Telephone Tom

We all know now that Tom’s world is a simulated exam in a computer in a test room on board a colossal space ship but that doesn’t mean the adventures over. For the very first time Verance Highcorridor gets sucked into Tom’s world without going via the test room, it’s almost like that world has phoned him up and on his arrival trouble is pixilating. We all know Tom’s world is a computer-generated exam so what mustn’t we forget…computer viruses. Three stories, Two Toms, One giant silver wasp that reassembles itself after you hit it.
The …Tom Trilogy ends in spectacular fashion.
Unbelievable as it sounds this might be the exam that Verance fails…

This story was written in 2012, the prologue in 2013. Enjoy!

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2. In which you'll read about gold hair and work experience

 

(Sorry it’s taken so long to kick this one off – ZIME)   

 

Verance Highcorridor realised he was lost in Rally’s eyes again and continued talking,

“So yeah driving is awesome.”

“It’s only a bike!” laughed Rally,

“Yeah but…what a bike!”

“Boys and their toys.” laughed Rally and ate some more chips. Verance felt blessed, (not that like, religion had died the moment the religious people saw their gods weren’t going to save them from the barely remembered Earth Catastrophe) Rally Parliamentary Gardens was a fantastic girl, very beautiful, check, understanding, check, solid gold hair, massive cheque!

    It’s incredibly difficult to make gold grow out your head; you have to shave your head, mineralise your scalp and wait for growth to begin. You have to ingest the necessary minerals once a week and there’s no going back, usually it’s worth it. Guys dig girls with heads of light whippable solid gold hair, this is the future and lots of things are possible.

    “What you gonna’ do tonight?” asked Rally still eating chips, (yes, fast food still exists)

“I don’t know; jam with the band, be part of a reality TV show for however long I choose.”

“I love the world we live in Vara.”

“So do I, there’s no better, we’re Sixteen and we’ve got our whole lives ahead of us in a set up like this, nothing can stop us now.” Verance’s tiny ear piece (the iCantseeit) started ringing. “Obviously something can stop us, please excuse me babe.”

“Verance Highcorridor is that you?”

“Who’s this?”

“Dr Wiebago, can you come and see me?”

“No.”

“It’s about the…you know…exam.”

“I’m on my way…I’ve got to go babe.”

“Where?”

“Dr Wiebago wants to see me about something.”

“Alright, you and that doctor, occasionally meeting in secret, don’t you love me?”

“Of course.” reassured Verance kissing Rally before heading off. The phone rang again, “Dr Wiebago?”

“Yes, can you come to the computer monitor room?”

“Yes, I’m coming.” Verance made his way to the computer monitor room and went in, the rows of computer terminals all blinked at him, they were powering the computers above.

“I’m in the far left corner, come over.” said the voice, Verance did as he was told and was disturbed to find nobody there,

“There’s no one here Doctor.” he said examining the computer terminal in front of him,

“Ah yes but it’s a terrible emergency and I can go to no one else.”

“What?”

“Thank you for coming.”

“What’s going on?” said Verance paling; there was a flash of light.

 

    “You’ve got to be kidding me.” said Tom picking himself up and dusting the planet Earth dust off himself, “Why did I say that?” he said, it didn’t matter, “I’ll go to Sarah’s,” he said out loud, “I go round there a lot.” He knocked on the door, Sarah opened it,

“Oh my god Tom, what are you doing here?”

“I come round a lot don’t I?”

“Eh yeah, you’re round here right now – we’re watching a movie.”

“I’m missing something.”

“You’ve been gone for a month, we didn’t know where you’d gone but we assumed you’d return eventually, Dad didn’t mind seeing the back of you I can tell you that.”

“Can I come in?”

“Welcome back… Tom.” said D.A.T.R from the doorbell socket,

“Hello D.A.T.R, you sound like something’s afoot.” D.A.T.R actually laughed,

“Does this happen to him every time he comes here Sarah?”

“Ignore him and come in,” said Sarah, “I wouldn’t be surprised if things became a lot clearer.” Tom followed Sarah in, through the kitchen and into the sitting room, two people were watching a film, and they were Ben and Tom.

“Oh crumbs.” said Tom seeing Ben and Tom on the sofa, in fact seeing them there trigged something, “Doesn’t everything reset itself to normal every time I leave?”

“What do you mean?” asked Sarah,

“When I left, you were a robot, Ben was an alien mimicker and Tom was a very clever human.”

“That’s still the case.”

“Nothing’s changed?”

“One thing, we call our Tom Tommy to avoid confusion.”

“I don’t like it very much,” said Tommy, “But it helps them cope with their slight loss.” (Tommy was wearing a T-shirt that said “I survived the mysterious voice incident.”)

“What?”

“They don’t like it when you take off Tom!”

