Yeah, so I’ve been replying to a bunch of misfired email again. Here we have correspondence between a teacher and her fifth grade class, which she apparently takes to include me:
“Hello my stellar students!I hope that each of you have enjoyed a spectacular weekend! Our homework choices are the same this week. I will be sending home new choices on Monday, March 5th. I am attaching your spelling / Vocabulary words so that you can get a head start! This is going to be a fantastic week in 5th grade!We have 3089 Reading Counts points!!!!!!!! You are doing an amazing job reading AND comprehending what you read! I want you to know how proud I am of you! Your perseverance is commendable!Also, keep up the momentum on Reading Plus— you just never know what surprises I have in store for you! :)”
SPACE CATS: THE FINAL CONTACT
By Zachary Smith, Age 32
As Zimphatron-XVII piloted the elongated, metallic, Dachshund-like Space Ambulance above the crystalline landmasses of Fronklyn-9, his thoughts turned as always to the blistering ignorance of his Director as he explained three moon-revolutions earlier the need for his new partner.
”It’s true that you are the finest Space Ambulance pilot in the Nine Colonies, Zimphatron, but it is your reputation that is holding you back. You see, appearances are of the utmost importance in the 19th Intergalactic Space Army Fighter Group, and perhaps some … assistance would help you achieve a better performance review.”
Zimph, as he preferred to be called, rather than that cumbersome identifier on his name-sphereprism, glanced sideways at his copilot, Grxxtn-blart. Grxxtn-blart was dozing peacefully on the copilot’s seat, curled into a tiny, croissant-shaped ball. Zimph had never considered genetically-enhanced cyberpugs to be capable navigators of spacecraft, but even he had to admit that they were loyal to a fault, habitually capable of perfect attendance and even more dogged persistence, if not known for their brilliance.
The ship crested the horizon and the blinding radiance of Sun 5.23 made him close his eyes in a sudden, wincing motion. He averted his eyes to the instrument panel as he cursed his dependence on the electronic displays and gauges.
Just then, tiny blips began to appear on his detector-panel like starspices being ground onto a Galaxy Salad. The ship was engulfed by a cloudy, dark substance as the light from Sun 5.23 winked out.
”Resistance is rather silly,” mewled the instantly-recognizable multitude of voices in his spacecomm unit. Discarding his reluctance, he nudged Grxxtn-blart awake.
“Space cats, Grxxtn-blart.”
Pawing sleepily at his eyes after the sudden disturbance, Grxxtn-blart’s lack of strategic acumen was immediately notable in its absence. He began woofing sharply and painfully at the feline voices filling the air, lost his balance on his copilot’s chair, and tumbled to the floor. He ran around uselessly in circles before taking up residence under Zimphatron’s chair.
Then the meowing stopped. After a mere microsecond’s hesitance, the space cats unleashed their Quasar Claw Cannon upon the hull of the Space Ambulance, pulverizing it into a gaseous cloud of metal, upholstery and bone-flecked pug jam, all miniature particles whizzing off into the cold distance of space, eventually floating softly to the ground of inhabited worlds and confused by the natives for winter’s first snowflakes.