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Captain Claudia Frote

by Lewis

“Let’s review how we got here.” Claud said quietly, his hand paused over the button.

“Look it was just a ball for Christ's sake. Is it really worth killing for?”. Drake's long face peered through the window. His wet nose pressed against the see through hatch. “Please.You don't have to do this.”

“One rule I have on this ship. I don't enforce hours. I don't care if you fight or rut anything that we meet. You can roll around, whine and wag your little tails off. But no god damn balls. You're right I don't have to. But I do want to.”

A single claw extended and tapped the button. There was a sound much like a sudden intake of breath, but reversed.

Claud turned to see a sea of puppy dog eyes trained on her.

“That shit doesn't work on me. Get back to work.” and if I catch any of you bringing a ball on to this ship.” She finished the threat with a state. Tails between legs they headed back to their stations. Captain Drake, cleaned her whiskers and curled into her chair.

“Cap, we um have a bit of a situation?.” A cautious rabbit queried on the comms. Claud’s claws plunged into her coffee cup. What was left of the liquid slowly drained.

“What now?”

“Its Mags. Um well. She got into the coins again.”

The engine power system was never a good place for a magpie to work. Too many distractions and in particular the engine power nodules were far too round and shiny. But if she kept her self under control Mags was one of the best.

“Someone get the god damn net.”

“Captain, power levels are dropping.”


The engine room was chaos. Sure the engine monkeys were good when organized, some of the best around, but they seemed to go bananas in an emergency.

“Wheres Mags?” Claud sniped at a swinging macaque.

“Boss she's stuck in the tube again. Got about 10 of the core nodules up there. Hoarding.”

“i knew it . One For bloody sorrow! I said let's get two. For Christ's sake.”

“You. Monkey. Get the net and get that god damn bird out of there.”

The ball rule had come in after the mining disaster on Garf1. Perhaps now was a good time for solo magpie restrictions she thought as she headed to the storage deck.


“There's just not enough power Captain.”

“No. Don't say it.”

“I'm sorry's turned.”

A milk freighter had seemed like the dream commission at the time. Easy money, the cow farms weren’t worth enough for Pirates, but in demand enough for steady work. People needed to eat after all.

But now here she was. Things had most definitely gone sour and now she was was stuck with a literal pack of halfwit mongrels and 10million gallons of wanna-be cheese.

Still it did give her the chance to space a few woofers on the way. So at least that was something. And just wait until she got her claws on that bloody Magpie. She would show her sorrow. Delicious, slow, tasty, sorrow.

Captain Adam and the Evil Intergalactic Space Monkeys

by Jenny

It was almost too late! The evil intergalactic space monkeys were gaining on Captain Adam. He was never going to make it out of the airlock on time. He’d have to stand his ground and face them down.

But he was outnumbered four hundred and fifty six to one! There was no way he could ever fight this many evil space monkeys at once - unless…

Captain Adam pressed the red button on his astro belt to boost his powers times one hundred. These monkeys wouldn’t know what had hit them. One by one they came for him, but he was ready - a karate chop here, a drop kick there. None of them could make it past his super strength powers, but they kept coming, gluttons for punishment; twelve, thirteen, fourteen, bang bang bang - the monkeys bit the space dust.

Captain Adam was exhausted, but he couldn’t give up now, not when victory was so close!

Then disaster! The monkeys released their deadly secret weapon - Killer Fire Breath - no-one could escape it. It looked like certain death for sure now. Captain Adam backed away trying desperately to think, to figure out a way of this hopeless situation.

Swoosh! He suddenly remembered that he had Magnificent Cape Abilities(™). With a flick of his galvanised anti-fire cape the deathly blast ricocheted away from him, keeping him safe, but sending dozens of evil monkeys to their fiery doom.

His enemies were diminished. Captain Adam could almost taste victory when suddenly he heard the thundering, shaking, terrifying sound of another,far worse enemy approaching. The Evillest Boss Monkey. He had hoped it wouldn’t come to this, but there was no escape. The Boss Monkey had come for him. Captain Adam threw heroism to the wind, turned tail and fled from this most formidable of foes.

“Adam. Come on. It’s time to go.”

Julie put down her empty coffee cup on Helen’s kitchen work top and picked up a handbag jangling with coins and keys and anti-bac hand gel.

“Thanks for the coffee - it’s been great to catch up and I hope you sort the magpie problem out soon. Honestly, I haven’t been able to get him out of that cape for weeks. He sleeps in it and everything. Adam - come on. Mummy’s waiting.”

Captain Adam lay face down behind a lump of space detritus and tried to stay calm. He had dealt with the Boss Monkey like this before. If he was quiet and still for long enough, it forgot about him for another ten or even fifteen minutes - it might buy him enough time to escape!

But suddenly he felt the ground shake and saw the horrifying visage of the Boss Monkey looming over him reaching for him with deadly outstretched claws.

Captain Adam fought valiantly. He flailed and tried to deflect the attack with his ray gun and Magnificent Cape Abilities (™), but it was no good. Our brave hero was dragged into the enemy spacecraft to face an unknown destiny...

Woof', said Laika

by Russ

After seven years, Paul was little more than a moss covered husk. A shrivelled form, unrecognisable beneath a mass of unattended hair matted together with the fluids which had oozed and spurted at regular intervals from the various exit points of his body. He’d barely registered the clunk as an unidentified vessel docked with his drifting capsule, and now he found himself blinking through his overgrown fringe at three shadows.

