SORRY, THE PLANET YOU’RE LOOKING FOR IS NOT AVAILABLE
By Aaron Huggins
In the farthest reaches of the Milky Way galaxy is a tiny little planet third from its local star (called the sun), known to its inhabitants as ‘Earth’ and to the rest of the galaxy as ‘that disappointingly damp little rock over there.’ Earth has made more mistakes than the entire population of the milky way put together, and seems to insist on dismissing things like peace and equality as a complete waste of time. This makes Earthlings (why do they call themselves ‘humans’?) the third most disagreeable race in the galaxy (the second being the inhabitants of the Planet of the Politicians, and the first being Dispucians. Dispucians are so disagreeable that they argued about being the most disagreeable race in the galaxy until they were moved down to fourth most. As a result, the position of ‘most disagreeable race in the galaxy’ is currently available).
If anyone with any sense at all happened to chance upon planet Earth, they would probably leave immediately and not bother invading, because to be honest who in their right mind would invade a planet of idiots who can’t decide on anything?
Those were Udesecar Vispr’s sentiments exactly, though when he voiced the thought it was with a fair amount of trepidation, for Secar Aloah was not a man who took lightly to people questioning his decisions. Although technically, Secar Aloah was not a man at all, but the Captain of the Idrasil battle ship that currently floated above Earth’s atmosphere, hidden from the humans’ primitive scanners.
But Aloah himself was beginning to have doubts on the practicality of the venture. When he’d first organised the invasion fleet, it had seemed a brilliant idea. Quiet, boring little planet that nobody had invaded before, even though they easily could have? What could go wrong? Aloah had thought. So he’d made a reservation with Invasion.Inc and off they went.
But now that he was here, he couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed at how hopelessly boring the planet looked, and he found himself questioning how productive the invasion would actually prove. So when Vispr asked him whether it was a very good idea, Aloah responded with a wholly unconvincing ‘hmm? Oh yes, absolutely,’ accompanied by a nervous twitch.
So unconvincing was Aloah’s response, in fact, that Vispr was not actually convinced, and so said, rather pessimistically, ‘Well, at least we can be sure nobody’s beaten us to it.’
On the other side of planet Earth, otherwise known as ‘that disappointingly damp little rock over there’, a Kronign Invasion Ship lurked above the planet’s atmosphere, cunningly concealed from the Earthling’s primitive sensors. On the Kronign Mothership stood Battalion Chief Masaine Oringon, whose thought process was very similar to Secar Aloah’s.
‘At least we can be sure nobody’s beaten us to it,’ she told her fleet in an attempt to boost the morale lost when they’d learnt how stupid the planet was.
Stupid planet or not, however, Masaine was determined to proceed with the invasion of it, and decided it was time to put those years at the Kronign Ladies Academy of Conquering (KLAC) to use. Now, she thought, was a good time to let the ‘humans’ know they were being invaded. Mass panic and hysteria was always good for Kronign morale. Masaine nodded at Diplomat Chawkin Chys, who activated the Loud Loud LoudspeakerTM (patent 77775342 on Kronign) and spoke into it, addressing the population of Earth.
‘Greetings, Earthlings,’ Chawkin said in a well-rehearsed ‘alien voice’ and in the widely spoken language named after a citrus fruit- Mandarin. ‘We do not come in peace,’ Chawkin continued, and Masaine had to smile at that. The last bit had been her own little touch, after her in-depth research told her that humans expected aliens to say ‘we come in peace’.
‘Currently,’ (said Chawkin) ‘an invasion force from the planet Zog,’ (Masaine smiled again at another of her additions) ‘is hovering above your planet’s atmosphere, and is about to destroy you all. Please remain calm whilst you are disintegrated.’
To ensure that everyone on Earth knew what was happening and that not only Mandarins were panicking whilst all the others were just staring at them as though they were mad, Chawkin, repeated the message in English, Russian, Spanish, Arabic and a dozen other languages. Then, when he had finished, there was a satisfying silence, during which the Kronigns imagined mass hysteria. Then, over the intercom, came a voice- a voice speaking in the neutral language of the galaxy, which humans were incapable of speaking.
‘Who the devil are you?’
Aloah had been just about to deliver a message to the inhabitants of Earth over his Mega Mega MegaphoneTM (patent 8886421 on Idrasil) when he heard a loud, booming voice echo back through the device, which determined it to be in Mandarin, then translated it to say almost exactly what Aloah had been meaning to tell the humans.
