This was going to be difficult…. Tepic had seen the posters about the Airship Regatta going up all over the city, and after having watched the previous years he had decided to make himself an airship to join in the fun. The basket to sit in was no problem, there were always decent sized ones left around on Washing Day, and as for engine parts, around New Babbage it was difficult to move without tripping over bits of machinery, that is when it wasn’t raining down from the skies, a by-product of someone’s failed experiment.
An airbag though, that was something else. Tepic had at first thought that he could make one of vole skins, carefully cured and stitched together, after all, that was how he made his waterskins, and he had seen river sailors use goat skins as floats before. It was the sheer size the task which was proving impossible, just a small bag would take months and months to make, and there just wasn’t the time!
Then, a few nights before, he had a dream, oh, alright, more a kind of nightmare, where he was being chased by the most enormous vole he had ever encountered. It must have been as large as the elephant that had been at the circus the year before, and would be the idea size for an airship! The dream was terrifying, and Tepic had been relieved when he had woken, after all, the vole had almost caught him, but as soon as he woke, the terror had abated, and the only thing he could think about was how wonderful such a vole would be for his airship! How would he trap such a
beast? Of course, Gadget’s trap! It had been dismantled, but the bits were still around, and it would be ideal. Tepic fell back into slumber, dreaming of the trap, hoping to find the creature, but this time catch it.
No matter how he tried though, he could not recapture the dream and woke disappointed in the cold early morning light. As he wandered round the city, by chance he came to the entrance of the museum, inside he could see all the monstrous creatures of old. He thought to himself how much bigger those animals were, if only he could find a way back, he would be sure to find a vole of the proportions he needed…..
Now, there was that portal thingy at Miss Averial’s Power Station, and the clockwork people who looked after the place were quite easy to dodge or bamboozle, but Tepic was not sure if that took you to different times. Of course, he had heard of Mr Doyle’s Lost World, and if he could find that, then he was sure to find a big vole, but he was not sure where it was.
He knew there were rumours about people travelling to different times, usually in those blue boxes that kept appearing around the City, but they were very difficult to get into, not, of course, that he had tried, and the usual lock picks and other tricks for getting into places didn’t usually work. The one time he had slipped into one of them, it had been a revelation, and looked rather too complicated for a quick trip!
There was that Dr. Dragon who he had seen wandering around, he was always muttering under his breath about a Time Egg, and what he was going to do to the people who had taken it – now if there was a device like that lost somewhere, who better than an urchin to find it? Still, that Dr. Dragon did look rather fearsome, so may not be the sort of person to cross.
Of course, there was always the Paths, they lead all sorts of places, if you knew the way. Tepic was unsure if they could take you to a different time, he had never tried before, but at least he knew some of the ways, and was certain to find someone who could give him directions. Well, the decision made, all he needed to do was to find Gadget and beg some parts for the biggest vole trap ever from him, then the trip could begin!