Once upon a time, in a parallel universe not far from our own, there lived a wombat called Migglezimblatt. In these unenlightened days before the Cannon Hill Convention accorded equal rights for wombats, Migglezimblatt (also known as Miggy) was living in the city of Broom, studying at the university there. Unfortunately, due to the ravages of the Undergraduate Tax recently imposed by the evil dictatoress, he was having to supplement his meagre grant by trying to sell drugs he grew in the windowbox of his hovel in High Hall.
Suddenly, one sunny morning Miggy (also known as That Homicidal Drug Pushing Maniac) found himself being ejected from his cosy hovel, by a squadron of formidable looking ladies bearing an array of formidable looking cleaning equipment. Miggy barely had time to empty the contents of his windowbox into a satchel before he was bundled out into the painfully bright sunlight. As he stood amongst a stream of other students (some driving away in their cars, others taking cardboard boxes off to sleep in doorways), he thought:
'F*ck me, the summer vac! Two whole months of freedom before my resits!'
It was then that a seminal thought struck Miggy... where better to try and raise some cash but Amsterdam?
'It looks like a little holiday is in order,' thought Miggy aloud, and so, putting on his shades, he set off down Eggbasket Park Road...
...unfortunately for Miggy, the station was in the opposite direction, so, to avoid truning* round, he opted to catch a buzz.
So Miggy waited at the bus stop opposite the fire station, when suddenly...
*Truning round: The way you turn round so as to make it appear you always intended to go that way, and hadn't in fact got your directions wrong.
A buzz arrived. More precisely, a large bee flew down the road, and
landed next to Miggy.
'Hello,' buzzed the bee. 'Where to, mate?'
'Hello there,' said Miggy,'what's happened to the buses on this route?'
'Public transport's been hived off,' said the bee.
'Oh, I see. Erm, I'm going to Amsterdam. Better take me to New Street.'
Miggy climbed aboard and they flew off. As they flew down the road, they saw...
...an abysmal scene of desolation, miles and miles of slum housing and derelict building sites.
However, this was Broom after all, so this was nothing surprising really.
The bee dropped Miggy off on New Street, Miggy paid his fare, and the bee buzzed off on its own buzziness.
Miggy then went into the station and went to the international travel
window. The being behind the window said...
'Orroight, c'noi elpyew loik?'
'Uh?' thought Miggy.
...and fainted. [This is a Miggy saga after all!]
Miggy slowly picked himself up. And said, in the best broomoi accent loik
he could give,
'I dunnoi moi son. Loik d'yoi sell us some dope loik?'
The broomoi behind the window was falabbergasted!* He had never had anyone
understand him before.
'Well, d'yoi want first class or second loik?'
*Falabbergasted: To be excessively surprised and pissed off. Derived from Falabbergast the Fourth, killed accidentally by a suicidal elephant which threw itself off a cliff, below which he was walking. Falabbergast's last words were 'Oh shi-'.
'Err, second I suppose'
'Orroight, silver standard, standard, or substandard loik?'
Miggy checked his change and replied 'Substandard loik.'
'Smoking, non-smoking, drinking, non-drinking or eating travellers-fare food?'
'Smoking and drinking please,' Miggy answered immediately.
'Orroight that's forty-two pound loik mate'
Miggy thought this was pretty cheap for BritRail plc, so he handed over the cash (mostly in small change), took his ticket and went down to the platforms. It was only then that he looked at his ticket and discovered...
...that he'd bought a ticket to see Broom City play at home.
'Bugger this', thought Miggy, and went back to complain. When he arrived back at the ticket window, the broomoi had been replaced by a penguin.
'Who are you?' asked Miggy.
'I'm the ticket salesbird,' said the penguin (who was wearing a very fetching bow tie). 'The broomoi was the captain of Broom City - he was desperate to get someone to go and see them play.'
'Oh, alright then. Can I swap this for a ticket to Amsterdam please?' The penguin took the football ticket, and gave Miggy a half-fare ticket (wombats not being terrible large) to Amsterdam.
Four hours later Miggy was sitting in a train, staring at the brick wall of the tunnel just outside New Street Station, where the train had stopped almost immediately after leaving the platform. Miggy decided to go and investigate.
He wandered down the train to the guard's van, where he found another penguin. This one was reading a magazine about fish. It had a peaked cap on its head.
'Can I help you?' said the bird.
'How long are we going to have to stay here?' asked Miggy, expecting a time measured in units longer than hours.
'That all depends,' said the penguin, 'on...'
'...on how long my mate gets his marmite sandwiches. He left them in the BR
canteen, and thinks they may have walked off.'
'Oh', said Migggy, and wandered back down the train in the direction of the buffet car.
Half an hour later, he was still battling through the masses of people sitting in the aisles and made it to the buffet car. It was at this point he noticed that it was closed.
'Bugger me', said Miggy, 'I'll just have to opt for...'
'... a biccy.' So he pulled a penguin biscuit out of his satchel and unwrapped it. Then he paused a moment, trying to work out what it reminded him of. Then he ate it.
Suddenly, the train lurched and everyone standing up was thrown to the floor.
'Wahey' thought Miggy as the train grundled* slowly along 'we're moving at last!' Just then, however, the train reached the next signal along the line and lurched to a halt again, and everyone who had just stood up again was thrown to the floor again.
Just then, Miggy spotted a seat, so he hurriedly sat down in it. He was next to a studenty-looking person with a rucksack on his lap (the luggage rack being full), a monkey reading The Guardian, and a woman casually smoking in the non smoking appartment. Naturally this is pretty normal so Miggy happily settled down to sleep for a few hours.
When he woke up...
*Grundled: Descriptive of the way a BritRail train moves. Sort of a combination of 'grumble' and 'trundle'.
...he saw a strange scene. The student was working! Miggy was so shocked he fainted.
Eventually he came round again. The student had got off, so Miggy relaxed.
The monkey turned to him and said,
'Excuse me, I've been stuck with this crossword for hours. It's this clue here causing the trouble. 8 down, four letters, "High-flying fizz". Any ideas?'
'Coke?' offered Miggy. The monkey slapped himself on the forehead.
'Brilliant,' said the monkey. 'I'm called Simon, by the way. Where are you going?'
'I'm off to Amsterdam,' said Miggy.
'I'm going to a rock concert,' said the monkey. He did not realise that the gig was to become one of the major events of the summer. It would not be remembered for the quality of the music, but for something entirely different.
We interrupt the narrative here to explain why the gig should be so important. Somewhere in the Midlands, in the BritRail plc. Operations Room, a top secret meeting was in progress.
'Right, people, things aren't looking good. We're not wasting enough of peoples' time. We must come up with some new delays immediately. I've called you in because you're the best we have. Only true genius could have come up with "the wrong sort of snow", "leaves on the line" and of course the immortal "frozen points" excuse last July. Now, any suggestions?'
There was silence for a few minutes. People hummed, and toyed with paperclips. Then a lone voice spoke up.
'How about holding a rock gig near a busy junction, and causing it to blow all the fuses in the switch boxes at the junction? That should cause total mayhem.'
There was a terrible ghastly silence. Then smiles started to appear on the faces of the persons around the table. The smiles became positively evil grins.
Hours later, bleary-eyed planners staggered out of the room, tired but happy. They'd really done it this time. The gig would not only delay nearly every train in the country, but also cause power cuts, traffic jams and a small crime wave as well. Christmas bonuses and promotions all round were inevitable. Britain (and Broom in particular) wouldn't know what had hit them.
'Who's playing?' said Miggy.
'Loads of bands,' said the monkey, and handed Miggy a flyer for the show. 'What's even better is I can get in for free - I know a way through the fence. Want to come along?'
'Oh, go on then,' said Miggy. The prospect of a free gig was too good to miss. Little did he know what would happen....
...the first thing being that the story line was held up at the next junction by 2 months. The traion* then proceeded down the line to where the gig was to be held, in the vicinity of Milton Keynes.
Simon the monkey got off the train at the back and proceeded to get out of the station by jumping over a fence (so as not to hand in his ticket, so he could use it again). Miggy followed, as his was a ticket to Amsterdam.
They started to wander around.
'Where's the gig?' Miggy asked Simon.
'Um, hang on, I think it's in London, not here!'
Miggy then started to get angry with Simon. He could have stayed on the train for another two months before someone remembered him and gave him something to do. Miggy then decided to let Simon go to the gig. He needed a fix, and Amsterdam was going to provide it.
*traion: This is a relative of the tachyon (as used by time travellers everywhere). This particle travels along metal rails, and is used by BritRail PLC to ensure that your connecting train leaves the station two minutes before you get there.
So Miggy climbed back over the fence onto Milton Keynes station. To his surprise, a train came almost immediately so he got on it. Then he went to sleep again.
Luckily, it happened to be a through train to the continent (through the channel tunnel). Through day and night the train sped on. The customs ossifers didn't even wake Miggy up to look at his passport, because they assumed he was someone's cute'n'cuddly furry soft toy. This was not surprising because someone else on the train actually did have a cuddly stuffed wombat, but that's another story. And so the train emerged from the channel tunnel and zoomed on across northern France, and Miggy had already travelled further in one paragraph than he had in the previous 11 chapters put together.
Finally he woke up when the train came to a stop once more. Rubbing his eyes, he saw that it was in a station... PARIS GARE DU NORD. It was very noisy and hot.
'Gosh' thought Miggy and stood up.
'Scrrrrawk' went Miggy's fur which had been stuck to the seat leather by sweat and was now pulled free.
'Ouch' said Miggy.
Picking up his satchel, Miggy put on his mirror shades and went out through
the door of the train.
'Where's the platform' thought Miggy as he hovered in mid air for a moment, having discovered that continental platforms are not where you expect. [f/x splat] 'Oh... (ouch) here it is. They must be tall, these continentals.'
However, wandering through the station people did not seem to be much taller
than usual. Gradually...
[makes a change from suddenly!]
...his spine returned to the length it had been before he fell onto the platform. He made his way out onto the street, where there were lots of people all milling around, looking up at the sky. Miggy looked up. He saw a pair of orange-coloured elephants flying down the street. This was nothing unusual as far as he was concerned, so he shrugged and walked on, thereby missing something extremely important concerning the aforementioned tangerine airborne pachyderms (TAPs for short) which will no doubt end up as a loose end later on in the saga...
What the TAPs did was this. They landed, and wandered into a bar, came out with a large amount of alcohol, and took off again. No-one argued with them, mainly because those who argue with elephants are soon incapable of arguing with anyone except Certain Death.
Further down the street Miggy was encountering yet another strange happening...
Miggy had that awful feeling that one gets in foreign parts when the shadow of TAPs pass over you and in front of you: ie, said foreign parts get wet. Miggy stopped still, wondering if anyone had noticed his reaction. A pause, then Miggy felt his mishap had gone unspotted, so instead he got angry.
'What the hell do yoi think yoi are doiing, yoi big fattois?' he
shouted into the sky in a rage. But the TAPs were not in
sight. All the people looked at Miggy with fear in their eyes,
as if Miggy had spoken of the unspeakable. Miggy decided to
quicken his pace and walked on, deeper and deeper into darker
and smaller streets, the hours passing by and our hero getting
more and more worried and seeing fewer and fewer friendly
'Oh dear,' thought Miggy, 'I hope I'm not lost.'
It was at about this time each evening that certain elephants from Holland would recall the events of the day (after several barrels of pastis) in moments when their skin looked more pink than orange -pastis is a fussy colour.
Once the sun had started sinking into the horizon, the TAPs would find secluded bars in the 23rd district and drink them- selves pink. Under a large willow in a small, almost empty square were nothing but a pile of empty bottles and a pair of ex-TAPs lying on their backs either side of the round table.
These particular pink earth-bound pachyderms (PEPs) addressed each other as "High Income" (Huiey) and "Low Income" (Louis) and were getting upset about a little abuse hurled at them as they had been flying around the 3rd district trying to get the humans to recognise their existence - Parisiennes do not generally like to admit that they have seen TAPs, for fear of sounding like that nutter Hubert de Horrible.
Of course, Hubert de Horrible wasn't crazy at all, nor was he horrible. Many, many decades before Miggy's time, Hubert used to grow vines on the Southern coast of France and would welcome many a pachydermic visitor from Holland to sample his produce.
Hubert was called Hubert de Nice at this time, and would fly atop his visitors on trips throughout the region until the rather unfortunate accident when a whole squadron of TAPs exploded over a village just to the north of Avignon causing it to be coloured tangerine for quite some time.
The event had shocked Hubert so much that he was sent to an asylum outside Paris where the remaining TAPs would visit him to try to get an explanation for what had happened to their friends on that fateful day. The alcohol and worry took their toll on both Hubert and the few TAPs - Hubert died soon afterwards, muttering, in his madness, about cuddly animals with familiar accents.
Miggy wandered around yet another corner - this one, however, led into the PEP-occupied square just as Huiey and Louis smashed their glasses down in an attempt to fly off to find the voice that had cursed them that afternoon.
Their eyes locked with Miggy's and the PEPs blurted, in a cross between Dutch and French, 'Could this be the long-lost high-flying fur-featured accent-accredited accident-prone beast of our lore!'
Miggy thought he fitted the description, mostly, and having not seen a friendly face in hours, opted for the nodding approach...
Miggy wandered over to the creatures, and thought he'd introcude*
himself to them.
'I'm a drug crazed wombat' he said to them.
The PEPs looked at each other again.
'Yes,' they said, 'He is the long-lost high-flying fur-feathered accent-accredited accident-prone beast of our lore,' they repeated.
'Can you offer me some accomodation, warm towels, hot water, food, drink, coke (and not the drink), and sex?', asked MIggy in a hopeful manner.
'Sure,' replied the PEPs, 'just step into our parlour'.
Miggy then followed them. As they flew, he had to take a long snort of coke to float with them. They flew for a few miles, towards a mish-mash of iron which is usually called the Eiffel Tower, then the flew eastwards towards a large building entitled, 'Gare de Lyon'.
Miggy had a funny feeling that they were getting him out of town...
*introcude: to initiate inter-species sex with.
Whilst floating high above suburban Paris the airborne pachyderms began to relate to our pharmacalogically assisted aerial wombat the strange tale of their lost central African civilisation, the once majestic towers rising above the forests, the slender pinnacles of breathtaking architectural daring, the debates that would flow for hours like the ebb and flow a great sea across the floor of the oldest paliamentary institution in the world, the tecnological, artistic...
Miggy watched the ground sail by, oh, a good, well, quite a long way down
anyway, and thought hard about not letting it get any closer.
'Coke,' mused he, 'certainly is the Real Thing'.
After a while the PEP's conversation grew more animated, and Miggy heard a few familiar words mentioned, most of them adjectives, and most of them referring to him. He decided that now was probably a good time to pay attention, for the semi-ballistic psychedelic herbivores were speaking of The Legend....
As far as Miggy could make out, The Legend was the name of a small cafe in a
village just to the north of Avignon.
'There's only one thing for it,' said Louis (or Huiey, it was difficult to tell them apart), 'We'll have to take him there'.
'Hey, you guys,' Miggy called to the Pink Airborne Pachyderms (PAPs), 'I
hope we're not going far, because I've nearly run out of substances that
would keep me airborne.'
'Well, it's a long way to Avignon, but you could always follow us by train,' replied Huiey (or Louis).
'OK,' said Miggy, and gently floated down to the Gare de Lyon.
'See you at Avignon station,' called the Pink Airborne Pachyderms, and flew off to the south, completely ignored by all passers-by.
'Wibble' thought Miggy, and jumped onto an orange TGV train which was going to Marseilles, which seemed to be more or less the right direction.
Some time into the journey, the bloke next to Miggy turned to him and said:
'Hello. My name's Alfred Fring. Would you like a Bovril sandwich?'
When he came round, he found himself surrounded by similar blokes (Bovril Liking Oddball Krazies Eating Sandwiches) and being menaced by a nasty looking lump of what was once bread and beefy yeast product.
'Now, tell us all you know about the Finger of Suspicion,' said
the menacer, in a voice which suggested that the menacee could
be in for a good Bovrilling if he didn't comply.
'I don't know what you're talking about,' said Miggy confidently. He was confident because he did indeed know nothing of the Finger of Suspicion.
'It is said that the Finger of Suspicion often points at you,' said a second bloke, 'and we want it.'
Miggy thought for a few minutes. Then he said, 'You're all nuts'. The blokes looked at each other, then back to Miggy, then went into a huddle. Muttering could be heard, and the overpowering smell of Jerry Hall's favourite drink filled the air.
The blokes turned towards Miggy, and as one, leapt for him, intent on filling his fur with Bovril. Miggy had prepared for this. He had had in his pouch an Oxo cube, which he could sell to students who didn't know better for cash if he was a bit short of cash. He brandished the foil-wrapped cube at them, and they shrank away in horror. Miggy backed out of the compartment, closed the door and ran. He leapt into another compartment to discover...
...he discovered that the train was already in Marseilles station.
'Coo, that was quick', Miggy thought to himself. But then, the TGV is not like BR anyway.
Miggy wandered out of the station, looking for somewhere to eat. A posh restaurant was nearby, so Miggy thought he'd go in and have some frog legs. He'd always wanted to try them, but never picked up enough courage to order any, opting for pizza or omlette at the last minute.
Miggy went into the restaurant and wited* to be seated (it was really
posh). The waiter (garcon) came up to him and said,
'I'm sorry, but we cannot serve you without a tie. However, we do have a few available for use for guests who forget to wear one'. [This was all in French, but as my french is appaulling*, its not going to be!]
Miggy was given a tie and seated. He then was given a menu and wine list to peruse at his leisure. Miggy spotted the frog legs on the menu, and was convinced, this was notthe time to buy them. He then looked through the rest of the menu, and thought about what he was going to eat.
*wited: Pretended to be white (this is Le Pen country after all)
*appaulling: Paul Ling was infamous (and excommunicated) for the gaffe he made in front of the Queen of West Germany in which his linguistic skills failed him when he called her a "dialectically-materialistic doughnut" by accident.
As he riffled through the menu, he also surreptitiously looked over the
top of it as he planned which of the waitresses he would most like to
sleep with. It being a really posh restaurant, all the staff were drop-dead
'I know,' he thought, 'I'll sleep with whichever one serves me.'
Meanwhile, he decided that the next best thing to frogs legs was probably the snails. Apart from that he chose the soupe du jour and the cheapest wine on the wine list; after all, he was a student. He also managed to knock a wine glass gently off the table and into his satchel as a particularly cute blonde waitress brushed past. He began to warm to the impending evening's gastronomic delights and some serious nookie to follow.
The sun was setting over Marseilles, the evening air was warm, and the pink elephants were not due to catch up with Miggy for at least another three or four chapters. Miggy sat back in contentment.
The garcon came up to Miggy.
'Would you like to order now m'sieur le wombat?' said the garcon.
'Fuck me!' thought Miggy and...
...gulped as he spotted the outline in the garcon's lower clothing,
'I'll have that!.' Miggy was pointing at the trouser bulge and drooling.
The garcon blushed.
'Zat eez nert ern zee menu, m'sieur,' he smirked, but it was too late, Miggy had decided that if he didn't have it he would have to go elsewhere to get one as satisfying-looking as that.
'What time do you knock off then?' prompted Miggy.
'Een uh 'aff un 'our, werd m'sieur care for sermting a little stronger to dreenk while 'e eez wetting?' At this point the garcon winked and gave Miggy a glass of wine from the next table, which Miggy accepted with a shrug and he also accepted the garcon's recommendations from the menu.
'Cor...' thought Miggy, 'copped on in Marseille, of all places, with a French waiter.' He was going to have to be patient through the meal.
It was unfortunate that the woman on the next table had also been eyeing up the garcon, whose name was Jean-Jacques, and had noticed not only the certain way that he and the pair of ears that stuck up above the next table had connected, but also that she was losing wine to the fur ball behind the table. It was a special wine full of aphrodisiac-herbs and normally banned in such hot climates.
The woman, who will remain nameless for a moment ... Helen ... clicked her fingers and Jean-Jacques responded immediately. They whispered together for a moment and then Jean-Jacques approached Miggy.
'M'sieur, zee leddy wiz ze wine 'as ask'ed you to join 'er. She werz saying zat she 'eard your lervly aksont and wishes to share 'er wine.'
Miggy looked Jean-Jacques up and down, looking rather like a baby who has had Father Christmas tell him that the cuddly teddy he wanted will only be a Matchbox car - a Lada.
Jean-Jacques quickly added with a glint in his eye, 'Ees okay m'sieur, ah weel see you again, you can be sure erve zat. For I also werk in La Legend and 'ave 'eard of your arraval wiz ze creatures from Paris. You may call me JJ, as only close friends may. Zees eez ze tam we 'ave been wetting for, for search a learng tam...'
'Cor,' thought Miggy, I'd better try and speak the lingo a bit better or they won't understand me around here. After all, I don't understand them.' He followed JJ over to Helen's table.
'Good moaning,' he attempted bravely.
'It's all right,' said Helen, 'I find all those thick accents very hard to read, don't you? My name is Helen, by the way.'
