Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by Chancellor_Ewok, Jun 2, 2019.
Well, here’s a clue. Dr. Diminutive has an absolutely raging Napoleon complex.
Oh ho, I hear echoes of Wild Wild West's Dr. Miguelito Loveless!!
Yeah, kind of......
Episode Sixty Six
The last notes of Fat died away and the stages light went dark. Everyone applauded loudly. Milo and Amanda could just see the shadowy form of Weird Al doffing the fat suit and handing it to one of the stage hands who who hustled off stage with it. The lights came back up again, and Weird Al launched into Tacky.
Wear my Ed Hardy shirt with fluorescent orange pants
Got my new resume, it’s printed in Comic Sans
Think is fun threatening waiters with a bad Yelp review
If you think that’s than you’re probably tacky too
He was about half way through the song, when everything began to go sideways. The overhead video screen, which had been playing a series of absurd images in time to the music, was suddenly replaced by the image of a small man in a white lab coat. At the same moment the concert’s sound system went dead. Milo could here people around him whispering to each other and laughing. They clearly thought that this was part of the show. Milo cast a glance up at the stage. Weird Al, his bandmates and the conductor of the orchestra seemed to have realized that something had gone wrong with the sound system.
Milo was intently watching Weird Al when Amanda leaned over and whispered in his ear. “Is this you?” she asked.
Milo had been wondering the same thing. “I’m not sure,” he replied after a moment’s thought, “I suppose the sound system might be,” he gestured to the video screen overhead, “I’m pretty sure that isn’t.”
Before he could say anything else, a high pitched voice boomed out of the overhead speakers. “Citizens of Danville! It is I your rightful overlord, Dr. Diminutive of the League of Villainous Evildoers Maniacally United for Frightening Investments in Naughtiness.”
Milo thought for and then laughed in spite of himself, “LOVEMUFFIN?” he asked with a chuckle. Amanda burst out laughing in response. “There’s a league of supervillain called LOVEMUFFIN?!”
Milo laughed again. “Shouldn’t they be called DOOM or FEAR or fear or something?”
“Not very intimidating,” asked Amanda, “is he?”
Dr. Diminutive was still speaking. “You are all now my obedient servants. Anyone who does not do exactly as I command will feel the power of my Shrinkinizor.” At these words, Dr. Diminutive pushed a button. The sound of rending metal and shattering plexiglass filled the arena as a long slender needle thrust down through the bottom of the video screens. A high energy whine filled the arena and a bright blue beam of energy shot out of the business end of the Shrinkinizor and into the crowd. The air was suddenly electric and Milo felt the hair on his arms stand up. Half shielding his eyes from the high powered glare, Milo instinctively turned his head as the beam of energy lanced into the crowd. Several sections of the arena’s upper bowl suddenly glowed with a hazy blue light. After a second or two, they disappeared with a comical POP!
A loud gasp arose from the assembled crowd. There appeared to be an empty space where three sections of seats had been a few seconds before. Milo and Amanda turned and looked at each other. They were both clearly thinking the same thing. “What was that?” she asked wide eyed.
“Definitely not me,” replied Milo. A sudden thought struck him. “What about Mort and Joni?” he asked. His eyes automatically went to the upper tiers of the stadium’s seating. I hope they’re alright, he thought. Milo’s thoughts were interrupted by the sound of Dr. Diminutive laughing maniacally.
“As you can see,” he said with evil glee, “I have all of you in my power. I want one hundred million dollars and the complete and unquestioned surrender of the Danville Tristate Area.” He paused dramatically to let his demands sink in. The arena was filled with hissing whispers as the reality of the situation began to sink in. “You have one hour to comply. If my demands are not met, I will shrink everyone in Danville, starting with all the people in this arena.”
Amanda turned to Milo again. Her eyes were wide. “Milo, what should we do?” she asked.
No sooner had Dr. Diminutive appeared on the overhead TV screen, than Brick and Savannah swung into action. Without saying a word, the two time agents unceremoniously pulled off their uniforms and stuffed them in the nearest trash can. Savannah was dressed in a floor length satin ball gown and matching boots. Brick straightened his bow tie. His tuxedo was perfectly pressed. The concession stand manager was a sixteen year old kid. His name tag said his name was Jeremy. He stared at them wide eyed. “Where are you going?” he asked, eyeing their get up. They looked like they were going out to a fancy restaurant. “I mean shouldn’t we hide or call the police or something?”
“This is beyond the police,” replied Savannah with a shake of her head.
“But you should definitely stay here,” said Brick.
“You’ll be safer here,” and with that they left.
On the arena floor Milo eyed the Shrinkinizor apprehensively. He took a deep breath, trying to remain calm. He ran the situation through his mind one more time. OK, he thought, you’re trapped at a Weird Al concert with Amanda by a nutcase with some sort of inator who wants to take over the Tristate Area. He had been thinking about the situation for at least the last ten minutes. Well, Brick and Savannah are here, he thought. That has to mean something, but what? Milo wasn’t sure. He’d had a couple of runs with the two time agents, and knew that they were colleagues of Cavendish and Dakota, but beyond that, Milo didn’t know them very well.
He looked around again. Odd, he thought, there don’t seem to be any goons. Milo hesitated for half a second, as if expecting something to happen. When nothing did, he grabbed Amanda’s wrist and stood up. “Milo,” she said surprised, as she scrambled to her feet. “what are you doing?”
“Going to find Brick and Savannah,” he replied simply as he edged his way along the row toward the aisle, trying not to step on anybody’s feet. He was about as successful as he had been when he had sat down half an hour ago.
Milo reached the end of the row and turned up the aisle, with Amanda trailing in his wake, hurrying to catch up. “Milo,” she said, catching up with up him as he strode determinedly up the aisle, “where are we going? And who are Brick and Savannah?” She was slightly out of breath, having had to run to catch up to him.
“We’re going to find a couple of-,” he paused, wondering how to describe Brick and Savannah. “Well, put it this way you remember the Murphy’s Law incident at the Build-a-Bot contest last year?”
They had reached the main concourse. Amanda thought for a second, trying to remember. “You mean that thing with Dr. Doofenshmirtz and that red light bulb?” she asked.
Milo nodded. “Yeah,” he replied, “that was the incident, anyway, somehow, I guess because, well they are time travellers after all, Melissa showed up with Savannah at the science fair right before everything went haywire and they were able to stop the giant robot before thing got too out of control.”
“And what makes you think they’re here?” asked Amanda.
“Because I ran into them at the snack counter, selling pistachios,” replied Milo. He shrugged. “I’m kind of spitballing, but-,” Amanda finished his sentence for him.
“-maybe they know something,” she said.
They reached the snack counter. It was empty. Milo wasn’t really surprised by that. He supposed that they were either lying low, waiting for the right moment to strike or were investigating Dr. Diminutive’s Shrinkinizor or something.
“So now what do we do?”asked Amanda.
Milo thought for a second. “Maybe they left a clue.” He shrugged. He was forced to admit to himself that he was spitballing again. He walked around the corner and quickly found the service door, He ignored the sign that said “Employees Only” and tried the door handle. Predictably, it came loose in his hand. Milo thrust a hand over his shoulder and deposited the broken door handle into his backpack. He pushed open the door and stepped inside. His nostrils were immediately assaulted by the smell of hotdogs and overcooked french fries.
Milo stepped into the kitchen. There was a large induction griddle and several deep fryers along one wall. The other wall occupied by a food prep counter and several stacked pizza ovens. The cramped space was slightly hot. Milo turned and went through another door. There was a wall separating the cash registers from the kitchen. No soon had Milo gone through the door than the soda fountain burst. Dark, sticky soda bubbled over and collected on the floor in a puddle. Trying not to step in the spreading puddle soda pop on floor, lest he slip, Milo walked from one end of the counter to the other. He was hunched over, rummaging through the various boxes of printer tape and drink trays scattered under the counter. He wasn’t exactly sure what he was supposed to be looking for. He spied something stuffed into a trash can. He pulled it out. It was a Slushy Dawg uniform. The name gage pinned to the uniform read “John Bricklinn,” and Milo briefly wondered if that was Brick’s actual name or just a cover identity for this particular mission. Milo frowned to himself. This is isn’t particularly helpful, he thought. He already knew they were here, but where they had gone, he didn’t know. Through the order window, Milo heard the sound of Amanda rummaging around in the kitchen. For a second he wondered if he should go back there and help her, but thought better of it. Me in there with propane and hot grease? he thought, bad idea, but no sooner than this thought had occurred to him, did Amanda call to him from the back of the kitchen.
“Milo,” she said, “I found someone back here.”
Milo stood up. “Really?” he asked, “who is it?” He turned and started back toward the door that lead back into the kitchen, his initial concern about the various hazards of the kitchen forgotten. He pushed open the door and made his way past the deep friers, the griddle and the pizza ovens. A sixteen year old blond boy with neatly parted hair stepped out from behind some shelves.
Jeremy Johnson gaped at the sight of his cousin. “Milo?” he asked in amazement, “what are you doing here?”
“Hi Jeremy,” said Milo casually, as if being stuck a Weird Al concert turned hostage situation by an evil scientist was perfectly normal. “This was supposed to be a birthday gift, but, well-,” Milo trailed off and shrugged.
“Ummm…..Milo,” said Amanda, “we need to find Brick and Savannah, remember?”
“Huh,” he said, “oh right, Jeremy I don’t suppose you happened to see anything out of the ordinary?”
Jeremy paused for a moment, thinking. “Wait, ordinary weird, or Murphy’s Law weird?”
“Murphy’s Law weird,” replied Milo at once.
Jeremy looked thoughtful again, “well actually we had these two new employees,” he said, “but they were really strange, like they the kept asking if the AI was malfunctioning. Then that weird guy appeared on the TV and all of a sudden they took their uniforms off. You should have seen them. They looked like something right out of a Krill Hunter movie. He was wearing a tuxedo and she was wearing a long dress.” He paused for a second, trying to dredge up any additional details. “I think their names were Brick and Savannah.”
“Yeah, that sounds like them,” replied Milo with a nod.
Jeremy’s eyebrows went up, “wait you know them?” he asked and Milo shrugged
“Well, not exactly,” he replied, “but we need to find them. They’re time travellers from the future. We think they might know what all this is about.”
Jeremy gestured over his shoulder with a nod of his head. “There’s a door back here,” he said. “I think they went this way.”
“Come on,” said Milo. He pushed past the other two and opened the door. It fell off its hinges and landed on the floor with a dull thud. Everyone flinched. “Come on,” he said again. “Somebody’s bound to have heard that.”
Episode Sixty Seven
Milo, Amanda and Jeremy stepped out into the hallway that ran behind the concession stands. Milo shut the door behind him. The corridor was painted a dull grey. It was lit with utilitarian fluorescent lights. The floor, which consisted of linoleum tiles the blue and purple of the Danville Marmots, was heavily scuffed. The three of them started walking. They had gone perhaps ten feet, when a loud bang shook the hallway. Milo’s eardrums throbbed violently in his skull and he turned to watch the door he had just closed embed itself, bent and crumpled in the opposite wall. Thick smoke poured out of the open door and Milo heard the sound of rushing water as the sprinkler system kicked in. He turned to Amanda and Jeremy and started walking. “Come on,” he said, “somebody definitely noticed that.”
High over the arena floor, somebody had noticed the explosion. Dr. Diminutive turned to his two goons. “What was that?” he snapped. The bigger one had opened a laptop and was rapidly inputting a string of commands. “Don’t know, Doc,” he said. They could clearly hear the wail of the building’s fire alarms. After a second or two, he pulled up the security feed. “Hey,” he said, “look at this! I think I found something.”
Dr. Diminutive immediately scuttled over to stand by his side. “What is it?” he snapped impatiently. “Let me see it.” The bigger man stepped aside. Dr. Diminutive peered at the screen. He was on just tall enough see it. He watched as three figures left what appeared to be a kitchen, which exploded short afterward. Who are they? he wondered,OWCA? The Time Bureau? Whoever they were, they were ruining his plan. He turned to his two goons. “Find them and bring them here immediately.”
Richard Chase was just washing up after dinner when the call came. His phone rang. He fished it out of his pocket and looked at his screen. His call display read “Wentworth, Mike.” He frowned to himself, Mike Wentworth was the captain of Division 14. Division 14 contained the Danville Fire Department’s MLRT, the Murphy’s Law Response Team. The purpose of the MLRT was to clean up any Murphy’s Law related accidents in Danville. If Mike was calling him at this hour, then it must be big. He tapped his screen and put his phone to his ear. “Talk to me,” he said.
“Chief, we’ve received a report of a fire at Danville Arena,” said Wentworth.
Richard frowned slightly. “Well, we are firefighters Mike,” he chided gently, “it comes with the job description.”
“Yeah, I know Chief,” replied Wentworth, “that’s not why I called you.”
At these words, something in Richard’s brain clicked into gear. He had a feeling that he could guess what Mike was going to say next. In the same instant, he was suddenly aware of a pair of eyes boring into a spot between his shoulder blades and Richard realized thar Melissa had been listening to his conversation. Richard turned his attention back to his phone. Mike was still speaking. “We picked up something on one of the police bands.”
“Yeah, what was it?”
“We picked multiple 9-1-1 calls made from inside the arena,” Wentworth continued. “Looks like a hostage situation.”
Richard heard a sharp intake of breath behind him as Melissa gasped. “OK,” replied Richard calmly, “activate Pumper #9 and Ladder Company 14. I’ll meet you on scene.”
“Got it Chief.”
Richard put his phone away. He turned to Melissa, who had paused in the act of drying a dish. “Sorry honey,” said Richard. “A situation has come up and I have-,” he stopped suddenly at the concerned look on her face. He felt his brain click into gear again. “OK,” he said, he spoke as if Melissa had gotten a C on a math test. “What do you know?”
Melissa took a deep breath. “Dad, Milo and Amanda are at the arena.”
Richard took out his phone again. He quickly tapped through his contacts until his found Mike Wentworth’s number and dialled it. He put the phone to his ear.
“What do you need Chief?”
“Mike, just got confirmation, activate the MLRT.”
“Copy that Chief.”
Richard hung up. He turned to Melissa. “I’m probably not going to be back until late. Don’t wait up for me.”
“OK, Dad,” she said. “Be careful.”
He gave her a smile. “Don’t worry about me,” he said. “I’ll keep an eye out for Milo.”
Melissa visibly relaxed a little. Richard a gave her a kiss, then turned and left the kitchen.
The night shift was just coming when the alert sounded on Carl’s computer terminal. He frowned at his computer screen over of the top his chipped Ducky Momo coffee mug. He put down his coffee mug quickly typed a string of commands into his terminal as the words INATOR ALERT flashed red on his screen. But how could that be? Carl thought to himself. Dr. Doofenshmirtz hasn’t built any new inators in months. He quickly input another series of commands into his terminal and got a location, Danville Arena. Carl clicked on an icon his screen and a window opened on his desktop. Major Monogram appeared, looking slightly annoyed.
