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Three Plus One

by on January 19, 2016

All the otter wanted was to be alone. Fortunately, he had picked the right planet. McKean Three was a watery, soggy, cold rainstorm of a world. It was generally regarded as the most depressing place in five galaxies. Its inhabitants, being enterprising sorts, had set about marketing the planet as the perfect spot for love-lorn souls to come and drown their sorrows in one of the floating island bars that drifted across the turbulent seas. Mr. Stamper had come there for exactly that reason.

He held a grey drink the color of the pounding rain outside. He didn’t bother actually drinking it. It just seemed the thing to have. Stamper stared out the window at the rolling water. He wondered if there was land somewhere down there. An undersea mountain, perhaps. Or maybe it was water all the way down. Stamper wasn’t a scientifically-minded otter, and didn’t really care. There were worse planets in the galaxy on which to contemplate one’s life.

“Yeah,” said a voice behind him. “Like the sludge world of Terseron Prime. That’s not fun at all, let me tell you.”

“Not you again,” Stamper said. “Go away, angel. Now.”

Constance sighed. “Look, I’m sorry about the Ark thing, and about Bianca. I know it went pear-shaped. But, really, we need your help this time.”

The otter had a sudden wild urge to smash through the window and dive headlong into the endless sea. He resisted it, with some effort. “We?”

“Rain and Gaseous Girl and me,” she said. The otter turned. Sure enough, behind the angel stood a tall woman in a purple cape and black Starfleet style boots, and another figure in a sweeping black cloak. “Hi,” the latter said. “I’m Rain. Also known as Death. Nice to meet you.”

“Ah,” Mr. Stamper said. Even he felt just the slightest bit hesitant in the presence of the incarnation of Death. “Rain, you said? You must love this place.”

“Not particularly,” Rain said. She didn’t seem to have noticed the irony at all. Mr. Stamper prudently decided not to push the point.

“Right,” he said, “What do you want now?”

“The Holy Grail,” Constance said, her angel wings fluttering in excitement.

“Not the one you see in Hollywood,” Gaseous Girl added. “The real one. Or so they tell me, anyway.”

“Right,” Constance said. “And we’ve got to have four people on this quest, or it won’t work. And we need someone who’s good at breaking in things and stealing stuff. And, well….”

“You thought of me. Touching.”

“I’m sorry already!”

The otter sighed. He considered diving again. But Constance would probably dive right after him and fish him out. “Every time I try to get away….”

“Yeah, yeah, we pull you back in. Sucks to be you, huh?”

“You have no idea,” Mr. Stamper said. “Fine. I’m in. I don’t imagine you people have a line on where the thing is yet?”

“Don’t look at me,” Gaseous Girl said. “The angel’s the leader. Ask her. I’m just security.”

“Earth, duh,” Constance answered. “Probably in England someplace. Or Jordan. Or maybe…”

The otter cut her off. “Let me save you the trouble. I know where it is. It’s not on Earth.”

The angel’s eyebrows shot up. “Oh REAL-ly. So where is it then?”


This post is a follow-up to Party of Three. Constance, Rain, and Gaseous Girl are recurring characters, and especially Mr. Stamper. Thanks for reading!

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  1. It was time for an otter-worldy quest. Bwahaha!

  2. Poor dear otter

  3. Probably good that the Three aren’t letting Stamper wallow in his depression too long.

  4. Jennifer G. Knoblock permalink

    “He didn’t bother actually drinking it. It just seemed the thing to have.”
    And the Holy Grail on Mars, yes yes yes.

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