This is it folks, we’ve reached ITAAOAP version 2.0.  Applause is appreciated.  Picking of the nose, is not appreciated.  It mucks up your keyboard.  No, no… oh too late.  You’ve done it now.  Nothing left to be done now but ask you very kindly to grab the tissues and clean it up.

Right, now we were at a rather thrilling part of the story where Lara (the silly earth woman) was about to disable the thrust of the spaceship, The Golly Golly Frump Jumper, and Rune was on his way to stop her.  I am sure you’ve been imagining all kinds of thrilling explosions or summersaults through the air, or even sudden kisses.  Sadly you don’t get to find out what happens just quite yet.

I’ve known for quite some time now that if there is one thing earth people absolutely hate its suspense.  Therefore, I shall leave you hanging in suspense for just a while longer and take this story on a different tack.  And for all of you out there who might accuse me of not knowing where to take the story from here, I would like to remind you that I am the narrator and therefore all-knowing.  You’re just the reader.  What do you know?  Nothing, that’s what.  You know what I tell you.

So, without further ado, we’ll just leave Lara and Rune hanging out in suspended animation for a while and turn our attention to Blat.

Blat is sort of what you’d call a pirate.  Except for the fact that he’s not in the ocean (remember it’s about to be blown up), he’s in the universe.  It’s a really really really really huge universe so he’s not notorious or anything like that.  But he likes to think of himself that way for sure.  ”Blat the Notorious Planet Pirate”.  Of course he does not pirate whole planets either, so the whole title is pretty much a lie except for his name.  Blat.

Well, not really.  You see, Blat is not his real name either.  He just goes by that, a rather more pirate-y name you see.  His real name is Blatirietta Vin Dingle Hushamusha Toodleboots and he is only four-feet tall and wears a fake beard on his baby-smooth face.  But that’s a total secret and it’s between you and me and quite frankly if you tell any of the characters I shall simply refuse to continue the story.

So Blat did not really pirate entire planets, but what he did like to pirate where towels.  Piles and piles of towels, all washed as soon as he brought them on board and then sorted by colour, size, wear, and special properties.  He had a ship full of towels, and for this reason we can easily say he was the smartest being in the universe.  His favourite towel, his current fancy one might say, always rested securely around his shoulders where he could access it in an instant’s notice.  Today he was wearing a lovely green affair with mermaid decorations on it.  The fabric of the towel was of the lushest grade (there being seven grades of lushness, one being “sadly unlush”, two being “moving toward lush”, three being “okay, I’d call that lush”, four being “that’s almost pleasantly lush”, five being “now we’re getting somewhere”, six being “good golly that feels lush” and seven being “holy mother of refinements, that’s lush”) and every time Blat moved his head he was rewarded with a soft brush of fabric against his cheek.

Now most ships were equipped with a navigation system of some kind, and Blat’s ship, Towel Muncher, was no exception.  However, instead of the traditional GPS, radar, or Space-Ur-In systems it had a towel tracker.  And not just any towel tracker, either.  It had the Traipsing Travel Towel Tracker Thirty-Three. This deluxe edition came with advanced towel facts, a towel collection sorter, the ability to detect desirable towels within a 100,000 km radius, and a cup holder.

Now, as I’m sure you can imagine, being a fearsome towel-hunting pirate holds its glamour, but it can also be quite lonely.  A ship full of lush towels is all well and good, but even the being with the most towels in the universe sometimes craves the simple company of other beings.  Of course this craving is short-lived once the other beings are encountered and are found to be quite entirely stupid and useless and then Blat remembers why he loves his towels so very much.

In any case, it just so happened that it had been a long enough time since Blat last stopped to see another being that he decided he needed to stop by his local bar for a nice pint of beer.  Yes beer.  Beer is one of those universal drinks, and I’ll not hear you telling me that’s not true.  So he steered his ship in the direction of his favourite pub, The Frothy Beer Giver, and imagined the soothing taste that would soon greet his mouth.

Of course you should know by now that no one in this story ever really seems to get what they want.  It’s a sort fun game the universe likes to play with people, never giving them what they really want, but lining up something else to distract them momentarily.  Of course the distraction seems perfectly wonderful at first, until it’s revealed to be complete tripe.

Thus it was for Blat that just as his saliva glands were functioning at an incredible rate that his Traipsing Travel Towel Tracker Thirty-Three went off.  An alarm not unlike the sound of a donkey braying resounded with flashing pink lights and a disco ball fell from the ceiling illuminating the cabin in circling glittering reflections.

“Great Gadderdooks!”  Blat exclaimed, “A vintage Cforeum Airship towel?  In navy?”  He gasped in an entirely un-pirate-y way and then recovered himself with a mighty, “Ar!”

Abandoning his idea of a drink (and his taste buds were very sore at him for that, you can be sure.  In fact they began plotting their revenge at that very moment) he turned his ship in the direction of the towel signal, narrowed his eyes to slits and sang in a deep, growling voice, “Yo, ho, ho, and a cabin o’ towels!”

In case it escaped your notice (and I’m betting that it did because most things seem to have escaped your notice so far), the towel in question was none other than the very towel lying around the neck of a very panic ridden Rune.

To be continued…

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