"Putty. Putty. Putty.
Green putty. Grutty peen.
Grarmpitutty - Morning!
Pridsummer - Grorning putty!
Not even a particularly
Nice shade of green."
"Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I found
in my Armpit One Midsummer Morning"
by Poet Master Grunthos the Flatulent (from the Azgoths of Kria)
CRONOS' ALTOGETHER RATHER ZARJAZ EXPERIENCES IN WONDERLAND
by Richard Karsmakers
VI - FROG AND GARLIC
As soon as he had gotten used to his diminished size, he took in
his surroundings - that's the kind of thing a mercenary is
trained to do. He kept an eye on the house for a while until he
reckoned it safe to go in for some more detailed exploration.
He had just come out of his hiding when he saw a small DHL car
coming up the driveway. He had seen many weird things while he
was underground, but this thing beat everything: The car had two
eyes popping up from the bonnet much in the way a frog's would.
There was no front bumper on it either - instead it had a huge,
grinning mouth. It looked like one of those small child's toys,
Cronos was even more amazed to see the car rise on its hind
wheels and knock the door with a front tyre, sounding like a
soft, rubbery 'thud'. It whistled a postman Pat tune in an almost
absurdly casual way.
A mole opened the door. The animal was covered, like most of its
kind, in a thick black fur that was most fit for crawling
underground. Unlike most of its kind, however, it wore dark
glasses and a sports jacked, put on back-to-front, with a Kriss
Kross logo patched on its back (which was in the front). Behind
both its ears it wore hearing aids that looked every bit as
impressive as the car audio systems that cheap people living in
cheap neighbourhoods have built in their second-hand Opel Mantas
to impress their cheap neighbours. It bobbed its head left and
right like Stevie Wonder (or, for that matter, like Ray Charles).
The fact that the mole was handicapped at two of its most
important senses, by the way, suffices to prove that only this
way one can fully appreciate Kriss or Kross or, indeed, both of
the silly brats.
"I AM ADRIAN, THE BUTLER!" the mole yelled at the DHL vehicle,
"CAN I BE OF SERVICE TO YOU!"
The car heaved a sigh, which almost perfectly succeeded in
conveying the meaning of the sentence "Oh no, not that stupid
The mole, of course, was blissfully unaware of this.
"I have a message for the Mayor," the car said, the sound of a
barrel full of pistons rolling down a mountain into a car
mechanic's workshop, "An invitation of the King of Spades to play
"THANK YOU, SIR!" the butler said.
The car went inside. The butler closed the door, quite
forgetting to walk back in itself.
Cronos decided it was time to do something. Anything. He walked
up to the front door and knocked on it a couple of times.
"THAT'S USELESS, SIR!" the butler said.
Warchild looked at the insectivore for a couple of moments.
Deciding against starting anything resembling a conversation, he
tried to mimic "Why?" with his facial expression.
Remarkably, he succeeded.
Even more remarkably, the blind mole sensed it.
"WE ARE BOTH ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE DOOR!" the mole explained,
"SO I CAN'T LET YOU IN AS SUCH. AND INSIDE THEY CAN'T HEAR YOU
Warchild put aside the implications of what the butler said for,
indeed, quite a racket seemed to be going on inside, though he
couldn't make out what it was all about. He was just going to
connect his ear to the door when it flew open and a garlic
squeezer missed him by a mere fraction of inches. It flew off
into the bushes.
It was followed by an insulted red DHL car which brushed some
dust off its wings and disappeared down the road, bonnet in the
air, muttering angrily about idiots and nuts.
The mole walked in and melted into what it probably considered
to be one of the more comfortable shadows that seemed to leap and
lurch in the house.
Cronos decided to walk in, too. He stumbled upon a wholly odd
He had entered a kitchen that scented thoroughly of gas - or at
least, reckoned Cronos, of something that smelled like gas. He
found the Mayor sitting on a stool in the middle of it, trying to
soothe to sleep a baby that was lying in his lap. A cook wearing
a flat black cap with a ridiculously erect thingy on top of it
and holding under his arm a lengthily shaped loaf of broad cursed
to himself as he appeared to have added too much red wine to the
soup he appeared to be brewing. He kept on adding garlic to it,
too, which was probably the main reason behind the intense smell
that pervaded every cubic inch of air and behind the baby
refusing to be soothed.
