Chapter 22: Intruder Alert!
“What was that?”
“Did you hear something?”
“Ahhh! Something’s got me!”
“419, that’s me!”
“Oh… um… what’s that?”
426 followed 419’s shivering finger to what looked like a bright red light floating in mid-air.
“Am I dead?”
426 could hear a loud rasping noise coming from the same general area.
419 tried to say something, except the only thing that came out was a squeak.
“Jumba, is that you?”
“Don’t be silly, Jumba doesn’t have… that… red… glowing… eye… thingy…” replied 426. “And anyway, he’s shorter.”
“But 628 has that red eye thingy…”
“And he’s waaaaay shorter!”
The being took no notice of the experiments; indeed, it didn’t seem to take notice of anything at all.
426 examined the being. It was a human; at least that’s what it looked like… kinda. It was almost entirely covered in some type of plastic-looking material, it’s left arm was replaced with a synthetic arm… well, a synthetic something. It had more resemblance to a power line pole than an arm. It basically was a large cylinder about as thick as the thing’s head (literally), and had a claw-like attachment… attached… to it. The bits of its skin that were visible – basically the neck and a bit of the face – looked clammy, white.
Dead, thought 426.
419 examined the being… It looked like a floating red light thingy.
“Um, what’s it doing to the computer terminal?”
The attachment had changed to what looked like some kind of laser shooting a bright blue beam - or was it sucking it up? – at/from the terminals.
“I dunno, but I don’t think it’s here for maintenance.”
The screens flickered on and off, and 429 could hear the sound of the impulse drive shutting down and restarting.
He pounded a large, circular, round, red, glowing button marked “I-A”.
Sirens blared throughout the ship. Lilo covered her ears again to keep her eardrums from shattering.
“Intruder alert!” yelled Pleakley.
“Cannot be hearing you,” bellowed Jumba. “Intruder Alert is being too loud!”
“I have been tracking intruder to Deck Three, Engineering Section.”
Pleakly seemed perplexed.
“We have more than one deck?”
“Why, of cause, one-eyed one, did you not notice the increased size and capacity?”
Now, come to think of it, it did seem larger… slightly. And Pleakly was sure that there had not been that many corridors, alleys and paths through the ship. Did the original ship even have any corridors?
Pleakly did a quick calculation in his head. At the current rate of expansion, the ship would soon need a orbiting docking port… over San Francisco would be nice. It would probably need some kind of shuttle to transport passengers… though, maybe it would be better to recalibrate the landing gear and take-off rockets instead… the shuttle might then be used for ship-to-ship transferrals…
Just as Pleakly thought this, Jumba stopped.
“We are needing to be going through shuttlebay…”
“We have a SHUTTLEBAY?”
“Yes. Soon ship is to be being too big to be leaving on ground, no? Will be causing massive orbit changes, which is not being good for Earth… So am planning to be keeping ship in orbiting docking bay… will be using shuttle to transfer passengers… though maybe ‘tis better to just be reconfiguring thrusters and landing supports…”
Pleakly’s lower jaw unhinged itself.
Is Jumba psychic?
Jumba pressed a button on the keypad beside the door, which opened with a resounding whoosh.
“Presenting… Alpha Flyer!”
It looked like a giant bar of red soap, about three meters high and nine meters in length. The door had something Tantalogian inscribed on it, which Pleakly roughly translated to “ship which is having door.” Or something close to that.
“’Tis beautiful, no? Comes with complete tactical, navigational and experimental database, zero to hyperspace in under ten seconds, and is having those squishy cushions little girl is liking so much…”
He pointed to the struts at the top of the ship, much like the ones on the… did Lilo say Enterprise?
“Unlike GF ships, the hyperdrive on this ship cannot be folding up into cargo bay when not in use, but snazzy azure glow more than makes up for it, no?”
He pulled out his PDA and typed something.
“Please to be excusing me, am needing to be… er… um… using bathroom? Yes, that is being it, using bathroom.”
He plodded out of the room.
Something suspicious is going on with Jumba…
Pleakly pulled out his notepad and took notes.