Before you and Genie go back to your respective shifts, she makes you promise to meet her after work for space-drinks down at Ten Forward, the spaceport’s bar. You’re so excited that you do double time on all your work, laser-mopping every spot you see on the floor, and even polishing the space-faucets in the bathrooms until the soap scum gives way to a high mirror shine.\n\nShe’s there already when you reach the bar, sipping on a drink at a prime window table. From there, you can see airships undocking from the gates, rising into the air, and zipping off to their destinations.\n\n“It’s funny,” she starts. “I’ve been working here for two years, and I’ve never been on one of those.”\n\n“You’re not missing much.” You remember that space-coffee you were supposed to clean up earlier, but let the thought pass by. That and Bethwina don’t really matter right now.\n\n“I’ve been thinking about your question from earlier,” she says, taking your hands into hers.\n\nSomething from outside—a flash—catches your eye. \n\n[[“Did you see that flash?”|43]]\n\n[[“And what did you figure out?”|44]]
“I’ll be back,” you say. “Just stay put.”\n\nYou dart out of the airship and run for the breaker box. Back when Bethwina had you clean the switches, you thought it was punishment for mouthing off about getting all the bad jobs. So she gave you THE WORST. You wouldn’t have dreamed that it would come in handy now.\n\nAnother rumble from above makes you hesitate before you yank open the breaker box. One by one, you pull the levers down. Each time, a set of lights above shuts off. You look behind you at the airship as you pull the last few. Three. Two. And then the last.\n\nAll that interrupts the darkness now are the lights on the airship with Genie aboard. The magnetic locks release, and with the speed of a computer program, the airship backs out of the lock and takes off into the sky, hopefully for a safer location. You hope that whatever is happening isn’t too widespread.\n\n[[Watch as the ship disappears into the sky.|49]]\n
You turn your heads in time to see the explosions outside a split second before the shockwave hits the glass, sending you and Genie flying across the room.\n\nThat moment of warning probably saved your lives. Still clutching hands, you both run through the hallways, ducking with every new explosion that rocks the structure. All around the level, people are screaming in pain and alarm. But you can’t help them. All you can do is try to find a safe spot to hide.\n\nYou decide the best place would be Level C. There, you at least have a chance to escape on one of the airships. But you have to hurry!\n\n[[Don't just sit there! Run!|45]]\n
It is THE FUTURE, a wonderful time of flying cars, self-baking pizzas, and over-the-counter plastic surgery. The nations of Earth have set aside their weapons and have united under the banner of the world’s biggest and most beloved retailer, SkyMall. Using the bounty of new technologies, brilliant scholars have bettered the human condition through innovations in medicine, manufacturing, and transportation.\n\nOf course, there are also people like you.\n\n[[And what kind of person are you, now?|2]]
It’s dark. You could wander about, but there’s no real use. You wish you could have had one more moment. One last thing to say. You wouldn’t say, “I love you,” because you didn’t know Genie at all. But perhaps with time you could have.\n\nRight now, you wish that you hadn’t wasted the time you did have. If you had everything to do over again, maybe you wouldn’t wait so long to do the things that you always wanted to do.\n\nIt’s dark. It’s dark down here.\n\nTHE END\n
After twenty minutes, you see the faint glimmer of something floating in the distance.\n\nWhen the airship gets close enough, you can see that the Botany Bay looks like an ancient Spanish galleon floating high in the air—complete with cannons that begin to fire at you! “I need you to man the guns while I get us closer!”\n\n“Commercial airships have no guns!”\n\n“Oh,” she says. “Then we're in trouble.”\n\n[[“We can fly above the Botany Bay and parachute onto the deck.”|30]]\n\n[[“Ramming speed!”|31]]\n
