All characters, settings, items, devices, accoutrements, and thingies are the sole property of their creators, producers, and distributors. No infringement of any sort is intended. No profit will be made. And if you can actually name every single TV show, movie, comic book, and what have you that shows up in this one, you’re doing better than me.Not-the-Author’s Note:
I did not write this; my brother did. He takes some strange satisfaction from me posting his stories and then forwarding him the reviews. I really don’t get it, but it gives me plenty of ammunition when I ask for favors from him. This is number fourteen in a series. The previous stories are:
1. Don’t Lose Your Head (Xander/Highlander)
2. Medium-Sized Trouble in Little China (Xander/Big Trouble in Little China)
3. An unCharmed Life (Xander/Charmed)
4. Loose Dead Ends (Xander/Dead Last)
5. Car Shopping (Xander/Herbie)
6. Vegas Vacation (Xander/CSI)
7. From Beneath You, It Devours (Xander/Tremors)
8. Slayer Development (Xander/Arrested Development)
9. Buy Hard (Xander/Evil Dead)
10. Gate Crashing (Xander/Stargate)
11. The Customer is Always Wrong (Xander/Clerks)
12. House Calls (Xander/House)
13. Repossession (Xander/Amityville Horror)The Collector
Xander Harris parked his Humvee a few hundred yards from the country estate. He got out, followed by Rona Darrow and Reginald Johnston, walked to the back, opened it up, and began to haul out weapons.
He turned to Rona and handed her one of the guns. “Keep it on single shot at first. Switch over to automatic if you hit multiple targets. Start at the west end. I'll start at the east, we'll work our way to the center.”
Rona took the weapon, and tested the sight. “Got it, boss.”
Reg stepped up. “Where will I start?”
“Reg, you,” Xander hesitated. “Stay with the Humvee.”
“Mr. Harris? I've shown marked improvement in my marksmanship since -”
“You shot my Humvee, Reg,” Xander said. “I worked very hard to get this.”
“I thought you scammed it out of an Air Force base,” Rona commented.
Xander turned to Rona. “Two points. First, at the time I procured the vehicle, I was under the impression that I could take anything I needed. They really shouldn't give out blank authorization around so many cool weapons and equipment. That's entrapment. In a way, I'm the real victim here. Second, how I got the Humvee isn't the issue. The issue is the fact that if I give Reg a weapon, we'd be in more danger from him, than the vampires coming to the meeting.”
Xander turned back to Reg. “Besides, we need you to stay here to keep an eye on who comes and goes. Rona and I will be wearing the throat microphones and receivers. Everyone keep in touch.”
Xander pulled out some grenades and handed two of them to Rona. He paused and looked at the other two.
“Guys, normally, the first rule is: ‘don't die.’ But I can't stress this enough. We cannot let this swap happen. This Collector guy has the name and location of every identified Slayer in the world. If he sells it, they won't survive past the week. It's up to us to stop it.”
Xander crept along the building as silently as possible. Wearing night vision goggles, he scanned the area. A dozen yards ahead, a sentry stepped out and began walking. Xander switched his night vision goggles to thermal overlay.
No body heat. Definite vampire.
Xander took careful aim on the sentry. Setting the sight on the vampire's head, Xander pulled the trigger. A single shot struck the sentry in the head, and he toppled down. Xander rushed over, pulled out a stake and drove it into the vampire's heart. As the vampire disintegrated, Xander quickly scanned the surrounding area.Doesn't look like anyone heard that. Better move on.
“Hey, Boss?” Rona's voice came in through Xander's earpiece.
“Rona?” Xander whispered. “You in trouble?”
“Naw. Just took out three bloodsuckers. I wanted to ask. How did this Collector guy get his hands on the information about all the Slayers?”
Xander slowly moved up the side of the building as he whispered. “According to Giles, some kind of shape shifter disguised itself as one of the junior Watchers. He managed to steal the information and then took off.”
“How'd he get access to that? I thought only Giles and one or two others could see that info.”
“Giles thinks that it must have had telepathic abilities,” Xander answered. “Then yesterday, when he didn't show up for work, Giles sent a couple people to the Watcher's house. They found the body of the junior Watcher. He had been dead for a couple of weeks. They searched the house and found some information the shapeshifter had left behind. That led us here. Since we're the closest to the meeting site, we got the job. Really wish we had more time to prepare. And maybe get some backup.”
“We'll do fine. Ain't no way I'm letting this Collector guy sell out my sisters. Hey, what's -” Rona's voice cut out.
