Fillyz’ Diary – Planetary Mission: the Planet of the Pigs

I need a bath, I’m freezing to death, my clothes are caked in mud and I feel the overwhelming urge to strangle someone – namely Tox. Why does he always pick me for planetary missions? It’s not as if I’m the only worshipper on board! There’s Sal, there’s Naya, there’s Odette… So why pick me every single time he needs a spy or a bait?

And the day started rather promising. I got up, had a nice cup of tea and a wonderful breakfast – fresh waffles with cream. Mad bakes them once a week and they’re actually quite good, now that he’s gotten the hang of baking them without burning them to coals. Anyway, enough about breakfast – I just finished eating when the galaxy’s biggest jerk turned up and ruined my day.

“Good morning, my sweetheart,” he purred and I was instantly suspicious. “Do you remember complaining to me you needed to go shopping?”

Well, he does know how to get my attention, I have to grant him that. “Well, yes,” I replied cautiously. because there’s always a catch.

“Then you will be delighted to hear Mad is about to take the cruiser down to that inviting-looking planet underneath. All you have to do is get on board and join. He’ll drop you off by a lovely little town where you can go shoppping to your heart’s content. Oh, and incidentally, while you’re there you can do me a tiny little favour, yes?” The offer was accompanied by one of his infamous shark-grins.

A lesser trained eye than mine would have missed his slight squirming when I asked what that favour would be.

“Oh, nothing big, really. Just scout out the local population, catch the eye of some potential foo- guests for us and lure them out of town. Just the usual, you know.” His shrug was too forced to be truly casual and I knew he was hiding something – again. But I’d played the bait game often enough, so despite better judgement I agreed.

A big mistake as it turned out. The first thing Tox had carefully avoided to mention was that it was freezing on the planet, and I had to walk for an hour before I even reached the town. “Town” being in this case an euphemism for a ramshackle assemblage of huts that all appeared to be in various stages of decomposition. The local population was extremely wary of me when I arrived and I had to tell them some truly heartbreaking fairy tale of how I had wandered in the wilderness for days, having lost my travelling companions and such.

They finally warmed up (haha) enough to offer me food and grog to strengthen me after my long toil. The food was only edible after consuming enough of their booze and I had a suspicion I might go blind from it, but let me tell ya, after an hour in a blizzard you’re prepared to drink anything as long as it’s hot.

Did I mention the smell of the settlement yet? Well, maybe I should explain first that the main agricultural product of these people was ham.  Therefore pigs play a central role in their life. They were literally everywhere. Outdoors, indoors and everywhere inbetween. When I sat down on what I mistaked for a very grubby sofa, said sofa emitted a startled ‘oink’.

I had to choose between two equally ghastly options: either I could walk back to the cruiser, another hour in the cold while it was getting dark. Or I could take the offered shelter from these people and spend the night in a pig-infested room, defending myself against the fleas.

As it was getting dark outside and walking through the cold once a day is enough, I had no real choice but to settle down. After carefully checking the offered mattress was, in fact, just that, and not a random sow.

When I was as alone as I could get in room full of lower lifeforms, I took out my small transmitter to send a message to the hive where a certain green jerk was waiting, in all comfort and warmth, for a report.

“I will kill you,” I sent. “I will have you trampled to death by pigs.”

A sleepy grumble and a disgruntled yawn were the first sounds that came back. “Fillyz, I am so glad to hear you haven’t lost your sense of humour. Even if your sense of timing leaves much to be wished for. How is the culling forecast for tomorrow?”

“Not a chance. These guys are far too wary and will go into hiding at the first sign of an attack. And before you ask – there are no spare thugs around I would lure out of the settlement.” I may be a Wraith worshipper but I do have priciples.

“So this was a fantastic waste of time?” Though slightly more awake by now, his mood hadn’t improved at all.

“Apparently. My time, I’d like to point out. What are you going to do to make up for this?”

“Oh, I could offer you numerous options, none of them to your taste, I’m certain.” Sleepy or not, there was no mistaking the dirty smirk in his voice.

Rolling my eyes to the ceiling, I suppressed a groan. “You could start with coming down her in a dart to pick me up right now because there is no way I’m going to walk back to the cruiser!”

Another grumble came back. “Right. Consider it done. Can you get out of there without raising suspicion?”

Casting a quick glance around, I was sure the only one noticing my departure would be the elderly pig that happened to roam the chamber, snuffling noisily at my boots. The rest of the settlement was in deep slumber.

“I can. But if you send me out into the cold now, I firmly expect to hear your dart engine in two minutes latest, else you will suffer the wrath of one seriosly annoyed worshipper.”

This statement was answered by a threatening growl that didn’t impress me one bit. “Duly noted. But if you call me down there now in the middle of the night, I firmly expect to see your sweet, little ass in the town square in two minutes latest, else I will leave you on that cold, forsaken planet for six weeks. Over and out!”

Charming as always, that’s my personal pain in the butt.

Carefully avoiding the litter of piglets beleaguering the front door, I sneaked out, checking for guards as I went. All was silent until – I failed to notice the single piglet that woke up as I shuffled my foot past it. It announced my presence with a shrill squealing that woke up its siblings who sprang up in surprise and scrambled around my legs, unbalancing me and sending me down to the muddy ground in a crash!

By that time, mother pig had raised as well, obviously not amused at all that I upset her offspring. With a mad gleam in her tiny, unfocused eyes she charged at me, threads of saliva dripping from her open snout, looking like a particularly ugly demon from an unholy dimension. Not good, so not good at all!

