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The Dunjyn Asylum Escape

By JA All Rights Reserved ©

Horror / Fantasy

J.A. Ireland

Chapter One

Twenty Years Ago

On the grassy Sesla sea floor, just off the coast of Tos-Xiron, Sesla’s only seaport, south of Kinkorx, the giant sea doxer was hungrily swimming along and through the tall sea grasses on the sea floor, as the storm raged above on the surface.  Demontro, the massive sea doxer, is one of countless giant doxers that lives and thrives in the mystical Sesla sea.  The doxers have thrived in the mysterious Sesla seawaters since the forming of the enchanted planet, in the Whirlpool Galaxy.

As Demontro swam through another patch of tall sea grass, his extremely powerful, almost magical doxer senses, caught a slight motion in the currents far up ahead.  “What was that?” he thought as he paused to sniff with his extremely powerful, enchanted doxer nose.  “Yes,” he thought as he smiled, “I smell a tasty fish.  My next meal is just up ahead.”

The giant doxer slowly swam through the sea grasses and weeds toward the unsuspecting Seslean fish as his natural, super-senses continued to alert him of the smell and movement of a fish up ahead.  Demontro’s mouth was already creating the venom that he would to paralyze his victim when he bit into it.

As the giant, six foot long, elongated eel-like predator fish swam; he guided himself with his pectoral fins and propelled himself with his caudal fin.  His full body dorsal fin that began at his forehead just above his eyes and ran along his back to his caudal fin sliced through the churning waters.  As it cut through the storming waters, the hypodermic needle dorsal fins emitted small amounts of the sea doxer’s deadly venom into the water.

Demontro’s mouth was rapidly producing his deadly venom as he approached the unsuspecting fish that was casually feeding on the algae on the sea grass.  Demontro smiled as he approached his victim.  He paused to open his venom-filled mouth to taste the tiny amount of flavor in the water from the fish that was being carried by the currents to him.  “I can taste my next meal,” he thought, “The fish is delicious.”

He continued to swim slowly in the currents toward his tasty meal with his mouth slightly opened while emitting his deadly venom from his mouth and dorsal fin into the water.

Demontro paused to enjoy the taste and smell in the current as his stomach growled.  His enchanted, extremely powerful, natural doxer senses registered every move the small fish was making while his magical sense of smell and taste allowed him to enjoy the fish while it was still a distance away.  His mouth and dorsal fin were rapidly secreting his venom into the seawater as he paused.

He began to swim faster toward the feeding fish as it remained oblivious to the rapidly approaching dominate predator.  His mouth rapidly secreted the poison as he approached.

The defenseless fish was enjoying a quiet meal of algae in the sea grass.  Due to its minimal senses, it was still unaware of the looming danger as it fed.

Demontro hurried toward the small, unsuspecting fish as his mouth continued to rapidly produce the venom.  “There you are,” he thought as he became in eye range of the feeding fish, “Don’t you look tasty.”

As the small fish remained unaware, Demontro swam closer.  He opened his mouth wider as he approached.  “You taste delicious,” he thought as he rapidly approached the unsuspecting fish with his venom flowing out of his open mouth and through his dorsal fin while smelling and tasting it with his natural super-senses.

As Demontro rapidly swam through the tall sea grass, he opened his mouth wide as he anticipated one lethal bite into his prey.

As he closed in on the feeding, unaware fish, suddenly it saw a glimpse of the charging giant predator.  “Ahhh!” yelled the small fish as he saw the approaching danger, “Oh no!”  He frantically swam away as the giant, enchanted, unchallenged predator attacked.

Demontro aimed for the head of the powerless, defenseless fish as he bit down hard.  The fish was very fast as Demontro sunk his sharp row of mouth bone into the rapidly escaping fish’s tail.  Demontro released his cutting grip allowing the small fish rapidly escaped.  He laughed as he saw the fish frantically swimming away.  “Ha!  Ha!.., Let’s see how far you can swim now,” he said as he laughed.  He licked his mouth.  “Tasty.  I can’t wait to take a bit of my food,” he thought as he licked his lips.

