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Ebooks   ➡  Fiction  ➡  Young adult or teen  ➡  Adventure

The Archivists

The Archivists

 

ipam

 

 

Shakespir Edition Copyright 2015 Pamela Joan Barlow Shakespir Edition, License Notes This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Shakespir.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

 

Chapter One

 

3:03 P.M.

Friday March 1st

Stockholm. Sweden

 

“The Wabash cannonball…” The American male amused and held a beverage, wearing a black tuxedo.

The petite female wore pale colored skin, a pair of hazel eyes, and a shaved head. Her face was not covered in a touch of cosmetic makeup or a smear of colored lipstick. Her naked head was not showing one single strand of hair and wore a set of golden colored stud earrings, only.

She was dressed in a colorful checkered short sleeved shirt, a pair of tan colored walking shorts, and a pair of tan colored sandals.

The sandals highlighted her unpolished toenails.

She stood near an object and held an empty bottle of milk in her hand as her golden colored wrist bracelet dangled the charms against the glass bottle with a musical ting. Her other hand was tucked underneath her armpit, showing off her vogue intrigue at the new guests. Dickana Lee Walbash said. “The Wal-bash cannonball with the letter L.”

“Noted!” The American male said.

The American female sung off key and held a beverage, wearing an evening gown of red. “O listen to the jingle, the rumble, and the roar as she glides over the woodlands, hills, and by the open sea shore. She climbs the flowery mountains, because it’s the Wal-bash Cannonball. She came down from Birmingham on a cold December day. As she pulled into the station, you could hear the rednecks say. That gal’s from B’ham. She’s short and she’s skinny and she’s smart. She came from Birmingham on the Wal-bash Cannonball.”

The second American male said, holding a beverage and wearing a black tuxedo too. “The original ‘Wabash Cannonball’ was an American folk song about a fictional train in the year 1882, which was written by J.A. Roff.”

The Swedish female wore an evening gown in black, strolling from the building, pulling up beside Walbash in the circle. She said with a wicked grin. “I beg your pardon. Actually, I hear another folk tale. The rednecks saw a train called the Wabash Cannonball, which was a ‘death coach’ that appeared at the death of a redneck to carry her soul to its final reward. Does the myth have some type of factual basis, Dr. Walbash?”

The first American male eyed the petite female. “Are ya classified, as a lady redneck from Birmingham too, Dr. Walbash?”

“Yes sir! I shore am.” Walbash slapped the Swedish female on the forearm with her free hand, jerking up and gliding her fingers onto the object. The bracelet charms on her other hand rattled against the empty milk bottle with more musical tings.

The object was a mushroom-shaped rocket ship. The bottom part was square shaped in the color of silver, glittering in the afternoon sunlight. The top section, a round dome was made of glass. It was wide, tall, and completely see-through, such like, a round window shield in a vehicle, with a 360 degree view.

The Germany male held the beverage and gently slapped petite and delicate Walbash on the collar bone. “I’m glad you have properly dressed for the elegant ceremony, Dr. Walbash, not every scientist wins the Nobella Prize in Sweden.”

The Swedish female wiped off the slapped watery substance from her naked arm, turning her sour frown to see the nose profile of Walbash. “I heard through the sour grapes about the Walbash rocket. But honestly, I didn’t believe it was so. But here it stands in the parking lot of the Stockholm Concert Hall in Sweden. Did you fly it over from America, Dr. Walbash?”

Walbash stared at her ship, rubbing her hand on the glass dome of the rocket. “This is a one pilot life-sized prototype. It flew inside a cargo airplane, and then it will fly back with me to the USA.”

“It looks like a see-through overgrown mushroom in silver tones. Why da ya fly it here in Sweden?” The American male stared at the mini-rocket ship.

“It was part of the verification process required by the Nobella Prize committee. Any average scientist can write a paper, but a true inventor shows off the product.” The Swedish female said with a nod.

The new male wore a black tuxedo and halted outside the circle, nodding to each guest, saying to the Swedish female. “Dr. Ingvar, the ceremony presentation will begin in exactly eight minutes and thirty seconds. Your presence is required on stage. Thank you!” He turned and went to the building.

Ingvar said, looking to each face. “Please enter the concert hall and find your assigned seats, ladies and gentlemen scientists!” She turned and went to the building.

The other scientists turned and followed Dr. Ingvar.

Walbash walked to the driver of the trailer which held the rocket ship. “I will be ready to fly in thirty minutes. Set the rocket on the west side of the building out in the meadow field. Then you return both the truck and trailer and tarry to the plane and take off.”

The truck left the parking lot.

 

Banquet Room

 

Numerous yellow colored tablecloths split the banquet room in half underneath the glittering crystal chandeliers, which were suspended from a seven story ceiling.

The female was tall and sexy looking with a head of blonde colored hair, dark colored skin, and a pair of brown colored eyes. Kara Ingvar stood at the podium, saying with a smile. “I feel like the bridesmaid, instead of the bride.”

The Germany scientist chuckled to Walbash. “She says that every year and still it’s corny.”

Walbash was seated at a table in the rear of the room near the wall, which was shared with five other scientists and their respective significant others.

Ingvar said. “We are the runner-ups to the internationally renowned Noble Peace Prize. I guess you could say that we are the Nobelle War Prize. The Noble Peace Prize bestows individual recognition in the areas of academic, cultural, or scientific advances. They receive both a medal and a pot of money. We receive both guts and glory along with a piece of paper signed by me. I am Kara Ingvar, the foundation chairman of the Nobella Prize. Welcome and enjoy the presentation, dinner, and dance!” She stepped back from the podium and dragged her elegant gown down the stage steps to the floor, hearing the applause.

The stage was constructed of dark wood clashing with the dark blue colored walls, which was named the Blue Room inside the Stockholm Concert Hall. The front of the stage held a set of low steps, horizontally smashing the wall paint on each side of the room. The aisle was created by twin rows of planters, which contained a hanging vine of colored flowers.

Kara waltzed down the open aisle toward the entrance doors, waving and smiling like a princess.

The scientist was a tall, elderly, and queen-sized woman with pale colored skin and a tight bun of gray hair. She had replaced Kara at the podium, saying with a smile. “Good afternoon, fellow scientists and welcomed guests! I am the mistress of ceremony. The day is young in the bright sun. And we have a long list of over 2,000 awards to cover in four hours. As a working brilliant mathematician, four hours or 240 minutes divided by 2,000 awards means an award every twelve seconds. So I will start immediately. You are not allowed an acceptance speech like the vain movie starlets. Instead, I invite you to visit the open bar for a beverage. We are scientists, too busy and too bold for a long winded speech. I’m finding that I’m giving my own long winded speech, as well. We gather here this afternoon to award a scientist or scientists in the subset disciplines of chemistry, mathematics, physics, engineering, and logic. After all the awards are accepted, there will be all night dancing and partying inside dance hall, next door. We should start. Dr. Dickana Lee Walbash of Birmingham, Alabama USA, please step forward for your ingenious design in engineering aviation. I hoped every scientist was able to touch and feel the mini-rocket ship, taking up precious parking space on the side of the building, which was designed by Dr. Walbash. Congratulations, Walbash!”

Walbash stood and turned to the aisle, strolling between the two rows of drooping flowers, looking like a city park, and feeling like a beauty pageant contestant.

The mistress of ceremony dragged her evening gown down the stairs and presented the single paper, whispering with a fake smile to Dickana. “I can sympathy that one of your blood-kin family members has cancer. But this is a formal award ceremony, ma’am. Therefore, you are personally dismissed from the dinner and dance, now, Dr. Walbash. I thought in America, mothers taught their daughters both table manners and social graces.”

“Only her American sons! Thanks for the high school diploma, coach!” She accepted the paper and turned to see the eating tables and the smiling faces, waving her hand, blowing pretend kisses for her fun. The scientists both cheered and clapped with amusement. Walbash performed an assortment of back slapping, hand shaking, palm smacking, and fist bumping with the other brilliant scientists that lined the inner tables on the aisle while walking back to her eating table.

Walbash stood at the table and looked down to see her mobile telephone, lifting the empty bottle of milk. “Cheers to me! I think I’ll celebrate at the bar too. Please don’t wait on me with dinner. Bon appetite!” She dropped the empty bottle to the table surface and went to the bar.

Walbash grabbed a cold bottle of milk from the bar counter, swinging around to see the mistress of ceremony, lifting the bottle in a salute.

And then she left the banquet room.

 

Hallway

 

Walbash walked to the wall on the opposite side of the banquet room, admiring both the male and female in the oil painting, darting her eyelashes side to side for any other wandering staffers and scientists.

Clear!

She back stepped from the wall and tilted her chin, deciding the female pretty and the male ugly, leaving the bottle on top of the used food tray.

Walbash turned to the side, viewing her mobile telephone, walking down the thick carpet towards the WOMEN’S BATHROOM.

She passed the bathroom door and stopped at a side door.

Walbash was following the glowing trace elements on Kara Ingvar. The trace elements were blinking in pink colors on her mobile telephone application.

Dickana had slapped a water-based tracer on the arm of Kara during the annoying social chat chit in the parking lot beside her mini-rocket ship.

Walbash fiddled with the mobile telephone and double checked the tiny map of the Stockholm Concert Hall, viewing the door.

The door was marked JANITORIUM.

She whispered. “The other John in my life.” She whipped out the pocket knife, that all southern belles carry for safety, and jimmied the well-oiled lock.

The door opened.

She slid into the room, without any staffers.

The door closed and relocked automatically.

She grabbed and slammed one of the tall stools into the forward wall.

The air conditioning vent was located in the upper wall corner.

Walbash stood on the stool and held part of the wall, flipping the tiny air vent doors open for debris, seeing a clear view of the other air vent, which was located on the other side. She wiggled the bracelet off and unfolded the gold colored metal into a semi-straight line, attaching the two bracelet charms on each end, activating the two tiny electronic devices, and slipped the thin wire through the vent.

The stiff wire soared above the metal and hit the other air vent.

Walbash chewed her lip and twisted the tiny transmitter deeper into the tiny slot of the other air conditioning vent, placing the bracelet charm receiver in her eardrum and hearing through the tiny bracelet charm transmitter within the air vent inside the other room.

The sound of a door slammed.

The male voice said via the hidden transmitter. “Dr. Ingvar, I would like to introduce the villainous of the villains…”

The loud claps of the awards ceremony echoed into the janitorium room.

Walbash gasped and turned to see the wall, twisting the transmitter further into the air vent, hearing the voices inside the other room.

Ingvar said with a furious tone via the hidden transmitter. “I am highly insulted here. Is this a joke on me? Why are…are you decorated in a black satin cloak and a pair of silly black tinted sunglasses? I cannot see your face or your person inside the dull lighting of the tiny room…”

The male voice said via the hidden transmitter. “Please take the pre-offered envelope, Dr. Ingvar!”

The sound of paper rattled.

Ingvar read the front of the envelope via the hidden transmitter. “Follow the instructions and all will be well!” She giggled.

The male voice said via the hidden transmitter. “Thank you, the villainous of the villains…”

The loud claps echoed into the janitorium room again.

Walbash turned with a lady sneer at wall again and heard through the hidden transmitter inside the other room.

The sound of a door slammed, again.

Walbash turned to stare at the floor, hearing the voices inside the other room.

Ingvar gasped with a miffed tone via the hidden transmitter. “The black satin cloak has left both the room and me. Now, I’m highly miffed. What does all of this mean? I do not understand. Do you?”

Please read the instructions inside the envelope, Dr. Ingvar!” The male voice said via the hidden transmitter.

The sound of paper rattled.

Ingvar cleared her throat via the hidden transmitter. “You will retrieve the teen and bring to me…” She gasped. “A teenager? What teen? Who is this teen? Where is the teen? Why a teenager? I do not understand. Teens do not have any life experiences.”

The male voice said via the hidden transmitter. “Please read the rest of the note, Dr. Ingvar!”

She read out loud via the hidden transmitter. “The teen currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama, USA. Each year, the Birmingham Science and Art Center offers a summer internship program. The teen has been instructed to interview for the program.” She gasped again. “What teen? Who is this American teen? Why is an American teen important here?”

Walbash gasped and twisted the transmitter further into the vent, hearing the voices inside the other room.

The male voice said via the hidden transmitter. “Please flip the note over for the rest of the answer, Dr. Ingvar.”

The sound of paper rattled.

She gasped via the hidden microphone. “I can’t believe this typed statement. The back of the letter states that the teen is destined to be the next villainous of the villains, who is destined to rule the evil over the good, like it has always been. An American teen is the chosen villainous of the villains. Now, I’m both highly miffed and lowly insulted. Why isn’t one of our own the next villainous of the villains? We have numerous…”

I cannot answer that question, Dr. Ingvar.” The male said via the hidden transmitter. “You must address the inquiry to the villainous of the villains. However, in the meantime, we need a plan to enter the USA for retrieving the teen. Do you have any connections in America?”

The loud claps echoed into the janitorium room, again.

Walbash pulled both the microphone and the wire out the vent and wrapped it around her wrist, like a bracelet, sliding down the stool, and replacing it against the wall.

She opened the door and looked in both directions.

Clear!

Walbash turned and strolled down the hallway, passing the auditorium, hearing the claps and cheers of the award ceremony. She turned and went into the flower gardens, walking on the patio, then down the stone path, and then over the manicured grass, and strolling toward the woods, while occasionally looking back at the rear patio doors of the Stockholm Concert Hall.

Clear!

 

Meadow Field

 

Walbash slammed away the low hanging tree branches and halted in the clearing. The clearing was a beautiful flat meadow of white wildflowers and ankle-high green grass. The meadow belonged to a herd of sheep which was grazing down at the stream, this time of day, based on the current internet information.

The current internet information was also an important source for a spy, sometimes correct.

Walbash dashed to the rocket and slid on her kneecaps in the grass, rubbing both her hands around the metal, finding a tiny seam, and slapped the metal with her finger pads.

A hidden door flopped down onto the floor with a ping as a cloud of white smoke drifted into the air with a hiss and attacked her face.

The mushroom-shaped rocket with a square shaped base had been activated with a set of purring thrusts and hissing with tiny clouds of white steam from the exhaust pipes. The white steam drifted around the rocket and up to the skyline.

The interior hole was metal also.

She wiped the steam from her face and crawled on both her hands and her kneecaps through the opening and wiggled up, standing and seeing the cockpit floor even with her nose.

Walbash used the built-in steps and landed on top of a metal floor.

The single pilot cockpit was designed in a half-circle counter of silver metal, showing a round steering column, like a car dashboard, in the middle of the console. The rest of the pilot console was smooth, except for a row of colored buttons. A sitting stool of polished metal stood in the curved wall away from the console panel.

Walbash scooted to the pilot console, staring at an embedded silver tinted tub which contained a liquid mixture of bright colored neon green slime, dunking her naked finger in the slime.

The green slime crawled over her finger, and covered her entire body and her clothing, except for her naked face. Walbash giggled from the warmth tickling sensation.

She turned to the pilot chair in the wall corner, sliding and locking it in front of the pilot console for driving. Walbash webbed into the body netting and smashed a tiny purple button.

A side drawer opened.

She grabbed a pair of matching neon green colored framed sunglasses, with two black tinted eye pieces, and covered her eyeballs from the bright harsh sunlight rays, readying to fly the rocket, slapping the big green colored button for go.

The rocket spat rolls of white steam over the clear dome, which blinded her view of the green colored meadow, the blue colored skyline, and the yellow colored sunshine, and then launched in the air, hanging among the white colored clouds.

She slapped the steering wheel in the last slot.

The rocket sailed forward, traveling at 300 miles per hour away from Stockholm, Sweden.

 

9:34 A.M. (USA time)

Washington DC. USA

White House Rose Garden

 

The rocket landed in the center of the blooming roses on top of the manicured lawn.

Walbash, painted in a green colored slime suit, disappeared from the pilot cockpit.

A metal door flopped down over the floor with a ping and a cloud of white steam drifted up in the air with a hiss.

Her naked face and her green colored body crawled out of the rocket opening. She stood, jogging to the archway.

The President of the United States stood in the archway. “That white steam isn’t going to hurt my roses, is it?”

The green slime suit evaporated from both her body and her clothing. The green tinted ashes dissolved in the air, floating up toward the clouds. Walbash wore both her undamaged body parts and her same clothing attire: a colorful checkered short sleeved shirt, a pair of tan walking shorts, and a pair of tan sandals. She said with smirk to the president. “No sir! It’s heated steam. It’s warming the rose stems, which will produce a nice patch of beauty roses, next week. I promise.” She entered the Oval Office, sitting on the sofa.

He said, turning his frown to see Walbash. “I only believe you, because you’re a highly overpriced and brilliant scientist.” He moved and sat on the twin sofa, holding the beverage. “How is your brother doing with his cancer treatments?”

“Not very well, sir!”

“I am sorry to hear that update, Dickana. What’s the newest situation, Dr. Walbash?”

“They’re looking for the next villainous of the villains.” She chuckled.

He laughed. “Amazingly and amusingly creepy and cryptic, what does it mean, Dr. Walbash?”

“They have identified an American teen as the next prince villain or princess villainess. They didn’t mention a name or a sex.”

“What’s your plan?”

“Currently, I run the Birmingham Science and Art Center. Every year, we offer a summertime internship program, getting extra help and such, for organizing the US archive files and records. I would like your approval and funding to add a set of teenagers into the internship.”

“Teens? They would not have the know-how or expertise to search for my stolen ink pen. The crime occurred, last week. And I am very concerned about a negative public presentation in Birmingham. The Center caters all the scientific exhibitions exclusively to a set of innocent tiny children, not a group of mischievous teens. Would someone not get suspicious of a sudden change in venue?”

“I know that. You know that. But the newest teen villain does not know that. Therefore, we close down the Birmingham Science and Art Center during the summertime months for some upgrades and maintenance work, thus setting up the showdown and suspending the suspicions, sir.”

“Ah, a plot, within a sub-plot. I will grant and approve. Start your advertisement, but post the information on the website only! Otherwise, every teen in America will be competing for a real paying job. But, keep me in the loop, as always.”

“Yes sir! I will do that, as always. And I want seven more rocket ships, like the prototype.”

He said with a sour frown. “I only built that rocket for your fanny and your fancy award at the Nobella Prize ceremony, which was the original mission, and which has been accomplished, Dr. Walbash. The rocket belongs to the space agency. It is not a toy for your pleasure and your play.”

She said with a wicked grin. “I remember, sir. I really appreciate my new toy, for both my pleasure and my play. And I need more rockets, for both my new mission and my new play ground, sir.”

He rolled his eyes and nodded to her in silence.

Walbash stood, turning and leaving the Oval Office.

Chapter Two

 

7:36 A.M.

Thursday June 6th

Birmingham. Alabama

 

He slammed into her body and swung them around, chuckling into her pretty face. “I’m sorry for the ugly collision, babe.” He looked down to the tray, gasping. “A food tray, are you going to eat all the breakfast food here, right now, Victoriana?”

Victoriana was seventeen years old, tall, slender, dark colored skin, a set of big breasts, a pair of long legs, a head of long blonde colored hair, and a pair of brown colored eyes. She was dressed in a sleeveless pink silk designer blouse with a v-neckline, her favorite color. A girly bowtie was sitting at the bottom of the v-neckline. She also wore a pair of matching walking shorts, showing off her long legs. She stood in a pair of designer spiked heeled sandals, making her lips, even with his lips.

She wiggled inside his chest. “I finished my breakfast. I was going to toss it all away. Ya know we can’t bring food into the computer room for our academic test?”

He released her arms and grabbed the tray, smiling. He drooled over the food items, even after eating his second breakfast, earlier this morning. But he could eat, anytime and anywhere. “Yeah, we can’t. Well, me and my boys will polish off the leftovers. How’s that, sweetheart? You shouldn’t waste food, ever. That’s so wrong with some many children starving in the world.” She released the tray. He lifted it over his skull.

She tapped his chest and smiled. “You’re so sweet, darling! Enjoy the food! See ya’ll next year at school.”

He smiled with a nod. “Yeah thanks, Victoriana! You’re a doll. See ya’ll next year too.”

Victoriana back stepped out of the way.

He went to the eating table with his buddies, grinning over the second food tray.

She went to her eating table and slid into the booth, slapping her hands over the open academic textbook, sitting across from her dearest high school friend Gemma.

The high school had a designated room, which allowed any teen to study alone or in groups, providing both food and beverages, keeping the students at the school campus while maintaining good study habits.

Gemma and Victoriana were seated at one of the booths which resembled an eating table from a restaurant in Birmingham as they quietly studied for the upcoming chemistry examination at eight o’clock.

Gemma was seventeen year old, tall, a slender body frame, a head of black colored hair, a pair of brown colored eyes, and olive colored skin. She was dressed in her white sleeveless cotton blouse with bows, her worn and faded blue jean skirt, and her worn, but polished blue and yellow colored snake skinned cowgirl boots. Her shoulder length hair was parted on the side, which was clipped with a cheap blue rhinestone bowtie barrette, keeping it out of her eyeballs. She looked at Victoriana. “One more test, one more class, one more ugly face of our teacher and then we are done, babe.” Gemma couldn’t bounce on top of the hard bench, but grinned for the last day of high school as a junior high schooler. She surveyed the table. “Where…where’s the food tray?”

Victoriana opened her designed purse, pulling out bags of snacks, scooting them around the table surface. She ripped open the bag, eating the snack, smirking and staring at the cute male and his friends. “O! I gave it all away for a good cause.”

Gemma turned into the direction of Victoriana’s smirk and saw the boys. They were arguing over a tray of snacks, laughing and having a good time, before the academic tests. She turned back to see Victoriana. “Ya shouldn’t mess with Juliet’s boyfriend. That girl will rip out your false eyelashes, using her pierced tongue ring, Victoriana.”

“Juliet can try, honey. He ran into me and drooled over the food tray. Juliet shouldn’t tax her healthy heart. Her boyfriend only drools over her and the food.”

“Tell ya a secret?” Gemma said, leaning over the table.

She said, leaning into her dearest friend, since pre-kindergarten. “Tell, tell?”

“I…I’m interviewing for an internship job with the US Federal Government, this summer…”

“No.” She sat back and stared at the words, not comprehending the formulas in the textbook.

“You should, too?”

“No.”

“Look, the US Federal Government is a great entity to work for this summer. Ya get full time work with numerous coffee breaks, boxes of free donuts, gallons of free cold bottled water, and paid money…”

She gasped, looking up to see Gemma. “Some real dollars and cents?”

Gemma smiled with a nod. “Lots of real dollars and cents, darling!”

She grabbed another snack and waved the food. “You’re white lighting fibbing. How does a seventeen year old get an internship job, working for the government and getting paid money? Someone’s pulling your ponytail, honey.” She ate the snack.

“We got lucky, babe. Today is the last day of our high school class. So we are out of school, until autumn. And the new internship job starts this week, as well. So ya can start earning your real dollars and cents soonest…”

Victoriana gasped. “I saw the mostest, beautifuliest designer purse on the internet. I begged for my daddy to get it. ‘Naw’ is the only word that comes out of his lips, almost every day of the week. If I have a summertime job with real money, then I could buy it and some designer shoes that I really, really want. When do I start my new job?” She smiled.

Gemma said with a sour frown. “I love ya, too, darling! How did ya get the name, Victoriana? It’s a very unique proper noun. I’ve never heard the name or the story behind it.”

Victoriana chewed and swallowed. “I’m named after my grandmother, sorta. Her real name is Victoria also. She was named after Queen Victoria of England, who lived a long, long time ago, around the year 1837 or such. Her daddy’s side of the family migrated like a batch of geese from the country of England, a long, long time ago, too. However, my grandmother didn’t wanna share her name with her first born granddaughter or any birthed granddaughters. So my mama hunted and searched, finding the word, Victoriana. It’s a noun in the dictionary, meaning furniture, clothing, books, and stuff, belonging to the Victorian period of Queen Victoria. My mama’s smart. My grandmother’s sour. Whatever! So that’s my name story. However, I admit it’s got a nice twang with my southern accent. Vic…tor…e…anna!” She giggled and grabbed another snack, chewing.

Gemma said with a giggle. “Yeah, your name’s got a nice ring. Vic…tor…e…anna…”

“Where does Gemma come from? I’ve never heard of it either.”

“Yeah, my sweet mama wanted something different and weird for her first born daughter, too. She found the name, somewhere. I don’t know the true background cultural story either. Actually, I don’t think there’s a story behind the name. My step-mommy told me that it’s a subset name for lots of gems, like a single chip from a gem stone. Gemma!”

“Ya like your step mother?”

“Yeah, of course, I love my two extended family units. She’s a professor at the college. Ya know that? Your parents live right next door to her and my daddy, dearest friend.”

“Yeah, I know. She’s nice, especially at Christmastime and Halloween. Remember, the time…?”

“Back to the internship with the US Federal Government, I got some great connections too. My daddy works for the US Federal Government…”

“Ya don’t have to say the words ‘US Federal’ before the government part. We live in one country, the USA.” Victoriana chewed the snack.

“He’s an engineer. There’s a new internship program for a couple of novice archivists…”

She shook her curls, staring at the textbook. “Archivist? That’s like a dull and boring librarian-type girl, who wears a hairspray starched tight bun, stretching out her numerous face wrinkles. Naw, I pass.”

“The archivist intern job is better than that. It’s like an explorer of American history and such-like.”

“What other, suck-like?” She looked up with a smile to Gemma, pondering her evil thoughts.

Gemma smiled too. “For some fun and adventure, suck-like, a team of hot teen males.”

She dropped her mouth. “What ya saying some fun and adventure, suck-like, a team of hot teen males?”

“Yes ma’am! My daddy told me that only males, so far, have applied to the newest archivist internship this summer. This is the US Federal Government with equal opportunities for all races and sexes. Well, me and you will be the only sex of females, with a team of hot sizzling teen males.”

“Are you positive, Gemma?”

“I’m thrilled positive. Well my teenly hormones are more thrilled positive. My daddy told me to apply immediately, guaranteeing a hot spot with two or more cute guys.”

“I’m in.”

Gemma slammed the book shut and whispered to Victoriana. “Good, the interview starts at eight thirty.”

Victoriana slapped the book closed. “Our chemistry test begins at eight o’clock. I can’t finish a test with hundred questions in fifteen minutes. Can you? And you need the other ten minutes to leave and travel downtown to the Birmingham Science and Art Center, without missing the interview appointment. No, I can’t go. I guess I have to bypass my new designer shoes, until my birthday rolls around next autumn.”

Gemma said with a nod and a smile. “Sign onto the computer, using your student name and password, and then answer the first question with the multiple choice answer of the letter A. Then you press the submit button, sending the chemistry test into the computer for grading. Ta-da! You have finished your chemistry test at precisely 8:01 A.M.”

She gasped. “I would fail my chemistry test by not answering the other ninety nine questions, Gemma. And I don’t know, if the answer to the first question of the multiple choice answer is the letter A, and then I would completely receive zero points on my last school test in chemistry.”

Gemma said with a sad pout. “I’m doing it for my cause. I wanna get this summertime good paying job. I got a solid letter grade of an ‘A’ in chemistry. Okay, I’ll receive a failing grade on this test, but I’ll pass my chemistry class, this year. And my overall grade point can absorb one letter grade of ‘F’ for the opportunity of a paying job. Yeah, I’m doing it.”

She said, touching her hair and her face. “I wanna go by my house and get properly showered and get all perfumed and lovely colored for the interview. I need to find a…a dress. No. I need a business suit with a jacket and a skirt and a…a blouse. I don’t own a white silk blouse. This is a professional business interview. Right? Right! I don’t know what to wear. Even if we registered and then failed our chemistry test in the next five minutes, I can’t be ready for the interview. I can’t go to any interview, without looking, like a professional female.”

Gemma stood saying with a nod. “We’re interviewing for an explorer post, not a fashion designer. Move! Let’s get to our class and fail the test.” She turned and went to the classroom.

 

8:14 A.M.

Birmingham Science and Art Center

 

The sports car sped down the highway, turning the street corner. Victoriana slammed the brakes, looking for the parking garage sign into the Birmingham Science and Art Center, slapping both her hands on the steering wheel. “I cannot believe it. I cannot believe that I have failed my chemistry test. I received a great big fat zero. I obeyed ya, Gemma. I’m here. And I failed an academic test for the very first time in my life, since pre-kindergarten.”

Gemma said, holding onto the overhead handhold from the wild car driving. “Don’t sweat off your designer perfume, dearest friend!”

She said, darting her eyelids side to side for the sign. “The number 99 plus the number zero is the number 99. The number 99 divided by the number two equals an average of 49.5. I received 49.5 points out of 100 points, which is the letter grade of F, Gemma.”

Gemma looked for the street signs too. “No, Victoriana! The last test is 30 percent of your final grade. The first test was 30 points. Ya got 30 points. The science fair project was 30 points. Ya got 30 points again. Then the participation, not skipping class time points, was ten points. Ya got that too. So, a few minutes ago, you had 70 points out of 70 points, a perfect score for the letter grade of A. Now, 70 points plus zero points equals 70 points. Then, 70 points out of 100 points equals an average score for the letter C. So, ya got a C, like me, not an F in our chemistry class.”

“I’m not average, Gemma.” She drove through the traffic light.

Gemma turned her grin to see the nose profile of Victoriana. “Yeah, you’re like me. However, if I land this US Federal Government job today, I might be more interested in flirting with the cutest guy in my new office cubby hole then staring at your fanny.”

“Dups! I plan to do the exact same thing, when I land this US Federal Government job today also.” The car stopped. She collected the parking ticket, driving and parking near a set of double glass doors. Victoriana studied the parking ticket and said with a sour frown. “Ya owe me eight dollars parking inside here. I didn’t expect to cough up money for a business interview. I thought a business interview was free of charge. The science museum is not free of charge. Are you fibbing, Gemma?”

Gemma pulled the money from her purse and handed it to her dearest friend, looking around the parking garage for the entrance doors. “A ten dollar bill, keep the change. I got more coming, honey. No lie. This is the hot spot for the new internship for an archivist, where the sizzling interview process is being held. I promise ya, Victoriana. Look, I questioned my daddy with the same exact question, wearing the same exact ugly facial expression. He repeated the Birmingham Science and Art Center. We go to the front desk and ask directions for conference room number seven. Seven is a lucky number too. And if you keep frowning like that, your face is going to stick, permanently,” she slid out of the car.

Victoriana slid out of her car.

Both the car doors slammed one at a time.

Gemma turned her grin to see Victoriana, fingering the entrance doors.

She pulled up beside Gemma, walking up the steps. Victoriana halted, staring at the doors and the walkway.

Gemma stopped, turning her frown to see Victoriana. “What’s wrong?”

“Where’re all the screaming children? Where’re all the parked cars? Where’re all the ugly looking teens, who work for the summer camp?” She waved her arms in frustration.

Gemma grabbed Victoriana by the arm, strolling toward the doors. “I can answer that question. My daddy was told that the Birmingham Science and Art Center was closed down, this summer, for some repair work. So don’t worry!”

The Birmingham Science and Art Center was ten stories high. Every level was designed exclusively for children, starting at the age of three year old toddlers to twelve year old pre-teens.

Each level housed numerous hands-on scientific exhibitions for learning about all types of science studies, including life, environmental, biological, and physical. The atmosphere allowed the child to feel and taste real life inside one of the numerous science exhibition rooms.

Paired on each science level, there was an art gallery. The art gallery exhibited individual painted pictures, ranging from apples to kittens to weapons, for both touching and feeling the real world too.

Gemma opened the door and allowed Victoriana to enter first.

Victoriana strolled into the cool air conditioned lobby space, which was empty of both children and adults. “I’ve been coming here, since I was eight years old. Our third grade teacher forced me into that bus and then kidnapped me here. I stayed all day long.”

Gemma pulled up beside Victoriana, saying with a smile. “I was kidnapped, too, sitting right beside ya on that bus bench. And we did stay all day long. And you liked it, like me. Remember, when the boys dressed in the oversized insect costumes and chased after all the girls, you bopped Carter’s face with the rubber bat.”

“Yeah, I got a time-out for squashing the bad beetle.” She smiled.

They halted at the information desk, with a seated elderly woman.

Gemma smiled with a nod. “Good afternoon! My name is Gemma Plymouth. I was directed to inquire with you at the information desk about finding conference room number seven for the archivist interview at eight thirty, today.”

The female was elderly, wearing a tight bun of gray hair on her pale colored wrinkled face and a dull colored business suit. She tapped the paper form on the desk with her ink pen, saying with a sour frown. “Please sign the register. You must sign the register, before entering any one of the conference rooms, at all times. Your walking company, would she be interviewing for the same archivist position inside conference room number seven also?”

She slapped her chest. “Yes ma’am! My name’s Victoriana Cortland. I will sign the registration sheet, after Gemma finishes.”

The elderly female watched Gemma and Victoriana sign the form, staring at the paper, saying with a sour frown. “You may proceed. Please walk down the corridor. The conference rooms are numbered for simplicity. The seventh room is located on the right side of the hallway. Good luck to the both of you!”

Gemma smiled to the sour faced elderly woman. “How many archivist postings are available within the internship, ma’am? Do you know, ma’am?”

The elderly woman stared and straightened the papers. “I do not. You will receive all the information inside conference room number seven. Please tarry off to the interview, young ladies!”

Gemma shoved Victoriana from the desk and the sour faced female, and walked down the hallway, staring at the signs on the wall, whispering with a giggle. “She called us, young ladies, like we’re old or something.”

She slapped her designer clothes. “We should’ve worn a business suit, that crabby old lady was wearing a business suit.”

“No. I asked my daddy too. He told me to wear my jeans and my boots, interviewing for an explorer post. So that crabby old lady has to look good for meeting the public. I’m so nervous, Victoriana. I get the giggles, when I’m nervous. Ah, I gotta pee, too. I get nervous then I gotta pee. I’m so nervous. Do you think it’s going to be hard, the intern interview? I hope that I get the job too.”

Victoriana shoved Gemma away from her side for fun, saying inside the quiet hallway. “Don’t know! But I’m excited and nervous too. Sometimes, I get so nervous that I can’t talk. This is my first ever real job interview. This is really good practice for getting a real paying job, of course, after college. I hope that I don’t blow it.” She gasped, staring at the archway, swallowed the bile back down her tight throat with nervousness.

The single door was closed and showed the door name on the wall: Conference Room Seven.

Victoriana shoved Gemma toward the door with girly encouragement. “You, go first! I’ll be right behind ya, dearest friend.”

Gemma flattened her face with a serious expression and stood in front of the door, reaching for the knob, and gasped. “There’s no door knob. And it’s completely composed of brown tinted metal like…like a real door. It’s a fake door here at conference room seven. O no! We’re at the wrong spot.” She turned a sour frown to her dearest friend, whispering in panic. “We’re going to miss the interview. It starts in three more minutes.” Gemma scooted from the door, standing inside the hallway, searching for another open door or a wandering staffer.

Victoriana stared at the door. “We live in the modern age. Hmm, it is solid metal, without a knob. So ya touch the door, dearest friend.” She gently pressed her index finger to the metal, feeling a soft shiver of the material, heard a soft rumble of the electronic gears, and jerked her hand from the metal.

The door opened.

 

8:28 A.M.

Conference Room Seven

 

The room was rectangular shaped in white colors on the walls, the floor, and the ceiling. The front of the room held an empty white colored plastic board, without any hand printing or electronic display.

The air temperature was very cold, flowing out an excellent air conditioning system. There were eight rows of long tables, with a set of individual padded chairs. Each chair held a visual view of a rear skull, being the seated short and tall interviewees, who were facing the front of the room.

Victoriana gasped, moving to one of two empty chairs in the last row. The chair was sandwiched in the middle between two sitting adults. She accidently tripped over her designer heels and slammed into the chair, back stepping and pulling out the chair.

And then Victoriana sat.

Gemma turned to see the open door and gasped, racing to the last empty chair in the last row. She pulled out the chair and stood behind it, protecting the metal with her fingers, scanning the room. She saw an assortment of people in different sizes, shapes, colors, and sexes and looked behind her collar bone.

The door closed.

Gemma slid inside the chair and cupped both her hands over the fake wood table surface.

Next to Gemma, a young adult male with brown colored hair scribbled onto a notepad and ignored her.

Gemma gasped with the realization of the moment, not bringing into the room a paper notebook or a writing instrument. This was her first interview as a high school student. Her daddy had not lectured about a proper interviewing technique.

The female interviewee, on the other side of Gemma, was another young adult with blonde colored hair, typing on the laptop, ignoring the other interviewees also.

Gemma turned her frown to see Victoriana, without disturbing the female interviewee next to her elbow, feeling both nervous and excitement. She couldn’t see Victoriana, due to the head of the female interviewee, and turned to see the white colored board. She wiggled both her legs and fingers, singing an invisible song inside her mind while trying to stay both calm and alert.

The door opened with a ding.

Some of the interviewees turned to see the door, staring at the person.

The person was a tall female with slender bones, pale colored skin, and a head of black colored hair. Half of her hair roots, on one side of the skull, were cleanly shaved. The shaved skin exposed both her pale colored scalp and one pierced earlobe, which wore a single pearl earring.

The other half of the hair roots covered both her earlobe and her cheekbone. Her hair flowed down in straight black color, even with her jaw line. Her hair swung side to side, covering her other eyeball. She wore a cheongsam, a long black dress with a high collar and two slits sides. The twin slits exposed both her naked pale colored legs.

The dress style was usually worn by Chinese females.

The female marched forward, wearing a pair of shiny green colored military boots, tied at the ankles. A long pearl neckline rocked back and forth around her high collar neck.

The unnamed female hostess went to the front of the room while staring at both the back spines and hair roots of the new interviewees, and said without a smile. “The door has been both closed and shut. No more interviewees will be admitted today into conference room seven. This is the only day to interview for the internship post which is labeled as an archivist.”

An arm rose among the interviewees, wiggling his fingers. The male interviewee shouted. “Ma’am, what are the specific details of this job posting, please? I could not find any additional more information on the US Federal Government website other than the time, place, and title.”

Gemma whispered for her eardrums only. “See, he says US Federal Government too.”

The hostess reached the front of the room and faced the nervous interviewees, standing in front of a white colored plastic board, and said without a smile. “The interview process will last for thirty minutes, no more, no less. If you cannot stay for the entire thirty minutes, then you are excused now.”

Victoriana gasped, seeing a handful of interviewees stand and leave the room.

The door closed.

The hostess said without smiling. “I once participated as a jury member at the downtown court house. Both lawyers individually interviewed each potential jury member and then selected thirteen persons for a court trial. The judge slammed his gravel onto the wooden bench then called forth the bailiff. The court trial commenced, then and there. So it is the same procedure, here today, inside conference room number seven. Once the interview process ends in thirty minutes from the start, the newly hired archivists will begin their US Federal Government work immediately.”

The male interviewee rose from the chair, fingering his wrist watch, and looked to the see hostess. “It’s exactly eight thirty two and three seconds. So, twenty eight minutes from now, it’ll be nine o’clock, pretty much. Ya telling me, ma’am, if I’m selected for this vaguely posted archivist job, then I gotta start my new job, now, today, at nine o’clock?”

A second male interviewee stood, shaking his skull. “Nine o’clock is the usual working time for me. I wanted to interview and see if I could get this job. But I’m gone and gotta keep my old working job. Good luck to ya’ll!” He left the room.

The hostess said to the first male interviewee. “I would like to compliment you, sir. You are highly qualified for the archivist post. Yes, you are exactly correct. The new job will start at nine o’clock and one millisecond.” Some of the interviewees mumbled. She said without smiling. “If you cannot begin your employment at nine o’clock, this morning, for the new archivist post, then you are discharged from the conference room also.”

Gemma gasped, seeing more of the interviewees stand.

Some of the interviewees refused to scoot the chair underneath the table. Some of the interviewees softly mumbled in nasty curses which filled the quiet air waves.

Each standing and walking interviewee turned to the door and left the room.

The only sound inside conference room seven was the air condition system with a hum.

The door closed.

The hostess looked to each interviewee and said without smiling. “This job will not provide numerous coffee breaks or free boxes of yummy donuts or free gallons of cold bottled water during your work day at the office. If you pretended the grand illusion that it would, then you are dismissed from conference room number seven.”

Victoriana gasped, watching more interviewees stand from their chairs.

Many interviewees stood and slammed their chair into the fake wooden table, turning to the door. The other interviewees turned to the door and cursed at the lousy US Federal Government posting.

All the standing and walking interviewees left the room.

Gemma stared at the hostess.

The hostess said without smiling. “I do believe we have our true interviewees for the archivist posting inside conference room number seven.”

Gemma wore a worried brow and felt nervous, but she needed this paying job. The US economy stunk. If she interviewed and qualified, then she would have a job today. Her parents would be so proud and pleased too.

The hostess said without smiling. “The next to last condition, I promise. This job will require a medical examination. The physical medical examination will cause some slight pain for a few seconds, no more. If you do not like pain and do not want this job, please remove your person from the conference room number seven.”

Gemma gasped, touching her naked arm, turning to see Victoriana.

Victoriana looked to see Gemma also and nodded with her teenly encouragement. They were both young teens, healthy and smart females, who could perform a simple summertime US Federal Government job.

Gemma slightly nodded to Victoriana, turning to see the hostess, watching more interviewees stand.

Each standing and walking interviewee left the room.

The door closed.

The hostess said without smiling. “You are required to supply your personal responses on a mobile telephone for fun, accuracy, and privacy. We live in the modern electronic age. This is a timed examination also. However, if you do not want to use your personal mobile telephone, then you can borrow one of the US Federal Governmental issued mobile telephones, coming through the door now.”

The door opened.

Gemma turned to see the door.

A metal table rolled inside the room, being pushed by a short skinny silver tinted walking robot. The robot possessed a square shaped metal skull with two blue colored illuminated eye sockets. There was no a mouth or a nose. There were two arms, two legs, and two feet. The robot did not talk, shoving the table into the room.

The hostess said. “Please raise your hand, if you would like a governmental issued mobile telephone. You cannot possess the phone, after the interviewing process has ended. The phone will be used by you to complete the interviewing process. Or you are welcome to use your personal mobile telephone, if you feel more comfortable. You will texting to me your personal response to this telephone number. Please write it down or program it into your mobile telephone 8885551818.”

The robot marched and halted at the forward wall, before hitting the white paint.

A couple of the interviewees stood and went to the rolling table, retrieving a mobile telephone and returning to their chair.

The hostess said without a smile. “I can see that a few interviewees have borrowed the US Federal Government mobile telephones…”

The male interviewee grinned, lifting the government issued telephone. “Does it tell ya the answers too?”

The hostess said without smiling. “The US Federal Government issued mobile telephone does not have the answers. I can assure each one of you. This is a fair interview. All the answers will be coming from your learned and participated personal life experiences. Does everyone have a mobile telephone?” She saw the head nods, and said. “Has everyone programmed the telephone number 8885551818, which is required for the archive testing interview? This is very important.” She saw the head nods again, and said without smiling. “Good!” She pointed to the robot. “This is Desktop. It is a walking desktop for both receiving and transmitting any type of shared electronic information. The telephone number is specifically programmed inside his data banks for that purpose and for your interview today, right now. We will be starting. Does anyone else want to leave the room, before I commence?”

Gemma shook her curls, wearing a serious frown, holding her mobile telephone between her hands, after setting up the telephone number in the menu. She turned to see Victoriana, giving a nod of encouragement too. They were still separated, not standing from their chairs for any reason.

And they both wanted the internship summertime jobs too.

Victoriana slightly nodded to Gemma and turned to see the hostess.

The hostess said without a smile. “I have ten interviewees for four new archivist positions, which is an internship during the summertime months. An internship means that the person is new to the field, not possessing a range of life experiences or any type of learned knowledge, but is willing to learn, starting immediately, today.”

Her hands were sweating over her mobile telephone, feeling her nervous excitement. Now, Gemma had learned that there were four archivist postings. Two of them might be filled by her and Victoriana. So cool! It would be fun working with Victoriana, being friends, since three years old.

Victoriana felt nervousness, swinging her designer sandal back and forth with anticipation. She had four chances of getting this job, the money, and eventually, both her new designer purse and shoes.

The hostess said without a smile. “I am moving away from the white board. Desktop will project an image upon the white board for your visual interview. You will have a ten minute deadline to type and text the correct answer on your mobile telephone at the 88855518181 telephone number. Then the text will automatically be relayed to Desktop. The correct answer will count for fifty points. The swiftest text will count for fifty points also. The correct spelling will count for hundred points…”

The female interviewee said with a sour frown to the hostess. “Ya mean, this is an academic test, like in high school? Ya mean, I gotta answer the right answer or not get this new job? This is ridicule and silly. I currently work for the US Federal Government, now, looking for a better job and a bigger paycheck. So I demand a private face to face and voice to voice personal interview with you for this here new archivist posting, now, like the US Federal Government equal opportunity laws require. Or I’ll report you to US Federal Government for discriminating against me. Then we’ll see who’s working this new job, honey,” laughing.

The hostess said without a smile. “I hear and understand your request, ma’am. However, under the US Federal Government equal opportunity laws, an employer or the government can conduct a simple and short aptitude test for any prospective interviewee. For example, a secretary receives a typing test, which she is required to pass, before the next interview step. An accountant receives a math test, which he is required to pass, before continuing with the interview process. A scrub diver is required to dive underneath the water while meeting all underwater ocean dive requirements, unless he fails falling short of the water test. This job posting is for an archivist. The definition of an archivist is a person holding and collecting all the written, electronic, and verbal records and documents of historical interest, not rubbish trash, which is housed inside the US Federal Government archives. Therefore, I am testing each interviewee…attitude for historical significant of not trashing the US Federal Government archives…”

“I’ve never been so personal insulted, injured, and humiliated, during any type of US Federal Government job interview process, ever.” The female interviewee stood and slammed her chair into the table. “I’m leaving and reporting you to my supervisor for…for harassment, discrimination, and abuse. After my tattling, I’ll be sitting real comfortable inside your US Federal Government job, honey.” She left the room.

The door closed.

Gemma smirked, seeing the number of interviewees diminish, giving her a better chance at the one of the four archivist positions.

The miffed female interviewee had reduced the field from ten to nine interviewees both teens and adults. She really didn’t want the job and all the hard work, which started in less than thirty minutes.

However, the lecture of the hostess had eaten up five minutes, so far.

Gemma narrowed her eyelashes, staring at the white board, readying her neurons to compete for a good paying summer time job.

The hostess said without a smile and sat in her chair at the front desk. “We are ready to continue. I am Patsie Mumford. Now, I will add another thrilling feature, making the interview process more exciting and the interviewee more nervous. If you are the swiftest texter, with your swiftest answer, from the projected electronic image, then you must tell the other interviewees something historically significant about the projected image. It can be anything factual, except unkind trash. And I will assess the unkind trash part, very seriously. Actually, I am pretty certain that your competitive interviewees will also. You have ten minutes to review, study, text, and then send your personal and private text answer to Desktop. There is always one more surprise. You can use any media in finding the correct answer also. You can use your mobile telephone or your laptop or your neurons. I will provide a little hint of the projected object that you will see on the white board…”

An arm rose, and the elderly female interviewee said with a sour frown. “Excuse me, ma’am! I do not possess a personal cell phone or a laptop. Some folks are very old fashioned and don’t have a cell phone or a laptop, like me. And the US Archives is just a bunch of written or audio materials that needs filing on a daily basis. But I wanna interview for this job and got the government issued phone, here. Does it access the internet for me to answer the interview questions?”

The hostess said without a smile. “No. For each question, I will provide a hint plus an image of the object, which should trigger your mind…”

The female interviewee stood from her chair and slammed the mobile telephone onto the table surface, turning to the door, leaving the room.

Gemma turned to see the door, smiling with happiness, watching the miffed female interviewee leave. Now, there were eight interviewees, making her chances much better.

The door closed.

The hostess said without a smile. “The hint plus the image of the object should trigger your mind, and then allow you to type and text the correct answer within the ten minute deadline. The hint of the first image, it is an oil based painting by Jackson Pollok from the year 1946. The painting is entitled ‘Shimmering Substance.’ Please type your response for this question. What is the painting style? Desktop, please display the first image upon the white board.”

The square head of the robot turned to the see white board, activating its twin blue colored eye sockets, beaming a single multi-colored ray onto the upper section of white plastic board above the hair roots of Patsie. The multi-colored ray unscrambled and presented an electronic image of a single art painting.

The art work was painted in medium sized dots of blue, red, purple, black, and brown colors. There was a yellow faint gigantic circle in the middle of the painting.

Victoriana gasped, studying the pretty painting. Her first guess would be to type into the mobile telephone the word, painting, but her response would be incorrect.

Patsie said it was a painting. She wanted the interviewees to provide the painting style.

Victoriana exhaled with a puff of frustration, looking to see Gemma.

Gemma leaned over the table and studied the picture. She was not familiar with the painting style either.

Victoriana turned to see the rear skulls of the other six interviewees, who sat in front of her. Each head was slumped over the table, working on a mobile telephone or a personal laptop. She gasped, lifting her mobile telephone into her face, typing a new text to Gemma.

 

What is the painting style, Gemma?

 

Gemma heard a beep on her mobile telephone, seeing a new text message from Victoriana.

 

What is the painting style, Gemma?

 

Gemma replied and typed a new text to her dearest friend, during the interview test process.

 

Don’t know!

What could the painting style be related to, Gemma?

Don’t know, either!

You be no help, Gemma!

You be no help, either!

 

Gemma turned to see Victoriana and slightly shrugged her shoulders.

Victoriana gasped, looking to her mobile telephone, typing a new text to Gemma.

 

Look up the different styles of art?

 

Gemma heard a beep on her mobile telephone, and saw a new text message from Victoriana.

 

Look up the different styles of art?

 

Gemma type a new text to her dearest friend, during the interview test process.

 

Okay. Looking.

 

They typed on their individual mobile telephones, looking up the internet information.

The hostess said, looking to each interviewee. “You have seven minutes left on the ten minute deadline for the first question. If answered correctly, it will lead to your employment as one of four archivist open and posted positions. And, to make ya sweat, no one has sent a text to Desktop, yet.”

Victoriana gasped, looking to her mobile telephone, typing a new text to Gemma.

 

What is it?

 

Gemma heard a beep on her mobile telephone, seeing a new text message from Victoriana.

 

What is it?

 

Gemma typed a new text to her dearest friend, during the interview test process.

 

I see pop art, classical art, abstract art, surrealism, conceptual art, impressionism.

Is it abstract art, Gemma?

Look up the artist’s name that might tell more information.

Do it, Gemma?

Or no new designer purse?

Okay. Fine.

 

Gemma studied the electronic picture and her mobile telephone. The phone showed numerous examples of different art painting styles. She exhaled with a puff of worry, turning her frown to see Victoriana, who wiggled side to side and typed on her mobile telephone.

Victoriana typed on her mobile telephone, looking up the artist name of Jackson Pollack, finding numerous electronic articles. She quickly read through the electronic information, gasping with happiness, seeing the type of painting style. She smiled, typing a new text to Gemma and her text to Desktop at the 8885551818 telephone.

 

Action painting.

 

Her mobile telephone sat on the desk in front of her face. Patsie heard a ding on her mobile telephone, which came from the internal computer of Desktop, reading the correct answer from the first interviewee, looking up to see the first interviewee with intrigue.

The stop clock sounded with a ping.

Patsie looked to each interviewee. “Time has expired now. I will allow one final typed and texted answer for those still pondering the question.”

Gemma turned to see Victoriana, without showing any type of facial or head expression, not wanting the other interviewees to know that she had cheated on the first question.

Victoriana turned to see Gemma, bouncing in the chair, pretending to feel the new designer shoes on her manicured toenails.

Patsie stared at her mobile telephone, and then looked to each interviewee. “The assigned time has finally expired. I see a visually texted response from every interviewee. We are ready for the second question. Desktop, please display the second electronic picture.” The plastic board changed. She said without a smile. “This is a naked coat of arms, without any colorful banners or fighting symbols. The coat of arms was used by a medieval knight to cover, protect, and identify the wearer in battle from their enemies and their allies. Now days, individuals, institutions, nations, and the Pope display a coat of arm for both business and adventure. The coat of arms is divided on two sides of the shield, the bearer’s right and the bearer’s left. Your question: what is the ancient heraldry term, as you view the right side of this naked coat of arms, which is displayed on the board? You have five minutes to answer the question and send me a text.”

The male interviewee stared at the hostess, shouting with a sour frown of angry. “Hey…”

“Quiet!” Patsie stared at the male interviewee. “No questions are allowed during the testing process! Please answer the question. I will state again. What is the ancient heraldry term, as you view the right side of this naked coat of arms on the board? You have five minutes to answer the question and send me a text.”

Victoriana bounced in the chair and typed on her mobile telephone, finding the answer, typing a new text to Gemma and then her text to Desktop.

 

Sinister.

 

Gemma heard a beep on her mobile telephone, seeing a new text message from Victoriana.

 

Sinister.

 

She gasped, looking at the answer. Gemma was honestly looking up the information, without her cheating, again. She typed her text to Desktop.

 

Sinister.

 

Patsie heard a beep on her mobile telephone, seeing the correct answer, which had been pinged to Desktop, looking up to see the first interviewee with intrigue.

Gemma turned her frown to see Victoriana, who bounced in her chair. She looked down to her mobile telephone, and deleted the two texts, coming from Victoriana, in case, a cheating incident arose.

The stop watch sounded with a ding.

Patsie looked to each interviewee, saying without a smile. “The time has expired based on my stop clock. Please text me your answer now! Our last question, Desktop will not be used. In the periodic table of chemicals, all elements are arranged in order of atomic numbers, which appear in rows. What is the chemical name for the atomic symbol K, and the correct spelled word counts toward the correct answer? You have five minutes.”

Gemma gasped, typing her text on her mobile telephone to Desktop.

 

Po

 

She halted, not wanting to misspell the chemical word and miss the question. She didn’t know how well her performance was progressing on the testing for an archivist position. Gemma backed out of the texting menu and accessed the internet. She typed on her mobile telephone, searching the period table of chemicals, seeing the correct spelling.

Victoriana bounced in her chair, typing a new text on her mobile telephone to Gemma again.

 

Potassium.

 

Gemma heard a beep on her mobile telephone, and saw the new message from Victoriana again. She turned with a lady sneer to see her dearest friend, knowing the correct interviewee answer also. Gemma turned her frown to see the hostess, who was watching her too. She exhaled with a puff of worry, lifting her mobile telephone into her face, typing her text to Desktop.

 

Potassium.

 

Her mobile telephone sounded with a beep. Patsie studied the correct answer, coming from the first interviewee with intrigue again.

The stop clock sounded with a ding.

Pastie looked to each interviewee and said without a smile. “The time has expired. Please type and text to me your answer.”

Her mobile telephone sounded with three more beeps.

Patsie stood, grabbing her mobile telephone and looking to each interviewee. “I have received all the text responses. Thank you for interviewing for the new summertime internship archivist program. Desktop will stay in the room with you. I am leaving to verify all the test answers. I will notify you by email, since I have all your telephone numbers. For the interviewees with the government issued telephone, please hold it, until I retrieve the devise from you. And I promise that I will delete all the personal mobile telephone numbers from Desktop, after grading the test answers.” She moved from the office desk and left the room.

The door closed.

The male interviewee sat on the second row, looking down to see his mobile telephone, and stood from his chair. He spun around to the other seven interviewees, raising both his arms, saying with a smile. “I got the job. Me! She texted me on my cell and asked me to come outside now.” He went to the door, yelling with arrogance. “So long, suckers! Me! I got the job.” He left the room.

The door closed.

Gemma gasped, lifting her mobile telephone into her face. She searched for a single text message from Patsie or Desktop, not finding one. She turned her frown to see her dearest friend, watching Victoriana study her phone too.

Victoriana stared at her mobile telephone, not seeing a single text message from Patsie.

“Yes!” The female interviewee sat on the fifth row, stood and smiled, turning and moving toward the door. “I got the second open archivist job position. Wish me luck, ya’ll!”

Gemma gasped, turning to see the door, watching the interviewee leave the room. She looked down to see her mobile telephone, searching for one single text from Patsie.

The door closed.

The male interviewee sat on the fourth row and stood from his chair, turning and moving toward the door, saying with a smile. “I have been selected for the third archivist position. Good luck, ya’ll!”

Victoriana gasped, watching the male interviewee leave the room.

The door closed.

The female interviewee sat on the second row, and stood, turning to the door, not saying a work. She left the room.

The door closed.

Victoriana frowned, crossing her arms, staring at the empty white board. She had missed the opportunity of a life time, a good paying summertime job, which didn’t require a brown ugly uniform. She wanted to purchase those new designer shoes and the matching purse.

Her daddy was a good father, but a reasonable man. He would not pay for any type of useless items, like a cute pair of designer shoes and a matching handbag. And the handbag had an assortment of leather items, which was purchased separately, but matched beautifully, like the key chain, the mobile telephone case, the coin purse, the wallet, the checkbook cover, and the others items.

Victoriana exhaled with a puff of frustration, thinking that she had achieved a perfect score of hundred points on the simple test. She turned to see her dearest friend.

Gemma stared at her mobile telephone, holding it with her two sweaty palms, without reading any more text messages. She felt depressed, missing out on the good paying summer job. She would go home and drive down to the local Dee Dee’s Hamburger restaurant. The business company always needed extra workers, which provided, for free, an ugly brown uniform.

She would be starting college, next year. Gemma wanted to assist her parents with the expensive post-graduate institution. Since her mama had been diagnosed with stage-four cancer, which was not a good sign for a future healthy life with her daughter. Both her mama and the money were going to be scarce in the coming months.

This was the real reason that her daddy had strongly encouraged his daughter to work, during the summertime, instead of goofing off, like a normal teen. And Gemma wasn’t telling her true deep dark secret to anyone, including Victoriana.

Victoriana was fun to be around, but both very pretty and shallow.

The door opened.

Patsie went to the front of the room and stood in front of the office desk, saying without a smile. “Congratulations! You are the newest team of archivists, who are employed and paid by the US Federal Government.”

Gemma smiled, turning to see her dearest friend.

Victoriana smiled and stood from the chair, clapping her hands, bouncing on the floor. She turned to see Gemma, raising her arms and slapping her legs, not yelling with excitement in front of the hostess.

The teen male was tall and slender, wearing a set of shoulder length dirty blonde hair. He possessed a pair of brown colored eyes, pale colored skin and wore a white colored dress shirt, a pair of tan colored trousers, a set of expensive leather loafers, and a blue colored sports coat, without a necktie. He looked to Patsie, pointing to his mobile telephone. “But I wasn’t notified by a single text on my mobile telephone for a secret meeting with you, like you told. Four other interviewees left the room during your absence. Where did they go? Why did they leave the room? Why are you here? Why am I here? I don’t understand.”

Patsie turned to see the young male, saying without a smile. “You are correct. I contacted the other four interviewees to let them know that they did not get the summer internship. It is a discrete method of dealing with rejects, which the US Federal Government likes to employ.”

The teen male was tall with an athletic build, possessing cropped brown colored hair, a pair of brown colored eyes, and dark colored skin. He wore a white colored T-shirt, a pair of torn and worn blue jeans, and a pair of worn, but polished black and brown leather cowboy boots. He stood and clapped, saying with a smile. “Thank you, ma’am! I’m so excited. I’m buying my first car with my summertime job paychecks.”

The other teen male laughed, looking down to see his mobile telephone. “So I guess the old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be.” He referenced with meanness the slow talking southern accent, a pair of dirty and shredded blue jeans, and a pair of polished cowboy boots on the other teenage male.

Patsie looked to each interviewee and lifted a stack of papers. “Attention, please! I have paperwork which the US Federal Government likes to employ also. Please fill out the forms and sign your name. Return all the papers to me. Then you are employed by the US Federal government for the summer.” She went to each teen, passing out the forms.

The teen with the shoulder length dirty blonde hair accepted the paper and asked with a grin. “So how much are we going to be paid?”

Patsie handed the paper to the teen, turning back toward the white board. “It is detailed in the papers. I would suggest reading each sentence, before signing.” She went to the office desk, sitting and staring at each teenager.

The teen with the cropped brown colored hair read through all the papers and signed his name. He stood and slid his chair underneath the fake wood, carrying and handing his papers to Pastie. She accepted the papers and verified the signature. He swung around to the last row, moving to the teenage girls for a proper gentlemanly introduction.

The male with the shoulder length dirty blonde hair read and signed the paper also. He stood, not sliding his chair underneath the fake wood, walking to the robot. He slapped his stack of papers in front of Patsie, and said with a grin to the robot, touching the smooth metal. “Say your name? Say, hello! What is your name, robot? Tell me your name, bot?”

The robot stood in silence with an array of colorful blinking lights and ignored the teen.

Patsie looked up to see the girls on the last row. They were side by side sitting, laughing, and writing on the government papers. She stood, moving toward the door, saying with a sour frown. “Please follow me. Your jobs begin now.” She stopped at the last row of chairs, extending her palm.

Gemma elbowed her dearest friend and gathered the government papers in a stack, stood and turned to see Pastie. She handed the government papers, saying with a smile. “Here ya go, ma’am!”

Victoriana stood and gathered her handbag, turning toward the door, pulling up beside Gemma.

The teen male smiled and rammed his tall body between the girls, breaking them apart, extending both his forearms to each girl.

The girls stood between the male teen, and as each one wore a sour frown, seeing his two forearms. Each girl smiled and grabbed an arm for teen fun flirting.

The three teens left the room and went down the hallway. Each girl playfully shoved her knees into his legs and her hands into his ribs, making all of them smile and chuckle with fun.

Patsie moved down an empty hallway, alone. She received the dirty job, interviewing the teens and touring the exhibition rooms, which had been assigned by her boss lady Dickana Lee Walbash, PhD.

Her boss had to attend another meeting off the campus grounds for the morning.

The teen with the shoulder length dirty blonde hair left the room, passing the two girls and the other male. He pulled up beside Patsie, turning his smile to see her nose profile. “I would like to say that I am very impressed with the interviewing process. And I am delighted to have been selected for one of the four archive…”

The two girls and the male teen pulled up behind Patsie.

“Stop sucking up to the teacher, dude!” The teen male said with a sour frown to the rear skull of the male. Being taller, he switched his frown into a smile, leaning into the hair roots of the blonde, smelling her vanilla and apple perfume. “Hey, I’m Trux. What’s your name, cutie?”

“Hey, Trux! I’m Victoriana.” She smiled with a giggle, looking up to him.

He winked at her and turned his smile to see the brunette, smelling her hair of both flora and honey. “Hello, I’m Trux. What’s your name, doll?”

Gemma looked up and smiled to Trux. “I’m Gemma.”

Chapter Three

 

9:01 A.M.

First Floor

Water Room

 

Patsie halted at the entrance gates which led into the depths of the Birmingham Science and Art Center. The gates were a row of individual short podiums, going diagonally across the room from wall to wall. Each podium was made of solid steel, where an employee would stand and monitor any new participant. Between each podium, a knee-high colorful wooden arm kept the kids out of the Center, without being escorted by a guardian.

Lowell pulled up behind Patsie, watching her movements.

Trux and the two girls stopped. Each girl tickled his ribs, making him laugh and jerk sideways, causing each girl to smile and fall into one of his other body parts again.

Patsie bent and slapped the panel on the podium. The wooden arm lifted. She went through the gate, saying with a sour frown. “To gain access into the Center, please slap your hand onto the squared shaped orange tinted metal at the bottom of the podium. The arm will rise. You will walk through the podium and stand in the room.” She turned to see the entrance gates and looked to each teen, watching each teen slap the metal one at a time, and stand in a row in front of her sour face. She turned and went to the first exhibition, saying without a smile. “We will briefly tour each level for both fun and education.”

Victoriana crossed her arms, looking around the room, saying with a sour tone. “I’ll been here, a zillion times. This is the ‘water room’ with all the boring water exhibits. And this is a children’s museum. I don’t think that we need to see and tour all the kiddie exhibitions. I’m ready to begin my real job, making my real money.”

“You are employed in a real job, right now, young archivist.” Patsie stopped at the first exhibition. “You are being paid with real money as we walk around and learn about the Center.”

“Well, that’s okay, then.” Victoriana smiled and slid into Gemma for fun.

Gemma frowned and shoved her silly dearest friend from the walking path. She was here at the Center to learn and do a good job, needing the money and assisting her parents. The US economy stunk. Even with a college education, Gemma couldn’t be guaranteed a paying job for the future. The experience at the Center was going to be a crown gem on a real job application for her future career too.

Patsie pointed to the exhibition, saying without a smile. “This is our famous underground aquarium. It is not actually under the ground. The term is used to describe a single tank of 250,000 gallons of water, which holds 5,000 different species of animals. The animals include a couple of sand tiger sharks, jellyfish, fish, seahorses, shrimp…”

“I love to consume shrimp.” Lowell pulled up behind Patsie, narrowing his eyelids and looking to the colorful fish. “Are we being served a bowl of fresh shrimp for dinner, this evening, Patsie? I would like to request a bowl of cocktail red sauce too.”

Trux pulled up beside Lowell, staring at the tank also. “She means that the shrimp live inside the tank, dude.”

“O!” Lowell chuckled and enjoyed annoying both the male teen and the female supervisor. “I thought there was an octopus among the sea animals too.”

