The Time Tamperer (part 48)

Unbeknownst to either earplug hero, Mincey Muir now stood in the featureless courtyard that she could usually only see from her apartment window and was deep in conversation with Heathrow…

“Heathrow, oh Heathrow,” she said dramatically, like the actor she was, “where, the flipping heck, am I gonna find poison? This is the Museum of Future Technology: not some wizard’s cellar or well-appointed apothecary.”

Those were a lot more words than the simple Plugmutt brain could process quickly. Heathrow looked at Mincey as she stared sightlessly into the limited distance. Unaware that it had been a rhetorical question, he then provided her with the answer: “Plugmutt pellets.” He said. “Tasteless, aroma-free, and easy to dilute in tomato sauce or something similar. Also toxic. Make bum bad – then explode in exaltation of dung  and flatulence.”

Mincey didn’t look at Heathrow directly: she preferred, instead, to think that those amazingly well-chosen words had been a gift from a higher being or a transcendental dimension of which she had hitherto been unaware. Eventually she said: “Do you have some?” And Heathrow fired something small and dark out of his bottom that careened across the courtyard and bounced off the wall with a dull thud. “Do now.” He replied. 

A while later, the two chefs, Wilson Bucket and Saxon Nibbles, were preparing a large paella for Piggies’ evening meal…

Naturally Duncan Propshaft – a being without culinary skills – was reduced to pacing back and forth outside the futuristic kitchen, fretting all the while about Piggie’s reaction to a meal of Iberian origin. He stopped fretting when Mincey arrived…

In fact he stopped fretting so quickly that his eyes almost burst from his head. “Cor,” he said appreciatively, “you’re nice; I’m Duncan; what’s your name?”

Somewhat taken aback by Duncan’s primitive chat-up line, Mincey introduced herself and told Duncan of her plan to poison Piggies Du Pong with a plugmutt pellet.

“Jeepers, Mincey,” Duncan responded enthusiastically, “why would you want to do that?”

“Because he’s mad as a tartan turnip.” Mincey replied. “And eventually he’s going to get us all destroyed in a cataclysm that will eradicate everything from the beginning, to the end, of time.”

“Whoo – heavy. Leave it with me, Mincey.” Duncan said. “I’ll take care of it. Then we can take in a movie or something.”

So, moments later…

…the relieved daughter of Sir Dodger Muir departed with Heathrow at her side.

“We make a good team, don’t you think?” She said. “Maybe your bringing me here wasn’t so bad after all: I could soon be running this show. You can be my First Officer.

Meanwhile Duncan did as he had been bid…

…and rapped on the futuristic glass. “Hey guys.” He shouted through the thick transparent material, “I’ve got one more ingredient for your paella. You’re gonna love it.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

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The Time Tamperer (part 47)

But despite her outburst, Mincey couldn’t resist telling her sorry tale of abduction to the two strangers.

“What?”Grimnax exclaimed. “You’re from the future too?” He then enlightened Mincey of the situation concerning the missing tourists and the arrival of the T.W.I.T agents.

“These Twit agents.” Mincey inquired. “Might they have the necessary skills to help me defeat Piggies DuPong?”

Naturally Clux replied: “What the flip do you know of that monster, Piggies Du Pong?”  To which Mincey responded with a complete and unabridged account of her adventure so far. She concluded the display of verbal dexterity and informative body language with the suggestion that they all go in search of allies – namely the Twit operatives – to which the zombies readily agreed…

“After all,” Mincey said, as they set forth, “they say there’s strength in numbers.  And gussets too.”

Fortunately for all concerned, Neville’s search pattern took the four new recruits to one of the many ‘Up’ ramps. By coincidence – or divine intervention – they chose the same ‘Up’ ramp that Mincey and company were currently descending…

Although Chickweed had his doubts, Mincey’s rapidly related tale – ably supported by the Zombies – convinced the agents of Twit that if they were ever to find the missing customers, they would need to deal with the threat of the red earplug with the stupid moustache first…

“Right-oh.” Pixie squeaked nervously, whilst wishing that she’d never allowed herself to be persuaded to join the quasi-military in the first place. “Do you have a plan?”

Mincey didn’t, but she didn’t allow that fact to get in the way of her challenge. “No.” She replied. “But I’ll think of something.”

But she didn’t have to. “In the olden days,” Chickweed Gubbins spoke up, “when kings and queens ruled the land; they were usually brought down by most insidious means.”

“LIke what?” Grimnax demanded.

“Poison, mostly.” Chickweed answered.

At that point in the proceedings Mincey stopped listening; already her mind was leaping backwards to an earlier time in the day. She remembered Piggies’ invitation to a evening meal. She also recalled that he had some chefs to prepare it. “I’ve thought of something.” She said.

Meanwhile, upon a ‘Down’ ramp in another part of the Museum of Future Technology, Hair-Trigger led Magnuss…

…towards their (inspired) final destination. And when they arrived…

…they were very pleased with themselves for having thought of using the Omnipresent Scanner to search through the myriad sections of the huge building…

But, of course, most of it proved to be empty.

