The Time Tamperer (part 24)

At, approximately, the same time, high above the Earth, Tanganika Chunks put the Deathwish into a shallow dive…

She then hovered above the mist-enshrouded city of Ciudad De Droxford…

In the flight control centre, three young scientists…

…monitored the telemetry from the Deathwish. Well two were: the third couldn’t bear to watch.

“Looking good, Tanganika,” Pelvac Throost, the space ship engineer from Wetworld, informed the pilot, “it’s A.O.K to go for the burn.”

“Roger that.” Tanganika’s brave voice replied from the radio speaker.

Moments later the Deathwish’s conventional rocket motor bellowed and roared as the ship climbed vertically…

Then Tanganika hit the ‘Go’ button on Dorkan and Dawlish’s new motor…

A split second later she reported…

…”Wheeee – I’m in orbit. Cor, it aint half funny up here. I don’t weigh anything. I wonder if farts linger longer in zero gravity.”

Talk of farts reminded Cushions Smethwyke that she was overdue for a visit to the toilet. So she hopped down from the Omnipresent Scanner, upon which she was following the Deathwish’s flight, and dashed to the nearest pissoire

But she wasn’t concerned: not only was the ship in question now stationary in space…

…but her cousin, Pillows Montgomery, had stepped into the momentary breech. And it was Pillows who noted the first manoeuvre of the new ship in the vacuum of space…

And it was just as Cushions flushed the lavatory that Pillows detected a movement in space, a short distance from the Deathwish…

“Argh!” She screamed. “Red alert! Red alert!”

Instantly the entire museum reacted…

…just in time to witness the opening of a rift from hyperspace…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

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The Time Tamperer (part 23)

Whilst Tanganika was writing her footnote in the history books, in the Tubo Di Tempo room…

…the three Time Techs were feeling decidedly ‘icky’ about the recent news concerning the Tubo Di Tempo.

“Oh bummer.” Runt wailed. “It’s confirmed then: we’ve lost our customers!”

“Um, I guess so.” Gregor replied. “What the heck are we gonna do?”

“We need help.” Runt squeaked. “We need help now!”

Twinkles cleared his throat. When he felt he’d gained his colleague’s attention, he said: “With the Earplug Brothers absent, might I suggest we call in the agents of TWIT.”

It was a stupid idea, but in the absence of an alternative, Gregor decided to run with it. So, without further ado they collared a passing group of TWIT agents and told them the bad news…

 

Whilst the information was being imparted, in the TWIT headquarters – Swottan Hetty…

…Major Flaccid, Nature Beast, and another officer, whose name was instantly forgettable, were trying to find the ‘ON’ switch of their new control console. Sadly with limited success.

“Nature Beast shout loud at it.” Nature Beast offered.

“Hmmm,” Flaccid mused, “I think we’ll hold that plan in reserve. Try sticking something in that little hole to the left.”

But before the artificially created life-form could react, two TWIT agents entered the control room…

Grateful for the reprieve, the officers turned to meet them…

But when they heard the news about the missing customers, lumps formed in their fearful throats like huge, stodgy dumplings…

… and Nature Beast stood mute in horror.

“Oh lummy.” He managed, after a few seconds. “No customers: TWIT budget cut. Nature Beast out of work.”

But Flaccid was looking at the bigger picture. “Damn and blast.” He roared spectacularly. “This could bring ruin upon the M.O.F.T. I have pledged my life to protect this wonderful enterprise. We must act. We must act with a…er… concisement…unparalleled in recent history. Go.” He commanded the two TWIT agents. “We need young minds with fresh ideas. Imagination and daring too. Go fetch the new recruits.”

With only the slightest hesitation those same two TWIT agents turned to leave…

“At once, Major.” They said in unison. “Great idea.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

The Time Tamperer (part 22)

Time is a relative term inside a Tubo Di Tempo; a Tunnel Temporal; or any kind of time machine. But it seemed like seconds to the three kitchen staff before they reached the end of the long thin tube along which they had wandered; and as they emerged into…

“Wow.” Saxon Nibble said as he stepped down to the solid floor of some ‘other place’. “What just happened?”

“Not sure.” Duncan Propshaft replied as he stared with disbelief at an ancient control panel. “But when I was a kid, I remember being very impressed by this piece of kit. I just wish I knew what it was for.”

“Well now we’re here.” Wilson Bucket said from his slightly elevated position in the mouth of the Tunnel Temporal, “we might as well take a look around. It’s not like we can’t simply walk back the way we came when we’ve had enough.”

