Tantocs was pacing around the interior of the asteroid.  If he’d had any nails, he would have chewed them to the quick.  How was he going to tell Yrot, how could he possibly face the others?
As he rounded the corner he spotted Yrot looking through the observation window, over his shoulder the scene through the opening was dominated by that big blue rock they were heading towards at a considerable clip.  Tantocs took a deep breath, puffed out his chest and bit the bullet
‘Hello Yrot, how are you today?’
‘Fine, fine.  I’m just a little pensive’, Yrot sighed, ‘were we right to come here really?  I suppose that it’s a bit late for that kind of soul searching now that we have our destination in sight isn’t it?’
‘Well about that Yrot’
‘Yes?’
Tantocs took a deep breath, looked down at his feet and mumbled
‘It’s a bit late for a lot of things really.’
‘I didn’t quite catch that Tantocs, did you say it’s a bit late for things?  What are you trying to say, speak up won’t you.’
‘I said it’s a bit late for a lot of things sir’  Tantocs decided the formal approach  would be best
‘Hmm formality, that’s never a good sign when you use it Tantocs.  You better spit it out, whatever it is.’
‘Well I was going through the planetfall checks and I discovered quite a major flaw in the ships design sir.  It looks as though the end of the journey was assumed to take care of itself’
‘Enough mumbo jumbo young Snaicitilops, speak plainly for K’s sake’
Ok Tantocs he said to himself, you better just blurt it out.  What’s the worst that can happen?
‘Well Sir, it seems that whoever designed this craft neglected to think about how we were going to slow down at the end of the journey’
‘What are you trying to say’ Yrot growled.
‘What I’m trying to say sir is that we are on a laser guided asteroid hurtling through space aimed at the planet out there with no brakes.  I quadruple checked and we have nothing.  Nada, zip zilch.  No means of deceleration.’
‘Right you, come with me.’
Yrot marched away from the window through the caverns inside the asteroid gathering up Tantocs in his wake.  He barged past other Snaicitilops , ignoring outraged shouts from those he scattered.  Soon he was at the room of the chief engineer.
‘Right Ruobal, what’s this young Tantocs here tells me about the brakes on this tub hmm?’
Dr Ruobal looked up from the schematic he was looking at straight at Yrot, eyes meeting in a fierce clash of wills that had obviously been simmering for a while.
‘I don’t know Yrot, you tell me.’
‘Tantocs here claims that we have no brakes.’  Yrot was trying to speak calmly, but there was still an edge of anger in his voice.
‘That’s correct Yrot.  We have no brakes’ Dr Ruobal replied
‘WHAT IN BLAZES WERE YOU THINKING YOU GLORIFIED TRASH CAN MAKER?’ Yrot slammed his fist down on the desk, sending pencils flying.
‘It was your bloody edict oh glorified leader’ Ruobal snarled, ‘You set the budget so bloody low that it was impossible to build this vessel to my designs.  You were so busy allocating funding to new buildings and roadworks on a planet we were all going to leave anyway because it could no longer support us’
‘Those things were necessary at the time, and I’ll stand by those decisions.  Now stop trying to change the subject, what possessed you to think that we could do without brakes?’
‘It was your idea Yrot’ Dr Ruobal snapped the pencil he was holding as his knuckles turned white.
‘What the hell are you talking about?  I’m not an engineer, I believe that’s what we paid you rather a lot to be.  Even I would not have built a ship to travel at 75000 kilometers a second WITHOUT BRAKES YOU IMBECILE’ Yrot was leaning across the table, spittle flicking to Ruobal as he shouted.
‘Oh contraire mon capitan’ Ruobal leaned back into his chair, ‘I came to you explaining that we could not build as designed when you cut the budget to build that opera house.  Your response was, and I quote, We don’t need brakes, we’re immortal.’
‘I don’t recall saying any such thing Ruobal, why would I say that?’
‘To jog your memory it’s lucky I recorded all our conversations at that time, I’m sure I can dig out the recording if you want’ Ruobal smiled as he said that, knowing he’d won this particular confrontation.
‘No that won’t be necessary Doctor.  Okay so now what?  Can we fit some brakes now?’
‘Bloody hell Yrot, I knew you were stupid but that really takes the biscuit.  There’s no way we can fit brakes now, especially not in the time we have available, which by my calculations is about three minutes’
‘Don’t ever call me stupid again.  I’m still the president around these parts and when I ask my specialists for technical advice, I do not expect to be insulted so.  Comprende?’  Yrot’s spoke deliberately low.
‘Whatever you say el presidente.’ Dr Ruobal couldn’t hide the small smile of satisfaction.  ‘These bodies we currently have will perish when we hit that planet, but we should be OK if a little groggy.  Oh and ‘ Ruobal was interrupted before finishing.
‘No more Ruobal.  We’ll have words after we’ve set up below.  Until then I better prepare the people.  Speak later Doctor, Tantocs.’  Yrot turned on his heel and marched out the office
‘What were you going to tell him Dr?’
‘Oh just that things have changed on the target and we may not have such an ideal host ready for us on arrival now.’ The doctor said.
‘What do you mean Dr?’
‘Oh you’ll see Tantocs, you’ll see.  If I were you I would see about getting braced for impact.’
Sensing he was dismissed, Tantocs left Dr Ruobals study.  While he was on his way back to his own rooms the tannoy crackled into life.
‘Good afternoon everybody, this is a message from President Yrot.’  A female voice announced.  People in the hallway groaned in preparation for one of Yrots long winded insomnia cures he called a speech.
‘My friends,  I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for all your hard work in getting us to our target over the past seventy five thousand cycles.  As you are no doubt aware we will be reaching our destination very shortly to begin our new life on the planet we have called Thera.  Unfortunately however, due to a minor technical glitch we will be unable to slow down enough for the smooth landing we had all anticipated.  I have it on good authority however, that although our craft will be gone we will survive, but will have to make the transition to our new hosts sooner than expected due to the small odds of our current bodies surviving the impact.  I would now urge you all to calmly find yourself a suitable place to brace for Impact and I look forward to leading you on the planet below.  Your friend and leader, Yrot Brga.’
Dr Ruobal looked up from the schematic as the tannoy crackled and shook his head, always one for the show he thought to himself and settled himself back into his chair to await the impact.
On the planet below a massive lizard was struggle to breath.  The volcanic activity was filling the air with poisonous chemicals and wheezing, the lizard looked up to the sky.  Behind the clouds an orange glow was getting brighter and larger, until it  was visible as far as the eye could see.  After a while the glow started to form into a huge fireball that grew brighter, hotter and larger as it plummetted towards the ground.
The fireball fell rapidly until it hit the sea with a crashing boom.  A huge Tsunami erupted from the crash site and swept everything in it’s path, finally putting the giant lizard out of it’s misery, along with all the others.
A lone voice shouted
‘Oh bugger, what are we going to do now ?’
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