The Time Tamperer (part 57)

Epilogue

It was the following day when Cushions Smethwyke finally used the Omnipresent Scanner to contact Magnuss and Hair-Trigger.

“Sorry,” she said through her huge set of gnashers, “but I’m afraid that with the Nevertron off-line, we can’t get time-travel to work at all. It’s as if the Nevertron had always existed and thereby allowed passage between eras. That Piggies DuPong must have been one heck of an evil genius: he planned everything. He just didn’t allow for an out-of-work actor; a disgruntled chef; and a plugmutt turd. Well, anyway, so until some advanced tech from the future arrives, you’re stuck there. You two; the Twits; and our paying customers!”

Magnuss would have responded with some up-beat and utterly meaningless platitude, but before he could do more than lick his lips in preparation, the link with the future failed…

“Oh bum wipe.” Hair-Trigger responded to the darkened screen. “Without a com-link to the Museum of Future Technology, we can’t figure out a way back.”

Once again Magnuss whetted his tongue. This time though he was interrupted by the jangling of a nearby public telephone. Naturally, in the faint hope that Cushions might be on the other end of the line, he answered it…

Both earplugs were thrilled to hear the voice of a chum they thought had been blown to smithereens.

“Yes, I’m still alive.” The excited space pilot’s voice screeched from the speaker grill. “I rode upon an anti-gravity belt – all the way across the sea, until I met a distant shore…

…where the power ran out and I landed in a nice-looking farming community…

Then a really nice farmer came rushing out of his house…

…and introduced himself to me as Farmer Thompson. Well we hit it off like we’d known each other for years. So, when he asked me in for a glass of gin and tonic and a slice of tortilla…

…I found I couldn’t resist. So, what I’m trying to say is; that last attack cured me of my need for daring exploits. There is no way I could ever top that. I’m ready to settle down to a domestic life now. So, what I’m really trying to say is: don’t come looking for me; I’m doing fine. In fact I’m getting married in the morning. It’s been great knowing you; and you’ll always be my favourite Saint and his girlfriend. Byee!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

Coming Soon – to an E-Book Supplier Near You!

Once again the latest story is simply too big for one e-book. So, as a result, the multi-megabyte tale will be published in two volumes. And this is what they will probably look like – assuming that they get past the publishers standards, that is…

Utterly charming, I think you’ll agree. So watch out for more news on the subject.

P.S If you think either cover closely resembles a pile of excrement, please say so in the comment box: I’d hate to produce a shitty book.

The Time Tamperer (part 56)

Back in the recent past, with control wrenched from the feeble grip of Mincey Muir, Magnuss and Hair-Trigger proceeded to un-brainwash the populace – using the same means that Piggies DuPong had used to strip them of their sentience and individuality in the first place. They shoved them into the Android Regeneration Booth…

…which usually regenerated androids, but also (as a side-effect) made smart people dumb. They began with the biological androids – Montagu and Agnes Lovehandles – who, in turn took over the task…

…thus releasing Magnuss and Hair-Trigger to do other stuff.

It wasn’t a pleasant experience for the long-suffering earplugs…

…but the results were worth the misery. So much so that soon the visitors from the future joined a lengthening queue that almost stretched…

…around the corner. And, of course, as the remedy was administered to everyone, the T.W.I.T agents felt very satisfied with their day’s work…

…and led them away for a ghastly mug of coffee at Cafe Puke.

The catering staff watched them leave…

“Well, darn it, I guess that’s us out of a job.” Wilson complained.

Duncan stared ahead, as if in shock. “I suppose all these folk are gonna be heading back to the future now.” He said after a few seconds of stunned silence.

“Yeah.” Saxon concurred. “But do we really want to join them? I mean, isn’t this the perfect opportunity to get out of the catering industry. Here we can be anything we want to be – within reason, of course: we are limited by our sub-par education and average intellect.”

“Hmm,” Wilson responded thoughtfully. “That Cafe Puke place sounds interesting. If we could improve the coffee there, we could make it a real hit.”

“Great idea, Wilson, baby.” Saxon replied. “All we need are a few more customers.”

Well at that moment Magnuss and Hair-Trigger were returning from across the Obsidian Plain. Naturally the overjoyed museum inhabitants whom they had released from incarceration raced ahead. Even as the catering staff’s conversation came to a close, the returnees were pouring into the Grand Hall…

They were happy-happy-happy…

…and headed straight in the direction of the only working watering hole around: the Cafe Puke…

They didn’t know it, of course, but Duncan, Saxon, and Wilson’s futures seemed assured.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

Cricetinae Fictionem – or Something Like That: 24

It has been a significantly vast while since I posted an extract from one of these books…

They are, of course, the legendary Hamster-Sapiens series. And on this occasion I have chosen a random extract from Danglydong Dell Diaries.