Patsie said. “It wrapped its eight tentacles around one of the sand sharks then ate it. Mr. Octopus was removed and set back free into the ocean waters for consuming other sea life.”

“Live and let die.” Lowell laughed.

Patsie went to the second exhibition. “The wishing water, it is for wishes. But the children enjoy stomping their nasty little feet around the water and making a big splash.”

The wishing water was a circle of solid brick, one foot high. It held six inches of rippling water. In the middle of the circle, there was a single lead pipe, spitting curly waves of water three feet in the air.

Gemma gasped, wigging her fingers at Victoriana. “A wishing well! Gimme a coin, Victoriana! I don’t have my coin purse, only my cell.”

Victorian pulled up beside Gemma and rolled her eyes, sliding the handbag in front of her face. She scratched and placed a coin into the wiggling fingers of Gemma.

Gemma back stepped and halted from the brick circle, closing her eyelashes, cuddling the coin in front of her breasts. She held her breath, making a wish, tossing the coin in the air. Gemma opened her eyelashes with a smile.

The coin twirled toward the wishing well.

Trux turned and moved toward the wishing well, catching the coin in mid-air, passing the wishing well. He halted and turned his smile to see Gemma, kissing the coin.

Victorian gasped, pointing to Trux. “He…he caught your coin. Your coin didn’t make it in the wishing well. Is that bad luck, Gemma?”

Gemma gasped, smiling to the cute teen male.

Trux tossed his arm, flinging the coin toward the wishing well. The coin splashed in the water with a ting. He chuckled, moving and pulling up beside Lowell again.

Victoriana gasped, pointing to Trux. “Then he…he tossed your coin. Your coin landed in the wishing well. Is that bad luck, Gemma?”

Gemma smiled, grabbing Victoriana by the arm. They scooted toward the wall, not paying attention to the exhibitions or the lecture. She watched Trux, leaning into Victoriana, whispering with a smile. “He caught my wish. Let’s join the tour, before we lose our new paying jobs.”

Patsie moved ahead of the teens, stomping out her annoyance, halting at the next water exhibition. “This open wall contains many other water exhibitions, within. I shall not enter. But you are welcome to tour this area, after your daily work tasks are completely. For summary, there is the butterfly garden…”

“Dead or alive?” Lowell chuckled and pulled up behind Patsie, looking down to see a long hallway, not viewing a butterfly garden, and not really caring, either. He was delighted to have been selected as one of the four archivists for the summertime job.

Patsie rolled her eyes, hearing the smartie remark. She went to the last exhibition, completing the ground level tour, pondering the four new archivist positions for four teens.

A high school teenage did not possess any type of outdoor field experience or any college academic course work to qualify for a junior archivist post for the US Federal Government. However, Walbash had overruled both the personal and professional opinion of Patsie.

Patsie completed the tour, standing in front of the gates, turning to see the teens. “This concludes the tour for the ground level. Do you have any questions, before we leave the floor?”

Lowell went to the gates, facing the entrance doors, tapping on the podium. “Can we jump over the rest of the floor and go straight to work? I’m quite eager to learn my new job as an archivist. There must be zillions of facts and artifacts to memory and study for my special work assignment.”

Gemma, Trux, and Victoriana stood in a row front of Patsie. Trux was in the middle as the girls took turns and slapped their hands into his rib cage. He chuckled and jerked side to side, having fun on the first day of employment as an archivist.

Patsie ignored the teens, turning and moving toward the side wall, saying with a sour frown. “Good. There are no questions. We shall use the dancing elevator to access the other levels and continuing the tour. Please follow me.”

“A dancing elevator? What’s a dancing elevator?” Lowell turned and moved toward the wall, following the seasoned archivist.

Victoriana, Trux, and Gemma all turned and moved toward the wall, pulling up and standing in a new row beside Lowell. All the teens looked to see both Patsie and the wall, which contained two sets of closed elevator doors.

Patsie said, thumbing the wall behind her collar bone. “Behind me, there are two elevators. The elevators are built in front of the 250,000 gallon water tank. This is both the architectural and engineering marvel of the Center. We have a fish tank underneath nine floors of concrete and steel. The Birmingham Science and Art Center is the largest children’s museum in the USA. We cater exclusively to children. However, adults and teens are welcome to come and enjoy the fun, too. Usually, the teens are employed during the summertime as helpers, who help with the children. This is the reason for touring the Center. You are not a child. You are a teen. Every year, we add new and fun exhibitions to the Center. As part of your archivist job, you shall learn about the Center and all the science exhibitions. I have wasted enough time. We will see the second level, the wood room.”

Lowell turned to see the water room, saying with a sour frown. “Yes, I do have a question, Pastie. Why the space in here called a water room? It is clearly a very large tank of sea mammals, which is usually called an aquarium.”

The elevator doors opened.

Patsie ignored the teen, sliding into the front wall corner of the carriage and stood near the control panel.

The carriage was made of hard wood paneling. Going around the wall, there was a waist-high rounded piece of wood, similar to an exercise bar. On top of the ceiling, there was an array of numerous u-shaped handholds, dotting across the wall and jiggling side to side.

Gemma shoved her dearest friend into the middle of the rear wall, grabbing one of the side wall bars with both her two hands, bracing her fanny into the closest wall corner.

Victoriana leaned against the wall and crossed her arms, pondering the silly kiddie tour, watching the birds fly and fight outside the entrance glass covered doors of the Center.

Trux and Lowell stood in the middle of the elevators in silence, watching the birds fly and fight outside the entrance glass colored doors of the Center too.

Pastie pressed the number two button on the panel.

The doors closed.

The elevator violently jerked to the side with a halt and then smoothly ascended up to the second floor.

Victoriana screamed and slid to the opposite wall, hitting her shoulder, sliding down onto the floor in both angry and fright. She cuddled into the wall corner, holding her purse, shaking from fear.

Trux and Lowell bumped each other, hitting the side wall, sliding into a lumpy pile of non-broken limbs. Trux softly cursed with Lowell on top of his legs, tossing the teen into the middle of the carriage, sliding down the side of the wall. He rolled in a ball and grabbed the overhead side wall bar with both his hands, looking around the elevator and to the other teens for some answers.

Lowell crawled on both his hands and knees and scooted into the side wall for protection, cuddling the wall, like Trux, holding the overhead bar with both his hands.

Patsie still stood from the jerky movement, holding the two ceiling handholds with both hands, turning her smile to see Gemma.

Gemma smiled and stood in the wall corner, hugging the side bar with both her hands.

The elevator doors opened.

No one moved or talked or yelled or breathed.

Patsie said with an evil smirk and looked to each teen. “Welcome to the dancing elevator! The elevator is designed to shift to the side, first, and then rise up to the next floor. Well the floor selected for your particular drop off point. We are here. This is the second floor, the wood room. Please depart for a swift tour.” She moved onto the floor, barely leaving the carriage entrance, saying with a wicked grin. “The room is rectangular shaped and decorated in white colored walls from ceiling to floor. It is one great big room. There are no viewing windows or exit doors. The elevator is the only entrance onto the floor. I insist that you go out and look around. We have eight more floors to see, before beginning your paying job.”

Gemma pranced into the room, looking up and down the walls, seeing the different types of animal life forms of the US state of Alabama. She was excited about actually getting a paid summer job and being able to help out her parents.

However, she questioned Patsie not warning the other teens of the shifting elevator. The jolt was both swift and violent, without warning. One of the teens could have been injured. Well Gemma wasn’t nice, either, not warning her dearest friend Victoriana.

Victoriana had been to the Center as a guest, not a helper, a few years ago.

Gemma had served as a helper, two years ago. And the new elevator system was newly installed, two years ago. So she knew about the dancing elevator.

Lowell crawled on both his knees and hands from the wall and stood like a man, eye rolling with annoyance, wiping the dust and wrinkles off his clothes, sorta. He jerked his shirt down into his trousers and walked into the wood room like a man too.

Victoriana grunted with pain, sitting in the same wall corner on the floor.

Trux stood from the wall and turned to see Victoriana, hearing the girly distress, extending his hand. “Do ya need a hand?” He winked with an innocent flirt. She slapped her hand in his palm. He cupped both his hands over hers, slowly lifting her from the wall.

Victoriana stood on her spiked heels and nodded to Trux, saying with a fake smile, shouldering the handbag. “Thank you kindly, sir!”

He smiled. “Do ya need an escort into the wood room, honey?”

“No. I do not want to attend the wood room. Thanks for asking. I will lounge by the elevator door and just look, until we leave.” Victoriana went to edge of the carriage, rolling her eyes, pondering this new job. Even though, she was getting a paycheck of real money.

Trux spun around and went to the room, looking to all the objects.

Patsie looked inside the room. “You can see. The wood room holds all the assorted wildlife of Alabama including land, sea, and air. Every inch of the wood, including the ceiling, is decorated with an animal. The eagle flies high on the ceiling. The snake slithers low on the floor. And the finch bird sits in the tree on the side wall. There are numerous birds, otters, fishies, alligator, snakes, turtles, rabbits, and deer…”

Lowell shuffled to one of the taller mammals and patted the soft head of the stuffed female doe, chuckling. “The dead petting zoo.”

Trux stared and jabbed a finger at each animal on the wall, on the floor, and on the ceiling. “I killed that one and that one and that one on my hunting trip. And I killed that one and that one in my back yard.” He squatted, patting the stuffed animal. “Hey, there ain’t no gators here in Alabama river system.”

“That particular alligator was found swimming in the Coosa River, near Montgomery. It was very malnourished and sickly. The scientists believed it swam up river, getting away from one of the hurricanes in Florida.” Patsie yelled with a smile, clapping. “The tour has ended for the wood room. Please load back inside the carriage again.”

Victoriana went to the wall corner position, which had been used by Gemma. She swung to the front of the elevator and crossed her big handbag over her breasts, anchoring both her spiked heels on the floor, hugging the side bar with both her hands.

Gemma pranced to the rear of the carriage and halted in front of the inflamed nostrils of Victoriana.

Victoriana said with a lady sneer at her dearest friend. “I could’ve broken my arm or worse my leg or worser died. I almost died, when the elevator went the wrong direction. Why didn’t you tell me about the dancing elevator?”

Gemma laughed with an evil grin. “Ya didn’t ask.” She turned to the front of the carriage and went to the wall corner, swinging her body into the wall panel, burying her fanny into the wooden corner. She held two perpendicular side bars with each one of her hands and waited for next shift of the dancing elevator again.

Lowell turned to the elevator and halted at the wall, staring at the picture. “A magnificent eagle in flight. A sitting tree owl on a limb. A standing deer in the forest.” He frowned and turned to see the wood room. “I, also, see a dead and stuffed eagle, a tree owl, and a standing deer. Why are the pictures duplicated on the wall in the room?” He reached and touched the wall, gasping. “This isn’t a hand drawn portrait or a painted picture on the wall. It’s…”

Patsie yelled with a sour frown, clapping. “Inside the carriage, please everyone, now!”

Lowell turned to the elevator and went toward rear wall corner of the carriage, which was on the parallel side of Victoriana. He swung to the front of the carriage and scooted his bee-hind deeply into the wall corner, holding the side bar with both his hands, readying for the next the elevator lift.

Trux stood, smiling at the dead alligator. “O! Then, there are gators in the Bama River, too.” He turned to the elevator and halted at the doorway, turning and saying to Patsie. “I don’t see a cow.”

Patsie frowned. “I beg your pardon, Trux.”

“I don’t see a cow.”

“Cows do not live in the forest, Trux. They are not wildlife. We consume them as food.”

He smiled. “Well I know and saw. If a cow escapes from their pen, then it’ll live and survive in the wild lands. Then it will be part of the wildlife, until a coyote eats it.” He chuckled, moving into the carriage and turning to the front of the elevator. He stood in the middle of the floor, holding the overhead handles with both his hands.

She smiled. “I’ll share your farm tale with the administrator of the Center.” She slid to the same wall corner. This particular wall corner displayed the control panel for the floors. Patsie could allow one of the mature teens to stand and press the elevator buttons. But, this was so much fun, for her. She grabbed the ceiling handholds and looked to each teen. “The third floor is called the museum room. All floors are referenced, the ‘something room,’ because we entertain children as young as three years old. The young children understand the concept of a room as opposed to a floor or a level. Is everyone ready for the next floor?”

Lowell said with a sour frown, holding the side bar. “Do we really have to take this elevator to the next level? I vote that we walk up the stairs.”

Patsie grinned, pressing the number three button.

The doors closed.

The elevator violently jolted to the side with a halt, without tossing any of the teens down to the floor again, and then smoothly ascended up to the third floor.

Lowell stared at Patsie. “I don’t understand. Why did you abuse a perfectly good operational working elevator?”

“For fun!” Trux laughed and lifted his feet, swinging side to side for fun too.

Patsie said, holding the handholds. “One of the talented students at the Alabama Architectural School dreamed up the outrageous concept. It was presented to the Center’s directors, who loved the idea of a dancing elevator for the curious children. The old elevators were removed and the new elevators were installed. The design, the sequential elevator step or a single movement sideway, starts on the first ground level, which is not located in front of the glass doors, like a normal operation elevator. I don’t know if you noticed. But the entrance doors are located on the corner edges in front of the lobby room, not the center, like usually. If two people are inside each one of the elevators, facing the closed doors, then the elevator on the right will side step, going to the right side of the building, only. The other elevator shifts to the left, traveling in a sidestep pattern to the left, only. Each floor displays two elevator ports, which are located in a different part of the wall, depending on the floor. But both elevators work at the same time going to the right or to the left. And the design of two shifting elevators encompasses the entire space of the front part of the building, which has been built from the concrete foundation floor up toward the rooftop. The front of the building is composed of red colored brick, which perfectly hides all the mechanic elevator shafts and cables and such hardware equipment and parts.”

The doors opened.

“The museum.” Patsie moved onto the floors, standing near the opening of the carriage again. “All the rooms are presented with no viewing windows or exit doors. Remember? We entertain children for hours, days, weeks. And children can hide between objects, very well. A single room concept allows the helpers to watch the children at all times.”

Trux moved into the room and stopped at the first display case, kneeling. The glass case held arrowheads, without any name tags. He scooted to the next display case, looking at a display of dead insects with name tags.

Lowell frowned, moving out the carriage. The tour was taking precious time from his real paying job. He halted and stared at the mini art gallery, which lined the entrance walls of the museum room. There were numerous pieces of art works, such like, individual colored gem stones or gray and black colored arrowheads or parts of the dull tan colored human bones, like a skull or a hand or pieces of the individual colored human organs, like a heart or a kidney. He turned to see the room and saw rows of small-sized display cases, shuffling toward the far corner.

“This room is painted in white too. The front of the room, about one-fourth of the side walls, shows off the cute mini art gallery. The display cases line all around the walls in three rows. In the middle of the room, there stands a row of larger glass covered display cases, containing a fake human skeleton, a fake oak tree with leaves and branches, a fake gigantic dragonfly, and a fake green alien, for fun. Inside each display case, there is treasure. Well a little kid thinks of it as treasure. The smaller display cases contain numerous rocks, arrowheads, dead insects, parts and pieces of dead animals, colored earth dirt samples, colored beach sand samples, tree parts. I can sprout nouns all day long. Do ya’ll have any questions?”

Gemma pranced out the carriage, turning and standing over one of the tiny display cases, which was meant for a person with both short legs and tiny hands. She smiled, seeing the numerous smear marks from a few tiny hands of kids, which the cleaning staff missed.

Victoriana slid down the wall and sat on the floor, pulling out her mobile telephone, and punched the buttons.

Patsie turned to see Victoriana. “No cell service! It’s the metal inside the elevators and around the building. We have a set of old fashioned telephone landlines downstairs, if you really need to call your parents.”

“No ma’am! I was checking on some emails. My parents know where I am. Thanks for updating me!” Victoriana faked a smile and dropped her mobile telephone inside her purse, hugging her handbag, looking into the room with the short wooden display cases.

“Hey, there really are real gem stones in this case and this case. There are numerous individual real gem stones in all these display cases. And they are beautiful. Who donated the gems? And they’re coins too. I see some very ancient coins here.” Lowell touched the glass, sliding to the next case.

“Coins?” Trux stood from the floor, turning and moving to Lowell.

Patsie watched the teens. Lowell was in the far corner wall with Trux. She yelled with a smile. “Has everyone finished their search for the gold? Do you have any questions? We need to keep moving. Please return and enter the carriage!”

Lowell turned to see Trux and tripped over the long legs on the floor, on purpose, chuckling and moving toward the elevator. “So sorry, man! Time to get back to the dancing elevator, bro!”

Trux studied the case of coins and whispered with an evil sneer. “Sorry! I’ll get ya bloody, next time, dude.”

Victoriana stood, feeling nausea from the last dancing elevator ride, cramming her fanny into the wall panel. She held the side bar, trying to calm her shaky nerves, anticipating the vicious jolt of both her guts and the elevator ride.

Gemma turned to the elevator, scooting sideways in the same wall corner, holding a different side bar with each one of her hands, and waited for the fun ride again.

Lowell halted at the entrance wall of the art gallery, before entering the elevator, and stared at the three white panels on the lower portion of the wall. Each panel was a rectangular shaped design and built in the wall above the art gallery. He squatted and touched the wall. “The door is made of white coated metal. And there’s a letter over each panel door…”

“Get into the carriage, Lowell.” Patsie turned to see Trux, who was cuddled in the far corner of the museum room, and yelled with a sour frown. “Come on, Trux! Get moving, please! You have a job to do, today, also.”

Lowell stood, moving toward the elevator, resuming the same wall corner inside the carriage. He backed his bee-hind into the wood and held the side bar with both his hands, creating a stable position, keeping his body from sliding side to side, as the elevator danced.

“Yes ma’am!” Trux moved toward the elevator, jogging and slapping the dirt off his jeans. He entered the carriage and leaped in the air, grabbing the ceiling handholds, swinging side to side for fun. His feet landed on the floor, and as his face looked to see the rear wall of the elevator for fun too.

Patsie slid into the wall corner. “Everyone hold on again. I’m reaching for the button number four.”

“I vote not seeing the rest of the exhibitions, Patsie. My stomach cannot take all the excitement. Can we see our work offices, please?” Lowell said with a sour frown, holding the side bar. Since Patsie was deviously surprising with her work supervision actions.

Patsie looked to each teen. “Alright, I rule on the majority vote. How many number of arms for bypassing the rest of the exhibitions?”

“Me!” Trux lifted his feet and swung side to side on the ceiling handholds, waiting on the kick from the elevator move.

“Me, too!” Victoriana swiftly raised and placed her hand back on the side bar. Since Patsie was both deceptive and cruel with her quick draw pressing finger on the control panel of the elevator.

Patsie nodded. “That’s the majority. Alright, I’ll bypass the other floors going up to the top. But we must stop at floor number eight that’s the boys’ sleeping unit, where Trux and Lowell will sleep tonight. Where’s your luggage?”

Lowell said, holding onto the side bars. “Inside my car, I didn’t know if I was going to get the job. Why bother dragging around a heavy bag of clothing?”

“Alright!” Patsie nodded and pressed the button.

The doors closed.

The elevator violently jolted to the side with a halt and then smoothly ascended up to the fourth floor.

Trux dropped both arms from the ceiling handholds.

“No!” Patsie yelled. “The elevator jolts to the side on every floor.”

Trux grunted and grabbed the handles again.

“Even if you press the button for the eighth floor?” Victoriana said with a sour frown, holding onto the side bar.

Gemma held the bars and stared at Victoriana. “Yeah, the dancing elevator is designed to dance on every floor while going up to the top for fun, dearest friend.”

The elevator violently jolted to the side with a halt and then smoothly ascended up to the fifth floor.

Patsie said. “We have now jolted over to the fifth floor, almost there. To kill time, the fourth floor is the bubble room. The fifth floor is the outer space room with a really cool anti-gravity booth in the rear of the wall. Ya’ll need to check it out!”

The teens were silence, bouncing side to side inside the dancing elevator.

The elevator violently jolted to the side with a halt and then smoothly ascended up to the sixth floor.

Patsie held the ceiling handholds. “The sixth floor, which we just passed, is the dino room. The seventh floor is the metal room. There’s a two-person paddle boat ride in a tub of cold water and a vanishing cabinet.”

The elevator violently jolted to the side with a halt and then smoothly ascended up to the seventh floor.

Lowell frowned. “A vanishing cabinet!? Is that not related more towards magic or ghosts rather than metal?”

Patsie said. “It’s an enclosed chamber that fills with dry ice, making the kid both invisible and invincible within their two naked eyeballs. Some Bama genius scientist built it and donated to the Center. We didn’t have the heart to store in a box.”

The elevator violently jolted to the side with a halt and then smoothly ascended up to the eighth floor.

The doors opened.

Patsie released the ceiling handlers. “This is the eighth floor, the boys’ sleeping unit. Come on, Trux and Lowell! I need to explain the door system for your sleeping unit.”

Gemma slid down to the floor. “We’ll wait here, Patsie.”

Victoriana slid down to the floor and pulled her hair into a ponytail, staring at Gemma. “I don’t know if can do this, Gemma. The dancing elevator? The spent the night party? The wood room with millions of real dead stuffed animals? What does an archivist do? I bet we get to clean up the puke green colored kid vomit and ugly dried on mouth spittle from all the furniture and furnishing. That’s the reason for the guided tour of floors or levels or rooms or whatever. Look, we’re only high school kids. We don’t possess any type of business career skills. And we don’t possess licensed certifications, either, as an archivist. None of this makes any sense, to me, Gemma!”

“You can go home. Ya got your car. Just leave me! I’m staying. I rather work here than a fast food place for pennies. We’re getting paid some big bucks for a high school student. Granted, this job ends in three months. But I can make lots of good money and not hang around with my parents.”

“Where are your parents, Gemma?” Victoriana raised an eyebrow, staring at her childhood friend.

Gemma said with a suspicious frown. “Why ya asking?”

“Well I tried to email your mama, since I needed to keep the lie going that I was at your house. However, my email bounced back and then read undeliverable.”

Gemma gasped, pulling out and typing on her mobile telephone. “I can’t get my mama,” she punched more buttons. “And I can’t get my daddy on the cell phone either. Something’s wrong.”

Victoriana laughed. “Stomp that roach, dearest friend! The cell service doesn’t work in here. But I’m very suspicious that you are not telling me the truth. Where are your parents?”

“In the country of England, my step-daddy is in some type of training program for a month or two or three or maybe, the entire summer. So my mama flew over with him. They plan to do some see sighting, a second honeymoon, whatever. So I’m home all alone.” Gemma said with a sour frown. “How’da ya know my parents were gone?”

“And you suckered me into your…your…”

“The job’s legit. My daddy told me to apply and I did. And I just wanted my dearest friend with me, for some fun and adventure, during the boring summertime. Which boy do ya like? I think Trux likes me.”

“Gemma!? I’m having a serious conversation here. My parents didn’t know where I am. And you didn’t text your mama, before we left the car for the interview. You type a text to your mama, before you do anything.”

“I do not. Where are your parents, Victoriana? You, also, type a text to your mama, before doing anything.”

“In the mountains for a month, they left their only daughter to fend for her food and her clothes shopping items.” Victoriana chuckled.

Patsie slid into the wall corner and held one of the ceiling handholds, pressing the button. “We’re going up to the ninth floor.”

Both Gemma and Victoriana grabbed the overhead bar.

The elevator violently jolted to the side with a halt and then smoothly ascended up to the ninth floor.

The doors opened.

Patsie moved down the hallway, leaving the teens behind inside the carriage.

Gemma moved out the carriage, without Victoriana.

Victoriana stood and shouldered her purse, slowly strolling and looking to the walls. The hallway walls were painted in white, showcasing an array of individual doors in the colors of pink or purple. Between the doors, there was an art gallery of individual girly pictures, such like, dolls, flowers, ponies, kittens, and tiaras. She darted her eyelashes to each side wall saying with a sour frown. “I have fallen into the pretty pink pit of Princess-land. And I don’t like them p’s, ya’ll.”

Patsie and Gemma stopped at the end of the hallway.

Patsie shuffled in front of a purple colored metal door. “Come over here, Victoriana! I can’t do my thing, without both occupants present.” She pulled out a metal device, fiddled with the control buttons, lifted and held it in the middle of the door, without touching the metal.

Victoriana gasped, pulling up beside Gemma. “You’re demagnetizing the metal door. I like. The building is truly an engineering marvel. Who paid for all this technology stuff?” She looked to the door and the hallway.

Patsie read the devise. “Yes, you are correct, Victoriana. The door is composed of a special alloy. This device will demagnetize the previous set of touched hand prints, probably from the cleaning company. They clean and maintain all the rooms. Ya’ll get to share a room.” She turned her smile to see the girls. “I hope that isn’t a problem. I didn’t have time when I heard about teens in…that you would be sharing a room. Okay?”

Gemma smiled. “Yeah, we’re cool. We’re friends, since…”

Patsie stared at Gemma. “You know each other?”

Gemma gasped, faking a smile. “I mean we have become good friends, since the interview.”

The devise sounded with a beep.

Patsie looked at the device and fiddled with the buttons again. “Okay, both of you touch the metal, imprinting your fingers. It can be one or more finger pads. The door doesn’t care.” She back stepped and observed.

Gemma touched the metal with her five finger pads.

Victoriana touched the metal with her index finger pad.

Patsie fiddled with the button again. “Okay, the door is magnetized to your individual finger prints. No one can come into your room. Period! Go ahead and test the metal. But use the same finger pads. You know that each finger possesses a unique set of finger prints.”

Gemma touched the door with her same five finger pads.

The door opened.

Patsie watched the device for accuracy. “Very good, Gemma is programmed. Wait for a few seconds, the door will automatically close for both security and convenience. See, ya don’t need a key or a card.”

The door closed.

Patsie watched the device again. “Victoriana, try and test your imprinted finger pads on the metal door too?”

Victoriana pressed the door with her same index finger pad.

The door opened.

Patsie smiled. “Good, you have a sleeping unit. Okay, toss inside any purses, handbags, and cell phones. Place them around the door corner for now. We need to get upstairs and start your work day. You can explore the new sleeping unit this afternoon. You are not allowed to have any type of electronic devices on your person, during working hours or inside the working office. Don’t worry! You are employed. Your employer provides you with every electronic need.” She watched the teens slide their personal items inside the room, turning toward the elevator doors and moving down the hallway. “Come on, girls!” Gemma and Victoriana turned to the elevator doors, pulling up beside Patsie. She said. “We use the silly little word, room, making the children feel confused. Children learn the word, bedroom, which represents home. Well if the child comes here to spend the night at summer camp, the child will get upset, if the room is not decorated, like their personal bedroom at home. So we don’t use the familiar homey words. We stay more scientific which allows the child to ponder the fun exhibitions and not worry about their mama and daddy. It’s time for you to meet the boss and discover your new job.”

The elevator doors were both opened and empty.

Gemma stared at the empty carriage. “Where’re the boys?”

Patsie laughed. “I left them on the eighth floor, arguing about the bed arrangement. Males, they’re worse than clucking pea hens. They took the second elevator up the tenth floor. That’s the last stop, the traveling exhibition.”

Gemma laughed. “What, no something room?”

Patsie moved inside the same wall corner and held one of the ceiling handholds. “It’s our office space. So we disguised the name for fun. Birmingham Science and Art Center is fun for all.” She pressed the button.

Both Gemma and Victoriana ran inside the carriage, grabbed the side bar, and hung on.

The elevator violently jolted to the side with a halt and then smoothly ascended up to the tenth floor.

Chapter Four

 

9:32 A.M.

Tenth Floor

Traveling Exhibition

 

The elevator doors opened.

Patsie moved inside the room, slipping into an empty space within a row of seasoned archivists, who were observing the teens with both interest and intrigue.

Gemma skipped into the room, looking to all the unique features. “Wow!”

Victoriana pulled up beside Gemma, smiling and looking around the room too. “I like.”

The single room was a rectangular shape, similar in design to both the wood room and museum room with white colored walls. The entrance walls showed an art gallery of war weapons, consisting of individual pictures of swords, daggers, arrows, guns, and cannons.

The second elevator doors opened.

Lowell barely moved into the room, staring at the furnishings. “This environment does not look, much like, a proper business office. I do not see office desks, office chairs, office computer monitors, office telephones, office art work pieces…”

Trux moved to the front wall, saying with a smile. “Great, a play room with three walls, holding the biggest, dangest, largest television screens in the entire world. Hey! Can I play intergalactic war on one during lunchtime or snack time or suppertime, please?”

Petite Walbash stood in the middle between the taller seasoned archivists. She possessed pale colored skin, a bald skull, and a pair of hazel eyes and wore a colorful checkered short sleeved shirt, a pair of tan colored walking shorts, and a pair of tan colored sandals.

The sandals displayed her unpolished toenails.

She grinned, motioning with a friendly gesture. “Come inside, ya’ll! Welcome! This is our headquarters and office work station. Please look around and absorb your new office. I know the emotion. I couldn’t sit down, until I scanned the room. The forward wall holds a floor to ceiling television screen. It’s black now, but it’ll be powered up shortly. The rear wall contains twin elevators on each side, not enjoying the dance. I didn’t either. But this is my working office. And there are not any exit doors or exit steps.

“I see worried faces. I’ll explain in a moment. Please enjoy the room and the food. There is a food table on each side of the center placed twin elevator doors. The food items include hot, cold, and warm beverages and entrees. The food is available all day and night, because we will work all day and night. The side walls are the most intriguing features of the room. Each wall holds a gigantic floor to ceiling television screen. The screen takes up about third-fourths of the side wall space. We utilize all three screens all at once too. I’ll explain that too.” Walbash back stepped from the row of archivists, pointing to the objects. “Not in the center, really, but occupying the other fourth of the room, there is a set of lounge chairs, eight. These are very special lounging chairs with footstools also. There are two chairs in the middle with three chairs on each side, forming a semi-circle. Let us sit and continue the conversation of your paying job as a new teen archivist.” She turned to the chair and went to the farthest one, standing beside the seat, facing all the archivists.

Gemma and Victoriana grabbed the set of twin side by side lounge chairs, sitting next to each other like in high school. Both chairs faced the forward television screen for viewing clarity.

Gemma smiled, sliding both her body and her cowgirl boots over the soft material, bouncing and sinking into the soft material.

Victoriana slid off her sandals with the spiked heels, being concerned about ripping the soft material. She placed them next to the chair and plopped into the chair, bouncing and sinking into the soft material too. She fist bumped and chuckled with her dearest friend Gemma.

Trux selected one of the inner chairs, sliding and bouncing both his boot heels on the foot rest also. His mama would have said some vile words, if he had demonstrated this maneuver at home, wearing his boots on the furniture fabric. However, his parents were busy running a cow ranch. His lounge chair was slightly diagonal to Gemma, facing one of the side television screens with clarity.

Lowell selected an inner chair too, posing slightly diagonal to Victoriana, facing the other side television screen with viewing clarity. He wasn’t sitting, but looking down and touching the unfamiliar material on the head rest, saying with a sour frown. “This is not leather or cotton or…”

“Rubber foam, like your sleeping mattress, but don’t sleep on the job or I’ll fire ya.” Walbash plopped in the chair, wearing her sandals. She wiggled side to side, forcing the chair to conform to her body, looking to each teen. “All the lounge chairs are made from rubber foam in one solid color unit of pinky-orange. There is a head rest, a body rest, and a foot rest. It’s all rubber form, conforming to your body, while your mind thinks about the problem. Everyone sit. Get used to your new environment. Ah! This is much better. I can think better sitting on my…”

“Walbash!?” Patsie slid inside her chair, saying with a sour frown.

Walbash smiled and raised and dropped her arms. “That’s my name! My staff is, please fill in the blank.”

Patsie looked with a sour frown to her boss and the silly business conduct, sitting between Walbash and Trux. She looked to each teen, slapping her chest. “You know me,” she pointed across the room to a set of opposite chairs.

The female possessed a tall and athletic body with dark colored skin, a brown colored long ponytail, and a pair of brown colored eyes. She was dressed in a blue colored short sleeved shirt, a pair of faded blue jeans, and a pair of brown and blue colored leather cowgirl boots, wearing a big golden colored buckle on her belt and a pair of golden colored stud earrings in her earlobes. She sat between Lowell and another seasoned archivist, hanging both her boot toes over the lounge chair like Trux. She said with a nod. “Bickman.”

The male was average height and plump, possessing pink colored skin, a buzz cut of bright red colored hair, and a pair of blue colored eyes. He was dressed in a beige colored sleeveless jumpsuit and a pair of red colored untied sneakers. Both his biceps were inked in dull black colored tattoos. The jumpsuit was decorated with numerous vertical pockets, covering both his chest and legs. He said with a grin and a nod and sat beside Bickman. “Lou Levine. But everyone calls me, Levine. Nice to meet you, young archivists! Welcome to the Department of Research, Art, and Magic.”

Walbash raised her arm, wiggling her fingers. “Over here, ya’ll! I’m Dickana Lee Walbash, boss or head of the department. Now, my new staff is, please fill in the blank, starting with the teen on my left.” She pointed to Trux.

He smiled to each archivist, slapping his chest. “I’m Trux Gordon Wellington. But, please call me, Trux.” He turned his grin to see Gemma.

“I’m Gemma Plymouth.” She looked to each archivist and turned her smile to see Victoriana.

“Victoriana Cortland.” She nodded to each archivist and turned her smile to see Lowell.

He stood with his hand on top of his selected chair, looking with a smile to Walbash. “I am most honored to be present…”

“Stop sucking up to the teacher, dude!” Trux laughed.

“Lowell Saroyan,” he said and sat, sliding the tray over his lap.

Walbash looked to each teen. “Welcome Trux, Gemma, Victoriana, and Lowell! You work for the Department of Research, Art, and Magic within the US National Archives and Record Administration. This is our working office, a great big room, much like, an auditorium without the noisy folks and the loud music. Cool, ain’t it? These are the working desks, much cooler, too.” She slid a tray over her legs, tapping on the computer. “This is much coolest, thou. You need to slide the ugly brown steel plated tray over your lap to access the computer, please. Inside the tray, there’s an ugly brown steel plated computer frame. The computer is the size of a regular monitor screen, because it is keyboard-less. It is both a virtual viewing monitor and a fingernail typing keyboard, so press the little green colored button for go. And get used to pressing lots of button here at your new job. When you press the green colored button for go, a yellow colored screen and a purple colored keyboard will both appear. The monitor works for typing a report, which you don’t do here, and reading information from the database. The little orange colored button accesses the US National Archives and Record Administration, which you will do, a lot. The little blue colored button accesses the worldwide internet, which you will do, also. So you have your working office, and your working seat, and your working equipment. What do we work on?”

She smiled. “And I’m not going to ask you a silly question and expect a silly answer either. I will answer the silly question with a serious answer. Your job, like my job, is charged with recovering invaluable stolen items. For example, the original patent filed by Orville and Wilbur Wright in the year 1903 for their infamous flying machine; a sixteenth century document from the Medici family of Italy, and the original copy of the 1937 presidential inaugural address of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, all were stolen, a long time ago. However, the archivists, that’s us. This team has successfully recovered these particular items and restored them back into the US Archives warehouse, last year, thus earning our titles, the archivists.”

“Spectacular!” Lowell grinned.

“Nice!” Gemma smiled.

“I like!” Victoriana smiled.

“Whoa, now!” Trux dropped his mouth. “We are truly a set of authentic treasure hunters.”

Walbash said. “No, that is not the correct term, we are not treasure hunters. The word, hunter, means to find, destroy, and keep. We do not destroy or keep. We research and recovery stolen artifacts. Currently, thousands of artifacts are missing from the US Archives warehouse, including, but not limited to, some original inventor patents, documents signed by Voltaire, the original 1960s photographs taken by the first astronauts on the moon…”

Victoriana leaned over to Gemma, whispering. “Did ya hear the word, research? That means sitting here all day and night, until I find boring nothing. I didn’t know where to look for a set of stolen photos from outer space. Geez, I wasn’t born during that ancient time period of the 1960s. That’s why there’s a table of food, feeding our boring homework assignments. I’m going to get fat, eating and thinking all day and night,” she sat back and crossed her arms, pondering the new job and thinking to quit the new job today.

Walbash said. “Now days, there’s no such thing as traveling the world, getting those awful shots for malaria and typhus. You surf the internet instead. And we will start here at home with the grandiose US Archives database, not ever leaving our rubber foamy pinky-orange lounge chairs.”

Gemma exhaled with a puff of disappointment in her dearest friend, who wanted to miss a great opportunity to help, not abuse her own set of biological parents. She sobbed, feeling an upraising of tears and cleared her throat, dumping the salvia and emotions back down into the pit of her stomach. Gemma might not have both her biological parents, next year. She shook her curls and raised her arm. “I thought we were going to be explorers, not…not…”

“Archivists. We are called archivists.” Walbash looked down to the computer and pressed a button, turning and pointing to three television screens, which were located on the forward and side walls. “I have activated the television screens, all three of them. We have three for fun and to decorate the long walls for entertainment. The pic on the screen represents one of the many finds, not lost treasures, which is located inside the US Archives private and secret underground museum, which is not seen by anyone. The exhibitions are too frail for both presentation and sunlight. Most of them are locked inside a glass box for preservation, foreverly.”

Lowell turned to see the television screen, laughing. “Red stones, the size of my hand, including the middle finger.”

Walbash stared at the television screen. “Each red stone is a tiny map artifact, which is over 14,000 years old. The red stones were found in the year 1993, in the country of Spain, by a team of curiosity scientists. The map is etched on top of the stone tablet. Each stone is about five inches in wide and seven inches long. Think it! This was a time, when people grunted, couldn’t write, and peed on the grass. So they beat out a walking path on a stone for their cavemen fun and entertainment. And the images on each stone show images of trees, rivers, mountains, animals, birds, human beings. The scientists have determined the stone maps were drawn at the time of both the hunters and gatherers, thus so cavemen and cavewomen could communication, without wiggling finger pads.”

“So are we looking for another set of stone maps, Dr. Walbash?” Victoriana said with a sour frown, staring at the forward television screen.

“Please, call me, Walbash. We are looking for what is stolen.” She pressed a button, making all the television screens change.

Lowell pointed to the television screen on the side wall. “The lizard people! And Earthlings still doesn’t believe that aliens landed and painted and played with our hard rocks and stuff.”

Walbash stared at the television screen. “Thanks for your contribution, Lowell! This is the Ubaid lizard artifact, which is about 7, 000 years old. They were discovered in the year 1922, in the country of Iraq. The tribe of the Ubaid people lived during the Mesopotamian age, in the year 4,000 BC. The figurines are vertically shaped, too, like an upright life form. Each tiny statue is an image of a human being, which has been drawn, like a lizard, for some weird-o reason. Some of the lizards wear helmets and carry scepters, representing the leaders of power and might. The other lizards carry babies, which represent the mamas and the loving family unit. It’s cute!” She pressed a button, changing all the television screens again.

Lowell sung with a smile, snapping his fingers. “These shoes were made for walking and walking is what they did.” He sung with a grin, waving his arms side to side. “So walk, this way! So talk, this way!” He was having a good time as a newly employed archivist.

Walbash stared at the television screen. “Thanks for your contribution, Lowell! This is the oldest shoe in the world, about 5,500 years old. The shoe was found in the country of Armenia, in the year 2008. The shoe fits the right foot proving that ancient humans actually did walk across the landscape, like the archeologists tattled. And they walked, a lot, based on the very wore and almost falling apart leather. The shoe is leather too. So how long have cows been on the Earth?”

“Since Adam and Eve, ma’am, Adam named the animals.” Trux said.

Walbash stared at the television screen. “Thanks for your contribution, Trux! I can sit here inside my cozy foamy pinky chair and go and go and go on, displaying the ancient artifacts that have been found, so far. So I will summarize quickly.” She pressed a button, making all the television screens change again. “The US Archives Museum houses the oldest wheel, part of a wooden cart. The wheel is about 5,200 years old, discovered in the year 2002 at Ljubljana, Slovenia. The artifact is a very important step of man toward both technology and socialization. And we all know that socialization leads to war, eventually.” She pressed a button, changing all the television screens again. “What is this? Does anyone wanna guess about this ancient artifact?”

“It is an ancient bronze tinted dog pitching disc, since the breed of canines have been living almost as long as mankind. Am I correct, Dr. Walbash?” Lowell laughed.

Walbash stared at the television screen. “This bronze piece, shown as a flat disc, is Thor’s Hammer. See, Thor did exist here on the planet, not inside the movie house. The bronze piece is about 1,100 years old. It was found in the country of Sweden, dating back to 900 AD. The flat disc is made from a piece of simple bronze metal, displaying trace earth elements of gold, tin, and silver metal too. The gold, tin, and silver formed the creative outline of the weird-o symbols on the disc. Within the Norse mythology, Thor was a god that used a hammer. His god powers caused massive downpour of rain storms, yellowish-white lightning bolts, and booming scary thunder, kinda like now. And he was the guardian of all mankind by ensuring both fertility and healing…”

Gemma gasped, studying the disc on the screen. “Does the Thor myth really exist? Does a Thor disc really heal a person, a really sick person? Could there be other Thor discs located inside the country of Sweden like…like this one, Walbash?”

Walbash stared at the side television screen. “Yeah, I guess so. People probably carried the bronze piece around their necks or pieced their earlobes, like a piece of jewelry for healing and getting healthy. Scientists also seem to agree that a myth does comes from a fact, somewhat. Okay, I got one more ancient artifact that ya’ll just gotta see.” She laughed and pressed a button, changing all three television screens again.

Victoriana leaned over to Gemma, whispering. “Why’da ya want a pair of some ancient bronzed earrings, darling? Ya might catch a disease or something from that rusty metal? After your first real money paycheck, we can go to the mall and buy ya a new set of gold earrings. You’ll look faddy, honey!” She sat back, looking to the forward television screen.

Gemma nodded with kindness to her dearest friend and looked to the forward screen too, pondering the Thor healing myth.

Lowell laughed, pointing to the side television screen. “It’s an old rug that the maid servant forgot to clean for the royal princess. She probably tossed it into the smell pile of garage in defiance for being an unpaid slave.”

Walbash said. “It is called textile art, which was made in the year 1538 AD, in the country of Belgium. The art has been richly woven into numerous colors of red, blue, green, yellow, tan, and white, which shows numerous images of peasants, soldiers, royalty folks, trees, buildings, wagons, horses, and other earthlings, and earth objects. However, there is an interesting object which is located in the upper corner on your left. Does anyone see it?”

Lowell laughed, jabbing a finger to the side television screen. “A UFO, a grayish silver colored unidentified flying space ship. And the ship is shaped, as a saucer, too. That’s unbelievable! The aliens are here with god Thor too. Who wouldn’t thunk it?”

Walbash laughed. “The textile art shows a traditional looking saucer-shaped space ship, hovering above a steeple church. Historians believed the space ship represented a rise of a ruler, as a king. So we blame the Belgians for starting the hot juicy gossip mill of UFOs. And they linked the flying saucer to spirituality. So the next time, ya see a UFO, thank Almighty God, ya’ll.” She smiled with a chuckle.

“So what’s the conclusion of your numerous ancient and old presentations? I don’t understand our part of the new archivist job, Walbash.” Trux said.

Walbash turned her frown to see Trux. “The conclusion, both mankind and womankind like to hide their treasures, which means some body gets to find it and figure out the puzzle. Now, our job is to rescue and restore lost worldly and USA treasure, not found or about to be found or wanna be found. There are tons of missing treasures, like the three, I mentioned before. The original patent filed by Orville and Wilbur Wright; a document from the royal Medici family; the presidential inaugural address of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a gold cross from Bermuda in the year 1975; a solid gold emperor’s sword from Japan in the year 1185, a sack of crown jewels from Ireland in the year 1907; and a box of missing confederate gold solid bars in Alabama in the year 1865 from the American Civil War, all items were stolen. There’s a necklace from the country of India in the year 1948 that holds 2,390 diamonds; a chest of gold and silver jewel from Spain in the year 1820; the breast plate of Aaron; the Ring of Solomon; the…”

“The Ark of the Covenant…” Lowell laughed.

Walbash turned her frown to see Lowell. “No, the Ark of the Covenant ain’t lost. And it is not found, because God does not want it to be found. We don’t look for silly supernatural treasure, like that. We ain’t archeologists. We are archivists. There’s a list.” She looked down to see her computer and pressed a button, changing all the television screens. She turned and point to the side television screen. “I have placed a vertical list on all three screens, showing all stolen artifacts, so far. I run a democratic work office here. This is the first day of the summertime with a new staff. I have placed a checkmark box next to each item on an electronic listing. So please select which stolen treasure you would like to find, while earning your pay. Granted, the find might take the entire summertime days. But that is okay. That is why you and I are employed here. Just click on your computer screen, the item you desire to find. Then I will tabulate the numbers and choose the stolen artifact with the mostest votes. Go!”

The television screens turned into white colors.

Each archivist activated and tapped on their individual computers and selected a stolen artifact, looking up to see one of the three television screens.

Walbash said with a smirk and tapped on her computer. “And the stolen item to be rescued and restored is…is…is…”

The three television screens showed a golden colored ring with a green colored gem stone.

“What’s that?” Patsie said with a sour frown, staring at the side television screen.

Walbash slid out of the chair, standing in front of the three television screens. “This is the stolen Ring of Solomon.”

“Ring of Solomon!? I didn’t know it was stolen. I thought it was…was…” Levine frowned, staring at the side television screen too.

Walbash rocked back and forth, slapping her hands behind her back spine, staring at the forward television screen. “Historians know much about the stolen Ring of Solomon. It was made of virgin gold, holding a stone of jasper with the word, God engraved on the side. The ring was worn by his father King David also. It is a signet ring, which is worn on the middle finger, as both might and power of his kingdom. King Solomon was a very wise man, granted by God. Back then, in ancient antiquity, gem stones were a symbol of authority. The priests wore gem stone rings. The kings wore gem stone rings and even the ancient blabbing people senators wore gem stone rings too. Think it! Archeologist, scientists, and historians have combed the dirt of Europe, Asia, India, and the Middle East for years, decades, and centuries. They have not rescued the stolen Ring of Solomon.”

Patsie frowned, feeling befuddled about the new information from Walbash and wondering how the ring got selected. She didn’t choice the ring for her assignment mission. “I don’t know about this selection as our newest recovery item, Walbash. The ring was made around fifth century BC. I don’t think it would still be intact as a ring…”

“Yes ma’am!” Trux raised his arm, turning his smile to see Patsie. “It could still exist and be living inside a jewelry box or a middle finger. The gem stone of green jasper was used to make bow drills in fourth century BC. Jasper was the favorite gem stone in the ancient world too.”

“Thanks for your contribution, Trux!” Walbash stared at the ring on the forward television screen.

Levine tapped on his computer, searching for some additional data, feeling confused about the selection of the stolen artifact. He didn’t select the ring for his new mission assignment either. “Who stole the ring from King Solomon, Walbash? I’m really confused here.”

“The Babylonians did, when they raided and destroyed the Temple of Solomon in the year 586 BC. The Bible says so.” Trux stared at Levine, providing his input into his new job.

Victoriana turned her frown to see Trux, giving her own input into her new job also. “And the Bible says so, too. King Solomon had thousands of pagan wives. One of the wives worshipped the goddess named Ashtoreth. She was a Sidon princess.”

Lowell read from his computer screen, providing his own input into his new paying job too. “And King Solomon wedded the daughter of Pharaoh. So the princess stole the golden signet ring and took it to Egypt.” He grinned, looking up to see the back spine of Walbash. “Can we plan a trip and try to find it there in the country of Egypt, Walbash?”

She read from her computer screen also. “To honor the goddess Ashtoreth, King Solomon built a pagan shrine on top of the Mount Olive, which is east of Jerusalem. So we should go there first. Can we schedule a visit to Israel, Walbash?” Victoriana smiled, bouncing in the chair, looking up to see the back spine of Walbash also.

Trux shook his skull, turning his frown to see Lowell. “Naw, I disagree. King Nebuchadnezzar lived to be 300 years old. He constructed the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and destroyed the first Temple of Solomon. Then he carried off all the gold, all the treasures, and all the other people, leaving only the poor peasants in Jerusalem. And his kingdom was located in the area of Mesopotamia, where all mankind and womankind had lived, since the beginning of everything, since day one of planet Earth. So the ring would be kinda close to…to…” He looked down and tapped on the computer, searching for the answer.

Walbash enjoyed the enthusiasm and limited teenly knowledge. “Good job, young archivists! We have confirmed that the ring exists in a box or on a finger. So we have confirmed at least two physical geographical locations. Now, we use the wonderful internet to pinpoint both our suspicions and confirmations. I would suggest pairing the words, ring and Solomon. Go!” She went to her chair, sliding inside, and tapping on her computer for more ring information also.

 

9:45 A.M.

 

“Found it!” Victoriana smiled, raising her hand, looking up to each archivist.

Lowell turned his frown to see Victoriana. “Impossible! It has been an only few minutes. You did not find anything, but confusion, young archivist.” He chuckled.

Patsie turned her grin to see Victoriana. “You don’t have to raise your arm for speaking like in a classroom. This is a work environment. So shout out your conclusion! What have ya found, Victoriana?”

“Rune.” Victoriana said.

“Run!? Run away, to where? O home!” Trux turned his smile to see Victoriana. “Ya wanna go home now? This place is fun. I like it here. And we get to spend the night for ninety days and nights…”

Walbash turned her frown to see Victoriana. “How did you come across that particular word, Victoriana? What was your query method, please?”

“Ruin is an ancient piece of property, which is usually the location of a historical church or a medieval castle.” Lowell shook his skull, reading from his computer screen.

Victoriana said. “No. The word is not ruin, but rune. R.u.n.e. Well I took a different approach. I searched for the individual word, ring, first. Then I took all the ring searches and pared them down to only ancient time dates, ya know, before the first century. I came up with the word, ring, which was spelled out in the old rune language. The letters ‘R’ looks, like the real English letter ‘R.’ The letter ‘I’ looks, like the real English letter ‘I.’ And the letter ‘NG’ looks, like two letters of ‘X’ on top of each other. I checked my results, three times. I didn’t find another single symbol for the word, ring.”

Lowell tapped on his computer, reading from his computer screen. “The electronic library, within the US Archive database, details that there are over 3,000 individual separate pieces of perfectly legible rune stones.” He looked up to see Victoriana. “Which one shall we start with, Victoriana? Have you narrowed it down to maybe, six or seven hundred?” He laughed.

Trux said, looking up to each archivist. “Naw, now! We can’t personally inspect 3,000 rune stones that’d take up the entire summertime schedule. And I wanna do something more fun, instead of fluff a rock.” He turned his smile to see Victoriana, liking his new job and the new cute girl.

She stared at her new boss. “Dr. Walbash!?”

“You’re a genius, Victoriana.” Levine turned his smile to see her. “Please continue your exciting presentation.”

Victoriana looked down and tapped on her computer. “Okay, I will. Thank you, sir! I’m uploading my find onto the three televisions screens for more discussion and analysis. Now, I have found embedded in a stone…”

“We’re looking for a ring, holding a gem stone, not a rock with a caveman’s love letter.” Lowell stared with his frown at the side television screen.

Gemma sat in her chair, and typed on her computer, looking for other clues, not participating in the discussion.

Victoriana looked up to see the forward television screen. “The shown alphabet is called rune, an early form of written records which was used by the Germanic peoples of Europe. Rune writing dates back to the 200 AD…”

Lowell laughed and turned to see the nose profile of Victoriana. “Ya know we’re looking for the year with the two alphabetic letters of BC with dots or periods between them, girl?”

Victoriana rolled her eyes, turning with a lady sneer to see the nose profile of Lowell. “How in the heavens did you become an archivist? How in the world did you receive this internship?”

“I did, like you.” Lowell looked down and tapped on his computer.

Victoriana gasped. “You are not like me, ever.” She looked and jabbed a finger to the forward television screen. “Back to the rune writing! Most runes were carved in wood. However, the surviving artifacts of rune writing is both written and preserved in stone, like here, on the screen, coming from my thoroughly excellently research on the internet. The word, rune, comes from the Gothic word meaning ‘secret.’”

Walbash slid out the chair and stood in front of the three television screens again. “This is an excellent work, Victoriana.”

“And, to add to the Gothic mystery, the Germanic tribes associated a rune with secrets or mysteries, because few people understood the embedded and creative inscriptions.” Levine turned his grin to see the back spine of Walbash. “I think our young archivist is onto something here, Walbash. I’m available to instruct your fantastic find and help evaluate the 3,000 rune sites as a senior archivist. We could start after lunchtime, guiding you in the right direction, alright, archivist Victoriana.” He turned his grin to see her.

Victoriana turned her smile to see Levine. “Yes sir! I would appreciate the extra study time.”

Lowell laughed, reading from his computer screen. “Says here, in this internet article, the rune letters were first used by pagan priests, in which, the ancient warlords and witches used to make up charms and magical spells. All fake and phony, like baloney and Victoria!” He turned his grin to see Victoriana, making his point and winning the debate with the silly female.

“Don’t rhyme, Lowell!” Victoriana looked down and tapped on her computer.

“I do not know an ugly girl named Victoria, but I know a pretty girl named Victoriana.” Trux turned his smile to see Victoriana.

“Catch up with my designer heels, Lowell!” Victoriana turned her smirk to see Lowell.

Levine said, tapping on his computer. “The internet source says here. The letters were scarred onto coins, jewelry, monuments, and slabs of wood and stone. The earlier words were straight lines, which were arranged in a single or a combination of two or more letters. Archeologists have found about 4,000 rune inscriptions, 3,000 in the country of Sweden, alone.”

Lowell said with a nod, raising both his arms in his victory. “See, a waste of my time! King Solomon of Jerusalem never traveled in or to or from the country of Sweden.”

Trux turned his frown to see Lowell. “The ring traveled to Sweden, not the man, dude. The ring was stolen from the temple and then traded for a bag of fruit dates by one of the Babylonians. The ring, being secretly hidden in Sweden, makes perfect sense to me.” He turned his smile to see Victoriana. She was looking down and tapping on her computer.

Gemma tapped on her computer, searching for new information, not contributing to the discussion, at all.

Levine said, reading from his computer screen. “About 3,000 of the rune artifacts date around 800 AD, during the Viking period. Other rune artifacts have been discovered in the countries of Denmark, England, Germany, and Norway. In 1,000 AD, the Germanic tribes had converted to Christianity. The conversion led to the introduction of the Latin alphabet, replacing the rune alphabet.” He looked up with a smile to see Victoriana. “I believe there is an ancient connection between the Roman world and the Viking world. And I have faith in Victoriana’s analysis too.”

‎Walbash smirked, staring at the forward television screen. “Okay, we have a viable connection which leads to more research inside the country of Sweden.”

Lowell turned his frown to see Victoriana. “I have swiftly pinged all the existing rune sites in Sweden with the largest collection of rune stones. There’re thousands and thousands of inscriptions upon hundreds and hundreds of rune stones. This procedure will take days, weeks, months, years, and centuries…”

“Good thing, you are the extra paid help and employed by the Department of Research, Art, and Magic for the summertime.” Walbash rocked back and forth, staring at the three screens.

Patsie stared at the back spine of Walbash, pondering the new assignment for the archivists. She wasn’t accessing the computer for new information either.

Trux stared at the back spine of Walbash. “I have to agree with Lowell, somewhat. We can’t search each city. Well I guess we can. We can split up the nations among the four or eight of us.”

She said, tapping on her computer. “The coat of arms!?” Victoriana looked up to each teen. “That was one of our test questions for acquiring the archivist post. Remember? I’ve scanned the coat of arms for each county or district in Sweden. There’re twenty six to answer Lowell’s anticipated question. There’s Halland, Gotland, Kalmar, and other counties. Look it up too! All the coat of arms shows animals or dragons or eagles or castles or arrows or rivers, except one. It shows a set of gem stones. I’m loading them onto the screens now.” She looked down and tapped on her computer. “I have uploaded my brilliant findings onto all the three screens. Walbash said, in ancient antiquity, gem stones represented power and might. The county of Uppsala shows a coat of arms with a holy cross on top of a formed circle of different colored gem stones. The gem stones are sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and diamonds. So the Ring of Solomon was taken there, after the steal from the city of Jerusalem.”

“The coat of arms!? You’re basing your final conclusion on a piece of metal. Impossible!” Lowell turned with his frown to the side television screen, still winning the academic debate.

Victoriana stared at the forward television screen. “Very probable, yeah! I pinged the internet for any and all our coat of arms, wearing a set of gem stones. No other ones exist. You ping the internet too. I found animals, such like, peacocks, eagles, lions, horses, and unicorns, wearing a crown, not an individual gem stone. And, within the coat of arms, there is not a single gem stone. All the sinsters and dexters were displayed with an assortment of holy crosses, flowers, animals, human body parts, like the heart. Some of the other coat of arms showed earth elements like trees, mountains, rivers. So this is the only coat of arms with a set of gem stones, which is located in the country of Uppsala, Sweden. And one of the rune stones will reveal more information about the hidden location of the Ring of Solomon also.”

Levine gasped, reading from his computer screen. “Archivist Victoriana is queen of the archive class, today. The rune stone park of Uppsala, Sweden commemorates the most significant Viking travels throughout the world as it existed back then. On display, within the park, there is a collection of the Greece rune stones, the England rune stones, the Roman rune stones, the Russian rune stones, and kingly Ingvar rune stone. Ingvar was a Swedish king, who traveled from the eighth to the eleventh century into the modern countries of Finland, Russia, Ukraine, and far out Baghdad. Well the city of Baghdad is fifty miles east of the Mesopotamia.” He looked up to each archivist. “So we have come full circle. The Ring of Solomon was stolen during the destruction of the first Temple of Solomon by the bad Babylonians, and then it was traded for food supplies, like archivist Trux said. We should arrange a voyage to Uppsala, Swedish, sometime, next week. We must get permission from the US Federal Government for such an outrageous and expensive airplane trip out of the USA.”

Lowell said, reading from his computer screen. “The Swedish Vikings were called the Rus. They were thought to be the brothers and sisters of the Russian Vikings, which lived in the country of Kiev.” He looked up to see the back spine of Walbash. “What’da ya think about that one? The Ring of Solomon could have traveled as far as Russia, maybe. Can we plan a flying trip to Russia, too, Dr. Walbash?”

Gemma gasped, looking up from her computer. “We…we can’t up and fly into a foreign country. Can we do that, Victoriana?” She turned her frown to see her dearest friend.

Trux turned his grin to see Gemma. “Well if we wanna look and examine the individual letters on the rune stones, then we shall or should or could?”

“How can we do that?” Gemma turned her frown to see Trux.

“I bet Lowell can answer that question.” Walbash turned her smirk to see Lowell.

Lowell turned with a smile to each archivist. “This is June sixth. It is also the national birthday of Sweden, which was established in the year 1523 by Gustav Vasa, the Swedish king.”

Walbash went to her chair, tapping on her computer. “Very good job, Lowell, and the other young archivists! I’m very impressed with your first day’s work. So I’ll pay ya’ll. We are all going to Uppsala, Sweden to investigate the rune stones, which will lead to the next clue of the stolen Ring of Solomon. I’m punching all the necessary information into my chair console. My computer console relays back all the data for our upcoming out of the USA trip. Let’s see. The computer spits that it is 4,701 air space miles from the city of Birmingham, Alabama to the small village of Uppsala, Sweden.”

Gemma stood, stretching her legs. “Are we actually going to fly into the country of Sweden today? Really!? I’m so excited. Can we also do some sightseeing, just a little bit?”

Walbash said, tapping on her computer. “Today, we are flying to Sweden. No, we cannot go sightseeing. We all are getting paid with money. We all are employed with a job.” She turned her frown to see the young archivist. “Are you interested in keeping your good paying job, archivist Gemma? There were exactly forty eight interviewees for four new archivist positions, this morning.”

Gemma gasped. “Yes sir…ma’am! I’m sorry for being so anxious and impatient. I’m just excited. I…I’ve never been out of the USA. That’s all!”

“Ma’am, do we need our passports? My USA passport is at my house. I wasn’t told to bring it along for the interview. May I leave and go home to retrieve it? I…I do not want to miss traveling out of the USA and into another foreign country.” Lowell stood, moving toward the wall, feeling excited about the upcoming new archive trip and happy about his new job.

Walbash swung around and turned with a smirk to each archivist. “I forgot to tell you. I got a very special passage for each archivist. So ya don’t need your passport for the quick trip. Before our next surprise, I would like each one of you to run along and try to perform any and all bodily functions, which might create a problem for you later.” She chuckled.

Trux said. “O! Ya mean go to the…”

“Yes, you’re a smart teen, Trux.” Patsie slid out the chair, saying with a nod to the teen.

Walbash waved her hand for dismissal. “Go. Get moving. We don’t have all day or in this case, all afternoon.”

 

10:08 A.M.

Eighth Floor

BOY’S BATHROOM

 

Trux faced numerous clean and pine fragranced bathroom toilets and watched the closed door, tossing and catching the coin.

The door opened.

Trux tossed and caught the coin. “Heads or tails?”

Lowell stomped around Trux and stopped at the sink, washing and drying his hands from any invading invisible germs.

Trux turned his smirk to see the mirror and the bee-hind of Lowell, tossing and catching the coin. “Heads or tails?”

Lowell slowly turned his frown to see Trux and the flying object. “What is occupying the…air waves?”

“A coin! Pick one, Sports coat?”

“Ah, I have earned your cowboy respect, a flavored nicknamed. Thank you very much, Trux!”

Trux tossed and caught the coin. “Pick one?”

He shook his skull. “I am a bit confused, Trux. What am I supposed to select on your airborne coin?”

Trux captured the coin and opened his palm. “This is a buffalo nickel…”

He gasped. “Where do you get…ah…steal that precious object? I remembered, seeing an excellent display of ancient coins inside the museum room. After all, this is an art and history building.”

Trux laughed. “And all art and history is for the taking. Right, Sports coat? Since I’m an art lover and history buff too. This is an old buffalo nickel. The head is a depiction of an Indian brave. The tail is the imprinted rump and body of the buffalo. So, Sports coat, pick one?”

“Ah, you are offering a gentlemanly sport, as well as, an equal teenly competition. Therefore, I will oblige. I select the buffalo rump as the winning drop of your stolen coin. I hope you plan to return the stolen object, after our teenly foray. So what do I receive, if I win?”

“A babe!”

“Ah, a gentlemanly choice, too, you are very wise, Trux. Since there are two available pretty teen females, working with us, within our new internship program for the duration of the summertime months.”

“Look, just tell me which babe do ya wanna try out? I don’t wanna embarrass the one, not taken.” Trux laughed.

“The smart one!”

“I didn’t know a blonde could be both beauty and brainy, at the same time, either.” He tossed the coin into the air.

It spun and fell onto the tile, showing the rump of the buffalo.

Lowell looked down to the tile. “I see, very clearly, that I have won our little non-bloody bout.” He smiled, looking up to Trux. “I plan to ask the lovely blonde and bold Victoriana out this evening for a social rendezvous. I am most flattered and appreciative. Thank you for the gentlemanly encounter. I would not have enjoyed beating your fanny figuratively, of course, since I abhor violence of any kind.” He said, turning and leaving the bathroom. “Have a nice evening, sir! And please return the stolen object to its home, Trux.”

Trux picked up the coin, whispering with a nasty sneer. “Yeah, since I abhor getting your blood on my clean shirt.” He stored it inside his jeans and turned to the bathroom stall, entering and closing the door.

Chapter Five

 

10:14 A.M.

Tenth Floor

Traveling Exhibition

 

The elevator doors opened.

The teens entered the room, one at a time.

Walbash stood beside her chair, observing the teens. “Alright, break time has expired. The working class gets fifteen minutes of break time in the morning and fifteen minutes in the afternoon, like fading fame. You are getting paid to work, not wander. Come and sit down, ya’ll! I got a new surprise for your five senses.”

The teens wiggled into the sofa foam matting again.

“Look up and examine the ceiling, please.” Walbash stared at each teen, pointing to the ceiling.

Gemma tossed her hair roots against the head rest and looked up to the ceiling, gasping with a whisper. “The ceiling is metal plated, not plaster.”

Lowell leaned his skull against the head rest, enjoying the comfortable angle, looking up to an excellent view. “There are a set of embedded circles on the ceiling, ma’am. Did you know that, Dr. Walbash? How did those embedded circles come to be constructed into the ceiling. The ceiling is made of metal also. I did not notice that glaring feature before…”

“Stop sucking up to the teacher, Sports coat!” Trux leaned his skull onto the head rest and looked up to the metal ceiling, staring at the circles too.

Walbash looked to each teen. “You can see an outline of numerous individual circles which are specifically and strategically spaced apart. Right now, the outline is made of metal, closed up. The numerous circles form a much bigger circle. You will see in a moment, what I am not explaining, very well. Within each circle, there is a stored machine.” She turned to her chair and pressed a button on her computer. Her chair computer controlled all the electronic features inside the room, being head of the department. She looked up to the ceiling also. “Do not exit your chair. Stay put! Just watch and close your mouth too.”

Both the teens and the other seasoned archivists were wiggling with nervousness, staring up to the ceiling.

