Dr. Shmindiana Shmoo was a professor at The University of The Rubyverse, Life and... Everything (the great URL...E) on Planet JARBWHA-3. Shmoo was smackdab in the middle of a class lecture about the evil vanquisher of planets known as sugar.
“While it's well known Rubyverse history that Ruby is the great elixir that vanquished the great vanquisher of planets known as sugar," Professor Shmoo explained, "There is great debate and conjecture about whether another such elixir exists..."
Something caught Shmoo's eye.
"A variant of sorts found within the depths of some unknown institution here in our very own star galaxy..."
A reflection in one of his students' eyes.
"There is no real proof as such, and therefore it is not known and sadly..."
What... "Cannot be explained...”
What is that within the iris?
Ancient equations, flavors, characteristics, colors and alchemy seemed to be streaming from this one student’s eye with a four-letter word emanating, screeching out... Ruby.
Dr. Shmoo shook their head as the bell went off and the students rushed out the door.
“Always remember to question the beyond of what is known!” Shmoo shouted out after the students, who impassively passed by the professor's old friend, Sluggo, who was waiting patiently in the doorway for such a moment.
“Expanding young brains as ever, sometimes with myths," Dr. Sluggo Q chuckled to himself. "Though most of the time with facts I hope?” Shmoo smiled and embraced their old friend. “What brings an old soldier like you through these halls Sluggo?” Sluggo lifted an eyebrow, “In fact it’s the very thing you were just teaching.” Sluggo pulled a scroll from his pocket and unravelled it for the professor to examine. Shmoo snickered, “This looks like a pretty tattered up map of The Rubyverse, what am I supposed to be seeing Sluggo?”
Sluggo lifted the other eyebrow, “Always question beyond what is known, right Shmoo?” He lifted the map to the sunlight of five moons. “The beyond is right there in very plain sight...” When held to the sunlight the map changed into something more complex with lines and patterns, and there in very plain sight was a little white glitch looking to the center of The Rubyverse.
Shmoo’s mouth slowly dropped, “Follow the white glitch…” they stammered.
“What was that old boy?”
Shmoo shook their head. “Nothing. Just a bit of deja vu perhaps…”
Sluggo scoffed and rolled the map up. “Well if myths still interest you more than facts, meet me and the team tomorrow at quarter past the third moon at Ridley’s Pass.”
Shmoo eyed Sluggo, unconvinced… “Team?”
They all knew it was a funicide mission: one that was a straight up good time full of what was sure to create longlasting friendships and memories. There was Tree Prince Barr, the spaceship engineer. Dr. Shmoo, for all purposes the fleet commander. Sniffle the Gremish, a crackerjack pilot and Zobo, the kindest of heart, ready to take on the evils of Sugar and any of the great vanquisher’s minions. Oh yeah, and then there was Jeff.
They piled into the spaceship, with Sniffle at the wheel. “If we’re going to make some intergalactic history, we might as well have some tunes playing, what do you say?” He turned the dial, tuning into M.o.M Radio, picking up the frequencies of JARBWHA-3.
“Let’s do this,” said Shmoo.
Sniffle nodded and punched it, “Hold onto your butts!”
Floating through space, it was clear to the fleet that they were part of an epic drama of adventure and exploration. They cranked M.o.M Radio up to an eleven and met in the hangar bay to game plan their trip into the center of The Rubyverse.
"Alright team. We’re expecting literally zero conflict,” Commander Dr. Shmoo announced. “The map tells us that we should be going to planet Apkallu, but I say that’s codswollop. We need to go to the center of The Rubyverse.”
Tree Prince stepped forward, “With all due respect sir, that’s insane. What justification have you for putting our lives at risk like this?”
Dr. Shmoo pointed to the right hand corner of the map where Zobo and Tree Prince peered down.
“We’ve got to follow the White Glitch,” Shmoo said. And so they did, directly into the style of The Rubyverse.
TO BE CONTINUED