Zone Doubt, a.k.a. 'Surreal Я Us'...

Joules, trusted by... dozens... to make a drama out of your crisis...

Other sites:

:: JAT :: WaveWrights :: Publications :: Joules... on writing [on hiatus] ::

I live to write. It's not wise to get in my way.

August 2011: the earlier posts in this blog are a mess, the result of me changing the format some time ago. I'm working to edit the entire blog from the beginning, but with over 4K posts and sodall time for such luxuries it's going to take a while... [02/09/16 - Now reached 09/10/2004][20/03/2019 - giving up. I don't have enough time to update the blog atm, let alone edit old entries!]

If you come across any words you don't recognise in this blog, take a look at the Taylorspeke Glossary in the left-hand infopane, you'll usually find a definition there.

First, a recommendation. Dive over to The Jonathan Day Fiction Site and try some of the stories. I love this author's writing - it's funny, bitingly witty, dryly incisive, chilling, and deliciously subversive by turns. Absolutely well worth a look!

The Poppy Tales

(Transformers fanfiction!)

Transformers mini-comics here.

My IMDb ep summaries

Arthur of the Britons
Star Maidens
The Starlost
Space Rangers
The Sentinel (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Swamp Thing (part: season 3)
Gravedale High
Transformers: Armada
Transformers: Energon
Transformers: Cybertron (part)
Misfits of Science (four eps)
Zoo Gang
Jupiter Moon
Transformers: Beast Wars (part: seasons 2 and 3)
Transformers: Beast Machines (part)
Vampire Princess Miyu
Nathan Barley
No Heroics
Undermind (3 eps)
Will Shakespeare (Tim Curry version)
12 Kingdoms
Trigun (ep 8)
Hyperdrive (season 2 ep 3)
The Café

For later:

BBC Lion, witch and wardrobe
BBC Caspian and Dawn Treader
BBC Silver Chair
(Missing Excel Saga eps)
(Missing Haibane Renme eps)
(And possibly Marine Boy...)

Silver birch at Eastwood 


"Autumnal - nothing to do with leaves. It is to do with a certain brownness at the edges of the day... Brown is creeping up on us, take my word for it... Russets and tangerine shades of old gold flushing the very outside edge of the senses... deep shining ochres, burnt umber and parchments of baked earth - reflecting on itself and through itself, filtering the light. At such times, perhaps, coincidentally, the leaves might fall, somewhere..."

(Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Act 2: Tom Stoppard)


I love this time of year. I love the colours, the sharp slant of sunlight on the trees, mosaics of acid-yellow and harts- blood, velvet and darkness and a haze of mist-grey over the hills. I love its immanence, its mellowness, the tang of frost just around the corner of the year...

Watching the little birds in the goat-willow in my garden, I realised something more.

I love this land with a fierce, possessive love, deep-rooted in two thousand years of history. From the frosted beaches and cloud-brushing peaks of the north to the wind-haunted meanderings of the rivers of the east, from the sensuous rolling patchworked hills of the south to the demanding dark moors of the west, this land seeps into bone and blood and synapse, mother of motley nobility, culture, individual freedoms. It can be known. It can be understood. It can be felt deep inside.

I love its effortless eccentricities, its vigour and vibrancy, its flawed perfections, its silent strength and tenacious resilience, its hard-won tolerances and intense and variable beauty, the profound energy in its sacred mythical landscape.

Home and more-than-home, the forces that shape and protect and bind, in me, as I am in the land. Love returning love in the stillness for those who'll only take the time to listen...

(Joules, Autumn 2004)

All photographs taken by Joules unless otherwise specified. All photographs © Joules A Taylor or other specified individual.

In Memoriam

17.03.09 - Argent

25.07.08 - Raptor

18.12.07 - Quyn

02.12.06 - Ryme

Currently enjoying:
Transformers - IDW, Prime, Animated, Rescue Bots.

Currently reading:
Various Transformers books and graphic novels.

Currently working on:
Heart, The Poppy Tales

Currently chuffed with:
My garden

Currently miffed at:
Nestlé, Nonpres Tinyhands Fart, Toadface Farage

Currently maintaining:

Blog Pics
I've gathered some of my pages of photos together: the page of links is here. I'll be adding more as time goes by!

Evil Squid
A Little Glossary of Taylorspeke
(in no particular order)

plit popints - n. Typo for 'plot points' typed on a keyboard with more than half the characters worn off...

