Ninja Spacemonkeys Ch. 5
CHAP V. Ninja Spacemonkeys saunter about the Plaid.
The laser was fired and the Spacemonkeys jumped with a whimper across the universe.
There was a mysterious air about; all was quiet on the bridge of the ESS Consul. The silence hung in the air like a caterpillar about to go into its cocoon. All monkeys looked to one another, locking eyes in fear and breaking stares. It was too damn quiet.
“Fuckin’ say something! Fucking say something, Barts!” yelled Gerard.
This only heightened the tension in the room as they stared over the dead baby. Gerard squeezed the railing, straining his tension into the Spacemetal.
Bartleby walked to the door. “I’m going to beam down.”
One by one the other monkeys left the room, until only Gerard was left standing alone on the bridge, sobbing.
And beam down they did.
The planet was perfectly altered. The minds of the people there were just always spinning and thinking of new ways to change the world around them. They built roads over mountains and then they built tunnels through them. Their planet was designed to be the most flashy yet efficient use of commerce. Scans showed that 62% of the planet was roads, a sure sign of the exchange of materials, ideas, and mousetraps.
The entire planet was asplash in a drab; boring Mahjong tiles and the glitter of stale perfume. They were so rich, but they didn’t even know it. There were casinos and brothels and all sorts of bad places to spend money, but only the richest of the rich of the poor could afford it. Men and women would spend a fortune, or entrust their own savings so that one could see one little flash of color, one peek at a world of style. A person could go his whole life with but glimpses of color.
The Spacemonkeys beamed into the center of it all, the City Market, and stood agog at the poverty affronting them and their good tastes. All around them, the denizens were adorned in a spotty, coarse woven fabric akin to burlap. It was a nasty cut and a jolly mean thread, shirts and pants and jackets and socks and all other kinds of haberdashery and millinery, shorn of the worst fabric in the world. Simon John immediately vomited.
“I warned you about eating all of those bananas,” Balthazar scolded.
Simon John spat and spoke, “My good captain, I do say that no amount of bananas could offend me as this horrible, horrible, awful display of style on this planet.” He spat again.
“We should just nuke this place,” muttered Roland. He himself was having a hard time of keeping his bananas in his stomach, when he saw a glitter, a sliver of color across the square. He looked to see if the other Spacemonkeys had noticed, and they were all staring at the alleyway that had glimmered with that warm beautiful shine. Balthazar threw up his long monkey fingers and signaled a silent swarm of ninjitsu into a very small space.
After a little confrontation requiring top-secret techniques, the Spacemonkeys stepped into the alley, and Roland stopped gagging. It was beautiful. “It’s a feather of the great Khana,” they were told by a startled merchant, on his ass, “taken from a bird half a football field tall bearing a proud plumage.” The feather itself oozed a greasy, bergamot-scented, shiny oil. It glistened and was matted, it shifted in the light; it was a cacophony of flavors of color.
“Just feel it.” The purveyor offered. “Pure. The real thing, you can feel it better if you just lean into it.”
Oh, and Basil did. It was a warm ocean’s breeze on the eyelids, a crisp mountain air upon the philtrum, and a wide wheatfield on the jaw. It smelt of crystals and old stone. There was a bit there where he felt as though he been lifted up by the butterfly kisses of a billion sexy, damn hot monkey bitches.
The other Spacemonkeys standing in the alley only saw Basil put his head in contact with the giant feather, piss his space suit and pass out. There was a moment of tactful silence as the Spacemonkeys contemplated the power of the feather.
“Again, with feeling!” Basil yelled, asleep.
“Now I do say here my good man, what’s all this about?” Balthazar put his hand to the hilt of his sword.
“Pardon?” The shopkeeper was still stunned that he was being approached by a group of Monkeys, all Old World, who spoke the Queens English and were dressed for slaughter.
“This….“ Balthazar swallowed. “This…” Balthazar swallowed. “This damned, dirty, shameless, stained, worn, nasty, brutish, wicked, repulsive, horrible vomit parade that you call costuming on your planet?
“Pardon? Costumes? These are merely the clothes we wear, Talking Monkey.” The purveyor took an offense, watching as Basil stumbled to his feet.
“I see rags, I see a poverty of fashion I never imagined, so horrible and raw that it impels me expectorate.” Bartleby swallowed his disgust, like a gentleman.
Mercutio and Sir Walter Scott helped Basil to his feet. He whipped his head around, trying to gain composure and figure out where he whence was. Once in full command of his shaking legs, he was let stand of his own accord and tell his story. He mostly just mumbled and giggled, but later recounted his experience.
“I felt a fuzzy feeling. Neigh, it was a fuzz that I felt. A warm swash of velvet or the golden sun on my brow. Now in furtherre control of my experiences with the feather I can only call it the finger of Godde. The probing finger of Godde.”
-Diary of Basil, p.56
Sir Walter Scott scoffed, “Am I to take it to mean that you have a fabric that alters monkeys minds and also wicks away moisture? That is most unheard of.”
“The feather is not cheap. It is hard to handle, you see?” The shopkeeper motioned towards Basil’s pissed pants. Then he winked, and made a sweeping gesture towards the dark alleyway.
