Special Agents: The Mysterious Case of the Monsters Under the Bed (Part 7)

SpecialAgentsPart 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Blue goo spouted from Rachel’s gun. It splattered the monster freezing it half way to the boy, mouth-hand extended. The boy jerked his feet under him and turned back to Lauren unusually calm. Most children didn’t give a many mouthed monster just a cursory glance…most children weren’t still awake when they came calling.

Ripping her tablet out of her pocket, Rachel punted the sealed monster out the window and marked it. She bent over Lauren.

“Not good, not good,” Lauren said through gritted teeth.

“Get me some light,” Rachel hissed at the boy.

He dashed to a desk lamp and flipped it on spilling light over Lauren’s trembling body. Rachel jerked her night vision goggles off. She wanted to see Lauren’s wound in real colors not the night vision glow-in –the-dark green. Soft-as-spring white scales crawled up Lauren’s arm from the wound and down her wrist to her fingers. They grew up out of the skin one at a time and popped into place under the previous scale.

“Rachel,” Lauren whispered.

“Yes, Lauren, yes,” Rachel said bending over her sister. Tears blurred her vision. Was this it? Was Lauren’s name going on the wall in the Hall of Heroes?

“Get the silencer before we wake up the house. It hurts and I might need to say something bad.”

Rachel hiccupped. She smiled. A bite wasn’t going to take her brave sister that fast. She pulled out the Silencer and gave the room a quick shot of it. A red beam flashed over the room and muffled all outside noise.

“We should put a tourniquet on that?”

“A what?”

“I saw it on YouTube,” the boy said brushing his black hair out of his face.

“What does it do?”

Her phone rang.

“It’s Sam,” Lauren groaned.

The boy jumped up and rushed to his closet. Throwing open the door he grabbed an old leather belt that looked like it probably came with a pair of uncomfortable Sunday slacks. Rachel watched him while she answered the phone.

“What’s going on? Why aren’t you back with Tom?”

“Lauren got bit by one of the bed monsters . . . and the boy in the room was awake.”

“What? Did he see you?” Sam said so loudly both the boy and Lauren heard him.

“No, we’re hiding in the closet,” Lauren said.

The boy smiled.

“Of course he saw us,” Rachel said. “He’s putting a turn-something on Lauren’s arm.”

“A tourniquet? Why??”

“She’s growing scales.”

“Scales?”

“That’s what I said. I’ll send you a picture. We’re gonna need an extraction.”

Sam switched from incredulous to doing his job. “On it. Get that tourniquet on, and bring the boy with you. We’re gonna need to debrief him. I’ll get Rob and Dee.”

“Reading you loud and clear. Thanks Sam. Over and out.”

Rachel hung up the phone. The boy gently lifted Lauren’s arm and slid the belt under it above the wound. Lauren took in a sharp breath. Rachel gripped her other hand. The boy tightened the belt as tight as he could and tied it by tucking it through itself in the back. The popping scales s l o w e d and stopped.

“Get over there by the window. Our extraction team should be here in a second,” Rachel said to the boy.

“What about her?”

“I’ll get her.”

“You’ll need help.”

Rachel glared at him.

“Let him help,” Lauren said. “You get the team in.”

Rachel searched her face and nodded. She hurried to the window, whipped back the curtain, and phoned the extraction team.

The boy grabbed Lauren’s good arm. He hooked it around his shoulder and pulled her to her feet. The room swayed, but the boy kept a tight grip on Lauren and she didn’t fall.

“What was in that bite?” Lauren muttered.

“Something not good, I imagine,” the boy said. He maneuvered her through the minefield of GI Joes, army men, and a few Legos. Three lights shined in the window blinding them for a moment. The boy blocked the glare with a raised arm.

“Someone order an extraction team?” A cocky voice asked.

“Someone named the Best Team of the Year, perhaps?” said a snarky voice.

“Someone who thought they would never need us?” said a third very-pleased-with-themselves voice.

“I hate the extraction team,” Lauren whispered trying to see through the wild curls in her eyes.

Rachel brushed them out of her face.

“Thanks.”

“Come on, we’re not getting any younger,” the snarky voice said.