'Migglezimblatt the Wombat'
'Do you like my wine?' Miggy blushed under his fur.
'Err, yes, it's very... err...' Not being used to wine, as he normally stuck to vodka or Diamond Green, Miggy was at a bit of a loss what to say. 'It's a lot nicer than Guild wine anyway...'
'It's a special wine full of aphrodisiac-herbs and normally banned in such hot climates.'
'Ah, I see.' Miggy sipped it thoughtfully. 'I knew there was something I liked about it.'
Miggy ate a pleasant gourmet meal with Helen, who (due to the effects of
the wine and his own hormones) became gradually sexier and sexier in his
greedy little eyes, until he had no more thoughts left of moving on to
Avignon that night. By the end of the evening, he was virtually drooling.
Helen casually paid the bill with her AmexTM
card and stood up.
'Now, come with me,' she said.
'Oh, I do hope so!' slobbered Miggy. Pausing only to pick up his precious satchel, he followed at Helen's heels as she strolled out into the cobbled square.
'Now, I'm a space alien and I want to kidnap you.'
'Sure,' quivered Miggy, 'whatever turns you on!'
Helen opened her powder compact and spoke into it briefly. Suddenly a shimmering yellowy sort of wibble descended from the sky where a flying saucer had been hovering discreetly. Miggy felt himself being sucked up into a dark orifice on the underside of the crockery-shaped spaceship, which served only to heighten his excitement.
Several green aliens with three of everything grabbed Miggy as he entered
the depths of the ship, bound him with tight leather straps and bundled him
down a tube-shaped corridor.
'Coo,' thought Miggy, 'steady on, this is getting seriously kinky!'
Miggy was pushed into a room, and the door closed behind him. It seemed to be a small galley cabin. He hopped through an open doorway and found an even smaller kitchen.
Through a porthole, Miggy looked down into the square, only to see Helen talking with Jean-Jacques who seemed to be using his whole repertoire of gallic shrugs, arm-waving and pouting.
Suddenly, the unmistakable shadow of an elephant flitted across the square. Within instants, the yellow beam was sucking up Helen and JJ into the disc.
'Bastards,' thought Miggy. But within moments, JJ appeared at the doorway, with torn clothes and bound in leather like himself. The aliens thrust him through the door, and closed it firmy*.
'Oh merde!' exclaimed Jean-Jacques in dismay 'zey 'ave captured ze cute
wombat as well? Zen zere ees no 'ope.' But Miggy's face had lit up like a
pinball machine when you get Special in a multi-ball.
'There is ope,' he said, 'quick...'
*To close firmy: As in the manner of the Official Receivers, shut something with the promise of further nasty things (usually financial) happening later.
'... wave at the elephants! Maybe they'll help!' said Miggy. So they waved
out of the porthole, and sure enough, an elephant flew over.
''elp! We are trapped in zees flyeeng saucerre!' shouted JJ, his accent even more badly spelt than usual. The elephant nodded, and disappeared upwards. Shortly thereafter there were funny spluttering noises, and then the flyeeng saucerre declined to remain airborne.
'Aiiieeeee!' screamed Miggy and JJ in unison.
There was a horrible ghastly crunching noise, followed by the sound
of hundreds of bicycle wheels spinning gently. Miggy and JJ struggled
from the wreckage.
'Fuck me,' said Miggy, 'we landed on the Tour de France!'
'Oh buggerre,' said JJ, 'I don't zink ze crowd is verrai 'appy...'
The assembled and annoyed hordes of French cycling fans closed in...
The crowd closed in on Miggy and JJ, only because the french 'ero was
underneath the wreckage.
'Where eeis Jean Jacques Claude Montpelliere,' they separately shouted in unison. 'Zee 'ero is squeeshed'.
Miggy and JJ saw this as a chance to escape. They pretended they were dead (Miggy had a premonition that he'd get used to being dead), and waited till the crowd were seaching for JJCM. Then they scarpered quickly over a bush.
All of a sudden they heard: 'Zees wombat 'as keeled zee 'ero with zee spacesheep. Lets geet the sun of a beech.'
Miggy and JJ were a little pacnicked. They then decided to run over the field they were in. They they had a stroke of good luck. The Italian border came into site. They ran down to the border, and reached the border post. Zee frenchies were steel following 'im.
The border guard looked at the two travellers and said:
'Canna I seea your passaportes ?'
Miggy and JJ looked in their pockets, and Miggy then in his pouch. He couldnt remember where he had put it, or if he had brought it in the first place.
With zee frenchies coming towards them, and the border guard waiting, they were in a little bit of a pickle. Brown Sauce comes to mind.
Then Miggy had an idea.
'Would you like a cigarette while I look for my passaporte?' he asked the boreder guard.
'All righta, whya not,' he agreed. Quickly Miggy made a roll-up from various substances he found in his satchel, including some very dodgy fluff from the bottom. He lit it, had a puff, and gave it to the guard with a sigh.
The guard gave Miggy the sigh back, but took several long drags at the ciggie,
and his eyes began to go all distant.
'Now, canna I seea your passaporte please?' asked Jean-Jacques.
'Sure, isa right here,' said the bored guard and pulled his passport and identity papers out of his top pocket, and gave them to JJ.
'Those are quite in orderre, merci,' said JJ after glancing at them. 'You can go now.' And they watched as the guard strolled happily down the road into France, where he would soon be met by the crowd of cycling spectators.
'Quick!' said Miggy, 'this way!' He and JJ ran down a hill and into an
orchard, where they found the spagetti harvest in full swing.
'Let us 'ide under 'ere until it ees darkerre,' suggested JJ, and they both crawled under a large bush of unripe tortellini.
Underneath, it was so dark you could hardly see.
'I am so ot,' said JJ, 'I theenk I must tek off my shirt...'
'About time,' thought Miggy.
'All righta, hanga it ona da brancha,' said a quiet, earthy sounding voice.
'F**k me!' thought Miggy and fainted.
The little white stars swam prettily around Miggy's head as he blurrily regained conciousness. His eyes opened slowly, saw something totally improbable and closed again in surprise.
'Gosh, what a totally improbable thing,' thought Miggy.
He opened his eyes again, and saw a large blue whale sitting next to him underneath the bush.
'Gosh, you're a blue whale aren't you' asked Miggy, who was obviously an expert
in subaquatic mammaleology (or something).
'Yes' replied the blue whale.
This was obviously going to be a rather dull conversation.
'Ummm...' btwed Miggy 'my name's Miggy btw'
'Mya namesa Way and I'm not really Italian, but I only speak this way because I can't pwonounce my awws pwopewly' wepwied Way.
'Umm so your err... Whale Way then are you?' intoned Miggy, who had finally managed to drag the not-very-good punchline out of the plot.
Way the Whale gwimaced slightly.
'Umm so what are you doing under this bush' queried Miggy trying to think of something to say (after all, what would you say to a whale under a bush?)
After this bodyblow, the plot decided to wander off somewhere else for a moment.
Meanwhile, in a large gothic-looking building sitting high up on top of a dyke, somewhere near Amsterdam, a large group of Indigo Masonic Pachyderms (IMPs) were sitting around a large black-and-white checked table wearing aprons and traingular* pointy hats on their heads.
'By the the seventh ringpull of the sacred coke can, we meet here in a time of great crisis. Grand Inquisitor, how will you guide us in this our hour of need?'
The Grand Inquisitor looked grave for a moment, removed a king-size silver trowel, and said, slowly and solemly...
*trainguilar: descriptive of the shape of the front of a BritRail PLC 125 Intercity locomotive
'Remind me not to sit on that again. Now, you must seek out -' and here the Grand Inquisitor paused for effect, '- the Stoned Wombat of Broom, and bring him and his companions here, where they will reveal to us the secrets of the Stoned Ones!'
Having digressed and set up a nice little subplot, the plot returned to the whale and Miggy.
'What are you hiding from?' asked Miggy, pulling out a spliff and
lighting up (he needed to recover from the unfortunate pun in the
'Them,' intoned the whale, gesturing with a flipper towards a Very Peculiar Sight IndeedTM. Over a hill came a large lorry, loaded with a group of crazed Japanese fishermen, waving a large pointy harpoon.
'I'll fix them,' said Miggy helpfully. He stepped out from the bush as the lorry pulled up. It should be noted at this point that, for plot reasons, all the Japanese are very shortsighted.
'Prease, have you seen a brue whale?' asked one of the Japanese, squinting homicidally and waving his harpoon suggestively.
Miggy looked round and saw a mob of angry French charging towards them.
He pointed at the mob. The Japanese all saw a large moving object,
and charged in. There was a Horrible Nasty Occurrence (also TM
after which both problems had solved each other.
'That was easy,' said Miggy.
Then a second Horrible Nasty OccurrenceTM occurred...
...Way began to drown.
'Oh f**k,' said Miggy, 'let's get Way into water.'
Miggy began gesturing frantically to JJ in an effort to attract his attention, for JJ was still puzzled at the effectiveness of and ease with which Miggy had sorted out the previous trademarked incidents.
'JJ!' exclaimed Miggy as he spotted a lake lower in the valley,
'Whale, water... Water, whale!'
'Ah, oui, M'sieur,' said JJ in a somewhat distracted manner. 'Ah shall get zee Yapaneez lorry as tranzpert, if eet eez steel werking.'
'Good idea, JJ, make it snappy,' said Miggy, as Way began to splutter over the two nearest villages.
Little known to our hero, the border guard had actually stopped one of the cycling crowd, prior to the crowd 'meeting' the lorry. The Italian had engaged a certain rider called Dostoyevsky. This had certainly saved the Russian's soul, if not his life. The topic was visa requirements.
Dostoyevsky was trying to explain that the insistent guard did not require such documentation to journey any further along the road. Further, he was afraid the situation may degenerate if he then went on to explain that even if the bye-laws were so strict, that a cycle-less Tour de France rider was probably not the person to show such a Visa to.
Before long, fortunately, they had begun to share the fumes of satchel fluff (etc) and were sitting on the alpine slopes, back-to- back, sharing intimate details of encounters with cavity searches.
When they saw a whale of approximately ninety tonnes appear to float out from behind a small bush, and onto the back of a lorry, which then rolled down the valley in a seemingly less than entirely controlled manner, they smiled.
However, when two figures were left silhouetted against the late morning sun - two figures whose karma appeared initially to be somewhat less than entirely mellow, figures who were strikingly physically different, yet figures that were soon in unison with big sighs of relief when a loud, long splash echoed around the valleys - our orifice experts smiled even wider.
'Did you notice how that lorry acted briefly like a surfboard, Jean-Jacques?' enquired Miggy, hypothetically. Miggy passed the spliff over.
JJ took a drag, thinking how amazing and happy whales can look when they feel their enemies have been vanquished and they have finally acheived nirvana (by surfing on the spoils of the conquered).
JJ merely nodded. Miggy had agreed with every word. The border guard was wandering towards them. Dostoyevsky was wondering where his next spliff was coming from...
Dovtoyesky and Miggy saw the border guard approaching, and decided that he would provide their next spliff.
JJ wondered around, and decided he better get back in the Tour de France before anyone noticed he was missing. As the border guard was approaching them, JJ realised he wouldnt need a visa to get back. So he quickly ran off, getting through the border whichout* any problems.
Miggy started smiling - he was ready for a fix.
'Hey Mr. Border Guard,' he said, 'Canna i havea a spliff si?'
'Beea quieta youa stupeed monkey', he said. He knew it was coke, but only wanted hashish. 'I am tha borda guarda, I makea the rules.'
Miggy and Dovtoyesky were a little disappointed to say the least, and decided not to follow up this proposition. They decided they wanted to see more of the country, after all, they were interrailing, and quickly made a consensus to go to Napoli, to get beaten up by Maradona fans.
Down in the valley below, they saw a Whale Way, but they wanted a Rail Way, so they had to look elsewhere. Over the horizon, they could see some smoke from a choo choo, so they started running.
Miggy lost his footing and fell down a slope on the way, but due to the effects
of the spliff he had had earlier, he forgot to hit the ground and started
flying, like a hangglider. He beckoned Dovtoyesky to follow suit, and he
duly did. They reached the chuff chuff in no time, and landed on the coal
wagon. Then they discovered that it was the Orient Express, bound for Istanbul
'Ooooh goody', thought Miggy, 'expensive spliffs on their way'.
*whichout: describes method by which somebody can achive something with the lack of an object which would normally be essential to achieve such an thing eg. the burgaler stole computers for the lab whichout any regdard to the expensive security system installed.
Miggy and Dovtoyesky arrived in Venice, having got stuck with the plot, on the Orient Express [OETM] for well over a month. During the journey they had managed to con their way into a 1st Class compatment of the OE. [How they did it is another story - perhaps someone else could exlain?]. This was slightly more comfortable than the coal wagon where they had boarded (or more correctly landed on) the train. As the OE pulled into Venice station the Guard entered the compatment*. Unknown to Miggy and Dovtoyesky the Guard was an IMP, which was plain to see for anyone who knew what one of these was as he had one trouser leg rolled up. Unfortunately for the Miggy and Dovtoyesky were unaware of this fact. To their supprise** the Guard did not ask for their tickets, but told them that due to an Unexplainable Occurence (NOT TM ), but related to several Nasty Occurences (which are TM), the OE would be stopping in Venice for a few days. Miggy thought 'Great we'll get a chance to...'
*,**: See Chapter 31
Miggy stopped in mid sentence. What would he have a chance to do? All he could remember was that Venice had lots of water. He got out of the compatment* in the train and unfortunately for him, didn't look where he was stepping.
There was a loud 'SPLISH' as Miggy fell head first into the canal. Miggy wasn't quite big enough to make a 'SPLASH!' (Quite what he was doing getting out of the train head first I don't know but these wombats have strange habits!)
The IMP hadn't told them that the main reason that the train would be stopping in Venice was cos the Nasty OccurenceTM had been that the train had forgotten which way the track went and headed off towards the nearest canal cos it was hot and needed a drink of water.
Dovtoyesky, fortunately, did look where he was stepping and still managed to land in the canal with the only difference being that he went in feet first, which is of course the more normal way if you are stepping off of something.
In the meantime...
Miggy slowly sank down and down in the water. He looked up (or what he thought was up) and saw only this mucky stuff that he assumed had been nicked from the River Thames.
Miggy tried to shout for help but all that came out was 'glub glub glug'
After what seemed like a week but was indeed only 30 seconds Miggy reached the bottom of the canal. Standing on your head on the bottom of a canal isn't easy, especially when your head lodges itself in the old tyre that is always in a canal.
Miggy managed to propel himself until he was standing on his feet. What he hadn't done was got rid of the tyre from round the top of his head.
He looked around and to his suprise** saw...
*compatment: animated discussion between friends.
**supprise: astonishment to the level where you nearly bring up your supper. [alternative spelling: suprise]
He saw a shopping trolley. 'Well, what a suprise', Miggy said to himself, 'These trolleys have multiplied very well.'
Miggy started wresting with the tyre from around his neck. It didnt suit him, he wasn't one for necklaces. Eventually, he enlisted the help of the shopping trolley who was pleased to be of service.
Miggy thanked the trolley, and said he'd have to get back. Back where, he didn't know, but it was a good excuse anyway.
During the while that the tyre had been on, Miggy and floated downstream through the canals of Venice. When he finally pulled himself out, he came out at St. Marks square. As he pulled himslef out of the water (sludge) people saw him covered in Green stuff and Black stuff from the Canal. Thinking it was a monster from the Blue (ok, Green and Black) lagoon, they immediately called the cops.
Miggy had quite a reception on arrival...
Yes, it was quite a reception, with champange, sausages on sticks, and those little pastry things. The reception had been laid on for the Pope, who had been due to open the new branch of Sainsway's in San Marcos square, but he hadn't shown up, and the venetians thought the Thing From The Lagoon was the next best thing to a real celebrity they were going to get. So they helped Miggy out of the water, and led him to the booze, which he happily poured down himself while some beautiful italian girls towelled him off and manicured his claws.
The only bad point of the function was that the band had not turned up, so the organisers pulled some busker off the streets - the busker turned out to be Pual Wbee who stood on a desk and sang a song about disembowelling himself with a spoon, while pretending he could play the electric guitar.
Actually Migglezimblatt quite liked the sound, but everyone else hated it so he pretended not to.
It was not until that night, when he was tucked up in a VIP hotel room overlooking the Grand Canal, that Miggy began to take stock and feel sober and lonely. He started to wonder where the italian girls had gone, then began to think back to Dostoyevsky's tight black lycra cycling shorts with increasing nostalgia...
...so he was quite pleased when said shorts, containing (oddly enough) Dostoyevsky, hauled themselves out of the canal. Miggy opened the window, and called to him.
A few minutes later, Miggy and Dosty were in the bathroom. They
[Owing to the extreme tastelessness of this scene, it has been removed and replaced by soothing music and a picture of a fluffy bunny. Thank you for your cooperation. We now return you to your chapter. The Management.]
'I feel better for that,' said Dosty. Miggy didn't reply; he'd fainted.
The next morning, Miggy and Dosty set off to explore Venice. They were walking down the street, when a large fish climbed out of the canal, and said...
'Thanks for doing that opening for me last night.'
Miggy smiled, rarely receiving thanks about his sexual exploits from aquatic life forms. Dosty both blushed and smiled as only Russians know how.
'No, no,' continued the fish, 'not your Russian friend here, but that branch of Sainsways last night.'
Miggy's face dropped. Dosty thanked Miggy anyway, in a reassuring
way. The fish carried on regardless and introduced herself:
'I am Silly the Fish. cough! Future generations of fish have a better life to live thanks to the interest in the oceans that you have generated by standing in for the Pope last night. It is too late for a poisoned mother such as I, cough but the plight of those of us who suffer in the polluted waters of this planet are now known to the entire Catholic world...'
Miggy looked disparagingly at Silly, causing the fish to pause and cough a few more times for effect.
'...and beyond!' continued Silly, 'It's true! The Papal Office has gone on record to ask people to stop using condoms, because they are environmentally unsound and cause much of the precious life on this beautiful planet to die from asphyxiation.'
Silly fell over, her gills flapping about. Dosty looked on
sympathetically. Miggy was about to say something when the
fish continued imploringly, in a weaker and sadder voice:
'I have been ordered by the Vatican to present myself as papal image consultant, but I am poor and my legs are weak, my neck is stiff, cough cough...'
'How much?' interrupted Miggy in a knowingly cynical manner.
'2000 lire?' ventured the fish.
Dosty found some Italian currency in his pockets and threw it at the fish, who could, by this point, be heard muttering about the lack of decent punters on the streets these days; how difficult it was for a poor little fish with a husband and two hundred little mouths to feed and, worse, that mammals dressed up as submarine monsters were now taking the only decent job that fish had ever had besides being food, which, by the way, never really had many perks.
The wombat wasn't listening to Silly's mumblings, but was preoccupied with trying to figure out how come he hadn't noticed the pocket in Dostoyevsky's tight shorts. Silly found another tourist and started another tale of misery.
Unfortunately for Miggy, Dosty had asked him to try and find the other three pockets within the shorts, and he had not noticed the square shadow that now fell ominously upon them...
The shape loomed omniously above Miggy and Dosty. It was actually a shadow that covered them. Miggy looked around from searching the rather tight shorts of Dosty and fainted. Was it because of what he found in those rather alluring pair of shorts?
Dosty just had to look around to check to see if it was him or whether it was the shadow that made Miggy faint. He looked and could see nothing.
Miggy came round and rolled over just as the Ptardis* landed on Dosty. He fainted again.
By the time he came round again he found himself inside what he thought was a flying telephone box. Someone was peering at him through little green coloured goggles. He thought about fainting again but realised that twice in one chapter was quite enough.
He sat up and the little man with green goggles spoke.
'Hello strange creature, I'm Dr. What.'
'Dr. who?' Miggy replied.
'No not Dr Who, he's my cousin and people are always confusing us. It's Dr. What'
'Oh' said Miggy.
Miggy looked around in the Ptardis and saw lots of bottles of white powder. His brain went into overtime thinking of what this white powder could be. Could it be what he was searching for?
He stood up and sauntered in the direction of one particular jar. He looked at the label and because Miggy is dyslexic he thought it said 'Cocaine'. He took the top off and took a large sniff.
Of course the label had actually said 'Ocacine' which as you all know is a hair restoration chemical.
Miggy stood there as his fur started to grow. It grew and grew and grew until Miggy looked as though he had been thrown into a pile of hair fresh from the hair dressers floor.
Dr What laughed an evil cackly type laugh and turned into...
*Ptardis: This is exactly the same as the Tardis as used by Dr. Who. It isn't called the Tardis as Dr. Who has the copyright on the name and Dr. What didn't want to pay his cousin the loads of money he wanted for use of the name.
...one of those taxidermists we had earlier in the saga. A TAP.
'Ho Ho,' it said, 'Now we have you in our power.'
Miggy was imobile. He was weighed down by the masses of hair he had acquired. The TAP pressed a button and sent the ptardis into the air, looking for a decent place to land. They chose the beautiful little town of Rostock in Germany, just as a bit of racist violence was starting...
