Buck Godot – Zap Gun for Hire

 

Quite amusingI finally found an online copy. Thanks to the WayBackMachine!

Aliens who overuse grammatical terminology as description in casual conversations with each other, and of course Buck himself, a strange and somewhat sad-seeming character who goes around collecting contracts to kill whoever is willing to pay in some form or other. Buck is soon tracked by a former employer when he is sent a package, supposedly from Buck himself, which may lead him to Buck’s whereabouts, which aren’t known by anyone. Buck seems to unknowingly sense this and havoc ensues, not soon after we become privy to this information. Godot then has a run-in with the “package” he sent, which actually contained a former opponent, now turned sidekick on Godot’s mission the employer insisting he take on. When they start talking, we learn that Godot is able, or is having delusional conversations with said rival’s guns, which he had been conditioned to no longer believe were ever talking to him, but Godot obviously still did, because he had a nice aside with the “gats” after knocking out his sidekick. Godot then needs to travel to another planet to get information from a teleporter and thinks up a clever plan to get closer, which surprisingly works out well. Once he gets near the Teleporter though, it isn’t as easy to get the time to speak to it due to disembodied hands snatching him up, which do let him down, but not very close to the ground, ending with Buck trying something that is hilariously absurd. The transporter breaks his fall on the way down preventing Godot’s death through painful descent.

After, Godot comes up with a plan about how he can get information about the Teleporter by impersonation, going to the library to find a book which was checked out by the Teleporter already. Godot, after some inquiries, finds out there is another copy at a different library with the pages missing from the one the Teleporter’s checked out. Then the Teleporter comes in asking for a complete copy of the book he checked out, just to find Godot got to it first. When Godot shows off his knowledge about the information in the book, he interests the Teleporter and follows him for further conversation. Eventually Godot makes a date at a restaurant where they can talk about flower arranging more; this is quite an entertaining scene. Godot goes on to learn the Teleporter’s view on why everyone who doesn’t have his natural ability of transportation would want it so badly. Godot then throws X-Tel under the bus and the Teleporter transports them to the headquarters, where he senses certain death, so sets up the Director so the Transporter successfully executes a diversion to aid Godot and in so doing, also has the Director and company arrested, due to being in a certain other planet’s jurisdiction; ha-HA. Godot proceeds to tell the rest of his story in a bar, where it’s learned how he’d been able to meet the Teleporter in the first place; what a crazy plan. Buck shares what he learns from the Transporter of plant arranging, everyone impressed and critical to its salad-like appearance. Love this stuff.

The next episode begins with Buck in distress because Asteroid Al’s wasn’t open so as he’s talking with others to figure out why this could be, Buck goes with his gut in believing something was wrong. When he’s able to ask Al if all’s well, Al is blatant in informing Buck to the affirmative. Buck then comes to the realization, Al’s good mood must be caused by a new love. Al then goes into the details of his love interest and as Buck asks for some personal details as to how she sounds during naughty time, she shows up and Al excitedly introduces her to Buck. Tal, after introductions releases some information Al had told her in confidence about Buck that makes him “return the favor” to Al. When Al gives a newcomer a free drink that turns multiple after answering a question about a picture of someone the man was looking for, he passes out and Buck picks up the picture which had fallen that was in the man’s possession, shocking Buck due to it being of Der Rock the Destroyer. Al tells Buck that he’d been trying to be sure of Der Rock’s death, Buck now being quite interested in speaking with the man, but Al telling him he’d let him know when he’d awoken, since he expected the man would be passed out for awhile. Buck Godot then goes to see a patient in the New Hong Kong Hospital and finds the patient wants to hire Godot for a job, Buck being a bit shocked by his new client’s condition, but the job being just to guard a device that’s being sought after by those who had put the patient in his current condition.

Buck then fishes for more information finding out this job has him going against another corporation which he wants no part in, but the patient makes the taking of it much sweeter even though he isn’t aware of what the device he’s trying to keep from this corporation is, Buck still agreeing to take the job. He finds out he’ll be on this guard duty for a week and a half or so, going back to the bar and telling Al of his new job. A few days after this, Al isn’t feeling fulfilled in his job anymore, then they’re interrupted by the passed out newcomer, claiming they’d killed him and shooting at them in his anger. Buck puts him back into unconsciousness with his gun and Al gets one of his bots to place him back in a sleep room and to notify him when he awakens again. Tal then comes in and notices the danger Al had just been in, reminding him how she’d thought he realized how much better he was than his current job situation allowed him to show. Al defends himself and how well he’s managed his business so far, Tal believing if he truly cared for her, he’d give it up, then telling him she cared for him too much and why he’d “hold that against” her. After she leaves in anger, Buck confronts Al about noticing where he’d gotten the idea of quitting his business and Al actually loving Tal so much as to be torn between doing it, since he loved his bar, as well. A few more days pass and Al is still struggling with his decision when the revived newcomer again blasts his gun at them, declaring they’d killed him.

Buck uses his fists this time to quiet the man, who still seems to be drunk. After putting him back into sleepy-land Al is so angered by his overreaction he’s decided to start charging him for the drinks and the sleep space when Grispfat comes in to ask about whether Al changed his mind about selling him his bar. Grispfat continues to haggle a price when the newcomer awakens once more to threaten Al, this time Buck distracting him for a moment with another noggin hit which gives Al the opportunity to make his own move which surprises Grispfat for how often this violence occurs. Al tries to get a deal solidified, outside sources finding themselves inside Al’s bar and ruining his bar’s reputation. Grispfat is about to give him another chance when the drunken terror makes another appearance which Buck effectively subverts, but now needs a new drink and table. Grispfat then changes his offer for Al to decide upon once he returned. Al catches Tal up on the subject, he not selling the place unless he’s given what it’s worth and then a knock comes at the door, it being a medic for the trouble-maker.

The medic realizes the knocked out man seemed to look like he’d been had by Godot. The medic then learns the trouble-maker is a Jenner, which is someone from a mutagene world and would need to be further analyzed, she taking him with her and updating them later. Al then confides to Tal now their trouble-maker has left them, he might not have to sell after all, she not agreeing to this but knowing  if Al didn’t sell the bar she would be second in his mind and can’t accept this, believing once they’d been together for awhile they could both share a business together, but the bar being too much his for her to feel comfortable in sharing, Al needing time and she willing to give it, but informing she wouldn’t be able to wait forever. Al then asks for Buck’s advice, Godot realizing Tal seemed to know the man he was planning on dealing with without knowing how she’d gotten his name. This upsets Al to the point of lunging at Buck, he stopping him with his hand which was occupied by a can-looking piece of proton-steel, he telling him if anyone asked why his mouth was full of it, being caused by stupidity.

Buck then goes on a tiresome trek up some stairs to speak with a robot, whom apparently worked with the law. Godot relays what he suspects is going on with Tal and Grispfat he then asking if the programmed machine could do anything to help, which was to the negative, Godot descending unhappily and learning the long trek was essentially a forced exercise regime. When he reenters the bar the trouble-maker returns and when spotting Godot, wishes to assault him once more, Buck thinking he was probably drunk and in essence safe from the man’s hostility, he underestimating and having to run for it. The trouble-maker gets hit by a shot, but still goes after Buck as he tries to get to Al to warn him, but the trouble-maker, even though getting continuously thwarted keeps coming back, in the end Buck going to extreme measures to put him off. He gets to Al, but not before getting shot at again, and being saved once more, this time by Tal. When Al’s worker informs him there isn’t anymore room for the now unconscious trouble-maker, they all run to find out how it had gotten so full, the knowledge of which is puzzling to decipher.

Lemuria then runs in to tell of trouble coming, not surprised by the extra trouble-maker and then explaining the man had come from a mutagene world where all the people had developed themselves into a group mind and named themselves Psmith. The reason for this learned, upon one of the trouble-makers enter ing, and declaring Buck had killed him. Two Psmiths then entered, Buck having to bowl them with his fist, Lemuria telling them, more numerous team-ups were assembling. Al then asks if there’s anything more they can do to stop them before they overwhelmed his bar, she finally figuring there could be a way, but expensive, Al agreeing, since this was an emergency. Tal and the medic decide they’ll be the ones to go and collect the device necessary whilst Buck and Al wait at the bar, the former two not being identified by Psmith. Buck helps Al clear the bar of patrons and lock up, Al making compliments to Tal which Buck in turn is tired of having to knock down, but must due to his blind love of her, pointing out all the things which don’t add up about her likes and what she’s been doing and being interrupted before their fight escalates by the Psmiths busting the door down declaring the two as their killers, the two glad of their presence for once.

