In the year 624 of our intergalactic expansion over lesser life forms.
The thrill of war surged through Ensign Fare Frenins' body.
There were reasons to go to war. There always are. However, Ensign Frenin didn’t care one lick about what any of them were. Sure they were probably rationalized and some very intelligent men in some very small rooms in some very secret places thought up some extremely clever ways to link all the things they wanted to link together to make the reasons for the intergalactic war worthwhile. Not that First lieutenant Frenin wished to defecate all over any of their hard work, but at this moment, it was the farthest thing from his mind. He zinged through the atmosphere of the planet before him with a payload of explosives strapped to his buttocks not unlike a frog tied to a Finale Rack. Who needs rationales at that point.
As each of Frenins' regiment hit the ground, he found himself rising in the ranks of the military through their expiration. Fare could figure that by the time he hit the ground, he would have made the rank of Chief Admiral.
So Fare salivated and drooled upon himself in glee, as the intoxicating adrenaline rushed through his body. His mind became a sort of metaphorical conscious mush focused on victory as the swarming forces of the Sleevian armies below him came closer into sight.
Second Lieutenant Frenin.
He made Major. He involuntarily wet himself as planet side came within
meters of him and his ship.
Gunnery Sergeant Frenin.
Lieutenant Colonel Frenin
Brigadier General Frenin
Major General Frenin.
There weren’t many more ships left in the air now.
Lieutenant General Frenin
Sergeant General Frenin
One more to go.
Close but no cigar.
Much to Sergeant General Frenins' dismay, his payload was without a wick. The impotence of his chariot didn’t seem to phase the now wild eyed and maddened war hound as his ship smashed into the ground on a dull note.
He watched and listened to the bombastic symphony. KRAKATHOOM! BOOM! KATHOOM! FATHOOM! ………THUD
After a moment, he found this very disconcerting.
However, he had inadvertently smashed into the center of a large Sleevian terrain weapon, and left the smoldering bodies of his enemies strewn for some distance. This fact moved him past melancholy, but he was still perturbed that he was not a successful kamikaze pilot. He shrugged it off, as he did all little things, and put his mind to razing the hordes of the arrogant alien Sleeve who dared to oppose the basic fundamental idea of intergalactic progress and general greatness that he and his planet stood for.
It was a war that had raged for more than 500 years, and he wasn’t in any hurry to see it end. He never even set his mind to such nonsense. None of the planned attacks were meant to be of any real seriousness in the overall scheme of war waging. Sixteen different systems the war stretched across; still it expanded. Of course if you asked anyone from his home system, or anyone traveling light-years abroad, they’d all surely praise planet Urth as victor. And as had been the slogan for countless centuries prior, “The deviant Sleevian hordes are almost all but vanquished!” Then they’d hail the efforts of their heroes. The kind of men who really had no talents other than the uncanny ability to beat things to a pulp.
This was ideal for them.
Fame, Recognition, beating the tar out of things. Besides the fact It wasn’t detrimental if you didn’t attend schooling for the field either. Sure, it didn’t hurt, made you a bit more effective, efficiency saved time, and time is money. Saving time was economical, which was good, but not altogether necessary for the job.
So Gunnery Sergeant Frenin never entertained the notion of winning or losing. What would he do with himself if his side should win? Peace wasn’t an option, it wasn’t profitable, so the only logical conclusion, is that they’d have to find a new enemy to fight; Of course.
He was not pleased in the slightest by the idea of this. Having to learn a whole new strategy, adapting to a whole new environment. All that, and he knew his enemy so well. Besides, he did so enjoy the sound shooting a Sleevian with a high gauge concussive projectile makes.
It was the most exquisite sound he thought:
First thing Rooster Gresham discovered this morning, was there was no more silicone based transmogrifying gel in his BASTE™ breakfast dispenser. Since he found his stomach rumbling in acidic agony, he was forced to forego the unfertilized fowl egg yokes with a side of severed mammal muscle tissue wrapped in intestinal tract casings, and instead presented with a repugnant concoction that dripped from the spigot of his BASTE™ dispenser when he pressed the button.
Mm, unfertilized fowl egg yokes with a side of severed mammal muscle tissue wrapped in intestinal tract casings. The very idea made Rooster Gresham’s mouth water.