“What is it Carl?” he asked. Monogram’s moustache bristled slightly. He was dressed in what appeared to be the traditional clothing of the Netherlands. “Tonight is my clogging night.”
“I’m sorry to disturb you, sir,” replied Carl, “but something has triggered the inator alert.”
Monogram’s eyes went wide at these words. “Great googly moogly,” he exclaimed. “When was the last time Doof built any inators?”
Carl ran a quick search. “Last year,” he said after a couple of minutes. “He built a de gum-inator.”
Monogram frowned. He remembered the incident. Heinz had built the de gum-inator with the purpose of cleaning up all the discarded chewing gum from Danville’s sidewalks. It had predictably not gone as Heinz had intended and after that, Monogram had tasked Perry with keeping Heinz out of trouble. That hadn’t been a particularly hard mission for OWCA’s top agent as it had turned out, as Heinz spent most of his time slowly inching his way toward what Perry claimed might be his destiny as Professor Time.
“You had better send Agent P to look it,” replied Monogram after a moment or two of consideration.
“Yes, sir,” said Carl. He was a about to open another window on his screen when Monogram spoke again. He looked for a second as if he was about to say something he was definitely going to regret.
“Oh, and better have him take Doof.”
Carl’s eyes went wide in surprise at these words. “Are you certain, Sir?”
Monogram shook his head. “No, I’m not Carl,” he replied, “but it seems that someone has built an inator of unknown design. His experience might prove useful.”
Carl tried his best to hide his scepticism and only partially succeeded. “Yes, sir,” he said.
Perry’s communicator began beeping half way through Space Adventure. Phineas and Ferb were sitting on the couch next to Baljeet and Isabella. Perry was curled up on the floor next to Phineas’s feet. He cast an eye up his so-call owner from the floor. Phineas was fully engrossed in the action on the screen and Perry decided that Phineas probably wouldn’t notice if he slipped out. On the screen, Captain Jack Raintree and his Vulkonian science office, Mr Tomak, had been cornered by drones from the Cytronian Collective.
“Tomak, we need a way out here,” said Raintree on the TV screen.
“Yes, Captain, I calculate our current odds of survival at 28%.”
“Blast the odds, Tomak, just give me away out here.”
“Very well Captain, if you would be so good as to hand me that ionic power cell?”
At this, Baljeet scoffed. “Oh come on!” he exclaimed, throwing his hands in the air, “you can’t connect an ionic power cell to a plasmonic regulator like that!”
On the screen, the crudely constructed device emitted a burst of energy and the Cytronian drones fell down in a shower of writhing blue sparks.
“Well, how about that,” said Ferb in mild surprise.
Phineas gave his stepbrother a gentle nudge. “So apparently you can connect an ionic power cell to a plasmonic regulator like that.”
Perry turned his attention way from the boys and their TV show. His wrist comm was still beeping insistently. He looked around, searching for somewhere quiet to answer the call. He heard the sound of feet in the kitchen and sound of a cupboard door opening. Lawrence was taking out the trash. He scuttled across the living room and into the kitchen. He slipped outside, unnoticed at Lawrence’s heels, as the kitchen door banged shut. He stood up, produced his fedora from somewhere and put it on his head. Perry hid for a moment in the shadows behind the garbage bins as Lawrence deposited the bag of garbage into the container. It rattled loudly as he replaced the lid and Perry used the momentary noise to open a small door that had been cleverly hidden in the wall of the house. A slide appeared on the other side. The door shut and Perry sat down at the top of the slide. He pushed off and went zooming down into the darkness beneath the house. The slight wind ruffled his fur and turned up the brim of his fedora. Lights went streaking past him at regular intervals as he went wizzing down the tubular slide. Perry felt the G forces pressing on him slightly as he leaned into the corners. He was suddenly in freefall as the tubular slide suddenly changed direction from the horizontal to the vertical and Perry reached up to keep his hat on his head. An instant before he was about to hit the bottom of the shaft, a hatch opened and the platypus plopped on to a chair.
Before Perry’s eyes could adjust to the darkness, the lights flicked at the sudden motion. He was in a large cylindrical room. In front of him was a computer console. The room’s walls were lined with jetpacks, spacesuits climbing gear and exoskeleton. Interspersed among all the spy gear and hardware were display cases containing mementos of just a few of Perry’s many missions.He reached up and detached a small locket from his collar. He unfolded it and pressed it into a depression in the centre of his computer terminal. The inside of the locket contained three pictures. One on the left of Phineas, one on the right of Ferb and one in the middle of Perry.
Perry pressed the unfolded locket to a depression in the middle of the computer console and the large monitor hanging on the wall flickered to life. A flat electronic voice said, “welcome Agent P, please input your passcode.” Perry input string of numbers and letters into his keyboard, along with what sounded like musical tones.
The flame electronic voice said, “passcode accepted. Please stand by.” The OWCA logo and a buffering bar appeared on the screen. After a minute or two, the buffering reached one hundred percent and the screen went blank again. A second or two after that Carl appeared.
[Evening, Carl] Perry chittered [What’s up?]
“I’m sorry to disturb your night off, Agent P,” replied Carl. “Major Monogram couldn’t give you your briefing personally. It’s his clogging night.”
[I assume you have a mission for me?] asked Perry.
Carl nodded. An image appeared on Perry’s monitor screen. “We got a signal from the inator alert.”
Perry’s eyes widened in surprise. [Really?] he warbled. The inator alert had been designed to allow OWCA to track Dr. Doofenshmirtz’ movements. Perry trusted Heinz, but Major Monogram didn’t, at least not yet. As a result, the inator alert had not been deactivated. [Where is the signal coming from?] chittered Perry.
The image on the screen changed. Carl’s visage briefly disappeared and reappeared in the upper right hand corner of the screen. It was overlaid on a map of Danville. A red dot was blinking in the middle of the image. Perry studied the image for a moment and quickly input a series of commands into his keyboard. A text box appeared next to the red dot. Words began to scroll downward and Perry read quickly, his eyes rapidly moving back and forth. His eyes went wide and he chittered urgently at Carl. [Dr. Diminutive?] the platypus asked. [How did we miss that?]
Carl shook his head in reply. “I don’t know,” he replied, “but he appears to have taken hostages a at a Weird Al concert at Danville Arena.” Carl glanced away from the camera and looked at his computer screen. Perry watch his eyes moving back and forth as he read quickly. “He apparently has some sort of Shrinkinizor,” he said after a second or two.
[Any idea where he got it?] Perry chittered.
Carl shook his head. “No,” he replied, he quickly scanned his computer screen again, as though searching hidden details, “but he’s threatening to shrink the Tri-state Area unless, he’s put in charge. We need you to put to a stop to his plan.”
Perry nodded and put on his fedora. [OK] he said [I’ll look in to it] He leaned forward to log off, but Carl spoke again.
“Oh, one more thing Agent P,”he said, “Major Monogram wants you to take Dr. Doofenshmirtz along on this one.”
Perry paused, a look of slight surprise on his face. [Carl, are you sure?] asked Perry. [Major Monogram doesn’t exactly-]
Carl cut him off, “-exactly trust him,” finishing Perry’s sentence for him. “I know, but Major Monogram feels that in this case, Doof’s skills might be useful.”
Perry chuckled to himself. He’ll like that, he thought, he’s always going about how we should be adventure buddies. He nodded at Carl. [OK] he said [I’ll take him with me.]
“Good luck, Agent P,” replied Carl.
Perry nodded and logged off. He got out his chair, turned and walked toward a biometric palm scanner that appeared to stand by itself in the middle of the room. He pressed his hand to the scanner plate. It glowed blue and beeped. Machinery rumbled under the floor and a cleverly conceal hatch appeared. It split apart and a circular platform rose into view, along with a thick cloud of vapour. Amidst the thick billowing clouds sat a sleek green and white hover car. In a couple of quick steps, Perry crossed from the pedestal with the palm scanner to the circular platform, which was rotating slowly. Perry hopped into the driver’s seat and took off his fedora. He quickly rummaged through its contents and found his car keys. He turned the key in the ignition and the car’s jets roared to life. Perry gunned the jets and quickly rose up to the top his lair. Perry felt the wind tugging on the brim of his fedora and rippling through his bristly fur. Just before he hit the roof of his lair, another hidden panel opened and he shot upward into the night sky.
It's a funny name for a not so funny machine - imagine if everyone shrank. I imagine it wouldn't be comical like Honey I Shrunk The Kids.
How efficient and down to business he is - look out, baddies!
Episode Sixty Eight
Perry’s hover car shot straight up out of the ground and came to a stop about a hundred feet over the backyard.The prescience of the house was betrayed by the light spilling out of the windows on to the front and back lawn. The house itself was a square in the darkness. Linda’s station wagon was a smaller rectangle in the driveway. Perry hit a button on his dashboard and the hidden hatch that he had flown up out of closed again. He pulled the wheel hard over, jammed his webbed foot down on the accelerator and shot off toward Milo’s neighbourhood.
Zack was just coming out of the bathroom when the door bell rang. He turned and walked down the hall to the front door. The door bell rang again, this time more insistently. From the living room over the sound of the TV, Marcus yelled, “Zack, can you get the door?”
“Yeah, OK Dad,” called Zack over his shoulder. Zack frowned to himself. Who could possibly be ringing the door bell at this hour, he thought. He reached the front door and looked the peep hole. Melissa was standing on the front porch. Really? he thought for a second, wondering if she had forgotten a school book at his house again. After a second or two of searching his memory, he drew a blank. At this time of night? he thought, what could she possibly what?
Zack’s thoughts were interrupted by Melissa rapping sharply on the door. “C’mon, Zack,” she said. Her voice was slightly muffled, “open up!” Zack pulled back the lock on the front door. The chain rattled rattled loudly and Zack pulled open the door. He opened his mouth to say, “Melissa, what are you doing here?” but the words died in his throat before he could say anything. Melissa’s face was flushed and she was slightly out of breath. Her bike lay discarded in the middle of Zack’s drive way. Something’s happened, he thought. “Melissa, what’s going on?” he asked. “Is Milo OK?”
Melissa took a deep breath. “I don’t know,” she said, “but we need to get down to Danville Arena right away.”
Something clicked in Zack’s brain at those words. Danville Arena, he thought, of course! Amanda gave Milo Weird Al tickets for his birthday. That was tonight. “OK, Melissa,” he said slowly, “what happened?”
Melissa spoke without stopping for ten minutes. She told Zack about the conversation she had overheard between her farther and Mike Wentworth. Zack’s eyebrows went up in surprise as she spoke. “The Danville Fire Department has a Murphy’s Law Response Team?” he interjected incredulously. “Why haven’t I heard Milo mention this before?”
Melissa shrugged. “Well,” she said, “you know that Milo doesn’t like brag.” She turned and walked back down the sidewalk and retrieved her bike from where she had dropped it in his driveway. “Come on,” she called over her shoulder, “we gotta get going.”
Zack retrieved his bike from where he had left it next to the front door and swung his leg over the seat, peddling as he went. “Hey,” he called after her, “wait up.” Zack caught up with her just down the block. “OK,” he said as he peddled along beside her, “Milo and Amanda are trapped inside Danville Arena, by an evil genius and we think it’s a good idea to run toward the danger because…..?”
Melissa cast at glance at Zack out of the corner of her eye. “Hey, you know the code,” she began.
Zack nodded.”Yeah, yeah,” he said, “I know. No one gets left behind.”
The flight from Phineas and Ferb’s backyard to Milo’s only took a few minutes. The hover car touched down in the middle of the backyard, not far from Heinz’ shed. A square of yellow light glowed in the window next to the door. Perry turned the key in the ignition and the hover car’s turbine spooled down with a low whine. Perry lifted his fedora and put the key away. He unbuckled his seatbelt and got out. He walked across the lawn, stepping around a mangled bicycle, passed a broken baseball bat and deflated soccer ball. As he approached, he could hear muffled voices coming from inside. Perry stepped up on to porch and opened the door.
Cavenpuss was standing on a chair. His top hat was perched unsteadily on the top of his head. His spectacles flashed as they caught the light. A Panoply board and assorted dice and game pieces were scattered across a folding table. “When you role doubles, you get another turn!” He gesticulated wildly with his small hands.
Heinz was sitting slouched in a chair on the opposite side of the table. Listening to Cavenpuss’s tirade, he rolled his eyes. “Those are not traditional Drusselstian rules,” he said. “Panoply is the national board game of Drusselstein-,”
“You just made that up,” interjected Cavenpuss.
Heinz bristled. “I’ll have you know that I was a nationally ranked Panoply player by the time I was twelve-,” Heinz was interrupted by the sound of a tiny green fist knocking on the wooden door jam.
Heinz and Cavenpuss both stopped talking and turned toward the bandy legged platypus standing in framed in the doorway. [Evening] chittered Perry. [I hope I’m not interrupting something.]
“Perry the Platypus,” said Heinz, “what an unexpected surprise.” He gestured to the Panoply board. “Why don’t you join us?” He unfolded himself from his seat and started to get up.
Perry shook his head. [Sorry Heinz] he said [Not tonight. I’m here because I need your help]
Heinz looked as if he had suddenly realized it was his birthday. “Really?” he said delightedly. “You want me to help you on a mission?”
Perry nodded. [Yeah] he warbled. He pointed over his shoulder through the open door. [I’ve got the car outside] he said. [Let’s go and I’ll explain on the way]
“Right,” said Heinz. He jumped to his feet, knocking over the table and sending board and game pieces flying everywhere. He pulled his lab coat from back of his chair and shrugged it on. “Let’s go.” In a couple of strides he made his way to the door, with Perry following at his heels. With some difficulty, Heinz wedged himself into the tiny passenger seat and buckled his seat belt. “Oh,” said Heinz excitedly, looking at the hover car’s interior, “did you get an upgrade?” A radar screen glowed green in the centre of the dashboard and the console between the driver’s and passenger seats was covered with buttons and knobs.
Perry walked around to the driver’s seat. He got in and buckled his seat belt. Perry reached and took off his fedora. He fished inside and quickly found his keys. He put his fedora back on his head and stuck the key in the ignition. He shrugged as he turned it. [Yeah, it need to go in for some routine maintenance] he said [and Carl had a few ideas that he wanted to try out, so…..] Perry trailed off. Heinz eyed all the various buttons and knobs, as if he longed to push a few of them and find out what they did.
“Well give Carl my compliments,” replied Heinz, “this is his best work yet.”
Perry chuckled a little.[Thanks] he said [He’ll really appreciate that]. He put his foot down on the accelerator and the sleek white and green hover car shot up into the air. The ground dropped away rapidly and they stopped rising a hundred feet above the backyard. Perry reached down next his seat and took hold of a lever. It looked like parking brake handle. He pushed it forward until it was horizontal. The car’s jets rotated ninth degrees and they shot forward.
