16 A Day Late and a Wormhole Short

The Planet Sessesspressny, Andromeda Galaxy, 22nd Century

Zeely and his companion, Ah’sheej, (‘Ashy’ to her friends) landed on Sessesspressny in his donut-shaped spaceship just outside the cave where Anjal, Jens and the Gleeze had found the defunct wormhole generator. Ashy was Zeely’s companion. Zeely thought they were in a relationship, but the jury was still out on that as far as Ashy was concerned. However, he had convinced her to accompany him on this covert mission, which was dating in his book.

The gunmetal toroid hovered 10 cm above the grass, which greeted the Shrupt visitors with a hearty, “Hallloo!” The snake-eyed aliens, who felt the sentient turf was (literally) beneath them, rudely ignored the heartfelt salutation.

“What is that disgusting smell?” Ashy wrinkled what was a nose of sorts, a diminutive bump with two slits for nostrils.

“I think it’s those flowers—” Before Zeely could finish, Ashy was stomping on them. The grass protested the floral violence, so Ashy stomped on it.  Before long, Ashy was under assault by the remaining flowers which were shooting large, pointy seeds at her, while the grass lamented its bruised dignity. A nearby tree joined the fray and lobbed an overripe fruit at Ashy, which exploded in a sticky purple bomb all over her new, shiny white uni-suit, perfect for space travel or night on the town. Sputtering with rage, she spun around and began wrestling with its branches.

“That’s it! You’re sawdust. Sap will be spilled!” She shrieked. Zeely restrained all four of her wrists.

“My dear, we are not here to battle the flora.” He said reasonably.

“It’s annoying! And I am not your dear!” Ashy snapped all of her arms out Zeely’s grip and turned around and stomped off into the cave. Zeely’s heart swooned. “Well, come on, then.”

Two small butterflies turned their antennae towards the aliens. They had been among the groupies listening to Anjal’s storytelling, and they decided to just stay there and wait in case she returned to finish the amorous tale. Also, they were having a fascinating discussion with the lizard family.

“Hello!” The hot pink butterfly said in sparkle dust. “Who are you? I like your eyes! Is that a female? Oooh.”

The Shrupt, who wore a miniature version of a translator on their suits, understood Missa but ignored it since they quickly located what they had come for—the wormhole generator unit. The wand was there, but the generator looked as if it had been gutted, with gobs of dimming circuitry hanging out of it. Once the goojh vacated it, the remaining components had quickly decomposed. Zeely picked up the wand and swung it in a circle. Nothing. Then he twirled it like a baton, thrust it in a stabbing motion, and finally shook it aggressively and shrieked at it. But it gave no response, and no wormhole appeared.

“I think it’s broken.” The light blue butterfly said. “They said it was sick.” Ashy advanced on the Gleeze named Hynnys and focused her gaze on it, narrowing the pupils of her eyes into thin lines.

“Where did they go?” She demanded with a combination growl-shriek. Both Gleeze shrugged. The lizard family sensed Ashy’s hostility and scuttled away into a crack in the cave wall.

“We don’t know.” They actually did know, but it suddenly seemed like a bad idea to volunteer any more information to these angry snake-people. Ashy turned to Zeely.

“You told me they used this portal! But it’s obviously junk. I think you made all of this up so I would come to this godforsaken planet with you, with the perky insects and incessantly chattering grass!” Ashy, dripping with acrimony, advanced on Zeely who was frightened and simultaneously turned on.

“No! My D—Ashy. I would never. I watched the bugs and the bland creatures with not enough arms.  They came here and the pale female found this box and then—”

“Then? Then what?”

“I’m…I’m not sure. Something happened to my sphere, and I lost the connection. I just assumed that they had entered the portal from here and we would simply follow them.” What had actually happened was: a trumm, an arachnid-like creature that looked like a puffy mushroom with legs, had leaped from the ceiling onto Zeely’s hand (trumms were notorious for pouncing). He screamed like a little girl and threw the trumm and the sphere across the room, after which it malfunctioned (the sphere, the trumm was fine) and had been in the repair pod ever since. “It’s in the ship, I’ll get it.”

“We’re leaving, you little moths.” Ashy said to the Gleeze. “Do not tell anyone we were here.” She paused. “In fact,” she removed a weapon from a holster. “I think I’d feel better I was sure you weren’t going to talk.” She aimed the gamma ray pistol at Missa, but Zeely was behind her with his hand on her shoulder.

“Loveliest Ashy. We really should find Nalla and the bland ones. The sphere has been repaired and it will be easy to track their position. These children obviously know nothing.” Ashy glared at him and then the butterflies.

“I’d probably just get that nasty dust on me, anyway. Remember what I said.” She shrugged Zeely’s hand violently off her shoulder and clomped indignantly to the donut ship. Zeely sighed and started planning their wedding. Information Warriors liked a bossy lady.

When they were gone, the relieved butterflies sparkled a farewell at the Shrupt. The sphere would have translated it to the humans as, “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass!”