The Big Bhang #1: The Master & The Streak
The Big Bhang #2: Global Legalization & The Human War Machine
The Big Bhang #3: The Lill & The Backstory of the Backstory
The Big Bhang #4: Make Joints, Not War
5. Gadrians Go Gananas & Aliens Get Down
“Welcome, Mr. Jackson,” Chancellor Adimo said, shaking Forjay’s hand. “Please, have a seat. We have much to talk about.”
“Like I said to Ms. Templeton on the comm, there’s really not much to tell,” Forjay insisted after sitting down.
“Well,” Adimo said, “as Ms. Templeton said, it simply cannot be that simple.”
“Chancellor,” Forjay asked, leaning forward, “have you ever partaken?”
Chancellor Adimo looked around the room. Twenty generals or admirals or commanders, all with so many ribbons on their chests they looked like weird jungle birds in the midst of a mating ritual, glared down the length of the massive conference table at their leader. Almost as one, their heads had swiveled from Forjay to the chancellor, the tone of their scowls never budging from severely angry. One looked like he might literally explode if he didn’t get a chance to yell at the hippie sitting at the end of the conference table.
Adimo shrugged and gave Forjay, and the twenty generals, a sheepish grin. “I was a bit of a partier back in my college days.”
Forjay nodded as if he’d figured as much. “So then you can see that it was just that easy.” Forjay rose from his chair. “If there’s nothing else, I’ve got to get back to work.”
General Volcano finally did explode. “Sit your sorry, stinking, hippie ass back in that chair, son!”
Forjay was too far from the general to read his name tag, but decided General Volcano was a pretty good name. It was better than General Asshat, which was the nickname Forjay had given hulking general next him.
“Uh, General Volcano, no offense, but I don’t take orders from you.” Forjay stepped back from the table and turned to leave, only to find two even more hulking Marines blocking his way.
“You better listen good, you slimy little shit,” General Volcano yelled from the other end of the table. “Now sit your ass down before those two Marines fold you in half backwards and make you kiss your own ass!”
Forjay frowned at the two Marines, but decided to sit down. He’d led a life of peaceful passivity, and doubted he’d be allowed to fire up a joint to dull the pain of a rifle butt in the face or guts if he didn’t do as the sawed-off little guy near the chancellor commanded.
“Do you have any idea of how much trouble you’re in?” the general continued after Forjay was seated. “You’ve put the war effort in jeopardy! What you did was stupid, dangerous, and I’m sure it was quite illegal as well.”
“There’s nothing illegal about sharing a bowl with a friend,” Forjay said. “And there’s definitely nothing illegal about sharing weed with my alien friends.”
“So you and these Gadrians are best friends forever now?” General Mustache asked, the frown on his face almost comical.
“I wouldn’t say we were best pals, but the little guys were pretty goddamn funny. Here, I got some vids on my comm.” Forjay began to call up some of the videos he’d recorded of the piggies trying to imitate humans, but General Squinty-Eye interrupted him.
“We don’t need to see any of your traitorous HoloTube videos. What we need is for you to tell us exactly how you defeated the Gadrians.”
“Wait,” Forjay said. “I’m a traitor for defeating one of the aliens we are at war with?”
“How did you defeat them?” General Volcano screamed from his end of the table.
The generals on either side of him scooted their chairs away from the man, afraid, like Forjay was, that the little guy was going to explode and cover everyone with whatever he was made of. Forjay made the mistake of thinking General Volcano might be made of confetti, and the image that popped into his head caused him to burst out laughing.
“You think this is funny, you piece of shit aaaaaAAAARRRR!”
The soft sound of twenty chairs rolling across thick carpet was lost in the scream of rage that erupted from General Volcano as he bounded out of his chair and onto the table, running straight for Forjay. The first few hands that tried to grab the general were unable to find purchase on the man’s short legs, but by the time he’d made it halfway down the conference table, the other generals had wrestled him down.
Ten minutes later, after everyone was properly calmed down, other than the stubby general, who had to be removed from the room by the hulking Marines, Chancellor Adimo resumed the questioning.
“I apologize, Mr. Jackson. You understand how it is with short men, I’m sure.”
Forjay nodded. At almost two meters in height, he’d had to deal with “short man syndrome” his whole life from aggressive little men or aggressive men with small penises.
“However,” Adimo continued, “we really need you to tell us how you caused the Gadrians to collapse into civil war.”
“The honest truth, Chancellor, is that I smoked some bomb-ass weed with them, then sent them home with the few joints I had with me. If I’d have known they were down, then I would have taken more with me.”
“What kind of weed was it?” General Blinky asked.
Forjay turned to him and found he was mesmerized by the involuntary tick the general had that made his left eye blink every three seconds. He didn’t answer for a full fifteen seconds, silently confirming five blinks in that span, but deciding to not laugh or even smile this time.
