Following on from Part 15:
There was a large church opposite the coffee shop, which caused Adrig to begin musing again on another aspect of his favourite topic.
'Many of them worship a God, Edrig, although they do not define what they mean by God. A superior being, certainly, or superior force or something, which is all very well, but they argue endlessly and even go to war over invented specifics. It's all rather amusing, or it would be if it didn't cause so much trouble.'
'Whereas at least we acknowledge that we don't know, eh?' offered Edrig.
'Exactly. Exactly. The one most astonishing thing about the people here is probably their bizarre ability to convince themselves that they know things, and right down to the most ludicrous of specifics. I'm not sure if it is inherited or if it is just a consequence of the way their tribal societies have evolved, but they are crazy on specifics, quite literally crazy in many cases, about things that they cannot possibly know.'
'This coffee is good Adrig. Is it whole milk or skimmed or semi-skimmed?'
'I didn't ask. Tastes like skimmed to me.'
'Nah, too creamy surely for skimmed. I reckon semi-skimmed. Nice muffins too.'
'Big bloody blueberries eh? Our ones are smaller.'
'Oh my goodness look at that lady getting out of that cab. How long is that damn leg? And how much is she showing! Bloody lovely eh?'
'Lovely indeed,' purred Adrig. 'I'm looking forward to our evening. And I fancy another coffee and maybe one of those egg sandwiches after this one.'
'Are they free range?'
'I think so. I'm pretty sure I saw a sign saying they only use free range eggs, and that the milk is organic'
'I know, I know... It's a silly term they use. It allows them to bump up the price a bit more too. One thing I have found plenty of evidence for during my study of this place is that they rarely miss an opportunity to bump up the price of things.'
The two travellers from afar sat in the coffee shop for a long time, getting through three coffees, their muffins, then egg sandwiches and two fruit flapjacks which Edrig commended as among the best he had ever tasted. And they admired the ladies as they passed by the window, and they looked forward to their evening.
'Let's get some new clothes eh?' Edrig suggested. 'It does seem that these ones are rather silly.'
'Absolutely young man. New clothes. And some manly perfume too. This could be a night to remember!'
Which was when Adrig's communicator emitted a loud bleep, and he pulled it out to see what message it had received.
'What!' he exclaimed. 'Bloody hell! What! The fool! ... And where! What!'
'What's up now?' asked Edrig, alarmed, while noticing that other customers were staring as a result of Adrig's squawking.
'Three in the morning I told him. The idiot!'
'The pod! The bloody pod has just arrived back now. What time is it?'
'Three in the afternoon.'
'For goodness sake! And look at the coordinates. It's arrived in the wrong place! He's dumped it in the damn park!'
'Is that a problem?'
'Yes Edrig, that is a problem,' replied Adrig with sarcastic emphasis. 'Do you think the police are going to be uninterested in a big bloody van stuck on the grass in the middle of the public park? And... Hang on a moment... Oh for goodness sake! It is sitting inside the duck pond if my map is telling me the truth. At the edge of the pond, but inside the water, and tilting at an angle of 23 damn degrees'
'We'll have to get over there boy. We'll have to get over there right now.'
'Why not just tell him to move it?'
'In broad daylight? Oh heck. Come to think of it, it has just arrived in broad daylight too hasn't it? I hope there was nobody around.'
'I hope it hasn't landed on anybody mate!'
'In the pond? On a duck at the worst.'
'Or a dog, or a young child having a paddle. I know it will auto-avoid big things but a child?'
'Come on! Let's go! Run!'
And so they ran, Through the busy streets in their garish gear covered by the big overcoats that were flapping open as they went. They ran along the streets and across the roads and into the park and onward to the duck pond, where they arrived, breathless, just as the police car was drawing to a halt a short distance away.