Leco and The Yawpers
LECo photos by Sydpix:
Captain Lou relaxed in the experience chair. She was enjoying some R ‘n’ R in the Sensory Modelling Zone of the Leco. She felt she’d earned it, after the adventures she and her crew had experienced in Harperspace, where they had run the gauntlet of the fevered imagination of its crazed creator, Lord Nick of Harper.
In front of her was a wild landscape leading to a huge range of mountains. It was slightly difficult to breathe as she was five thousand feet above sea level and careering over the rough terrain on an ancient machine called a quad bike. The fringes of her buckskin jacket flew behind her in the wind and reflected in her mirrored shades were jack-rabbits as they leaped out of the way of the speeding machine.
She knew that the mountains were called the Rockies. ‘Unoriginal’ she thought, ‘they’re made of rock at the end of the day.’
Her thoughts turned to the communication she’d received before the adventure in Harperspace. An inhabitant of the Colorado Nebula, called Natecook had beamed his image into the Leco, bold as brass, and announced that he wanted Captain Lou’s help. He’d used a word which had stuck in her mind; she played his speech over in her head. ‘We will be landing on the planet you call Terra Gaia on the feast day of Whitsun. On this day we will yawp our spacechant to your galaxy. Will you help us……..?’
Captain Lou had never heard such a word, and yet, something was nagging in the back of her mind. She used thought transference to contact Ricardo the Astral Bard, whom she knew would be in the Room of Manuscripts poring over an ancient tome with mischief in his eye.
‘Greetings, Captain’ said the Astral Bard, cheerily. ‘How can I help?’
‘Something is bothering me’ said Captain Lou. ‘Do you have any memory of the word “yawp”?’
‘Yawp’ repeated the Astral Bard, carefully. ‘Leave it with me and I’ll report back.’
Captain Lou returned to the big landscape through which she was hurtling. Everything was big; the sky was big, the mountains looming ahead of her were big. Even the leaves and grass were big.
Leaves, grass; leaves of grass. And then it came to her; ‘I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world…………..’
Yawpers photos by Rich Duffy-Howard
Sonic Architect Parsons took a deep breath through his nose, savouring the aroma of Gibson Flangector Polish. He found it therapeutic to visit the Studio of the Fair View down in the bowels of the Leco, where the Leconauts stored the equipment which comprised their Edifice of Song. He had a feeling they would need to construct it again before much longer.
A light began to glow on the plasma board at his feet. Curious. The Good Vibes module had activated itself and was now pulsing steadily. How could that be? Suddenly, the familiar walls, floor and ceiling of the Studio were gone and he found himself in a giant Canyon where unearthly sounds ricocheted off the steep stone walls, traversing Eleven Oceans to the Flatiron, and streamed back down East River Drive and into the centre of his brain. ‘Memories, Man’ he whispered.
‘I remember an Electric Mistress…….’
But that memory faded as a voice appeared unbidden in his head. ‘What is this human question? ……Travelling up the mountain past the Catherine Wheel…….’
He felt something he hadn’t felt for many quitons….fear.
And then he wasn’t there.
Captain Lou felt a chill pass through her body. ‘Something’s wrong’ she said. Ricardo the Astral Bard and Bombardier Walker immediately sprang to her side. ‘We need to get to the Studio of the Fair View, now!’
Ricardo began to intone an ancient spacechant which produced the power of thought transference. The three Leconauts opened their eyes to see the familiar surroundings of the Studio of the Fair View. Except the view wasn’t fair at all.
In front of the flangection module where Sonic Architect Parsons should have been standing there was just…..nothing. His shape was there, in an action stance, as if he was just about to unleash a deadly salvo of flangector fire, but he wasn’t there. Where he should have been there was simply, nothing……….
The Leconauts all gasped simultaneously. Bombardier Walker instinctively moved towards the….space….where his comrade should have been. ‘Don’t!’ cried Captain Lou. ‘Too dangerous!’
