Pepsi Botox, episode 7.

Von Gorb’s teal eyes fluttered like mad, flightless butterflies as the first daring rays of Ivese’s rising sun crept over the tree-tops and hit them straight in the iris. His muscles felt like snot, and his lower face was covered in it, and the rest of his anatomy managed to stay in tune – from his bloody, spent toes to his vomited bald head.

Despite his diminished state, he stood up like a lightning bolt – a consequence of the threatening sense of disorientation which reminded him of his birth. He adjusted to the light and took a good look around. In the sky, a particularly radiant sun – violet, for the most part, fading into white at it’s core. Everything seemed purple, in fact, or a close relative of purple; The rest of the sky, the adjacent trees surrounding them, the grass and the weather and also Pepsi’s face.

Pepsi! He thought.

He grabbed the first stick he could find and poked Pepsi’s shoulder with the sharpest end of it, all the way until the stick broke and got even sharper, to his great pleasure. He kept Poking pepsi until the poke became a thrust.

“Pepsi!” exclaimed Von Gorb. “Pepsi!”

“Oaaaaaargh,” managed Pepsi, as he turned around to face the planet. Unbeknownst to him, the cold soil of Ivese was not his bed.

“Wake the fuck up!”

Pepsi seemed impervious to pain. “Turn the AC off,” he replied.

“I said wake up!” screamed Von Gorb, as he practically impaled Pepsi Botox. “This isn’t the albatros!”

Despite Pepsi Botox’s stone-cold conviction in the fact that he was lying on a confortable bed, he’d learned on his many ramblings as an intergalactic smuggler to pay considerable heed to the advice of his trusted Bogussian first mate. He lifted his head, spat some dirt, and proceeded to verify Von Gorb’s declarations. In front of him, a squirrel – or the Ivese equivalent, at the very least. She was nibbling on a purple nut, her long violet tail almost pretentious in it’s stillness. She had intelligent eyes, and a sensitive demeanor, and Pepsi could have sworn the creature was looking into his soul.

Pepsi smiled broadly. “Awww – it’s a squirrel!” he said, enchanted by it’s simple beauty.

Suddenly, however; The squirrel was engulfed by a whirling, elongated and gellatinous tongue, and was unwittingly taken as it shrieked on an unfortunate trip which ended in the biggest of Von Gorb’s two stomachs. Only the nut remained – whirling like a waning spinning top amongst the fallen leaves, and soon to die a slow death as it happens to all innocence.

“DUDE!” complained Pepsi.

Von Gorb patted his stomach. “What?” he asked.

“Who does something like that!”

Von gorb frowned at Pepsi’s problem with it. “I feel like shit, man – I needed to eat something.”

Pepsi stood up and slapped the grass off his pants. “You know – it’s because of that precise mentality that your planet sucks,” he declared.

Von Gorb rolled his eyes. “Great – the terrestrian from Earth is telling me how to take care of a planet,” he said. “Tell me – what should we do next? Intoxicate all the fish and have ninety percent of the population starve to death?”

Fuck you, Von Gorb – the same thing would have happened to your planet if Bogussians could actually fuck,” he declared. “But no! You had to be so special, didn’t you – fucking hermaphrodites.” He stared with hung-over annoyance at Von Gorb’s blueish, offended face.

“Again?” demanded Von Gorb. “Again?”

“It’s easy to take care of a planet when you breed like fucking Pandas,” continued Pepsi.

“Oh – Panda’s, huh?” asked Von Gorb. “I always wanted to know how they reproduced – but I never could find out, you know, since they’re all so fucking exctint.”

“I tell you this – they don’t put their balls in their mouths and chew, like someone else I know,” said Pepsi.

Von Gorb brought his hands to his hips, and looked at Pepsi with anger stirred in insight. “Man – you envy me so much, don’t you?” he declared. “You pride yourself on your so-called ‘ladie’s man’ antics and puerile sexual abilities – but deep down, you really wish you could fuck yourself, don’t you? You narcissistic dirtbag.”

“I can fuck myself – it’s called jerking-off!

“No – not the same thing,” clarified Von Gorb as he shook his finger from side to side.

“We can all do it, you know?” accused Pepsi.

Von Gorb smiled. “So not the same thing.”