Fanangy Panakan had lost neither her great beauty nor her foreign exoticness during the years since she arrived in The Where House from a distant land that was lost in time. She was scrumptiousness personified. She was delectable upon fifteen levels of gorgeousness. Every heterosexual male hamster in the dell that night would have gladly taken her home and placed her upon a pedestal at which they would have worshipped. Only Lionel Flugelhorn knew that she suffered the occasional spot on her bum, and that she farted really badly if she ate celery. But for once in her life it wasn’t her stunning good looks that most of the audience were now giving rapt attention: It was the story that she had to tell. So with the voice of a helium-fuelled angel the lovely Fanangy Panakan spoke…

Noodlesday, the Forty-fourth of Plinth. Boney hadn’t been entirely correct when he’d assumed that the interior of the hangar was going to be warm. Certainly it was warm when compared to the exterior temperature, but Fanangy Panakan’s spectacularly erect nipples told the true story. And the intense moisture of the returning fog was making the whole affair look like a decidedly seedy ‘wet T-shirt’ competition. Had his teeth not been chattering so badly that they interfered with his vision, Boney might even have enjoyed the view, but since Gargantua had discovered the ‘close doors’ button by accidentally sitting upon it, the light levels had dropped below his personal levels of ocular acuity, and he was rendered virtually blind. He could still feel his way about of course, but after tweaking the same nipple three times, the act was beginning to wear annoyingly thin with all three females present.

They had Sergeant Tonks to thank for the brilliant idea of boarding the giant dirigible that floated above them like some sort of bobbing-up-and-downy spectre of doom.

“We can climb up a mooring rope.” She’d first suggested.

“You can.” Boney had grumbled. “I can’t. I’m too old.”

“Me Too.” Gargantua piped up from the darkness. “It’s not that I’m too fluffing old: I just can’t climb. I’m a cavy: Cavies can’t climb. It’s a well-known fact. We’re real ass-wipes at it. And paddling canoes too.”

Fortunately Adjusterming recalled his one and only trip aboard a dirigible, and in doing so saved the day. It had been aboard the airship Dragon Slayer as its crew had attempted a non-stop circumnavigation of Hamster-Britain. Unfortunately one of the propellers had fallen into the sea just off the coast near Chunderland, and the seafront fondant shop that belonged to Henderson Dangerpimple had been utterly destroyed by the mini-tsunami that followed.

“This is fascinating, Mister Boficals.” Colin had politely interrupted, “But how will your pointless reminiscing gain Boney the sanctuary of the vessel above us?”

In response to this Adjusterming had looked down his considerable snout at the android. “The Dragon Slayer had a service elevator.” He sniffed.

And so the problem had been solved.

“Cripes, if it hadn’t been for fog hiding the ground, I’d have been really scared. I might have vomited with fear. Heck – it’s a long way up!” Fanangy said as she peered over the railing and watched Gargantua arrive upon the service elevator, which was actually little more than a square wooden platform with a rope attached to each corner, and which was usually pulled upwards by a squad of burly crane operators. But in the absence of the aforementioned crane operators this particular night the gigantic cavy was forced to endure the stress of being hauled up by his new-found friends, and he wasn’t entirely certain that they possessed sufficient strength and stamina.

Eventually, though, all nine rodents made it to the sanctuary of the warmer air at roof level, and the protection from the fog offered by the passenger gondola. Sweating and gasping, the hamsters and dormice either dropped into chairs or directly to the floor. Only Gargantua was unaffected by any physical effort because he’d basically just sat there and let everyone do all the hauling. But even so he still managed to eject several nervous pellets before he could bring the inner turmoil, caused by his ascension to the gondola, under control, and finally to relax. And, of course, Colin – who was an android who never sweated or gasped; but whose internal power supply had reached critically low levels, which meant that he had to place his higher functions in ‘hibernation mode’ before he lost all sentience.

It was during the release of the fourth cavy missile that an idea formed inside the fertile mind of Lionel. He’d already watched pellets one, two, and three ricochet off a roof support stanchion and tear themselves to fragments, and so merely enjoyed the aesthetics of the spectacular display of excremental destruction. He considered how pretty they looked. But the fourth missed, and duly sailed across the void like an airborne torpedo. It seemed to him that the scene resembled a world in miniature. The fog was a bank of clouds: The turd was a dirigible. The very sight of it brought out the wanderlust in him.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

Naturally this book is available at most e-book stockists – including all those mentioned on the sidebar (to the right) or – should you be using a phone or tablet – above, beneath the header. Equally naturally – were you to actually purchase this wondrous tome – you would adore every page. So off you go then.