“Take Lauren first, she’s wounded,” Rachel said. She helped the boy edge Lauren closer.

The lights dipped down letting them see their rescuers. Three teens with large black jet packs grinned at them. Wild hair, wild jewelry, and wild clothes plus their age set the extraction team apart. Most agents their age had been retired or put to work behind a desk. Not these three. The extraction team had been a staple of the Agency for ten years. Rumor was that Carmichael had promised them they could keep their job until they slipped up.

Rave, with his shaved head, took Lauren in his arms and zipped off into the night towards where Tom kept the car running. Remington grinned. He pulled his long hair back in a pony-tail held out his hand to the black-haired boy.

“I’m not being carried.”

“Can you fly?”

The boy looked down at the ground. “Better yet,” he said. “I’m not going.”

Rachel pointed her Super Soaker at him. “Either go or be taken. I don’t care. I want to make sure my sister’s okay and you’re holding me up.”

The boy stared at the gun and gulped. He climbed out the windowsill and let Remington carry him off.

“Good work,” Remy said reaching for Rachel.

Rachel flicked her jet pack on and shot out the window. The clean-up crew swarmed over the house making sure the monsters were picked up and the family stayed sound asleep until they were ready for them to wake up. Rachel hooked herself to Remy’s pack and let the older girl guided her back to Tom. Worry for Lauren crowded her mind. Would she be okay? Would she have to deal with lasting effects? What had bit her? What about that boy? What would they do with him?

Her phone rang. It was Sam.

“What?”

“Tom had to leave. Lauren’s worse. He had to bring her back now. Remy will get you home ASAP.”

Rachel looked down between her dangling feet. Sam was right. Tom was gone.

“Hurry, Remy.”

“Cut off your pack,” she said.

Rachel followed her direction. Remy pulled her close and thumbed her nitro tanks. They shot off in to the night headed straight for the Agency.

Please be okay, Lauren, Rachel prayed. Be okay.

Extraction Team: The Oldest Special Agents

Extraction Team: The Oldest Special Agents

 

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Special Agents: The Mysterious Case of the Monsters under the Beds (Part 6)

 

SpecialAgents

(Part 1)

(Part 2)

(Part 3)

(Part 4)

(Part 5)

Gunning their extra quiet, matching purple jet packs to life, Rachel and Lauren shot up to the second story. Rachel pulled out her tablet and checked the house. Five red dots flashed in a ghostly image of the house.

“We have two kids’ rooms in the back,” she said.

“Parents?” Lauren asked hanging in the air.

“Both asleep.”

“Let’s silence and pause the rooms then check for monsters.”

“The girls are younger, let’s check there first.”

Lauren nodded and the girls darted around to the back of the house.

“Night vision,” they said together as they pulled down their goggles turning the world snot green.

The curtains over one window were camouflaged and heavy while the other window, in stark contrast, was covered in something floaty and ruffled.

“Girls,” Rachel said with a smile.

Moving in closer, their legs dangling in the air, Rachel and Lauren hovered next to the window. They couldn’t see through the curtain, so Lauren fished around in a pocket on her belt. She held up a flat silver key, slim as a lock of hair. Sliding it under the window, she turned it and heard a satisfying snitch.

“One down,” she said as she darted over to the camouflaged window and unlocked it.

Rachel slipped her tablet back in its pocket and held up three fingers.

They shoved the windows open, fired their pause/silence toys, darted—one up and one down—to opposite windows, and fired the toys again. Both rooms were prepped. They regrouped in front of the girls’ windows where the wind played with the frilly curtains.

Whaaaaaa!

A glowing fur ball, all teeth and long claws, shot out the window. It smacked right into Rachel as she raised her Super Soaker. The force of the tackle spun her off over a tree, the monster clinging and drooling on her shoulder.

Lauren flew off after them raising her gun to her shoulder. She would have to aim very carefully to avoid hitting her sister. Rachel spun around and around off-balance due to the monster clawing at her. She kept her lips sealed trying not to scream but her big eyes were even bigger.

Now!

