"It's MY show, and I can say whatever I want on it! If you have a problem with the message I'm trying to send to our viewers, then simply don't watch it!"
"How can I ignore your important 'message' when the 'message' is about how my butt is bigger than Numbuh 1's! That's slander!"
"Slander? Ha! You clearly don't understand television."
"I UNDERSTAND IT WHEN IT'S SAYING LIES ABOUT ME!"
"Enough! Both of you!" Rachel roared. Her voice still had its effect, seeing as the two before her clammed up the moment she opened her mouth. "Now, Numbuh 10, what have I told you about spreading rumors about other operatives on your KNN program?"
"Rumors?" the beautiful, and redheaded, Numbuh 10 seemed appalled by her leader's implication. "Ma'am, I assure you everything I state on my news broadcasts are one hundred percent factual! If I even hinted a shred of questionable information my sources provided to me, I would not air it at all!"
Patton, whom was bristling with anger, felt the need to butt in. "Sources? That's rich! The only sources she has are the little voices inside her head!"
Numbuh 10 was quick to snap back. "See? There he goes again with his destructive criticism! Ma'am, how can you let someone like him be in charge of our recruits? The very spine of our great organization! Especially after the," her eyes shifted as she leaned in close to whisper in Rachel's ear, "cheese puff scandal."
Patton was able to hear her, but that was mostly due to the fact Numbuh 10 deliberately said it loud enough for him to hear. "That scandal never happened! YOU MADE THAT UP ABOUT ME TOO!"
Rachel did her best to try and bring the situation under control. "Stacey, I know you're usually very serious about how you run things in the Sector L studio, but Patton has a point. You do often tend to…exaggerate things concerning him."
Stacey only raised a shrewd brow as she dug around in her purse. "Exaggerate, hmm? Then I suppose these pictures of him sneaking into your private cheesecake stash are exaggerated as well?"
Rachel's expression turned to that of horror as she snatched the photos from the girl's hand. She flipped through them all, seeing clear images of Patton sneaking into her personal fridge and eating small slices of her personal cheesecakes. She slowly looked up to the boy with a very twitchy eye. "It…It was you…"
"D-Doctored! Those things are doctored!" Patton spluttered as he stole away the snapshots and ripped them into shreds. He then turned his raging eyes towards Stacey, who was smugly filing her nails. Just about everything she did irradiated smug. He hated that! "Where did you get these?"
"From a concerned voice, I had planned to air those on next week's broadcast," the esteemed Numbuh 10 answered. "You see, that's what my show is for. For operatives to speak out against injustices done by certain people in the chain of command–some who might even serve in the Arctic Base, possibly. On my show, their voices will be heard," she then smirked as she flipped her hair over her shoulder, "in the form of my voice."
Poor Patton looked about ready to strangle something. Something preferably with red hair and good looks. "You are the most inane she-devil I've had the displeasure of ever serving with in the entire history of ever-dom!"
On Earth, resting in bed after getting her tonsils removed, Fanny got the distinct feeling that she had suddenly been replaced.
Stacey made sure Rachel wasn't looking, then stuck her tongue out at the boy. When the blonde returned her gaze to her, she did her best to look completely innocent. "And now he admits to not being able to cooperate with another operative. Is that what the kind of attitude we want our recruits picking up?"
"Why you spoiled, puffed-up, no good–"
"One more word out of both of you, and I'm sending you on a recon mission with Numbuh 13!" Rachel snapped. Thankfully, the threat was good enough to earn her another minute of silence. "A circus everyday up here, I swear…"
"Hey, Numbuh 362 Sister-ma'am!"
Rachel turned away from Numbuh 60 and 10 at the sound of the new voice. The moment she turned her back, the two went at it again, but this time, she simply choose to ignore it in favor of greeting her brother. "Numbuh 363. You're back from that pick-up mission?"
"Yes, ma'am," Harvey happily replied as he held up a bulging burlap sack. "And I managed to pick up this bad boy all by myself, too."
Rachel looked amused as she crossed er arms. "Really now?"
"Yeah!…okay, so maybe my team helped a little."
