The ramp descends from Todd’s Triple-Thrūster Chromatić Ultrâ Spæcedåt Aëröcraft and from it and a whisk of fog-cloud emerges our hero, Todd. He steps gingerly down the ramp, eyes darting this way and that to and fro the extent of the environs he can detect with his superabundant yet limited natural senses. The landscape is craggy, dark, full of pocks and crevices. Upon its surface Todd gleans a gleam of sheen of oily substance. He reaches the bottom of the ramp and without taking his eyes from the broad view before him he uses his left forefinger to sample the oleaginous layer from the planet’s superficial substrate, removing a finger-width’s swath of payload to place steamshovel-like into his sensitive maw. How like the olives of distant Earth, thinks Todd. Subtle, elegant. What the hell is this place? He removes from an inner pocket a life-detecto device, flips out the duel antennae, and pushes ON.
Thirty minutes prior, Todd had been in the dogfight of his life. Having narrowly escaped the clutches of the Zartknians, who had invited Todd to brunch, he was followed into deep space by the bounty hunter Fragg, who was in turn followed by rival bounty hunter Droid Unit 8633 Joe. Todd saw by dual glint in his rearview the pair and veered into the Meatball Belt, a maelstrom of intergalactic delicious but deadly projectiles that Todd knew would provide action and adventure and enliven the next few minutes. The twists and turns and screeching and shooting that took place in the Meatball Belt between Todd, Fragg, and Joe are nearly unrenderable and best left undescribed, but suffice it to say that Todd bested Fragg and Fragg bested Joe, who was blown to smithereens, and whose last thought was a sequence of code detailing his dissatisfaction with robotic existence. Fragg’s ship was disabled and sent tumbling toward Uranus, where he would spend the next twelve years trying change careers to become an electrical engineer.
Todd’s ship was hit but once in the stereo system and upon hearing that his tweeters had gone a bit tinny, he thought it best to land on the nearest planet outside the Meatball Belt to commence repairs. There, through a layer of reddish atmosphere, we reencounter Todd, having made his way from the Spæcedåt to surface of the planet. He scans the landscape and sees here and there small pools of boiling magmatic liquid, upon which are further pooled orange slicks of what Todd presumes is the same olivey material he’s just tasted. He looks to the sky – drifting downward, tiny flakes of white crumbles float upon a gentle wind. Things seem safe enough.
Suddenly and without warning, not twenty measures of distance from Todd’s ship, a massive chrome tine the size of a building enters Todd’s field of vision, careening straight down toward the planet. It is followed closely by another ten units away, and a third from directly above, crashing through the Spæcedåt and impaling it to the ground in a cornucopia of sounds and sights such that accompanies this kind of occurrence. Todd ducks, tucks, and rolls just in time, tumbling his way to safety. He looks up and sees through the red atmosphere the giant shape of a mustachioed face, a chef-hatted head, and Todd realizes he’s wandered inadvertently into the meal of the colossal intergalactic space-god, Chef Roberto Valentino.