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Book: High-Tech Green Thing
Chapter 9: Fragment of Time

Triangular prisms of frozen nitrogen spiralled thoughtfully through the soft red mists of the slumber sea. From out of the miasma a small cuddly toy appeared. It swam towards High-Tech Green Thing. Suddenly the mist dissolved away revealing an awe-inspiring island of impeccable beauty.

The cuddly toy spoke sweetly. “Please come with me.” It grabbed High-Tech Green Thing’s arm and pulled him with great strength and speed towards the paradise isle.

High-Tech Green Thing was curious. “What’s on that island?”

The toy spoke, even more sweetly than before. “It’s the home of the soul of the universe!”

The cuddly toy carried High-Tech Green Thing across a pebble beach and through some gently swaying palm trees that seemed to whisper soft messages of comfort and warmth.

The sound of footsteps could be heard.

The cuddly toy set High-Tech Green Thing down on a giant blueberry and disappeared into the undergrowth.

The sound of footsteps grew louder and louder.

Two thousand small pink rabbits wandered into view and quickly surrounded High-Tech Green Thing. He looked down at them. They looked so cute, and so delicious. “Hello!” he said, waving.

The rabbits started to transform. Within seconds they had all turned into wart-covered black breath monsters. Their warts began spouting puss. It was a disgusting sight.

High-Tech Green Thing was becoming nervous. “What do you want?”

The breath monsters began laughing. The foul stench of their breath rose up and overwhelmed High-Tech Green Thing. He grasped his throat as the choking odour took hold of his lungs. He fell off the giant blueberry and into the crowd of monsters. The monsters all took one deep breath and then exhaled. The stench became so concentrated that it solidified into flakes and snowed down onto High-Tech Green Thing. He screamed. “Leave me alone! Leave me alone!”


“HIGH-TECH GREEN THING RETURN TO THE COCKPIT.”

High-Tech Green Thing sat up and looked around. “Wow, another crazy dream. And quite a traumatic one, too!”

“HIGH-TECH GREEN THING RETURN TO THE COCKPIT.”

“Why?”

“SAFE DISTANCE FROM THE SOLAR SYSTEM WILL BE ACHIEVED IN ONE MINUTE.”

“Excellent. Charge up and target the Solariser. I’ll be there in a second.”

“I OBEY.”

High-Tech Green Thing slapped a few controls on the arm of his well-padded chair. The chair shot out of the galley and into an access channel.

Ten seconds later High-Tech Green Thing was sitting in the cockpit. “Give me an update on the slime.”

“THE SLIME IS FOLLOWING THIS VESSEL AT A DISTANCE OF ONE BILLION KILOMETRES.”

“Hmm… Impressive. What’s the status of the Solariser?”

“THE SOLARISER IS FULLY CHARGED AND LOCKED ON TO THE TARGET STAR.”

“Good. It seems that the end of the slime is nigh.”

“SAFE DISTANCE FROM THE SOLAR SYSTEM HAS NOW BEEN EXCEEDED.”

“Great.” High-Tech Green Thing operated the intercom. “Hello, everyone! If you take a look out of the view ports you’ll see a bright star. That, as you may have realised, is the sun that sustained life on your home planet for more than three billion years. In a few moments it will be completely blown away in my latest attempt to destroy the slime.” He turned off the intercom. “Right, you may as well fire.”

“FIRING THE SOLARISER…”

The solariser fired, sending a ray of shimmering destruction at warp speed into the heart of the target star. Within a nanosecond the star went supernova. But thus was no ordinary supernova. It was a hyper-supernova. The detonation of the star sent a one trillion degree blast wave out across the solar system at many times the speed of light. Within seconds each and every planet had been vaporised. Seconds later the warp speed wave of destruction, weakened but still potent, hit the flying machine. It was like a kick in the face by a drunken elephant.

The video display of the cockpit showed the villagers in their cabin. Most of them had tumbled to the floor. Mayor Billshot, inebriated beyond reason, never noticed anything – he was already laid out on the carpet in a pool of his own vomit. Only the Sprag cyborg, with his strong and stable metal body, remained standing. He was holding on to Ysabell.

High-Tech Green Thing was concerned. “I’d better go down and see them and give them a little pep talk.” He operated the controls on his well-padded chair and disappeared into the access channel at the rear of the cockpit.


Ysabell was annoyed. “Let go of me, Sprag!”

The cyborg ignored her request.

Ysabell struggled. “I said let me go! You’re covered in sick!”

The Sprag cyborg spoke. “That is not my vomit. I have no stomach and cannot ingest or eject nutritional matter. It belongs to Mayor Billshot.”

“Shut up and let me go!”

A doorway opened and High-Tech Green Thing sped into the cabin in his well-padded chair. He rose to his feet. “My friends, the slime has, once again, disappeared into a cloud of atoms. This time I think I actually did it. Third time lucky, I think!”

A short cheer erupted from the crowd.

The village carpenter, Jacob Snarl, walked up to High-Tech Green Thing. “Let me shake your hand.” He said in a grateful tone of voice.

