Suited For Danger (formerly Transformers (Sort Of) - Book 2 - Chapter 6



For cripes sake! As if I didn't have enough other shit to worry about, now I gotta deal with guys hitting on me? Understand, I didn't blame the guy for doing that. Actually, I should have expected it, looking the way I did. I just still wasn't used to looking like that, and he caught me on a bad day.

(sort of)

Book Two, Chapter Five

By Catherine Linda Michel

With everything else that had happened to us since this began, this was just one more big thing!

I charged out of the room to the cell where they were still treating Dr. Fine.

“Is he awake yet?” I yelled.

“He's been in and out of consciousness a few times, Donna.” Doc Jamison told me. “I don't know how long it'll be, if ever, til he comes completely out of this to full consciousness. With all the stuff they must've pumped into him over the past couple of weeks, there's just no telling. Hell, he might never come out of it completely! I just don't have the equipment here to even tell me what it was they pumped him full of!”

“Well then, why don't you take him to the hospital where they have the right stuff? “I said.” With the police on our side now, they can set up a guard over him, and some of us can back them up. We have to get him lucid and talking, Doc! I've got questions I need answers for, and he's the only one who might have them!”

“What do you think, Chief?” Doc Jamison asked. Do you think your men can protect him over there?”

“Well, with a couple of these people, and with the capabilities of their armor, I think we can keep him safe.” He replied.

The Chief got on the phone and talked to someone at the hospital. We could only hear one side of the conversation, but it sounded like it was going well. When the Chief put down the phone he turned to me and said,

“Okay, kid. It's all set up. I explained how it was an emergency that we get this Dr. Fine over there for tests and stuff. I told them that there was a chance that there could be violence, but that my men and you all would be there to keep order and make sure nobody over there got hurt. Can you all do it?”

“We have to do it, Chief.” I replied.” “You just get him there, and we will take care of the rest. If you could have your men stand watch outside the hospital and inside the emergency area, that would help a lot though. Make sure they know that nobody gets inside without either a legitimate emergency, or identification, and have them search anyone who even looks like they don't belong there, and thanks Chief. Having you on our side makes things a lot easier.”

“Aw hell, kid. It's my pleasure. These scum” and he pointed toward the locked up mercenaries, “have made things a living hell for you and your families, not to mention what they did to me and my officers! We'll get your Dr. over there, and then set up. Can your com units monitor the police frequencies?”

“They sure can, Chief.” I said. Some of us will head over there now, and wait for your guys to deliver Dr. Fine. Penny and I will ride in the vehicle with him, just to make sure nothing goes wrong on the way, okay?”

“That'll work great, Donna. With you two along, I'll feel better about sending my officers into this.”

He got on the radio and called in all officers, whether or not they were off duty. He even called the reserve officers and had them stand ready to come in at a moment's notice. I asked Jim, Terry and Paul to head for the hospital and set things up there, and they took off. Then Penny and I, along with four cops, got Dr. Fine into a police van. We made certain he was comfortable and secure in the back and then we got in. Two of the cops led the way in a patrol car, and two more rode in the front of the van, and all had their weapons ready, including some of the fully automatic weapons that had been confiscated from the mercs.

It was a short trip, and we arrived safely at the hospital. We took Dr. Fine in via a seldom used entrance and whisked him off, following a hospital representative who identified himself as the Director. Penny double checked his ID. And then we followed him to a secure wing of the hospital.

Once we got Dr. Fine safely into a room and got a guard order setup, I breathed a little easier. Doc Jamison said he'd be very busy for the next couple of hours, trying to identify what had been used on Dr. Fine, and he'd let us know when he'd found anything.

“Jeeze, Penny.” I exclaimed, after all the hubbub had died down. Dr. Fine has to wake up! I didn't say anything yet, but just before you came in with food this morning, I found a section in the HUD that had some kind of weird story about some guy and stuff he found in a wrecked UFO, out in the Nevada desert! I can't, for the life of me, figure out why that's in there, but the only thing that makes any sense to me right now, is that it has something to do with these suits! Dr. Fine had told us that the originals had been found in a crashed UFO in Nevada. It's just too coincidental!”

