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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20. Chapter 20

 In the dark nebulas of Rolftomx, in the asteroid belt of Ghino, on the third asteroid, Nebo, there are a race of priests, the wisest priests in the Galaxy, it is said. It is their task to ponder the greater questions of life, it was they who answered the thirteenth most important question of all time, what is the point of spray on cheese?

They spent a reverent sixty one years and three months on the question. During the period of Answering, the priests take a vow of silence, for sixty one years no priest on the asteroid spoke a word, it made it almost impossible when one of the priests happened to die, they merely saw the threat of a stench of decaying flesh, as an added incentive to answer the question.

Fortunately, the Collopians had learnt from the priests of Nebo, they learnt that no question deserved longer than six hours pondering. And so, after the compulsory half a dozen hours facing the problem Mark had brought them, Kurt and Lars found themselves in the small, dingy recesses of the ship. They stared at one another nervously. They had double checked for themselves the information the Nodder had provided them, then they had argued with him. After triple checking it, they argued again. This continued until Mark had given up, thrown his arms into the air, then locked himself in his cabin, refusing to talk to any non-nodders. Kurt drummed his chin anxiously, “It's obviously a Nodder plot.” he said with the conviction of an anorexic sumo wrestler.

“Obviously.” Lars echoed, sharing Kurt's anxiety. “Trying to undermine the choice made by the Yellow book.”

“Exactly.”

“Exactly.”

“Although -”

“Yes?”

“We did see it for ourselves.”

“Yes, we did.”

“And it did say it quite clearly.”

“Yes, it did.”

“You know what this means, don't you?” Kurt asked.

“Oh yes.” Lars said.

“Oh it is a shame.” Kurt said.

“Indeed it is.” Lars said, he started chewing his nails nervously. Kurt proceeded to start pacing the large chamber. They had to wait another ten minutes before the person they expected arrived. Both Collopians looked up with pale faces as Peter ambled into the chamber. He had a curious expression on his face, his frown deepened when he saw Kurt and Lars staring at him, Lars still with a severely chewed nail in his mouth.

Oh dear, Peter thought. He looked up at the room surrounding him, closing in like a box. He had been in the room several times before, five times, to be exact. He looked back at the expressions Kurt and Lars wore. They're usual irritatingly amiable smiles were now gone, he knew what was coming up. “Damn.” Peter murmured, things had nearly been going quite well. The arguing had transcended into a bitter, cold silence and everyone had retired to their private cabins to seethe at the other survivors. He had been quite looking forward to seeing how the whole thing would progress in the next week, now he realised, that wouldn't be the case. A dull throbbing behind his eyes, finally gave Peter an indication of his life threatening ailment. Kurt stepped forward, “Hello Peter,” he said nervously. “how are you?”

“Fine.” the human said guardedly, glancing from Kurt to Lars.

“That's good.” Lars said, glancing at Kurt, “Erm, there is, erm, a small matter we'd like to talk to you about, if that's okay?”

“Okay?”

“Erm,” Kurt said, he had started fiddling with his funeral black tie. “we have heard some, erm, rather worrying news.”

“News?” oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.

“Peter?” Lars said, stepping forward so he was side by side with Kurt, “Forgive us if this is a personal question, but -”
“Do you have a lethal brain tumour that is going to kill you in less than a week?” Kurt asked.

There it was, a sudden stabbing throb in the back of Peter's eye ball, it felt as if the tumour itself knew the game was up, and was finally giving vent to its pent up fury of being trapped in Peter's head. Peter grasped his head, “Ah shit!” he exclaimed.

Kurt and Lars glanced at one another, “Does shit mean yes or no?” Kurt asked worriedly.

“Erm, I don't know.” Lars said, “Shall we ask again?”

“Yes! Yes all right, I have a damn brain tumour!” Peter barked, massaging his temples. He froze when he saw the aliens' expressions. He had been expected insulted rage, how dare this human dupe us for so long, instead, he saw only pitiful betrayal etched in their grey faces. How could this human dupe us? It almost made Peter regret what he had done. Almost, but not quite. Kurt bowed his head, “How could you not tell us?” he asked in a barely audible voice.

“Well,” Peter said, thoroughly uncomfortable. “you know how it is -”

Lars let his head droop against his chest, “We trusted you.” he murmured.

Peter sighed, “Look, I was going to tell you! At some point.” he exclaimed, “But there was never any time, not with travelling the world trying to find some people to save!”

“We needed six people!” Kurt looked up, Peter reeled back, there were actual tears in the alien's eyes. Oh, well now he felt great. “You've ruined the whole project!” Kurt continued.

“Sixty-five million years in the making!” Lars joined in, one single tear drop tracing its way down his grey cheek. “Yeah,” Peter said slowly, “Yeah, all right, I'll give you that. I have ruined your sixty-five million year project and probably jeopardised the entire future of mankind, true, but, it's been fun hasn't it?”

Lars and Kurt smiled slightly, Peter grinned, he even managed to slightly ignore the dull pulsing behind his eyes. “Us three?” Peter said shrugging, “Going to Ireland? Hey? Wasn't that a laugh? hey, remember when you first showed me you were aliens? Oh, I cried a bit at that.”

Lars nodded, “Yes.” he said, “It has been fun.”

Peter smiled, “So surely, we can put this behind us and -”

With a flick of a switch from Kurt, Peter vanished from the teleportation chamber. Kurt and Lars sighed and glanced at one another, “Well,” Kurt said, “it is as they say, an end of an era.”

Lars nodded, “A very short one.”

“But a fun one.” Kurt sighed, “How long until human extinction?”

Lars glanced at his watch. “forty-one hours and seven minutes.” Kurt nodded, he glanced at the small visual screen in the corner that displayed earth, then sighed again. “To the Small Room!”

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