The continuing adventures of the Leconauts
You have landed at the place where you can experience the continuing chronicles of the Loudhailer Electric Company mothership and crew. Starring Leconauts Captain Lou Loudhailer, Sonic Architect Parsons, Ricardo the Astral Bard and Bombardier Burnby. This is Season 26 of the adventurous antics of the Leconauts traversing the galaxy and encountering a myriad of marvellous musical lifeforms and dastardly villains as they venture forth to perform at the galaxy’s Temples of Song.
YOINKS! IT’S TIME TO HOOK UP ONCE MORE WITH OUR INTREPID LECONAUTS, FOR EPISODE ONE OF SEASON TWENTY-SIX OF THE LECO CHRONICLES! WHAT DARK ADVENTURES ARE THEY ABOUT TO BECOME EMBROILED IN? READ ON……..!
Captain Lou pointed the remote control device at the Vistascreen and pressed a red button. The picture disappeared in a flash of static and the screen defaulted to the external view from the Leco’s bridge. Stars, stars, and more stars.
The Captain pondered on what she had just seen; a moving picture entertainment from the Age of Legends called Star Trek; Voyager. It was presented on a shiny disc called a DVD and was impossibly primitive. The picture was two-dimensional and immersive exploration was impossible; you were simply stuck with what you got. Nevertheless, there was something compelling about this arcane procedure; inserting the DVD into the Leco’s amorphous interface and waiting for the sophisticated state-of-the art system to figure out how it was going to access the primitive digital data encoded within the layers of the shiny disc.
Captain Lou was visualising a character from the entertainment; Captain Janeway. Her reverie was brought to a sudden end by the appearance of the Astral Bard, who had more than a hint of mischief in his eye. “The Sleeperman!”, he exclaimed, breathlessly. The Sleeperman; a semi-mythical eight, sometimes ten-legged creature, who had once harboured the ambition of miring the entire universe in ennui……..
“Surely, the Sleeperman poses no threat to the natural order?”, said the Captain, hovering between the states of wakefulness and dream. “As I recall, there was a misunderstanding, which we resolved without the need for terminal flangection?” “That’s as maybe”, replied the Bard, “but we have reports that the Sleeperman has gone Over the Hill!”
Captain Lou arched an eyebrow; this could be nothing, or it could be everything. “Over the Hill” was a Galactic council protocol which signalled all-out attack on the Renegade Alliance. Could it be that the Sleeperman had switched sides and was about to lead the Galactic Council in a pre-emptive strike which could put paid to the entire Renegade fleet in one fell swoop? That was too much to contemplate.
She jumped to her feet and began to issue orders. Right now she needed her Leconauts, wherever they may be, and whatever they may be doing, with whomever.
First onto the bridge was Bombardier Burnby, the rangy Thunder Conjurer. “All hail, Captain”, he cried. “I was just putting the finishing touches to this new Thunder Generator which I have received from Sir Chad the Smith. ‘Tis pleasingly percussive to the ear!” “Yes, indeed”, answered the Captain, “but we have bigger mermaids to fry. The Sleeperman may be on the move!”
“Gadzooks!”, exclaimed the Bombardier. “Most vexatious!” “Have you been in the English Civil War section of the Holodeck again?, asked the Captain, somewhat testily. The bombardier smiled and lowered his eyes.
Then the transference Spot began to glow and the Sonic Architect emerged from the swirling psychedelic mist……”What have we got?”, he asked, whilst strapping on a Bird of Fire flangector interface module.
“The Sleeperman!”, exclaimed the Bard. “Can’t say I’m surprised”, replied the Sonic Architect. “Sir Neil has been entreating me to trade him this!”, he exclaimed, indicating the outlandish implement hanging around his neck. “I told him ‘thanks, but no thanks!’”
Just then the Vistascreen crackled into life and the head of Admiral Bunting appeared. “Leconauts, we have an emergency! The Galactic Council has kidnapped the Sleeperman! We have one septalog to pay a ransom of one thousand spacecrowns, or the Sleeperman will be liquidised……..!”
HERE WE GO WITH EPISODE TWO OF SEASON TWENTY-SIX OF THE LECO CHRONICLES! WHAT MANIFESTATION OF FOULNESS WILL OUR HEROES HAVE TO DEAL WITH? READ ON……..!
