Last Stop Gas and Shop
Episode 2: The Sequel
At the edge of our solar system, there is a small interstellar last stop gas shop. Space farers use it as they travel across the Intergalactic Highway. The shop is owned by the hugely impressive LoopSmackaltack Inc. who have literally even forgot it existed due to nobody actually stopping to use the gas facility.
Things have changed.
After one faithful day, explorers from the regions of the Sol system came upon the shop and made history…partly because no one ever expected a planet of monkeys to ever produce space faring ships. Now all hell is about to break loose, an asteroid is on a collision course with Earth and the shop is in the way.
It has been five days since the Earthman arrived at the Last Stop Gas and Shop, it has been five days since they found out an asteroid was going to hit them. It has been four days since Zax has been to work.
Zax's ship approached the shop once more and went into its docking cycle. The man himself went inside the airlock and took off his space suit.
WELCOME BACK DAVE, YOU ARE NINETY SIX HOURS AND SIXTEEN MINUTES LATE…WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?
"Eh yeah sorry bout that Hal, just been out sick that's all…a rare case of Flabludian flu."
MY SCANNERS DO NOT PICK UP ANY…
Zax interrupted him, "Yeah it's all gone now, anyways how is everything holding up here?" He didn't wait for an answer as he walked into the shop and the lights came on.
WELL IT IS A LONG STORY
Zax looked around to see that the place was in perfect condition, Jim had been doing his job well. He walked over to the counter and sat down.
"Jim are you there?"
I WOULDN'T IF I WERE YOU ZAX
Zax raised an eyebrow, "Wouldn't what?"
A loud whirring sound came from deep into one of the aisles; Zax couldn't see anything until the light glinted slightly off the titanium casing of the mech. The mandroid was staring at Zax, his claws spread wide and spinning around very, very fast. Its eye was glowing red.
Jim moved slowly down the aisle, his claws still spinning around like a blade from a blender.
"Zax, you are back. Good…I wanted to discuss something with you."
"Eh Jim? Where is the Earthman?"
Jim gained more speed, his eye glowing more and more red, "I don't know, I have been looking for him for days."
Zax reached under the counter for a magazine and a thought occurred to him, "Maybe I should have brought the guy back to my place…anyways, Jim go get me a cup of coffee and a Danish please. The droid didn't respond and was still coming towards the counter.
Zax reached under the counter again and picked up a small silver sphere with a red button on it. He gave it a press and Jim stopped in his tracks.
"Jim, please go get me a cup of coffee and a Danish?"
Jim's eye turned green, "Oki dokey Zax, coming right up!"
Zax smiled and started reading some of his Top Gear magazine. He then pondered something else…
"Hal, locate that Earth guy…where is he?"
RIGHT BEHIND YOU
Zax looked behind him to see Hunter on the floor in the fetal position and shivering. His uniform was torn and ragged, his facial hair was grown out of normal proportion and he held in his right hand…a broken piece of one of the mops.
"Sorry didn't see you, you ok?"
Hunter looked up at him with weary eyes, "Ok? Am…I…ok?" He jumped up and pressed the sharp, broken piece of mop at Zax's throat; "I have been here for four days. I have been starving and I had to survive on my own. Not only that but I had a killer robot hunting me every day, I couldn't sleep because I knew he would slice me up as I dreamed of electric sheep. Am I ok? NO! I am not ok!"
Zax pushed the crude weapon away and smiled, "Calm down…Jim is harmless. There is not one homicidal thought in that metal head of his.
The robot approached with a boiling cup of coffee and jerked its hand, spilling the contents towards Zax but missing him completely. The coffee splashed on the counter and some of it on Hunter who yelped in pain.
"Ah accidents happen Jim, just give me the Danish and we'll call it even." Zax smiled at the mandroid.
Two hours had passed and another quiet day was being had by all. Hunter was in the bathroom cleaning himself up while Zax was reading his magazine. Jim was rolling down one of the aisles, sweeping up some dust.
Hunter walked out of the bathroom, past the garbage area and spotted the sex droid he activated several days ago…it had reverted back to its normal state. He touched the metal surface of the droid again and it started moving. It took the form of the girl that was on his mind at the moment…his girlfriend Kimberley. Hunter looked at the small tag attached to her wrist. He read the instructions and reached around to her back, pressing two small buttons. One was for sentience; the other was for it to never change back to droid form.
