Ever wondered what the Earplug Adventures would look like minus the photos? Might their absence highlight the shortcomings of the writing? Well let’s find out, shall we? Here’s a couple of brief extracts. In this case from this rumbustious tale…
Throgennis could not have imagined that he would ever have travelled to the Over-Realm. In fact he’d never heard of it. So he had no idea that he now stood upon a planet so distant from Earth; the Museum of Future Technology; and Lemon Stone, that it might easily have been infinitely far away. But he did know one thing with utter certainty: that he wasn’t happy. And he wasn’t frightened of letting people know. It was on his third outrageous bellow of anger and frustration that a huge apparition became apparent to him.
“Cripes.” He said when he spotted it. “That looks a bit scary: I’d better watch my tongue.”
“You,” the apparition boomed so loudly that Throgennis felt certain plaster would flake from the invisibly distant ceiling and tumble down to settle upon his shoulders, “are of the species Earplug.”
It was a statement. Throgennis realised this when the image of an incredibly average earplug glowed warmly beneath a spotlight.
“As such,” the vast being continued, “you are a proverbial pain in the ass. All earplugs are. In fact earplugs are such a galactic nuisance that we higher life-forms have decided that you might have to be made extinct.”
This last line gained Throgennis’s attention like no line before – even ones such as: “Look out, it’s a naked biker gang!”, “My mum’s farts are louder than your mum’s.” and “Your lavatory is unsavoury and has been condemned!”
“Yeah?” He responded insolently.
“Yeah.” The vast being replied. “Like they’ll cease to be – everywhere – forever!”
Throgennis hadn’t got where he was in life by missing inferences. He said: “I sense a ‘but’ looming.”
“I’m sure you do.” The vast being’s voice almost smiled. “But you, and your kind can survive this. You need only be found ‘not guilty‘.”
Throgennis looked up.
“Which can mean only one thing.” He said grimly. “We stand accused of being galactic butt-wipes. And I have to answer for our crimes. Okay, bring it on. Do your worse. I’m wearing my lucky underpants today.”
“Very well,” the vast being replied, “let proceedings…er…proceed.”
At the controls of the K T Woo, Hakking Chestikov sat indecisively and stared at the main viewer. But little did he know that Bottoms Barkingwell, whose tasks demanded that she work within the bowels of the huge vessel, and required rubber gloves and a large lavatory brush to complete to a satisfactory standard, spotted something that made her smile. And that something was none other than Captain Sinclair Brooch and his wife, Nancy as they scurried along on their way towards the cabin, in which resided the Cyber Oracle. So, after bringing the electronic fountain of knowledge up to date, Nancy said: “Oh Oracle, what the sodding hell are we supposed to do?”
In reply, the shocked Cyber Oracle said, “Flipping heck; that’s the most difficult question that I’ve ever been asked. It’s going to tax me to the very limits of my design parameters – perhaps beyond them. In fact so far beyond my design parameters is this question taxing me that it’s quite possible I might either make the final evolutionary step and thereby gain true artificial sentience; or I might explode.”
“We don’t have time for this nonsense.” Sinclair snapped. “Pull yourself together: you’re the most advanced computer that ever existed on our doomed world, so aptly named, by an Earplug Brother, as Worstworld. Give me the blinking answer!”
Under such pressure, the logic circuits inside the Cyber Oracle shifted into overdrive. Three seconds later the response came:
“Yeah, I think I got it. The answer is…”
Well the next anyone saw of the Captain and his wife was scant moments later, and they would never have guessed that anything was wrong aboard ship. In fact those who witnessed their passing took great comfort from their leader’s contented smile. And, if they’d seen him stop off at an internal communication panel they might have wondered who he was calling up in such a genial manner in the midst of such a terrible crisis in orbit above the Galactic Court planet.
It was Adam Binsmell (at Coms) that took the call. Adam listened intently for several seconds, before turning to the latest occupant of the Captain’s chair – Daisy Pong.
Daisy looked across at Adam. She had only just arrived at her duty station, and the replacement Helmsplug and Executive Officer were yet to arrive.
“Yeah?” She spoke bluntly and used only mono-syllables. “What you want?”
Being a talented Communication Officer, Adam relayed the Captain’s message word for word and nuance for nuance.
“Oh.” Daisy responded,”That good – innit!”
Daisy Pong’s speech pattern was abrupt; missing those joiny-uppy words that most people use; and often abrasive: but on this occasion she was utterly correct. It was good. It was very good. It was so good that Sinclair and Nancy didn’t bother to do or say anything more on the subject. Instead they simply held hands and stared at the cosmos through their favourite window on Deck Three.
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2017
Of course it’s much better with the pictures: after all you can see what’s going on! To read or download the book in its entirety – pictures and all – click on the We Stand Accused cover image (above) to bring up the full PDF file.