Pan Post 60 returns to Space Camelot and King Arthur is gazing at the planet Mercury from the Command Deck of Camelot, where they had arrived in Pan Post 34. He is unimpressed with how boring and pointless the planet is so they move onto the next, which is Venus, where they detect life. Tom a'Lincoln decides they need to send an Away Team. The leader of the Away Team is Sir Lancelot du Lac, who leads a party of five including his son, Sir Galahad. With the group is also Prince Mordred, who collects samples for Sir Bedivere. Backing them up are Tom a'Lincoln's two children, The Black Knight and The Faerie Knight. They come across a rock-man and Lancelot attacks it but finds his weapon is useless. When the creature proves harmless they settle with peace. They eventually leave the planet with a new crewman, one of the rock-men that Merlin names Andy. They jump away from Venus, first to Earth by mistake, and then onto the next planet where they come across a massive fleet of alien ships.
Space Camelot: Planet of Rock
Characters: King Arthur | Queen Guinevere | Sir Kay | Sir Bedivere | Sir Lancelot | Morganna le Fay | Merlin the Younger | Tom a'Lincoln | (Sir) The Black Knight | (Sir) The Faerie Knight | Sir Galahad | Prince Mordred
King Arthur: "Why won't it do something!? We came all this way and it just... sits there. Boring as all Hell."
Captain Tom a'Lincoln winces at his king's blasphemy.
Merlin: "I don't think planets do do anything, Sire. They're just... planets."
King Arthur: "Well we'd better find more interesting planets than this stupid rock. Can't we blow it up or something? It's an eyesore to our solar system!"
Merlin and Tom glance at each other with concern.
Tom a'Lincoln: "Maybe we should just move on to the next world, eh? I think we've got the hang of this jumping business. Just make sure everyone is standing by a wall and not holding cups of tea."
A single jump later and Camelot bursts from hyperspeed into real-time and overlooks yet another small, rocky ball of boring. Arthur folds his arms, entirely unimpressed. If he had known the rest of the galaxy was going to be this dull he would have--
Tom a'Lincoln: "I'm registering life!"
King Arthur: "Wahoo! Let's conquer them! I claim this boring rock in the name of... Space Britain!!"
Tom a'Lincoln: "Space... Britain...?"
King Arthur: "Couldn't think of anything better..."
Merlin: "Cosmos Britannia?
King Arthur: "So we'll be going with Space Britain."
Merlin: "Stella Britannus!"
King Arthur: "Space Britain it is!"
Tom a'Lincoln: "Maybe we shouldn't be so quick to go around invading our neighbours, Sire? We don't know anything about them. Maybe we should send down an away team?"
King Arthur: "Away team? You mean like a scouting party? An ambassadorial retinue?"
Tom a'Lincoln rubs his shaved head with some perplexity.
Tom a'Lincoln: "Yes?"
King Arthur: "Okay! I shall lead the "Away Team" myself!"
He flexes his fingers as he says 'away team'.
Merlin: "I think you should send a team, Sire! It's too dangerous to go yourself!!"
King Arthur: "I didn't come all this way so that someone else can have all the fun!"
Arthur had only been partially right about the planet Venus. Certainly it is a rocky, desolate world, but surrounding the planet is a thick cloud layer that rains down sulphuric showers constantly. These rainstorms erode the rocky landscape ever so slowly over the centuries but would make short work of any bare skin that the humans laid before it. As had happened to three unfortunate red-shirted individuals that Tom a'Lincoln had sent down an hour ago.
Now, however, a solution has been found. Space suits. They were found in one of Camelot's many rooms and appeared to be ancient, yet still functional. A quick spacewalk test confirmed that they were still in good condition, while a short alchemical test done by Merlin, performed in a room she has taken to calling her 'laboratory', also confirmed that the suits were protected from hazards like sulphur.
The space-boats they'd found in a gigantic room that appeared to be exposed to space but has its oxygen trapped inside by an invisible, magical bubble around the big open door. The spaceboats are small space-worthy vessels that would make it easy to navigate down to the planet.
Tom a'Lincoln was able to show a few sailors how the controls work and they decided that the spaceboats are infinitely easier to control than the big ship itself.
Now the Away Team are assembled at the door of a spaceboat. The pilot and the co-pilot will wait in the spaceboat while the team of five will venture forth.
Their spacesuits clad the entire body and while padding exists to line the interior of the suits, the exterior also features plates of armour to defend them in any combat they may come across. They have helmets that are metal with long visors of one-way black glass. Over their armour they have tabards that have crests and their chosen colours. Unlike their usual armour, these suits are lighter and probably more ornate. Sir Bedivere has already committed to designing more of them.
Leading the group is Arthur's most trusted knight and beloved friend, Sir Lancelot du Lac. His tabard is all blue with the white armour protruding underneath. On the front is the traditional fleurs-de-lis in its usual yellow. He pushes a button on the door but nothing happens. He lowers his head to get a good look at it as he presses the button again. Nothing.
Sir Galahad: "Dad, you're pushing the wrong button..."
