Friday, 13 June 2008

Expedition Diary – Extract 5

This is a personal account of the remarkable journey undertaken, by myself and the Old Monkey, to investigate the strange anomaly within the Lost Clinkers Cooling Tower.

Expedition Diary – Extract 5

We passed through the anomaly only to discover a topsy-turvy world where Beaver Hateman rules over Homeward. The Old Monkey and I have met our alter egos, living a dissolute life at Badfort, waging a constant battle with Beaver to overthrow his regime. They have agreed to help us retrieve the helicopter from Homeward so that we may return to our own world back through the anomaly.

We were awoken this morning by Cowgill in a high state of excitement. Conditions were perfect, apparently, for our return through the anomaly. Dark clouds had formed overnight and a storm was brewing. These conditions matched exactly the weather patterns that existed when we came through the anomaly from our world.

Uncle 2 and his followers were in a high state of preparation for the battle that would ensue with Beaver. They were running around collecting duck bombs, crossbows and assorted weaponry. It was odd to see so many faces I recognized – but in this world all wearing sackcloth. A garb that I had long come to associate with Beaver and his gang.

Old Monkey 2, as I had come to call him, was sorting through a pile of skewers. “Don’t worry posh Unc, we will soon have you on your way home !” he declared.

I began to discuss battle plans with my doppelganger. Knowing Homeward so well, I was able to point out a secret tunnel into the courtyard that I knew Beaver would be unaware of. It was one I had explored myself, that even Wizard Blenkinsop had never discovered.

“Excellent !” cried my alter ego “We will take them by surprise! The anniversary celebrations for the May 68 uprising, when Beaver and his gang took control of Badgertown, will still be in full swing. So, they will be unprepared for an attack!”

“They took control of Badgertown?” I exclaimed. I could not believe my ears.

“Yes, and they have run it ever since. The King of the Badgers was sent into exile.” he replied “Things must be very different in your world – I like the sound of it” he murmured on seeing my shocked expression.

I must say I shed a tear for my old friend, the King of the Badgers, I would never begrudge him a loan again. If I ever got back home.

We made our way down the tunnel and as we approached the courtyard I could hear the familiar strains of ‘Hail to Glorious Uncle’ from a brass band above us. “So, I must still be loved by the citizens of Homeward!” I declared. My other self looked at me as if I were mad. “That’s Beaver’s anthem, you fool, he makes them play it at all his jamborees.

Then I heard familiar lyrics being sang – but the alterations to the words made my blood boil.

“We love to hear of Beaver’s deeds;
He makes us feel so glad;
His bounty makes the poor man rich
And fills with joy the sad.

He taxes fat elephants and gives to those in need;
His Five Year Plan benefits us all;
How vast the stores of Scob Fish and lard….”

It went on like this for ages extolling the virtues of that creature Beaver. What humbug!

Beaver began his speech.

“Friends, we are here to celebrate the glorious victory of ‘The Badfort Popular Front’ over the forces of oppression. Namely, that debauched of all monarchies, The King of the Badgers. If he was still in charge you would still be indebted to, and under the thumb of, that fat elephant Uncle. I can reveal to you now – that, under my firm guidance, the Five Year plan has been a resounding success. This means that, as you pass over the drawbridge on the way home, you will receive a new half-crown. Freshly minted with my face on it. You will find plenty of provisions, so eat as much as you want. Be happy! Long Live the Revolution!”

There was deafening applause – and under cover of the noise we attacked.

Like an avalanche we were upon them. A terrible fight ensued with crossbow twanging and Duck Bombs splattering. In the midst of the melee Uncle 2 grabbed me. “Quick, whilst they are distracted we must get to your helicopter !” he cried.

The Old Monkey and I, with our alter ego’s, escaped to the lifts and were soon on the helipad.

The storm raged above – perfect conditions for returning through the anomaly.

But, our doppelgangers blocked our path.

My double had a strange look in his eyes as if an idea had just dawned on him. “You could stay and I could go? We could take the helicopter and pass through the anomaly to your world. I would be hailed a hero” he ranted “It is what I have always wanted. To be Lord and Master of Homeward. With this castle I could rule the world. Yes. I would do it. That power would set me up above all elephants.”

At the final hurdle – had we been betrayed?

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