Series: Compton Valance: Book 4
By Matt Brown
WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!
I’m going to be honest with you. The journey that you are about to embark on is rather complicated. And when I say “rather” I mean “unbelievably” and when I say “complicated” I mean “c-o-m-p-l-i-c-a-t-e-d”. Some things are about to happen that could very well alter not only the destiny of humanity, but also shape the future of the entire universe.
Bearing all this in mind and with one thing and another and the price of fish going up and so forth, I wanted to try and make life a little bit simpler. So, to avoid too much unnecessary confusion I thought it’d be best for all concerned if we took a look first at where everything began…
Compton Valance: the Future So Far
Compton Valance and Bryan Nylon are two ten-year-old boys who, thanks to a series of highly improbable events too ridiculous to bore you with here, accidentally created a time machine out of a mouldy cheese-and-pickled-egg sandwich.
Not long afterwards, Compton and Bryan met a top-secret, time-travelling agent from 600 years in the future called Samuel Nathaniel Daniels.
The boys used the stinky sandwich to travel backwards and forwards through time, and save the universe from certain destruction. Compton and Bryan were then invited by the most important person of the twenty-seventh century, the Commissioner of the Future Perfect Unit, to train to become time-travelling agents themselves.
They have just completed their first term of training at the F.A.R.T. Academy, during which
they managed to foil an attempt to steal the time machine sandwich by Gussage St Vincent (the most dastardly and fancily- trousered time crim* in the world). [* A Time Crim is a person who illegally TRAVELS THROUGH TIME without the knowledge or permission of the FPU.] His despicable plan was to connect the sandwich to his pirate ship and create the most powerful time machine the universe
had ever seen.
However, his attempt ended rather badly when he was transported back in time by 20,000 years and eaten by a sabre-toothed tiger.
Or was he?
The Fearless Bandit (Fastest Slinger in Town)
I’M A-COMIN’ FOR YOU!
The Fearless Bandit sat on top of his enormous metal hover-horse and shouted his terrible threat.
On the other side of Main Street, Compton flexed his fingers and turned to look at his best friend, Bryan Nylon.
“What do you think, Bry? Can we take him?”
Unfortunately, Bryan was way too busy to listen, as he was attempting to see if he could sneak up on his own ears by twisting his head to the side as quickly as possible.
Compton turned back and watched as his dastardly opponent, the most wanted outlaw in the galaxy, climbed down from his mighty, floating steed and moved himself into battle position. A single bead of sweat trickled from Compton’s forehead and s l o w l y traced a path down the side of his face.
A lone howl from a distant hound and the weird whistling noise that Bryan made when he breathed in and out through his nose were the only sounds to cut through the silence.
“You may begin firing on the twelfth bell of noon, gentlemen,” said the robot SHERIFF, pointing to the town’s laser-clock display.
“And not a moment sooner,” he added, before squeaking off to hide behind a huge water barrel.
Compton took a deep breath and readied himself.
He stepped forwards, dimly aware of the townsfolk peering anxiously from behind the safety of their front doors, hoping beyond hope that someone would rid their town of The Fearless Bandit once and for all.
Compton narrowed his eyes and focused his gaze on his opponent at the other end of Main Street, all the time studying him for a flicker of weakness.
The Fearless Bandit stared back at Compton. His face may have been hidden beneath a black mask, but Compton could see evil glinting and twinkling deep within his eyes.
The Bandit’s outrageous moustache billowed and fluttered in the swirling wind and, when
he smiled, two rows of silver teeth sparkled like diamonds in the noonday sun.
Compton took another step forwards. He was now standing directly behind his regulation pie table. It groaned under the weight of the custard pies it was carrying.
Never once taking his eyes off his enemy, Compton let his fingers gently feel their way around the lip of a pie crust. With a deft flick of his wrist, he held the custardy treat in the palm of his hand. The move was quick and instinctive. The pie was now an extension of his own body.