Buck gets hit by one of the laser guns and Al comes to his rescue, the rest being knocked out by Godot when Al diverts their attention, he then noticing Lemuria was back, but with Grispfat surprisingly and once letting them in, find he has her and now himself at gunpoint, Tal also pointing her gun at them, which doesn’t surprise Godot in the least. Grispfat then reveals how the Psmiths worked into his plan perfectly and was still planning on purchasing Al’s bar and Tal’s part being business which in Al’s race, is acceptable, but he still using her love for him to get the upper hand and when he was showing Grispfat how serious he was, a slew of Psmith burst in.

Grispfat takes the opportunity to revert to his original plan which requires he take the device for the Psmiths and get it to the back room, he making a run for it. Buck notices what Grispfat was up to and informs Al, he then reminding him of a concoction which could help them get through the Psmith flock. Al and Tal get a moment to prove how they feel about each other whilst Al had been preparing the ingredients for the requested mixture, hilarious and similar to what one sees in comedy adventure movies. Grispfat then discovers the clones in the sleep room and notices one which was different from the others, putting him in a device which makes all the others wake from sleep and show their heads getting jarred. Whilst Grispfat is dealing with possibly being taken out in back, the clones in front are starting to pass out, then one of the clones in back about to take a drink from the inviting bottles, hoping it’ll poison him due to the terrible noise they were enduring, but instead cures him, the others desperately trying to get a taste to be relieved, as well.

Psmith then explains his reasons for acting so rashly in the back with Grispfat, the others not holding it against him, since he’d been having a terrible hangover and had similar feelings without being in the same condition and then Psmith’s reasons for thinking one of his selves had been killed having to do with the reaction to the picture of Der Rock, of whom Buck had told Al of and he had known for having worked in security at X-Tel is explained. Buck learns why Psmith was tracking him and feigns not knowing of the item shown, but being ratted out innocently by one of the robots, Psmith annoyed at being lied to and asking how Godot could work for Der Rock, also asking for the device he was searching for, Buck confessing he hadn’t known whom Der Rock was and couldn’t hand over the item, since he was still on the job. After trying to mislead Psmith into he not caring whether Psmith threatened to hurt his friends, he relents in retrieving the device, but insists on knowing whom had hired Psmith, he at first not being helpful, but deciding Buck could signal the job complete by pressing a button the device which would show him whom it was without saying, but also receiving a big show of destruction to Al’s club, since Psmith had left out the information of being outside when setting off the signal due to the reaction.

Buck then realizes the one sent is someone he’s met before, of whom reveals whom the device was for, and since Psmiths’ work was done, offered to stay to help clean up a bit for Al. Buck stays and is eventually joined by someone who realizes his identity had been uncovered by Buck, he then showing the device which Psmith notices and insists must be given to He-Who-Must-Be-Watered, but Godot then flip flops with the truth of whether or not the device was real or not which Buck planned on being paid for either way, Psmith then deciding Der Rock would be worth more if captured, Der Rock trying to show he was stronger than he may have seemed, Psmith thinking it didn’t matter due to his outnumbering him, but learning soon after, it didn’t matter at all, stating although Der Rock had slaughtered some of them, it wouldn’t stop them in the grand scheme, Psmith always returning, Der Rock not intimidated by this promise.

Buck pipes up about his fee once Der Rock had offed the last Psmith, Der Rock still not believing the device was a replica, but upon testing, discovers it worked, and Godot requesting the amount it cost to copy with the raise Der Rock included for his distrusting assumption of Godot’s work. When Der Rock goes for a drink, Godot makes a call which confirms he has played a double-bluff, Godot wanting to sweeten the pot with having Der Rock to hand over, as well as the real device (it not being a copy after all). Der Rock is sent to Godot’s client, but not before promising he’d be back to deal with Buck, which doesn’t bother him, since he was getting paid by his other client as well, bonus and all. After Al mentions Buck’s reaction to Der Rock’s threat was taken so grain-of-salt-like, Buck mentions his client, Thezmothete would most likely keep him busy before he had a chance to carry out his threat. Al and Tal decide to begin their relationship again and vacation, Godot reminding of all the spots Klik had missed cleaning up, which ends the first story. I took so long in between readings, it may have just been the perspective being jilted because of it, but I do love the humor and will be pained to finish the last.

A prologue of what the Gallimaufry is and how it relates to Earth’s new government being taken over by this coalition begins the story, after which Lord Thezmothete takes over as reigning supreme over Humanity which surprises the Gallimaufry as much as Humanity to know of Thezmothete’s existence, going on to describe a police force of robots called the Law Machines. Then it’s discovered Godot is asleep, waking up to knocking at his door and not being amused, but realizing he’d overslept and could be in trouble now. Buck is now running away from the door as someone is shouting his name and blasting the door open, he making a bumpy getaway through his window, it not being close to the ground, but breaks a window before hitting the earth and continues his escape. Godot then blasts his enemy from the opposite balcony with what looks like water raining upon the man, Buck heading for Al’s, he asking for the spare clothes he kept for him, but soon being let down by Klik having cleaned up the storeroom in question. Al then mentions how he and some others were betting on how long Buck would last in being chased by this, Tax Notifier (T.N.), Godot feeling charitable after agreeing to split Al’s winning with him for lasting as long as he’d bet, the T.N. then walking in, but being blasted in the face with Klik, whom was punched by Godot into him.

Buck runs off once more and is recognized by a Law Machine, he has a moral discussion of Buck running from the T.N. which then catches up, but Buck making another getaway by grabbing the Law Machine and it slowing their descent down, requesting to be released and Buck acquiescing. Buck then runs into Tal whom is sun-bathing, quite in the nude, surprising her, he then mentioning how she being a Thuxian made it hard to figure what he’d being looking for when it came to the naughty bits as it was, she relaxing and offering Buck a drink whilst he attempted to make it three hours without getting caught, but he then making a wrong statement about her “thorps”, being flung out the window, the T.N just below. When the T.N. was in the middle of reading Godot’s rights, Tal rights her abrupt reaction by throwing an object at the T.N., making it possible for Buck’s escape once more, she admiring herself in the window’s reflection and agreeing to Buck’s words about her bod. The T.N. then goes about recovering where Buck may have hid, but not succeeding, only hearing a noise which he investigates, noting Godot must have been there, but also insulting the security of the place without realizing they were within earshot. Buck then runs into Lou, whom had heard from her doorman he was there, and unclothed, Buck sharing why he was in such disarray. They commiserate on their T.N. experiences and then Buck asks if she has any clothes he can borrow, she explaining how people left items all the time and would have a look at their uncollected inventory.

When Lou returns after Buck had been speaking with her accountant on how bad business had been, she commands Buck to take off his shorts so she can fully clothe him, he learning her shower wasn’t as private as he’d thought, the last time he’d been there. Lou then reading the portfolio and being livid over the numbers and offering Buck a job as a bodyguard so she could deal with the politicians involved in her dropping business, she convincing him it would be lucrative and he interested in the aspect of further escape as someone brings in a stack of clothing, but they discovering it was the T.N. once more. He’s interrupted again by one of the workers, whom was aching for business and snatches him up and away to her room, again before he could complete him statement in accordance to the law, Lou having Buck agree to meet them at the gate of the spaceport where they’d leave. Buck has now been dressed in the leftovers, but looks a fool, he hoping no one will say anything to him, but is disappointed. Then he hires a cab to the spaceport and as he’s attempting to have the cabbie open the door instead of driving off without him like he had, the T.N. is again racing toward him. Godot moves the cabbie over and drives off, the T.N. programming his hat for “kill”.

Buck then notices the flying hat and tries to maneuver around it, but ends up having to take the cab back toward ground. He almost gets them fried as he’s driving along the spaceport due to he not staying in the proper lane, but had the plan of getting the hat zapped as he did so, and without fail. They are interrupted by a religious being of the Slag-Blah, Buck agreeing to hear his spiel, since he suspected interloping to continue, being lead inside the church and hearing about the all encompassing acceptance of all religions for no one knowing what was true. Buck did find the group’s view interesting, but pushed on to his destination; If religions were anything like this one, it’d be easier to tolerate them. Buck is then greeted by Lou, he again hearing a bit more of the T.N.’s statement, but stopping him once more for having catapulted him away with his own gun; The reader would have to see it (and hopefully has) to understand. Buck makes it to the ship and is listening to the overhead speaker when the speaker is interrupted by the Tax man (If no one reading this has heard of Corner Gas, the readers who haven’t may want to find it, it’s great and has an episode with one of the New Kids in the Hall as a tax man). After the T.N. makes it clear Buck hadn’t aided himself by avoiding him, he walks away, pleased with finishing his task.

A description of what the Gallimaufry is follows, it being a trading center for goods and services, bringing aliens of all kinds to trade ideas, and what humans brought, it having to do with popsicles, apparently and how much of a commodity it became. Buck is moping and Lou tries to pep him up so he can act like a proper bodyguard. Once Lou talks of someone who delayed their taxes by six days and what his punishment had been, Buck attempts seppuku with a pretzel stick, since he’d be delaying his for much longer. Gallimaufry is then shown and as they walk through the docking bay, Buck is noticing a large group of space marines, when someone calls his name and then puts him in a headlock. Buck recognizes him as a man called Frakkus, they immediately rough-housing, but are interrupted by a sergeant telling them to move it away from the dock. They begin to beat up the group when Buck gets zapped with an electric stick.