That was how the Spacemonkeys stumbled upon a black market of fashion on the planet later named Donkey. The featherman was just fishing, aiming to lure legitimate buyers into the lairs of the most decadent styles. There, in a sunken bar, lit by nothing but fluorescents, they saw yards and yards of fabric, woven into fine linen. They saw kimonos and pajamas, pants and windbreakers made of the finest fabrics, and were agog.
“Good sir, are you saying that this treasure trove of style and comfort lays dormant whilst good people walk around above us dressed as though it were laundry day?” Balthazar broke his stare from the racks of clothing and looked intensely at the Featherman.
“What good would it do?” He slumped. “I can’t give these things away.”
Simon John and Sir Walter Scott heard that and started through the racks, taking things. Simon John found a few good shirts, with reserved collars. Sir Walter Scott found an ascot, and wore it with furious pride. The Featherman just shrugged, and let them walk out with their bounty.
“But why can’t you sell fine haberdashery such as these.” Balthazar was inspecting a particularly nice pair of underwear, quite literally softer than silk, “I mean, these are really nice.”
“Because anybody who wears it gets eaten alive. Contraband like this… “ He trailed off, and hung his head in his hands. “Still, it’s better than when we had the Wars.”
Their was a loud shriek and the sound of massive wings, followed by the sound of a loud energy blast. Simon John and Sir Walter Scott ran into the room.
“Captain, there’s something you’d best see.”
Balthazar only saw a glimpse of it, but it was inarguably the biggest thing that he had ever seen. A giant of the old world, the world of legend and myth, it was hard to wrap the mind around the sheer size of the thing. It was a moth. Huge and ferocious, a god that earlier men would have exalted, it was older than the inhabitants of this planet and it would be here longer after they were gone. This beast, this scourge of the people had long fed off of the commoners. The priests were the only thing that stood between the Mothar and the destitution of the people of Donkey. There was a truce in place, a fragile contract that kept the Mothar from utterly laying the planet to waste.
Balthazar had his men strip down and dress as a commoner, just another schmuck with bad clothes. Several of the men protested, but Balthazar led by example, and soon all were dressed in the scratchy burlap they had seen on the populace and come to despise. Basil and Simon John got into a donnybrook immediately, a consequence of the poor quality of the clothes. The fight was broken up and Balthazar leaned them all into a huddle.
“We are to confront the priests of this planet. If this compromise has kept this world at peace, than it has been far too great a compromise.” Surely, nothing could be worse than the clothes they wore.
They snuck out at noon, avoiding the crepuscular habits of the Mothar. A quick run through the alleyways, up the fire escapes, over the rooftops, over to the dam, up the wall with the use of rappelling hooks, into the power grid offices, through a fortified command center of some sort, up the steps, and into the temple.
“Did you just hear something?” Asked one guard.
“No, nothing,” replied the others.
The priests sat about, drinking tea and talking fashion. A hookah sat amidst a maze of beanbag chairs, passed around to each priest, each priest reclined comfortably on the drapery of Khana. There was a cough.
All of the priests and several of their eunuchs working the fans looked up. There before them was a rapidly stripping Basil, leading the other Spacemonkeys into the holiest of holies. Once completely naked, Basil charged into the sanctuary, pushed a priest off of his beanbag chair and immediately fell face down on it. There was a moan and muffled giggle as Basil started to gently massage the Khana fabric. Balthazar strode forward and drew his katana. He set the tip to the ground and knelt.
“Priests of the planet Donkey, we address you with a plea from the common man, the voice of the streets. We are distant wanderers from the stars, monkeys from a planet named Earth, and we mean to bring rectitude throughout the myriad worlds.”
“Uh…” Began one of the priests.
“Why are there dirty monkeys in my sanctuary?” Boomed the head priest. Balthazar recognized his status immediately, for he had the biggest hat of them all.
“My Head Priest,” Balthazar rose, sheathing his blade. “We have come from a distant star, looking for life and intelligence. We hope that we have much to share and even more to learn.” Balthazar pursed his lips and put a hand under a chin, as he had once seen a statue on Earth.
The head priest threw a hearty hand on his back and patted him. “You should go back. Go away.”
“You said you were looking for life and intelligence? You’ll only find one of those here, am I right?!?” With that he pointed at each of the priests and each started his own syncopated rhythmic dance. Somebody pressed a button on a stereo and house music started bumping. “All we got here is life, my boy. No intelligence.” He then started pumping his fists to the heavens, his own dance.
Gerard pulled out his shotgun and shot the stereo. The music stopped, and all of the priests stopped dancing. “You’re supposed to be holy and shit. Act like it.”
The eunuchs started beatboxing, giving the priests something to dance to, while the Head Priest lowered his skinny heavenfists and approached Balthazar. His words were razor wire and his tone broken old Coke bottle, “Do you see something wrong with the way that we worship?” His shoulders were broadened, a classic defensive gesture. All of the Spacemonkeys in the room registered the threat and started the complicated mental calculations of who was going to die in the room. The gesture had been slight, but it foretold of a massacre of Donkey priests.
“We see no error in worship, Head Priest,” tightroped Balthazar. “The error we see is…” Balthazar made a sweeping gesture with his long monkey arm that indicated the wall, those beyond the wall, and then everything.