Of course neither Wilson or the others had any idea that they had travelled into the past. So it was with a sense of ‘adventurousness’ that they embarked upon a look around…

Meanwhile, in an era that the kitchen staff (had they been conversant with their true situation) would call their future, a crowd began to assemble…

Some of them took up positions in the lee of a stone wall…

…and waited with ill-disguised excitement. So ill-disguised was their excitement that a second group joined them in the protective cover afforded by the sturdy structure…

…though they didn’t share the supreme confidence of the first group. In fact some of them were downright nervous.

Closer to the impending event, some retired space travellers had donned their old space suits and congregated together to watch in fascination as Tanganika Chunks…

…launched the new space ship (named The Deathwish after its revolutionary engine designers, Dorkan and Dawlish Deathwish) skywards…

K’Plank the Space Wanderer waited in synchronous orbit above the Museum of Future Technology – just in case of the unlikely event of something going wrong…

It was to be a life boat for Tanganika. Soon the Deathwish had assumed level flight…

…and Tanganika reported that the ship flew straight and true. Naturally everyone below cheered: they were all certain that some disaster would befall the new vessel; they just didn’t know in what form it would come.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

The Time Tamperer (part 21)

In the captive earplug’s era, the three Time Techs were still familiarizing themselves with the intricacies of the Tubo Di Tempo…

Right in the middle of a heated conversation about the flapper valve interior donglette, the time machine activated…

“Ah-ha.” Twinkles Forgetmenot cried with glee. “It’s our time-travelling customers returned from the past!”

But, of course, he was in error…

…as the future Time Techs, Glumb Kimball and Hombolt Whale stepped into the present day.

“We have news.” Kimball announced. “Something inexplicable has happened. “The Tubo Di Tempo is playing silly buggers. Stuff sent into your past is disappearing – including the wonderful and mighty Piggies Du Pong.”

A brief silence followed. It ended with a quiet: “Oh dear.” from Runt.

“What do you expect us to do about it?” Gregor Koch said in his best demanding tone.

“Well,” a somewhat surprised Hombolt replied, “we’d respectfully suggest that you stop using it – until we’ve figured out the ramifications and, possibly, rectify the situation.”

“Conference.” Gregor snapped; and the threesome went into an instant ‘conflab’…

“Should we mention the museum visitors?” Gregor inquired of his team mates.

Twinkles answered with a question of his own: “What would be gained from that?”

“They might be able to suggest something that would help us get our visitors back.” Runt suggested.

“We don’t know that they’re missing yet.” Twinkles argued. “They could be en route as we speak.”

“What if they’re not? Are you volunteering to go look for them?” Runt all but snarled at his careless, slip-shod colleague.

Twinkles didn’t reply: instead he turned with Gregor to face the futurians…

“Right.” Gregor said to them. “Duly noted. We’ll put up a temporary fence with a warning sign on it.”

“Excellent.” Glumb replied. “In that case we’ll be on our way.”

A moment later…

…the duo were on their way. But, rather stupidly, the trio of Time Techs failed to switch the wondrous device off; and whilst their backs were turned in whispered conversation, three museum visitors happened by…

And spotting the invitingly pleasant glow that emanated from the idling Tubo Di Tempo…

…Saxon Nibble, Duncan Propshaft, and Wilson Bucket stepped across its threshold, thereby activating the machinery of time travel…

“Ooh, this is nice.” Wilson observed. “Very warm and cosy. I wonder where it leads.”

Meanwhile, outside the Tubo’s field of influence…

…the Time Techs thought it best to switch the device off.

“There.” Gregor said confidently. “No one can get themselves into trouble now. Let’s go for a ghastly coffee at the Cafe Puke.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

The Time Tamperer (part 20)

At that precise moment, but far, far in the future, the two futuristic Time Techs – Glumb Kimball and Hombolt Whale – were enjoying an examination of an ancient and extremely crappy Anton Twerp piece of art that, somehow, had survived into that era. The two robotic guards watched them closely…

“Don’t touch.” The black guard snapped.

“It’s irreplaceable.” The white guard added.

“But I don’t want to touch it.” Hombolt complained. “I might catch something nasty from the past!”

Of course, what Hombolt didn’t know was that as he spoke, back in the past to which he referred, ‘things‘ weren’t going well for the time-travelling customers of the Museum of Future Technology. In fact ‘things‘ were going very badly indeed…

At first they were nonplussed…

Porceen Pillock was the first to speak: “Okay.” She said. “Does anyone have the first idea what just happened?”

“It’s a flipping force field!” Bunguy Jumpur exclaimed. “Someone explain the significance of it’s sudden appearance and the fact that it seems to encapsulate our entire group.”

“It’s a cage.” Peter Crushing said with a sigh. “We’ve been captured.”

“Flipping heck.” Rosie Stinkpipe responded to this awful news. “I didn’t expect this when paid my entry fee this morning. But who would do such a thing?”

