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Hacktreks Travel

Hacktreks 2

First Chapters

Dreamscapes Fiction
*Winner of The Dreamscapes Short Story of the Year Award

Pod Luck
Helen Weston

Once settled with tea back at the police station Slights details were recorded as Fred Slight residing at The Pub, South London, with Elvis as his next of kin. Although inaccurate and highly suspicious this information was better than none ...

(long read 6000 words)

The final corner was dead ahead, just a bit of positioning by sliding the rear end round for that perfect cut, extra acceleration for the home straight and then settling dust over the finish line. The race was in the bag, first place on that podium and a world record gaming score in mind. Better than Michael Schumacher, better than anything, better sodding believe that Ferrari taking first place in the final second, by one thousandth of a second. The alien not having quite adjusted to sweat glands was completely soaked. Both hearts thumping, pulses racing and beaten by a student from Sweden. That’s Internet competition for you, something real race drivers don’t have to contend with!

Still pretty excited with a second best world record Earth-calculus millennium two, lap time and predicting that this record would in fact, be a challenge to remove. He remembered not to let his new ego take over. He was also having a little trouble adjusting to the human body. With all his temperature fluctuations, he was beginning to think he might be having some sort of menstrual cycle. And how humans can control egos on an every day basis, truly was amazing, because his ego was forcing him to be just the best, nothing less was good enough. He genuinely wanted to take on the whole of the United Kingdom in the biggest race ever, with the M25 of course being the perfect circuit.

Whilst hurtling through space at precisely the speed of light the alien remembered to have a late lunch but completely forgot the landing procedure. Once again his ego had forced him to race so well and far longer than was necessary! Fortunately he remembered and turned to the control pad. A big flickering light displayed no driver required, the alien sighed a huge sigh of relief and noticed a small ray of sun sparkling and dancing around the inside of the pod. The alien smiled, delighted with his smooth atmospheric entrance. I think for once I may get the landing right he thought to himself excitedly. The display area of the control pad was quite small, a blue light when lit, indicated autopilot enabled, the green light displaying manual override and the red one which was flashing displayed the term zuckit meaning, the probability of a crash is extremely high.
Feeling slightly panicky and noticing a fairly large crystal rolling about on the floor, the alien quickly placed this into his pocket and immediately wiped his brow. Being his first visit to Earth, the alien had decided to choose a male gender. Not out of personal choice, but because history of this particular planet as the library had stated, is that the male of the species appears dominant. It has also been fairly obvious to most of the galaxy, due to the fact that most space exploration vessels from Earth are so phallic.

With no time to adjust he started emergency landing procedure. He wasn’t too frightened, as he had crashed several times before. But he was a little nervous because he knew just how funny humans could be, after digesting information about human behaviour in bite size knowledge biscuits from intergalactic libraries. Which sounds great in theory but some biscuits are sweet and others rather bitter. The latter and being the cautious type eaten most, a whole packet of variety of resentment, which left a nasty aftertaste for days.
He braced himself and closed his eyes. Feeling fear wasn’t much fun, but was strangely exciting. Possessing a human body was also a heavy experience, not merely as much fun as the intergalactic library simulators. He was constantly thirsty, this was partly due to the side effects of his anti-erection tablet and partly down to a nervous apprehension. Also, the amount of water required to keep a human feeling healthy made him feel a little plant like. He decided that if ever on Earth again for a longer period of time he would firstly opt for smaller sweat glands and secondly, choose a base closer to the ocean. Just for a little extra security.