The message repeated itself in a number of other Earthling languages before Aloah had the chance to address the mystery speaker.
‘Who the devil are you?’ he asked when it was done.
There was a silence; then a female voice emanated from the Mega Mega MegaphoneTM; ‘I could ask you the same question.’
Aloah scowled. He did not like being addressed in this fashion. ‘Well, I asked first,’ he whined.
The female (whose accent had an Mchi System sound to it) didn’t seem to care. Aloah imagined she might’ve even gone so far as to shrug, provided she had shoulders, or, for that matter, a corporeal form. ‘We were here first.’
Aloah began to turn an unpleasant shade of fuchsia. ‘How do you know? We could have been here for decades.’
‘We could’ve been here for centuries,’ retorted the annoying female.
Fuming, Aloah knew she had a valid point. In fact, he was the one who had made it. She’d stolen his valid point! He hated it when that happened. Putting on what he thought was a reasonable tone, he said, ‘look, would you mind telling me who you are and what you’re doing here?’
‘You go first, I insist.’
Aloah’s skin, which had returned to its natural turquoise colour, began to turn fuchsia again. ‘Well, if you’re going to be like that, we’ll just have to fire on your fleet. So unless you want to be blown to smithereens, I suggest you tell me who you are!’
Masaine remained calm throughout Aloah’s revelation, and in fact made no efforts to hide a yawn. ‘Finished?’ she asked the angry fool (whose accent had an Iiwon configuration sound to it).
The fool in question seemed rather taken aback at her unconcerned reaction. ‘I think so.’
Masaine turned to Chawkin, who until recently had been sitting listening to the conversation with a certain amused expression, and snapped at him, causing him to jump, wipe the smirk off his face and bang his elbow on the monitor at the same time. ‘Aim the missiles at planet Earth.’
‘What?’ yelped Aloah as Chawkin obeyed and the Kronign missiles swivelled downwards. ‘You can’t do that!’
Masaine rolled her eyes, already tired of the overblown idiot on the other end. ‘Watch me.’
Aloah smouldered to himself for a few more seconds, weighing up the options, before coming to the reluctant conclusion that losing an entire planet was much worse than losing an argument.
‘Blast it. Not the Earth!’ he added hastily as the Kronign blasters began to whir. ‘I am Secar Aloah of the 13th Idrasil Battle Division. We’re here to invade Earth, and I still intend to!’
Masaine frowned for the first time that day (Aloah had already frowned enough for both of them). ‘No, we’re here to invade Earth,’ she said, slowly and deliberately, as though she were addressing a child. A human child, that is. Kronign children tend to be more mature than their adults. Masaine was in here adolescence, and had nearly reached full immaturity.
‘No you’re not, you just want to blow it up,’ responded Aloah craftily. At least, he thought it was a crafty thing to say, but Idrasili are usually more bash-them-over-the-head than crafty, so he wasn’t sure.
‘No, that was just a ruse,’ Masaine replied. ‘I want to invade Earth, not detonate it.’
Aloah opened his mouth to ask what a ruse was, closed it again, frowned, then opened it to say, ‘and who are you, anyway?’
‘Battalion Chief Masaine Oringon, of the Kronign Invasion Force,’ Masaine replied.
‘Well, could you go away, please?’ Aloah asked her nicely. At least, he thought it was a nice thing to say, but Idrasili are usually more blunt than nice, so he wasn’t sure.
Masaine folded her arms. ‘Why should I do that?’
It was Aloah’s turn to speak slowly and deliberately, but due to his lack of intelligence nobody really noticed the difference. ‘Because this is our invasion.’
‘No it’s not.’
‘Is! We made a reservation at Invasion.Inc!’ Aloah said, which really should have settled it.
‘No, we did,’ argued Masaine. ‘Approved by the undersecretary of the Eradication Department! We’ve got his stamp and everything, and yes it’s authentic because we saw him regurgitate it with our very own eyes!’
‘Well our reservation,’ blustered Aloah, now a peculiar shade of olive, ‘was signed by the senior secretary of the Enslavement Department!’
‘No it wasn’t, it was the clerk,’ Vispr whispered, although for an Idrasili a whisper is like anyone else’s normal speaking voice, so Masaine definitely heard it.
