Junior Earplug Adventures: We Stand Accused (Part 26)

The earplugs, to which the super-intelligent alien referred, were, of course, the lost trio on Mars. Although Billious continued to hallucinate, Kraken and Narlden suddenly got better…

And they were not best pleased.

“Arse!” They hissed in despairing unison.

But instead of feeling sorry for themselves, they went to find Billious. When they found him, they knocked him about a bit until he regained his wits; then set out in search of somewhere warmer…

Somewhere that none of them expected to find before they froze solid.

With almost every earplug in the Future Museum of Mars out searching for the lost youngsters, the Martian natives – or Muffins, as they preferred to be known – felt the need to assist…

Unused to snow at any time throughout the history of Mars, the Muffins suffered horribly in the chilly conditions. So they sent out their fearsome war robots instead…

Unfortunately the war robots were really only any good for shooting down approaching spacecraft, so, despite their spectacular olfactory arrays, they couldn’t find lost earplugs if their continued existence depended upon it. So Billious, Kraken, and Narlden continued to stumble aimlessly…

   

…until, finally, all trace of them was lost…

At the controls of the K T Woo, Hakking Chestikov sat indecisively…

hakking in captains chair 2

…and stared at the main viewer…

But little did he know that…

…Bottoms Barkingwell, whose tasks demanded that she work within the bowels of the huge vessel, and required rubber gloves and a large lavatory brush to complete to a satisfactory standard, spotted something that made her smile. And that something was none other that Captain Sinclair Brooch and his wife, Nancy…

…as they scurried along on their way towards the cabin, in which resided…

…the Cyber Oracle. So, after bringing the electronic fountain of knowledge up to date, Nancy said: “Oh Oracle, what the sodding hell are we supposed to do?”

In reply, the shocked Cyber Oracle said, “Flipping heck; that’s the most difficult question that I’ve ever been asked. It’s going to tax me to the very limits of my design parameters – perhaps beyond them. In fact so far beyond my design parameters is this question taxing me that it’s quite possible I might either make the final evolutionary step and gain true artificial sentience; or I might explode.”

“We don’t have time for this nonsense.” Sinclair snapped. “Pull yourself together: you’re the most advanced computer that ever existed on our doomed world, so aptly named, by an Earplug Brother, as Worstworld. Give me the blinking answer!”

Under such pressure, the logic circuits inside the Cyber Oracle shifted into overdrive. Three seconds later the response came:

“Yeah, I think I got it. The answer is…”

To be continued…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2017

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Junior Earplug Adventures: We Stand Accused (Part 25)

Well the terribly superior God-like alien needn’t have worried, because the bridge crew of the K T Woo…

… weren’t really paying much attention at that point. Instead they were hoping to find inspiration for their foolhardy attempt at heroism by watching a recording of Magnuss Earplug’s mission to make first contact with the people of the planet, he was to later name, Scroton…

But when this happened…

…they were a little confused and hugely disconcerted…

“What the heck?” Captain Brooch began. He finished with: “Is there something wrong with the main viewer?”

It was his favourite helmsplug (now on Proton Torpedo launching duties) who ended the subsequent silence…

“I think I have it all worked out.” She said. “The galactic court isn’t just presenting one bunch of evidence: its showing several at the same time. But the bad news is…one of them is us!”

Well you could have hit Captain Sinclair Brooch around the head with an over-sized cricket bat, and he wouldn’t have noticed…

“Oh.” He said. He then added, for his helmsplug’s benefit alone, “I suppose we’d better stop here and take a look around: I wouldn’t want to do anything rash that would result in a guilty verdict for all earplugdom.”

So the ship halted the headlong plunge that had so worried the galactic court, and the crew took a quick look at the planet’s surface…

…which didn’t look very appealing at all.

“Poor Throgennis Frote.” Hakking Chestikov said, as the shift ended and he took Sinclair’s place in the captain’s chair…

…I wouldn’t want to be in his place.”