Bang! Shit, daydreaming again! The crash was sudden, as always, but gentle thanks to the gravity control. The alien banged the side of his pod out of frustration and wondered if he ever would actually land the thing one day. He had fortunately landed in the beer garden of a thriving gay pub, which didn’t cause much commotion, because Friday nights are pretty busy. According to his readings he was in South London approximately fifty-three metres off target. The barman, who incidentally looked a lot like Elvis, and always, gave half price cocktails for fancy dress on a Friday. Was sitting in the garden having his first relaxing break of the evening, whilst admiring his glorious hanging baskets that the pod had narrowly missed. There were a few lesbians, dressed as Greeks, congregating over by the clematis. They briefly acknowledged the crash but were too engrossed in a lively debate concerning Graham Norton, Julian Clary and the Parliamentary Election Process. The man trying to answer a text message on his new mobile phone was quite relieved by the bizarre interruption. Being nearest to the pod he watched in amazement as the alien climbed out.

"Nice entrance mate, like your ship, one of Blue Peter’s better designs I see!" "It’s a pod actually and I’m a little off target". The alien felt the discomfort of embarrassment. "Where were you heading mate the planetarium". The alien composed himself with seriousness, as this seemed too damper down the feeling of stupidity. "I have no schedules to visit the Holborn area, but according to my calculations I am about fifty three of your metres outside of my land perimeter". The man looked on sternly and remarked about only having a laugh as he walked off in a large pair of flippers. The oxygen tank on his back knocked the cigarette out of a penguins hand, as he bent down to pick it up he smacked the penguins partner in the elbow knocking his pint flying into the face of the barman. Whilst all the commotion and apologising was going on, the alien slipped inside the pub and found a comfortable seat next to Mussolini. Half naked, with rope round his ankle, but with a polite manor, he kept advising the alien to " burn a book a day and keep depression at bay"! The alien thought that it was rather kind to be concerned about his emotional well being, especially after admitting to reading a Will Self novel. The alien then enlightened Mussolini to the fact that human fiction is actually, very popular in the universe. With so many genres, interest continues to spread across many galaxies.

The décor inside the pub was an intriguing mix of fifties and seventies era that blended perfectly with the modern fixtures behind the bar. The sweet dispensers on the wall were a particularly nice touch and extremely addictive for the aliens instantly adopted sweet tooth. There was even a picture of the Queen wearing large black Joe Ninety style glasses. Which was very sweet considering Royalty are supposed have a social distance. The alien was impressed and felt very comfortable, the people were friendly and affectionate and made him feel very welcome. Especially the majority of lesbians who kept winking and whistling at him. Flattery was a very nice feeling. The barman by this time had taken the alien under his big Elvis wing and was making up several of his self-created and famously unpopular cocktails. Strangely they seemed to taste better the more of them that he drank. The ‘Blowjob’ was the alien’s particular favourite, it was the barman’s speciality as he explained, with all the extra fruit, it really is quite a mouthful.

The barman and small congregation of locals decided that the alien should have a name. After a long debate and many blowjobs the alien agreed to having an ‘Earth' name. After politely pointing out the fact that humans are the only species in the entire universe that label or tag beings. All other species have a basic recognition of others, not a word that is associated with them. The alien’s identical twin analogy didn’t go down to well. He tried to explain that with identical twins we recognise them individually by their personality and other characteristics rather than their name. Because no two souls are the same there is no need to name everyone, just say hello instead of hello Fred etc. So it was decided amidst much confusion to name the alien Fred. But the alien looked most upset, "surely the other Fred will be offended"? The barman and several others, tried to explain that there were many men with this name but the alien thought it was too unfair and very confusing. So the name ‘Slight’ was decided upon. The alien was assured that it was not a known name, and it suited him because he had a small build. Also ‘Tadgertits’ may have been a little offensive, although it did seem very funny at the time. After much celebration and a small naming ceremony, which comprised of free nuts, much hugging, kissing and a beer splattered forehead. The only remaining obstacle was Slight’s breasts.

