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In which “The Little Death” is all too literal

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In 1898, Queen Victoria performed her annual whistle stop of the British Empire on a spruce of rocket-powered, bus-sized top hat-monocle-combos made of porcelain Corgis, piloted by immense crowds of Victorian gentlemen with huge bushy twirly moustaches. This display of stern, authoritative Empire astonished and delighted the world and all in it, and vast heaving crowds attended the Queen’s every stop. Leading members of New Zealand society were so impressed by Victoria’s stratospheric rocket wheelies and screams of “Faster, you dogs!” that they thought it’d be totally awesome to get in on this shit. To the skies!

New Zealand’s latent industrial base leaped into action! The next few decades involved, at first, immense programs of rocket-based airships – and once astronomers started mapping Mars and people realised that planets were actual places and not just dots in the night sky, then a second wave of  feverish and extravagant space-based rocketship-building took off.

Dozens of attempts to launch the products of artists’ fevered imaginations, however woke the Captains of Industry up to the fact that there’s a little more to practical rocketry than just stacking a thousand tons of dynamite under a spangly-caped dog. After the latest rain of sparkly Labradors from a failed Moon shot, the leaders of the Space Program realized that they’d have to take the rocketry program in a rather more competent direction.

After some 50 years of rocket-design, people finally tried to fly the damn things, and realised that the crappy chemical fuels in existence, albeit able to power the moderately successful Apollo missions, would NOT be able to power people around the galaxy in the way they envisaged. Seriously, even if you converted the entire Earth into rocket fuel, it’d still take millions of years to simply get across the galaxy, much less start a vast Galactic Empire. What the hell do we do? Attempts to actually convert the entire Earth into rocket fuel hit snags, as people realised that explodable fire engines might make the place look a bit untidy. Things were at an impasse, progress ground to a halt, and popular enthusiasm waned.

A few months later, a daughter of the Space Program’s lead scientist thought it’d be a huge giggle to start making out with her boyfriend in the cockpit of the latest recently-constructed rocket. They climbed in. Several minutes of “Cockpit, eh? Eh? Eh? Geddit?” happened, with much suggestive winking, elbow-nudging and grinning. Without warning! The lights and dials of every instrument in the space vehicle lit up, every single fuel gauge maxxed out, the powerful engines roared into life, and the young couple shot into orbit. After much investigation by the entire engineer staff afterward, the culprit was found: sexual tension!

They rapidly discovered that sexual tension was the single most powerful rocket fuel source known to exist! Better than hydrogen, better than antimatter, better than dilithium, better than spongecake. At first the engineer staff was astonished, but quickly rallied and identified their first good source of the stuff: adolescent yearning. Quickly they shot off to all the local high schools, where they commandeered a gaggle of teenage boys and every female French teacher they could find, and strapped them in to their biggest rocket.

As the French teachers winked and smiled saucily at the goggling teenagers, the rocket’s engines lit up with incandescent fury. With the roaring heat of a thousand blazing Suns, the rocket leaped off its launchpad, punched its way out of the atmosphere, hurtled past the Moon’s orbit in under a minute, broke the light barrier a few seconds later, and zipped past Alpha Centauri by lunchtime.

Huge success! News of this triumph spread instantly, the populace happily rallied, funding cascaded in, and quickly the New Zealand Space Program cranked back into gear. The race was on!

Although this was the finest spacecraft performance the world had ever known, only so many flirtatious French teachers existed – clearly other sources of sexual tension would be needed! The Space Program started kicking things up a few notches, and expanded its reach to start sowing and harvesting as much sexual tension as NZ society could possibly offer. They started by crop-dusting testosterone in vast quantities over major urban areas, then founded large numbers of Courtesan Academies, then the New Zealand government annexed half the Pacific to start off huge oyster farms.

Tension blossomed! New Zealand society became a vast hotbed of flirting and smouldering desire! The Space Program leaped into high gear, and soon, huge numbers of interstellar starships were in service, traversing an embryonic Galactic Empire spanning half the galaxy. Temporary disaster ensued, though, when a cubic kilometre of oysters was dropped on the Wellington Courtesan Academy from orbit in a failed but educational attempt to engineer a sort of super-courtesan.

