This is a traditional opening in all really good stories: Once upon a time the researchers of H2G2 sat behind flickering monitors all across the Globe and began telling a story. A collaborative story, that was built upon the successive postings of different researchers. It was called H2G2 Storytime Some called us fools and mad. Others cried:
'Man was not supposed to meddle in such affairs as these!!'
They may have been right. But here for your delectation the result of that endeavour: committed to memory and then transcribed onto page by an infinite number of monkeys with an infinite number of keyboards and too much free time.
For a full list of characters and previous chapters go to the h2g2 Storytime
UPS guy looked around puzzled for the origin of the disembodied voice, before finally peering over the cliff edge.
'Oh, we've had this little baby in cold storage for some time now. It's on loan from Universal Studios. Boutros contacted us at HQ on the emergency frequency. He said to
get on over to Arthur and the others, see if you can lend them a hand and to take Flopsy with you.'
he shouted back.
'Yeah she's just a big sissy really, if she's any bother to you just bop her on the nose - come on girl go get them.'
He undid the catch on the tether and the Dinosaur stomped off into the crowd of villagers
Seeing all of this terror and violence(Thankfully taking place behind the hill and out of view of Me, your humble narrator)
Guy suddenly began again:
'That reminds me - Boutros also said: 'Will SOMEBODY please come and rescue me? The Russians keep playing Shove Ha' Penny with my head.' Get back in the sub, take Bob with you. Boutros is somewhere is Siberia. Go, quickly. I'll take care of this lot.'
Then, with a Viking-like war-yodel he ran off down the far side of the Hill to get back his dinosaur.
'Well, that was... er... um... interesting, wasn't it.'
Bob, who had regained consciousness just in time to see the UPS Guy holding a dinosaur on a length of rope had decided that being conscious was far too much hard work and that there were obviously things going on around him that he was probably far better of not knowing about, was consequently murmuring quietly to himself as he drifted, quite pleasantly.
'Lets get him back to the sub, check him over.'
- and the muscular tribal chief grabbed at it and pulled Jill up.
He took hold of her gently and firmly - definitely not in a non-sexual way - and carried her along the top of the ridge.
Jill was scared stiff at this treatment, although inexplicably aroused by this demonstration of animal passion.(Good job Bob was still unconscious - he'd have been jealous again)But X saw her plight and climbed up his rope at a rate of knots. He scrambled back over the top and ran towards the couple, fighting off the tribesmen who had been surprised by their chief's actions but who were now defending him as their code of behaviour dictated.
Meanwhile, Jill had been staring into the eyes of her kidnapper and was already convincing herself that he wasn't so bad after all, and being treated like this couldn't be worse than what would have befallen her if she'd dropped when the rope broke.
'He's just like a Teddy Bear' she thought to herself. 'Strong and protective and doesn't talk overmuch'. The Tribal Chief lay her down gently in a mossy clearing and his feathers tickled her forehead as he took a closer look.
'Come on Bear' - said Jill planting a big kiss on the Feathered man's lips just as X charged and pinned the Chief to the floor with a diving tackle.
'OI!!, WHAT DID YOU DO THAT FOR!?!'
yelled Jill, incensed as X punched the chief and laid him out cold.
X looked up at her
'Erm... Look around you Jill, large mossy clearing, ceremonial alters, strange mounds in the ground, and what did you think he was going to do with this??'
X pulled out the chief's very large scary looking knife.
'Oh, I see.'
said Jill haughtily conceding the point.
'Well how wrong can you be about a guy?'
'Come on lets get back to the others before he wakes up'Jill and X jogged back to the cliff, where they noticed that their rope was coiled at the bottom of the cliff. All that remained at the top was a few frayed strands.
'Now how are we ever going to get down now??'X signalled the UPS guy who brought Flopsy over.
'Oozagudgirl den? Yezuarr, yezuarr!'
he said stroking her affectionately on the snout.
'Um... you may want to do something about - that.'
