Chapter Two. Sogwa’s Quest
Sogwa went to the Crystal Cuddle Ship. It was ten miles wide, forty miles long, ninety miles high, and covered with gems every color of the rainbow. As she approached, a door opened, and from within the Nerdlings shouted, “Sogwa has returned! Come in, come in!” so in she went.
They said, “Teach us again, O Sogwa! Save us from the Scary Menace!”
“Teach?” said Sogwa. “Again?” said Sogwa. “I just want you to go home.”
The Nerdlings said, “And so do we, but the Scary Menace frightened us off our world, all seventeen billion of us, and we all ran fifty thousand light years to this planet Earth, so we could meet you, Sogwa the supercat, who will forever banish our fear of the Menace.”
“How did you know I’d be here?”
“You were here last time,” said the Nerdlings, “and you saved us last time, too.”
“What do you mean, last time?”
“Time runs in a circle on board the Crystal Cuddle Ship,” the Nerdlings explained. “So come with us again. Come with us to Nerdle, our home world orbiting the red dwarf star Fanac. Show us how to save us from the Scary Menace. Teach us, and we promise to take you home, and we will pay you well besides. That’s what we did last time.”
“You’ll take me straight there and back? In time for dinner?”
“Neither. We’ll take a detour, and get you back before you left.”
“Curious,” thought Sogwa, and “why not?” for she was a curious cat; and of course the Nerdlings heard this, and they cheered.
“When do we go?” she asked them, and they said, “Not yet; for our Crystal Cuddle Ship is all worn out. We need new gems, new rockets, new reactors and reagents, new beams and seams, new wires and tires, new struts and nuts, new fuel, air, water, dirt, ballast and everything else. Everything on board must be replaced, except the crew.”
“That sounds like a lot of work,”said Sogwa.
The Nerdlings said, “We need the help of your whole world working together for one whole year to get our super-ship all super-ship-shape. So the sooner you Earthlings put aside your stupid quarrels, just for a year, then the sooner we Nerdlings can be on our way.”
Sogwa said, “Shall I take you to our leaders?”
“Phooey on your leaders,” said the Nerdlings. “Take us to your rich people!”
So Sogwa left the Crystal Cuddle Ship on a quest to meet the twenty-three trillionaires who think they run the world. But as she was walking away from the Crystal Cuddle Ship, something weird and icky happened. Sogwa felt the hairs on the back of her neck rise, so she turned around, and there in the doorway of the ship was another cat who looked just like her. Sogwa waved, and the other cat waved back, then looked at her paw, yowled, and ran back into the ship. Sogwa thought, “What a strange kitty!”