“Oh, wow,” said Heinz excitedly, from behind his knees. They were almost in his face. “This is so exciting, you and me fighting the good fight, so where are we going, anyway?”
Perry explained quickly. [Major Monogram felt that your skills and experience with LOVEMUFFIN might be useful on this mission] he finished.
For a half a second, Heinz looked dumbfounded. “Wait,” he said slowly, “you don’t mean that-?” he trailed off and an astonished look came over his face. “Really?” he asked excitedly, “Francis really wants me to-“ he said, “oh this is so wonderful. I really should do something nice for him-,” his train of thought was interrupted as Perry put the wheel hard over.The hover car swung around and at the same time, Perry flipped a couple of switches on the console between the seats. A red dot appeared on the radar screen and Perry put his foot down on the accelerator and they shot off into the night.
It took Zack and Melissa twenty five minutes to ride of Zack’s house all the way downtown to Danville Arena. In ordinary circumstances, they probably could have gotten there in half the time, but they had deliberately taken a slight more circuitous route.
“So won’t your Dad be pretty mad with us that we went down to the arena?” asked Zack as they dismounted and stashed their bikes.
Melissa shrugged.”Well, he didn’t tell us not to,” she replied, “and we’ve been in stranger situations with Milo before.”
For half a second, Zack looked as if he were about to dare her to name one, but he pushed the thought as side. In actuality, Zack could name about six. He nodded and, along with Melissa, surveyed the scene. Fire trucks and police car were clustered around the arena’s main entrance. Red and blue lights splashed their colours over the gigantic face of Weird Al as he beamed down from the side of the building in his violently coloured Hawaiian shirt. They watched as two police cars blocking the entrance to the parking lot pulled aside as a heavy looking armoured vehicle pulled. The writing on its side clearly spelled out
Danville Fire Department
Murphy’s Law Rapid Response Team
Zack whistled silently as the two police cars pulled back into place, blocking the entrance to the parking lot again. “So that’s the MLRT?” he asked.
Melissa nodded.”Yep.” They watched for a minute or two as vehicle’s rear door opened. Half a dozen people piled out. They began opening storage compartments on the outside of the their armoured truck and began to unpack various pieces of equipment.
Melissa tugged on Zack’s arm. “C’mon,” she said. “We need to find a way inside.”
At these words, Zack felt his chest constrict and he was reminded, unpleasantly, of the sewers under San Fransokyo. Zack had to actively work at pushing the memory aside.
Something must have shown on his face because he suddenly realized that Melissa was looking at him. “Hey,” she said, “are you OK, Zack?”
“Yeah,” he said, “I’m fine.” He turned and started walking away from her. “Let’s get going.” He turned and started walking away from her. She followed in his wake.
They walked for about ten minutes, heading away from the cops and fire fighters clustered around the building’s main entrance. They eventually came to the loading dock where the tour buses were parked. Light spilled out through the large open door and the buses cast long, strange shadows on the ground. Zack and Melissa paused briefly, carefully scrutinizing the shadows as looking for anything that might be moving. After a minute or two, when they were pretty certain that they didn’t see anyone, or anything, they started walking again.
They edged carefully into the shadows, ears pricked for unexpected noises. They jumped a little when Zack’s foot crunched loudly on broken glass. Zack and Melissa stopped and looked down. They breathed a slight sigh of relief. Zack’s foot had landed on the mirror that had clipped Milo on the back of the head in the photo he had sent them earlier. “Do you think someone heard that?” he asked. There was nobody around, as far as they knew, and for some reason that Zack couldn’t explain he was whispering.
Melissa shook her head. “I have no idea,” she replied. Now she was whispering as well. “C’mon,” she said. “Let’s find go Milo and Amanda.”
They edged carefully out of the shadows between the tour buses and into the empty loading dock. Zack and Melissa didn’t wait to see if anybody was coming. They hurried across the loading dock, their footstep echoing slightly on the concrete. They reached the heavy double doors and pushed them open. They found themselves in a carpeted hallway lined with pictures of the Danville Marmots. They both took a deep breath and let it out slowly.
“OK,” said Zack, “where do we go now?”
Melissa thought for a second. “Follow the breadcrumbs,” she suggested. “I mean it’s Milo. He always leaves a trail.
Episode Sixty Nine
The taller of the two goons turned to Dr. Diminutive and gestured for his attention. “Hey boss,” he said, “we got movement.”
The tiny supervillain’s head whipped around so fast that for a half a second it seemed to have spun right off the little man’s neck. “What?!” exclaimed Dr. Diminutive. He pulled his head out the Shrinkinizor, where he was making a few adjustments, and marched over to where the much taller man was stand hunched over his computer. “Show me,” he snapped.
The tall goon pulled a release under the laptop and dropped in down to Dr. Diminutive’s eye level. He stared intently at the screen, for what seemed like a long time as a he watched the two figures on the screen emerge from between two of the tour buses and hurry across the loading dock. Dr. Diminutive frowned. This was the second time tonight that he had spotted someone running around who could potentially ruin his plan. Dr. Diminutive wracked his brain, wondering if he had missed something. After a minute or two, he pushed the thought away, having come up with nothing. The entire operation was planned down to the smallest detail, he thought in annoyance, so who are these people?! “Where are the security drones?” he asked
The shorter goon turned his attention to his computer and quickly typed in a series of commands. The arena’s floor appeared on the screen. Several red dots were moving slowly in various locations around the arena. “They’re near the Marmots’ locker rooms and under the stadium floor,” he said after a couple of minutes. He frowned at something on his screen and input another series of commands. “Looks like some tripped the sprinkler system on the main concourse.”
A murderous look came over the little supervillain. “Where?”
Dr. Diminuitive’s hands flew over the keyboard as he called up the video feed. Someone had set the kitchen behind one of the concession stands on fire. Thick, billowing smoke obscured the camera’s view of the room. Dr. Diminutive’s hands balled into fists. Who is doing this? he thought again. He turned turned to the taller of his two goons. “Find out who did this,” he snapped. “Then I want you to deal with them personally.”
Milo pressed his ear to the door of the broom closet and listened carefully. He could feel Amanda and Jeremy watching him anxiously. “Milo, what was that thing?” asked Jeremy anxiously.
Milo turned to look at the older boy in the semi-darkness. “I don’t know,” he replied. They had been making their way down what had been a deserted hallway. Milo had heard a high pitched whirring sound behind him. He had turned at the sudden sound and had found himself faced with what had appeared to be some kind of quadcopter. It had hovered in mid-air, its camera peering inquisitively at them. Milo had turned to say something to Amanda and Jeremy, when the drone had suddenly emitted high pitched whine. A bright blue hyphen of energy had shot from the drone. It had barely missed Milo and burned Jeremy’s shirt, leaving an angry looking burn on his upper arm.
Amanda and Jeremy had needed no further encouragement. They had both turned and bolted back the way the three of them had come. “Yep,” Milo had panted as he had run, only a couple of steps behind Amanda, “someone definitely heard that!”
They had dove head first in the broom closet where they now found themselves. That had been twenty minutes ago.
“I think it was some kind of robot,” said Milo.
“Any idea where it came from?” asked Amanda
“No idea,” replied Milo. “It must have come from thar Dr. Diminutive guy.”
“Yeah, who is he anyway?” asked Amanda.
Milo shook his head. “No idea,” he said again.
“So what do we do?” asked Jeremy, “we can’t just stay here.”
“We need to find Brick and Savannah,” replied Milo. “They might know what’s going on.”
Amanda and Jeremy nodded in reply and Milo put his ear to the door again, listening carefully. He turned to Amanda and Jeremy, and had opened his mouth to say, “I think it’s gone,” when the door’s hinges suddenly gave way and Milo, Amanda and Jeremy toppled into the corridor with a loud crash. They lay slightly stunned and blinking in the suddenly bright light, when they heard a familiar electric whine. The drone.
“Uh-oh,” said Jeremy.
“Looks like it wasn’t gone after all,” replied Milo.
Before any of them could say anything else, Milo’s nostrils suddenly caught a strong whiff of ozone and burning carpet. In the same instant, he was momentarily blinded by a bright blue beam of energy. He blinked rapidly several times and heard scuffling as Amanda and Jeremy got to their feet. A second later, still half blinded by the drone’s energy beam, Milo pushed himself to his feet. Peering through the hazy after glow hovering in his vision, Milo thrust a hand over his shoulder and rummaged through his backpack, searching for something he could use against the drone. His hand closed on something hard, and he pulled a baseball bat out of his backpack.
The sound of footsteps behind Milo, suddenly stopped. He turned his head, felt something hot and smelled burning hair. The drone’s energy beam had signed his scalp.
“Milo,” said Jeremy, “what are you doing?”
Milo jerked his head, “get out of here,” he said. “I’ll deal with this thing.”
“What?” cried Amanda, “ are you completely loco Milo? We’re not leaving you to fight that thing!” and before he could stop them, he felt them rifling through the contents of his backpack. A second or two later, they pulled out a badminton racket and a crowbar respectively. Milo blinked again. His vision, which had been mostly obscured, was now beginning to clear. He dropped into a batter’s stance with the baseball bat raised above his right shoulder. Milo swung at the drone, but leaned too far into his swing and stumbled. At the same moment, the drone fired another beam of energy at Milo. He smelt burning hair again and realized that the drone’s energy beam had cut the point off of his flip. He saw a flicker moment out of the corner of his eye and watched as Amanda swung and the drone with her crowbar. The drone skitters sideways and her blow landed on empty air.
Seeing that the drone was temporarily distracted, Milo tightened his grip on his baseball bat, dropped into his batter’s stance and swung again. This time, he partially connected. The drone tried to dodge the incoming baseball bat at the same moment that it tried to fire its energy beam at Amanda, but Milo’s sudden wild swung had caused it to move unexpectedly, as a result, it missed, leaving a long black scorch mark on the wall next to her.
Jeremy lunged at with his badminton racket and was able tangle one of the drone’s rotors in its strings. Suddenly unbalanced, it wobbled in the air. Milo swung at it again and this time connected fully. One of its rotor arms snapped off and fell to the floor with a dull thud. It emitted a shower sparks as he approached it and thin tendrils of smoke coiled lazily toward the ceiling.
Milo turned to Amanda. A shiny blister was rising on her neck, where the drone had shot at her. Evidently, it’s aim had been at lot better than Milo had thought it was in the confusion. That was a close shave, he thought. He felt his cheeks grow hot and had to work at pushing the unbidden feeling aside. Not now, he thought. “Are you OK, Amanda?” he asked.
She nodded and winced a little. Milo studied the burn on her neck. “Let me see that,” he said. She stood still while he gently probed her injury. That doesn’t look too bad, he thought. He thrust a hand over his shoulder and into his backpack, pulling out his first aid kit. He opened it and pulled out a tube of burn gel and a bandage.
Milo reached out slowly and gingerly picked it up. He slipped his backpack down on to one shoulder and deposited the broken drone inside. He started walking very quickly away from the scene. “C’mon,” he said, “we need to find Brick and Savannah.”
Danville Arena looked like a brightly lit model from the air. The various police cars, fire trucks and ambulances scattered around the parking lot near the building’s main entrance looked like toys as they splashed a kaleidoscope of read and blue and orange lights across the front of the building. Perry’s hover car was probably too small the be seen from the ground, but the platypus decided not to take any chances. He leaned into a wide banking turn as he circled the building, looking for an out of the way place to land. After quickly surveying the roof of the building, Perry quickly spied a good spot behind a large heat exchanger. He pulled the hover car into a tight descending spiral and minute or two later, the hover car touched down with a gentle bump. Perry pulled the key out of the ignition and stowed it under his fedora. He unbuckled his seatbelt and got out. Heinz unfolded himself from the passenger seat and stood up next to Perry.
“So now what do we do?” he asked. He paused. “Also, I don’t know why I’m whispering.”
Perry looked around, searching for a way off of the roof. After a minute or two of searching, he found a door leading to what he thought looked like a stairwell. He gestured to Heinz. [C’mon] he chittered. Perry’s head swivelled around rapidly, as he took note of the location and angles of the roof top security cameras. The platypus chittered again [Try to keep out of sight.]
With the lanky scientist in tow, Perry threaded his way through the tangle of air exchangers and and cooling units until they reached the door that Perry had spied earlier. He reached up and tried the handled. It rattled in his hand. It was locked. Perry reached up and took off his fedora, searching for his lock picking kit. His had closed around the leather case full of files and screwdrivers, when he suddenly became aware of movement behind him. He turned and found himself staring into the business end of what at first appeared to be some kind of gun.
“Behold, Perry the Platypus! It’s my open-any-door-inator!” said Heinz excitedly.
If had been possible for Perry to blanch, he would have. He had too much experience with Heinz’ inators to imagine that this would end anything other than badly. [Heinz, put that away] he chittered in alarm [we need to keep a low profile.]
“Oh, come on Perry the Platypus,” replied Heinz, “don’t you want to see how my new inator works?”
Perry shook his head. [Heinz, we don’t have time for this] he said.
“But it’ll make opening the door so much easier,” Heinz waggled the end of his inator over Perry’s head at the door. “Are you sure you don’t want to give it a try?”
Perry shook his head again. [Later, Heinz] he said, but Heinz apparently didn’t hear him. He raised the inator and pointed it at the door. Perry realized that Heinz’ finger was on the trigger. He leapt at Heinz. In the same instant, Heinz pulled the trigger. A bright blue beam of pencil thin energy lance out from the inator. In the same moment, Heinz lost his balance as the platypus barrelled into him, tackling him and knocking him to the ground. The inator in Heinz’ hand swung wildly. The taste of asphalt was on Perry’s tongue as the end of his bill came into contact with the ground. A strong whiff of ozone reached his nostrils. Perry got to his feet. He dusted himself off and looked around. The door leading into the stairwell was smoking slightly. It looked as if someone had cut a line through it with a welding torch.
Heinz sat up, looking indignant. “Hey!” he said, “what did you do that for?”
Perry shrugged. He turned his back on Heinz and walked over to the still smoking door. [I didn’t have time to reason with you.] The platypus was scanning the ground, looking for his lock picking kit. After a second or two, he found it. Perry bent over and picked it up. [We’re trying to keep a low profile, remember?]
Heinz got to his feet and dusted himself off. “So?” he said, in a slightly aggrieved tone of voice. “Did you really have to do that, Perry the Platypus? I mean we are friends, aren’t we?”
I’m going to hear about this for awhile, thought Perry, aren’t I? He turned back to the door and unzipped his lock picking kit. He pulled out a pair of slender files and focused his attention on the door’s lock. It was only then that he noticed that it was missing. There was a neat looking hole burned clean through the door. Perry heard the crunch of footsteps on the asphalt behind him as Heinz got to his feet. A shadow fell over the platypus and he turned.