‘Well, that settles it,’ she said smugly.
‘No it does not! When did you make the reservation?’
‘The 7th of Harfir. What about you?’
Aloah’s intriguing olive shade subdued into a rather gloomy purple, the ombre of which ranged from a dark plum to an almost-black navy. ‘Harfir the 7th,’ he muttered.
‘Oh,’ said Masaine.
‘There must have been a mistake at registration,’ said Aloah. ‘Those soft-headed idiots probably haven’t even been on an invasion before.’
‘Doesn’t seem like you have, either. How do they appoint idiots like you as Secar?’
Aloah flashed vibrant puce. ‘Excuse me?’
‘What did I do?’ Masaine sounded genuinely mystified, but Aloah knew better. Kronigns were skilled at feigning innocence.
‘You know full well what you did,’ Aloah told her in a dangerous tone.
‘I really don’t.’ Masaine’s own tone of voice by this stage had transformed from innocence to contempt that this idiot actually thought she’d said something offensive.
‘Don’t act the fool, you pamorous snidgeon!’
That did it. First this blockhead had accused her of insulting him, then he goes and insults her. She curled her lip. ‘What did you call me?’
‘I didn’t,’ said Aloah, indignant.
‘Hypocrite,’ spat Masaine. ‘You tell me not to act the fool, then act the fool!’
‘Let me tell you, Mr Overblown Sackervoy,’ hissed the Kronign, ‘that nobody- nobody- calls Masaine Oringon a snidgeon.’
‘Look,’ growled Aloah, beginning to lose his patience with this melodramatic fool on the other end, ‘I don’t even know what a snidgeon is.’
‘Of course you do. You said it, didn’t you, you caporulic bunxterbinger!’
That was when Aloah did something no Idrasili had done in five years.
He went technicolour.
Instinctively, his entire crew took several steps back, and, to be honest, with very good reason.
A few facts:
1. On Idrasil, to turn technicolour is the ultimate sign of anger.
2. On Idrasil, to call someone a ‘caporulic bunxterbinger’ is the ultimate insult.
3. Masaine did not know what the words ‘caporulic’ and ‘bunxterbinger’ meant, nor did she utter them.
‘WHAT DID YOU CALL ME?’ roared Aloah, eyes flashing psychotically, skin pulsing like a multicoloured strobe light. He turned to Vispr, who was at the other side of the control room with the other Idrasili, all of which were a sort of very pale green colour. ‘Aim the missiles at that pitiful Kronign ship!’ spat the Secar.
A handy tip: when a technicolour Idrasili tells you to do something, it’s a very good idea to do it, particularly if you wish to retain the use of all of your body parts.
Even though Idrasili aren’t generally the brightest suns in the galaxy, Vispr at least had enough sense to know that the previous handy tip is really quite a good thing to listen to, especially seeing as Vispr did indeed wish to retain the use of all his body parts. And so Vispr did what he was told.
Meanwhile on the Kronign ship, Masaine saw what Aloah’s berserker state was making him do, and so calmly turned to Chawkin and instructed him to ‘aim the missiles at that stupid Idrasili ship.’
Aloah glared out the window, seething. That stupid snidgeon will regret ever calling me a caporulic bunxterbinger, he thought. Whatever a snidgeon is.
Masaine couldn’t help a satisfied smile creeping to her lips as she surveyed the Idrasili ship. That caporulic bunxterbinger will regret ever calling her a pamorous snidgeon, she thought.
‘Fire!’ bellowed Aloah.
‘Fire!’ cried Masaine.
The explosions that followed created a spectacle the likes of which Earthlings had never seen. Many humans watched the fireworks display in awed wonder as the two ships combusted into massive starbursts of red, orange, and (in the case of the Idrasili ship) many other colours besides. And, hidden from the primitive scanners of Earthling, Kronign and Idrasili design, was a Chitterblag ship, on which Commander Nadsi high-fived his number two, Sub-Commander Ikshee, and cracked open a bottle of the finest Woop-Woop liquor.
(You’re probably wondering what in the name of everything under, over and between the sun just happened. Not to worry, you’re about to find out.)
