‘“Unknown sensor mast”,’ said Kakariko, reading the ground.
‘That’s what she said,’ said Rolf.
Kakariko turned and struck him hard across the face. ‘This is no time for jokes, underling!’
‘They spelt it wrong.’
Kakariko nodded and removed a banana from his pouch. He devoured it in one go but hung on to the skin. ‘That was their downfall all along.’
Rolf shuffled his feet and looked around. Kakariko had sounded excited, as if their quest was at an end and this sensor mast was their final goal. Rolf was not so sure. It looked – displaced.
‘I think this is it, Rolf. I think this may be it.’
‘There might be others,’ he suggested, before adding, ‘sir.’
‘But this one,’ he said, pointing a liquid arm, ‘is labelled.’
‘But its “unknown”. Even they didn’t know what it was for.’
‘Stupid race,’ said Kakariko spitting a bloodsac into the sky. Rolf watched to make sure it didn’t come back down on his shell. It sailed behind them and landed on an overturned bus, setting alight immediately.
‘How can we know for sure?’ asked Rolf, already knowing the answer.
‘Snap it in half. If the signal stops we will know.’
Rolf sighed. His arms and claws were sore from chopping lampposts, trees and telegraph poles in half and yet Kakariko insisted that this was the only way. He stepped forward, swung his central arm and connected with the unknown sensor mast. The top half sliced clean off and fell to the ground with a clang.
Kakariko arched his back and sent out another ultrasqueal. The pleasant tone that filled the sky moments later was, as ever, in the negative.
‘Hm. Shame. Really thought we had it this time.’
He shrugged and tossed the banana peel aside.
‘Too many human foods. Turning your brain to mush.’
‘Come along, Rolf,’ came the biting reply. ‘Jodrell Bank won’t wait forever.’
Read more of David’s work on abarrelroll.blogspot.com