The Time Tamperer (part 29)

Although mechanically inept with anything but pea farming implements, Lobbie, with the Herculean effort that comes with desperation, was able to wrestle the two parts of the escape pod apart. And not a moment too soon..

“Well slap my thighs with a kipper.” Tanganika gasped. “I was almost reduced to breathing my own farts in there!”

Lobbie was impressed with this mysterious female, the like of which he had never encountered before. He found her use of the Earplug language quite invigorating.

“Gosh,” he replied, “how smelly!”

Then he was leading the daring pilot away from the crash site…

“What a charming plastic hovel you have.” Tanganika observed as they closed upon Lobbie’s home. “It’s really…you know…plasticky!”

Lobbie wasn’t sure if Tanganika was being sarcastic. “Hmmm,” he said, “it does me, if you know what I mean. Though it is a bit warm in the summer and freezing cold during the winter months.” He then introduced himself.

“Tanganika Chunks.” Tanganika reciprocated the, assumed, welcome. “You can call me Tangy. May I call you Lobbie; or do you prefer Mister Lowe?”

Lobbie had always felt a little awkward around female earplugs; but, for some reason that eluded him, Tanganika’s presence caused him no such discomfort. “Oh, Lobbie.” He answered as they approached his hovel. “Only the taxplug calls me Mister Lowe – the evil scumbag.”

Naturally he led Tanganika inside via the tradesplug entrance in the rear of the building: he didn’t want to start the neighbours hypothesising about is private life. Of course Tanganika was perfectly happy to follow him inside – for the simple reason that the escape pod contained no lavatory; and Lobbie’s hovel did…

But as Lobbie guided his guest towards the kitchen, he was to receive a huge surprise…

“This is nice.” Tanganika said, whilst her eyes sought out the location of Lobbie’s microwave oven. “I wonder if I’m a cook. I took a nasty knock upon the occipital lobe: I really can’t remember a darned thing about what I was doing in that escape pod.”

And, in that moment of revelation, Lobbie knew that if he lied with sufficient verbal and mental dexterity, he could make this intoxicating female his wife. “Oh, I’m certain you are.” He replied. “You clearly possess all the attributes.”

Meanwhile the new T.W.I.T recruits, Neville Scroat, Jeremy Farton, Chickweed Gubbins, and Pixie Taylor, had been summoned to the control room of Swottan Hetty…

…where Major Flaccid spelt out the situation…

“Your mission, whether you choose to accept it, or not,” he said in his most authoritative voice, “is to search out our missing customers. But don’t go looking in stupid places – like the gents toilet or the basement snooker room: they all travelled into the past; so that’s where you’re tasked to find them. Right then; off you go.”

Somewhat awed by their first role as T.W.I.T agents, the four youngsters…

…all but stumbled from the control room door in a stunned stupor. And in that same doorway. Major Flaccid watched them go…

“Oh, children.” He said quietly with a sigh. “May the universal love of the Supreme Being…

…go with you. You’re gonna need it.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018





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