“Oooh – I can fuck myself! Oooh – I can fuck myself!” said Pepsi, as he impersonated a Bogussian with no success whatsoever. “Not everyone cares, alright.”

“Can we talk about this later, Pepsi?” demanded Von Gorb. “I don’t know if your little human brain can understand it, but the reason I just ate a squirrel is that we’re in the middle of a fucking forest – and hangover as shit from a party I don’t even remember having!”

“What party, man?” asked Pepsi. His mind wasn’t a blank – it was more like a black hole.

“I mean – I assume there was a party.”

“What? No – we we’re having a few drinks at Ernie’s, then we went back to the Albatros, and then..,” he trailed off. He coudn’t remember shit. He looked at Von gorb, dumbfounded, as the Bogussian nodded animatedly.

“We were drugged,” he declared.

“Drugged?”

“Well – it adds up,” he said. “Drinks? Blackout? Waking up on a purple forest?”

Pepsi’s eyes opened widely in worry, as if he’d just remembered something crassly important. He put his left arm behind his back and then into his pants, all the way into the darkest part of his white ass. He fiddled about for a while and sighed.

“Thank god – my asshole is fine,” he said. “Yours?”

“I’m not sticking my hand down my – Pepsi! Focus!” exclaimed Von Gorb. “We have to find the ship! What if it was stolen?”

Pepsi Botox became serious. The Albatros Copper was his most prized posession – not the fastest ship in the galaxy but certainly the coolest. It was black, with yellow racing stripes, and the only thing he had by which to remember his long, lost sister – it was even more important to him that his just the right-sized dick.

“Fine – let’s get going,” he said. “Where are we anyway? This doesn’t look like the Schwarzenegger sector.”

“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you,” said Von Gorb. “We’re stranded.”

Pepsi looked at the eye of the sun.

“Purple,” he said, and growled.

They walked through the lush, indigo planet for hours and hours on end, in search of open terrain or some form of settlement. All the way, Pepsi hoped some ewoks would spring out of the trees and rescue them, but in his heart, he knew the truth: Feral bears are dangerous creatures. What worried him the most was the growing possibility that they’d been dumped on a reservoir planet, which would mean no starports or cities of any kind – leaving an encounter with a park ranger as the only hope of rescue.

Pepsi stopped in his tracks. “I’ve got an idea,” he said. “Let’s start a fire.”

“A fire!?”

“Think, Von!” he said. “We’ve been walking for hours, and we haven’t seen any traces of intelligent life or even a single ship in the sky – we are obviously stranded on some kind of park-planet.”

“Park-planet?”

“Yeah! To conserve nature and shit.”

“I didn’t even know those existed.”

“They’re small, generally – moons, for the most part,” he said. “Anyway – you have a laser or something? We have to burn it up.”

Von Gorb’s brow grew sick with sarcasm. “You give me shit for eating a squirrel, and now you want to burn a fucking planet.”

Pepsi shook his head. “Just a few flames, man – so that whoever’s job it is to extinguish them can see us and rescue us!”

Von Gorb nodded. “Forgive me – Pepsi Botox, tree-hugger.”

“Do you want to get out of this shithole or not?”

“Fine! Ok, ok – let’s start a fire,” he said, giving up. “Here – I found this lighter earlier while I was checking my pockets.”

Von Gorb handed the lighter to Pepsi, who snatched it and headed towards the nearest fallen branch. After gathering a few of these of varying lenghts and girths, and arguing with Von Gorb about the best way to assemble them (Von Gorb insisted they should stack them up like a tent – a technique he assured Pepsi he’d mastered as a child – while Pepsi suggested this would contain the fire, not help it spread, and also argued that lazyness was an issue), Pepsi discovered a ‘propeller’ function on the lighter, and began to set the trees on fire as if they were twigs the size of King Vander’s dick and dryer than Queen Henrietta’s vagina.

“Perfect,” he declared, after lighting up a considerably beautiful two-hundred feet tall purple coniferous tree. “Now – patience.”

 

It took Mr. Gorb and Pepsi Botox about forty minutes of contemplation to come to terms with the fact that no park ranger of any kind was interested in drowning the inferno they’d unleashed – or in saving the ocassional panicked animal who ran in their direction and henceforth.

