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Admiralty Starship 'Beppo'
by Roger Pattison

“It says ‘Beppo’ on the side in VERY BIG LETTERS, Captain.” The pilot squinted into the screen and distorted his face into a doughnut in the operation.

The second officer agreed. “Must be right then, Captain; anything written THAT BIG has to be right. Don’t it?”

“Consult the ship’s Oracle, Purser,” shouted the Captain whose cage was definitely starting to rattle.

The Purser disappeared into the Oracular compartment, but was back in less time than it takes to say it. “Too busy” said Purse.

“Well!” said the Captain, “I cannot believe that any Admiralty Starship can have the ridiculous name of ‘Beppo’.

“I don’t think it’s all that odd, Captain,” said Purse.

“And that is supposed mean?”

“I mean it’s not all that odd a name considering the Admiralty chose to name you ‘Warthog’, Captain Warthog.”  

“Consult the Oracle again, Purser!” spat the captain.

Purse shrugged and returned to the Oracular compartment.

“Too busy;” said Purse on his swift return; “but the Oracle did make an observation.”

“Come on, man, spit it out,” said Captain Warthog (who was called George Bernard Shaw by his friends, but he didn’t have any; so he wasn’t).

“The Oracle said that the letters were indeed VERY BIG, but it looked like they’d been painted on by a welder with a donkey’s arse. That is, ‘using a donkey’s arse’, you understand.” Purse went back about his business that mostly consisted of looking for things to count.

“I seeee.....” said Captain George Bernard Shaw aka Warthog.

“Sir, sir, me sir!” Monopoly board ‘Agnostic’, jumped up and down with his hand up.

“Yes, Nose-drip? Speak up man!” Warthog did his own jumping up and down on the spot while hallucinating on waterholes in the Serengeti.

“It might be a scam, sir,” said First Mate Agnostic (who was called ‘Nose-drip’ by his relatives, of which there was a whole planetful. Confusingly, they were all called ‘Nose-drip’. In that tongue it translated to ‘God of the Diamond Throat Lozenge’. Slightly more decorous but no less irritating).

“It might be Parrots. Sir.”

The Captain raised his eyes heavenwards. “Any idea where this man’s brain is, Purser?” said the Captain.

“Well, if he’s anything like the rest of your race, sir, I’d go for groin area. I’ve never detected much activity above that.”

In the darkest deepnesses of deep space, a starship benignly sailed, externally adorned with a welder and a donkey. Writ large and incompetently on the starship’s hull was ‘BEP’. A suited figure floated gracefully from the hatch, and stood back with hands on hips, surveying the sign-writing progress.

“How does ‘BEP’ fit in with ‘The Queen of the Skies’ that we ordered?”

“We can only spell, ‘BEPPO’.” Said the donkey. 

In the deepest darknesses of deep space, a fleet of star ships sailed benignly towards a starship called ‘BEPPO’, which also sailed benignly. Of course.

The fleet of ships, which were all called ‘BEPPO’, acknowledged the starship called ‘BEPPO’.

Captain Warthog addressed the approaching fleet. "For a donkey who can’t spell, that guy sure gets a lot of work.”

Back at the plot, zngyerghb has just betrayed kjfngklgj to the fkjnbkj. Whbk flies in on a kurt kjlk. Fast. Or slow if the time zone is Thursday lunchtime.

Never did get the hang of plots.