“A thousand spacecrowns?! Where will we find such a sum of sorrow? I didn’t even know there was that much sorrow still left in the universe!” The Sonic Architect was incredulous. Who or what could possibly have any use for sorrow anymore? It hadn’t been used in transactions since the Age of Legends and had no intrinsic value whatsoever. People had killed, betrayed and lied for it; indeed, the old ruling class on Terra Gaia had been finally overthrown once the people realised that their so-called leaders were only interested in sorrow and had no intention of working to make the people’s lives any better. The streets had run with rivers of the blood of the ruling elite. The Sonic Architect shuddered at the memory……
“It has to be someone who still thinks that there’s a use for sorrow”, said the Astral Bard. “Possibly someone who has travelled forward in time from the Age of Legends? Someone who doesn’t realise that sorrow has no place in the world anymore!”
“I think you’re right!”, exclaimed Captain Lou. “We’re looking for someone who has come forward in time – someone we may have encountered in the past.” She turned to the Bard; “Go to the Room of Manuscripts and do some digging – see if you can turn up anyone from our past adventures who may still be around and holding a grudge.” The Bard smiled, mischief in his eyes. The Room of Manuscripts was his favourite part of the Leco. Asking him to go and occupy himself in there could result in his not being seen for several dodecabits.
“In the meantime”, said the Bombardier, “who knows what the Sleeperman may be going through?! Perhaps we’d better mount a search party?” Captain Lou thought for several quantabits, then looked up. “I think we had better tread carefully. The Admiral said the kidnappers had made specific threats if any attempt was made to locate them. We may be putting the Sleeperman in more danger!” “Grr!” growled the Bombardier, and smote a nearby table with a thunderstick. The furniture splintered into matchwood and the huge renegade rose to his full height, eyes blazing with incandescent fury. “We are powerless!”, he cried, “and I don’t like it! Not one bit!”
With that the Vistascreen crackled into life, and a hooded figure appeared. It spoke in a rasping voice, full of malevolence. Its eyes were burning red embers and a noxious effluvium rose from its tattered raiment. “Behold the Leconauts!”, it said, undisguised disdain in its awful voice. “I have waited long for this moment! I have your associates in my custody. They languish in the brig of my vessel. I will release them upon payment of the ransom. Do you have the spacecrowns?!” The terrible apparition hissed horribly when speaking the sibilant sections of its demands. “Do not attempt to mount a rescue, or I fear your associates will not live to see you again.” A horrible rattle issued from the spectral form, and the Sonic Architect realised it was laughing. The screen went blank.
The Bombardier jumped to his feet. “A plague of Johnsons upon that foul creature!” he cried. “What manner of being…….”, but the Astral Bard had interrupted. “I have a fix on the transmission!” he exclaimed. “Where did it come from?!” demanded the Captain.
The Bard looked up; “It’s not so much ‘where’, but ‘when’”………!
ZOUNDS! IT’S ALREADY TIME FOR EPISODE THREE OF SEASON TWENTY-SIX OF THE EVERYDAY STORY OF SPACEFOLK, THE LECO CHRONICLES! CAN OUR HEROES PREVAIL AGAINST A NEW AND DEADLY ENEMY……?!
“Don’t talk in riddles, Ricardo!”, exclaimed the Bombardier. “What do you mean, ‘not so much “where”, but “when”’? Are you deliberately trying to be enigmatic?!”
“Actually, the Bard has a point”, answered the Sonic Architect. “Look at that ident – that format hasn’t been used for several quitons!” “Captain Lou scrutinised the tiny coded symbol in the bottom left corner of the screen. “So you’re saying that this message was sent an eon or two before the Sleeperman was kidnapped? That doesn’t make sense…..!”
“I find increasingly less makes sense these dodecabits!”, replied the Sonic Architect. “How do we figure out who that was and where, or when, we can find them?” “I think we need to call in some assistance”, said Captain Lou. “Ricardo, get….”, but she didn’t get the chance to finish her sentence; the Vistascreen crackled and a face appeared. “Shaman Hood of the Hawk!”, all four Leconauts exclaimed simultaneously. The wily space renegade smiled. “I had the most curious feeling that you were about to call me, so I thought I’d save you the task; how can I help?!”