A family of immigrant opossums was fleeing from their house which had just been set on fire by a bunch of native german foxes. Miggy could only watch from under his hair as the foxes closed in on a small band of opossums and aardvarks who were wondering why they had come to the country most famous for the Third Reich in the first place...
Meanwhile, back in Venice, a wombat stepped out of the railway station - his train, unlike Miggy's, had decided to stop in the conventional place. This wombat was called Jimblewix, and he looked a lot like Miggy, since he was in fact Miggy's brother, on holiday from Australia.
He had only got as far as buying a postcard, when a hunky young man in lycra
shorts leapt on him and hugged him.
'At lyast, you are back comrad wombyat!' said the cyclist in a russian sort of accent, and gave Jimblewix a big kiss [f/x smooch]
Jimblewix was beginning to think this was slightly odd, but changed his mind when two purple elephants (also known as IMPs) stampeded towards him shouting 'There he is!'
Jimble decided that this was odd, not to mention dangerous-looking, so
he jumped into the nearest gondola.
'Greasy-hippyville, please gondolier... err... what am I saying?' But the gondolier had got the idea, and started paddling away from the canal-bank.
The IMPs jumped into the gondola behind, shouting 'Follow that gondola!'
but only got as far as 'Follow -' before, predictably, sinking beneath
the surface along with the wreckage of the gondola.
'Phew!' thought Jimblewix. But just as he thought this, the gondolier threw off his cape to reveal the uniform of an italian border guard/customs ossifer.
'Nowa, I want to aska you a few questionez...' in that way which, in combination with subtle stroking of one's uzi, really means 'I want to have fun brutally interrogating you.'
'Eek!' thought Jimbles, when suddenly a harpoon whizzed between himself and the border guard, making them both stumble backwards and fall into the Grand Canal. As he fell, Jimble saw a motor-boat zooming towards him full of crazed short-sighted Japanse fishermen.
'Ohmigodohmigodohmigodohmigodohmigod!!' thought Jimblewix, and swam underwater as fast as he could for the shore, then ran at full tilt for the airport - Europe was not as relaxing as the bastard in the travel agents had promised him, he thought.
Meanwhile, back in Rostock...
...the gang of German brownshirt foxes had been joined by a group of Nasty Sadistic Dayglo Airborne Pachyderms (NSDAPs) [f/x pun] who had a deep and profound hatred for all things foreign, especially anything vaguely antipodean. One particulary brutal skinhead elephant landed in the midst of the group of fleeing oppossums, squidging them horribly.
Seeing this horrendous carnage, Miggy dived into the cuddly toy shop of one Mai Croavit Go-Ping, a Chinese-Albanian-Bosnian refugee who had fled his newly independent country of the kitchen of flat 8/58 Acacia Avenue, Sarajevo when his flatmate from the republic of the living room of flat 8/58 etc etc had decided to illegally annexe the kitchen etc etc.
Miggy found himself hiding in a pile of cuddly dragons, and wondering why the shop owner was named after the activitities of a domestic appliance, when suddenly...
...Miggy had had an idea. He started to roll towards the foxes, building up speed as he went. He crashed into them, and they got all tangled up in his hair. Owing to a little-known side-effect of Ocacine, his hair had become very weak at the roots, and so it all fell out. This left the foxes immobilised, and Miggy free but nude. Then the TAPs started chasing Miggy again, and so...
So miggy truned* around and said to the TAPs approaching, 'Take me here!'
The TAPs were quite astonished. They had never done it with a wombat before.
Meanwhile, back in Venice, Jimblewix was heading towards the airport.
Unfortunately he couldn't remeber where it was, and so had to ask someone
'Excuse me sport,' he said to the nearest female he could find, 'could you tell me the way to the airport and nearest bar that sells fosters?'
'Si, senor, c'est over ici, si,' said the rather confused person whom Jimblewix had grabbed. They couldnt work out which language he was talking in, so gave a mixed response to his question.
Jimblewix decided to go in the opposite direction, but immediately fell over
a loose stone. He ripped his airline ticket which he was going to use to get
'Damn', he thought, 'I'll have to get it mended.'
He went up to the next lady, and asked, 'Excuse me, do you have a roll of durex, I seem to have ripped it'.
The lady raised her hand to hit Jimblewix, when suddenly...
*truned: See footnote to Chapter 2
...it got caught in the mouth of a passing albatross, which bit it off and flew on almost without noticing it. The woman chased off after it, on foot. Jimblewix shrugged, and assumed that the hand would turn up sooner or later, and anyway there was nothing he could do about it. So he got on with finding the airport.
Meanwhile, one of the TAPs had decided to take Miggy up on his offer, and
threw off it's masonic apron.
'Ulp' ulped Miggy, as he discovered just how big an elephant erection is... 'Sorry guys, I don't think I have an orifice that'll stretch that far,' he said, then realised that they could probably see that, now that he didn't have any fur.
Quickly, Miggy made a dash for it back into Mai Croavit Go-Ping's cuddly toy shop. He ran straight past the pile of cuddly dragons, and into the backroom. Fortunately Mr. Go-Ping was out, so Miggy was able to rummage around until he found an unfinished baby shunicorn*, which hadn't been stuffed yet or had the eyes sewn in. Miggy carefully climbed inside, and scampered back out of the shop past the pile of cuddly dragons.
Just then, Miggy never knew exactly what happened, maybe a shaft of light just happened to glance off a beady eye, but one of the cuddly dragons caught Miggy's eye. It was near the bottom of the heap, looking rather squashed, but seeming to peer out in that helpessly cute way that only soft toys can. Miggy decided to liberate it, and stuffed it inside the shunicorn with him (it was lucky it was already squashed, really).
Miggy sauntered out of the shop past 6 elephants, who were hanging about waiting for a nude wombat to come out, but weren't interested in a shunicorn foal.
Miggy wandered off down the hill to the railway station, and when he got there...
*shunicorn: cross between a shetland pony and a unicorn, now extinct. For the history of the shunicorns, see "The Saga of Tuesday the Shunicorn".
a corner. He came across a bizarre, grotesque and
strangely amusing sight.
'Throw back the herring,' called one of the participants, 'we can't win the game without it. Oh, and pour some more cream over the sofa please.'
Jimblewix did as he was asked, and went on his way, still not entirely sure what they'd been doing with the llama and the ironing board.
Eventually, Jimblewix found the airport. There were some people standing outside it, waving placards. The placards said...
...Miggy realised he couldn't move the zip. It seemed he was stuck. There was only one thing to do - Miggy got stoned.
Some moments later, a small wombat-shaped-shunicorn drifted across the sky. He was blown by the winds for a while, until eventually he landed in a Secret Government Research Station.
He trotted happily into a building, not noticing the sign which said:
Transmogrifier Unit - Keep Out!
There was a blue flash from inside the building. When Miggy reemerged he was no longer a wombat. He was a Shunicorn in a wombat suit.
'Hmm,' thought Miggy, 'this is going to be difficult to explain...'
'Especially as I don't know what has happened myself...' in fact, Miggy started to pour so much brain effort into trying to work out how to explain something he didn't understand, that he fainted.
When Miggy came round he was in such a daze that he wandered back into the building. There was another blue flash. Miggy staggered back out again looking like wombat in a shunicorn suit again.
'Hmmm' Miggy thought. 'Hmmmmm'
Miggy tried to make sense of thoughts but all he managed to work out was that he kept thinking 'Hmmmm' all the time. He would have wondered why he kept thinking 'hmmm' but of course he couldn't cos he could only think 'Hmm'.
Because he couldn't work out the complexities of the matter he took the easy way out and fainted again.
Meanwhile at the airport...
The placards said... 'SAVE THE AUSTRAILIAN WOMBAT'
'My luck seems to be in' thought Jimblewix.
He sauntered up to one of the people holding a placard.
'G'day Sheila' Jimbleiwx said lecherously after sidling up to a female and leering at her. 'Are you going to save me?'
The woman looked at Jimblewix and screamed 'An Australian wombat!'
Everyone turned round and looked at Jimblewix.
'Nah Sheila, thats not an Australian wombat!' said one bloke.
'G'day sport' said Jimblewix anxious to prove that he was indeed an australian wombat.
'Geez Sheila! It is an australian wombat!'
The crowd started to advance on Jimblewix chanting...
...tie the wombat down
chain him in a gown
get him in a cage for London Zoo,
don't let him sit in poo.
Keep him alive,
find him a mate,
get his dinner on a plate.
'Hmm, i think i may like this. I wonder who they'll get as my mate?'
Meanwhile, Miggy was still in a daze. He wandered a bit more, and found a nice place to sit down on some grass. He sat down, and promptly went to sleep.
SUddenly, Miggy was woken by a loud explosion, and the transmorgrifier unit exploded. It transformed the area around it into a large industrial estate. Through the doorway of what was the unit, Miggy could see green grass.
'Coo,' thought Miggy, 'it's turned the whole area inside out.'
Miggy got up and wandered over to the unit again. As he walked, he felt
something moving inside his suit. Seconds later, a large rip appeared, and the
cuddly dragon he'd picked up in Chapter 42
and forgotten about climbed out,
obviously having been animated by the transmogrifier
'Hello,' said the dragon. 'Who are you?'
'Migglezimblatt Wombat, Miggy to my friends,' replied our marsupial hero. 'Who are you?'
'I'm a cuddly dragon. Call me...' - the dragon thought for a moment - 'Mavis.' Mavis batted her eyelids in a very cute fashion at Miggy. Miggy felt vaguely sick.
Just then, six large pink objects appeared overhead. They didn't fly. They plummeted. Miggy and Mavis just managed to get clear, and the TAPs landed. They appeared to be somewhat less animated than they had been.
'Coo,' thought Miggy, 'looks like the transmogrifier got them too. It's
turned them into furry stuffed-toy TAPs. That's lucky...'
'I don't mean to pry,' said Mavis, 'but why are you getting fatter?'
'Damn transmogrifier,' thought Miggy. 'Fuck me,' he said, and inflated.
Tune in next chapter to see what happens next in: "Honey, I inflated the wombat!"
Miggy inflated further and further, and then there was a huge
B A N G ! !
with bits of fur and lumps of cannabis resin flying everywhere. One of the disgusting splodges of sticky fur hit Mavis on the nose.
'Fuck me!' thought Mavis and fainted.
Meanwhile, the people with the placards had fed Jimblewix and were taking him off to his cage. When they got there, he saw that they had already found him a mate. She was an australian singer, and as they approached, she was just tuning up her guitar and singing:
'He used to give me wombats
I wish he'd stuck to flowers
Cause the wombats were all druggies
And used to smoke for hours
In the window, the sun still shines
And the rain makes spots
Watering the marijuana plants
In their window box'
'Hello' said Jimblewix, eyeing her up.
For some reason, she made a little 'eek!' sound and backed away.
Back in Germany, Miggy stood feeling dazed, surrounded by little shreds of
the shunicorn suit, which (having exploded) was lying all over the place
covered in fur and sticky with sweat.
'Hmm' hmmed Miggy, 'I wonder why it did that?'
He glanced over at Mavis. Mavis was standing staring blankly. He picked her up, and discovered that she was all soft and floppy. The shock of thinking that Miggy had exploded, had turned her back into a cuddly toy.
'Oh well,' remarked Miggy, and put Mavis in his satchel before heading off back to the station where he had been before, only stuck in the shunicorn fur.
This time he got there without further misadventure, and got straight onto a shiny electric train to...
...have a pee, a kip and maybe eye up some of the more attractive passengers, and possibly have some coffee, do the Sydney Marsupial Times crossword and munch on some hash flapjack.
Unfortunately, Miggy accidentally did the first two at the same time due to the suprising pressure he'd been under recently.
Jimblewix was having a bad time. He had just discovered that the EC standard size for a Wombat cage was just slightly smaller than he was. Although Jimble didn't mind the odd bit of S&M, this was ridiculous. He particulary didn't like it when the well-meaning Save-the-Wombat activists kept feeding him mashed up worms and slugs. Still, it was all worthwhile, as he glanced longingly at his mate-to-be, the gorgeous, the delectable Tasmin the Tasmanian hairy-nosed wombat (she'd shaved her nose hair off to make herself look more attractive). Tasmin was busy singing a selection of well-known Aussie soap theme tunes (rather badly) but Jimble didn't mind because all this tight restraint was turning him on.
Miggy woke up feeling uncomforably damp and smelling rather funny. He wondered why everybody else in the carriage was sitting right at the far end with their faces screwed up in the way that means that there's a nasty smell that isn't their responsibility and must be something to do with someone else (which it was). Miggy tried eyeing up some of the attractive fraulines, but they seemed strangely unresponsive.
It suddenly struck Miggy that (a) he'd wet himself and (b) the train was pulling up at Berlin Central station when suddenly, a nasty ticket collector appeared and started collecting tickets.
This was a problem as Miggy (a) didn't have a valid ticket and (b) the ticket collector was armed with a verrrrry evil-looking machine-gun.
Miggy reviewed his possible options. There seemed to be two main courses of action that he could take from this point, namely a) go to pieces and panic or b) panic and go to pieces. He was trying to decide between the two when the nasty-evil ticket collector strode up to him, stuck the gun up his left nostril, and asked him very politely for his ticket.
'I don't have a ticket' replied Miggy, smiling pleasantly.
'Zen you are nozsing put a petty criminal' intoned the collector, slowly
caressing his long, black German gun.
'Crook, me?' said Miggy, and fainted.
The German, seeing the hapless marsupial powerless before him decided, quite decently to blow his brains out for the sake of efficiency. He slowly queezed the trigger...
B A N G ! !
...went the machine gun as it miraculously backfired. The force of the explosion blew Miggy straight through the train window, out across the Berlin shunting yards, and straight into a waiting cargo train.
What happened to the ticket collector is undiclosed, but you can bet it was (a) very messy and (b) made him even more unattractive to the fraulines than Miggy was.
What happened to Miggy was that he found himself in a westbound cargo train, in a wagon mysteriously marked 'Oxo' - mysterious because (a) Berlin is not famous for the manufacture of stock cubes and (b) because Miggy is about to have some fun when he tries to make gravy from them...
Miggy found himself in a large railway carriage. There were several crates
lying around, all labelled 'Ostdeutscher Export Operations'. Miggy winced
at the horrible mixing of languages, and opened a crate. Inside it he
found a very strange thing. It appeared to be small, blue and
duck-shaped. It was wearing a pair of shades and a badge with the letter 'T'
on it. Miggy was very confused.
'Duck Vee,' he said, and fainted.
Jimblewix realised that, if the cage was smaller than he was, and Tasmin was already in it, there wouldn't be any room for him at all. Reality realised this a second or two later, and made the cage just big enough for two wombats to perform the activity which wombats like more than any other...
Miggy woke up. He saw before him a large number of small blue ducks. They were all wearing badges, with letters on them. Some of them were standing in a line. The badges spelt out the words:
WE HAVE ELVISES BRAIN STOP SURRENDER NOW STOP
'How odd. Telegraphic azure shade-wearing ducks,' thought Miggy. 'I wonder what they want?'
Jimblewix was enjoying his time in the resized cage. He and Tasmin had a lot
of room for some rumpy-pumpy he thought. Tasmin was a bit unresponsive to him
as he flashed his eyelids and strutted his stuff.
'Tasmin,' he said, (how he should know her name was a mystery), 'are you a virgin?'
Tasmin threw herself at Jimblewix, knocking him to the ground. She was rather put out by the question. Jimblewix, being the strong and masculine wombat that he was managed to overpower her and she just trembled with the thought of such a hunk. She was willing to let herself go - she had found the wombat.
Jimblewix and Tasmin consequently started have a good time on the floor of the cage, much to the amusement of all the save-the-wombat activists outside. Some of them would have even paid to watch.
Meanwhile, Miggy was still in the railway carriage.
'Do you mean ELVIS'S?' asked Miggy, succinctly, after having paused for some considerable thought to wonder if the ducks were using poor syntax, or just improvising in the absense of badges with punctuation.
The badges shuffled about a bit - being rather large relative to the ducks which carried them - rearranging themselves, and Miggy read the response.
'Oh,' said Miggy, 'I'm glad to hear it, I was beginning to wonder.' He shrugged, not sure how he could be involved in this intrigueing incidence, so he picked at his belly button for some fluff and lit up his bong immediately.
Jimblewix and Tasmin were having such a bonking session that the heat generated was causing the bars of the cage to expand. The cage had obviously now got a habit of expanding, and decided to carry on getting larger since no one was paying attention to her anyway - her contents seemed to be the crowd-puller.
Tasmin evetually got squeezed through the bars by Jimbles's impressive hip movements - the entangled couple bouncing along the pathway oblivious to the watching crowd. It was then that Tasmin got a view of Jimbles's left flank and commented, 'impressive hip, lover.'
'Why are you wearing shades?' asked Miggy.
'TO PROTECT US FROM THE BADGES' they replied, in shuffled formation. Miggy looked none the wiser. They shuffled in sympathy: 'THEY DRAG ON THE FLOOR AND HIT US IN THE FACE' Miggy thought about that and took another long drag...
Miggy awoke, and realised that he must have got a bit too mellow and fallen asleep (he couldn't think of any other reason why he would be waking up). Looking around the carriage, he noticed that the crates had gone - presumably with the ducks in them. He searched the carriage, but Elvis's brain was nowhere to be found either. He sat down, and a sullen silence fell.
Miggy noticed the silence. The silence studiously ignored Miggy.
'Silence... that means we must have stopped!' thought Miggy. So he slid back the door of the carriage, and lo an behold, saw a station and beyond it... a canal. 'Oh no, not Venice again...' he thought, and set off to explore.
However, if it was Venice, they seemed to have converted all the glassware
shops into toyshops selling rather odd looking toys. There weren't even as
many canals as before. Finally it dawned on the wombat that this was not
in fact Venice but Amsterdam.
'Woo!' thought Miggy, 'made it at last! Now all I need is somewhere to sell my stuff and make a bit of cash!'
Just then, he noticed a large gothic-looking building sitting high up on top
of a dyke some distance away.
'That looks like a good place to start,' he thought, so he put on his mirror shades and headed towards it.
On his way, five or six young men tried to sell him all kinds of things, so as he didn't have any money he did some trading and ended up with a completely different set of drugs to those he started out with. He also kept getting distracted by a number of young ladies who seemed to have got stuck in shop-windows without their clothes and be signalling at him to help, but he couldn't work out dutch sign language yet so he decided to get on with his mission.
Eventually he reached the gothic-looking building, and climbed up the steps to the front doors. He knocked on the doors. There was a hollow booming sound. For a while he hung around, getting that feeling you get when you stand around and you know people are watching you.
Just then, the door opened with a long, slow creak. To his surprise, Miggy found himself suddenly entangled in a long indigo snakelike tube which wrapped itself round him, lifted him off the ground and whipped him inside. The door slammed ominously shut behind him.
Meanwhile, back in Venice, Jimblewix and Tasmin had bonked each other dry, and thought it would be rather nice and romantic to go on a honeymoon. Jimbles looked through his rucksack, and in a rather blatant plot device found a tourist leaflet extolling the beauties of Amsterdam.
So they got on the train to Holland. When they got to Amsterdam...
...they got off the train and looked around. There were hundreds of English soccer fans(?!) everywhere, on a rampage. The best thing was to get out of the station, and away from the trouble.
The first place they came to, after a greasy chip seller was a museum.
'Hmm, a good hideout,' Jimblewix said to Tasmin, so they popped inside, hoping to get away from the rampage outside.
Then they realised they had gone in the Amsterdam Sex museum.
Meanwhile, Miggy was tangled up in another web of deceit.
Having been whisked inside the gothic building, he was momentarily stunned
by a heavy object, called a 'floor'. This allowed his captures to tie him
up and chain him down.
'ooo err', thought Miggy when he awoke. 'Chains!'
He then bent his head around to see who was there. It was none other than that person who we havent seen in the plot for a long time.
...Simon the Monkey.
'Well, tie me up and hit me with a hessian sack full of whitebait!' exclaimed Miggy (well, it makes a change from 'Fuck me!')
So Simon the Monkey did, causing Miggy to faint again.
By some bizarre chain of events, Jimblewix and Tasmin had found themselves locked in the Amsterdam Sex Museum after closing time. They were locked all alone in a gallery with all sorts of weird and wonderful things in it, most of which require batteries. Jimblewix and Tasmin, being very much in love, tried to experiment with some of the more unusual and energy-guzzling appliances, but they found that they just couldn't become ahem.. romantically inclined unless they were being watched by two dozen conservationists.
Just then, nothing happened. Then it happened again. Things were getting pretty scary, so Jimblewix decided that they were going to have to make a break for it. Jimble was a late-night TV addict, and a fan of "MacGuyver," so he built an escape pod using a 12-foot "Blue Whale" multispeed dildo, sixteen litres of curry-flavour lubricating jelly, a deep-sea diving suit (in black with a rubber internal harness and additional access flaps), an EZ-stretch oriface expansion kit and a very large signed photo of Mother Theresa. However, Tasmin found this such an interesting device, it was a further six hours before they got around to escaping..