“Can you tell me any more about that story, Donna?” Penny asked.

“I didn't look at it for more than a few minutes, Penny, and then I only skipped through it to get the gist of it. It seems just too weird that, of all things, some story would be stored in the HUD, don't you think? It's almost like it's not a story at all, but a file of some real facts!”

“Well honey, why don't you give it a longer look. We have the time right now, and Jim and I, along with the others and the cops, can keep a close eye on things. Said Penny.

So I laid down and accessed that portion of the HUD again, only to find that file was unavailable! I tried several times, in different ways, but every time I came up against the same result. The file was there, but unavailable! I shut the HUD down, disappointed, but hoping that the answers I needed would be there when Dr. Fine finally woke up. I decided to go ahead and re-charge my suit, even though it'd only been a few hours since I'd last done that. You never know when you're gonna need everything you've got, right?

I found a wall socket and, covered by a chair I moved, I plugged in and sat down in the chair to think. I'd told Penny and the others what I was doing, always keeping in constant touch with them and with the police. Penny decided to re-charge also, so the two of us sat there and just talked small talk while I let my subconscious mind work on the problem of the unavailable file. Jim, Terry and Paul were keeping a close watch on Dr. Fine, Doc Jamison, and the elevator doors leading to the floor we were currently on, so I knew that things were safe for the moment.

After a few hours had passed by, I thought about getting something to eat, since I'd missed breakfast. I told Penny what I was going to do and where I was going, namely the cafeteria, and unplugged, having completely re-charged the suit. I then placed all systems on standby to conserve power, and headed to the elevators to go downstairs to the cafeteria. Paul was there, keeping his watch and I told him what I was up to as well, and that I was gonna bring back coffee and sandwiches for everybody. I was halfway down to the cafeteria when I realized, I didn't have any money! I hadn't had any since this whole damn thing had started, actually.

I was wondering what to do about that when I had another thought. I called the Chief on the radio and explained what I was doing and that I was broke. He, in turn, called the Hospital Administrator who told him that he'd call the cafeteria and have them give me whatever we all needed. 'Well, that was easy.' I thought to myself. I thanked the Chief and continued to the cafeteria.

I decided to sit down while there, and eat alone, planning on doing some thinking while I ate, but I'd only been at the table for a couple of minutes when some guy in scrubs, showed up, clearing his throat.

“Um, hi.” He said. I wonder if you'd mind if I sat here. I noticed you when you came in, and I really wanted to meet you. You're very attractive, you know?”

'Oh wonderful!' I thought to myself. 'I try to get something to eat, and do some thinking and this guy wants to sit with me! Aren't there any empty tables?'

He sat down without being told he could, and proceeded to introduce himself.

“I'm Dr. Jensen, a resident here at the hospital. Are you here visiting, or maybe for some tests?”

I decided not to talk to this guy, hoping he'd take a gentle hint and just go away, but that didn't seem to be working. He just went on and on about himself and the hospital, interspersed with questions about me. I was just about to tell this guy to go somewhere and do something physically impossible to himself when it finally dawned on me what he was doing. He was hitting on me! A guy was hitting on me! I started to get angry, but stopped myself when I realized that all he saw was a good looking female he wanted to get to know and maybe date!

“Look, Doc.” I said. “I'm tired, I'm irritable, and I'm not in the market for a boyfriend. I'm only here to eat and get back upstairs to wait for test results on a friend of mine. If you don't mind, I'd like to be left alone.”

That didn't seem to slow him down though.

“Oh?” He continued. “What floor is your friend on? I might be able to help you get some word quicker.” He didn't even seem to be fazed by my rudeness!

I sighed deeply, a mistake when I thought about it, since it lifted my breasts, and told him again that I just wanted to be left alone.

“Look honey,” he started again. “I only wanted to...” and I stopped him right there.

