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ADVENTURES ON THE ASTRAL PLANE AGAIN

#1
#1 ROGER FINDS OUT WHO IS TOO

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.

Ah.

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?

Asked Jelitoo.

Roger.

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,

Here.

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,

Ready now?

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.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooo..........

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.

Good, eh?

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.

Who's next?

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,

Roger said.

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,

YEEEEEEEEEEEEaaaaaaaaaaaa........

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

.....weeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEE

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...

Anyways 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.

Roger!

She said.

Delilah!

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?

She asked.

Ah. Yes. Well. It was a well. But, well, yes. I do feel a bit peculiar...maybe I should sit down for a bit.

He replied.

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.

My pleasure.

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.

Oh. Thanks.

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.

OK,

The A.I. of the Hut answered.

Now....

Roger said. smiling and putting his paws round Delilah's waiste.

Now,

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,

Uberfustule 6B?

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.

Roger explained.

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.

She stated.

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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Re: ADVENTURES ON THE ASTRAL PLANE AGAIN

#2
#2 ROGER MEETS McMANGOOSE

In certain feline ways, it could be easily said that Roger was adapted for the universe very well. In others, his catness was an appalling drawback.

The scope of Delilah's abilities was obverse to those of Roger, which is most likely why the pair got on so well. Roger: Fierce, brave, sharp as a knife; a skilled mouse hunter of repute well travelled had become known across the universe plus other dimensions in places no one cares about or would ever visit given the choice amongst beings of many shapes, sizes and energies- even clones.

Delilah: Home loving, intellectual, friendly, warmly delightful, delicate and a skilled vegan cook as good as a knowledge Wiki for details of organizational affairs of business plus planning a good result for any project you might be of a voice for your flimsiest of intentions.

Of course; the one issue between them is that Roger is an evolved cat, and Delilah is an evolved marmoset. Not the most compatible gene sets. But then, difference is always a triumph over evolution... and why should anyone come to be in the way of two beings who have feelings for each other?
Delilah had a turnip once who became enraptured with a parsnip on the same shelf in the pantry.

It could be considered that opposites attract with Roger and Delilah. This is the story of how Roger and Delilah make a beverage from tiny oranges that would kick back a mule to the other side of any field.

Or it could be a story of how to greet nerdy twins with quantum over-arm delivered olive oil flavoured golf balls during a storm in Runnymeade in the last day of the galactic mucus envelope throw contest, held regularly by ministers in between parliamentary sessions of doing nothing at all.

Anyways up.

The Thought Police were busy raping some underage drinkers in the park before fining them and disposing of the remains in the local canal when Roger was wondering about looking for Daisy. Daisy should have been there and was three Earth days late to meet up on Pudsy Island Lock on Cottonlupa 7X. Not the most punctual of evolved elephants; and worse, easily distracted by any little passing interest that took her fancy. The Thought Police were not a bunch to get near of any dawning day, muddling through in their evil fashion creating havoc, death and slavery where ever possible, all licensed behind their Dark Arts government badges. It crossed Roger's mind that they targeted the park for easy victims and that Daisy could have been one... His Fielder was on with the program that made any one looking see themselves as a mirror image.

Roger sent Daisy another pointless message she would not respond to, and had the idea to call her partner, Chamberlinx, the evolved panther. Roger was not a fan of panthers in general as they are much bigger and more powerful than him; and have similar instincts, although they are lazy, when they go out, they are deadly in much the same way as a heat -seeking missile. No answer; but an exchange of messages happened. He had put this action off in the hope it would not be needed. Chamberlinx wanted to know where he was, what he was doing, and what was in it for him. Roger played along some reasoned tale until he learned that Daisy was working on a take for a vid of evolved parrots figure skating on the public methane lake of Bracksburtintin 3. He flipped there to find what was what.

It was a cold place. A lot colder than Earth. Popular for Winter sports tourism and helical Aurora in the night skies. He found Daisy talking to three different beings amongst a deal of recording equipment and power supplies.

