It was an average day at the Socrates mansion.
The red tailed tiger woke up at his usual hour of four in the morning, and proceeded with his routine morning ritual.
"Let's see," He said, opening the refrigerator and studying the contents. "How hungry am I this morning?"
He thought about this for a good thirty seconds, before grabbing several items out of the fridge and placing them on the kitchen counter.
He grabbed his Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs from the cabinet, and about six different bowls from the other cabinet. He filled every bowl to the rim and dowsed the cereal with chocolate milk. He then carried every bowl one by one to the coffee table in front of the TV in the living room.
He then poured himself a glass of orange juice, grabbed an entire bundle of bananas, made himself three burritos, snatched up some potato chips and bean dip and brought those to his feast as well.
He then slapped together a peanut butter sandwich, tried calling Pizza Hut only to discover that they aren't open at four in the morning and poured himself another glass of orange juice.
He then sat down with his small onslaught and grabbed the remote control from the couch cushion.
"This should keep me awake while I wait for the coffee to finish brewing," He said, leaning back with his first bowl of cereal and switching the TV on.
The next four hours were spent in front of the TV,
Elliot woke up around eight and fixed himself his usual breakfast of toast and orange juice.
"Well, what have you broken so far this morning?" The boy asked still slightly in a sleep daze.
"I'll have you know I never break things!" Socrates called back, who was now sitting in front of a large stack of empty bowls, plates and cups.
"Uh huh." Elliot grumbled, grabbing his toast and heading for the door. "I'm going now. I expect to see the house standing when I get back,"
"Oh, that's lovely. I forgot how to laugh," Socrates said, stiffly.
Elliot rolled his eyes and left.
Another couple of hours went by.
By that time, Socrates was sure that Pizza Hut was open and he gave them a call.
"Do you know who would be great to share this moment with?" Socrates yelled to no one, as he hung up the phone. "Calvin and Hobbes! I should call them and tell them to come over!"
And with that, Socrates whipped out his cell phone and started browsing through his contacts.
"Let's see here, Elliot…. Andy… Crazy robot guy who makes my parties fun… Jack T Robot…. Bill Gates… Drew Carrey…. John Travolta… Elliot's parents… David Blain…. Dr Oz…. Sherman 's lab…. Leslie Neilsen…. Jeff Foxworthy... Barack Obama…. Oh here it is! MTM!"
Socrates hit send and held the cell phone up to his ear.
It rang a few of times, then MTM's voice came onto the speakers
"Hello, you have reached the MTM." He said. "If your hearing this it either means I'm out of range for this call or I'm just really busy right now and don't have time for trivial phone calls from people not involved with what I'm doing. More often than most, it's possibility number two, so please leave your name, number and social security number and I'll consider calling you back."
"Hey, Hobbes! It's Socrates! You're missing out on pizza! Forget not what I have divulged to you!"
And with that, Socrates hung up.
He thought for a moment.
"Well, I could always invite Andy and Sherman over to play poker with," He shrugged, finally, picking his phone up, again and making another call.
About an hour later, Andy and Sherman had arrived at Socrates house and were sitting in the game room. Each of them were holding cards in front of them. Socrates was wearing a green transparent visor and Andy had a fake cigar in his mouth.
Big on authenticity, this group.
"I'll see your three toothbrushes and raise you 100 monopoly dollars," Andy said, throwing a chip down.
"Have I ever told you guys about the time I was attacked by a bunch of killer robots from the unknown?" Socrates suddenly asked, looking up from his cards.
"No, I don't believe you have, Socrates," Sherman said, boredly. "I raise three colorful bookmarks."
"Well, it all started on a fairly regular day, like this one!" Socrates began. "I was walking over to Calvin's house to discuss some political matters with him!"
"Wait what?" Andy asked, looking up. "How long have you been into politics?"
"Uh, no, I was going to prank him, you see," Socrates explained. "Then listen to him complain about it,"
"Ah," Andy said, turning back to his cards. "Raise a two gig flash drive."
"So anyway, I was walking down the sidewalk, when all of a sudden this laser shot out of nowhere, and knocked me off my feet to…."
"Where'd you get a laser?" Sherman asked, raising his eyebrow.
"I didn't have a laser," He said.
"Yeah you said you shot someone with a laser." Andy said, throwing another chip down.