“It was weed. Some shit I call ‘Space Ace’ and ‘Feels Like Dying.’”
“What was so special about it?” General Schnoz asked. Forjay wondered how the man could see around the huge nose that took up the middle of his face.
“I grew it?” Forjay asked in reply. When the twenty generals gave him their most severe scowls, he sighed. “Look, dudes, it was weed. Shit I grew on my farm in Oregon. It’s not really special beyond the fact that it will fuck you up pretty good after one or two rips.”
“How did you know it would drive the Gadrians mad?” Chancellor Adimo asked.
“Because it gets me high.”
“No,” Adimo said, his frown surfacing, but light years behind the death-stares the generals were giving Forjay. “I mean, how did you know it would cause such chaos when they went home?”
“Oh, that,” Forjay said, rubbing his chin. “I didn’t know they’d be having orgies in the streets or killing each other over it. I mean, these two strains are pretty killer, but nothing to murder anyone over. Besides, Skronk and his boys acted just like humans do when high. They’re just as stupid, just as annoying, and just as funny as any other stoner. But they’re really cute, if you imagine them looking like little Earth piglets.”
“Those cute little piggies have murdered millions of human beings,” Admiral Beard growled from somewhere within the metropolis of facial hair covering his cheeks.
“Well…” Forjay said. “You kinda did just start shooting at them.”
“Son,” General Blinky said with a huff, “which side are you on?”
“Hey, man, it’s cool. I’m all for Earth and humans and shit. Rah-rah go team and all that.”
“So we’re to believe,” Commander Dagger-Chin rumbled, “that if we’d just sat down with them and smoked marijuana, we would have never gone to war?”
“When you say it like that, you’d probably have still gone to war,” Forjay said with a frown. The men in this room, other than maybe Chancellor Adimo, were not cool. “They’d know you guys were narcs. No one says ‘smoked marijuana’ unless they’re a narc or the parent of a teenager, and none of you look like any of your children lived to that period of their lives.”
“You liberal, tree-hugging, granola-eating, Seattle-living, energy-conserving bastard,” General Rage screamed, pounding his fists on the hempwood conference table. “You better screw your head on straight of you’ll be rotting in a prison dungeon until the end of time!”
“According to GANJA,” Forjay said, unperturbed at the general’s tirade, “I’d only be in that dungeon for about two more months.” Forjay stood again. “So, once more, gentlemen, if you don’t mind, I’d like to live out the final two months of my life getting high and listening to my favorite tunes since you’re all too fucking stupid to understand that if you’d just sit down and break up a bud with a guy, he’ll be your friend instead of someone you toss nukes at so they don’t eat your women and children when they invade.”
This time, no one moved to stop him after his mini-rant. One of the hulking marines shot him a grin as he walked through the doorway. The sounds of military brass arguing and carrying on in heated voices faded as he rounded another corner. Forjay had no idea where to go, or even where he was. He assumed he was in New York City, at the U.N. building, but for all he knew, he could be a thousand miles below a swamp on a backwater planet.
Forjay turned around to see Marianna Templeton walking toward him, the click of her too-high heels almost as hypnotizing as the exaggerated swing of her hips.
“Yeah,” he answered, looking a little sheepish after she’d caught him starting too long at her legs. “You’re not here to try and seduce me or pump me for more information, are you?”
“Oh, this,” she said with a frown, looking down at her skin-tight skirt. “I wear this sausage suit so the boys just nod their heads and sign whatever papers I put under their pens.”
Forjay chuckled, understanding exactly why the generals didn’t bother to look at what they were putting their name to. He got caught once again looking too long at her legs and hips.
“Uh, isn’t that… I don’t know, unethical?” he asked, making sure his eyes met hers.
“What’s unethical is that until I and the other girls started dressing like Wall Street prostitutes, nothing ever got done around here that didn’t involve invading a planet or approving a new battleship being built.”
“I see,” Forjay said, grinning at her. “Am I in an underwater prison in the Outer Rim?
“No, you’re in New York.”
“Great. There’s a place called Giardino’s near the U.N. building. If you aren’t sexually harassing any generals’ eyes for a bit, that is.”
Before she could answer, a huffing, puffing Chancellor Adimo jogged up to them. He opened his mouth to say something, then bent over, hands on knees, and took a deep breath. After a few seconds, he stood upright again.
“Good,” he said. “You’re both here. Let’s go get lunch.”
“Aren’t you supposed to be in your meeting?” Forjay asked.
“Those guys… they’re brawling right now. Half want to go to war with you, the other half want to invade the Gadrian homeworlds and exterminate them while they’re freaking out, and somehow, another half wants to buy or grow a trillion tons of weed and pass it out to the other GU races.” He laughed. “One even kept going on about how we would rule the galaxy if we just gave them all your super-weed.”
They began walking toward the elevator.
