Chapter 2 - Prophecy boy



The celebrations had been going on for over an hour at the Port Watson bar. Located on one of the lower levels of the space station, the bar was currently full of people watching hologram coverage of all the major sports and reality TV shows from around the universe. Gathered at the table with Abe and Jupiter were three members of the Port Watson crew: big-bodied Barack, lean Larry and foolish-looking Kiper.

“And I was like ‘Bring it on you stupid android’ and… can I have another scotch?” asked Abe, distracted by the bar-bot.

“Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard all that – the thing I can’t get my head around is how you deactivated the bombs,” said Barack.

“That was easy. I was like ‘Yo bring it on you stupid bombs’ and… actually make it a double scotch,” replied Abe.

“Bombs?” asked Jupiter.

“Yeah, remember, legend had it if you were to open the briefcase containing the scroll you’d just set off 15 nano-nuclear bombs. You know, unless you were a direct living descendant of the Saunders line.”

“15 nano-nuclear bombs?” Jupiter looked out the space port window at The Love Crusader and let out a small sigh.

“You did deactivate the bombs didn’t you?” asked Larry.

“Ah… Yeah, of course,” said Jupiter, forcing himself to look away from the window and instead focus on the extreme golf hologram broadcast.

On-screen a golfer had shoved his club upright into the mouth of a crocodile, successfully stopping it from biting down, when suddenly all the holograms changed to footage of a newsreader. Jupiter wasn’t really focusing on what was being said though as the only thing that kept going through his head was '15 bombs! 15 bombs! 15 bombs!'

“Ah, looks like Prince Mykur’s invaded another planet,” said Barack.

“Nah, nah, that’s not what he’s calls it? What does he call it again? Oh yeah, he’s just ‘franchising’” said Larry shaking his head.

“Looks like iSmart was right,” sighed Kiper as he took a big swig from his drink.


iSmart was the world’s smartest computer that eventually became so intelligent it reached the point of technical singularity. Simply put, its artificial intelligence could update and improve its own programming and design faster than humans could. Encoded with details of everyone’s DNA, it also quickly became the world’s premier psychic. Taking everyone’s psychological makeup into effect, it could accurately predict what any one person would do and then how that would affect other people's actions around them and so on. In short, it practically knew everything that was going to happen before it happened. It could often be heard simply saying, “Knew that; knew that; that too,” for hours on end.


Naturally, this made iSmart very popular. Everyone wanted to know their future. However, this created the Shoe Lace Paradox: if iSmart told you that you were going to trip on your shoe lace, then it’s high likely you’d pay more attention and not trip – making the prophecy incorrect. This would irk iSmart no end as it liked to consider itself infallible. So one day iSmart suddenly stopped telling people what was going to happen. Predicting that this would result in people threatening it with violence, iSmart also built itself some legs and went into hiding, somehow always moving just before people found it. However, before it hid, it’d written many prophecies – generally increasingly vague to avoid the Shoe Lace Paradox. One of its most famous prophecies concerned an evil prince that would either rule or destroy the entire galaxy and the one person who could stop him.


“Why is he a prince anyway? Shouldn’t Mykur be a king? After all he murdered his parents,” said Barack.

“Market research showed that prince was a more popular term. Creates a younger, fresher image in people’s minds,” explained Larry.

“Well as much as this has been both educational and fun, Abe and I best be going. We’ve got an urgent job awaiting us,” said Jupiter.

“Just one more drink,” said Abe.

“Now.”


#


Back on board The Love Crusader, Jupiter was trying not to panic. The cockpit of the ship looked like most commercial spaceships in that it more closely resembled an elegant living room than the deck of the Star Trek Enterprise. (Star Trek like uniforms had also never caught on. With anyone. At all. Ever.) In the centre of the semi-circular room was a comfortable reclining chair with a small monitor. Either side of the chair were couches (all with seat belts naturally) and various pot plants (plastic) and electronic paintings were scattered around the room.


“Ok so it’s not that bad. We’re just in exactly the same position we were in before the mission… only we're now carrying illegal nuclear devices and just blew our remaining credits at the bar,” Jupiter said as he plonked himself down on the recliner.

“And the ship keeps spinning. We really should get that looked at,” slurred Abe.

“First things first: We need another mission and fast. Turn on Central and see if there are any jobs going.”

Abe flicked a switch and a big hologram monitor rose swiftly out of the floor and flickered to life.

“Let’s see… Oh look, here’s something. We could try to locate the golden orb of...”

“Updating Central,” came a voice from the monitor.

“Ok, so now it’s been found. Great!” Jupiter sighed in frustration, then moved his hand in a downward motion, scrolling through the list of jobs on display. “Here’s another one. We could try to locate the lost city of Los Vegas.”

“Oh please, that’s a bedtime story. There’s no such thing.”

