Scooters are not for the devout!


   Beyond what used to be known as the Limitless Lightfields of Flanux until the Gray Binding Fiefdoms of Saxaquine were discovered lying behind them, lie the Gray Binding Fiefdoms of Saxaquine.
   Within the Gray Binding Fiefdoms of Saxaquine lies the star named Zarss, around which orbits the planet Preliumtarn in which is the land of Sevorbeupstry, and it was to the land of Sevorbeupstry that Arthur and Fenchurch came at last, a little tired by the journey.
   And in the land of Sevorbeupstry, they came to the Great Red Plain of Rars, which was bounded on the south side by the Quentulus Quazgar Mountains, on the farther side of which, according to the dying words of Prak, they would find in thirty-foot-high letters of fire, God's Final Message to His Creation.
   According to Prak, if Arthur's memory served him right, the place was guarded by the Lajestic Vantrashell of Lob, and so, after a manner, it proved to be. He was a little man in a strange hat and he sold them a ticket.
   "Keep to the left, please," he said, "keep to the left," and hurried past them on a little scooter.
   They realized they were not the first to pass that way, for the path that led around the left of the Great Red Plain was well worn and dotted with booths. At one they bought a box of fudge, which had been baked in an oven in a cave in the mountain, which was heated by the fire of the letters that formed God's Final Message to His Creation. At another they bought some postcards. The letters had been blurred with an airbrush, "So as not to spoil the Big Surprise!" it said on the reverse.
   "Do you know what the message is?" they asked the wizened little lady in the booth.
   "Oh yes," she piped cheerily, "oh yes!"
   She waved them on.
   Every twenty miles or so there was a little stone hut with showers and sanitary facilities, but the going was tough, and the high sun baked down on the Great Red Plain, and the Great Red Plain rippled in the heat.    "Is it possible," asked Arthur at one of the larger booths, "to rent one of those little scooters? Like the one Lajestic Ventrawhatsit had?"
   "The scooters," said the little lady who was serving at the ice cream bar, "are not for the devout."
   "Oh well, that's easy then," said Fenchurch, "we're not particularly devout. We're just interested."
   "Then you must turn back now," said the little lady severely.

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