Some Noxx and a few other things

Submitted for Contest #67 in response to: Write a space adventure story that features a visit to an alien marketplace.... view prompt


Nov 08, 2020

Adventure Contemporary Science Fiction

"Nestie, darling, I think you should consider stopping at the next planet so we can do some shopping. We are almost out of eggs and milk and a few other things", said Iryen, while looking in the fridge and cupboards in the kitchen of the StarStretcher IV that has been their home-away-from-home for about 2 months.

Sitting in the comfy captain’s chair at the helm of the RV world's most outrageous vacation rig yet, Nesterin replied, "Well, babe, maybe you should've said something when we were back there at Chtachanbruhm. The next shop won't be available for another 2 light years. I hope we have enough to last that long."

Iryen replied, "Well, I'm sure we can make it stretch. The one thing we might run out of is eggs. I think you'll be okay without eggs for a little while, right?"

"Sure, darling, oh, hold on to something, quick turn ahead," and then Nesterin gave the wheel a quick jerk to the right and the left to avoid a couple pieces of space junk. "Sorry, Iry babe, somebody dropped some junk and let it float free. What's wrong with people these days? Leaving all this litter scattered about the universe. I don't like, nope, I don't like it at all."

Iryen gathered herself and a few things back together after the surprise wild turns her husband put them through. Those were the wildest two turns yet for the intrepid travelers. They've had to make several other such maneuvers but with the others they had more time to prepare. And this new RV was much quicker at responding than their old StarStretcher I. With this new model they could actually reach light speed, so when Nesterin said it would take them two light years to get to the next shop he was being sarcastic. In reality, it would be only a matter of seconds.

"My god I love this new model IV!" shouted Nesterin as he slammed the gas pedal to the floor and the RV hit light speed. His head pressed back into the over-stuffed, reclining, swiveling, rocking, captain’s chair, and his wife, who wasn't ready for the light-speed jump, was thrown back, and the things she had cleaned up were also now thrown back, and she and the stuff were pretty much plastered to the back wall of the RV, above the bed. A few seconds she and the other things all fell to the bed as the RV suddenly dropped out of light-speed.

Iryen managed to make her way up to the front of the RV and said, while lightly slapping the side of Nesterins head, "Hey, Nesti, sweetie! Don't do that again without telling me first, okay?"

Nesterin looked at his wife and saw her disheveled clothes and hair and asked, "What happened to you?"

Iryen replied, "Oh, nothing much, darling, your little charade just threw me and most of the stuff in the RV all the way to the back wall, that's all. But, hey, don't worry about little ole me, okay?" She hit him again, kissed him on his cheek, and went back to start cleaning up the mess that Nesterin caused.

Nesterin called to the planet Aerrax to get permission to park, "Hey, anybody down there? We want to park this here RV so we can buy some food. How about it? Anybody?" He waited, no response. He repeated his request and waited again.

"Oh, wow! Somebody's out there? Hey, who are you?" asked a voice on the radio.

"My name is Nesterin and my wife is Iryen, we're in the SSRV Falkin, and we would like to park this thing and visit one of your markets, we need supplies," replied Nesterin.

"Seriously? You're in a SSRV? Which one?" asked the voice.

"Oh, um, the StarStretcher IV," stuttered Nesterin, "can we park it somewhere?"

"Cool! A real StarStretcher IV? I've never seen one in real life. Dude! How'd you manage to get one of those? Did you steal it?" asked the voice.

Nesterin was beginning to become impatient with the voice, "Look, my friend, please, where can we land this thing?"

Then Iryen took the radio microphone from Nesterin and said, "Hey, you, voice on the radio! Stop all this foolishness! Let us land or we'll blow you to kingdom come, or to one of your moons!"

Nesterin looked at his wife in shock, then whispered in her ear, "Honey, we can't do that, this thing has no weapons that can do that."

"I know that, but that jerk on that planet doesn't," replied Iryen.

The voice interrupted them, "Ok, ok, you can land in bay 27B3."

Nesterin turned the RV and drove it into bay 27B3, parked it perfectly, and he and Iryen exited the shiny new craft.

"Wow! Look at that! A real StarStretcher IV! Unbelievable! I've only seen pictures and read about them in the interweb posts. I didn't think I'd ever see one on this wasteland rock," said a young man who was walking all around the vehicle, taking in its every sinuous curve. The StarStretcher IV was actually quite a looker as far as space ships are concerned, garnering attention wherever they happen to be. Sleep and pointy at the front end where the driver had a commanding view of the way ahead, then slimming a little before widening out for some quarters for the small crew that kept it operating efficiently. Behind that it was a bit more slender before widening out again for the captains and first mates quarters, as well as other private quarters for those closest to the captain. Then it split into two slender tubular sections stretching back forming into the engines that could push it to light speed when needed. The amount of time in light speed was limited to 55 minutes, but that was typically sufficient to get it to wherever one wanted to go in a reasonable amount of time.

"Hey, buddy, are you in charge here?" asked Nesterin.

"Yeah, that'd be me, yeah," said the kid as he continued to admire the RV.

