Jack Swagger Of Mars
The speeder bike ride back to the U.S.S. Rhadamanthus was long and treacherous, fraught with peril. From the back of the swiftly skipping vessel, Jack Swagger of Earth saw many things his eyes had never dreamed of … the dark edges of the Martian forest giving way to spectacular plains of pink, the nests and caves of unimaginable creatures, the hovering, blue orb of a distant Earth seeming as insignificant to him now as the farthest, dimmest star. He also saw a part of Kaa’orri’s butt crack, because when you ride on a speeder bike your pants kinda ride down, and he was right there.
For two days they rode, stopping only to fill their stomachs to empty. When the gas tank of the bike did the same, Jack Swagger and Kaa’orri found themselves puttering to a halt at the bottom of a large hill.
“So … that’s it, I guess,” Kaa’orri grumbled, easing the bike onto its side.
“Thath okay,” Jack smiled.
“What’re you so happy about?” the beautiful Martian asked.
Jack Swagger held his arms out to his side and ran around Kaa’orri in circles before racing up the hill, leaving deep footprints in the pink expanse. Reluctantly Kaa’orri followed him up. When she reached to top of the hill, the sight of the Rhadamanthus shocked her. It was a real space ship, commandeered by this strange Earthling, strong enough to make a trip that so few could make. And here he was, Frankenstein walking toward it like a child. She smiled a small smile, against her will.
“How do you HAVE this?” she shouted down to Jack.
“Oh I work for dub-dub-ee,” he answered. “WE got all KINDS a thtuff in our prop department. I think this was thapposed to be Max MOON’s for a WrestleMania entranth, but that never happened. Or wath it the Tekno Team 2000? Nah, they were time travelers. I mean, I don’t THINK the ship travelth time…”
Jack was rambling, lost in the moment, excited to not only be alive, but to be back in the place he’d called home since his Extended Time Off from work. Kaa’orri turned her feet and slid down to the base of the hill, in the shadow of the starman’s steel machine. She began to walk forward, but Jack stopped her with a hand.
With that, Jack jogged into the ship, disappearing. Kaa’orri sat down in “Indian style,” which the people of Mars referred to as “criss-cross MarsApplesauce,” and waited. For 20 minutes she waited, staring up at the odd, flat, grey, rectangular panel on the front of the ship. Exhausted and starved from the journey, she laid back in the sands, resting her hands behind her head.
Without warning, she saw a pristine, brown and white speeder bike zip over head, missing the tip of her nose by inches.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING,” she said, jumping to her feet, pulling her blaster from her hip. Her anger was quickly replaced by surprise as she turned to see Jack Swagger of Earth piloting the most beautiful device she’d ever seen.
“Ith the THWAGGER SOARING EAGLE!” Jack said, smiling a toothy smile.
“What in …” Kaa’orri stumbled over her words. “Why didn’t you take this out to begin with?”
“I juth went out exthploring,” Jack assured her. “I didn’t think I’d be out for long. I got lotht!”
Jack stepped off of the bike and allowed her a moment to check it out. There was so much about the technology she couldn’t understand. “It must be from the future,” she thought. “From the year 2000, maybe.” It is important to note that Martian calendars are way different from ours. The two shared a glance and a smile, but it was quickly interrupted by the sound of a stone clanging against the side of the Rhadamanthus. Jack and Kaa’orri turned to see two hulking Martians wearing black masks and monochrome striped shirts.
“Mars bandits!” Kaa’orri screamed.
Before they knew what had hit them, the Mars bandits attacked. The smaller bandit tackled Kaa’orri to the ground, knocking her blaster into the sand. The larger man took on Jack, who quickly countered by moving out of the way and slamming the bandit’s head into the side of the Swagger Soaring Eagle ten times, counting in his head.
“You tricked me!” Kaa’orri shouted. “I trusted you, and you almost got me killed, and now you brought me here to rob me!”
“I didn’t do ANYthing!” Jack demanded. “I don’t know who these guyth ARE! Or… WHAT they are!”
He didn’t know who they were, but he was determined to stop them. He ran at the larger bandit as fast as he could and dove in for a shoulderblock to the stomach. Unfortunately for Jack, the bandit moved, and Jack went shoulder-first into the post. Uh, of the Swagger Soaring Eagle. He was hurting, but he saw the bandit’s clothesline attempt coming, ducking it expertly. From there, he transitioned into the Swagger Bomb, leaving a giant Mars Bandit-shaped angel in the Martian sands on impact. At the same time, Kaa’orri tossed the smaller bandit over the speeder bike with a clothesline of her own. In a quick motion, she kicked the blaster up from the ground, caught it, and spun to place it barrel-first in the chest of Jack Swagger.
Just then, the grey, rectangular display on the front of Jack’s ship came to life.
“NOW HOLE ON A MINNET, PLAYA,” the figure on the screen announced.
“What is that??” Kaa’orri’s voice trembled. “Is he some kind of … peanut monster?”
“Ugh,” Swagger said, his head in his palm. “You don’t wanna know.”
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