I started this story about three years ago, but never touched it again because I was so focused on getting Star Vacation finished before I did any other fan fictions, because my idea is that it’s better to focus on doing one story at a time so I don’t end up overwhelmed with “Which one should I focus on now?”.
However, I recently decided to re-open this story, edit it, and make some changes. And after having my mom help me proofread it… I am now proud to present my first-ever oneshot, based on Captain McCrea’s remark about pizza. In fact, this is actually a tie-in to Star Vacation as a way to explain how he got from “Sea” to “Hoedown”, with food, farms, and pizza in between.
So, without further ado, here it goes…
One day, in the year AD 2805, a large vacation vessel known as the Postulate sailed through the star-studded seas of the cosmos. In the command bridge, a portly man named Captain Boris McCrea sat in a hovering recliner, and held a small clump of dirt in his hand. He had obtained that dirt from a handshake with a strange garbage collector who had been in the captain’s quarters a little earlier. McCrea moved his chair over the blue floor lane that led to the ship’s computer.
“Analyze,” McCrea ordered the computer.
McCrea put the soil into a holographic scan pad. The substance was suspended by an anti-gravity function in the device.
“Analysis: Poop,” the computer announced, “Substance is a three-phase system composed of various combinations of naturally derived solids. Subject is most commonly referred to as: soil, dirt, or earth.”
Earth. That word. Something about it has caught McCrea’s attention more than any other word he had ever heard in his entire lifetime.
“Huh?” McCrea was suddenly interested, “Computer, will you define this word for me?”
The computer then appeared as a hologram, and accessed an encyclopedia. She automatically filled the computer screen with pictures, charts, diagrams, definitions, mini-videos, and other stuff related to Earth.
“Earth: the surface of the world as distinct from the sky and sea,” the computer told the Captain.
“Wow,” Captain McCrea was intrigued, “Define: sea.”
“Sea,” began the computer, “…an expanse of salt water that covers most of the Earth’s surface and surrounds its land masses. A sea is smaller than an ocean. Notable seas on Earth include the Black Sea, Caspian Sea, Caribbean Sea, Arabian Sea, Sea of Japan, and the Mediterranean Sea.”
“Oooh!” McCrea grew even more excited, “Define ‘Mediterranean Sea’.”
“Mediterranean Sea,” the computer started processing the information, “A sea located between Southern Europe and Northern Africa. Mediterranean culture is known for its timeless traditions, history, and culinary cuisine, which consists of olives, grapes, tomatoes, bread, and cheese. Notable Mediterranean nations include Spain, Greece, and Italy.”
“Hmm, I’d like to know more about these places,” thought McCrea, “Define ‘Italy’.”
“Italy,” The computer pulled out more information, “Italy is one of the most well-known nations in Southern Europe. Its roots began with Roman civilization around the 5th century B.C., and its culture flourished throughout the Renaissance with famous paintings and sculptures. Notable Italian architecture includes the Colosseum in Rome and the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Tuscany. One of Italy’s most popular dishes is the pizza, which is now enjoyed by many worldwide, especially in America.”
“Aw, now you’ve got lunch on my mind!” McCrea chuckled, “Define ‘pizza’.”
“Oh dear,” the computer sighed, “Pizza: a delicious food composed of a buttery crust spread with tomato sauce and topped with cheese. Popular toppings include pepperoni, black olives, sausage, ham, pineapple, mushrooms, and bell peppers.”
“Wow! I never knew this existed!” McCrea was overwhelmed, “Ok then, define ‘bell peppers’.”
“Someone’s gettin’ hungry from the looks of it,” the computer joked playfully, “Bell peppers: a vegetable that can come in red, orange, yellow and green varieties, and are used in a diverse range of cuisines, such as Mexican, Italian, and Asian food.”
“I’m getting hungry alright,” the Captain’s mouth began to water a bit, “Define ‘food’.”
“Oh Captain,” the computer giggled, “You sure are a curious one, but here it goes. Food: a substance providing nourishment for people, animals, and other living things with the nutrients they need for energy and growth. The majority of foods come from natural sources, such as plants and livestock animals, which can be found in farms in rural lands. Plant-based foods are grown by putting seeds into the ground, and pouring water over the soil they are buried in.”
McCrea was astonished. “That’s so amazing! I’d actually like to know about these ‘farms’.”