“Rona? Rona!” Xander yelled. “Reg, get out the binoculars and try to find Rona. I'll make my way towards her.”
Xander turned at the corner of the building and stopped.
“Looks like we got ourselves a party crasher.”
Ten vampires were spread out in the courtyard. All of them looked up and spotted Xander.
Xander pulled out a phosphorous grenade, and looked for cover. He spotted a low brick wall to his right. As Xander pulled the pin to the grenade, the four vampires that were pursuing him turned the corner.Please be stupid, please be stupid.
Xander held the grenade behind his back, and started sobbing.
“Oh, god! Don't kill me! I don't want to die!”
The lead vampire laughed. “Tonight's not your night. Me and my pals are going to have a little fun with you. Been awhile since we had to the chance to play with our food.”
Xander backed up, until he felt the brick wall behind him.
“Oh, man! What the hell are you guys?”
The lead vampire's face transformed from its human mask to its true demonic visage. “Your worst nightmare.”
Xander dropped the grenade to the ground, then fell back behind the brick wall. The vampires laughed at the sight of their prey tumbling over the wall.
“Stupid blood bag. Can't even... what'd he drop?”BOOM!
Xander popped back up and saw the the wreckage. One vampire in front was immediately dusted. The other three stumbled around, blinded by the blast.Thank god, they were stupid.
Xander opened fire on the three survivors. The incendiary ammo ignited them. After a moment of screaming, Xander stood alone.
Got to find Rona.
Xander gingerly stepped through the stable door. He stopped as a rustling sound echoed off the walls.
Xander spun around, and saw a familiar sight.
“Rona? Christ, what happened to you? I was worried. Where's your mike and earpiece?”
Rona looked down, then back at Xander. “I... got jumped. I must have lost them in the struggle.”
Something's not right here.
“Did you get them?” Xander asked.
“Yeah. I got him. Two total.”
“What about the other three?”
“Yeah...” Rona said. “Plus the two that jumped me. So five altogether.”
Xander examined the girl before him. “What happened to your gun? And the equipment I gave you?”
Rona let out an impatient breath. “I told you. I lost them when I got jumped.” Giles said they have a shapeshifter working for them.
“Harris, we don't have time for this. Just lend me a weapon and we can take the rest of these guys out.”Crap. Supposed to be telepathic, too.
“Say, Rona. Just answer me a question. Who is my favorite Martian?”Ray Walston was my favorite Martian. Ray Walston was my favorite Martian. Ray Walston was my favorite Martian.
Rona smiled. “Ray Walston is your favorite Martian.”
Xander lifted his weapon up. “Wrong answer.”
“Shit! HE'S OVER HERE! HE'S OVER -”
Xander opened fire.
Kenneth Jackson was in a foul mood. Tonight was supposed to be his grandest sale yet. The identity and location of every know Vampire Slayer on the planet was in his possession and he was selling it to the highest bidder. Jackson had worked very hard to acquire this information. He sent in Manning, his top agent, to infiltrate the Reformed Watcher's Council. And the effort paid off.
Jackson was already envisioning the priceless and unique artifacts he would be able to acquire once he received his money. He displayed his most prized possessions in his home, and looked forward to the next rare items that would join his collection. But a pair of interlopers had dared to invade his home.
Jackson strode into the courtyard. He noted that some of the guards were missing. Determined to get some answers he approached the lead guard.
“What's going on here? Where are the other guards?”
The guard looked up, startled. “Sir, a human intruder appeared, coming from the east entrance. Gustav took three others and set out in pursuit.”
Just as the vampire finished explaining, a blast echoed in the courtyard.
“That came from the east end,” Jackson observed. He turned to the six remaining guards. “Come with me. We'll track down this intruder and make him pay for his impudence.”
The seven men quickly set out in their hunt. Jackson was in the rear, directing them. As they approached the stables, they heard a voice cry out.
“Shit! HE'S OVER HERE! HE'S OVER -”
Gunfire erupted and cut off the voice. A body riddled with bullet wounds fell backward out of the stable door. The body slowly morphed from the form of a young African American woman to a pale middle aged man.
“Manning,” Jackson gasped. He turned to the vampires. “Go in there and kill him!”
The vampires rushed the door. Just as the first vampire crossed the threshold, a blinding explosion erupted. The vampire that entered the stable immediately burst to ash. Gunfire cut through the next vampire. He fell back screaming, flames coming from his body. His cries were cut short as the fire engulfed him, and his body dissipated.