Heinz was beaming at the door. “See, Perry the Platypus?” he said, “I told you my open-any-door-inator could open any door.” He stared at the door for a second or two, then frowned. “wait, this isn’t my open-any-door-inator,” he stared down at the device in his hand and appeared to realize something, “Heinz, you dunkoff,” he said to himself, “this isn’t your open-any-door-inator all at, this your door-vaporizer-inator, which to be fair looks very similar to my open-any-door-inator, so I can understand the confusion.”
Perry reached and put a teal coloured hand on the door. He pushed it and it fell off its hinges, toppling over with a dull bang that reverberated loudly in the stairwell. Perry flinched instinctively at the echoing noise. Somebody probably heard that, he thought. He walked over the fallen door, the slap-slap-slap of his webbed lost in the still reverberating echo of the door’s crash into the concrete floor. He made his way down the stairs, with Heinz following along flatfootedly behind him. They made their way down several flights, without talking. Perry was fully alert, listening for the slightest sound.
They had descended perhaps half way down the stairwell, when Perry heard thought he heard something. He stopped walking, listening hard. He held up a hand to silence Heinz, who had opene his mouth, as if he had been about to say something. A high frequency buzzing filled the stairwell. Perry reached into his fedora and pulled out his grappling gun, holding it at the ready in front of him. A second or two, later the drone rose lazily into view. Its camera regarded the platypus and the pharmacist coldly for a moment and Perry had just long enough to notice that the drone appeared to have some kind of weapon. Without waiting for the drone to react, Perry squeezed the trigger on his grappling gun. The grappling hook shot out from the barrel of the gun. The line unspooled rapidly behind it with a high pitched whistling noise. At the same moment, the drone slid smoothly to one side, dodging the incoming grappling hook, which sank into the opposite wall with a solid sounding thunk, and a spray of splintered concrete. Without pausing, the platypus, jumped up on the handrail. A whiff of ozone and a high powered whine reached his nostrils and he was temporarily blinded by a blindingly bright beam of energy. Perry distantly heard Heinz say, “hey! That was my favourite lab coat! Oh, it’s on!”
Out of the corner of his eye, Perry say Heinz pulled what looked to be another inator out of the pocket of his lab coat. It had what appeared to a large electromagnetic coil and a battery bolted onto a weathered looking pistol grip. Perry was suddenly the fur on the left hand side of his body was standing on end. At the same moment Perry heard the sound of metal being wrenched loose and turned just in time see the hand rail from the staircase on the opposite side of the stairwell hurtling toward them. Without thinking, Perry reached around behind him, grabbed Heinz by the collar of his lab coat, flicked a switch on his grappling gun and jumped.
This made me LOL - it's like the George Carlin list of gentle team names, unlike the Lions or Tigers or Bears or Longhorns - George suggested the "Miami Mice" and "Georgia Gerbils." Good thing Perry is on the job!
Well, he is a semi-aquatic ass kicking mammal of action.......
Perry felt his stomach lurch as he hurled himself into the void. The rushing wind ruffled his fur and tugged on the brim of his fedora. Behind him, Heinz yelled something unintelligible as he was dragged over the edge of the stairwell and into open space. The line attached to the grappling hook embedded in the wall spooled out with a high pitched whizzing noise. Somewhere above them the metal handrail that Heinz had pulled off the opposite staircase with his inator collided with the opposite wall. A loud metallic clang echoed off of the walls of the stairwell. At the same instant a shadow fell over them. Perry chanced an upward glance. The air was visible shimmering, as in a heat wave, but it wasn’t hot and the platypus was momentarily confused. Then he noticed something falling very rapidly and immediately put two and two. [Heinz] he chittered urgently [turn that off.]
Before he could say or do anything else, Perry came to a sudden jerking stop. He had no time tp gather his wits, before the world spun crazily and he was turned upside down as Heinz plummeted past him and came to a stop, dangling in mid-air, half out of his lab coat. His long legs dangled over empty space. The shadow of the falling hand rail was getting larger. [Heinz] said Perry [swing your legs. We need to get of this stairwell.]
Heinz looked up at the sound of his name. He started to say, “what did you do that for, Perry the Platypus?” but his eyes fixed on the falling handrail. He flicked a switch on the inator in his hand and pointed it upward. “Hang on Perry the Platypus,” he said, “I got this!” He squeezed the trigger. What happened next thaw the opposite of what he probably thought was going to happen. The air above them shimmered as before, and Perry felt himself being pulled upward as Heinz’ inator suddenly began to pull them both upward against the force of gravity toward the falling rain of metal.
[Heinz] chittered Perry, a note of alarm in his voice [what are you do-]. The platypus didn’t have time to finish his sentence. He slammed into the pile of metal and split second later, the air was driven from his lungs as Heinz collided with him. Perry saw something go spinning away into the empty space of the stairwell. The air shimmered under the influence of magnetic field lines as Heinz’ inator dropped into the void. Perry’s hand tightened instinctively on the grip of his grappling gun and the fistful of Heinz’ lab coat in his other hand. Perry felt his stomach lurch and they were momentarily weightless as the suddenly slack line played out. Then then the platypus felt a hard jerk in his arm and they were falling again and Perry could once again hear the high pitch whizzing sound of the grappling gun’s line rapidly paying out.
Lights and staircases flicked past rapidly in a confused blur. He could feel the wind ruffling his fur again and tugging the brim of his fedora. The hem of Heinz’ lab coat flapped as they fell. Perry looked down again and was suddenly aware that the bottoms of the stairwell was rushing up at them. He chanced a glance around at their surroundings. Lights and doors and staircase were still rapidly flicking past. He did some quick mental calculations and tensed. He chittered at Heinz. [Get ready.]
Heinz looked up at him and started to,”for what?” but before he could get the words out, Perry swung his arm back and forth several times. Heinz swung back and forth in a wide arc, gradually gaining more and more momentum with every swing. Then with a deft flick of his wrist and Heinz went flying off to one side with a loud and wordless yell. Heinz instinctively shut his eyes and braced himself for a collision with hard and unyielding concrete. Instead he heard a loud OOOOOOF! like the air being driven forcibly out of a soccer ball.
“OW!” said Heinz irritably. Someone had just driven an elbow into his back. “Hey! That really hurt you know.”
“Will you get off me,” said a slightly muffled man’s voice from under Heinz’ backside. He felt someone prod him in the back again and he swore to himself in Drusslestienian. Honestly, he thought, that platypus. His thoughts were interrupted by more muffled voices and more prodding.
“Can you get off of us?” asked a woman’s voice in growing annoyance.
Heinz got his feet. He turned to see who he had landed. A man in a now rumpled tuxedo and a woman, her perfectly once quaffed hair askew and her long evening dress disheveled, lay on the floor. Savannah pushed aside the tresses of her long dark hair and stared upward at Heinz. She recognized him at once and got to her feet.
“Doofenshmirtz-,” she began.
Brick got up and interjected. “-what is he doing here?”
Heinz brightened as Savannah got to here feet. “Hey,” he exclaimed excitedly, “I remember you. You came to Milo’s house last year with Milo’s friend girl.”
Savannah suppressed an involuntary shudder. She remembered the incident too. She had stumbled into Melissa by accident, when she had found Melissa in her time vehicle. Brick and Savannah had been in the of an unrelated investigation when they were separated. Savannah had dove headlong into the time limo and shouted at Lars to drive. The time limo had disappeared into the time stream in a flash of blue light. It had only been then Savannah had noticed Melissa sitting on the opposite seat. Her father had signed up her for a day of knitting and tea drinking through a local big sister program call You Go Girl. For her part, Melissa hadn’t been interested in knitting and tea drinking, and had tried to convince her father to let her go on a ride along. Finding her self mixed up with time travelling super spies had been exactly what she had been looking for.
Savannah had been in the process of trying to tactfully tell Melissa that she couldn’t tag along with them because it was too dangerous when a holographic projector flickered to life and a hologram of a man in his early fifties appeared. He spoke with a deep, gravelly voice. “Savannah,” he had said, “I see you got the briefcase, good.” That was when he had noticed Melissa. “Oh hey, I see you finally signed up for the Spy Little Sister mentoring program.”
Savannah’s face had flickered slightly at these words, “oh,” she had said, “yes, that’s what I did.”
“In less than three hours, a homemade robot will go on a rampage and wipe out half of Danville. I need you two to go foreword in time to find out what went wrong and then go back in time and stop it.” The hologram had then blinked off.
A short time jump into the future had revealed the anticipated mayhem. Milo and Zack had signed up to take part in the annual Jefferson G County Middle School Build-a-Bot contest. Predictably, things had started to gone wrong when the bulb in their nightlight robot had shorted out. Zack had reached into Dr. Doofenshmirtz’ box of parts and retrieved what he had thought was an ordinary lightbulb. When he had plugged it in, the apparently innocuous looking light bulb and immediately turned Milo and Zack’s harmless robot into a rampaging tornado of destruction. Savannah had grabbed Melissa and immediately bolted for the limo, which had been parked outside.
Once inside, Savannah had rummaged through her hand bag, eventually producing what appeared be some sort of smart device. A holographic projection had flickered into existence in front of her as she performed some kind of search. “Doofenshmirtz is off the grid,” she had said with a slightly frown. “There’s no record of him in this timeline.”
Melissa had given the time agent a triumphant look. “Actually,” she had replied, “he’s crashing on Milo’s couch.”
Savannah had given the teenager an appraising look, as she had misjudged her. “Not bad,” she had said. A short time hop later head landed them at the curb in front of Milo’s house. Savannah had followed Melissa up the driveway to the front door. Melissa had momentarily dug in her pocket and pulled out a spare house. It had rattled in the lock as she had turned it and the door had swung open. Diogee had come bounding down the hall, barking happily at the site of Melissa. She had grabbed him as soon as he came within arms’ reach. She quieted him with a scratch under his chin. They had walked into the hall and Savannah had stood completely still, listening carefully. Discordant, very off-key singing drifted down from somewhere upstairs.
“Come on,” Savannah had said. She had gone charging up the stairs, with Melissa trailing behind her and stopped a minute or two later at the bathroom door. Savannah suppressed a shudder at the memory of kicking down the door to find Heinz Doofenshmirtz perched in a ratty looking blue bathrobe on the end of Milo’s toilet. He had had a long, bony foot propped up on the edge of the bathtub. They had barged in on him in middle of clipping his toenails.
There had followed a confused scream, followed by the slamming of the bathroom door. “Let’s go forward fifteen minutes,” Savannah had said, “because I will never unsee that.”
Savannah crossed her arms over her chest and eyed Heinz sceptically. “What are you doing here, Doofenshmirtz?” she asked. “If you are responsible in any way for-,” she began in a threatening tone, but Heinz bristled in indignation at the time agent’s words.
“I will have you know that I am no longer an evil scientist-,” he began.
“-I’ll believe that when I see it,” muttered Brick.
Heinz had to work at ignoring the jibe. “I am here at the request of OWCA,” he replied, “as a consultant on evil scientists.”
Brick and Savannah exchanged a glance at these words. “I guess I owe a twenty,” replied Savannah.
Brick nodded, “I told you OWCA would show up.”
Savannah thought for a second, “so if you’re here,” she began, “then that must mean-,” she was interrupted by the sound of a line being rapidly wound around a spool. A second or two later, something teal coloured vaulted into view, as Perry the Platypus somersaulted on the staircase between Heinz and Savannah.
“Yep,” replied Savannah, “that’s what I figured.” She nodded at the platypus. “Nice to see you again Agent P, it’s been awhile.”
Perry tipped his fedora in greeting at the two time agents. [Brick, Savannah] he chittered [nice to see you again]
“So what brings you here?” asked Savannah.
Perry shrugged. [The inator alert went off] he said [Major Monogram asked us to look into it. You?]
“We were supposed to be making a pick-up,” replied Savannah, with shrug, “but that’s not happening now.”
“Well we have a mission to complete,” Heinz interjected, “ you know, important spy business and all that good stuff. Come on Perry the Platypus, we should be going.”
Episode Seventy One
“Heads up,” the goon stopped halfway down the hall, at the sound of his partner speaking in his earpiece.
He put his finger to his ear, as if doing so would allow him to hear better. He stared at the long black scorch mark on the opposite wall and frowned to himself. He had been following a trail of destruction. He wasn’t sure if whoever was doing was trying taunt him or possibly just committing random acts of vandalism for their own amusement, but he had the sense that he was gaining on them. “Talk to me,” he replied.
“We have movement.”
“Where?” he asked.
“Northeast stairwell.” Static hissed in his ears, for ten or twenty seconds, punctuated by the rhythmic click of computer keys. “You’re not going to believe this.”
“What is it?”
“I got eyes on Agent P.”
“What?” asked the big goon. “Are you sure?”
“Definitely,” replied his partner. “Beaver tail, bill, fedora, the whole-,” the goon cut his partner off.
“OK, OK,” he replied, “so we got OWCA in the building.” He paused thinking quickly. If Agent P was in the building, then OWCA knew about the situation and was taking Dr. Diminutive seriously. “I’ll go check it out.”
“OK, let me know when you have something.”
“Yeah, got it, I’ll check in with you later.”
“Do you think we lost him?”asked Jeremy.
Milo shook his head. “I don’t know,” he said. They had encountered the tall, muscular LOVEMUFFIN goon, for the third time fifteen minutes ago.
“Could he be following us?” asked Amanda.
Milo pondered the question for a minute or two. He decided that they had to consider the possibility. “I think it might be my fault,” he said after a moment’s thought.
Amanda and Jeremy gave each other a confused look. When she spoke, Amanda’s voice carried a note of concern. “Milo, what are you saying?” she asked.
“Well,” he said, “there was the the fire in the kitchen behind the snack bar, and the burst water main and the incident with the drone,” he nodded over his shoulder to his backpack, which still held the remains pod the mangled quadcopter which had shot at them earlier.
“So, what’s your point?” asked Amanda, “I mean I know you’re a disaster magnet, but-,” Milo cut her her off.
His insides squirmed at all a little at what he was about to say. Milo took a deep steadying breath. “I think we need to split up,” he said. Amanda and Jeremy both opened their mouths to protest. Milo held up a hand to silence them. “Hear me out,” he said. “Whoever that guy is, he’s following us because of me. If we split up, maybe I can draw him away and the two of you will have a better a chance of finding Brick and Savannah.”
Amanda appeared to consider this for a moment or two. “I don’t know Milo-,” she began.
Jeremy interjected, “-yeah,” he said, “this sounds kind of risky. Shouldn’t we stay together?”
“I know it’s a risk,” he said, “but if we split up, we might be able to throw him off.”
Amanda and Jeremy traded and a sceptical look. Milo could tell that neither of them liked his plan, but at the same time, they couldn’t offer a better idea. Jeremey nodded and Amanda took a deep breath. “OK,” she said reluctantly, “we’ll split up. Hopefully he won’t who to follow and that might make it easier to one of us to find Brick and Savannah.”
