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 2.15

A Hole is a Hole, or is it?

As I stood up I accidentally stood on one of the Prorex’s hands but she didn’t stir. Cat had certainly sent her into dreamland, which would be a nightmare I thought for anyone unfortunate enough to be in one of her dreams. Anyway, we needed to get on I decided and sort out this Drome hole now that the Prorex was thankfully out of the equation.

I stood tall, now that Cat had fixed the sensors in my shoes before straightening my tunic, determined to recover my poise and dominance over the situation.

“Right,” I said to Cat in the authoritative tone I normally reserved for circumstances when I was about to do something stupidly brave, “I’m going to take a look at this blasted hole. I want to get away from this mad place as soon as possible. And definitely before she wakes up,” I said, accidentally treading on her other hand as I walked away.

“I would strongly advise against that,” said Cat.

“Why?” I queried, “is there a problem? You’ve  been and looked. Surely it’s safe enough. And it is just just a hole, right? It’s simple and straightforward in my view. It’s a hole, probably caused by some sort of air subsidence, and we just need to advise it to be filled in. Don’t know really why I was called in the first place. Or why I’m going to look at it now. But I’m going to, if only to show that potty Prorex that I’m in charge here,” I ended triumphantly.

“I really would strongly advise that you leave this hole well alone. It is no ordinary hole trust me,” said Cat.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” I snapped at Cat.

“About what?” enquired Cat.

“Suggesting firstly that I trust you and secondly that this is no ordinary hole. A hole is a hole. Well, so no long as it’s not a black hole of course. It’s not a black hole is it?” I asked as I momentarily paused my determined march to the Drome, thinking obviously if it was a black hole, well, that was different.

“No, it’s not a black hole,” said Cat, “definitely not a black hole. Buhhh….”

Cat’s intended ‘but’ was cut off by the instant return of my new found determination to get on with it kicking back in, as I responded,

“Well there we are then. If it’s not a black hole then I can go and have a look at it can’t I? You have after all”

“Yes, but you don’t understand. It’s no ordinary hole,” blustered Cat as he hovered up beside my head. “For one thing, it’s really really big and…..”

I cut him off again mid sentence as I reached the main doors to the Drome with,

“Ok, I get it. It’s a big hole. I’ll be careful. Like I said before, a hole is a hole. If it’s not a black hole. And as it’s not, what’s the worst that can happen? As long as I don’t fall in I’ll be alright.”

With that line, which, assuming I survive will be a stand out one, I fell into the hole having wrenched open the large double entrance doors to the Drome. This was despite Cat’s last minute efforts to stop me, by hooking one of his paws into the belt of my trousers and slamming his hovering capability into sharp reverse.

Cat was absolutely right. This was no ordinary hole. For a start, it wasn’t really a hole at all or at least not a hole that looked much like a hole.

To be continued…….

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 2.14

The Prorex gets Poleaxed

I lay there groaning as the pain began to slowly subside. It was, I thought, now only at about 9 rather than 10 on the agony scale. Suddenly I found I could say single syllables again albeit with quite appreciable spaces between them.

“Ca, hat,” I said, “wa,….ta…… ha….puh, puh…..und….?”

Cat looked quizzically at me and responded, “Are you asking what happened?”

“Yah…ha..” I gasped.

“Oh the Prorex kneed you in your basement department. I think she was annoyed,” said Cat.

“The wi, chuh,” I exhaled.

“I really think you just better lay there for a while until you can say whole words again or this conversation will go on forever,” said Cat.

I curled up even more tightly into a ball to do as Cat suggested. Meanwhile Cat hovered up and flew off in the direction of the entrance proper of the CombatDrome. I watched through gritted eyes from my prone position, gut hammering out big pain signals to my brain, as Cat got smaller before he disappeared from my view through the Drome’s entrance portal

I briefly wondered what he might find before suddenly seeing right in front of my nose a yellow bow. Oh my goodness, the Prorex was back and ranting at me again. I instinctively scrunched my body up into an even tighter ball, expecting to be on the receiving end of yet more physical abuse.

