Junior Earplug Adventures: The Grand Tour (part 30)

Chester had a thought: “I wonder if it works. If so, we could call up Rudi to come fetch us.”

“But we’ve only been here five minutes.” Miles complained. “We’ve found nothing and no one.”

“My point exactly, dear twin.” Chester replied – rather smugly, or so thought Miles. “And we will find nothing more than nothing by remaining here. Ergo, we depart – with alacrity.”

“But it’s not working.” Miles replied. “Your whole argument is a moot point.”

Although true – if only apparently, Chester wasn’t giving up: “Maybe it’s in energy-saving mode.” He suggested hopefully – and ingeniously, or so he thought. “Maybe it has a motion sensor fitted.”

Chester may have been many things and described in many way, but ‘genius’ probably wasn’t one of them. But sometimes even a youngest brother can, on occasion, make searingly brilliant suggestions; because a moment later…

…the communication device switched itself on. And a nanosecond after that…

…Magnuss received a call: “Oh Magnuss.” Chester’s voice echoed around the control room. “It’s horrid down here. There’s no one to welcome us; no one to fawn over us obsequiously and hail us as their saviours. Any chance you can come back and fetch us?”

Farther out – in the depths of space…

…Captain (formally Professor) Hydious Gout and the bridge crew were listening in…

“Oh, Hydious.” Doctor Putridity Gout whispered, “I do so love those orangey-pink twins: it must be awful for them both – all alone on an empty world. Tell Rudi to rescue them instantaneously.”

Hydious, ever eager to keep his wife happy, put through a call to the flying saucer…

“Rudi,” he said, “Putridity wants them rescued straight away. So take care of that, would you. But I don’t want the investigation to stall. Replace them with a more suitable team.”

Rudi  didn’t like being told what to do in his own space ship, but he could see the sense in his captain’s suggestion. So, without further discussion…

…the saucer raced back to collect Miles and Chester. It then moved to another location to deposit…

…the replacement team that comprised Magnuss Earplug and Cilica Gelpac.

“Cilica.” Magnuss said, as they took in the view. “I think you’re gonna enjoy this.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

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Junior Earplug Adventures: The Grand Tour (part 29)

So, without further ado, Magnuss joined Rudi as he consulted with their personal version of the Cyber Oracle…

“I am the Cyber Oracle.” The Cyber Oracle stated the obvious. “Tell me what you want to know.”

Rudi didn’t waste a moment: “Ship’s sensors can’t find any cable ends on the planet below, which is weirdsville, man, coz it’s the cable end home world. I don’t have the first clue what to do. Suggestions, please.”

The Cyber Oracle ruminated for a second or two, before responding with: “Was it like this when you found it?”

“Of course.” Magnuss replied on his brother’s behalf.

“Well go to hyper speed now.” The Cyber Oracle suggested. “No one will ever know you were here. Alternatively, if you insist upon investigating the disappearance of an entire civilisation, might I suggest a cautious approach. No need to draw attention to yourself.  Use the cover of darkness in the terminator zone. Maybe a team of two, on a stealth mission. But whatever you do, don’t let Valentine flush the toilet whilst the ship is on the surface: it could set alarm bells ringing half way ’round the planet.”

As usual with Cyber Oracles, It was wise advice; and before long the flying saucer burned retro rockets as it slowed its approach to the planet…

Then the landing jets lit up the darkened countryside as the six crew members lowered the saucer to surface…

It was Chester and Miles who volunteered to make the first sortie…

…into the paddy fields of the rice-growing region.

“Ooh-er, Miles; look at that.” Chester gasped as his eyes took in the view of the mountains that marked the terminator between the planet’s light and dark sides…

“We don’t have time for sight-seeing, Chester.” Miles replied. “We have a job to do.”

Checking their compasses, the twins set out towards, what they hoped, was the main city – Scroton Prime…

But it didn’t matter which direction they took, they always seemed to be surrounded by water.

“I don’t know much about rice-growing.” Chester complained, “but shouldn’t these paddy fields have plants growing in them? Let’s check out the store in that rice-growers shed over there.”

So, taking a nerve-wracking pedestrian bridge across the water…

…the two brothers slipped silently into the village…

…where they approached the only obvious storage building.

