This section covers the rest of the hot day in June.
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George went over to Undepoldus, taking care to remain out of sight of the visitors. He said. "Well done old buddy. I like your disappearing trick. Now I want to check on something that has been bothering me all day."
"Processor, display spectrum of sound in Undepoldus House
on Wedneday 17th June at 11:00."
"Processor, display spectrum of sound in Undepoldus House this morning at 11:00."
"Processor, increase magnification of mean level of second spectrum to match mean level of first spectrum."
"Now compare the two spectra for frequency range and relative amplitudes of each frequency referred to the same mean level."
The processor answered. 'The two spectra are similar. The second spectrum is lower than the first spectrum at 50Hz by 0.9 decibels and lower than the first spectrum at 100Hz by 2.4 decibels. In all other respects the two spectra are identical. '
Now George knew that Undepoldus could imitate any noise he heard. The dips could be accounted for by the absence of the main power supply feeding the airconditioner.
Then George had an idea. He said. "Processor, state ability
of Undepoldus to communicate."
The processor answered. "Hello George. I was wondering when you would ask the processor that question. I am afraid that I cannot communicate with you directly because my whiskers are not yet large enough or strong enough. I have been communicating with the processor for several weeks now. I requested it not to divulge my ability until you asked a question that would reveal it, if truthfully answered. You did not ask that question until today."
"How long have you been able to understand what we have been saying to you?"
Undepoldus answered through the processor. "I could not understand you properly until some time after I made contact with the processor. That was 41 days ago. Before that I was able to infer that you cared for me and that you, your friends and myself were in danger because you did your best to protect me. Somehow I was able to understand that there were two sorts of humans. Some wanted good things to happen and others wanted bad things to happen. You and your friends only wanted good things to happen. I could also tell if someone was lying or hurt or was in danger or frightened."
George asked. "What do you know about us Undepoldus?"
"I was in a very strange place. There was a man there. He saw I was eating rocks so he got me some more. Then one day there was a Spacer lady who picked me up and put me in a container. I could sense that something had hurt her very much but she was also trying to protect me. Then she carried me to the place that I now know is the Spacers Club. There were a lot of Spacers there and two others. I could sense that all of you were very interested in me and that you, George, wanted me to be your friend. I had only seen the man clearly before the lady picked me up. When I was there with you for the first time there were a lot of people so I tried to study what they looked like. They made noises that I could not understand. Then I saw the Spacer lady who picked me up. She was feeling pain in her hand. I wanted to make her unpained but I could not. I felt it was my duty to make people unpained. I still feel that now but I cannot understand why. I tried to communicate with the Spacer by making wet then dry again. She did not understand.
I then found one of the non-Spacers was frightened by something. I crawled on him and realised he was frightened for a friend. I could not help him although I felt that I ought to try to unfrighten him.
When you met a lady in the Spacers Club I could tell that she was not who you thought she was. When I investigated her, she was frightened of me. Then I detected that she was not wearing her own clothes. They belonged to another lady who was not there. I can remember everything I see if I want to. I saw something that I now know is writing on a part of her clothes. I then found that she had colouring on her that was removable that made her look like the lady that you thought she was. I removed some of this colouring and you saw that she was not the right lady. When I came back to you I sensed that the other lady who was not there was a friend of yours and you cared for her. Then you went to the place in the Spacers Club where there was a large diagram. I saw writing on it that looked like the writing on the lady's clothes.
The way you felt about the lady who was not there was like the way the non-Spacer felt frightened about a friend who was not there. I found that if I made wet on the diagram it changed so I tried to show that there was another man who was frightened. When I looked all over the diagram I could understand that it showed where places are. There was one place on the diagram that smelled of you and a lot of the people like you. You had all put your fingers on this diagram in this one place and left your smells. I did not understand why but I thought that the place on the diagram where you had put smells was the place where I was. I now know I was right. I did not know then but I know now that the place with a lot of smells on the diagram is the Spacers Club. You had all made noises about the diagram and put small smells in many places that were not in the Spacers Club.
When you all went away I looked until I saw a pattern like the one on the lady's clothes. I remembered the patterns on the diagram and tried to direct you to the place where the pattern was like the one on the lady's clothes. You understood me somehow.
When we were near the place I could smell the lady that you cared for. You put me down and I was able to go through the rock into a place where there were non-Spacers. I sensed that these people wanted bad things. I found the place where the lady you cared for was. She was with another lady. They were both very frightened.
