Cheer tendrils filled the cavernous facility as Saturn’s entire leftover population had turned out to view the spectacle, so engrossed had they become in this new pneu-diversion. Thought wagers reverberated through masses of murmuring minds as the most probable pore-scorer was handicapped six points here, six points there. The momentum of the game switched from one side to another to another, with no one group of pores really taking command.
Finally, one group did assume control, but it wasn’t part of the game.
Burrowing through 85 kilometers of frozen rock and astrogrime might take an industrious cosmomole 12 Earth-days, but a rock-ingesting Wadk of 40-2p B System of Deneb could accomplish the feat in probably only six or seven Earth-hours. A cluster of 30 Wadks could get through in maybe 15 Earth-minutes. It took the invading army of 200,000 hungry Wadk-newts a little less than 45 seconds. And then they were swarming all over the Saturnians, disrupting the never-to-be decided Chewball Tournament and spraying the onlookers with an incapacitating mixture of galactorocksalt and Kosmo Kwikset Cement.
Normally a passive breed of rock, the Wadks nevertheless wasted little time in correcting inequities in astrotrade negotiations. Such was what they were doing now, for they had invested heavily in the latest Space Market auction, and had secured all 281 Saturnians who had been offered for sale there. They had made great plans to furnish the Wadk High Command Summer Palace with ambulatory bathmats, and the Saturnians would have filled the bill wonderfully. But when they arrived at Iapetus to pick up their furry freight, they found them atrophied and atmospermed.
Actually, sedentary bathmats would have been better than no bathmats at all, but an outbreak of psydrosoriasis had broken out all over Iapetus -- no doubt from the unclean mating habits of the atmosperms -- and the Saturnians’ sleek fur had lost most of its desirable gloss, becoming brittle and smelling of fish anaesthesiologists.
Somewhat enraged, the Wadks had summoned their business associates, the unusually grumpy Wadk-newts, to work out a reasonable settlement for them. The Wadk-newts had had little difficulty in locating the Saturnian hideaway -- they merely followed the spoor of floating space follicles.
And while they could not teleport through the cold planetary crust as the natives so effortlessly did, they nevertheless reached the underground retreat quickly enough to surprise the bejesus out of everyone there.
Unfortunately, the Wadk High Command had not given the Wadk-newts specific instructions as to how to deal with their prey, and by the time the order to capture as many Saturnians as possible reached the decidedly small collective mindbone of the ’newts, their natural predatory tendencies had urged them through a massive lunch of most of the leftover population.
The remaining Saturnians escaped by teleporting back to the surface and fuzzing out through the anoatmosphere towards that haven of all space exiles, Tum’s World. However, once outside the protection of the lovely rings, the escaping telekiners were all melted by a whimsically stray Charbeam.
It looked like there would be no bathmats at all for the Wadk High Command Summer Palace this time.