“As with many a civilization, the Sequestrans, in developing a way of life over a long period that was dependent on natural resources, began to realise that their planet was approaching a time when it could no longer sustain them. Towards the end of their planet’s life, having failed in their efforts to find a suitable alternative planet to colonise, genetic experiments carried out by their Science Elite led to the rapid evolution of a fundamentally different Sequestran lifeform. In effect some Sequestrans became ‘body-less’ ethereal beings, with a high intellect and simple resource needs.”
“However, whilst the ethereal beings no longer needed an atmosphere to breathe or nutrients to live, they depended on what we now call Quark Energy to maintain themselves. An renewable, limitless form of energy that they were able to harness through the continuous movement of matter from one location in the Universe to another.”
I interjected at this point asking,
“So are you saying that these beings, that I can’t see, drive their energy for life by moving people up down and around Quark holes?”
“Yes, basically that’s it,” responded Cat, “but mostly they do it by moving inanimate objects and indeed prefer that. However on occasions things go wrong and they get the occasional lifeform sucked into their Quark hole network. When more than one lifeform gets caught up in the same Quark hole then accidents like yours can happen. Then it’s the Postmaster’s job to try to sort it out.”
“Hmmm, Ok I kind of get it but it’s a bit word. I mean what a way to live. No wonder the Postmaster doesn’t seem to have much appreciation of the significance of my willy. I mean how could he in his current ethereal form?”
Cat clapped his paws to the side of his head and through gritted whiskers said very sarcastically,
“Can I please finish the background to all this before you lament any further on the loss of your subsidiary brain?”
I made a further indignant grunting sound before gruffly responding,
“Go on then you unsympathetic inanimate.”
To be continued…….
Cat Continues the Tale
“I don’t think anyone really knew what happened next. Until now that is,” responded Cat.
“Until now?” I reiterated back to him in querying tone.
“Yes,” responded Cat, “you see the Postmaster has filled me in.”
“Well get on with it and tell me then,” I said in a a now more urging tone.
“This is basically what the Postmaster has told me,” began Cat, “first and foremost, they are a friendly race and always have been. For centuries they lived on a planet with what for them was a breathable atmosphere. They didn’t need a lot of oxygen you understand as the metabolism of their physical form was very different to that of humans.”
I listened intently, as I always tended to when Cat started to explain something in fairly plain language. He was very good at telling a story though of course I never told him that. And I did love a good story.
“Go on,” I urged, learning forward a little on the base of my tail.
To be continued…….
The Sequestran Story Unfolds
”Well,” started Cat, “during this period the number of semi-permanent settlers on the Moon rose to well over 5000. Until 2056 everything seemed fine. In addition to the settlers, over 10,000 inhabitants of Earth spent a minimum of one week a year traveling to and then exploring sites of interest on the moon.”
“Then, in late 2056, a group of tourists disappeared without trace whilst out on a half day picnic scientific excursion to the Sea of Tranquility. Investigations by the local police and then the Space Patrol found no trace of the tourists or their lunar carrier. Tours were suspended for several months but eventually re-opened. In July of 2057 a distress call to Earth from the main base on the moon, The Armstrong Centre, led to a battalion of space cadets heading to the moon at breakneck speed. The distress call described large sections of the Armstrong Centre disappearing into the surface of the moon.”
An advance guard of the space cadets got there in under 4 hours and found no trace of the moon base. Just over a week later, Earth’s military forces discovered an underground alien stronghold that had been built on the Moon, sometime between the late 20th Century and the time when humankind had returned to the Moon, by the ultimately named ‘Sequestrans’.
After a fairly short battle, the Sequestrans on the moon were all apparently destroyed. There were not many of them. As a species, they appeared to have the capability to adsorb matter into their bodies. Individually they could do this on a small scale but when they worked collectively they could adsorb large structures. This was discovered during the early skirmishes between them and the space cadets when all sorts of large destructive devices just vanished.”
