The Legend of the S.S.S. Prankster

 The Legend of the S.S.S. Prankster
A story from the Mendelbrot Universe

by Chris Freely

Among the greatest strange stories of Mendelbrot history is the legend of the S.S.S. Prankster often told by traveling muses and actors who frequent the countless inhabited worlds of the Mendelbrot systems and the extended Arkalkian Front worlds.  The original history of this particular band of cosmic tricksters was believed to have been during the early 4th Generation of Power during which the Captain, often called under the pejorative fictitious name of "Captain Asshat", is said to have lead his band of idiot crew members on a whirlwind series of adventures that ended in the 87th largest war in the history of the 4th Generation of Power often called the War of the Prankster.

It was believed that the crew and captain were quite the bunch.  Lead by the captain and his legendary lack of diplomatic skills the crew of the S.S.S. Prankster successfully insulted just about every great leader in the known chaos region who had been mostly disposed to peace before the idiot captain, who was the brother of the sitting Empress of the Mendelbrot Biarchy at the time, came along and successfully convinced them through only his pure idiocy that the Mendelbrots had nothing but contempt for the primitive backwaters of the chaos region.  So incensed did the ruling monarchs of the chaos region, which is the region that surrounds the Arkalkian Front and the loyal border states, that they banded together to attack the front despite their massive disadvantage in firepower and military resources.

The story is often told like this:

There was a story that had to be told.
A story of bravery?  Well not quite to behold.
A legend of might?  Well not quite right.
But mostly of the greatest idiot of the news.

Along came the ship full of motley crew
They had many a face and many a cool view.
And all behind a man not quite great.
It was often said he was early even when he was late.

A man who arrived at exactly the wrong time.
They couldn't keep him centered or working quite fine.
But fast he was with a quip or a gag.
The captain they said was quite a drag.

Captain Asshat:  What's that?  Is someone talking about me?

1st Officer Johnson:  No sir it's just lines of poetry being read out loud.

Captain Asshat:  Quite right, quite right.  As you were 1st Officer!

1st Officer Johnson:  Yes sir!

Captain Asshat enters the bridge of the S.S.S. Prankster.

Corporal Smee:  Attention on deck.  Captain on the bridge!

Captain Asshat: And what bridge is that?

Corporal Smee:  The bridge of the S.S.S. Prankster sir!

Captain Asshat:  And what's S.S.S. stand for?

Crew (in unison): Super Space Ship yo!

Captain Asshat:  Let's not forget how awesome we are!  Turn the goddamn engine on and let's go somewhere!

1st Officer Johnson:  Where to sir?

Captain Asshat:  I like the color blue today.  Lets go towards that large blue star on the screen.

1st Officer Johnson:  Why sir?  What's so great about blue?

Captain Asshat:  How the hell should I know 1st Officer?  Blue seems sparkly or something.  Does everything have to have an explanation with you?

1st Officer Johnson:  No sir, of course not sir.  Helmsmen Hazmat, set the course to Ipromiatica 39 at once.

Helmsman Hazmat:  What speed Captain?

Captain Asshat:  I've changed my mind.

1st Officer Johnson:  What?

Captain Asshat:  I like yellow now.

1st Officer Johnson:  Sir there are 11 yellow stars on the screen which one catches your fancy today?  Perhaps a shade of yellow?

Captain Asshat:  Na, just the closest one will do.

1st Officer Johnson:  Your will is our command captain..Helmsman Hazmat set the course to Lorithidon 602.

Helmsman Hazmat:  What speed Captain?

Captain Asshat:  Green.  I like green too.

Helmsman Hazmat:  Sir, green is not a speed.

Captain  Asshat:  O pick whatever speed fancies you Helmsman.  I think I'll be in my ready room for some shipboard entertainment.  Have you seen Sharknado 5000?  It's the best movie this side of..

1st Officer Johnson:  Sir isn't that film technically banned in all civilized systems?

Captain Asshat:  What?  Banned?  Why?

1st Officer Johnson:  Due to gratuitous stupidity and lack of substantial reasoning in its making among other things sir.

Captain Asshat:  You can't trust those government bureaucrats to know the difference between what good and bad Lieutenant.  I mean surely if we let those people decide for us then we'd be amiss our duty to art.

