The Adventures of Doc Moreau and I, 15: Ringo and the Dormobeetle 

Doc Moreau would like to announce that, after reaching an agreement with Ringo, plans for his new Dormobeetle are finally going ahead!

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Imagine: a giant black Beetle you can sleep in as it crawls around in the dark, lulled to golden slumbers by the music of The Beatles!

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Doc Moreau reassures us that Ringo definitely agreed to all this after an extended drinking session saying, ‘I’ll get the lads on side.’

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This agreement (and the extended drinking session) either proceeded or followed his failed attempt to attach Ringo’s head to a brontosaurus.

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Doc Moreau says, ‘Give me a day or two for the precise legally binding memories to come back to me. In the meantime, prime the giant beetles!’

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To manufacture the Dormobeetle, Doc Moreau has to deploy the radioactive substance ‘Kafkanium’, extracted from the excreta of wild Kafkas.

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Wild Kafkas are notoriously shy and difficult authors to track and trap, and even then can be extraordinarily retentive of their excreta.

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‘The last one didn’t do a crap for seven years,’ Doc Moreau reminisces, ‘then finally he says, “You have captured me for no reason,” and poops.’

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The excreta is dry and firm to the touch. It has no detectable odour and resembles a thick biscuit. Sometimes it has ‘Ecto’ embossed on top.

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Hundreds of distillations containing Kafkanium can be extracted from a single ‘Ecto-Biscuit’, triggering the growth cycle of the beetles.

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‘Sometimes, before I start pimping up the beetle with speakers,’ Doc Moreau confesses, ‘I have me a little nibble of that Ecto-Biscuit!’

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It’s not clear what effects the ingestion of Kafkanium may have on the human body. But delusional states and random chitin growth are likely.

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What Doc Moreau dismisses as ‘pimp surgery’ is actually a complex procedure creating a luxury sleeping cavity in the giant beetle’s abdomen.

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‘This is gonna be better than that time we put bathyscapes in cows!’ enthuses Doc Moreau. ‘Tomorrow never knows how many we’re gonna shift!’

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Happy Kafka Day

One morning, without hitherto ever having dreamt at all, every bug in the world woke up to find it had turned into a tiny Franz Kafka.

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Beside it was a grey serge suit, a shirt and tie, and some shoes. These appeared to have been made by someone with no sense of what they were.

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As it tried to establish which limbs the shoes fitted, it found itself waving to another tiny Kafka and calling out in some kind of language.

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When the other Kafka called back, it was astonished to find it could understand what it said. Unfortunately, it didn’t know what this meant.

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Had any tiny Kafka been able to hear what they were all saying, it would’ve realised that it constituted every word he could and would have written.

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Each Kafka would therefore have understood that what lay behind every single Kafka’s utterance was the fundamental particle of anxiety.

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Once it was dressed, each Kafka autonomously decided to carry on trying to be an insect for as long as humanly possible.

Meet the Kafkas (Incorporating ‘Captain Anoxia and the Space Centipedes, Episode 2’)

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One morning without doing anything wrong Chimera Group woke from troubled dreams to find itself followed by a whole clan of Kafkas.

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The Kafkas sat in a circle around the bed watching. They were panting slightly as though they had been tracking Chimera Group for a long time.

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One of the Kafkas produced a shallot, bit into it, and began chewing. After 32 chews the next Kafka did the same, and so on, till all were chewing.

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At no point did any of the Kafkas swallow their first mouthful of shallot. It was, Chimera Group realised, a sort of fugue of chewing.

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Chimera Group read a newspaper to distract it from the staring eyes and the methodically chomping jaws of the Kafkas. The sound continued.

2
There was an interesting article about the Cheery Geranium Comet. An unmanned probe had found the wreckage of a spaceship scattered across it.

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Among the wreckage was a liquid metal journal kept by Captain Anoxia, last heard of heading for Ice Station Pluto. Most of the entries had leaked.

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Could this at last solve the mystery of the CSS Franklin? What about the swarming of Space Centipedes from the Oort Cloud? Was Earth safe?

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Images of Anoxia’s journal were being sent to the Ministry of Decipherment for deciphering. Early reports indicated it was pretty ciphery…

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When Chimera Group glanced up from the newspaper, none of the Kafkas were chewing any more. Nor, alarmingly, were they wearing trousers…

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Squatting upon the bedroom floor, without any perceptible effort, the first Kafka passed into the hollow of his hand the contents of his rectum.

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The excreta were in the form of nearly round balls, and left no stain on the Kafka’s hand. There was no more odour to it than to a hot biscuit.

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As soon as he had completed his bowel movement the next Kafka began, and so on, until each Kafka held his droppings in the palm of his hand.

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Having completed this fugue of pooing, the first Kafka unfolded a brown paper bag, gathered the excreta, and handed the bag to Chimera Group.