Carmen: i can't do this today. i'm sick.
Carmen was in a right state. she felt wrong. there was a constant metal banging from her quarters. Herlina huddled up with Harfi who allowed it cos it was Halloween after all as far as they could tell. and remember.
Harfi: you okay in there, girlboss?
Carmen gives her the hot stare through the door.
Carmen: *coughing up a storm* sure. since we couldn't get the new oven, i'm busting my balls over here coming up with new recipes for us.
Herlina: don't matter none, ma. i love your cooking. food is food, the most important thing is that it nourishes.
Carmen: wow that is some character development for you, Herlina, i'm proud of you, sis. i'm so tired. i woke up today and my bones were still asleep. i got the shivers and the shakes. my eyes are bugged out and blurry. my plucked eyelashes ache. i can't feel my butt.
Harfi: sounds like a cold. not to be cruel but it's best if you stay away from us. it's a good thing you're sulking in your room. stay there. get some cold-eeze and call us in the morning, through the intercom. wow and my mother wanted me to be a field medic.
Carmen: sure i'll hop on over to an unvandalized CVS. uh uh, telekinesis only, girls. as long as i keep cracking double yolkers we're fine. i never get single yolks anymore. i've been reading in this heavy cookbook i managed to save from home---and by the way you better appreciate what i cook you, i had to lose my dildo to make room for this large-ass book! the recipe calls for spearmint and casu marzu. why does the cheese always gotta be smelly? this would be easy but of course it's not in space. do these ingredients even exist anymore? our memories of them endure, however, that's what's important.
night comes unexpectedly as it does in space.
Carmen: uhhhhh uhhhhh uhhhhhh *bang bang*
Carmen leaves her room in a swoosh with her hands awkwardly forward. her face is haggard and she moans very unsexually.
Harfi: Halloween's over. i think. you're scaring the children.
Herlina: i don't mind. this is getting me in the mood. i miss The Walking Dead most of all. i even fashioned a Lucille bat with some spare pipe and wire laying around.
Carmen: you should know by now the Sandpiper's too small to have spare parts! that was the steering rudder! and my sex whip!
Harfi tips her new cowboy hat.
Harfi: oh leave her alone. it don't matter much none. we don't have an engine. can't get very far. i installed the brake for scrapes.
Carmen: yeah when you think about it we're alive but we don't have three things. you still stink, Herlina! no washing machine that's not covered in oil. why don't you hop on down and do some research the next planet we encounter.
Herlina: i guess i'd have to seeing as we don't have a transporter. my burden shall carry all of us. i'm gonna carry that weight.
Carmen: sorry, kid, i'm a nasty woman when i'm sick. i'm not trying to be a zombie, this is my face when i'm deathly ill. my head hurts. it throbs passionately. my whole body aches. i feel the cold of space in me.
Harfi: that's not good. could be a concussion. from our last battle. you banged your head and didn't know it. they're insidious like that. i'll go wrangle up the ingredients.
JUST THEN a blast from an enemy spaceship downs the Sandpiper and the gals plummet headlong into the gravitational field of a planet they never knew they were near.
Harfi: we don't have sensors, either. it looks like the ice planet Hoth. just off the movies i watched at the Academy. grab a quilt, ladies! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
Galen: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! the blast ricocheted off the ladies' strange forcefield and hit his ship. he is crashing along with them on a dual track like twirling synchronized swimmers.
Carmen: ow the back of my head is throbbing.
*SPECTACULAR CRASH WHICH MELTS THE ICECAPS*
Carmen: everyone okay? except me?
Herlina cushioned the fall.
Herlina: don't expect this for much longer, dears. i discovered the paleo diet app is still functioning on my phone. and that sounds like just the type of thing for people who are starting over.
Harfi: the weather outside is frightful! we out here but we're not gonna last long out here. i better go hunt for wood or wildlife skin to construct a shelter if we can't abandon one.
Harfi points her gun, which she has fashioned into a makeshift lightsaber and Katniss bow, in the general direction of the freezing storm, only to have it blocked by the stern hand of Galen, who also has stern good looks.
Harfi: my my aren't you a looker.
Herlina: i saw him first.
Carmen: you're...a human! but different. you look like us but you also look like a human from a distant galaxy. same but different. same species but different rearing and experiences and gravity, y'know what i mean?
Galen: enough! i will not be beguiled by your charms, o different species. that's the first thing they teach you at the Academy. what do you want with the wampas? i need their warm wormy insides for my men, they're dying of hypothermia out there. my gold-plated ship crashed. ten times more room than a tauntaun. i command a large contingent.
Harfi: hold your horse, bucko. my hands are up! we come in peace. i think we're all in a bit of shock. i love to hunt but only when required. wampas you say? wow i was right!
Galen: they're mine, missy!
Carmen faints and collapses into a soft snowpile that swallows her up like quicksand. Galen reaches for her arm in the same fashion as the gun.
Galen: whoa whoa little lady. i got'cha.
Carmen: so now i'm a little lady. my head hurts so much. my stomach is barren but i can only take liquids. i am not well.
Galen: sounds like Three Sneeze. my mom wanted me to be a field medic. you get two massive concussions, then a soft concussion that goes unnoticed which triggers the patient to sneeze. once you sneeze, it's all over. lights out. on to hell or Sith Heaven or however you are affiliated.
Carmen: i think i had my two.
Galen: i get it now. you're procuring ingredients for the tasse de the, the curative.
Carmen: huh? no i was just hoping to make our dinners tastier.
Galen: the tasse de the is a special tea. it will cure your Three Sneeze ailment. the name means both "enjoyer of life" and "devilish rabblerouser". tea troublemaker, if you will, one who tests the limits of pleasure. you need this immediately. the wampa is our only hope. i know where his cave is. i got sensors. come on. vamanos.
