A Chapter by Peter Rogerson



Royston’s electrically powered car didn’t look anything special unless you think that the basic original Land Rover was special, yet special it was. In place of the greasy old diesel power plant under a flaking bonnet it had a tiny but powerful electric engine that had all sorts of ultra-modern features which meant it could manage quite a few more miles from its bank of batteries than a tank of diesel could in the old days before its modification. It was, claimed Royston, the best marvel of the age.

I hope this thing goes,” grumbled Blinky when they’d all found their seats, “I’d do anything to have Matilda back on the road, but a blind chap’s got to have safety in mind.”

It goes, and it’s kind to the environment,” Royston told him, “it even surprised me first time I drove it, so quiet, and what acceleration! And all the time we’re zooming along the solar panels up top are helping to recharge the batteries.”

Then get moving or it’ll be dark and we’ll still be sitting here like chickens in a motionless coop,” grunted his Inspector from the back seat, clicking his seat-belt into position.

We are,” Royston told him, “see this dial here pointing at the 70? It’s telling me we’re doing seventy miles an hour.”

What? In a thirty speed limit? Slow down, man, or the cops’ll nick us and then we will be late!”

We left speed limits behind while you blinked, sir. We’re on the open motorway and well on our way,” grinned Royston.

It’s quiet, isn’t it?” murmured Angelina, somehow managing to slide one arm round Royston’s waist making him sigh with appreciation.

That’s what I like about it,” Royston told her, “it means I can hear what is being said by whoever’s in the back seat, which can be useful, especially when that someone’s Blinky and he’s talking to himself.”

He does that a lot,” giggled Angelina, slipping the tips of her fingers just below the waist band of his trousers, “he says it’s the only way he can get an intelligent conversation.”

That’s nice,” whispered Royston.

What is? Blinky having an intelligent conversation? I’d say it was on the verge of being impossible!”

No, Not him, but your delicate little fingers!” Royston told her, squirming.

I hope you two aren’t up to any shenanigans!” roared Blinky from the back seat, “I want to know more about that Igor clown we’re supposed to be visiting!”

He was one of MI5’s best scientists,” shouted Royston even though the car was rushing along almost silently and it was totally unnecessary for him to shout.

A jolly good egg, eh?” remarked the Inspector (retired).

He invented the diamond drive for expensive computers,” Royston replied, “You must know about those tiny micro cards for phones and the like these days? How they hold seemingly impossible amounts of information? Photos by the score and little films of babies being boring? Well, a diamond drive is less than quarter the size and holds a seemingly endless lot of stuff. Igor developed a special camera, the size of one of those dice things you play games with, only about a centimetre cubed, and one of them could replace the whole bible, from Genesis to Revelation if that’s what he chose to store on it.”

What a waste,” sighed Angelina, “I mean, having such a scientific marvel and spoiling it with the bad book of the ancients!”

Hocus pocus!” roared Blinky, unaware, it seemed, that he could quite easily be heard even if he whispered.

Anyway, when it seemed that they were going to be used in military operations good old Igor, who’s as big a pacifist as you’d find anyway, retired and went to live in a cave. It’s a truly ancient cave and miles off the beaten track, and his only concession to modern life is his broadband connection.”

You seem to know a lot about the man,” roared Blinky.

Well, he’s nice,” said Angelina, “and he knows how to treat a girl! I stumbled on his cave a few weeks back when I was out walking with some boy scouts during my holidays, rugged lads, they were, and all just about out of their teens and eager to learn hiking from an expert, and I pride myself in being one of those. Anyway, there was a mighty storm that seemed to come out of nowhere and it started rainig cats and dogs.”

Making big poodles all over the place?” asked Royston with a giggle.

Funny!” continued Angelina with half a smile. “Anyway, the lads were all for building a shelter out of twigs and stuff but I spotted a man who turned out to be Igor sitting in the entrance of his cave and peeling potatoes. At first I thought he must be a left-over from the stone age, but he was really hospitable and, if I may say so, as dishy as any bloke could be even with his beard. He claimed that he never shaved or had his hair cut. While we were there he fed us with the most delicious chips I’ve ever had together with a few herbs he’d picked before the rains started. He said he was going to get a fish or two from the river, but the rain put him off, so I had to forgive him. The scouts wandered off when it dried up outside, but I had to stay awhile because he wanted to show me his bed, and I must say it was comfortable. I stayed most of that night with him...”

Impressive,” sighed Royston, experiencing, not for the first time, what could only be twinges of jealousy.

Oh, it was, and you know the most impressive thing of them all, sir?” This she asked of Blinky who was sitting bolt upright behind her and trying to keep up with the flow of her words.

No, woman, no I don’t!” he replied.

Well, it was his teeth. Made of glass, it seemed to me, but he said they contained the entire Wikipedia from aardvark to Zygot, and that didn’t even include the molars!”

You mean…?” gasped Royston, “they were diamond?”

Angelina nodded. “They were better than diamond,” she said, “they were programmed diamonds! And he told me before I went that there was a little something on one of them, a titchy little tooth at the back, that would amaze me if he played it to me. He said that he’d recorded an entire government cabinet meeting during which very important things were being discussed and things were aid that perhaps shouldn’t have been said, and if the Prime Minister got too big for his boots he’d play it for the whole world to hear! And he could do that. Igor’s a clever bloke, and no mistake.”

Wow,” whispered Royston, “that's just got to be something they’ll want to keep secret!”

And to think of it! Good old Igor! He’s got what it takes to hold the Government to ransom!” grinned Angelina, “and he was good for other things too,” she added, meanly.

As long as he doesn’t lose those teeth of his,” muttered Blinky from behind, “and if he does it’s Heaven Help us all, I think. So that’s what this case is all about. The case of the diamond dentures is really all about state security and the disasters that might befall us all if the old fool has left his teeth lying about!”

He’s not a fool, sir,” protested Angelina, “he’s a sweet and very sensible man who has the most divine bed I’ve ever not quite slept in! And someone pinched his teeth.”

© Peter Rogerson 14.01.20

© 2020 Peter Rogerson

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Added on January 14, 2020
Last Updated on January 14, 2020
Tags: Caveman, diamond, computer, memory, military, politics


Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I am 76 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..