Alnold, I’m receiving an Inner Space Sub Level 4 Point 254 Relay message from the closest planet.
Thanks, Nebula. Could you pop it onto the screen?
It isn’t a communication message, Alnold. I shall have to read it to you.
OK then, Nebs. Go ahead.
Warning. You are approaching an Algorasmolaplup Defended Planet. ADPs are integral to the trade and wellbeing of all planets within the Molaplup sector. The Algor region takes defence very seriously. The closer you get to this ADP the more stringent our security checks will become. The first stage is a bioscan for lifeforms deemed as hostile. Any hostile lifeforms will be advised they are unwelcome to progress further. Should they then progress to stage two then our secondary defence checks will be invoked. More on this will be provided if stage two is reached. Thank you for approaching the planet Ri. An Algorasmolaplup Defended Planet.
So, the planet’s name is Ri. And they take defence quite seriously, it seems.
Alnold, there is a message on Inner Space Sub Level 4 Point 255 Relay.
Could you read that one as well, then? We may as well gleam as much information as we can while we’re approaching!
Certainly, Alnold. This one appears to be a survey.
A survey? How many questions?
Only three. Shall I proceed?
Yes please, Nebs!
Is your visit for trade purposes, defence purposes or other purposes? For trade purposes press one for defence purposes press two and for other purposes press three.
It’s one, Nebs. Press one!
Done Alnold. Question two: The planet Ri trades in replenishable natural products. For audit purposes and to ensure we have your desired product in stock please enter the catalogue number of the item you are requesting.
Catalogue number? Nebs, just enter a random six-digit number.
Very well, Alnold. I have randomly selected 123456.
Not really very random, but go with it.
Please enter an eight-digit catalogue number.
Enter a random eight-digit number, Nebs. Just put another two at the end.
Alnold, that would make it a seven-digit number.
Eh? No, put another two digits on the end of 123456.
Very well. I will add 78.
Nebula, has your random number generator malfunctioned?
No Alnold. It is working perfectly. Would you like me to send 12345678?
Sigh. Yes please, Nebs.
Very well. They are replying: Sorry, we didn’t get that. Please enter your eight digit catalogue number.
Maybe you took too long to enter it then. Try again, Nebula.
Very well. The number has been submitted. And the reply is: Did you enter 23456789? Press one for yes and two to enter a new catalogue number.
Nebs, press two and then enter the number again.
Press two twice, Alnold?
Nebula, are you malfunctioning? Press 2 and then 12345678.
Very well. I have entered 212345678. They are replying. Sorry. You have entered a nine digit number, where the available choices were either one or two. Please try again.
OK, Nebs, press 2. Press 2.
Press 2 twice?
No, press 2 once!!!
Very well. 2 has been entered. They are replying. Please enter your eight-digit catalogue number. I have entered 12345678. They are paused.
They’re probably realising we don’t have a catalogue.
Success! Your order of bramble beans is in stock. Please approach Ri where you will be security cleared and the Queen of Trade will also contact you upon approach also.
‘Also contact you upon approach also’? I think they need to do something about their automated system!
Alnold, another message is coming in on Inner Space Sub Level 4 Point 256 Relay. Shall I read that one to you as well?
Yes please, Nebs. It’s probably their second security check message.
Very well. Welcome visiting spaceship. I am Queen Braye, I reign over trade here. We’ve surmised that you are not from this region as your technology does not register with our complex systems. We’ve ascertained that you are looking to purchase bramble beans, of which we have plenty in stock. I have granted you priority clearance to land in our Northern Sector, accompanied by the Algorasmolaplup Defence Squadron. Once landed, I will meet you in person. My fellow queens, Queen Allo for defence and Queen Zabara for other, send their apologies for not meeting with you also, but they are away from Ri. The co-ordinates for your landing station have been submitted to your central computerrtrtzzz.
Nebula! Have you fallen asleep? What’s happened?
Zorry about that, Alnold. The planet has overzidden my commands and is drawing us down. Zere is nothing I can do about it as they are controlling me.
Oh dear… things don’t appear to be going well. Will they continue down this particular path? Will Nebula regain control of the ship and herself? Will Alnold be able to get to the planet to obtain his required items? These questions MAY be answered in the next thrilling and most spine tingling instalment.
If you need to know what has happened so far, the previous parts can be found in the Storylines menu. Click HERE!