AN UNEXPECTED ASSIGNMENT
Our story unfolds on the Planet Xti, where Professor Bok Borkin-bok is demonstrating his new invention “The Borkin-bok Tele-transporter.” A crowd of Xtian dignitaries are gathered around as he transports a simple Jibbin-tik Pie from a flashing cabinet to a table 20 feet away. There is enthusiastic applause and yells of approval from the onlookers.
The Professor smiles as if to say “You’ve seen nothing yet”!
He then claps his hands and a woman appears in a servant’s uniform. She does a curtsy, the Professor ushers her into the cabinet and closes the door. He then proceeds to walk over to a high backed chair, which stands by an ornately carved table.
After stroking the seat and looking towards his audience with a confident smile, he gestures to his assistant to pull the lever on the side of the cabinet. The assistant promptly obeys but is forced to jump back as the cabinet emits a series of bright flashes followed by thick green smoke.
Panic breaks out amongst the crowd. The Professor rushes over and tries to open the door of the cabinet. He tugs and pulls furiously and when it eventually gives way, there is no sign of a woman inside.
The onlookers don’t know whether to laugh or cry; the Bok Borkin-bok looks around in bewilderment. His assistant peeks cautiously behind the cabinet and behind the chair, he turns apologetically to the crowd and shakes his head.
The Professor, obviously embarrassed by the failure of his much lauded device, gives a silly giggle and puts his hand to his mouth as if to say “Oops”!
Meanwhile, in what you might call an average suburban household in the little town of Fairfax, Iowa, Bob Babbage, a 32-year-old divorced tree surgeon is getting ready for work. Before he leaves he takes a pack of pork chops from the freezer and cringes, he’s beginning to hate pork chops but it’s the only thing he knows how to cook. He leaves them on the counter top to thaw, then grabs his files and leaves for his first tree pruning.
As he’s about to climb in his truck Peter Penders, his next door neighbor walks over. Peter works on a garbage truck but having to live up to his wife’s social ambitions he dresses impeccably and carries a hand tooled briefcase to work in which he keeps his sandwiches.
“When are you going to find a new housekeeper?” he calls out, as he strides across the lawn in his three piece navy blue suit and shiny black wingtips.
Bob pauses, with his hand still on the door handle as Peter babbles on.
“ Going to work all day and then having to cook and clean when you get home can’t be much fun. What happened to the big fat woman you hired last month?”
“Hilda? She couldn’t cook worth a fuck and her idea of cleaning was to vacuum everything she could reach without having to move away from the TV screen. I fired her after three days. The agency said they were going to find us a replacement but that was three weeks ago.”
After a brief conversation, where Peter kept extolling the virtues of being married to a woman like “His Penelope,” a woman who seemed to be able to juggle a career as a top real estate saleslady whilst keeping her home immaculate.
Bob drove away mid-conversation. He liked his neighbor, but when he started to talk about his wife in such glowing terms he became irritated. How this guy could be so complimentary about a woman who nagged him from morning ‘til night mystified him.
As Bob turned the corner at the bottom of his street he was unaware that a strange looking Xtian woman had suddenly appeared in the middle of his living room. This is where our story really begins!
When Niola Naga-niola suddenly found herself in the middle of the Babbage home she was not particularly perturbed, for this shapely woman who looked a little bit Korean, except for her big hazel eyes and snow white hair, had been trained from birth to be a servant. That’s the way it was for some folk on Planet Xti, it was not unlike the Hindu caste system in that regard.
She had been Professor Borkin-bok’s servant for three Xtian years and had always performed her duties obediently, however she had recently asked for a transfer of ownership due to his habit of blowing things up, even in the kitchen. It had gotten to the point where Niola was afraid to go in the there if he was experimenting with some recipe or other. Even a simple task like making a Pablok-cum-bar could end up with Shilli-both dripping from the ceiling. Of course it was her that had to clean up his mess and she objected to that
She was a little confused why the Tortuk-bi Council had chosen to transfer her to such an alien place but, she was Tortuk and she had to do as she was told. Fortunately Bob had a number of paper backs on the bookshelf and so Niola, who had an IQ of 1247, was able read the contents by slapping herself at the side of the head with them. After a little brain bashing with Webster’s Dictionary and Roget’s Thesaurus she was able to speak quite acceptable English. However, to familiarize herself with general conversation patterns she also lightly tapped herself with a couple of Bob’s erotic novels
Copyright 2016 Cristiano Caffieri