Each metal plate slid sideways and revealed a dark opening, dumping white smoke into the room. A square shaped object slowly dropped down from the ceiling, releasing more white smoke, which covered its full physical appearance.

The archivists coughed, slapping with both their hands the harmless smoke from their eyeballs.

The squared shaped object gleamed in solid silver tones underneath the yellowish-white embedded light bulbs into the metal ceiling. The tenth floor space did not exhibit a set of viewing windows or an exit door, only a set of three television screens and a pair of two dancing elevators.

The bottom square shaped object slowly descended down to the tile floor.

The middle part of the object was squared shaped in the color of silver too. So far, the object resembled a solid piece of smooth squared metal, glittering in silver tones.

A bright light emerged from the dark opening, blinding all the human eyeballs. The archivists shaded their fingers over their eyelids, blocking out the bright light.

The object slowly lowered and revealed the top section, a rounded dome. The dome was made of transparency glass, which caused the burst of blinding light, and appeared wide, tall, and completely see-through, such like, a completed round window shield of a vehicle, with a 360 degree view.

The object landed on top of the tile, sounding with a click and securing the base in place with more rolling clouds of white smoke, sounding with a hiss.

The other archivists gasped, wiping more smoke from their smiling faces.

Lowell wiggled inside the chair, pointing to the object. “Can we stand, ma’am? Can we touch it, Dr. Walbash?”

Bickman moved to the closest object, slapping the glass with her hand, turning her smirk to the other archivists. “Touch it! We are going to fly it, ya’ll. This is a rocket. Think of it, like a miniature rocket ship, your personal rocket ship which cannot travel to the stars.”

Trux stood, turning his grin to see Victoriana. She wiggled in distress, having trouble scooting out of the thick sticky foam and wearing her designer heels, which were lounging in the foam, not moving. Trux walked to her chair and kneeled on the floor, extending his arm and winking with a smile. “Does the pretty belle need an escort?”

Victoriana gasped, turning her frown to see Trux. “Yes sir! I’m having a little bit of an issue with my shoes. The heels are having a party with the foam.” She grabbed his arm, plowing her manicured fingernails into his skin. He chuckled, feeling her lady-like claws against his manly tough skin. She said. “Okay, I’m ready. You pull while I scoot out of the chair.”

“Good plan, princess! I am slowing standing on both my knees. Now, I am slowing rising toward the ceiling. Hang on, precious! I will slowly drag your fanny from the drowning foam.” Trux rose to a full height.

The fanny of Victoriana slowly lifted from the chair as her heels pulled from the thick foam with a slurp. She swung and slammed her spiked heels on the floor. Trux cupped her manicured hands between his hands. She said, slowly standing and looking up with her smile to see him. “This belle is grateful for a gentle beau.”

Trux cuddled her into his chest, walking to the farthest rocket for study.

Lowell moved to the closest object. “A rocket!? It looks like a metal-made tin can mushroom. It has a slender squared stand, completely made of solid metal and a head exploding and expanding, like a mushroom top. Yes, it should be named a mushroom, not a rocket.” He heard the familiar girly giggling and turned his frown to see the section of chairs. Each chair was empty. He gasped, staring at Victoriana and Trux, as a cuddled couple.

“This baby will fly through the air waves at 200 miles per hour. The engine is built in the squared type body, using tea tiny metal parts and electronic chips and wires. This is a state of art secret science project where both the components and concepts come from both the military and space agency.” Walbash said, standing at her chair, staring at the circle of rockets on the floor.

Gemma moved to one of the rockets, rubbing her hands over the smooth glass. “Wow, this is absolutely amusing. We get to pilot one, leaving here in Birmingham, and then flying to the country of Sweden, traveling over the sea ocean. Wow, this is a great job. Wow, this is a great adventure. Wow, I don’t want it to end.”

Walbash said, moving to her rocket. “I have released eight individual rockets for eight individual exploring and curiosity archivists. Each rocket is the same in both design and speed. So pick one?”

Gemma said, hugging the glass. “I pick this one.”

Bickman said, clapping. “Education time on the rocket! You don’t have to see me, but hear me. The rocket contains two sections, which are bolted and screwed and soldered together. Nothing will ever separate the cylinder drive from the glass dome, unless…”

Patsie slapped Bickman on the collar bone, moving toward one of the rockets. “Do not upset the teens. And do not upset me either.” She halted, staring up to the dome. “The rocket is very safe and very well tested by still alive and breathing pilots or astronauts or fools…”

“Please continue, Bickman.” Walbash said.

Bickman cleared her throat. “The rocket’s overall dimensions are fifteen foot in height, accommodating a tall person, six feet plus, like me. The radius is eight feet wide, allowing for one person plus another upright body. A body can lie on the floor, but the floor will get slightly heated from the silent operating engines. So we don’t recommend more than one individual in the ship, unless another emergency. The rocket design was built as a single person pilot for a single person mission. The dome is completely see-through glass, made of some special secret material, known only to the US Federal Government. The dome provides a 360 degree panorama view of your flying world, which is better than a jet fighter. Inside the dome, there is a sliding stool for sitting or storing against the wall. I like flying standing up. Sissy girls, like Patsie, pilot the rock while sitting a soft fanny on top of the padded cushion.”

“Hush, children!” Walbash smirked, enjoying the cat fight. “I will explain in more detail about the pilot console and instrumentation, once we are all cozy inside the rocket cockpit. Finish, Bickman! It is late afternoon in Sweden now. There’s a seven hour difference in Zulu time between us and them.”

Gemma rubbed the glass. “The dome’s completely enclosed. I don’t see a bubbled latch or a door handle for crawling through the glass. How do we get inside?”

Bickman kicked the bottom of the rocket near the base. “The entrance door is on the bottom of the square base. Sorry, ya’ll! That wasn’t my idea. Now, hold up! Everyone, step back from the rocket ship now!” The archivists scooted back from the rocket and stared at the seasoned archivist. She laughed, waving her hand. “Sorry to scared ya! Did anyone touch the metal with your finger pads or another part of your naked skin, like an elbow or a forearm?”

Gemma gasped, back stepping further from the rocket, raising both her palms. “I touched the glass with my hands. I touched it. Is it going to explode in here, right now? Are we in danger?”

Victoriana stared at the rocket. “The metal is also sensitive to touch, like the brown tinted metal door of conference room number seven and our sleeping unit girly purple tinted door. So, that means the metal absorbs your specific DNA.”

Bickman said. “No, you’re okay, Gemma. Yeah, you’re right, Victoriana. The metal is a specific blended alloy of metal and something else, known only to the US Federal Government. However, it sucks in the first sweaty pair of finger pads, of the first sweaty human being. So the rocket cannot be stolen by another sweaty pair of hands or your best Bama buddy. Now, if ya happened to have touched the metal, accidentally, of course, then the rocket is your personal flying craft. And you will know, once you’re inside the glass cockpit. The instrumentation also has an active mind sensor too. The interior computer chip will snap and store a copy of your personal DNA, as soon as, your pair of sweaty fingers touch the metal. When your finger or fingers touch the console, the computer checks your DNA pattern against its computer memory banks, if you’re not the owner. Boom!” She laughed.

“Bickman, stop scaring the teens! I do declare. One day, I’m slamming your button hole over my leg and then whipping ya good, bad girl.” Levine turned her frown to see the female brute.

Bickman turned her smirk to see Levine, wishing for a rumble with the sissy male. “Alright!” She turned and looked to see each archivist. “Stay calm! Everyone, pick a rocket and kneel on the tile. You have to touch and rub the metal, searching for a tea tiny vertical seam. The door is rectangular shaped with three touchable seams. Once you find one of the seams, touch any part of the metal between the geometrically, faintly, visually rectangular. The computer will record and store your DNA, first. Second, the seam will pop then part, falling on the metal floor and revealing your private entrance hole. And ya gotta crawl through the ground hole then wiggle side to side to stand. There are two steps built in the metal for the sissy girls, like Pastie, to climb into the cockpit.”

Patsie stared at the rocket. “One day, I’m slamming your button hole onto the tile and then stomping your heart, until halting…”

“Hush, children!” Walbash smirked, enjoying the fight, looking to see each archivist. “Pick a rocket?” The archivists dashed to a rocket. She yelled, raising her palm. “Halt! I would like to forewarn the young gentlemen that the next surprise is colored. Yeah, I like being both sneaky and secretively with the young and adults archivists. But I am truly harmless. So one of the rockets contains a vat of pink color…”

“Pink!?” Lowell back stepped from the rocket, eyeing Walbash with both confusion and frustration of his new boss and his new job.

Trux stood in front of the glass of the rocket, not touching, but eyeing the color with curiosity.

Gemma glided around the rockets, peeking through the glass dome, and halted. “Here, over here! I found it! Inside this cockpit, there’s a square shaped tub colored in bright neon pink colors.”

Victoriana gasped, racing to the rocket. “I want it. I’ll take it. I want that one.” She shoved Gemma from the dome glass.

“I do not want it. Take it away, honey!” Trux carefully peeked through the dome, looking for a girly pastel color, not touching the glass or the metal. He saw a square tub of yellow. The tub was located on the console on the far side of the protruded steering column. “I can live with the color yellow.” He dropped on his kneecaps to the tile, touching and probing the smooth metal for a seam with both his hands.

Gemma tumbled sideways from the violent shove, turning with a lady sneer to see the back spine of her dearest friend. She exhaled with a puff of angry, slowly calming her sizzling raw nerves and moving to the next rocket. She saw a tub of bright lavender. “I like colorful.” She dropped down onto her kneecaps to the tile, rubbing the metal and searching for the secret panel with both her hands.

Lowell had selected a rocket with a tub of light blue, not being swift enough for a more manly toned color. He dropped and scooted around the hard tile, making both his knees sore, rubbing up and down the smooth metal with both his hands.

He found the seam, outlining the metal with all his fingers, tracing the edges of the rectangular around the two vertical sides and the top horizontal line.

The bottom line seam was part of the base and part of the floor.

He inched his fingers into the middle of the rectangular and pressed his finger pads onto the metal, leaving a set of sweaty criminal imprints.

The metal heated, not harming his finger pads. His touch had activated the power sensors of the rocket.

The metal quickly flashed a bright light, not harming his eyeballs. The internal computer had snapped a copy of his DNA sweaty hands. The bright flash temporarily blinded his eyesight. He shook his skull, quickly adjusting back to his normal eyeball vision.

The metal softly shook underneath his finger pads. Lowell whipped his hands away from shivering the ship, staring at the metal.

The metal sounded with a pop of white smoke and parted with a hiss, falling and landing over the base floor with a ping and emitting rolls of white clouds with a soft swish.

Lowell wiped the smoke from his face, feeling the cool air conditioning of the cockpit attack his body parts, seeing a medium sized archway, which would fit the wide girth of a fat adult pig.

The interior hole was silver tinted metal also.

Lowell crawled on both his hands and his kneecaps through the archway and wiggled up, standing and feeling claustrophobic. The cockpit floor was even with his sixth rib bone.

He jumped, squatting with a stable landing, crawling forward from the opening. He stood, turned his grin to see the pilot console. “Ah!”

Gemma stood in front of the pilot console, after locating the seam, opening the secret panel door, and wiggling up the metal shaft. She smiled. “Wow!”

The cockpit was designed in a half-circle, showing a round steering column in the middle of the console. The console was solid colored of silver without decoration, but a set of colored buttons on each side of the steering wheel. A sitting stool of polished metal stood in the curved wall, away from the pilot console.

Gemma was not sitting, feeling too much excitement with her new archivist job, so far. They were hunting for the Ring of Solomon, which had never been found. And if the team found the ring, then Gemma could be both rich and famous, getting the necessary expensive medical treatment for the cancer cells eating away at her mama.

Walbash crawled in and wiggled up the rocket opening, standing in front of the pilot console, which was her assigned rocket and imprinted with her personal DNA. She turned and looked to each young and seasoned archivist through the clear glass dome, seeing a set of anxious faces and shuffling nervous bodies. She pressed the yellow colored communication button, which activated each speaker box, inside each rocket, for each pilot to hear her commands and instructions.

Walbash said into her speaker box. “Alright, we are all inside the rocket. No time for celebrating. I’m going to run through the pilot controls and flying features with speed. It is late afternoon in Sweden compared to our bright and hot morning here.

“You will see a round steering column in the middle of the console. It is similar to a steering column on a car. And don’t ask me why. This rocket, like Bickman said, came from the military for our fun use and our funner flight. The steering column shifts left, turning the rocket to the left. Then it shifts right, turning the rocket to the right. Push the steering column forward, it will lock in place. You do not need to hold the steering column. The rocket will sail in a forward motion in that geographical direction. If you want the rocket to go backwards, then you pull the steering column into your chest in a backward direction. The backwards motion does not have an automatic lock. So you need to continue pulling backwards, in case, the rocket is backing out of situation. Does anyone have a question about the steering column?

“Good! We are moving on to the pilot console, which is colored in silver tint, matching the rest of the metal. And the metal is made from the special alloy, which has snapped and stored your DNA. You are the only pilot of the rocket. The console is semi-round with a series of protruded square shaped colored buttons. On your left side, my left side, and every left of the console, there is a green colored button. Most importantly, the green colored button means go, like when you drive a car going through a green colored traffic light. You will only press the green button for launching the rocket. The rocket is in ready mode now. When you press the green button, the computer takes over the launch and lift control maneuvers. The rocket will ascend, very fast, coming out of the shunt and pop up in the air waves, like a daisy. The computer will ensure no air space accidents, in case, all the rockets are launched, all at the same time. Because each rocket is programmed to launch and soar to a certain air space height and then move backwards from the launch shunt for safety. So when I give the word go, you press the green button, you need to hold something or sit on the floor for safety. Above your hair roots, there is a pair of sissy handholds for the girls. The guys can wing it.” She laughed, not hearing the other laughter, but saw the smiling faces of her team. “And don’t complain to me, if ya get a bump on the forehead! Does anyone have questions about the green colored button?” She chuckled, seeing the skulls shook side to side. The young and seasoned archivists were not plugged in the communication part of the pilot console yet, and Walbash planned that, on purpose.

“Good! On your right side, my right side, and every right of the console beside the steering column, there is a red colored button. Most importantly, the red button means stop, like when you stop the car at the red traffic light. This button is used to land on a semi-rough, but semi-flat surface anywhere at any time, when I say the word, land. Do not press the button during mid-flight! That is a very big no-no or boo-boo or mistake. Pick a word that your neurons can understand? You can see that the great big green button and the great big red button are located on opposite sides of the steering wheel. The purpose, you do not hit the wrong button by mistake, creating a no-no and boo-boo. Any questions on boo-boo?”

“Good! Let’s talk about flight speed. Once the steering column is pushed forward, it will click through five different flying speeds. The first click speed is 100 miles per hour, then 150 miles per hour, then 200 miles per hour, then 250 miles per hour. The maximum speed is 300 miles per hour. And if one of teens does that, then your buttonhole is mine to do with, as I please. Since your mama and daddy have signed a set of legal papers, making me, your guardian for the next three months of summertime hot days and heated nights.” The facial expressions of the teens were priceless inside each dome as Walbash softly chuckled with her amusement.

Victoriana turned her frown to see Gemma, waving both her arms back and forth, for attention.

Gemma stared at Victoriana, nodding with her silence acknowledgement.

Victoriana shook her curls, not being able to speak with Gemma by verbal communication, and wanted to remind her of the situation.

Victoriana’s parents didn’t know her whereabouts, at the moment. Actually, her parents were vacationing in the mountains, without their daughter. And her parents believed that Victoriana was staying with Gemma, after the conclusion of her last academic class, this morning. And her parents did not legally sign the permission slip form.

Since Victoriana forged her mama’s lousy signature on the legal document.

Gemma nodded and smiled, waving both her arms up and down, sticking out her tongue to Victoriana, for fun. There wasn’t a method to communicate vocally, so she was performing an old fashioned rain dance, helping Victoriana calm down.

Walbash looked at the silly antics of the teens, saying into her speaker box. “We will cruise with the drifting clouds at 200 miles per hour. This is a safe speed for the rocket and the novice pilot. Since the computer really controls the flight of the rocket. This is the purpose. We are the archivists, not the jet fighter pilots. The rocket floor is designed to carry small items and one pilot, in case, an archival discovery. What’s next? O! On the left side of the steering wheel, you will see a series of colored buttons. The green colored button means go, launch your rocket. While you fly around the clouds, if you happen to tap the green button a second time, no big deal. The green button uses a different set of engine circuits for specifically launching a rocket forward, even if your rocket is lying on its side. It will go forward, which is a very dangerous situation. So we will not test it. The rest of the colored buttons represent other functions inside the rocket. The yellow colored button is an overall communication device for talking to all the flying pilots. So go ahead and press your yellow button.”

Her speaker box cracked with loud sounds of grunts, whispers, and mumbles of each pilot inside their rocket ship. She raised both her arms and slapped them down to her legs for attention. Walbash said into her speaker box. “Okay, I’m hearing your particular whispered grunts, so are the rest of the pilots. It is a one way communication button, coming from you and broadcasting to the other pilots. The one-way yellow colored button is specifically designed to be used by you, when there is an emergency related to life or death, which ain’t happening now. So please slam it off again. My rocket has special equipment, allowing me to communication with each pilot, because I’m leader. A warning, if you happen to accidentally touch the yellow button, then everyone hears ya farting or cussing. Then you and I will be having a private conversation, after we return home to Birmingham. O! Go ahead and press the button again.

“The yellow colored light goes to a midnight black color. This is the first indication that you screwed up, buddy. Just kidding! The blue colored button is the ejection button. It is colored in blue, like the blue sky over Alabama. The rocket is designed to eject the metal cylinder. The cylinder carries all the heated electronics, which could fire and burn, during ant type of violent physically accident. Then the dome becomes the rescue pod. Watch out! The parachute of the dome is located on the bottom. During an emergency, after hitting the blue button, the dome will separate from the cylinder body and roll upside down. I will repeat slowly, roll upside down. The chute will deploy from the bottom of the metal in a pretty array of colored fabric. Then the dome will gently float down to the ground. The dome will roll side to side spider cracking, not breaking. When the dome stops rolling, ya broke the spider cracks with your boot heel or another object, and walk out. Bickman and I were allowed to test the ejection system under close supervision from the military, which was a hoot. But overall, these rockets are very safe.

“I have addressed all the big colored buttons, which are located around the steering wheel. And I wanna point out that the great big red button is, all lonely and alone, on the right side of the steering wheel. So ya do not accidentally press it, unless you are ready to land. The last set of buttons is colored pink. I can see the nasty expression coming from the teen males. Look, I didn’t pick the colors. On the far side on the left, moving away from the set of multi-colored buttons, there are two rows of smaller pink colored button, which number one to eight. So far, we only have eight rockets. I bet you can guess the function. The pink button is your private communication with one or more pilots. The private communication channel is not monitored by me or any other pilot. Our fly journeys will be relatively short, since the rocket flies 200 miles per hour. So you don’t really need to talk, but I also know that your summertime job will be both thrilling and exciting for ya. So you’ll wanna share with your pilot buddy. Okay, let’s beta test the pink buttons, if you wanna. Right now, press the number of your rocket which is located in the middle of the steering wheel. See, your number!

“Good! Now, press your personal rocket number on the pink button and then any second number for fun, since ya don’t know the rocket numbers of the other pilots. When you press the pink colored button, it will turn black, like the yellow colored communicating button. The black color indicators a valid communication link for talking with your buddy. When you press the second pink button, it blinks in the color of orange. That means the pilot is already engaged in a conversation with another pilot or pilots. The only way, you can be part of that chat, is if the receiving pilot presses your rocket number. Now, for fun, press only two buttons. One is your rocket number and then another one.”

Gemma showed two fingers, indicating the number two rocket.

Victoriana showed three fingers and slammed both the pink colored buttons number two and three, saying into her speaker box. “Gemma, ya there?”

“Yeah!” Gemma looked to see Victoriana and said into her speaker box too.

“I forged…”

“Shh, I know. We’ll get your mama to sign another form, the real one, when she comes back from the vacation. Then we’ll give it to Patsie, making up some excuse, like your parents are divorced. And only your mama can sign the form. Don’t worry about it!”

“But, I am.”

“O no! You’re afraid of flying and crashing? Then ya need to quit, right now. I wanna be here and do this. I like flying…”

“No, I’m not afraid of flying and crashing. I’m not afraid of nothing. My parents didn’t know that I’m here.”

“Ya texted them?”

“No, I texted them that I was at your house.”

“No prob! My parents are not there, either. They’re out of the country and in a foreign country of in England. You’re fine. I’m fine…”

The speaker box of Gemma sounded with a whistle.

All eyeballs looked to Walbash.

Walbash sliced her throat with her hand and pressed the yellow colored communication button with her other hand. She said into her speaker box. “Alright, I have another special button on my console panel that whistles to get your undivided attention. When you hear that whistle, you look for me on the ground. Since all the rockets are programmed to land around each other. If we are in the air, I will press the button, three times for three whistles, for an emergency. I will always be the lead rocket. Then we all will land at some hot spot for an emergency. Is that clear?

“Okay, the dome is a bubble type shield, allowing for visual sight for ten miles and then the curvature of the earth takes over. You didn’t really need a radar system, since you will be making a short air hop from Birmingham, Alabama to any other outside city, like Uppsala, Sweden, today. However, the military provided a radar system for tracking any other flying objects in front of the dome or up its tail pipe. So running across the console counter, there is a built-in glass panel. You can’t miss it. It is the only other glittering material on the console. It is really a radar system. It will become brightly illuminated and activated, once we are in the air. Right now, we are not flying. So it’s dead. We’re almost ready to leave the cozy auditorium for free flight. You have heard my words clearly that I did not use the other short two-letter word. Now, I’m taking questions. Please press the yellow button, if you have a question. I will address for everyone’s eardrums.”

Lowell slapped his yellow colored communication button, smiling and saying with a nod into his speaker box to Walbash. “I am very delighted and grateful to be one of…”

Trux slapped his yellow button and looked to see Lowell, saying into his speaker box. “Stop sucking up to the teacher, Sports coat!”

Lowell turned with a sneer to see Trux, clearing his throat, and turned his smile to see Walbash. He said into his speaker box. “After your thorough explanation of both flight speed and computer technology, what is the point of having a steering wheel for guidance? Or, more importantly, what is point of an individual rocket ship? To me, it would have made more sense to build a large space craft, holding ten to twelve archivists.”

“For fun, Sports coat!” Trux said into his speaker box, looking down and memorizing all the colored buttons for an emergency.

Bickman turned her grin to see Lowell and Trux, slapping her yellow colored communication button, saying into her speaker box. “You are both right, Lowell and Trux. We could’ve gotten a great big aircraft. But, this is so much more fun, for me,” laughing.

Victoriana outlined the embedded square shaped tub of paint with her finger. The liquid glistened in pretty pink colors with sparkling silver highlights. She was happy, selecting this particular rocket. However, she wondered about the usage of pink colored paint inside the rocket cockpit. If the paint spilled over the console, it would fry the electronics.

Walbash said into her speaker box. “The rocket is a machine, flying in one direction. If there is a tall obstacle in the way of the flight path, then the rocket will not veer around it. The metal and solar technology is brand new and secretive. The thrust, auto-pilot, and speed capabilities are some old school science stuff, which is currently used on both modern day fighter jets and commercial airplanes. So we had to dump lots of the complex and complicated computer systems. One, being the smart computer app, it exists on the modern day car that can parallel park its metal body onto the sidewalk by talking computer, not using a pair of human hands. So our pilot has to drive our rocket around the city block and then find a spot for parking.”

Bickman said into her speaker box. “We will be flying at a height of 4,000 feet. We will be avoiding the low flying rescue and service helicopters, traveling around the city air space. They fly around 1,000 feet and no more than 2,000 feet in air space height, which is set by the Federal Aviation agency. The big airplanes fly at 10,000 feet and above. We don’t dare take the rocket ship that high for any reason, but an emergency. Honestly, if the mini rocket goes that high then…”

Gemma slapped her yellow colored communication button and said into her speaker box, raising both her arms. “Okay, I understand that the computer controls the flight schedule, the speed, the height. However, I’m a little worried, Walbash. As we fly around the city, there are some structures that are very, very high. I see the usage of a steering wheel going around them. But I also see each rocket will fly at varied height and speeds. Thus, we…I could become lost or messed up with my flight path. I’m not a pilot. I’m a car driver. Uh? I don’t know if there’s question here. But I’m confused.”

Walbash said into her speaker box. “Yes, there is. And I have the answer you are seeking. We are going to follow the very height and very wide Appalachian Mountain Range. The range starts its tippy pinky toe here in Birmingham and then soars up and down the American eastern landscape, until it reaches the tip of Maine. Then we slip off the USA land and follow the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean. Then we will buzz across the entire continuant of Greenland, turn south, heading toward the country of Sweden.”

Trux said with a sour frown into his speaker box, “That’ll take hours.”

Walbash laughed into her speaker box. “Not at 200 miles per hours, if I have correctly input the information in the computer, which I did. The air travel mileage to Uppsala, Sweden is 4,701 miles. At 200 miles per hour, we will arrive in 24 minutes and three seconds.”

“What type of jet fuel does the rocket use? Are we going to flame into an arc and then die, like a hero?” Trux laughed into his speaker box.

“Ya wish upon a star, cowboy!” Lowell laughed into his speaker box too.

Bickman said into her speaker box. “The fuel is not nitrogen or even in a chemical liquid state. It is solar rays, coming directly down from the sunshine, every day, starting at sunrise until sunset. The cozy cylinder is made from a special alloy, which also absorbs the sweat from your DNA. So the same alloy also captures and then absorbs all the available sunshine rays, even during a heavy rainstorm. The sun never goes asleep. Yeah, a secret kept by the US Federal Government. When Walbash was talking about a fire in the engine room, she was referencing the mechanics, which store the sunshine rays and then convert it into gaseous energy. Metal is metal. And metal will corrode and then rust. The mechanical parts are monitored and inspected every second of the solar day by the internal computer. I visually inspect all the working mechanics, before we launch for any air voyage. Like this morning, all of you were interviewing for the four new archivist positions, and I was inspecting the rockets. The rocket is ready to roll. So…”

She slapped her yellow colored communication button and yelled into her speaker box. “Help!” Victoriana screamed again, yanking on her arm. “I’m stuck. My fingers are stuck in the pink goo. I…I can’t get them out. The pink goo is climbing over more of my fingers. It…it clings and climbs over my wrist bone now. Help! Someone help me! I’m suffocating. I’m going to die. Please help me!” She yanked on her arm, which wasn’t moving from the tub of pink goo.

Lowell turned his frown to see Victoriana inside her rocket, saying with a puzzled frown into the speaker box. “Hmm, it looks, like slime, rather than goo.”

“It’s harmless pink slime.” Trux said with a smile into his speaker box and back stepped from the pilot console, going to help the cute teen girl. Then she could thank him tonight. “Don’t worry, honey! I’m coming over for the rescue. Stay calm, precious!”

She said into her speaker box. “Stay put, Trux! Don’t get out of your rocket.” Walbash turned her sour frown to see the young archivist. “Victoriana, first off, I’m going to reprimand you for interfering with my technical lesson. Second off, I’m going to congratulate you for being bold enough to experiment with the pink slime, first. Third off, I’m ordering you to keep your fingers in the tiny square tub,” laughing.

“It…it’s crawling up and over my forearm, now.” Victoriana yelled into her speaker box and sobbed with tears of fright, yanking on her hand. Her hand was stuck in the pink paint, not moving. “The pink slime has covered my four fingers, thumb, wrist bone. And, now, it is climbing up my forearm, my elbow. Someone help me, please! I can’t shake it off.” She screamed, twisting her arm side to side inside the pink goo.

Walbash chuckled into her speaker box. “Please continue to narrate to the other archivists, Victoriana.”

She wiped the tears and yelled into her speaker box. “It…it is crawling over my upper arm to my collar bone. I…I wear a sleeveless silk blouse.” She gasped. “If the pink slime reaches my silk designer blouse, it will ruin the fabric. I don’t have any more clothes…”

Patsie dropped her mouth, slapped her yellow colored communication button, and said into her speaker box to Victoriana. “What!? What does that statement mean? I thought…”

Victoriana gasped, turning her tears to see Patsie through the clear dome. She was actually illegally committed to the cool summer intern archivist program. She forged her mama’s signature on the legal document, after the interviewing process, and handed it to Patsie. However, she loved being here. She loved being part of this fun and magical world. And she was fitting in with the other young and seasoned archivists. She didn’t want to be kicked out. She swallowed the bile from her tight throat and said into her speaker box. “I…I mean I don’t have…own…possess another sleeveless silk blouse, ma’am. Please, please remove the pink slime from my hand, arm. Or…or tell me the antidote or spell or something to get it off my arm, ma’am.”

Patsie said into her speaker box. “I am afraid there is no antidote or spell or something that I can do or speak or provide. You will just have to see what else the pink slime does to your body.”

Victoriana gasped with the teens. The other teens watched with both concern and worry, and as the pink slime swiftly crawled up the naked arm of Victoriana. She sobbed with tears, yanking on her arm, not understanding the mean behavior of Patsie.

Walbash chuckled into her speaker box. “Tell us what are you feeling or experiencing, now, Victoriana? Where is the pink slime located on your body?”

Victoriana exhaled with a puff, wiping the tears of worry, and said into her speaker box. “It…it is on my collar bone. I…I feel warmth, no heat or cold. The pink slime is soft and warm like a blanket. The pink slime is not burning or stinging my naked skin tissue either. It…it feels nice and cozy. My arm is not covered in a sleeve. Now, the pink slime is…” She gasped, staring at the crawling pink slime, not stopping at the fabric of her clothing, saying into her speaker box. “It jumped from my naked arm and onto my silk blouse. O no! The pink slime is eating my designer blouse. Please, Walbash! Please help me!”

Walbash laughed into her speaker box. “Okay! Alright! Fight! I mean…I have tormented you and your body enough. The pink slime is not eating your blouse or your fingers or your skin tissue. The pink slime is liquid body armor, the hottest invention from the space agency. The US Federal Government is allowing the Department of Research, Art, and Magic to be the lab rats on any and all new products, like the mini rocket. This is another innovative product. Now, please calm down, Victorian. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply. The pink slime will not harm you. And the pink slime doesn’t have feelings or emotions. It is doing its primary job, spreading over your body, one body part at a time. It is designed similar to a growing flowering vine that covers the exterior walls of my grandmother’s house. The pink slime will attach to any exposed naked body part be it a finger or a toe or an elbow or a nose tip. You started the process, prematurely, by placing your naked finger into the pretty sparkling goo. I should know. When we tested with the space agency folks, they left me and Bickman in a room by ourselves too. We found the pans of glittering sorta black colored paint intriguing too. Then we dunked our hand in the pan. Yeah, boy! We did what you did. However, the space agency folks let us suffer through the entire process as they laughed at us behind the hidden camera. The US Federal Government is evil too. Then they entered the room and explained the purpose of the slime. Are you a little calmer, Victoriana?”

“Yes ma’am!” Victoriana said with a calm voice into her speaker box with her eyelashes closed, but felt the pink slime crawl over her body. “I feel much better, after your explanation, ma’am.”

“Good!” Walbash said into her speaker box. “Please open your eyes. Wait! Don’t open your eyeballs. Now, I can see your body in glowing pink colors. But tell the other archivists where the pink slime has covered your body?”

Victoriana exhaled with a puff, concentrating on the warmth, not the scary slime, and said into her speaker box. “Well I feel some nice warmth on my collar bone, and on my neck, and on my rib cage. How is that possible, ma’am?”

Walbash laughed into her speaker box. “Open your eyes. You’re going to be absolutely stunned.”

She stared at her body and saying into her speaker box. “The pink slime has covered both my arms, including my finger bones and nails and pads. I look…like I am wearing a pair of pretty pink gloves. It has covered my throat, going all around the back of my neck. And it has covered my entire chest and my shoulder blades. I feel it traveling…tickling down my back spine to the rear of my body. And it has covered my entire rib cage.” She giggled. “I look like I am wearing pink body armor. Now, it is crawling over my belly button and abdomen…”

“And it will not stop either.” Walbash looked at each archivist, saying into her speaker box. “The pink slime or your individual colored slime is located inside the embedded square shaped tub on top of your pilot console inside your individual rocket. It will completely cover a human body and all the clothing, except for the skull, hair follicles, hair strands, eye hole, nose holes, earlobes, and facial tissue. So the slime stops at the top of your throat. Have ya ever heard of a mud bath? Slime is made of both mud and nano-mites. The nano-mites are tiny and harmless. The mud comes from Alabama. So you’re getting an expensive mud bath in color. Okay, that was fun for me and torture for you. Victoriana, when I look at you through the clear dome, I see that the slime has covered you in glittering pink color around your neck, both arms, upper body. But I can’t see any more of your body. Please tell the stunned and scared archivists, where the pink slime is now?”

Victoriana smiled, watching the slime cover her body, saying into her speaker box. “Well it is not stinging or burning. Now, since I’m brave and bold. The slime is kinda tingling and tickling my naked skin tissue. And it has fully covered my silk blouse, making the fabric look like a second skin. The slime is air tight on both my clothes and my skin. I don’t see any tiny air bubbles or any exposed pink fabric from my blouse. The pink slime has covered my walking shorts completely too. Now, the slime is crawling down my both legs, at the same time and the rate of speed. I feel the slime tickling my kneecaps and my shin bones. Now, it’s fast. The slime has reached my ankle bones, at the same time too. It is walking over the leather straps of my sandals then my arches, then my toe bones and stopped, before hitting the metal floor. Now, I am completely covered in glowing and sparkling pink slime. And I feel the warmth of the mud. And it doesn’t feel heavy, like wearing a blanket over your body, during the wintertime cold, either. I am walking backwards from the pilot console, with ease. Now, I’m dancing side to side, shaking my hips, with ease too. Now, I’m jumping up and down on the floor, flapping my pink arms, with ease also. This stuff is incredibly light weight. I don’t feel like I’m wearing armor.”

Walbash said into her speaker box. “Excellent demonstration of boldness, braveness, and mischievousness!”

“Cuteness!” Trux turned his smile to see Victoriana and said into his speaker box. “I like your dance moves, Victoriana.”

Lowell turned with a sneer to see Trux. They had a gentlemanly agreement and a sporting competition inside the BOY’S BATHROOM, which Lowell won both fair and square. He was going to ask Victoriana to dinner, tonight, after the job work tasks were completed.

Victoriana turned her smile to see Trux, dancing and showing off her new pink body.

Bickman turned with a lady sneer to see Trux and Lowell, saying into her speaker box. “Tune down the testosterone, boys.” She had warned Walbash about inviting and mixing the opposite sexes, especially involving roaming teen hormones, during the summer internship program. But she was overruled by her boss lady.

Walbash said into the speaker box. “Victoriana has passed the test. Now, each archivist…”

Lowell turned his frown to see his boss and said into the speaker box. “Ma’am, Dr. Walbash, I really must complain…”

“Don’t suck up to the teacher, Sports coat!” Trux said into his speaker box and held his hand over the embedded tub of yellow colored slime on top of his pilot console, getting ready to turn into a tall yellow chicken. He liked the color yellow, not realizing, it was some type of new sophisticated body armor. Now, for the day, he would be yellow colored. Tomorrow, he would ask Bickman, if he could replace the yellow slime for a manly color like blue.

Walbash said into her speaker box. “This is the fun or funny part of our space flight. The slime has two purposes. One, it is a liquid body suit with very extreme protection. I mean, the slime can’t stop a flying bullet or a soaring knife blade. You will cut and bleed, wearing the slime suit, if you encounter those particular deadly objects, which we will not, being simple boring archivists. And the military got the thicker and bestest slime tubes for that specific goal. The second purpose is a new type of flight suit, which we are trying out and testing for the space agency. The slime protects your fragile human body during the high atmospheric flying. We are soaring at 4,000 feet. The air is thinner. The sun is brighter. The domes are not tinted either. So your slime suit will allow you to breathe steady and easy, rather than a bulky jumpsuit and the associated jet fighter flight apparatuses, such like, a helmet, an oxygen tank, a mask, and a pair of gloves. And the slime comes in all kinds of kiddie colors. The space agency has some fun with that one, too, creating all the different neon and rich colors. Then they gave the tubs to the big bad military guys and gals. It was not funny to them. The military refused to test and use the colored slime tubs. So we got them for our abuse and your humiliation. This is an order, being the leader. Everyone dunk a finger in your slime tub now.” Walbash dropped her naked finger in the tub, seeing that the slime clung to her finger and covered her naked throat down to her sandals in the color of bright neon green.

Patsie glistened in the color of silver.

Bickman was glowing in the color of neon orange.

Trux was shining in the color of yellow.

Gemma was glamorous in the color of lavender.

Lowell was gleaming in the color of light blue.

Levine glittered in the color of red.

Walbash waved her green slime colored arm and said into her speaker box. “We all look like a bunch of visiting outer space aliens.”

Trux stared at his arms, chest, legs, and boot toes, all painted in bright neon yellow, enjoying the new summer internship and getting paid too. After the internship job was finished, he would buy a used car and save the rest of his money, attending college, helping out his parents with the financial debt.

Lowell was a snobby prude, but correct.

Trux lived and worked with his parents on his family farm, not being able to attend college, after high school graduation. He had decided to work the farm life, until he received this wonderful blessing.

Trux couldn’t see his face, but he studied the naked faces of each archivist, snapping the fingers, slapping the yellow colored communication button. He said into his speaker box. “We just need a set of war paint on our naked face to complete the warrior outfit.”

Bickman dropped her mouth, staring at Trux, saying into her speaker box. “Yeah, some war paint!”

Walbash said into her speaker box, ignoring the silly archivists. “Listen up! Your rocket number is located in the middle of the steering wheel, a shimmery silver colored metal plate. Now, on the extreme left corner of your number, there is a tiny purple button. Press it!”

“I’m afraid, too. What’s the next beast to fly out of the console, Walbash?” Gemma said into her speaker box, wearing a lavender body suit, looking like an alien and about to fly an alien space ship, too. She stared at the purple colored button, slowly reaching with her purple slime colored finger, and pressed the button.

A tiny drawer opened, revealing a pair of lavender colored framed sunglasses with two black tinted eye pieces.

She smiled and placed the sunglasses over her eyeballs, seeing the room in midnight black colors, saying into her speaker box. “The room is very, very pit black dark.” She jerked her hand in front of the sunglasses. “And I can’t see my hand either.”

Walbash wore a pair of neon green colored frames sunglasses with two black tinted eye pieces and said into her speaker box. “Yes. The room is very, very dark, almost midnight black. Each frame is color coded to match your slime suit. The black eye pieces are specially designed to protect your eyeballs from the harsh sunlight, any and all invisible ultraviolet rays, and yadda, yadda. Just wear them! And they’re cool. Ya’ll gotta look at each other. So after wasting ten minutes of slime lessons, we are…”

Trux wobbled side to side, staring at Walbash. “Uh! Can I go to the bathroom, ma’am? And if I go to the bathroom, can I paint my face, Walbash?” Walbash raised both her green slime colored palms in defeat, nodding in silence. Trux turned his smile to see pink slime colored Victoriana. “Hey, Victoriana! Do ya got some cosmetic makeup in your purse that I could borrow for a few minutes? I wanna paint up my face like a silly warrior to match my silly flight suit.”

Victoriana turned her smile to see Trux. “Well I do not have my purse. I left my designer handbag inside my sleeping unit and my makeup kit is located in my sleeping unit on the ninth floor too. But…”

“I got mine.” Gemma bounced up and down, turning her smile to see the hair roots of Trux. “Let’s go, Trux! We can use my makeup and paint up our faces in different bold colors, contrasting the silly kiddie colors on our slime suits.” She went to the opening on the floor. The pit door wasn’t closed. She jumped in and crawled out the rocket hole, exiting into the auditorium room, being surrounded by the steaming white harmless smoke from the other rocket ships. The oxygen molecules hit her lavender colored slime suit.

Gemma stood and screamed, slapping both her hands over her body.

Walbash slapped off the yellow colored communication button, deactivating all internal sound inside each rocket cockpit, watching the activity.

All the other archivists moved to the dome, smearing the glass with their slime covered finger pads, dropping their mouths to Gemma, not hearing her vocal screams.

The lavender colored slime suit on Gemma was disintegrating off her body and her clothing.

Walbash laughed, slapping a brown colored button on her pilot console, which activated an external communication speaker box on each rocket, allowing external communication with each pilot too.

Gemma yelled, slamming both her hands around her body and into the air at the flying lavender ashes. “It…it’s gone. My pretty lavender slime suit is…is melting away from my hands, arms, legs, clothes. I can see the tiny snowflakes of lavender colors. They drift in the air then sizzle, then disappear.”

Walbash laughed into both of the external and internal speaker boxes inside her rocket cockpit. “Surprise, Gemma! You, teens are so much fun to embarrass. The flaw, ya’ll! When the slime material hits a massive mixture of oxygen, it evaporates. The space agency folks designed the slime for outer space. There ain’t no oxygen components up there. But, here on Earth, the slime is only good inside the mini-rocket. The breathing air mixture is part oxygen, part hydrogen, and other parts of chemical something else for us to fly at high attitudes, protecting our human fragile bodies. As soon as, you exit the rocket, your slime suit will melt away. When you enter the rocket, just press your finger back into the slime tub. You will crawl and create a new slime suit. So are ya still going to decorate your naked face, using female makeup products, Trux?”

Trux said with a sour frown into both of the external and internal speaker boxes inside his rocket cockpit. “Well are we going to be seen by the Swedish peoples in public? That might alter my decision, wearing the girly makeup.”

Bickman said with a smile into both of the external and internal speaker boxes inside her rocket cockpit. “Naw! Lowell told ya. This is the birthday party for the country of Sweden. Everyones at the big firework display and celebration parties inside the cities. We’re flying and landing on a park of stone and grass. Nobody will be there, but the fluttering butterflies.”

Trux smiled and clapped, saying into both of the speaker boxes. “Yeehaw, I still wanna paint my face. Can I go, Walbash?” Walbash flung her green slime colored hand for dismissal. Trux went to the open pit, jumping and crawling out the rocket hole, and stood. The yellow colored slime suit immediately evaporated and separated, drifting from his hands and his arms, first. The tiny flakes floated in a group of yellow colors and then sizzled into nothingness. Trux watched the new invention fade away.

Walbash watched the fading yellow colored flakes too and said into both of the speakers boxes. “The oxygen actually kills the nano-mites, turning them into a set of tea tiny non-poisonous molecules and then the air current sweeps it away. In the wall corner, there’s an intake fan, which sucks out the slime particles from of the auditorium room, for our protection. This room is enclosed, without a viewing window or an exit doors other than the elevator…”

“In case of emergency….” Bickman said into both of the speaker boxes, trying to scare both the young and seasoned archivists.

Gemma slapped Trux on the arm, turning and jogging to the elevator. “Let’s go, Trux. I got lots of fun bold makeup colors. We can have some fun. And I can paint your face, if ya want,” flirting with the cute teen.

Trux ran beside her. “Yeah. What colors will go best with chick yellow, Gemma? What da ya think, honey? I want your true girly opinion here.”

They ran into the carriage, sliding in the wall, grabbing the side bar.

The elevator doors closed.

Bickman said into both of the speaker boxes, looking and cocking her chin to Walbash. “I wanna paint my silly warrior face, too. Can I go, boss lady?”

Walbash said with a sour frown to her seasoned archivist into both of the speaker boxes. “Bickman!?”

“Please! It’ll be fun.”

Walbash laughed into both of the speaker boxes, waving her green slime colored hand in dismissal too. “Go. Hurry up. We gotta see the stones during the daylight in Sweden, thou.”

Bickman went to the pit hole and shouted into both of the speaker boxes. “Thanks, boss lady!” She jumped in and wiggled carefully down through the opening, being taller and wider than the teens.

“Boss lady!?” Patsie said into both of the speaker boxes, staring at Walbash, batting her eyelashes, for fun.

Walbash said into both of the speaker boxes and stared at Patsie, flinging her green slime colored arm in dismissal also. “Go on! Everyone, go and get painted with girly makeup, if ya wanna. But, hurry back, we need to fly.”

Patsie went to the pit, jumping in and crawling out through the rocket hole.

Bickman stood, watching her orange colored slime suit melt into the slime molecules and then evaporate in the air.

Patsie stood with Levine. Their individual slime suits started, separating from their bodies too. Patsie turned and moved to the second elevator, with the set of open doors. The enclosed auditorium did not have a set of fire escape steps for some strange reason. She yelled with a giggle. “Come on, Bickman and Levine! We can go to my sleeping unit and get painted there.”

The elevator doors closed.

Chapter Six

 

10:28 A.M.

Ninth Floor

Girls’ Sleeping Unit

 

The elevator doors opened.

Gemma said, running with Trux down the end of the hall. “Do ya wanna sideways stripped tiger face or a vertical stripped tiger face?”

Trux said. “I wanna sideways stripped mean tiger face.”

“Okay, since, you’re dressed in bright neon chick yellow, I’d suggest using more muted color tones, like a strip of golden brown and then a strip of bold black. If I use too many funky bold and bright colors, then ya’ll look like a real circus clown, in case, the fluttering butterflies got some flying bee company.”

“That’s a very good point.”

Gemma stopped at the closed door, raising her hand to touch the metal, and halted. She turned her frown to see Trux, saying. “Uh, you really shouldn’t come inside our sleeping unit. This is the girl’s level. I don’t know if the hallway is monitored, but…”

He back stepped from the metal door, shaking both his hands and his skull. “Yeah, yeah, I’ll wait out here for ya, Gemma. You go and get the makeup case. You can paint me out here in the hallway. It’s for fun and games anyway. Go on!”

She turned to the door, pressing her five finger pads on the metal.

The door opened.

She entered.

The door closed.

Gemma dashed to the bathroom, grabbing her travel makeup bag, running back to the door.

The door opened from inside interior room, without pressing a finger pad to the metal.

She ran out the door, jogging to Trux.

Trux stood and touched the artwork on the wall. “I must’ve missed something on the website of the Birmingham Science and Art Center. The eighth level, Lowell and I are staying inside the walls are painted in white colors too. However, the art galley shows bold and dark colors of dinosaurs, elephants, tigers, eagles, space ships, race cars. Now, I see the girls’ level is painted in pretty pinks and purples, showing dolls, teapots, dresses, crowns, flowers.”

She stopped at his nose profile, sitting and crossing her legs. “Sit down, Trux! I can paint your face better, when you’re not talking or standing.”

“O okay.” He slid down to the floor, crossing his legs, facing her with a serious frown.

She opened the makeup kit, selecting two brushes and two makeup tubes, smearing black color on one of the brushes. She lifted the brush and painted his naked skin. “Ya didn’t miss anything on the website. The eighth and ninth floors are really built for little kids, who visit and spend the night here during summer camp. I came here, a long time ago. I mean the artwork is newer. They must repaint the rooms and hallways during the springtime, when all the kids are in school. The summer camp is not expected to start for another week. That’s why the building is empty of kids and personnel. I bet we’re the only ones inside the entire building. The artwork is designed for little kids, not teens, like us. The teens are used as helpers with the little kids. I did that one summer, being a helper.” She jerked the brush from his face. “Okay, I finished the sideways rows of black. And it looks good, darling!”

Trux smiled. “Really! So we are all alone, here, inside the building. And we get to spend the night all alone, here, inside the building. And we got the entire floor all alone, here, inside the building…”

“Yeah, we’re all alone inside the building. Are ya scared of ghosts, Trux?” She chuckled.

“Maybe!” He laughed.

She smeared on the gold makeup and held the new brush to his face. “This brush contains a muted brown color, which is going to look like gold. Hold still!” She brushed numerous sideways rows of gold between the black stripes, pulling back with a nod. “Okay, I’m done. You look like a baddie tiger of the concrete jungle.”

“I do. I wanna see my face, before we fly the rocket space. There’s no mirror in the ship. Hey, is this stuff going to come off?” He stood, looking down at her hair roots.

She searched for a new brush and a set of colors for her face. “Yes, I promise.”

“Okay!” He turned to see the girls’ public bathroom, running down the hallway.

Gemma smiled, selecting the colors for her face, not wanting a tiger face or a warrior face or a silly clown face. She selected the color of dark blue and mixed it with the color of gray, which would be a muted blue with a touch of shimmery gray highlights. She lifted the tiny mirror to the side and brushed the color over the eyebrow, first.

Trux turned the corner, entering the bathroom, stopping at the mirror, and laughed. Gemma did a good job with his facial makeup. A short black sideways line started at the top of his earlobe and went across his forehead. Then a long golden sideways line started at the middle of his earlobe, going across both his eyelids and one eyebrow. Then a longer black sideways line started at the bottom of his earlobe, going across his nose tip to the middle of his other earlobe. A longer black sideways line started at his lower jaw line, going across the top of his lips to the bottom of his other earlobe. Then a short golden sideways line ran across his chin.

Trux gently touched the short black line on his forehead with his finger and smeared it, examining the finger. “Yeah, the girly makeup does come off.” He washed and dried his hands, leaving the water running. He ripped a paper towel from the bin and soaked it over the warm running water. He wiped his face with the wet paper towel and removed the towel, seeing his face naked and clean again.

Trux left the bathroom, jogging back to Gemma.

Gemma finished her face, lifting the mirror, examining her face. Her eyelashes met Trux. He stood over her hair roots. She gasped. “What? What’da ya do? Why’da ya do that? You removed my paint job.”

He slid down the floor and leaned into her face. “I wanted to smell your perfume again. What’s your face painted as?”

She blushed with innocence of the cute boy and his cute remark. “Silly, boy, thank you.” She looked for his black and gold brushes and found them, holding the two brushes to his face. “Let me paint ya up, again! Then we gotta go back, before Walbash leaves us for Sweden.” She hurriedly drew the numerous rows of sideways black and alternating lines, remembering the first time. “I’m a blue cat. I used the dark blue and muted the color down to a dull aqua blue, like a blue Prussian cat. I drew a pointy ear over each eyebrow. Then I drew three horizontal lines for my whiskers. Then I painted my nose tip.”

“Meow!” He whispered, not disturbing her painting.

She smiled and pulled back, admiring her work. “All done, again. You’re a tiger, again.”

“And my tiger just loves your cute kitty cat.” He stood, extending his hand.

She dropped the makeup brushes onto the floor and stared at them, turning her smile to see Trux, grabbing his extended hand. “I’ll leave the makeup case out here. No one or ghost should touch it, since we’re the only ones inside the building.”

He helped her to stand. “Yeah, we’re the only ones inside the building.” He leaned into her nose. “Race ya?” He released her hand, turning and running down the hallway.

She gasped, running after Trux.

He frowned, arriving at the elevator, surveying an open carriage

Gemma pulled up beside him, panting for breathes, surveying an empty elevator too. “What’s wrong? Get inside! We need to get to our rocket ships, before Walbash fires us from our good paying jobs and our outrageous fun work.” She moved inside the carriage, placing both hands on the side bar for the movement of the dancing elevator.

He moved inside the carriage, turning to the front of the elevator, and punched the button. He grabbed the ceiling handholds for the upcoming violent jolt of the elevator. “When I got here, the elevator door was open, like someone got off or something. Why was the door open?”

The doors closed.

The elevator violently shifted to the side with a halt and then slowly ascended up to the tenth floor. The girls’ sleeping unit was located on the ninth floor.

Gemma screamed for fun and bounced side to side from the jolt, releasing the side bar and dancing to the musical song over the speaker box. “It was built, like that. It’s a safety feature. And that was on the website too. Remember? The summer camp is for little kids with no fear and no brains. The elevator halts at the designated level, vomiting out the kids and leaves the door open. So a kid inside one of the below exhibition can’t escape and then call an elevator for freedom.”

Trux released the handles, dancing around Gemma with the music. “But the open closes, after entering. The kid came walk inside and go anyway around the building.”

She danced, pointing to the control panel. “No. The door closed, after you punched the button. See, how high the elevator buttons are? They’re positioned for an adult or a tall teen. However, a tall elementary kid could touch the button, but not likely. The summer camp is very well supervised. When the elevator doors are closed, someone else has left the level, alerting the teen, there’s a wayward kid loose.”

“Okay!” Trux laughed, twisting his hips, bumping her thighs.

The elevators doors opened.

 

10:34 A.M.

Tenth Floor

Traveling Exhibition

 

Trux and Gemma ran out carriage toward the steaming rockets.

Her voice echoed inside the auditorium from the external speaker box inside her rocket. Walbash leaned into the glass, staring at the two teens with a grin. “Okay. What animals did ya paint on your faces? Let us see. Stand in the middle, circle around the floor. Now, the new rule is one of the non-painted archivists has to guess your animal print or ya can’t go on the trip.” She laughed.

“What!?” Gemma gasped, turning her frown to see Victoriana inside the rocket ship. “What am I, Victoriana?”

Victoriana smiled and leaned over her console, wearing her pink sunglasses, tilting her chin, not seeing anything, but darkness. She said into both of the external and internal speaker boxes inside her rocket cockpit. “Well, ya kinda…”

Gemma stomped the boot heel and frowned her pretty cat face. “Take off the sunglasses, Victoriana!”

“She’s a cat. I know. She loves cats. She always paints her ugly face as a cat, every time.” Victoriana said into both of the speaker boxes and danced inside her rocket, wearing her pink slime suit. She did not leave her rocket, evaporating her slime suit or painting on a silly animal face.

Walbash flung her green slime colored hand for approval, saying into both the speaker boxes. “Gemma passed. Get in your rocket! Lowell, guess the animal on the face of Trux?”

Trux slowing turned his frown to see Lowell.

Lowell narrowed his eyelids inside the black colored eyepieces, not seeing anything, but darkness, also, saying into both of the external and internal speaker boxes inside his rocket cockpit for both his enjoyment and Trux’s annoyance. “Hmm, the ugly face of Trux kinda looks, like an animal of the wild…”

“Stop sucking up to the teacher, Sports coat!” Trux said with a sneer and crossed his biceps, wishing he could crawl inside with Lowell for a few minutes of swift hand violence fun. “Answer the question, Lowell, now?”

The doors of the second elevator opened.

Patsie led Bickman and Levine out the carriage with an excited strut of a treasure hunt, and they surrounded Trux.

Patsie touched his shoulder, wearing a single pink colored tulip painted on one side of her face, the shaved hair side. Her straight black hair covered the other side of her pale colored face, which never showed her other earlobe or her other eyeball. The pink solid tulip bulb started at her forehead, trailing down and attached to a green colored twisted stem at her eye socket. The green colored stem wiggled side to side, going down underneath her jaw.

Bickman had bright colored lines running up, down, and across her face. There were a set of red colored vertical lines painted across her forehead. Alternating green and yellow colored sideway shaped lines were painted on both sides of her cheekbones. The lines started at the cheekbones, going down to her nose holes. There was row of horizontal blue colored painted lines coming down from her lips and disappeared underneath her chin.

Levine painted a series of circles in bright orange color. The orange circles started at the edge of his face, going around and around and ended at his nose tip, like a bull’s eye.

Patsie said with a smile, looking to each funny face-painted teen. “Awe, so cute, Trux is a tiger and Gemma is a cat.”

Walbash said into both of the speaker boxes. “The children are ready. Everyone, get into your rocket and get suited up in your slime color again, while I explain the VIP instructions.”

The other archivists dropped down to the tile, crawled over the metal floor, and wiggled up into their individual rocket cockpits, sticking a naked finger into the tub of slime, repainting on their individual slime suits.

Walbash slapped off the brown colored button, saying into her internal speaker box. “And if someone messes up my very important personal instructions, then someone is fired immediately. I have the authority to do that. When I say, go, you press the green button. The rocket will ascend and hover in the air, not near this building, either. The computer has designated a specific holding spot for each rocket in the air waves above Birmingham. Your rocket will launch precisely 4,000 feet and hold a vertical position of 2,000 feet from the nearest rocket. Each rocket will fly at 2,000 feet horizontally, not holding.” She chuckled. “The 2,000 feet is the horizontal distance between you and the other rocket for safety and survival. You are not to touch any of the buttons, until I command it. After I launch and hold in the air waves and survey the weather, the winds, and the windows of your domes, then I will say, fly. You will press the number in the middle of the steering wheel. It will click. The click means you push the wheel forward to the third slot, which is represented as 200 miles per hour. I, and your sideways buddy, and your rear buddy will feel know it if you screw it, then you’re fired also.

“Just kidding! We will fly forward one row at a time. After we launch and hold, there will be five distinct flying horizontal rows, not a v-shaped pattern like birds or a u-shaped pattern like a set of fighter jets. I will be in the first row, being leader. Gemma and Victoriana will launch and hold in the second row. Levine and Bickman will occupy the third row. Lowell and Trux are in the fourth row. And Patsie comes up the rear. After I give the word, fly, I slap my number and click the wheel in the third position. It locks. My rocket will soar ahead at 200 miles per hours. Caution here! Once you tap the number and click the wheel in the third position, hold the steering wheel. Actually, you should hug and wrap your arms and your body around the steering wheel. The rocket is named appropriately. It will rocket straight ahead in the clear skies without hesitation and is programmed by me and the internal computer to sail through the blue sky from Birmingham, Alabama to Uppsala, Sweden, now, today. You don’t have to do anything, but enjoy the ride.

“And don’t worry about any other flying objects. The radar will detect an object five miles out. Then we’ll buzz around with ease, using the steering wheel. The interior computer will not allow your rocket to wobble side to side at that high speed, either. I am fly first and ahead at 200 miles per hour, being the leader. Then I will verbally command for Gemma and Victoriana to slap their rocket numbers. Do ya get the pattern? So we will soar like a group of eagles in the white clouds, going over the city streets, not with the squawking birds toward Sweden. Don’t worry! I will repeat these instructions, again, before we engage in flight. Summary form, hit the green button for go, not the red button for land.

“Wear your pretty colored sunglasses! You will be exposing your face to the brightest rays from the sun. Do you remove your sunglasses! What have I left out, Patsie? Levine? Bickman?” She turned with a grin to see each archivist, admiring their silly painted and worried faces, as they did not react to the question. Walbash said into her speaker box. “Are there any late minute questions? Any late minute potty breaks? Good.” She raised her green slime colored index finger. “I got one more thing.”

“What thing?” Levine leaned into the console, exhaling with a huff of annoyance, saying into his speaker box.

“On the extreme left side of the pilot console, in the corner, there is a black dial. Press it!” Walbash said into her speaker box.

Trux slammed the black dial and heard a musical song, saying with a grin into his speaker box. “Music, I hear music.” He smashed the dial for a different song, hearing a country tune, snapping his fingers for fun.

Walbash said into her speaker box. “There is an antennal on top of the glass dome for our communication devices, which also acts a receiver and picks up any and all radio microwaves too. So ya want be lonely inside the one-man or wo-man cockpit. Go, Patsie!”

Patsie exhaled with a puff of fear and faked a silly grin to each teen, holding one of the handholds on the top of the console, slamming the green colored button for go with the other hand, and grabbed the other handhold.

Her rocket sounded with a hiss, releasing more clouds of white steam into the traveling exhibition auditorium. The steam surrounded and clung to the glass dome of the rocket, blinding Patsie to the other faces.

The internal engine heated in power with a ping. The rocket floor sounded with a rattle and heated with a slight touch of warmth underneath her silver slime colored shoes. None of the interior drawers or colored buttons were busting or breaking or shaking.

Patsie could feel both the vibration and the warmth from the metal of the twin handholds too. However, the silver colored slime suit kept her hands cool, her feet safe, and her body insulted. She exhaled with a puff of fright, being the first launching rocket ship.

The rocket sounded with a roar and launched with a hiss from the traveling exhibition floor, clearing the cylinder shaped house and shot up into the air waves.

 

Skyline

 

Patsie screamed, leaning backwards and falling into the steering wheel. The wheel missed her front teeth, but hit her chest, not her pearl neckline. She gasped and coughed for air, squeezing the handholds with fear.

Her rocket jolted with a halt, hanging in the air waves. The engine sounded with a purr beneath her silver slime colored shoes.

Patsie exhaled and inhaled, trying to calm both a racing heart and a rapid pulse, releasing the handholds, shaking the blood back into her arms, and touched the sunglasses.

The sunglasses were glued onto her face over her eyelashes.

The interior of the dome was very bright with an array of yellow colored dancing heat and blinding white colored sunlight rays, if she was not wearing the pair of protective sunglasses.

She stared at the skyline and stroked her pearl necklace, feeling like a bird.

Through the sunglasses, the sky looked bluer than standing on the ground in Birmingham. The clouds were scattered fluffy mists of whiteness, without any type of formation. The rocket hung in the middle of a cloud. Then the cloud quickly transformed from white to dark, a muted grayish black, like a storm cloud.

Patsie gasped. Her rocket was hanging inside a nasty thunderstorm cloud. She scanned the blue colored sky for rain droplets, lightning bolts, and additional black colored storm clouds, not seeing them. Patsie was trapped, until the other rockets launched and hung in the air waves, as Walbash had ordered.

She stared at the steering wheel, seeing number rocket two, tapping the silver tinted plate.

 

Traveling Exhibition

 

Victoriana had watched Patsie disappear in the blinding white steam, seeing that the rocket slightly quivered side to side on top of the tile.

She exhaled with a puff of worry, wanting to get off the rocket and out of the job now.

The rocket ship of Patsie had flooded the interior room with white steam, shaking the tile and then roared, after the steam had dissipated, the rocket and Patsie were gone.

Reality hit between both her smart neurons and her shallow breaths. She gagged and coughed with fear, flying a rocket ship in the air, like a plane, without a safety belt and a can of soda.

She released the handholds, running backwards from the pilot console, slamming the rear wall of the rocket. She wanted off the rocket, flinging both her arms and her hands in the air.

Walbash yelled into her speaker box. “Go, Levine!”

Gemma caught the silly hand motions of Victoriana, who was acting, like a child. She reached and slammed both the pink colored communication button numbers two and three, saying into her speaker box. “Answer me, Victoriana. Look at the button.”

Victoriana saw the flashing pink colored communication button number two, slammed into the console, and smashed the buttons of two and three, saying into her speaker box.” I don’t wanna…”

Walbash yelled via the speaker box of Victoriana. “Go, Bickman!”

Gemma exhaled with a puff of annoyance, shaking her curls, saying into her speaker box. “Stop it, Victoriana. Look at me. This is for fun and money. Your new designer purse and matching handbag? Calm down! Take deep breathes. Better yet, go and stand in front of the steering wheel. Grab both the overhead handholds and stay put! When Walbash says your name, smash the green button for go, not the red button for land, then hang on. The launch takes 3.5 seconds of your precious time. Enjoy it! If ya vomit all over your designer shoes, then tell Walbash. You can hit the red button and land. Then get in your car and drive home. I am staying and playing.” She smashed the pink colored button off, fiddling with her sunglasses, grabbing one of the upper handholds. The other hand nervously tapped on top of the green colored button for go. She stared at Walbash for her turn to fly.

Walbash monitored the screen on her pilot console, seeing a successful rocket launch of Bickman, saying into her speaker box. “Go, Gemma!”

Gemma slammed the green colored button for go and grabbed the overhead handhold. The outside dome filled with white steam with a hiss and the metal floor shook with a rattle. Her body hung from the ceiling handhold, feeling both exposed and sore. She giggled and wiggled her body, keeping rhyme with the rocket shaking, feeling both excitement and nervousness, being a young archivist in a flying rocket.

The floor heated in dull warm water temperature underneath her lavender slime colored shoes.

Not feeling extreme waves of hot or cold, the lavender colored slime suit controlled her body temperature and contained her sweat too, but not her heart rate. Her heart was about to jump through the slime suit.

The engine sounded with a roar. Her rocket launched, cleared the housing cylinder, and jolted to a rough stop.

Her rocket hung among the white clouds over Birmingham, Alabama too.

 

Skyline

 

Gemma gasped and coughed from the thrilling impact, still holding the ceiling handholds with both caution and concern. Her vision of leaving the auditorium room was a silver blur, then a blue blur, and finally a baby blue sky.

She scanned the pilot console for any visual damage, seeing the colored buttons, the steering wheel, and the radar screen.

The radar screen, running across the front panel of the console, was illuminated in light blue color and showed three circles of solid black.

Gemma stared at the black dots, releasing the handholds. She swung around, staring a set of scattered black clouds in the far distance. She scanned the blue sky, searching for one of the hanging silver colored rocket ships. Gemma frowned with confusion, turning to see the radar screen again.

There was an array of three black dots on the screen which represented the three rockets of Patsie, Levine, and Bickman.

Gemma looked to see the forward view of the glass dome, seeing miles of pretty blue with mists of white clouds. However, the clouds were not looking like the pretty puffy white colored from the ground. The cloud around her rocket was turning dark, a muted grayish black, storm cloud.

She gasped, saying with a worried brow. “O no! I’ve landed inside a nasty thunder storm cloud.” She slammed the yellow colored communication button, yelling in fear. “Help! Help me!”

 

Traveling Exhibition

 

Walbash yelled into her speaker box. “Go, Victoriana.”

Victoriana held the overhead handholds, without moving. The pink colored slime suit prevented any sweat on her palms, feeling cool temperatures on her body too. She stared at the glowing green colored button, not pressing it.