The BASTE™ dispenser quickly announced “UNIT 2C15 is currently off line. Appliance Support is on its way. You are # 347 in line. Thank you for your patience.”
Rooster attempted to smell the cup of sludge, considering its ingestion. “Ugh.”
The smell of toenail clippings from the sludge must of kick started his brain, because he recalled an old model G&E Insta-Meal™ residing somewhere in his resident compartment. Upon rummaging his closet and under his sleeping quarters, Rooster discovered the G&E Insta-Meal™ processor. Upon powering the processor on, it chugged and made a dissonant alarm sound.
Rooster plugged his nostrils and chugged the concoction from his BASTE™ dispenser.
He then headed for his ITECH INTRA-LOCK™ air lock to begin his work day.
Rooster entered and stepped into his PSEUDO-AIR™ pressure suit. He began to psyche himself into making the walk to Work Station 5. From there he’d be on field duty today. Unfortunately for Rooster as soon as he put his foot into his PSUEDO-AIR suit, he realized that Cobalt (his pure bred three headed feline with specially ordered lizard traits) had obviously, and rather surprisingly at the same time gone to the bathroom at some point in the suits boot compartments.
Without any other recourse, Rooster trudged on in the PSUEDO-AIR suit and shut the glass door to his ITECH INTRA-LOCK™ de-pressurization unit. He cursed Cobalt and cursed his job along the way. It wasn’t that he even liked the job much, but he certainly didn’t hate it. That’s the only thing that kept Rooster going day to day.
As he opened the main air lock from his compartment to the outer wall, a service entrance that enabled him to reach Work Station 5 at 0.3 miles outside the colony wall, there was a whir and a hiss and then a click.
Typically, there would be a whir, a hiss, and a pop. The second time, he still got a click. After the forth click, Rooster started to lose his patience as the smell that permeated his only PSEUDO-AIR™ pressure suit made his stomach feel foul. Just before the sixth click, Rooster nudged the door with his right shoulder.
As he did so, the door opened, and Roosters entire collection of SUNNY BONGO and the SPACE CADETTES swept past him and into the shimmering white sands of Legerdemain.
Also past him went his credit bills from the table, one hanging plant, and his 300 credit fashion jacket.
He stretched through the port hole as his personal effects blew past him fighting the intense abdominal pains that came with instantaneous pressurization. Commonly referred to as the bends.
Whoosh! His new pair of shoes juggled past him and out the porthole.
His fingers frantically working for the latch handle.
Whoosh! His encyclopedia collection, from Z to J shot in an array out of the porthole as he shut the door on part of I, stuck in the door jam between Interdict and International Law.
First of all, its necessary to explain in a little detail what exactly happened to cause this event. You see, firstly, it is part of the programming of a ITECH INTRA-LOCK™ air lock de-pressurization unit, to seal off the room behind an individual, and the pressure is then to be adjusted to equal that of the pressure of planet side.
When a door does Whir, hiss and click, that is a signal that the glass hatch sealing off the personal compartment to the ITECH INTRA-LOCK™ de-pressurization unit is not properly sealed. It also just so happens it had never occurred before in Roosters presence that the door would not seal. So it was completely alien to Rooster when the door did indeed whir, hiss and click.
Another important detail is, that while Rooster was so preoccupied with Cobalt’s gift, compounded with every other event of the morning, he had not been paying attention to the green light/red light smart LCD that signals whether or not the hatch is sealed.
It should also be noted that the amount of force applied by Roosters entire body against the ITECH INTRA-LOCK™ air lock door, was considerably more than a nudge, perhaps even against his comprehension. It was not to Roosters benefit to ignore the instruction manual that was introduced with the ITECH INTRA-LOCK™ air lock door, because on Data File 9, third paragraph from the bottom, it clearly states:
YOUR ITECH INTRA-LOCK™ Air Lock Door SHOULD AT NO TIME BE FORCED OPEN.
So as these chain of events whirred, hissed, and popped in Roosters head, he lay reeling on the floor doubled over in exquisite pain.
Colors he had never seen danced before his eyes. They were a vibrant mauve, purple, and summer green.
Luckily for Rooster, the ITECH INTRA-LOCK™ system was designed to determine when such an event has occurred. It quickly began working as an Iron Lung to prevent Rooster from any permanent harm or severe internal damage.
