The boy and the Elves settled down quite comfortably to eat in chairs the professor had explained to them in quite some detail were in fact mechaloungers; mechanical spider-like walkers with eight metal legs that moved across the room in response to a cluster of buttons and switches. Once settled, the professor flipped a switch on his master control pad and the seats lifted into the air and hovered around the fireplace, the metal legs retracting slowly underneath. This was his way of trying to help his small guests feel relaxed and comfortable in his home. He rambled on about his life and his creations for quite some time. As he did, Blaze slurped away at his soup. He was listening to the professor’s stories as he gulped down his delicious bowl of wuggleberry broth. But he overdid it on one occasion, however, making odd gurgling noises that were so loud that it destroyed the conversation altogether. All eyes turned on him momentarily. But in the next instant, the small furzzapian suddenly swooped down and landed on Willow’s lap. The small creature’s eyes blinked softly, and with a contented flurry of whistles and tweets it had soon dozed off and was asleep. Blaze grinned, then continued on gulping down his soup, smacking his lips as he did so.
“He likes you, my dear,” the gangly professor said happily. “You remind him of my daughter.” Willow’s eyes widened. “You have a daughter,” she said excitedly. “Then… where is she?” “I’m afraid she is no longer with us, my dear,” he said sadly, his eyes closing. “She set off a long time ago now on one of her reckless campaigns and never returned. I protested strongly against it, of course. I warned her.” His smile dissolved completely and he leaned forward in his mecha...
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...ofessor’s words as they did so. “Right then, I must say, I’m glad to hear it. Okay then, come along, follow me. You lot are just going to love my pop-up puffer bubble beds!”
When Jack rose up off his mechalounger, he stumbled into the table and sent a large tray of drinks skidding over the edge. But before the small silver dish had a chance to clatter its way to the floor, a quartet of small crab-like legs unfolded from underneath it, and the platter scuttled away somewhat clumsily across the room with the drinks still intact.
“The mechnocarrier!” the professor declared triumphantly. “One of my more helpful creations!”
With that, he turned away, his face alight with pride, Lubo buzzing by his side. Jack and his companions followed after him, settling into the professor’s pop-up puffer bubble beds for just what might prove to be – their final night of rest.
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