(New) Savage beasts have nothing on him! Edgar Rice Burrough's Beasts of Tarzan Audiobook, Chapter 17
An Interview with Lord Graystone, the Jungle Lord
I felt it was time to move my interviews to another level and so I endeavored to meet with one of the more reclusive members of the Baker Street Universe friends and champions, the esteemed and honorable Lord Graystone. When he is not engaged in the sometimes occult, or paranormal adventures the Baker Street members seem to be involved with more and more, then he is sojourning deep into the land of Fairie, where he has a kingdom all to himself that he rules over, and also where he relaxes, finding that place of savage harmony, more peaceful than the industry of man and the often times complex and powerful strivings for power that go on there.
So I felt especially lucky when I got off my usual teaching tenure for summer to travel to Paris, of all places, to meet with him. I understand now, but not at the time, that he was brought there, along with his wonderful companion, Lady Shareen, by the very good friends of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells.
I managed to snag an apartment near the Eiffel Tower, though it cost me most of my travel expenses, leaving little for me to travel elsewhere. But it was worth it. Who wouldn't give up most of their money to spend time with the heroes of their world, although in this case it was the hero of my own created world...The BakerStreet Universe?
As you all know by now, who have been following these interviews, the Baker Street Universe is a literary creation I came up with to encompass all the written heroes from time immemorial. A place where they and their authors could live together and strive together to create a more perfect world than our own.
Unfortunately, what I did not foresee, was that I was in fact also creating a world where the worst of the author's creations also existed, and hence the obvious and powerful need for a team of heroes to protect the Baker Street Universe.
I had agreed, through an intermediary, John Watson, who had been visiting my home in Vegas en-route to Israel, where a new medical technique he had heard of was being unveiled, and which he hoped to duplicate in his own world.
He was kind enough to arrange this meeting, being very good friends with Lord Graystone and Lady Shareen. I have also taken the liberty of posting with this series of interviews the cover from one of the stories I've written about the Jungle Lord, for those of you who might have missed both the cover and the story.
Continued at The Baker Street Universe, where you can read the complete Part One of the Interview with the Jungle Lord.
"A Levels Story"
By John Pirillo
Moose. "Anyone like an Oreo?"
So begins the continuation of our story about four nerdy heroes from the TransDimensional Academy of Physics. Last we heard from them they had been sabotaged as they reconstructed an ancient buried pyramid that had ET technology built into it by terrorist group intent on keeping them from discovering its secrets.
The pyramid launched into TransDimensional space and the four boys barely made it into their cocoons to weather the sudden launch. When the launch ended, the boys were still recovering from the trauma of the flight and the sudden change of vibrations they were experiencing and only one of them had enough sense to be practical at that moment. Or at least as practical as anyone can be who is pretty much a one pointed eating machine.
"Anyone like an Oreo?" Moose asked again in the darkness.
He had secreted a package into his cocoon for emergencies such as this, although maybe not quite so extreme as this one appeared to be.
He pressed his way out of the cocoon that enclosed him and set his feet on the stone slab flooring. "Guys?"
Just a low, deep thrumming sound from beneath the stone. The engines.
"Oh I am so low." Dexter moaned, his high pitched voice illuminating the darkness at that moment.
"You're nuts, man."
"Only three left."
Moose handed one to his left and a hand grabbed it.
"Thanks." Greg said, stuffing his mouth.
"Hey!" Dexter shrieked.
Dexter scrambled from his cocoon, banging his head on its lid as he emerged. He flicked on a pocket mag light, saw the cookies and reached for one.
Knobs, dove from the left and took one.
"Guys! I'm a starving man, off a long voyage out to space."
Knobs stuffed his mouth. "Mummph. Makes four of us."
Dexter sighed as Moose hefted the last one, eyeing it hungrily.
"Oh, I'm going to hate myself in the morning." He looked around. "If there's morning wherever we are."
He launched the cookie to Dexter, who caught it and shoved it into his mouth. "Tanks, you're a million, bro!"
"Levels won't get you anything, dude." Moose muttered, looking unhappily at his empty Oreos bag.
"So where are we then?" Dexter asked, climbing out of his cocoon and stomping towards the viewport, which was black at that moment. He slammed a palm down on a glowing red panel and the viewport lit up.
"Oh my God!" Moose cried out, rushing forward to see well.
Greg and Knobs stumbled behind him, putting their arms around Dexter and Moose to see better, and stabilize their wobbly legs.
"Looks like some kind of big dipper." Moose said.