To this day Earth is not sure where the Sequestrans actually came from. There were no signs of any spaceship that they may have used to land on the Moon and no records, that could be identified, of their history.” Cat then paused and I chipped in with,
“Wow,” followed by the inevitable question of “What happened next?”
To be continued………..
The Sequestrans I thought….I was sure I’d heard of them somewhere before but couldn’t quite remember in what context so I said to Cat,
“Ok, tell me about the Sequestrans and what a Sequestran postmaster is please.”
“Well,” began Cat, “the Sequestrans are really not terribly well known. Earth’s only encounter with them was some time ago on the moon.”
“Really,” I said, still not remembering where I’d heard about them, “tell me more.”
Cat continued, “Surely as an avid historian, you will know that that humans landed and walked on the moon 6 times between 1968 and 1972?”
“I really had no idea why Cat thought I might be a historian of any kind, Never mind an avid one, but nodded sagely before he continued,
“Humankind didn’t return to the moon until 2044 when Virgin Galaxy landed a ship with over 50 settlers who built a permanent base there. Over the next decade Virgin Galaxy raised the first space hotel – Lunar Delight – and from 2054 the moon became a meaningful and attractive holiday location.”
“Right,” I said, “and….?”
To be continued………
Cat Proposes to Speak on my Behalf
“This is a Sequestran sorting station,” said Cat, “you see the Sequestrans are a benign ethereal like civilisation. They mean no one any real harm. However to survive, effectively to breathe, they need molecules and atoms to flow continuously through their quark holes. You see once upon time their home planet ‘Sta’ provided enough of the kind of energy they needed to take in for their ‘bodies’ to function properly. When their planet started to fail their scientists discovered that by harvesting the functionality of quark holes, and through moving inanimate matter molecules through such holes, they could artificially generate the energy type they needed to live.”
“Ok so basically what you’re saying is ‘what’ exactly in relation to how I get my Willy back?” I enquired.
Cat stared back at me with an incredulous slant to his whiskers saying,
“Have you not been listening at all you tailed moron? This is a quark hole sorting station. It’s where the Sequestrans do their best to sort out any animate objects or twits like you that happen to get sucked into one of their quark holes by mistake and jumbled up.”
“Ok,” I said, “I sort of understand the mixing up of bits because I remember about Fastmove on Earth. But I didn’t fall into that hole with a Mudlizard did I?”
“No you didn’t,” said Cat. “My guess is that their quark holes all connect up in one massive complex network and that a Mudlizard got sucked in somewhere else at around the same time as you did. Then unfortunately, your respective molecules got mixed up a bit at some junction point in the network. The Sequestran monitors picked this up and have brought you both here to try and sort you out. Personally though I would say you’re way past sorting out. And actually, you look alright with a tail,” added Cat.
Cat hovered rapidly upward as I swished my new appendage around my body in his direction, before saying,
“Look, just tell me what we do next. I want my bits back.”
“Surely it’s obvious isn’t it?” said Cat, “we need to ask the Sequestran sorting attendant at this station for help. Simple.”
“Right. So where is he, she or it?”
“All around us boss, all around us,” whined Cat.
I screwed my face up and said, “What do you mean, all around us?”
“I told you. The Sequestrans are an ethereal civilisation. They exist dispersed in what we perceive as the space around us,” said Cat in an exasperated tone.
“Right. So basically I can’t see them.”
“Nope,” said Cat.
“Well how the sprokus am I going to speak to them then if I can’t see them you mangey machine?” I grumbled.
“I cannot and do not therefore get ‘mange’ you twerp. And you cannot speak to them which in my view is very lucky for the Sequestrans. I shall speak to them on your behalf.”
Oh good grief I thought. Now I’m really in trouble……
End of Chapter 3
Cat at his irritating best…….
As Cat had gone on speaking my face had gradually screwed and scrunched more and more up as I struggled to take it all in. With what must have been by then a classic look of almost abject horror and bemusement on my face I half shouted,
“Sorry, but that just sounds like total Ogredonoshit to me. You’ve just made that up. I mean what measurements have you made, what data have you collected? How could you possibly be doing anything but making it up. For the last ‘however long’ we’ve been moving through a Quark hole and although we’ve just arrived somewhere how could you possibly carry out scientific experiments and analysis in less than 5 minutes. You really are the most irritating, pointless, useless artificial intelligence assistant anyone could possibly have!!”
