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 29 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.
PAT-A-CAKE, PAT-A-CAKE, BAKER’S MAN! IT’S TIME ONCE AGAIN TO JOURNEY INTO THE DARK RECESSES OF THE SOUL WITH OUR INTREPID LECONAUTS! HERE WE GO WITH ANOTHER RIDICULOUS ADVENTURE! YEP, YOU GUESSED IT! HERE COMES SEASON TWENTY-NINE EPISODE ONE!
……..”And then the Galactic Council cruiser crashed into the side of the Hidden Mountain, whereupon it broke into many fragments and the Son of John, the Nack of Soo and Plain Pa-tel had to swim for their lives!” The Bombardier paused for dramatic effect. “Well?”, cried the Astral Bard, with a degree of exasperation. “They almost made it to the shore, but were swallowed whole by the Konscience Kraaken whilst within touching distance of safety.”
“I don’t think I’ve encountered the Konscience Kraaken”, said the Sonic Architect. “And nor do you want to!”, said Captain Lou. “It feeds on the deepest recesses of the mind, wherein are stored the details of ones most shameful deeds!” “I imagine it had a field day with those three then!”, continued the Sonic Architect. “I’ll bet their deepest recesses were filled to bursting with shameful deeds!” “Quite so!”, replied the Bombardier. “In fact, the Konscience Kraaken was never the same again! It would appear that what it found in those twisted psyches was almost too much for it to be able to safely consume! Remember the solar storms of Splatycon Five?” The Leconauts all nodded in agreement. “They weren’t solar storms at all; they were the results of a severe case of galactic dyspepsia!”
The Leconauts were sitting around a campfire within the Druid’s Temple on the Estate of Swine Town, near Mars Ham in the Northern Hemisphere of Terra Gaia. They were enjoying a spot of shore leave and this place was one of their favourite locations for rest and relaxation. The Lecopod was concealed in a small cave at the back of the temple, away from prying eyes. “How did we discover this place?”, asked the Astral Bard. “I came here many tridecamoons ago!”, answered the Sonic Architect, “with Commander Rocky of Norton, a fearless warrior and head of the Order of Taurean Ordure! The tales I could tell of Commander Rocky…..!” His eyes seemed to become a little misty and he suddenly seemed to be far away……
Then, a beep emanated from the cave at the back of the temple. A blue light began to flash. “Incoming!”, cried the Astral Bard. He rose and ran to the cave. The Lecopod’s dashboard was aglow and the small Vistascreen within its centre was lit. The face of Admiral Bunting appeared. “All hail Admiral Bunting!”, said the Bard. “All hail the Astral Bard!”, replied the Admiral. “I’m afraid your shore leave will have to be cancelled! There is an urgent message for the Sonic Architect which can only be accessed by the mainframe on the Leco! You must return to the ship at once!” The Astral Bard couldn’t help looking crestfallen. “That’s a shame!”, he said. “We were just about to invoke the spirit of Baron Brock; he was ready to take us on a journey!” “Perhaps it’s just as well that I contacted you now!”, said the Admiral, “Baron Brock’s adventures can take – shall we say – an alarming turn!”
Within several sextagrains the Leconauts were back on the bridge of the Leco and the Vistascreen had crackled into life. The face of a woman appeared. Her hair was the colour of chestnuts and her eyes were sad, but dark and lively. “Lady Elaine!”, exclaimed the Sonic Architect. “To what do we owe the pleasure?”
“I need a safe haven for some space renegades who have travelled far and long. They wish to return to the Sunlit Uplands!”
“Have they been Wild and Wandering?”, asked the Sonic Architect.
“Indeed they have!”, replied Lady Elaine. They have been extremely Wild and Wandering………!”
RING A-RING O’ ROSES! HERE WE GO WITH EPISODE TWO OF SEASON TWENTY-NINE OF THE LECO CHRONICLES! IN WHICH OUR HEROES FIND OUT MORE OF THE QUEST HANDED TO THEM BY THE LADY ELAINE……..!
The Sonic Architect stirred in sleep. Strange dreams and visions had filled his mind during the long night. It was almost as if the past was reaching out to him, showing tantalising glimpses of people, places, events, and then snatching them away just as he was starting to make sense of them. He rose and, after ablutions, made his way to the galley and poured himself a cup of arabica. The Bombardier walked in and cast a sideways glance. “Trouble sleeping?”, asked the brawny renegade. The Sonic Architect glanced back at his crewmate. “Yes; unusual dreams!” “Me too!”, replied the Bombardier.
The communication station issued an order; “The Sonic Architect and the Bombardier to the bridge immediately!”
