By cbishop 11 Comments
The name's Peppy, and I'm a space bunny. How's that happen, you ask? It's like this: I died in a horrible lawnmower accident, and... and... and there were ears and fur everywhere... everywhere! It was... h-horrible. Brr. But Little Jimmy didn't know that. What Little Jimmy's parents told him was that I went to Heaven, only they explained it as "a magical place in the sky."
It turns out a little boy's belief is a powerful thing. So powerful in fact, that I was resurrected and found myself in "a magical place in the sky" - space. The only thing it doesn't have is Jimmy, and I miss Jimmy. I fear I've seen the last of him, but I hope to get back to him someday.
In the meantime, there's space. This sector of it is called Hog Heaven. Yeah, I was expecting "Hare Heaven" too, but it turns out there's all kinds of animals here, and if you don't think it's magical, then you've obviously never been here.
Where else can a rabbit live side-by-side with predators and be free from petty peddlers trying to take my feet for keychains? Where else can I become hero to a planet full of green, amazonian jackrabbits with ears that go on for days? Where else is it possible that they didn't realize that the giant, monster carrots that were terrorizing them would taste so good?
Contrary to what my resurrection might tell you, I am in rabbit heaven, because I have been in carrots and cosmic cottontail ever since! Yep, I've still got my feet, and all of 'em are lucky, if you get the way my whiskers waggle. On a planet of alien angora, I am the Angoran's chief consort, and I just keep going, and going, and... <sigh> let's just say that pink fella with the drum has nothing on me. The afterlife is good! Six months and seven hundred twenty Angoran Amazons later, I've got eight thousand six hundred forty mouths to feed, and with no predators in sight, that number's only gonna grow, because... well... I am a rabbit. Don't judge me.
Still, even in the afterlife, it can't be the bunny hop all the time. Fortunately, the biggest business in space is import/export, and the biggest export from Angora are the "Halfbreed Hares of Hog Heaven!" So my problem is also my solution... and okayjudgemealittle. Moving on...
...I was on a delivery run in the Aluminum Falcon with my partner- a teacup terrier named Chewtoy. We had a dozen litters of Halfbreeds with us, a couple of stray cats named Bandit and Princess, and a resourceful robot hedgehog named Koosh. We had an android goldfish named Deep-CPO with us too, but frankly, he was annoying, so we used him for spare parts for the Falcon.
Unfortunately, one of the parts we needed was a voice response unit, so we were stuck with his annoying, know-it-all chatter, and he still sounded like he was underwater. Guess what I was planning to buy first, after we got paid for that delivery? Deep-C' could tell you with a ninety-nine-point-four percent probability of being right, as he'd tell you every chance you gave him. At the time, the danged thing was chuckling, and combined with that underwater burble of his, it was really a quite disturbing sound. "What's so funny, fish brain?"
"Oh my, sir, I was just considering the irony- I've gone from circling the fishbowl to swimming the ocean of space. An android fish out of water, as it were. A little fish in a much bigger pond. A..."
"Shut up!" I broke in. "I'm sorry I asked."
"No need to apologize, sir. I know I can go on a bit at times, but I shall endeavor to..."
"Shut up!" I interrupted. "Shut up! Shut. up! Shut! Up!"
"Well! There's no need to be rude, s..."
"Shutupshutupshutuuuuup!" I gasped. I slumped in my chair and my ears drooped a little. "Stupid koi-toy," I muttered.
"I heard that, sir."
While I was arguing with the bane of my existence, Bandit and Princess were playing a game with Chewtoy. It wasn't so much a "game," as Chewtoy would try to be fierce and intimidating to them (they were cats, after all) and they'd boredly bat him away like the mouse that he almost is.
"Hey!" I shouted. "Let the teacup win!"
Bandit, a Siamese, looked at me with disdain. "You're kidding, right?"
My ears perked a bit as I looked at him very seriously and said, "Let. the teacup. win. He takes it personally."
"You know that's just Napoleon syndrome, right? You let him get away with that?" the other cat, a short-haired, light colored calico, scoffed.
"Hey, Princess, my ship, my rules. You don't like it, you're free to get out and walk."
Chewtoy gruffed indignantly at the two cats, who growled in return. "Chewie! Playtime's over. We're there." I turned towards the viewport, took in the magnificent floating city that the Falcon was closing in on, and announced, "Cloud Nine."
We were exiting the docking bay where workers were unloading the Halfbreeds, when we heard, "Peppy! You old scoundrel! Where have you been keeping yourself?" Flanked by guards, the leader of Cloud Nine slithered towards us.
My whiskers twitched as I shook my head and said, "Boa Calrissian, you slimy snake! How are you?" I hugged the snake warmly.
He coiled around me once and squeezed just a little too tight. "You brought my snacks, right?"
"Sure I did. Eat all you want, I'll make more." Okayjudgemealot. "What do they taste like, anyway? Chicken?"
"It doesn't matter. I swallow them whole anyway," hissed Boa. He slackened his coil and withdrew. Then he flicked his tongue contemplatively a few times, before adding, "What's a chicken?"