Frakkus comes to his rescue, but when he insults him by a term he thought unsuitable, he punches Frakkus again. Lou stepping in to warn Frakkus to leave her bodyguard alone so he can do his job, Lou learning Frakkus was Buck’s uncle. Frakkus’ station in his work is provided and he invites the two to a party later, which Lou agrees to, they starting work the next day. They meet Frakkus’ boss and after introductions she goes back to organizing the party, the formal introductions at the party then shown, Frakkus’ official title being, Minister for Human Protocol. The three split up to attend separate interests and duties, Buck mingling with a small alien, whom likes people-watching, he noticing a human having a conversation with an alien which humans were supposed to be enemies with, but Buck recognizing him from earlier and knowing he wasn’t a diplomat. Godot is more interested as the alien explains how many enemies of humans the man goes to, Buck then being interrupted by Psmith who was there in an official capacity and on a job. Psmith then mentions of being able to recognize anyone who wasn’t Psmith and Godot has him identify the interloper as Sergeant Anton Clisp.

Buck then deduces what Clisp was doing after interrupting a conversation between an alien with the Human Ambassador, Etarre. When he goes to speak with the alien he pulled away, he threatens him with the security cameras having recorded his every move and would have caught him betting, so he confided how to make a bet in order for Buck to make his phony bid. Lou interrupts Godot as he’s about to go over to Clisp, since she seems to be getting ignored by the other humans, but it’s explained the humans cycle for “courting” was over (how interesting if this truly happened). Buck then continues on his way to hold up Clisp, and after doing so, faces Clisp’s wrath, which has Buck flung around the room and embarrassing Frakkus, but Buck does suspect Clisp is a cyborg, the only reason he had such strength to overpower him. Buck gets a break from him when Lou bops him in the face with a pie, then Godot deals out some retribution.

Clisp then uses Lou as collateral to get out, until Frakkus steps in with a fork, disabling Clisp for good. The second in command of Human security, Thad explains it’s to do with the no-weapons-allowed rule and when the fork had hit Clisp in a certain spot, it turned on his weapons and the security system came online and took him out. Lou and Buck leave in time to miss charades and Lou finds someone to exert her “frustration” upon once they’re back at their rooms. The Prime Mover of the Gallimaufry is then heard from, whom opens the trading session, but once Godot gets an earful of what this means, he’s searching for the bar. Meanwhile, Etarre is about to make her announcement of donating a large, what looks like a lizard balloon, but speaks; it’s called the Winslow and was a proponent in some religions, but not much else is known about it. The whole place erupts into shouts and everyone is now heading for Etarre.

Then the start of the next chapter, details known about the Winslow are shared and why it was desired by many species. After this, Buck readies himself for the onslaught of creatures heading at them as some are in holy reverie and others in hate of the Winslow. It gets a bit more serious as certain bureaucrats get closer, whom are known for being dangerous, kind of. Buck disables one which gives the wrong idea to a fellow fighter of their team, going after an actually dangerous creature, and not living through the attack. Finally the security chief of the planet puts extra weight in the atmosphere to stop everyone from their aggressive ideas. The security chief, Parahexavoctal, for short, Par then proceeds to end the session for the day and gives security to the humans as everyone leaves for their areas. Etarre then contemplates having to tell the family of Gio, the one whom didn’t make it, of his unfortunate demise. Buck is then led by Thad to the Hall of Icons where the Winslow was being housed, they then confronted by a couple different species who are threatening Thad to release the Winslow to them or more threats would ensue. When the largest of the group makes it’s entrance for ownership of the Winslow though, Thad finally decides it’s time to retreat, but not before the closest species related to the Winslow take one of the aliens of the closest aliens to the Earth as hostage. Buck then knocks out the alien whom claimed to be the one who would be contacting his fellows when they had what they wanted and goes to find the Ambassador before they can get far with their hostage.

Whilst Buck tracks the ship which has Ambassador Hwoolp of the Pogs as hostage, Lou has made a trip to her sister brothel and isn’t pleased by the service they’re running. Buck then implements a plan which isn’t entirely clear at first, involving buying some cargo after landing on the driver. Lou discovers a reason for the business being so bad, and how it had to do with the way she was “shunned” at the party the night before. Buck reveals how he would be using the cargo he now bought as his means of catching the ship with the alien hostage. Then Etarre explains to Frakkus why they had given the Winslow up having to do with discovering whom was breaking the no-weapons rule, and the Winslow being the perfect bait, obviously. Then Buck, having brought the cargo ship to an almost ground level, has the driver continue to follow the ship he’s after.

Back to Frakkus and Etarre, who in the middle of their conversation, is interrupted by the Prime Mover and Par, the former sharing the rule which banned weapons only included a small number and not a variety, of which he mentions, and how this was used as a crutch for the species whom needed it, but the weapons serving only as a “security blanket” and weren’t ever used. The Prime Mover, after learning how Etarre had kept him out of the loop on purpose, decides to break the contract with the humans, and Par is laying out the reason why Etarre will cooperate and take the Winslow back or get the humans expelled from the Gallimaufry when Buck waltzes in with Ambassador Hwoolp, getting Par’s attention and requesting Godot’s file. Hwoolp gives a piece of his mind to Etarre, whom mentions she’d be giving a debriefing soon, Hwoolp stating how she was going to have much explaining due to having put the Pogs in danger.

Buck then meets again with Lou, whom mentions the problem with the sex houses, taking him to a medic to prove there was a problem with human sex drive, the medic not cooperating when she asked for an alert, then insisting he answer when he’d had sex last, he shocked to realize it had been a couple of months, then when Lou gives an example of how the medic should be reacting, and Buck being the one to get aroused (which shouldn’t happen apparently, due to where he’s from), the medic decides to go through with the alert, and Lou helps Buck out with his frisky feelings. Thad then meets them and notices Buck all wet after he’d explained what had been occurring in the Hall of Icons, and hoped it wasn’t raining due to all the other news being so stellar as it was. Then Psmith relays to Thad of the Winslow having been stolen and they needed to block the entrances, since the other species thought it was them.

Next section gives background as to what has happened to weapon ownership on Earth, it being the lower classes not having it, but instead developed their skills of martial arts, it being called Ninja, and most planets and species possessing a form of similar style, but many due to believing theirs was the “one true Ninja way”, would fight others for thinking opposingly. Buck and Thad are viewing through a window Par making another statement which explains the humans not having the Winslow despite popular belief and anyone who attempted to break through security would pay for it. Buck is then summoned by security troops in the common area, he believing it had to do with a speeding ticket, Lou interrupting by mentioning what had been the cause of the loss of sex drive, but Buck not having left to meet the security troops yet, he asking Thad who they were as they then walk to where the troops were, he explaining of their advancement compared to the usual levels of species and how they used popsicles.

When they reach them, the troops request Buck to come with them, but not as a prisoner, Buck deciding to meet them in a slightly dangerous way in order to protect the humans allies. As soon as the door is opened, Buck is met by opposition, but all of them being taken out in some way he wasn’t privy. Buck is quite entertained by the show, though and whilst he saw some of the aliens shouting for his death, some were also shouting for his protection so either they could kill him or be used to learn where the Winslow was, but then it’s shown how Buck had been protected the whole time by the security troops. Par then proves his threat of ejecting an embassy wasn’t all talk, by doing so to the Ninja whom failed last, all of his people sucked into space, leaving Buck shocked. Buck is then transported to core security where he’s met by Par, he being told of his mission being to recover the Winslow, Par being unable to give any hints as to where he could’ve been taken, since no one saw the Winslow disappear.

After discussing of possibilities, Buck convinces Par to halt all garbage barges to be searched, soon after they receive information which Par is requested personally to view for himself. What they witness is the garbage barge carried nothing and was beautifully clean, so far other barges turning up the same, Par wondering where the garbage was by this point, and Godot suggesting they go to Station Maintenance. When they arrive, the worker is so taken aback and thought he’d been caught due to his position not requiring him to actually do anything for quite a long time, Par had to be specific as to he being there to discover where all the garbage was, the maintenance chief not knowing. When they inquire of the robots whom tend the cleaning of the area, Par is unable to override the unauthorization and so makes a request for a debugging of the robots, Buck then thinking he was in need of lunch before they continued any more fun, Par accepting this. Then they are interrupted by an interloper threatening Par with a flossing if he didn’t reveal where the Winslow was, Buck and Par getting amusement from this. Par doesn’t react negatively though, since the little alien had reminded him he should see a dentist. Then the are met by Frakkus whom needed advisement on how to cook poiled slurgs, which Par seemed to be the authority of, he deciding he’d cook them himself, leaving Frakkus in a state of immobility.