The doors leading to the bridge “whooshed” open and the two Leconauts stepped out of the travel tube and into the control centre of the Leco, the firebird Class Starcruiser on which they served. Captain Lou and the Astral Bard were sitting in front of the Vistascreen. The two new arrivals joined them.
The Sonic Architect noted that Captain Lou also looked as though sleep may have eluded her. The Astral Bard sat, inscrutable, mischief in his eye…..
The Captain spoke; “I have been thinking of our conversation with Lady Elaine; indeed, I have thought of little else!” “I know the feeling!”, said the Sonic Architect. “Let me see if I have this right!”, said the Astral Bard. “Lady Elaine wants us to travel back in time to the Age of Legends, find five space renegades who have become inadvertently stranded there, and bring them back to the future!” “That’s about the size of it!”, replied the Captain. “How did they get stranded there in the first place?”, asked the Bombardier. “A good question!”, said Captain Lou, turning to the Sonic Architect and arching an eyebrow. He realised he was expected to come up with an answer. The fact was that he didn’t have one, but a nagging sense of déjà vu was tugging at his brain. He couldn’t for the life of him connect it to anything tangible. All he knew was that at some point the connection would become clear. He hoped that when it did, there would still be time to act upon it.
“I think they were travelling on an experimental Renegade Alliance starcruiser”, offered the Astral Bard. “The PXR5. I understand that its many capabilities were quite dazzling, but no-one had foreseen that one of them was time travel. Unfortunately, the fuel consumed in the jump backwards left insufficient resources for the homeward journey. And the time in which they found themselves could not supply the materials necessary to synthesize the required compounds.”
“So, is the PXR5 still there, in the past? Are we to try and bring it back, or just its crew?” Captain Lou looked the Bombardier in the eye. “If the PXR5 is still there, we will bring it back as salvage. The Renegade Alliance attaches a significant importance to the vessel. But our primary objective is to locate the crew and return them to the present!”
“What do we know of them?”, asked the Bard. Captain Lou pushed a button and the Vistascreen crackled into life……….
EENY, MEENY, MINY, MOE! HERE WE GO WITH EPISODE THREE OF SEASON TWENTY-NINE OF THE LECO CHRONICLES! IT LOOKS LIKE OUR HEROES ARE BOUND FOR PARTS CALEDONIAN! WILL THEY SURVIVE THE DEPRIVATIONS THEY WILL DOUBTLESS ENCOUNTER? READ ON……..!
………..and a picture appeared of five dangerous-looking individuals, clothed in the manner affected by rebels in the late period of the Age of Legends. Captain Lou zoomed in to the first of the figures; “Lord Nick of Nicole, a notorious dandy and exponent of the mono-digital sympathiser.” She swept the screen which blurred and shifted to the next figure; “Count Rocco the Barker, style icon and flangectorist. Next, Yeoman Darren of the Murphys. Disseminator of goodly vibes and exponent of the basso-flangector.” The screen whirled again, producing in the Bard a feeling akin to motion sickness. “And here is Kaptain Ken of the Scotts, philosophical theologian, neuromancer, spacechanter and Bane of the Conformists. And finally, Admiral Andy of the Scotts, Thunder Conjuror and Psychedelic Pioneer. Admiral Andy is the only known person to have scaled the dark side of Unknown Kadath and returned with his sanity intact!”
As Captain Lou finished speaking the Sonic Architect realised he had broken into a sweat, his heart was racing and he was experiencing a strange sensation, somewhat akin to the state of mind known as déjà vu……..
“And do we know where to look for these people?”, asked the Bombardier. “We have a fair idea”, replied the Astral Bard. “Ha!”, exclaimed the Bombardier, “Don’t tell me – let me guess. We have to go to Terra Gaia, somewhere cold and grim where the locals are suspicious of strangers. Oh, and somewhere where their mode of speech is so strange that even though they may be speaking Yorkish we still won’t be able to understand them!”
The Bard smiled, mischief in his eye; “correct on all counts!”, he replied. “I knew it!”, said the Bombardier. “We must journey to a place called Glasgow, in the year 1981. The people are bluff, stony of mien but warm of heart!” “They sound like a bundle of laughs!”, replied the Bombardier, with not a small dose of irony…….
The Sonic Architect lay in his somnopod, the events of the day playing over in his mind’s eye. Something was there, just beyond his grasp. Each time it came tantalisingly close, he stretched out a mental hand, only for the fleeting impression to be snatched away before he could grasp it.