“But, how, why, who….!”, “Stand easy, Bombardier!”, interjected the Captain. “Shaman Hood is well-known for his powers of precognition. He obviously detected our thoughtwaves in the aether.” The Shaman continued to smile. “It’s the Sleeperman”, said the Captain. “It looks like kidnap, and it bears all the hallmarks of the Galactic Council; except for this rather cryptic communication we just received.” Captain Lou pressed a button and the chilling message played in the top left corner of the screen. Shaman Hood closely scrutinised it, his face impassive. When it finished he remained silent for a few quantabits, then spoke softly. “Well, well, well! I didn’t think I’d be seeing him again!” “Who is that?!”, asked the Bard, a note of exasperation in his voice.
“He is called the Time Being”, answered the Shaman. “And he is as dangerous an adversary as you have yet encountered. If he has the Sleeperman then there is little hope of us seeing them again, unless we co-operate with the Time Being.
“I’m not in the mood for co-operation!”, cried the Bombardier. “I’m more in the mood for paradiddling that abomination into cosmic dust!”
“A worthy notion, would it were possible!”, answered the Shaman. “However, the Time Being has had plenty of….time….to render himself impervious to such actions. To attack would be futile. You would find that he wouldn’t be there. You would launch your assault and it would meet with thin air.” “But, what….how….why….!” The Shaman smiled as the Bombardier spluttered. “We must play by his rules, and to do that, we need the help of another Sonic Adventurer.” “Nonsense!”, cried the Bombardier. “The Leconauts are a match for any sideshow charlatan! We are feared throughout……” Captain Lou held up her hand and the Bombardier fell silent.
“Who is it whom we need, Shaman Hood?”, she asked.
“Sir Tom of Kay!”, came the reply.
HOITY TOITY! IT’S TIME FOR ANOTHER DOLLOP OF ADVENTURES WITH THE LECONAUTS! HERE’S EPISODE FOUR OF SEASON TWENTY-SIX! IN WHICH THE SHAMAN INTERVENES AND A BOLD PLAN IS MADE…….!
“Sir Tom of Kay?”, said Captain Lou. “Yes, Sir Tom of Kay”, replied the Shaman. “I’ve heard of him”, said the Sonic Architect. “Mostly fragments of stories told around campfires. A semi-mythical figure; a pink flangectorist; a wandering minstrel who was once part of the Shattered Ensemble.” The Shattered Ensemble; another band of renegades to whom tall tales of derring-do had been ascribed. “Pink flangectorist?! Shattered Ensembles?! Aren’t we losing track of reality?!”, scoffed the Bombardier. “We’re talking about people who may not even exist!” “Oh, they exist, all right”, answered the Shaman, his equanimity in stark contrast to the Bombardier’s bluster. “Yes”, interjected the Bard, “I worked with Sir Tom’s father, back in the Days of the Madness!” They all fell silent momentarily. The Days of the Madness were seldom spoken of; the memories were too raw.
“Well, I still say we can handle this on our own”, said the Bombardier. Captain Lou raised her hand and the Bombardier took a deep breath and sighed. “Shaman, how can we contact Sir Tom, and how can he help us in this quest?” “Two good questions!”, replied the wily spacedog, “both of which I will answer shortly. But firstly, we need to consider the next move of the Time Being. Do we have access to a thousand spacecrowns?” The Bombardier jumped to his feet and then, stifling a cry in his throat, sat down again, muttering darkly. “I think we could muster such a sum of sorrow” answered the Bard. We have access to a supply of aurum which we can – call upon in emergencies.” “I suggest that this is just such an emergency”, said the Shaman. “How difficult would it be to lay our hands upon this fortune?” “A small diversion in time would be necessary” replied the Bard. The Shaman smiled; “would this – diversion – in any way involve Terra Gaia and the Age of Legends?” The Bard smiled somewhat ruefully. “It may!”, he replied. “Then I suggest we ask Young Syd to help us. Perhaps he could take on this mission. And perhaps the Bombardier could accompany him?”
Captain Lou raised an eyebrow. She didn’t want to disagree with the Shaman but it seemed as if he had concocted a scheme to enable him to remove the Bombardier from the action. She was just about to say “No, I don’t think so” but when she began to speak what came out was “Yes, a good idea!” She turned to the Bombardier and spoke; “Please collect Young Syd from Spaceport. You can take the Lecopod.” The Bombardier stood for a moment in stunned silence, then clicked his heels, saluted, said “aye, aye, cap’n”, and left.
