The Sorting Master
At that truly unique offer of help I returned, as did the Mudlizard, to a predatory circling, crouching type motion as Cat exclaimed loudly,
“The pair of you are as bad as each other, what in the universe are you both doing?”
Before I could engineer a suitably cutting reply, a fourth somewhat machine synthetic voice cut in saying,
“Welcome beings. Please do not panic. I am the Sorting Master at this Quark Station and I am here to help you get sorted out.”
“Oh, thank goodness,” I said staring intently at Cat, “something that wants to help.”
Cat grunted at that before replying to the disembodied voice of the Sorting Master, saying,
“It’s very good of you Sorting Master to communicate in a language that this idiot can understand.”
“You are most welcome Mr. Cat,” said the disembodied voice.
“Why is it that everyone and everything in this universe is so polite to you ‘Mr. Cat’ whist I get treated like a piece of sub-atomic flotsam,” I enquired of no one in particular.
“Probably because you’re a moron you moron,” responded Cat.
As I was just about to consider forming a pact with the Mudlizard, the Sorting Master spoke again,
“Please everyone just remain calm and I’ll have this all sorted out quite quickly. Now if I could just take down some particulars for our records.”
“I am perfectly calm,” said Cat.
“Yes, yes I know you are calm Mr. Cat. I was referring to the two exchangents,” said the Sorting Master’s voice.
To be continued………
Here we go with the dismembering again…..
Forgetting for a moment that I was on this beast’s dismembering schedule I responded quite gleefully with,
“Now that’s not a bad idea you know. Tell me do you have any dismembering tips you could share with me? It’s not something I do on a routine basis you understand.”
“Of course Inspector,” answered the Mudlizard, “my pleasure. My best tip is to take your time. Enjoy the moment. Let your victim have time to think about what’s going to happen. Then continue with that principle and make sure you remove bits slowly. Start with small appendages and then work your way, slowly of course, up to larger organs.”
“Well, he’s obviously a Mudlizard who works to plan,” interjected Cat.
“Eh, what are you on about?” I enquired.
“He’s already effectively removed your so called willy hasn’t he? Surely you can’t get much smaller than that,” guffawed Cat.
I threw an icy glare at Cat as the Mudlizard continued,
“And of course Inspector, for enhanced educational purposes, I will of course gladly provide you with a detailed commentary as I slowly dismember you.”
To be continued……….
Terribly Sorry Old Chap
I looked back at the Mudlizard and instinctively threw out an apology.
“Yes of course, terribly sorry old chap. I was actually trying to pay attention to your menace you know. This blasted AI of mine has distracted me somewhat.”
“We tend not to have have such things,” said the Mudlizard, “where we have slaves they are wholly biological and do menial tasks only?”
“Really,” I responded, “I can completely understand that. Makes total sense. I expect you know where you are much better than I do. I rarely know what’s going on from one minute to the next you know. I mean, the authorities say that AIs are effectively our slaves but, I can tell you, my experience is quite different. Most of the time ‘it’ never tells me what’s going on. I have no idea what to expect next and if anyone is calling the ‘shots’ it’s ‘it’ and not me.”
The Mudlizard looked at me with what I imagined was the Mudlizard equivalent of an aghast expression as it replied,
“That’s just just ridiculous. The Mudlizard leadership would not tolerate such behaviour from a slave. Have you considered dismembering it?”
To be continued……..
Well I’m not Backing Down
The tail-less Mudlizard crouched a little in front of me, looking quite menacing and for all the world as though it was going to attack. I knew what Mudlizard’s could do with their tongues. I’d watched the aircast of the murder of Captain McBeckham and his crew on the Mudlizard’s homes planet, Plasmolidium. His advance patrol had stood absolutely no chance with tongues that could literally extend over 100 meters and garrot a human neck in seconds.
I waved my tail about, flinging it left then right around the front of my body, doing my own strutting predatory pacing. Cat said,
“What on Jalakax are you doing you twerp. This isn’t a dance you know. You won’t stand a chance if it decides to ‘tongue’ you so stop prancing around like a cross between the sugar plum fairy and CosmosMan.”
“I am not prancing. I am intimidating, which is a lot more than the nothing you’re doing,” I responded testily.
“I am thinking,” said Cat in his most superior of tones, “something that I realise is as alien to you as the tail currently stuck on your brain. Sorry I mean your rump.”