Yo Roger! Roger the darling little cat with plans! How are you, Roger? No- that really won't do. We need more light from behind. See if you can move something and quickly.

Greeted daisy holding some cables while talking to an engineer.

Hello Daisy. Busy as usual I see. I was waiting for you.

Replied Roger, moving out of the way of some large wheeled lights as they were pushed past him.

Yes its terrible. terrible. We were supposed to finish 3 days ago and I haven't had a wink of sleep sorting things out that should have been done without my being here. Terrible really. And I don't get a broken leaf extra for the work. Just getting the job done. Seems there are no reliable workers around these days!!

Daisy ended her last sentence by shouting to anyone within trumpeting distance, which was, Roger noticed, about everyone.

He stood motionless in a fear that any movement would involve him in the panoply of events near Daisy as bedlam evolved in a tumult of ordered movements that made Roger squint so he could get the overview. It was a bit of a symphony of pandamonium. Daisy was flinging orders in all directions, seemingly with no regard for limits, time or what she had just screamed. Roger had never witnessed its equal in 3D management.

After a short while, the orders slowed and beings seemed to be in position, madly moved in a fenzy of beings into their supposed positions, or turned on what was needed from the right place, in the right direction, at the right intensity.

And....Fire!

Said Daisy, wrapping her trunk round Roger and taking him to where she wanted him to be, which was a chair next to hers behind the scene as music started to play and fourteen silent drones videod what they were commanded to.

Daisy put her trunk next to Roger's ear and whispered,

We had to start right over from the beginning again. I think you will like this. Wait while the scene gets recorded and then we can go. It's all being shot in wide angle to get the best hologramitic feel. Very artistic.

The sound was stunning. Beautiful in the dense atmos. The lights came up from the rear to add intensity to the aurora overhead. Daisy's trunk sniffed at something. Then it tapped Roger on his shoulder and moved in the fully open maw at his gagging bag. Roger got out a current bun an offered it to the trunk. It made a slight bow in silent thanks and gently took it from his paw. The sound built into a cresendo of magical effect as the aurora seemed to respod in perfect harmony with such a light show that the best firework display, laser and light show could never match. It went on for about five minutes as Roger estimated a thousand skaters appeared from all corners of the frozen plain, dressed in fluctuating flurescent costumes, also harmoniously changing to accord with the natural aurora or purple, green, orange and yellow. Roger was awe struck as he watched the skaters twist, fly, circle, waltz, jump, loop, salchow and Lutz finishing with camel, upright and sit spins in a thousand individual perfect axels. Only when the show finished, did he realise his mouth had been open the whole time.

The scene ended with the lighting going down and the aurora flaming out as the skater's lay exhausted on the ice. It was epic.

Daisy called to the crowd of skaters and the crew,

That was marvelous! Perfect! A triumph! Well done all! Just look what you can do when you really want to! Fantastic!

Roger looked at Daisy as she spoke out loudly, and couldn't help feel her trunk squeezing his gagging bag in search of another current bun, which he obliged it with. Daisy's trunkmade a small bow of gratitude, then popped the bun in her mouth.

Mm,

she said as she chewed, going on with after she swallowed with,

Now Roger. We can get things here if you like.

She said to Roger, going on in a loud voice to everyone,

Listen up!! Everyone! 15 minutes break and then prepare for scene two all over again. Thank you!

Fine. Let's get our business sorted so you can get back to your great work here then. In private. With a flip, eh?

suggested Roger.

Good idea,

replied Daisy.

They flipped out to a hotel Roger had bot used before. He was keeping his past to one side until the BOSS from Moronococonut changed his mind about disposing of his ox trodden corpse just because he could. They sat at a table in the lounge bistro.

A telepathic waiter deposited a large tray of delicious looking and smelling fresh current and raisin buns on their table with one tentacle, a vat of sour milk with another, and large gin and tonic in front of Roger followed quickly with a plate of roast mice.

The pair tucked in and slurped their drinks.

Mm.

Said Daisy several times to punctuate her avid bunnery.

Yes... ah.... well...you know... oh these are good.... we should... yes... get on...