Iryen asked, "Aren't you a bit young for that job?"

"Young? Too young? Look lady, I'm old enough to know what to do with someone like you," said the kid.

"Now just one minute, kid," Nesterin started towards the kid.

Iryen stopped him, "It's okay, baby, don't do anything you might regret later. Let's go and do our shopping and get off this wasteland rock."

"The markets are in that direction, you can't miss them, just follow the smell," said the kid.

Nesterin secured the RV, gave the kid a stare, and started off when Iryen gave him a pull, and quite strongly, on his hand. When they got to the door to leave the landing bar Nesterin turned to stare down the kid again, but he was still staring at the ship.

They stepped through the doorway, the door itself didn't actually exist but rather was a thin cloud of blue particles that acted the same as a physical door but without the need for hinges, a doorknob, and a lock, as well as no other materials. It was much more ecological than the old-fashioned doors of yesteryear. But the new particle doors did cause a bit of a tickle as you walked through them.

"Hey! What was that? Did you just touch me? In some weird new way?" asked Nesterin as he walked through the particle door.

"Ooh! That was, well," Iryen, walked through the particle door again, "Oh, my!" she walked through it again, "I like this!" She was feeling the tickle a bit differently from how Nesterin felt it, and she was really liking the feeling. "Oh, my, Nesti darling, we need one of these on the RV. Can we get one installed?" She stood in the particle field as it tingled her body right into the innermost private parts that were supposed to be reserved for only her husband. "Oh," she giggled, "Oh, Nesti, this is amazing."

Nesterin grabbed her by her hand and pulled her out of the particle door and hurried her away from it, "No, we're not, definitely not, getting one of those contraptions on the RV."

Iryen looked at him with a frown and big eyes that would always melt Nesterin's heart and cause him to immediately change his mind, but not this time, "No, darling, I saw what that thing was doing to you. It's just a giant vibrator, it is, and you certainly don't need it."

"Oh, Nesti, sweetie, you're jealous of a particle door? Why? Didn't it effect you the same as it did me?" giggled Iryen.

"It most certainly did not, I didn't like how it felt when I walked through it," Nesterin said, "now, let's do our shopping and get off this wasteland rock, as you said."

They were finally out in the open street and found that they really were on a wasteland of a rock. No paved roads, no proper buildings other than the one they parked the RV in, and too many people crowded around and in the booths of goods being sold or traded. They walked around and looked at everything before they did their shopping. Nesterin saw some things he thought were long gone before he grandparents were alive. Things such as the elpys jumper, wyriits, telarion engine parts, a yox washing machine, even a mel'kog Eireisone, and it was actually alive.

Iryen found something she wanted more than anything else, a Ni'il Oedyz. It was a classic, and quite rare these days. And the shop proprietor apparently wasn't aware of just how rare it was, as his price was much lower that it should have been.

Iryen asked the shop owner, or whatever it was sitting there taking money, "How much for this thing?"

The Ogothr replied, "300 rhox."

Iryen said, "I'll give you 200 rhox for it."

The Ogothr said, "No, 250 rhox."

Iryen, "How about 150? That's a real good deal."

The Ogothr, "Hmm, you're right, it's a good deal, for you."

"Okay," said Iryen, "here's 175 rhox, take it or leave it."

"Hmm, okay, I'll take it. Here, take this thing away from me."

Iryen gladly accepted the Ni'il Oedyz and quickly walked back to her husband, who was enjoying the same type of bartering. He was in the process of stealing, oh, no, bartering fairly, for a hirver'Vegh. He could use that to boost the power of the coffee pot.

They continued along the dirty street, through the busy crowds, and finally found the stalls with food. Food from all over the galaxy - there were Dreykusz Azaks, similar to Earth apples but even sweeter; Korazian Seyrlaun vegetables, very tasty and nutritious, if you're a Seyrlaun, not so much so if you're not; and finally they found the more human compatible food - apples, oranges, mangos, carrots, and all the other fruits and vegetables, as well as some meat. They avoided the beef because it wasn't actually beef as an Earth human would expect it to be and instead opted for the chicken. Out here there are chickens on most planets. Chickens have been successfully transferred and bred just about everywhere in the galaxy and the Earth humans have always been very happy about that.

They approached a stall that was loaded what they believed were fruit and vegetables, but weren't entirely sure. They browsed through the various unusual and supposedly edible things when suddenly up popped a head which started talking to them, "Hi, good afternoon! I hope you are well. I am!"

Nesterin and Iryen stared at the head, too long, then caught themselves, "Oh, my, excuse us," said Iryen, "wow, a talking head." she swung one hand at the talking head and hit it, and in shock said, "Oh my god, I'm so sorry! I thought maybe you were a hologram. I'm so sorry."

The talking head's eyebrows suddenly lowered, a couple veins appeared in his forehead, his cheeks turned red in anger, and he said, "Madam, you are a very rude person, very rude indeed. I came out here to sell you folks some of my fruit and vegetables and you hit me, you are a rude woman. Now, please remove yourselves from my shop."