A very large built lesbian known as ‘Biff’ was sprawled across the opposite side of the bar. She had been totally transfixed on Slight’s chest for quite some time. Her eyes were squinting and mouth half open. She hauled herself into an upright position with support from the bar, looked at Slight directly and shouted; "I’ve always believed in the possibility of life in the universe but it never occurred to me that other civilisations might have sex changes"! And with that bold philosophical statement her eyes rolled back, her neck muscles seemingly lost the ability to support her head, and she promptly collapsed face down onto the bar. "Excellent point my friend" stated the barman and turned to Slight for some illumination on the subject. "Will she be alright"? Slight seemed anxious and very concerned but the barman reassured him. "Oh yeh! She’ll be fine, too bloody big to move, now your breasts man, lets have it"! Slight seemed even more anxious but after a brief explanation of language phrases he settled back down.

Slight was enjoying all the attention and flattery that he had received for his breasts but admitted to them being impractical, a bit sweaty underneath and surprisingly painful if jolted. The reason that he acquired them was simple. The DNA manipulator crystal used to change his biological appearance was too accurate. Powered by light, which is pure energy and working a little like a camera but replicating matter rather than images. It had incorporated man’s unconscious desire for breasts, being the direct opposite of Freud’s penis envy. It is a simple subconscious desire in the male of the species, to have the power to sustain human life. After all, Freud did have a subconscious too! The reaction to Slights explanation was much cheering and clapping. Even Biff raised her head and said that if Slight was a woman she would marry him, in fact, she yelled, "fuck it! I will marry him".
After many hugs, kisses and one final blowjob the evening drew to a close and the last of the remaining regulars left. Except of course for Biff who had managed to crawl onto the old chesterfield by the window and had even managed to pull off one boot. After locking up for the night, the barman covered Biff with a couple of coats, took off her remaining boot and gestured to Slight to follow him upstairs.

The barman’s living area was incredibly untidy and contained more Elvis paraphernalia than furniture but despite the chaotic appearance, it did seem remarkably cosy. Two bacon sandwiches and four coffees later the barman was invited to assist Slights breast removal. The barman dimmed the lights and put on a compact disc of Elvis’s Greatest Hits. Slight had a problem finding the DNA crystal and was starting to panic. "I’m sure I put it in my pocket, I remember putting in my pocket". The barman who was bemused by the amount of alien stress, reached over to a small coffee table just in front of Slight and replied, "is this the pretty rock your after". Slight was so relieved and felt both hearts beginning to slow down. "I very nearly had a double coronary". The barman looked confused "double? A major heart attack is enough for anyone". Slight was curious to learn that humans only had one heart. After a short discussion it was decided that Slight would check in the intergalactic libraries for any evolutionary mishaps. Slight then asked the barman to unbutton his shirt. The barman stood up promptly and blushed "now my hearts racing". Slight explained that the procedure was quick and painless much to the barman’s disappointment. Slight gently rubbed the crystal against the barman’s chest and then his own. They both watched as Slight's breasts slowly disappeared. With Elvis singing ‘Love Me Tender’ in the background it was one of the barman’s most sensual and erotic moments of his life. When Slight asked why he was crying the barman explained that it was a beautiful song that had the same effect on many humans. He wiped his eyes, lit a cigarette and started to pace up and down the room. After apologising to an Elvis portrait he turned to Slight, looked deep into his eyes and said "Actually Slight, to be truthful, I think I am falling in love with you!"
Slight sat down and lit one of the barman’s cigarettes, he immediately started to choke. The barman quickly fetched a glass of water and rubbed Slights back with intermittent patting until he recovered. The barman returned to his chair, lit another cigarette and begged Slight not to leave. "Actually" stated Slight "I happen to feel extremely flattered and have become emotionally attached to you". Slight went on to explain that he shouldn’t get involved in any sexual relations due to the fact that he was ‘specie specifica’. Also much to Elvis’s surprise, a hybrid pregnancy was in fact, a possibility for the both of them. He went on to explain that love was a divine and complex energy, and to have a platonic friendship was part of that divinity, being highly valued and respected throughout the universe. He also went on to say that love energy was never wasted even if it was unrequited. The barman felt a strange but wonderful sense of inner calmness. He turned to Slight and with a curious expression and said, "we can never have sex which I understand, but would you please call me Elvis"?
The following morning Slight woke up to ‘The Jailhouse Rock’, the smell of eggs and bacon and a general party atmosphere. Biff was cooking breakfast Jamie Oliver Style. Elvis was dancing with perfect rhythm whilst making a very large pot of tea, and at the same time buttering a tower of toast. His timing of spreading, pouring and stirring was a dynamical free flow of perfectly coordinating motion and song. Slight was impressed and felt the positive human charge lift his weariness. Biff poured a glass of juice, plonked it on the table, ruffled Slight’s hair and asked in a fairly loud voice "did you sleep well cosmic cousin?" Despite a pain behind his eyes and ache in his head, Slight was feeling quite euphoric. "I believe nine hours Earth calculus to be the required necessity of rest to restore the human physical and mental energies, however I feel adequately revitalised". Elvis explained that there weren’t enough hours in the day to sleep long enough at night. This did confuse Slight but the feeling of hunger was overriding all of his cognitive mental abilities. He began to think with more clarity once the breakfast feast arrived. It was the closest orgasmic experience that Slight would experience on Earth. The hearty breakfast consisted of, grilled tomatoes, sausages, bacon, scrambled eggs with garlic and herbs, fried button mushrooms, chips, baked beans, toast, every condiment imaginable and a pint of tea.