The priest grunted. “Well said.” He ushered the captain of the E.S.S. Consul into his quarters while Basil humped a beanbag to a disco house beat.
“Imagine that there once was an empire. The emperor of this empire was a divine descendent of the God of the World. He was infallible. His rule was mighty and just and fair, as he was a descendant of the first man, the lightning bolt that connected earth and heaven. He was infallible.
“His perfection would ultimately be his failure. For when his empire was just about to achieve global dominance, the emperor was proven wrong. Science and forward thinking had allowed his enemies to conceive of a weapon so deadly as to be sin. It worked. The emperor retreated to his private quarters while one, and then two of our cities fell to the sleeping giant. He came out an ashen man; broken and defeated. He relinquished his umbilical cord to heaven and became a pauper, for nothing could stand against the Mothar.”
The Head Priest exhaled a cloud of smoke, ruminating. “And that was the last emperor.” He started pointing and the beatboxing started up again, “Now, all we have to do is make Mothar happy.”
“And how is that?” Balthazar asked, knowing the profane answer.
The head priest took a slug of wine. “We feed Mothar.”
It’s size shattered the illusions of largess that the temple was meant to inspire. At a close distance, a shudder of one of those massive wings would tear a man apart, literally rending flesh from bone. As it fluttered down, it’s errant path caused a worry in the crowd. As the Mothar wafted to and fro through the sky, the populace began to shriek in terror. Finally, the moth saw fires of the temple and somewhat corrected its path. People ran, horrified of the giant moth, secretly wishing they would later be alive to tell the tale. The Mothar bounced off of the temple, its lackadaisical flight path no match for granite temple, rent of stone and hardened against the moth’s inability to fly a strait line. It hovered, bounced off the temple again, shaking the bones of any person in town, and the corrected the landing. It was able to correlate its position so long as it had a stationary moon, much like the moths on earth. A moth uses the sun and the moon like an astrolabe, and the bright lights at the temple had attracted it.
It landed. Immediately it began eating the finery placed before it.
A monkish, minimalist rhythmic drum echoed across the night-darkened temple. All was quiet, but for that pulsing sound and the deafening flaps of the Mothars wings. It got into the mind, regulating the blood flow of the practitioners, preparing them for subservience. Balthazar watched as man, woman, and child all placed well tailored, nicely made clothing on the altar. Kerchiefs and berets, fine linens that would make a man sleep for a century, gorgeous lingerie and socks were all offered up to the insatiable appetite of the giant, Mothar. After a while, Balthazar turned away full of disgust, and saw a look of despair in his men’s eyes. They too had seen the spectacle, but they had looked away long before.
“It was too much,” a tired Mercutio said. His broken, tired eyes spoke the rest. How could they? Why? What bounty to reward such a sacrifice? “Why? Those were really nice cotton blends.”
Balthazar looked at Mercutio, as worn as he, and said, “Peace. But at what cost?” Balthazar expectorated on the step. “What do we do?”
Sir Walter Scott rose and raised his crossbow above his head with his monkey arm, “I say that we bring down the battleship.” All of the Spacemonkeys nodded in agreement, but for one, who humbly stared at the horizon; and Basil humped his beanbag to a monkish, minimalist rhythm.
The Head Priest supplied the fabrics that supported the beast’s eating habits. The Head Priest was entitled to those fabrics and clothes for that express purpose, and he doled them out carefully and honestly. For two thousand years, they had fed the Mothar, and there had been peace. The Head Priest wasn’t going to let a bunch of monkeys from space corrupt that. The Wars had been awful and terrible, destructive to an extent that progress was halted. To feed Mothar was easier than to rebuild the city after each war, for all that it cost them was comfort and style. And so he appealed to the Spacemonkeys for peace.
“Captain Balthazar,” he implored as Balthazar oversaw Sir Walter Scott working the comms unit to E.S.S. Consul, “I am compelled for you to respect our position. Agitating the Mothar will only bring destruction of our planet, our peaceful cities. We have come to accept our fate, and the tithing that brings peace is but a small price to pay. Let me ask you, can you say that your style and comfort are worth the cost of your home?”
Balthazar stared down the Head Priest, “Tis nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune to wear this shit clothing.” With a few swift commands, Sir Walter Scott then relayed the battleship to come down from the E.S.S Consul. There was an arcing light on the horizon as the ship broke through the atmosphere, a bright burning light of a meteor, a trail of smoke, and it had arrived. Modeled after the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy, the battleship approached several seconds before the roaring sound of burning ozone that it carried in its supersonic wake. It was massive and royal, a giant floating battleship hovering over the city.
Whether the light of the approach or the sound attracted the Mothar, no one could say, but over the city another great shadow was summoned. Its huge wings flapped quickly, creating a sound of the sky being rent in two. It fluttered in an unpredictable path, impossible to predict, though the targeting system of the U.S.S. Jacqueline Kennedy was ready for such an opponent. It ran a trillion billion permutations a second, arming its guns and directing them towards the most likely target in the sky.
“On your mark, sir.” Sir Walter Scott stood over comms unit, finger over an appropriately red button. Mothar seemed to be inspecting the battleship, not sure whether it was food or foe.
Paraphrasing Shakespeare, Balthazar said, “Let the dogs out.”