Rooster passed out from the pain in his abdomen shortly after he shut the ITECH INTRA-LOCK™ air lock door.
He awoke nearly 4 hours late for work. When he attempted to call in to the Shift Manager, he was neither believed concerning his predicament, or paid for the 4 hours he was incapacitated. In fact, he was informed his salary would be docked and that fees would be applied to cover the cost of the effort and time it took to dock his salary.
Legerdemain is the fourth planet from the sun Qat, in the Nyame Nebulous. Legerdemain has a peculiar surface. The shifting sands of the plains are a fine white crystalline. Formed by millions of years of volcanic activity under an ocean surface, mild boiling water temperatures created giant white mineral spirals to form in the depths as the ocean began to evaporate.
The lack of water on the planets surface cause radical and horrendous weather patterns. A thin atmosphere exists due to chemical reactions in the minerals with the ultra violet radiation from nearby Qat. It is because of the thin atmosphere and the glass like minerals that light is scattered and refracted here.
This is how Legerdemain earned its name. Because of these conditions, an object five feet dead ahead of an individual, can appear twelve feet off to the far right, or far left. It is not unlike the conditions of water on Urth. A fish under the water is never exactly where the human eye places it to be. Many a pioneer lost his mind here on Legerdemain, or died of starvation. Weeping in desperation as his supplies appeared to be miles off in the distance when they were merely a few feet from his person.
It is the Pryers who suffer the same effects. The usual length of service of an individual in the Pryers is roughly 16 earth weeks. The individual is then given leave and enrolled in extensive recreational events. The Pryers is the name given to the janitorial class of the Legerdemain colony.
The basic job description is as such: Each shift the Pryers, completely suited, exit the city and retrieve from the local Work Station their Autoclave. Heading to their designated work area and begin cleaning the troublesome barnacle like Sleevians from the walls of the Colony’s outer shell.
The Sleevians were so named for their strange appearance. An invertebrate retained inside a hard shell. It is not known whether or not these Sleevians pose a threat to the colony walls or if they’re even intelligent enough to comprehend the situation at hand, so it is the duty of the Pryer to extract the creature using steam, with minimal harm.
Considering the Legerdemain colony is still relatively new to the planet, only in the 35th year of our intergalactic expansion over lesser life forms, the colonial council had deemed some time ago in its charter that it would be just bad manners really to eradicate a species because it was simply a nuisance.
Besides, eradication had been the preferred method of dealing with nuisances for more than seven thousand years on Urth, and it inevitably came back to bite everyone in the colloquial rear end.
The Pryers, in full PSUEDO AIR™ regalia, looked similar to a young child whose mother had over bundled him for the first snaps of winter. The top of the head, the chest, the thighs, fore arms and calves consisted of a hard blue plastic shell. The neck, joints, and waist exposed the bunchy white material designed to give maneuverability to the worker.
Rooster twinged as ruminations of the malodor of Cobalt's indiscretion was still very pungent. He refused to let it keep him off the job though.
Bumbling to his assigned work area Rooster assessed his section of the wall. Because of the mirage effect of the planets atmosphere, Pryers did a general sweep of their wall section starting from the lower right hand corner up towards the top left-hand. The Autoclave used a magnetic adhesion system, designed by MAGNO MARK Int. to scale the walls of the Colony. All in all, a job per designated area, took roughly nine hours not including breaks.
Rooster started up his Autoclave. It sputtered and hissed. The wall of the colony collected the steam in a wash pattern, and then the discoloration dispersed. The autoclave then made a thump, and the power went off. Rooster hoisted the Autoclave to his chest, looked at the underside, and then started it up again. The steam compartment hesitated and sputtered. It began to hum into action and it gave Rooster no further trouble.
Fare sat atop his damaged payload. His right arm severely fractured, limp to his side. In his left hand, he awkwardly held the high gauge concussive projectile cannon. Sleevian foot soldiers snaked their way across the battlefield, rounding the mound of dirt from Fares' impact.
Fare laughed with maniacal glee. Each shot sent him off balance, as he rocked
back and forth in a controlled dance of violent frenzied glee.
In the distance, he saw the Sleevian horde. He shot high and watched as the Sleevian shells flew into the air upon impact. From his vantage point, he was untouchable. He enjoyed nothing better than beating things to a pulp.
