Arlene and Jenny
It was a small face…
…in a small head…
…connected to an equally small body.
The face had beautiful blue eyes with well-trimmed eye brows and creamy soft skin. It was wearing a smiling mouth displaying perfect pearl white teeth.
“It’s Chad the Ugly!” said Arlene, her mouth dropping open.
The face said, “Good evening agents A and J.”
Both Jenny and Arlene immediately snapped to attention.
They both said in unison, “Good evening, Sir”
“Ladies, I have a very important mission for you.”
“We don’t have much time. An Earth squirrel has just contacted The Company. He has reportedly located two of The Company’s most wanted, Qbit and Tau.
Jenny asked, “Who?”
Chad paused a second, then repeated, “Qbit and Tau.”
“No, I heard that part, Sir. Who was it that made the report?”
Looking a little annoyed he repeated, “A squirrel.”
Chad turned his head slightly to the right, and down, just a bit. One eye brow lowered, and his face got a slight tinge of red to it. He said, “Yeah, a squirrel, you got a problem with that?
Arlene, still at attention, gave Jenny a hard smack in the side of her leg with the back of her hand. She whispered, “What are you doing? Shut up!”
Ignoring Arlene, Jenny said, “No, not at all Sir, no problem. But a squirrel? I didn’t know the company had squirrels as informants. Was it a gray one or a red one?”
Chad squinted his eyes, his face a brighter shade of red, and tilted his head closer to the camera. “She’s not an informant. She’s a valued member of The Company. It’s part of our equal opportunity employment plan. Can we get on with this?”
“Sure, sure. Sorry Sir, please continue.” Jenny turned to Arlene, smiled and mouthed the word squirrel!
Arlene just looks at her with disbelief, her mouth hanging open.
Chad, pulling himself together, continued, “Unfortunately, you two are the only agents that are close to their current location. The coordinates have been sent to your phone. Get out there as quick as you can to confirm the squirrel’s information. DO NOT ENGAGE! OBSERVE ONLY! Once you determine that the information is correct, text me. I repeat, DO NOT ENGAGE! Do you understand?!”
“Stay alert, she reported that her and her men came under small arms fire.”
Jenny, unable to control herself, turned to Arlene again and laughed. “Squirrels (jabbing at her arm with her finger) small arms.”
Arlene was frozen in disbelief.
Chad’s face was beet red. “You know what? Forget it!” He turned towards someone off camera and said, “We have to have someone else out there!”
Arlene managed to compose herself and yelled, “Sir, no, please. I’m terribly sorry. We can do it!”
Chad looked directly at her and said, “You better! Now get out there!”
As the screen went dark the last thing they heard was Chad saying, “Is it a red one or a gray one? Who the h…”
They both waited to make sure Chad was gone. The TV went fuzzy again. Arlene turned toward Jenny in disbelief. “I can’t believe you! It’s finally a chance to do a mission and you ask him if it was a red or gray squirrel! What is wrong with you?”
Jenny shrugged her shoulders and said, “I don’t know. It seemed like a good question at the time.”
Arlene shook her head again but her earlier excitement quickly returned. “Finally, a mission. If we do well maybe we can get off this stinking planet.”
“I don’t know. I kinda like being here. It’s not that bad.” Jenny went to the window. “I mean, look at that view. We don’t have anything like that at home.” Jenny gestured toward the distant broken rim of Mount St. Helens, just visible through the trees.
Arlene was only half listening. “Yeah, whatever. She paused then said, “You know, we could make a real name for ourselves with this mission.”
Jenny said, “Uh, oh” when she recognized Arlene’s coming up with an idea face. “What are you talking about and that look means trouble.”
“What if we brought them in ourselves?” Arlene said with a glint in her eye.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, we are supposed to observe only. You heard Chad. We’re supposed to signal him. Let him send the professionals to do any capturing. I mean, who’s the moron now?”
It was no use. Arlene had a plan and there was no changing her mind.
Arlene ran to the small pantry next to the stove. She stuck her head in, pulled out a couple of brooms, tossed them aside, reached in with both hands and pulled out a long metallic object, almost as tall as her. She hit a switch on the side and extensions popped out of both ends, making a satisfying “click” as they locked into place. Then, what looked like a trigger mechanism with two handles dropped from the bottom of the mid-section while a very sophisticated scope slowly rose from the top.
Watching the gun transform itself, Jenny started to feel the same rush that had affected Arlene.
“Maaybee….” she thought, picturing Chad handing them awards in front of a huge, roaring crowd. “You know that Tau guy is pretty big.”
Arlene, with a huge grin on her face, said, “Nothings too big when you have one of these! She held the gun across her chest and hit a switch. There was a loud click and a small flash of light from somewhere inside. Then, it started to make a pulsing, humming sound. A slow, low hum that quickly became higher and higher and louder and louder.
She yelled something to Jenny.
Arlene motioned her closer and moved the gun a little further away. She shouted into her ear, “GET YOUR PHONE AND TAKE A SELFIE!”
She nodded her understanding and reached over to the counter to pick up her phone. The gun was pulsing with light and humming so loud it was deafening. She positioned herself in front of Arlene, accidently brushing up against the gun. She could feel the gun’s energy pulsing through her as she did. She crouched down a little, so she didn’t block Arlene, lifted her phone, pointed it towards them both, and hit the button.
“Why is he called Chad the Ugly?” she said to herself.