Upon the morrow the Leconauts again gathered on the bridge of their starcruiser. Captain Lou spoke; “today we will embark upon our mission to Glasgow in the Age of Legends. The Astral Bard has spent the night poring over ancient tomes within the Room of Manuscripts.” “No surprises there, then!”, interjected the Bombardier. The Captain fixed him with a steely stare and raised an eyebrow. The Bombardier visibly quailed under the force of her gaze. “Perhaps you would like to share your findings with us, Astral Bard?” “Certainly”, came the reply.
“The renegades we seek were rather like us in that they are a band of spacechanters. They were at odds with the Galactic council due to their, shall we say, unconventional lifestyle, and were exiled to the penal planet Plaistow. But they hooked up with three more renegades who had been similarly sentenced and broke out of their bonds. The Galactic Council immediately put a price on their heads and bounty hunters, in those times known as popfans, clamoured to apprehend them. They soon found the secret underground network known as Horsegear and disappeared from view. The last known sighting which is recorded in the Book of Goth was at an hostelry in Glasgow, an inn at the sign of the Griffin. It is to that hostelry we must travel and ask for Maxie, Knight of the Green Star…….
HEY DIDDLE DIDDLE, THE CAT AND THE FIDDLE! HERE WE GO WITH EPISODE FOUR OF SEASON TWENTY-NINE OF THE LECO CHRONICLES. IN WHICH OUR HEROES DON’T QUITE SUCCEED IN FITTING INTO THE PREVAILING CULTURE OF THE AGE OF LEGENDS………!
The Leconauts stood at the edges of the pentagram on the floor of the Studio of the Fair Aspect deep in the bowels of the Leco. Around them towered the Edifice of Song which they had constructed to enable them to conduct the ritual which would send them back in time to the Age of Legends. The Sonic Architect uttered the time-honoured incantation which always preceded the launch of a spacechant into the aether. “One, two, three, four”……Flangectors thrummed, the Thunder Machine boomed and the Astral Bard began to recite the hallowed couplet “I’m a time traveller, and I will break your heart……” The Sonic Architect felt the familiar pull in the pit of his stomach……
……the Leconauts hurtled down what could only be described as the interior of a gigantic kaleidoscope, the paisley patterns rushing past at incredible velocity. It was like flying, but without the sensation of motion.
A sextaset later and the four renegades had descended in the Lecopod to the surface of Terra Gaia, concealed their craft behind some bushes in a verdant bower and walked into the middle of Glasgow. The Sonic Architect entered an establishment which he knew was called a newsagent’s. He glanced at a newspaper which told him that the date was the 23rd May, 1981. They were indeed back in the Age of Legends……….
They walked along a busy thoroughfare. The Astral Bard looked up at the side of a building to try and read the street sign, but the action of craning his neck meant he veered slightly and bumped shoulders with a burly Caledonian. The red-haired fellow stopped in his tracks and glared at the Bard. “See you, Jimmy!”, he exclaimed. “I’m not Jimmy, I’m Ricardo!”, said the Bard. “Ricardo, is it?!”, exclaimed the ruffian. “Ye sound like a Sassenach, but Ricardo’s no a Sassenach’s name, is it?!!” “Er, I’m not sure what you just said”, answered Ricardo. “Ooh, yer not sure!” repeated the native, mimicking the Bard’s accent. “D’ye wanna start, pal?!” “I’ve already started”, replied the Bard. “In fact, I’m well on the way to finishing”. The fellow seemed to take particular umbrage at this statement and pulled back his muscly forearm. He was just about to launch a blow at the Bard when another man stepped in and grabbed his arm. “Isn’t it time you were off home, Hamish?”, said the newcomer. Hamish muttered darkly but turned on his heel and stalked off. The newcomer turned to the Leconauts. “I’m sorry if that wasnae the type of welcome you were expecting. My name is Eddie Markey.” He held out a hand, and the Sonic Architect took it and shook it. “Thank you, Eddie” said the Sonic Architect. “You new in these parts?”, asked Eddie. “We are indeed”, replied the Sonic Architect. “I wonder if you may be able to direct us to an hostelry called the Griffin?” “Most certainly”, replied Eddie. “This here is Sauchiehall Street. The Griffin’s on Bath Street. Go to the top here and turn right, then second left. Ye cannae miss it!” “Thanks again”, said the Sonic Architect. Eddie smiled affably. “You go steady”, he said and went on his way.
