TDM 04 "The Wonderful Room"

TDM 04 "The Wonderful Room"

A Chapter by dw817
"

The door had a code marked on it, "3w-uoEw" "What does that mean ?" Alice asked, confused by the cryptic statement. Jerry looked at it, then tilted his head knowingly and smiled, "I got it."

"

    
 


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THE DREAM MACHINE


The Lost Saucer
Can't Get Off This Crazy Ride !


© September 2013 Written by David Wicker
Please do not reprint without permission

[ CHOOSE A DIFFERENT CHAPTER ]



CHAPTER 4 - THE WONDERFUL ROOM

* * *


This chapter is Rated: EVERYONE

Alice moved in supportively and spoke in a quiet voice, "Hey ! We're not going to hurt you."

She reached out her hand to him but he only tightened his grip on the gun. Just then there was a crackle of static from his belt and a new voice spoke, "C-386, did you find the source of the disturbance ?"

He nodded his head but didn't speak. There was some more static and the new voice sounded urgent, "C-386 ! Are you there ?"

Realizing he could only hear the audio, he stood up and backed away from Alice and Jerry to pick up the communicator with his free hand. "Yes, it's two - HUMANS !"

"Say again, C-386, did you say HUMANS ?"

"Affirmative, I have them right here." Feeling more assured now he motioned Alice and Jerry with his gun to stand against the door that had the charred marks on it. Seeing how compliant they were he then motioned his gun up sharply which prompted both Alice and Jerry to raise their hands higher in the air.

"I'm coming down there, C-386. Stay with them. Out."

C-386 clicked off his communicator and returned it to his belt to look at them intently, clearly waiting for his partner to arrive.

"Look, I can explain - " Alice began and then looked forward to see if C-386 wore a badge or anything, but he didn't.

"Officer ?" she concluded.

As if the word was a request to run a program he suddenly saluted with the gun still in his hand, "Security Division Historical Heritage Restoration And Preservation Division V3 ! Officer C-386 of the Delta Quadrant reporting for duty, SIR !"

Jerry's mouth opened in a leer. Finally he laughed at Alice, "He called you a sir !?"

Alice smirked at him but a moment later C-386 seemed to recover his senses and trained the gun back on them so the two kept quiet now.

Heavy footsteps were heard and then his partner arrived, and yet, they looked exactly alike !

His partner approached Alice and shone a weird blue light from an acrylic cylinder at her head, "Officer D-427. Are you in fact - human ?"

"Yes ?" she offered timidly.

He looked at the cylinder for a moment. "I see. We will need to put our heads together on this."

C-386 nodded and the strangest thing happened. They faced each other and literally konked their heads together. A moment later a sound like an old-style 1200 baud modem was heard. A close-up of their heads revealed high-speed data being transferred back and forth between the two of them seen as floating 0's and 1's.

Alice and Jerry just watched dumbfounded, but finally put their hands down.

The two guards continued to 'talk' to each other. Then a light-post nearby suddenly started to flicker but it seemed to be in rhythm with the two guards who still had their heads together.

Alice and Jerry, now seeing they weren't in any immediate danger went over to examine the guards as they seemed oblivious to them now.

C-386 suddenly bobbed his head up, startling them, and the disposition on his face changed entirely in seeing the pair of kids.

He quickly put his gun away and held out a hand which strangely had all 5-digits the same length through a silvery glove.

"I am so sorry." he began in an apology. "It seems like we made a mistake. Checking with headquarters it appears you are expected after all. Come with us, please ?"

Alice looked at Jerry who also appeared apprehensive to this sudden change.

"No, that's fine, we'll catch the next bus." she said and turned to walk away.

But just then there was a sound of a high-tech engine that roared down the road and a futuristic hover-car appeared on the street adjacent and opened it's door vertically, very cool-looking.

C-386 smiled even wider showing exposed circuitry near his cheek bones, "There will not be a 'bus' for quite some time. Refreshments are awaiting you - if you come now." he held out his hand generously again.

Jerry walked past C-386's invitation to look down the street. He could see now that this definitely wasn't his neighborhood. At was as if someone had made plastic mock-ups of his entire city block, and it extended for miles in both directions.

It was unlikely he would find anything to help him and he didn't know when Fi and Fum would be returning.