As Miles cracked the aging door open, Chester almost retched with fearful anticipation…

But once inside, the sense of relief he felt when he discovered that the interior was nice and modernistic and didn’t smell of rotting vegetable matter, brought forth a hesitant smile…

“Oh look, Miles.” He said, as his eyes adjusted to the brighter light inside the building. “No food stocks; some ghastly, slightly hypnotic, wallpaper; and a huge interplanetary communicator.”

Miles had also noted the incongruous device. “Yeah.” He replied. “Odd, isn’t it?”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

Junior Earplug Adventures: The Grand Tour (part 28)

Although Magnuss thought that Cilica was exceedingly pretty and possessed a pleasant turn of phrase, he, nevertheless, sent her straight to her work station…

…where she grumbled menacingly before bending to the task of quickly assimilating as much information concerning their target society as was earpluggly possible…

And what she learnt stunned her into anthropological catatonia. The history text informed her that the cable ends had once been a primitive bunch of mindless wallies…

But following an alien experiment that resulted in them gaining sentience, the brightest Cable End – Nigel the Golden One…

…led them from the desert to found a civilisation and a mud village…

And by the time that Magnuss (in Golden form) introduced himself to Nigel, and formed a friendship…

…twenty-three years had passed; and (under secret alien tutelage) the mud village had transformed into a highly technological city…

And the Cable Ends had also changed: they were now multi-coloured and were vaguely embarrassed to be found loitering around outside public toilets…

So, as Cilica  worked studiously…

…Rudi (having discovered strange anomalous readings from the ship’s sensors) realised that his decision-making processes needed a helping hand. He looked across the control room towards a small anteroom, where a pair of eyes peered back…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

 

 

Spread a Little Happiness

My place of work employs a rather sombre uniform, that being black or navy blue trousers with a matching top. 2018 has not been kind to the company and morale amongst its workforce has reflected this. So I thought; “Let’s cheer the buggers up…with a splash of cheerful colour.” So, spending my own hard-earned cash, I purchased a bright, cheerful, uniform – and wore it to work. The result was everything I hoped it would be. It became the talk of the town, so to speak. But, most importantly, it brought smiles to the collective face of the company’s employees. Job done. And here it is. Warning; you might want to put on a pair of sunglasses.

Junior Earplug Adventures: The Grand Tour (part 27)

Ballington hadn’t expected resistance from Hambledon: he thought he’d brought him under his control entirely. He paused their joint perambulation so that he could look directly into the musical giant’s eyes…

…which glowed red beneath his mental onslaught.

“You WILL write a hit record for me. It will have a driving, mesmerizing rhythm. It will go a bit like; ‘bum-de-bum-de-bum-bum-bum‘. Do you understand?”

Bum-de-bum-de-bum-bum-bum.” Hambledon replied in a dull monotone. “Got it. Far out, man; what a groove!”

The watching Scroat realised that if he didn’t act now, it would be too late. He also recognised Ballington’s great talent for controlling other corks. “I’m another cork” He sub-vocalised to himself. “If I don’t handle this right, he could take control of me. Hey, and if he took control of me, he could use me against the Mountain Cork Gods, who aren’t really gods at all, but corks from an extremely technically advanced society with all the appearances of gods. But, I digress. Now – to action.”

With those three words of wisdom ringing in his metaphorical ears, Scroat made his move…

Leaping from the roughly hewn window frame, he roared: “Ballington Cork; get your chunky ass away from that disco king. Prepare yourself for the fight of your life!”

Then, as the two corks squared up for a fight, Scroat felt Ballington’s mental tendrils infiltrate his mind. But before his sentience vacated him, he used his only weapon that would work against a powerful psychic. He recalled Buttox Barkingwell’s effect upon the mountain corks. Or more precisely the effect of her gaseous emissions. So he farted – massively… 

Holding his breath, he pushed against a suddenly unresisting Ballington…

…forcing him backwards – where he stumbled and teetered on the edge of a mechanic’s inspection pit.

“Argh.” Ballington cried out in horror. “If I fall on my back, my stiff spine won’t allow me to roll over and regain my feet. I’ll be horribly stuck in this nasty mechanic’s pit!”

“Yeah.” Scroat bellowed his triumphant reply. “I know.”

