Plugs

Alex Dally MacFarlane’s story “The Devonshire Arms” is available online at Clarkesworld.

Kat Beyer’s Cabal story “A Change In Government” has been nominated for a BSFA award for best short fiction.

Jason Erik Lundberg‘s fiction is forthcoming from Subterranean Magazine and Polyphony 7.

Read Rudi’s story “Detail from a Painting by Hieronymus Bosch” at Behind the Wainscot.

Parthenia Rook, Episode MXLV: Penguins Neat

by Edd

Parthenia Rook, adventurer, renowned stamp collector, and backup drummer for The Ramones, paused to slather on a gloop of sunscreen before taking up her kayak oar once more. According to the GPS in her pineapple-frame sunglasses, she had three more miles to go before she’d reach the Magnetic North Pole and be able to reconfigure Doktor Mandrill’s latest nefarious device. Provided she could find it.

On the up side, the device had melted the polar ice, so she had open water all the way.

When her oar pulled at nothing but air, she briefly wondered if she had sunstroke. Then she saw the turrets on either side of her, and knew that she sat atop The Bonobo King’s submersible castle, a perfect replica of Neuschwanstein down to the last wedding-cake flourish.

A dozen dormer windows opened, and rocket-propelled robotic penguins shot out in crazed trajectories before locking on to her position. Parthenia shoved off a nearby chimney, and slid sideways down the metal roof. Her kayak caromed off a pipe, the roguins zooming low to follow, straight for the edge of the roof.

“Penguins!” she thought. “Trust the good Doktor to get his poles reversed.”

At the last moment she caught a rain gutter with the oar and hung three stories above the water. Her kayak slipped off and spun downward, followed by the rockets. They slammed into it.

The resulting explosion knocked her upward again and blew an enormous hole in the side of the subschwanstein. She landed running, and dived through one of the dormer windows. A launch tube led down to an ammunition dump full of roguins and roseals.

She briefly debated setting some to explode, but the castle was already taking on water.

She still had to find Doktor Mandrill’s machine. It must surely be in the castle somewhere. Even if it went down with the castle, there was no assurance its destruction would bring back the ice cap.

Quickly, she texted her progress so far and prepared to delve deeper into the castle.

– – – – – – – – – –

Here Parthenia Rook’s intercepted last report ends, with supplemental material supplied by satellite and Orcandroid surveillance. Observation continued as ordered for the next two days. The castle sank and exploded underwater, with no sign of life detected. The North Pole is slowly resolidifying.

Respectfully submitted to his majesty the Bonobo King this 29th day of March, 2010.

– – – – – – – – – –

The previous appearances of Parthenia Rook by Luc Reid, Rudi Dornemann, Sara Genge, and Trent Walters may be found here.

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