'Fuck me!' groaned Tasmin.
'I'll have to wait for the blisters to go down a bit first.'
Miggy woke up. He was lying on the floor in a huge, wood-panelled office with his tounge stuck to the carpet. His head ached with the sort of migraine you only ever get after being hit with 5 kilos of baby herrings in a bag.
Miggy groaned, at which point, a elephant in an apron ripped him off the carpet and plonked him in a leather chair in front of a vast oak desk.
Miggy groaned again, as he had left about half his tongue still stuck to the axminster.
A svelte-looking pachyderm was sitting on the other side of the desk, with
Simon sitting next to him.
'You must be the long-lost high-flying fur-featured accent-accredited accident-prone beast of our lore,' remarked the svelte pachyderm.
This was obviously going to be one of those conversations.
Miggy decided to play cool...
'Yeeeeaaaargggghhhhhhh! Lemme go!' screamed Miggy, spitting out bits of his own tongue as he did so.
'We want you to tell us the secret of the Stoned Ones" replied the elephant, casually brushing the blood from his face.
'Oh... that!' said Miggy, just as there was a crash, a tinkle, and a strange smell of curry...
The cacophony of "hundreds of English soccer fans on the rampage" TM filled the room. They looked as though they had reached item number three on their daily goal list. (The three items being 1: Get pissed; 2: Have a curry; and 3: Have a fight).
The soccer fans descended upon Miggy, Simon and the Svelte-looking pachyderm.
There never really were any prizes for guessing who would come off worst from
this 'discusion,' (allegedly started by one English soccer fan enquiring of
Miggy as to why Miggy was looking at him), the soccer fans being by far the
largest force. Miggy, Simon and the SLP realised this and immediately ran
for the nearest door.
'Sod the Secret of the Stoned Ones' said the SLP in a dramatic change of socio-political idealism 'Let's get the f*ck out of here!'
Running for the nearest door proved to be a mistake for two reasons:
So a sickening thud was heard as all three of them piled into the door,
unsuccessful in their attempt to open it. "Hundereds of English soccer fans"
were still pouring in through the window. One (only one!?) of them noticed
the hessian sack of whitebait lying on the floor and shouted:
'Wai-eye man! Hoos fer a fish supper then lads eh?'
The unprovoked attack on Miggy, Simon and the SLP was immediately called off in favour of more food. So the sack got attacked instead. This gave Miggy time to clean the door handle and open it. Simon and Miggy ran through it, closely followed by a second sickening thud as the SLP unsuccessfully negotiated the exit.
By a sheer stroke of chance/luck/fate/karma all rolled into one they
miraculously found the main entrance and ran outside. It was raining mallards.
'Duck me!' said miggy and fainted.
Simon the monkey also fainted through the sheer crassness of the last line.
Meanwhile Jimble and Tasmin got under way again in the "vibromobile" and tunnelled their way out of the Amsterdam Sex Museum. (Exactly how the vibromobile was powered remained a secret, but later rumours linking this vehicle to the famous pope-mobile of the 80's were strongly encouraged).
They tunnelled in a generally southwesterly direction for a good two hours,
when suddenly they broke into water with a dull splash. The vibromobile
started to disintegrate due to the water reacting with the curry-flavoured
'Quick!' shouted Jimble, 'the diving suit!'
'But there's only one of it!' wailed Tasmin.
The two on them stared at each other with increasingly desparate thoughts in their hearts as they realised the magnitude of this statement, and that water was now gushing in through various parts of the vibromobile.
There was only only one thing they could do...
...which was to both get inside the diving suit, as wombats are only small, and the diving suit was quite big. They decided to try to swim for it, which was difficult enough, but not as difficult as when they managed to get ashore and tried walking. Jimble was working the legs, and Tamsin was trying to work the head.
The effect was about as co-ordinated as a student after about 5 pints of Diamond White on an empty stomach. Eventually, all the heaving about made Tamsin heave up all over the inside of the diving helmet. Bits of sick dribbled down the inside of the suit, dripping onto Jimblewix's fur. Oddly enough, Tamsin's sick contained no carrots whatsoever, despinte the fact that they had had carrot soup, followed by carrot casserole, followed by carrot suprise (as in 'Gosh. It's carrots, what a surprise') for lunch. This was due to the little-known effects of carrot-space, a hitherto undiscovered area of physics that would make interstellar travel habitable, stop Tippex going mungy and make John Major the person voted most loved by the inhabitants of the planet P'thoiee, a small blue-green planet some 50 million light years from earth (but that is another story) (in fact it's the saga of 'John Major, Interplanetary Tippex Hero').
Eventually, they managed to stagger up to a large, gothic looking building, where they tripped over Migglezimblatt sitting on top of a pile of rubber ducks.
'Evenin' said Migglezimblatt
hooligans, a pachyderm council of war was meeting.
'We must know the secret of The Stoned Ones' said Grandmaster Bates, the chief masonic elephant.
'But how can we do this? The flea-filled fiddling furball of our folklore has fooled us again!' replied another.
'Well, we can...'
At this point the plot decided not to pick up on the suggestive tag line and
jumped to the scene outside the large gothic building.
'Evenin' replied Jimble, 'What happened to your tongue?'
'A very expensive carpet liked the taste of it' snapped Miggy.
'Well there's too many bloody elephants around here for my liking' said Tas, 'Let's get the f*ck out of here.'
'Agreed,' agreed Miggy and Jimble simultaneously.
The three of them grabbed a rubber mallard each (for luck: mallards are considered lucky in certain parts of Amsterdam, but exactly which parts remain a mystery), and set off in the general direction of the station.
Meanwhile much heated debate was raging in the dark towers of the gothic building, but the plot anoyingly decided not to focus on it at this time.
Arriving at the station after a surprisingly short walk Miggy decided that he was thirsty. Very thirsty. In fact he would drink anything. As luck would have it there was an extremely dodgy-looking tea machine on the platform. Miggy approached the machine with trepidation (these things are renowned for their demonic unsociability after all). He perused the options available. They were:
Staring in wonder at how easiliy the manufacturers can make two drinks seem like a multitude of choices, Miggy realised he had no change. This was not a problem however as he knew from experience that tea machines can usually be persuaded to spit something out, the amount of cash tendered rarely making any noticeable difference. He then noticed the FREE VEND light lit up, so he pushed the correct combination of numbers for Extra white tea with extra sugar. Miggy was temporarily lulled into a false sense of security by the ingeniusly deceptive your drink is on its way message, but would soon come to understand that being within 50 yards of this machine was a cardinal error.
The machine made an agonising high-pitched whine, shuddered violently and then ejected a cup into its receptacle upside-down. Miggy instinctively thrust his paw at the cup with the intention of turning it the right way round. The machine however had learned to play on instincts and with a degree of timing that would make Seiko proud it poured red hot water all over Miggy's paw. Miggy tried to yank his paw back whilst screaming in agony, only to find that the plastic door, (which is supposed to stop scolding-hot water from splashing the user) had come down and locked Miggy's paw in place. Before he could use his other paw to free himself, the machine dropped six spoonfulls of sugar followed by a few lumps of coagulated cheese that had once been milk onto Miggy's trapped paw. When he had finally freed himself, the door flipped open and catapulted the sticky cup into Miggy's groin, whenceupon the damp tealeaves inside immediately stuck to his fur in a particularly hard-to-get-out fashion. The machine made a satisfying grunt followed by a hissing sound as it reloaded for the next unsuspecting customer.
Miggy stumbled back and fainted.
Miggy awoke realising he was lying in a puddle. This was because the tea machine had leaked on the floor directly where Miggy had fainted. Cold, damp, smelly, sticky, burnt and bollocked he decided go somewhere for a good cry.
While Miggy was off sulking, Jimble and Tas were getting cosy.
'So, sweetums, how do you and Miggy know each other?' slurped Tasmin into
'Well.. it all began a long.. long time ago in a small farm in South East Australia...'
'Just get to the point, eh?'
Tasmin could be awwwwfully persuasive. Especially when she dug her claws in Jimblewix's reproductive organs.
'Errrr...' octaved Jimblewix '...urr we're sort of brothers.'
'And what has Simon the Monkey got to do with it?'
'Ooooaaaaarrrrggghhhh I dunno'
'And what is the secret of the Stoned Ones?'
'Oh, that, oooooooooooooouuuuuch....'
'Yes... now please release me, let me go!'
'OK' replied Tas as she released his dangly bits.
'Why do you want to know exactly?' said Jimble, who had lost all feeling in the most sensitive part of his body, so didn't much care what happened now. Tasmin fumbled a bit, opened a zip hidden in her fur and stepped out of her wombat costume.
'Uh-oh' uh-ohed Jimble.
Had Miggy been around he would have almost definitely fainted.....
...but Miggy wasn't around, as he had gone to look for somewhere to have a good cry in the previous chapter. He had wandered off to the end of the platforms to find some solitude, but had only found lots of dutch trainspotters in anoraks. So he wandered back along to the far end of the platform, but here he only found lots of drug dealers with ponytails and mirror shades, who had gone there to use their mobile phones in peace and quiet. Finally, Miggy climbed up a ladder into a signalbox where all was calm. But he didn't feel like a cry any more, so he lit up a spliff instead and relaxed.
Just then, a tangerine pachyderm came crashing through the roof of the signalbox. Miggy didn't pay too much attention, as this sort of thing was apt to happen when he smoked certain substances. It was only when a second elephant flew down through the hole, and the box became a little cramped, that the situation began to impinge on his relaxation.
The elephants regarded him in silence.
'Hello, I'm a drug crazed wombat,' Miggy suggested, always a good opening
line he found.
'We know' said Huiey.
'How?' asked Miggy
'Hubert de Nice told us about you,' said Louis. 'The funny thing is, he said you'd have an australian accent, and we've just worked out that you don't...'
'Hmmm' hmmmed Migglezimblatt, and leaned back. Unfortunately, he leaned back on one of the signal box's control panels.
There were a few innocent bleeping sounds, and a few lights flashed across the panel.
Then, the windows of the signal box went dark... and something even stranger started to happen...
Not only did a whistle hoot. but a train came along too. It was bound for Copenhagen, as it had the detination on the side of the train.
'Copenhagen, Sex capital of Scandanavia,' called out the guard, who had appeared from nowhere, and looked, through the rapdily blackening glass like Bob the Hippy.
'Lets go.' said Migglezimblatt. 'I'm sure you elephants need some time away...'
While Miggy was busy with the Killer Pachyderms from the Other Side of the PlatformTM, Jimble had made a truly amazing discovery about Tasmin.
Tasmin the Wombat was not, in fact, Tasmin the Wombat, but was somebody totally unexpected. Jimble's jaw hit the ground (well, a wombat's jaw is pretty near the ground anyway, but I'm sure if even if the ground had been quite a long way away, it would still have hit the ground.) His eyes popped out like they do in the cartoons, and Jimblewix fainted (always a good one that).
Miggy meanwhile had packed the pachyderms on a package trip to paradise as passengers on a ptrain*. He sauntered back along the platform, when he bumped into Simon the Monkey who was attempting to get a choccy bar out of a vending machine, and so was consequently hitting it with a wet haddock whilst playing the disco version of 4'33" on a very large synthiser. (This actually works.)
'Hello Simon,' said Miggy casually, but not too casually.
'Uh hi' replied Simon coolly, but not too coolly.
'Can I ask you a question?' asked Miggy.
'Apparently, yes' replied Simon.
When Jimblewix came around, he found himself looking into the furry features of... himself.
'Hi, I'm Jimblewix' said Jimblewix.
'So am I.'
'What a coincidence' they both said, but at slightly different times.
Simon explained to Miggy about how he had been lured by a lodge of evil masonic pachyderms in Broom into searching for the fun-filled furry creature of elephantine lore. The line that had really persuaded Simon to co-operate with the evil masonic pachyderms was when one of them asked Simon if he would like a cup of tea and some monkey nuts. Simon had replied yes please, although can I have the cup of tea a bit later. The pachyderm had replied, well do you want your monkey nuts now. Simon said, yes please, he would very much like his monkey nuts now.
'They said it was important for them to find the secret of the Stoned Ones'
wispered Simon, who had managed to get some chocolate out of the machine.
'I don't know anything about the Stoned Ones' replied Miggy.
'They even gave me a photo, look.'
Miggy looked at the photograph held out in Simon's chocolate-covered paws. The photo did look a bit like him, but it was a bit fuzzy and out-of-focus as the autofocus on the camera had decided to go focus on something more interesting than a little brown furry ball. It had, in fact, focussed on the OzzyPissTM Lager factory in Australia, which was a bit odd as Miggy hadn't lived in Australia since he was three years old...
* the train was operated by Egyptian Railways for some bizarre reason.
Meanwhile on the Egyptian train from Amsterdam to Copenhagen Huiey and Louis were busy reading their papers, when their digital watches both bleeped at once.
'Time for the nightly ceremony' said Huiey.
'Is it that time already?' queried Louis, staring in disbelief at his watch.
They both assumed double-lotus positions (no mean feat for an elephant).
'To remind us of our quest,' begain Huiey, 'we recite the secret of the
stoned ones in the original Serbo-Geordie, as we hope that someday it's
true meaning may be revealed.'
'Amen.' replied Louis.
They then proceeded to chant the following chant:
THE CHUNK OF HAM
SEEMED TO MERGE
WITH HIS FINGERS
TO FORM A NEW
AND LARGER ORGAN.
A WOODEN CRATE SAT ON
THE REFRIGERATOR. THE
WORD "BONNY" WAS PRINTED
ON THE SIDE.
BONNY'S NEW ORGAN
This deeply religious moment brought them to their senses.
'I think we are deeply in need of some pink' asserted Louis.
They then heard a slow shuffling noise coming from the corridor...
Meanwhile back on the platform, Miggy was closely scrutinising the photo when he began to feel very strange. At first he thought he may be getting an infection in his tongue, but soon realised it was far more serious. He began to feel very woozy indeed and blacked out.
He awoke to find himself in the middle of Wembley stadium, apparently attending a rock concert. There was a massive fight going on, involving most of the crowd around him. Big Joe the Broom University clock tower seemed to be lying in the middle of the crowd in a not inconsiderable state of disrepair.
'Bloody 'ell a triple-negative!' thought the plot.
A figure who bore a striking resemblence to Gary Glitter was standing on the clock tower. Miggy was impressed by this and was about to say so when he saw himself on stage using a guitar to batter another guitarist around the head!
'Wow!' said Miggy from the crowd, 'What a triffic concert,' and fainted.
What had in fact happened was that an extremely rare occurence had occured. [Aside: Rare occurences of such magnitude happen frequently in the sagas.] Miggy had been catapulted into the future [Chapter 14 of the Sixth Saga to be exact] by a freak wormhole that had opened up in the Space-Time continuum. He had seen himself playing in a band called Pelvic Wombat.
Now "Freak Wormholes in the Space-Time Continuum"TM are not renowned for their stability, especially when objects pass through them, so the wormhole collapsed before Miggy regained conciousness.
Thus when he did, he found himself back in the present.
Miggy was speechless.
' ' he said, and sat down.
'Are you alright?' said Simon the Monkey, 'you went all blank there for a bit.'
'Err,' began Miggy nervously, 'I think I've just had a premonition.'
'Really!' enthused Simon, 'did it involve the OzzyPissTM factory?'
'No,' replied Miggy.
Allofasudden Miggy had a thought.
'Let's have a look at that photo again.'
Simon showed Miggy the photo. Although the photo was very blurry, he could make out that the wombat who looked very much like him was about the same age. So, thought Miggy, we're looking for a wombat who looks very like me, is about the same age and has recently been in Australia.. I wonder who that could be...?
Jimblewix came to, face to face with Jimblewix. Jimblewix was obviously having double vision, as it looked like there were two other Jimblewixes. It then occurred to Jimblewix that there were two other Jimblewixes. At this point four more Jimblewixes stepped out of the shadows. They looked progressively older.
'We have something very important to tell you...' said the Jimblewixes.
Simon and Miggy had got bored and decided to wander out of the station. Just outside in the street, a tent had been erected with a badly-written sign on it saying "Princess Wayhard's Fortune Telling". Because this was an obvious plot device, Simon and Miggy wandered in.
Sitting in the tent, behind a table with what was meant to be a crytal ball, but was in fact a plastic coke bottle that had been highly pressurized so that it ballooned out, sat an attractive female wombat who was trying to wear lots of make up to make her look mysterious and older.
'Cross my palm with your credit card' whispered the wombat.
'I don't have a credit card' mumbled Miggy.
'Well cross my palm with some dosh then.'
Miggy rummaged around in his pouch and found a pair of sunglesses and a rather warm can of Pepsi and no money whatsoever. Miggy handed the can of Pepsi to the fortune-telling wombat.
'It's all I've got, sorry' aplogised Miggy.
The lady wombat tutted and started into the inflated coke bottle, and said...
'Gasp' gasped Miggy.
Meanwhile, Jimblewix 4 was explaining to Jimblewix the purpose of their secret mission.
'Well,' said 4, 'we were sent back in time by someone we're not allowed
to tell you about to make sure that you don't tell Miggy something that
we're not allowed to tell you about.'
'No, no,' interrupted Jimblewix 2, 'we can tell you what you're not meant to tell Miggy."
'We are?' asked 6
'Yes.' replied 2
'And what is that exactly?' asked Jimblewix
'You're not to tell him the secret of the Stoned Ones.' said 5
'You see, you're in great danger,' continued 4, 'if the evil masonic pachyderms every find out the secret, then it will be the end of civilization as we know it.'
'Yes,' carried on Jimblewix 3, 'they'll use up so much high-quality dope that the rest of the world will feel all tense and grouchy for the reset of eternity.'
'Which I'm sure you'll see is a reallly heavy thing' said Jimblewix 7, 'and we wouldn't want anything reallllly heavy now, would we.'
Jimblewix scratcghed* his head with his left fore-paw and said 'OK, let's
get this straight. You, Jimblewix 2 were Tasmin in disguise, and you were
sent by persons unknown to make sure that I don't tell Miggy the secret
of the Stoned Ones in order to ensure universal mellowness?'
'More or less, yes' chorused some of the other Jimblewixes.
'So, I've been making love to myself? Urrrgh!' groaned Jimble.
'More or less, yes' chorused the Jimblewixes who hadn't said much yet.
'I think I need a sit down.'
'Lucky for you you can sit down!' said Jimblewix 2, shifting about uncomfortably.
* scratcghed: to hit rather hard in the hope that it will behave like a television, i.e. stop the picture being quite so blurry and difficult to understand for a while.
Meanwhile, Miggy and Simon had had a brief conversation with the fortune-telling wombat and were highly disturbed by what was said. They came running back to the station and interrupted the the Jimblewixes.
Jimblewix 3,5 and 7 all looked at the original Jimblewix with stern expressions.
'Jim-' begain Miggy, but broke off in mid-Jimble as he saw the plethora of
Jimblewixes around him.
'Fuck me!' gasped Simon, and fainted.
'Bastard! I was gonna do that' said Miggy.
Just then three more Jimblewixes approached hurriedly (8, 9 and 10).
'It's Okay!' said Jimblewix 9, 'You can tell him!'
Miggy looked down longingly at Simon and thought about fainting.
'Yes!' cried Jimblewixes 8 and 10 simultaneously. 'It makes no difference!'
'It can't be!' complained Jimblewixes 2, 3, 4 and 6, all with slightly different tones of disbelief, at slightly different times.
'Honest!' said Jimblewix 10, 'Believe me. I am the oldest here and my days are numbered. would I have risked time travel if it were not so.'
Jimblewixes 2, 3 and 6 were confused.
Jimblewixes 4 and 7 were not convinced.
Jimblewix 5 fainted.
'Now look here!' demanded Miggy, attempting to get a grip on the situation,
Jimblewix 4 pulled out a futuristic plasma-pistol from his pouch and pointed
it at Jimblewix 10.
'Persuade me.' he said coolly. (But not too coolly).
Jimblewix 2 ran in front of Jimblewix 4 shouting 'Wait! listen to them! it might be tr...'
Jimblewix 2 fell to the ground with a dull thud.
The smoke from Jimblewix 8's Smith & Wesson wafted calmly from the barrel.
'I... I... Oops!' stammered Jimblewix 8, just before all the Jimblewixes numbered 3 to 7 disappeared in a puff of logic.
Jimblewixes 9 and 10 realised they should have disappeared too, and ran off dragging a mesmerised Jimbewix 8 with them before they were noticed.
'IDIOT!' shouted Jimblewix 9, when they got round the next corner. 'We
could have made them talk!'
Jimblewix 8 was disconsolate.
'It was bloody cramped in there' said the Pink Pachyderm as he pulled off his jimblewix 10 suit.
'Very true' chorused the other two Pachyderms, and they removed their Jimblewix 8 and 9 disguises.
Simon awoke first to see Jimblewix crouched over Jimblewix 2.
'Just as Wayhard predicted' cried Simon, 'After all we went through.'
'All you've been through??'
'I wonder how long you've got' said Simon, 'It could be decades!'
