The music from the back room of the Trashcan was loud enough that it was leaking into the galley bar at the front of the building. Ned had already had enough of it and decided it was not worth going back there to find a toilet. Instead, he announced to his friends that he was too old for bad rock music and dancing around like a ‘fucking child.’ He then proceeded to fall down as he tried to leave the table.

“What are you moaning about?” Viking asked.

Monday was already passed out in the sticky beer drenched couch at the front of the pub. There were quite a few people in there, but most of them were travelling to the ‘party room’ at the back where there was modern sounding rock music, and half naked dancers. The back of the pub had the same vibe as a nightclub, while the front seemed closer to an old wine bar. It was an interesting juxtaposition of ideas which really didn’t work for anyone.

“I need a piss!” Ned finally shouted over the music, which peaked as someone opened the door to get to the bar.

Viking rolled his eyes, and though less steady than his sober self, was still very able to stand properly. He picked Ned up by the belt, ignored his complaints about his balls being crushed, and putting another hand on the back of his shirt, he kept him upright long enough to get to the outside, where the air promptly made him fall down.

A moment later, he was back on his feet and pissing up the side of the pub wall. Passers-by gave him disgusted looks but didn’t bother him, because Viking was standing guard, looking like an angry doorman.

Something in the air changed as Ned stopped pissing. He looked around, wondering where everyone had gone. He was alone in the now silent nighttime air.


“Honestly, what’s happening Viking? You’ve turned from a no nonsense man-mountain into a fucking reader’s wife. What the fuck?” Ned ranted, taking another coffee from the robot server.

“I’m setting the scene, aren’t I?” Viking said, annoyed at the interruption.

Miscx was laughing to the point of crying. “Ned announced he was too old for rock music!” she said, wiping tears from her eyes as she endured the side stitching laughter.

“Do you want me to carry on or not?” Viking said, not at all amused by the mockery.

“Yes, carry on. But can you do it in a way that doesn’t make you sound like Edgar Viking Poe. please?”

Viking thinned his eyes at them. “Fine, just the key moments, then!”


The stupid, pissed up Ned, finished pissing on his shoes and realised he was alone.

He looked around like a gormless tit for a few minutes before trying to get back inside the pub. Though, from Viking’s point of view, he was just standing in the street with his todger still out, looking around confused.

Viking, being a good friend, slapped him in the face. “Put your weapon away, man!”

Ned’s lack of response to Viking’s assault was enough to top him off. He knew something was amiss. He tried shaking Ned with no response.

In Ned’s stupid baboon brain he was walking around the pub, wondering where everyone had gone, when he heard a sound, a sound from the back room. Ned, being a coward, cautiously entered the room rather than kicking its door in and getting ready to batter whoever was in there.

That’s when he first met Neetu Ra-Fea. Space witch!


“Neetu Ra-Fea! the big-headed imp woman, is Neetu Ra-bloody-Fea?” Miscx asked, concerned.

She realised she had raised her voice. People were looking at her. The robot server beeped indignantly at her.

“Neetu Ra-Fea! Do you know who that is?” She asked, at a now more reasonable volume.

“Obviously I don’t! I don’t know anything!” Ned reminded her.

Miscx sighed, annoyed.

“Neetu Ra-Fea is the pirate queen of Central Prime! She’s the most wanted Elf in known space, and probably, for real, the most dangerous person in the universe!”

“For downloading movies?” Viking asked, confused.

“Yeah, not that sort of pirate, Viking, mate.”

Miscx slammed her claw-like hands on the table in an exacerbated outburst of concern. “Okay, Viking, get back to the story, and make sure you don’t miss anything!”

“But skip the boring stuff, also less of this baboon-brain crap, okay?” Ned added.

Viking continued.


Ned was honestly convinced he was in the party-room alone. He almost shit himself when he walked in there and there was a small, large headed punk woman floating in the middle of the room.

“The Ned!” She started strong. “I have been looking for you for a long time now. All I need you to do is stay here and my people will pick you up.”

Ned, being a coward, as was mentioned earlier, stood there stunned by what he was seeing. He fumbled with his pocket and pulled out his phone. Without saying a word, he called his friend, the stoic, epic, Viking.

Viking, who was still on the outside of Ned’s brain, was somewhat confused when his phone rang. Mostly because who the heck calls people? It’s not eighteen-oh-one! Anyway, there was a whole new layer of bafflement added when he looked at the screen and Ned’s stupid baboon face was on the screen.