After an orgy of munching, slurping, belching and a surprising onslaught but explanation of flatulence, Slight sat back in his chair feeling over full but at the same time completely satisfied. All three were rubbing their stomachs and nodding at each other and repeating the words ‘good god’. Slight felt that this ritual was strange but seemingly pleasing on such an occasion. The only logical reason for not having stopped eating when he felt full was obviously Biff’s superb cooking. Slight was amazed by the expansion ability of human organs but couldn’t understand why Biff didn’t cook for a living. She muttered something about Nancy aprons and bad management as she got up and started to collect the empty plates. Elvis gestured to Slight not to pursue the conversation and changed the subject by asking Slight what plans he had, if any, for the day.

Slight began to explain that his mission here on Earth was to retrieve and return his grandfathers scarf. Having lent it to a girl called Mary in the early sixties after accidentally spilling his drink on her dress. She had used it as a mini wrap in order to travel home on the bus. "Is it some kind of family heirloom?" enquired Biff who was rather intrigued. "No its just good space travel conduct". Biff seemed confused as Slight went on to describe his grandfather’s scarf at great length. The only advice Elvis could offer was the suggestion to visit the second hand clothes shops in the immediate area and preferably one that was approximately fifty-three metres from the direction of the pub. Biff made her excuses and left quite promptly as she hated clothes shops and didn’t want to get dragged into any kind of shopping exhibition. After offering Slight some money, which Slight refused, Elvis produced a crumpled map of the London Underground from his wallet and gave it to Slight. "Better leave your pod in the beer garden, otherwise you’ll get a parking ticket", Slight didn’t understand how a vehicle could get fined for being on a road. "How absurdly unfair?" Elvis sighed and stated quite firmly, that traffic and parking regulations were the only things stopping him from driving a Cadillac. Apart from the small cost of insurance, petrol, road tax, m.o.t’s and the tiny fact that he was over the legal limit for the consumption of alcohol most days of the week. They both agreed there and then that the UK was categorically vehicle phobic.