But a moment later he was feeling somewhat sorrier for himself, as a blinding light…kind’a…blinded him…

 

…and yet another vast being filled the view screen… 

“Oh do stop hogging the limelight, you pathetic worm.” It growled. “Regard some rather more worthy earplugs.”

To be continued

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2017    

 

 

Junior Earplug Adventures: We Stand Accused (Part 24)

So attention was once more turned upon earplugs in the Solar System. Or, to be slightly more precise, a region upon the surface of Mars that lies in the vicinity of the Future Museum of Mars…

So, whilst the Chi-Z-Sox blasted towards new adventures…

…and everyone aboard were expecting a pleasant ride across the cosmos…

…and were disappointed subsequently when the Inertial Damping Compensators failed…

…which, in turn, really screwed with their subjective reality; volunteer search parties from the museum were forming up in the snow…

This was just as well, because Kraken Waiks, Billious Botner, and Narlden Haggard had reached the point where the cold was making them hallucinate. In fact they were hallucinating so badly that they truly believed that they had found their way into the museum via a back door, and had discovered a futuristic urinal…

…which they used with a hitherto unsuspected ferocity. Eventually Kraken and Narlden could squeeze no more from their previously distended bladders, and began stumbling away in wonderment at their surroundings…

“Golly, look at this, Billious.” Kraken urged his lemon-hued buddy. “It’s fab!”

“I’m not finished.” Billious replied. “And I think I’m a tad snow-blind too. Be my eyes: describe to me everything you see.”

For a moment those watching in the Museum of Future Technology were fooled by the hallucinogenic apparition…

And those watching on their TVs in the habitat zone…

…were forced outside…

…by a faulty optical smoke alarm that had mistaken the dark clouds of the approaching dawn for huge clumps of smoke. So they missed the arrival in Overspace, from a hyperspace wormhole, of the mighty K T Woo…

“Jeepers.” A Galactic Court judge exclaimed in surprise…

… “this is an unexpected development. If that ship opens fire now, we’re defenceless against its proton torpedoes. We’ll never find out if Magnuss and the others manage to save the abducted cable end. And what becomes of the three young earplugs in the snows of Mars will remain a mystery to us and everyone watching this court case.”

To be continued.

Paul Trevor Nolan 2017

 

 

 

Junior Earplug Adventures: We Stand Accused (Part 23)

On a world that is mostly ocean, it could only be mere minutes before the crew discovered another island. More importantly, when they did, it was rocky and storm-tossed…

“Ah, snow-capped cliffs.” Hydious noted gleefully. “No sentient being would dream of living there. Right, take us down: we have an alien to set free.”

So, moments later…

…the ship of space became a submarine. Upon the bridge…

…Professor Gout gave the order: “Okay, ditch the fish.”

Immediately afterwards the ship returned to its natural environment…

This was quickly followed by the main drive lighting up, and the ship setting off on another journey…

In the Galactic Court, Throgennis cheered. More importantly he wasn’t alone: one of the judges grinned widely…

…and said: “Didn’t they do well! I don’t know about you lot, but I think that was one of the most selfless acts I’ve ever witnessed. They could easily have shoved that accidental stowaway out the air lock, or even eaten it. I’ll grant them fifteen credits.”

Throgennis didn’t know anything about the worth of Galactic Court credits…

…but, he reasoned, even one must be a whole bunch better than none at all.

“Fifteen.” He said breathlessly. “Wow, aint that something!”

So he was even more surprised when another judge…

…said, “I’ll match your fifteen credits. I think they showed great compassion. Hey, these earplug guys aren’t half as bad as some people say. Let’s go back and check out the others: I have a God-like feeling that we’ll be pleasantly surprised.”

To  be continued.

Paul Trevor Nolan 2017

 

Junior Earplug Adventures: We Stand Accused (Part 22)

Once recovered from the initial shock of discovering that an alien life form had gained access to their space craft, Hydious and Putridity Gout wanted to know more…

“How the flipping heck did that sodding thing end up here?” Putridy screamed. “It’s ghastly!”