Also, and in almost suspicious synchronicity with the acute, aforementioned epiphany, Pepsi and Von concluded that the animals were in fact quite justified in their hysteria, and that their rattled stride should be imitated, swiftly, by their own. Consequently, they ran like insane homeless people until they finally got out of the forest, following any animal they could find since they’d all proven themselves smarter. It wasn’t until a particularly pink and fast sloth led them to a prairie that Pepsi decided to stop for a quick breather.

“Let’s start a fire – let’s start a fire!” exclaimed Von Gorb. “Great fucking idea, Pepsi – this one going into your memoirs too?”

“What!? – I ran it by you, you fucker!”

“Yes but you sounded convincing!” shouted Von Gorb.

“Well – I was convinced!”

Von Gorb shook his head violently and let his hands go in indignation. “Man, your sheer insticts – they never cease to amaze me.”

“Fuck you, Gorb – if I had an Euro for every time my instincts saved your fat-ass, I’d have my dream house on Manco Bongosis already.”

“And if I had an euro for every time you almost got me killed – Manco Bongosis would be called Von fucking Gorb’s.”

Pepsi pointed his middle finger at Gorb. “You’re an asshole, you know that?”

“You’re a criminal!”

“You’re … weird and gay and an hermaphrodite!” accused Pepsi.

“Gentlemen,” interrupted a voice.

Both of their heads turned around to meet the speaker. It was a patrolman of some sort, dressed in shit-maroon ranger regalia, and Centurian by the looks of him – you could tell by the fins.

“My name is Gabriel, and I’m the caretaker for this sector,” he said. “If I may –what is your business in Ivese? As you probably know, this is a reservoir planet, and as such is un-inhabited by any intelligent life forms.”

“Yes, thank you – thank you so much,” pleaded Von Gorb, as he headed towards Gabriel to give him a brown fingered handshake. “We are stranded here – someone drugged us and jacked our ship, and then abadoned us with nothing by a clearing in the forest.”

Gabriel frowned. “That’s terrible,” he said.

“And – eh,” suggested Pepsi. “We woke up and there were flames everywhere – in fact, the flames woke us up, I believe.”

Von Gorb nodded enthusiastically.

Gabriel sighed. “Well – sounds like a case of wrong place at the wrong time to me!” he exclaimed, enthusiastically. “Why don’t you two come with me to the nearest command outpost – there we can find a way to contact the authorities and get you off this rock!”

“Thank you, Gabriel – thank you,” said Pepsi.

“Any time, my friends!”

 

The patrolman took Pepsi and Von Gorb to his office, and offered them two virginal chairs in front of his desk. Gabriel sat opposite, and in front of a poster of a purple squirrel that bared a striking similarity with the one Von Gorb had eaten. Actually, a careful inspection of the room would have revealed numerous representations of this beautiful local specimen, including a few plush versions of it hidden in Gabriel’s desk, and even a cartoon looking plastic one hanging from his key-ring.

“So,” the squirrophile said. “I’m afraid we can only take you as far as Fairchild station – the two fires in Ivese have spread our team thin, and we need all the manpower available.”

Pepsi scratched his chin and followed. “Two fires?” he asked.

“Two fires indeed,” said Gabriel. “A large, terrestial ship crash-landed in the forest this morning, and it’s thrusters ignited a number of trees.”

Pepsi nodded, interested. “And what happened to it? The ship, I mean.”

“It was in fine condition – we brought it to the station’s hangar,” he said. “She’s a beauty – black, with yellow stripes, leather interior – one hell of a ship. Hell of a ship.”

“Yeah, that’s my ship,” admitted Pepsi, and then looked at the floor in embarassment.

Gabriel was flabbergasted. “It is?”

Pepsi nodded. “Afraid so.”

The ranger’s eyes narrowed. “Bastards!” he exclaimed. “It wasn’t enough to drug you – they had to set my forest on fire.”

“I know,” said Von Gorb. “Total… hypocrites.”

“Indeed,” agreed Pepsi.

“What do you think they wanted?” asked Gabriel, bewildered.

“Eh – they were probably – junkies,” said Pepsi. “Yeah, they had to be junkies.”

