The Bright Side.

Peter Smith has just found out he has a month left to live due to a lethal brain tumour.
He has also just found out that in less than a month, the human race will become extinct and that he has been chosen to be one of six humans to survive the approaching apocalypse. And who has saved him? E.I.P.F, the Earth Inhabitant Protection Front, a group of intergalactic environmentalists who want to save just one species.
And so, whilst also keeping his deadly secret from the aliens, Peter embarks on a quest to rally the chosen survivors, whilst avoiding Government Agents, the secret services, Satanists, Velociraptors, and a manic depressive Tyrannosaurus .

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1. Chapter 1

 The Universe.

The Universe is very big. In fact it's so big, big isn't a big enough word to describe the bigness of the Universe. This is quite a significant problem if you are attempting to give an accurate description of the Universe. Professor Lopliloop Logware, universal philosopher from the planet Tragrathaar went so far as to create an entirely new word just to describe the bigness of the big Universe. He described it as being gilgarantous. When Logware revealed his brand new word to a group of other Universal philosophers at a huge, very expensive and wasteful party, they instantly posed the pedantic question, 'But what does gilgarantous mean?'

And so Logware released a three thousand page book explaining the meaning of the word, how to best use the word in a conversation and also why he had to go into hospital for a knee replacement at the age of twenty six. Unfortunately the book was only understandable to other philosophers, but they didn't bother with reading, and so after a long, strenuous effort to actually make some money from the book, it was translated to: 'Something that's really, really big'.

As the universe is so gilgarantous, there are lots of endangered species, and if there are a lot of endangered species, there are invariably a lot of environmental protection agencies. For example, there are those who protect the Grinzle backed Jockrapolx which once caused the extinction of the Limthean people who just wanted to introduce the potato to the creatures, but they're softies really. Or there are the groups who wish to help the disgruntled customer in a restaurant who has been waiting ten minutes or longer for some service. But this story does not entail these particular groups, instead it centres on one of the oldest environmental protection groups, E.I.P.F. And this tale takes place on a certain planet in a certain part of the universe, a small star system called 'The Milky Way'. The certain planet in question being Earth.

This story is particularly focused around one particular human, who is particularly unimportant on this particular planet. But that's going to change.

 

Peter sat in his flat. It wasn't a very nice flat; in fact it was a shoddy flat. Peter didn't like it. In fact he didn't really like London, it was too full and the people were rude. Only the other day as he was coming out of the supermarket, a wild eyed, deranged man wearing nothing but a sandwich board jumped out in front of him. “Repent!” he screamed.

Peter blinked.

Humans did this sometimes, that's how primitive they were, sometimes they blinked out of amazement, sometimes out of puzzlement, sometimes to get an annoying bit of dust out of their eyes and sometimes just for the hell of it. Humans had not replaced their blinking system. Unlike the Glimms of the Stimkmase, who had replaced the whole process with small robots that hovered around their large purple heads. These robots would then state in loud voices what the Glimm in question, really wanted to blink about. Unfortunately at one political meeting, one rather unlucky Glimm and his blink robot, insulted a neighbouring Glomm by misplacing a polite blink with a 'god that man is wearing an awful tie' blink. Much to the dismay of the Glimm, the Glomms were extremely short tempered, and much to the despair of the Glimm, it then resulted in the fourth intergalactic war, which could only be settled with a staring contest.

During this planet wide contest every single blinking robot exploded in a desperate attempt to find a purpose.

They didn't find it.

Peter blinked in amazement, here he was, just finishing his shopping, and some crazy man starts shouting at him. He had half a mind to complain. “I beg your pardon?” he said sourly.

“Repent!” the old man repeated, waving his arms for emphasis. “The end is nigh!”

Peter glanced at the shop he had just exited from. Its green, neon sign blazed smugly. “Tesco's not closing” Peter retorted.

“The world will end!” the crazy man said, dancing wildly.