1st Officer Johnson:  Art has a technical definition sir that includes the complete expression of beauty and refinement through sensory elaboration.  Technically sir the administration of the Mendelbrot systems is not considered a government but an administration charged with the development of proper procedure for the ordered expression of collective self development. 

Captain Asshat:  Bah some moron in charge is always telling me how to live my life.  Screw those bureaucrats I say. 

1st Officer Johnson:  Sir, your sister, The Empress, would..

Captain Asshat:  What in the name of Kha Dawn do you name my sister on this bridge for Johnson?  That holier than thou know it all is going to ruin every experience in my life reminding me she sits on the biggest throne in the known universe?  I don't want to hear you mention her name on this bridge again.

1st Officer Johnson:  Technically sir I didn't name your sister at all.

Captain Asshat:  Johnson, shut your face.

1st Officer Johnson:  Yes sir.

Helsman Hazmat:  Sir I have selected half of standard speed for our trip.

Captain Asshat:  Wonderful job Helmsman.  You'll earn a promotion for this.

Helsman Hazmat:  When sir?

Captain Asshat:  When we get back to Carpathia with the head of galaxy sized space dragon.

Helsman Hazmat:  Oh dear.

1st Officer Johnson:  Sir, you do realize that space dragons are not only a protected species but also indirectly permanently allied to the Arkalkian front.  They also are hyperintelligent with usually psychic or near psychic levels of threat detection?

Captain Asshat:  Surely there are some that are jerk dragons in the chaos region.

1st Officer Johnson:  The chaos region is strictly off limits for Mendelbrot Gabriel Class ships and greater.  Our ship is classed far above that limit.

Captain Asshat:  No worries, I'll just get my sister to wave that requirement so we can go dragon hunting.

1st Officer Johnson:  Sir your statement contravenes several strict military and civilian regulations and includes numerous classes of violations against standard procedure as well as major parts of multiple treaties and the current Mendelbrot constitution itself.

Captain Asshat:  We don't need no stinkin constitution!  Let's fire up the reactor to full blast and head off to blackest corners of the Black Lagoon!  Hazmat, change course!

1st Officer Johnson:  Belay that order Helmsman.  Captain, we need to refuel to the maximum at the least and we should certainly contact Admiral Quaderiel on the Xeriel before we even think of going out that far.  Sir, I also must warn you that there are multiple vessels capable of possibly stopping us from..

Captain Asshat:  This is the S.S.S. Prankster 1st Officer Johnson!  We can't be stopped!  This is the fastest ship in the entire Mendelbrot fleet and I spent my whole damn fortune building it from the ground up knowing that one day some damn bastard in the capitol was going to tell me to stop.  Hell no, do you understand me?  Hell no.  Though, the refueling request sounds good.  I also forbid all crew members from speaking about our top secret mission to anyone off this ship!

Captain Asshat (on shipwide intercom):  Now hear this!  This is the Captain!  (audible moans heard from various parts of the ship)  We are on a top secret mission and I am invoking Primary Silence Directive on this ship effective immediately.  No one is to communicate anything concerning our mission to anyone.

All over the ship whispers could be heard.  "What mission?"  "Here we go again!"  "Oh God what does he up to this time."  "Maybe it's another drill."  "I gotta get off this ship before he kills us all."

Captain Asshat:  Ok let's do a maximum refuel at Regalia Prime.

1st Officer Johnson:  Regalia Prime does not allow this ship anywhere near it nowadays sir unless you are forgetting the incident involving the Lord Commander of the 4th Guards Armada?

Captain Asshat:  He is such a whiner that idiot.

1st Officer Johnson:  And the son of the sitting Divine Monarch of Regalia, a Divine Duke on the Supreme Mandarin Council to the Empress herself?  Surely sir, you could see the problem with destroying his prized luxury yacht with his wife on board.

Captain Asshat:  His wife regenerates!  She's fine now.

1st Officer Johnson:  We are not permitted to land on Regalia or any other of the 10,000 core worlds of the Supreme Mandarin Council.  To refuel we have to go to..

Captain Asshat:  Carpathia!  I hate Carpathia!  Damn you Johnson.  What have you gotten me into?

1st Officer Johnson:  I warned you sir on perhaps 100 separate occasions regarding the improper use of a tractor beam for pranking a class 2 Carpathian type extragalactic yacht with a ship of this power.  It is like trying to perform surgery on a bacteria with a class 3 dark quasar hypernova.

