Excerpt for McEdifice Returns by , available in its entirety at Smashwords



McEdifice Returns


Timothy the Talking Cat and Straw Puppy

With minor assistance from Camestros ‘What a Stupidhead’ Felapton


Published by Cattimothy House

Smashwords Edition


Copyright Camestros Felapton 2017



~ — * — ~



Smashwords Edition, License Notes

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McEdifice Returns

Foreword by Timothy the Talking Cat

Chapter 1

Chapter 2 Probably

Time for Chapter 3

Chapters are a cultural convention that we need not adhere to

McEdifice Returns: I cant remember which Chapter Number this is

Chapter n+1

McEdifice Returns: Chapter 7 (+/- 1)

Chapter for the sake of argument lets call it nine

Chapter Baen

Chapter Alt-Comic Book!!!

Bonus Chapter - The ‘I’s Have It

Chapter Noir

Chapter Sort of Pulpish Cover

Chapter Eleven I Think

Goosebumpy Halloween Special

Chapter Well Be Back After This Short Break

Chapters are just another way the man tries to control us

Bonus McEdifice Title Song

Chapter Its Grimdark Oop North

Chapter Awards

Chapter Fan Service

Chapter 21 (check the numbering later)

Chapter Man Pain Back Story

Bonus McEdifice Puzzle Cover!

Chapter penULTIMATE!!! So many reveals!

Chapter Novella Crisis

Final Edifice

Also from Cattimothy House


Foreword by Timothy the Talking Cat

Greetings adventure lovers! You’ve chosen the right moment to get on board with the most exciting adventure that money or other forms of fungible exchange can buy! Oh it is crammed pack full of adventure and manliness and manly adventure. There are some scary bits but not too scary because I don’t want to get nightmares. I had a nightmare that I was living in France and I couldn’t say ‘boulangerie’ without all the French cats laughing at me, so I had to run and hide in the sewers and it was full of green rats who knew what my nickname was from primary school. That was a really bad nightmare and maybe I shouldn’t have eaten that cheesecake just before going to bed but Camestros said that ‘cats are lactose intolerant’ and I said ‘how dare you call me intolerant just because I am on the right hand side of the political spectrum doesn’t mean you can around slandering me with your libels!’. So I ate the cheesecake out of spite and he said ‘Well don’t go waking me up in the middle of the night because you have a stomach ache’. And I didn’t do that - I woke up him in the middle of the night because I had a nightmare. So that’s twice he was wrong.


Note from Camestros Felapton: due to file formats and file size, the full set of covers are not included as individual images but can be seen altogether in the special cover chapter. A special PDF book called ‘McEdifice the Covers” will be available at https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/ soon.


Chapter 1

Standing proudly before his lonesome homestead on the far prairie plains of the Grassland Planet of Steppe, Chiseled McEdifice was chopping wood. He was standing when he was chopping the wood obviously I dont think those two things contradict each other and I wish the beta reviewer would JUST GET OUT OF MY FACE and learn their place. Me: the author, in charge, creative genius. Them: the lowly moron who should be grateful that they get this kind of opportunity to learn from the best quite frankly. Can you chop wood sitting down? No, so what are you going on about? He is STANDING and chopping the wood and those two images do not clash”.

Here, in this dusty retreat, McEdifice was seeking the peace his life had never given him.

“I’m just looking for peace,he said wistfully as he stared out over the grassy plains before him.

“BANG!”

Just then a gunshot rang out and a bullet ricocheted off his space marine helmet (he was wearing his space marine helmet obviously look at the cover image). The HUD display flickered on in his helmet (no that isn’t ‘redundantI cant just say his HUD flickered onas that sounds perverted to me). Targeting identified a heat source 501.67 metres away to the north east.

Enhance,McEdifice vocalised and in some sort of cool special effect way the helmet magnified that area of his vision (with maybe a hi-tech noise like boop-ooohwushboop). It was one of the Treerat gang!

The Treerat Gang: a bunch of outlaws and pagan worshippers of the ancient demonic squirrel god. They had a lasting hate for McEdifice ever since he drove them and their filthy ways out of town and killed their leader in a shoot-out.

With one deft movement, McEdifice hoisted his wood chopper into one hand and then with a mighty flick of his elbow he sent the axe careening through the air. THUNK! it landed straight in the miscreants head who then let out an ungodly scream: aieeeee!and then died.

I guess that trespasser should have axed for permission before stepping on my land.quipped McEdifice sardonically.

Just then, McEdifice realised that the back paddock was unguarded! He ran as fast as he could but he was too late! Another outlaw had sneaked round and now was pointing a gun at McEdifices only friend: a lovely pony called Chuck.

Dont move McEdifice or the pony gets it!said the outlaw.

Dont you harm a hair on that ponys head!said McEdifice.

Shoot him McEdifice!said the pony this is in space right so it can be a talking pony I think. Probably a mutant pony or something.

Stay calm Chuck,said McEdifice.

“I’m just going to mosey on out of here with this here pony,said the outlaw in that kind of accent that outlaws have in cowboy movies.

McEdifice checked his pocket and in his pocket, he found a pencil. With one deft movement he hoisted the pencil into his hand and then with one mighty flick of his elbow he launched the pencil onto a ballistic trajectory (yes I do know what that means and on this planet the gravity means it is like a straight line because that is cool) which flew straight into the outlaws head.

aieeeee!said the outlaw and then he died.

