Hanging off a light fitting with one paw in any luxury 7 star hotel beach bar is not the most pleasant experience to write home about.
Specially when being approached by a truck load of angry oxen with attitide thundering along a beach in your direction.
Such estabishments are designed for the enjoyment of liquid beverages in parallel with a lot of smalltalk with friends and new aquaintances.
Roger, having made the decision to move before thinking as is the best survival instinct of a cat, couldn't help but notice that his Fiery travel portal he was holding in his teeth was not working when he pressed the emergency OUTAHERE button when he opened his eyes again to find that the oxen were almost on top of the place.
He said in a way that meant a lot more, and reaching into his gagging bag with his free paw, pulled out his own Fiery 2.6 and swapped it over for the one provided by The BOSS in Moronicocoon that Roger surmised had been rendered useless. The oxen were just starting to crash into the uprights of the bar and smash all the windows in a well organised stampede that would end, Roger was sure in his prediction, in the flattening of the bar any anyone remaining inside, hanging or not hanging from a high lamp fitting. He was already being pushed a few yards to the left on the way down as the Fiery kicked in and flipped Roger to a safe location several galaxies away.
Landing with one paw still high over his head in a group of tourists being lectured by a guide in a small clearing in dense, highly oxygenated jungle that couldn't be more green if you mixed the sky, sea and several deserts together, the guide was finishing a sentence,
...So if one brave one of you would like to volunteer to be the first to jump... ah. Ok. The evolved cat. Yes. Very good. Do come over here and I will fit the harness for you.
There was a general and palpable tremour of utter relief amongst the rest of the small tourist crowd, who relaxed in anticipation of a good bit of entertainment about to happen at the expense of someone else.
Roger noticed the crowd sort of sweep back behind him... and he was face to face with a type of evolved koala bear wearing leather shorts, flip flops and a bridle, who, as the guide with a formal tag pinned to his chest that said OFFICIAL GUIDE and JELITOO, had been given control of the tour.
And your name is?
Answered Roger in a questioning way that meant what is happening now?
Roger! Good! I'm sure your friends here can't wait to see you fly down into this gravity well and have a great time before bouncing up again. No-really, its not at all dangerous. No one has died since last season, and that was only an accident. One of them...
Jelitoo explained, fitting a harness to Roger as he spoke in his smiling, warm and psychotically danger-immune way.
Roger's Fiery was blowing off it's red light alarm in repetitive eye-straining flashes, he noticed as he asked,
So...you want me... to jump. Into a gravity well. On this...this rubber rope then?
He asked of Jelitoo, holding up a bit of rope he found attached to the harness.
Oh yes, no problem. It's fine. It's hardly a black hole. Just 10 times the gravity here. You'll have the greatest time as you go through all the stages of gravity on the mile down and back up again. It's a real buzz. Just don't look over the edge. Until you are on your way. There!
Jelitoo finished with the final clipping sound of the harness straps around Roger, and stood back to check his work.
Just remember the instructions. Keep your limbs straight out, don't take any pics as it unbalances the fall, and screaming is great. No problem,
Added Jelitoo, beaming a large smile while yanking the Fiery from Roger's grip, putting it into his gagging bag and tying it tight inside the front of the harness.
Roger looked over the edge of the cliff. The far side was shrouded in mist some distance off. It appeared to be a big inverted green cone filled with slowly spiraling clouds. His tail went straight up followed by his back fur all the way to the top of his head.
I did say not to do that.
Demanded Jelitoo, adding,
And put a black cotton elasticated tie bag over Roger's head.
Now you'll be fine. Won't see a thing.
Roger flayed at the bag as Jelitoo said to the huddled entranced crowd,
They all had their camera's out and had crept their way to the safety rails by the side. Their unfair air of expectation was not one that Roger liked at all; he could feel it seeping through the bag he was trying to claw off his head, but both were too strong. Jelitoo ushered Roger out onto the platform over the abyss...
Off you go then,
Said Jelitoo, and pushed a button that dropped the platform Roger was standing on.
yelled Roger as he fell. Quite convincingly, Jelitoo thought.
The crowd were filming the jump, and were equally convinced it was a worthwhile scream, good for the occasion.
And about a minute later, Roger was back up again, flying up out of the well, high into the air. Jelitoo pressed another button next to him, and the rubber rope was hauled fast in reverse by the winches.
He landed back on the platform frozen in a star shape, minus his head cover. Jelitoo had to force his paws down to undo the harness.
he said to Roger, who failed to say anything at all while he tried to return to his normal self. He was helped by being led away by another evolved koala bear assistant guide to be given a drink of icy water nearby, walking through the effulgent crowd who couldn't take their camera's off him for a second.
So, everyone. That's how easy it is, you see?
Jelitoo addressed the crowd.
