Newsreel from the Rim of the Realm

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      A tiny dot of red light was peeking through the horizon line. It grew and grew until it became clear to Quentin that he would be rolled over by a giant wheel of gouda. Luckily, his cat-like reflexes allowed him to dodge that dreadful fate, and become the first showcased resident of the local newsreel of bits of odd news.

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      “Not so fast!” Glor muttered grimly, grabbing a flapping retreating arm of each of her friends, and yanking them to her sides. “Now’s our chance. It’s a trap, dontcha see? They got the wind up, and they’re gonna round us all up, it don’t bear thinking about what they’ll do next!”

      With her free hand Mavis felt Gloria’s forehead, her palm slipping unpleasantly over the feverish salty slick.  “Her’s deplirious, Sha, not right in the ‘ead, the ‘eat’s got to her.  Solar over dose or whatever they call it nowadays.”

      “My life depends on going to the bloody assembly hall, Glor, let go of my arm before I give yer a Glasgow kiss,” Sharon hissed, ignoring Mavis.

      “I’m trying to save you!” screeched Gloria, her head exploding in exasperation.  She took a deep breath.  Told herself to stop screeching like that, wasn’t helping her cause.  Should she just let go of Sharon’s arm?

      Mavis started trying to take the pulse on Glor’s restraining wrists, provoking Gloria beyond endurance, and she lashed out and slapped Mavis’s free hand away, unintentionally freeing Sharon from her grasp.  This further upset the balance and Gloria tumbled into Mavis at the moment of slapping her hand, causing a considerably more forceful manoeuvre than was intended.

      Sharon didn’t hesitate to defend Mavis from the apparently deranged attack, and dived on to Gloria, pinning her arms behind her back.

      Mavis scrambled to her feet and backed away slowly, nursing her hand, wide eyed and slack jawed in astonishment.

      Where was this going?


      “What in the good name of our Lady, have these two been on?” Miss Bossy was at a loss for words while Ricardo was waiting sheepishly at her desk, as though he was expecting an outburst.
      “Look, Ricardo, I’m not against a little tweaking for newsworthiness, but this takes twisting reality to a whole new level!

      Ricardo had just dropped their last article.

      Local Hero at the Rescue – Stray Residents found after in a trip of a lifetime
      article by Hilda Astoria & Continuity Brown

      In a daring and heroic move, Nurse Trassie, a local hero and all-around fantastic human being, managed to track down and rescue three elderly women who had gone on an adventure of a lifetime. Sharon, Mavis, and Gloria (names may have been altered to preserve their anonymity) were residents of a UK nursing home who, in a moment of pure defiance and desire for adventure, decided to go off their meds and escape to the Nordics.

      The three women, who had been feeling cooped up and underappreciated in their nursing home, decided to take matters into their own hands and embark on a journey to see the world. They had heard of the beautiful landscapes and friendly people of the Nordics and their rejuvenating traditional cures and were determined to experience it for themselves.

      Their journey, however, was not without its challenges. They faced many obstacles, including harsh weather conditions and language barriers. But they were determined to press on, and their determination paid off when they were taken in by a kind-hearted local doctor who gave them asylum and helped them rehabilitate stray animals.

      Nurse Trassie, who had been on the lookout for the women since their disappearance, finally caught wind of their whereabouts and set out to rescue them. She tracked them down to the Nordics, where she found them living in a small facility in the woods, surrounded by a menagerie of stray animals they had taken in and were nursing back to health, including rare orangutans retired from local circus.

      Upon her arrival, Nurse Trassie was greeted with open arms by the women, who were overjoyed to see her. They told her of their adventures and showed her around their cabin, introducing her to the animals they had taken in and the progress they had made in rehabilitating them.

      Nurse Trassie, who is known for her compassion and dedication to her patients, was deeply touched by the women’s story and their love for the animals. She knew that they needed to be back in the care of professionals and that the animals needed to be properly cared for, so she made arrangements to bring them back home.

      The women were reluctant to leave their newfound home and the animals they had grown to love, but they knew that it was the right thing to do. They said their goodbyes and set off on the long journey back home with Nurse Trassie by their side.

      The three women returned to their nursing home filled with stories to share, and Nurse Trassie was hailed as a hero for her efforts in rescuing them. They were greeted with cheers and applause from the staff and other residents, who were thrilled to have them back safe and sound.

      Nurse Trassie, who is known for her sharp wit and sense of humor, commented on the situation with a tongue-in-cheek remark, “It’s not every day that you get to rescue three feisty elderlies from the wilds of the Nordics and bring them back to safety. I’m just glad I could be of service.”

      In conclusion, the three women’s adventure in the Nordics may have been unorthodox, but it was an adventure nonetheless. They were able to see the world and help some animals in the process. Their story serves as a reminder to never give up on your dreams, no matter your age or circumstances. And of course, a big shoutout to Nurse Trassie for her heroic actions and dedication to her patients.

      Bossy sighed. “It might do for now, but don’t let those two abuse the artificial intelligence to write article for them… I liked their old style better. This feels too… tidy. We’re not the A-News network, let’s not forget our purpose.”

      Ricardo nodded. Miss Bossy had been more mellow since the sales of the newspaper had exploded during the pandemic. With people at home, looking for conspiracies and all, the newspaper had known a resurgence of interest, and they even had to hire new staff. Giles Gibber, Glimmer Gambol (came heavily recommended by Blithe, the PI friend of Hilda’s), Samuel Sproink and Fionna Flibbergibbet.

