Chapter 17: Mistakes
“Jumba! Pleakly? LILO!”
Nani tapped her foot impatiently. Where could they have gone?
She looked in Lilo’s room. Nothing.
She walked through the kitchen. Nothing.
She hummed through the lounge. Nothing.
She peeked in Jumba’s room. Nothing. (It’s getting a little repetitive, ain’t it?)
Maybe they’re in Jumba’s ship…
She walked out the door, jumped the stairs ten at a time, and jogged down the Mahalo Trail.
Jumba pressed button after button.
He turned nobs.
He pulled levers.
A zap pulsed through the air.
The door opened to reveal…
“The perfect glass of milo!”
“What? Even evil geniuses need to snack… now ‘tis time for to be launching ship, no?”
Apprehensively, she walked up the ramp.
She found herself in a pitch-black hallway about thirty metres in length. She strolled along it, occasionally bumping into the walls, unsure of what she’d find at the end.
“OK, is every one and body being strap-ped in?” shouted Jumba, his finger hovering over the keypad.
“Yes!” “Ih!” “I think my strap’s on too tight…”
Lilo thought she heard someone else reply, but shrugged off the notion.
“All right, is to being time for showing!”
He pressed a typically large, red, flashing button that had inscribed something Tantalog on it, which Lilo presumed translated to “Press Me”.
Suddenly, she heard a low roaring, soft at first but getting louder and louder as each second went by… the smell of burning plastic filled the air, which Jumba explained was “uburnium being melted”.
By now the “propellers” were rotating at an almost dizzying rate, “720573 rotations per minute”, as Jumba said. (How could he tell?) Lilo felt sick watching them, so she turned her attention to the terminal. Lines of text streamed through, pausing every now and then when a task was particularly hard, or when it requested Jumba’s input. Every now and then she caught a line or two (he actually did it in English?).
Unfortunately, the speed at which the text was scrolling made her feel a little queasy, so she started watching the trees straining against the gale-force winds the “propellers” created.
Slowly, the vessel lifted off the ground. Jumba was still staring at the terminal, which was still going at nauseating speeds. Pleakly was intently reading “Galactic Federation Ships for Plorgarians – Cruising the Galaxy for the Rest of Us!”, awkwardly (and noticeably) hiding it behind “A Thesis on Endangered Species – Mosquitoes by Wendy Pleakley”. Stitch was scanning the now starry sky.
“I am now activating holomatrix!” shouted Jumba suddenly, making Lilo jump. “Am only hoping that older girl is not checking in now, no?”
By now they were well clear of the trees, and rising fast. Above them, a flock of geese, organised in the V formation, squawking happily, flew northbound.
“OK, am turning ship around, facing Terran II…”
“Terran II is what you Earthlings call ‘Venus’, no?”
Slowly they moved sideways, Jumba gazing ever more intently at the screen. Lilo watched the universe revolve around them, until eventually a bight star, in fact the brightest star, came into view.
“OK, hang on tight, or you will be losing many lunches, no?”
Before Lilo could say anything, the ship blasted through the atmosphere, with everyone on board (save Jumba and Stitch) hanging on for dear life.
Nani wandered along about the fifteenth passageway, her body aching.
Where does Jumba put a light switch around here?
Almost at once, the ship lurched forward, causing her to trip over a large, conveniently placed titanium box, causing her to fall through a large, conveniently placed pit and land in a large, conveniently placed bag of flour. Unfortunately, a small, conveniently placed watering can fell through the large, conveniently placed hole and onto Nani’s large, conveniently placed head.
“Scanning for known lifeforms.”
628 tapped his claws on the “dashboard” impatiently. He had never been very patient (then again, how many of Jumba’s evil genetic experiments were?)
“Scan complete. Would you like the planet specifications first?”
“No, I think I’ll go with the ship.”
“Two human, one Qweltian, one Plorgarian, four unknown or genetic experiments.”
“Uhuh… OK, what about the planet?”
“4.3 billion human, 13 Plorgarian, 235 other alien, 392.9 billion fauna, 624 unknown or genetic experiments.”
628 thought about this for a moment.
“Computer, calculate how much these figures will be in four hundred years time and send them to C E N T R A L Central Intelligence… she’ll want to have a look at this.”