“Hello, Ned?” He asked as he looked Ned in the eyes, confused.

“Viking, where did you go? I found a fucking fairy!” Ned replied.

“Yeah, I’m outside, with… you,” Viking said, wondering how drunk Ned had to be, in order to be in two places at once.

“No, mate, you’re just drunk. Get in here!”

Viking took a moment to consider his options before shrugging and heading inside.


“Oh My gosh! Were you inside his brain?” Miscx asked, interrupting him yet again.

“For fuck’s sake, Miscx! Will you please shut the fuck up and let the man speak!” Ned said, genuinely annoyed.

“okaaaaay, sorrrry! I was interested. Is that a crime now?”

Viking looked at them both, now crossing the line into ‘annoyed as shit.’ He almost growled, he was so infuriated. “I’m going to skip over all the back story now, because apparently, neither if you respect my story telling arts.”

A vein in his temple throbbed. Ned considered that this was maybe the angriest he had ever seen Viking. The man took his story telling far too seriously.


Viking ran into the pub. No one was there. Ned was in the back room. There was a floating woman who said something about us looking alike and how we needed to stand still, so she didn’t get us confused. We ignored her and waved our arms around, trying to figure out how she was doing the flying trick. She said we were annoying and then one white flash later; we were here, on this ship, not in this cafe.

One thing lead to another. There was a long conversation, some more fighting which apparently you don’t want to hear about, but Viking was amazing. Eventually, we ran off. You fall into the fountain and we met some strange woman who helped us out. We spent a few hours looking for a way home when we end up taking a train to see the end of the big tube and look into space. Space was cool.

Neetu turned up then did a runner. We were left with her muscle men. There was more fighting. Again, it was epic, if you care.

Eventually, they tried to zap me with this light gun. You jumped in the way and it got you full on in the face. I got like the tail end of it and then I was on a train. No idea how I got there. I think they implanted some vague memories that made no sense. Then, well, then you know what happened.


“What do you mean ‘some strange woman’?” Ned asked. Noticing the oddity in the story.

“Well, my memory is still a bit fuzzy, but there was some woman. She was nice. She helped us,” Viking said, not really understanding what the issue was.

“Viking, you fucking muffin. What are the odds on us coming to space and meeting a strange and helpful woman, twice, two bloody times in a row?”

“Guys,” Miscx said in an attempt to interrupt.

“Sorry, Ned, but I can’t help it if I’m so charming that women just want to help me when they see me!”

“Guys!” Miscx tried again.

“What, you’re not charming at all, you monotone panda! You have all the charisma of a chest freezer!”

“Guys!” Misc repeated with an increased volume.

Viking began ranting about how the story may have made more sense, had he been allowed to recount it properly, when Miscx lost her temper. As she did, her projection changed. From Ned’s point of view, Miscx had leaned forward slightly and began looking around, sticking her head out a little and saying the word ‘grrrrr, rawer’ like a bit of a plonker. While Miscx was initially odd looking to him, he had come to think of her as a ‘funny bug lady’ and wasn’t particularly unnerved by her.

Viking, on the other hand, was so scared that he almost pissed himself, which, for a man who was over six feet tall and literally built like his namesake, was something of an unusual response. Usually, he would just punch things that scared him. In this case, he grabbed his seat, leaned back and started sobbing in fear.

The coffee shop emptied as people screamed and scrambled for the door. The robot server shook in the corner and Ned could have sworn that the plants on the counter wilted a little.

Ned looked at Viking, then back at Miscx. She was now panting and adding the occasional ‘argh’ to her ‘grrr’ and ‘rawer.’ Ned sipped his coffee.

“Knock it off Miscx, it’s just silly,” Ned said, somewhere between entertained and bored.

Viking watched as the demonic fire that was emanating from Miscx dimmed and the alien, contorted face of a burned corpse faded back to the more pleasing silky brown he was used to. The dead eyes slowly filled back into the skull. The demonic screams also faded until, finally, Miscx sat down, looking quite annoyed.

“Get out!” shouted a voice from the back of the room, a cowering robot which was hiding behind the counter, ducked down in fear. “We don’t serve Sirens! You have to leave!” came the nervous voice, which sounded slightly distorted.

“Ugh!” Miscx groaned, Come on. Let’s go retrace your steps, then.

Ned necked his coffee and stood to leave. Viking was still pressed back in his seat. Not at all okay.

Ned raised an eyebrow at him. “Get it together, big guy! You never seen an angry woman before?”

Chapter 15