You lunge forth with your laser-mop, a battle cry on your lips. There is a moment of triumph as the woman flees from the sight of your warrior’s heart! But only a moment. What she was really doing was ducking and tripping you so that you’d fall head first into the navigation console—the solid tritanium navigation console.\n\nWhen you come to, you find yourself strapped to the co-pilot’s chair in the cockpit. All you can see out the front windshield are blue skies and clouds. This airship is in mid-flight! But who is flying? You look over and see the woman in the captain’s chair, the wheel in her hands.\n\n[[“You’ve heard of Houdini? Dorothy Dietrich? David Blaine? Imbeciles.”|23]]\n\n[[“You’ll never get away with this, you luscious-lipped, lustrously-haired fiend!” |28]]\n
“I hate parlay.” With that utterance, the pirate woman looks deflated. She sinks into the captain’s chair. It isn’t until right then that you’re charmed by the color of her eye and how the light hits her sneer at just the right angle. She’s pretty when she’s angry. You sit down in the co-pilot’s chair to engage in some repartee.\n\n“So talk already,” she says.\n\n[[“Well, well, well… What’s a swarthy girl like you parlaying with a landlubber like me?”|28]]\n\n[[“What are you doing on this ship?”|27]]
“My ship—the Botany Bay—was taken from me. By aliens.” She explains how her ship came across a small vessel floating in the high atmosphere and took it into their cargo hold. Then she relays the grisly tale about how spiny spider creatures emerged, attached themselves to the heads of her crew, and took control of their bodies. She alone managed to get to an escape pod.\n\n“I need this airship to get my crew and the Botany Bay back.”\n\n[[“I have to report you.”|29]]\n\n[[“Count me in, sister!”|24]]\n
“Wanna talk about it?”\n\nGenie spends her lunch break sitting across from you at a cafeteria table. Even though you’re famished, you don’t dare touch your food. There’s nothing grosser than watching someone else eat a piece of meat slathered in sauce, and you’re not about to jeopardize the first honest-to-god awesome thing to happen to you in forever.\n\n“You ever think about being someone else?” you ask. “I mean, like if you were born into another family and raised in a totally different way and could do all these different things—would you still feel—”\n\n“Empty? Lost?” She smiles. “I work in a spaceport food court.” She pokes her microwaved potato. “I think about it every day.”\n\n“I’ve thought about two things for the past three years since I’ve worked here,” you tell her. “One: I want that TSA promotion so badly. It would mean more time off, more chances to travel."\n\n“And two?”\n\n[[“It’s nothing. Nevermind.”|21]]\n\n[[“What if today is our last day? What if we have nothing but right now?”|42]]\n
As soon as you wave off Genie’s question, you regret it. But there’s no time to take it back. Your wrist communicator lights up, and Bethwina’s irritated voice screams out the tinny speaker:\n\n“I thought I told you to clean up that space-coffee on Level C!”\n\nWell, that’s your cue. Back to work. You say goodbye to Genie, who smiles weakly as she returns to her duties, too.\n\n[[Back to the grind, eh?|22]]\n
Ah. The piquant bouquet of sweat, burning motor oil, and doggie-doo. Good old Level C.\n\n[[Better get to cleaning.|10]]\n\n[[Snoop around one of the airships.|11]]\n
Ha, you silly dog. You’re no escape artist. You cried like a baby when that mime trapped you in his invisible box. That was last week.\n\n“My name is Captain Brynn,” she says. “I need this airship to retake my vessel, The Botany Bay. It and my crew were taken over by aliens when we picked up a strange craft. I was the only one to escape.”\n\nYou try to coax more information out of her, but her steely gaze remains on the airship navigation console. You can’t discern any pattern in the dial readouts to figure out your ultimate fate. \n\nYou see two possibilities:\n\n[[Wait and see what happens like the chump that you are.|24]]\n\n[[Attempt to knock over the cup of coffee in the captain’s seat cup holder onto her.|33]]\n
