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Stats entertainment (an extract from S.W.A.T.)

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Tom and Jerry once more get into a whole cocktail of trouble

Scifi / Humor
Chris Troman
Age Rating:

chapter 8

Stats Entertainment

I rolled out of my army issue bed, and staggered in to the shower. As the water washed away another night’s drunken rage, against this machine I was stuck in. I thought back to what I had done in my life. Not much in the past two years, stuck in this government research facility. With my great mate Jerry, and that megalomaniac Penrose, or Binky to his friends. I say friends, but I really mean Jerry and myself. And we only called him that because we knew it annoyed him.

We were the key pieces of machinery, in the operation known as Project Greater Britain. You can tell from the name, that some one didn’t have a sparkling imagination. But I suppose that’s the military mind for you. Mind you I have to admit, they did have an over developed sense of imagination, when it came to security. The razor wire, dogs and armed guards were just a footnote. But I’ll come to that later, as it’s not a pleasant thought when you’re showering off a hangover.

“Tom, its time to clock in.” Came the singsong voice of Binky, as he popped his head through the door. So dragging myself out of the refreshing shower, I dried and donned my ceremonial kimono. One advantage of this cage I was stuck in, we could get anything our hearts desired. Except for our freedom, and some company besides the three of us.

The government kept us secret. After all, who would want to admit the brave new world we were creating, was spawned from just a chance meeting with a now dead inventor, and myself. If you haven’t heard my part in the genesis of the Department for a Greater Britain, then brace yourself for the short version. I got hold of a machine that creates alternative realities in a confined area, from an inventor who got himself squashed by a bus. My job at the patient office led my good drinking buddy Jerry and myself, to nick patients from the alternative realities to use for our own profit. Penrose (or Binky to us) got wind of it, and perverted our noble get rick quick plan, in to some sort of make Britain great again farce. Then as with all great plans, the real government stepped in. And reaped the rewards of our labors, in the shape of Penrose’s boss, Marchbanks. I think it was their need of someone to work the machine in secret. Which stopped our trio from getting a one-way trip to the bottom of the sea, in cement sneakers. So there you have it.

We’re stuck in here, while everyone else reaps the benefits of our inventions, which we filch for the empire. Jerry was already at his workspace, feasting on last nights pizza and a chilled can of larger. Every desk should have a mini fridge. He grinned as he looked up from his breakfast. But I could see in his eyes that caged animal stare. Jerry had always been an out door type. Even after a full night’s drinking session, he would still be out on the field. Covered from head to toe in mud.

For my part, I’d had to give up my fags, Penrose had put paid to that. “I’ll not have my lungs polluted with your filth.” And after the incident with the nicotine patches, I had over done the application, by an armful. It had taken me a week to get to sleep after that. At the end of which, our captors had deemed it inappropriate for me to continue with my habit. So cold turkey’d in to a smoke free state, I was a little on edge too.

Penrose was the only one in our group to have thrived, despite Jerry’s and my attempts to upset him. He knew he was only a cog in the greater machine. And so took succor in pretending to be in control, when he knew he wasn’t. Besides the department for a Greater Britain was his baby, he’d got his dream to come true.

It must have been a Tuesday; you get a feeling for this thing, when time seems to stand still in an unchanging environment. I was flicking through Penrose’s cocktail bible. It was his other means of occupation, for he had become quite a professor of mixology. He even tempted Jerry and myself in to enjoying his concoctions, between pints. For although they tasted like they were devoid of booze, those little breathers could some how drop us to a new level of being comfortably numb. Just they my kimono wafted as in a breeze, and startled I turned to see the unexpected.

There was a hole in the wall, and silhouetted in front of the rising sun stood a figure. Even in my confused state modesty prevailed, and I dove for the safety of my room. I expected a volley of gunshots, but when none came I dressed in a flash, ever ready for action. Penrose popped his head round the door. “Tom, there’s a woman out here. I think you should come and meet her.” “What’s she like?” I enquired. “Well she’s got curves in all the right places, and plenty of them, a red head.” I corrected him. “No what does she like to drink?”

