Chapter 22, "A Team Effort of Goodness"
I watched in some sort of very extreme adjective for "awe" as one by one, the Blobbersons seemed to lose control of their motor functions and they fell to the floor, passed out. I waited for the same thing to happen to me, because if this were some sort of creepy space gas, surely it would not only affect the Blobbersons?
But I did not pass out, and neither did Xlormp, or Klaxie, or Lou, or Candy, or Monica. Limbo, however, freaked out and began shrieking like a really obnoxious thing, and Larry said, "Pretty lights, pretty lights, send me a sausage, squawk!" as the purple light dissipated.
An arm flung itself around my shoulder, and the voice belonging to the arm said, "Geez, Gorgeous, do I gotta save you every time?"
I turned my head to gaze upon the face. There she stood, Sploober-blaster casually slung over her shoulder. "Christopher!" I hollered, planting a crazy, second-chance-at-life-induced kiss on her cheek and hugging her guts out. (But not literally.) Christopher hugged back, and then the hug went on a little too long, and then I had to pry her off of me.
"Hector 2.0 will now perform preliminary safety checks," came a mechanical voice at the doorway.
"Sure, Hector, go ahead," Christopher said.
"Look!" Lou shouted. "A robot!" He clapped happily, like a baby who had just discovered it owned ten toenails.
I noticed Klaxie and Xlormp had not said anything, so I turned to see why. They merely stood, jaws agape, eyes goggling crazily at the whole scenario. Klaxie leaned over to Xlormp and said, "Why didn't we think of Sploober-blasters?"
Christopher heard them. "It was a lucky guess, really," she said.
"What was a lucky guess?" I asked.
"The linoleum! It sings to me!" Lou declared harmoniously. "Can we take it home?"
I shook my head, then focused my attentions again on the situation at hand.
"All systems normal," Hector 2.0 proclaimed monotonously.
"Thanks, bro! Engage High Five subroutine!" Christopher raised her hand up as Hector 2.0 approached, his arm appendage raised in high five reciprocation mode. They high fived.
"What's going on?" I demanded again.
"Why don't we talk about it on the ride home? We really should get out of here before they wake up. Which will probably be in, oh, about five minutes. And they'll have really big headaches, and they'll be extra pissed, and it will not be cool, so-"
"Yes, the feeble human is correct," Xlormp agreed in agreement. "We should leave now." He grabbed my arm and dragged me forcefully to the doorway, while everyone followed behind.
As we paraded out of the gigantic building, I glanced over my shoulder at Christopher. "How did you guys even get here?"
"Schmeertz," she said. "Once he figured out what was going on with Xlormp, he called in a space ship to escape, because someone hadn't checked him thoroughly for communication devices." She shot a Look at Hector 2.0, who hung his metallic head.
"Run program 'Appear Sheepish'," he said.
"And Schmeertz just let you tag along?" Klaxie interrogated, clearly amazed by this.
"I told him if he did, I'd upgrade his rocket launcher for him."
"You know he's only going to try to kill me harder with that," I sneered broodishly.
"Only if you piss him off," she exonerated. "He promised."
We finally emerged from the Blobberson's enormous abode, seeing not one but two space ships hovering, waiting for us.
"Where did those come from?" Lou demanded, grasping Monica firmly. "Did you steal my Chap stick?"
Monica beeped fearfully, wrenched herself from Lou's grip and ran to Klaxie's side. Lou muttered something to himself while Candy licked his ear.
"Uh, maybe Lou and I should ride with Klaxie and Xlormp," I said. "I don't want Schmeertz finding out his girl-slave has been cheating on him and have him thinking it's my fault."
Klaxie sighed. "I'll ride with Candy and Schmeertz," he said. "Someone's gotta smooth this over with him. And Hector 2.0 should probably come with us, too, just in case we need anything robotic."
We split off to our respective ships, and were on our way.
I took my place beside Xlormp at the steering wheel, refusing to let go of his slime-infused tentacles. He asked me nicely if I could let go so he could drive, so I contented myself to grip a tentacle toward the back.
"Okay," I said, when everyone had gotten settled and I'd calmed Lou down by giving him a piece of string I'd found in my pocket, "please explain."
Christopher inhaled a deep breath. "Well, it was a lot of luck, really. See, Sploobers are aliens similar to the Tallybonkers, except instead of demolishing brain cells, they enhance them. A lot of aliens use them as a form of recreational drug. Additionally, the larger the alien, the more brain matter they have. Well, usually. Anyway, the Blobbersons have pretty big brains, and I thought that maybe they were using small doses of Sploobers to keep themselves from having to work too hard at thinking. It happens, especially in aliens with superiority complexes.
"So, if the Blobbersons were using Sploobers, then the Sploober blaster would kill the Sploobers off, leaving the Blobbersons to have to think for themselves. If you've been on Sploobers for a long time, this effect can be jarring, and can take several minutes to recover from. Which is precisely what happened, giving us time to get out!"
Christopher beamed at me, probably hoping for another kiss.
"Amazing," Lou muttered.
"Thank you!" Christopher said.
Lou held up his string. "This has five names."
Christopher's face fell a little. Xlormp sighed happily. "Frig, I am pleased you are alive."
I bit his tentacle. "I am pissed that you left me."
Xlormp drooped. "I know. I'm sorry."
"Are you going to do it again?" I demanded.
He did not answer. I bit harder.
"OUCH!" he shrieked.
"Damn right," I muttered. We flew on, destination Earth, into the night. I looked forward to greeting Xlormp a little more properly once we got back to the cardboard mansion.
Okay, guys, this is the last week of chapters, and then Monday is the Epilogue, and then this book will be DONE. However, I demand that you not be fearful of this! Next Monday when the Epilogue is posted, I'll be announcing when The Most Second Book in the Whole Series will be available for sale on LuLu, as well as the date that Book Three (as of yet untitled) will begin. So, yay for that!