This section covers the concert tour in the USA.
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The American Tour
Undepoldus announced that he intended to go to the USA on Thursday 8th October. He would be happy to go on his own but would like the three to be with him. They agreed to go and Undepoldus made arrangements for them. The first concert would be at the Shea Stadium New York on Saturday 10th October.
The recordings taken from the European tour dominated sales everywhere. Critics and reviewers had adopted the expression "Is it as good as Hairy Undepoldus Music?" when reviewing recordings by different artists. The excitement caused by the imminent arrival of Undepoldus in New York compared with the furore created by some of the most popular entertainers of the last century. Although Undepolus had requested that he should not be given a formal welcome, he found that there were many thousands of people gathered to greet him as he got out of the sub-orbital transporter. There were two bands and a massed group of marching girls and boys to provide him with an escort.
Undepoldus did not go straight towards the gap that was maintained
in the crowd by police officers and robots. He decided to move
crosswise so that all of those in the crowd could get a good view
of him. At the same time he was able to look at them and hear
what they said. The marching troupe followed him and turned with
him as he began a patrol in the other direction.
Then, without warning a man emerged from the crowd and fired a shot at Undepoldus. Almost immediately he started to collapse. The marchers scattered and the bands stopped playing. Two police officers ran towards the assassin to prevent him from shooting again. Their body language told its own story. He was dead. The two officers attempted to pick him up and failed. One of them turned away from the crowd and vomited. The other officer shook his head as if he could not believe what he had seen. Two paramedics with a stretcher began to make their way towards the man on the ground. The two policemen gestured for them to stop. The policeman who had vomited looked ashen faced and his colleague looked barely better. The marchers had been closest to the incident. It was clear that they had had a very nasty fright. Undepoldus called the marchers over to him and spoke to them for a few moments. Then he called to the policemen to speak to him. They looked somewhat happier as they made their way back towards the crowd.
Undepoldus said in voice that all could hear. "I am unhurt. The man who tried to kill me is dead. I regret that I killed him involuntarily. The marchers heard two shots. One shot came from the gunman and the sound of a shot came from me. I did not know that I have a defence mechanism that makes me react to sudden loud noises like gun shots. When I heard the gunshot, I instinctively produced an echo of it back in the direction that it came from. The sound pressure I created was focused on the man. I have been informed that all of his bones were shattered. The sight of him made the policeman ill. I am sorry that you have seen such a sickening incident. I am programmed not to harm humans except when I need to save another human's life. All I want to do is to spread pleasure around the Earth. I have had some success so far with my music. I hope that no-one else will attempt to shoot me because the result would be the same. My reaction to sudden loud noises is automatic. I have no conscious control over it. I think it would be a good idea if you all went home now. Tomorrow I will come back here and provide you with a few samples of my music if you would like to come. This will be an informal concert just for you who wanted to give me a very warm and pleasant welcome. There will be no stage and no seating. You will have to sit on the grass. Let us all hope that tomorrow we will all be in a happier mood. Thank you very much for listening to me."
The crowd melted away as George went over to Undepoldus to
see if he had been injured.
Undepoldus said. "George, I have a few damaged whiskers where I caught the bullet. They will grow again quickly so I will be perfectly alright. I did not know that I could react in the way that I did. My creators may have foreseen that I would need a way to defend myself remotely. I have tried to calculate the energy I used but I can only make an intelligent guess. I can now produce musical sound equivalent to 10 kilowatts of sound amplification. I guess that I produced more than 200 kilowatts momentarily focused in a very small volume. It was around five thousand times as much energy as was used to fire the bullet at me. I am shocked that I have so much power available for defence purposes."
