Mr. Prim started blankly at the Vectroscope. It had been a Very Trying Week, and the distinct lack of 'plibs' on the Vectroscreen did nothing but magnify his annoyance. _ __ ____ The Ever Mightie had made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that the Naugahyde Cotillion had "verrry littttle tyme" to locate the band of minor-league deities and get them back on the Path.
Prim had the tact and strong urge for self-preservation not to ask what would happen if they didn't, but he had a feeling that it would be more than the nullification of their company contract. He redoubled his efforts at the Vectroscope, leaning in over the glowing green screen, knuckles whitening on the control knobs, scanning, scanning....
At first, he couldn't believe his ears.
A quick check of the settings and a deft twirl of the tumblers assured him he wasn't just imagin-
With what passed (for him) as a feeling of elation, he zoomed in on the quadrant, attenuated the Focusizer, and set the Pfhasiur to Stun.
plib. plib. plib.
"Got 'em," he whipered to himself, and to everyone, as he knew he was being observed.
"Athas. They're on Athas, your Eminences." Fingers whirred and tumblers tumbled. "Shall I take The Desk and go have a chat with them?"
"Nø," boomed a voice that came from the floor, the air, and everywhere in between (all at once). "¡ wi∫∫ ∂e@£ w¡†h †hem m¥$e£f."
There was a •pop!•, and the feeling that every other molecule in the air had ceased to exist. It was not an unpleasant sensation, but it went a long way to make one feel like one had been operating under unpleasant circumstances for longer than one had realized.
"Crazy bugger," Prim thought to himself. "Let's see HIM deal with that lot. They're so unstable, I wouldn't be surprised if they-"
Prim sat bolt upright, a strange, puzzled look crept over his face and under his dark glasses. His fingers didn't move, but tumblers tumbled in his mind.
With lightning speed and a sweat of anticipation, he threw himself at the Vectrometer, cranking and wheedling the contraption into maximum focus.
plib. plib. plib. plib. plib. plib. PLIB.
Prim had no idea what was going to happen next.
But he was sure as Hells going to watch.