The Time Tamperer (part 55)

Of course an explosion of that magnitude, when deflected by massively powerful electro-magnetic defensive screens, is likely to take the top off any building, irrespective of its size, design and…um…futuristicness

As the blazing light faded and the dust settled, it became clear that two towers – both over a kilometre high – had been blown away and now smouldered pleasantly…

And it was through one of those enormous openings that Tanganika Chunks had been blown…

…to ride the currents of air upon the anti-gravity belt that she’d had sewn into the waistband of her space panties by an old crone who specialised in that sort of thing.

“Whoo-hoo.” She cried as she drifted off across the ocean. “This is fun: I wonder where I’ll land?”

Meanwhile, in a later era inside the Time Shard version of the Museum of Future Technology…

…three members of the disgraced mountain rescue squad watched the changing light upon the mountains, whilst the other two took a leak in the futuristic urinal.

“What do you think?” Carlos Minehunter asked of the team member beside him.

“Very nice.” Chaz Wassaloni replied. “I’ve always been a fan of modernistic lavatories.”

“No, Stupid.” Carlos snapped. “The view of the mountains: Doesn’t it make you want to get out there and climb them and, possibly, rescue someone?”

“No.” Chaz answered. “There are no toilets in the mountains.”

Any further inspired and spirited conversation was suspended when the sound of approaching footsteps stalled their thought processes…

“Oh look.” Said Cowpat Carlson…

…”it’s the lovely Buttox Barkingwell and her handsome monks, Zak and Bolah: I don’t know which one I like best.”

“Good news.” Buttox said without preamble. “The proper Museum of Future Technology has terminated your contracts. You’re out of work. I live in the mountains in my stranded museum; how would you like to work for me? I’m certain there’s money to be earned saving people from an icy death: some of it could come your way. And you get free board and lodgings. Sound wonderful or anything?”

“I think I speak for the five of us.” Cowpat replied. “We think this museum has a future – no pun intended; we’d like to practice our talents here.”

“Yeah.” Chaz added. “You’ve got great toilets here too. Some of the pipes gurgle real musical, know what I mean?”

So it was a done deal…

…and Buttox departed with a smile upon her face. She’d gotten one over on the real museum: unlike her, Cushions Smethwyke and her cronies didn’t have any mountain rescue capability. Now her museum would appeal to thousands of mountaineers around the globe. As she walked away she could almost hear the cash registers ringing.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

The Time Tamperer (part 54)

Whilst Mincey was in the act of blowing a gasket, Tanganika had maneuvered the Defence Fighter into an attack position and began her dive…

Then she attempted the hitherto impossible: she unhinged the cupola…

Naturally Magnuss became aware of this and sent the museum to Crimson Alert…

“This is your last chance, Mincey.” Hair-Trigger screeched above the noise of the claxon.

“Make Sir Dodger proud.” Magnuss bellowed. “Regain your wits and do the right thing. Surrender before oblivion descends upon you and you besmirch the family name!”

“Knickers.” Mincey yelled back. “The Muirs are a bunch of has-beens. In any case, my castle is invulnerable!”

“Maybe.” Magnuss seemed to concur. “But what about the compression wave that follows the impact and explosion? That will knock you on your ass, good and proper!”

Relatively high above, in a ventilator shaft, Tanganika prepared to bail out of her doomed craft…

Gulping several times she quickly prayed to the Saint of All Earplugs, despite the fact that she didn’t believe in him. And not a moment too soon, because shortly after casting her body to fate and leaping clear, the fighter did this…

Blam!

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

The Time Tamperer (part 53)

Tanganika had been waiting a while for Magnuss and Hair-Trigger to arrive at Hangar Twelve. So long, in fact, that she’d been forced to remove her space helmet to avoid copious perspiration, which would have resulted in a nasty, sweaty lining…

“Okay,” she said without preamble, as they arrived at a rush; “what’s so special about Hangar Twelve?”

“It’s where they keep the museum’s Defence Fighters.” Magnuss explained. “Attack saucers stand at constant readiness, you know.”

“In case of attack from outer space.” Hair-Trigger added.

Tanganika wasn’t a space pilot for nothing: she was quick on the uptake: “So you want me to attack the Nevertron? In its hardened, defensive-screened castle?”

“No, of course not!” Magnuss exclaimed in astonishment. “I could never send a girl like you to certain death – or even almost certain death. Or even down a coal pit or down the shops, for that matter. No: I need you to show me how to set the controls for a vertical attack posture. I’m going to make the assault on the Nevertron, like an old-time dive bomber.

Tanganika didn’t respond initially; but eventually she said: “Yeah, okay. Good idea.”

Moments later they were inside the hangar…

…where Tanganika dropped an unexpected verbal bombshell: “Sorry, Magnuss,” she said, “but you’re a national treasure. I can’t let you make the attack.”

