h2g2 Storytime II: Part XII

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Back under Stonehenge, Gonzaroolio watched henchmen putting up the bunting in the main chamber, where the Diabolical Laundry Wringer had been installed.

The banner read 'WELCOME MR PRESIDENT'. The goons were also lighting candles and scrawling runes over the walls. Annabel flitted all over the chamber like a despotic hummingbird, directing the work and talking on her cell phone.

"No, not the brass band. Because I didn't feel it would be appropriate. Yes, your Evilness, I know who's boss. Of course, some sort of band can be arranged..."

Gonzaroolio sat back, wriggled a little in his manacles and waited for the end of the world.

Jill had continued to pace... then there was a knock at the door - Bob and Heddingly had resumed another poker game in the other room so she went for it herself.

Nervously she looked out of the peephole at the visitor who annoyingly had turned his back to the door. (Now if Jill's Secret Agenting skills had been running on full steam - she might have thought twice about opening the door to let this person in.)

As it was, they weren't and she did and that was when Agent XXX got the second biggest shock of her life.

Tim, that wretched double crossing assassin from the Red Leicester was standing amiably on the doorstep, a little out of breath.

"ah - " he said but that was as far as he got.

Jill picked up the lamp that was stood on the table by the doorway and smashed it over his head. (Those secret agent reflexes, thankfully loosing none of their edge.)

Tim grinned a little then folded face first onto the hessian weave welcome mat.

She dragged his unconscious body into the living room.

"Where's Heddingly?" Jill asked.

Bob continued to stare at his cards, reshuffling them every once in a while. "err... in the kitchen, I think."

"Look what I just found lurking about outside." proclaimed Jill

Bob looked over a rather promising hand and fell out of his chair.

Gathering himself up from the floor Bob shouted "What the hell is he doing here?!"

"I don't know."

"Quick lets get him bound and secure, before he wakes up!!" urged Bob.

Jill ran to bedroom and came back a few moments later with a pair of very solid looking handcuffs.

A flash of confusion passed over Bob's face.

"Erm... why have you got... urr.. those?"

Jill fixed him with a level stare and said:

"Do you really want me to answer that?"

Bob flushed and stumbled and flustered for an escape -

"No... no... I don't... no... you're correct... right, that's him done let's move him into the bathroom."

They dumped Tim in the bath and he groaned a little.
Bob settled down on the fluffy toilet cover and Jill began pacing.

Eventually, Tim's eyes gave a little flicker and he managed a groggy - "Urrrgh."

"That the best you've got?" growled Jill menacingly.

That evidently did the trick because Tim sat up and tried to wriggle free of his bonds.

"You've tied me up!"

"Of course what did you expect - a cup of tea and a pat on the back? You're a traitor and you tried to kill us."

Tim shied away from Jill's berating.

"Yeah well, I'm in a bit of a fix and I need your help."

"Help!?" exploded Jill - "That's rich! coming from a maggot of a man like you." she spat.

Just then Heddingly walked in..."I say, I heard all the commotion chaps what the devil's blaze's is going on?"

Tim peered around the shower curtain - "Ah-ha. Just the man I was looking for..."

Ten exposition-filled minutes later, Tim was finishing up:

"... and that's why we need the Boss back. I mean, I know he was an evil megalomaniac and all that, but he never did it for fun. He had a code of honour - you never involve women or children, unless you really, really want to. But Rasputin, he's just a complete psychopath. If you had only seen what he did to that poor Russian... the nylon shoe laces, the glue, the cutlery, and the herring... uurgh. You've got to bring back the guv'nor. He could sort out that greasy madman."

Heddingly leaned back and took a puff from his pipe.

"Interesting." he muttered.

"And I think I could do it. The question is, should I? The Red Leicester was pretty despicable alive - who knows what he'd be like after a period in Hell."

Jill yawned, and headed for the door.

"Are you going to do a spell or not? Cause if you're not I'm going to see what's on TV"

"Wait! Of course I'm going to do it. It's just that I'm bound by the witchdoctors' code to give dire warnings about the possible results before doing any spell. It's called "wa'tyango" - the black mage's art of covering your ass.

Now Tim, do you have anything that belonged to the Leicester?

"In my left pocket, there." said Tim, jerking in his bonds and rather enjoying the sensation.

"No, don't untie me... I'm, ah, dangerous. Just fish it out there."

Heddingly held it up for inspection. It was a small silver locket, and on opening it Heddingly found a small picture of what was presumably a woman, although it bore more of a resemblance to an angry bulldog in a nun's wimple.

"...?" he said glancing at Tim.

"Sister Rochenko." Tim explained, testing the tightness of the cords around his arms, tapping the sides of the bath gently with his foot judging for solidity and smiling vacantly.

"She raised the Leicester in the orphanage in Moscow, and was like a mother to him. It was her who taught him to hate everything, and set him on the road to arch-villaindom."

"This will do nicely. Okay, form a circle everyone... we'll have the Red Leicester here in no time. He might be a little disoriented, so try to appear non-threatening. Now, concentrate..."

It was the diner where the bikers hung out. Not your namby-pamby Sunday cruisers who wore squeaky-clean leather jackets and called themselves Dredd and Butcher. This was the domain of the men who'd eaten their jackets, and forgotten their names, who'd rather bite your throat out than not. To emphasise how squalid and unhealthy the atmosphere was, just consider that it actually improved slightly when the Red Leicester demon-thing walked in.

It surveyed the diner with unblinking compound eyes, then slithered and clicked it's way over to a biker leaning up against the bar, idly chewing a spitwad of tobacco.

"Isss tHAt YouR HARLEYouside?" it ventured.

"S'right" nodded the tattoo-ed man.

"I NeEd yoUr CLothESs, yoUr bOOts aND YOur Mot - "

Before he could finish, there was a loud sucking noise, a sense of motion, and he found himself looking, standing in a circle of people, some of them familiar, some not.

"TIM?" he growled. He didn't understand what was going on. And this made him ANGRY. Long, razor-sharp blades slid out of various points on his body, making him appear like a porcupine drawn by Hieronymous Bosch in a particularly foul mood.

His faceted eyes glowed red.

At this point, Bob who'd snuck out to go and search for some tea, stuck his head round the door.

"Does anyone know where the bags... are - "

Meanwhile, at Heathrow Airport, Air Force One had just screeched to a halt right next to the terminal building. A small group of nervous dignitaries clustered round the steps, chattering.

"Well I'VE heard he has no notion of foreign policy. He's been dead for over eighty years, after all."

"But that's exactly my point, it gives one a long view of events, invaluable in today's..."


The Prime Minister stepped forward, arms outstretched, grinning from ear to shining ear. If his smile had been any bigger, it would have had to be sincere.

"Mr Rasputin." he smiled, "May I be the first to, ah, accept your gracious invite to visit our country? I hope you had a pleasant flight?"

Rasputin gave him a withering stare and announced to the waiting cameras and press corps.

"Who is this pathetic little twerp? And why is he mugging like a Petrograd hooker?"

The PM's smile didn't falter for a minute, thanks to the daily Botox injections.

"... And what, may I ask, have you got planned for your visit? A state dinner?"

"Shut up. Go away. I'm on very pressing business, and I don't have time for this... oh, will you let go of my sleeve!"

When the limousine had sped off towards the motorway, an aide wandered out of the terminal to find the Cabinet strutting around doubled-over, scratching in the dust and clucking. He took a few deep breaths, then pulled out his cellphone.

"Get me Alistair Campbell, we need a good spin doctor right now - well then wake him up!"

h2g2 Storytime II: Archive

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