Despite the facsimile pirate end cap saucer’s success, Nigel wasn’t entirely certain that he liked it very much. He said as much at dusk, when he went for a walk with Magnuss…
“It’s not terribly regal, is it?” He complained. “I mean, everyone will think it’s a damned pirate vessel. How can the leader of an entire planet arrive at the Museum of Future Technology in a rip-off space pirate vessel? Surely it would be unseemly at the very least.”
“You want a redesign, don’t you?” Magnuss replied.
“Please.” Nigel answered. “Do you have any other designs in mind? Another mighty vessel upon which you once travelled, perchance?”
Magnuss cast his mind back to his arrival at the planet that he had named Scroton. He had been aboard the Worstworld ship, K T Woo…
But when he thought about it a bit more he realised that he knew didally squat about the alien craft. So he took the decision to confess that the museum had once owned a starship of its own: the slightly fragile Ship Number Fifteen…
‘Hmm,‘ he thought to himself, ‘if we cut off the bottom half and reduce the upper hull by seventy percent, and dump that lousy anti-neutrino drive…’
“Yeah, that’s it.” He said out loud. “I think I have the answer.”
By now they had wandered to the edge of town, where together they stared out at the nearby alien countryside…
…and watched as a flight of defensive satellites swept by in low orbit.
“I’m glad.” Nigel said finally. “Let’s go tell the tech-guys. I’ll be generous; I’ll give them until daybreak to come up with a prototype.”
“Excellent.” Magnuss replied. “That will give them all day to test it. If it’s okay we could lift off for Earth tomorrow night.”
Well morning came quickly enough, and Nigel was invited to feast his eyes upon another reconfiguration of the basic cable end space ship model…
Fang and Magnuss came along to see.
“We call it the X-One.” A bright red scientist announced.
“Is that because it’s the first experimental craft of its kind?” Magnuss inquired.
The scientist turned to the green tech-guys opposite.
“No.” One of them replied on his behalf. “It’s because we think it looks like excrement – especially the colour. Fortunately there is only one of them. If I had to build another one, well I think I’d have to quit my job and become a lavatory attendant.”
“Yes, it does look a bit ploppy.” Nigel agreed as he screwed up his nose in disgust. “Couldn’t we paint it a nicer colour?”
Magnuss shook his head. “No, of course not.” He blurted. “Ship Number Fifteen was this colour; and it battled space pirates, landed on Mars, and travelled all the way to Worstworld and back. You couldn’t possibly risk changing the colour: it could lead to disaster!”
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2017