Captain Lou immediately thought about something Lord Nick of Harper had said back on Terra Gaia, about a crack in time. The space which should have been occupied by her Sonic Architect was simply empty….could this be a crack in time? No sooner had this thought taken shape in her head when something happened in the …..absence which should have contained her Sonic Architect. Vague shapes and unearthly colours began to spiral transfixing all three of the space renegades.
Sonic Architect Parsons suddenly became aware of his own existence……He was inside a cube of swirling colours; each facet of the cube seemed to be moving in a different direction, whilst the whole shape was slowly spinning. The colours pulsed and raced, giving rise to an ever-changing procession of geometric shapes. He stretched out his hand but what he saw wasn’t a hand. It was a pointed pyramidical projection with the same coloured patterns racing across it which were careening around the surfaces of his environment. He moved towards one of the surfaces – he couldn’t say which was up or down, left or right – and tried to touch it. Where the pyramid which loosely correlated to his arm touched the surface a vortex of new colours fanned out and created another geometric space within the cube. A strange, but not entirely unpleasant buzzing coursed through his being.
The three Leconauts watched the absence intently. Captain Lou thought she could sense some kind of intelligence radiating from within it. The vibrant hues continued to whirl, creating a bizarre three-dimensional representation of her crewmate.
‘What’s happening?’ asked Bombardier Walker, his tone betraying utter exasperation.
‘I don’t know’ said Ricardo, ‘but it’s really interesting!’ There was mischief in his eye………
Captain Lou was deep in thought, her Astral Bard and Bombardier sitting either side of her on the bridge of the Leco. She had no idea what had happened to her Sonic Architect or how she might get him back.
The Vistascreen crackled into life and a face appeared. Captain Lou was struck by the fact that this face was unremarkable in every way.
‘Do I have the pleasure of addressing Captain Lou Loudhailer?’ asked the unknown head.
‘Well that depends on who’s asking!’ said Captain Lou.
‘Please forgive me’ said the newcomer. ‘Allow me to introduce myself. I am Bland Formulaic, Chief Spacechant Adjudicator for the Galactic Council. We have detected non-standard spacechants emanating from your ship.’
The Galactic Council. They were the last people Captain Lou wanted to run into at a time like this. And did this mean that their cover had been blown? Since the Leconauts had travelled back in time they had been under the impression that the Galactic Council were now unaware of their existence!
‘Non-standard spacechants?’ asked Captain Lou, incredulously. ‘There are standards for spacechants?!’
‘Oh yes’ said Bland Formulaic, attempting to add gravitas to his pronouncement. ‘The Galactic Council has outlawed spacechants which don’t meet the Six Requirements.’
‘This is ludicrous!’ said Captain Lou. ‘I’ve never heard of such a thing!’
‘Then I am duty bound to read the Six Requirements to you’ said the drab official. ‘One; no spacechant is to last longer than one hundred and sixty decahexabits. Two; every spacechant must contain a modulation within one hundred decahexabits of its commencement. Three; no spacechant shall employ more than five harmonic blocks. Four; spacechants can only concern platonic love between a man and a woman. Five; the use of minor tonal settings in spacechants is forbidden. Six; the use of flangectors in spacechants is expressly forbidden. Our scanners show that you have infringed every one of the Six Requirements. By the power vested in me by the President of the Galactic Council I hereby confiscate your starcruiser……………’
Captain Lou laughed out loud. ‘You’re confiscating my starcruiser?! You and whose army?!’
Bland Formulaic didn’t betray any emotion which he may or may not have been feeling. ‘I advise you not to resist’ he said calmly. ‘After my investigation is complete you may be able to redeem your ship for fifty bags of spacecoin, payable at any staging post of the Galactic Council.