The four renegades processed to the top of the street, taking special care to not bump into anyone else. They turned right at the top, as Eddie had told them. After walking a short distance further, they saw an imposing building named the King’s Theatre, and there, on the opposite corner, was the place they were seeking, The Griffin. “I wonder if Maxie is around?”, said Captain Lou. “I’ve a feeling he’s more of a nightbird”, said the Sonic Architect, without knowing why. “Shall we go in?” They entered via the hallowed portal and stopped to take in the opulent surroundings. “I’ll handle this!”, said the Bombardier. He approached the bar. The man behind it was polishing a glass with a greyish tea towel. He looked up but said nothing, merely cocking an eyebrow. “Four flagons of your finest foaming ale, o stout yeoman of the bar!”, intoned the Bombardier, in a strange mock-theatrical manner. “Are ye taking the pish?!”, replied the barman. “We’ll have four pints of heavy!”, interjected the Sonic Architect. Again, he was unsure why he had said those words, but it seemed to do the trick. The barman pulled four measures of amber liquid and placed them on the bar.
“Is Maxie around?”, asked the Astral Bard. The barman’s face, stern to start with, now took on a positively thunderous aspect. “Maxie, is it? What would yous be wantin’ with Maxie, then?” “Er”, began the Bard, but he got no further. The door burst open and their erstwhile assailant Hamish entered, followed by two uniformed men who looked for all the world like Galactic Council agents. Hamish pointed at the Leconauts. “That’s them! They stole ma deep-fried Mars Bar!” One of the uniformed men stepped forward and spoke. “Hello, hello, what’s all this, then?”
“I think it’s time we left”, said Captain Lou…………
TIDDLY ROUND THE GARDEN, LIKE A TEDDY BEAR! IT’S TIME TO REJOIN THE LECONAUTS FOR EPISODE FIVE OF SEASON TWENTY-NINE OF THE LECO CHRONICLES. IN WHICH OUR HEROES TAKE SARTORIAL STEPS TO RENDER THEMSELVES INCONSPICUOUS!
The Leconauts hastened down Bath Street trying not to attract too much attention whilst increasing the distance between the Griffin and themselves. “That could have turned ugly!”, said Captain Lou. “We could have taken them!”, said the Bombardier, bristling with bravado. “Yes, quite possibly”, answered the Captain. “I can see the headlines now; “Time travellers cause mayhem in Glasgow pub! Armies of the world put on Red Alert!” “Yes, well, maybe”, conceded the Bombardier, although Captain Lou was quite sure that he was sorry they’d missed the opportunity to have a good old-fashioned punch-up.
“So, what do we do now?” asked the Bard. “Wait for sunset then proceed back to the Griffin with caution!”, replied the Sonic Architect. “It might be a good idea if we were to change our appearance somewhat”, he continued. “We don’t want that barman calling the police again!”
A sextaset later a quite different-looking quartet sauntered back up Bath Street. Captain Lou was wearing a long leather coat and dark glasses. The Astral Bard was clad from head to toe in Lincoln Green, the Sonic Architect sported a purple paisley onesie and the Bombardier favoured a leopard print smoking jacket with purple corduroy trousers. He whispered to the Captain; “I’m sure people are looking at us! The woman in the charity shop said these clothes were all the rage!” “I’m sure it’s fine!”, replied the Captain, but in her heart she wasn’t sure at all………
Just then a dark green Transit van drove past the Leconauts and turned into Sauchiehall Street. As it passed the Sonic Architect experienced a very unusual feeling; he shuddered violently and turned white. A woman passing by said “Are ye alright, pet? Did somebody just walk over your grave?”
……Admiral Bunting sat in the Command Centre at Spacedock. Sat facing him were Young Syd and Shaman Hood of the Hawk. “That’s all well and good” said the Admiral, “but we must ensure that we don’t disrupt the space-time continuum any more than is necessary!” “Any more than necessary?!”, exclaimed Young Syd. “Just how can the space-time continuum be disrupted just enough to be necessary? And where do we draw that particular line?” The Shaman smiled and spoke. “If he sees himself it’s not the end of the world; but any more meaningful interaction could cause us trouble. My intuition tells me that if such a meeting occurs, he’ll be sufficiently alert to realise that he should leave immediately.” “Hmm”, muttered the Admiral, “it seems to me that we are staking an awful lot on a hunch, Shaman Hood.” The Shaman looked up and cocked an eyebrow quizzically. “Er, even a hunch as dependable as one of yours!”, offered the Admiral. The Shaman smiled again……….
Evening had fallen, and the Leconauts once again headed to the Griffin. They stood across the road outside the King’s Theatre, where a line of people dressed in their finery were waiting to enter. It was a good vantage point, from where they could observe the comings and goings at the Griffin without drawing too much attention to themselves. Sextagrains passed…….