Jackson turned to the remaining guards. “You two, watch this door. You two go around to the back door and lock it up. When the back door is locked, come back and we'll barricade the front.”
Xander kept watch on the front door. Anytime one of the guards became visible he fired off a few rounds.
“Rona? You there? C'mon, answer me!”
Xander listened, but received no answer. “Reg, you there?”
“Yes, Mr. Harris.”
Xander let out a sigh of relief. “Have you been able to spot Rona?”
“No, sir. Although all the activity I've seen has been centered on the east side of the estate. Also, an SUV arrived at the gates and entered the estate a few minutes ago.”
“That must be the buyers. Dammit! Okay, Reg. Get in the Humvee. I have a feeling we're going to need to make a quick getaway. And keep trying to contact Rona. I'll -”
Xander spun as he heard the door behind him. He hit the ground and fired at the noise. After a few moments of silence, Xander got up and carefully crept towards the back door. He saw the door closed. He reached out and tried to open it, but found it locked.
A scraping sound come from the front of the stable. Xander turned and saw the doors closing. He rushed up, but found it locked.
“Excuse me? I assume, I am addressing an agent of the Watcher's Council. Is that correct?”
The voice came from the other side of the door.
“Yeah,” Xander answered. “Who's that?”
“My name is Kenneth Jackson. This is my property you're trespassing on. You've killed several of my guards and one of my best agents. I'm very upset with you.”
“Well, I'm just thrilled shitless with you,” Xander shouted back. “Your guy killed a Watcher, and you're selling out every Slayer we know of. So I can't say I'm sorry about the trouble I'm causing you.”
Xander ejected the clip in his weapon and checked the ammo left. Five rounds.
“So what's your plan here? Keep me cooped up in here until sunrise when the rest of your vamp guards burn up? 'Cause I can wait you out.”
Xander heard a light chuckle. “You're assuming that you'll survive through the night.”
An electronic beep sounded in the stable. Xander turned to the sound and saw a cage door swing open.
“One of my recent acquisitions. I found him in New England. He used to be an editor at a publishing house. Then one unfortunate night, he was bitten by a wolf. He was infected by the spirit of the animal and transformed into a wolf himself.”
Xander slowly backed away as the large creature stepped out of its cage. “Nice puppy. Sit?”
“We captured him around eighty miles from here. Do you know what the pelt of this animal will sell for? Plus all the other parts. You'd be amazed what some cultures consider as an aphrodisiac.”
The wolf let out a low growl that sent a shiver down Xander's back.
“He has a mate, you know. I imagine he's none too pleased right now being separated from her. I would not want to be alone with him in there.”
Xander hefted up his weapon and took careful aim.This is my last shot. Got to make it count. God, I hope this is the right decision.
Just as Xander squeezed the trigger, the hulking wolf leaped.
Jackson looked up as the bullets tore through the lock on the door.
“Shit! Don't let it open!” he ordered.
One of the guards barely reached the door, when the wolf burst out of it. The wolf snapped its jaws down on the guard's neck. Jackson turned and ran back to the courtyard.
Xander peered out the door just as the wolf cleanly ripped the head off the guard. He got one thing right. That wolf is definitely pissed off.
Xander made his way down the courtyard as the wolf tore into the three remaining guards.
Just as Xander turned the corner, a body collided with him. Xander jumped back and brought his weapon up.
The girl before him nodded. “Hey, boss. You okay?” She stepped forward, but Xander stepped back.
“Who's my favorite Martian?” Xander demanded.
“Answer the question! Who's my favorite Martian?”
“That doctor we met in Africa. John Carter.” Rona said.
“Why do we call him that?”
“Cause there's an Edgar Rice Burroughs series about a guy named John Carter of Mars. So we made jokes about that. When the doc started helping us out we called him our favorite Martian. What's with the third degree?”
Xander dropped his weapon. “I already ran into one shapeshifter. I thought there might be more. You got any ammo? I'm tapped out.”
“Yeah. I got.... Wait a minute. How do I know you're actually you then? Where's your birthmark?” Rona asked.
“On my left butt chee.... When'd you see my birthmark?”
“Back in Sunnydale,” Rona answered.
“How did you see it then?”
Rona shrugged. “All the girls were bored. You never locked the bathroom door when you took a shower. Do the math.”
Xander and Rona entered the courtyard just as Jackson was getting into the SUV.
“There he is! He's with the buyers.”
