The Rise and Fall of the Effer Empire
Part Two of Three
By:James Rumpel

Robert enjoyed his new role immensely. Most of his days were spent working with Veeon: helping him make decisions and creating strategies to help the people of EF517. He found the ruler to be a simple, sympathetic soul. The ruling Effer only wanted the best for his people. Veeon was by no means intelligent, but his honesty and compassion made him a pleasant companion.

In his first month as advisor, Robert felt that he had made a positive impact on the Effers quality of life. He had initiated a program that was installing soft cloth padding on the exposed corners of all furniture and buildings. Currently, he was aiding a work crew as it constructed a fence along the banks of the river. In actuality, he wasn't helping build as much as he was periodically fishing fallen workers out of the stream. He had rescued seven accident victims in the first five hours of labor.

It was a beautiful cloudless day. Robert was turning his most recent rescue upside down when a shadow fell over the entire area. Hovering over the village, was an extremely large and menacing spacecraft. Robert set down the soggy Effer and ran to find Veeon.

He didn't have to go far. Having just tripped, Veeon was sprawled out on the ground about twenty-five meters from Robert's location.

"Mr. Teaman, what is that? What should we do?"

"It's some sort of spaceship," answered Robert. "Do you have any sort of communication devices we could use to try and contact it?"

"We have nothing like that," answered the ruler. "We don't have the need."

A booming voice emanated from the sinister craft. "Residents of EF517. We represent the Jorgon empire. We claim this planet and all on it. If you surrender to us, we will allow you to live as our slaves. You will work in our uranium mines. If you do not surrender, we will extinguish all life on this planet. You have ten chrono-units to decide. TEN."

Veeon looked confused. "What's this ‘ten' he is talking about?"

"It's a number," Robert replied, "But, I think we have other things to worr…"

"That's not a number." The king began counting on his fingers, "one, two, three…"

"It's two more than eight."

"Oh, like twandeight."

"Yes, but we have…"

"NINE."

"What's ‘nine'?"

"Look, Veeon, I don't have time to give you a math lesson. We have to figure out what to do."

"About what? The weird numbers?"

"That ship is going to destroy us in a very short time if we don't do something."

"EIGHT."

"Hey, I know that one."

Robert grabbed the Effer by the head. "Look at me. Is there any way we can get everyone to someplace safe?"

"I don't think so."

"SEVEN."

"Do you have any weapons?"

"No. We banned them long ago. Too many accidents."

"Well, I think we need to surrender."

"SIX."

"If that's what you think is best."

That was clearly not what Robert thought was best. These beings wouldn't last a day as slaves, especially in some sort of mining operation. He paused to try and come up with some other solution.

"FIVE."

Robert dejectedly shook his head and exclaimed, "Didn't you save any of the old weapons?"

Veeon looked at him, a contemplative expression on his face. "I suppose I could shoot fooroofoo. No one has used it in centuries, but if you think I should, I will do it. You are the advisor."

"What is fooroofoo?"

"Well, it's an ancient defense…"

"FOUR."

"Never mind," called Robert. He could hear the weaponry on the ship powering up. "Use fooroofoo. Do it now."

The Effer ruler closed his eyes. He bowed his head and placed his hand in his mouth. Robert noticed a slight buzzing sound. He couldn't determine whether Veeon was humming to himself, or the sound was emanating from deep within the undersized creature.

"THREE."

Veeon repositioned his feet, creating a tripod stance. The buzzing was increasing in volume.

"TWO."

A crowd of Effers had gathered around their king. They stood in silence.

Robert accepted his fate. This silly ritual was not going to do anything other than allowing the king to perish in the least dignified way possible. Robert tried to say a silent prayer, but it was impossible. His ears were assaulted by the infernal buzzing.

"ONE."

The humming sound had reached the point of being painful. Robert's entire body shook from the vibrations. He watched a single flash of purple energy shoot from Veeon's ear. The bolt, no longer than one meter in length, hit the Jargon ship dead center.

The spaceship flashed. For a moment, it looked like a purple sun, then it was gone. No sign of the Jorgon ship remained. There was no debris or any evidence that an enemy vessel had recently hovered over their location.

Veeon, opened his eyes and extracted his hand from his mouth. "Did it work?"

"Unbelievable," called Robert. "You single-handedly destroyed that entire ship."

"Fooroofoo is very strong. There is a reason it has not been used in centuries. But now we are safe, correct?"

"Yes, we are safe for now. However, we just might have a war on our hands."

# # #

It was exactly three days later when a fleet of eight Jorgon warships arrived. Robert knew the Jorgon's were creatures that strictly adhered to protocol. One well-known custom called for a three-day grace period between attacks. Hopefully, the time had been enough for him to prepare the Effers for a second raid. He was extremely happy that the Jorgon had not sent a larger fleet. His joy was not because it would be a less difficult battle, but because he wouldn't have to try and explain large numbers to Veeon again.

Efsit was prepared this time. Veeon and seven adult Effers stood in an open field. The rest of the planet's limited population was hidden in a nearby forest, hopefully not climbing into and falling out of trees.

"We don't want to fight if we don't have to," reminded Robert. "But if they show any indication of attacking us, we will fooroofoo the daylights out of them. Commence fooroofooing preparation."

The Effers began to perform their age-old ritual. Robert watched the skies. The Jorgon ships had entered the planet's atmosphere and were quickly approaching the village. As they neared, the lead ship's weapons flashed once. A laser beam crackled as it hit one of the empty village huts. The tiny building burst into flames.

"That's it. Fire. Fooroofoo!" yelled Robert.

There has never been a shorter battle in galactic history. Ear-splittingly loud buzzing was followed by eight bolts of purple power and eight pyrotechnic explosions. Then there was silence and empty skies.

# # #

The next Jorgon ship arrived two days later. Once again, the Effer fooroofoo brigade was in position. However, this ship was noticeably different. The small, weaponless shuttle landed, and a single alien emerged. The lizard-like creature walked forward with its two arms raised in the air, displaying empty hands. The creature's gait was decisively awkward since it had its tail tucked between its legs.

Veeon and Robert met the Jorgon ambassador in an open field.

"We, the Jorgon Empire offer our complete surrender to… who are you?"

Veeon answered, pride swelling in his chest, "We are the Effers."

"We, the Jorgon Empire offer our complete surrender to the Effers. We are a warrior race and have strict codes of honor. Having lost two consecutive battles to a foe, we are required to offer that foe the following terms: we will no longer attempt to acquire planets or properties within five-hundred parsecs of the Effer planet…"

"What does five-hundred mean?"

"Never mind, Veeon. Let him continue."

"… As spoils of the war, we yield to your planet the rights to three planets in the Obleion Star System, as indicated on this deed…" The Jorgon handed Veeon a document before continuing. "…and five billion credits."

Robert picked his jaw up from the ground and interrupted. "We can't get five billion credits just for defending our planet."

"Okay. Since you refuse the initial offer, tradition dictates that I must increase the amount. We will give you twenty billion credits. Are these terms acceptable?"

"I don't know," said Veeon.

Robert looked at the Effer ruler, surprised by his friend's hesitation. "You don't know if you want to accept that generous offer?"

"No. I don't know what he is talking about."

"Just say you accept. Trust me, it's a good offer."

"Okay. I accept."

The End of Part 2

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