High-Tech Green Thing nodded. “Of course.” He grabbed the carpenter’s hand.

The capenter shook High-Tech Green Thing’s hand. “You have saved us from extinction. We will all be forever in you debt.”

“No need to be.” High-Tech Green Thing said. “It’s, my job, and hellish good fun, too!” He walked over to the Sprag cyborg. The cyborg was still holding onto a stuggling Ysabell. “How are you coping with your synthetic body?”

“I feel fantastic.” The cyborg replied.

“I’d feel fantastic too if I was holding onto Ysabell that tightly! You’d better let her go.”

Sprag released Ysabell. She fell to the floor. She looked up at the cyborg. “Bastard!”

High-Tech Green Thing spoke. “I must apologise. I think Sprag does not yet realise just how strong his new body is.”

Ysabell was still annoyed. “Or just how much of a bastard he is, either!” She took a deep breath and got to her feet. “I wish to see how Jock is.”

High-Tech Green Thing nodded. “No problem. Follow me.” He walked purposefully into an access channel.

Ysabell followed.

High-Tech Green Thing and Ysabell entered the sickbay. It was a small but impressive room, filled with sharp and pointy technology, and plenty of blinking lights. Jock was lying on a long padded bench at the centre of the room.

Ysabell walked over to him. “Jock? Are you awake?”

The apeworm didn’t respond.

High-Tech Green Thing stated the obvious. “He’s still unconscious.”

Ysabell was getting distressed. “Please help him.”

“Indeed I will.” High-Tech Green Thing directed his voice to the computer. “Bring the apeworm back to consciousness.”

A robotic medical assistant descended from the ceiling and started fiddling with Jock’s head.

The computer made a chilling announcement. “CONDITION RED: THE SLIME HAS RECONSTITUTED. HIGH-TECH GREEN THING IS REQUIRED IN THE COCKPIT IMMEDIATELY.”

High-Tech Green Thing could not believe what he was hearing. “What?! No way!” He took a second to compose himself. “Ysabell, go and join the rest of the villagers. It looks like I’m going to have to save you all once again.” He pressed a button on his belt. A couple of seconds later his well-padded chair appeared in the doorway of the sickbay.

High-Tech Green Thing sat down and was delivered swiftly to the cockpit. “Update me!”

“THE SLIME IS DOUBLING IN MASS EVERY MINUTE. IT WILL ENGULF THE ENTIRE GALAXY IN TEN MINUTES AND THIRTY-FOUR SECONDS.”

“Wow! I guess you know what I’m going to ask you next?”

“I DO. THERE IS ONLY ONE OPTION: TIME WARP TO A DISTANCE OF ONE MILLION LIGHT YEARS BEYOND THE EDGE OF THE GALAXY, AND THEN FIRE THE DIMENSIONISER INTO THE CORE OF THE GALAXY. ALL OF THE MATTER AND SLIME IN THE GALAXY WILL BE DECONSTITUTED AND TRANSFERRED TO AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE.”

High-Tech Green Thing was perplexed. “Is there such a thing as an alternate universe?”

“UNKNOWN.”

“I guess we’ll find out, then. Right, you’d better handle the time warp, I know nothing about that kind of thing. How long will it take?”

“TIME WARPING TAKES NO TIME AT ALL.”

“Great. Do it now.”

The cockpit’s display surfaces filled with strange technical information. And then reality glimmered.


An infinitely small fragment of time passed by…


“DESIRED DISTANCE ACHIEVED.”

High-Tech Green Thing was impressed. “That’s amazing! This flying machine is even more impressive than I thought it was.” He operated the intercom. “Hello. As you’re probably aware, the slime is back, but not for long. I am going to destroy our entire galaxy. Don’t worry, there are plenty more out there so we can still find a new home.” He switched off the intercom. “Target the Dimensioniser and fire when ready.”

“TARGETING THE DIMENSIONISER… TARGET LOCKED. FIRING DIMENSIONISER.”

An invisible ball of energy was fired at time warp speed into the core of the galaxy. Stars vanished. Unknown civilisations were sucked into oblivion. The galaxy faded to nothing.

“Has the slime gone?”

“NO DETECTABLE SLIME EXISTS.”

“Fabulous! We’ve done it at last.” High-Tech Green Thing activated the intercom. “You are saved. The slime has gone. Have some more drinks and celebrate!” He turned off the intercom and looked at the video display of the rear cabin. The villagers had taken his advice and were downing beer by the bucket load. “I’m tired, so I’m going to bed for a while. Call me in a few hours.”

“I OBEY.”

High-Tech Green Thing operated the controls on the arm of his well-padded chair. He selected his private cabin as the destination. The chair spun round and sped into the access channel. Within seconds the chair entered his cabin. It was a most luxurious room. A huge bed covered in red velvet sheets and white pillows dominated the centre of the room, while a collection of hyper-digital entertainment systems lined the walls. A glass door on the far wall lead to a spa bath and sauna.

High-Tech Green Thing got to his feet and wandered wearily to the bed. He fell forwards and was asleep in a second.

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