"Chewtoy on bath night," I quipped. Chewie whined slightly, then wuffed his perturbance.
Boa swayed his head towards my teacup partner and said with a smile, "I might have to try that sometime." His tongue flicked Chewie's way, almost brushing my partner's nose.
Chewie went into a yapping fit, and Princess stepped up with a scowl and yelled, "Hey! You leave him alone!"
Boa coiled himself reflexively and swayed a bit as he looked at Princess and Bandit. "Oh look," he said, "Chinese takeout." Princess hissed, Bandit let out a low growl, and Boa just smiled as he uncoiled and started slithering back the way he came. "Come on, Peppy, let's go get your money."
I cocked my head over my shoulder, one ear cocked back with it, the other lazing over my forehead, and said, "Don't get lost you three, but...y'know...get lost." I waved over my shoulder and followed after Boa.
Once Boa and I had worked out the credits for the sale of the Halfbreeds, I contacted Chewtoy, Princess and Bandit, and told them to meet us back at the docking bay. Boa and I were halfway there when we were met by a large fish in black armor and a black helmet that kept him breathing when he was out of the water. "Dolph' Vader!" gasped Boa.
The dolphin inside the armor chittered madly, but it was translated by the helmet, "Why do you act surprised, Calrissian? I've come for Peppy, as we agreed."
"As you what now?" I asked, looking at Boa.
The snake's tongue flicked nervously, and he looked at me and hissed, "Sorry, Peppy. It was you or Cloud Nine. I've got a lot of animals to look after up here." I wasn't happy, but I couldn't really be mad.
"Peppy, For crimes against the Animal Kingdom, I'm taking you into custody," declared Dolph' Vader. "Take him." On his command, a small flock of white birds in armor surrounded me for the escort back to the docking bay.
"Hey, what is this?" asked Boa. "This was to be done quietly. No troop presence. That was the deal."
"I do what needs to be done," said the helmet, as the dark lord of the fish chittered inside it. "Or perhaps I need to leave some troops here, to oversee operations?"
Boa undulated from side-to-side uncomfortably, but dropped his head slightly as he replied, "I can see you've done what you had to."
"Good," replied Dolph'. "Bring him." The birds marched in unison as we headed to the docking bay, their talons making an odd click on the hard tiles of the floor.
When we reached the docking bay, we were met by Chewtoy. Chewtoy growled as menacingly as a teacup can. "Chewie, no!" I called. "Just get back to the ship." He growled again. "Now, Chewie!"
Just then, Princess and Bandit exited the ship. Bandit took one look at us and back arched, said, "Are those...?"
Princess smiled, bared her teeth, and finished his sentence, "...Storktroopers! We've got this!" And with that they bounded across the room at the flock of armored birds.
Behind them, Chewie growled again, his high pitched little teacup voice getting deeper, and deeper still as he shuddered and grew, until his body and his growl was that of a bear. He charged my captors. I smiled and looked at the fish lord, "That's my partner."
It was a short fight. Once Chewie and the strays had the Storktroopers on the ropes, Boa and his officers joined in the fight, and Dolph' Vader and his remaining troops retreated.
Boa was squeezing one last trooper until their armor cracked, and then he dropped them to the floor. He swayed a bit with excitment, and then looking at me, his tongue flicked and he said, "We should talk." Without another word, he started slithering for the docking bay door, headed back to his office.
My ears had been drooping forward a bit, since the fighting died down. When the snake spoke to me, they perked up again. I gritted my teeth and said, "I should think so," and I headed after him.
I slammed my blaster on Boa's desk and seethed, "Start talking...pal."
Boa quickly circled the trunk of a small tree rooted behind his desk, and settled calmly into it's lowest branches, "Oh calm down, Peppy. I did what was best for my city and you know it. I could see it in your eyes when we were with Vader."
My ears flattened against the back of my head as I glowered at Boa, but then I nodded. "Fine. What did you have to say then?"
Boa's head tilted to one side as his tail pushed a few buttons to bring up some images on the surface of the desk. "I looked into your problem, since I figured you wouldn't actually be going with Dolph' Vader." He smiled, and I narrowed my eyes at him again, warning him not to push my patience.
His head bobbed again. "It's Jimmy. Something's come up."
All the anger left me. "What? Jimmy? You've kept track?" I was dumbfounded.
"Hey, we're friends, right? I've had my sources looking for any possible way to get you back with Jimmy. We may have found one."
I looked at the snake with with a new respect, but I was still shocked. "H-how? You know the story: 'ears and fur everywhere.' How could I go back?"
Boa smiled, and his head extended out from the tree a bit, face level with mine. "He's developing an imaginary friend. A superhero. You could be the spirit and personality of that friend. You're perfectly suited for it." He smiled.
"A superhero? Me? What's the name?" I asked.
Boa's tongue flicked. "You're not going to believe it." He told me. He was right, I couldn't believe it. "You interested?"
I nodded. I was stunned by it. Jimmy. I was going back to Texas again. I was going to see Jimmy again.
Just like that, I was back, and The Aluminum Falcon was born. Jimmy and I made the most of it, and our adventures were legend. Thank goodness for little boys.