Bryan tried to see how many times he could make himself burp between bongs. His record was twelve.
Compton tensed his arm muscles, ready to launch a custard pie at his mortal enemy, and waited for the last tolls of the noonday bell.
“Get ready, Bry,” he said turning to his friend. “Bry? Bry-an?”
Bryan had vanished from next to the pie table and was now sitting inside the town’s jail cell.
“W-w-what’s happening?” said Compton in a state of high confusion. “How did you…?”
A huge pie caught Compton full in the face and whacked him backwards.
Before he had a chance to react, another pie hit him in the chest, knocking him to the ground. Compton heard people booing and jeering as he turned round to appeal to the robot sheriff.
“No fair!” he pleaded, spitting sweet custard out of his mouth. “He didn’t wait for the twelfth bell.”
Another pie caught him on the side of the head.
“Bryan!” he yelled, as a torrent of custard and pastry rained down on him. “BRYAN!”
Through the sticky yellow gloop running down his face, Compton looked at Bryan in the town’s jail. Bryan looked back for a moment and then turned into a giant blancmange and started eating himself.
Compton suddenly awoke with a start and sat straight up in his bed.
“Bryan!” he called, his garbled shout dying on the air.
He looked around and breathed a big sigh of relief when he saw that he was in his bedroom, in Morlock Cottage, in Little Hadron. It had been a dream, a stupid, crazy dream. He felt his forehead – it was damp with sweat, so he threw back his duvet to cool himself down.
This was not the first time the enormously moustached, silver-toothed and despicable Fearless Bandit had stalked Compton in his sleep. No, Compton had dreamed about him almost every night for the last twelve weeks. As he lay in his bed, his breathing s l o w l y returning to normal, he couldn’t help but wonder whether his bad dreams were connected to the incidents of three months earlier.
That was when he and Bryan had last travelled 650 years into the future and had single-handedly stopped the evil plans of the dastardly time-travelling pirate Gussage St Vincent, who:
a) was enormously moustached,
b) had two rows of glimmering silver teeth AND
c) was the despicable leader of the loathsome crew known as The Fearless.* [* Actually, when it’s all laid out like that you’d have to say that the dream was VERY obviously connected to Gussage St Vincent, wasn’t it?]
How to battle an evil TIME-TRAVELLING PIRATE:
1. Jump 600 years into the future.
2. Find out that MEGA-BADDY Gussage St Vincent is back from the dead... with a time-travelling PIRATE SHIP.
3. Do battle to stop Gussage becoming OVERLORD OF THE UNIVERSE.
4. Show him you're no COWARDY CUSTARD and make him eat pie.
“Funny, clever, brilliant - I love these books!”
Read the following reviews or write one of your own.
“Hysterical, rude, yucky and very clever - just what every book should be!”
Absolutely superb book. Another triumph from Matt Brown. My son is obsessed with this series - he loves to read, but with these it's something else: "when's the next one out mum?", "oh my goodness this is so funny - read this...." and on and on! The characters are brilliant, the writing incredibly absorbing and illustrations wonderful. My son read this cover to cover in a weekend (is it wrong to insist that he has to stop reading because it's time for bed?!?) and is now desperate for the fourth installment. Totally brilliant....
“Fantastically funny and delightfully disgusting time-travel fiction with hilarious black-and-white illustrations by Lizzie Finlay.”
“The crazy plotline, eccentric characters and witty footnotes and author comments had me laughing out loud... Cool illustrations and design make these ideal for reluctant readers but honestly everyone will enjoy this excellent series.”
“A brilliantly funny story about an amazingly misbehaving boy that comes with almost as many crazy, comical illustrations as there are words.”
Lancashire Evening Post
“If you haven’t come across Compton Valance before and you’re a fan of Wimpy Kid, Captain Underpants and their ilk, this is a new hero to get stuck into.”
Manchester Evening News