Hair-Trigger began to say something, but before any words could emerge from her stripy face, this happened…

Yes, Tanganika broke wind and burped simultaneously; and since she’d been chewing garlic cloves to fend off the boredom throughout her interminable wait outside of Hangar Twelve, the result was stunning. Literally…

As the daring duo lay in a state of induced somnolence, Tanganika crammed herself into the pilot’s blister of the nearest Fighter.

Magnuss and Hair-Trigger still hadn’t moved when the fighter’s jet wash almost…er…washed over them…

Upon the, aforementioned, jet wash the fighter climbed vertically…

Higher and higher it climbed…

…until it was half-way to the ceiling. Then, when she thought she’d mastered the controls sufficiently well…

…Tanganika tilted the ship so that it could begin lateral movement…

…and accelerated so quickly along a pleasantly blue corridor…

…that her vision blurred so badly all she could see was a red mist.

It was just about at that exact moment that Mincey thought she heard something…

That ‘something‘ was a call from Magnuss and Hair-Trigger…

…who had awoken, engaged their brains, considered their next course of action, made a quick decision to attempt subterfuge, and raced to the Omnipresent Scanner, where they switched on the com-link. Daring to snatch a brief look at each other, they spoke in unison in (what they hoped was) an un-plug-like and spooky voice: “Mincey Muir – you have five minutes in which to drop your shields, open the front door, and surrender yourself and the Nevertron. Failure to comply with this demand will result in your certain destruction.”

Inside Nevertron Castle, Mincey flew into a rage…

“Destruction?” She screamed. “You don’t know the meaning of the word, you big, stupid…er…thing, with an equally stupid voice. I’d sooner drop my guts than drop my shields. You try anything clever; and I’ll use the Nevertron to destroy everything – including you!

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

 

The Time Tamperer (part 52)

To take their troubled minds off any thoughts of temporal destruction, Magnuss and Hair-Trigger tried looking elsewhere for help. But the sight of the brainwashed inhabitants…

…and their blank, dingbat expressions…

…made them quickly realise that they were wasting their time. So they sought out the exiled inhabitants. But all they were doing was…

…panicking and running around like headless chickens.

“By the Saint of All Earplugs…”

…Magnuss wailed. “It’s up to us alone to save eternity!”

Meanwhile, her megalomania now in full control of her higher functions, having received zero positive responses to her transmission; and feeling somewhat aggrieved at being ignored by (what she expected to be) her adoring subjects, Mincey made her way to the Nevertron…

Quickly scanning the user’s manual she approached the control panel…

…and flicked the main switch to ‘Active’…

“Come on, Guys.” She yelled at Rupert Piles’ camera, moments later. “Suck up to me. Tell me how great I am. Treat me in the way I should be treated. I control all of time. With the Nevertron I can make it like you never existed. Any of you. Or all of you!”

Suddenly the watching Magnuss felt awfully sick…

“This is gonna need some drastic action, Hairy.” He said over his shoulder. “We’re going to need a space pilot. Luckily I know exactly where to find one.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

The Time Tamperer (part 51)

Mincey then sent for her personal TV reporter – the brainwashed Rupert Piles…

Stepping on to the huge balcony…

…Mincey began a speech, which she intended everyone – those brainwashed in the museum; and those sent into exile across the Obsidian Plain – should see and hear. Although it’s quite possible that she wouldn’t have wanted Magnuss and Hair-Trigger in the loop, so-to-speak…

…but she didn’t have much choice.

“My dear, dear subjects.” She began.

Immediately alarm bells began ringing inside the heads of Magnuss and Hair-Trigger…

…as they were both familiar with megalomania. “Oh heck, Hairy.” Magnuss complained. “Why does the Museum of Future Technology always seem to bring out the worst in people? Walk these hallowed corridors for long enough; and before the day is out it’s time to plan for world domination.”

Of course, they weren’t the only viewers who remained compos mentis. The four T.W.I.T operatives, the zombie duo, and the catering triplets, had all gathered around a monitor…

…and were listening to Mincey as her voice grew shriller and shriller whilst she expounded the virtues of her absolute rule: “And nasty dry toilet tissue is outlawed from this moment onwards.” She continued. “Of course anyone who fancied a spot of dissent will be taken out on to the Wide Blue Yonder and have their underpants shoved down their throat. Just thought you ought to know. So, in summation, Piggies DuPong is toast. Remember that. From now on its Hail to Mincey. Okay? Good.”

By chance, the Omnipresent Scanner locked on to their receiver, which pleased Magnuss and Hair-Trigger, because other than Tanganika, they had – so far at least – appeared to be the only earplugs in a position to resist the former actor…

They smiled because now there were potential allies…

They watched as those potential allies turned away from the darkened monitor. Quickly Hair-Trigger spoke into a microphone. In the corridor, those hearing her voice…

…were surprised and sceptical. Especially when Hair-Trigger made the rash promise to whomever was listening that she and Magnuss would bring down ‘that trash-talking rat-bag, Mincey Muir’.

