“It’s over!” Lucille commanded Charlie and Daisuke to make the Galaxy Zephyr raise the Wheel with one arm while three free hands gripped the Enemy Hurricane’s scorpion carapace. With a flex of titanic muscles, the Galaxy Zephyr jerked the stinging tail.
“Stop! Stop!” The Enemy Hurricane felt its thorax splitting. Rather than relinquish its tail, it let the Galaxy Zephyr stretch its body long and thin like taffy until it was a coiling strand of cosmic spaghetti. It grew a snake-like face baring fangs larger than galactic clusters. With predatory eyes it signaled, “Your next attack is your last!”
Lucille ordered Eisu to stomp the snake flat with the Galaxy Zephyr’s right feet, and Fumiko to tread on the snake’s skull with the left feet until footprints were debossed on its face. In space there was no floor to stomp the Enemy Hurricane against, but they imparted tremendous impact-force due to inertia alone. “Kuso, kuso, kusottareh! What’s this contemptible shit which deems itself worthy of smearing my heel?”
The Enemy Hurricane smiled a serpentine smile. Its fangs were missing.
“Huh?” Lucille made the Galaxy Zephyr lift its two left feet. Embedded in its heels were the missing fangs. Green venom coursed through their calves.
“Fumiko!” Eisu pulled his monitors close. “Sister! Is your crew okay?”
“I don’t—” Fumiko’s crew of thousands was silent. “I don’t know!”
Green venom reached the left thighs. “Fumiko, report!” commanded Lucille, but no reply came.
The Enemy Hurricane chuckled. “They’re dead. My venom will let none of you live.”
“Yeah right! Charlie! Daisuke!” Lucille twisted knobs. The Galaxy Zephyr swiped the Wheel to cut off its own left legs. It caught the legs in its mouth and ate them whole. Instantly two new left legs spurt from its hips.
Fumiko appeared at attention on Lucille’s main monitor. She was utterly intact. “My crew’s all accounted for, Commander.”
Lucille beamed. “Tell me, o Enemy Hurricane, why’d you think that would work? We’re resurrecting Earth’s whole population, but you thought we couldn’t reconstruct our closest friends? Baka, baka, baka!”
The snake leapt with open maw to sink new fangs in the Galaxy Zephyr’s neck. Mid-jump, its eyes signaled, “Don’t you know who I am?”
“I never cared!” Lucille brought down the Wheel and sliced the snake in half lengthwise.
Each half became a new snake. “You’re young, aren’t you?” signaled the first.
Signaled the second, “for your whole life I’ve been the stars in your sky!” Both leapt for the neck. “I’m the sky-bearer!”
“Bah!” A second sweep of the Wheel sliced both snakes in two. “Sky-burglar! Sky-bungler! Sky-broiler! Sky-bloodier! Shrug off the tyranny of heaven and we’ll wrestle unregulated!”
The quarters of the Enemy Hurricane formed four frogs with toxic yellow stripes. “Who the hell do you think you are?”
Lucille’s grin grew wide. “I’m the toad-cooker!” Before the four frogs spat venom, the Galaxy Zephyr sliced them each in half. “Scum-cucker!” The Galaxy Zephyr’s four arms traded the Wheel to swiftly slice the Enemy Hurricane’s eighths into sixteenths. “Face-rider!” The Galaxy Zephyr’s four feet stomped the sixteenths into a compact mass, which it sliced into thirty-seconds. “Skull-fucker!” The Galaxy Zephyr danced on the ball of gore to keep it packed tight. The Wheel sliced the thirty-seconds into sixty-fourths. “I’m the candle who curses the darkness!—but you’d better call me what you want while you’ve still got the chance!”
Lucille opened her mouth to say more, but her battle-frenzy spoke for her.
“Oran doran doran doran doran!” With every syllable, the Galaxy Zephyr sliced the Enemy Hurricane into twice as many parts. “Doran doran doran doran doran!” Four dancing feet stomped the Enemy Hurricane before it could escape or even cringe. “Doran doran doran doran doran!” Finally only fine red powder remained of the Enemy Hurricane. “Doran doran doran doran doooriyaaaugh!”
They swept the Wheel’s broadside across the fine red powder, scattering the Enemy Hurricane across the void. “That’s enough, Commander,” said Professor Akayama. Lucille watched the fine red powder fly in all directions. She pulled a lever and made the Galaxy Zephyr lift the Wheel once more. “Lucille! I said that’s enough!”
“I heard you, Hakase.” She laughed and tucked the Wheel behind the Galaxy Zephyr’s head like a thorny halo. “I just wanted to watch `em flinch.”
Indeed the fine red powder flinched away. The Enemy Hurricane retreated in terror.
“What now?” asked Charlie.
“They’ll just come back again,” said Daisuke.
“Don’t be so sure,” said Akayama.
The bits of powder were already signaling each other with new eyes. “How could we fail?”
“Our scorpion was terrible. We shouldn’t have made snakes. The frogs were even worse.”
“Clearly the Zephyrs are right to ape the human form.”
The fine red powder shaped themselves into billions of billions of muscular warriors, each the mass of a quadrillion suns.
“Now we outnumber them!”
“We can’t lose!” They charged at the Galaxy Zephyr.
Fumiko groaned. “Here they come!”
“Must we fight forever?” asked Eisu.
Daisuke grimaced. “We have no choice.”
“Everyone, battle-ready!” said Charlie.
“Nah.” Lucille relaxed in her chair and pushed buttons with her feet. The Galaxy Zephyr crossed its four legs and rest its four hands on its four knees. “You heard Akayama. This is the end.”
The Galaxy Zephyr’s crew watched the army of Enemy Hurricanes approach, and approach, and approach, but never actually draw near.
“We’re done with the Wheel,” said Akayama, “so I’m releasing the tension we’ve stored in the fabric of reality. The universe itself is expanding, and the distance between objects is increasing. As fast as they fly, the cosmic expansion is faster. Soon nothing will ever break light-speed again.”
The army of Enemy Hurricanes slowly changed their expression from assured confidence to desperation as they struggled to catch the Galaxy Zephyr.
Akayama twisted open ZAP’s hatch. “I’m off to have words with them. I’ll be back.”