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The Rural Spaceman

Alexander Matthews

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::The story so far… it is over a year since disgraced Master Engineer Victor Handley-Page and his lady Lucinda Mountbatten-De Havilland managed to escape from Star Fleet’s clutches after yet another unfair court martial. Following a short and unsuccessful attempt to become trampolining acupuncturists, Handley and Lucinda have sailed for pastures new, but not before a chance meeting up with Leo Beaufighter, our hero - gentleman adventurer, author, artist, activist, astronomer, professional daydreamer and rural spaceman. Leo had already resigned from the USS Tiger-A after the Hologate Affair – and was in search of new adventures. The wise and venerable Handley-Page showed Leo numerous ways to enhance his own spaceship, and was even able to add his own consciousness to the ship’s database, giving it the ability to learn and evolve. Also, Handley was able to pass Leo crucial information on the modus operandi on the evil Mons Vor (Leo’s biological father) who with his Pythron army was laying waste to the planet of Byzatium. With this knowledge now known to him – Leo has assembled a team of friends old and new – and returned to his homeworld on a new mission – to thwart the megalomanic plans of the evil Mons Vor once and for all.::

::Now read on… dot dot dot dot dot… dot…::

((Stream of Consciousness Shuttle; Approaching Byzatium))

::Leo approached Scania, and brushed her long hair away from her face.::

Beaufighter: It’s been too long my dear.

Calderan: Aye. And to think I found you adrift in space.

Beaufighter: Adrift? I was merely dozing.

Calderan: Is that what they are calling it now?

Beaufighter: You can call me anything you desire old girl.

Calderan: Less of the old.

Beaufighter: Just a turn of phrase, ma’am. I’ve called you a lot worse, ne c’est pas?

Calderan: That is true.

Beaufighter: So, any news from my old man?

Calderan: Nothing so far, I think you are in the clear.

Beaufighter: Then that is tickety-boo indeedy.

Calderan: Never say never.

::Leo adjusted his white tunic.::

Calderan: You look frightfully dashing Sir.

Beaufighter: Frightful AND dashing? That’s an improvement.

Calderan: You know what I mean.

Beaufighter: Someone has to.

Calderan: Why do you say that?

Beaufighter: You are mystery my dear, one of the great mysteries of our age.

Calderan: I’ll take that as a compliment, although I’m not sure it is.

Beaufighter: Everything I say is with the best of intentions, you know that.

::He winked at her.::

Calderan: Smooth talking will get you everywhere.

Beaufighter: That’s the plan. ::Pause:: oh, thank you for meeting me here today. Transports are so hard to come by now.

Calderan: I’m not a taxi service.

Beaufighter: Never crossed my mind.

::The starfield zoomed past the shuttle as it sped towards it destination. The war-torn planet of Byzatium.::

Calderan: Almost there, I better turn off auto-pilot.

Beaufighter: Not a moment too soon neither. Sedrin looks like he’s about to fall asleep.

::Leo’s ship rendezvoused with the others of Nova Fleet X as they entered the atmosphere over Byzatium. Nodding once again to Scania, Leo turned and went to the back of the control room. He lifted the crystalline helmet over his head and typed the necessary buttons on the console in front of him.::

Computer: Transferring neural net patterns to master databank.

Beaufighter: Jolly good show.

Computer: The Handley-Page mindscape is locked in. Shuttle transmogrification complete, welcome back Sire.

Beaufighter: It’s good to be back. Now his mind is running the whole bally craft.

Computer: Space Shuttle Handley-Page, at your command.

Beaufighter: First class!

::He tapped the comm button.::

Beaufighter: This is Leo Beaufighter of the Handley-Page to Nova Fleet X. We are preparing to land upon the surface at 10:00hrs. Check your predefined plans and locate the second rendezvous point.

::There was a signal of acknowledgment from the other six craft, and they moved forwards into the clouds below.::

Beaufighter: How are you doing ma cherie?

::Scania looked over her shoulder at Leo, her long auburn hair resting prettily on her forehead and shoulders.::

Calderan: Fine thanks. Sedrin here is doing all the hard work.

::She smiled and nodded to the pilot next to her.::

Belasi: Heeeeeyy… ::he said in his normal chilled out tone.::

::There was a clunk, and behind approached a small lumbering shape. One of Handley’s creations.::

Trundlebot: Noooonaaanoonaaah

Beaufighter: Ah dearest Trunders, are you also patched into Handley’s mainframe?

Trundlebot: Neeeenaaaanoooneeenah!

Beaufighter: Excellent!

::There was a squeaking, and from the shadows a small, furry, excitable little creature bounced into view and sat atop Trundlebot.::

Beaufighter: Little Smidgey, can’t leave you behind.

Smidgey: Wheee, it looks spooooky out there. ::Squeak::

Beaufighter: Where’s you sense of adventure?

Smidgey: ::higher squeak:: Like sleeeeep more than venturessss.

::Leo smiled and patted the Smidgey on the head.::

Beaufighter: Alrighty, let’s see what delights this war-torn hell hole has for us. I doubt I’ll have a welcome home party.

::With a gentle splot, the Handley-Page touched down on the muddy surface.::

Beaufighter: Follow me!

Calderan: Right behind ya!

Belasi: Yeeeeeaaaahhh

Trundlebot: Neeennooo nanana

Smidgey: It is spoooooky out here!

::Service phaser in hand, Beaufighter led the team into the wastelands.::

To Be Continued…

Leo Beaufighter (PNPC)

Adventurer, Author, Artist, Activist, Astronomer, Professional Daydreamer and Rural Spaceman;

Commander; Nova Fleet X

Simmed by:

Lt.Cmdr Eyas Wulfantine

Chief Tactical Officer: USS Mercury

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