Captain Asshat:  That's what made is such a great prank!

1st Officer Johnson:  The only reason you aren't sitting as an exile is because the Empress herself insisted that you had gotten your karmic monkey out of your system already.

Captain Asshat:  Karmic monkey eh?  I happen to like having a karmic monkey in me.  Makes me a jolly fellow Johnson.  Look at how jolly I am.  Haha!  (Makes monkey noises).

Several crew members roll their eyes during this display of apparent childishness.

Captain Asshat:  Bah!  To Carpathia.  I think I'll go harass my sister.  Hazmat, change course to Carpathia.  But go extra slow.

Helmsman Hazmat:  Carpathia is two months away sir at maximum speed.

Captain Asshat:  Bah.  Alright punch the reactor.  I'm going to a sleep pod.  See you in two months crew!

1st Officer Johnson:  Have a good night Captain.

Captain Asshat:  I will, I will.  Thank you all for your support.

A scene attempts to depict the Imperial Hall on Carpathia which sits in front of the exalted Supreme Mandarin Council Chamber where those who wish to meet the Empress must wait.  The scale of the hall is immense often described as trying to walk through a Cosmic Domain as a flea though the actual scale of the hall is far, far, far more immense.  The scale of the drawn down model is obviously designed for stage plays and as such our stage play continues in the pretend Imperial Hall as Captain Asshat and 1st Officer Johnson as well as several crew members enter the Hall after a days long session of attempting to get inside to begin with.

Captain Asshat:  But I tell you I'm her brother.

Imperial Seer of Supplicants To the Empress:  Your pardon your grace, but protocol and culture must be held properly in this Hall and for all concerned.  The Empress herself may not violate the Divine Cultural Mandate of the Supreme Divine Magistrate presiding over the Mendelbrot Legacy of Divine Order.  You may not see Her Majesty until such a time as is ordained by the Grand Overseer of Time.  This is the will of He That Cannot be Named and She Who Must be Obeyed.

Captain Asshat:  I would argue with you, but last time I was thrown out for a month.  So, since you all hold all the cards here I will wait patiently in the dining room.

Imperial Seer:  No, you may not wait in the dining room either.  You must remain in the Divine Wing of Patience until such time as you are called forth from it.

Captain Asshat:  And how long is this going to take this time?

Imperial Seer:  About 2 or 3 days I believe.  Though it is technically up to the discretion of the Grand Overseer of Time.

Captain Asshat:  I demand to see a High Priest or Priestess of the Kha.

Imperial Seer:  As you wish.

Several minutes pass and a very decorated looking female Mendelbrot High Priestess of the Kha arrives.

High Priestess Aya:  (with disdain) Oh it's you.

Captain Asshat:  Yes.  When can I see my sister?

High Priestess Aya:  2 days, 3 hours, 14 minutes.

Captain Asshat:  Surely you can..

High Priestess Aya: No, I cannot.

Captain Asshat:  I see.

High Priestess Aya:  No, you do not.  But you will wait.

Captain Asshat:  Johnson, do something.

1st Officer Johnson:  Captain..I think this is a good time to leave.

Captain Asshat:  My delicate priestess surely you can see our great need here.

High Priestess Aya:  Do you wish to taste fate today Captain?

Captain Asshat:  I'm not especially disinclined to tasting anything in particular.  Although..

Captain Asshat suddenly faints and drops to the floor asleep.

High Priestess Aya:  My apologies for your inconvenience 1st Officer Johnson, but the will of the Kha is not to be trifled with.   We do not control the power, it does as it will.  None the less, your Captain will be fine.

And with that the High Priestess floats off gracefully to another assignment followed by the Imperial Seer of Supplicants.

1st Officer Johnson:  Alright haul him back to our room I guess.

And with that the crew members present begrudgingly drag the unwitting idiot of a Captain back to his quarters looked on by many odd, suspicious, and occasional bemused supplicants waiting for their chance to see a Seer for an audience with either a Supreme Mandarin or the Empress.

Captain Asshat experiences the will of the Kha while sleeping.  The thirteen Immortals and Kha Dawn, the conscience of the Mendelbrots, appear hovering before the Captain.  He is surrounded by the terrible presence of the most serious of serious beings.

