Junior Earplug Adventures: The Grand Tour (part 27)

Ballington hadn’t expected resistance from Hambledon: he thought he’d brought him under his control entirely. He paused their joint perambulation so that he could look directly into the musical giant’s eyes…

…which glowed red beneath his mental onslaught.

“You WILL write a hit record for me. It will have a driving, mesmerizing rhythm. It will go a bit like; ‘bum-de-bum-de-bum-bum-bum‘. Do you understand?”

Bum-de-bum-de-bum-bum-bum.” Hambledon replied in a dull monotone. “Got it. Far out, man; what a groove!”

The watching Scroat realised that if he didn’t act now, it would be too late. He also recognised Ballington’s great talent for controlling other corks. “I’m another cork” He sub-vocalised to himself. “If I don’t handle this right, he could take control of me. Hey, and if he took control of me, he could use me against the Mountain Cork Gods, who aren’t really gods at all, but corks from an extremely technically advanced society with all the appearances of gods. But, I digress. Now – to action.”

With those three words of wisdom ringing in his metaphorical ears, Scroat made his move…

Leaping from the roughly hewn window frame, he roared: “Ballington Cork; get your chunky ass away from that disco king. Prepare yourself for the fight of your life!”

Then, as the two corks squared up for a fight, Scroat felt Ballington’s mental tendrils infiltrate his mind. But before his sentience vacated him, he used his only weapon that would work against a powerful psychic. He recalled Buttox Barkingwell’s effect upon the mountain corks. Or more precisely the effect of her gaseous emissions. So he farted – massively… 

Holding his breath, he pushed against a suddenly unresisting Ballington…

…forcing him backwards – where he stumbled and teetered on the edge of a mechanic’s inspection pit.

“Argh.” Ballington cried out in horror. “If I fall on my back, my stiff spine won’t allow me to roll over and regain my feet. I’ll be horribly stuck in this nasty mechanic’s pit!”

“Yeah.” Scroat bellowed his triumphant reply. “I know.”

A split second later, a quick kick in the shin and…

“Bum-de-bum-de-bum-bum-bum; that’s a really rubbish idea.” He said to both Ballington and Hambledon. “That’ll never be a hit.”

Whilst Ballington was in the act of being arrested, far, far away, the flying saucer had departed the Chi-Z-Sox…

Naturally the Earplug Brothers were at the controls…

But, for this mission, they had a sixth crew member aboard – who appeared in the control room via a small mid-floor elevator…

“Howdy, partners.” She said by way of introduction…

“I’m Cilica Gelpac. I’m your resident anthropologist.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

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Junior Earplug Adventures: The Grand Tour (part 26)

So, for the crew and passengers of the Chi-Z-Sox, the grand tour continued…

As they traversed the immensity of the galaxy, the Earplug Brothers stared in wonder at the main screen…

They also discussed their next port of call. Many suggestions were made, but Hydious Gout…

…favoured only one. “They owe us.” He said,by way of explanation. “In any case, that civilisation is so young  and idealistic, they’re bound to hand over great wads of unspeakable riches without qualm or question; all we need to do is ask.”

Magnuss wasn’t so sure; he’d enjoyed a genuine relationship with the leader of the proposed planet…

“I’m not keen to impose upon Nigel the Golden One.” He said. “I’d feel like a cheap skate.”

But, as the cable end planet hove into view…

…he thought of the place he most loved: the Museum of Future Technology…

“Oh, I dunno.” He said. “Maybe you’re right: we are kinda desperate.”

Meanwhile, in the snow-swept Time Shard duplicate of the Museum…

…Ballington Cork was making suggestions to the impressionable former disco star, Hambledon Bohannon…

“Obviously,” he was saying, “once I’m ensconced as the director of this chilly, temporally dislocated, version of the Museum of Future Technology I can learn all about its secret inner workings; then I can apply them to the proper M.O.F.T and take that one over too. With your help, of course. I need your driving disco beat with which to mesmerize the inhabitants. We can’t use your golden oldies; they’re too well-known. You need to write some new potential disco hits.”

As they strolled, Hambledon turned to Ballington. “Haven’t you heard?” He replied. “Disco is dead. And I haven’t written an original piece since South African Badger.”

Little did either cork know, but they were being watched…

Field Agent Scroat Titan had tracked Ballington to this place; and he intended to thwart the huge cork’s plan, whatever it was, before it could reach fruition.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

Junior Earplug Adventures: The Grand Tour (part 25)

Well, once they had landed and were unable to detect any obviously governmental buildings, the five boys chose a door at random…

Rudi knocked politely. Inside, the building’s occupant, one Rufus Inkwell…

…heard it, but couldn’t believe that anyone would come calling in the heat of the midday. So he didn’t answer it, lest a bunch of marauding bandits come barging in, intent on mischief.

Outside Magnuss, who had eaten three bowls of porridge and a huge banana for breakfast, felt a tad windy inside. “Hey,” he said cheerfully, “whomever the buttwipe inside is, he isn’t keen on opening the door to us, that’s obvious. I think I can persuade him otherwise.”