He razed their terrain weapons with his endless energy based artillery. For the time it took his high gauge concussive projectile cannon to recharge, the Sleevians were no farther than a hundred feet from the front line of bloodshed.
Fare wondered between SPLAT’s, that if you cracked open a Sleevians spindly legs would there be meat inside? He imagined it would taste fine in a melted emulsion of water and milk proteins with a matrix of 80% lard. Mighty fine indeed!
Fare watched as the Sleevian forces ceased their advent. He looked quizzically, into the queer display in the distance, setting his high gauge concussive projectile cannon face down on top of his payload between his legs, and resting his left arm over the butt of the device.
“HUH” he spurt.
There were only twelve Sleevians upon the south wall facing the wastelands this shift. Rooster was content with that. It wasn’t unusual in a single shift to have as many as fifty six Sleevians, even on top of each other, mounted on the wall. It was never very clear what drew the Sleevians to the wall. It didn’t appear that they fed on the metal. It was postulated by the scientific community within the colony that perhaps they were attracted to the shiny exterior, or perhaps they used the metal to concentrate and absorb a larger amount of ultra violet light. Not a single specimen had ever been inspected. When they were steamed off the wall, the Sleeves shot straight off into the air, made a sort of buzzing sound and their back ends blew up like a helium balloon as they landed softly upon the sands, and disappeared snaking off into the mirage of mineral spires.
Three Sleevians had already been pried off the wall. Rooster wasn’t real confidant with the Autoclave, and so he was hesitant about climbing too far up the wall, in the only stroke of good fortune he had experienced this day, the twelve Sleevians were all with in the first fifteen feet of wall surface.
Rooster was almost finished with his shift, nearly seven hours in, when he came upon the last Sleevian in his sweep. The last Sleevian had a strange design pattern unlike the other Sleevians. He noticed a peculiar diamond shape outlined in yellow upon its blue shell.
The typical color of a Sleevians shell is a matte blue, the texture of a Sleevians shell is generally a stucco like design. Their spindly arms were almost always folded into its shell, and its back and front end looked like a looser layer of skin, no eyes were ever visible. It was speculated they used a sensitive sonar or sense of smell for communication and navigation.
Rooster didn’t reflect much on the peculiarities as he trudged ahead with his autoclave, his feet dangling some seven feet from the ground.
Now would be appropriate to describe in greater detail what happens when the Autoclave approaches a Sleevian. The autoclave emits an intense steam a vent on its left side. The operator faces the wall and controls acceleration and deceleration with his right hand. The device does not look uncommon to the ancient Urth artifact referred to as an Accordion.
When the first bursts of steam hit a Sleevians shell, it hums a bit. As it gets closer, the Sleevian ejects from its place on the wall and it begins to buzz, and continues in as far as previously detailed. However, in keeping with the days events, when Rooster ran within proximity of this Sleevian he would nickname a few minutes later as Diamond Back, the Sleevian did not hum, it made a sucking sound, a bit of a thumping sound, and that was all. As the Autoclave came upon Diamond Back, it did not budge at all. In fact, the Autoclave nearly became detached from the wall, as its magnetic surface was obstructed by Diamond Backs shell wedging underneath. Rooster and his Autoclave bobbed and thudded over the obstinate Sleevian.
Now as Rooster moved a foot or so beyond Diamond Back, he decelerated the Autoclave to a stop, as the magnets of the machine whirred and the hissing steam spat intermittently. Rooster hung there, a bit astonished, a bit irritated, staring at Diamond Back. Not once in all his years of Pryers service, of the history of the Pryers, and its very possible in the annals of Autoclave manufacturers records, has a Sleevian withstood the intense steam and pressure emitted by an Autoclave.
Rooster exhaled with a deep exhaustion, as the face plate of his PSEUDO-AIR suit fogged. He was weary to attempt to head over the Sleevian again, having almost lost his balance previously. Rooster kicked the tips of his boots against the metal wall, it clanged, the clanging helped him think.
Perhaps the Sleevian was dead? That had to be it!
What’s one Sleevian stuck to a wall? Surely, they could get a crane and a jack to pry it off later. That wouldn’t be very efficient though, and they’d surely dock his pay again, Rooster conceded.
