You've heard of the "men in black", from the underrated Will Smith sci-fi comedy if nothing else. This was no comedy, though. In real life they are far more intimidating and unattractive, though they do wear dark glasses to hide this. There were eighteen of them outside my crumbling shack. "What do you want?" I snapped, though I couldn't conceal my fear that I already knew what they wanted.
"You already know what we want," said the one nearest to the hole where my door used to be.
"This is not the medium for being obscure," I replied. "Spell it out or I'll be writing this story all day."
"Your country needs you. It's time to go back there."
I kicked the doorway in great anger. Some more of the house fell down. "The Lunar Republic forbid me from even visiting. Also the moon is not a country."
"Kairos," said five of the men in black, in creepy unison. "No one else can defeat the Platinum King."
I sighed and lowered my head. They were right.
Four minutes later I had packed my bags, said goodbye to my chickens, and summoned my spacecraft from the hidden underground chamber beside the garden. The journey was uneventful. I read a back issue of National Geographic.
When I stepped out of the lunar parking lot and into the audience chamber of the Platinum King, I could feel the eyes of his court on me. Hushed whispers followed me: "Kairos Imperial?" "I didn't think you would dare show your face here again!" "OMG you cut your hair!"
The Platinum King sat on his throne on a platform made of the bones of innocent people. He was really not very tall but he had very impressive cheekbones. I drew my sword, but at that moment, a woman galloped into the hall on an enormous winged tiger. She was clad in armor made of diamonds, and the very air around her seemed to shimmer.
"Who is that?" I asked the nearest background character.
"She is known to all as the Cloud Warrior," he explained, "but her real name is ital_gal.
The Platinum King stood up, his annoyance plain upon his cheekboney face. "Don't interrupt me being evil!" he yelled. "I was about to murder all the children on the moon!"
His words only served to confirm that he could be killed without putting the hero's morality into question. ital_gal leaped down from her tiger, pointed her shotgun, and blew him away.
While everyone was cheering, I managed to slip away from the crowd and join ital_gal on the platform for a quiet word, though I'm not sure how because obviously all the attention was on her at that point. "That is a badass suit of armor," I said. "And shotgun. And flying tiger. There's one thing I'm confused about, though."
"What's that?" she asked graciously.
"I was sent here to stop the Platinum King, but now you already have. I'm pretty sure I would have died in the attempt so I'm very grateful to you for saving my life...but I thought I had a destiny!"
"How about a steak instead?" said ital_gal.
So we went to the best restaurant on the moon, where they have dishes from 43 different countries, and there is a fiddler playing at all times. I had a seafood pasta; ital_gal had chicken marsala. We both had the chocolate torte for dessert. We also drank a bottle of wine, but I'm not good with wine so I don't remember what it was called. Before I fell asleep (wine makes me sleepy), we learned that we both liked the same TV shows, and ital_gal decided to use her connections to make us each a David Boreanaz clone.
And we've been fast friends ever since.
Happy Birthday, ital_gal!