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Planet of the Monkeys

Greetings, Flash Fictionaughts. This week, we have bugoids and space weasels on the fearsome PLANET OF THE MONKEYS.

Set blasters for ‘medium rare’!

As you might imagine, this is an insightful analysis of man’s (and woman’s) eternal struggle for redemption in a harsh universe or artistic criticism and post modernistic expression… or in fact, sci-fi popcorn involving space weasels, bugoids, and (ahem) fashion.

Set brains to automatic and let your imagination coast down hill at warp factor 2.5 to where this story is waiting for you with open claw, Roquefort dip and breadsticks.

***

A

polline feels safer in the hours of sunlight. During the day, she can stretch out and sunbathe in front of this yellowy, main sequence star, and not feel the faint pull of transmatic tractors or translocation beacons. She can thumb two Chlachlar at the near invisible ships far overhead. It’s only later, when the solar and magnetic radiation fades into a rolling time lapse of northern lights – the energy equivalent of misty tendrils descending a mountain – she begins to stare suspiciously at the skies.

Before long, the sphere of the heavens rise into darkness and the distant point-lights of fusion burn and twinkle as unimaginable energy expends its power into poetry. But these stars are not nearly as powerful as the Hullian drives that hold newly arrived battle fleets in geosynchronicity. Streamlined hulls slide through darkness – darker than dark – and show on no Earthly detector. The starlight appears untouched as light bends.

Soon the Trovians will be coming.

Frankly, she is unconcerned. And yet – and yet – Apolline has her gun on the kitchen table. The brass and glass globes look archaic against the cracked, gingham Formica. Much she has learned of this planet: QVC, Versace and Jimmy Choo. And B Movies. She loves the giant Ant Men and their whippy antennae – they remind so much of home. But she is somewhat dismayed – as she attacks moving gun parts with Brasso and a shammy – that her erstwhile ‘technology’ would be identified by the more ‘Garshoon’ hoardes of humanity as a sub genus of Steam Punk and Invasion Mars. How embarrassing. She rubs on and grimaces in a symphony of suit servos. Look at that condensing coil – it’s so… Saturday Kid’s Club.

Gun polished, glass glittering with insta-death, she slides aside the patio doors. The night air – as it is relayed to her – is cool. She scowls at galactic north and the no-doubt ships hanging there like paving slabs, and slumps into a lounger. Roquefort dip and breadsticks are close to claw… to manipulator… to hand. It is a hand of rubberised silicate and micro robotics: her skin-suit is an off-the-hanger Angelina Jolie in a weighted morph with the topography of Beyonce.

Inside: funiculus, scutellum, and tarsal claw.

She tunes in, one implant after another, to examine the deployed suggestion fields. Her head hurts. That little rim of a thumbnail the Salorians helpfully embedded in her frontal lobe is encouraging a visit to a rather awkwardly shaped mountain somewhere in the United States; flat topped and unlikely. Looks like a coffee table from IKEA. At this time of night? Pfft! she huffs.

Apolline loads in some cheese dip and stick with manicured elegance and a straight pinky and wishes Steve Jobs had gotten hold of the kill-gun before the Fargon Technocracy, who – in complete contravention of the rules of accessorisation – have created a ‘must have weapon’ which feels as heavy and awkward in a fight as a cheap hairdryer filled with uranium.  And what’s with hairdryers anyway? For heaven’s sake, people – would it kill you to just translocate wet-hair water one foot to the right? And then: Oh. Possibly yes. She grins at mischievous imaginings of scorched monkeys, her flesh-suit manoeuvring a hundred micro servos in the complex ballet of mirth.

A Traysian Llachja winks disconsolately near her third, redundant brainstem, hinting at a rendezvous in a nearby corn field…

***

Geometric resonance and crackling fields of pentronic displacement burn a corn circle into gently waving heads of green barley. A Trovian retrieval ship touches down on silken landing gear, sprung like four counterpoised nail clippers.

***

Apolline scowls. Pfft. If these weasels want to try the whole abduction thing on her, then they’ll need to do it somewhere with a café, a gift shop and a surface conducive to high heels. Or forgeddabout it!

