Northern Mist: An Earplug Adventure (part seven)

Whilst Part Five made a remarkable recovery, Part Six appears to have foundered upon a literary and photographic reef. Oh dear. The obvious course of action is…er…obvious: post Part Seven!

Fanny was about to slink off towards the door when the first junior RoboSecGua spoke up:

“Oi-oi,” it said in a tone guaranteed to get everyone’s attention, “I’m receiving a plethora of garbled messages from all over the museum. Something really strange is occurring. It seems that earplugs are falling victim to something inexplicable. They are becoming inert and collapsing into a state of suspended animation!”

Fanny and the two senior RoboSecGuas turned immediately to the main view screen…

…which filled an entire wall and produced spectacular pictures in high definition…

EvilRoboSecGua found its voice first: “It appears that I owe you an apology, Miss…um…?”

“Gander.” Fanny replied as she gazed at the swirling fog outside. “Fanny Gander.”

The senior RoboSecGua finally spoke:

“Tell us what you know of the Northern Mist, Fanny. I have a ghastly cyber-feeling that the Museum of Future Technology faces the most grave danger in its entire history.”

Chapter Two

It seemed, to Fanny at least that fate had interceded upon the Museum of Future Technology’s behalf. Of all the people, she reasoned, who might have made their way to the only place inside the vast emporium of doo-dahs and widgets from eras more advanced than the current day, it was she: Fanny Gander; a creator of potions, one of which had given her the ability to shrug off the effects of the Northern Mist…

“It helped that I can hold my breath really well too!” She concluded as she divested herself of her thoughts and ruminations to the listening RoboSecGua squad inside the security suite.

“For sure – for sure.” The senior RoboSecGua replied. “However it is certain that your breath will not hold out indefinitely. If you are to go outside and investigate the origins of this cursed fog, you will require a personal deflector bubble. Oh look, my subordinate has just dug one out of the cupboard for you.” 

Naturally, being an earplug of a simpler culture with an upbringing that placed greater importance upon mosses rather than superconductors: insect juices above microchips, Fanny didn’t have the first idea what a personal deflector bubble was; but she had an uncanny feeling  she was about to find out.

“You wear it like a hat.” The RoboSecGua explained.

“A very large hat.” EvilRoboSecGua added. “An ill-fitting one at that. Try it on.”

Moments later…

“Hmmm, I see what you mean.” Fanny said cautiously. “What does it do?”

“It protects you from your immediate environment.” RoboSecGua replied. “It allows you to perambulate, whilst keeping nasty stuff from affecting you. For example, it filters the air, so you won’t need to hold your breath. You can interact with the outside world, by drawing objects inside with you by means of…well I don’t really need to tell you all the technological stuff: you’re a comparative savage with little understanding of advanced machinery. Suffice to say, it will allow you to go about the Museum of Future Technology; take samples of the gas, and maybe some blood samples from its victims; then return them here for analysis.”

Fanny wasn’t entirely sure she liked being called a ‘savage’, but she allowed herself to be ushered towards the door…

“Okay,” she said as her eyes blinked at the relative brilliance of the brighter exterior lights, “I’ll get your samples for you.”

However, as the RoboSecGuas crowded in the door to wave farewell…

…she did wonder why one of them couldn’t perform the task: they didn’t breathe; surely the Northern Mist could have no effect on them. But she’d already agreed to act upon their behalf (and never went back on her word), so quickly moved to the one location that she was certain she would find both gas and blood samples: the Café Puke…

Little did she know, but the filtration system in her personal deflector bubble had already begun taking air samples. It continued to do so as she entered the café…

Her first reaction was one of horror: after all she had never seen so many earplugs in a state of suspended animation. In fact the only other time she could recall anything similar was when she visited an ethical circus in which the use of animals had been banned. The audience had grown so bored that some of them had self-induced a state of suspended animation. But this was far worse; and it would require a great deal more than a quick kick in the shins to awaken the earplugs that littered the polka dot floor here. However, she quickly pulled herself together and began extracting blood samples…

“Sorry,” she would say to the somnolent victims, “I don’t have any sticky plasters, and I can’t press on the wound, coz my hands are inside my personal deflector bubble.”

However, and despite her lack of dexterity as a phlebotomist, Fanny was quickly finished and gladly upon her way from the virtual mausoleum…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2023

“foundered upon a literary and photographic reef.” Honestly, to use another maritime  term, I do write some utter ‘bilge’ sometimes. However, if it wasn’t for the ‘bilge’, it wouldn’t really be me, would it? Long-live bilge!

One thought on “Northern Mist: An Earplug Adventure (part seven)”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s