The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 3

Was I now a Klingfilm?……..

As I was drawn downward, panic began to build in me. Not only was my body stretched already to what felt like at least twice it’s normal length, I was disappearing through the apparent floor of the Drome. On top of that I couldn’t actually say anything intelligible. I couldn’t even scream. ‘What was down there’? ran through my racing mind, over and over again. This was surely one of my worst nightmares.

Suddenly, my head, now feeling really long and pointed, was sucked through the floor. Everything went dark and totally silent. Oh my, I was trapped. Buried. Destined to live on, breathe on, in this isolated, immobilised state. Until of course  I starved to death. Or died of thirst. Which of those came first I thought. It was thirst. I was sure that would finish me before starvation. But how long would that take?

Suddenly I could hear again as Cat’s somewhat hissy voice spat,

“About 7 days you Splart.”

I was so pleased to learn that my auditory senses were working again. So pleased, that the fact that Cat was yet again comparing me to the only organism in the Universe thicker than an amoeba, failed to annoy me as it usually did.

I couldn’t however speak. Well, or at least it didn’t sound like I could speak normally. I was definitely trying to ask Cat what in Captain Crack’s Universe had happened but all I could hear was something like ‘Wurrghh nah Carpa Crarrgghh Ubisserghh blah harghhhh’. I wasn’t Earth’s foremost Captain Crack afficianado you understand, but it did sound a little like I was speaking Klingfilm. Or whatever that race with the rock like heads was called in the 20th Century episodes of Star Trick.

“That’s remarkably like Klingon you know,” said Cat.

“Krarghhuh,” I said in apparently near perfect Klingfilm.

“Exactly,” responded Cat, who seemed to be enjoying this. He then added,

“And if you think I’m enjoying this, you would be quite wrong.”

I began to wonder again whether his latest upgrade was allowing him to hack into my Cortex Thought Assistant. There had been so many times recently at home, when I had decided to boot his butt, that he had moved well out of booting distance before my thought had even started its journey from ‘brain to boot’.

To be continued…….

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 2.16

That Sinking Feeling…..

As I had stepped through the entrance doors to the CombatDrome though I did feel a distinct downward pull on my body, generally everything looked fine and actually quite normal. There, right in front of me, was the floor as one might expect. Ok it was checkered, a bit like a chessboard, and made my eyes go a little funny when I first looked at it, but it did look exactly like a normal floor. However, I quickly discovered that stepping onto it was more like stepping into it.

As I put my front leg forward and my foot down, I felt my body begin to fall away from me. My right leg seemed to stretch to a very abnormal length as the floor became concave beneath my feet and also expanded in all directions, distorting the black and white squares immediately beneath me. I sensed myself being sucked into the floor as my body grew even more, extending the distance from my mouth to my feet most alarmingly. Surely, I thought, I would soon distend some part of me so much that I would break into two somewhere along my body.

As ever, my training for unexpected emergencies like this kicked in instinctively, as one would expect. Accordingly, I freaked out totally as panic engulfed me and I tried to scream ‘HELPPPPPPPPP CAAAAAT’. Unfortunately not much more than a long groaning guttural grunting noise emerged from my mouth, as my body continued its expansion and I slowly but surely sank down into the floor.

To be continued in Chapter 3……

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 2.8

Up, up and Away

All the time she’d been babbling at me and jabbing I’d been backing away. We’d traveled so far in the ‘jabbing’ direction that we were now on the very edge of the hoverator to the CombatDrome.

All of a sudden I felt a significant pull on the lower back of my legs, essentially from heel to back of knee. I realised then that my my heels had moved onto the hoverator surface but instead of feeling the gentle, encouraging vertical thrust normally associated with a hoverator, I felt my legs disappearing from under me. Something was wrong.

I tried to push my body forward away from the pull but it was strong. On top of that, the now attached Prorex was applying forward pressure on my upper body as she desperately tried to disengage her finger from my compass. Despite my efforts, my heels suddenly lifted up above my ankles as the upper half of my body began to tilt forward towards the Prorex.