A massive energy pulse erupted from the guns of Jackie Kennedy, illuminating the skies a magenta tone, erasing the shadows of the warring beasts from the city below. The burst shot across the sky, hitting Mothar squarely in the thorax. The beast shrieked in pain, the sound so gargantuan that it shattered every window for four miles below it. It faltered, dropped a bit, then regained its flutter and darted randomly across the sky.
“Minimal effect, sir. It seems only to dazed the moth.” Sir Walter Scott reported. Balthazar held his binoculars to his eyes, and saw that the moth had indeed only been singed slightly on its underside.
“All cannons, fire!”
A series of concussive lights flew from Jackie Kennedy’s prow, again lighting up the sky like massive Klieg lights shot through the atmosphere. Twelve shots were fired, all connected, and the moth fell like a rock. It crashed to the earth with a boom, destroying thirty city blocks in a second. The giant moth fell upon a power station, which exploded with a mushroom cloud, leveling several more blocks of industry. A rush of hot, oily air blew past the Spacemonkeys ten miles yonder from the impact site. There was a “Harumph” from the crew, though Balthazar maintained his Spartan reserve inspecting the cloud of smoke and debris through his binoculars.
“My god, what have you done?” The Head Priest asked with a horror engraved on his countenance.
Sir Walter Scott looked up from his comms unit. “Captain… we’ve got a new energy signature on the charts. To the west.”
Balthazar swept his view over the city, only to see a sight more horrible than anything he had expected. A new devil was emerging from the waters of the shore, an oil tanker in each hand, shrieking in anger as it strode onto the beach. Yet another beast of the old world, a reptilian behemoth strode upon the store, impervious to the rocket blasts fired upon it.
The Gogpol let loose a roar, threw his oil tankers, and the Mothar suddenly flew in a straight line, directly towards its nemesis.
“We are undone. ‘Tis the old days again, the dark days of stone and lye.” The Head Priest shook with anger and fright, trying to intone his holy dance. He cried and shook, and a dark spot appeared on his holy garments.
“Oh, this is going to get fucking ugly,” muttered Gerard.
The Mothar crashed into the new beast, the concussion knocking the huge reptile over, which destroyed several beach-front properties. The Gogpol arose, unfazed, and let loose an energy blast from its mouth. Without direction or care, the burst of energy destroyed innumerable houses, homes, apartments, condominiums and other places of residence. Mothar responded with his own energy blast. Back and forth, they battled. On the street, chaos ruled. All the citizens of Donkey were running mad, looting and killing and fighting without regard to consequence. The introduction of two giant devils fighting in their city promoted a degree of anarchy that hadn’t been known since the Wars. Indeed, it was a new War.
Men stole babies, thinking they were only laying claim to their own children. Women used kitchen implements upon one another in a murderous fashion, hoping to protect their newly gained children. Children fought and children died; children were crushed under the weight of beasts and the brick and mortar they loosed. A bloody, flaming sea crashed upon the shore, though the tears of the mothers and fathers made the sea seem small. Explosions were many and frequent. In the dust and rubble of the battle, all were equal. The rich and the poor screamed and cried alike, the rich and poor rioted all the same. Fires broke out and windows were broken, walls fell and contusions were common, rivers of blood flowed down the streets followed by shattered limbs and life. Families were reduced to single persons, and that person reduced to a single limb. Where there was peace, now rose a horror of destruction of fire and flame that carelessly brought ruin to all. Buildings were falling upon the just and the unjust all, lives were shattered like so many shop windows. The night was fine crystal.
Towers, monuments to society, were shattered underfoot the battle of the monsters. Skyscrapers and tenements fell alike. A simple step of the Gogpol destroyed blocks, and as it swatted at the Mothar and swung its tail, all fell. Mothar fluttered to and fro, releasing energy blasts at random at its opponent and the city burned. The wings of the Mothar only fueled the fires throughout the city, fanning fires of destruction. Fuel depots and houses all burnt, there were many greasy mushrooms clouds upon the once peaceful horizon. Oily clouds of smoke blew in from the coast through the alleys of broken buildings, creating a firestorm. The putrid air in the center of the behemoth’s battle was too little to fuel the rampant fires about, so physics did the rest and created a vacuum of air. The oxygen sucked inward, suffocating the outliers, fueling the giant fire where the impervious monsters battled. The inrush of air only created a burning cloud of destruction. Everything was instantly alight, everything. Children and furniture burnt alike, the rush of fire froze everything and made it ash. History and family burnt in seconds. A triage ward was created for removing glass from faces.
The Head Priest removed his big hat and wept. The crew of the U.S.S. Consul was silent, dumbstruck by the death they had brought to the planet Donkey in the name of fashion.
“My God,” whispered Balthazar.
As the cities burned and the glass shattered, Balthazar and his men held a meeting on the deck of the Jackie Kennedy. Upon its well-balanced and bespoke deck of pink (shaped like a slightly atilt pillbox hat), the final solution was devised.
“Fuckin’ burn it all!” Gerald muttered, sotto voce.
Balthazar placed his long, monkey finger held tight to his chin. “Neigh, we shant be the deliverers of retribution of sins we haven’t committed.” The nods of agreement were enough to affirm Balthazar’s rectitude.
