Distant Land (part 12)

As quick as a flash, the Brian Talbot glowed crimson beneath the Red Alert warning lights and energized defensive shields…

“Don’t panic, Captain.” Cedric Mantequilla heard Bruce Burpsby’s voice yell over the intercom. “It’s some sort of radio beacon. The flashing light is just a navigation aid. We believe that its completely harmless. It could be a call for help.”

Cedric, feeling decidedly foolish, cancelled the Red Alert; then called Grenville Hill to his side…

“Next time I over-react,” he whispered, “would you be so kind as to smack me in the mouth before I get us into serious trouble?” He then instructed the Helmsplug – Grenville’s brother, Speltham Hill – to manoeuvre the ship sufficiently so as to adopt a less confrontational posture…

“Okay, Bruce.” He finally addressed the Chief Astro-Navigator. “What’s the plan of action?”

The passage of a mere five minutes saw Folie, Grenville, Bruce, and the Astro-Navigators surrounding a dais in the Loading Bay…

“Let me get this right.” Placebo’s voice echoed around the Loading Bay as he joined them. “Instead of dragging that alien device in here with grappling hooks; you’re going to de-materialize it; then re-materialize it on this dais?”

He paused his inquiry when a strange glow began to…um…glow in the centre of the dais.

“Ooh.” He added. “Is this entirely safe? Um, how many times have you actually done this before?”

But no one felt any desire to answer him. This was because a sudden burst of brilliant blue light drew all of their attention…

And a moment later…

…everyone present were tossed to the floor by the violent displacement of air caused by the arrival of their mysterious target.

“Wow, would you look at that!” Placebo exclaimed as more personnel rushed forward to get a look-see. “It actually worked!”

“It sure did.” Grenville replied. “So let’s get to work: we need to find out what this gizmo does.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2019



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