……”There!”, said the Bombardier. A group of people were just about to enter the Griffin. “Yes, that’s them!” said the Sonic Architect. “That’s Kaptain Ken; and Lord Nick! There’s Count Rocco! And Yeoman Darren. And that is Admiral Andy!” “Yes, you’re right!”, said the Captain, “but who are the other three?” Two men, both smaller in stature, were with the other five; one had dark wavy hair and the other had fair, curly hair. But the figure following these two had captured all four Leconauts’ attention. For a few sextagrains no-one spoke, then the Bard said, “Isn’t that? No – it can’t be!” He turned to look at the Sonic Architect, just to confirm that his eyes weren’t deceiving him…………….
ONE, TWO, BUCKLE MY SHOE! HERE WE GO WITH EPISODE SIX OF SEASON TWENTY-NINE OF THE LECO CHRONICLES! IN WHICH THE LECONAUTS ARE CONFRONTED WITH THE IMPROBABLE, IF NOT UNBELIEVABLE! AND JUST WHAT IS SHAMAN HOOD SEEING………?!
The look in the Sonic Architect’s eyes was unfathomable; it mingled disbelief, incredulity, surprise and an inevitable acceptance all at the same time. The Bard saw all these emotions and feelings flicker across the visage of his crewmate within a few quantabits. The Bombardier and Captain Lou were both looking shocked and stunned. The third person to follow the five Wasted Youths into the Griffin had been a younger version of the Sonic Architect himself! Clearly something of import within the cosmic oneness was happening right here, right now. Captain Lou immediately thought of Admiral Bunting; she was willing to bet her lunabit’s ration of spacegrog that he knew something about this…..
“What do we do now?”, asked the Bombardier, with a degree of exasperation. “I think it’s clear that the Sonic Architect shouldn’t come into the Griffin with us”, stated Captain Lou, flatly, to mutters of agreement from the Bombardier and the Bard. The Sonic Architect looked like he was about to protest, but then acquiesced silently. “I’ll wait round the corner for you”, he said, resignedly. The three Leconauts crossed the road and entered the Griffin……….
……..The first thing that struck the Leconauts was the noise, and secondly, the smell. It seemed that everyone was exhaling acrid clouds of foul-smelling noxious gas. “An archaic pastime called smoking”, said the Bard. “It was killing them but they didn’t seem to care!” They located the party of Kaptain Ken, who also seemed to be looking for someone. “I’ll get us some drinks”, said the Bombardier. “No, I’ll get them!”, replied Captain Lou, remembering the Bombardier’s last interaction in this hostelry. Upon her return they noted that the man who looked like the young Sonic Architect had approached someone in a dim corner and was conducting a conversation. The newcomer was a man of average height with short hair. He was wearing a pair of sunglasses with bright yellow rims, even though the light in the Griffin was very low. “How can he see?” wondered Captain Lou.
“Try not to stare!”, whispered the Bard. The Captain gave him a withering look and returned to covertly observing the exchange between Yellow Shades and Surrogate Sonic. Something passed from the hands of Yellow Shades and then Surrogate Sonic slipped a banknote to him. Surrogate Sonic returned to his friends and they all finished their drinks and left. “Should we follow?”, asked the Bard. “Let’s have a word with this fellow before we do that”, answered the Captain. She approached Yellow Shades. “Are you Maxie?”, she enquired. “The one and only!”, he replied, smiling and opening his arms in a flamboyant gesture. “What can I do for you?!”………….
………Admiral Bunting, Young Syd and Shaman Hood of the Hawk sat in the Command Centre of Spacedock. A pentagram was visible on the floor between them. They all had eyes closed and hands joined. The Shaman spoke. “It is done!”, he said. The Wasted Ones have communed with Maxie. They are heading back to the Chapel”……….
……..The Leconauts exited the Griffin, in a more dignified fashion than last time and found the Sonic Architect just around the corner, as arranged. “They went thataway” he said, pointing. The four renegades followed. They quickly caught up with the Wasted Ones, who entered a small property on a quiet avenue which ran parallel to Sauchiehall Street. “Now what?!”, asked the Bombardier. “We wait”, answered Captain Lou.
………Shaman Hood spoke again; “They have entered the Chapel. The Psacrament of Psandoz is about to begin”………………..
TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE STAR! IT’S TIME FOR EPISODE SEVEN OF SEASON TWENTY-NINE OF THE LECO CHRONICLES. WHAT HAVE OUR HEROES GOT THEMSELVES INTO?!! AND WHAT IS GOING ON IN THAT GUESTHOUSE……..??!!