“We can’t cure this planet of the priests that control the furs, the cottons, the velours, but we can fight. We can’t fix the problem of the black markets, dealing second hand bulllshit to the people; we,” a finger pointed at each monkey, “we can destroy this monster.”
Looking at the shattered hulk of the Jackie Kennedy, the monkeys sitting around Balthazar were silent. A patient death wafted over them.
Sir Walter Scottt was the only one to ask, “You mean to make the Giant Death Killer a possibility?”
Balthazar grinned. “Yea, the GDK is all systems go.”
The majority of the USS Consul was reserved for the weapons systems, those devined cruelties of man. Dissassembled, like an absolutely beautiful LEGO castle, it was just a bunch of nuts and bolts haphazardly thrown together with a gentle wish of some sort of intergalactic spacestation. The GDK was altogether a different story.
The GDK was a what the scientists on Earth had called the apparatus they had designed, if one could call it that, to deal with anything, underlined in the report read in a closed room in the Pentagon, anything. A self modifying and sustaining apparatus, built of billions upon trillions of nanomachine and nanomachine replicators, it was what one acting head called, “Anything.” It could rearrange any part of it’s form to the conditions necessary, it could be modified with any sort of imagination, and Spacemonkeys are anything if not imaginative. Hence, the USS Consul was comprised mostly of GDK smart particles, little quantum hairs of music that danced together constantly like whirling dervishes. It disassembled itself by a wicked press of button and started to assemble within and around the ninja Spacemonkeys.
In an instant, the monkeys turned arysgysic, and turned the color of silver, the nanobots within them too prevalent to achieve homeostasis. They stretched out their hands and as they did metallic plating and cushioning formed around them. There was a sound of thunder as the basic metal were synthesized into functional battle armor around the fragile husks of monkeys.
Each had automatic control over his or her governance, determining if the the arms or the legs punched or kicked. And it looked awesome. It’s first step was awkward and uncouth until it stood a bit taller; it stood tall, the breast was long, and it stood up staight without a crook in it’s back. The Mothar differed, the Gogpol ceased walking over residential districts with a curious glance back; and the GDK stood.
The children, the mothers, the families all looked up the to looming legs of the GDK and they wished. They wished that the gods they had created would tumble and fall, and no god would arise to replace them. They wished that the tyranny of the priests would end. They wished that the stench of moth wings would trouble them no more.
Then the GDK took one step and fell flat on its face.
“Minor problem in Leg Beta,” Sir Walter Scott reported. “Leg Beta sucks.”
“Leg Beta sucked a big ol’ fatty today. Roger.” Somebody answered back on the radio.
“Roger.” And “Roger that, Leg Beta sucks.,” reported another.
Sir Walter Scott took a moment to compose himself, packed his anger into a tight little ball, then righted the giant nanofueled mecha on it’s feet and regained the emotionless composure inherent to giant killing machines. Leg Beta was in a kicking mood.
The GDK stood up and then started kicking ass. It adopted the horse stance, with good governance, and kicked Mothar right in the goddamn face. Then it kicked it so hard that it’s mother felt it. Then it kicked him in the shin, the kidney, the elbow (a hard shot, as moths don’t really have elbows), the thorax, and the eye. Mothar was not able to absorb the billions of particles of rapidly kinetic matter that consisted of the GDK’s left foot. It felt it’s first regret of eating so much good fashion, and it felt it in such a way that it expunged a good deal of it’s lunch, showering a stream of silks over much of downtown.
It was still crying whilst the GDk kicked and kicked and kicked it while on the ground. It’s wails liquefied concrete, it’s failed wings immediately turned proud residential areas into nothing more than a fine powder. It shat, then died.
Walking over the badly laundered pile of clothing just west of the dead moth’s asshole, the GDK and the Spacemonkeys stoically gazed upon the giant Gogpol. It stared back and smiled.
“Holy shit, I’ve been trying to kill that moth forever. Thanks. Thing was always flying around. It wasn’t just flying, it was always flying into my field of vision. Fuck that moth,” the giant Gogpol said. Then he sauntered back into the ocean, picking up an oil tanker he had thrown in anger and placing it atilt in the breaks. As the seawater crested over the head of the massive lizard after he stepped over the sea ledge and swam underwater, the Spacemonkeys stared after him in quiet awe. A building fell, walls tumbled, and the sound of the consumptive power of fire resounded. The Spacemonkeys were sure not to disturb the silence.
Gerard broke the silence first. “I fuckin’ hate moths.”
“Indeed, they are a wholesome nuisance, one which cannot be persecuted on account of a linear flying prejudices, but we shall smite them where we can,” Balthazar said with a stoic face. “In the future, we should teach moths.”
Byron said, “What?”
“Pay no attention to that last part, ‘twas silly.”
As the nanoparticles of the GDK flew back into the stratosphere and rejoined the corpus toto of the ISS Consul the crew walked the shattered streets of the broken city. Amongst the rubble they heard a sad cry, a cry that resonated on account of its unfamiliarity. It was an alien sound, a weak sound. The monkeys traveled the brick and glass-strewn ground, searching for the sound. After hours of isolating the sound and finding the source, they found a tiny cocoon, near where the Mothar shat itself. In a giant pile of laundry, whimpering, they found a small, sheathed cocoon in the color of the great, late Mothar. As the exploratory monkeys approached, the shell of the cocoon cracked and time shifted, warbled and skipped.
