Mike’s Final Frontier

This is my favourite short story which I have written so far. It is from 2010 and apparently I had a test the next day, so naturally I wrote a story instead. It was originally simply called The Final Frontier, which of course is not very imaginative, so I have changed it to another title which is really no more imaginative, but at least it is probably original.


Mike’s Final Frontier

Mike was travelling at a speed he had never experienced before, yet he didn’t know it. He sped past thousands of planets and stars of every imaginable size and colour, well, imaginable if you happen to be an astronomer, yet he did not admire a single one and was distinctly not struck by awe. Mike had never seen or experienced anything like it and never would. It wasn’t until he crash landed on an unsuspecting planet that he started being able to experience things again. Mike’s first experience of the whole adventure was not unlike waking up with a hangover after one of those typical nights which leaves you waking up in a pill-shaped space craft on the face of a strange planet with shiny blue plant-like things. Mike’s first thought was to have a drink, get some fresh air and if possible, a fry-up.

For the planet the experience was nothing new, in fact, it barely noticed. When you are a planet you don’t suspect much will happen except the odd meteor bombardment, which is the equivalent of a bout of chronic diarrhoea in us human types. Being hit by a space craft is like breaking wind unexpectedly but with no dog to blame it on. The planet did not know that the meteor-like object hitting it today contained a man; there isn’t a lot of knowing in this story. It is fortunate that the planet did not know that Mike was currently relieving himself on some of the shiny blue plants as planets don’t tend to develop perverse fetishes involving urine (if you happen to be into that then good for you, I will try to call other groups perverse in future instead).

After he had finished watering the strange plants, Mike decided to check the manual he had been given during his briefing in hope that it would help him locate his lunch-box.  The only thing he had remembered about the briefing was that he had to first figure out what sort of planet he was on. According to the manual the shiny blue plants meant that he was orbiting a type F star. This meant nothing to Mike, but then this whole escapade meant nothing to Mike. He had simply read an ad in the paper about sending explorers out into space to find things. Mike didn’t know what he was looking for really or even why; something about the Earth becoming hostile to human life and other planets being searched for, nonsense like that really.

The company had become increasingly desperate and started hiring any old person who stumbled in for an interview. Mike certainly had stumbled in as he was drunk at the time and decided he wanted to make some extra money, oblivious to the fact that they wanted unpaid volunteers. After he urinated in the office plant pot, perhaps a sign of things to come, he signed his papers and off he went, once he had sobered up of course.

Words like “cryostasis” meant nothing to Mike, who assumed that he was taking part in some sort of intergalactic drugs trial, except that words like “intergalactic” mean nothing to Mike who probably assumed very little, except for the pay-cheque he could never receive. Somehow Mike kept imagining his non-existent reward despite the distinct lack of shops in which to spend his money. There wasn’t even a simple market stall, though he could keep it in mind to invest in shares in shiny blue plants for there were a lot of those here, if only he were ever to return to Earth.

Back on Earth Mike was nothing special, certainly not the ideal candidate for being ambassador to the whole planet, yet by a twist of fate or for God’s entertainment he landed in that position. His landing on the planet was more of a skid than the graceful glide the craft was programmed for, but of course the previous use of the word landed was not literal. Mike’s daily life consisted of drinking large quantities of bitter, shouting at the television when he disagreed with things being said, eating food cooked by other people and occasionally seeking out jobs with little commitment. The only differences were that the order seemed to be due to complete random chance, or at least anyone unfamiliar with scientific definitions of random might call it that. His cat at least could not figure out his pattern, though cats never were very good at maths; politics are where cats are most at home.

Mike resembled a skinny man who had eaten an inflatable chair and allowed it to blow up in his stomach, perhaps through all the shouting he does at the television, which would allow the air to get in whenever he took a deep breath in preparation for another pointless diatribe. His hair was rarely washed and was going grey in places, his face unshaven, and his glasses were constantly steamed. Currently his glasses were pointing upwards at a flag he had just erected, though really it was just a towel he had tied to a metal pole that had broken off of the ship. Mike didn’t know what the pole did and in typical Mike fashion he did not care one jot. This planet was now his, though he didn’t bother giving it a name. He always planned on letting his wife name things like children and random planets, but never having married puts a stop to that plan. Mike was always perplexed about why nobody wanted to marry him, perhaps he could find a lovely alien wife here who could name the planet, he wondered. While she was at it she could even name his cat.

Mike’s day on this strange new world involved urinating on more shiny blue plants, shouting at the type F star, eating his food storage supplies which sadly contained no fry-up, and seeking shelter. His exploration did not take him far, nor did he observe much. He was not perturbed by the lack of animal life in his vicinity and eventually went back to sleep in the comfort of the spaceship.

