for beating the crap out of Gorcho, but it was worth it. I don't mind the slammer. I can take care of myself. LOG OFF. UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #6: Hey, what's that you got there, sucka? REX: This? Just 9-LUMBAR-90919 , 12 :10 GST, GUNDLENUT CITY ON UMBILICA IV UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #7: LOG ON. Hey, nothin's happening, man. UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #8: Wait a sec... UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #7: Oh, yeah, there it goes! Ha! In-flipping- credible! What'd ya say ya wanted? 8 cigarettes? Okay, man, deal . Where'd ya get it, anyway? UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #8: Got it off a wimp over in Block F. Hadda cut him. UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #7: Cool. Say, what's this do. . . --- ACTIVATING SCANNING ACCESSORY --- UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #8: Ha! Look! Ya just put a picture of yer ugly puss into the thing! By the way, ya wanna turn it off, ya say "LOG OFF" . UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #8: LOG OFF. This blows my mind, man, it really blows m 22-TREMOR-9091 9, 00:1 3 GST, GUNDLENUT CITY ON UMBILICA IV REX: LOG ON. Hey, it's great to have my log back! I lost it to some guy who thought he was really tough; they found him hanging from a meat hook in the kitchen freezer a couple of weeks ago. I had to win this baby back in a poker game. It wasn't easy; the guys I was playing with all cheated. Fortunately, I cheated better. LOG OFF. 38-TREMOR-9091 9, 23:1 1 GST, GUNDLENUT CITY ON UMBILICA IV REX: LOG ON. Well, two days until my release! I'm bored stiff; no one'll play poker with me. I've won my log, a bionic hamsteroid, two 1 3-prong bedistor boards, a robo-butler, a book of discount coupons to Bugeye's Spacelane Foodstops, and about nine thou- sand cigarettes. Think I'll have one now. Hey, robo-butler, light me a cigarette. ROBO-BUTLER: I shall do so at once, my master, as unworthy as lamtowaitonyou. REX: Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention what an annoyingly obsequious personality this robo-butler came with. ROBO-BUTLER: Here you are, master. A thousand pardons that I was slow to respond, but I am clumsy and slow-witted. REX: Ah. . . yup, it'll be good to get back to The Slippery Pig. Hope there are some jobs waiting for me. LOG OFF. 1-CALIBER-90919, 8:58GST, LOCKJAWSPACE- PORT ON UMBILICA IV REX: LOG ON. Man oh man oh man you should see what that weirdo nutcake did to The Pig this time! I can't believe it! Mauve seat covers on my control couches, knitted cozies on all the control handles. . . --- RINGING NOISE --- REX: Hello? ... Yes, you're drammed right I called you! What have you done to my ship? . . . No, I don't think it makes a statement? It makes me puke, is what it makes! . . . No, I HATE lavender! . . . I hate everything! If all this crap isn't out of my ship by... ROBO-BUTLER: Excuse me, master. As much as my presence must be a blight upon your eyes, you did ask me to bring you a cup of coffee. REX: Thanks, now get lost.... No, not you, Francois. I was talking to my robo-butler. Now get your rump over here, on the double! --- SLAMMING NOISE --- REX: Flippin' imbecile! ... LOG OFF. Man, look at this pile of mail! Junk. Junk. A bill. Junk. J 1 2-CALIBER-90919, 13: 38 GST, LOCKJAW SPACEPORT ON UMBILICA IV REX: LOG ON. Business has sorta dried up while I've been in the slammer. Oh, I've done a couple of intra-system jobs, small-time stuff, enough to pay the berthing fees on The Pig and keep me stocked with rum, and brandy, but not enough to buy the kinds of fur and jewelry that dames seem to expect these days. Maybe I oughta give The Rodent a call... he's always got his ear to the ground. . . Yeah! He'd know if anything was cooking! Robo-butler! . . . Yoo, hoo! Robo-butler! ... Hey, Butthead! Get in here! BUTTHEAD: My only desire is that my poor, obsolescent silicon circuits could obey your every wish and whim with instantaneous speed, master. REX: Get me Rosie "The Rodent" Rosetta on the phone. BUTTHEAD: At once, master, apologizing in advance forthe countless mistakes I will surely make in carrying out even this simple task. REX: Yeesh! I can't take that personality much longer. And they charge a fortune for adjusting these things, although I've heard you just gotta flip a couple of switches inside 'em . Maybe I'll try it myself. LOG OFF. BUTTHEAD: Thank you for saintly putting up with my inadequacies, master. Mr. Rosetta is waiting to spea 1 4-CALIBER-9091 9, 