With that he…

…released several cubic centimetres of noxious gas, through a crack in the door frame, from his normally charming bottom.

Inside the building…

…Rufus Inkwell was surprised. He also felt intimidated. So he pretended to be out. In fact he was very good at it; and it wasn’t very long before Magnuss and the others gave up…

Although Chester did hang on a short while to peer through a peep-hole in the door itself. And when Rufus went to make sure that his unwelcome visitors had moved on, he was startled by the sight of an alien being standing on his threshold…

Rufus reeled backwards in bemusement…

From there he rushed to the main Planetary Riches vault…

Professional to the end, Rufus checked the contents of the vault…

He sighed. “Still full up. Totally full – right to the brim.” He said to himself. “And still the money rolls in. If I don’t find some meaningful cause to which I can donate a considerable sum of it soon, I’ll have to have a larger vault built, which will impinge upon my kitchen space greatly; and that would be intolerable. I’ll have to ditch my granite counter and favourite chopping board!”

He then sighed again. He so hated being the Chief of Charities; it was such a boring job; everyone on the planet was so rich that no one ever needed to ask for money.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

Junior Earplug Adventures: The Grand Tour (Part 24)

Rudi felt that the strange alien vehicle’s speed and agility were second to none; and since there was nothing more to prove, the vessel returned to the mother ship, where its happy crew disembarked…

“How charming.” Magnuss opined. “Such exquisite touches everywhere. Art Ducko, I do believe.”

“Sho’ nuf, bro.” Valentine agreed…

…”And that toilet flush sucks real hard: no smears or nothing!” 

Then, as they made their way towards the bridge, Captain Hydious Gout said…

…”Right, I’ve had enough of this view for now: on to the next planet.”

With lightning reactions the helmsplug punched in the co-ordinates upon his list, and a split second later the Chi-Z-Sox was headed into the depths of interstellar space…

But soon a hyper-radio call arrived from the Museum of Future Technology. From her seat upon the Omnipresent Scanner, Chief Curator, Cushions Smethwyke, had been watching as events unfolded…

“Flipping heck.” She bellowed across the light years, parsecs, and astronomical units. “The Museum is about to be declared bankrupt; get a bloody move on!”

So Hydious told the helmsplug to hit the afterburners…

…and before his wife, Putridity, could properly fasten her gravity suit’s underpants, a planet swam into view…

Unable to resist such a beautiful globe, Gout had the ship enter a high orbit above it…

“Sensors have detected evidence of an advanced industrial civilisation.” former Martian adventurer, Yabu Suchs, informed everyone who was on the bridge at that particular moment…

“The air is full of disgusting crap, but, I feel confident in saying, there is probably a great deal of wealth down there. After all, you know how the north country saying goes: ‘Where there’s muck there’s brass’.”

Hydious concurred and duly launched the flying saucer…

Aboard it, the Earplug Brothers took hold of their respective controls…

…and guided the alien craft into the planet’s atmosphere…

Quite who they expected to meet on the surface below, not one of them knew. They just hoped that he/she/it spoke Earplug, possessed a pleasant demeanour, and carried a bulging wallet.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

Junior Earplug Adventures: The Grand Tour (Part 23)

Naturally the Chi-Z-Sox was soon under way once more…

…because the crew had a Herculean task to perform, after all. To this end, Captain Gout invited the Earplug Brothers to descend to the main hold, where, he hinted, something exciting awaited their attention…

To say that they were pleased was an understatement.

“Flipping heck,” Rudi exclaimed…

…it’s an exact replica of an End Cap attack craft. With one of these little guys we can survey planets, study fauna and flora kinda stuff, and bomb them from orbit if necessary!”

For a moment the other four siblings stood mute…

But when the vessel began to power-up, Magnuss blurted: “Last one inside is a rotten avocado!”

A moment later they were fighting each other be first inside the craft…

And when they finally forced their way through the air-lock…

…they weren’t the least surprised to find that its interior dimensions exceeded those of the exterior.

“Jeepers,” Rudi yelped uncharacteristically, “look at the captain’s console: it lights up!”

The others were equally pleased with other facets of the tiny vehicle. Especially Valentine…

…who couldn’t wait to use the futuristic lavatory. In fact, so pleased was he that…

…he described his every bowel movement to Chester, who busied himself with the communications console and didn’t really want to know.

Miles, who didn’t really understand the principle of the console at which he sat, noticed a poster that hung upon the wall of one of the cabins.

“It’s Luis Cosmos.” He yelled above the thunderous noise that emitted from the lavatory. “He’s my favourite Mexican trumpeter – or trumpeteer, as I prefer to call trumpeters. How wonderfully personalised this ship is. Three cheers for Captain Hydious Gout and his charming wife, whose name eludes me!”

“I’ve got the ship’s sensor array here.” Magnuss announced…

“I’m scanning the inside of the Chi-Z-Sox as we speak.”

“Well,” Chester responded from his console…

…make sure you don’t scan the ladies netball team’s changing room; they’ll be very angry with you. They might shove you, head-first, into one of their baskets.”