'It could be decades' agreed Jimblewix. 'He does look older.'
'I'm sure you'll have many more adventures before then' said Simon, attempting to cheer Jimble up.
'The real question is' posed Jimblewix, 'Should I tell Miggy the secret or not?'
At this point the Gods were discussing recent events.
'Should we really have let them discover time travel so soon?'
'The problem with time travel it it leaves the occasional unpredictable rift or wormhole lying about, I've got some chunks of dodgy time in the workshop right now that I'm trying to fix!'
'And it'll take them ages to work out the "what-if-I-go-back-in-time-and- kill-my-father" paradox.'
'True enough, but all these things and moreTM can be understood with a sufficiently advanced mind.'
Miggy woke up and saw:
Miggy reached into his satchel to find some Rizzlas, and just alongside Mavis his cuddly stuffed dragon, his paw found something hard. Pulling it out, he found a shiny silver tube, with a kind of handle and button at one end, and a telescopic sight along the top. It was stamped NOT TO BE REMOVED FROM TRANSMOGRIFIER UNIT.
'Hmm' hmmed Miggy as he put it back, and took out the wherewithall to make a spliff.
Meanwhile, on the Copenhagen Express, Huiey and Louis listened to the shuffling in the corridor getting louder and louder. For a long time. Eventually, the door of their compartment opened and an old man stepped through.
'Hello, lads' he said.
'Hubert de Nice!' the pachyderms both said at exactly the same time.
Simon and Jimbles wandered over to where Miggy was having a relaxing smoke.
'Hi Miggy,' said Simon
'Mmmm,' mmmmed Miggy, who wasn't quite ready to put a sentence together yet.
'Are you OK?' asked Jimblewix.
'Ahhhh. Yeah. I'm fine. What did all those other Jimblewixes want?'
'Well...' began Jimbles, but before he could go further the rampaging mob of English soccer fansTM swept past them as they all made a bid to catch the boat-train. For a few moments, all was noise, confusion, beer breath, shouting, swearing and a snatch of Brahms' 8th Symphony (from the one fan who refused to be a stereotype). Then the crowd was past.
'Phew' phewed Miggy.
'That was horrible' agreed Simon.
'Where's Jimble?' asked Miggy.
'Did you notice that three of those soccer fans had grey skin and long trunk-like noses?' asked Simon.
'I have a suggestion' suggested Simon.
Night fell suddenly.
The Gods chuckled amongst themselves and Night said 'Oh bugger off!' and grew steadily darker.
'When does this plane land anyway?' asked Miggy, settling into his seat.
'I dunno,' answered Simon, 'Must be eight hours from now at least.'
'Good idea' said Miggy, 'I'm getting fed up with this place anyway.'
'Right. We'll go to Australia then.' said Simon.
'Well if it's gonna be eight hours I'm getting some kip.' said Miggy, and pulled the lever at the side of his chair, making it assume the reclining position.
'Aha!' piped up Simon, 'That's our p...' He paused for a while, with an expression of puzzlement on his face, '...lane being announced.'
Simon suggested that they go to Austalia to try and find the OzzypissTM factory, the logic being that even if they didn't find any answers, they could at least hope for a guided tour and some free lager.
'The airport is this w...' started Miggy, but then broke off and realised that time was no longer following a logical sequence. The rules of cause and effect no longer seemed to apply.
'Qantas flight 128 now boarding at gate 5' said the tannoy.
'Here we are!' said Simon, 'The airport... again!'
'Look this is getting silly!' shouted Miggy, pulling his aircraft seat back into the upright position. 'What is going on?'
Just then both of them fainted.
Meanwhile on the train, Huiey and Louis jumped up from their double- lotus positions simultaneously. Only one window was broken and Hubert commented on this.
'Oh it was nothing, really' said Louis passively.
'I have with me a barrel of pastis!' stated Hubert. 'Let's drink ourselves pink!'
'But you're supposed to be dead!' exclaimed Huiey.
'Ah well,' began Hubert, 'It's like this...'
Miggy and Simon awoke simultaneously to find themselves in what appeared to be a technicians workshop. Equipment was piled on every surface, mixed randomly with paper. Most of the equipment was unrecognisable to either Miggy or Simon.
'Where are we!' demanded Miggy.
'What happened to the plane' queried Simon.
'I'm going to have a look outside' decided Miggy, and tried the door.
It opened freely so he went outside. Simon followed and noticed a sign hung on the outside of the door which stated:
Earth I.G. Dates 145600 - 145600.0012. OUT OF ORDER
They set off for a look around. The corridors had white floors, white walls with no windows, white ceilings with no recognisable light fittings (but it was light nevertheless) and there was a door every few feet or so along one wall. At various points the corridors met other corridors, some straight, some like a maze of twisty passages, all different.
The Gods were arguing, furious at one particular God who had left the door to his workshop unlocked.
'Who knows what havoc they'll cause!' shouted one god.
'Look you know they won't remember anything about this when we return them, just like any mortal' protested the forgetful God.
'That's all very well!' shouted another 'If we catch them soon!'
'Why don't we all stop arguing and find the rascals!' suggested another god.
They all paused for a while, then raced out of the room.
'Can you here shouting?' asked Miggy.
'Err...' started Simon. Miggy was trying every door along the corridor. All were locked.
'OI! YOU TWO!' boomed a voice from around a corridor.
'Quick, in here!' said Miggy as he found an unlocked door.
They both darted into the room and shut the door behind them.
Miggy looked around. There were what appeared to be terminals on benches around three walls of the room. Each one had a big and chunky screen and a big and chunky keyboard. There was a label below and to the right of the screen on one of the terminals, the others each had a sticky patch in the same place.
The sound of an approaching angry mob could be heard outside.
'I think something decidedly nasty is about to happen' said Simon.
'Not necessarily' said Miggy. He had sat down at one of the terminals and noticed the following on the screen:
Current directory is >udd>TIME-WORKGROUP>Bob>
The sound of an approaching angry mob was now right outside the door.
'Do something quick' shouted Jimble.
Miggy quickly typed the following:
sa * rew *.SysDaemon.*
The door burst open and Four Angry GodsTM*
charged into the room.
"NOOOOOO!" screamed one God as Miggy pressed the return key.
* "Four Angry Gods" was made as a sequel to "Twelve Angry Men", but was never released due to overwhelming pressure from religious groups all over America.
Miggy stood staring out across an endless field of wheat, displaying in its ceaseless shifting the lack of direction to a breeze he could not feel. The yellow stalks and heads looked greyish, muted in the constant, all-pervading, but dim light. Looking up, Miggy found the yellow-grey of the wheat reflected in the featureless sky. Unable to focus on it, his attention was drawn back down to a movement off to his left. A figure approached; a tall old man, bearded and cloaked, stepping from row to row toward Miggy. As he advanced, he scattered something from a bag at his hip with one hand, while hacking at the wheat with a hook held in the other. On his shoulder a large bird perched, extending its wings for balance at the more sudden strokes of the hook.
As their diagonal path through the wheat reached Miggy, he made out that the old man was scattering little pieces of green card. They spun in the air behind him, now most disappeared before they touched down, dissolving in a faint pink glow. Miggy found that the pink reminded him of spam. He frowned, suspicious.
The man and his bird passed to one side. He stopped and turned stiffly toward Miggy, the bird squawking. 'I am Cantor and this is Seagull.'
Miggy awoke, profoundly irritated that his unconscious could use
such a prophetic and portentous setting to deliver a rather corny
joke. 'What the bloody hell was all that in aid of?' he demanded. He
glanced round, 'At least we managed to get back on the plane.'
'Well,' replied Simon, 'I think someone was getting bored with the Rankinesque tone of things.'
'Rankin? Oh, he's this writer, long chase sequences, unlikely characters, running gags, literal deus ex machina, that sort of thing. He likes putting his characters into metafictional situations, too.'
'Um...' said Miggy, suddenly feeling less than entirely secure.
Simon was warming to his subject, 'Actually, that's not a bad idea. Maybe we should get a new writer ourselves. Hey, yeah, if we're going to Sidney we should see Egg Anger. His latest book was really amazing. Called... uh...'
'"To my Tup, in a Trice"?' suggested Miggy.
'No, not that.'
'"Ration my Puce Tit"?'
'I beg your pardon!' Simon looked askance at Miggy over his shades.
'"Pitt: Racy Mountie"?' Miggy went on, blithely.
'I worry, sometimes...'
'"Tin Actor Time"?'
'"Yup!" That was it! You've read it too?'
'No, but it was only a matter of time before I guessed.' Miggy paused, then added, 'Simon, what were the extra quotes for just then?'
'Art, mon petit.' Then, much against his will, he concluded, 'I. U C Y?'
'Yurgh. That was the worst of the lot.'
'Yeah, maybe I shouldn't have mentioned the Green Gag after all.'
'So we're going to OzzyPissTM after all?'
'Can't think of anything better, can you?'
Suddenly, the plane stopped in mid air. Miggy and Simon looked outside, but all they could see was a large grey cloud.
Miggy got out of his seat to try to find out what was happening. He wandered down to the cockpit, only to discover that the pilot was a penguin who was reading "Seafish Today".
'Why have we stopped?' queried Miggy.
'Oh, it's the wrong kind of air,' replied the pilot.
Miggy returned to his seat.
'Why have we stopped?' queried Simon.
'Oh, it's the wrong king of air,' replied Miggy.
When allofasudden, the plane decided that it had the wrong kind of laws of physics and it plummeted towards the ground at a trulyhorrifyingrate...
Jimblewix was feeling depressed. It had been a bad day. It was suddenly made much worse by being squashed by a couple of hundred tons of airliner.
Miggy didn't faint. This was a bit of a pain, since he really wanted to. He peered out of the window, but all he could see was a reddish glow of magma. Something very peculiar had happened.
'That's very peculiar,' said Miggy.
Simon sort of stared at the back of the seat in front of him in sheer terror.
The tannoy in the plane bing-bonged into life.
'This is your captain speaking. We are crusing at a speed of three thousand knots at an altitude of approximately minus sixty-thousand feet and descending. We hope to arrive in Australia in about two-and-a-half hours time. If any customers are smoking, please remember to offer me a drag of anything potent. Bing-bong'
'That's very peculiar,' said Simon.
'That's very peculiar,' thought Jimblewix, was was squashed against the nosecone of the plane. He unstuck himself and peered around to try to find out what the fuck was going on
About a hundred metres in front of the plane, half-a-dozen bionic subterreanean pachyderms (BSPs) were frantically burrowing a hole in front of the aircraft.
'That's very peculiar,' thought Jimblewix.
At the OzzyPissTM factory, the ground started to omen rumblously.
...And the Groundsman was talking to the S'curi'y Gurad* at the main gate of the OzzyPiss factory
'What's that rumbling?' asked the gurad.
'Dunno' replied the groundsman truthfully, 'But wouldn't it be really funny if a plane had set off from Europe somewhere, Amsterdam say, and fell out of the sky due to turbulence from an ongoing battle between good and evil in the heavens, plummeted it's way through the Earth's mantle and popped out on the other side of the world, namely here!'
'You've been drinking too many of them factory reject cans haven't you?!' alleged the gurad. 'Anyway, that couldn't happen because of gravity.'
'Yeah, gravity! No matter where you are on the Earth, you are attracted by gravity towards the centre right?' posed the gurad.
'So you couldn't travel through to the other side because you would stop at the middle!' said the groundsman as he realised the fatal flaw in his argument.
'Well, not exactly stop, due to the not inconsiderable momentum built up by falling x,000 miles from the crust to the centre, you would slow down, and then the force of gravity would bounce you back. A bit like the ultimate bungee jump, only with no rope.' reasoned the gurad. 'You'd probably be swinging back and forth for quite some time.'
As they were talking, a slightly dented Aeroplane with a wombat wrapped around the nose cone shot out of the ground half a mile away from them, preceded by two extremely exhausted pachyderms. (EEP's.)
'Bleedin' 'ell!' said the gurad, 'you were right!'
'Well I guess that's bollocks to the laws of physics then.' replied the groundsman.
'Not necessarily!' came a voice from inside the factory.
The gurad and the groundsman wheeled around in surprise and saw...
*gurad: a cross between a guru and a gonad. One becomes a gurad after guarding a place so long that you make a testicle of yourself by believing it is your place you are guarding.
'The laws of physics,' she started, 'have a lot to do with the making of
and if they didnt exist, you two wouldnt have jobs.'
'Eh?' went the gurad
'Well, physics states that when a breach in the earts crust occurs, the pressure from the magma in the magma chamber below, would cause a volcano to erupt. And look over there, a volcano is erupting just under the plane.'
'Eh?' went the gurad
'Well, no physics, no gravity, no reason why you just dont fly off the edge of the e...' Cathy stopped. She realized that through a quirk in physics she caused herself to fall off the earth after completely forgetting what she was on about in the first instance.
'Eh?' went the gruad, 'that was clever, we not got no boss now.'
'Yeah, but why wouldn't we have jobs if gravity didnt exist?'
Meanwhile, inside the plane, things were hotting up. Jimblewix could see the BSPs burrowing a hole right through the centre of the earth in front of the plane, and he saw them get out the other side, just as a huge globule of magma pumped itself up the long dark cavity they had made, and behind the plane. All of a sudden it caught up with the plane, and shot its load right out of the hole, and started a nice little volacno, right in downtown Sidney.
'Cor' said Miggy and Simon who were also watching.
As the plane bobbed up and down on the lava shooting from the ground, they just couldnt help thinking if the only monsters in this story were Pachyderms, or whether a large monster was about to appear from the hole in the ground...
...but nothing happened.
After a while, a small monster emerged from the hole.
'Hi, I'm Eric the bug-eyed monster from Mars' said Eric the bug-eyed
monster from Mars.
'Hullo Eric' said Miggy and Simon, but not at the same time.
Just at that point, a large, six-eyed, twelve-legged, fire-breathing green beastie popped out of the hole.
'Hullo Eric' said the beastie.
'Waaaargh' said Eric.
And there was no more Eric...
Miggy, Simon and Jimble stared at the beastie. There was a little farty blubbery noise.
The six-eyed fire-breathing beastie from hell's eyes glowed like furnaces.
'You!' snarled the beastie 'It it is you!'
And he pointed at...
The six-eyed beastie pointed at Miggy.
'Oooh!' gasped Miggy 'have I won the lottery?'
'Not exactly,' replied the beastie.
Unknown to the assorted marsupials, primates and monsters outside the OzzyPissTM factory, a die-hard group of pachyderms had taken matters into their own hands.
Miggy looked up and saw saga cliche number 78...
...two dozen black-clad balaclavad elephants were parachuting down from a passing Jumbo Jet [f/x groan]... these were the boys from the Special Pachyderm Section who were determined that Miggy should never find out the Nasty Horrible Secret (also TM).
They had planned their mission meticulously, and been in training for weeks. However, it was only after the last elephant had jumped out of the plane that they realised that they hadn't brought any actual parachutes as such, just a knapsack with lunch in it.
"Hasn't it gone dark allofasudden..." murmed Jimblewix.
It had too, although Miggy didn't think it a subject worth murming about. Black, sulphurous smoke pouring from the crater of the volcano had covered the sky in a pall quite suited to the apocalyptic goings- on. The effect was only marred by the occasional elephantine shape puncturing the cloud as it fell to its doom.
Across the harbour, stranger things were afoot. Issuing from the ground in a manner not unlike a through-Earth tunnelling aeroplane, the Copenhagen Express burst forth onto the waterfront. Drawing it along were Huiey and Louis, assisted by their really nifty tunnelling exoskeletons and fuelled by a barrel of pastis.
The train ground to a halt and Hubert de Nice stepped out of a carriage, whereupon he discovered that antipodean platforms are exactly where you expect: in railway stations, not in the middle of decimated city streets.
The pachyderms had converted their really nifty tunnelling exoskeletons into a boat just big enough for two elephants and an old man. Picking up Hubert, they made towards Jimblewix, Miggy et al. (though no-one had much noticed al.)
The lava buoying up the plane decided it was bored with this volcano, and that the new fissure in the earth looked like much more fun. The airliner gently descended towards the ground and towards the beastie.
'What the bloody hell is it now? Who are this lot?' the beastie stared
in disbelief at the approaching boat.
'I'm sure I saw those elephants at Amsterdam station, but that man looks familiar too...' A horrified look of realization passed over Jimblewix's face. 'Oh God! It's Hobart Dennis, The Tasmanian Devil' he croaked.
Now that the volcano had died down, nobody noticed an average-sized Dalek appear from the hole in the ground. It effortlessly climbed past the aeroplane and dusted itself off. It looked something like this:
O=o /o\ / |o o|\ |___|
The Dalek looked round and saw:
The Dalek, finding nothing worth exterminating, headed towards the OzzyPiss TM factory for some gratis factory rejects, hoping for a quick sniff at Cathy's shoes on the way.
Hubert De Nice had just made a terrifying discovery. 'I've just made a terrifying discovery,' he said, 'we've run out of Pastis!'
'Oh no!' gulped Miggy gulpingly, 'in that case how am I going to get back
to Broom? I've got to go and take my resits soon...'
'It's OK,' said Huey pachydermically, 'I'll pop down the offy and get some more.'
Huey and Louis wended their tired pachydermic way down the hill in search of alcohol, leaving Miggy with only Jimblewix, Simon the simian, and the fire breathing beastie for company. The dalek had got bored and exterminated the gurad and the groundsman on its way to the OzzypissTM factory.
'How can you even think about leaving, Miggy,' protested Jimbles marsupially,
'when we haven't even worked out the significance of the photo of me in front
of the OzzyPissTM factory yet.'
'The photo that the Evil Masonic Pachyderms gave me in order to identify you,' Simon added helpfully.
'Ah,' said Miggy in a rare lucid moment, 'because they want me to tell them the Secret of the Stoned Ones?'
Miggy scratched his head puzzledly for a moment. 'But I don't know it...'
'But I do!' blurted Jimblewix.
'Why don't they just leave me alone then?' fretted Miggy, feeling in urgent need of a strong drink.
Just then, Hubert de Nice stepped forward.
'Listen, I have something important to tell you about the remaining 3 masonic pachyderms!' he intoned.
'Hubert de Horrible!' exclaimed Simon, and fainted.
'Hobart the Tasmanian Devil!' exclaimed Jimbles, and fainted.
'What are they on about?' asked Hubert crossly. 'Anyway, listen...'
But Hubert's sentence was suddenly cut short as the large, six-eyed,
twelve-legged fire-breathing green beastie boiled over with impatience
at being ignored for several chapters, and shouted beastily:
There was a sudden silence. This was shattered when the beastie roared, raucously [f/x ROAR].
Another silence fell, and was also shattered as the beastie reared up ravenously, and with a rumble, roared recursively. [f/x (ROAR)^roar ].
Standing amongst the scattered shards of silence, the beastie sighed.
'Phew, I feel better for that. Now... Migglezimblatt?'
Hubert continued what he was originally going to say.
'The three remaining pachyderms, what you need to know is that they live
in Broom, and will be returning back for the start of the next academic
year, like we should.'
'Ohmigod' said Jimblewix, and fainted again, having just recoovered* from the previous faint.
'Whats worse,' continued Hubert, 'Unveristy** term started yesterday.'
* recoovered: to calm down after an attack by a mutant vacuum cleaner.
** univeristy: porcine slang for University. Pigs are seen as hip-and-trendy by many animals, so pig slang is considered to be dead cool.
Unfortunately, pigs are also seen as very tasty by many animals too.
'Bugger that,' said Miggy, 'I think I should have been back a couple of years ago... this has been a looooong summer holiday.'
It was at that moment a double-decker bus arrived.
'Did somebody mention Summer Holiday?' asked the guitar-wielding driver.
'Fuck off' replied Miggy.
'Woudl you like to hear my new tape?' enquired -Wall "-pedantic" pebb,
for it was he.
'No. Fuck off,' replied Miggy.
'It's called Vulvar Pus: Chlamydia.' Miggy felt ill. The elephants looked ill. Jimbles and Simon were ill. Even the six-eyed, twelve-legged fire-breathing beastie looked a bit queasy, and it was already green.
'My favourite track is Pyogenic Granuloma, where I successfully capture the pain, the startling rawness and the colour of a severe eruptive skin disease.' Everyone looked about in desperation.
-Wall reached forward to push the tape into the player. 'It's reelly good, honest.'
The dalek exterminated.
'Quick, in here!' said Jimblewix, and jumped into the bus. He and Simon cleared the remains of -Wall Pebb out of the driver's seat, and they set off to drive into the deepest outback, to drop Jimbles off and for Miggy to visit his mum, something he hadn't done for far too long.
On their way back to the OzzyPissTM Factory, Miggy and Simon picked up a couple more wombats who were hitch-hiking. They introduced themselves as Zeroc and McVax and they were on their way to go inter-railing in Europe. As Miggy knew all about inter-railing he promised to give them a good start. His idea of a good start was to sell them his entire stash, which luckily they agreed to, even though they had to give Miggy an IOU, still it was better than nothing he decided.