Fully attired, I stepped out in the relative calm, after the storm of a moment ago. Where Jerry had engaged our uninvited guest in conversation. “Did you get my message in the micro dot? Help we are being held at an unknown location.” She seemed a bit agitated, and cut across him in a not so melodious Welsh tone. “Get moving you daft sod, we haven’t much time. The Russians will be here in a minute to get their hands on your secret device. I’ve got to blow it up, so they don’t get it.” She held up some sort of explosive device. Penrose was over in a shot at this. “You can’t do that, Marchbanks would be furious.” She was on him in an instant; this was obviously a sore point. “That idiot marchbanks can’t tell a threat from a glass of milk. I told him about it yesterday, and he just laughed. So I knew it was me or nothing.”

As if in answer to this outburst, another hole blew through the wall. This time it was on the other side of the room. Penrose, exasperated at this turn of events started towards it. There was a blur of color. As I was yanked by this Valkyrie from the hills, back through her hole.

I stood dazed in the morning sun, as she dove back inside. Then a second later automatic gunfire rang out, as she emerged once more. This time with a dazed Jerry, with a book clutched to his chest for protection from the hale of bullets. Next our would-be savior threw the explosive device in to the hole. Then dragged us by our collars, to a helicopter hovering inches from the ground. I just had time to see our jail disappear in a cloud of smoke, as the craft we were in rose like a rocket in to the big blue.

“What about Penrose?” I asked. She looked at me with steely eyes. “He ran at them and drew their fire away. I think they would have got us otherwise.” Jerry stirred from behind his book, “So he died the way he wanted to go.” I turned to him incredulously, “What horribly?” “No defending the realm you dolt. But his works will live on.” He held up the book, it was the cocktail bible. I looked round to see the pilot, but was shocked to see no one there. And then I realized it must be one of our patients. “Auto pilot?” I enquired. “Yes with evasion maneuver control.”

“My name’s Gwyneth” She held out her hand. “Tom and Jerry”, I replied. Jerry indicated the choppers now in hot pursuit. “But surly those helicopters have the same tactical stuff we’ve got.” Gwyneth took out a robust seven-inch tablet from an inner pocket, and plugged it in to a port in the choppers control panel. “They don’t have one of these though.” Instantly our helicopter started doing stunt after stunt, to shake our pursuers off. It was a wonder we weren’t thrown out of our seats. But Gwyneth had reached over at the last moment, and strapped us all down.

Before long this reckless tactic paid off, and we landed at an empty airfield. Empty that was except for a private jet. This was beginning to look like uncannily like a spy film, so I confronted Gwyneth. “Who do you work for, this little prison break must have cost a fortune?” She just motioned us in to the plane with, “There’ll time to explain when we’re safely on our way.” And so we shot off once more in to the big blue. Gwyneth had plugged in the robust tablet up front, and returning she explained. “We should be safe from any pursuers now. That little tablet is quantum entangled to the worlds most advanced quantum computer. Or at least one of them, but I’ll get to that later.” She flipped out another less robust tablet, and started a video.

There was a sandy haired man on the screen. “Hello we at E-wave would like to introduce you to the future.” He gestured to an impressive set of computer banks and cooling equipment. “This is the mark eleven quantum processor unit. Quantum computers have been advancing for some time now, following Rose’s law we should have more computing power than the universe. O.K. we ran in to a few problems, and most machines were specific to purpose. But now I think we’ve nailed it. The mark eleven can be programmed to solve any problem, meaning the world of tomorrow is available today.”

Gwyneth put the table down. “That’s the official line, but it’s really a front to release the steady flow of inventions you come up with.” Jerry had found a bar, and he called from behind it. “I thought the super computer of yours was supposed to work.” “It does, but Marchbanks didn’t want the general world knowing about your reality machine. I think he did leak a story that you three were eccentric geniuses at first, as a cover story. But now he’s got the mark eleven, they are playing that down.” I sat back to enjoy the ride. “Well he got that half right, is there any booze on this escape craft?”

Jerry emerged from behind the bar, “Did you know this plane’s got a wine cellar? Where did you get this plane from Gwyneth?” “That’s what I was saying about the quantum computer. It predicted that the Russians had got wind of your little research base, using another quantum computer. They may have intercepted one of your inventions, and made their own. But I think they didn’t get the quantum entanglement remote. Or they would have known about my little counter attack. Our computer worked out the plan in an instant, and told me where to get every thing. This plane is always here, ready if the oil magnet who owns it, wants to jet off in a hurry.”