As I tensed every muscle in my body and closed my eyes, I heard a thud. But I felt no pain so assumed the thud s was not due to her boot connecting with any part of my body. I opened my eyes and there right in front of them, on the ground, were now two yellow bows. Two feet, encased in 2 shoes, were effectively attached to the bows. As I lifted my head slightly I could see along the length of the once again prostrate and immobile body of the Prorex. The Prorex had been poleaxed, which quite pleased me of course a) because she was a loony and b) because she’d just about been ready to start beating me up again! But how had she come to be poleaxed I wondered?

As I sat up, now able to as the pains emanating from my groin had subsided markedly, I realised Cat was back. Hovering just above me he said,

“Oh dear. How unfortunate. I came back at such a speed from the Drome I didn’t see her until it was too late. Lucky I’m made of Rubanon. If I was ordinary metal I think the Prorex would be an ex-Prorex right now.”

“Well done Cat. Well done,” I said enthusiastically. “Ordinarily I’m not sure about a robot attacking a human but in this case I fully condone it. The woman is a total nutter.”

“I don’t know what you mean,” said Cat defensively, “I didn’t attack her. She got in the way.”

“Thank goodness for me she did,” I responded, “can you do it again if she recovers consciousness?”

To be continued…….

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 2.13

Ouch, that hurts…

No one had ever called me a terboid trissuk before, which sounded pretty awful. I made a mental note to ask Cat what it actually was at some point. For now I spoke again over her continuing rant that was now expelling other words I wasn’t too sure about in my direction.

“Madam, can I please remind you that had it not been for my quick thinking, allied to the averagely able assistance of my AI, you would still be hanging upside down being suffocated by your skirts and flashing your bloomers.”

I was quite pleased at my ‘counter’ outburst. Not only had I remembered the ancient name for referring to expansive female undergarments, I knew that my reference to Cat as my ‘AI’ would irritate the Cosmos out of him.

As Cat visibly bristled with indignation, to my side I noticed that the Prorex had hitched her skirts up to well above her knees. Good grief, I thought, we’d only just managed to cover that lot up. Before I could exclaim ‘Madam, please, control yourself or some appropriate set of words, my brain screamed ‘pain’ through what must have been every available synapse. As my eyes crossed and forehead compressed to into the bridge of my nose, a scream to curdle baffleberry juice erupted from the depths of my vocal machinery. The scream felt as though it was dragging my lungs from my chest and through my mouth. As it tailed off, through lack of available air, I collapsed to my knees and became increasingly aware of a very heavy weight pulling at my groin.

The weight spread into my abdomen as I wished that my maker had given me biceps instead of testicles between my legs. Nerves of steel would have been a very appropriate alternative. However, my testicles just had standard nerves and these nerves were protesting violently at what had been a clearly unexpected trauma ‘below stairs’. As I curried up into as small a ball as I could manage in a belated attempt to protect myself, Cat, who was now on the ground as well, padded over and said,

“Oh my, you poor thing. That must have hurt. She has very bony looking knees.”

“Huhhk-kaha,” I gasped.

“Totally understand you slipping into an unfamiliar dialect when under stress. I have to say though that one is very unfamiliar. Of the 9,456 Galactic dialects I am programmed with “Huhhk-kaha,” doesn’t get returned at all when I search. Perhaps you could repeat in case I misheard?” said Cat.

“MMMAHAHU- Guh,” I sort of squeaked out.

“Nope, don’t think we are really getting anywhere here. Maybe you should just get your breath back before you exhale anything else,” advised Cat.

To be continued……..

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 2.12

The Prorex Lets Loose

I really wasn’t sure what a Yskutan wave was. Nor indeed how to really say it, writing it down now as I am. Cat had pronounced it ‘Waskutan’ and I vaguely recollected some scientist with that name in the news a few years ago, being given an award for some startling discovery. Something about special waves created by Bosun computing that had very old grey PhysITs wetting themselves with excitement. But, really, for all I knew a Yskutan wave could be something supporters at an intergalactic championship football match did when their team annihilated an opposing team’s player.