Elvis offered to walk with Slight to the nearest tube station but Slight stated that he was educated and prepared for his adventure and in absolutely, no need of assistance. Slight then quickly retrieved a strange looking box from his pod and asked for a bag. The unusual colour wasn’t black but wasn’t grey either, it was rather odd aesthetically and Elvis couldn’t decide what shade or colour that it was, his brain basically couldn’t register the colour. He decided that it was probably an optical illusion and best not to complicate the matter by asking questions about its appearance. Elvis then produced a plastic carrier bag rather sheepishly and apologised for not having found the time to buy a trendy rucksack. Slight looked confused but put the blackish box inside and wrapped several pieces of strange looking silver tape around it. "I just need to charge my chakra and I will be ready" now Elvis looked confused and asked if he needed a power point. Slight asked for any blue object or material. After a rummage around the pub Elvis produced a blue handkerchief from his pocket. Slight then rubbed it all over his throat whilst explaining that it would help with communication. He then proceeded to explain that the cleverest people on Earth were not simply retainers of knowledge but excellent communicators. He also stated that it was no accident that the Cambridge and Oxford university scarf’s both contained an element of blue in colour. He then went on to say that if most people in the world and all politicians wore blue scarf’s daily the world would in fact decrease in wars. Elvis was amazed at just how simple some possibilities of world peace could be but continued despite this new illumination on world affairs to express his concern for Slight commuting around London alone. " You humans concern yourselves over things that don’t concern you, now where is this station? " Elvis tried to retain a blank expression but felt worried and pointed in the direction of the tube station as requested, they exchanged hugs and Slight promised to be back before it was dark.

The first thing that Slight noticed was the cold, it really was an intolerable feeling. He felt a strong compulsion to go straight back to the pub, but decided to head for the tube station to seek shelter at least from the chilling wind. He couldn’t even stop to admire the grand square buildings even though there were so many. He was surprised how grey everything seemed, even the roads and pavements were black or dull. He wondered why colour was so limited in construction and design in the UK but was too cold to think about anything properly and was having to use all of his mental powers to prevent himself from crying. Clutching his bag with numb hands made him realise the concept and importance of gloves, which he had previously found hilarious in the intergalactic libraries. The harsh reality of the weather was a painful experience that was making him feel instantly depressed. Just a few more strides and he would be there, telling himself this repeatedly was a great motivation, which helped him to walk faster.

The relief of reaching the tube station was overwhelming, tears were streaming down his face, he felt so happy that he started to laugh. He started to run and jump on the spot to warm his limbs and feet, at the same time trying to warm his hands and get some cash out of his pocket. It was confusing to see that nobody was talking but Slight just figured it was due to the temperature. Even the ticket officer was having problems communicating, but was kind and sold him a special ticket that was expensive but allowed him to travel on all the tubes and buses until midnight. Such kindness and bravery during extreme circumstances is what humans are famous for throughout the universe and Slight had a feeling of spiritual elevation. He was happy to be acknowledged by the guard at the turnstile and greeted him with a hug and a few kisses whilst making some admiring remarks about his uniform. Shocked by his response and practically thrown through the gates Slight made his way in tears down the escalator trying desperately to figure out, just how to ‘fuck off’ exactly.

Slight pulled himself together by trying to read the map of the London underground it was so confusing that it worked, his eyes dried up and he began to feel positive about himself and others again. He was shocked again however when he discovered that the trains were not big enough for the people and neither were the platforms. Apologising and pushing past people for a place to stand seemed to annoy everyone. The air was so thick that deep breathing was futile but at least it was warm. Slight noticed that the conditions caused everybody to feel so unhappy that they couldn’t make eye contact with each other. There were many people dressed in pinstriped uniforms carrying black or brown leather boxes but none of these people acknowledged each other. It took three attempts to get on to a train the last attempt being successful due to Slight being forced forward onto the train by the crush of people behind him. Slight stood with his face in the chest of a pinstriped uniform and was held in place by a large bag pushing tightly into his back. When the train stopped at a station called Camden Town, Slight got off just to find somewhere to sit as his legs and back were aching badly. The platform was so busy that there was only a spare seat above ground by the ticket officer’s and guards. He sat nervously for a few minutes until his legs recovered and then quietly walked out into Camden.
He didn’t kiss or hug anyone or make any remarks about clothing and colour co-ordination. He just approached and asked a young woman selling magazines where he could purchase a coat and gloves. He was pointed in the direction of the market after buying a colourful magazine entitled ‘The Big Issue’.