Jill gestured to the dinosaur.
said the UPS Guy, distracted.
'The... Um... spear sticking out from between her teeth.'
pointed X, feeling faintly nauseous.
'Aww that's nothing, for this little lady, that counts as roughage. Yezziddoz, yezziddoz dudden it? Oozagudgirl den'
'So anyway, you couldn't give us a hand in getting down to the beach could you?'
'Yeah sure, I've got a couple of experimental jetpacks on the ship. Hang about here I'll just go and get them.'
Briefly X's eyes met Flopsy's, and despite his holding the Chief's rather impressive blade and being a secretive one-step-above-a-black-belt in several of the more lethal ancient fighting disciplines of the world, several million years of evolution did not erase the sensation in the back of X's head that in this thing's world-view he constituted Hor's deurve.Flopsy yawned.And something inside of X screamed.UPS Guy appeared again, gave X and Jill the jetpacks. They quickly said their goodbyes and floated serenely down to the beach to join up again with Arthur, Tim and Bob.
Once again on solid ground they saw a figure come running hurriedly towards them.
'Jill, X, come quick!'
'What is it Arthur?'
'It's the Captain!'
said Arthur pointing wildly out to sea.
'The Beaver's repaired but we've got to head off now, or it will be scuppered on the reef by the incoming tide! Swim everybody'
Watching as she churned out into the shallows like Godzilla only Jill was left, standing forlornly on the shore.
'Please wait I can't swim!'
She had first assumed that they were in the Pacific. This has not been explicitly stated yet, but the island does seem to have been pseudo-Polynesian in nature. So Jill assumed that they were somewhere to the west of Australia, perhaps one of the French Polynesian atolls. Bearing in mind that their stated destination was Siberia, submarine would perhaps not be the best way to get there anyway.
Had they thought about this, of course, they could have used that aircraft that the UPS guy arrived on, but by now that had long disappeared from this particular narrative.
In the distance, she saw The Beaver sink beneath the waves.And so it was that our stranded heroine found a way back up onto the headland and walked unbound into the village. The villagers, who were on their way back from wherever they had hidden from the dinosaur eyed her cautiously except one who knew longing where he saw it.
She spent several hours having amazing sex with that muscular tribal warrior, who turned out to be a teddy bear after all.
Afterwards she explained to him about Atheism and how by making people gods and then killing them, they were entirely missing the point. He promised to tell the other islanders and that they would amend their ways.
It did not take long for a respectable, modern, secular society to appear.
Indeed, within a couple of hours there appeared a Starbucks coffeehouse in the middle of the village and, a little while later, one of the huts was converted into an Irish-theme pub. Jill sold her jetpack to the local pawnbroker and used the money to buy a new iMac and set up an online shoe-repair business called cobblers.com. It was so successful that the following afternoon she floated it on the stock market and was instantly made a millionaire.
Jill used some of the money to buy a Lear jet and hire her own personal pilot.
A landing-strip was constructed across the flattened areas of the jungle and by the weekend, she was ready to leave.
She packed her bags and after one last fabulous shag with the tribal warrior guy, whose name she still did not know, she climbed aboard her Lear jet and sat back as it took off.
Jill's plane circled over the island as she reminisced about the week she had spent there and then struck out in the direction of Siberia.
An unspecified amount of time later...Jill was well on her way into Darkest Siberia when fate intervened. (Well, actually it was a very good-looking Eskimo in a heavy fur parka with a mysterious message.)
Jill had been forced to travel the last several hundred miles to Siberia by dogsled, on account of the snow, and just as she was getting ready to set up camp for the evening, he popped out of a snow bank.This seemed like a strange way to make an entrance to Jill, but she was open-minded and simply asked him in for tea.
'Oh, I can't stay.'
he replied somewhat regretfully.
'I've just got to pass this mysterious message along, and then I've got an appointment with a snow bank in Finland.'
