The Dipteron of Dishonour


(aka The Caliph’s Calliphora)

Over time, the insane king Slappe-Hersenen Sprungtopf’s court came to some prominence in the East. As his hold over the islands of his realm began to spread, he attracted the attentions of many other tin-pot kingdoms, anxious to solidify their own tenuous right to power (and avoid outright invasion) via a slightly nervous detente.

As his reputation for outrageous and lavish parties spread, a steady stream of diplomats began to flow into his palace. Unfortunately for many of the visiting dignitaries, his penchant for whimsy, and his love of puncturing puffed-up egos, would often result in rather cruel practical jokes at their expense.

A classic example of this is the Dipteron of Dishonour. Upon hearing about a visit from an especially egotistical and self-important Caliph from a small Arabian kingdom, Sprungtopf had his artisans create a very special transport, designed to bring the boorish Caliph down a peg or two.

Upon his arrival, Caliph Parvopomposo was greeted at the palace gates with all due deference, and informed that he would be transported at once to the king’s court. Unfortunately for Parvopomposo, once seated on his splendid-looking “transport”, he discovered the nature of the jest: he would be dragged by a single lowly Bluebottle (a blow-fly, insultingly of the genus Calliphora vomitoria) trained only to fly when the Caliph tugged on the lever dangling in front of his face. Worse, the luxurious-looking chair itself was sprung and upholstered in such a way it was impossible to sit comfortably.

To his further horror, although the chair utilised a set of sophisticated levitation rods (carefully balanced to allow the fly’s wings to generate enough upward thrust to carry the full weight of chair and occupant) he discovered that the creature moved only a few inches at a time, and he sat there distraught in the knowledge that to stand up and thus reject Sprungtopf’s gift would result in certain and hideously unpleasant death. Heavily-armed guards ensured his complete cooperation.

So it was that over three weeks later did a starving, filthy and half mad Caliph finally arrive before the king’s throne, having been forced to remain in his demeaning and tortuous transport the entire time as it inched painfully across the palace grounds.

4 Responses to “The Dipteron of Dishonour”

  1. p3lb0x said:

    I think you guys messed up somewhere as it repeats itself after the 5th paragraph.

  2. Dr Smilax said:

    I bet that’s to make sure we definitely read it…

  3. mouser said:

    it’s amazing how all of this technology is used to amuse the rich and powerful.. truely there were some cruel and egotistical people living in this age.. one hopes there were some more enlightened heroes as well..

  4. admin said:

    Thanks for pointing that out, p3lb0x. Now corrected.