Sir Lancelot: "Hey! I told you! You have to call me Commander when on a mission! You don't want the enemy to know you're my son, do you?"
Sir Galahad: "Uh..."
Sir Lancelot: "And I know it's the wrong button. I was just testing you. This one. This is the right button... right?"
He glances shiftily at Galahad. Galahad just sighs and nods.
The door sweeps open and they're introduced to the landscape of Venus. They look down and see the skeletons, cleaned of all organic matter by the sulphuric rain, of the three red-shirts from earlier.
Prince Mordred: "So. I vote that Lancelot goes first!"
While most would shirk at the thought, Lancelot flexes his arm to show his willingness. Many call him the bravest man alive. Mordred calls him the stupidest.
Sir Lancelot: "Not a problem! Off I go!"
He leaps out of the spaceboat and lands on the solid, red rocks of the planet. He instead starts screaming and writhing in agony, the other knights all shout at him to come back while he son cries out in despair. Galahad then flings himself out to grab his father but it's too late.
Lancelot starts laughing at them.
Sir Lancelot: "HAHA! That was great. Come on! Time to go!"
He starts marching off while the rest of his cadre are dumbstruck - except Mordred who is seething with anger at the fool. Mordred, sucks in his rage enough to exit the spaceboat. His own tabard is crossed with black marking the top-left and bottom-right, while the inverse is coloured blood red. And his crest are the three crowns that his father would also wear - two at the top and another resting underneath. Strapped diagonally across his torso is a massive zweihander that he'd brought from Earth with him. What effect it would have on space aliens is anyone's guess, but an unarmed knight is not a true knight as Lancelot would tell them.
He looks up at a massive rock formation, tilts his head and realises that it's a gigantic rocky mushroom. He might have considered it a coincidence but the whole area is filled with them and they're of varying sizes. He finds a small one and nudges it.
Prince Mordred: "Definitely rock. Weird."
He kneels down and gives it a tug. It comes away from the land and he tosses it into a bag, also strapped to his person. Sir Bedievere would be happy to get some samples and Mordred is more than happy to oblige the pursuit of knowledge and science.
Behind him comes Sir Galahad.
Prince Mordred: "Your father's an ******."
Sir Galahad: "We probably deserved it for letting him go first, like a bunch of cowards."
Mordred rolls his eyes, glad the younger man couldn't see how his face - a face that would tell Galahad just how stupid Mordred thinks he is. Galahad has all the idiocy of his father but none of the skill and half as much bravery. At least Lancelot would be useful as a meat shield should they come up against a rampaging horde of monsters. Hell the buffoon was so talented he might even survive such an onslaught. Mordred, of course, would have made a run for it. Because he's smart.
Sir Lancelot: "This way!"
Mordred gets up and walks after Laneclot with Galahad. Galahad, like his father, has the fleurs-de-lis upon his tabard but underneath is coloured a deep forest green to distinguish him from his father. His armour is otherwise the same, white just like Lancelot's.
Prince Mordred: "No water anywhere..."
The Faerie Knight: "A dismal and depressing place. No vegetation at all. I don't know think the king will want to conquer this land."
Mordred glances back to see the two other knights walking several paces behind him and Galahad. The Faerie Knight is one of Tom a'Lincoln's sons and was lucky enough to have gotten some of his mother's magical talents. The Faerie Knight's tabad is pink - not an unusual, nor girly, colour in the days of yore.
Prince Mordred: "Totally gay."
The Faerie Knight: "What?"
Prince Mordred: "I said it's totally okay! Whatever my father decides to do."
Upon the tabard is a crested sphere with a bright star shining out from its centre - a symbol meant to represent magic. The lower tails of the tabard are coloured black to compliment the soft hued pink. How or when he had had the time or ability to recraft the metalwork of his helmet, Mordred could only guess, but he has done so and now it has two extensions that run rearwards in the ornate pattern of vines and roses. Mordred guesses the roses are meant to represent his father, who is often known as the Red Rose Knight.
What his real name is is a mystery to Mordred. He never bothers to find out their names unless they thrust their names upon him, like Galahad - who likes to shout his name, followed by his father's, whenever he can. 'I, Galahad, son of Lancelot, propose this...' or 'Galahad, son of Lancelot, will vanquish... whatever' are two popular phrases drilled into Mordred's head. He and Galahad are not far apart in age, Mordred being just three years the elder, but he feels like an old man when listening to Galahad's naïvety.
Like The Faerie Knight, Mordred also doesn't know the name of the man's sibling who is simply known as The Black Knight. The Black Knight, as expected, is wearing entirely black. Black armour, black tabard, black boots, black helmet and now she has a black visor to match. She's tall an unnaturally strong, possibly some kind of power she got from her mother too - though Mordred had heard rumour that they both have differing mothers. Many might scorn this but Mordred can only relate. Unlike Mordred and Llacheu, who do not get on, The Black Knight and The Faerie Knight always seem like the best of buds. This only serves to stem the fires of jealousy in Modred.
The Black Knight is usually the more silent of the two, emanating an aura of dread and fear is most who came to her. Except Mordred who just became annoyed at how depressing she is.
