McEdifice Returns by Timothy the Tremendous Talking Cat and The Artist Formerly Known as Straw Puppy. Assume n is a chapter, then n+1 would be the next chapter and therefore as “next chapter” is by definition a chapter, chapter n+1 is also a chapter. Therefore for all n ∈ ℕ, chapter n is a chapter. As the cardinality of ℕ is ℵ0 therefore the total number of chapters is also ℵ0.
Planet Campus – the Boot Camp and Corporate Office Planet of Tau Bootes X. [We’ve done that bit.]
[Ok, skipping ahead]
It was week 4 of intensive training for the new recruits of the Intergalactic Space Army. Trainee unit Alpha 57 consisted of Dweeble, Mush, Henumhein, Chuckowitz, Mertlebay, Shumpwinder, Scoot, Pumpwhistle, Pendlebee, Zorb, Feratu, and McEdifice.
“I HAVE NEVER SEEN, a more mangy, misbegotten, NO GOOD, bunch of FLEA INFESTED, scum-bag eating EXCUSES for recruits in all MY DAYS at Bootcamp 67!” Drill Sergeant Ernie (Earnest to his friends of which he had none) was professionally loud, cantankerous and had master degrees in bullying, verbal abuse, and counterproductive unfairness.
McEdifice narrowed his eyes. Sure, he understood the basic principle of psychologically breaking the recruits down so as to rebuild their personalities as a hardened unit of warriors but McEdifice couldn’t ignore his instincts and his instincts told him that the camp had been infiltrated by SPACE VAMPIRES. He didn’t know who the infiltrator was but he knew that he didn’t like Drill Sergeant Ernie.
“Trainee Unit Alpha 57, you have ONE HOUR to sweep this drill yard cleaner than a nun’s browsing history! DISMISSED!” Shouted Ernie to the quivering recruits (obviously, McEdifice wasn’t quivering but the recruits, in general, where – you get the idea).
“Hey, McEdifice,” another recruit called over to him as they grabbed their brooms. It was Recruit Feratu or “Noz” as he liked to be known. A stringy looking bald guy with a sickly pallor. McEdifice was concerned for Noz’s health and was unsure whether the poor guy would make it through basic training.
“How you holding up Noz?” asked McEdifice.
“I’m OK. It’s just being out in the sun, it’s not so good for my skin. I just wanted to thank you for the large floppy hat and the factor 100 suncream.” said Noz with a timid smile.
“Not a problem Noz. Remember we are a TEAM and a team works together and looks after each other.” counselled McEdifice.
“Thanks, I’ll remember. Hey, could you tell me again about the super-secret anti-space-vampire weapons you were talking about last night?” inquired Noz.
“Sure, basically it is a nanotech shotgun shell that contains nanoscopic machines which emit tiny UV laser beams and garlic essence simultaneously. This allows them to burrow into the skin of the space vampire or even attack its essence when in bat, rat or spooky cloud form,” explained McEdifice.
“Gosh,” said Noz, “that’s remarkable. Those space vampires won’t know what hit them!”
“Exactly! It is a good job it is super secret so don’t tell anybody who isn’t in the armed forces, understood? Also, I think you should visit the camp dentist, your teeth are looking quite ragged and discoloured.” said McEdifice comradely.
“Um, sure. Will do!” said Noz who then began brushing the drill yard in a different direction.
Just then Chuckowitz tripped over his own broom and fell sprawling onto the yard. McEdifice dropped his broom and went over to help.
“Stop right there McEdifice!” It was Drill Sergeant Ernie who had briefly returned to check on the recruits.
“Ow! I hurt my ankle!” said Chuckowitz.
“One of our men is down,” growled McEdifice, “and that means we help them. That’s the space marine code.”
“Yeah, well you aren’t in the Marines any longer old-timer. The only code on this drill yard is the code of do whatever I say when I say it!” Drill Sergeant Ernie leaned right into McEdifice’s face which was partly obscured by his space helmet.
“I’m not one to disobey the chain of command,” said McEdifice, which was strictly not true because McEdifice is a maverick who GETS SHIT DONE and knows when to break the rules but was true in principle I guess.
“Ha, I knew you were just a scared little mouse,” sneered Ernie, “too lilly-livered” he added
pocking poking McEdifice in the chest, “and soft-hearted,” poking again, “and too much of a wishy-washy, namby-pamby, Navy-boy to stand up for yourself.” On each word, he poked McEdifice in the chest some more.
“Did you, Sir, just insult the Intergalactic Space Navy, Sir?” asked McEdifice in a voice that was both respectful and yet full of charged menace.
“Yeah, I insulted the gruddam, no-good, culottes wearing, up-itself Intergalactic Space Navy and you, recruit, are going to stand there and take it.” growled Drill Sergeant Ernie with a mocking grin.
“Really? Am I? Because regulation 12.12a.iic of the Intergalactic Uniform Code specifically states that insults pursuant to one service in relation to another service of the combined defence forces of the peoples of the galaxy and beyond must be resolved by the relevant complainants and parties according to the method of TRIAL BY COMBAT and according to the honoured tradition of the GENTLEMANLY DUEL.” said McEdifice barrack-room-lawyerly.
“What? You insubordinate little shit! I’ll see you placed in the brig for that!” howled an enraged Ernie.
“STAND DOWN SERGEANT!” gasp! It was General O’Fiercegaiters! “I heard the whole thing and the recruit here is quite correct. You crossed a line sergeant, insulting another arm of the United Intergalactic Defence Forces. The recruit is quite within their rights to demand restitution from you.”
“But…but…this is Chisled McEdifice! He’s a stone-cold killer trained in multiple forms of unarmed, partially armed and fully armed combat! He’ll murdelize me!” squealed Drill Sergeant Ernie.
“Not at all! This will be a gentlemanly bout of boxing following Space Marquis of Space Queensbury rules,” explained General O’Fiercegaiters, “let’s say oh-six-hundred hours tomorrow morning, at the old boxing rink out by the spooky forest.”
“Oh, I love the spooky forest!” said Noz.
“That’s the spirit!” said the general, “This match will be good for morale!”
McEdifice said nothing but smiled inwardly – he knew this was the perfect opportunity to expose Drill Sergeant Ernie as the Space Vampire that he probably was, but it would take all night for him to prepare.
“Oh, it is spam fritters for tea tonight!” said Pumpwhistle, changing the subject.
“Nooooooo!!!!!!” cried McEdifice.