What Now Genius?
WHAT NOW, GENIUS?
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I had intended the story “What is That Thing?’ to be a one-shot, but several reviewers asked me to continue.
DISCLAIMER: I don’t own any of the Stargate characters or the Disney character that makes an appearance here. No profit is earned.
The spaceship was a surprise. He’d never seen its like before, and spent a moment simply staring at the bright red vessel with the white trim. At first, it had only appeared as an anomaly, little more than a sensor ghost, but a deft manipulation of the controls had made it plainly visible, at least to him.
It was holding geo-synchronous orbit over the North American continent and appeared to be scanning the surface. With its garish paint job, it did not appear to be any kind of warship he had ever seen. At least, it was not armed with anything his sensors could identify as a weapon. Readying his ship for combat, just to be safe, he hailed the alien vessel.
The face that appeared on the screen was unlike anything he had seen before. Four eyes stared at him out of a wide purple skinned face. The mouth shaped itself into what might have been a smile, and it spoke.
“An Asgard! My, this is being quite a surprise! Have not seen one of your race in years.”
“I am Thor, supreme commander of the Asgard fleet. The planet you are orbiting is included in the Protected Planets Treaty. Any hostile action against its people will be met with force. Please state your business here.”
“Straight to the point. I always liked that about your people, and glad I am to know that Earth enjoys Asgard protection. This is being bad neighborhood, I think.”
“Who are you, and why are you here?”
“Ah, that is being long story. I am Dr. Jumba Jakooba, and I am here to help the people of this planet. You see… a dangerous creature has found its way here, and I am looking to take it back where it belongs.”
“Yes indeed.” The alien paused a moment, thinking hard if Thor was reading its expression correctly. Such interpretations were always suspect with alien races. There were aspects of human behavior, Thor reflected, that he was certain he would never understand, despite his long association with the species. “You see, a laboratory created life-form broke from the custody of the Galactic Federation authorities and stole a ship. It was damaged, but managed to reach this world before crashing. I was sent to retrieve it.”
The Galactic Federation? Thor was vaguely aware of them. The small coalition of worlds with the grandiose name controlled a relatively small section of the galaxy, but it was quite some distance from Earth. Their technology was not equal to the Goa’uld but they maintained a sizeable fleet of ships that were sufficient to protect their territory. “How dangerous?”
“Oh, it is a monster. Being designed to cause unheard of destruction! If I can not return it where it is belonging, I shudder to imagine the consequences!”
“Where is it now?”
Jumba sighed. “That is being biggest problem. I cannot find it. I fear that experiment 626 was captured by the military of this planet. If it was taken to military place, then it could be very bad. Is not being a good thing to put experiment designed for mayhem close to things that go,” Jumba pointed his index fingers at the screen, “BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM,” he threw his arms wide apart, “KABOOM! HA HA HA H- ahem. Sorry.”
A moment passed before Thor could bring himself to say anything, so baffling were the antics of the purported scientist. Jumba actually seemed gleeful at the prospect of such destruction. Again, though, Jumba was an alien of an unknown species, and it was possible, Thor allowed, that he was misreading the stranger. But he rather doubted it.
Deciding that he would need to tread carefully and watch the odd alien closely, he nodded. “Then it must be retrieved before… that can happen.”
An unmistakably calculating look crossed Jumba’s face. “Precisely! Knowing, I am about the Asgard beaming-up technology. Perhaps you could retrieve it for me, no? I can send you experiment 626’s genetic profile. Your sensors are no doubt being MUCH better than mine.”
“I can do that,” Thor agreed, hesitantly. “However, I will need to contact their government to…”
“Surely,” Jumba interrupted, looking alarmed at the notion, “you do not mean to be revealing yourself to the natives? They are primitives! There is no telling how they would react. Best if experiment 626 just disappears. Beam him up to my ship, and I will ensure he does no damage to lovely little planet below. Let them live with the mystery, yes?”
“Under different circumstances, I might agree,” he answered coldly, “but Earth’s governments are well aware of the Asgard, even though the general public is not.”
“Oh. Well… that is good then. But they are not aware of the Galactic Federation, and my government would not be being pleased with me if…” He broke off in consternation.
“Earth is aware of alien civilizations,” Thor assured him, not surprised by Jumba’s reluctance to involve the human authorities. He decided to probe the matter more carefully. “If this creature is so dangerous, how do you propose to contain it?”
“I have my ways,” Jumba assured him smiling smugly.
Thor did not inquire further. He was clearly not hearing the whole truth. “I will contact the appropriate individuals. Please wait.”
“Of course, my little friend. I will await word.” His image vanished from the screen, but Thor touched a control that allowed him to tap the alien vessel’s internal com system. He was surprised to here another voice.
“Oh brilliant!” it cried, sounding exasperated. “Some evil genius you are! Why’d you have to go and do that?”
“Quiet Pleakley. I must think.”
“Should have done that before you opened your mouth!”
“Thought I could get him to help. Make matters simple. How else we rescue Ohana? That mountain is being a fortress. Even Stitch would have trouble getting out. Never mind the girls.”
“And involving an Asgard friend of their captors helps, how? What now, genius?!”