Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 7)


Without further delay, let’s plunge back into the adventure…

Meanwhile, far, far away – across the void of interstellar space, Magnuss and Hair-Trigger had instructed the Tankerville Norris to take them to the turquoise planet. But, as Magnuss took it upon himself to make a sensor study of the unknown world, Hair-Trigger couldn’t help but notice that it looked somewhat less turquoise than it had previously, and decidedly different to the original image that Magnuss now displayed on his work station…

“Magnuss,” she called above the beeping sounds of the ship’s sensors at work, “come over here and tell me what you think of this strange manifestation.”

Naturally, being a dutiful husband of several hours, Magnuss sat his arse down in his seat. It was from this position that he did several double-takes between the two, contradictory, images…

He was still in the act of being dumbfounded, when Hair-Trigger cried out: “Magnuss, it’s changing again!”

And it was. In fact, as the ship plunged toward its atmosphere, it was now only vaguely turquoise…

Closer to the surface of the formerly turquoise world, the occupants of the Tankerville Norris grew more and more perplexed…

Whole regions – perhaps the entire planet – appeared to be quickly freezing over…

“I guess this must be winter.” Magnuss said as he shrugged his shoulders. “It sure comes on quickly around here.”

Shortly the ship flew over a once verdant forest that was now snowbound… 

Magnuss was used to flying in ships that required him to ask questions of it; its A.I; autopilot; or its Oracle. He still felt uncomfortable simply ‘knowing’ the answer to every question that he asked himself. But he felt a lot less comfortable when he didn’t ‘know’ the answer: it meant the question was outside the ship’s sphere of knowledge. All he knew was that the ship had found the planet ‘interesting’, and that he (Magnuss) was ill-equipped (technically) to properly understand what was interesting about it. The terms Gravity Shift and Temporal Anomaly sprung to mind; but they didn’t really help.

“When we get back,” he said, “I’m gonna suggest that they fit a ship’s oracle: I like to ask questions – even if I don’t get a good answer. Chewing the metaphorical cud with an oracle can sometimes produce results.”  

In the time that it took for Magnuss to say the words, the ship had left the forest far behind, and now flew low across a snow-scape, which Hair-Trigger suspected had earlier been something akin to a prairie – only turquoise instead of prairie-coloured…

Unwilling to search the ship for deep-freezer wear and snow shoes, Magnuss and Hair-Trigger investigated the all-terrain vehicle bay…

…where they found two mag-lift buggies. One was an open-topped ‘scout’ buggy: the other appeared to be a close-support enemy fire suppression attack vehicle – with a bloody great cannon on the front. Naturally they were thrilled. And by the time that the Tankerville Norris had selected a location for a soft landing…

…Hair-Trigger had made her selection…

“That’s a big cannon.” She said. “I’ve always admired big cannons. I bags this one.”

Magnuss had a soft spot for soft tops: he was more than happy to choose the scout buggy.

The ship then juddered as it slowed and descended upon a column of energized downdraft…

…and settled upon a frozen rock, from which the newly-fallen snow had been blasted…

Naturally, in an instant, it disgorged its happy travellers…

“Flipping heck, Hairy,” Magnuss all but whispered in the silence of the wintery scene, “I think we’ll give those mountains a miss: no sentient species would choose to live in such an inhospitable place. We’ll take the buggies in the opposite direction: it’s much flatter. We might find a fabulous city or something!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

2 thoughts on “Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 7)”

    1. Thank you. As usual I think I’m getting more pleasure from writing it than the people reading it. But I set my self the difficult task of making a story out of a non-sensical title – and I’m enjoying the challenge. Lots of quasi-sci-fi ensues…

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