“Hey, Rudi spoke in perfect synchronicity with the sound of the ship’s engines, as they purred with latent power…

…”let’s give this baby a shakedown blast.”

Moments later the flying saucer slipped from the Chi-Z-Sox’ launch bay…

…and Rudi lit the metaphorical blue touch paper…

“Arrgh.” Valentine yelled in dismay and horror. “The acceleration is too intense, man; I can’t reach the toilet roll holder!”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

Junior Earplug Adventures: The Grand Tour (part 22)

Before anyone knew it, the Chi-Z-Sox was once again blasting across the cosmos…

And it wasn’t long after it entered a new planetary system that the scanners were looking down upon a world that comprised  mostly desert and ocean…

The thought of visiting a planet that comprised mostly desert and ocean appealed to the twins upon, at least, seventeen levels of excited anticipation. So, shortly, Chester and Miles found themselves standing upon a sea-shore…

They didn’t know it, but night was about to end abruptly…

It was only as the morning light illuminated the shoreline that both young earplugs began shouting, in the hope of drawing their presence to the attention of the local inhabitants. Initially neither brother became aware that they were being watched…

But when Miles finally spotted the marine earplug partially submerged in the beautiful blue ocean swell, he was reminded of their family trait; that being terrible susceptibility to motion sickness…

Conversely the presence of a ocean-living earplug reminded Chester of the swimming pool party that the boys had attended with Yu-Wah and Wah-Hey Pong, who had invited along their kid sister, Sweet Wah-Wah, who enjoyed floating just below the surface in much the same way as the wet alien…

Of course the mysterious desert-ocean dwelling earplug knew nothing of swimming pool parties: she was just merely aware that her sensitive submarine ears had been assaulted by the boy’s accidental verbal atrocities…

In fact she got so mad that she…

…blew off beneath the waves, which made Miles feel even more nauseous…

…and didn’t do much for Chester’s nasal cavities either.

Obviously, following such an unfortunate first contact situation, Captain Gout decided to try another planet, which went very well…

Following some pleasant negotiations with Rudi and Valentine, the king of the Big Red Knobs agreed to sponsor a half-marathon – the proceeds from which would be forwarded to the Museum of Future Technology.

“Guess you’ll have to grow some legs first.” Rudi quipped to the creature that usually locomoted via an anti-gravity gland. “You do know what a half-marathon is, don’t ya?”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

 

Junior Earplug Adventures: The Grand Tour (Part 21)

Later that day, all five Earplug Brothers received their knighthoods. In addition Marnus Pongfinger contacted the Iceworld’s sole robot space freighter…

…which had recently been loaded with the first cargo of ice and had been despatched towards the Waterworld, where the primary commodity was to be used in gin and tonics, rum and colas, vodka and limes, and other variations of alcoholic beverages. Naturally the robotic captain was cybernetically thrilled to receive a call from his ruler…

And when it passed on the news to the lower ranked robots aboard…

…they responded by saying, gleefully: “Goodie; we’re off to the Museum of Future Technology. Our cargo is going to be used in the hospitality suite there. Alone it won’t solve the museum’s insolvency; but it will cut down, dramatically, on bar costs.”

So, with their task complete, the five heroes prepared to depart the city. But Chester had a farewell to make…

He found Trubbol Attmill enjoying the huge communal bubble bath.

“Chester.” She squealed. “Why don’t you join me? The bubbles get everywhere: it’s such fun; and it makes you clean too.”

So, as Chester leapt into the foaming embrace…

…he said: “Great – just as long as they don’t get up my nose. My nasal cavities are fragile and easily irritated. Otherwise I could be sneezing for a week and a half.”

Fortunately they didn’t; and Chester’s nose was just fine. But time was of the essence; space tides demanded that the Chi-Z-Sox depart the Iceworld’s region of the galaxy; and Chester had to make the farewell to which he had alluded earlier…

“Oh, Trubbol, there goes the ship’s claxon.” He said. “My brothers and I have to go. But I promise to return one day soon – when our quest is complete; and we’ll bathe together again.”

“I look forward to it.” Trubbol replied, as she gazed lovingly at the young pink earplug of Terrestrial origin.

Then he was gone; rejoined with his siblings…

…and feeling really down in the dumps.

“Hey, Chester.” Rudi spoke from directly behind him. “Get those feet moving, man; we gotta ship to catch.”

So, as the quintet passed into the snow field beyond the city walls…

…natives would question each other concerning them.

“Aren’t they handsome?” Some would say.

“Is that a question, or a statement?” Others would reply.

Then, with Rudi taking the lead, it was time to march swiftly across the ice…

Back to the vast vessel of space that awaited their arrival…

…where other natives spoke enviously…

“Big show-offs.” One of them said, as he looked around to make sure that no security forces could hear him. “If I had a ship like that, I’m sure I could fly all over the place – asking for help or money too.”

But no one bothered listening: they thought he was a mealy-mouthed git; and were in too much awe of the Earplug Brothers.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018