Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Quest for the Unknowable Secret

He dropped his pack with a gesture that said, "This little scrap of dirt is mine, and it is made valuable by my ownership". He lay his rifle against his pack in a way that said, "I still have the pistol in my belt and the knife in my boot", while his casual oafishness told the rest of the camp, "I'm really just not that bright". His name was Rip Squarejaw, and he was going to find the Unknowable Secret.

"No, Mr. Squarejaw, I'm afraid you still don't understand."

Professor Nutpatch scribbled furiously on one of his ubiquitous notepads, pausing to type at his clunky electric adding machine before wagging the stub of his pencil at the vapidly roguish young adventurer before him. The scrawny balding English scientist pushed his thick glasses up his nose took an instructive tone. "One does not 'find' the Unknowable Secret, one learns the Unknowable Secret."

"Well, wouldn't that make the Secret Knowable, then?"

Rip Squarejaw and Professor Phineas Q. Nutpatch turned toward a tree, and the dark-haired young aviatrix lounging there. Rip began to preen, blissfully unaware of how far beneath even her contempt he truly was. The Professor smiled warmly and crossed the small clearing in the forest. "Captain Daring, so glad you could join us. I understand you've been working with vertical lift vehicles lately."

Captain Doris Daring met the Professor halfway and shook his hand, returning the warm smile. "Well, I've been making good use of those gravity crystals we found down in the Underlord's mine-city. I have a small plane that should do for what we need." She glanced down at Nutpatch's notes as they talked. "So, you know where we need to go, and presumably how to get in when we get there, but you still haven't answered my question." She set about unpacking their supplies, brushing off Rip's attempts to help set up camp. "Won't our learning the Secret make it Known? Doesn't the fact that it's Unknowable place it outside the scope of human learning?"

Rip Squarejaw puffed out his chest, strutted over to the tent and went about setting it up. "Nothing is unknowable," he said. "That's just a buncha native crap to freak out the tourists."

Captain Daring looked over at him and smiled. "Rip?" She sighed. "You're cute enough, and likely good in a fight, and there's the slim chance I may sleep with you when this is all said and done, but do us the favor of not talking, please?"

A snap in the brush, and Rip and Doris both had their pistols drawn, scanning the trees.

The sizzling bolt of a plasma gun scorched the ground. Rip fired four shots into the woods while Doris got Professor Nutpatch to safety. Before they'd gone a few steps, the forest exploded in plasma bolts, rooting the team to their places.

Within moments, they were surrounded by a small army of warrior robots.

"Any thoughts?" Doris asked, aiming her pistol carefully.

"Dear God in Heaven," Professor Nutpatch whispered. "The time has come."

Captain Daring glanced over at him and raised an eyebrow, then went back to staring down their robotic attackers.

"Any other thoughts?"

How will our heroes get out of this one? Where did these mechanical soldiers come from? Who built them? Why is the Professor acting so strange? And most important: What will happen next?

That, dear readers, is the true Unknowable Secret.

Tune in next time for another exciting tale of Spontaneous Fiction!


purplesimon said...

I read your comment on Kim's blog and now I am really intrigued.

Is this a challenge?

I raise one eyebrow in a quizzical manner and ponder your latest post.

That should keep me busy until next year. :D

purplesimon out...

karma lennon said...

No fair! I want to know what happens! :)

Kat said...

What the..? My imagination is all over the place now!

Raynwomaan said...

The dynamics of your characters totally rock! This one wasn't about the storyline, it was all about the people. Too groovy.

You have a knack for fleshing out your characters with a few well chosen words.

Thanks for showing me yours and looking at mine. :)

Rae Ann said...

I'm sorry that I've been scarce. Seems like it's one sickness after another around here. I hope all is well there. In case I don't get to say it later, have a very Merry Christmas!!!

Lisa said...

Simply stunning as always...I sort of get sick of hearing myself gush. :)

Raynwomaan said...

Ah. Well. Now I'm back to gush a bit more, but these characters... I had to come back to see if I remembered them right. They're priceless.

Kim said...

What DO you eat before bed Chris? Really? What is it? Steak? Tofu? French Silk Pie? I can't imagine your brain! I know how mine feels until I get my idiot writing out of my head, but yours... My goodness! And it's all made up!

((((chris))) I just love your writing.

Teri said...

Here's to the "unknowable." Nicely done Chris. Dare I say "keep us posted."

Ciao for now, and Have a wonderful Holiday.


Hope-So said...

Hi Chris, Just wanted to wish you Happy Holidays and a very creative New Year!!!!