"The Eternal Question" by NobodyAtAll

Hey, it’s Cal again.

So it’s been another day, and I have good news and bad news.

The good news is, we’ve got another new recruit. This one won’t be joining the IntergalactiX, because he lives closer to home.

His name is Igor. And no, I’m not talking about the owner of the Inn Between Worlds.

This Igor comes from a rather unusual family, who usually work for, ah, mentally abnormal people of the scientific persuasion. Very traditional. Every mad scientist needs a hunchbacked servant.

Of course, every mad scientist eventually faces an angry mob wielding torches and pitchforks, and the code that Igor’s family obeys doesn’t oblige them to stick around for that.

But the Igor family has been branching out in modern times, because, let’s face it, there’s only so many mad scientists, it’s a limited market.

Yes, all the men in the family are named Igor. The women are all named Igorina. Strangely, they always know which member of the family you’re addressing or referring to.

Even stranger, the Igors all look, well, like they won’t be winning any beauty pageants. But they would probably win awards for the highly experimental self-surgery they perform on themselves. And Igors will frequently bequeath their own body parts to their relatives when they die, so when an Igor says he’s got his grandfather’s eyes, it is not just a figure of speech.

But the Igorinas are all… well, unnaturally beautiful. Maybe a single surgery scar or row of stitches on the face, for aesthetic purposes. So I’m pretty sure the Igors look like that because they want to.

I asked the Inn Between Worlds Igor, and he said that no, he’s not a relative. I wasn’t the first person to ask him that, apparently there’s more than one world with an Igor family.

Our Igor was recommended to us by his uncle, who recently started working at our Faucheuse Foundation branch.

“He’th a bloody dithgrathe, Mithter Korkea. Doethn’t even do the lithp. I hope you can whip him into thape.”

Yeah, our Igor’s on the young side. He’s the only member of the family with an emo haircut. Bangs covering one eye and everything.

“I’m not calling you Marthter. I don’t care what my dad says.”

“Relax, dude. Call me whatever you want, as long as it’s not rude. Or you can just call me Cal. Everyone does.”

Igor’s joined the Nerd Squad. He has tons of ideas that his family all derided, and that Valerie took interest in.

But Valerie couldn’t resist trolling Igor by doing a stereotypical mad scientist laugh.


“Oh, no! I thought you were a sane scientist!”

Yeah, Igor’s made it very clear that he doesn’t want to work for a mad scientist, and I told him that it’s a shame he didn’t join before Pierre retired, because Pierre is proudly not mad.

But then there’s the bad news.

We’re pretty sure that Xanitas isn’t on Lumix anymore.

A few people in Lalum City witnessed Xanitas with someone whose description matched that of the “tourist” who had been hanging around Luxi’s dojo. You know, Trota in disguise.

Apparently, both of them were very drunk, and, based on the location of each sighting, Gene quickly calculated which way they were probably stumbling.

He’s not the smartest Lumixian, but he’s still smarter than most Earthlings.

So Gene questioned Xarri, a used spaceship dealer operating on the outskirts of Lalum.

Xarri eventually begrudgingly admitted that he sold those two a spaceship. And quickly clarified that it was one with autopilot, because, again, they were both very drunk.

Unfortunately, Xarri’s ships don’t have tracking devices in them, so we don’t know where the ship is going.

But I can guess.

It’s going to Vajarsi.

Yeah, we were completely off the mark this time. I was so sure that Trota was trying to get to YOU.

I hate to say “I told you so”, but…

You don’t need to gloat, Fi. But yeah, we shouldn’t be surprised. It’s not ALWAYS about Cal.

And yet, I’m about to get involved anyway.

Trota just kidnapped Xanitas, and I don’t know why, but Xan’s a fellow student of the Luxi School, so I can’t just abandon him to his fate.

Fortunately, we have an advantage that Trota doesn’t.

We can use the Tele-Ports, because we’re not intergalactic fugitives.

Which means we can beat him to Vajarsi.

So I quickly put a squad together.

Besides me and Marley, Piccolo, Konba, Victor, Scarface, Akira and Wukong will be tagging along. So will Xuri, even though he’s not in the ChaotiX.

