The Time Tamperer (part 19)

Meanwhile, Tanganika Chunks was attending a promotional TV shoot at the museum’s main entrance…

Of course, the Robot Ticket Collector and Robot Guide wanted to get in on the act…

If the TV reporter, Rupert Piles, cared, he certainly didn’t show it…

In fact he actually urged several passers-by to join in…

And why wouldn’t he: after all he specialized in crowd scenes…

But, as Tanganika was stirring up interest in her hugely anticipated test flight of the new space ship in one era; in another…

…the visitors from the future – believing in the old maxim that there is strength in numbers – reassembled in corridor 101, from where they could stand and watch the busy main thoroughfare below…

…and sigh with relief that, finally, normality had arrived. But that sense of well-being quickly evaporated when they turned into the Grand Hall…

“Uh-oh.” Danka hissed to Rosie. “Bet ya weren’t expecting that.”

“No.” She whispered back. “Not exactly.”

“If I recall my recent history correctly,” Peter Crushing said in a hushed tone, “the end cap invasion was defeated by the Earplug Brothers and some beach guys from the Iberian Peninsular.”

“Los Tapones De España.” Grimnax reminded him. “Their mother ship was shot down by a huge missile…

…So why is there a whole bunch of little orange space-invaders drilling in our Grand Hall?”

More questions would have spread through the group like a viral tornado, but Danka hushed them to silence when…

…one of the end caps became aware of their audience.

“Time to go, methinks.”She whispered.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

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The Time Tamperer (part 18)

Meanwhile the RoboSecGua from the foyer, had finally remembered where former thespian and part-time curator, Sir Dodger Muir, lived. So it duly delivered his so-called daughter, Mincey, to the door of his apartment…

“Here we are.” It said – rather unnecessarily, or so thought Mincey.

“Lovely.” She replied. “It’s not very pretentious, is it? I mean, this hardly looks like the abode of a rich and famous ex-movie actor.”

“Movie star.” The RoboSecGua corrected the out-of-work actress – before touching the small white doorbell with its huge olfactory array.

Moments later…

“Mincey!” Sir Dodger bellowed as he stepped into the corridor. “It’s been years. What brings you to the Museum of Future Technology?”

“Why, Dad, I would have thought that was obvious.” She replied.

“Not to me.” A puzzled Sir Dodger responded. He then added: “Let’s walk and talk. I can still do that you know.”

So they did…

Naturally Mincey had one thought on her mind: a means of generating income. And she waited until the RoboSecGua had fallen far astern of them before bringing up the subject. It was a wise decision to distance herself from the security robot, because at that moment the star-struck RoboSecGua was in the act of encountering a stray plugmutt…

“Hello, little fellow.” It said in its best friendly tone, which wasn’t very friendly at all because its voice box was a low-grade type and could only produce a nasty, tinny monotone. “What is your name and are you doing out here on your own?”

Plugmutts, in general, possess a limited vocabulary and this one was no exception: “Heathrow.” It replied. “Heathrow out here – look for you.”

This reply surprised the RoboSecGua; plugmutts seldom sought out officers of the law. “I am surprised by your reply.” It said. “Plugmutts seldom seek out devices such as I. Why?”

“Beige female earplug.” Heathrow answered. “She bad news. She Sir Dodger’s estranged daughter. She no like famous movie stars. She jealous as heck. She want something. No trust her.”

This worried the RoboSecGua more than it cared to admit. “Flipping heck!” It exclaimed. “I hate to think what she might be doing to the wondrous Sir Dodger – as we speak!”

Well what Mincey was doing was not enjoying a guided tour, which included the amazing spectacles that were so powerful that they could see all the way around the world…

…and up the viewers trouser leg.

“By the Saint of All Earplugs.” Mincey squealed. “I had no idea my buttocks were so dimpled!”

But she felt more secure in her emotional state when they took a stroll towards the Future Alps Exhibit…

So it was then that she chose to drop her verbal bombshell: “Dad.” She began, “You know that you’re a museum curator and all that? Well, I was wondering…what with you being really old and stuff…might it be possible that you retire, or die or something, and give the job to me? I’ve got plans for this place; and I think that I’d do a much better job than that toothy git, Cushions Smethwyke. What do you think, Dad? Good idea, or what?”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

The Time Tamperer (part 17)

Whilst Clux, Grimnax and Bunguy fled in terror, at a very specific point in the future…

…the three kitchen staff from Ciudad De Droxford – those being Wilson Bucket, Duncan Propshaft, and Saxon Nibbles – had arrived at the entrance of the Museum of Future Technology, during the late afternoon. The Robot Ticket Collector approached them like a ravenous shark.

“Gentleplugs.” He smarmed horrendously, “Though the hour is late, you are all welcome. We have copious Bed and Breakfast facilities. You can start your tour tonight; and complete it tomorrow – or the next day if necessary. Now what were you hoping to see inside?”

Captain Sinclair Brooch had warned the threesome of the Robot Ticket Collector’s question. As a result they had their answers ready. Since Wilson stood closest, it was he who answered first: “I would most like to see a really busy thoroughfare…

…You don’t get to see many in my line of business.” He explained.