He returned back to Alice who still stood at the mock door of their house. One look from him told it all to her. They had better go with them after all.

"Yeah, sure. Maybe we can get some answers." Alice said and taking Jerry's hand they both climbed in the hover-car and the door sealed them in.

The two guards stood by and waved but did not enter the vehicle. It was then that Jerry noticed the front of the car only showed a working computer, no driver at all !

A cheerful androgynous voice piped in the speakers in the back, "Next stop, Central Acquisition !"

* * *

Alice murmured to herself, "Acquisition. Like a butterfly collector ?"

There was no response from the computer driver or Jerry who was busy looking out the window, because despite how smooth the ride was, they were traveling at a high speed which had to be an excess of over 200 MPH !

But because the vehicle floated instead of having wheels, only the occasional dip up and down told them they were moving at all.

After a short amount of time, they had covered the entire distance of the miles long reproduction of Jerry's home town and they finally arrived.

The hatch to the vehicle opened up and standing waiting for them was a tall and rather portly gentleman.

"Ah, children !" he began. "Right this way. We were expecting you. Yes we were, we were, yes !"

Jerry stepped out first to look at their host. He was wearing a most peculiar hat. It was futuristic and dome-shaped and cut in the back but what was especially frightful was the fact it dipped into his head as if his own brain was not there.

Jerry, who was never one to hold his tongue at such strangeness quickly walked around him as Jasper helped Alice out of the vehicle and finally touched the back of his head.

"Where's your - head, sir ?" Jerry asked, puzzled.

The man turned and smiled, "Oh, please, just call me Jasper. My head ? Oh ! You mean my brain ? Why I'm not allowed to think for myself when I'm on duty."

To explain further, he took off his hat and turned his head so both of them could see. Using Sid & Marty Krofft's familiar green-screen effect he revealed that, in fact, he had no back of his head at all, and that you could see through his head to the other side.

"Holy Moly !" Alice said and clapped a hand to her mouth in fear.

Even Jerry who liked incredible things suddenly cried out in astonishment.

Jasper turned to look at the frightened children, "It's okay." he assured them. He put his hat back on. "Believe me, that sort of thing just gets in the way when I'm at work. At least that's what I've been told by my superiors."

Jerry reached over to touch his chest almost not believing what he just saw. Jasper smiled and looked at him.

"Don't you feel - anything ?" Jerry asked.

"Not really." he answered, clearly confused by the question. Pulling out a clipboard from inside his waistcoat and a shiny metallic pen he added, "May I have your names please, so I can sign you in the guest register ?"

Alice nodded, that sounded better to her. "Sure, my name is Alice, and his is Jerry - "

Jerry continued where Alice left off, "And we're from Earth !"

"Really ?" Jasper now spoke in a tone of friendly disbelief and clicked the pen once against the clipboard before returning it to his waistcoat. "This way, please."

And they started walking but what was unusual was the fact they were walking in a wide hollow-shaped tube that was getting narrower with each yard, really quite frightening for anyone with claustrophobia, and you couldn't see anything else except where you came from and where you were going.

Fortunately it was a short trip, before they had to stoop down and they finally arrived to an elaborate door with code markings on it:

"3w-uoEw"

"What does that mean ?" Alice asked, confused by the cryptic statement.

Jerry looked at it, then tilted his head knowingly and smiled, "I got it."

Before Alice could ask what, "he got." Jasper opened the door and inside it was lighted beautifully and inviting.

But right then Jasper looked behind him at the single frightening pinpoint of light from where they came in the long dark tunnel.

"Are you okay, Jasper ?" Alice asked him looking behind her to see if she could see what he did.

Jasper tilted his head to the left and right and for a moment the two kids thought he might be a robot, the same as the guards they met earlier. But no. He finally said in a very friendly and human way, "I feel fine. I'm just a little tired. Let's get you some food, I'll bet you're both hungry."

Jerry scrunched up his face, "Hey now wait just a minuette ! I'm not eating any old alien - " he started to say but then they entered the room and to his surprise, a great meal was prepared. And for all sake of appearance, it looked perfectly normal - and delicious !

There was a large bowl of mashed potatoes, a plate of prepared and barbecued fried chicken, another bowl of seasoned green beans, a plate of prepared hamburgers, a serving tray of French fries, a whole pizza with everything on it, cheesy bread sticks, and a garden fresh salad in a mixing bowl with a choice of 3 dressings.

