Klaatu Barata Nikto Ch. 06bysourdough999©
It was fast becoming daylight and Klaatu didn't want to waste a moment. He didn't know if what he had in mind would work but it was better to try something than do nothing and watch Maya slowly die. He wrote a note and stuck it in an envelope. He turned to his mother who was still in a trance.
"Mom, I want you take this envelope. Walk outside. You'll see a couple of black SUVs down the street a bit. Walk toward the vehicles while holding the envelope high above your head. If they start to drive away just drop the envelope and walk back here. If someone gets out of either one of the vehicles drop the envelope and run back to me. If you get as close as Mr. Beckman's driveway, drop the envelope and walk back to me. Do you understand?"
"I understand," said Betsy. His mother's answer gave Klaatu a creepy feeling. It was totally devoid of personality. He didn't like it at all but the young man knew it would be a time saver since he didn't have to go through a detailed explanation his mother would insist on and then mess things up anyway. Betsy carried out her instructions without a hitch and was back inside within two minutes. Klaatu sat her down immediately and took her out of her trance. He swore never to put his mother in a trance again.
"Now what was I saying?"
"You were saying that I needed to help clean up the kitchen so you could get started cooking again."
"I'm sure you're right," his mother replied. "I'm glad you were paying attention because I guess I wasn't." Klaatu breathed a sigh of relief. He often wished his mother could somehow be changed and be what most people regarded as normal. Now he realized he loved his mom just as she was and didn't want her to change. On the way out to the trash his cell phone rang.
"This is Klaatu Smith."
"This is Reverend Bryce. Before you say another word I'm going to warn you not try any of that hocus pocus on me like you did with my wife."
"It won't work over the phone." Klaatu didn't know that for sure but he didn't want to try it and fail.
"What do you have on your mind, Mr. Smith?"
"I'd like to have a talk with you personally and see if we can work things out to our mutual advantage."
"Why should I bother," replied the minister. "A kidnapping complaint has been sworn out against you. Since you crossed state lines with the victim the FBI has become involved. You're in over your head, Mr. Smith."
"Maya came with me willingly and she'll testify to that effect. Besides, she's of age now anyway." Darn! This guy is playing for keeps thought Klaatu. Kidnapping?
"Maya's mother was declared incompetent by a court of law. Her parents were appointed guardians of Sarah and Maya. When the Lord called them to join Him in His kingdom, I was given the task of taking care of them. Both of them have been under my legal guardianship ever since and will continue to be until a court says otherwise. In any event you took Maya by force. That's kidnapping."
"I didn't use force."
"My wife said you used force and she'll testify to that effect."
"But Maya will testify otherwise."
"I'm sure you're polluting Maya's mind even as we speak. I've treated that girl like my own daughter and dedicated my life to saving her and her mother's souls from you Satan worshipers."
"How about we cut the bull, sir," said an exasperated young man. "You want Maya back so you can marry her off to your son and gain access to her money. I guess her mother's money wasn't enough for you, huh? How about I get Maya to sign over the loot and spare your son having to marry a girl who hates him?" There was silence on the line and Klaatu was beginning to wonder if he had lost the connection.
"I don't who you've been listening to but it's all a pack of lies. Maya and my son are very much in love with each other. Having said that, I want to know what you want in return for that signature."
"I don't want to negotiate everything over the phone. Are you in one of those cars outside my house or are you still in New Mexico?"
"I'm still in Alamogordokirky."
"That's fine. When you get here I'd like you to have Sarah Gilbert with you and a certain item of sentimental value."
Klaatu figured he'd have trouble convincing the reverend he wasn't joking when he said he wanted a spaghetti strainer that Sarah once had in her possession. He wasn't wrong. Still, the young man persisted and kept telling the corrupt minister that it was an item of sentimental value. Klaatu was afraid he was giving Bryce leverage by making the item seem extremely important but it couldn't be helped. He wanted that helmet in the hopes that it might save Maya's life.
Reverend Bryce said all of Sarah's possessions were placed in storage and it might take a couple of hours to find the item in question but he wasn't planning to leave by a private aircraft until that afternoon. They would meet in the early evening. Sarah Gilbert was a simpler matter. The man would be glad to get the crazy woman off his hands. After that he broke the connection. Now it was a matter of waiting until evening.