Milo nodded again and felt his insides squirm even more. He had to work at pushing the sensation away. It didn’t make him feel better and a small part of him wanted to stay with Amanda and Jeremy. Really, Milo? You’re going to bail on your friends right when they need you? He had to actively clamp down on the the voice in his head, the prevent it from saying, Jeremy’s not your friend. His gaze shifted from Amanda and Jeremy to the door. Might as well get this over with, he thought. “I’ll go out first,” he said. “If Murphy’s Law is going to hit, it should hit me first.” They all walked to the door. “Wait a couple of minutes then leave.”
Amanda and Jeremy nodded. Milo put his hand on the door knob. It came off in his hand. He tried not to see that as a sign. He put it on the low book shelf next the door and slowly pushed the door open. He carefully stuck his head out into the hallway, he looked one way, and then the other. He didn’t see anything. Milo took a deep breath and stepped out into the hall. He stood completely still, as if waiting for something to happen. He felt like a deer in on coming headlights. When nothing happened, he motioned to Amanda and Jeremy, who had been waiting with slightly apprehensive looks just inside the door. After a minute or two, they stepped cautiously through the door.
Milo took another deep breath. He had to mentally shove aside the little voice in his head which was trying to berate him for splitting off from Amanda and Jeremy. Shut up! Milo thought to himself, this is not a good time for this.He realized that he had been holding his breath for at least a minute and slowly let it out. “OK,” he said, he pointed down the hall, which curved gently around the corner and out of sight. “I’m going to go this way,” he said, “I think there was an intersection back that way,” he pointed back the way they had come, “perhaps you should go that way and go down a side corridor.”
“OK,” said Amanda, with a nod. Milo turned to go, but before he had taken more than a couple of steps, he felt a sudden hand on his shoulder. “Milo, wait.”
Milo stopped. He turned back toward Amanda. “Milo,” she after a second or two, which seemed to last for several eternities, “be careful, OK?”
Milo’s stomach seemed to flip at these words, but he pushed the sensation aside. “I always am,” he replied, and he smiled at her. Even as he did it, he couldn’t decide if it was to make her feel better, or it for himself. Worry about that later, Milo, he thought to himself, for now you have to get going. “Don’t worry,” he said to Amanda and Jeremy, “everything will be fine.” He turned and started walking away from the other two. He had to force himself to keep going and not turn around. He was afraid that if he did, he might lose his nerve. Just keep walking, he thought, just find Brick and Savannah and everything will be fine.
Amanda and Jeremy turned and walked away from Milo had been standing. She could hear his footsteps fading away as he walked down the corridor in the opposite direction. She took a deep breath, held it for a few seconds and then slowly let it out. She felt her pulse quicken and she had to actively stop herself from turning around and following him. Everything is going to be fine, she told herself, we’re going to find Brick and Savannah and they’ll know what’s going on. They kept walking, back the way they had come earlier until they reached the intersection that Milo had thought he had remembered.
They stopped well short, in order to keep out of sight. Jeremy spoke in a whisper. “We should be careful,” he said, “we have no idea who might be watching.” Amanda nodded wordlessly, and together, the two of them pressed their backs agains the wall, and inched toward the intersection. They stopped just and Jeremy stuck hid head out into the open space and looked around the corner. There was nobody there. He looked the other way and didn’t see anything. He nodded and at Amanda and they both relaxed a little. They walked cautiously into the middle of the deserted intersection and looked around. “So, what do we do know?”asked Jeremy.
They glance around themselves, as expecting their immediate surroundings to provide some sort of clue. When it didn’t, Amanda said, “I think we should go this way.”
Jeremy paused, “are you sure?” he asked. He nodded in the other direction. “Maybe we should go this way instead.”
Amanda looked in one direction than the other, trying to decide what to do. Milo was getting further away with every second they wasted here. I’m not really sure there’s a difference, she thought. Amanda looked around again, unsure of she should do. She suddenly thought of about a million things she should have asked Milo. Amanda pushed these thoughts aside. She turned and started walking. Jeremy started slightly at the unexpected motion.
“Hey, wait for me,” he said, hurrying after her. He fell into stride beside her. “What makes you think we should be going this way?” he asked after a couple of minutes.
“I’m not really sure,” replied Amanda, after a moment’s hesitation. “I guess I’m just Miloing up.”
Jeremy looked momentarily confused. “Yeah, I don’t really know what means,” he said.
Amanda flushed a little. “Oh,” she replied, “its just something that Zack and Melissa say sometimes.” She shrugged, “usually when things get really loco around Milo.”
“And…..I’m guess that happens a lot?” asked Jeremy.
Amanda shrugged and nodded. “Yeah, well you know, Murphy’s Law,” she replied, “anything that can go wrong-,”
“-will go wrong,” finished Jeremy. He was silent for several minutes. “Oh,” he said, he sound as if he had made a sudden connection, “so you’re Phineas and Ferb’s friends.”
“How do you know Phineas and Ferb?” asked Amanda.
Jeremy blushed a little, “Oh,” he replied, “Their sister Candace is a friend of mine. Too bad they’re not here,” he said. “We could sure use them right now, but I think they’re exploring alternate timelines.” He fell into to silence and neither of them said anything for what seemed like a long time. Both of them kept their ears open for any unusual sounds, but neither of them heard anything. As a result Amanda wasn’t paying attention when she walked into Zack and nearly knocked him over.
“OW!” he said, slightly annoyed, “hey, watch where-,” then he recognized Amanda. “Oh, sorry,” he said slightly sheepishly.
“Are you alright?” asked Melissa.
“And where’s Milo?” asked Zack. “Is he OK?”
“He was the last time we saw him,” interjected Jeremy.
Amanda nodded her head head at the older boy. “This is Jeremy,” she said, “he’s a friend of Phineas.”
“Great,” Zack and Melissa brightened at the mention of the genius step-brothers. “We might need their help.”
“Speaking of help,” said Amanda, “what are the two of you doing here?”
Melissa shrugged. “Dad got a sudden call after dinner,” she replied. “He activated the MLRT and met them here. I called Zack and we came right afterward.”
“Wait, what is the MLRT?” asked Jeremy, slightly confused.
“It’s the Murphy’s Law Response Team,” replied Melissa.
Amanda and Jeremy traded a surprised look. “There’s a Murphy’s Law Response Team?” asked Amanda.
“Yeah,” replied Melissa. “The last time they were activated was when the Pistachions tried to take over the future, but you probably don’t remember that.”
“That still doesn’t answer the question of where is Milo?” interjected Zack.
Amanda’s face wore a slightly pained expression. She spoke for ten minutes without stopping. Zack and Melissa listened while she spoke, filling them in on everything that had happened, since Martin had dropped them off. When she was finished talking, Zack and Melissa traded slightly exasperated looks. They had always appreciated Milo’s ability put everyone before himself, but sometimes he had one hell of a sense of timing.
“Well, at least Brick and Savannah are here,” said Melissa. “That’s something, I suppose.”
“Yeah, but we don’t know where they are,” replied Zack. “And we still have to find Milo, too.”
Melissa turned her attention back to Amanda and Jeremy. “I don’t suppose you know where Milo, do you?” she asked.
Amanda nodded, “he went that way,” she said pointing. Melissa started walking and Zack fell into line beside her.
Amanda looked for a moment as if she was about to say something, then turned and followed the other two, with Jeremy following behind her.
The tall goon stood at the bottom of the stairwell and looked up into the empty space above his head. He frowned slightly to himself. A slowly shifting kaleidoscope of light and shadow played across his face as he stared upward into the void. A jumbled pile of metal hovered in mid-air. The various piece rotated slow, occasionally collide with each other to a loud, echoing clang, which reverberated off the walls in the confined space. What could this be? he wonders. He keyed his walkie-talkie and raised it to his lips. “Do you you have eyes on the northeast stairwell?”
A voice spoke in his ear. “Yeah,” said his companion, “why?”
“Pull up the feed and tell me what you see.”
“Yeah, OK, just give me a second.” There was a minute or two of silence during he could hear the rain hiss of static and rhyming click of computer keys. The voice of the smaller goon spoke in the taller one’s ear again. “Yeah, I have the security feed from your current location,” he began.
Something in his voice set alarm bells ringing in the taller goon’s brain. He had a bad feeling that he wasn’t going to like what came next. “What is it?” he asked.
He heard the sound of more typing. “I’m trying to run an image enhancement, the camera angles aren’t very good in your location-,” the taller goon keyed his walkie-talkie and interjected.
“What did you see?” he asked, slightly irritably.
There was a long pause that broken only by the hiss of static, then the smaller goon’s voice spoke. “I think Dr. Doofenshmirtz is here.”
There was a short silence that seemed to last for several eternities. Eventually he found his voice again. “Are you sure?” he asked.
“Yeah, pretty sure. Hunched shoulders, flat feet, lab coat, receding forehaed, there’s only one supervillain I know who fits that description.”
“Yeah,” replied the taller goon into his walkie-talkie. What could he possibly be doing here? he thought to himself. Doofenshmirtz had dropped out of sight at the end of last summer. The rumour had circulated in the evil scientist community that Heinz was no longer evil, or possibly never had been. In either case, the tall goon couldn’t possibly imagine what he might be doing here. But I’m going to find out, he thought.
Episode Seventy Two
“Hey doc,” said the smaller goon. At the sound of his name, Dr. Diminutive pulled his head out of the guts of the Shrinkinizor.
“What is it?” he snapped, “I told you not to call me that.”
The smaller goon took a deep breath and mentally steeled himself for the explosion. “I think we have another problem,” he said slowly.
The pint-sized supervillain eyed the man suspiciously. “What do you mean ‘another problem’?” he asked.
The smaller goon paused for a moment before speaking again. “Dr. Doofenshmirtz is in the building,” he said in a dangerously quiet voice.
“Doofenshmirtz is here,” said the smaller goon more loudly.
The man flinched instinctively.
“What do you mean ‘Doofenshmirtz is here’?” shrieked Dr. Diminutive.
The smaller goon took a another deep breath. He turned back to his laptop and typed in couple of commands, calling up the feed from the security cameras. He bent down and pushed the laptop toward Dr. Diminutive. The little supervillain’s face twisted with fury, as he beheld the hunched and lab coated form on the computer screen. “What is he doing here?” said Dr. Diminutive in rage. “Doofenshmirtz simply disappears and now he just shows hoping to take credit for my brilliant plan?” He thought for a moment or two, wondering what to do, then a thought struck him. He turned back toward the Shrinkinizor and made some adjustments. Then he motioned to the camera, which still stood on its tripod. “Put me on.”
Brick stood over the wreckage of the drone and wiped his brow. “Well that was fun,” he said.
Perry bent over and peered at it closely. [It definitely looks like Dr. Diminutive] he chittered. He pointed at something in the wreckage of the drone. [Look.] Everyone peered at where the platypus was pointing. Heinz was bent almost double, peering at the drone. He fished in the pocket of his lab coat and produced a large magnifying glass and a pair of tweezers. He reached delicate into the guts of the drone and pulled out a microchip. He stared at it for what seemed like a long time, examining it. He must have seen something because he gasped and his eyes went wide. “This is a Gimmelshtupian echo locator chip!” he said excitedly.
Brick and Savannah looked at each other, clearly baffled. Savannah looked at Perry. “He’s your nemesis,” she began.
[Was] corrected the platypus [and this one’s new to me.] He eyed Heinz curiously. [Care to explain?] he asked.
Heinz chuckled in response. “Nebolshoy was always a sucker for Gimmelshtupian tech,” he explained. “I really don’t know why, anything they made we made better in Drusselstein.”
“And that has what to do with anything?” asked Brick.
“Well, any way,”continued Heinz, “the echo locator chip sends out a radio burst at set interval, giving away its location, but you need at least two of them in order for the system to work-,” Perry and the two time agents shared a look of dawning comprehension.
“So, if we had another one, we could triangulate his location,” Savannah started to say, but she never got to finish her sentence, because at that moment a hanging from the ceiling flickered to like behind her.
“Well, well, well,” said Dr. Diminutive on the TV screen. “Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz.”
Everyone turned at the sudden sound. Heinz groaned at the sight of the little supervillain. “Oh great,” muttered Heinz, “he knows I’m here.” He rolled his eyes and sighed. “Honestly, Nebolshoy is the worst person I know when it comes to drama. He’s even worse than me, you just watch.”
“You thought you could undermine my brilliant plan,” said Dr. Diminutive, “ and steal my glory-,” the TV screen suddenly turned to a hash of static. There was a knife sticking out of the middle of the screen. Everyone turned to seen where it had come from. Savannah stared levelly back at them. “That’s enough monologuing,” she said. She eyed Heinz. “If we can find another one of these drones,” she nodded at the broken drone lying on the floor, “can you figure out where Dr. Diminutive is?”
Heinz nodded and shrugged. “Oh, sure,” he replied, “its easy. Anyone have a phone?” He felt a hand tugging on the hem of his labcoat. He looked down and saw Perry, rummaging through his fedora. After a second or two, the platypus put his fedora back on his head and held something up to Heinz.
[Take mine] he said.
“Thank you, Perry the Platypus,” said Heinz. He took Perry’s phone and dug in his pocket again. This time he produced a small flat headed screwdriver and proceeded to pry off the phone’s back cover. He studied its inner workings for a moment or two, then pried out the phone’s motherboard. He handed it to Perry, who stowed it in his hat.
Heinz snapped the phone’s back cover into place and turned it over in his hands. He pressed the power button and for a second or two the screen remained blank. Then it glowed to life. Lines of electronic computer code began marching across the screen as the locator chip attempted to interface with Perry’s phone. The screen went black again and the lines of computer code were replaced by a what appeared to be a radar screen. A green line began to rotate slowly clockwise starting from the top.
“Hey,” said Heinz excitedly, gesturing at the screen, “I think it’s working.”
“So, it’ll tell us where Dr. Diminutive is?” asked Savannah.
Heinz nodded eagerly. “Yeah, it just needs-,” he began. He was interrupted by the sound of Perry’s phone chiming. A blue dot glowed on the screen. “Look,” he said, pointing excitedly, “Nebolshoy is right there. C’mon, let’s go.”
They set off with Heinz in the lead and arrived at the spot indicated on Perry’s phone ten minutes later. They all gave each other a confused look. [I don’t understand] said Perry. He glanced up Heinz. [I thought you said that the chip would lead us to Dr. Diminutive.]
Heinz cast a confused look from the platypus to Milo and back again. “Wait, I don’t understand,” he said. “Nebolshoy should be right here.”
Milo gave the five of them a confused look of his own. “Ummmmm, OK,” he said, “who exactly is Nebolshoy?” he asked, his gaze fixed on Heinz and Perry, “and what are you two doing here?”
“You might know Nebolshoy as Dr. Diminutive,” replied Brick.
“Ohhhhhh,” replied Milo, “so that’ s his first name. Why doe he want to take over Danville again?”
“Who knows,” replied Heinz, “probably just to prove that he can.”