Outside the pyramid was this gigantic dipper shaped object with a lake sized liquid of some kind filling its base. The water had a slightly amethyst cast to it. The skies above were a gentle turquoise.
"Three suns!" Greg said in awe.
"No." Moose said. "Four."
They squeezed closer. Four suns there were. All four in different parts of the sky, all of different sizes.
"It must be hot outside." Greg, ever the practical one said.
"Well, it's ain't going to get cooler in here, if we don't repair those engines. We're lucky the Atlanteans built them so well, or we'd all be a rosebud in someone's eye right now."
"You mean in that stupid trader's eye. How could he?" Knods moaned. "Just because we forgot some cash."
"Hey!" Moose snorted. "I didn't forget it all. I paid him all our loan money."
Greg spun around and grabbed Moose by his shirt collar. "You big monkey, do you realize what you've done?"
"No. Should I?"
Greg let loose and walked away. "I'm surrounded by idiots."
"Then if we're idiots, what does that make you for flying with us?" Moose pointed out with a nasty grin on his face.
"A bigger idiot."
He burst into laughter and the others rushed forward and began pounding his back and each other's.
"We did it!" Moose snorted.
Dexter. "The stars are ours!"
"Space the final frontier!" Greg mimicked William Shatner.
"I wonder if we can franchise this place?" Knods asked himself.
"What a great idea?" Moose said. "Come buy your Milky Way cones and fries at the Big Dipper, the largest ice cream factory in the universe."
"Aren't you forgetting something?" Dexter asked in an annoyed voice.
Greg and Dexter both pointed to the base of the pyramid.
Moose leaned forward to look. "Oh." Was his only word.
Below at the base were these creatures that looked like something out of a Sponge Bob movie with antenna, gills and fins.
"Think they're from the dipper, Moose?" Dexter asked.
"If they are, then there goes our franchise."
Moose smacked his lips. "I wonder if they would taste..."
Knods puts a hand over Moose's mouth."Don't go there."
Everyone claps a hand over his mouth. "Not there!" They exclaim.
Moose breaks free. "It's not like I'm going to eat them raw like Sushi."
"Oh, he did it!" Greg groans.
Outside, the creatures suddenly rush away and dive into the Big Dipper Lake.
"They read minds!" Moose exclaims.
"Yeah. Mister Eat Em All Up is finally getting some cogs moving in that clunker of a brain of his."
"Hey! No need to insult my gears. They're as good as anybody's here."
Dexter laughs. "Well, that settles it. We're all idiots."
Everyone breaks into laughter.
"Moose, check the engines, while we check for any other sabotage."
"Got it." Moose answered, licking the Oreo bag for any crumbs.
Everyone stares at him.
He glares at them. "It's better than nothing!"
Moose storms out.
Dexter and Greg exchange glances.
Knods. "If those whatever they are out there can read minds, then..."
"They also know we're stranded." Dexter answered for him.
"Can't be a good thing." Greg agreed.
"Is it ever?" Knods sighed.
"All right, everyone, to work. Our lives may depend on it."
Everyone scattered throughout the chambers of the pyramid, tracing the cables and links that ran the gigantic pyramid through Trans dimensional space.
"Got it!" Moose's voice of triumph echoed throughout the ship.
Everyone came running, one at a time, squeezing into the engine room.
Moose held up a caftan. It was smeared with a brown liquid.
"What do you call a squished Arab terrorist?"
"Moose, have some respect!" Dexter begged.
Moose looked at the caftan, and then shrugged. "It could have been one of us too."
They all immediately crossed themselves, and then burst into laughter.
"Nah!" They exclaimed.
Then the engines began to crank up on their own.
"Moose!" Dexter warned.
Moose holds up his sweaty palms. "I didn't do it."
"Well, if you didn't, then who..."
"Oh God!" Greg yelled, and then ran back the way he had just come.
The others followed as best they could, the tunnel being so small and squishy they sometimes had to crawl on their hands and knees.
"I wonder if Atlanteans were pygmies." Moose groans as he barely squeezes through an opening, then dashes after the rest.
They reach the control room, just as the cocoons begin to shut.
"Inside!" Dexter orders.
"We're all gonna die if we don't!"
"How do you know we're not going to anyway?"
Greg tossed a quarter. "Heads. We win. Get in there!"
They all dive into their cocoons. Not a second too soon as the bubbles close them in and the giant pyramid trembles violently and its engines kick in full force.
Outside, the natives from the Big Dipper, are approaching the ship as it launches.
They all cheer as it vanishes into TransDimensional space.
The taller of the creatures watching the pyramid vanish, turns to his companion on the right and quips "I wonder what they taste like?"
