When he had first landed on Earth, hair flying from the backdraft of the
teaser spacecraft as it took off, he'd thought it would be easy. He was a
seasoned researcher, he had his towel, a native costume and name, a handful of
Altarian dollars and a bottle of Janx Spirit he'd lifted from the bar on the
teaser ship. Earth was an unknown, but at least it was harmless, and backwater
planets tended to have all sorts of interesting and unique customs that a savvy
hitchhiker could exploit.
Half an hour later he'd trodden in something disgustingly rural and had been
chased by four crazed cows and a goat.
Things had looked up when he'd managed to hitch a ride on a truck bound for
London. For some reason the sub-etha thumb hadn't worked on the vehicle in
question, but jumping up and down and waving his arms around in a crazed manner
seemed to work just as well.
The driver had a liking for Janx Spirit - well, he did once he'd tasted it. It
made for an interesting ride into the city, and Ford had been quite surprised to
find out later from the blue-clad police officers that human motor vehicles were
meant to stick strictly to the black pathway laid out for them, and not careen
across fields, over chicken coops, across lanes and into oncoming traffic before
forcing their passengers to flee out of the side windows as they parked
themselves in the large body of water he had been reliably informed was the
He made note of it for the Guide.
He'd been dropped off in the middle of London, ready to begin what passed for
work, and found himself surrounded by a varied collection of interesting - and
more importantly drunk - people all about.
They had alcohol, and he was happy.
Not too long afterwards, he stood alone and depressed on the footpath outside a
public bar somewhere in the maze of roads and alleys. His Altarian dollars were
completely useless, the barkeep had no interest in credit or in trade, and a
group of large hairy men from somewhere called Wales were singing something in
the pub behind him in a language that was causing a massive malfunction in his
He was starting to feel distressingly sober.
Still, a Guide researcher is nothing if not resourceful, and when he saw the
woman walking towards him, he straightened his jacket a little, fixed his best
predatory grin on his face and made his move.
Even if she didn't buy him a drink, at least he'd be able to get some sex.
His first experience with Human Sex had been...interesting. They'd stuck to the
usual conventions of gravity and the three most common dimensions, and
he'd been distracted for a while by the strange patterning on her carpet and the
smell of potato peelings. But she'd quite liked to bite, which had been fine
with him. And she had legs that didn't quit, especially when they were looped
over his shoulders, heels drumming on his back.
She'd only lasted for about four hours before collapsing prostrate against him
and passing out. He'd had to finish himself off.
Three hours later, she'd handed him four fifty pound bills and dragged him down
for another session.
Humans didn't last for very long, but by Fark they could recover fast!
His view on Earth had flipped from that point on. The beer involved a bit more
effort and drinking to achieve the desired effect, but that also meant its
affects crept up on you more gradually. He'd discovered, to his extreme
pleasure, that he was capable of sitting down for hours and drinking amounts of
Earth beer that would kill him had it been any other alcohol - and maintain some
sort of sobriety! - but when he stood up, the whole lot hit him in the back of the
head like an express freighter bound for Heiradi.
And the astrophysicists! All stuffed shirts and bushy sideburns and serious
miens that turned beet red and puffed up like Z'nark frogs in mating season when
someone challenged their theories. They were so easy to bait and insult, and
incredibly fascinating to watch as they blustered. Ford made it a private goal
to see if he could get one to puff so large he actually exploded before leaving
And the sex! Ford couldn't believe it. In seedy corners, in the street,
in the early morning, he'd be standing by the side of the road, looking upwards,
eyes always scanning the skies for an available ship and someone would
invariably sidle furtively up to him and offer him money in exchange for sex.
People were willing to pay him to have sex with them! Huge amounts of
money for hours of steamy, rampant, meaningless sex!
Sweet Belgium, he would have done it for free.
Whilst neither Ford nor the rest of the galaxy were innocent to the fact that
people liked to pay for services rendered - so to speak - generally there was a
contract of some sort, and a film crew involved, so at least all parties could
get some sort of monetary gain from the act. But here, there were no film crews.
Just sex, and fisted handfuls of money that he stuffed into his pockets with a
maniacal grin. And with his mesmerising eyes and youthful face, he found it
incredibly easy to attract the sort of Ladies and Gentlemen who liked those
sorts of things and were willing to pay a great deal of money for them.
Sometimes couples took him home for the weekend.
All in all, he definitely thought he could learn to like this planet.