Chapter 45: A Plan Unfurls
“Pleakley, what happened!”
“Maybe it’s broken,” suggested 426 nonchalantly.
“No, I can still hear the sound of the consoles. Pleakley probably did something boneheaded and dropped it while scurrying away to find somewhere to quiver and hide.”
“Er… 419, I’m still listening,” said a squeaky sound through the static. 419 almost dropped the walkie-talkie in shock.
“Oh, I’m so sorry!” she apologised profusely, while 426 snickered behind her.
“No, worries, I get that a lot,” the voice reassured her, though sounding a little hurt. “Mainly from Jumba, but still…”
“So, er… what happened to… er, Mr. Mad Scientist?”
“Well, he kinda sorta… well, vanished.”
“Vanished?” 419 raised an eyebrow. “Pleakley, people don’t just vanish…”
“I know that.”
“Well, there were two vertically parallel beams of light… I think it’s a Borg transportation beam!”
Now 419 was rather puzzled, which was a rather annoying feeling for her. So, being the inquisitive type, she pressed Pleakley for more information.
“Well, the Borg, according to Jumba, are a cyborg race that try to eat up technology so they can learn about it. Or something like that.”
“And you think these… Swedish cyborg people have Jumba?”
“Er… yes, I think… when their soldier-thingies took Lilo, they left by fading into nothing… and it had the same beams…”
Pleakley trailed off abruptly, as if the collective memories of Jumba and Lilo was too painful for him to bear.
“So… er, Pleakley, how much damage do you think you can do with a class-nine battleship?”
Pleakley’s tone perked up considerably.
“I think I can do enough… why do you ask?”
419 smiled. “A rescue mission.”
“We’re saving Jumba?” Pleakley enquired through the shadowy static.
“Little Girl too?” 426 asked over 419’s shoulder.
“Indeed” was the experiment’s reply.
“Now, you remember that console I showed you?”
“Nan de?” yawned a quite obviously tired 426. He stretched his arms high in the air, in an attempt to shake off some of this sleepiness. “Huh… oh, yeah, I remember…”
“Well,” continued 419, a little worried about 426’s state of health, “er… it appears to be showing a map of some kind. See, these grey dots are the Swedish Cyborg Chefs, and these blue dots over here are… er… ‘foreign bodies’.”
“Us?” guessed 426.
“Uhuh,” nodded 419. “Before, I… what are you doing?”
“I’m seeing if the dot moves when I do,” responded 426, running around in circles as one of the dots on the screen rotated with him.
“Uhuuuh…, well, anyway, before I saw the map move somewhere else briefly… somewhere over… er, I think it was that way…’
She waved her hand across the screen, in order to illustrate her point. To her surprise, the map moved too.
“Okay, now we’re getting somewhere! Let’s see…”
And 419 continued to wave her hand across the screen, until she found what she was looking for.
“Hey 426! This must be Jumba,” shouted 419, excited at the prospect of finding the Qweltian. “See the blue dot?”
“Why would they keep him alive? Wouldn’t they disassemble him for parts?”
419 gave 426 an odd look.
“What? They’re zombie cyborgs, aren’t they?”
419 sighed. 426 was always kind of weird.
“I’m not sure why they want him. I mean, all the information he’s gonna give them is probably about four-hundred years out of date anyway.”
“Hmm…” 426 pondered for a moment. “First Little Girl, then Jumba. It doesn’t make sense.”
A lonely blue experiment sat off the side of the gangplank-like corridors, his legs dangling into darkness, his eyes seeing nothing.
Well, to be precise if nothing else, this statement was false for several reasons, if not for the main one – that is, Stitch could see perfectly fine. How ever much his visionary sensors were processing, though, he just wasn’t taking in any of it - the wide, desolate hallway opposite him, the deep bowls of the ship below, the crowds of metal men passing him by. What was the point?
If truth be told, Experiment Six Twenty-Six could not remember a time when he had ever felt as utterly useless as he did at this moment. He couldn’t protect Lilo, nor could he bring her back. He had not heard from his two companions, or Jumba or Pleakley in hours - he supposed they were all now in the clutches of the evil that surrounded him. He had failed.
But so what if you’ve failed, a voice inside his head asked him. When you trip, you pick yourself up and try again. This is no different.
He sighed. He didn’t see how he could get himself out of this one.
Think, the voice told him. The brain of a supercomputer, and you can’t figure it out without an internal monologue?
He smiled slightly. If only Pleakley could see him now, talking to himself. He’d probably think he was crazy.
Of cause, Lilo never gave up on him. Sure, she may have been annoyed one or twice, and sure, they may have had a few (dozen) fights, but she stuck by him, through thick and thin.
The experiment cheered up slightly. After all, it had been Lilo who was the determined one, with unwavering optimism and a cheery disposition. If she wasn’t here, and if she was in misery, like him, maybe he could be cheery for the both of them.
“So, how does it go?”
A single solitary figure sat alone in shadowy silence as the great Queen of the Borg paced around her chambers.
“Fine, fine…” she mumbled, almost seemingly distracted by something. The figure noticed this, and bowed its head slightly.
“I think you’re paying too much attention on this ‘Lilo’ girl,” said the creature in the shadows. “All of you,” it continued, uneasily eyeing the exits.
“Oh, don’t worry about her,” the Mind of Many murmured. “She and her ‘friends’ won’t be a problem for much longer.”
She looked ceiling-wards, as does a sailor when smelling the fresh salty sea-breeze, and smiled her dreadful, evil smile.
“Soon, they will all become… like us.”