The two opened fire on the SUV as it accelerated towards the gate. Their guns quickly ran dry.
“Shit! Reg, get the Humvee ready! Looks like we're going to have to chase them -”
“Uh, boss? They're coming back.”
Xander looked up and saw the SUV turning around. The engine revved as Xander saw Jackson inside the vehicle pointing towards them.
“He's going to try to run us down.”
The SUV edged forward at a slow crawl.
“What's he waiting for?” Rona asked.
“He wants to make us sweat. Look, I'll try to draw him off. Once he goes by, try to jump on it,” Xander said.
“No way, boss. I'll draw them off. I got a better chance of avoiding getting run over.”
Xander shook his head. “You've got the best chance of taking them out.”
“Rona, listen to me. Whatever happens, we can't let that information to get out. Got it?”
Rona nodded. “Got it. Look, for what it's worth, it's been awesome working with you.”
Xander smiled. “Yeah, I get that a lot.”
The SUV gunned its engine and barreled towards the two.
“Get ready. On three. One, two -”BOOM!/
The SUV exploded in a fireball. The heated blast knocked Xander and Rona to the ground. Twisted metal shrapnel rained down on the courtyard.
Xander and Rona picked themselves up off the ground and watched the burning wreckage.
“Man, that was loud,” Xander said.
“WHAT?” Rona yelled.
Xander turned to her. “THAT WAS LOUD!”
Rona regarded Xander for a moment. “WHAT?”
“THE EXPLOSION!” Xander gestured wildly, “IT MUST HAVE DEAFENED US!”
“OH!” Rona nodded. She turned back to the wreckage. “Man, that was loud.”
Rona shook her head. They watched the vehicle burn in the night. After a moment, they turned back to each other.
“Reg,” they said in unison.
“REG! GET DOWN HERE!” Xander yelled into his throat mike. He turned back to Rona. “I THINK MY HEARING'S COMING BACK!”
“HEY! I HEARD THAT!” Rona yelled back.
“COOL! WE CAN PROBABLY STOP YELLING NOW!”
“OKAY! Uh, okay.”
By the time Reg entered the courtyard, Xander and Rona regained their hearing. Reg took in the scene as he approached his two teammates.
“So.... Looks like we got them all,” he saw the expression on Xander's face. “And when I say we, I, of course, mean you and Ms. Darrow. I had very little part in it. I certainly didn't pull out any of the heavy armament out of curiosity.”
Xander shot Rona a quick smile as Reg babbled on.
“One of the cases was jostled as you left the vehicle. And I thought it would be best to make sure it wasn't damaged before I put it back. By the time I completed my inspection, the car containing our quarry was in sight, and as I rushed towards it... for better surveillance purposes only, mind you. And as I stepped forward, I... tripped. And I grabbed the weapon to steady myself, inadvertently firing it. Now at no time did I-”
“You started messing with the weapons the second we left,” Xander said, “and took a shot at the first target you saw.”
“No... no. Yes,” Reg admitted. “Although in my defense -”
“Reg,” Xander started. He paused and looked at the burning car. Its wreckage was only a few feet away from where he and Rona had stood their ground. He glanced at Rona, holding her side in pain, then at his own injured leg. He looked back at Reg. “I suppose I can let it slide this one time.”
“Oh, thank you! I promise you won't regret it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
“C'mon,” Xander said. “We've got injuries to treat.”
“I better take you two to an emergency room,” Reg said.
“Screw that,” Rona interjected. “We can use the first aid kit. I wanna go through that collection inside. I saw some sweet ass weapons.”
“Dibs on the guns!” Xander yelled.
“Isn't it a bit morbid to discuss going through a dead man's belonging?” Reg asked. “The body's not even cold yet.”
“And as long as that fire burns, it ain't getting cold anytime soon. Besides, he's not using them,” Rona turned to the car. “Yo! Dead guy! You mind if we take your stuff?”
“She has a point,” Xander said.
Rona turned back. “All he said was 'crackle, crackle'. I'm assuming that means 'Sure, take all my cool toys.'”
As the three approached the main house, a lone wolf ran past the entrance gates.
“Okay,” Xander said. “I've got another one. It's a statue of a bird, covered in black enamel. Looks like an eagle.”
Reg looked up and studied the object for a moment. He then looked down at the inventory listing. “It's a falcon. Maltese design. No mystical significance. The Council can sell it. Put it in the third pile.”
“Reg. I got an unlabeled video tape,” Rona said. “You guys see a VCR? We can pop it in and see what's on it. Five bucks says it the Kennedy assassination filmed from the grassy knoll.”