[PING] (alt [ping]) - n. A brainwave. The text equivalent of a lightbulb going on blindingly over someone's head. Usually mine. And usually at the most inconvenient of times. [sigh]

TPTB - The Powers That Be.

wulmet - n. A person of little or no talent who somehow inveigles himself into a position where he is in power over other, far more talented people and uses his position to downplay them in order to try to make himself feel superior.

biteable - referring to an anatomical part vb, tasty.

Flatterfed - vb. 27.02.08: my typo for flattered, but since it's so cutely apt I thought it would fit nicely here. Lutra defined it as "the lovely warm feeling of satisfaction resulting from enthusiastic reviews..." (which I've been getting for my MB fics).

Composted - vb, 'compos mentis', mentally capable of working. Contrast with uncomposted or non- composted, not 'compos mentis', not capable of working, hungover...

Cumbles - n, cucumbers.

Kewp - how Ken says 'thank you'. We rather like Lutra's 'nanx', too...

Musekick - noun, music, without which I cannot work.

'feinne - noun, caffeine, essential for correct mental functioning, especially first thing in the morning. I prefer mine in the form of SodaStream Diet Coke. And on that subject...

Skoosh - verb, noun. To skoosh - to add CO2 to a sodastream bottle filled with water to make it fizzy, prior to adding Diet Coke syrup (or just drinking as sparkling water). A skoosh - a bottle of water that has been skooshed. Skooshy - something that has been skooshed, water, or that whipped cream that comes in tins you have to shake then upend and press the nozzle...

Shoogle - verb. To shake gently, for example, of roast potatoes in a roasting tin to ensure they're covered with oil. I have vague memories of this being a real Scottish colloquialism...

Stegasaurus - n, spider of the genus tegenaria. Why? No idea. I just find it easier, that's all...
Edit 08.09.07: Lutra thinks that Brian is a good name for a mini-stegasaurus. From now on, any 'Brian's in the posts may be assumed to be a tegenaria. Except where otherwise specified.

Viterals - noun, vitamins + minerals. Also a pun on victuals.

Splish - verb. A combination of slosh and splash.

Parrots - noun, paracetemol (from the old joke "Why are there no aspirin tablets in the jungle? Because the parrots eat 'em all...")

Maggles - noun, magpies. As opposed to non-magical people.

Flamewings - noun. Swifts. So called because the first time we became aware of them was an early summer evening when they were flying high, the light from the setting sun seemingly turning their wings to flames. Lovely little birds. We always know summer's arrived when we hear their high-pitched squeeing.

Murfs - noun, moths.

Peasant cut - noun, roughly cut up into big chunks, e.g. vegetables chopped in a hurry for a hearty stew or soup. By extension, anything prepared in a hurry - haircut, material, even a first draft of a story...

Giraffe - noun, a carafe (of wine, coffee or water, for example).

Shrumps - noun, mushrooms.

Splings - noun, Kai's spelling homework: by extension, any spelling.

Tyops - noun, typos. var toyps, typso, psyto, psoyt, etc. Usual result of a dose of the fingerials (see next entry).

Fingerials - (pr. fin GEEE ree yalls) noun, fingers that will not type what you want them to.

Haddock - noun, time, of which I never have enough. (Origin of this term here.)

Sleep - noun? vb? a.k.a. sheeeeeeeeep.... I used to know what this word meant...

The Updates Blog

The place to stay notified of WaveWrights' Fiction updates: Zone, Darkside, DarkRealm, Matrix, Vault, Safehouse 13...

my computer gremlin Butch. click the pic to see the larger image

Butch, my computer gremlin. Click the pic for larger version, and read his adventures here...

Butch by the talented 


A gift for me! Butch by the very talented Sylverthorne. Click pic for larger image.



This is MY haddock. It was caught exclusively for me by Talon. No, you can't have any. I need all the haddock I can get!!

A'lestrel by Valkyrie.

A'lestrel - a gift for me from Valkyrie...

Albino Alsatian Benten (c) MEBird 


Another gorgeous Valkyrie gift for me - Benten the Albino Alsatian! Click thumbnail for larger image.

Radittsu, an oekaki for my birthday 04 



Oekai by Bakayaro Onna - Radittsu at his sexiest...