There were so many shops and it was so busy that Slight decided just to visit the market. He found it difficult to cope with the amount of items and products, it was a bombardment to his optical senses and although colourful and exciting it was all a bit too much to take in. Slight wondered why people needed so many objects and found walking along the high street surprisingly stressful. Delighted on seeing the market Slight jumped with joy and ran straight up to the first stall asking for some gloves and a coat. He was pointed with a grunt to go further into the market by a quite miserable man selling a multitude of colourful plastic cases. Slight muttered something about wasted colour vibes and frozen charka’s and heard the words ‘stupid twat’ resonating behind him as he walked away. Another stall holder caught Slights glance and yelled out "you wanna try Tony’s, best coats in London mate" whilst pointing repeatedly at a clothes stall. Slight offered to buy one of his wearable calculus but the man explained that he was just one sandwich short of a picnic and needed to go to a bakery. Slight thanked him for his kindness and walked towards Tony.

Having so many coats to choose from, Slight stood in front of a tall mirror while Tony handed him different coats and jackets to try. Explaining with each garment the superior quality and durability that couldn’t be found elsewhere. Slight found it fascinating that Tony was the only clothes wholesaler in London that had deliveries that very day. After purchasing a suitable coat with matching gloves, Slight and Tony found themselves immersed in a debate about karma and the universal law of cause and effect. Tony offered a coffee from his flask for a warm up and said that the caffeine would help Slight battle back to South London in the cold air. But just before Slight took his first sip a large, dull green blur knocked him over and snatched his bag off the stall. Tony helped Slight up and shouted "bag snatched", then Slight shot off after the thief screaming "bag snatcher" repeatedly. The thief was dodging and pushing through the crowded market clutching the bag, he didn’t look behind or stop for anything. Slight was close behind trying desperately to avoid people but bumping into practically every other stall. It was total chaos until two police officers seemingly appeared from nowhere. By this time the thief was trying to rip open the plastic bag whilst running but had to give up out of frustration throwing the bag over his head. It flew straight into the face of the closest police officer and knocked him out cold.

After radioing for assistance four more police officers arrived at the scene. The officer that was hit regained consciousness and asked Slight "if the ‘ fucking’ Crown Jewels were in his bag?" Slight felt bewildered and explained that he was only interested in scarves or ‘fucking’ scarves and hoped that this would be of some help for apprehending the villain. Three other officers tried unsuccessfully to open the plastic bag but were completely baffled and confused by the tape tightening the more they tried to loosen it. Slight offered to open his bag, but it was decided to wait until they returned to the police station. "Are you arresting me for having my bag snatched?" Slight couldn’t help raising his voice and was feeling quite distressed. One officer tried to calm Slight down and told him how they weren’t arresting him they just needed to make a few inquiries over a nice cup of tea. "After all" the officer continued, "pick-pockets are two a penny but an unopenable plastic bag is very rare sir". Slight felt confused and annoyed but had visions of hot tea and a creeping sensation of tiredness. He followed the officer calmly and quietly to the police car, wondering about pennies and their relevance in law.