McEdifice ran over to Chuck.

Thank God you are OK old buddy!said McEdifice to Chuck. I guess it was obvious he was saying it to Chuck (the pony) and not the outlaw because the outlaw was not his buddy and was also very dead by now. I guess he could have said it sarcastically to the dead outlaw that would be kind of cool if he said it in a drawl. Anyway, he didnt do a quip at this point because I couldnt think of one.

“I’m not OK dear friend,said Chuck, in the stress of the moment I caught a terminally pony-sickness and Im now dying. Goodbye old friend, we had good times together.and then Chuck died. Oh gosh, this is so sad.

“Noooooooo!!!!!!” said McEdifice and at that moment he swore revenge! He knew his quiet life of peace on the plains was over. Hed tried to escape the horrors of space-war but war was what he knew and it would always keep pulling him back!

Oh! I thought of a quip he could have said when he killed the second outlaw! I guess I was quick on the drawbecause he used a pencil you see. Thats what he said when he killed the outlaw sardonically. So just imagine now I told you that earlier, OK?

Sorry about Chuck the Pony dying. Dont be upset beta reviewer – it’s for motivation. OK, ok. Later after McEdifice goes off to get revenge, it turns out that Chuck wasnt quite dead, he was just very, very tired from the space-mutant-pony disease and needed a long nap. He then got better but McEdifice had already left. So in the next chapter Chuck isnt actually dead but just asleep but McEdifice thinks Chuck is dead. OK? Good.


Chapter 2 Probably

REVENGE! There was but one thought on McEdifices mind: REVENGE! The outlaws of the evil Treerat Gang (a bunch of outlaws and pagan worshippers of the ancient demonic squirrel god) had killed (not really but thats what he thinks right now) the only friend he had on the Grassland Planet of Steppes. They had a lasting hate for McEdifice ever since he drove them and their filthy ways out of town and killed their leader in a shoot-out. Yes, I KNOW I used that sentence already it is called helping the reader out. What if they had accidentally skipped over that sentence maybe they were briefly interrupted by an insensitive fellow householder demanding to know what all that mess was on the floor? Where was I? Ah, yes! REVENGE!

With his pony Chuck now dead (not actually but thats what he thinks), McEdifice had no recourse but to use an old bicycle that was sitting in the barn. As he stood by the barn gates, McEdifice paused for a moment to remember all the good times he and Chuck had had in the barn. He would never forget Chuck and how he had both been a good friend and a useful form of transport on the rugged but on average quite-flat world of Steppe.

McEdifice strapped on a bandolier of knives and guns and ammo and probably grenades and then hopped on the bike and set off on his way to Outlaws Gulch the hiding place of the infamous Treerat Gang!

It was a charming day for a bicycle ride. The sun was out and a cool breeze rippled across the plains, causing the tops of the tall grasses to shimmer as if the ground was glad in yellow-green velvet. Excellent sentence all round I think. High fives for that one. McEdifice whistled a jaunty song as he cycled along the stony path.

Eventually, he reached a slight incline as the ground made its way towards Outlaws Gulch. As his speed increased McEdifice attempted to apply the brakes but to no avail! The brakes were not working somehow! Oh, my gosh. The path to Outlaws Gulch was becoming steeper and the bike was bumping along the rocky road in a way that was quite uncomfortable!

Oh dear!said McEdifice as he once again made a futile attempt to apply the brakes! Just then the front wheel hit a particularly large pebble! The bike crashed and McEdifice was thrown clear!

KABOOM! The bicycle exploded in a fiery explosion as a consequence of it hitting a rock. McEdifice rushed over and beat back the flames and then with one mighty flick of his shoulders he hoisted up the flaming bike and threw it into a near by pond which I should have probably mentioned earlier.

With a heavy heart, McEdifice examined the now parboiled bicycle. The brake lines had been cut! One of the outlaws must have sabotaged the bike before they shot at him, maybe like five minutes before hand. I guess they did it quietly.

He stared at the now ruined bike and then picked it up and cradled it in his arms. This bicycle had been his one true companion on the Grassland Planet of Steppe a trusty steed in times of need, a faithful servant and a mechanical marvel that could deftly make use of normal human effort to provide a more efficient use of the energy produced when travelling along relatively flat surfaces. But now that bicycle was dead. Another victim of the evil Treerat Gang.

McEdifice looked up to the sky and howled Noooooooo!!!!! Why must it always be the good ones who are taken?He then laid the broken remains of the bicycle softly on the cool grass saluted it and set off on his mission with a renewed purpose.

Before it had simply been about revenge, now it was PERSONAL.


Time for Chapter 3

McEdifice softly caressed McEdifices swan-like neck. Oh darling,he whispered into his ear, this night is so magical. I feel we could fly forever upon this magical wingéd horse.

This has been the most beautiful night of my lifehold onwouldnt a flying horse need both musculatures to sustain flight and to support more standard equestrian activities?said McEdifice.

McEdifice held on tighter to the manly chest of his beloved McEdifice. Good point,he said, Also a flying animal necessarily has a lighter skeleton structure making a flying horse unsuitable to act as an animal that could bear the weight of two very manly men.

Also, now that you come to mention itisnt there only one of us?

Hmm that does seem fishy but maybe this is all the effect of the magical kingdom far below us?

