Chapter 11: The Chase
Stitch kept on running.
He’d been running for ages, down the endless path… for what seamed like an eternity, he had been running mile after lonely mile, searching the horizon for that ominous figure, that purple being he now hated so much.
But for ages, there was nothing.
It was now early evening, and the air was cool. Stinging winds from the south bombarded him, but still he kept going, until he saw something.
It wasn’t 628 – it was more of a red blob on the horizon.
Stitch ran towards it, hoping that whatever it was, it was at least friendly.
Lilo saw something rushing towards her.
Was it the experiment?
Her wonder turned to delight when she saw who it was.
She scampered up to him and gave him a giant hug.
“You don’t know how lucky you are, I’ve been through the worst moment of my life…”
And she started telling him everything… Kioni Jameson, how he was beginning to get suspicious, how she had defended 626, how she had ran away… and the experiment, what it did, how it stared at her, analysing her… it was creepy.
At that point, Stitch seamed to perk up for some reason…
“Ika manoba 628!”
“Wha… you mean, that was 628?”
“Wait… Jumba created a 628?”
“OK! Let’s rock-a-hula, Stitch!”
The trees were whizzing past at an alarming rate as Lilo stared intently ahead, her hand resting on the control for the capture cannon. In her head, 628’s words echoed constantly…
You will find that I am more than a match for you…
Why did it bother her so much?
Because no experiment had ever said those words to her…
And what about Jumba? He had created yet another monster of destruction… but why? Didn’t he retire from the evil genius department?
Soon the target had come into sight.
“Experiment detected,” the computer stated unnecessarily.
Don’t think; just go with your instincts.
Stitch was at the steering wheel, dodging rocks, trees and boulders, in the new and improved “Buggy 3.0”. He vaguely remembered Jumba telling him about it, but had never got a chance to try it. Until now, that is.
The experiment turned left. Stitch followed, narrowly avoiding a thick clump of trees. Maybe Jumba wasn’t as accurate as he thought…
His sensitive ears picked up the drone of an aerial transportation device. A blast of plasma whizzing by confirmed his suspicions.
“You’re not getting away that easily!”
A grey being, about fifteen foot tall while standing, and twelve foot while sitting, who looked incredibly like a small whale with legs, sat at the console of some type of hovercraft-spaceship hybrid, which bore a strange resemblance to himself.
In other words, Gantu.
Stitch grumbled. Just what I need… Now I’ve got to concentrate on Gantu, this ‘628’, and the millions of miles of foliage.
He scanned the horizon. Nothing but trees, trees, trees…
The experiment changed course again. It seemed to Stitch that he was trying to throw them off his trail, or annoy them enough to give up, as he always stayed just an inch from reach.
Though the trees were starting to look strangely familiar…
Then Stitch realised where 628 was going.
“Just one more inch…”
Lilo concentrated on 628, hardly even noticing the stream of red-hot plasma extruding from Gantu’s ship.
Until it hit a tree, that is.
She shrieked as the mighty almost-70-year old oak, with it’s gnarled and weathered bark, came crashing down toward us. With a flash, she saw a terrible apparition play in front of her eyes… the stormy night… the tree… her parents…
She snapped out of it. The buggy was still racing through the forest, as if the oak had never fallen. But she knew it had… she turned around.
A gargantuan log lay, thick as she was high, looking as old and wrinkly as ever.
“Stitch! How did you…”
“Nookie-nookie,” he said, tapping his head.
“Oh, I forgot…”
Stitch can think faster than a supercomputer, I should have remembered that…
She shook her head. I’ve got to concentrate on the experiment…