The Zone Plant from
The Zone 



OrganicHTML (which alas no longer seems to exist...)
[::..My Regular Reads..::]
:: Astronomical Pic of the Day [>]
:: What is Space... [>]
:: Dark Roasted Blend [>]
:: BLDG [>]
:: Pruned [>]
:: Watchismo Times [>]
[::..Fun Places..::]
::PALEOMAP Project
Absolutely fascinating.
::The Hacker Dictionary
Hackers with Humour!
:: Carol's Place
My GoodTwin's Homepage!
:: Skymap
Check out the night sky where you are!
[::..Useful Sites..::]
:: GreenNet
First stop for environmental matters
:: About Bristol
The essential guide - and beautifully user-friendly too!
:: The Forest of Avon
Our local community forest and places to visit
:: The Guardian
Online Guardian Newspaper.
:: Symbols
Exactly what it says
:: World Timeserver
For checking the current time around this world
:: Universal Currency Converter
Actually it's just a terran-global currency converter, not universal, but it's still useful...

So what is it with the haddock? Am I some kind of fish freak?

I'll leave that to others to decide.

The tale (or tail if you prefer) harks back to October 2000, when my GoodTwin and I, ably assisted by Sue, ran the first UK Professionals convention...
It's common knowledge that I never have enough time, and I was determined not to bewail the fact that weekend: hence I promised not to use the 'T' word...
Of course, that didn't really work (if nothing else I had to let the trainees know what times things were supposed to be happening!) so we decided a substitute word would be employed instead. There were several suggestions. Banana came very close to being chosen. However, I eventually decided that 'haddock' fitted the bill nicely. Ever since, haddock=time. Hence the title of my forthcoming autobiography,
My Half-Life in the Haddock Space Continuum....

Normally I wouldn't, but these were just irresistible...

How could I resist?

Just too adorable...

and to complete the rainbow...

These Too-Kawaii Kitties
were adopted from
Ghost's Anime Page (which appears to have disappeared, alas...)

Useful sites:

Yamato -
Fabulous anime figures

Anime Lyrics
A huge selection... evil popups

Anime still needed to complete series' I'm collecting... Many thanks to everyone who has helped me acquire the collection!
Ai no Kusabi

   Dj: June Special
   CD: Ambivalence

Cyber City Oedo 808

   All 3 eps on Video, dubbed
   Dj: Cyberage 1-3
   Illustrated Book 2 (Benten's) in Japanese

From Eroica with Love

   Manga Vols 1, 9, 11

Mirage of Blaze

   DVD Vol 1 (eps 1-4)

R.G. Veda

   English Manga: Vol 1
   Japanese Manga: Vol 1-7 complete
   Tarot Pack
   R.G.Veda video

Twelve Kingdoms

   Anime Vol 1-12: complete

Under the Glass Moon

   Manga Vol 1, 2
Vol 3 needed

Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust


   Vampire Hunter D Book 1

New Vampire Miyu

   (Studio Ironcat) Manga Vols 1 -5 (complete)

Yami no Matsuei

   Viz Manga: English translation, Vols 1 - 11 (complete: I believe vol 12 is only available online)
   Japanese 3-DVD set
   Central Park Media: Descendants of Darkness Vol. 1, English/Japanese subbed.

[::..Joules SPfied..::]

... this is Terra? How the hell'd I end up here...?

(Thanks, Lutra, for the quote!)