When Miggy and Simon returned Huey and Louis were fully tanked up on pastis and ready to go. Hubert boarded the bus, and Huey and Louis got tunnelling. Miggy drove the bus into the hole that they were digging, and it fell, with the pachyderms tunnelling ahead of it, Zeroc and McVax looking very impressed with the quality of Miggy's dope, and the six eyed three legged fire breathing green beastie dropping behind it on a parachute because it hadn't been allowed on the bus, which was no-smoking only.
The bus emerged out of a small volcano, not in Broom, but just outside Avignon. Before they continued with their journeys, Hubert invited everyone out for dinner at an exclusive little restaurant he knew nearby, the legendary The Legend...
The Legend was in fact an Indian restaurant. The six-eyed three-legged, fire-breathing green beastie was the only one who declined the offer of a curry as rich food didn't agree with him. He settled instead for a bag of chips.
Having ordered a round of poppadoms for starters, Hubert was about to launch into one of his famous Tales of AdventureTM when a voice was heard:
'Is it really you?'
Hubert turned round and immediately recognised the restaurant owner.
'Shaukat my old friend, salaamalecum!'
'A tousand greeting my friend' replied Shaukat, 'I see the prophecies were true!'
'Sorry?' queried Hubert.
'Last night Allah came to me in a dream,' began Shaukat, 'He said I would be visted by an old friend bearing wombats.'
Miggy rapidly became bored of this reunion and decided to open his satchel. When he pulled out the shiny tube there was a deafening silence.
'How did you get that?' asked Hubert nervously. Shaukat backed away.
'Well I'm not exactly sure how it ended up in my satchel...' began Miggy,
but was cut short by Zeroc and Zdac McVax who had begun to unzip their
'We are Sid the Hedgehog,' proclaimed the two hedgehogs as their wombat suits fell to the ground. 'We believe you are holding the key. May we?'
Miggy gave the shiny tube to one of the hedgehogs and everybody followed them outside.
The hedgehogs explained to Miggy that they were going to climb into the bus, whenceupon Miggy was to insert the tube into the petrol tank filler cap and press the button.
Miggy waited whilst the Hedgehogs were aboard and Miggy did as he was bid.
There was a predictable blinding flash and a loud boom.
When the sound and light had returned to a normal level Miggy looked at the bus. It had turned itself into a gleaming metallic machine labelled TRANSMOGRIFIER II.
'Ahh the prophecy is complete' proclaimed Shaukat, and he went inside his restaurant.
Miggy looked closely at the display in the middle of the machine. It read:
CURRENT PROGRAM: Stoned One - Bonny Ham Decryption. Completed.
There was a stirring from inside the machine. The door opened, and the person who stepped out was someone who had disappeared to Australia for quite some time.
Huey and Louis fell to their knees in a position of prayer.
'I am the stoned one' proclaimed the figure. 'This is my secret...'
'No you're not,' interrupted Miggy, 'You're that deranged Tasmanian Wolf who lives near my Mum's house. And you're not due to turn up for another 101 chapters, 7 epilogues, 3 afterwords and a postscript.'
Simon frowned and started to do some quick calculations.
The wolf looked down at itself, 'Oh bugger, so I am. Must have been some weird interaction between the fluff in your satchel and the transmogrifier tube. Best see what happens if you try again.'
The elephants hurriedly got back to their, um, whatever you call the ends of elephants' legs, looking a little more pink than usual. 'One of my contact lenses must have fallen out, we were just seeing if it was down here...' Huey trailed off unconvincingly.
The wolf reboarded the bus and Miggy fiddled with the handle thing and the telescopic sight bit until whole affair seemed prepared to do something again and a little panel saying ready-ish lit up.
Simon approached him, 'Miggy, does this mean we only have 24
chapters to save the saga?'
'Technically speaking, yes.' Miggy glanced up from whatever fine adjustments he might have been making, 'The trouble is, I'm still not sure who we're supposed to be saving from what.'
'I've been thinking about that - a worthy cause and that sort of thing - and then I saw a recent copy of the Broom University newspaper, GreyConcreteSlab, in the tabac next to the restaurant: they're planning to build a 12-lane motorway through the thriving business heartland next to the university, totally destroying Björn's Brook, and cutting a massive exhausted-choked swathe through the rare-wildlife sanctuary and decimating historic, um, things!' exclaimed Simon, who really did read the Guardian.
'Bugger Björn's Brook! My secret stash is behind the changing rooms! We must get back to Broom as soon as possible, bearing in mind that I'm going to have to press this button now and that might cause the plot to get a little confused.'
And so saying, he pressed it. And something truly astonishing happened...
There was a flash, bang and a plop, and suddenly, the bus turned into... a bus.
'Wow!' exclaimed Miggy.
'Hello leedle vombat' said a voice just behing Miggy, slightly to the left.
Miggy turned around, and saw a short man with thick glasses and a white coat.
'Who are you?' asked Miggy.
'I am Doctor Alice Hooderfochiz. I am a doctor of transmogrification at ze Cherman Institute of Difficult Science,' replied the Doctor.
'Alice Hooderfochiz... Alice?'
'Ja... vell, I haff zis leedle machine vich may of some use to you.'
Doctor Alice picked up a largish perspex box with lots of tubes and
flashing lights in it. 'Zis iss ze transmogrification control unit. You
see you press zis leedle button here and...'
Zoof! said the perspex box.
In front of Miggy, Simon and Doctor Alice stood a Pachyerm Using A Large Well Brutal Electric Eel (a PUALWBEE).
'Ooops.. wrong button'
And then there was a flash and a plop and a zing.
In front of them now was standing a twelve foot high slobbering alien beastie with three rows a nasty looking teeth.
Miggy did the only sensible thing he could thing of in the circumstances and shat himself...
The 12 foot high slobbering alien beastie decided that Miggy looked a bit unappetising standing a pool of steaming brown ick, so he decided to eat Simon instead. Alas, the alien beastie didn't like the taste of Simon either, so he yacked him back up all over Miggy, who promptly fainted.
There was a snoring noise. And a bad smell. A very bad smell indeed. And a sort of rocking, rolling motion.
Miggy realised that the smell was himself. This startled him so much, that he awoke with a start and fell off the luggage rack of the train onto the person sitting below with a dull splat.
'Urgh!' urghed the elegant shape of Kim Bolton, editor or GreyConcreteSlab, inexplicably dressed in a little black cocktail dress.
'Phwoar!' Miggy thought. Then he realised that he must look like a bag of shite and was unlikely to impress Kim looking like this. Kim sat there was a the sort of look of despair that can normally only be acheived by having a crap in a public loo and then discovering that there's no toilet paper. Miggy decided that he would go for chat-up technique number two and burst into tears.
'Awww... what's the matter little furry thing?' (always works this one, thought Miggy).
Miggy started to unfold his story of horror and woe, and explained that all he really wanted to go was get back to University and get on with his course, but he had probably been kicked out of halls by now (it was about 4 and a half months after the start of term) and he had nowhere to live apart from a cardboard box (am I trying it on too much? thought Miggy). This, of course, brought on Kim's mothering instincts and she almost felt the urge to cuddle him (although he was a matted ball of excrement and sick) which wasn't bad going considering.
'I think we need to get you cleaned up' said Kim, softly.
'Yes! Yes!! Yes!!!' thought Miggy. Although, what he actually did was say 'Alright then' and blink at her in a sort of vulnerable way. Kim picked up Miggy, and started to carry him to the washroom, when allofasudden a Penguin turned up in front of them.
...but it was alright because both Miggy and Kim had their tickets on them, although Miggy's had been in his sweaty pouch for quite a while.
The penguin stared at Miggy's ticket in the way that ticket collectors do - i.e. making you feel totally guilty even though you know you've got the right ticket.
'Where are we going to, sir?' asked the penguin.
'Broom,' butted in Kim, 'Niri Station.'
The penguin stared at the two of them for a moment, and gave them their tickets back. "Change at Waterloo" he said, and then pottered off whistling an Abba song.
'How strange,' said Miggy 'why am I on a train to Broom?'
Kim remained silent. Well, except for saying 'Let's get you to the washroom' which wasn't much of an answer really.
Kim wandered down the corridor of the train to the end of the carriage and then failed to get into the washroom due to the presense of an elephant who was stuck in the door.
'Shit!' exclaimed Miggy.
'No thanks, just had one' replied the elephant.
There was an awkward pause while someone remembered the next line.
'Oh yes... I'm agent Dog Scooper, FPI' said the elephant, waving his bus pass at them. 'Oh no, hang on... that's it...'
'FPI?' asked Kim
'Fat Pachyderm Investigation Bureau. I believe I may have an explanation for what has been going on...'
'That's nice,' said Kim, and swept past him into the toilet with Miggy,
locking the door firmly behind them.
'You see, I have been investigating the Temple of the Evil Masonic Pachyderm Tribe (TEMPT) for some time,' Agent Scooper shouted through the door. His only reply was the sound of running water.
'It seems they have influenced Broom City Council into building the twelve-lane motorway over Björk's Brook...' [f/x more running water and splashing] '...specifically to destroy a certain wombat's stash and prevent him from ever joining the Stoned Ones.'
Agent Scooper listened for some response, but could only hear the
sound of a roller towel going clunk [f/x clunk].
'I happen to believe that the wombat is in fact of alien origin but the government has been covering up the fact of alien visitors for some forty years!'
Again there was no reply, but this may just have been because FPI agents are expected to believe the government is keeping secrets about aliens from them.
Then muffled voices could be heard from inside the cubicle, which
sounded remarkably like:
'There, now your fur is nice and clean and fluffy again!'
'But what's your fur like, eh?'
'Naughty little marsupial! What are you doing... oooh [f/x giggle]'
At this point Agent Scooper gave up in disgust and went off to the buffet car to see if they had any pastis.
When Miggy and Kim stepped off the train onto Waterloo Station, an hour later, both looking strangely flushed and happy, the first person to trip over Miggy was a hunky young man carrying a bicycle.
'Dosty!' cried Miggy in amazement.
'Miggy!' said Dostoyevsky in lycra shorts, and kissed Miggy [f/x smooch].
'Uh, Dosty, this is Kim' mumbled Miggy in a daze.
'Hi' drawled Kim insensitively.
'Comrad wombyat, where haf you byeen since our nyight of passyion in Wenice?' asked Dosty intensely.
'Australia' replied Miggy in all truthfulness.
'Catch you later, guys,' said Kim in disgust at no longer being the centre of attention, and slinked off.
'Incidentally, is the Tour over?' inquired Miggy independently.
'Da, that's right, now I can go where I like,' incanted Dosty invitingly.
In a flash, Miggy inveigled himself into a lift on Dosty's bike, picking up his satchel (which was still intact) as he did so, with the intent of further interesting adventures.
Dosty pedalled off for the platform for the train to Broom... but when they got there...
...something odd was going on.
As they cycled up the Pershing Road, past Starchley and Smelly Poke they couldn't help but notice that all the traffic seemed to be travelling in the opposite direction. They also couldn't help but notice people shouting 'Turn Back!' at them. But since Miggy and Dosty were the sort of people who would always visit the old house on the hill after midnight in those teen slasher movies, they carried on regardless.
They got as far as the Boulder Mill television studios before they saw them. A swarm of Very Angry Airborne Pachyderms were... well, swarming around the sky. Occasionally, one of them would drop what one could only assume was a bomb on a random building which exploded prettily.
Of course, sooner or later, one of the VAAPs was bound to notice them...
Miggy realized that they had blundered into enemy territory. Of course! The Pachyderms would be staying at the building they had passed only moments before. The Ancient Order of Junglers must have allied itself to the savanna-dwellers. He could still feel the subwoofers vibrating his gut with that bass-heavy melange. And trumpets. A fusion of two fusions: the Jungle and the Suavanna. It kicked.
He was jerked from his musical musings as Dosty swerved to avoid whatever it was that the VAAPs were hurling down at them and careered down a little lane. One side was bordered by a high, razor-wire topped fence: the Neuter Centre. Ghastly animal cries made Miggy shudder to think of the unspeakable acts that must be taking place within.
As they bounced over a small stone bridge, the rain-swollen River Emu flowed by beneath them and he shuddered again. A curious sense, simultaneously of foreboding and deja vu. He had no time to consider it as Dosty took a terrifyingly fast left onto the main path of Missile Valley park. For a heart-stopping moment the rear wheel skidded from under them on the gooseshit-bedecked tarmac, before Dosty heroically regained control. He accelerated away from the ravaging horde of VAAPs, standing to pump hard on the pedals. Miggy briefly admired the view from behind as they swept past the former duck ponds, now territory of the expansionist Canada Geese state. The avain settlers scattered, honking and hissing wildly, from the path of the oncoming bicycle.
A building came into sight: the infamous MUC, venue for many of the more notorious 'art' films shown in Broom. What a shame we don't have time to stop and see what's on - thought Miggy. It was just as well they didn't; seconds later the building was a smouldering heap of rubble as the VAAPS narrowly missed again.
Dosty forsook the straight and wide path for a narrow one that wound between the bushes and trees. They seemed to be losing the VAAPS who had begun an aerial conference about which of them had dropped the last, um that is, who had caused destruction of the MUC and what the hell they were going to do tonight now. Miggy and Dosty crossed another path and soon the end of the park was in sight. Miggy had never thought of Dosty as a cricket fan. Indeed, he hoped quite fervently that he was not. But he could think of no other reason for coming this way. Unless...
...it was something to do with the fact that Kim Bolton had been staked out in the middle of the wicket and was being tormented by a grey, repulsively evil pachyderm (a GREP) who was about to do unspeakable things to her with his proboscis.
Dosty zoomed down on here, swept her of the grass and clutched her firmly in his arms as they sped off, somewhat wobbly.
There was something about the way Kim was looking at Dosty that Miggy didn't like.
A small starling almost saw a wombat (under its own personal thunder cloud) cycling away from a strangely twitching clump of bushes. Unfortunately, the birds head had somehow gotten wedge up an elephants backside, so it couldn't actually see much at all.
'Bastard bastard bastard bastard bastard bastard' cursed Miggy as he pedalled past the Rock Bakery Television Studios (which exploded) 'bastard bastard bastard...'
He was cut short by the arrival of two tons of freshly barbecued elephant meat onto the road ahead.
'Splot!' said two tons of freshly barbecued elephant.
What was puzzling was the fact that there was a tiny pair of stick-legs growing from the back of the elephant which were wiggling around madly. With a tiny heave, a rather grubby looking bird pulled itself free.
'Hello' said Miggy (this seemed to be as good a line as any).
'Hi. My name's Stirling the Starling' chirped the Starling.
'Fuck off' replied Miggy.
'No, really!' whistled Stirling.
'What do you do then?'
'Oh, don't worry about me, I get killed in the next chapter. I'm just here to draw your attention to that.'
Stirling gestured with one wing to the suspiciously phallic University clock tower. There was a flash, and a red beam of light shot across the sky, toasting another elephant.
'Coo' said a nearby pigeon.
'Impressive, huh?' remarked Stirling.
'Yeah, but how does that fit into the plot?'
'Buggered if I know' replied Stirling 'I've only read as far as the bit were I get splattered. I guess you might have to cycle over there, climb up the clock tower and find out for yourself.'
'Oh well... cheerio then...'
Miggy tried to remember what he was meant to do next...
...and this stressed him so much that he fainted.
Meanwhile, Stirling the Starling died, but Miggy never did find out how or why.
He woke up.
Miggy hurried towards the clock tower, dodging exploding trees, bits of elephant kebab and the odd stray bit of laser fire.
'Fuck!!' swore Miggy as the multi-storey car park disintegrated noisily.
Overhead, a small formation of elephants with phased plasma rifles (in the 90 watt range) started to dive towards him letting of bursts of high energy weaponry.
'Fuck!!!' swore Miggy (this time meriting three explanation marks). He jumped for cover (rather foolishly) into a bottle bank, which promptly started to melt under the incoming fire.
'Fuck!!!!' swore Miggy (again).
A female voice said 'Hello.'
'Oh no. Not another bit-part character!' exclaimed Miggy.
'I'm Cassy the Capybara'
'And are you gonna get killed in the next chapter?'
'I haven't read that far yet. Anyway, you're about 20 chapters late.'
'And what do you do?' asked Miggy, as he eyed the approaching lava flow of molten glass warily.
'I'm here to point out that there's a two-seater mini jetbike hidden outside this bottle bank.'
'Hmmm...' Miggy had the feeling (not for the first time) that he was not completely in control of this situation.
Cassy gestured towards a small trapdoor with some urgency. 'Quick, out here!'
Miggy dived through the door, and landed in the scorched dirt.
'So where is it?'
'Over here' replied Cassy.
'It looks like a Malibu bottle to me.'
'Well, you always see Malibu bottles hanging around outside bottle banks. Watch this.' Cassy gave a half-twist to the cap on the bottle, which promptly turned into a Malibu bottle with wheels.
Meanwhile, a dark shadowy shape sneaked into a side door somewhere near the Vice-Chancellor's office.
The mini jet-bike Malibu bottle thingy screeched to a halt underneath the arch of the clock tower, closely pursued by an elephant who was just a bit to big to fit through the archway properly. The resulting mess was not very nice.
'Groo' said Miggy and Cassy at roughly the same time, as they watched from
inside the doorway at the base of the tower.
'I wouldn't like to have to mop that up' said a nearby cleaner, before falling strangely silent.
'Hang on' warned Cassy, as she pressed a button.
With a very impressive WHOOOOOOOOOOSH! Miggy and Cassy were catapulted to the top of the clock tower.
'Fuck!!!!!' swore Miggy, and some bearded bloke. There was a hefty red flash and a distant splotting sound.
'Yeah way cool!' exclaimed the shape of Sunset Stoyanka, who was Vice-Megahero of Way Cool Weaponry for the Software Engineer's Revolutionary FrontTM (R) (Miggy found this out later over a pint, because when you are being strafed by high-energy weapons one hundred metres up in the air in a campanile, the conversation normally follows the lines of 'How do you fire this gun?' sort of thing.)
'How do you fire this gun?' asked Miggy, pointing at a nasty evil looking
device on the floor.
'Ummm... that's actually my hair dryer,' replied Sunset, 'this is a gun. Cunt!'
'No no! Shithead!! It works by converting sounds, like swearwords, into a high energy beam that's capable of toasting a large mammal up to two miles away. Wank!'
'You read faaaar too much science fiction, mate' said Miggy.
'Look, there's two more over there.'
Miggy and Cassy clambered up to the small opening.
Miggy took a deep breath. 'Dang!' he said (he'd been watching faaaar too
many movies on ITV). The gun let out a pathetic fart and stopped.
'Eat crap you motherbollocking arse-stabbing son of a fucking no good slimey bag of shite-riddled spunk!!!!' ventured Cassy.
There was a truly massive pink flash and a soft of noise that you normally get when you are hit very hard on the side of the head.
'Woo. She's good!' gasped Sunset.
This was followed by the sound of 57 elephant carcasses hitting the ground.
Miggy fainted. Sunset threw a bucket of yellow lumpy water over him. Miggy unfainted.
'Thanks a lot. Did we get them all?' asked Miggy.
'I think so... no wait...'
The shape had now acquired a a 2000 round-per-minute minigun, with ten thousand rounds of depleted uranium tipped armour piercing bullets (which he had found in the stationery cupboard) and was pushing a large, smooth and very heavy object on a trolley into the elevator.
A gloved hand reached out and pressed the button for the sub-sub basement. The lift descended and stopped. As the doors slid open, the figure spied the black shape of the VC's private helicopter parked in its underground hangar.
The helicopter was matt black, except for a very smart corporate logo of the mermaid and chequebook on either side. The glass was tinted black, so dark that you could hardly see the cuddly Garfield stuck to the side window. The shadowy figure reached for some gaffer tape.
Meanwhile, things were getting a bit dicey up in the clock tower. The pachyderms had started an all-out assault with a second wave of forces coming in from the north.
The clock tower reverberated to the sound of explosions. Someone had rigged up some other laser cannon on the top of Tall Hall and the Motorhead Tower, and some enterprising electronic engineers had converted the satellite dish on the top of the Elec Eng building into a high-powered phaser array.
For some reason, Miggy glanced behind him, just in time to see the Great Dome opening up, and a matt black helicopter lift off. As the chopper swept past, Miggy just glanced Dostoyevsky waving at him from the cockpit window.
Dosty circled the clock tower once, and then headed towards a group of six pachyderms who were hovering over the Bristle Road. He caught them by suprise, and let rip with the minigun... [f/x brrrRRRRRRRRRrrrrggggh...] five of the elephants fell apart in mid-air. The other one darted behind the fire station tower as Dosty opened up again, slicing the top of the tower off.
The elephant turned sharply, and executed a half-loop followed by a stall turn. Dosty lost him completely for a moment and only realised that the elephant was behind him when a high-velocity peanut ricocheted off the engine housing.
