Provoking a Rebellion (Hollow Earth Expedition ep47)

The Mad Scientist

Scrumtumbler dashed to the rows of slaves, looking for some way to open their shackles. The guards had not been carrying keys—most likely they were entrusted to a higher-ranking officer—so Scrumtumbler would need to find another way.

“Don’t worry!” he shouted to them, but not so loudly that he might draw the attention of the other Nazi troopers beyond the walls of their crumbling longhouse. “Don’t worry! You have been discovered by Scrumtumbler!”

The words came as no relief to the captives, who pulled at their chains to draw away from him as he passed. Their faces held a volatile mix of fear, sadness, and anger. One of them from somewhere in the back shouted impatiently. Was it a demand for help? Or a threat?

“I’m a friend!” Scrumtumbler pointed to himself. “Friend!” No matter how many times he repeated it, he found his words meant nothing, so he decided to let his actions speak for him.

He took aim at the nearest manacle, intending to blast it open with the force of his stun rifle. But when the blue bolt struck, the metal chain conducted it to every ankle it touched, and an entire row of men yelped and yanked back their stinging legs

“Sorry! I probably should have known better,” the professor scolded himself. And now the mass of slaves seemed angrier, perhaps because they were beginning to think he was a Nazi torturer sent here to keep them in their place. They turned towards Scrumtumbler as a great, menacing hoard, shaking their chains in unison now, not ready to bow down. He had succeeded in provoking their rebelliousness, but he had accidentally drawn it onto himself.

“Akombi!” came a voice from their midst. “Akombi motu ooglala!” The voice was pinched and a bit nasally, but the words carried over the crowd like a spell, drawing all eyes towards the speaker.

The shackled crowd stepped aside to reveal an older man in a prim bolar hat and tweed vest. In one hand he carried a briefcase and an umbrella, and in his other he held a pick axe.

“Professor Limefellow?” Scrumtumbler said. He almost choked with as astonished, as much at seeing his colleague alive as at the fact that Limefellow seemed unruffled and without so much as smudged on his glasses. “What are you doing here?”

“While you’ve been frittering your time away doing…” Limefellow allowed his eyes to trace the length of Scrumtumbler’s filth-stained lab coat, “…doing whatever it is you’ve been doing, I’ve made myself useful. I have translated the hieroglyphs and have set up the ritual to unlock the gate that will supposedly deliver us to a celestial realm. Oh, and I have learned the three most common native dialects, which reminds me…” He turned to face the slaves. “Mokambi utala Limefellow wont,” he announced, spreading his arms wide. “Una lakki mos dei utala Scrumbumler. Misa akka. Misa akka!”

The slaves cheered as if Limefellow had just given a coronation speech.

“What did you just say?” Scrumtumbler asked in bewilderment.

“I merely introduced myself. Also, I told them that you were my half-wit manservant who meant them no harm. Honestly, Scrumtumbler, you just have to know how to speak with people. Now, don’t just stand there,” Limefellow shoved the pickaxe into Scrumtumbler’s hand. “Go break their chains and help me start a proper slave revolt.”



About Sechin Tower

Sechin Tower is a teacher, game developer, and author of MAD SCIENCE INSTITUTE, a novel of creatures, calamities, and college matriculation. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
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