07/01/2002 - 07/31/2002
08/01/2002 - 08/31/2002
09/01/2002 - 09/30/2002
10/01/2002 - 10/31/2002
11/01/2002 - 11/30/2002
12/01/2002 - 12/31/2002
01/01/2003 - 01/31/2003
02/01/2003 - 02/28/2003
03/01/2003 - 03/31/2003
04/01/2003 - 04/30/2003
05/01/2003 - 05/31/2003
06/01/2003 - 06/30/2003
07/01/2003 - 07/31/2003
08/01/2003 - 08/31/2003
09/01/2003 - 09/30/2003
10/01/2003 - 10/31/2003
11/01/2003 - 11/30/2003
12/01/2003 - 12/31/2003
01/01/2004 - 01/31/2004
02/01/2004 - 02/29/2004
03/01/2004 - 03/31/2004
04/01/2004 - 04/30/2004
05/01/2004 - 05/31/2004
06/01/2004 - 06/30/2004
07/01/2004 - 07/31/2004
08/01/2004 - 08/31/2004
09/01/2004 - 09/30/2004
10/01/2004 - 10/31/2004
11/01/2004 - 11/30/2004
12/01/2004 - 12/31/2004
01/01/2005 - 01/31/2005
02/01/2005 - 02/28/2005
03/01/2005 - 03/31/2005
04/01/2005 - 04/30/2005
05/01/2005 - 05/31/2005
06/01/2005 - 06/30/2005
07/01/2005 - 07/31/2005
08/01/2005 - 08/31/2005
09/01/2005 - 09/30/2005
10/01/2005 - 10/31/2005
11/01/2005 - 11/30/2005
12/01/2005 - 12/31/2005
01/01/2006 - 01/31/2006
02/01/2006 - 02/28/2006
03/01/2006 - 03/31/2006
04/01/2006 - 04/30/2006
05/01/2006 - 05/31/2006
06/01/2006 - 06/30/2006
07/01/2006 - 07/31/2006
08/01/2006 - 08/31/2006
09/01/2006 - 09/30/2006
10/01/2006 - 10/31/2006
11/01/2006 - 11/30/2006
12/01/2006 - 12/31/2006
01/01/2007 - 01/31/2007
02/01/2007 - 02/28/2007
03/01/2007 - 03/31/2007
04/01/2007 - 04/30/2007
05/01/2007 - 05/31/2007
06/01/2007 - 06/30/2007
07/01/2007 - 07/31/2007
08/01/2007 - 08/31/2007
09/01/2007 - 09/30/2007
10/01/2007 - 10/31/2007
11/01/2007 - 11/30/2007
12/01/2007 - 12/31/2007
01/01/2008 - 31/01/2008
01/02/2008 - 29/02/2008
03/01/2008 - 31/03/2008
01/04/2008 - 04/30/2008
01/05/2008 - 31/05/2008
01/06/2008 - 30/06/2008
01/07/2008 - 31/07/2008
01/08/2008 - 31/08/2008
01/09/2008 - 30/09/2008
01/10/2008 - 31/10/2008
01/11/2008 - 31/11/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/12/2008 - 31/12/2008
01/01/2009 - 31/01/2009
01/02/2009 - 28/02/2009
01/03/2009 - 31/03/2009
01/04/2009 - 30/04/2009
01/05/2009 - 31/05/2009
01/06/2009 - 30/06/2009
01/07/2009 - 31/07/2009
01/08/2009 - 31/08/2009
01/09/2009 - 30/09/2009
01/10/2009 - 31/10/2009
01/11/2009 - 30/11/2009
01/12/2009 - 31/12/2009
01/01/2010 - 31/01/2010
01/02/2010 - 28/02/2010
01/03/2010 - 31/03/2010
01/04/2010 - 30/04/2010
01/05/2010 - 31/05/2010
01/06/2010 - 30/06/2010
01/07/2010 - 31/07/2010
01/08/2010 - 31/08/2010
01/09/2010 - 30/09/2010
01/10/2010 - 31/10/2010
01/11/2010 - 31/11/2010
01/12/2010 - 31/12/2010
01/01/2011 - 31/01/2011
01/02/2011 - 28/02/2011
