By MaryJanice Davidson
By MaryJanice Davidson
(You keep forgetting you finished puberty. You look a lot better than that now. For God's sake, get over high school!)
--but that didn't mean he was without resources. Hell, he was one of the smartest men on the planet. Next to him, Bill Gates was a subliterate dumbass. He could--
Al looked up, rubbing his face. He hadn't thought there was a wall there. No, not a wall, one of the security types who had the run of the place. Big, hirsute, sloping brow, protruding jaw. All in all, he preferred Mr. Slick, the guy dressed in black he'd managed to cold-cock.
"You can't leave," Hirsute informed him. The man was, at rough guess, about twelve feet tall. Or maybe it only seemed that way because Al was looking up at him from the carpet. "It's not safe."
"Oh, I'll leave, buster," Al snarled, then leaped nimbly to his feet. "Innocent people are in danger, virginal lawyers are in trouble, so get out of my way."
Hirsute picked him up by the face
(the face! the face! owwwwww!)
tucked Al under his arm like a football, and progressed down the hallway.
Meanwhile, in a small underground shelter…
Al-Kamir Feldman (Betsy to his friends, of whom he had exactly none) pressed the VCR remote control and watched his mother's tape rewind. He was watching one of her old movies, ON GOLDEN BLONDE, and really, it was beyond him why the woman didn't have an Oscar. Or ten!
He hit stop, then play. His mother, half-size on the big screen TV, went back to her orgiastic activities with gleeful abandon. Just dear old Mom and a baker's dozen of bakers. And the janitor. And the mailman. Ah, now, here she was finishing up with the pastry chef.
Al hit rewind…nope, not finished. He hit play: yep, finished. Rewind. Not finished. Play. Finished. Rewind. Play. Rewind. Play.
Watching his mother act her little tart heart out soothed him as nothing could. Beside him was a pile of some of her other work: ORDINARY PEEPHOLES, THE EROTIC WITCH PROJECT, GOOD WILL HUMPING, and, one of his personal favorites, I'M OKAY, YOU'RE HORNY.
It was utterly incomprehensible to him that part one of his plan had failed. And possibly parts two and three. Who would have expected think-tank geeks to put up such a fight? To--well--out-think him? Rewind. Play. Rewind. Play. Luckily, salvation in the delectable form of Dr. Lynn Lough had appeared. It wasn't over until the fat lady sang, and so far his mom hadn't made a peep. Rewind.
The one redeeming thing of the debacle was that Al Longworth was still alive. Oh, there had been plenty of temper tantrums when he'd thought Longworth's intellect was forever out of reach. Not to mention, the man could bake like nobody's business, and there had been a definite decline in the bunker's bread products…he'd been looking forward to utilizing the man's genius, and having all the eclairs he wanted.
There was a discreet knock on the door, and Jenna poked her head in. A tall, pretty brunette with striking green eyes, he had selected her to join his crusade precisely because she so strongly resembled his mother. And, with the right costuming, his father. "We've found her. The team is on the way."
He grunted in assent and she left. He realized he needed to go to the bathroom, and did just that. Luckily, his diaper caught the mess.
Al caught up with Lynn early the next morning, just as she was swinging her briefcase into the passenger side of a rented car. "Dr. Loogie!" he said urgently, then ducked as the briefcase swung toward his face.
"It's 'Lough'," she said coolly, "and I'm late."
She slammed the passenger door, then unhurriedly walked around the car to the driver's side. He scuttled after her, wishing he looked and sounded less like a stalker. "Look, I know you're upset, and I don't blame you at all, but you're--"
"From the forces of evil."
Chunk! She slammed the door, then rolled down the window. "And only you, intrepid do-gooder, can save me."
"Kind of," he said weakly.
"We've done this dance before," she said in a voice cold enough to make a walrus shiver. "I'll try a new partner this time. If you don't mind."
He seized the car. "I'm not letting go of this car until you hear me out, and agree to come with me." She produced her keys, smiled sourly at him, and started the engine. He gulped, but hung on. "You have no idea who I had to fight to even be able to rescue you. Again, I mean. Then I had to find your house, and not get spotted in the meantime. You're lucky I caught you before you left for work."
"Lucky," she said, "is so not the word I was thinking."
"Please don't be like this. None of this is my fault. I'm just trying to figure the mess out."
She put the car in drive. "Last chance, Captain Doofus."
"Now, Lynn, I know you've--we've--been through a lot, but you don't really want to hurt…ow!"
The car backed out of the driveway, dragging him alongside. He groped wildly, and accidentally banged her on the chin. "Sorry!" he gasped. "Lynn, stop the car!"
"Dammit, let me go!"
"It's for your own good!" His grip slipped and the surge of adrenaline nearly made his heart explode. "You have no idea what I'm up against."
"I've got a pretty good idea." They were in the street now and she was, thankfully, driving verrrrrrrry slowly. "Let go, Psycho Boy. I'm not going this slowly when we hit the freeway."
"And I'm not letting go."
He saw her leg move and suddenly the car accelerated. He tightened his grip and tried to worm his way into her open window. She fended him off with a very pointy elbow. In unison, they both screamed, "Help!" Then glared at each other.
There was a crunch as Lynn crashed into something in front of her. Al's back slammed against the window frame and for a moment he thought he had been cut in half. Then he fell out of the window and lay in the street like a stunned beetle. He hurt too badly to move. Ever again. His spine, he was fairly sure, was lying somewhere next to the gas pedal.
Lynn, understandably distracted, had run into a van. A nondescript, dark blue van. The kind favored by terrorists and small high school sports teams. There were, in fact, two vans: one in front of her, one behind. They had been boxed very neatly.
"Oh, shit," Al said. He looked up in time to see a pretty brunette climb out of the rear van and walk up to him. She was smartly attired in a navy blue pantsuit and her hair was pulled back in a loose ponytail. She smiled at him and raised her foot.
He had time to wonder why she was showing him the bottom of her shoe before he felt a crashing pain in his forehead and everything went black.
"You see?" he moaned upon regaining consciousness. "You should have listened to me."
"You should have listened to me."
He realized the cute brunette with the big mean feet was carrying him (egad!) and he wriggled until she put him down. He staggered, and Feet Woman steadied him and pulled him further down the hall. The door at the end of the hallway was ajar, and Al had a pretty good idea who--and what--lay behind the door.
He--and poor Lynn!--were about to be face to face with the most evil mind in two hundred years: Al-Kamir Feldman.
The door opened and Al felt himself unceremoniously shoved inside, followed by Lynn. He had time for a horrified glance of a tall, powerfully built man with swarthy skin, dark hair, and…a diaper?
"Hello!" Feldman boomed in a strong baritone.
"You'll never get away with this," he snarled, feeling like he was on a bad TV show, but helpless to stop. "My people will find me."
"Your people are dead." He turned to Lynn and modestly adjusted his diaper. "Hello, sweetheart."
Lynn raised her arms and smiled, a beautiful, dazzling smile. "Darling!"
To be continued…