Slowly but surely my heels continued to rise into the air, followed by the rest of my body as I effectively rotated the full 180 degrees, despite the anchoring effect of the Prorex attached to my compass chain. The surprisingly graceful movement of my body was followed by the Prorex, as she also slowly turned through 180 degrees . We became, it seemed, two perfectly aligned airdancers of the sort I’d seen at Commster fairs when a child.

To be continued……

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 2.7

The Prorex Makes her Point

Cat slowly shook his head as the Prorex failed to laugh at my joke and proceeded to prod me several times in the chest saying very loudly,

“Are you here to fix the latrines? They keep blocking you know. So very annoying for our visitors. It’s urgent you know,” she ended, with a staccato series of none too painless pointy finger jabs to my upper body.

As I started to say that I was not a sanitary engineer, the Commander stepped forward and gently eased the old dear back a bit saying,

“Ma’am, this is the Inspector. He’s here to be help us with the hole.”

“Well, that’s what I thought,” responded the Prorex, “the latrines are a disgrace. High time someone looked into them. Ruddy awful smell.”

So, my fast thinking brain as ever worked out the situation. This scatty old dear was some ceremonial head of the Old Thames Bridge and obviously they wheeled her out in any moments of crisis. Ceremonial figures always had their place at times like this. She was obviously  a couple of asteroids short of a belt, so I thought I’d better try to explain my role clearly.

“Ma’am,” I began, “I am a tax inspector and I’m here because a hole has apparently appeared in one of your Dromes. I have nothing whatsoever to do with toilets.”

As I spoke, I realised how ridiculous that sounded. If I was tax inspector, why would I be investigating a hole, toilet or otherwise? Oh I guess she might, if she could find her asteroids for a moment, think that I meant a hole in someone’s finances? I guess. However none of that really mattered as, whilst I was musing on why as a tax inspector I kept investigating things other than taxes, the dear old Prorex went for me again. This time with even more ferocious finger jabbing.

“Young man,” she intoned in a quite shaky, aged way, “I don’t like tax inspectors. I don’t like tax and I don’t like paying tax. The Old Thames Bridge already pays too much tax to The Council and we won’t pay a credit more.”

She finger jabbed really rather expertly as she literally spat out each word. And trust me there was quite a bit of spit. By the time she’d finished I was drenched. And my stomach hurt from the jabbing. And then something a little unfortunate happened. On one of her last jabs her finger went right through the small metal ring that attached my Victorian compass to my tunic. Effectively her bony jabbing finger became attached to me, along with the rest of her.

To be continued……..

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 2.4

The Story Starts to Unfold

At that, Cat’s guffawing became really really loud. By this time he had then settled in a casual laying pose on the surface of the bridge, near enough for me to place my right foot on his head. As I shifted all my weight to that foot his guffaws turned gradually into a ‘breathy’ kind squeaking. As his rubberised head slowly got flatter and wider, I continued my conversation, this time pleasantly unaccompanied by Cat’s chortling.

“Perhaps also Commander you could explain why some one as important as me is called out to look into a hole. I mean do you not have a municipal RepairDroid in this little Kingdom of yours?”

Finally, as Cat scrabbled with the claws of his back paws on the ground, whilst desperately trying to pull his head from beneath my foot, the Commander started to engage with me saying,

“Well it all started in the CombatDrome Inspector. Everything was just like a standard Saturday night. The Velociraptor duels had just started in the main ring, wild Tigersaurus’s were being broken in Main Ring 1 whilst Main Ring 2 was into a full blown re-enaction of the Battle for the Sea of Tranquility. Then, suddenly, nothing.”

“What do you mean nothing?” I enquired as I lifted my foot from Cat’s head, bored as I was with the whistling noises he was now making.

“Here we go again,” said Cat, the instant his head started to expand to its usual shape, “trying to explain what ‘nothing’ means to a moron.”

I shaped to step on him some more but he’d backed off too far and then the Commander told us,

“Suddenly, there was no noise. All of our security monitors went off line and there was silence. I mean normally we can hear the noise from the CombatDrome through the video air, never mind through our monitors. But one minute everything was roaring, then the next there was nothing.”

