Frontline 18: Bubble trouble

Posted February 11th 2007

This is Radio WRKX broadcasting, bringing news of strange things afoot on the wacky wheel of mystery known as Halo. Plucky as always, frontline reporter Suzie Hoffenblatt has made her way into the dark and eerie installation known as The Library, where she's encountered something mighty odd lurking within. Hold on to your teddy bear and hide under the sheets as we join her once again folks. It's another unnerving frontline encounter delivered straight to your eardrums, only on Radio WRKX. Take it away Suzie…

Suzie: So, here I am with something green and bulbous, waddling around on two strangely familiar stubby little legs. Let me start by saying welcome to the show Mr Flood, whatever type of hellish monstrosity you are.

Mr F: My pleasure Suzie.

Suzie: And um, what the heck are you exactly?

Mr F: Not quite sure to be honest Suzie. In fact I was rather hoping you could tell me!

Suzie: Well I think I might know what you used to be, judging from the legs.

Mr F: Ooh, do tell.

Suzie: Don't you remember a lot of plasma grenades?

Mr F: Blue fizzy things. Yes now you mention it. Didn't I do some sort of conjuring trick with those?

Suzie: Absolutely; produced them out of thin air in fact. And you maybe remember a lot of running away screaming?

Mr F: Hey yeah, I think I was pretty good at that too. Let me see, how did it go? Flee!

Suzie: That's the fellow, now you're getting it.

Mr F: Us first, we're smaller! Ah ha ha!

Suzie: Very much smaller, yes.

Mr F: Can't… run… with… thing… on… back!

Suzie: That always was a bit of a problem apparently.

Mr F: He's unstoppable!

Suzie: So it would seem.

Mr F: I just wet myself.

Suzie: Er, yes, that's quite enough now thank-you.

Mr F: I did wet myself though. And not just once either.

Suzie: Yes, yes I'm sure, but let's not trouble our listeners with too much information eh? So anyway, you were a Grunt, that's the point.

Mr F: A Grunt! Ah, happy days. Did a lot of dozing too if I'm not mistaken.

Suzie: No mistake there; quite a lot of that I think.

Mr F: Yes… yes it's all coming back to me now, and I think I remember how I got like this. I was on the ship when a funny thing happened to me on the way to the food nipple.

Suzie: I should've guessed.

Mr F: I was just toddling along when I got ambushed by a bunch of little scuttling bubble things that popped out of an air vent and started heading straight for me.

Suzie: A tricky situation. What did you do?

Mr F: Well, my grunty combat training kicked in right away of course.

Suzie: You ran away screaming?

Mr F: A fair guess Suzie, but no, it's actually quite hard to stop a Grunt when he's heading for the food nipple. First I yelled "Ooh! There!" to draw attention to the problem, which I always like to do for openers, and then I did a bit of slow back-hopping to measure up the situation.

Suzie: Gosh, how very calm and collected of you.

Mr F: You betcha. And it wasn't long before I decided that, yes, the corridor was definitely full of little scuttling bubble things heading straight for me. And not only that, they were getting closer all the time!

Suzie: That was some mighty fine measuring-up work Mr Grunt. Anyone else might have started shooting by now, but not you. You raised the alarm, hopped about a bit, and took all the time you needed to get a nice close view of the advancing threat before you did anything rash. Quite a masterclass of grunty trooping.

Mr F: Well I'm glad someone appreciates it; that's more than my squad Elite ever did. So anyway, I whipped out a plasma grenade, shouted "Down in front!" and let fly.

Suzie: Impressive - that conjuring trick sure comes in handy. Any luck?

Mr F: Well, not unless you count blowing a hole in the far end of the corridor. Maybe a plasma grenade wasn't the way to go after all, now I come to think of it. Anyway, I was just about to open fire with the ol' plasma zapper after that, but it was too late. The little devils had closed in and before I knew it, they were nibbling me all over.

Suzie: Oooh, sounds nasty. And now you made with the running and screaming?

Mr F: Bingo! Well, it seemed like the right thing to do under the circumstances. Couldn't shake 'em though. It was pretty painful for a while but then everything went fuzzy and that's all I can remember.

Suzie: And now here you are in another form, wandering around the Library.

Mr F: Yeah, not quite sure what happened or how I got here though. Can't see much either. Have I still got that thing on my back?

Suzie: No sign of it.

Mr F: Well that's a relief at least. Maybe I'll be able to run better now.

Suzie: I wouldn't bank on it. Can't see any arms either.

Mr F: No arms? Aw nuts! Looks like my conjuring days are over then.

Suzie: Never mind. Perhaps you've got some new talents. You do look rather different from the knees up. Do you feel any different now?

Mr F: Funny you should mention that Suzie. I've been trying to hold it back for the last few minutes, but actually I'm feeling really ticklish inside and I've got an overwhelming urge to waddle up against you and explode.

Suzie: Well I wish you wouldn't.

