Michael Wombat’s Picture Choice: 1
Seventeen years. Seventeen claustrophobic, stifling, soul-sucking years stuck with two shit-for-brains bitches in this cramped box of a hypership with the fucking FTL drive stuck on max. The thinking behind having an all female crew had been to avoid tensions brought about by male posturing and testosterone-driven willy waving. Yeah, right. Fluctuating oestrogen and progesterone levels, added to three completely different personality types, do not make for a happy band of travellers.
We’d tried everything to fix that bastard drive. Heidi had even taken to belabouring the casing for hours on end with a big fuck off steel hammer. Arms like a docker, that one, but all of her sweaty effort could not shift the needle out of the red. Daft twat, she kept trying though.
Heather, ever the thinker, the planner, had spent endless months trying to work out the effects of travelling away from Earth for seventeen years at 3.73 times the speed of light. Stupid cow, as if it mattered. She’d tried to tell us that if we ever got back to Earth, say seventeen years from now assuming that we could just turn the fucking ship, which we couldn’t given that at this speed it handled like the Titanic after it had been hit by the iceberg, that far more than thirty-four years would have passed back at home. Or fewer, I forget which. She’s a right spunktrumpet.
Me? I’ve spent the last seventeen years thinking about men – well, cocks – and fapping, given that my speciality, Sub-Light Manoeuvring, had become completely irrelevant the moment the entanglement drive array had been pierced by a pea-sized piece of space shit just three days into the mission.
Fucksake, here’s that wrinkled whore, Heather, sticking her head through my hatch as if she owned it. About five years ago I’d been briefly tempted to try feeling her up, maybe release some frustration with a bit of lesbian lust, but then she’d laughed that irritating snake-hiss laugh of hers, and all thoughts of girl-on-girl action had disappeared forever. What the fuck does she want now?
“Hey, Maggie, take your headphones out.”
“I can’t hear you. I’ve got my headphones in. I’ll take them out.”
“Stupid bitch. Yes, I’m smiling but you can’t hear me, you c—aah, can you hear me now?”
“I can, yes. Not that I give a donkey’s bollock, but what do you want, Heather?”
“What’s that racket from the speakers? Sort of wanka wanka wanka?”
“Sweet Baby G and all his little unicorns!”
“So help me, I’ll kick you in the fanny!”
“It’s, erm, it’s the Proximity Alarm. We’ve come so close to an object – a planet, asteroid, sun, I don’t fucking know – that the override circuits have only gone and SHUT DOWN THE FTL DRIVE!”
“Really? So we can...?”
“Maggie! Heather! Stop fingering each other down there and get your skanky arses up to the pointy end! NOW!”
“You mean walk along the ten feet of decking to you, like this? Hello, cunt-face.”
“Look. Look out there, ahead of us.”
“Bugger me sideways. It’s Earth.”
“It is, isn’t it? I mean, I’m not seeing things.”
“No, Heidi, you’re not seeing things. That, my pretty pudenda, is Earth. We’re home.”
“Crack a smile, Heather! We’re home!”
“But what? Come on, spit it out. You never were a swallower, I’ll bet.”
“OK. You see the land-masses? The continents?”
“Yes! I even remember that one’s Africa!”
“Yes, well done, but – they shouldn’t all be touching each other like that. There should be oceans in between.”
“So what you’re saying is... I don’t know what the fuck you’re saying.”
“Gesundheit. Come on, out with it. Your face looks like a slapped arse.”
“Pangaea was a supercontinent that existed during the late Palaeozoic and early Mesozoic eras. It was formed roughly three hundred million years ago, and it began to break apart about a hundred and seventy five million years ago. Much of Pangaea was in the southern hemisphere and surrounded by a super ocean, Panthalassa. Exactly like what we’re looking at now.”
“Yes, ladies, we are indeed home. And now I finally know what happens if you travel for seventeen years at 3.73 times the speed of light. Apparently you go around in fucking circles and also travel two hundred fucking million fucking years into the fucking past.”
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Michael Wombat has published several books - search for him on Amazon, or go talk to him on Twitter where he is @wombat37.