Chapter Twenty-Three: The Sultan of Space

Like I said, trouble was afoot, and it didn’t take long to find out whose foot it would be. The excess weight of my robotic arm caused some problems. The first of many problems was when I stood up on a rock to look out into the distance. The rock sank down into the ground and I was left with a hole. The ground in front of us opened wide.

“Great. Another chasm,” I thought. But, as it turned out, it wasn’t that at all. It was. . . a flying carpet? Yes. A flying carpet came up out of the ravine straight at us. It was moving so fast that I didn’t have time to dodge. It ran straight into my ankles and tripped me right onto it. It did the same thing to Plittereeg, knocking him onto it behind me.

“I have no idea how to steer this thing!” I said, my cheeks flapping from the g-force. (Editors note- I was wearing a space suit, so take notice that it was the g-force, not the wind.) We shot back down into the ravine through endless tunnels of ice and rock until we came to a palace that looked like the Taj Mahal. We stepped off the carpet and inside the palace cautiously. Plittereeg created foot pads so that we wouldn’t be heard and I rode piggy-back so the footsteps of my space boots wouldn’t be heard. (Editor’s note: it’s about time I told you that Plittereeg wasn’t actually wearing a space suit but due to his wildly adaptive evolution he was able to survive in space without needing breathing gear.)

Plittereeg ran as fast as he could without emitting so much as a single pat on the icy floor. He slid to a stop and pressed himself against the wall in a spread eagle position next to the door. Unfortunately, since I was still on his back, this made for a very uncomfortable stop for me. Plittereeg jumped around the corner and into the door. The first room was a long hall, at the end of which were two spiral staircases leading up to one very wide staircase vanishing up into the darkness of the highest turret. The walls of the hall were lined with marble columns and the floor was a very long carpet with pictures of dragons devouring humans and large animals like hippos and rhinos.

Plittereeg leaped towards the marble columns on the right side of the long hall ducking behind column after column and making sure the coast was clear. As I watched the scene go by from Plittereeg’s back, I realized that Plittereeg was actually humming the James Bond theme song while he ducked for cover behind tremendous columns. He flew, not literally flying, by that I mean leaping, from the last marble column to the edge of the spiral staircase on the right.

Plittereeg hopped up the stairs, with each step humming a new note. We made it to the top of the stairs and Plittereeg tip toed from the top of the stairs to the wall, then shimmied across the edge to the next staircase. He hopped from stair to stair up higher and higher into the tallest turret, at the top of which he completely forgot about trying to be sneaky and started humming the theme song louder and louder.

“Well, well,” came a voice from behind us. Plittereeg lurched and hopped and I was thrown from his back. As I struggled to see whoever had been talking, I realized Plittereeg was also sprawled on the floor. Looking up, I saw sitting on the throne was somebody who looked like a sultan. He also looked like a human.

“Welcome. I may look like a Sultan, but I am certainly not the famed Sultan of Space. That, my friend is the palace you are in now. This entire palace is actually a space ship. It’s been hidden down here for centuries after being forced to make a crash landing due to -a-hem- heavy interferences from-” he paused, “dislikable patrons.” With that, he pulled a lever and the Sultan of Space shot up in the air and crashed through the roof of the cavern the palace was hidden in.

Plittereeg and I ran as fast as we could down the stairs and along the hall. We leaped out of the door about a hundred feet above the ground and went careening downwards at an incredible pace until we suddenly slowed. I looked up to see if there might be some reason for this. Plittereeg’s hands had melded together and formed a giant parachute. We settled down safely on the ground and ran even faster than we could, surprisingly, back to the Great Flying Pickle Jar. To our relief, Dave had woken up. He had a bandaged wing, one bandaged tentacle and a bandage wrapped around his head, but aside from that he seemed to be okay.

I ran to the control room and said for Alabaster to gun it and get us out of here as fast as he could. With that, we took off into space and, as it turns out, that’s where we’d be for a long, long time.