‘The hell I’ll resist!’ said Captain Lou. She sprung to her feet, quickly followed by the Astral Bard and her Bombardier. ‘I don’t think you…’ But that was as far as she got. All the lights went out and she felt steel bands grip her arms and legs. She heard the voice of Bland Formulaic and noted a new steely edge to it. ‘Tractor beam! We’ll tow this vessel to a space dock and impound it! Compute a course to the nearest depot!’
This didn’t ring right with Captain Lou. She had travelled the seven nebulae and been in situations from which she didn’t expect to emerge, yet here she was. How come a team of galactic jobsworths had been able to capture her, her ship and her crew so easily? And for what? Contravening some jumped up regulations governing the content of spacechants? The whole thing was absurd. Absurd, and suspicious. She realised there was more to this situation than met the eye. And what about her Sonic Architect? If Bland Formulaic and his minions searched the ship they may find a very strange scene in the lower reaches. A very strange scene indeed!
This thought prompted another one; just what had caused the anomaly in the Studio of the Fair View? She began to fear she would never get to the bottom of it, and her ship would be scrapped and dismantled with a ….nothing… inside it in the shape of her Sonic Architect. Morpheus claimed her as these thoughts whirled through her mind.
Captain Lou opened her eyes. She immediately sensed that she was no longer aboard the Leco. She could hear the voice of Bland Formulaic. It sounded as if it was coming from an adjacent room. She saw that she was on a rough wooden bench but was not constrained. She stood and moved towards the door.
‘…….dangerous renegades who have no identification. We found them out in space where they had no business being, transmitting spacechants of a most dubious nature. Most dubious. If you ask me they are more than likely wanted in several quadrants. In my view we should hold them here until the Galactic Council can send a team of interrogators.’
Another voice, familiar….
‘And what do you suggest we do with them in the meantime? Holding a starcruiser costs money! The berthing fees alone are already at two bags of spacecoin! I’m going to be out of pocket, aren’t I?! I suggest you leave them here with me and if there’s a reward for them I’ll claim it. And I have salvage rights on their ship!’
‘Now look here…….’
Captain Lou walked through the door to see the two men facing each other. Bland Formulaic had his back to her. The other was looking straight at her.
‘Well, well, well! How do you do, Admiral Bunting…..!’
Bland Formulaic whirled around to see Captain Lou, then looked Admiral Bunting in the eye. ‘You two know each other?’ He then turned back to Captain Lou. The Admiral shook his head vigorously, his eyes wide.
‘No’ said Captain Lou. ‘But every space renegade knows who Admiral Bunting is…..his reputation precedes him.’ The Admiral looked somewhat abashed.
‘This throws a different light on things’ said the unremarkable galactic official. ‘Different indeed – I will have to consult my superiors. In the meantime……..’
Just as before the lights suddenly went out and Captain Lou felt metal bands grip her. She heard the Admiral’s indignant voice. ‘Oi, you can’t do this to me – in my own Service Station! I’m a respected member of, of, of several well-respected organisations. I’ll have your badge!’
‘Save it’ came the reply, and Captain Lou could tell he was already out of the room as he gave it.
Sometime later, Captain Lou wasn’t sure how much time as it was still pitch dark, the Admiral spoke in a whisper. ‘Are you awake?’
‘Of course I’m awake’ Captain Lou replied. ‘Who is this maniac? I can’t believe a Spacechant Adjudicator has the power to do what this man has done! Is he really from the Galactic Council?!’
‘So that’s what he told you’ said the Admiral. ‘Yes, and no……..’
‘What kind of an answer is that?’ hissed Captain Lou, clearly becoming exasperated with the hapless Admiral.
‘He…it….he comes from…elsewhere.’
‘You’re speaking in riddles’ said Captain Lou. ‘What do you mean, elsewhere?!’
‘From…outside…beyond…the rim…’ He paused; ‘Yuggoth’.
‘What?!’ Captain Lou’s mind reeled. Yuggoth was a fabled place, unmarked on any star chart, rumoured to exist but never visited. Not by anyone who returned to tell the tale, anyway. It was beyond all known space.