Reg flipped through some pages. “No. Let's not watch it.”
“Why not?” Rona asked.
“If we do, all of us will die in seven days,” Reg explained. “Put it in the first pile. They'll be shipped off and destroyed by Mr. Giles.”
Xander came up. “I got some kind of electronic thing here. Looks like a PDA. It says 'Don't Panic' on the front. Oh, and a towel.”
“Goes to the Council Archives. Second pile,” Reg stopped. “Actually, I'll take the towel.”
Reg shrugged. “It might come in handy.”
Rona came back up. “Monkey's paw?”
“I got a vial of some liquid,” Xander said. “It has a label that says Lisle Von Rhoman.”
Reg looked at the inventory. “Serum for eternal youth. Second pile.”
“Board game called Jumanji.”
“Got a... looks like some kind of engine. Or maybe a vacuum cleaner. Label says C. Secord.”
“Got an old sword. Heavy too.”
Reg glanced up. “Cimmerian design,” he consulted the list. “Dates back to the Hyborian Age. Was used by the king of Aquilonia. Put it in the third pile.”
Rona came back. “Okay, I got three sets of weapons. The first has two .45 pistols. Two rings. One has some kind of weird symbol, the other has a skull. The second is a pair of .45s that have an inscription.”
“What's it say?” Xander asked.
“'The weed of crime bears bitter fruit.' The third set is two colt revolvers. They come with a set of silver bullets.”
Xander spoke up. “Dibs on the .45s.”
“Which ones?” Reg asked.
“The ones with the fortune cookie inscription.”
“In that case, I'm grabbing the revolvers,” Rona said. “They come with a bunch of silver bullets. Great for killing werewolves.”
Xander looked up and glared at Rona.
Rona sighed. “Evil werewolves. The ones that eat babies and talk on cell phones in movie theaters. Not the good ones that got bitten through no fault of their own and take the necessary precautions when dealing with their condition.”
Xander nodded in satisfaction.
Reg got up. “If we've gone through all the merchandise, we should head to the menagerie.”
“Kinda dark in here,” Xander said.
“Can't even see what's in here,” Rona held up a cage. “All I know is it's hissing at me.”
Xander peered at it. “It looks scaly. Reptilian.”
Reg looked around the wall. “There must be a light switch around here.”
Rona looked at it. “It's small. Maybe foot and a half tall. Hey, it stopped moving. Maybe it's dead.”
Xander looked closer. “It's too dark to tell. Maybe if we poke it with a stick. Hey, Reg! Can we get some lights some?”
Reg flipped a switch he found on the wall. Brightness from the flood lights on the ceiling filled the room. Xander, Rona, and Reg winced at the sudden glare.BOOM!
The creature in the cage Xander and Rona had been studying exploded loudly. Xander fell back, knocking two other cages off the table. The cages fell and broke open.
“JESUS!” Xander yelled in surprise.
“They're getting away!”
Xander looked up and glimpsed two small figures running along the floor. They quickly climbed up a shelf by the wall and disappeared through an open window.
“Okay, shit needs to stop blowing up right in front of me. Reg, why did the scaly thing in the cage explode?”
Reg wiped a speck of slime off his glasses. “Well, based on my observations, I believe that was a gremlin. Very dangerous. They tend to have an adverse reaction to sunlight. My guess is that those bulbs are full spectrum. It's just as well; we would have had to dispose of it in any event.”
Xander got up off the floor. “And what were those things that ran off?”
Rona spoke up. “I caught a glimpse of them. One was some kind of blue creature. Had white pants and a white hat on. The other looked like a little human, except it had a tail like a mouse.”
Reg thought for a moment. “They may have each been some kind of pixie offshoot. I don't recognize them. But I believe them to be harmless.”
Xander looked out the window. “Hey, there's some kind of miniature airplane flying away.”
“We should go through the other cages,” Reg advised.
Xander and Rona nodded and continued their inspection. Xander walked down the aisle and spotted a familiar object.
“Hey! Is that a Good Guy doll? I so wanted one of these when I was a kid. Guys! Check this out.”
Xander picked up the cage and brought it to the front of the room. The Good Guy doll sat up and looked at him.
“Yo! Patch. You going to sit their with your thumb up your ass or are you going to get me out of here?” It said.
Reg knelt down to look into the cage. “Amazing. I've never seen anything like this.”
The doll sneered at Reg. “What are you looking at, homo?”