Hunter was pleased now because he had a familiar face to look at…and body of course. He missed his real girlfriend terribly and he hadn't seen her in a year.
"Hey…um…where am I?" Kim said slowly, trying to catch her bearings.
Hunter smiled, "It's a long story, but we can explain it later. Right now I just want to know if you know me at all?"
Kim shook her head, "How would I? I am an artificial life form designed to have sex with desperate men who want to complete their fantasies. I have no memories of you or anybody else."
Hunter nodded, "Right well your in the form of my girlfriend Kimberley."
"Why don't you spend time with your real girlfriend then?"
"Because I am in space and she is very far away from me."
Kim nodded knowingly, "So you decided to cheat on her with a droid eh? Very nice Romeo, she's probably lonely back where you come from while you're up here carrying on your relationship with a sex toy…very nice."
Hunter gulped, "Eh…um…ok."
Kim smiled and got up; she walked into the bathroom and looked in the mirror. Her long flowing blonde hair went down to her backside, she was typically a beautiful model girlfriend of someone famous and looked amazingly like that girl from Ally McBeal…you know, Portia DeRossi.
"Yummy, I look fantastic. Well I don't think your girlfriend should have any trouble getting a man while you're away from home you know."
Hunter scratched his head; "She wouldn't…would she?"
Kim smiled, "I know I would."
Zax could hear talking in the background but didn't bother to check because he knew inevitably, he was going to find out what was going on anyways. He looked up to see Hunter coming towards him, followed by a gorgeous woman.
"You feeling better now Hunt…eh, who is that?" Zax seemed confused, last time he looked…there was no gorgeous woman in the shop.
Hunter shrugged and hoped Zax would stop asking questions. Kim on the other hand, walked towards Zax and extended her hand.
"Hi, my name's Kim…what's yours?"
Zax couldn't believe his eyes, "I'm Zax…can I ask you a question?"
"Well forgive me for prying but…what the hell are you doing here and why are you naked?"
Kim smiled a smile that would give an old man heart failure, "Well this guy here turned my sentience button on…oh and our model of sex toy doesn't come with clothes. Please try the 75 edition, which comes complete with clothes, a whip and a bottle of chocolate cream. Available at all good LoopSmackaltack stores across the universe."
Zax smacked his forehead and looked towards Hunter; "Why in the good name of Junta did you activate her? I told you that these things cost money! I am going to have to pay for it out of my own pocket now thanks to you Earthman!"
ACTUALLY DAVE…YOU WON'T
Zax looked towards the red eye on the wall, which was a camera for Hal to see, "What are you talking about…and stop calling me Dave!"
WELL YOU DO REMEMBER THAT ASTEROID I TOLD YOU ABOUT?
Zax smacked his forehead again; "Damn…I thought that would have all gone away when I came back. Just like I thought you would have too Earthman! Hal, what are we going to do?"
WELL IN YOUR ABSENCE…I ALERTED THE OFFICIALS AT LOOPSMACKALTACK HEADQUARTERS AND THEY SENT OUT SEVERAL LARGE HAULERS TO MOVE THE STORE OUT OF ITS NORMAL COORDINATES AND NOW WE ARE OUT OF THE WAY
Zax let out a sigh of relief, "Well that's good then."
Hunter raised an eyebrow, "What about Earth?"
WELL ACCORDING TO THE OFFICIALS AT HEADQUARTERS…THIS ASTEROID IS MEANT TO HIT EARTH ACCORDING TO UNIVERSAL LAWS. THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DESTROY IT AS IT COULD EFFECT COUNTLESS LIVES AND STAR SYSTEMS
"Right…well is there any chance of giving them a call somehow?"
THERE IS ACTUALLY, BUT BY THE TIME I RESET MY COMMUNICATIONS TO RADIO WAVES…EARTH WILL BE LONG DESTROYED ANYWAYS, SO THERE IS NO REAL POINT IN TRYING
Hunter frowned, "I think I have a communicator in my backpack…gimme a sec."
Zax shrugged, "You can have all the time in the world, it's not my problem anymore."
A few minutes later, Hunter emerged with his backpack and was fiddling around with its insides. He turned a few dials and flicked a few switches and he could hear static in the helmet, which was beside him.
"Alright we got radio waves…just got to find the frequency." He turned the dial and could suddenly hear Houston station trying to signal him.
