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

 

 

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