For years I've been picking away at writing what I call The Adventures of Marvin & Cul, a sci-fi series of mini-stories about two medieval Brits who get caught up in galactic time-travel & adventure-mongering. It's actually quite silly stuff; one proofreader compared it to Douglas Adams' writing style, and at that point I hadn't even heard of Douglas Adams or The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. (I know, I know... what kind of nerd am I?)
To set it up, their spacecraft has been stolen, and as they recover it they meet Willy, a member of the local police.
Gotta run and do some more... it feels good to create like this. But it's hard...
Marvin suddenly recalled that the ship had been stolen, and by somebody. “Cul, did you see the thugs that stole the ship?”
Cul shook his head. “No sign of them. I did find some slime trails.”
“Sounds like you got some punk slugs on your hands, boys,” Willy quipped. “We got a bit of a problem with them around here. Always loitering, looking for trouble, and every now and then they steal a ship for a joyride. They tend to hide in engine compartments. For the heat.” From behind him he whipped out a sort of pistol. “I'll take care of 'em.”
He held the pistol down low and scurried up the ramp with speed uncharacteristic to his apparent age and girth. Passing Cul at the doorway, he motioned for him and Marvin to follow. Cul drew his sword. Marvin found a small ficus tree, displaced in the commotion, and scooped it up, brandishing it - roots and all - like a flimsy, leafy club.
As they trio entered the engine compartment in the Space Knight's stern, lit only by the ambient light from the open ramp, they saw a pair of slime trails leading behind a storage bin, which had been rather obviously slid out of its natural location, leaving a shadowy space behind it.
Marvin held the ficus out in one arm and with the other reached to the light controls on the wall. Immediately the room came alive with colour; the tail of one of the slugs could be seen peeking out from behind the bin.
“OK, slugs, come on out. This is your only warning.”
A glistening eye-stalk slipped over the bin and stole a glance at each of the trio, then disappeared. A few seconds later, they heard a click and a whine.
Willy immediately fired at the one visible tail, and a bolt of blue vapor whisped itself onto the slick slug surface, causing it to turn a stiff, frosty brown. Cul sprung forward and pried the bin farther away from the wall, exposing the other slug, and Willy followed up with three more whumps from his pistol, freezing the second slug in place as well. Marvin concentrated on shaking the ficus around, hoping it would help.
Willy holstered his pistol again and approached the frozen slugs. “They usually don't pack heat, these punk-types. This one's got some pretty serious ordinance.” He examined the weapon still frozen in the slug's grip, which was an awkward sort of pinching around the device. “It's a Moonkiller MK IV. I've only ever seen them in vids on the Outernet. Very expensive. Very powerful. This is the kind of gear that I'd expect to see in the hands of a sophisticated army. How did this slug get it?”