‘Plus, I didn’t think the inhabitants of Yuggoth were humanoid – I thought they were……’
The Admiral said it for her.
Sonic Architect Parsons – or the part of him which still seemed to exist – was ricocheting around the surfaces of a kaleidoscopic cylindrical space. Each time his being connected with the surface of the shape which contained him a new shape was added onto the existing one, so that his surroundings were in a state of constant flux. Each surface seemed to career wildly in opposing directions to the planes adjacent to it, so that although there was plainly intelligence at work, it seemed like chaos. He had given up trying to ascribe any physical attributes to himself; it simply didn’t seem to fit with the reality he was experiencing, so he had begun to enjoy the ride, marvelling at each new twist and turn.
For the briefest of moments he saw something which seemed to connect him to his old life – a glimpse of a room with conventional dimensions and surfaces; the Studio of the Fair View on board the Leco, the starcruiser on which he was a crew member. Some kind of sense of self began to return, and he realised that there was a ‘crack’ in the swirling space which contained him. It came into view once more, again for the briefest of moments and at that point he sensed a way out of this alternate reality.
Bland Formulaic was becoming concerned. His plan wasn’t exactly unfolding in the intended way. Only a short time (time?) ago he had been an amorphous lifeform in a place which was Other, but a crack in the fabric of things had allowed him to take on this strange form and travel to this new dimension. He found he liked it, and was not keen to return to Yuggoth. In fact, he thought that his fellow mitosporidium may well prefer this existence to the one out on the cold Rim. But how to bring this about? He was sure that the key lay in the strange room through which he had come, where the first human creature he had encountered had been cast into the limbozone – an unfortunate casualty – to exist as Colour out of Space for eternity.
He needed to get back to that room, but first he must deal with the humans who stood in his way………..
Captain Lou was troubled. Admiral Bunting seemed to know a lot more than he was letting on.
‘So how come you figured out that our friend Mr Formulaic was a Fungi from Yuggoth? I don’t suppose he came out and told you….?!’
‘I’ve had a colourful life’ said the Admiral, almost to himself. ‘I have read….unusual books….many years ago I travelled to the colonies across the Sea of Atlantis. I met some interesting people at Miskatonic University. They showed me….things.’ He suppressed a shudder. ‘Suffice it to say that Mr Fungi Formulaic gave himself away to me…..it’s just about if you can read the signs.’
‘So what do you think he’s up to? What does he want?’
‘Oh, I know what he wants’ replied the sly space lord. ‘He wants to bring his kind through to our world, which would necessarily involve removing us from it!’
‘But how can he do that?’ asked Captain Lou. She was feeling somewhat out of her depth.
‘He must have found a way through…..an anomaly…..a portal.’
A light bulb flashed on in Captain Lou’s mind.
‘You mean like a crack in time…..?’
‘Yes, exactly’ said Admiral Bunting. ‘A crack in time….just like Lord Nick of Harper was talking about. I wonder if he….no, that’s ridiculous…even so….’
The Admiral was almost thinking out loud. ‘No!’ said Captain Lou. ‘I won’t believe Lord Nick had anything to do with this! But we need to get out of here, and fast!’
‘We certainly do’ agreed the Admiral. ‘I have a spacechant festival at a Temple of Song in the Tavern of the Hall by the Gate. You could send some of your subversive spacechants into the aether there if you like?’
‘If we get out of this alive it’s a deal! said Captain Lou.
Ricardo the Astral Bard and Bombardier Walker emerged stealthily from the Sensory Modelling Zone in the Leco. As soon as the lights went out after Bland Formulaic had announced he was confiscating their ship Ricardo had used thought transference to send himself and the Bombardier elsewhere. Captain Lou should have time travelled with them but for some reason she hadn’t made it. Ricardo could only assume that Bland Formulaic had had some kind of ‘fix’ on her which had prevented her from being transported. Now, he was concerned with preserving both his own and the Bombardier’s safety, and then locating and liberating his Captain.
