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Las líneas de Tah-Di-Tah – ¡Completas y completamente gratis!

Como es mi práctica habitual, el libro electrónico completo está disponible para el público en general antes de la publicación del episodio final. Por qué lo hago de esa manera, simplemente no lo sé. Y, por supuesto, dado que ya no los publico en Lulu-com en formato EPUB, no son (estrictamente hablando) libros electrónicos adecuados. Pero PDF es un compromiso razonable y no he escuchado a nadie quejarse. Asi que aqui esta. Simplemente haga clic en la imagen de portada para liberar el archivo, que puede leer en línea o descargar para su posterior consumo.

Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 27)

So this is it. If you haven’t already downloaded the complete story (and consequently know what’s going to happen), this is the final extract. It’s been a long road to here, and you’ve all stayed the course impressively – except the ones who haven’t. You deserve an award. Well I suppose the fact that you can download this tale, in its entirety free-of-charge, is an award in itself. But enough of the waffle: let’s get to business!

“We both promised ourselves that if we ever met Bunk-Bunk Bunson we would kick ‘him’ right up the arse.” Magnuss informed her. “And, sorry, but we’re both earplugs of our word. Despite the fact that you are a ‘her’, not a ‘him’, you are still going to be punished. Hairy – you go first.”

Hair-Trigger had never kicked a female up the arse before – especially a clairvoyant heroine. So as Bunson grimaced and awaited the agony of well-aimed space sandals, all Hair-Trigger could bring herself to muster was a quick jab with the knee to a single buttock…

 

But Magnuss, who had grown up in a large family that had enjoyed a history of arse-kicking contests, made a far better attempt…

…and booted her along the corridor.

“Oh sorry,” he said as he went to Bunson’s aid…

…”the gravity of Tah-Di-Tah is only nine-tenths Earth normal. I just don’t know my own strength here.”

Bunson assumed that she would have a large black bruise in the morning; but she didn’t mind at all. She’d been kicked up the arse by earplugs who had risked everything to save Tah-Di-Tah. And she was a hero herself. Heroes should have bruises: they were a badge of honour. So it was a cheerful trio who walked together along the myriad corridors of the lost village…

As time passed they spoke of a million and one things. They were on the brink of suggesting their next course of action, which might have been a visit to the Tah-Di-Tah branch of Café Puke, when – for Magnuss and Hair-Trigger – the decision was taken out of their hands…

…and they found themselves back aboard the Tankerville Norris

Hair-Trigger, in particular, was very annoyed…

“Thank you very much indeed, Ship.” She bellowed. “We didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye to Bunk-Bunk.”

“True,” the ship spoke for only the second time since they embarked upon their honeymoon, “but she is a clairvoyant: she knows what you wanted to say. And in doing so, it is done. Now fasten your safety belts…

…we, and the Chuck Winker, are about to launch. Nothing genteel, you understand: we’d like to impress the locals before we leave.”

Moments later…

…the two Scroton/Tah-Di-Tah hybrids blasted vertically into the sky. Not that Magnuss and Hair-Trigger noticed: it had been hours since their last visit to the toilet, and they were too busy running to the one behind Engineering…

“That’s another thing,” Hair-Trigger grumbled as she noticed the absence of the ‘new’ signage, “why did Bunk-Bunk have to put the toilet so far from the bridge? For a psychic genius, she sure was one dumb female.”

Epilogue

But Hair-Trigger’s mood couldn’t remain dark. She was smiling when they returned to the bridge…

“You know,” she said, “this is beginning to feel like home. We’ll have to bring your brothers along next time.”

They had just enough time to sit themselves down before the ships made a spectacular fly-past…

…before hurtling up into space. Of course the stripped-down Chuck Winker took the lead as they battled the planet’s gravity well…

During their long conversation, Bunk-Bunk had brought Magnuss and Hair-Trigger up to date concerning the Seventh Cavalry’s role in the battle, so they put in a ship-to-ship call…

“Gentlemen…and lady.” Magnuss said as his image appeared upon the Chuck Winker’s bridge holo-screen, “you have my eternal gratitude. If you hadn’t slowed down that fleet, we would never have found the lost village – and Tah-Di-Tah would have been obliterated. When we get back to the museum, I’m going to have words with Major Leftfoot Badger. I’m going to suggest he make you all officers. He should be proud of you.”

The cavalry-plugs were a little lost for words.

Wetpatch found one or two: “Well thank you kindly, young fella. I guess, before you mosey on back to the museum, you’ll be taking that honeymoon of yours?”  

“We certainly shall.” Hair-Trigger replied…

…”Now you get yourselves safely back to Fort Balderdash: there’ll always be a place in the Museum of Future Technology for people like you. You tell Cushions Smethwyke I said that.”

With that they made their farewells; and, as instructed, the Chuck Winker blasted for Earth…

Suddenly the newlyweds felt rather alone…

“Well?” Hair-Trigger asked as she leaned towards Magnuss. ”Where to, Captain?”

“Pick a direction.” He replied. “Any direction – just as long as it’s not Earth. “We’re on our honeymoon: we’re going to do honey moony things!”

With that the Tankerville Norris rotated upon its axis to a random position…

…and Magnuss hit the ‘Go’ button…

The End

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Don’t forget to return for the next thrilling Earplug Adventure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah – Complete and Completely Free!

As is my usual practice, the complete e-book becomes available to the general public prior to the posting of the final episode. Why I do it that way, I just don’t know. And, of course, since I no longer publish them on Lulu-com in EPUB form, they are not (strictly speaking) proper e-books. But PDF is a reasonable compromise, and I’ve not heard anyone complaining. So here it is. Just click on the cover image to unleash the file, which you can either read on-line or download for later consumption.

Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 25)

And so, to the building crescendo…

“Get us out of here.” Wetpatch instructed his fellow Staff Sergeant.

“There’s some nasty weather down there.” Eustace Lipps noted. “With the ship all shot up and stuff, water might get in and short out some important circuits.”

“Don’t care.” Wetpatch retorted. “Just get us somewhere we might be able to hide in a cave or something. Descend immediately, forthwith, and straight away.”

So, before long…

…the beaten and battered Chuck Winker descended into a miserable rain storm. Naturally they reduced the illumination again…

…after all they didn’t want anyone spotting an unshielded light source. But as the ship touched down, and the gentle whine of the drive motors subsided, the room brightened into incandescent brilliance…

Jo jumped in his seat and turned to Wetpatch for an explanation. But it was Jollie who supplied it: “We’re being sensor-scanned.” He announced…

…”by a very inquisitive streetlight.”

Little did the crew of the Chuck Winker suspect, but the scientific personnel of the formerly buried village had been waiting for their ship to land so that they could commence hostilities with the enemy in the only way they knew: the defensive system now known, and referred to, as The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah. Over the hill, just north of the silted fiord, the ground cracked open and fire and brimstone burst skyward…

Inside the scientific village main facility, which, during the delay, had been returned to full functionality by its woken staff members…

…Hair-Trigger and Magnuss watched, whilst their guide (and Madame Nellie look-alike) explained that they were watching the emergence of the power receivers for the main device that created The Lines. Well Hair-Trigger was: Magnuss couldn’t quite bring himself to. But as the receivers speared the darkened sky…

…he thought he might take a quick peek. But when he saw them – in all their glory…

…he actually cheered. They were magnificent. Despite all that he had seen in his short, but adventurous life, he was awed by them. Then, as he paused for breath, something else emerged into the air that it had not tasted for a thousand years…

“Er, what’s that?” He inquired as his fearful bottom released a visible cloud of obnoxious gas.

“The Horns of Guff.” The pseudo-Nellie replied. “Designed by our fabulous founder, Frank Guff.”

“What do the Horns of Guff actually do?” Hair-Trigger asked, “Besides looking really intimidating and incredibly arty, of course.”

“It’s one of the lines.” The explanation came quickly. “This is The Guide Line.”

This wasn’t quite the explanation Hair-Trigger sought. It was too vague. But she figured all would reveal itself in time. And she was momentarily distracted when the vanguard of the invasion fleet opened fire from orbit. She was also intrigued by the alien targeting system. She had heard of Point and Shoot; but she’d never seen it practiced on such a grand scale. It was simple – but effective.

But then her attention was drawn back to the Horns of Guff. Or rather what the Horns of Guff were causing to happen in the sky above them…

Was that the image of the alien fleet she could see – framed by (what could only be) a far more complex targeting system than the one now being perpetrated against Tah-Di-Tah?

Of course she had no idea that hundreds of light years distant, a Singularity (or Black Hole as it was more commonly known) was busy doing its best to disrupt space/time for billions of kilometres around it…

But her ignorance lasted only a few seconds longer, because the Pseudo-Nellie cried out: “There it is. A thousand years have passed since we last gazed upon its might. A singular singularity – and it’s ours to control…”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 24)

It has been a lot of fun creating The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah, and I’m just sorry that it has to end. But end it must, and this is one of the final episodes. We’re nearly done here. Booooo. Anyway, enjoy the remnants…

Chapter 8

Whilst revelation piled upon revelation inside the excavated fiord, far away from Tah-Di-Tah the crew of the Chuck Winker had quickly recognised the fact that they had bitten off way more than they could chew. Every weapon they had was being brought to bear upon a foe so numerous that they were beyond counting…

And the Tankerville Norris had sustained so much damage that it was forced to flee back to Tah-Di-Tah. It fairly fell through the atmosphere – spilling drive plasma as it did so…

Further, although the cavalry were accounting for many of the shots aimed at them…

…some missed completely, and now rained deadly fire down upon the surface of Tah-Di-Tah…

One stray shot, in particular, almost caught the Tankerville Norris a potentially crushing blow as it raced across the surface at almost zero altitude…

To their credit, some of the local population responded well to the Tankerville Norris’ original request for military assistance. A farmer’s co-operative had banded together to pack as much phosphate-based fertilizer as they could into an old, dilapidated space-tug. When it was full, they lit a fuse and launched it at the incoming space fleet…

It was a bold initiative by a bunch of tractor-drivers; but ultimately it was doomed to failure. No sooner had it passed through the clouds, when a stray shot caught it amidships…

“Bugger,” one of the members of the farmer’s co-operative was heard to utter, “If I want my fields to deliver a decent crop, come harvest time, I’m gonna have to use excrement on ‘em. And there’s only me and the wife!”

The situation in space was little better. In fact it was awful. An alien energy beam knocked out the Chuck Winker’s main armament…

For those on the bridge, this was nothing less than calamitous. Wetpatch looked to Jo. “It has been an honour serving with you, Jo.” He said gravely.

A terrified Jo looked back. “What you mean, during our time in the cavalry in general; or this little escapade?”

“Both,” Wetpatch answered. “And now we’re sitting ducks – just waiting for the coup de grace.”

“We could always turn off the lights and adopt stealth mode and creep away unnoticed.” Scroda Hootner suggested.

It was an excellent suggestion: so they did…

…and the aliens were left shooting at shadows.

“Fine cavalry-plugs we are,” Wetpatch grumbled in the subdued lighting, “sitting around in the dark. And I never even got to shout ‘Charge!’”

“And I forgot to pack my bugle.” Miguel admitted, somewhat shamefaced.

“What, so now we just hang around and hope all the bad guys go away?” Jo complained. “There must be some way to get to the planet. Can we hoist a solar sail or something?”

“Well we could try something called The Dark Energy Drive.” Jollie Huggup said as he peered at his darkened read-outs. “I’ve got the start button here – I think.”

Moments later…  

…the Dark Energy Drive kicked in, and they departed the region of space behind a ‘smoke’ screen of exotic particles.

An hour later…

“Tah-Di-Tah coming up, Wetpatch.” Miguel Angel-Grinder announced. “No obvious planetary defences. Want us to go in on the night side?”

With the alien fleet just an hour behind them, Wetpatch considered this suggestion the wisest course of action…

“Sure,” he said, “but we’ll have to turn the lights up a bit: I don’t wanna press the wrong buttons and do something really stupid like disconnect the Infinite Reality Drive or eject the lavatory.”

But, having done so, they became aware of an important fact…

“It’s the sodding fleet!” Jo yelled with despair. “They must have given up shooting at nothing and followed us here!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 18)

Welcome to another (not terribly) exciting episode…

Shortly, having crossed Fort Balderdash to the Non-Commissioned Officer’s mess…

…Jo and Wetpatch let themselves in, where they had to first push aside an unserviceable all-terrain attack vehicle so that they could access the sole com-panel allowed by the cavalry’s restricted budget…

“There is only one guy in the universe that can get us out of this kaka.” Wetpatch had said as they departed Major Leftfoot Badger’s office. “So we’d better pray that he’s still in the museum.”

A minute later the panel lit up to reveal Nigel – the Golden One; his unnamed personal assistant; and Walker Crabtrouser – Chief of the Scrotonic Armed Forces, about to board their spaceship home…

“Wait!” Wetpatch yelled in near-panic. “Golden One, we have great need of your help!”

Naturally, being a reasonable guy and all-round good egg, Nigel paused his entry into the ship’s airlock. “Cavalryplugs.” He said as he recognised the staff sergeant’s uniforms. “I will always make time for the military. How can I help you?”

Quickly Wetpatch explained the situation – to which Nigel held up a hand in an attempt to stay the sergeant’s tongue further. “The Omnipresent Scanner problem can be explained thus.” He said. “The Tankerville Norris is equipped with a latest-generation Gravitic Multi-Thingamy-Whatsit, which makes it impervious to multi-phasic scans over vast distances. But as regards to actually finding them…well I’m not sure how I can offer assistance.”

“We wondered if you might lend us a ship.” Jo blurted. “We could go look for them. Space is big – but not so big that a concerted effort wouldn’t be completely unsuccessful – probably – maybe – if we looked really hard.”

“Oh dear.” Nigel said as he turned to Walker Crabtrouser for help. “I do believe we disassembled the ships that Magnuss rejected. And, unfortunately, the assembly instructions were used by a junior rating who couldn’t find the lavatory paper cupboard, and used them to…ah…well I leave it to your imagination.”

Wetpatch and Jo were crestfallen. Now all they could do was hope that the information about the Gravitonic Multiplicitor’s effect on the Omnipresent Scanner would be enough to placate Cushions and Hunting. But Walker Crabtrouser had an idea…

“Golden One,” He said slowly – as his thoughts coalesced and allowed him to speak, “I think I might have a partial answer to their prayers.”

Then, in Scrotonic, he explained. He finished with: “Well – Whatta ya think?”

“Inform the Captain that there will be a delay in our departure.” Nigel said to his Personal Assistant. Then, to Wetpatch and Jo…

…he said: “Gentlemen, it appears that I was a tad premature. There was a fourth vessel assembled from flat-pack; but no one thought that Magnuss would be attracted by a stripped-down, black-ops, stealth ship. It’s in our hold, with just a few bungee cords holding it down. I’ve got some scissors to snip them – if you’re interested of course.”

Two hours later an almost-invisible craft climbed silently into the night sky…

It scented the vacuum of space for the spore of its sister-ship – the Tankerville Norris. And having detected its ion trail, set out in pursuit…

And (nominally) at the controls…

…sat Wetpatch Wilton and Jo Frayzer.