[We need to stay on task] interjected Perry. He cast a glance up at Heinz [You said that the chip would lead us to him?]
“And it should have,” replied Heinz. “I don’t understand. These things are foolproof.”
Savannah looked as if she had suddenly had a thought. “Milo,” she said, “I don’t suppose you came across any of Dr. Diminutive’s technology, have you?l”
Milo brightened suddenly at these words. He slipped off his backpack, put in on the ground and began rummaging through its contents. “Actually, we did,” he said in a slightly muffled voice. He pushed aside his welding mask, his spare hard hat and several of Diogee’s chew toys. When he straightened up again, he held the pieces of a broken drone in his arms.
[Who’s we?] asked Perry.
Milo shrugged. “Me, Amanda and Jeremy.” He nodded, indicating the broken drone in his arms. “We thought this might be useful,” he said, “and there was this guy following us, and well, there was me.” He shrugged again. “So we decided to split up.”
He handed the drone to Heinz, who took it eagerly. He thrust a hand into the pocket of his lab coat and produced a small screwdriver. He set about unscrewing the screws that held the drone’s access panel in place. After a minute or two, Heinz pulled the panel off and examined the drone’s interior. After a second or two, he spied the locator chip and produced his pair of tweezers again. He reached inside pulled out the locator chip. “OK,” he said, “I’m going to need somebody’s phone again.”
Milo dug in his pocket and pulled out his phone. He handed it to Heinz. “What are you going to with it?” he asked.
Heinz began to disassemble Milo’s phone. “I’m going to use your chip to triangulate with the chip in Perry’s phone to hopefully find Nebolshoy’s location,” he replied. He pulled the microchip in Milo’s phone and put the locator chip in its place. He reassembled Milo’s phone and turned it on. He waited for a moment or two, as the chip in Milo’s phone searched for any other nearby locator chips. After a minute or two, it pinged, and Perry’s phone pinged in response. “Hey, it worked,” said Heinz excitedly. He pointed at Milo’s phone. “Look, here we are. “ There were two dots on the screen indicating the locations of Milo’s phone and Perry’s as well. After a second or two, both phones pinged simultaneously.
Perry took his phone from Heinz. [This must be where Nebolshoy is located] he said.
“Milo, I need to borrow your phone,” said Savannah.
Milo handed her his phone. She took it from him and studied it for a moment or two. “It looks like he’s in the middle of arena.” She frowned thoughtfully and turned to Milo. “Did you actually see him in the flesh all tonight?” she asked.
Milo shook his head in reply. “No,” he said. “We just saw him on the video screen.”
[He’d need to be somewhere with an AV hook-up] said Perry.
“That means he can only be in one of two places,” interjected Brick.
“Right,” said Savannah, she gestured to the others. “Let’s move.”
“What about me?” asked Milo.
“Find the others and get them out of here,” replied Savannah. “Leave Dr. Diminutive to us.”
Milo nodded and turned to go. He could hear the footsteps of the others receding in the opposite direction behind him. OK, he thought, if I was Amanda, where would I be right now? He started walking. He had only gone about fifty feet from where he had been standing when he nearly walked in Amanda, Jeremy, Zack and Melissa.
“OW!” said Zack, rubbing his shoulder, “Milo, are you OK?”
“Oh, sorry Zack,” he replied, “yeah, I’m fine.” He paused. “Wait, not that I’m not glad to see you, but-,” Melissa interjected.
“-what are we doing here?” she asked. Melissa shrugged. “Dad got a call. Some weirdo had taken over the concert. He activated the MLRT and then came down and took command of the situation himself.”
Milo brightened at this. “Really?” he asked, “your Dad’s here, and he brought the MLRT? That’s great.”
“Yeah,” replied Zack, “Mr. Chase is here with the fire department , so we can get out of-,” Milo interrupted him.
“We can’t go yet,” he said.
Amanda, Jeremy, Zack and Melissa all exchanged a look. “Milo,” Amanda began, “I know you want to help, but-,”
“We’ve been stranger situations than this,” Zack interjected. “I don’t see why we shouldn’t try to help.”
“OK,” said Melissa, “but how? I mean do we even know where Brick and Savannah are going? And what are Perry and Dr. D doing here?”
“I don’t know,” said Milo, “but Dr. D seemed like he knew Dr. Diminutive.”
The others looked at each other. “Really?” asked Melissa. “How do they they know each other?”
Milo shrugged. “I’m not really sure,” he replied, “but he called him Nebolshoy.”
“Do we even know where Brick and Savannah went?” asked Jeremy.
“Yeah, well sort of,”replied Milo. “Savannah said that he was somewhere with an AV hook up.”
“Of course,” said Melissa, “Dr. Diminutive would have to be either in the broadcast booth or inside the videotron.”
“OK,” said Milo, “so lets go then.” They set off and ducked into the nearest stair well. They kept climbing, only stopping long enough to read the signs for each floor. Eventually, they made it to the top floor Milo pushed open the door leading into the hallway. It came off its hinges and fell over with a dull thud. They all flinched instinctively at the sudden sound and stepped out into the stepped out into the hall way. They paused for a moment to read the signs on the opposite wall. After a second or two, Milo turned, “c’mon,” he said, “I think it’s this way.”
He kept walking, with the others trailing in his wake. “So, Milo,” asked Jeremey, “what are you planning of doing exactly to help defeat Dr. Diminutive?”
Milo gave a shrug in reply. “I’m not really sure yet,” he said, “but Murphy’s Law usually gives me something I can use, eventually.”
Jeremy’s eyebrows went up in surprise at these words. “So……you’ve been wing it this whole time?” he asked.
Milo shrugged again. “I prefer to think of it as going with the flow.”
Zack nodded in agreement. “Don’t worry,” he said. “This happens much more often than you might think.”
“Wait, so this isn’t your first supervillain?” asked Jeremy, with a note of surprise in his voice.
Milo chuckled in reply. “Well, this is the first one that I can remember, but that’s not what I meant,” he said.
Jeremy looked even more confused. “OK,” he replied, “what does that mean?”
Milo shrugged again. “I get blindsided by Murphy’s Law all the time,” he replied. “When that happens, I’ve found that the best way to deal with the chaos is to go with the flow.” Milo stopped walking and paused the door on his right. It was the arena’s broadcast booth. He held a finger up to his lips, telling them to be quiet. He pressed his ear to the door, listening carefully.
“Can you hear anything?” asked Melissa, in a very soft whisper.
Milo shook his head. “No,” he whispered back, “but that doesn’t mean that Dr. Diminutive couldn’t be in there.”
Zack nodded and pointed to the door’s lock. Someone appeared to have hacked the digital keypad, which dangled from a bundle of wires. “Look,” he whispered, “someone tried to break the lock.”
“Milo are you sure we should go in there?” Amanda whispered uncertainly. “What if Dr. Diminutive is still in there?”
Milo thought for a second. A part of him thought that she might be right. He pushed the thought aside. No, he thought, we should try to help Brick and Savannah if we can. He took hold of the door handle. For once, it didn’t come off in his hand. He looked at the others. They nodded in return. “OK, Milo whispered, “on the count of three.” The others nodded again in understanding. Milo raised his hand and held up three fingers.
Milo turned the door handle and put his shoulder the door. No sooner had it begun to swing open, than Murphy’s Law hit and the door came off its hinges. In the same moment, Milo lost his balance and fell through the open door, which landed with a crash on the floor. The air was forcibly driven from his lungs as Zack, Melissa, Amanda and Jeremy landed on top of him. Milo could feel the times of his grappling hook digging into the small of his back.
“Can you guys get off me?” he wheezed. They rolled off of him, and Milo got to his feet . He dusted himself off and looked around. A wall of windows looked out over the area floor. In front of it was a broad control panel covered with levers, buttons and knobs. The room was empty.
“He’s not here,” said Milo. He eyed the large four-side video screen hanging over the middle of the arena.
“He must be over there,” said Zack. He nodded out the broad wall of windows overlooking the arena toward the four sided scoreboard and video screens hanging from the roof over centre ice.
The others looked at it for a long moment. “I agree,” replied Melissa. “Savannah said there were only two places he could be.” She gestured to their immediate surroundings. “He’s clearly not here-,” she said.
Jeremy nodded in agreement. “-he must be over there.”
“OK,” said Milo, “so we need to find a way over there.” He turned toward the door. The others followed him. “C’mon.”
I like how Milo channels his ability, affliction, whatever you call it, into practical help. He's showing more confidence here, too.
Episode Seventy Three
Zack, Melissa, Amanda and Jeremy followed Milo back out into the hall, which was deserted.
“OK,” asked Melissa, “anyone know how we’re supposed to find the videotron?”
They all looked at each other. Finally, after a couple of minutes Milo shrugged. “I guess we just start trying doors?” he suggested half heartedly. They spent the next half hour trying all the doors the came across. Most of them were locked. A couple opened on to nondescript looking offices. One or two appeared to be private boxes. Eventually they came to a drab looking utility door painted in dull grey. There was no sign to give any indication of what might be on the other side.
“Look,” said Zack pointing at the lock. Someone had pried the rewired the digital keypad, just like the door to the broadcast booth. “I think this might be it. Look, someone jimmied the lock.”
Jeremy shrugged. “Well, we haven’t found a way over there with any of the other doors we’ve tried.”
Milo nodded in agree. “Right,” he replied, “so let’s see where this one leads.” He put his hand on the door handle and pushed it open. The door swung open. A long metal catwalk stretched across the void from the open door to a door on the opposite side that Milo presumed led to the innards of the videotron and the scoreboards. He raised his right foot and was about to take a step forward when he heard a voice behind him.
“Are we sure there’s not another way over there?” Milo turned. It was Zack who had spoken. “I mean, you know,” he elaborated, gesturing at Milo and the gulf beyond the open door, “you, a metal bridge and a gut wrenching drop.”
Milo paused. Zack had a good point, he realized. The previous year, Milo, Zack and Melissa had found themselves hanging from a tree branch half way up a cliff. It was only some very quick thinking on Zack’s part that had gotten them out of that situation in one piece. “I don’t think we have a choice,” Milo replied. “We haven’t found another way to get over there, and we don’t how long looking for one might take.”
“I agree with Milo,” Amanda interjected, “this is the only way across.”
“Right,” said Milo, “I’ll go first. If nothing happens, then you can join me on the other side.”
“Sounds like a plan,” replied Amanda.
“OK,” said Milo, “wait right here. I’ll only be a minute.” Milo took a couple of steps out on the catwalk. He paused for a moment or two, as if waiting for something tp happen. The catwalk seemed to be a mile long and he was suddenly aware of the long drop to the arena floor below. Don’t think about that, Milo, he thought to himself, just get to the other side. Milo pushed the thought out of his head with only a little difficulty. He squared himself and shrugged his backpack higher up onto his shoulders. He started walking again and reached the other side in less than a minute. The door in front of him hung slightly open. He looked down at the door handle. Someone had jimmies the lock. Milo pressed his ear to the door, listening for any sounds or movement coming from inside, but he wasn’t sure if that mean anything or not. Milo put his hand on the door knob and pushed it open. It swung inward. He turned back and saw Zack, Melissa, Amanda and Jeremy crowded in the open doorway. He waved encouragingly at them.
They nodded, waved back and stepped out onto the catwalk. They crossed it in a minute or two and joined Milo in front the door into the videotron.
“Are we sure he’s in there?” asked Jeremy.
Milo shrugged. “I don’t know,” he replied. “I couldn’t hear anything, but this is the only place he could be so….,” he trailed off and looked at the others.
“Well, what are we standing here for?” said Melissa.
Milo nodded. He put his hand on the door knob and pushed it open. It started to swing inward. Milo caught a glimpse of a tangle of coaxial cables and LED panels when the catwalk suddenly shuddered and slanted sideways. Milo’s hand whipped out and grabbed hold of the catwalk’s hand rail. It broke in his hand and went spinning into the void. At the same instant, Milo felt the bottom drop out of his stomach as he felt the catwalk give way. He pushed open the door and scrambled through. He heard someone cry out loudly. He turned, half afraid of what of what he might find. Milo forced himself to look down. The catwalk was still attached to the bottom of the videotron. Exactly how that was possible, Milo didn’t know. Zack, Melissa, Amanda and Jeremy were clinging to the catwalk’s handrails.
“Are you guys OK?” asked Milo.
“Yeah, we’re fine-,” replied Zack.
“-relatively speaking-,” interjected Melissa.
“-but could you lend us a hand?” asked Zack.
“Oh, yeah sure,” replied Milo, “just a second .” Milo shrugged off his backpack. He pulled open the flap and pulled out his climbing harness and a rope. He buckled his on his climbing tackle and knotted the rope through the D-ring in the front. He glanced quickly around, looking for something to tie off the other of the rope to. After a second or two searching he found a pair of girders. He wrapped the rope around one of the two or three times and then tied the lose around the other one with a tripe knot. He tugged on the line to make sure it was secure.
“Milo?” called Jeremy, “how are we doing?”
“Everything’s fine replied Milo, “I’m coming down to get you.” Milo turned his back to the precipitous drop. He took a deep breath, pushed off from the ledge and jumped. For a fraction of a second, Milo was weightless, then he surrendered to the force of gravity and felt himself plummeting downward. Zack, Melissa, Amanda and Jeremy went racing past him. The rope played out rapidly through his hands, uncoiling like a snake as he fell. Milo felt a hard jerk as he reached the end of his tether. A split second later, the straps of his climbing harness cinched tightly around and his waist and thighs as he came to a stop. Milo looked around at his surroundings and frowned slightly. The soles of Jeremy’s shoes were dangling about two feet above his head.
Milo’s hands were raw and blistered with rope burns. He ignored the discomfort in his hands and started pulling himself up the rope, hand and over hand. After a minute or two he drew level with Jeremy. He hooked his legs around the catwalk’s guard rail. “Are you OK?” asked Milo.
Jeremy nodded. “Yeah,” he replied. “What made you think you’d need rope and a climbing harness at a Weird Al concert?”
Milo shrugged. “I try to pack for every situation,” he replied. He tugged on the rope. “You should be able to climb right up.”
Jeremy took hold of the rope and gave it an experimental tug.When nothing happened, he grasped it firmly in his hands, wrapped his legs around it and began to shimmy his way upward. Milo held the rope taught for him and after a minute or Jeremy reached the ledge above his head and pulled himself up and over. He got to his feet, turned and gave Milo a thumbs up. Milo nodded in reply and started to climb again. He bared put his foot on the catwalk’s guardrail, when it broke under his weight. At the same moment, the crosspiece in his hand came loose and he fell. He reached the end of his tether spreadeagled and stopped with a jerk. Milo took hold of the rope again and proceeded to start hauling himself upward. After a couple of minutes he reached Amanda, who was clinging to the catwalk. “Are you OK, Amanda?” he asked.
She nodded in reply. “Yeah,” she said, “I think so. What happened?”
