The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 1.18

Finally, I’m out of here and on to our next mission.

By now I was standing up and glaring at Cat. He was right, my treatment at the hands of the Neanderthals must have left me a bit confused.

You see Cat was Cat, in that that is what his name was. However he wasn’t the original Cat. His Father was and his Father had indeed eaten copious quantities of molten lava beans with unfortunate gaseous build up consequences. Cat, well Cat Junior to be more precise, did not fortunately share his parent’s liking for beans. However, he did, despite my best efforts,  exhibit most of his Father’s other extremely irritating characteristics. You see Cat Junior, unlike his Father had not come to me as a fully grown robot. He’d come as a kitten, with his Father’s DNA, but not fully programmed behaviourally. I had therefore the opportunity to influence him as he grew. I had tried very hard to make him understand that he was with me to serve me. To fetch me things like food and drink and to run errands for me. However, despite promising early results, ultimately he had become just as big a supercilious know-all ashis Father had been, with an ego hard to fit into the vast expanse of the Galaxy.

So basically, ever since he’d reached a year old, I’m not quite sure why it was when he reached that age, he’d started to order me around just like Cat Senior. All of a sudden, once more, I was constantly heading off to do alleged tax investigations only to encounter totally unexpected and usually seriously dangerous circumstances. And Cat Junior always knew more about these missions than I did!!

Once more, as usual, his superior vision of himself led him to start ordering me about and he said,

“Right. Let’s stop messing about here. We’re needed. HQ have a mission for us. We must be off.”

I thought about arguing and asserting my position over the little rubberised monster but, given my recent circumstances and where I was, I thought better of it, simply saying,

“Right. Yes. Duty calls me chaps. Love to chat but my assistant has made me aware I’m needed. Farewell WPASO Candy. Really sorry you stabbed yourself.”

“Oh for goodness sake stop blathering and come on,” said Cat.

So go we did, heading for the hovercar Cat had arrived in. As I strapped myself into the seat next to Cat I started to daydream of all the vile and unsociable things I would do to him once we were home. We’d start with a very long extra-high frequency sonic wash in the kitchen cleaner. Cat Senior used to really hate that. As a smile played across my lips at the thought, my daydream were interrupted by Cat, who said,

“Just in case you’re making plans of what to do to me once we get home, you should know we’re not going home. Our latest mission is on Earth and our orders are to go straight there.”

“Oh,” I said as I started to wonder once again if he could read my mind. Cat Senior had always talked about developing that capability. I then added in a somewhat exasperated tone,

“So where is ‘there’ then?”

“London Central,” responded Cat before adding, “near the Old Thames Bridge to be precise, .”

“Marvellous,” I said, “no space travel involved. Excellent. Ok I guess we’d better get going then if HQ says it’s urgent. But don’t think I’m forgetting what happened back at that station. When this job is over you and I are gonna have a long talk about roles and who’s the boss in this partnership.”

“Of course boss. Anything you say,” said Cat purringly, as he pressed a virtual button and we accelerated off into the night sky.

To be continued……..

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 1.17

Cat to the Rescue?

Another familiar voice then cut through the air with the words,

“Yes, leave him alone. Abusing him is my job.”

It was Cat, hovering above me, whiskers glinting in the bright light of the room I now saw I was in. Strangely, the grunts of the Neanderthals became totally understandable English and I heard one say,

“Certainly Mr. Cat, Sir. Lads, leave him be. If Mr. Cat is prepared to vouch for him then I think we can assume he didn’t intentionally attack WPASO Candy.

“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you,” I exploded. “I didn’t touch her. Well, not much anyway. When the lights went out she screamed, obviously I know now she stabbed herself with her stylus, and then I fell on her. All very easily explained and could happen to anyone.”

At this Cat just muttered, “You moron.”

I continued angrily as I started to sit up and said to the collected ‘Neanderthals’, “ And anyway, is this how you treat all your suspects? Is this how you treat high profile visitors to your station?

One of the Neanderthals responded, “We knew you were Mr. Cat’s assistant but without him here to vouch for you we had to be assume you were just another suspect. I mean, after WPASO Candy screamed and we  found her unconscious and bleeding, what would you be think?”