George said. "Nobody blames you for what happened Undepoldus. You killed a man in self defence in front of thousands of witnesses. I am sure that everyone was glad that you were not seriously hurt. I think that what you did was a good thing because nobody will try that trick again. You have said to me that you feel that you are programmed to protect people. Until today I thought that your powers were limited to the use of your digestive juices. Now I know that you have at least one self defence mechanism that you can use to protect yourself. I am sure that you were programmed that way because you could only defend people if you were uninjured. I know that you can focus your sound so that only one person can hear you in an audience of thousands. I am sure that if you needed to, you could focus your sound voluntarily at a high enough level to disable anyone within a few hundred metres. I know and you know that you would never use your power except for a good purpose. Be glad that you now know that you have more ability to defend your friends."
Undepoldus said. "As usual you are right George. I would be useless as a defender if I could be injured easily. It will take me a while to get used to my powers but I am glad that I know that I can defend you better than I knew I could before."
The impromptu concert the next day helped a lot to dispel any thoughts that Undepoldus was a potential killer. A lot of small children came up to him and talked to him while he was performing. They sat around him, almost oblivious to the music he was producing. The crowd sat on the grass and listened happily to Undepoldus until it started to get dark.
When Undepoldus arrived at the stadium the following morning he found that most of the work to prepare the event had been done. As schools were back in session he decided to visit one nearby unannounced. He left a message for George to say where he was going and started his ramble. Some people saw him and ignored him; others wished him a nice day. Some teenagers decided to try to have a game with him by standing in his path to see what he would do. They soon gave up when he pushed them over and crawled over them. Shortly afterwards he discovered that he was being shadowed by a police floater. He decided to ask them what they were doing via their processor. They said that they had had a report of two pedestrians being knocked down by him and wanted to question him when he reached a convenient spot. In reply he sent images of what he had seen during the thirty seconds before he knocked the teenagers over. The police floater went away.
When he reached a school he found that there were a lot of children in the yard playing. He waited at the gate until he was seen and some of the children came over to him. They opened the gate so that he could get into the yard without causing any damage to the walls or the gate. Within a few minutes all the children were gathered around him. The play area became silent. The usual shouts and squeals of young children at play had faded away. He talked to them all individually, asking their names and what they did at school. Then one of the teachers noticed the absence of noise and came out to investigate. She didn't see Undepoldus at first because he was so closely surrounded by children. When she did she screamed, thinking that the children were in danger. Undepoldus spoke to her quietly and said who he was. He was the same Undepoldus who had made hundreds of recordings and given concerts all round Europe. She calmed down a little and went inside to call the other teachers. It was evident that she wasn't believed at first because it took some time before she reappeared with some of the other teachers.
Undepoldus explained that he wanted to know what children think of the Earth and himself. He had spent so much time with adults that he only knew their points of view. He declined to come into the school building because he thought that his weight might cause it to collapse. Some of the teachers went back inside and brought more children out into the yard to meet Undepoldus. He asked the children who had seen him first to step back so that the others could meet him. They stepped back as one as if they had been drilled in the exercise. The newer group of children were older but they were entranced by Undepoldus as quickly as their younger companions. Undepoldus asked the teachers to contact him to say what the children thought of his visit. He then said goodbye to the children and left to many cheerful goodbyes and thanks for his visit.
The tour of the USA and Canada covered twenty-four cities and the Spacers College.
The North American Tour was marked by a change in policy. Undepoldus had enough power to dispense with sound amplification so he repeated a lot of the music that he had originally performed in Europe. His increased power came at the expense of mobility. His weight meant that an increasing number of bridges were closed to him. Only specially constructed road vehicles could carry him. At Dallas he weighed 350 tonnes. In Portland he weighed 600 tonnes. He was too heavy to be carried by any type of floater. He travelled from Portland to San Francisco by sea. He had hoped to go to Japan, China and India but he had to admit that the transportation systems on Earth could not cope with his length and weight for more than another week. At the Spacers College he was 100 metres long and weighed nearly 700 tonnes and was still growing. Undepoldus had tried to restrict his diet but it made him feel weak.
The next section covers the return journey made by Undepoldus to England and what followed.
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