My mind went back to that fateful night when I had follow Carina…#3 into The Spoof inner sanctum. I'd been a fool to follow her, but what man wouldn't have done the same, indeed, everyone in this room, save maybe Charpa had done the same. Now this odyssey, or was it an oddity, had brought us to a writer named Skoob laying on the stage with his feet and hands in the air, running like….a gerbil.
"This is the first part of the fever, " said Masterchev, "Harmless enough at this stage, but later tonight watch your back, he'll be wanting to mate anything with legs."
"How is that different from any other time?" asked Charpa sardonically.
"It wouldn't be," said Masterchev dry as the desert, "Except this virus is extremely contagious and if he kisses you…no if he breathes on you, that's all it will take. Next he'll experience false pregnancy symptoms which lasts the same length as normal gerbil gestation period. He will crave rotten raisenettes and Madonna's underwear."
"And after that?" asked Jaggedone, "Tell me now or I'll blow us all to kingdom come!!"
"That's it, you become a teenage pop queen wannabe, who wears garters, split crotch panties and sings like Lady GaGa with a bad cold."
"That's horrible!" said Charpa, "Let's shoot him now."
"No time for that," I said noticing the lights flickering, then they went out.
"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" somebody screamed.
"Who was that?" I asked,
But nobody answered, then the lights flickered and came back on, Charpa was on top of a table, Skoob was humping Jaggedone's leg and …..everyone else was missing.
I walked over to Scoob, "Sorry old boy ," I pulled out the tazer I had stolen from EQ during our first escape, Scoob wimpered to the floor, leaving Jaggedone looking extremely relieved.
"The little bastard! " said Jaggedone pulling his right foot back to kick him.
"Ah Ah!" I jumped in between them, "He can't help it and you've got to keep your strength, you're probably infected now too. Were all in danger of infection and someone or something is picking us off. Charpa what the bloody hell is the Oracle of Knowledge anyway?''
Charpa was about to answer when a familiar intoxicating voice hit me from behind, "It is power beyond your wildest dreams. It is freedom from Mark Lowton, QM, EQ, and XYZ."
"XYZ?" I asked as I turned to see #3.
"I just made that one up, I needed a third acronym," she said honestly, perhaps the first honest thing she had ever said to me, maybe things were looking up.
"I know where the Oracle is," said #3, "but to reach it I need help…help of someone I can trust.
"Oh no, no, no…no, no,no…no," I said, "I'm not falling for your pheromones again, I need proof your telling at least half of the truth."
"Fine," she said reaching into her cleavage, a move I wished I'd thought of first. She pulled out a yellowed paper roll tied by a ribbon. She placed it on the table and unrolled what looked like an old pirate map. Jaggedone and Charpa moved in closer to look with me.
"That's an island," said Charpa pointing to a place on the map with a large X mark on it.
#3 looked at her, "You're quite bright, I can see why Mark told me to eliminate you with the other smart ass writers," she said without looking at Charpa, "Yes it is an island and the x is where the Oracle is buried. I have sailboat waiting for us off of the pier, but I need your help."
"For what?" asked Jaggedone sarcastically, so you can get brownie points for handing us over personally to Mark?"
"No! It's not like that, I'm trapped like you. I'm risking my life to be here right now, in fact….I turned in my resignation…that's like a death sentence with Mark," she said with tears in her eyes for a moment, but then they were completely dry as if nothing had happened, was I the only one who saw them?
"What about the gerbil flu?" fluttered a girl like voice coming from the general direction of Skoob. He was sitting up now, holding his belly like a pregnant woman, "Does anyone have some garters I can borrow?"
"If you help me with this we can get you a vaccine…or all the split crotch panties you want," said #3, "So are we agreed?"
We all mumbled something uninspired, but willing. Willing to do something was better than sitting in this smelly cantina watching Skoob become Madonna.
"Oh and it's hardly worth mentioning but Mark has the Orb patrolling the streets for us, that's what happened to your other friends, we'll have to be careful getting to the pier."