Ricardo almost silently intoned an ancient but familiar spacechant. Bombardier Walker was standing right next to him. The Bombardier felt the characteristic pull in the pit of his stomach which told him he was travelling through time and space. Suddenly, he was in another place, a place he felt he knew. He gripped his thunder sticks tightly.
‘Who’s there?’ Ricardo knew that voice – Bland Formulaic. ‘By the power vested in me by the Galactic Council I demand that you surrender yourself’ commanded the dull official. Instead of surrender he was hit by a twin-pronged attack consisting of a tumultuous storm of sonic thunder from the Bombardier which knocked him sideways. He then found himself bound by stanza streams issuing from the Astral Bard.
‘Captain!’ cried Ricardo. ‘In here’ came the reply. The two Leconauts rushed into the adjacent room to find Captain Lou bound to Admiral Bunting by what could only be described as a giant multi-tentacled fungus which pulsated with colours which had no place in any world they had ever seen.
‘Get us out of this!’ cried the Admiral. Bombardier Walker launched a paradiddle broadside which immediately reduced the weird fungus to dust.
‘Thank god for that! I couldn’t see what it was until the lights came back on. It felt like steel. It began to die when you incapacitated Bland Formulaic!’
‘Yes’ agreed the Admiral. ‘When the lights came back on!’
‘Speaking of our fungi friend, what shall we do with him?’ asked Bombardier Walker. The Leconauts all returned to the room in which they had captured the drab mouse-pusher. A crazy scene met their eyes. Where Bland Formulaic had lain, bound by parradiddle traps and stanza streams, there was now just a pool of viscous ichor, from which tiny toadstools were growing, gleaming in colours for which there was no name, and which belonged to no known spectrum.
‘Ricardo’ said Captain Lou. ‘Please enclose this…mess in a diplomatic bag and send it to the Headquarters of the Galactic Council, marked ‘Return to Sender’!
‘Aye, aye, cap’n’ replied the Astral Bard.
‘Right’ said Captain Lou. ‘To the Tavern of the Hall by the Gate. We have some ‘non-standard’ spacechants to launch…..!’
Ricardo looked concerned. There was, unusually, no hint of mischief in his eye. ‘How can we launch our space chants without our Sonic Architect?’ he asked. ‘How indeed?’ replied Captain Lou. ‘So let’s go and get him!’
‘You have a plan?’ asked Ricardo.
‘Not exactly’ replied Captain Lou. ‘More a hunch….let’s go – you too, Admiral!’
Back on the Leco the three crew and the doughty Admiral headed straight for the Studio of the Fair View. The empty space which should have contained Sonic Architect Parsons was still there, just as it was when they last saw it. Just looking at it produced an eerie feeling.
‘Ok’ said Captain Lou. ‘This may or may not work. Many dodecamoons ago when there were still countries on Terra Gaia the US Navy made a ship invisible. When they tried to make it visible again some of the sailors remained invisible and the strain made some of them lose their minds. What brought them back was their crewmates laying their hands on them so the invisible men could see that they still existed. Let’s give it a try….!’
The three Leconauts and Admiral Bunting all put their hands on the living void which was their missing crewmate; it produced a tangible sense of him being there. Ricardo wrapped his arms around the torso and gently squeezed. Admiral Bunting ran his hands up and down the arms. Bombardier Walker wrapped his wiry frame around the legs and Captain Lou put her hands on either side of the head.
Sonic Architect Parsons felt a strange pull; it was being exerted on his entire being but he couldn’t say where it was coming from. He found the intensity of the whirling kaleidoscopic void which he had become part of begin to diminish. His sense of self began to return in a palpable way, to the point at which he began to feel panic. Then he became aware of his crewmates and someone else, all willing him to return to the different world from which he had been taken. At first he didn’t want to respond, but as their exhortations grew stronger he found himself (self?) desiring to see their faces and hear their voices.