      “And how is Sophie? That adventure into her past trauma was a bit much on her…” she mused.

      “She’s doing alright” answered Ricardo. “She’s learning to hone her remote-viewing skills to send our staff into new mysteries to solve. With a bit of AI assist…”

      “Oh, stop it already with your AI-this, AI-that! Hope there’ll still be room for some madness in all that neatly tidy purring of polite output.”

      “That’s why we’re here for, I reckon.” Ric’ smiled wryly.


      Miss Bossy sat at her desk, scanning through the stack of papers on her desk. She was searching for the perfect reporter to send on a mission to investigate a mysterious story that had been brought to her attention. Suddenly, her eyes landed on the name of Samuel Sproink. He was new to the Rim of the Realm Newspaper and had a reputation for being a tenacious and resourceful reporter.

      She picked up the phone and dialed his number. “Sproink, I have a job for you,” she said in her gruff voice.

      “Yes, Miss Bossy, what can I do for you?” Samuel replied, his voice full of excitement.

      “I want you to go down to Cartagena, Spain, in the Golden Banana off the Mediterranean coast. There have been sightings of Barbary macaques happening there and tourists being assaulted and stolen only their shoes, which is odd of course, and also obviously unusual for the apes to be seen so far off the Strait of Gibraltar. I want you to get to the bottom of it. I need you to find out what’s really going on and report back to me with your findings.”

      “Consider it done, Miss Bossy,” Samuel said confidently. He had always been interested in wildlife and the idea of investigating a mystery involving monkeys was too good to pass up.

      He hang up the phone to go and pack his bags and head to the airport, apparently eager to start his investigation.

      “Apes again?” Ricardo who’s been eavesdropping what surprised at the sudden interest. After that whole story about the orangutan man, he thought they’d be done with the menagerie, but apparently, Miss Bossy had something in mind. He would have to quiz Sweet Sophie to remote view on that and anticipate possible links and knots in the plot.


      Ricardo, my dear, those new reporters are quite the catch.”

      Miss Bossy Pants remarked as she handed him the printed report. “Imagine that, if you can. A preliminary report sent, even before asking, AND with useful details. It’s as though they’re a new generation with improbable traits definitely not inherited from their forebearers…”

      Ricardo scanned the document, a look of intrigue on his face. “Indeed, they seem to have a knack for getting things done. I can’t help but notice that our boy Sproink omitted that Sweet Sophie had used her remote viewing skills to point out something was of interest on the Rock of Gibraltar. I wonder how much that influenced his decision to seek out Dr. Patelonus.”

      Miss Bossy Pants leaned back in her chair, a sly smile creeping across her lips. “Well, don’t quote me later on this, but some level of initiative is a valuable trait in a journalist. We can’t have drones regurgitating soothing nonsense. We need real, we need grit.” She paused in mid sentence. “By the way, heard anything from Hilda & Connie? I do hope they’re getting something back from this terribly long detour in the Nordics.”


      Dear Miss Bossy Pants,

      I am writing to give you a preliminary report on my investigation into the strange occurrences of Barbary macaques in Cartagena, Spain.

      Taking some initiative and straying from your initial instructions, I first traveled to Gibraltar to meet with Dr. Patelonus, an expert in simiantics (the study of ape languages). Dr. Patelonus provided me with valuable insights into the behavior of Barbary macaques, including their typical range and habits and what they may be after. He also mentioned that the recent reports of Barbary macaques venturing further away from their usual habitat in coastal towns like Cartagena is highly unusual, and that he suspects something else is influencing them. He mentioned chatter on the simian news netwoke, that his secretary, a lovely female gorilla by the name of Barbara was kind enough to get translated for us.

      I managed to find a wifi spot to send you this report before I board the next bus to Cartagena, where I plan to collect samples and observe the local macaque population. I have spoken with several tourists in Gib’ who have reported being assaulted and having their shoes stolen by the apes. It is again, a highly unusual behaviour for Barbary macaques, who seem untempted by the food left to appease them as a distraction, and I am currently trying to find out the reason behind this.

      As soon as I gather them, I will send samples collected in situ without delay to my colleague Giles Gibber at the newspaper for analysis. Hopefully, his findings will shed some light on the situation.

      I will continue my investigation and keep you appraised on any new developments.


      Samuel Sproink
      Rim of the Realm Newspaper.


      Sophie was glad she could help that young guy Youssef get out of this mess with that false ingenue. She was clearly not for him, he needed someone more mature who would know how to handle his big body. She looked at Miss Bossy Pants’ office. Ricardo was there again and they seem to be in another of their grand discussions. When Miss Bossy saw Sophie watching, she moved to the big window and shut the venetian blind. What were they all about, always plotting things in the back of their journalists. If Sophie didn’t have an ounce of ethic, she would have RVed them long ago, but she made a point to only use her abilities for good, and at times good gossip with friends.

      She went out to the elevator and called it. While she waited, she started writing a message : “The boy is on his way. I did like you asked. Now book me a place to that Akashic Record training as promised.”

      The answer came only a few seconds later : “consider it done”

      The elevator bell rang and the door opened. Sophie got in with a big satisfied smile on her face.”

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