Rooster hung there for another 30 minutes, deciding what to do, he was lost in purveying the mechanics of his Autoclave, when out of the corner of his eye, he saw Diamond Back shimmy a few inches up.
In mid thought Rooster jerked his head in the Sleevians' direction. Rooster decelerated the Autoclave, putting it in a reverse motion, arcing under Diamond Back. When he was dead to the right of the rebellious Sleevian, he turned the pressure and heat index up on the Autoclave. He took off with a jerk as he plowed for Diamond Back.
He was upon Diamond Back in a matter of seconds, as he stumbled over the creature, it began to thump again, and then it began to rock. Rooster held on for dear life, shouting a shout of silence in his PSEUDO-AIR™ suit, being the only soul who could hear it.
Diamond Back continued to rock, buck, and thump. Rooster was unable to accelerate. He was unable to decelerate. The Sleevian had worked itself just under the motion magnets of the Autoclave wedging itself effectively. It was only by the Grace of Todd that Rooster did not drop seven feet to the ground.
Suddenly, Diamond Back stopped shifting under the Autoclave. The device was able to accelerate over the obstacle, and rest on the other side. Rooster quickly worked the Autoclave to the ground. As he powered the device off, he dropped the shoulder buckles from his back and tossed the device on the ground. He bent over in his PSEUDO-AIR™ pressure suit, and heaved.
He could not determine which smelt worse, that of Cobalt's dried excrement, or that of his regurgitated morning BASTE™ sludge.
Fare Frenin continued to watch as the spectacle in the distance became more intriguing. He watched as the Sleevian army amassed in a formation that had never been observed before. It was commonly decided that Sleevians were unintelligent things, the fact they used advanced weaponry was a small detail that was more or less washed over in the Propaganda for the war, and pretty much any other recorded data pertaining to the war.
Fare licked his lips inside his kamikaze space suit. He shuffled through various mannerisms. First he’d squint, then he’d raise his eye brows, again he would squint, usually after the second squint, however not always, he would pucker his lips and nod his head, as if able to make head or tails of the entire display.
So it was, that as the Sleevians scuttled around, so did Fare squint, raise his eye brows, again squint, pucker his lips and nod his head
He nodded his head again. Then puckered his lips as he snarled his nostrils, squinted, raised his eye brows, squinted again, and lastly exhaled heavily through his nostrils. It was then that the Sleevians began to move front line ward.
Fare made a face of determination. Leaning back he hoisted his high gauge concussive projectile cannon up on his leg, maneuvered his arm around under it, and propped the butt against his left shoulder. His right arm still dangled, battered, to his right side.
He cocked his head back, and titled it to the left. He placed his eye against the cannons sights. He used the telescoping range finder to view the formation as it continued forth. He observed the Sleevians in a V formation, one atop another, with two terrain weapons toward the end of either wing tip of the V.
As they came into range, he saw a Sleevian situated in the center. A peculiar looking one. It had a shape upon its back. Fare thought to himself, what a pretty thing. I wonder if it makes a SPLAT as well!
Fare never found out if it made the same SPLAT as the others. As the impact from his weapon incinerated his diamond back designed target some forty feet away. He sat there, as the shells flew into the air. Grinning to himself.
The formation stopped. A few moments passed without any action as Fare watched. Then, the Sleevians broke formation. They suddenly turned and hastily retreated from the battle field. Fare looked around quickly as every Sleevian at every post, at every Terrain weapon, retreated. The mammoth terrain weapons sat stranded upon the torn and crumbled land.
The land was scorched and tawny brown in places. A burnt rust in others. Fares' fellow soldiers continued to drop from the sky, but upon empty plots and with no opposition. Fare became frantic. His grin turned to a frown, he looked pitiful sitting there shaking lone upon his payload. He dropped his high gauge concussive projectile cannon, and it tumbled, clanging as it bounced off the payload.
KLUNK! It hit the dirt.
Fare had just won the war.
The war was over.
Rooster had trudged back to Work Station 5. His frustration and stubborn head prevailed over the odors of his PSEUDO-AIR™ pressure suit. Rooster had left his Autoclave back at the wall. He was not going to let some no good rotten stinking Sleevian get the better of him. At Work Station 5, Rooster rummaged through the equipment rack. As well as shuffled through the tool chest. He came out carrying four very important pieces. The importance of which would play into Roosters thinking until a much later date.