"I said a lot," Harvey defensively corrected. He quickly shook his head and began bragging once more. "But they all wanted to go home and finish the delivery tomorrow because it was after curfew. But not me! I decided to take on the responsibility to complete the mission myself and deliver this package to Numbuh 101 a day early."
"So you were going to deliver that to Numbuh 101?" At his nod, Rachel smirked. "Numbuh 101, who is stationed at the KND museum." Harvey blinked, bits of realization creeping in his features. "The KND museum, which is located on Earth. Not the Moonbase." When her brother dropped his head down in shame, Rachel giggled as she tapped on his helmet. "Didn't really think that one through, did ya?"
Harvey brushed her hand away as he tried to think of an excuse. "B-But I did! I came up here to…uh…to uh, s-show you that I had the package! Ergo, I wouldn't need to send you a boring report after I delivered it! See, I knew what I was doing."
Rachel lightly smiled as she rolled her eyes. "How thoughtful of you, Harvey, but even so, you still have to file a mission report like everyone else, regardless of you showing me your ability to complete the mission or not."
"Aw man," Harvey whined, kicking at the floor. Great. In is excitement to brag to Rachel, he ended up wasting more time. What a dandy way to make an impression. "Those are so boooring though."
"You're preaching to the school choir there, bucko," Rachel sighed herself, thinking of all the paperwork she hadn't completed today. "What is that package anyway? I didn't look into that part of the details."
"Dunno," Harvey shrugged as he held up the sack. "Just a big rock-thing with some freaky Egyptian-y pictures on it. Numbuh 101 wants it for his new exhibit. Or school project. Can't really remember what he wanted it for. Knowing that weirdo, I probably don't wanna know."
Rachel shook her head. "What did the Egyptian Sector say about it?"
"See, now that's the crazy part," Harvey frowned, "when we met them at the dig site, they just shoved the thing in our hands. It's like they wanted to get rid of it or something."
"Hmm," Rachel mused, "how odd."
Suddenly, there was a massive quake that rumbled throughout the entire Moonbase. The odd tremor even reached Rachel and her party up on the command bridge. The lights flickered on and off, and the chatter of anxious operatives around her was instantaneous. The girl looked to her brother, who looked just as confused as she did. Her brows furrowed
She then turned to Patton, somehow hoping he might have a clue. "Any idea as to what that was?"
The boy shrugged. "Beats me."
"I bet the science nerds did it," Stacey suggested. "They mentioned something about inventing a new type of snot bomb during the last interview I had with them. Like we need another one of those gross things."
"Somehow, I don't think they–" Rachel was cut off when another quake tore through the base. Only this time, the effects were more drastic. The power behind the shake was so strong, it was enough to send everyone on the bridge to their knees. "What the crud is going on?"
"Numbuh 362!" a voice from the intercom blared, "We've got a situation down on deck beta three! W-We need maintenance down here stat!"
"What's going on?"
"I don't know. One minute we're sitting down for chocolate milk, the next there's all this–" the operative was cut off when something flared up in the background. It almost sounded like there was some type of storm going on. "HELP–zztzztztz–I CAN'T–ztztztzttz."
Rachel snapped up, an expression of apprehension dawning as she turned to her friends. "We need to get down to deck beta three, on the double!" She took off without another word, Patton and Stacey following behind. Harvey tagged along as well, carrying his burlap sack along with him.
As the four children ventured down the corridor, endless possibilities ran through their minds as to what had befallen their Moonbase. Candy Pirates? An attack from Father? Every new thought was worse than the last.
However, what they began to find was not what they expected at all.
"What the heck?" Patton was the first to notice as he looked down at his feet. "Are we…slogging through water?"
"You've got to be kidding," Stacey moaned as the cold water licked at her heels. "The one day I decided to wear sandals!"
"What kind of leak is this?" Rachel questioned as she stopped. "All the water pumps are located near the bottom of the Moonbase. Even if they all burst open, it would never reach up this far…"
Harvey turned away from his sister as he noticed a faint noise in the distance. When he peered down the hallway, his eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. "Uh, sis…"
"What is it, Harvey? I'm trying to find out where this water is coming from."
"Have you tried looking down the hall?"