“Look yourself, Doctor!” I said, angrily. “All I want is to eat and be left alone! Maybe I didn't make that clear before, but I'm making it clear now! Get up and take a hike! I don't want or need your help, and I'm not interested in getting to know you. Is that clear enough?”

He looked at me with hurt looking eyes and said.

“Okay, okay! Jeeze! I just wanted to talk to you and maybe get to know you! I wasn't gonna do anything, you know? I hope your friend comes through okay!” and he got up, grabbed his tray and stalked away to an open table where he slammed his tray down and sat down.

For cripes sake! As if I didn't have enough other shit to worry about, now I gotta deal with guys hitting on me? Understand, I didn't blame the guy for doing that. Actually, I should have expected it, looking the way I did. I just still wasn't used to looking like that, and he caught me on a bad day. Heh. Bad day. I sat there just for a few minutes more, trying to remember if there had been a good day since this whole crazy adventure had begun. 'Nope.' I thought to myself. 'I can't recall one good day since Jerry and I got stuck in these damned suits!'

When I finally got up from the table and went to dump the trash, I looked over at the doctor who'd hit on me, and noticed that he seemed to be having a not-so-good day himself. He looked like he was ready to cry or something, with his face all scrunched up with a pained look on it. I don't know why, to this day, but I felt sorta bad for him. I mean he couldn't possibly have known my situation, or that I was just as male as he was. It was just camouflaged real well by the suit. Finally I had to walk over and say something to him.

“Excuse me, Doc? I just wanted to apologize for chewing you our over there. I've had a bunch of really bad days lately, and I just snapped. You just happened to be the one in the way of that, and I'm sorry.”

He looked up at me from where he was sitting and didn't say anything for a few seconds. Then, finally, he spoke saying,

“Hey, no. It was my fault. I should know better than to try that kind of thing inside the place where I work. It seems like I never meet anyone who is having a good day in here. Every day I have to see people on the worst day they've ever had, and I have to try to heal them, make them better. Sometimes I can...sometimes I can't, and those are the worst. When I have to tell someone that they are going to die...when I have to tell some husband, or wife, Father or Mother, or even worse, their children that their loved one isn't gonna make it...well, it just eats me up inside. So I try to take whatever joy I can, in the moment. In your case, I wasn't lying. You are the most beautiful woman I think I've ever seen, and I let that thought dictate what I did. So, if anything, it's me who owes you an apology. Can you forgive me?”

While he was talking, his face and voice got all sincere and hurt sounding and looking. I found myself feeling sorry for this man who, every day, had to try to help sick and injured people get well, or to let down the relatives and loved ones of those he knew wouldn't make it. It kinda made my little problems seem really small, and I sat down opposite him at his table, reaching out to touch his hands which were clasped in front of him, on top of the table.

“Hey.” I began. “I guess I do sorta understand. Why don't we just leave it at this. We both owe the other one an apology. That way everything comes out even, right?”

He looked across the table at me, staring into my eyes. Then he said,

“Beautiful and smart! Also, kind and understanding. A rare find indeed, and yes, I can leave it at both of us owing the other an apology. Can I ask you one other thing?”

I found it difficult to look away. It seemed like I was mesmerized by his eyes and the earnest expression on his face.

“I guess so.” I replied.

He looked down for a second and then back at me.

“I really meant what I said. I do apologize for hitting on you, but in my own defense, you are incredibly lovely. May I make it up to you somehow? Maybe dinner, or dancing, or a movie or something? I swear I'll be a perfect gentleman...please?

I sat there, absolutely baffled! He was hitting on me again! I felt insulted, the same time, I felt...special, somehow, and that freaked me out even more than getting hit on! I pulled my hand back from his and just sat there, not knowing what to say or what to do. Finally I just got up without answering him, and walked away. I was almost out of the cafeteria when I remembered the food and stuff I was supposed to being to the others, and I stopped dead in my tracks. I looked back at the doctor and almost fled the cafeteria, but instead, I went up to the counter, ordered the food and drinks, and waited while they got it ready to go.

