“Why did they attack us? I thought the Government of Utopia was our ally,” Loomis asked.
“They don’t look like Government emissaries,” replied Varis, surveying the landing port and the sand dunes. “I don’t see anyone else in sight. It really is hot here, isn’t it?” she turned around to see Doctor Bacon collapse again.
“Damn it, Varis, what did you do that for?” Tunney scolded, avoiding looking straight at her.
“What? What did I do?!” Varis asked, and shook Bacon who appeared to be fried to a crisp in the sun. “Doctor Bacon? Doctor Bacon?”
“All right, for God’s sake, let’s first get out of here to some place safe!”
“And Varis,” Tunney said almost pleadingly, “I know you’re an excellent Lieutenant Commander and that you’re in line for promotion, but may I remind you as well as the writers and the readers that I’m in charge, at least for now?”
“Of course Commander, I had no intention of bruising your male ego,” Varis replied, “But I can’t help the fact that I’m extremely attractive, smart and strong, and that all men drool over me.”
“Curvaceans…. Men cannot resist them. Mankind may not survive them,” moaned Doctor Bacon before slipping back to unconsciousness.
“Shut up! Let me try to get hold of the ViceConsul,” Tunney said and dialed the ViceConsul’s number which took him to an automated message. “I’m trying to connect to the office of the ViceConsul, but I keep getting gibberish.”
“That’s because it is Gibberish, the official language of Utopia,” Varis replied.
“Sir, your yellow tooth,” Loomis interjected.
“What? I did brush my teeth,” Tunney frowned, licking his teeth with his tongue.
“No, I meant the yellow tooth mobile translation device you have on your ear,” Loomis replied, “Looks like there is a malfunction with it. That’s why the translation from Gibberish to English isn’t working.”
Loomis examined it. “It is infected with fungus. Have you applied the latest anti-fungal security software patch?”
“Damn it, Loomis,” Tunney snapped, “You’re supposed to take care of these things for me!”
“All right, my Boogle Galactic Maps shows that there is a safe landing spot up the hill.., oh, and there is a coffee shop near by,” said Varis.
“Sounds good, let’s head there and try to make sense of what is happening. I could use some coffee as well,” Tunney replied as the XV-50 took off with a rumble.
The Brothers Coffee shop was run by two brothers who migrated from Macchiatopia to Utopia, hoping to strike it rich with their coffee business in the land of milk and honey. Much to their dismay, they found when they landed in Utopia that the cows had migrated to the greener pastures of Macchiatopia instead. But that is another story*. (* See “A Tale of Two Capital Cities”).
Brothers Coffee was empty except for a short, stocky man with an unkempt beard. He was one of the brothers.
“I was just closing,” he said with a worrying look. “What are you doing here?”
“Why, what is happening?” asked Tunney.
“You’re not from around here, are you? Fine time you picked to visit Utopia!” he said wryly, “There is a civil war going on, man! General Villainous has seized control of much of the capital!”
“Villainous? Wasn’t he killed in Wrath of Stan when we hurled him into the molten lava pit?” Tunney asked with a surprised look at Varis.
“Aah, so you’re Commander Tunney! I knew you looked familiar!” the coffee shop owner said excitedly. “And no, General Villainous is not dead. If only you had bothered to watch the end credits of the movie, you would have seen that Villainous clung on to a branch and survived. Face damaged badly, but alive and more powerful than ever. That’s how they get to make sequels. Didn't you know?"
“Anyway, you better leave before Villainous and his men find you here!” he warned.
Tunney wondered what mischief Villainous was up to this time as he braced himself for another showdown with his arch-nemesis.