The medical officer then calls a meeting which requests the attendance of all humans and Pogs, as well as Par himself. It’s told of the virus affecting the sex drive, it having other dangerous symptoms if uncured. Par immediately decides to get as much information available about what they knew of the virus and was adamant in uncovering whom was responsible for releasing it. He then relates to Etarre of how many races are planning on storming their embassy, and after discussing the probability of opening any or multiple embassies to prove he was serious about the protection of humans, Buck shares of how he may only need to open one embassy to the infinite abyss we know as space. Par then announces which planet would be released to the outside, Etarre and Thad getting sucked through the opening to space. The ruse worked, since the aliens began turning on each other after seeing the footage and Etarre and Thad were safely still aboard, Etarre then asking Hwoolp if Godot could be housed in the Pogs embassy, he unsure, since still being in the dark about what was happening and wanting answers, Etarre acquiescing As they leave for a private room, Buck and Thad discuss how Buck will feel being known as the only human on-board the Gallimaufry, he being able to take this in stride, they then hearing an odd noise, Buck forcing the door open, Thad and he seeing the room was now empty.

A more detailed description of the Pogs background is given, as well as how Humanity teamed up with them due to similarities of goals and like-mindedness. Buck, Thad, and the other two workers of either humans or Pogs try to understand how Etarre and Hwoolp had left with no other exit from the room, before Thad can call Par, Buck finding a message which suggested against the action. Thad then decides to call to agents, a dog and cat who can talk to help with the discovery of where Etarre and Hwoolp had disappeared, the dog learning it was from a concealed door and the smell of whom had taken them was permeating the room. Buck then leaves to speak with the Klegdixal, but is waylaid by another Ninja, but not for long, since Buck again handles her gracefully. Meanwhile, Thad was organizing his team for infiltration of the hidden passage.

When the team of two go inside the passage though, they are attacked, the woman reporting of whatever had gone after them was “mean”. Buck’s presence is relayed to a Klegdixal, Whreee, whom disregards him, but upon hearing the extensive shouts for Buck’s assistance, it’s revealed  he bursting through a door despite the precautions Whreee made by arming himself. Buck then explains his reasons for being there due to the virus and his thoughts on Whreee’s involvement of its release, but once showing the medical report, Whreee informs Buck of how the news was definitely bad and how guilty it made the Klegdixals seem. Whreee isn’t able to help reverse the virus though, since he would need the DNA key sequence, and Buck’s terms in order to be certain of the Klegdixals innocence wasn’t making Whreee feel much better, but slowly agreeing upon knowing the Pogs would be doing the research, and then making his own terms which included an agreement of a more official status, Buck not minding for only needing to learn certain information and if all was on the level, wouldn’t need long to search.

Buck then is informed of the group previously awaiting his exit were gone, one being left, and upon being intrigued by whom, discovers it’s the Ninja again. This time she overpowers Buck, throwing him through the Klegdixal embassy wall, upon landing, he adding medical benefits to their agreement and a back door, if possible. Thad is then shown being approached by a Law Machine offering its assistance in observation by going into the secret tunnel to see if it could discover what was attacking, but once within, being destroyed by an energy weapon. Buck then shares the news with the Pogs of the agreement he’d been able to make with the Klegdixals, then deciding he’d give sleep a chance, and to his discrediting his ability, promptly proves himself wrong. Godot is then awakened by voices in the dark, claiming to know who had released the virus and would give the information upon delivery of the Winslow, Buck dive-bombing the intruder, but when the lights turn on, discover Par, he unaware of why Buck was reacting so violently.

Par then shares what his team had found when they were tracking the garbage being sent to the barges, the team going missing along with the garbage. He also mentions of a ship having broken into the Gallimaufry, an alien called Hyraxx, a deadly creature whom Buck has already run into a few times. As Par was speaking, the whole ship shakes, his intel being unable to learn where it had come from, but Par making it clear he’d have to come up with a better non-reason. Meanwhile, the talking cat and dog team, Martin and Rowan are discussing Martin’s decision of using his Ninja skills to discover more about the creature within the secret passage. Then, Buck is led to where the Prime Mover spent his off time, this being his idea of whom would know more about the tremor felt, Par showing him the Prime Mover’s office also containing his “own little world”. After vouching and insisting Buck would stay to hear Par’s questions answered, the Prime Mover starts with Par’s first question about the details of the contract between he and the humans, also mentioning the two would not mention his words to anyone.

It’s then shared what the Winslow was required by Humanity to house by the Prime Mover in order for Humanity to stay under his protection from extinction, he not knowing why humans would decide to break the contract, Par then asking about whether the Prime Mover knew about the garbage disposal system, he not aware of the actual destination of the trash having currently taken, and so realizing he must go back to work, the two leaving and discussing the Prime Mover’s stance on the station, and how civilized it was now compared to the early years. Par then goes off to deal with some other work whilst Godot decides to go to maintenance, having forgotten to ask about why Hyraxx was such a danger, she then showing herself, but before doing more than responding to his thought out loud, Buck books it down the hall.

After being caught up to though, Buck then discovers Hyraxx’s profession once she asks the question of whether Elvis’ ghost haunted the now empty human embassy, to Buck’s shock. Buck attempts to relay not having the time to chit chat, but doesn’t leave until the Uligb (another alien) shows up, she for some reason being intimidated. Buck then talks with the maintenance chief, requesting to see the station building codes the robots who build the embassies base their construction off of, when the robots begin attacking the tech-hands, Buck leads the way to the other robots to uncover what the deal was. When they see the chaos, the robots are soon stating of all station personnel in their presence, would be destroyed. Then back to Martin, whom reports to Rowan of seeing something which makes him insist he inform Thad of not relaying any details to the Pogs, since he discovers the Winslow, along with some worshipers.

Firstly, a little bit of information on the controlled numbers of journalists which had something to do with mathemagicians having most exterminated is shared. The information given continues to describe how a journalist was kept in each sector in certain planets, others only keeping one for the whole planet, or none at all. It’s also mentioned what occurs when a journalist wishes to move, it being quite a debacle for whatever journalist is occupying the area desired, but it’s also discovered how journalists can behave badly when restricted too often. Then back to Buck and group, still frozen for the threat of being shot by the J-B.O.D.s, Buck then being told of the camera in the room, but it being on a random viewing, so he deciding to make it more necessary to view by pretending to surrender to a J-B.O.D. and then swatting it into the camera, handball-style.

They then need a hand from the maintenance chief whom needed a bit of coaxing before finally subduing the maintenance robots who appeared after the J-B.O.D.s. As Par comes in, annoyed for having to shut down so many systems for Buck and he being a smarty-pants after being asked if there were any others which would be needed to be inconvenienced, as well, they were again rocked by a tremor, Par’s employee relaying of it being originated from the maintenance core, where they currently were, so Par commands all security to tear apart all of the bots to see if they could find the problem, Buck deciding he’d adjourn to his beddy-bye. Meanwhile, Etarre’s team is scrambling to keep everything calm for those transitioning from there upheaval in worshipful prayer of the Winslow, the team settling on giving the human refugees saved from the riots jobs already held by Pogs as a temporary way of keeping them busy, the Pogs’ jobs being taken, being given paid vacation essentially until further notice, Veem, the Pogs ambassador, not happy about this idea at all.

When everyone leaves except Thad and Reege, the co-leader, he divulges of the underlying reason for this being due to they figuring out what was really going on and who was definitely trustworthy, not so certain of the Pogs currently. Buck then comes to speak with Thad when he confides to Buck of the last transmission given by Martin of the Winslow and they not knowing what he’d seen, but they being interrupted by Lou, whom wasn’t pleased with Buck, since he wasn’t acting like a bodyguard, but he reminding her of he not having much to do with the current health issues human males were currently going through, then turning her sights on Thad, whom had to clarify his relationship with Etarre, but Lou making it clear she won’t let anyone working with them be of unsound mind, threatening drugs if they (including her assistant) didn’t do something about it in twenty-four hours, Buck making it clear to Thad, after he’d asked his advice, he should do whatever is best for him to handle the problem, Buck then bowing out for sleepy-time.

Unfortunately for Buck, he’s not alone and the same group who had interrupted his sleep before, were again there to change their terms of Buck needing to be their intermediary with the Prime Mover, they finally showing themselves and Buck not at first seeing why they would be considered dangerous, until one showed how the energy weapons could be brought on board the Gallimaufry. After considering out loud where they must have hidden themselves and being wrong to mention the garbage room, Buck asks if they wanted his assistance, what they would give him in return, they unable to give the DNA key to him for it having been destroyed, the Prime Mover the only one whom could help there, and to convince him the Beemahs would be suitable for the Winslow’s next guardians. Thad then goes to the doctor to see if he had any ideas of how he could help his hormones without feeling morally guilty, but he isn’t in luck, Lou popping in, and quite naked, Thad leaving them to consider another means of relief. He then runs into Buck, whom inadvertently makes it clear what he must do, again leaving for medical, Buck then being stopped by Veem, whom was desperate to have Buck speak on the Pogs behalves to regain their positions, believing it was the way they would be able to reclaim their ambassador.