"It's OK, Maggie," the Mayor said, eyes watering, "it's OK.
It'll be alright in a minute. Just let Francois here finish the
soup. It won't be a minute."
For a moment the baby seemed to contemplate the truth of this
statement. As a new wave of garlic smell wafted by and as it
seemed to realise it would not be a minute indeed, however, it
started refusing to be soothed with redoubled vigour.
When he tore his eyes off the ugly infant, Cronos also noticed
the Koala which sat rather inconspicuously behind the Mayor. It
smiled broadly - rather too broadly for a Koala, Warchild
thought. From ear to ear, as a matter of fact.
"Excuse me," Cronos asked the Mayor, unusually timidly for
someone of his persuasion, "but why does your Koala smile like
He wasn't at all interested at why the Koala smiled that way,
but somehow he felt it would be the appropriate thing to ask.
The Mayor looked up at the mercenary annex hired gun, seemed to
gauge him for half a second and then snorted.
"It's a Cheshire Koala," he said as if it was common knowledge.
After a while, during which Cronos had succeeded in not coming up
with any noticable reply, the Mayor added, "You don't know a
lot, do you?"
Warchild didn't like the tone of that remark, but he'd be the
last one to lose his temper over something involving his
intelligence. He'd read somewhere that smart people didn't react
to insults, so he'd be damned if he did.
He snorted in reply - or at least he produced a sound not
completely dissimilar to it.
All of a sudden the cook turned around agitatedly. He started
yelling in some sort of foreign language that sounded as if all
the accents were put on the wrong syllables. When the Mayor
ignored him and continued trying to put the baby to rest, the
cook started throwing things. First he threw cutlery, then some
pottery and eventually other things ranging from garlic pieces
and wine bottles to snail's houses and pictures of De Gaulle.
The Mayor nor the baby seemed to notice the things being hurled
at them, not even when they bounced off them. The baby simply
continued crying, so the Mayor eventually resorted to singing
sortof a lullaby.
"Shake and beat your little Maggie,
And fold her when she cries;
She's only a helpless baby,
But kick her 'till she's nice."
(Where the cook and the baby joined)
"Hey Hey Hey!"
The lullaby was having little effect. Showing the total
ineptness of men in the handling of babies, he started bobbing
the ugly creature up and down on his lap in what was hardly a
comforting fashion. The baby started hollering so loudly that
Cronos could barely hear the words of the second verse: -
"I shake and beat my little Maggie,
And I fold her when she cries;
For even though she's a baby,
I'll kick her 'till she's nice."
"Hey Hey Hey!"
Still the baby kept on crying and generally being any parent's
nightmare. It was clear that the Mayor had no intent to cope with
it any longer. He flung the ugly thing into Cronos' arms and got
"I must get ready to play golf with the King," he said as he
left the house without as much as bidding the others goodbye.
The baby made a distinctly queer sound.
Warchild had never been one to handle babies - not unless they
needed to be manhandled, that is. Ever since he had seen "Three
Men and a Baby" he was afraid of ever having to hold a toddler,
afraid of being urinated on, afraid of having other people
witness his shameful lack of talents in the changing of nappies
without getting excreta all over him.
Deep in thought on how he was to get himself out of this
situation, he wandered out of the Mayor's house into the forest.
He looked at the baby and was considerably relieved to see that
it seemed to have fallen asleep. Its mouth had gone wide as if
smiling, and its eyes seemed to bulge out a bit when they were
He sat down on a tree stump. Somewhere, deep within him,
paternal feelings were struggling to get out. The baby, ugly
though it had been before, did have nicely bulging eyes and a a
kind of friendly green complexion.
Its eyes opened and it said the first word Cronos had heard it
utter - not counting the hollering, crying and yelling.
"Oo-Wrribbit," it said with a voice that sounded like warts,
sticky wet skin and deep ponds filled with mud and tadpoles.
To his considerable flummoxedness, Warchild found himself
holding a human-baby-sized frog. It looked quite absurd, with its
powerful hind legs extending from Cronos' grasp and its
absolutely amphibian grin.