“Gentlemen.” Balthazar got polite nods from his officers around the board room of the USS Consul. “It appears that we have a new addition to the crew,” Balthazar motioned to a small moth dictating the notes of the meeting. The moth nodded, not distracted from it’s precise notation.
Gerard was the first to mutter under his breath, “Goddamn, that moth is overdressed.”
The laser was fired and the Spacemonkeys jumped with a whimper across the universe.
Chapter 3 is missing, I need to transcribe it from the one existing copy, but that's in a storage unit. Meanwhile, here is chapters 4.
CHAPTER IV-Spacemonkeys Meet the System
“Holy Shite, that was close,” muttered Roland. He shook a chunk of debris off his cyberarmor, still covered in ectoplasm after his trip through Hell.
Bartleby followed, then Gerard, next was Duncan, Mercutio, Jonathan, Simon John, Basil, Sir Walter Scott, and a disoriented Malachi. The Fermi window was collapsing, only wide enough for one to pass through. A silence seized the cabin.
The portal was contracting, puckering the space around it, crunching the machinery of the cabin like aluminium foil. The vacuum of the time tunnel was consuming the very matter around it, when without warrant, out flew a prostrate monkey, hollering, “I don’t even belong here!”
And then the time space portal collapsed, and everything went back to normal.
After the first three blind trips into the void, and one occasion with a dragon, the captain of the ESS Consul decided to probe the wormhole thoroughly before their next voyage.
Scans of the “Nest of Wormwholes” were documented fully by Byron.
“I don’t even know where to beginne. The myriad nature of the wormhole(s) defies description, it bows my soul to contemplate this multiplicity of passages betwixt points in space and time. Lo, we must kneel in reverence to this most awesome access point for universes.”
Balthazar sat in his tree in his cabin. The crew was anxious, they had been through so much, and so soon. The last few weeks had flown by, and they had traveled in a parallel timeline twice, so really it was yesterday. So green, yet so ready.
There was a knock at the cabin door. The captain opened the door, and Gerard monkey-walked in.
“Ensign,” saluted the captain.
“My Captain,” Gerard curtsied. “There is a matter the crew is speaking of that thought best be brought to your person by me only.”
Balthazar offered a banana, Gerard refused. The captain took the banana for himself, this was serious, he was going to need it. He openly tried his best to eat his banana like a gentleman.
“My Captain, it is my duty to report the unrest within some of the more unruly members of the crew. It would seem as though the crew felt that we have been just kind of, I don’t know, jumping repeatedly into the abyss. Well as that is, it might be inferred that the crew hath fears about their future. And their past. We’re all mixed up.”
Gerard slouched, then turned around and walked to the door. There, he presented, saluted, and said shaking, “Ambition’s debt is paid.” The crew was right in sending Gerard, he had been the one in the dragon’s mouth but two days before.
The cabin door slammed shut, Balthazar looked down to realize that he had eaten his banana whole, not even thinking to peel it first.
And so it followed that full and thorough scans of the many multiple wormholes orbiting the megawormhole began. Quantumly speaking, it was beautiful.
Every wormhole they studied lived in symbiosis with those around it, tossing out radiation that always emitted a steady constant of a billion variations, tied together in Mobius strips. Each wormhole was a code, an adventure, a variation upon space-time continuums. To study the signatures emitted from each wormhole was to look into a continuous loop of feedback. Each hole existed soley, and to support the existence of other holes, each wormhole fed into each other like a sick game of Snakes and Ladders. It was fucking crazy.
Balthazar tried to maintain a calm upon the deck, tossing bananas. Sir Walter Scott approached him on the prow whilst mayhem pursued below.
“Approaching the captain,” bellowed Sir Walter Scott.
“Good God man, keep your voice.”
“Captain O’ Captain. It has befallen me to address you these very serious facts: One, the wormholes are utterly random systems. Two, no one wormhole can exist without every other single wormhole. Three, I found a backdoor.” The deck fell silent despite the bananas around them.
“Well played, Communications Officer.” Balthazar pointed at the monkey with an authoritative banana. “State your piece.”
Sir Walter Scott continued “It is a narrow margin we must travel, a gamble, perhaps a noble gamble. The wormholes exist as an infinitely connected duality, but our readings indicate a master wormhole of the smaller wormholes surrounding the first, main wormhole. Methinks the word “router” is most apt of the description that I can bestow upon the this sub-master wormhole.”
The unknown danger, the hideous horrors they might face; Spacemonkeys against an unspeakable horrible. Balthazar looked to his men, all of their wise monkey eyes told a story of adventure, adversity, and a great rectitude throughout the stars. The captain, well aware, spoke, “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.”
There was a great “Harumph!”
The laser was aimed, the beam was fired, and the ESS Consul was shot unbeknownst to the router of the wormholes.
To clarify, space and time are not exactly the same in all parts of all of Space and Time; there are variations. Take the intrepid crew of the Consul, they had been both in the future and the past, here and there, but had to (absolutely had to) return to their own space and time, otherwise reference was lost and you just have a bunch of monkeys running around tearing up the fabric of the universe.