The Leconauts stood outside the house which the Wasted Youths had entered. The building behind them cast a long shadow and the nearest street light was some distance away. They were effectively concealed from view. “Tell me”, said the Bard to Captain Lou. “What did Maxie have to say for himself?” The Captain smiled and replied, “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you!”. “Try me”, said the Bard. “He’s a Fortean, isn’t he?”, said the Sonic Architect. “What the heck is a Fortean?!”, snorted the Bombardier. “I’m right, aren’t I?” said the Sonic Architect, sidestepping the Bombardier’s enquiry. “Yes”, replied the Captain, “he’s a Fortean”. The Bombardier tried again; “What the heck is a…” “A being from a parallel universe”, said the Captain. “They usually stay away from us for fairly obvious reasons, but every now and then a Fortean or two will turn up in our neck of the woods. It happened a lot during the Age of Legends.” “That’s right”, interjected the Bard. “All the old stories about UFOs and alien abductions are explained by the presence of Forteans!” “So what do they want with us?”, cried the Bombardier. “To have some fun!”, replied the Captain. “Those items your younger self bought from Maxie”, she said, directly addressing the Sonic Architect, “will enable him and his friends to pass through a portal into the Fortean universe.” “Where is this portal?”, scoffed the Bombardier. The Captain pointed to the nondescript house across the road. “Right there!”, she replied. “Did Maxie offer you anything?”, asked the Bard. “He did”, replied Captain Lou. “He offered a blue pill, a red pill and a green pill.” “What kind of pills?”, asked the Bombardier. “He didn’t say”, replied the Captain. “He just asked me how far down the rabbit hole I’d like to go……..!”
Within the house across the road the Wasted Youths and their three companions were arrayed in a large room. A small and primitive machine was launching singular spacechants into the aether. The room was full of a sense of wonder, of deep understanding, knowingness and camaraderie. Admiral Andy was contemplating his paisley shirt, which appeared to have developed a life of its own as it had started to breathe………..
“Where’s John?”, asked Kaptain Ken. No-one seemed to know but the fact that one of their number was missing didn’t cause any undue concern……..
“Wow!”, said Count Rocco, apropos of nothing, and everyone agreed. Wow, indeed……….
John of the McGeadys had become obsessed with the large oak wardrobe which stood against the wall opposite the bay window. He looked around at his companions who were all engrossed in the particular wondrousness they had each discovered. He opened the door of the wardrobe and slipped inside, closing the door behind him……….
……..”Someone has entered the portal chamber!”, whispered Shaman Hood. “It won’t be long now!”…………..
Inside the wardrobe John of the McGeadys found several old coats and jackets. “Curious”, he thought. He swished the garments to one side and instead of finding an oak panel at the back of the cupboard there was a passage………….
………Shaman Hood, Young Syd and Admiral Bunting swayed rhythmically, chanting an ancient incantation as wisps of fragrant smoke from an incense burner curled upwards, invoking images of dancing figures locked into a sensuous courtship ritual………..
………John of the McGeadys proceeded along the passage. As he did so the temperature became much colder. Eventually he saw a glimmer of silvery light. He emerged into a winter wonderland. “Curious”, he thought again. “It was summer a few moments ago.” He realised he was standing ankle-deep in snow and that his feet were suddenly cold. He stamped them, which attracted the attention of a strange faun-like creature, which turned to regard him with an open, smiling face. “Hello”, said the faun. “I’ve been expecting you. My name is Tumnus………”
With acknowledgement to the creative works of the Wachowskis and CS Lewis.
HUMPTY-DUMPTY SAT ON A WALL! HERE WE GO WITH EPISODE EIGHT OF SEASON TWENTY-NINE OF THE LECO CHRONICLES! THE LECONAUTS ARE WAITING PATIENTLY BUT THE WASTED YOUTHS ARE HAVING ALL THE FUN! AND JUST WHAT IS SHAMAN HOOD UP TO…….??!!
……..”Come with me, please”, said Tumnus and John of the McGeadys, still somewhat in shock, followed the faun into a stand of young silver birch trees. They swept aside the delicate fronds of the elegant saplings until they reached a clearing. There, on a silver throne sat a being of regal bearing. He smiled at John, put a hand into the voluminous folds of his silver cloak and produced an earthenware jug. “Here, drink this”, he said. “It will help to keep the cold at bay…….”
Sometime later (no-one could ever be quite sure how much later) the large wooden wardrobe fell over with a resounding crash. The Wasted Youths and their two companions were shocked out of their reveries. All eyes were on the offending furniture but all were at a loss as to explain how it came to be on the floor. “Wow!”, said Count Rocco. “It’s a miracle that that didn’t land on one of us!”, said Kaptain Ken. Admiral Andy crossed to the bulky box and tapped on the side. “Anybody there?”, he enquired. “Yes”, came the reply. It was John of the McGeadys! Yeoman Darren said, “we need to turn it over!”. The doors were facing downwards, as the wardrobe had fallen into the room from its place against the wall. They struggled to turn the wardrobe over then opened the door. John of the McGeadys was sitting down, reading a broadsheet newspaper! “Thanks!”, he said. “Difficult to read in the dark………!”
