Jake clashed the two lego constructions together; a spaceship and a dinosaur.
“Sir, our shields can’t hold much longer! We’ll have to-”
“No retreat,” Jake said with a deeper tone, though still sounding like a six-year-old. “I am captain Stargazer and I shall see this beast dead!”
He imitated both a roaring sound of engines as well as a battlecry of a dinosaur and smashed the two together in a clinking explosion of legos. The spaceship fell apart as the dinosaur's more robust body construction tore through the spacecraft’s complex wings and weapon’s system.
“Haul breached,” Jake cried in a desperate voice. “I repeat, haul bre-” He cut the words in a gurgle.
“Hahaha, today you die, Stargazer!” he said with his deepest and growliest voice, imitating the dinosaur speaking.
“Never!” he said in the captain’s voice. “I will fight you to the end!” He paused, looking around the living room floor. “Captain Stargazer? Where are you?”
The legos were everywhere, remnants of an epic space battle that lasted for the good part of the Saturday afternoon. But Stargazer was nowhere to be seen. His body had been thrown out from the spaceship cockpit in the collision and flung far across the living room.
Stargazer hit the ground hard, his spacesuit and helmet taking on the brunt of the impact and tumbled into a dark cave that was the underside of the couch. It was dust clumps and ancient debris that managed to slow down his tumbling and finally bring him to a stop.
Stargazer grunted and took a few moments to recover from the dizziness. Then, as the combat training kicked in, he checked his body and suit for damage. Luckily, his suit was made from Plastic, the sturdiest of materials, and he just bounced harmlessly over the floor.
“SpaceHawk, come in,” he rasped into his helmet. “SpaceHawk, this is Stargazer. Damage report!”
Nothing. Not even static. Accursed dinosaur, he thought. It destroyed my ship! And the crew…
He took off his helmet and shouted towards the cave entrance, raising one hand against the bright light of day.
“Is anyone there? Jeff, Gordon, Ava! Are you guys alright?”
There was little chance they could hear him, but he had to try. Jake, the God entity of this world, placed him in the role of a spaceship captain today, giving him the name Stargazer and sending him into space. And since space was a vacuum, there was little use shouting.
Stargazer remembered his supposed surroundings and put the helmet back on, not to suffocate. He’ll have to make his way out from the couch cave and check on his friends. I hope they’re alright.
A muffled tapping sound stopped Stargazer in his tracks. He turned around and to his horror noticed a giant creature with thick hairy legs, crawling towards him from the depths of the cave. A house spider, the big kind.
“SpaceHawk,” he yelled into his helmet while turning to run. “If anyone can hear me, I’m gonna need an evac, ASAP!”
The spider barreled down on him and Stargazer pulled out his blaster pistol. The cave exit was right there, but too far. He turned, ready to fire, but the spider was already on top of him and it toppled him down, pressing on his suit with its legs.
Stargazer dropped the blaster but tried to push the creature’s legs away with his hands. It was no use, the spider was too strong.
“Let me go, creature! I am not edible! I am Plastic!”
“Food,” was all the spider said and began wrapping Stargazer in its thread.
“No!” Stargazer wiggled and thrashed around, but the spider had many legs and it pinned him down while working its sticky thread over his entire body. It covered him whole and Stargazer was grateful for his helmet.
His vision darkened out and he could feel his body dragged by the spider. It’s taking me into its lair! No one would ever find him there. No one ever looked under the couch.
“Suit, helmet wipers,” he commanded and the helmet’s AI responded, the wipers cutting through the spider’s threads. Stargazer could see the creature dragging him into a dwelling constructed entirely from web. He tried moving but the threads were like chains, preventing escape.
Is this how I shall spend my eternity? A prisoner to this biological monstrosity?
The spider worked Stargazer into the fabric of its dwelling and rested to look at him. He could see its front mandibles glistening with hunger and its dozens of eyes all looking at him.
“You cannot digest me, creature!” Stargazer yelled. “Release me or suffer the wrath of Jake! He will squish you for taking me from him!”
“Food,” the spider said and moved closer. It protruded its mandibles and hovered over Stargazer’s neck, going in for the kill. Stargazer closed his eyes, wondering if his suit would withstand the bite, when suddenly, the world rumbled around him. It was an earthquake.
The spider retreated into its lair, tucking its hairy legs close for safety. Stargazer watched as the cave ceiling above him moved and the couch slid away, exposing him to sunlight once more. The spider’s home was shredded to pieces, the mighty creature made homeless in seconds. A booming roar pierced the air and Stargazer noticed God’s Mother looming above him, pushing a holy contraption in her hands. Her face bore an expression of disgust as she brought a mighty air-sucking device over the debris of the now gone cave.
Is this salvation, or a far deeper doom?
He watched an enormous tube suck in everything in its path. It was coming straight at him.