She waved her hand dismissively at Jerry, who was proffering her a glass of Champaign. “I don’t drink, I was raised by a strict Presbyterian family. The religion didn’t stick, but I could never bring myself to imbibe the demon drink.” With an affronted look Jerry passed the glass to me. Then he retreated behind the bar again. “I’ll see what I can do then.” He turned his back to us, and soon had what looked like a mixture of fruit juice with ice. “Tasty”, remarked Gwyneth, then eyeing my pint of Dom Perignon. “Isn’t it a bit early in the day for you though.” I explained, “We’ve been locked up with Penrose for the past two years, with his empire where the sun never sets. So any time is good for a drink.” I turned to Jerry “What time is it in Dubai?” “2pm, time for afternoon sherry.” He produced the glass, and took one.

“To Binky, the poor fellow jumped at the Ruskies, like a lemon leaping in to a Gin and Tonic.” A confused Gwyneth replied, “Aren’t you thinking of a lemming?” I completed it with, “No that would ruin a perfectly good drink.” Thus we toasted our fallen comrade. Gwyneth drained her glass, and Jerry mixed another.

After the fifth drink Gwyneth excused herself. “Call of nature.” Grinning Jerry leaned over the bar. “I think it’s time Gwyneth experienced an Orgasm.” I was shocked; I knew incarceration did strange things to a fellow. But I didn’t think Jerry was such a cad. I had assumed his spiking her fruit juice with little sauce, was just his way of saving her from a life of abstinence. Not some Machiavellian plan to woo her, and I told him so. He held up Penrose’s cocktail book showing the recipe for the drink call Orgasm. “I’ll get the Amaretto, you get the Baileys,” I sheepishly countered.

When Gwyneth returned, the drink was waiting for her. “Where are we headed exactly?” I quizzed her. “It’s a secret underground bunker. Let’s just say a little fellow with a mustache, and a penchant for saucers is to thank for our little hide out.” She swayed a little, so I helped her down in to her seat. “Der Reise in Poland, it must be” Jerry exclaimed from his high stool aback the bar. Gwyneth took a sip and in surprise, almost spat it out. “How on earth could you guess it from that?” “Let’s just say I have eclectic viewing habits.” “And he’s addicted to UFO documentaries, is that where they made Die Glocke?” I added. Gwyneth nodded, a bit lethargically, but still drinking. “They opened some of the tunnels up for the tourists. But we managed to sneak our lab in there. It’s a great hide out, and well defended by HMRC troops.” She trailed off, and the empty glass fell from her hand. I picked it up, and found a blanket to tuck her in with. After all it had been a long morning, for her first drinking session.

Then I cracked open a can of larger, and went to explore the plane. After a brief wolfing down of some expensive snacks had I found, I returned to find Jerry perturbed. “You know Tom, we’re going to end up back in the clink if we carry on with this trip.” I could see his point. If we ran strait to a HMRC base, Mountbanks would get his hands on us again. “But won’t the Russians lock us up if they catch us?” “And when they find out we know nothing, we’ll be wearing concrete life preservers.” Jerry completed my thought. “We need a plan.”

So diligently we hit the Blue Curacao, I find it always helps. “So it’s decided,” Jerry slurred. “We’re dead as Dodos.” “Wait, I’ve had an idea,” I jerked up from my seat. “Why don’t we use the quantum thingy, to get a plan for us?” Jerry swayed where he stood. “Isn’t it helping avoid pesky Ruskies from catching us?” “Well I’m gonna get it. No one tells Tom C. Moran what he can and can’t do.” And I staggered off to the cockpit.

The tablet was stuck to a panel, and had a wire attached to it. I pulled it away, and almost fell in to the doorway on my stumble back to Jerry. He was busy, pouring another pint of Dom Perignon. “Right lets type in, how do Tom and Jerry avoid being killed or caught.” I pressed enter, and staggered sideways. Just then Jerry dropped his pint, and the fizz went all over the bar, soaking the tablet. It fizzed, and the screen went blank. Sharing a look of horror with me, Jerry dove for a towel. Meanwhile I swung the now defunct device about my head, like a fly swat. After ten minutes of our technical resuscitation, we admitted defeat. So we shoved the offending object in to Gwyneth’s pocket, she was now snoring logs. Then we went to console ourselves with a bottle of rum.