This is where I was forced to take a break from reading due to technical difficulties with the site and everyone who could fix it either being sick or getting over illness; the unluckiness of my efforts of finishing, continues. A month later, I learn everyone’s fine now, but waiting to put the site back up until they can add new Buck Godot in the Spring, up and downside. 4 years later, here I be. Similar to Bone, but not, since I can’t get this comic out of my head and my brain won’t allow me to move on for the moment. Well, baby steps, I’ll just finish my other half-read novels until then!

Thanks again to the WayBackMachine!

Buck is interrupted by 12-Zinc, he inquiring about the J-B.O.D.s, 12-Zinc not receiving an answer as of yet. Buck describes why someone wanted to get the garbage, he suggesting a tracer in the garbage room and asking after the energy trap. 12-Zinc doesn’t know though, his people not having known this for many years now. Godot then deduces what someone would want with so much trash and considering it could be the size of a planet. Upon speaking with the Prime Mover, Godot learns he doesn’t care about curing the virus, nor would’ve needed to plague humans in this way, Buck revealing he knew a candidate for the new guardians and the P.M. reluctantly agreeing to his retirement terms. Unfortunately, upon asking the P.M. about how the energy weapon works, he didn’t know, but could leave a message for the previous P.M. in order to find out. Buck asks about what fella was doing, he saying he was creating an ocean for his planet, by bucketful. Buck leaves the P.M. and sees the J-B.O.D.s were fixing on destroying everyone again, so after Buck smashes 2 by bouncing them into each other, he decides to revisit the P.M.. Before getting there though, Hyraxx saves his ass with a fuzzbuster. Buck takes the opportunity to have her research why the Pogs would be interested in the Winslow, and in return Buck would give her an exclusive.

Meanwhile, Lou has helped Thad’s other half to release some tension, and then are interrupted by an injured Martin, and Buck is confronted by Oort about the virus, when he’s hit with a dart and goes down, but he’s dead before anything can be done, Buck recognizing the dart as Sclufoniun, he ready to kick some ass, but as he busts through the door, he’s hit with a bunch of darts and passes out. When he comes to, he learns the medic team they’d sent for Oort, was useful to him, Whreee having been showing the freshly designed antidote in a meeting and they using it on him. Buck shares the reason why he’d burst in was because of a Sclufoniun dart killing Oort, but now realizing a Sclufoniun wouldn’t have been responsible if in this meeting the whole time. Par then comes in to announce how the Klegdixal were found guilty of spreading the virus and Buck should head for safety, since the Klegdixal would now be banned from Gallimaufry. Buck decides to stay a moment longer since smelling something fishy, Par noticing it, as well. They deduce they would need to see Oort’s last moments recorded on a device he’d been carrying, but it had been taken by the Pogs (I think…).

Godot and Par exit and Buck is contemplating his nap-time, in his room seeing Lou mourning Oort, he offering they go to his viewing and pick up the body-vid Oort had on him. When Buck finds Thad, Lou and they have a conversation which ends with Buck figuring out whom killed Oort and who released the virus. Lou takes care of this starry-eyed fool whom apparently thought Oort was the bees knees, but knew too much so had to be eliminated. Meanwhile Buck goes to see the quarantined Whreee, to see if he’d allow sponsorship for information of his innocence. After he agrees, upon learning it’s for the Beemahs, the Beemah gives Buck the evidence to support Whreee’s innocence. Buck then runs into Hyraxx whom has learned of the Pogs having been custodians for the Winslow before the Humans, big news. Buck then decides he’s going to enter into the other dimension to see if they find what’s making the trash disappear, he learning he wasn’t alone, and whatever was there, was calling itself Gallimaufry. When Buck has the thing take him to where the issue was, since it trying to eat the trash was making it sick, Buck sees the cutest little thing, ever! Next, Par is shown how Godot had an Info Point attached to him which acts like a body cam.

Par then has 12-Zinc arrested due to not following his order to kill Buck when he arrived, Par confessing he knew this wasn’t right, but he still doing it. Buck, tricks them though, since where he was arriving should’ve been set to where they were, but he somehow being somewhere else on the ship, Par ordering all security to find Buck and his fellow travelers. Beemah finds Buck along with Whreee and they see he has the Winslow, he warning Buck of Par. Buck then entrusts Beemah in escorting the Winslow to the Prime Mover through secret tunnels whilst Buck took the obvious route, which impresses the Beemah, for not having ever been trusted before. Whreee assigns a ninja to escort Buck, due to mistrust and Buck refuses, Veem next finding Buck in his closet, he updating Veem of locating the Winslow, etc. He then asks for Veem to send this as a message to Thad, Veem offering to do the rest of the exchange himself, since one of the ambassadors was the Pogs. Buck then agrees he can go with him, if he provided military back up and disguised him as one of them, Veem totally into it.

At least until implementing Buck’s disguise, which is basically the same idea as the 3 kids in a big man’s jacket, Buck being the legs and bod, ofc. Buck sabotages the plan by smashing one of the drones, Veem still insisting they go to the pick up point, and Buck happily agreeing. When they reach the entry point, though, Buck isn’t able to gain access, they having to fight Uligb. Buck then enlists the help of Hyraxx to open the door, she succeeding and the three interrupting the P.M. and then Buck inviting the Beemah out, Par intrigued as he then learns Klegdixal planned on sponsoring them. Etarre also pops out with the Winslow, confirming Humanity was cool with giving up the Winslow. Then Par bursts in with death threats, executing upon Buck talking after he was finished. P.M. prevents his shots from hitting anyone and wishes to hear from the rest of the group before deciding they were truly arrested or not.

They then interrupted by drones, Par getting another chance to execute as Buck and group attempt escape. Beemah gets hit first after attempting to kill Par, then Buck goes after Par because he’d broken his trust, then the P.M. excommunicates the alien drones, asking for the mess to be explained. Beemah apparently had much more information than most, the P.M. proven this by his knowledge of his secret horndawg stash, Par inquiring why the Beemah hadn’t made him privy. Par had enslaved the Beemah, which the P.M. noted, and Beemahs providing the antidote to the virus given to Humanity. Buck then explains how the Gallimaufry is alive and was much bigger than this plane they lived on, it missing interaction with other beings, which it couldn’t take advantage of, due to choking on the intake of the Winslow. Par receives high praises from the P.M. before he zaps him out, Beemahs prove themselves to be worthy of caring for the Winslow, and Humanity receives protection indefinitely from the P.M. for having been good care-takers of the Winslow. The P.M. then almost banishes the Pogs, but Godot speaks on their behalf, since Oort was lost in this battle and deserves some sort of remembrance, so P.M. decides to banish them temporarily until those involved were dead.

Hyraxx is sworn to secrecy, she in return asking for a pardon in regards to all the trouble she’d caused in order to detect the Winslow’s whereabouts. Buck is offered Par’s old job, but he declines, P.M. then listing how many things he must get to before finishing his bath. The group celebrates in different ways, since Hyraxx had been ordered a lobotomy, but then Buck hears a prediction which seems to have been made by the Winslow, which was well-thought out and more words put together by the thing than heard, ever. Beemahs then escorting it out, he not having heard this long-winded thought. Lou is with a bunch of other people, she sharing how it was about time she head back for her club, thinking business would soon be banging. Buck hangs back after she invites him and when he gets back, goes to deal with his taxes, he sporting a note from the P.M. excusing his tax evasion for so many days. Unfortunately, the fella must deny the note what with he then having to break the same rule for everyone, even if they are a galactic hero, saving a race from slavery and whatnot.

This being the end of the Buck Godot story! Hell yes! I finally did it! It was worth it, because I love humor sci-fi! The story after is an origination story of the Winslow, a fuzzy indestructible alligator. I’m glad to have finished it and will be continuing the ongoing series of Girl Genius.

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The War of the Worlds

I read the copy with the introduction by Ray Bradbury and people’s real reactions to the radio broadcast, which were so wild it’s incredible how prone to hysteria and panic people can be if not susceptible to becoming more informed. Most of those who did listen, missed the preface of it being a dramatization and were too panicked by the play to check with other news stations, also the police weren’t much help because they didn’t have the information necessary and advice to stay indoors and to listen for news broadcasts panicked people more than helped. Although some who heard the broadcast didn’t take it as an alien invasion, they thought “Martian” meant the Japanese or Germans were the threats, something more plausible for their fear. Reporters were angered by the broadcast and  made it seem many had died and committed suicide from the panic; complete bollocks, no one was more injured than those who sustained bruises, to egos as well as physical ones. Welles wasn’t the first to use this broadcasting technique either, but Welles did have a reason for making the broadcast believable, trying to show the public not to take everything they hear as fact; Something which is still a struggle, eh?