‘Looks like you,’ said Polly.

‘Hilarious,’ said Albert.

‘Woof,’ said Laika.

‘What the…?’ said Paul. Or at least he thought he did. Having not used his voice in more than half a decade, the sound he managed to make was far less intelligible.

‘It’s broken,’ said Albert.

‘You’re broken,’ said Polly.

‘Woof,’ said Laika.

‘Am I dead?’ croaked Paul.

‘Not quite,’ said Albert, who was tapping away at Paul’s console, having turned it around to face himself rather than the atrophied astronaut and navigated the menu away from the simulator Paul had been using to play at throwing virtual coins into virtual empty coffee cups around the cabin, badly. ‘But you’re a long way from home. Were you,’ Albert paused and re-checked the data. ‘Were you aiming for the moon?! My god, talk about missing target…’

Paul’s vision came finally into focus and he started, trying to spur his feeble muscles into some sort of fight or flight. He succeeded in stimulating his bladder into emptying. Albert stepped quickly back from the splash. Laika moved forward and began lapping at the puddle. Polly fell backwards laughing.

‘You’re… animals,’ was the best Paul could do.

‘We’ve got a bright one here,’ declared the re-erected Polly.

‘Shut up,’ Albert addressed the bird curtly before turning back to Paul. ‘We are. I imagine this is pretty confusing for you. I’m Albert, this one cleaning up is Laika, and the annoying one is Polly.’

Paul strained to point with his right arm. It was weakened but he’d kept it in use more frequently than his left, so it still had some movement.

‘You’re, a monkey, that’s a dog, and,’ Paul squinted at Polly. ‘Magpie?’

‘How dare you! I’m a parrot.’

‘You’re black and white.’

‘Sixty years of space will do that to a bird,’ Polly huffed. ‘You’re not exactly rosy cheeked yourself.’

Paul sank back into his seat and looked to Albert.

‘I’m sorry, I don’t understand.’

‘We’ve been up here a while,’ the chimp explained. ‘We were the original… I think you call it ‘guinea pigs’ but I’ve never been a fan of that term. You, your kind, left us up here, presumed dead, but… well, I won’t bore you with the full story. We’re still here, we found each other, we’ve bodged our ships together. And, today, we’ve run into you.’

At this point, Paul’s brain opted for immediate retreat and began releasing sleep chemicals. As he faded, he half-heard Albert continue.

‘Poor guy,’ Albert said. ‘You think we should help him get home?’

‘Can we stop for crackers on the way?’ said Polly

‘Woof,’ said Laika.

One For Sorrow

by Russ

‘How do you picture it, when we live in space?’


‘Well, earth’s fucked, innit.’

We’d been driving for hours and I was bored shitless. Her weary query to my hypothetical was the most she’d said since we left London. I’d counted the coins in the empty coffee cup four times and arranged them in size order. For a few glorious moments, I squeezed the end and used it as a tambourine along to the radio. Then I got the side-eye and put the whole thing back in the holder.

‘Where are we?’ she asked.

‘You’re driving!’ Clearly the wrong answer. ‘Just past Nottingham, I think.’ Still wrong.

‘In space. Where are we? Are we living on the moon, or mars, or just floating around?’

‘It’s your picture,’ I couldn’t believe she was finally engaging me. ‘Where do you think we are?’

She screwed up her mouth in thought.

‘Floating, I think,’ she mused. ‘But indoors, in tunnels. Sliding doors that go ‘woosh’. All very silver but with big glass domes to look out from.’

‘Star Trek, then?’

She scowled for a second.

‘Yes,’ she sighed. ‘I imagined the exact thing I’d seen on television. Shit.’

‘Could be worse, could have been Total Recall,’ I tried to make it better. I waited a moment then saw her head drop. ‘What?’

‘Now I’m imagining Total Recall.’

‘What about food?’ This was selfish of me. I wanted a burger. She’d turned me down for the last four service stations, I needed to be more cunning. ‘You think we’ll have replicators?’

‘No,’ she was quick to dismiss. ‘Those are nonsense. You can’t just conjure up sausage and mash from thin air. Absolute crap.’

‘What would we eat then?’

‘Pills, mostly. Tubes of goo. That sort of thing.’

‘Sounds miserable.’

‘You’re just bitching because I won’t let you stop for a burger.’

I was.

‘You don’t think we’ll have burgers in space?’ I persevered.

‘Maybe, if they can grow them in labs.’

‘Why wouldn’t we just cut them from cows, like we do now?’

‘We’re in space.’

‘So there’s no cows in space?’

‘How would we get cows into space?’

‘Same way as we get up there.’

She paused, then shook her head. I let a snort of derision escape.

‘You haven’t pictured any animals, have you?’

She didn’t answer.

‘Nobody ever pictures animals in space. We’d only be going up there because we’ve killed everything down here. If we’re going to live in pressurised tunnels, in a fake atmosphere, with our blobs of food grown in a lab, never to step out into fresh air, with no pets, or real burgers, or magpies to salute. Then why would we bother going at all? We’d just live in tunnels here instead. It’s madness. I can’t believe nobody ever pictures animals when they imagine us living in space.’

I could see her thinking, I had her on the rails.

‘If we stop at the next service station do you promise not to ask everyone this after Dad’s funeral? Can you promise to just be normal for two days?’

‘I promise.’

There was no way I was going to ask about space animals at her dad’s funeral.

That was for finding out if people thought there’d be animals in the afterlife.