…….The Leconauts stood in the street, across the road from the nondescript house in which all manner of curious events were happening. Occasionally, lights flashed, voices rose in laughter, and at one point an almighty crash was plainly heard. “What do you think is going on in there?”, said the Bombardier. “Who knows?”, replied Captain Lou. Just then the Sonic Architect realised that a green van was parked just up the street from the house. Something tugged at his memory………and then he realised. This vehicle had passed them when they first arrived at Sauchiehall Street, just as he had the strange feeling which had prompted a local to ask if he was all right! “I won’t be a moment”, he said and walked over to the van. He regarded it appraisingly, and made a circuit around it once, then again. As he reached the back of the vehicle he froze. A yellow plate was fastened to the back of the van, quite low down; it bore a series of letters and a number, rendered in black – PXR5……….
Back inside the house, the atmosphere of wonderment and euphoria had returned and the eight people within spent the rest of the night in a kind of trance, which didn’t dissipate until Kaptain Ken opened the heavy curtains to reveal the bright morning sun……….
……….Shaman Hood of the Hawk stopped swaying and let his hands part company with those of Admiral Bunting and Young Syd. “It is done”, he said. “John of the Mc Geadys is ready. When they leave the house in the morning, they will go to the PXR5 and John will fit the new flux capacitor. They will then be able to return to the future.” “And what of the Leconauts?”, asked the Admiral. The Shaman smiled. It is more than likely that when the flux capacitor becomes active the Galactic Council will detect its signature and agents will arrive almost immediately. The Leconauts will engage them long enough to allow the PXR5 to make good its escape.” “Don’t tell me”, said Young Syd; “The fate of the galaxy depends upon them!” The Shaman smiled…………
P’TANG, YANG, KIPPERBANG! IT’S TIME FOR THE FINALE OF SEASON TWENTY-NINE! WILL THE LECONAUTS AND THE WASTED ONES MAKE IT BACK TO THE FUTURE?!!!
The Leconauts had stood outside the nondescript house for the entire night. They were on the planet Terra Gaia having travelled back in time to the Age of Legends and a city in the frozen north called Glasgow. Inside the house were not only the members of a band of spacechanters called Wasted Youth, but three of their entourage, one of whom was a doppelganger of the Sonic Architect!
Strange lights and sounds had emanated from the house at various stages of the night and at one point it seemed as if there was a tremor of the earth. The Leconauts had not slept and thankfully not many locals had passed BY them, so the fact that they had been there all night did not seem to have attracted unwanted attention. They had now taken cover behind a hedge, but could still see the house from their vantage point.
“Look!”, said the Bombardier. A solitary figure had emerged from the house. He looked left and right, then approached the van, which the Leconauts now knew to be a disguised spaceship, the PXR5. The man unlocked the van and fumbled with a catch just inside the door. He lifted the cover of the engine compartment and, again checking that he was unobserved, began to work with a selection of small tools. “What’s he doing?”, whispered the Bombardier. “It’s hard to say!”, replied the Sonic Architect. “If Young Syd were here he would know! He was born in the Age of Legends!”
After a few sextagrains, the man finished whatever he was doing, closed the cover, locked the vehicle and went back inside. “Now what?”, said the Bombardier, impatiently. “We wait!”, replied Captain Lou. “I thought as much!”, scoffed the Bombardier. “I could do with some fixfast and a cup of Arabica!”
Another half a sextaset passed, then the door to the house opened again and the Wasted Youths and their companions trooped out. The man who looked like the Sonic Architect unlocked the van and sat in the driver’s seat. Everyone else got in and the doors were closed. What happened next seemed to take place in slow motion; the engine of the van burst into life and an orange light on its side began to blink. Then, the very air seemed to crease and was filled with the overpowering aroma of ozone. A small spacecraft literally ripped through a tear in the fabric of spacetime and landed in front of the van. Four gull-wing doors opened and eight black-clad figures jumped out, flangectors raised. “Galactic Council agents!”, cried Captain Lou. At first she thought “how did they know we were here?” but then realised that it was the occupants of the van, or rather the PXR5, whom the agents were interested in. They surrounded the vehicle and began to bark orders. “Attack formation!”, cried Captain Lou. “Engage!”