One columnist even praised Welles for shining “…a brilliant and cruel light upon the failure of popular education”. I agree, even today, with the rest of her statement being it showed “…the incredible stupidity, lack of nerve, and ignorance of…” in this case, a little over a million people. Those who took the joke hard, obviously don’t get scared often and didn’t like being shown, either to themselves or those who know them, as being weak and ignorant; The saps. Also, H.G. Wells wasn’t happy about being made to believe they weren’t only going to read his book on air, but lost steam when sales for his book increased; Ha! On the sides of the pages for the script of the radio broadcast we have quotes from those who were fooled completely, temporarily and those who didn’t know what to make of it. Some from poor neighborhoods were quoted to panicking at first, but were still able to comprehend it being a play by the end, seemingly because they had nowhere to flee to or being unable to do so in other ways. It seems the lower middle class had a perfect amount of hysteria to make them have more foolish reactions. Welles also suspected some panic from his show, but not to the extent it had; He was 23 when he did this, so no shit, Sherlock; Young and naive, much? Besides, there’s also mini-biographies of both Orson Welles and H.G. Wells, making me want a longer one of Orson, and looking forward to H.G.’s autobiography.

It reads like a science text about outer space and specifically of Mars. Then there’s a first person account of presumably the author being the narrator, unnamed with a well known astronomer. They are looking at and discussing the probability of life on the planet. Then, for 10 nights, flames are seen, believed to be from volcanoes. After the stop of which, life continues to be normal. Then a falling star, “the first” of the events to be seen. Ogilvy, the astronomer, goes to search for it and once discovering the large crash site, awaits for the object to cool. When the surface covering the object began falling off with a severe sound, Ogilvy had a great bout of adrenaline, making him move closer (seemingly a dope). The cylinder began rotating off, Ogilvy not comprehending until seeing, perhaps the dark indentation ridges to indicate movement. Although, most everyone today would know this could mean death or slave-dom, Ogilvy had good ole fashion symptoms of “rescuer” syndrome and began trying to help unscrew the top from the outside; It certainly doesn’t take long to get entertaining. Once he realizes the heat made it impossible for him to get any closer, let alone touch it, he retreats to town.

After bringing his story to a couple unbelieving passersby, he recognizes someone and divulges to the man what he saw, they returning to the site to discover the cylinder open enough for air to enter, but when tapping on the outside with a stick with no response, they conclude death or disorientation of the occupant(s). The men return to town hoping to get more help for the “spacemen”, being unable to do anything more themselves. The news gets the story soon enough with the narrator soon catching wind of it and going to see for himself the area in question. Once arriving, the narrator sees the crowd has gathered and the two men, Ogilvy and Henderson, had gone off to sup at Henderson’s. Later on Ogilvy returns and shares the plan of putting up a fence to deter rubbernecking. Henderson as well as another astronomer had come along and they noticed noises from inside the capsule could still be heard and whether the Narrator would like to see about getting a hold of Lord Hilton who lived in the vicinity. He was told he was in London and expected back at a specific hour later, and so he goes home, relaxing and awaiting Lord Hilton’s arrival at the station to meet up with him there.

We return to the site and more people have come and are being pushed closer to the edge of the crater, one man is pushed in and tries to climb back up again. People are excitedly agitated because the pod has unscrewed at a quicker rate. The lid comes off and we expect to see a creature human-esque, but it isn’t anything close. People aren’t as curious after what they see and begin to run off. When seeing one emerge and the start of another coming out, the Narrator also bolts stumbling towards the first stand of trees, due to being unable to look away from the terror-striking sight. We see the same man whom fell in, still struggling to escape the pit and he almost goes back to help, but fear overrules his fancy as a shriek is heard; Now I understand why this book is a classic. It’s much like a movie in it’s depiction, which I wouldn’t even dare compare to the latest movie, but I may have to look into the first adaptation, praised as being the closest to the original. Anyways, the Narrator is unable to compel himself to flee further, but tries to locate a better vantage point to observe the creatures better.

Soon authorities along with Ogilvy and Henderson wave a white flag, treating the Martians in a way which hopefully shows they respect their intelligence and to prove their own. After, a flame/light bursts forth, after which something comes out of the pit. Meanwhile, we soon learn what the flashes of flame are all about when some of the “white flag” supporters make a hasty retreat. The Narrator sees the fiery destruction of forest and buildings close-by, after which, the silence brings proper fear, a child’s fear and he runs away. We get a death count at the pit and then the spread of how fast the news of what happened could get out to certain surrounding towns. The people in Woking didn’t seem to know the cylinder had even opened, but those who did, made the trek in small groups to have their own look-see, which also brought out some police officers trying to keep the larger growing group, back, inciting the thoughtless group mentality to take over some in the usual noise-rowdy way. Those others who escaped to be able to mention the tale of those first at the pit, had similar descriptions to the Narrator’s in it was dealt and accompanied by bright light.

The second group of onlookers fared no better. The policeman on horse-back returned screaming, meanwhile the Narrator flees, clumsily in his own opinion, through trees until making it to the Horsell crossroads and continues along the path, until collapsing from physical and mental exhaustion. Upon regaining his sense, he didn’t know whether what he had lived through had happened and was confused by waking in his current whereabouts. He walked on in a drunkenly manner across the bridge and introspectively thought of his own dissociation at certain moments, this being one of them. When he arrives at the train-station, he asks some people if they’ve heard any “news from the common”, to which they had none, taking the news of “men from Mars” lightly. He tries to explain his traumatizing experience brokenly and not making it understood, getting laughed at for his trouble, so he makes his way home and shares the tale with his wife. She takes his story more seriously to the point of his comforting her by describing the aliens as barely able to move from the pit. After which, to comfort himself and his wife he speaks of the differing gravitational and oxygen levels which would affect the Martians unfavorably; he also realizes his error of this later. He concludes the chapter with his informing us of this meal with his wife being the last normal one for many days.

They reach their destination and if not having to return the horse, he knew his wife would have rather he stayed, and he regrets not doing so, but he was also excited to go back and see the Martians overthrown. He makes his way back, late and by a different route. Upon reaching Addlestone, a third falling star is seen, followed by a quick succession of lightning flashes, scaring the horse. He soon sees a giant machine walking in his general direction, and then a second one coming out from the trees in front of him, its path going straight at him. Trying to make a quick get away which only ends with the horse being pushed over by the cart and the Narrator falling out. The horse seriously injured, the Narrator watches the machine walk past and to another area, leaving him there to join other machines, he looks on and believes they were gathered around one of the many cylinders shot from Mars. He continues to Maybury, trying to take shelter in a hut and failing to get inside for no one answering the door. He speaks on as if he would have chosen differently in regards to his movements if he hadn’t run into these strange happenings, but he ended up with the idea of staying at his home once reaching it, but before getting there, runs into another man, who hurried away upon running into him and then noticing someone he knew lying in a ditch, dead.

He reaches his home not long after and tries to recover emotionally and due to the hail and rain, physically. After taking a moment to clean himself up, he goes to the window in his study and spies the damage from the fires and Martian shapes busily moving around. He thought of the possibilities of what the machines held inside of them or if they worked autonomously, when he sees a soldier going over the fence to his yard and he welcomes him in for a safe-haven. He tries to withdraw information from him, getting repeated vague-ry in reply, only learning the Martians had overcome the troops. The young soldier soon regains enough of his wits to confess what happened to him, also learning how the large machines started up and began delivering damage; quite entertainingly. Soon dawn has almost arrived and the Narrator and soldier survey the surroundings from his study window. The Martians seemed to have widened the pit, making it the main “working” space. When dawn does come, the two men agree their current quarters isn’t safe and whilst the soldier planned on heading London-ward, the Narrator planned to rejoin his wife, but agreed to accompany the soldier in a safer route until parting to go to their collective destinations. They run into a Lieutenant on a horse and the soldier informs him, when asked, what the Martians looked like. After giving the Lieutenant directions to get a look at them himself, they go on to Weybridge. They get there and move to the point of where the Wey and the Thames converge and this is where the Martians show their force again. The Narrator came up with the idea of detecting safety underwater.