'The dying pilchard bleeds under a turquoise moon. Do not be influenced by the decisions of others. A friend is important to you. Your lucky bun-cake today is: Blueberry Muffin.'Jill pondered these revelations. What could they mean?
'Say, who are you?'
she asked. The mysterious man's face was hidden amongst the dense fur of his hood.
However, his ski-suit traced the outline of his muscles.
'I am a friend.'
he said simply in a strong, spicy voice.
He left the tent and was lost in the snow. Jill thought warm thoughts for the rest of the day, after that.
Meanwhile somewhere in Finland...
'Look, I'm telling you this for the last time, your 'Perfect Sense of Direction' be damned. THIS, is NOT Siberia!!'
said Arthur furiously pointing at the ground.
'Well, if SOMEONE could actually READ a map or USE a compass, we wouldn't have got lost in the first place would we!?'
said X tersely.
'There really is no point blaming each -!'
snapped X and Arthur in Stereo.
'I bring news of Jill and a mysterious message.'
'How is she?'
said Arthur quickly.
'The Beaver went down before she got on-board. What did those savages do to her?'
'They tended to her every need.'
said the Parka-man without elaboration.
'Several times, I gather.'
the Eskimo replied, this time with far too much elaboration. (He drew diagrams in the snow.)
'This message, what is it?'
'All right then, I won't keep you -
'. . . .'
said the Parka-man, and vanished.
'He just said "H" in Morse code.'
'Whatever could that mean?'
'What did he say?'
said X, confused.
Tim pulled a tatty codebook out of his natty suit.'It means'
he pronounced, thumbing through the dog-eared pages
'Proceed East(ish) at once to Siberia where [ enter name here ] is about to be attacked by a mysterious creature in the next posting, and there await further instructions.'"
said Arthur much impressed.
said X and started slogging towards the rising sun.
A knock on the tent brought her out of her reverie. She opened up immediately - she was ready for anyone, with thoughts like that in her head, she would have taken on a yeti.
Which just goes to show what happens to wishful thinkers for looming over the entryway to the tent was a large monstrous yeti.
The beast unfortunately was female.
Studies have shown these species to be an unstable and volatile creature and this yeti was no different - vicious and bitchy. It grabbed Jill and flung her outside into the harsh and unforgiving Siberian blizzard.
Meanwhile, Bob, Tim, X and Arthur were standing in the ticket-queue at the railway station in St. Petersburg. The attendant said 'next please' in polite Russian and Arthur stepped up to the counter. While he was ordering four tickets for the Trans-Siberian Express, the others waited with their luggage.
Suddenly there was a chill wind, it blew down Tim's neck and caused him to turn around. Surrounded by a flurry of snow, a man in a Parka approached and tapped him on the shoulder. Tim turned round and gasped, and then looked embarrassed. He'd been fantasising about Parka-man since Finland, those lovely muscles in that tight little ski-suit.
he said. That warm, striking voice sent a Tim all a quiver.
Tim was transfixed by his eyes, Parka man just winked and as silent as a snowflake melting, he left.
Tim was left slightly aghast in the middle of St. Petersburg Station with a VHS tape in his hand.
Arthur spun round finishing his converse in fluent Russian with the attendant.
'I've got us all booked on the next train to Siberia.'
He announced proudly.
Later, on the train as it headed out of St Petersburg Tim sneaked up to the first class carriage and watched the contents of the tape on the TV. There was no dialogue, just an unsteady hand-held tracking shot following the cryogenically preserved head of Boutros-Boutros Ghali as it was carried silently across a sparse room. The head was taken into what appeared to be a tatty kitchenette. The door of a microwave oven was ceremoniously opened and the head was placed inside. The door was closed with a clunk and light came on inside, illuminating Boutros's concerned expression. The camera zoomed in on the dial on the front of the microwave. Slowly a hand entered the picture and turned the dial to 'defrost'. Zooming out again, Boutros's head was seen to have begun revolving inside.