"Malkorius Asshat!" say the thirteen Immortals in unison.  "Why do you trouble the cosmos with your shallowness?"  "What is the riddle of your shallowness?"

Kha Nino speaks first, the eternal child of the Immortals and the 2nd most powerful of these.  "Drift you will through this universe breaking the rules, making whole all that needs to be made whole."

Kha Archonis speaks second, the eternal judge, "Idiot though thou art, much karma are you here to right.  Go forth and sow chaos that others may learn order."

Kha Lazarus, the undying speaks third, "They will chase you through the stars Malkorius always looking for someone to blame.  But perhaps guidance will come at last when least looked for to turn the tide."

Kha Shadownis, the unseeable, speaks forth, "What you want most you cannot have Malkorius.  Never can you have it.  But you will have something worth more."

Kha Matraxis, the all connecting, speaks fifth, "Master you are of the game Captain, though completely unaware of it.  The spirit of the Mendelbrot is with you though that of the Kha is not."

Kha Dirvatis, the cosmic tree keeper, speaks sixth, "The tree is safe with this one.  Be warned not provoke the flames of the shadow keepers of the Black Lagoon."

Kha Thoth, the cosmic record keeper, speaks seventh, "Malkorius, it is written, shall be a name with honor amongst the pioneers for to break the order perfectly is not a task assigned to the lesser souls of this vastness we call the Mendelbrot Cosmic Tree."

Kha Kheper, the cosmic guardian beetle, speaks eight, "This is one who destiny has picked to walk sideways through the worlds."

Kha Mantis, the cosmic guardian mantis, speaks ninth, "Stir a pot, gather some food.  Wise are those who go far in search of plenty."

Kha Magus, the cosmic teacher and magician, speaks tenth, "There is magic in desire for sure.  But what drives a man to risk all for little?  Travel the cosmos in search of thrills?  Some would deem it unwise.  None the less, the bored will do anything to relieve their burden."

Kha the Bard, the cosmic guide and musician, speaks eleventh, "This one will go the darkest places in the Mendelbrot Cosmic Tree.  He goes forth to the core of Black Lagoon.  From there he must go further to the depths of the Bonazza Void to find what he seeks, the great patch of chaotic darkness. From there he must go forth to the dread forest of darkness on the doomed world of Detheke, the most horrid place in known cosmos where only the dead dwell and vile vampires of old still linger." 

Kha Draconis, the cosmic dragon and third most powerful immortal, speaks twelfth, "This one will find many dragons indeed.  They are already waiting for him."

Svetia Kha, the cosmic Goddess and eternal lover of the Kha and greatest of the Immortals, speaks thirteenth,  "Love, oh poor Malkorius, the love of a fool you must seek.  Surely the reverse damsel you are.  Far must you travel to find your match.  Very, very far."

Kha Dawn, Lord of the Immortals, whose titles are extremely long though for the purpose of this matter he is usually referred to simply as the Conscience of the Mendelbrots, speaks last.  "You're an idiot for sure Malkorius.  When people know your real last name then your days of stupidity will be at an end.  Yes, surely.  But the cosmos has need of idiots once in a long while.  Just don't let me catch you messing with the master plan, for the Archangels of the Cosmic God are ever watchful.  And if you are wise you'd do well not to provoke any Archons.  NOW WAKE UP!"

"Captain, captain!"  several crew members were yelling at him.  "Sir!  Wake up sir!"  Captain Asshat suddenly rose straight up from his prone position and realized he was clearly on his way back to the Hall of Patience.

Captain Asshat:  What on Carpathia are you fools yelling at me for?

Crewmember:  Sir, we are tired of dragging you around sir.  No offense sir.

Captain Asshat:  Why didn't you just get a cart or something?

Crewmember:  Sir, mechanical contraptions are strictly forbidden in..

Captain Asshat:  Oh right, we're still in the damn Imperial Hall aren't we?   How long was I out for?

1st Officer Johnson:  About five minutes sir.  Are you quite alright, you look like you've been on a cosmic wave journey.

Captain Asshat:  Kha Dawn and the Immortals were just saying something to me.  Though the whole thing is foggy.  Did I ever tell you how much I hate cosmic wave journeys Johnson?  How come I never get the one's where you're floating through all the galaxies on a luxury cruise and everyone likes you?