This is where the real action begins as the Narrator and citizens take cover from Martian violence. When he surfaces, he sees one machine-clad Martian ignore the running people around it and make its way to the opposite shore to Shepperton. We are told other action with the Martians could have been occurring simultaneously, but the Narrator chose to focus on the nearest, understandably. As the Martian gets back on land, it is fired upon and we soon perceive although the Martians control these machines, however temporarily, the machines are capable of independent piloting, continuing to bring damage upon a church nearby before finally falling. Whilst the Narrator tries to get a better view of the collapsing one, he is warned of the other Martians coming across to Shepperton where the volley continues this time with assurance at the new targets. Since the Narrator thought it safer being submerged, ducking again for cover. When he rises once more, he observes two Martians inspecting the felled one. One’s heat-ray goes off bringing a tidal wave of destruction to the surrounding area as well as an actual tidal wave, leaving the Narrator to stagger away, burned but able to escape and see the Martians take the remains of the fallen back with them; this would definitely be one of the more action-event-filled chapters. The Martians learned how to deal with the British military after this and so the Narrator goes on by boat toward London. He gets extremely dehydrated on his journey and is met by a curate whom he had repeatedly asked for water. The curate kept bemoaning the rubble which used to be his church and what had they done to have this destruction befall them. Soon the Narrator realizes the curate is in a state of fear which won’t allow him to answer to their whereabouts and only to the state of their well-being, to which the Narrator tries to make reasonable theory and losing the curate to his fear halfway through.

We distinguish at this moment in time the Narrator has a brother in London at medical school and when his class hears the news about the Martians and his brother realizes how close the Narrator was, he telegraphed him, which doesn’t reach him, with news he’d be visiting him and stayed over night in a music hall. From there his brother made it as far as the Waterloo station, unable to get a train the rest of the way and trying to get news of the Martians as it came, which wasn’t much. After some time, the station was being cleared out and his brother was able to buy a paper with the information of how dangerous the Martians actually were. After, his brother returns to London and not long after going to bed hears a commotion and a policeman shouting the Martians have come. He sees through his window people leaving quickly by carriage and such. He dresses and goes down to the street getting a paper and describing the poison gas the Martians have and having the situation looking dire-lessly serious. He gathers some light possessions of import and leaves with the rest.

Whilst the Narrator’s brother is watching people run across Westminster Bridge, the curate is still talking crazy and the Martians are still working in the pit until fairly early in the night. Three ventured out by 8 and were heard by the Narrator and curate, one of the Martians took out those in Painshill Park, but soldiers in another area fared better; I’m starting to understand due to the close geography written, one would be better off with a map of Britain or know the area well due to Wells being quite specific. The second bunch we see, takes down the Martian and the fallen one lets another, by a “howling” communication, know of his need for backup. When the Martian’s call was answered, the table’s turned yet again in favor of the Martians. Three had gathered and the one which fell began repairing the machine the Martian operated. When rockets fired, two Martian “fighting machines” passed close enough to be seen by the curate and himself. As the curate ran off, the Narrator knew better and found a hiding spot close by, which the curate, after seeing him, followed suit.

The Martians quietly set up their attack. They both heard gunshots from varying distances and then the Martian near them fired which made the Narrator forget his safety in preference of a better view, which brought no excitement or events, keeping everyone in suspense. The Martian by them moves on and the Narrator and curate do the same, seeing a protrusion of a hill which wasn’t there before, meanwhile they hear the “hooting” of the Martians communicating to each other. Soon the Martians start firing poisonous gas again as well as another element unidentified for the moment. In some cases the Martians would dissipate the gas once the effects served its purpose and they became increasingly careful whenever they were leery of return gunfire, bringing out their Heat-Ray, which they used sparingly for reasons only theorized. The “battle” continued and the Martians stayed strong, delivering consistent blows to the soldiers, leaving many wounded and civilian spectators still accounted for during it all. The gas is more prevalent, taking out the soldiers which by dawn the government is on its last leg and advising those still holding out for victory the reality of needing to flee.

By Monday, due to people frantically trying to get out, the police became over-worked and frustrated ending up inflicting some brutality of their own. A Martian appeared halfway through the day and with it poisonous gas blocked escape over the bridges of the Thames and Lambeth. We then learn how the Narrator’s brother’s escape was going; turning out to be going better than most, making it to Edgware. Upon resting up, he moves on presumably getting to a town he knew some friends lived in, which seems a long shot they’d still even be there what with everything, but oh well. Anyways, on his travels he joins up with two ladies in time for an impromptu rescue. A few men, thinking they could overpower the women stopped their horse and buggy and whilst one was terror-stricken, the other tried to defend herself. His brother, a trained fighter, gets the troublemakers attention well enough and as the women make a get away and his brother, after laying out one man, tries to follow them as one of the other bullies had defended himself against his brother better than the first, chased after him, the ladies realized their rescuer was in need of their assistance and the dark-haired lady brings out a concealed fire-arm she hadn’t been able to get to during their attack.

After properly scaring off one, making them both retreat to where the knocked out one lay. The three continue on toward Barnet and getting closer, come upon more people, his brother gathering as much broken information as he could. Soon they get rushed by a crowd of people trying to go past them seemingly caused by a fire burning a villa making a smoke which brought confusion to the people trying to leave. We get more closer descriptions of the people trying to escape as the cry of the Martians coming continue. The violence of escape gets worse as the fear grows, the Narrator’s brother trying to help anyone close to him. After realizing the futile-ness of his actions, he decides to retreat with his main group back the way they came, but soon realizes the road ahead is their only option and drives them back into the frenzied crowd. They reach somewhere near East Barnet and rest for the night, but unable to truly be at ease for hunger and anxiety. They also periodically see people rushing past them in the direction they’d come.

The Narrator reiterates the terror-ed mass of people seen by his brother and how nothing could have rivaled its suffered stampede. There was news of the Martians controlling London at this point and how governor officials planned on using a high volume of explosives in mines; I don’t know how mines were supposed to deter the Martians but, only just. The Narrator also is sure to mention each falling star which is seen by his brother and Miss Elphinstone, alternately. We continue to follow them as they try to reach the coast, foregoing food to close the distance instead. Near Tillingham, they are able to view the coast and are greeted with a sight of many freighters and ships letting off and bringing on people from the shore. Miss Elphinstone is now becoming anxious and panic-stricken with the idea of leaving England, especially without her husband, hoping to turn around and spot him “at Stanmore”. The two convince her to board with them upon noticing a steamer which would have them and even shared a meal, once settled. The captain stayed at shore as long as he could to gather as many passengers until well beyond capacity when gunfire was heard. Soon after, they see a Martian in the distance seemingly to mosey along. The one seemed to be heading for the steamer and then another is seen doing the same. By the end, there are three Martians in the water, releasing black smoke and another using the Heat-Ray underwater, damaging a ship. Then a Martian was taken out and not long after another goes with it and although this seemed like a score for humanity, since the third Martian was also missing, the ship it had aimed for was now nowhere to be seen. The captain of their vessel is the first to point out a grey object swiftly rising into the sky and when it reached its height of flight, moved away from them, bringing darkness to the earth.

Upon the start of Book II, we switch back to the Narrator and curate’s whereabouts, which was an abandoned house in Halliford to escape Black Smoke. The Narrator had begun to tire of the curate’s repetitious “woe-is-me” moaning and began retreating to room’s out of the curate’s reach, ending in a box-room. The Narrator was planning on continuing alone since the curate seemed keen on staying, but changed his addled mind when he realized the Narrator was going to leave regardless. They didn’t run in to anything consequential, other than people in Twickenham and didn’t run into Martians until closer to Barnes. He and the curate hid for a few moments and Narrator ditched him again when he didn’t seem ready to move on, the curate comes after him once he begins to make his way to a road towards Kew, which wasn’t the best decision, seeing another or possibly the same Martian collecting Humans running away. Narrator and curate hide in a ditch, well into the night, resuming their hike more stealthily. When the curate starts feeling faint they break into a couple homes, staying in the latter one for some time in Mortlake. This time the curate is the one whom wants to make a hasty continuation of journey, but Narrator decides the opposite and we are then told why they get stranded there. A large impact hit the house, knocking out the Narrator and the curate sustaining a cut head. He updates the Narrator on their situation, believing Martians to be within radius and so keeping themselves still and quiet until light, the Narrator wondering if a Martian had knocked into the house, realizing upon the dawn it was one of the cylinders, after which they rest until the Narrator wakes again and is moved to hunt for food, once doing so, being followed by the curate.

After, they go back to the scullery and the Narrator loses the curate’s whereabouts for probably nodding off, but notices him against the hole which looked out upon the Martians, causing the curate to jump and causing some noise which they anxiously await to learn whether it was noticed. Instead it goes on to describe what the Martians were doing inside the cylinder. We then get a more detailed description of the Martians appearance which leads into the start of how they took blood from living creatures, which they had brought with them on their trip to Earth, the species obviously not surviving the trip. We also are given three other differences between the anatomy of their species to ours. The Narrator mentions, despite a pamphlet written by someone who may not have ever even seen a Martian, supposed they communicated by sound and tentacle movements, but the Narrator alludes to not being the case. Also covering what their hooting sound signified. He does finally give his opinion of how they communicate, which at first he had trouble believing and by the end of the chapter, describes what the methodical rhythmic noise had been coming from.

