Shroom Zoned

Rick was delivering 20 tons of soup. It was a boring delivery, so he took the second shift to relax with his dog. “Who’s a good dog? Who’s a good dog, eh boy? You! Yes, you are!” Rick scratched Ray, his Labrador, behind the ear. Ray jumped up in joy. Rick threw a dog bone to the other side of the room. “Fetch! Fetch boy!” Rick cried. Ray happily ran to it and chewed on the bone. Rick left as it was the start of his shift, but forgot to remove his paperweight from the newspaper on the old bench.

“Hey, Rick! I was waiting for you! My shift’s finally over! Yessss!” Taco the AI navigator called to him as it ended its shift. “Yeah, yeah. Stop being so dramatic.”  Rick told Taco. That AI  Navigator – Taco, was such a drama queen. It was one of the few AI navigators around as it was expensive to buy and implement them.

Back in the room where he was relaxing with Ray, the old, worn bench finally gave way and the heavy paperweight fell on a button and it rerouted Ricks spacecraft. The route completely changed in a fraction of a second. “What the-?” Rick thought. Taco did a quick scan of the entire ship. “Hey, Rick, what’s the button that says, ‘Rerouting routes since 11991?’” Taco asked Rick. “I don’t know”, Rick replied. “But for some reason, the route on the navigation panel is now going to the Otterworld Mall instead! Luckily, I remember the route to where we’re going.” Rick took the spaceship off the path the navigation panel was telling him to go to and that caused the navigation panel to falsely report that Ricks spaceship had crashed!

It turned out that Rick didn’t know where he was going. He missed the planet by almost a light-year. He then landed on another planet, after which he got out with Ray. The spaceship blew up behind them because it decided to. They were now stranded on a foreign mushroom planet and presumed dead. “Great,” Taco said. “Now what do we do?” “DO SOMETHING!” Rick screamed at Taco. “WHAT DO I DO? I’M JUST AN AI THAT HAS MANIFESTED AS A SMILEY FACE IN THE ATMOSPHERE FOR… SOME… REASON!” Taco screamed back. They looked around. “Well, I’m hungry. There’s a mushroom there. I’m going to eat it.” Rick walked over and licked the mushroom.

Everything turned colorful and weird. Ray started turning into a mushroom rainbow. “Woooof…” he barked. Taco started turning into a… a… Rick didn’t know what it was. Everything was psychedelic and surreal. (That’s the best way I can explain. I could probably do a better job if I drew, but I don’t intend to). When Rick’s psychedelic ‘shroom trip ended, he found Taco and Ray waiting patiently for him. “Done yet?” Taco asked him. “Yeah. I’m done with mushrooms for the next few weeks.” Rick responded.

“…So why do you call Ray ‘A R.

ay of Hope’ anyway?” Taco asked Rick as they finished a conversation. “Well, because Ray was born on the planet ‘Hope’, he’s ‘A Ray of Hope’” Rick replied. “But what about the ‘A’?” Taco asked. “Two reasons. 1. There are many people named ‘Ray’ on the planet ‘Hope’, and 2, his full name is ‘Alfred Ray’ so it gets shortened to ‘A. Ray’, making it “A. Ray of Hope’.” Rick said. “Oh… Anyway, what are those things?” Taco asked. Rick looked to where Taco was facing. There seemed to be walking mushrooms coming towards them. Ray saw them as well. He bounded towards them barking with joy. He ate the lot. “Oh,” said Taco. “You think he’s fine?” Ray was clearly not fine. “Judging by his blissful and confused expression, I think not. I’ll just carry him for the rest of the trip.” Rick said he picked up Ray and put him in his bag, unzipping it so Ray could breathe.

Meanwhile:

“What? Rick crashed? What about all my soup? Go to the planet where he crashed and see if any soup can be saved!” Rick’s soup centered customer commanded his pilot. “Yes sir.” The pilot responded. They quickly traveled to the planet where Rick was reported to have crashed. They went around the planet a few times but could see no sign of Rick’s spaceship or soup. The pilot told Rick’s customer, “Sir, we’ve detected some soup arrive on an uninhabited planet, and Rick might have gone there for some reason.” “Well, then go there!” Rick’s customer shouted at everyone.

Rick and Taco came across a giant glowing mushroom. “What’s that?” Rick said in awe. “I have absolutely no idea,” Taco responded. Ray woofed blissfully. There was a sign next to the mushroom that read, “Holy Mushroom. Please do not climb.” So of course, Rick and Taco climbed it. As soon as they reached the top of the mushroom, a voice started to speak. “Life forms detected. Activating space launchers to send you into space. Goodbye!” Sure enough, some mushroom shaped launchers rose out of the ground, and Rick, Ray, and Taco were launched into the air. They were sent into space, where they smashed into Rick’s customer’s spaceship. The hole created in the spaceship, due to the crash, was almost immediately repaired.

During the ensuing discussion with his customer, Rick explained what happened to him and how he landed on a planet full of mushrooms. He allowed Rick, Ray, and Taco, a ride back home on the condition that they give him 20 megatons of soup next time.

Meanwhile, back on the mushroom planet, Rick’s ship decided to appear again, without the soup, and go back to Rick, because it was tired of staying in the void of non-existence.

-THE END-

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