“Ooh-er,” Jo said appreciatively, “this ship sure can motor, can’t it, Wetpatch?”

To which Wetpatch replied…

…”Flipping heck, yeah.”

Then, to the other four cavalry-plugs who had volunteered to act as crew, he added: “Any ideas what we call this baby?”

Naturally, being of long-standing in the military of Worstworld, they weren’t used to giving their imaginations free reign. They all came up empty. So it was left to Jo to make a suggestion…

“Um,” he began, “how about we let the ship choose its name? It’s probably got a better idea than any of us. What about it, Ship?”

And, like the other ships that had been created from the designs taken from Bunk-Bunk Benson, the ship spoke its name in utter silence. But the crew now knew that they were aboard the Chuck Winker, which surprised them because Chuck Winker was a terrestrial actor who starred in Magnuss Earplug’s favourite science-fiction show, Destination: The Stars.

“Whilst I’ve been here on Earth”, the ship then explained, “I’ve been watching re-runs on cable TV. They’re really very good. I like Chuck Winker: I think he has real on-screen presence. I’ve downloaded all the episodes. When I get back to Scroton, I intend to re-transmit them world-wide. I know what you’re thinking – but we have no copyright laws on Scroton, so it’ll be fine.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 16)

Thank you for staying with this tale for so long. I know it sometimes seems interminable, but the end – or the ‘finale’, as I prefer to call it – is in sight (sort of).

By the time the Tankerville Norris had returned to the city, the rain had blown away. It was late, but the sun still shone from a beautiful blue sky…

But when the intrepid earplugs visited Madame Nellie’s tent…

…they found it empty – with the exception of a sign that had been left by its former occupant…

“That’s very convenient.” Hair-Trigger hissed angrily. “Too much of a coincidence, if you ask me.”

This gave Magnuss an idea. After checking that Madame Nellie hadn’t changed her name to Madame Flub to avoid taxes, they revisited the Bazaar, where they sought out the two earplugs that had sent them to Madame Nellie’s tent the night previous…

“Nah,” the darker of the two reprobates replied to their questioning, “we don’t have the first idea where she is.”

“She just paid us to send potential customers to her.” The pale earplug added.

“How many other customers did you send her?” Magnuss inquired.

They looked at each other. The dark earplug then said: “Actually only two. You two. After you’d gone, she gave us each a hundred Smackeroos and told us that our services were no longer required.”

“Easiest hundred Smackeroos I ever made.” The pale earplug said as he fingered his hidden wallet appreciatively.

At first Magnuss and Hair-Trigger felt helpless. They simply didn’t know what to do next. So they wandered to the Old Quarter, where they hoped to spot Nellie amongst the inhabitants…

It was a long-shot, and failed miserably. Then Magnuss remembered the spy camera that he habitually wore in his breast pocket. It looked like a normal pen, but it recorded movies with monaural sound.

“I was wearing it in her house.” He said whilst grasping at metaphysical straws. “Maybe if we show it to people, they might recognise either her face or her house.”

So they did…

But no one had even heard of Madame Nellie. “Maybe you both dreamed it.” A blue End Cap suggested. “Is it possible to share a dream?”

Soon failure piled upon failure…

…and as dusk approached and the shadows fell long between buildings, all four of their combined feet hurt like heck.

“Let’s get back to the ship.” Hair-Trigger said as they wandered down yet another Tah-Di-Tah back street. “We’ll go and look at that ancient village we found in the history banks.”

Shortly the Tankerville Norris was approaching a beautifully sun-lit hill…

Magnuss and Hair-Trigger were becoming excited because just beyond it should lay the ancient village. But when the ship swooped into (what should have been) the fiord, the deflated earplugs aboard discovered that…

…it was completely silted up, and that a very nice road bridge now crossed almost a hundred metres above where the village had once stood.

“Curses.” They yelled as one. “Thwarted again!”

So it was with a feeling of despair that they had the Tankerville Norris return to its natural environment…

If vacuum could conduct vibrations, anyone outside the ship would have heard Magnuss’ angry bellowing – along with the tinkling sound of a teaspoon as it whirred around and around, with a degree of violence only matched by a category five tornado, inside a mug of coffee.

“I don’t want any coffee, Hairy.” His voice would have been heard to roar. “It keeps me up.”

Hair-Trigger’s voice was considerably quieter, and might not have been detectable by the imaginary person with his or her (or it’s) ear pressed to the hull: “It’s decaffeinated.” She said.

This seemed to calm Magnuss. Making a cup of coffee and handing it to your angry husband was such an ordinary, day-to-day thing to do. It released his stress. “Oh, thank you. How many lumps of sugar did you put in it?”

“None.” Hair-Trigger replied. “We’ve only got sweeteners on board.”

Magnuss, unlike many earplugs of his generation, was perfectly happy with fake sugar, so he gladly accepted the coffee. Whilst Hair-Trigger finished up at the coffee work station, he returned to his library interface.  And it was as he stared at the con fusing, often seemingly contradictory information before him that he began to see a correlation. Turning to Hair-Trigger…

…he said: “Hairy; we need to get down to Engineering pronto.”

By now they had grown familiar with the route; so it only took half the usual time to reach the bowels of the ship…

“I’m not very good with tech stuff.” He said as Hair-Trigger followed him into the compartment. “Turn it on, will you?”

Moments later Hair-Trigger’s dainty fingers danced across the controls, and the hologram generator burst into life…

“It’s all about time.” Magnuss explained – which pleased Hair-Trigger because, of all her favourite science-fiction movies, she liked those that featured time-travel the most. “We’ve been looking at this the wrong way ‘round.”

This also pleased Hair-Trigger because she thought they’d been looking at the problem from the right angle: to find that her famous husband now turned the situation on its head meant that she need not fret anymore. “Good.” She said. “Whatta ya mean?”

“Nigel – the Golden One – told us that Bunk- Bunk Bunsen had travelled back through time. That the design of the Tankerville Norris, Scroterton Pancake, and the Sir Goosewing Grey were more advanced than anything we have today because it came from the future. What if he only assumed that they came from the future? Or that Bunk-Bunk Bunsen told him that because it was easier for him to accept?”

Not for the first time during their many convoluted conversations did Hair-Trigger make the mental leap expected of her by Magnuss. “What did you find in the library computer?” She demanded.

“The village in the fiord.” Magnuss replied with building excitement. “We assumed that it was a primitive fishing village, which might or might not have had a football team. It wasn’t. It was a technocrat’s enclave. All the brainiest earplugs of the planet went there to study and to experiment with futuristic ideas and technology that they developed there. That was a thousand years ago. It was destroyed in a cataclysm of unknown origin. Then a tsunami swept in and covered the ruins in sea bottom and silt.”

By now Hair-Trigger was shaking with anticipation. “I know what you’re going to say.” She squealed. “The reason that the computer can’t correlate the Lines of Tah-Di-Tah with anything today is because this world wasn’t called Tah-Di-Tah a thousand years ago.” 

“On the nose, my super-intelligent, sweet wife.” Magnuss bellowed. “It was called something else completely – which I don’t know and don’t care. The secret of the Lines of Tah-Di-Tah lay a hundred metres below that road bridge.”

“And we have to dig it up!” Hair-Trigger yelled shrilly. “But how?”

At that point the ship passed on some silent information to the couple. They turned to regard the Gravitonic Multiplicitor…

“If it can move worlds,” Magnuss said whilst the machine hummed in near silence, “a nice road bridge and a few hundred thousand tons of sea floor should be no problem at all.”

But just as they set about figuring how to utilise the Gravitonic Multiplicitor, the ship went to Crimson Alert…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 15)

So far it has been rather fun for the newlyweds: now their work really begins. Read on…

Chapter 5

Neither Magnuss nor Hair-Trigger slept well that night. Their minds were in turmoil. So they were still tired when the alarm clock woke them to a day full of grey skies and rain…

But one thing was certain to both of them, as they stared out at the rain-soaked city that only hours earlier had appeared so bright and full of promise…

“We’ll learn nothing here.” Magnuss said. Then, to add clarity he added: “In the city I mean. No one knows anything about the Lines of Tah-Di-Tah.”

“How can you be so sure?” Hair-Trigger inquired reasonably. “I know we asked at Reception, but we haven’t asked everyone.”

“I went on-line while you were making toast.” Magnuss explained. “There’s not a single mention of it.”

To her credit, Hair-Trigger tried to be subjective and helpful. “Have you considered that Madame Nellie might be a bona fide fruit-cake? That perhaps there is no such thing as the Lines of Tah-Di-Tah?”

Magnuss’ expression, reflected in the window, told Hair-Trigger that playing Devil’s Advocate wasn’t her most remarkable talent. “You’re right, of course.” She said. “Clearly the female is no nut-job. If she’d been mad, she wouldn’t have caressed your temple: she would have squeezed your buttocks. So where do we go from here?”

“The Tankerville Norris.” Magnuss replied. “If we are to find anything pertinent concerning the Lines of Tah-Di-Tah, it’ll be in the ship’s memory banks.”

So, a half-hour later, and having checked out, the husband and wife team of daring-doers made for the exit of the Hotel Gilb…

From there the courtesy shuttle bus returned them to the parking lot, and thence to their ship – through which (because the weather outside had been chilly and wet) they rushed to the (recently sign-posted) lavatory…

…before settling down to study the immense Library of Galactic Information – jokingly referred to as The Encyclopaedia Galactica – in the ship’s central computer…

But just to be certain that they would not be interrupted – or scanned intrusively by the SS Glob – Magnuss had the Tankerville Norris lift off…

…then whoosh across the high-rise section of the rain-swept city…

This coincided with many of the Hotel Gilb’s hospitality staff taking their early morning coffee break by the window in the dining room…

“Oh-no, not another one leaving.” The purple individual with pink hair complained. “The place is already nearly empty. If this keeps on, I can see our whole industry falling down around our ears.”

But a green earplug was secretly pleased at the departure of a space ship, because he was a Catering Anarchist!

Aboard the departing space ship…

…Magnuss and Hair-Trigger watched as rainwater slewed off the ship’s forward camera cupola.

“Right sod of a day.” Magnuss observed. “We’ll be able to think more clearly when we’re above the atmosphere: there won’t be this incessant tippy-tappy noise on the hull.”

But a half-hour later, and having spent the entire time trying to find information that might be vaguely linked with the Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (but without success) Magnuss was getting a headache…

So he sat down for five minutes, which released Hair-Trigger to try a few entries of her own.

“Hey,” she yelled almost immediately, “I’ve tried a wider, more expansive request input. I’ve left out the Tah-Di-Tah bit. I punched in a request for any historical or mythical usage of the word ‘lines’. Guess what – I found an entry. We need to access it on the table in Engineering…

Engineering, being relatively close to the bridge, it took only moments for the excited couple to get there…

“How do we turn it on?” Hair-Trigger asked Magnuss.

On cue both knew in an instant. Moments later an image to accompany the information that was being directly fed into their brains appeared on the holographic viewer…

“A strange village at the very end of a long fiord.” Magnuss said in wonder.

“Small domed houses that hang on, or cling to the cliff face.” Hair-Trigger added. “Some go down to the water’s edge.”

“Not a lot of flat land.” Magnuss noted. “I wouldn’t want to be on their soccer team: you’d be playing one half of the game up hill; and the other half chasing the ball downhill.”

“P’raps they’ve got their pitch the other way ‘round.” Hair-Trigger suggested. “Longitudinally I mean. Canted over at whatever the angle of the cliff, with the goals at either end also canted over of course.”

Magnuss was about to reply, when suddenly he realised that they had gone off-subject. So he said: “Who cares? Huh, maybe they don’t even play soccer.”

“Didn’t.” Hair-Trigger corrected him. “Maybe they didn’t play soccer. This is a historical picture. Past tense, that is. Maybe they never played soccer because it hadn’t been invented yet.”

Magnuss quickly changed the subject. “This is a winter shot: can we see a summer version?”

“Look, Magnuss,” Hair-Trigger gasped after scrutinizing the replacement picture for a nanosecond, “they did have an area suitable for a soccer pitch. Down by the water on the north shore. It appears to have three buildings on it. But they could be mere tents or artisan’s fabric retail outlets.”

Magnuss took a quick peek to confirm his wife’s observation; then returned the conversation to its original course. “Let’s collate the info we have on The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah, and see where this new stuff takes us.”

Naturally the ship complied…

Magnuss wasn’t impressed, so Hair-Trigger put on a brave face and smiled sweetly. “Yes,” she said positively, “although we have no idea what these ‘lines’ are, we know they have something to do with the planet, Tah-Di-Tah.”

Magnuss pulled himself together. “Confirmed.” He agreed. “I also notice that clairvoyance is highlighted: that must be important too. Madame Nellie, I presume – yet she claimed to know nothing of The Lines.”

“Predestination.” Hair-Trigger yelped when she saw the word. “That suggests that someone – possibly you and I – were always intended to be here to find The Lines. But Time Travel?”

“Bunk-Bunk Bunsen.” Magnuss blurted. “He who brought the plans of this very ship with him from the future. I alluded to it, earlier in the city. Now it’s beginning to make more and more sense. But I can’t figure the History entry.”

“The village at the end of the fiord.” Hair-Trigger suggested. When I entered the word ’lines’, the computer gave me the village.”

“Accepted.” Magnuss said as he studied the hologram. “But what the heck is an Infinite Reality Drive?”

In an instant the telepathic link with the Tankerville Norris gave him the answer. Hair-Trigger too.

“It’s what powers the ship along.” She yelled joyfully. “I wondered why it didn’t whoosh along with a tail of fire like other ship’s we’ve been on. Using a system – not unlike that one which destroyed the civilisation that Folie Krimp and Placebo Bison discovered – the creators of the I.R.D accessed alternative quantum realities and syphoned off the raw power of that reality’s creative ‘Big Bang’, and converted it into smooth linear thrust.”

Magnuss was impressed. “Very good, Hairy.” He said. “I couldn’t have put it better myself. In fact I would have spoken a bunch of cobblers. But how is it pertinent to the mystery? What does Infinite Reality Drive have to do with clairvoyance, time-travel, predestination, and the planet below?”

“The starting point came when we visited Madame Nellie.” Hair-Trigger replied. “It’s only a hunch, but I think she knows more than she’s telling. Shame on her: and you being a Saint as well!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Succinct Cover Art

Unusually, for an Earplug Adventure, the story (and cover art) for The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah were all complete, spell-checked, listened to (using Natural Reader), and ready for conversion to PDF format long before the final few episodes appear on-line. But, since the tale is an on-line serial, I shall refrain from publishing the finished e-book/file until the penultimate episode appears – which is the usual way of things in Tootyland. But just as a taster for anyone who is planning to download the great masterpiece of silicon life – to share with friends, family, total strangers, and anyone who looks like they might be into strange stuff – here is the cover art. It isn’t flashy. It doesn’t display an exciting moment from the story. Instead I thought it should show the two stars – looking slightly puzzled. After all  they are earplugs, and this is an earplug mystery.

So now you know what to look for when it appears on the All Earplug Adventures in PDF Format Unexpurgated & FREE! page.

