Albert and Jarvis part 37

a tale in weekly parts


This story is open for suggested continuations. I will publish here, with links to your own blog, all I receive. The one I like best will become (or form the basis for) the next episode of this collaborative tale.

You can see the full story so far at this link.

Episode 37

Xander phased himself to Jarvis, where Albert and Kr’veth’neq’is were waiting for him.

“What’s this all about?” Xander asked.

“Have you read the Hitchhiker’s Guide trilogy?” Albert asked.

“All five of them,” Xander replied.

“Then you’ll be familiar with the Golgafrinchans.”

“I recall that one third of the population were told that their planet, Golgafrincham, was doomed, and so they were put on Ark Fleet B and sent to find a new home. The third chosen were people like telephone sanitisers, hairdressers and generally unproductive types of little perceived value.”

“That’s the ones. Well. In one time-line, a couple of earth people who had bought commissions in the Space Regiment were sent to the moon in a moonship called ‘Waist of Space’.”

“Waste of Space – I love it,” Xander said.

“But they spelled it W A I S T, so the dumbos on board didn’t get it. Anyway, they were sent to set up a habitat on the moon, to test the viability of the project – of course, they were just going to be left there – but somehow, they got themselves captured by the Borborygmi, a race from another planet who were, coincidentally, themselves analogous to the Golgafrinchans.”

“So where do we fit into this?”

“We’re going there to play with their heads a bit!” Kr’veth’neq’is giggled.

Within about twenty minutes, Jarvis had negotiated space and time and placed himself on the surface of the moon between the Earth ship and the Borborygmi’s camp, to form a perfect equilateral triangle.

“I’ll let you know when they’re looking,” Jarvis intoned.

“When they are,” Albert said, “here’s the plan. We phase to outside and, when it’s obvious that one of them is looking at us, we phase back in again. Then we’ll see what happens from there.”

“How is that fun?” Xander asked.

“The fun, oh brother of mine,” Kr’veth’neq’is informed him, “will come when whoever sees us thinks they’re going mad, or dreaming, or on drugs or something.”

“Still doesn’t sound much like fun.”

After a couple of moments, Jarvis shouted, “Now.”

The three phased outside. One of the people was looking out of a window in the Borborygmi camp, and hitting the side of his head as if to clear his vision.

“And in,” Albert said, whereupon they all went in, “and out again.”

“Are we having fun yet, Unkie?”

“Just wait, you will,” Albert replied, somewhat tetchily.

Five times they wane in and out, before the person watching went away from the window.

“Kay, what now?” Kr’veth’neq’is asked, as three of the Borborygmi, clad in their space suits against the cold and vacuum of the moon’s surface, went into the red building.

“Albert turned to Xander and asked, “What are you hearing, lad?”

“Oh dear,” Xander said.

“What?”

“I think the Earth man has just insulted the Borborygman female, which has annoyed the others.”

“How did he insult her?” Kr’veth’neq’is asked.

“He asked how they could tell she was female, as they all look the same. And now they’re being locked in their cage without food. Ha ha ha; all they have is sardines anyway. You’d love it there, Unkie.”

“What do you mean, locked in their cage? Why are they in a cage?” Albert asked.

“The Borborygmi are keeping them as pets. If I understand right, the radio in their ship isn’t working, so they can’t contact Earth, and they came to the camp looking for help. Now their captors have them as pets and want them to breed. He is quite keen, but she isn’t.”

“Let’s go see what we can do,” Kr’veth’neq’is suggested. The three phased into the room where the two were held.

On their admittedly unexpected arrival, the woman hid behind the man. He just looked at Kr’veth’neq’is and said a very suggestive, “Ding, dong. You up for a bit of…”

“I’m not taking that from this little pip-squeak,” Kr’veth’neq’is sent to Albert and Xander, “I don’t care who he is; his mind needs some recalibrating to cut out his animal urges.” And recalibrate it she did. “He’s better now. Shall I up his IQ, too?”

“There’s an old saying,” Albert said, “ignorance is bliss. Let’s leave him as intellectually challenged as he was. If you’ve dealt with his breeding instinct, life will be better for them.”

“But what about the others?” she asked.

“The Borborygmi? No, best leave them. Their sojourn on the moon isn’t going to last, anyway.”

While this was going on, Xander phased to their moon-ship and did some work on the electronics.

When he returned, he said, “I’ve fixed their radio. They should be able to contact Earth, now.”

With that, the three phased back to Jarvis again.

“What will happen to them now?” Xander asked.

“We’ve let them out of their cage and disabled the locks, and we’ve fixed their radios. That’s all we can do.”

“And having got rid of his rampant libido,” Kr’veth’neq’is added, “they may be able to work together. I wish you’d let me work on his IQ, though.”

“Will we be able to come back and see how they’re doing, Unkie?” Xander asked.

“You still haven’t cottoned on to how time works, have you? This is all in a possible future time line. It may not happen. That’s the future for you.”

“So how did you find it?”

“Pure chance.”

“And how did you come back to it? Ha! Get out of that one!”

“We didn’t come back to it; Jarvis kept hold of it so we could join him.”

“But Jarvis was on Earth, in my time-line, in my back garden.”

“Was he?”

“He brought us here, for goodness’ sake.”

“Are you sure?”

“Positive.”

“According to your father, where are you now?”

“In my room, sleeping.”

“And if he opens your door and looks in, what will he see?”

“Me, asleep in my bed.”

“How can that be. You’re on the moon in a possible future.”

“You’re right. I haven’t cottoned on to how time works; or at least, how it works after you play around with it.”

Kr’veth’neq’is looked at Xander and said, “Esterkha’a”.

Xander found a bed and fell asleep.


This story was started in response to Kreative Kue 18, issued on this site on 30 March 2015.