When Floyd was a battle-hardened starship captain, he knew exactly what he was doing, and his crew knew it too. This was considerably easier to verify than it had been when Floyd was just a run-of-the-mill-non- battle-hardened starship captain, as he was now the only member of his crew left alive. To compensate for this recent downturn in vital statistics, Floyd's starship had also been downgraded to what might be called a one-man escape pod, and might be called an unexpectedly air-tight scrap of crushed metal spiralling wildly away from what once might have been called the mothership of the Psycho Sluts from the Child-Killing Circus of Pluto.

Floyd considered himself triumphant, if not lucky, having just defended the Earth from an enemy it would never know it had. To a lesser extent, he had also defended the Child-Killing Sluts from the Psycho Circus of Pluto from their most mortal of foes, but this seemed rather moot as the methods employed would likely destroy them as well in a matter of weeks, when Pluto would likely undergo gravitational collapse. Quantum singularities make lousy pets, as they say.

Now a replacement trans-Neptunian object himself, Floyd briefly attempted to calculate exactly how long he presumably had to survive on a pocket of air no larger than himself, before dismissing it as doomed to imprecision and likely to be depressing in any case. He thought a moment more about his fate, though not in any hopeful sense, and eventually resigned himself to passing out from asphyxiation.

Just as he had set his resolve, Floyd heard a distinctly patterned sound emanating from around him. Still the experienced space captain of three days at heart, Floyd instinctively instructed the activation of his communications view-screen. Of course, this effort was in vain as he was still thoroughly doom-wrapped in a chunk of metal that had no business supporting life in the first place, much less communications and other higher-functions a living being might enjoy. All the same, a large image politely flickered to life in front of Floyd just after he issued the command. Floyd began to think this was very nice of it, but was soon cut off mid-nice by an alarmingly lethal voice:

"Surrender your vessel and identify yourself! We are warriors of the Venusian Vampire Vixens star-empire, and you have encroached on our Venusian territory!"

This surprised Floyd for a number of reasons. Firstly, it was no less than the third alien species he had come across that week, which seemed not at all to compliment his previous record of close-to-none throughout the whole of his current lifetime. Secondly, unless some major redistricting had been going on without his knowledge, Floyd was pretty sure that Venus was no where near Neptune that time of year. Finally, Floyd also considered it rather pompous of any planet who hadn't ever even said hello to its own next-door neighbor to go about calling itself center of a star empire.

"I think you'll find", started Floyd, "That I am in-fact not in a space- worthy vessel. As you, on the other hand, presumably are in some type of spacecraft, I would suggest that in fact you are in a much more suitable position than I to do any vessel-surrendering. Also, I'm Floyd."

The pale-faced and purple latex clad warrior whose face still inexplicably filled the front of the roughly man-sized blob of twisted metal in which Floyd drifted seemed taken aback by the declaration, but also seemed forced to consider its merits. The face turned angrily towards something just off-screen and shouted.

"Take the pod into the cargo hold! And abandon ship!" It turned back to Floyd and snarled. "You may have won this time, 'Floyd', but it certainly won't be the last!"

Floyd was a bit surprised that the same trick had worked twice in as many days, though it seemed easier to swallow now that he wasn't actually on a massive battle cruiser. Floyd entered the ship and was soon handed the keys to the main navigational matrix by the frightening woman who he learned was named "Thuula". As they were turning back towards Venus in retreat, Floyd contacted Thuula's more-spaceworthy escape pod and thanked her for being so reasonable, before fiddling with a large joystick labelled "Superweapon" put an end to her planet and self. Floyd felt a bit of regret, but it seemed for the best anyway.

Floyd landed the space ship awkwardly on his neighbor's house, then returned home and attempted to remember what it was he had been doing before this whole adventure began. Eventually he decided he couldn't remember, so he watched some television. There was some news report on about astronomy or something.

for SciFiQuest 3008

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