In May of 1243, a Belgian monk named Hybobolus Clune made an announcement. He declared that the most precious thing in the Universe is a way of life. For Zardonians, fighting is their way of life, a thing they love dearly.
‘Martina, not down that way, down this way, follow me’.
‘Kev, you’re gonna end up getting us lost again’
The mission to rescue Billy and Faf did not begin well. For Martina, it involved following Kevin as he darted about randomly opening doors on a spaceship. For Kevin, it involved getting lost, and pretending he wasn’t.
They were some way along a large white corridoor that lead away from the landing deck. Kevin was insisting they make a 180 degree turn, for the third time in a row. He stopped suddenly and scratched his chin.
‘Uh Martina, we need to get hold of some weapons before we go any further, I’m pretty sure there’ll be an armoury near the launch deck’.
‘Ah Kev, will can we just concentrate on finding Faf and Billy like Gerry told us’
‘Nobody tells me what to do, I do whatever I want’
Martina bit her lip.
‘Fine, whatever you say Kev …in that case can you just concentrate on doing the thing that you want to do that Gerry asked you to do?’
Before Kevin could reply a wave of noise rattled from somewhere the distance.
Clank. Thrrung. Clank.
‘Martina, you know well it’s be impossible for me to want to do anything that came out of that fella’s head, and I’ll tell ya why, because he’s a dickhead’.
‘Jesus, will ya whisht, that noise came from where we landed, the alien fighters must be back’.
‘You see, what did I tell ya Martina, we shoulda got hold of some weapons when we had the chance’.
‘Take it easy Kev, they don’t know where we are yet’.
The corridor echoed with the sound of footsteps, heavy and fast. Kevin and Martina looked around for somewhere to hide. Before they could move the spaceship rumbled, and was plunged into darkness.
‘Martina, have ya still got the lighter with ya, I can’t see a thing’.
‘Ssssh, will ya -they’ll hear us’
‘typical, I bet those fuckers can see in the dark’
‘Will ya just shutup Kev’
What happened next happened very quickly. For Martina and Kevin it involved pain. For the Zardonians it involved attempting to contain two intruders.
Kevin found himself forced onto the ground. It was pitch black but he connected with two hard punches while on his back. This bought him enough time to run. The problem with running at full pelt in the dark is that when you eventually meet an object there is never any warning. The wall suffered little or no damage, but Kevin was left unconscious.
When Kevin woke up, it was at the end of a large room. The lights were back on and he was alone. The room was filled with carefully stacked crates.
He opened one. It was loaded with weapons. Despite the urgency of his situation, Kevin lost himself to a moment of profound reflection.
It was a realization that he could have easily cleared zero tolerance, but fate, and the game’s time limit, had stepped in. A realization that his purpose in life went far beyond sub basement level fifty seven. This was his destiny. Only he didn’t believe in destiny. What he believed in was his ability to take the weapons from the box and use them to clear every level of the mothership.
Martina absorbed several heavy blows before being lifted, carried, and thrown into a featureless room. The lights had come back back on. She had expected torture, but the Zardonians had left – only 50% of their mission was complete.
Martina’s hands shook as she begn sticking cigarette papers together.
‘So much for friendship’ she muttered.
She placed a line of buds into the papers.
‘I hope they catch ya and batter ya Kev’, she yelled.
Martina rolled the papers together and lit the joint.
‘Can anyone hear me?’
She took a long drag and scanned the metal walls enclosing the room.
‘If anyone’s listening, I think I’m gonna need a tin opener to get out’
Smoke drifted across the room.
‘Martina?, is that you shouting in there?’
‘I knew I could smell grass, thank God it’s you -where the fuck did ye get to? I’ve been looking for ye for ages’
‘Faf, I’m trapped, can you see a way in?’
A door opened in one of the walls and Faf appeared in it.
‘How’d ya manage to get yourself stuck in here?’
Faf stopped and stared when he saw Martina properly. She had earned cuts and bruises from her time with a Zardonian defence squad. She had also gained a wide eyed expression of terror.
‘Jesus, what happened to ya, are you okay?’
‘I, I dunno Faf, I think I’m okay, me and Kev were attacked by the aliens, I think Kev escaped, or ran away, and Pa and Gerry went off to find the control room, they took the van with them, and there’s an alien in the back of it, and Sandra is off fighting archanons up on Corran hill …one of my feet is very sore, and I think the human race is done for’
‘Fucking hell, that’s a busy morning -did ye spot a toilet?’
‘Erm, uh, no, I don’t think so …have you been looking for one all this time?’
‘Ah, well, sort of, I couldn’t find one and had to give up, anyway, it doesn’t matter, sure it’s the aliens own fault for not putting signs up …Gerry who?’
‘Uh, Gerry Mc Loughlin ;he’s helping us now, he’s going to make the spaceship paranoid’
‘Gerry Mc Loughlin, is that the lad who cleared zero tolerance?’
‘Yeah, him, listen Faf, we should get moving, the aliens could come back any minute’.
‘Oh right so, wait a minute, why is Gerry Mc Loughlin going to make the spaceship paranoid?’
‘I’m not sure, he reckons it’ll stop the aliens destroying Earth, I’m sure he knows what he’s up to, come on, we need to go, have you seen Billy?’
‘For fuck sake Faf …Billy the rant, you travelled into outer space with him’
‘Oh Billy, yeah, erm, no, I thought he was with ye’
The sound of an alarm blasted through the ship.
It was followed footsteps echoing towards them.
‘They must be coming back, we need to go’
Martina was on her feet and outside the room faster then she said the words. Faf followed her. They were barely out of sight of the room when Martina grabbed faf and dived into another one.
It was a good move. Dozens of armed aliens clattered by outside.
