The sense of despondency was palpable. The air was thick with the stench of failure. And the gastrointestinal passings of Luster of course. Firth lay sprawled on the control couch, contemplating the gently snoring human.
Starth squatted near Luster and poked him again with the long carbon pole he’d found in the emergency locker. As before, no response. “What now?”
Firth stared at him in growing anger. “How the hell would I know? This was all your idea. You think of something and do it quick. I can’t stand this smell.”
Starth poked again. “I’m thinking, I’m thinking. Don’t rush me.” Poke. Poke.
Suddenly, the human stirred and moaned. Starth screamed, dropped his poker and scrambled behind Firth’s couch. Firth snickered. “Don’t drop a load there Starth, smells bad enough in here already.”
Starth straightened and brushed away an imaginary speck of dust. “Screw you. I wasn’t scared, just startled a little.” He never took his eyes off the now quiescent human. “At least we know he’s still alive.”
Firth’s humor vanished as rapidly as it had occurred. “Oh he’s still alive alright but the main question still remains. What do we do now? Let’s brain ray this guy, dump him and go home. I’m sick of this planet and even sicker of you”
“Well, one thing’s for sure”, Starth quietly muttered, “We’re definitely not scoring off this guy.”
Starth grunted as he shifted the bulky device into place. In spite of miniaturization, the machine, an Axon Memory Beam, “Guaranteed Tumor Free Or Your Money Back!” was nearly as heavy as he. “How about a little help here?”
Firth didn’t even glance his way. He stood near Luster, the carbon rod in his hands, poised to strike, run or faint. As the situation called for. “Screw you Starth. I’m not taking my eyes off this guy.”
“I’m not taking my eyes off this guy” Starth mocked. “He’s been out for ages. What’s he gonna do? Suddenly come back to life, go on a rampage and kill us both? Please. I’m going to zap this guy, send him back down to his vehicle and then you and I are gonna find a new pigeon and score.”
Firth felt a spike of anger. He turned on his friend, the carbon rod clenched in a bony, gray fist. “Score?” he screamed. “Score? Just shut up Starth. This is all your fault. It’s your fault I’m here, watching a human lie comatose on the floor, his every body emanation more vile than the last. It’s your fault we missed the opportunity to score with a UFO groupie. It’s your fault that Deputy Sheriff took a pot shot at us. It’s your fault this maniac may wake up at any moment and rip us limb from limb. Everything is your fault. Now please be so kind as to shut the hell up, bring that thing here and let’s just get this done and leave.”
Starth was silent for only moments. “Pussy.”
Firth started a retort that stopped as he saw his friend’s eyes go big, his mouth framing a silent scream. Then he heard a voice coming from directly behind him.
“Whut the hailfire’s a goin’ on here?”
Firth screamed. Starth screamed and everything went black.