I felt, rather than saw, the doctor get up and slowly walk to the trash cans where he dumped his tray. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him look at me for a few, long seconds, and then, with a big sigh, a shrug of his shoulders, and a hurt look on his face, he walked out. I breathed a sigh myself, from relief, but there was something else too. Did I feel disappointed? What the hell?

I was so lost in thought, I was surprised when I heard someone talking to me.

“Miss? Oh miss? Your food is ready. Miss?”

I snapped out of wherever I'd just been, mentally, and, seeing the food all wrapped up, I told the cashier my name and told her that the Director had assured me that the bill would be added to whatever bills my friend ran up while here. She checked a list attached to her register and, verifying that my name was on there, she said,

“Okay, honey. Everything is all set. You can go ahead and take this stuff to your friends.”

She busied herself making a note on her list, and I thanked her, picking up the tray full of food and drinks, my mind a hundred miles away. She must have noticed my pre-occupation because she reached out and touched my arm as I started to leave.

“Honey, it's probably none of my business, but I saw what went on between you and Dr. Howard, and I don't want you to get the wrong idea about him. He's really a sweet guy, but he has been getting more and more withdrawn over the last few weeks. I don't know what's wrong with him, and he never says anything, but he's not the same guy who started work here a couple years ago. I just don't want you to get the wrong idea about him. He's not a lech, or some guy on the make. I think he's just lonely and maybe even getting burned out here. It's a shame really. He's so cute, and such a good doctor. Maybe he just needs a good woman to straighten him out.”

I didn't know what the hell to say to her, or how to answer her. My mind was going a hundred miles an hour, with thoughts chasing each other around, faster than the coyote chasing that damned Road Runner! I just thanked her for her concern and walked away. I walked past the elevator three times before I remembered that it was the one I needed, to get back to the others. What the hell was happening to me? Had I actually agreed with that cashier, that the doctor was cute? My head was spinning, and, when the elevator car stopped at my floor, I got off, balancing the tray full of food and drinks, and wandered down the hallway to the waiting area, where I put the tray down on a table.

“Well, it's about time you got back, Donna!” I heard Penny say. “We're starving and dying of thirst up here,” She giggled.

As pre-occupied as I was, I didn't even respond to what she said. She must have sensed something was wrong, because she got up and came over to me, taking my hands in hers.

“What's wrong, Donna?” she began. “You seem like you're a hundred miles away from here. Did something happen while you were gone? Talk to me, honey.”

I didn't know what the hell to tell her, but finally, it all came flowing out of me, like a dam breaking.

“Oh my God, Penny! I was down there getting the stuff and this guy, some doctor, hit on me! I didn't know what to do, and I was mean to him, but then I said I was sorry and he said he was sorry and then he held my hand and asked me out on a date or something and I didn't know what to say or do and I just got up and left, but then I had to go back and get the stuff and then he left like he was all sad or something and then the cashier was telling me who he was and how she was all worried about him, and, and, and, I thought he was cute!!” and at that point, I broke down in tears, shaking all over and very, very scared. “What's happening to me, Penny? I think this suit is turning me gay or something!”

Penny pulled me into her arms and hugged me while I sobbed on her shoulder. She didn't say anything, she just held me and let me cry until I began to wind down, while she made comforting noises in my ear and stroked my hair. When I calmed down a little bit, she led me over to a couch and made me lie down. She knelt down next to the couch and kept stroking my hair and whispering to me.

“Shhh. Shhhh honey. I don't know what's happening either, but I don't think it's something to worry about right now. We have too many other things to worry about. I'm sure that what happened is just a result of the past week or so, and the stress you've been under. Also, because of what you told me about the suit, it might be partly behind this as well, but let's not try to analyze this right now. You need to rest and the rest of us need to stay alert until we can get Dr. Fine awake and somewhere safe. After we get those things done, then maybe we can try to figure this out. For now, try to put it out of your mind and just rest.”

