The Airlock opening alarm alerted the passengers to the portal and flashing red light atop of it.
Captain Moonblazer burst from the command section of the shuttle and stood in front of the airlock door in a heroic fighter’s stance.
The portal opened and, much to Stella Starstruck’s dismay, an ordinary human walked in. (She had been hoping for her own dramatic rescue by hunky Moonblazer from ugly three-eyed aliens).
Moonblazer, recovering from his comatose state, blurted out, “What is the meaning of this intrusion? There was no radio contact whatsoever!”
The man gave Mike back his ‘commanding stare’– full in the face and then slouched against the door’s frame. His nasal, slightly bored, voice eased out, “I am a member of the Interstellar Space Policy Corps.” He stopped, waiting for this words to sink in…
Terrified visions whizzed through Mike’s brain. “Oh No! The cops—what have I done this time?”, he thought.
… the cop’s voice shattered Moonblazer’s thinking. “You have violated section 1073-A of the space code—not having any or sufficient illumination on the interstellar license plate. A fine of 20 million Canadian* dollars is due. There’s your ticket—your identification has been noted—you have 5 light years in which to pay this fine. Thank you for your time. Goodbye.”
With that closing salutation, the officer tuned on his heels leaving Moonblazer with a look of relief on his face.
Moonblazer walked back to the projection alcove and explained the intrusion. “Attention Passengers, this is Captain Moonblazer once again. The ISPC’s intrusion was only for a minor traffic violation. Ordinary flight has again resumed with hardly any time loss. I would be happy to entertain any queries you may have.”
Some strange-looking people leaped from their seats and had to be restrained.
Moonblazer sank back into the command seat and stared out into the stars—all the past 15 minutes of pressure melting away from his face as he contemplated the cosmos. His vigil was shortened, however…
Moonblazer swung around to face one of his passengers—a brunette with a knock-out figure. He recognized her immediately as Stella Starstruck, the most popular TV anchorwoman in the Solar System.
He leapt to his feel affecting the Captain’s stance for receiving a war medal and said, “Yes, Miss Starstruck—you have a question?”, in his suavest voice.
“Yes Captain—this may be a little ‘off-the-cuff’ but may I ask the privilege of dining with you this evening? I’m not due on set till ten tomorrow.”
Mike made sure his jaw was back in place: “Yeah, sure—anything for the Miss Stella Starstruck,” he said, trying to overcome his adrenalin overflow.
“Marvellous,” Miss Starstruck responded with a winning smile, “then that’s a date. I’ll look forward to, say, 7 o’digital clock?”
“Ah, seven will be, uh, fine.” His captain-like gaze saved him from showing too much excitement.
Tune in next issue for the thrilling dinner were Mike Moonblazer says, “So how long did you know Luke Skywalker?!!!!
*-author’s note- the Canadian dollar will have been devalued so much, by the year 3209, that the fine will have an estimated value of only 74 marks or 6.4 trillion lyra
–1980/12 published in The Grapevine Volume VI, Issue II–