Home
Back to Fiction
Back to Quacks and Oddities

You can diddle with the controller above to play this again or play parts of it.

You can also...
Click here to play again...

CAN'T HEAR? CLICK HERE. IT'LL OPEN IN A NEW WINDOW AND YOU CAN READ ALONG ON THIS PAGE.


Kindly wait a moment for the audio to load...


STARSHIP TRUTHERS

     I always get the shakes before a drop. The ship’s bartender told me it was unusual. He said that most people get them after drinking, but he also said I was lucky and should be thankful because folks who get to quaking when they’re hungover suffer a whole lot more. According to him anyway. I couldn’t say about that. You see, I’ve never been one of those people. Fact is; I don’t even drink.
     I meant to say that I got the shakes before we made an assault from orbit. That’s what we call a dangerous military raid like that: a drop. So when I corrected the bartender, he began to understand. At least he seemed to. He nodded knowingly and somewhat sympathetically and said. “Ah, I see. Well, it’s only natural that that kind of drop would give you the shakes.”
     “Milk shakes,” I told him. “Before each drop all of the guys want milk shakes.”
     He looked at me and didn’t say anything, but I figured he wanted to know more, so I added: “High energy food. Good source of protein. And who wants to get peckish when you’re in a fire fight? Believe me; you need all the concentration you can get! The milk shakes help.”
     “And you get the milk shakes?” he asked.
     “That’s what I said,” I told him. “Johnny Rico used to be the one who had to get them, but then he got killed by the bugs and I was next in line and so now I have to do it.”
       I’ll admit that I got a little short with the bartender. He was kind of thick and I’m not sure if it was just a put-on to irritate me. Anyway, I finished with: “I’ll say it again if it still isn’t clear: I always get the shakes before a drop. Do you understand? Finally?