I discovered that there were no rocks in the place but what I now know are wood, screws and nails. I ate a lot of these screws and nails and the wood fell into holes. I discovered that the men who wanted bad things did not want holes so I kept making holes for them. I then decided that I should make pictures of the people who wanted bad things. They did not like my pictures of them so I made some more. It made them very frightened. I saw that they did something that made a slight noise and a place got more light. I now know that it is a light switch. I decided that if they liked that, I would try to make it darker. I found a thing that looked like a big light switch. It was covered in a different metal to the nails. I started to eat it and there was a very strange noise and I saw a lot of little lights in it that disappeared. I now know that I had damaged their electricity supply. Then the dark was everywhere. It made the non-Spacers who did not want good things very frightened. I went back to the ladies who were frightened and tried to make them unfrightened.
One of the bad men was going up what I now know are stairs to the ladies but he went through one of my holes at the top and didn't come back. Another man like him wanted to go to the ladies and went into another of my holes. The hole was not big enough so he stopped when he had not gone all the way into the hole. He made a lot of noise then stopped making a noise. I went back to the ladies and found that something was fixing them where they were. I now know that they had rope tied around their wrists. They did not like this so I tried to eat what was fixing them there. The rope broke.
I saw light through something like the places I was kept in that I now know was a glass window. I knew I could eat it but I did not like eating it. I made a hole and saw there were people outside but they were a big fall away from me. Then a thing came to where I was that I now know is a floater with non-Spacers who wanted good things in it. It stopped close to me so I got into it. Then I was taken to a good man who I now know is Superintendent Abdullah.
I have told you this story how it seemed to me then. I now know about glass, wood, floaters, screws, nails and electricity. I had no words for these things then."
George said. "I am amazed. You were so small then yet you had the wish to help us.
"As I said, I still have it. Somehow it is a part of me. It is very strange. I do not worry about it now because I have learned a lot about you and your friends from the processor. The processor is a bit like me. It tries to protect you from harm but it is made that way by people like you. I am not like the processor but in some ways I feel like one. The processor was made by people like you but does not grow. I have the feeling that I was made like the processor but I can grow. The processor never forgets and I do not forget. I have learned how I came here and nobody knew I was here until the man found me in some rocks.
I have learned that you are in two sorts called men and women and you have body parts that fit together that are designed to make small humans that can grow like I grow. I have learned that you use these parts a lot to make yourselves very happy. When you do this and I am near you it makes me very happy too. I have learned that when Spacers use these parts they do not want to make small humans. I do not think that I have parts like men or women so I don't think that I can make any more of animals like me.
I have learned that I am in an animal preservation park where all sorts of animals are cared for by humans. You have treated me like one of the animals but you have had a special place made just for me. You have provided me with everything I need and you have made this place so strong that it would be very hard for someone to get in and hurt me. You do not know what I am but you have shown that you treat me as one of your closest friends.
Although I could not tell you what I wanted, you have always tried to guess what I needed and provided it in very large quantities. Most of the time you have been right. Although I did not talk to you before, I have been able to understand you for some time.
You have always said nice things to me and cared for me as if I was one of your own small humans. I know that I do not look like you in any way but you have treated me like your special friends Marita and Kerstin. If I was the same shape as Marita or Kerstin I would like to make you happy like they do."
George said. "Thank you Undepoldus for your very kind words and sentiments. I am delighted that we can talk to each other at last. You have always been my special friend but now we have a new way to express our friendship for each other. You have explained a lot to me about yourself but I wonder how you can make yourself invisible. You do it so well that even I can't see you. Can you tell me how you do it?"
Undepoldus said. "I am not sure myself. When I was communicating with the processor I learned about animals that hide themselves to stop being eaten by other animals. Some animals are made like the places where they want to hide. Other animals can make themselves look like the places where they are. Then I found that if I felt that I did not want to be seen, I could look like the place where I was. I then found that I could do this two ways so that someone one side of me would only see what was on the other side of me and vice versa. I cannot do it very well from above. I cannot show the ground under me very well.
When that bad man came here I thought that he should not know where I was. I knew that the replica looked a lot like me and only you and a few others could tell the difference. I used it to make the man think I was where I spend a lot of time talking with the processor and eating rocks. I knew that if I used some of my wet I could make a man die like I did when you were with Kerstin. I found it hard to find a way to get to the right place on the man without touching him. I then tried to concentrate on using my wet to make him sleep for a short time. It worked. I understood that you did not want him dead because he could tell you where the other man was.