Pixie and Saxon went into an impromptu conference…

“What do you reckon?”  Saxon asked. “It could be a trick.”

“You’re asking me?” Pixie replied. “You who helped murder Piggies Du Pong!”

“I didn’t know it was poison.” Saxon complained. “I just thought he’d poop in his pants or something. But that’s by-the-by: do we respond, or not?”

“By the Saint of All Earplugs.” Magnuss’ disembodied voice boomed. “Switch on your monitor: let’s have a face-to-face.”

Moments later…

“There, that’s better.” Magnuss said as he and Hair-Trigger appeared on-screen. “We’re recent arrivals from the future; we’re not entirely au fait with current events; what information can any of you give us?

Further moments later, having heard every one of the earplug’s responses, Magnuss and Hair-Trigger began to wish they’d never asked the question…

The situation was worse than they’d thought: the Nevertron could destroy everything that had ever, or would ever, exist.

“Urk” Hair-Trigger gurgled.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

The Time Tamperer (part 50)

As Piggies breathed his last, far away, in the Chi-Z-Sox starship exhibit to be exact, an exhausted Tanganika Chunks dropped into the Captain’s chair and took the weight off her tired feet…

Being a space pilot she felt quite at home on the fake bridge. “Fire the atomic cannons.” She yelled in jest. “On my mark, give me maximum velocity, full defensive shields, and a comfy cushion or two: this seat is as hard as a plank!”

Of course this playfulness didn’t go unnoticed…

“That’s Tanganika Chunks!” Magnuss exclaimed.

“But she was blown up by that Space Pirate vessel that disappeared into hyperspace after it did it’s dirty work.” Hair-Trigger added – possibly unnecessarily.

Magnuss, being Magnuss, quickly made sense of the situation: “Ugh, I guess it must have been that experimental drive system in her saucer.” He said – speaking slowly as his thoughts coalesced. “It probably reacted to the sudden energy surge as the vessel exploded, and hurled the pilot’s escape pod backwards through time.”

“Of course.” Hair-Trigger said calmly. “It makes perfect sense. The Chi-Z-Sox model is almost next door: let’s go get her.”

So, a few minutes later…

…Tanganika was still issuing commands to her non-existent crew, when the dashing duo crept in unseen. They then shuffled silently towards the slightly addled female…

…and made her jump out of her skin – at least metaphorically.

“I don’t believe it.” She squealed when she’d recovered. “The Museum of Future Technology’s most celebrated hero and his wondrous girlfriend, Hair-Trigger whats-her-name!”

This last line amused Horatio: normally such an unintended slur would have earned the perpetrator a karate chop to the kidneys from Hair-Trigger; but clearly his beloved was too pleased to find someone from her own era, to allow herself the luxury of anger. Today, it seemed, she did not want to live up to her name.

“Nice to meet you too.” She replied to the space pilot. “You ugly sod.”

“How would you like to join our little troupe, Tanganika?” Magnuss inquired. “The situation could be grave. In fact I’m sure it is. But if we’re to put things right and return to our native place in time, we have no choice but to face adversity with a grimace, some quick wits, and, if possible, a mailed fist.”

“Great.” Tanganika replied. “I’ve always wanted to be a real hero: now’s my chance.”

But if she’d known that her future adversary had now taken control of Piggies DuPong’s apartment and was now staring out of his toilet window, whilst plotting her next move…  

…she might have harboured a few doubts.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

The Time Tamperer (part 49)

Little did Mincey suspect it, but two clever individuals had just tuned into her location and had heard everything…

“Ooh.” Hair-Trigger responded to the unwittingly proffered information she’d just received.

“I think we’ll have to keep an eye on her.” Magnuss said as he re-tuned the Omnipresent Scanner. “And this Piggies Du Pong character too.”

Meanwhile, not desperately far away…

…a weary Tanganika Chunks was beginning to wish she’d blown up with the Deathwish. But, like Mincey before her, she had no inkling that she was being watched…

If she had, she wouldn’t have considered…

…pausing for a good fart.

Meanwhile, in his private quarters, Piggies DuPong sat upon his throne and awaited his evening meal…

“Well?” He snapped at Mincey. “Where is it? If I have to wait much longer, you wont be getting any of it. Hurry those half-wit chefs along before I lose my cool.”

As if on cue, Saxon and Wilson arrived with a huge bowl of Paella that steamed invitingly…

Mincey’s mouth opened in horror when Piggies said: “Yellow? Nobody told me that Paella was yellow. I hate the colour. It makes me want to vomit!”