We were soon “Arring” like pirates, when we heard the thud. It came from above, so Jerry and I looked up. This proved to be a mistake, as the sudden flash and smoke sent us reeling about. Our eyes were only privy to the searing stars now in front of them. Rough arms grabbed me, and I was dragged in to the air. I bounced up a tube, still gripped by this unknown assailant. Then I landed unceremoniously on a hard floor. The groans next to me of Jerry and Gwyneth gave me the one twinge of hope, in my blinded panic. Whoever these pirates of the skies were, they left us then to recover from the ordeal.

Finally the vague shadows before my eyes became the forms of Jerry and Gwyneth, as they too sat up coughing, and rubbing their eyes. “What did they hit us with?” Gwyneth asked still disorientated. Jerry looked out of the window, “so the Russians got us after all.” Gwyneth stood too now, “not necessarily the Russians, but what I don’t understand is why the plane didn’t evade them. It was plugged in to the statistical analysis remote.” I decided a change of subject was due. “What do you mean, when you say it might not be the Russians?” “Well the analysis of the situation, was that the Russians were going to grab you today. As they think that you were some sort of geniuses, churning out inventions. But the Americans and Japanese were on to your trail. It could be one of those.”

“Very astute madam.” The voice preceded a broad shouldered man, in a suit topped off with a Stetson. “The names Harvey, Harvey Wallbanger.” He started checking us over for any signs of injury. “You’ll be O.K., I can’t say the same for your plane. That hit the drink, and sank like a stone. Still that’ll put those Ruskies off the trail.” He turned to Gwyneth, “so you pulled these two boffins out before they could be nabbed. What are you miss, M.I.5?” Gwyneth stood full height, and squared up to our captor. “I’m professor Gwyneth Llandudno, of the quantum statistic research project. If M.I.5 had done their job when we wanted them, I wouldn’t have had to do it instead.” She snorted at the agent. He stared at her, and then broke in to a wide smile. “I like you prof, you sure have got balls. Why don’t you folks come on through to the civilized part of this jet, and you can travel in style.”

He indicated the door he had arrived through. I followed the others, and found us in a high Tec cockpit, all flashing lights and beeping controls. “This here’s Jack Rose, he’s our Tec expert.” He indicated a wiry man who flashed us a toothy smile, before he went back to some sort of radar screen. “Brandy Alexander, linguistics wiz. If she don’t know it, no one speaks it.” The lithe woman nodded to Gwyneth, but ignored Jerry and myself. “Up here’s Bishop. As you can see he’s the pilot. But he can drive just about anything.” The well-built man moved with purpose, as he raised his hand in greeting, while he kept his eyes on the screen. I noticed a small suited man strapped in to his seat; he was busy studying a newspaper. Staring at Harvey I nodded at the man. As if as an after thought Harvey explained. “That’s Agent Orange, he’s F.B.I. we need him to operate on home soil. It’s always prudent to keep one handy, just in case.”

Harvey motioned to three seats, so we took them. “The funny thing is that until a few minutes before we got you, your plane was doing a dam fine job at hiding.” I exchanged a guilty look with Jerry, as Harvey carried on. “The president’s a bit upset about your sudden glut of inventions. We thought we’d drained all your brains back in the sixties. Turns out you’ve been breeding them like flies.” Jerry snorted from his chair. “Yes, we lord it over the flies. Or at least that’s what I hear the East thinks of us.” I interceded “You didn’t have to yank us off the plane though. Is there anything to drink on this flying jail?” Harvey suppressed a smirk.” Oh you’ll get a drink alright, Just as soon as we land at a secure C.I.A. holding base. ”

Then his smile slipped from his face, as the plane suddenly went in to a dive. As Harvey was the only one not strapped in, he took a tumble. But he was on his feet in seconds. Then he fell again, as he realized his leg was broken. In my position safely strapped in, I noticed Bishop handling the controls as if there were nothing wrong. “It’s a double cross”, shouted Harvey. “Get Bishop” he commanded from the floor. Brandy Alexander rose, as she was nearest. “Give him the Curacao Punch” Harvey suggested. And the wiry femme fatale did a complicated chop to both sides of Bishop’s neck. But it had no effect. “Try a Fish House Punch, Brandy,” suggested Jack. She tried it, pummeling the pilot in the back of his head with her elbow. But still he held the plane’s downward course. “Why not try The Last Word, I always find that works.” Came the thin reedy voice of Agent Orange. He held out a rusty spanner. Taking it, Brandy swung with all her might. Bishop’s head flew off, revealing a tangle of wire and sparks. His body slumped forward at the controls, but he had done his job.

