Fourteenth excerpt means it must be from the fourth book. In a world gone mad, it’s the only logical thing thing to do…
Yes, the book that everyone ignores. Well please don’t ignore this extract: it’s rather nice – in a vile sort of way. And here it is – entirely chosen by our best chum, random chance…
Tutu, meanwhile, had not been visited by the time-travelling Wetpatch. He was still under the illusion that he had until eternity to reach Hamster-Britain aboard Droop’s private submarine. In fact he was rather pleased at the prospect of a long ocean journey because he believed it would take that long for him to comprehend the rudiments of the euphonium. It wasn’t enough that he should learn to play the instrument: In order to become a virtuoso he must understand its inner workings, and merge his soul with it. Fortunately for the cross-eyed twit, the ship’s computer enjoyed the luxury of an artificial intelligence component. It was just this that saved Tutu from a dreadful demise…
“Hey, Honey.” The computer whispered in its seductive female voice, “I have some disturbing facts lined up for y’all.”
Tutu didn’t enjoy being in receipt of disturbing facts. In fact he hated them worse than penile thrush – especially when it interfered with a really unimportant task.
Looking up from the rear inspection panel of the euphonium, he snapped, “What is it? Can’t you see I’m busy!”
“I’m sorry, Sugar.” The A.I replied, “But I don’t have any conception of the word ‘busy’. I understand it’s meaning in the literal sense – that being how it’s described in the National Dictionary of Hamster-Britain: But its relationship to you, Honey, is lost to me.”
“The facts! The facts!” Tutu uncharacteristically lost his cool. “I have a flange weeble to adjust you know!
“Well here it is, Tutu, honey: You’d best be strapping your masculine rodent body into something real soft, and get this vessel out of here real quick, baby – coz the volcano at Perineum is going to explode, and y’all well within the blast radius.”
Tutu was well acquainted with blast radii: He’d been in too many of them during his years of servitude to Professor Desmond Squealch.
“Fluff!” He yelled, and jabbed frantically at the High Velocity Button that stood proud from the dashboard, with flashing L E Ds highlighting it in a most spectacular fashion. “Is this ship warp-capable?”
It was a foolish question, and Tutu knew it; but he hoped for the best anyway.
“Well, Honey,” the computer’s seductive voice said after several seconds of cyber-cogitation, “there is the experimental Z-Drive. Y’all could give that a try.”
Tutu had never heard of a Z-Drive. In fact he wondered if the computer wasn’t playing some ghastly trick upon him, and had made it up on the spur of the moment.
“Z-Drive?” He heard himself query. “Is that some sort of experimental propulsion system that Professor Squealch included in this vessel by accident?”
“Well, Tutu, sugar, you get five out of ten for logical deduction from scant data: But you aint entirely right.” The computer’s sultry tone hadn’t moderated despite the seriousness of the situation, and Tutu found it hard to concentrate: And his trousers kept flapping uncontrollably too. “It’s a means to tap into the underwater equivalent of hyperspace:” It continued. “It’s called Moister-Space – and if you want to live to an old age, you should open the hidden panel above your head; pull down the cord you find dangling in there; then hang on for dear life. The Z-Drive is experimental, unproven, barely out of the theoretical stage, and highly intoxicating.”
“That may be the case,” Tutu managed to reply coolly, “but will it get my furry rear end out of here?”
The computer’s response was equally chilly. “Yes, but I have no idea where we’ll find ourselves afterward. It could mean instantaneous loosening of the bowels.”
Tutu mulled this over for perhaps fifteen nanoseconds. Then a warning klaxon nearly made him burst from his seat like gerbil with a scalded rectum.
“Warning.” A defence mechanism overrode the hamster/computer companion interface. “Unimaginably vast shock-wave approaching. Batten down the hatches. Put away the best crockery. Collision imminent.”
Tutu didn’t waste a second more prevaricating. There really was no other decision that he could make. Circumstances minimized his options to one.
“Operate the Z-Drive now.” He yelled above the tumult, and yanked on the cord.
“Initiating primary use of the Z-Drive in ten seconds.” The computer became terribly professional now that it had been given a clear and concise instruction. “Ten, nine, eight…”
Such dire straits brought out the worst in Tutu, and instantly his fine veneer of civilisation was torn away by the abrasive nature of the situation. “I said now – you cybernetic asshole!” He roared in his most inelegant tone.
Naturally the computer did what any well-designed computer would do in such a situation. It hurried through the remaining digits in triple-quick time, and the Z-Drive was duly initiated.
©Paul Trevor Nolan 2013
Now does that strike you as the sort of book that people gleefully overlook? I can’t understand it. Anyway, whatever, it remains available at most e-book outlets. So, if you’ve chosen not to ignore this amazing literary piece, some of the better-known ones are mentioned on the Tooty’s Books Available Here page beneath the header.