Meanwhile, back in the Museum of Future Technology…
…Gregor had just completed his report to Mister Zinc. It hadn’t gone well…
In fact, Mister Zinc had unkindly called him ‘a big lump of doo-doo’. Initially Gregor had felt crushed; but he quickly recovered. If he could get the girls back to the museum unharmed and unseen, where they could wreak more damage, the day could yet be saved. So, as he traversed the edificio corridor outside of his apartment…
…he narrowed his eyes and began thinking up some cunning plan of action. He didn’t know what it was, of course; but he had enough self-confidence for ten earplugs, so wasn’t worried in the least.
Whilst the corridor of the edificio echoed to the fall of Gregor’s soft-soled sandals – far away across the huge divide that was outer space, Tong-Tong had thought it best that all three earplugs should experience the mind-expanding…er…experience of knowledge gained ‘the robot way’. Bunty, although hesitant, had already undergone her ‘lessons’: so now all that remained to be done was little Daisy…
Ginger couldn’t bear to watch as her friend underwent a procedure that twisted her facial features into a thousand vile configurations – each one more emetic than the last.
“Did I pull faces like that?” Bunty inquired of Tong-Tong.
“I do not know,” the robotic waiter replied, “you all look the same to me. Although I can recognise the difference between a smile and a bout of gastric wind. Perhaps it is my many years working in the catering trade that has imbued me with this ability of differentiation.”
“Is this treatment likely to enhance latent talents?” Ginger inquired.
This was not the type of question a lowly waiter could answer readily. Tong-Tong chose to assimilate this question into its central core processor. “One moment.” It replied.
“What are you getting at?” Bunty asked Ginger.
“Well I was just wondering – you know – what with her parent’s rare abilities.” Ginger answered. “You know – if Daisy had inherited some of them…well maybe this treatment might bring them to the fore, so to speak.”
Bunty knew nothing of the rare talents of Daisy’s parents. She said as much.
“Well her dad,” Ginger explained, “is a tank leak finder…
…He has an incredible eye for fine detail. He finds the leaks from inside a tank before the leak develops. He can hold his breath a long time too.”
Bunty wasn’t certain that either skill would aid Daisy in her current quest. “Hmmm,” she said for the first time in quite a long time. “What about her mum?”
Ginger couldn’t believe that Bunty knew nothing of Daisy’s mother. “She’s only Lady Mesmer, that’s all.” She said. Then, noting Bunty’s puzzled expression, Ginger brought up a picture of Lady Mesmer upon her cell phone…
“She’s only the best mesmerising act in the entire Museum of Future Technology – that’s all.” Ginger said. “I took this picture two years ago – when I went ‘round their apartment for tea. Look at her eyes. That’s what they look when she’s not in mesmerising mode. You can imagine how scary and…um…mesmerising they are when she is!”
Bunty looked long and hard at the picture. As she did so she fervently hoped that the machine was capable of enhancing Daisy’s theoretical inherited latent talent: she had formed an idea that might help their current cause. So, a little while later, after Daisy had consumed a refreshing cup of Tong-Tong’s best Earl Grey – and was consequently feeling much better following her ordeal, Bunty put her idea to Daisy…
She began the conversation with, “Obviously we need to get inside that whacking great big space station.”
“We do?” Daisy inquired – still acquainting herself with her new found knowledge and the idea that she wasn’t quite as ‘dinny’ as she (and other people) thought.
“It’s where the crew are.” A surprised Bunty found herself explaining. “The crew of this ship. What, did you think that big red maroon ball out there was an interstellar burger bar or something?”
Daisy realised that she had only spoken two words, and already one of her best friends was annoyed with her. “Sorry,” she said, “I think the things that go pop in my head are still sorting themselves out.”
Bunty, whose mother was a neurosurgeon, assumed that Daisy was referring to the re-alignment of her neurons. “Yes, of course: sorry Daisy: it’s not your fault you’re a bit dippy. Well, anyway, getting to the point and all that: I think that you should try mesmerising the security robots by contacting then via the com-panel, and convincing them that this ship needs to dock, and that we are robots.”
Of course, Ginger assumed that Bunty – now that her brain had also been enhanced – was enjoying some form of cerebral joke. Therefore, she was quite surprised when Daisy responded with:
“Okay, Bunty; I’ll give it a go,”
Meanwhile, aboard the space station, the large white robot was holding court with its two lieutenants…
“You know, I am feeling some unease concerning this latest batch of green robots we have liberated.” It said. “If they possessed hearts, I cannot help feeling that they would not be in it.”
“In it?” The larger of the two blue robots inquired.
“Suitably predisposed to a fealty for our cause.” White robot explained. “Their hearts – to use an earplugism – would not be in it.”
“Do you anticipate insurrection?” The smaller of the blue robots asked.
“Nothing so grand.” The white robot cyber-snorted with derision at the idea. “Oh-no, not in the least: they are quite simple servomechanisms: their tiny brains could not conceive of such things.”
“Is that good?” The large Lieutenant asked.
To which the white robot replied, “Yes, they do not ask stupid questions. But something still nags at me.”
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2022