Earplug Aventures: The Age of Stone (part 6)


At that precise moment, outside in the Museum proper…

…maintenance engineer Gladys Shakeshaft discovered that the lighting in her maintenance tunnel was flickering alarmingly…

Also, at that precise moment in time, Rikki was in the act of departing the maintenance control room to visit the loo, leaving his colleagues – Charles and Wolfgang – to deal with a sudden surge in power demand…

“Funny,” Charles mumbled, “there’s green lights across the board, yet the Nul-space generator has suddenly jumped to maximum output. What gives?”

Back in the Age of Stone exhibit…

…the boys didn’t know or care two hoots about power demands: they were just running for their lives. For a moment they actually thought they had outrun the effect caused by the apparition that closely resembled the Supreme Being, but which clearly wasn’t because his hair was in a right mess – when suddenly they were enveloped by a bunch of sparkles…

Valentine was about to pass comment on its artistic merits, when equally suddenly…

…they found themselves in a strangely-coloured cave.

“Are we still in the Age of Stone?” Chester inquired.

To which Rudi responded thus: “Is this rock all about us – or marshmallow?”

“Ur, rock?” Chester sort of answered.

“Then we’re still in the Age of Stone.” Rudi concluded. “Even if it looks like the Stone Age.”

Of course neither of them was able to see the pair of malignant eyes that watched them…

…which was just as well because the cave itself was enough to give Chester and Miles the wibbly-wobblies…

In fact it gave them the wibbly-wobblies so badly that they became detached from the group and eventually found their way to the surface alone…

…which pleased the heck out of Miles (because he was mildly claustrophobic); but worried Chester, who didn’t like the weirdly-coloured sky. But using their innate talent for finding their way out of trouble, they quickly made their way back to the ‘castle’…

…where logic dictated the others would gravitate to as well.

One of the others – namely Magnuss – had also discovered an exit from the subterranean caves…

Like Miles, Magnuss too suffered a degree of claustrophobia – as well as air-sickness; so he was equally happy to be above ground again. But only too quickly he also noted the strange light that illuminated the Age of Stone…

Worse still, he discovered a public toilet had been locked…

Absolutely desperate for a pee, he tried breaking into a boiler room, where, he reasoned they were bound to have a bucket or two laying around…

But the lock easily resisted his desperate attempts to snap it off. Then luck smiled upon the heroic figure in urinary distress: Chester and Miles rounded the corner…

“Quick,” Chester called as Magnuss contemplated suicide to relieve his inner turmoil, “the stone-tech phone booth is just over there. Look…”

Moments later…

…Chester and Miles kept watch while Magnuss relieved himself into a small drain at the rear of the alcove.

“You’re sure there’re no CCTV cameras in here?” He asked nervously. “I mean, I don’t think I’d recognise one if I saw it: we don’t have stone cameras in our era.”

Rudi, meanwhile had resurfaced and gone straight to the top of a high tower…

From there he scanned the vicinity with his eyes in search of an exit from the exhibit. Within moments he’d spotted an old dilapidated maintenance tunnel. Thundering back to ground level, he raced into it…

…and as he traversed the short but difficult tunnel, he spotted an area of the exhibit that had not fallen beneath the strangely-hued influence. Better still, it was a region of the exhibit that enjoyed a Summer time climate…

 

In an instant he was certain that this was the way home. If he could escape, he could switch off the power to the exhibit and return with a search party to free his brothers.

“Yeah, right on.” He cheered as he rushed forward. But he was to be sorely disappointed, when…

…a portcullis slammed down in front of him.

“Ugh,” he grunted intelligently, “but that wasn’t there before. What the flip is going down here, man?”

But the only reply he received was a disembodied cackle of manic laughter.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

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