“I’m not quite sure what happened there!”, said the Captain. “I’m sorry I had to intervene”, said the Shaman, “but I’m almost certain that the Time Being will be trying to eavesdrop on our conversations. Having appeared on the Vistascreen he will have formed a mental picture of the bridge of the Leco. That picture will not only include the physical structure of what he saw, but also its emotional make-up. He will try to exploit that. Emotional outbursts such as those which the Bombardier is wont to display are like beacons of light to the Time Being. It’s like launching a magnesium flare and shouting “look at me! Here I am!”
“I see”, said the Captain. “So it’s better that the Bombardier isn’t here for a while?” “A short time, yes”, replied the Shaman. “But we will need him soon enough!”
Several sextasets later the Transference Spot began to glow. Mist and coloured lights swirled and mysterious melodic sounds danced in the air. The Bombardier and Young Syd appeared. “All hail!”, cried the Captain. “All hail” replied young Syd. “So, what are we up to this time? Saving the universe from blancmanges or mushrooms, is it?!”
“Not exactly”, replied the Captain. “It’s a straightforward mission. We want you and the Bombardier to travel back to the Age of Legends, go to the Land of Ignorance and Superstition, and steal all the aurum from Fort Knox!”
LAWKS A’ MUSSY! IT’S TIME FOR MORE SPACE ADVENTURES WITH THE LECONAUTS! HERE’S EPISODE FIVE OF SEASON TWENTY-SIX, IN WHICH THE BOMBARDIER AND YOUNG SYD GO OFF-PISTE!!!
“Are you sure they are the co-ordinates for Fort Knox?”, asked the Bombardier. “They don’t look quite right to me!” Young Syd smiled; there was mischief in his eye. “Just a short detour”, he said, and winked conspiratorially. “Nothing the Captain needs to know about.” “I see”, said the Bombardier, mentally parking this exchange in a folder in his head labelled “Favours owed”. “Care to share the location of this little detour with me?” “All will come clear!”, said Young Syd.
A few sextasets later and the two adventurers were walking along a quayside, having concealed the Lecopod in a derelict warehouse. “Now remember”, said Young Syd, this is the Land of Ignorance and Superstition and we are in the Age of Legends. We will stick out. Can you speak Russian, at all?” “No I can’t!”, replied the Bombardier, testily. “And what is this place?!” “It’s the naval dockyard in Norfolk, Virginia. Let me do the talking. Just try to look menacing.”
As they progressed along the quay, the Bombardier took in the large, grey, sinister seagoing vessels arrayed in neat berths. As they approached a turnstile a uniformed Ignoranter, carrying a weapon of sorts, held up his hand and barked “halt”! What happened next took the Bombardier completely by surprise. Young Syd began speaking in a ludicrous, heavy accent. “Can you tell me where I can find the nuclear wessels?!” The Ignoranter stopped in his tracks. “The nuclear wessels?!” The Ignoranter seemed unable to process Young Syd’s request. The Bombardier was having difficulty himself. Once more, Young Syd spoke, this time with increasing emphasis on each syllable, rather as if speaking to a very young child, or someone hard of hearing. “The NUClear WESSels!” “Suddenly, the Ignoranter snapped out of his daze and began speaking rapidly into a small handset. Young Syd touched him on the shoulder and he fell into a swoon. “Let’s go!” he said. Both he and the Bombardier activated their rocket boots and sped back to the Lecopod. Young Syd was laughing uncontrollably………..
…..As the Lecopod touched down in the Spacedock Admiral Bunting and Captain Lou were waiting on the apron. The hatch opened and the Bombardier and Young Syd emerged. The latter was still in the grip of hilarity, almost doubled over and gasping for breath between guffaws. “I don’t know what’s wrong with him!”, said the Bombardier. “He’s been like this ever since Norfolk, Virginia!” “Norfolk?”, said Captain Lou, “what were you doing in Norfolk?!” Young Syd seemed to regain his composure and dug the Bombardier in the ribs. “Er, malfunction of the guidance system, I think. But don’t worry, I’ve sorted it out!” The Bombardier made as if to speak, but then decided against it. “Did you get the aurum?” asked the Admiral. “Yes, we did!” replied the Bombardier. “I rather feel that the Land of Ignorance and Superstition is heading for economic meltdown!” Young Syd opened the cargo bay hatch and a small metallic box rolled forward on a hydraulic platform. “I had to compress it to make it fit in. There were literally barrels of the stuff!”
