B.G. Hilton – Writer

Trilobite Park — Chapter 31: Map Meets Territory

“Hey guys, what’s up,” Blake asked without enthusiasm to the two men who were sticking out of the in the flooded room. There were two of them – the engineer Jacobs, a boring, normal looking guy; and a weirdo named Taipan with an eyepatch and a mullet. Blake felt a closer personal connection to the boring looking guy, but he had to admit that the man with the eyepatch was more interesting.

“So do you have the tin-can stilts wrapped in plastic that you promised?” Taipan said.

“No, we realised that was stupid.”

“When?” Jacobs said.

“The whole time,” Blake admitted. “We knew it was a bad idea the whole time. But, you know, teenagers. Bad ideas… kind of our deal.”

There was silence for a moment, except for a snap of invertebrate mouthparts.

“But Juraj found this,” Blake continued. After a long moment, he added “That’s your cue,” and Juraj appeared behind him pushing a plastic cleaner’s trolley.

“We also found a couple of long poles that the builders left behind,” Juraj said. “I figure, we carefully push this over to you, you jump down onto it and then you can flip the switch to reverse the shutdown or whatever.”

Taipan didn’t seem very keen on the idea, but Jacobs positively beamed.

“That’s exactly the sort of boring, obvious but workable  plan I would have thought of myself, if this idiot wasn’t distracting me,” he said. “Well done.”

“Thankyou,” Blake said. “I’d hate to be so dull without getting something out of it.”

“I know, right?” the engineer said.

“Hey, what happened to the girls?” Taipan said.

“They’re—” Juraj began, but fell silent when Blake punched him in the shoulder.

“They’re scouting,” he said.

“We’re right here, ya mooks,” Daisy said, appearing behind Blake and making him jump.

“Oh, I thought…”

“What?”

“Nothing.”

“Can you just get going with the trolley?” Jacobs said.

Carefully keeping their feet out of the water,  Blake and Juraj manouevered the trolley into the dark water. The very tops of the wheels were visible as they slowly pushed it forward, careful not to tip it. After several agonising minutes, it arrived at the wall beneath the vent.

“This is going to be tough,” Jacobs said said. “Both my legs are asleep. I’m going to have to lower myself carefully…”

“Or I can go!” Taipan said, squirming over Jacobs.

Blake shouted for him to stop. As did Juraj, Jacobs, Daisy, Hey, a couple of bystanders, some trilobites and quite possibly you, the reader.

But Taipan did not stop. He landed gently on the trolley, both feet. “Ta dah!”

“Now what, idiot?” Blake said.

“What?”

“Jacobs was supposed to fix the junction box. Are you going to do it?”

Taipan scratched his mullet. “I see. Well, I’ll just climb back past Jacobs. Might take a while…”

Hey let out a shriek. Blake didn’t react immediately, because it was Hey after all. But then he looked where Hey was frantically pointing.

“Huh, a terrifying man/trilobite hybrid,” he muttered. “Yup. ‘Kay. We running, gang?”

“You’re the Club President,” Juraj said. “You call it.”

“RUN!”

Previously — Chapter 30: The Super Sisters

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