You know what I said about me finishing this story by the end of the year? I lied. Again. Not intentionally though; I simply forgot all about this amusing project. Please forgive me, oh dedicated readers, whom I have so cruelly treated.
To make it up to you, I will be finishing the story in this chapter. Some of you shall undoubtedly shed many a tear over the loss of this story, if you like it half as much as you seem to think in the reviews (And honestly, I find it rather shocking that anyone could think that my writing is better than that of the late Douglas Adams. I think, perhaps, that the people who have said so have forgotten that I am simply taking a ride on the back of his enormous genius, and without his incredible writing to mimic and his most humorous characters, I would not have been able to entertain you by even a tenth of what I have). However, I feel that ending this story is the right thing to do by you, as there will be no more frustrating waiting to be done.
Speaking of reviews, I have received no less and no more than 42 at this point, which makes it a very good time to wrap up this saga. No doubt you will hate me for how I have ended it, but I thought I might as well make it fit into canon, as terribly inconsistent as it is with itself and everything else (this, however, seems to be a requirement for HHGTG canon).
So here you go: the final chapter of DON'T PANIC. Enjoy.
The Trifid ship sped through the darkness with no manner of grace at all. One could have described its flight as similar to that of a drunk 12 ounce sparrow carrying a rather heavy coconut on its migratory path. Of course, they would have been completely wrong; the ship was simply far worse.
Ford and Zaphod, in their quasi-inebriated state – more dead, really, than drunk – were not inclined to complain about the ship's motion, however, as it was nothing compared to the spinning of their own heads. Ford simply curled into a ball and rolled into a corner, hoping that at some stage he really would become dead so that his body might be cut open and the tiny shards of golden brick lodged in his brain carefully picked out post mortem. He did not know or care where the ship was headed.
Neither did Zaphod; he had simply shouted some co-ordinates at the computer and swaggered off to seduce a guard rail, completely unaware that his liver was mounting a mutiny against his brains, reasoning that it could do a better job than the enormous alcohol sponges residing in his heads.
The ship's destination, however, was not even slightly important. What was important was the fact that two ships, latched side by side, had just come popped out of nowhere and crashed into the Trifid ship.
Had Zaphod been in a better state of mind, he might have realised that one of the ships was the Heart of Gold, and the other was an enormous Vogon construction.
Instead, his words of wisdom at the event were, "Hey baby, I'll rock your world harder than that tonight."
The guard rail naturally gave no response, though Zaphod suspected that it did smile knowingly.
Meanwhile, a very depressed robot and an almost equally depressed and terribly confused human were busy barging onto the ship, the shouts of the Vogon crew not far behind. The robot headed straight towards Zaphod, its unchangeable expression shifting to a morose grin at the sight of him.
Marvin wasted no time with Zaphod, immediately drawing out a screwdriver and thrusting it through the ex-president's chest, impaling his liver as it crawled up through his guts and stopping its mutiny before it had begun.
Had Zaphod realised what was going on, he might have screamed something along the lines of, "OH GOD WHAT IS HAPPENING IT HURTS SO MUCH OH THE PAIN THE PAIN WHY DOES IT BURN OH GOD OH GOD IS THIS WHAT DEATH FEELS LIKE WHY IS EVERYTHING GOING DARK TELL MY FAMILY I LOVE THEM."
Instead, he engaged the guard rail with some carefully constructed pick-up lines.
Arthur, on the other hand, was less drunk.
"WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?" he yelled as Marvin carefully disembowelled Zaphod. "You're killing him!"
"I'm extracting his intestines," explained Marvin, miserably. "The odds are high that there are still traces of fairy cake in his system. Knowing my luck though, he's bound to have miraculously rid himself of every last molecule."
Arthur could only stand their open mouthed as Marvin pulled some strange contraption from his chest compartment and forced some of the intestines inside it. The shiny rock had also been mounted in the apparatus, whatever it was.
"Besides, he won't die much sooner than everybody else in this miserable excuse for a universe."
Marvin hit a switch on the device, and it started to hum into life.
"Prepare yourself, human. In another couple of minutes, you won't be doing anything at all."
Arthur pleaded silently to the heavens for the drink he so desperately needed. His prayer, however, was answered only by the arrival of the Vogons, which was by far the least pleasant substitute for alcohol he could think of in such sobriety.
"Father, I've caught up to you at last."
Random Dent was quite an unexpected sight, but after all of the unexpected events over the last few days, Arthur took her appearance from behind the Vogons in his stride.
"Who are you? Do you have alcohol?"
Random screwed up her nose for a bit, and then realised that this incarnation of her father had never met her or known of her existence. "No. I'm your daughter."
"No, no. That's not true. That's impossible," Arthur replied, quite matter of factly. "I couldn't possibly have any kids."
"What about the sperm you donated as a frequent flyer?" replied Random, grinning devilishly as the big reveal.
"I've never donated sperm," replied Arthur, even more confused and in need of a drink.
"Oh crap," realised Random, "we've come too early. In his timeline, I haven't even been born yet. If we kill him now, we risk creating a temporal paradox."
The Vogon beside her shrugged, raising a Kill-O-Zap gun. "If we kill you both now, I'm sure it will sort itself out nice and cleanly."