Back on the bridge of the Leco the Sonic Architect and the Astral Bard looked up as the access doors ‘whooshed’ open and the Captain, the Admiral and the two aurum thieves appeared. “No Shaman Hood?” asked the Captain. “No”, replied the Bard. “He said something about needing to replenish his stocks of psyder and left!”
With that, the Vistascreen crackled into life and a half-robot, half-human head appeared. It spoke; “Do not move. You are surrounded! Resistance is futile………..!”
GMPHHHHH! THINGS ARE LOOKING SERIOUS FOR OUR HEROES! CAN THEY SAVE THE DAY ONCE MORE? FIND OUT IN EPISODE SIX OF SEASON TWENTY-SIX OF THE LECO CHRONICLES!!!
“Who the Gove are you?!”, cried the Bombardier. “We are the McEnroe!”, came the reply. “You are surrounded! Resistance is futile! You will become part of the McEnroe!” With that the bridge doors all flew open and strange half-humanoid, half-robot figures began to swarm onto the bridge of the Leco……….
………Shaman Hood of the Hawk steered Magnu towards a bright star in the distance. He took a slug from his fabled earthenware jug, then skyrocketed on towards the distant orb……..
………The Sleeperman opened two of his eight eyes. He looked around but could see only endless stygian blackness. “Still floating in space, then” he observed. He then opened two more of his eyes and spoke in another voice. “Somebody is going to pay for this! I knew we shouldn’t have trusted that Mule Skinner! Remind me to never take up the offer of a stranger – even if he is leading a mule train with saddlebags full of Cash!” The voice belonging to the first pair of eyes spoke again; “Yes, I know. Someone with a beard that big was bound to be suspect. Ah well, we live and learn!” “Let’s hope we do learn!”, said the second voice. “And that we get out of this fix alive!”…………
…….Sir Tom of Kay stood outside his yurt in the District of Lakes. He enjoyed looking at the night sky; there was always something new to see. Then, he spotted something which was definitely new. A pinprick of light which grew larger and seemed to be travelling towards him! “From the outside in!”, he mused, parking that thought in his mental strongroom. For a moment he feared that he was about to be destroyed by some kind of alien attack but then a huge winged horse landed right in front of him. Astride the horse was a wizard who held out his arm in entreaty. He motioned for Sir Tom to take his hand. Sir Tom extended his own arm and the wizard took it, pulling him roughly up onto the gigantic equine. “We have a long way to go!”, said the wizard. “You should drink this!” From the folds of his voluminous cloak he pulled out an earthenware jug which he proffered to Sir Tom, who took it and quaffed deeply…………
……”Ouch, that hurt!” “There’s more where that came from!”, said the Bombardier and smote the McEnroe around the head with a Thunder Stick. “Ouch, quit that, ok?!”, whined the hapless mutant. “Not a chance!”, cried the Bombardier a dealt the cy-borg another blow. Meanwhile, Captain Lou was unleashing subsonic waves into the pack of the marauding horde. As the waves connected the McEnroe were bowled over like ninepins. Above the clamour could be heard cries of “You cannot be serious!” and “You guys are the pits of the world!”
“Resistance is futile, eh?! I don’t agree! You need to think twice before taking on the Leconauts!”, cried the Sonic Architect, as he and the Astral Bard sprayed the swarming host with deadly flangector fire. At last the wave subsided. Captain Lou turned to see Young Syd activating his image-capturer; the lifeless bodies of the McEnroe were sucked into the device as dust into a vacuum cleaner. Admiral Bunting put down his baton and crossed the bridge to his comrades. “Well done!”, he said. Let’s get down to the science lab and have a closer look at some of these creatures!”……….
………..Shaman Hood of the Hawk swept through the access doors onto the bridge of the Leco; it was deserted. Sir Tom followed close behind. “Strange…”, muttered the Shaman. Then he saw a piece of papyrus blu-tacked to the Vistascreen. Upon it was written “We are in the science lab”……….