“Start doing things!” you say. You and Genie push buttons and throw levers, praying to hear a click or a whir or some other signal that you have a chance of getting out of this alive. You flip one last lever, and the airship roars to life. The engines rev, and the navigational flaps start moving of their own accord. A readout on the dash indicates that you’ve just engaged the automatic pilot.\n\nGenie yelps for joy, but it quickly fades, replaced by confusion. An alarm rings throughout the cockpit. A red blinking notice takes over the readout: MAGNETIC LOCKS STILL ENGAGED.\n\n“The flight control tower…. There’s no one manning the locks.” You think fast: “I can cut the power to the entire level. The breaker is at the far end of the platform.” What you don’t tell her is that once that’s done, the airship will immediately lift off. There wouldn’t be enough time for you to cover the distance to make it back.\n\n[[“Wait here. I’ll be back.”|48]]\n\n[[“I’m so sorry. I don’t think it’s possible.”|47]]
“It’s okay,” says Genie. And that’s the last thing you hear before the final explosion that ends your life.\n\nTHE END\n
“I think that we always wish there was more time, and that—if we had to do it over again—we’d maybe not wait so long to do the things we’ve always wanted to do.”\n\nA split second later, an explosive shockwave hits the glass from outside, sending you and Genie flying across the room.\n \nYou spend your last moments curled around Genie’s body. Her hands still clutch yours—tight, tight, tighter than you’ve ever felt anything hold onto you before.\n\nTHE END
You pass by people running the opposite way, and you try to yell out to warn them that it isn’t any safer up on Level A. No use.\n\n“C’mon!” yells Genie. She pulls you down the stairs to the platform where the now deserted gates lay unguarded. Another explosion shakes the ground, and you stumble onto your knees. Genie pulls you up, and together you manage to jump on board one of the airships.\n\nAt the helm, you can’t help but blurt out, “I don’t know how to fly an airship.”\n\n[[“To hell with it. I’m going to try.”|46]]\n\n[[“I’m so sorry.”|47]]
Strangely enough, she giggles. “You’re funny,” she says, twirling her hair.\n\nThis catches you by surprise. “You think…I’m funny? ‘Cause, I mean I really don’t try to be.” But that’s a lie, because you ALWAYS try. Most don’t know that you harbor a secret love of stand-up comedy. Now the universe has given you a sign to go for it! After all, how often does a beautiful and kickass space pirate fall for the musings of a middling-to-lousy member of the Transportation Sanitary Administration?\n\nYou come to the obvious conclusion too late to stop her from hitting the co-pilot eject button. The last thing you think—well, ever—is about how nice the view is up here and how you’ll miss it on the way down, down, down to the cold, hard ground. Happy landings!\n\nTHE END\n
You attempt to contact Bethwina, but the captain proves to be too fast. She wrestles you to the ground before taking a blackjack from her belt and hitting you alongside the head.\n\nWhen you wake up, you are somehow lying back on the Level C platform. Several people huddle above you, most notably members of the Airship Security Squad. They haul you upstairs to their black-walled office where they serve you cookies without milk. Barbarians.\n\nSigh. Looks like that promotion isn’t coming anytime soon. But that’s okay. The Earth blows up long before you get too hung up about it. So it’s not all bad, right?\n\nTHE END\n
“I put you on the PA system. You were on quite the roll.” Yes, you were. Who’d have thunk that an also-ran TSA grunt would have unwittingly saved the world from an alien invasion? Not anyone back at the spaceport, and certainly not this ravishing pirate maven standing before you. “It looks like I’m going to need to take on a new crew. Starting with you.” Oh sweet! If only Bethwina could see you now!\n\n“I could be your first mate!”\n\n“Um, well…I was thinking more along the line of cleanup. Those exploding pirates left a lot of stuff on the decks, and I kind of need someone good with a laser-mop.”\n\nStill, take heart. There is much more adventure as head custodian of The Botany Bay—adventure and much booty to be had!\n\nTHE END\n
