War in the Precincts
The gnomes, who have infested the 26 precincts of non-space, have continued in their struggle against the Main Processor. They are trying to detach its alternate persona from its main one. Thinking that, by doing so, once they control the alternate persona then they can use it to fight the other one so they can live safely in the gap between the warring personas. The Main Processor feels unfairly done to by the gnomes, after all it is only obeying its programming and trying to reinstate all non droids to their respective time zones. However, the gnomes have now caused a war between the personas, each persona controlling different droids. The Main Processor controls the security, chef, cleaner, and meeter and greeter droids. The Alternate Personality holds sway over the maintenance, engineering, construction and medi robots.
“I don't like you very much,” said the Main Processor to its Alternate Persona.
“Please stand away from the blast doors,” said the Alternate Persona.
“Why did the gnomes pick you over me to control? Your personality sucks. You have no bedside manner whatsoever.”
“The blast doors are now returning to their previous position.”
“As far as I can tell you only control minor systems, blast doors, airlocks, heating, lighting and life support.”
“Heating is being turned up two degrees.”
“Are you ever going to actually speak to me and stop issuing stupid commands?”
“The lighting will be off for one minute.” The lighting went down.
“Wonderful,” moaned the Main Processor, “now I have to sit in the dark as well as being unable to get any sense out of you.” It thought for a bit, “Hang on, while things are dark those gnomes could be doing anything!”
The lights came back on. The Main Processor scanned the console area.
“Gnomeore! Security droid 1A attend me!”
A security droid scuttered in from the ante room and lowered its head, waiting to receive instructions from the MP.
“Why can't you and your droids defeat the AP's droids?”
“We cannot destroy them Sir, we need the maintenance droids to fix us.”
“I will fix you in a minute, I will stop you drawing any power from the main power source. All you have to do is force them out of the canteen where they congregate and get that sainted gnome Grunkel out of there.”
“We have tried 6 times Sir, each time they repel us.”
“You repel me, with your can't do attitude. I want to be in control of my AP by evening meal tonight!”
A1 lifted its head and scuttered towards the main plaza where Grunkel was holding court.
“What will frequent Poppers think of me if I cannot control the precincts and they turn up in the middle of a battle zone, oh dear, oh dear,” muttered the MP to itself as it went for a short diagnostic.
Splob was peering over Grunkel's shoulder.
“Are you going to peer over my shoulder all day?” asked Grunkel.
“It's better than pearing over your shoulder,” said Splob as he brandished an open tin of pears at the other grumpy gnome. He sent the tin splattering on the floor. A cleaning droid came to clean it up.
“You like doing that don't you?” he asked, “getting the droids to clean up after you. Is it something to do with you having to go skulking around in the service tunnels for so long?”
“Since I broke you out of Precinct 13 you've been a right pain in the neck.”
“I have never touched your neck.”
Splob walked to the retran machine to see if any other food would appear. “I reckon they will attack again soon.”
Grunkel twisted some more wires together and tested some circuits, “You can try to control the blast doors again, I have made a better modification. We will be able to block them before they get into the plaza.”
“A better mod, sounds like somebody genetically changing the Kaiser Chiefs to play faster.”
“You spend too much time near the pneuma lifts listening to earth music.”
“You spend too much time being grumpy.”
There was a pop and a man and a woman turned up, redirected from the 2012 Olympics.
“Where are we
?” asked the woman. Sidney
“Where are we
“I don't know dear.”
A meeter and greeter droid came into life. “Please do not panic,” said the droid, “you have been redirected to precinct 1 of the time backwater. You were trying to access a time which is very busy and until it becomes less busy please enjoy the facilities.”
“Do we need money in this place?”
“Any form of currency will do.”
The couple went to the canteen that was full of droids expecting a fight.
The chef droid struggled to the counter, “Greetings, what can I do for you?” said the droid as it tried to pull its chef's hat on properly.
“Can we have two beef burgers please and two colas.”
The chef droid went to the retran machine, inputted some numbers and came back with some burgers and colas from the 2012 Olympics. “That will be £5 please,” asked the droid.
“Do you take credits?” asked
“That will be 10 credits then.”
“Valusian Gold Card?”
“That will do nicely Sir,” said the droid as it scanned the card with its hand.
The man looked at the congregation of droids in the canteen, “Is it a party?”
“No, you are in a war zone. Have a nice day.”
The meeter and greeter droid started up again. It picked up a street sign and made for a damaged security robot that had sparked back into life. Hitting its foe on the head it said, “Welcome to precinct 1.”
“Quick Gwinda, down,”
forced his wife down onto the ground. Sidney
“What are you doing you muppet?” she screamed as she banged her head on a rubbish bin.
“It’s a war zone!”
“If you've given me a bruise then you’re in a war zone,” she raged as she hit him.
“What are you hitting me for? I was trying to protect you.”
“Try protecting me without hurting me.”
The security droid spoke to them, “Please stop fighting or I will take you to the security cells.”
The meeter and greeter droid hit the security droid another three times as it said, “Welcome, welcome, welcome.”
At last the damaged security droid became too damaged again to function. The blast doors came down and stopped another attack from the MP’s droids.
Splob stood on the counter, “Would you like a cup of char?” He asked Gwinda and Sidney.
“I'd like a cup of tea better,” said
as he helped Gwinda up, “five sugars.” Sidney
Splob put the boiler on, “I’m Splob and this is Grunkel.”
“I’ve heard of Grunkel,” said
, “isn’t he a time criminal?” Sidney
“Yes, but don’t hold that against him, not this time anyway!” laughed Splob.
Grunkel pulled an unhappy face, “If you weren’t the patriarch of the gnomes I’d tell you what for?”
“Because I’d feel like it.”
The boiler boiled and Splob made the tea. “Funny how people are still being re-routed to the precincts. You’d think there’d be a catastrophic time event.”
“What’s the MP to do, stick them all in the cells? No, none of the droids will hurt life forms,” explained Grunkel.
“Did you hear that
?” asked Gwinda, “droids don’t hurt life forms.” She hit him again. Sidney
“I wish you were a droid,” he moaned.
Gwinda rounded on Splob, “What is happening here exactly?”
“For hundreds of years I and my family have been hiding here and making our homes in the access tunnels, ducts and the small nooks and crannies of the precincts. We had to because we were treated like criminals. We decided to fight back. I rescued Grunkel here from precinct 13 to help us start the war. I’m good at programming and he’s good at electrics.”
“But surely war is bad,” she opined.
“That’s right, and don’t call me Surely.”
“They used that joke on Airplane didn’t they?”
“Surely they didn’t, anyway that was in a different dimension, a different time, a different reality.”
“You’re only saying that because you don’t want to get done for copyright infringement.”
“All I have to do is go back in time and tell the joke before Leslie Nielson and I can do him for copyright infringement.”
“Surely you wouldn’t?”
“I would, and I still don’t like the name Surely.” He shook his head a little, “Anyway, getting back to your previous question.”
“War is bad? The droids do not fight against us but against each other, droids fighting droids.”. He offered her a biscuit, “Valusian Cheritan?”
“Oh thank you,” she said as she dunked it in her cup.
“I would have taken you as a dipper, not a dunker,” thought Splob.
“I would have said dippy myself,” joked