Said Roger in between mouthfuls along with his distraction of fine rodent feasting.

Mm.

Responded Daisy, and sucked the remaining buns into her trunk like loading an automatic rifle.

So. Tell me.

She stated, looking full on at Roger who took the half mouse from his mouth even though it was so succulent, it made it hard to do. Roger fell under Daisy's intense gaze with some feline deference of emoted respect for Daisy's intellect, based on her having a brain with much greater capacity than his- he knew, although it was wired in ways he could never appreciate with his natural hunter's mind.

Ah. Um.

He replied as he swallowed to clear his throat.

Yes. Here.

He reached into his gagging bag and pulled out paperback book.

As we spoke about, a pristine copy of the classic work Ivory, Horn and Blood by Ronald Trump....and a voucher for a year's supply of current buns from Vegan's Relate Ambrosia galaxy bakery. Good for up to 2 Earth Moon masses. Oh, and I got you this as well; a private dinner invitation to meet with Ronald Trump. Not that one. Another one who wrote Elephantoms.and The Room In an Elephant. Good, eh?

Oh yes,

said Daisy,

Excellent. My studies into human cruelty towards elephants is progressing well. It seems that my ancestors were abused and murdered with complete disregard half the time. A species wide genocide. Of couse, it wa not just us elephants who were brought to the brink of extinction. Rhinos and hippos as well; and most of the other species on planet Earth before the Second Lexicon law of sentience was finally imposed after decades- centuries in some species' cases of being added to the list- of deliberately eradication.

She went on and on and on gabbing about the terrible past. Eventually, after his third G&T, Roger fell over on the floor and felt thankful he was away from direct aural attack from the decibels of her diatribe. Daisy barely noticed his relaxed condition, finishing halfway through a sentance with a question,

Roger I must get back. We've been here nearly 12 minutes. Now, what was it you wanted in return for these as a trade? You mentioned a personal matter you needed attending to with urgency through my position on the Obersuet Galactic Congress. Is that all?

Yes.

Said Roger, refocusing as he sat back up in his chair with refreshed attention to go on with,

I took the trouble to make a file embedded in the molecular structure of this small flowerpot for you, Daisy. Any nano gardener should be able to translate for you as you like. While you are busy running the galaxy, finishing you vid, or whatever. I know you love multi tasking... and, I will have some more ancient relics for you to investigate by the time you ar done.

Daisy took the empty flower pot from Roger in her trunk...

I dont need. I have embedded in my trunk sensors for all pattern recognition. Ah. I see,

Daisy read as she spoke, and after just a few seconds said,

Evolved slugs are such dangerous creatures. Hard to deal with under their protected laws of non-intervention of species. Like your friend, Marmalade's licence to create havoc with his tail and be excused accidental death and destruction during any of his normal days. Or engorged ones, for that matter. Slugs are embedded into the system at high level and have many connections to bring to bear for any cause they feel justified in pushing. That's why they often become either judges or bosses. The same outcome with their touch on the destiny of individual sentience usually ending in their victim's slavery for life with the prejorative sanction of the state in both situations. Its stinks. I have seen so much evidence of dirty business, harm and foul play by them. It will be my pleasure to assit you Roger. One thing. Don't say anything to dear Chamberlinx at all ever please or we will have another endless debate on the relative act of positive intervention upon destiny. Or influence. Whatever, he likes things to be simple and reserved, sadly, as he doen't have my breadth of respect for species, until he is in a kill state, and then he only pounces. It's his heritage of course by genes, and one reason why we are totally besotted by each other...I must go Roger. Take me back please, there's a dear.

Roger had been listening to this earbending by Daisy as a prisoner of politeness; at some point he had become dizzy and fallen over ( with chair) onto his right side, still holding his drink, which had thankfully been refreshed twice since then.

Ah. Yes of course. Right away,

Roger said, using the table to help himself upright and get out his Fiery.

Would you mind just holding this prosthesis for Delilah's doctorate for a second. I have to find the address I need to flip out again from where we're going back to. thanks.

said Roger giving the prosthesis to Daisy's trunk.