Maya was up and eating a couple of hours later. While she ate Klaatu briefed her on what his father told him and his conversation with Rev. Bryce. She took it surprisingly well.
"I'll go along with whatever you think is best, Klaatu," said Maya.
"You're certainly braver than I'd be." Maya shrugged her shoulders.
"It's not bravery. I just don't have any choice. If it wasn't for this life growing inside me I think I'd stop eating right now because this is no way to live. I just pray your father is right about this."
"I do too. Uh, there's one possibility you haven't considered to save your life."
"I know what you're going to suggest, Klaatu and the answer is no. I'm not going to have any abortion even if it might save my life."
"I just have this feeling it's the wrong thing to do. End of discussion.
Leastways, if I die, it'll be as a free woman. I'll also know that my mother will be free from that monster."
"Let's think positive, okay? Nobody is going to die."
"Okay," Maya replied. "Does Betsy know?"
"I thought it best not to tell her." Maya nodded her head in agreement.
"She's so excited about her grandchild." The young woman burst into tears and Klaatu felt a lump growing in his throat.
"Did I make something too spicy," Betsy asked as she put another platter on the table. "I'm sorry."
"Everything's fine, Betsy," Maya replied. "You're a wonderful cook. I think it's just my hormones acting up."
"I had those too when I was pregnant with Klaatu only a lot later. It hurt to sit, stand up or walk. I was miserable. I'll have Klaatu pick up some ointment the next time he goes to the grocers. Or would you prefer a suppository?"
"An ointment sounds fine, Betsy."
"Anyway, I hope the grandchildren think I'm a good cook. I plan on having them over for dinner every chance I get. You know, the strangest thing just happened. I was trying to talk to your father but all I got was static. That's never happened before. I hope everything's all right. Klaatu, could you talk to your father with your helmet and tell him he needs to get his batteries changed?"
"Right away, Mom." Klaatu rushed to his room. He slipped on the helmet. Nothing happened.
Klaatu was frantic. Who else could he go to for advice except his father? His father must have asked the Martian authorities for help. In response, they caught off his ability to communicate with Earth. Couldn't Dad have waited until I had something to report? Klaatu wasn't sure of what else could go wrong but it probably would just at the most inconvenient time.
"What's the matter," asked Maya. She and his mother were standing at his bedroom door.
"We've lost contact with my dad." He choked back a sob. "What'll I do now?"
"You'll do the best you can," the young woman replied.
"I always knew there was a possibility of losing your father," Betsy said. "He was on a very dangerous mission. I don't know if I'll ever hear from him again. I don't know if he's even alive. I do know that I was very lucky to have known him and to have given him a son. I know you'll do the right thing, Klaatu and make your father proud of you just like I am."
Klaatu nodded his head and remained silent. He was afraid of speaking because he might start babbling or crying again although he felt all cried out. The young man's mother suddenly looked ten years older with that quick little speech. It was as if she lost some of the joy of living like it had been just stripped away from her.
The only thing Klaatu could do now was to wait until Bryce's arrival. Well, he could also hope and pray that the Reverend Bryce was a man of his word. And that Maya's helmet made the changes necessary to survive her pregnancy. And that they could reestablish communications with his father. It was a lot to hope and pray for and Klaatu couldn't help feeling pessimistic.
The rest of the day dragged on. Betsy cooked. Maya ate. Klaatu washed the dishes and did other clean up. The high calorie foods purchased earlier that morning seemed to help sate Maya's appetite and she was able to take more frequent breaks from eating. It was late afternoon when Klaatu's cell phone rang. The young man's stomach was churning with anxiety when he answered it.
"This is Klaatu Smith."
"This is Rev. Bryce. We're here."
"Did you bring what I asked you to bring?"
"Then come on over and let's get this over with."
"Not so fast," Rev. Bryce replied. "There's an important condition you have to meet or this meeting ain't going to happen."
It was apparent Rev. Bryce had a healthy respect for Klaatu's hypnotic abilities. The young man would be required to wear a ball gag that could be fastened and then locked in the back. All of the important stuff had already been agreed to and Klaatu didn't see any point in protesting. He could still communicate with pen and paper if a detail had to be worked out. Klaatu wasn't to utter another word once one of the minister's men arrived at the front door to fasten the device. Bryce rang off and Klaatu quickly explained the situation to Betsy and Maya.