“Well keep your flipping eyes shut then!” Saxon snarled as only an aggrieved chef can. “What you can’t see can’t hurt you. Everyone knows that.”

“True.” Piggies responded as he eyed the larger items buried in the stodgy rice. “Good idea. And those peppers are a really nice shade of green. I think I’ll indulge after all.”

And so he did, whilst Saxon, Wilson, and Duncan beat a casual retreat and pretended to be unconcerned.

“Is it yummy?” Mincey inquired of Piggies.

“Yes.” Piggies replied and nodded vigorously. “But I’m afraid you’ll have to make do with some slightly moist Ginger Snaps from the larder: I’m enjoying this so much I think I’ll eat it all. The flavour reminds me of the time I…”

But any further discourse on the subject ceased abruptly as Piggies’ gut churned suddenly and uncontrollably…

“Uh-oh.” He managed – before dashing to the emergency toilet…

…and letting rip in a most forthright manner and producing visible gas that possessed a greenish hue that would have bamboozled the average colour-blind.

“Argh!” He groaned as he staggered away from the symphony of smells and the a cappella of aromas. “I think I’ve been poi…” Then he dropped dead…

“Heathrow was right – and then some.” Mincey said as she stood over her victim and smiled. “He wasn’t joking when he said it was toxic. I think I might persuade the clever little fellow to keep a stockpile for me in the woodshed or somewhere similar. Now I wonder where Mister DuPong keeps the keys to the Nevertron?”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

The Time Tamperer (part 48)

Unbeknownst to either earplug hero, Mincey Muir now stood in the featureless courtyard that she could usually only see from her apartment window and was deep in conversation with Heathrow…

“Heathrow, oh Heathrow,” she said dramatically, like the actor she was, “where, the flipping heck, am I gonna find poison? This is the Museum of Future Technology: not some wizard’s cellar or well-appointed apothecary.”

Those were a lot more words than the simple Plugmutt brain could process quickly. Heathrow looked at Mincey as she stared sightlessly into the limited distance. Unaware that it had been a rhetorical question, he then provided her with the answer: “Plugmutt pellets.” He said. “Tasteless, aroma-free, and easy to dilute in tomato sauce or something similar. Also toxic. Make bum bad – then explode in exaltation of dung  and flatulence.”

Mincey didn’t look at Heathrow directly: she preferred, instead, to think that those amazingly well-chosen words had been a gift from a higher being or a transcendental dimension of which she had hitherto been unaware. Eventually she said: “Do you have some?” And Heathrow fired something small and dark out of his bottom that careened across the courtyard and bounced off the wall with a dull thud. “Do now.” He replied. 

A while later, the two chefs, Wilson Bucket and Saxon Nibbles, were preparing a large paella for Piggies’ evening meal…

Naturally Duncan Propshaft – a being without culinary skills – was reduced to pacing back and forth outside the futuristic kitchen, fretting all the while about Piggie’s reaction to a meal of Iberian origin. He stopped fretting when Mincey arrived…

In fact he stopped fretting so quickly that his eyes almost burst from his head. “Cor,” he said appreciatively, “you’re nice; I’m Duncan; what’s your name?”

Somewhat taken aback by Duncan’s primitive chat-up line, Mincey introduced herself and told Duncan of her plan to poison Piggies Du Pong with a plugmutt pellet.

“Jeepers, Mincey,” Duncan responded enthusiastically, “why would you want to do that?”

“Because he’s mad as a tartan turnip.” Mincey replied. “And eventually he’s going to get us all destroyed in a cataclysm that will eradicate everything from the beginning, to the end, of time.”

“Whoo – heavy. Leave it with me, Mincey.” Duncan said. “I’ll take care of it. Then we can take in a movie or something.”

So, moments later…

…the relieved daughter of Sir Dodger Muir departed with Heathrow at her side.

“We make a good team, don’t you think?” She said. “Maybe your bringing me here wasn’t so bad after all: I could soon be running this show. You can be my First Officer.

Meanwhile Duncan did as he had been bid…

…and rapped on the futuristic glass. “Hey guys.” He shouted through the thick transparent material, “I’ve got one more ingredient for your paella. You’re gonna love it.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

The Time Tamperer (part 47)

But despite her outburst, Mincey couldn’t resist telling her sorry tale of abduction to the two strangers.

“What?”Grimnax exclaimed. “You’re from the future too?” He then enlightened Mincey of the situation concerning the missing tourists and the arrival of the T.W.I.T agents.

“These Twit agents.” Mincey inquired. “Might they have the necessary skills to help me defeat Piggies DuPong?”