The router exists as a flapper valve between space and time, letting one thing slide so that another rule exists written in stone, ignoring the little violations of cosmology so that the big picture does not cease to exist. Also, it exists as a fantastic system of censure so that the smaller forms of life plaguing the infinite planets can’t just run around, as they are prone to doing. The Amdromeda Strain was one of the router’s greatest mistakes.
Anywho down in Whoville, the router was not expecting the Spacemonkeys. Their beam was targeted with such tact, precision and tenacity that it broke through all of the firewalls surrounding the router. The router was naked, quite naked.
“Who Goes There?” boomed a voice with no source, the crew of the Consul finding themselves on a hovering disc of light in an infinite darkness.
Balthazar threw out his chest and twirled his cane. “’Tis only us, wanderers amongst the stars, the Bedouins of space.”
Another deafening roar from nowhere assaulted the monkeys. “Yeah, but how did you get in here? I’m naked, you’re in my room!”
The monkeys turned to Sir Walter Scott, still cowering, covering his ears. He stepped forward, addressing the great Nothing with all of the courage he could muster. “It was I who found a back door, a trapdoor, into this particular wormhole. The path here was wrapped through every wormhole I measured and calculated, a beam-route of such intensity, but hidden with such great care, methought it a trap.”
“You rogue!” Hollered the crew.
The booming continued. “You thought my room a trap.” The booming descended into a girlish titter. “My room! A trap!” The monkeys were left standing on a plate of floating time for several minutes listening to a pubescent laughter. Finally, the voice regained its composure, stood up, and dusted itself off.
“My dear wayward travelers, I am but a router.” The volume had been turned down to a ten. The rampant confusion on those monkey faces must have been sufficient for a degree of conciliation on the part of the router. They were enveloped in a great sigh, then a monumental shuffle, then the words, “Okay, I’ve got a towel on now. Now, what are you doing in the room of a router?”
Again, all monkeys turned to Sir Walter Scott.
“So you are not, in fact, God?” Asked Balthazar, kneeling before the great voice before him.
“Nope. I’ve heard of him though.” An intonation echoed throughout the great emptiness surrounding the plate the monkeys stood upon.
Balthazar looked to his men. Gerard made a hand puppet, the others cowered. Balthazar treaded forward, “Would it be possible to see you, perhaps with our own eyes.”
“Oh yeah, manipulation of lights and gravities is what routers do best.” Suddenly, before the crew was the most beautiful monkey they’d ever seen. “Does this form please you?”
For the first and last time ever, in any space/time line, the crew of the ESS Consul bowed. The glowing monkey form before them was perfect; its brow seamless, its shape ideal. “As you can now see, I am not God,” spake the perfect form.
“I am a router,” the glowing blue monkey roared. “I protect the universes against entropy. I am one of many, and my duty is to battle against the ever-growing threat of chaos. Each assigned to a wormhole, it is our duty to guard over all things, within their space/time.” The Spacemonkeys were still bowing. “I am not worth bowing. Stop that.”
The monkeys stood. Sir Walter Scott was the first to speak, regrettably.
“We are going to the far reaches of the universe. Can you get us there? Do you know any shortcuts? Anything of the sort.”
And with a giggle, the Router threw them into Hell.
Irony aside, it was Sir Walter Scott who fell first into a face. And no monkey could fault him, walking across such a minefield of horror; one step out of place, and one felt the cold scythe of eternity.
The other Spacemonkeys dragged him out, kicked at the skeletal bones reaching for Sir Walter Scott, and saved him from a fate worse than death.
Panting as he recovered, “What kind of devilry have we stumbled upon, my Captain O’ Captain?” inquired Sir Walter Scott, Mercutio holding his shoulders.
Balthazar took a deep breath, this soliloquy would take a minute. “The most wicked devilry is in men, worst within monkeys. We’ve stumbled upon a level of Hell, a level of Hell most benign. We may not be in the worst of places, but none below us shall say, “What lucky fellows.” Yeah, though our mission is blight, we’ve only just began our saunter betwixt the stars. So we do fall upon a space of negligence or victory? But what cripples monkeys more? A fear of Hell, or Hell itself? Is Hell ever-present, neigh I say. Hell is but a construct, an effluvium, an odor best kept outside of the adventurer’s souls. We shall defeat Hell.”
Hell immediately was transformed into a sloping, upward tunnel. The Spacemonkeys crawled and fought for a better purchase, chasing a pinpoint of illumination. Balthazar cried, “Hold!” but they had already chosen their path, their elongated fingers fighting for a powerful grip on each stone. They struggled against the wind and slope of the tunnel, their muscles quivering. Balthazar watched with pride, then started climbing up behind them.
“Long is the way, and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light,” quothe their captain.
Roland fought as long as he could, he fought hard and he fought nobly. From every velvet passageway a new human would approach him, and despite his pleas, despite his call for mercies, they tried to impose a royal tongue upon him. They dragged him through vocal lessons, they slapped him with rulers when he dropped his r’s, but he fought. He refused to let his fine Scottish accent be sullied by his colonial demonic oppressors.