Mr F: Absolutely. Seems pretty odd to me as well. I mean, not terribly healthy, one would've thought.

Suzie: Not for either of us. And from a professional viewpoint I have to say that interviews do tend to go rather poorly once a guest has exploded.

Mr F: Point taken. Still, it does hold a certain irresistible appeal. Yes go on, let me give it a quick try. Hold still a minute while I hunker down.

Suzie: I really must insist that… oh dear, take cover listeners!


Spore 1: Woo-hoo! Free at last!

Spore 2: Taste the air!

Spore 3: Wa-hey, daylight!

Spore 4: Ow, my flippin' ears.

Suzie: My thoughts entirely. And it looks like my interviewee's conjuring days weren't over after all. These little fellows have popped right out of him! Who on earth are you guys?

Spore 1: I'm Bibble, that's Bobble, he's Gribble, and that's Grobble. But you can just call us the Bubble Brothers.

Suzie: If you insist. So you're telling me you're Bibble Bubble, Bobble Bubble, Gribble Bubble and Grobble Bubble?

Spore 1: Really rolls off the tongue eh Suzie?

Suzie: Yes, catchy. You know my name then.

Spore 2: Sure we do. We were just hanging around inside big daddy, just waiting to bust out. Been following the conversation with some interest.

Spore 3: Yeah, he was just holding us back.

Spore 4: There was way too little room in there.

Spore 1: Something had to give.

Suzie: Well it gave quite spectacularly if you ask me. Nearly blew my head off. Look at the state of my hair!

Spore 1: Yeah, sorry about that but we only get the one chance at making an entrance, so we like to make the most of it.

Suzie: Yes, I don't know what 'big daddy' thought about that. And it's pretty much knocked my interview for six. Still, now you're here, what's next?

Spore 1: Well I don't know about the other guys but I was wondering if I could jump up on you and have a bit of a nibble.

Suzie: I beg your pardon?

Spore 2: Hey bro', I was having the same idea!

Spore 3: I'm with you!

Spore 4: Me too!

Suzie: Look, nobody's having a nibble thank-you very much. I'm a reporter, not a walking snack-bar.

Spore 1: Spoilsport. Well in that case I'm all for another game of tag with the guys. Whaddaya say fellas?

Spore 2: We've sure got a whole lot more room for it now we're not cooped up inside any more.

Spore 3: Yeah, it wasn't easy in there.

Spore 4: Very little room to dodge.

Spore 1: Damn straight. Ok, tag, you're it.

Spore 2: Ooh you took me by surprise! Tag, now he's it!

Spore 3: We'll see about that. Tag, he's it!

Spore 4: Huh, not for long. Hey come here, stop bobbling around!

Suzie: I wish you'd all stop bobbling around for the sake of this interview. I got a lot more sense out of 'big daddy'.

Spore 1: Well, that's 'cos he was too big and fat to play tag.

Spore 2: Waddling around the place like a blimp on legs. Hopeless!

Spore 3: Not like us, we're full of beans.

Suzie: You're certainly full of something, but this is primetime so I'd best not elaborate.

Spore 4: Hey, tag you're it Suzie. Catch us if you can!

Suzie: Get off me you silly little Flood-buddy. POP! Oops.

Spore 1: He's gone!

Suzie: Well I didn't know he was going to go pop.

Spore 2: She whacked him with that microphone!

Suzie: It was an accident.

Spore 3: Oh yeah, like we haven't heard that before.

Spore 1: Actually we haven't heard that before.

Spore 3: Have we not? Oh, well, ok we haven't heard that before, but I still don't like it.

Suzie: It was just a misunderstanding.

Spore 3: Huh, nuts to that. Ok boys, it's nibbling time. Get her!

Suzie: Back off bubble-boy. POP!

Spore 2: She did it again! Right that's it, I'm going for the knees. Cover me!

Spore 1: Whaddaya mean "Cover me"? I'm a bubble, not a plasma gun.

Suzie: And I'm a reporter with a microphone. And look! Here it is now. POP!

Spore 1: Casualty! Ooh we'll get you for that missy. Everybody in lads!

Suzie: Actually it's just you and me now shorty.

Spore 1: Ah, I see your point. You know Suzie, perhaps that was just a misunderstanding earlier, now I come to think of it.

Suzie: Changed your tune now eh? You sure you don't want a nibble on the business end of my microphone?

Spore 1: No no that's fine thanks, I'm not feeling too peckish any more.

Suzie: And you're going to be a good little bubble from now on?

Spore 1: Yes ma'am.

Suzie: Not going to nibble me or anything?

Spore 1: No ma'am. And sorry about the hair.

Suzie: I should think so too. And what have you got to say for yourself? Any last words before we hand back to the studio?

Spore 1: Er, love the show, and a big hi to all the guys in pipe outlet 25b.

Suzie: That's more like it. And now I suggest you bobble off while you still can.

Spore 1: Good point.

Suzie: And with that listeners, it's over and out!