This section covers a vidcom interview with Undepoldus.
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The next major development arose because the news broke that Undepoldus was intelligent and could talk. It was on a Friday the 14th of August that a despatch clerk at a music publisher found that a considerable number of music scores had been ordered by the Spacers League. The delivery address was Regent's Park. He wondered who could want such an amount of music at Regent's Park. He contacted a vidcom news service and told them what he knew. Shortly afterwards George was called on the vidcom.
"Call for George McFigg from Gary Barnes of the Reuters
"Gee-Mac 207, link and show."
"Gary Barnes here, Reuters. Please can you tell me who has ordered a lot of musical scores?"
George was stuck for an answer but Undepoldus answered for him.
"I ordered the music. Is there a problem?"
"Who are you. I cannot see anyone but Mr. McFigg?"
"I am Undepoldus. I am the worm at Regent's Park in Undepoldus House."
Gary Barnes was astonished. He said. "You are trying to tell me that you are the worm and you can talk?"
"Ask your processor to confirm my identity. If you are not satisfied, come to Undepoldus House and meet me. Bring a vidnews camera as well if you like."
"I will be with you in twenty minutes, is that OK?"
"That will be perfectly satisfactory."
Gary Barnes arrived by floater ten minutes later. He had the scoop of a lifetime and could not bear to waste a second before he got his story. The door opened as he approached it. Undepoldus had checked his credentials in the meantime. He was accompanied by a cameraman who had also been approved.
The two newsmen were at a loss when they entered Undepoldus House. All they could see from the doorway was George sitting at his desk.
Then Undepoldus appeared in front of them curved in an arc.
He said. "Welcome to my house. Please sit down. What questions would you like to ask me?"
Gary Barnes found himself floundering for a suitable question.
Eventually he asked. "Mr. Undepoldus, how long have you been able to speak English?"
"Please Mr. Barnes, I am not a mister. I am just Undepoldus. I have been able to comprehend English for around three months. I have been able to communicate with the aid of a processor since then. I have been big enough to make enough sound by myself since the 30th of July. That is how you hear me now."
George noted a new Undepoldus trick when Undepoldus spoke to him at the same time.
"George, I need free publicity to promote my music tour. Please bear with me."
"Would you please confirm on camera that you ordered the music scores?"
"Of course. I am studying human music. I find it very interesting. Do you like music?"
Gary Barnes was not quite prepared to have a question thrown back at him.
"Yes a bit. I do not have much time to listen to it nowadays."
"What music do you like?
"I like some of Tchaikovsky's ballet music."
"Do you mean like the Nutcracker Suite or Swan Lake?"
"I like the Nutcracker Suite. It is not too heavy."
"Would you like to hear Dance of the Merlitons or Waltz of the Flowers?
Gary had lost all control of the interview and knew it. He decided to play for time.
"I would like to hear Waltz of the Flowers. Have you got a recording of it?"
"I do not need a recording. I will perform it for you now."
Undepoldus House was filled with Tchaikovsky's music at a volume that equalled a normal orchestra.
Gary sat there in amazement. Undepoldus presented him with an orchestra made up of virtuosos. George had never heard the piece played so well.
When the last echo of the music had faded away Undepoldus asked "Did you like that Mr. Barnes?"
Gary did. He said. "I am not an expert in music but I know when I hear it played well. If you ever gave a concert, I would be first in the queue for a ticket."
The cameraman said. "Not if I can beat you to it Gary. To Undepoldus he asked. "Do you have an agent?"
"No, but I would like one. The copyright to the performance you have just heard will be jointly owned on my authority between Reuters and the Undepoldus Trust."
Gary asked. "Please would you tell me about the Undepoldus Trust?"
"It is an organisation to handle my business affairs. Because I am not a citizen of Earth, I can own no property. I have therefore engaged some British citizens to handle my affairs through a trust named after me."
"What do you aim to do with the trust?"
"I will need Earth currency for some of my projects. I think that I may be able to earn it through musical performances and sales of recordings of my performances."
"What projects have you in mind?"
"Firstly I wish to show the people of Earth that they are not alone in this universe. To do this I must visit as many countries of the world as possible so that people can meet me and talk to me. I would like to tell them that I think that I am a sort of android that was developed by intelligent beings on a planet near to where I was found. I want to tell them that I feel that I am bound by the same sort of laws as those suggested by the writer, Isaac Asimov in the middle of the last century. Sooner or later I would like the chance to return to the planet where I came from. There is no space ship that will be large enough to carry me so I will have to finance the construction of a special launch vehicle and an interstellar transport. Do you think those suggestions are a worthy basis for a trust Mr. Barnes?"
Gary had been outflanked again. He decided to try to finish the interview.
He said. "Your aims seem alright with me Undepoldus. Other people will also have their opinions and I cannot answer for them. Have you anything that you would like to say to our viewers?"