The four pieces Rooster carried with him were as follows:
First, Rooster obtained a SURVO-POP™, which he had slung around his shoulder. The SURVO-POP™ was designed for field surveyors. The SURVO-POP™ releases a field marker. Settings on the SURVO-POP™ console include various gravity environments, depending on planet and size. Lowering the gravity gauge, decreased the pressure of the field marker released. Increasing the gravity gauge, increased the pressure of the field marker released.
Second, he carried in his work satchel around the waist of his PSUEDO-AIR™ pressure suit a pair of ULTRA-TUFF MEGA-TONGS™. Typically designed for use in removing large rocks from tread paths.
Thirdly, he carried in his right hand, UPSCALE LIMITEDS premiere GIRDER GLIDER™. The GIRDER GLIDER™ was designed for high rise construction, able to suspended a worker without fear of precarious conditions no matter the height.
Fourth, under his left arm, were telescoping hard fiber mesh light weight poles. They were roughly 9 feet at full extension. Essentially, he was going to smack the thing with them until it fell. If that didn’t work, he had a back up plan.
His work day had already turned from 9 to 12 hours. Rooster knew he wouldn’t get paid for the over time, but it wasn’t a matter of diligently doing ones job any longer. For Rooster, it was now personal.
Rooster came upon the wall, he thought to himself, if that Sleevian knew what was good for him, he’d be gone. Rooster pretty much thought the Sleevian would have left after all this time. He would of hauled all this equipment to this location, found out the beast had already taken off, and then he’d have to haul it all back to Work Station 5, and THAT would have been the kind of day he was having.
To his amazement, he saw Diamond Back exactly where he’d left him, give or take an inch or two.
Rooster cursed the Sleevian with every foul word he could muster. He set his gear down, and rolled the poles out into the sand. He spent roughly 13 minutes trying to find each pole, as the atmosphere was playing hell on his locating them. Once he’d retrieved both, he approached the wall. The image of Diamond Back shimmered and danced in the atmospheres slight of hand, but Rooster knew it wasn’t moving.
As Rooster extended the first pole to its max length, he watched as it began to seemingly bend in the middle. Another trick courtesy of Legerdemain.
Because of Legerdemain’s size, and because of its distance from Qat, a Legerdemain day is roughly 36 Urth hours. Taking that fact into account, Rooster had daylight to burn, and he wasn’t leaving till his job was done he had decided.
Rooster could hear the pole screeching as it scratched the wall. He didn’t particularly care what it sounded like inside the colony. He felt it bump Diamond Back, he retracted the pole toward him a bit, and then shoved the pole at the meaty backside of the beast. The beast scuttled to the right. Rooster chuckled, but he was even further infuriated at the disobedience of the Sleevian, for it still clung to the wall.
Next, Rooster attempted to take both poles, sandwich the Sleevian between them, and pluck it from the wall like a flea in tweezers.
The only occurrence from this approach was Rooster falling flat on his back in his rotund PSEUDO-AIR™ pressure suit, and struggling for twenty minutes to get back on his feet again.
Its comprehensible, even probable the Sleevian enjoyed the display. As many have discovered since, Sleevians do possess an incredible vast cerebral cortex under their shell. Rooster would never learn this. Neither would Fare Frenin.
When he was firmly on his two feet, Rooster then spent another nine minutes trying to locate the GIRDER GLIDER™ and five minutes for the ULTRA-TUFF MEGA-TONGS™. All of this added to the immense frustration and feeling of over whelming stress Rooster was enduring.
Rooster scaled the imposing wall with ease using the GIRDER GLIDER™. He pulled the MEGA-TONGS™ from his work satchel, and grabbed either side with his large bulky gloves. He turned on the MEGA-GRAB™ function. In doing so the MEGA-TONGS™ began to vibrate like a tuning fork. They made a beautiful hum.
Rooster situated the MEGA-TONGS™ ends on either side of Diamond Back’s shell. Pressing the MEGA-GRAB 1 the MEGA-TONGS™ began to tighten, he pressed MEGA-GRAB 3, and the MEGA-TONGS™ shuddered under their attempt to restrict and Diamond Backs shell posing a strong opposition.