She kept talking to me quietly, and kept stroking my hair until I dropped off into a troubled sleep. What happened after that was told to me by Jim.

Apparently, about three hours after I fell asleep, Doc. Jamison came in and said he'd finally figured out what had been used on Dr. Fine, and he knew how to counteract it. He thought that Dr. Fine might be waking up sometime that evening, and should suffer no ill effects from having been drugged up for so long.

There had also been some kind of commotion when someone tried to gain access to the area we were guarding, and Jim and Paul had to forceably remove two people claiming to be doctors. My friends decided to let me sleep after conferring with Penny and learning what had happened to me, and turned the two supposed doctors over to hospital security. There had been no other incidents and, when I awoke, a few hours after that, they told me the good news about Dr. Fine, and about the two pretenders.

I awoke feeling somewhat better, though the incident in the cafeteria was still in my mind. I told the others that I was okay, but I don't think I was very convincing. Still, they let me take things at my own pace and no one referred to it.

Just for the hell of it, I accessed the HUD again, hoping maybe I'd find some kind of answer there. I flashed through the first few screens, checking for that story I'd seen before, but there was still nothing where it had been. There was something different in another area though. Under a heading that said; “Adaptability Levels,” and in a subheading, I found a file entitled “Hormone Inception and Progress!” What the hell??

It said that hormones had been being introduced into me shortly after the bonding process had taken place...female hormones! It showed a graph that showed me I was right in the middle between male and female, headed to the feminine side, and a timetable that said in 5 more days, I'd be at optimum hormone balance...for a woman!!

This is where my vision for this story hit a series of landmines and I lost the thread of how I was trying to finish the story.Well, a few years have passed and some of my landmines have been replaced by others, but I found, in the new minefield, inspiration for the end of the story so without further ado I present...The beginning of the end of TRANSFORMERS SORT OF, NOW RETITLED "SUITED FOR ADVENTURE", "SUITED FOR DANGER" WITH MORE YET TO COME..IF YOU, THE READERS WANT.


Paul and Terry are wearing the old suits. Jim and Penny are wearing the newer suits. All the family members of Don, Jerry, Jim and Penny's have been secured with Paul as guard, in a secret place known only to Paul and Terry.

Don(na), Jim, Penny and Terry are moving on to find out who is behind the attempted attacks and who kidnapped Dr. Fine and why. Jerry has seemingly gone rogue, and the “Bad Guys” make themselves much better known!

Chapter 6 of Transformers Sort of

I joined the others after a bit more studying of what the HUD was telling me. I was so disheartened and down but they all had a right to know what was happening to me.

“So, now you know what I now know. This suit is changing me into a real female and there's nothing I can do about it. I'm not happy about it at all, but I have to accept what is, so lets more on to our other more pressing problems. Who are these SOBs who keep trying to take the suits from us? We can deal with finding Jerry and trying to bring him back into the fold later, I guess.”

Penny rushed to my side and hugged me, followed closely by my Mom and Dad.

“I cried, but continued through my tears, saying: “I don't think there is any danger to any of the rest of you wearing the newer suits though. I think there was something special in this one, even more special than the one Jerry got. I also don't think this was ever supposed to happen to anyone. Somehow, Dr. Fine stumbled into some kind of special programming and put it in this suit. I don't doubt he intended to program all the new series of suits, but got derailed by the collapse of the lab and the kidnapping.”

Dr. Fine broke in, saying, “Now see here young... er... lady, man, person! I'll have you know that I stumbled into nothing! I knew what I was doing, but never thought anyone would have the bad fortune to experience what you have had happen! This is all the fault of your friend Jerry and his horsing around and that infernal thief Dr. Charles, that no good charlatan! I refuse to take full responsibility for all that has happened because of carelessness and thievery!

“I know, Dr. Fine.” I said. “However, you were messing around with things you barely understood. I don't hold you fully responsible for what's happened to us, but you do have to shoulder some of the blame. Well anyway, let's get on with what we're here for. Terry? Any news from your inquisitive friends?”