“We’re officially screwed.”

“Couldn’t we just lie about the 11 secret herbs and spices. Make up our own list,” suggested Abe. “I bet there’s 10 common ones, like salt and flour and one dodgy one which is why it’s kept secret. I’m guessing semen. Perhaps the colonel really did love chicken.”

“You want to lie to Kit Vombosa? You must be drunk.”

“Well ok then, how about I try writing a new book,” suggested Abe.

Abe was the first of the 1000 Monkeys program. The program hoped to prove the long held theory that if you had a thousand monkeys at a thousand typewriters, one of them would eventually write Shakespeare. To improve the odds, the scientists genetically engineered monkeys with superior communication skills and intelligence. Unfortunately all Abe ever wrote was trashy romance novels, getting him kicked off the project.

“Thanks, but we’d probably starve before the royalties started to come in.”


“Updating Central,” came the voice from the monitor.

“Hey, this could be something. It’s pay by the day work. Abe look at this.”

Abe walked up to the monitor. “Looks blurry.”

“Central, read Mission Offer.”

“Softly please,” said Abe.

“Mission: Help Google Jones rescue the Galaxy,” said the hologram of a thin-looking 16 year old with dark hair, perfect model-like looks and a deep, commanding voice. “Hello friend, my name is Google Jones – the chosen one. Help me defeat the evil prince Mykur and enjoy the spoils of my victory. My name is Google Jones and I endorse this message.”

“Uh-uh, no way. Prophecy boy is a pompous git,” said Abe.

“Well what do you expect, all his life he's been treated as the saviour of humankind. We've dealt with worse.”

“And that stupid old-fashioned name... You’re not thinking of accepting his offer are you?”

“We need the money Abe; without this job I'll starve and you’ll be sober. What's your problem?”

“It’s guaranteed death, that's my problem! Why do you think no one else has taken it? Prince Mykur is pure b-grade movie evil. There’s no hint of subtlety or nuance to his evil. It’s completely devoid of a grey area.”

“Relax. The prophecy says this kid can stop him, so we'll be all good.”

“No, the prophecy says the kid’s the only one that can face Mykur in battle and live. Says nothing about his hired help living.”

Jupiter dismissed the concern with a wave of the hand.


“Central, contact Google Jones.”

A dial tone was heard and then a hologram flicked into life on the floor in front of them. “Hello, this is Google Jones…”

“Hello…” Jupiter started to reply.

“… the chosen one,” continued Google.

In the hologram he looked different; just as thin, but with messier hair, pimples, braces and a still breaking voice. His previous hologram must’ve been photoshopped thought Jupiter.

“I’m Jupiter Black and this here is my friend and crew mate Abe. We’re interested in applying for your quest. Can you tell us more about what it would involve?”

“It would be my pleasure, but I can’t risk it over an open communications line. Where is your current location?”

“Port Watson Space Station,” replied Jupiter.

“Central, bring up map function,” said Google. His hologram looked to the right, presumably reading the map. “Okay Jupiter and Ape, meet me at…”

“Abe! My name is Abe.”

“Sorry. My mistake,” said Google. Then he paused dramatically before adding, “Meet me at Planet Doom.”

Abe gulped…


“Oh wait, Planet Doon. Sorry, read that wrong. Meet me at Planet Doon.”

4 Response to Chapter 2 - Prophecy boy

  1. Luke says:

    Believe it or not, there are girls in the future. I'll get to that next chapter. Also, not to get defensive at all, but the next chapter will hopefully be funnier too - just had to get some pesky story stuff out of the way in that one. :) The awesome drawing of Abe was done by Derek.

    While I'm at it, Luke said he wanted me to unlock the Ashton X blog - so if any others wanted to visit it you can type meisluke@hotmail.com as the email address and ashton_x as the password (Yes, I'm a genius at passwords). To keep it from just being a story graveyard, I'll occasionally post rewritten chapters as I rewrite it. There's absolutely no need to read or comment on the chapters – they're just there if you're bored/interested and as added motivation for me to keep up with the rewriting (although if you do comment, any constructive criticism is welcome). Oh, and please try not to delete it all by mistake!

  2. Dale says:

    I'm glad I got to read another one of these before I went away. Humourous as always. The world and characters are intriguing. The iSmart is iIngenius. That Planet Doon line was hysterical. :)

  3. Jimzip says:

    I dislike that all I ever have for you is praise - I sound like some blasted Jonas Brothers fan - it's probably doing you no good either, getting a big head and all ... my word! Write something crappy so I can say something constructive!! ;p

    (Loved it!)

    Jimzip :D

  4. Luke says:

    But what if my head was actually really small, like it was shrinking 'cause of same weird disease and your comments were saving my head from disappearing altogether. Something to think about. ;)

    Thanks again for the comments you two.