‘Where d’ya reckon they’re all going?’
‘Sssh’, shushed Martina.
‘Wherever they are off to, it’s not somewhere I’d like to be’.
‘Will ya just shut up’
Faf couldn’t stay silent for long.
‘I think we should probably stay put for a bit’
he waited for Martina to agree, and when she didn’t he answered himself.
‘Yeah, that’s the best move, things sounds hectic out there, and the landing deck could be miles away …here is a lot closer’.
‘Closer to what Faf?’
‘I dunno, to where we are I suppose’.
Martina snuk a look out the door to make sure there was nothing there, and turned back angrily.
‘What is wrong with ya? An army of aliens just ran by and you’re in here rabbiting shitetalk, ya might as well run out to that corridor and invited them in for a chat, it’s pure chance we’re both still alive’
‘Martina, are you okay?, you sound stressed?’
‘Of course I’m not fuckin okay, I’m stuck on a spaceship with you …and an army of aliens, and Ballyfarnon has been vapourized, and Billy’s the rant went off with my stereo’
Faf shook his head.
‘Martina, you’re freaking out, give me the white widow, I might as well skin up, we could be here for a while’
Martina handed Faf the materials, and he began rolling a joint.
Thrup. An explosion echoed throughout the ship.
Faf lit the joint and handed it to Martina, who took a drag, and slunk down against the wall facing the door.
They sat quietly smoking. Machinery rumbled somewhere below, and was followed by more explosions. Rattatatta. Thrup.The sounds were loud, but distant.
‘Wait a minute lads’, said Faf suddenly, ‘…what time is it?’
‘about half past ten, hard to tell up here, isn’t it’
‘Shit …fuck it’
‘I’m gonna miss Magnum PI’
Martina coughed ‘Jesus ya loaded that joint Faf …fair play’
‘ya know what, come to think of it, this place reminds me of the episode when Magnum gets shot’
‘Were there aliens in it?’
‘No, but he was trapped in a big warehouse, and thought he was dead’.
Martina began rolling another joint.
‘Ya do know Magnum PI is not real, anyway, I don’t get it, how does that remind you of this’
‘ah, just, you know …he couldn’t get back to Earth either’
Martina stopped what she was doing and stared directly at Faf.
‘What exactly are you saying to me, do you think we’re dead?’
‘No, I don’t. well, maybe, a little bit, you know, it’s a bit strange’
Martina continued rolling as Faf spoke.
‘I mean, if you think about it, it’s a lot like what happened to Magnum …for example, there’s no toilet’.
Martina lit the joint, took a quick drag, and passed it on
‘it’s an alien spaceship Faf, on a mission to destroy Earth …they probably didn’t figure they’d need to provide one’
‘Ya might be right, still and all, it’s a bit suspicious’
‘Whisht, I hear something’
A dull thud echoed from below. It was followed by another, and then another. The noise was distant, but the whole room shook each time it sounded.
Martina crept towards the door.
‘What are those creatures up to now?’
‘They’re either building something, or else that sound is a weapon …maybe they are building a weapon?’
‘not that noise, I’m sure I heard a van’
Faf and Martina listened for several long minutes. The ship’s alarms were punctuated with the distant sound of weapons fire. Every now and then heavy footsteps clattered past outside, but there was no van.
Martina was first to break from the vigilance.
‘So …what happened to Magnum Faf, how did he get out of the warehouse?,
‘He visited his friends in a dream …and then came back to life, at least he must have …he was grand at the start of the next episode’
‘sure that’s no use to us, wait, I hear it again’
‘Ah Martina, ya must be hallucinating, there’s nothing familiar to be heard in that racket …not unless ya go and convince yourself there is’.
Faf handed the end of the joint to Martina.
‘Come to think of it, hat could have been what happened to Magnum’
Martina finished the joint and stubbed it out on the floor.
‘I don’t think we’re going to make it back’
‘Maybe it wasn’t a dream at all, Magnum’d just lost so much blood that his mind was playing tricks’
Martina rolled her eyes.
‘You know what, Magnum must’ve been rescued by his mates, only they didn’t have time to show it on the telly’
‘for fuck sake Faf, you’re talking about this fella like he’s a personal friend, his shenanigans don’t make one bit of difference to our situation, will ya just shut the fuck up.
The room ,and everything outside of it, went briefly quiet.
‘Sorry, I didn’t mean to snap at ya, this whole thing is freaking me out’
‘It’s fine Martina, if you’re not allowed to throw the head when aliens are trying to destroy Earth, when are ya’
‘Thanks Faf, it’s just that earlier on I thought it was fate that I was able to warn ye about the invasion, and, well …Kevin’s plan seemed to be working, but now I’m not so sure’.
The distant thuds became a steady rhythm, and the ship rattled with every pulse.
‘Magnum must’ve been rescued by his mates, only they didn’t have time to show it on the telly’
Martina made her way back over to the door.
‘Faf’, she said, ‘if you could live your life again, …would either of you have chosen a different way, a different story …have ya any regrets?’
‘Uh, I wish I’d brought a camera …the view from out the window on the landing deck was pure class’
‘No, I don’t mean just this evening …I meant over your whole life’
Bdrrang, Thrung. Craack.
‘what was that? That doesn’t sound like the aliens.’.
They listened carefully. Hidden amongst all the background noise was the sound of a car horn. Following it came the crunch of metal scraping metal, and a car horn.
‘Is it getting nearer or farther away Faf?’
‘sounds like it’s turning around to me’
The turning around involved more loud crunches. They were followed by the sound of Gerry McLoughlin. His sounds complained loudly about bad driving.
‘come on Faf, we need to move, hiding here won’t save the world …or ourselves’.