"No, I said someone shot me with a laser," Socrates explained. "You guys are listening to my epic tale of horror, aren't you?"
"Yeah, of course we are," Sherman said, throwing another chip down. "Please go on."
"Alright," Socrates said, tapping his chin in thought. "So where was I? Ah, yes! So the laser came out of nowhere and knocked me to the ground. Before I even had time to get up, this giant robot appeared from one of the bushes and raced over to me!"
"Yeah, well, winning isn't everything," Andy said, blandly.
There was a long moment of silence.
"What?" Socrates asked, finally.
Andy looked up.
"The race you were in? Just because you didn't win…."
"I never said anything about a race," Socrates said, his brow furrowing.
"Yes, you did," Sherman said, not even looking up from his cards.
"I did not!" Socrates said, indignantly. "And even if I did, I most definitely would have won it! I'll have you know I'm faster than any of you fools put together!"
"Yeah well, that's why I said winning isn't everything," Andy said.
"So go on with your story," He said, turning back to his cards.
Socrates thought for a moment.
"Ah yes, the story! So the robot raced over to me and grabbed me by the scruff of my neck! I fought and clawed at it, but it had no effect on the great beast!"
"I thought you said it was a robot," Sherman said, throwing another chip down.
Socrates glared at the hamster.
"It is a robot! Now may I continue with the story?" He demanded.
"Alright, so the robot grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and started carrying me away," Socrates went on. "Right when I thought that all hope was lost, I noticed an on / off switch on the robot's head! In desperation I reached for it and switched it to the OFF position. AND IT WORKED! But now I was left in an awkward situation. The robot still had me in a tight grip, unable to let go unless I turned it back on! And right when I started thinking about what to do, a whole army of robots just suddenly appeared out of nowhere! I had nowhere to run! Nowhere to hide! They were all clawing at me and trying to eat my head! Then at the very last possible second, I escaped by the narrowest of margins by…"
Suddenly, there was a bright flash of light above the table Socrates, Andy and Sherman were playing on, and a tall figure appeared over them.
Hobbes landed right in the middle of the table, scattering cards and poker chips, the MTM held tightly in his hands.
Socrates, Andy and Sherman did not seem at all startled at Hobbes' sudden appearance.
"Oh, hi, Hobbes," Socrates said. "I'm sorry, but you missed the pizza. Now had you come about three minutes after the pizza had actually been delivered, maybe you would've gotten a piece."
Hobbes ignored Socrates and looked down at the MTM in horror.
"WE HAVE TO GO BACK! TAKE US BACK!" He shouted in blind panic.
"Righto," MTM said, noticeably calmer. "Give me a mo and I'll redirect the energy."
There was a moment of silence as the MTM hummed and tried to gather all the appropriate energy together.
"Nope, I can't take us back," He said, finally.
Hobbes' eyes burst open in horror.
"I'm afraid the coordinates have been wiped from my drive," MTM said. "I can't get us back."
"Back where?" Andy asked.
"Yeah, do we get to be let in on the latest emergency?" Socrates asked.
Hobbes looked around at Socrates, Andy and Sherman as if he had just noticed them.
There was a long pause.
Finally he spoke.
"Oh hi," He said deciding to calm down. "Calvin's about to die. Could you help?"
"I suppose. Do fill us in." He said.
"Well, we woke up this morning, and everything seemed normal until we left the room, then we saw we were in this weird red hallway. Holographic Retro then appeared and told us he was in this parallel reality that he had created with the Realiphone which he stole and repaired." Hobbes explained hurriedly. "He then said we had one hour to get out of this maze or we'd be killed, so then we went through the maze and just barely made the one hour mark and then Retro said he wouldn't send us back,"
Andy and Sherman rolled their eyes.
"So then Calvin made a deal with Retro and sent MTM and I back but he stayed! So now Calvin is trapped in that alternate reality with Retro and we need to save him!"
There was a moment of silence.
"You guys caught all that right?" Hobbes asked, slowly.
"essentially." Sherman nodded. "Well, if you said he's in a reality that Retro created, that means it's located somewhere between this universe and the void. We could probably find it at the lab."
"Great! Let's go!" Hobbes said, excitedly, jumping off the table.
There was a pause.
"You listened to his story," Socrates grumbled.
Everyone glared at Socrates.
