Chapter 15: Bullfrogs and Mud Puddles
628 smirked. It was fun to make fun of Gantu – he was such an easy target.
“I WILL get you!”
“Ika patooka Gantu!”
“Why you little… you should learn to pay more respect to the former Captain of the Galactic Armada than that!”
“Meega nala QUEESTA!”
“Hey, that’s my line!”
“When I was about five earth-years old, I loved playing Risk, it was merely a holoboard, but it was such fun!”
Hamsterville was recalling his childhood to the (surprisingly) attentive 625, who, every now and then, would scribble something on his notepad and stop his mock glasses from sliding down his nose.
“Uhuh, uhuh, go on…”
“By the Great Magalia Cloud you’re gonna regret saying that!”
The nerve of that trog! I’ll send him back to Hamsterville all right – assembly required!
Gantu felt like tearing him apart limb by limb. He sure had some cheek!
But the trog had already climbed into the cruiser. He would have to make do with overloading the hypercoil. He aimed for the drive compartment.
But unfortunately, that didn’t work either. Gantu, being the absolutely amazing shot he is… missed. By three feet. Maybe going back to applied blasting class wasn’t such a bad idea.
“Engines loaded. System ready. Navigational system is on. Preparing for liftoff.”
Gantu tried aiming again. He had the nozzle perfectly aligned…He pulled the trigger.
But nothing happened.
Blitxnak! Why does this thing only not work when I need it to?
Ditching the blaster, he decided to make a run for it. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw 626 stop the buggy, obviously determining it too risky.
“Countdown started. Liftoff in five seconds.”
He was only six meters away, if he sprinted, maybe…
Or if he charged…
Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea…
For a moment, he dismissed all his negative thoughts and lunged at the craft.
“Zero. Liftoff initiated.”
The engine blast pounded Gantu backwards.
Onto his blaster. Which only just happened to start working.
Oh, now it’s operational, he thought as the blaster fired. And, astonishingly, missed Gantu.
The pellet of plasma ricocheted off the now airborne G-343, off the buggy and into a Cocos nucifera. Numerous ‘coconuts’ dropped off the flora and plummeted into Gantu’s spinal column, resulting in the inevitable drop into a sludge puddle of close proximity. A Rana catesbeiana leaped onto his cranium.
“Oh blitxnak” was all he could say.
“That dimwit Gantu! Now I have to re-calibrate the vectors to compensate for the damage he caused!”
628 switched to drift mode, then furiously typed number after number into the computer hub.
“Recalibration complete,” the computer responded merrily.
“OK, set orbital vectors at 300 MAA and switch to manual control.”
The cruiser zoomed off, slowly gathering altitude, higher and higher, until 628 could no longer make out the three humanoids staring directly up at him.
 ^ MAA stands for Miles Above Atmosphere.