The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 3.19

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………

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 3.2

Sprechen sie Mudlizard?

At this point I felt like I was drifting slowly through whatever space or location I was in. Shapes continued to appear and disappear, some flying by me and, bizarrely, some passing right through me. Or at least that’s how it felt. When that happened I could feel my entire body, which was still slightly distended, vibrate rather alarmingly. Over time, wherever I was had grown appreciably lighter and I could see around me quite clearly as I continued to drift like a grain of pollen in the wind. My voice had also recovered and when I spoke now what came out was at a normal speed, or so it felt to me.

“Where exactly are we?” I said to Cat, who was still hovering by the top end of my body.

He had been silent for a while and remained so, staring at me in quite an intimidating manner I thought. His whiskers twitched noticeably.

“Well,” I said, “cat got your tongue?”

Of course in normal circumstances I would have thought saying that to him was quite funny. But I was close to delivering my last 3 meals at explosive pace through my rear end right then, so I didn’t laugh.

Once again he just stared at me, transfixing his green eyes on my mouth and then finally, he spoke, “Say ‘what’ again,”

“What, what, WHAT?” I yelled at him.

“Anything,” said Cat.

“I didn’t say ‘anything’,” I replied somewhat testily.

“No, no. I don’t mean the word ‘anything’. I don’t mean just that word. I mean just say ‘anything’, said Cat.

Now it can was my turn to blink and stare. I mean what did he mean by ‘say anything’?

Suddenly Cat shouted, “JUST REPEAT AFTER ME, ‘THE BAFFLEBERRY JUICE HAS DISAPPEARED AGAIN’

“Eh? Are you nuts?” I yelled back as best I could. “What’s wrong with you? Have you gone deaf? Can you not hear me you rubberised tin can?”

“Oh I can hear you alright. I’m just a bit stunned that’s all,” responded Cat.

“By what?” I queried, “by the situation? If so, join the club.”

“Not so much by the situation,” answered Cat, “more by the fact you are talking to me in fluent ‘Mudlizard’ as opposed to the usual Earth bound language you normally use.”

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 2.8

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 2.5

Towards the Hole…..

“Well then there was just a big hole in the Drome. And everyone was gone. I mean, it’s a really deep hole. I’m assuming everyone went down it.”

“Best not to assume Commander. For to assume brings the risk of making an ass of you and me.”

I was just starting to think how pleased I was at this piece of wisdom when Cat chipped in with,

“Not sure making an ass of an ass counts.”

I glared at him through a cleverly disguised ‘sneery’ smile before continuing to lead proceedings by requesting that the Commander take us to the Drome.

“Follow me,” said the Commander.

We marched after the Commander, who went at quite a brisk pace. Well at least I marched. Cat chose to hover. We went to the end of the old bridge, passing myriad market shops and stalls. Each seemed to specialise in one type of product ranging from off-world souvenirs through to bottles of clean energised air. There was even a stall selling used genes, offering support for a range of maladies and cosmetic issues.

At the end of the bridge we turned right and started walking down Atmosphere Avenue which was lined with rather quaint looking dwellings. The Commander paused his somewhat military march momentarily to tell us that these very ‘select’ family homes mimicked so called houses built at the time the Old Bridge had originally straddled the fast flowing Thames River.

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……