Naturally Clux replied: “What the flip do you know of that monster, Piggies Du Pong?”  To which Mincey responded with a complete and unabridged account of her adventure so far. She concluded the display of verbal dexterity and informative body language with the suggestion that they all go in search of allies – namely the Twit operatives – to which the zombies readily agreed…

“After all,” Mincey said, as they set forth, “they say there’s strength in numbers.  And gussets too.”

Fortunately for all concerned, Neville’s search pattern took the four new recruits to one of the many ‘Up’ ramps. By coincidence – or divine intervention – they chose the same ‘Up’ ramp that Mincey and company were currently descending…

Although Chickweed had his doubts, Mincey’s rapidly related tale – ably supported by the Zombies – convinced the agents of Twit that if they were ever to find the missing customers, they would need to deal with the threat of the red earplug with the stupid moustache first…

“Right-oh.” Pixie squeaked nervously, whilst wishing that she’d never allowed herself to be persuaded to join the quasi-military in the first place. “Do you have a plan?”

Mincey didn’t, but she didn’t allow that fact to get in the way of her challenge. “No.” She replied. “But I’ll think of something.”

But she didn’t have to. “In the olden days,” Chickweed Gubbins spoke up, “when kings and queens ruled the land; they were usually brought down by most insidious means.”

“LIke what?” Grimnax demanded.

“Poison, mostly.” Chickweed answered.

At that point in the proceedings Mincey stopped listening; already her mind was leaping backwards to an earlier time in the day. She remembered Piggies’ invitation to a evening meal. She also recalled that he had some chefs to prepare it. “I’ve thought of something.” She said.

Meanwhile, upon a ‘Down’ ramp in another part of the Museum of Future Technology, Hair-Trigger led Magnuss…

…towards their (inspired) final destination. And when they arrived…

…they were very pleased with themselves for having thought of using the Omnipresent Scanner to search through the myriad sections of the huge building…

But, of course, most of it proved to be empty.

“Oh,” Hair-Trigger complained, “what a bummer.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

The Time Tamperer (part 46)

Meanwhile, following their failure to discover the whereabouts of the missing customers, the four members of T.W.I.T had parted company from the two volunteer Zombies and begun their own search pattern that was based upon logic and mathematical calculations.

Pixie wasn’t entirely certain that Neville’s talent with numbers and sums and stuff was all that he claimed it was. She was in the process of saying so to Chickweed, when Jeremy thought he heard something approaching. Without hesitation the foursome…

…stopped and looked back along the way they had just come.

“I don’t like it.” A worried Neville said – his brain still addled by over-use in his mathematical calculations. “Make it go away.”

Her mind sharp as an obsidian razor, Pixie said: “Quick, everybody; let’s hide.”

It was an excellent suggestion; and moments later…

…they huddled together between huge buttresses and attempted to blend in with their environment. And they were successful too, because a few seconds later…

…Piggies Du Pong raced by on his hover scooter.

“Did you see that moustache?” An incredulous Chickweed whispered.

“Ghastly.” Jeremy spat his reply. “If I ever decide to grow one like that, someone take me out the back and administer a lethal injection.”

As Piggies departed the scene at speed, elsewhere, the Zombie duo, Clux and Grimnax…

…searched, using an entirely different system. They merely wandered about, calling out the names of those they had travelled back in time with. They too heard something approaching, but, unable to find a handy hiding place, they stood their ground bravely and quickly tried to think of an excuse for being there. So they were pleasantly surprised to discover that the sound was caused by…

…an earplug riding on the shell of a plugmutt.

“Zombies.” Mincey said acidly, as she drew to a halt. “Terrific: the great un-dead; just what I need to help me save the world – I don’t think!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

The Time Tamperer (part 45)

“Hmmm,” Mincey said as…

…they approached a tall glowing device that stood between two cylindrical control panels, “a Nevertron. I’ve never seen a Nevertron before: what does it do?”

“It’s not a Nevertron.” Piggies snapped – rather tetchilly, or so thought the watching Heathrow. “It’s The Nevertron!”

Mincey didn’t bother to turn around to face the  mustachioed mad-plug who stood behind her. “Why didn’t you say?” She complained. “Your emphasis of the word ‘the’ was completely absent the first time ’round. Does it do something other than glow pleasantly?”

Piggies was on the brink of gnashing his teeth with frustration, when…

…The Nevertron decided to alter the hue of its glow. “There,” he said, “ultraviolet. And what’s more, when it warms up…”

On cue the lighting changed again…

…”that happens. What do you think?” He added, expectantly.

“My dad has a three-bar electric heater in his sitting room. It looks much like this – only smaller.” Mincey answered.

Piggies’ smile fell away…

“Yeah?” He sneered. “But I bet your dad’s electric fire can’t interrupt the flow of time, or twist it backwards on itself so that the beginning of time and the end of all creation exist in the same moment!”