On the other side of the table were the desserts, full thick and rich pies, banana, coconut, and apple. Strawberry, Vanilla, and Chocolate cakes, and 4 silver semi-cut-spheres that held what could only be flavors of ice-cream. Bowls, plates, silverware, and beautiful rainbow napkins adorned both tables.

* * *

Inside were also beautiful curtains showing sunlight peeking from all 4-sides. The ceiling had an incredible light display, beautiful pastel arrangements and configuration, like the most decorative Christmas lights but held an antique shimmer to their bases as if they were considerably valuable.

Also across the ceiling were multiple cut facets of crystals in all shapes and sizes which reflected the light outward in a million different ways.

On the walls were what appeared to be scenes from space, complete with rocketships, galaxies, and planets, paintings done by an unknown artist. It was indeed a magnificent room !

"Awright !" Jerry said and launched into grabbing one of the burgers, but before he took a bite, he opened and looked inside. It appeared to be a perfectly normal and very delicious cheeseburger. He took a bite and smiled, "Mmmm !! Oh yeah ! That's a burger's burger !"

Alice walked over to the table, clearly being more shrewd than Jerry. Finally she put her hand on Jerry's back and leaned down to look at him and the food he was eating.

"Are you sure it's a - hamburger ?" she asked him.

"Absolutely !" Jerry said, his mouth full of the seasoned meat. "And it's awesome, you gotta try one !"

"Perhaps you'd like a nice salad, Alice ?" Jasper offered.

When she didn't respond he reached around a corner of the room and retrieved a chair for her to sit in.

She looked more closely now. Clearly a place was prepared for both of them.

"Please." Jasper added. "You might be hungry later."

"What's happening later, Jasper ?" Alice asked in a cross voice, determined to find something sinister behind all of this.

Jasper paused for a moment before replying. "There might not be as much food." he said simply.

Jerry nodded, "That means we're first ! Grab what you want Alice cause it might not be here later !"

Alice continued to let Jasper stand by holding the chair and walked around him to take a leaf of lettuce and nibble on it tentatively.

"Is the salad to your liking, Alice ?" Jasper asked politely.

She licked her lips and smiled, "Yeah, it's perfect." She looked up for a second with a faraway look in her eye, "It's funny. It tastes just like my Mom used to grow in her garden. Isn't that funny ?"

"Indeed." Jasper offered and this time she sat in the chair, and perfect gentleman that he was, he scooted her close to the table and taking one of the silver bowls filled it with some of the salad. Alice sighed, well she might as well be comfortable until Fi and Fum returned for them.

She looked in the bowl finding her favorite vegetables, "Can I have some more radishes in there please, Jasper ? I really do like 'em."

"What's a rad - " he started to say but then froze up and his face looked like it took on an expression of pain. Suddenly he set down the bowl in front of her clattering it noisily.

Alice looked up but he placed a comforting hand on her shoulder to keep her there. "It's okay - I - just have a headache. Please help yourself to the salad. I'll return momentarily."

Jasper stepped quickly away from her and approached a wall where it slid open vertically admitting him. Curiously inside were bright flashing lights like a strobe and the sounds of machinery and electronics.

When the wall closed again she was suddenly aware of pretty music playing from the ceiling, but looking around - there were absolutely no exits. She got up from her chair, ignoring her salad now and went over to where they first entered, noticing it too, was also a wall now.

Playing on a hunch she went to one of the windows and moved the curtain out of the way to peek behind it. On the other side was clearly a lighted panel that exhibited the illusion that there was sunlight when in fact, there wasn't. They were deep underground, just like the tunnel earlier showed them to be.

Pretty songs of birds joined in the spry music and Jerry, enjoying himself reached for another burger, this time taking an unmarked jar, clearly Mayonnaise, and spreading it on the inside to give it more flavor.

"Alice," Jerry spoke with another full mouth. "You gotta try this food ! It's totally out of this world !"

"I can imagine." she answered back trying hard not to sound upset. She then slumped against the wall facing the sumptuous banquet miserably. "It's a prison after all." she said quietly to herself.

She didn't want to let Jerry know just yet so she kept her voice to herself ..
.



END OF CHAPTER 04



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