The Arth Series

The Arth Series
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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

TEABAG part 17

And now, to get back on track, the Tower of Tarrelo loomed ahead of them in the distance. As Chatteris headed towards it he commented to Plattington, “It’s a good job there hasn’t been a power cut. The street lights are leading me straight to the Tower.”
Just then...[though I shouldn’t really do it] there was a power cut.
“Why did you have to mention a power cut,” mentioned Chatteris, “now look, the Author’s created one just at the wrong time.”
“Only joking,” said I as the street lights started to flicker back on.
“It must have been a brown out,” said Plattington.
“Well that’s better than a brown bear.”
“What’s a brown bear got to do with a power cut?”
“Everything if it fell onto the power lines and shorted everything out.”
“How is a brown bear going to get high enough, in a city, to fall on some power lines and bring them down?”
“Well, if the Author thought of it, there could be a menagerie in the Tower and brown bears could be one of the exhibits. One of them could have escaped, climbed up on something really high then did a belly flop onto the power lines.”
“So, a random zoo bear, escapes, knows how to do a belly flop and falls judiciously onto some nearby power lines?”
“He could be a genetically enhanced bear, who know how to swim, use a lockpick and is wise enough not to be killed by landing on power lines, so he was probably wearing rubber boots as well.”
“I thought he’d belly flopped onto the power lines?”
“Yes, why?”
“Well the boots would be completely useless.”
“Oh, well he could have belly flopped onto it then as he bounced back up he could have landed on the lines, in his boots, and tightrope-walked along it.”
“With an umbrella for balance?”
“Yes, of course, and then, to top it all off, he managed to get to the end before the lines collapsed.”
“So he got to the end.”
“He got away with it and got out then?”
“So it was a brown out.”
Chatteris groaned.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

TEABAG part 16

Once they had all got back aboard the Talent again Plattington asked Sid, “So what was that interlude for?”
“I’m guessing, based on the Author’s notes on the back of that envelope, that the Lord Mayor is part of a nefarious conspiracy against the people of Tarrelo.”
“You know it is a pity,” mused the corporal as he sat upon a box of ammunition, “Andacia was supposed to be our ally against the giants. Now they’ve been infiltrated by the giantish kingdoms…”
“Sorry,” interrupted Sid, “is this one of those moments when we look into your back story as part of your character development?”
“I think it must be, seeing as I don’t know what I was going to say next.”
“Now they’ve been infiltrated by the giantish kingdoms they are like a) A pin prick in a teabag. b) a fruit from the useless tree., or, c) making bungee cords out of steel wire.
“None of those analogies really work.”
“But they are quite funny though. Could you do better? Seeing as you didn’t know what you were going to say next.”
“I suppose thinking that they’re funny depends on what kind of sense of humour you have.”
“Just make up a humorous analogy, before I make you swab the deck.”
"Like punch mixed with red."
"Breaking the metaphysical barrier there I see. Unless of course you mean Mr Punch, mixed with Raymond Reddington from The Blacklist."
"Is that funny?"
"It will be when I punch you, you turn red then I swab the floor with you."
"You can't do that, that's bullying."
"But I can threaten it."
The colonel butted in as he walked back from the bridge, "Now now Sid, try to go a little easy on him will you, we're supposed to be fleshing out his character development not scaring him into the metaphysical."
Just then [or something quite similar] the airship turned sharply to the left making them all lean to the right to try to keep from falling off.
Arthur shouted, "What's happening Chatteris?"
"We've deviated from the plot Colonel, it's creating havoc with the gyroscope."
"Deviated from the plot," blustered Arthur, "how can //that affect the gyroscope?"
"I don't know Sir," shouted back the helmsman as he struggled with the wheel, "it just seemed to come to my mind as an explanation."
"A bit like how the Author writes most of the time," Sid nudged Plattington.
"Sorry," usurped Plattington, "are you my friend again now?"
Sid drew back a little, "I'm, er, still your friend? [Seeing as we only met at the beginning of this story.]"

Monday, 15 December 2014

TEABAG part 15

“Are we going to get going?” asked Arthur.
“Pass me a towel,” said Ruhtra. He also switched off the tap. Sid looked round for a towel.
Then Robo Arthur shouted down to them from the window at the end of the passageway, “The fog is clearing!
Sid looked a bit quizzical, he turned the tap back on.
“What are you doing?” grumped Arthur.
“Just wait,” replied the dwarf.
Then, again, Robo Arthur called, “It’s started drawing in again.”
So Sid turned the tap off a second time.
“I don’t believe it!” shouted Robo Arthur, “it’s going again.”
“Thought so,” thought Sid, “the steam from the bath is causing the fog.”
“That’s a bit surreal isn’t it?” mused Arthur.
“What do you expect with the Author?” replied the colour sergeant.
They waited for Ruhtra, who turned himself into a tube and shimmied the towel from top to tail. He then turned back into his Arthurian form, “shall we go?”
They all went.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

TEABAG part 14


Arthur turned the handle and pushed open the door. (I know I’ve repeated myself but hey, it’s a new chapter.) There was a small bathroom and a bath filled with bubbles. Sitting in it, with bubbles on his head, was Ruhtra, "Ow do."
"What are you doing?" exasperated Arthur.
"Having a bath?" replied the shapechanger, who also had a bubble beard and moustache.
"Is this where we're supposed to do the bath puns now?" asked Sid.
"Well, I suppose so," grumped the colonel.
"But no toilet humour," warned Tresham.
Sid looked at them, "No toilette humour either."
"Bubbles!" bubbled Plattington.
"Are we each doing some kind of pun?" wondered Pendragon.
"As long as I get the best punch line," warned Sid.
"I thought you had been genetically altered not to expect the best punch line?"
"My selfishness and giant ego overcame that. I can easily get a better punch line than you shower anyway."
This stunned Arthur when he realised Sid had made quite a good and relevant bathroom pun, "Er?”
Sid was on a roll, a toilet roll. “You’re looking hot and flushed,” he said to Ruhtra. A bottle of shampoo nearly fell on the shapechanger’s head and he caught it just before it did, “That was a close shave.”
“You’re a fool ah!” splashed Ruhtra who was getting quite angry at so many people looking at him in the bath.
“Did you mean to do an anagram of loofah there?”