No way McEdifice! I can believe in faster than light travel, mutant talking ponies, psionics, time travel, non-mammalian alien species that nonetheless look like sexy women, laser-swords, space wormholes and space vampires and star-whales BUT I draw the line at such absurd notions as magic’.”

Hmmm, then I must draw the conclusion that I…”

am hallucin…”

“…ating and must

wake myself up.

Brace yourself McEdifice this is going to hurt!

‘Ouch!”

Are we awake yet?

No, youd better hit me again.

McEdifice awoke with a start. He was lying next to the burnt remains of the bicycle. Cautiously he sniffed his hands. There was the soft sweet smell of decaying blueberries.

Hallucinox 17! The slow acting psychotropic drug that could be easily absorbed through the skin!

McEdifice inspected the handlebars of the bicycle. Despite the charred smell, the scent of hallucinox 17 was still detectable! Those despicable Treerats had not only tried to sabotage his bike but also his MIND!

“Nooooooo!!!!!!” cried McEdifice.

He swore on the lingering memory of the star speckled Pegasus that he would seek revenge on those who had attacked his basic sense of reality. Before it had only been personal now it was PHARMACEUTICAL.


Chapters are a cultural convention that we need not adhere to

McEdifice Returns by Timothy the Talking Cat and Straw Puppy ©Timothy the Talking Cat and Straw Puppy. McEdificeTimothy the Talking Cat and Straw Puppy. All rights reserved. Patent pending. Also, we put this whole chapter in an envelope and mailed it to the Pope but we deliberately used the wrong address so it came back to us which means our copyright claim is recognised by the Vatican and the Post Office.

McEdifice was still recovering from having punched himself out of a hallucination, staggered onward to Outlaws Gulch, the infamous hideout of the Treerat Gang against who he had sworn revenge for what was now a multitude of crimes. To wit:

1. Shooting at his head

2. Killing Chuck the Pony (dont worry he isnt really dead)

3. Sabotaging Simon the Bicycle (sadly Simon is definitely dead also we decided to call him Simonso you knew which bicycle we were talking about)

4. Putting hallucinogenic drugs on the handlebars of the bike

5. Being all round bad people

Oh, those miscreants were in for a heap of trouble once McEdifice got their hands on them! This was going to be a showdown of epic proportions! A gunfight of some significant magnitude! A veritable brouhaha of brutality and bruises. A Toccata and fugue of Bach-like proportions where violence is the organ keys and McEdifice would be pulling out all the stops. (Nice one SP!)

McEdifice stepped through the entrance to Outlaws Gulch with a brazen swagger, knowing that his very appearance would intimidate the feeble willed outlaws.

Come out and meet my vengeance!shouted McEdifice.

But the only sound was the echo of his cry.

Theyre all gone McEdifice,said a snide and yet familiar voice.

With reflexes so quick that the nerve impulses in his nerves probably go like faster than lightning, McEdifice whipped around lightning fast with his laser pistol ready to spurt lightning at the intruder behind him.

There was nobody there.

Over here, you stupid ass.said the snide voice.

McEdifice looked up and then left and right.

In the tree. For goodness sake. It is RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU.

McEdifice turned back to the centre of the gulch where stood an old oak tree. On a branch sat a man in full dress uniform of the Intergalactic Space Navy Marine Corp.

Well, well, well,said McEdifice, if it isnt Commander Clench, my old nemesis. I thought I told you never to set foot again on the Grassland Planet of Steppe.

Well yes, you did but as I explained at the time, Im free to go anywhere I like and also I outrank you and also I have an orbiting space-dreadnought directly above us that could wipe you off the face of the planet before you could even grimace at me in a way I didn’t like.” explained Commander Clench.

Well, I told you then that I was never going back. Im officially retired.

Your choice McEdifice but Ive some bad news for you. If you want those Treerat boys then theyve already left the planet.

What?

War has returned to the Galaxy McEdifice. The massed armada of the evil Space Vampires is claiming huge tracts of space. The Intergalactic Space Army has conscripted every lowlife, miscreant, outlaw, ner-do-well, street punk and tax account into a desperate rag-tag yet elite army of the meanest, nastiest and most financially prudent scum-of-the-earth battalion you never imagined. This bad battalionas we have named them will form the vanguard of an assault on the space vampires followed by more conventional (and better groomed) forces.

That means nothing to me Clench. My mission is vengeance not another one of your endless wars. No, not even the looming threat of my ultimate enemy the insidious space vampires is enough to sway me from my course of avenging Chuck and Simon.

Actually Chuck is fine.

I wont fall for your lies again Clench.

Have it your way, but the only way you can kill those Treerat Boys is to shoot your way through the Intergalactic Space Army, killing brave soldiers intent on defending the galaxy from evil space vampires. Oh, I know you McEdifice, better than you know yourself.

Damn you Clench. What is it that you want from me?

Mainly to humiliate you and make you look stupid. To that end, here is a once only offer. If you join the Intergalactic Space Army then you will have the right under the military code of settling debts of honour via the ancient tradition of a duel. Your course is simple: join the army, make your way to the front, challenge the Treerat Boys in turn to duels. And, of course, while you are out there KILL SOME SPACE VAMPIRES.

Grrrrr. DAMN YOU CLENCH! OK, you give me no choice. If Major Commander McEdifice needs to take to the field of battle one more time then Ill do just that.

Minor correction: that would be PRIVATE McEdifice. Your rank was for the Space Navy Marines. Youll need to join the ARMY. Its back to boot camp for you McEdifice!

“NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!”


McEdifice Returns: I can’t remember which Chapter Number this is

McEdifice Returns by Timothy the Talking Cat and Straw Puppy. For all rights reserved under both Common Law and Admiralty Law for ever. For the corporate shells known as TIMOTHY THE TALKING CAT and STRAW PUPPY.

Oh we should start this chapter with an excerpt from a future encyclopedia so we can do a subtle info-dump for background!

Planet Campus – the Boot Camp and Corporate Office Planet of Tau Bootes X. Straddled by a single ring-shaped continent that alternates in bands between lonely countryside fall of barracks and obstacle courses and dull looking office buildings full of out-dated office equipment.

The hyper-specialism of the galactic civilisation has inexorably led to planets that were just-one-thing: the desert planet of Sandy, the lumpy planet of Lumpus, the planet that just looks like Amsterdam all over of Damsterham, and the Sydney Opera House planet of Utzon-Jørn to name but a few. To resist the planetary monoculture creating a fundamental fragility to galactic civilisation, the ruling Galactical Confederation of Galactic Imperial Republics had instigated a controversial Come on, Every Planet Has to Have at Least Two Things Guyslaw, that mandated that every planet had to have at least a pair of signature things. The desert planet of Sandy for example also became the unfeasibly large worm planet whereas the lumpy planet of Lumpus tried to skirt the law by declaring itself also the Planet of Very Tiny Valleys planet.

Planet Campus of Tau Bootes X had already staked out a very stable niche as the planet of early 21st Century offices. In an attempt to preserve cultures of historical note and ways of life that might become extinct due to social and technological change, Planet Campus had been populated with low-rise office buildings and locked into 21st-century technology. Dealing with paperwork, and project management methodologies the planet had descended into urban warfare due to a quasi-religious conflict between traditionalist adherents to the church of Prince2 and ninja-heretics committed to Agile Methodology.  

Only after the civil war had consumed much of the planet was it revealed that the conflict had been orchestrated by histriosocioempiricists committed to Seldonism, who wished to see if 21st-century social media was the root cause of the factionalism witnessed on Earth at the equivalent time. After careful consideration of the evidence, they had absolved social-media as a root cause and had concluded in a lengthy report that the primary cause was that people are just dicks.

The Space Galactical Space Army landed in force as peace-keepers to end the conflict and to ensure that Planet Campus could return to its vital economic work of moving gradually towards the paperless-office by printing huge reports on the topic. After thirty years of a second civil war between the Space Galactical Space Army and the insurgents, a peace of sorts was brokered. The planet was divided into alternate bands business zone/boot camp/business zone/boot camp etc. Thus successfully separating warring project management ideologies with military zones mainly filled with new recruits. The success of a planet with two signature things would be an inspiration for planets everywhere. Extract from Whats the Thing about Planet Campus of Tau Bootes XOmnipancyclopedia Cosmosicos 3576

McEdifice stepped out of the post-orbital drop craft and looked around him. In the hazy distance he could just make out what looked like the central business district of a small town but surrounding him was green countryside, obstacle courses, barracks and a habit designed for cruel, demanding, sadistic and shouty drill-sergeants.

Welcome to Bootcamp 17 of Planet Campus the Bootcamp Planet of Tau Bootes X.said a particularly loud drill sergeant.

“Nooooooo!!!!!” cried McEdifice.


Chapter n+1

McEdifice Returns by Timothy the Tremendous Talking Cat and The Artist Formerly Known as Straw Puppy. Assume n is a chapter, then n+1 would be the next chapter and therefore as next chapteris by definition a chapter, chapter n+1 is also a chapter. Therefore for all , chapter n is a chapter. As the cardinality of  is 0 therefore the total number of chapters is also 0

Planet Campus – the Boot Camp and Corporate Office Planet of Tau Bootes X. [Weve done that bit.]

[Ok, skipping ahead]

It was week 4 of intensive training for the new recruits of the Intergalactic Space Army. Trainee unit Alpha 57 consisted of Dweeble, Mush, Henumhein, Chuckowitz, Mertlebay, Shumpwinder, Scoot, Pumpwhistle, Pendlebee, Zorb, Feratu, and McEdifice.

I HAVE NEVER SEEN, a more mangy, misbegotten, NO GOOD, bunch of FLEA INFESTED, scum-bag eating EXCUSES for recruits in all MY DAYS at Bootcamp 67!Drill Sergeant Ernie (Earnest to his friends of which he had none) was professionally loud, cantankerous and had master degrees in bullying, verbal abuse, and counterproductive unfairness.

McEdifice narrowed his eyes. Sure, he understood the basic principle of psychologically breaking the recruits down so as to rebuild their personalities as a hardened unit of warriors but McEdifice couldnt ignore his instincts and his instincts told him that the camp had been infiltrated by SPACE VAMPIRES. He didnt know who the infiltrator was but he knew that he didnt like Drill Sergeant Ernie.

Trainee Unit Alpha 57, you have ONE HOUR to sweep this drill yard cleaner than a nuns browsing history! DISMISSED!Shouted Ernie to the quivering recruits (obviously, McEdifice wasnt quivering but the recruits, in general, where you get the idea).

Hey, McEdifice,another recruit called over to him as they grabbed their brooms. It was Recruit Feratu or “Noz” as he liked to be known. A stringy looking bald guy with a sickly pallor. McEdifice was concerned for Nozs health and was unsure whether the poor guy would make it through basic training.

