Voyage of the Scunge Scavenger

by Joshua Blanc

Part 1: Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sink

The sturdy submersible, 'Scunge Scavenger,' submerged beneath dwindling dish-liquid bubbles -- venturing into the murky soup of the dinner dishes.

"My God," said Captain Franks. "This is the murkiest I've seen it, men."
"They must've had a fry-up, Cap'n," said First Mate Holdecker.

Franks watched the sonar as bits of soggy cheese, potato skin, and god-knows-what else floated past the hull. Occasionally there would be a dull thud as a bobbing drinking glass or saucer rubbed gently against the side of the craft.

"Well, men, as you know this is not our maiden voyage. Far from it, in fact. This is our seventy-fifth voyage, and we still haven't ventured to the bottom of this vast sink."

A murmur broke out among the crew. Franks pushed his cap back on his curled black hair, and squinted -- further furrowing his already furrowed face.

"Today," he said louder to silence them, "we will make that voyage. Are you with me?"

"Yes!" was the unanimous reply.

"Take us down, Holdecker!"

The thin First Mate sprung to action, and the bridge became a hive of activity. The sub slowly arced its way downward.

"We have some turbulence ahead, Cap'n." Said Holdecker. "I believe it's a pot-scourer."

"Steer forty degrees starboard and resume course once we're clear."

Franks took his place in the command-chair. Blips from the sonarscope became more frequent as the sub descended. It was getting murkier out there.

"Keep your eyes on that sonarscope, Durkel."

"Yes, Cap'n. She's getting thick out there." said the sonar operator.

The view through the bubbledome was poor, even with the floodlights. Franks studied it intently, looking for signs of the stainless-steel fixture. There, a shape!

"What is that?"

Durkel checked his readings, and double checked them. "It ... it's a teaspoon, Cap'n! And she's straight ahead!"

"Evasive maneuvers! Everyone to their stations!"

The crew scrambled, the engines whined with power, and the sub rocked as she hit.

"We've struck the pointy end!" Shouted Fellows, Navigator.

"The hull has ruptured in three places," said Holdecker, "we're taking on water!"

The captain frowned. "Can you get us to the surface?"

Holdecker shook his head.

"Then we'll have to pull the plug. And seal up those leaks!"

The crew did what they could -- locking down the damaged sectors, and trying to deploy the robotic arm.

"What is it, Fellows?"

"The claw's been damaged, Sir, we can't deploy!"

"Holdecker, load torpedo-bay one with a plug charge."

"Yes, Cap'n."

The tube was readied, and a moment later the torpedo loosed. It cut through the grease better than lemon-scented Skim(tm), and exploded on impact with the plug -- blasting it to oblivion.

"Hold on tight!"

End of Part 1!