Walbash yelled into her speaker box. “Go, Victorian!” She also waved both her green slime colored arms, staring directly at Victoriana, without wearing her green colored framed sunglasses.

Victoriana ripped off the sunglasses, holding one the handholds with both her spiked heels on the metal, feeling both afraid and lonely. She turned her frown to see Lowell. He was not wearing his sunglasses, either, nodding and whipping both his light blue slime colored arms up and down for her to launch.

She turned her frown to see Trux He was not wearing his sunglasses also, sweeping both his yellow slime colored arms side to side for her to go too.

Walbash yelled into her speaker box. “The rocket is both scary and funny, Victoriana. If ya don’t wanna go, then slam your pink button. I need to give ya some…”

She slipped back on the sunglasses and slammed the green colored button for go, grabbing the handhold, closing her eyelashes.

She wasn’t viewing the steam surrounding the dome that was the scary part, making the pilot look both dead and gone inside a foggy dome glass. She saw it four other times from other the brave archivists.

Victoriana felt the rumble of the engine. Her spiked heels danced across the shaky metal. To counter the soft rumble, she tap danced her pink slime colored shoes forward, back, and sideways with both nervousness and excitement.

Her rocket launched, clearing the housing cylinder.

Victoriana gasped and held her breathe, immediately feeling nauseas, opening her eyelashes to relieve the nausea, and saw a blur of sliver and then a blur of blue.

 

Skyline

 

Her rocket jolted to a stop and suspended among the clouds. The engine sounded with a purr underneath her pink slime colored spiked heels.

She swung side to side, back, and forward on the overhead handholds, laughing with amusement. “This is fun.” She lifted both her pink slime colored knees into her pink slime colored chest, creating a set of wide and long swinging movements. Through the protective sunglasses, she saw miles of blue colored sky and scattered white colored clouds.

The cloud around the ship expanded and turned to a dark mist, a muted grayish-black cloud.

Victoriana gasped, seeing the quick forming dark storm cloud. She leaped from the handholds, slammed into the console, and smashed the pink colored button number two and three. “Gemma, are you there?” She leaned into the clear glass window and searched for the rocket ship of Gemma that should have been 2,000 feet horizontal in the same row with Victoriana. She wasn’t seeing the rocket of Gemma, but was seeing another grayish black storm cloud in the far distance, almost even with her rocket. She slammed the number two button again. “Gemma, where are you? I can’t see you. Are ya there? Are you alive? Gemma, please answer me?”

 

Traveling Exhibition

 

Walbash yelled into her speaker box. “Go, Trux!”

Trux slammed the green colored button for go and grabbed the overhead handhold, being tall, bending both his kneecaps, preparing for the jolt of the launch. His mind remembered the scared faces of the last five archivists.

Gemma was the calmest.

Victoriana was the funniest.

Bickman didn’t blink an eyelid, but it was hard to see her eyeballs inside her sunglasses.

Levine shouted with fear, before the white steam covered his orange colored bull’s eye painted face.

Patsie acted and looked cool, like always.

Trux had ridden on a number of wild rides, before this one, at the local rodeo on top of a bucking horse. At the state fair, he rode all the scary and taller roller coaster carts. On the river water, he drove a speed boat through the rough waves. And he rode with his mama, the worse car driver in the USA, maybe, the world, being she had wrecked three sedan cars, traveling too fast, without Trux present.

The white steam covered the dome with a hiss and the rocket floor sounded with a rumble.

He chuckled with a touch of nervousness, but most of all with excitement, having a cool job, getting paid, flying a rocket, and selecting one of two cute girls, for the evening entertainment tonight.

The rocket roared, launched, and cleared the housing cylinder.

Trux narrowed his eyelids inside the sunglasses, seeing blurs of pretty colors like silver, pink, orange, and blue. The launch went too fast. He danced his boot heels back and forth over the metal floor, flowing with the motion, not straining his hip muscle from the fierce launch.

His rocket jolted to a halt, hanging in the white clouds over Birmingham, Alabama also.

 

Skyline

 

He gasped, seeing through the protective dark lens of the sunglasses that the sky was a pretty brighter blue color and the clouds were both fluffier and whiter colors also.

He narrowed his eyelids, not seeing an array of hanging mushroom shaped rocket ships ahead of his dome glass, but seeing an array of grayish black clouds, nasty storm clouds.

Patsie, Bickman, Levine, Gemma, Victoriana. They all had launched, before Trux. Apparently, they were all covered in the same black nasty storm clouds too.

He released the handholds, slammed into the console, and pressed the pink colored communication buttons number two and six. “Gemma, are you there? Gemma, come in! Gemma, are you inside the storm clouds, too?”

The white colored clouds scattered away from his rocket ship and a new cloud formed and changed into a dark color, a muted grayish-black tone.

Trux gasped, gently touching the glass dome. “The storm cloud is surrounding me, too.” He slammed the pink colored communication button number two. “Gemma, I’m inside the storm cloud, too. Where are you, honey?”

 

Traveling Exhibition

 

Walbash yelled into her speaker box. “Go, Lowell!”

Lowell stood at the steering wheel and slammed the green colored button for go, running backwards, latching inside the metal chair at the wall corner, the safest place for a wild ride. He impatiently tapped a light blue slime colored foot on the floor.

The white steam rolled over the glass dome, like the other rockets, making the outside world blinded and alone, which was far from the truth.

The rocket floor shook with a rattle, barely heating the metal.

Lowell lifted his slime covered shoes from the metal, tucking his slime covered legs into his slime covered chest, not expecting the heat. It wasn’t sizzling heat on the floor, instead feeling a slight touch of warmth. His heart accelerated the thousand and one fluttering butterflies inside his stomach, not expecting a bumpy ride.

The rocket engine sounded with a roar.

He double wrapped his slime covered arms around both his slime covered legs and chest, holding the opposite side of the chair with both his slime covered folded fists.

The rocket launched, clearing the housing cylinder.

He yelled with fear, closing his eyelids inside the sunglasses.

The rocket jolted to a stop and suspended in the clouds above Birmingham, Alabama too.

 

Skyline

 

Lowell sat in the chair, exhaling and inhaling with fear, and blinking his eyelids open. Through the protective dark lens of the sunglasses, he saw a blue colored sky and scattered white colored clouds.

He ripped off the webbing and slammed into the dome, smearing the glass. “Where are the other rockets? I should be seeing the other rockets here with me.” He turned to see the illuminated light blue radar screen, silently counting the ships, and turned to see the blue sky, silently counting no ships. He gasped. “I see the rockets on the radar. But…but I didn’t see the ships in the sky. I’m lost in outer space.” He yelled, banging on the glass. “Help me! Help me! Someone help me! I’m lost in outer space.”

The cloud surrounded the ship, turning dark, a muted grayish-black color.

Lowell ignored the dark cloud, yelling and beating on the glass.

Chapter Eight

 

10:42 A.M.

Traveling Exhibition

 

Walbash cursed, slamming her fist on the pilot console, seeing seven hanging rockets both safe and secure. Her rocket was specially designed with an array of extra buttons, dials, and numerous view screen monitors, being the lead ship.

This was the second test for both the rockets and the teens, and all four teens had passed again.

She was actually shocked, thinking that one of the four teens would have died from a heart attack from the vicious launch of the rocket, which would have eliminated one-fourth of her current problem.

She had wanted to install a blasting bomb in one of the rockets, which would have created suspicion on her part, from a targeted dead teen and a set of live archivists, if it had been blew out of the baby blue sky of Alabama.

The idea had merit, no mercy.

Walbash pressed a new button for the weather radar monitor, saying with a nasty lady sneer. “No thunderstorms. No tornados. No blizzard. No hail. No heat lightning. Overall, a good day for flying as a teen, not me!”

The first test had been the dancing elevator, and all four teens had survived too.

The concept of the dancing elevator was a cool idea, but a wrong feat. It was installed and implemented two years ago with terrible results, a couple of helper teens received a couple of broken limbs, and numerous children were hurt with both bumps and bruises.

So the dancing elevator was decommissioned, after summer camp.

A new set of a walking stairs was built replacing the sideways moving pair of elevators. The elevator equipment, cables, and electronics were too complicated to remove, so the elevator enjoyed its rest for the past two years. Anyway, young children can climb faster and better than adults. And the teens had fun herding the kids, like cows, and marching them up and down the stairs, traveling to and from the different science rooms. At the end of the day, the children, the teens, and the adults were all tired, going to bed without fighting.

The elevator was a machine both needing maintenance and attention like all pieces of metal and steel. The twin elevators were both oiled and checked, supplying the first surprise for the new team of teen archivists.

Walbash had ordered all the exit doors on every floor of the staircase both nailed and painted, so the dancing elevator was the only entrance and exit transport in and out of the exhibition rooms.

And there had been a set of new rules, coming directly from head archivist Walbash for the current summertime internship program, which the seasoned archivists had not liked, but obeyed.

Patsie had not been happy about testing an interviewee for one of the new archivist positions in the summertime program and extensively questioned Walbash about the new rule. She was really clueless about the real reason behind the interviewee testing, being Walbash’s secret.

The interviewee testing had not been rigged or fixed only fake and false. Each teen and adult interviewee had to find and address each question, using a mobile telephone or a laptop or a brain. Teens were experts with their electronic gadgets, thus four teen interviewees had typed and texted each correct answer, before all the adults interviewees.

Another one of new rules had been to capture the teen villain during the interviewee process and isolate the kid from the other true interviewees, which sorta worked.

Now, there were four teen villains, not one.

Each room of the Birmingham Science and Art Center had rat holes and rat mazes for a team of maintenance workers to repair any electrical or structural problems within the building structure. The entire building did not contain any viewing windows, being made of four external walls of solid brick. The brick covered both the rat holes and rat mazes from the naked eyeballs of any participants and some staff members too.

Walbash had sat inside one of the rat holes, spying through a hidden camera on all the interviewees, during the testing portion of the summer internship program, this morning. She had been looking for the teen villainous of the villain.

Teen Trux had strutted in the room, acting both nervous and uncertain.

Walbash had found the teen villain.

Teen Lowell had entered the room, next, strutting like a prince, acting both confidence and assured. He had not been nervous, but interested, looking to the other interviewees, fiddling with his mobile telephone while making notes.

Walbash had become confused, finding two teen villains, not one.

Teen Victoriana and Gemma had bounced into the room, racing to the last two chairs on the last row, appearing both nervous and uncertain.

Walbash had become extremely befuddled, finding four teen villains, not one.

You could easily identify a teen from an adult. They had energy, youth, lean muscles, nervousness, and immaturity.

Walbash had carefully watched the four teens, trying to figure out which teen was the villainous of the villains, quickly concluding it was the second teen of the four. Lowell had been silently observing and teenly overconfident, an excellent trait for a teenage villainous villain.

Patsie had not been pleased about the summertime program, accepting a teenager, and voted against the teen archivist position, but was overruled by Walbash. And Patsie had not been pleased about administrating a silly test with three stupid questions that a high schooler could answer. However, she had accepted both tasks with her silent fury.

Another new rule had been to make the teen villain feel both comfortable and happy, during the interviewee process, being treated like one of the other true interviewees, which sorta worked too.

Walbash had been electronically hotwired into the robot Desktop, seeing all the texted answers from each interviewee, and she had been completely shocked.

One interviewee had answered all three questions correctly and faster than the adults and other teens.

Victoriana had typed and texted her three correct answers, before any other interviewee.

So Walbash had concluded the third teen of the four was her pretty prey. Victoriana had showboated her high intelligence, during the interviewee testing, an excellent characteristic for a teen villainess.

Patsie had continued the academic testing of the eight interviewees under strict instructions of Walbash, observing that all four teens had answered the three academic questions much faster than the mature adults. So she easily had seen that the four teens might possibility get the four posted archivist positions.

Walbash had ordered to see the testing results, before the four interviewees were selected, making Patsie both miffed and suspicious of her personal work performance as a seasoned archivist. However, she had concluded the testing, finding that the four teens had successfully tested and passed the interview portion of the summer internship program.

Walbash had been shocked, again, seeing that the four teens ranked as the top four texters of the academic testing, concluding there were four teen villains, not one. She had texted Patsie to invite the four teens as the new archivists with thrilling benefits.

Patsie had seem the new text message from Walbash, dismissing the four adults and showing off the dancing elevator moves to the new team of archives, four young and arrogant teens. She was not particular fond of working with the teens, only the children. So she had allowed the elevator to have some fun with the unsuspecting snobby teenagers.

Each dancing elevator held a hidden camera, in case, an emergency.

Walbash had sat inside the elevator control room, spying on the four teens, seeing the final result.

The dancing elevator had not caused one single bump or bruise on the teen or scared the teen into confessing the truth or identified the teenage villainous of the villains.

However, Gemma had been the bravest of the four teens, making her the newest candidate, the number choice for the teen villainess within the mental thoughts of Walbash.

Walbash had not been joking with the teens, being the guardian of the teens, now. The legal document, signed by the parents of each teen, gave Walbash rights to use and abuse the teen, like a bad parent for the next three months of summer.

And she would too.

So Walbash had not been stunned to see four teenagers step into the traveling exhibition, who had applied, passed, and been accepted into the summertime internship program. During the spying mission at the Nobella Prize ceremony, Kara Ingvar had tattled the secret, unknowingly in the eardrum of Walbash, the teenage would interview at the Birmingham Art and Science Center for the summertime internship.

Therefore, Walbash was left with four teens, not one, exhibiting a set of fine nasty traits as the villainous of the villains. So she would observe more closely during the next round of testing.

Walbash turned to the chair in the wall corner, dragging and locking it in front of the pilot console. She was too short in height to reach the set of overhead handholds on the ceiling. And her arms were too short in length to grab the set of handholds across the console. She sat and wrapped the old-fashioned webbing around her body, being the leader.

The leader had to be focused and alert and angry and determined, at all times.

She tapped the green colored button for go and held the edge of the chair with both her green slime colored hands, providing a little more stability.

The white colored steam flooded both the rocket dome and the auditorium room. The rumble shook both the rocket metal and auditorium tile. The engine sounded with a roar and the rocket launched with a hiss, clearing the housing cylinder.

The rocket jolted to a halt and hung among the clouds over Birmingham, Alabama also.

 

Skyline

 

Walbash swayed side to side with the motion of the rocket, humming with delight, waiting for her body and her heart to calm back down to a steady rate. The launch procedure was not for the faint of heart.

The four young archivists were both brave and bold, accepting their new jobs. And the seasoned archivists were both accepting and approving of the inexperienced teens and their inexperienced skills as a new set of rocket pilots.

Now, the other archivists were engaged in hunting and finding the first treasure assignment, of the summer. However, Walbash was engaged in hunting and finding the teenage villainous of the villains, of the century.

The world was too corrupt and greedy, now. The world did not need a young and ambition teen, who could lead an evil army of nasty soldiers in both chaos and dictatorship over the good people of the planet, later. Walbash was not certain which teen was the villainous of the villains and was determined to find him or her, using the summertime days and nights, accomplishing the deadly task.

No matter, the other two other obstacles had failed.

Walbash was supplying a new test for the bold and brave four young archivists and eagerly watched and waited for the final deadly outcome. She slapped the yellow colored communication button, wearing an evil smirk, saying into her speaker box. “Howdy, folks!”

Her speaker box echoed with numerous vocal replies through out the rocket cockpits.

Where are we, Walbash? I see nothing, but dark clouds.” Levine said via the speaker box.

We’re inside a storm cloud, Walbash.” Pastie said via the speaker box.

Help me!” Gemma yelled via the speaker box.

I’m lost in outer space. I want my mama.” Lowell yelled via the speaker box.

Gemma, are you okay?” Victoriana said via the speaker box.

Are you inside the storm clouds, too, Gemma?” Trux yelled via the speaker box.

Walbash chuckled with amusement. Too bad, each interior cockpit was not equipped with an interactive camera inside the rocket. It would’ve be great fun to see the sour face of each archivist. She said into her speaker box. “Everyone, please calm down! You are alive and you are safe. Believe me! But please allow me the air waves. Well, actually, I have captured the air waves. During launch, you cannot use the communication buttons, due to the cheap construction of the rocket. These models are test models, not jet fighters. And, while hanging in the clouds, with the birdies, you cannot press and talk on the communication buttons either. Sorry! It is due to cheap construction again.

“You are hanging at precisely 4,000 feet and no yards, after launching from the top floor of the Birmingham Science and Art Center. So we should clap and cheer, but ya’ll don’t seem happy at the moment. The dark cloud, a grayish-black, is our disguise. Yup! The cloud is there for a purpose. The purpose is to cover our fantastic rocket ship. Now, if every pair of naked eyeballs on the grass in Birmingham saw our ship, and then every senator in congress would be getting a telephone call, either to tattle on a rocket ship or to demand a rocket ship. So it was decided by me and the space agency folks to disguise the ship. The dark cloud is not a force field, like in the science books. It is a cloud. It is the external exhaust fumes that have been colored black, instead of white. Yeah, and you thought exhaust fumes come in only one color. This is a machine with a tail pipe. The tail pipe releases the built-up pressure coming from the engines or the ship would explode. So I got the white fumes traveling through some type of gaseous chemical in the cylinder base and then it comes out the pipe in a muted black color. Now, since I’ve scared ya good. Do you have any questions? Is anyone hurt from the launch? Yeah, it was scary for me, too.”

Lowell walked around the cockpit in a circle, punching his fist one at a time into the air with his fighting fury. He could not shout due to the yellow colored communication button, which was controlled by Walbash. If he uttered a sour word, then all the archivists would hear too. He didn’t want to appear to be a skinned chicken for the stew in front of his peers.

Trux leaned over the console and shook his skull, studying the non-working communication buttons that glowed in pretty colors, and turned to see the dark cloud, looking like a real storm cloud. The mists were alternating in dark and light muted black, making the cloud shimmer in the bright sunlight. The speed current of the cloud whirled around the ship, like a brewing hurricane. Trux saw miles of blue colored sky and the far away white colored clouds through his dome, but the outside of the other rockets were covered in the grayish-black tone, instead of a silvery glass. He smiled and whispered for his eardrums only. “Walbash is a genius.” Now, he understood, not seeing a silver rocket ship, but a silver cloud, ensuring his new archivist friends were alright.

Victoriana crossed her arms and strolled around the metal floor, really desiring to comment with her non-southern belle manners to Walbash over the speaker box.

Then she decided that was not a wise choice, at the moment.

Gemma leaned over the console, smiling and missing the sudden change in a fake freaky weather pattern, a chemistry test. But the new archivist job was definitely full of shocking surprises, which challenged her neurons, as Trux challenged her hormones. She turned and ran to the rear of the dome, smearing the glass, searching for the specific black cloud with Trux.

Bickman stroked her long ponytail, listening to the lecture from Walbash, agreeing that the other archivists had to understand all the instructions, before the archive expedition fly off to Sweden. She had tested the first set of rockets with the space agency folks and helped work out some of the problems. However, she had not seen the cloud disguise, until it surrounded the ship, learning of the concept as a whisper from Walbash.

Bickman shook her ponytail.

Walbash was acting really weird on this particular archive assignment.

But Bickman had known and trusted Dickana for many years.

And Walbash had a tendency to hide her secrets, for her purposes only.

So Bickman would wait and watch for the next surprise.

Levine walked around the floor, taking turns and twisted each pinched earlobe with his red slime colored hand, whispering a set of vile words, which could not be heard over the shared waves of the speaker box and going directly into the twin pierced earlobes of Walbash. He almost had a heart attack during the launch, and a brain fart after hanging in the air waves, without any type of emergency communication capability for help or support.

When this archive trip was completed, he was talking with his co-archivists about permanently removing Walbash of her leadership role as the director of the Birmingham Science and Art Center.

Levine would be both a better leader and a good role model for the teens. The teens needed individual counseling to reach their potential as a new archivist. He would grab one of the teens this afternoon and provide valuable insight about the archive world, maybe archivist Victoriana.

The young archivist had showed exceptionally intellect in offering solid clues in solving the stolen Ring of Solomon.

Patsie leaned over the steering wheel, stroking her pearl neckline, feeling her heart jump start, after the scary rocket ride. She was not going to comment on the open communication channel with Walbash, feeling very confused and worried about the new expedition and the new Walbash. Her mind could not stop pondering the need for a team of untalented teenagers, a fleet of flying machines, and an archive trip outside of Birmingham, Alabama. Her archive job never had required leaving the tenth floor of the Birmingham Science and Art Center.

“We are almost ready. Remember, the rocket is programmed with the flight trajectory. You do not have to do anything, unless there is an obstacle in the sky, in which, I will be commanding the cloud formation and calling out the command. So sit back and enjoy. Or stand up and enjoy.” Walbash said into her speaker box, slapping the number one plate, unlocking the steering wheel. “I am placing the steering wheel in the third slot.” The rocket/dark cloud flew ahead, leaving seven stationary rockets in the dust, as they say. Her body jerked forward and caught inside the secured body webbing. Walbash gasped from the swift impact and breathed for oxygen, coughing, clearing her throat, and yelled into her speaker box. “Gemma and Victoriana, go!”

Gemma slapped the number two plate on the center of the steering wheel. The wheel slowly lifted from the latch, flowing between her fingers. She pushed the wheel forward, sensing the first deep slot, shoving the wheel in the third slot.

Her rocket fired, zooming ahead.

Gemma screamed, falling backwards from the console, grabbing the wheel with both her hands, and jerked her body forward. She hugged the steering wheel, calming a racing heart and a set of dizzy eyeballs, staring at a blue colored skyline.

Her rocket soared through a series of puffy white colored clouds, painting tiny wet water droplets onto the forward glass dome. The wind currents would wipe the water droplets off, leaving no trace of the moisture.

She stood on both slime covered feet, looking at each side of the dome glass, without removing her slime covered hands from the steering wheel.

The clouds were passing like a white misty fog. The sunlight was very bright, reflecting tiny yellow beams off the metal console, and the sky was a pretty rich blue.

She slammed the radio dial, hearing a rock and roll musical song invade the dome, tossing both her hands in the air. She giggled and wiggled both her slime covered arms and her slime covered fanny, dancing around the cockpit, enjoying the stability of the rocket ride.

Victoriana slapped the number three plate, releasing the steering wheel, holding the wheel with one hand. The wheel slowly rose from the latch. She easily pushed the wheel forward with her two slime covered fingers, locking the wheel in the third slot.

Her rocket shot forward at 200 miles per hour.

Victoriana tumbled backwards with a scream, landing on her slime covered fanny, sliding into the rear wall. She sat still on the floor, exhaling with a puff of annoyance, crossing her slime covered arms in defeat.

In the first rocket/cloud, Walbash studied the radar screen, seeing the twin rockets of Gemma and Victoriana.

The flying horizontal row formation was not perfect. Gemma slightly led the two rockets.

Walbash expected a slight timing delay, when an archivist both shifted and locked the steering wheel in place and sailed forward at 200 miles per hour. Honestly, she was both impressed and amazed that Victoriana had the guts to press the green colored button for go. Therefore, she concluded Victoriana was not the teen villainess, lacking a streak of bold bravery.

On the light blue colored radar screen, two black colored dots closed in behind Walbash. She turned to see the rear glass of the dome, staring at two grayish-black storm clouds between the dark dusty waves of her rocket. She yelled into her speaker box. “Bickman, Levine, fly!”

Levine slapped the number four plate, shoving the steering wheel into the third slot.

His rocket sailed ahead at 200 miles per hour.

His body slid sideways. He grabbed the steering wheel for balance, wobbling side to side on his feet, wrapping both his arms around the metal, almost eating the number plate. “I’m getting rid of Walbash and this stupid rocket, tomorrow.” Through the sunglasses, Levine saw a blue colored sky between a series of wet droplets covering the dome, and three rolling dark storm clouds ahead of him.

Bickman slapped the number five plate and shoved the wheel in place, turning the volume of the jazz song higher, enjoying the musical notes, which bounced off the glass dome and back into her eardrums.

Her rocket flew forward at 200 miles per hour.

The webbing stretched forward and slammed her body back into the padded chair. Bickman was glad that she suggested extra padding in the pilot seat to the space agency folks. She crossed her slime covered arms and closed her eyelids, enjoying the smooth ride and peaceful atmosphere.

In the first rocket/cloud, Walbash studied the radar screen, seeing four black colored dots riding her tail pipe. “Trux, Lowell, fly!”

He leaned over the steering wheel, bracing both his yellow slime colored feet on the slick metal for the upcoming ride, touching his naked nose almost to the glass. Trux shoved the number six plate and pushed the wheel with his chest, cuddling the wheel, laughing with excitement.

His rocket shot ahead at 200 miles per hour.

He lifted his torso, staring at the radar screen, seeing seven black dots arranged in a lopsided circle, the other archivists. He turned to see the rear glass dome, a single dark black cloud in the far distance, Patsie. Trux turned to see the front of the dome, staring at miles of blue colored sky ahead with three distinct blackish colored storm clouds, being Walbash, Gemma, and Victoriana.

The black dust, coming from the exhaust pipe, mixed with the white clouds from the sky and slammed the front part of the dome, leaving tiny splattered water droplets. The wind speed swished and washed the glass clean.

Trux slammed the radio dial, hearing a pop song, and smashed it again, hearing a country tune.

He hopped around on one slime covered leg, waving both his arms, dancing around the cockpit. He slid to the side of the dome, studying the new landscape, a swirl of dark green, light tan, dark brown, red, and yellow colors represented by the Appalachian Mountain Range. He danced to the other side of the dome, gasping with beauty, a solid plane of dark water, the Atlantic Ocean.

He laughed and danced side to side, viewing the passing landscape. On one side, he saw the trees and on the next side, he saw the water, wishing Gemma was here inside his cockpit too.

Lowell walked around the cockpit and rubbed his naked face between the protective sunglasses, wiping off the fear, not expecting the archive expedition to be so heart stopping scary. He floated in the air, like a bird, waiting for the signal to fly at 200 miles per hour, feeling the need to go to the bathroom. He looked around the tiny cockpit, seeing the pilot console, the continuous glass dome, and no bathroom door, rising and dropping his slime covered arms in defeat.

He slid the chair in the pilot slot, locking it in place and sat, webbing in for safety, lifting both his slime covered shoes in the air.

Lowell heard the vocal command from Walbash, slapping the number seven plate on the steering wheel with both his light blue slime colored shoe soles. The wheel unlocked and lifted from the latch. He pushed the wheel in the third slot with both his feet.

His rocket flew forward at 200 miles per hour.

His feet jerked forward and his legs spread apart, barely missing the plate in the middle of the steering wheel. If he had hit the plate, a second time, the wheel would have shifted in the fourth slot, 250 miles per miles, then the rocket would have sped faster toward black and cold outer space, all alone and lonely.

He sat back in the chair and closed his eyelids, moaning with distress, wishing the expedition was done. “I have a bad feeling someone is trying to kill me.”

Inside the first rocket/cloud, Walbash saw six black colors dots on the radar screen, traveling behind her at 200 miles per hour and yelled. “Patsie, fly!”

Patsie hugged the steering wheel, not desiring another body jerking and teeth jarring motion, and slapped the number eight plate on the steering wheel. The wheel unlocked and floated into her chest. She gently pushed and locked the wheel in the third slot, cuddling the steering wheel, gritting teeth, holding her breath.

Her rocket sailed forward at 200 miles per hour.

Her body shifted backwards and forwards. Her lungs stretched and cried for air. Patsie gagged and coughed, snapping oxygen molecules back in her lungs, laying her body over the steering wheel. She watched the white colored clouds vaporize in front of the speeding rocket through the protective sunglasses and mentally prepared for the next surprise from her crazy boss lady, hoping to survive, not being a resilient teenage.

Inside the first rocket/cloud, Walbash monitored the radar screen, seeing eight black colored dots, which were disguised as a rolling set of blackish gray storm clouds.

The fake storm clouds traveled across the peak tops of the Appalachian Mountain Range in a north by northeastern direction, moving toward the US State of Maine.

The first cloud turned east, sailing across the tall and majestic white colored icebergs of Greenland with seven other dark storm clouds following the same flight path.

The first dark storm cloud turned and sailed due south, flying across the blue dark colored and scattered white colored gleaming ice particles of the fridge Norwegian Sea, and then over a series of gray colored bare rock mountains of Norway.

And then the eight clouds flew over the green colored pastures of Sweden.

Chapter Nine

 

6:03 P.M. (Swedish time)

Uppsala. Sweden

 

The computer started the decelerating program, which was programmed by Walbash.

The steering wheel snapped back from the third slot and parked in the neutral position. Gemma danced around the cockpit and tumbled into the glass.

Her rocket jolted to a halt and hung among the white clouds, still playing the rock and rock musical song.

She fell down onto the metal wall, softly cursing and rubbing her shoulder.

Victoriana sat on the floor, during the entire flight, picking at the pink slime suit. It wouldn’t fleck, peel, or separate from either her naked body part or her designer clothing. Her mind was both impressed and bored, feeling both thrilled and scared. Overall, she was a bag of mixed emotions.

But one of her emotions was crystal clear, two pairs of designer shoes and two matching designer purses.

The steering wheel snapped with a ting out of the third slot.

Victoriana looked up to see the steering wheel, noting it did not move, and she wasn’t moving either. She felt an increase in heat and a soft rumble underneath your fanny, gasping and grabbing the metal legs of the chair, and slid underneath the seat.

Her rocket stopped and suspended among the white colored clouds over Sweden.

Victoriana stilled underneath the chair, closing her eyelashes. “New designer purse and shoes. New designer purse and shoes…”

Trux slid to the other side of the dome, staring at the gray colored rocky mountains of Norway and felt the rumble of the switching metal gears. He leaped and grabbed the overhead handholds.

His rocket halted and hung among the white colored clouds over Sweden too.

He swayed back and forth from the ugly jolt, seeing brown colored dirt soil and numerous upright gray colored rune stones. “Yeehaw! We’re here in Sweden, Uppsala.”

Lowell sat in the chair, ignoring everything, missing his personal mobile telephone, being stored inside the sleeping unit, which was shared by Trux. There wasn’t another type of outside communication device inside the naked rocket. He stared at the white colored icebergs, then the dark blue colored sea, then the gray colored rock mountains, and then green colored meadow pastures.

His rocket stopped and suspended among the clouds over Sweden also.

His body swayed side to side, seeing flat plain old brown colored soil and numerous short and upright gray colored rune stones, not bothering to stand from the safe webbing. Since Walbash was a sly midget with her non-humor safety tips. So Lowell waited for the command to exit to the hard dirt, and he would kiss the ground with loving happiness.

Bickman admired both the music and the varied landscape, seeing the white colored glittering icebergs of Greenland, the dark blue colored ice chipped covered Norwegian Sea, the gray colored rocky mountain range of Norway, and finally the numerous gray colored rune stones of Sweden, which looked like tombstones.

Her rocket halted and hung among the white clouds over Uppsala, Sweden too.

Her body swayed back and forth, absorbing the fluid motion. She patiently waited on the vocal command to exit the ship.

Walbash seemed to enjoy teasing and taunting both the teens and seasoned archivists on this particular archive expedition, today.

However, Bickman wasn’t prevue to the day’s planned activity in Sweden, but she was very eager to find out.

The steering wheel shifted backwards and slammed into her chest. Patsie jerked back in the middle of the floor, trying to figure out the rocket ship, fuming at Walbash’s wild maneuvers with the team of archivists.

Her rocket stopped and suspended among the clouds over Sweden also.

Her body flew backwards out of control, flinging both her arms and legs, and hit the rear wall. Patsie sounded with a lady sneer, stroking the pearl necklace with force. “Walbash, me and you are having a face to fist meeting later, girlfriend!”

He ignored the pretty landscapes, cursing a set of vile words at Walbash, walking around the floor. Levine also ignored the rumbling underneath his slime covered shoes.

The steering wheel popped and soared back in the neutral position.

He turned to see the other side of the glass dome, shouting and mouth spitting with both angry and annoyance.

His rocket halted and hung among the clouds over Sweden too.

Levine rolled forward and hit the side wall, falling onto his back spine, seeing a set of dizzy yellow and white colored stars inside his closed eyeballs. He wiped his face from sweat, twisting his left naked earlobe with frustration, whispering with a grunt. “Walbash!?”

Inside the first rocket/cloud, the steering wheel lifted in silence and locked in the neutral position with a ting.

Walbash stared at the moving steering wheel, grabbing the edges of the chair for safety, feeling the rumble of the mechanic gears inside the quiet cockpit.

Her rocket stopped and suspended among the clouds over Uppsala, Sweden too.

Her body jerked back and forth inside the secured webbing. Her eyeballs cleared with a set of yellow and white colored stars, looking to see the radar screen.

Eight dark clouds hovered in a lopsided circular pattern above the center skyline of the Uppsala Rune Stone Park, appearing like a tiny dark colored storm brewing for the late afternoon.

Walbash released her body, pressing the yellow colored button for verbal communication in each rocket cockpit, saying into her speaker box. “Alright, ya’ll! We’ve arrived alive and safe. Good job, teens, for your first assignment out of the office. Now, we’ll land one at a time. I don’t want any sweaty smelly company riding inside my rocket back home to Birmingham either. So do not crash and then burn, because I do not like writing sad letters either. The adults will land inside the narrow clearing, which is between the heavy thicket of tall trees and the flat grass on one side of the rune stone park. Each teen will land inside the really wide flat grassy clearing between the other heavy thicket of tall trees and the flat grass on the other side of the rune stone park, which means, I land last. I have programmed the computer with the proper landing coordinates. But I’m going to inform you of your specific landing hot spot, in case, ya forget where the rocket stands. We are all facing the direction of south. Gemma lands her rocket on an empty spot at the very extreme southeast corner. Victoriana will land five hundred feet away from her which will be accomplished via my excellent computer programming in my pilot console. The computer will land Trux on an empty spot on the very extreme southwest corner. Lowell will land five hundred feet away from him. Patsie lands, first. Bickman lands, second. Levine is next to last, scooting five hundred feet away from Bickman. I will land, last. After you land, tap the second drawer beside the sunglasses drawer, there is a mobile telephone. The telephone is specifically connected to your specific rocket, not an overhead telecommunication satellite. So ya can’t call home to anyone, being here to work for your paying job. The rocket has an onboard computer, which works like a computer. Everyone hold. I’m pressing the button for initiating the landing procedure.”

Eight rockets hung among the white clouds, looking like a batch of storm clouds.

Trux slapped the yellow colored communication button and said into his speaker box. “Uh, Walbash!? I’m not landing here.”

Walbash laughed into her speaker box. “Gotcha! I was checking to see if any of the archivists were asleep or alert. Okay! Alright! Fight! We land one at a time again, and then we stay in the rocket, until all the rockets are safety on the ground. The rocket will power down the engine going into a sleep mode and resting, while we do our jobs as archivists and examine the numerous rune stones. Patsie, land!”

Patsie stood and stilled, gritting her teeth and worrying about the landing. She walked and hugged the locked steering wheel, extending both her chest and her limbs almost to the dome glass. Her kneecaps were bent and her feet apart for the upcoming violent impact.

She slowly reached for the glowing red colored button to land and vividly imaged a rough body jolt of hitting a pack of hard earth, that didn’t move. She closed her eyelashes, slapping the button.

Her rocket flooded with midnight black colored steam, coming from the modified exhaust pipes as it slowly descended and smoothly landed with a soft thud, stirring up pretty brown colored dust tornados and mixing with the black misty clouds.

Patsie stood and sounded with a lady sneer, stroking her pearl neckline with both her hands. “Walbash!”

Walbash yelled into her speaker box. “Levine, land!”

Levine stood and stared at the red colored button for land, feeling both fear and worry. He slid and locked the chair in place, webbing in the padded seat, feeling both scared and nervous too. He slowly reached and gently tapped the button, feeling more mixed emotions.

His rocket formed numerous thick black colored clouds and covered the glass dome, which blocked his vision. It slowly and smoothly landed in the dirt with a thud, mixing up a new batch of a gold and black colored misty, which also blocked his vision too.

Levine twisted both his naked earlobes with both his red slime colored fingers, saying with a nasty sneer. “The woman is trying to murder me.”

Walbash yelled into her speaker box. “Bickman, land!”

Bickman slammed the red colored button for land, watching the formation of new black colored clouds appear around the glass dome, feeling the rocket smoothly descend and land on the dirt with a thud.

The musical song ceased. The engines powered down in a purr, which indicated sleep mode for the machine.

She leaped from the chair, slamming into the console, surveying the stationary stones and any non-stationary objects in the park through the whirling mists of black and gold colors, being the protector of both the inexperienced and young teens. Bickman saw rows of rune stones and a thicket of woodlands.

Walbash yelled into her speaker box. “Gemma, land!”

Gemma stood, wiping the pretend dust from her lavender colored slime suit, walking to the side window of the dome. She saw three rockets safely on the ground, being satisfied that she was survive another slimy little trick from her new boss. She grabbed one of the overhead handholds and slapped the red colored button for land, grabbing both handholds.

Her rocket landed with a soft thud and the engines shut down in a purr.

Gemma released the handholds, dancing and singing around the floor with teen happiness, being in Sweden.

Walbash yelled into her speaker box. “Victoriana, land!”

Victoriana uncurled her body from the chair, sliding and locking it in front of the console. She felt, like a loser, for not sitting in the padded chair, during the launch, and felt, like a winner, for sitting in the chair, during the landing.

She slapped the red colored button for land and grabbed the edge of the chair, planning to mention that the chair needed two arm rests, before the next archive expedition.

The rocket rested with a soft thud and the engines shut down in a purr.

Victoriana un-webbed and bounced around the floor in both joyous relieve and exultation, surviving her first archive expedition.

Walbash yelled into her speaker box. “Trux, land!”

Trux slapped the red colored button and grabbed both the handholds.

His rocket landed with a soft thud and the engines shut down in a purr.

He released the handholds, dashing back and forth to the glass, surveying the new landscape of Sweden between the mists of black and gold colors. He was excited about his new archivist job and his new archive mission.

Walbash yelled into her speaker box. “Lowell, land!”

Lowell leaned over and tapped the red colored button for land.

His rocket settled with a soft thud and the engines cut off and sounded in a purr.

He was not moving from his chair, cursing at Walbash, deciding that this was the end of the work day. He felt like listening to music, wasting the rest of the Sweden afternoon. Lowell hit the music button, hearing not one musical note, saying with a sad pout. “Someone doesn’t like me.”

Walbash slammed her fist on the console, watching seven rockets on the ground, safe and sound, not expecting any air disasters during the flight. The machines were both reliable and self functioning, even if the pilot was an idiot. Both the young and seasoned archivists quickly picked up the rocket flying maneuvers, which made it very difficult for Walbash to create an accidental flight incident, during the trip home to Birmingham.

This morning, after the academic performance in the traveling exhibition, Victoriana reigned first, again, showing off her intelligence, an excellent trait for a villainess. Lowell came in second place, exhibiting his outstanding knowledge of the ancient and modern world and arrogantly competing with Victoriana.

The teenly action made Walbash question a pair of villains, not a single teen. But Dickana fell back on the secret conversation, which was mostly spoken by Kara Ingvar at the Nobella Prize ceremony.

Trux tried to contribute to the academic conversation and performed very badly, making Walbash both laugh and eliminate the cowboy teen from the hunt. Trux was the last teen to text the correct answers, the first teen to cowardly cuddle in the wall corner of the dancing elevator, and the first teen to poorly debate his arguments in the academic search for the Ring of Solomon.

Walbash also pondered about Gemma, who didn’t do her job, couldn’t do her job, and wasn’t the teen villainess, thus eliminating the lazy and stupid female teen, as well.

So Walbash was left with two teens in the hunt.

The next phase was ready, being time for the show to begin.

Walbash hit the red colored button for land, holding the edge of her chair, wishing for a set of arm rests.

The last rocket landed with a thud, killing the healthy grass inside the circle of rockets. The black colored mist evaporated and gold colored dust clouds dissipated in the air, exposing a mushroom-shaped aircraft.

Walbash slid from her chair and slapped the yellow colored communication button, saying into her speaker box. “Welcome to the manicured green landscape of Sweden! Grab your individual rocket mobile telephone inside the drawer on the left side of the steering wheel. No snacks or water in the rocket either! However, Bickman is always prepared and brought along a big bag of goods for our trip. She will come around and hand out water bottles and packaged snacks as we work both diligently and swiftly. So get out and meet me in front of my rocket with more bossy instructions.” She stood at the console, watching the teens.

Gemma happily exited her rocket first, feeling the departing individual slime flakes of her lavender body suit tickle her naked body parts. She bounced on her regular boot heels over the grass, standing in front of Walbash’s rocket and waved at her new boss.

Walbash concluded that Gemma was the bravest teen of the young archivists, conquering both the dancing elevator and the rocket ship. Maybe, Gemma was shy, not showcasing her hidden and brilliant intelligence in front of the two dominating personalities of teens Lowell and Victoriana. Bravery was a strong character trait of a villain. So the solo trait placed her back in the hunt. And both bravery and intelligence were key ingredients in the developing model of a teen villainous of the villains.

Trux gleefully crawled out the rocket second, watching the individual colored flakes of yellow escape in the air. He ran at top speed, gently grabbing Gemma with both his hands and arms, for his fun and her annoyance.

They danced in a circle and intertwined their evaporating individual lavender and yellow slime colored flakes, creating a set of tiny mists of purple colors, flinging the colored ashes and their arms in the air, for fun on the first day of their new job.

Trux was the most carefree of the teens, not a good nasty trait for a future teen villain of evil. So Walbash continued to eliminate both the personality and the name of Trux from the hunt.

Victoriana slowly crawled over the grass and swiftly felt her pink colored slime suit disintegrate into the oxygen rich atmosphere, staining her designer walking shorts with grass, getting loose dirt between her naked toes. She unhappily stood, wiping off the real dirt from her various body parts, feeling the real sweat stain her makeup. She marched to Gemma and Trux, who were giggling and grinning, like a pair of high school sweethearts.

Walbash was both stunned and intrigued, seeing self defeatism in the young archivist. Victoriana was only interested in her personal hygiene, her pretty designer clothes, and her selfie self. Vanity was a good trait in a teen villain, but usually not coupled with the latest fashion design in the trade magazine.

Victoriana was the smartest of the teens, showcasing her academic studies during the interviewing and academic search for the Ring of Solomon. Thus, she would, in the future, become an excellent college student, receive a nice day job, marry a guy, and have a few kids living in Birmingham, Alabama.

So Walbash eliminated Victoriana from the hunt.

Walbash looked over her new team of archivists.

Bickman stand in her en guard protection pose with three large bags of goods on both her collar bones, wearing a silly grin.

Patsie stood between Bickman and Levine. She wore her famous scowl, crossing her hands and tapping one of her boots. Walbash and she would be talking, after coming home from the first archive trip.

Levine twirled his right earring and shifted side to side from the pretend fire ant hills with nervousness or was annoyed at Walbash from the scary rocket ship ride. Walbash was confused with the person named Levine, finding his archive skills impression, his personality sissy, and his colored inked tattoos both bold and brave.

Dickana turned to see Lowell, who sat really cozy and lazy inside his rocket seat and, as she felt both disappointment and shock in the remarkable teen.

Lowell had excelled in intelligence, leadership, and arrogance, three excellent qualities for a future teen villainous villain. A leader had to be both brave and bold, which wasn’t Lowell.

Thus, Walbash tossed Lowell from the hunt and concluded that Gemma was the teen villainous of the villainess, who was being feted by Kara Ingvar.

The teens and the seasoned archivists wobbled and wandered on the manicured grass, looking up to see Walbash for the next set of instructions.

Walbash slapped the yellow colored communication button and stared at the young archivist, saying into her speaker box. “Lowell, get out of the chair and go to work now!”

Lowell rolled his eyes, slowly crawling out the chair and down the opening. He slid out the rocket, marching to the huddle of archivists.

Walbash looked down to see her staff, giving a thumbs-up, readying for the next showdown. She disappeared from the cockpit and appeared on the grass, standing in a circle of archivists. “Phew! There’s plenty of homework to be done here, this late afternoon. First, everyone snap a pic of every single standing rune stone. These lush green and brown woodlands contain numerous species of wildlife, including wildlife bigger than me. So we’ll scream and run tail, if the wildlife decides to tour our picnic fun. Second, everyone pick a stone or fourteen, and get to work. Here in Sweden, it’s about six o’clock with plenty of lighted sunshine and cool air temperatures. The sun falls down here at ten o’clock, that’s four hours to find the next clue for solving the disappearance of the Ring of Solomon. Let’s be logical. There’re eight of us. So let’s split the rectangular, sorta, stone field parameter into eight separate sections for some swift work. I need someone in the very back with the trees. And if my old memory remembers from reading the US archives database, there used to be a plot of old homelands with both Viking houses and cow barns. Who wants that cold spot?”

“Me! I will. I will dig…go back there now.” Gemma dashed to the furthest rows of rune stones, going around the stones, stopping at the tree line. She searched for a broken rock and found one, grabbing the jagged rock, tearing up the dirt. She whispered. “I’m in the country of Sweden for the only time in my life. And I’m finding one. I got four hours, lots of bright good light and a strong back. Wish me luck, Mama!”

Walbash smiled with a chuckle, pointing to Gemma. “Now, I want everyone to display Gemma’s bravery and enthusiasm. I would like an archivist located in the northwest, northeast, southwest, southeast, and in the middle. The middle is pretty crowded. So I want two archivists, scouting both the back middle and the front middle. Go! Pick a section?”

“What about the front two rows?” Levine said with a sour frown, looking down to the first row of smaller rune stones.

“I get the front two rows, being leader. And I need to be near the rockets, in case of anything. Work, Levine!” Walbash waved her hand for dismissal and stared at her mobile telephone, snapping pictures of the rune stone with one eyeball, watching each archivist select a section for their paying job with her other eyeball.

Chapter Ten

 

9:09 P.M. (Sweden time)

Rune Stone Park

 

Walbash stood from the rune stone, snapping the last bit of information into her rocket mobile telephone, which uploaded directly into the rocket computer, and shouted into her phone. “Attention, archivists! There’s still a good bit of daylight left, before the sunset hits in less than one hour. And I can still see my toenails. We need to leave in the rockets, before sunset. So everyone, report your findings one at a time while walking back to me, please.”

Trux kneeled and touched the rune stone, saying into his rocket mobile telephone. “I’ve been rotating around my section of the ugly gray rune stones. The stones show lots of skinny and tall funny looking animals. That’s a horse, a cat, a dog, a bird, a butterfly, a rabbit, and other animal symbols, which I snapped into the cell phone for studying later. But I’m clueless to the message or story, Walbash.”

Victoriana stood and waved at Walbash, shouting into her rocket mobile telephone. “I found something. I have completed the translation of this rune stone. I think it has a new clue for the Ring of Solomon. It says something, like I know…”

“Can it or store it, young archivist?” Walbash stared at Victoriana, shouting into her phone. “We will talk about all the discussion minor and major points inside our traveling exhibition room upon returning back home to Birmingham. Start walking to the rocket for our departure! Gemma, report?”

Gemma stood and cuddled the three tiny broken bronze pieces. The pieces looked exactly like the picture of Thor’s Hammer on the television screen inside the traveling exhibition. Each piece was bronze plated and designed with numerous tiny etchings, which were outlined in specific symbols, like rain drops and lightning bolts in both tin and gold minerals too. She was going to make a necklace for her mama, who was dying of cancer.

Gemma was not a worshiper of pagan rituals either. She studied and learned that all earth minerals nourished the human being, who was also composed of the same earth minerals. She hoped the Thor myth of healing was sorta true, and that the three bronze pieces contained some good healing germs, which had been absorbed into the rusty metal of the ancient jewelry, like the ancient Swedes believed.

If there were good healing germs, then her mama would get better and live maybe, a few more years.

She wiped the tears, not wanting the other archivists to learn of her secret mission or see her stolen treasure or figure out that she wasn’t doing her paid job. She poked them deep in the front pocket of her dirty blue jean skirt.

Walbash yelled via the rocket mobile telephone. “Gemma, stop working! Please report?”

Gemma snapped numerous lousy pictures of the rune stones and stored in the phone for her paid job, wiping off the dirt for her skirt, yelling into her rocket mobile telephone. “Uh…I see…uh…only letters in the some funny kinda language of the rune writing. I don’t know what it says, either, Walbash.” She slipped her phone in the pocket, jogging to the circle of rockets.

Lowell leaned into the rune stone and brushed the dust between the etched lines, saying into his rocket mobile telephone. “Ah, the passage on this stone is very intriguing, Walbash. It is a set of circles, lots of lots of rounded elliptical patterns. I will read aloud for all eardrums to listen and then all neurons to comprehend…”

“Just read the rock, not fluff the rock, Sports coat!” Trux said into his rocket mobile telephone, standing from the rune stone, wiping off the dirt from his jeans. He marched to Lowell, narrowing his eyelids at the dizzy circles too.

Lowell said into his phone. “This particular circular shaped rune stone details an encounter with an Arabian merchant. He says that they are the most perfect physical specimens, tall, as date palm trees, blonde, and ruddy. They wear no tunic, but a half garment covers one side of the body, leaving a hand free. Each male has an axe, a sword, a knife, keeping each by the sides, at all times.”

Trux halted behind Lowell, crossing his arms, shaking his skull. “Who in the world would be the most perfect physical specimen? I ain’t got no clue, here or back then.”

Lowell gasped. “The Arabian merchant is describing…”

Gemma gasped, stopping at the same rune stone with Trux and Lowell, pointing to an unknown tall blonde haired teen male. “Him.”

Me!” The teen male shouted and walked to the group of Birmingham archivists, coming from the thick woods, halting behind the farthest rune stone.

Victoriana turned her frown to see the male, narrowing her eyelashes, whispering. “Tall, teen, blonde, and buff, he wears a garment which covers one side of his semi-naked body. I like.” She smiled and shook her hips, communicating an innocent flirt and an unseen eyelash wink to the cute teen male.

“Who’s this?” Trux narrowed his eyelids, standing and staring at a row of both tall blonde haired male and female teens.

We’re the ‘Rus.’” The male teen shouted, raising an arm, not advancing to the Birmingham archivists.

“The ‘Rus’ is an ancient name for the old tribe of Swedish Vikings. They’ve been dead for thousands of centuries, dude. I guess ya missed the boat. Ya get it? Vikings sailed on boats, made of wood on the oceans seas. So, ya’ll missed the boat, Jack.” Trux marched from the stone and slapped a fist into his palm, readying to give the gang of rude teens a lesson in Bama social manners.

Lowell stood in silence, staring at the row of teens. The teens were physically tall, dark colored skinned, blonde colored hair, and a set of handsome males and females. Each teen wore a black solid colored jumpsuit and a pair of matching knee boots, incomplete. The left side of the jumpsuit exposed both a naked collar bone and an arm. Each face was covered in black colored paint, displaying numerous vertical, horizontal or diagonal lines on the skin and hiding their facial features, but the blue colored eyes and pink colored lips. Lowell said into his phone. “Who are those ladies and gentlemen, Walbash?”

Gemma pulled up beside Lowell, pointing to each teen. “O! I get it. This is the national birthday party of Sweden. There’re dressed in their cute Viking costumes for the party celebration. I like their outfits. I want one, too. Can we stay and visit some of the birthday events for tonight, Walbash?”

I invite you to leave, immediately.” The tall blonde haired adult female shouted from the woods, leading a huddle of both adult men and women. They blended into the row of teens, wearing the same one shoulder black solid colored jumpsuit, carrying both a dagger and a sword in each hand, and hiding their naked faces behind the black colored paint, but their blue colored eyes and pink colored lips.

Walbash sounded with a lady sneer, back stepping from the row of strangers as the first dagger embedded at the edge of her toenails in the dirt with a thump. She shoved Patsie from the rune stone, ordering. “Get inside the rockets, now! Everyone move, now! Get back inside the rockets, now! We leave here, now.”

The female leader yelled, raising her sword. “Now!” The row of both teens and adults charged, yelling.

Her heart raced with fear. The new dagger sailed with a whistle and pieced the soil behind her military boot with a thud. Patsie crawled over the dirt and hit the metal floor with her naked hand, wiggling up inside the cockpit. She swung around to the glass dome, gasping at the violent scene, seeing the teens both exposed and helpless.

Trux halted and looked up into the trees, leaping straight up, catching one of the lower tree branches. Both gravity and his strength ripped the tree limb down off the trunk. Trux fell in a squat on the dirt. A new dagger pierced the tree bark with a thump. He stood and swung the tree limb, hitting air. Another new dagger pierced the tree branch between the hands of Trux with a thud, tearing through one-fourth of the limb, splitting into a small and a big piece. The dagger ricocheted off larger tree limb, nicking his naked bicep, before hitting the dirt with a thump. His hands juggled the unbalanced limbs and lost the two pieces to the ground. Trux dropped and rolled over the dirt. Another new dagger pieced the standing tree bark behind his back spine with a thump. He shouted. “Lowell, protect Gemma! I’m helping Victoriana.” He crawled over the dirt to her.

Levine squatted behind the rune stone, staring at the violent body action from the side line. None of the flying daggers were arching in his direction. “Three, four, five daggers, so far…”

Lowell slid behind the thick rune stone for protection with Gemma, shouting. “With what, my sports coat and my dress shirt? I don’t have a weapon.” He peeked around the side of the stone, seeing a line of yelling and charging unfamiliar teens and adults.

Walbash gasped, turning her frown to see the seasoned archivist. “Bickman, protect the teens!”

Bickman kneeled behind the rune stone for protection and unzipped her bag, retrieving and tossing two objects, at the same time, in the air, and shouted. “Lowell, Gemma, catch!”

Trux reached Victoriana, who was hiding behind her rune stone, not viewing the attackers, and he stood on his kneecaps behind another rune stone. Another new dagger slammed the rune stone with a ting and fell in the dirt with a clunk. He ducked behind the stone, exhaling with a puff of worry and a huff of fear.

Bickman retrieved two more objects from her bag. Another new dagger smashed the stone with a ping and tossed tiny broken pebbles in the dirt with several thumps. She tossed one at a time, shouting. “Victoriana, Trux, catch!” She grabbed and tossed an object to Walbash, hitting the metal of a moving rocket, watching Walbash launch into the sky out of danger. Bickman hit the dirt and covered her ponytail, feeling the hot steam roll over her body, sounding with a lady growl of murderous revenge.

 

Skyline

 

Her rocket halted and hung among the white clouds over the rune stone park, slowly surrounding with a dark blackish-gray mist, which disguised the ship as a storm cloud.

Walbash couldn’t stop the spread of the mist, which would block her eyeball vision from 4,000 feet in the air. She touched the green colored slime into the tub and repainted her body with a slime suit, replacing the matching sunglasses.

Walbash slammed a new orange colored button, activating a colorful hologram which displayed onto the metal floor of her rocket. She swung and locked her chair in a new position, sitting and facing the rear wall while enjoying a colorful beam of violent action on the rune stone park below.

The new electronics inside her rocket provided a vivid detail of the park, including the surrounding green colored grass, the thicket of brown colored trees, the circle of silver tinted rockets, and the red colored face of Bickman.

Walbash could both judge and assess the performance of each teen in a much better light at this great height, wondering if any of them would live through the battle, and chuckled with the mental thought.

 

Rune Stone Park

 

Bickman crawled to her bag and stood on her kneecaps, carefully lifting a wicked axe-like weapon, aiming the tip at the hanging rocket in the sky. She hoped Walbash saw and imaged the upcoming deadly threat.

A long sword hit the center of her axe.

Bickman ducked to the side and rolled over her bag, not bleeding. She swung the tip of her blade at the attacker, missing and tossing her tube. Bickman sliced her tube and batted the liquid at the attacker.

The first attacker gasped and looked down to see her chest, touching the liquid and yelling in shock. Then she swung and ran to the woods.

Bickman sat on her kneecaps, breathing with relieve, seeing a semi-crooked line of yelling adults and teens. The rest of the advancing attackers cupped a long sword in a fisted fist, since all their daggers had been released.

Lowell stood and caught the object, a clear plastic tube with liquid. The liquid was golden colored and sparkled in the sunlight. He whispered with a smile. “A defensive weapon!?” He stared at the second advancing attacker, a female teen, who apparently wished to cause him great damage.

The second attacker held a short sword over her hair roots and wore a set of black colored vertical lines over her curled pink colored lips.

He stepped in front of her anticipated foot path, aimed, and squeezed the thick middle of the tube. The golden color liquid shot from the spout and covered the second attacker.

The second attacker halted and slapped her free hand over the golden liquid.

Gemma stood and frowned, twirling the circular object between both hands. “What’s this? I don’t know what to do and how to use it. It…it looks, like a tube of toothpaste, but…but the contents inside the clear plastic is…is golden colored liquid…”

Lowell laughed, pressing the middle of the tube again. The liquid fired from the tube and clung to a third attacker, being a teen female too. He yelled. “Squeeze it with both of your hands or one hand, Gemma! The liquid shoots from the spout. Just aim properly for the chest, being the wider body part.”

The third attacker halted and looked down to her black colored chest, yelling. “I’m hit! Wait! I’m okay. It…it’s some type of yucky sticky gelatin, golden colored.” She screamed and slapped her chest with both her hands. “No. The gelatin’s melting my armor…”

“I’m melting…melting. A copyrighted line, honey bunny! Be careful, ya might get sued by Hollywood, USA.” Lowell laughed, scooting in front of Gemma, who hadn’t figured out how to use the tube. He sprayed more golden liquid into an advancing and yelling fourth attacker, a male teen.

Trux caught the object with one hand and swung to an advancing and yelling fifth attacker, being a teen male, too, bending his kneecaps and squeezing the thick middle of the tube with both his hands. The golden liquid hit the male directly in the chest. He laughed. “Slime cream! Cool, man!”

The fifth attacker halted, lowered his sword, and tenderly touched his black colored chest. Then he screamed, swinging and running back to the woods.

Trux laughed, spraying the slime cream at a sixth attacker, being an adult female.

Gemma frowned at the row of advancing males and females, holding her tube of slime cream, not firing the slime weapon. “How many Vikings wanna-a-be’s are there?”

Lowell sprayed the liquid at a seventh attacker, being an adult male too. “The golden mixture matches your golden locks, darling. Have a nice day, sir!”

The seventh attacker halted and touched the golden liquid, clinging to his black covered chest. The black armor sizzled and evaporated in a set of tiny flakes of dark dust, drifting away with the mild breeze. The male gasped, dropped his mouth, and stared at young Birmingham archivist. Lowell slapped his chest, laughing and nodding. Then the male screamed and dashed back to the woods.

Trux dropped his mouth, staring at both the wounded adults and teens. “They…they’re naked underneath the black jumpsuit.”

Victoriana giggled and sprayed the liquid at an eighth attacker, being a teen male, hitting him between his black covered legs, blushing with her embarrassment. She covered her mouth, yelling. “It’s not a jumpsuit. It’s not any real clothing. It’s the kind of liquid armor like we wore during our rocket trip.”

The ninth attacker, being an adult male, slashed the sword side to side at Bickman, yelling. “Hey, cutie!”

Bickman raised both her axe weapon and her eyebrow, firing a tube of golden slime with her other hand, laughing with her victory.

The slime hit the ninth attacker on his leg. He stopped and rubbed the golden color over his black colored legs, gasping and dashing back to the woods.

 

Skyline

 

Walbash raised her green slime colored arm, not moving from her chair, watching the hologram. “Good one, Bickman! I’m impressed with ya, girlfriend. I’ve never seen ya fight, until now. And the teens are testing their new weapon, the slime cream, aiming and firing at the advancing foes. All the advancing does are high tailing and running back home to their mamas. Each male and female foe gets whacked with the golden liquid and then stupidly slaps the body part, smearing the pretty golden liquid into a circle. Then each doe gasps in shock and runs back to the woods, in which ya came, love.” She leaned into her chair, enjoying the performance in the battlefield show down.

Levine was hiding and showing his true chicken stew self.

Lowell exhibited both aggressive and assertive maneuvers on the battlefield coupled with his impressive translation of the difficult rune stone symbols. And he actually described and identified the ancient Viking Rus.

Walbash was both shocked and pleased. So Lowell was back in the hunt.

Trux was showing off his natural skills, as a country cowboy, both bravery and fighting.

Walbash was not really surprised and still wasn’t including Trux in the hunt as the future teen villainous of the villains.

Gemma bounced between the highest to the lowest villainess rank, during the testing phrase. Now, she was the lowest candidate, not being able to figure out the slime weapon, and not attacking any advancing enemy, which were two very poor signs of a nasty revengeful villainess.

So Walbash eliminated Gemma from the hunt.

The heroine villainess of the day, Victoriana was showing off some good attack skills with the slime cream, not being afraid in the fighting fray. Her fighting coupled with her high IQ made Walbash rate and rank Victoriana as the future teen villainous of the villains.

 

Rune Stone Park

 

Lowell grabbed her arm, flinging Gemma to her rocket. “Go! Get inside your rocket, now!” He stole her slime cream and sprayed the remaining liquid at fleeing fannies of the Rus wussies. He slowly walked backwards, scouting for trouble, slamming the rocket metal.

Gemma ran in a crouched position and slammed the metal, falling sideways on the grass, and gasped. The three tiny bronze pieces tumbled out of her skirt pocket. She crawled around the grass and probed the dirt for the precious objects.

Victoriana shoved Trux with force to the rocket.

Trux lost his footing and tripped over Gemma. They tumbled over the grass and laid over each other in a pile of flinging arms and legs.

Victoriana run backwards and stopped at the pile of Gemma and Trux, yelling. “Get inside the rockets, now!” She fired the slime cream at the fleeing attacker again.

Gemma stood on her kneecaps and crawled to her treasure, seeing Victoriana stomp the bronze pieces in the ground with her designer sandals. She probed the dirt with her hands.

Trux lifted Gemma by the waist from the ground. “Get in the rocket!”

Gemma fingered the dirt and kicked her legs in the air. “Lemme go! I dropped something. I gotta get it…”

“Get into the rocket, Gemma. They got knives. We don’t got weapons, but the slime cream. And I’m out! Your life is more valuable then…then something. Go! Get in!” Trux shoved Gemma to her rocket, dashing to his rocket.

Gemma hugged the metal and scanned the tromped grass, not seeing the three tiny bronze pieces.

Levine stomped over the same spot of grass, shoving Gemma to her rocket, and ordered. “Save yourself, honey! You are very valuable to me.” He ran to his rocket.

Gemma sobbed and dropped sown to the dirt, crawling through the opening, wiggling up to the floor. She stumbled to the console and slammed the green colored button for go.

Her rocket blasted in both heat and smoke from the ground.

Gemma tumbled backwards, not reaching one of the handholds in time. Her back spine hit the chair leg and twirled around the chair, during the launch flight. She closed her eyelashes, praying and curling her body around the metal.

 

Skyline

 

Her rocket jolted to a halt at 4,000 feet among the clouds.

Gemma held her breath, controlling a rapid pulse, a beating heart, and a scared mind. She whispered. “I hate you, Trux. And I hate you more, Victoriana.” She sobbed with tears for losing all the precious bronze pieces, which could have saved her mama.

 

Rune Stone Park

 

Victoriana slammed into Trux, whipped them around, shoving him to the rocket. “Get in! I got your boot heels.” She aimed the tube of slime cream at the retrieving attackers, watching Trux safely enter the rocket, and hearing the rocket launch of Gemma. Victoriana turned and ran to her rocket, crawling on the grass, wiggling up to the cockpit. She grabbed the upper handholds, lifting both her feet and slamming the green button for go with her spiked heel.

Her rocket heated, steamed, and launched in white smoke.

She closed her eyelashes, forgetting to place the protective sunglasses over her delicate pupils.

 

Skyline

 

Her rocket jolted in place at 4,000 feet among the white clouds.

Victoriana swung back and forth in the air, calming both a shaky body and a racing heart.

The dull rays of sun burned through the non-tinted glass dome and tickled her naked eyelids.

Victoriana swung to the number plate and slammed her spiked heel, missing the plate. Her heel lodged between the separate slots of the steering wheel.

Her rocket wasn’t launching, until she slid the steering wheel in place.

She gasped, releasing the ceiling handholds. Victoriana stood on her palms, trying to wiggle her spiked heel out of the slots with her closed eyelashes.

 

Rune Stone Park

 

Trux crawled in and wiggled up through the opening, banging both his shoulders and hips against the hard metal, and leaped on the floor. He half-way stood and stumbled to one of the handholds, catching it with one hand, slamming the green colored button for go, with the other hand. Trux grabbed the single handhold with both his fists, gritting his teeth.

His rocket fired from the ground and up to sky.

He bit his tongue and closed his eyelids, being jerked back and forth from the rocket lift.

 

Skyline

 

His rocket jolted in place at 4,000 feet among the clouds.

Trux mouth spat blood on the floor and released one hand from the ceiling handhold, using his fingers to locate the tiny purple colored button on the steering wheel. He pressed it.

The tiny drawer opened, revealing a pair of yellow colored framed sunglasses.

Trux knew the sunglasses were housed inside the cabinet, but wasn’t opening his eyeballs, taking a chance of getting them burned or injured.

He shifted a hand touching the cabinet, then the empty console space, and finally the sunglasses. He grinned and jerked them over his eyeballs.

Trux opened his eyelids and saw the beautiful dull yellow and blue rays of the sun.