Carmen sits herself up on a hard log and through a bloody nose that quickly turns into a red popsicle she flips through her grocer's grimoire.
Carmen: yes, i had my eye on this page before. i like the tiny pretty Sergio Aragones pictures around the edges of the pages. there's one of an old man mooning us the readership with his miniature butt. reminds me of Lysander. you need the tea but more importantly it calls for the cheese and the mint.
Galen: on it. private, let's go.
Harfi: i'm not a private. but i'll always be private from you. you remind me too much of my old boyfriend. he died.
Carmen: uh Herlina, stay here and man the fort.
Herlina: right. do we have Codrus's telescope? did we manage to stow that away? or no. anyway i'll just use these high-powered binoculars. i got a phone to scroll. y'know it's tough getting through instagram every day with the so many folk i follow. should i scroll fast to hope to get to the designated end where it won't allow you to scroll further down no more? or do i take my time, scroll slowly, watch every 60-second video, in hopes that the bottom will come quicker?
Carmen: that's kinda creepy looking at instagram pics now that the Earth exploded and everyone on there is no longer living and capable of taking more snaps. it's like their funny tombstones. don't mind me, i'll strap my leg to this log here for support. even though my leg's not broken. do hurry.
the first thing the crew of two encounter when they reach the Victorian door of the ice cave is a swipe from the huge paw of the roaring wampa that nearly kills Galen and Harfi right then and there.
Harfi: talk about life-or-death tinder.
the two soldiers try to warrior the beast to and fro but it's child's play for the wampa who indeed treats the two as ragdolls to be flung around and stuck on the stalagmites of the cave.
Galen: ow. but at least we're not on the stalactites. then we'd be pinatas along with the humiliation.
Harfi: i never had a quinceanera.
Carmen shows up and leans on the cave entrance.
Galen: what are you doing here?
Carmen: glad you cared. i don't have a broken leg remember?
Galen: you need your rest. actually i need my rest.
Carmen: i'm sensing something from this noble creature. he's smarter than us. it's just nobody ever talked to him before. hello, sir.
the wampa bites on a blue pipe that blows blue bubbles which promptly harden into blue marbles. he takes out his Sherlock hat with the flappy ears from behind the fridge and dons it.
wampa: indubitably. child's play indeed. such savages you animals are. just tell me what you want so that i may get rid you of my analog abode and get back to my mysteries. of the universe.
Carmen: see? let me handle this. i am captain after all. we need tea leaves. not to read. and the cheese. and the spearmint. what is your name, good sir?
wampa: eh, i don't want to give that out. just refer to me by my screen name, Cumberbitch123. the leaves come only from my special underground greenhouse. the secret is freezing the leaves so they preserve the preservatives. i'll show you my bunker once i get my glasses on. legend says the greenhouse sprouted from a leaf off the Grand Oak. i had to kill a couple of robbers named Luke and Han but they were trespassing and just didn't listen. technically this whole area is my property. i got rights. the spearmint you're shit outta luck.
Harfi: you couldn't manage to scrounge up some spearmint seeds for your greenhouse?
Carmen: i bet i could conjure up some spearmint. if you can dream it, you can make it grow out of thin air. i would if my arms weren't like rubbery gum and my head didn't feel like a ton of bricks.
Cumberbitch123: speaking of brick, as for the cheese, it's smelly cheese but it's not what you think. it's actually rotten cheese. it comes from my butt. the cheese is my poo.
Carmen: y'know i'm actually more disgusted by the fact that it's rotten. when i think of rotten eggs i cringe.
Galen: there's nothing we can do, miss. time is running out.
Carmen: i don't carry a watch. okay, bottoms up.
Cumberbitch123: make the hot teawater by slicing into the ice with a lightsaber. that's it. nice and fresh. if you know what i mean. perfect timing. i just had dinner. mac 'n' cheese.
Galen: *leaning against her shoulder behind her with his hands* no, ma'am, like this. take the cup. you put the cheese into the tea and drink it.
Carmen: it's not a side appetizer? by the goddess. thank you for your kindness. the spearmint?
Galen: my ship is basically one big ship-sized stash of marijuana.
Carmen: ah, that was your cargo. no wonder you're loaded. you're interstellar drug dealers essentially.
Galen: no, the pot was for me and the fellas. traveling in space is stressful. lonely nights, and the lonely nights. wondering when our next home-cooked meal will come. it does have a minty aftertaste. close enough.
WE'LL BE BACK AFTER THESE MESSAGES
Carmen: well i'm feeling better. i think. i hope you learned something.
Galen spies the lightsaber Harfi is handling.
Galen: like your stick, woman. but i need more.
Carmen takes the man by the hand.
Carmen: look, man, just remember me and the girls and what you did here today. remember how you resolved the conflict
WITHOUT USING FORCE, CLICK HERE, RIGHT HERE AT THIS LINK
you made us part of an extended universe today. we can never repay the comfort you lent us. we're not alone. that's a good thing, right? take that with you on your travels. you're still young. well you look young. you still got time.
Galen: yes. this was my first command. my dad wanted me to get out there and get my feet wet. in space. where there is no water.
Herlina: *looking online* buck up. chuck. we just haven't discovered that quasar yet.
Carmen: what's your last name? y'know just in case we meet up again...in space...always good to have allies in space...my address book is empty...just to see if it still loads the list...
Galen turns around with purpose and faces his back to the ladies as he walks off like a hero, a little slowed because he's trudging through snow.
Galen: i'm in the directory. Marek.
Galen looks up at the sky. there is nothing but blizzardy white up there.
Galen: *with droopy eyes* the stars are out tonight.