"Colonel Hunter…bzzkt…do you copy?"
Hunter put the helmet on and spoke into the microphone, "Yeah I read you loud and clear Houston."
"What's your status Hunter?"
"Don't have time to go into detail…Houston, you got a problem."
The radio waves were silent for a minute or so, "What do you mean Hunter?"
"Well you see, there is an asteroid heading towards Earth and you got about a week to stop it."
"Oh…ok. Well…got any ideas?"
Hunter pondered for a moment, his mind working fast on the probabilities and the solutions, "Haven't got the slightest idea, sorry."
"Oh right, well keep in touch. We will try something and if we don't…well you're the last human being."
"Well actually I have discovered another human…so technically I am the last human from Earth."
"Right…whatever. Seeya later!" The communication cut.
Hunter took off his helmet and scratched his head once more; "Well that was anticlimatic."
Zax smirked, "Well what do you expect? You're a species that has not even discovered warp drives yet and you are trying to explore outside your solar system with no great luck. Your planet should have already created planetary defensive systems, which would destroy any object, which came into its radius."
"Do you have any idea how to construct such weapons?"
Zax flicked through a page in the magazine, "Hal does, he has every bit of information in the universe downloaded into his memory banks."
"Right…well why couldn't he come up with a solution to the problem?"
YOU NEVER ASKED ME A SPECIFIC QUESTION
Hunter sighed, "Then how do we destroy this asteroid?"
WE CAN'T…WE ARE IN A CONVENIENCE STORE WITH TWO HUMANS, A SEX DROID AND A PSYCHOTIC MANDROID…WE WOULDN'T HAVE A CHANCE
"No I mean Earth! How can Earth destroy this asteroid?"
OH THAT'S AN EASY ONE. SIMPLY CONSTRUCT ORBITING DEFENSE GRIDS WHICH PULVERISE ANY OBJECTS COMING INTO EARTHS RADIUS
"Yeah I know that bit already."
THEN WHY ASK THE QUESTION WHEN YOU ALREADY KNOW THE ANSWER, YOU EARTHLINGS ARE A CONTRADICTION
"Look…just tell me if there is a way for you to give the information needed to the people of Earth."
Hunter felt like he was getting nowhere, "Well how?" He was losing his temper…in fact his temper had now left, lived its life and retired on a tropical island back on Earth; anger had now taken residence inside his head.
WELL I USE…
And so followed the endless techno babble of a super computer designed to run a shop.
"Hey that's a good idea…think it will work?" Hunter asked enthusiastically.
I DUNNO, NO HARM IN TRYING?
Now many of you will be wondering what exactly they are planning. The techno babble would have made you bored and you would have skipped it…so I am going to explain it in layman's terms. Hal, super computer, Earth's communication medium called TV, upload and relax. The computer basically wanted to transfer its information through something which humans will pay attention to…TV.
Hal was quiet for a few seconds as he sent out a small probe, which blasted off towards Earth. He was keeping a constant lock on the probe as it was designed to help with him uploading and downloading information. Why this was in a convenience store is up to people who love to solve plot holes.
THE PROBE IS ON ITS WAY…ESTIMATED TIME OF ARRIVAL…TEN MINUTES
Zax looked up at Hunter and then back to his magazine. Kim was looking over Zax's shoulder and occasionally touching him on the waist, trying to get his attention.
"Oh hey Hal…why the hell will I not have to pay for Kim now?" Zax asked.
WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU ON ABOUT?
"Well you mentioned earlier that I didn't have to pay for Kim but we trailed off and then Hunter just decided to be the centre of attention for a while."
OH RIGHT…WELL I'LL JUST SAY THAT SHE WAS A MALFUNCTIONING DROID.
Zax pondered for a moment, "How bout we hire her?"
Kim cooed and jumped up and down, "Yay! I want to work here! Hire me!"
WHATEVER, SHE'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY ZAX.
Kim gave Zax a hug and kissed him on the cheek, he wiped it off with his sleeve.
"Go and make sure the Oglop slugs are fresh will ya? I haven't checked them since last year."
Kim nodded and ran off towards the wrong aisle but Zax didn't bothered correcting her. Hunter walked towards the counter and looked at Zax, "You better not be getting any ideas about my girlfriend."
Zax smirked and looked up at him, "Your girlfriend? She is the property of LoopSmackaltack Inc. and she seems to be very interested in yours truly. So I think I might take her up on her advances…ya know?"