P.S You don’t need to wait to visit the page: there are 41 other Earplug Adventures there, gagging to be read.

Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 5)

Going back to the well again. A well that’s in need of refilling, I might add. But until it dries up…here’s some more earplug action!

Moments later, having been shown the stairs that led down to the conveyor belt bay, and whilst their wedding guests line-danced to the music of Las Bragas…  

…Magnuss and Hair-Trigger began searching for a way into the vessel… 

 And it didn’t take long either. But once inside… 

 …confusion reigned.  

“Oh, this is all so alien.” Hair-Trigger observed. “They did say that Bunk-Bunk Bunson was an earplug, didn’t they? This doesn’t look like earplug technology to me: not even from the future.”

 But they needn’t have worried unduly: it was just a weird type of air-lock that they were unfamiliar with. Further into the interior of the ship, normality resumed…

 “Look,” a relieved Hair-Trigger said as they passed a portal that displayed an image of  what space would look like, once the ship had taken off of course,  “a fancy interface panel and an arrow – pointing towards the bridge.”

“Oh well,” Magnuss replied cheerfully, “in that case I think it’s best we follow it.”

Although, by space ship standards, the Tankerville Norris was no behemoth; it was kinda large for two earplugs. It took them almost five minutes to find their way to the bridge. But when they did, they were mightily impressed…  

The lighting was clearly in hibernation mode, but even by its feeble illumination, it was clear to the newlyweds that the ship was advanced beyond their comprehension – though they did notice that one of the chairs, which they assumed were pilot positions, sat slightly askew. Then a pair of mauve lights chose that moment to burst into gentle incandescent life…

Hair-Trigger was on the point of squealing with delight, when suddenly the main lights came on, and the askew pilot’s chair straightened itself automatically…  

“Wow,” Magnuss uttered breathlessly, “and I didn’t even have to clap my hands or anything!” 

Then, ignoring the fact that there was no obvious view screen in front of the pilot’s position, they rushed forward for a reverse view of the self-straightening chair…  

“I’d like one of these in our rented apartment.” Hair-Trigger stated her appreciation of the technology that now confronted her. “Every time I clip it with the vacuum cleaner or fall over it in a drunken stupor – and send it into a dizzying spin – I won’t need to put it straight again!” 

Magnuss was amused by this; but he was also concerned that the chairs looked very heavy and uncomfortable. “They’ve got lots of technological lumps on the back of them.” He said. “I wonder if we can feel them through the futuristic padding?” 

Well the only answer to that question was to test them…  

“You first, Missus Earplug.” Magnuss said. 

“No-no, no one should go first.” Hair-Trigger replied. “We are a team. We’re one – you and I: we’ll sit down at the same time – together.”

So they did…   

But as they settled themselves into the chair’s luxurious embrace, they became aware of an X, with little lights at every point, as it appeared in the air before them. Of course they had no idea what it meant. And it was at that juncture that they noticed the absence of a main view screen.

“I wish we had a user’s manual.” Hair-Trigger said. Then she had a sudden thought: “Belay that,” she added, “I think I know what that is. In fact I get the distinct feeling that I know a lot more about this ship’s workings than I should.”

Realisation struck Magnuss like a football boot up the rear end. “Of course,” he roared in understanding and comprehension, “when we couldn’t see the bridge properly, the lights came on. When you spotted the off-set chair, it righted itself. And now that the ship knows that we want a main view screen…”

But he got no further, because…  

…the X was replaced by a holographic view of what lay outside the Tankerville Norris. 

“Flipping heck,” Magnuss exploded, “we’re no longer inside the museum: we’re floating outside!” 

And they were too…  

This time Hair-Trigger did squeal with delight. “Whatever we think – consciously or sub-consciously – the ship responds. Oh Magnuss: we don’t need to learn how to fly this ship. We don’t even need an auto-pilot: it’s just reads our minds!” 

People in the museum had become aware that the Tankerville Norris had become airborne. Wherever they were, and whatever they were supposed to be doing, they all stopped to watch events unfold on the museum’s giant public screens…  

They watched – some of them in stunned silence; others with very squeaky bottoms – as the beautiful blue vessel eased away and levitated above the nearby estuary…  

…where a pair of tourists – Clive and Indigo Firebush – were engaged upon a kayaking holiday…    

…and who wondered what had caused a momentary shadow to cross their path and frighten them witless – especially after having looked upwards where they could see nothing but open sky.

Of course the reason why they could detect no sign of the Tankerville Norris was because it had already breached the Earth’s atmosphere and was in space…  

“Whoo,” Magnuss said as he and his wife peered out through the huge magnifying observation window, “that was smooth.” 

“And quick too.” Hair-Trigger added. “So what do we do now?” But, having received no reply from her new husband, she suddenly recognised the look upon his boyishly handsome face. He was in telepathic communication with his brothers…  

“Yo, Bro,” Rudi yelled, both mentally and verbally, “your ship is fully stocked: you’ve got a full complement of proton torpedoes: go have yourselves some fun.” 

“Yeah,” Chester added, “we can look after the museum in your absence. We’re not entirely useless!” 

High above the remaining four Earplug Brothers, systems aboard the Tankerville Norris activated in a pre-determined sequence…  

…and the tail lights came on. 

Having returned to the bridge…  

…the sole occupants shared a glance; then stared straight ahead. 

“Ready?” Magnuss inquired. 

“Ready.” Hair-Trigger replied. 

Upon her Omnipresent Scanner, Cushions Smethwyke watched in open-mouthed (and very toothy) fascination…  

A split second later the Tankerville Norris began its maiden voyage… 

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

What kind of honeymoon can Magnuss and Hair-Trigger expect? Not a regular type, that’s for certain. Tune in again to discover just how irregular!

Earplug Adventures: The Lines of Tah-Di-Tah (part 3)

So I’ve only shot twenty percent of the photos that I need to tell an earplug tale:  so what? With that twenty percent I can tell twenty percent of the story. Why wait around until everything is in place? So I won’t. Here is a hundred percent of the third episode…

This moment, so charged with emotion, proved too much for Susan. Losing control of her constituent parts, she took on her regular amorphous shape and wailed with tears of joy… 

 …which amused everyone – even those watching far away. Those like… 

 …Placebo Bison and Folie Krimp aboard the Gravity Whelk…  

But although her outburst was short-lived, Magnuss and Hair-Trigger couldn’t quite wipe the smiles from their faces as the ceremony proper began…  

The Angel with a Huge Nose went through the necessary procedures. All that “We gather here today to,” stuff. And, “It is in the sight of the Supreme Being himself” sort of thing. And when Hunting Provost failed to step up and yell his complaint when the Angel said: “Does anyone here have anything negative to say about this union?”, they got on with the vows, which didn’t go quite to plan because Hair-Trigger got her tongue twisted around Magnuss’ middle name, and called him Magnuss Finklestink Earplug…  

“That’s ‘Finklestein’, dear.” The kindly Avatar corrected the nervous multi-coloured earplug. 

“That’s the guy.” Hair-Trigger responded cheerfully. “He’s great – isn’t he? I love him so much. I’m really glad it’s me he’s marrying.” 

When it came to Magnuss making his vows, he had no such problem…   

But he did make an addendum: “By the way, I feel the same way about her too.” 

It was whilst the audience tittered at this quiet outburst of earplugness that Cushions Smethwyke turned to the other curators… 

 “Right, I’ve got something I have to do. Cheerful Charlie, you record what happens next on your mobile phone.” Then she was gone, out through a side door that very few people knew about.

 As the door clicked shut behind Cushions, the lights in the Grand Hall dimmed once more. A blue light, created by the Angel with a Huge Nose’s holy bioluminescence, shone upon Magnuss and Hair-Trigger…

“Magnuss and Hair-Trigger Earplug,” she said loudly, so that all – even the deaf sods at the back – could hear, “I now pronounce you earplug and wife.”

The Avatar then added: “Magnuss, you may now kiss the bride.”

Rupert Piles didn’t waste a second: he was in like rabid lottery ticket winner for a close-up…  

“Hello, Missus Earplug.” Magnuss said following their very public embrace.

Like the crowd in the Grand Hall, and the masses watching throughout the Museum of Future Technology, far away, upon a deep space mission, the watching bridge crew of the K T Woo all cheered themselves hoarse… 

 …until a number of them broke down in a coughing fit.  

And Yu-Wah and Way-Hey Pong couldn’t stop themselves from stepping forward for a better view of their dear friend’s union… 

It was at this point in proceedings that Nigel took the opportunity to also step forward…  

“Magnuss,“ he said in an ultra-masculine and stentorian tone that had the weaker-willed females present fainting where they stood, “you have been a great ally to my world. When Cushions called me with a problem, and mentioned that it concerned you, I put my metaphorical thinking cap on. You still haven’t decided upon a honeymoon location, I believe?”

Both Magnuss and Hair-Trigger were too overcome to reply: they merely grinned and shook their heads in negation.

“Well I have the answer to your problem.” Nigel continued. “I brought it with me, from Scroton. When proceedings are complete, I ask you to join me.”  

Naturally the two earplugs accepted. How could they not? Not that they wanted to, of course.

“Sho’nuf, Nige.” Magnuss managed – then felt vaguely embarrassed because it was something that his brother, Valentine might have said.

He was saved by Hair-Trigger’s, “Thank you, Golden One: we shall.”

Then it was time for their grand exit… 

The Earplug Brothers made up one half of the Guard of Honour. The non-commissioned officers of the Seventh Cavalry constituted the other half. And the couple departed the Grand Hall to the combined horns of Las Bragas de Alegría and three rousing cheers. 

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Of course this is only the beginning of the story. Come back for what happens next!

Rejoice: Good News, Earpluggers…

…principal photography has begun on the 42nd Earplug Adventure – or the Forty-Two’eth episode, as I prefer to call it. And just to prove that the camera hand is still firm and capable, here’s a trio of shots for the opening segment of the tale…

Yes, that last shot features Nigel the Golden One – leader of the Planet Scroton. He’s back! Can’t wait for more? Neither can I!

Flipping Heck, It Must Be Some Kind of Earplugfest!

To whomever decided to download every Earplug Adventure ever written today (20/09/21)…all I can say is: “Wow!” Hope you enjoy them.

Of course anyone else who might fancy a giggle or two can emulate the mystery reader and either read them on-line, or download them for later by visiting the appropriate Page on this site. Anyone interested can take the shortcut to it right HERE.

Then you too can experience the…ah…Earplug Experience for yourself. Here’s a random representative e-book cover. Nice, isn’t it!

 

 

Tooty’s Pissed Off Again

I didn’t think it unreasonable of me to expect to add The Age of Stone to my list of free e-books on this blog’s sidebar. I mean, every other book is there: why not the latest? Well WordPress had other ideas. The ‘Classic’ posting system just wouldn’t  work. I mean, it wasn’t even there to try. And the new ‘Block’  system (which I loathe with an intensity usually reserved for recalcitrant ink jet printers and DVD players that can’t recognise that there is a DVD in the tray) just sat there and did nothing – for ten minutes – before I gave up; called it several names, none of which are printable here; cursed the designer of the ‘block’ system to perminent impotence, considered creating a voodoo doll; and decided on an alternative course of action. And this is the alternative course of action. All Earplug Adventures in PDF Format Unexpurgated & FREE! Yup, there’s a page beneath the header that now contains every Earplug Adventure file, which can be accessed by anyone and everyone absolutely free. And very nice they are too. Well worth a visit. Now, if WordPress would kindly allow me, I’d like to remove those free e-books from their fucking sidebar. But I’m not hopeful. Bunch of shits.

 

The Age of Stone – in it’s entirety – FREE!

You may have missed the odd episode of The Age of Stone along the way; but that doesn’t matter anymore because the free PDF version has arrived for you to either download and read at your leisure (and perhaps share with your friends), or to read in situ right here. Try to comprehend the magnitude of this wondrous offer: it is unequalled in the history of literature and photography. All those photos: all those words: all that creative genius – absolutely FREE! Just click on the book cover image, and it’s all yours, yours, yours!

Earlier Earplug Adventure books are also available too. Just click on the side bar images to access  them. Or, better still, visit the All Earplug Adventures in PDF Format Unexpurgated & FREE! page beneath the header.

Earplug Adventures: The Age of Stone (part 26)

At that moment, in the dance hall, Hambledon Bohannon hit the lights and wound the sound system up to eleven…

It was time to party…

Late-comers raced down corridors when they heard Bohannon’s own monster hit, ‘Everybody Slap Your Disco Thighs’ resonate through the thick stone walls…

 

…ever hopeful of having their eyes assaulted by a kaleidoscopic light show…

Of course, they were not disappointed. Already many earplugs were getting down to the insistent bass and driving rhythm…

None less so than Cushions Smethwyke, who was dancing with a new nurse from the museum’s dispensary. “I like your white uniform,” she said. “Didn’t you have time to go home and change?”

To which the new nurse replied: “Oh-no, I’m on duty – I’m here just in case someone gets over-excited and faints or something equally catastrophic.”

And Simon Knights-Templar was so mesmerised by the light show that he merely wandered around in a daze. Of course, Rupert Piles attended. No disco could be held without the event being recorded for posterity on his huge 3D TV camera…

Of course, Rudi, Miles, Chester, Valentine and Magnuss attended. Naturally Hair-Trigger was at Magnuss’ side…

And Susan was there – with her constituent parts independent of the whole…

“Okay, girls,” she effectively said to herself. “Go mingle with the masses. Like that lovely Hambledon Bohannon said: It’s time to party. Let’s get down. Huh!”

But after a brief foray on the dance floor, she had another idea. Moments later she did this…

…which almost brought the house down. That’s metaphorically of course: it was, after all, actually constructed from huge chunks of stone, which had been built to last a thousand years.

Five minutes later Magnuss was still feeling the effects of motion sickness. It was all he could do to fight off attacks of nausea…

But then Hair-Trigger dropped a bombshell in his lap: “Hambledon Bohannon,” she shouted above the din of excited disco-goers and the Trumptations’ mega-hit of yester year, ‘Aint too Proud to Fart’  “has re-mixed the backing track to Los Caballeros Stupido into a jazz funk fusion version of your classic party piece. You and the boys are expected to perform it – like now.”

It wasn’t a request: it was a command. So a few minutes later the lights came up – to reveal The Earplug Brothers live!

Sadly neither of them was familiar with jazz, funk, or fusions of any kind; so their performance was less than stellar. But no one really cared: they were, after all, heroes of the Museum of Future Technology. And soon Hambledon had the turntables whirling nicely again…

©  Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

 

 

Earplug Adventures: The Age of Stone (part 25)

“I think that went very well.” Miles said as the five heroic earplugs watched the ship attain orbit…

 …“I think things could have worked out rather worse. A pat on the back all ‘round?”

Rudi smiled at this. “At the very least, man.” He replied.

Susan, in her many parts, was feeling much the same way. Every sub-unit had something to say, even if all the others knew exactly the words it would use…

“You know,” the primary sub-unit said to the others, “I’m feeling like I’m in some sort of girlie gang. It’s fun, isn’t it? Girl power!”

