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“They never show that in movies,” Jean-Pierre points out grumpily.

“True.” Bertrand tosses out the nine of clubs; it tumbles lazily, end over end. “One doesn’t just freeze in vacuum. One doesn’t merely suffocate. One explodes!”

“The ultimate contextualization!” says Jacques, grabbing the nine and stuffing it in his hand. “An attempt to fill the void with self–”

“Spare us,” groans Jean-Pierre.

“There is nothing outside the text!” Jacques insists. He means this literally; the three of them are in a spaceship made of origami newsprint.

It should be noted that this is basically the worst possible kind of spaceship.


“If you lay it flat,” says Bertrand, “you’ll put holes in the floor.”

“Possibly,” concedes Jacques.

“Furthermore, this will go faster if we both drill.”

“Perhaps,” says Jacques, “we should hold it and drill from opposite sides.”

Bertrand considers that, frowning, but he can’t find anything wrong with the idea.

“All right,” Jacques calls over the sheet of wood a moment later, “remember! We are bracing on the left and drilling on the right!

“Yes,” says Bertrand, still frowning. “I think… yes.”

A few seconds later, screaming, they jerk back their bleeding hands. Unsupported, the wood falls over onto Bertrand’s head.


“The pirates are closing, Jacques,” says Bertrand. “But I’ll be damned if we’re going down on my watch, understand?”

“Not to worry,” Jacques says proudly. “This dirigible is armed well!”

“I know,” says Bertrand. “Now, where did you move the ammo?”

“I was cooking an omelette and it was in the way. I sent Jean-Pierre down to store it in the cellar.”

“Jacques,” says Bertrand, “this is a dirigible. Dirigibles don’t have cellars, Jacques.”


“We do have a bombing hatch, Jacques.”

Jacques considers this.

“Bertrand,” he says eventually, “we don’t have any ammo.”

“I gathered as much, Jacques,” says Bertrand.