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 2.6

Meeting the Prorex

We continued walking after we had passed the houses until we reached The Cumulus Circle. This was basically a pedestrian roundabout with hoverators heading off from the centre in 8 different directions. Each hoverator took you to one of the 8 Dromes that served to entertain vistors to the Old Thames Bridge who were not there for the history. A massive sign over the entrance to each hoverater indicated which Drome was the final destination. I started to head straight for the XDrome sign whereupon Cat made a very loud throat clearing noise, before hovering up to be in front of my face and saying,

“Errghh, wrong Drome boss. We want the CombatDrome.”

“Ahghh, well, yes. Of course we do. Ultimately. But I was just thinking that maybe seeing be one of the other Dromes working normally first might be considered sensible. You know, so we will know what we can should be looking for in the CombatDrome.”

“This way moron,” said Cat, pointing with one front paw at the hoverator almost at right angles to the one for the XDrome. “That’s the way to the CombatDrome, which is where we need to go.”

“Alright, alright,” I said indignantly. “Is it absolutely essential to refer to me as ‘moron’ in front of strangers?”

“Yes,” said Cat, “I like to be clear and accurate in such matters.”

Once again I decided that ignoring him was my best option and so with a squinty-eyed glare in his direction I turned my attention back to the Commander. He had been joined by a quite elderly woman who extended a rather shaky arm out towards me. As one of her fingers touched me lightly on my chest she introduced herself as the Prorex of the Old Thames Bridge. I had absolutely no idea what this meant and so simply blinked before smiling and saying,

“Excellent.”

“She’s like a Mayor,” said Cat, apparently trying to be helpful for once.

“I assume you don’t mean ‘horse’,” I guffawed.

To be continued…….

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 2.2

A Big Hole?

Suddenly my thoughts were interrupted by Cat saying,

“Just forget about the XDrome you twit. We’re not going there.”

My eyebrows furrowed somewhat as I responded,

“Assuming, no, IF I were thinking about the XDrome, which I wasn’t, much, it has nothing to do with you. You are my assistant can I remind you? I decide where you go, not the other way around.

With a gentle hiss and a murmured phrase which sounded to me like ‘moronic amoebal shit’ but could have been ‘mindless ass and twit’, Cat started our descent to the Old Bridge. I decided to ignore him but then realised I couldn’t because as usual no one had told me what this mission was all about.

“Look you irritating pile of chips,” I said, “what the heck are we doing here in the first place? If it’s some tedious tax evasion thing why can’t you deal with it? Then I could look around the Dromes. Not the XDrome obviously, I mean the other Dromes. If it’s not a mindless tax evasion thing and something involving really nasty people or worse, aliens, then I want to go home now, regardless of the XDrome. Which I’m not interested in. At all,” I ended.

“There is a phenomenon. A happening, which requires our attention,” replied Cat rather unhelpfully I thought.

‘Phenomenon’ didn’t sound good to me. I don’t know about you but phenomenon always meant ‘something not quite understood’ to me. And something ‘not quite understood’ was too close to ‘an unknown’ thing in my view. As I had said to Cat on numerous occasions,

“Unknown spells ‘danger’.”

Naturally his totally machine led logical way of dealing with me, when it suited him, led him to pass a range of disparaging comments about my spelling capabilities. My efforts to explain that I was speaking metaphorically invariably fell on deaf chips.

In this particular case his response was,

“There is a hole. A big hole, and someone needs to look into it.”

To be continued……..

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 2.1

Ye Old Thames Bridge

Anyway, the Old Thames Bridge had so much history associated with it. It left me awestruck just thinking about it. Thousands of years old now, once part of AngleLand I think it was called if memory serves, the bridge was an astonishing spectacle. No longer really a bridge as there was very little need for bridges of course with hovercars and buses as the mode of travel, the bridge was a thriving mini community district in what was now the Persona consortium.

Indeed, the original need for the bridge, to cross the Old Father Thames River had long since gone. Very little water had flowed in the Thames basin for many a long year, ever since the great droughts of the 2150s and 60s. The bridge now in fact had no connection to Terra Firma, supported as it was by industrial sized hover engines. And of course the surface area of the bridge was at least 200 times greater than the surface area of the original twin towered bascule bridge. The original bridge construction was still there, and formed the glorious centerpiece of the entire construct as it now was.

That centerpiece led to the more modern but equally famous Atmosphere Avenue where very rich people had homes. Beyond the Avenue was Cumulous Circle, from which multiple footways radiated out. There were in fact 8 of these forming the so called ‘OctoMuse’. Each footway, essentially open to the elements like the original bridge centerpiece, led to a different covered RecreDome each of which had its own theme. There was the GamesDrome, the MusicDrome, the VideoDrome, the CombatDrome, the DreamDrome, the FoodDrome, the PartnerDrome and the XDrome. Most of the names were self explanatory apart from the XDrome. I had some obvious preformed ideas on what the XDrome was like, in fact had had these thoughts for some years on and off, and now was my chance to actually find out how correct my thoughts were….!

To be continued…….

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 1.18

Finally, I’m out of here and on to our next mission.

By now I was standing up and glaring at Cat. He was right, my treatment at the hands of the Neanderthals must have left me a bit confused.

You see Cat was Cat, in that that is what his name was. However he wasn’t the original Cat. His Father was and his Father had indeed eaten copious quantities of molten lava beans with unfortunate gaseous build up consequences. Cat, well Cat Junior to be more precise, did not fortunately share his parent’s liking for beans. However, he did, despite my best efforts,  exhibit most of his Father’s other extremely irritating characteristics. You see Cat Junior, unlike his Father had not come to me as a fully grown robot. He’d come as a kitten, with his Father’s DNA, but not fully programmed behaviourally. I had therefore the opportunity to influence him as he grew. I had tried very hard to make him understand that he was with me to serve me. To fetch me things like food and drink and to run errands for me. However, despite promising early results, ultimately he had become just as big a supercilious know-all ashis Father had been, with an ego hard to fit into the vast expanse of the Galaxy.

