Space Brat 5: The Saber-Toothed Poodnoobie
The rocket ship tossed and turned. It lurched and twisted. It bent sideways and went sproing-g-g-g-g-g!
It was stuck in the Transcendental Whoopee Warp, and it couldn’t get out.
Inside the ship Blork and his crew were having the same problem. They tossed and turned. They lurched and twisted. They bent sideways and went sproing-g-g-g-g-g-g!
It was not a pretty sight.
In the center of the ship, Dr. Pimento was holding two lose wires together. They were snapping and sparking.
Dr. Pimento was snapping and sparking, too. He was surrounded by a blue glow, and sparks were coming out of his ears. He was jumping up and down, shouting “Wha-hooo-hooo-hooie!”
Though this was not a pretty sight, either, it was fairly interesting.
“Pull the wires apart!” shouted Blork.
At least, that was what he tried to shout. What actually came out of his mouth was a sound like the death warble of a Friskan P-tooie bird.
That was one of the problems with being in the Whoopee Warp. You were never sure how what you said was going to come out. It could be funny, but Blork wasn’t laughing. He was terrified. If he couldn’t get Dr. Pimento to take the wires apart, they would be stuck in the Whoopee Warp forever!
He decided to try a flying tackle.
Unfortunately, the ship’s floor was coated with poodnoobie slobber. (Another problem with the Whoopee Warp was that it made Blork’s pet poodnoobie, Lunk, drool even more than usual.) Blork made it halfway across the cabin. Then he slipped in the slobber, slid sideways, and slammed into a seat.
He thought about having a tantrum. But he didn’t have time for the kind of nonsense.
He began crawling across the floor.
The ship made a particularly big sproing-g-g-g-g-g-g, and things got weirder than ever. Dr. Pimento turned purple. Little balls of yellow light swirled through the air. And the slobber on the floor turned sticky. Suddenly Blork felt like he was crawling through a glue spill.
Moomie Peevik was clinging to her chair and trying to keep her bows from eating her head. “Skippy!” she shouted. “Do something!”
To everyone’s surprise, the words came out normal. (In the Whoopee Warp, anything was possible.)
Skippy the Dip was using his propeller hat to stay hovering in mid-air, which seemed the safest place right now. Flying to Dr. Pimento, he shouted, “Let go, you super doofus!”
“I can’t!” cried Dr. Pimento, who was vibrating like a Bonzergonian humming beetle.
Skippy dipped down. He slapped the scientist’s hands apart.
The connection was broken. Instantly the ship popped out of the Whoopee Warp, back into time and space as we know it.
Dr. Pimento blinked and took a deep breath. “Wow!” he said. “That was really cool. Wanna do it again?”
“GET ME OUTTA HERE!” cried a desperate voice.
It was Appus Meko. He was locked in the little room where Skippy had hidden to stow away on the ship. The reason he was there was that the crew was trying to get back to the planet Splat, and Dr. Pimento had a theory that the Whoopee Warp would sproing the ship back to the home of whoever was locked in that closet.
Appus Meko was supposed to be alone in the closet. But Blabber the Fuzzygrumper had gotten locked inside, too.
“Ow!” cried Appus Meko now. “Stop biting me!”
“Oh, good,” said Moomie Peevik, sounding relieved. “Blabber must be all right.”
Blork pulled the door open.
Appus Meko staggered out. “Am I dead yet?” he groaned.
Blabber came running out after him. “Luddle-luddle-luddle!” he cried, skittling across the floor and throwing himself into Moomie Peevik’s arms.
“You’re not dead,” said Skippy. “Just whiny and obnoxious. But you’ve always been that way.”
Appus Meko scowled. “Who let that fuzzygrumper get in with me?”
“No one let him in,” said Blork. “It just happened.”
“Well where did we just happen to end up?” asked Appus Meko. “Are we home, or not?”
“We’re home,” said Moomie Peevik, who was operating the control panel. “At least, I think we are.” She frowned. “There’s something weird going on. I’m sure that’s Splat right below us. But somehow it looks… different.”
“Take the ship down so we can get a closer look,” said Blork, remembering that he was captain.
Moomie Peevik pushed some buttons on the control panel.
The ship swooped closer to the planet. Blork scowled. The planet below them looked almost like Splat.
Almost, but not quite.
Appus Meko grabbed his elbow. “Don’t you recognize that?” he whispered.
“Recognize what?” asked Blork.
“Those continents. Those oceans. That’s Splat all right. But it’s the way Splat looked a hundred million years ago!”
Blork blinked. Appus Meko was right. Their teacher, Modra Ploogsik, had showed them pictures of the way scientists thought Splat used to look. Pictures that looked exactly like the planet below them.
“How can that be?” asked Moomie Peevik. Her voice was small and frightened.
Dr. Pimento was working something out on his fingers. “Ooh! Ooh! I think I’ve got it! When Blabber went into the closet with Appus Meko it threw us off course. Not off course in space. Off course in time. The Whoopee Warp brought us home all right. But it also took us back to Blabber’s primitive roots.”
“Why would it do a thing like that?” asked Blork.
Dr. Pimento thought for a moment, which made his eyes go around in circles. Then he snapped his fingers. “Your people didn’t evolve on Splat. They came by rocket, right?”
Dr. Pimento was very excited. “Oh, this is beautiful!” he cried. “It’s so profound. It’s so strange! I love it!”
“Love what, you big silly stick?” shouted Skippy.
“The combination of Appus Meko and Blabber confused the Whoopee Warp, especially since Appus Meko is, in some ways, a newcomer to Splat. Oh, strange and wondrous is the Whoopee Warp. I have to make some notes on this.”
He whipped out his pocket computer and started to scribble on it with his fingertip.
As he did, the ship lurched and made a screaming sound.
“Captain Blork, Captain Blork!” shouted Moomie Peevik. “We’ve got big trouble”
“What is it?” cried Blork.
“The trip through the Whoopee Warp must have messed up the engines again. I’m losing control. We’d better land and make some repairs.”
“Down there?” cried Appus Meko. “You’ve got to be kidding! We’ll all die!”
“We could stay here and die,” muttered Dr. Pimento, who wasn’t really paying attention to the conversation.
“Land the ship,” ordered Blork.
Moomie Peevik began pushing buttons. She wrinkled her brow and stuck the tip of her tongue between her teeth. She concentrated so hard that her nose holes were no bigger than pin points.
The landing was smooth and perfect.
Unfortunately, no sooner had they touched down than a giant creature decided that the ship was some new enemy. It came running toward the ship and rammed into it.
It was like being hit by a mountain.
“We’re gonna die,” moaned Appus Meko. “I knew it. We’re gonna—” CRASH! BLAM! “—die…”
The ship toppled onto its side.
The door fell open.
The crew tumbled out, into a strange and ancient world.
The giant creature attacking the ship took one look at them, grunted happily, and began to lick its lips.
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