I'm Dreaming of a White Alphamission
A low, gray sky hung over the deserted gantry. For as long as anyone could remember, a wicked wind had lashed the frozen plains and ruined cities of Sumer-Vil. A few nomads pitched ragged tents among the rusting control towers, without the words to remember their ancestors' flight among the stars. Today had been no different. Wintry mix coated the sinkholed streets with slush, and no one thought of anything but to huddle away from it as best they could. What is best in life? Dry feet, no more.
As the last herder straggled back to the tent, eyes narrowed against spitting sleet, something was out of place: a light gleamed blue from a junkpile. Then pink, then red...how could there be a light? They scrabbled in the sharp metal parts, exposing a corroded hatch. They pulled the lever and it creaked open, revealing a gleaming ladder leading down to -- the tribe must know of this. The word went out: better shelter at least, and a mystery of the ancients!
They had unsealed a great fortress. Its life support and control systems wakened with soft hums and beeps as the people swarmed down, arriving seemingly from nowhere to marvel and paw over the mothballed machines. The elders counseled patience: a warm cave, let us sit down and make such a story as none have heard, of a great flight we never made, and future generations will marvel at our daring! But the younglings would not, they wanted only to forget the goats and fly, and soon we all knew our purpose.
The sounds of the fort coalesced into trick-trap rhythms, and as the funk rang out primeval knowledge rose within us. Our hands flew to the toolboards, and parts leaped from the scrapyard to meet our wrenches. Ships came down from the racks and ruins and were revealed as flightworthy, or nearly so, with just a few simple changes...
It's almost time. The launch bay doors crack open, frenzied wookiees push their last upgrades, everyone knows what they must do. Radiation be blammed, we'll mount these ships and fly! Not very far this first time, but from the littlest maggot to the most weathered sage, every one of us will go to space tonight.
20 pilots strong we launched, with high morale and mostly working ships. There were hitches, the funk took some time to reach full effectiveness. Five new craft were christened and not all worked: Punchy's drivetrain had problems and Couscous' helm was revealed to be not attached to his thruster. But a break in the clouds favored us and we made our shakedown cruise through the local constellations, bringing the funk to many desolate, icebound planets. As the temperature dropped and radiation began again, we were too far into the stars to care.
Ah, the wonders of space. Swarms of immense sandworms, onrushing salt-spewing juggernauts, a bunny. Fallout drifted down to challenge the integrity of our spacesuits. A wild Pastry Queen appeared. Punchy was knighted, with our incredible cordless knightsaber and a dramatic interpretation of the oath by Danimal. Skunk's babymaggot Perilous turned in a fine flight, and the demented geometry of Lordmcfuzz' new ship bent our brains.
The next day all's changed: the daystar pours down its flood of light and life on a hopeful world, and Sumer-Vil is filled with cheeping birds and sprouting crinoids. Our gang is back, better than ever with the old wisdom and the new ways, and we're ready to fly the starlanes and bring the funk to all.
Long live the groove!
Stormclouds Slushpiles Sleet Boogie