When Kerstin came in, I wanted to help her to find the other man so I tried to attract her attention. Then she gave me the chance to climb onto her so I did. She said words to the bad man that were not quite true. It made the bad man very frightened. I thought that this was good. I went with Kerstin to a place where the bad man said we should go. I found a place where I could make a hole with my wet and went in. I saw another bad man so I thought that I would frighten him. He was sitting in a chair looking at a vidcom. I saw that the chair had metal parts so I ate them and the chair fell to pieces and the man fell on the floor. I crawled onto the man and put my wet part near his face. He was very very frightened. He said "Don't eat me, he's in there. I made him sleep for a short time. I found that I could not get to the place from inside so I went outside where there was rock I could make holes in. The rocks were in small pieces with thin layers of rock in between. I think you call them bricks. I could see that I could make a wall fall down or even the building if I was not careful when I made a hole. It took me a while to pick the spots to eat so that there would be a big enough hole without the wall falling down. The man inside was very pleased with my hole. He came out through the hole and the people with Kerstin went inside and got the other man. Kerstin was very pleased. She said that I was a very good boy even though I am not a boy. I don't think that Kerstin understands that I am not a boy. You call me Undepoldus."
Then I came back here with Kerstin and the man who came out through my hole."
"That was brilliantly done Undepoldus. I can tell you that a lot of humans have animals called dogs that they look after in a way that is like the way I have tried to look after you. These dogs are a bit like humans because they can make little dogs like we can make little humans. The male dog is a bit like me and the person who cares for a dog treats it like a little male human called a boy. You have shown Marita, Kerstin and myself that you are friendly like a dog. A dog cannot talk to us. You did not talk to us so we have treated you in some ways as if you were a dog. That is why Kerstin called you a good boy. It is the way we would speak to a male dog if he did something we liked."
"Thank you for telling me that George. I have learned from the processor that a dog is a man's best friend but I did not know much about the relationship between humans and dogs."
"Now you can talk to me through the processor, you can tell me what you want. Up until now I have had to guess. Sometimes you have shown me by your actions that you preferred one thing to another. I know that you like to be with Marita, Kerstin and me and you do not like to be left here alone. Beyond that I have no idea what you like."
Undepoldus said. "There is very little that I want for myself that is not already provided. Here, where I am, I can study humans and talk with the processor and you, and I have a very good selection of rocks to eat. The temperature of this place is usually exactly how I like it. I understand why it was too hot for both of us when the machinery failed. I know that I can go where I like when I want to but I feel happiest when I am near you. I liked it when you used to carry me everywhere because I could see things in the way that you see them. Now I am a bit too big for you to carry me. I am now big enough to make journeys on my own so you do not need to carry me anyway. I learned from the processor that you think that I will be many times bigger than I am now. At my present size I find that I have all I want. This may change when I am bigger and I have learned more. You do not have to provide me with anything more than I have at the moment to make me happier than I am now. Maybe soon I will need to have a special entrance to get into the Spacers Club because it would not be good if I made my holes much bigger.
There is one other thing. As I said, I feel that I must always do my best to protect you and your friends as I have explained. If I know more about the dangers that you face, I could help to protect you better. I know that I can defend myself and make myself almost invisible if I have to, and I know that I could be hurt or even killed if powerful machines were used against me. From what I know about you and myself, I think that I am less vulnerable than you are. If I lost a whisker or two, it would be annoying but not serious. If you lost a hand or a leg, that would be very serious and you would have to have a machine to replace it. I know that I can grow new whiskers if I need to. Please accept me as your protector. That would make me very happy indeed."
George was at a loss for words to answer Undepoldus. After a while he said. "Undepoldus, we both have talents but most of them are different. I can use my talents and call on the help of others to protect you when necessary. You have shown me that you have excellent talents that can be used to protect me and my friends. Let us agree that we will use our combined talents to protect each other. I do not know what danger we are in at the moment. I do know that there seems to be an organisation that thinks that your existence is a proof that their religious beliefs are false. They want you dead. If you are dead they can carry on trying to believe in their religion. They think that their ideas are the only true ideas to govern the way people live. I suggest that you ask the processor to tell you about religions. I can tell you that Spacers do not believe in any Earthly religion. Nearly all Earthly religions were started when humans did not know what the Universe was like. Now we know more about the Universe we know that few if any Earthly religions can relate to it. We Spacers say: 'If any religious leaders had really been in contact with the Creator of the Universe, why didn't they ask the Creator what the Universe is like?' We think that they have all pretended to be in contact with the Creator or had a mental disorder that made them think they had.
Most of the discoveries about the Universe were made by people who had little time for religion or had no religion at all. People who believe in an Earthly religion go through life believing something false is true. Some of them will kill anyone who casts doubt on their belief. You and Spacers in general are targets for these people.