But as fun as it was, Susan reintegrated for her role of Captain. And she wasn’t surprised to find the engineering staff had returned to their DVD box set…

Also she was less than surprised when Chester sought her out, and they stood at an observation window and watched asteroids pass by on their way to a collision with the planet below…

“Poor little asteroids,” she said with a smile that – if she didn’t straighten her face soon – she feared might become perpetual, “of all the planets to pick on, they chose the Supreme Being’s. I can see him getting quite annoyed.”

She continued to smile all the way back to the bridge, which left Chester free to join his brothers…

“Flipping heck,” Magnuss exploded, “look at the distance we’ve covered in just fifteen minutes. That’s Sirius that we’re sweeping majestically by. Worstworld is just around the corner. It’s half way to Earth. Another fifteen minutes and we’ll be landing at the good old Museum of Future Technology…

Of course it was a fifty-fifty chance that the museum’s location on the planet’s surface would have it smothered in the cloak of night, which meant that the Age of Stone was too…

Already the castle’s grand hall had been made ready for the celebratory discotheque. As the ship landed and its crew disembarked, Hambledon Bohannon was warming up his futuristic, but wonderfully 1970s retro, turntables…

And earplugs from the museum proper were making their way to the Age of Stone exhibit…

But many were already standing in line in corridors bedecked with fabulous drapes…

Even the Graveyard Avatar had managed to drag itself and a number of acolytes along…

“Oh, isn’t this lovely?”  She cried with glee. “This stone is so cold and foreboding: it’s like being at home.”

Further inside the castle, huge light screens had been erected…

…which looked really neat and bathed the stony interior in a chill blue light.

“Like it.” Doctor Snippentuck, the resident incompetent plastic surgeon was heard to utter. “When I can afford it, I’m going to get my surgery decorated like this. It’ll be the talk of the town.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

DDW: Downloads Doing Well

Have to say, it’s nice to see downloads of the free PDF copies of my Earplug Adventures moving along nicely. I like to imagine people are actually enjoying what they find there. For the seven days covering 25th August 2021 to the 31st, an average of 4.6 downloads were made every day. Not setting the world alight, I know; but someone’s taking the time and trouble. So well done. Anyone interested in repeating this act can do so by accessing the files via the Free Earplug Adventure Ebook page beneath the header at the top of this post. And you don’t have to download them: if you like you can read them in situ. Do so and enjoy those exciting tales featuring this bunch of wassocks…

 

Earplug Adventures: The Age of Stone (part 23)

Such were their taut nerves that seconds seemed to lengthen into minutes. But it was only a few heartbeats before the Wonky Supreme Being burst from his alien realm and into the Age of Stone exhibit…

“Hah.” He roared in assumed triumph. “You could have taken this laying down: but, no, you wanted a fight. Well I’m here to tell you – there isn’t going to be a fight, because you’re just five puny earplugs; and I’m something special. And worse still, for you stupid quintet of over-confident fools, I’m wearing this!”

The earplug Brothers weren’t familiar with Atomic Boiler Suits. “Is that good?” Magnuss inquired with a steady voice.

“Good?” The Wonky SB replied loudly and with a degree of disbelief. “It’s bloody marvellous. The fabric of this garment makes me utterly invincible. It was made by an artisan seamstress from a realm way…way…higher on the evolutionary scale than this vile place. And it can’t be breached by any form of energy weapon. And my pretentious hat is just the icing on the cake: it’s made of the same stuff.”

It was clear to the boys that they had a fight on their hands, even if Wonky SB thought they didn’t. They raised their psychic shield…

The Wonky SB repeated his opening “Hah!” before opening with a salvo of thunderbolts…

…which were easily repelled by the psychic shield…

So a slightly surprised Wonky SB let rip with multiple salvoes…

Again the psychic shield shrugged the massive energy from its non-existential flanks. But the backdraft of the assault swept around the stone-built edifice and assailed the boys with a terrible hurricane of displaced air – knocking the two brothers who stood at either end across the room and down an adjacent corridor. At this point the battle would have been lost; but Susan hadn’t been able to allow herself to leave the area. She simply had to stay and help her Chester. So it was she who rushed from the relative safety of an alcove and caught Miles in her massive maw…

…whilst lassoing Valentine with a part of her that she didn’t like to talk about – even to her doctor…

Within seconds they were back in place beside their brothers…

Although he stood in absolute silence, Magnuss spoke to the others with his mind: “That atomic boiler suit material may be impregnable, but did you hear what he said about its construction? It was made by a seamstress: that means that it’s stitched together. That’s its weakness: the threads that bind it together. Now if only we had some means of attacking those threads.”

“Laser beam eyes would be good.” Chester suggested. “Everywhere we looked, ravaging beams of energy would follow. We could simply burn the bindings away, and the garment would fall apart.”

“Great,” Rudi joined the mental conversation, “but we aint got no laser beam eyes. Or laser beam toes, for that matter. Anyone got a laser beam bum handy?”

“Put your faith in the Supreme Being.” Magnuss responded to this. “He told us we have the means to defeat the Wonky SB. If we need laser beam eyes for that – laser beam eyes we will have. Trust me.”

Meanwhile the Wonky SB had grown curious. Firstly he wondered quite how they had survived his attack. Secondly, he wondered why they were standing before him and doing absolutely nothing. To satisfy his curiosity, he bent forward for a better view…

“Ugh?” He queried.

He had just enough time to stand upright again before Magnuss said calmly: “Gentlemen; select your targets.”

A split second later orange beams of intense light leapt from the eyes of the Earplug Brothers…

And, just as Chester had foretold, wherever they chose to look, the laser beams followed a micro-second later. They simply couldn’t miss…

“Argh,” the Wonky SB cried out in horror as he reached for his falling headwear, “not my pretentious hat!”

But worse was to follow…

…as the beams burned away the stitching that held the atomic boiler suit together.

“Yikes, this is bad.” The Wonky SB bellowed with rage and despair. “The silly old bat forgot to use invincible cotton thread. The next time I see her I’ll give her a bloody good kick up the arse!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Earplug Adventures: The Age of Stone (part 22)

In response the Supreme Being lowered the party of earplugs into the soup of reality…

And with a look of complete self-satisfaction…

…he dismissed them – to the Age of Stone exhibit inside the Museum of Future Technology…

“Spectacular.” Susan spoke appreciatively. “So what are we doing back here? Is the SB going to help, or not?”

Of course the Earplug Brothers knew exactly why they had been returned to the Age of Stone. They also knew what was required of them. Chester took Susan aside…

Neither of them noticed that the rock formation looked exactly like a duck’s arse.

“Susan,” he said, “the showdown with Wonky is coming soon. This is a battle you can’t fight. And if you get hurt, I’m not sure that I’ll be much help to my brothers. So it’s very important that you go hide yourself away.”

For a moment Susan was overcome with emotion…

Chester hadn’t anticipated this reaction. “Oh, Sue, don’t go to pieces on me now.”

“But I’m part of the Age of Stone exhibit.” She mumbled from somewhere on the floor. “I can’t abandon it in its hour of need. And I can’t abandon you either. Oh Chester, you’re such a lovely little pinky-orange guy: I want to be by your side through thick and thin. I’d even watch TV poker, late at night with you – if you really insisted. And I’d get you an omelette too – if you were feeling peckish. And olives.”

Chester committed himself to an, “Um…” before Susan lunged at him and planted a huge kisser all over his face…

“Please let me join this fight.” She added from some other source that Chester couldn’t readily identify. “I beg of you.”

Lack of oxygen gave wings to Chester’s thought processes. “Your firewalls.” He managed. “Someone has to manage those that link this place with the museum proper. They’ll stop Wonky from carrying this fight into the defenceless museum. If you separate into your earplug forms, I believe there are just enough of you to carry out the task.”

Five minutes later, and following a plethora of kisses, Chester went to join his brothers…

“Come back safe and sound.” They called as one. “There’s more where that came from.”

Shortly the Earplug Brothers stood shoulder to shoulder…

“Okay,” Magnuss said, “if I’ve got this right, we already have the tools to defeat the Wonky SB. It’s just a matter of utilising them to their best effect.”

“Hmm,” an unconvinced Miles responded, “I would have felt better with some heavyweight backup though. That God of Leathery Balls looked like a mean hombre.”

Magnuss considered this for a nanosecond or two. He could understand Miles’ disappointment. But Miles hadn’t been inside the booth. He hadn’t had his head expanded. Magnuss felt certain that something other than information transference had occurred inside that booth. But right now he didn’t know what it was, so he kept quiet upon the subject. Instead he said: “Right, we need to get the Wonky SBs attention. Any suggestions?”

Well, for the next hour the heroic quintet marched around the exhibit shouting this such as: “Wonky is a wally.” And “Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough.” They even broke wind and made disparaging comments concerning his parentage. But to no avail. Night soon fell inside the Age of Stone, and their marching had reduced to a meandering wander…

…and their yells were interspersed with yawns. They were considering going for a coffee, when, suddenly an unnatural occurrence…um…occurred

A portal appeared to form in the solid castle wall. This, in itself, was not incontrovertible proof that the Wonky Supreme Being was about to appear: but the alteration in the exhibit’s ambient colouration certainly was…

“Oh, bum.” Magnuss whimpered. Then gathering his courage he snapped: “Shoulders straight, boys.” He then confused the twins (but impressed his elders) by using an ancient military term: “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes.”

He said no more because a form appeared inside the portal…

Then something of the extra strength that Magnuss so hoped he’d gained whilst inside the booth permeated through his siblings…

They didn’t know what to expect; but the Earplug Brothers were free of doubts: they were ready for battle.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: La Era de la Piedra (parte 17)

Mientras tanto, en otro compartimiento por completo, Rudi y Valentine estaban revisando el barco…

“Sí, seguro que el exterior y el puente se parecen al Chi-Z-Sox “, le dijo Rudi a su hermano, “pero estos pasillos son completamente nuevos”.

“Sho-nuf cava el tono, hermano.” Valentine respondió. “Pero sigo pillando mis rodillas con estas tuberías pegajosas. Oye, dolor de rótula, hombre “.

En ese momento en particular, la luz de advertencia en la tapa de la válvula Fanangy decidió brillar en verde…

“Ah-hah”. Budgitte exclamó triunfalmente. “Llamaré al puente: podemos ponernos en marcha una vez más”.

Pero en el momento entre decir las palabras y conectar el intercomunicador, la nave se puso en alerta carmesí…

Por un breve momento, ni Rudi ni Valentine supieron reaccionar. ¿Qué podría causar una alerta carmesí en las profundidades del espacio? Estaban temporalmente aturdidos.

La situación en el puente no fue mucho mejor…

“¿Alguien notó ese planeta azul por el que pasamos después de salir del hiperespacio?” Magnuss preguntó.

Recibió una plétora de cabezas sacudidas.

“¿Qué hay de eso, Magnuss?” Todas las partes de Susan hablaron como una.

—Bueno —empezó Magnuss nerviosamente—, podría estar equivocado; pero creo que nuestros sensores han detectado un rayo de algún tipo que emana de él. De ahí la advertencia algo vaga en la pantalla “.

“¿Qué podemos hacer al respecto?” Todos preguntaron.

Magnuss tuvo que pensar en eso. Finalmente, siguiendo una serie de ‘ums’ y ‘ahs’, respondió: “Bueno, podríamos apagar nuestros sensores, lo que la gente del planeta podría considerar de mala educación e inflamatoria: o podríamos volar muy rápido antes de que decidan abrir fuego”. . “

“Me gustan las dos opciones”. La directora Susan en la silla del Capitán respondió. “¡Vámonos de aquí!”

En el piso inferior, Rudi y Valentine tuvieron la misma idea…

… Y rápidamente regresaron a sus lugares de destino en el puente. Pero antes de que la nave pudiera iniciar un procedimiento de arranque para el motor de propulsión estelar reparado o incluso los chorros de maniobra, un rayo sensor de intensidad inimaginable saltó desde el planeta hacia el Ruibarbo Crumble…

Una fracción de segundo después, la alerta carmesí fue cancelada por una fuerza exterior. Esto fue seguido rápidamente por la aparición de un rostro familiar en el espectador principal…

“¿Qué?” Un Ser Supremo sorprendido exclamó y exigió al mismo tiempo, que, por supuesto, es el camino de los seres omnipotentes. “¿Los hermanos Earplug? ¿Qué diablos estás haciendo aquí? Oh, no me digas: estás en asuntos del museo. Además, apuesto a que estás en una especie de kaká del que necesitas ayuda para salir. De acuerdo, no es que esté realmente interesado, debes entenderlo, pero ¿cuál es tu problema? Probablemente te deba un favor “.

Magnuss pronunció las palabras que estaba seguro de que ganaría la atención del Ser Supremo como ningún otro: “El Ser Supremo Maravilloso”. Él dijo. “Él está de vuelta.”

Bueno, decir que esta noticia conmovió al Ser Supremo sería quedarse corto del año. Si hubiera sido un tapón para los oídos, se habría cagado en los pantalones…

Pero, después de varios segundos de furia demente, SB se calmó lo suficiente como para simplemente vaporizar perezosamente…

“Está bien”, dijo, “Mientras me calmo en un estado divino más aceptable, por favor sigue mi rastro hasta la Corte Galáctica. Verá un gran letrero que le dice que se vaya. Pero ignore eso: simplemente conduzca y estacione su insignificante embarcación “.

Entonces, sintiéndose bastante satisfecho consigo mismo, Magnuss le pidió a Susan que hiciera precisamente eso. Y media hora más tarde, muerto por delante del Ruibarbo Crumble , el planeta de la Corte Galáctica apareció repentinamente de la nada…

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Earplug Adventures: The Age of Stone (part 19)

Well upon the recently-formed volcanic island, ‘firm’ wasn’t a problem: but ‘flat’ proved to be an impossibility – as the crew soon found out on their first Extra Vehicular Excursion…

In fact it was so rocky and uneven that Susan was in danger of toppling over and crushing her friends…

So, ever eager to supplant Magnuss as the moist heroic of the Earplug Brothers, Chester volunteered to act as their scout, and try to find an alternative route of passage. But he hadn’t taken more than a few steps into the unknown, when he fell into a depression that seemed to open up beneath him.

But, being young and nimble, he landed on his feet, and was soon calling out to the others…

Strangely, or so it seemed to Chester, no one seemed capable of hearing his demands for help. He paused to consider the fact…

Susan, utilising the logic of a creature born into a future era, decided to send her secondary sub-unit in search of the earplug most precious to her…

She simply couldn’t understand how he could have disappeared so quickly and without trace. Meanwhile Chester continued to stand in the depression…

…and sing a solo version of Los Caballeros Stupido – ever hopeful that someone – including members of the Galactic Court of Justice – might be offended and come to silence him, thereby freeing him from the hole – but without any obvious success. It was then that he noticed a hitherto invisible exit to his left…

Passing through it, he immediately found himself upon a high ledge…

And when the passageway through which he’d only just waltzed, disappeared he knew two of two things. One: he was stuck on a ledge. Two: the Supreme Being was either testing him, or having a laugh at his expense. Either way, the young earplug was not impressed…

Especially when some non-existent pit-props gave way and the upper ledge shelf slipped downwards and threatened to crush him…

…which impressed him even less. By chance, Susan’s search took her to a similar ledge just a few measures above where Chester now stood holding up a cliff face…

“Oh Chester,” she wailed, “be strong and resilient. I like you far too much to see you squashed like a worm beneath the heel of a cruel and tyrannical monster.”

