Chapter 34: Chicken Scratches
426 sulkingly trodded out of the elevator and towards 419.
“Ah, lemme guess, Jumba awoke,” 419 said without looking up.
“Saw it on the screen.” She pointed to one of the many terminals in the room. On it was a video stream of the bridge.
419 retrieved a remote control from behind the schematic, and hit ‘rewind’, ‘play’.
“Oh, him? He is being one of my failed experiments…”
“Y’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.”
“Why do you let him do that?” continued 419. “Sometimes I just want to take his big dummy… dumb head and… nrumf…nyhhh…”
She imitated squashing Jumba’s head on the palm of her hand.
“Calm down, 419. I’ve got a plan.”
“Give me those schematics…”
Silence ensured as 426 poured over the complex diagrams.
“I can’t read this. It looks like chicken scratches to meh.”
419 slapped her forehead.
“Computer, lock down access to following areas: enginkeering, shuttle bay, battle bridge.”
Pleakley explored the chambers of the ship, as the lights had still not been restored on the bridge and corridors of Deck 1.
A loud clank disturbed Pleakley. He turned around to see that he had tripped over a large box.
“The things Jumba leaves lying around,” he muttered as he proceeded to try and lift it.
“This thing must weigh a hundred tons!” he yelled as he heaved it up to a shelf where he presumed it must go.
As he slid it in place, he heard a rattle.
A watering can. Strange. That hadn’t been there before.
Then he heard a muffled shout.
Now, as Pleakley didn’t believe in ghosties, ghoulies, long legged beasties, or things that went bump in the night (as that thing was usually one of Jumba’s experiments), he did something any self-respecting citizen would have done.
He screamed his lungs out.
The thing had said his name. He was sure of it. The thing knew his name…
He screamed some more.
Then he ran to the nearest mic padd and dialled the bridge.
“Vat is it?”
Jumba heard a barely audible squeak at the other end. Pleakley.
“Er… there’s a… thing… somewhere… IthinkitsinthegrainstoragebutI’mnotsureandcanyou pleeease help me!”
Jumba stood there, trying to process what Pleakley had just said.
“What… oh… er… well, there is being access point in bridge… please to be coming up here…”
The Queen checked another thing off her mental checklist.
“Let’s see… OK, you’re fit to go. Assist the assimilation process.”
“Affirmative” came the reply, and off the drone went.
“Now… Phase Two is almost complete.”
She noticed someone enter the room.
“Hello. You’re early.”
The humanoid in the shadows shrugged. The Queen stopped pacing.
“I see. Well, I have a feeling our friends will be along soon. You better prepare.”
The being nodded and walked out.