One Last Supernova

Chapter 1: Old Trouble In New Manhattan

[1] The rusting, decrepit space station "New Manhattan" orbiting the arid moon known simply as "Nowhere" was once a shining symbol of the New Earth movement. Sadly, the two hundred years that followed have left her in near ruin. What was once a home for stately officials is now a haven for junkies and thieves.

Her docking bay opened, accepting his impressively shapen cruiser deep inside her hangar. Such a fantastic ship had not graced these walls in many years. Her hull creaked and rattled with excitement.

The ship opened up, giving way to a thick cloud of gray smoke. A man emerges in a trenchcoat, smoking two cigarettes at once. "Dixon Ford, Private Investigator", he said to no one as he rolled the cigarettes back into his mouth and lit three more with a match that he struck from his mustache.

He entered a dark corridor filled with shadowy figures. The last remaining light in the ceiling flickered on and off. The rest was illuminated by candles and the occasional torch or trash can fire. Dixon smokes two more cigarettes.

The hallway ends at a neon sign that reads "A Hard Place". He kicks in the door. The bartender and five other patrons turn around and then back again as if they were used to it. It is a well known fact that Dixon Ford, Private Investigator, never enters a doorway without kicking it in.

Dixon pulls a drunk out of a certain stool at the bar and sits down. " What can I get ya this time, Ford?" said Joe Montega, the bartender. "A bottle of your cheapest bourbon and a bowl." Dixon responded. He lifted his fedora and removed a photo of a woman. She was a stunningly beautiful redhead. There was a handwritten note on the back that read, "Milk, eggs, bullets, cigarettes, dish soap."

The bartender slid Dixon his order and he proceeded to pour the whiskey into the bowl, dip cigarettes in it, and eat them. "Waiting for someone?" asked Joe. Dixon glanced again at the photo and said, "Yeah, nothing new."

[2] After he ate 10 more cigarettes soaked in whiskey, and smoked 15 cigarettes not soaked in whiskey, she entered the room. The customers present at "A Hard Place" are a drunken, indifferent lot, but a beauty like hers seldomly goes unnoticed, and so quite a few heads turned when she walked in, even here. She was dressed in a long red evening gown, and smoked a single cigarette, from a long, ivory cigarette holder. She paused when she arrived at Dixon's table, to inhale a small puff of cigarette smoke, and to let her eyes wander over Dixon up and down. Then she looked away, her chin somewhat in the air, grabbed a chair, and sat down.

"You're late", said Dixon, as he flicked away three fags. "Why are you always late?"

A certain look came across her face, one that spoke of frustration, yet she answered: "Good things come to those who wait", and smiled.

Dixon grunted. If Cherry Labonq thought she could teach private investigator Dixon some new proverbs, she had another thing coming.

"Oh yeah?", said Dixon, "Is that what you want me to tell little Jimmy?" "Who you left standing at the altar so many years ago?" "Who is raising your son all on his own? "Who took a bullet … " said Dixon, as he pointed pretentiously at Cherry, " … for you! "

Dixon calmed down, but he stared at Cherry Labonq, as he was weighing his options on how to continue this conversation. Cherry didn't have the brains to look away, so she stared back.

Finally, after three long minutes, Dixon leant forward, and whispered calmly into Cherry's ear: "If you'll excuse me, I'm … out of cigarettes."

Calmly, he walked toward the cigarette machine.

[1] He inserted a $20 bill into the machine, which was returned to him. He inserted it again and the machine spat it back out, so he punched through the glass, dropped his money in the machine, and pulled out four packs of Lucky Strike non-filter, two of which he finished on the way to the table. Cherry was flirting with the bartender. Her long serpent tongue caressed his bald scalp. "You look like you need to relax, my dear. A big, strong man like yourself can't work all day and all night. It's not good for you." Joe continued washing dishes as if she wasn't even there. "Sorry, but I'm not buying what you're selling, sweet cheeks."

With a look of disgust, she retracted her reptilian appendage and turned back to Dixon. "Anyway, the reason I called you here is because I need some information." he said. "Oh, what a surprise. Who are you after this time, Ford?" "What can you tell me about a man they call 'Jimmy No Legs'?" Cherry's tongue coils around Dixon's neck and lifts him off the ground. Five cigarettes fall out of his mouth. "And what do you want with him?" Gasping for air, Dixon painfully says, "He's wanted for the murders of three prostitutes." She drops him to the ground. "Last I heard, he was running with those GOON boys in the B40 galaxies, and when you see that *beep*, rough him up good for me. Tell him to be glad I didn't find him first." Cherry Labonq grabs her coat and storms out of the bar.