“When?”

This stumped the man. He stared wide eyed at the crazy man asking the silly question, then fell back to the old favourite. “Repent!”

“Well how much time have I got to repent?” Peter asked, “A day? A month? A decade?”

“Hold on one minute” the preacher suddenly said, Instantly losing twenty years and looking a lot more like a dejected, middle aged banker, whose mid – life crisis hadn't fitted in with his wife's skiing holiday and so now found himself on the street with nothing but a sandwich of cardboard and a bleak future of preaching. “I don't get given the answers” he continued, “For all I know it could be a metaphorical world ending”

“How do you mean?” Peter asked, completely disregarding the fact that he was about to enter a philosophical conversation with a man wearing two pieces of cardboard. “Well it could just be the end of fast food chains?” Peter gave this some more thought.

“Highly unlikely” he said, “I would have thought a metaphorical world ending would be more like the economy being completely and utterly liquidated”

“Oh no” the crazed man said, “I can't see that happening. Things can't be that bad”

“Well what then?”

“Erm, how about – some famous celebrity dies?” the preacher suggested, “then their fans would be really upset. It'll be the end of their world!”

“Hmm, I don't really see how that relates to me”

“What celebrity do you like?”

“None”

“Oh”

“Well if you're done. I have to go” said Peter, “My peas are thawing”

And so Peter had left the grumbling ranter. On the way home, where his peas slowly thawed out, he wondered about which lucky bastards would be chosen to survive if the world really did end.

Elsewhere another, entirely different group of people were overcoming that particular problem, by using a very special book. Peter, completely oblivious to the fact his entire life was about to change, sat in his flat and watched a film. It wasn't very good.

 

Everywhere in the gilgarantous universe are places where ordinary people are not allowed to go. In the Warbling galaxy there is a planet called Kliphrichaad where all the worst singers in the universe are kept for their own safety

On the planet Simponto an entire continent is so secretive that everyone knows about it. The president of the planet decreed that if it was such a big deal that people didn't go there, the people should know why not. When the citizens were told why they couldn't go to that continent, they were rather disappointed with the reason and so chose to excuse the pitiful continent and resolutely refuse to tell anyone about the continent. On Earth it's area 52.

The area's first commander, a man called Michael Seamus had come up with an ingenious way of keeping it secret, tell everyone about a different top secret area. It had worked. For fifty years the worlds citizens had searched for the illusive area 51, thinking they kept aliens. It had certainly pissed off area 51. In fact they were only an accounting firm for the first fifty areas, and thanks to Mr Seamus, now had to share offices with Area 38 in Tibet, whose job was to investigate the Yeti and find it. When Michael Seamus had finally died it was presumed that Arnold Vanson would take his place; he was well liked, intelligent, good looking and above all, knew how Area 52 worked. But Arnold had decided to relocate to Area 19, a department dedicated to proving the existence of Santa Claus and arresting him for several billion accounts of breaking and entering. And so Arnold turned down the prestigious post at Area 52 and the post had instead, reluctantly been offered to Michael Seamus's son; Hank Seamus, who was described as being a complete and utter pillock. He knew he was a pillock. The people who had offered him the job knew he was a pillock and everyone who had ever met Hank knew he was a pillock. Hank had tried to change this fact of nature, he had bought himself a nice mustard yellow Stetson, the woman who had sold it to him said with a wide smile that it made him look handsome. In fact it just made him look like a pillock wearing a stupid hat.