“Me too.” He grunted his reply…

In doing so he noticed a ledge immediately opposite his own. For a moment he couldn’t understand how he hadn’t become aware of it earlier. Then he considered his location and quickly concluded that anything could be brought into existence without a moment’s warning: this was, after all, the Supreme Being’s realm. So he quickly hopped across, and gave thanks to Mr and Mrs Stenchlinger for all of the lessons they gave him on Precipitous Ledge Walking…

Naturally – the test (or joke) complete – Chester was returned to the others…

…and Susan couldn’t help but tell Valentine just how pleased she was to have Chester back. Chester, now consumed in a sulk, marched on ahead. But as the ground levelled off, his bad mood passed, and he slipped back through the group to walk beside his huge green object of desire…

…leaving Miles to find the best path for them. Then, having dropped a short distance behind the others…

…Chester told Susan about the famous discos that were often held in celebration in the Museum of Future Technology. She was fascinated by his tales of the turntable bravado of their resident funk-master, Hambledon Bohannon. He even taught her a dance made popular in 1975, called The Bump.

“Oh, how delightful.” Susan responded. “I had no idea that anything of value came out of 1975. When we’ve defeated the Wonky SB, do you think we  might enjoy doing this to a funky rhythm at the celebratory disco?”

“Hambledon Bohannon’s a friend of mine.” Chester boasted. “And I know the Trumptations too. I’m sure we’ll ‘get down’ ‘til dawn.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Earplug Adventures: The Age of Stone (part 18)

 As instructed by the Supreme Being, the temporary crew of the Rhubarb Crumble ignored the celestial warning sign, and flew directly to the planet that they presumed housed The Galactic Court of Justice…

It appeared icy, but Magnuss knew that appearances could be deceiving. With the power of the Supreme Being at their disposal, those responsible for running the Galactic Court could make it look any darned way they wanted to. And whilst the crew went about their business, no one noticed the nosey God of Wayward Computer Monitors peek into the bridge…

But when the ship descended, and the planet’s surface became visible on the main viewer…

…everyone, including Magnuss, wondered if it was going to be possible to breathe on a barren planet that clearly possessed no atmosphere.

“Do we have any pressure suits aboard?” Magnuss asked no one in particular.

Miles had taken it upon himself to become the ship’s storekeeper. He checked the inventory on his monitor. “Nope.” He replied. “Apparently they’re yesterday’s technology: we don’t bother with them anymore.”

“How are we supposed to go outside the ship?” Rudi asked reasonably enough. “What if we’re holed by a meteor or something?”

Miles consulted his screen. “Ah, it fixes itself. I guess nobody figured the crew would leave the ship in an airless environment. They didn’t figure anyone would be so stupid.”

Valentine was about to say something like: “Far out, man: that aint no groove!” when external sensors detected an atmosphere developing. Not a thick one; but an envelope of gases sufficiently dense to allow a vapour trail to form behind the Rhubarb Crumble

This came as such a surprise to Susan (who had never dreamed such an unexpected event was possible) that she lost physical cohesion for a moment and two of her periferal bodies fell over and rolled around on the floor…

Suddenly doubts began to form in her shape-shifting brain. She took part of herself away to the darkened solitude of her ready room…

But when she noticed her slave monitor displaying something that looked suspiciously like open liquid-form water, hope swelled…

Particularly when mist became apparent, thereby suggesting the presence of moisture and warmth in the alien air. And this was more-or-less confirmed when the previously barren rock took on the hint of a green tinge.

Before long Rudi and Valentine found themselves in the Life Sciences laboratory…

…from where they could see an ocean forming beneath the ship. Even better was the fact that the read-outs now…uh…read a breathable atmosphere.

“Hey, man,” Valentine said appreciatively, “aint this supposed to be impossible? I sure dig it. Know what I mean? Totally cool – with a capital K. But these sticky-out pipes are still giving my knees a hard time.”

Much the same feelings (minus the painful knees)were being displayed in the Engineer’s rest room…

Douglas was probably the most thrilled of the trio. “A volcanic island,” he yelled as he led the others in a mad dash from the room. “Proof-positive, if any was needed, that this planet’s appearance is a result of a controlling intelligence. Let’s get up to the bridge and tell the Captain to land immediately!”

Well they did, and before long the Rhubarb Crumble swept down from a rapidly expanding sky…

“Okay,” Susan said, following a deep inhalation, “find somewhere flat and firm, and put this baby down.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: La Era de la Piedra (parte 16)

Todos observaron sus exhibiciones y testigos mientras el barco cobraba impulso …

Entonces, lenguas de fuego infernal comenzaron a salir del orificio de entrada …

“Lenguas de fuego infernal brotando del orificio de entrada”. Magnuss anunció. “La Tierra está ahí, mira: ¿quieres que me pase por el motor estelar y haga un rápido vuelo por nuestro mundo natal, y presumir un poco? A Rupert Piles le encantaría “.

Era una oportunidad que nadie quería dejar pasar; momentos después, el puente fue iluminado por la luz del efecto de impulsión de estrellas …

… y Susan se sintió un poco decepcionada de que hubieran pasado por la Tierra tan rápido que no la había visto …

“Próxima parada”, susurró Chester, “la Corte Galáctica”.

Pero en la sala de máquinas del Ruibarbo Crumble

… los dos ingenieros de los que el conservador del Future Museum of Mars, Frisby Mumph, podía dedicar a la iniciativa, como el pelirrojo Lawrence Endocarp y el anciano Douglas Dungipon, estaban bajo el escrutinio de su supervisor de ojos amarillos, Budgitte. Wilgoss.

“¿Qué es todo este vapor y humo?” Exigió. “Y mira, hay una luz roja intermitente en la tapa de la válvula Fanangy”.

“¡Y no lo sabemos!” Douglas Dungipon gruñó. “Dije que este barco necesitaba pruebas antes de despegar”.

Pero Lawrence Endocarp no dijo nada: no era del tipo que desperdicia tiempo y energía con quejas y odio. Ya estaba en el caso. Bueno, en realidad dijo algo. Dijo: “Budgitte, cariño; ¿Llamarías al puente? Diles que apaguen la unidad: creo que tenemos un anillo de doo-dah de plasma deformado “.

Pronto llegaron al puente las noticias no deseadas …

“¡Tío!” Susan exclamó. “Devuélvanos al espacio normal”.

Por supuesto, sus subordinados, que en realidad eran parte de ella, no necesitaban una orden verbal. En un instante, el Ruibarbo Crumble emergió del Hiperespacio …

Al parecer, nadie se había fijado en el planeta azul que colgaba como una bola brillante en el espacio cercano.

Desde las sombras de la oscura habitación preparada, se podía ver a Rudi saliendo de su lugar de destino …

… pararse resueltamente al lado de su Capitán …

“Hola bebé.” Él dijo. “¿Qué esta pasando?”

Mientras Susan le explicaba la situación a Rudi, Chester tuvo la idea de que, cuando se lo aclaró a Susan, hizo que su gemelo gritara de fingida desesperación …

“Oye, Susan”, dijo con entusiasmo, “mientras arreglan el motor, vayamos a dar un paseo por el barco. Solo yo y esta parte de ti “.

Bueno, sin otra opción, Susan pronto se encontró vagando por pasillos medio iluminados con Chester …

“Me gusta mucho el espacio”. Chester le informó. “Es genial. Pero no es tan bueno como tú “.

Susan tampoco se limitó a ser educada cuando respondió: “Tú mismo no eres un gran cubo de excrementos”.

Y así continuó. Mientras hablaban de cosas intrascendentes, como malas hierbas, calzoncillos con velcro y resbalones torpes en los pisos de las casas de baños, los ingenieros avanzaban con el motor principal …

La luz de advertencia ahora brillaba en ámbar.

“Se ven mejor, muchachos”. Dijo Budgitte. “No hay prisa: ¿qué tal una pausa para el café?”

Mientras tanto, Susan se había detenido a orinar …

… Donde ella (ahora reintegrada temporalmente con sus muchas partes) miraba la majestuosidad del espacio interplanetario a través de la ventana del baño. Estaba en el acto de levantarse sus enormes pseudo-bragas cuando se le ocurrió un pensamiento:

“Es curioso”, se dijo a sí misma, “pero mi agudo oído no puede detectar los sonidos de jugar con llaves y mazos que han estado haciendo eco a lo largo de la multitud de conductos que atraviesan esta parte del barco. Será mejor que averigües por qué “.

Por supuesto, si Susan hubiera sabido que el personal de ingeniería estaba hablando de una pausa para el café, no se habría molestado en …

Pero cuando se topó con el baño, se alegró de haberlo hecho. “Hey”, les gritó mientras se sentaban y miraban un episodio de una caja de DVD de Destination: The Stars

… “lleva tu trasero a la sala de máquinas: puedes ver eso más tarde”.

Naturalmente, siendo ingenieros espaciales, ninguno de los tres estaba preocupado en lo más mínimo por su arremetida: venía con el territorio …

—Sí, capitán —dijo Douglas alegremente—, lo dejaremos en fotograma congelado. Si tardamos demasiado, se apagará solo “.

Bastante satisfecha con su talento para mandar, Susan corrió a contárselo todo a Chester …

“Yo era tan dominante”. Ella terminó.

Esto preocupó un poco a Chester: no estaba particularmente interesado en ser dominado: sentía que era un espíritu demasiado libre. Pero no dijo nada: no quería estropear el momento.

Entonces, mientras Lawrence, Budgitte y Douglas luchaban por arrastrar un Weevil Trunnion de las tiendas a la sala de máquinas …

… Susan envió la mayor parte de su cuerpo de regreso al puente y permitió que su parte principal mirara la maravilla del Cosmos con Chester a su lado …

“Sí”, dijo con cierta estupidez sobre el arte de El santo de todos los tapones para los oídos que había brotado generosamente de las entusiastas fauces de su amigo tapones para los oídos, “es … eh … bastante agradable. Me pregunto si veremos una supernova. Pero eso es suficiente sobre la estética: creo que es hora de reanudar nuestros roles de puente. “

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

 

Earplug Adventures: The Age of Stone (part 16)

Everyone watched their displays and tell-tales as the ship picked up momentum…

Then tongues of hellish fire began spewing from the drive hole…

“Tongues of hellish fire spewing from the drive hole.” Magnuss announced. “Earth’s over there, look: want me to hit the star drive and do a really quick fly-past of our home world, and show off a bit? Rupert Piles would love it.”

It was an opportunity that no one wanted to miss; so moments later the bridge was illuminated by the light of the star-drive effect…

…and Susan felt slightly disappointed that they’d passed by Earth so quickly that she hadn’t seen it…

“Next stop,” Chester whispered, “the Galactic Court.”

But down in the Rhubarb Crumble’s engine room…

…the two engineers that the Future Museum of Mars’ curator – Frisby Mumph – could spare for the endeavour – those being the red-haired Lawrence Endocarp and the aging Douglas Dungipon – were coming under the close scrutiny of their yellow-eyed supervisor, Budgitte Wilgoss.

“What’s all this steam and smoke?” She demanded. “And look, there’s a flashing red light on the Fanangy-valve cover.”

“And don’t we know it!” Douglas Dungipon growled. “I said this ship needed trials before we took off.”

But Lawrence Endocarp said nothing: he wasn’t the type to waste time and energy with complaints and loathing. He was already on the case. Well actually he did say something. He said: “Budgitte, darling; would you call the bridge? Tell them to shut down the drive: I think we’ve got a warped plasma doo-dah ring.”

Soon the unwelcome news arrived upon the bridge…

“Bugger!” Susan exclaimed. “Return us to normal space.”

Of course her subordinates, which were actually parts of her, didn’t need a verbal command. In an instant the Rhubarb Crumble emerged from Hyperspace…

No one, it seemed, had noticed the blue planet that hung like a lustrous bauble in space nearby.

From the shadows of the darkened ready room, Rudi could be seen moving from his duty station…

…to stand resolutely beside his Captain…

“Hey, babe.” He said. “What’s happening?”

As Susan explained the situation to Rudi, Chester was struck with an idea that – when he elucidated it to Susan – made his twin cry out in mock despair…

“Hey, Susan,” he said eagerly, “while they’re fixing the motor, let’s go take a tour of the ship. Just me and this part of you.”

Well with no counter-option, Susan soon found herself wandering half-lit corridors with Chester…

“I really like space.” Chester informed her. “It’s great. But it’s not as great as you.”

Susan wasn’t merely being polite either when she responded: “You’re hardly a huge bucket of excrement yourself.”

And so it continued. As they spoke of inconsequential things, such as weeds, Velcro underpants, and slipping awkwardly on bath house floors, the engineers were making headway with the main motor…

The warning light now shone amber.

“Looking better, guys.” Budgitte said. “There’s no rush: how about a coffee break?”

Meanwhile Susan had stopped off for a pee…

…where she (now temporarily reintegrated with her many parts) stared at the majesty of interplanetary space through the lavatory window. She was just in the act of pulling up her massive pseudo-knickers when a thought struck:

“Funny,” she said to herself, “but my keen hearing can’t detect the sounds of tinkering with wrenches and mallets that have been echoing along the multitude of conduits that pass through this portion of the ship. Better find out why.”

Of course, had Susan known that the engineering staff were talking a coffee break, she wouldn’t have bothered…

But when she stumbled upon their rest room, she was glad that she had. “Hey,” she bellowed at them as they sat and watched an episode from a DVD box set of Destination: The Stars

…”get your backsides down to the engine room: you can watch that later.”

Naturally, being Space Engineers, neither of the trio was concerned in the least at their lambasting: it came with the territory…

“Aye, Captain,” Douglas said chirpily, “we’ll leave it on freeze-frame. If we’re too long, it’ll switch itself off.”

Rather pleased with her talent for commanding, Susan raced to tell Chester all about it…

“I was so dominant.” She finished.

This concerned Chester slightly: he wasn’t particularly keen on being dominated: he felt that he was too much of a free spirit. But he didn’t say anything: he didn’t want to spoil the moment.

So, whilst Lawrence, Budgitte, and Douglas struggled to drag a Weevil Trunnion from the stores to the engine room…

…Susan sent most of her body back to the bridge and allowed her primary part to stare out at the wonder of the Cosmos with Chester beside her…

“Yes,” she said to some inanity about the artistry of The Saint of All Earplugs that had spewed liberally from the enthusiastic maw of her earplug friend, “it’s…uh…quite pleasing. I wonder if we’ll see a supernova. But that’s enough about aesthetics: I think it’s time to resume our bridge roles. ”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

 

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: La Era de la Piedra (parte 14)

Welcome to some dubious translation. Hope it makes sense to you.
Mientras tanto, Magnuss se había vuelto a reunir con Hair-Trigger, que estaba menos que enamorada de la idea de que su amado corriera a través de la Galaxia en busca de la intervención divina…

Ella dijo lo mismo; A lo que Magnuss respondió: “Oh, cállate, miserable tarta: sólo estaré fuera cinco minutos. ¡Conociendo al Ser Supremo como yo, espero que haga clic en sus dedos y nos tenga a todos de regreso aquí antes de que nos vayamos! “

Hair-Trigger, siendo una ex cazarrecompensas sabia e ingeniosa, pudo ver la lógica en la afirmación de Magnuss de que se queda en el Museo de Tecnología del Futuro para defenderlo en caso de que algún Pirata Hiperespacial, o similares, decida lanzar un intento de invasión. durante la ausencia de los Earplug Brothers.