A few minutes later everyone was at Sherman 's lab. Sherman was typing hurriedly into his computer and trying to locate the dimension.
"Alright, MTM, I need Calvin's notepad with the Realiphone's combinations on it." Sherman said, looking up.
"Righto." MTM said, cheerfully.
There was a flash of light and the small fifty page notepad appeared on the console before Sherman .
The hamster scurried over to it, and began flipping through the pages.
"Let's see, killer guinea pig combination… raining forks combination…. Combination for figuring out the plot to LOST…. Ah, here it is. Creation of Alternate Reality. 7,2,6, #,1,4,8,3,5,0, 9 and *."
Hobbes rolled his eyes.
Sherman typed more commands into the computer and then entered that combination.
There was a silence at the computer hummed quietly. Then finally the results came up.
Sherman studied the monitor as the numbers flashed across the screen.
"Huh…" He said, his brow furrowing.
"What?" Andy asked.
"Well, apparently whatever reality was there before is gone, now." Sherman said. "Which isn't good because it very well could have taken Calvin with it."
"Oh god," Hobbes moaned. "What are we going to do?"
"Well, we orchestrate a rescue party and hope we can locate Calvin, who's possibly floating around somewhere in the void.
"Well, how long could that take?" Socrates asked.
"Well considering the void is larger than all of the realities in the 3rd dimension put together, we may have to invest a little bit of time into this," Sherman.
"All of the realities put together?" Socrates asked. "How big is that?"
"Big," Sherman said, blandly.
Socrates thought about that for a moment.
"Yeah well, you guys have fun with that," He said, finally, turning to leave.
Andy grabbed Socrates tail and gave him a stern look.
"But I don't want to miss David Letterman!" He whined.
"Oh shut up and let's go," Andy said. "Shermie, how long before we can get into the void?"
"We can leave now," Sherman said, standing up. "I have a portal ship that can…."
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
Everyone looked around.
"What's that?" Hobbes asked.
Sherman whirled around and started typing again.
"It's the alarm." He said, looking at the screen intently. "Something just entered Earth's atmosphere!"
"Oh for the love of…" Hobbes moaned. "MTM, what is it this time? A giant meteor? Rupert and Earl? A bunch of stray Shadowfax that chose this time to come bother us?"
"Rupert and Earl," MTM said, causally, sounding as if he was nodding.
"We have to get out there," Sherman said, hopping onto Andy's hand. "With Calvin not here, the aliens will think they will be able to invade."
"What are we going to do?" Hobbes asked, pitifully.
"We go beat them," Sherman said. "MTM get your lasers ready,"
"They already are," MTM said. "Though I should say I'm running on limited power. teleporting through realties is scary stuff."
"Oh quit complaining," Andy said. "Let's go kick some alien backside!"
And with that everyone ran from the lab.
They all ran up to Andy's front door and stopped.
"Alright," Socrates said, stepping forward. "With Calvin gone, I'll take over as leader for the time being and…"
"Socrates," Sherman said, calmly.
Socrates grumbled and stood back.
"Alright," Sherman said. "So once MTM gets a lockon of Rupert and Earl's ship, he'll send a laser blast into their navigational system and that should cause the ship to go into an automatic mode and head back for Zok. That should buy us at least a little more time to go find Calvin before they come back,"
"Agreed," Hobbes nodded.
"MTM, You ready?" Sherman asked.
"As previously stated, yes," MTM said.
"Alright, let's go!"
And with that Socrates flung the door open.
For a long time, the four stood there, staring at who was standing in front of them on the front porch.
Hobbes heaved a deep sigh.
Rupert and Earl both in their human disguises were standing over Hobbes, Socrates, Andy and Sherman, aiming their glowing green ray guns at them, smiling evilly.
"Well, hello there," Earl said dangerously.
"Hey Earl, what's up?" Socrates grinned.
"We have been waiting in space for nearly a month now!" Rupert growled. "And finally after all this time our scanners have detected that Calvin is gone!"
"He's just vanished!" Earl cackled. "Which all the invitation we need!"
And with that the two aliens burst out with insane laughter.
Everyone stared at them.
"A month?" Andy asked, raising his eyebrows. "Have you guys ever thought about actually treating your OCD?"
Rupert and Earl stopped laughing.
