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 1.16

Oh Help!!

I was beginning to feel most uncomfortable and tried to say so but was told to shut up and shoved even harder, which caused me to swing in an even wider arc. I could feel wetness on my face and realised I’d peed myself. A weak bladder, especially at moments of stress had always been a problem for me, ever since I’d been chased by the Wolfcat that had lived in the sky house next to my parents place.

As more pee trickled down one side of my face, I tried to reflect positively on my situation. What had I learned that I could take away from all this once the Neanderthals had finished with me, assuming of course I was still breathing. Well one thing was of course never to accept any hovercar parts from strangers. And a second thing was never to pee whilst hanging upside down. With those two very positive actions for the future in my mind I started to sob and plead as I managed to discern, in between the grunting coming from the Neanderthals around me, phrases that  connected words like terminals and attach, with genitals. Though I have to say their word for genitals had fewer letters than genitals.

Before my sobbing could really take hold of my body, WPASO Candy appeared out of nowhere and smacked hard into the side of my body. Of course I didn’t know it was her at the time. Only after her weight, combined with mine, had caused the cable attaching my ankles to the hook in the ceiling to snap, did I realise it was her. As she lay on top of my disheveled and aching body she cried loudly,

“No, no, he didn’t touch me. I stabbed myself with my stylus when the lights went out. Leave him alone, he’s an Inspector you know.”

A lot of grunting ensued, not from me I hasten to add, as WPASO Candy finished her brief statement on my behalf. Then, as she clambered off me she said,

“What is that smell?”

To be continued……..

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 1.15

Now I’m in It…….

As I awoke from my unconscious state, I realised quickly that ‘reflection’ as a process had clearly not been part of the PASO’s core training. I could not move my arms. I wasn’t sure but it felt like they were locked together behind my back. I tried to lift my head but could do little more than move my chin marginally towards my throat. I quickly realised that this was basically because I was hanging upside down. This was not the first time I’d woken up in a somewhat uncomfortable vertical position. On Jurassic Earth, when I almost single-handedly defeated the Mud Lizards’ dastardly plot to steal a Zygote Crystal, they had done something similar to me. So I kind of knew what it felt like.

I relaxed my neck and let my head slowly fall back to its full upside down vertical position. My relatively long hair dangled down and touched the floor, sweeping the hard concrete surface gently as I swung slowly like the smaller boughs of a tree in a gentle Autumn breeze. So, this was different then. The Mud Lizards had secured me firmly upside down to a post set in the ground. Here, at SKYSTATION 9572/Delta, which was where I presumed I still was, I dangled freely so to speak.

Without warning there was a significant weight against my back, followed by a hard push to the middle of my body that set me swinging back and forth. As a consequence my gentle movement across the floor became much more pronounced and I turned into a human broom, as my hair started to vigorously sweep the floor. As some giddiness started to consume me, worse followed as my body was shoved first in one direction and then another. With the successive shoves, which I quickly realised were the result of different Neanderthal boots connecting with my body in turn, I started to spin. My hair transformed from a sweeping broom to a kind of spinning brush. My, was this floor getting cleaned. Very ‘heady’giddiness really started to preoccupy my mind, replacing the thoughts of ‘why me’? that had been foremost in my head, before the swinging had started to intensify.

I really couldn’t believe how my day had deteriorated. One minute I was relaxing and drinking coffee. Then there was a gentle, easy engagement with my hovercar hobby and from that, a sometimes delightful meeting with a vision of uniformed loveliness in the fine shape of WPASO Candy. Finally though, and one might almost say inevitably, here I was, suffering physical abuse at the hands, or was it paws, of apparent ‘extras’ off the set of Planet of the Apes Reborn (again).

To be continued……

The Story of Cat

Cat, we know, is a robot. But how exactly does he come to be so like a real cat? Why does he have such an intensely superior personality? Is it programmed or inherited from Zeus or a similar God?. Well, you may be surprised to hear that it is largely inherited. He actually derives from the Pure Cat Ashley, a domestic cat from the 22nd Century who saved humanity and has essentially never let humanity forget it.

cat

When some of the few human combatants in Interstellar War I returned to Earth around 2175, despite the usual stringent quarantine checks, humankind began to be devastated by a virus that attacked the human immune system. Deaths mounted and the projections were that within 10 years humans could be wiped out. That was looking to be the case until the work of Vice-Professor  Tjoorbaert Morabitz from the Austrian Academy of Galactic Science and his assistant Trevor (unfortunately, Trevor’s surname has been lost in the annals of the history of science but some experts believe he actually did all of the work). Anyway, Tjoorbaert was also the founder of ClonaCat and in his efforts to create the perfect domestic cat, he had spent many years trying to fully understand the genetic make-up of Ashley who had been perfect physically and had an IQ almost 100X higher than normal for a cat of the time.

Whilst studying Ashley’s genes and behaviour (and the latter was what you probably would expect from Zeus) Tjoorbaert (or possibly Trevor) discovered that a transposon in Ashley’s DNA had the capability to destroy a range of viruses, including the common cold, that variously afflicted the human population. The so-called ‘friendly-transposon’ also became the miracle cure for the Amora virus, the bug brought back by the early deep space explorers.

Humanity was saved by this serendipitous property of the Ashley ‘Friendly’ Transposon. There were consequences, however. All humans effectively became part-cat, or rather part Ashley, with the phenotype of humans in relation to cat characteristics varying widely. For some there was hardly any effect, others suddenly liked to chew grass and vomit whilst some couldn’t pee unless they were standing on a tray full of litter and quite a few couldn’t survive without being waited on hand and foot. Obviously, despite the social embarrassment some of these actions could lead to, it was better than dying. Fortunately, around 15 years after the introduction of the Ashley Transposon, other scientists found treatments that could suppress most of the cat characteristics that Ashley brought into the human gene pool. This left us with immune humans who occasionally hissed when they got really pissed off and chased anything smaller that moved.

And Cat? Robot Cat? Well, he was the perfect clone of Ashley though he had no living flesh because of course, he was ‘robot’. However, Ashley’s DNA had properties that went well beyond the 4 nucleotide bases found in all living creatures across the Universe to date. Ashley’s DNA had attitude and Cat had inherited elements of ‘attitude’ in extremis.