‘I have a Most Important Mission,’ the Doctor began, settling herself to face the others. She flipped her coattails out of the way before perching upon a corner of her laboratory table, and let them take in her formidable appearance. Doctor When wasn’t particularly large or menacing as such, but her intensity of expression emanated through her clothed form, dressed as it was in a lace-cuffed shirt and smart waistcoat beneath her signature tailed coat, down through legs clad in finely-tailored jodhpurs and tall leather boots. Every atom of her person was imbued with most certain purpose. ‘It is such: to find Ingeborg.’
The last was pronounced with such precision and determination that the three gathered toughs merely stared at their new employer for a moment. Then Macaroni (as she was being called today by her sister Lasagne) spoke up:
‘Aha!’ Doctor When lifted her index finger, as if a sudden epiphany had just blossomed in her illustrious brain. ‘The question is: what is Ingeborg!’
When it seemed no further exposition was forthcoming, Lasagne decided to bite on her sister’s behalf, ‘Very well, what is this Ingeborg?”
‘Indeed,’ Doctor When nodded gravely, as if by asking the question this particular Spaghetti Sister was offering an answer in its own right. ‘All I know is that my dear old classmate and rival, Doctor Inga Ekstrom, has let loose this Ingeborg into the aether of time-space where it’s wreaking untold chronological havoc. My mission, and by extension yours, is to locate said Ingeborg and stop it from doing further harm.’
‘Pardon, Doctor,’ Wilburforce spoke up with unexpected civility for a man, Dwarf or otherwise, with his violent history, ‘but how exactly will we locate this Ingeborg in all of time-space?’ Even he, as untutored as he was in the arts of the Chrononauts, knew that time-space was infinite, a concept which boggled his mind in an unpleasant fashion. Normally such unpleasantness was followed by pain, usually of his making, and he unconsciously clenched his fists.
‘Aha!’ Doctor When repeated her earlier exclamation, and suddenly a riding crop appeared in her hand. She leapt from her perch and strode over to the blank face of a double-sided chalkboard, flipping it so that a complex diagram now faced the queer assembly. ‘This is time-space,’ she pointed with the crop for emphasis, ‘with its four dimensions: the three spatial dimensions plus the temporal dimension of time. We must follow the distortions currently present in the very fabric of time-space,’ here she pointed to an anomalous bend in the diagram, ‘where it can only be assumed the Ingeborg has performed some mischief or other.’
‘How do we find such a distortion?’ Macaroni asked, pursing her lips in contemplation.
‘That’s one of the varied pursuits my Time Machine is capable of. I have programmed it to locate and bring us to each distortion in turn, where we can search for clues to Ingeborg’s whereabouts.’
‘And once we find this Ingeborg?’ Lasange added her query.
‘We find a way to either shut it down or destroy it,’ she waved the crop in the air emphatically. ‘And I can only guess that dearest Inga won’t be inviting me to her Christmas Luncheon this year.’
We’re currently in the grip of rather freezing temperatures, which meant that my ancient little purple car (her name’s Edna, like the elderly lady she is) failed to start yesterday. After two mechanic visits and a tow later, she roared back to life! We may have literally cheered. In this little village in Fife, having a car is pretty damned essential.
Anyway, as it’s so damned chilly there’s really not much else to do but sit around and write. I suppose this is a good thing! Only it really means that I’ll be spending most of my time procrastinating/slacking off/bothering The Husband as he tries to get things done. Oh well, at least I got the above excerpt written this morning, so that’s something. Something that means I feel perfectly justified in slacking off – huzzah! *Goes to poke The Husband*