All the creatures gathered there burst into laughter. They had heard the thoughts of Moose.
The Gift of the Gods
"A Samuel Light Story"
By John Pirillo
Samuel tucked his stomach in, not that he was fat, but it was a tight squeeze. Jimbo was having an even tougher time. He actually had a bit of stomach fat. "You said this would be good exercise." He complained between grunts and screeches of pain as he followed Samuel.
Samuel eyed the distant end of the tunnel, which was actually getting closer, though no less easy to crawl to. "Just a bit more and we'll be there."
"You always say that."
"That's because it's always true."
"Doesn't help my poor body any."
"Stop complaining. If you didn't eat so much..."
"I'll eat whatever I want, thank you. I'll still behind you, aren't I?"
"If I'm a pork butt or not."
Bad mistake. He smashed his head into the rocks above him.
Jimbo's turn to laugh.
Jimbo laughed even harder.
Finally, Samuel reached the end of the tunnel and slipped out of the narrow tunnel or rock and dirt they had taken to get to their destination, and Jimbo followed him a few moments later, still laughing.
Samuel spun around. "How can you laugh and still get through that tunnel?"
Samuel put a finger up to his mouth.
Jimbo was about to speak anyway, but Samuel shook his head.
Jimbo then realized they weren't alone.
He turned slowly and essayed the walls. There were strange scrolls of images up and down them, depicting strange humans with heads shaped like turnips wearing ceremonial garb and other humans bowing at their feet. Just to his right stood some kind of silvery thing, shaped like a gigantic bell, except it had windows in it.
On his left stood rows of cylinders stacked to the ceiling of the room they stood within. The room was hoary with age. Spider webs hung everywhere, and motes of dust danced in the air, lit by recessed lighting that had no apparent electrical connection.
Jimbo bent next to one and touched it.
"Damn!" He screeched, jerking his finger back when an arc of blue energies smashed into it and burned its tip.
"Careful." Samuel warned in a whisper.
"Now you tell me." Jimbo growled, ready to smack Samuel over the head for the oversight.
Samuel again put a finger to his lips.
"What now? An alien werewolf?"
The huge bell shaped object began to shake, as if someone were inside of it, rocking it back and forth violently.
"Or maybe just an alien." Jimbo suggested.
Samuel ignored him and continued to survey the wall to his right, his finger tracing a line of lettering from the top to the floor, then continuing to the right, until he stopped at a juncture where a new set of symbols and scrolling text unfolded. He turned to Jimbo, who had grown antsy and quiet, since the huge bell shape continued to vibrate with some kind of motion from inside.
"Make it go away, Sammie." He pleaded.
Samuel shook his head, again touching his lip.
Jimbo sighed, but said no more. He was getting used to his friend's habits by now, but that didn't mean he agreed with everything the man did or said. He was a free thinker with a mind of his own. Born in Texas, raised in Texas. He had a big heart and a sharp mind. He didn't always understand all the weird boogey boo stuff Samuel did or saw, but he had seen enough by now to trust him in the down and dirty times.
Samuel suddenly shoved at Jimbo to drop.
He dropped. Hitting his stomach hard. He grunted. Samuel threw himself over his friend as the bell shaped object exploded, shooting out metal shrapnel and pieces of some kind of gooey substance that slapped into the walls and began to ooze down it, like thick globs of blood.
Samuel got off Jimbo and helped his friend to his feet.
"How did you know that was going to...?"
Samuel touched his forehead.
"Right. That old third eye biz again."
Jimbo turned around to hide a look of disgust. "Most people can't see with two, and you can see with one in the center of your head. What's this damned world coming to, anyway?"
"Armageddon." Samuel replied.
"Oh yeah, right. This hideous demon is going to rise up and stomp us all to hell!"
Samuel grinned. "No, but his henchmen might."
Jimbo turned on Samuel. "You're kidding, right?"
"Not about the henchmen."
"Who might they be, pray tell?"
"The ones who are in power and misusing it."
"Well, that pretty much shoves the whole bunch into the same picnic basket."
"And that's why Armageddon is coming."
"What! You said you were kidding!"
"Only about the demon devil part of it. If we can't stop these nuts from killing our air, water and food supply, then it won't matter if there are demons and devils, there won't be any of us left for them to haunt and torture anyway."
Jimbo shook his head.
"I don't buy into that end of the world scenario. Someone's going to come up with the solutions."
"And someone else is going to buy them out, force them into poverty and obscurity or..."
Jimbo blanched. "Murder them?"
"And that's why we're here now."
