Introducing Bunzl, a character named after a coffee machine….

14 05 2009

Like intense blue-white hot blowtorches the stars of the Hadar system burnt away into the vast concentric spheres of dust and rocks that would have eventually coalesced into a mighty planetary system, sadly a majestic state they would never reach before all three giant stars that made up Hadar quickly burnt up the fuel in their core grow bloated and erratic in their old age. Each one of the brilliant suns would swell to a size many times the distance between the Earth and Sol, devouring the protoplanetary mass
settling around them like a fat old king of old at a banquet. Throwing out more energy per day than Sol would in its substantially longer lifespan the three suns of Beta Centauri fell victim to the old adage “A light that burns twice as bright lasts half as long.”

It was in a similar vein that the energetic (and energising) Bunzl Jagerman Jones burnt through life at many times the speed and ferocity of those around him. He was as handsome as a starship captain should be and with the charisma and lust for life that alone,could power a Hicks class Alnairian privateer across the stars and between the Branes. He was often described as Han Solo and
Captain Kirk rolled into one, which was no small compliment when you consider the high regard those who fly between the stars in the 31st century held the ancient pop culture heroes of yore. The comparison was closer to the truth then most would ever know, for it was those two specific characters whom Bunzl had in mind when choosing how to have his personality remoulded during his mysterious two year retreat in a mind-modding clinic in one of the Alnarian Partnerships’ backwater systems.
Where once there had been a mild mannered and ordinary individual who spent the first century of his life blending into the background and struggling to make an impression with his nearest and dearest there now stood a swashbuckling space hero currently abusing his equally heroic constitution with three of the most fashionable pharms.

“Hey look!” came an excited holler and eyes wide with delight,”Bunzl’s up on the bar doing The Saw!” A number of his fellow Alnairians turned their heads towards the bar where Jagerman-Jones was giving his own enthusiastic and slightly unhinged display of “The Saw” a dance where (men and the male at heart usually) would move their arms as if they were slowly grinding a primitive saw back and forth whilst moving ones booty from side to side. It was an interpretive dance style picked up (ironically, of course) by fans of the recent Bubba-grindstep music scene that had exploded into fashion back on Candi and synchronised quite nicely with the slow, salvia inspired multi-dimensional rhythms of that genre. That Bunzl choose to do this dance to the completely
different melodies of the Family Lounges’ soft ambient astro-jazz (27th century revival) and whilst bouncing up and down of the counter to the food bar was typical of his devil mare care attitude and spontaneous nature.
AV footage recorded via the eyeballs of the people in the lounge darted around to friends on the vessel to votes of approval but despite the positive reaction of some of his fellow travellers on the long voyage to Hadar other patrons of the lounge were less than approving. Mild expletives of castigation and sober explanations to curious children rattled around the lounge of the starship as service bots attempted to end Jagerman-Jones’ one man show on top of the food counter. Slowly weaving out the way of exasperated mechanical hands and tentacles he threw up his hands and intentionally slipped on a bright yellow trifle, bouncing off the counter with his buttocks and onto he floor. After a playful bout of cat and mouse with the multi limbed and soft pastel coloured automatons Bunzls adventures were brought to an end by the firm grip of a security drone, modelled after various transistor operated and clumsy movie robots of the 1950s, which had entered the lounge under the behest of complaining travellers.
Bunzl pulled the face of a cheeky and unrepentant schoolboy as vainly struggled with the grip of surprisingly agile and fast moving robot, its bright red grabbers clasping the recalcitrant future starship captain with just the right pressure so as not to damage him but enough to escort him back to the more decadent parts of the ship where his pharm-fuelled antics were allowed.
Singing joyously and surprisingly tunefully (another secret modification to enhance the “legend”) down the corridor to the adults only rear of the passenger section Bunzl was clearly in high spirits as the starliner fell towards its destination, the manufactured planetary system that orbited a suspiciously debris free and stable path around Hadar-B.
Bunzls’ ill advised public display of exuberance was far from the only incident during the long voyage that was borne of a dangerous mix of anticipation, boredom and good quality legal narcotics.
People from all walks of life and all shapes and sizes had taken this long voyage (almost 150 light years of straight FTL jumping) in hope of realising whatever dreams they thought would come true at the terminus and the air on board was thick with excitement and potential which often burst over into hi-jinks and horseplay.
For around Hadar B the long disappeared Gardeners had been busy. Applying their alien aesthetic vision (not to mention their god-like technology) to the raw material and energy of Hadar they had created a rich and majestic habitable planetary system which by now had the dizzying buzz of a gold rush town, populated by every possible cultural group the Community could throw at it and beyond that frenzy lay the wormhole that connected this isolated part of the Milky Way galaxy to the distant beauty and horror that lay within the Large Magellanic Cloud.