How you holding up Noz?asked McEdifice.

“I’m OK. Its just being out in the sun, its not so good for my skin. I just wanted to thank you for the large floppy hat and the factor 100 suncream.said Noz with a timid smile.

Not a problem Noz. Remember we are a TEAM and a team works together and looks after each other.counselled McEdifice.

Thanks, Ill remember. Hey, could you tell me again about the super-secret anti-space-vampire weapons you were talking about last night?inquired Noz.

Sure, basically it is a nanotech shotgun shell that contains nanoscopic machines which emit tiny UV laser beams and garlic essence simultaneously. This allows them to burrow into the skin of the space vampire or even attack its essence when in bat, rat or spooky cloud form,explained McEdifice.

Gosh,said Noz, thats remarkable. Those space vampires wont know what hit them!

Exactly! It is a good job it is super secret so dont tell anybody who isnt in the armed forces, understood? Also, I think you should visit the camp dentist, your teeth are looking quite ragged and discoloured.said McEdifice comradely.

Um, sure. Will do!said Noz who then began brushing the drill yard in a different direction.

Just then Chuckowitz tripped over his own broom and fell sprawling onto the yard. McEdifice dropped his broom and went over to help.

Stop right there McEdifice!It was Drill Sergeant Ernie who had briefly returned to check on the recruits.

Ow! I hurt my ankle!said Chuckowitz.

One of our men is down,growled McEdifice, and that means we help them. Thats the Space Marine code.

Yeah, well you arent in the Marines any longer old-timer. The only code on this drill yard is the code of do whatever I say when I say it!” Drill Sergeant Ernie leaned right into McEdifices face which was partly obscured by his space helmet.

“I’m not one to disobey the chain of command,said McEdifice, which was strictly not true because McEdifice is a maverick who GETS SHIT DONE and knows when to break the rules but was true in principle I guess.

Ha, I knew you were just a scared little mouse,sneered Ernie, too lilly-liveredhe added poking McEdifice in the chest, and soft-hearted,poking again, and too much of a wishy-washy, namby-pamby, Navy-boy to stand up for yourself.On each word, he poked McEdifice in the chest some more.

Did you, Sir, just insult the Intergalactic Space Navy, Sir?asked McEdifice in a voice that was both respectful and yet full of charged menace.

Yeah, I insulted the gruddam, no-good, culottes wearing, up-itself Intergalactic Space Navy and you, recruit, are going to stand there and take it.growled Drill Sergeant Ernie with a mocking grin.

Really? Am I? Because regulation 12.12a.iic of the Intergalactic Uniform Code specifically states that insults pursuant to one service in relation to another service of the combined defence forces of the peoples of the galaxy and beyond must be resolved by the relevant complainants and parties according to the method of TRIAL BY COMBAT and according to the honoured tradition of the GENTLEMANLY DUEL.said McEdifice barrack-room-lawyerly.

What? You insubordinate little shit! Ill see you placed in the brig for that!howled an enraged Ernie.

STAND DOWN SERGEANT!gasp! It was General OFiercegaiters! I heard the whole thing and the recruit here is quite correct. You crossed a line sergeant, insulting another arm of the United Intergalactic Defence Forces. The recruit is quite within their rights to demand restitution from you.

Butbutthis is Chisled McEdifice! Hes a stone-cold killer trained in multiple forms of unarmed, partially armed and fully armed combat! Hell murdelize me!squealed Drill Sergeant Ernie.

Not at all! This will be a gentlemanly bout of boxing following Space Marquis of Space Queensbury rules,explained General O’Fiercegaiters, “let’s say oh-six-hundred hours tomorrow morning, at the old boxing rink out by the spooky forest.

Oh, I love the spooky forest!said Noz.

Thats the spirit!said the general, This match will be good for morale!

McEdifice said nothing but smiled inwardly he knew this was the perfect opportunity to expose Drill Sergeant Ernie as the Space Vampire that he probably was, but it would take all night for him to prepare.

Oh, it is spam fritters for tea tonight!said Pumpwhistle, changing the subject.

“Nooooooo!!!!!!” cried McEdifice.



[Post Chapter Notes]

Hi Timothy here, your loveable author and editor providing some additional notes not unlike the commentary track on a DVD which nobody ever listens to and which were probably only ever added because that was supposed to be the big selling point of DVDs - not that anybody buys DVDs these days, it is all streaming this and nitflex that.


Some observant readers have noted that this chapter mentions a character called ‘Pumpwhistle’ whose name is not unlike that of a later character called ‘Popwhistle’. They have speculated whether these are actually the SAME character! The answer is no, they are different. The big clue is that their names are different. If there was a character called Smith and a character called Smythe would you go “oh they’ve got to be the same person because their names are a bit alike’? No. Would you do that in real life? No, don’t be daft.


McEdifice Returns: Chapter 7 (+/- 1)

McEdifice Returns brought to you Timothy the Talking Cat, cleans with a fresh aroma, and Straw Puppy, the miracle flour improver that will make your smile sparkle”.