……The Sleeperman opened two more of his eyes and yawned. “Where are we?!”, said the voice belonging to these eyes. “Are we over the hill yet?” “You dreaming again?”, came another voice………
The door to the science lab deep in the bowels of the Leco ‘whooshed’ open. Shaman Hood could see the Leconauts, Young Syd and Admiral Bunting standing around an examination post. They were examining a body which seemed to the Shaman to be half-human and half-robot. The blood suddenly drained from his face. “The McEnroe!”, he whispered. He staggered and was about to fall but Sir Tom caught him in mid-totter. The Leconauts looked round. “Shaman Hood!”, exclaimed Captain Lou. “What has happened here?!” said the Shaman urgently, with no trace of the customary twinkling in his eyes.
“We were attacked”, answered Captain Lou, quickly sizing up the Shaman’s mood. “We gave them what-for!” said the Bombardier. “We’re just trying to find out a bit more about the blighters!” “NO!”, cried the Shaman. “Get away from that thing!” But it was too late. The body on the autopsy table began to twitch and writhing tentacular extrusions whipped around the stunned Leconauts, holding them in a constricting, vice-like grip.
The ashen-faced Shaman turned to Sir Tom, his eyes curiously dim. He spoke; “The tubes and wires worming from their flesh to machinery, I would have to cut!”………………
HULLY GULLY! IT’S SEASON TWENTY-SIX FINALE TIME! HERE’S EPISODE SEVEN, IN WHICH OUR HEROES ARE FACED WITH A SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE TASK. CAN THEY SEND THE TIME BEING BACK TO WHERE HE ONCE BELONGED……….?!!!
Sir Tom acted quickly; he activated his pink flangector and sprayed deadly sonic fire under the table upon which the body of the McEnroe was lying. The table collapsed and the McEnroe, complete with the weird extrusions which held captive Young Syd, Admiral Bunting and all four Leconauts, began to crawl towards him, its tongue lolling and eyes rolling hideously. Meanwhile, with the help of Young Syd, the Bombardier had managed to get hold of one of his Thunder Sticks and flailed at the strange tentacle which was doing its best to squeeze the breath from him. “Resistance is futile”, came the rattling cry from the zombie-like McEnroe. The Bombardier struck again, and as he did so, the Shaman’s eyes snapped open, once more blazing with life. He drew his wand and cast several arcane shapes into the air. The tentacles holding the six renegades were all severed, falling uselessly to the floor. The McEnroe croaked “you cannot be serious!”, rolled onto its back and was still.
“What happened?”, asked Captain Lou. “The Time Being”, replied the Shaman. “He was animating the body of that McEnroe. It’s a long time since I have felt his essence so strongly. I was momentarily paralysed!” “Quick thinking, Sir Tom!”, cried the Bombardier. “I think you may well have saved the day!”……
……All eight of the Sleeperman’s eyes were now open, but there was still nothing to see. Complete darkness enveloped him. Then, a crack of light appeared. The crack quickly became a flood, and all eight eyes blinked furiously at the unfamiliar burn. A figure emerged, silhouetted against the brightness. The Sleeperman suddenly felt very afraid. “I tire of you”, spoke the apparition, in a rasping cackle. “I think it is time we said our farewells!”……
……“Do you have the aurum?”, asked the Shaman. “Here it is!”, answered the Bard. “Are we going to use it to make the thousand spacecrowns?” “No we are not!”, answered the Shaman. “We are going to use it to capture the Time Being and send him back to the Edge of Time, where he belongs! Young Syd and Admiral Bunting should return to Spaceport in case we do not prevail. The Alliance must survive.” Reluctantly, the Admiral and Young Syd saw that the Shaman’s logic was sound…….
……The Leconauts and Shaman Hood stood in the Room of Magick, deep in the bowels of the Leco. The Shaman intoned an ancient ritual as aromatic herbs held in silver censors perfumed the air. “Time Being, I abjure you!”, cried the Shaman. “No longer shall your foulness defile the Temple of Reason! Take up your chattels and get thee hence! We have no further need of thee!” A terrible twisted cry of anguish rent the air, spinning around the room. A foetid aroma swirled about them, mingling with the herbs which the Shaman had provided. “Even your own lackeys, hitherto bound unto you with dread artifice, deny you now! See your foul schemes come undone! Release the Sleeperman and get thee gone or accept the fate which awaits you!” The tortured cries rose in intensity and seemed to fill the heads of the Leconauts.