Its rare to see the mood of a crowd change so fast and dramatically. They went from avid chatty pride to utter silent remorse in a moment, still holding up their camera's in a fixed position in case moving a digit constituted agreement to jump.
Now come ON. Really, its great. It's only about 20 seconds down there and back, and about 2 minutes up here with the time dilation. It's completely harmless. Just a mile or so. You- young being- you look game for a joyride of a lifetime.
Jelitoo grabbed the young being from out of the crowd and stood him on the platform.
Ah-no- you see- its my back- doctor's orders. it's still healing after the operations. I would if I could, but I cant this time. Next time I will. It looks fantastic. Next time,
the youngster insisted, yanked himself free from the grip of Jelitoo and ran to the back of the crowd with an apologetic guffaw.
Roger was watching from the rear; taking a moment with the icy glass of water, recalibrating his slipped sideways mind back to some sort of normality including issues and problems.
Before he knew what was happening the words came out,
I'll go again. I mean, I'm going again. Hook me up. Now,
Roger said loudly in a distantly unfocused haze.
Jelitoo looked at Roger square in the eye from over the top of the crowd.
Roger focused back on him.
No- really. Hook me up now,
The crowd applauded, thrilled at not having to jump, while getting it all recorded for their next dinner parties and social media.
Jelitoo paused while he overcame his astonishment, then asked,
Anyone for the jump apart from Roger then, eh?
The crowd could hardly stop shaking their heads in a communal NO and making polite applause over crooning remarks and noises of approval directly towards Roger. They couldn't take their attention of him, and followed Roger as he stood up and walked through them to Jelitoo on the platform hanging out over the edge of the well. Their buzz was loud and consistent. Roger gave his empty glass to a young female being standing between her parents, who gave an impressed OH as Roger burped at her; the kind of burp that says, as any starry eyed female will tell you, means I'M DOING THIS JUST FOR YOU, and stepped up to be re-harnessed.
The crowd went silent with apprehension. Would Roger do it? Each one of them wondered, jaw dropped.
The two assistants stood beside Jelitoo in some small admiration as well as Roger was made up. No one had ever gone twice before as far as they could recall. Then, checking his harness, Roger took two steps back, and leapt off the platform into the well, shouting,
before Jelitoo could press the platform release button.
The crowd were astonished. They stood, rapt in the event. They waited, holding it, camera's on, for the sign of Roger's return. 2 minutes passed quickly. Then another 2. The mood of the crowd went from awe to yelling jabber in a top quality show of confusion.
After another minute, Jelitoo checked the rope, which was still taught, sighed and pressed a big orange button on his console by his hip, and a general alarm sounded with three large rescue drones flying in gusto out and into the well from over their heads.
Just then, Roger came back up. He was screaming
as he flew out of the gravity well into the first drone and caught it in all four sets of claws from underneath. Having established a good grip, he took off one paw, caught and bit through the elastic rope and hung on in mid air. With all the excitement, he was the first to notice a mirage of black in a stampede of about 20 single minded oxen heading towards the edge of the gravity well to the side of the crowd - aiming at him.
Roger was brought towards the edge of safety by the drone, and just as he was about 10 feet or so away, the herd of oxen went over the side in a barrage of horn thrusts and snorting in a mess of sinew and hormones trying to reach Roger who was just inches from being savaged. All gone, he waved at the crowd (who waved gleefully back), got out his old work Fiery and dropped it into the well after the oxen. Then he got out his personal Fiery, gave a final wave to his audience, flicked the Fiery and was gone- drone included.
The crowd went crazy. The young female wet herself. One of Jelitoo's assistant's fainted into the other one. This was a spectacle - with free added oxen- to relish.
Jelitoo swore and stood in quiet disbelief. He wondered what had been going on for so long down below, the equal of maybe an hour of time relative to the platform. The two remaining rescue drones shot off after the oxen into the well. Another mess to report and clean up...
Having made his theatrical exit, Roger arrived under drone at the Meuller Residence in New York in 1998. A substantial classy roof top penthouse, with a good sized terrace for landing pre-programmed rescue drones on. He stepped lightly down, ordering the drone to park, which it did, having accomplished its previous task of a successful rescue, and confused at the strange unexpected location. As it was early in the sunny Spring morning facing South over Central Park, Mr and Mrs Meuller were drinking coffee sat at a small table. Both were forced to stand up in defiance at the intrusion to their start of a Thursday. Roger strolled over to them clearing his brain of relative gravity and held out his paw to shake hands in the human tradition, saying,
Good Morning Mr and Mrs Meuller. My name is Roger Cat. Nice place you have here. Please excuse my dramatic mode of arrival- its well intended, and if I may say, very urgent, too.
Which came out as,
Ya U ah Ee ah oo ah iila tic aa MM-MM eh yah ee lery urgent too.
Or words to that effect.