She delicately pushes a breadstick – an inch too long – into her plasticised flesh mask, smunches the stick bulge until the faux flesh finally sticks back to her real face and then rubs the lipstick and crumbs onto a napkin. She misses distensible mouthparts (they’re there – just folded and folded to the extent she’s constantly eating with her ‘mouth’ full of lobster). But oh god, she wails inside, we look like prawns! Versace does nothing on a prawny theme. You think monkeys are bad – try evolving from fashionless space fry!

She loves her fleshy, monkey face with its paltry thousand or so inflections. So much more convenient than the infinite complexities of a body language where the seventh perithenial antennid inclined at a twenty-seven degree angle on the fourth sun cycle of Epicleas intimates mild confusion mixed with a subtle under-layer of concern over childcare and a toasting fork (well, a Shdada).

Not so much a language, she humps, as exoskeletal Twister.

***

A cadre of plasticised bodies dismounts the drop ship, looking somewhat like Emo kids, complete with skateboards. The ship’s cammo screen ripples slightly as the Trovian kill-squad pass through its outer layer – a layer that licks like a bulldog though reflects only farmland.  Between long, yellowed incisors – snug in humanised plastic faces – the Trovians ‘skreek’, and ‘skrerk’ and curse skin-suit fur-sweat, and monkey physiology.  Guns, however, are chick-chacked to vaporise – these weasels know how tricky bugoids can be.

“Flarrrgh! Fan out. Don’t get bit!”

***

Perhaps, on hind stalks, it had been a mistake for Apolline to listen to her advisors, but hiding her – one of the last Harvanian royal pouchlings – on planet Earth (the most distant, low tech, and backward planet of any the Confederacy could imagine) had seemed a wonderful idea at the time. For instance, it was a fact that no matter how much they might wish and desire a most inelegant probing, the monkeys had never once been visited by a proper, honest-to-Y’sukta, alien – until now. Alas for them, the merest glimpse of a battle-class sauceroid could only be attributed to the mad ramblings of an unwashed, class D, ‘nose breather’.

Still, despite the impending invasion, living incognito on The Planet of the Monkeys had its advantages. For one, Apolline had immediately gotten into this whole four limbs business and had contentedly fallen in love with Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, and every other product she could lapidate onto a skin suit (a suit she, praise Y’sukta, had engineered to a perfect 8). She’d never been into painting and sculpture before, and while she’d rather bump cloacae with a Trovian raddled with Septian Gout Worm than a monkey, she did find the attention of the males rather – quaintly – flattering.  After all, as an incipient empress, Apolline liked to win, even if that’s winning at increased persperatory functions and a 5 read on the male meat flakes.

Eat that, monkey fems!

The barbecue goes over. A bin-lid rattles close by. Cool night air ripples onto her micro-pore pressure sensors. Apolline pulls up the kill-gun with practiced efficiency, as servos in the monkey suit whine into bionic assist.

A smallish, hunched, humanoid form emerges with a certain Trovian swagger. A furred head and steely, rodent eyes have been pushed through the mouth of a young, earth-girl monkey-suit (the girl now seems rather snake-like, her dislocate jaw swallowing a mouse).The ‘mouse’ has its eyelids and face pulled back by the silicoid lips it has squeezed between; snout greasy, fur marked with lipstick.  The gun it carries is bigger than a Tropecca.

“I have come for you, hideous princess of Harvania! Prepare for the tractor beams of righteous translocation!”

Hideous?!

BOOM!

Pop goes the weasel.

20 comments

1 Steve Green { 09.04.12 at 10:19 pm }

A prawn skin-job with a penchant for designer labels, protecting us from the invading alien horde? I don’t think Ill be able to see Angelina or Beyonce in the same light ever again. 🙂

Brilliant concept Stephen, and written, as always, in your extremely individual style.

A very entertaining read. Thank you. 🙂

2 Stephen Hewitt { 09.12.12 at 7:12 am }

@ Steve – I couldn’t resist that old prawn skin-job meets designer labels, prawn skin-job falls in love with designer labels, prawn skin-job kills weasel story we all know and love. lol. St.

