Chapter 11, "Worry"
"I don't even know why you would bother to get involved in that sort of business!" Mr. Leader snapped at me. He was going totally bazonkers, for serious, man. "We were just supposed to make the girl a girl-slave so that the Blobbersons would leave us alone and then we could blow up Earth and be done with it. Was that too hard of a plan for you, Klaxie?"
I'd had Mr. Leader yell at me before. I mean, this was nothing new at all. I won't lie that I'd never been big on the plan of blowing up Earth. It's not like I'd never blown up a planet or anything like that. It's just that none of them had ever been as interesting as Earth. Sure, a ball of gas here, a pile of liquid metal there. But Earth? It was full of humans. Crazy interesting humans! There was a reason Zmeephish-Quians had begun taking girl-slaves after discovering Earth.
Thinking of girl-slaves made me think of my Monica, and my blargle clenched in my middle section. With pain.
"Qzrudle, listen, I hear what you're saying. I know I shouldn't have gotten in the middle of the girl-slave ritual."
But he wasn't even listening to me. He carried on with his ranting. "It's bad enough that Xlormp had to go have all those emotions with Frig, and insist on marrying her. Who ever heard of that? Since when do we marry our girl-slaves?"
I figured now would be a bad time to mention that Mr. Leader didn't even have a girl-slave, and that if I had thought of it earlier, I totally would have married Monica, too. I would have given her anything.
Schmeertz sat stoically in the corner of the room, watching as Mr. Leader reamed my slimy ass. He'd been a lot calmer ever since he'd gone to human interaction rehab. But as he sat there, his unusually calm tentacles wrapped around Candy, I couldn't help but feel a surge of jealousy.
Jealousy. It's a human emotion. Humans and their emotions, they are so fascinating. Who would want to be an alien when you could be such a complex and intriguing specimen, with such a broad range of things you could feel? Life seemed to mean more than just explosions. Emotions gave you something to care about. They gave you something to do other than plot universal takeover.
Of course, they also made you hurt like nobody's business. That's the drawback, the one you don't see right away. You start experimenting with emotions and letting yourself feel, then the next thing you know, your favorite person in the whole world is dead and you can't stop the pain. And here's one of your closest friends still happy, not knowing that pain...was it all worth it?
"This is one more complication we don't need", Mr. Leader shouted. "We're going in and extracting the baby."
Yes. It was worth it. "I'm sorry," I piped up, "maybe I shouldn't have done it, but I think we should just leave it be."
Mr. Leader totally flipped out. He waved his tentacles around like he didn't care if they stayed attached. "Klaxie, this is not a time for thinking! This is a time for covering our asses so we can continue the mission! Without anymore dang humans interfering! I'm sick of it!"
Mr. Leader didn't understand. He'd never felt emotions. He'd never been interested. And now Xlormp had a chance at something really cool and awesome, and for some reason, everyone wanted to take it away. Even Xlormp. It just didn't make any sense. His girl-slave was carrying the baby I'd been developing for Monica, the one she had wanted so badly, and I couldn't watch it disappear.
Of course, there's no arguing with Mr. Leader, because he's too stubborn to be argued with.
"Schmeertz!" he barked. "You're coming with me to take care of this."
I looked at Schmeertz, hoping he could see the pleading in my eyes, but Schmeertz just shrugged and said, "Okay."
Well, I guess that was that, then. Ruin Xlormp's happy time, probably cut Frig all up in crazy places, that hardly seemed necessary. But what could I do?
"Okay, well, you guys go ahead and go. I'll just, you know, go to buy myself a new sweater." I slithered casually out of the room, hoping they wouldn't bother trying to stop me.
I teleported out of the ship and into a smaller shuttle, and made my way to the Haberdash house. Knowing Mr. Leader, it would probably take him three more hours to organize his plan, so all I had to do was get to the house first and tell everyone what was going on.
I made it halfway to the door when it opened, and Frig's friend Christopher came out. Christopher was nice enough, but she struck me as a little moody, if we're being completely honest. She had tears in her eyes, which meant she was sad.
At first, she didn't see me, and charged ahead, but then she looked up. "Oh, Klaxie." She stopped.
"Are Xlormp and Frig in there?" I asked, even though I didn't expect to be greeted kindly, given our last conversation.
"Yeah," Christopher said. I could tell my alienness made her uncomfortable. I didn't mean to, so I straightened the tie I was wearing, just to show her how human I really was.
"I don't know that now's a good time, Klaxie," she went on. "I think they're both a little upset at the moment."
I frowned. "Are they upset with me?"
She shook her head. "I think they're more upset with each other."
"Well, I have to tell them that Mr. Leader is planning to come take the liquid alien baby away from Frig," I explained. I had no idea if Christopher would understand or not.
She shrugged. "I think he should."
Okay, clearly she didn't. "But if he does that, we'll lose the baby."
"We?" Christopher grunted. "Is it your baby, too?" She sniffed with her nose, then wiped the tears leaking out of her human eyes. "I have to go," she said, forcing herself around me and striding off down the road.
Well, that was kind of weird. I decided to ignore the conversation and knocked on the door. The robot Charlie answered.
"Pleased to take sirs coat," he clanked out.
"I'm not wearing a coat, Charlie."
"Oh it is my bad apologies sir," he said.
"Walking around with pythons!" the man known as Lou shouted unnecessarily. Despite being a rather large help to us not too long ago, his altered brain proved a little bizarre.
Xlormp saw me, and as I suspected, his displeasure radiated from every slime fold. "You fix her, Klaxie, you fix her right now."
"There's nothing wrong with me, Xlormp!" Frig hollered, marching up to her husband and punching him in the face. "Stop saying things like that! It hurts my feelings!"
"Frigstein!" I shouted, offering my flipper for her to high-five. But she didn't seem to want to high-five me any more than Xlormp did. She was starting to look pretty weird, a lot like one of us, a side effect I didn't expect from putting a baby in her.
"How's it shaking?" I asked, trying to keep the mood light. "Everything cool with my peeps?"
Frig glared at me. "Oh, everything's fine, except that Xlormp hates me now is all."
Xlormp guffawed. "I don't hate you, Frig, I'm just violently repulsed by you."
Frig emitted a screeching noise I'd never heard her make.
"I want a divorce!" she cried.
"Oh, gosh, no you don't!" I said. "That's just the pregnant emotions talking!" Had I ruined their marriage? That would be terrible! I'd hate myself forever. Maybe I should just let Mr. Leader...no. I thought of Monica. This was all for her.
Frig sniffled pathetically at me. I have to admit, she wasn't really as hot as she used to be. Maybe this baby thing was kind of crazy.
Xlormp seemed pretty hurt by the divorce comment. "Frig, I don't understand!" he cried. "Do you not love me anymore?"
She sniffed. "I do love you. You're the one that doesn't love me."
He shook his head, eyes waggling from side to side. "You think that just because I don't want to look at you, it means I don't love you?"
"Well," Frig whimpered, "yes. If you loved me, you'd let me have the baby."
Xlormp considered this. "Really? Is that true?"
She nodded. "Yes."
He wrapped her up in his tentacles, squeezing her tightly. "Well, then I guess I want you to have the baby, no matter how nasty you get."
I watched as Frig appeared to explode into frantic weeping, clutching Xlormp to her as if she might float away if she let go.
I cleared my throat, pretty sure they'd forgotten I was even there. "I think I should probably tell you that Mr. Leader and Schmeertz are on their way to get rid of the baby," I said.
Frig loosened her grip on Xlormp enough to look me hard in the eye and said, "What?"