So, here we are, out in deep space. We have left the Milky Way and are on our way to Andromeda, to a planet called Missen. Belinda and I spent last night in the Cruel Room getting acquainted with our destination. For those of you new to The Father O’Way Chronicles, the Cruel Room resides in the Manor. When you sit on the chairs the walls, floors and ceilings disappear and the computer simulates the surrounding space outside the ship so you feel as though you are sitting on the ships hull. At first it’s spooky but you get used to it and it becomes fun.
Our contacts on Missen are Hardy Cocksure and his long time girlfriend Pussy Couscous. Hardy and Pussy run a cricket competition on the island of Flong which is in the southern hemisphere of Missen. Rumour has it that the island is called Flong because it’s long and narrow and the first people to arrive, got off the boat and mumbled “This is a effing long island” hence Flong however another theory has been postulated that Flong is the sound of a partly decomposed bean hitting porcelain.
I call Neville, the navcom, to make sure he knows where he is going “Neville respond” I say authoritatively into the intercom. “Neville here Lord Climate” says Neville. “Neville, do you want a route?” I ask casually. “I beg your pardon” replies an indignant navcom, “Did you say a root?” “Yes Neville, a route” I reply in rather annoyed tone, feeling that this conversation is going nowhere. “Well Sandy, I mean, I hardly know you plus this man on man thing is not really for me”. Oh, for zark sake, has this navcom got the stupid gene or what? “No, not a root as in having sex with, a route as in, you know, directions?” I assert. “Sorry Sandy but I’m blushing at the moment and no I don’t want a ro.., er, directions” Gees, that’s all I need, a navcom that doesn’t have a body who blushes, space, never ceases to amaze.
It will take weeks to get to Missen so Belinda and I head off to the snowfield for a holiday. Jilligan picks us up from the river port in the S.S. Nimmow. GO, the artist droid, comes along as he wants to paint some pictures of the mountain range and Helvi, well, she’s our body guard. It’s a cold morning in the bio and mist is rising off the river as we head upstream. The river generates the electricity to run the ship so once it starts flowing the ship remains powered indefinitely.
After a scrumptious breakfast on the deck we head inside as we approach one of the tubes. After last time I don’t feel like being knocked unconscious. The tubes are made of a clear material and connect the bios together. The new Nimmow is bigger and more streamlined and seems more powerful. “This seems faster Jilligan, has it got a new motor?” I ask semi-interestedly. “Certainly has” says Jilligan “Come below and I’ll show it to you” Oh shit, why does everyone assume that just because you are a bloke that you will be interested in motors? “This is called the BEAN engine Sandy, beautiful hey?” Well no, only to the mentally challenged, which clearly Jilligan meets the essential criteria and another zarking acronym. Putting on my watching-paint-dry voice I ask the obvious “BEAN Jilligan, what’s that mean?” “Well Sandy” launches Jilligan, just like a little school kid that gets one to many Easter eggs “BEAN stands for Bean Emissions Accelerator Nexus. See you put a 420 can of Heinz Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce in here, then super bugs from the MBL break the beans down, the gas is then connected in a series to the turbine which then blows it out the back passage” grins Jilligan, sort of mocking but not quite. Hmmm, blowing gas out the back passage after digesting beans, somehow I know what the designer was thinking. “MBL, now hang on we are not letting baseball take over in this book old chum” I state “No Sandy, MBL stands for Mythical Biological Laboratory”. Complex fiction indeed.