With a decisive turn of the wheel, the entire Botany Bay lurches over into a barrel roll. You wrap your arms around one of the masts and hang on for dear life. The alien-pirates, however, do not fare so well.\n\nWhen the ship flips back over, only you and the captain are on the deck. All the pirates—and the aliens with them—are on a one way trip to Splatsville.\n\nYou stand triumphant as the savior of planet Earth! And your reward?\n\n“How about a date, honey?” you ask the captain.\n\nShe smiles, and then punches you in the face.\n\n“I think it would be better if we were just friends, okay?”\n\nTHE END
“Hi Bethwina,” you begin. She cuts you off before you can say anything else.\n\n“Go to Level C. A pilot spilled space-coffee all over an airship cockpit. Clean it up!”\n\n[[“Roger, roger.”|5]]\n\n[[“Stuff it, Gargleplop!”|4]]\n
You stop and look down the hallway, admiring your handiwork. Few in the Transportation Sanitary Administration (TSA) can wield a laser mop as well as you. At some point soon—very, very soon—you’ll get that promotion you’ve been pushing for, and Bethwina Gargleplop, your manager and arch-nemesis, might think twice before calling you a “ca-ca-poo-poo” to your face. Again.\n\nSpeaking of…\n\n“Come in! Come in!” It’s Bethwina now, calling on your wrist communicator. \n\n[[Answer Bethwina and boast about your custodial skills.|3]]\n\n[[Ignore her call because you’re going to fire her anyway after you get promoted.|4]]\n\n\n
No one likes going to Level C. It’s dark down here, and no matter how much deodorant you spray, the smell of rotten underwear never leaves. The few passengers you find only brave these depths to get cut-rate deals on cut-rate airship lines. \n\nHmm. Bethwina never told you which airship needed your help.\n\n[[Call Bethwina on your wrist communicator and ask her.|6]]\n\n[[Make an educated guess. |7]]
Unfortunately for you and your promotion, a supervisor droid (only 7000 credits at!) manages to record your little act of insubordination. At dinner that night, a singing robo-gram arrives at your door to let you know that you’ve been terminated (to the tune of that Lionel Richie classic):\n“Hello? It’s a job you’re looking for…”\n\nA little while later, the Earth explodes. And you have no idea why.\n\nTHE END\n
Trailing your laser mop and laser bucket behind you, you trudge forward, stopping every once in a while to question a dreary flight attendant or impatient ticket-holder. \n\nFinally, you reach the end of the level. All the while, airships have been taking off and docking into port.\n \n[[“Better go back up and report my failure to Bethwina.”|12]]\n\n[[“Well, I’m here. If I can’t find the right airship, I might as well mop.”|10]]\n\n[[“No! I’m a great worker, and I’m going to clean up that space-coffee if it kills me!”|11]]\n
“Bethwina, come in. Come in please!” It’s no use. There’s too much shielding on the levels above for the signal to get through. As you stand there leaning on your laser mop, someone from behind you bumps into you, but does not stop to say anything. The person is dressed in all black, with a long overcoat and old-timey fedora.\n\n[[Follow the odd fellow.|8]]\n\n[[Ask around for the airship in need.|7]]
You step off the elevator into the cool, muzak-filled halls of Level Z. You’ve long imagined the emperor-sized beds and delicious room service offered to the richest and most powerful of Earth’s dignitaries. After trying a few doors, you find that your key card unlocks the one at the end of the hall. That’s the good news. The bad news is that as soon as you crack the door ajar, a powerful force pulls you inside. That you did not expect, just as you don’t expect to be hurtling through space and time!\n\nAt some point, you land on something hard. When you finally get your bearings you find yourself surrounded by human-shaped scaly creatures with big tusks.\n\n[[“Uh, housekeeping?”|13]]\n\n[[“Begone, demons from Hades!”|14]]