“Had you actually let me finish you brainless halfwit I would have gone on to explain I am just repeating what I’ve been told.”
This was even more irritating and I made it plain that it was by yelling at the top of my Muzlizard voice, “TOLD!! TOLD!!!….” which actually came out ‘Goorarp, goorarp’.
“Yes,” said Cat, “that’s right. Told.”
“TOLD BY WHO!!!” I screeched.
“Well by the Sequestran responsible for this sorting station of course.”
I clapped my hand, ‘slap’, to my face and found myself swishing my tail as I said “buludderdadah’ which loosely translated from Mudlizard to olde English is ‘WHAT?, without ‘the’ and any following intergalactically recognised expletive.
To be continued………
Cat shook his head slowly whilst clapping one front paw to the top of his head before saying,
“Ok, so really you want to know what all this means in practice? Well, I suspect it means that somewhere in this sorting station there is a Mudlizard wondering where its tail is, why its speaking like someone from Earth and what the useless appendage, dangling presumably between its legs, is actually for.”
“Sorting station? Sorting station?” I repeated, “What do you mean, sorting station?”
Cat sighed a very heavy sigh. It was one those sighs that I knew he reserved for occasions when he considered that there was very little chance that I was going to understand what he said next. Which, actually thinking about, was in fact most of the time.
“Ok you brain pauper, here goes,” said Cat,
“I have concluded from the readings I have taken and observations that I have made that someone or, put more precisely, some civilisation, has control over a process for the movement of objects through quark holes. I believe the process is linked to their well being and they need to use it to survive. Of course a quark hole can move living things as well but not perfectly, a little like Fastmove technology on earth which at first was not very good at reconstituting actual living organisms that had been disassembled at another point in space.”
“So,” Cat continued, “because this civilisation cannot control easily what they suck into their quark holes, occasionally living things get drawn in indiscriminately with non-biological matter and then reconstituted in a somewhat jumbled state. That is I think what has happened to you. You are jumbled up. That’s why you have a Mudlizard’s tail and that’s why you are speaking Mudlizard.”
To be continued……..
“I have been working on refining my Father’s work for some time and have concluded that he was almost correct in his proposals,” Cat began. He then continued after a short overly dramatic pause,
“It is very clear that worm holes can be used to move from place to place in the universe very rapidly though, as far as we know, no one has been able to do this in any fully controlled manner. However my Father was quite convinced that the Sequestran incursion on the moon in 2056 had something to do with worm holes. However he also detected during his experiments ‘quarklet’ energy bursts, previously never detected around any known worm holes. Based on the residual decay patterns of these energy bursts he was able to show some correlation between the disappearance of objects and people on the moon with peak quarklet energy levels. Unfortunate though he became too distracted by the Mudlizards to complete his work, which I picked up on about 2 years ago. My deliberations had led me to the point of submitting a collection of thoughts to the International Academy of Astroscience, postulating the existing of quark holes.”
Oh Saints of the Universe save me I thought. When Cat started to use words like ‘postulate’ I knew I was in for a long stream of ‘sciobabble’ as I liked to refer to it. I almost started to think it might be best just to forget about my Willy and begin to forge psycho-meaningful connections between my limbic brain and my new tail as quickly as possible. In an effort to head this to much postulation off, I said to be Cat,
“In the interests of getting us the heck outta here, wherever here actually is, do you think you could get to the point?”
I then quickly added as a cleverly disguised but largely disinterested afterthought,
“I mean it’s really terrific of course that you are publishing scientific thoughts , especially at your young age, and the astroscientific world will I know be thrilled by your latest publication but, what does a quickhole mean in practice my dear Cat?”
“Quarkhole you moron. Quarkhole.” replied Cat drily.