All at once he found himself flying through space at incredible speed heading towards…..heading towards himself. With a crash which knocked the breath from his lungs he was suddenly…there. He existed once more, and moreover, his excited crewmates and Admiral Bunting were jumping around and whooping and hollering in front of him!
‘Ok, everybody!’ he said. ‘What’s all the fuss about…….?!’
‘How do you feel?’ asked Captain Lou, incredulous at the prosaic question in such circumstances.
The Sonic Architect thought for a moment. ‘Alive’ he said. ‘As if every fibre of my being is receiving multi-sensory messages in superabundance!’
‘Are you sure?’ asked Captain Lou, again quite incredulous at her own equanimity.
‘Yes. I’m raring to go; what’s next?’ replied the Sonic Architect.
‘Spacechants at the Tavern of the Hall by the Gate’ said Captain Lou.
The reply was immediate. ‘Let’s do it.’
And so it came to pass that the Leconauts and merry Admiral Bunting did journey to the Tavern of the Hall by the Gate and launch their spacechants into the aether with a renewed vigour. Spacejuice flowed and the denizens of the Hamlet of Cotting, just outside Kardomah City, howled their devotions to the moon and wrote in their annals of the day the Leconauts came to play.
Back on board the Leco, Captain Lou had a thousand questions to ask her Sonic Architect, but found she didn’t have the heart to begin quizzing him. Instead, she turned her attention to their next mission. They were due at the Temple of O’Riley in Kardomah City, to launch more space chants with Natecook and his band of swamp renegades.
‘Yawp’ she said, more thinking out loud.
‘Yawp’ repeated Sonic Architect Parsons. ‘That’s the sound in the void…the sound in the cosmic kaleidoscope which swallowed me.’
‘That’s what Natecook said when he first contacted us’ said Captain Lou. ‘He asked if we would help him ‘yawp’ his spacechant to our galaxy!’
‘We must’ said the Sonic Architect, with a faraway look in his eyes.
‘That’s how we will repair the crack in time……..!’
Ricardo the Astral Bard was sitting in a leather-bound chair in his favourite place, the Room of Manuscripts, deep in the bowels of the Leco. He was holding a Teetee labelled ‘A History of the Colorado Nebula and its Inhabitants.’ He was deep in thought, seemingly entranced by what he was reading.
Several floors above, Sonic Architect Parsons was asleep in his quarters, dreaming of paisley-patterned kaleidoscopic rooms full of impossible angles and colours which didn’t exist.
Several floors above him, Captain Lou, Bombardier Walker and Admiral Bunting were sitting on the bridge of the starcruiser when the Vistascreen crackled into life.
A familiar face appeared and began to speak.
‘All hail to the Leconauts! I am Andy, son of Richard, and I seek the Yawpers!’
That word again.
‘What makes you think we know anything about the Yawpers?’ said Captain Lou. She was eager to know what Andy son of Richard knew without giving away the little she knew herself.
‘It is told in the Chronicles’ said Andy ‘that the Yawpers will visit the Temple of ORiley at the Festival of Whitsun, and together with the Leconauts will launch their spacechants into the aether which will repair the crack in time!’
The crack in time; Captain Lou tried to remain calm.
‘What do you know of the crack in time?’ she asked, amazed at how calm she was managing to sound.
‘The crack in time was created by the Fungi from Yuggoth for the purpose of travelling into our world from their home on the cold Rim. They will use the crack to overrun our galaxy. The Galactic Council have known of this for many dodecamoons but have chosen to ignore it. Only the space renegades known as the Leconauts, together with the Yawpers, can close the crack. But time is running out. You must come to the Temple of Song on the Feast of Whitsun and yawp your spacechants into the aether. It is written that on this day the crack in time will be closed and the galaxy shall be saved from annihilation.’
‘How do you know these things, Andy, son of Richard?’ asked Captain Lou.
‘My father was a time traveller’ he replied. ‘He told me stories when I was a boy of how he and his merry band of space renegades defeated the Fungi from Yuggoth by launching their spacechants into the aether. He told me that this was the day and when the time came I would see the signs. He gave me your co-ordinates and hailing frequency. He gave them to me when I was a boy, and then he disappeared………..’
Captain Lou’s head was reeling. So the Galactic Council were behind all the disruption which had beset the Leconauts and now threatened the safety of the very galaxy it was sworn to protect. No surprises there, then!
Clearly, she and her band of space renegades would have to go to the Temple of Oriley and connect with Natecook and his Yawpers. The very existence of the galaxy depended upon it!
‘Astral Bard, set course for Terra Gaia, the Feast of Whitsun, Gaian year 2019’ ordered Captain Lou. She had arranged to meet with Andy Son of Richard in the Temple of Oriley, a place in which Admiral Bunting kept a den.
‘Aye, aye, cap’n’ replied the Astral Bard, with mischief in his eye. He had heard tales of Natecook and his Yawpers, and was looking forward to seeing them launch their spacechants into the aether.
The Leco was put into orbit over Terra Gaia and the crew with Admiral Bunting beamed down in the Lecopod. Andy Son of Richard was waiting for them.
‘All hail the Leconauts’ said the impossibly tall Terra Gaian. ‘Come, and let us meet with Natecook and his merry band.’
They entered the Temple of Song to find three wild-looking individuals collected on the launchpad tinkering with their flangectors and thunder machines.
Natecook came across and extended his hand in the universal gesture of friendship. Captain Lou took it and shook it.
‘This day is foretold in the chronicles of the Colorado Nebula’ said Natecook. ‘Today is the day on which you and we will launch our spacechants into the aether and repair the crack in time!’
‘You know of the crack in time?’ said Captain Lou.
‘It is foretold in the chronicles’ replied Natecook. The sum of your spacechants and our barbaric yawp will repair the crack in time and make safe the galaxy in which we live. So it is written and so it shall be!’
A moment of silence, then Natecook spoke again.
‘Andy, son of Richard, we wish you to travel back with us to the Colorado Nebula when we return, for the chronicles also state that you shall meet your destiny in the City of Boulders. There is an ancient spacescribe there who has something to tell you………’
….And so it came to pass that the Leconauts did launch their spacechants into the aether and the Yawpers did yawp their barbaric yawp and the crack in time was closed.
At the end of the ceremony Natecook distributed audio thought transferences to the denizens of Oriley City and did offer his namemark to his newfound friends.
Admiral Bunting smiled beatifically upon the scene and distributed spacejuice, in exchange for spacecoin, to the happy throng.
Andy Son of Richard agreed to travel to the City of Boulders with the Yawpers, and was last seen entering their starcruiser, the Child of Mercy, which then disappeared into the wild blue yonder.
When all except Admiral Bunting and the Leconauts were left, a faint knocking could be heard. The Admiral went over to a maintenance closet and opened the door. A vaguely familiar form fell out of the closet, gasping for breath.
‘I am an official of the Galactic Council!’ said the stranger. ‘My name is Bland Formulaic and I came here to deliver admonitions due to non-standard spacechants being launched into the aether!’
‘Bland Formulaic!’ exclaimed Captain Lou. ‘But how is this possible?!’
‘A good question’ said the colourless official. ‘As soon as I arrived I was assimilated by what I can only describe as a huge fungus. It left me here to rot and assumed my identity. Goodness knows what it has been doing in my name!’
‘Well’ said Captain Lou. ‘I don’t think you’ll have to worry about that any more. I suggest you go on your way and report to the Galactic Council that all is well in Oriley City upon the Plains of Kardomah, and that the spacechants you encountered were all very satisfactory; very satisfactory indeed………..!’
LECo photos by Sydpix, Yawpers photos by Rich Duffy-Howard
To be continued…
By Loudhailer Electric Company’s Sonic Architect and keeper of the sacred flangector, Jeff Parsons