"Ladies and Gentlemen of Earth, I came here to your planet as the result of a genuine accident. Since I have been here there have been some people who think that I am in some way a threat to them. They have made several attempts on the lives of the people who care for me. I have been successfully protected so I am able to speak to you now. I trust that there will be no further attempts to kill me or anyone who I am associated with. The only people who might have anything to fear from me are those who spread lies and malicious propaganda among their fellow humans. I know that truth can always be independently verified. The existence of ancient writings is no guarantee of their truthfulness. They serve only to prove that the ancient author could write. Finally, anyone who would like to become my agent should contact me here at Undepoldus House."
Gary could think of no more to say than "Thank you Undepoldus."
The interview including the performance of Waltz of the Flowers was broadcast throughout the world on the major news services. Undepoldus was soon kept busy with calls from would-be agents and offers to have him as a guest on vidcom programs. None of his callers were aware that he was dealing with as many as thirty calls at once at times. Callers who offered agency services were asked to provide examples of their current and previous agency work. Those who offered invitations had to indicate their capacities to handle large crowds, the accommodation for Undepoldus, and the proposed fee and expenses. They would also have to arrange clearance for Undepoldus as an alien with appropriate status for entry, work and residence purposes. Undepoldus had selected agents in several parts of the world in the first five minutes and had begun to redirect offers to the selected agents as soon as they had been appointed.
The Spacers League said that a sub orbital freighter would be available for intercontinental journeys. There were a few calls enquiring how Undepoldus could sign written documents. Undepoldus settled these by saying that he could duplicate any signature more easily than he could reproduce music. If a signature was absolutely necessary, it would be provided by George or Marita as they had been appointed to be his official guardians. Under human law he could be regarded as a minor as his subjective age was less than five years.
Undepoldus also relayed calls to George while he was having
his own conversations.
Marita called. "George, what is Undepoldus up to? He never told me that he wanted make music all around the world."
George answered. "He didn't tell me either. I think that he wanted it to be a surprise for everyone at once and get as much free publicity as possible."
"I guess that he has a right to do his own thing if he wants to."
"He wants you and me to be with him wherever he goes. We will be his official guardians because he is under the official age of responsibility."
Marita laughed. She said. "I am sure that he thinks that he is our official guardian. Has he said anything about Kerstin? I am sure that she will not want to be left out."
Undepoldus said. "Marita, I know that you and George have been appointed to care for me. Kerstin has been appointed to care for you and George. I would welcome Kerstin's presence wherever I go but I foresee problems of having two identical ladies together in other countries. If you and George can arrange for Kerstin to come with me, I will be delighted."
"I think that what you said is right Undepoldus. We three will discuss the problem together. Maybe it would be better if Kerstin and I took turns to be with you. Would you be happy with that?"
"Of course Marita. Perhaps that will be better in the end because I know that you will soon have another class and Kerstin wants to go to the Spacers College. In any case, because I will need less protection, you might like to announce that Kerstin is your double and bodyguard. That would solve the problem of having two of you around."
George said. "Undepoldus, we can decide what we will do when you start travelling around. Have you decided where you will go first?"
"Most of the large concert halls have been booked up for a long time. My London agent has suggested that I might like to give a concert in Hyde Park or in a sports stadium. I have told him that I do not think that I am big enough to produce enough sound for an outdoor venue by myself. He said that it would be simple to arrange a sound amplification system as would be provided for human performers. I have provisionally agreed to this on a trial basis. If the quality of the sound is good enough, I will continue to use amplification until I do not need it anymore."
Marita said. "I heard you through a recording Undepoldus. The sound you made was exquisite. I am sure that a sound system to suit your high standards can be provided."
George said. "Most concert halls can only accommodate less than one thousand people. An outdoor site could accommodate one hundred times as many. Anyway, when you are bigger, it would be hard to find a concert hall big enough to hold you. Your weight could be a problem too. At present you weigh one point seven tonnes. In a month's time you could weigh ten times as much. You must tell your agents how you expect to grow and how much you will weigh. They will then have to work out how and where you can be accommodated."
"You are right George. I am communicating with my agents now. My British agent says that he can organise a concert in Hyde Park on Saturday, 22nd August. He wishes to advertise me as "Hairy Undepoldus Music". Do you like that idea George?"
"It sounds OK to me. It almost has a rhythm to it."
"I have told him to go ahead. I hope that the weather will be fine. The processor says that there will be a 10% chance of showers and the temperature will be around 22°."
Marita said. "There have been many successful concerts in Hyde Park when it rained. I am sure that the Spacers League will find a way to keep the customers dry even if it does rain."
The next section covers the start of concerts performed by Undepoldus.
Viewers familiar with this subject may pass on to the following section.
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