A trail of yellow goo slammed into the monster hardening instantly. It dropped to the ground and Rachel regained control of her jet pack. Lauren waved her back to the house, yanked her tablet out of her pocket, and marked the monster on her map for the clean-up crew. Done, she darted back after Rachel.

They flew right through the window into the strangely still and silent room of the little girls.

“Bunk beds,” they groaned together.

Something giggled from under the bottom bed.

“Laugh it up,” Lauren said.

They dropped to their knees and fired. Yellow and blue goo froze the monster. The girls dragged it out from under the bed and examined it. Golden eyes peered angrily up at them blinking. A small mouth dribbled drool down a scaled belly. Suddenly, the belly split open in a wide, red mouth lined with lots of teeth. The hands and feet also spouted dangerous mouths.

Rachel snapped a picture of it, slipped on her ear buds, and called Sam.

“Did you get it?”

“Yep. Is this the first one?”

“Second,” Rachel said. “The first one leapt out the window at me.”

“What!?” Sam said. “But it’s a bed monster. They don’t leave the bed.”

“Does this look like a bed monster to you?”

“No, I’ll have it questioned as soon as the clean-up crew get’s it back here.”

Rachel hung up and tucked her gear away.

“What’s going on?” Lauren asked.

They’d been expecting the typical one-mouth, one-eyed bed monsters that enjoyed the dark little space. Sure, other monsters hid under beds, but bed monsters always had one eye and one mouth. This monster had lots of eyes and lots of mouths.

“This looks more like a vehicle monster,” Rachel said.

“Ouch!” Lauren said, jerking back. The monster had wormed one of its hands through the goo and bit her.

“We better have that looked at,” Rachel said.

“We better check the other room first.” Lauren stood up. She held the monster by the hardened goo at arm’s length and carried it out the window. After she dropped it to the ground and marked it, they flanked the window. The girls waited a minute to see if anything came flying out. Nothing.

With a nod, they flew in.

A boy with black curly hair stared at them.

“Oh no,” Rachel said.

Lauren gasped.

Rachel turned to her, surprised. It was frustrating that the boy was awake, but not gasp-worthy.

“Lauren?” she said.

Her sister dropped to the floor littered with GI Joe’s and Army men. She clutched her bitten hand and tears streamed down her face. Her brown hair, bright yellow only a little bit ago, turned green in the strange light of Rachel’s night vision goggles. Lauren rolled on the floor groaning. Suddenly, the room began to move again and the boy jumped out of his bed. He ran over to Lauren convulsing on the floor.

“Get away from her!” Rachel said raising her Super Soaker.

“But she’s hurt,” he said.

A ball of fur and mouths charged out from under his bed.

Rachel fired.

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Special Agents: The Mysterious Case of the Monsters under the Bed (Part 4)

SpecialAgentsMuffling a wide yawn, Lauren and Rachel followed Sam, Roger, and Paisley to the test room.

“Here,” Sam said. He dug around in the big pocket of his tool belt for a minute until he came up with a roll of brightly colored candies.

“Thanks,” Lauren said taking a purple and red one while Rachel picked out a yellow and green one. They popped the candy in their mouth and let them slowly dissolve.

“Wow,” Lauren said. “Have they upped the caffeine count in these things?” She shook her head sending her wild yellow curls bouncing.

“You didn’t hear?” Paisley asked.

“No,” Rachel said.

“They have the equivalent of an espresso now.”

“Oh dear,” Lauren said. “Were we supposed to eat two?”

“Sam,” Rachel said punching him in the shoulder. “You should have warned us.”

“Ow! Why’d you hit me?”

“If you think my totally loud Dad is crazy after one espresso, you should see Lauren on two!”

Lauren grinned, crossing her eyes and sticking out her tongue.

“Don’t worry, you’re about to burn off all that energy.”

Roger opened the door to the Test Bedroom.

“We’ll see about that,” Lauren said. She accepted a Super Soaker from Roger and stepped through the door

“You’ll be sorry,” Rachel chanted as she followed Lauren in taking her own gun with her.

Sam shook his head and hurried off to the observation window.

Rachel and Lauren waited side by side in the dark room. They timed their breathing until they inhaled and exhaled in unison. Their eyes tried to adjust to the dark but the blackout was so thourough there was nothing to adjust to.