For now the plane had touched down, and we were all jerked forward as it ground to a halt. “It’s the Savoy Affair all over again”, Harvey spat from his huddle on the floor. The door blew off its hinges, and swung limply, letting the light pour in. Next a flurry of pink and white, shot through the door. When they stopped, two women stood ready for action. Each dressed in their respectively colored body suit.

“Pleased to introduce Pink and White Lady.” A third figure emerged from between the two, dressed in a pale Kimono. “I am Amber Moon, of the Tamogotchi Corporation.” She surveyed the defunct android at the controls of the plane. “As you see, we hold monopoly on high Tec. Are these the British boffins?” She pointed a thumb it our direction, but her eyes never wavered from the American agents.

Just then a disheveled old woman, also clad in a Kimono barged in. Her attire by contrast, was quite shabby and stained. “Also I would like to introduce Dirty Mother.” The newest arrival waved an ink-stained sleeve in greeting. “She is chronicling our work.” The artist swiped out a pad and pen shouting. “Fight already, I’ve got a deadline to make.”

All pandemonium broke loose. As the three Japanese tackled with the remaining uninjured American agents. “Do Japanese Slipper,” screamed the artist at Amber. Who launched in to Jack with a blur of legs and arms. He did a back flip, and preformed a “Missouri Mule” at Harvey’s suggestion. But he over reached himself, and slid unconscious to the floor. Meanwhile the Pink Lady flew through the air. I squinted looking for the wire, but there was none. She landed in a crouch before Brandy, and did a “Brass Monkey.” Brandy’s eyes crossed, and she collapsed in a private world of pain. Finally White Lady squared up to Agent Orange. He was waving his rolled up newspaper like a sword. His pen was held dagger like in the other hand. “Sake Bomb” the eastern warrior shouted, and sprayed something in the agent’s face. He screamed and ran in to a wall, knocking himself out. Amber Moon stood over Harvey, “we win I think.” Then without taking her eyes off him she sprayed something in our direction. And I sank in to the world of slumber.

What seemed like a heartbeat later, I was rudely dragged from a dream. In which I was the latest James Bond, and had Martinis lined up on an infinitely long bar. “I’ve tried shaking him, but he won’t stir.” Gwyneth finally slapped me, and I came round. We were in some kind of hotel room. “Is that a Buttery Nipple?” I asked. Jerry had just walked out of the bathroom with a drink in his hand. “Yes, do you want me to mix you one?” I gazed over at the ample ensuite bar, “This kind of kidnapping I can live with.”

I helped myself to this Tommy Salter set for alcoholics. As I mixed a Red headed slut, Gwyneth reached over and took it. So mixing another I enquired “are you on the sauce now?” “Jerry explained about my fruit juices on the plane. And after he recovered from him dead arm, I got him to knock up a cocktail. I never knew what I’ve been missing.”

I went over to the door and tried it, “locked” explained Jerry. “They put us in here and said they’d be back after some business they had to attend to. Something about booking a train.” “And that old woman wanted to get her cartoons sent off to print” finished Gwyneth. I almost spat out my Tequila Sunrise. “They’re going to publish our kidnapping?” I coughed. Jerry patted me on the back. “Would you believe the moves they make in those comics? Besides it saves on writers fees.” I took another sip

It’s amazing how easy it is to mess up a hotel room. Especially when you’ve got enough booze to fill a bathtub. By the time Amber Moon poked her head round the door, it looked like a hurricane had hit it. “What have you done? It looks like a hurricane has hit.” “Yes it’s the cleaning lady’s year off” I called back from the bed. I was lying on my stomach, tossing empty mini bottles in a basket for fun. “But we only put you in here three hours ago”, counter Amber Moon entering fully. Jerry poked his head up from under a pile of bedclothes, “can we help it if we’re talented.” “It’s chemistry in motion,” added Gwyneth. She was studying Penrose’s cocktail bible, to help her in her latest creation.

Amber just stamped her foot. And the two underlings came in, with their official chronicler in tow. The three agents dragged us from the room. While Dirty Mother hung back a moment. “I just want to sketch this room, the Tate might be interested.” They marched Gwyneth, Jerry and Myself down to the station under the hotel. And we all took up residence in a compartment. They had no doubts about our complying with their request. After all even in a befuddled state, I was full aware of the sharp knife. Which Amber clearly concealed, yet still managed to poke in to my ribs. Things had taken a turn for the worst.