He put it on the ground, first checking to see if no-one had
witnessed him walking around rather sillily with a large frog of
sorts. The animal leapt off comfortably, nonchalantly snatching
an innocent fly from the air in mid-leap.
"Oh shit no," the fly said as it stuck to the tongue, just prior
to being swallowed whole and consequently digested, "Not again."
Shortly afterwards, at the start of its following - short -
life, it appeared as a bowl of petunias at a totally different
place and an altitude of roughly 300 feet.
In the mean time the green jumping wet thing, totally unaware of
the petunia's pending death or most of the other things that were
going on in the multiverse enveloping its wart-ridden form,
disappeared in the shrubbery.
Cronos, for his part, did not even notice the disappearance of
the amphibian. Instead, most of his attention was absorbed by a
Koala that sortof drifted in front of a tree branch above him. It
was grinning inanely - the kind of grin Warchild would otherwise
rather have hit off the face if it hadn't been for the fact that
the Koala looked cutely cuddly and, indeed, cuddlily cute.
He hoped the Koala knew the way around here. He had seen it
before, so he guessed it must be a native to this world
"Where should I go?" he asked.
"Where do you want to go?" the Koala replied phylosophically.
Cronos thought for a while. Peculiarly, it didn't hurt.
"Not any place in particular," he concluded.
"Then," the Koala stated with a sense of importance not unlike
that of a judge sentencing someone to death, "you should walk
into no direction in particular."
"But..." Cronos said, but his train of thought had already
derailed by the third dot. He decided upon another approach.
"What kind of creatures live where?" he inquired.
"Now that is a proper question," the Koala said, smiling from
ear to ear to the point where Cronos thought the mouth might
connect on the back and the top half of the fluffy head might
flop off, "To the east (it pointed to the left) you will find the
house of Mr. Cranium. To the west (it pointed to the right) you
will find Arthur and Martha's place."
Cronos nodded the way game show hosts nodd when listening to a
candidate's life history for the hundredth time.
"They're all quite insane, you know," the Koala added as an
Warchild looked at it blankly.
"No," the Koala said, "no, you probably wouldn't."
The Koala considered it an opportune moment to start
disappearing. At first its fluffy tail faded away, followed by
its paws and body. In the end there was only the head, some
seconds later only the asinine smile.
"That's funny," Cronos thought to himself, "Hmmm...I've seen a
Koala without a grin but never have I seen a grin without a
By the end of this thought the Koala had disappeared altogether,
having been replaced by the proverbial thin air in or behind
which it seemed to have vanished.
The mercenary annex hired gun decided to go to Cranium's house.
It sounded somehow like the most logical thing to do, even though
even Cronos felt logic had nothing to do with it. He walked to
the east until he saw a house - at least he instinctively knew it
should be a house though it actually looked only like an enormous
top side of a terrifyingly vast skull. Two ear-shaped forms were
attached to its sides. Some large birds had opted to build nests
in them. Of the two huge half eye-sockets Mr. Cranium seemed to
have made a door and a window.
The house was out of match with Cronos' size. He therefore
decided he should eat some of the right side of the mushroom he
found he still had in his pockets.
His surroundings shrunk somewhat.
He wondered what kind of person would go and live in such an
absurdly silly place. You'd have to be as mad as a hatter!
VII - A TIMELESS PARTY
He probed the front door, which swung open invitingly into a
room in which he saw a long table on which sat three - or were it
four? - people.
Most prominent of all sat a person whom he guessed was Mr.
Cranium, excentric and slightly mad. He had a large bald head
with tufts of hair behind and above the ears, an impressive
attempt at a failed moustache, and half-glasses resting on a
pompous nose that looked as if it had just been harvested from a
beet plant and glued to his face ineptly.
To the left of the excentric gentleman sat a siamese twin. One
of them wore a T-shirt with the name "Arthur" written on it, the
other wore one with "Martha" on it.
Now Cronos also noticed something sitting between the siamese
twin and Mr. Cranium. It was a huddled form of a human, long-
haired dude with John Lennon glasses sitting partly behind an
almost absurdly huge mug of beer.