 

Rune Stone Park

 

Lowell crawled over the flattened metal door and wiggled up onto the floor, racing and webbing into the pilot chair, which was located in the wall corner.

The rocket stood on the dirt, not moving.

“Dang, press the green button for go!” He said.

Lowell slid and locked his chair in front of the pilot console, webbing again, and reaching the green colored button for go. He said with a whisper and wiggled his fingers. “The sunglasses!”

He slammed the purple colored button on the steering wheel.

The drawer opened.

Lowell grabbed the object, wearing the protective pair of eye glasses, slamming the green colored button for go.

Levine crawled in and wiggled up onto the floor, sliding and locking his pilot chair in front of the console. He webbed in his chair and dunked his naked finger into the tub of glittering red slime, morphing his body and his clothing into a shiny red slime suit. He leaned to the opposite side and smashed the purple colored button on the steering wheel.

The drawer opened.

Levine grabbed the object, wearing the sunglasses for eye protection, slamming the green colored button for go.

His rocket launched and hung among the clouds.

Bickman saw each rocket lift off the ground, including sissy Levine, smelling the burned grass and tree twigs. She looked up into the skyline and saw seven blackish-gray colored storm clouds, ensuring all the archivists were alright. She looked down to the rune stones and woods, seeing all the sissy Rus attackers run away from the deadly fight and snorting with her short lived victory.

Bickman turned to her rocket, sliding down in the opening and wiggling up on the floor. She was not sitting and enjoying the fun ride of the rocket, this time. She was angry, desiring a bloody rumble with Walbash, immediately.

Bickman held one handhold and slammed the green colored button for go, smashing her naked finger into the tub of orange colored slime, closing her eyelashes. Her body and her clothing immediately covered and sparkled in the pretty paint. She grabbed the handhold and switched hands, slapping the purple colored button, grabbing the orange colored framed sunglasses on the other side of the steering wheel.

Her rocket launched and hung among the clouds.

 

Skyline

 

Bickman wore the sunglasses and opened her eyelashes, seeing the dull yellow and blue rays of the low sun, saying with a lady sneer. “Walbash, ya betta remind the teens about wearing their slime suits and sunglasses, before one or more dies of suffocation. Or I’ll be burying your broken and scattered bones underneath the mechanics of the dancing elevator.”

Inside the first rocket/cloud, Walbash exhaled with a puff of annoyance in her chair, seeing that the war ended and the teens lived.

And then she stood.

The stool flew back into the wall, locking in place.

She swung around, standing at her console, smashing off the hologram button. She grabbed a single handhold with one hand. Her other hand slammed the red colored button for land, holding a two-fisted gripe on the single handhold.

Her rocket slowly and smoothly dropped on the dirt with a thud.

 

Rune Stone Park

 

The black colored smoke and golden colored dust cleared around the dome glass, showing the park and the female.

All the Rus teens and adults had fled the rune stone park, except their leader. The female stood behind one of the taller rune stone, covering her melted jumpsuit, hiding her nakedness.

She saw Walbash also.

Walbash smiled and saluted to the Rus leader with her two green slime covered fingers, twisting it in the universal birdie sign, laughing.

 

Skyline

 

Trux walked around the cockpit and rubbed his naked biceps from the cold air, waiting for the command to fly from Walbash, looking through the dome at the other rockets.

Each rocket hung in the blue colored sky, wearing a shroud of black colored smoke, appearing like a storm cloud.

He couldn’t talk with Walbash or Gemma or Lowell, after the fighting on the ground with the strange tall and blonde haired teens and adults. He wanted to know who they were and what they really wanted. And he wanted to leave Sweden and go back home to the USA.

Trux had slammed every colored communication button on the console, hearing nothing, not even static, because Walbash controlled the one-way communication devise between the rockets and hadn’t slammed the yellow color button with instructions, for some reason.

Trux completed around short circle and smashed the music dial, desiring someone in the rocket with him, if not an available pretty girl.

His finger stuck to the smooth and cold metal. He gasped and jerked back his finger, skimming off the outer skin of his index finger. His finger burned and turned red colored from the nasty mechanical attack.

Trux was a tough cowboy and received plenty of arm and leg wounds working on the farm, but a simple burn on one digit wasn’t the concern in the rocket, at the moment. His body was shivering and shaking from the rapidly chilled air temperature.

He stared at his seared finger. “The slime suit!”

Trux slid to his console and dunked his burning finger in the slime, smiling with relieve, feeling the coolness of the liquid on his open wound.

His body and his clothing turned into a bright yellow colored slime suit, like a farm baby chick.

Trux danced in circles and slapped the music dial again, singing off-key with local radio waves of the foreign words, enjoying the hot adventures of an archivist.

Lowell stared at the glass and saw the blue colored sky and the other fake black colored clouds, tapping out a song with the tips of his leather shoes on the bar of the stool, cuddling his body with both his arms from the chilled air.

His eyeballs dropped down from the dome glass and landed on the rows of colored communication buttons, not flashing, and the green colored button for go, not going. He saw the steering wheel was locked, rubbing both his hands for warmth.

His eyeballs passed over the red colored button for not landing in Sweden ever again and turned to see the tub of light blue, remembering the warning from Walbash, and leaped.

He didn’t move from his chair.

Lowell forgot that his body was webbed into his chair, slapping the latch off the hooks and smashing his hand into the tub. He splashed the slime liquid over the console and on the floor, morphing into a light blue teen something, laughing at his funny appearance in the face of death.

He reoccupied his chair and webbed, whistling and staring at the glass dome with boredom.

 

Rune Stone Park

 

Walbash watched the female priss in the nude back into the woods, slapping the yellow colored communication button, saying into her speaker box. “Listen up! Do not open your naked eyeballs. Wear your sunglasses! Put on your sunglasses, now! Then crawl into your slime suit and cover your body! You cannot fly, without the slime suit. The suit provides extra oxygen into your delicate organs and skin. Do not fly, without the slime suit. The danger is over. The enemy has retrieved. Okay! Sound off! Is everyone okay? Is anyone hurt? Is anyone dizzy or bleeding? Can you pilot the rocket back to Birmingham? Just say okay, if okay. If you need more, say help. Tell me your medical condition? I can’t see you through the artificial dark cloud?”

Trux danced to the console and slapped the yellow colored communication button, saying into his speaker box. “I’m okay. This is Trux.”

Walbash said via the speaker box. “Gemma, report?”

Lowell rolled his eyes and slid from his chair, again, slapping the yellow colored communication button, saying into his speaker box. “I am ready to leave from here, Dr. Walbash.”

Walbash said via the speaker box. “Victoriana, report?”

 

Skyline

 

Her body shivered, feeling cold. She coughed, feeling a dry mouth. Gemma wrapped her arms around her body, lying on the floor with her closed eyelashes. Her bones ached from the chair collision and her heart was broke from her failure. Her mental thoughts repeated and reminded of the fatal loss, the three bronze pieces and eventually her precious mama.

Her skin was covered with an assortment of goose bumps from the chilled air temperature in the rocket and her nose turned the color of red from the cold fridge wind, swirling inside the cockpit.

Gemma gasped, not opening her eyelashes, and not wearing her slime suit. She scooted her body on the floor, feeling both weak and chilled, and slowly moved to the pilot console.

Her hair roots hit the bottom of the console with her closed eyelashes, lifting her hand up to the tub of lavender slime. She grunted, stretching her fingers over the console counter, without exposing her face to the sun.

The sunlight was burning her naked arm and hand with sizzling heat inside the rocket, which hung at 4,000 feet, with the swirling clouds and soaring birds.

Her hand hit the console and crawled to the tub, flinging her fingers side to side, sticking her pinky finger in the soft liquid. She gasped and giggled, feeling the crawling and tickling sensations. The slime covered both her body parts and her clothing, very quickly.

Gemma slid down on the floor with her closed eyelashes, feeling both warmth and cozy inside her lavender colored slime suit. She scooted over the floor, protecting her healthy eyesight from the burning rays of the sun and slid to the other side of the steering wheel. Her hand whipped up to the steering wheel, touching and slamming the purple colored button.

The drawer opened.

Her hand crawled up the side of the console, hitting the bottom of the drawer. Her fingers slid inside the soft lining, grabbing the lavender colored framed sunglasses.

She placed them over her eyeballs and opened her eyelashes, seeing the rear metal wall of the rocket, praying for her joyous and long life.

The passing moment was too close to death.

Walbash yelled via the speaker box. “Gemma and Victoriana, please report? Gemma, are your okay?”

Gemma slid up the side of the console and slapped the yellow colored communication button, saying into her speaker box. “Yes, I’m sorry. I hit the chair with my body. But I’m fine now. I can fly now. I’m ready to leave, now, ma’am.”

Walbash yelled via the speaker box. “Victoriana, please report? Are you okay?”

Victoriana exhaled with a puff of worry and a huff of frustration, standing on her one hand, trying to grab the wedged shoe with the other hand.

The designer shoe was decorated with a single strap across her toes and a wide cuff around her ankle, making it difficult for Victoriana to slip the shoe off from her naked foot.

She slapped her hand down to the cold metal, feeling the chilled material against her palm and remembered that the slime suit protected both her vital organs and healthy lungs. She jerked forward on her spiked heel again and slammed her fanny back into the steering wheel, not the number plate.

If she hit the number plate in the middle of the steering wheel, then her rocket will soar in the opposite direction of home.

Victoriana exhaled and inhaled with exhaustion, feeling both dizzy and scared. She slowly wiggled her spike heel side to side between the two slots of the steering column, not moving.

She whispered. “Think not do!”

Her body shivered with an array of goose bumps from the chilled air temperature in the cockpit and as, her neurons shocked with a solution.

Victoriana slowly leaned her other leg over the pilot console and tilted her other spiked heel down to the tub of pink slime, sliding her fanny across the steering wheel, leaning her body over to the other side.

She wasn’t certain if the slime would stick to the metal spiked heel, but Victoriana was going to find out.

Her heel dipped into the liquid. However, Victoriana wasn’t experiencing a tickling feeling, like before.

So the slime had to touch the naked skin of the human.

Her heel dropped deeper in the tub. She felt the cool liquid on her big toe. The pink slime swiftly crawled over each toe, her ankle, her leg, and tickled the rest of her naked body parts. It traveled up one side of her thigh and over to her walking shorts, flowing sidewalks over to her neck, chest, stomach, and her other hip thigh. She felt it creeping up her other leg, her other knee, her other foot ankle, and her other foot arch.

Victoriana pulled forward on the wedged spiked heel.

The slime continued to roll over the leather straps of the designer sandal.

She jerked her spiked heel from the steering wheel and fell forwards, balancing on both her hands for a second time, slapping her fanny back onto the number plate.

The steering wheel unlatched and soared to the last slot, 300 miles per hour.

Her rocket flew forward, leaving the flight formation, heading in the wrong direction, south.

Victoriana somersaulted in a single roll and slapped the wall with her spiked heels, rattling both her body organs and her brain neurons in her body. She squeezed her eyelashes, not wearing the protective pink colored framed sunglasses.

 

Rune Stone Park

 

Walbash gasped, seeing the rocket sail towards the southern horizon. “Teens!? She’s going to…” she laughed, without breathing. “Die.”

The rocket would take care of one teen villain-wanna-be with only one more left to eliminate.

Walbash had eliminated Gemma from the hunt, again, being another idiot teen, who couldn’t obey orders from a superior, a bad trait for an evil villainess.

Trux was eliminated from the hunt, three tests ago, leaving Lowell, the leading candidate for the future teen villainous of villains.

Walbash looked and tracked on the radar screen the single rocket, which sailed in the direction of south, and traveled into the unknown territory of the Middle East. She held the handhold with one hand and braced her green slime colored sandals on the floor, slamming the green colored button for go.

The thrusts heated and blow white smoke around the dome glass.

Walbash grabbed the handhold with both her hands and gritted her teeth.

The rocket launched in the sky and killed the healthy grass. It jolted to a stop at 4,000 feet vertically and 2,000 feet horizontally from the rocket ship of Gemma. The dark misty cloud quickly formed around the rocket in a disguise as a storm cloud.

She shook the blood back into her arms and slammed the yellow colored communication button, sitting in her chair, listening to her speaker box echo with the numerous vocal replies.

Walbash smiled with an evil grin.

Victoriana, where are you going? Are you okay?” Trux yelled via the speaker box.

Walbash, me and you are talking, after this.” Patsie said via the speaker box.

Walbash, me and you are meeting, after this.” Bickman said via the speaker box.

Stop the ship, Victoriana!” Gemma yelled via the speaker box.

Victoriana, please call and acknowledge your medical and mental condition.” Lowell said via the speaker box.

Walbash, I would strongly advise to contact her parents, when we land and explain the delicate matter.” Levine said via the speaker box.

Dr. Walbash, please stop Victoriana and her rocket and her new flight path, now!” Gemma yelled via the speaker box.

Walbash sat in her chair and smiled with an evil smirk, hearing the numerous vocal replies.

Walbash, are you in there?” Levine said via the speaker box.

She’s in there. And she’s meeting with me, later.” Patsie said via the speaker box.

She’s meeting with me, first. You can have her, later, Patsie.” Bickman said via the speaker box.

Walbash, we should leave and tattle to the proper authorities, so they can send another rocket ship for the teen archivist.” Levine said via the speaker box.

Walbash slammed a special gold colored communication button, creating a whistle.

Her speaker box was silent.

“Alright! I got the air waves. We will leave…” Walbash said into her speaker box to the other archivists.

No. Victoriana’s hurt or injured inside her rocket ship. Or she would’ve called in with a positive response of okay. Please, Dr. Walbash, go and get her, now!” Gemma sobbed via the speaker box.

Yes. We must go and get the US jet fighters to find archivist Victoriana.” Levine said via the speaker box.

Naw. She needs our help, now! We just follow her and stay with her, until she responds on the communication box.” Trux said via the speaker box.

Walbash?!” Patsie yelled via the speaker box.

“We’ll leave and send a rescue ship for poor Victoriana. Everyone get ready to slide the steering wheel in the slot.” Walbash said into her speaker box.

Go and get her, Walbash!” Bickman said via the speaker box.

Walbash said into her speaker box. “Bickman, you and me both know the limitations of the mini rocket. The rocket travels in one direction only, one way only, when programmed. It is currently programmed to Uppsala, Sweden. The rocket does not have rescue capabilities either. Even if, we located her…”

Gemma yelled via the speaker box. “She’s on the radar screen. I see her black dot moving to the south, going due south. What’s due south of here?”

Trouble!” Bickman said via the speaker box.

Walbash tapped on the computer in her pilot console, saying into her speaker box. “Now, I possess an on-board computer in my rocket ship, as leader. I’m pressing some buttons and reprogramming all the rocket ships for traveling one way back to Birmingham, Alabama.”

Patsie said via the speaker box. “No. We can’t leave here and her.”

We call for rescue.” Lowell said via the speaker box.

Naw. We stay here and wait for her to return.” Trux said via the speaker box.

Levine said via the speaker box. “That’s not a wise decision, Trux. The enemy’s too close.”

Walbash said into her speaker box. “The computer is reprogrammed. Now, the rockets are very simple minded and kinda follow the lead rocket, like a pack of stray dogs. So, I’ll lead first and turn my steering wheel to the right, not left. I will steer to the right in a very wide arc and you will execute the same wide arc, to the right. Or you will damage your buddy’s ship and destroy your rocket and then die. I promise that you will suffer and die. Push and lock the wheel to the last slot, 300 miles per hour. We’ll be home in fifteen minutes and seven seconds. Phew! That’s fast, ya’ll!” She laughed. “Now, we’ll traverse the same flight path over Norway, then the sea, then Greenland, and into the US. Then we travel down the mountain range and stop and hang right and left above the Birmingham Science and Art Center, our home. We are ready for launch. There will be no more vocal communication disturbing mine and your flying skills. Since, you need both your eyeballs and your neurons flying the rocket. I don’t want any more incidents.” She slapped the yellow colored communication button off, and the number one plate, at the same time, seeing the steering wheel unlatch, and shoved the wheel hard in the last slot.

Her rocket flew ahead at 300 miles per hour, rattling the metal floor from the exceed speed and power.

Walbash slowly turned the wheel to the right and arched the ship toward a northern direction. Her rocket soared ahead and left behind six other blackish colored clouds, hanging in the wind. She tracked the solo black dot flying off in the wrong sunset, saying with a wicked smirk into her speaker box. “Gemma, fly!”

Gemma wiped her tears and held the overhead handhold with one hand, slamming the steering wheel into the last slot with the other hand. Both hands grabbed the handhold.

Her body rolled back and forth during the launch.

She wasn’t scared of the rocket acceleration, only worried about Victoriana. Walbash was an evil person, not chasing after the runway rocket ship, and saving the teen life of her dearest friend. Gemma would arrive in Birmingham and run away to the landline telephones on the ground level, calling the police and reporting the murderous crime.

Walbash saw a single black colored cloud behind her rocket and a single black colored dot moving away, yelling into her speaker box. “Bickman and Levine, fly!” Viewing the radar screen, Walbash saw three black colored clouds behind her rocket and one black colored dot moved out of the console screen. “Trux and Lowell, fly!” She saw the arc of two black colored clouds both moving and forming behind her rocket space. There were five black colored clouds behind her and not one single black colored dot on the radar screen. “Patsie, fly!”

The last black colored cloud arched and pulled up in the rear of the lopsided storm cloud formation. Then all the black colored clouds flew to the north, then turned to the west, and finally turned into a southwest direction, rolling above the green colored mountains.

Walbash saw the blinking pink colored buttons on the individual communication buttons, specifically the numbers four, five, and eight. These numbers represented the seasoned archivists. She tapped a set of new golden colored communication buttons with the numbers four, five, and eight, for her listening pleasure, without being discovered.

Bickman said with a lady growl via the speaker box. “Walbash has gone mad or something more madder. So I will handle Walbash, alone, once we’re all inside the Center and safe.”

Levine said via the speaker box. “I agree with you, Bickman. Walbash is acting loco-poco girly crazy. She needs to be removed from her leadership immediately. I will take charge until…”

No, I become the leader of the Center and take over the command…” Patsie yelled via the speaker box.

Shut it! The first priority is getting Walbash contained and Victoriana back home to Birmingham.” Bickman yelled via the speaker box.

How do we do that, Bickman?” Patsie said via the speaker box.

Bickman said via the speaker box. “I don’t know yet!”

Walbash laughed and clapped, lifting and shaking her green slime colored sandals in the air, being a small person inside her chair. “Yeah, ya don’t know, and ya can’t do, Bickman. Losers! I can’t believe I employ such babies at the Center and all wanna take me away and my job away. Well, try it! I got some more tricks up my short sleeved multi-colored cotton shirt.”

Gemma stared at the radar screen and watched the single black colored dot disappear from the monitor, sobbing with tears, swaying side to side in the handholds.

Her dearest friend was lost in the air space.

Her eyelashes were drawn to the flashing pink colored buttons, knowing that the color represented an individual communication conversation, during the flight, not at the launch or the landing.

Pink colored buttons numbered four, five, and eight were colored in black, meaning that Bickman, Levine, and Patsie were secretly talking about the death of Victoriana, too.

Gemma wasn’t interested in talking with the seasoned archivists, who did nothing to help her dearest friend. She slammed the non-blinking pink colored button seven, asking. “Trux, is this button for you?”

Lowell held the handholds and watched the single black colored dot disappear from the radar screen too, feeling both sad for Victoriana and mad at Walbash. His boss is an evil person, not caring about the life of a teen. Lowell saw the two blinking pink colored buttons of seven and two, frowning with intrigue and smashed it.

Then he heard.

Trux, is this button for you?”

He said into his speaker box. “Lowell. My rocket number is seven, but I feel like talking too, Gemma.”

Trux walked around the cockpit and punched both his yellow slime colored fists into the air, practicing for the upcoming bloody punch in the nose of Dickana Walbash, PhD, seeing an array of flashing pink colored buttons, the individual communication buttons.

Trux frowned, not being certain which teen had which rocket number, pressing his number six, and the numbers seven and two.

Walbash gasped, seeing more pink colored flashing buttons, which represented the reminding teens left on the highly successful archive expedition. She slammed off the other buttons and smashed the other respective golden buttons, secretly listening to the teens.

Then she heard via the speaker box.

What are we going to do? How are we going to rescue Victoriana? I can’t stop crying.” Gemma said with a sob via the speaker box.

Trux said via the speaker box. “We’re going to punch Walbash into a bloody heap of bones and tissues and then call the police. And, then we tattle to them about all this stuff, the Rus, the rune stones, the Ring of Solomon, the slime cream, the daggers. Then the US Federal Government will come and rescue Victoriana.”

Lowell said via the speaker box. “Is she still alive?”

Gemma said with a sob via the speaker box. “I do believe so.”

How do you know that, Gemma? How would any of us know that?” Lowell said via the speaker box.

The rocket blasted off. Ya gotta slap the wheel in place with your personal DNA finger prints. Or it doesn’t go. So, Victoriana is alive and slapped the wheel for some reason.” Trux said via the speaker box.

The enemy!? Hey! One of the teens got into her rocket ship. Yes. The door flap was open. Bickman said that metal door would only open with our individual DNA finger prints. However, we all left the door open, as they say. And one of the sneaky teens crawled inside during the battle and then Victoriana crawled inside, too. And she is fighting the teen, now.” Lowell said via the speaker box.

Victoriana will win.” Gemma said via the speaker box. “I promise. She’s a fighter, like me. She’ll win. So she’s okay. So she hit the plate. Since only her DNA fingers can control the weird metal. Okay. So she’s alive.”

Trux said via the speaker box. “She’s alive and fighting. We need to get home and call the military jet fighters and helicopters and get her some rescue help.”

Walbash gasped, shaking her baldness, leaping from the chair. “No. Naw. Impossible.” She leaned over the console and studied the radar screen, not seeing a single black colored dot of movement. “She’s gone! The rocket was traveling to fast for piloting and rammed into a mountain side or another flying airplane or a communication antennal or an electricity power tower. This was reason for flying over the mountain peaks of the Appalachian Mountain Range. There were no man-made objects for wrecking the rocket ships. She’s dead. I’m most certain.”

The decelerating program began.

The steering wheel lifted with a pop.

Walbash jumped back from the console, seeing the steering wheel move and lock in the neutral position. She grabbed the single handhold with both her hands, gritting her teeth.

Her rocket halted with a jolt and hung among the white clouds, wearing the artificial dark dusty blackish gray cloud and disguising the naked eyeballs of the Americans who walked below on the city streets of Birmingham, Alabama.

Chapter Eleven

 

2:42 P.M. (USA time)

Birmingham. Alabama

 

Walbash leaned over the console and tapped the yellow colored communication button, cutting off communication between the pilots, activating the speaker box for her private message. “We land one at a time, like before. Patsie, Bickman, Levine, Gemma, Trux. Lowell is next to last. I’m last, like before. Slam the red button for land. The automatic pilot computer will glide the rocket down into its homey slot. So hold onto the chair or the console handles or sit on the floor. The computer is not human. It is a machine, not caring about giving you bruises or your feelings. The computer will land the rocket in 3.5 seconds, that’s faster than an eye blink. Okay! Land and exit your rocket. Slam the metal over the floor, falling down into the pit. Then slam the metal panel to get out of the rocket. After you crawl out of the rocket, slam the metal door again for closing up the cockpit. The rocket will power down automatically and cool down. Then I want each archivist to sit in front of your rocket for our impromptu business meeting. And I owe you an explanation. Go, Patsie!”

Patsie held the overhead handholds for safety, slamming the red colored button for land.

The mechanical eye sensor of the rocket, which was located on the bottom of the metal, puffed away the black colored clouds and produced rolls of white colored steam, covering her sour face.

Her rocket smoothly and silently slid down into the round cylinder, out of sight.

Walbash hovered in the air and carefully watched each rocket, seeing that each machine dropped and disappeared down an individual shunt, without trouble. She slammed the red colored button for land, allowing the computer to take control of the engines.

She saw miles of blue colored sky then glittering rainbow colored rays from the glass dome, then gleaming streaks of silver tinged metal, and finally a muted dull yellow colored light inside her rocket house.

Her rocket fell into the base cup with a click and released rolls of white steam with a hiss. The interior lights went black, then illuminated in dull yellow colored tones for the sleep mode of her rocket.

Walbash stood at the pilot console and watched the white steam fade, seeing a sour face on each archivist, and slapped the yellow colored communication button, saying into her speaker box. “It is safe to exit the rocket now.” She smashed the button off and readied to exit her rocket.

Gemma disappeared from the cockpit first, sobbing with tears, crawling into the middle of the tile, moving away from the heated metal. She plopped on the floor, not possessing one ounce of physical strength to stand and walk.

Trux exited the rocket second, and crawled on top of Gemma, patting her hair, stroking her arm.

Lowell crawled and moved out through the rocket opening, falling on top of both Gemma and Trux, worrying about Victoriana, too.

Patsie saw a pile of teen bodies in the middle of the floor, feeling both sad and sorry. She disappeared from the cockpit and crawled out the hole, moving straight to the heap of bodies, patting on the forearm of Gemma, and whispered. “We’ll get Victoriana back home. I promise. She isn’t too far…”

Levine stood from the rocket hole and shook his skull, not knowing what to do or say.

Walbash swung from the silly pile of teen bodies on the tile floor and laughed with amusement, walking to the pit hole in the cockpit floor. “Wussies. Losers. Babies. I work with a litter of mewing kittens.” She wiggled down to the floor and slammed the door open, standing underneath the bad breathe of Bickman.

Bickman said with a lady growl over the bald skull of Walbash. “I’m taking over command, now, Walbash.”

Dickana cocked her jaw line, smiling up into the angry red flushed face of Bickman. “I have known and trusted you for a couple of decades, Bickman. Do you not trust me, now? I know what to do. Do you know what to do?”

Bickman said with a lady sneer. “Yes!”

Walbash clapped, yelling. “Archivists, there’s a new table of food for lunch. Get food or get into your chairs or do both! Start the translations for the rune stone now. You’re employed and paid by the minute. Or you can quit your paying job and go home. The landline telephones are on the ground floor. You will be paid for the rest of the day. I am not a tyrant.” She bent down underneath the arm of Bickman and went to her chair, standing and tapping on her computer.

The teens slowly uncurled from the huddle, stood and shuffled, sliding into their assigned chairs, staring at their assigned computers.

Gemma wiped the tears with one hand, tapping and trying to locate the rocket ship of Victoriana on the computer with the other hand. She was staying in the building and the program, gathering more information to tell the police about the evil murderer Walbash.

Trux alternated, growling at the back spine of Walbash, typing on the computer to find Victoriana too. He was staying and participating in the upcoming bloody beaten, which was coming from Bickman.

Bickman folded her hands in two white colored fists and moved to her assigned chair, sliding inside and typing on the computer, as well.

Patsie went to the food table, looking at the drifting steam from the tin lids, not eating. Levine stood behind Patsie, patting her shoulder, not knowing what to say or do.

Lowell stood by his chair and stared at his computer, pondering what was happening on the first day of his new job, even though he was getting paid.

Walbash stood and said, tapping on her computer. “I’m downloading all the snapped pictures from all of your rocket mobile telephones, which were taken at the Uppsala rune stone park…”

 

9:42 P.M.

Victoriana’s Rocket Ship

 

Victoriana rolled to the side and stood up on her pink slime colored hands and kneecaps, slowly crawling toward the pilot console, feeling the warmth of the floor. Her eyelashes were closed from the burning heat.

The floor shook with a rumble traveling at 300 miles per hour, taxing the delicate engines.

Her hair roots hit the console. Then her body guided up onto her kneecaps.

Her arms reached out and her hands caressed the lowest smooth slots on the steering wheel. She eased the wheel back towards her worried face, feeling a rough jolt, hugging the wheel with her eyelashes closed.

The rocket sailed backward, instead of forward.

Victoriana released the wheel and as, it slammed into the first slot at 100 miles per hour and flew forward, resuming the sailing pace.

Walbash said that the wheel controlled the direction of the rocket.

She caressed the steering column and pressed the purple colored button.

The drawer opened.

She crawled both hands over the console and found the drawer, sliding the sunglasses over her face, and stood in front of the steering wheel. She opened her eyes, saw a batch of real black storm clouds, and felt real terrible fear, not understanding how the rocket would react to nasty weather.

Victoriana drummed her hands on the steering wheel. “Okay, I can see and I can think, but think fast. Think faster. Think fastest.” She turned away from the steering wheel, strolling around the glass dome, seeing blurred colors of green, blue, and red landscapes at 300 miles per hour. “Where am I?” She circled the glass and accidentally smashed the radio dial with her kneecap.

The radio transmitted words in a foreign language.

Victoriana gasped, scooting to the console, slamming the yellow colored communication button, saying into her speaker box. “Hello! Can we hear me, Walbash? Gemma? Patsie? I’m here. I’m alive. I’m somewhere over some country. Please tell me what to do to get back home?” She smashed every pink button for verbal communication. “Gemma, are you there? Trux, are you hearing me? Lowell, are you there too?” She leaned over the console, wiping her tears. “The rocket is too far from them and Sweden and Birmingham. I’m all alone here, but I’m smart too.” She turned to see the rear of the glass dome. “Walbash said that the steering wheel only flies the rocket going forward or backward. I’m going forward and away from Gemma and the others. So easy! I wanna go backwards to Sweden and then back home to Birmingham. I might be able to fly the rocket backwards and perform that slick maneuver. Yeah!” She clapped, sliding the steering wheel backwards into her chest.

Her rocket jolted and flew backwards in the air waves too.

“Yeah, it’s working.” She held the steering wheel into her chest and looked over her shoulder, seeing miles of blue colored sky, without black colored rain clouds too.

Her rocket was slowly sailing backwards.

Victoriana felt a new tinge of neck pain, staring at the rear of the dome, holding the wheel in her chest, and a new twang of chest pain, seeing that the rocket traveled at about 20 miles per hour in a backward flight pattern. She couldn’t hold this weird pose for a few minutes, much less numerous hours.

She eased the wheel in the first slot at 100 miles per hour.

The rocket flew forward again.

“I’m traveling about 20 miles per hour or less, a safety functionality of flying backwards. Geez! If I drove the rocket backwards at 20 miles per hours, then I would arrive in Alabama, next month, pretty blue and frozen to death.”

Victoriana saw the black colored storm clouds ahead, turning away from the steering wheel, strolling around the cockpit. She stared at her pink colored slime shoes. “Old problem. New idea. I can’t drive it backwards at a slow poke…slower than 100 miles per hour. I’m 4,700 miles from Birmingham plus something additional. I stood on my head, getting dizzy for about three minutes. Or I would have passed out or even been death. So three minutes times 300 miles per hour equal 900 miles. Geez! The 4,700 miles to Uppsala plus the 900 miles is 5,600 miles from my nice big bedroom in Birmingham. So 5,600 miles divided by the maximum speed of the rocket is 18 minutes and seven seconds back to my bedroom. Okay, I need to turn the ship around and sail in the other direction north, not south. Walbash stated that the steering wheel could turn to the right or the left.” She exhaled with a puff of worry, turning and moving to the console, touching the steering wheel. “Okay, do it.” Her hands would not move, but her neurons were clicking. “Okay, do it now.” She held the wheel, slowly turning the wheel to the right, seeing the rocket slowly flow in a very wide arc. She bounced with excitement and headed in the proper direction, north.

Victoriana completed the arc, seeing blue colored skies and colored blurs of green, yellow, and red down below on the passing landscapes, locking the wheel at 300 miles per hour. “I’m coming back, Gemma. So hold there for a few more minutes at Uppsala, Sweden.”

 

2:47 P.M.

Birmingham. Alabama

 

Walbash stood, tapping on her computer. “The download’s done.”

Gemma stared at the back spine of Walbash, wiping her tears. “What about finding my dearest friend Victoriana?”

Walbash slid into her chair, tapping on her computer. “The authorities have been alerted. Everyone grab your chair. Let’s start viewing all the data. On the three television screens, I’ve placed an assortment of jumbled information.”

Bickman turned with a lady sneer to see Walbash. “When will the authorities find her, Walbash?”

Walbash said with a slight smirk to her computer, finding the future teen villainous of the villains on the first day of employment and eliminating her, permanently. She was typing out an email message to the President of the United States with all her dirty deed details.

Then the president would inform the Middle East authorities of a potential bogie, which was crossing their border lands illegally, at the moment, and would suggest an immediate destruction of the mysterious rocket ship.

So goodbye teen villain of the villainous!

Walbash tapped on the computer. “Soon, very soon, and soonest! In the meantime, we work and solve together the stolen artifact, the Ring of Solomon, and find it. The information’s on the screens. Then we work and find another stolen artifact, next week.”

Patsie moved to her chair, staring at the bald skull of Walbash. “When will Victoriana arrive back here in Birmingham?”

Walbash tapped on her computer, working on her email. “I predict within the hour. And, all will be, very well, again. Now, look at the translations and gimme a guess to the rune stone symbols.”

 

9:47 P.M.

Victoriana’s Rocket Ship

 

She saw the green colored valleys of Sweden through the dome glass, recognizing the landscape, and stared into the blue colored sky, and gasped. “I don’t see any hanging rocket ships. Where’s Gemma?” She slammed both the yellow and pink colored communication buttons for any type of vocal communication. “Gemma? Trux? Lowell? Anyone? Where are you? Are you safe? Are you on the ground? Yes, they’ll on the ground.” She gasped, looking down to the landscape. “I don’t see them down the ground either. And I’m flying away from Sweden into Norway. Stop! Stop the rocket.” She turned and touched the steering wheel. “No!” She back pedaled from the console. “Wait! I’m flying north. The other rockets aren’t here in Sweden, anymore. Yeah!” She clapped, smiling. “They went home. I’m going home also. The rocket is programmed to head in a northern direction.”

The rocket sailed over the dark blue colored Norwegian Sea with the numerous dotted patches of white colored ice, and then over the tall white icebergs of Greenland.

“I gotta turn to the left and go due west. When do I turn?” She gently touched the steering wheel. “When do I turn? Hmm, I’m over the iced lake and mountains of Greenland. Turn! Turn to the left.” Victoriana gasped and jumped backwards from the pilot console.

Like magic, the steering wheel slowly turned to the left, arching the rocket ship in a northwest direction, and then sailing into a western direction.

She bounced, clapping with excitement. “The rocket is programmed to fly home. Home.” She slammed the yellow colored communication button, yelling into her speaker box. “Gemma, can you hear me? I’m closer to home. Of course not, they’re home in the traveling exhibition and worrying about me. I’m coming in another eight minutes or so. Ya’ll are going to be so surprised.”

Victoriana carefully watched the blurry colors of the landscape, looking for the edge of the green colored mountain peaks.

 

3:05 P.M.

Birmingham. Alabama

 

Walbash tapped on her computer, correcting the spelling words in her dirty deed details to the President of the United States, saying without looking to the three television screens. “Wow, I’m both shocked and surprised at the massive amount of volume, which is displayed all over the three screens. Can you see how all the data is compacted and shown on all three screens in itty bitty tiny symbols, which is probably an entire alphabet or two of the rune letters? I really hope we can decipher all the data by next week. I wanna find the Ring of Solomon and return it to the proper owner, as soon as possible. Wow, I see numerous ugly tall and skinny animal symbols. I see rolls of rounded symbols. And I see mounts of vertical letters like our American alphabet, but not. Who wants what symbols for analyzing?”

Levine looked to see the screen, wearing a confused frown.

Bickman stared at bald skull of Walbash with her folded arms, wearing an angry face.

Lowell looked to see the screen, wearing a flat expression.

Gemma stared at her computer, wiping her tears.

Trux stared at bald skull of Walbash with his folded arms, wearing a sour face.

Patsie stared at bald skull of Walbash with her folded arms, showing a worried face also.

Walbash tapped on her computer, adding another line to the email. “I am not hearing any vocals or musical notes. So I’ll assign the work in two-person teams. Let’s see! Personalities can be so…something. I know. Each new archivist will be paired with a seasoned archivist, learning the archive files, as they say. O! And we’re so lucky to have three seasoned archivists to match three young archivists too. So I’ll team up the matching personalities also. So Gemma will work with…with Pastie. Trux will work with…with Bickman. Lowell and Levine will work on the rune stones…”

The yellowish-white overhead lights changed to the colors of orange, blue, and green, flashing off and on across the metal ceiling.

Walbash gasped and looked up to see the ceiling, standing from her chair and twirling in circles, pointed up to the ceiling also. “What’s this? I’ve never seen this lighting display. Why did the light bulbs change colors? What’s going on? What’s happening here?”

All the other archivists stood and stared up to the ceiling, also, dropping their mouths.

Bickman continued to sit and smirk, crossing her arms, watching Walbash with intrigue. “I guess we all find out, soon, very soon, soonest.”

White colored steam flowed down from an empty cylinder house, flooding the room with heated smoke.

“Get up! Get cover! Get near the elevators, now!” Bickman yelled, sliding out her chair and to the far wall, covering both Gemma and Patsie.

The other archivists followed Bickman, except Walbash. She stood at her chair and watched the white colored smoke with confusion.

The engines sounded with a roar, shooting down the cylinder house. The white colored steam filled the rear of the auditorium with a hiss, and a square shaped bottom of the rocket slowly landed on the tile base with a click.

Inside the rocket, the internal cockpit lights turned to a muted yellow color. Victoriana smiled, tossing her sunglasses, grabbing the rocket mobile telephone with her rune stone information. She crawled out and stood in rolls of steamed mist, feeling her pink colored slime suit melt away in tiny flakes and mix with the steam. “Hey, I can’t see anything, but smoke. I’m home. Anyone home too? Are ya’ll in here? Gemma!? Trux!?”

“Victoriana!?” Gemma saw through the white colored steam her dearest friend, running to the rockets. “Victoriana!?”

“I’m here! Where are you hiding? You won’t believe my far out space trip.”

Gemma dashed to Victoriana, hugging and laughing. “I’m so happy to see you. What happened to you? I thought…”

The other archivists slapped steam from their smiling faces and surrounded both Gemma and Victoriana.

Walbash elbowed through the tall archivists and stopped, saying with a lady sneer to Victoriana. “You!? How did you…?”

Bickman said with a smile and stood over Walbash, folding her arms, looking to see Victoriana. “The colored lights, I installed them after we acquired a fleet of mini rockets, in case, someone landed last. So the occupants of the room wouldn’t get burned from the heated steam. I’m smart, Walbash. Right, boss lady? So good to see ya’ll, safe and sound, Victoriana! We all wanna here your far out spacey story. Right, boss lady?” She shoved Walbash down to the floor, ordering. “Alright! First, everyone relax. Second, everyone grin goofy. Third, everyone sit.”

The archivists formed a semi-circle on the tile.

Walbash scooted away from Bickman to the opposite side of the floor and pulled out her personal mobile telephone, deleting the email to the President of the United States, listening to the unbelievable story.

Bickman said. “All the rockets are powered down, cooling off. The machine cannot be activated, unless your finger pad touches the metal again. So everyone, sorta, scoot up in the middle from the metal.” The archivists slid closer to the middle, forming a loose circle. She turned her smile to see the young archivist. “Tell us ya far out rocket adventure, Victoriana?”

Victoriana said, blushing. “Well, this is both embracing and embarrassing. My heel got caught in the steering wheel…”

“The heel of your sandal?” Lowell stared at her shoes.

“Ya drive with your feet? I’m impressed.” Trux laughed.

“I’m confused.” Patsie frowned.

Victoriana said. “No. I launched the rocket and forgot to wear my sunglasses. I hung from the ceiling handholds both blind and scared and slammed my foot…heel on the console, looking for the purple button to open the small side drawer. However, my heel stuck. I walked on my hands and accidentally slapped the plate with my…hand and the rocket flew off. Well I finally put on both my slime suit and my sunglasses and turned the rocket around and came home. Ta-da!” She smiled, raising both her arms, hand slapping with Gemma and Trux.

Bickman stared at her boss. “Welcome back home, Victoriana! Now, it is Walbash’s turn to tattle her secret.”

Walbash looked up from the mobile telephone to Bickman, exhaling with a puff of annoyance, rubbing her face. “Okay, I know the Rus leader at the rune stone park, this afternoon in Sweden.”

“Ya said that ya got an arch enemy, Walbash?” Trux rubbed his aching sore muscles from the swift fight.

“She is an associate living in Sweden, her home country.” Walbash said.

“An associate, evil?” Lowell laughed.

Walbash nodded. “I guess her nasty presence could be interpreted, that way. Well we were on her property, sorta. Even though, the rune stone park is a public park for both natives and visitors. She’s my counterpart, heading the Department of Art, Research, and Magic for the Swedish government.”

Lowell laughed. “Usually, the villainous American counterpart lives in the country of England, not Sweden. Who in the world is afraid of the Swedes? They didn’t fight as a group of battling soldiers in World War I or II either. No one’s afraid of a Swede. So what’s the feud about, Walbash?”

“Naw!” Trux looked to see Walbash, picking at the open cut on his bicep from the flying dagger of the Rus teen. “When’s the upcoming dual? That female wasn’t happy about us invading her homeland.”

Walbash shook her baldness. “There is no feud or dual. She is only doing her job as a treasure seeker…”

“Treasure hunter, ya mean, like me?” Trux slapped his chest, shifting his arm. Patsie stabbed Trux on the naked arm with the tiny needle. He turned with a growl to her, rubbing the limb. “Ouch!”

Patsie said with a giggle and slapped her chest, waving the hypodermic syringe needle. “O! I’m the nurse too. So there ya go! Ya won’t get lockjaw or any other sickly germs from the vicious knife cut.”

“She’s dangerous with everything.” Lowell turned his smile to see Patsie.

“No.” Walbash shook her baldness. “We are not treasure hunters. We are archivists of stolen and then stored data and objects, like Kara Ingvar…”

Lowell dropped his mouth. “She’s named after a dead Swedish Viking king.”

“She might be a royal princess, too, Sports coat.” Trux said. “We should ask them and her wimpy little sons and daughters at our second fist to face bout,” chuckling.

Walbash said. “I do not know if she is a direct blood descendant in the Swedish royal line of Ingvar.”

“Why is Ingvar important? Why is this expedition important? I know we’re looking for the Ring of Solomon. But I wasn’t expected to encounter danger…daggers as a studious archivist.” Patsie said with a sour frown.

“Dang wussies! They were dressed in black Goth-looking body paint.” Trux laughed.

“The black body paint went well with their pretty blonde locks.” Victorian laughed.

“And who’s still wearing their facial animal paint?” Lowell lightly touched Trux on the cheekbone, laughing.

Trux slapped the hand away, turning with a growl to see Lowell. “Touch me, again, boy!?”

“The Swedish Viking king traveled all over the sea waters, and then he didn’t call home or come back. History books called his last sea voyage, the ill-fated expedition of King Ingvar. However, there’s still a mystery about the voyage and his death.” Levine read from his personal mobile telephone.

“We are not treasure hunters. Your proclamation doesn’t make any sense, Walbash.” Victoriana said. “We’re paid to hunt down any and all lost treasures. So a treasure is treasure. A hunter is a hunter. Thus, we’re hunting down treasure. We’re called treasure hunters too.”

“The Rus are treasure hunters too. Is that your argument, Walbash?” Levine turned his frown to see Walbash.

“Who are they?” Patsie turned her frown to see Walbash too.

“The Rus.” Lowell laughed. “They announced their presence, before their presents. Ya’ll get it? They arrived in person and then tossed their personal knives, their weapons at us, missing me, of course. Some of the teens could not pitch a knife, really well.”

“A small dagger, it actually hit me, of course!” Trux turned his smile to see Bickman. “Where ya get that wicked axe-thing, Bickman? Can I have one for the next go-round with the Rus, tomorrow?”

Bickman turned her grin to see Trux. “An adx, like an axe, it’s used to sharpen a curved blade at a right angle on a wooden handle, and it’s covered in ancient rust, making the skin infected, if ya happened to get cut. I got it at a yard sale of the US Archive storage warehouse for two bucks. But I got some more wicked things that you can choose from, Trux.”

Levine turned his frown to see Patsie. “It is obvious, to me. The Rus are the newest breed of bold and brave archivists, like us.”

“We ran away in the newest and fastest rocket ships. They are not, like us.” Lowell laughed. “So do we get weapons, too, Walbash?”

“Will we be encountering the Rus on anymore out of country rocket trips? They possessed and displayed very bad social manners.” Victoriana turned her frown to see Walbash.

Levine turned his smile to see Patsie. “It is not likely, again, archivist Patsie. We happened to be in the exact spot, at the exact time, and an exact coincidence. The Rus archivists were taking advantage of the birthday party celebration, too. And we just happened not to be invited, there. We have seen the last of the running away bee-hinds of the dark skinned wussies, also. I promise.”

Victoriana whispered. “I hope so.”

Walbash turned to see each archivist, wearing a sour frown. “Listen up! I agree with Levine. This was a once in a life time occurrence. Do not worry about the Rus and their female leader now. They are a bunch of teen and adults archivists, like us. And they happen to be looking for the Ring of Solomon, like us, too. However, we are the smarter…”

Victoriana said with a confused frown. “That doesn’t make any sense, to me. They live there in Sweden. They should have found and discovered the specific rune stone symbol for the location of the Ring of Solomon years or decades or centuries ago.”

Walbash said with a grin and pointed to the young archivist. “But they didn’t have our clever and intelligent young archivist Victoriana, who single handedly figured out the hidden clue in the rune stone…”

Levine turned his grin to see Victoriana. “And there are 3,000 rune stones all over Europe, except our brilliant and newly employed young archivist Victoriana scattered the puzzle and found the golden ring.”

Walbash smiled. “Young archivist Victoriana discovered the first clue. Now, let’s figure out the second clue and beat Kara and her kittens to the next location…”

“I thought you said that it was a once in a life time encounter with Kara and her daggers. Are we going to meet up with them, again, Walbash?” Patsie said with a worried brow.

“We should.” Trux turned his sour frown to see Patsie. “I’m kinda worried. They possess the American secret of the slime suit. When did they get or steal or find it?”

Gemma smiled with a nod, raising her fist. “Yeah, I totally agree with Trux. The Rus stole our stuff. We…we go back to Uppsala, Sweden, now, and find out and question them and ask them, right now. They…they are still hiding in the rune stone park, waiting on rescue or something.” She wanted to return and collect her lost Thor’s Hammer bronze pieces.

“It is too dark in Sweden, archivist Gemma. The night time there is 10:45 pm.” Levine read from his personal mobile telephone.

Gemma frowned, staring and ringing her hands with both anticipation and concern.

“They were wearing an entire body suit of black colored slime plus matching black colored war paint on their faces. How’s that possible? I thought the slime suit was used only in outer space by…by spacemen? Why didn’t their suits evaporate into tiny black snowflakes and drift off to the clouds?” Patsie said with a confused frown.

Victoriana smiled with a nod. “The Rus added an oxygen molecule in the formation and formulation of their personal black colored slime suit. Bickman told us the suit was used in outer space. Oxygen is not present in outer space, only here on planet Earth.”

Walbash turned his smirk to see the young archivist. “Very, very good, archivist Victoriana, you have demonstrated another act of exceptional intellect thinking as an archivist, as well as, saving your rocket ship and yourself from total destruction. I am very impressed with your archivist skill sets.” She looked to each archivist. “Now, the discussion thread of the Rus is both mute and dead. We are not going to meet the Rus. And we are going to solve the mysterious of the Ring of Solomon. Now, a safari hunter tracks down and finds a deadly wild mammal. A police officer hunts down and finds a deadly murderer. And a treasure seeker hunts down and finds a deadly treasure. Does anyone wonder what the word, magic, could stand for in the Department of Research, Art, and Magic?”

Lowell said. “Yes sir! A flying machine would have been seen as magic to the cavemen, and maybe, some of the naked eyeballs within a group of isolated primitive human beings too. I admit the advanced technology in this room is both mind boggling and teenly fun. I have never seen a foamed lounge chair or a mini flying rocket, ever. So your adopted the word, magic, has become part of the department name for these intriguing things.”

“No. Someone hit me again.” Walbash said.

Victoriana smiled with a nod, raising her palms. “Hmm, here goes! A person’s creative mind is magical. He or she can draw, using their fingers. He or she can play music, using their voice. He or she can dance, using their body. These talents are magical, since not a lot of folks can draw, sing, or dance. This represents the magical part.”

Walbash said. “No way! I’ll answer, since I hunger for a plate of food. The Ring of Solomon is said to possess magic…”

“No.” Victoriana said, shaking her curls. “No, that’s incorrect, Walbash. The ring was a signet ring for sealing documents like…like a medieval king used. It’s not magical or mystical or mysterious. It’s a ring, an ancient and stolen ring that we’re trying to rescue and restore back into the US Archives warehouse.”

Walbash said with a nod. “Alright, move on! Who else has a confession?” All eyeballs turned to stare at each other. She said. “So we work harder and smarter to beat the Rus to the Ring of Solomon. We need to translate the rune symbols on the screens…”

“I found something during our trip to Sweden in my portion of the rune stones.” Victoriana turned her smile to see Walbash. “Is that okay for me to explain my something?” Walbash nodded in silence. Victoriana pointed to her rocket mobile telephone. “This inscription…”

“Send the rune stone inscription to the screens, Victoriana. Everyone go and grab your portable computer from your individual chairs and come back here to discuss our homework assignment.” Patsie stood, moving to her chair, grabbing her computer.

“Yes ma’am!” Victoriana tapped on her rocket mobile telephone, moving to her chair, grabbing her portal computer from the tray also.

All the archivists returned to the circle on the floor, holding their computer, looking at the television screen with the single rune stone inscription.

Victoriana said. “Listen to this! I’ve already translated the rune letters into English words. My set of rune stones had more letters than symbols, animals, and circles. I believe the inscription says something like this. ‘I know that I hung on a windy hof from here to there at nine long nights. I was wounded with a spear, dedicated to me to me, on that tree of which no man knows from where its roots came.’”

Lowell tapped on his computer. “The word, hof is an ancient German word, not a Viking term. Why would the Viking be hanging on top of a house in a wind storm? That doesn’t make any sense, to me. The Vikings sailed around the sea in boats and then burned all the hofs and hoes that they encountered. You’re so wrong, this time, archivist Victoriana.” He turned his smirk to see Victoriana.

“Hoof,” Trux turned to see each archivist. “Whoa, I think that the correct translation from the rune letters in our modern day language is a hoof, like a horse hoof.”

“I know that I hung on a windy hoof from here to there at nine long nights. Here to there? Here would be Uppsala, but where is there?” Victoriana frowned.

Lowell said. “So our hero fell down on his horse with hoofs, lying on the cold and wet and windy ground for nine nights and bleed to death from the pierced spear wound. So what? This translation means nothing, to me. And it’s not related to the Ring of Solomon at all.” He waved his hand for dismissal.

“A windy hoof would mean that the rider is traveling away from here and going to there. And the hero could have been hurt, not recognizing his unfamiliar whereabouts. Since a horse with four hoofs will ride, until a stallion is told to stop running. So the hero was riding away from Uppsala.” Trux turned his smile to see Victoriana.

“Riding away from Uppsala to where, another part of the city or another part of the countryside?” Levine frowned.

Victoriana smiled with a nod, waving her arms. “That tree!? The tree!? A tree has a set of rings, the inner circles of its life force. We are looking for a ring, which is like an eternal symbol of life, a life force, being the life of King Solomon. Don’t you see the connection here with the tree?”

“No, I don’t see a connection. I don’t feel a connection. There is not a connection here.” Lowell turned his frown to see Victoriana.

“The rune stone is a message.” Victoriana said. “Within the message, it is written in symbols, like the animals for something, and the circles for something. The something, in this particular message, is the tree…a tree. A tree has rings. A tree ring shows the number of years of life. Life is equal to death. The Ring of Solomon represented both life and death. This rider had possession of the Ring of Solomon. More of the inscription reads, ‘the tree of which no man knows from where its roots came.’ The rider didn’t know where the tree or the ring came from, because the Ring of Solomon was stolen from King Solomon by the Babylonians and sold to the another foreign countryman merchant.”

Levine dropped his mouth. “If you are correct, archivist Victoriana, then the ring fled from Uppsala to where?”

Trux said. “That’s easy! The inscription says that the rider traveled for nine days. What’s the next city coming from Uppsala and going to whatever, that takes nine days and nights for traveling.”

Bickman said with a wicked grin and lifted her computer. “To the computers, find the answer, archivists.”

All the faces dropped down to the computer screens with a groan and as, all the fingernails sounded with numerous clicks.

Lowell said, turning to each archivist. “Uppsala is on the coastal side of Sweden. Therefore, the rider went west, young man or woman…”

“Ya watch too much TV, Sports coat!” Trux tapped on his computer.

Lowell read from his computer screen. “The city of Stockholm is 37 miles from the rune stone park of Uppsala and by train, it is a 35 minutes trek, Trux,” laughing.

Trux tapped on his computer. “That’s too short! The horse rode nine days, not nine minutes, Sports coat.”

Victoriana read from her computer screen. “The city of Orebro from Uppsala is 106 miles. By car, it’s one hour, by bus it is three hours, and by train it is two hours.”

“Still to short, go further west, young gal!” Trux smiled, tapping on his computer.

“Further west is the city of Karlstad, it’s 148 miles. By plane, it’s two and half hours. And, by bus, it’s four hours.” Patsie read from her computer screen.

Trux tapped on his computer. “Naw, too short! Go more to the west, ya’ll!”

Bickman read from her computer screen. “The city of Bergen to Uppsala is 424 miles. It is over four hours by bus. By train, it takes almost fifteen hours. By foot, it’s over twelve hours.”

He looked up to see the ceiling, thinking out loud. “A horse can travel between 45 and 50 miles per day. The average of that number is 47 miles per day.” He looked down, tapping on the computer. “So I calculate the math here on the computer. The total miles of 424 divided by 47 miles per day equal…” Trux gasped, looking up to see each archivist. “Ya ain’t going to be believe this, ya’ll.”

“What’s the math total?” Patsie stared at Trux.

“It takes nine days to reach the city of Bergen from the eastern city of Uppsala by horse.” Trux smiled.

Levine smiled with a nod, clapping and pointing to Trux. “That’s the place. That’s the next clue. Good job, archivists Victoriana and Trux! Walbash, we have a pair of good teens. You saved both the day and the night for us to enjoy the late evening.”

“What’da ya think, Walbash?” Bickman turned her frown to see her boss.

Walbash stopped typing on her personal mobile telephone and looked up to each archivist. “I think that we’re all going back to the country of Sweden tomorrow and finding more clues on the stolen artifact, the Ring of Solomon. I would like everyone to eat and rest, until we all meet again tomorrow morning at six o’clock. The rest of the evening belongs to you. There will be trays of cold and hot entrees and beverages until nine o’clock.”

Gemma smiled with a nod, waving both her fists. “Yes, tomorrow! We conquer Sweden again. Thank you! Thanks again!”

“Six o’clock, tomorrow morning, why are rising before the rooster crows, Walbash?” Levine turned his frown to see his boss.

Walbash smiled. “When it is six o’clock here, it is around noon time in Bergen. I wanna eat lunch, after finding the Ring of Solomon. Alright, we have a new adventure for tomorrow. Now, the young archivists have designated rooms for some peaceful slumber. The seasoned archivists may leave for the work day now. So everyone enjoy your free evening, compliments of me, boss lady.” She tapped on her personal mobile telephone, returning an email to the President of the United States.

The young archivists stood, turning to the elevators, starting their free evening of fun and food.

Chapter Twelve

 

6:13 P.M.

Tenth Floor

Traveling Exhibition

 

The elevator violently slid to the side with a halt. Gemma sung to the music and slid across the floor in the same direction of the elevator jolt, catching the side bar, stopping her motion, for fun. The elevator slowly ascended up to the tenth floor. Gemma danced side to side with the music, loving the concept of a dancing elevator, having a summertime paying job.

So far, the archivist job had been a hoot of fun and a pinch of danger. And she was going back to Sweden tomorrow, finding the stomped on Thor’s Hammer bronze pieces, saving her mama’s life.

She rubbed her developing bruises on both her arms and her legs from her body collision with the rocket chair, nothing minor. Gemma was a healthy girl.

The developing bruises showed very well on both her forearms and her legs in her new outfit, a golden colored body suit with both short sleeves and short pants. She found it in one of the closets with the matching golden colored flip-flops, which were very comfortable on her naked feet.

The size of the body suit seemed to stretch and fit all sizes and heights too.

Her black and blue bruises would heal in a few days. And she wasn’t blinded from the bright sunlight and would keep her protective sunglasses handy, all at times.

The elevator doors opened.

Gemma smiled, covering her eardrums, walking into her new work office.

Trux was seated inside one of the middle lounge chairs, playing a loud electronic game of flying green and orange colored fighter jets and exploding yellow and red colored battleships in the dark blue colored ocean water. He laughed, not wiggling in the thick foam chair, but his skull shook side to side in amusement.

She turned to the food table, being hungry, after an active day of both fun and play. She dumped a mountain of food on her plate and grabbed a fork, carefully turning to see the room.

The auditorium room was empty of people, except for her and Trux. There were no viewing windows or a single exit door, for an escape. The ceiling was made of steel metal which housed the sleeping rocket ships. The floor was white tile that was shiny cleaned from the cleaning company.

The eight chairs were empty and glowing in pinky-orange color tones underneath the bright artificial lights with an ugly brown colored metal tray on the side. The front and side walls contained a set of three gigantic television screens which covered the entire wall from ceiling to floor.

The three television screens displayed three different views of a pilot inside a gray colored fighter jet.

The left television screen showed the left side of the pilot. There were two battleships and a fleet of enemy fighter jets. The jets were fighting with each other, the two battleships, and Trux, who was acting as the pilot.

Trux sounded with a hoot and a sneer, working the computer console controls up and down.

The right television screen displayed the right shoulder of the pilot. There was a surfaced submarine, two sinking ships, and three helicopters. The helicopters were rescuing the waving sailors on top of the sinking ships.

The front television screen showed the forward eyeball view of the pilot, who saw the rear end of an aircraft carrier, which was launching and landing numerous fighter jets.

Trux was the pilot, who was landing the jet onto the aircraft carrier.

Gemma stood near the wall and admired the art gallery, chewing her food, seeing an array of single colored pictures of weapons. Some of the weapons included a pistol, a long sword, a dagger, a shotgun, a rifle, a club, a pitchfork, a pick axe, and others killing devises. She frowned at the violent pictures, touching the jeweled handle of the dagger, and gasped. Her finger wasn’t feeling a piece of rough plaster and slick polished oil paint, instead a piece of smooth metal, made of shimmering colors.

Gemma back stepped from the picture, walking to the opposite wall, touched a different picture. Her finger felt a piece of smooth metal which glittered underneath the artificial lights, again.

She back pedaled from the wall and chewed on the food, scanning the wall from top to bottom, seeing a row of door panels on the edge of the floor. She turned to the opposite wall and saw the same three door panels, paralleling each other.

Gemma squatted, not touching the trap door, which was made from white tinted metal, and saw a faint outline of the capital letter ‘B’ etched above the door frame. She frowned with confusion, not understanding the functionality of the trap door.

She stood, turning to the television screen, touching the wall, and gasped. The wall was made of hard metal, not like a real soft feeling plasma television, making the electronic game shimmer in both vivid colors and brilliant sound on the hard metal too.

The room became silent, but the three metal screens continued the colorful electronic battle.

“Sorry!” Trux said. “I didn’t know anyone was in here.”

She stared at the metal screen. “You can play. I was admiring the wall. It’s not really a painted wall. It’s really a metal wall. This place is amazing.”

He slid the tray to the side and shuffled to Gemma. “Yeah, I touched it too. It’s some kind of special alloy metal, known only to the US Federal Government.” Trux chuckled.

She turned to see the three different televisions screens, still displaying the electronic game. “It’s remarkable. Each screen shows a different view like the pilot is really in the fighter jet. Can you really shoot at the enemy from all three sides too?”

“Yeah, ya can. And yeah, it’s a hoot. The computer provides ya with a virtual console, sorta, like our real pilot steering column in the rocket. There’s a virtual flying stick and an array of colored buttons. You tap over the buttons with your finger pads for the weapons or the bombs or other cool stuff. Then ya fly up, down, sideways over each target like a real pilot. I could stay here, all night, playing on this electronic game. The computer got hundreds of games, all free, too.”

She back stepped from the metal screen and turned her frown to see Trux. “Well then, I’ll leave ya alone…”

“Naw.” He back stepped, lifting both his palms, dropping his mouth. “I mean, if I wanna, I could play here all night. I mean, we got the Center all to ourselves. Right? We…I feel like exploring the other levels or rooms or floors, ya know, before we need to sleep and rest for getting up at six in the morning. Do ya wanna go exploring, too, with me? I mean, if you don’t go by yourself. And we’re dressed alike, too, in the sissy golden colored short sleeved and short pants body suit. I…”

“You forgot your luggage and left it in the car too.” She chewed the last of the food. “I wanna explore some of the rooms, too, before we gotta go to bed and rest for our new work day, tomorrow. Let me drop off my dirty plate. The food was good too.” She dropped the dirty plate on the table, wiping her face with the napkin, turning her smile to see Trux. “Where should we start, Trux?”

He grinned, turning and moving to see the open elevator carriage. “How about we just press a button and see where the elevator ends up at? Okay? I came here, as a little kid, a long, long time ago. But the Center has changed a lot.”

She smiled, following him into the elevator.

He held one of the ceiling handholds and pressed the button.

The elevator doors were not closing.

Trux chuckled with embarrassment, missing the button the first time, and slammed the button again. “Ya know we might end up…” He stared in the room. “Hey, the elevators are not closing.” He slapped the button repeatedly.

Gemma laughed, walking out the carriage, swinging around with her smile to see Trux. “Uh!”

Trux gasped, shuffling out the carriage, moving around the room. “Are we stuck on the tenth floor?” He pointed to the wall, waving both his arms. “There ain’t no single exit door or a set of exit stairs for stomping down to the next floor or to the city street, in case, an urgent emergency. Do we call for help? There ain’t no landline telephone in here either. Wait! Our rocket ships have a mobile telephone.” He stood underneath his rocket, staring up at the closed metal hatch. “How do we get them down and out of the cylinder house and on the floor? O! Our computers have external communication too.” He went to his chair and tapped his computer. “It…it’s dead! O no! We’re trapped up here.” He spun with his sour frown to see her.

Gemma was folded down at her waist, looking down to the floor, covering her mouth with her hand from her silence wave of giggles.

He frowned, parking both his hands on his waist. “What’s so funny, Gemma? We’re trapped up here, until tomorrow morning at six o’clock.”

She exhaled with a shallow breath, looking up to see Trux. “Okay!” She smiled, raising both her palms. “I sorry. You were so cute and innocent, when panicking. You’re correct. We are trapped…”

“What!?” He gasped.

“We are trapped, if we use the elevators. There’s another method of getting down to the city street level or into one of the other rooms of the Birmingham Science and Art Center.”

“Which is beyond my brain cells? How’s that possible, Gemma?”

She turned and moved to the wall, squatting at one of the closed metal doors, touching it with her ten finger pads.

The metal door opened.

He gasped, sliding on his kneecaps to the wall too. “What’s that? Where did that open door come from? I see a dark tunnel. Where does that tunnel go down to?”

“The metal doors are built on the lower portion of the metal wall on both sides. Look at the description above each door frame. It shows a faint capital letter of A, B, and C.”

He said, pointing to the wall. “But the letters are going in the opposite direction of the natural alphabet order. The letter C comes first on the wall, then the letter B, and finally the letter A. Why’s it backwards, Gemma?”

“Let’s find out.” She touched the letter C with her index finger. “And the answer is Chicken stew. Go ahead and touch the letter B and see what it displays.”

He gasped, touching the letter B with his index finger. “It says Brave heart.” He laughed, touching the letter A. “Adventurous archivist. What’s this, a tunnel fun ride or tunnel scary ride?”

Gemma stood, back pedaling from the wall. “Yes, an excellent guess, Trux, this is the called the tunnel ride or tunnel.”

He stood, back stepping and standing beside her. “The tunnel ride, to where?”

She slapped her body suit. “Okay, I worked as a helper here at the Center, two years ago. The silly Center directors had come up with a new adventure exhibition, the tunnel. Each child would exit out an exhibition room, riding down through a tunnel, and going down to a new room, without using the dancing elevator or the stairs or a helper. And I guess the silly directors get the idea built, because here it stands or sits or lies in the wall.” She laughed, clapping with delight.

He lifted his palms, shaking his skull. “Naw, now. No, I’ve had too much excitement for one day. I’m not riding down a black skinny tunnel to…to the next exhibition room or down to the city street to the bus depot. I don’t have a car. My daddy dropped me off, this morning.” He turned and moved to the elevator. Gemma turned with her silly smile and ran after Trux. He said. “I wanna go down on the dancing elevator to the city street and see the busy traffic. My stomach’s got used to the jolt and the swing.” He entered the elevator, grabbing one of the handholds, slamming the button.

She stepped into the carriage.

The elevator doors closed.

The elevator violently slid to the side with a halt and then smoothly descended down to the ninth floor.

She screamed, not grabbing the side bar in time, and slid to the same side of the dancing elevator.

Trux released the handles and hit the rear of the carriage wall, catching Gemma, wrapping both his arms around her waist.

They slid down to the floor.

