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An Interlude Short Stories

An Interlude: Part 6

An Interlude | An Interlude Continues | An Interlude: Part 3

An Interlude: Part 4 | An Interlude: Part 5

Jacob turned away from the encroaching ninja robots to take stock of the situation on deck. There was Jacob, Fred, and nobody else, really. The remaining pirates were either dead, below decks, or jumping ship.

There was only one man that could save them now. He stood tall, puffed out his chest, and… turned to Fred. The old farmhand looked decidedly different.

Fred was sitting in a futuristic-looking tan captain’s chair. He was wearing a red and black jumpsuit and was decidedly balder than usual. Jacob raised an eyebrow. “You’re, uh…”

The old farmhand scowled. “Go ahead and say it. I’m bald. You’d go bald too, putting up with the likes of you.” He waved a hand. “Ain’t shit, though.”

He cleared his throat. “Take your station, Mister Woof! Shields up!”

“Mister Woof…” Jacob ran dark brown hands over his black and yellow jumpsuit. “Oh, what…” He tentatively touched at his forehead. There were hard, folded wrinkles covering it. He smiled. “Could be worse.”

He turned around to see a combat station before him. He quickly sat down and surveyed his control panel. “Let’s see.” An endless ocean of buttons, pull-knobs, toggle switches and sliders greeted him. “It didn’t look this complicated on the show.”

He turned to face Fred. The old farmhand threw out his hands. “What, do I have to do everything? It’s the red button! In the middle!

Jacob turned back to the control panel. A giant red button labeled “SHIELDS, IDIOT” was flashing in the middle. He slapped it with his hand and looked up.

A bright blue translucent bubble wrapped around the old galleon. Jacob pumped his fist, crying out. He caught himself and cleared his throat. He spoke in a mock deep voice. “Shields up, captain.”

The cables strung between the two ships separated where the shield fell on them. The ninja robots crossing them leaped through space towards the shield, shouting their battle cries. Jacob watched amused as one after another bounced uselessly off of the glowing energy field and floated off into space.

Fred nodded his approval. “Very good! Now let’s finish this. Launch the proton burrito!”

“The what!” Jacob looked down at the control panel. Another large button, clearly labeled “PROTON BURRITO”, was flashing in the middle of the board. “Oh! Right, then.” Jacob slapped his hand on the button and watched.

True to form, a large, incandescent burrito emerged from the side of the galleon. Fred and Jacob watched in anticipation as the oversize wrap slowly approached the side of the robot-ninja ship. Many of the robot ninjas stopped to watch, making curious noises.

The burrito finally reached the ship and… splattered uselessly against the side. Jacob looked morosely at Fred. “Oh… I uh… This never happens to me baby, I swear!”

The robot ninjas looked at each other and shrugged. They turned back to the galleon and continued firing their lasers. Each shot pinged off the bubble-like shield, but it was noticeably dimming.

Jacob turned back to Fred. “Any other bright ideas, captain?”

Fred brushed at his mustache thoughtfully. “Hmm… No bright ideas, but I got a dull one!” He stood and stoically pointed at the other ship. “Fire vapors! Full power!”

“Right!” Jacob turned back to the control panel. His smile faded. No large button this time. “I uh, there’s no…”

“Oh, Mister Woof… Look, it’s right there. By that one light… No, the other one. No, the other-other one. Down… farther… Open your eyes, boy! Look!”

Jacob wheeled around. “Why don’t you just show me the damn thing!”

“But it’s right there! At the bottom of the base, on the side…”

Jacob looked. A tiny blinking yellow button was stuck on the base of the combat station near the ground. He turned around. “Honestly?”

Fred smirked. “Trust me. That’s one button you do not want to press by accident.”

Jacob shrugged and reached down with a groan. A shrill alarm beeped several times as he pressed the button. He sat up to watch, partially terrified at the though of what he just unleashed.

A bright glow emanated from somewhere along the side of the galleon. The sound of crackling energy grew as the light intensified. There was one final brilliant flash, followed by a gigantic booming fart noise.