Hunter clenched his fists, "You even…"
Zax interrupted Hunter by putting a Zapamatic pistol in his face; "You'll what flyboy? Attack me with harsh words? One pull of this trigger and I will spread your simian molecules all over Jim's clean floor."
The main doors opened and two Rangers walked in and looked at the two men. They ignored them and walked towards the doughnut counter. Zax put the pistol back under the counter and went back to reading his magazine. Hunter grunted and walked down the aisle after Kim.
The two Rangers, one a human and the other a cyborg, picked out a bag of doughnuts each and two coffees. They walked up to the counter and looked at Zax.
"Hi, how can I serve you officers?" Zax said in a dull voice.
"Well first, you can take for these doughnuts and coffee," said the human cop.
Zax tapped the cash machine and then looked up at the Rangers, "That all?"
"Well actually we have come to talk to you about some happenings in the galaxy lately…you hear about the armed robbery's that have happened to some of the out of the way convenience stores?"
Zax shrugged his shoulders and looked to the cyborg that was staring back with its large red ocular implant. The cyborgs that were in the Space Rangers were basically robots that were built like a tank and every part of it was a weapon…its brain was made up of real human tissue so it could think fast. It was all future hardware so I won't go into it now otherwise it would give the police forces bad ideas.
"What we are trying to explain to you, is that your going to now empty your cash register and show Mac here...where the safe is."
Zax looked up and pointed to the back room. Mac, the large cyborg, moved off towards the backroom.
"That's a good boy," said Jake, the human cop, "Oh don't go doing anything stupid or we will have to do something ten times worse…which I can't think of at the moment, but believe me…its bad."
Zax nodded and reached for the Zapamatic pistol under the counter, he pulled it out fast and stuck it into Jake's face, "Try me."
Jake gulped and his eyes darted to where Mac was, "Ah shit…I done it again."
Mac came running from out of the back with his arms now turned into cannons and several rocket launchers protruding from his shoulders, "Put the gun down creep!"
Zax looked towards Jim who was in sleep mode, and tapped his knee against the remote that activated Jim, which was under the counter. Jim jumped to life, his brain calculating the situation in nanoseconds. His two arm claws spun around fast while a cannon shot out from his right shoulder, his eye turning red.
Mac looked at Jim, then back to Zax, "Looks like we are at a stalemate human. Just give us whatever you have in the cash register and no one will die today."
Zax realised that this may be the only sane way of ending the Mexican standoff, "Alright, alright…take the cash and leave."
Jake nodded to Mac and moved towards the counter where he took a plap (a small creature that is used by convenience stores as Earth's equivalent to plastic bags) and opened its mouth, he then opened the register and took the money out, stashing it into the plap. He walked slowly towards the door and Mac followed. Zax and Jim never took their sights off the two men.
Mac walked out, Jake turned to Zax and smiled, "Until next time boy…you just made an enemy of Jake and Mac, the galaxies greatest…"
"Its Mac and Jake." Mac interrupted.
"Shut up!" Jake replied and pushed Mac out the door.
Zax took a deep breath of relief and Jim went back to normal mode, "Well that was exciting."
In the black speeder craft, Jake is counting his money as Mac is taking off his uniform.
"How did we do Jake?"
Jake finished counting and started laughing, "We got enough to last us a while in the Ion Bordello."
Mac nodded his head and made an electronic sound, which sounded like a laugh, "Good, because there was a fine dishwasher there that was just gagging for a piece of my metal rod."
"That Zax was a guy with balls…we really gotta take a trip back here sometime. Now let's get outta here before the real Rangers arrive."
The ship shuddered and moved out of docking then zipped off into warp.
Hunter and Kim came back from down one of the aisles and walked towards the counter. They looked at Zax and wondered why he was so dishevelled.
"Hey what's up?" Hunter asked first.
Zax looked up at them both and frowned, "Did you not hear or see anything that went on in the last ten minutes?"
Kim shook her head, "Nope. Earthman and me decided to have a little exploratory work on what I could do. Of course I think he should really concentrate on what he could do…because it wasn't a lot."
Hunter's expression turned to shock, "What the hell do you mean? You said I was better than anyone you had!"
Kim giggled, "You're my first big boy…and I was faking. Ah well, a few years down the line I guess if I remember my first time, I'll remember that it was a disappointment. I think you have single handedly turned me off sex for life!"