“I thought you’d never ask,” the computer smiled as images of farming flooded the holo-screen, “Farm: a place, usually consisting of a barn house and land pastures, where a person known as a ‘farmer’ grows crops and plants, and raises livestock animals for meat. In the old days, when a barn was being built, the family who owned the farm would hold a ‘barn-raising’ party, comparable to a western-style hoedown.”
McCrea spun his chair around in circles, enjoying all the knowledge he was acquiring from the Postulate’s computer. He wanted to know more and more about the earth; its people, its scenic locations, and its customs.
“All this Earth knowledge is so overwhelmingly cool!” McCrea exclaimed, “Now I’d like to know about this thing called a ‘hoedown’.”
“Nothing’s stopping you from learning,” the computer told McCrea.
“All right then,” McCrea took a deep breath, “Define: ‘hoedown’.”
“Hoedown,” the computer answered, “A social gathering at which lively dancing would take place…”
As the computer was about to continue her definition of a hoedown, Auto Pirate, the tall, dark, and red-eyed co-pilot of the Postulate walked into the Captain’s quarters. He had come to check up on his master.
“Auto!” McCrea greeted his co-pilot happily, “Earth is amazing! These are called ‘farms’. Humans would put seeds in the ground, pour water over them, and they’d grow food, like pizza.”
“Nighty-night, Captain,” answered Auto as he walked towards the elevator. The Captain just threw his head back into the cushioned head-rest of his hoverchair.
“Let’s see,” began Auto, checking the control panels, “The simulated sky has been set to nighttime, passengers should be clearing out from the lido deck and promenade concourses, and crewmembers should be getting some shut-eye with the exception of night-shift maintenance crew. Oh, and we’ve got a welder unit working on one of our traffic beacons. Everything seems normal. Better send a message to Grand Moff Gopher to send out the night patrol.”
Back down in the Captain’s quarters, the lights had shut down for bedtime. McCrea, however, wanted to learn one more thing from the computer before he went to bed. He pressed a button on his hoverchair, and floated back towards the screen.
“Psst,” McCrea whispered to the computer; her hologram form fading in from her podium again, “Define: ‘dancing’.”
“Dancing,” the computer uploaded information, “A series of movements involving two partners, where speed and rhythm match harmoniously with music.”
The screen instantly became filled with images of people dancing. The pictures included in the search consisted of fancily-dressed adults in elegant ballrooms, teens in formal attire in high school gyms filled with banners and balloons, ballerinas on a beautifully decorated stage, and even a club with semi-formally clothed people talking over some drinks.
As McCrea glared at the holo-screen in awe, two trails, consisting of a blue light and white foam, seemed to overlap each other in a double helix form, almost as if they were dancing. This was going on outside the cabin window, but McCrea, being fascinated by the information he was learning from the Encyclopedia Axiomatica, was too mesmerized to turn his face away from the screen.
“That was amazing,” McCrea yawned, “You probably need some rest now, computer.”
The hologram snapped her fingers, and her uniform instantly turned into a set of sleepwear. She also began shutting down the interactive encyclopedia.
“If you’d like, you could also read the encyclopedia yourself,” the computer suggested; a book ejecting from a slot in the main processor.
McCrea picked up the thick blue tome, which was titled Encyclopedia Axiomatica: 22nd Century Edition (With a Foreword by Palpatine Forthright). A ShoppyMart logo could be found in the center above the title. He opened it, and as he flipped through the pages, he happened to stumble upon an entry on romance.
“That’s interesting,” McCrea told himself, “I’ve always wanted to learn about romance.”
“You know,” began the computer, “I would actually love to continue this tomorrow. Did you know there’s another definition for ‘Earth’?”
“Really?” McCrea was intrigued, even though he did not take his eyes off the book.
“Yes,” answered the computer, “it is also one of the four classical elements.”
“Oh that’s nice,” McCrea replied, “Well, I’m probably going to skim this book before before I get some shut-eye.”
“Good night, Captain McCrea,” the computer told McCrea before her hologram faded away from the podium.
As he read the large encyclopedia, McCrea hovered over to a set of vertically oriented display shelves full of decorations, including a space helmet, a scaled replica of Sputnik, a globe, and even a model of the Postulate itself. The captain then put the book down on one of the shelves, and reached to grab the globe and the scaled-down Postulate model off a higher shelf. He stared at both of them, and then began to wave them around in the air.