“Yes,” Hydious backed up his wife with a strong tone of his own, “that thing looks as though it could crush the life out of every one of us without drawing  breath or sweating even slightly. Are you sure that glass will hold it?”

The silver-suited guards blanched at this, and were sorely tempted to take a backward step. And Gout’s top scientists – Pelvac Throost, Clasp Gytnor, Rextum Hangdang, Battard Scootum, and Gangies Phalangees were surprised: they’d never heard their boss so upset about anything – not even the time when the triple-ply lavatory paper jammed up the toilet in his captain’s ready room, and obnoxious filth spread all through his deep pile hearth-rug, which had to be jettisoned into space before anyone found out. So they all put on false smiles, and then assured him that not only was it safely contained, but that it had gained entry through a buckled flange plate in the cooling system when the ship’s cook had decided to draw water from the ocean into the ship so that he could replenish the shower and bath water supply, whilst desalination of the aforementioned ocean water would provide some much-needed salt to make his foul space-gruel more palatable.

Hydious was relieved with the news: he’d thought that the scary-looking entity had come aboard as a seed and had grown inside the body of a crewplug; burst out of his body in an exaltation of gore; and was only captured because it got itself locked in the lavatory – something that both Gouts were in the habit of doing, on a regular basis.

“That’s the trouble with being left-handed on an ambidextrous space ship.” Putridity would often complain.

“Oh, jolly good.” Hydious responded. “Tell the helmsplug to find us a nice spot on the opposite side of the world, and we’ll drop this monster back into the water. I don’t like the look of it; it really must go – and sooner the better.”

With that he and Putridity departed, en route to the bridge…

“See that you have it nicely parcelled up for disembarkation.” Pelvac Throost instructed the Leader of the Guard.

So, moments later, the Helmsplug’s voice could be heard echoing down corridors:

“Buckle up and strap yourselves down: prepare to get under way.”

And a few moments later still, the Chi-Z-Sox began to make headway to a new orbital position…

“Ah,” Battard Scootum said as the planet swam into view upon the main screen…

…”let’s have a look down there.”

The helmsplug duly complied and tilted the ship so the sensors could sweep the planet…

“Oh, look,” Putridity squealed as she ran around the captain’s chair for a better view…

…”it’s a lovely island!”

And indeed it was a lovely island…

…that was swathed in mist and coated with strange round things that looked suspiciously like stylish habitat domes.

“I can’t see properly.” Hydious snapped at his scientist elite. “Do something about it.”

It was Rextum Hangdang who authored a positive response:

“Recommend that we descend into the atmosphere with our retros firing. It should burn off that mist, and if there are any witnesses to our arrival, they’ll probably be the subjects of ridicule from their peers.”

It was a great idea…

…and before long the foggy conditions were swept away by the hot exhaust…

Aboard the watching K T Woo the manoeuvre…

…was greeted by loud applause from the bridge crew…

As the Chi-Z-Sox continued to descend, details of the island…

…became clear enough for those crew members watching out of the porthole…

…to make out surface details.

“That looks like a cinema.” One of them cried out. “I wonder what movie they’re showing.”

“And that has to be public toilet.” Another said. “Look at the queue outside the front door!”

“Launch a probe.” Clasp Gytnor instructed the Probe Launch Officer. “I want to see what those other funny round things over there on the left are.”

He had to wait several seconds for the probe to launch and then transmit back pictures from ground level…

“Hmm,” Gangies Phalangees – a scientist who specialised in organic computing and natural building products said into the resulting puzzled silence, “that could be a biological communication array. That aurora behind it pretty much confirms it.”

Hydious didn’t like the sound of that…

“I don’t like the sound of that.” He said. “They might tell those underwater devils that we’re here. We could get shot down. Take us somewhere else completely.”

This was just the order his crew had been waiting for.

“Any suggestions, Sir?” Pelvac Throost inquired.

“Yes.” Hydious replied. “Somewhere out of the way. A rocky, storm-tossed shore should do nicely.”

To be continued…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2017