Gemma sat safely wrapped in his arms. “Thanks for save! I wasn’t prepared for the jolt. The elevator’s fast. What number did ya hit?”

He smiled, smelling her lavender scented hair with his nose. “I’ll save ya, anytime, doll. I pressed every single button going down to every single level, until I hit the ground level. So we’re in a very rough ride down to the ground level. I don’t understand how the little kids don’t get hurt in the dancing elevator. This is a violent ride like a roller coaster with the safety belts latched.”

She bounced inside his biceps, yelling over the country music of banjos and fiddles. “During summer camp, there are individual kiddie chairs bolted around the wall with a set of tiny body web nettings for safety.”

He cuddled her tighter. “I like the rough ride, being a tall teen with big muscles. We’re cuddled in the corner, without shifting side to side. Since my arm muscle’s holding the bar. But I would guess it scares the little kids. Is that why they’re webbed into the chairs?”

The doors opened, showing a hallway of pink and purple colored doors and girly pictures on the walls.

“Where’s your friend Victoriana?”

She smiled, bouncing between his biceps. “I left her singing in the shower and getting dressed for the evening of something.”

The doors closed.

The elevator violently slid to the side with a halt and then smoothly descended down to the eighth floor.

Gemma screamed, hugging his arm.

Trux held the side bar above his head with one hand, without sliding side to side in the dancing elevator. He cuddled Gemma, wrapping his free arm around her waist and both his ankles around her legs. So they wouldn’t tumble around on the floor. He leaned into her hair, smelling the lavender fragrance again.

She smiled, enjoying the ride and the cowboy. “The little kids love it. Some of the little girls don’t, thou. So they usually ride with their mamas in the second elevator. But the little boys never want off. They wanna sit and ride the dancing elevator, all the day. Each elevator, during the regular operations, has a row of chairs both bolted and screwed into the wooden walls. One elevator holds the adult chairs with a set of bigger and stronger body webbing. The other elevator holds the little kiddie chairs.”

He enjoyed her bouncing and hitting his body parts. “Ya sound like you enjoyed the experience of the dancing elevator.”

“Yeah, during summer camp, I had a lot of fun.”

The door opened, showing an empty hallway. The walls were painted in white color with an array of individual pictures on the side walls of the corridor. The pictures featured colorful dinosaurs, airplanes, boats, kites, animal, and other boyish portraits.

Gemma narrowed her eyelashes, staring down the hallway. “Where’s Lowell?”

He said with a snort. “Hogging up our shared bathroom, too! Good thing, the hallway has a public restroom. Or Lowell would be using his new designer sports coat as his new bed linen tonight.”

The elevator doors remained opened.

She smiled. “How long are we going to sit here on the carriage floor?”

He lifted her up from his lap, standing and moving to the control panel. He frowned, parking both his hands on his waist. “That’s strange. None of the buttons are lighted. Hold on! I’m slapped the rest of the buttons for floors seven through one. We are going down.” He pressed each button, back running and slammed the wall. He slid to the floor and wrapped Gemma in a hug, chuckling in her cheekbone. “Get ready!”

Gemma laughed, covering her mouth with her hand from the soft giggles.

The elevator doors remained opened.

“Whoa, now!” He lifted her from his lap, again, standing and moving to the control panel again. He scratched his forehead. “The buttons are not illuminated. I don’t understand. I punched each button, a few seconds ago.” He slammed every button, again, crossing his arms, watching each button glow in yellow color, and then turn back into the color of black. “What!? What’s happening? Now, we’re stuck on the eighth floor.” He turned his smile to see her. “I guess you’re stuck with me. I’ll toss Lowell out our room. You can have his bed. How’s that, sweetheart?”

“You wished upon the wrong star, cowboy.” Gemma stood and smiled, pulling up beside him.

He reached for the sixth floor button. She said, grabbing and dropping his wrist. “I think you have proven beyond any doubt my working theory. The dancing elevator is programmed to lift and drop between the upper floors tenth, ninth, and eighth. So if we are to get down to the next science room, then we must to ride down inside the tunnel.” She moved out the carriage and stood in front the side wall, pointing to the object. “See, there are three metal doors too, which are painted in shiny white colors on both sides of the hallway, here on the eighth floor. And there are numerous individual pieces of boyish pictures, such like, dinosaurs, airplanes, boats, and other boy-like toys.” She turned her smile to see Trux. “Do ya wanna ride down from the eighth floor or the tenth floor, cowboy?”

“Don’t know!” He stared at one of the closed metal doors.

“Come on, Trux!” She squatted, touching the metal door with her five finger pads.

The metal door didn’t open.

He jabbed his finger at the door. “See! See there! Told ya! We’re stuck here, until Walbash arrives tomorrow and tells us the secret of the dancing elevator.” He turned to the elevator and entered the carriage, slamming his hands on the wall, rubbing his fingers over the smooth wood paneling. “There is a hidden door or a hidden level or a tiny button that gets the elevator started and moving down to the bottom level. Levine is too big to fit through that tunnel door. I promise ya. Levine didn’t slide down a tunnel to the first floor to go home either.”

She said with a puzzled frown, jerking her hands from the door. “That’s so strange! I touched the metal on the tenth floor and it worked.” She slid to the second metal door, touching with her ten finger pads.

The door didn’t open.

Gemma said with a sour pout. “I don’t understand, Trux. When you touched the trap door on the tenth floor, how many finger pads did you smear on the metal?”

He squatted on the floor, rubbing the wood with both his hands. “I can’t find a button or an indentation anywhere on the wood in here. I used both my hands.”

“O!” She nodded. “And the door opened. I used both my hands and the door opened too. But when I press both my hands to the door here, it doesn’t open. Okay!” She pressed her index finger to the door.

The door didn’t open.

She pressed her single hand with her five finger pads.

The door didn’t open.

“O! I get it now. I’m on the eighth floor, which is the number eight, not ten.” Gemma pressed eight of her finger pads to the metal.

The door opened.

She smiled and stood, moving into the middle of the hallway, motioning with her hand to Trux. “Come over here, Trux! Stop looking for a hidden door panel or button. This is part of our new job as the young team of archivists. Some of the other archivists are really old and wrinkled, like Patsie. I bet that they are thirty something years old. Each one would have a massive heart attack racing down a narrow dark tunnel to the ground floor. Walbash uses the term young archivists, all the time. Don’t you see, Trux! Walbash told us that the rocket ships were new to the Center. So we gotta test one in the field, today and tomorrow, too. The dancing elevator’s old. I played on that thing, two years ago. So we’ve been hired to test run on the new Center playground equipment, like the unused tunnel.” She squatted on the floor, touching the letter C with her index finger. “Yipe! It shows the same two words on the tenth floor, Chicken stew.” She touched the other two doors with her eight finger pads, watching them open, and then tapped the above letters, watching the words illuminated. Gemma stood, back stepping from the wall. “Okay, all three trap doors are open. Let’s figure out what to do next, Trux.”

Trux back stepped from the panel wall, shaking his skull, not finding a secret button and turned his frown to see Gemma. He stomped out the carriage and pulled up beside her. “Now, I understand why the Center is closed for the summertime. Nothing works around this place. Who’s supposed to fix the equipment around here?”

Gemma smiled, pointing to the first dark colored tunnel. “Do I fall and slide down on my belly button? The body suit is both smooth and soft, easily made to soar down a playground slide of metal materials.”

He grabbed her arm, shaking his skull. “Naw, don’t do that! Let’s examine the inside of each tunnel for any subtle physical differences. Then we can choose which one to journey down.” He squatted to the first dark tunnel, reaching inside, measuring the height and width with his arm and his hand. His other hand held the side of the door. “Okay. Memorize these dimensions of the Chicken stew mystery tunnel. The width of the entrance door is the same as a standard bedroom window of three feet, because my window frame looks like this. The interior height of the ceiling is the same as my bedroom window of less than three feet. I’m moving to the Brave heart tunnel. Whoa, now! The interior ceiling is three-fourths of three feet, making it, a brave heart, and me, a chicken stew fan. I’m afraid to scoot to the third tunnel which is called the Adventurous archivist. Okay, I’m inserting my arm into the pit black darkness of the tunnel. Ah, naw! The interior height of the ceiling is about one-third of three feet, that’s very, very low. Now, I understand the naming scheme of the three tunnels. The first one is very safe. The last one is very scary.” He scooted back, standing and turning to see the opposite wall. “Why are there three metal doors on the opposite side of the room too?”

Gemma chuckled and slammed Trux on the bicep, turning and prancing to the wall. “For tunnel racing, boys and girls, two kids can zoom down the same tunnel with the same dimensions and fall into the same finish line, for fun. This is a very cool concept. I wanna race one, now.”

He gasped. “Don’t open the other set of trap doors!”

“I’m not.” She squatted, staring at the wall. “I’m reading the wall. Yipe! It’s not lighted and shows in very faint lettering, but it displays the same words, Chicken stew, here.” She stood, turning and skipping back to Trux. “Which tunnel do we race down? Do we race on our backs or our stomachs?”

He turned his frown to see the three tunnels on the wall. “I don’t know. We’re still analyzing here. Okay, I’m going to stick my head in the tunnel. Do not shove me inside, Gemma! I…”

“Okay!” Gemma smiled, showing her four fingers. “I was a camp-girl. I promise to be a good camp-girl. No shoving. No tattling. No bleeding. Go and look! Tell me what ya see and make shore it is very safe, for us to have some fun?”

He squatted, slowly leaning his face into the first dark opening, holding the edges of the tunnel with both his hands. “Okay, inside the Chicken stew tunnel, it is midnight black all around the ceiling and the walls and the floor in here. Along the ceiling and both walls, there are four rows of tiny lights, probably trace lights, for seeing your hands. The lights are actually blinking off and on in a solid color of light blue. Ugh! Dang!” He scooted backward on his kneecaps, holding his hand in the air. “Ugh! There’s something on the floor all slick and wet…”

“Black slime’s on your hand.” She squatted, leaning her face into the dark tunnel, wiping the floor with her hand, too, then held it in the air, laughing. “Its black slime like in our rocket slime tubs. See, it evaporates in the air waves, too. So the black slime, inside the tunnel, is the liquid element, making us slide down the tunnel. That doesn’t make sense and seems dangerous for children, to me.”

Trux wiped the remaining black colored flakes off his naked legs, standing and looking to the wall and the hallway. “I agree. So I don’t see any type of physical transport for sliding down the tunnel. The hallway’s completely empty, except for these ugly pictures on the wall. So I guess they haven’t finished building them. So I’m stuck here, until the elevator is fixed. So I guess I’ll go back up the tenth floor and play on more electronic war games for the evening. Do ya wanna come with me, Gemma?”

She squatted on the floor, rubbing her hands over the metal wall. “There’s another mechanic devise hidden on the wall. I see an outline of a faint circle shape, right beside the metal door. And if I touch the center of the steel tinted metal with my eight finger pads? Ta-da! A bowl of colored slime of light blue does appear. Okay, we’re getting close. Go and touch the metal circle beside the second and third tunnels, Trux.”

Trux chuckled and slid on his kneecaps to the wall, rubbing his hands over the metal, finding the circle. He pressed his eight finger pads inside the circle, seeing a silver tinted bowl flow down over the floor, which held sparkling slime paint also. He duplicated his movement to the third tunnel. “Okay, we got green colored on the Brave heart tunnel and yellow colored on the Adventurous archivist tunnel. Now, what?” He turned his smile to see Gemma.

She sat on her knees, leaning a face in the tunnel. “Don’t know!” She yanked her head out of the tunnel.

“I know. Touch it!” He laughed.

She turned her frown to see Trux. “No. I’m not touching the slime bowl. You touch the slime bowl and see what happens. You’re the brave man in my life.”

He frowned. “Nice try! I bow down to the woman on this task. You do it!”

She grinned. “I know. We both touch the slime, at the same time, and see what happens.”

“We will become covered in a slime suit, like inside our rocket ship.”

“I know. But the slime suit is the transportation vehicle that launches us down the tunnel. I don’t wanna go down the tunnel, alone. I wanna have some fun, before our work mission tomorrow. Come on, Trux!”

“Okay. Okay. Wait! If I touch the green slime, does that mean I have to ride on the Brave heart tunnel? I don’t wanna go down the Brave heart one. I wanna ride the Chickens stew one.”

She stared at the bowl. “I don’t think so. There isn’t a lot of liquid in the bowl. Any color will do. Okay, touch the slime. We’re wasting the evening away.” She dunked her naked fingers in the bowl, feeling the tickling sensation, crawling warm liquid up her hand and her arm. Gemma stood, allowing the liquid to color her entire naked body parts, her golden colored body suit clothing, and her golden colored flip-flops. She yanked out her fingers and turned her grin to see Trux. “Am I covered in light blue?” She touched her face. “My face is still naked and my hair too. You’re completely green from your throat down to your flip-flops too. Okay, we’re ready to slide down the Chicken stew tunnel, testing it for the little kids.”

He lifted his palms, seeing the green slime colored paint. “Yeah, you’re covered in light blue slime. Naw!”

She exhaled with a puff of frustration, parking her light blue slime colored hands on her matching light blue slime colored waist. “Now what, Trux?”

He slapped the green colored slime suit, sounding with a thud. “Gemma, something’s missing. Inside the rocket, we had slime suits for protection from the cold air and wore sunglasses for protection from the heated sun rays. The slime is not edible, like popcorn.”

She nodded. “It’s harmless, like seawater and snowflakes. Let’s go!”

“We need some type of eye wear, like our sunglasses.”

“We close our eyelids and ride down the tunnel. I bet the entire trip to the ground level takes…takes a few seconds.”

“Probably about a few long time minutes, we’re eight stories high from the ground floor. We don’t know. This is a very, very dangerous, without getting proper instructions from Walbash or Bickman or Patsie. Wonder if, one of the tunnels that we selected ain’t completed or damaged or destroyed?”

Gemma flipped her light blue slime colored hand up at Trux, kneeling and leaning her face into the dark space of the tunnel.

Trux ran and slid on his knees, capturing and swinging Gemma into his chest. They swung in a couple of circles to the elevator doors. His back spine hit the closed door of the second elevator, ricocheting off the metal, sailing his shoulder into the side wall, and slammed the low sitting dinosaur picture. Trux fell forward, landing on top of Gemma on the floor.

She grunted, lying underneath his chest. “Trux!?”

He chuckled, lying on top of her back spine. “Gemma!?” He slid to the side and stood, extending his hand. He pulled her from the floor, cuddling Gemma, pointed to the wall with a gasp. “Look! The dino picture, it moved and shifted out of place. It’s protruded out of the wall like it’s meant to be used.”

“What does it mean?”

“Don’t know. But I hit it with my slime covered back on the wall.” He examined one his green slime colored hands, keeping the other hand around her waist. “I think the slime is connected to the individual pictures on the wall.” He released her and moved to the wall. “Stay back! I’m going to touch the dino and see what happens.” He slapped the center of the dinosaur picture on the wall with both his green slime colored palms, then back stepped to Gemma, moving away from the noise.

The dinosaur picture lifted from the wall with a pop, separating from the wall with a creak.

Gemma and Trux gasped with shock. She said, shoving him back to the wall. “Hit it again and see what happens!”

He lifted both his slime covered palms, slapping the wall again.

The wall portion slid to the side with a slurp, revealing a glittering object, which was mounted vertical on the wall inside a cubby hole. The sled was made of silver metal, wide and flat in the center. The front piece was a horizontal bar with a semi-rounded nose cone and a set of open handholds at each end. The rear piece was a horizontal bar and a set of foot rests at each end.

He laughed. “It’s a real sled for the body. This is our transport going down the tunnel.” Trux jerked the sled from the wall and placed it on the floor. “This is amazing technology. The sled is made of smooth metal and shows the dinosaur picture in the middle of the metal.”

Gemma crawled on both her hands and knees, standing over the metal, touching the nose cone with her slime covered finger. “It’s both smooth and shiny too. I want one. Punch another picture for me with your slime covered finger.”

Trux squatted beside the sled, touching and probing the front nose cone and the rear bar. “It’s solid metal and lightweight. I think it is safe enough for riding. And the length is long which might fit two teens. Do ya wanna ride together?”

“Shore!” She placed her body over the center of the sled, touching the enclosed handholds with her light blue slime colored hands and slipping her light blue slime colored flip-flips into the two rear slots. “Look, the sled is a body ride. I fit perfectly. My hands sit inside the side pockets of the front bar, like a set of bicycle handles. And my flip-flops fit rest in the rear footholds, like sideways foot pedals. Okay, I’m ready to fly down the tunnel,” laughing.

He laughed, staring at Gemma on top of the sled. “Okay, I still would like to find and wear a pair of eyeglasses.” He looked up to see the wall. “Wishes do come true. There’s another square shaped slot that has fallen down from the wall on the other side of the tunnel.” He slid on his knees over the floor, grabbing the objects. “A pair of goggles, safety eye pieces.” He scooted on his knees, sliding to her, holding the object over her hair roots. “The goggles aren’t colored coded like our rocket sunglasses. They’re plain old dull orange colored. Here’s your pair!”

Gemma pushed up from the metal, not moving, still lying over the dinosaur picture. She grunted and pushed up again. “Ugh, I can’t move.”

He chuckled. “Girls! Use your girly arm muscles and lift your arms first from the metal and then your chest!”

She grunted, lifted her arms, jerked her chest up, and fell back down on the metal. “Ugh, I can’t move off the sled.”

“Here, allow me!” He straddled the sled, wrapping his hands around her waist and yanked her body.

“Stop!” Gemma panted with fright, wiggling her body side to side. “I’m really stuck to the metal. I’m not moving from the sled. I can’t lift my chest or my legs or my stomach…”

“Slime glue!” He laughed, straddling her body.

“What!”

He slid off Gemma, squatting down into her face. “Think it! Slime suit. Slime cream. Slime glue. What other slime does Walbash have in store for us, tomorrow?”

“What!?”

He smiled. “The kid rides on this thing going down a dark tunnel. The kid has to stay on the sled for the entire ride or get hurt. Now, I see the beneficial creation of the mini art gallery. The kid can choose his picture on the wall, which has been painted on the metal. Good idea! The kid will have lots of fun riding on top of her favorite animal, a kitten.” He tweaked her nose, smiling.

She shouted, flinging both her light blue slime colored elbows and ankles, which were not glued down to the metal. “Get me off of this thing, now! I want off, now!”

He stood, laughing. “You wanted to go down the tiny little dark tunnel now.”

“Not glued to the sled! Wonder if…if, it crashes or rips or something. I want off, now!”

He walked around the sled, staring at the sled. “I don’t think your body is meant to slide off the metal. I bet the black slime liquid has some special alloy properties that dissolve the slime glue, once you hit the ground floor. Okay! Ya gotta go down the tunnel, like or not?”

She flung both her slime covered elbows and ankles, which were not glued down to the sled. “No. No. Please no!”

He squatted, smiling into her face. “We go together. Put on your goggles, like a good little girl.” He placed the goggles over her eyeballs and his eyeballs. “I really wanna ride ya, tonight, darling!”

She gritted her teeth. “That is not funny, sir!”

“Okay, hold on. I gotta scoot the front of the sled to the entrance of the tunnel.” He squatted and pulled the sled to the edge of the tunnel, running around the rear, shoving the front of the sled over the edge.

She gasped, seeing the blinking light blue lights and the black pit of nothing. “Stop it! I’m going to fall down, without you.”

“Awe! Ya missed me already? I’m touched.” He laughed, straddling over her body, lying on top of her back spine. “That’s the idea for sailing down a tunnel.”

“Stop it!”

He wiggled between her legs, touching his hands over her hands inside the enclosed handlers. “Ooh la la, I like this position, darling. Wiggle for me, some more, doll!”

“Stop it!”

He said. “Okay. Gently place your flip-flops over my flip-flops for a more stable ride. I’m not glued down into the sled. I don’t wanna fall out of the ride either.” She slammed her feet over his arches. “Ouch, babe! I said gentle, not brutal. Okay. Your eye goggles are on. My eye goggles are on. You’re glued to the sled. And I’m glued to you. We’re ready to slide down the big bad black tunnel. I’m going to tilt my body weight forward, which in turn, will tilt the sled into the river of black slime that we can’t see or feel or taste or touch…”

“Go now!” Gemma said with a sour frown, looking down into the dark tunnel.

“Okay!” He smirked, not shifting his body weight forward.

“I’m ready.”

“Okay!” He wasn’t shifting his body.

“Come on! I’m ready. Go now!”

“Alright!” He wasn’t shifting his body.

“Go now!”

“I’m tilting.”

“Go!”

He shifted his weight forward, making the sled fall in the opening.

“Go…sugar!” She screamed.

The sled dipped into the darkness, rolling down and up the steep hill, banking to the right, and then to the left.

Gemma screamed, flinging her elbows, which were not glued down to the metal, slapping his ribcage.

Trux chuckled, clearly seeing through the goggles the blinking light blue lights change to bright green colored blinking lights.

The sled whipped to the right then to the left, then to the right, and finally straight down the hill.

Gemma screamed, flinging her elbows, slapping his ribcage again.

His shoulders were getting slapped in black colored slime which was coming over the tiny windshield, seeing the green colored lights change to brown colored and then purple colored.

The sled rolled up the steep hill and stopped on top of the peak, a flat plateau.

She said. “Is it over with? Are we in a room? Why did it stop? Where are we?”

He narrowed his eyelids, seeing the lighted rows of pink lights. “I don’t think so.”

“I want off, now. Can we get off here and now?” Gemma flung both her elbows, slapping his ribcage again.

His hair roots touched the ceiling, feeling the smooth metal, seeing more of the dark tunnel space ahead. “I don’t think so.”

“Well how do we get off? I don’t wanna go down to the first floor. Can’t we get off into another science room?”

He leaned into her hair which was covered in black colored slime. “I think so. The walls and the ceiling have changed numerous times with the colored blinking lights. So I guess each blinking color represents a room or a level. During our run, I briefly saw a shoot off on the right.”

“Take the next shoot off! I want off, now.”

The slime sounded with a gush and as, the sled slowly rolled down the steep drop.

Gemma screamed.

Trux squeezed both his hand and her hand on the right-sided handle, turning the sled into a new short pathway on the right.

The metal door opened.

The sled slid through the open archway, curved to the side, and stopped in front of the room at the second set of elevator doors. Pink colored mist flooded the room and blinded the vision of the two riders.

Gemma coughed, jerking her melting slime covered hand from the handhold, wiping the mist from her face. “That was…”

“Pink!?” Trux coughed, wiping the mist from his face too, rolling off Gemma. He stood, wrapping his hands around her waist, lifting her body from the sled.

The metal floor rattled and sounded with a rumble.

He gasped, back stepping from the sled, cuddling Gemma closer into his chest.

The sled dropped down into a hole with a clank. The floor closed up with a slurp.

Trux gasped. “That was…”

“… too close.” She coughed, wiping her face, feeling the slime flakes evaporate from both her naked skin and her body suit. “You’re right. My light blue tunnel traveling slime suit is disintegrating from my skin and my clothing inside this room. Where are we?”

Both Trux and Gemma spun around to the room.

She smiled. “Good job, Trux! The bubble room, ya landed us in the bubble room.”

Chapter Thirteen

 

7:04 P.M

Fourth Floor

Bubble Room

 

He smiled with a nod. “Yeah, I did. How far down is the bubble room from the eighth floor? The walls are painted in white color too. Have ya been here before?”

She moved deeper inside the room. “No! This is one of the newer exhibitions.”

He gasped, turning and moving to the closed elevator doors. “How do we get back upstairs? Does the elevator work on this lever?” He slapped the button.

“Look at all the numerous square and rectangular shaped baby-sized tables. The room holds only tables, no chairs. And the tables are lined up against three walls. The center of the room is empty. Why’s the center empty?” She smiled, twirling in a circle, turning her smile to see Trux. She extended both her naked arms, wiggling her naked fingers. “Come and play with me, Trux, before our bedtime for work tomorrow.”

He turned and dashed to the first square shaped table on the opposite side of the wall, and stopped. “And the tables are filled with water. The water makes the bubbles.” He grabbed the paddle and swished it around the shallow water, lifting the paddle to his face, blowing with air from his lungs. The bubble formed and drifted up to the ceiling. He chuckled and pointed to the bubble. “This paddle forms a bubble the size of my head. Whoa, now! That means each table forms a different sized bubble, not just the small ones.”

She dashed to the opposite wall and slammed the first table, sloshing the water over her naked feet. She smiled and grabbed the hand paddle and swished it side to side in the water, lifting the paddle to her face and blowing. Numerous bubbles formed and drifted up in the air. “Hey, this paddle forms lots of rounded tiny baby bubbles. They’re so cute. They sparkle and twinkle in the bright overhead lights. What size bubbles are inside the second table?” She dashed to the second table.

Trux blew the bubbles from a new paddle at the second table. The bubble formed and broke up in the air. He frowned, swung around and swished the paddle in the water again, lifting and slowly blowing his breathe through the holes in the paddle. The bubble slowly formed and drifted up in the air. “Hey, the second table formed a bigger bubble, the size of my rib cage. Man, I had to use some lung power on this sucker. So, that means, the tables on my wall are growing in both height and width. What’re your bubbles doing over there?” He dropped the paddle in the water, looking to see her bubbles.

Gemma blew the bubbles through the paddle, a second time. “I’m at the second table. The bubbles are getting bigger too. My bubbles are the size of my hands, sorta. Next table, please?” She dropped the paddle in the water and dashed to the third table. She swished the paddle side to side, lifted, and blew. The bubbles formed and drifted up to the ceiling. “Hey! Look? My new bubble’s elongated shaped like…like an arm.” She blew more bubbles through the paddle, a second time. The single bubble formed and floated up into the air, a second time. Gemma dropped the paddle in the water and dashed to the fourth table.

Trux blew his breathe through a new hand paddle at the fourth table. The bubbles formed and drifted up into the air. He gasped. “Hey, look over here! The bubbles are all squared shaped, the size of my eye socket. That’s doesn’t make any sense. How’da it do that?” He laughed, examining the paddle. “O! The cut out plastic in the paddle is a square shaped pattern. Okay, that does make sense, now.” He swished the paddle, lifted, and blew it again. The bubbles shined in squares underneath the bright lights. Trux smiled, chasing and popping the bubbles with his naked fingers in the air.

Gemma laughed and lifted the wet paddle to her face, blowing. The bubbles formed and drifted up in the air. She gasped. “Triangles, I got floating bubbles of triangles over here. Look! Look here, before they bust and die.” She swished the paddle and blew it again. The bubbles formed and floated in the air. She laughed, bouncing up and down with fun.

Trux stood at the fifth table on his side of the wall, which was a rectangular shape, not square. The butt end sat against the wall and the long tray extended to the middle of the floor. He stared at the table with puzzlement.

Gemma dashed to the fifth table on her side of the wall. It was a rectangular shape, not square, also. The butt end sat against the wall and the long tray extended to the middle of the floor, too. She stared the table with puzzlement.

Trux turned his frown to see her, holding the dry paddle. “What’s this? I can’t figure it out. The table is long, but the paddle is rounded and fat. There’s no shape inside the plastic frame.”

Gemma frowned at the table, parking both her naked hands on her waist. “Don’t know! Swish the paddle around the water and blew it. So we’ll find out.” She turned her smile to see Trux.

He swished the paddle around the water and faced the elevator door in front of the room, lifting the heavily soaked paddle in the air and away from his face. He inhaled a deep breath, slowly controlling the air flow.

The bubble slowly formed a long horizontal bubble.

Gemma clapped and bounced, watching the bubble. “Keep blowing. Keep going. You’re doing a good job there, Trux. I know. I know now. This is an extra, extra long, long bubble that looks like a silver glittering worm. Yeah! Keeping going…”

The bubble bust and dropped down on the floor in an array of twinkling water droplets.

Trux exhaled with a huff of disappointment and slumped forward both his shoulders, leaning his back spine against the table. He exhaled and inhaled in a series of deep breathes from the difficult respiratory exercise.

She frowned, staring down at the water on the floor. “O poo! It broke. A valiant effort there, Trux!” She clapped, smiling for his victory and her fun.

He sounded with short puffs of exhaustion between his words. “How does a little kid do it?”

She said. “Do what?”

“How does a little kid blow a great big bubble from a skinny paddle? I can’t do it, and I’m a healthy teen.” He continued to exhale and inhale in a series of deep breathes.

Gemma frowned, staring the paddle in his hand and his bubble table. She smiled and slammed into her bubble table with her legs, grabbing and swishing the paddle back and forth. She lifted the paddle in the air and positioned it slightly behind her hair roots and her shoulders, turning her smile to see Trux. “O! Guess what? I just thought of this. Ya don’t have to blow the bubbles through the paddle. You can swish the paddle through the air and form the bubbles. Watch me!” She ran to the middle of the room, forming a single super long continuous bubble in the air.

Trux exhaled and inhaled, watching the formation of the bubble. “Figures! Little kids are smarter than me, too.”

She stopped at the elevator doors, swinging around with her smile to see Trux, holding paddle in the air which was still attached to the formed bubble.

A pretty worm-sized bubble formed a sparklingly line, drifting from her bubble table to the paddle, slowly descending to the floor.

Gemma bounced up and down with excitement.

The bubble popped and flooded the floor with water.

She walked to Trux, pointing to the floor. “Now, I understand the center of the room being empty. All the bubbles form here and then pop. That was fun! Let’s do it again!” She dashed to her bubble table.

He spun and swished the paddle in the water tray, facing the elevator doors, holding the paddle behind his skull. The paddle dripped water on the floor and over his arm. “Okay, you run down one side of the wall and tables. I’ll run down the other side of the wall and tables. Then we stop right before the elevators, swing around, and release our bubbles.”

Gemma smiled, swished the paddle back and forth in the water tray, and lifted it from the water. The water soaked her hand, running down to her elbow. She turned to the elevators, holding the paddle behind her skull. “Okay, I’m ready. Go!” She dashed down beside the tables, feeling the water splash down on her hair, arm, and collar bone. Her body suit was getting wet also.

Trux ran down beside the tables, feeling the water droplets attack his hand and his arm. The cold water traveled down to his elbow into his collar bone. His body suit was getting wet too. He stopped, turned to the rear wall, and whipped the paddle in a circle.

The long bubble detached and hovered in the air, sparking and twinkling in tiny colors of rainbow colors of pink, red, green, and orange.

Gemma reached the elevator doors and spun around, holding the paddle which was attached to the bubble, jerking the paddle backwards and released the bubble.

The long bubble hovered in the air and glittered in colors of pink, red, yellow and blue underneath the bright lights.

Then both bubbles sounded with a pop. The water landed on both the floor and the tables with a gush.

She clapped, bouncing up and down. “That was fun. Do it again!” Gemma dashed and slammed into the baby bubble table, for fun, making the water slosh side to side. She dripped both the paddle and her hand in the water, like a little kid.

Trux slowly walked down beside the tables.

Gemma spun around and faced the elevator doors, holding the paddle behind her skull, turning her frown to see Trux. “Hurry up! We ain’t got all night. Ugh! We rise at five, tomorrow, for work. Now, I understand why my parents hate Monday mornings.”

He stood in front of the table and swished the paddle, saying. “Some of the water hit the other baby tables, not the floor. We shouldn’t mix the bubble formulas. I don’t wanna get in trouble with Patsie for having some fun and then getting some fired.” He lifted the paddle, which was soaking his hand and faced the elevator doors, raising the paddle behind his skull. “We should run more in the middle of the room. Then our two bubbles might could intersection, making a more pretty single formation.”

She smiled. “Go!”

Trux ran in the middle of the room, forming a beautiful solid bubble behind his skull.

She dashed in a diagonally direction to Trux, not straight, and slumped her shoulders, gliding underneath his bubble. Then her bubble attached to his bubble, forming a single bubble.

Gemma slammed into the back spine of Trux, wrapped both her arms with the paddle around his waist, and swung them in a circle.

They turned and faced the super bubble.

He yelled, looking behind his collar bone at her wet hair roots. “Hey!”

She smiled, pointing to the object. “Hey, look, we intersected our bubbles into one great big bubble.”

The single bubble was twisted like a pretzel-shape rather than a worm-shaped, glistering and twirling in the air, and made a pop. The water splashed on the floor with a gush.

He turned his smile to see the water on the floor. “You intersected me.”

Gemma released him, skipping to her bubble table. “So, I did.” She slammed into the table, for fun, and swished the paddle in the water, grinning.

He smiled, dashing to his bubble table, swishing the paddle back and forth, facing the elevator doors. He lifted the paddle behind his skull and turned his smirk to see Gemma. She was standing ready for the signal. He yelled. “Go!”

She dashed to the elevator doors, forming a long bubble behind her fanny.

He ran down beside tables, forming a long bubble behind his collar bone. He passed her and cut back, slamming her face into his chest, wrapping his free arm around her waist.

They spun in circles over the water floor, stopped, and stared at each other, holding the paddle above their hair roots.

A drop of water dripped on his nose. Trux blinked his eyelids, smiling. “That was fun!”

“Really fun!” She smiled.

“Well, the floor’s really wet.”

“Yeah, the floor’s wet.”

“Well, we shouldn’t really run on a wet floor.”

“Yeah, we shouldn’t run on a wet floor.”

Trux looked up and darted his eyelids to the rear wall. “Hey, there’s one more baby bubble table left that we haven’t explored. Let’s see what it does!” He stood and scooted around her, moving to the rear wall.

Gemma frowned and stood, slowly shuffling over the puddles of shallow water.

He stopped in the center of the rectangular shaped table, kneeled, and examined the object. She stood over his hair roots. He said with a confused frown. “Whoa, now! There’s no water for making bubbles. It’s broken or busted, I guess. All the other tables have water and it’s shorter than the other tables. I have to stand on my kneecaps.”

Gemma moved and kneeled at one of the butt ends of the bubble table, touching the smooth flat surface. “This is a strange design. It looks like a game table to me. The board is flat for bouncing a ball or something off the surface and then in the air. And there’s a glass panel cut in the middle of the board for bouncing a ball side to side like an action game. What could it be?”

He touched the flat surface. “Don’t know! But the surface’s cool-feeling to the touch.” He shook the table and leaned over the flat surface. “Listen! And I hear water. There’s water inside the table.”

She said. “Well, clearly, the table’s broken. The water’s supposed to be on the outside of the table, inside a tray, like the other bubble tables. I don’t see a tray for the water either. I see a solid flat surface with a short glass panel. The panel cuts through the middle of the table, with mystery.”

“There’s a protruded lever, in front of the table board, on this side of the table.” He moved to the other butt end and slid the lever.

She touched the lever. “Here, too! But I’m still clueless to the bubble activity. It’s broken. Let’s leave! We gotta get up…”

A tiny bubble rose from the side of the table, drifted up in the air, floated, and popped over the solid surface.

Trux gasped. “A bubble!?”

Gemma gasped. “Where did it come from?”

They scooted from the butt ends of table and kneeled and looked to the side.

She gasped. “I see a tiny slotted opening in the wood, right in the center of the table. That’s where the bubble came from. Why?”

Trux laughed, touching the printed sign at the edge of the table. “Here, on this tiny sign for short legs and tiny hands of children, not teens. It reads: Bubble Ping Pong.” He turned his smile to see her. “O! That’s explains the water. The lever shifts and releases a bubble. Let’s play! It’s a ping pong game, using bubbles, not balls.” He slid over to the butt end again.

She smiled, sliding over to the butt end on the other side. “Okay! But where’re the tiny paddles to smash the tiny bubbles?”

He slid the lever on his side of the butt end.

A new bubble emerged, drifted up in the air, and floated over the table surface.

“Whoa, now! The bubble defies gravity by flying over the game board directly into the targeting pathway.” He turned to see the elevator doors. “The air vents must be blowing the air current towards the rear walls.” He turned his smile to see her. “This is a game for children to play, without complication and difficulty. So, if the lever releases the tiny bubble, then the tiny bubble drifts over the game board. Then we can’t hit the bubble with a paddle, it would break. So we use our hands.” He wiggled his naked fingers, saying with a nod.

Gemma smiled. “Okay! Use your single finger. We have bigger hands than children.”

He shifted the lever.

A new bubble emerged, drifted up in the air, and floated over the table.

She said. “Okay, I see the purpose of the glass. It divides the flat board into my side and your side. When the bubble is on my side, I will finger it over to your side. Then you finger it over to my side, until it pops. Do we keep score?”

The bubble drifted up and over to his side.

He watched the bubble. “Naw. Let’s have some fun now, before it gets late. We gotta get up at six o’clock for our jobs.” He raised his fist, extending his index finger, gently touching the bubble, and it popped. “Man!”

She smiled. “My point! The winning point gets to release the next bubble.” She slid the lever.

A new bubble rose from the side.

Trux waved both his hands at the bubble.

“Hey!” She said with a lady growl. “What’da ya doing there, boy? Cheating me?”

He continued to wave both his hands at the bubble. “Naw, I’m making the bubble drift in your direction and pop. So I can win the game, match, and battle, darling,” chuckling. “It’s working too. The tiny bubble’s floating over the glass to your side of the board.”

“No!” She waved both her hands at the bubble, swirling the air currents, drifting the bubble back to his side of the game board.

“Whoa, now!” Trux waved both his hands faster, gently maneuvering the bubble to her side of the game board.

She swept both her hands side to side and created a set of powerful air currents. Her finger tip hit the bubble and popped it. “Poo!”

“My point! We are tied, even-steven.” Trux chuckled, sliding the lever.

A new bubble emerged and rose up in the air.

She flipped both her hands side to side, sending the bubble to his side of the board. “Ya know I think the kids use their hands, like we were doing. They can’t reach the middle of the game board. So they must flap, fling, and swish their little hands back and forth, up and down, and then side to side getting the bubble over the glass. So we should duplicate that maneuver too.”

“Okay!” He flung both his hands up and down in tall strokes, making the bubble advance over the glass to her side.

She swept both her hands side to side, trying to halt the advancement of the bubble to her side.

The tiny bubble slowly floated up and over the glass to his side.

Trux raised both his arms, exhaling a long breathe.

The bubble swiftly flew over the glass and drifted over to her side.

“Hey!” She yelled, lifting her arms up from the bubble, in case, an accidental hit.

“Hey!” He smiled, pointing to the bubble. “Did ya see that?”

“I see a bubble in my territory.”

“Naw, I bad breathed on the bubble and it soared over the glass to your side.”

“Ya breathed bad on the bubble?”

“Yeah, I breathed on the bubble, moving it away from my mouth and my side of the board. Hey, we could play of game of bad breathe…”

“Watch it!”

“Okay, a game of sweet breathing on the bubble. Our invisible gentle breath won’t burst the bubble, like our finger pads.”

The bubble drifted further to her side of the board.

She smiled, leaning her chin to the bubble, placing her lips even with the bubble, and blew. The bubble sailed backwards almost even with the horizontal edge of the glass. Gemma lifted her arms, laughing. “I almost won. “Okay, we sweet blow our breath over the bubble. Do ya got stinky breathe, boy?”

He whipped out a small bottle and opened his mouth, spraying a mint flavored mist on his tongue, and wiggled his eyebrows.

Gemma gasped and smiled. “Game on!”

He leaned his chin over the board and blew a series of short puffs at the bubble. He didn’t want to break the surface and lose the point. The bubble scooted in short sprints to the glass.

Gemma leaned her chin over the board and blew a series of long puffs at nothing. She was defending her territory and getting the bubble back over the glass to his side, for her win.

He slowly moved his chin forward and blew a series of short puffs, drifting the bubble over the glass, without popping.

She leaned her torso over the board and blew a series of long puffs, sailing the bubble back over the glass to his side.

He leaned his torso over the board and blew a series of long puffs, flying the bubble to her side.

She blew a strong puff and sailed it to his side.

He blew a stronger puff and flew it to her side.

She blew a long strong puff and the bubble twisted side to side.

He blew a longer stronger puff with his mouth spit.

The bubble hit her eye and popped. She gasped and stood, wiping the burning liquid from her eyelashes.

He lifted his arms, yelling. “My point! I’m winning.”

She dropped down to the floor, saying with a lady growl. “Next round!” She slid the lever, without winning the point.

A new bubble rose and drifted up into the air.

Trux leaned his torso over the side of the table, not touching the bubble. He blew a series of long strong puffs, making the bubble swing around the glass and float to her side of the board.

She leaned her chin over the board and blew a series of long stronger puffs, drifting the bubble back, even with the vertical glass, dancing up into the air.

He blew a series of long strong puffs, guiding the bubble up the vertical edge of the glass.

The bubble lifted up and rolled across the horizontal edge of the glass.

Gemma inhaled and released a strong puff at the bubble.

Trux inhaled, drawing the bubble to his face, slapping his nose bridge. It popped and splashed water over his face. He wiped off the moisture.

She stood, lifting her arms. “My point! We’re even, mister.”

“We shall see, after this bout.” He slid the lever.

The bubble rose and drifted up into the air.

Gemma leaned her chin over the edge of the table and blew a series of short puffs, moving the bubble up the vertical edge of the glass.

He leaned his torso over the edge of the table and blew a series of short puffs, rolling it over the horizontal edge of the glass.

She leaned her chin over the board and blew a series of puffs, bouncing the bubble to his side.

He leaned his chin over the board and blew a counter puff, drifting it to her side.

They batted bad breathes back and forth, bouncing the bubble over the horizontal edge of the glass, without popping.

Trux chuckled, inhaling with a breath.

Gemma exhaled with a breath and darted the bubble to his side, leaned her chin over the glass, pouted her lips, and blew.

He leaned his chin over the glass and pouted his lips, touching the bubble and her lips, and kissed Gemma.

She pulled away from the glass and touched her lips. “It…its strawberry flavored.”

“Really? I’ve never been told that my lips are strawberry flavored, doll.” He grinned.

She shook her curls. “Not your lips, cowboy, the bubble’s strawberry flavored. Do you taste strawberry flavor on your lips?”

He licked his lips. “There’s a hint of strawberry taste.”

She smiled, sliding the lever.

A new bubble emerged and rose in the air.

She flipped both her hands, pulled the bubble into her face, and kissed it. “This bubble’s flavored, too. It was lemon.” She gasped. “New game! We’re going to guess the flavor of the bouncing bubble.”

He frowned. “How do we guess the flavor of the bubble?”

She smiled, shifting the lever. “We figure it out, as we make up the new rules to the new game.”

A new bubble rose, drifted up into the air, and rolled over the horizontal edge of the glass.

Her chin was near the glass and the bubble. “Okay, to me, it looks a little yellow. So its lemon flavored.”

He chuckled, leaning his chin over the board, staring at the shimmery colors of the bubble. “Yeah, it looks yellow tinted to me too. Okay, it’s lemon.” His chin was above the glass, not touching the bubble, but very close to her lips.

The bubble floated over the horizontal edge of the glass, unperturbed.

She whispered with her lips near the glass and his lips. “Okay. We agreed its lemon flavored.” She punched and popped the bubble with her finger.

“Hey!” He sat back, frowning. “What’da ya do that for? Why’da ya pop the bubble?”

She sat back, smiling. “We both agreed the bubble flavor was lemon. There’s no need to verify the same conclusion, twice. So I popped it, getting it out of way for the next bubble analysis. So the first new rule, if we agree on the same flavor of the bubble, then we pop it. The second new rule, when we encounter a new bubble and disagree with the proposed fruity flavor, we kiss it with our two sets of lips to see who’s right.” She slid the lever.

A new bubble rose and drifted up in the air.

He frowned at her.

She smiled, fingering the floating bubble. “Your turn?”

“What!?”

“We must take turns for guessing the proposed flavor of the bubble. We must be fair. This is a game. So it’s your turn to guess at the proposed fruity flavor of the new bubble.”

“Lemon.” He smiled.

She leaned her chin over the board, staring at the floating bubble. “Hmm, I think, I see…to me…maybe, the color reminds me of…lemon too,” smiling.

“What?” He dropped his mouth.

She sat back, smiling. “I believe the bubble is lemon flavored too. So we agreed on the same flavor of the bubble. So we obey the first rule. So I’m going to pop it. Next, we analyze the next bubble.” She slapped and popped the bubble, getting the glass wet and shifting the lever.

A new bubble emerged, drifted up into the air, and rolled over the horizontal edge of the glass.

He grinned. “Your turn, darling?”

She leaned her chin over the board, staring at the bubble. “Hmm, the colors are pretty. I believe that they are shimmering in the flavor of strawberry.”

“Lemon.” He grinned, leaning his lips over the glass for a disagreeing bubble flavored kiss.

She jerked back, smiling and cocking her chin at the bubble. “Ya know, now, that I think about it, the colors might be…”

“Naw, now! New rule, the first ruddy tooty fruity flavor, whispered from your lips, is your only flavor. You said strawberry. I said lemon. So we disagreed on the flavor. Now, we kiss the dang bubble and see what flavor the bubble really is.” He leaned his chin over the glass, puckering his lips.

She leaned her chin over the glass, puckering her lips.

The bubble drifted over the horizontal edge of the glass between two different pair of fleshy lips. The two pairs of lips touched the bubble, popping the liquid on their lips, and kissed.

She sat back, smiling. “Peach! Wow, that’s a new fruit which has been added into the selection process of the fruity flavors. So we both were wrong about the fruity flavor of the dead bubble. New rule, if we are wrong about the previous flavor of the bubble, then we cannot verify the fruity flavor of the bubble and cannot kiss…”

“What!?”

She smiled. “We can’t reward ourselves a kiss, if we are wrong, Trux. That’s just…just not right, ya know.” She slid the lever.

He frowned at her.

A new bubble rose and drifted up into the air.

“Lemon.” He said.

She frowned. “You…you didn’t really look close up and personal at the bubble. It’s not even over the horizontal part of the glass. It’s still drifting up in the air on the side of the glass.”

“It was my turn. Lemon. Say your flavor quickly and kill the bubble!”

Gemma leaned her chin over the glass, studying the bubble. “Well this is a tuffie. I see, maybe, the color of yellow. Or is that a light orange like peach? Or it could be a muted red like strawberry sweet? Well I don’t know.”

“Come on, guess?”

She smiled. “Well it might be, sorta, looks like, to me, the color of…peach.”

Trux popped the bubble, drowning the dirty glass with water. “Your turn?”

She frowned, shifting the lever.

A new bubble did not rise from the table.

Gemma gasped, sliding the lever, again.

A new bubble did not rise from the table, again.

She said with a fake frown. “Awe! The fruity tooty favored bubbles are all gone.”

“What?” He gasped, studying his end side of the table, shifting the lever with force. He leaned his torso over the table to see the open slot.

A new bubble did not rise.

He moved back to the butt end of his table, shifting the lever with more force.

A new bubble did not rise, again.

Trux lifted both his hands, hitting the table surface with a soft thud. “Ah, naw! I must’ve spilled most of the bubble water when I shook the table. I’m sorry, babe. Ya forgive me, doll?”

Gemma looked around the room. “Yeah, it’s okay. So I guess time to leave the bubble room. We finished playing on all the baby bubble tables. There’s nothing else left to do in the room.”

He chuckled. “Yeah, there is! We’re going to do an encore.”

She turned her frown to see him. “What, an encore?”

He stood, sliding around the butt end of the table, extending his hand. She grabbed his hand, standing. He cuddled her, moving and stopping in the middle of the room. Trux turned his smile to her, pointing to the ceiling. “Okay, we’re going to create a super duper bubble cloud.” He raised his arm, feeling some the venting cool air, then dropped it over her shoulder. “Okay, the air conditioning system is blowing the vented air to the rear wall. Ya work this side of the wall. I’ll work the opposite side of the wall. This is the overall plan for creating a cloud of bubbles. Grab a paddle of bubbles in each hand from tables one and two and lift the paddles over your head. Spin around and around and then release all the bubbles. The air current will hold and trap the bubbles in the air, without falling down to the floor. Then ya move quickly to tables three and four. I’ll be doing the same thing on my bubble tables of one through four. When we reach table five, grab the fat paddle and ran slightly away from your bubble tables, but not in the middle of the floor. Run in a straight line to the elevator doors. Then we’ll create a bubble cloud over the entire floor.”

Gemma smiled. “Got it!”

He gently shoved her to the wall. “Go!” He dashed to the opposite wall and stood between the two tables. He reached sideways with his two long arms and grabbed two different paddles, swishing the water between the open trays. Trux lifted both paddles over his skull, getting drenched in the bubble water, and closed his eyelids. He spun around and around in numerous circles and released the bubbles.

Numerous bubbles formed in the air which were both lifted and carried up by the air currents to the ceiling. The bubbles slowly bounced up and down in the air waves, without popping.

Trux chuckled, dashing to the next table numbers of three and four. He stood between the tables, grabbing and swishing two different paddles also. The kiddie tables were both low and close together, allowing his arm span to reach two water trays at once. He stood and jerked the paddles over his skull again. The water soaked his hair down to his elbow. He laughed, spinning in circles and releasing the bubbles.

Numerous bubbles formed above his skull, being captured by the air currents and soared up to the ceiling too.

Gemma held both paddles from table numbers three and four over her hair, soaking her body and her body suit with bubble water. She spun around and around in circles, until dizzy, and released the bubbles.

Numerous bubbles formed in the air, being caught by the air conditioning waves and lifted them up to the ceiling also.

She stopped spinning and saw a dizzy room, temporarily. She dropped the two paddles back in the proper trays and dashed to the fifth table, slamming into the table with her kneecaps. The table rocked side to side and sloshed water over her naked toes. Gemma smiled, grabbing and swishing the paddle side to side in the water tray.

Trux chuckled. “I’m ready for the finale. Are ya ready, Gemma?” He stared at the elevator doors, lifting the wet paddle behind his skull.

“Yeah!” She smiled and stared at the elevator doors, too, holding the paddle behind her skull also.

“Okay! Crouch and run on your knees. As you string the bubble worm, don’t hit the descending bubbles, if you can. Go!” He slumped forward both his face and his shoulders, running and forming a long bubble behind his skull.

The other individual bubbles were slowly descending down to the floor from the ceiling and glittering in an array of pretty rainbow colors.

Gemma crouched and ran even with Trux, feeling the other bubbles pop and drop water over her hair, face, arms, and collar bone.

He passed the last table and spun around, jerking the paddle backwards, releasing his bubble.

The worm-shaped bubble floated in the air below the blanket of descending round, square, and triangle shaped bubbles, glittering like diamonds underneath the bright lights.

Gemma ran passed the last table, holding the paddle behind her skull. Her worm-shaped bubble was nicely formed below the blanket of descending bubbles too.

Trux tossed the paddle in the air, hearing it land with a thump. He ran, sliding on his kneecaps, slamming into Gemma. He grunted in pain, catching and wrapping his arms around her waist.

They circled around and around on the wet floor underneath glittering and popping bubbles.

Trux jerked her down over his bent legs without injury. She tossed the paddle, hearing it hit the wall with a thud.

They continued to hug each other, slowly spinning around due to extra weight.

Trux fell to the side, gently landing them onto the wet floor, cuddling her. He turned his smile to see the ceiling. “Look up and see our beautiful bubble cloud.”

She turned her smile to see the ceiling. “It’s a real bubble cloud. It looks like the ceiling is falling down on top of us. Awe! The entire room is filled with different shaped bubbles. Our bubble blanket glitters like a bag of diamonds.”

The descending bubbles were popping and drowning both the floor and the teens in cold water.

She shaded her eyelashes from the waterfall. “The bubbles are popping into water and then descending on us.”

He turned his smile to see her nose profile. “I know I planned this. Now, we enjoy our new creation with soft music.” He kissed her jaw line. She turned her smile to see him. He kissed her cheekbone and cuddled her body, rolling them around and around on the wet floor. She giggled. He stopped on his back spine, kissing her lips…

Chapter Fourteen

 

8:04 P.M.

Ninth Floor

Girls’ Sleeping Unit

 

Victoriana strolled down the hallway, after bathing her sweaty body and dousing her clean body in good smelling perfume of vanilla and apples, her favorite fragrance. The perfume bottle lived inside her designer purse, for all social emergencies.

She wore a new set of clothing which was found hanging in her closet. Her personal attire was both smelly and dirty, hanging and drying in her closet, too, from its personal hand washing. She didn’t possess a set of fresh clothing garments. She had a pair of fresh girly panties hidden inside her designer purse too.

Since her mama always advised to carry a fresh set of underwear inside her purse, in case, an emergency.

She halted at the elevator doors, slapping the button. Her tummy growled for food which was located in the traveling exhibition room with Gemma.

Gemma wasn’t present in their shared sleeping unit either. So she was on the tenth floor at the food table, after ditching her dearest friend, eating, and flirting with handsome Trux and cute Lowell.

Victoriana lifted her arms and slapped her legs in frustration, and gasped. She slapped her legs, patting down her body suit. “Where is it?” She turned to see the purple colored door at the end of the corridor.

The elevator chimed with a ting and the doors opened with a swish.

The arm wrapped around her waist and the hand covered her mouth, jerking Victoriana backwards into the elevator carriage

The jazz music played in the background.

The elevator doors closed.

 

Dancing Elevator

 

Lowell slammed his back spine into the rear of the wall, sliding down to the floor, cuddling Victoriana closer into his chest.

The elevator violently slid to the side with a halt and then smoothly descended down to the eighth floor.

She screamed, grabbing his arm, struggling to escape from the nasty attack.

He chuckled, smelling her hair of vanilla and apples fragrance. “You’re not supposed to scream and scare your date, girl.”

She rolled her eyes and stared at the closed elevator doors. “Release me now or I’ll scream again!”

The doors opened.

“We have arrived.” He lifted her from his lap, standing and cuddling behind her.

She saw an empty hallway which was painted in white with blue and green colored metal doors. “Lowell, why we are here? This is the boys’ sleeping compartments. Why am I here? I’m going to the tenth floor, looking for both food and Gemma.”

“I got a fantastic surprise for ya.” He released and shifted around her stiff pose, shuffling onto the floor. “Come on! You are not going to believe this.”

Victoriana folded her arms, exhaling with a puff of annoyance, standing inside the carriage. “I have had enough surprise and surprises for the day and the night. I wanna eat some food and rest up for our exploration tomorrow in Sweden.”

He stood in the middle of the floor, turning his smile to see Victoriana in the carriage, extending his arms and jabbed a finger at each wall. “Did ya see that each room, so far, has an art gallery? The boys’ hallway has dinosaurs, airplanes, boats, and other boy-like photos. The tenth floor showed pictures of fighting weapons. The wood room had pictures of animals. And each room has a set of three trap doors.” He squatted, pointing to one of the closed doors on each wall. She gasped, darting her eyelashes to one of the closed doors. He smiled. “Now, I got your attention and your curiosity. This is another adventure for the brave new team of young archivists.”

She smiled, moving out the carriage to Lowell.

He slid on his kneecaps over the floor into one of the doors, holding both his hands in front of the metal. “Watch this, girl! They say a picture is worth a thousand words.” He pressed his eight finger pads to the metal.

The door opened.

She gasped, falling on her kneecaps, staring inside the tunnel. “What’s this? A tunnel of darkness, to where?”

He smiled, leaning into her cheekbone. “Can you keep a secret? I found the answers by spying. But ya gotta keep our secret, secret? Promise?”

She smiled, staring inside the tunnel. “I promise I can keep a secret, secret too. What’s the secret?”

He touched the letter C on the wall with his index finger. The wall illuminated with the words, Chicken stew.

She laughed, seeing the glowing words. “Chicken stew, you…you found the secret…”

“Actually, Gemma found the secret.”

She gasped, looking down to the hallway. “Gemma!? Gemma was here inside the boys’ compartment rooms…”

“She was accompanied by Trux. No harm, really. They were touching and probing the wall over here on this side. I was spying from the other end of the hallway. Their words echoed throughout the empty hallway. Anyways, Gemma figured out the secret, secret of the tunnel.”

She smiled, turning to see the tunnel. “I wanna know the secret, secret of the tunnel too.” Victoriana stared inside the dark tunnel.

“Good! I overheard Gemma say that the tunnel path is the only way down to the next room, like if we wanted to visit the wood room again. The dancing elevator doesn’t go down passed the eighth floor.”

She gasped, moving and standing inside the carriage, smashing the seventh button on the control panel. She watched the elevator doors, holding the side bar, waiting for the jolt of the movement.

Lowell laughed, standing and moving to the entrance of the elevator doors again. “See, the doors are still opened. Smash another button, girl!”

She exhaled with a puff of annoyance and a huff of frustration, staring at the control panel. “I’ve slapped every button going down from the seventh to the first level. The buttons glow for one second and then turn back to the color of black again. We’re stuck on the eighth floor.”

He shook his skull. “No. We can travel, using the dancing elevator between the tenth, ninth, and eighth floors. I tested your theory too.”

She gasped, turning her frown to see Lowell. “So how are we supposed to travel down to the lower rooms? The ninth floor doesn’t contain any type of walking stairs or exit doors.”

“Right! So we use one of the tunnel pathways, like Gemma and Trux did.”

“Gemma and Trux went…went down one of the tunnels. How long, ago?”

“A while, ago!” He said with an evil grin, clapping. “You wanna go down one of the tunnel pathways too?”

“Yeah, I wanna find Gemma. I can’t believe she left me, without telling me…sharing her secret with me too.” She moved out of the carriage and stood in front of the tunnel, squatting at the entrance of the dark tunnel. “We’re dearest friends, since three years old. Where does the tunnel lead?”

He stood behind Victoriana. “Gemma said the tunnel pathway traveled to each room and eventually landed on the first floor.”

She stood, looking down and slapping both her hands on her golden colored body suit. “Now, I understand the functionality of the body suit which was hanging in the closet, by the way. This is the traveling tunnel suit for accessing the tunnel pathway.” She looked up with a smile to Lowell. “Well I guess I’m ready to begin yet around fun archive journey as an archivist.”

“O! It gets better than the traveling tunnel suit.” He dropped down to his kneecaps, sliding to the second trap door, pressing his eight finger pads to the metal and his index finger to the faint capital letter over the door.

The door opened.

Victoriana gasped, sliding on her kneecaps to Lowell, staring inside the dark tunnel. “A second tunnel!?”

He pressed his eight finger pads to the third door and his index finger to the faint capital letter over the door again. “There are three separate tunnels.”

She pointed to the three names, laughing. “Chicken stew. Brave heart. Adventurous archivist. Hmm, I think the inners of the each tunnel might hold some fun pleasures or vicious surprises for an unsuspecting and naive tunnel rider. Which one do we take?”

He smiled. “There’re a few more steps, before we ride the tunnel.” He rubbed the wall and pressed the metal. A round bowl lowered down from the wall. “And a bowl of slime paint again for our bodies, like inside our rocket ship. The color is yellow.” He slid to the second tunnel, pressing his finger pads to the circular bowl.

The bowl lowered down from the wall, showing the color of neon green.

She shook her curls. “No, I don’t wanna be a baby chick. The bowl for the second tunnel is green colored. And I don’t wanna be a green alien, like Walbash.”

They slid to the first tunnel. Lowell rubbed his hands over the wall, pressing the metal, saying with a smile. “The slime color is light blue.”

“No, I don’t wanna be light blue either.” She stood and ran to the opposite side of the room, pressing her fingers in the metal.

The door didn’t open.

She shouted. “What’s the number of finger digits ya press on the metal door?”

Lowell stood and watched Victoriana on the other side of the room. “Eight. Don’t open all the trap doors!” He walked to the first tunnel, dunking his finger in the light blue slime, feeling the slime crawl over his exposed skin, his golden colored body suit, and his matching flip-flops.

“Why not? I wanna see inside each trap door, before deciding which tunnel to go down.” She opened all three tunnels and pressed her index finger to each alphabetic capital letter, seeing the illuminated words. She stood, back stepping from the wall, admiring her work. “These words are the same words over the other set of tunnels on the opposite wall. Chicken stew. Brave heart. Adventurous archivist.” She gasped, turning her grin to see Lowell. “This is a dup, duplication of secret passages. The walls are the same on each side. That means each pair of tunnels leads to the same finish line, like a race. A race? Yeah, we can race down the tunnel to the finish line and see who wins. Yeah, this is going to be fun.” She ran, sliding on her kneecaps, dunking her finger in the bowl of slime. “The slime colors on the other wall are purple, orange, and brown. I am not going to look like a vertical piece of ugly brown pookie or a silly vertical orange colored ice cream cone. I will be both purple and majestic like a regal princess.” The slime crawled up her finger, extending over her arm, her other naked body parts, her golden body suit, and finally her golden flip-flops. She giggled, feeling the tickling and warm sensations. “This feels like our rocket slime suits too.” She stood, rubbing her slime covered hands over her purple colored slime suit. “It doesn’t evaporate in the air either like our traveling rocket space suit. I wonder why.”

“This slime formula is mixed with oxygen molecules, keeping the tunnel slime suit intact.” Lowell stood and turned his smile to see her, pressing his slime covered hands over his light blue slime colored suit too.

“Yeah.” She looked up to the overhead lights and looked down to see Lowell. “Hmm, I do believe that Dr. Walbash purposefully misdirects us with her misdirected information, for her amusement and our frustrations.”

He said with a smile and a nod. “We are the new smarter young team of teen archivists. We’re supposed to figure it out, like in college, not in silly high school. Let’s go and have some fun. I wanna ride…”

Victoriana swung around, dropping her kneecaps to the floor, leaning her smile inside the second tunnel, holding the edges with both her hands. “Hmm, this is the Brave heart tunnel. I see a low ceiling and three rows of green blinking lights. But it is too dark inside the guts to make out the flowing geometric pathway of the tunnel. I wanna examine each tunnel, before we race.” She pulled her head out of the second tunnel and scooted to the first tunnel. She held the edges with her hand, leaning her face into the darkness. “This is the Chicken stew tunnel, a very high ceiling and four rows of bright and blinking light blue lights. I can sorta see a steep dip in the pathway, but that’s it. I would say that this is the beginner tunnel for the smaller kids.” She yanked her head out of the first tunnel and slid her knees over the floor, holding the edges with her hands, leaning her face inside the third tunnel. “Okay, this is…wow! The ceiling is extremely low, almost hitting your head and could give ya a dizzy headache. I don’t think more than one person can ride down the length of this tunnel. And it’s really dark. I only see one strand of blinking lights on each side of the walls and on the ceiling. Okay, this is the scary tunnel.” She stood and turned to the opposite wall. “What do the tunnel entrances look like on that side?” She ran across the room.

Lowell exhaled with a huff frustration, crossing his arms, wearing his light blue slime suit ready for the tunnel ride. “You think too much, Victoriana.”

“Yeah, I do.” She slid into the first tunnel on the wall, grabbing the edges with her hands, leaning her smile into the darkness. “Scary tunnel, again, the Adventurous archivist has the same interior dimensions of the parallel tunnel on the other wall.” She slid to the next tunnel, sticking her naked face inside. “The Brave heart tunnel is the same too.” She slid to the last tunnel, grabbing the edges with her hands, leaning her grin into the darkness. “Okay, the Chicken stew tunnel looks just like the one across the way,” she turned her smile to see Lowell. “Which one do we race?”

“Race!?” He shook his skull, uncrossing his slime covered arms. “We ride down on top of each other.”

She gasped. “No sir!”

He exhaled with a huff frustration, lifting both his slime covered palms. “Look, I mean to say that it would be more beneficial and fun to ride on one sled, together.”

“What sled?” She sat, slapping her slime covered legs. “I’m wearing a slime suit for sliming down the slime tunnel,” chuckling.

He went to the picture, slapping the center of the boat with his light blue slime colored index finger pad.

The picture lifted from the wall with a pop.

Victoriana gasped, running to the picture, observing Lowell.

Lowell hit the center of the boat with his index finger, again, sending the wall frame to the side with a swish. The wall exposed a shiny silver tinted large object, which was mounted vertical on the wall inside a cubby hole.

The sled was made of flat steel, without blades or runners, and coated in silver tint. The nose cone of the sled was an enclosed horizontal bar with two holes for the hands. The rear bar held two foot rests for the flip-flops.

He said with a wicked smile, pointing to the object. “Our ride, a sled-type transportation vehicle is used exclusively for our sleighing down the dark tunnel for both our safety and fun.” He jerked the object from the wall and placed it on the floor.

She smiled, clapping. “I want one too.” She looked to the wall, studying the different pictures, and slammed the center of the kite with her purple slime colored index finger pad. “I want this one.” The picture lifted with a pop from the wall. She slapped the picture with her slime covered finger, again, moving the wall frame to the side with a swish. Victoriana grabbed the sides of the sled, jerking on the object.

The sled didn’t move.

He exhaled with a huff of annoyance, squatting and pointing to the rear bar of the sled. “Victoriana, we can use this sled.”

“No. I want my own sled.” She held both hands on the edges and jerked it upward, grunting with pain, not being able to lift the object.

“You’ll get lost.”

“I’ll lead, not getting lost. You can follow me.” She positioned her hands at two different angles and jerked it upward, not lifting the object, again.

“Where to, which science room?”

“I don’t know. Does it matter? Pick one? This sled’s too heavy for me to lift.” She back stepped, pointing to the sled. “Please could you get this one down from the wall for me?”

Lowell went to the wall, jerking out the object, placing it on the floor.

Victoriana bounced, clapping with excitement. “Okay, I wanna go down the Brave heart tunnel. Which one do you want?”