“Bueno, Valentine me enseñó los rudimentos de volar el Punting-Modesty Facepuncher XL5 en una postura de ataque”. Ella dijo. “Así que supongo que sería más útil aquí que perderme en algún lugar del espacio exterior más profundo. Pero voy a la bahía de lanzamiento: no me negarás mi saludo de despedida “.

Y así fue…

Y lo que es aún mejor, la sala de control de lanzamiento tenía un gran telescopio a través del cual podía ver cómo el platillo volante abandonaba los límites de la atmósfera de la Tierra…

“Anda con cuidado, Magnuss”, susurró en el telescopio, lo que empañó un poco la vista, “es un gran lugar hostil ahí fuera”.

Poco tiempo después…

  … el platillo aterrizó temprano en la tarde sobre el rejuvenecido Marte. Desde el punto de aterrizaje, todos a bordo caminaron directamente a las instalaciones de construcción de la nave espacial…

… que fue un hervidero de actividad que nadie notó cuando Cushions llevó a Doris y sus sobrinos a una ventana de observación sobre el piso de la fábrica…

“Vaya”, exclamó Chester apreciativamente, “¿Frisby Mumph también dirige este lugar?”

Pero nadie estaba escuchando: estaban demasiado ocupados mirando el trabajo en progreso…

Por todas partes, los tapones para los oídos correteaban, haciendo esto, aquello y lo otro. Los robots de soldadura se encendieron de manera alarmante cuando las tres naves actualmente en producción, lentamente tomaron forma…

“¡Fuera de vista!” Valentine comentó.

Rudi estaba justo detrás de él con: “¡Genial, cariño!”

“¿Tienen nombres todavía?” Miles preguntó.

“La bahía cero-cero-uno contiene la unidad de transmisión del Indefatigable “. Cojines respondió. “Empiezan con las unidades de accionamiento; luego construye el resto del barco encima de ellos. La bahía cero-cero-dos contiene la unidad motriz y el casco exterior del Saint Petersprong . El barco en la bahía cero-cero-tres está casi completo. Obviamente ese es el barco que usarás. Solo espero que funcione: nadie lo ha probado todavía. Ni siquiera han conectado el motor de arranque ni han probado los baños todavía “.

“Estoy seguro de que estará bien”. Magnuss dijo con la confianza de los jóvenes y como Saint. “¿Cuál es su nombre?”

Cushions suspiró antes de responder. Finalmente dijo: “Su nombre fue elegido por votación popular, así que no me culpen. En lugar de eso, arremete contra ese grupo de campesinos en el Museo del Futuro de Marte: ellos lo eligieron “.   

“Si seguro; Voy a. Prometo.” Magnuss respondió. “¿Pero, qué es esto?”

Con los dientes apretados, Cushions respondió: “El Ruibarbo Crumble”.

“Me encanta el ruibarbo desmenuzado”. Chester dijo mientras empujaba para tener una mejor vista…

“Sí yo también.” Su gemelo se ofreció como voluntario.

“Realmente sabroso, hombre”. Valentine agregó. “Obtiene mi voto”.

“Excelente elección, cojines”. Rudi dijo con una extraña sonrisa. “Si necesitamos presentarnos a algún extraterrestre, no sonaremos ni un poco intimidantes”.

Con eso se dieron la vuelta…

“¿Así que ahora querrás ver el interior, supongo?” Cojines refunfuñaron.

Momentos después, habiendo recogido a Susan, que se había considerado demasiado grande y fea para subir las escaleras hasta la ventana de observación…

… los Hermanos Earplug se dirigieron a la planta de fabricación y al propio Rhubarb Crumble…

Miles notó la falta de iluminación adecuada.

“La nave está apagada”, explicó Cushions, “mientras arreglan todos los errores y completan, por así decirlo. Ah, y tampoco hay tripulación: será interesante ver cómo ustedes cinco tapones para los oídos, ninguno de los cuales sabe nada sobre naves estelares, se imaginan que lo llevarán a la Corte Galáctica.

Magnuss se negó a dejarse desconcertar por este revés. “Bueno, estoy seguro de que Frisby Mumph nos puede permitir algunos ingenieros, aunque solo sea para mantener el motor principal”.

“Y también puedo actuar como tripulación”. Una vasta voz resonó desde la habitación preparada del Capitán…

… “Después de todo”, dijo Susan mientras entraba al puente en sus muchas formas separadas…

… “Soy del futuro. Toda esta tecnología es vieja para mí. Podría trabajarlo con todos mis ojos cerrados y numerosas manos detrás de varias espaldas. Mira, ya he descubierto cómo encender la luz “.

Nadie podía discutir con la verdad indiscutible, ni siquiera Cushions, que rechinó sus impresionantes dientes con rabia. Para ella, ahora estaba claro que el vuelo espacial se llevaría a cabo, a pesar de sus vagos intentos de frustrarlo. Cómo iba a pagarlo, no lo sabía. Suspiró de nuevo. “Oh, supongo que siempre está mi tarjeta de crédito”. Ella dijo sotto voce . “No está del todo al máximo”. Luego, en un intento por aligerar su estado de ánimo, se permitió mirar el panorama general: “Y, por supuesto, si tienen razón sobre el Wonky SB, en realidad podría salvar el Museo de Tecnología del Futuro, nuevamente. El gobierno tendrá que reembolsarme de sus arcas de contingencia de invasión alienígena “.

“Sí”, gritó Susan (en su forma de ojos rojos), que tenía una audición mejor que la media. “¡Dinero bien gastado!”

Mientras que su figura de ojos verdes sonreía agradablemente al recordar el gran beso descuidado que había disfrutado con Chester.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Earplugs Without Pictures 13

Ever wondered what the Earplug Adventures would look like minus the photos? Might their absence highlight the shortcomings of the writing? Well let’s find out, shall we? Here’s a couple of brief extracts. In this case from this tremendous tale…

As usual there are two brief extracts presented. Both chosen by Mr Sheer Randomness.

“Ladies, Gentlemen, and P.C Wilts,” Runt spoke clearly above the building excitement that ran like a raspberry ripple through the assembled V.I.Ps, “may I present to you the Tubo Di Tempo. It’s a new, mini version of the Tunnel Temporal – designed by the brilliant Italian scientist, Piggies Du Pong.”

“If you don’t mind me saying,” the charming (if ancient) former movie star, Sir Dodger Muir interrupted, “Piggies Du Pong doesn’t sound overtly Italian. Rather, I’d wager the fellow hails from either Belgium or France.”

“In your era, perhaps.” Runt replied. “But in Piggies’ era he’s Italian; so shut it, okay?”

Sir Dodger was about to author a dazzlingly witty riposte, when his train of thought was interrupted by the activation of the Tubo Di Tempo and the arrival of two bug-eyed weirdos from another time zone. Instantly the newcomers addressed Cushions Smethwyke. With a curt bow the smaller-nosed of the couple introduced itself as Glumb Kimball and its huge-hootered associate as Hombolt Whale. “Greetings from the future.” It added. “What do you think of the Tubo Di Tempo?”

Cushions wasn’t sure how to respond: and P.C Wilts’ expression betrayed his instant dislike of the pretentious twerps from a clearly technologically superior era. “Er…very nice.” She managed. Then growing in confidence she added: “A lovely shade of blue. My favourite. Well my second favourite actually. I’m rather partial to a warm orange glow.”

“How wonderful.” Hombolt Whale squeaked through it’s huge, but obviously restricted, snozzle. “Because when it’s turned on at this end it glows orange. Regarde s’il vous plaît.”

Moments later the Tubo Di Tempo did just as Hombolt had promised.

“There.” Sir Dodger grumbled. “Told you it was French.”

But even as the ageing thespian was speaking, so too was Glumb Kimball: “Well we’ve left a copy of the owners’ manual with your Time Techs, so, if it’s alright with you, we’ll be on our way to our own era. It’s much nicer there, by the way. By-ee.”

With that the time-travelling duo stepped into the tiny maw of the machine and disappeared in an instant. Naturally Cushions rushed forward to deliver a blistering farewell insult, but she was too late and needed to be consoled by the former bounty hunter and part-time curator, Hunting Provost: “Don’t concern yourself, my delightful love interest.” He whispered into Cushions’ ear. “They were ugly sods with big bulgy eyes: the future’s welcome to them. And they’ve left us with something really valuable.”

“They have?” Cushions inquired as everyone crowded around to take a look at the wonder from the future..

“Of course.” Hunting spoke in a conspiratorial hush. “Now we can start charging visitors for trips into the Museum of Future Technology twice. Once in this era; and again when they go into the past. I bet, if we take a look at our bank accounts, we’ll find that we’ve already begun amassing a vast wealth before we’ve actually begun sending anyone through. All we need to do is actually set the metaphorical ball rolling. We need to find new-arrivals with no prior knowledge of our earlier time travelling problems.”

“Yeah.” Cushions replied as she let her gaze wander past Hunting. “People who aren’t scared of visiting the past and run the risk of getting stuck there. And I think I know the very people.”

AND

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 what 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

Of course it’s much better with the pictures: after all you can see what’s going on! To read or download the book in its entirety – pictures and all – click on the The Time Tamperer vol 1 cover image (above) to bring up the full PDF file. By the way, in addition, and also – you can access all the Earplug Adventure files (including Vol 2 of this exciting tome) on the sidebar by clicking the cover images.

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: La Era de la Piedra (parte 10)

“Correcto.” Susan respondió al instante. “Entendido.”

Entonces esto sucedió …

… Y Magnuss estaba encantado como un puñetazo. Le encantaba cuando un plan se juntaba. Y a Chester le gustó la idea de estar envuelto por Susan …

… Por algo que no sea su boca o su trasero.

“A mi modo de ver”, dijo mientras miraba a sus invitados de silicio, “tenemos un problema tan serio que el único medio de combatir el virus pseudo-Dios es tomándolo de múltiples vectores. La situación actual es que a medida que arreglamos un agujero en nuestro sistema, otras incursiones virales abren otro ”.

Luego esperó una respuesta. Ella no consiguió uno. Bueno, en realidad lo hizo: Rudi dijo: “¿Tú, wah? Lo siento, todo está un poco más allá de nosotros “.

Y Chester agregó: “No hacemos cosas técnicas: todos somos geniales y estamos muy metidos en la toma de riesgos impetuosa”.

“Ah”, dijo Susan a esto, “entonces supongo que no puedo confiar en que ustedes actúen como mis periféricos. Derecha: Plan B. “

Con eso, pasó esto …

… Lo que hizo que los hermanos se acurrucaran alarmados.

“¡Dando vueltas, Sue!”, Gritó Miles, “¡es posible que nos hayas dado alguna advertencia!”

Susan no se disculpó por su acción: simplemente señaló que, aunque era una cambiaformas multifacética, no podía estar en todas partes al mismo tiempo. Esto le dio a Magnuss una idea: “Susan, antes, antes de reintegrarte, estabas esparcido por toda la Era de la Piedra. Efectivamente, estabas en todas partes al mismo tiempo. Aunque estaba en modo de hibernación, todas esas partes dispares continuaron funcionando como una sola. Puede que no lo recuerdes, pero pudiste contactarnos a todos, dondequiera que estuviéramos “.

Susan volvió todos sus ojos hacia el hermano de tapones para los oídos del medio. Utilizando los talentos que le legó la tecnología del futuro, escudriñó sus recuerdos. “Oh, esos tipos de Scroton se ven un poco geniales”. Dijo en un tono melancólico. “Hmm puede ser…”

Luego, en un abrir y cerrar de ojos, se desmontó, para convertirse en algo que simplemente asombró a los espectadores …

Un pelotón de operativos militares de extremos de cable Ethernet…

Pero luego Susan, hablando a través de una multitud de cajas de voz escrotónicas, dijo: “El problema es que vamos a necesitar bloquear el acceso a las conexiones entrantes y salientes con la fuente de alimentación y la IA de control, es decir, el Museo de Tecnología del Futuro”. . Me encanta la Era de la Piedra: ¡no sé nada sobre MOFT! “

Por un momento todo pareció perdido, pero luego Valentine disfrutó de un breve momento de revelación. Recordó un momento en el que fue testigo de un grupo de jóvenes reclutas de TWIT que pedían ayuda a uno de los Guías de robots del museo …

Incluso recordó el nombre de la mujer: era Pixie Taylor.

“No hay problemas, chicos”. Él dijo. “Enviaré por un Guía Robot. Siempre están en el caso, esperando ser convocados. ¿Ya tu sabes?” Luego, sin querer perder el tiempo ni pedir aprobación, gritó: “¡Guía del robot!”

Dos minutos despues…

“Oh, lamento haber tardado tanto”, explicó el Guía del Robot, “pero no pude localizar la puerta de entrada. Afortunadamente, había un montacargas que alguien había dejado abierto, así que aquí estoy. ¡Tah-dah! ¿Qué le gustaría ver primero? “

Susan explicó sus requisitos …

“No hay problema”, respondió el Guía del Robot, “mis bancos de memoria se actualizaron hace solo media hora: estoy completamente al tanto de todas las ubicaciones que mencionaste. ¿Queremos ir allí en grupo o individualmente? “

Naturalmente, Susan eligió lo último …

Luego, cada componente indicó su destino requerido.

“Esto va a ser divertido”. La Guía del Robot brotó. “Nunca había hecho nada como esto antes. Jeepers, estoy tan emocionado. Puedo decir que ustedes también lo son, incluso si todos se ven iguales y se comportan como extraterrestres sin pasión de un mundo distante. ¡Vamos!”

Con eso, la Guía del robot llevó a la horda de extremos de cables Ethernet falsos hacia la salida más cercana …

Y, habiéndolo atravesado, ordenó a varios que se despegaran de la formación y siguieran diferentes rutas …

Luego fue a la puerta de al lado …

… Que continuó, casi ad infinitum , hasta que cada faceta de Susan estuvo donde debían estar.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Earplug Adventures: The Age of Stone (part 8)

“Hah!” the apparition sneered. “So what do we have here? Could this be the mighty Magnuss Earplug? Saint, bloody, Magnuss? He who can do no wrong? He who, when I almost defeated the Supreme Being in a battle of wits and thunderbolts, dispossessed me of my underpants?”

Magnuss was essentially a very honest earplug; but today he figured honesty was not going to save the day…

“No,” he replied, “my name is Trevor Humphries. I deliver pizzas for a shop in the High Street. To the University de Ciudad de Droxford mostly; but I do a bit of residential too. I’m saving up for a new moped.”

It was a good lie told convincingly. For a moment it almost had the Wonky Supreme Being fooled. “What toppings?” It asked.

