Chapter 36: Spider Issues
Experiment 426 climbed up the cramped, dirty, dusty and dead-insect ridden shaft, followed at a distance by 419.
“C’mon, hurry up!” yelled 426, his voice echoing through the vast network of air vents surrounding him.
“Do we… have to do this?” asked 419 as she squirmed around a particularly large Selwinian Juwap, being careful not to step in the drool still drip-dropping from its mouth.
“Of cause! You want to rescue Little Girl, don’t you?”
“Well, yes, but… there’s deceased rodents in here! And the chances are it has spiders!”
“So?” he asked, half-mockingly, half-teasingly.
419 put on her ‘this-is-not-funny-this-is-serious-and-you-know-darn-well-why-not’ face.
“Oh, yeah, your arachnophobia… they’re just shaggy slimy venomous insects with razor-sharp pincers, hairy-hairy bodies and eight eyes all round, ‘tis all…”
“Oh yeah, sure, you may laugh now, but when it’s you trapped in a overly sticky mesh with a giant slimy drooling tarantula clicking his goop-covered pincers at you as he moves in for the kill, we’ll see who has the last laugh…”
“You’ve been watching too much Earth vs. The Spider again, haven’t you?” replied 426, and continued his upwards clamber.
“Where are we and where’s Lilo?” asked Nani as the trio traversed the trunk.
Jumba scratched his head.
“Er… OK, will be telling Older Girl all and everything.”
He turned to Pleakley.
“You tell her.”
“And what if I don’t?” replied Pleakley, folding his arms.
“Well, if you don’t, I am still having plans for eye-poking experiment, heh heh…”
“We’re back at the bridge.”
Jumba looked about.
“Er… where is 626?”
Stitch scrambled down the tube, moving in the opposite direction as the two experiments below. Negotiating the chunky channels, slimy shafts and treacherous tunnels of the ventilation system may have been a daunting demeanour for anyone else, but 626 did, after all, have a brain that could think faster than a supercomputer. And besides, this was for Lilo, his lifelong friend and companion; he would trek and tumble through the vents even if he didn’t have any physical or mental advantages, just to rescue her.
He wiped his brow and started to hum “Megota Questa” as he continued towards the shuttlebay.
“Where’ya been?” asked 625, stuffing his mouth with pastrami-on-rye.
Gantu grumpily grumbled as he grunted acknowledgment.
“None of your business. Now…”
“Hold it, you’ve got another call from Hamsterviel…”
Gantu sighed as he sat down in his twirly chair. 625 turned on the transmission.
“Where have you been!” yelled Hamsterviel.
“Er… it’s not important…”
“I, not you, vill be the one to determine if it’s not important!”
Gantu’s gerbil-like boss sat back in his floaty chair and resumed talking with a normal (for him) non-shouty voice.
“Now, the prison computer detected that an unknown experiment flying a red police cruiser passed by a few hours ago, followed closely by a Galactic Federation ship containing three experiments, two humans, a Qweltian and a Plorgarian!”
“Three experiments, sir?”
“Vhell, they probably caught two others before hand! It is your job to grab them, understand?”
“Yes sir, right away!”
Hamsterviel disappeared off the screen.
625 swallowed his sandwich.
“Well, I guess you’ll be leaving me to ‘defend the fort’, eh Fishface?”
“Actually, you’re coming with me.”
“May I ask why?”
“I’ll tell you later. 624!”
A pink experiment, resembling a female version of Stitch with longer antennae, walked in.
“Look after this place until I get back. And please, no parties, I still haven’t been able to scrape that pizza stain from the rug…”
“Good. Now, 625, come… we need to rent a cruiser…”