1st Officer Johnson:  Because no one likes you sir.  Though, I find it hard to believe that the Immortals would bother talking to you, sir.

Captain Asshat:  Johnson, I don't know why I put up with you and your attitude.

1st Officer Johnson:  Because no one else would risk their lives doing your bidding Captain.

Captain Asshat: That's probably true.  Now what?  Are we going to have to wait I suppose.  Let's all go get a drink or something somewhere.  But first, Johnson, why wouldn't the Immortals want to talk with me?  I'm a member of this fabulous society of wonderful people aren't I?

1st Officer Johnson:  I think the only reason is probably because you did somebody a favor a long time ago sir in some distant past life, and now you're taking the opportunity to drive the rest of us mad with bad decisions.  None the less, I'm not going to betray you Captain.  I'm just along for the ride I suppose.  Luck has never been my strong suite.  And the rest of the crew feels the same way about theirs.

Captain Asshat:  I tell you Johnson the problem with everyone is that they lack perspective on everything.  We need to get out there and show them its possible to get what they want!   Don't you see the reasoning in it all Johnson?  We could all be the greatest if we just go out and grab destiny by the ass.

Crewmember:  Sir that didn't turn out too well last time you tried it.

Captain Asshat:  Well, I was drunk at the time and it seemed like a good idea.  None the less, we should all be so lucky as not to die when these sorts of deals go south like that particular incident.  It certainly helps to be able to regenerate limbs for sure!

Crewmember:  Yes sir, but you didn't lose any limbs.

Captain Asshat:  Well the guy who did was sure one lucky bastard.

Crewmember Dimillion:  That's one way of looking at it Captain.

Captain Asshat:  Dimillion, you're going to eventually discover that it's the only way to look at it.  That's what we call real world wisdom in the business.

Crewmember Dimillion:  Sir we haven't turned a profit in ages and I think that guy is still looking for us.

Captain Asshat:  He'll eventually discover that looking for me won't gain him anything since he already grew back his limb and that's that.  You see, perfectly logical?  Why can't everyone be perfectly logical about everything?

Crewmember Saporis:  Well logically sir, wouldn't it be logical to be angry about having to regrow a limb?

Captain Asshat:  Well I suppose if you have the wrong types of nerve endings, but surely that's already been settled.  We're not primitives you know.  I mean what could I possibly owe him now?

Crewmember Saporis:  I don't know sir, an apology, one of your limbs in exchange?  Who can say?

Captain Asshat:  Such complicated transactions.  Let's just forget about the whole thing so we can move know..

Crewmember Saporis:  We'll its our job sir to remember these sorts of things in know..they might come and take us out?  Security details and such.

Captain Asshat:  Well that's why you all are here.  Good job Saporis, you'll get a promotion for this.

Crewmember Saporis: When sir?

Captain Asshat:  As soon as I get me my galaxy size dragon head nicely mounted and with a certificate that says its an evil dragon head so no one complains like those nuts down at People for the Ethical Treatment of Dragons.

Crewmember Dimillion:  What makes them nuts?  Don't dragons have feelings too?

Captain Asshat: You people do not understand dragons, at all.  Right, Johnson?

1st Officer Johnson:  Sir, dragons are considered sacred throughout the Arkalkian Front.

Captain Asshat:  Yes, but what about evil dragons?

1st Officer Johnson: There are no evil dragons in the Mendelbrot Cosmic Tree.

Captain Asshat:  What about the Renko the Mad?

1st Officer Johnson:  Sir that was over half a quadrillion years ago and occurred in the border kingdom of Halftasia outside the borders of the Cosmic Tree.

Captain Asshat:  Well, that goes against your whole argument Johnson.  Now what do you say?

1st Officer Johnson:  It was outside the borders of the Cosmic Tree.

Captain Asshat:  Well what about Tamarlark the Unkind?

1st Officer Johnson:  That particular dragon was not a member of the Mendelbrot dragon flock and was in rebellion against the other dragons!  Sir, surely you cannot give that as an example.

Captain Asshat:  That is the example Johnson..there are bad dragons out there just like all the friendly smiling ones that pretend they have feelings.  Me insulting a space dragon is like an ant just called me a loser.  Why would I care?  Dragons aren't idiots Johnson, they understand the role they play and they most certainly aren't as sensitive as you weenies make them out to be.