A split second later, a quick kick in the shin and…

“Bum-de-bum-de-bum-bum-bum; that’s a really rubbish idea.” He said to both Ballington and Hambledon. “That’ll never be a hit.”

Whilst Ballington was in the act of being arrested, far, far away, the flying saucer had departed the Chi-Z-Sox…

Naturally the Earplug Brothers were at the controls…

But, for this mission, they had a sixth crew member aboard – who appeared in the control room via a small mid-floor elevator…

“Howdy, partners.” She said by way of introduction…

“I’m Cilica Gelpac. I’m your resident anthropologist.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

Junior Earplug Adventures: The Grand Tour (part 26)

So, for the crew and passengers of the Chi-Z-Sox, the grand tour continued…

As they traversed the immensity of the galaxy, the Earplug Brothers stared in wonder at the main screen…

They also discussed their next port of call. Many suggestions were made, but Hydious Gout…

…favoured only one. “They owe us.” He said,by way of explanation. “In any case, that civilisation is so young  and idealistic, they’re bound to hand over great wads of unspeakable riches without qualm or question; all we need to do is ask.”

Magnuss wasn’t so sure; he’d enjoyed a genuine relationship with the leader of the proposed planet…

“I’m not keen to impose upon Nigel the Golden One.” He said. “I’d feel like a cheap skate.”

But, as the cable end planet hove into view…

…he thought of the place he most loved: the Museum of Future Technology…

“Oh, I dunno.” He said. “Maybe you’re right: we are kinda desperate.”

Meanwhile, in the snow-swept Time Shard duplicate of the Museum…

…Ballington Cork was making suggestions to the impressionable former disco star, Hambledon Bohannon…

“Obviously,” he was saying, “once I’m ensconced as the director of this chilly, temporally dislocated, version of the Museum of Future Technology I can learn all about its secret inner workings; then I can apply them to the proper M.O.F.T and take that one over too. With your help, of course. I need your driving disco beat with which to mesmerize the inhabitants. We can’t use your golden oldies; they’re too well-known. You need to write some new potential disco hits.”

As they strolled, Hambledon turned to Ballington. “Haven’t you heard?” He replied. “Disco is dead. And I haven’t written an original piece since South African Badger.”

Little did either cork know, but they were being watched…

Field Agent Scroat Titan had tracked Ballington to this place; and he intended to thwart the huge cork’s plan, whatever it was, before it could reach fruition.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

Junior Earplug Adventures: The Grand Tour (part 25)

Well, once they had landed and were unable to detect any obviously governmental buildings, the five boys chose a door at random…

Rudi knocked politely. Inside, the building’s occupant, one Rufus Inkwell…

…heard it, but couldn’t believe that anyone would come calling in the heat of the midday. So he didn’t answer it, lest a bunch of marauding bandits come barging in, intent on mischief.

Outside Magnuss, who had eaten three bowls of porridge and a huge banana for breakfast, felt a tad windy inside. “Hey,” he said cheerfully, “whomever the buttwipe inside is, he isn’t keen on opening the door to us, that’s obvious. I think I can persuade him otherwise.”

With that he…

…released several cubic centimetres of noxious gas, through a crack in the door frame, from his normally charming bottom.

Inside the building…

…Rufus Inkwell was surprised. He also felt intimidated. So he pretended to be out. In fact he was very good at it; and it wasn’t very long before Magnuss and the others gave up…

Although Chester did hang on a short while to peer through a peep-hole in the door itself. And when Rufus went to make sure that his unwelcome visitors had moved on, he was startled by the sight of an alien being standing on his threshold…

Rufus reeled backwards in bemusement…

From there he rushed to the main Planetary Riches vault…

Professional to the end, Rufus checked the contents of the vault…

He sighed. “Still full up. Totally full – right to the brim.” He said to himself. “And still the money rolls in. If I don’t find some meaningful cause to which I can donate a considerable sum of it soon, I’ll have to have a larger vault built, which will impinge upon my kitchen space greatly; and that would be intolerable. I’ll have to ditch my granite counter and favourite chopping board!”

He then sighed again. He so hated being the Chief of Charities; it was such a boring job; everyone on the planet was so rich that no one ever needed to ask for money.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018