Note that this is not the final version and may change when the book comes out
Keep them waiting…
Hambing the Burglar…
Opening application and your mind…
Chicken pot pie ready.
Wally_Plotch: Duth? Are you there? Some of the things the system is saying look kind of off.
Duth_Olec: Activating headlights… Cheesing the text… Cheesing the reader… Welcome back! It’s The Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos again! My name is Duth Olec, and this is a novel!
Wally_Plotch: Are you sure the system is working right?
Duth_Olec: I am your gravious host. That means I’m gravy. I mean groovy.
Wally_Plotch: It’s just, some of the start-up messages didn’t even make sense.
Duth_Olec: Wally, the dork who can’t understand what’s a joke, is the court jester I mean stenographer.
Wally_Plotch: Okay, all right, I can take a hint. I shouldn’t be surprised, with all the jokes you already make.
Duth_Olec: The characters of this novel have no right to remain silent. Everything they say can and will be used in a court of maw.
Wally_Plotch: Don’t you mean a court of law?
Duth_Olec: Nope, court of maw. The food court.
Wally_Plotch: Oh, I see. We… don’t have a food court.
Duth_Olec: We do now. Maybe you can look at it sometime. Right now, we’re back to work for another tale!
Wally_Plotch: We’re off to document another story, then?
Duth_Olec: Yes! We’ve got to keep you busy, Wally, and the Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos won’t disappoint on that front. You’re not writing testimony anymore like before; you’re telling the story as it happens.
Wally_Plotch: It’s quite a bit more exciting than my old job.
Duth_Olec: Until I showed up and doom followed.
Wally_Plotch: Er, yes, that was a bit too exciting. At least I’m not directly in the action now.
Duth_Olec: We hope.
Duth_Olec: Hey, readers! For those of you who haven’t read the first Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos novel, Slubes! A Tourist’s Directory to a Slugalaxy, this might be a little confusing. I’ll give you the quick version:
Wally_Plotch: That’s not the quick version at all. It would take someone far longer just to figure out where one word ends and the other begins.
Duth_Olec: It also turns out that writing without adding spaces is slower, too. You just become so used to spaces. So reliant on them.
ALFALFA: Parsing explanation…
Duth_Olec: See, no need to worry, our resident robot, Wally, will fix everything.
Wally_Plotch: I’m not a robot. You’re thinking of the Automation Low-Functioning As a Largely-Friendly Acquaintance.
The Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos, a universe so like that of Earth, and yet so, so different. As real as the next, for a certain value of “real”. And “next”. It is a universe that sparkles with planets and suns and galaxies. Inside one of these galaxies floats a solar system with a trio of planets: Mintop, Derantu, and Zhop. On the planet Mintop resides the slube, yellow in skin, large in eye, and legless in tail. Unimportant in the large scale, in the larger scale three slubes became important beyond the planet as they brought down the fierce intergalactic ruler, The Conqueror, destroying his space station and escaping the destruction. In the process they rebuilt a crystal shattered by The Conqueror in an attempt to take it for his own. This crystal surged with power beyond that which even The Conqueror understood. It had seemed like such a good idea at the time…
Duth_Olec: Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. One year later, it seemed like peace in their time. The problem with peace is it doesn’t stay long, and it never helps pay the bill.
Wally_Plotch: That metaphor doesn’t make much sense. During times of peace, isn’t progress—or, in the metaphor, the bill—much easier to get done?
Duth_Olec: Hard work and things pay the bill. Chaos and strife show up and ruin the food, though. Peace leaves when this happens, no one gets any food, the bill is unpaid, and you’re stuck washing dishes for the night. I don’t know. I think it’s time we proceed with the story. Is everything up?
Wally_Plotch: Video feed is running, sound is on, and I can hear the thoughts of an increasingly nervous crustacean.
Duth_Olec: Let me aim this at our focus of the story… Picking anything up?
Wally_Plotch: Something about a candy cane forest?
Duth_Olec: That’s him! He’s asleep and dreaming about board games. I admit, I never quite understood why. Anyway, time to type!
Wally_Plotch: Let’s do it!