Dear God Jake, deliver me…
God’s Mother brought her doom upon him and the tube sucked him inside. The rush of air screamed in his helmet as he bounced from the tube’s walls. His suit sustained heavy hits, the paint chipping off. Stargazer’s perception of the world was reduced to roaring oblivion, accompanied by violent thrashing.
Then, he hit something hard and was flung into complete darkness. He seemed to free-fall for a moment and then land in - surprisingly - something soft. He could hear other objects raining down around him and that roaring noise seemed to emanate from the very darkness.
So, this is hell then…
Stargazer lay there, in the black, contemplating his brief existence as spaceship captain. All he wanted was to be back with the rest of his family and friends, the other lego pieces safely living in that carton box that Jake kept under his bed…
The awful noise died down, cut short like a wire on an atomic bomb. The debris stopped falling and everything went still. Stargazer held his breath. I’m alive?
He took off his helmet - he inhaled, exhaled. And sneezed, as his lungs filled with dust.
What kind of hell is this?
He smelled sulfur nearby, but there was no fire. It felt like there was dust everywhere. And what was he laying on, that was so soft?
Stargazer groped around for anything that could give him an indication of where he was. He grabbed fists full of dirt and a wooden plank that smelled of sulfur. He frowned. A match?
Grabbing the plank with both hands, he swiped it on the surface of his spacesuit, and a fire ignited, nearly blinding him in the darkness.
Indeed, he was holding a match in his hands. It must have been sucked in with him, another relic lost under the couch.
Stargazer blinked and inspected his surroundings. There were mountains of dust all around him. Clumps of hair as thick as ropes, pieces of paper, leaves, dried up bits of food, and other junk.
This must be the realm of the discarded, he thought to himself. Did Jake abandon me?
He took a step forward, trying to see if he could find a way out, and stepped into something squishy. He glanced down and noticed the body of the spider, all twisted and torn. He yelped at the gruesome sight and dropped the matchstick.
My nemesis also got sucked in.
The match fell into a clump of puffy dust and ignited a fire.
With a whooshing sound, Stargazer suddenly found himself standing over the carcass of his previous captor, with fires erupting all around him, engulfing the dry dust and debris.
Now, this is legit hell.
Stargazer looked around frantically for a way out. There was a hole far up, where he probably fell through, but there’s no way he’d reach it.
The fire began licking his boots, the paint starting to bubble on him and he screamed in pain.
The whole oblivion shook, suddenly, and Stargazer fell on his back, flames licking his suit. He strained his muscles and pulled the carcass of the spider over himself, to ward off the flames. The ground shook violently and the fires reached to the ceiling, starting to rip a hole in it.
A powerful jolt sent burning dust mountains toppling down and the ceiling burst open. A torrent of water came pouring down, flooding the raging inferno and washing away the burning debris. Stargazer clung to the spider carcass as he floated on a stream of water, carried out from the hell.
As he glanced up he noticed that the holy contraption of God’s Mother - which had sucked him in - had ruptured its belly, the fires burning a hole through. There was another figure looming above, God’s Father, and it held a mighty silver object that sprayed water from it in dozens of individual waterfalls.
Stargazer rode the water stream down a white valley and before he could catch his breath, he saw a sinkhole up ahead, where the valley suddenly ended. This is the bathtub, he realized with horror. A dreaded place where Jake God brought him once, where he nearly drowned.
Stargazer clung to the carcass as he hit the metal grill of the sinkhole. He grabbed hold of it and with the bulk of the spider wrapped around him he effectively got himself stuck. Water carrying ash and dust rushed past him, but Stargazer held. He held for dear life, empowered by the thought of returning to his family.
Until a gigantic rod descended from the heavens and pushed him through the sinkhole, severing the spider in half in the process.
Stargazer fell down a watery hole. Though the water helped soothe his burns, his helmet was cracked and leaking. He was in danger of drowning. He clenched to the cracked part of the helmet with one hand while grasping for anything that could save him with the other. Darkness again took him and he bumped from wall to wall, submerged in a pipeline of raging water.
He’d heard of the dreaded ‘flush-down’ before, but never did he think Jake would allow him to suffer such a fate. Today he was proven wrong.
The water inside his helmet gathered in worrying amounts and slushed around, as Stargazer tumbled deeper.
Then, he was flung out from the stream, falling once more through an empty void. A faint light appeared from up above, coming in through giant metal grills. The air smelled foul. The sewers! The eternal graveyard!
Stargazer crashed into the water with a soft plop, submerged for a moment, and then popped back up to the surface. His Plastic suit was luckily buoyant.
The torrent calmed down and Stargazer floated along. His mind was shaken, his feelings swirling. Did Jake God not want him anymore? Was he exiled from paradise? Or was there some mistake?
He didn’t know. What he did know, was that he wanted to get back to the ones that loved him. See if his friends were okay.
With much effort, Stargazer heaved himself out of the foul water and on a concrete pathway. He took a few moments to compose himself and just breathe. The foul air scratched his lungs, the helmet too damaged to filter it. He took it off and threw it away.