He turned his frown to see her. “We should select the same tunnel with the same dimensions and probably the same distance, so that we both arrive at the same time.”

“You’re the same dull light blue colored nerd from the rocket ship. Okay, we race down the Brave heart tunnel. You use the wall on the left. I got the wall on the right. Let’s go! I’m ready. This is so much fun.”

He shoved her sled to the edge of the tunnel. “Fun!? Alright, I would suggest exit off and in the door with the blinking brown lights.”

“Why?” She smiled, squatting and stroking the smooth metal on the nose cone.

He smirked, standing over her hair roots. “Each science room has a theme of colored lights. Brown…brown is the museum room. I believe. Yes, I remember correctly. It is.”

“We could exit off any old door.” She leaned her face in the tunnel, seeing the dip inside the pathway.

“Do you know another color theme in the tunnel?”

She frowned, yanking her face from the entrance. “Okay, brown, it is.”

Lowell went to his sled, shoving the nose cone to the edge of the other Brave heart tunnel lip, crawling and lying over the drawing of the blue colored speed boat. “Please watch! I will demonstrate how to operate the sled…”

Victoriana squatted by her sled. “It’s flat with no runners or blades or wheels. So the bottom glides over the black colored slime with ease and fast and zooms through the next trap door. Ta-da!” She laughed, raising her arms and slapping her legs for fun.

“Place your slime covered flip-flops in the rear bar with the two holes, like so.” He slid his feet into the two separate openings. “Then you hold on the twin hand bars which are conveniently enclosed on each side of the nose bar. You press and click the single horizontal hand bar on the right to go to the right. Or you press and click the single horizontal hand bar on the left to go to the left. Do you understand, Victoriana?”

“Yeah, I do understand both you and your sh…shiny sled…”

“Good.” He lifted his chest off the center of the sled, not moving. He grunted and jerked his chest and his stomach off the drawing, not moving. He yelled with panic. “I can’t get out. I’m stuck on the sled. Help! Get me out of here, now!”

Victoriana went to Lowell, squatting, not touching his sled with her purple slime colored hand. “Hmm, I’m guessing here. But the slime suit is acting like an adhesion, and is holding your body really good to the metal for safety and protection.” She slapped his back spine. “You’re good to go, slick!”

“No. I need the goggles.”

She stood, staring with a frown down at his dirty blonde hair roots. “What goggles?”

He exhaled with a huff of worry, flinging his light blue slime colored elbows and ankles which were not glued to the sled to the sides. “Eye pieces for the eyeballs, like our sunglasses in the rocket ship. Look! Look on the wall, next to the trap door. Look for the eye pieces.”

“Okay!” She scooted around Lowell, smirking with her new adventure, wondering about his extensive knowledge of the sled and slime, which made him more the slime ball here. She squatted and stared at the wall, seeing a faint square shaped outline. She tapped the metal with her purple slime colored index finger pad.

The metal didn’t open.

Victoriana stared at her slime covered hand. “Hmm, the slime doesn’t work on the metal.” She mouth spat on eight of her finger pads, cleaning off the slime, re-tapping the metal again.

The door slowly lowered down to the floor, revealing numerous pairs of goggles.

She grabbed two sets of eye pieces and went to the Lowell, placing the goggles over his blinking eyelids, slipping a pair over her eyelashes. She saw the room in dull orange colored tones. “Okay, you’re ready to roll or slid or sleigh. I’ll give ya a good shove, not hug. How’s that, big boy?” She chuckled, scooting to the rear of the sled, grunting and pushing with both her girly arm muscles.

The sled tilted, dropping down into the dark tunnel.

Lowell yelled. “Wait. No. We ride…”

Victoriana laughed and went to her sled, squatting and dunking her fingers in the purple slime again. The slime crawled over her naked fingers again. She scooted to the rear and shoved her sled over the edge of the tunnel lip, crawling over the center, slowly lying over the red kite. She felt her slime suit and the kite drawing sizzle and burn the twin slime materials together. Victoriana placed each of her flip-flops into the rear bar foot rests and each her slime covered hand inside one of the nose cone hand holds. She jerked back and forth both her feet and hands, not moving. “Hmm, I’m stuck to the metal, too. Good, I won’t fall out of the sled during the mysterious tunnel ride.”

The sled didn’t move off the floor.

Victoriana jerked her body back and forth, creating a series of short bursts of movement and screaming for fun.

The sled didn’t move off the floor.

She screamed for fun, flinging her slime covered elbows and ankles, jerking her body back and forth, all at the same time.

The sled fell into the tunnel, careening down and rolling up the hill.

Victoriana screamed with fear, clutching the hand holds, ducking her face behind the nose bar. She lifted her face, seeing the upcoming three twisted banked curves, screaming for fun.

The sled sped through the first turn to the right, banked to the left on the second turn, and whipped around the third turn to the right, picking up speed.

She screamed for fun, flying on the straightway, shifting her body side to side.

The sled slightly went to the right and then to the left, reacting to her jerky body movements.

The nose cone hit the falling slime waterfall, coming down from the ceiling, pouring black colored slime over her hair and her goggles.

She screamed for fun in the darkness, jerking her body side to side for more fun.

The nose cone hit a pocket of compressed air, coming down from the ceiling, cleaning off some of the black colored slime from her forehead and her goggles.

Victoriana saw the tiny light bulbs change color to yellow, remembering to exit when the lights are brown tinted. Lowell had planned another vicious surprise. But she was ready and able to have some fun and defeat the light blue colored nerd.

She screamed for fun, jerking her body side to side for fun.

The sled plummeted down and up, down and up, and down and up three different hills and halted.

Victoriana gasped, jerking forward and back in shock too. Her partially dirty her goggles could make out an outline of a long plateau in black colors, matching the black colored slime. The wall lights blinked in the color of brown. She didn’t feel any mechanic gears underneath the sled, hearing the soft gush of the slime which flowed over the flat plateau too.

She gasped. “This is my exit point.”

The sled tilted, dropping down the hill. A set of hidden devices from the side walls sprayed a series of short spurts of cold slime, traveling down both the sides of her body as she flew down the slope and screamed, for fun.

She gasped, seeing a white metal door on the right side of the black wall, pressing the right hand hold.

The sled curved to the right.

The metal door slid open.

She screamed with terror, ducking her face, holding the handles.

The sled slid through the open archway, curved to the side, and stopped at the first set of elevator doors. Brown colored mist flooded the room and blinded the vision of the second rider.

A pair of soft hands grabbed Victoriana, pulling her from the sled, cuddling her into his musk scented body. “Get out and away from the sled.” Lowell said, back stepping from the elevator doors.

Victoriana coughed, wiping the dry smoke from her face, feeling the purple colored slime suit tickle and evaporate from her naked body parts and her body suit. “Why?”

The metal floor rattled and sounded with a rumble. Her sled dropped down into a hole with a clink. The floor closed up with a slurp.

“Where are we?” She coughed, wiping the black and purple slime colored flakes from her arms and her face.

He smiled, smelling her apples and vanilla perfume on her neck. “The dino room…”

Chapter Fifteen

 

9:02 P.M.

Sixth Floor

Dino Room

 

He spun them around, facing the room.

Victoriana screamed and back stepped into his chest.

Lowell laughed, cuddling her closer into his chest, smelling her hair of both apples and vanilla again. “Don’t worry! I’m here to protect ya, sweetie.”

She frowned, slapping her chest. “This place is a house of horrors. I almost had a heart attack again. The shaking elevator is bad enough. The slimy tunnel is not for children either. I can’t believe children are allowed in this building. I can’t believe parents send children into this building for fun and entertainment.”

He pulled her into the room, standing and pointing to the dinosaurs. “Welcome to the scary entrance of the dino room! I can’t believe the little kids come here either. I, also, soiled my trousers, like you almost did, when I traveled down the tunnel and landing in the valley of the colorful plastic monsters, a few minutes ago. O! I guess I won the race…”

I shoved your sh…shiny sled off the floor. Of course, you won the race. How do we get back up to the eighth floor?”

“The dancing elevator will retrieve and carry us home.”

“Ugh! Figures!” She frowned, looking around the room of dinosaurs. “I need some food, before entering that elevator again. I liked the ride down the tunnel better and faster and al…”

“We should have completed the tour with Patsie. However, the entrance is nicely guarded by two ferocious and famous Tyrannosaurus rexes. T-rex is ugly and haunting in tones of bright fiery red and muted yellow. He stands at 60 feet and 18,000 pounds. Ah, I guess the entrance foyer is actually represented by Mr. and Mrs. T-rex, being one of the Tyrannosaurus stands over three ugly and haunting matching little baby T-rexes.”

They strolled in the middle of the floor between numerous rows of tall and non-moving plastic colorful dinosaurs. Victoriana stared at each dinosaur.

Lowell grinned, pointing to each object. “And we walk underneath a high ceiling with dangerously hanging dinos too. The pterodactyl is a winged lizard with an orange body and light blue wings. I don’t really think the bird looked like that during its life. It had a wingspan of 35 feet which is taking up over half of the ceiling height. I hope that thing is securely mounted. We keep walking through the valley of the dead. And we see a pair of extra-large, but cute orange-pinky brachiosauruses. See, the Center doesn’t want to scare the little tikes, all the time. See, the great big dinos are colored in rainbow colors for the fun imagination. Mr. and Mrs Brachio stands 39 feet tall and 74 feet long. It used weighed 130,000 pounds, when alive. Ah, yes! We come across the great big cute dino, a light blue colored triceratops with an array of three seriously sharp green colored horns and a yellow fanned head. It sorta looks like a rhinoceros, but prettier. It was 30 feet long and 10 feet high. It weighed 30,000 pounds from eating too many fruits and veggies. Next, we hit the ugliest painted wall in the universe, a yellow, red, and black curved half wall of plastic nasty rich colors.”

He smiled, pointing to each side of the wall. “Now, the wall ventures into the dino nesting spot, if we dare. The fake white colored eggs lie upon a flat board of fake green grass or a square bale of yellow weeds or on top of a set of kiddie colored rock-type boulders.” He slapped the colored fake rock. “This is definitely good hard plastic material for some good knee and elbow climbing.” He pointed to the ceiling. “Above our hair roots, there is one ichthyosaur or fish lizard. The word, ichthyosaur, is Greek meaning ‘fish and lizard.’ The Greeks sucked on too many fermented grapes, I do believe. Everyone knows that fish live in the water and lizards graze in the grass. Anyways, Mr. Ichthee is 54 feet in length, kinda resembles a modern day dolphin with two flippers and a dorsal fin. She wears colors of bright neon pink and green for the little kids to stop and stare at the ceiling. Who in their sane mind looks up to the ceiling on a daily basis? ‘Not I,’ said the dead rabbit.

“Now, we stomp by a pair of pretty black colored stegosauruses with four purple long legs and a back spine of red flaming rounded plates, as they try really hard to scare off the groups of raptors. The velociraptor or raptor ran on two naked feet, like us. It was covered in pretty brown and white feathers with a long, long brown tail and an enlarged claw on the each hind foot.”

He released Victoriana and went to the first raptor, squatting and touching the rear of the foot. “No claw!” He shuffled back and cuddled her. “So I guess they declawed it, avoiding the lengthy financial money lawsuits, for decades.” She smiled as he smirked. “The raptor was seven feet long, one foot high, and 33 pounds. The skull was ten inches of the seven feet length.”

The walls changed to a yellow colored cave entrance.

Lowell smiled, moving underneath the curved archway of the exhibition. “Ah, we leave the land of the dinos and enter the territory of the cavemen. The grand brown wooly mammoth guards a slick looking reddish brown rock cavern, home to the single cavemen family unit. I guess the new pet stomps on and over the unwelcomed cavers with their bigger spears. A wooly mammoth was almost ten feet in height and weighed over six tons. A newborn mammoth calf weighed 200 pounds. And I bet mama mammoth couldn’t walk upright for three days. It was hairy with twin curved tusks, the not-modern-day elephant. And we arrive at the last exhibition in the dino room, not being a dinosaur, but our good friend, the saber toothed tiger. It was over six feet long, weighed 600 pounds, after eating a few cavemen families and it stood three feet high. It was furry with thick pink and yellow hair with twin maxillary brightly white polished canines. Ah, I like that word, maxillary. The twin maxillary canine teeth were 20 inches long and sharp, a very, very, very distant relative of the modern day lions and tigers, on mine.” He released her waist, moving to the rear wall, turning his smirk to see Victoriana. “And the last feature of the dino room, this switch plate…”

She ran and slapped his hand from the wall. “A switch plate operates the sound control. All the dinosaur exhibitions will come to life with hissing, jaw grinding, slapping, splashing, and wing beating sounds. No thank you! Are we eating?”

Lowell smiled, cuddling her closer into his chest, walking them back through the caveman exhibition. “We shall dine under the dinos.”

She smiled. “Dino-mite!”

He slowly strolled down the middle of the room, stopping and turning to a new colored wall. The wall held a rounded archway which was decorated in red, blue, green, and brown trees.

Victoriana stared at the wall. “What’s this?”

“Another horror house of dinosaurs.”

She pulled from his arm, shaking her curls. “I wanna leave, now. I didn’t enjoy the dino room. We could go and explore another room in the Center, like the space room.”

He pointed to the wall. “See, the sign? Alabama has, or had, their own exclusive set of dinosaurs, which is, or were, found along the Mississippi River on the eastern side of state. Let’s go inside!”

She pulled her body from Lowell. “No!”

He smiled, tugging her through the archway. “The room is bright white colored for seeing all the rainbow-colored dinos. See, there are smaller dinos. And they come in cute assorted bright kiddie colors too.” He halted, pointing to the corner wall. “Ah, starting on our left, we have the Alabama tyrannosaur…”

“Stop teasing me! There’s only one T-rex among the dinosaurs.” She stared at the ugly plastic monster.

“This ain’t no tease, love. It’s named the appalachiosaurus. Say that, three times, without choking!” He chuckled. “Appalachiosaurus means ‘an Appalachian lizard.’ It was found in the Appalachian mountain valley here in Bama. It stands 22 feet long and 1,300 pounds. I really don’t think it was colored bright purple with a yellow underbelly. Anyways, it’s a cousin of the T-rex with a set of larger arms for holding his girlfriend, tight and right.” He grinned and tickled her. She giggled, slapping his chest.

He said. “The Alabama T-rex is only a teen, herself. Scientists say that her mama was much bigger. On the ceiling, the landscape of Alabama has a set of flying dinos, too, a pteranodon. It was both winged and toothless. I guess the scientist stuck his hand in the mouth, figuring it out. You will not see my hand stuck inside a dino for any reason. No, mama! Anyways, the orange wings are 25 feet long. The lightweight bone structure indicated that it was ideal for flight and probably soared for great long distances, skimming above the ocean while hunting for the ugly pre-historical fishies for food. Ah, I’m getting hunger, too.”

He strolled into the middle of the room, pointing to the new dinosaur. “Along the rear of the wall, it’s an ugly thing, which is called a nodosaurus. Yeah, the word means ‘knobbed lizard.’ The back is plated with an array of knobby bones. I bet daddy nodosaurus didn’t pick out the bright neon puke green color either. It is twenty feet long, four short legs, five-toed feet, a short neck, and a long tail. It looks like an overgrowth turtle, as they say. In the side corner, it’s the ostrich dinosaur.”

She laughed. “No. What’s it really named?”

He cuddled her, smelling the apple and vanilla scent in her hair again. “Look at it! It looks like a modern day ostrich, without the pretty plume feathers, sixteen feet long and it is named the ornithomimid. Say that four times and tinkle in your girly panties! The real artist pics showed it pink and pretty, as well. It lived a long and healthy life, because it was the faster runner of all the dinos. It was clocked at 50 miles per hour, before eating too many fruit and insects for breakfast. Now, in the other wall corner, it is the Alabama raptors also. And the designer of the exhibition was a very mentally sick individual. Ah, a cute red colored nine feet long dromaeosaur or the Alabama raptor. The raptors ate meat, like those prehistoric fishies, that the entire group is tearing and chewing between its clawed and naked feet. I thought animals had hoofs, talons, claws, wings, and fins. I didn’t know a monster could have two feet, like a man. The dromaeosaur had a large curved claw on the second toe of each foot. It balanced on one foot. The other foot swung and cut open its prey. O! I see the nasty-looking exhibition is showing off the murderous red bloody killing claw skills of the raptors too. Yeah, I bet the children ran away from this room.”

Victoriana turned her smile to see his nose profile. “How did you remember all that impressive dino information?”

He smiled. “I stole the rocket’s mobile telephone device, leaving it in my room. You can’t talk to anyone outside the Center. But you can access the US Archives database with both speed and ease. I read all the electronic notes, before our first date. I’m a smart boy.”

“You are a smart, boy. So are we going to dine, smart boy?”

He swung them to the front of the room, pointing to the purple and yellow colored T-rex, strolling to a pallet of objects on the floor. “We should dine with T-rex for the first course, darling. Sorry, we have to sit on the floor, tonight. I couldn’t locate any chairs or tables in this part of the dino room. I guess the little kids sit on the floor or run away from it all.” He helped her to sit on the blanket, plopping on top of his pile of blankets, scooting with his smile into her face. He lifted the two wine glasses. She took one, frowning at the purple color. He lifted a single chilled bowl of food. “We shall munch on a cocktail of baby curly shrimp and a fresh bottle of grape juice. We’re teens, staying inside a children’s play house. Yeah, I looked for the both the beer and the wine. Figures! Dr. Walbash poured it down the drain, after celebrating, when the brats left the Center last year.”

She smiled, holding the wine glass of grape juice and lightly bouncing on top of the linens. “Thank you for serving me dinner, tonight, dear sir. My seat is very nice and cushy. Where did ya get the bundle of ugly brown cotton linens?”

He grinned. “I pulled them off Trux’s kiddie bed.” She laughed, slapping her hand over the giggles. He said with a sour frown. “I do not comprehend why two mature teens must share a sleeping compartment, like a set of elementary school children, when there is an entire set of available sleeping units.”

She said with a giggle. “For fun!” She sipped the beverage.

He dunked one piece of shrimp in the red sauce and held it near her mouth. She opened her mouth. He fed her. She ate and chewed the food, closing her eyelashes. He said with a smile into her face. “Well, my fun’s with you, tonight. I hope you like baby shrimp. I stole the food from the hidden kitchen, which is behind a hidden door. It took me thirty minutes to find that door…”

She swallowed the food item and opened her eyelashes, saying with a sour frown. “After riding down in that annoying elevator, I think not. The elevator doesn’t travel below the eighth floor. Therefore, you rode down the scary slime tunnel to here, first. You raided the food stores, second. And you rode the elevator back up to your suited, next. And you kidnapped me from my suit, last. Confess, boy?”

He gasped, looking down to the bowl of shrimp. He dunked another piece of fresh shrimp in the red sauce and looked up to see her, holding it near her closed mouth. She opened her mouth. He fed her. She ate and chewed the shrimp, closing her eyelashes, enjoying the sweet taste.

He said with a smile into her face. “I confess. I wanted to surprise you with our first dinner date in one of the cool science rooms. I entered the elevator, pressing the first floor button. It didn’t move. I mashed all the buttons, coming to the same conclusion. The dancing elevator was limited to the upper three floors.”

Lowell dunked another piece of fresh shrimp in the red sauce and held it near her closed mouth. She opened her mouth with her eyelashes closed. He fed her, saying with an evil smirk. “I tossed my hands and gave up for an elegantly evening with you. Then Gemma and Trux invaded the hallway, making a series of obnoxious loud noises. I stood in the archway, listening and learning. Then I saw them disappear from the hallway and through the wall, like a couple of ghosts. By the time I ran down and reached the wall, the trap door had shut. So I started slapping my hands and feet all over the metal wall. Yeah, I found all the secrets.”

He dunked another piece of fresh shrimp in the red sauce and held it near her closed mouth. She opened her mouth with her eyelashes closed. He fed her, saying with a slick grin. “I was wearing the golden color body suit, anyways, like Trux and Gemma. My real clothes were hanging in the closet. I needed my suitcase. Walbash is a lady snake, not informing us about the limitation of the playground equipment.”

He dunked another piece of fresh shrimp in the red sauce and held it near her closed mouth. She opened her mouth with her eyelashes closed. He fed her, saying with a smirk. “So I was dang determined to slide down that tunnel. I placed the sled on the Chicken stew tunnel and went down, turning into the dino room, accidentally, of course. And I decided that the dino room would be both fun, not suitable for a teenly date, but a kiddie date. Yeah, I confess. I did the sled ride twice, not once. I retrieved my luggage with a fresh attire of clothing for tomorrow’s archive assignment too. Are you mad?”

She chewed and swallowed the food item.

He dunked another piece of fresh shrimp in the red sauce and held it near her closed mouth. She opened her mouth with her eyelashes closed. He fed her, looking down to the bowl. “All gone!”

Victoriana swallowed the last piece of shrimp, opened her eyelashes, and smiled. “Thank you! The tour and the taste have both been delightful, tonight.”

He stood, extending his hand. “The tour might have been finished. But our taste buddies are just getting started. We only finished off the appetizers.” She grabbed his hand, cuddling into his chest.

They walked to the orange colored dinosaur.

He said. “We shall enjoy our main entrée with the nodosaurus, the Alabama oversized turtle. It has already eaten and is ready to defend your honor, if challenged.” He helped her to seat, sitting and scooting with his grin closer into her face. He arranged two pails and two bowls of food between them on the floor. “Our main entrees include…”

“Tater tots?” She laughed, slapping her hand over the giggles.

He said with a sour frown. “The entrées for our evening meal tonight includes chicken nuggets, tater tots, carrots sticks, and apple slices and sweet tea.” He handed her a tumbler and a plate. “Then I raided the china cabinet, the bestest china in Kiddieland for my love. You have a kitten poo on your plate. And I am…”

She leaned into the plate. “A weasel, true.”

He gasped, twisting the design of the plate up and down, and sideways.

She lifted the bottle, saying with a giggle. “I love chicken and potatoes. But I like dumping tons of ketchup over both my nuggets and tots.” She poured the entire bottle of red ketchup into both the pails.

Lowell gasped. “You…you drowned the poor nuggets.”

She lifted one the nuggets, wearing a ketchup cape, ate it, chewing and swallowing. “Only a little flavoring, try one?” She held the nugget with the dripping ketchup and fed his open mouth. He chewed. She said. “Ya got a little bit of a ketchup smudge on your face. Allow me to clean it!” She leaned into his mouth and wiped off the mess with her cloth, sitting back and reaching and biting into another ketchup-smothered chicken nugget.

He looked down to see her hands, touching her fingers. “You have beautiful hands, the hands of an artist. Do your draw with oil or charcoal?”

She swallowed the food, lifting her hands, wiggling her fingers. “Yes, I do. I love to draw. I draw flowers with magic permanent markers, like red roses, pink tulips, yellow daisies…”

“Let’s see.” He grabbed and caressed her hand, looking down to see her palm. “Ah, you possess a ‘fire’ hand.”

She fed him the food item, looking down with a frown to see her palm. “I do. What does that mean?” She ate the food too.

He swallowed the food, saying with a smile into her face. “Basically, the length of the palm is longer than your middle finger. Do you see that?” He looked down to see her palm and her middle finger, caressing her skin.”

She looked down to see her palm in his hands, smiling with a nod. “Yes, I see that my middle finger is both long and elegant. My palm looks kinda boxy, thou. Is that a bad sign? What does it mean on a ‘fire’ hand? Is that a good thing? Tell me, please?” She ate the food item.

He caressed her skin. “Each hand is based on an element of our planet, like dirt, water, air, or fire. Those natural elements are independent of each other with a solo purpose on planet Earth too. However, the natural elements work together, like a family unit. So there is a solo purpose of each hand of every girl too.”

She fed him the food, staring down with a smile to see her palm. “O! I understand. What’s the purpose of my ‘fire’ hand? What does the fire represent mean to me?” Victoriana ate the food item too.

He swallowed the food and caressed her skin. He lifted his other hand for her to see, looking up to see her hair roots with a wicked grin. “I have an ‘earth’ hand, which means that I am level-headed and take a no-nonsense approach to life. I am quiet, steady, reliable, and resistant to change. I am sensible and functional. I’m the ‘get it done’ kind of person, thus I’m a down-to-earth guy. The length of my palm is equal to the length of my fingers. Can you see that also?”

She fed him another food item, staring down to see her palm with a smile. “What am I? What does my ‘fire’ hand mean? What else do you see in my pretty hand?”

He swallowed the food, cuddling her hand in his chest, smiling at her hair roots. “A ‘fire’ hand means that you have a fired up and fiery personality. You create a set of conceptual brilliant new ideas with both fire and passion.”

She fed him the food item, smiling with a nod into his face. “Yes, I do. I do that, a lot. I’m very fired up and fiery about everything.”

He swallowed the food item, patting her hand. “You are a sweet talking speaker, extremely charismatic, the centre of all attention, including mine too.”

She fed him the food, looking down with a smile to see her hand. “Yes, I am. What else do you see about my hand?”

He swallowed the food item, looking down and rubbing her knuckles. “You have a set of long fingers, seeing the beautiful details of everything.”

She fed him the food item, looking down with a smile to see her knuckles. “Yeah, I do. I think everything through, before making any type of decision, like coming to work here in the summer internship program. I thought long and hard about that decision and then I decided to come and work of the US Federal Government. What else do you see in my knuckles?” She ate the food item too.

He swallowed the food item, holding her hand, looking up to see her hair roots. “And I am so glad that you came too.” He lifted his other hand for her to see, saying with a wicked grin. “By contrast, I have a set of short fingers on my hand. See that! Therefore, I focus on the universe, not each planet. I see the big picture, like a movie screen.”

She fed him the food, looking down with a smile to see her hand. “I like your analysis. This is so interesting. What else does my ‘fire’ hand tell you about me?”

He swallowed the food item, looking down and stroking each one of her fingers with an evil smile. “The spacing of your fingers indicates more of your deeply secretive personality. Shake your hand and gently place it on top of the soft blanket. So the fingers fall in a natural pose.” He released her hand, eating and chewing more of the food items. She shook her hand near her smile then placed her hand on top of the blanket. He gasped, looking down and touching her fingers, one at a time, saying with a wicked grin. “Ah, this is absolutely fascinating. I see a lot hidden in you, within your long and elegant fingers.”

She gasped, looking down to see her posed fingers on top of the blanket. “What!? What is absolutely fascinating about me? What is hidden in me?”

He ate, chewed, and swallowed the food item, looking down and touched her two fingers. He lifted his other hand for her to see, looking up to see her hair roots, saying with an evil smirk. “When the middle and index finger are together, you will gain authority through your personal goal, like mine.” He looked down and touched her fingers, saying with a wicked grin. “However, when your middle and index fingers are apart, not touching, like yours. Your personal goal will come from another source.”

She gasped, staring at her finger spread on top of the blanket. “I don’t know. I don’t understand that. What does it that mean? Why are my middle and index fingers, not touching?” She touched her fingers too.

He looked up to see her hair roots, without smiling. “Ya gotta work harder for your personal goal, darling!” He drank the beverage.

She gasped, looking up with a giggle and a smile to see his face. “O that makes sense. Yeah, I do work hard all the time for all my personal goals.” She looked down and wiggled her fingers on top of the blanket. “So what else do my fingers show you?”

He looked down and stroked her ring finger with a wicked smile. “Ah, this is very, very good. Your ring finger is almost kissing your middle finger. This means your personal goal will be known to the entire world.”

She gasped, looking up with a happy smile to see his face, feeding him another food item. “Wow, the entire world will know me. I will be rich and famous.” She looked down to see her fingers on top of the blanket, not wiggling them. “What else does my long and elegant fingers tell you? I wanna know all my future.”

He swallowed the food item, looking down, caressing the top of her knuckles. “Ah, I do not see. If the little finger stands far, far apart from the other digits, like my hand,” he lifted his other hand for her to see, looking up to see her hair roots, saying with a wicked smirk. “See here? My pinky finger stretch almost is parallel to my wrist bone. This means you possess an independent mind, like me. However, I see that your pinky finger looks really pretty and elongated, standing at attention next to your cute little ring finger.” He looked down and grabbed her ring finger, kissing and cuddling her hand into his chest.

She frowned, looking down to see her other pinky finger on her other hand. “I…I feel like I have an independent mind. I think and act independently, all the time. My daddy tells me so, all the dang time too. Are you certain?” She turned her frown to see Lowell.

He lifted his other hand, looking up with a wicked grin to see her. “I got a stretched and short pinky finger too. Legend says that it is a Hermes trait, coming from the ancient Roman gods…”

“Ancient gods!?” She said with a lady sneer and jerked her hand from his chest with force. “I don’t think so. You’re joshing with me.”

He shook his skull, saying with a sour frown. “No. I tell the truth. The truth is that we have finished the entrée. Now, we must taste our dessert.” He smiled and stood, extending his hand. She grabbed his hand and cuddled into his chest.

They walked to the red colored raptor exhibition with a pallet of dishes and blankets also.

Lowell helped her to sit on top of the blankets and plopped down into the second pile of blankets, scooting with his grin into her smile.

She bounced on top of the new pile of bed linens. “This is the thickest pile of the blankets. Trux is going to be really mad at ya, Lowell.”

He chuckled, fiddling with a new set of dishes. “Trux is occupied with Gemma. I do not think that he’s mad about anything, right now.”

She gasped, dropping her mouth. “Gemma!?”

He grabbed her hand, placing a teacup in her fingers. “We shall enjoy dessert and coffee with the Bama raptors, since they are dining on their plastic meal too.” He drank the beverage and sat the teacup on the floor. He ate, chewed, and swallowed a piece of the pie. “And I can prove that I do not josh.”

She ate, chewed, and swallowed a piece of the pie too. “How is that so? I still don’t understand or believe you, Lowell.” She drank the coffee and sat the teacup on the floor.

He lifted his hand parallel to the floor, saying with a nod. “Go ahead and lift my index finger tip up to the ceiling. Observe my finger flexibility?”

She laughed, grabbing his hand with a rough jerk, trying to push his index finger tip up to the ceiling. She gasped, dropping her mouth and his hand. She held her hand, even with the floor, pushing her index finger tip up to the ceiling, bending her finger almost in an upright pose. Victoriana looked up with a confused frown to see his face. “Our finger flexibility is totally different. What’s it mean? Your finger doesn’t move. My finger goes backwards about four inches, without any pain.” He ate the dessert, chewing. Victoriana lifted both her arms and slapped both her legs. “What does it mean? I believe ya. Tell me what it means, Lowell?”

He swallowed the food and pointed to her hand. “Your finger flexibility indicates the flexibility of your mind also. So any flexible finger means a spontaneous mind with bright, new, and fresh ideas, like a welcoming mat at your front door.”

She bounced on her legs, slapping her chest. “That’s me! I’m like that, exactly. I’m full of fresh and new bright ideas, all day and night, like working here as a brilliant archivist. And a non-flexible finger, what does that mean?”

He slapped his chest, saying with a wicked smirk. “I am stubborn, nothing changes my mind. No one changes my mind, ever.” He extended his hand.

She smiled with a nod. “You are correct. You’re both stubborn and willful, non-moving in…in your light blue slime covered body and soul. Okay. What else does my hand tell you?” She slapped her hand into his palm.

He looked down and caressed her palm, saying with a wicked grin. “Each person has numerous lines or ceases running across the palm and below the four fingers, which are very important and actually vividly revealing. It tattle tails your inner personal secrets and hidden flaws. But I am not going to talk about it now.” He released her hand and drank the coffee.

She pouted her lips, saying with a disappointing frown to him. “What? Why? I’m sorry for teasing you. You can keep entertaining me, please. I’m having fun.” She looked down to see her palm, touching her skin. “I see three great big lines in the middle of my palm. What are they? What do they mean?” She looked up with a smile to see him and extended her hand to him.

He pointed to her hand, saying with a wicked smirk. “I am not going to decipher the lines. Instead, I would like for you to physically describe each one of the three lines in your palm, to me. Then you will see that I’m not lying about, who you really are.”

She laughed, drawing her palm into her chest, touching her skin. “Okay! Which line pattern should we analyze, first?”

“Look in the center of your palm, there is a thick line running in the middle between a top long line and a slightly curvy long line. It is called the head line or the wisdom line. The middle line represents your passion for knowledge of yourself and your life.”

She touched her skin. “I see it.”

“Good. I will call out a single-word physical description. So listen closely and determine which one word describes your head line. Is it a short line, a sloped line, a wavy line, a straight line, or a separated line at the edge of the palm from the life line?”

“Which one is the life line inside my palm?” She touched her skin.

“The life line runs around the corner of the palm nearest the thumb.”

She outlined each visual line with her finger tip. “Hmm, my head line is not separated from the life line. What does that mean?” Victoriana looked up with a smile to see him.

“If the life line and the head line are separated at the edge of the palm, the person loves adventure and action, maybe, possessing an enthusiasm for dangerous fun activities.” He ate and chewed the pie.

She looked down to see her hand, touching her skin. “Wow. That’s interesting to me, but not me. My head line is not separated. I don’t really like physical dangerous, even though our rocket ship activity could appear that way. My head line is not short. What does a short one mean?”

“If the head line is a short line, the person prefers numerous physical achievements over many mental accomplishments.”

She continued to stare and touch her palm. “My head line is not wavy either.”

“Good. A wavy head line means the person possesses a short attention span.”

She tilted her palm, studying the line. “Hmm, my head line is not a straight line, going across the palm side to side.”

“A straight line is a person, who possesses a clear head, and is also a realistic thinker.”

She looked up with a sour frown to see him, extending her palm to him. “Hmm, I’m a clear headed thinker also. I don’t understand why my head line is not straight.” She looked down to see her palm, touching the skin. “It is more sloped, not straight, and curves down towards my wrist bone.” She looked up with her smile to see him.

He smiled with a nod, clapping. “Excellent, you’re a creative person. A sloped head line represents a creative individual, like you.”

She slapped her chest, smiling with a nod. “That’s me. I’m very creative. I draw pictures with colored magic markers, all the time, making sets of pretty pictures of flowers, like me. This is so much fun. Which line pattern is next, Lowell?” She looked down to see her palm.

“We should analyze your life line, next. The life line is both the curvy and sexy line around your thumb. Everyone has one. The life line is not associated with the total length of earth-years for the life form either. It is the general well being of the biological body. I will again describe in one worded descriptions. And you will figure out which one set of worded description matches the physical appearance on your skin, regarding your life line. Is it a curvy line or a long and deep line or a short and swallow line or a swooped semi-circled line or a straight line nearest the palm or a line closest to the thumb or a multiply lines?”

She touched her skin. “It is not a short or shallow life line.”

“That’s very, very good. A short and shallow life line indicates that you enjoy manipulating others.”

She shook her curls, staring at her palm. “Nope, not me, I like everyone one. My life line is not a straight line nearest the palm either.”

“You are not a caution person. A straight line, which is close to the edge of the palm, means that you are very cautious about all events and things in your life.”

“I’m very expressive. Okay, my life line does not run real close to my thumb either.”

“Good. You are not tired or exhaustive. When the life line is very close to the thumb, the person is tried all the time.”

She looked at him with a grin. “How interesting! The tiny life line represents that. My life line is not curvy. What does that mean?”

“A curvy life line means that you have energy.”

She said with a sour frown. “I have lots of energy. I don’t understand. I don’t think your definitions fit the correct line symbol.”

He lifted his palms, saying with a wicked smirk. “I promise I am quoting the real general well being condition for the real line. Just keep eliminating the word descriptions, you will be pleasantly surprised.”

She hid her hand behind her back spine, saying with a sour frown into his face. “Can you see my hand? Do you know which description fits my life line?”

“I briefly glanced at your hand, not for any purpose. But I would rather that you figure out the proper physical description and swoosh with amazement, when I shout out the answer.”

“Maybe.” She whipped out her hand, looking down to see her palm, touching her skin. “No long and deep life line…”

“A long and deep life line represents vitality.”

She looked up with a sour frown to see him. “I got energy, lots and lots of energy…”

He raised his finger, smiling with a nod. “Ah, the definition of vitality is the ability to grow and develop with intelligence vigor. Energy is somewhat included in the minor definition.”

She looked down and touched her palm. “O! I got that too. I’m still a little confused about your definitions of my life line. My life form exhibits some of the better qualities, which are not showed by a physical line.”

He stared at her hair roots with an evil smirk. “Keep going! I do have an answer for you.”

She stared at her palm, touching her skin. “My life line is swooped around in a big semi-circle. What does that mean?” She looked up with her grin to see him.

“You have both strength and enthusiasm.” He sipped the coffee.

She slapped her chest with the other hand, smiling with a giggle. “Yeah, that’s me! Okay. I both forgive and believe ya.”

He pointed to her palm. “Now, I believe that you have other tiny lines, surrounding your life line. I had peek-a-booed, seeing your palm.”

She looked down to see her palm, narrowing her eyelashes, touching her skin. “Yes, I see the thick life line running from the edge of my palm down to my waist bone. In front of my life line, there is a long skinny faint line.”

He smiled. “Very, very good, Victoriana, you have a single line or a series of multiply lines surrounding the main life line.”

She gasped, looking up with a confused frown to see him. “Yes. What does that mean?”

“Multiply lines, that are surrounding the main life line, mean you have extra, extra vitality.”

She smiled with a nod, slapping her chest with her other hand. “Told ya! I have lots of energy both in my enduring strength and my brilliant mind.”

“Yes, you do. Do you want to continue?”

She looked down to see her palm with a smile. “Yes, I do.”

“Look at your palm. The top prominent line, running across your palm, is called the heart line, which represents both the love of your heart and the attraction of you for love. It is your emotional life, the matters of the heart. Now, this is the most complicated of the three visual prominent lines inside your palm. I will describe the physical feature, one at a time. You will determine if your heart life fits the description. Are you ready, Victoriana?”

“Yes.”

“Does the heart line begin in the middle of your palm?”

“No.”

“Good, you do not fall in love, too easily. Does the heart line touch the bottom of your head line anywhere inside your palm?”

“No.”

“Good, your heart does not break, very easily. Does your heart line have multiple breaks or is it broken up into two or more sections, running across your palm?”

“No.”

“Good, your heart has not experienced any emotional trauma. Does your heart line appear to be a wavy line?

“No.”

“Good, your heart has not experience too many love relationships.”

She gasped, looking up with a sour frown to see him. “Geez, I’m only seventeen years old, a babe in the woods.” She narrowed her eyelashes. “Are you really telling me the truth about the heart line?”

He lifted the teacup. “You judge me?” He sipped on the warm coffee.

“Okay!” She exhaled with a puff of annoyance, looking down to see her palm, touching her skin. “My heart line is not wavy. What are the other heart line descriptions, please?”

“Does the heart line end below your middle finger inside your palm?”

She tilted her palm, touching her skin. “No. It goes beyond my middle finger. Is that good?” She looked up with a worried brow to see his face.

He shook his skull. “It is very good for you, not someone else. If the heart line ends below the middle finger, you are very selfish in love, thinking of your love of self.”

“O! That’s not me.” She looked down to see her palm, touching her skin.

“Does your heart line end below your index finger?”

She titled her palm, touching her skin. “No. It goes beyond my middle finger, but does not extend to my index finger. Is that good or bad?” Victoriana looked up with another worried brow to see his face.

“I judge it to be very, very good. It means that you are not fully content with your love life.” He winked with an evil grin.

She gasped, looking down to see her palm with a blush. “What else, please?”

“Is your heart line straight and parallel to the head line?”

“No.”

“If the heart line is straight and parallel to the head line, you have a good handle on your emotions.”

She looked up at him, shaking her curls, saying with a disappointing frown. “I don’t understand. My heart line is not straight, but I have a good mind and handle on my emotions.”

He raised his finger, smiling with a nod. “Ah, but your heart line holds a slightly different appearance inside your palm. Am I correct?”

She said with a nod and a sour frown. “Yeah!” Victoriana looked down to see her palm, touching the skin. “What else, please?”

Lowell exhaled with a huff, looking to see her hair roots, saying with an evil smirk. “Does your heart line appear to be both long and curvy?”

She waved her arms, looking up with a smile to see him. “Yes, yes, my heart line is both long and curvy. What does it mean?”

He said with a wicked grin. “If your heart line is both long and curvy, you freely express your emotions and feelings, coming from your beauty and happy heart.”

She slapped her chest with both her hands, bouncing side to side on top of the pile of blankets. “Yes, yes, I have a happy heart. That was fun! What else does my palm say to you?” She slapped her hand in his palm.

Lowell creased his eyebrows and narrowed his eyelids. “Ah!”

She gasped. “What, ah?”

He caressed her palm. “I was checking. The answer is naw. I don’t see it. I was checking to be certain…”

She bumped his hair roots, looking down with a frown to see her palm. “Certain of what?”

“If the heart line is very short and not the same length as the head line, you are concerned with your own affairs and will be a heartless b…”

“Better…we quit now, while we are ahead.” She whipped her hand from his palm, wearing a sour frown.

He finished drinking the warm coffee. “We can quit. But I saw something else.”

She gasped, looking down to see her palm. “What something else?”

“Your future!”

She gasped, looking up with a worried brow to see his face. “What is my future?”

He sat the teacup on the floor, extending his hand. She slapped her hand in his open palm. He touched her skin. “I see a chained heart line.”

She gasped, looking up with a worried brow to see his hair roots. “Is that good or bad?”

He lifted his other hand for her to see, saying with an evil smirk. “See, I have a flat straight line on my heart line. Now, for you, it is very, very good. Most intensely creative artists, such as musicians, writers…”

She smiled with a giggle. “Painters!?”

“Yes, a painter wears her emotions on her sleeveless silk blouse, providing deep insight in their musical songs or fictional novels or pretty flower drawings…”

“I draw flowers. I’m an artist too. My heart line shows that too. I like. What else does my palm say?” She extended her palm to him.

He did not touch her hand. “Let’s see your child line!”

She whipped her hand and placed it behind her back spine, saying with a lady sneer, “Excuse me, sir? My what?”

He raised his folded fist, pointing to his skin. “Make a fist with your hand, like mine. Look at the outer side skin of your hand, near the pinky finger. Count the number of visual ceased lines?”

She exhaled with a puff of calm, presenting and folding her hand into a fist. Victoriana looked and touched her skin. “Hmm, I am not feeling smooth skin. I do not see a single creased line.”

He gasped, looking to see her hand. “That…that is impossible, girl!”

She said with a sour frown, staring and touching her fist. “Why is that impossible? I am only seventeen years old. What’s important or not?”

He looked up to see her hair roots. “Each ceased line represents a child that you will produce…”

She gasped. “What child?” She looked up to see Lowell, touching her fist.

He lifted his folded fist, pointing to his skin. “See, the skin near my pinky finger shows two slightly fainted horizontal lines. Each line represents my future children, thus it is called the child line or lines also.”

She gasped, narrowing her eyelashes, looking to see her fist. “Where is my child line? I don’t see any ceased lines. What does that mean? I have a flesh of smooth skin, without any single ripple. I don’t have a single line of creased skin on my fist, near my pinky hand.” She extended her fist to him.

Lowell narrowed his eyelids and examined her hand, touching the skin, exhaling with a huff. “I…” He snapped his fingers, turning with a nod and a smile to see her. “I might be able to provide an explanation. But I would need to examine your hand again.” He extended his hand. She slapped her hand into his palm. He touched her skin. “Well, only some people have this, you have a fate line.”

“A what?” She looked down to see her palm.

He touched her skin. “A fate line or the line of destiny is a deep, deep line, running from your waist bone up to the middle finger. See, you have a very deep line from your waist bone going up to your middle finger. Now, let’s see what your fated destiny tells.”

She smiled with a nod. “Yes, yes, what does it tell you, Lowell?”

“If the fate line has numerous breaks within the line, then you are prone to many changes, coming from and influenced by numerous external forces. I don’t see numerous breaks in your fate line, Victoriana.”

She said, staring at her palm. “I don’t either. What else does my destiny say?”

“If the fate line is joined and runs with the life line, you will depend upon others, like your families for supporting your destiny.”

“How interesting! My fate line is not running into my life line, since I do know what a life line is and means too.”

“If the fate line starts at the waist bone and crosses the life line, you are offered support by others, like your family and friends.”

“I like that destiny. But my fate line is not crossing the life line either.”

“If the fate line joins the life line, running up the middle of the heart and head line, you will be a self made individual and own your aspiration, early on.”

She shook her curls, saying with a sour frown. “I do not see that either. Instead, I have a very deep line running up from my palm up to my middle finger.”

He laughed, clapping. “Excellent, Victoriana, if the fate line appears to be a deep line, running up from the palm to the middle finger, you are strongly controlled by your fate, without changing any of the rules.”

She gasped, dropping her mouth, looking up to see Lowell. “What is my fate which cannot be changed? I do not understand.”

He drank the coffee. “You are going to be famous.”

She smiled with a nod. “I am that’s great. How will I be famous? I don’t sing or dance or act or write…”

He grabbed and caressed her palm, smiling with an evil grin. “This is the fate line inside your palm, starting at the bottom of waist and goes up to the middle finger. Yes, you are definitely destined to very famous.”

“I’m fated to be a famous. I’m not famous now. How can I be fated to be famous, when I’m not famous now?”

“Ya draw?”

She slapped her chest with her other hand and smiled with a giggle. “Yes, I love drawing. Yes, my flower drawings are everywhere on my bedroom walls, my high school notebooks, and they are very beautiful, like me. I’m going to be a famous artist, who draws pretty colorful flowers with a set of permanent magic markers. I started out drawing at the age of three years old with my colored crayons. At the age of eight, I draw with a set of colored pencils. Then the age of twelve, I used colored ink pens. And, then I advanced into the colored magic markers, making beautifully flower designs. I can believe my destiny, an artist. But…but what about the lack of visual ripples on the side of my fisted fold?” She folded her fist and looked at her skin.

He said with a nod. “I might have a second probable answer that will confirm both your fate line and your missing child line. May I see your hand?” She slapped her hand into his open palm. He narrowed his eyelids, touching her palm. “See, the interior of the palm is sorta divided by the three prominent lines, the heart line, the head line, and the life line. Now, I would like for you to visualize your palm cut into two halves. The upper half of your palm, which is below the fingers, represents your intellectual side of your natural personality. Thus, the lower half of your palm, which is near the wrist bone, represents your materialistic side of your natural nature. Now, the palm is split in half, using the head line as the ruler, sorta. And if one half of the palm is larger than the other side, then it displays the greater development of your personal aspect of your personality, your life and your being. I can see the dominate side of her hand. Do you see the dominate side of your hand too?”

She gasped, dropping her mouth, touching her skin. “I do. I do see it. I can’t believe this. My fate is really true. My personality is truly shown inside my palm and my deeply ceased lines. I see that more of my skin, inside my palm, is sitting below the head line, which means…means that I focus intensely on materialistic natures and interests and designer clothes.”

He laughed. “Touché. I see the exact same thing. The majority of your skin, inside your palm, is below your head line, meaning that you are one very materialistic girl on planet Earth.”

She slapped her chest, smiling with a nod. “Yeah, that’s me. I love my earthly possessions. That’s why I’m working a real paying job for real paying money to buy my new two pairs of designer shoes and matching purses.”

Lowell looked up with his evil smirk to see Victoriana. “You are going to be a famous artist, based on your fate line, and your ceased line shows that you love materialistic possessions. So you might not produce any children, one reason for the smooth skin near your pinky fingers on your folded fist.”

She folded her fist, looking at the skin. “But that seems so sad, I love children.” she laughed, slapping her chest with both her hands, looking up with a wicked grin to see Lowell. “Well, actually, I hate children. They’re wet, stinky, and sweaty all the time. That’s why I never did volunteer as a helper at the Birmingham Science and Art Center with the nasty little rug rats, like Gemma.”

He leaned into her wicked grin, smiling with his evil smirk. “Me, too, I hate the dirty smelly things, so you might be adopting a child, not birthing one.”

She shook her curls. “Doubt it! I don’t want children. I wanna be very rich and very famous, buying all the designer shoes in the world and wearing my shoes and my purses twenty hours per day and into bed at night.” She looked down to see her palm, touching her skin. “When will my fame happen? Does it show inside my hand? Can it give a time line or a year or something?” She extended her hand to him.

He touched her skin. “Ah, I predict that your fame might be soon…or later.” He laughed.

She said with sour frown, looking down and touching her palm. “When is it soon or later? Next week? Next month? Next year? I wanna be famous, now, so I don’t gotta go to college. I will go to college and graduate with a good job, but if…”

He exhaled with a huff, looking to see her hair roots. “Victoriana, we are both very young, only seventeen years old. Our lives are in constant motion also. And the ceased lines in your palm also shift and change too. However, this has been a fun activity for the evening, wasting the night away. Did ya enjoy my personal entertainment show, girl?”

She looked up with a wicked grin, saying with a lady growl. “I love both earthly possessions and earthly pleasures too.” She leaned into his wicked smile and kissed his lips, falling on top of Lowell, lying over the soft blankets.

Chapter Sixteen

 

11:36 P.M.

First Floor

Conference Room Thirteen

 

Patsie rushed down an empty hallway of dull illumination, stopping at a brown tinted metal door, without a door knob, reading the signage: Conference Room Thirteen. She pressed two fingers to the metal.

The door opened.

Patsie entered, sitting at the conference table.

Levine was pacing back and forth in front of the wall.

Bickman sat at the end of the table in front of the white board, eating a plate of food.

Walbash sat on the opposite end, staring at her archive portable computer. “Were you followed?”

Patsie said with a sour frown to both the silly secret meeting and the sillier query. “Of course not, the teens are running around the building, having some fun, before our next adventure, tomorrow. What’s going on here, Walbash? Ya make this sound like a real cloak and dagger mystery, a silly fairy tale, a launching outer space trip, and a fantasy adventure, all rolled into one ridicule Hollywood movie film DVD? That I don’t wanna own.”

Walbash sat back, looking to see a worried face of each archivist. Then she rubbed her bald head and her face, dropping both her hands on table with a soft thud. “I…I must share my vitally important information immediately with ya’ll. This is very serious and very secretive. I must have an answer now.”

“Okay.” Bickman ate and chewed the food.

“You need an answer, now, in the middle of the night, so close to midnight? What’s wrong, Walbash?” Patsie frowned.

Walbash brushed her bald head with both her hands, slapping them on the table with a soft thud, again. “Yes, I must have an answer, tonight. Okay. Here goes! Did you like the rocket ship ride?”

“What!?” Patsie dropped her mouth and slapped both her hands to the table surface with a thump.

“Yeah.” Bickman laughed, mouth spitting her food over her plate and the table surface.

“No. I do not want to ride or engage or launch inside another rocket ship, as long as, I dearly live and breathe on planet Earth.” Levine said with a sour frown.

Walbash laughed. “I’m sorry about the soaring surprise. But it was fun to see the teens react and more funnier to see ya’ll over react. And we fly to Bergen tomorrow morning. I will say this to the teens too. If ya wanna bail out of the ship, do it, archivist Levine. Or come to work and get paid, archivist Levine. Anymore comment on the flying rocket ships? Good! How do you think our archive expedition is going?”

Patsie dropped her mouth. “What!?”

Levine turned his frown to see Walbash. “Very, very poorly, we are not making any type of progress here in finding the Ring of Solomon. The ring is a priceless artifact, if ever found. We should not allow silly children…sillier teenagers to lead an invaluable archive expedition. You are being very stupid here as leader of the archive team, Walbash.”

“I don’t know.” Bickman said, spitting food particles over her plate and the table surface for her fun at the late night meeting with her crazy boss lady.

Pastie shook her curls, saying with a confused face to each archivist. “How did the ring get selected? I didn’t vote on the ring. Did you vote on the ring, Bickman? Levine?”

Bickman shook her ponytail, eating and chewing.

Walbash slapped both her hands to the table with a thud. “Don’t matter now. I rule all assignments on the majority vote like the President of the United States. The four teens had selected the Ring of Solomon…”

Pastie said with a nod. “So the four of us selected the same artifact, making it a tie…”

“I didn’t vote, being an impartial leader of the archive team. How is this expedition going to you, so far, Pastie?”

“I don’t know.” Patsie shook her curls, staring at Walbash.

“Not good enough responses! I got two ‘don’t knows’ and one ‘don’t use the teens.’ I really need some more concrete feedback, coming from my valuable seasoned archivists. Or shall I dismiss the new team of young archivists, tomorrow? I got a financial budget to think about too. The US Federal Government doesn’t pay money to a team of lazy bums.” Walbash said.

Bickman said, spitting food over her plate and the table surface. “I will change my ‘don’t know’ response into I do know that a couple of the teens are really smart. Lowell is well-versed in ancient world history. Victoriana looks, like a fashion model, but she plows through muck and finds the golden egg.” She swallowed the food.

Walbash said with a smile. “I agree with Bickman. We have two good teen archivists. Does that mean we should fire the other two lazy bum teens?”

“Trux is great in fight, specifically exhibiting his showmanship today at the rune stone park. Ya know, boss lady, I wasn’t hired to punch faces. I was hired to punch electrical wiring on the computers and rockets.” Bickman said, spitting food over her plate and the table surface again.

Walbash said, musically slapping the table surface with all her fingers. “Okay, I got three of teens, who show some good work responsibilities except for one. Any comments, compliments, or complains about the other teen archivist, who hasn’t been mentioned by name? Well I noticed that Gemma did not contribute to the vocal conversation in the traveling exhibition room or the vital search at the rune stone park either. So should we fire Gemma tomorrow?”

Levine gasped, sliding in the chair. “No.”

Patsie shook her curls. “Is this the focus of our business meeting, a personnel review at night, close to midnight? We can do this during the daylight hours too. I’m supposed to…”

“We need more solid leads in finding the Ring of Solomon. And all the teens should stay on this archive expedition, until we can further analysis each teen talent potential. You…you should not assess each teen and their poor performance on the first day of school, Walbash. Each teen should be given another chance. And tomorrow is another sunny hot humid day in Bama.” Levine grinned.

Walbash said, slapping both hands on the table surface with a thump. “Alright, all the teens get another work day to showcase their individual job performance, tomorrow. The boys are staying on the eighth floor and the girls are located on the ninth floor. I will stay and play chaperone…”

Patsie gasped. “I’m the chaperone, tonight.”

“Good!” Walbash said. “I’m the chaperone, tonight. So everyone else, go home and get some rest. We meet in the traveling exhibition bright and early at six o’clock, tomorrow. Good night!”

Bickman and Levine left the room.

Walbash sat at the table, tapping on her computer. “What’s wrong, Patsie?”

She stared at Walbash. “I don’t know. The teen archivists? The flying rockets? The slime cream weapons? The Kara princess? The midnight meeting? Something feels wrong here. I mean this entire archivist expedition feels wrong to me, somehow.”

“Ya got good instincts, Patsie. Good night!” Walbash tapped on her computer.

Patsie exhaled with a puff of confusion, slowly standing and staring at the bald skull of Walbash. Her boss lady did not tattle anything else. She turned to the door and left the room.

The door closed.

Walbash stared at the laptop, pressing a button.

The ceiling panel opened.

A projector camera dropped down from the ceiling, clicked on, and showed a bright light on the white colored plastic board.

She pressed a switch.

A multi-colored ray scattered and displayed on the white plastic board, showing a still image.

Walbash shook her baldness and twisted the dial which displayed a new still image. She frowned, twisting the dial and displaying numerous silent images, then halted the picture, the interior of the eighth floor boys’ sleeping unit.

She laughed. “Lowell, slapping the dang wall. What’s he doing? Ah, he found the tunnel doors.” She pressed a lever which activated the video recording in the hallway of the eighth floor. “Ah, both Victoriana and Lowell found the three tunnel doors. My, my, and my, this is very intriguing. You, two are my first and second choice of teen villainous villain and villainess. However, Kara didn’t mention two teens, only one. Victoriana seems to be toying and taunting for Lowell to slide down the slammer tunnel ride. Lowell doesn’t look happy about the prospect either. So Lowell can’t be the teen villain, lacking courage and adventure.” She laughed. “And Lowell isn’t happy now. Victoriana shoved his bee-hind down the dark tunnel. Yeah, I tested that monster tunnel, and it is not for the faint of heart. Well Victoriana is definitely showing off a new nasty trait, her villainess dictator skills. Yeah, ya can’t rule the world, without being a dictator, second and a nasty killer, first.” She laughed. “And they are off down the tunnel, racing. Where will they end up?”

She turned a dial, viewing more silence images and locating the teens.

She laughed. “The dino room, one of my favorite science exhibitions!” Walbash pressed a lever which activated the video recording in the room, without vocal sound. “They stand in shock, the dino room. Victoriana is such a girly girl. She screamed, seeing the scary dinos for the first time. And they walk through the valley of the done gone. And they walk and walk and walk. Too bad, I can’t record their tinny voices. Actually, the video recording does record their tinny voices, but they are such small objects in the room with the roaring mechanic equipment that you can’t hear the tinny voices. Okay, everyone wants to see and touch the pre-historical the mammoth elephant and the saber toothed tiger. No caveman back bone here. Now, they venture into the Alabama Jurassic Park theme show. They walk and walk and walk. Awe! Lowell prepared a special dinner.” She gasped. “I can’t believe it. There’re numerous food platters with food on the floor of the dino room. The dino room has a kitchen too. So Lowell isn’t a chicken stew. He rode the tunnel down to the dino room and rose up on the dancing elevator, alone, that took guts, man and wo-man. Well I’ve changed my mind. That boy is both sneaky and sinful, trying to capture Victoriana in his web, like a good villain. Good luck, loser! Victoriana is smarter than that. She’s one villainess step ahead of ya, boy.”

She narrowed her eyelashes. “What are they doing? Cuddling? Kissing? Palm reading? Lowell is lower than a snake skin. That’s an old, old trick, my son, and a nasty repetitive trick of an old villain.” She laughed. “Okay, so it worked. Kiss. Kiss. Ooh! Ooh! Yup! Lowell and Victoriana are definitely at pair of villainous teen villains, and they deserve each other foreverly. Let’s see. This recorded recording in the dino room was taped around nine o’clock at night. It’s now almost midnight. That’s three hours to get to know your girl or your boy, before the end of it all. Good bye to Victoriana and Lowell! It was nice working with ya’ll. Sorry to see ya’ll leave, soonest! And I won’t be seeing ya’ll tomorrow, either. Too bad, you’re going to miss the next field trip to Bergen in the rocket ships. And I cannot allow anyone else to eye view the past, present, and future recorded happenings in the dino room on the sixth floor.”

Walbash pressed a series of button.

The recording halted, turning black colored, heat sizzling every camera devise inside the dino room.

The plastic board returned back to white and the projector rose back up in the ceiling.

The ceiling panel closed.

“All done!” She laughed, slapping a musical beat on the table surface with her hands, tucking the computer underneath her armpit. “Time to go home!” She stood, turning and moving to the door. She halted, cocking her bald skull at the wall, snapping her fingers. “Hmm, I should check up on the other two teen archivists. I ruled them out of the hunt. However, I must be accurate and correct and right.”

She slid into the chair, tapping on her computer, pressing a button.

The ceiling panel opened.

A projector camera dropped down from the ceiling, clicking on, and showing a bright light on the white plastic board.

She pressed a switch.

A multi-colored ray scattered and displayed on the white plastic board, showing a still image.

She twisted a dial, displaying numerous silent images and then halted the picture, the interior of the tenth floor the traveling exhibition, the location of the two other teen archivists. Walbash pressed a lever which activated the video recording in room, without the vocal sound.

“Trux, playing on the electronics. Gemma enters the traveling exhibition room. They talk and eat. Where’s the good stuff, folks? Yeah, the two losers on the team of young archivists, I eliminated both of them from the hunt for the teen villainous of the villains.” She gasped. “Well, well, well, Gemma figured out the secret tunnels of the slammer ride. She’s smarter than dumb cowboy Trux. Trux is definitely eliminated from the hunt. I should send him home, tomorrow, if I could get the other archivists to agree. Levine, he always disagrees with my command decisions. O well! Now, Trux and Gemma are leaving the tunnel ride, the food table, and the tenth floor. Why? Where are they going? They can’t escape down the dancing elevator for home. I locked it good. It only shuffles up and down within the top three upper floors, on purpose.”

She twisted a dial, displaying numerous silent images, and then halted the picture, the interior of the boys’ sleeping unit. Walbash pressed a lever which activated the video recording in the room, without the vocal sound.

She laughed. “Found ya! Both of you exited onto the eighth floor, the boys’ sleeping unit. Hmm, I might need to talk to the girls about running around on the boys’ floor, without chaperones. O goody! Gemma is smart, too. She figured out that the dancing elevator only traveled up and down the three floors. Gemma, again, has shown exceptional intelligence gathering, leadership skills, and bravery maneuvers, this evening. She wants to enter the tunnel, not Trux. Yeah, the boy’s going home tomorrow, after the rocket flight to Bergen. I have no use for losers or innocents.”

She twisted a dial, locating the teens inside the bubble room, activating the video recording in the room, without the vocal sound.

“The sled arrived safe and alive in the bubble room. And they’re having some fun, blowing off bubbles, after a hard work day, and getting the walls, the ceiling, and their bodies wet. I think I have changed my mind. Gemma must be the princess teen villainous of the villains. She has exhibited a range of nasty villain traits, including intelligence, leadership, bravery, cunning creativity, and seduction. Gemma has outshined Victoriana, this evening. Yes. She is the teen villainess. So, I can’t let her go, either. Too bad, Trux has gotten in the way, also. I tried to explain to my staff that the boy needed to leave the internship program. He would be arriving at home now, but instead he will meet the same end as the newly identified teen villainess. And I gotta destroy the in-room cameras, again. Good thing, the Center is closed for the summertime activities. I gotta get started on all the repairs, tomorrow morning. Goodbye, teens!”

Walbash pressed a series of button.

The recording halted, turned black colored and sizzled heat inside every camera devise of the bubble room.

The board returned back to white. The projector rose back up in the ceiling.

The ceiling panel closed.

She laughed, slapping a musical beat on the table surface, again. “What a night! And I lost my entire teen archivist team on their first working day, Mr. President. Patsie ain’t going to be happy to hear the bad news and Levine, too. Bickman won’t really care one way or another. And the poor teens signed the permission slips, too, Mr. Police Officer, getting permission to sleep at the Birmingham Science and Art Center. What a tragedy! What a tale! What a night! What a morning!” She stood, tucking the computer underneath her armpit. “Time to go home! I wanna be in my bed, when the cleaning crews finally find all the four dead bodies. I wasn’t here, sir. And I am so sad, ma’am.” She turned to the door, leaving the room, laughing down the hallway.

Chapter Seventeen

 

11:57 P.M.

Sixth Floor

Dino Room

 

Lowell lifted his face from her lips, turning to see the archway. “What was that sound?”

“Me!” She slapped her chest. “Sorry. I burped from the good food.” She chuckled.

“No. I hear a soft faint sound.” He gasped. “The cleaning crew is here, being so close to midnight. We gotta go. If we are caught, we could lose our paying jobs.” He stood, extending his hand.

She grabbed his hand, cuddling into his chest and strolling into the middle of the room to the archway.

The noise sounded with a ping.

Lowell halted, tilting his jaw line, angling his head for better hearing. “What was that?”

“A ping.” She smiled.

The noise made numerous pings.

He turned to see the T-rex. “It’s coming from the Bama T-rex. Could it be a she, and she is having baby t-rexes?” He laughed.

She laughed. “No. I don’t think plastic models of toys reproduce, even dino-sized.” He released her body and went over to the T-rex, examining the dishes. Victoriana pulled up beside him, looking down to see the used platters too. “We should clean up our messy dishes, before we go to our sleeping units.”

“The cleaning crew will do that. What was that pinging noise?”

“Mice!” She chuckled, pointing to the dirty dishes on the floor. “They live and breed everywhere. So, some of the mice have found our picnic basket and soft blankets. Really, we should clean up our mess, and really, Trux will be requiring his slightly dirty sleeping linens, tonight.”

He stared the dinosaur. “Dr. Wabash granted us permission to run around the building for the rest of the night, until our working jobs tomorrow. We’re teens, who are labeled as lazy, greedy, and stupid. Walbash was a teen once, too. She remembered. So she hired the cleaning crew to clean up after the messy teens. Well I don’t see any mice or baby t-rexes. Let’s go!” He yawned, covering his mouth.

The second ceiling wire broke with a ping, causing the Appalachiosaurus or Alabama T-rex to shift and fall forward.

She gasped, seeing the dinosaur shift, shoving her body sideways into Lowell. Victoriana wrapped her arms around his chest, falling down to the hard tile, rolling them toward the wall.

They landed and rested underneath the four tall legs of the Alabama turtle-like dinosaur.

The Alabama T-rex crashed down on top of both the dishes and blankets with a thump.

Lowell hugged Victoriana, coughing and gagging from the brutal impact on the floor, and whispered. “Thanks!”

“We need to leave…”

Two more wall wires broke with a set of individual pings. The nodosaurus or Alabama turtle-like dinosaur slid from the wall, slowly falling down on its side toward the floor also.

Lowell rolled them toward the wall, out of the way, and hit the wall. He grunted and kneeled, grabbing Victoriana by the hand, running down the wall from the falling dinosaur.

The Bama turtle-like dinosaur hit the floor with a thud.