"War? Knuckles Busted? Stuhl gebaut? No Rob!" the human form
muttered in what seemed like sleep. He belched, wagged his head,
then farted. After that he - or it - seemed to drop in a more
intense sort of sleep from which no further miscellaneous sounds
Warchild cast a glance at the clock. It was noon.
The creatures present, with the exception of the nodding
humanoid thing, looked at Cronos in fright when he barged into
the house and helped himself to a chair. Obviously they
considered it a very uncivil act of him just to walk in and sit
down and the same table where they were enjoying a nice beer.
They succeeded in showing undisguised disgust and contempt at
this infringement of what must be one of their prime rules of
"Would you..." Arthur said, "...like a cup of tea?" Martha
Warchild nodded. Surely there could be no harm in them offering
him something as innocent as a cup of hot water with herbal
Arthur nor Martha made a move, however. They seemed to be
waiting for Cronos' coin to fall. It took a while. Then, as if
reluctant to obey Newton, a coin fell with an inaudible 'clank'.
"But there is no tea," the mercenary annex hired gun finally
said, "And you must know it is highly impolite to offer me
something that you don't have. Not to mention that it might be
lethal." He added the latter bit with a hint of threat in his
Now Mr. Cranium spoke for the first time.
"It was highly impolite of you," Richard retorted, "just to
enter my place and sit down at this table."
Wisely, Warchild decided not to react. Instead he glanced at the
clock. It was noon exactly.
Arthur and Martha seemed to have forgotten all about Cronos
already. They were lifting large mugs of ale to their lips and
drinking. The humanoid with the long black hair and the small
round glasses continued having a nap attack. It snored quite
ghastly, as if sleeping the sleep of the Dead. Only Mr. Cranium
kept on looking at Warchild unperturbably - or perhaps at a spot
just behind Cronos' skull.
It unsettled Cronos somewhat. He was not used to feeling
unsettled, and generally took care of feeling very settled indeed
by obliterating any thing or person that might have the slightest
of unsettling effects on him. Last time this had happened was
when quite an innocent motorist had folded his Chevrolet sedan
around Warchild's left leg when he had crossed the road rather
suddenly. Though putting Warchild's mind at ease, it had had a
profoundly unsettling effect on the motorist's next of kin, the
stomachs of the two dozen people that stood watching and the
social worker of the sewage maintenance man who just happened to
be at work in the manhole down which miscellaneous
unidentifiable but definitely gory bits had dropped.
Just in time to prevent the rather notorious acts Warchild would
have deemed necessary to settle himself, Mr. Cranium said, "Do
have a beer."
It did not so much sound like an invitation as a command.
Warchild reached out and got hold of a mug of formidable
dimensions. In it was a foamy liquid that smelled slightly of
urine topped by the stuff that comes off rancid milk when you
Cronos sighed a deep sigh of relief. Even though he wouldn't
recognise a good red wine if he would drown in it, there was no
way he would not recognize a mug of Dessip if he saw one. This
was real men's stuff.
He put the mug to his lips and started drinking. When, after two
minutes of swallowing without bothering to breathe in between, he
had downed the entire mug he had just time enough to burp the
Mother of all Burps before passing out at noon exactly.
It is said that being sober is not the opposite of being drunk,
much in the way that silence is not the opposite of noise but
just the absence of it. The opposite of silence, of course, is
anti-silence, the kind of silence that can shred bones, grind
minds and generally cause vastly more intense insanity than the
worst imaginable LSD trip, the kind of silence you get when you
go beyond silence and come out the other side where sound un-
The opposite of sober, much in the same way, is anti-sober
(which is sometimes referred to as Dessip in popular speech,
hence the beer's brand name). It does not leave you flat-out
drunk and tottering across the road, it does not cause spasms or
retching, nor any pains in any regions of the body. People who
suffer from anti-soberness suddenly see what the world is really
like - the Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth - and
would by now have changed the world to a far better place if it
hadn't been for the fact that anti-soberness usually lasts for a
very short time, immediately after which the stage of
brainmurdering drunkenness sets in (including the effects hinted
at above, as well as some surpassingly more nauseating ones).
