Chapter 17, "Partying Like It's a Year In Which the World is Ending"
I'd never been to Tabitha's house before, mostly because I'd done a lot of avoiding the crap out of her so I wouldn't have to teach her anything. But apparently, her little one story town home was the place to be on graduation afternoon. Practically everybody in the entire school had spilled into the place for the event. It looked and felt like a freaking people-balloon about to pop and throw people everywhere. It made me nervous.
"Our current surroundings make me uncomfortable," Xlormp confessed, slithering up beside me.
"Indeed," I agreed, grasping a hand firmly around his flipper. I noticed a movement in the back of the room. "What's Schmeertz doing?" I asked curiously.
"I think he's poisoning the punch," Klaxie explained, while Monica beeped madly in time with the loudly thumping music. She seemed to be enjoying herself.
I noted to myself that if Monica, a girl who communicates only in beeps and does nothing if her alien lover doesn't do it first, can graduate? Then our school systems are in quite the state of disarray.
"This is the best, isn't it, Friggling?" Klaxie nudged me, and I turned, watching him gyrate in some strange alien form of dance that wigged me out more than a little. It resembled a Twizzler attempting to simultaneously pull all of its individual twists apart while attempting to force itself into a spiral shape. I couldn't tear my eyes away. And neither could anyone else, apparently. Klaxie was the lord of the graduation dance. He must be in heaven.
Xlormp grasped me even more firmly. "Frig, this strange atmosphere is too much for my overload sensors. I fear I may begin leaking poison shortly."
"Then you should probably let go of me," I said, even though it pained me in every partition of my flesh to even suggest such a thing. Death by Xlormp poison would probably be pretty awesome. At least it would be sexier than having your brain transported to an alternate dimension.
The timing of my though proved appropriate, for at that moment, Christopher tapped me on the shoulder.
I jumped, for I had not been expecting any sort of shoulder tapping.
"This is a great party, huh?" she swooned, dancing rather awkwardly. Hector 2.0 danced among the crowd, doing his version of the robot. It looked to be quite a hit.
I'd never seen Christopher dance before, and now I sort of wished I never had. I felt Xlormp go all tense and stuff.
"Christopher," I said, using her name, "I think now might be a bad time because Xlormp's about to start flinging poison everywhere."
"He won't when I tell you what I've thought of to save your brain!"
Xlormp swiveled cautiously to face Christopher. "I certainly hope this is not one of your human shenanigans," he stabbed scathingly.
"It is not. I have an idea."
"What is your idea, Christopher?" I was intrigued by the idea of an idea, and all of my brain matter wanted to know what the idea might be.
"Send in the robot army!"
That idea did not really strike me as super awesome. So I replied with, "What?"
As did Xlormp.
I looked around the room. Klaxie still danced around strangely with Monica, and Schmeertz and Candy hid under the punch table, waiting to see who would be stupid enough to take a drink (considering the punch was now a disturbing, pulsing nuclear green and also spewing unnatural amounts of putrid smelling smoke). Hector 2.0 continued to dance mechanically, wooing the hearts of many a young and impressionable graduate. Nobody seemed aware of the deep and intense conversation about robots that we were having.
"What good would robots do us against Tallybonkers?" Xlormp demanded patronizingly.
"Think about it," Christopher explained. "My dad's robots are all equipped with their own arsenal of weaponry, no two exactly the same. Which means that number one," she held up an index finger, "we'd have a fully equipped army at our disposal."
"Normal weaponry won't work in this case," Xlormp muttered. I saw a flash in Christopher's eyes.
"I know that, which brings me to number two," another finger. "The robots are programmed to assess every situation for the best course of action with which to proceed."
Xlormp gestured to Hector 2.0. "Clearly the current best course of action involves dancing like a goofy weirdo."
"Clearly your own team agrees," Christopher countered, pointing at Klaxie. "And anyway," she continued with a hint of sadness in her voice, "dad gave Hector more humanity than his other robots."
I looked back and forth between my friend and my alien. They seemed locked in an epic standstill. I knew that crazy feelings and emotions were clouding their judgments or something, and I tried to assess the situation logically (like a robot) and with compassion for both of their feelings (like a human).
So I kicked Xlormp in the alien shin. "I think you should listen to Christopher," I said sayingly.
He grasped his tentacled shin pathetically and said, "Ow." Then he said, "My little meager-minded Frig, do you really think a bunch of robots can help keep your brain in this dimension?"
"I don't think it could be a bad thing, really," I pondered deeply. "I think the more help we have the better."
"Well," Xlormp chuckled good-humoredly, "That's very naïve of you and all-"
"Frig!" Klaxie called from the dance floor. "They are playing the Village People! You have to come dance with me!"
I felt torn between being irritated with Xlormp and wanting to dance with Klaxie. But finally, I figured Christopher could handle convincing Xlormp of her plan on her own. I boogied out to Klaxie and Monica and proceeded to get my groove on.
It's a Chapter-tastic Celebration!