Magnuss then proceeded to inform Nigel of his displeasure at the way that the security forces conscripted yellow-hued desert folk.
“But they’re so good at it.” Nigel replied defensively.
Magnuss was incredulous. “What? Then, you mean you know all about the way recruitment teams go out into the desert and abduct innocent cable ends and force them into a life of servitude?”
It was Nigel’s turn to be surprised. “Abduct?” He said – rather stupidly, thought Magnuss. “Innocent cable ends?” Nigel continued. “I thought that they were all hardened pros and ex-football stars. Innocent desert folk? No-no, Magnuss my golden chum: you must be mistaken.”
This was exactly the response that Magnuss had anticipated. “Take nothing you see at face value.” He said. He then beckoned Zip Fladgerston forward…
Nigel studied Zip with an intensity that bordered on painful. From somewhere deep in the recesses of his artificial memory (given to him by the beings that had taken the cable end species from thicko morons to intelligent beings with an advanced society) and identified the silver suit that Zip wore.
“Trans-galactic prospector, right?” He said.
“Wrong.” Zip replied as he stepped out of his suit…
…”An innocent desert-dwelling cable end.” He corrected his leader. “The only difference between me and your security forces is that I was accidentally abducted by aliens when I grew suspicious of some polluted ground water, and poked my nose into their affairs as they test drilled into our planet’s crust, and therefore escaped the annual recruitment drive. So, you see, as naturally gifted investigators, we desert folk are equally naturally gifted security officers. It’s only…ah…natural that your government would take us from our…oh cripes…natural environment – and make us into your police force.”
Naturally Nigel could find no flaw in Zip’s logic. “Let me call in some local officials.” He said. “I’d like them to throw some light on the situation.”
So, five minutes later…
…the local officials confessed to all the charges laid against them by Magnuss and Zip.
“What’s the point in denying it?” The burgundy-coloured Bergermeister, Conrad Fartz, grumbled. You’re the Golden One: you know everything.”
“I do now.” Nigel replied calmly. “I also know that from this moment on you will invite desert folk to volunteer. That means no more abductions – got it? It also means that any current abductees must be returned to the desert, and current security guys must be offered the opportunity to follow them if they wish.”
“Yeah, okay.” The olive green National Guard C.O added. “And having discovered our less than cunning subterfuge, could you ask him to put his suit back on? Nakedness offends me on at least seventeen levels of offensiveness.”
Having quickly re-dressed, Zip turned to his prospector colleagues…
“Guys,” he said, “I know you never intended to take me from my home and turn me into a trans-galactic prospector; but you did – and now I couldn’t imagine being anything else. Is it alright with you if I don’t return to the desert? You see, I rather like whooshing about in space. And this suit is just so comfortable!”
Everyone smiled broadly as the prospectors gathered around their crew-mate.
“Yeah, whatever you want…er…Zip.” Brock, their de facto leader replied. “You’ll always have a seat on our bridge – when and if we ever get another ship.”
Magnuss and Nigel watched cheerfully as the team reunited…
“We should do this more often.” Nigel said as he watched the prospectors depart.
“Do what?” Magnuss inquired.
“Right wrongs.” Nigel replied. “Bring justice where none exists. I think Scroton can do without me for a while. I’d like to see what’s out there in the galaxy. I’d like to visit your Museum of Future Technology.”
Magnuss decided to shed his golden colouring. He wasn’t sure about the wisdom of Nigel’s statement. But his response was interrupted by Fang…
…who snuggled up the leader of the cable ends.
“He seems to like you.” Magnuss observed.
“Yes, he is kind of cute, and we don’t have plugmutts on Scroton.” Nigel replied. “I think I’d rather like one of my own – though, of course, Gloria will have to gather his plop from the lawn, and dispose of it in a plastic shopping bag.”
Nennigross chose that moment to introduce herself…
“Your Royal Highness.” She said. “My name is Nennigross Numbwinkle. I’m a former weightlifter who now works as a maintenance engineer in the Museum of Future Technology. I can’t help thinking that Fang would enjoy life here much more than the sterile walkways of the museum. He’s yours – if you want him. I’ll get his microchip registration transferred when I get home – whenever that might be.”
“Excellent: I’d love to.” Nigel replied. “So it’s good news all round. You know, I couldn’t be happier to have met your species. You’re a wonderful crowd!”
To be continued.
Paul Trevor Nolan 2017