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They’re Hamsters in Spaaaace!

by on October 3, 2011

The sun was shining bright in a clear sky, beaming down upon the green slopes of the imaginary Prince Edward Island. In a low whitewashed building back of the road, next to a bubbling little brook, a young girl with bright red hair and green-grey eyes was in the act of raising her arm to crack her slate over the head of a boy who had called her by the intolerable epithet of “Carrots.” But then, just before the slate came down as it should have done….then came the asteroid.  A blinding flash of light tore through the wide schoolhouse windows, startling the children as well as the teacher, who was in the back explaining an algebra problem to a nearly graduated student for whom, as the rumor went, he was “dead gone”. Alas, that phrase was about to have a new and terrible meaning.

The children rushed to the windows, just in time to see the fireball descend from the heavens. It was the size of a small mountain, blazing bright, and dropping right towards them. No one had time to say anything. The asteroid slammed right into Prince Edward Island, right about where Windy Poplars stood (that really was the last straw, to quote Rebecca Dew). In a single instant every structure on the island shivered away into matchsticks, and every living soul perished. The shock wave went on, sending mighty tsunamis up and down the North American coast, accompanied by massive earthquakes and a steady shower of dust and steam that would, in combination, plunge the world into a second Ice Age and pretty much ruin everyone’s whole day. Avonlea no longer existed. The island no longer existed. It was pretty fair to say that Canada no longer existed (bummer, eh?).  And far away, in a shining metal ship that wasn’t even part of that universe, a little green alarm began hysterically fweep-ing.

Valentina Viktorovna hadn’t been listening. She’d been rocking out to a CD of the latest hamster punk rock band, Gerbillica. VV, as she was commonly known among the crew, saw the little alarm blinking and flicked a white-furred ear, casual-like. Then she sighed in resignation, as if she were the most put-upon hamster in the world. “Comrade captain,” she said calmly into the ship’s com system. “We have a disturbance in the meta-verse.”

A flurry of excited squeaks erupted. The door to the ship’s cockpit wooshed upon, and there, resplendent in a bright red sash against his golden fur, stood Ferdinand Roderick Marshalham Willingsford the Seventh, Captain of the good ship Dangling Participle.  “Zounds!” he cried. “A disturbance! Verily, we have not had a disturbance in ever so long!”

“Indeed, comrade captain,” VV said. “Such a pity the metaverse did not collapse in upon itself before now so we would have something to do, no?”

“You have no sense of the dramatic,” Ferdinand remonstrated.

“Truly. I weep nightly over it. Meanwhile, comrade captain, the disturbance?”

“Hmph,” Ferdinand grumped. “And once in a while, I do wish you would just call me captain.” He stepped past her and looked at the little green alarm, then at the bright display on the computer viewscreen which indicated the source of the disturbance. “Zounds!” he squeaked once again. “Alas and alack! An asteroid has wiped out Avonlea!”

“A what did the who now?” a twangy voice came from the cockpit door. Becky Jane, a brown-furred woodmouse originally from a dimension that included Texas, strolled in, one paw brushing the plasticianium handle of her lucky laser blaster in an almost loving way.

Ferdinand took a breath. “An asteroid,” he explained very stiffly, “has wiped out Prince Edward Island. It’s in the Montgomery quadrant of the meta-verse. There wasn’t any asteroid in the original story.  The worst thing that happened was World War One, and that wasn’t until book eight.”

“Sucks, y’all,” Becky Jane commented succinctly.

“Yes, comrade weapons officermouse. It does indeed suck.”

“Hey, VV? You ever gonna take that stick outa your”-

“A-hem!” Ferdinand coughed. “We have precious little time. The threads of the meta-verse may yet be repaired. If we can travel back in time before the asteroid hit we might be able to save millions of fictional lives!”

“Word up, y’all.” Becky Jane squeaked. She reached past VV and hit the ship’s intercom. “Hey, Bucklebury! Fire up the danged doohickey and head fer Aviewhatsit!”

A piping, slightly metallic voice came back. “Apologies. Please clarify doohickey and the coordinates for Aviewhatsit.”

VV sighed again and pressed the intercom button. Volebots could be a pain, especially when failing to grasp the nuances of southern weapons-officermice. “Comrade Bucklebury. This is Valentina Viktorovna. Please ready the meta-warp drive coil and set target coordinates for one-nine-zed-eight mark one-five. Engage on command.”

Bucklebury chirped and fweeped, but within seconds it reported that all systems were prepared. VV looked towards Ferdinand, who drew his rapier dramatically. “Engage!” he squeaked.

The Dangling Participle leapt through the space-time-metafic continuum with a flash and a whirm-whirm-whirm. It materialized in a flurry of blue light high above the schoolhouse, in orbit around the planet. The asteroid loomed massively in their viewscream. They had arrived only seconds below impact. Far below, the slate in the girl’s arm was dropping slowly down towards its intended victim’s head.

Becky Jane was in her element. Without even pausing to take orders, she dashed out of the cockpit and to the main laser cannon turret. “WHEEEEE!” she yelled as she blasted away with the lasers, the force of the blasts making the entire ship shake like a shaky thing that shakes. Valentine Viktorovna held the Dangling Participle steady in its orbit, ignoring Ferdinand’s attempts to encourage her by quoting lines from British poetry. It was all over in minutes. The asteroid vanished in a spray of blue plasma. Below, the slate cracked against the boy’s head, and the meta-verse went on as it was supposed to. Ferdinand congratulated his entire crew, all three of them, and then the Dangling Participle warped away into the black, the world of story safe once again.

This story was based on Prompt Thirty-Eight of the Chrysalis Experiment. Also, just to clarify, in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic Anne of Green Gables stories, there wasn’t any asteroid, or space hamsters. Which is for the best, really. 🙂

 

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2 Comments
  1. Hooray! Love it. Of course they’re mice and their space ship is a grammar issue; how silly of me to not expect that. lol.

    Now back to *not* procrastinating…

  2. I miss The Muppet Show….

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