If a Robot Ticket Collector could sound disappointed, Wilson was hearing it for the first time: “Really?” The automaton replied. “A busy thoroughfare?”

Wilson nodded enthusiastically. “With at least five people on it.” He said, in the hope that a more specific request might, more readily, be granted. “Six maybe – at a push.”

The Robot Ticket Collector decided to move on. “What about you, short-house?” It asked Duncan, rather rudely – or so thought Wilson.

Duncan was ready for it:  “Show me a…

…gigantic Orange End Cap mother ship crash upon the Woven Expanse and spill it’s terrified and thoroughly demoralised crew through a multitude of escape ports.”

The fixed smile on the Robot Ticket Collector’s face perfectly reflected the mechanical marvel’s state of mind. “Great.” It said. “We just happen to have a Three-D representation of the End Cap invasion from Hyperspace from a few years back. It features just such an event.”

Saxon was surprised by this revelation; but he didn’t let it put him off: “Yeah, and ya know what I wanna see, tin-plug?”

It was a rhetorical question; but what he didn’t know was that the Robot Ticket Collector could read minds: “Sho’nuf do baby.” It replied before Saxon could deliver the punchline, “You dig the idea of…

…attending a Sewage Workers Union meeting in their basement bunker beneath the museum’s futuristic sewage works. All fine examples of inquiring minds. Well done: you may now enter.”

So they did…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

The Time Tamperer (part 16)

For a moment the scene resembled a tableau. No one appeared to move more than an occasional involuntary twitchy-nose muscle. But then one of the young rubber bungs caught a whiff of Peter’s cheap cologne…

His resulting scream of olfactory horror galvanized the blue-eyed monstrosity in the driver’s seat into a series of spasms. This movement resulted in the successful by-passing of the nuclear engine’s security lock-out; and moments later…

…the quartet were racing away along the thoroughfare in their stolen buggy. Turning back in the direction in which they had come, the still-gaseous Peter concluded…

…”Well at least that proves we’re not the only living beings here. The place isn’t deserted after all.”

“Maybe it is.” Munqui disagreed. “Perhaps the rubber bungs broke in through a tear in the perimeter fence; then through a roof light, left open carelessly by whomever last used the roller skate shed; and thence to this place.”

Rosie Stinkpipe was very impressed with her fellow-visitor, whom she’d not met before. “I’m very impressed with you, Munqui.” She said over her shoulder. “When this is over and we’ve all returned to our correct place in space/time, I’ll have a job waiting for you at my company. We make the prettiest panties in all creation. And they’re quite comfortable too.”

Munqui didn’t reply immediately. This was because the focus of attention had shifted to Porceen Pillock, Nobby De Aranquez, and Danka Sixpack, who were now entering the Fort Balderdash exhibit…

“Ooh,” Nobby said appreciatively, “I’ve seen this place on the promo-videos: it always seemed so popular in them. Where is everybody?”

“Same place as everybody else, I guess.” Porceen half-answered. “Not here, anyway.”

“Someone screwed up royally.” Danka snarled. “If this is the past, it sure isn’t one I remember. We’ll not find the truth wandering around the exhibits. Let’s get back to the others.”

Meanwhile the two zombies, Grimnax and a Clux were exploring with Bunguy Jumpur,  when they discovered something quite disturbing …

 

“Disturbed, right?” Clux inquired of Bunguy. “Not what any of us were expecting, I think you’ll agree.”

And indeed it was…

…because what all three earplugs were witnessing was a bunch of blue engineer End Caps maneuvering an anti-aircraft atomic cannon.

“Blue end caps?” Grimnax inquired. “Since when did blue end caps work here?”

Perhaps the normally breathless zombie croaked louder than he intended; or perhaps blue end caps possess really acute hearing. But whichever it was, they heard him. So, in the time it takes for a bunch of blue end caps to maneuver an anti-aircraft atomic cannon through approximately ninety degrees…

…the bunch of blue end caps did just that; and the three earplugs got the heck outta there pronto.   

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

The Time Tamperer (part 15)

Fortunately the Sentinel Robots hovered by without noticing the newcomers as they shrunk against the wall; and so the band of intrepid earplugs moved on – only to find an Android Generation Booth…

Initially they felt some relief at the discovery: biological androids were, after all, almost living beings. Suddenly the earplugs felt a whole lot less alone. But then Edie Chalice had a sudden and terrible realisation…

“By the Flipping Saint of All Flipping Earplugs.” She wailed, as she recalled once seeing an Android Regeneration Booth in action…

…”Android Regeneration Booths only work on silver cybernetic androids. These are turquoise biological androids: they can’t be regenerated. This doesn’t make sense. I think I’m losing my mind. Let’s get back to the time machine and dial the future!”

But, of course, they could do no such thing: they had expected to find Tunnel Temporal technicians present to send them back to their correct era: none of them knew the first thing about the machine’s knobs, buttons, and dials. For Edie, Dina, and the others, the situation was quickly going from bad to worse. So they decided to separate and go search in small groups. Peter Crushing teamed up with Randy Blueprint and Noodie Bumsho and crossed the bridge into the Future Alps exhibit, which represented a distant version of the Alpine mountain range, long after it had been eroded flat by wind and weather and geological stuff…

But when they arrived they discovered that the refrigeration had been switched off…

“The ice is thawing fast.” Peter noted. “What does that suggest?”