It was then that she became aware of a strange noise, the sound of rushing water. Patton and Stacey heard the sound too, causing the two to look around in search of the strange sound's origins. Rachel's eyes widened in horror when she spotted the source. Further down the hall, one of the steel doors seemed to be bulging open, streams of water already stared to spew out. It was only a matter of time before the flood broke loose.
"OH NO!" Stacey suddenly cried out frantically. Around them, the walls had already begun leaking alarming amounts of water. Patton tried his best to cover the holes that gushed out water, but each time he covered one hole another one would gush out more water. No matter what he did the water kept getting through. He cried out in fear when he felt the water rise up to his ankles. Looking around, he saw torrents of water blanketing the walls, cascading the floor in waves rather than trickles.
Rachel, however, could never break her trance from the door. Finally, the moment she dreaded was upon them when the door gave one final creak.
"Everybody! Get back–"
The raging water surged forth, sweeping the kids off their feet. They rumbled and tumbled under the massive tidal wave, barely able to get a sense of what was up and what was down. The worse had passed as the level lowered once the surge ceased, but even so, it was not a comforting thought. For now with nothing to block it, the water surged in from who knows where, quickly gaining height as the kids tried to recover.
"Sis! Do something!" Harvey desperately called out as he tried to balance on his feet. The water by now was at their waist level. Wading over to his sister, Harvey tried to hold up his burlap sack containing precious mission cargo.
"What do we do, ma'am?" Patton shouted over the roar of water. The young boy had Stacey in his grip, doing his best to keep them both stable and to tilt his chin up to keep his head above the water.
Rachel frantically looked around for any signs of stopping the water. The solution struck her suddenly, and she couldn't suppress the hesitant expression that came with the revelation. "If this is station wide…then we're going to have to vent all this water out the emergency airlocks."
Stacey grimaced. "There's no other way?"
"Can you guzzle a kajillion gallons of water?" Rachel frowned. She then turned upwards, raising her voice and hoping the computer was still online. "Computer! Emergency protocol total suckage!"
"ATTENTION ALL MOONBASE OPERATIVES. PROTOCAL TOTAL SUCKAGE HAS BEEN INITATED. EVACUATE ALL AIRLOCK ZONES AND PLEASE KEEP YOUR HANDS AND FEET INSIDE THE MOONBASE AT ALL TIMES."
The four grabbed on to whatever they could as they awaited the water to drain out. However, they were suddenly jarred when the computer responded again.
"WARNING. FLOODING HAS CAUSED SEVERE MALFUNCTION. OPERATIVES ARE REMINDED NOT TO SPILL ANY LIQUIDS ON MOONBASE TERMINALS. THANK YOU."
"Arrrgh!" Rachel all but screamed. "Computer! What about emergency protocol total suckage?"
"MANUAL INPUT IS REQUIRED."
"Of course it is. Where's the nearest terminal?"
"IN THE LOUNGE. REMINDER: FREE SODA IN THE LOUNGE TODAY BETWEEN 0400 HOURS AND 1800 HOURS."
"That's right down the hall, and it's flooded!" Patton pointed out. "I'll go flip the switch!"
"You can't swim, Patton!" Stacey objected. "And I'm not making that up this time!"
"Ah ha! You admit you–"
"Harvey, keep them under control," Rachel mumbled. "I'll be back!"
"WARNING. CHANCES OF SUPREME LEADER SURVIVAL AT 0.0000000000000004758574444%. ROUNDING DOWN."
"Never tell me the odds, computer!" Taking a deep breath of air, the girl dived down below the water and made her way to the Moonbase lounge.
Harvey was barely holding up; the water was up to his chest now and the bottom of the sack he frantically held was being soaked. "Sis! Where are you?" he cried out, the fear evident in his voice.
Down below in the lounge, Rachel desperately swam down to the terminal to activate the failsafe switch. Grabbing the sides of the terminal, she punched the glowing green button with all her might. Her cry of joy came out as a mass of bubbles when the light buzzed red and the water around her started to go out the airlock. Her joy turned to terror when she realized she was being sucked towards the airlock as well. Arms wildly flailing through the water, she caught a break when she gripped a hold of the couch. After a certain wild birthday party last year, they had decided to bolt the thing down. The water levels were quickly falling and Rachel was able to take a huge gulp of air.