Sadly Magnuss had never eaten a pizza in his life: he preferred stir-fry or boiled cabbage. “Um,” he began – and knew, in an instant, that his subterfuge had failed. “Yeah, all right – I’m Magnuss: Whatta ya want?”

“You have a picture of my naked bum, do you not?” The Wonky SB replied.

To say that Magnuss was stunned by the alien’s knowledge would be an understatement. He was flabbergasted. His gast had never been so flabbered. Instantly his mind went back to the day when the falsetto lead vocalist of the Trumptations – that being Cory Turpentine – had opened the rickety door of the apartment that he was hoping to rent out to Magnuss and Hair-Trigger…

…and had invited them inside to view it…

He and Hair-Trigger had been taken with the apartment, and moved in within hours. But there had been a nasty stain on the bathroom ceiling, so (recalling the image of the Wonky SB’s buttocks in precise detail) Magnuss had asked the museum’s most reviled artist – Anton Twerp – to alter the unsightly stain and make it closely resemble a big farty arse in the clouds…

“Hmm,” Magnuss confessed, “sort of.”

“And much hilarity ensued, when you showed it to all your friends – correct?” The Wonky SB snarled.

“Well there was a bit of tittering.” Magnuss agreed reluctantly.

“More than a little.” Wonky SB growled. “You even had the temerity to invite that camera-wielding buffoon Rupert Piles around. My arse made the six o’clock news. And you and your stupid brothers are going to pay for that insult and inner mortification!”

Magnuss didn’t want details, but Wonky SB gave them to him anyway:

“Your quirky quintet is doomed to wander these castles for eternity!” He roared…

 “Eternity. Or until the day you die. Whichever takes the longest!”

This was not good news for Magnuss. But then the image of pox and pustules didn’t make him feel too popular with his host either…

“Gotta get back to the guys.” He whispered sotto voce. “Together we’re a thousand times stronger than little old me alone.”

But, as he fled, he almost fell into the lava pool…

“Yikes,” he yelled, “that was too close for comfort. Sod this – I’ve had a gut-full: where’s the way out?

Shortly he started to relax slightly…

…The lava pool was now behind him; and if he carried on in an upward direction, he would find the surface once more. It was merely a matter of time.

At that moment Chester and Miles were marvelling at the changing faces of their environment…

“Wish I had a camera.” Miles said. “We could film it and use it to make a science-fiction short film.”

Chester wasn’t convinced. “Yeah, but who would we get to star in it?”

Miles paused for a moment, before replying with:  “I was thinking Marvin Fishlegs or Okaw Blymie. Maybe both.” Then he realised that he was talking rubbish and decided to shut his mouth.

A short distance off, Magnuss re-emerged into something that looked vaguely like a night sky…

Initially he felt relieved, and drank in the cool night air. But, as the scenery changed…

…he began to have serious doubts that, even combined, his brothers and he were a match for a being that could abduct and imprison the real Supreme Being.

“Oh dear.” He said. “This time I really think we’ve bitten off more than we can chew. Thank the Saint of All Earplugs that my dear, sweet, former bounty-hunter girlfriend, Hair-Trigger Provost isn’t trapped here with me.” He then promised himself that if he were to prevail in the coming struggle, he would ask Hair-Trigger to be his wife. It was a plan that would give him strength. A reason to win beyond the mere need for survival.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: La Era de la Piedra (parte 5)

The translation from English might not be perfect, but, who knows, maybe it makes it more fun. Continuar…

Mientras tanto, mientras los hermanos se acercaban a su posición, Magnuss había entablado conversación con Susan. Entonces, cuando llegaron a la habitación vagamente verde al final del túnel oscuro, estaba lo suficientemente educado para presentar a su nuevo amigo a los demás …

… E infórmeles que (aunque la exhibición era muy avanzada tecnológicamente) a Susan le preocupaba que su programación alterada y abreviada para su uso en una era anterior tuviera fallas y debilidades inherentes. Les dijo que los científicos del futuro se habían burlado de sus temores, diciendo: “Pero en ese entonces son un montón de salvajes comparativos: ¿cómo van a piratear nuestra fabulosa programación? ¡No seas estúpido! Ahora sigue con tu maldito trabajo y deja de quejarte “.

Esto divirtió a los chicos, y dejaron de mirar a Susan como si fuera una enorme bicho raro. De hecho, Chester pensó que era “Un poco linda, de una manera gigantesca”.

Pero entonces, de repente, sin previo aviso, o sin ningún indicio de preocupación anticipada, un escalofrío recorrió el vasto cuerpo de Susan …

Siendo ellos mismos telepáticos, y por lo tanto bendecidos con una cierta cantidad de talento empático, los Hermanos Earplug detectaron la condición de Susan.

“¿Qué pasa, Susan?” Magnuss preguntó.

Susan no respondió de inmediato. En cambio, empezó a deambular. Naturalmente, los chicos la siguieron. Mientras lo hacían, la oyeron susurrar: “Siento algo. Zarcillos de una inteligencia terrible. Está intentando piratear la programación de Age of Stone “.

“¿Está seguro?” Magnuss interrumpió. “Quiero decir, estamos tan atrasados ​​aquí en esta era. Es por eso que enviaron el Museo de Tecnología del Futuro a esta época, porque no tenemos nada que se acerque a afectarlo “.

Susan “carraspeó” en respuesta; luego extendió su ‘cabeza’ para que Magnuss fuera empujado más alto, hacia el techo distante …

En un instante se dio cuenta de una luz distante. “Ah, ¿se supone que hay una luz ahí arriba?” Preguntó.

Pero antes de que Susan pudiera responder …

… Magnuss instintivamente supo la respuesta. La luz se acercaba o aumentaba de tamaño. A Magnuss no le gustó su aspecto. Dijo tanto. Pero cuando volvió a agrandarse, trató de quitarle importancia al fenómeno …

“Ah, Susan”, dijo en su forma alegre que no engañó a nadie, “creo que tienes visitas”.

En respuesta, Susan se movió más rápidamente de lo que cualquiera de los Hermanos Earplug pensó que era posible. Casi instantáneamente, Magnuss había regresado al suelo y ella se había estirado a su máxima altura …

“Ooh, sí”. Dijo en un tono que no revelaba ninguna pista sobre su estado de ánimo. “Definitivamente hay algo ahí”.  

Pero luego se formó una imagen …

… y los chicos no tuvieron dudas …

“¡Argh!” Ella gritó con una voz que había ascendido a un tono que estaba en el rango más alto de audición con tapones para los oídos. “Nos han pirateado. Tuve razón todo el tiempo. ¡Algo se ha apoderado de The Age of Stone! “

Magnuss y los demás, al menos, fueron rápidos en la asimilación. Rápidamente razonaron que si algo era capaz de piratear una programación tan avanzada, él (o ellos) estaban muy avanzados, y que a través de la exhibición podrían expandirse y tomar el control del Museo de Tecnología del Futuro también.

“¡Argh!” Lloraron como uno solo. “Bum también. Qué idiota …

… Y solo llevamos aquí media hora también. Esto es extremadamente irritante. ¡Correr! ¡Correr!”

“Hah-hah-hah,” una voz familiar, pero desconocida, retumbó, “eso te enseñará. No estoy muy seguro de lo que le enseñará; pero pueden contar ustedes mismos enseñados, eso es seguro. Oh, sí, Earplug Brothers: ¡es hora de vengarse! “

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Who’d have guessed that the word ‘bum’ (as in buttocks, arse, anus, etc) wouldn’t translate!

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: La Era de la Piedra (parte 4)

Are you ready for some more bad translation? Go right ahead.

Pero lo peor estaba a punto de sucederle al heroico Magnuss. Mucho peor…

De hecho, fue solo cuando descubrió que la monstruosidad masiva no tenía dientes y que su aparente tisis no dolía que se dio cuenta de que la situación no era tan mala como había anticipado. Pero no fue muy divertido asomarse entre un par de encías sofocantes …

“Oi,” gritó su voz apagada, “no puedo respirar aquí. Me estoy privando de oxígeno. Si insistes en llevárteme, ¿quizás podrías colocarme en un lugar más espacioso?

“Oh, lo siento.” Respondió el armatoste de materia verde. “No me di cuenta. ¿Quieres una habitación con vistas? Aquí, estaciona tu trasero allí “.

  

Aunque alarmado por el repentino aumento de altitud y preguntándose cómo había llegado allí, Magnuss tragó una bocanada de aire. “Gracias.” Él dijo. “Um … ¿a dónde vamos?”

“Allí.” Llegó la respuesta.

Magnuss miró con horror desde su posición elevada. “¿Subiendo ese empinado ascenso y dentro de ese túnel misteriosamente oscuro?” Preguntó estridentemente, antes de agregar: “Si me caigo, me romperé el estúpido cuello. Y, seguramente, es probable que me agarre la frente con el techo del túnel “.

“No”, respondió la cosa verde, “Soy adaptable. Cuando lleguemos a la cima, me agacharé “.

Como así fue; pero eso no hizo que Magnuss se sintiera más alegre: el túnel realmente estaba oscuro …

Y seguía siendo oscuro …

… incluso cuando Rudi llegó al final de la empinada subida …

Olfateando el aire con su sensible nariz, Rudi revisó el área en busca de algún olor a su hermano desaparecido. Inmediatamente detectó al menos tres de los característicos pedos alimentados por el miedo de Magnuss. “Magnuss”, gritó, “¿dónde estás?”

Mientras los tonos estentóreos de Rudi se filtraban a lo largo del túnel, Magnuss estaba en el acto de ser devuelto al suelo …

“Sube por la rampa y baja por el túnel oscuro”. Gritó en respuesta. Luego se dirigió al montículo que tenía ante él …

“Eres un idiota descarado, lo eres”. Él chasqueó. “Secuestrarme y todo eso: está fuera de lugar. No me impresiona. ¿Quién eres y qué estás haciendo en la exposición Age of Stone? “

Bueno, naturalmente, la respuesta llegó instantáneamente. “Soy Susan”. Susan, respondió la gran cosa verde. “Me han contratado para acompañar este artefacto en el tiempo desde el futuro. Soy una especie de manual del propietario y guía para el cliente, todo en uno. Pero no podía arriesgarme a que estuvieras tan asustado por mi apariencia y tamaño que escapaste y te lesionaras en un terrible accidente. Sentí tus miedos e incertidumbres, incluso antes de que abrieras la puerta. Así que te agarré antes de que entraras en pánico e hicieras algo de lo que te arrepentirías “.

Magnuss quedó impresionado. “¿Sentiste mis miedos e incertidumbres?” Dijo lleno de asombro. “¿Tú … eres un empático del futuro?”

“UH Huh.” Susan respondió. “Bien, ¿no?”

Mientras tanto, y habiendo localizado a Magnuss, Rudi decidió usar su enlace telepático fraternal para transmitir la noticia a los demás …

Concluyó con: ‘Así que vengan aquí pronto’.

A la orden dada, Valentine, Chester y Miles abandonaron la cabina telefónica de inmediato …

“Qué ritmo”. Se escuchó pronunciar a Valentine bajo el sonido de la incesante nevada. “Bajemos.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Oh, if only Valentine’s ‘jive talk’ could translate. Sigh…

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: La Era de la Piedra (parte 3)

More dodgy translation from English into Spanish, I’m afraid. Enjoy anyway.

Naturalmente, fue Magnuss quien abrió el camino a través de la aburrida puerta peatonal. A medida que sus ojos se acostumbraron al nivel reducido de iluminación, su cerebro de silicio fue quemado por la incredulidad absoluta ante la gran escala de la exhibición de La Era de la Piedra …

“Cor”, dijo, “miren el tamaño de esto, muchachos: ¡no es ni la mitad de grande!”

Y, cuando Rudi, Valentine, Chester y Miles se unieron a su hermano ultra aventurero …

… ninguno de ellos estaba a punto de discutir con su resumen.

“Dando vueltas, Magnuss”, gritó Chester, “no solo hay este castillo cercano: ¡sino otro más allá también!”

Miles, el gemelo de Chester, agregó rápidamente: “Pero es una caminata malditamente larga. Echemos un vistazo a este castillo cercano: podría haber un sistema neumático de tránsito rápido que nos llevará allí en un santiamén y, por lo tanto, salvará el cuero de nuestros zapatos con recursos ecológicos “.

Entonces, sin más preámbulos, se dirigieron hacia la abertura más obvia en los poderosos muros de piedra del ‘castillo’ cercano …

—Oye, tío —se quejó Valentine—, la imagen del letrero de bienvenida fue tomada en verano. ¿Por qué tenemos que llegar aquí en invierno, eh?

Era una pregunta justa: y cuando empezó a pseudo-nevar …

… Los demás también empezaron a quejarse. De hecho, se estaban volviendo cada vez más tacaños. Chester, en particular, estaba sufriendo mucho: casi se atraganta con un falso copo de nieve que acompañaba el aire que entraba en sus pulmones …

“Hmm”, se dijo Magnuss, que abrió el camino, en voz baja, “podría tener que hablar con el Comité de Salud y Seguridad sobre eso, a pesar de que los detesto por su oficiosidad y pedantería puntillosa”.

Esto fue seguido rápidamente por: “Y creo que el museo también necesitará proporcionar calzoncillos térmicos: me siento decididamente frágil en el área de la base”.

Todos asumieron que el “clima” no era más que un truco de bienvenida. Que la situación mejoraría rápidamente, y que (en lugar de sufrir sabañones) todos podrían comenzar a prestar atención absorta a la notable tecnología de ‘piedra’ de la era futura de donde vino. Pero estaban equivocados …

“Crikey, está empeorando, en lugar de mejorar”. Magnuss dijo en voz alta.

Pero a Miles no le importaba nada: le encantaba jugar en la nieve, aunque no fuera real. Pero después de un tiempo, incluso él estuvo de acuerdo en que encontrar refugio debería ser una prioridad …

Así que, mientras Miles, Chester y un Valentine que todavía gruñía se instalaban en una alcoba que podría haber sido una cabina telefónica de piedra futurista, Magnuss y Rudi siguieron adelante en busca de alguien que pudiera decirles adónde ir y qué hacer …

Pero de alguna manera se separaron en el virtual-whiteout, y Magnuss, presa del pánico, comenzó a probar cualquier puerta que pudiera encontrar …

¡Incluso puertas traseras! Afortunadamente éste dio paso a su insistente martilleo, y una vez más sus ojos fueron asaltados por una iluminación de tipo inferior. Pero cuando la puerta comenzó a cerrarse detrás de él, y la habitación se enfocó, no podía creer lo que estaba mirando …

Era grande, verde y aterrador en al menos trece niveles de fruncimiento de glúteos …

Luego, para completar el horror de Magnuss, hizo esto …

Por supuesto, Magnuss se volvió para huir. Pero ya era demasiado tarde: el sorprendentemente ágil gigante dio un salto imposible y aterrizó encima del desafortunado tapón para los oídos …

¡Ooof!

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: La Era de la Piedra (parte 2)

As before, the translation may be a little loose, here and there. With my use of the English language, I’m not surprised that certain words don’t translate well. But have a giggle any way.

