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The Sadie Hawkins 7/20/2019 11:50am
Since we’ve begun letting Hettie smell the mail, our destinations have taken on a more familiar flavor. Rickety painted ladies on craggy outcroppings under a full moon. Mid-century moderns in desserts. Rooftops of aging apartment buildings in limitless cities.
Our transactions have become more mundane as well. @Billy Nails has lent me a messenger’s cap to avoid confounding stares as recipients open their doors to this ex-cat burglar airship waif and her giant Fire Breathing Plasma Moth. “Special delivery!” I say in my sweetest sing-song voice. Our delivery fees are starting to add up.
The only one who’s grumpy is the old toothless hag. She searches through my bag for new silver envelopes then hisses and spits when she finds nothing new.
There’s a mean look in her eye, but I feel sorry for her.
“Hrrrrrrroooom?” Hettie agrees.
The Sadie Hawkins 4/22/2019 9:43pm
Hettie's sonic blasts are hyper-directional--super focused straight out of her mouth--which means they don't hurt your ears at all if you're riding her. You don't want to have one pointed at you though.
Similarly, the puff of purple plasma that accompanies each one adds to the dimensional tearing effect, but the little bit that blows back on you is barely enough to singe your eyebrows.
It's unclear how our targeting works. What prevents us from slicing a hole in our universe and ending up in a sun's nuclear core? Or the bottom of an ocean of methane? The worst we've encountered is a bit of a gale. Hettie must have some sense of what's beyond as we flitter from dimension to dimension, dropping off mail and picking it up. How does she even know where these letters are addressed to? It's almost as if it doesn't matter, like we're just scattering some kind of informational pollen throughout the neighboring universes. Rocky spires floating between moons, mushrooms the size of mountains. We find eager recipients wherever we go, flagging us down, going through our saddle bags for the silver-inscribed envelopes and replacing them with their own.
Back on board the Sadie Hawkins, the toothless hag pours through the bags and cackles.
The Sadie Hawkins 1/18/2019 11:04pm
Wow there sure are a lot of new addresses here!
The homes and buildings sit perched on lumps of land floating in every direction. Occasionally connected by a rainbow bridge or a waterfall, most of the divots stand alone, sprouting grasses and mushrooms and rocky outcroppings. There's usually a clear "top," where things grow, and an "under" of dark roots and dripping stone. Hettie and I swoop between them, avoiding the clouds and rain and sky devils that pass between.
But this certainly isn't Grenderpex. It doesn't even seem to be our universe.
The natives speak a patois of languages, some of which are almost familiar. They shove envelopes into my hands with addresses neatly printed in unknown alphabets--many of them three dimensional. Or at least three dimensions I can see.
Somehow they know I'm a mail deliverer. Or they just have an intense need to communicate with people far away, writing letters to strangers, randomly inventing addresses that must exist in a universal wave function interpretation.
I'm trying to head back the way I came. Hettie's saddle bags are stuffed.
The Sadie Hawkins 10/5/2018 10:06pm
Purple skies over fields of mint. I assume they have seasons here, but the year can be odd on these tiny moons and a winter might ever come--just wispy clouds extending high into the atmosphere, the sister moons so close and visible during the day it’s hard to tell where the sky ends, or even if it does, rolling through and endless summer.
Hettie and I bob and weave around the Sadie Hawkins, honing her skills and mine at flying as a team. It’s all fun and romping as we do loops around the ship, then dive bomb a heard of two-headed gazelles and watch them bound leaping over the fields.
Custom mail delivery to remote destinations takes detective work and perseverance. When there aren’t streets, you’re stuck with “30 degrees windward of the castle shard when the noon-shadow is behind you.” There are universal spatial coordinates as well, but on the barely charted tattered edge of the map, sometimes those coordinates aren’t so universal.
Which is why Hettie and I flew flown ahead, scouting out locations.
Uh oh what's that---?
The Sadie Hawkins 6/16/2018 10:28pm
Heterocera Draconus Ignis Plasmus -- the Fire Breathing Plasma Moth. I do love that fire breathing plasma part. Dragon Moth in the common parlance.
The Dragon Moth emerged from its chrysalis in re-entry. I hung on to its hairy horns and rode it to the surface. Hurtling through the atmosphere, its wings opened and caught fire, then hardened up with their radiation resistant shell. I hung on to its hairy back and barely got my eyebrows singed.