With that the four Leconauts emerged from their cover and began to rake the Galactic Council agents with deadly flangector fire. The Bombardier loosed off several flams and paradiddles and the Captain unleashed a massive wave of subsonic fury. The surprised agents lost their formation and began to scatter. The Sonic Architect looked into the eyes of his startled doppelganger and cried “Go! Now!” He could see that the man was thinking the same thing as him. He was indeed looking into the eyes of his younger self!
The young man regained his composure, put the PXR5 into reverse, nearly running over two agents in the process, then roared off. The agents now turned their attention to the Leconauts, but they had lost the advantage and were quickly overcome and bound with coils of RotoSound. “Get them into their ship!”, cried Captain Lou, and the Leconauts roughly bundled the protesting agents into their foul-smelling vehicle. “We need to get it off the road!” “Don’t worry!”, cried the Bombardier, producing a small box from his utility belt. He pressed a button and a purple light began to glow. He then waggled a tiny silver joystick and the ship rose into the air. He pressed a red button and the ship became invisible. “I think a swim in the firth of Clyde will enliven our erstwhile guests”, he said, grinning broadly.
“Where to now?” said the Bard. “Back to the Lecopod!”, answered Captain Lou. “Then we’ll pay Admiral Bunting a visit! I think he has some heavy duty explaining to do!………..
………The Leco moored in the bowels of Spacedock and the Leconauts stalked out and on to the landing apron. The imposing figure of Admiral Bunting was standing in front of a group of people; Young Syd, Shaman Hood of the Hawk and……Kaptain Ken and Count Rocco……..!!!
“I know, I know!”, said the Admiral, holding up his hand palm forward. “I will explain, but we have to launch some spacechants into the aether! To the Temple of Oriley……..!”
GOOSEY, GOOSEY, GANDER! IT’S TIME FOR THE EPILOGUE OF SEASON TWENTY-NINE OF THE LECO CHRONICLES! HOPEFULLY, LOOSE ENDS ARE TIED AND THE UNIVERSE IS AT ONE ONCE MORE. UNTIL OUR NEXT ADVENTURE……..!!!!
And so it came to pass that the Leconauts did proceed to the Temple of Oriley, where an Edifice of Song was duly constructed, and they and the Wasted Youths did launch sundry spacechants into the aether. Witches, warlocks, wizards, thanes, druids and heavy metal kids came from all eleven quadrants and the rafters shook with the power of the assembled throng. Wonderment was evident and all who came professed to have been duly mind-blown.
The Sonic Architect could not help but notice that three of the Wasted Ones whom he had seen back in the Age of Legends were not present. He spoke of this to Kaptain Ken who told him, with sadness upon his countenance, that “three of our crew who were with us then did not survive. We lost Darren and Andy to the Crab Nebula, and Nick has been put into cryogenic stasis.” The Sonic Architect was deeply moved to hear this news, but was nevertheless glad that Kaptain Ken and Count Rocco had survived and were here to tell the tale. Alan, Josef and Sabrina took the places of the missing and brought honour to the memory of their predecessors. Pete and Steve were on hand to ensure technical integrity.
In another part of the temple Captain Lou and the Astral Bard were quizzing Admiral Bunting. The gnarly space renegade shuffled awkwardly from one foot to another. “I knew the mission would be dangerous”, he said, “so I had to send you to attempt it. Luckily you were able to distract the Galactic Council so the Wasted Ones could make good their escape. If you hadn’t been there then the Galactic Council would have taken them and they wouldn’t have been able to carry out their Appointed Task.” “And what task might that have been?”, enquired Captain Lou. “To bring the PXR5 home”, said the Admiral. “The ship’s log contained some documents of unimaginable antiquity, which will enable us to develop hitherto impossible methods of challenging the Galactic Council’s supremacy. “Where is the PXR5 now?”,asked the Bard. “Down in the engineering section. Young Syd is currently plotting its blueprints so we can rebuild it once it has been dismantled.”
In another corner of the temple the Bombardier was deep in conversation with Shaman Hood of the Hawk. “Something I don’t quite understand”, said the huge renegade. “When John of the McGeady’s came out that morning, he did something to the PXR5.” “Really?”, answered the Shaman innocently. “Yes, he did”, replied the Bombardier. “And I think you know what it was!” The Shaman smiled. “Most perspicacious, Bombardier. I may have found a way of providing him with a piece of hardware and the necessary knowledge to fit it which had the effect of enabling the PXR5 to return to the future! Are you due to resume your shore leave? I hear Narnia is pleasant at this time of year?!!” “I knew it!”, said the Bombardier, and laughed heartily.
The Lady Elaine and the Sonic Architect spoke of fond remembrances of Admiral Andy and at one point both were sure that his essence was present and that he smiled upon them from some mysterious sunlit upland in the great beyond……….
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