Una hora y media más tarde, los millones de kilómetros entre el área que Rudi había designado Pongy Space y el Museo de Tecnología del Futuro habían sido atravesados ​​…

“Cor”, dijo Chester, característicamente, “estas naves de ataque del Hiperespacio seguro que cambian. Por cierto, ¿dónde están los frenos?

Pero el más joven de los gemelos no debería haberse preocupado por estrellarse de cabeza contra su amado emporio: Valentine, hábil como era en el pilotaje de embarcaciones como el Punting-Modesty XL5 Facepuncher …

… detuvo el platillo con un montón de micrones de sobra. Momentos después del desembarco, los cinco se encontraban en terreno sagrado …

“Ah, eso está mejor”. Miles dijo mientras sus ojos recorrían aquí, allá y en todas partes. “¿Alguien quiere un café espantoso en Café Puke?”

Magnuss, que ahora se sentía mejor una vez en tierra firme, estaba a punto de responder, cuando todos escucharon la voz molestamente metálica (y monstruosamente monotonal) de un guardia de seguridad robótico, más comúnmente conocido como RoboSecGua, que llamaba su atención …

“Gírame de lado”, le susurró Magnuss a Rudi por el costado de la boca, “¿qué hemos hecho esta vez?”

“Oye, Val”, dijo Rudi en respuesta, “¿pagaste el parquímetro?”

Pero no tenían por qué preocuparse fiscalmente: el RoboSecGua solo estaba allí para acompañarlos en una loca carrera por el museo …

… a una instalación recientemente instalada llamada ‘Descontaminación’ …

“Oye”, chilló Chester con alegría, “no me siento ofendido por esta situación embarazosa en absoluto: nunca antes me habían hecho cosquillas tan placenteras en el trasero. ¿Y tú, Valentine?

“Sí, genial, hombre”. Respondió el segundo hermano mayor. “Y mira el moderno dispensador de crema hidratante: ¡realmente me encanta!”

Pero todas las cosas buenas deben llegar a su fin, y pronto fueron liberadas …

Como era de esperar, la primera persona que encontraron fue su tía Doris, que había traído a su novio, K’Plank el Vagabundo Espacial, con ella …

“Hola chicos”, gritó desde lo alto de la rampa de subida, “gusto en verlos de regreso. Antes de que se apresure a emprender su nueva misión, K’Plank tiene algunos consejos paternales para usted “.

“De hecho lo hago”. El ex chico malo, pero ahora totalmente reformado huevo podrido, agregó. “Creo que deberías hacer una pausa para considerar a los más cercanos a ti. Magnuss, Rudi y Valentine: tus novias indudablemente están suspirando por ti: creo que es mejor que las veas primero, por si acaso te pasara algo terrible en la nueva exhibición de Era de la Piedra “.

Naturalmente, los tres hermanos mencionados tomaron en cuenta estas sabias palabras, y en poco tiempo Magnuss había invitado a Hair-Trigger a tomar un refrigerio rápido en el restaurante de comida exótica de Mister Pong …

… Donde planeaba decirle que se embarcaría en otra aventura sin ella. Naturalmente, las hijas de Pong, Yu-Wah y Wah-Hey estaban allí. Y, mientras el señor Pong tomaba el pedido de Magnuss, las chicas dejaron a un lado sus vestidos de camarera y se apresuraron a reunirse con los hermanos mayores de Earplug …

“Hola chicas”, dijo Rudi cuando las mujeres aparecieron desde un pasillo lateral y coincidieron en velocidad con ellas, “íbamos de camino a verte”.

“Sho’nuf fueron,” Valentine confirmó las palabras de su hermano. “Tenemos algo que decirte”.

“Sabemos.” Yu-Wah respondió. “Todos lo hacen. Está por todo el museo “.

“¿Cuando te vas?” Wah-Hey agregó.

“Estamos en camino hacia allí ahora”. Rudi respondió imprudentemente. “Solo íbamos a hacer una parada para saludar antes de encontrar a un viajero a la nueva exhibición”.

Esto no salió bien …

“Malditos, piojosos y egoístas imbéciles”. Yu-Wah gritó.

“Me sorprende que no nos hayas llamado simplemente por teléfono o quizás nos hayas enviado un mensaje de texto”. Wah-Hey agregó.

“Y pensar que dejamos nuestros mensajes para venir a verte”. Yu-Wah se quejó. Magnuss llevó a Hair-Trigger al restaurante de papá. Es un novio adecuado, lo es: no como ustedes dos “.

“Sí”, espetó Wah-Hey. “Esperamos que se pierda en la Era de la Piedra, eso es lo que hacemos”.

“Y esperamos que los baños también estén bloqueados”. Yu-Wah terminó. “Adiós.”

Bueno, tampoco había mucho en lo que se le ocurriera decir a los hermanos Earplug, así que vieron a las camareras desaparecer por el pasillo del que habían salido de mucho mejor humor …

“Lo superarán”. Rudi dijo en el silencio resultante.

“Sí, claro.” Valentine respondió con incertidumbre. “Pero espero que no haya sido una maldición que simplemente nos pusieron: perdernos no es una lástima; pero la idea de inodoros bloqueados me hace temblar con mis funky botas de discoteca “.

Transcurrió media hora antes de que el quinteto se reincorporara …

Mientras reunía a sus tropas, Rudi no mencionó el disgusto de Yu-Wah y Wah-Hey. “Está bien, muchachos”, dijo, “vamos a patear algunas nalgas de la Era de la Piedra”.

Con eso, y con corazones un poco inquietos, los cinco tapones para los oídos de color rosa anaranjado subieron la rampa de acero inoxidable que conducía a la nueva exhibición …

Simplemente no tenían idea de qué esperar.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Hmmm, Pong, Space Wanderer, and Facepuncher have no Spanish equivalents. Shame; I really wanted to know what ‘Space Wanderer’ was in Español. And surely there’s a word for ‘Pong’!

.

Earplug Adventures: The Age of Stone (part 5)

Meanwhile, whilst the brothers closed upon his position, Magnuss had engaged Susan in further conversation. So, when they arrived in the vaguely green room at the end of the dark tunnel, he was sufficiently educated to introduce his new friend to the others…

…and inform them that (although the exhibit was very advanced technologically) Susan was concerned that it’s altered and abbreviated programming for use in an earlier era had inherent flaws and weaknesses. He told them that the scientists in the future had scoffed at her fears, saying: “But they’re a bunch of comparative savages back then: how are they gonna hack into our fabulous programming? Don’t be stupid! Now get on with your bloody job and stop complaining.”

This amused the boys, and they stopped looking at Susan as if she was a huge weirdo. In fact Chester thought she was ‘Kinda cute – in a gargantuan way’.

But then, suddenly, without prior warning, or minus any hint of anticipatory concern, a shudder ran through Susan’s vast frame…

Being telepathic themselves, and therefore blessed with a certain amount of empathic talent, the Earplug Brothers picked up Susan’s condition.

“What is it, Susan?” Magnuss inquired.

Susan didn’t respond immediately. Instead she began perambulating. Naturally the boys followed her. As they did so, they heard her whisper: “I feel something. Tendrils of some terrible intelligence. It’s attempting to hack into the Age of Stone’s programming.”

“Are you sure?” Magnuss interrupted. “I mean, we’re so backward here in this era. That’s why they sent the Museum of Future Technology back to this time – because we don’t have anything that comes close to affecting it.”

Susan ‘harrumphed’ in reply; then extended her ‘head’ so that Magnuss was thrust higher – towards the distant ceiling…

In an instant he became aware of a distant light. “Ah, is there supposed to be a light up there?” He asked.

But before Susan could reply…

…Magnuss instinctively knew the answer. The light was either coming closer, or it was growing in size. Magnuss didn’t like the look of it. He said as much. But when it enlarged again, he tried to make light of the phenomenon…

“Ah, Susan,” he said in his chirpy way that fooled no one, “I think you have visitors.”

In response Susan moved more quickly that any of the Earplug Brothers thought was green-blobbishly possible. Almost instantaneously Magnuss had been returned to the ground, and she had stretched herself to her fullest height…

“Ooh, yeah.” She said in a tone that gave away no clue to her state of mind. “There’s definitely something there.”  

But then an image formed…

…and the boys were left in no doubt…

“Argh!” She screamed in a voice that had ascended to a pitch that was on the very upper range of earplug hearing. “We’ve been hacked. I was right all along. Something has taken control of The Age of Stone!”

Magnuss and the others, if nothing else, were quick on the up-take. They quickly reasoned that if something was capable of hacking into such advanced programming, it (or they) were very advanced themselves, and that through the exhibit they could spread out and take control of the Museum of Future Technology too.

“Argh!” They cried as one. “Bum too. What a sod…

…And we’ve only been here half an hour too. This is galling in the extreme. Run! Run!”

“Hah-hah-hah,” a familiar, yet unfamiliar, voice boomed, “that’ll teach you. What it’ll teach you I’m not quite sure of; but you can count yourselves taught, that’s for certain. Oh yes, Earplug Brothers: it’s payback time!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Aventuras con tapones para los oídos: La Era de la Piedra (parte 1)

Earplug Adventures: The Age of Stone…in Spanish!

Some nuances of my colloquial English may be missing: and Valantine’s 1970s soul brother speech definitely suffers. But give it a try anyway: it’s a giggle.

Prólogo

Los Hermanos Earplug solo habían usado su nave espacial Hyperspace Pirate-look-similar-space una vez anteriormente; pero tras el descubrimiento de un desagradable pong en una región del espacio que no estaba desesperadamente lejos de la Tierra, volvieron a abordar su nave infrautilizada y partieron inmediatamente para investigar …

Aunque la región del espacio antes mencionada estaba dentro de los límites del Sistema Solar, para los ocupantes del platillo, se sentía terriblemente lejos de casa …

Pero después de estudiar las emisiones gaseosas durante dos días, se estaban aburriendo decididamente. Bueno, Miles y Chester lo estaban. Rudi y Valentine estaban demasiado ocupados revisando lecturas y analizando muestras de vacío para darse cuenta. Y Magnuss se sintió mareado por el espacio …

Pero entre ataques de náuseas y apresurarse al baño, el hermano del medio se las arregló para inventar una teoría. El aroma al que se referían los informes tenía un diseño muy individual. De hecho, Magnuss lo sabía bien. Estaba seguro de que lo había olido una vez antes, cuando un falso Ser Supremo había suplantado al verdadero Ser Supremo, a quien los Hermanos Earplug habían liberado del interior de una enorme caja de madera …

… quien luego luchó con el intruso, que pronto será conocido como el Ser Supremo Wonky …

… y con la ayuda del hermano, el verdadero Ser Supremo pudo limpiar los calzoncillos del Ser Supremo Wonky y así derrotarlo …

Ahora, yonks más tarde, Magnuss estaba seguro de que el pong actual olía completamente al olor que había surgido de los pantalones del Ser Supremo Wonky mientras volaban al azar por el campo de batalla, hace tanto tiempo. Pero, hasta que se sintió mejor y pudo hablar sin arcadas, decidió guardar sus pensamientos para sí mismo. Chester, por otro lado, estaba pensando en cuánto más se divertirían los salvadores de Marte, Folie Krimp y Placebo Bison, ahora mismo, a bordo del Gravity Whelk

Y Miles estaba recordando una época más feliz cuando los cinco hermanos interpretaron Los Caballeros Stupido a cappella mientras estaban parados en un escenario peligrosamente minúsculo con sus distintivos sombreros cosacos posados ​​sobre sus heroicas cabezas …

Pero cualquiera que sea el tema en la mente particular de cada Hermano Earplug, era seguro que (después de varios días en las profundidades del espacio) todos anhelaban regresar al Museo de Tecnología del Futuro …

Una o dos horas más tarde, nadie sabe con certeza cuánto tiempo, porque el aburrimiento hace que los segundos parezcan durar para siempre, Rudi y Valentine concluyeron su estudio …

… Y se dio cuenta de la incomodidad de su hermano. Siendo el hermano mayor, y por lo tanto el más sabio, Rudi los invitó a todos a la presencia del Oráculo del Barco …

“Oye, hombre”, le dijo a la fuente del conocimiento, “no estamos seguros de lo que debemos hacer a continuación, ¿sabes a qué me refiero? No llegamos a ninguna parte rápidamente, y mis hermanos se están volviendo locos: ¿alguna idea? “

A lo que el Oráculo respondió: “Ve al baño unos minutos: me pondré en contacto con el museo”.

Por supuesto, era exactamente lo que los chicos querían escuchar, y cinco minutos más tarde estaban de regreso a la sala de control …

… Sintiéndose mucho mejor en sí mismos, en sus vejigas, y esperanzados para el futuro inmediato. Y cuando volvieron a entrar en la sala de control, no pudieron evitar notar que el enlace de video a la Tierra estaba en el acto de calentarse …

Para su sorpresa, la tía Doris se había unido al comisario en jefe dentudo del Museo de Tecnología del Futuro, Cushions Smethwyke.

Rudi habló por todos ellos: “Hola, Cushions”. Dijo “Hola, tía: ¿Qué tal los trucos?”

“Hola chicos.” La tía Doris respondió alegremente, como era su manera. La señorita Smethwyke tiene buenas noticias para usted. Luego a Cushions le dijo: “Adelante, Cushions: diles”.

“Buenas noticias en verdad”. Cojines hablaban a través de la gran división entre el museo y el platillo volante. “Tenemos un trabajo más importante para ti, aquí en el museo”.

“Oye”, habló Valentine por primera vez desde que maldijo en la recalcitrante terminal de computadora en su estación de trabajo de anomalías gaseosas, “bien, mamá. No huele a surco, ¿entiendes? Especialmente olores espaciales. ¿Qué tienes en mente?

Doris no pudo contener su entusiasmo: habló directamente sobre el curador: “Hemos recibido otra exposición del futuro”. Ella chilló con un deleite mal disfrazado. “Es uno muy grande. El más grande desde que se destruyó la estación de lavado de ojos “.

“Sí”, agregó Cushions mientras se empujaba frente a Doris, “es de una época en la que toda la tecnología se basaba en un solo material: la piedra”.

Esto confundió muchísimo a los hermanos. “Pero”, dijo Chester en su nombre, “la Stone Age no está en el futuro: ¡está en el pasado!”

“No”, respondió Cushions rotundamente, “no la Stone Age, sino la Era de la Piedra. Será una época en la que todo esté construido con piedra. Y me refiero a todo: ¡incluso estetoscopios, molinos de viento, microcircuitos y asientos de lavabo! “

Mientras los chicos absorbían esta asombrosa información, Doris se abrió camino una vez más. “Y quieren que lo pruebes, por así decirlo. Así que regresen aquí lo más rápido posible: Cushions quiere abrirlo al público, pero primero quiere asegurarse de que sea seguro “.

Tres segundos después …

… Estaban en camino. Y Magnuss se preguntó si este era el momento adecuado para mencionar sus temores de que las anomalías gaseosas fueran el resultado del regreso del Ser Supremo Maravilloso. Que no eran olores espaciales, como Valentine había asumido incorrectamente, sino pedos de Dios, ¡infiltrándose y penetrando el espacio / tiempo regular desde otro reino cuántico por completo!

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2021

Okay, some strange stuff took place in translation; but the story holds up.