Further efforts were made to heighten sexual tension. The New Zealand Government simultaneously made prostitution punishable by execution on sight, to heighten feelings of taboo and naughtiness amongst its clientele. At the same time, they also advertised around the world vast Prostitution Grants, to allow horny, gorgeous and enterprising men and women many, many chances to strut their stuff in the toughest market of all. Soon immense influxes of beautiful people on sexual overdrive allowed starships to break the Billion-Times-The-Speed-Of-Light barrier for the first time.

Galactic distances grew shorter as faster and faster starships were constructed in NZ’s immense shipyards, powered by ever more potent and devastatingly powerful forms of tension. Banking on the fact that money equals power equals the ultimate aphrodisiac, NZ’s printing presses spat out mountains of cash to stack Generation Twelve starships with trillionaires and gold-digging women, all wearing dynamite chastity belts, to prevent anyone from ever consummating, releasing and puncturing their galaxy-sized sexual tension.

Starships of astonishing speed and size were constructed, and these babies were able to tow major stars. The New Zealand Galactic Empire cunningly made use of this to pull many hundreds of stars around the galaxy to change the shape and appearance of Earth’s constellations, and to spell out smoulderingly seductive messages like COCKS LOL all over the night sky.

The Galactic Empire quickly made huge improvements on mere text! Within weeks, the Empire’s Sex Department was hurriedly and gigglingly constructing full-motion video on the night sky, by strategically towing and moving the relevant star-pixels, as seen from Earth. These videos included such hits as:

A naked man taking a shower and teasingly tossing his hair back;

A woman smiling knowingly over her shoulder and showing just a taste, a teasing hint of sideboob;

People of all genders sucking lollipops coquettishly and flirtatiously, winking at the viewer;

A secretary bending down to pick up a piece of paper, demurely showing magnificent, spectacular cleavage, cleavage that would make Hugh Hefner desperately prostrate himself before her, Wayne’s-World-style, shrieking “We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!”

In 1986, the engineers behind Starship Generation Nineteen decided on their latest sexual tension craze: they teamed up with the Weta civilisation inhabiting Northland and Auckland to form the Totally Groovy Latter-Day Saints Church. Both because, one, the Wetas were a bit miffed about the whole “God made Man in His own image” nonsense, because as everyone with a bit of sense knows, duh, God’s a weta; and two, because as everyone also knows, fundamentalist church pastors are the nitrous oxide of the sexual tension world. More advances took place!

The lead engineer of Generation Nineteen fancied breaking the current galactic traversal record of 62.2 seconds, and decided to do her own piloting. Just before she was about to launch herself across the galaxy in the New Zealand Space Program’s latest leviathan spacecraft, the Squelchy, her mouth dropped open as she noticed that the vast humming banks and rows of fundamentalist Totally Groovy pastors strapped into the starship behind her pilot’s seat, squirming and writhing with barely-contained tension, were every single one of her exes. She stared agog a bit more, and realised they were right at the end point of a grueling months-long workout course, teasingly running ice cubes over their granite pecs and steel abs, and staring at her intently and seductively.

Several broke free of their restraints just as the record-setting countdown kicked off – four of them held her inorexably down in her seat, one holding each limb, and a smirking, arrogant ex she held a special sort of desperate fury for started performing mind-blowing, sanity-melting oral sex on her. First he whispered in her ear that if she came, everyone’s dynamite chastity belts were rigged to explode, and as his tongue and blurring fingers turned her body and mind to gooey mush, she squirmed and thrashed in her captors’ arms, she desperately tried to hold off a huge orgasm, and her starship smashed all speed records! It looped the galaxy in negative seconds, and she ended up ramming her own ship from behind.

New Zealand’s starships now traverse the galaxy, and the vast webs of new space colonies are coming along very nicely! There are those who say that sexual tension is no basis on which to build a Space Program, much less a Galactic Empire, but frankly, everyone else is having far too much fun to be bothered replying, and the general consensus is “Are you kidding? This is the best way to build a society ever! I love it aargh whose cock is that? – Hey! I didn’t say stop!!”

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