Chapter 5: Suspicious Minds
“GO TO YOUR ROOM!”
“I’M ALREADY IN MY ROOM!
Lilo and Nani were having their regular pre-bed yelling match.
A slam told Nani that Lilo had closed the door. And a high-pitched squeal told her that she was screaming into her pillow.
Good, now she could get some rest…
Lilo’s thoughts of How To Get Back Nani soon melted away. By the time Stitch came in they were gone completely, replaced by What Is Jumba Hiding?
It has to be something valuable, or something that he doesn’t want us to see…
A thousand scenarios rushed through her head, each as impossible as the next. Jumba’s a secret agent. Jumba’s a spy. Jumba’s created an experiment…
I’ll deal with it in the morning.
Experiment 626 was also thinking about what Jumba was hiding. He had managed to take a peak through the keyhole – all was blue, ‘cept for three black numbers. Something-2-8. No matter how hard he tried, he could not remember the first number.
A scene suddenly flashed through his brain.
Lilo was yelling at someone… Jumba… If only he could hear what was being said…
“It is he who is having screw loose if he thinks I am going to tell you that I made a 627!”
“YOU MADE A 627!”
Of cause! It had to be an experiment pod!
No… he had been threatening Pleakly with “experiment for which to poke someone’s (Pleakly’s) giant eye out!” And Pleakly wasn’t being threatened… or was he? If he was, he was doing a good job at hiding it.
And it might be something else – Jumba was a renowned scientist, it was probably just one of his inventions, and he was worrying over nothing.
Then why was Jumba acting so much not like himself?
In the large, two-hundred-year-old hula hall, six 8-year-old girls and five 20-year-old women were dancing on stage.
“Ea mai ke ali`i kia manu
Ua wehi i ka hulu o ka mamo
Ka pua nani a`o Hawai`i
`O Kalakaua he inoa!”
“He Inoa No Kalani Kalakaua — kulele!”
“Excellent – and this time you didn’t slip!”
The hula teacher stood up, clapping.
Cue obnoxious, stuck-up, spoiled brat, Myrtle Edmonds.
“Never mind. I’d like to thank our volunteers for coming over, especially after what happened last time.”
Last time they had dared to come near the hula hall was two years ago.
“Can we hurry up now? I have to brush my hair about a thousand times, and I’ve no time to waste.”
Not only was Myrtle obnoxious, stuck up and spoiled, she was self-centered, caring only for things within 100 nanometres of her skin.
“Not like Weirdlo would know anything about style.”
Her second, third and forth favourite things, besides herself, was taunting, teasing, and gloating in front of, Lilo.
Lilo ignored her. She liked the hula woman, and didn’t want to scare them away (for two years) like last time, and anyway, she was too used to Myrtle’s remarks to care.
And she had better things to do than worrying about her looks, or Myrtle for that matter. Like trying to figure out what Jumba was hiding.
And for that, she’d need Stitch.
Stitch woke up from his nap. Lilo was going out of the hula hall. Strange, she didn’t usually call him by his number.
And Myrtle knew that.
“What’s this experiment 626? Some kind of secret weapon? The key to Area 51?”
“And I thought Lilo was weird,” one of Myrtle’s posse whispered to the others.
“Oh, no… er… it’s the codename for… my dog! Yeah, that’s it.”
“Sure, like I’m supposed to believe that! So, is it alien technology?”
Myrtle’s posse was still whispering behind her back.
“Let’s vote on which is the least weird and stick with her.”
“I vote for Lilo!”
Just then, Jumba came plodding down the footpath.
“Uncle Jumba! Er… what a surprise to see you here!”
Now, imagine your average obese person. Put a yellow shirt with green leaves and baggy cargo pants on him. Add purple-and-pinkish skin. Multiply eyes by four and you’d get a basic idea of what Jumba looked like.
“Er… can I change my vote to Myrtle?”
“I see weirdness runs in the family.”
Jumba, of cause, didn’t take this lightly.
“Is small mean Earth child calling Jumba Jookiba, evil scientist, weird!”
“Er, yeah, duh. Have you looked in the mirror lately?”
“Only this mor… never mind, this fruitless conversation is diverting me from reason for being here.”
He cleared his throat.
“I am coming to be giving 626 physical, so to speak, just being normal tests, you know, brain probe, thermal scan, normal things.”
“OK, we are definitely sticking with Myrtle.”
Lilo brought her hand to her face. Oh, how humiliating.
But her humiliation was soon broken, by Myrtle, surprisingly.
“What on Earth is 626!”
“626 is being blue-furred exoplasmic detection dog in front of mean girl with spectacles.”
“So, she was right!”
“Well… it wasn’t that obvious.”
“Come on, girls!”
Lilo watched as Myrtle strutted down the street, nose to the air. She also noticed that her ‘posse’ was keeping a slightly larger distance from her than usual.