Saturday, 13 December 2014

TEABAG part 13

"This is completely useless," puffed Arthur.

Unshouldering his energy weapon Gunby shot at the floor. A large hole appeared in it. This made the situation worse because they were now running towards the dangerous, uncovered and still working gears.

Arthur stopped but the others behind bumped into him. He nearly fell into the gears. Sid pulled him back. "That was close," whewed the colonel.

As the treadmill had snapped the still attached end wound its way around and mangled into the gears. There was a whining and a clanking then the gears grated to a stop.

"Just in time," panted Arthur, still holding onto Sid's arm.

"Now we need to pick our way over those gearing mechanisms," said the sergeant.

So they did, it took them a long time to all get through the garden of smashed gears, too long to describe so near the end of this chapter

When they finally got to the end Arthur opened the door to find...

Friday, 12 December 2014

TEABAG part 12

“Do you know?”
“Well of course it was rhetorical. As if I was asking you. If I needed to know I could look at the Author’s notes.”
“He hasn’t made that bit up yet.”
“How do you know?”
“I’ve already looked, there’s no notes. It’s all in his head.”
“He sounds like the lecturer from Perception or that fellow from A Beautiful Mind.”
“So we don’t know what’s behind the doors then?”
“Well on that scrap of paper the Author wrote on at Waitrose it’s either a) each room leads to a different dimension. A bit like a Devidian door in The Next Generation.”
“But that leads to different planets not dimensions.”
“Yeah, anyway the next idea was b) different famous rooms as described in Victorian fiction. The sitting room of 221b Baker Street, the lab at Frankenstein Castle etc.”
“Right, what else?”
“Well, each room could lead to a different place on this planet, sort of a transportation portal.”
“So… has he decided any of this yet of is he just running it by us first?”
“Probably running by us.”
“No, I meant he’s literally running by us.”
“I don’t know, I just thought I’d say it in case it was funny.”
They both looked at each other with raised eyebrows, a bit like I did when I imagined them in this situation.
“So are we going to look behind the first door then or the one Ruhtra slimed underneath?” asked Colour Sergeant Sid.
“I don’t know, I don’t think the Author’s going to let us look, I think he wants us to end on a cliffhanger.”
“Like the ones talked about in The Dead Robots Society podcasts?”
“That’s right, ‘I open the door and…’”
Sid opened the door, there was a brick wall behind it, “Thought so,” he thought, “we’re not at the word count for chapter two yet. I bet there’s a brick wall behind each door until we get to the one Ruhtra slimed under.”
“Well let’s try that one next,” nodded Gunby who had just managed to get his huge frame through the window.
They all started to walk towards the last door on the left. But they seemed to get no nearer.
“I can’t seem to even reach the next door on the left,” groaned Pendragon who was leading the party.
Plattington stood still, gently went backwards and bumped against the wall, “we’re on a treadmill,” he called as he realised what was happening.
They all started to run as fast as they could but the treadmill increased speed as they did.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

TEABAG part 11

So Chatteris chittered a little while he set the Talent down on a flattish portion of the roof.
“Why do we want to look round the Mayor’s mansion again?” asked Sid.
“Again?” queried Arthur, “we haven’t looked round it once yet.”
“I didn’t mean again, I meant again, again.”
“A bit like Tattoo on Fantasy Island?”
“That’s an antiquated reference isn’t it?”
“Seeing as we’re in 1885, then no, it’s a futurist reference.”
“If you say so. But tell me, really, why are we doing a reccie on the Mayor’s mansion?”
“I think the Author thought it might break the tension.”
“What tension?”
“Erm, I don’t know. Let’s just do it until the fog lifts?” So Arthur led the way, as a good battle chieftain would. The others followed behind in a kind of bemused bumbling state. Bumbling up to an open window they all looked in. It was a passageway with doors leading off it. “It seems to be a passageway with doors leading off of it,” noted the colonel.
“Very observant,” said Sid, “what else can you see by just using your eyes?”
“What? What do you mean?”
“Well anyone can look at something and tell me what it is.”
“I don’t get your point?”
“You looked in the window and told us it was a passageway with doors leading off of it.”
Sid shook his head, “Never mind, let’s just send the shape changer in first. He can pretend to be anything, so if he encounters someone then he can turn into a vase or something.”
“It’s me who gives the orders.”
“Well give ‘em then!”
“Er,” Arthur scanned the area for Ruhtra, “Ruhtra dear chep…”
Ruhtra, looking like Arthur, looked nonchalantly at Arthur, “Wassap?”
“Can you slink in ahead of us and make sure there’s no one around?”
“I spose so,” the shape changer made himself into a liquid and poured through a small hole in the lattice window and puddled on the floor. He then slimed down the whole length of the passageway and finally took his Arthurish shape at the other end. He waved them to come in.
Arthur pushed the window open and climbed in first. Sid and the others followed, well, all except Robo Sid and Robo Arthur, they were too bulky to get through the window.
“You two will have to guard the airship. Call us back if you get into trouble.”
Robo Arthur looked at Robo Sid and tried to express a little hurt, but nodded and complied.
Ruhtra glanced back at them all then slimed under the end door.
“Where’s he going now?” Arthur asked rhetorically.
“Do you want to know,” asked Sid, “or are you just asking rhetorically?”