Captain Anoxia and the Space Centipedes, Episode 4: Space Biscuitry

Filming of the portentous epic is going well till

the matter of that custard cream
floating in the tractor beam.

Spoils the whole movie.

*

The camera escapes the director’s control momentarily, and focuses on the rogue biscuit. Could it be from the biscuit box of the lost spaceship?

*

The biscuit rotates in its own orbit, a tiny oblong moon, the crumbs around it already forming into a sort of ring.

*

Focussing automatically on the lettering moulded on the surface of the spinning biscuit, the camera picks out first ‘ALPHA’, then ‘OMEGA’.

*

On Earth, the records of the CSS Franklin are pored over for any clue as to the name of the company which supplied the custard creams. Nothing.

*

A message is sent out to Captain Anoxia, supposedly investigating the destruction of Ice Station Pluto. Confidentially, no communication has been received.

*

Again, officials curse the Space Corp’s laxity: Anoxia should have been debriefed regardless of whether he was capable of speech or not.

*

MEANWHILE…

*

Captain Anoxia crunched through Charon’s rusty tholin gunk to get a better look at the Midgard Centipede. It had the entire moon in its grip.

*

The resurrection hadn’t gone well: he was a third of his normal size, and had a green chitinous shell. The only thing he could eat was broken glass.

*

At least the Space Centipedes ignored him. Either his shell protected him from their mindprobes or it helped he had a face like a grasshopper.

*

The centipedes had crunched up moons and minor planets wherever they’d come across them. Space seemed to writhe as Anoxia looked into the sky.

*

It was clear from the ruins that Ice Station Pluto had held out as long as humanly possible. But Space Centipedes got inside your mind…

*

When your thoughts played out involuntarily as enormous palindromes, you waited till they were finished to see what you might have meant.

*

Naturally, this did not lend itself to tactical thinking while giant ink-black centipedes with poisonous heads at either end attacked you.

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