If a Cyrius Cybernetics BrainSlator™ would have been connected
to Warchild's skull, the following short and very intense
conversation with himself could have been recorded:
"So this is what the world is really like? Hm. Does not look
like a fun place at all. What are those weird things? Maybe if
I'd change a few things it would be a happy place for all
sentient beings in the entire univ..."
HEAVY MENTAL 'THUD' (signalling the end of the Dessipid phase).
"Oh my. Where's the loo?"
After that, even the sophisticated microcircuitry in the
BrainsLator™ would have had difficulty noticing any brain
activity other than that associated with the sudden reverse
movement of the entire digestive system, followed by a deep
sleep, some more reverse digestive activities, a lot more of deep
sleep and, finally, thoughts about a lamp that protruded from a
high, domed ceiling.
The lamp seemed to gaze at him intently. It seemed determined to
continued staring at him, as if it was playing a game of "Who
looks away first". The lamp seemed keen on winning. Insofar as
lamps could have any expression, it looked smug.
In the end the lamp won.
From his horizontal position on the ground, Cronos looked around
carefully and found himself back in the large hall with the many
doors, the lamps hanging from the ceiling and the glass table
with the golden key on it.
He shook his head once he recognized the place he was in. He had
no idea how it had happened, but he surely wasn't going to try
and find out - the mere thought didn't even start to cross his
He sat upright, an intense pain jabbing at his head for a few
throbbing heartbeats. When it had ebbed away he ventured standing
up. Apart from a few more painful jabs, which he was trained to
suppress, everything seemed to work out fine.
Now what had gone wrong last time? He had taken the key when the
surroundings were small and when they were big the key was back
on the table. Hm. He felt in his pockets, relieved to find some
of the mushroom still left in it - of the side that would make
the surroundings grow. It was the last bit. He hoped he wouldn't
be needing any more of it.
He took the key, walked to the small door, opened it with the
small key, ate something of the mushroom, shrank to a height of
about half a yard and walked out onto the splendidness of King
VIII - KING SPADES' GREEN
It was the kind of green that golf game designers would love to
buy the license to. Roughs were located at nasty spots in the
hilly landscape that looked almost artificial in its neatness. A
couple of trees seemed to be meticulously placed here and there.
Beautiful rosebushes were placed at places where they seemed to
fit most perfectly. In the distance Cronos saw a flag or two,
beckoning in the soft breeze.
These were the kind of surroundings where he would gladly spend
the rest of his life killing people - even though there didn't
seem to be any phones around.
His arrival at King Spades' Green seemed not to have gone by
unnoticed. From behind a rosebush he though he saw someone signal
urgently. He walked to the bush, noticing that all its roses were
red except for a white one. He considered it odd, but heeded it
"Psst!" the voice hissed, as urgently as its owner had
previously beckoned, "Go away! If the King sees you on his Green
he'll chop off your gonads!"
Cronos now saw the thing that was talking to him - for it was a
thing indeed - was a miniature model of the Chinese Wall with
arms and legs. This was very odd, but not half as odd as the fact
that it spoke in what Cronos failed to recognize as a Yorkshire
"Go away!" it repeated, still quite urgent, "I am very serious.
Take a hike! Go and steal bicycles! Beat it! Go away unless you
want to end up like so many others! Piss o..."
The miniature Chinese Wall swallowed its words as it was
interrupted by the sound of footsteps coming closer behind it.
Before either the Chinese Wall or Cronos knew it, they were
surrounded by four totally different dogs, four totally different
cars and three miniature Wonders of the World (indeed, and all
boasting legs and arms). In front of them stood a playing card -
the King of Spades, flanked by a Weasel dressed in a mink coat.
The King was muttering something quite angrily about a bowl of
petunias, rubbing a bump on one of its edges. The Weasel seemed
just to be agreeing.
"Ha!" the King suddenly exclaimed, his voice triumphant,
"Finally I have the Chinese Wall! As I already have the Pyramids
of Gizeh, the Colossos of Rhodos and the Hanging Gardens of
Babylon, that means I'll surely beat the others at Quartette!"
"Gruesomely so, Your Highness," the Weasel agreed.
