In Pan Post 138 Gul Moff Pfaxarxis, from the Pan-Cosmic Command, calls Fladnag the White and invites him to take some vacation time aboard Outpost Finagle. Pfaxarxis takes Fladnag around the outpost, which sports all conceivable entertainments, but Fladnag remains unimpressed the entire time. He eventually takes an interest in a card game, which he wins until the arrival of Flax Hyperon who then cleans out Fladnag, resulting in Fladnag's hatred of vacations. Flax spends his earnings on a princess who is then attacked by Warlord Grog. Flax must defeat Grog in a game of cards else Grog would destroy the princess' home planet. Flax plays and eventually wins the game.


Fladnag, Flax, and Finagle

Fladnag has just dismissed his latest petitioner - which means his green-skinned pig-faced Gamorrean guards have dragged said petitioner away - when he gets a phone call. It's not coming through his earpiece, which means it's not a business call, but then he sees the caller idea.

Gul Moff Pfaxarxis.

Fladnag the White: Fladnag speaking.

Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: Fladnag, ole boy! How are things?

Fladnag the White: In considerably more turmoil than usual, considering the upheaval in the Sol system.

Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: Nonsense! In one fell stroke, you no longer have to worry about the God-Monarchs, the High Empire, or the God-Killer Machine!

Fladnag the White: That is true, but--

Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: And I got thinking, about how you popped over to my place recently and told me you didn't know what a vacation was.

Fladnag the White: I didn't tell you that. I told you a vacation is a waste of time.

Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: That's what I just said! So I thought I should take you out on the town, two bros, show you what a real vacation should be like!

Fladnag reels in horror at the notion of actually having fun.

Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: I know what you're going to say, but c'mon, do it for me! Please?

So it is, a while later, that the PCC-Horizonaval (Pfaxarxis's personal flagship) arrives at Outpost Finagle, bearing Fladnag and the Gul Moff. The outpost is a massive space station the size of a moon, but certainly not shaped like one. Miles-thick pylons, globes the size of planetoids, spinning discs the size of continents - the structure of the outpost is seemingly haphazard and does not conform to any particular pattern. Neon lights glow in a riot of colors, visible from far away.

Fladnag looks through the bridge viewport at the space station with some distaste.

Fladnag the White: I don't remember giving its operators a visa to enter the NeSiverse.

Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: They never ask anyone, if I recall. And they're too popular for anyone to refuse them, remember that. But since they happened to be in the cosmic neighborhood, I figured it'd be the perfect place to take you. Space Las Vegas[Ext 1]!

Fladnag the White: What's a Las Vegas?

Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: I have no idea, but that's what the brochure says. Travels between universes, disgorging and taking in passengers to enjoy the decadent entertainments onboard!

Fladnag the White: You're doing a very good job of making me want to board it even less.

Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: Pffft. I'll make you enjoy yourself yet, you just wait!

And so Pfaxarxis drags Fladnag throughout Outpost Finagle. There are a variety of strip clubs and brothels, none of which interest Fladnag in the slightest. Raucous games of time-tag and political-rugby - in stadiums as large as cities - don't even merit an eyebrow raise. He nearly falls asleep during the holo-operas and epic planet-busting events. He chews the most delicious food in the multiverse in exotic restaurants with no interest.

Finally, Pfaxarxis pulls Fladnag into one of the station's many casinos. Fladnag allows himself to make a noise of disgust, but Pfaxarxis pulls him past the slot machines and various games of chance, to the center, where large and exotic gaming tables are arranged.

Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: Feast your eyes on this, Fladnag! It's called Finagle, the signature game of the outpost, rated among the Top Ten Greatest Games of the Multiverse for eight millennia in a row!

Fladnag watches, and despite himself his interest begins to grow. It's games within games, involving wagers and strategy and some controlled luck, with holo-boards on multiple layers rotating and orbiting around each other, while players draw cards from a varying number of suits, depending on the tactics they choose. Pfaxarxis watches his friend's expression with a knowing glint.

Gul Moff Pfaxarxis: Care to try your luck?

And so Fladnag begins playing. He proves very adept at the game, defeating all comers...until Flax Hyperon (starship captain and member of Hero Force One on Earth) comes to the table.

Fladnag the White: Got any full houses?

Flax Hyperon: Go fish!

Fladnag scowls and draws a card, then moves one of his holopieces back one space.

Flax Hyperon: Got any straight flushes?

Fladnag scowls again and hands his straight flush cards to Flax, who crows in triumph.

Flax Hyperon: I'll wager that the Wet Blankets gain two goals in the next two minutes.

Fladnag the White: I'll see your two goals and raise you three goals in five minutes.

In their game of time-tag, displayed from holographic projectors all around the casino, the Wet Blanket teams scores two goals in two minutes.

Flax Hyperon: Now playing this straight flush--

Fladnag scowls as Flax lays down his stolen hand.

Flax Hyperon: "--to double my points from that wager, doubling both my winnings this hand and my move this turn!

The game continues, and Fladnag neatly defeats Flax in a laser-dodgeball sub-game match, gaining the lead again...until Flax plays a Wild Fool card to switch their scores, just as the game ends.

Flax Hyperon: Good game, Fladnag, see ya 'round!

Fladnag's scow is permanently writ on his face as Flax takes his substantial winnings. He turns to Pfaxarxis.

Fladnag the White: I hate vacations.

Pfaxarxis can only laugh.

Meanwhile, Flax is celebrating his victory by spending his winnings on a beautiful alien princess - when the forces of the evil Warlord Grog bust in and kidnap them both!

Flax Hyperon: Give it up, Grog, you'll never win! I'll find a way to escape!

Warlord Grog: Impossible - but I hear you're good at Finagle, so I'll offer you this opportunity. Defeat me at the game, and I'll release you and your princess. But lose, and I'll destroy her home planet!

Flax Hyperon: You're on!

Warlord Grog: Hahahaha, you fool! I have been the Outpost Finagle Finagle grand champion for 3 years in a row!

Flax Hyperon: Yeah, well, I've been a Captain Kirk[Ext 2] knockoff for twenty years in a row!

Later on...

Warlord Grog: Last hand, Flax. You're down to three pieces, negative eleventy points, and one card. Make your move.

Flax Hyperon: I'll discard this Ace of Quills to make an Anything-Goes wager.

Warlord Grog: Bold! What is your wager?

Flax Hyperon: I will wager...on the outcome of this very Finagle game!

The logic circuits of the game table overload, and the holoboards, holopieces, and holocards wink out.

Warlord Grog: Nooooooo! Curse you, Captain Hyperon!!!


External References

  1. Las Vegas article, Wikipedia.
  2. James T. Kirk article, Wikipedia.
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