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Book: The Kretins of Doctor Combobulay
Chapter 21: Concentrated Levels of Stupidity

“You are lying!” Doctor Combobulay screamed. Her voice crackled with high levels of nervous tension. “How dare you lie to me?!”

Colonel Hilber Hamblaba stood in the doctor’s chamber and shuddered nervously, his blubbery frame wobbling beneath his blue overalls. His round and wart-filled face was even more pale than usual. “I’m afraid the information I’ve given you is correct, ma’am.”

The doctor’s face was screwed up with disbelief and rage. “I am surrounded by layer after layer of ineptitude! I am stifled by idiocy, and by some of the most concentrated levels of stupidity ever known!” She shivered for a second, and then took a deep breath. She wheezed like a terminally ill smoker. “I trust that the surviving Kretins are continuing with the primary mission?”

Taking an incredible personal risk, the colonel shook his head. “The surviving Kretins are unable to continue with the primary mission until they have been repaired, ma’am. They are returning to their bases.”

Doctor Combobulay slammed her fists onto her chair. “Unforgivable! Tell them to return to their mission immediately!”

“But ma’am, they are damaged and…”

The doctor wobbled to her feet. Her voice dropped an octave. “Do you dare to challenge me?!”

Colonel Hilber Hamblaba was shocked by the doctor’s expression. “I… I wouldn’t dream of it, ma’am. I am just advising you that…”

“Do as I ask!”

The colonel bowed. “Of course, ma’am.” He turned and headed for the chamber’s exit.

Doctor Combobulay shrieked. She grabbed the arm of her chair to steady herself. “I have not finished with you!”

The colonel stopped and turned. He bowed deeply. “Forgive me, ma’am.”

The doctor’s eyes narrowed, her heavily lined face creasing like an antique accordion. She sat down. “You have not yet told me what happened to that ship that the Kretin’s were supposed to destroy.”

“Ah, yes.” The colonel said. “Well, after the Kretins’ second attack the ship retreated at high speed out over the sea until it was no longer visible on their sensors. The attack by the unidentified ballistic object occurred around 20 minutes later. That’s about it, ma’am.”

“Where is that ship now?”

“When the Nebulon emerged from the sea the ship was detected again. It looked like it was going to follow us, but then we lost contact with it.”

The doctor’s eyes narrowed even further. “So, it definitely did not follow us. Is that what you’re implying?”

“Erm… No, ma’am. I’m implying that we are not sure if the ship is following us or not. We lost contact when it flew directly behind us. The discharge from our Esultuph Version-4 propulsion system causes massive interference with our Nokyab-Nivec third generation sensor array. When we are cruising it is impossible to get a clear scan of what is behind us.”

The doctor’s eyes were wide with disbelief and fury. “Why were systems with such ridiculous levels of incompatibly installed?!” She shuddered. “Incompetence!!!”

“The ship was constructed to your specifications, ma’am.”

The doctor scowled. “I expected my design advisors to inform me of such incompatibilities!”

Colonel Hilber Hamblaba swallowed hard. “But ma’am, if I remember rightly, the first advisor that raised such an issue was mercilessly butchered in a truly horrific manner. After that, no other advisor would dare to…”

Doctor Combobulay barked. “Point taken, colonel.” She paused for a second. “See! I am not as conceited as you would believe.”

“No, ma’am.”

I assume we have a means of obtaining a visual scan to the rear of this ship?”

“I’m afraid we do not, ma’am.”

The doctor fumed. “Plain and simple ineptitude! It’s everywhere I look! Why not?!”

The colonel strained to maintain his composure. “Again, the design of this vessel did not include an imaging system that could be directed towards the rear. Actually, I think that the aforementioned advisor was trying to explain that fact when his throat was torn from his neck by a…”

“Again, point taken!”

Five seconds of awkward silence passed.

The doctor had managed to calm herself. “Do we have a window that looks towards the rear?”

Colonel Hilber Hamblaba sighed with relief. Finally he could say something positive. “Yes, ma’am. There’s a maintenance viewport between the two main engine radiators. It’s used when engineers need to…”

“Stop waffling! Send a crew member there immediately to see what’s following us.”

The colonel bowed. “Yes, ma’am.”

“Now!!!”

Colonel Hilber Hamblaba scurried out of the doctor’s chamber.

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