Monday, August 13, 2012

Chapter Twenty

This relatively unedited first draft, in case you've forgotten or joined in late, was born out of three "Prompt" exercises which I used to kick off the June Camp NaNoWriMo celebration and posted to this blog for reasons of shits and giggles. At the time I did not title them Chapters One, Two or Three because I had no idea I was about to challenge myself to turn the unrelated pieces into a proper story; a 20k word novelette: Admiral Bleeekxpritzel Versus The Drones Of Doom. It is perhaps regrettable that I posted it here prior to proper editing, as there is no wider audience I would care to promote a superior version to. This blog was the appropriate place for the edited version, thus there is now little reason to edit it. Which, now that I think about it, is fine.

Except for the closing few paragraphs of chapter 22 (the final chapter), the story was completed in about two weeks and the rest of June camp was spent on other projects. I've taken my time posting chapters here basically in order to buy time in case I wanted to do some editing and take the story to some other place, but this never happened. It has done its little job in its original form.

I am on vacation from August 18 to September 1st with little-to-none internet access. I will post the final three chapters before I go. If anyone has read the story complete, it would be great to receive feedback. Not praise. Feedback.

Chapter Twenty
Some Pretty Weird Sh*t And No, The Author Is Not On Drugs

The first sign that something was up was another rising of the level of nervous energy among the Tweeporan military population. They began to natter excitedly in their alien language and many of them left their workstations with anxious equine faces in order to communicate in hushed manner. The prisoners, now numbering seven, could sense the growing state of alarm amongst their captors.

The second sign was the faint musical rumblings of what sounded like a Hammond organ. It was clear that this sound did not appease the alien guards. Those with staves gathered near the great doors.

The third sign was the emergence of a second melody; that provided by a harpsichord, at which time the organ music promptly died. The fourth sign was the subsequent replacement of the harpsichord music by that of a harmonica. Admiral Bleeekxpritzle nodded his head knowingly.

Another hole very suddenly appeared, this in the wall itself, and this without the introductory swirling effect or slow dissolve. It was also larger the whole which the chauffer, Mr. Willis had come through earlier. The Tweeps tensed as they braced themselves for whatever might be coming through the new portal.

And what finally stepped through was a white-haired woman in stretchy off-white body suit smacking of Space 1999 crew wear. She looked possibly human but for hugely big eyes. She carried a contraption like some kind of oversized remote control device but with a pair of metal rods sprouting from each side. “Pardon me,” said the visitor. “I just need to take some light readings.”

Most of the Tweeporans looked at each other quizzically but not the one who’d copacapocabingoed Bruce Willis onto the pedestal. He marched toward her immediately. “By whose authority!” he demanded.

“By the authority of His Gloriousness The Bean Pheasant!” said another voice; this coming from the new hole where a second person had arrived, this one in white robes and sitting cross-legged on a hovering carpet. This woman might also have been human if of African descent. A pair of Tweeps approached her with staves held forth and she swiftly rose into the air, carpet and all, beyond their reach. “Lay down your staves and submit to the lawful liberation of these innocents!” the carpet rider shouted down to them. “In turn your dignity shall be spared and you will receive safe passage to that home in Orion which I know you cherish despite it being the least popular tourist destination in the entire universe, for reasons, not the least of which, include its very peculiar odour!”

“The Bean Pheasant has no say in this!” cried the copacapocabingo man. He pointed his staff directly at the carpeteer and a blue glow appeared at its terminus, growing very swiftly in intensity. From the hole in the wall then, a creature bolted through; a howling hyaena which took all by surprise. In a flash it pounced upon the ‘bingo man, knocking him onto his back. The staff flew from the Tweeporan’s hands. Immediately then the hyaena changed form, suddenly mutating into a hound dog who promptly fetched the staff and trotted happily back toward the portal. Now there stood three more individuals just inside the hole in the wall.  

“To the contrary…! His Gloriousness has much to say!” challenged another powerful voice. This was another white-robed, white-haired woman who stood on her own feet holding a kind of lantern on a chain. The lantern was shielded but a light of whitest intensity sprayed razor thinly from the seams of the metal contraption. “Indeed this last century he has scarce been known to shut up for even a few seconds!”

Beside her stood yet a third woman in white robes; this with objects held in each hand. One looked like an oversized plain donut; the other a formless pill of grey fuzz; perhaps a very old and tattered wig. It was to her the hound dog trotted with the staff in his jaws. She bent down; reaching with the grey fuzz ball. She touched it to the proffered stick and immediately the staff seemed to rubberize and be sucked from existence through the fuzzy grey mass. The Tweeporans gasped at this.

From the hole there stepped a fifth visitor; a man in similar body suit as the light reader wore. He also wore a long white goatee, a harelip and the most generic of hats. He took his place beside the lantern and fuzz carriers and suddenly the hole disappeared. Simultaneously there appeared a hamster, perched on the man’s hat. He stood haughtily, with head held high and hands on his hips; the man, that is. The hamster seemed distracted and he poked about the roof of the hat, sniffing everywhere.

“How dare you trespass on this ship!” cried the staffless bingoist. “All of you, disembark at once or you shall be taken into custody and tried for piracy in the Court of Intergalactica, Tweepora Major where death is the only consequence for such an inappropriate and rude interruption!”

