Check this out!
I didn’t know where Derrick had disappeared to. It seemed like we wandered these conduits for a week and a half. Fogweet was getting whiney and needed a nap while the cop kept complaining that he had missed his smoke break.
“Derrick?” I yelled at each and every corner. “Derrick, buddy? We’re here to rescue you.”
“Listen, Doc,” the cop finally sighed. “I think we need to go topside. It’s the end of my shift and I’m off duty.”
“Alright,” I agreed though something in my gut was telling me there was a problem. It was then that I remembered stuffed into the bottom of my kit was my new iPad Mini 68. It had STE data transfer speeds which in space were amazingly fast. It was provided by Spaceforce so I didn’t have to pay as they had an unlimited plan. I had downloaded an App before I left home that detected life force emissions. It was only .99 cents and for an extra buck, I could upgrade to analyze heat waves. “It had four and half stars,” I told the cop and Fogweet as I knelt down to dig through my bag.
“Any chance you’ve got a cigarette in there too?” the cop asked all twitchy as he seriously needed a fix.
“I’ve got ibuprofen or acetaminophen pills. Sorry, I don’t have any nicotine. I do have an App that’s supposed to help you quit. My cousin in New Jersey was trying it. He said it worked pretty well. He was down to three a day. You log in each time you want a cig and then…”
“I don’t want an App!” the cop interrupted. “All I want is one bloody cigarette.”
“Sorry,” I mumbled and pulled out the iPad, hoping it would find a signal.
“Cool,” Fogweet gasped as he hadn’t seen one before. “Fogweet wants to play too.”
“Later,” I told him. “I’ll download Angry Birds but first we need to find our friend Derrick.” I opened the App and wouldn’t you know it, immediately it registered a body. It was around the corner from us and maybe ten metres down. Fortunately, it was still pulsing blue. The emissions were Co2 and the temperature was 97 which meant that it probably was human. “That way!” I pointed and took off at a run following the trail the App showed. We rounded the corner and headed down the tube until the body came in sight.
“What?” the cop screamed.
“Ew!” Fogweet mumbled and climbed back on my head.
“Oy!” I yelled. “What do we do now?”
“You’re trying to steal a Martian baby!” the screener guy yelled at me. “That’s a Federal offense with a minimum sentence of twenty-five years in the clink!”
“I’m not,” I insisted both to the guy and the Fogweet. “He hid in my pants on his own. I don’t want him. I don’t need a nephew. I’ve already got six of them back in New Jersey.”
“Uncle Jerry,” the Fogweet cried with big tears in his eyes. “Why don’t you love me? I’m a good boy.”
“You’re under arrest.” An officer approached and flashed his holographic badge. He grabbed me and shoved me against the wall. I was patted down once again. Fortunately, this time nothing strange popped out although I was getting tired of foreign hands in my private places. The Fogweet climbed on my back and then sat on my head as the officer cuffed me and led me away.
“Please,” I begged. “I need to call Spaceforce Command. Someone in the Distressed Officer Service can help out. They’ll explain the situation or at least provide me with an attorney as I’m certain I didn’t do anything wrong.”
“Save it for the Judge,” the officer grumbled. “I don’t want hear about your problems today. This spaceport’s been in a state of crises all afternoon. The lifts are out of service and some dudes went missing underground. On top of that, Starbucks ran out of coffee.”
“I’m one of the dudes!” I screamed. “At least, I think I am. I was stuck underground for several hours.” I explained about Fogwat, all the other Big Heads and the fight. “Ask Derrick. He was stuck down there with me. He’ll vouch for everything that I just said.”
“Derrick?” The officer stopped and turned around to look at me. “You know Derrick?”
“Yeah, the one who is some kind of under-cover spy?”
“Do you know where he is?” I got slammed against the wall again as the cop stuck his big nose in my face.
“No. I left him a while ago and then Fogwat and I went home to his hole to deliver his Fogweets. I almost stayed for dinner but it sounded like Fogwat would be the main course so I left as quickly as I could and came back here. Didn’t Derrick make it out? Oh gosh, I hope that he’s not hurt. He was fighting those guys with that weird sword thing that he had. Damn! I’ve probably missed my plane already so we might as well go back down and see if we can find him. I left him in the lift conduits somewhere near the outside door. He told us to run and we did so it’s not my fault.”
“I don’t care whose fault it is!” the cop growled and yelled for backup on his com. He uncuffed me and pulled me along the wall. “You had better find him and hope it’s not too late. Derrick is an asset we don’t want to lose.” Then he shoved me through a door and followed me down a set of metal stairs. We entered the tunnel that joined the conduits above the lifts.
“It could be this way or that,” I sighed looking left, right, up and down. Each time I did, a light shown in that direction. I realized the Fogweet was still sitting on my head and lighting the path for us while clutching my hair with his sticky Martian hands.
“Figure it out,” the cop demanded. “You had better be right or you are dead. Messing with a Federal Agent will get you terminated.”
“Left!” I cried quickly and made a move to step in that direction.
“Right!” the Fogweet yelled steering me like a horse.
“Which is it?” the cop asked and so for a moment I paused and thought. I decided trust my fate to the Martian Fogweet.
“Right,” I replied decisively and headed off in the right direction calling Derrick’s name and hoping he was there.