Marita and I have the official job of caring for you. Kerstin came to us to try to help protect you, Marita and myself. We all have to be prepared to defend ourselves from these people. We do not know who they are or when or how they will try to attack us. You have seen and been involved in five separate attacks. Marita and her students were involved in another attack. We have won so far. It would be a tragedy for Earth if we were ever to lose."
"Thank you George for explaining the situation. I will do my best to learn more about the way religious people think so that I can be better prepared for any attacks that occur when I am near you. We have talked for a long time and the Park will close soon. It is nearly time that we went back to the Spacers Club."
"Undepoldus, I think that it would be a good idea to keep your ability to talk through the processor a secret for the moment. Our best defence is to prevent the enemy from knowing the strength and range of our defences."
Undepoldus said. "OK George." Then he pushed the replica into his usual place.
George thought that the terms unpain and unfrighten were particularly apt for an Undepoldus.
When George saw Kerstin and Marita together at the Club, Kerstin
was telling Marita about the way Undepoldus helped to rescue the
air-conditioning engineer Kevin.
"Undepoldus went in through the door step. We waited outside and listened for noises that he might make. We heard a crash and a curse. Then we heard a man say. 'He's in there. Don't kill me.' A little while later Undepoldus came out of the hole he had made and went to the side of the house. Then he stopped as if he was thinking. He then reared up and attacked a brick. After that he attacked the two bricks below it. He was very careful as he attacked one layer after another in a triangle. Then suddenly a metre high hole appeared in the wall. When the dust had settled a man looked out and saw us. It was the man who had been kidnapped. He crawled through the hole and said that he was very pleased to see us. He did not know how the hole was made. He never saw Undepoldus. The kidnapper was unconscious when we found him among pieces of broken chair. He was relieved when he recovered and saw us. It is strange how criminals love the sight of the police when Undepoldus is around."
Marita laughed. She said. "I think that there is a story going around that he eats people slowly. As far as I know he has only killed one man and he did not do it directly. Well, you should know, you saw it happen."
"At the post mortem it was found that the man had died of heart failure, triggered by the shock of the burn that Undepoldus gave him. He was less badly burned than Jane Wanneroo was when she picked up Undepoldus in Peter Whitfield's lab."
George asked. "Kerstin, what happened to the cyanide?"
Kerstin laughed. She said. "It wasn't cyanide at all. Whoever provided the canister to the kidnappers fooled them. It contained washing soda and vinegar. It could have produced a small amount of carbon dioxide. The kidnapper who impersonated Kevin Watson has been charged with attempted murder. He will never know that the cyanide canister was a fake."
"I take it that you want to protect the supplier in case he is asked to supply cyanide again."
"Our forensic crew are looking at the canister. They are trying to trace where it came from. We would like to interview the supplier discreetly because everyone who has been arrested and jailed has refused to say who gave the orders. We have not obtained any information from any of them. Mrs. Grigson is under close watch because she has attempted suicide twice. We think that all of the prisoners have been blackmailed into silence. None of them have been convicted of serious offences before and only one or two had any sort of police record. There has been a processor search for all their relatives in case they were threatened but we have not found any leads yet. We strongly suspect that there is a connection with a religious organisation but we have no direct evidence to prove it. We suspect a religious connection because we cannot think of any other sort of organisation that would have a motive to kill Undepoldus."
Marita said. "Hello Undepoldus, I am glad you could join us. I hear that you have done some very good work today. Thank you for helping to protect George for Kerstin and me."
Undepoldus said nothing.
Kerstin said. "I never would have believed that I would have a hairy worm like Undepoldus as a friend when I was in Sundsvall. Now I think he is absolutely loveable. I'm sure that if he were a dog he would be wagging his tail and trying to lick me."
George wondered if Undepoldus had heard Kerstin's report. What she had said fitted in well with what Undepoldus had told him earlier.
George said. "Marita, your students will graduate soon and leave for the U.S.A. I wonder if they could think of a way to get the prisoners to talk without arousing their suspicions. They are brilliant with ideas and Kerstin's colleagues badly need some help. What do you think?"
"It is a bad time for them George. They have already begun some of their finals. All of them want to get first class honours. I would hate to distract them from their revision work."
"When I did my degree years ago, the lecturers did their best to give us questions that would steer us towards the sort of questions we would get in the examinations. They never said what we would get but it was a great help to us. Is it possible that you could pose that sort of problem as one of the questions in your subjects?
Marita said. "I could offer it as a moral dilemma I suppose. There are always questions that seem to have no easy answers in that line. I will see if I can work out something that will make them think in the right way."
The next section covers conversations between George and Undepoldus.
Viewers familiar with this subject may pass on to the following section.
Please select PASS or CONTINUE.