1st Officer Johnson:  The Guardian Dragons should not be insulted!

Captain Asshat:  I didn't insult any Guardian Dragons, only the loser space riffraff dragons that hang out in dragon gangs wearing their dragons are bad tattoos and listening to dragon rap smokin' some dragon crystal or something.  You know what I'm talking about people?  Don't you see the connection?

Crewmember Dimillion:  Sir, you're just spreading malicious bigoted anti-dragon caricatures.  There is no such thing as dragon rap!  And dragon gangs are a thing of the past, like 1st Generation of Power past.

Captain Asshat: And what about the wild dragons of the chaos region?

Crewmember Dimillion:  How the hell should I know, we don't go to the chaos region to ask around.

Captain Asshat:  Why the hell not?

Crewmember Dimillion:  Because we don't belong there.  We are from here.

Captain Asshat:  That's exactly my point.  Some of you seriously lack curiosity.  What about the tales of the wild space dragons of the chaos region?  You've heard of them surely?

Crewmember Wonto:  I've read about them sir.  Seen some trans-vids too about how dangerous they can be if you aren't from their locally recognized societies.

Crewmember Dimillion:  You've been watching bullshit videos made by liars.  There are no chaos dragons running around attacking people.  It just doesn't happen.

Crewmember Wonto:  How do you know?  You've never been a day outside the ship anywhere in the last million years Dimillion.  You've got no clue at all.  I think the Captain's right on.  It's obvious there are some bad dragons somewhere and why should we wait until they are chomping on our bones?

Captain Asshat:  Well there you have it, I finally got someone to agree with me on this trip. We should ask an expert.

Crewmember Dimillion: Like who?

Captain Asshat:  Like a Crystal Dragon from the high class of Dragons, you know the Dragon aristocracy  They will tell us exactly what's going in dragon politics so we can figure out how to handle this.

Crewmember Wonto:  I know a Crystal Dragon.  You want me to ask her captain?  She's really polite and everything.

Captain Asshat:  Yes, lets set up a meeting.  That will give us something to do while we wait for my sister to available.

1st Officer Johnson:  Sir, Crystal Dragons are notoriously long winded.  They also don't take kindly to stupid questions from nobodies.

Captain Asshat:  I'm the brother of the Empress which matters to them I can assure you.

1st Officer Johnson:  Well why haven't you spoken to any in your life up to this point?

Captain Asshat: I have Johnson, just not on any first name basis with any dragons.

1st Officer Johnson:  Yes, the Imperial embarrassment greater than in any in the last ten generations since Hector the Unconventional.  Surely sir, you've managed to outdo everyone since then in being unable to hobnob with anyone of significance being completely self absorbed for a member of the Imperial family.

Captain Asshat:  Hector was underrated.  I've always liked his story.  He really told it like it was.  Dragons love politics, I've learned that much since my last meeting with them.  They'll be thrilled that we want to bust up their riffraff cousins.  Trust me.  They hate evil dragons just as much as anybody.  What's this Crystal Dragon's name Wonto?

Wonto:  Infairicus.  I've known her since we went to school together.

Captain Asshat:  Well let her know our situation that way we can talk to her about what she knows.  Does she know alot in your opinion?

Wonto:  I think she might be able to get us entry to Biodraconis actually if she doesn't know enough about the matter herself.  I'm sure she will tell you what the general opinion of the space Dragons of the primary Cosmic Tree flock think in general about these sorts of things.

1st Officer Johnson:  Biodraconis?  Have you lost your mind Wonto?  That's the main nesting planet of the Crystal Dragons!  Do you have any idea what it is like?

Wonto:  Yes, I've seen trans-vids about that place as well.  It's a huge oblong double asteroid shaped mega-planet.  Third largest planet in the Arkalkian Front right after Arkalkia and Luffania.  It's population consists of godzillions of space dragons, mostly Crystal Dragons and is home to the Dragon nobility and aristocracy.  Visitors are permitted in the great plains away from the nesting areas in the mountains.

1st Officer Johnson:  I've been to Biodraconis.  It's the scariest place that one can imagine.  The feel of the place is eerie beyond comparison.  These are not city sized dragons like around where you come from Wonto.  The smallest dragons on Biodraconis are the size of medium sized planets.  They are born that way from eggs the size of medium sized planets.  They eat medium sized planets.  Do you understand? 

