What Do You Mean 'Oops?'
WHAT DO YOU MEAN ‘OOPS?’
Here it is, the last chapter of my story. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.
“What do you mean ‘oops?’ Landry asked.
“Yes, educate us on oops,” O’Neill demanded, not knowing what to expect, but knowing he wasn’t going to like it.
“Made slight miscalculation with transporter,” Jumba admitted. “Meant to beam experiment pods down to house on Kawai but… was a bit short.”
“How short?” O’Neill asked.
“One thousand and 17 meters,” Thor answered calmly.
“You mean to tell us,” Landry demanded, “that you beamed these… experiment pods into the air over the island? How many?”
“Afraid so,” Jumba admitted. “Six hundred and twenty-five.”
“Six hundred and twenty-five? What exactly are these experiments about anyway?” O’Neill wanted to know.
“Oh, marvelous things, all of Jumba’s best work! Many different genetic experiments all designed for different uses from annoying enemies to causing mass destruction! Hahahaha-” he realized he was the only one laughing and stopped. “Will not be so bad,” he tried to calm the suddenly furious generals. “The pods are inactive. This is only one I activated.” He gestured at the third resident of the cell. “Others are still locked away in dehydrated pods.”
“Dehydrated?” Landry asked.
“As in,” O’Neill picked up his train of though, “just add water?”
“Yes! Is genius design, no?”
“No. You beamed these pods into the air over a tropical island,” O’Neill pointed out. “I don’t know what your planet is like, but on this one, islands are surrounded by water.”
“Even assuming that most of them don’t land in the ocean,” Landry continued, “the first time Kawai gets a good rain, the island is going to be a disaster area!”
“Not to worry,” the self-proclaimed evil genius assured them. “Jumba made mistake. Jumba can fix.”
Nine eyes were turned to stare at him. “How do you propose to do that?” Pleakley demanded before the humans could ask.
“Indeed,” Thor asked, “how?”
Similar questions came the others including the odd looking sheep-like creature Jumba and Pleakley shared the cell with. “BAAA?”
Thor looked at the two slumbering generals and the guards, who lay in a pile by the door, before turning to Pleakley, the only other person in the room, besides the experiment, who remained upright.
Pleakley was staring at his wooly cellmate. “Oh! So that’s what that one does.”
“I’m surprised they let you go after that,” Nani said, setting the stew she’d made for the evening meal on the table.
“Not much choice,” Jumba pointed out. “I know every detail of experiments’ genetic makeup. All of their abilities and their weaknesses. Who better to catch them than evil genius creator?”
“They didn’t exactly let him go,” Lilo pointed out, nodding toward the window. There were two marines standing guard outside. They were not, Nani had been happy to hear, a permanent fixture. They were there while Jumba’s equipment was thoroughly examined by scientists from Area 51 headed by Lt. Colonel Carter. They wanted to ensure there were no further evil experiments in the offing.
The bare minimum of technology needed to deal with the problem was being set up in a laboratory in the guest-house. It had been decided that he would spend most of his time there, out of sight, working to correct his mistake. There would be oversight, of course. A ‘subtle’ military presence was being established on the island and Jumba would regularly report his progress.
It had finally, reluctantly, been agreed that no cover story could suffice, as there was no way of knowing how long it would take. They couldn’t evacuate the island’s entire population indefinitely, and given that many of his experiments were more nuisance than threat, general O’Neill had convinced the president that it was unnecessary.
All in all, Nani thought, things could have worked out much worse. Jumba’s accident seemed to benefit them more than-. That thought stopped her in her tracks. Her eyes narrowed thoughtfully as she moved slowly to Jumba’s side, trying to look and sound casual.
“Do you think they know it wasn’t an accident?”
“Pheh,” Jumba snorted. “Who cares? I-” He broke off and turned in his seat to face her. “Ahem, ah, whatever do you mean?” he asked giving her his best puzzled look. “Surely you do not be suggesting that I would deliberately lose my experiments just so I could stay on island with adopted family?” He tried on an innocent look, but it just made Lilo giggle. “Why that would be… downright evil.”