Positively now bristling with indignation I started to search for some new abuses to send in Cat’s direction whereupon the Mudlizard cut in again with,
“Excuse me but could you two stop with the irritating ping pong of deadly insults and, just for a moment, focus on the fact that you are being menaced by an acknowledged alien beast?”
To be continued……….
Spoiling for a Fight
“Now look,” I replied, “this is a pretty serious situation for me. It’s hardly surprising that I might get a little confused is it? And anyway how stupid was it for head office to call you ‘Cat’ and your Dad ‘Cat’ too. I mean at least they could have given you numbers for goodness sake”
At that point the Mudlizard, who I’d completely forgotten about, piped up with,
“Can you two stop this please. I have some dismembering to plan.”
“Oh great,” I said, “a Mudlizard with a sense of humour. Well listen to me you member of the clan from mega-monsterland, you come anywhere too close to me and I’ll beat your brains out with your own tail.”
At that I swished the tail attached to my rear end back and forth, impressing myself with the ease with which I was now able to control it. Cat squirmed free of my hands and hovered in the air beside me, though a safe distance away. He was clearly keen to avoid being ‘batted’ around again by my Mudlizard appendage.
To be continued…….
Well, I call it Farting
I stared at the monster, leaning my upper body as far back from it as my, I mean its, tail would permit me. My eyes darted over the front of the Mudlizard’s body. Where was my willy I wondered? There was nothing obvious externally, though Mudlizards tended to have quite a lot of folds of flesh where their bellies were, so it could be hiding under one of them I thought. I mean mine did the same, especially if the weather was on the cool side and, when of course, it was actually attached to my body.
In a show of bravado I grabbed Cat, who had been hovering around the side of my head, and held him out in front of me. I then said to the Mudlizard,
“I warn you this Cat is armed and dangerous.”
I turned Cat around in my hands and pointed his rear end at the Mudlizard. After lifting his tail I said, “Ok Cat, fire on my command.”
“Ummmm…, Look boss I think the part transformation of your body is making you even more confused that usual. My Father, Cat, used to gaseously expel, and Mudlizards were indeed at one point very susceptible to the hydrogen sulphide in his expellations. However I am a new generation of artificial intelligences. I vent, I do not need to gaseously expel. And anyway, Mudlizards have gotten wise to that particular ‘weapon’ and now routinely take an antidote to protect themselves against hydrogen sulphide, wherever it comes from.”
“You mean fart,” I responded.
“I beg your pardon,” replied Cat in a somewhat offended tone.
“Fart,” I repeated, “your Father Cat used to fart continuously. It was probably the most useful thing he ever did generally, and certainly when we first encountered the Mudlizards.”
“Excuse me,” said Cat rather haughtily, still with his tail up and bottom pointed directly at the Mudlizard,
“my Father, Cat, did not fart. He was quite categorically clear about that. And anyway whether he did or didn’t doesn’t matter. As I just told you hydrogen sulphide has no impact on Mudlizards anymore. It’s useless as a weapon. So going on about it to cover up the fact that your lonely brain cell cannot work out the difference between me, Cat, and my Father, Cat, is a bit pointless. Why not just say ‘I’m really compromised brain neuron-wise and can’t process the fact that there have been two Cat’s in my life, neither of which ever actually farted!!” ended Cat rather too triumphantly for my liking.
To be continued…….
Now a Mudlizard shows up!!
“Look Rubberstein, can I remind you, I’m the one with a tail. I’m the one who’s lost their willy and I’m the one no longer speaking sense. NOT YOU! So don’t pretend you can’t see why I might need to speak with these ethereal ‘will o’ the wisps’ you say you are communicating with.”
“Well,” said Cat once more, “excuse me for wanting accuracy but I do have a tail, I don’t have a willy and I don’t believe you’ve ever talked sense. So, what’s your point?.
Before the rage that had grown within me could truly explode, albeit doubtless in fluent Mudlizard, another voice cracked through the air with,
“You are just a collection of soon to be dead pieces Inspector.”
Cat hovered up the instant the voice started. At first I thought that our apparently friendly Sequestran postmaster had decided to speak to me but then as I lumberingly turned my body I realised this was not the case. As I looked behind me, to my horror, I saw a tail-less non-slobbery Mudlizard. It was speaking my language and said,
“When the Mudlizard leadership announced that they wanted you in itemised pieces Inspector, little did they realise that one of those pieces would be a Mudlizard’s tail.”
To be continued……..
Can you get me out of this mess?