It is a well-known fact that Chitterblaggers can imitate anyone’s voice perfectly after hearing it but once. This, amongst other skills, is what makes them perfect for invasions, parties and the like. In fact, a group of them were invading Earth at the moment. They’d got all their explodey invasion tools together, packed enough TwogsilsTM and Woop-Woop to last a lifetime and registered at Invasion.Inc two weeks before the actual invasion, on...what was it? The 6th of the month Harfir.
‘Look,’ registration had said to Nadsi, ‘there’s a bit of a queue to invade Earth…’
Nadsi had pondered this, and come up with a solution quicker than the one behind the desk could say, ‘so would you mind waiting?’
‘That’s easily sorted,’ he said. ‘Register the people waiting tomorrow anyway. Don’t tell either of them about me or the other. I’ll take it from there.’
With that, he’d flipped the guy at registration a 100 kalo token, and gone on his way.
So Nadsi had waited patiently whilst Masaine and Aloah bickered for about half an aeon, then he took his chance when Aloah had said, ‘there must have been a mistake at registration. Those soft-headed idiots probably haven’t even been on an invasion before.’
And before Masaine could reply, Nadsi said over their communication devices, in a perfect imitation of the Kronign’s voice, ‘Doesn’t seem like you have, either. How do they appoint idiots like you as Secar?’
‘Excuse me?’ growled Aloah.
‘What did I do?’ Masaine asked, thoroughly perplexed.
‘You know full well what you did.’
‘I really don’t.’
Then Nadsi spoke again (‘Don’t act the fool, you pamorous snidgeon!’) this time in Aloah’s voice.
And so the argument escalated once more, until Nadsi played his trump card.
‘I don’t even know what a snidgeon is!’ protested Aloah.
‘Of course you do. You said it, didn’t you, you caporulic bunxterbinger!’ said Nadsi in Masaine’s voice.
Nadsi knew perfectly well what a caporulic bunxterbinger was, and as a result felt exceedingly pleased with himself when Aloah turned technicolour, for the last person who had annoyed an Idrasili so much they went thus had been thrown out an airlock by said Idrasili.
The Chitterblaggers whooped and screeched as they watched the spectacular explosions.
‘Three cheers for Commander Nadsi!’ cried Ikshee, and the crew responded somewhat overeagerly, shrieking fervently amid swigs of Woop-Woop. When everyone had calmed down, Nadsi announced, ‘now let’s go and invade Earth!’
To which the crew responded with yet another psychotic cheer of delight as the Chitterblag ship drifted slowly down to the planet below.
Kronign- native to the planet Kronan, in the Mchi System, Kronign resemble human beings, except for that their features are more delicate, none of them have beards, and they lack such features as ears and toes. Rather than maturing as they get older, like humans do, Kronigns become more and more immature until they reach their coming of age and fully immature into adults.
Idrasili- native to the planet Idrasil, in the Iiwon Configuration. The mood of an Idrasili can change as fast as their skin colour, which some say can be every shade possible, and the mood in question is generally foul. Idrasili are not by any means smart, clever or bright, and rely on brute force, blasters and tactics somebody else thought of first.
Chitterblagger- an odd species native to the K’r’k’r’k solar system, generally much shorter than any other race in the galaxy. Chitterblaggers have long, reddish-brown hair, which they tie around their waists, and rodentine faces. They are capable of imitating anyone’s voice after only hearing it once, (though their actual voices are high-pitched and headache-inducing) and they are known galaxy-wide as ‘untrustworthy.’
Secar- means ‘leader’ in Idrasilian
Udesecar- means ‘under-leader’ in Idrasilian
Pamorous- the closest word we have in English to describe ‘pamorous’ is ‘petty’.
Snidgeon- a Kronign insult, meaning someone who lies for the sake of self-preservation
Caporulic Bunxterbinger- Untranslateable, and it’s probably better that way too.
KLAC- The Kronign Ladies Academy of Conquering.
About the Author
Aaron Huggins is a high school student from Kinglake- a mountainous region north-east of Melbourne, Australia. He grew up in a family with a healthy appreciation for British humour, which has flavoured his writing with hints of Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Doctor Who, and Roald Dahl. His favourite types of books are Science-Fiction, Fantasy, and Murder Mystery. Aaron hopes to make a career as a writer when he graduates. LIVE A LITTLE is Aaron’s first novel, and he completed it at the ripe old age of fifteen.
Check out Aaron Huggins' debut novel "LIVE A LITTLE".