The Time Tamperer (part 36)

“You can help us find Mincey Muir.” The RoboSecGua (which had no desire to hear Flaccid’s vacuous chattering any longer than absolutely necessary) replied sharply.

“Excuse me, Sir.” Flaccid dared respond. “But who the flip is Mincey Muir?”

“Bad girl.” Heathrow replied.

“None of your business.” The RoboSecGua answered Flaccid. “She is beige coloured and looks a bit like a young Sir Dodger Muir. Well can you help us find her?”

“Wanna punish her bad.” Heathrow offered.

Flaccid was loathe to reply; but when he did it was in the negative. “Um, sorry.” He said, “But our search party is busy in the past.”

“Looking for missing visitors.” Nature Beast added. Then to Heathrow he said: “You catch her, Nature Beast punish her bad. Punch her in the face real hard. And kick her up the arse too.”

Following Nature Beast’s misuse of the Earplug language, the thought of what type of punishment should be administered to Mincey became uppermost in the RoboSecGua’s cybernetic mind. It remained in pole position as it, and it’s plugmutt sidekick, travelled by the Time Techs, who were busy fiddling with the idling Tubo Di Tempo…

An almost silent power surge caught its robotic attention; and it turned to regard the futuristic, but faulty, device…

“Hmmm.” It hummed speculatively.

“Hmmm?” Heathrow inquired.

“Yes; hmmm.” The RoboSecGua replied…

…as it turned away. “I am in receipt of a really neat idea.”

“About Mincey?” Heathrow asked hopefully.

“Indeed, Heathrow, my surprisingly aerodynamic chum.” The RoboSecGua answered. “And I have applied logic to the task of finding the ghastly female too. Success is virtually certain. Follow me.”

At that precise moment the subject of the RoboSecGua’s quest was in the act of talking the ears off her father…

“Yes, and what’s more, when I’m in charge I can have a wonderful Dacha built for you in Siberia. It’ll be wonderful. You’ll be able to ride about on sleighs and shoot Caribou to your heart’s content.”  

For a moment Sir Dodger was almost tempted. He raised a vaguely surprised eyebrow. “You certainly make your ascension to the throne sound most attractive.” He said quietly. “I certainly do enjoy loosing off powerful hollow-tipped ammunition in all directions. Tell me; this Dacha: will it have an outside Jacuzzi in the back garden?”

Little did either Muir know, but the RoboSecGua’s use of logic had proved fruitful. It had reasoned that Mincey would try to convince her curator father to help her. He also knew that, at about this time of day, Sir Dodger loved to get lost in the museum maze.

“Ah-ha.” It’s tinny voice box tried to boom. “Gotcha!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

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Cricetinae Fictionem – or Something Like That: 23

It has been quite a while since I posted an extract from one of these books…

They are, of course, the legendary Hamster-Sapiens series. And on this occasion I have chosen a random extract from my favourite – The Psychic Historian.

The mayor warmly greeted the Chinese fact-finding mission after they were plucked from the swell, dried off, dressed in the only clothing available that would fit them – the local girl’s school sod-ball team uniform – and were presented to him.

“What is your name, brave sir?” He inquired of the ageing oriental who was feeling distinctly embarrassed in his dark green gym slip, white plimsolls, and pneumatic shoulder pads.

“Mister Fong – Senior.” The Chinese hamster replied proudly, despite his apparel.

“Of course you realize that you have done the town of Sadness a great service.” The mayor informed him.

“Suppose so.” Mister Fong (Senior) replied once more.

The mayor looked around at all the town councillors as they gathered in the rain upon the steps of the town hall in front of almost the entire population of Sadness.

“Is there any way that we can repay you for your act of heroism?” he inquired.

This was just the opening that Number One son was waiting for. He’d been practicing his speech for this moment since he’d been placed beneath a hair dryer in the parlour of a seafront beautician in an attempt to make him look more presentable.

“Yeah.” He said loudly as he stepped in front of his honoured father, “There is. Pops wants to set up chain of Chinese restaurants in Hamster-Britain. He don’t like taxes and organized crime. You take care of both – he make Sadness into happy town.”

The mayor mulled this over, and then whispered quietly amongst his acolytes.

“Chinese food, eh?” He said at last. “Is it nice?”

“It’s a bit samey.” Number One son confessed, “But, yeah, I think it’s nice.”

After a moment’s further thought the mayor extended a welcoming paw to Mister Fong (Senior). “May your life in Sadness be long and fruitful. But, sorry, the name Stickee-Lickee will have to go: It’s a bit rude.”