Lights out was at 2100 hours. McEdifice made a stealthy exit from the barracks and then, using his cat like agility, he slip in through an open skylight into the Planetary Combat Services Support Storage Unit. McEdifice checked his chronometer. He had arranged with Trainee Chuckowitz to meet at the old boxing rink in exactly one hour. McEdifice would bring the supplies and Chuckowitz would help install the equipment in the right locations. Tomorrow, McEdifice would be fighting Drill Sergeant Ernie and if McEdifice was right then hed be fighting not a mortal soldier but a fiendish, blood-sucking space vampire.

McEdifice would always fight fair but when it came to space vampires fighting fairmeant bringing some substantial ordinance.

With a large wheelbarrow of equipment, McEdifice set off from the PCSS-SU and and hiked up the trail through the old spooky forest. It was quiet, too quiet. Also it was dark, too dark. And the road was rocky, too rocky and McEdifice wasnt wearing any shoes. Luckily McEdifice had tough soles and a tough soul tough enough to endure the dark, the quiet and the sharp stones on his feet.

Just then! A noise! A soft moan and the sound of a body dropping onto a forest floor!

McEdifice, his senses on high alert, parked the wheelbarrow and headed off the trail and into the thick of the forest.

He hadnt gone far when he bumped into Trainee Feratu.

“Noz!” called McEdifice, relieved to see his fellow recruit.

Oh, erm, hi,said Noz sheepishly.

What are you doing out in the spooky forest at this time of night?asked McEdifice.

Oh, just going for a walk like a regular person, ha, ha.Noz laughed nervously.

mmmumph,a mumbled noise came from the undergrowth.

Good grief!cried McEdifice, “it’s Chuckowitz!”

Oh, oh, yes I came to help Chuckowitz! And then he tripped and…erm…, then he fell over.explained Noz hurriedly.

Hmm and it looks like he cut his neck?said McEdifice helping an apparently dazed Chuckowitz to his feet.

Oh dear! Id better get him back to the barracks!said Noz.

Good thinkingwait, come over here into the light of my military grade flashlight.said McEdifice with a strong hint of suspicion in his voice. Show me your teeth Recruit Feratu!

My teeth? OK, justI can explain OK.said Noz nervously.

I KNEW IT!said McEdifice the hint of suspicion had become a fully flavoured stock cube of triumph in his tone.

Please dont hurt me!pleaded Noz.

Space gingivitis!said McEdifice.

I never wanted to be a space vampwhat? Sorry, what did you say?

Gum disease man! Periodontal decay! Youve all the classic symptoms!McEdifice stuck his fingers into Nozs mouth and began to point at various aspects of his gums. See, receded gums make your teeth look long and pointy. Theyve also become discoloured due to lack of care AND more concerning look at this! Blood! On your teeth man! You have bleeding gums! Its even dripped onto your chin!explained McEdifice.

Awww come on,said Noz, enough with these messed up mind games. Just stick a stake in me already!

Mind games? Stuff and nonsense!said McEdifice vehemently, Good dental hygiene is not something to be made light of. Did I ever tell you of the time I had to chew my way out of the leather prison of Rawhide X24?

Yes, last Thursday evening. It was your bedtime story for the barracks.said Noz resignedly.

Then you know that strong healthy teeth are an essential element of the combat ready warriors arsenal! Get those teeth fixed young man!

Noz looked around at is surroundings and re-appraised the situation. I think Id better help Chuckowitz back to the barracks,he said tentatively.

Oh,McEdifice replied, I was hoping you could both help me install this equipment.

“I’d love to but your speechit really moved me and I thinkI think Id better go and see the camp orthodontist right now.said Noz backing away pulling a sleep-walking Chuckowitz with him.

Well, good for you! Dont forget to come back later to see me fight!called McEdifice to the departing Noz.

Alone again, McEdifice returned to his original purpose. High in the trees surrounding the old boxing rink, he assembled an automated arsenal of deadly death for the undead: crossbows with garlic infused birch wood stake bolts, holoprojectors loaded with hi-resolution full color renderings of crucifixes, state-of-the-art fire suppression sprinkler systems loaded will holy water, laser etched parabolic mirrors ready to concentrate the deadly rays of dawns light on his foe.

0530 hours. McEdifice was ready. The killing field for that which could not be killed was prepared. With 30 minutes to go, McEdifice stepped into the rink for a well-earned, if short, nap.

Later.

McEdifice woke with the sun his eyes. He looked up into the sky and he could see the contrail of an orbital lift-craft on its way to a Lagrange Platform for interstellar transport. Its distant supersonic roar, reminding him of travels long forgotten

He checked his chronometer. 0900 hours. What? He looked about. The clearing around him was empty. No eager recruits, no General OFiercegaiters, no Drill Sergeant Ernie ready for a boxing match. It was quiet, too quiet.

McEdifice stood up hurriedly, too hurriedly. His uncharacteristically ungainly movements from napping overly long in a boxing rink, triggered his anti-vampire booby traps. He was pummelled by small sharp sticks, blinded by sunlight, dazzled by Catholic-kitsch holograms, and finally drenched in overly-blessed H20.

shit

Dejectedly he climbed down from the rink.

Just then came the sound of a bicycle on its way up the trail. Remarkably the sound was followed by the sight of a man on a bicycle as if the two things were connected somehow.

It was Drill Sergeant Ernie, in civilian clothes, on a bike.

Drill Sergeant Ernie!cried McEdifice, who was surprised by how relieved he was to see the misanthropic NCO.

No, just plain old Mr Ernie these days. Just out on a recreational bike ride in these times of galactic peace.said Mr Ernie the civilian.

