B.G. Hilton – Writer

Trilobite Park — Chapter 19: Finding R17.

Maria and Lenore were trying to find their way back to the pumping room, when they came across the robot, R17, flailing wildly and trying to detatch trilobites from various parts of its chassis. “Beep! Get them off! Get them off! Beep!”

The plumbers exchanged a glance, produced mallets from their toolbelts and lay into the trilos. They were tougher than they seemed, but the Maria Sisters were masters of whaling on weird looking things with mallets though the battle was long, hard and full of noisy sound effects they emerged victorious.

“Beep. Thanks.”

“Our pleasure,” Maria said. “We’re looking for an evil engineer.”

“Get your own. Beep.”

“Ha ha ha. Seriously, we’re looking for Dr Nightmarestein.”

R17 shrugged its narrow metal shoulders. “Dr Nightmarestein doesn’t work here anymore,” it said.

“Yeah, but she’s around somewhere,” Lenore said. “We think she’s behind what’s going on right now.”

“Beep. What’s going on right now? Beep.”

“Beats us. But Nightmarestein is behind it.”

R17 scratched the housing of its camera units, creating an unpleasant metallic screeching. “Hmmm. Beep. Well, she’s not in the pumping room, I just came from there. And she won’t be where the crowds are, in case she’s seen.”

“But none of the visitors know who she is,” Maria said.

“No, but that enormous prosthetic hand of hers is kind of memorable. She won’t go where she can be seen. Beep. ”

“Oh, yeah, the prothetic hand,” Lenore said. “And those pointy teeth she had, uh, what do you call them…”

“Canines,” Maria said.

“Yeah, she had those super pointy canines,” Lenore said. “That and that indescribable aura of pure evil that hung about her like a foul miasma… Remember that?”

Maria rolled her eyes. “Do I! I kept trying to hint to her to do something about that indescribable aura… You know, just put on a little holy water of a morning. It’s not hard. But she didn’t get the hint and, well, you can’t say something like that out loud, can you?”

“Beep. Wait, I think I have an idea,” R17 said. “The trilobite making labs. The staff are off today, and the CCTV in the labs is on a special circuit to prevent espionage. Nobody will be watching it with all the other stuff going on. Beep.”

Maria looked up and down. “Sounds like a plan. But how to get to the labs through these darkened, trilobite-infested corridors?”

“It’s this door here,” R17 said, pointing to a door directly in front of Maria.

“Shut up,” Maria said.

“The one marked ‘Trilobite Lab: No Admittance.'”

“Shut up.”

“And beneath that, the picture of the cat hanging in there.”

“Shut up.”

“Come on, you idiots!” Lenore tried the door, which opened. Closer inspection revealed that the bolt had been sheered through by some force.

“Beep. This could be dangerous,” R17 said. “As a sturdily constructed robot, I think you should go first. Because, you know, I don’t want to. Beep.”

Maria sighed. “Come on, youse mugs. Fan out! After me!”

Next — Chapter 20: Can Do

Previously — Chapter 18: Courage

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