Random Act of Fiction: The Upholsterer

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Random Act of Fiction: The Upholsterer

This is the beginning of a Babes in Spyland novel that I wrote almost ten years ago. It’s a bit painful to read – I’ve come a long way since then – but still fun!

This is the cover to the original Babes in Spyland.

Everything looked different upside down, Bunnynose decided, turning her head so she could see the entirety of the secret lair. Random scientific equipment lined the floor of the warehouse sized room, but most of it did not look as if it had a purpose other than to impress whomever came to visit. Tables with glass vials stood two deep at one end of the room next to an exceedingly unorganized table with three or four computers strewn about it. Two of the monitors were on and even from where Super Secret Agent Bunnynose hung from the rafters she could hear one of the hard drives chugging loudly. Probably downloading stuff from You Tupe, she thought dryly.

Finally, after what had to have been a good thirty minutes, someone came in to the giant room via a door in the far corner. Bunnynose had to wriggle like a worm on a hook in order to turn enough to be able to see her host.

“Caught already?” an unamused voice asked from the tall figure approaching. Bunnynose didn’t bother to answer, what was the point? “And where is your partner? I thought you and Super Secret Agent Milkshakes were supposed to be working this case together.”

“She got distracted by a cafe this morning, I haven’t seen her since.” Bunnynose knew she should not answer, as a matter of fact it was agency policy that you did not speak if you were captured, but there were times when the smart remarks simply slipped out of her mouth like dress shoes on icy walks. Besides, after hanging upside down for half an hour Bunnynose was getting irritable.

“Tsk, tsk,” the figure shook her head in disappointment. “I expected more from the two of you.” This time Bunnynose did not answer. Instead she allowed herself to turn back to her original position, following the woman walk towards a control panel. Predictably it was the winch that had Bunnynose hanging like a bungee jumper above a large vat of green, boiling liquid.

“I suppose I will just have to track her down after I’ve taken care of you.”

A slight movement from the corner of the building caught Agent Bunnynose’s attention, but she did not allow her eyes to track it. There was another from the ceiling, but it was so dark up there that Bunnynose could not tell what, or more likely who, it was.

“You could try,” Bunnynose said conversationally, “but I doubt you’ll find her. She’s much quicker than she looks, and she’s probably on her way here with back up.”

Amusement flew across the tall woman’s face as she looked up at Bunnynose, “I doubt she’ll get here before I plunge you into that vat there.”

Buying time Bunnynose took a gamble.

“What is this stuff anyway?” she asked. “it smells awful.”

“Ah,” the woman’s eyes lit up and Bunnynose knew she had hit the jackpot. If there was one thing all super villans loved to do it was tell you all about their plans for global domination or destruction. Not one of them that Bunnynose had ever met could resist sharing. Lucky for her Super Secret Supervisor Agent MUD was no different. Even in a simple training drill MUD had an evil plan, and sharing was one of her favorite things

“I had such plans,” MUD lamented, looking around, her hands still poised above the controls to the winch. “There was to be a super virus, first sent out on the world wide web via You Tupe on a video of Parry Hotter cos play. That was going to disrupt the entire internet, while on the other side of the world a pumped up strain of the parrot flu virus was to be released in the Shanghai airport.” MUD sighed. “You four were supposed to stop me.” A scowl and then a glare followed as MUD looked up at the dangling Bunnynose. “And then you go and get captured while Amphibian Queen and Sugar Lips were completely distracted by my false clues regarding terrorist activities in Cancun. Milkshakes is no where to be found!”

Now there was irritation bordering on anger in the Supervisor’s voice. “Agent Milkshakes hasn’t been seen in hours and you’re here! I thought you were my top agents.” With a flick of her finger MUD released the tension on the winch and Bunnynose began to fall.

“Wait!” Bunnynose cried. Her inevitable collision with the liquid below stopped about ten feet short of impact. “If the terrorists in Cancun weren’t involved then who is?”

MUD sighed again, genuinely disappointed. “I was working with Bear and the Iceland intelligence agency. No one would ever suspect them.”