Lowell tripped over a group of standing and stationary Alabama raptors, breaking and scattering some of the red colored plastic models around the floor. He led to the archway, dragging Victoriana by the hand. “Well the rest of our night’s been blown to…”

More ceiling wires broke with a several pings.

She looked up to see the ceiling, noting the movement of the wings which were falling vertically down on top of them. She grabbed his neck, flinging them down to the floor, rolling to the archway.

The 25 feet long orange colored pteranodon or Bama flying dinosaur hit the floor with a crash, breaking off both its wings which rolled over and over the floor, slamming and resting into the T-rex on one side wall and the raptors on the other side wall, sounding with two soft thuds.

Her legs hit the archway walls, stopping them on the floor.

Lowell stood, extending his hand. She grabbed his hand, cuddling into him at the archway, whispering. “We should leave. I don’t know what’s happening. But we’re definitely in the way here.”

The noise sounded with a ping.

Lowell turned to see the caveman exhibition. “Yes, we should. However, there is a serious problem with the dino exhibitions in the dino room. Let’s investigate and tell Walbash! Then we won’t get into more trouble.”

“Trouble!?” She frowned, strolling and stopping with him inside the caveman archway. “We didn’t do anything wrong in here. The…”

“Ah, the mammoth elephant tried to escape and didn’t make it. The cavewoman get him with her big gigantic dino leg bone. The mammoth smashed in the caveman hut. Too bad! And I see that another ceiling wire has popped, that’s the soft pinging noises we were hearing in the Alabama forestland.”

She stared at the ceiling. “This exhibition has been here for years. I remembered seeing the dinos as a small child and running away from the big monsters. And I bet the ceiling panels have been here for centuries. We should get out. This room needs to be inspected and repaired and replaced and redone.”

Lowell released her, moving to the pre-historical animal. The saber toothed tiger crouched on the floor, extending one pink and yellow colored stripped paw at the lavender colored baby sloth, trying to swat the harmless mammal. Lowell squatted, patting the fake fur. The tiger sounded with a roar. He laughed, rubbing one of the maxillary canines. The tiger paw reared back and swung forward, slapping Lowell in the ribcage. He fell on the floor, lying helplessly underneath the swinging paw of the tiger.

Victoriana gasped. “Move away! Get out of there!”

“I…I can’t…the paw…too close.”

She gasped, back stepping and turning to see the caveman hut. She grabbed the dino skeleton leg bone from the cavewoman’s hand, turning to see the tiger. She swung the long bone side to side, beating the ribcage of the fake tiger, tearing the fake fur from its sides, not breaking the mechanic monster. Victoriana slapped the mechanic head gear with the dino bone, making the tiger sound with a moan. Then she batted the tiger paw, bending back and slapping the mechanic arm against the wall.

The tiger sounded with a groan, shooting red and yellow sparks from its paw.

Lowell crawled out from underneath the tiger, standing and grabbing Victoriana by the hand.

She dropped the dino bone, kneeling at the caveman archway with Lowell, seeing thick colored smoke inside the dino room. They crawled on the floor, hiding behind one of the fake beige colored boulders, watching the action on the floor. Victoriana gasped. “I can’t see anything, but I can hear lots of hissing and growling and roaring…”

“The room is covered in pretty colors of smoke-type dry ice, blocking all the action. What’s happening? I see red, yellow, pink, blue, and green colors of smoke. Yeah, I can hear loud stomping of many animal feet. I don’t understand. It doesn’t make any sense. All the dino models are molded plastic materials in pretty or bold colors. How’s that possible for them to stomp around the room?” He looked up to the wall corners. “O! I understand. It’s a musical recording of stomping feet like a herd of elephants or something. The hidden speakers on the walls are shaking and quivering the tons of bolted and screwed in green and yellow colored fake plants and fake tree limbs.”

The colorful dry ice floated up to the ceiling, revealing the dino exhibition on the floor.

Lowell gasped. “Look, the valley of dead just became the valley of mechanic. The floor has been opened and parted and split in numerous tiny sections. That’s what was making all the stomping noises. There were tons of hidden panels creating tons of little pits coming from underneath the floor base. This is awesome. It’s a life-like dino jungle with a set of fake painted grass, a grove of tall brown barked trees with wide green leaves, some beige colored sand pits, two black colored tar pits, and blue colored water holes with real water. Someone started the dino show.”

“You!” Victoriana turned with a lady sneer to see his nose profile.

He crouched behind the rock, watching at the dino movements. “Look at all the dinos. They’re actually moving around the room and fighting with each other. This…this is awesome.”

A herd, three 39 feet tall and 74 feet long orange-pinky colored long-necked brachiosauruses, walked back and forth across the fake green painted grass in the room, stopping and dipping a slender head over the railing of a viewing balcony which was mounted on each side wall.

In the front of the room, the daddy fiery red and muted yellow colored 60 foot T-rex roared and raced through the rows of moving mechanic dinosaurs, knocking over the black colored stegosauruses.

The stegosaurus kicked its purple colored legs side to side in the fake tan sand, sounding with a howl. The two gray colored baby stegosauruses galloped to its mama for protection, sounding with a mew.

Lowell laughed. “The babies sound like two kittens. Ya wanna know why? The stego was the dummy of the dinos, eating plants, and carried around a brain, the size of a kitten. So the creators of the dino room made them sound like little kittens. This room is so cool.”

The T-rex halted, roaring and wiggling its two arms at the 30 feet long and 10 foot high light blue colored three horned triceratops that was protecting her newborn baby and two hatching eggs.

A gang, six raptors ran on two naked feet and covered in pretty brown and white feathers, snapping the long jaw lines, chasing after the ostrich-like blue and red colored dinosaur.

Victoriana pointed to the side wall. “Look! Look there! It’s a walking balcony above the room and attached on the long side of the each wall. Why didn’t we see that before?”

“The animation wasn’t working before. Geez, I’m going to have nightmares tonight.” Lowell gasped, pointing up to the ceiling. “Look, the ceiling’s moving and rotating around the room, too, flying the pterodactyl in the air. I think I can feel the air turning into a chill.”

The 35 feet wingspan of the orange colored pterodactyl slowly sailed around the ceiling, slapping the air up and down with a pair of light blue colored wings, sounding with a deep swish.

Victoriana gasped, pointing down to the side wall. “I can’t believe it. Look, there on the floor! Around the perimeter of the room, the floor has shifted some more panels around and created a river with real blue colored water and a shore line of tan sand. Inside the water, I see…”

“Ichthyosaur, the big long 50 feet plus fish lizard was lowered by four sets of guiding wires down from the ceiling and into the water. If ya squint with your eyelids, you can see the four or six invisible guiding wires coming directly down from the ceiling. And it is breaching up from the calm river water. It looks like a really creepy dolphin with two pink colored flippers and a green colored dorsal fin. Don’t go into the water!” He laughed.

She frowned. “I remembered coming to the dino room, a long, long time ago as a young child. I had nightmares for several nights. I can’t believe parents bring their children here. This is so scary.”

He laughed. “For the silly little girls, who scream and shout, I guarantee the little tiny boys like Trux love the horror side show.” He smiled, clapping. “This is our only chance to play with the dinos, because I’m not returning here tomorrow or the rest of my employed days and nights at the Center. We walk through the dino jungle, look, touch some of the moving parts, and leave through the dancing elevator. I don’t wanna ride down the tunnel again.”

She watched the monsters. “Are you mental? That…those are actual animated dinosaur models with both moving mechanic and powered electronic parts. Look, the raptors are racing around the room. Some stop and die. Some fall and die. Some crash into the other mechanic monsters and keep going. Then look, the dead raptors come back to life and race around the room, again. The smart computer chips or programs or apps are very sophisticated in them and in here. No. That’s too dangerous walking or running behind moving machines.” She looked to see the side walls. “There has to been another path out of the dino room…Ah!”

The beige boulder lifted from the floor and into the air.

Victoriana grabbed the edges of the boulder and pulled her body over the smooth edge. The boulder broke into two separate pieces, revealing a running baby dinosaur on the floor and riding on top of its back spine Victoriana.

She screamed with fright.

Lowell gasped and stood, laughing and raising his arm. “Go, girl! It’s a dino ride.”

The neon green colored lizard-like dinosaur with black colored spots galloped over the fake grass and through the shallow blued colored water holes on the floor around the room. She was getting wet, bouncing side to side, lying on her chest, hanging onto its neck bone, and yelled with fear. “No. It’s scary. Help me!”

Lowell turned to see the staircase, running up to the balcony, yelling. “Ride it to the elevator doors! I’m taking the steps and meet you there. Then we’ll leave.”

Victoriana wiggled side to side on top of the back spine, dodging to the left, and then to the right, ducking her skull and her shoulders down underneath the low hanging fake tree limbs. The lizard-like dinosaur turned at the wall corner, racing to the opposite wall. She released her gripe, tossing her body into the thick batch of fake short green brushes, landing on her back spine. She slapped the fluffy material with her hands and her flip-flops, thankful for a soft landing.

Victoriana stood, watching Lowell run over the balcony.

On the balcony, the chairs were staggered front and back for eyeball viewing all the mechanic and audiology action on the ground floor.

Lowell ran and stopped, climbing over each protruded chair in the middle of the aisle, moving closer to the end of the balcony. He stood in the chair, looking to see Victoriana, wiping the sweat from his face.

“Look out!” She pointed up to the flying dinosaur.

The pterodactyl slowly rotated around the ceiling, dragging its two red colored claws in the air, slapping the air up and down with a pair of light blue colored wings. The sound made a swish, stirring up the tiny wind storms of cold air.

He turned around, colliding with a set of red painted mechanical claws. The claws grabbed onto his collar bone, retracting Lowell into the middle of its orange colored plastic belly, flying its prey away from the balcony. Lowell yelled, flinging both his arm and legs.

She gasped. “Lowell! Hang on! I’m coming!” Victoriana scanned the room, seeing the object.

On the opposite wall, perched outside of the other balcony railing was a bright yellow colored round shaped nest. The pterodactyl was taking her prey back to her baby nest.

Victoriana climbed the other staircase, racing and stopping to climb over the protruded chair. “Stupid place for a chair.” She reached the bird nest. The pterodactyl sat on top of the nest with its folded mechanical wings and its closed mechanical eyelids, sounding with a purr. Victoriana gasped and yelled, waving her arms in fright. “Lowell!? Lowell, are you…”

“In here,” his muffled voice sounded underneath the dino machine.

“Where are you?” She stared at the nest.

“Inside the bird.”

“It ate ya?”

“No. It sat me inside the nest. I’m safe and trapped. I’m inside the nest with two fake brown eggs. The bird is sitting on top of the nest. Get me out, now!”

She exhaled with a huff of frustration, raising her arms and slapping her legs. “Okay! Alright! I’m thinking of something.” She pushed on the bird with her hands, her arms, and her girly muscles, not moving the bird. She pulled back, exhaling with another puff of frustration, slapping her hands onto her legs. “No. It’s both metal and mechanic. I can’t move it. I’m too small and weak, being a girl. Think fast! Think faster!” Victoriana ran down the opposite side of the stairs, searching the floor for an object. She found a ripped off cool feeling metal piece from one of the broken dino, racing back up the steps again.

She stopped at the nest, hitting the ribcage of the pterodactyl. The orange colored fake bird features flew from its body, swirling around her face. Some of the fake orange colored skin flaked off and dropped down onto the balcony floor. “It’s molded paper and metal. Ugh! I can’t rip it open.” She kneeled, peaking between the missing feathers and skin, seeing Lowell inside the nest.

He wrapped his hands around the metal ribcage of the bird. “Get me out, now!”

“Ya got a get-of-jail-card?” She laughed.

He sounded with a sneer. “Get me out of here, now, Victoriana.” He jerked his hands on the steel ribcage of the pterodactyl.

“Okay. Okay. Hold the tails of your designer shirt!” She stared at the nest, touching the material. “O good. The nest frame is metal, holding the mechanical bird, but the rest of nest is made of soft materials in the form of fake brown colored tree branches. Okay, Lowell, move away from the nest side which is near me. I’m going to bust open the nest…”

“No. Naw. Don’t. I’ll fall out of the nest, plummeting down fifty feet or more to the floor. Don’t, do it!”

“Stop crying! I’m busting out a little tiny door for your little tiny…”

“Open the door, Victoriana!” He sounded with a growl.

She smiled and slammed the metal piece inside the side of the nest, hitting it over and over again, separating the soft materials. She slowly opened a round hole inside the nest. “See, if you can get through now, Lowell?”

His head and his smile appeared through the hole, wiggling out an arm too. Victoriana grabbed his arm, pulling and yanking his body through the hole. He landed on the floor with a thud.

She turned and led them down the stairs to the ground floor.

Lowell followed behind her, rubbing his collar bone, where the two claws of pterodactyl had attached to his body. “Ya know I don’t feel any…”

Her foot hit the ground floor. She turned and grabbed Lowell by the arms, swinging and slamming his body into the wall. “You!? You did this. You pressed the buttons and engaged the electronics of all the dinosaurs. The dino models are going crazy…”

“Ouch!” He rubbed the new wound on his shoulder. “No. Naw, not me! No, I promise. I had nothing to do with the dinos coming alive. I promise I just touched the wall panel, not the switches…”

She happened to be standing by the long control panel for the dino room, flicking on and off all the switches on the wall. “Ugh! I’m switching them up and down. They’re not working or broken or something.”

“We’re back where we started.” He crouched down into the wall corner, watching the dino show in progress, caressing his collar bone.

The noise made a crash.

Victoriana gasped and squatted down on the floor, covering her curls. Lowell leaned to the other side, covering his skull. She stood, looking around the room, seeing a new rock pile. “Okay, our getaway plan is still the same. We climb up the new rock pile, which was once the old wooden stairs and wall plaster. Then we land on the flat leveled balcony and run over the balcony. The balcony is unharmed. And the balcony runs across the wall and down toward the elevator doors. We get outta here, now.”

He shook his skull, sitting and rubbing the bruises on his legs. “We did that. The pterodactyl kidnapped me and tried to eat me. I’m lucky that I survived. My shoulder aches and my head hurts. And my legs…”

The pterodactyl opened it mechanical eyes and took flight, sailing with its light blue wings around the ceiling on the guiding wires.

Victoriana stood and stared at the dino room, looking for a safe pathway away from the moving and crashing dinos. “Are you hurt? Are you bleeding?”

He wiggled his arm. “Actually, no, the body suit is made of nano-mites, too, protecting my collar bone. However, I do feel a set of bruises arising, but do not have any actually wounds.”

“Good. Now, stand up and figure out how to get…”

The ceiling wire sounded with a ping.

The pterodactyl fell sideways, still flying around the ceiling and flapping one wing.

A second ceiling wire sounded with a ting.

The flying dino sailed down from the ceiling and landed on top of the roaring daddy T-rex in front of the elevator doors.

The T-rex and pterodactyl both fell on top of the horned triceratops, crushing her mechanical baby and the two fake eggs, creating clouds of both black colored smoke and white colored steam.

She gasped. “O no! More of the centuries old ceiling wires have broken. The mechanical monsters are sizzling out of their red and yellow colored electronic parts. We gotta leave the valley of burnt, now. Climb up the rocks!” She dashed to the rocks, slamming her hands over the rough wood and broken plaster.

Lowell stood, moving to the rocks, shoving her fanny up to the balcony. “Go, hurry up!”

The gang of running raptors slammed into the fallen stegosauruses, T-rex, and triceratops, causing numerous red and yellow sparks on the floor and clouds of black and brown colored smoke in the air, making the dino room covered in smoke and heat.

Victoriana crawled over the balcony floor, running in a low crouched position, avoiding the tings of flying metal pieces mixed with brown colored clouds of smoke that were hitting the balcony railing, the chairs, and the walls. She slid down to the floor from the soaring and sizzling new batch of red colored metal parts, exhaling with a puff of fear.

A large chunk of metal hit and sizzled inside the wall plaster, melting the paint and burning the wooden staves, making a pretty colors of red, blue and, yellow sparks.

She looked to see the burning metal and stood, avoiding the tiny fire, running and stopping, and climbed over the next protruded chair in the middle of the aisle. “Stupid chair, move out of my way…”

Lowell ran behind her, sliding down on the floor, out of the way of the flying metal also.

Another medium sized chunk hit the balcony railing, sizzling and burning the old wood, creating a tiny hole on the floor.

He exhaled with a huff of fear and stood, running and stopping, and climbed over the next protruded chair too.

The galloping pink colored ostrich-like ornithomimid ran into a pile of sizzling mechanic and moving dinosaurs. T-rex kicked its massive foot at the ornithomimid, sending its long body toward the elevator doors.

The ostrich-like dinosaur twirled in a circle and slammed the tall legs of the red and yellow colored standing mama T-rex.

Mama T-rex tilted, rolled, and crushed her little baby T-rexes on the floor, sailing all their sizzling and steaming mechanical pieces in a big heap of burning metal, indenting the side wall.

Victoriana exhaled with a puff of fright, jumping up from the floor, running and smiling. “Three more chairs, we’re home, Lowell.”

“Keep going! Don’t talk! Keep moving! Get to the elevator.”

A set of guiding wires on top of the breaching dolphin-like ichthyosaur snapped back into the ceiling. Large chunks of ceiling plaster fell over both the dinosaur models and the fake plants, sizzling and burning with both white colored smoke and red colored heat.

The ichthyosaur swung side to side, sounding in creepy creaks. The guide wires broke, dropping the dolphin-like dinosaur down on top of one of the walking long-necked brachiosauruses. The impact slammed and sailed one of the brachiosauruses to the side wall.

Victoriana started climbing on top of the sitting chair, reaching for the edge of the balcony railing for balance. The slender head of the brachiosaurus rammed through the balcony railing and wall. Her hand touched the smooth plastic as she slipped down and hung onto the long neck of the brachiosaurus. “Lowell!” She looked to see him and extended her hand for assistance.

He gasped, jumping off the chair, reached over the broken balcony wall, missing her extended hand.

The mechanical body of the brachiosaurus swung around, walking to the opposite wall, carrying Victoriana around its neck. She screamed, grabbing the neck and dangling side to side.

Lowell exhaled with a huff of panic. “I’ll get help. Hold on, girl!” He turned to see the clear pathway on the balcony and down the walking stairs, running and climbing over the last chair. “Home free!” He raced down the stairs, slamming into the wall corner, covering his face.

The other two walking brachiosauruses stomped in the opposite directions and strolled toward each other, colliding with their long necklines, exploding both their heads and their bodies. The heads flew in the direction of Lowell, missing his body. The rounded bellies hit each other, ricocheting and rolling toward the opposite side wall.

Victoriana screamed, dangling from the long neck of the walking brachiosaurus. The front legs of dino hit the two rounded bellies, falling forward into the wall. The head slammed into the wall, indenting and sticking in the plaster. The long neck fell and rolled off one of the rounded bellies, settling on the opposite side near the elevator doors.

She released the neck of the dino and landed on top of the round surface, crawling her hands and fingernails over the smooth plastic, not finding a protruded object. She slipped and slid down to the floor, landing inside the middle of the two round bellies, becoming trapped between the plastic models.

Lowell stood, leaping over the sizzling heated parts, rushing to the elevator doors.

All the fallen mechanical monsters hissed with heated and sizzled in melting parts, creating both rolls of black and brown colored smoke clouds, igniting the mechanic parts into a set of tiny yellow and red sparks of fire.

Victoriana yelled, jumping and grabbing the hard plastic of the brachiosaurus belly. “Lowell! I’m safe. I fall off the dino. Help me! I’m here near the wall. I’m trapped between the busted brachiosaurus bellies. That sounds funny! Busted brachiosaurus bellies. I can’t reach the top of the belly. The belly is too rounded and too slick. Lowell?”

His back spine touched the smooth elevator doors, moving away from the sizzling metal. His hand slapped the elevator button, again, calling for the dancing elevator. His face watched the rising black colored smoke and pretty red and white colored sparks in the dino room. He whispered. “Walbash is going to fire me…”

Help me! Lowell!?”

He smirked with an evil chuckle, slapping the elevator button again. “Walbash is going to fire Victoriana. She will lose her good paying job and her good privileged life, if the fire trucks do not arrive in time to put out the fire and flames. Hark! I don’t even hear a fire alarm. Victoriana will be found here among the mess of smoke and fire. I was in bed asleep, Dr. Walbash. Please go and ask Trux?” He laughed, standing inside the archway of the elevator door frame.

Lowell, I’m near the wall. Help me!”

The elevator doors opened.

Lowell fell backwards down inside the carriage, crawling on his back spine into the rear wall, reaching and holding the side railing.

The doors were not closing.

He cursed, crawling ahead on both his hands and his knees, standing and slapping the number eight on the control panel. He slid back, hugging the wall corner, holding the side bar, and whistled a happy tone.

The galloping lizard-like dinosaur tripped over the busted metal part and flew through the air. Victoriana gasped, seeing the low flying machine, grabbing one of the wiggling feet on the tiny lizard-like dino.

The machine leaped over the rounded belly of the brachiosaurus and landed into the soft material of fake green colored shrubs, carrying Victoriana with it.

She landed behind the lizard-like dinosaur in the same soft material, coughing and slapping her chest from the accumulated clouds of dark smoke and the rough impact of her body into the fake green shrubs. She up righted her torso and sit on both her elbows, gasping and seeing the closing doors of the dancing elevator.

Victoriana rolled over and of the fake plants onto the floor, jerking to the side and avoiding a pile of heated metal. She stood and scooted to the damaged dino, lifting in one fluid scoop the partially broken off neck of the lizard-like dinosaur, dragging its body over the floor, and rammed the dino-face through a slender vertical slot of the closing elevator doors.

The doors opened.

Lowell screamed, covering his face, saying with a silly sneer. “Geez, be careful with that thing! Ya could put an eyeball out or something?”

“Yeah or something?” She said with a lady sneer, tossing the damaged dino to the dino floor, slapping the number nine button, and slid into the rear corner wall. She hugged the side bar, seeing the sprinkler system activated, pouring water from the ceiling vents over both the heated metal and sizzling mechanical dino parts and wires.

The doors closed.

He exhaled with a huff of frustration, holding the side bar, staring at the closed elevator doors. “We are in so much trouble. How do we explain the total destruction of the dino science room? We are going be fired on the spot in front of our fellow archivists, tomorrow, the end of my great summertime paying job.”

The elevator violently jolted to the side with a halt and then smoothly ascended up to the seventh floor.

“We won’t.” She turned her smirk to see Lowell. “We were not here, tonight. Anyways, we truly eye witnessed all the ancient ceiling wires being ripped off the ceiling, causing and collapsing every single mechanical dinosaur into extinction, again. I believe it’s the dancing elevator fault.”

“How so?” He probed the bruises and cut on both his naked arms and his naked legs, where the golden colored nano body suit have not protected his body.

She looked up to see the walls and the ceiling. “The violent shifting of both metal and mechanisms of the carriage cracks and bends the delicate materials of paint, plaster, and nails. Gemma told me that the dancing elevator was only used for a couple of months during the summer and then shut down. Well Walbash restarted it for some reason…”

The elevator violently jolted to the side with a halt and then smoothly ascended up to the eighth floor.

“Walbash is a mean boss, trapping the newly hired young team of teen archivists inside the Birmingham Science and Art Center, for her evil purpose…”

“Anyways, the dancing elevator shook the guiding wires right off the ceiling plaster, causing the total destruction of the dino science room. Well, I guess so, Dr. Walbash. I wasn’t there, of course,” she extended her hand, turning her wicked smirk to see Lowell.

He turned his smirk to see Victoriana, extended his arm, and slapped her hand, laughing. “You are positively evil, girl!”

“Sometimes.” She laughed with a nod and an evil twang.

The elevator doors opened.

Chapter Eighteen

 

12:05 A.M.

Fourth Floor

Bubble Room

 

He flicked the water from his ear, opening his eyelids and emerging from their warm kiss, and smiled in her face. “Ya know you’re making my ears burn and steam with…”

“Water. Flood. I’m wet. My clothes and body are soaked.” She stood and scooted from his body, twirling and pointing to the floor. “O no! The floor’s completely flooded. O yes! The baby bubble tables are flooding with overflowing bubble water.” She ran, sliding on her kneecaps and touching the exposed pipe underneath the table. “It’s not leaking through the exposed pipe.” She leaned over the table and dipped her hand into the tray. “It’s overflowing out of the water tray. I can’t see any method of plugging the leak.”

Trux stood, running and sliding over the wet floor, slamming into the second table on the opposite wall. He probed and touched the cold pipe and the water tray. “I don’t feel any cracks in the pipe or the tray. This water is…is gushing up the pipe, and over the tray, and on the floor. We can’t fix this.” He stood, running to the elevator doors, slapped the button and watched the doors.

Gemma stood and twirled in a circle, flinging both her arms, saying with a worried brow. “It’s not going to work, Trux. The elevator system doesn’t work during an emergency. We learned that safety feature in the first grade as a child. In an emergency, you run down the stairs.”

He gasped, turning his worried brow to see Gemma. “There’s no stairs to run down. There’s no exit door to run into. There’s the elevator to run onto. We’re trapped here.” He stared at the water on the floor and turned to see the elevator doors again.

She stared at the water on the floor. “The compartment is slowly flooding. The water is barely over my ankles and cleaning my nasty feet. I don’t need a bath tonight. All the computer sensors are dinging and ringing in silence, I guess. So the fire trucks and fire fighters will be here really soon. The elevators are probably on the first floor for the fire fighters to use.” She gasped. “Victoriana and Lowell?”

His naked fingers pulled and scratched on the edges of the elevator, without moving the doors. “They are safe. We are not. Don’t know, Gemma! We gotta get out here and report the flood to…to Walbash or Patsie. We’re in some serious trouble, playing in the science room, without permission.”

She said with a sour frown, pointing to the first bubble table. “No! Walbash told us that we could run around the building for fun. And we don’t do anything to damage the pipes or the trays. We were playing with the cute paddles and spraying the air with the cuter bubbles. We couldn’t have possibility damaged the trays or the pipes. Ugh! It’s close or after midnight! Maybe…maybe, all the baby bubble tables overflow and clean the floor, getting off the dirt and the grime, without a mop and a broom.”

He turned to see Gemma and looked down to the water. “Cleaning the dirt and grime from the floors?” He looked up with a smile to see her. “Well that’s a good theory. So the flooding will stop and the water will evaporate. And we’re stuck in here, until the waters evaporate. How long will it take for the water to evaporate? We need to go to bed. We all gotta get up before six o’clock for the mission flight at six o’clock, tomorrow.”

“I know that too. “She splashed around the water in big circles, wrapping both her arms around her body, rubbing her goose bumps. “I guess a couple of hours or so.”

“A couple of hours would be about two in the morning.” He said with a sour frown, turning to see the elevator doors, jumping in the air. He fell back in the water and leaped a couple of more times.

She watched Trux. “What are you doing? Why ya jumping up and down? I’m cold, too.”

He leaped, stretching his arm to the ceiling, landing on the floor, and turned his worried brow to see Gemma, shaking his wet skull. “I don’t take chemistry at school. But I do know that for water to evaporate, that it needs some heat to separate the water molecules. The air conditioning is very chilled and cool in this enclosed room now. And my body’s getting colder from the blowing air conditioning too.”

She gasped, rubbing both her arms. “I’m colder. I got goose bumps too. I mean I feel cold and chilled too. You’re right. The water is not going to evaporate, without heated air.”

“What do we do? We’re trapped here, until rescue or found. Man, we’re going to miss the launch, tomorrow. And, wo-man, Walbash is going to be really mad at us. And, then no one will find us, until the cleaning crew comes in the late morning.”

She gasped and ran, sliding on her knees to the third tunnel, pressing her three fingers to the metal.

The door didn’t open.

She pressed her five fingers to the metal.

The door didn’t open.

She pressed her four fingers to the metal.

The door opened.

Gemma slid to the second tunnel, pressing her four fingers to the metal.

The door opened.

She slid to the first tunnel, pressing her four fingers to the metal.

The door opened.

Trux watched her actions and the water, gasping. “Don’t!” He ran to Gemma, sliding, hit the wall, and missing her.

She giggled and turned to see the opposite wall, sliding on her kneecaps, slamming into the metal door, and pressed the metal with her four finger pads.

The door opened.

Trux shouted, rubbing his arm, sliding on his kneecaps over the floor. “Stop!”

“I’m brilliant. I opened all the tunnels. Now, all the water will drain down the holes.” She pressed her four fingers to the second door.

The door opened.

“Don’t!” He grabbed her waist, flinging her the all, circling them around the shallow cold water.

She said with a sour frown inside his warm arms. “What? I’m opening up all the tunnels and letting the water pour down and drain from the bubble room. Then the elevator sensors will detect a dry room and then the elevators will respond to the button call…”

“Naw!” He released her, sliding on his kneecaps to the second tunnel, reaching and touching the interior floor. “We can’t use the elevators during an emergency, you said so. So we can use the tunnel and escape from the bubble room, sliding down to the first floor.”

She slapped her legs, standing and smiling. “Good idea, Trux! I’ve opened almost all the tunnels. Which one do we use?”

He exhaled with a huff of worry. “Well it can’t be this one. I feel only the metal floor with my hand, which is underwater, too. The tunnel base is now plain metal. All the black slime has been evaporated, gone.”

She splashed over on her flip-flops and stood over his hair roots. “No big deal! We slid down the tunnel like it’s a big gigantic playground slide, falling out on the other end.”

He stood and shook his skull, looking to see each open tunnel. “Not me, in the dark and underwater! We got a new problem, sweetheart.” He lifted his flip-flop up from the water. “The water is rising faster than before.” He splashed to the first baby bubble table, kneeling in the water, measuring with his hand. “The new water level comes up to my chest. I’m six plus feet tall. So the water level about one foot, already and climbing.” He stood and splashed back to her. “And look at the opened tunnels, each one is one-third covered in water, already, which means that the water ain’t draining. It has nowhere to drain.”

“Has no place to drain? Yeah, it does. The bubble water is traveling down the tunnel and draining through one of many doors on every floor. Geez, I hope we don’t get into trouble or fired over this mess. Well, actually, we won’t. We didn’t do anything wrong or illegal,” she bounced in the water with a smile and a giggle.

Trux said with a worried brow to her. “Naw, look closer at each open tunnel, again. The water ain’t stirring or gushing or rushing out the archway. The water’s backed up like a toilet bowl. The end of the tunnel is closed off. I guess each metal door is triggered to open by a slime coated sled, being made of some type of special alloy. Or the metal door is triggered to open by your finger pad, again, like the other metal doors. I can’t see me swimming down a tunnel of bubble water to the metal door either. The metal only works with dry fingers, not wet ones. So we are really trapped inside the bubble room. And the water is still rising. I don’t know if it will stop soon. And I don’t think rescue is coming soon to us or the room. No one knows that we’re down here.”

Gemma gasped, looking around the room, sobbing with her tears. “What? What do? What do we do? I don’t wanna die here. I wanna live here. I wanna see my mama again.”

He cuddled her. She covered her face, sobbing and crying with her tears. He said with a worried brow. “I do, too. Shh! Think! Think out the problem. Look, talk out the solution. There’s one metal door, not opened. I agree we use the tunnel and exit out the flooding bubble room. But the water is going to dissolve the slime, if we open the tunnel. So how do we prevent that from happening?” He released his cuddle and shook her. “Gemma, think of something? Don’t give up now!”

“Okay,” she sobbed, wiping her tears from her wet face.

He lifted and carried her to the first baby bubble table. “Stand on top of the table, not in the water. Get your cold body out of the water! So you can think with your warm neurons.”

She stood in the cold water, removing both her flip-flops and placing one inside each pocket of the body suit, which was located on each leg, straddling the edges of the small bubble table in her bare feet.

He climbed onto the table and stood on the opposite end of her, holding her arms and balancing both of them. “Close your eyes!”

“What!” She stared at him.

“Close your eyes! Don’t look at the water or the flood. Calm your mind!”

She slapped his arms. “We do not have time for this.”

“We got time before the room floods and…”

She closed her eyelashes. “I’m closing my eyes, alright.”

“Now, the lake is flooding. What do you do to contain the flood?”

“You built a dam, of course.” She opened her eyelashes and turned to the see the row of tables. “Can you shove three of those baby bubble tables and corridor off the bubble water from the last remaining and life-saving tunnel? So we can open the door and slide down and live to see tomorrow’s sunrise.”

“Good answer yeah, great plan!” He climbed down off the table, swimming to the table. He stood beside the tiny table, grabbing the butt ends with both his hands, jerking the metal frame with his manly muscles.

The table was not moving.

He grunted and jerked the table, a second time.

The table was not moving.

Trux inhaled a deep breath, diving into the water and underneath the table, touching the pipe and plumbing with his trained hands, without opening his eyelids. The bubble mixture was burning the tender pupils, feeling like fire. He emerged to the surface, breathing air and sloshing the water from his face and his hair. He exhaled with deep breathes of worry, turning his worried brow to see Gemma. “I can’t budge the table. The water and metal are too heavy for my muscles. And the plumbing is soldered into the table metal. Okay! What else can be used as a dam structure?” He swam back to her and the table, standing in the bubble water.

Gemma exhaled with a puff of worry, shaking her wet curls, tapping on the wall which was helping to balance her on the small table. “Don’t know! Do know!” She looked up and tapped on the hanging wall picture. “The sleds are inside each painted pictures. Remember? The front of the room is filled with numerous pictures, meaning numerous sleds. We could build a dam with an array of sideways metal sleds, blocking the water long enough to slide down the tunnel. Yes.” She clapped, almost falling from the table, grabbing the wall for balance again.

He nodded with a clap, looking up to see Gemma. “Okay, yeah, the sleds! We need a slime finger to open the pictures. I’ll get a palm of slime and bring to you.” He swam to one of the tunnels.

“Wait, I’m coming too. I can help.”

He stood and shouted. “Naw, the slime is going to evaporate, as soon as, the bubble water hits the liquid. You’re the pilot of the sled…”

“You be the pilot, this time. I…I’ll ride on top of your back spine…”

“Naw.” He shook his skull. “The only tunnel not flooded is the Adventurous archivist, the lowest ceiling and the least amount of visual light and the most dangerous. You have to be glued on the sled and pilot the course for the both of us. I’m soaking wet. None of the slime will stick to my body and my clothing. And I am guessing here, but I’ll have to hang to the rear of the sled during the tunnel ride down to the ground floor. The ceiling is too low for two people stacked on top of each other. So you’re it. So stay dry. Blow on your chest. So the slime paint will stick to your clothing.”

She nodded, stretching the fabric of the body suit from her wet chest, blowing with her sweet breath over the wet fabric.

Trux swam to the closest tunnel and stood, rubbing his hands over the metal, looking for the square seam. He found the circular seam and pressed his fingers into the metal.

The door didn’t open.

The water came between his finger pads and the metal door for activating the metal. Or his wet finger pads could not activate the wet metal.

He lifted his hand, blowing in his fingers, drying his digits. The metal only reacted to his sweat or his naked skin touch. Trux used his other hand and his body, swishing the bubble water away from the wall, seeing a faint outline of the circle on the wall.

His digits were dry and chapped on his hand. Trux smiled at his working plan, swishing the water side to side with his legs, exposing the circular plate again. He touched the exposed with his three dry finger pads.

The bowl slowly lowered down to the water and exposed the slime paint.

Trux scooped up both the yellow slime and the bubble water with his two palms, lifting his hands over his skull, splashing back to Gemma.

She bounced on top of the table, waving her arms. “Hurry, hurry, I see the yellow slime dripping from your wet hands.”

He extended his long arms to Gemma. She dipped her dry and naked index finger into his palms and watched the yellow colored slime very, very slowly crawl over one finger. He said. “No. Dump both your hands in the slime. Get as much slime as possible.”

She released the wall with her other hand and slammed her digits into his palms, screaming and falling off the table.

Trux grabbed her with both his hands, spinning her body in a circle over his skull from the collision, slowly dropping her feet in the water. He sweet breathed into her worried face. “You’re fine. You’re safe. Gotcha. Did you get wet? Is your slime hand, okay?”

“Yes.” She whispered, holding up her arm with the yellow slime colored fingers in the air.

He placed her on top of the table. Gemma stood and balanced with her non-slime colored hand. He said. “Okay, we’re almost there.”

“No. I’m not covered in slime. My chest is still lacking the slime coating.”

He pointed to the pictures on the wall. “We need to build the dam structure, first. We need to protect the precious black slime inside the tunnel, first. Okay. Your hand’s covered in yellow slime. I’m going to ride your across my shoulders. You got a slime covered finger. It should activate and pop the picture out from the wall and then expose the physical metal sled inside. Slap your finger to the picture, first. I’ll smash the sled from its cubby hole and in the water. Ya ready?” He turned to the elevators and backed up to the bubble table.

“Yeah!” Gemma straddled his shoulders with her legs and slammed his skull with her non-slime hand. “Go!”

He grunted with her heavy weigh, slowly splashing in the shallow water to the first picture of a red triangle bubble, and stopped.

She said with a sour frown, reaching with her hand. “This picture is way too high. There are other portraits much lower.”

“The bubble water affects the metal. The pictures will not pop from the wall.”

“Okay!” She slapped the red colored bubble with her yellow slime colored middle finger pad, watching and hearing the picture pop from the wall. Gemma slammed the picture wall frame, again, seeing the metal door slid to the side with a slurp, exposing the shiny and dry sled. “I see the sled. I’m going to jerk it from the hold. Slam your face against the wall! So the sled falls in the water.” Trux slowly hit the wall with his face and her kneecaps.

Gemma grunted with pain from the wall collision, grabbing the rear of the sled, jerking the metal.

The sled was not moving.

She grabbed both ends of the sled and shook it side to side. The sled slightly glided sideways from the hold and fell from the wall. She shouted. “Move right. Right. Out of the way.”

Trux slid to the right, feeling the smooth metal of sled barely touch his naked bicep. “Too close! Look, pop the picture open and expose the sled. I’m jump up and retrieve the sled, without you on top of my shoulders.”

She said, reaching with her slime covered middle finger pad at the next picture, hearing a pop and a slurp on the wall. “Deal! Move left to the next picture of a blue bubble.” Trux shuffled to the left. Gemma slapped the picture with her yellow slime colored middle finger pad.

The picture didn’t pop from the wall.

She wiggled side to side on his shoulders and slapped the picture with her yellow slime colored middle finger pad again.

The picture didn’t pop from the wall.

He shifted her weight over his shoulders. “Hurry up! The water’s rising. What’s wrong?”

She exhaled with a puff of fear, examining her semi-covered yellow slime colored fingers. “Too many problems! I scratched off some of the yellow slime from my finger, when I jerked the sled from its hidey-hold. And the wet moisture is evaporating the rest of slime from my other two fingers. Wait!” She pressed her slime colored fingers in a sideways position which was covered with more dry slime. “Got it!”

The picture sounded with a pop and a slurp from the wall.

“Leave it! I’m moving to the next picture.” He splashed his flip-flops down the side wall.

“How many do we need?”

“I think six.”

She pressed her slime fingers in a sideways position, popping the picture, exposing the sled also. “Move! That’s three.” He splashed down the side wall as she pressed her slime covered fingers sideways, popping the picture, exposing the sled too. “Move. That’s four.” He slid down the side wall. Gemma pressed her slime covered fingers sideways, popping the picture, exposing the sled, again. “That’s five. My finger has almost completely dissolved. I don’t think we should waste any more of our time and the slime.”

He turned back to see the first bubble table, slowly moving and splashing through the water. “Okay! I’m taking you back to the first bubble table. Stay dry! I’ll bring you a new patch of slime for your chest and hands. You must be glued into the sled and able to guide through the course for our safety and survival.”

“Alright!” She exhaled with a puff of worry. Trux stood in front the table, slowly turning to see the elevator doors. Gemma climbed back onto the edges of the bubble table.

He moved to the drowned sled and lifted it from the water, moving it to the first tunnel.

Gemma waved both her arms. “No. Use one of the tunnels on this…my side of the wall. When you scoop the slime, you will come much faster and closer to me, saving more of the slime.”

“Okay.” He slowly turned to the opposite wall and slowly splashed through the water. He slammed the sled sideways in the water, straddling the metal between his legs, creating a small air pocket of between the low level water and the hidden bowl of slime. He lifted his hand, blowing his digits dry. His other hand cupped and protected the exposed circular seam on the wall, hitting with tiny splashes of bubble water into his exposed palm. Trux touched the metal with his three dry finger pads.

The bowl lowered down from the wall and exposed the slime paint.

He scooped up the purple slime with hardly any water into his two palms, turning to see her, and yelled. “Gemma, extend your arms and lean towards me. I’m going to slap the slime into your chest for the extra point.”

She gasped, waving both her arms, balancing on the edge of the table. “No. No. You’ll waste it…”

“We don’t have time. The water is rising too fast. I play sports. I’m a pitcher in baseball. I can hit the wings off a hummingbird. And you’re much bigger than a hummingbird,” chuckling.

She waved both her arms, balancing on the edge of the table. “No! The slime is not a baseball. It won’t reach me.”

“Most of it will. Then paint your chest and hands. Here comes the pitch.” He reared both his arms behind his skull with two cupped hands and flung both his arms forward.

A batch of purple slime sailed and scattered in the air.

Gemma held the wall with one hand, leaning her torso forward and her other arm outward. Some of the slime hit both her arm and her chest.

“Bull’s eye!” He laughed.

She smeared the slime over her chest and her arm, feeling it slowly crawl up her naked hand and over her dry body suit. “Great shot!”

“I’m building the dam.” He splashed to the second picture on the wall and leaped, grabbing the rear of the sled, falling on his flip-flops back down with gravity. The sled fell straight down into the water, barely missing his naked toe. “Too close again!” He leaped in the air and slapped the third sled in the hold of the wall, landing on his flip-flops back down into the water.

The sled didn’t move.

Trux grunted and jumped in the air, grabbing the side of the sled, twisted it sideways, and landed his flip-flops back down into the water.

The sled flung from the wall to the side, landing on its frontal wind shield, folded in half, and slid down into the water.

“It’s okay. We can use it too.” He splashed over the water to the fifth picture on the wall, leaping and missing the exposed sled. He landed in the water, grunting with a huff of exhaustion. “It’s too high. But it’s okay. I got four of them. I’m building the dam.” He splashed through the water, collecting the four sleds.

Gemma stood on top of the table, fanning her chest, keeping the purple colored slime dry from the wet water molecules inside the bubble room. “Wait! Before you build the dam, I need a sled, not wet or not contaminated with bubble water.”

“Okay, I’m coming back to you.” Trux dragged the four sleds to the entrance of the third tunnel, dropping the objects in the water, swimming to Gemma. He climbed up onto the table. “Stand away from me. Don’t get wet!” He looked up to see the wall. “Okay, touch this picture with the green bubbles.”

She pointed to a different picture. “No, I need a bigger picture like the big and wide blue bubble. I’m not completely covered in slime. I might slide off the sled.”

He said. “I can’t reach the blue bubble. I can’t get you wet either. The picture with the medium-sized green bubble will do just fine and dandy, once we’re inside the tunnel. Touch the picture and pop the wall frame.” He slid to the end of the table, out of her way.

Gemma slammed her purple slime colored middle finger pad several times on the edge of the green colored bubble, popping the picture and sliding into the wall frame.

The sled glittered in silver underneath the bright lights.

Trux said, without shaking his arms, splashing any bubble water droplets on Gemma. “Scoot around the wall, and away from me, and stand on the second table. I’ll remove the sled and lean it against the wall, so it can dry out. When you’re ready to move to the third tunnel, just grab it.”

Gemma scooted on the wall, jumped over the water, and stood on top of the second table, balancing her body and watching him work.

Trux moved to the wall, jerking the sled from the hold, slowly lowering it down and posing against the wall. He grunted, jumping down into the water. “Okay, we’re almost there. I’m building the dam and blocking the water. Then we can open the tunnel. Water will get inside, but it wouldn’t flood the compartment like the other tunnels. We got a good chance of…”

“We are going to survival. Stop cursing us, Trux!”

He laughed and kneeled into the water, pulling one of the sleds, scooting the water from the wall. He slammed the first sideways positioned sled into the second sideways positioned sled, trying to block the water, scooting the water from the wall with the third sled.

Gemma watched, fanning her chest and her hands, keeping the slime dry. “What are you doing?”

“I’m criss-crossing the sleds and creating a semi-dry spot on the floor, at least, a small puddle of bubble water, so the tunnel doesn’t get contaminated.”

“How’da ya learn to do that?”

“Building bean pole vines, criss-crossing fence posts, and constructing flower planters for my mama, I guess that I learned a lot living and working on the farm.”

“I don’t see how that’s going to work. You didn’t have any screws or wires to hold the structure in place.”

“The water will act like the screw.” He flipped the sled upside down. The water rushed in, hitting his chest and the wall. Again, Trux scooted the water from the wall with the sled and slid it next to another one. “All the sleds are slightly bent sideways from their individual vicious fall. I’m trying to find the right formation of the bent angles, holding the angles upright and stable. The double-sided angles will hold the water back, temporarily, for our escape of out of paradise.” He slowly stood, standing in a paddle of shallow water in front of the closed tunnel, not disturbing his delicate creation. The four sleds formed a series of tiny glittering x-shapes, sitting sideways, peaking over the water like a dam. “Okay, my dam’s built. Grab the sled and jump into my arms.” He turned his grin to see Gemma and extended his arms.

Gemma gasped. “I can’t jump.”

“Yes. You’re close enough to me and the tunnel. You left the right one closed, honey. I’ll grab you I promise.”

“I can’t jump. I’ll miss. No. You come and get me?”

“I can’t leave and disturb the make-shift dam. It’s barely holding the water back. And it might break and fall. Jump, Gemma! My arms are really long. If you extend your long arms, then we could be touching with our middle finger tips. Jump into my arms. I promise I’ll catch ya, honey. We’re running outta of time.”

“Okay, ya betta catch me.” She turned to the sled, jerking the edges with her hands, and gasped. She exhaled with a puff of fear, dropping her hands down to the middle edges of the sled, jerked it, and gasped again. “O no!” She parted her hands, grabbing the edges of the sled at a diagonal angle, jerked it, and grunted. “O yes!” She sobbed, wiping the tears and slowly stood, turning her sad pout to see Trux.

He said, without moving and disturbing the dam. “Come on! What’s wrong?”

“I…I can’t lift the sled.” She shook her semi-wet curls.

“That’s okay. Don’t lift it! Just slide it over the wall and then toss it to me. I’ll catch it first and then you jump into my arms, darling.”

She turned to the sled, holding the edges, and jerked it to the side.

The sled didn’t move.

She exhaled with a puff of worry. “I can’t. The sled’s too heavy.” She rubbed her cold and semi-naked arms, turning her sad pout to see Trux. “I’m too cold, too tired, too weak. I can’t do this. I can’t leave here. I’m destined to die on my first day of employment as an archivist.”

“Naw, think of something else.” Trux turned to see the wall, studying the individual bubble pictures.

Gemma looked to see her purple slime colored hands, saying with a sad tone. “The slime is evaporating off my hands and my chest from the drifting water molecules. Even if I could jump and I can’t adhere to the metal, I would slide off and smash into the wall being ran over by the metal and injured. I would die, like a rat, inside the wall…”

He turned his smile to see her. “Gemma, stop with the death march! Jump into my arms, please, now.” He extended his arms.

She stood on top of the table, looking down to see the water, saying with a soft sad timber. “It just keeps rising, without stopping. The water has mixed with the water in the tray too. Trux, you’re standing in front of the tunnel door. Paint your body with the colored slime and slide down the black slime to the ground floor. Go, Trux! Save yourself! I am lost, like my mama. My mama is dying of cancer. She won’t be here much longer. I won’t be here much longer, either. And I will be first one and there to greet her, when she comes.”

He gasped, turning to see the wall, seeing the faint outline of the circle near the dry tunnel door. “Yeah, the bowl of slime is dry and protected from the wall.” He slapped the metal with his naked and dry fingers pads.

The bowl of slime lowered down from the wall in the color of red.

Trux slapped his naked finger into bowl, feeling the crawl of the slime over his four digits, and jerked his hand from the bowl. He stood and stretched, touching the edge of the orange colored bubble with his red slime colored middle finger pad. The picture sounded with a pop from the wall. “Yeah!” He touched the bubble, again, making the wall frame slid sideways into the wall with a slurp. “Please, make it good!” He bent his knees and jumped, grabbing and jerking the sled from the hold in his chest, and landed in a squat inside the puddle of water. He held his breathe and tensed his muscles, not moving, watching for any tiny movement in the make-shift dam.

The dam was holding.

Trux slowly stood, placing the sled in front of the tunnel, pressing his three red slime colored finger pads on the metal door.

The door didn’t open.

He frowned, shifting his other hand, pressing his three naked finger pads to the metal door.

The door didn’t open.

He exhaled with a huff of annoyance, pressing his five naked fingers pads to the metal.

The door didn’t open.

Trux pressed his four naked fingers pads to the metal.

The door opened.

He stood and shouted, turning his smile to see her. “Gemma, look! Look over here! I got us a dry sled and a fresh bowl of slime. We can go now. Gemma, we can leave. Jump into my arms, darling!” He stepped over the sled and extended his arms, wiggling both his slime covered and naked fingers.

Her ears heard the words, sled. She turned to see both Trux and his wiggling slime red painted fingers, seeing in the background a sled on the floor and the tunnel was opened. She gasped, shouting with a smile. “Leave. We can leave now!”

“Come on! Gemma, jump!”

She back stepped further from the edge of the table and ran forward, touching the wall for balance. She leaped, running her legs in the air, flinging her arms for more height. She sailed over the water and landed on top of his shoulders.

Trux grunted, twirling in circles from the brutal impact of the girl, and slipped on the smooth metal, landing on his face into the sled.

Gemma laughed and climbed off his back spine, squatting on the floor, reaching for the bowl of slime. She shook his body, saying with a laugh. “Ya landed in the right spot. Get up, Trux! We need to leave. Get off the sled. I’m the pilot. Remember?” She dunked both her hands in the red colored slime, feeling the crawl of the liquid on all ten of her fingers. “Trux, the joke’s bad. Get up now! We gotta leave.” She yanked her hands from the slime bowl, leaning into his face. His eyelids were closed and his breathing was very swallow. She shouted into his eardrum. “No.” She shook his body, saying with a worried brow. “Get up, Trux! Wake up!”

Gemma touched his face with her red slime covered hand, feeling his breathe and his forehead with a big bump. “No! Ya passed out on top of our ride. I need on top of the sled too.” She leaned over Trux and looked inside the dark tunnel. “It’s dark and small.” She lifted her slime covered fists, yelling. “No. This cannot be happening, not now.” She pushed his body, trying to roll him off the sled. “I’m supposed to steer or drive or pilot or whatever. You’re supposed to trail behind like a caboose. Get off the sled! You stay behind. You die in the bubble room. I wanna live. I wanna save my mama. I wanna go back to Sweden, tomorrow. You ain’t.” She stopped, exhaling with a puff of her worries. “You’re too heavy and too big for me.” She slapped his bicep. “I hate you. I hate you. I can’t do this, alone. I hate you more than Victoriana. First, I lost the Thor’s Hammer bronze pieces, which was your fault. Then my mama will die, which will be your fault too. And now, I’m stuck in a flooding room with you too.” She slapped his shoulder and sobbed with her tears. “And I am going to die without seeing my mama for the last time…”

One of the sleds inside the flimsy dam slightly shifted forward, releasing more bubble water over the dry spot in the front of the third tunnel.

Gemma gasped, looking down to see and feel a new puddle of cold water. “Dang!” She pulled his arms and his legs over the sled, forming his unconscious body into a folded position. “You look like a fetus, unborn, but you’ll survive. You’re lucky, that I need the sled, and not the opposite.” She dipped both her hands into the slime bowl, feeling the liquid crawl over both her hands and her waist bones again. She painted his body with the red colored slime and glued both his loose arms and legs onto the metal for the tunnel ride down to the ground floor. “You’re painted and pretty in red. Okay, we need to leave. Dang! The eye goggles?”

Gemma touched the square shaped metal on the wall with her red slime colored finger pad.

The door didn’t open.

“Dang, I need the eye goggles and I need the slime too.” She touched her naked elbow to the metal.

The door opened.

She grabbed two sets of eye pieces, placing one on Trux and covering his eyelids. She wore the second pair. “I got your tail. I’m your tail. I’m the tail. Yeah!” She slapped both her red slime covered hands onto the rear piece of the sled and pulled them back toward her face. Her hands were glued in place, not moving. “Good, I’m stuck on the sled like glue, too.” She shoved the sled with her girly arm and leg muscles toward the entrance tunnel door both panting and grunting.

The sled slowly crawled to the opening.

Gemma grunted and shoved the sled again.

The front edge of the sled hung over the lip of the tunnel, not moving off the floor.

One of the sleds shifted, moving the dam and the water as the water poured over her naked feet.

She gasped and jerked her biceps back and forth, working her muscles faster. “Move. Move. Fall. Fall.” She fell on her breasts and her kneecaps, panting.

The dam shifted again, releasing more bubble water over her ankles.

She shoved the sled again. “Fall.”

The sled slightly tilted and slowly slipped down toward the steep hill, falling further down into the blackness.

Gemma sat on her kneecaps, feeling her arms stretch and pop with pain, not seeing the head and shoulders of Trux.

Then she screamed.

The sled dropped down into the blackness, dragging her vertical body behind the rear end.

Her body swung side to side, hitting each side of the hard wall. The decorative running pink colored lights were encased in the wall, not getting smashed by her legs.

She screamed with terror as her face and her chest became covered in black colored slime, dripping down from the ceiling, jumping up from the floor.

The sled banked to the right, then to the left, and then to the right, falling down and up another hill, passing underneath a slime waterfall which was coming down from the ceiling.

Tons of soft slime covered both Trux and Gemma.

The lights changed to red colors.

She screamed with horror as her eye goggles caked in black colored slime, barely seeing an outline of Trux or the faint lights on the walls and the ceiling. Her body smashed on the right side of the wall, dragging her feet on the side of the wall and slowing the sled. Her arms stretched and popped with pain, being pulled by the sled over the pathway.

A pocket of compressed air hit the black colored slime, washing off the body of Trux and clearing some of her goggles vision.

She screamed with fright.

The sled banked to the left then to the right, and then to left, and then to the right, falling down and up, down and up, down and up three continuous hills. It straightened out, zooming down the flat tunnel.

The lights colored to orange.

Gemma didn’t know the different color patterns represented for each science room at the Birmingham Science and Art Center, but she knew that the bubble room was located on the fourth floor.

The sled would travel down four floors, before reaching the ground level. And wall lights had changed two times. So she was very close to the ground floor.

She screamed with fright as her body hit the other wall, dragging her naked feet on the hard material. She pulled her body toward the sled and straightened her feet as her feet were dragged through the soft slime, bouncing over the hard material of the floor with aching pain.

Since some of the escaping bubble water was also dissolving the black colored slime inside the tunnel floor and underneath her feet and kneecaps.

A shallow wall of cold bubble water washed over her vertical body, wiping the black colored slime completely off her smeared eye goggles.

Gemma saw Trux, who was both safe and asleep inside his sled, while she endured the horror of the Adventurous archivist tunnel pathway. She gasped and lost her hand gripe as her arm and hand smacked the floor of the tunnel. She pulled her body and her loose hand forward, slapping the rear bar of the sled for more support.

The red colored slime was melting on her other hand too, not evaporating. Her body slid side to side out of control with one glued slime hand, which was hanging onto the rear bar of the sled and the bubble water was chasing her down the tunnel too.

The sled banked to the right, then to the left, and then to the right, falling down and rolling up another hill.

Then it halted.

Gemma gasped, lying on top of the sloped hill, not reaching the flat plateau, and not hearing any mechanic gears, because the tunnel ran on slime liquid. She pushed with both her weak girly arm and leg muscles forward, not moving the sled off the high plateau and down the hill toward the ground level.

Gemma was stuck, feeling the black colored slime underneath her naked feet.

Then she heard the gush of water.

She looked around see the walls and the ceiling, not see any falling water as her neurons realized the sound which was coming from behind her feet, looking behind her shoulder.

A wall of clear bubble water slapped both Gemma and the sled.

She screamed, flinging her legs side to side, slapping the hard metal walls again, and as her other hand was still slightly glued onto the sled.

The sled was perched on top of the flat plateau.

Gemma couldn’t escape death inside the tunnel.

The wall of water both surrounded and drowned Gemma and Trux in bubble water.

Her red slime covered hand broke loose from the metal as Gemma drifted up and hit the ceiling, busting her lip, burning her eyeballs inside the soapy bubble mixture.

The wave of the water impacted and carried the sled down the steep hill toward the ground level.

Gemma coughed out the bubble water and held her breath, swimming over the plateau, following the downward slope of the hill toward the ground level.

The sled hit the closed metal door and bounced back from the impact, still holding Trux. He was wet, floating on top of the water, touching the ceiling wall with his hair roots, and still unconscious from his head injury.

Slowly, the metal door slid to the side, releasing gallons of bubble water onto the ground floor.

Trux drifted back down into the sled, asleep and safe, again.

She swam through the shallow water, rolling down the hill and over Trux, and landing on the hard tile of the ground floor. Gemma coughed, gagged, breathed, and coughed again, releasing the bubble water from her lungs, breathing a fresh supply of oxygen molecules. Her body was sprawled on the hard tile, not moving.

Then she heard the rush of water, coming from behind her feet inside the tunnel.

She crawled forward on both her hands and kneecaps, moving away from the metal door, sitting in the middle of the floor, and turned to see the door.

The door slowly closed shut.

“Trux!?” She said with a lady sneer, not moving to the door. “Let him die! This is your fault. Now, Walbash will fire me from the archivist job for the big mess in the bubble room, not being able to go back to Sweden, a one time life dream, tomorrow. I wanted…needed one of the Thor’s Hammers to save my precious mama’s life. My mama’s dying of cancer. Now, it’s a wasted dream.” Gemma pressed her wet face into her palms, sobbing with my tears.

The bubble water rushed down the tunnel, pouring over Trux and out the trap door.

Trux coughed, gagged, and coughed, drowning in the bubble water, stretching out his arm as his hand caught the door with a slap.

Gemma looked up from her hands, hearing the noise, seeing his hand and the partially closed door.

He softly whispered. “Gemma.”

She gasped, crawling on both her hands and kneecaps through the water toward the parted door, reaching into the darkness with both her hands. She grabbed one of his flinging arms and slowly dragged Trux through the tight opening with the bubble water splashing in her face.

Trux helped, pushing his body with his legs through the water and over the sled, falling and laying over the wet floor. He coughed, gagged, coughed, and breathed fresh air. He barely whispered. “Gemma…”

She crawled and sat by his body, stroking his arm, not speaking or smiling.

He coughed and gagged, rubbing his face with burning bubble water, and whispered with a slight smile. “Thank you. You saved my life.”

She patted his arm with a nod. “Yeah, we’re on the ground floor. I need my suitcase. I guess not a wasted trip, after all.”

Trux gurgled with a silly laugh.

Chapter Nineteen

 

12:34 A.M.

Ninth Floor

Girl’s Sleeping Unit

 

The door opened.

Gemma entered, carrying her bag.

Victoriana sat on the bed, gasping at her dearest friend. “You’re wet, Gemma?”

Gemma halted, slapping her wet clothes, touching her wet curls, and walked into the bathroom. “O! I am.”

Victoriana smirked, not knowing, but guessing the secret. “Why ya wet, Gemma? Did ya know that your clothes and you hair are both wet, too, Gemma?”

Gemma stood in front of the mirror, washing the bubble suds off her face for bed. “You found the clothes?”

She sat back against the bed headboard. “Ya found my car keys and then stole my car keys.”

“I brought the bag of clothes for our spend-the-night adventure per my daddy.”

“Why didn’t ya tell me to bring my pink alligator luggage?”

Gemma wore toothpaste spittle. “Because I didn’t wanna drag and haul up sixteen pieces of pink colored alligator luggage to our floor, Victoriana. I didn’t know if you would get the job. And I didn’t know if I would get the job either.”

“I don’t have any more fresh clothes. My old shorts are both soiled and dirty. And my silk blouse possesses a tiny tear. And we leave very early, tomorrow.” She slapped the bed linens, wearing one of the clean bed sheets from the linen closet.

“Then you should’ve driven your car back home, packing some clothes, dearest friend. Why didn’t you do that, Victoriana? We came back at five in the evening that’s plenty of time for a home visit.” Gemma brushed her teeth.

She gasped, keeping her secret, yelling. “O yeah! You’re right. I should’ve done that, but I was too dog gone tired. The day’s been so exhausting, saving you from the blonde haired meanie and black cartoon-faced Rus archivists.”

Gemma laughed, combing and drying her wet hair. “Yeah, ya did. Thanks, dearest friend. I brought your clothes which are inside my bag. Didn’t ya bother to look inside? What have ya been during all evening? I didn’t see at the food table on the tenth floor either.”

Victoriana smiled, tossing off the bed covers, and stood, slowly tripping over the bed linen which was wrapped around her nakedness. She walked to the bag on top of the drawer, dropping the linen sheet. “Why do you possess my clothes, Gemma?”

“I have half a closet full of your clothes from the age of eight, every time, ya spent the night and then forgot the items. I just keep them around for fun or for an emergency, like now. I packed me and you some clothes for our interview. I didn’t know if you wanted to come. And I didn’t know if you would get in, like me.”

“O! You’re smart, dearest friend.”

“Yeah, I am.”

Victoriana rummaged through the messy bag, pulling out her personal clothing, pressing out the wrinkles, laying them on the fabric of the chair. She found a pair of pajamas and wrapped her nakedness, turning and moving to her bed.

Gemma emerged from the bathroom in a pajama top with green and yellow teddy bears, moving to the bed, saying with a grin. “Time to go to bed! We all gotta leave at six o’clock for our next rocket run to Bergen. So that’s mean we gotta got up at five or so for food and drink. I can’t fly, without food, inside my tummy.” She climbed into bed. “Cut off the lights, dearest friend! The light switch’s located on lamp on your side of the table.”

Victoriana slapped off the switch.

The room became dark as numerous yellow colored moonlight rays beamed through the open curtains.

Victoriana touched her lips, reliving the kiss, and sniffed her arm, smelling his cologne of musk, saying with a giggle. “Did ya notice that Bickman strokes her long ponytail, while thinking?”

“Yeah.”

“Did ya notice that Patsie tickles her long pearl neckline, while pondering?”

“Yeah.”

“Did ya notice that Levine scratches his big dumbo ear, when bored?”

“Yeah.”

“Did ya notice that Walbash looks like a green alien, when wearing her slime suit?”

“Yeah.”

“Why is Walbash wearing a bald head of no hair being a healthy girl?”

“Her brother’s dying of cancer. She shaved her head to honor his terrible cancer medical treatments.”

Victoriana smiled. “O! That’s so nice.”

She says with a sour frown. “Yeah, she’s so mean, thou.”

“Walbash is complicated and smart.”

“Yeah, and smart Walbash will probably be advising us not to ever explore the fourth level.” Gemma exhaled with a puff of worry, hoping that she would not be fired tomorrow morning.

“O! Smart Walbash will also be telling us not to explore the sixth floor, ever.” Victoriana smiled. “Did ya notice that Lowell is both more a charmer and more handsomer than Trux?”

Gemma gasped. “That’s not so!”

She slapped on the light switch and leaned over the table, jabbing a finger at her dearest friend with a giggle. “Knew it! I knew it. I knew that you were with Trux tonight. That’s why your clothes were wet. So I guess your lips were wet too. Why were ya so wet, Gemma? How’da ya get wet, dearest friend?”

Gemma slapped the bed, turning her sour frown to see Victoriana. “You were with Lowell. I went upstairs looking for you inside the traveling exhibition, finding Trux, all alone and lonely. So you go first? Where’da ya and Lowell go this evening, dearest friend? Come on tell, tell!”

“I don’t belle tell.” She slapped off the light, falling back into the bed, feeling both happiness and hate. She wanted to kiss Trux tonight, but Lowell kissed very well too. She smiled, pondering both the handsome teens, and whom she would pick, tomorrow night.

Gemma dropped to the bed, worrying about her mama, but she was going back to Sweden, tomorrow morning and would find more of Thor’s Hammer bronze pieces for her mama. “I don’t kiss and belle tell either. Go to sleep, dearest friend! Tomorrow is going to be…”

“Dangerous, I hope not too.”

The second novel is entitled The Rus.


The Archivists

A teen villainous of the villains... The Department of Research, Art, and Magic employs and pays a team of seasoned archivists that both rescue and restore stolen worldly treasures, like the missing set of the USA astronaut moon photographs. For the first time, the summer internship program will employ and pay an inexperienced team of teen archivists, creating both fun and danger on every expedition. To keep the paying job, each teen must tolerate a dancing elevator, pilot a flying rocket ship, and fight to see tomorrow's sunrise. However, head archivist Walbash has been ordered by the President of the USA to find an unknown villainous of the villains, who will rule in both evil and terror over the good people of the planet, one day. Now, Walbash has learned that the villain is one of the four teenage hired archivists at the Science and Art Center, where she is currently employed.

  • ISBN: 9781311898234
  • Author: Ipam
  • Published: 2015-12-31 15:05:13
  • Words: 109300
The Archivists The Archivists