There was, fortunately, the familiar clink and the raising of glasses. Me at the back of the room, wry smile, cigar, dolly bird on each arm. My glass, as it were, spilling over. A toast to me, of course, a toast to me and my fifty successful and distinguished years as Interstellary Ambassador to Terraform of Plastic Waves. Captain, so to speak, of that wondrous and artificial planet made, as its name implies, from plastic.
I arrived there in blast rocket, cascaded down the ladder to dusty floor of fibreglass rocks and bits. Blue, strange, luminous. Cough, ack, from hideous chemicalled spores, my breathing apparatus grabbed, strapped on. Bounding, with gigantish bravery leaps, I posted fast my flag and searched out through supersonic binoculars the rendezvous crater where I was to meet my nemesis, arch enemy, the fellow who was for a time the leader of that other plastic planet before we erased it completely from the skies. Stimorol, that’s him. We met in that crater, I offed him quickly as he begged for his life. I was a sight more ruthless then and, in truth, I regret Stimorol’s death. We could, as many later suggested, have become good friends and even, maybe, brought a little bit of peace to the universe. Or, at least, to our little part of it.
Halten you swine, you will obey me. Are the words I used thereafter when addressing my cosmological adversaries. Of which there were plenty. No dead though, never again. Halten you swine, magic space words, always doing the trick.
I was in the vastness of space on my brand new planet and the brainwave I had was to create, from its very plastic, a kind of world that mirrored the look and feel of New York from the nineteen fifties. If I had to pick a specific year I would have said 1954, a little before the advent of rock and roll and at a time that captured in the hearts and minds and false memories that perfect picture of affluent America with its big shiny cars, gleaming teeth and polished hair-dos. Chrome, lots of chrome. And a boldness in design, especially typography. So that’s what we did. This planet, Terraform, a lot like New York of the nineteen fifties. Its plastic ensured, of course, a degree of permanence and sparkle that could not be found in the drear fade of, say, Cuba and all those funny little places stuck/lost in the memories of time. It was then, my planet, a simulacrum of something much better. I still miss it.
My plastic New York planet was orbit spinning in territories unknown. A bright plastic beacon, skyscrapers beaming, a gleaming attract to vast leathes of pirates, space filth and kidnappers. No wonder then we were captured, for a while, by the Tendril Bugs. Bastards, the lot of them. Big bug eyes, loads of tendril type tentacle things of indeterminate length, snaking through everything, down drains and alleyways but also up nostrils, in sockets and straight through skin pores. Millions of dead, our planet almost destroyed. What to do but take a stand? So I did.
And here I am now, being honoured by my peers and plentiful admirers. These dolly birds, avaricious little bints, aching my arms. The cigar choking my throat. But I smile still, faintly, the distance between me and them heavily implied.