Milo shrugged again, as if they were discussing the weather. “Murphy’s Law, I presume,” he replied. “Anyway, I’ll meet you at the top.”
“Right,” she said, and she took hold of the rope and started climbing.
He waited until she had reached the top and then repelled across the dangling catwalk to where Zack and Melissa were hanging next to each other. “OK,” he said, “you two are the last ones.”
“See you at the top,” said Zack. He took a firm hold on the rope and began climbing upward, until he reached the top where Jeremy and Amanda grabbed him by the back of his belt and hauled him to his feet. Melissa joined the others a minute or two later. Milo was slight out of breath by the time he got the top. He felt four pairs of hands seize him by the straps of his backpack and pull him over the edge of the platform that formed the bottom of the videotron.
Milo got to his feet and dusted himself off. The muscles in his forearms were throbbing slightly from all his exertions. He unbuckled his climbing harness, coiled up the rope and deposited both of them in his backpack.
“So what now?” asked Amanda.
They all looked around. They appeared to be in short corridor. Bundles of coaxial cable pressed in on them from either side. The only other way out of the short corridor they found themselves in was through the door at the other end.
“Well, this is the only other place he could be,” said Melissa, “so let’s see if he’s here.”
They turned and walked into down the short corridor into the centre of the videotron. Cables snaked everywhere. A camera stood on a tripod in a corner. A thin man stood in the opposite corner typing on a laptop. The rhythmic clicking of computer keys filled the confined space. He looked up at the sound of footsteps on the metal grate that formed the floor on which they were all standing. “Hey,” he said, “who are you? You’re not supposed to be in here!”
At these words, a small man pulled his head out the guts of what Milo took to be some sort of machine in the middle of the floor. He hopped down on to the floor and whirled to face the thin man, who suddenly seemed noticeably taller than his average height would suggest. The other man was almost comical looking. He was shorter than Milo. He just came up to Milo’s chin. He was dressed in a slightly shabby looking lab coat. The fringe of around his ears and the back of his head was iron grey. He positively crackled with energy. Milo had to actively fight the urge to laugh, but something about the little man made him think better of it. He looked comically, but his eyes gave Milo the impression of someone who cold, shrewd and calculating.
“Who are you?” he snapped. “OWCA? Time Bureau? PIG?” Milo, Zack, Melissa, Amanda and Jeremey all looked at each other in confusion for a minute or two. Milo opened his mouth to say something, but before he could say anything a shawls fell over them and four figures repelled down from overhead.
Brick and Savannah landed lightly on their feet, while Perry the Platypus dropped onto his bandy legs. Heinz landed in a heap next to the platypus. He got to his feet and straightened his lab coat. “You should warn me the next time you’re going to do that,” he said.
Perry shrugged. [Sorry, Heinz] he replied [I thought you what I was going to do.]
“Heinz Doofenshmirtz,” interject Dr. Diminutive, “come to spoil my plans have you?”
“Hello Nebolshoy,” replied Heinz. “I couldn’t care less about your plans. I’m a guy good now.”
Nebolshoy looked askance and the former evil scientist. “What do you mean you’re a ‘good guy now,’?” he asked. “You can’t just disappear and for months and then show up here!”
Heinz bristled. “I’ll have you know, Nebolshoy,” he began, “that I didn’t just disappear-,” Nebolshoy interrupted Heinz with a dismissive snort.
“No,” he replied, “clearly not, since here you are,” the pint-sized supervillain gestured dramatically the others, “but you’re with them.” He shook his head. “And on top of that, you bring them here of all place, to foil my brilliant plan!”
Heinz rolled his eyes in derision. “Oh, come on Nebolshoy,” he said, “you’ve only ever had the same evil plan for as long, as I’ve known you. Are you still planning to shrink Danville in put in your little diorama?” he asked. He turned to the others. “You should see it,” he said, “he has this entire little world in his basement, it’s so cute-,”
“It’s called Diminuland,” growled Nebolshoy, his face darkening in anger. “And I’ve come up with much better plan, any way.” He fished in his pocket for a moment or two and produced what appeared to be some kind of remote control.
Everyone eyed the remote in Nebolshoy’s hand and Milo suddenly had an uneasy feeling.
[OK] Perry chittered. The unexpected sound of his chittering teeth made Milo jump slightly. [Hand over the remote, Doctor] he said [and this can end without a mess.]
Dr. Diminutive cackled. “Oh, I don’t think so,” he said. “I keep telling you, Heinz, I don’t have a Napoleon complex. Napoleon had a me complex.”
Are we sure that Milo isn't a Boy Scout, because he came prepared with a harness and rope to a concert ... and very foreshadowing last line, good going!
Well he’s not stated to be a Boy Scout in canon, but he likes camping and being out doors, and don’t forget that he brought rope and climbing gear to the WIBAs as well. It might be just be that he packs certain items as part of his standard kit.
Episode Seventy Four
Dr. Diminutive pushed the button on the remote in his hand. For a second or two, nothing happened. Milo wondered if Dr. Diminutive’s Shrinkinizor had malfunctioned, but no sooner had the thought occurred to him, than the Shrinkinizor began to emit a high pitch whine.
[Well that can’t be good] said Perry. He cast a glance up at Heinz. [Do you have any idea what he might be planning?] he asked.
Heinz shook his head at the platypus. His eyes flicked from Dr. Diminutive to the Shrinkinozor. “Nebolshoy,” he said slowly “what are you doing?”
Nebolshoy laughed. “Well, my original plan was to hold Danville for ransom,” he replied.
“We will never pay your ransom,” replied Brick.
Nebolshoy nodded. “It was never about the ransom,” he replied, “and it was never about Diminuland, either.”
“Then what is this about?” asked Brick.
“Did I ever tell you about the time I was left I was left by my parents in the lost and found at Grand Central Station for three days?”
“No,” replied Heinz.
“Yeah is this going somewhere?” asked Savannah, “because we other places we need to be tonight.”
Nebolshoy scowled. “No one wants to hear my tragic convoluted backstory, do they? Very well, if you insist.” No sooner had Nebolshoy spoken, than what appeared to be some kind of satellite dish popped out of the top of the Shrinkinizor. It unfurled itself and began to rotate back and forth. It completed two or three revolutions before stopping. With a start, Milo realized that the Shrinkinizor’s antenna dish, what ever it was that it did, was pointing directly at the remote in Dr.Diminutive’s hand. Well that can’t be good, he thought. Almost as soon as the thought had occurred to him, a beam of blue energy shot of the of the antenna dish at Dr. Diminutive. The beam of energy was intensely bright. Milo’s nostrils were filled with the strong whiff of ozone and the air crackled with energy. The hairs on the backs of his arms stood up.
Shielding his eyes with one hand, Milo groped blindly in his backpack with his other hand. Milo felt his hand close over a leather strap and pulled out a small pair of welder’s goggles. He pulled them on and opened his eyes. The darkly glass of his welder’s googles cut most of the glare. Dr. Diminutive was a dark shape surrounded by writhing tendrils of energy. As Milo watched, the pint sized supervillain seemed to be growing before his eyes. Nebolshoy had only just barely come up just below the bottom of Milo’s chin, the evil scientist and the hapless teenager could now look each other in eye. After another second or two, Dr Diminutive was several inches and taller than Milo and still growing.
Somewhere in the high powered whine, Milo thought he heard the sound of chittering platypus teeth. [Any ideas, Heinz?] asked Perry.
Heinz shook his head. “No,” he replied. He nodded his head at Nebolshoy, who was now “he’s been tinkering with thing for years. It’s supposed to shrink the space between atoms, but he’s never gotten it to work be-,” Heinz stopped, as if he had had a sudden epiphany. “I know what he’s doing,” he said excitedly, “I think I know how to stop it.”
Amanda started to say, “how do we do that?” but before she could finish her sentence, a deep metallic groan issued from somewhere over head.
I was wondering when that was going to happen, thought Milo. He pulled off his welders’ goggles and looked around and looked around for the source of the sound. He looked up. The four heavy struts that suspended the videotron over the centre of the arena were kept in place with a series of heavy bolts. As Milo watched, one of bolts, which was the size of his closed fist, came loose and went spinning into void. It struck the edge of the videotron with a loud metallic clatter and went pinwheeling away out of his sight. Several other bolts came raining down in quick succession. The whole structure groan loudly again.
“OK, Milo,” asked Melissa, “what’s the plan?”
“Not sure,” replied Milo, “but we definitely need to get out of here.” As he spoke, Milo suddenly became aware that the floor on which they were standing was shifting under their feet. He felt the whole structure lurch again. He felt his stomach settle slightly as the whole dropped several inches. from somewhere behind him. Milo heard the slap-slap-slap of webbed platypus feet from somewhere behind him as Perry walked down the short corridor that Milo, Zack, Melissa, Amanda and Jeremy had entered from. He heard the sound of a door opening and then closing.
[We can’t get out that way] he said.
“Sorry,” replied Milo, flushing slightly, “Murphy’s Law collapsed the catwalk.” Milo cast his eye around the confined space trying to find another way out. The top of Dr. Diminutive’s head was level with the top of the videotron. He heard the sound of platypus feet getting louder again.
Perry paused momentarily to survey the situation. He wasn’t sure if it was only his imagination or not, but he thought that Dr. Diminutive’s rate of growth was accelerating. Eventually the videotron wouldn’t be able to support his weight and when that happened, it would collapse. He cast his gaze upward at the buckling struts, judging the distance. I’d say about fifty or sixty feet, he thought. He turned to Milo. [Can you climb?] he asked.
Milo nodded. He started say, “yeah, why?” then he stopped. He followed Perry’s upward gaze. Of course, he thought, maybe we can climb out. “But what about Dr. Diminutive?” he asked, nodding at the still growing supervillain. “How do we get past him?” The four struts that supported the videotron rose up from the middle of the grate that formed the floor. However, Dr. Diminutive was in the way.
[Let us worry about that] replied Perry.
Milo nodded. He slipped off his backpack and began rummaging through its contents. He pushed aside a parasol, a scuba mask, his extra pair of work gloves and a pair of flippers and began extracting his rope and spare climbing harnesses. Zack, Melissa, Amanda and Jeremy must have noticed Milo, looking through his backpack, because they sidled over to him and crouched down.
“OK,” asked Zack, “so what’s the plan?”
Milo paused in the act of look for his extra helmets. “We’re going to climb out,” he said.
The others considered this for a moment. “Isn’t that pretty high?” asked Jeremy after a second or two.
Milo shook his head. “Not really,” he replied, “it’s only fifty or sixty feet.”
“OK,” interjected Melissa, “but what about him?” She jerked a thumb over her shoulder, indicating Dr. Diminutive.
“I think he’s being taken care of,” Milo replied. “Just be ready to move.” He proceeded to hand each of them a harness and a helmet. They stood up, pulled them on and cinched the straps tight. Milo buckled the chin strap under his helmet and hefted the coiled rope on to his shoulder. A grappling hook dangled from one end.
Milo’s train of thought was interrupted by a sudden outburst of raised voices. He turned along with the others and several more bolts rained down with a clatter. Milo felt a solid thunk! on the top his head as one of the bolts hit him and ricocheted into one of the LED screens, which shorted out in a shower of sparks.
“Dr.Diminutive, you need to shut down your Shrinkinizor,” said Savannah. “This entire structure is becoming unstable. We need find a way out of here.”
Dr. Diminutive laughed. “Oh, I don’t think so! Tell me why should I turn off my Shrinkinizor, when I’m already already taller that all of you combined. I can grow forever and nobody can stop me!”
Perry turned to Heinz. [Can he really do that?]
Heinz shook his head at the the platypus. He turned his attention to Nebolshoy. “This isn’t going to work Nebolshoy,” he said.
Nebolshoy’s snort of derision echoed loudly enough to caused Milo’s ear drums to throb slightly. “I’m not turning it off Heinz,” he said, “and you can’t make me.”
“OK,” said Savannah, “this needs to end.” She exchanged a look with Brick and Perry who both nodded in return. Without taking his eye off of Brick, Savannah, Heinz or Nebolshoy, Perry turned his head slightly and nodded at Milo, who nodded his head in return.
“Last chance, Nebolshoy,” said Savannah, “shut it down!”
Dr. Diminutive looked down at her from ten feet over her head. “Make me,” he said.
The two time agents were moving before Dr. Diminutive had finished speaking. Brick gestured and a thin wire with a weight on the end shot out of his sleeve. It arced across the confined space and a Savannah deftly snatched it out of thin air. She pulled it taught and they began to move forward at a quick pace together. In the same instant, Perry leapt up onto Heinz’ shoulders. Without so much as a pause, the platypus hurled himself at the still growing supervillain. The videtron lurched again and several more bolts rained down them. Milo cast a quick glance down at the grate. He estimated that there were around a dozen bolts scattered around under foot. He quickly looked upward, trying count how many were left. He couldn’t tell for sure. The top of the videotron’s support structure was shrouded in shadows. He guessed not many. We need to go, now, thought Milo. He nodded to the others and they nodded back in response.
Out of the corner of his eye Milo saw Perry clamber up Heinz’ back and on to his shoulder, then he kept across the gap and into the Shrinkinizing field. He clung to Dr. Diminutive’s pant leg and began to scramble upward.
Dr. Diminutive reach down and swatted at Perry in annoyance. The platypus leapt sideways and Dr. Diminutive’s giant hand struck Milo in the back of the head, almost knocking him over. Milo straightened up and slid the coil of rope and the grappling hook off of his shoulder. He let it fall to the floor and let the grappling hook dangle from his hand. He began to swing it back and forth in a wide arc, slowly at first, then faster and faster. After about a dozen revolutions, Milo let the grappling hook go with a deft flick of his wrist. It went sailing straight up, the rope trailing lazily behind it. Milo heard a metallic clatter somewhere overhead. He tugged on the rope and clipped his harness onto the line. He turned to the others again. “Let’s get out of here.”
Trying to keep out of reach of Dr. Diminutive, Milo, Zack, Melissa, Amanda and Jeremy edged around behind Nebolshoy. Out of the corner of his eye, Milo saw Nebolshoy make a grab at Perry, who was hanging his from his ear. Perry dodged and Nebolshoy, who was also trying to make a swipe Brick and Savannah, who were shooting their watch lasers at him. His face was peppered with a constellation of angry welts. Nebolshoy overbalanced and toppled into the videotron’s support structure, they visibly bent under the weight of his impact and the whole structure shook and groaned audibly.
“Well, that can’t be good,” said Zack.
“I don’t think this thing is going to hold for much longer,” said Amanda.
