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   Chapter 29 No.29

Loderunner By Christina Engela Characters: 5126

Updated: 2018-06-30 12:02

This is it, he thought, life had just passed him another challenge and he was about to fumble it and get thumped hard by the opposing quarterback. He could already imagine returning home to Dory, defeated and empty handed, with his tail tucked between his legs. Ok, maybe both tails. He gave a little hysterical giggle. How would he explain this to Dory? He would have to choose his words very carefully if he didn't want to see the new emergency room at Atro City General from the inside. Just telling her a complete fabrication about how he got rumbled again probably wouldn't cut it either. Tell her the truth? Now there was a novel concept… Let's see, while visiting relatives in Mars City he didn't know he had, his ship got stolen. It sounded believable, didn't it? Didn't it? No, he didn't think so either. Just then, something came into earshot. It turned out to be singing, cleverly disguised as drunken carousing.

'They tied 'er to a four poster bed, parley voo.' It went, 'They tied 'er to a four poster bed, fucked 'er till she wos nearly dead – inky-pinky parley voo…'

After straining his hearing a moment he recognized the tune. It was a drinking song and it featured an axe, a rickety staircase, an innkeeper's daughter and the devil's wife as well. And the main characters were three German officers who crossed the Line and did plenty of the other thing – um, parley voo. It was just then that his crew arrived from the nearby pub, blind drunk, puzzled and now unemployed as well.

There were four of them, castin

there staring at the ground, looking as if he were melting from the inside. The others seemed lost and blank. Mostly sozzled and looking at the problem from inside a bottle. It was a kind of tunnel vision, Tim knew. He knew that feeling all too well. It's what happened when you staggered home from an all-night session at the Slipped Disk and found yourself staring down a blaster muzzle in a dark alley. Triple-J was just as useful, but at least he had an excuse. He was still lying passed out on the tarmac, and had cuddled up to Tim's Martian Quail takeaway and was using it as a pillow. It brought things into focus for him. Triple-J was actually quite bright under the circumstances; in fact he had a head start on all of them. No place to go, he thought. They could end up sleeping on the pavement for a very long time.

"Right then." Tim sighed, running his fingers through his hair. "I'll just hop back to my uncle's place, sleep in the bath and start my new career as a milestone inspector tomorrow, shall I?"

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