Number Two son quickly scurried forward. “What about plan B, honoured father?” He said. “We call it Golden Showers. Nothing rude about that.”

Again the mayor smiled. “Perfect. We have a deal?”

Then, finally, Mister Fong (Senior) smiled. “No.” He said, “You no speak Hamster British proper: We GOT a deal!”

With that the picture faded out, and someone wisely raised the house lights. It had been a moving moment for all concerned. Hamster-Britain had been a sallow, disrupted nation – until the arrival of egg fried rice. The audience took a moment to give thanks to the Saint of All Hamsters for having led the Fongs to Fadness. Then the current Fongs reanimated.

“Well was it good?” Yu Wah inquired of Sorbresto. “Did my forebears really act with great courage and chivalry?”

Tears formed in Sorbresto’s eyes. ‘Was that all that this fabulous beauty had wanted to know? That her family had acted with honour?’

“Yes.” He said, as he tried male-hamsterly to reign in his emotions.

“That’s good.” Yu Wah smiled massively “Now we have rampant sex – yes?”

Sorbresto smiled the smile of a much-travelled, world-weary, male hamster. “Yes – now we have rampant sex. But not here: I have a trailer out the back. It has a chandelier to swing from if you’re really keen.”

Upon the stage Boney’s legs wobbled in amazement at this turn of events. But then a profitable thought crossed his mind, and he spoke these words…

“Intermission, everybody. Food an’ drink available for all. I can even send out for Chinese if anyone’s interested. All at very reasonable prices of course.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

 

The Time Tamperer (part 35)

Meanwhile Heathrow the plugmutt was busy expressing his concerns about Mincey Muir to his favourite RoboSecGua…

“Mincey bad girl.” He said earnestly.

RoboSecGuas were programmed to recognise earnestness when they saw it; so the machine intelligence responded favourably to the small, simple critter that stood before it. “You mentioned something similar before.” It reminded Heathrow. “Do you have any further information, upon which this Robot Security Guard can act?”

“Yeah.” Heathrow replied as he tried desperately to find the right words within his limited vocabulary. “Cushions Smethwyke.” He managed.

“The toothy broad who runs this place?” The RoboSecGua urged.

If Heathrow could have smiled it  would have been as wide as the Woven Expanse. “Yeah.” He answered. “Mincey want job. Mincey plan coop data.”

The RoboSecGua had think about this. “Hmmm.” It said at last. “Do you mean Coup D’tat?”

Heathrow decided that he did. His smile broadened to include the Wide Blue Yonder. “Yeah. We go find her now?”

So moments later passers-by failed entirely to notice the servomechanism and the plugmutt begin their search…

But, initially at least, the search did not go to plan…

For example they exposed an old and long-forgotten well, down which they peered…

…fruitlessly. Then they tried the Up and Down ramps, where they discovered a huge, evil-smelling…

…coiled pile of excrement, which the RoboSecGua examined with its mighty olfactory array.

“I don’t think this came from an earplug.” It concluded.

So it was on to the Fort Balderdash exhibit, where they interviewed visitors…

“Excuse me.” The RoboSecGua said as it accosted…

…a particularly unattractive individual with stupid hair: “Do you know the whereabouts of a beige female by the name of Mincey Muir?”

The visitor didn’t; but he made a helpful suggestion. So, a short while later, Heathrow led the RoboSecGua into the T.W.I.T control room…

Naturally Major Flaccid was the epitome of obsequiousness. “My, a representative of the security forces.” He said as he turned away from a dubious-looking experiment upon Nature Beast. “How can I help you – beside prostrating myself before you of course?”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

The Time Tamperer (part 34)

Naturally this intrigued the two Twit agents…

“Go on.” Neville urged the zombies. “What’s so special that you need to share it with us?”

Equally naturally Clux and Grimnax were pleased that Pixie and Neville were willing to hear their unlikely tale. “It’s about the museum visitors who came here this morning.” Clux began.

“They’ve gone missing.” Neville interrupted.

“We’ve come to find them.” Pixie added.

“Is that right?” Grimnax responded in a surprisingly lively manner that closely resembled the behaviour of a living, breathing life-form. “Wow, did we get lucky, or what!”

“Yeah, well anyway,” Clux continued, “We were among that number. To cut a long story short; a guy, who calls himself Piggies Du Pong, invented the Tubo Di Tempo – to coax people from the future to visit this era. Why, we don’t know; he didn’t say.”

“Whoa, wait a minute.” Pixie interrupted. “You met this guy?”

If Clux could have managed a sigh he would have. “Yes, of course we did.”

“When he abducted the museum visitors.” Grimnax explained. “He told us all about it.”

“What did he tell you?” Neville inquired.