“Exactly,” supported Von Gorb. “They drug you, steal your ship… take, eh, stuff – all kinds of stuff – and then they crash-land it. It’s terrible – a rather significant problem in the Katsumoto system, if I’m not mistaken.” Von Gorb looked at his companion for support, and Pepsi nodded seriously, heavily agreeing with his theory.

“Katsumoto – yes,” he said. “The subject dominated the election circus last year, in fact.”

Gabriel followed, amazed. “Katsumoto,” he spelled.

“Actually,” continued Pepsi, “I think – ”

Von Gorb coughed, signaling him to give it a rest.

“I think – I think it’s a blessing that the ship is one piece,” he finalized. “And that it fell into the care of such able hands.”

Gabriel smiled, embarassed. “It was a pleasure, gentlemen,” he said. “You seem to know much about politics – what’s your line of work?”

Pepsi hesitated. “Eh…” he trailed. “We’re in – ”

“If I may,” interrupted Von Gorb. “I noticed – eh, casually, of course, when I was in the forest – that no attempts were being made at extinguishing the flames. I’m curious – why is this so?”

The ranger’s face became methodical. “It is our policy not to intervene with naturally ocurring events in the planet – we consider that fire and re-growth are part of a cycle, a cycle we are not entitled to interrupt.”

Pepsi nodded. “naturally ocurring events – of course.”

“It is a pity – some of those trees were five-thousand years old,” he said. “But, as they say – it is what it is. We, as rangers, took an oath to respect Hualavymba’s will.”

Von Gorb nodded. “Hualavymba?”

Gabriel’s face lit up with joy. “Hualavymba is the forest’s soul – it’s spirit! Scientistis have marvelled at her – artists have dedicated to her. She is an immortal creature, a guardian – a physical representation of this planet’s mother nature, if you will.”

“Physical?” asked Von Gorb.

“Yes – a squirrel! The only squirrel in the whole system,” he said.

Von Gorb gulped.

“Look!” he said, and pointed at the poster behind him. “Isn’t she beautiful?”

Pepsi muffled a laugh with his fist. “Beautiful – remarkably beautiful,” he managed.

“I only hope she escapes the flames unharmed – though my faith in her is as strong as ever,” he said. “I know she’s out there, somewhere – brave. And vital.”

 

Pepsi entered the Albatros Copper with a somewhat baffled Von Gorb trying to follow. One doesn’t feast on mother nature without having at least a slight indigestion. They continued towards the cargo bay – the heart of a smuggler’s ship – and found a cataclysmic mess worthy of a Goban hostel. Their poker table, as they called it – even though cards had never decorated it – was doused rather dramatically in varying breeds of alcohol, and so were the walls, the floor and sometimes the cieling too. The retro posters of old movies which decorated the interior – Empire Strikes back, Pepsi’s favorite, withstanding – had not survived the occult chaos unscathed; Though the new Wunderbar cleaning robot Pepsi had acquired in Tokyo – baptized ‘Carla’, courtesy of Von Gorb – would have no problem returning them to their former, warranted gloss. Any of it, really – Carla was the tits – though repairing the Albatros’s exterior might prove to be a leak in Pepsi’s bank account. If there was one thing, however, that Pepsi Botox and Von Gorb – self-proclaimed best smugglers in the galaxy – had, was bank account. Although an anonymous and ilegal one at that.

Pepsi assesed the damage with his keen, surgical eyes.

“Boy – these mysterious junkies sure know how to party, huh?” enthused the Bogussian.

“Gorb,” he said. “I have a question.”

Von gorb acknowledged.

“You don’t smoke, do you?”

Von shook his head. He reconsidered, then shook his head again. “No,” he finally said.

“Then why the hell did you have a lighter today?”

He rolled his eyes. “Well – you know, the ocassional ganja, sometimes,” he said. “But I don’t smoke smoke, if that’s what you mean.”

Pepsi nodded. “I see.”

He went deeper into the cargo bay. There was a half-opened box, which read ‘handle with care’ – part of the dubious goods they had acquired on the Scwharzenegger system – and it had clearly been quality-controlled by Gorb and Pepsi the previous night.

“Hey – what’s this cargo’s destination?”

Gorb took a quick look at it.

“Vegas.”

Pepsi nodded.

“Von Gorb, my friend – I believe it isn’t just ‘Ganja’ we’re carrying.”

 

 

 


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