“Not a lot, Donna. They have nailed down a possible connection and a location for what might be a base of operations for this Dr. Fine, but they also don't think that he is much in control anymore, if he ever really was. They mentioned something about gun runners, but that seems a bit farfetched to me. These suits aren't guns after all.”

Jim piped up. “You're right Terry, and wrong. No the suits aren't guns, but they're much worse! Just think about what these suits can do, and then multiply that by dozens of them, or even hundreds! Anyone with the right amount of pull, and the resources, could literally command a damned army of these things! They could destabilize any government and practically take over whole countries! My God, the damage they could do is almost incalculable!”

“You're right Jim. I hadn't thought about that possibility. I guess I've been too close to the real danger to recognize the terrible things these suits could do in the wrong hands! Okay. My friends also gave me a location. It's in California, near L.A. They also said something about some underground mumblings about another group of people in possession of some alien tech. I think we should hear there as soon as possible and find out what's going on there. Who knows. We might even find some allies.”

Jim and Penny then sorta took over and began organizing the journey. I was still a bit muddled and didn't contribute much at all, but they had us ready to go in almost no time at all. We were on the road and preparing for what we might have to do and how to do it when we got to California and L.A.

Penny tried to spare some time to try to get me into the right frame of mind, but I was so caught up in what the suit was doing and about Jerry that she didn't have much luck at all. Finally she just pitched in with the preparations and left me to think about my life and where it was gonna go from here.

We purchased a large Suburban vehicle that was in good shape and loaded up. We decided to pose as a group of tourists, a couple of whom happened to be twins. Dr. Fine was left in the care and keeping of the Police Chief. We couldn't place him in any more danger than he was already in, but we took along a couple of satellite phones so we could contact him immediately if we needed him to identify Dr. Charles or anything else.

I couldn't help wondering what Jerry might be getting into. Probably trouble if I knew him. Without me around, Jerry was a bit of a wild man, given to take risks he shouldn't take. I tried to call his phone, but it went right to voicemail, which worried me even more.

What if he had been taken by the “bad guys”? What if he had done something hugely stupid and told someone else about the suits? Where was he gonna stay? Our parents were safe with Paul and there was no one home at his old house. Plus, if he foolishly thought he could stay at his old house, he'd be easy for the “bad guys” to find! What was he gonna do for money?

I shoulda known that Jerry would eventually live up to his “wild child” image. I mean, I'd kinda kept him on a pretty tight leash, so to speak. Every time it looked like he would go off the rails, I was there to keep him on the relatively straight and narrow. Well, there was very kittle I could do about it right now anyway, so I tried to put it in the back of my mind and hope that he was okay and would contact me if he got in too deep.

We loaded into the Suburban, a 9 passenger model, and pointed the nose of the car west, hoping to at least reach L.A. Without any more run-ins from the Mercenaries trying to kidnap us, or steal the suits, or both. With only the four of us in the vehicle, there was plenty of room to stretch out and still not be crowded by all our gear and the weapons we'd confiscated.

I tried to close my eyes and nap, but the suit kept on giving me more messages about the progress of this and that. Finally I found a mental switch that I could use to silence the messages for a set period of time. Emergency messages would break the silence function, so if anything happened, I would be awakened immediately.

There was very little conversation once we'd set off. I'm sure everyone was wondering what we'd find, what would happen to me and Jerry and making some kind of plans for what e were gonna do if and when we found who was after the suits and why.

Pennt woke me up after some time. I asked, “Where are we?”

“We just crossed from Nevada into California. There's been no trouble yet. Maybe we've lost those mercenaries for awhile. We could use some downtime from constantly worrying about them all the time.”

“Yeah Penny.” I snorted, a bit sarcastically. Sure. Why they've probably given up trying to kidnap us, capture the suits and gone to sulk somewhere. Don't get our hopes up Penny. They aren't gonna stop until they get us, or we hurt them bad enough that they can't do anything for a long, long time.”

