Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 11)


This is it. They’ve made it to Tah-Di-Tah. Now, maybe we’ll discover what these ‘lines’ are all about. Or maybe not: the reveal should be long and circumbendibus.

Soon the ship followed a guide beam down through the atmosphere, where Magnuss and Hair-Trigger watched a solitary road and open veldt pass by below them…

“I suppose that is a road.” Magnuss said. “I can’t quite get a grip on scale. It could be a garden path.

“No,” Hair-Trigger replied, “it’s definitely a road: look, there’s a river too.”

The river that Hair-Trigger had noticed emptied into a fabulous lake, which, by chance, the Tankerville Norris passed over at low altitude…

…before banking sharply in an azure sky…

…and heading towards the night side of the planet.

Chapter 4

The world of Tah-Di-Tah was settling into dusk as the Tankerville Norris raced towards its destination…

The ship had informed Magnuss and Hair-Trigger of the many differing facets of the planet’s vacation centre. The first that hove into view was the much-anticipated Castle Snid, which, due to poor light, was quite hard to see on their view screen…

…but, had they been standing on a rocky knoll nearby, would have appeared almost majestic in the misty moonlight…

The aforementioned mist was just thinning when they arrived at the space ship landing area…

Hair-Trigger was surprised to note the paucity of ships parked there…

“Must be the off-season.” Magnuss conjectured.

“Do paradise planets have off-seasons?” A doubtful Hair-Trigger responded.

Magnuss thought about it for a few moments, before concluding: “They must have hiked their prices to unreasonable levels; so everyone is staying away until they come back down again.”

This sounded far more logical to Hair-Trigger, and she blessed the Saint of All Earplugs for bringing Magnuss and her together.

“Oh look,” she said, “it’s the SS Glob.”

This surprised her husband. “Are you familiar with the SS Glob?” He inquired.

Hair-Trigger shook her head. “No-no, it’s just that it’s got its name emblazoned on the hull in huge letters: I figured it must be famous or something.”

“I hope they’re friendly.” Magnuss said as the Tankerville Norris manoeuvred into a landing posture, “That ship is a heck of a lot bigger than this one.”

For a moment it seemed that Magnuss had tempted fate once too often: suddenly the bridge was illuminated by a blazing light that almost blinded its occupants…

Magnuss reacted with pure survival instinct: “What the flipping heck is this?” He yelled. “Arm the proton torpedoes!”

But the ship ignored his outburst, and landed safely beside the SS Glob…

“Oh,” a relieved Magnuss chuckled at his foolishness, “it’s just a sensor beam.”

“A very bright one,” Hair-Trigger grumbled. “I’ve still got retinal after-images.”

Magnuss had exactly the same problem. “Yeah,” he mumbled. “They must be a nosey bunch of sods aboard the SS Glob: we didn’t sensor-beam them: why did they sensor-beam us? I think it’s really rude. If I knew their com-frequency, I’d give them a mouthful of verbal abuse.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

They’re down…on Tah-Di-Tah. I can feel the excitement rising and anticipation mounting like a rutting stag. Return again for the next thrilling episode.

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