VGA Planets Super Site

Boeuf Borgignon: The Planet of the Steaks
by Andy Brown

A black cuboid probe, obviously of Borg construction, sped through the inky void. A series of forward facing retro rockets fired slowing the probe to a near halt. Drifting slowly it was drawn into the gravity well of a planet. As it orbited the green and white world, the probe’s internal mechanisms started to do their work. A small panel slid open on the surface of the probe, followed a second later by a slim arm with a small dish appended to the end. The arm maneuvered the dish to point planetward and fixed it there. Inside, the probe’s computers began to process the incoming data....

Temperature: 51
Neutronium: Large Masses, Common
Tritanium: Large Masses, Common
Duranium: Large Masses, Common
Molybdenum: Large Masses, Common
Natives: Bovinoid - 1,000,000,000

The probe formatted and packetized the information into a small data module and then placed it into a small egg shaped object. The egg, approximately six inches in diameter, also had a small hole in its side. The dish arm collapsed and withdrew into the probe’s body as simultaneously two other panels opened. The first panel ejected the egg (containing the data module), which took up a geo-stationary orbit around the probe. From the second panel came a multi-jointed arm with a five fingered hand attached to the end. The hand holding what appeared to be a key, slotted the key into the hole in the side of the egg and proceeded to turn it clockwise. After about twelve turns, the arm removed the key and retreated back into the probe. Almost as soon as the key was removed, the egg shot off with incredible speed, back in the direction that the probe had originally come. The owners of this probe had obviously reached an immense understanding of clockwork technology. After its load had been dispatched, the probe fired its retros and turned away from the planet, ignited its main boosters and headed for the next planet.

Meanwhile, below was a picture of absolute serenity and calm. Mile upon mile of lush green grass fields stretched off into the horizon. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, the birds sang and a gentle breeze blew through the trees which seemed to be saying "Oooooh, what a lovely unspoilt planet".

Boris was but one of the billion Bovinoids native to the planet "Moo". The first settlers that came to the planet decided that they needed a name for their new world but unfortunately Bovinoids aren’t renowned for their imagination and creativity. When the fore fathers said "How shall we name this place?", the vast majority of Bovinoids answered "Moo!"

A quick word on the origins of Bovinoids. The Bovinoids on "Moo" are descendants of the humble Earthly cow. Man’s initial galactic colonisation missions took along large stocks of cattle that would be used for food, dairy produce, leather goods and further breeding. Several million years later, the Echo Cluster contains many worlds inhabited by Bovinoids that have somehow outlived their original human owners.

Now, any forward thinking evolutionist would have thought that several million years would be ample time for a race of beings to evolve beyond their original beginnings. Not so the Bovinoids. Evolution just kept missing them. Oh, it would "pop round" every now and again to add a new brain cell here and there, but it just seemed to be in too much of a hurry to do anything major to them. The Bovinoid physiology hasn’t changed much, they still have seven stomachs. One is used primarily for digesting grass.... actually, so are the other six! As a result of evolution’s lack of interest, Bovinoids are still incredibly thick. A rocking horse would easily beat any Bovinoid in any test of IQ. While other races are improving their technology levels in leaps and bounds, the Bovinoids have only recently increased their housing tech level from 0 to 0.0005 when one Bovinoid of above average intelligence discovered that if you stood under a tree when it rained, you wouldn’t get wet.

As a quick digression in the Bovinoid's defence, we should take a quick look at some of the other native races present in the Echo Cluster. For example, Humanoids have some how managed to develop their space ship hull technology to incredible heights. They possess the knowledge to create hulking great leviathans of ships with vast fighter carrying capacity, innumerable launch bays to match and more beam mountings than you could shake a stick at. Darth Vader would wet himself if he saw some of the ships they produced. However, the Humanoid’s engine technology hasn’t progressed beyond winding up a rubber band, so their planet’s surfaces are littered with these gargantuan hulls that they just can’t get off the ground!

