This section covers the unexpected activities of Undepoldus.
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Three to Undepoldus
Marita assembled her class in the conference room to give her scheduled lecture and tutorial.
George had an uneventful journey to the Park but he felt that Undepoldus was not very comfortable in the strong morning sunshine. Undepoldus kept rearranging himself as if to prevent any part of him being exposed to the direct sunlight for more than a few seconds at a time.
In Undepoldus House it was another quiet day of the sort that
ge was gradually getting used to. With no worries about followers
or the chance of being kidnapped, he studied his vidbook avidly
until it was time to go. When he put his arm out for Undepoldus
to climb on to, Undepoldus stayed where he was.
George said to Undepoldus. "If you don't want me to carry you, you will have to walk." Undepoldus remained impassive. George put the replica around his shoulders and picked up his vidbook. When he reached the door it would not open. He was about to ask the processor why when he changed his mind and went back to his desk. The security system had operated again when it had seemed that all the snoopers and would-be kidnappers had been arrested. When George looked at the display area, he could see that Undepoldus had replaced himself with the replica. Undepoldus had left before him.
George was tempted to try to go out via the unloading bay and the rock transporter but then he heard screams coming from below. The screams changed to moans of agony that then started to become fainter. George addressed the processor. "Gee-Mac 207. Code eight. Intruders in rock transporter tunnel believed to be going towards the loading platform."
After a pause the processor said "Acknowledged."
Undepoldus emerged from the transporter elevator and made his way towards George. He reared up so George put out his arm to allow him to climb up. Undepoldus pushed the replica off George's shoulders and took its place.
When George went back to the door it opened on command. The
security alert was over. George looked towards the copse that
concealed the moveway platform and saw two police floaters hovering
above it. The intruders would not get far. As he reached the strip
he saw Marita waiting for him. She asked. "Are you OK George?"
As they sat down George said "I'm fine" and paused. He then said "Kerstin, your makeup would fool a lot of people but not me. It looks like it was done in a hurry."
"When you sounded the alert I was with Marita's students. It was my job to go but I was dressed in civilian clothes. Marita used my make up to do a quick job so I could leave as quickly as possible."
"It has been an interesting day. I wonder what has happened to the intruders."
"I don't know yet. Two of Boku's team are with the police at the moment."
"I think that they met Undepoldus and he treated them like one of his rocks. Something made them scream with agony down there. Shortly afterwards Undepoldus appeared from down below."
"I am sure that we will find out when we get back to the Club."
As she spoke a man with a pistol grabbed her wrist. He said.
"Don't move, I don't want to have to use this."
George and Kerstin sat still, waiting to see what the man would do. George felt Undepoldus moving but dare not try to stop him in case the man misunderstood the action. George was wondering if Kerstin was wearing a formfit. Provided that the man did not aim at their heads, a bullet would not kill but it would cause a nasty injury. The man sat next to Kerstin and tried to conceal his gun from onlookers. George squeezed his vidbook four times. He hoped that a rescue party would arrive soon.
Then suddenly the man fell forward and his gun fell to the floor. He made no sound. Kerstin smelt the stench of burning cloth and flesh first. Undepoldus had attacked him at the top of his spine.
Kerstin checked and found no heartbeat. She said. "The
shock from the burn gave him a heart attack. He is dead."
George said. "Thank you Undepoldus."
Two policemen appeared and picked up the man and his gun and carried him off the strip. Undepoldus crawled back to his usual place. The man had not seen Undepoldus move. Kerstin had felt him crawl across her shoulders but could not see him without turning her head. The other passengers on the strip had seen virtually nothing of the incident until the man collapsed. After the police had taken him away they took no obvious interest in either Kerstin or George.
When Kerstin and George reached the Spacers Club they found
code five in force. Admiral Chang and the Rear Admiral greeted
them as they went in.
Admiral Chang said. "George, your little friend has accounted for three of the enemy in less than half an hour. I am delighted that neither of you were hurt in any way. I think that we underestimated our enemy. He has shown himself to have more reinforcements that we did not know about. At the same time, he has underestimated the strength of our defences."
Kerstin said. "George did not know but I was not wearing a formfit. That man could have killed me. I will wear one all the time in future."
Rear Admiral Chebychev said. "Kerstin, I am glad that you learned your lesson without being harmed. It wasn't until we received George's alert that we discovered that our troubles are not over. Your slip up was excusable in the circumstances. Marita would have put a formfit on before going anywhere to see George if she was not already wearing one."
A Spacer that George did not know arrived. She said. "Admiral
Chang sir. Two intruders, one male, one female apprehended at
the loading platform near Regent's Park. Both were nude. There
were signs that acid had been poured onto them that had run down
their backs. They begged for medical assistance sir."
The Admiral replied. "Thank you Sancha. Please resume your duties."
George remembered the time when Undepoldus had produced a small pool of his digestive juices on a polished table. He made a metal note. Undepoldus does not need to make contact to attack. He thought of the boiling oil that was once used to defend castles from intruders. As far as he knew, the idea had never been mentioned in front of Undepoldus so he must have thought of it himself.
The Admiral turned to George. He said. "Our friend has
done more to defend you than we have been able to defend him.
He is remarkable. I think that he should be given Spacer status
even though he cannot talk and we cannot be sure that he understands
"Sir, with respect, Marita conferred that status on him unofficially the day he came to the Club."
Admiral Chang smiled. He said. "In that case I endorse Marita's decision to give him Spacer status. Please provide me with the precise date and time so that it can be entered in the records. Undepoldus must not lose a second of seniority." He winked at George but it was clear that he meant what he said.
"Sir, I am sure that Marita will be very pleased to hear of your endorsement and I think that Undepoldus will too. If I remember correctly it was late in the evening of 9th March that Marita used her authority to give him Spacer status as a joke."
"In that case I will arrange that his seniority counts from then. Now I know that you three have had a busy day. Forget about security because you are safe here. Go and relax and enjoy yourselves."
The Rear Admiral said. "George and Undepoldus. Please take a minute or two to meet Marita's students. Kerstin. Make sure that George and Undepoldus are not mobbed."
The next section covers George's meeting with the Students.
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