Chapter 37: Nani and the Toaster
“Computer, locate Experiment 626,” requested Jumba as Nani tapped her foot in impatience.
Suddenly, he heard a sort of scrambling noise below him.
“Ah, he must be in vents!” he exclaimed.
As if on cue, the computer beeped.
“Experiment 626 is in the ventilation system,” it droned pointlessly.
Jumba scratched his chin.
“I wonder what he’s doing there…”
“Wait, so this computer can locate people?” asked Nani.
“Well, yes, but only if they are on the ship…”
“Computer, locate Lilo Pel…”
Nani raised her eyebrow.
“Oh, have you noticed the weather? Has been rather damp lately…”
Pleakley, getting the idea, joined in.
“Yeah… though the nights have been a little… er… dark?”
“Jumba, what is going on?”
“What is going on… why… nothing!” replied Jumba, a little too overenthusiastically. “We were just… er…”
“…playing hide and seek!” said Pleakley, finishing his sentence. “I’m counting…”
“Pleakley! This isn’t working!” hissed Jumba behind his back as Nani placed her hands on her hips.
“OK, go with plan B,” whispered Pleakley.
“Making it up as you go!”
Jumba turned back to Nani.
“OK, we’ll take you to Lilo,” he said crestfallenly, winking to Pleakley.
Pleakley mouthed ‘What are you going to do?’.
Jumba did not reply, and instead showed Nani through a door to the left.
“Er… she’s in a broom closet?”
And with that, he pushed a button.
The door slammed shut.
Jumba rushed through the room, grabbed Pleakley’s hand, and rushed out of the bridge.
“We have to find 626!” he muttered to Pleakley hurriedly.
“I can not believe you did that to Nani!” Pleakley scolded.
“She was getting annoying! I had to do something!”
“But lock her in a closet? Why not something less subtle, like, oh, I dunno, a stun ray?”
“Well, I didn’t think of that! Besides, the toaster will do that anyway!”
“You put a stun ray in a toaster?”
“No, but it was sitting precariously on the shelf…”
About three hundred meters away and two meters up, 426 stopped.
“Hey, 419, this is the place, isn’t it?”
When 419 didn’t respond, 426 glanced behind him.
She was about a meter down the vent. She was covered from head to toe in some sort of slime. Despite it being forty degrees above zero, 419 was shivering from head to toe. Strands of cobweb was hanging from her hair and fur, and her glasses were completely opaque.
“May I ask, and excuse me if I sound a little crazy, but… what on Qwelta Du happened to you?”
419 gave a little smile.
“I ran into someone… something along the way… and it… glooped me.”
“Ah, I see…” said 426, snickering. “So, is this the place?”
“Yush, the shuttle bay should be right below…”
“So… now what?”
419 wiped some of the slime from her glasses.
“We get in.”
“But how?” asked 426 tentatively.
419 pulled out what looked like a small tube with a button at one end and some type of lens at the other.
“Handheld laser scalpel,” she explained as she cut away at the bars of the vent.
Meanwhile, Jumba was trying to find where exactly Stitch was. To do this, he pulled out the mightiest of all tools in his arsenal of technology – a doctor’s stethoscope.
Pleakley put his hands on his hips.
“Don’t you have some kind of… like… locator thingy? Or an x-ray… thingy?”
“Well, locator on computer is imprecise, only says which area one is in, not where in area one is, and advanced locator I am working on only has thirty-two percent chance of working.”
“Would the other sixty-eight percent involve the ship blowing up in some way?”
“Well, actually… yes.”
“I see. So… you have to listen for him?”
“Yes, now shush!”
Jumba pressed the stethoscope to the wall, listening hard for any sounds whatsoever.
“Er… the toaster seems to have worked, ‘cause I don’t hear Nani…”
“Okay, okay… well… that’s funny…”
“I could swear I can hear a series 5 laser scalpel…”
“How’d ya know?”
“Well, I had to also take a doctorate in doctoring to complete my studies… you see, I needed 10 extra credits for my TQA… but that’s not important.”
“Turo Qualifications Accredited… now zip it!”
Pleakley zipped it.
“The scalpel’s stopped… I hear scrambling… two bodies… climbing into… the shuttlebay! Let’s go!”
Jumba rushed off. Pleakley watched him plod down the hallway.
“Okay,” he said, jogging down the corridor after him, “I’m going, but I don’t know why…”