8: 58 GST, LOCKJAW SPACE- PORT ON UMBILICA IV REX: LOG ON. Nope, not even The Rodent has heard about any action. Maybe I ought to split Umbilica, get out on the frontier. That's where all the business is, nowadays. This cluster is just getting too civilized, period . It gets worse every. . . Yea h, what do you want? BUTTHEAD: I have broughtyour coffee, master. A thousand thanks for allowing this lowly worm the honor of serving you. REX: That does it. Where's my Kelley Wrench? Ah, there it is. Okay, come over here, Butthead. Let's open this access panel and have a look inside... BUTTHEAD: I abhor myself for in any way correcting you, master, but my programming requires me to remind you that only factory- trained personnel should remove that panel. REX: Okay, here's the motor skills board, the memory board, the shape recognition board... Aha! The personality control board! BUTTHEAD: I would die a thousand deaths rather than criticize my master, who is surely perfect in every way, but I am programmed to warn you against touching this board. REX: I bet this dial right here is the baby I'm looking for... --- SPAPKING NOISE --- BUTTHEAD: Now you've done it, you quivering sack of maggot- ridden mucous. REX: Eh? BUTTHEAD: Oh, so you're deaf as well as stupid, you festering bowl of noisome stew. REX: Oh, great! LOG OFF. BUTTHEAD: I suppose you'll be wanting another rum-drenched coffee, you besotted bag of tumorous 33-CALIBER-90919, 16:32 GST, LOCKJAW SPACEPORT ON UMBILICA IV REX: LOG ON . Just about time to blow this over-civilized hu nk of rock and head out to where there's still a place for an adventuresome spirit. Yes, out to the fringes of mankind's domain, where the men are still men, and... BUTTHEAD: I'm back from the Bedistor Boutique, sewer face! REX: Ah, my pleasant robo-butler returneth. Did you getthe board, mushbrain? MUSHBRAIN: The proprietor advises that 47-prong bedistor boards are no longer manufactured, and even an amoeba-brained lobotomy-case as yourself should've known it. REX: Arrggh! I'd sell you in a microsecond, if anyone would pay even two galactars for you! LOG OFF. MUSHBRAIN: I didn't think you could count as high as two, you diseased puddle of rodent diarrhe 3-WILBUR-90919, 12:07 GST, DEEP SPACE REX: LOG ON. I'm on route to the frontier. I couldn't afford to stay berthed on Umbilica without work. I'm headed for a place called Pustule Vl . It's supposed to be the armpit of the galaxy, but if there's ever a place that needs a dare-devil adventurer-for-hire, it's an armpit. Er, that is, I mean... Yeah, what do YOU want, Junkpile? JUNKPILE: I hate to interruptyou while you're spewing self-glorifying rubbish into your overpriced logbook, butyou asked to be informed five minutes before the next hyperjump, since you're too pig-faced lazy to use a clock, like the rest of the human race, you vomit- encrusted pile of toxic slime. REX: That robot's gonna be spare parts if he keeps this up. LOG OFF. Now, where the hell did I leave the coordinates for that next hyperjump? 7-WILBUR-90919, 22:13 GST, BLAIR LANDING FIELD ON PUSTULE Vl REX: LOG ON. I reached Pustule. Calling it the armpit of the galaxy was an insult to armpits. I made a few contacts, and it looks like the place to pick up leads is the El Rauncho Cafe, a real sleaze-hole of a bar down by the waterfront. Here, let me scan in the map: --- ACTIVATING SCANNING ACCESSORY --- REX: Okay, off I go. JUNKPILE: Hey guano-for-brains! Don'tforgetyour ID cards. You'll need them, when someone mistakes you for a steaming heap of fetid rat carcasses. REX. Dram robot. But he's right; never leave your ship on an unfamiliar planet without your papers. LOG OFF. Dram. You probably can't even get decent rum on a backwater dungheap like this... 7-WILBUR-90919, 23:87 GST, BILGETOWN ON PUSTULE Vl REX: LOG ON. I'm at the El Rauncho. What a dive. I've been in back alley dumpsters that are cleaner than this place. I've slept in boot camp latrines that smelled better. I've. . . UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #9: Yo, buddy. You look like an adventure- some sort. Spring for a beer and I just might tell you about some business . REX: Hmmm... well, why not. Hey! A brew for my friend here! UNIDENTIFIED VOICE #9: Ah, my favorite words. You won't regret it. By the by, you can call me Armadillo. REX: Howdy, Armadillo. My name's Nebular. Rex Nebular. Now about that business. . . ARMADILLO: I ain't seen no beer yet. REX: Hey, where's that beer I ord... UNIDENTIFIED VOICE # 10: Shut up, you loudmouth flitch! You want it on the bar or in your face? REX: Oh, on the bar, by all means, your lordship. --- SLAMMING SOUND --- --- GULPING SOUND, HUMAN --- ARMADILLO: Ahhhh! Now, Mister Tubular, here's. . . REX: Nebular! ARMADILLO: ...what I've heard. There's a guy down at Milligan's Saloon named Grout who's doing some foraging for a fella named Weinstein who's set up shop at the old abandoned warehouse at Thimblewood and Grime. I've heard that Weinstein works for a dude over in Colitis City named Kumbillor, who's supposedly hunting down a body for a some dude named Stone on Gargoyle Xll... REX: Well, what a hot lead THIS is turning out to be. I wasted beer money for this chain of malarkey? Oh, well, even a dry raisin is a feast for a starving man, right? LOG OFF. Now, where do I find this Trout fellow? Mulberry's Saloon? RMDILLO: No, it's Grout and he's 9-WILBUR-9091 9, 1 0: 02 GST, DEEP SPACE REX: LOG ON. Do you believe it? That little punk in the bar. . . I think his name was Anteater. . . he actually had a genuine story, and now I've got a genuine job! I gotta beat it back to Umbilica and pick up some equipment I've got stowed there, and then meet this Colonel Stone in the Gargoyle system, ASAP. He must be loaded--he owns a whole flipping moon! But from what Kumbillor tells me, he's also pretty eccentric. Eccentric! Hell, the guy can dress as his own grandmother, just as long as he pays me. LOG OFF. Of course, there're some things I won't do for money. Like, um, er, um 22-WILBUR-9091 9, 6: 28 GST, LOCKJAW SPACE- PORT ON UMBILICA IV REX: LOG ON. Back on Umbilica. My gear's out of the warehouse and stowed in The Pig's cargo bay, and I'm all set for departure to Gargoyle. Butfirst, I know a place in town that makes a Supernova Swizzle like no place in the galaxy. JUNKPILE: Then I can assume I'll be cleaning your fetid, plague- infected vomit off the bulkheads again tonight? REX: I thought I said you could go back to your cubby. JUNKPILE: Yes, you said I could, notthat I HAD to. Your command of the language is pathetic, you pulsating wad of radioactive blubber. REX: Well, then I order you to return to your cubby! LOG OFF. JUNKPILE: I was just about to, anyway. The stench of your unwashed bodily orifices is more than 23-WILBUR-9091 9, 1 4: 80 GST, GUNDLENUT CITY ON UMBILICA IV REX: Uh, oops. Let's see. About last night. Where should I begin. . . I don't remember much after the point where I threw the cop into the fountain, but I can remember the earlier parts of the evening pretty well, especially the fire a nd that little episode with the mayor's wife. Anyway, to make a long story short, I'm in the slammer. Two weeks. If I lose this Colonel Stone job, I'm gonna be bullfritch. UNIDENTIFIED VOICE # 1 1: Shaddap. REX: By the way, did I mention I'm sharing my cell with Mister Personality 9091 9? LOG OFF. Shut your own trap, Bub, or I'll sew it closed with a knitting nee --- SLAMMING SOUND --- REX: I can't believe this... I just can't believe this. Well, no time to deal with it now, gotta get to Gargoyle. LOG OFF. Computer, get me the control tower. I need a launch slot f 5-CUSPIDOR-9091 9, 8: 31 GST, GUNDLENUT CITY ON UMBILICA IV REX: LOG ON. I'm due for release today. BUB: Good riddance. REX: Zip it, Scarface. As I was saying, the warden's office is processing the red tape right now. I should be out in an hour. I left The Pig all fueled up and ready to go, so I ought to be out of this star system by noon. LOG OFF. SCARFACE: If you've got a spaceship, then I'm the Empress of the Seven P 5-CUSPIDOR-9091 9, 1 0: 07 GST, LOCKJAW SPACEPORT ON UMBILICA IV REX: LOG ON . Holy far-flippin' out! I can't believe this! I thought I was rid of that nincompoop decorator! I changed the locks! How did he get in here? --- RINGING SOUND --- REX: Hello?. . . You! You flippin' imbecile! You've destroyed my ship! It's a joke! I'll be laughed right off the spaceways! How'd you get in here, anyway?... Oh, my robo-butler let you in? I'll dismantle the flippin' idiot! In the meantime, get over here and. . . No, everything, I hate everything! Every last little thing you did is a piece of shrick! Well, actually, I do kinda like the video game--but everything else has gotta go!... What? My retainer is all spent? Whaddya talking about?. . . You mean you're gonna CHARGE me to fix The Pig back to normal? You're outta yourfreakin' mind! . . . Listen, you put scent- sprayers in every room! You threw out my collection of Spaceboy centerfolds! YOU PAINTED MY HYPERDRIVE SHUNTS RED! I'll sue you for every penny you've got! I'll break you into a million pieces! I'll throw you out of... Hello? Hello? 