Sunday, 13 September 2009
Is Everybody Here On Drugs?
Another cut bit. This one goes all the way back to my first novel, Festival Of Death, and is, ISTR, a continuation of the first scene of Chapter 5 - a parody of Hunter S Thompson's Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas where the lizards take drugs and see each other as humans. Again, questionable use of the English language health warnings apply - aaargh, all those sentences in the passive voice!
There was a rapid flapping sound. Hoopy wound down the digidisc player. The sound was originating from outside the ship. The fluttering intensified. It seemed to come from every direction.
Hoopy checked some instruments, but he had no clue what they were trying to tell him. He twirled in his seat. ‘Bisc, man. Bisc, get on it. We’ve got trouble.’
Biscit awoke, snorting. His eyes revolved around the cockpit. ‘What goes?’
Whatever it was began to scrape and hammer against the space-hopper’s hold. The Indigo Glow juddered under the assault, its engines thrumbling in pain.
‘Holy prophet!’ yelled Biscit, jumping to his feet. ‘Space bats!’
‘Space bats?’ The front viewscreen suddenly flooded with black shapes, hundreds of leathery wings and screeching beaks. ‘Freak me!’
Biscit wobbled over to another instrument panel, jammed a few levers, and tugged a periscope down from the ceiling. He circled, glued to the eyepieces. ‘They’re all over the Glow. I’m going to have to burn them off.’ Biscit started thumbing at the ship’s weapon systems. The Indigo Glow shuddered with each shot, and some control banks exploded into flames. Their collection of lava lamps and mad fossils clattered to the floor, and Xab vanished under his seat.
‘Careful, dude,’ said Hoopy, steadying the joystick. He began to laugh hysterically. ‘You’re freakin’ shooting at the freakin’ ship! Aim away!’
Biscit kept on firing, like a lunatic. Hoopy turned in his seat, roaring with laughter. The whole cabin had gone soft-focus and swimmy, dancing with brilliant lights, plumes of sparks spraying like multicoloured fountains. The warning lamp glowed a friendly shade of red. Somehow, the music, the explosions, the scampering bats, the engines and Xab’s whimperings all synchronised perfectly.
At the periscope, Biscit was changing. His face was pulsing, shrinking into a pale, watery pink. Hair was sprouting from his forehead, and his spines were receding into his back. To Hoopy’s drug-addled eyes, Biscit was transforming from a reptile into a human being. A soldier, in camouflage, hollering like a red-faced maniac.
Hoopy’s ribs ached with laughter. These drugs were totally surefire.