Once settled with tea back at the police station Slights details were recorded as Fred Slight residing at The Pub, South London, with Elvis as his next of kin. Although inaccurate and highly suspicious this information was better than none and considering Slight had not committed a crime it was only a matter of procedure. Slight felt refreshed after drinking his tea and started rubbing his stomach whilst repeating the words ‘good god’ and nodding at everyone. Some officers responded by patting their stomachs and nodding back and others busied themselves with notebook scribbling and quick nail manicures to avoid having to precipitate. The bag had circulated round every department within the police station and returned unopened to the officers dealing with Slight. By this time curiosity had grown and Slight was asked to open his bag amongst twelve police officers all crammed inside one tiny interview room. Slight opened the bag immediately with ease much to everyone’s astonishment. He explained that the ‘self sealing’ gravitational super tape was personalised so only the possessor could unseal the object that it was attached to. Many officers clapped and cheered all agreeing that Slight was a master illusionist that could give David Copperfield a real run for his money. Slight didn’t quite understand but thanked his audience while still insisting that there was no trickery involved - just science.
Curiosity then turned to the blackish looking box which Slight described as a ticket machine or the human equivalent being an automated currency or text template simulator which he used mainly for work. There was again much clapping and one officer piped up "oh a magic money maker, how marvellous". Slight was starting to feel intimidated and insisted again, that there was no magic involved - just science. Another officer that was having problems controlling his hysteria, tapped the box and said, "come on then, make us a tenner! ". Slight wiped the spit off his face, he was feeling hurt and agitated and replied in an aggressive manor "its solar and lunar powered, stupid twat, your fluorescent strip lighting is too pathetic". Slight was offered another cup of tea if he remained calm and polite. He apologised immediately and asked if he could leave quite soon as Elvis would be expecting him.

The emphasis had changed from cash to colour and several officers were debating what shade of grey the box was. In fact, there was no interest in the gadget’s sophisticated and advanced capabilities only the colour and material that it was made from. Slight felt quite low in spirit and was disappointed with all of the time wasting and fun making at his own expense. The final straw was when he was asked about his work. After giving an exclusive definition of his role and responsibility as an interstellar space agent the only remaining officer asked whether it was a well-paid career with a pension scheme.

Slight felt sympathetic towards the officer and explained that the system was an exchange of duty with no finances involved. Being similar to the UK’s traffic wardens only helping craft in trouble instead of fining them. He went on to state, that, "space agents are like your AA service only we get to the crafts much quicker". With that last statement the officer crumbled into an uncontrollable fit of laughter, he then staggered from the room and asked his colleagues, if he could receive any counselling for lunatic trauma.

Slight collected his belongings and walked out of the room demanding basic alien rights and a police escort to the door. He also complained about typical human responses towards the unknown, "disregarding objects that you cannot comprehend is an illogical solution, perhaps if you were more open-minded your species could evolve at the same rate as the rest of the universe". He took no notice of the cheer’s and clapping from the people waiting in the reception area and upon leaving he was advised to buy himself a trendy rucksack in order to stay out of trouble. His reply to this request being " I think ‘taking the piss’ is the appropriate phrase". Slight was so angry that the blast of cold air from outside felt refreshing, his temperature was still rising as he stomped along muttering obscenities. After a long walk and the sudden realisation that he was actually lost, Slight hailed a cab. The driver seemed friendly but Slight just pointed to the tube station in South London on his crumpled underground map. He sat in silence, just staring out of the window for the entire duration of his journey back.
Slight asked the driver to drop him off outside the pub, as he couldn’t face the walk from the tube station. "Ooh! Yes it can get very bitter here indeed sir", Slight couldn’t agree more, and left the driver a large tip to compensate for any fines. Pleased with the two hundred and fifty pounds, the driver told Slight with a few more customers like himself every shift, he could eventually retire to the Bahamas. Slight suggested the Pleiades as a better retirement option, he then thanked the driver, jumped out of the cab and waved as he drove off.
As Slight approached the entrance to the pub, he felt a warm and calming emotion sweeping over him which immediately relaxed the whole of his body. It put a smile on his face and brought peace to his mind. It was a surprisingly similar feeling to the emotional response when approaching his home planet. Once inside he was greeted by all the locals with kisses, hugs, handshakes, pats on his shoulders and was also congratulated for his excellent taste in outdoor wear. Biff and Elvis were particularly relieved to see him. Elvis came out from behind the bar and hugged Slight until he had no air at all left in his lungs. After being lifted onto a bar stool and watched closely for respiratory failure, Elvis asked Slight what, if anything he could get for him. "I will have one of your lovely blowjobs please Elvis". The whole pub roared with laughter and Biff followed with "did you want a packet of cheese and onion with that?" Slight suddenly realised that he was in fact ravenous and went on to explain that he had only had two cups of tea and nearly one coffee all day. Elvis instructed Biff to take over the bar while he fixed a quick sandwich. Slight stated that a damaged sandwich would be adequate and promptly received a round of applause as he followed Elvis upstairs.