The helicopter darted down towards the tree-lined dual carriageway of the Bristle Road, and darted underneath the cover of the leafy canopy, flying terribly low, north towards the city centre. The pachyderm had lost sight of him momentarily, but was now swooping down underneath the branches about two hundred metres behind, and closing. The gun taped to the base of the helicopter scraped along the roof of several cars who were still trying to escape heading south on this side of the carriageway. The elephant splayed its legs in order to get enough clearance, and started firing off peanuts again. Another couple of pachyderms were now tracking him above the trees. He was essentially unable to manouver, as the trees blocked him from going left, right or up.
There were two buses side by side on the carriageway in front of him, packed with passengers, about two hundred metres ahead. As he tried to slow down the helicopter, peanuts started to ping off the delicate surfaces of the aircraft. Something heavier, possibly an iced bun hit next. The helicopter shook, its rotors brushing the underneath of the tree canopy. Dosty switched on the external PA, and shouted 'Get out of the bus!!' at the passengers, as he let off a couple of rounds from the minigun in order to make a point.
Inside the right-hand bus, the conductor penguin was frantically trying to get the passengers out as the black helicopter neared. Just as he threw himself out of the door, the minigun taped to the underside of the craft started firing at the top deck of the bus for twenty seconds. Nothing much seemed to have happened, until the chopper nudged the top deck of the bus which just slid off. The helicopter tried to dip forwards, but just as it started to move off, the pursuing elephant clipped the tail rotor with its trunk, causing the helicopter to lurch violently, and the elephant to bounce off the left hand bus howling in agony through it's severed trunk. The elephant bounced once, on the top of the broken bus, and then rolled off towards the penguin who didn't survive long enough to find out what happened next.
Dosty fought to control the helicopter, but the rotor blades grazed the tree trunks, sending bits of metal showering through the cabin. One bit stuck in his leg, another bounced off the large, smooth object strapped into the passenger seat. Something else damaged a fuel line, and the warning panel lit up like a Christmas tree. He fought to regain control of the helicopter, and managed to clear the end of the tree-lined avenue. The helicopter struggled to gain height, and was passed by the two elephants who had been tracking him and had overshot. He fired the minigun again, slicing all the legs off one and turning the other into a sort of sieve.
His leg was bleeding quite badly now. He turned to check the object next to him, which seemed undamaged. There was a smell of smoke. He tried to gain some more height. It was quite difficult to see now, with the pain of his leg, smoke in the cabin and the ridiculous tinted glass. But there, about a mile away he found what he was looking for.
In the middle of the City Centre was an office block shaped like an oversized beer can, right down to the words OzzyPiss TMemblazoned on the top. Dosty could just see elephants rising up out of the top of the building, which must be hollow, he reasoned.
The helicopter jigged erratically across the sky towards the office block. Several pachyderms followed him, trying to keep out of range of the minigun. Dosty managed to keep the chopper on course for the office block. Some of the braver elephants were now closing on him. He had gained just enough height to see that the block was indeed hollow, when two elephants swooped down towards him firing trunk-mounted lasers. Luckily, the helicopter was so unsteady, he was proving a difficult target. He neared the lip of the building. Smoke was beginning to pour out of the back of the aircraft. Just as he came overhead, one of the elephants fired and shattered his main rotor. The helicopter dropped into the hollow office block.
'Something seems to be happening' said Miggy.
The helicopter tumbled into the darkness. Dosty fumbled urgently for his emergency jetpack underneath the seat. As he spun around, it became clear that he had found the entrance to some vast underground complex buried deep under the city. He strapped the pack to his back, and just about managed to clamber over the object next to him. He opened up a small panel, and started a thirty second timer, unstrapped the object from the chair, and attached it to his harness. As the cockpit swam about his head, Dosty kicked open the door, and pushed himself, and the harness, and the object out of the chopper.
He was nearly yanked out of the door by the weight of the device. Dosty fumbled with the jetpack controls trying to slow his descent. He had known before he left the helicopter that it wouldn't be powerful enough to lift him and his heavy load out of the chamber. Below, the helipcopter hit the floor of the cavern and exploded. He checked the timer on the case. Ten seconds.
A thought crossed Dostoyevsky's mind. Just why did the Vice-Chancellor keep an atom bomb in his office?
There was a blinding white light. That was the end of it.
Miggy tried to shield his eyes from the flash. He glanced back, and saw a pillar of fire rising from somewhere just over the horizon. There was a pause, and the clock tower started to shake.
'Oooooooh shit!' shouted Sunset.
Now, there are some ideal places to be when someone has let off a small nuke a couple of miles away. On top of tall, slender clock tower is not one of these. Miggy could see the shockwave expanding, pushing debris outwards from ground zero.
'The ground's beginning to collapse...' said Cassy helpfully.
Sunset's Reactalite shades had completely blacked out. He fumbled on a small control panel, and eventually found the button labelled Emergency Launch. In the base of the clock tower, huge rocket motors fired, ramming the tower upwards. The three in the top of the tower were pressed hard against the floor as the tower accelerated, but they only just managed to get a few hundred metres in the air when the blast caught up with them...
In the Graphics Lab, deep in the deepest depths of the Arson-Webb building, several S*E*R*F* revolutionaries noticed that they were all sitting back waiting for some keyboard response.
'Oh no, has multics gone down again?'
There was a gradually increasing rumble, and their chairs started to jitter on the floor. Then it died down again.
'I think the DEC's down too! Someone phone Chris Bayleaf!'
The air blast tossed the rapidly ascending clock tower this way and that, twisting and writhing across the skies of Broom. Several VAAPs, blasted away from the city centre, impacted against its sides making it toss even more. Miggy, who had just poured himself a hot coffee, spilled it over his crotch.
'Ow,' said Miggy despondently, 'I'm not having much fun.'
'Looks like the damage is pretty limited, but most of the City Centre's
covered in rubble and debris' reported Sunset who had been checking out
'No change there, then' commented Cassy.
'I just hope the Spoilt By Progress isn't damaged,' said Sunset.
Just then, a new explosion, feeling very close by, rocked the tower. Sunset jumped back to the visi-screens. There was another explosion, even closer.
'Photon torpedoes!' exclaimed Sunset.
'Have you got those, too?' asked Cassy with interest.
'No, but that flying saucer has!' he punched up the picture on the main screen, and they all saw the flying saucer that was bombarding them with photon torpedoes as they shot up through the ionosphere. Miggy instantly recognised it as being exactly the same type that had tried to kidnap him in Marseilles.
'Gosh, that's jolly unlucky,' said Cassy.
'Luck, me?' said Miggy and fainted.
The flying saucer banked to the left, and fired off another torpedo. Fortunately, the ascent of Old Joe was so erratic that this also missed.
'Oh fuck, shit, buggery bollocks!' swore Sunset, firing off a blast
from his energy-conversion weapon. It was dissipated easily by the
flying saucer's force field. Just then, they saw a second saucer
appear over the horizon, heading directly towards them.
'Belgium, man, belgium!' they chorused together, and a huge pinky-blue flash emitted from the muzzle of the weapon, lanced across space, and fizzled interestingly against the nearer saucer's field. But it did no damage.
'Oh Bum,' muttered Sunset (causing the weapon to emit a pathetic little fart), 'I don't think this is going to work.'
Both of the saucers now launched a torpedo. The missiles shone with a cold green glow as they sped towards the tower.
'You haven't got a very long piece of ethernet cable, have you? I
need to get access to alt.weaponry.way-cool, very quickly!'
'Coaxial or 10baseT?' asked Cassy.
There were two explosions, one after another. Several bricks fell out of the wall. Then it went very quiet. The torpedoes had evidently not hit - the blast had just knocked out the rockets.
Slowly, majestically, the clock tower began to hurtle back towards the Earth.
'Maybe it won't need to be such a long cable after all,' said Sunset quietly.
Meanwhile, at the University of Broom, the S*E*R*F* revolutionaries stepped out of the Arson-Webb building into an eerie red light caused by all the dust in the air. The University looked much as usual... except... the clock tower was gone!
'Freaky!' said Gavin.
They decided to go visit their space-hippy friends in Astrophysics, to see if they had noticed any clock-towers in space recently...
Meanwhile, in Old Joe, it was getting rather hot as the doomed tower plummeted ever faster back towards the planet. So Cassy and Sunset were cooling off in the jacuzzi. Had they stayed in the nose-cone, with the still-unconscious form of Migglezimblatt the Wombat, they would have seen something quite interesting on the visi-screen. Following behind the tower, at a discreet distance, were the two flying saucers; and following at an even more discreet distance was the shadowy shape of a much larger, longer, dart-shaped spacecraft, as yet unnoticed by the flying saucers, or was it?
Yes it was, but not for long, because moments later it darted forwards, passing right between the flying saucers and confusing their guidance systems no end (but that probably just served them right for buying telemetry software from Bill Goats).
The dart shaped craft swooped down into the atmosphere, and grabbed the falling clock tower in a tractor beam. The flying saucers tried to lock their combine harvester beams onto the craft to give it a good threshing, but they were just out of range.
The dart shaped ship (DSS) strained hard, accelerating to pull free of the atmosphere while towing the clock tower, while the saucers strafed it with photon torpedoes. Finally the DSS gave in and changed down a gear, and surged ahead, only to find itself nearly colliding with a strange apparition which looked a lot like a GauntletTM machine. The DSS swerved, but the clock tower in tow clipped the strange craft, knocking a couple of joysticks off and thus badly damaging its main drive system. As it was in fact an alien spaceship on a mission to demolish the Earth, this was quite handy as it would take until the next Saga for them to repair their drives (see MZ3 Chapter IX.) And even then not very well.
The two saucers banked round the sides of the GauntletTM shaped craft, but one of them misjudged the bend and smashed straight into Halley's Coment which just happened to be passing, vapourising it on impact.
In the nearby joint US-Russian Space Shuttle Greasy Bastard,
Commander Ken "Bakov" Baker noticed the dart shaped craft zip across
'Wow, a UFO!' he exclaimed. Then he saw a red brick clock tower (slightly damaged) zoom across his field of view. Then came a large flying saucer, firing brightly-coloured energy blasts at both of the first two objects. Then a GauntletTM machine swam into view, spinning uncontrollably. After this an interstellar tomato-n-polyfilla sandwich drifted past on the solar breeze, and finally three dozen purple penguins wearing walkmans paraded past doing the can-can. Though the last may have been more to do with the near-empty vodka bottle clutched in Ken's fist, the rest of which he now poured urgently down his throat.
The DSS had now reached the asteroid belt, and started ducking and weaving in and out between the fastest-moving, biggest chunks of rock, trailing Old Joe behind it flailing this way and that as the ship plunged and yawed, sometimes only missing the massive meteors by mere millimetres, and whizzing along not far behind them, the flying saucer, firing wildly at them with all of its well wicked weaponry.
Luckily, just like most baddies in films, they were not very good shots and had not yet had a direct hit, in fact a stray asteroid had done more damage when the clock tower collided with it, slightly bending the lightning conductor on the top.
Meanwhile, the occupants of the tower, being either rather occupied in the jacuzzi or out could on the control room floor, had not yet noticed what was going on. Until...
...the ship's TandyTM proximity detector had finally warmed up and started letting off a tinny warble.
Miggy peered out of the window and saw the DSS on one side, and the alien flying saucer behind.
'Fuck!' screamed Miggy. This was not a good thing to do for two reasons, which were:
The shot bounced around the cabin, and neatly sliced off Sunset's ponytail.
Meanwhile, the DSS popped out of the other side of the asteroid belt. However, there was something funny going on. Instead of seeing a wide expanse of black pinpointed with stars, there was just total blackness.
Then someone switched the light on.
Hovering just outside the asteroid belt was a truly huge alien craft. The DSS swerved to avoid hitting it, and then grappled with the tractor beam to ensure that the clock didn't do a fly-on-the-windscreen impression. The pilot seemed to pause for a bit.
A blue-green burst of energy shot from the alien craft. Luckily (as has already been mentioned) the bad guys were such bad shots they missed and merely managed to take out a small moon. The DSS turned around, and, clock tower in tow, darted back into the rapidly disintegrating asteroid belt, passing a suprised flying saucer (not to mention a Gauntlet machine, tomato-n-polyfilla sarnie, three dozen purple penguins, Kenneth Baker, the SAS, TA and Jehovah's Witnesses) and heading back towards Earth.
A small door opened in the massive alien ship, and a sleek black homing missile emerged, and blasted off in pursuit.
'Oooh shi.. sh... f.... bu.... deary me'
Sunset was pointing towards the Amstrad Threat Detector which had picked up the approaching missile, as well as a Hackney minicab firm. Obviously, the DSS had seen it too, and the ship and clock tower started to accelerate in an attempt to outrun the missile, a tactic which was..
'Look! We're getting near Earth again' shouted Cassie in order to move the plot along a bit. The Threat Indicator was beginning to get a bit frantic, partly because the missile was getting closer, but mostly because one of the minicab drivers was stuck in traffic with a fare for Heathrow in the back.
Miggy leaned out of the window*. He could just make out a dull red glow from the pursuing missile.,. it was getting awfully close.
Now the threat indicator was showing a big red 10 in its display.
'What does that mean?' asked Miggy.
'Ummmm seconds to impact' replied Sunset.
'Ooops' said Cassie.
9.. 8.. 7.. 6.. 5.. 4.. 3.. 2.. 1..
Nothing much happened.
The missile rushed passed the clock tower. Sunset activated the forward viewscreen. The missile swooped in on the DSS and rammed into the side of it.
It bounced off.
Which was pretty handy actually.
If it hadn't have disabled the tractor beam.
Sunset, Cassie and Miggy all tried very hard to think of something polite to say.
The clock tower plunged Earthwards into the atmosphere.
Meanwhile, a figure in a blue spacesuit desperately fiddled with the ship's radio.
Sunset couldn't get the engines working. Or the attitude rockets. Or the windscreen wipers. But he had managed to get his CD player working again, and it seemed that the crew would spend their last moments listening to Hawkwind.
'What's this lever?' asked Cassie, pointing to a lever labelled Wings,
possibly hoping for some Paul McCartney. Miggy took the lever in his teeth
and pulled as hard as he could.
The clock tower jolted as a pair of wings folded out from the side of the ship.
'That's handy' mentioned Sunset, as he grappled with the controls, attempting to glide to safety.
The clock tower plunged in, then out of the cloud layer, and Miggy noticed the nuked remains of Broom showing up on the viewscreen. Sunset tried to find a nice long runway to land on, and for some reason decided that the railway line would be the best option. The tower hurtled towards the ground, pulling up slightly at the last moment, crashed through the electric cables and hit the railway at about 200 mph.
Sunset pulled hard on the handbrake, and the clock tower screeched, slowly, to a halt, next to the factory on Chocolate Lane. Next to the canal. On a bridge. Uh-oh.
Miggy peered over the side of the now horribly wrecked clock tower. He could hear the bridge creaking suspiciously.
'I think we're OK for the moment' said Sunset, 'as long as we don't get any extra load on the bridge.'
It was at that moment that Way the Whale sailed down the canal next to the railway.
'Hullo' said Way.
'Creaaaak.... CRACK!!!' said the bridge...
'...oh...' said Miggy.
'...deary...' said Cassy.
'...me!' finished Sunset.
'Hullo' said Way the Whale as the railway bridge gave way.
There was a crash. And a clunk. A sort of thud that could have been mistaken for a dull crack. A wet sort of thlop sound.
The next thing Miggy knew was that he was being swept down Chocolate Lane on a tidal wave of murky canal water and bits of brick. As he glanced around (and this is quite difficult to do when you are being swept to your certain and irredeemable death) he saw Cassy and Sunset flailing about screaming madly.
There was a large and substantial looking building that they were going to hit very hard indeed, cunningly situation across from the T-junction at the bottom of the road.
'So this is it,' thought Miggy, 'I'm going to die. Damn, I wish I'd tidied my sock drawer.'
Miggy hit the building at about 70 mph, and was then crushed to a pulp by several hundred tons of broken masonry. His mashed remains were then washed away by the canal water and no trace of him was ever found again.
--- T H E E N D ----
...or at least it would have been if it wasn't for the timely intervention of a giant inflatable whale who got there first. Miggy, Cassy and Sunset bounced off harmlessly, and were catapulted onto the steps of an abandoned library. Way, on the other hand, was not so lucky and burst into a million little bits of rubbery plastic.
'Way to go!' shouted Miggy, who felt in the mood for a sick joke.
Everybody paused slightly while they waited for the rest of the plot to catch up.
'It's snowing' remarked Cassy.
'I don't think that's snow. Snow doesn't glow like that,' said Sunset flatly, 'I think it's probably fallout from that nuke. It might be a good time to get inside.'
At that moment, the library doors squeaked open ominously.
'That's handy!' exlaimed Miggy as he peered into the darkness inside.
Cassy was pretty certain that stepping inside was likely to be a Bad Idea. But since it was a choice between that and having her fur drop off in scaly lumps...
...they stepped inside. The doors slammed shut behind them (of course).
It was pretty dim in here. A handful of flaming brands threw a flickering light around the room.
Miggy could just about make out that they were standing in a large, wood-panelled entranceway with a rather fetching black-and-white checked pattern of tiles on the floor.
He almost didn't see the penguin when he came in. In fact, he noticed the light glinting off his silver trowel first.
'Ah. We have been expecting you.'
'Expecting me to what?' wondered Miggy.
'Please come with me,' said the penguin, and led Miggy through the entrance hall, with Sunset and Cassy following. As they crossed the hall, another penguin was showing a familiar-looking, sour faced man out.
'So you're going to put the pub in afterwards?' he was asking.
'That's right, Jack,' the penguin was heard to say as Miggy and co. passed into the interior of the building.
As Miggy's eyes became accustomed to the dim light in the main room, he realised that he was surrounded by Penguins. There were quite a lot of hardback books as well.
At one end of the room, sitting behind the issue desk, was someone whose face was in shadow.
'Ah, Migglezimblatt,' purred this person in a way that made Miggy rather nervous. As he approached further, he saw that the Person was stroking a white cat.
'So glad you could join us... it would have been so much simpler if you had let us kidnap you in Marseilles...'
By now Miggy was getting really tense and in urgent need of a nice relaxing spliff
'Still, our mothership will soon be here and then our experiments can begin!'
Miggy began to think that this did not sound at all relaxing. He definitely did not fancy taking part in something that sounded like an episode of the X Files. It seemed that Cassy and Sunset had had the same idea, because they had found a door in one corner of the room.
'Quick, out here!' said Cassy. She and Miggy darted out of the door, with Sunset right behind. They dashed across a narrow yard, and into the back of the disused swimming pool on the corner of Chocolate Lane and Pershing Road.
It was dark inside the swimming pool. Miggy groped along the wall until he found the light switch, and pressed it.
Miggy looked round and saw:
'F...' said Miggy and prematurely fainted.
When he came round, something Bad had happened.
Miggy had been strapped into a dentists chair on the edge of the shallow end of the swimming pool. Everybody was standing in the deep end, surrounded by penguins with guns.
'NOW YOU WILL TALK!' boomed a voice.
'Ulp. Who's that?' replied Miggy, somewhat nervously.
'I AM THE EMPEROR PENGUIN!' boomed the Emperor Penguin. With a fanfare, he appeared at the far end of the disused swimming pool, flanked by two... things.
Slimy things with legs.
And very sharp teeth.
'YOU MUST TELL US THE SECRET!'
'THE SECRET OF THE STONED ONES!!' double-exclaimed the penguin.
'Ummm... I don't know anything about that.'
Miggy could now make out that he was a bit bigger than your standard penguin, and about seven foot. He was wearing a crown any wielding something that looked like a sceptre. He was also looking very angry.
'I DON'T BELIEVE YOU. YOU WILL TALK!!'
The Penguin pointed at somebody in the pool below.
'BRING HIM HERE!!'
One of the armed penguins climbed into the pool and forced Simon the Monkey out at gunpoint. Simon was attempting to retain his cool under difficult circumstances.
Simon stood at the very edge of the pool.
'NOW WE WILL MAKE YOU TALK!!'
The Emperor Penguin raised his sceptre and pointed it directly at Simon's head. It glowed ominously, and emitted a loudening whining noise.
There was a bright flash, and Simon exploded. Blood splattered across the occupants of the pool. People were screaming hysterically.
'TELL ME THE SECRET!!!'
'I don't know it! I'd tell you if I did!'
The penguin pointed again.
This time it was Silly the Fish who was forced out of the pool.
'No! I'm too young to die!' screamed Silly.
The Penguin pointed his sceptre at the fish. There was a flash, and Silly disintegrated.
There were more screams. People tried to scrabble out of the pool, but
the slimy things with legs snarled them back.
'TELL ME THE SECRET!!!'
'I told you... I don't know it...'
Miggy was beginning to despair.
The Penguin pointed again. 'THAT ONE!!!!'
Kim Bolton climbed out of the pool, follwed by an armed penguin.
Kim looked directly at Miggy.
'I love you!' shouted Kim.
Miggy closed his eyes. There was a loud bang, and the screaming started again.
There was a tap on his shoulder. Miggy opened his eyes.
The Emperor Penguin was wobbling about aimlessly at the other end of the pool. His neck was squirting blood out from where his head used to be. Miggy looked around, and saw Jimblewix peeling off a balaclava. He was holding a rocket launcher.
