Jim pulled at the knob to the door on the roof. It wouldn’t budge. He glanced over at a lit key pad with letters and numbers and shook his head. “No way to know the combination.” He told Diane and drew his pistol.
She put her hand on his wrist. “He may have it rigged to blow this whole rooftop off if you do that. Let me try.”
He shrugged and stepped back as she examined the key board. Behind him shouts and gun shots rang out. There was a shouted command from Mister Scroop and a volley of shots rang out. Mister Scroop yelled again and there was a stampede as the mob followed him in the attack. Jim glanced over at Diane and then his mouth fell as open as the door into the interior. “How?” He said as they descended the stairs.
She smiled. “Your father is an egotist. He never bothered to change the combination. Since the pad was protected from rain but had to be accessed, air with dust got in. The clean keys with the fingerprints were the ones he used all the time. There were 5 of them.”
“But how did you know what order to put them in?”
She smiled again. “The letters were A-E-M-J-S. What order would an over-confident egotist put them in?”
“J-A-M-E-S.” Jim cursed. “Diane you’re a genius.” He reached out and squeezed her shoulder. She threw him a smile which lit up her face and sent a tremor through him.
They continued down several more flights and then paused in front of a door. Diane put a hand out to shove it open but he stopped her. “He’s an egotist, not stupid. He stepped in front of her and used the mussel of the pistol to shove it open. As it swung wide, a network of laser beams speared across the opening. “See.” He reached up and ran his hand along the door lintel. “There should be a switch somewhere. Aha. Here it is.” The beams winked out. Jim swung his gun barrel through the open doorway. No more beams flared up in response.
They stepped through into what looked like a mad scientist’s lab. Lights flashed up and down columns and ran across the faces of machines. What looked like pin wheels spun in stands on top of each machine. “Let’s check it out and see if we can find the Key.” Jim told her. She nodded and they separated.
Jim was examining a device with a large screen when it suddenly lit up. “Hello, Jimmy.” A very familiar voice said.
“Ben Gun.” He gasped. “What are you doing here?”
The image of the robot shrugged. “I was part of the original game and the Master decided he should add some continuity. So, here I am.”
“But you were back at the Inn. You were on the staff.”
Ben looked sheepish. “I took some vacation time. My employee first and last has always been the Park. Our motto is to always give the customer a good time.”
“What did you tell my mother? She liked you. She’s going to worry about you.”
Ben looked even more embarrassed. “I’m afraid she must think the worst of me. I was given no time to leave a note. The Master said it would be too revealing of the plot line. They snatched me using a device like the Key and the next minute I was here inside this stupid box.”
“The Key? Do you know where it is?”
Ben looked affronted. “Of course I do. It’s right here inside this box with me.” He held up the golden ball.
“Ben, I need that Key. We need to stop Flint.” Jim looked frantically around the lit up board. “Where’s the release mechanism?”
“Could we play twenty questions first? I really liked that game.” Ben seemed to be scuffing his feet.
“Ben, my father is going to come back at any time. We don’t have time for this.”
“Well, you could push all the letters in reverse order.”
Jim frantically did as Ben requested but there was no response. “Ben, it didn’t work.”
Ben smiled. “Got you, Jimmy.”
“Ben!” Jim shouted.
“You should see your face.” The robot chuckled.
“I’m about to see yours.” Jim said as he drew his pistol and cocked it.
“There’s no need for violence, Jimmy. I hoped you had out grown that. Just push the red button.”
Jim looked at the board. “Ben, there are seven red buttons. Which is the right one?”
A big red arrow labeled “THIS BUTTON” flashed above one of them. Jim savagely hit it and the box split open.
“Jimmy!!” Ben Gun stepped out of the box as it split open and swung him off his feet. “It’s so good to see you. Especially after having to put up with your Dad. Sheesh!” He leaned close and whispered conspiratorially. “He’s off his frigging rocker, don’t you know?”
“I kind of gathered that.” Jim managed to gasp out before Ben set him on his feet. “The Key, Ben.” The robot silently handed him the glowing ball. “We’ve got it!” Jim shouted.
Ben scratched his head. “It seems there was something else I needed to tell you.”
“Jim.” Diane’s voice said behind him. “You have to see this.”
They both turned to see Diane cradling a softly cooing baby in her arms. Jim frowned. “Whose baby is that?”
Ben shuffled his feet. “That’s what I forgot. Jimmy, meet your sister.”