Hunter folded his arms and pouted, "I want to go home."
"Hey Zax, want to help me get back to loving sex? I know you are up for the task" Kim gave him a playful wink.
Zax put his head into his hands and made a weird sound, "I can't believe this isn't registering…we…have…been…robbed!"
Hunter looked at him; Kim looked at him and a tumbleweed rolled across in the background.
THE PROBE HAS ARRIVED AND I AM NOW CURRENTLY UPLOADING INFORMATION TO EARTH
Zax stood up and looked directly into the eye of Hal which was behind him, "HAL! WE HAVE BEEN ROBBED! DO SOMETHING!"
OH RIGHT…JUST BECAUSE I'M A SUPER ADVANCED COMPUTER THAT CAN CALCULATE ANYTHING TO INFINITY, YOU THINK I WANT TO DO SEVERAL THINGS AT ONCE. WELL YOU'D BE WRONG BUDDY, I'M BUSY…LOOK IN THE SHOP KEEPER'S MANUAL FOR ADVICE
Zax scratched his head with confusion; he never heard anything about a manual. He looked under the counter but could see nothing except for some rotting lunch, his magazines and some other unidentifiable objects. His eye caught something underneath the corner of his desk though, he reached under and pulled out the greasy old book. The counter wobbled and dropped to one side, the book had been holding it up. He rubbed off the dirt with his sleeve and read the cover which said 'LoopSmackaltack's Official Shopkeeper Handbook: All new employees must read the contents or face death in the belly of the slug beast of Alternack."
Zax shrugged his shoulders and opened the cover, thumbing down the contents until he reached 'What to do in an armed robbery'. He turned to the page and started to read…the one sentence on the whole page. 'Whatever happens, don't give them anything!'
"Ah frigglesticks…Hal it says I wasn't supposed to give them anything!"
SHHHH I'M HELPING SAVE HUMANKIND
Hunter leaned over to look in at the book, "That mean your in trouble then Zax?"
"Shut up human! I'm trying to think…" Zax said as he pondered a slow digestion inside a slug beast.
EARTH'S BEEN SAVED, THE ASTEROID WAS DESTROYED
Zax groaned, "Whoop de doo. Think you can spare the time and help me now?"
YUP, I JUST ALERTED THE LOOPSMACKALTACK HEADQUARTERS AND THEY ARE SENDING A CLEANER TEAM OVER IN AN HOUR…I'LL EXPLAINED THE WHOLE SITUATION TO THEM
Zax started banging his head off the counter, "Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god."
Hunter cleared his throat, "What happened anyway?"
Zax looked up at Hunter and just began banging his head again. Kim went behind the counter and started massaging Zax's shoulders, "If your going to the belly of a slug beast then I'm going with you."
Zax turned to her, "You'd do that for me?"
Kim smiled, "Well I'd rather dissolve away inside a slug beast then spend anymore time here with that dull Earthling!"
Hunter protested, "Hey will you stop! I know you don't like me but your constantly putting me down. I'm an important figure back on Earth and I have a lot of respect from people everywhere."
Kim winked and smiled, "That's not going to help with that problem you have sugar."
"Hey! It's a perfectly normal size and…look just stop picking on me."
Zax pulled out a magazine from underneath the counter, "Well I guess all I gotta do is wait for the cleaner team to arrive. Jim, grab me a coffee…Kim go do some work and Hunter just…evolve or something will ya?"
A few thousand kilometres away, a small run down spaceship is flying at its top speed towards the shop. Music is blaring from inside, its so loud that even in the vacuum of space it can be heard…it's the most vile music ever produced by a galactic lifeform, pop music. Bopping along to the music is Polly Ajax…Zax's long time suffering girlfriend.
To Be Continued…
Well folks disaster has been diverted from Earth and everything is hunky dory with the Universe again…except of course our hero Zax is about to be fired, and thrown into the belly of a slug beast, Kim has to deal with a dirty grime stain on the window of the shop, Jim has to tackle the ordeal of wanting to kill the humanoids and Hunter is just trying to fit in. Worse for Zax is his girlfriend is visiting and if he'd knew, he would have jumped into the slug beast himself. What a cliffhanger eh? If any of you bother to come back and read the third part of the Last Stop Gas and Shop trilogy then you must be extremely bored with life in general.