The King surveyed the dogs, the cars and the Wonders of the
World with a satisfied grin.
Nobody really knew what to say to that, or dared to. Even though
he would probably have dared, Cronos didn't quite know what to
"What is that doing on my green?" the King suddenly inquired
when he noticed Warchild standing around, stabbing a finger at
the mercenary annex hired gun, "Surely that is not one of the
objects to be collected?"
Unanimously, the other collectables shook their heads. Nope -
there was definitely no category to fit a dim-witted human.
"Well then," the King cried, "What are you waiting for? Chop off
"Diabolically so, Your Supremeness!" the Weasel chimed in
enthusiastically, its tiny teeth flashing for a moment.
Warchild felt an all-too-familiar sensation creep down his
stomach and into his loins. Visions of upset females flashed
before his eyes for a second.
A broad-shouldered Gorilla, Warchild's more primitive alter ego
so it seemed, appeared from behind a bush as if it had been
hidden there all along. It licked its lower lip as if it was
craving for a banana, and in its hands it held a knife that
looked very sharp indeed.
The King turned around, probably having other pressing matters
on his mind.
"Come on, Cat," he commanded.
"Disgustingly so, Your Ampleness," the Weasel assented,
following the King. The dogs, cars and miniature Wonders of the
World followed, too. The Chinese Wall managed to cast a fleeting
glance of symphathy at Warchild.
The Gorilla grinned. The knife flashed. A killer gadget was
fumbled with, useless without a phone at hand. An upper lip was
At around that instant, it became no longer apparent what
happened. A cartoonesque cloud of sand evolved around the human
and the primate, grass flinging off in several directions. The
occasional sounds along the lines of "BASH", "WHACK" and, indeed,
"THUD", were hurled at who cared to stand by and watch.
The sounds were enough to have the King decide that the pressing
matters, whatever they were, might have to wait.
"I put five on the human," the Hanging Gardens of Babylon cried.
"Ten on the gorilla," the DHL car yelled.
"Which one?" a Great Dane asked.
"No bets!" the King shouted.
"Horribly so, Your Elatedness!" Cat the Weasel concorded.
"I disagree!" a Pitbull grunted.
"One more remark like that," the King whispered between his
teeth, "and I'll have your gonads chopped off as well!"
"Detestingly so, Your Splendidness!" Cat joined in.
Few moments later the dust settled upon the unconscious form of
the Gorilla. Its fur was wrinkled, it had a black eye and its
nose seemed broken with a tiny stream of blood pouring out of one
It was dead, too.
Cronos brushed off some grass and sand, then snorted derisively.
"It seems," the King said, a hint of reverence in his royal
voice, "That perhaps your privates don't need to be chopped off
"Resentfully so, Your Supremeness," the Weasel added, slightly
"Perhaps I should invite you to a game of golf," the King
concluded after a second or two of thought. He shushed away the
Quartette collectables. Some Pink Flamingoes appeared from behind
bushes where they seemed to have been all along, as well as a
couple of Hedgehogs that had probably been hogging behind a hedge
all that time.
The Weasel didn't say anything. It just looked at Warchild, then
at the gorilla. A shiver ran down its weasly spine.
"You know what it's like with our kind," the King added
jocularly, patting Cronos on the back as if they had been pub
pals for years, "We call a spade a spade. Takes some getting used
to, but most manage. Eventually."
One of the Pink Flamingoes was inserted in Warchild's hands,
head down. One of the Hedgehogs slowly coiled itself at Cronos'
"Am I supposed to hit the Hedgehog with the Flamingo?" Cronos
asked nobody in particular.
"Yes," his Flamingo muttered in an irritated tone, "you're
supposed to. Don't worry. I'm used to it. I suppose the Hedgehogs
Warchild swung the Flamingo's head in a totally incompetent way.
Miraculously he succeeded in letting the Hedgehog fly off in the
distance, where it eventually landed on the ground, dizzy, after
having collided with a tree which it would have preferred being
somewhat less sturdy.
Cronos walked to the place where the Hedgehog lay with an
unnaturally pale complexion. Suddenly the White Kangaroo was
walking next to him, carrying on its shoulder another Flamingo.
