‘Pamela Wettypants Wetherall, I assume?’ said I following the direction in which Kai pointed. She stood alongside a walnut stained podium on a stage that ran the left wall of The War Room. This overlooked a large, square table upon which an elaborate timeline displaying dates and places along with two cardboard cut out figures on wooden bases slid around by a young woman wielding a paddle and attired in a dark, blue uniform that contrasted sharply with her bright red lipstick. To complete the look, her hairstyle was distinctly Battle of Britainesque, neatly waved and not something that was an affront to taste and waiting to be shot down.
‘Be prepared for much sexual innuendo, mate,’ Diamonde said under his breath. ‘It’s not her fault. Before the holograms, Professor Delphi unsuccessfully experimented with sending people back in time to act as historical figures. It’s rumoured she was to be used on Henry the Eighth as there were fears he would be forever faithful to his first wife. She was to be sent back as Mata Hari and had extensive hypnosis to prepare her for the role. But when the Prof in New York seen her picture, unlike Henry upon clocking that of Anne of Cleeves, he aborted the idea saying that he feared not only would the King remain faithful, he would likely become celebate too! But, she couldn’t shake off the hypnosis.’ To illustrate this he pointed to a small pile of a popular British tabloid dumped in a corner near us and then at Wetherall as she took a further deep drag on her cigarette ‘Just like Hari, the sexy, wartime spy, with her it’s all smoke and Mirrors.’
As soon as we commenced moving in her direction her eyes, assisted by thick, square lenses, locked onto us like a squadron leader who had command of the skies.
‘This is Tobias Holicroft,’ Kai announced as we approached. It barely registered that The War Room seemed to be the only place in the building worthy of a carpet.
‘Oh, the guy with the strange phenomenon,’ Wetherall replied in a surprisingly cultured accent at odds with her relatively unkempt appearance. ‘Here’s hoping you can get it up, that in itself will be a strange phenomenon compared to the wimps that laughingly masquerade as men in this place.’ I smiled nervously unsure how to react, but was immediately absorbed by her eyes, or rather which eye I should focus upon for like a pair of incompatible twins they appeared act independently of each other. Suddenly, Wetherall poked her finger into her right ear, initially I thought it was to dislodge wax, but instead it became evident she had received news via an earpiece. ‘Knock Two Ton Tony Galento down,’ she instructed of the paddle wielder, ‘he’s pissing failed.’ The girl with the bright red lips complied, then dragged the stricken model of the unlikely fighter, off the table leaving Sir Isaac Newton’s model standing alone, victorious. Another defeat for the pugilist who once challenged Joe Louis in what laughingly became known as the champion’s ‘Bum of the Month’ campaign when he defended the title frequently in the nineteen-forties.
‘Bad news for gravity,’ Kai observed.
‘What made General Colman P. Willmington the Turd think that launching a bleeding pig of a fighter, shaped like a pigging barrel, with no pigging brains who when asked what he thought of Shakespeare reply that he’d moider da bum, would successfully talk one of history’s greatest brains around to inventing gravity?’ Pamela replied shaking her head incredulously.
‘Probably because he was an expert on hitting the canvas so much,’ Diamonde pithily responded.
IN PART 11: THE STRANGE PHENOMENON UNDER THE MICROSCOPE