It was only a short while later, when the scientific elite – those being Frutilda Spelt, Dido Warblington, Whoops Brannigan, and Dennis Tawdry – were watching yet another environmental disaster through a large, double-glazed window – heard a call upon the public address system…
“Would the Scientific Elite please make their way to the hospitality suite as soon as possible.”
“Huh,” Dennis Tawdry complained. “Don’t they understand that if we are to survive long on this world we must observe all these terrible environmental changes and wring our hands with indecision accordingly?”
The disembodied voice repeated its request.
“Apparently not.” Fruitilda Spelt replied.
“I wonder what the big rush is. What could be so important?” Dido Warblington inquired of no one in particular.
As if in reply, the public address system voice added: “A couple of aliens have arrived from our original dimension.”
“Time to go.” Whoops Brannigan said in his best ‘commanding’ voice – and duly led them from the view…
Upon arriving in the hospitality suite, the scientific elite were confronted with the view of Folie and Placebo as they stood behind the Skail Brothers…
“What’s this, Beaufort?” Whoops inquired. “Can it be true? Did they discover your video message?”
“They did more than that, Whoops.” Beaufort replied. “They found something even more important.”
All four scientists were at a loss. What could be more important than aliens discovering the Skail Brothers’ video message that told the tale of their world’s destruction and the exodus of its surviving earplug population to an alternate reality? Whoops Brannigan said as much. And Frutilda Spelt displayed her scientific credentials when she said:
“The short yellow one looks like you, Beaufort. Is he squidgy like you too?”
And Dido Warblington said:
“Golly isn’t the white one huge! Is it a ‘him‘? It looks like a ‘him‘.”
Fortunately Whoops chose to ignore these pointless questions, and got straight to the point:
“Getting straight to the point,” he began, “tell us what it is you’ve discovered that would be so important that we would tear ourselves away from observing yet another environmental disaster?”
Folie and Placebo stepped forward…
“We’ve found Princess Cake of Potwell.” They announced.
Then Folie added: “She’s a bit fed-up – living all by herself in that huge city. If it’s alright with you, we’d like to go back and fetch her to you.”
Folie, Placebo, and both Skail Brothers were surprised when Whoops failed to seize the opportunity with both hands:
“Well I’m not so sure it’s such a great idea.” He said. “Since our departure without her, we’ve all come to realise just how ridiculous a monarchy is. Although we are few, we rather enjoy being a republic. And all that pomp and ceremony…well I always hated it. Most of us did. But – more importantly – it isn’t safe here. Our dear Cake would find life most tedious. It’s not like the old world. Let me show you a brief record of our experiences here – in this new world of ours.”
With that he turned to the wall and activated a huge screen…
“Ooh,” Folie said admiringly. “Lovely blue water.”
“With a light to read by.” Placebo observed. “Very soothing.”
“What?” Whoops snapped. “No – that’s not water: that’s a terrible electrical storm. It’s what welcomed us when we stepped from beneath the shade of our Dimensional Transfer device.”
“It was very scary.” Dido offered.
“We got through an awful lot of underpants during the first few hours.” Dennis admitted. “Me more than most, probably.”
“Yes.” Frutilda spoke up. “People looked all weird beneath that eerie light…
But when it got dark, some of us dared stand upon a hillside…
…and look down upon the myriad campfires that spread across the land…
We wondered if we had done the right thing. Perhaps it would have been better to have hastily constructed a fleet of spaceships, and fled into the unknown cosmos.”
At this point Whoops decided to assert his authority:
“Yes – yes, Frutilda. Quite right. Now shut your gob and let me tell the story.”
To Folie and Placebo he said:
“When daybreak…uh…broke, we decided to send out some scouts. Richter and Beaufort were the obvious candidates…
And they discovered that we had arrived in a desert region, during this planet’s autumnal season…
Beaufort, who knows a thing or two about seasons, considered it quite likely that winter would follow. Already rain clouds were forming – and a watery sun looked most foreboding…
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2020