The Narrator and the curate stayed hidden and fought for purchase to seeing the activities of the Martians. The Narrator soon locates the curate a weak individual who is selfish and ignorant, the sort which would drive anyone mad in a crisis situation; eating too much of their small supply of food and sleeping little, leaving him as scatter-brained as how some discriminative comments about females are described. The Narrator notes they had decided to stay as long as the Martians would go about their work, for it was unsafe to try and escape without notice any sooner. What the Narrator spied was not as interesting as what the curate would see, the former being of more Martians going about their tasks whilst the latter saw the first men brought to the pit. The man was middle-aged and only seen for a moment by the Narrator, but it brought curiosity with his presence. The Narrator was then contemplating escape by digging, but it failed and after seeing a horrible sight, he begins to feel despair yet again. The Narrator found many of the Martians had deserted the site, but for a few and also heard what sounded like gunshot report which ended an apparently beautiful-looking evening.

The next chapter begins with how the Narrator and the curate had been accustoming themselves to the companionship between them, which wasn’t an idyllic one. The Narrator had to keep fighting with the curate to not eat all their rations all at once, he complaining and trying to sneak food or drink. They had been there for six days now and the Narrator now confirmed he was stuck with a man whom had lost his marbles. The curate soon didn’t abide keeping his voice at a whisper, speaking in normal tones and repeating the same ramblings to himself or the Narrator and would digress into how the Narrator was treating him by withholding food, soon becoming a threat to their safety. So the Narrator, due to the curate’s resolve in shouting and planning to give away their hiding place by walking straight into the lion’s den, as it were, hits the curate with the butt of a blade he’d found, the curate lying still. It was still enough to bring a handling-machine to investigate. The Narrator flees in terror and wonders whether the machine had noticed him, only fascinated by how it had made its way into the room, but still trying to detect a place to hide. The Martian comes to his hiding place and the Narrator stays hidden and undiscovered, but apparently quite close to being uncovered, at the end of his rope from paranoia. He stayed in his hiding place until day eleven, ending the chapter.

Later, when the Narrator checked the pantry after the Martian had been through it the day before, it had cleaned out all the food and so he didn’t eat for the next two days, starting to despair. A few days after, being able to discover rain water to drink at least, he also noticing a dog in the kitchen, hoping for the pup to get closer so he could kill and eat him, but also so the dog wouldn’t make any unwanted noise to draw attention. The dog didn’t come any nearer though and nothing was attracted by it’s minimal noise. After gathering courage to look out and see if he could spot any Martians and observing the place was deserted, he resolves only after a short time of hesitation to get the hell out of there. When he begins his walking about, he’s dazzled by the light and seems refreshed and heartened at the still beautiful and quiet nature about him.

He begins to feel how the human race dominated the planet which turned into feeling more like the animals which live on our planet now, the fear of being found and attacked, but soon the knowledge Humans were no longer top dog waned and he focused on detecting food, which he does in a garden, uncovering an assortment of veggies. He also continually notices the new red plants which have sprouted everywhere and how they consumed all the large bodies of water where they were. Meanwhile he makes his way farther from the pit, but he also reports how the red weeds eventually die out. He eventually begins seeing more skeletons as he got to Roehampton which made him believe the Martians take-over must be pretty much complete, thinking they may have gone elsewhere to explore for more “food”. Upon reaching Putney Hill, he breaks into an Inn and scrounges enough food to take with him when he decided to leave, but stays the night and tries to sleep in a bed, which he hadn’t done for some time now. Instead of being able to finally sleep though, he thinks over what had been done to the curate, where the Martians were and what had become of his wife, praying properly for the first time in awhile, until finally setting out again at morning.

When he reaches Wimbledon Common, he runs into a solitary man, whom at first he doesn’t realize he knows, but soon they both recognize each other and the Narrator is able to get information on where the Martians have gone, which is across London where it seems they’re learning to fly. Soon the artilleryman confides to the Narrator his plan of survival and his view of what the Martians had in mind for their species. The artilleryman goes into great detail of his idea on how to keep the Human race going and it seems reasonable enough, once he explains it to the Narrator, but upon starting to help upon the work the artilleryman had started from the home he had chosen to connect to the drains underground in London, he began to realize they might have started in an easier way, but was also glad to be doing something useful after his sojourn in the house with the curate. Soon after staying with the artilleryman long enough though, he begins to realize the artilleryman might not know and has built some beliefs upon theories rather than facts of what was actually going on around them and where the Martians actually were, leaving the Narrator ready to travel to London to learn what was truly going on.

When he reaches London, it’s pretty well eradicated with dead everywhere and some being disturbed by dogs. Soon he begins hearing a repetitive cry of, “Ulla, Ulla…” and not worrying about it at first, looked for food and slept somewhere indoors, being awoken by the same sound. He eventually realizes it’s a lone Martian making the cry, but isn’t afraid and continues on his trek toward the howling alien. He sees more Martians, but they are still and eventually the howling abruptly stops. We then see what realization the Narrator had figured out, whilst men couldn’t overthrow the Martians, because they were more powerful, our planet had. We then see the Narrator had gone properly nuts for a few days after the overthrow was known to the world and taken in by a kindly family who watched after him until he’d regained some sense. The family lets him know what happened to Leatherhead after he’d left it and after four more days of recovery leaves the family with promises of returning after he eased his mind of seeing what had become of his old life and home. On his way back he had bought a paper claiming it was found out how the Martians had learned to fly. He continues on his journey back, going by train and then recognizing his home was as he and the artilleryman had left it, but then once he believed he was alone, he saw his wife and cousin outside.

He concludes by mentioning his belief the Martians not necessarily planning a second attack being out of the question and should be prepared. It was one of the oddest and scientifically intellectual representations of alien invasion I’ve read so far. As for the Orson Welles version, it’s definitely in a league of it’s own, taking the best bits of the story and changing little for American sensibilities. I can imagine people being totally fooled by this if they hadn’t read the story, which seems likely with those who listened to their radios at this time, but I would doubt it’s realism if I was made to believe this was happening on the radio, of course there are now ways of verifying this sort of information, but for arguments sake, it is far-fetched, regardless of the amount of times they let people know of it’s fictional representation due to being too caught up with the dread of its possibility to wait and hear the intermission and mention of it being a story. The second representation taking place this time in Buffalo, New York seemed as far-fetched, but scared the bejesus out of everyone again, ha-ha. I’ll be interested in seeing how Wells’ writing developed due to next beginning The Time Machine.

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

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Dahl brings the story right where Chocolate Factory ends. With Wonka’s elevator, I’m reminded of The Doctor without the time-travel bit, due to the elevator being able to inexplicably hold a bed with the other three grandparents still in it. I can also understand why people say this one is so hard to get through and is much darker than “factory”. Well I don’t believe it’s necessarily more serious, as the same amount, it’s how one goes into this second story thinking one will be following Charlie just as closely; not so, dear readers!

A close look at the President and the conspiracies his handlers get him to believe are gone through. For instance, the President is informed the group in the elevator are trying to bomb the President’s new Space Hotel, because he was the first to get one made; all a ruse, of course. It’s also quite goofy with its play on names and words, which is why the younger generation might find more amusement out of its bizarre story-line. Although it does take a turn for the “old-timey” racist sense of humor due to the common stereotypes. Once I began to understand the humor, it became much easier getting fascinated by where the story would lead. Wonka is as crazy as ever.

It has a fantastical element similar to The Little Prince, except this doesn’t have the same fairy tale quality the latter has. They even “run in to” an alien, which turns into a strange sort of invasion, for the one, was not alone. Once they escape by going back to the Chocolate Factory, Wonka puts it into his head to somehow get Charlie’s other grandparents out of bed. An introduction to another Wonka invention is shown which is the same idea as the fountain of youth, the “horrors” of the debacle being more gruesome if it included the updated medical knowledge society has accrued, and if it weren’t aimed at the kiddies. Which is also unfortunately why there isn’t a big pay off with one of the Oompa Loompa songs which would have been totally vulgar and hilarious if made today. When Charlie’s grandparents getting a taste of mischief with the fountain-of-youth-like Wonka product, it’s a reminder of the second elevator’s possible collision with the first, again.

Whilst dealing with one of the grandparents getting “subtracted”, Charlie and Wonka go to Minusland to fetch her. It’s almost a purgatory sort of situation where mathematics is a torture device. (Then there’s a scene near the end which reminds me of Charlie at school with his teacher and he’s helping him put in a chemistry experiment with drops of liquid.) It ends with a fizzle though when Charlie, Wonka and the gang get invitations to the White House and Charlie makes another obvious suggestion and closes with them all on their way to shop for clothes and then on to the White House! Funny and dated. For my review of, The Twits.