"PROTOCOL TOTAL SUCKAGE ENGAGED. OPERATIVES PLEASE REMEMBER THAT, IN CASE OF BEING SUCKED INTO THE VACUUM OF SPACE, TO BE CONSIDERATE OF THE PERSON NEXT TO YOU AND NOT SCREAM. THANK YOU."
She lay upon the soaked floor as the last of the water was drained, exhausted but glad to be safe from the danger of drowning. Getting up slowly, she took a moment to wring out some water from her clothes and shake the water from her hair.
Being just a bit drier, she made her way back to the others. She stepped back into the hallway, her shoulders sagged in exhaustion. She cast her tired eyes upon Harvey, who was busy protecting his soaked sack. She turned her eyes to Patton and Stacey, who were taking deep breaths as they helped the other stay standing. After letting out a sigh, Rachel herself leaned against the wall.
"Computer," Rachel coughed out, "is everyone still on board the base?"
"PROTOCOL TOTAL SUCKAGE COMPLETE. ALL MOONBASE OPERATIVES DETECTED ON BOARD MOONBASE."
"ALSO, YOU ARE FAT."
"ERROR. FOREIGN PRESENCE DETECTED IN OPERATING SYSTEM."
"Oh, come on," Patton groaned. "First we nearly drown, and now the computer is being hacked? Who the crud is doing this?"
"INSTALLATION OF FOREIGN PRESENCE COMPLETE. NOW RELEASING NEUROTOXIN."
Stacey's eyes widened. "We have neurotoxin?"
"ERROR. NO NEUROTOXIN LOCATED. ENGAGING DISAPPOINTMENT."
"Great," Rachel groaned. "Now the computer's gone crazy. Just what I need."
"ZzzzTzt–MOONBASE OPERATIVES. FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT WE WILL NOW PLAY SOOTHING MUSIC TO INCREASE ENJOYMENT CAPACITY. YOU SHALL ENJOY IT."
The four sat around quietly, almost dreading what the heck was going to happen next.
Suddenly, a small musical tone started to play, getting louder and louder. Patton, Harvey, and Stacey gasped in horror, yet Rachel frowned a bit. She recognized that tune. "Wait…this is–"
"THIS WAS A TRIUMPH."
"NOOOOOO!" Patton, Stacey, and Harvey screamed, trying to drown out the dreaded song. But the music just got louder and louder.
"I'M MAKING A NOTE HERE: HUGE SUCCESS."
Rachel blinked, looking strangely at the three. "What the heck is wrong with you guys?"
"This is a NERD song!" Patton cried out in pain. "Anyone cool and awesome like us normal people can't stand it! It burns my ear-drums! Ahhhh!"
"Coolness…fading…" Stacey weakly mumbled, "desire to go on internet forum…increasing…steeeeeeaaaaam…"
Rachel stared blankly at them. "You guys are making fun of me, aren't you?" Seeing them continue to cringe, she scoffed. "Come on, guys, it's a good game!"
"IT'S HARD TO OVERSTATE MY SATISFACTION."
Harvey didn't listen to her, instead he was frantically clutching at his ears trying to block out the music. "Just make it stop! Make it stop! Please!"
"Alright fine, be that way!" Rachel shouted through the music. She too was clutching her ears as the music was steadily getting louder. "Bunch of jerks…"
Hands clutching her ears, Rachel ran back up to the bridge to shut off the speakers to the Moonbase. She honestly loved the song, but the volume of it was mind-numbing and painful. That's what was going on. The computer was just turning up the pitch a little too much. She was sure those guys were just messing her because they knew she–
"TURN IT OFF!"
"VALVE! VALVE! VALVE!"
"I'M TURNING INTO A NERD!"
"You're all a bunch of babies!" Rachel hissed as she passed all the operatives moaning and groaning in the floor like pathetic wimps. She just couldn't understand why they were reacting the way they were. The song wasn't as bad as they were making it out to be.
"Stupid little," Rachel mumbled as she made her way to the intercom. Taking a hand off her ear, she signaled for a professional. "Numbuh 74.239? I need you shut off the speakers."