The enormous racket from her and the piglets eventually woke up the townspeople. One by one windows lit up all around me, like a doom bringing chain reaction. Getting up as fast as my frozen feet allowed, I stumbled into the night, at my heels in hot pursuit, mother pig and the smelly cohorts of hell. To my right, a human voice tore through the cold air. “Stop! What’s this noise?”

All hail to the gods of unfortunate coincidence – in exactly that moment my communicator, evidently of Wraith origin, dropped out of its pocket and landed in the snow. Oops.

“Alarm! A spy! A traitor! Stop her!” Predictable reaction really, once you’ve been hunted as a spy you know the drill. I sped up, leaving the stupid piece of technology behind, dodging the hands that suddenly reached out for me, seemingly from all sides. Get to the town square, get to the bloody town square!

Ignoring the wind rushing past past, I strained my ears, willing them to pick up the familiar whine of Tox’s dart. Come on! Where are you? Useless green sonofa-!

What does it tell about my way of living that I’m actually happily anticipating this particular noise? That’s just sick, right? Anway, when the whining noise of the dart tore through the night chill, I was relieved beyond words.

The townsquare was in sight at the end of the road that sloped downwards. I had a hard time struggling my way towards it as slippery mud threatened to eat my boots while the yelling and squealing grew louder behind me. The whole scene was garishly lit by two full moons with their bright light bouncing off the snow. It was easy to discern the black dot of the approaching dart against the lighter sky as I hurtled in its direction. A sharp twang of a bowstring being released sounded near me and I heard something whizz past my ear. Crap! Now they had crossbows!

The whining noise above had grown in volume and was already near enough for me to make out the characteristic hum of the custom engine hull that Tox had built in. For the first time, I was grateful for all the hours he spent on modifying that thing because he wanted it to be the fasted dart in the galaxy.

Almost there! Almost! Mother Sow, however, was not impressed at all by either the spacecraft nor its hellish noise, for she sped up downhill and I could hear her laboured wheezing close behind me. Too close for my taste! Instinct made me jump just as she snapped at my ankles. We both lost our footing and I crashed down on her hard, broad back. A righteously outraged squeal told the world just how ticked off she was.  Her wrath was nothing against my terror though, as she toppled over, taking me with her, and the two of us tumbled head over heels downwards. My vision consisted of spinning pig, snow and mud in fast rotation. Our fall was stopped by a comparatively soft spot of mud which finally separated us, just as a blinding light enveloped me.

Familiar disporientation rippled through me when my molecules rearranged themselves to the form of a very bedraggled worshipper. Without much dignity, on my hands and knees on a gnarled hiveship floor with mud dripping from my clothes and hair.

Exhaling a deep sigh of relief, I drew myself upright and blinked while my eyes took their time adjusting to the hiveship gloom. Behind me, the now dormant shape of Tox’s dart sat and a snarky voice rang in my ears through the sudden silence.

“Now, what in all nebulas was that all about? Can’t I even send you out on a simple mission without you messing everything up?”

Ah, good. Exactly the right person I wanted to see right now. My insides were churning with adrenaline and suppressed rage so I was glad I could get all that anger out of my system now.

“Oh yes. I’m a pathetic, incompetent moron. Forgive me for putting you in this inconvenience,” I chirped, sweet as liquid honey, and turned towards Tox who’d gotten out of his dart. Though I tried to hide my intentions, he must’ve picked up something for he stopped in his tracks and eyed me warily.

Obviously, he had made haste getting down to the planet because he hadn’t taken time to dress properly. Wearing only his underpants – Gosh, I’m so glad he at least wore these! – he glared at me, distrust seeping out of every pore of his half-naked body. He’d crossed a line and he knew it. This was going to be good! He’d done his best to ruin my day and I would savour my revenge.

While he was trying to make out my intentions, I approached him and declared in my best grateful-dumb-maiden-voice: “Oh, thank you, my awe-inspiring master, for taking your precious time to save your unworthy servant from certain death at the feet of angry pigs. Such selfless behaviour calls for a sign of appreciation.”

All right, that scared the hell out of him, I could tell by the way his eyes darted to and fro, searching for hints of hidden weaponry.

“Wait,” he began. “You mightn’t be aware of it, Fillyz, but there is this kinda unhinged glint in your eyes. Maybe you should just go to your nice, little quarters, have a nice, little shower and–” My attack took him by surprise.

Throwing myself forward, I hugged him as hard as I could, mud squelching out from between us. I made certain he got stinking mud in his hair, on his sparse clothing and everywhere else I could reach while staying decent. Of course, since this is Tox we’re talking of, there was always the risk it might actually turn him on, but I was fairly certain that getting covered in pigshit by a ballistic worshipper in the middle of the night while freezing his butt off in the dartbay was too much, even for him. And how dead-right I was.

“Eauwwwwwwww!” He made a desperate noise between a howl and a hiss, music to my ears.

“Well, I figured it’s only fair to share the fruit of my labour with you, don’t you think?” I asked innocently.

“Gaaaaaah! Get off me, stinking human!” At ever other time, I would’ve beaten the hell out of him for this, but tonight, I let it slip. Instead, I let go and admired my work and just for a tiny moment, the trouble had almost been worth it – just to see an extremely appalled Wraith, covered in stinking mud from head to toe with a priceless expression of utter terror and disbelief on his dirt-sprinkled face. My work for tonight was done.

“And the next time you ask me for a favour,” I purred. “Make sure to tell me the truth beforehand, or be prepared for the echo.”

“Got it,” he growled between clenched teeth, glaring daggers at me while he wiped mud off his arms. “Ah, crap! Now, would you look at that?! I’ve gotten STUFF into my handmouth!”

“Serves you right. Night night!” I turned my back on his muttered swearing and grinned. The next planet we went to would be a tropical paradise – I was quite certain of this.

FIN

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