“Oh, I know this one,” Xander said. “Demon hunter trapped in a doll's body, as part of a curse. Saw the same thing in high school once. We should help him out.”
“Uh... yeah. That's it,” The doll said. “Damn demons. I'm not a threat to you at all. So go on and let me out. My name's Chucky. What's yours?”
“Uh, Xander. This is Rona and Reg.”
“I want to be friends with you guys.” Chucky leered at Rona. “I'd like to get very friendly with you. Check out the sistah. Nice.”
Rona suppressed a small shudder. “Is that doll hitting on me?”
“Yeah. They'll do that,” Xander said. “Hold on, I'll have you out in a moment.”
“I wouldn't do that if I were you,” a quiet voice said.
Xander turned and saw the cage Rona had carried over. Inside stood a two foot tall orange colored creature with pink hair.
“The people that brought him in said he was very dangerous. And he keeps on making threats to all the other creatures. I don't think he's a very nice person,” the creature explained.
“What! Shut the hell up, you little freak! When I get out of here, I'll gut you like a trout! Then I'll track down your family and kill them too! Just as soon as I....” Chucky looked up and saw the expressions on the group's faces. “Uh. Cause he's a demon. That I hunt. Right? Back me up here, Patch.”
Xander slowly shook his head. “I think we'll keep you in here until we sort this out.”
Rona picked up Chucky's cage and carried it over to the nearest closet. She put the cage down inside and shut the door. Rona walked back to the cage with the orange creature.
“Hey there, little guy. What's your name?” she asked.
“My name's Gobo Fraggle. Do you any radishes? They men who captured me haven't fed me today.”
Reg approached the cage. “A Fraggle? Interesting. I read some studies on them.”
“Are they dangerous?” Xander asked.
“Not at all. They are very benign. Although I understand they tend to stay in their underground colonies and very rarely venture outside them.”
“I'm an explorer,” Gobo said. “Just like my uncle, Traveling Matt. I was exploring outer space when the silly creature captured me.”
“We don't have any radishes on us. But I do have a Twinkie. That okay?” Xander asked. He carefully opened the cage and dropped the Twinkie in.
Gobo cautiously picked up the Twinkie and nibbled on it. “This tastes pretty good.”
He quickly gobbled the rest down, then sighed contently. “Wow, that was even better than Doozer sticks.”
“Uh, yeah. I like them too,” Xander responded.
Xander finished packing his Humvee, then turned to Rona and Reg.
“Okay, guys. I'm ready to head out now. Reg, you got everything ready to ship?”
Reg nodded. “I'm sending four different shipments. The first are the items the Council will be selling. The second will be kept in the Council Archives. The third are the items to be safely destroyed. And the fourth is that rather odious Charles Lee Ray. I found the records on him. He was a serial killer that managed to transfer his soul into the doll when he was executed. The Devon coven will bind his soul permanently, then destroy the doll. Good riddance.”
“Good to see you have it all under control,” Xander turned to Rona. “Okay, I'm leaving you a couple of the guns and some explosives. You'll want to contact Riley Finn with the number I gave you. He should be able to hook you up with further weapons and equipment.”
“Thanks, boss. It was good working with you again.”
Xander shook his head. “How many times have I asked you not to call me boss?”
Rona shrugged. “Not enough, apparently.”
Xander smiled and hugged her. As he did so, he whispered to her. “Take care of Reg. And take care of yourself also.”
“You got it, boss.”
Xander turned to Reg, and shook his hand. “Give me a hand with my bags?”
Reg picked up one of Xander's bags and walked with him to the Humvee door. As Xander took the bag from Reg, he leaned in. “Take care of Rona. Keep her safe. And Reg? You're doing a good job.”
“Well, I endeavor to do my best,” Reg mumbled.
Xander got in the Humvee. He started it up, and drove away. After a few miles, Xander heard some rustling in the back seat. He glanced back.
“Um, what are you doing in here?” Xander asked.
Gobo stood up. “I'm exploring outer space with you.”
Xander regarded the Fraggle. “Why are you coming with me?”
“Well, I heard you talking about how much you travel. And I'm traveling too,” Gobo explained. “I figured I can see a lot more by going with you than I can on my own. Plus, I won't have to worry about any silly creatures trying to capture me.”
“You can't... I won't....,” Xander sighed. “Whatever. Just keep it quiet back there.”
Xander drove on. He glanced back when heard rustling.
“And stay out of my Twinkie stash.”Finis