“You chant gibberish!” cried the lantern woman. “This is planet earth and our council are here by the will of the O.U.C.H. No other permit has been granted. You are the trespassers!”

“You hide behind forms and bureaucracy!” spat the bingoist, who’s name, it so happens, was Bing. “While you subvert the na├»ve sanctions of the Gabrielites! We are the watch dogs! And our actions will be vindicated when the Pheasant is outed for the madman he is!”

“Tell it to the judge!” cried the hamster man.

“You tell it to the judge!” cried Bing.

“No, you tell it to the ju-!”

“Shut up!” cried the fuzz carrier, who smacked the man on the back of the head with her donut-shaped thing which may in fact have been a very large donut for all appearances but which was more properly referred to as The Olde Cheerio as it were. This action sent the hamster tumbling off the man’s head and onto the floor where it immediately began a game of chase with the hound dog.

“These affairs are beyond your station, scorekeeper!” said the lantern carrier. What you need to consider is do you really wish a showdown with us? You are badly outgunned! It would be a shame to lose lives here and all for nought.”

“Count again, lamp lady! It is you who are outgunned!”

“These are boys with sticks,” said the lantern woman. “And you are a boy with a temper and no stick. Cool your head, young Bing! Yes. I know who you are. Cool your head and you will find clarity tomorrow. Turn over your detexees to us.”

“I propose an alternate resolution,” said Bing.

“I will listen.”

“I propose you shove that lantern up your snoot and set your head aflame!”

The lady just shook her head ruefully.

“Take them!” Bing cried.

There was a group Tweeporan roar, and then, as earthlings are prone to say, all hell… broke loose.

Sir Admiral Gleeg Bleeekxpritzle and his six earthling companions stood watching anxiously, aware they’d more than a little invested in the outcome, as a battle was waged before their wide eyes.

Tweeporans attacked, hand to hand. Others attacked with their staves. Others stood back and fired bolts of some energy or another from their staves. The lantern lady swung the device around by its chain, knocking Tweeporans about the head and deflecting enemy energy beams away. Her companion held the Olde Cheerio aloft in one hand and the grey fuzz in the other. The latter seemed to soak up most of the energy attacks as the beams bent and were diverted into the grey mass, while the former seemed to emit circular bursts of energy and light of its own; the effects of which, were not easily deciphered by the prisoners.

The man in white wandered into combat, battling opponents now and then with a hacksaw, now and then with a hammer, and for one brief period, with a hookah pipe.

The hound dog transformed into a hawk and it flew about, diving at the Tweeporans and pecking at their ears and noses. It became a hornet following that, and stung an attacker or two, before becoming a hippopotamus at which time it didn’t do anything particularly useful. It then became a hummingbird. It then flew up behind the hammer-bearing man and once between his legs, turned into a horse.

The lady on the carpet circled overhead like an airplane in holding pattern. She had brandished a notebook and stayed busy keeping notes on the affair. She would be required to submit a lengthy report later.

At one frightful moment a staff laser attack made it past the fuzz ball’s defence web and flew at Lady Mimosa who struck out with the lantern, deflecting it away. Unfortunately it caromed directly at Lady Peejchelly and knocked the sacred Olde Cheerio out of her hand. It rolled through the crowd unhindered in the direction of the pit. Lord Pheltphondle saw this and, sharing Lady Peejchelly’s horror, he cried out a word; the first barrier he could think of.

“Hearth!” he snapped, willing the item to appear between the Olde rolling Cheerio and the pit. A bloodied pink normally-internal organ appeared there, thumping with a beat. “I said HEARTH!” he cried, and the heart turned immediately into a large brick and wood arrangement with several big red socks tacked to it’s topmost edge. Most unfortunately the Cheerio rolled straight through the opening where no actual fireplace existed and then rolled off the edge of the pit.

Sir Admiral Premier Gleeg Bleeekxpritzle watched this all with mounting horror and stepping to the pedestal’s rim he flung out a tentacle and snatched the giant Cheerio just as it was tumbling into the air with ought but eternal doom below. In the same motion he wound the kibble up like a yoyo and then snapped the tentacle like whip, releasing it so that it flew like a frisbee right back at Lady Peejchelly. She caught it deftly, and just in time to have it belch a cloud of instant sleeping gas at a pair of attackers. “Sweet dreams,” she muttered as they fell about her feet.

The battle fared the way of the wearers of white from the outset and in due order the Tweeporans for the most part had been knocked silly or had retreated to cower beneath their work stations. Only Bing and a few of his most staunch supporters remained at the end when the lantern bearer cast back its metal shield. Beams of magnificent light shot out; one for each enemy. They were each struck in the face by these beams and screaming, they fell to their knees. To the prisoners o’ the pedestal it was like being in a welding chamber without sufficient eye protection. They all diverted their gazes at once, throwing up hands before their faces.

These last defenders suffered a temporary blindness which began to abate once all the Detex One forces were subdued and rounded up. All of their staves had been damaged or destroyed in battle. The wearers of white all came to gather at the edge of the pit and greeted their associate, the Admiral Premiere.

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