Rigabold the pernicketnesss tood at the navigation table looking at the information being presented to him. He’d long ago mastered the art of Earth languages, even American English, and could even speak them in the local tongue as needed. It was for that reason that all the communications and data transfers between himself and his ship, no matter where he was, would be done in the local tongue.
The navigation table wasn’t all that big, only about as wide and long as Rigbold was tall but it’s multi-layer technology allowed it to show a plethora of information. Things like his exact location, how he had to transform in order to fit in with the local planet’s inhabitants, the dialect he needed to speak and much, much more, include the all important information about the item he’d been sent to collect.
So what was this culinary delicacy that Rigabold had been sent to Earth to collect?
It was a Chiko Roll.
Such a delicacy was not even known to the majority of the Earth’s inhabitants in fact the ability of the Australian’s to keep it a secret from the rest of the world was nothing short of brilliant and something that the Tumcuddulans had studied and admired for many squeelookals.
It was loosely based on the more widely popular Chinese Spring Roll however unlike the Spring Roll the Chiko Roll had not been allowed to spread throughout the world. The secret was part of it’s intrigue, kind of like McDonalds secret sauce and KFC’s secret herbs and spices, both of which the Tumcuddulans worked out less than a squeelookal after they were invented.
The reason the Tumcuddulans needed the recipe so badly was that after several hundred millennia they’d finally realised their species was close to extinction. It was what humans called a genetic mutation that was going to see their end, they knew exactly what was causing it and they knew that the only thing that could save it was the delicacy that was Chiko Rolls. Just like humans used penicillin to remove pain the Tumcuddulans could use Chiko Rolls to cure what ailed them.
The Tumcuddulans didn’t desperately need the cook Rigabold was looking to take back with him, they had their own cooks and the recipe was all they needed. But with so many chefs and cooks creating the culinary masterpiece in take away shops and milk bars every day of the year it made sense, to Rigabold at least, that the cook who did the best job deserved the reward of cooking for Rigabold’s clan for the rest of their known, and unknown squeelookals.
Also on the navigation table was a number of images, each one of a different man posing uncomfortably in front of a camera. The images were chosen automatically by the ship’s computer as the best looks for Rigabold so that he would fit in with the people of Earth with whom he’d be spending time.
It wasn’t just the outfit change Rigabold needed,he also needed to transform his body to look more like that of a human. Long studies of the human race told the Tumcuddulans that humans disliked and distrusted visitors from other planets, even when they hadn’t actually seen any. Little green men, the sort that had never been spotted in any galaxy the Tumcuddulans had explored seemed to be the most distrusted.
Rigabold didn’t look anything like those little green men but he did know that his natural look would scare the people of Earth and make the completion of his task so much harder. It wasn’t that he was unattractive, in fact he was one of the most, if not the most attractive Tumcuddulan on his home planet, but he did look different to the humans.
Firstly he was eight foot three, a wee bit too tall for the average Earthling. Secondly the fluorescent orange ooze that weaved it’s way through his transparent jellied body made humans scream. But the thing that made them the most uncomfortable was this three foot mating appendage, the female Tumcuddulans liked them that wide but humans seemed scared by such things, especially the female ones.
It did seem like a real waste having to hide such stunning beauty, especially given that he had to hide it behind one of those bodies the male Earthlings used, but he did understand that his job depended on it. Before he’d left home he had hoped that he’d get away with simply wearing his Candupit, or as Earth people called it an overcoat, but after more research he realised that it wasn’t enough. The candupit could of course be buttoned up to hide his body but even the thirty five centimetre winged collars couldn’t hide his head. It was an attractive head but for some reason Earthling’s couldn’t accept that a seventy centimetre diameter bulbous cranium was a thing of great appeal.
In some ways Rigabold was being a bit of a sook and that was why he was putting off having his disguise fitted, not that he’d admit that of course but it was true. In his hundred and seventy eight squeelookals Rigabold had needed a disguise on no less than twenty occasions but such fittings didn’t get easier the more one had. In fact because of the way his jellies and ooze had to be manipulated it hurt and some times it hurt like a bitch. But still it had to be done.
Looking through the short listed photographs on the navigation table Rigabold made his selection and stepped into the Molecule Mangler. It wasn’t the most inviting name but like many things on the planet Tumcuddula it was named after the task it preformed.
Almost instantly the screaming started, followed by a weird gurgling sound, followed by more screaming, then a bang, then a noise which sounded like a hippopotamus giving birth, then more gurgling. The noises lasted a little over ten minutes at which time Rigabold stepped out of the Molecule Mangler. He was completely naked, toned and looking like…
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