The two quickly backed out of the stall and disappeared into the crowd. They continued on their way, stall by stall, buying a few things in one, and a few others in another.

It was getting late but Iryen wanted to buy one more thing, a Fettkren Noxx, just the thing to spice up a quiet evening. They entered yet another stall and were greeted by something, what it was they couldn't quite figure out.

The thing had 3 arm-like appendages, 5 leg-like appendages, and 3 things that might be considered heads, but had no accoutrements typical of heads. It spoke, from where neither Nesterin nor Iryen could determine, "Good afternoon, you're just in time before I close up for the day. What can I help you with?"

They were looking all over the creature trying to figure out where the voice was coming from, but it seemed to be coming from the entire body of the thing.

Iryen said, "Um, yes, of course, I would like some of that Fettkren Noxx."

"Excellent! I love selling the Noxx, it's such a wonderful thing to have ready for those evenings when you want to heat up the atmosphere, if you know what I mean," said the creature.

"Yes," said Iryen, "I know exactly what you mean." She was still looking at the creature and not finding any source for the voice.

The creature knew they were having a problem with the source of its voice, he noticed that with one of his many eyes, or things that appeared to probably be eyes. He said, "You won't find a mouth, I don't have one. The sound of a voice is in your head. I have no voice box or vocal chords, nothing at all with which to make any kind of sound. I am a completely silent Dreg'Selen. Some of our kind do make a kind of whirring sound, but I can't even manage that. The price for the Noxx is 200 rhox."

"Okay, that's a fair price. Your voice is in my head? Wow, that's, um, fantastic. Okay, dear, I'm finished, we can go back to the ship now," said Iryen.

They left the shop, walked through the crowd that was thinning due to the late afternoon hour, and watched the many otherworldly creatures as they finished their shopping or were closing their shops.

They arrived back at their RV, found the kid that was so taken by the ship, still staring at it, but now at the back of the ship. He just couldn't take himself away from it.

"Is all fine with my RV?" asked Nesterin.

"Oh, yeah, yes sir, it's perfect, nobody touched it," said the kid.

"Very good, thank you for keeping an eye on it for us," said Iryen.

They paid him for the docking time and for keeping an eye on the ship, quite literally - before they could leave the boy had to retrieve one of his eyeballs from the front of the RV where it was watching for anybody that might come too close.

Nesterin got the ship started, backed it out of the landing bay, and shot off and away from the wasteland rock that had a rather fantastical market.

That night he put the RV on autopilot, Iryen got the Noxx doing whatever it was that it does, and they enjoyed an evening of adult fun.

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19:47 Nov 18, 2020

Haha, living it easy on a space RV. Nice. I laughed when Iryen slapped the the alien shopkeepers head haha. Very nice, take a peek at my entry too if your not busy I’m just starting.🐫


Chip Wiegand
22:28 Nov 18, 2020

Thank you for your kind words, much appreciated.


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A.Dot Ram
22:55 Nov 17, 2020

I like your premise. It's a fun take on the prompt. My most encompassing critique is that i'd like to see your conflict more developed throughout the story-- more hints in the characters' interactions, even before the door (that needs more build-up, too). About midway through i started wondering what the characters were after.


Chip Wiegand
01:51 Nov 18, 2020

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll work on it a bit more but I find the 3000 word limit quite limiting. I guess that's part of the fun.


A.Dot Ram
02:23 Nov 18, 2020

I agree on both counts, especially on a prompt like this that requires story and world building. I ultimately decided that yours is about the relationship between the husband and wife (more than the parking attendant or bartering, etc). I guess their relationship was never perfect in the story, but i want to see the wife react more to early things like being thrown against the wall. She's the real protagonist of the story, and it would be helpful to see her journey from groceries to noxx.


Chip Wiegand
02:40 Nov 18, 2020

Cool, thanks for the suggestion. I love getting opinions and other points of view.


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Beth Connor
06:04 Nov 16, 2020

This made me smile, I love the idea of a space RV- my new retirement goals!


Chip Wiegand
14:23 Nov 16, 2020

:) Thank you for your comment, I appreciate it.


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Katina Foster
17:31 Nov 15, 2020

Funny and very enjoyable read!


Chip Wiegand
18:27 Nov 15, 2020

Thank you for that, much appreciated.


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Ray Dyer
18:45 Nov 13, 2020

Hi, Chip! This prompt really intrigued me. If only we had more than a week to explore them all! As soon as I saw that you took on this one, I wanted to see where it went. I love the technological descriptions, especially the details on the StarStretcher IV. The initial description of the particle door was very cool as well. You surprised me with where it went after that! These characters gave me a very strong vibe of the retired couple who go in an RV to New York or San Francisco and spend all of their time walking around, gawking...


Chip Wiegand
01:52 Nov 14, 2020

Thank your for your comments, much appreciated. I am a little familiar with the snowbird life, i have an aunt and uncle who did that between Washington and Arizona for many years. And, yes, I used to watch The 70s Show, very fun. Out of curiosity, which parts of the story made you cringe? Was it my writing? Or something in the story?


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