“When I take off! Something happens to me, it’s like I’m not me.”

“This must be difficult for you.” droned Ben,

“You’re telling me.” said Tom. Sarah’s father appeared in the doorway, his neutral face fell away revealing a scowl as he saw Tom,

“Oh, you’re back.”

“Pleasure to be greeted with warmth.” half-saluted Tom.

    “Okay team, reports of a strange being on Bodmin Moor. It’s not cat like, do what you need to do please.” and he left,

“Did he say team?”

“Yes he did Tom, if you’ll remember his alien hunting team was closed down, we’re his new team and we investigate everything weird that isn’t alien, he set us up a week after you left.”

“Have you found anything yet?”

“Yes, Dad’s had to do some major remodelling downstairs, there’s a giant prehistoric crocodile from the Scotland area below us in a tank.”

“Giant prehistor…”

“Ben turned into a Morbus-fractal, you’ll remember them, and flew it here in his claws, me and Tommy had tranquilised it to oblivion beforehand.”

“Is that it?”

“No, there’s a dragon like creature from Glastonbury and a poltergeist we tricked into a thick glass box.”

“Where do you serve?”

“Only England at the moment but we want to branch out.”

“I haven’t heard you leave.” came Valentine’s voice from some other room,

“Sorry Dad!” shouted Sarah and turned off the TV, she then pressed another button on the remote, the wall separating them from the garden dropped into the ground and the team ran outside. “Tommy take Tom with you on Ben, I’ll go jet mode.” instructed Sarah,

“Got it.” said Tommy,

“Time to go to work.” said Ben and undressed very quickly before bursting into a pterodactyl-like Morbus-fractal, Tommy and Tom jumped on and Sarah folded herself into what looked like an unmanned aerial vehicle, the team took off.

“Is it as fun as aliens?” Tom asked Tommy as they flew very quickly,

“It’s about the same.” replied Tommy,

“Has Earth suffered any alien trouble?”

“No, probably ‘cause of the death of The Speaker. All the aliens seem to have backed off, they know Earth’s protected hey.”

“And you don’t mind being powerless alongside Sarah and Ben?”

“You might remember I’ve got a very good brain, besides I’m always having so much fun or adventure it doesn’t matter.”

“Now I look at it you’re lucky with your life.”

“How so?”

“Mines a mystery, I’m going to think it over some more now.”

“I’ll leave you to it.” They flew on.

 

    They landed on Kilmar Tor, Bodmin Moor as the sun was setting.

“Right,” ordered Sarah as Ben reappeared, “You two set up the tent, I need to talk to Tom, alone.”

“What’s going on?” asked Tom when they were away from the others slightly,

“What’s the power this time?”

“Power?”

“Every time you come here you have a power, first time - time travelling shoes, second time it’s telepathy and now I want to know what’ya gonna’ surprise us with this time.” Tom concentrated hard,

“I’m not detecting any telepathy.”

“Was there a trigger last time?”

“I needed to be in danger.”

“We’re not in danger Tom.” an awful bellowing sound echoed across the moors, it came from every compass point,

“Still no telepathy.” paled Tom,

“Are you saying we’re in danger.”

“Eh hello did you hear that?”

“Yes I did.” Tommy and Ben came over.

“Sarah what was that?” asked Ben,

“I don’t know Ben, but if it’s looking for trouble it’ll find it in us. Don’t be scared, you can become a much bigger animal I’ll bet.” Ben dropped clothes and turned into a large purple gorilla like creature, he bellowed across the moors as well then returned to human form grinning, Sarah wasn’t, “What I was going to say was this, it’s probably not a good idea to anger what’s out there, also we can’t let on that we will have the advantage if it comes to a fight.”

“Are you still thirty per cent alien Tom?” asked Tommy,

“I don’t know.” said Tom, in reply Tommy pulled a thick calculator from his back pack and pointed it at Tom, it wasn’t a calculator.

“Hello Tom,” said  D.A.T.R, “Awfully sorry but I couldn’t stay at home what with all the fun about to happen.”

“Can you just scan him please?” asked Tommy, D.A.T.R did so,

“Tom is thirty per cent alien.”

“I’ve been there before,” nodded Tom, “Say. Does D.A.T.R come with you on all your trips?”

“He’s part of the team,” said Sarah, “When we need to fly a ‘new addition’ home he hacks into all the computers of all the planes in the surrounding skies and diverts them, we still run a secret operation you know.”

“Why isn’t your Father here?”

“He says we’re the next generation and need to get to know this job.”

“What! This is work experience for you?”

“The school have okayed it, we won’t be doing this forever.”

“Knowing your Father I’d be careful what you say or do Sarah.” Tommy and Ben returned to the tent, the sun was almost gone. 

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