The film cut to static and then blackness.Tim was speechless. How was he going to tell the others? Who would they now turn to for leadership he pondered?
There was only one person in the world that could take over the position that BBG had so expertly held all these years, and that was
UPS Guy. He was a first-class field agent, a close confidant of Boutros, a teacher and aid to the group on their mission. Bob had said he was there at the start and had been following them ever since.Down at the other end of the carriage, Bob was snoring obtrusively, Arthur decided it was better he tried to sleep as well rather than stay awake and have to listen to that. He curled up into a tight ball and dragged his jacket over himself in a make-shift duvet and settled down...
Just then the train entered a tunnel and the carriage was plunged into darkness. Someone pulled the emergency stop chain and the train lurched as it ground to a halt. Arthur was thrown off his feet. Panic quickly set in. Arthur thought he heard shouting - a gunshot further up the train whomever it was they were working their way along towards him. Maybe the Russian Mafia was hi-jacking the locomotive. Whoever, they'd be knocking on the door of his carriage in any minute. He had to hide; He had to do something. He had to think!...
Meanwhile, Jill was running away from a large and bitchy yeti. She knew she was lost the moment she had been thrown from the bivouac, the snow had closed in and now it was just white on all sides. The hairy great beast was somewhere behind her, she could still hear its roars as she fled through the snow.
She turned to look but then Jill lost her footing and tumbled down an embankment.
She lay tired and exhausted in the snow at the bottom of the hill. She forced herself to stand up again. She winced at the pain in her ankle but the cold was quickly making it numb. Thoughts of Parka-man were still keeping her warm. Her suit was keeping her alive. But neither would hold out forever.
Jill turned around and stared down at nothing. She was on a lip of a cavernous precipice, if she had slid any further in her fall... well, she might well still be falling. The thing didn't look like it had a bottom.
It was then that the yeti crested the ridge.
Jill flung herself into the floor. She waited. Then risked a peek out of her hood. The creature was still there and it appeared to be sniffing at the air.
'It can smell me.'
'But it hasn't seen me yet. That gives me an advantage. How do you get out of a situation like this? This certainly wasn't covered in basic training?'
'Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place! Although, more correctly, a viscous great animal and a bloody big hole in the ground.'
Jill's hand closed in the small packet of assorted condiments that had come with the bacon roll that Bob had declined while being interrogated
(a long time ago and don't ask why. All right it's Kleptomania.)
Taking careful aim she opened the packet of pepper and threw it into the Yeti's face with relish (well she wasn't going to eat the relish anyway)
The Yeti bitch let out an amazing roar of pain and confusion and just as Jill had planned the noise dislodged a wall of snow from the cliff above. Clambering onto her leatherette handbag she surfed right, the crest of the snow wave away from the cliffs edge while the yeti floundered neck deep in the soft drifts.
As she surveyed the scene Jill felt a tap on her shoulder, she spun around to be confronted by the face of possibly the last person she expected to see in this barren place - it was the witch doctor from the Island of the Atheists!
Meanwhile and Elsewhere...Boutrous groaned. He was feeling dizzy, all this atomic radiation was turning his brain into stew.
Was it an atomic powered action that microwaves had? whatever they were these were not good vibrations.
'How could it go so wrong?'
he queried himself. Just the other night he had been thinking:
'The future's so bright I gotta wear shades'.
Sunglasses! The inspiration hit him!
Jill had once told him that when he put his shades on he was a dead ringer for someone ... somebody... that girl... negotiable affections... err. LOVE! That was it - Courtney Love!
Donning his shades Boutros cried out feebly:
'Help! Get me out.'
'There has been some sort of mistake. This isn't Boutros Boutros Ghali. This is the cryogenically frozen head of Courtney Love!'
'What's love got to do with it'
his boss replied grumpily as he came over to be met by a vision of the woman in a jar
'I never meant to turn you on'
As the chauffeur was delivering the goods he gave Boutros a wink. It was of course Guy the UPS man.
To be continued...