Vending machines within precinct 12 automatically transported chocolate, crisps and soft drinks from the robot confectionery factory housed on precinct 7 straight into the machines for sale. When I say for sale I mean each new visitor to the Time Backwater was given a ration coupon card to be used while there. They were allowed a certain amount of chocolate, soft drinks and snacks per day. If they wanted anything else they had to pay for it in credits. This could be quite difficult for time travellers from the past who had no credits. They would trade personal items for food etc the longer they had to stay. In the past the gnomes stole food from the food transfer machines, now they had maintenance jobs and spare credits to spend so they bought it instead.
Sprocket had even set up a sort of trading shop where he swapped credits for personal items. A man who had travelled to the precinct in a blue box had traded a watch for 1,000 credits. Now this may make you think that it was Doctor Who, but it wasn't. The blue box was about the size of a coffin and the traveller had to lay down in it to travel.
The next customer to enter the shop was Sid the dwarf.
Looking at the dwarf Sprocket recognised him, "The Author writing some short stories for the holiday period?" he guessed.
Sid nodded as he looked over Sprocket's stock, (try saying that 5 times while standing on your head and drinking a cup of water!) "Got anything new?"
"This old watch," said the gnome as he offered it to Sid to have a look.
"That's an old watch, I want something from the future."
"How far into the future?"
"Oh, I don't know, from the end of time?"
This confused Sprocket, "Why do you want something like that?"
"I don't really, it's part of the story."
"Not another MacGuffin?"
"No, that was yesterday's story."
Soooo...can you tell me why you want it?"
Sid looked at his portable reading device, "Er, it says on my script that I need to ad lib this bit."
"Well go on then."
"Iiiiii.... need it for my anniversary."
"I said to my wife, you know, Gwinda, that our love would last until the end of time."
"And you want something from the end of time to prove that?"
"Yes, I think."
"The only thing I can think of that may match your requirements is a puttlewhack."
"What's a puttlewhack?"
"This," said Sprocket as he showed Sid the puttlewhack.
Now the Author didn't know what a puttlewhack looked like to describe it so he needed to think for a bit
After three lines, and a bit of thought, the Author sort of came up with an idea.
"Oh," ohed Sid, "I'll take it. Can you wrap it please, so I can give it to her when I get back yesterday."
I still did not really know what a puttlewhack was but whatever it was Sprocket wrapped it in a smallish box and handed it to Sid. "1,000 credits please."
"For a puttlewhack!" exasperated Sid.
"That's cheap for something that the Author still has to make up."
Sid wasn't really bothered about the price seeing as he had a Tribelium Plated card, and the Author had topped it up especially for this little story.
Taking the card the gnome scanned it and then returned it to the dwarf. "Thank you for your custom."
"And thank you for the puttlewhack," thanked Sid as he exited the shop and went into the precinct proper. He used his IWT to transport back to the Fantasy Dimension.