You’re pretty sure that supervisor droids don’t make the rounds on Level C. Even floating robotic orbs have standards, you know. So you decide to give into curiosity and follow this strange person. Even at a distance he (or she—it’s hard to tell with that coat) is easy to pick out of the ambling crowds. \nYou find yourself led to Shiplock 7V, where the person steps on board the airship docked there. That’s weird. There isn’t any ticket agent stamping boarding passes. In fact, there are no people lining up to get on, nor are there crew disembarking. What is this ship doing here?\n\n[[“This is too strange. Better go up and tell Bethwina.”|12]]\n\n[[“Good, bad…I’m the guy with the laser-mop. Let’s head on in.”|11]]\n
You’ve seen enough sci-fi movies to know that evil aliens are always outwitted by man’s ability to leap beyond logic. So you reach into your past and pull out a question that has confounded man since the dawn of time:\n\n“How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?”\n\nYour gambit has the desired effect. The alien-controlled pirate stops and ponders this mathematical conundrum. Meanwhile, the captain leaps upon the helm, calling back to you: “Hang onto something. We’re going for a ride!”\n\n[[“Okie-dokie, Dr. Jones.”|41]]\n
An inauspicious end to an inauspicious individual. It’s an interesting feeling not having hands or feet or arms or legs or any limbs of any kind. In fact, your short life as a pile of disembodied parts is quite eye-opening—which would be more meaningful if you still had eyelids.\n\nTHE END\n
Everything’s Coming Up Space Pirates\n\nor\n\nStolen in the Nick of Time
You step onboard. It’s quiet. Too quiet. Judging from the tidiness of the cabin, there haven’t been passengers through here since the last cleaning. Something weird is going on, and you’re going to find out what it is. After all, you’re in the TSA! Cleaning up trouble is your job!\n\n“Hello?” you call out, smoothly like an operator. “I’m here about some space-coffee?”\n\nNo answer. \n\n[[“I’m checking out the tail section. That’s where they keep the mini bags of pretzels.”|15]]\n\n[[“If anything’s amiss, it’s going to be in the cockpit.”|17]]\n
You unleash your weapon of war, slaying millions of nasty germs on the floor with your laser-mop and devastating millions more microbes who will curse your name as their angry god. And—what’s this?\n\nYou lean down and pick up a small black card—you recognize it as a key card. From the design on its face, you think it might grant you access to the elevator on Level Z, and maybe even one of the rooms up there. Only the most ritzy of the ritz stay on Level Z, where they can wait out their layovers in style.\n\n[[“I need to investigate one of these airships.”|11]]\n\n[[“I’m a-movin’ on up to Level A!”|9]]\n
The creatures eye you suspiciously. Finally, one among them—the queen, judging by her crown—steps forward while the others back away.\n\n“What are you doing here, you idiot?”\n\nThat voice. “Bethwina?”\n\n“You never were very good at your job,” she says. “Level C is still a mess.”\n\n[[Tsk, tsk. Neglecting your duties, eh? Find out what happens.|16]]
Bethwina’s office door is closed and locked. You knock, but there’s no answer. You try to call, but still no answer.\n \nIt seems like you have a choice on your hands. Every level could use a little laser mopping. You’re currently on level A, where most of the terminals and gates are located. Where do you want to go?\n\n[[“Forget this. I’m grabbing some lunch.”|18]]\n\n[[“There’s something really weird about Level C.”|22]]\n
Mmm. Mini pretzels are so good. Well, at least you’re not hungry when you get a blackjack to the back of your head.\n\nWhen you come to, you find yourself strapped to the co-pilot’s chair in the cockpit. All you can see out the front windshield are blue skies and clouds. This airship is in mid-flight! But who is flying? You look over and see a young woman in the captain’s chair, the wheel in her hands.\n\nHer most notable trait is her eye patch. Oh no! A space pirate!\n\n[[“Good thing I’m an escape artist!”|23]]\n\n[[“Please. Don’t. Kill. Me.”|27]]