“Go, vapor, go! Fred pumped his fist. A glowing green mist shot out of the side of the galleon and drifted towards the ninja-robot ship. Jacob opened his mouth to say something, but wisely shut it a moment later.

The shimmering green vapor spread out to envelop the enemy ship. The ninja robots looked around, confused at first. Then a handful squinted their eyes, furiously whipping their hands in front of their faces.

A general cry of disgust and despair rose up from the beset warriors. Some dropped to one knee, dry-heaving before falling over. Jacob turned excitedly to Fred. “I think it’s working, captain!”

The sound of large machinery whirring to life brought their attention back to the robot ninjas. A hole opened up in the deck of the enemy ship. A giant spray canister labeled “Sorcerer Air Scrubber” slowly emerged.

It squirted a large, pink cloud into the green cloud of funk. Fred’s vapor quickly dissipated under the deluge. Some of it floated to the galleon. He took a big sniff. “Hmm, strawberry. Nice choice!”

The remaining ninja robots stood back up. They shook their heads as if to clear them. They resumed their laser assault. The shield started to fade away.

There was a brilliant flash, followed by a giant popping noise. The shield was gone. Jacob stood, mouth agape. “Oh, shit. What now?” He turned to Fred.

The old farmhand was back to his usual self. He shrugged. “That usually knocks ’em dead.”

Jacob looked at his own body, noting he had returned to normal as well. He sighed. “Yeah, well… It didn’t. There’s gotta be something you can do. Pull something out of your ass… Wait.”

Fred adopted a shit-eating grin. “No, Fred. No! Don’t…” The old farmhand reached down the backside of his pants. “Oh, god!” Jacob turned away.

“So that’s where I put that!” There came the sound of a shrill whistle. Jacob shook his head, grimacing at the connotations. “Ah! There it is.”

The distinctive sound of a donkey braying forced Jacob to reluctantly turn back. He opened one eye. Fred stood there holding a small object. A small burro stood behind him with a wooden crate strapped to its back. Fred appeared nonplussed. “What?”

Jacob simply shook his head. Fred shrugged. “Anyway, I found it!” He held up a tiny laser gun. “You were right. It was in my ass!” He jabbed a thumb at the burro behind him.

“I don’t think a toy gun is going to be of much help, Fred.” Jacob jumped as a laser blast hit right in front of where he was standing.

Fred lowered his brow. “You just watch.” He turned to the burro. “Safety first, Eustace!” He pulled at the back of his pants. A bright light emerged. Jacob quickly turned away.

He turned back as the light faded. “So you had an ass… in your ass.” Jacob smirked. “Yo, dog. I heard you liked ass, so I put…”

Fred grimly shook his head. “Now’s not the time for jokes, son.” Jacob scowled. “Now back the hell off, unless you want to cook your weenie.”

Jacob did as he was asked. Fred pointed the minute laser gun at the ship. He turned his face away, squinting and pulled the trigger. A gigantic beam of bright white light shot out of the tip of the gun with a thunderous “pew!”

After what felt like hours, Jacob could finally see and hear again. He looked out towards the robot-ninja ship. An enormous round hole had been punched in the side of it.

The robot ninjas unfortunate enough to be on deck at the time of the blast had been flung so far out into space that they were barely visible. The rest were crying in terror as the listing ship angled towards Earth’s atmosphere. It would inevitably burn up long before reaching Earth.

Jacob looked back at their own ship and screamed. Fred and Jacob were standing on a small patch of deck. The exploded remains of their own ship, as well as its cowering occupants, was floating off in all directions.

“That gun there’s got some flashback, I’m afraid.” Jacob turned to Fred and screamed again. The old farmhand was covered from head to foot in black soot. Only his comically bright eyes shone through.

“What?” Fred looked down. “Oh.” He stuck one sooty thumb in his mouth and blew. The black comically puffed off his body and floated away. “No worries!”

“No worries? How are we supposed to get back to Earth now!” He spread his hands out to make his point.

“Oh… Good point.” The old farmhand looked back and forth, chewing on his lip. He shrugged. “Maybe I can pull something out of my ass again?”