Prince Mordred: "Where'd your idiot father go?"
Sir Galahad: "What?"
Prince Mordred: "I said where did your honourable father go?"
Sir Galahad: "That doesn't sound anything like what you sai--OH!"
He throws himself to the ground... while the other three knights stare down at him like he'd gone mad.
The Faerie Knight: "What are you doing, Galahad?"
Sir Galahad: "Look! There's something there!"
They squint out across the rocky landscape and see nothing but rocks. Then they see a bundle of rocks move!
They all throw themselves to the floor and peep over a rock. They watch the rock-man shuffling his way along. He's quite slow, apparently he doesn't have anywhere to be any time soon, and appears to be made form the same orange rocks as the rest of Venus. His eyes, however, are two bright glowing orbs.
Sir Galahad: "What do we do? Do we go over and say hello or bash it in the face?"
The Black Knight: "Bash it."
The Faerie Knight: "No no. We can't just attack it! It looks peaceful enough!"
The Black Knight: "It's big and it's ugly. It needs to be bashed."
Prince Mordred: "You're big and ugly but we don't bash you."
The Black Knight: "What?"
Prince Mordred: "You're tall and graceful w--"
The Black Knight: "I heard what you said the first time, scoundrel. I was giving you the opportunity to apologise."
Sir Galahad: "You can't call the prince a scoundrel, Black Knight. Show some respect!"
Prince Mordred: "It's fine. Forget it. Black Knight. Why don't you go over and do the bashing then?"
The Black Knight: "Next time I'm going to call you something much worse than a scoundrel."
The Faerie Knight: "I think... I think Lancelot will be doing the bashing..."
He points and then all see Lancelot standing atop of a rocky hill with his lance poised. He leaps off of the rock and "Ha-ha's" his way down to thrust the spear at the rock-man. The lance don't penetrate - it just bounces off.
Prince Mordred: "Well, colour me unsurprised..."
Sir Galahad: "Yeah. It is made of rock..."
Prince Mordred: "I meant I'm unsurprised that your father has gotten himself in trouble again."
The rock-man slowly turns itself to look at Lancelot, who stands ready to leap out of harms way. But the big rocky monster just stands there, looking at him with its big, blue, shiny eyes. After an anticlimactic moment, Lancelot relaxes and the knights see him offer the rock-man a wave. The creature looks at Lancelot's hand and then, albeit much slower, it mimics the gesture.
The Faerie Knight: "Seems they're friendly after all."
Prince Mordred: "Lucky it didn't mimic Lancelot's first greeting or he'd have a spear through his skull."
The four of them get up and dust off their tabards, now fettered with sand. Galahad marches proudly towards his father, as though his father had won some great victory and Galahad somehow shines brighter because of it, while Mordred hangs back with The Black Knight. The Faerie Knight tries to talk to the rock-man but, since it doesn't seem to have a mouth, Mordred doubts it'll be much of a conversationalist.
Prince Mordred: "Shame they're too stupid to fight. We could have used an army of stone-guys."
The Black Knight: "And what war are we fighting that they'd be used?"
Mordred just shrugs.
Prince Mordred: "There's always another war around the corner."
Many hours later and a few trips to and from the planet, Camelot is ready to move on to the next planet in the Sol System. In a room they had come to use as a canteen, many Britons are staring at the new crewman. One of the rock-men had been convinced to come up and join Camelot, or at least it seemed to be convinced but it may just have been stupid enough to wander onto the spaceboat. Morganna stands with her arms folded, entirely unimpressed with the dumb brute.
Merlin: "You don't like Andy?"
Morganna: "You named it!?"
Merlin: "Of course I did!"
Sir Bedivere: "I'd say it's a nice start. And I have a few of those rock-mushrooms to study too. Maybe we can understand more about Andy's anatomy if I can learn something about the mushrooms."
Morganna: "Right. Great. Rock mushrooms and a rock man. Not exactly a kingdom worthy of my son."
Merlin: "Not ev--"
Suddenly, everyone in the room is flung against the wall, lines of people all pinned in various positions. One unfortunate man is pinned upside down, while another has, more fortunately, been given a pleasant view up a woman's skirt, for which he's being chastised vehemently. Even Andy has wound up stuck against a wall, an occurrence which seems to have left him placidly confused. A state he seems to be in constantly.
When they're released they can see out of the window.
Morganna: "He's an idiot."
Sir Bedivere: "Evidently our king didn't know the Earth is the third planet--"
They're instantly thrown against the wall again.
Morganna: "Bedievere, I charge you with finding a new jump mechanism for this infernal ship!"
Merlin: "I think I actually agree with you, Morganna..."
Morganna: "The stars must have aligned."
They're released again and Morganna falls to her knees, clutching her stomach. Bedievere has slumped against the wall in a daze. Only Andy and Merlin seem to be unaffected by the weariness of the jump, though Andy could be affected and nobody would be able to tell the difference.
They both manage to stagger to their feet and look out of the window with Merlin. The sight of an entire fleet of ships manages to sober them both up instantly.