Conversely, the Ghipsoldal race have developed engine technology to such a degree that Warp 9 travel is simplicity itself. Their problem is that their hull technology is still in the realms of a small Welsh coracle which disintegrates either by the vibration caused by the engines or simply by burning up in the stratosphere.

Still, these are all huge advances in the social, cultural and technological development that have just not happened to the Bovinoids.

Where were we? Oh yes, the Bovinoid's intellect (or lack of it). Here’s another example of the Bovinoids stupidity. When a Bovinoid grazes its knee, it doesn’t mean that it has fallen over. Oh no, it means that the dumb thing looked down, saw its knee and thought to itself "Hmmm, that looks tasty!" and took a great bite out of it.

The Bovinoid's national sport is something akin to the humanoid game of football (except that they definitely do not play with a leather ball). Trouble is, they haven’t quite got the hang of the idea of goal posts yet, so these Bovinoid games tend to be a tad dull. Boris’ favourite football team was Munchen-Grass-Back.

Oh yes, back to Boris. Boris was actually one of the very few cleverer Bovinoids. He could actually count how many legs he had (OK, so every time he counted them he’d arrive at a different number, but the point is he had a vague understanding of what counting was). Boris was very proud of his name for it was an ancient one which meant "He who eats grass". Other common Bovinoid names are Norris (He who digests grass), Morris (He who likes grass), Doris (She who masticates in a grassy manner) and of course Daisy (She of the fantastic udders).

On a gorgeous Mooday morning (Bovinoids have adopted the human seven day week but have changed the names to Mooday, Hoovesday, Wheysday, Curdsday, Flyday, Paturday and Uddersday [the day of breast]), Boris was grazing (eating grass, not his knee), when, as he was getting his tongue around another clump of grass, he noticed something strange on the grass. There, just in front of him was a dark square shape and it appeared it to be getting larger. Boris looked around to remark on his discovery to the rest of his herd but they were on the other side of the field. He was alone. He looked back down and found that the square was now twice the size it was, not moments before. He prodded it with a hoof but found it had no substance. Weird! Still the square grew in size until it was nearly as big as him, then something clicked within his sluggish synaptic processes. He’d seen something like this before. "Now what was it called? A Shimboo? No a erm Shigloo! No that’s not right. A Shagga? Shadim, Shadoo, A SHADOW!!!! Yes!" His brain then struggled to recall its significance. "Now then, isn’t that made when something gets in the way of the sun? Oh yeah that’s it!". Pleased with his deductions, he looked up just in time to see a two mile square Borg Annihilation Class Battleship descend, squashing him flatter than the cow pat he had laid not half a second before.

The Borg ship sat in Boris’ (deceased) field. Obligatory jets of steam and dry ice occasionally issued from various pipes around the ship, but otherwise all was quiet. By now, the ship had a large audience of Bovinoids surrounding it.

"By the Great Ermine!" said a cow after a while. The Great Ermine is some what of a big religious figure to Bovinoids. Here’s an extract from the Bovinoids most hallowed and holy book

The Roundabout Chronicles:

And Lo! it did come to pass that great strife had been visited upon the people of Moo. Verily, foot and mouth was rife and they had not been milked for ages. And yeah, there was much woe and gnashing of teeth and expulsion of methane and dropping of dung and the people were sad. Then one came, and her name was Ermine Trude. She came unto the people accompanied by her faithful: Dou Gal the shaggy, Bri An the slimey and Zeb Adee the red bouncy thing. She flew (for it is said that she could fly), and stood upon a small hillock within the field where her people grazed. The people gathered around in awe and watched as Ermine Trude did that trick with a daisy that went from one side of her mouth to the other. As an eerie hush settled over the masses she did lift her head high and in a voice loud and proud she did spake unto the people: "Mooooo!"

Another hero of old was a bull of royal pedigree stock. His name was Sir Loin. Sir Loin was blessed with a lower intellect than even the dimmest bull. However, he was also gifted with an insatiable appetite for members of the opposite sex. After the great foot and mouth plague wiped out most of Moo’s inhabitants, Sir Loin was personally responsible for nearly re-tripling the population. He met a sticky end (eugh!), when he mistook a large boulder for a cow and pounded himself to death. Unfortunately as most of the inhabitants of Moo are direct descendants of Sir Loin, they seem to have inherited his incredible cloudy thought processes. No amount of work by evolution could get around that!

