Mr Trivia's Sci-Fi Story Begins

The first exciting instalment of  Mr Trivia's science-fiction tale is here!!

The Insomniac’s Calendar – Part 1

It was late. God, it was 2010. There were things he could have done. Things he could be doing. But Rory Insteppe options had been reduced to one unpalatable choice. Get out of his flat before the Firecops arrived. He’d been warned five times already. A sixth time would mean jailtime for the popular weather blogger and alternative universe conspiracy theorist.

Rory wasn’t famous in the old sense. Not like Betty and Barney Hill the first recorded UFO abductees. Rory was a famous as anyone on public Internet who had their own show. His was called MULTIVERSE EXPOSED and featured tweets from friends, and the occasional hatebomb from games he’d formerly been addicted to.

For all of 2008 he’d been immersed in THE LAST BLOODY CAMPAIGN OF WAYNE THORPE’S BOGAN VAMPIRES. If he hadn’t been employed by Centrelink he would have lost his job. At the time Centrelink were locked in a power struggle with Anglican Social Services. Rory went in to work daily. Logged on. Played BogVamps for 7.5 hours and then went home and played for 13 more. It was during this time that he forgot what little French he’d learnt in high school.

But that was all 24 months and half a lifetime ago. Now, Rory was a bonafide nascent Perthonality. The term Perthonality meant a ‘personality’ in the city of Perth. It was a coveted title that allowed the bearer easy access to prescription drugs, illegal narcotics, free hot and spicy KFC wings, copies of Saturday’s West Australian – the alleged newspaper of record -   and sex with any financial member of the Peel Thunder.

Rory’s status as a Perthonality was so incipient, so tremblingly on the edge of realisation, that it taunted him as Delilah had taunted Samsung Electronics.  People loved the idea that there could be a multitude of Universes somewhere ‘out there’. It was a wild, bold, zany idea that only a scientist could even entertain and there were only a few left of that ancient cult. His viewership was in the healthy low thousands and they tuned in week in and week out to catch the latest piece of ‘evidence’.

Rory claimed that there was something particular about him that attracted objects from the other Universes. These things would be pulled into his reality without warning. Last Saturday for example, the show featured something that looked almost exactly like an electric clothes iron. Except it had a reservoir to store distilled water that was heated until it evaporated. The steam it produced was forced out of holes in the iron’s soleplate supposedly making it simpler and quicker to iron out wrinkles.

It seemed preposterous, but even the show’s greatest critics had to admit that the prop and production design department of MULTIVERSE EXPOSED was absolutely first rate. The iron looked like the sort of thing you could buy from Harvey Norman’s or Vox Adeon.

Which was pretty much how Rory had got into his present predicament. He’d been napping on his sofa in his flat on Angelo Street, South Perth, when another object had manifested itself in the middle of the living room carpet.  A fondue pot – unknown in Insteppe’s world – appeared complete with naked flame to keep the melted cheese liquid.

The pot keeled over. The loops of the nylon carpet ignited in seconds and the smoke alarm went off, waking Rory from his slumber. As he tried to focus on something, thick acrid smoke made it hard to see further than a metre.

Rory kicked his way out through his back door. His arrest would help no one. And he particularly needed to be free tomorrow on the first ever Ro-People Day. After many years, Rory and other crusaders for civil liberties had made it possible for Robots to fight for equal status with biological humans.  There was a long way to go, but at least it was now hate speech to expect a robot to dance ‘the robot’.

The Firecruiser arrived, water cannon blazing. Rory hid under the awning of the Secret Garden Café as his flat and all his possessions were doused in two tonne of watergel.