"Where's the Mayor?" Warchild asked.
"Be silent," the marsupial whispered, "He's sentenced to have his
you-know-whats chopped off."
"Hm," Cronos hummed.
"Don't you think," the Kangaroo said, desperate to change the
subject, "that playing golf is difficult?"
To be honest, it has to be told that Cronos even found it
difficult to play croquet - let alone play golf with a live
Flamingo that constantly tried to bend its neck so as to avoid
actually hitting the live Hedgehogs, which also found it
necessary to walk off constantly.
He nodded to the Kangaroo, that had in the mean time already
walked off to another hole altogether.
At that instant the Cheshire Koala appeared again, bobbing
gently above Cronos, who looked at it with rather bewildered
As soon as it had enough of a mouth to speak with, it inquired
as to how things were going.
"Well, actually things are sortof strange down here," Cronos
said, "but I'm starting to get used to it. Or at least I think I
am, so I might not actually."
The King saw the mercenary annex hired gun talking to the
floating Koala. He came closer, intent to find out everything
about any odd things that were happening on his green. The Weasel
tailed behind, muttering an agreement.
"What are you talking to?" the King asked.
"I think it's a something Koala," Cronos replied, quickly adding
"but it isn't mine," in fear of having some vitals chopped off by
a hypothetic animal more formidable than the Gorilla.
"I don't like the wretched creature," the King said, turning up
his nose and extending his hand, "but it may kiss my hand."
The Cheshire Koala made a strange sound, then said, "I'd rather
not, if you don't mind."
The King's healthy black'n'white complexion turned red slowly,
then passed beyond that and eventually became an angry sort of
"I want its gonads chopped off this instant! The impertinent
sod!" the King cried, more agitated then Cronos had ever seen him
"It's a Koala, Your Solubleness," whispered Cat.
Warchild decided it might be wise to go off and attempt to hit
some more Hedgehogs.
The Flamingo, which had intently followed the proceedings that
were going on around the King and the Koala, was entirely unaware
of what hit it (or, rather, what it hit) until it was abused into
moving an innocent Hedgehog some three hundred yards away.
"Good," thought Cronos to himself, rather satisfied, smiling
smugly at himself. He trundled off towards the part of the green
where the spikey creature seemed to have hit the ground. The
Flamingo, all but unconscious, hung across Warchild's broad
The Hedgehog lay in a state of stupor. Obviously it could no
longer rely on either the ability of the Flamingo to bend its
neck away in time nor its own ability to trudge off when noone
was looking. Cronos' utter ineptitude at playing golf had
obviously been too much for either of the creatures to take into
Warchild had folded the Pink Flamingo (which moaned a muffled
moan in some sort of protest) into shape and was just about to
swing it with his usual lack of talent when the sounds of
consternation reached the inner part of his highly trained
He lowered the Flamingo (which sighed the deepest sigh of relief
it had ever found necessary to sigh) and walked back to where
some things seemed to be going on that involved the Cheshire
All of the major parties involved in the conflict started
speaking to Warchild at once. His brain overflowed, his eyes
crossed, his lower jaw fell open rather sillily and a slab of
wet meat fell out. Eventually they all shut up, allowing Cronos
to get his system going again.
The executioner, a Chimpanzee who was obviously intended as (but
quite failed to be) a spare Gorilla, said you could not chop off
any gonads if there was no body to chop them off from.
The King just said that if something wouldn't be done about this
pronto, everybody's gonads will have to go. Suddenly everybody
started looking very grave.
Having not been trained to be a judge or jury, indeed, only
having been trained in disciplines fairly closely connected with
his profession of mercenary annex hired gun, it was remarkable
with which advise Cronos succeeded in coming up.
"Well," he said, gravely so as to fit the mood, "it's the
Mayor's Koala so you could consult with him."
After it saw the King cast a short but intensely meaningful
glance at its scrotch the executioner ran off immediately, making
the kind of assorted noises that monkeys make when their trees
are being burned down.
When after a while it came back with Mayor, the Cheshire Koala
had vanished entirely.
Some of the creatures present start to look for it nervously.
The others got back to the game.
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.