Random paused in thought, but seeing as she had intended to have herself killed anyway, she didn't really mind. "Fine, go ahead."
"There's no need for that," interrupted Marvin. "For in a minute, this entire universe will end. That's right, I have created a weapon that will destroy the entire universe. A Total Perspective Vortex of sorts, but in reverse. This device will, rather than showing me the entire universe, show the entire universe me and all my dark thoughts. Everyone and everything will finally know how it feels to be so lonely, so depressed, every single second of every single day. The universe will commit suicide, and I will finally be happy." He let his words sink in for a moment. "Miserable, isn't it?"
Ford suddenly unrolled from his ball and walked to the centre of the drama playing out.
"Look, everyone," he said, "I'm sorry to interrupt, but I've got some rather important news that's very pertinent."
"The universe is about to kill itself," said Marvin. "Whatever you have to say can wait until after that." And, to himself, whispered, "Brain the size of a fucking planet."
"Ah, but you see," replied Ford, "I've been doing some very vital research lately, and I've discovered that there's this terribly inconvenient thing about to happ…"
At that moment, a hrung suddenly fell upon them all.
*TERRIBLY INCONVENIENT TRANSITION*
Arthur Dent did not like Saturdays. Saturday was a day when one got up, sat down, ate breakfast, got back up again, did nothing particularly useful, had tea, and then skipped everything else and went straight to bed. Nothing much ever happened on a Saturday. In fact, Arthur often pondered if they'd got it all wrong, and God had actually chosen Saturday to take a break, and do nothing in particular.
This particular Saturday was exceedingly normal. Arthur found himself eating breakfast, having recently got up, and was looking forward to doing nothing particularly useful before having tea. The grand and sweeping universe seemed somewhat vague and pointless beside his vague and pointless existence on the small planet of Kricket.
In an exceedingly normal twist, Arthur was also considering going and practicing bird talk. It seemed a particularly pointless and useless thing to do, so it suited Saturday well. Saturdays, as much as he hated to admit it, were good for nothing but hating, and one could not hate a Saturday unless they did something particularly pointless and useless on it. Otherwise the day might well be considered a Sunday, and on a kricket calendar where only a three day year was celebrated, missing a day could prove catastrophic.
As he pondered the possibilities of extending his bird vocabulary, Arthur stumbled upon a nearby calendar on the wall. He realised that his birthday was the next day, and then his next birthday three days after that. This was exceedingly confusing for Arthur, who had spent his last three Saturdays either getting drunk or under the influence of massive hangovers from said getting drunk. The particularly clear quality of the bacon on his plate hinted that he was quite sober, though he could not imagine how, having, in his memory, consumed a large amount of alcohol that Thursday, while celebrating his one hundred and thirty-seventh birthday.
The phone started ringing, and Arthur looked across at it. He could have answered it, but he knew it would only be trouble.
Instead, he went and got himself a beer.
So, there you go! It is all done, and you can now go and think about how a hrung could destroy a planet in one case and simply reset another in this case. Others may wonder why Arthur retained his sobriety when the timeline was reset. Those particularly sharp may note that Arthur ignoring Ford's phone call would not necessarily stop Marvin from trying to destroy everything, and may want to ask about that.
These questions will never be answered, just as some answers will never be questioned (unless, of course, they are, in which case things will probably get a whole lot more confusing). You'll all sadly just have to accept that strange things like this happen all the time to very drunk people, and can, if you really want to, just imagine that Arthur hallucinated it all at a drunken party (which would, quite frankly, explain the series as a whole, and the numerous different versions of canon). For those of you who do not hate me for pulling out dues ex machine (though I think it was actually moderately well foreshadowed, for fanfiction), I am a writer of proper stories as well as fan fiction, and have for some time been working upon numerous original pieces of writing, among them a horror novel concerning the hunt of a young child possessed by a demon and the struggles of facing mortality with faith (which is all very serious and pretty much the exact opposite of the above work) and a story about a giant conspiracy to blow up the world using bombs made out of passionfruit and socks (which you have essentially just read). I would not expect either of these to be published for a couple of years at the least, but if you think that you might be interested in reading some of my work in a couple of years, please contact me via this site and I shall be sure to contact you as soon as I have any work published.
For those of you who do not hate me for pulling out dues ex machine (though I think it was actually moderately well foreshadowed, for fanfiction), I am a writer of proper stories as well as fan fiction, and have for some time been working upon numerous original pieces of writing, among them a horror novel concerning the hunt of a young child possessed by a demon and the struggles of facing mortality with faith (which is all very serious and pretty much the exact opposite of the above work) and a story about a giant conspiracy to blow up the world using bombs made out of passionfruit and socks (which you have essentially just read). I would not expect either of these to be published for a couple of years at the least, but if you think that you might be interested in reading some of my work in a couple of years, please contact me via this site and I shall be sure to contact you as soon as I have any work published.
Thank you to you all, once again. I have been a very terrible person stringing you along for these last two and a bit years, and I am so very honoured that anyone reading this has still bothered to read this story to its end. Your support has been amazing, and you deserve far better than what I have given. I hope that you got as much enjoyment for your efforts as I did writing this story. Farewell! May you always know where your towels are.
Farewell! May you always know where your towels are.