“Someone didn’t pay their electricity bill?” Noodie suggested.

“The museum isn’t open to the public.” Randy answered.

“Correct.” Peter said. “And do either of you recall a time when that ever happened? Even attacks from hyper space wouldn’t force the curators to stop taking earplug’s money.”

But a slightly windy Peter was less certain of his theory when, whilst out searching with a team in which a traumatized Noodie Bumsho had been replaced with Rosie Stinkpipe and the disinterested Randy Blueprint with Munqui Bannister…

…they stumbled upon…

…four adolescent Rubber Bungs hot-wiring a parked hover buggy.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

Creativity, Effort, Time, and a Little Money

An Earplug Adventure doesn’t start with this author’s flashes of literary inspiration: it begins with one (or more) of these…

Being an Earplug Adventure it naturally follows that the aforementioned author must purchase some of these…

Lots actually. Then there’s the time and effort of combining these two facets, which includes the preparation of the latter…

…and the application of the former…

Not forgetting all the models, props, locations and backdrops…

So, having completed all his tasks, the author is now in possession of several hundred photographs: what does he do with them? He story-boards them, that’s what…

…before uploading them to WordPress in the correct order, where they are integrated into the wondrous tale that he has thought up in between times…

From there the episodes are integrated into one multi-megabyte manuscript; and just before the last couple of episodes are posted upon the Internet, the whole darned thing is published as an E-book…

…via Lulu.com.

So far, so good, huh? Well you’d be right: it is good. Very good, in fact. Great fun for this author; and (hopefully) not a complete waste of time for you, the reader. But there is a ‘but’. And the ‘but’ is…oh dear, I’ve seen the following plea discharged by far better authors than I, and I know it wasn’t much fun for them either – none of this comes cheap; not when you add up the time it takes to complete a tale, or the materials required to do it. Naturally I understand that the average Earplug Adventure must appeal to a very small demographic – it is, after all, somewhat off-the-wall – BUT (here it comes) if each of you, who enjoy these very silly stories, were to buy a copy of your favourite book, the resulting remuneration to me, from the publishers, would make the whole effort that little bit easier. There, how mercenary of me was that!. All the books are available on Lulu. Many can be obtained from Kobo, Barnes & Noble, iTunes/iBookstore, Amazon and the rest; so it’s not like they’re hard to find. And, who knows, maybe you could share the book with your friends. Show them what fabulous taste you have. Don’t forget, if you’ve read this, you’re probably an Earplugger already: it would be remiss of you NOT to have at least one Earplug Adventure in your collection. Go on – you know it makes sense!

 

 

The Time Tamperer (part 14)

Whilst the Time Techs failed in their effort to fret about the potential dangers of using the Tubo Di Tempo, their ‘guests‘ began arriving in the past. But quite ‘when‘ in the past, none of them knew…

“It smells funny.” The green-eyed Rosie Stinkpipe observed.

“I like funny smells.” The black, white-eyed, Nobby De Aranquez informed Noodie Bumsho. And the pink Danka Sixpack told her friend, Dina Havoc, that she considered the decor to be amongst the finest that she had ever seen. But Dina didn’t get the chance to reply because Porceen Pillock was keen to exit the Tunnel Temporal (for that is what the earplug party found themselves inside during this past era in which the Tubo Di Tempo was yet to be invented) before it switched off and left her in temporal limbo, from which, she feared, she would never return.

“Shift, Dina.”She snarled. “I’m not keen on being erased from existence.”

Shortly after exiting the Tunnel Temporal department, the entire group was surprised to discover the normally busy corridor empty of museum personnel or visitors…

The subdued lighting concerned them too.

“I’m concerned.” The pale-coloured Grimnax informed Dina Havoc. “I’m a depressed voluntary Zombie; but even I feel uncomfortable in this subdued lighting.”

Grimnax’s grey zombie pal, Clux, felt much the same way as he stared into the impenetrable shadows. “Yeah.” He agreed. “If I had any blood in my non-functioning circulatory system, it would run cold.”

But the situation improved considerably when they discovered a futuristic urinal…

Naturally, being male earplugs, Peter Crushing and Nobby De Aranquez used it instantly.

From there, and with their spirits rising, the party proceeded, at random, to Corridor 102, where they encountered the infamous EvilRoboSecGua…

…as it led a team of RoboSecGuas…

…upon some unimaginable mission. Of course the earplugs tried smiling and doing other things to gain the RoboSecGuas attention, but within seconds they found themselves alone and so moved on to Corridor 101A…

…which, initially at least, appeared to be deserted. But then two figures entered from a side corridor. And to the earplug’s horror, they were none other than…

…invading Sentinel Robots from the future.

“Argh!” They cried as one. “We’ve arrived in an era when the museum has been invaded. If we remember our history lessons correctly, we’re surely doomed!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018