I didn’t care now about the abuse. I was apoplectic at being referred to as Cat’s assistant!! What had the little ‘rat’ been saying about me in his little ‘presentations’ that he’d been giving? I now had a pretty good idea. I turned towards the little monster and shouted,

“Good grief, I thought your Father Cat was bad enough. But you are unbelievable. Does anyone on Earth understand that I am the superior and you are the minion. That I am the monkey and not the organ grinder?”

I drew breath to rant some more but before I could Carry interjected with,

“I think you need to revisit that last sentence. Not entirely sure that’s what you meant to say Chief.”

“It’s too late to ‘Chief’ me now you cat shaped bag of scrap Eesets. They were really taking the urine when they made you. But I’m gonna teach you to respect the organ grinder in this partnership. No molten lava beans for 3 months!!” I exclaimed.”NO,” I quickly added, “let’s make that 6 months!!”

“I think you are getting a little confused Chief. My Father, Cat, he was the molten lava bean junky. I’m much more into fizzy krepits if you recall?”

To be continued…….

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 1.14

Candy’s Colleagues to the Rescue

This, of course, had all happened in the space of very few seconds. As my upper body settled on the twin mounds of Helen’s chest, the lights came back on and several large PASO’s crammed in through what had now become an open door.

I looked up and down to take in my situation. Laying beneath me was an apparently unconscious WPASO Candy. Her blouse was ripped from the neckline to just below the shoulder, exposing the soft pale brown skin of her upper chest. As if that wasn’t enough, there was blood.

At the time I had no idea where the blood was coming from and really had no time to work it out there and then. This was because WPASO Candy’s male colleagues reacted to the apparent plight of their fellow officer exactly how you might expect a group of Neanderthals to react. They ‘did’ first and grunted later.

Within moments of the door opening, I had been dragged to my feet by an ‘octopus’ of PASO’s, grabbed rather uncomfortably in my basement department and raised up vertically at a rapid speed until my head crashed into the ceiling. At this point, I lost consciousness.

Naturally, one would imagine that the police operatives involved here would, after the initial and perhaps understandable tsunami of adrenaline, and other unusual hormones they undoubtedly possessed, would step back and consider the likelihood that I would assault a WPASO in their own interview room.

To be continued…….

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 1.13

Cat steals my thunder as usual…..

That made me sit up very straight. Mr. Cat indeed. That blasted tin can robot. I couldn’t even get arrested without him piping up in the interrogation. I couldn’t believe it. So not only had he been giving speeches on his pet and pointless research topic, but he’d seen fit to wax lyrical whilst doing so about my missions. And, from the sound of it, he was taking an incredible amount of credit for my achievements. Wait till I got him home and in the sonic washer-dryer. He’d learn the meaning of the word clean after a few runs through the cycle reserved for stainless Rubanite utensils!!

I leaned forward in my chair some more, with my best cheesy smile playing out across my face, intending to probe Helen and find out more about Mr. Cat’s recent speaking engagement. Repeating slowly the full unexpurgated facts of his tales, whilst watching him tumbling around through the sonic washer’s door appealed to me. However, just as I reached that point of familiarity where I felt that touching Helen’s forearm, in a kind of ‘brotherly’ manner was a good next step, the second ‘thing’ happened. And this second ‘thing’ was a lot worse, ultimately, than the dismay I felt at having Mr. Cat’s contributions to my successes thrown at me.

At the very moment that my hand touched Helen’s body, the lights in the room went out. As they went out she screamed very loudly and I sensed her start to fall sideways from her seated position. I grabbed at the top of her shirt but could do nothing, as I felt her body slump away from her chair and the thin cloth of her shirt tear in my hand under the weight of her. As she fell away and hit the floor, with a bit of a thump, I stood up in a panic and tried to move around the table in the blackness to reach her. All I managed to do though was catch my foot on one of the table legs and stumble down to the floor as well. My landing was, however, softer than my brain initially expected, landing, as I did, sprawled over Helen’s soft and warm body.

To be continued…….

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 1.11

My Interview Continues

Typically, just at that very moment, my Cortex thought assistant decided to pop up a notification that the ion battery had now received several bids on Cadabra Universe. WPASO Candy, who was monitoring my Cortex implant scribbled even more furiously on her wrist. I explained,

“Look I didn’t know it was a stolen battery when I put it up for sale. I really just didn’t know what else to do with it. What would you have done?” I enquired with a rather sticky sweet smile.