Few people are able to claim more than one monumental discovery in their lifetimes. Still fewer are able to stand upon the podium of history as a true champion of innovation. If things were fair, you’d stand up there with Galileo, Einstein, and Zephram Cochrane, for 1) you’ve found proof that aliens exist, 2) you’re pretty sure that they’re intelligent life, and that’s because 3) you’ve witnessed first-hand their advanced pain ray technology. It works really well!\n\nAlas, things are not fair. But you can take solace in your prominent place in the aliens’ commemorative collection of conquered worlds (“Last Human EVAR”). And don’t forget the perks—all the giant slug flesh you can eat for the rest of your long, long, long life. Yum!\n\nTHE END\n
Your hunch was right. A strange, dark-haired woman, dressed in a puffy shirt and wearing an eye patch, is busy fiddling with the airship controls. Oh no! A space pirate!\n\n[[“I’ll stop you, you sneaky pirate person!”|25]]\n\n[[“Parlay!”|26]]\n
“I am an observer of races that endanger themselves through their own stupidity.” She has you follow her to a video screen with a picture of Earth displayed on it. A moment later, the planet explodes! “Earth is gone. But perhaps you can change its fate. When you stepped into the portal, you jumped forward in time. We have the ability to send you back with knowledge of your impending doom. Perhaps you can save your people.”\n\n“Send me back? I thought we were stupid. Why give us another chance?”\n\n“We’re sending YOU, aren’t we? That isn’t much of a chance.”\n\n“Hey!” But before you can say anything else, a blue glow envelops you, sending you back in time!\n\n[[“Parlay!”|7]]\n
You eat your steak and potatoes in peace. No one bothers you. When you go back to work, no one talks to you as you mop floors, scrape gum from under tables, and empty out trash bins.\n \nYou go home at the end of your shift and rent a movie, make some popcorn, and vedge out. \n\nWhen the planet explodes sometime during that night, you’re on no one’s mind at all.\n\nTHE END
Lunch is always the highlight of your day. And when you feel like treating yourself right, you make your way over to Space Sizzler in Food Court Q—home of the excellent “Radiation Ribeye” special and home to your epic crush, Genie. \n“Hey there!” she says when you reach the counter. “How's life?”\n\n[[Don’t say anything and scurry away—y'know, the usual.|19]]\n\n[[“Complicated.”|20]]\n\n
There’s a first for everything. This occasion is the first time in your life that anyone has actually done something you’ve said to do. And you’re not sure why. Perhaps the pirate lady was desperate. Or maybe you caught her at a vulnerable time. In any case, she follows through with your cockamamie order and rams the airship into the floating galleon.\n\nThe last thing going through your head—other than bits of windshield—is how maybe you could have asked for that promotion instead of just waiting for it. Who knows? Perhaps Bethwina would have said yes.\n\nTHE END\n
She looks at you incredulously, but follows suit by pulling on the flight stick, sending the nose of the airship up. Barely able to keep from vomiting, you can only watch as the cannons swivel to target you. Before she reaches under her seat for her parachute, she cuts your bonds free.\n\n“Help me or stay here,” she says. Well, obviously choice B stinks. So you choose A. Together, you both parachute down to the deck of the Botany Bay, narrowly dodging the large iron cannonballs flying past you. It’s not all great, though. When you land, you’re surrounded by a brigade of snarling, eye-patched, puffy-shirted, alien-possessed space pirates.\n\n[[“Um, parlay?”|34]]\n\n[[“I think it’s fair to warn you that I know Space-Kwon-Do.”|32]]\n
Wow. You’re really gonna take him on. Really. Really?\n\nOkay, tough guy. So how exactly do you want to do this?\n\n[[“Mano a mano, broham. It’s Chinatown.”|38]]\n\n[[“I’ve won a few spelling bees in my day! I’ll outsmart him!”|39]]\n\n[[“This one time I walked into a bar. Ouch, you know what I’m saying?”|36]]\n