Dixon puts his hat on and stands back up. He dumps the contents of the overflowing ashtray into his mouth and chugs the remaining half bottle of whiskey, making his way to the door. Joe yells from across the room, "Next time I see you, we're gonna need to talk about that bar tab." Dixon kicks the door open and disappears back into the dark hallway.

[2] "So… The B40 galaxies ey? That's where those damn Arachnodons live." "Nevermind those though … Ivan Warpy lives there too." "And he's your only chance at going undercover successfully in that neighbourhood, Dix." "Out of all the people …", Ford mumbled to himself, as he walked back to his cruiser.

Just as he gets his protoplasm handle out of his pocket, to start his warpdrive engines with, he notices some junkies near the starboard cannon of his ship. They're trying to get to the cannon's quadramological unimberther, to get the quansa juice out. "A junkie's gotta shoot something, but not today!" Ford says as he dives behind a trash can, and draws his gun. Then, he lights four cigarettes, to create a smoke curtain. Nah, who he is trying to kid, he just wants more of that smooth, soothing, rich tobacco flavour offered by his Lucky Strike non-filter cigarettes, and he wants it now! With two cigarettes in his mouth sticking to the left, and two to the right, he pops up from behind the trash can and shoots the junkies in cold blood. They fall down, and one of them stretches his arm towards Dixon Ford, while his life is flowing away from him. He seems to want to address the two pairs of small orange lights he can make up in the thick smoke coming from behind the trash can, but those quickly become a blur, and with that, another life ends prematurely at "New Manhattan."

Dix puts his gun away, and takes out his protoplasm handle again. He inserts it into the warpdrive, gives it a good yank, and the ships engines start humming. "New Manhattan … " he mumbles sarcastically as he is seen stepping into his cruiser.


Chapter 2

[2] Space can be a cold, lonely place sometimes. But Dixon Ford isn't made of stone, although he sometimes likes to think he is. Just this morning, he took a look at his morning missile, and said: "Maybe I should take you for a walk today, Dix junior." "And let your one eye do a little close-up uterus inspecting."

An hour later, Dixon Ford found himself at a local brothel. One with all sorts of girls. White girls, black girls, green girls, girls with four arms -for that little extra touch- girls with tails … you name it. Dix picks out a nice looking qualtomore, because he knows how tight those are, and together they go upstairs.

"I'm leexna, what's your name, baby?", the qualtomore asks in her deep, hoarse voice. "Dix, private … dick." Ford says, and he licks his moustache. "Undress", Leexna says. Dixon undresses, as does the girl, and then Leexna asks: "What can I do for you today, baby?" "Lay down on the bed, and spread your legs", Ford says.

Qualtomores can be a little dry down there, but Dixon prefers eating them over lubing them. It's just his way. And besides, they taste of salmon. As Dixon is licking the girl, he pauses only very briefly now and then to take a drag from his two cigarettes. Ah, smoked salmon.

Once she is wet enough, Dix turns her over, and proceeds to do her doggy style. She has a nice little dimple just above her crack, which Dixon uses as an ashtray. "Ah baby … ", Dixon says in the heat of the moment, "You're really … smoking!"

Dix finishes soon afterwards, but since his time isn't up yet, he lays on the bed with the girl for a bit, smoking an entire pack of cigarettes at the same time.

[1] On his way out of her room, Dixon notices something out of the corner of his eye. It was a man leaving another room a few hundred feet down the hallway. His top half was completely normal. Dixon took note of his pelvic area, from whence sprang tousands of legs of all different shapes and sizes. He appeared to hover when he walked down the hallway towards Dixon. When his face came into the light, Dix saw the eye patch, the handlebar mustache, and the single earring on the left side. This was, without a doubt, the man he had been searching for. He lit eight more cigarettes and drew his weapon.

"Stop right there, Jimmy No Legs! You're under arrest!" Jimmy let out a loud, shrill screech that shattered all of the light fixtures and kicked Dixon in the face with 200 legs at once. Dixon was out cold.

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