“Yeah kid.” Terry interjected. Unfortunately I agree with you. Those so and so's won't give up until they're either called off by their boss, whoever that is, or until we hurt them so badly that they can't do anything more than lay flat on their backs in a hospital healing up for a long time. Actually I'm almost as worried about running into some overzealous public servants, cops. God knows how we're gonna explain who we are, especially with the load of weapons and ammo we're carrying with us.”

“Heh, yeah!” I laughed. I can just hear us trying to convince them that we're just a touring group or something, and just wait til they try to search us of restrain us. I don't think standard issue handcuffs would hold any of us if we don't wanna be held.”

“Maybe we oughta travel only at night.” Jim put in. As long as we stay below the speed limits and don't do anything suspicious, they might not think we're anything other than we're trying to make it look like we are. We just want to make sure there are no other reasons to stop and check us, like having a headlight or taillight not working.”

“Tell you what.” came from Terry. Let's stop at the first fast food place and get something to eat. We can check all the lights and other stuff then. The dealer we bought this thing from set us up with plates, registration and insurance, but our drivers licenses don't look anything like we look like in these suits.”

“Sounds like a plan, Terry.” Penny said. “I am kinda hungry and we could use that time to check those lights and things you were talking about. Sound good to you, kid?”

“Yeah. It sure does. Seems like it's been forever since I had any fast food and I'm really up for a double Quarter pounder from the Golden Starches or maybe some chicken from the Colonel.” I said, licking my lips at the thought of some of that lovely greasy food.

So, we settled on the plan and took the next exit that advertised several fast food places. We ended up at Mickey D's after all and, while Terry and Jim checked the vehicle over, Penny went inside to order food for all of us. After a fast check of lights and stuff, Jim went inside to help penny carry everything out to us. We hadn't used the drive-thru to order because there was too much chance that someone would notice the twins and remember us because of that. As it was, just Penny and Jim would cause a bit of a stir because of the good looks the suits imposed on them.

We sat in the suburban and ate our food, always on the watch for anything suspicious, like overly interested cops, or gangs of armed people rushing the Suburban. You know, the usual stuff like that.

'Usual.' I thought to myself. 'What could possibly be considered usual in our situation?' Hell, at this point I was almost ready to see a dancing bear on rollerskates, wearing a Lolita outfit and juggling stuffed animals! Usual!

When we finished our meal we drove off, looking for somewhere to park the 'Burban and to get some rest. We wanted to wait until dark before we hit the road again.


An Interlude: Somewhere else.

“I told you we should have never hired that Earthling to find the relics we were sent here to recover! All he's done is let his greed get in the way which has led to others getting involved and several of the Earthlings who have had nothing to do with and didn't even know what the suits really are, have had their lives changed by that cursed Dr. Charles.

Why, he and his minions may very well try to keep the suits, if he recovers them, and keep them for his own nefarious purposes! This screwup on your part is almost worse than when you lost track of that other human who took things from the crashed craft in the desert!

I'm telling you Zox, if this gets back to the home planet, we will both be disassociated and forgotten. Stricken from the Family's memories as if we'd never existed at all!”

“I know Xalxn! Gods know, I know! Who would have dreamed that humans were so greedy and violent? That scout ship should never have gotten so close to that large, rocky thing that damaged their ship!”

“Mountain Zox. They are called mountains by the earthlings!”

“ The scout ships are called mountains by the earthlings? How did they even know about them?
We have been observing this planet for centuries and have never been discovered by them.

“No you colossal idiot! The rocky things are called mountains! How in creation did you ever qualify for this recovery mission? Anyway, your picking that Dr. Charles as an undercover recovery source may be the most colossal blunder in eons! Now we are faced by the almost impossible task of not only recovering those suits and the disguise kit, but we will have to come up with some way to do all that and keep the earthlings from discovering more than we can afford for them to know and keep the home world from finding out that we so massively blundered!”



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