“Yes, yes of course. I meant Quarkhole,” I said, “but what has one of those got to do with my missing will and new tail?”
To be continued……..
The Work of Cat’s Father, ‘Cat’
Just as naturally, as I expected, Cat positively bristled with joy as he realised he now had the ‘explaining’ stage. He began his explanation in his usual superior manner, like the Head Avatar at a private school. Head up, tail up, whiskers flared and at absolutely maximum length, he postured as the best would, before speaking his first words on the matter.
“This is more than a worm hole. There is a scientific, astrophysicology theory actually first put forward by my Father, Cat.”
“Oh good grief,” I said, having had a horrible feeling ‘he’ would be somewhere in all of this.
“Please do tell me about Daddy’s theory,” I continued ever so sarcastically.
Cat immediately bristled some more, sweeping his whiskers even further back before spitting, “If you’re going to take that kind of supercilious attitude towards the pioneering work of my Father, I will stop with any explanation right now!!”
As Cat paused I thought to myself that my recollections of Cat’s Father’s experimental work were ones that usually involved me in stress, anguish, embarrassment and all too frequently pain, as he tried experimenting to prove one point or another. However, I also thought that strategically it would not be wise whilst in my current tailed and ‘willy-less’ state, to rile Cat with my opinion of his Dad’s scientific prowess. So I lied blatantly and as expertly as ever, saying,
“No, no, no. Not at all. My opinion of your Father’s scientific prowess is of the highest order. I don’t believe though he ever told me about any theory linked with worm holes. I expect he was being typically modest and didn’t want to take up my time with long explanations of sciences which of course I couldn’t possibly understand. He was so considerate in that respect.”
Oh my, talk about tacky treacle tattle to get your way. I was laying it on thicker than the average asteroid belt. But it worked, as I knew well it would from previous experience with the ‘ego’ of the Universe.
Cat duly responded, “Well ok then. I shall continue. But please do not interrupt.”
“Of course not,” I said as seriously as I could.
To be continued…….
Cat Goes Flying whilst I think Worms
Meanwhile, Cat, who had ricocheted off the first wall into another before using his thrusters to brake, stood before me with all 4 legs splayed to steady himself. He shook his head in an effort to get his rubberised face back into a more acceptable shape. His first words to me sounded a little like the gibberish I now spoke so I wondered whether the blow had done something to his internal circuitry.
“SHUSHHAFFASHHA WII PUFFI AS HIC,” he spluttered before recovering his composure, looking up at me and saying very clearly,
“Even if you applied to a learning space for amoebae you still wouldn’t pass the entrance thoughts would you, you,….. you sub-sub quarkic particle brain!!”
“Look I really am sorry,” I said. “I honestly didn’t do that on purpose. I really want to get out of wherever we are and get my bits back you know.”
“Well, slapping me across the room absolutely isn’t going to help is it?” Cat harumphed before continuing with, “fortunately for you I had worked out pretty much all that I can before you whopped me with your ruddy appendage.”
“Right. Good,” I said. “So when and how do I get my willy back?”
“I have no idea,” Cat said rather sardonically, “surprisingly your missing penis has not been top of my list of priorities.”
“Well what in the ‘Meteorites of Mericles’ have been your priorities then?” I asked somewhat testily.
“Well for one thing working out, or trying to work out, exactly where we are,” responded Cat.
“And?…” I enquired from the very edge of my uncertainty.
“Right,” said Cat, “as far as I can tell we are approximately 72.7798 light years away from the hole.”
Now, I had never been terribly good at converting light years into a distance unit that made sense, like miles or metres or atamites. However even my limited arithmetical capabilities knew that 70 odd lights was a lot of any of those. We’d come a very long way in not a lot of time. How was this possible? I’d heard of worm holes of course, who hadn’t? Of course I had no idea how they worked but could we be in one I wondered? Cat must know I thought so I asked him, thinking how much him being able to tell me would stroke his monstrous ego. I didn’t care though, I needed to know for obvious reasons.
“Cat,” I said, are we in a worm hole?”
To be continued……