Jimbo turned to look at the smoking remains of the bell like object. "What was in that thing anyway?"
"Well, according to the Paiutes, this was deposited here back in prehistoric times by the Builders."
"An ancient race that flew from the stars to nurture mankind from its bestial ways."
"Yeah. That sure happened, didn't it?"
Samuel laughed. "You can't expect so many people to leapfrog through evolution like a bunch of mad mating bunnies!"
"And what does that look like?"
Samuel started to answer and Jimbo shut him up with a scowl. "What I mean is that they came all this way to save us, so we can blow ourselves up, or contaminate ourselves to death. What a waste of gas."
"They had to try. Just like we have to try."
Jimbo surveyed the damage in the chamber. "Well, the lights still work. So there might still be something useful in here."
"Don't care about the lights." Samuel said, heading for the back of the chamber where a great seal with scrolling arrows stretched over a crude symbol of the earth was drawn with semi-precious stones.
"What's it say?"
"Inside is the secret to happiness and the way to bring peace to our planet."
Jimbo frowned. "It better be. I've left a lot of my precious behind on that tunnel ceiling back there to get here."
"And probably more on the way back." Samuel agreed.
"So why should there be anything we want in there? Looks to me like whoever was guarding this place didn't do too good a job, judging from..." He nodded towards the fleshy remains on the various walls that continued to ooze towards the floor.
"It wasn't a guard. It was something else."
"What kind of something else?" Jimbo asked warily.
Samuel looked at him. "You don't want to know, but this..." He turned back to the symbol on the wall. "This, however..." Samuel pressed his hand against the symbol and the back wall of the chamber slid upwards with groaning sounds of effort.
Jimbo pressed forward to see what was being revealed, and then he began to laugh.
Inside the exposed new chamber was barrel after barrel of grain. Grain that hadn't aged since they had been deposited there.
Samuel looked at the grain, his face stone cold frozen.
Jimbo broke into laughter, turned around and headed back for the tunnel. As he did so, the lights in the chamber began to flicker. Their power failing at last.
Samuel took a few grains and stuck them into his jeans pocket, then followed after Jimbo. They sweat and cursed their way back to the end of the tunnel, finally emerging onto the plateau the tunnel had been dug into.
Jimbo sat down on a ledge overlooking the deep valley below. He smiled. "Least the view was worth it."
Samuel sat beside him, and then took out a grain.
The ground shook behind them and the tunnel was sealed up as tons of the plateau shifted and moved, almost knocking them off their perch into the valley below. Samuel lost his grip on the grain as he held onto the edge and it dropped onto the bare earth to his left.
When the shaking stopped, Jimbo gave Samuel a look that said it all. "That was one helluva ride, Sammie boy."
"We're alive. That's all that matters."
"Sam, look!" Jimbo said, pointing to Samuel's left.
Samuel twisted to look and as he did so, he saw the grain wriggling on the ground, and then it sprouted roots that dug into the hard rock of the plateau, shattering it and probing downwards. The top of the grain sprouted green arms and stretched towards the sky, trembling like a new born happy to breathe and laugh. It grew taller and taller, sprouting more and more arms, until it became so tall and thick that Samuel and Jimbo had to back away from the edge for fear of being knocked off by the now gigantic plant.
Just when they thought it would go on forever like Jack's beanstalk, it stopped, trembling for a moment, and then stilling.
"Look at that, won'tcha!" Jimbo suggested.
Each arm of the sprout had sprouted heads of corn. The entire growth was about fifty feet tall and carried hundreds of rows of corn, all open and ready to eat, their golden kernels shining in the rays of the setting sun.
Jimbo licked his lips. "I bet that would make a monster bag of popcorn."
"Or feed a small town." Samuel suggested.
They both looked back at the collapsed tunnel.
"Maybe those Indians were onto something after all." Jimbo suggested.
Samuel nodded, feeling the remaining grains in his jeans pocket. Did he dare reveal them to the world? Was the world ready for this and if it was, how would this new form of genetically modified corn be accepted Would it lead to the feeding of the poor and removing poverty, or just end up shoved back into a closet where no one could find it, locked away so that a selfish few could continue to dominate the world for its wealth?
He didn't know what would happen. He only knew what impress he now felt. He took the remaining grains and held them out over the valley below.
Jimbo looked at the outstretched hands, saw the grains. "Sammie, if you're thinking what I'm thinking."
Samuel smiled. He wasn't. He let the grains tumble from his hand.
(New) Savage beasts have nothing on him! Edgar Rice Burrough's Beasts of Tarzan Audiobook, Chapter 16