"How did you even know Calvin was gone?" Sherman demanded. "You can't keep a constant scan on him!"
Rupert grinned wickedly.
"One of our crew tracked him for the last month and when he disappeared he concocted this plan to kidnap you and take out the government!" He said, viscously.
Silence filled the neighborhood.
Hobbes, Socrates, Andy and Sherman stared at Rupert and Earl for several seconds with dead expressions.
"You are the same Rupert and Earl we know, right?" Socrates asked.
"Oh god, are we still in some weird parallel dimension?" Hobbes asked in horror. "Is this part of Retro's maze?"
"You want to meet him?" Rupert asked, quietly.
"Will, come here!" Earl shouted.
Suddenly, another alien stepped out from behind the two aliens.
He didn't look that much different from any of the other members in Earl's crew, except for the fact that this guy had a much sterner expression on his face and he stood up straight as opposed to the other crew members who slither around the ship slouched over.
"Hobbes and company, this Wilbert. Our new crew member," Earl said, grinning evilly.
"Charmed," The alien said, grinning back at the group.
"Wilbert here got rejected from the Zokian Navel Station, so they gave him to us," Rupert said. "And lo and beyond, this one actually knows what he's doing."
"We knew we had a good one when we administered the test on him." Earl said.
"Test?" Sherman demanded. "What test?"
Rupert turned to Wilbert.
"Wilbert, why are we here?"
"To destroy the Supreme Earthling Potentate and dissolve Earth's defenses from the inside out by breaking down the government one layer at a time," Wilbert said without missing a beat. "Then to wipe out every living creature on this planet to create a Zokian army training base."
Hobbes, Socrates, Andy and Sherman's eyes bulged.
"Oh dear…." Andy said. "There were words longer than two syllables in that sentence."
Rupert and Earl turned back to the group.
"Now you all know what the apocalypse really is going to be!" Rupert growled.
And with that the two aliens aimed and fired their stun rays.
The four were knocked out cold and MTM was shut off, as Rupert, Earl and Wilbert moved in to secure them.
Hobbes opened his eyes and looked around.
He immediately recognized the room around him as Rupert and Earl's experimentation room, as he had been in it many times in the past. It was his own personal guest room in Rupert and Earl's ship.
He sat up and looked around.
He was laying sprawled across the experimentation table next to a desk of painful looking tools and surgery equipment.
Socrates, Andy and Sherman were lying on the tables next to him, they were all starting to come to as well. The MTM was nowhere in sight.
Suddenly, the door beside Hobbes opened.
his head snapped up and he looked around in horror, but quickly calmed down when he saw the name tags of the aliens coming in.
Zack, Carl, Lenny and Dave all slithered into the room. Each of them wore identical mindless grins which matched their identical lunatic personalities.
"Oh, hi!" Dave said, waving at Hobbes. "We're here to experiment on you!"
Hobbes rolled his eyes.
"Are you now? Could you wait a few minutes for everyone to wake up.
The four aliens all looked down at the still half asleep Socrates, Andy and Sherman.
"OK!" Dave grinned. "You wanna play charades while we wait?"
"Oh. OK!" Dave grinned.
And with that, the four aliens all turned and stared at the three remaining people with fixed stares.
When everyone finally came completely into full consciousness, the crew began their grueling experimentation process.
"So how many ducks have you seen in your whole lifetime?" Zack asked.
The four aliens, and Hobbes, Socrates, Andy and Sherman were all sitting in a circle on the floor. Lenny was holding a notepad and pencil while they all asked questions to the four victims.
"Erm… I don't know…. A few…" Andy shrugged.
"Fascinating!" Lenny yelled, frantically scribbling on the notepad.
Carl leaned over and examined Lenny's writing.
"Oh lord in heaven, Lenny! This is literary GOLD!" He shouted.
Hobbes looked over Lenny's shoulder.
There was a crude drawing of himself on the paper with his name written above it and an arrow going from it pointing at the drawing.
The tiger sighed.
Carl turned back to the group.
"So how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?" He asked, excitedly.
Andy paused on that one.
"Uh… three point four." He said, finally.
"GENIUS!" Lenny screamed, causing everyone to jump.
"You there, the cat!" Dave said, pointing at Socrates.
Socrates leaned back as if Dave had a crippling disease that he very likely may contract.
"…Yes?" He asked, unsurely.