“What we just told you, Stupid.” Clux retorted.

 Pixie chose to ignore Clux’s emotional outburst and duly asked: “So why did he let you go?”

“Because, officially at least, we’re not living beings. We’re semi-dead. We’re no good to him.” Grimnax replied.”Of course we were extraordinarily angry at his casual dismissal of us…

“So, not to hurt our feelings, he tested us for signs of life inside some strange contraptions…

“We didn’t do well.” Clux said, even more sadly than normal…

“He decided that he didn’t need us.” Grimnax continued. “We’re harmless, supposedly; so he let us go. Ordinarily we wouldn’t give a damn about the vacuous abducted visitors; but although we’re really depressed voluntary zombies – we don’t want to find ourselves trapped in the past. We need the others to get us back to our own era. The time machine, if it works at all, doesn’t work for the undead.”

“Why does Du Pong need living beings?” Neville asked.

Clux shrugged, which was dangerous because one of his soporific sores nearly erupted and a moldering limb tried to detach itself. “Don’t know.” He answered. “But he did boast about how he had the nighttime security forces lead the entire population off in the direction of the virtually endless Obsidian Plain…

 

…So, are you guys going to rescue the visitors?”

“Too right.” Pixie replied. “It’s the reason we’re here. Take us to where you last saw them: we’ll figure something out from there.”

So, moments later…

…the foursome set forth – where they soon encountered…

…Jeremy and Chickweed, who quickly learnt the truth of their current situation…

…and doubted the wisdom of Pixie’s decision, but were too scared to say so.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

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The Time Tamperer (part 33)

Duncan’s brain slipped into overdrive: “You sent for us.” He blurted.

Piggies was surprised by the small black earplug’s response. He also doubted the veracity of his statement. “Yeah?” He said. “Are you sure?”

Wilson was a fast learner. Quickly cottoning on to Duncan’s improvised plan, he added: “Wilson Bucket, man.” He said to Piggies. “We got a contract. We signed it…oh…about…when was it, Saxon?”

Saxon was less able in the quick wits department; but after blowing out some air through pursed lips he offered:  “Ooh, I dunno; must have been eighteen months ago.”

“That’d be in our era, of course.” Duncan interjected. 

“That’s right.” Wilson took up the brazen attempt at subterfuge. “But, of course, in your future. Hey, man, I just had a thought: maybe you don’t remember it because you aint done it yet. Wouldn’t that be something!”

Piggies opened his mouth several times before finding some words to say. Eventually he said: “So why are you here?”

“Kitchen staff.” Duncan responded in an instant. “The hats kind of give it away, don’t they? Wilson and Saxon are chefs: I’m their kitchen porter. We’re here to keep you well fed and watered.”

Although he couldn’t recall ever having the idea of hiring some cooks from the future, Piggies now considered the idea. “You’re hired.” He said as he began walking. “Follow me…

…I’ll show you to your work place. It’s nearly tea time: can you knock me up a nice lemon drizzle cake in about twenty minutes?”

Saxon was no baker: he tended to specialise in seafood. “Sure.” He said. “Do you want it round or square?

Meanwhile, in another region of the vast edifice, Jeremy Farton and Chickweed Gubbins had resumed their search for the missing customers…

“You don’t have to look at me that way.” Chickweed grumbled. “I know you’d prefer I was your lovely girlfriend, Pixie: but I’m not; so get over it and do your job. Are you an agent of T.W.I.T, or a miserable, moping teenager?”

Walking along an almost identical thoroughfare, Neville Scroat drew Pixie’s attention to the alternating lighting. “Isn’t it annoying?” He said. “One moment its this brilliant tungsten blue: the next its a dull flat white. I wonder if it has anything to do with temporal instability.”

Pixie was no expert in temporal mechanics. In fact she’d never heard of the term. “Yeah.” She replied. “I suspect so.”

By sheer chance, the two zombies, Clux and Grimnax, were walking in the opposite direction…

The flickering lights were upsetting the undead duo too. So much so, in fact, that they decided to cheer themselves up by going into denial and whistling a little tune. And they continued in this manner until they almost collided with Pixie and Neville…

“Ooh.” Neville said with a slightly nervous sigh. “Zombies. Have you come to convert us – or eat us?”

Pixie wanted to say: “Don’t go giving them ideas, Neville.” But instead she said: “Erk!”

But it didn’t matter because…

…Clux and Grimnax were pleased to discover that they weren’t alone.

“Are you agents of Twit?” They asked as one. And as the young recruits replied in the affirmative, the zombies added: “We’ve got something to tell you. It’s really, really important.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018