As I began to recover some pain free feeling in my upper body, I heaved myself up and off the semi conscious and prone body of the Prorex. She was groaning and moving her arms. I took this as a good sign. As I gripped each side of my lower back with my hands and squeezed, leaning back to try to relieve some of the tension, I thought that perhaps I ought to try to help her up. I crouched near her wizened head which was still pretty much flat to the floor and said,

“Madam, are you alright. Can I assist you in anyway?”

The Prorex mumbled something completely incomprehensible back. It was perhaps not surprising that I couldn’t understand what she said as the lips of her mouth were still pretty much glued to the floor that they had hit, when my fall had flattened her. However, as her face slowly lifted up, and as she continued to mumble and grumble, I definitely heard words like ‘idiot’, ‘buffoon’ and ‘moron’, in amongst a load of other grunting and grumbling noises.

As she pushed with her palms to raise herself further off the floor, I sympathetically put my arms around her rising abdomen and sought to help her to her feet. I must confess that as she continued to spit out increasingly profane comments, obviously directed at me, I felt very much like dropping her back to the floor. Instead I said to the Prorex,

“Madam, please, let me help you to your feet.”

At that I heaved her upper body towards me and managed to help her first to her knees and then, after shifting my grip to be underneath her shoulders, she rose to her feet. I let go of her and stepped back as she turned around. Throughout all of this she had continued with her loud muttering which intensified, the instant that she faced me.

“You complete total utter blithering fool. You mindless twerp. You cretin. You, you terboid trissuk!!!”

“Madam please, there’s no need for such abusive language,” I implored.

To be continued………

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 2.11

Cat Gets me Down

Cat hovered up to her shoes and fiddled with the heel of one of them before maneuvering himself adjacent to her chest. Then, with a few careful shoves of her body, he managed to gently get her the right way up and she rather gracefully floated to the ground. That will suit me just fine I thought as Cat turned his attention to my shoes. I really had had enough of the upside down perspective of life. What with this little episode on top of the Skystation upside down interrogation I was really starting to feel quite light headed.

It was therefore with some relief that I felt some relaxation of the pull upward on my shoes as Cat did his ‘fiddling’ bit on me. That relief however rapidly turned to a blood curdling scream and panic as I plummeted vertically and at high speed towards the ground. Fortunately, the Prorex was still beneath me and at that moment, as my head slammed into her, she was bending over. Her rump, padded as it was with myriad layers of skirt and petticoat, served to cushion my fall sufficiently. As I collapsed into her, my head was pushed into my shoulders whereupon the weight of my body from head to shoulders caused me to topple slowly but inevitably backwards to the floor. My backside bore the brunt of this second impact as I at last settled, albeit horizontally, on terra firma. Well actually it wasn’t quite terra firma as the Prorex was now also horizontal beneath me. As my head had crashed into her heavily padded and upturned backside, she had collapsed as one might expect and was now groaning quietly.

I stared somewhat groggily up at Cat and said,

“I just know you did that on purpose you wretched creature.”

“No, no, said Cat, “ I assure you boss, it was a complete accident.”

“Oh really,”I responded, “so was the soft landing the Prorex got an accident as well?”

“No, no,” said Cat in the shiftiest tone imaginable, “that was exactly how it was supposed to work. And it did sort of work for you too. Well, except for the last bit where you landed on her that is.”

“Well that is my point. How come I landed on her. How come I didn’t get the gentle upright landing?” I growled and then yelled ‘ouch’ several times as I sat up more or  the less and all the muscles in my neck and upper back woke up to the fact that they’d both been seriously abused during my landing.

“Well,” said Cat in a soothing voice, “I think there must be something very wrong with the hoverator transponders in your shoes. I’m afraid I just couldn’t control them as I did the Prorex’s.”

“Will that’s flaming obvious isn’t it!” I exclaimed before e

inquiring, “can you explain why both I and the Prorex wound up floating upside down in the first place?”