At the moment Area 52 was having a very important and extremely secret meeting. Hank Seamus stood at the head of the table. His fat thumbs tucked into his waist band and his barrel chest sticking out. His Stetson perched on his balding head. Hank was a typical Texan, continuously chewing a toothpick and idiotically stuck in the past. It was just a shame he was from Boston. His lazy eyes surveyed the suited men and women watching him. He knew they loathed him. They loathed him like a cat loathes a mouse that keeps comically hitting him over the head with a frying pan. He knew it and he couldn't give a damn. Hank silently cursed choosing a tooth pick to chew and not tobacco; it was the sort of moment that just begged for the pa-ting of the fluid hitting a tin bucket. Instead he fell back on crunching the small portion of wood. “Awright guys” Hank said pacing up and down the room. “We got a problem”

The rooms inhabitants swapped glances and rolled their eyes. Here came another of Hank's pep talks. “I've just got word of a big mother in our orbit” Hank explained.

“A what?” one of the two women asked.

“An alien” Seamus said, “That's what it is little lady; I've got orders from the president himself to work out if it's friendly or not”

They all knew what he meant. If they weren't friendly Hank could blow it to smithereens. And if they were friendly, Hank would still blow it to smithereens, just so he could say he did something. “We got to show these reds that they can't put spaceships in our space!”

“Erm” said one black American, “I don't think they'd be Russians sir”

Hank immediately rounded on the man, jumping on him like a lion to a blind antelope. “Do not undermine me boy!” the man roared, the toothpick fired from his mouth and bounced off the prey's head. “Or I will slap you all the way back to the plantation!”

The officials fidgeted nervously, they didn't have the heart to alert him about political correctness, after all, he was having so much fun, it would be like popping a child's balloon. “Now” said Hank, placing another toothpick between his teeth, “I want to know everything about this damn ship” He said looking around, “Well?” he stared at the men and women watching him fearfully. “Erm” said a third official warily, “We don't know anything. This is the first we've heard” Hank blinked. He had difficulty following multiple clause sentences. “Right” he said, after several moments. “Well I want you to go and find out everything about this ship. Now!”

 

Elsewhere in the world, a woman was learning to live with the news of Earth's immediate future. She had learnt it whilst looking for the use – by – date on a tin of baked beans. It certainly hadn't pleased her and the only thing she could do was go to work at the local supermarket. That certainly hadn't pleased her either. The currently disgruntled shop worker was called Emilia Crosswood, and she was a clairvoyant. It wasn't enjoyable, but she had no choice. She stared at the bottle of alcohol in her hand, opposite her, the customer was getting very irate. Emilia had wasted several minutes trying to gain the shop manager's attention; the customer had chosen to ignore it at first, but now finally decided to speak. “Excuse me” she snapped. Emilia turned her gaze on the woman.

“What?” she asked coldly.

“Could you please stop trying to flirt with that young man? You are at work”

The temperature suddenly dropped, several of the customers behind the woman shuffled back fearfully. “Unfortunately” Emilia said venomously, “Only 'That Young Man' can allow me to sell you this alcohol. Unless of course you don't want to get drunk and forget your pitifully miserable existence. So may I get on with my job? Please.” the last word was spat out like a dagger, laced with poison and had the words: 'Danger' attached to the handle.

The customer wisely stopped talking.

Later that afternoon Emilia was called into the manager's office. Kevin Barnes watched her sit opposite him. Kevin was a very dislikeable person; even his mother had difficulty liking him. He had the sort of face that had evolved to be punched. “You're firing me aren't you?” she asked.

Kevin opened his mouth in surprise. He could never tell how she knew exactly what he was thinking. “Erm, yes”

“And it's because I'm being continuously rude to customers”

“Yes” the conversation was not progressing at all how Kevin had planned it. It never did when Emilia was involved, he tried to take hold of the conversation, but failed miserably. “You also think I should leave quietly and not make a fuss”

Kevin nodded despondently. Emilia rose to her feet, “Oh and Allan is the one who took the money” she added.

“But there isn't any money missing!” Kevin said desperately.

“Not yet anyway” Emilia said, she then left Kevin to his depression that would overtake him in four days. Fortunately in a month he'd no longer be depressed unfortunately he'd be dead. So would everyone else in the world, including Emilia, and that's what really pissed her off.  

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