The answer to her question came from an unexpected quarter: outside the impenetrable dome…

“Ah, that would be me.” An ageing red earplug with a white moustache shouted through the force field. “Sorry.”

“How dare you.” Clux tried to bellow; but, being a non-breathing zombie, had to make do with a breathless sigh. “Release us instantaneously – or I’ll drip moldy bodily fluids all over your shiny floor!”

To this the captor responded with a huge raspberry…

“But who are you?” Noodie Bumsho inquired.

“Yeah.” Randy Blueprint growled menacingly. “You look familiar. I’ve seen your stupid face and hideously drooping moustache before. I just can’t place it.”

“Me.” Randy’s jailer replied. “You don’t know me yet; but you will. So far I have only one claim to fame…

…I’m the reason you’re here. I’m Piggies Du Pong: I invented the Tubo Di Tempo.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

Cricetinae Fictionem – or Something Like That: 22

As usual with this occasional and wondrous series, I bring you an excerpt from one of the following Hamster-Sapiens tales…

On this occasion I bring you an excerpt from ‘The Psychic Historian‘. Everybody shout: “Yeah!”

In the time-honoured fashion of hamsters, several members of the audience were caught napping when Sorbresto returned to the stage to continue the evening’s entertainment. Those who weren’t still in the toilets had actually fallen asleep. But not before gorging themselves upon Boney’s culinary efforts. The result of this was a mad rush to their seats as the Audience Recall Klaxon sounded. Sorbresto himself looked rested. In fact he appeared to have shed several grams, and even more years. He looked – Molly Horseblanket concluded – reinvigorated.

“I must have a word or two with that Yu Wah Wah-Wah. See if I can pick up a few tips” She said – leaning close to her son so that no one could over hear her lewdness.

Horatio was of the same opinion – and for a very similar reason. He could feel the steam building up pressure inside his underpants, and it was having an adverse effect upon his sentience. “Yuh.” He responded.

“Ladies and gentlehamsters. Dear, dear friends,” Sorbresto said as he bowed – before gazing about the returning audience, adding, “Do I have another volunteer?”

Several hamsters prodded their friends and neighbours – trying to cajole them into volunteering. But none were having it. Some even sat upon their paws in an effort to stop themselves from succumbing to peer-pressure. Then Lionel Flugelhorn, who also searched the crowd for a likely candidate, noticed the hurried entrance of a tiny dormouse. He recognized him as the seldom-seen Roosevelt Teabiscuit, of whom it was said, “He’s a funny little chap. Have you heard – some say he’s a psychic catalyst.” – which interested Lionel. So following the diminutive rodent’s trajectory, Lionel calculated that his seat must be somewhere in the region of Row G, Section Gertrude. Scanning the aforementioned area his eyes alighted upon the only empty seat – and there in the very next one sat the person he’d hoped to find there: Hamster Heath’s leading private detective – the floppy-hatted, huge-snouted, highly-preposterous, vaguely-effeminate, rampant female-rogering, flouncy blouse and devilish cravat-wearing,  Fabian Strangefellow. He turned to Colin, who appeared to have placed his higher brain functions in ‘idle’.

“Colin.” he whispered, “Turn your volume up to ‘max’, and call Fabian Strangefellow to the stage.”

Colin reanimated. “Oh do you think I should? He looks so poncey. Is he really ideal material?”

Receiving a vigorous nod of approval from Fanangy, who stood in the opposite wing, and was in the process of surreptitiously checking that she’d pulled her knickers up, Colin cleared his cybernetic throat, and boomed, “Oh look – we have ourselves a volunteer: It’s none other than Hamster Heath’s foremost private detective – Fabian Strangefellow!”

Well with an introduction like that, Fabian Strangefellow’s ego couldn’t possibly resist, and before long he found himself reclining upon Sorbresto’s sofa.

“Touch me where you will.” He instructed the sexually-sated alien hamster as he prodded and probed for a good contact point, “Nothing will disappoint you.”

And indeed nothing did disappoint. Within moments both hamsters had fallen into a psychic trance, and everyone’s attention was turned upon the TV monitor.

At first nothing was entirely clear to the watching audience. Everything appeared to be coloured green, and cloaked in shadow. Then, as a shaft of sunlight intruded, the picture became clearer, and it was evident that whosever eyes they were witnessing events through was either in an extremely large botanical garden, or was unfortunate enough to live in Deepest Jungle Land. Then the sound track activated, and everyone was certain that they were in for a treat: It was Deepest Jungle Land – where anything was possible – and was usually lethal too! 

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

If you’d like to discover how this fabulous story develops, the e-book is available at most e-book suppliers, which include all those mentioned on the sidebar to the right →