“Um, no.” Mincey replied. “But it means that he doesn’t have to wear his fleecy slippers in the winter.”

“There won’t be any winters – not if I activate the Nevertron!” Piggies roared. “With this device I can control all of time; or bring it to an end!”

Mincey wasn’t sure how she should respond. “Lummy.” She managed. “Imagine that. What else do you use it for?”

It was a good question. Good enough to calm Mister Du Pong. “Well,” he said in a more measured tone, “it has many uses; but one particularly advantageous use is inter-era communications. For example, when I learned of Tanganika Chunks’ flight in the experimental Dawlish siblings craft, I realised that the Quantum Divergence Drive units could interrupt the workings of the Nevertron, which, incidentally, I originally named the Forevertron, but I couldn’t remember how to spell it – and I was worried that my utter control of time travel might be adversely affected. So I contacted an End Cap pirate vessel in the future and paid its captain to destroy poor Miss Chunks and her brave little craft. It’s a shame, but there you go: she obviously didn’t know dangerous she was.”

Mincey wanted to call Piggies all sorts of names, but she made do with: “I think I’m going to chuck up all over the place: can you tell me the way to the nearest toilet?”

Well if there was one thing that Piggies didn’t want all over his precious Nevertron, it was earplug vomit; so, seconds later…

…Mincey was on her way. Free, for a while at least, from the attentions of the raving mad-plug, she spent the time that it took to reach the perfectly unnecessary lavatory pondering her next action. Whatever it was, it must be decisive: “Piggies DuPong must be stopped.” She told herself.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

 

The Time Tamperer (part 44)

But then the night security system detected their presence and sounded a crimson alert…

…which pleased Magnuss because he knew the spoken security code to cancel it. So, a moment later…

…the regular night lighting glowed white and the dashing duo could begin their investigation…

“Come on, Hairy.” Magnuss said through a broad smile. “Let’s go look for some trouble.”

Trouble might have been right around the nearest corner; but the Museum of Future Technology was a truly vast edifice, so, actually, it was miles away…

…introducing Mincey to her guest quarters. “Look,” Piggies said, “you have an asymmetrical window that looks straight out on to a featureless courtyard.”

“Lovely.” Mincey lied. “I’m really into minimalism and unevenness. I like the lack of furniture too.”

And even farther away, a confused Lobbie Lowe had followed Tanganika Chunks’ footprints all the way to the Transfer Conduit Station…

Unfortunately he couldn’t get inside because it was closed for refurbishment.

“Oh well,” he said with the acceptance of inevitability and, perhaps, an element of self-loathing…

…”I didn’t really like her very much anyway: she didn’t like peas and was always wearing that stupid space helmet in the outside toilet.”

It was about right then, deep inside the Museum of Future Technology…

…that Piggies said: “Hey, how’d you like to see my most secret weapon? A weapon so powerful that it almost scares me. A weapon that I invented myself!” And Mincey replied: “Yeah. Okay. Why not?”

So, a while later, deep within the bowels of the museum…

…Piggies led Mincey and Heathrow into an especially hardened, subterranean castle, with a powerful energy field protecting it.

“Mincey,” He said, with pride evident in every syllable, “welcome to the Nevertron!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

The Time Tamperer (part 43)

Piggies returned to the moment…

“But I like you…ah…Mincey.” He said. “And I quite like your plugmutt too. He doesn’t smell too much. I could use a little un-brainwashed company: I have some chefs; how’d you care for a nice meal, later on, when I’m ready for a good scoff?”

All the while that Piggies had been boasting, Mincey had been thinking. Her acting and producing careers appeared to be on permanent hiatus: her attempts to assume a well-paid job in the Museum of Future Technology had been thwarted: here, she concluded, only one earplug stood between her and the ‘Big Chair’. “Sure.” She replied. “Something light maybe? Something ricey? Risotto perhaps?”

Meanwhile, further up the supposedly unnavigable river of time, Magnuss and Hair Trigger, with Cushions beside them, had made their way to the Tubo Di Tempo…

“Okay, you bunch of so-called Time Techs.” Cushions bellowed at the hesitant engineers from the future, “get this thing fired up one last time. Magnuss and Hair-Trigger are here: and they’re ready to kick temporal butt.”

Neither of the trio of Time Techs expressed confidence in the time machine and were willing to state as much when Rupert Piles arrived with his TV camera…

But that didn’t stop them doing what they’d been told, and within moments…

…Magnuss and his sweetheart stepped into the maw of the recalcitrant device. The Time Techs then fired it up…

…and the resulting orange glow sent the two heroes of Earplugdom back into an uncertain past…

“Ooh.” Hair-Trigger breathed, as she looked about her. “What a pretty shade of blue.”

Magnuss wasn’t sure about it though: he thought that it looked rather cold and intimidating.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018