Captain Asshat:  Stop being so pathetic Johnson.  Just don't go around trying to steal any dragon eggs and everything will be fine.  Got that Wordsworth?

2nd Officer Wordsworth:  I only stole one.

Captain Asshat:  Make sure it stays that way.

2nd Officer Wordsworth:  Yes sir.

1st Officer Johnson:  The point, sir, is that people don't go to Biodraconis to inquire about how things are going with the dragon world.  It's not exactly a place to say hello.  You know dragons like to flock all over that planet and the planet is filled to the brim with them.  These dragons don't live in palaces, they like the primal way and live in massive space cliffs and deep in ravines all over the place.  It's been like that since the beginning as far I as I know.   They live like dragons are meant to live there.

Wonto:  Sir, there are several reception halls there for non dragons like us.  We can surely get along with the dragons there.

!st Officer Johnson:  Contact Infairicus first, see what she tells you.  Hopefully we won't have to go to Biodraconis.  That place freaks me out.

Wonto:  Yes sir..err..sirs.  Right Captain?

Captain Asshat:  Do as the 1st Officer commands Wonto.

Wonto:  Yes sir.

The Supreme Mandarin Council Chamber is one of the most amazing pieces of architectural grace in the Arkalkian Front, the military alliance between 8 powers that protects the Mendelbrot Cosmic Tree from threats.  Covered in living fractal stone and metal works that shift and change colors in a psychedelic mode, the Supreme Mandarin Council Chamber was designed like all living architecture to come alive for each individual who enters personally.  Almost as massive as the Imperial Hall and divided into 10,000 different areas with unique culturally regionally specific forms of art and effects for each of the 10,000 Supreme Mandarins who govern the Empire in the name of the Biarchy, equally presided over by the Emperor and the Empress, who hold equal status in the eyes of the countless peoples of the Mendelbrot systems.   

Again, a stage play cannot possibly convey the scene in even the remotest sense so that the focus of the stage play is an attempt to depict the most important room in the Mendelbrot Empire, the Imperial Chamber of the 10,000 located at the very front of the Supreme Mandarin Chamber adjoining the Mendel Khan Inner Fortress which separates the Imperial Residence of the Carpathian Cosmic Citadel from the other chambers and halls described as well as thousands of others not described.  It is specifically in the Imperial Chamber of the 10,000 that the the most important meetings of the Empire occur during crisis or "emergency social function" and periodically annually by the Carpathian year for the Conclave of the Cosmic Tree.

During any of these functions the 10,000 Supreme Mandarins, who are the aristocracy in charge of overseeing judgement and dispute in the Empire, meet before the Emperor, the Empress, and the adults of the Royal Family presided over by 10,000 Supreme Oracles of the Immortals who are the spiritual leaders who interpret the will of the Mendelbrot and the will of the Kha.  In addition to these two orders of cosmic bureaucracy and spirituality respectively, the sitting Divine Testimentarian and Divine Metraxis, the two most powerful spiritual leaders in the Empire, one male and the other female always, sit with the Oracles with grave presence and purpose.  And last but not least, the Arkalkian Front leaders of the other seven powers of the Front are always present in some capacity, though only in person during a very serious crisis.

Above the gathered host of all of these powerful figures on the ceiling of this amazing chamber lies the great fractal field of the Mendelbrot hierarchy, which shows among other things the current "time" in high mendelese language that is in a fractal form that few beings can understand easily.  For time in high mendelese includes information about the conditions of the Mendelbrot Tree and all the cosmic systems surrounding the tree up to the great cosmic spirit barrier which separates the Tree from the border kingdoms that shield the tree from the events of the what in darker times is called the chaos region.  Also displayed in fractal from is the wealth of various Mendelbrot society members and conditions of spiritual weather throughout the different divisions of the Mendelbrot aristocracy of which there are a vast, vast number of individual levels.  The great chamber is often a psychedelic trip or a cosmic wave journey for worthy citizens simply because the culture of its nature is so deep and old that only those prepared can even imagine what it is like.  Average citizens do not enter the chamber at all but are dealt with by a Mandarin in a separate area within a part of the rest of the Supreme Manderin Chamber.