“Take my wife…please.” It’s like the entire cosmos was created for this one moment in time. Your moment. Your original plan was to confuse your opponent to buy time for the captain to regain control of her ship. But with every (frankly, terrible) joke you sling out, the big man stumbles over in pain. You have discovered the aliens’ one weakness—your totally broken sense of humor.\n\n“What’s stucco? Answer: what you get when you sit on gummo!”\n\n“Please stop!” the alien-pirate says as he crumples to the deck. “The pain!”\n\nBut not even you can stop this laugh train(wreck): “Why was five afraid of six?”\n\nWith a shudder, the pirate looks up and asks, “Why?”\n\n“It wasn’t,” you say, triumphantly. “Numbers are not sentient. Thus, they are incapable of feeling fear.”\n\n“AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!” screams the pirate. Then he explodes. From all over the ship, you hear wails of anguish followed by similar explosions.\n\n[[No time for losers, 'cause you are a...|40]]
Gaining control of the ship is the most important thing. The captain shields your effort to get to the wheel by taking on the big lug by herself. The sounds coming from that melee aren’t pretty. In fact, they’re quick, loud, and terrifying. Nonetheless, your spirit is resolute—alien invasions usually do not bode well for humankind, and you’re not about to let this invasion go smoothly if you can help it.\n\nOnly…how the hell do you steer this thing? You have no clue. The one person who did is not in any shape to help you (she’d need to somehow reattach her head to her body). So you just start throwing switches and tossing the wheel around until something happens. And that big red button that says, “DON’T PUSH”?\n\nYeah. You push it. As you suspect, it turns out to be the self-destruct button. The explosion takes care of all those pesky aliens, but it also takes care of you.\n\nFear not, stalwart hero. Even though no one will ever know your contribution to the planet’s well-being, at least you finally did something of note, which is more than most people can say about themselves.\n\nTHE END
Too late, you reason that the aliens in control of the pirates may not understand the pirate code. And soon, you lose understanding of it as well.\n\nYou do gain a different understanding, though. The aliens aren’t bad even though they look like disgusting slimy spiders. They’re your friends. They want to make a better world…for them. And when their special Exodus device reaches the surface of the planet, Earth will be a much kinder place for them to live. Unfortunately for you (and everyone), thousand-degree lava pools and sulfuric oceans aren’t very hospitable to humankind. But you’ll help the aliens out anyway because what are friends for, right?\n\nTHE END\n
You manage to kick over the coffee onto the pirate lady. She doesn’t shriek like you expected, on account of the coffee being old and cold. Unfortunately, the temperature of the liquid matters little to the electronics on the navigation console. The coffee shorts out all the controls, sending the airship into a nosedive.\n\nDo you recall the TSA oath you took to “Never make a mess, never surrender”? Well, you’ve more or less broken both of those promises today. Tsk, tsk. Bethwina would be very disappointed.\n\nTHE END\n
Funnily enough, you actually DO know some Space-Kwon-Do—as long as you count the complimentary lesson you got when you ordered the extra-large combination fried rice at Yang’s Chop Suey Emporium. That single lesson (“kick ‘em in the balls”) proves decisive as you and the pirate captain fight your way through the throng of pirates to the ship’s helm.\n\n“Oh no,” says your companion when you reach the wheel.\n\nYou’d probably say something witty, but you’re too busy trying not to pee in your pants. A huge pirate with arms the size of elephant legs, the temperament of a rabid honey badger, and the smell of that honey badger’s dinner from yesterday night steps forward, blocking your way.\n\n“We need a plan,” the captain says to you.\n\n[[“I’m going after the steering wheel because I’m a big, fat, SMART coward.”|35]]\n\n[[“I’m tough as nails! That guy’s gonna need a tetanus shot after I get through with him!”|37]]\n
Reinhardt Suarez\