Bartleby fought, but in angst. Hell would not let him climb out but through adversity, so he gathered up and sat. The demons surrounding him offered him pleasures, ecstasies, and gifts. Bartleby did nothing, something the demons surrounding him could not understand. Every temptation offered Bartleby was met with a “I’d prefer not to.”
The beast drew up, revealing its undulating neck. This dragon defied mythology, this was a real dragon, ten stories tall and just as mean. Gerard pulled his sword from his scabbard. He had fought and defeated a dragon before. Like they say, your first dragon is always the hardest.
Simon John was trapped in a plasticine world he could not destroy. Faux real shapes adorned the halls he knew as home, imitations of reality confronted him. A great anger welled up inside of him. He threw up spray paint, he fought the system, he threw up. In the end, his own furry hairs were the things he could not demolish.
They told Mercutio to sit down, and offered him a comfy chair. He danced on the chair, flailing his monkey arms. They asked Mercutio to get into a queue, instead he cut to the front of the line. One of the demons asked very politely for Mercutio to just sit down and shut up, but instead he punched him and asked anybody else if they wanted a Hawaiian Punch or a Hertz Donut.
Sir Walter Scott screamed, and nothing came out. He watched as his crewman were tempted, led into folly, and abused with violations of the natural order. He tried and tried to tell them what to do, but to no avail. He tapped them, poked and prodded at them, but no one could hear what he had to say. A demon tapped him on the shoulder, “I can make them listen to you.” And Sir Walter Scott realized that this was all a test.
And so it was.
Balthazar dragged his comrades through Hell and he let them savor every second of the journey. His knuckles bled, his knees and paws were raw, but still he climbed upward with the prostrate bodies of the monkeys he called crew. Balthazar wept when his fingers bled, ached when a single monkey fell behind, he cried in agony carrying his consorts upon his shoulders. The ropes he used to pulley them over impasses and the will he had both failed, but Balthazar did not. He stumbled onto a blank, obvoid plane, reaching for Spacemonkeys where there were none.
“You are noble.” Rang a voice, reverberating off of the nothing surrounding the plate.
“I am not. I am a Spacemonkey.” Balthazar screamed.
“You are vain.” A boom resonated within the head of Balthazar, “they shall tell the tales of the monkeys carried by you long into the night on many worlds.”
“They will not. I am the Captain of the Earth SpaceShip Consul, Destination Unknown.”
“You are a monkey.” The voice took on a vicious tone, anger present.
“You have been the best sentient beings I’ve had the pleasure of invading my privacy. And the first,” said the router as Balthazar gazed upon its full being. Millions of tentacles, each a googol miles long surrounded the being; an incandescent glorious glowing spectre stood, wrapping one of its space-arm around Balthazar’s shoulder. “If you fail, all this will be brought to ruin.” The router gestured broadly with its other space-arm. “Never stop climbing.”
Balthazar couldn’t help but ask, “Why us?”
The tentacle on his shoulder vibrated with a smile. “Dude, you are a catalyst. You bring chaos with you. Never stop climbing.”
The Spacemonkeys climbed and climbed, finally reaching the exit from the tunnel that had challenged them with all of their miseries, prejudices and fears. The sprang into the open, exalting space; they had reached the surface of Hell. Many demons fell behind them, many bodies lay in their wake. The Spacemonkeys found themselves on a great plain of burning wheat. They sprinted for an exit across the great open. Their monkey legs burned, they deflected arrows, they charged forward. Each step towards the Gate of Hell was well-earned, each step was a step forward and upward.
The Gate of Hell is a massive vestibule, flaming and awful. The stench was enough to justify the name, but the skulls adorning the abutment sealed the deal. On one side lay the time tunnel, on the other were a dozen Spacemonkeys running full tilt, a massive army of Hell’s worst chasing them. Balthazar stopped, planted his pike, and braced for impact. Sir Walter Scott was struck by an arrow, falling to the ground. “Run,” he muttered.
The onslaught was horrible.
Balthazar held his pike at the Gate to Hell.
Escape was the best plan.
Balthazar held the stake, the lone warrior protecting the inside of the Gate Of Hell over the dwindling time tunnel, as wave and wave of Hell’s infantry fell, climbing from death. The Spacemonkeys fought as they ran, shooting rampant arrows from their crossbows, finding solace in one solid stake. Balthazar wiped the gore from his pike, swapping demons for a life of glory. Spacemonkeys did acrobatic jumps into the portal behind him.
“Go, sweet Byron. Run!” Ushered the captain, wiping the blood off of the sword he used for close quarters. Ignorant of the cavalry of Hell approaching, Sir Walter Scott crawled feebly forward.
“Up, monkey!” Balthazar grabbed the wounded Sir Walter Scott by the shoulder with his big old monkey arm and flung him into the puckering time hole.
The vacuum of the time tunnel was consuming the very space around it, when without warrant, out flew a prostrate monkey, hollering, “I don’t even belong here!”
And then the time space portal collapsed, and everything went back to normal.
“Holy Shite, that was close,” said Gerard. The crew of the ESS Consul stared into the infinite wormholes, hoping for a better view. Balthazar sat in his chair on the bridge, a bloody pike in hand.
“Next time, Sir Walter Scott, shut the hell up.”