So basically, ever since he’d reached a year old, I’m not quite sure why it was when he reached that age, he’d started to order me around just like Cat Senior. All of a sudden, once more, I was constantly heading off to do alleged tax investigations only to encounter totally unexpected and usually seriously dangerous circumstances. And Cat Junior always knew more about these missions than I did!!

Once more, as usual, his superior vision of himself led him to start ordering me about and he said,

“Right. Let’s stop messing about here. We’re needed. HQ have a mission for us. We must be off.”

I thought about arguing and asserting my position over the little rubberised monster but, given my recent circumstances and where I was, I thought better of it, simply saying,

“Right. Yes. Duty calls me chaps. Love to chat but my assistant has made me aware I’m needed. Farewell WPASO Candy. Really sorry you stabbed yourself.”

“Oh for goodness sake stop blathering and come on,” said Cat.

So go we did, heading for the hovercar Cat had arrived in. As I strapped myself into the seat next to Cat I started to daydream of all the vile and unsociable things I would do to him once we were home. We’d start with a very long extra-high frequency sonic wash in the kitchen cleaner. Cat Senior used to really hate that. As a smile played across my lips at the thought, my daydream were interrupted by Cat, who said,

“Just in case you’re making plans of what to do to me once we get home, you should know we’re not going home. Our latest mission is on Earth and our orders are to go straight there.”

“Oh,” I said as I started to wonder once again if he could read my mind. Cat Senior had always talked about developing that capability. I then added in a somewhat exasperated tone,

“So where is ‘there’ then?”

“London Central,” responded Cat before adding, “near the Old Thames Bridge to be precise, .”

“Marvellous,” I said, “no space travel involved. Excellent. Ok I guess we’d better get going then if HQ says it’s urgent. But don’t think I’m forgetting what happened back at that station. When this job is over you and I are gonna have a long talk about roles and who’s the boss in this partnership.”

“Of course boss. Anything you say,” said Cat purringly, as he pressed a virtual button and we accelerated off into the night sky.

To be continued……..

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 1.11

My Interview Continues

Typically, just at that very moment, my Cortex thought assistant decided to pop up a notification that the ion battery had now received several bids on Cadabra Universe. WPASO Candy, who was monitoring my Cortex implant scribbled even more furiously on her wrist. I explained,

“Look I didn’t know it was a stolen battery when I put it up for sale. I really just didn’t know what else to do with it. What would you have done?” I enquired with a rather sticky sweet smile.

My attempt to be friendly seemed to suddenly work as Ms. Candy responded with a slight smile around the corners of her mouth,

“It’s ok Inspector, we were always fairly sure that you were not intentionally involved in the crime,” said Candy.

I sighed,  and said half-jokingly, “Well I’m jolly glad to hear that. Wouldn’t want to be clapped in Kliks would I?”

She smiled a bit more widely this time and said, “We just had to bring you in for process reasons really, just to be absolutely sure you were who you said you were. Even if you did try to b sell the battery on, we were always pretty sure you were not involved.”

I could feel myself blushing at the thought that she knew I’d put the battery up for sale the minute I realised it was no use to me. How embarrassing.

She went on, “Look, I can show you what the investigating officer recorded earlier this morning.”

In front of my face, a small square display appeared as she touched her forearm with the stylus she had been using. Handwritten words appeared on the screen underneath the heading,

‘REPORT OF INCEDENT AT STARLING HITES MORNING OF FIFF AUGUST – REPORTING OFFICA TPASO RYAN’

WPASO Candy pointed at the words she was referring to.

‘……. the iron battry is from stolen veerkle 9/42966/AH. The recever of the battery is Inspecta Proof. He is a guvenment officeal so is probably innocent’.

As I read them I blinked rapidly wondering how best to keep anything I might say from sounding sarcastic. I marveled in my mind at the spelling prowess of our law enforcement officers and wondered at the rather dubious approaches they might have to decide whether someone was innocent or not.

To be continued……

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 1.9

To the Interview Room

I duly followed her down a lengthy corridor, having abruptly closed my saliva rich mouth and wiped my own lower lip and chin with my own sleeve. We passed through an area with lots of workstations, occupied I noticed exclusively by males, before Candy reached a door which she opened with her thumb. As the door silently slid open, Candy stepped aside and said,

“Do go through into the interview room and take a seat Inspector.”

I walked through the door and into what was a quite small room, probably no more than 3 metres square. There were no windows, even artificial ones. There was a table, roughly in the middle of the room, and two chairs. I went around the table and sat on the chair that was furthest from the door, with my back almost against the back wall of the small room. Ms. Candy followed me in, closed the door behind her and sat down opposite me.

She opened a tactile notepad on her left forearm and produced a very pointy looking stylus, which she held in her right hand. I must say I hadn’t seen such antiquated technology since I attended some face to face classes at junior virtual school. It made me rather wonder what it must be like to still have to actually write. I also thought, given the width of her very feminine forearm, that she was either going to have to scroll a lot or write very short sentences.

smiled at her and said in an effort to be friendly,

“Well, this is quite a small room I must say. And no windows. I’m surprised that you don’t use VR to at least give the sensation of greater space. It’s a bit claustrophobic if you don’t mind me saying so. We are rather on top of each other, don’t you think?”

To be continued………