As he slept, his snores carried for miles. The planet he was on was rather large and lacked mountains, so everything with eyes for miles around had seen his skid landing. It just so happened that something with eyes was watching him closely, though it may have been using other senses too. If they possessed noses they would probably have gotten as far away from Mike as possible; the food supplies appeared to have been disagreeing with his stomach. Instead, the as yet undescribed creatures dragged the space ship back to their living area and waited for Mike to wake up.

At one point in the middle of the night Mike leapt up sharply, ran over to a tree, relieved himself all over it, mumbled something inaudibly, and then returned to his snoring in the craft. The creatures observing never did find out what this strange behaviour was. When Mike awoke very early the next afternoon he was welcomed by some strange looking creatures with strange food. Ordinarily this would be a very unusual experience and one would feel a mixture of fear and excitement as well as harbouring a plethora of questions. Not for Mike. He tucked in to the strange grub and barely said a word until he had finished. Those first words were “do you do beer?” followed by a rather loud burp.

By one of those often unexplained science fiction coincidences Mike had landed on the only other planet where English is spoken, not only that, but it is also spoken with English accents. Mike figured that these alien creatures must have come from somewhere near Manchester. He met with the tribe leaders and explained how he got there, a story which should not have taken long, but Mike had to embellish it a bit.

“After I was elected president of Earth” Mike declared, “I decided that I wanted to spread peace and knowledge through the universe.” He went on to state unequivocally that these alien civilians were obviously inferior in the peace department and that they could do with a splash of his wisdom, if not a whole bath in it. In perfect Mancunian tones the tribe head approved of this statement and put Mike in a position of power. Mouldy Mike, as the pub landlord used to call him, had practically become a god amongst the undescribed alien species on the unnamed planet. If only his future wife could see him now, she would probably cook him a steak. Gods deserve steak on their first day at work.

Over the coming months Mike went about reorganising the primitive society. Mike knew that he hated communism, but as he did not know what communism was he decided not to mention it in case it gave anyone ideas. He promptly declared all aliens equal and wondered what to call this system, eventually deciding to leave it up to his future wife. He increased the manufacture of beer, which to Mike was a boom in the economy. Previously everyone had been farmers but now they had brewers, doubling job opportunities. He also sent out explorers in search of wild beasts to house in a zoo; Mike had always loved zoos as a child. Most of the explorers brought back more shiny blue plants, which Mike was tempted to use as currency in order to get rich quick.

Mike’s evenings were spent surrounded by avid listeners, an audience full of open minds eagerly waiting to be filled with Mike’s unique wisdom. Mike boomed, “A wise man once said, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

“Was that wise man you sir?” piped up a young Mancunian voice.

“Of course,” Mike responded unashamedly, “I also declare that we should turn the other cheek.”

“But don’t they contradict?” another Mancunian voice chimed in.

With a response that would make his cat proud, Mike said, “Such questions demonstrate that you are only young and cannot comprehend true wisdom.” Mike immediately felt justified by all his time shouting at politicians on the television and changed the subject with haste. “Never trust the French!” he continued.

“What’s a French?” asked one plucky young alien with an odd quiff.

“A person who does not know how to queue properly!” barked Mike, quite taken aback but still in relatively high spirits, an unsurprising fact considering the amount of whiskey he had consumed.

“What’s a queue?” asked yet another oddly quiffed and undescribed Mancunian-sounding alien.

“Something the English do particularly well.” said Mike in a very proud manner.

“What’s an English?” said another, though it was possibly the same one as Mike could never tell the difference, even between the blue and yellow ones.

Exasperated, Mike responded, “Someone from England, the most glorious, wonderful and modest nation ever!” Not a bad response considering he had used almost all the adjectives he knew.

“Where is England?” said one alien, but Mike did not see which one. This response infuriated him so much that he left them and stormed off into the night, cursing about how ignorant they were and ranting about the French.

Nobody ever saw Mike again. By the time he had reached the planet he was the last of the human race. The strange Mancunian aliens awaited his return until they got fed up of waiting and turned to another source of wisdom in the form of a strange little beetle called Fred. Fred had somehow gotten inside Mike’s spacecraft and flown across the galaxy with him. Coincidentally, also in an inexplicable manner, the aliens spoke fluent beetle too, though this time in an Indian accent. The beetle did away with all of Mike’s changes to alien society and set about trying to find a way to return to Earth to sell shiny blue plants.

Mike has not been forgotten amongst these alien peoples. Thanks to Fred he will always be remembered as the bringer of beer, and no planet is complete without its share of drunkards.


One response to “Mike’s Final Frontier

  1. Pingback: Favourites List « Shorts and Socks

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