What? How long was I asleep for?asked McEdifice in a state of panic.

Mr Ernie dismounted from his bike and looked at McEdifice solemnly. It has been fifteen long years since we last met McEdifice. Tis said that the spooky forest is haunted and those that anger the forest spirits have been known to sleep the sleep of a dozen-years-and-three.

“Oh no!” cried McEdifice, I never meant to anger the forest spirits!he sobbed.

Ah, I was just messing with you because you are such a tremendous arsehole.said Mr Ernie, Its only been a few hours. Peace was declared last night. The camp was woken at five am and everybody was demobbed by six. Buses to the space port left at seven. Youd have known all this if you hadnt broken regulations and snuck out last night.

Shit, but we still have a boxing duel to fight!said McEdifice.

No way! And dont go thinking you can punch me. Now we are both officially civilians that would be common assault. Id better be on my way my wife is expecting me back in an hour.

You arent leaving the planet with the rest of them?asked McEdifice.

“No, I’m a local boy. Im going back to my old job, faxing special offers for toner cartridges to offices. Oh, youd better get a move on by the way. The last military transport leaves at ten thirty.explained Mr Ernie.

Shit! Can I borrow your bike?asked McEdifice.

No, because I hate you,said Mr Ernie, See you around helmet-head!With that Mr Ernie cycled off into the distance.

Wet, confused and looking like he was wearing a bad attempt at a garlic-scented hedgehog costume, McEdifice looked at the long trail back to the camp and in the distance the dusty road back to the space port and said, ever so softly as if not to anger the forest spirits: Nooooooooo”.


Chapter for the sake of argument let’s call it nine

McEdifice Returns brought to you Timothy the Talking Cat, the wonder ingredient to a slimmer you, and Straw Puppy, the HDMI cable that deliver all your bits with freshness”.

The Anti-Vampire Alliance had barely begun full mobilisation of its forces when diplomats managed to broker a peace-treaty. With the failure of the harvest on the garlic and blue-cheese planet of Halitosis Z, the Alliance had good cause to delay a conflict. Meanwhile the Space Vampires had gained intel on new weapons development by the Alliance that gave the Space Vampires their own reasons for suspending hostilities.

For regular soldiers the arrival of peace was as sudden and unexpected as the emergency draft had been. This was felt most keenly on the worlds exchanged by both sides as an outcome of the peace negotiations but other worlds felt the impact also. Notably Planet Campus the Boot Camp and Corporate Office Planet of Tau Bootes X, which had a substantial population of army recruits living there at the moment peace was declared. The mass transportation of these recruits within a few hours was the most notable logistical exercise of the war, despite it technically occurring only after peace was declared.  – Extract from The Eighth Space Vampire WarOmnipancyclopedia Cosmosicos 3576

McEdifice was running. Hed changed into his basic uniform in the car park to the space port but he still smelt of sweat, timber and garlic. He arrived at the check-in desk hoping against hope that a military transport was still available to take former recruits up to the Lagrange Platform and onto a space flight home.

Sorry, you missed the last one.said the helpful check-in desk robot.

“Damn.” said McEdifice.

There is a civilian flight in twenty minutes,said the robot helpfully.

Great! How much?asked McEdifice.

Well the shuttle flight only costs 20 decicreds.said the robot.

But it will get me to the platform in time to catch the last military interstellar flight back home?asked McEdifice.

Yesssss, butyou see I cant sell you a shuttle flight to the platform without you having a confirmed ticket for an interstellar flight. Now you had a confirmed booking from the Army on the earlier interstellar flight but you missed that one and you arent on the passenger list for the last one. So I cant sell you the ticket.the robot pulled a sad face to express empathy with McEdifice.

“Damn.” said McEdifice.

Butyou could buy a ticket for a short-run commercial interstellar flight taking you 3 light years over to the neighbouring system of Bip-Bop Alpha the jigsaw system of wooden puzzles and cake stands. That would be only 1.2 kilocredits. That will give you access to the platform and you could sort out your booking up their AND get a refund (minus booking fee) on the commercial flight.said the robot with a proactive helpfulness that gave it an inner feeling of warmth and comfort. It liked helping customers in a way that almost bordered on sexual self-gratification.

Great! Ill do that!said McEdifice.

I should warn you the booking fee can be quite high,said the robot.

I don’t care. I’ve places to be. Here is my credit spool-cassette.McEdifice handed over the hi-tech magnetic tape cassette on which was stored his financial transactions allowing for interstellar commerce despite the limitations of speed of light communications and the fact that you couldnt use ansibles for money exchanges for reasons we cant think of right now.

The robot took the credit spool-cassette and placed it into the tape-player. As it spooled along the player gave a doohnkg” noise.

Oh dear!said the robot, Unfortunately you have no valid funds for this transaction!

What! There must be some kind of mistake!said McEdifice.

The robot shook its chrome-like head sadly. “I’m so, so sorry sir. You see your funds are all in non-standard Steppe Farthings the currency of the Grassland Planet of Steppes. You may not be aware that the Grassland Planet of Steppes was handed over to the Space Vampire Empire (or Vempireif you will) as part of the peace treaty.

No, why would they do such a thing!cried McEdifice.

