The Karmora Papers

Chapter Nine

PNEU-STELLAR SPEED, INDEED!


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Bob flinched as the teleteletype booped again, signalling the recipience of yet another extra-long distance transmission...the fifth this Earth-hour! Normally, such messages were received no more than four times an Earth-week, but today a phylogenic crisis had arisen on Gwed-Quatuk, the mino-vegatoid outpost near Deneb. The Carp Minority Tribe was demanding equal atmo- clone computer time for vicariant space travel from the reigning Android Community.

What ingrates, thought Bob irritatedly. In only a couple of Earth-years the Carps had evolved from twaddling pet galactorocks to card-carrying members of the Cygnian Settlement League, and here they were yammering for still more favors. Even though the generous Androids had granted them Leisure Learn-o-Library privileges, it had been discovered that the Carpís retention span, even under hypnocution, lasted no longer than a brief Earth-hour.

Cute though the Carps were, they were certainly dumb, too. But Bob digressed.

His orders were krystoclear: descramble the extra-long distance dispatches immediately, no matter how innocuous they might appear. He sent his willowy assistant, Pflud, into the chamber to decontaminate the message. Willowy was indeed an appropriate description, for this beige- skinned belle of the Likable Triple Cities was half tree...and what a stump she had!

Bob caught himself daydreaming about unthinkable -- and also physically difficult -- sexual fantasies when Pflud brought the glittering message to him. As always, she leaned a little too close, brushing his face with her leaves.

Reluctantly, he turned his attention away from Pflud to the transmission at hand. It was an astrogram (an astrogram!) from Lunch County, Saturn, dispatched at... "Zoons!" Bob exclaimed... "dispatched at pneu-stellar speed with special handling!"

The message read: HAVING A WONDERFUL TIME STOP WISH YOU WERE HERE STOP SIGNED YOUR FRIENDS ON SATURN

He sent the message through the astroscrambler and checked the words in his code books ... nothing. Nevertheless, Bob sensed trouble. He turned over the astrogram and, sure enough, there was the word "TRUBBEL" written in an identifiable Saturnian scrawl. True, the word had been misspelled, but the connotation was clear -- Help was needed!

Bob punched a button on his communication box and ordered that a fleet of warbarges be made ready for Quick Launch. Then, to be on the safe side, he contacted the Department of Outdoor Activities, requesting a Picnic Representative to accompany the fleet to Sol System; that way, if the Saturnians really were having a good time, he could cover up what otherwise might look like an overt act of aggression. Also, he could relocate those damned screaming vegatoids which were visiting from Gwed-Quatuk. Perhaps the Saturnians would eat them...he didnít know a lot about their gastronomic habits.

And while the entire Likable Triple Cities community throbbed with anticipation over the imminent adventure, Bob locked the door to the astrolatrine with Pflud...as she turned the Ecstatocaster to VERY HIGH. next


The Karmora Papers is Copyright ©1976,1993,1996 by Dennis Báthory Kitsz and David Gunn. All rights reserved. If you enjoy this book, an appreciation fee of any amount may be made to Dennis Báthory-Kitsz or David Gunn at Malted/Media Productions, 176 Cox Brook Road, Northfield VT 05663.

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