“Xan’s my best friend! He’s in trouble! You can’t leave me behind, Cal!”

“Relax, Xuri. I wasn’t gonna.

In Lalum, my squad enters the Tele-Port.

My squad swung by the dojo first to pick Xuri up. I had Travis drive us to the dojo and back.

“Always happy to give you and your friends a free ride, Mr. Korkea. My wife’s from Arkay, y’know.”

Yeah, humans don’t have a monopoly on romancing people from other planets.

It’s just that humans are more likely to do that than any other race, barring Dunnans.

Seriously, Captain Kirk and Star-Lord could merge together and they still wouldn’t beat the Dunnans at screwing aliens.

Lumixians have science as their thing, Saingans have fighting as their thing, Tennebites have bigotry as their thing, and Dunnans have fucking as their thing.

Us humans are the jack of all trades, apparently.

We head inside, making our way to the section with the portals to Vajarsi.

Akira glances at Konba.

“So, uh, it’s been a while since we’ve worked together. Um, is your dad still laughing at you about the pile of corpses thing?”

Konba blushes.


“Caw sed yu am a Soopah Sain-gan nao. Wukong wun-duw wut it wook wike, Wukong nu haf seen it.”

“I’ll show you guys later. After we find… what’s his name again?”

Xuri looks up at Konba, concern all over his blue face.

“His name’s Xanitas. We’ve been training under Master Luxi since we were kids.”

“Master Karne’s an old friend of Luxi. So, did Luxi raise Xanitas?”

“Xan’s adoptive parents died a couple of years before Master Luxi took him in. Let’s just say there’s a reason that Master Luxi removed his tail.”

“Mawwey knu wut da wee-sun am. An Mawwey am gwad dat nu did happun wen Mawwey fite-ed Konba.”

“I’m sorry that I tried to kill you, Marley. I’ve been meaning to apologize for a while.”

“It am awwite, Konba. Mawwey gut pay-bak, wemembew?”

Konba winces, clearly remembering Marley hitting him in the dick twice.

I smile at him.

“Konba, you aren’t the first recruit who joined us after trying to kill us. Just ask Al. He actually killed all of us in his timeline.”

Alpha’s currently in New Quezon City, building a guest house with the Caldr-- Omega.

Omega’s still trying to figure things out, but, considering who programmed his new personality, we’re certain he won’t go “beep boop, crush kill destroy” on us.

Just to be sure, we’ve moved the Omega Core to an extremely secure location.

Victor nods sagely.

“He even killed me and Scarface. Don’t ask us how, because it’s not pretty.”

“Scawface wish dat Scawface nu knoo.”

Piccolo grins.

“If Aw-fuh twied gibin dis Piccowo wowstest stompies, Aw-fuh footsie wud jus bounce awf.”

We reach a portal marked “GURIL CITY”, and walk through.

Our rescue mission has begun.

Meanwhile, light-years away from Lumix, Xanitas wakes up, his head pounding.

Normally, it takes a lot of alcohol to give a Saingan a hangover, but this was Xanitas’ first time being drunk, and he was very drunk.

“Wha… where am I?”

Then he asks the eternal question, the question everyone asks after a bout of heavy drinking. Usually while wondering who that is in bed next to them, or where that pineapple on their nightstand came from.

“What did I do last night?”

Xanitas’ vision clears, and he realizes that he’s sitting in the passenger seat of a small two-man spacecraft, not unlike a Winnebago with wings. He realises how far away from Lumix he is now.

His silver gi is disheveled, his spiky blond hair is a mess, and he reeks of alcohol.

He sees Trota next to him, looking fresh as a daisy, out of his human disguise and back in his black armor, piloting the ship.

“Mornin’, bro. Thought I’d let you sleep it off. How are you feeling?”

All the memories of what happened during his intoxication come rushing back to Xanitas.

“What the-- you abducted me!”

“I’m sorry that I had to do it like this, but I wasn’t sure that you’d come with me if you were sober.

“Take me home, right now!


Trota keeps flying, not turning the ship around.

Xanitas scowls.

“I said take me home.

“But I am taking you home.”

Trota smiles at his brother.

“I’m taking you to your true home. To Vajarsi.”

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