“So, Mr. Jackson,” Marianna said. “How did you really defeat the Gadrians?”
“I’ll tell you when we get to street level,” Forjay said with a grin.
He refused to say another word until they stepped out through a side door and onto a busy side street. Forjay looked around, then propped his back against the building and pulled out a joint.
“Mr. Jackson, I’m afraid I do not partake,” Ms. Templeton said.
They way she’d said it made Forjay think he might have pulled a dog turd from his pocket. When he glanced down and saw that it was indeed a joint of “Hybrid Gigglebox,” he smiled and put it to his lips.
“Aw, Marianne, lighten up,” Adimo said before Forjay could say almost the exact same thing. They looked at the chancellor in surprise. “What? It might do you some good is all I’m saying. Maybe it will get you to stop wearing those damn tight skirts, and we could finally get something done around here.”
Marianna sighed and waited for Forjay the light the doobie. She didn’t feel like explaining to her boss for the twentieth time the reason she wore such scandalous clothing. She harumphed at Forjay, impatiently waiting for him to pass the bomber on.
Half an hour later, two NYPD officers nearly commanded their drug dog to attack the three hippies rolling on the sidewalk who were almost having seizures from laughing so hard, snot and tears and drool coating all three faces. Luckily for the hippies, Officer Barnes recognized the Chancellor of Earth just seconds before he was going to open the door to the police cruiser and let Mr. Fang bite on one or more crotches.
The chancellor and his secretary were helped up from the ground, but when they were handed towels to clean the goop off their face, all they could do was pretend to make different hats or facial hair styles with the towels, and ended up falling down and rolling around with Forjay again. Officer Barnes and his partner gave up and moved on. Mr. Fang drooled and barked through the cruiser’s windows at the three crotches fading in the distance that he wouldn’t get to bite.
A few hours later, the trio began to sober up. Forjay realized they were in the middle of a strange peep show in New Times Square, which had been built just across the river in Jersey. Old Times Square was now a ghost town since all of the entertainment had been forced to the newer location.
“I got it,” Chancellor Adimo mumbled from the floor, where he lay on his side.
“Got what?” Marianna asked, making a gagging sound when she saw her boss was on the floor of the peepshow theater.
“How that one guy beat the alien dudes.”
“Sir,” she asked, “do you mean Mr. Jackson and the Gadrians?”
“Yeah, sure, those guys,” he said, a fifteen second giggling fit infecting him again, making his secretary and Forjay begin giggling as well.
“So, you’re thinking of just sending bales of weed to the Gadrian homeworlds?” Forjay asked. “As a peace offering, maybe?”
“While I would love to,” Chancellor Adimo said, sounding very sober finally, and quite disturbed that he’d been rolling around on the floor of an adult theater, “we can’t.”
“Why not?” Marianna asked.
“It’s the Gadrians’ gig, not ours. We’ve done our part, even though I’m sure Forjay didn’t mean to cause a civil war.”
“So…” Forjay said, disappointment evident in his voice. “You’ll pull our forces from the Gadrian front and send them to the other fronts?”
“No,” Adimo said. “We’ve only got two months to live. It would take two months just to move a battle group into position. No, our next course of action is to go before the Galactic Union and present our case with the Gadrians standing by our side. Assuming that the Gadrians can get their shit together and stop screwing and fighting long enough to restore some order.”
“What are we going to say?” Marianna asked. “That we’re worthy of being allowed to exist because we got a bunch of enemy aliens so high they forgot they were at war with us and went to war with themselves?”
“We’re going to say that whatever substance Forjay presented to the Gadrians was powerful enough to make an entire civilization practically crumble overnight.”
“A threat, then?” Forjay asked, not sure where the chancellor was going with his plan.
“No, no, nothing like that. That probably wouldn’t work anyway. I mean, they’re kinda ready to wipe us all out because of all the threats we’ve already made. And turned into promises a few times.” He didn’t like the looks the other two gave him. “Okay, a lot of times.”
“So what’s the big plan, then?” Marianna asked.
“Check it out,” the chancellor said. “While we’re praying to whatever gods we believe in that the Gadrians come to their senses before our final two months runs out so they can be present at our trial, you and Forjay are going to travel to Harmony-V, where all the different alien races live and do business in a central location, and turn on everyone and anyone to some high-grade dope. We’ll find as many aliens as possible that are affected by it, hopefully a little less than the piggies are, and convince them to tell the GU to give us maybe another year, hell, even another month or two.”
“So,” Marianna asked, wondering if the plan sounded like the babblings of a stoned human to Forjay’s ears as well. “We’ll go to the capitol on Harmony-V and wander around the city trying to get as many aliens high as possible?”
“Yes. Oh, and get me some of those Tyx candies I love. The ones with the glowing insects trapped in sweet ectoplasm. Soooo good!”