Oh.

Daisy said in small surprise and passing interest as her trunk wrapped around it,

Its a human arm. Are you sure these are at all legal now? I mean, with only sideways people left no humanity was reduced to a pool table of iffy balls? Are they not a protected species with cloning rights?

Probably. In time. And this A2 copy of Stun the Plastic Zimmer Balaliaka Annual Summer Fashion Show 2116. Sorry, it's the fullsize foldouts with titanium bristles and self emulsifying amulets.

went on Roger rummaging around his gagging bag still holding his drink.

Oh,

remarked Daisy with her trunk full and reading the publication with interest,

Not one I've seen before...mmm.

Ah. Here we are. l knew I had written the cords on a the belly of this marsupial in McMangoose wax...yes. That's the one,

stated Roger as he programmed the Fiery with the cords in sure style by smearing a blob of wax on the blinking button that had come up.

Then they flipped out, Daisy asking Roger what was wrong with putting the articles she was holding on the table...

Roger delivered Daisy back to her vid location on time and immediately flipped out with a

Bye then,

to Daisy who nodded as her trunk was still full of Roger's bits.

He arrived at the hut to find Delilah cooking. not unusual.

Asparagus?

He offered, popping the blunt end of one in her mouth.

'Flumps are great. Great. Specially Daisy. Clever and long winded. Brilliant actually.

Stated Roger as the A.I. dropped a tumbler of whisky and ice into his left paw, opened the shutters to view the staggering star clusters of the Pinta 3 Galaxy against a deep space backdrop,

Mmm,

munched Delilah with a happy smile finishing the asparagus stalk,

Roger...its really nice here and I don't wish to pry but who is Gillian? The A.I. keeps calling you Gillian. It's confusing to say the least, and I keep wondering if we are not trespassing with several oxo cubes to pay for being here to someone I have never met and don't understand. You see my point?

Yes, yes I do.

Replied Roger as a roast mouse with melon slices arrived on his lap, courtesy of the A.I. again. Then he had a dangerous thought...

A.I.,

he asked,

why do you... what is... can you tell me...

Delilah interrupted him with,

What is the scientific reason you refer to Roger as Gillian, A.I.?

Mmm...

responded the A.I.

If you ask me a direct question, I will be pleased to give you a direct answer. Like, what is the point of existence, for example. Something ephemerally hyperbolic. Not what time is it, please. Again,

the A.I. said flatly.

Roger said,

So, tell me. why do you refer to me as Gillian then?

Because your DNA is the same. if you are not Gillian I have been programmed to recognize you as Gillian as you are according to all my scans.

Of course,

said Delilah, and before she could say anymore Roger put a claw to her lips and and said.

Shhhh. It shhhure is a lovely night out there in deep space tonight. How long are the nights here A.I.?

Delilah took it and watched Roger...

The night finishes right here in 14 bits and 2 bobs. Longer start to finish than on your home planet of Earth by 2.6371 times at this time of cycling planetary rotation as a mean average per comparative position, occultation and orbit. Another whisky Gillian?

Oh. Right. Thanks,

said Roger as he took a second.

Delilah had backed off to ladle some herbivorous soup into a bowl on the table, saying as she did so,

Roger I think we need to go to that place you were talking about before. The waxy one.

Yes, I think so too. I just came from there before now in that now then here, and it was. Ok?

Yes,

Delilah said sitting down to enjoy her meal.

Yes,

She said again, in a way that ladies agree and then order that your entire home needs instantly and most expensively redecorating because a pretzel uncannily levitated whilst reciting medieval re-activist slang in Garlic, and slurped away.

I think the moment has come to place a bet on the albatross finding its slippers,

said Roger, then bit the head of his glaze roasted mouse.

Gillian agrees with you, too.

he added, looking Delilah in the eye while holding up another blob of McMangoose wax as a sign to her.

Yes,

She answered, and again,

yes.

Yes,

agreed Roger, thinking about their delightful cardboard box and missing the leaking roof just then.
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