Domekidz, by P J Ferst
On the brink of 3,000AD, scientist Gloobik creates a Dome manned by a SuperComputer, M.U.M. (Multificient Utopian Mechanism). Inside the Dome’s Ultrozone live three child clones, being hot-housed to rule a devastated Earth; the Geozone trains three child serfs to service nutritional needs. But M.U.M. hijacks Gloobik’s creation and makes up her own rules. Her acronym now means Multiple Ultro Manipulator. Enter the Ultros - bolshy Rex, horsey Bo and Dreamboy Bram, racing to gruelling Tycoschool. Tension mounts when a Snakebot tests Bo’s bravery and Guru Chandaka’s gift to Bram goads Rex into invading the forbidden Geozone, where the Geos, plant-savvy Moss, intrepid Rock and pony-mad Pony, become friends.
Dire punishments await returning Ultros: the three-flippered Whacker and brain-washing Boot Camp with General Barney Buster, idolised by Rex. But snubbed Bo pinches Barney’s deadly weapon, thinking it’s an amulet. Fairground fun stops on the Geos’ Ultrozone visit when ghostly Gloobik gives the children a scary warning but also a must-have puzzle, Gloobik’s Chube, the key to M.U.M.’s CPU.
Gloobik’s Chube is a game changer. The children rebrand themselves as DomeKidz, but there’s a glitch. The Geos’ departure triggers an alarm and M..U.M. teleports in coach Jimmy Nastics to enforce military training. Luckily, a guru’s password circumvents M.U.M.’s security system, letting the Ultros revisit the Geozone but eco-sorceress, Elvira, drops a bombshell: Planet Earth is ruined and dark forces are invading the Geozone, so they must all leave the Dome. The fraught DomeKidz plan their escape but there’s panic as Supervillain Killerman springs from a candle flame and threatens the DomeKidz with death.
Alas, the two final Chube secrets predict Geo elimination, Dome destruction and the imminent advent of 3,000 A.D, turning Rex’s Top Tycoon Award into sour grapes and making immediate escape imperative. The Geos bid farewell to the Geozone and ride their pet Slug Ponies to the Ultrozone, where everyone’s courage is tested: Rex traps Jimmy in the Sauna; Bram tries to disable M.U.M.’s CPU; Rock and Bo rescue Rex from vengeful Jimmy, after Bo mistakenly frees him; Moss wards off Snakebots, deftly zapped by Pony’s amulet gift from Bo.
The climax comes when the deadly Whacker attacks Rex and Rock’s jet on takeoff, but the boys’ ingenious weapons repel all onslaughts, forcing M.U.M.’s retreat. The ace pilots fly through the M.U.M.netic Barrier to Vectopia, as Bram and the girls set off underground on the Slug Ponies, Rock’s pet monkey safe on Bo’s shoulders. The jubilant foursome greet a triumphant Rex and Rock and all six DomeKidz powwow, picnic and vow to stick together. The novel ends when Rex leads the way past the blue Jacaranda Tree to the house Elvira shares with plant-hunter chum, Jack Aranda. Rex gloats at his victory over M.U.M. He tells himself that M.U.M. is history now. But the readers know better!