Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 6)

We’re on a roll now. There was simply no way to hold back the next episode a moment longer. Welcome to part six.

Chapter 2

Neither occupant of the gloriously blue vessel knew exactly how much time had passed whilst they traversed hyperspace…

They were far too busy being newlyweds. But, eventually they departed the galley, where they had been munching ravenously on chocolate chip cookies, and entered the bridge…

The holographic view screen informed them that they were still racing across the Galaxy at a good pace and that all was tickety boo with the ship’s systems.

As biscuit crumbs tumbled to the deck from Magnuss’ chin, he said: “I know:  let’s stop and take in the view.”

“Yeah,” Hair-Trigger replied enthusiastically, “Let’s be random: let’s just hit the brakes and see what happens.”

So they did…

But when they raced to the observation window they discovered a flaw in Bunk-Bunk Bunsen’s ship design…

The view of a nearby asteroid was clouded by graining on the exterior of the window.

“Guess Bunk-Bunk must have specified the wrong type of material.” Hair-Trigger wagered. “Cosmic dust has eroded the outer surface of the window.”

“Or maybe he forgot to include a deflector shield.” Magnuss suggested.

Hair-Trigger had another explanation. “Perhaps the Scrotonites had to cut corners somewhere and chose a cheaper, less resilient glass.”

Magnuss doubted the idea’s veracity. “No, Scrotonites would never do that. Earplugs might: but not Scrotonites. Well it’s certainly spoiled the view. If I ever meet Bunk-Bunk Bunsen, I’m gonna kick him right up the arse.”

But their spirits lifted somewhat when they discovered a secondary window…

“Oh, I can’t look,” Hair-Trigger squealed as she averted her gaze. “It’s like there’s nothing to separate us from the whole of space, time, and infinity – except those bars, of course. But we could easily slip between them and be lost in the gravity-free vacuum of interstellar space for eternity.”

Magnuss thought that his wife was becoming slightly fanciful, but he said nothing: Hair-Trigger had the key to the biscuit barrel down the back of her knickers, and he didn’t want to annoy her.

Two minutes later they had dropped a level – to the bridge…

A planet loomed large upon the view screen.

“That looks…ur…very turquois,” Magnuss observed.

“Do you think the ship is trying to show us something interesting?” Hair-Trigger both inquired and suggested in one sentence.

Magnuss was certain of it, and moments later the Tankerville Norris assumed a course towards the planet…

…which took it alarmingly close to the local sun…

Had they not discovered the damaged observation window, neither Magnuss nor Hair-Trigger could have cared less about the proximity of a vast stellar furnace on their port bow; but they had, and they grew a little nervous. What else could fail on a ship so new, and that had been assembled from a very large flat-pack in the Museum of Future Technology?

Talking of which…

…Cushions was on her way back to the Curator’s Suite from the executive toilet, when she met with her principal love-interest (if that’s what you could call it) Hunting Provost…

“Oh, Hunting,” she whispered conspiratorially, “I have a confession to make.”

“Do I look like a priest?” He snapped in response.

This surprised Cushions: it was not like Hunting to be waspish. “Oh,” she said, “so you’re worried about them too.”

“Just because I was a lousy husband and allowed Hair-Trigger to divorce me without argument, doesn’t mean that I don’t care for her. Yes, I’m worried that she has gone gallivanting across the galaxy in an untested space ship that was thrown together by a bunch of the museum’s technical staff. What of it?”

Cushions nodded. “Yes, well it’s got me in a bit of a dither too. This morning I completely forgot to reconfigure the security protocols of the Omnipresent Scanner to allow Cheeky McMartin access to it.  I’m ashamed to say, three of the anti-burglar lasers zapped him good and proper…”

“In which case,” Hunting replied sharply, “perhaps you’d better hand the tiller to Winston Gloryhole or Cheerful Charlie Chopsticks: clearly, whilst Magnuss and Hair-Trigger are away, neither of us is fit for command.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

The galley, a biscuit barrel, and some chocolate chip cookies were all mentioned in this episode. They are, as I imagine you’ve guessed, metaphorical. This story may have under-aged readers: so we can’t make any mention of the story’s central characters engaging in matrimonial sexual intercourse – can we!

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