“Hah!” a triumphant cry came from the upper, west corner of the room. Bunnynose recognized the ‘Hah’ immediately. Sugar Lips was here to rescue her.

MUD’s head whipped around and she searched the far corner.

“I knew it was Iceland!”

“Guards!” MUD bellowed.

“Oh, they’re all taking a well earned nap,” another voice said, this one much closer and on the ground. Super Secret Agent Milkshakes stepped out from behind a pile of crates, armed with her gun and grinning from ear to ear.

“You really need to get better help,” Super Secret Agent Amphibian Queen said, emerging from behind the computer table, disconnected cables in her hands. “And a better computer geek. These things are dinosaurs.”

MUD glared, but there was a hint of pride in her eyes.

“Now if you don’t mind,” Milkshakes said, taking a step forward, “Just move away from the control panel for me, hands in the air.”

Of course she didn’t. MUD flicked the switch and Bunnynose felt herself falling.

“Figures,” she said more to herself than anyone else. But the fall only lasted for a foot or so before she jerked to a stop once again. Right below her, out of the corner of the room, Super Secret Agent Sugar Lips swung on a cable. She had set up her trajectory to catch Bunnynose only a foot or so from the surface of the vat, but MUD had stopped her drop, allowing Sugar Lips to swing harmlessly below. Then Bunnynose felt the rope go lax and she fell with a splash into the green liquid below.

Milkshakes watched Sugar Lips miss Bunnynose. She tired to shoot at MUD before the woman could drop her partner, but it didn’t matter. The gun was a paint gun and MUD simply took the impact as she flicked the switch again, sending Bunnynose into the vat of boiling, green water. At least Milkshakes hoped it was water.

Above them Sugar Lips swung back and dropped just a few feet from MUD. Out of habbit she drew her weapon and pointed it at MUD, who put her hands up.

“Sloppy,” MUD said, shaking her head.

“No villian is going to think of that,” Sugar Lips complained, waving her hand above them. “You did that just to make Bunnynose mad.”

“She got caught,” MUD said, folding her arms over her stomach, looking like a stubborn child. “How many times to I have to tell the four of you that getting caught is not on any agenda?”

Milkshakes was moving towards the vat when a pair of hands, still tied together, popped up over the side. Bunnynose’s head followed and she took a gulp of air.

“That’s cold!” she yelled at MUD, although she didn’t seem too angry. Yet.

With ease Bunnynose pulled herself up the inside of the vat, over the edge, landing lightly on her feet, which were still tied together as well. As if on cue Amphibian Queen appeared with a knife, cutting the ropes first from Bunnynose’s feet and then her hands.

Milkshakes watched in amusement as Bunnynose shook the water out of her hair and clothes. When she figured out that the green dye was not going to come out easily Bunnynose was going to be upset.

“Sorry I missed you,” Sugar Lips apologized, shooting MUD a glare.

“That was clever,” Bunnynose shrugged, addressing MUD.

“No getting caught,” MUD said again, slapping the back of one hand into the palm of another. “Things won’t always work out.” Her features softened slightly. “You four are some of our best agents. You brought Chicken down not once, but twice. If one of you were to be captured by anyone who was even halfway intelligent we would all be at risk. The things you know could threaten not just our country, but the entire world! You need to be more careful.”

“Disable the power before we come in.” Amphibian Queen muttered, obviously already thinking about what she could have done differently.

This was not the reaction MUD wanted and she threw up her hands. “What did you do with my guards?”

“They’re all tied up on the roof.” Sugar Lips said with more than a little satisfaction.

MUD took a deep breath, closing her eyes. “This training exercise is over. Go get cleaned up. I’ll meet you in the locker rooms in ten minutes.” With that MUD strode off towards the door where she entered.

“Ten minutes?” Bunnynose complained, looking at the green-ness of her usually blond hair.

“In the locker room?” Sugar Lips frowned.

The four Super Secret Agents, and best friends, looked at one another suspiciously.

“MUD’s got something up her sleeve.” Milkshakes decided. And that, they all knew, was never a good thing.

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