Gateway to the Galaxy
“It damaged the gateway drive.”
That much was obvious. If the chair being completely dark didn’t give it away, the curl of smoke rising from it might’ve been a clue.
“You think?” Ir-a-tuan’s weight leaving it didn’t bring the gadget back to life, although it did clarify that it wasn’t the chair smoking. “Shit! My ass is on fire!”
Kind of a shame. Ir-a-tuan’s species runs to fur, and the smell was more than the enviro filters wanted to cope with. Hard to blame them on that. While he put out his fire, it seemed like time to find out where we were about to land. Gravity’s nasty shit. That thought was too good not to share.
“Hey, gravity gets everyone down.”
Ir-a-tuan stared at me, the morose expression bifurcated by a single curl of smoke. Apparently his sense of humour was suffering from the stress. “Do they have gateway?”
“G-A-T-E-W-A-Y.” Amazingly, the computer displayed a lot of entries. “Ir-a-tuan! They do!” The computer was doing its thing, picking up information from local sources, and a picture of the globe zoomed in. “We need to land here. They use something for gateways called Mary Jane. The best Mary Jane on the planet comes from a place called Texada.”
“Calculating,” the computer said. “Destination: Texada, locality: British Columbia.”
The landing was smooth, and then the ship shuddered.
“They are shooting us up!” Ir-a-tuan’s language skills were letting him down. The computer clearly showed a welcome wagon, jammed up against the landing gear. Its nose was an interesting fractal shape. It didn’t look very threatening.
“It’s just the locals, welcoming us.” At least they hadn’t blocked the ramp, and unlike the gateway drive, that still worked. Ir-a-tuan looked doubtful, but I was too desperate to get away from the singed ass-fur.
“Greetings! We need Mary Jane!”
The two males at the end of the ramp were staring. They were also unnecessarily tall. The computer angle hadn’t been quite accurate.
“Dude,” one of them finally said. “Dude, did the UFO-guy just ask us for Mary Jane? Aren’t they supposed to, I dunno, probe us, or ask to see our leader, or something?”
The computer fed a suggestion to my headset, and I spread my arms. “Dudes! Take me to your dealer!”