"I don't think I understand," said Betsy. "Can you explain that again?"
"Just trust me, Mom...or...ask Maya."
"This guy's a minister, Betsy," said Maya. "Ministers like to do all the talking with no interruptions."
"Oh, now I understand," Betsy replied. "See how easy it is when you explain things right the first time, Klaatu? Still, I think that's kind of drastic don't you think? I mean, I wouldn't want to be gagged or anything like that even if I needed to be which I don't." Klaatu only grunted. There was a knock on the door and he went to open it.
"Just turn around and open your mouth without saying a word, pal," said the man at the door. Klaatu did as he was ordered and a red ball was shoved into his mouth. He was essentially mute. The man signaled another. A minute later Klaatu saw some people coming up the walk. He recognized Sarah Gilbert and the other woman from the house Sarah identified as Mrs. Bryce. Three men accompanied them. The older one had to be Rev. Bryce. Another one was carrying a package which looked the right size for a spaghetti strainer.
"The younger guys are Bryce's goons," said Maya, "just like this guy." The man glared at Maya but kept silent.
"Good evening, folks," said Betsy as the group entered. "Welcome to my home. My name is Betsy Smith. Call me Betsy. This is my son, Klaatu. You can call him Klaatu. I'm sorry he can't speak right now. And this young lady is Miss Maya Gilbert. Oh, that's right. You know her, don't you. Would you care to sit down? May I get you something to drink? I hope you can stay for dinner. We have plenty to eat although Klaatu won't be able to eat or drink much with that thing in his mouth. I don't believe I caught your names." The older man appeared confused and then amused by Betsy's greeting.
"I'm the Reverend Russell C. Bryce of the First Church of Alamogordokirky in Alamogordokirky, New Mexico. This is my wife Norma, Maya's mother Sarah and these gentlemen are my associates George, John and Thomas."
"More like Larry, Moe and Curly," Maya replied. "Hello, Mother."
"Whore," Sarah muttered. She sat down and opened up her Bible. Maya blushed green and took a bite out of a Hostess Zinger.
"Tell me, Betsy," said Rev. Bryce. "Are you saved?"
"Oh, yes! I'm pretty frugal, you know."
"I mean...have you given yourself to the Lord? Uh, what church do you attend?"
"Well, I must admit I haven't attended church in a long while. But I do belong to Ispu. That sounds kind of naughty doesn't it but it stands for the Interplanetary Society for Peace and Understanding. We promote peace and understanding between people of all the planets. Isn't that wonderful?"
"Just as I thought," said Mrs. Bryce. "They're heathens."
"What did you say?"
"Well, I'm not a Martian. But Klaatu's father was a Martian and so was Maya's so that makes Klaatu and Maya half Martian. Isn't that right, Sarah?"
"Slut," Sarah murmured.
"Well, if I was a slut then what does that make you?" Betsy's retort surprised Klaatu. He never recalled hearing anger in his mother's voice.
"Thank you for your kind offer, Betsy, but we won't be partaking of any refreshments and we won't be staying for dinner," said Rev. Bryce. "We have some business to take care of here and then we'll be on our way." George handed Bryce a folder.
"We do have some papers for you to sign, Maya."
"Let me see." She started skimming through the pages. "I dunno. I wish I had a lawyer to look these over."
"Mr. Smith here sounded like he was in a hurry. This document gives you custody of your mother plus one spaghetti strainer that belongs to your mother. I hope you explain that to me before we leave. In return, you give up all rights to a trust set up in your name and assign it to the First Church of Alamogordokirky. It's very simple."
"I'll sign it then," said Maya. She did so and handed it back to the corrupt minister. He handed the papers to Klaatu and told him to witness the signature. This is going smoothly so far thought Klaatu. I just hope the helmet works. He handed back the signed and witnessed papers.
"Thank you very much," Rev. Bryce.
"Where's my mother's spaghetti strainer?"
"It's right here." Bryce nodded to George who took it out of the box he was holding and set it on a table. "I think this just about concludes our business."
"No," Sarah exclaimed. "Not...the...right one." Everyone was stunned into silence. Rev. Bryce was the first to recover.
"I assure you it's the same one you had in your possession some years ago, Sarah. Your memory is just faulty."
"Prove it, slut!" Klaatu screamed his outrage through his gag and began tearing at the straps but John and Thomas quickly restrained him.
