Betty must save a spy and finish the mission. Maximus travels to the end of the universe and finds some dangerous aliens.

Elixir of Life

Elixir 01

Maximus IQ stood in front of the entrance to the Poison Grapple cafe. Many aliens of different species came in and out of the cafe. Most of them looked armed and dangerous and they all had deadly glares. He stood there as they walked by as if he was invisible. If they knew who he was, they obviously didn't care. "Should we really go inside your evilness?" Minimus felt uncomfortable with the atmosphere.

"Of course we're going inside. This is what we came for," Maximus tried to sound confident and failed miserably. He took a deep breath and started walking. The automatic metal doors opened to the sides to let him in. The Poison Grapple cafe was made of old parts of ships and space stations. It looked like the materials had been recycled from Crushta. Or rather than recycled, they were simply melted together. Some of the metal was not of the best quality and began to turn an odd brown color. Not being used to metal that actually rusts Maximus didn't know why this happened. Overall the appearance of the small building added to the dreaded atmosphere of the dark planet. Clearly, paint was not in the list of priorities of the owner, who ever that may be.

Inside the Poison Grapple, the atmosphere became more sinister. No one was throwing anyone against a wall, there was no fighting and no rain of lasers, but it looked as if a fight could begin any second with the slightest hint of provocation. "I don't like it here," Minimus complained in a quiet whisper.
"Sh! Don't say anything," Maximus didn't like it either. He walked around making his way to the bar, trying not to stare at the stranger alien species. It didn't look like those odd aliens appreciated his curiosity, so the lynx ended up staring at his feet most of the time. His ego wouldn't allow such behavior normally, but this place gave him a bad feeling. Still, Maximus was not going to leave until he did what he came here to do.

"Maximus IQ? Didn't think you'd come to a place like this" The alien in charge of the bar recognized him.

Maximus wasn't sure with what intentions those words were spoken. He didn't know if he was welcomed or not. In fact, he didn't even know if the spider like alien standing behind the bar was a man or a woman. "Why not?" Maximus' curious nature took the best of him again.

"This isn't a place for sheltered spoiled villains like you. See them?" The spider alien motioned to no one in particular, referring to the cafe in general. "Those are the true villains, not like those in your precious Villains Council. There are even rules and codes to follow and you call yourselves villains?"

"That's enough," another voice was heard, "I'll handle this." The spider alien immediately moved to the other end of the bar. A scorpion like alien looked at Maximus. "Our business runs on information, no purchase necessary. If you have a question or an answer this is the place. That's why our customers come, to ask or to answer. If the question or answer doesn't come right away, they wait and order some food and drinks. Want anything?"

The menacing looking scorpion appeared to have a permanent glare on his glowing red eyes. Unable to get any words out, Maximus simply nodded slowly and barely noticeably at first, then quickly and with energy as if his life depended on it when the scorpion appeared to sense his doubt. All the while Minimus silently stood next to Maximus shaking like a jelly. Both his faces had their eyes wide open in case of an attack. That was one of those times when he was glad to know he had an extra pair of eyes to watch his back.

"Here you go." The scorpion placed a pink frosting covered cupcake and a glass of light purple liquid on the bar in front of Maximus which, was a normal snack anywhere in the universe, but on that planet it was food for slaves or pets who couldn't digest what the locals ate. "Standard currency only," Maximus quickly paid, not realizing he had paid a little too much and stared at the food and drink, wondering if the grapple juice was in fact poisoned and quietly remembering how much he hated pink. "It's not poisoned if that's what you're wondering. Go ahead and eat it."

"I would but my sidekick is hungrier than me." Upon hearing Maximus say this, Minimus knew what was coming. Before the sidekick could escape, Maximus got up from his seat, picked up Minimus and made him sit down in front of the food. "You were telling me just before we arrived how hungry you were. I wouldn't want my sidekick to starve; eat, now," Maximus emphasized the last word impatiently.

Minimus looked from the food to Maximus, to the alien scorpion and back to the food. He gulped knowing one way or another he wouldn't escape without eating the pink frosting cupcake and drinking the grapple juice. Minimus picked up the cup cake and took a bite; surprisingly it tasted sweet, like it wasn't poisoned. He took a sip from the juice and did not find anything in the taste that indicated it was poisoned. He quickly finished the snack concluding it wasn't so bad after all. "That was good."

"I told you it wasn't poisoned," the scorpion laughed. "It's not what I normally serve but I doubt any of you can digest a real meal." Maximus thought about saying something but decided it was better for his heath not to comment on that statement. The scorpion muttered something about 'fragile creatures' that Maximus didn't completely catch then went back to business. "So why did you come here?"

"I'm here to hire someone that can destroy Atomic Betty" No sooner had Maximus said Atomic Betty's name the room erupted in laughter confirming his suspicious that everyone was listening to the conversation. "She can't be that invincible!" Maximus complained interpreting the laughter the wrong way.

"That's not the funny thing. The funny thing is that you haven't been able to destroy her. In this corner of the universe things are different." It was a very long trip there. Some called that place the end of the universe. Beyond that small planet was a large group of black holes. Powerful electric storms formed around the black holes constantly. Many had traveled endlessly trying to find a way around them, but they mysteriously arrived in that small planet again even if they had been initially traveling away from it. Some theories said that the large amount of energy in that place bended the space continuum causing that unusual effect. Going through the black holes was out of the question. Those who had tried, convinced their high tech ships could make it, didn't come back alive.

"Then it can be done?" Maximus asked. If Atomic Betty could be destroyed then his trip to that place would be worth it.

"Yes, but I doubt anyone will be interested," the scorpion informed. "Like I said, things are different here, your world is meaningless to us. Here is where the real battles are. Your kind is weak and we do not wish to associate with such pathetic creatures." It was obvious now that he wasn't welcome there. Maximus caught the meaning of the scorpion's words this time. His kind wasn't only the lynx, when that alien spoke of his kind, he meant everyone from outside that area, including the Galactic Guardians.

Without another word, Maximus turned to leave. A few aliens got up and blocked his path. It all became clear now; they didn't stop him before because they wanted to listen to the conversation, to hear what he had to say for their amusement. An alien that had the basic shape of a human but had four arms and no skin approached. The alien was made basically of reddish muscles with a few bones visible between them. "Not so fast, your kind may be pretty much useless for everything, except pets and slaves. You'd sell pretty well around here, but I'm in need of some skin, I like that fur coat of yours." Horrified, Maximus backed away. "There's no way out, and that smaller creature you've brought along will be put to good use too. I think I'll use him as fire wood when it gets cold. There's no sense in wasting good firewood so I'll burn him piece by piece."

End of Elixir 01

As you might have noticed the Poison Grapple cafИ is based on the Poison Apple from Shrek 2, only more evil. The spy theme came from a dream I had. Grapple is a combination of grape and apple but also a real word which can mean "to engage in a struggle or close encounter" and " to try to overcome or deal." Disclaimer, I don't own Atomic Betty or Shrek.

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