After three bacon sandwiches, one pint of coffee and two episodes of Dr Who, Slight remembered his grandfather’s scarf. Just before he became seriously stressed Elvis reassured Slight that the second hand clothes shop (approximately fifty three metres away) stayed open until five thirty. Seeing as it was only four, they still had plenty of time to watch another episode and squeeze down a good few chocolate digestives. As it transpired Dr Who is in fact, currently voted to be the most popular Earth sitcom by all interstellar space agents. Original episodes or re-runs are highly entertaining and received, depending on the distance and position of space agents throughout the galaxy. Slight did however admit to having a fear of all long nosed species due to the psychological effects from the concept of daleks. He also stated in an almost hysterical manner that it was a good thing Freud had lived in a previous time period, otherwise ‘dickhead’ could have had an entirely different meaning. Slight then jumped up, grabbed his coat and gloves and told Elvis he would try to be back before the next episode. Elvis tried to follow explaining about the conveniences of video, but it was too late to stop such a cosmic dash.

Approximately six minutes later Slight came bursting into the pub, screaming in terror, with a scarf flapping around his neck and a massive Afghan hound, gallivanting enthusiastically behind him. A packet of peanuts quickly and easily distracted the dog, but Slight by this time had locked himself inside the female toilet. He was trembling so violently he became worried that he might eventually start to generate high voltage electricity. The dog was walked back to the woman in the shop after being given a drip tray of water. Elvis apologised profusely for not remembering the local long nosed hound, while passing several blowjobs under the toilet door unfortunately receiving static shocks with every one. Slight soon calmed down and came out remarking about the interesting hieroglyphics scribbled on the cubicle walls. Biff kept the bar running smoothly until the weekend staff arrived leaving Elvis and Slight time to recover and relax upstairs.

It turned out that this would be the last evening Slight would stay as he was due back for space agent duty the following Earth day. He did however produce a ‘Graceland’ ticket and some lost deeds belonging to property in the Holborn area. He instructed Elvis to give one set of deeds to Biff stating that the Marylebone area would be of particular interest. After watching two movies, ‘Flaming Star and ‘Roustabout’, Slight retired for an early night while Elvis booked a cheap flight over the Internet before rejoining the bar.
Slight woke quite late the following morning, he wasn’t surprised to learn that Elvis, had already left the building. He set off to the airport at the crack of dawn, but had however left a note and his email address so that Slight could keep in regular contact. Biff thanked him for the deeds and insisted that Slight didn’t start such a journey with an empty stomach. They agreed on a light lunch after Slight pointed out a few principles and complexities when travelling at light speed including some illuminating and hilarious facts about space travel in general. Biff was intrigued by all the science and felt inspired to start experimenting in the field of ‘light travel’ snacking. By the time lunch was over two hours had sailed by and both Biff and Slight were now behind schedule. Biff shot off to the cash and carry with a large order for tinned fruit and Slight wrote a note of thanks to Elvis, collected his belongings, then quietly nipped out to his pod.

In no time at all Slight was approaching the Earth’s atmosphere and pretty smoothly too he felt, apart from narrowly missing a plane bound for the United States. Before going on-line for a quick orbital race, and after saluting to the American pilots, Slight felt a strong urge to regain his natural biological state. Realising that he had left the DNA crystal behind, he scrabbled about his pod and found a spare one in the emergency compartment under his seat. Then a sudden thought placed a huge grin on his still, very human face "Ive a very peculiar feeling that, Elvis Lives ". Approximately three Earth minutes later, Slight felt relieved after returning to a natural biological state. But did wonder what initially caused the DNA manipulator crystal to develop a large blue breast at the very top of Slights head?”

© Helen Weston July 2003

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