"I believe you, Mother," said Maya. She sounded calm. "You know what? You got what you came for. You have my money. Now please just get out of our lives and leave us in peace."
"I like your attitude, Sarah," Rev. Bryce replied. "Shall we go?"
"We do have one last piece of business, dear," said Mrs. Bryce.
"Ah, yes. I just about forgot about that."
"And just what could that be," asked Maya.
"I intend to punish your friend for raping me."
"What? He never touched you."
"That's not what I remember," Mrs. Bryce replied. "He won't be able to seduce any more innocent women and girls after I've clipped off the tip of his tongue."
"Call the police, Betsy!" A gun appeared in George's hand.
"Oh my goodness," Betsy exclaimed. Klaatu renewed his struggles but it was useless against the two men holding him. The crazy bitch was going to mutilate him. He was so scared he was about to piss in his pants.
"Please don't let her do this, Reverend," Maya begged.
"He should consider himself lucky," Bryce replied. "My suggestion was to just kill him and get it over with." Mrs. Bryce removed a hypodermic needle and syringe from a case and placed a pair of scissors beside it.
"Say good-bye to your silver tongue, rapist," she said.
"If you lay one finger on that boy you're going to have me to deal with me," said Betsy.
"How are you going to stop me, bitch?"
"Do you see my engagement ring?"
"It looks like a cheap piece of junk."
"Well, it's not. It's actually an extremely rare facsimile of a Space Cadets secret decoder ring but cleverly hidden inside is a miniature ray gun which will blast you and your friends into tiny atoms if you don't release my son right this second and get the heck out of her. I've given you fair warning. Don't make me use this."
"You know what? You talk too much. I think I'm going to clip your tongue after I get through with him. Hold him down. I'm going to put him under."
"Then eat gamma rays, evil doer!" Betsy cried and clenched her fist. She looked very puzzled when nothing happened.
Klaatu screamed through his gag when he felt a rubber tourniquet being tied around his arm. He saw a bright flash of light and passed out.
Klaatu felt the gag being taken out of his mouth.
"I'm your friend," he rasped. "D-don't hurt me. Please!"
"No one's going to hurt you, son." Klaatu was having trouble seeing but the voice sounded familiar.
"How did you get here?"
"As quickly as I could."
"But...your illness. You're in danger, aren't you?"
"I was given the vaccine years ago but I was never told since they still wanted to punish me. So those bastards told me I was still ill. I couldn't go home to Mars and I couldn't return to Earth. However they can act quickly when the circumstances call for it." Klaatu's eyesight was clearing up and he was able to see his father.
"Everybody else is still unconscious. Apparently your mother blasted everyone with her ray gun including herself."
"Is she going to be all right? What about Maya?"
"Everyone will recover. That ray gun blast isn't fatal. I would never put that kind of power in your mother's hands. But I did warn her to never use it except in an extreme emergency."
"It was an emergency. That crazy woman there was going to cut out my tongue."
The Martian's face clouded with anger. "Suppose you tell me exactly what happened here." After a quick summary of the day's events, Klaatu's father confiscated the document Maya signed and put the Bryces and their associates in a collective trance. He ordered them to return to New Mexico with the instructions to confess their crimes to the local authorities and to provide the evidence to prosecute them.
He next revived Maya and gave her an injection to stabilize her condition. He revived Betsy and Sarah last.
"Darling, is that you?"
"It's me, Betsy."
"Well, then I know this is just a dream but I'm going to say it anyway. I'm never going to let you leave my side ever again. I don't care if the whole galaxy explodes because of it. Do you understand that, mister?"
"Well, then it looks like you're coming to Mars with me."
"That sounds like fun. Can we all come?"
"I don't see why not. I have to deliver the next queen of Mars to her people."
"Maya is the next queen of Mars."
"What are you talking about? I'm no queen."
"There's a thousand year old prophecy that a future queen of Mars will be born on another planet. Also, she won't be a full blooded Martian."
"But I suppose that could be someone else in the future on an entirely different planet."
"The scan I did of your body confirms the prophecy. You're carrying over a thousand viable eggs in your womb; all little Martians."
"That's impossible! I can't carry that many babies."
"You'll have help. But that help can only come on Mars."
"My gosh! Well, it looks like I'm going to Mars."