Yet no court is in session this day as Captain Asshat approaches his sister Empress Rachariel whose titles are vast and too lengthy to go into here as she sits on the Throne of the Empress and wears the Fractal Crown which itself is more intelligent that even some Crystal Dragons.

The Fractal Crown:  Along comes Malkorius, woe be to his wretched lack of discipline and sense of duty.  Welcome still you are Malkorius.

Captain Asshat:  I prefer not to use that name you rambling piece of jewelry.  Really now, who in name of Kha Dawn uses a talking crown?

Empress Rachariel:  Must you blaspheme the name of the Consience as well?  Go on and speak then.  It's not as though I don't already know why you are here Malkorius.  And you are named Malkorius by our mother and father should you have not remembered their hallowed decisions.

Captain Asshat:  You would know best sister dearest.  And Kha Dawn and I are quite well friendly with each other.  I had a wonderful vision of him and the Immortals before I came here not a few days ago after an unfortunate incident with one of your most delightful priestesses.  You really ought to give that one a promotion, she exceeded herself this time for sure.  Delightfully polite mind you, delightfully.

Empress Rachariel:  Brother, stop wasting time.  Come now come close I wish to embrace your wretched excuse for an existence.

Captain Asshat and Rachariel hug briefly.

Empress Rachariel:  So you want to go to the outer regions beyond the great Ring Kingdoms to find what awaits you in the chaos of the darkened space.  Curious.  What possesses you to go looking for the dark dragons now?  Just another adventure I suppose Malkorius?  Do tell me that you've spoken with some of our good dragon advisors..  Well close enough I suppose your dragon friend you will meet will help.  And you did indeed speak with the Kha I can see it in your eyes.  Oh dear.  Well, at least he finds you useful.  So it is!

Captain Asshat:  Sister I do not wish to bother with the usual suspects in your hall, their opinion of me is quite low and I don't wish to cause our family any further embarrassment.  Although, I do need some excitement I'm simply sick of all the complacency.  Nothing good has come of this era we have been most unfortunate enough to have been born in.  No offense of course to you or the Emperor.

Empress Rachariel:  Well surely it has been a low for everyone due to the instability of recent times but we can't go straight up all the time now can we?  Such is as it is.  Tell me how is your 1st Officer?  Still putting up with your lack of direction?

Captain Asshat:  Yes in fact, it is true, he is.  Loyal to the last, but a bit on the slow side I think.  All the same he balances me in many ways.

Empress Rachariel:  You need alot of balancing Malkorius.  Try not to get us into too much trouble with the wild beings of the chaos region.  I will allow you to take the Prankster out there.  You have to retrofit it with some more advanced metaphasic subdimensional dampeners though.  I will require that.

Captain Asshat:  There better not be any tricks sister.

Empress Rachariel:  Well in that department brother no one can fool you, so why should you be so concerned.  It's the one thing you've proven your better at than anyone.  We'll have to have you redesign the whole fleet one day if you ever decide to stop drifting through the universe missing mother.

Captain Asshat:  I'd rather not talk about it still sister.  May I go before things become emotional.  You know how I feel about emotions.

Empress Rachariel:  Be gone then fool!  Behave yourself.  Everyone is watching.  And they will want to have a full report when you get back from your expedition.

Captain Asshat:  Can I be reinstated into the good graces of the Supreme Mandarin Council?

Empress Rachariel:  I think you've got alot to prove before I can allow that.  I don't think dead space dragons will go a long way to restoring anything to you.  Although, it remains to be seen what this is all about.  I suppose that redesign of the fleet will have to wait until you prove you're beyond your latest lack of good and sound judgement.   None the less the Kha has spoken to you and the Immortals so that must mean something.  And even I or the Emperor can't have much to say about that.  I suppose the mystery will reveal itself on your little trip.  Enjoy it, brother.  May it deliver you into the arms of Wisdom.

Captain Asshat:  As you say sister.  May the light of the Mendelbrot guide your reign always.

Empress Rachariel:  See you can be polite brother.

Captain Asshat:  Don't push your luck your majesty.

Empress Rachariel:  Off with you then.

To Be Continued... 

If you like this story I have another unfinished story called Quackle at the end of The Incomplete Story History of the Mendelbrot Universe which is similarly structured to this story.  I have several other stories in there that are currently shorter and also unfinished as well.