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The Dresden Ashes Test of February 1945 has gone down in cricketing history as one of the most hard fought battles in the game. Whatever the Nazi First XI was playing, it just wasn’t cricket. The Allied First XI, having comprehensively lost the first innings, came back to claim a glorious victory in Dresden which set the tone for the rest of that winning season. As you can see the Allies really knew about ashes.

A little bit of mischief by Warrigal; a lot of mischief by the Allied bomber command.

We are heading back to Earth as Gordon has phoned and wants me to give a motivational talk to the Aussie cricket team before the next test. Gordon tells me that they are calling the last win “The MacKillop Test” as a miracle was performed at the SCG so Mother Mary must have done something to get them across the line. Before we leave the Cricketmanistanis leave for Althus 5 to help populate the planet, eleven wives each, but someone’s gotta do it, poor bastards.

On the way back we will be calling in on a planet, well a habitable moon, called Beephard. The Beephardians are famous for there inventions such as the Galactic Telecommunications System which over came all of the obstacles and delays in communicating with spaceships.  I don’t fully understand the science but apparently there are points in space where relay stations are placed and are held in position by opposing gravitational forces. These relays use dark matter somehow so that every message sent is instantly relayed around the galaxy to the intended recipient. Complex fiction at its best. [Authors note: Tongue firmly planted]

The Beephardians love cricket but as there world is so small they only have one main oval. The Beephardians got there name because they go so hard at everything and when they are caught in traffic jams they beep their horns incorrectly thinking that this will somehow magically resolve the obstacle so they can get on with it.

The weather in the bio is perfect at the moment. Belinda and I have our breakfast outside in the courtyard. I see Belinda is reading yet another book. “What are you reading my sweet?” I ask. “It’s a detective story called Foodge about a copper who doesn’t know he’s dead and a private detective who has a penchant for hats and blondes” replies Belinda. Hmmm, sounds different. “Who’s the author?” I push. “I think it’s a guy called E M Jay” Belinda informs. “Never heard of him, anyway I’m off to talk to Henry” I announce. Henry is our navcom and I’m eager to get home and away from any of those T shaped IUD’s that are conceivably floating around trying to prevent me from achieving something.

“Sandy” Henry says sheepishly “Don’t you think that now you are a rebel leader you need some form of name that is fierce and causes fear in the hearts of all comers? I mean Sandy is a bit of a soft on sort of name” Henry bequests. “What like Axelrod the Marauder or something? “ I proffer. “Well sort of” says Henry “but I had something more confrontational in mind like Lord Climate D’Change. It combines science with authority and provokes robust community debate. If unleashed it could give you the drum. What do you think Sandy?”. “Do I get to wear a hat, medals and braids?” I joke. “If you like” says Henry.

We approach Beephard and Belinda and I get ready to teleport to the surface. Henry calls on the intercom “Sandy, something’s wrong, our usual contact is not answering. Atmosphere is normal and grav is 0.9. I smell trouble.” “Henry, you’re a computer for zark sake how can you smell anything?” I assert “Anything is possible is space Sandy er um Lord Climate” says Henry. “Oh for zark sake my name’s Sandy” I half volley.

Belinda and I beam to the surface. We are confronted with devastation. A small group of people are milling around the square that has a cricket pitch on it. The buildings are in ruins and looks like they have been recently bombed. The scoreboard is showing none for 105 so a game must have been going on prior to the bombing. We approach an old man who appears to be mortally wounded. “Old man, old man, what in blazes happened?” “The ICCB. Hadn’t paid our fees for this game, bombed the crap out of us but look who cares are you any good at bowling? We need some wickets.”