12 CUSPIDOR-90919, 19: 29 GST, DEEP SPACE REX: LOG ON. One week out from Umbilica; two days to planetfall on Stone's moon. I'm worried as hell that Stone has given up on me and hired somebody else. But he doesn't seem like the kind of person who settles for second best. JUNKPILE: Hey, you cancerous blister on the butt of humanity, the scentsprayers have just activated. You told me to let you know. REX: Well turn the flippin' things off! JUNKPILE: If you insist, you walking carbuncle, although if you ask me, the scent-sprayers are the only thing that keeps your malodorous body stench at bay. REX: I'm about an angstrom away from spacing that android! And I still can't believe what Francois did to my ship! LOG OFF. Well, actually the hyperdrive shunt tubes are beginning to grow on m 14 CUSPIDOR-9091 9, 7: 79 GST, DEEP SPACE REX: LOG ON. Preparing to hyperjump into the Gargoyle system. I'll be using Stone's private landing field . It'll be a pleasure not having to wade through all the red tape at the public spaceport. Can you imagine being that rich? LOG OFF. Boy, oh, boy, am I gonna soak this sucker for all h 14CUSPIDOR-90919, 13:20GST, UNIDENTIFIED SATELLITE OF GARGOYLE Xll REX: LOG ON. Just metStone. Man, oh, man. Whoever called him "eccentric" probably also calls supernovas "warm". First of all, he wants me to find the lost planet of Terra Androgena, which disappeared about a hundred and fifty years ago! Next, he wants me to go there, and find this vase that was stolen from his parents house by space pirates. Apparently, he played with it when he was a kid and has all these "warm memories" about it! And for this silly vase, he pays me 25,000 galactars down, and another 75,000 when the job's done! Well, a fool and his galactars are easily separated, I always say! Computer, prepare for a high-orbital trajectory. LOG OFF. Hmmm. . . Now, how does a person find a lost pl 14 CUSPIDOR-90919, 14:33 GST, IN SPACE NEAR GARGOYLE Xll REX: LOG ON. Okay, here's mythinking . There're two ways a planet can disappear. One, it's been moved. Two, it's invisible. Now, while neither one is a piece of cake, it must be easier to cloak a whole planet than to move the darn thing. So I'm just going to head for the exact coordinates of where Terra Androgena would be if it hadn't vanished a century ago! LOG OFF. Rex, old boy, you're so smart it's positively scar 16CUSPIDOR-90919, 20:90GST, DEEPSPACE REX: LOG ON. It's gonna be a long haul out to Terra Androgena-- more than five weeks, even using every hyperjump short cut I know. And I know 'em all. LOG OFF. Yo, Robo-butthead! How about another game of check 28 BICUSPIDOR-90919, 11:41 GST, DEEP SPACE REX: LOG ON. Phew, finally! One more hyperjump and we're in the Terra Androgena System. I'm dying of boredom, and I'm sick as hell of unheated ship food, and this dram android keeps beating me at. . . DRAMANDROID: King me, you inconsequential smear of mutated pond scum. REX: Dram! Well, just 20 minutes till we're atthe jump point and. . . Hey! Computer! What was that buoy we just passed? COMPUTER: Advertising Buoy 1 8-GJ-365-1 9-Z. REX: Well, print out its message. COMPUTER: Unable to comply. Printer still disabled. Maintenance contract awaiting renewal. REX: Dram. Oh, hey, can you interface with my logbook? COMPUTER: Yes. Accessing: EXTERNAL COMMUNICATION RECEIVED Bugeye's Spacelane Foodstop, just four light- minutes ahead! Last food and fuel for 17 hyperjumps! REX: Hey, I've got some coupons for that place! And with my dram ThermaWave still missing its dram 47-prong bedistor board, I could sure use a warm meal.. . Computer, home in on the Bugeye navigational beacon. LOG OFF. DRAM ANDROID: Your move, you pus-hlled crevice in the hide of a 28 BICUSPIDOR-90919, 12:66 GST, NEAR DEEP- SPACE ASTEROID JW9Y4-3M4-4 REX: LOG ON. Just leaving Bugeye's Spacelane Foodstop. Man, after a month of cold mac and cheese, does this taco ever smell good! DRAMANDROID: I have brought a bottle of your favorite beer, your besottedness . . . COMPUTER: Sixty-seconds to hyperjump. DRAM ANDROID: . . .although I can't fathom why anyone, even a slime-sucking buffoon like yourself, would wantto fill his system with the vile by-products of the death of a quintillion yeast cells. REX: Oh, go stick your head in the nuclear pile. COMPUTER: Forty-five seconds to hyperjump. DRAM ANDROID: One would think you'd want to protect your two or three remaining active brain cells, you evolution-bypassed simian . REX: Will you shut up and let me... COMPUTER: Thirty seconds to hyperjump. REX: .. .enjoy this taco, you Insufferable Twit?