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13.3.09

To the engine room

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Juan complains that he can’t land the aircraft while we’re travelling backwards, in circles, at high speed.  I ask him why not, as that is how he normally lands.  He reminds me that we have to collect Jock and Mahalath, and Mahalath only travels first class, which, although The Dumpling is a first class airship, it won’t be first class if he lands in the usual fashion.  I agree that Mahalath won’t like being offered a flight in a smashed up heap of twisted junk, and after fortifying ourselves with Vintage Glenordie, Bunnahabhainn, Rosebank and Scapa Special Reserve, we head into the bowels of the ship, to find someone who can help.  After stumbling around for a while, we are delighted to come across out old friends, Tim, Horace and Alan, from Buchanhaven. 

Juan, sharing out some Vintage Duff’s Defiance, says that he thought the captain and crew had abandoned the aircraft, as the engine was too dangerous.  Tim says that they volunteered to stay behind, to try to keep the engine under control.  Juan tells them that it’s out of control now, and that we are flying in circles, and stuck in reverse gear.  Tim says that we are probably flying around in circles because the ship’s wheel is stuck, and he returns to the flight cabin with us, and looks at the ship’s wheel though a device that, through which, he says, he can see a wonderful array of lights.  We ask him what that means, but he says that he doesn’t know, as it’s an experimental device, and he will have to study it for a long time before he can tell us what it does.  Juan gives Tim a cask of Vintage Macduff, for his trouble, and asks him to keep looking.  I point out to Juan that we are grabblingly behind schedule and suggest that, if the engine controls aren’t guaranteed to work, we should use a more reliable method to stop the engine.  We immediately grab hammers and, shouting with excitement and singing ‘General Ludd’s Triumph’ at the top of our voices, we head for the engine room, as fast as we possibly can.

Professor Humperdink’s Diary
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