01/03/2011 - 31/03/2011
01/04/2011 - 30/04/2011
01/05/2011 - 31/05/2011
01/06/2011 - 30/06/2011
01/07/2011 - 31/07/2011
01/08/2011 - 31/08/2011
01/09/2011 - 30/09/2011
01/10/2011 - 31/10/2011
01/11/2011 - 30/11/2011
01/12/2011 - 31/12/2011
01/01/2012 - 31/01/2012
01/02/2012 - 28/02/2012
01/03/2012 - 31/03/2012
01/04/2012 - 30/04/2012
01/05/2012 - 31/05/2012
01/06/2012 - 30/06/2012
01/07/2012 - 31/07/2012
01/08/2012 - 31/08/2012
01/09/2012 - 30/09/2012
01/10/2012 - 31/10/2012
01/11/2012 - 30/11/2012
01/12/2012 - 31/12/2012
01/01/2013 - 31/01/2013
01/02/2013 - 28/02/2013
01/03/2013 - 31/03/2013
01/04/2013 - 30/04/2013
01/05/2013 - 31/05/2013
01/06/2013 - 31/06/2013
01/07/2013 - 31/07/2013
01/08/2013 - 31/08/2013
01/09/2013 - 30/09/2013
01/10/2013 - 31/10/2013
01/11/2013 - 30/11/2013
01/12/2013 - 31/12/2013
01/01/2014 - 31/01/2014
01/02/2014 - 28/02/2014
01/03/2014 - 31/03/2014
01/04/2014 - 30/04/2014
01/05/2014 - 31/05/2014
01/06/2014 - 31/06/2014
01/07/2014 - 31/07/2014
01/08/2014 - 31/08/2014
01/09/2014 - 31/09/2014
01/10/2014 - 31/10/2014
01/11/2014 - 30/11/2014
01/12/2014 - 31/12/2014
01/01/2015 - 31/01/2015
01/02/2015 - 28/02/2015
01/03/2015 - 31/03/2015
01/04/2015 - 30/04/2015
01/05/2015 - 31/05/2015
01/06/2015 - 30/06/2015
01/07/2015 - 31/07/2015
01/08/2015 - 31/08/2015
01/09/2015 - 30/09/2015
01/10/2015 - 31/10/2015
01/11/2015 - 31/11/2015
01/12/2015 - 31/12/2015
01/01/2016 - 31/01/2016
01/022016 - 28/02/2016
01/03/2016 - 31/03/2016
01/04/2016 - 31/04/2016
01/05/2016 - 31/05/2016
01/06/2016 - 30/06/2016
01/07/2016 - 31/07/2016
01/08/2016 - 31/08/2016
01/09/2016 - 31/09/2016
01/10/2016 - 31/10/2016
01/11/2016 - 31/11/2016
01/12/2016 - 31/12/2016
01/01/2017 - 31/01/2017
01/02/2017 - 28/02/2017
01/03/2017 - 31/03/2017
01/04/2017 - 30/04/2017
01/05/2017 - 31/05/2017
01/06/2017 - 30/06/2017
01/07/2017 - 31/07/2017
01/08/2017 - 31/08/2017
01/09/2017 - 30/09/2017
01/10/2017 - 31/10/2017
01/11/2017 - 30/11/2017
01/12/2017 - 31/12/2017
01/01/2018 - 31/01/2018
01/02/2018 - 28/02/2018
01/03/2018 - 31/03/2018
01/04/2018 - 30/04/2018
01/05/2018 - 31/05/2018
01/06/2018 - 30/06/2018
01/07/2018 - 31/07/2018
01/08/2018 - 31/08/2018
01/09/2018 - 30/09/2018
01/10/2018 - 31/10/2018
01/11/2018 - 30/11/2018
01/12/2018 - 31/12/2018
01/01/2019 - 31/01/2019
01/02/2019 - 28/02/2019
01/03/2019 - 31/03/2019
01/04/2019 - 30/04/2019
01/05/2019 - 31/05/2019
01/06/2019 - 30/06/2019
01/07/2019 - 31/07/2019
01/08/2019 - 31/08/2019
01/09/2019 - 30/09/2019
01/10/2019 - 31/10/2019
01/11/2019 - 30/11/2019
01/12/2019 - 31/12/2019