3 Icy Sedgwick { 09.05.12 at 4:41 pm }

So inventive, but I’d expect nothing less from you!

4 Stephen Hewitt { 09.12.12 at 7:16 am }

@Icy — thanks Icy. I get most of my ideas from our cat… why won’t it stop whispering? 😉 St.

5 Harry B. Sanderford { 09.06.12 at 2:37 pm }

Hahaha! Super creative and fun, would love to see the movie!

6 Stephen Hewitt { 09.12.12 at 7:24 am }

@Harry — thanks Harry. Yay, the movie: all we need now is Angelina Jolie, Beyoncé and a bag of weasels. Come on Dream Works it’s got ray guns and all sorts. St.

7 Helen { 09.07.12 at 5:00 am }

Very individual writing – and as others have said so inventive!

8 Stephen Hewitt { 09.12.12 at 7:31 am }

@Helen — thanks Helen. My cat next mentioned a story set in Japan — why don’t I write about that? Hmmm. Better than its other ideas about sleeping on my head or chasing light glints. St.

9 John Wiswell { 09.07.12 at 5:49 am }

A distinct voice and a distinct race – some very neat one! Had a blast reading this, glad to be able to catch up after my long trip away.

10 Stephen Hewitt { 09.12.12 at 7:33 am }

@John — thanks John. Now you can say you’ve survived the terrifying Planet of the Monkeys. Good to have you back 🙂 St.

11 Deanna Schrayer { 09.07.12 at 3:04 pm }

FUN! Fun, fun, fun story Stephen. Your descriptions are so…well, descriptive. And the humor in this is excellent, as is the voice, pace, etc. All of it – wonderful!

12 Stephen Hewitt { 09.12.12 at 7:44 am }

@Deanna — thanks Deanna. I put the fun ray on ‘chuckle’ and hoped nobody was shielded with light cardboard. I’m glad you liked it. St.

13 Brinda { 09.08.12 at 12:28 am }

Wonderful – humor and creativity Stephen, love it. The alien has good taste obviously with her fashion choices. I suspect Angeline Jolie might actually be a Harvanian princess in hiding.

14 Stephen Hewitt { 09.12.12 at 7:48 am }

@Brinda — I think you could be right about Angelina Jolie. We lay a trap: if she can eat sugar cubes from twelve feet away, we go to Unexplained magazine and blow this thing wide open. 🙂 St.

15 Aidan Fritz { 09.08.12 at 3:19 am }

Nice final line. Wonderful energy. It’s fun to see your unique voice tackle sci-fi.

16 Stephen Hewitt { 09.12.12 at 7:53 am }

@Aidan — that final line just *ahem* popped out there — I find the word ‘weasels’ amusing anyway. lol. I much enjoyed this foray into sci-fi. There’s a weird universe out there amongst the stars, and some of it has a real head for fashion (and if not, heads will be provided). St.

17 Aaron { 09.08.12 at 6:31 pm }

Great blend of science fiction and comedy.

18 Stephen Hewitt { 09.12.12 at 7:55 am }

@Aaron — thanks Aaron. I’m happy that you and other folks found the humour in there. You can never be sure when writing about bugoids, weasels and skin suits 😉 And welcome to the Cafe. St.

19 Joan { 09.19.12 at 11:21 am }

Great that what Apolline finds of most interest on the Planet of the Monkeys is Prada, Yves Saint Laurent et al – loved the line, ‘If those weasels want to try the whole abduction thing . . . they’ll need to do it somewhere with a cafe, a gift shop and a surface conducive to high heels. Or forgeddabout it!’

Exactly.

20 Stephen Hewitt { 09.22.12 at 4:46 pm }

@Joan — yeah, I suddenly thought, if you’re wearing a body suit, you’d probably be quite into accessorising — like collecting clothes for a doll you happen to be wearing. Make-up would be kind of an abstract experience. And of course, no one with pedigree is going to get abducted from a cornfield — of all places. lol. St.

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