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……

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 1.17

Cat to the Rescue?

Another familiar voice then cut through the air with the words,

“Yes, leave him alone. Abusing him is my job.”

It was Cat, hovering above me, whiskers glinting in the bright light of the room I now saw I was in. Strangely, the grunts of the Neanderthals became totally understandable English and I heard one say,

“Certainly Mr. Cat, Sir. Lads, leave him be. If Mr. Cat is prepared to vouch for him then I think we can assume he didn’t intentionally attack WPASO Candy.

“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you,” I exploded. “I didn’t touch her. Well, not much anyway. When the lights went out she screamed, obviously I know now she stabbed herself with her stylus, and then I fell on her. All very easily explained and could happen to anyone.”

At this Cat just muttered, “You moron.”

I continued angrily as I started to sit up and said to the collected ‘Neanderthals’, “ And anyway, is this how you treat all your suspects? Is this how you treat high profile visitors to your station?

One of the Neanderthals responded, “We knew you were Mr. Cat’s assistant but without him here to vouch for you we had to be assume you were just another suspect. I mean, after WPASO Candy screamed and we  found her unconscious and bleeding, what would you be think?”

I didn’t care now about the abuse. I was apoplectic at being referred to as Cat’s assistant!! What had the little ‘rat’ been saying about me in his little ‘presentations’ that he’d been giving? I now had a pretty good idea. I turned towards the little monster and shouted,

“Good grief, I thought your Father Cat was bad enough. But you are unbelievable. Does anyone on Earth understand that I am the superior and you are the minion. That I am the monkey and not the organ grinder?”

I drew breath to rant some more but before I could Carry interjected with,

“I think you need to revisit that last sentence. Not entirely sure that’s what you meant to say Chief.”

“It’s too late to ‘Chief’ me now you cat shaped bag of scrap Eesets. They were really taking the urine when they made you. But I’m gonna teach you to respect the organ grinder in this partnership. No molten lava beans for 3 months!!” I exclaimed.”NO,” I quickly added, “let’s make that 6 months!!”

“I think you are getting a little confused Chief. My Father, Cat, he was the molten lava bean junky. I’m much more into fizzy krepits if you recall?”

To be continued…….