Tag Archives: disasters

Junior Earplug Adventures: Haunted Mars (part fifty-nine)

Massive discharges from global electrical storms lashed the surface of the planet…

Frisby and the others stood resolutely as they watched it on the monitor…

To their credit, the engineers were pretty good at standing resolutely too…

…even when the storm redoubled its efforts to scare the heck out of them…

In space, the Gravity Whelk could do nothing now, but watch from a safe distance…

“I hope that’s not the atmosphere that’s getting sucked away.” Folie said nervously. “That could prove problematical.”

“Nah, it’s alright,” Bo Smidgin replied, “the rest of the planet will catch up.”

Heedless of the dangers – real or imagined – William of Porridge and Lillie stood together on the metallic apron that surrounded the museum…

“Look at that.” William said as he held his beloved Lillie to him, “Nasty.”

“Oh, William,” Lillie replied, “I might appear so frightened that I’ll likely wet myself: but I’m not. Not all the time that you’re with me. I know that with you here I can’t be hurt. You wouldn’t let it happen.”

It was some compliment…

…but, as the lighting altered even more, William couldn’t be sure that it was entirely accurate. So he said: “Oh, in that case, p’raps we’d better get indoors.”

Then the winds that Sir Dodger had more-or-less promised arrived – tearing at the sandy Martian surface…

…and scattering it far and wide. Monitors relayed the image to empty halls…

…because those visitors, who might have been in those halls were, instead, standing in line for the lavatories…

“Will you hurry, Gerhardt,” Doubry Furkins complained, “I have large trousers – and I don’t want to fill them!”

In some places the vast strain upon the planet’s surface caused more magma to erupt through the weak points created by the rocket attack. Fire storms swept across the land…

Inside the museum one particularly brave visitor watched as one approached…

His resulting alarm caused the passing Tangerine to say: “Do not concern yourself, Visitor: this museum is equipped with a futuristic sprinkler system that pre-empts any fire and extinguishes it before it gets here. But, whatever you do, don’t open that door: you’ll confuse the sensors.”

Crevice McNally, Treacle Fagging, Clifton Wedge, and Glen Watkins were doing much the same on the opposite side of the building…

“Don’t worry, Glen,” Clifton mouthed-off like he was an expert on the subject of fire storms, “you wanna be more like me. I don’t let silly little things like fire storms concern me. No, what you want…”

But when he spotted the sheer size of the approaching holocaust…

…his mouth stopped working, and his backside took over with a series of terrified staccato barks that were almost as offensive as the view outside. Not that it affected Crevice McNally: he was too far into denial to notice them. But just as everyone thought that destruction was unavoidable, the gravitonic beam struck bedrock…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Junior Earplug Adventures: Haunted Mars (part thirty-four)

Engineer, Clifton Wedge, who was still to recover fully from his night in a snow cave, couldn’t believe his sodding eyes: he rushed straight to the nearest maintenance door and threw it open…

“Oh, cripes,” he groaned as he surveyed the nearby ice-sheet from between the door jambs, “I know Mars is supposed to be the Red Planet: but this is ridiculous. That wally, Nobby Hollister, is going to need some help with this one.”

And out upon the ice-sheet, Gerhardt Snitzenfrudel…

…was all for accepting Budlea Budgin’s kind offer of a ride in their habitat back to the museum.

“Better be waking Jenson and Rufus, I am thinking, Tynan.”

“Yeah,” Tynan said angrily, “and those dippy pair in the shepherd’s hut too. None of us will survive out here for long otherwise. When I find out who is responsible for this…I’m gonna forget my Hippocratic Oath to do no harm and kick  ’em right up the arse.”

In the aforementioned shepherd’s hut…

…Maverick and Mulleon were enjoying the show.

“I wasn’t expecting this when I booked our flight to Mars.” Maverick stated. “But as pretty as it is, it’s going to play merry hell with my search for ancient evidence of a marine earplug population on this planet.”

“Oh, look, Maverick.” Mulleon interrupted the cork’s thoughts; “those people down there are waving to us. I think they might be evacuating. Perhaps we’d better go too.”

Maverick didn’t argue for a moment. “I hope they have room for our wicker baskets. Do you think I have time to pop into the outside loo before we go?”

Back at the Future Museum of Mars, Tangerine stole a quick look at the outside world…

“Yes, Mister Mumph,” it called back into the building, “the sky is still red – but it appears to be fading. And the museum remains frozen. Yes, there is a dreadful draft: I’ll shut the door immediately.”

The red light to which Tangerine alluded worried Frisby; so he had the nul-space generator restarted, but at the Minimum Power setting so that he could switch on some pleasant ambient lighting for his  worried customers, but without blowing the place to smithereens…

Naturally Frisby Mumph despatched the earplug responsible for the rocket attack on the sub-strata to determine the true situation at Ground Zero. So, as the lights shone dimly in the museum, Nobby was riding a Sky Cycle across the ice-sheet. With him aboard the wondrous flying machine, Clifton Wedge watched the land slip away behind them…

“Nice to see that the red glow has finally subsided, Nobby.” He observed. “It was getting on my nerves. Are we nearly there yet?”

As it transpired, the land had been savaged so badly by the exploding rocket that Nobby was forced to land some distance from his original site. From there the two engineers bravely entered the ancient magma vents and traversed them towards the impact area…

“Whoo,” Nobby said as he looked around, “we’re miles from where we should be, and already the rocks are getting hot. I think I’ve really churned up the tectonic plates: this disturbance should have been much more localised. I wish Treacle Fagging had better stressed his rocket’s destructive capability to me: I might have done more complicated calculations.”

“He did tell you that it could destroy an entire Hyperspace Pirate fleet.” Clifton reminded him.

“Such an esoteric term.” Nobby argued in turn. “How big is a Hyperspace Pirate fleet? How powerful are their defensive screens? The numbers are all so vague.”

Clifton was about to reply, when, suddenly, and with only a moment’s warning – in the form of a huge rumble that nearly had the engineers off their feet – a convulsion occurred and a massive explosion ripped the land apart…

Beneath that land, Nobby – the expert in tectonics – grew concerned…

“That didn’t feel quite right.” He said to Clifton. “And it seems a whole bunch hotter in here now too.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021