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Here is the first thing Sameen Shaw thought after Earth exploded: I need a beer.

Here is the first thing Sameen Shaw said after the Earth exploded: “I really fucking need a goddamn beer.”

If you just guessed that the first thing Sameen Shaw did seconds after everything she’d ever known disappeared in a ball of fire that gradually faded into the vacuum of space was get a beer, well. It’d be a good guess, but it’d also be extremely wrong. 

In fact, Sameen Shaw did not get her beer even 11 hours, 47 minutes and 22 seconds A.E. (After Earth), a fact that was making her increasingly aggravated as she shouldered her way past a group of cowering Vogons to arrive at the bridge of a ship that they had not-so-politely hitchhiked. 

They, of course, refers to the aforementioned grumpy ex-Earther, who prefers to go by Shaw, thanks, and her less-than-welcome compatriot, Root. 

When asked about, here’s what the best-selling book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, has to say about Root: There are a lot of rumours surrounding the mysterious entity referred to as Root. Those unfortunate enough to meet her describe someone with either gold, brown or red hair and having either ice blue eyes or jet black ones. She’s also been noted as a decent sous chef, a so-so delivery woman and an atrocious babysitter. Actually, Root sightings have been reported in almost every corner of the known galaxy, with the only consistencies known to the public being: 1. She likes leather jackets, 2. She’s good with technology and 3. She dual wields twin blasters, a practise only ever noted in the distant clans of Jatravartids and the most excessive of show-offs. Her name has spawned a few commonly used idioms, such as “the root of all evil” and “the root cause of all our problems” and “sha-blanga-root-gasa”, an extremely offensive phrase in the Hingefreelian language. 

Citizens of the galaxy had stopped seeing Root around 15 years ago, incidentally the same time she got herself stranded on the backwater planet previously known as Earth. The only beings there that were intellectually stimulating enough for her were Shaw and the mice, which was why she had allowed one of them to accompany her on her last-minute escape off the doomed planet. Root was having one of her ethical-philosophical debates with him now as Shaw shouldered her way past the group of cowering Vogons to finally arrive at the bridge after a long bit of exposition. 

“But Harold,” Root sighed, “we’ve been over this. Simulated reality can only get you so far-”

“Root,” Shaw interrupted. “Stop talking to the pests and get me somewhere I can get drunk, before I muder everyone on this ship and then myself.”

Root gasped theatrically. “ Sameen . Harold isn’t a pest, he’s one of the foremost minds this side of the galaxy, and his work on interdimensional time warping has been widely praised.”

“Whatever,” huffed Shaw, “Let’s just get off this stupid ship before those goddamn green fuckwads try and read me more of their godawful poetry.”

“Cheer up Shaw,” Root adjusted a few controls, and then looked inordinately pleased at herself for doing so. “In exactly 2.4759 seconds, we’ll be out of the Milky Way and free to go to whichever corner of the known universe as we please, as soon as I get my Impossibility Drive back. Aren’t you excited?”

“What’s an Impossibility - nevermind,” Shaw hurriedly corrected when she saw Root’s eyes spark and her mouth start to open, “Is there anywhere in this ‘known universe’ where I can get some alcohol?” 

“Oh, Sameen,” Root purred as the ship began to vibrate, faster and faster until the white pinpricks outside the transparent windows started to shudder and elongate, “I know just the thing.”


As it turns out, Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters can be consumed more than twice even if you weren’t a thirty ton mega elephant with bronchial pneumonia.