Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Awesomeness Part 39

After the random time machine confusion, Theta and Cleo had another bit of excitement the following night. Another burglar! This one was fast! He had manage to grab Theta's notes from the desk and was headed right for the time machine by the time Theta got to the living room.

Now, Theta's put in a lot of man-hours investigating (so has Cleo) and she was not prepared to have all of their hard work simply plucked from under her nose.

I think the robber realized this as soon as he saw Theta rushing towards him . . . .

He dropped the notes and smashed through one of the glass patio doors. He was out of sight by the time the police finally made it to the house. This was just too much. Theta vowed to conclude this investigation once and for all. She couldn't put Cleo in any more danger. Unable to go back to sleep she sat on the edge of the Bouncing Brainstorm for hours trying to formulate a plan. By the time the mailman arrived she had not made even a little progress. So she went to see what bills needed to be paid and was surprised when she had to wedge a package out of the tiny little mailbox. Disheartened and intrigued she sat right there on the lawn to open it. Inside was a vial with some sort of clear liquid (uh-oh) and a note. "Use this invisibility potion to find the answer you seek. A friend. M."

M again? Wait . . . invisibility potion?! Like she's supposed to believe that. She took the note and vial inside, added the note to everything else she'd compiled and decided to try a little experiment first. (Remember: Her first job was as a scientist) She decided to try out this "invisibility potion" on a potted plant (unable to bring herself to feed it to even a fish in the name of science) and wouldn't you know . . . it worked! The soil, parts of the pot and the whole plant just vanished in a matter of minutes. So this is how she's going to get that list of names! Without a moments hesitation she made her way to the hospital, hid behind a column, drank the potion and snuck inside. Can you see her there tiptoeing around the reception desk? Neither did the still-irked head nurse.

She got into the records room and found the file no sweat. Getting out was the hard part; since the potion didn't turn the folder invisible. Using a combination of alcoves and discreetly sliding the folder across the floor she finally made her way outside. Back home Cleo was already nose-deep in another public-school-approved handbook so Theta joined her on the couch and quickly filled her in on the day's developments. Cleo was both apologetic and a bit jealous over missing so much of the investigation, but at least they were nearing some answers and that is a good thing.

The files were a bit jumbled. It was a bit odd that they were even together. The four men in question had almost nothing in common. Their hospitalizations ranged from 5 years ago to 40 years ago and aside from their mental symptoms they appeared to be completely different people with completely different lives except for two striking details. The first, of course, was their occuption. The second was that they were all . . . . is this right? All five of them were Egyptian nationals?! Could that even be relevant? Given the vastness of their differences, the things that tied them together and two attempted robberies it definitely felt like this had to be the missing piece of the bigger picture. By the time she put this all together it was way late, Cleo had already gone to bed, so she decided to continue the investigation the next day.

Cleo warned her to be careful before heading back to work. Her extra efforts netting her two more promotions, she was one away from her previous position as Principal and she couldn't take any chances. As soon as the carpool was out of site she stood, determined, before the time machine. She studied the hospital file and the instruction note very carefully before programming her destination.

She started with the oldest file and made her way meticulously up to Nels. By the second stop she was pretty sure she knew what the connection was, but she couldn't call herself a proper scientist or investigator if she didn't see each man through. What she discovered made her sad, more so as her theory was confirmed by each successive stop. Each man had been recruited and trained for the Al Simhara military. The training itself wasn't anything special, at least not as far as brainwashing or immoral testing or anything like that. No, the riddle's answer was far more sincere. Each man decided that though he loved his country, he couldn't bring himself to kill or die for it and each man defected to Moonlit Shores. And each man came to secretly regret this decision. As the days went by they'd miss their homes and their families and they'd turn to drinking . . . . heavily. Al Simharans aren't bred to consume that much nectar, though and coupled with their longing each man drank himself more or less insane . . . . Theta's heart went out to all of them. She was sobbing by the time she got back to the present and almost didn't notice this little stowaway.

Looks like Nels' little niece decided to follow her auntie home. Theta managed to usher her back into the time machine before the door closed. She hadn't realized how long she'd been floating through time until she looked out of the window and realized it was full dark outside. She checked her watch and saw it was almost 10pm. She rushed in caught Cleo as she was finishing up her final teen-help manual. Cleo saw Theta's tear stained face and gave her a big hug and a kiss and said "Tell me what you found" while ushering her out to the Bouncing Brainstorm. They may be nearing elderhood, but for the moment their bones are strong enough to bounce around so they may as well take advantage of it.

So Theta related the tale of the forlorn nationals who boozed themselves crazy, crying again as she recalled Nels' struggle. Cleo cried with her and they went to bed, falling asleep in the comfort of each other's arms. As for why anybody would send goons to break in over a couple of depressed boozehounds, or the identity of "A friend. M." . . . . they'd let those answers come to them. They've had enough investigative excitement and hoped that if they quit searching those things would go away. They had looming retirement to think about, after all. They got the answers they set out to get and that . . . that is pretty awesome.


  1. I know. :( I guess being family oriented doesn't make up for wanting to go home and not being able to . . . .


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