The first Story post of Hero Force One (Story) opens in HFO Post 2. Qhobeg 2 wakes aboard Hero Force One HQ to find that Earth has gone. CynthAI (HFO) shouts alarm noises at him to alert him that there's a meeting called and Dr R. Deep expressly told her to annoy Qhobeg until he was present at the meeting. She then announces that the station's warp core has gone critical, which happens at least once a week on a station that cannot move.
The Day the Earth Went Away
Orbiting the planet Earth is a huge man-made construct commonly known as the Hero Force One HQ. Its monstrous size could eclipse all other man-made satellites fifty-times-over. All that mass, technology and tax-payers money is used by the six members of Hero Force One.
Six!? You could fit half the world's population in there and still have room for tea and biscuits in the middle of a football field!
In any case, the Hero Force One HQ is fairly silent today. No alarms blaring, no action stations being raced to, no emergency warp core about to explode (this occurs at least once a week - yet no one even knows why the space station has a warp core since it can't move!). Qhobeg #2, who usually dubbed Qhobeg without his extra number - who can be bothered to say or write that? - gets out of his king-sized bed and stretches his arms out wide. After an immense yawn he leans against the window of his room and peers out at the beautiful blue-greens of the Earth below. He scratches his bum. This view was impressive the first few months - now it was just old hat. But the vivid colours against the black backdrop did help to get his eyes into focus after a long, long sleep.
The Earth is then gone.
He rubs his eyes.
Nope. It's definitely gone.
Qhobeg manages to shuffle his unwilling feet over to the communications computer next to the door to his room. He pushes the button.
Qhobeg: "Did any--"
Qhobeg: "You don't have to actually say awooga, you know? And you don't have to do it down my God damn earhole!"
CynthAI: "It appeared you needed waking up, Qhobeg."
Qhobeg mushes his face against the communications panel muttering complains about annoying A.I.s. CynthAI was a brand new system installed upon the Hero Force One HQ to act as a kind of station secretary and make announcements across the breadth of the station whenever necessary. Every single member of the team had tried to murder her since her installation starting with Judge's attempt, just two hours after CynthAI's installation. Even the enigmatic and cool-tempered Dr R. Deep had cast a hex upon the AI - yet somehow she survived all assaults and continued to annoy everyone.
Qhobeg: "Did we finally figure out why we have a warp core, CynthAI?"
Qhobeg: "So why did we move?"
CynthAI: "You have moved from your bed to the window and then to the communications panel. Your motives are your own."
Qhobeg: "God damn it! Not me! The station!"
CynthAI: "The Hero Force One Headquarters has not moved."
Qhobeg: "So... what happened to Earth?"
CynthAI: "It has vacated the universe."
Qhobeg: "On the list of things to go wrong today, I wasn't expecting that. I suppose there's a meeting due?"
CynthAI: "I have announced the alarm to all members of Hero Force One and each of them are currently en route to the mission room."
Qhobeg: "You mean you awoogaed them, right?"
CynthAI: "Dr R. Deep gave explicit instructions to annoy you until you were washed and dressed and in the mission room."
Qhobeg: "Good old, Doc. He's a mother-fu--"
Qhobeg: "Jesus' Knickers!! I know the Earth is gone, you don't need to awooga me again!"
CynthAI: "I was not sounding the alarm for the former problem facing Hero Force One. I was resounding the alarm over a new issue."
Qhobeg: "Which is?"
CynthAI: "The warp core is critical."
Qhobeg: "By God's Sweaty Armpit I'm gonna @#@%& the livin' ^#%@& outta that ^#^#@%@&!"
"The 'Awooga' joke is stolen directly from the television show Red Dwarf[Ext 2], where the ship's A.I., Holly[Ext 3], makes the same joke. The exploding warp core is a reference to the Star Trek[Ext 4] franchise, in which a fault in the ship's warp core[Ext 5] was a frequent plot device." ~ Britt the Writer