Just when it seemed that their heads would burst, Shaman Hood pulled out a horn from within the voluminous folds of his cloak. Then, the wizard blew his horn! Next, he produced an ancient Black Sword which he held aloft. The heavy curtains around the pentagram in which they stood dropped to the floor, revealing a high wall circling the renegades. The wall was made from bars of shiny aurum which seemed to glow with a strange effulgence. Shaman Hood held the Black Sword aloft, twisting it slowly. At a certain point, it caught the reflected light from the citadel of aurum and the blade burst into dazzling flame. The Shaman twirled the fiery blade above his head and one last tortured cry reverberated around the pulsing cavern, before speeding off into the distance, finally dying…………
…….The Sleeperman opened his eight eyes to see a very different scene. The Sea of the North, lapping gently on a sandy beach; children playing, gulls crying and a forest of sea windmills turning, turning, turning……….
“Well done, everyone!”, cried Admiral Bunting. The Time Being is vanquished, the McEnroe are defeated, and all is well with the world! This calls for a celebration! Let us gather at the Temple of O’Riley this evening to make merry and launch spacechants into the aether! Bring Sir Tom, too!” Just then, the Transference Spot began to glow and an eight-legged figure emerged from the swirling mist. “The Sleeperman!” “I don’t quite know what happened”, said one of his voices, “but we heard tell of a Jamboree! It sounds like just the kind of thing we need after what we’ve been through!” “Welcome, Sleeperman!”, said Captain Lou. “Come, tell us tales of wonder! We are mighty keen to hear of your adventures. As for the Time Being – I think we can say goodbye and good riddance……..!”
[Loudhailer Electric Company Summer Jamboree Drawings by Brett Hambling]
HERE’S THE SEASON TWENTY-SIX POSTSCRIPT! THE LECONAUTS AND THEIR FRIENDS HAD YET AGAIN SAVED THE DAY! A CELEBRATION WAS IN ORDER!
And so it came to pass that the Leconauts, the Sleeperman, Sir Tom of Kay and sundry witches, warlocks, druids, thanes, nymphs, faeries, heavy metal kids and mountain wraiths did gather at the Temple of O’Riley. Admiral Bunting did welcome one and all and Shaman Hood did proffer his fabled earthenware jug which never ran dry despite all and sundry taking deep draughts of the psyder within.
[Loudhailer Electric Company Summer Jamboree photos by Sydpix]
The musicnauts did launch their spacechants into the aether and all agreed that such a night of merry-making had not been had for as long as they could remember.
“One thing is bothering me!”, said the Bombardier unto the Astral Bard. “Young Syd and I relieved the Land of Ignorance and Superstition of all its aurum; did we not change history there?” The Bard smiled, mischief in his eye. “The Land of Ignorance and Superstition did indeed collapse shortly after the visit paid them by you and Young Syd. But who’s to say that that was or wasn’t within the natural order of things anyway?! It wasn’t called the Land of Ignorance and superstition for nothing, you know! Despite their technological prowess, they were a people destined not to survive, and after the aurum went missing from Fort Knox, there was talk of a coup and their god deserting them, so ignorance and superstition took over. They went out onto the streets, armed to the teeth and annihilated each other!”
Elsewhere, Captain Lou sidled over to the Sonic Architect. “One thing is bothering me”, she said. “When the Bombardier and Young Syd came back from their Fort Knox mission, Young Syd seemed somewhat…..distracted. Have you any idea what was wrong with him? I’ve had a look at the Lecopod’s onboard guidance systems and I don’t think that there was a malfunction. I have to conclude that Young Syd was perhaps being economical with the truth!” The Sonic Architect smiled. “Perhaps it was another attempt by the Time Being to throw confusion among us; to divert us from our true purpose! The Time Being was well-known to be a rapacious liar with only a tenuous grip on reality. He lived in a rarefied state which bore little resemblance to the lives of anyone else. Perhaps it was his way of having fun?!”
Captain Lou was not convinced, but smiled and nodded anyway. She decided she would not pursue the matter any further.
Young Syd sidled over to Shaman Hood of the Hawk and said “Nice work with that Black Sword, Shaman! I don’t suppose you would consider parting with it, would you? I’ve recently come into possession of a rather significant amount of aurum…………!”
The Shaman smiled and said nothing. “Thought not” said Young Syd, “asking for a friend…….!”
Discover more Adventures of the Leconauts here:: https://loudhailer.net/the-leco-chronicles
Written by Loudhailer Electric Company’s Sonic Architect and keeper of the sacred flangector, Jeff Parsons