Meanwhile, in a settlement a few hundred metres from the MoonShip Waist of Space…
“Gosh, Merry, did you hear that?”
“Yes, I damned-well did!” Merry responded.
“Looks like we have no choice, old thing. Either we breed or they put us in separate cages until some more humans come.”
“Are you listening to yourself, Tarquin? Seriously? Read my lips: no… more… humans… are … coming.”
“How can you say that? They said we were to come here and try to survive. They said they would send someone to collect us when they think we’ve had enough.”
“And what did they say the name of our moonship meant; what does it signify?”
“I don’t recall anyone saying, but I thought—”
“You? Thought? Tarquin. I am not stupid. I am not naïve—”
“Neither am I!”
“Yes you are.”
“Okay, yes I am. But that doesn’t make me incapable of thinking.”
“Then it must be something else, because something does.”
“Something does what?”
“Make you incapable of thinking.”
“Are you calling me thick?”
“No, Tarquin. That is not what I am calling you. I am calling you a waste of space.”
“That sounds the same as the name of our ship, hahaha.”
“That’s because it is the name of our ship. We are here because the Royal Space Regiment thinks we are a waste of space. They sent us here to get rid of us.”
“But we weren’t the only two listed as UCT, our names were drawn out of a hat. Perhaps they’ll draw some more.”
“F*** me, Tarquin!”
“Ooh; may I?”
“No you may not.”
“No! Do you know what UCT stands for?”
“Okay. Give up. What does UCT stand for?”
“It stands, my dear Tarquin, for ‘Upper Class Twit’.”
“Okay. Yah. Look. Can I make a request, please?”
“Can you not call me your dear Tarquin?”
“Because it gets me excited. It gives me—”
“No; it gives me a—”
Tarquin pouted, as only a spoilt child or a rich kid can.
“Now, Tarquin,” Merry said, “what are we going to do about our situation?”
“It seems to me that the only way we can stay together is if Arty and his father think we’re breeding. So—”
“Not going to happen!”
“Because I don’t fancy you, Tarquin.”
“That’s okay, Merry. I fancy you enough for both of us.”
“Look. You don’t have to actually get pregnant and actually have a sprog, you know.”
“You don’t know how relieved I am to hear that. The answer is still no, though.”
“You don’t even have to enjoy it.”
“As long as you do, eh?”
“Hahaha. Yah. Kind of. No. Listen. We only have to pretend to… erm… do it. If one of them looks, we shout about privacy, then they’ll go away.”
“How long have you spent working this out?”
“Not with you, old gal. Just putting out some ideas.”
“When did you first decide that your mission in life is to get me into your bed?”
“How long have we known each other?”
“Joking… Be honest, though. If the choice is between making love with me and dying, which would you prefer?”
“Where’s the cyanide pill?”
“Well, I think you’re being jolly unfair. Can’t you at least give it a try?”
Tarquin was running out of ways of
begging asking, and Merry was running out of ways of denying him, when Arty and Flatulon entered the room and divested themselves of their spacesuits. The astronauts were still arguing.
“Is this how you do it?” Flatulon asked, “Is this how you breed?”
Merry, who was, it turned out, a lot less dense than she seemed at first sight, replied, “Yes, it is. We call it ‘verbal intercourse’.”
“We have that, too,” Flatulon responded, then, covering his son’s ears, he added, “we call it oral sex. It doesn’t make young though.”
“We are quite different to you, though, aren’t we?” Merry responded.
“I suppose you are.”
“Can we watch?” Arty asked.
“No you may not,” Merry replied. “This sort of thing is private. Would you watch your parents?”
“Of course not, but they’re not my pets, are they?”
Flatulon turned to his son and said, “Come on, Artivon, let’s leave them to it.” He then turned to the pair and asked, “How long until the litter appears, and how many do you have at a time?”
“Just one usually,” Tarquin said, “though sometimes two or more, but usually one.”
“But often,” Merry said through gritted teeth, “we can try for years and years and never produce any young.”
The two aliens donned their spacesuits and left the room, chattering in their steel band-like language.
“So what do we do now?” Tarquin asked.
“We talk,” Merry replied, “and see if it makes me pregnant. Or you can go to sleep.”
“Best idea yet,” Tarquin said, drifting off into a deep sleep. Merry moved away from him and eventually fell asleep, too. Some hours later, Tarquin jumped up with such a start that it awoke Merry.
“Whatever’s the matter, Tarquin?” she asked.
“Yah. Weirdest dream,” he said.
“Don’t tell me, I said yes, and you found you couldn’t do it.”
“No. You weren’t in it.”
“What? Why does that worry me?”
“Don’t know. I was standing over there,” he said, pointing to a high window, “and I swear that I saw, in the distance, what looked like an old shepherd’s hut.”
“A shepherd’s hut? Here on the moon? Tarquin, have you found some drugs?” Merry asked accusingly.
“Yah, no. It really was a shepherd’s hut, like the ones they used to use when there were sheep on the hills. Thing is, there were three people; an old man, a young woman – bit of a corker, actually, hahaha – and a boy. And they kept appearing and disappearing. Do you know how to interpret dreams, Merry?”
“Not usually, Tarquin, but I can help you with this one.”
“What does it mean?”
“It means you’re a nutcase. You’re stir crazy. Your head has finally gone.”
“Go back to sleep, Tarquin!”
I wrote part one of this tale in response to Kreative Kue 39, issued on this site earlier. Feel free to join in; just follow the link.