Roger continued, clearly now,
May I join you for coffee? Thank you. I have something here for you of great significance. You'll like this very much.
Roger made himself comfortable without waiting for permission, took a swig of Mr Meullers coffee, who was struggling to find words that made sense, nodded politely to Mrs Meuller who couldn't find any words at all, and took out some things from his gagging bag.
Mm. Fresh ground roasted. Nice. So- this is Roland Trump's topee. Look. It's got his initials embroidered inside with the phone number. Good, eh? And this is a report that you might be interested in from 2019- uh- sometime very soon. The undedacted one your mother wrote ... then. 700 pages.
He dropped to a whisper,
Page 237, line 15, all work etc. very interesting.
Roger winked and stopped whispering, with
Also very good: This is a map of Batavia with the bank address and safebox security codes. Blindingly interesting contents I might say.
Mr Meuller looked up and down a few times moving his mouth without talking. Roger went on...
And this is the biggie of biggies. The plans for Operation Parsnip. Oh no, sorry, that's a recipe for Delilah. Ha ha. Sorry. THIS is Operation Cranberry Juice. I think it's a bit far fetched but what do I know? I'm only a cat. Ha ha.
So. All I need is this litttle old bowl holding some blueberries...here, and we are done. Great. An excellent deal all round. Thanks very much,
Finished Roger, smiling at the two speechless humans as he put the Falangcai porcelain bowl into his gagging bag.
Roger took and shook Mr Meuller's hand with his paw, grabbed his shoulders and embraced him with a Russian double cheek-kiss, stood back and saluted; a triple action to conclude their contract, not taking any legal risks.
Oh. You won't be needing this drone will you? It doesn't go with your decor at all, does it? I'll take it away for you, yes? Yes.
Added Roger to the stunned couple just before he left them, walked across the terrace and flipped out with the drone using his Fiery.
He appeared again near the door of the Hut on the Mountain. The secret bolthole of Gillian. He pressed the entry code and put his paw on the Fiery. Leaving the idle drone parked and humming the tune of Good King Wenceslas, he went inside. Delilah stood up from the leather sofa to meet him.
He met with his answer.
You look like you've been down a gravity well. You're densities are all over the place. It shows in your eyes mostly. What happened?
Ah. Yes. Well. It was a well. But, well, yes. I do feel a bit peculiar...maybe I should sit down for a bit.
A large whisky with ice in a crystal glass arrived at his left paw.
Oh. Just what I need. Thanks, A.I.,
He said and took a swig.
The A.I. said, going on with,
I have recharged the facility batteries to 97% from the body heat of your guest, Gillian. No visitors have passed by here. Force fields are at maximum. The location is being moved 26 times per second per second per second to avoid electron gps tracing in tune with your Fiery. All sensors are galactic. Nothing to report.
Replied Roger to the A.I., who went on,
Slice of watermelon flavoured mouse?
Oh. Put it on the table, please,
said Roger, not expecting exotic mice so late in his day.
The A.I. of the Hut answered.
Roger said. smiling and putting his paws round Delilah's waiste.
Answered Delilah in a musical way that confirmed Roger's intentions, and went on,
Tell me what happened.
Oh that. I was on a beach. I flipped out in a hurry to a backup emergency safe location on Uberfustule 6B...
Roger sat on the sofa followed by Delilah and continued,
Interrupted Delilah, adding
That place has a lot of gravitic tourism. They have gravity wells there miles deep as the planet is so big and the core is so dense. And its a jungle to die for. Oh... the fruits....the clean water... the amazing scenery... the two sunsets with three rising moons... the noxious diseases...and parasites...
Yes thanks for the touristic sales speil. Anyway,
Roger went on,
I went into a gravity well there.
Ah. Oh. Ah. Thought so. I can tell. It's my evolved marmoset senses...so what happened next?
When I was down, I had an idea that the altered gravity affects everything. So, I went a second time and played about a bit with the Fiery at the bottom. Amazing results.
You went down a gravity well twice?
Delilah moved back from Roger on the sofa. She looked hard into his eyes.
You wont normalize for a day or so. Its a bit messy in there right now, Rog. Your bits are so mixed up.
Maybe so. Anyway -
Roger finished his whiskey and said,
Amazing things I found. Found out. Anyway... Dee, I feel a bit strange right now.
I'm not surprised. I think you need a rest.
She replied looking into Roger's eyes, adding,
Here. Lie down on the sofa.
Roger slid off the sofa onto the floor. The lights dimmed and the log fire came on, courtesy of the hut A.I. . Delilah took the empty glass from his paw as Roger said very quietly,
Tell you later....
and drifted off to sleep.
Delilah took the recipe for Parsnips from Roger's bag, ate the berries from the bowl, straightened his whiskers and went to the corner to cook up a decent stew.
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