I utterly failed in my April Fool’s tradition. I had an idea for one, but not in time for me to really execute it properly. Perhaps next year.

In exchange, I offer the beginning of a story I just started. I rather like it.


They met for the first time in a smokey, dank room downtown, a basement pub that served a very select clientele. Like the rest of the customers, they sat with their backs to the wall and had calculated precisely how quickly they could reach either the Sword of Katarn mounted above the restroom door or the Jeddy Blast Pistol proudly displayed behind the bar.

Hua the Magnificent gripped his mug with a steel gauntlet of a hand. His jaw hinges squeaked when he spoke. “The people of my world are but half an inch tall. I was the product of generations of their craftsmen, a giant built to withstand the great invasion foretold in their texts. When the time came, though, there was no invasion. It was all a hoax. I was cast out, an embarrassment.” He guzzled, beer leaking between his loosely bolted teeth to run in rivulets down his tarnished cylindrical body.

“That is a raw deal,” said his companion, Brenton, Scorcher of Worlds, who could barely contain his fissionable form even when sober. Sunlight oozed between the flexible plates that made up his resplendent armor. “My fleet was the finest in five galaxies, my command, the flagship of the Nintaara Serventium.” Occasionally, a particularly dramatic gesture sent a plop of solar flare to sizzle on the floor or through a nearby table. In better times, Hua would have surreptitiously eased his feet back to protect them from an accidental splash. The other patrons gave the pair a wide berth. “Our enemies took advantage of my yearly hibernation cycle to attack. The assault was repulsed, of course, because I know what I’m doing. They think I leave fools in charge while I’m regenerating?”

“Surely not,” nodded Hua.

“Just because I’m a black hole for a week out of the year doesn’t make me derelict in my duty. Fucking politicians and their scapegoats.” Brenton tossed back his drink, but most of it evaporated before reaching his sunspot mouth. He didn’t seem to mind.

They both quieted as a trio of humans approached the table. Second-class citizens on their own planet, they each wore the badges that kept them in the human and common sectors of the city. They wore the simple, ill-fitting clothes of laborers. The apparent leader stepped forward, hat in hand.

“I am Damir,” he said. “This is Andreu, who possesses a black hole in place of a heart, and Silvia, who can move things with her mind.” Damir’s companions glanced at each other, but said nothing. “We come with a plea for help.”

Hua knotted his brow panels, hoping a scowl would intimidate the humans to leave. Brenton, however, had drunk enough to humor them. “Have a seat, Damir, and tell us your story!” He gestured to the bartender for more drinks.