Well basically almost nobody lived there except a gang of outlaws and some crazy old war veteran. Also, the planet really only had one thing: having lots of grass. People really want planets with two or more things these days. Multitudinous Gamma has at least six things now! Its the disco planet, the knitted sock planet, the equatorial ice-cap planet, the bouncy-castle planet, the four-headed fish-monster planet and also its oceans are purple!explained the robot helpfully.

but what will I do now?said McEdifice.

The robot patted his hand in an attempt to comfort him. “I’m so, so sorry dear. It looks like you are stuck here for the time being. Go into town, get a job and work up some credits for a flight home. Youll see, it will all be OK.The robot gave McEdifice its best conciliatory smile.

“A job?” said McEdifice.

In an office.said the robot.

“Nnnoooooooo!!!!!!!!’ cried McEdifice.


Chapter Baen

Make me a Baen cover.

“Huh.”

Make me a Baen cover.

What?

Make me a Baen cover.

It’s…shitits 2 am in the morning.

Is there another 2 am?

What?

Is there another 2 am that isnt in the morning?

Yeah, theres this 2 am that is in the middle of the bloody night.

Make me a Baen cover.

No.

Make me a Baen cover.

“I’m trying to sleep.

Make me a Baen cover.

OK. If I concede to your demands will you let me sleep?

Yes.

Good. What do you want?

Make me a Baen cover.

You know other cats wake their owners up to get water, or food or to get out of the house.

Make me a Baen cover.

Is this your book?

Yes. Make me a Baen cover.

“I’ve made like twenty covers already.

Make me a Baen cover.

A Baen cover?

Yeahall big letters or different sizes and garish colours and a picture that doesnt quite make sense.

Does it need nozzles?

“I’m easy one way or another on the topic of nozzles.

Good. Im a bit nozzled out from the last cover.

Thanks.

pitter patter pitter patter pitter patter pitter patter pitter patter pitter patter.

He said he would do it.

Cool.

So whats this chapter.

McEdifice goes to a job agency and gets a a job working in an office.

Is that it?

Well thats what needs to happen.

My chapter was better.

Why is the computer making words without typing?

“I’m wearing this microphone and using dictation software.

Has it been running all this time?

I guess so.

Well I can guess we can call this chapter done!

Yay! Time for bed!


Chapter Alt-Comic Book!!!

From the desk of Timothy the Talking Cat, Chief Editor and Owner of Cattimothy House Publishing:

For too long have ordinary readers been treated like scummy scum by the hoity-toity elites of BIG comic book publishing! We all sick to our stomachs with stories that spit on our sacred values of simplistic plots, hastily drawn figures and the pressing need for squirrels to be the bad guys.

Well good news! Thanks to our incredible campaign of crowd sourced fundings, Cattimothy Houses latest project can NOW BE REVEALED. Thanks to ordinary backers like Straw Puppy, Straw Puppys brother Bob, Straw Puppys Mum (and no thanks at all to some stingy people who didnt contribute anything yeah, you know who you are SUSAN, the sarcasm was NOT appreciated) all our stretch goals are now FULLY funded.

Yes, all you McEdifice fans out there GOOD NEWS! The exclusive, collectors edition, GRAPHIC NOVEL chapter of McEdifice Returns is now available! A clear shot across the bows of Marvel and DC and Image. With an amazing script from Straw Puppy and art by a super-well-known comic book artist who cannot be named for fear of reprisals by the liberal elite!

Enjoy!

[What? What do you mean theres a typo on the cover? Yeah, well that maybe how they spell theirin your fancy New York offices but thats not how we spell it on the streets with right thinking ordinary people who are sick and tired of being lectured to by social-justice spellers and leftwing proofreaders and cultural-Marxist copyeditors!]


Hi, its your friendly neighbourhood Straw Puppy here, ready to tell you another FANTASTIC tale of the galaxies MIGHTIEST hero!

When we last saw CHISELED McEDIFICE, he had been forced to get a job in an office to make enough money to get a space flight home! What will happen next! Will space vampires attack his new office? Will he finally discover the fate of his demonically possessed wife? Will he enact revenge against the nefarious Treerat Gang? Find out!

Ok, Ok. Here’s the first picture. This business guy is trying to get his business report from the printer. But where is it! It just isnt printing is it!

Oh no!

I mean, like, hes checked everything and nothing is coming out of that darn machine!

Maybe he needs to climb back here and have a look?

Oh no! It his boss! Shes like Wheres that report doofus?and hes like I dont know boss!

And his boss is like Well have you asked the photocopy guy for some help, you big doofus?

And hes like Dont be a meany head or Ill tell HR that you like broke the office ‘don’t be a meany head’ policy” and shes like Fer shits sake I just want the bloody report!

And they are arguing and then McEdifice turns up because he IS the photocopy guy and they explain what is happening.

And so McEdifice goes “I’ll see what the problem is…”

And McEdifice lifts the whole blimminthing over his head! and the boss is like “woah!” and the doofus business guy is like This guy is huuggee and totally doesnt look like the artist got the scale all wrong.

This machine is under alien mind control! shouts McEdifice and with one mighty thrust he throws the copier to the ground! The business guy is shouting at his boss This was your idea to call this lummox!

The boss is like Whathehellwasthat!and McEdifice just sits down and explains that hes broken the alien mind control on the machine. Meanwhile the doofus guy looks down and GUESS WHAT! Theres his report! McEdifice has saved the day! AGAIN!

Tune in next time for another thrilling adventure. This is goodbye from Straw Puppy! Excelsior!


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