The Continuing Adventures of Theta Starr, Page 1 of 2

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The Continuing Adventures of Theta Starr: In our last episode, Theta's ''Starr Shuttle'' was shot down over the treacherous Want Ad Wasteland by those nefarious ne'er-do-wells, the Kut Bax. Narrowly averting her dance with death, Theta ejected into the Wasteland just nanoseconds before her spacecraft careened into the vast ''Wage Slaves Wanted'' sector. Now, after weeks of following a seemingly endless maze of dead-end trails, and nearing the last of her survival rations and strength, Theta stumbles into a clearing in the wilderness. Perhaps she has found her sanctuary. Or perhaps she should continue... BEYOND WANT AT WASTELAND AND THE PLACEMENT MACHINES! With her blaster drawn and ready for action, Theta pauses at the edge of the clearing. There is a church, on the front of which appears a large dollar sign and the words ''First Church of the All-Day Seeker'' above the front doors. The singing of a choir and the congregation can be heard emanating from the church. The words of the hymn are: ''There's a new seeker born every minute. Each will blindly give us all we take. We've a mission to perform, so let's begin it. And never give a seeker an even break!''
Theta stands with her hand on a doorknob at the front entrance of the church. She has opened a door just a crack, so now the concluding words of the hymn escape unmuffled: ''No, never give a seeker an even break! Oh, yeah!'' Before Theta can move to enter the church, however, a voice is heard from some unseen someone off to the side. The voice commands, ''STOP!'' Now Theta stands face-to-face with the man who ordered her to stop. He is young, probably near the same age as Theta. He does not seem to be an immediate threat. He has placed a hand on Theta's shoulder as he inquires: ''Sister, are you a stranger in this land? Don't you know this church is congregated by Placement Machinists!?'' Theta puzzles aloud, ''Placement Machinists?''
Theta listens intently as the seemingly-friendly stranger explains: ''Many an unsuspecting seeker has passed through this unholy portal only to become a miserable wage slave in some stinking labor camp.'' Theta responds, ''But I've barely survived the weeks I spent in the Wasteland. This place could be my last hope for sanctuary. What other course have I?'' The man answers, ''Eight, five, point aught.'' ''What?'' Theta asks. The man replies, ''Aught. You ought to come with me.''


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