"Are you a dog?" Dave asked.
For a long moment, Socrates did not answer. He simply stared at Dave with a rather repulsed expression.
Dave's expression did not falter.
"No," He said, finally. "I am not a dog."
"Lenny, put "I don't know" for the cat!" Dave said.
"I already have!" Lenny grinned.
"Earl's gonna be so proud of us!" Zack grinned, hopping up and down in his seat.
Everyone rolled their eyes.
At that moment the door opened again, and who should walk in, but the newest crew member; Wilbert.
"Oh for… I knew you idiots would be doing this!"
The aliens all grinned and waved at Wilbert.
"HI WILBERT!" They all screamed in perfect unison.
"Shut up," Wilbert spat.
The aliens shut up, albeit retained their lunatic grins.
"So, dare I ask, what the heck you've actually accomplished in the thirty minutes you've been in here experimenting on the prisoners?"
The aliens paused.
Lenny held up his notepad.
"We've discovered through our grueling research…" He began. "That these prisoners that we hold before us…" He paused for dramatic effect. "…Are not dogs!"
There was a long moment of silence.
Suddenly, Lenny's grin dropped and he thought about what he had just said.
He turned to Sherman .
"Wait, you're not a dog, right?" He asked.
"No," Sherman sighed.
Lenny grinned, again.
"Nope! They're not dogs!" He said turning back to Wilbert.
Wilbert continued staring at them.
Finally he spoke.
"Alright, you morons, return to your stations. I'll take over the experimenting from here." He said.
Lenny and Carl exchanged glances.
"But… We're not Mormons…." Zack said.
Lenny leaned over to Hobbes.
"He thinks we're Mormons," He whispered. "Those bald guys with the orange robes and tambourines down at the airport!"
"Those are called monks," Hobbes sighed.
"Oh…." He said. "Well, that destroys all my knowledge about your guys' religions."
"GET OUT!" Wilbert screamed, jabbing his tentacle at the door.
"Okay!" The aliens all grinned, again in unison, as they got up and slithered out of the room, talking excitedly about all the interesting things they discovered that day.
No doubt it was going to be the gossip of the week.
Wilbert watched them go with distaste.
"Idiots," He grumbled, shaking his head.
He turned back to Socrates, Hobbes, Andy and Sherman.
"So," He said, casually strolling over to the experimentation table and moving his tentacles over all the tools, as if looking for one of them. "How long have you guys known the Earth Potentate?"
"Oh just get on with it!" Socrates groaned. "Stop tormenting us and do whatever your gonna do!"
"Sssh, ssh," Wilbert said, holding up a tentacle. "Patience is a virtue, Socrates."
Socrates grumbled to himself.
"Where are Rupert and Earl?" Hobbes asked.
"You just missed them," Wilbert chuckled, continuing down the table, still looking for a particular tool on the table. "They've set out for the White House. They plan to have the entire U.S. government broken down before six."
Hobbes glares at Wilbert suspiciously.
"Ya know, there's something not right about you!" He growled.
"That being that I'm the only crew member on this ship that has a clue?" Wilbert asked, his eyebrows jumping. "That is odd, isn't it?"
He continued down the table, then finally, he seemingly found what he was looking for.
"Ah, here we go," He said, picking up a small black gun.
Hobbes, Andy, Sherman and Socrates all stared at it in horror.
"What is that?" Andy demanded.
"It's a device of my own creation." Wilbert chuckled. "Some of you may actually know about it."
"Why? What is it?" Hobbes demanded, growing more and more suspicious of this alien.
Wilbert didn't reply. Instead, he aimed the gun at himself and pulled the trigger.
A bright flash of light filled the entire room for one split second and then disappeared.
Hobbes and the gang all blinked several times trying to regain their vision as they tried to make out what had happened.
Wilbert was now gone.
In his place was a much shorter figure with spiky yellow hair and a red T-shirt.
"It's called the Transmogrifier Gun," Calvin said, causally, putting the gun back on the table. "So, what have I missed? You guys didn't go rent Avatar and watch it without me, did you? You know I want to see the movie more than any of you do!"
Socrates, Hobbes, Andy and Sherman all stared at Calvin with wide, unblinking eyes.
Then, reaction came.
Socrates had fainted dead away onto the floor.
To Be Continued...