“Huh,” I responded, “you see Cat, I am not the only one in the Universe who appreciates the simple concept of nothing!’”

“Simple is the key word here amoebiod,” intoned Cat.

I studiously ignored him and turned my eyes back to the Commander with the question,

“So then what Commander?” I inquired.

To be continued……

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 2.3

Who’s in Charge Here?

Not too long after those words, I’d fallen down a very very very deep hole in the bed of the now almost dried up Old Father Thames. I remember hearing Cat shouting ‘you brainless twerp’ before his voice, even at the volume he was yelling at, faded to nothing as I continued to plummet downward.

When we had climbed out of the hovercar, which Cat had landed on the bascule of the original bridge, we had been met by the Commander of the Bridge District’s security force. He saluted, though I had the distinct impression he was saluting Cat rather than me. I was getting used to and frankly, more and more irritated by this kind of behaviour from people. So I decided to assert myself and take authoritative charge. That was a big mistake.

“So Commander,” I said in the deepest, sternest voice I could muster, “I am the Inspector and in charge of this operation.”

I heard Cat yawn and also thought I heard him say, in between the numerous ‘yawny’ noises, ‘Operation?. Silly ass. Needs an operation to get a partner for his brain cell’.

I ignored what I thought I’d heard, determined to continue in the assertion of my authority.

“If you could please point me in the direction of the hole Commander, I’ll look into it.”

Cat literally guffawed at this and as I realised what I’d said I could feel my face flush as I clarified,

“Well I don’t mean look into the hole as such. Though I might. What I actually mean is look into the situation obviously,” I babbled.

I then collected myself, cleared my throat, stood tall and returned to my deep stern voice which was actually an impersonation, I realised, of RickRock, the star of ‘The Universe Awaits’. This was one of the most popular aircast soaps ever and I was a huge fan of Rick’s. Or at least I had been a big fan. Unfortunately, since his public persona had disgraced itself with a virtual shopping attendant it had been quite hard to openly like Rick. Anyways, in my best ‘Rick’ voice and stature I returned to being in charge saying to the Commander,

“The hole, Commander. The hole. Where is it? I am busy you know. I have other Earth critical missions to attend to.”

To be continued…….

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 2.2

A Big Hole?

Suddenly my thoughts were interrupted by Cat saying,

“Just forget about the XDrome you twit. We’re not going there.”

My eyebrows furrowed somewhat as I responded,

“Assuming, no, IF I were thinking about the XDrome, which I wasn’t, much, it has nothing to do with you. You are my assistant can I remind you? I decide where you go, not the other way around.

With a gentle hiss and a murmured phrase which sounded to me like ‘moronic amoebal shit’ but could have been ‘mindless ass and twit’, Cat started our descent to the Old Bridge. I decided to ignore him but then realised I couldn’t because as usual no one had told me what this mission was all about.

“Look you irritating pile of chips,” I said, “what the heck are we doing here in the first place? If it’s some tedious tax evasion thing why can’t you deal with it? Then I could look around the Dromes. Not the XDrome obviously, I mean the other Dromes. If it’s not a mindless tax evasion thing and something involving really nasty people or worse, aliens, then I want to go home now, regardless of the XDrome. Which I’m not interested in. At all,” I ended.

“There is a phenomenon. A happening, which requires our attention,” replied Cat rather unhelpfully I thought.

‘Phenomenon’ didn’t sound good to me. I don’t know about you but phenomenon always meant ‘something not quite understood’ to me. And something ‘not quite understood’ was too close to ‘an unknown’ thing in my view. As I had said to Cat on numerous occasions,

“Unknown spells ‘danger’.”

Naturally his totally machine led logical way of dealing with me, when it suited him, led him to pass a range of disparaging comments about my spelling capabilities. My efforts to explain that I was speaking metaphorically invariably fell on deaf chips.

In this particular case his response was,

“There is a hole. A big hole, and someone needs to look into it.”

To be continued……..