Young Zaphod Plays It Safe (Adams)

From Wikisum
Disclaimer: This summary was generated by AI, so it may contain errors.
Young Zaphod Plays It Safe
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A salvage company owner was hired by officials to investigate a crashed spaceship containing dangerous materials. Despite assurances of safety, the mission revealed the true dangers of the materials and their potential consequences.

Zaphod Beeblebrox, owner of the Beeblebrox Salvage and Really Wild Stuff Corporation, was hired by two officials from the Safety and Civil Reassurance Administration to investigate a crashed spaceship at the bottom of the ocean. The ship, which resembled a large flying filing cabinet, had been carrying dangerous materials, including aorist rods and synthetic personalities known as "Designer People." The officials insisted that the ship and its contents were perfectly safe, despite the fact that it had crashed due to the pilot's obsession with lobsters.

As Zaphod and the officials descended to the ocean floor in their salvage craft, they encountered various sea creatures and discussed the dangerous materials on board the ship.

Zaphod Beeblebrox — owner of the Beeblebrox Salvage and Really Wild Stuff Corporation; has two heads and four arms; adventurous, sarcastic, and reckless.
Official 1 — shorter and less reassuring; cold and secretive; focused on the mission and ensuring the safety of the ship's contents.
Official 2 — taller and more reassuring; also secretive; works alongside Official 1 to guide Zaphod through the mission.

Upon reaching the wreckage, they discovered that the ship had broken in two, with the storage holds containing the dangerous materials still intact. They entered the ship and made their way through a series of high-security doors, eventually reaching a large chamber containing an emergency suspension tank.

Inside the tank was a man who had survived the crash, floating in a yellow liquid and babbling incoherently about lobsters.

Man in the Emergency Suspension Tank — survivor of the crashed ship; floating in a tank of yellow liquid; traumatized, babbling, and obsessed with lobsters.

He explained that the ship had crashed because the pilot had insisted on diverting their course to find the best lobster in the galaxy.

"I think I'm the only survivor. I'm the only one who managed to get to an emergency tank before we went down. I sent out the Mayday and then we hit."

As they continued to explore the ship, they discovered that one of the "Designer People" had escaped in an escape capsule, which had headed towards a planet in Galactic Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha.

The officials ordered that the planet be made "perfectly safe," as the escaped "Designer Person" posed a significant threat. Despite their assurances that the ship and its contents were safe, the events that unfolded during the salvage mission revealed the true dangers of the materials on board and the potential consequences of their release into the universe.

"They are not evil, in fact they are rather simple and charming. But they are the most dangerous creatures that ever lived because there is nothing they will not do if allowed."