“Jert Zylan vs. The Cytard”

Jert Zylan vs. The Cytard

The Cytard leapt with a clumsy, flailing thrust and landed stupidly in the grass, half on its face and half on its ass. It stood up, dizzy, and trained its only eyeball on Jert Zylan and Ensign Dan. Tears rolled down its scaly green face, collecting in a watery mustache on its bulbous red lips; it had hurt itself in the rough landing. Its bottom lip trembled like jello in a spoon.

Illustration by Mongol

Jert, his snazzy grey sports coat covered in a phlegm-like gunk, pulled out his Series 8 plasma-musket pistol and cocked back one of its two rusty hammers. Ch-click! He hollered into Dan’s ear. “You said this filthy caveguck would make us nasty and gross—so the beast wouldn’t want to eat us!” Jert, gagging in the steam of his own foul smell, wiped some of the slime from his lips with the back of his even-slimier sleeve. He breathed only when he really needed to. He’d once had a pet frog he kept in a scissored-out milk carton on his dresser, and he’d never changed the water even once, just let the poor thing stew for weeks in its own stagnant filth—this cavegunk, Jert thought, produced a very similar odor. “He don’t look so grossed out to me! He looks like he thinks we’re freakin’ dipped in butter!”

A good distance beyond the creature, on a silvergreen hillock, stood the rocket Scout 3, pointing up to the sky, ready to get the hell into space. Somewhere inside, a terribly annoying child named Stowaway Lahluu roamed about unsupervised, probably pressing all kinds of buttons. Jert definitely needed to get back there pronto.

Dan shrugged his shoulders and said, “Yeah, but how is he supposed to get grossed out by it, unless he eats one of us and realizes he hates it?” Dan said this like it was the most obvious thing in the world.

For a very sane moment Jert contemplated turning his pistol on Dan and pulling the trigger hard enough maybe to sprain a fingermuscle. And, if he’d had even one extra musket to spare, who’s to say he wouldn’t have gone through with it? But he’d only one bullet inside the old, perversely-inaccurate metalwood pistol. And now, it seemed, he’d need to reserve that musket for more pressing annoyances. “You mean to tell me that was your plan? He eats one of us and then he’s too grossed out to eat the other?”

“Yes.”

“Seriously?”

“Yes.”

The Cytard flung itself again in their direction, heavy and sideways, like a concert piano in a tornado. It crashed down hard: shplump! This time the fifteen-foot reptile, having scraped its leathery knees on a fingernail of graphite rock in the dirt, cried out loud in a lizardly belch: “Waalalalahhhh!” More tears streamed from its face. But the beast was simply too dumb to learn from its mistakes—it would jump again, soon, and one more leap would bring it down on Jert and Dan.

Yet still, Jert couldn’t quite wrest his gaze from Dan’s slime-drenched profile. “So, either way you figured it: one of us gets eaten. That qualifies to you as a ‘good’ plan? That’s acceptable to you, Ensign Dan?”

Dan shrugged his slimy shoulders. A hammock of cave-mucus hung from his elbow.  “Well yeah, as long as I’m not the one he eats.”

Jert stared at him in braindead silence for a good five seconds. Then he took a good deep breath and tried to exhale the bulk of his frustration out through his lips. He found he couldn’t get it all out like he wanted to. Then the Cytard leapt again, swinging its green scaly limbs wildly in the air.

Jert didn’t have time to worry over his one remaining musket, his one and only chance. He whipped his arm upwards and pulled the trigger. Sdooop!!!

Jert, his snazzy grey sports coat covered in a phlegm-like gunk, pulled out his Series 8 plasma-musket pistol and cocked back one of its two rusty hammers. Ch-click! He hollered into Dan’s ear. “You said this filthy caveguck would make us nasty and gross—so the beast wouldn’t want to eat us!” Jert, gagging in the steam of his own foul smell, wiped some of the slime from his lips with the back of his even-slimier sleeve. He breathed only when he really needed to. He’d once had a pet frog he kept in a scissored-out milk carton on his dresser, and he’d never changed the water even once, just let the poor thing stew for weeks in its own stagnant filth—this cavegunk, Jert thought, produced a very similar odor. “He don’t look so grossed out to me! He looks like he thinks we’re freakin’ dipped in butter!”

A good distance beyond the creature, on a silvergreen hillock, stood the rocket Scout 3, pointing up to the sky, ready to get the hell into space. Somewhere inside, a terribly annoying child named Stowaway Lahluu roamed about unsupervised, probably pressing all kinds of buttons. Jert definitely needed to get back there pronto.

Dan shrugged his shoulders and said, “Yeah, but how is he supposed to get grossed out by it, unless he eats one of us and realizes he hates it?” Dan said this like it was the most obvious thing in the world.

For a very sane moment Jert contemplated turning his pistol on Dan and pulling the trigger hard enough maybe to sprain a fingermuscle. And, if he’d had even one extra musket to spare, who’s to say he wouldn’t have gone through with it? But he’d only one bullet inside the old, perversely-inaccurate metalwood pistol. And now, it seemed, he’d need to reserve that musket for more pressing annoyances. “You mean to tell me that was your plan? He eats one of us and then he’s too grossed out to eat the other?”

“Yes.”

“Seriously?”

“Yes.”

The Cytard flung itself again in their direction, heavy and sideways, like a concert piano in a tornado. It crashed down hard: shplump! This time the fifteen-foot reptile, having scraped its leathery knees on a fingernail of graphite rock in the dirt, cried out loud in a lizardly belch: “Waalalalahhhh!” More tears streamed from its face. But the beast was simply too dumb to learn from its mistakes—it would jump again, soon, and one more leap would bring it down on Jert and Dan.

Yet still, Jert couldn’t quite wrest his gaze from Dan’s slime-drenched profile. “So, either way you figured it: one of us gets eaten. That qualifies to you as a ‘good’ plan? That’s acceptable to you, Ensign Dan?”

Dan shrugged his slimy shoulders. A hammock of cave-mucus hung from his elbow.  “Well yeah, as long as I’m not the one he eats.”

Jert stared at him in braindead silence for a good five seconds. Then he took a good deep breath and tried to exhale the bulk of his frustration out through his lips. He found he couldn’t get it all out like he wanted to. Then the Cytard leapt again, swinging its green scaly limbs wildly in the air.

Jert didn’t have time to worry over his one remaining musket, his one and only chance. He whipped his arm upwards and pulled the trigger. Sdooop!!!

 

_____

Want to know what happens next? Be my guest!

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5 Responses to “Jert Zylan vs. The Cytard”

  1. Janis says:

    Bill, this is good stuff, I messaged you on Facebook.

  2. cestlavie22 says:

    Sorry I have been mia! This was very amusing! I half expected Jert to pull the trigger on Dan and feed him to the Cytard…I mean it was practically Dan’s idea anyways so that makes it okay, doesn’t it?

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