Chapter 4: Cleaning Up The Attic
Lilo walked through the door, with Stitch trailing.
“Nani! Jumba! Pleakley! We’re home!”
Jumba’s voice called back.
“Older girl is still being at work, and Pleakley is going to food market…”
“You mean the mall?”
“Is what I say!”
Lilo turned towards Stitch.
“What’s wrong with you? You haven’t been yourself today.”
626 had been having nightmares too… nightmares about a terrible force that would come and steal Lilo’s soul. He couldn’t let that happen, but he couldn’t tell Lilo, either – he didn’t want to make her own nightmares worse.
Stitch was ‘sorting’ through a box of books labelled “Science and Technology.” Only his variation of ‘sorting’ was throwing each book over his shoulder. And, unfortunately, his aim was so inaccurate that each book landed flat on Jumba’s head.
“Would genius experiment please stop throwing rectangular projectiles at my cranium!”
Lilo had come across a box, filled to almost overflowing with Vertical Helical Scan tape cassettes, which had been sitting in the same place for over four years. On the opposite side to Lilo, Stitch could only just make out through the dust “Kalani’s Videos”.
Where have I heard that name before?
Stitch had to think for a bit before he remembered.
For a brief moment, one day last year when Experiment 355 was swapping their brains, he had seen thousands of images rush through his mind – images of Lilo’s life. He had seen her earlier life, which had been full of laughter and joyfulness… until the fatal accident that had killed her parents. He had seen her after that stoop into loneliness, with only her sister to comfort her. He had seen her so-called ‘friends’ turn on her, torture her with never-ending pranks, teasing, ect. Then he had seen her wish upon a ‘star’, or rather, his own get-away ride. He had seen himself through her eyes – not as a monster, but a friend.
And when Stitch realised who Kalani was, an emptiness filled him, tearing him apart from the inside… He almost wanted to cry…
Knock it off, he told himself. You are Experiment 626. These memories are not yours.
But, before he could stop himself, he started hugging Lilo.
No harm will come to you, he silently promised her.
And he could almost hear Lilo answer back.
Lilo felt herself blush slightly. 626, the Experiment 626, was giving her a hug? For what reason?
Because we’re ‘Ohana.
That had to be the only reason. Otherwise, the Experiment 626 would not just go around hugging people (and it was pretty rare for him to do so, anyway.)
“Bata itsa naga.”
“It is being times like this that is making me glad to be an evil genius. Now, little girl and 626 are to be getting back to work now.”
Stitch removed himself from Lilo and went back to ‘sorting’ the books.
She wondered what was going on in Stitch’s mind.
But he knew what was going on in hers.
“626, if I am telling you once, I am telling you more than once: stop with the throwing of combination paper-cardboard reading material!”
Lilo was digging around in “Jumba’s Old Stuff”, which included several pictures of his ex-wife, plans for twenty different experiments, ranging from 029 to 626, several technologies including a hand-held communicator, a EM-shield that retracts into a ring and a 3D hologram of the Turo system, and various photos of Jumba’s previous partners, including Hamsterville, Jotinar, Experiment 625 (unbelievably), Haknor, Tessifer, Jacques Gerbilwheel (no relation to Hamsterville), and some guy named Andrew P. Lipsky. (“Mad scientist, is being on brink of world conquest…” “Isn’t that Professor Demens?”)
She came across a small titanium container.
“What’s in this?”
She noticed a change come over Jumba as he saw what she was holding. He started gripping the vase he was holding tighter, and started shaking slightly.
“’Tis… ‘tis nothing! Now, would little girl please be handing to me!”
“Just give it to me!”
She threw it at (or rather, in the general direction of) Stitch.
But, instead of catching it, Stitch fell headfirst into a box.
Seconds before hitting the ground, the box stopped. And started floating. Towards Jumba.
He grabbed it and deactivated the device he was using to levitate it.
“Ah, magnetic gravimetric field simulator, works every time! Now I will be putting small container where you two cannot be putting nose into it…”
He plodded down the steps.