When Rooster pressed MEGA-GRAB 4, that’s when all hell broke loose.
Diamond Back unfurled his spindly legs and started flailing them toward Rooster. The legs knocked at the MEGA-TONGS™ but Diamond Back didn’t budge from the wall, no matter how hard Rooster tugged. Rooster could hear Diamond Back’s legs screeching as they gnashed against the metal of the wall. He realized rather quickly that they had the ability to tear his PSEUDO-AIR™ pressure suit and do irreparable harm.
Rooster descended on the GIRDER GLIDER™ and sighed a bit of relief, as his pride began to deflate from the incomprehensible insolence on the behalf of the Sleevian.
On the ground, after fifteen minutes of scouring, Rooster found the SURVO-POP™. He hoisted the device up to his chest. On the easy touch display, the SURVO-POP™ allowed you to enter the distance of the surveying field, and it would eject a marker into the air, and land at the exact location.
Rooster fired a few low gravity test shots, until he heard one clang the wall. He then continued with a few more, till he finally hit Diamond Back.
Rooster gnashed his teeth, and he increased the pressure gauge of the SURVO-POP™ to a higher gravity setting. He shot again and just nicked Diamond Back. Diamond Back did not move.
Enraged beyond competence, Rooster howled, and he set the SURVO-POP to JUPITER GRAVITY. The events that transpired move in slow motion for Rooster every time he recounts them even now. As his hand softly flicked the trigger, the field marker released, ejecting towards the wall. The odors in his suit were strong from the events of the morning. The field marker danced across his line of vision as it hurled through the air. It finally hit its target. It was the most marvelous display Rooster could ever have imagined. It left a strange green and blue splatter design like something from a contemporary art piece upon the wall, and that sound. He will always relish that sound:
Man had triumphed.
It was shortly after that, that the Sleevian debacle had unfolded. It has always been a mystery to historians as to why the Sleevians decided one day to begin razing the colony. The Sleevian Debacle, soon became known as the Sleevian Skirmish. The Sleevian Skirmish entered text books as the Sleevian Insurgence.
It climbed some pretty important terms till it was finally called the Inter galactic War.
What no one really realized was, and especially Rooster Gresham, though he had some idea, the reason the Sleevians began their assault and later their inter galactic war against mankind of Urth. All because an Urth man on a really bad day, had assassinated the Sleevian Emperor acting in an ambassadorial capacity to greet the pioneers of Urth in an attempt to make peaceful relations. When all of his previous peace delegations attempted to enter the Colony to open relations, and were met with hostility, the Sleevian Emperor had decided to attempt to open communication channels himself.
Due to the Colony being on the front lines of the burgeoning war, the colony soon became a fort. Extending into a city when the Sleevians were forced off planet. Legerdemain became populated to the brim with Urth men and women, and vast metropolis’ covered the planet.
Rooster Gresham died of old age when he was 112. He had a daughter, Audrina Gresham, when he was 45 with Verona Isope. Audrina Gresham married Chancellor Yuri Donnor. They had two children, Balzer Donnor, and Yufina Donnor. Balzer went on to become mayor of the mining colonies on the planet Coronos.
Yufina Donnor married an Urth man who came from a long ancestry of famous Urth men, his name was Slev Frenin Esq.
Urth had colonized several planets in the star system Namus. The central most planet acted as the judiciary core. Outlying planets were inhabited with the purpose of serving as penal colonies and penitentiaries. Fare Frenin faced the High Courts of Urth in Namus upon the judiciary planet of Pith.
Of the many charges brought against Fare, all of them war crimes, he was convicted of treason. For his inability to successfully pilot a kamikaze payload, and failure thereof resulting in lack of detonation.
The end of the Sleevian war was difficult for the economy of Urth and its vast inter galactic sister systems. Their fears were soon alleviated. It turned out peace could be prosperous after all, the whole sale slaughter and massacre of the Sleevians afterwards made way for inter-system trade in beautiful artisan crafts and décor made from Sleevian shells.
As well as an array of delicacies made from the pulp and meat of the dead Sleevian carcass.
Least of which, Fare would be proud to know, is Sleevian articulatory muscle dipped in a melted emulsion of water and milk proteins with a matrix of 80% lard.
Mighty fine Indeed!