“I agree,” replied Milo. “We need to get climbing.” He put his right foot on the cross member and tested his weight. It held and he started to climb. In front of his eyes, Milo noticed that the rope, which had been slightly slack, was now taught. He could hear the others clamber up the open metal framework below him. After a minute or two of climbing, Milo found himself above the square framework of the videotron. He was surrounded by open space on all sides, and he was suddenly aware of his heart beating rapidly in his chest. It took some effort for Milo to force himself to climbing. Don’t look down, he thought. Don’t look- for a brief moment, he allowed himself to look down. Milo immediately wished he hadn’t. He could see down into the interior of videotron. In a smooth, fluid motion, Perry back flipped out of the Shrinkinizing field and landed squarely on his short bandy legs. He pulled his fedora off of his head, rummaged through it and pulled out a grappling gun. He thrust it into Heinz’ hands and gestured upward. Heinz raised the gun above his head and pulled the trigger. The pronged grappling hook went arcing upward, trailing its cable behind it in a lazy line. As Milo watched, Perry rummaged through the contents of his fedora again and this time pulled out a lasso. He slung it across his chest and leapt back into the Shrinkinizing field. Milo wasn’t sure if his high vantage point was playing tricks on him or not, but he thought that the platypus looked noticeably taller. He heard a loud yell and saw Heinz go sailing straight up past him and out of sight. The hem of his lab coat flapped lazily in his wake. Milo turned his attention back to the ad hoc ladder in front of him. Just keep climbing, he thought. For a moment, he was tempted to look up, but a gut feeling that he couldn’t explain told him that that would be an even worse idea than looking down. Instead he kept his eyes focused directly ahead of him. Milo forced himself back into motion. Out of the corner of his eye, the bowl of the arena seemed wide as he got higher. At the same time the videotron and the arena floor shrank until they seemed tiny and toy like. A shadow fell over him and Milo looked cautiously upward. A voice rose up from beneath him.
“How are we doing Milo?” Milo could tell with out looking that it was Zack who had spoken. Milo chanced a quick look around. He was surrounded by a forest of structural steel. It branched off in all directions and got lost in the shadows cast by the wide arcing dome of the arena’s roof. Amid the tangle of steel, Milo spied a catwalk that ran almost from the videotron’s support trusses to a door over the scorekeeper’s booth. “I think there’s a way out,” replied Milo.
“Great,” Melissa called up, “what do we need to do?”
Milo surveyed their situation again and he realized that he might need to climb higher. He felt his stomach flip at the thought. Milo had to work at pushing the sensation aside. He forced himself to look upward into the maze of steel. The entire structure was hanging at a precarious angle and he could see places were there gaps large enough to fit his fist.
“Ummmmm…….a little help?”
Milo turned at the sound of a high pitched, slightly nasal sounding voice. Heinz was dangling in mid-air about ten feet away from Milo. His feet windmilled uselessly. Milo’s eye travelled up the grappling gun’s line, where it disappeared into the maze of steel. It suddenly gave him an idea. Maybe I can use use Perry’s grappling gun to get to the catwalk, he thought. If he could, he might be able to create a traverse and they would be able to cross and get out here, but in order to do that, he would have to find it.
Action filled chapter and I like the addition of the videotron, so easily imagined to need supports and about to topple ...
Episode Seventy Five
“Zack, can you come up here?” Milo called down from his lofty position, “I need your help.”
“Yeah, sure Milo,” replied Zack. Milo heard the sound heavy breathing and the soles of Zack’s running shoes on bare metal. A second or two later, Zack hauled himself up next to Milo.
Milo opened his mouth and started to say, “whatever you do, don’t look down,” but it was too late.
Zack cast a downward glance at the yawning gulf beneath his feet. He swallowed hard and momentarily felt his head swim. Milo saw Zack’s knuckles whitened he instinctively tightened his grip on the videotron’s support trusses. Zack felt as if his head was spinning. He took a deep breath, held it for ten seconds and then let it.
“I told you not to look down,” replied Milo. He sounded as they were discussing the weather.
“You’re not supposed to say that!” replied Zack. “It’s like reverse psychology. If you tell someone not to look down, that just makes them want to look down even more.” He paused and took another deep steadying breath. “I assume you have a plan for getting us out of this?” he asked.k
Milo nodded in reply. “I think so,” he said.
“So what’s the plan?” asked Zack. He had a strong suspicion that he wasn’t going to like Milo’s plan. Milo spoke for ten minutes, outlining his idea. When he was finished, Zack thought. Yeah, I don’t really like this idea. Out loud he said, “OK, where do we start?”
Milo gestured with one hand, while still holding on to the metal lattice with the other one. “You go this way, and I’ll go that way,” he said.
Zack nodded. “OK,” he said. He took another deep breath to calm his rapidly beating heart. Zack had to force himself to keep climbing. He locked his eyes squarely on the backs of his hands, and didn’t look down. A web shadows fell over him and he guessed that he had climbed the rest of the way up int9 the maze of steel that supported the videotron. He noticed something out of the corner of his eye and turned his head. A large piece of structural steel thrust out into open space and got lost in the shadows cast by the arena’s arcing roof. He could see Milo crawling his way along the next truss over. Zack made the mistake of briefly looking down. There was but a long fall between him and the floor of the arena.
Zack felt as though everything was spinning again. He took another deep breath and slowly let it out. Just relax, he thought, there’s a big hunk of solid steel under your feet. Everything is going to be fine. Zack slowly began to crawl outward from the videotron’s central support column. Easy for you to say, he thought, when you’re looking down at a hundred foot drop. Zack’s thoughts were interrupted as he hit his head on something. He forced himself to look up and found himself staring at a vertical cross member. Carefully letting go of the square steel girder that was supporting him, Zack took hold of the upright support in front of him and carefully got to his feet. It rose up at a slight angle and was skewed slightly to the left. This thing could fall at any minute, he thought, we need to find Doof and get out of here. Zack poked his head around the heavy piece of steel. He saw Heinz dangling from the end of Perry’s grappling gun about twenty feet away. He was right at the end of a long truss. Milo was almost close enough to reach him, but not quite. He would have crawl all the way out to the end of the steel spar in order to reach Heinz.
No sooner had this occurred to Zack, then he realized that this presented a problem. Milo’s negative probability field will probably break that cable, he thought. I should go out there with Milo, just in case something goes wrong. He turned and shouted across the void to Milo. “Don’t move,” he said. “I have an idea.”
Milo turned his head at the sound of Zack’s voice. “OK,” he shouted back, “but hurry.” He cast a quick appraising glance upward, as the whole structure shuddered again. “I don’t think this thing is going to last much longer.”
Without another word, Zack turned and carefully made his way back the way he had come toward the videotron’s central support truss. After a few minutes he reached it and took hold of the metal lattice work. The distance from one spar the next was only a six feet, but there was nothing beneath Zack’s feet except empty air. Zack had to force himself to move one foot after the other. It took him a couple of minutes, but it felt like an eternity. He felt his foot touch something substantial and he carefully placed it on the top the heavy steel beam. No sooner had he done this, than Zack felt a hand close around his upper arm. He turned and found Milo crouching next to him.
“So what’s the plan?” asked Milo.
Zack steadied himself and turned to face his friend. “The plan,” he replied, “is for you to not go out and kill yourself trying to rescue Doof.” Zack paused for a moment. “That’s why I’m going out there with you.”
Milo absorbed these words, as looking for a flaw in Zack’s thinking. When he couldn’t find one he said, “sounds like a good plan.” He turned and began making his way back out toward the end of the truss where Heinz was dangling over empty space. Zack followed in Milo’s wake, his eyes fixed squarely on the middle of Milo’s backpack. He thrust his arms out wide to keep his balance. The steel truss on which they were standing was only just wide enough for one foot at a time. It didn’t take very long, but negotiating his way around the upright supports without falling seemed like it took forever. Eventually they got to the end of the truss. Heinz was hanging over empty space.
“Finally,” he said, “you know I would have expected that Perry the Platypus would come and rescue me, instead of leaving me hanging here, but noooooooo! Obviously he has more important things to!”
While Heinz was talking, Milo carefully got down on all fours and stretched out his hand toward Heinz. The former evil scientist was just barely beyond Milo’s grasp. “Give me your hand,” he said. Heinz reached for Milo’s outstretched hand. The tips of their fingers were a couple of feet apart. Milo frowned, wondering how he could get closer.
After a minute or two of thought, Milo opened his mouth, but before he could get the words out, Zack beat him to it. “Doof, you need to swing your body!”
Milo saw what Zack’s plan was at once. “Yeah,” he called, “you’re almost within reach. If you swing your body, I think I can reach you and pull you in.”
“Oh,” said Heinz, as if he should have thought of that himself, “of course.” He kicked his legs out in front of him, and then thrust them out behind him, like a child on a swing set. The action seemed to have the desired effect. Heinz began to swing back and forth, slowly at first, then faster and faster. Milo stretched out his hand, as far as he dared. His whole upper torso was practically hanging over empty space. Zack watched tensely. His whole body felt like a coiled spring. He felt as if something was about to happen at any minute. Heinz continued to swing in increasingly wide arcs. He was getting closer and closer to Milo’s out stretched hand.
Milo stretched out his arm to its absolute maximum extent. “Give me your hand!” he said.
Still swinging back and forth, Hein took one hand off of the grappling gun’s pistol grip and stuck it out in front of him. The tips of his long bony fingers just barely brushed the end of Milo’s. Heinz kicked his legs one more time, widening the arc of his swing a little more. He swung far out over the empty void and then swung back into toward where Milo was reaching into empty space. Heinz’ hand closed tightly over Milo’s wrist. That’s when Murphy’s Law struck, no sooner had Heinz grabbed hold of Milo, than the grappling hook gave way. Zack felt as though everything was happening in slow motion. Heinz had just enough time to register the sensation of falling, and his hand tightened on Milo’s wrist.
In the same moment, Milo felt himself being dragged foreword, and cried out. “Zack, grab my ankles!”
Zack reacted without thinking. He dove and Milo felt Zack’s hand fasten securely around his ankles. At the same moment, everything spun crazily, as Milo felt himself being dragged head first over the edge of the truss. He heard Zack shout wordlessly and saw Perry’s grappling gun go spinning away into the void, as Heinz’s other hand. He instinctively shut his eyes, bracing himself for the bone shattering impact onto the arena floor below. It never came. Instead, Milo felt as if he was being pulled from opposite directions at the same time. A voice spoke from somewhere above him.
“Milo?” said Zack, “you still with me, buddy?”
Milo opened his eyes. He found Heinz staring back at him. Milo started. “What the-,” he began. He had suddenly realized that he was upside down.
“Are we dead asked?”asked Heinz, “because if this supposed to be heaven, then I am very underwhelmed.”
“Milo-,” Zack began.
“Zack,” replied Milo, “what happened?”
“Milo,” replied Zack, he sounded as if he was slightly out of breath, “I have you, but I’m only just barely hanging on by shoelaces, They’re tangled and wrapped around the end of beam.”
“What?” asked Milo in surprise, “how is that possible?”
“I have no idea,” replied Zack, “but I have no idea how long they’re going to hold for, so whatever you’re going to do, do it quickly.”
Milo took in a deep, calming breath, held it for ten seconds, and then let it out. OK Milo, he thought, you’re hanging upside by your ankles over a hundred foot drop. Zack is hanging upside down from his shoelaces and Doof is holding on to your wrists. How do you get out of this one? He shut his eyes, trying shut all the distractions, working through the problem in his mind, examining all the variables one at a time, searching for a solution to their predicament. He began to mentally run through the contents of his backpack, but soon stopped. Something was off. It lay flaccid and crumpled against his shoulders. It’s too light, he thought. The lump rising on the back of his head, from where his monkey wrench had hit him on the back of the head, told him why. I think my backpack must be empty, he thought. The contents of his backpack must have fallen out when he been pulled over the edge of the truss. Milo pushed aside his previous train of thought. Well, he thought, I guess there’s one way out of this one. “Doof, can you climb?”
Heinz seemed to take several eternities to consider the question. Meanwhile, suspended by his ankles from Zack’s hands and Heinz suspended from his wrists, Milo felt as though he was rediscovering numberous parts of his body that he had forgotten actually existed. “Did I ever tell you about the time that my father suspended me from the top of the tallest tree in Drusslestein?” he asked after a minute or two of consideration?
“No,” replied Milo. He opened house mouth to say something else, but Zack interjected. “We don’t have time for a convoluted, tragic backstory,” he snapped.
Heinz rolled his eyes, as if the gravity of their predicament was somehow lost on him. “Yeesh,” he said, “you think we were about to plummet to our certain doom or something.”
“We are,” exclaimed Milo and Zack together.
“Will you please just hurry up and start climbing?” Zack burst out.
“Alright, alright, alright,” muttered Heinz.
Milo felt Heinz’ long, bony clawing and various parts of his body, as the lanky-framed pharmacist pulled himself upward. Heinz’ long, ungainly feet kicked haphazardly at Milo as he grabbed at Zack. A couple of times Zack said, “ouch!” and “don’t put your foot there!” Finally, there were a series of muffled grunts as Heinz heaved himself over the edge of the truss. From where he continued dangling upside down, now staring into the void, he could Heinz panting and muttering a string of invective under his breath in Drusslestienian. He thought he caught the words, “Perry the Platypus,” once or twice in English.
“OK, Milo,” said Zack, “you’re next.”
“Right,” replied Milo. He tensed his abdominal muscles and pulled himself into an upright position. He reached out and took hold of Zack’s wrists. Zack let go of Milo’s ankles and Milo felt his legs drop. Zack’s hands instinctively tightened around Milo’s wrists. Zack knew that it was probably just his imagination, but he was suddenly acutely aware of the fact he Milo’s life in his hands. Zack’s hands tightened even more on Milo’s wrists.
Milo must have guessed something of Zack’s thoughts because he said, “Zack, I need you let go my hand.”
“Are you sure Milo?” Zack asked, a nervous edge in his voice, “I don’t want to drop you.”
“I don’t want you to drop me either,” replied Milo, “but I need a free hand.”
Very, very slowly, as if he’d really rather not, Zack released his grip on Milo’s right hand. Milo felt his hand tingle slightly has the blood rushed back into his fingers. He hadn’t realized that Zack had been holding his wrist that tightly. Must have been that adrenalized fear response again, he thought. He flexed his had once or twice to restore the circulation the reached up and took hold of Zack’s belt. Milo pulled his other hand free from Zack’s grip and ignored the sensation of feeling returning to his finger tips. He reached up and fastened his hand to a spot just below Zack’s left knee. Milo held on tightly with his left hand as he hauled himself up past Zack’s exposed mid-riff until he was also within reach of the end of the truss. He let go of Zack, reached out and took hold of the end of the truss. At the same moment, Zack’s shoe laces gave way and for a heart stopping instant he began plummeting downward.
Without thinking, Zack stretched out his hands for anything to arrest his fall. Milo felt Zack’s hand sliding down his leg. At the last second, Zack’s hand clamped itself tightly around Milo’s ankle. Of course, he thought, should have seen that coming.
It is, it is! Just think of the last time someone told you not to look down, even if you were just on a stepstool.
Real nailbiter action!
A reprieve, anyway. Whew.