Life on Jud had existed in relatively peaceful harmony for millennia and the Judy represented the very pinnacle of evolution. This made it all the more incomprehensible, as far as Albert was concerned, that his people were capable of messing things up so profoundly.
Technological advancements meant nothing, it seemed. The more the Judy found out about their planet, the more they seemed intent on bringing about its destruction. War was raging almost permanently as Jud’s inhabitants scraped over ever-dwindling resources.
Overcrowding was the key, or so Albert thought, “if we could just find somewhere else to move to, somewhere with excellent parking, then there’d be more to go around,” he argued with his warhorse of a father, President Norman of Jud. “It’s not a plaything to be used up and cast aside.”
“Nonsense my boy,” his father had patronised, “we are the masters of all we survey and it will remain ever such until the sun itself dies. Why can’t you be more like your brother Garth? Sometimes I think your mother and I should have left you behind at the hospital.”
Like a lot of sons Albert thought he knew better. He had ignored his father, and with the help from his brother Garth had sneaked into the Jud Space Academy late one night, stolen a space ship and roared off into the unknown to seek out new and exciting planets, with excellent parking.
Albert dreamed of sailing across the universe finding civilisations that would provide not just excellent parking, but also new ways of thinking and new approaches to life that he could take back to Jud and take back to his father, to prove that maybe there really was a better way. Though dreams, as Albert was starting to find out, didn’t always come true.
He woke with a start, his face being spattered by a stream of lukewarm, rank smelling, swamp water. Blinking and spitting through the shower he quickly understood its source. Albert’s olive green miniature tormentor was laughing so heartily that most of the urine missed its producer’s intended target. This was small consolation for Albert whose rage was instantaneous and all consuming. Fighting back was futile, the bindings that held him down were more secure than before.
Albert very briefly considered the immediate sequence of events that had led to this, his most recent unpleasant incarceration. After escaping from his bindings just as his captor was about to strike, the last few memories that he had, although he couldn’t quite be sure, was getting smacked on the nose by what looked like an egg-timer, then getting kicked in the balls by the olive green goblin, before a small, fur-covered, creature appeared from nowhere, squeaking maniacally, before setting its teeth into his gonads.
Albert had broken through his previous bindings thanks partly to the help of the soldier ants and partly to his body’s natural and huge creation of adrenaline when he thought the goblin was about to kick him in the crackers for a second time. It seemed an unfortunate twist of fate that his bollocks would then, only moments later, lead to his downfall.
But then Albert became aware of something stranger still. Lying on his chest was what appeared to be the small ball of fur that had sunk its teeth into his nuts. Albert could see that it was breathing heavily and rapidly even though its eyes were tight shut.
“Sleeps the Bunny still,” said the goblin upon realising that his prisoner was no longer trying to free himself and was more fascinated with the fur ball on his chest, “less anaesthesia needed for the Bunny. In the heat of the battle, difficult to show restraint it is.”
Albert was confused, to say the least.
“The Bunny knew you not. Nothing that proves. They know not the ways of much else but The Forest and The Sacrifice,” said the goblin.
“You spoke to it,” said Albert, “just before it bit me nuts.”
“Of the Bunnies Harden knows,” said the creature ignoring Albert, “not yet Vimto.”
“Look I don’t know wh..”
BOOF!!! The goblin kicked Albert in the ribs before he could finish.
“Maybe Vimto you are, or maybe not. This proves nothing,” said the interrogator.
“I’m Captain Flash Albert, Jud Space Cadet Extraordinaire. I left Jud in the Year 281071. My mission is to discover new and exciting planets with excellent parking,” pleaded Albert, “I’ve got my Space Cadet licence under the sun visor of my rocket.”
“hmmm, speak you of a landing craft, tell me will you where it is?” demanded the goblin with tangible excitement.
“My craft, well, I don’t know, erm…it’s ”
“Where I found you Judy, where you drew your light sabre, is it not?”
“That was a torch,” argued Albert.
“The location of your craft know I. Served is your purpose, whether Vimto be you or not.”
Albert heard a click followed almost instantaneously by a deep humming ZZUMMMMM. Albert then noticed the sensation of blistering heat, as though someone was holding a five bar electric fireplace against his leg. The goblin raised his arms and Albert saw what appeared to be a gigantic, humming, neon strip light.
“With my torch, finish you and the Bunny now I will,” said the goblin, “one stone, two birds.”