(When I took the chrysalis out the airlock of the Sadie Hawkins, can I deny I wasn't looking for a moth rodeo? Isn't this the very thing that the finest and most talented thief in the Tarantula Nebula would have planned all along? No?)
So we took a few weeks to get to know each other. Hettie (that's what I call her) probably just thinks I'm part of her, since I was attached to her from the first moment she can remember. A giant plasma-breathing space moth who thinks I'm its mommy. She's grown exponentially after emerging from the chrysalis, and now I ride her like an elephant. If an elephant had giant purple wings.
After we got our bearings, Hettie started to get agitated, her radar dish antenna twirling around and barking up a storm. She wanted to go north. We headed off and after awhile, there's The Sadie Hawkins, ambushed in a hollow with ropes and nets. She was facing small army of the planetary mafia, standing up with mortars, ballista, and primitive rail guns.
It seemed a great time to get that Fire Breathing Plasma part going on.
The Sadie Hawkins 3/5/2018 7:25pm
I would have turned myself in. Eventually. Or not.
Oh, I wouldn't have been able to help myself--this crew (and its handsome captain) are just so gosh darn earnest and sincere! How could I not throw in with their lot? They're just brimming with goodness, they can't help but treat you fair and square.
However, since I was sniffed, stowed away, out by an obsessively compulsed boatswain, perhaps they're not treating me as gently as the would have otherwise. The captain (handsome as he may be) seemed pretty honestly... angry, during my interview. That's how I looked at it, anyway. Job Interview. The question was if my job was going to be chained up in some make-shift brig, or to offer my more... professional services.
"Like getting caught stowing away?" he asks. Not yelling as much at this point.
"Consider it youthful hijinks. I was just trying to deliver your mail."
"Yes, the package. A bomb?"
"Frankly I don't know. I didn't open it."
"And yet you smuggled it onto my ship. Planning to deliver it to us eventually? Perhaps leave it with us quietly before escaping in a life balloon?"
"I was considering my options."
"Open the package. Here." He tosses it across the table.
I really don't know what's in the package. Too light to be a bomb, frankly. I'm not an idiot. More likely a stack of fan letters.
I tear at the wrapping. Inside the wrapping, a small box, and inside the box, a bunch of soft cotton.
And in the middle of the cotton, a tiny chrysalis.
"Everyone stay completely silent," the captain whispers.
The Sadie Hawkins 2/15/2018 9:39pm
So I'm in the Rainbow Zone, the most popular milk bar the Uranographia Fields, when a fight breaks out between a pair of star tramps. Bam! Pow! They spilled my milk when they crashed on my table! All pretty normal for the Rainbow Zone. But when they cleared out I noticed there was a neat little package sitting on my chair. "Well THAT wasn't there before!" All tied up with string and in very clear handwriting in black pen: THE SADIE HAWKINS.
Was this package left for me? The tumbling milk twins a mere ruse to put something into my care? Me, the most amazing zero-G cat burglar and pickpocket in the Tarantula Nebula? Or did it really fall out of the dusters of the battling sky pirates? Perhaps it deserves a home in the Lost and Found at the Rainbow Zone? NO! Starry Skye loves a mystery above all else. Dare I open it and discover its contents and keep them to myself? Sell it through my underground network? Dump it in a Murky-Blaster Brand Garbage Incinerator?
Starry Skye may be a thief, but I do not peek into other people's mail. I took it upon myself to deliver this package to its intended recipient, no doubt moored at the docks. But on the way... oh, what complication! It seemed as if every assassin on SN1987A was after Starry Skye. A Rectilian Poison dart here, a Mantabulon Phantom Blaster there... my agility and star-class dance moves were on display all the way to the docks, leaping and pirouetting and diving over hovercars and robot street sweepers and sweet-smelling mushroom carts from Argus 9.
But upon arrival, what's this? A mighty airship bearing the name SADIE HAWKINS just leaving the docks, floating up into the starry night? Its mooring ropes still trailed behind, being slurped up into the mighty ship like spaghetti. And there was Starry Skye, grasping hold of the very last noodle, being slurped up like like an unwanted fly in the soup!