Chapter 23: Threats and Arguments
Experiment 426 was leaning against a pole, arguing with 419, who was pressing a bunch of buttons.
“What’s up, Dr J?”
Jumba’s image flickered on and off one of the screens.
“You have to for to be getting out of there!”
“But we can’t… for… to… be… getting out of here!” replied 426.
“And why not?”
“Your ‘intruder’ is blocking the doorway.”
The creature was doing something to the controls of the doorway.
“What? You are telling me that you are in Engineering Section…”
“…and that little girl, 626 and one-eyed noodle is heading your way this instant?”
“Well… actually, you’re telling us now.”
“You have to be hiding! In laundry chute, near T4…”
“There’s a laundry in here?” asked 419.
“Yes… now, to be going in, now!”
“But it’s filthy, and gross, and it probably has spiders…” complained 419 in a whimpery voice.
“Um… now that I am… er… finished that… um… we should be going.”
Jumba led the group through the bay and down another corridor. He stopped at an unremarkable door of no significance.
“OK, this is being turbolift, goes straight down to Engineering.”
He typed something in the keypad. The door whooshed open.
“OK, everyone in!”
“Command acquired. Target: not identified.”
426 stared at the thing from the laundry shaft.
“It talks to itself? I told you it was crazy…”
Suddenly, the door at the far end swished open. Four beings tumbled out, one they recognised as Jumba.
“Get off my third foot!”
“Yeah? Well, you are to be getting finger out of eyes!”
“Um… I’m getting a little squashed here… Jumba?”
“Oh, sorry, little girl.”
The creature turned around to see what all the commotion was about.
“Target acquired. Mission complete.”
It then de-materialised.
“Er… what was that all about?”
But Jumba had a panic-stricken look on his face.
“It cannot be… but it has to be…”
The small Hawaiian girl beside Jumba (That must be the “little girl” Jumba always talks about, thought 426) picked herself up and brushed off some dust on her muumuu.
“Er… never minding… um… we should be getting back now.”
“But we just got…”
“OK, OK, sheesh…”
When Jumba got back to the bridge, he immediately started typing something on his computer.
Lilo came up beside him.
“Who was that, Jumba?”
“Cannot be telling you right now,” replied Jumba, a grim look on his face. “Have to be reconfiguring shields…”
Suddenly, the ship rolled with the force of something hitting it at high speed. Everyone, with the exception of Stitch and Jumba, was knocked over.
Pleakley got up and pressed a few buttons.
“We have been latched onto with a high-signature long-EM ranged tractor beam… wait, we have shields?”
“So little one-eyed one is knowing, and yet he has so much to be learning… ‘Tis another project I’ve been working on. Shield technology to repel incoming plasma torpedoes, tractor beams and baseballs annoying neighbour children keep on throwing on roof.”
Lilo spoke up.
“Pleakley, can you repeat whatever you said… in English?”
“Basically, a tractor beam is kinda like having a trailer at the end of your car,” replied Pleakley.
“Which one’s the trailer?” asked Lilo, knowing the reply.
Something started beeping.
“We have an incoming communication!”
“Put it on screen.”
The holographic screen sizzled into life, temporarily fizzing with static, before displaying an image of a room – no, that wasn’t an accurate description, it was more like the inside of a bee hive, only all metal.
Maybe these are those creatures from “Attack of the Bumble-Bee Mummies”, thought Lilo.
A million metalic voices blared through the speakers. A million voices synthesized, a million voices symphonised, none caring for the lives in front of them.
“Lilo Pelikai, you will lower your shields and surrender to us. If you do not comply, we will destroy you.”
Chapter 24: Resistance is Futile