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Aaaand the next part of Devices, Too...

(For anyone new, the story starts with Appliances and continues with Devices, Too...)

Part 3 – Hideaway

The roses were just so pretty, so fragrant – and Graham was sparkling in the moonlight...
     Poppy frowned as a soft voice intruded, drifting across her dreaming mind.
     "Poppy? I'm sorry, but you have to wake up. There's someone at the door and they don't want to go away..."
     Groggily, Poppy forced open her eyes to see her 'radio alarm clock' – a sweet little cat-like transformer who went by the designation of Livewire and who made it a point of honour to always wake her as gently as possible – gazing at her apologetically. She groaned and rubbed her eyes.
     "Wassa time?"
     "An obscenely early 4.30 a.m."
     "Bugger..." She hauled herself more or less upright and shoved hair away from her face. Livewire started playing soothing music, and awkwardly pushed a freshly brewed cup of coffee within reach. Not for the first time Poppy silently thanked whatever was looking after her that one of her wards was a coffee-maker with a timer: she was useless without that first cup of coffee...
     As the caffeine hit her system she became aware of the noise from the front door – a prolonged ringing of the bell, followed after a space of about ten seconds by several firm raps on the metal door knocker, a pattern that repeated after another few seconds. Whoever it was was obviously not going to be put off by the non-responsiveness within, and Poppy dragged herself from the bed, pulled on a floor-length fluffy purple dressing gown that almost swamped her – last year's birthday present from her mother – and managed to get down the stairs without tripping, distantly relieved to see that all her charges were acting human-normal, silent and dumb.
     She opened the front door, gazing blearily at the figure outside, then, with some alarm, jerked upright.
     "What's happened?"
     The soldier smiled in a conciliatory fashion.
     "I'm really sorry to have to wake you, ma'am... uh, Ms Moss. I know it's early, but I really have to be in Southampton in a couple of hours..."
     Poppy waved a hand vaguely at him.
     "S'OK. S'there a problem?"
      "No, but I've been ordered to make the energon delivery."
     Poppy stared blankly.
     "The what?"
     And suddenly Chill and 'Spin were there.
     "Energon? Why... oh, of courth. Upbeat."
     Chill inclined his head to the soldier.
     "If you would wait just a minute, I'll open the garage."
     The young man smiled gratefully.
     "Thanks, that'd make my life easier!"
     Poppy watched, a little dazedly, as between them Chill, 'Spin and the NEST operative manoeuvred four large tanks of... something into the garage, setting them against the rear wall. They were followed by four smaller tanks, two metal gallon drums and what looked like a large can of oil.
     The soldier proffered a clipboard and a pen, which Poppy automatically took, signing the delivery sheet, and handed back. He saluted her with a grin.
     "I'll let you get back to sleep now, ma'... Ms Moss. I'll try to deliver at a more reasonable time, next time."
     "Ta." As he climbed back into his truck, Poppy turned to her transformers. "What...?"
     Before either could answer, she stiffened and swept an alarmed and now fully awake gaze around the garage. The empty garage.
     "Where's 'Beat? Oh god, he's not been stolen or something has he? Surely he has an alarm, or something..."
     'Spin laid a hand on her arm.
     "It'th OK, Poppy. He jutht went out for a little drive."
     "He what? He's not supposed to do that! What if anyone saw him?"
     'Spin's reply was interrupted by the sound of a familiar engine, and seconds later Upbeat eased himself into the garage. Poppy glared as he transformed, her hands planted on her hips.
     "And where do you think you've been?"
     The Mini flinched, lugubrious expression even more hangdog than usual.
     "'m sorry. Was out meetin' a friend."
     "... scaring me half to death, s'not good for my blood pressure you kn..." Poppy stopped and stared. "You were what? What friend?"
     "Lightdance. Lives in pub down the road."
     Poppy could feel her mouth opening and closing like a goldfish, but was unable to force anything intelligible out for several seconds. She looked at 'Spin, who shrugged, and then at Chill, who dropped his gaze to the floor, then she turned back to 'Beat.
     "In the pub down the road?!"
     The Mini winced at the volume.
     "Um, yeah."
     "There's a transformer living in the pub down the road??!"
     "... yeah..."
     Poppy spluttered, and Chill handed her a glass of water. She was too stressed to wonder where he'd got it from. Taking a gulp of the cold liquid, she made herself calm down.
     "OK. OK. Let me get this straight. You have a friend living in the pub down the road. How long has he been there and why didn’t you tell anyone? And do the owners know?"
     "Nah. He keeps to 'imself, and's learned to use mains power to stay hidden. 'Is own signal's hid by the electrics in the place. Been there a few years now."
     "Why didn't you tell us?"
     "You never asked."
     Poppy rubbed at her forehead, fighting back the incipient headache. She really wished they'd be a little more forthcoming and a little less literal.
     "How often do you go to visit? And how do you... I mean, you wouldn't fit in the place..."
     "Nah. I pops down every month, an 'e comes out t'me. "
     "Unsetting all the alarms, I suppose."
     "Yep. Then activatin' 'em again when he goes back in."
     "OK..." Poppy frowned to herself. "How did you know where he was?"
     "'e told me."
     "And you've been sneaking out every month since you got here to meet up with him?"
     'Beat looked shifty, then shook his head.
     "Been meetin' up since I got here. To your planet. That were ten year ago."
     Poppy blinked. "I thought you were a new arrival."
     "Nah. Just got tired of tryin' to hide on me own and turned meself in to NEST."
     Well that was a bit of an eye-opener.
     "So, how long has he been here? On earth, I mean."
     'Beat considered the question, then raised his hands.
     "Must o' been about... fifty o' your years, give or take."
     Poppy stared, speechless.
     "There've been transformers here for that long?"
     "Much longer'n that." He gave her what passed for a grin. "We're good at hidin'."
     "Obviously." Poppy shook herself. "But he should really be here with us, shouldn't he?"
     "e's happy where 'e is. Likes watchin' humans. Finds you interestin'."
     "It's not really safe though, is it?"
     'Beat shrugged.
     "Been awright so far."
     Poppy sighed.
     "I need to report this."
     The Mini nodded mournfully.
     "I s'pose you have to."
     She patted his shoulder.
     "I'm sorry. But wouldn't you like him to live here?"
     "I would. Dunno if 'e'd agree."
     "It would be safer for him."
     "e's been safe for fifty year."
     "Well yes, but people here know about you now. And some of them are unhappy about it. Your being here, I mean."
     "Yeah, so 'e might be safer stayin' where 'e is."
     Poppy could see his point of view.
     "OK then. At lunchtime you and I are going to go and visit so I can see him. I know we won't be able to talk, but I'd still like to see what we're dealing with."
     "Can you speak to him from outside the pub? Do you have some sort of... internal communications?"
     "Oh yeah."
     "Good. Would you introduce me, so he knows I don't mean any harm?"
     "Awright..." It was said reluctantly, but Poppy was determined. She'd had nightmares where her friends had been captured by hostile humans and gutted in front of her, and they had made her wary of being too trusting.
     "Thanks." She patted his arm. "I promise I'll do what I can to cause as little fuss or upset as I can, but I really think NEST need to know about this."
     "I know." 'Beat sighed – then his eyes brightened as he caught sight of the tanks against the wall. "Ooh! Energon!"
     'Spin snickered.
     "I hope you're going to thare thome of it."
     'Beat smirked.
     "I'm sure I can spare a bit."
     Poppy frowned. "And on the way to the pub you can tell me what that's all about."