“Look Cat, this is all very well but please, just take a look at me. I’m speaking gibberish, as far as I’m concerned anyway, and, I’ve got a tail. A tail. ANDDDD….I’m missing essential equipment in the form of my ‘willy’. Can you please get this story to some sort of conclusion that might actually tell me how the mess I’m in is going to get ‘unmessed’?”
“I was coming to that,” said Cat, “but I have to say again it’s hard for me to empathise as my experience of you is one of a human who specialises in speaking gibberish all the time and I also really don’t understand all the fuss about your missing equipment. Alright, I can kind of see how inconvenient having such a large tail might be. I mean tails are very important tools but I personally prefer the rather more mobile, small tail that I have. I’d hate to have one as big as yours.”
“It’s not MINE,” I yelled at Cat, “that’s the cursed point.”
“Alright, alright,” said Cat, “I understand. When it comes to tails I do understand. Also, I can assure you that the Ethereals have worked for years now to develop methods to correct any mistakes that do arise from the accidental movement and scrambling of biological organisms. This is why they have sorting stations like this one, to correct the occasional error that arises when biological matter gets accidentally moved or, as in your case, moved and scrambled.”
“All very interesting,” I said, “but tell me, how do you actually talk to the Ethereals?”
“lt’s like this ,” said Cat, “like most things, including you, it’s really quite simple. I just tuned my radio wave receiver until I hit the frequency that they transmit their thoughts at. Then I got my universal translator array to crunch the numbers and came up quite quickly with a way to communicate with them.”
“Right, so how do I communicate with them?” I asked.
“Hmmm,” said Cat, “I’m not entirely sure I understand why you should need to communicate with them but should this be required, you are welcome to communicate via me.”
Rage stirred instantly inside me and, in ‘borderline’ apoplectic mode, I promptly exploded.
To be continued…….
Cat duly continued once more,
“So, the Sequestran Order persuaded the Ethereals to help them try to invade Earth by first attacking the moon. Of course the Ethereals didn’t want to hurt anyone but their relatives were less concerned. As a consequence, having found a way to control the Ethereals, once on the moon they forced experiments aimed at making whole settlements, including the people, effectively disappear into the ether. As maybe you learned from the Star Trek episodes based on this, Earth’s Space Patrol engaged with the Sequestran Order on the moon and eventually completely wiped them out. At the time the forces from Earth had no clue of the parallel existence of the Ethereals. They have remained unknown to Earth, up until now of course.”
“I see,” I said slowly before adding, “so what have the Ethereals been doing since the end of the Sequestran war on the moon?”
“Yes I was coming to that,” said Cat before saying,
“Once they knew that the Earth forces had destroyed the Sequestran order they basically disappeared up their own holes. Their Quark holes that is. They initially went back to Sequestra their home planet and in the few years that remained before Sequestra was destroyed they developed their network of Quark holes. They worked out better methods to control the way matter was moved through the Quark hole network, so as not to affect living things so generating the energy they need to ‘breathe’ by moving just inanimate matter around from one place to another. However, having said that they still have the occasional accident, like the one that has affected you.”
As Cat paused I took the chance to voice some concerns,
To be continued……
“Not all Sequestrans of course evolved ethereal Quark hole dependency overnight. So naturally, tensions developed between the early Ethereals and the those who retained, largely, a distinct body. The Ehetreal group, dominating the Sequestran Order quite naturally in a sense as it faced extinction, sought a different path to salvation. They became much more aggressive, utilising their transportation capabilities to get themselves to other possible habitats in other galaxies. That’s what led to the Sequestran war on the Moon.”
“AHH, yes,” I interjected briefly, “I’d heard about that and in fact I think a trilogy of Captain Crack’s Star Trick series was based on that war.”
Cat rolled his eyes as he said,
“I find it astonishing how much of your apparent knowledge of life in the Universe is based on a fictional collection of science fiction stories first delivered up to humans in the late 20th Century. No small wonder you talk so much rubbish, even when speaking a language from Earth. And….” he paused momentarily presumably for dramatic effect, before adding,
“it was Captain Kirk in Star Trek you moron.”
“Was it?” I enquired.
“Yes it was,” said Cat, “not that I really care so could you please keep your puerile observations of fake history to yourself whilst I finish the story?”
“Alright, alright, no need to be so tetchy. I’m the one who’s had their willy stolen and had a massive tail attached to their backside,” I responded, “do please continue.”
To be continued……….