“Oh,” Hair-Trigger complained, “what a bummer.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

The Time Tamperer (part 46)

Meanwhile, following their failure to discover the whereabouts of the missing customers, the four members of T.W.I.T had parted company from the two volunteer Zombies and begun their own search pattern that was based upon logic and mathematical calculations.

Pixie wasn’t entirely certain that Neville’s talent with numbers and sums and stuff was all that he claimed it was. She was in the process of saying so to Chickweed, when Jeremy thought he heard something approaching. Without hesitation the foursome…

…stopped and looked back along the way they had just come.

“I don’t like it.” A worried Neville said – his brain still addled by over-use in his mathematical calculations. “Make it go away.”

Her mind sharp as an obsidian razor, Pixie said: “Quick, everybody; let’s hide.”

It was an excellent suggestion; and moments later…

…they huddled together between huge buttresses and attempted to blend in with their environment. And they were successful too, because a few seconds later…

…Piggies Du Pong raced by on his hover scooter.

“Did you see that moustache?” An incredulous Chickweed whispered.

“Ghastly.” Jeremy spat his reply. “If I ever decide to grow one like that, someone take me out the back and administer a lethal injection.”

As Piggies departed the scene at speed, elsewhere, the Zombie duo, Clux and Grimnax…

…searched, using an entirely different system. They merely wandered about, calling out the names of those they had travelled back in time with. They too heard something approaching, but, unable to find a handy hiding place, they stood their ground bravely and quickly tried to think of an excuse for being there. So they were pleasantly surprised to discover that the sound was caused by…

…an earplug riding on the shell of a plugmutt.

“Zombies.” Mincey said acidly, as she drew to a halt. “Terrific: the great un-dead; just what I need to help me save the world – I don’t think!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

The Time Tamperer (part 44)

But then the night security system detected their presence and sounded a crimson alert…

…which pleased Magnuss because he knew the spoken security code to cancel it. So, a moment later…

…the regular night lighting glowed white and the dashing duo could begin their investigation…

“Come on, Hairy.” Magnuss said through a broad smile. “Let’s go look for some trouble.”

Trouble might have been right around the nearest corner; but the Museum of Future Technology was a truly vast edifice, so, actually, it was miles away…

…introducing Mincey to her guest quarters. “Look,” Piggies said, “you have an asymmetrical window that looks straight out on to a featureless courtyard.”

“Lovely.” Mincey lied. “I’m really into minimalism and unevenness. I like the lack of furniture too.”

And even farther away, a confused Lobbie Lowe had followed Tanganika Chunks’ footprints all the way to the Transfer Conduit Station…

Unfortunately he couldn’t get inside because it was closed for refurbishment.

“Oh well,” he said with the acceptance of inevitability and, perhaps, an element of self-loathing…

…”I didn’t really like her very much anyway: she didn’t like peas and was always wearing that stupid space helmet in the outside toilet.”

It was about right then, deep inside the Museum of Future Technology…

…that Piggies said: “Hey, how’d you like to see my most secret weapon? A weapon so powerful that it almost scares me. A weapon that I invented myself!” And Mincey replied: “Yeah. Okay. Why not?”

So, a while later, deep within the bowels of the museum…

…Piggies led Mincey and Heathrow into an especially hardened, subterranean castle, with a powerful energy field protecting it.

“Mincey,” He said, with pride evident in every syllable, “welcome to the Nevertron!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

The Time Tamperer (part 43)

Piggies returned to the moment…

“But I like you…ah…Mincey.” He said. “And I quite like your plugmutt too. He doesn’t smell too much. I could use a little un-brainwashed company: I have some chefs; how’d you care for a nice meal, later on, when I’m ready for a good scoff?”

All the while that Piggies had been boasting, Mincey had been thinking. Her acting and producing careers appeared to be on permanent hiatus: her attempts to assume a well-paid job in the Museum of Future Technology had been thwarted: here, she concluded, only one earplug stood between her and the ‘Big Chair’. “Sure.” She replied. “Something light maybe? Something ricey? Risotto perhaps?”

Meanwhile, further up the supposedly unnavigable river of time, Magnuss and Hair Trigger, with Cushions beside them, had made their way to the Tubo Di Tempo…

“Okay, you bunch of so-called Time Techs.” Cushions bellowed at the hesitant engineers from the future, “get this thing fired up one last time. Magnuss and Hair-Trigger are here: and they’re ready to kick temporal butt.”

Neither of the trio of Time Techs expressed confidence in the time machine and were willing to state as much when Rupert Piles arrived with his TV camera…

But that didn’t stop them doing what they’d been told, and within moments…

…Magnuss and his sweetheart stepped into the maw of the recalcitrant device. The Time Techs then fired it up…

…and the resulting orange glow sent the two heroes of Earplugdom back into an uncertain past…

“Ooh.” Hair-Trigger breathed, as she looked about her. “What a pretty shade of blue.”

Magnuss wasn’t sure about it though: he thought that it looked rather cold and intimidating.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018