Chapter 33: Joyriding and Intructions
“ARE YOU CRAZY?” Pleakley half-shouted.
“Like a Beltarian fitozx!”
Having finally reached the comm. mic., and hanging on for dear life, 419 dialled in the bridge.
“What on Turo is happing?”
To her disdain, Pleakley answered.
“The little monsters hijacked the ship!”
Typical boy behaviour.
“Who are you?”
“Er… 419! Jumba’s experiments, 400 series, failed, long story… what happened to the inertia dampeners? Why are they not on?”
“I don’t know, Jumba usually turns them on!”
“You don’t KNOW?”
“Look, I’m an Terrantologist, not an engineer!”
“Anyway, he always turns them off when unneeded!”
“What about Jumba?”
“What about JUMBA?” 419 almost shouted.
“Oh… He fainted… or something… his weight’s threatening the support beams!”
“D’ya think I’m laughing?”
“Where are they going?”
“426 said something about a trans-space conduit…”
A hand reached for his comm. It then dialled.
“I’m sorry, the number you are trying to reach is no longer available. Please check your number and try again later.”
He pounded his dashboard.
OK… calm down…
“Operator, connect me to the Grand Councilwoman.”
“You? I thought we agreed that I was to contact you…”
“But this is an emergency. The safety of the free galaxy, so to speak, may be at risk.”
“I want a word with my younger brother.”
But someone obviously knew, for 419 heard some rustling, a little scurrying, then…
“By two weeks!” 426 retorted.
“It’s enough… now, tell me, have you lodged one too many coconuts with your head?”
“Hijacking the ship, without backup, low torps, minimal inertia dampeners, and what’s more, you’re going to face off a cybernetic race that will, to use layman’s terms, flatten you utterly and totally, not to mention destroy you, and then absorb whatever’s left of you, and you have no idea what I’m talking about?”
“426, this is not the time for sarcastic remarks!”
“If not, then what time is it?”
419 refrained herself from giving him a piece of her mind.
“It’s time you tell me what on blitxnak you think you’re doing!”
“Really? Mine says 2:13…”
“OK, OK… um… rescuing Little Girl?”
“No wonder 626 seems so happy,” 419 said in an undertone. “So… any idea how ya going to do that?”
“Absolutely none,” he repeated. “Isn’t it wonderful?”
“Oy, the things I put up with,” 419 muttered.
Hanging up the comm., she decided to make the most of her time by…
Her eyes rested on the schemata. Yes, studying the blueprints would help her take her mind off their impending doom.
She was halfway across the room when the ship suddenly stopped, flinging her face first into the door.
Some days you just couldn’t win.
Rubbing her head, she looked out the window/porthole/screensaver. Another nebula. Sigh.
There were lights… a stage… the president of E.G.O.… pressing a button… falling into darkness…
Jumba sat up. Pleakley was staring at him with a look of trepidation. 426 gave him this really freaky look that told him just how cuckoo he thought he was. 626 looked as if he was caught between pity and hilarity.
He looked himself over. He was lying in a crumpled heap between the corridor door and bathroom door.
“What are you staring at?”
“Well, you w…”
Pleakley shoved 426’s hand in his mouth.
“You looked terrible… like what you did every night that week, when you had that chicken pox flu thingy…”
426 coughed something that sounded suspiciously like ‘Kila wa nai’.
“Oh… well, Qwetians get extremely seaing-sick when inertia dampeners are not being properly adjusted!”
426 swallowed. 626 shrugged. Jumba looked directly at them.
“I will be having word with you two later. Where is being 419?”
“She’s where she was before…”
Jumba scratched his chin.
“And where are being we?”
426 looked around. Jumba was still watching him.
“Um… yeah… about that… funny thing, heheh… you’ve got to laugh…”
“I am not being in laughing mood.”
426 scratched his right leg with his left foot.
“Uhuh… you see… we’re in… er… the bridge!”
Jumba’s stare intensified.
“OK, OK, we’re in a nebula about three light-years from the space station.”
“Ahem,” coughed a small squeaky voice.
426 looked over his shoulder. Pleakley was looking rather impatient.
“I believe some introductions are in order?”
Jumba turned around.
“Oh, him? This is being 426, one of my failed experiments.”
Yeah, ya always have to point that out, don’t ya! thought 426.
“You mean he doesn’t do anything?”
“Heh, just like 625.”
“Y’know I’m right here, don’t ya?”
“Oh, yes, we know, we are just pretending you are not.”
 ^ Japanese, literally, ‘There is no Kila’. [See the commentary for details.]