"Why in the name of gum would I do that? This song is great!"
"Just do it," she moaned. The boy let out a noise of dissatisfaction, but complied. After a moment, the Moonbase was met with silence once more. The operatives around her cried with relief, which she scoffed at. "Oh grow up, all of you!"
"You did it sis!" Harvey praised as he rushed in, his sack in tow. "Thank goodness! I couldn't take another second of that lame-o song!"
Rachel stared at the young boy evenly. "I'll remember that…"
"What in the Sam hill is going on around here?" Patton demanded to know as he stomped up to Rachel and Harvey. "First we get flooded, the computer gets hacked and tries to make us deaf, what next? We get tossed into the sun?"
"Please don't tempt fate, Numbuh 60," Rachel sighed. "I'll have 74.239 and his team shut down the computer and do a system scan. Someone is going to pay for all this."
"Crud!" Harvey cried, pulling out a soggy stone tablet from his sack. "That water got my package all wet! Now Numbuh 101 is gonna complain and hurt my sector's mission streak!"
"Harvey, this is a bit more important than your–"
Rachel froze, turning to Stacey. The girl had meekly called out her name, and she looked downright terrified. The red head noticed the blonde staring, and simply pointed upwards. Rachel followed her gaze, and gulped at what she saw.
From every single nook and cranny of the ceiling, walls, you name, hordes of Moonbase hamsters had gathered round. And for some reason or another, they did not look happy. At all. Their mouths were frozen in snarls, their paws were ready for clawing.
To put it frankly, the hamsters looked about ready to kill something.
"I-I knew it!" Stacey yelped as she ran behind Patton and Harvey for protection. "I told you all they would revolt! But would you listen? Noooooo!"
"Now is not the time," Rachel growled, doing her best to back away from the hamsters. They had suddenly started appearing everywhere. Even on the floor. The girl had to jerk her foot back when one tried to maul it. "What's gotten into them? They were fine a few minutes ago!"
"Well," Patton mumbled, "a few minutes ago, everything made sense."
"What is going on? Who's behind this?" Rachel asked for the hundredth time, and still got no answer. Suddenly, she paused when the computer suddenly came back online again.
"-AND NOW I ONLY WANT YOU–"
"NO!" Harvey screamed. He turned to the closest terminal, and began hammering away on it with his stone tablet. "NO! NO! NO! NO! NOOO!"
"HARVEY!" Rachel cried as she leapt for him, pushing him away from the terminal. However, she noticed the monitor blinking. Curious, turned on the connection, and Numbuh 65.3's suddenly face appeared. "Ugh, look, this is a really bad time, Herbert!"
"But it's important!" the child frantically waved. "I've had a transmission for you for the past ten minutes. It's this creepy guy who keeps calling and calling, and he won't leave me alone until you answer!"
"Oh for the love of," Rachel fumed. Her Moonbase was falling to shambles, and the hamsters were one bad rub away from killing anything that looked at them funny. "Patch it through! This had better be good."
"Roger. Incoming transmission:"
Rachel's nails drummed against the terminal, and she noticed Harvey, Patton, and Stacey gathering around her. She really wasn't in the mood to be crowded all of a sudden. And that fog settling in wasn't helping either.
Wait…fog? Why the heck was there fog on the Moonbase? Before she could even mouth the question, a chilling, ghostly voice spoke over the transmission line.
"Return the slab, or suffer my curse…"
Rachel, Patton, and Stacey slowly turned to look at Harvey. Or rather, the stone slab Harvey held in his hands. The boy himself looked upon the stone with a look of enlightenment. Well, that certainly explained why the Egyptian Sector was acting so darn weird when he and his team went to pick up the package.
But now, poor Harvey was in a dilemma. He could cave in to the voice's demands, and probably save all their lives in the process. But if he did that, then he would no longer have the slab. Meaning he would no longer be able to deliver it to Numbuh 101. Further meaning he would not be able to complete his mission.
Not completing the mission meant kissing that perfect mission streak buh-bye.
So, lifting his chin up high and holding the slab close to him, Harvey pushed past his stunned sister and pressed a button on the terminal to respond to voice.
"What's your offer?"
Insert clever author's note here. Riiiiight here.