'Now, watch this...'
Jimblewix whistled, and suddenly a dozen wombats, all wearing balaclavas abseiled down from the ceiling. The penguins where caught by suprise. Machine guns started going off.
'Jimble, am I glad to see you!'
'Yes,' replied Jimblewix, 'you are. Now, hold onto this.'
Jimblewix thrust one end of a sleek black device at him.
'Time for a little trip,' said Jimblewix.
And they both vanished.
They were standing on a balcony, overlooking a huge room filled with
computers, display screens and people dashing about.
'Where am I?'
'You are about ten years in the future.'
'What am I doing here?'
'You are about to find out the secret of the stoned ones.'
Jimblewix led Miggy down a gantry, across a bridge and into an elevator.
'Going down.' said Jimble, pressing a button labeled '-42'.
'Who were all those people?'
'They work for MiggyCorp.'
'What are they doing?'
'You are about to find out.'
'Where am I?' Miggy asked again.
'Actually, this is your basement.'
The lift reached it's destination, and the door opened into a massive
underground chamber. Miggy peered around, and saw the lift tube rising up
into the distance. All along this wall of the chamber were platforms with
white-coated people scurring about like ants.
'Where are we going?'
Jimblewix led Miggleziblatt to a small buggy.
They got in the buggy and started off across the chamber.
It was pretty gloomy, but Miggy could make out the remains of long-dead elephants piled up in odd corners of the chamber.
'Where am I?' Miggy asked for the third time.
'This is a vast cavern underneath Broom. It was the secret base of the Evil Masonic Pachyderms, who all got nuked to death. Your people have just uncovered something very strange indeed.'
They sat in silence for a while. Eventually, they came to a halt about a hundred metres from where a crowd of people were gathered around something.
Miggy did. They moved effortlessly through the crowd to where the centre of attention was.
'That's you ten years from now.'
Miggy was slightly alarmed that he appeared to be fatter than he was now, and going somewhat thin on top. A thought stuck him.
'Can they see us?'
'Wait and see.'
The older, balder and fatter Miggy approached a part of the cavern where some bare metal was showing through the floor. As he did so, a panel in the metal opened and a small console rose out. The other Miggy walked up to it, and put his left paw against a glowing pad in the middle of the console.
Time seemed to stop for a moment. And then, the metal began to rise up through the cavern floor. The rock fell away as if it was nothing but water, and a huge, glowing silver-gold saucer rose out of the ground.
It was massive. It seemed to be at least a kilometer across, and must have been two hundred metres thick, although this was difficult to judge while standing on top.
'What is it?'
'Is it alien?'
'What happens now?'
'I'm not allowed to say.'
'Why am I here?'
'Because you need to Understand.' Jimblewix pronounced the capital 'U' in a way that made Miggy gulp nervously.
Jimblewix told him, at length.
'And how do you know all this?'
'I can't say?'
'So, if you're not my brother, who are you?'
'Sorry. It's time to go back now.'
Jimblewix handed Miggy one end of the transporting device.
Miggy woke up in the middle of a firefight in the swimming pool...
...and exclaimed 'Yeah this is txn 100.'
And then he realised that this was Chapter 101, the worst Chapter in the world.
And then he realised that there was an awful lot of shooting going on.
'Blimey, there's a lot of shooting going on.'
The remaining penguins had retreated to the relative cover of the entrance to the changing rooms, from where they were poking their heads out and spraying random fire across the swimming pool. The black-clad figures in balaclavas had tken up positions on the other three sides of the pool, and were taking cover behind some upturned benches and whatever else came to hand.
The hostages were screaming hysterically in the pool itself. They'd taken a direct hit with a grenade, and were consequently wading about ankle-deep in blood.
'So that's what they mean by bloodbath!' mused Miggy as a armour-piercing round whizzed passed his ear.
Miggy decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and he
wriggled out of the dentist chair and took cover behind a big pile of
those polystyrene floaty things.
'This is fun!' thought Miggy as a bazooka round smashed down the roof.
'Ahem,' coughed Jimblewix, 'time to get out of here.'
Jimblewix and Miggy edged towards the exit. As they got near the door,
Jimblewix blew a whistle and the remaining black-clad figures started to
'What happens next?' asked Miggy.
A Russian T-80 tank burst through the side of the building, commanded by
The T-80 took aim at the far end of the of the swimming pool and fired.
The chaging rooms exploded in a show of bits of concrete, tiles and
penguin. And then it was silent.
Apart from the moaning all the injured of course.
Miggy peered into the swimming pool. The combination of blood, dust and chunks of masonry made the contents of the pool look like a giant black pudding. He felt sick, but he didn't think this would help much, so he settled for looking green instead.
The giant black pudding stirred. Out came agent Dog Scooper followed by
Cassy, Sunset and some other survivors (including some ducks).
Kim was nowhere to be seen.
Agent Scooper waved at the tank command. 'Glad you could make it!'
Two elephants climbed out of the tank. Miggy looked a bit nervous, since
he'd had a couple of bad experiences with pachyderms (such as them trying
to kill him).
'Gentlemen, these are my two colleagues from the FPI, agents Mouldy and Sullen.' Agent Mouldy had a strange patina on his skin and smelt bad. Agent Sullen looked a bit miserable, but strangely attractive.
'See!' said Sullen 'it wasn't aliens after all!'
Jimblewix shook Mouldy and Sullen's hands.
'I'd like to introduce Migglezimblatt, and my erstwhile helpers..' he waved towards the mysterious, black-clad balaclava-wearing figures, 'Dolly the Sheep!'
The sheep took their masks off. They all looked identical.
'Hi! I'm Dolly!' they all said in unison.
Just then, there was a zap and a large explosion. Miggy looked up through
the hole in the roof and saw two flying saucers hovering.
'Hah! It was aliens after all!' shouted Mouldy 'This happens every week and you still don't believe me!'
'Time to leave' said Scooper. He led Miggy and the two elephants down a tiled corridor. Jimblewix, Dolly, Sunset, Cassy and everyone else followed. They got to the side entrance of the pool and to the FPI's waiting transport.
It was a mini.
Standing next to it was another elephant. 'This is Sergeant Digbeth, of
the West Mudlands Serious Crime Squad' said Scooper.
'Sign this.' Digbeth offered Miggy a piece of paper with the words "IT WERE ME WOT DUN IT. YOU GOT ME BANG TO RIGHTS GUV" scrawled on it.
'No!' said Miggy.
'Worth a try through,' replied Digbeth.
Sunset looked at the car. 'We'll never all fit in that!'
'Well, we arrived in it!' answered Scooper.
'No way!' shouted Sunset 'How do you fit four elephants in a mini?'
Digbeth replied 'Two in the front seat, two in the back.' (well, what did you expect him to say?)
'So not much room for a human, a capybara and a couple of wombats, some
sheep and a swimming pool load of hostages then?' asked Jimblewix.
'No,' replied Digbeth, 'It's a good job we brought this bus then'.
Strangely, everybody had failed to notice the gleaming West Mudlands
Travel single-decker parked next to the mini.
'I'll drive' said Digbeth, squeezing in through the bus door. Various marsupials and cloned ovines followed. The other three elephants climbed into the mini. Once everyone had filed in and argued who was going to sit where they remembered that they were in fact fleeing from a couple of hostile flying saucers.
The disused swimming pool exploded spectacularly as some sort of death ray came out of the bottom of the saucer.
'Time to go!' shouted Jimblewix at Digbeth. The bus pulled out into the
Pershing Road, which was covered in bits of rubble and awash with canal
water still draining away.
'Where to, guv?' asked Digbeth, who was obviously mistaking himself for a taxi driver.
Miggy realised that he had to get back to the University sometime. 'Eggbasket Park Road, please.'
The bus pulled out, and started heading north.
At this point the flying saucers noticed them and started firing off energy beams. There was a flash and a small mushroom cloud as the local Reliant Robin dealer dissolved into flames.
It should be pointed out that buses don't make ideal high-speed escape vehicles, and Digbeth was having some difficulty with the gears. They sped down the road at a breathtaking fifteen miles per hour, followed by a seriously overload mini.
The saucers managed to blow up a funeral parlour, supermarket, lingerie shop and bowling alley. They didn't seem to be very good shots.
Jimblewix rubbed his chin.
Meanwhile, Ethel and Arthur Dripdry were waiting for a bus.
There is as sort of person who will assume that things will carry on as normal despite adversity regardless of common sense. In this case, the city had been nuked, lasered, flooded and badly mucked about by urban planners in the 1950s and they still assumed that the number 45 would turn up sooner or later.
'I don't like these novelty seats,' said Ethel, 'what's it meant to be then?'
'Dunno,' replied Arthur, 'looks a bit like an elephant with its head blown off.'
'Why's there a dead bird sticking out of its bum then?'
'Where's that bus? It's over two hours late! I have a good mind to write and complain.'
Arthur had a sort of resigned expression on his face. You could tell that
he was probably the sort to say 'Oh, the city's been nuked. Just my
luck' or 'Oh, I've married some hideous old dragon, never mind' or 'Oh
dear, the tories have just got re-elected. Oh well.'
'Ah... what's this?'
Arthur was slightly suprised to see a number 45 bus slowly coming towards them...
'I don't suppose anyone has a high powered directed energy weapon on them do they?' shouted Digbeth as another volley of laser fire flashed by.
Sunset and Cassy made their way to the front of the bus.
'What about this?' queried Sunset, removing a salvaged sweargun from his backpack.
Digbeth looked at the gun. It had horrible pointy bits on and looked very
'What the hell is that?' asked Digbeth.
'Oops' said Sunset as the gun drilled a neat little hole an inch wide right through the middle of Digbeth's head.
Digbeth didn't seem to notice. He just blinked, and turned back to face the road.
'Ummm' said Sunset.
'Eeeek! It's a giant tulip!' shouted Digbeth as he swerved the bus off the road. The bus narrowly missed two people waiting by a bus stop and crashed into a motorcycle dealer.
Sunset and Cassy were thrown through the front window of the bus, but landed harmlessly onto the comfortable padded seat of a Honda Goldwing.
Digbeth looked a bit dazed as he peered through where the front window used to be. He saw Cassy.
'Oooh a sticky bun!' he said, picking Cassy up in his trunk.
Sunset hit him with the sweargun.
'Gerroff!' they shouted at the same time.
'Excuse me,' asked Mrs Dripdry, 'is the the bus for the city centre?'
At this point the flying saucers decided to land. There being no flat ground, they demolished the Dogpoo hotel next to the bike dealers.
'Uh-oh,' said pretty much everybody except for Digbeth who said 'sugarlump'.
By this time, Miggy et al had climbed out of the bus to look at the pretty lights as the saucer descended. Sunset was crouched behind the Honda trying to aim the gun at anything that needed shooting.
The saucer, and a ramp descended. Helen the Alien came out, holding a large suspect-looking black object.
There was a hushed silence. Helen walked towards Migglezimblatt and stopped in front of him.
'This is for you.'
She handed Miggy the object. Miggy opened it.
It was a gold-plated Fender Stratocaster III guitar.
Miggy then said something he would regret.
KAZAP! went Sunset's sweargun. Unfortunately, because Sunset had been looking at Miggy, Miggy was directly in the line of fire.
Luckily, the energy blast was reflected off the gold Stratocaster and bounced up into the low clouds.
'Thanks Helen,' said Miggy, 'I can see that this is going to be useful.'
'Wibble' said Digbeth
'Young people today!' exclaimed Mrs. Dripdry.
Meanwhile Mouldy and Sullen were having a look at the flying saucers.
'You've got to admit, Sullen, this is pretty strong evidence for extra-terrestrial intelligence,' Mouldy was saying.
'But there could be a perfectly reasonable explanation... isn't there a TV studio near here?' she replied with a gorgeous little pout.
At the same time, Agent Scooper was throwing rocks at a bottle on a wall to determine what would happen next.
What happened next was that a large dart shaped ship came tumbling out of the sky very very fast. It had a neat hole in its underside almost as if it had been orbiting directly overhead and a stray blast of energy had shot up through the clouds and blasted it.
It crash landed across the two flying saucers, obliterating them but giving it a relatively soft landing. Bits of shattered flying saucer strewn across the Pershing Road started to be carried off downstream by the water flowing down from the canal.
A hatch opened on the underside of the dart shaped ship, and a ladder came down. A figure in blue climbed down it and turned to face them.
The figure took off its helmet and said...
'I am the Yellow Cavalier'
'I most strongly disagree' said Miggy
'Ok, I am the White Avenger' claimed the figure.
'Bollocks' chorused Miggy and Sunset.
Two small bullets freeowed from Sunset's swear gun and instantly killed Mr. and Mrs. Dripdry.
'Alright I admit it, I am in fact Tom Axemurderer,
and I'm here to kill you!'
shouted the figure as he pointed a simple revolver at Miggy.
'Neeeeuuuurghawibble..zippofringBOP!' said Miggy as his whole life flashed before him.
'Fuck!' thought Miggy, 'Have I really met all those beings?'
'But I'm not going to kill you,' said Tom, 'If you tell me the secret.'
'Not again!' cried Miggy, 'I wish people would stop asking me that.'
Frank the crinkly wabbit was not at ease with himself. He'd been happily chewing on a plastic ^ all day when suddenly he'd realised that he was not alone in the universe. He'd been waiting patiently for the re-appearence of Halley's comet but instead the heavens had been alight with flashes, bangs and other omenic-type things. He had wanted to talk to his friend, D'kaan~%_wop about the events but D'kaan~%_wop was not to be found. So Frank had sat down on a nearby tortoise to think things over whilst hitching a ride into town. He had come to the conclusion that the only possible reason for the non-return of Halley's comet was that beings from another world had shot it down. He had realised that this other world could only be Earth. A remarkably lucid moment for a crinkly wabbit.
'Alright I'll tell you!' screamed Miggy. 'For the benefit of all those present, Bob's password is BobIsGod'.
This crafty ploy was the first thing that Miggy could ad lib on the spur of the moment and was remarkable for two reasons:
The carpet was surprised, but hid it well.
Miggy was alone and wondered if he'd done the right thing. He'd left all his aquaintances facing Tom Axemurderer, not a quick death by any means.
'Ah well', he mumbled 'They'll probably just muddle on through'.
As soon as he had said this, the carpet sprang to life and said:
'How did you know the password?'
'You know, Muddle on through'
'I'm not sure if I understand' complained Miggy.
'Well it's like this' explained the carpet, 'The password is derived from an old WALLS song called "muddle on through, to the other side", so that's where we're going'.
'The other side of what?' asked Miggy.
'Why the asteroid belt of course' replied the carpet. 'Sorry if I don't appear to take the quickest route, but I'm using AA Autoroute for DOS'.
Miggy had a feeling this would be a long ride, he looked down and noticed they were going via Coventry. He could just make out what appeared to be a couple of S*E*R*F revolutionaries vainly attempting to push-start a vauxhall corsa with a flat battery down a hill. This was always going to be a futile excercise for two reasons:
One of the S*E*R*F revolutionaries was heard to say:
'We're like a highly-trained military unit aren't we?'
So Frank decided that he would have to visit Earth to see what was going on. So he asked the tortoise if he knew how to get there.
'Sure!' said the tortoise. 'I have a magic carpet in my house. It's a long
way from here though, twelve yards at least!'.
'That's ok, I'll walk' replied Frank. As an afterthough he asked: 'How long have you had this magic carpet?'
'As long as I can remember' replied the tortoise, 'It's truly bizzarre how no-one's ever asked me about it before'.
Miggy didn't think it possible. Here he was travelling in outer space on a magic carpet (which had surrounded itself in a force field to keep the air in), to the other side of the asteroid belt, having miraculously guessed the password. He was pondering the wonder of this when he saw a small object coming the other way. As it got closer he could make out the shape of a crinkly wabbit on an identical flying carpet.
'This is truly bizzarre' he thought.
'Morning!' said Frank as he passed Miggy, 'Shame about Halley's comet innit?'
...which distracted Miggy just long enough for him to collide with the bridge of a passing Imperial Star Destroyer.
'Think once, think twice, think flying magic carpet' said the destroyer's captain as he loosed off his lateral ion cannon array at it.
The magic carpet fell out of control towards a nearby black hole. Some of the tassles were on fire. There was the smell of singed fur. Miggy held on with his claws for dear life, but it was no good...
...he was caught in the gravity well and crushed to a microscopic pulp.
T H E E N D
Or at least it would have been if it really had been a black hole. As it turned out it was a standard issue subspace wormhole number 7 that had been carelessy left lying about by a passing deity. This was particulary annoying as
Fortunately he arrived in one piece.
Unfortunately, so did campus security who were feeling a bit jumpy due to all the trouble they'd been having with elephants and nukes and whatnot. The University SWAT team took up position behind a grassy knoll and aimed their weapons at Miggy.
'Can we see your pass, sir?'
There were two small chances of survival:
In this case it was 2. Miggy tugged at the door with his claws, pulled it open, did a reverse back flip and pulled off the duct tape with his teeth, thus locking the door behind him. Miggy suprised himself with his agility, but it may just have been something to do with the coke he'd just had (or was it Pepsi?).
He scampered up the stairs, through a door with a sign on reading "Fire Door - Keep Shut" which was wedged open (of course) with a fire extinguisher.
Miggy dashed down the corridor and breathed a sigh of relief...
...at which point a Cadbury's Fudge thudded into the wall behind him...
'Way cool!' exclaimed Sunset, who was sitting on top of a munchies
machine (see MZ1 chapter XXXVII) operating some
little levers he had installed there. The machine glided down the corridor.
'Hi Miggy' said Sunset.
'Hi. You escaped from Tom Axemurderer then?'
'Yeah. I have to go to one of his lectures though. See ya,' said Sunset as the munchies machine truned the corner.
Miggy strolled into the Multics Lab. The S*E*R*F* revolutionaries were there, under a banner which said
new SERF - new MARSUPIALS
They all seemed to be wearing suits.
'Welcome, colleague!' said a tall one who wasn't wearing sunglasses, unlike everyone else. 'You're just in time for the debate on whether we should change the revolutionary colour to purple!'
'Umm,' ummed Miggy, 'I'm in a bit of a hurry, s'curity are coming round and I haven't got my pass.' Just then he noticed that the SERFers all had their passes neatly clipped to their lapels
'Oh, OK. See you at the AGM then?'
'Sure,' lied Miggy, who had no intention of turning up for any of the first 10 AGMs, and left them to it. 'Hmm,' thought Miggy to himself, 'I bet that doesn't last into the next saga.'
Hearing the light clomp-clomp of s'curi'y, he scuttled along the shadows of the curving corridor, and headed out of the building via Chemistry.
When he got outside, he discovered night was falling (which was why s'curi'y had been getting restless). A large crane was attempting to lift the clock tower Big Joe back into its rightful place, the lights were coming on all over campus, and the students were heading for the Mermiad to get pissed.
Yawning theatrically, Miggy set off for his pad in High Hall... would he get there without further adventures?
Not quite, because before going home, Miggy decided to check his e-mail.
Duly, Migglezimblatt diverted into the Library and logged into multics from a vdt~1. He had a lot of e-mail and it took a long time to read. The last message was the most interesting because it had been sent from his own account, and it said:
Hi Miggy, Miggy here. I'm you from the future who has travelled back in time. i had to pop back in the tardis to just before the start of this trem and hack into the universities registry comp to make sure you are still registered for the 2nd year of my course and still have the same room in hi hall. dont forget to come back and do this when you are older! PS dont get out of the wrong side of bed tomorrow morning!
Pondering this message, and making the mental note to come back in time in the future, Miggy left the library and headed up towards the Vale. On the way, he met Sunset who was going the same way. He had the sweargun slung on his back.
'Hi,' said Miggy, 'do you keep that thing in your room?'
'Sure,' Sunset replied, 'it's handy. I can shoot mutant geese on the lake. I live on the top floor of High Hall you see.'
'Cool, I must come up and have a go sometime. I live in High too, in 1507.'
'Sure, I'm in 1707.'
When they got to High Hall...
...they got pissed in the bar.
Then they went up to Sunset's room to look at his copy of ZANG.EC
But as they walked in the door, they tripped over a huge pile of
listings of adventure.forum.
'Fucking cuntbustard!' exclaimed Sunset as he tripped head over heels.
Miggy turned round to see if he was talking to someone in the corridor, and there was a flash behind him as the sweargun went off. However Miggy didn't notice this as he had drunk so much black label vodka that he was seeing flashes on a pretty regular basis.
When he turned round, Sunset was gone. Miggy wandered into the room, narrowly missing the 320 foot chasm in the floor and completely missing noticing it. He wandered around the room slowly for an hour or so but couldn't find Sunset anywhere. Of course it was difficult to look properly with the floor and ceiling changing places every 10 seconds and the walls behaving in a completely non-Newtonian way. So eventually he gave up and went back down to his own room, directly below 2 floors down.
He weaved across the room, fell into bed and fell straight to sleep.
Return to the index or go on to the Third Saga!