The compartment was quite cozy, with the seven of us squashed in. Which was probably a bad move. For only minutes after the train left the station. The door flew open. And nine bodies piled in to the already cramp space.

White Lady tried “Rusty Nail.” But in the confined space, she only managed to get her foot stuck on the door handle. She fell to the floor. These new captors had the Japs hog-tied in seconds. Then as our Japanese ex-captors lay on the floor glaring up, the leader of this new threat made the introductions. “You gave our other team the slip back in England, but now we have you in our power.” He bowed as best he could, in the tight confines of the compartment. “Moscow Mule at your service. ” He indicated a couple by the door. “God Father and God mother”, they nodded. “Polar Bear”, the man indicated stood a head taller than the rest. And looked like he could eat his namesake for breakfast, liver and all. “This is Alexander. You don’t want to get on the wrong side of him.” The man in question was a gaunt figure, with hollow eyes and a full black beard. It hid whatever enigmatic expression he was showing.

Moscow Mule then pointed out three identical triplets. Except for the color of their hats, you couldn’t tell them apart. “Red, White and Black Russian, mutes from Siberia. I suspect they swap hats now and then, just to fool us.” The final figure was dressed in the height of military fashion, and Moscow Mule spoke like he had saved the best to last. “Kremlin Colonel will take you to new levels of pain, that you couldn’t imagine. Unless as you British say, play ball.”

I assumed they would be moving us to another carriage. But apparently they were use to over crowding. “Is there anything to drink?” asked Jerry. One of the colored Russians, I think it was Red handed him a flask. Which Jerry opened and swallowed hard. His face went white, and I just had time to cover my face before Jerry spat the contents over the Mule and Alexander.

As the two men fought to clear their eyes, the three colored Russians became a blur of knees and elbows. No mean feat in the space. Red brought a ham like fist down on Moscow Mule shouting “Planter Punch.” While his two twins squashed alexander between them. “Vodka Sundown” shouted White. Kremlin Colonel moved in to counter this obvious double cross. But God Father chopped him across the back of his neck shouting “Horses Neck”, in what sounded rather like an Etonian accent. Polar bear stood full height, scraping the ceiling to get enough space to swing his fists. When God Mother did an upward punch, which made his eyes cross. And he toppled backwards through the door. “Fuzzy navel” she said, blowing on he knuckle-duster. Then it was all over.

Jerry spat the rest of whatever he had just drunk on the floor, as Red Russian turned to me. “Tom Collins, British Secret Service. Let me introduce you to the rest of my deep cover squad.” The others grinned up from their jobs of hog-tying the unconscious Russians. “Lime Rick code name White Russian, and Joan Collins A.K.A. The Black Russian. Then from H.M. Customs Terry”, God Father nodded. “And lastly Pink Squirrel”, with a nod from God Mother. “Now let’s get you two back home. And you have some explaining to do young lady”, to Gwyneth. “And no Hanky-panky.” “We can’t” I said, “We’re out of Vermouth.”

So leaving the Sino-Russian chapter of fallen agents. Tom led us down the corridor, to a new compartment. Where Gwyneth explained her part in the adventure. “But that doesn’t explain how you got in with the Americans in the first place”, accused our latest captor. Just then there was a beep from Gwyneth’s pocket. And reaching, in she withdrew the quantum remote. “How did that get there?” She waved it about, as it gave off a scent of dried Dom Perignon.

It was then that I noticed the words on it, in large letters. “Pull the brake cord Tom”, so I complied. We were thrown against the seat the British agent was sat on, knocking him senseless. Quickly I scrabbled for the tablet now resting on the seat. It said, “get out now.” So pausing only to pick up our new electronic savior, I motioned Jerry and Gwyneth to follow. Then I climbed down the bank next to the track.

A vegetable truck had just stopped. And following the further instructions on the tablet, we jumped in the back seconds before it set off again. This was how we criss-crossed our way back through Europe. During which I owned up to our little accident, with the tablet and the fizz. It earned Jerry and myself more dead arms. Until we finally found ourselves in the back of a lorry load of Jacuzzis’ in Dover. Headed for Stratford in London.