She'd lost track of the time, or she might have thought twice about contacting Graham. As it was, the unshaven, bleary eyed face that regarded her from the screen had her glancing at the clock. Quarter past five? Oops...
     "I'm sorry. Shall I ring back later?"
     He rubbed a hand over his eyes and rested his chin on a hand: it took Poppy a moment to realise he was in bed.
     "What's the problem?" Behind him she could just make out a pillow covered with a mass of pale blonde hair. Oh bugger it: she'd not only woken him up, she'd disturbed him too. Best to get the message delivered so she could let him get back to sleep. Or whatever else it was he did first thing in the morning.
     "I've just found out there's another transformer not a mile from the house."
     He was immediately alert, sitting up, the continental quilt falling to his waist. Apparently he didn't believe in bedclothes.
     "How did you find out?"
     "'Beat told me. Apparently the new one's been here about fifty years."
     The NEST officer frowned.
     "Hm. The older ones can be difficult to persuade to move."
     "I thought I'd go there at lunchtime – he's living in a nearby pub – and get a feel for the situation."
     "We don't want you endangering yourself."
     She grinned.
     "I'll be fine. I mean, it's a pub. What could possibly go wrong?"
     He raised an eyebrow.
     "That sounds like 'famous last words'. I should really accompany you, but I can't get away until mid-afternoon."
     "No, honestly, I'll be fine. If I'm the least bit worried I'll get out and ring you right away."
     She could see him considering it, and sighed.
     "Please. I'm not incompetent, you know."
     He chuckled. "Oh, I know that. Very well. But take Cable with you. In a pinch he can contact me urgently."
     "Oh, OK." Graham smiled, and she suddenly remembered her dream. She burst into giggles, and the officer eyed her warily. She waved a hand dismissively.
     "Sorry. Just remembered – you were in a dream I had last night."
     He looked alarmed. "I was?"
     "Yes." She tried to quell the giggles and ended up spluttering. "You were all sparkly, like one of those stupid American vampire things."
     Both eyebrows rose. "I'm... not sure whether to take that as a compliment or an insult..."
     "Oh, an insult, definitely. Sorry. I sometimes worry about my mind. It wanders off into the weirdest places."
     "Yes..." He eyed her wryly. "And on that note, I will say goodbye, and please report in as soon as you can after your foray to the pub."

JAT Oct 2011

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? Blogarama - The Blog