Dr Nikolai Eaglestone “Raygun Rex”  (AKA Nick Eggleston)

Some say that Doc Eaglestone is just a washed up gambling gun slinger.

Some say he is the purveyor of the finest jerky in the known galaxy, but what they all agree on is that there is no one faster on the draw, except maybe one.

So, forget what you have heard about the lad, pull up a chair to the fire, while I tell you the true story of Dr Nikolai Eaglestone or Raygun Rex to his mates. A story so big that the young’uns today won’t believe it!

Raygun’s early years are a bit of a mystry, and sketchy in parts, the only thing that is known for sure is an abnormal fascination with bicycular contrapulations with large bells, a fixation that would stay with him for many years.

Our story starts way out west in the galaxy on the Hale-Jupiter trail, riding raygun for star-train passengers to the new world (not the supermarket). An unforgiving job for a young lad. This was a very dangerous part of the galaxy (not the chocolate bar), a place only for the quick and the dead. Raygun quickly earned a reputation for his quickstep. He was crap at the foxtrot which is just as well for it’s no use to a gunslinger.

Rayguns reputation grew. With many alien knotches on his belt he became the number one scout for the Federation.

On one of these such trails, the north west back passage, young Eaglestone met Cpt Rob Murdoch, and so the story goes like this.

In a dark and dirty bar in the uranium mining town of Saturn Springs, a bar reknowned for having its patrons disappear without a trace, there on a windswept night after a long haul from earth, sat Doc Eaglestone, minding his own business and everyone else’s for that matter.

With the wind howling around Jupitor’s halls, there was an almighty bang, and the doors flung open. There stood Jubal Urainus and the Crackling Boys. Raygun knew they hadn’t popped in for a cold one, as they all had their pants pulled up tight and with a shrill tone to their voices.

“I’ve come for your bike”, Jubal squealed. Raygun’s eyes narrowed with the quintessential glare of a frontier gunslinger, and in what could only be called a “glimmer”, unsheathed his weapon, and in a blinding flash toasted three of the four Crackling Boys.

So fast was this action that the Duo Gas Pistol over-heated and went into melt down.

DUN-DUN-DUUUUN!!! Sound Effect    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW7Op86ox9g

This was surely the end for Raygun. Jubal stepped forward and raised is Laser Rail Lance gun ready to remove our hero and ride off into the sunset on his bike.

However, at that precise moment a customer stepped out of the shadows and said, “Just a cotton picken minute boy! Not on your tricycle sir!” and with a blinding flash drew his smoke wagon and went to work. He shot Jubal clean between the Moeraki Boulders and the fourth Crackling Boy disappeared up Uranus.

The smoke cleared from a pair of pearl-handled pistols, and the customer introduced himself. “Sorry lad. Didn’t want to muscle in on your fight but I noticed that you where brandishing a Flexo Trigger Duo Gas Pistol, and an early Murdoch industries model at that. The speed that you draw is alarming, sir, you should be printing pictures not gun slinging. Murdoch’s the name, Cpt Rob Murdoch. A man of your calyber should don with one of these”.

Murdoch handed Raygun a pearl-handled Liquid Cooled Cold Fusion 45. “It’s your he said. This will get you out of any gunfight this side of the dead hole”.

With that he turned on his heel and walked out through the hole left by Uranus and into the night.

This would not be the last time that the two would meet. But that’s another yarn.

“Yes, yes, that’s all well and good but what about being a purveyor of fine jerky”, I hear you say.

Well it’s this simple.

Raygun was so prolific at dispatching aliens that it was starting to be a problem. Dead aliens were piling up all over the galaxy and scrap yards where springing up all over the place. Some entrepreneurs even set up alien pic-a-part businesses, and people started to complain about the green glow on the horizon.

Raygun, now a fully fledged doctor, realised that there was a simple solution to the problem.

By turning the “Stun” knob on the Duo Gas Pistol the other way, he could shrink the opponent. This turned them into hard-to-swallow small crackling lumps. But great to chew.

A Lightwave went of in the Docs head. This could be the ideal snack for the intergalactic traveler. Dried, crunchy and slightly salty and a radio-active afterburn. He could even offer them in different flavours. Regular, BBQ or Extra Crispy under the name of Alien Scratchings.

This became so successful that for many years we have been enjoying Alien Scratchings under a number of different names suggested by a marketing company to make them more palletable to the average tastebud.

So the next time you are tucking into a packet of something called Pork Scratchings, Texas Jerky or Biltong just read the ingredients. All those “e” numbers stand for “extra-testical”. No kidding! You heard it here first.

Dr Nicolai Eaglestone’s

“Atomic Alien Scratchings”

Puts hairs on your chest.

(Not Recommended for Women under 30).

© Ken Wright, Lightwave Gallery 2013