RE: [JMC_Blue_Dwarf] Efof, Lester, Dai - \"Escaping the crush\"
<SNIP>"Well done SNIDE!" Efof said and ran over to the cave. The Blue Dwarf was so close now that Efof could feel the pressure of the air pounding down on him. If he were to look up he would see the Blue Dwarf's hull in extreme detail. There were only seconds left before a very large crash.
Efof peered in the cave. "Hello? I hope there's not a bear in there. I don't like bears."
"Efof, get inside you stupid smegger!" Said Dai, who came out of the cave and dragged him in, seconds before a several million tonne floating city crashed on top of them.</SNIP>
It was so very dark. Dark and dusty to the point that it felt as if the very rock of the cave was pressing hard on
the lungs of the men in the cave. Lester tried to work out if his eyes were open or not, but in the oppressive dark
it made no difference at all.
He tried taking in a breath to see if he could call out, but the dust invaded his mouth, making his tongue feel like
a stretch of the Gobi desert. Instead of shouting out for the others he simply keeled over and began to cough
'Hello? Who's that? Is it a bear?' Efof's familiar voice carried thinly across to Lester.
'Efof? Ahack, huk! Where are you?'
'Over here. In the dark,' Efof said helpfully, 'and not very tasty for bears.'
'I'm not a bear,' Lester wheezed. 'Can you move, old friend?'
'Um... let me try. Hang on. OW!'
'I'm ok. I.. hit a wall.'
'Hang on, I've got my arm free. I'll come and find you. Keep talking.. whoop!' Lester smacked his chin on the rocks
causing his teeth to grind together. He hauled himself up on all fours and traced back to the thing he'd fallen
over. It was soft, yielding and seemed to be wrapped in plastic.
'No, not yet, I'm still alive,' Efof said cheerily.
'Not you! Dai Evans,' he patted his way up the prostrate form and then realised with embarrassment that up was the
other way and started to pat his way up to his shoulders. There was alarmingly little movement to be felt. 'Dai? Oh.'
'What, what is it?'
'Are you sure? Maybe he's just unconcious?'
'Yes, maybe your right, Efof. Help me find his head, then we can see if we can wake him up,' Lester said with
'OK! I'm sure it's around here somewhere... oh.'
'Yes,' carefully Lester stood up. 'SNIDE? SNIDE, are you here?'
There came a planitive chirping from nearby. By squinting, Lester could just about see a tiny, dim red glow, weakly
illuminating a small section of the rock wall. He crawled over and dug the robot out from under a heavy rock and cradled it carefully in his hands. SNIDE weakly lifted a leg, then flopped back down. Lester tucked him into a pocket.
'I don't suppose you have anything as useful as a torch on your person?' He asked the dark.
'No, the person beside you,' Lester said, more irritably than he intended.
'He's dead,' Efof said confusedly.
'Yes, and he had no pockets either,' Lester stretched out his arms and felt his way along the rock until he came to
a dead end. He followed this wall along until another dead end and another until he found himself standing by
'We're very much trapped,' Lester told him, 'with a decomposing body and a rapidly declining air-supply. Any ideas?'
'We could shout for help?'
'Limited air,' he reminded the blue-skinned alien.
'We could dig ourselves out?'
'No tools... we could use our hands but we may cause another cave in.' A silence descended, eventually broken by
Lester: 'P-perhaps..? No. What is it old friend? W-well, it's a s-silly idea, y-you carry on. No, we've talked about
this before, let's hear it.' Efof stood quietly by while Lester continued to cajole and encourage himself. 'What if
we w-went deeper? Deeper? Y-yes: the cave is p-probably formed by w-water routes through the r-rock. It m-might
l-lead somewhere. Well we can't dig out, all right, let's do it,' he decided,
'Do what?' Efof asked, worried.
'We're going to explore deeper into the cave,' Lester told him, 'see if we can find a way out,' he then added: 'b-besides, th-the c-caves of encounters in Legends of Pythia always h-have two entrances.''
'Gosh,' Efof said as Lester fished SNIDE out of his pocket. He held the robot on his palm and gave it a firm slap, the effect of which was to brighten the red glow from its single eye. In the dark the red light picked out a gap or fissure in the rock. Without a glance back, Lester strode forward, followed by Efof, leaving the body of Dai Evans on the cavern floor.
A rabbit sat contentedly on the singed grass in a clearing of the forest. It was a happy rabbit, as rabbits go. It
had just gone through a traumatic experience in its warren, during which a loud noise had collapsed its home and
temporarily buried it. But it had pushed through and dug its way to the surface and was now feeling pretty pleased
with itself. Considering itself to be a pretty amazing rabbit, it was surveying the area with only mild trepidation,
observing the small fires as they burned themselves out and the disconcerting lack of trees. But there was also a
complete lack of threatening noises such as falcons and the horrendous burning smell was keeping the foxes away. To
top it all with an enormous cherry, a clearly female rabbit had just hopped into view. The rabbit counted its
fortune and hopped excitedly over. The female turned, looked and said: "smeg off idiot." This surprised the rabbit
who had never encountered a female making noises other than mild panic before. It hopped enthusiastically closer and
received a kick in the head for its trouble. As the rabbit rolled insensibly down the hill, the female checked all
round as if getting its bearings, then it began to dig in a certain spot, almost straight-down.
'Ooh, up ahead, I can see light,' Efof said excitedly, pushing past Lester, who tucked his little robot in a pocket.
There was indeed a glimmer, a beam of sunlight that, though weak seared their dark-dimmed vision. Efof started
pulling frantically at the small hole which widened and suddenly deluged him with a shower of earth and turf. The
blue alien squealed and fell under the weight. Lester stepped over him and pulled the hole wider, this having been
made much easier by the work Efof had already done. He grabbed at some handy roots and pulled himself up into the
sunlight. He then lay flat, leaned down into the hole and helped the dirt-encrusted Efof out of the cave system.
Together, they stood on the low rise and regarded the scene before.
'Wow,' Efof breathed, 'what happened?'
'I'll indicate a clue,' Lester said grimly, 'then you have to work out the rest for yourself.' He pointed over
Efof's shoulder. Efof turned. Then he took a step back. This wasn't quite sufficient, so he turned back again and
climbed a little way up the rise. He turned back the way Lester pointed and cupped his hands above his eyes so he
could see properly.
'Oh,' he said again. There really wasn't anything else to say.
Stretched out in front of them, a vast swathe of the land had been torn apart, as if some over enthusiastic quarry
workers had dug the land looking for granite, but the diggers they'd used were on fire. Trees burned in the
distance. The veil of smoke that stretched for miles and mushroomed into the atmosphere completely failed to hide
the devastation visited upon the Castle Boobage, now torn in half. That wasn't the worst thing though, not by a
long, long, country mile.
Embedded in the ground, like a knife flung by some giant in a fit of pique, was a sheet of metal that towered above
them, casting a good proportion of the forest into shadow. Words were emblazoned on it, crudely shaped by many, many
layers of varying tones of paint.
The words were: "BLUE DWAR" the rest being lost in the earth. Beyond this sheet of metal one of the long, spidery
arms of the forward scoop poked accusingly at the sky.
'Smeg,' Lester breathed quietly.
'What now?' Efof asked.
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