The tablet had told us the only way for “Tom and Jerry avoid being killed or caught”, was to break in to Jubilee House. The records department of the tax office, and erase our files. Then we would be non-people, and untraceable.

I pushed the glass doors open, and strolled over to the guard. Having been prepped as to what to say by the tablet. “Where’s your I.D. badges?” he demanded, eyeing us suspiciously. I took a deep breath. “Badges? We ain’t got no badges! We don’t need no badges! I don’t have to show you any stinking Badges!” Cowered in to defeat by this tirade of off me, the man let us through. “Didn’t you think that was a bit easy?” Jerry asked. “The probability of success, given the temperament of the guard. And the fact that he’s just split up with his girl friend, gave it a ninety nine point seven percent of succeeding.” I shrugged, “where now?” We were at a tee junction in the corridor. Gwyneth tapped the tablet, but it didn’t want to respond. So I made a decision. “Lets go left, I call it devining intervention.” “You always did have a good dress sense”, countered Jerry. Then the forty or so heavily armed guards stepped out and fired. We sort of danced about, like grebos at a Nirvana concert. As the hale of bullets, riddled our bodies.

Or at least that was the way I imagined it, while we were still in the back of the Jacuzzi lorry. Our electronic guide had just explained its plan, to erase our identities. “Just a minute” Jerry held up his hand. “This is just a remote, isn’t it?” Gwyneth nodded. “So anyone at the other end, where the quantum computer is. Would know exactly what the plan would be, or even adjust it?” “You mean we could be walking in to a trap? So why the bread trail by this thing?” I still liked the idea, but Jerry stuck to his guns. “They must trust it more than all the useless agents sent out, who managed to lose us.” Gwyneth bit her lip. “He’s probably right, but if we can’t trust it what can we do?”

I pondered a moment, and then I had it. “They never found my hold all, with the professors original plans did they? Remember how they had to reverse engineer the machines, from the original we had.” Jerry nodded eagerly. “And they never asked us about Venrockic’s house, with his work shop.” There was a grin pouring over his face. “You think it’s time for Inspector Tom Moran, and sergeant Jerry Watts to pay another visit.” “And plane clothes WPC Gwyneth Llandudno”, I concluded.

We stood outside the back door to Venrockic’s with the hold all, stealthily nabbed from my flat. The idiots had not thought to look for us there, too intent on the other plan to get us. I had kept the key, so it was easy to gain entry unannounced. Gwyneth stifled a scream at the stuffed moggie that greeted us, while Jerry stifled a giggle. He had pushed her in first.

Then with the plans laid out, Gwyneth commanded us. As we scurried about, gathering various components for her to assemble. After all she’d already helped build a super computer, so she was best qualified to do the job. It didn’t take too long. And as Jerry brought some cans of pop down to us that he had found in the pantry, I admired our handy work. “So now what do we do with it?” Asked Jerry, grimacing at the bitter taste of very old pop. I had been deliberately vague about the next part of the plan. “We sell it to the highest bidder and then disappear”, I proudly announced.

The looks from Gwyneth and Jerry weren’t quite what I was expecting. “I don’t think that it will work. Who’s to say the buyer won’t do us in to keep the secret”, Jerry voiced both their concerns. Down hearted I looked at our potential new prototype and got a surprise. “Hang on, what’s that switch? I don’t remember that on the other machine.” “I just assembled it to the plans”, explained Gwyneth. She took another look at the plans. “Field expansion control, what’s that?”

She looked at Jerry, who had a dumfounded look on his face as he speculated. “Do you think that does what I think it does?” He could hardly contain himself. “No wonder he didn’t put that on the original”, I concluded. The possibilities were spinning through my head. We could pick a new reality, expand it out to fill this one, and escape. But where could we go?

I turned to Gwyneth. “Do you think they could get us, if we asked your tablet what reality would be good for us to escape to?” She frowned. “Well if the sphere expanded, wouldn’t it remove this one? So they wouldn’t exist to get us.” It was worth a shot.

So we typed in the question, and got the necessary percentage back almost instantly. I entered them on to the machine, and a globe filled with lush vegetation appeared. With a tentative look at my companions, I flicked the new switch. As Jerry enigmatically intoned, “Deus ex machina.” The globe expanded around us, as we were engulfed by the new reality. Then as if it had always been there, we found ourselves in a dense forest. We were free. “I hope they have a good mini bar here.”

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