“Ready with the button?” Rachel asked. Lauren was the quicker of the two by just a hair, so she had the Pause duty.

“If you’re ready with the silencer?”

“Ready.”

“Ready.”

Both their right hands rested on the side pockets of their tool belts while their left hands held the Super Soakers. They breathed in and out. In and out. In and—

Skreetch!

Right hands dropped and clasped the well-worn, familiar grips of two odd toys. Lauren cleared her holster a second before Rachel did. She pulled the trigger and the strange sensation of suspended animation melted over her. Everything stopped, enveloping Lauren and Rachel in the sudden realization of how much of life involved movement. Lauren swore that the Pause gun made her aware of exactly how much the Earth spun through the universe.

Rachel fired her odd toy and the sounds of life stopped.

No movement.

No sound.

The moment passed. The world crashed, spun, and cranked up the volume. Rachel grunted. They’d been unpaused.

“It’s still dark.”

“Goggles.” Lauren said.

They both pulled down their goggles and the world turned an odd shade of puke green.

Skreetch!

Both of them took a quick double check on the bed’s occupants. The cardboard boy had sleep heavy eyes drawn on his face. If his eyes had been open they would have had bigger problems to deal with.

Lauren pointed at herself then under the bed. Rachel nodded. Lauren pointed at Rachel then the bedroom door. Rachel agreed. Lauren dropped to her knees and thumbed the red button

Blam!

She fired the Super Soaker right at the bubbling lump with toooo many eyes and toooo many fingers under the cardboard boy’s bed. Ooze soaked the creature capturing it.

Rachel rushed to the door, opened it and charged through. Light blinded her. She ripped her goggles off just as she hit the silence button on her odd toy. She dropped and slid across the wood floor right under the bed, thumbed the red button, and fired. Lauren followed behind her shooting the odd toy to Pause the room before she rushed the next door.

Leap frogging, they made their way through the Test Bedrooms, only working together if there was more than one bed, or bunk beds. Bunk beds were the worst. Yellow and blue goo coated monster after monster while the Silence and Pause toys kept them from every seeing the two Special Agents with their blue and yellow hair.

Panting, they reached the end of the course and stepped into the observation room.

“You know, the way you two do that makes it really hard on the clean-up crews,” Sam said typing furiously on his tablet.

“Are they cleared for field work?” Lauren asked ignoring Sam’s grumbling.

“Agent Carmichael says we have the best system.”

“Yeah, well it’s really tense to watch!” Sam said finishing his notes.

“Sam,” Lauren said putting her hand on her hips. “We’ve got monsters to fight.”

He nodded. “I know. Sorry. Y’all are the best we got. You’re both cleared, along with the guns for field work. Also, try to bring one back that’s reasonable. I need to find out what is going on and why we have them under beds again.”

“We need to make sure it’s not her,” Rachel said.

Sam nodded. “Exactly.”

Lauren tossed her head watching the bright yellow curls bounce. “Let’s roll.”

Rachel nodded. The twins gave each other a high five. They left the observation room, Super Soakers in hand and made their way down to the transport deck.

“One monster infested bed coming up,” a red-headed boy with freckles across his noes said. “God’s speed.” He waved them into the backseat of a sleek silver car.

“Ladies,” Tom, the driver tugged the bill of his driver’s cap at both of them. “Locked and loaded?”

“Yes sir.”

“Well, let’s go do some good in this world.”

Tom gunned the engine and shot out into the night with a large van following behind him with the clean-up crew.

…To Be Continued…

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Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Special Agents: The Mysterious Case of the Monsters Under the Bed (Part 3)

 

SpecialAgents

 

(Part 1)

(Part 2)

“Well then, well then,” Jane coughed waving her hand in the air in a vain attempt to dissipate the eye-poking fog.

Rachel rushed over to a box on the wall, lifted the panel, and hammered her fist into a big, red button. An alarm sounded. Overhead, a exhaust fan ground to life and sucked the dangerous mist out of the hallway.

“ALL CLEAR,” a simulated, monotone voice said.

The alarm shut off.