My attempt to be friendly seemed to suddenly work as Ms. Candy responded with a slight smile around the corners of her mouth,

“It’s ok Inspector, we were always fairly sure that you were not intentionally involved in the crime,” said Candy.

I sighed,  and said half-jokingly, “Well I’m jolly glad to hear that. Wouldn’t want to be clapped in Kliks would I?”

She smiled a bit more widely this time and said, “We just had to bring you in for process reasons really, just to be absolutely sure you were who you said you were. Even if you did try to b sell the battery on, we were always pretty sure you were not involved.”

I could feel myself blushing at the thought that she knew I’d put the battery up for sale the minute I realised it was no use to me. How embarrassing.

She went on, “Look, I can show you what the investigating officer recorded earlier this morning.”

In front of my face, a small square display appeared as she touched her forearm with the stylus she had been using. Handwritten words appeared on the screen underneath the heading,

‘REPORT OF INCEDENT AT STARLING HITES MORNING OF FIFF AUGUST – REPORTING OFFICA TPASO RYAN’

WPASO Candy pointed at the words she was referring to.

‘……. the iron battry is from stolen veerkle 9/42966/AH. The recever of the battery is Inspecta Proof. He is a guvenment officeal so is probably innocent’.

As I read them I blinked rapidly wondering how best to keep anything I might say from sounding sarcastic. I marveled in my mind at the spelling prowess of our law enforcement officers and wondered at the rather dubious approaches they might have to decide whether someone was innocent or not.

To be continued……

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 1.10

My Interview with WPASO Candy Begins

Before my mind had the chance to fully interpret my last statement, Ms. Candy responded with,

“Inspector Prouff, I must warn you that anything you say or think may be recorded and later and used to support any case brought against you.”

“What?!!” I said incredulously.

At that WPASO Candy scribbled on her forearm with the sharp stylus she had. I looked at straight into her eyes and said,

“You’re joking, right?”

She scribbled again and after I said ‘Oh come on’ and then ‘Can we start again?’, both of which were instantly followed by more scribbling, I decided to shut up.

WPASO Candy fixed me now with what was probably the ‘stare’ described in detail in the ‘how to intimidate a suspect’ manual she had doubtless been issued with at PASO training school. She then proceeded to ask the same questions she had asked me earlier that day on the aircast, religiously scribbling be down my answers with her stylus on her forearm. After she got to the bit about whether or not I received an ion battery from a man in the hovercar park and I’d responded ‘yes’ as I had done earlier she added,

“Did you not think it strange that a man should just walk up to you and give you an ion battery?”

I thought for a moment and then answered,

“Not really, at the time. But, I must admit now on reflection, no one has ever given me an ion battery before, so I guess it is a bit strange.”

“So,” said Ms. Candy, now in full WPASO mode,

“You thought it was odd but you still took it. And not only that, but you took it from a man who is a criminal,” she ended incredulously.

“Yes, true. But how was I supposed to know he was a criminal? He wasn’t wearing a sign!” I responded indignantly. “I can assure you there was no criminal intent on my part.”

To be continued……

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 1.9

To the Interview Room

I duly followed her down a lengthy corridor, having abruptly closed my saliva rich mouth and wiped my own lower lip and chin with my own sleeve. We passed through an area with lots of workstations, occupied I noticed exclusively by males, before Candy reached a door which she opened with her thumb. As the door silently slid open, Candy stepped aside and said,

“Do go through into the interview room and take a seat Inspector.”

I walked through the door and into what was a quite small room, probably no more than 3 metres square. There were no windows, even artificial ones. There was a table, roughly in the middle of the room, and two chairs. I went around the table and sat on the chair that was furthest from the door, with my back almost against the back wall of the small room. Ms. Candy followed me in, closed the door behind her and sat down opposite me.

She opened a tactile notepad on her left forearm and produced a very pointy looking stylus, which she held in her right hand. I must say I hadn’t seen such antiquated technology since I attended some face to face classes at junior virtual school. It made me rather wonder what it must be like to still have to actually write. I also thought, given the width of her very feminine forearm, that she was either going to have to scroll a lot or write very short sentences.

smiled at her and said in an effort to be friendly,

“Well, this is quite a small room I must say. And no windows. I’m surprised that you don’t use VR to at least give the sensation of greater space. It’s a bit claustrophobic if you don’t mind me saying so. We are rather on top of each other, don’t you think?”

To be continued………