Back to the field. The cows and bulls looked at the cuboid ship for what seemed like, ooh, minutes. Then, on each corner of the cube a cone shaped object appeared. The cones made a thudding noise quickly followed by a whistling noise. A raspberry noise came followed by more whistling noises. The Bovinoids stood and watched.

"Am I on?" came a voice from the cones.
"Yes" came a second voice.
"1-2, 1-2, 1-2 testing. Testing 1-2, 1-2 can you hear me?"

The second voice spoke low and slightly irritated -

"Yes, you’re on. Just make sure you sound unemotional, cold and menacing".
"Oh, OK"
replied voice one.
Borg: "Ahem, WE ARE BORG".

The Bovinoids looked blankly at each other.

Cow: "If he’s bored, then perhaps he should get himself a hobby"

The same cow looked confused

Cow: "Futile? That’s a sort of sofa-bed isn’t it? Resistance is sofa-bed? That doesn’t make any sense".
Cow: "My face will be oscillated? What on Moo is he saying?"

More Bovinoid blank looks was her reply. By now though, the majority of the herd’s attention span had been exceeded and one by one they drifted off to back to grazing grass, something they all understood.

The Borg’s loudspeakers retracted to be replaced with a series of rods surrounded by concentric circles. Each rod emitted a bright green beam, which hit the malingering Bovinoids. One by one, as each Bovinoid was hit by a beam, it was surrounded by glittering motes of green light just before the bemused creature vanished. Within ten minutes over two thousand Bovinoids had been beamed aboard the Borg ship.

Inside the ship, the Bovinoids found themselves in huge pens. Several Borg sentries herded them into narrow corridors which had horrific looking machines at the end. Each Bovinoid that was moved into the corridor found itself on a conveyor belt carrying it towards the machine’s gaping maw.

After the first Bovinoid disappeared into the machine there was some loud clanks, bright green light, jets of steam and a rather surprised "MOOOooooo.....!". On the other side of the machine a large black shape emerged. The first Bovinoid had been assimilated into the Borg collective. The Bovinoid was totally covered in black PVC except for its stupid looking face. Several pipes emerged from various points on its body, only to disappear elsewhere. One of its eyes had been replaced by a bionic one and one of its horns had been removed and replaced with a metallic arm and claw. The Borg had obviously intended this to add an extra dimension of menace to their new recruits, but unfortunately it just looked like a cow in an old raincoat with old vacuum cleaner hoses hanging out of the pockets, an angle-poised lamp perched on its head with a goldfish bowl over one eye.

The Borg/Bovinoid lurched forward and spoke in a cold, menacing and unemotional voice

"Have you got anything in blue? Black’s just not my colour. I mean its a bit depressing isn’t it?"

Over the next few days more Borg ships arrived and ravaged the planet of Bovinoids. Huge factories and mines were erected where the beautiful woods once stood. Above, the huge monstrosity of an orbiting starbase could be seen in construction. Within three weeks, the entire Bovinoid population of Moo had been assimilated.

Several months later another probe’s data module returned to the new Borg planet. It reported another mineral rich world inhabited by Humanoid natives nearby. A cube ship was immediately dispatched to this new find. Once in orbit, the cube entered the Humanoid world’s atmosphere and landed. A large crowd of people gathered around the ship as the loud speakers emerged from within. A cold, menacing and unemotional voice spoke:


The Borg were never taken very seriously after that.


Many thanks to my loving wife, Claire, who sat down with me on our holiday with a shed load of lager and helped write this piece of nonsense."

This article was submitted by the Editor of the, now defunct, E-Zine Planeteer Resurrection.
Other articles, fiction & humour from the Planeteer Resurrection have been submitted to the "UK Atheist & Science E-Zine

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