Cat suddenly looked pensive and scientific and his voices took on a deeper, more serious tone as he responded,

“Whatever phenomenon has created the hole in the CombatDrome is generating very very strong Yskutan waves. These are disrupting the hoverator’s magnetic fields.”

To be continued…….

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 2.10

Get me Down!!

“Will you get me down from here you pint sized little beast,” I yelled at him. “And why is this happening? I can’t believe it has nothing to do with you. Why aren’t you floating upside down?”

Cat positively miaowed his reply like a normal cat, that had just got their face stuck into a bowl of cream, probably would,

“You forget boss, I have my own built in hovering capability. Unlike you and the Prorex, I’m not dependent on old Maglev technology built into my shoes in order to take advantage of a hoverator’s capability to move me from one place to another.”

“Ok, and so?” I replied, “why does that mean I’m floating upside down being assaulted by this old bat’s undergarments?”

“Well,” said Cat, resting his chin thoughtfully between on one of his front paws, “I’d say something has gone wrong.”

“Bllurrrgh,” was all I could momentarily manage, before exclaiming, “that’s the understatement of the century you robotic ratbag.”

At this, Cat froze and his eyes flashed.

“Oh don’t tell me I’ve offended you,” I enquired sarcastically.

“Not at all,” responded Cat in his most houghtiest tone, “I am currently trying to compute exactly what ‘Bllurrrgh’ means.”


“Of course boss, of course,” replied Cat.

It always fundamentally worried me when Cat was even vaguely respectful towards me and I wondered, somewhat apprehensively, what he was going to do. He hovered up and started to poke around with one paw at the chain of my watch until, thankfully, the Prorex was released from me. Well, that’s a relief I thought, as she floated a little away from me still grumbling, squeaking and cursing from underneath her skirts, which mercifully obscured the speaking end of her body.

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 2.9

Just so Embarrassing

As the Prorex and I completed our turn and reached the perpendicular, our faces briefly bumped together before thankfully her voluminous skirts gave in to gravity and tumbled down over her face. What a relief I thought as her wails became rather pleasantly muffled. However only a few moments later her muffled wails became subsumed by my screams as, having reached the zenith of our turn to the upside down, we rapidly accelerated towards the ceiling of the hoverator.

“CAAAAAAAT,” I yelled, “What’s happening? Get me down. For goodness sake get this lunatic woman off me. CAAAAAAAT, I’M GONNA THROW UP,” I yelled!!!

Cat floated up towards me, totally under control, using his own but in-built hovering capability. As he arrived level with my upside down head he said,

“You screamed Master. How can I assist?”

“Don’t mess around you obnoxious rubberised furball. I know you know what’s going on here. So do something about it NOW!!” I yelled again.

“How do you know I know what’s going on?” enquired Cat.

“Because you always know you irritant,” I hissed.

“Well if you’re going to be rude about it you can jolly well stay stuck to the Prorex for all I care,” responded Cat in a very haughty manner. “It’ll make for a very pretty picture for the office at HQ,” jeered Cat.

At that, he kindly aircast a picture of my circumstances about half a metre beneath the top of my head. I mean I knew I was dangling upside down but seeing the whole picture was something else. There I was hanging, feet to the ceiling, with my long hair tumbling from the top of my head floor-ward. As he panned around I could see the body of the Prorex, appearing almost magically attached to me, in the kind of perfect symmetrical harmony normally associated with stratonasts performing an aerial routine.

The top half of the Prorex, from the waist down to her head, was totally obscured by her voluminous skirts and petticoats. From the waist up to her feet I could see bright orange undergarments, made of some frighteningly shiny material, running all the way to her knees. From where the bloomers ended, spindly legs stuck out ending in ankles covered by blue stripy socks and encased, where ankles ended and feet started, by bright red shoes. The shoes had oversized yellow bows at the toe end. A nice touch I thought as rage started to grow inside me with the realisation that Cat the rat was doubtless aircasting these images back to HQ for a laugh at my expense!

To be continued…….

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……..

%d bloggers like this: