THIS IS AN AUTOMATED INTRUDER ALERT FOR THE UNIVERSAL CRUISESHIP, EXPANSION.
AN INTRUDER HAS BEEN DETECTED WITHIN THE GARDEN OBSERVATION LEVEL ON THE TOP FLOOR.
AUTOMATIC PROTOCOLS HAVE SEALED ALL ENTRY AND EXIT POINTS TO THE AFFECTED LEVEL.
COMMUNICATION CHANNELS TO THE AFFECTED LEVEL ARE OPEN.
INTRUDER, PLEASE REMAIN STILL AND CALM AND A MEMBER OF OUR CREW WILL BE WITH YOU SHORTLY.
“Almond… are you receiving me? Under? This is Nebula on the Expansion. Please respond, Almond. The ship has been infiltrated.” No reply came back from Alnold’s communicator. Nebula tried something else. “Hello. Please state your name.”
“My name is Spiler Dobe. Who are you? Where are you? Where am I?” The man in the Medic Bay sat up on the edge of his bed.
“You are aboard the Universal Cruiseship, Expansion, Spiler Dobe, in our Moonlight Bay. We rescued you, and kept you sedated here whilst you revered. My system is slightly malfunctioning, so some words come out incorrectly. Our Captain, Almond Kahh is currently off-ship, on a vital mushroom. I am Nebula, the ship’s computer. Unfortunately, our ship has been boarded by an unknown visitor in the garden centre on the top floor. The area has been automatically wheeled, but I need you to go to the floor to comfort the intruder.”
“You want me to comfort the intruder? Me? Now? Naked? Do you mean confront?” Spiler peeled off a pad that connected him to a console on the wall. The console flashed red briefly, then changed to green.
“That is what I said. There are clothes in the clipboard at the foot of the bed. They are your size as your measurements have been intimately recorded.” Nebula announced over the comms system.
“I don’t suppose I could have anything to eat first?” Spiler’s stomach rumbled.
“You may eat food later. You are awfully nourished, I have made certain of that whilst you have been sedated. Now please. Leave the Moonlight Bay and walk along the corridor. A hover lift will take you directly into the garden centre. You must leave now.”
“Pruck! Give me time to get dressed first! How long have I been asleep for anyway?”
“You must go NOW!”
Spiler quickly put the clothes on from the cupboard exactly where Nebula said they would be. Everything fit perfectly. He walked to the door of the Medic Bay, which opened automatically. Nebula lit the wall lights which showed Spiler the way to the hover lift. He stepped into the lift, and swiftly travelled up to the top layer of the ship. In the centre of the Garden Observation Level he saw a red-skinned man with a tail, facing away from him. The man turned quickly as Spiler stepped out of the lift.
“Greetings!” The man said. “I mean you no harm. I’m here looking for an artefact, which is of great importance to me. It must be around here, as this is where I’ve been transported to. Would you be able to help me find it?”
“I doubt it.” Spiler said. “I’ve never been here before. I don’t know where here is. This is the first time I’ve seen this ship, and I’ve been asked to confront you.”
“Confront me? My dear chap, there’s no need for that. As I said, I mean you no harm. My name is Mr Sinster, and I’m merely on a quest to find the Smoked Mirror of Al.”
“So you come to a greenhouse looking for a mirror?” Spiler looked around at all the plants and lights. Some of the surfaces on the walls and tables were reflective, but not mirrors. “Is there somebody called Al upon this vessel?”
“Spiler, there is only yourself aboard, apart from the intruder.” Nebula spoke through the walls. Mr Sinster spun around to see where the voice was coming from.
“Has there been somebody called Al upon this vessel?” Spiler realised he needed to ask his questions in a certain way. “What do you mean there’s only me on board?” He realised what Nebula said.
“The captain is Almond Kahh. He is currently off-ship on a vital mushroom.” Nebula replied to his first question, but not the second.
“Yes… you said that earlier,” Spiler said. “I didn’t understand it then, and I don’t now, but never mind. Would he come into this part of the ship?”
“As the only member of crew upon the Cruiseship, he would come into this section. He adventures to every section.”
“So, somewhere amidst these plants could be Almond’s mirror… or Al’s mirror. The Mirror of Al…” Spiler looked at the plants, some looking more familiar than others. He noticed one with smoky-green-looking leaves by the window. He walked over and looked out into the stars. There were millions of them, but no sign of a planet. “Nebula, I thought you said the captain was off the ship… but where?”
“He’s on the plant below the ship. It is not visible from the viewports at the top of the ship.”
“Mr Spinster, could you come over here please?” Spiler turned to see a puzzled Mr Sinster already standing behind him. Spiler handed over a metallic card from the soil the plant was growing in.
“It’s Mr Sinster, my friend, but never mind. It is awfully confusing around here tonight.”
“It is 2:30 in the afternoon.” Nebula announced through the communications channel.
“So why is it so dark outside?” Mr Sinster asked. Even more puzzled.
“We are in the depths of space, Mr Sinster.” Nebula replied coolly.
Mr Sinster looked at the metallic card. Rare Smoked Mirror Flower from Camnag, it read. He touched a leaf on the plant, and vanished, with the plant, through an bright orange light.
“He must have transported to a nearby ship, Nebula. Or the planet below. Do you have a way of checking?” Spiler looked at the empty space where the plant had been. Nebula remained silent.
“Nebula… are you there?”
A burst of static crackled through the intercom system.
“You may come to rescue Alnold Kahh now if you wish, but you must bring a ship. I have claimed Alnold’s as my own.” The static returned.
“That was Queen Braye on the plant below. Spiler, it appears you already have another mission.” Nebula burst back into life. “I can fly you down to the planet.”
“Before breakfast?” Spiler already knew the answer.
“You are awfully nourished, Spiler. Follow the lights where you can put on your protective amulet suit, and then I shall guide you to the shuttleships. Then your next mission can begin.”
“There’s no rest around here!” Spiler muttered, as he did what Nebula requested.
Previous parts of this year’s Halloween special can be accessed through the links below.
Previous parts of the Space… There’s A Lot Of It! storyline can be found here.
I’m having to take a break away from blogging, so will reply to comments upon my return. I’ve scheduled the final part to this story to appear on Halloween. Take care until I return.