The clinking sound of his helmet rolling on the concrete was cut short all of a sudden.
What now, he thought and turned. From the darkness, three sets of red dots were staring at him. A pink foot stepped into the light, stopping the helmet from rolling. Then it crushed the helmet, and the creature stepped forward.
It was a white behemoth, with beady red eyes, a long meaty tail and a nervous twitch around its snout and whiskers. And it had two more buddies trailing behind.
Rats, Stargazer realized. Bleached of their color by this toxic hell!
The bigger rat at the front hissed and sniffed. Stargazer stood up defiantly.
“I am no threat to you. I only wish to get out and reunite with my family.”
The behemoths crowded against each other on the narrow pathway and sniffed the air ferociously.
"Food," one of them said. Stargazer swallowed hard. Then he turned and fell into a dead run.
The meaty feet tapped behind him, rats squealing.
“I am not edible, you devils!”
Why was everything trying to eat him? First his archnemesis - the dinosaur, then the spider, then the sucking tube, then the sinkhole and now these rats! What he wouldn’t give for his spaceship right now. Or at least his blaster.
He felt teeth sinking in his back and roared in pain. The front rat lifted him in its mouth, grabbed him with its pink hands, and nibbled on his torso. Tiny daggers prickled his whole body and Stargazer listened to his own body cracking. His mind and vision became blurred with agony.
But just as he was about to pass out, saying goodbye to his life, the rat dropped him. Stargazer fell on the concrete with a soft click. Why spare me now? His thoughts darkened. Only to have me suffer more.
The rats hissed. And something else, something bigger, hissed back. Stargazer turned and saw another behemoth, this one larger than the rats, covered with grey fur and marked with scars. Its eyes were wide black and its posture aggressive, a paw raised, and claws extended.
A cat, Stargazer realized. Another monster to try to eat me.
The new behemoth hissed once more and the rats scattered without making another sound. Their tapping feet echoed in the sewers until they were gone. Stargazer felt a wet snout bumping into him and sniffing.
“I’m not edible,” he said, voice weak from exhaustion. “Please… just let me be... I’ll never get back to my family anyway…”
He closed his eyes, giving up. It was too much. His body was in torment, he was lost in a hostile land, worlds away from his home. It was time for him to give up and die.
A paw tapped him.
“Leave me be, behemoth.”
It tapped him again, pushing him across the floor and then catching him with another paw.
“Hey, I’m not a toy!” Stargazer snapped and opened his eyes. “Only Jake God can play with my life!”
The cat cocked its head and looked at him curiously. Only now did Stargazer notice how thin and frail the cat’s frame was. It must have been thrown down here, discarded just like he was, left alone to die.
“You’ve lost your home too, haven’t you?” he asked and smiled faintly.
The cat looked down. “Home,” it said, its voice rough. “Family.”
“I miss my own too,” Stargazer said. “I wish I could return to them.”
If only he could.
The cat bit down on him suddenly but did so gently. It held him in its mouth and took off running.
“For the last time,” Stargazer said, with all his remaining strength, “I’m not edible!”
“Not hungry,” the cat replied through its teeth, though it was obviously starving.
Stargazer blinked. “Where are you taking me?”
Stargazer’s heart jumped. “You know where I live?”
“Jake. Nice kid. Gives food. Has toys.”
Stargazer couldn’t believe his ears. Was this a miracle? Or another torment?
“Please, don’t give me false hopes, behemoth.”
“Home,” the cat said.
And a tear ran on Stargazer’s cheek. “Home.”
The behemoth ran swiftly, its step solid. It jumped over the foul waters, climbed the sewers’ steep walls, squeezed through the metal grills. And they were out. Stargazer felt like he was dreaming. He watched the landscape go by in a daze, exhausted, and hurt. His consciousness swam and he passed out a few times.
Then, he felt the behemoth put him down on something soft. A doormat.
“Home,” it said and licked its paw.
“Thank you,” Stargazer whispered, overwhelmed with emotion. He recognized the temple of the Gods. He was home.
The behemoth jumped and ran away as the temple doors opened and Jake God appeared. He looked at the running cat and scratched his head, then looked down and noticed Stargazer. His eyes lit up and he picked the little lego man up.
“Stargazer! What are you doing out here?”
His joyful expression fell as he noticed Stagazer’s wounds.
“Oh no, you’re hurt! Did the dinosaur do this to you? Or did mom vacuum you, and dad flush you down the drain? You poor thing…”
Stargazer couldn’t speak, only swim in his tears of joy, as Jake God understood his struggles.
“Don’t worry! We’ll get you cleaned and patched up in no time!”
Jake took him inside and Stargazer passed out from overwhelm.
When he woke up again, he was in the carton box with the rest of the lego pieces. His body was cleaned, repaired with a glue-ish substance, and suit repainted. All his friends and family were gathered around, all of them well and happy to see him.
Stargazer jumped up and, noticing there was no more pain, hugged them all.
“You will not believe what happened to me!”