Jane removed her goggles and leaned against the tunnel wall. “That wasn’t right,” she whispered to herself tapping her chin and staring off into nothing.

The three special agents slipped their goggles up onto their foreheads. If they had a dollar for every time one of Jane’s experiments went wrong, they’d be rich. Three pairs of eyes rolled. Rachel giggled.

“Lauren, you’re hair!”

“What?” she patted her head.

“That’s not right,” Jane said straightening up from the wall.

“It’s yellow! And even curlier!”

“Yellow? Wait, you’re hair’s turning blue!”

“Blue!”

“And it’s straighter.”

The girls both turned to Jane.

“Well, I guess this isn’t a dangerous, eye-poking smoke,” Jane smiled.

“It most certainly isn’t,” Lauren said.

“More like a strange hair dye,” Rachel said.

“This better come out before we go home,” Lauren said.

Sam shook his head. “Jane, we’re supposed to see you about some new toys.”

“Oh right, the monsters under the bed!” Jane said. “Let’s go.”

Jane led them into her department. Blinking lights, small moving objects that walked around on their own, test tubes, wires, glass beakers filled with oddly colored liquids, things hissing smoke, and odd things just hissing covered the developmental stations. The testing areas waited on the other side of the large room. Several children in white lab coats and goggles aimed Lego guns, swung sticks the length of their forearms, played with oddly colored string, shot marbles down long tunnels creating controlled explosions, and wrote all of it down on tablets stuck in their pockets. Each of them had oddly colored hair. They ignored the smoke and kept working.

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“Paisley. Roger,” Jane called her two top assistants. “Can you show Agents Rachel and Lauren the new Monster Guns? I need to figure out why everyone’s hair changed color.”

“Andhowtogetitback,” Lauren said in a rush.

“What?” Jane said.

“How to get it back,” Rachel said more slowly.

“Yes. That too.”

Jane hurried off and Rachel, Lauren, and Sam followed Paisley and Roger, with bright green and red hair, over to a test room with a shooting range. Paisley and Roger where older kids, no longer young enough to go on missions, but they came back every summer to help with the cases and both planned on majoring in Chemistry and Engineering in college so they could continue working with Jane and design better toys. Roger held the door to the shooting range open. Rachel and Lauren hurried over to a table with two large water guns.

“Okay, you two, test out these babies,” Roger said. He plucked a gun up off the table and handed it to Lauren. Paisley handed the other to Rachel. Sam pulled his goggles on, stayed by the door, and took notes on his tablet. Paisley and Roger joined him.

“As you can see,” Paisley said. “We’ve modified the Super Soakers. You no longer have to pump them to build up enough force to fire. Just press that red button on the side and the gun’s ready to go. If you don’t press it, the gun will never fire.”

“Kinda like the Nurf guns?” Lauren asked hefting the bright orange and green gun up near her waist.

“Exactly,” said Roger.

“Okay,” Rachel said.

Both girls assumed the proper stance: feet apart, weight back, dominate foot just a little forward. They let the guns hang at their waist, their arms supporting the weight. A door chimed open and three cardboard monsters flipped up at the end of the shooting range. The special agents thumbed the red button simultaneously and fired.

Bright yellow and blue goo spewed from the front of the guns. It flew at the cardboard monsters encasing them and stiffening in an instant. The monsters were immobilized.

“Sweet!” said Lauren.

“This is much better than the Nurf guns,” Rachel said.

Paisley and Roger both gave them a little bow.

“Let’s take them down to the obstacle course and really test them out,” Sam said. “I need to see them in action if I’m going to approve them for the mission.”

“You worry too much,” Lauren said. “Look at this! We don’t have to worry about hitting them dead center with a capsule. This is way better.”

“Exactly,” Rachel said. “We both hit them the first time.”

“Yes, but we all know shooting in a room like this is totally different from shooting in a bedroom. I want to see them there. I need to know what kind of clean up we’re going to need. I need to know if the Pause is going to work. You both remember George, don’t you?”

Roger and Paisley shifted uncomfortably. Rachel and Lauren nodded, sober.

“Okay then.”

“If you want to see them in action before we go on the mission,” Rachel said, “we better hurry. We’re running out of night-time.”

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