He paused to enjoy the moment as his natural, super-senses felt the frantic flipping in the water ahead.  “I see my venom is working.  My tasty fish has stopped swimming.  It’s jerking in the water,” he thought.  He laughed, “Ha!...ha!...It won’t be long now,” he said as he laughed.

The doxer’s powerful venom was quickly taking control of the small fish’s body.  The helpless fish was experiencing the paralysis from the sea doxer’s poisonous venom.  Soon, the psychosis that includes prolonged bewilderment, mania – that has delusions, hallucinations, incoherence, and distorted perceptions of reality, would also begin.  The powerful doxer venom was quickly rendering the fish helpless in the water.

“The movement has stopped,” thought Demontro as he used his natural, enchanted senses, “It’s time for my tasty meal.”  He began swimming toward the fish as his natural, magical senses pointed the way.

Very soon, “There’s my delicious fish,” he thought as he swam toward the helpless fish.  It was lying on the sea floor with a deep cut in its tail.  It was paralyzed from the powerful doxer venom.  As it lies motionless on the sea floor, the doxer fever schizophrenia was taking control of its mind.

Demontro approached the helpless victim on the sea floor.  “My meal awaits,” he thought as he licked his lips.  He nestled down into the sea grass, made a comfortable bed next to the paralyzed, delusional fish, and began to enjoy his tasty meal.

Luckily for the doxer fever stricken fish, it would not live long enough to experience the mutations that would soon follow.  It would soon begin the mutation process into a dis-figured sea doxer, due to doxer fever, if it lived.

Meanwhile: On The Shore

On the dock at Tos-Xiron south of Kinkorx, Rydon Nekuma and his wife Lyndi Nekuma and their son Art were fishing.  Fishing was a favorite pastime of Rydon’s that his wife Lyndi occasionally tolerated.

They had been leisurely fishing from the dock most of the day without catching anything.  Lyndi was getting bored and tired as the afternoon progressed while holding their infant son, Art.  “It’s getting late.  We’ve been fishing all day.  Art has had enough sun for one day.  Don’t you think it’s time to go home?” said the bored and tired Lyndi.

Rydon shook his head at his wife as he continued to fish.  “Not yet!  We still haven’t caught anything for dinner.  Let’s fish a little longer,” insisted Rydon as he cast his line again.

As Lyndi ignored her line and held her infant son, another half hour past.  “I’m getting tired.  We need to get home.  I don’t have anything else to feed Art when he wakes from his nap,” she stated as she stood under an awning on the pear in the shade, while holding Art.

He looked at her with irritation.  “Just a few more minutes.  Art’s fine.  We’ll leave soon,” said the irritated Rydon as he cast his line again.

Lyndi signed as she held her infant son while moving him back and forth in her arms, in the shade of the canopy.  “I hope he doesn’t wake up.  I don’t have any food.  I won’t be able to stop his crying,” she said with irritation.

As Rydon ignored his impatient wife, his line began to move.  “Well, what do you know?  Finally!  I’ve got a bit,” he said with excitement, “It’s a good thing we stayed a little longer.”  He gave his wife an “I told you so look” as he reeled in his prize.

As Rydon Nekuma reeled in his line, he saw the small sea doxer that he had caught.  As he pulled it onto the dock, it came loose from the line.  Being playful, he picked up the doxer without touching its poisonous dorsal fin or mouth and tossed it at Lyndi Nekuma as she held their infant son, Art.

As Lyndi watched in horror, while protecting her son, the doxer hit her in the chest and rolled down her tiny frame.  It’s poisonous, rigid, sharp dorsal fin pricked her several times in the chest and stomach as it rolled to the dock.  With terror, she jerked sideways to protect her son and yelled,   “What are you trying to do… kill us?”

He playfully replied as he snickered, “What?” he chuckled, “Are you worried about doxer fever?  I’ve had it before.  It’s nothing, just a myth.  You might get a rash, at the very worst.  Just relax.”

The doxer’s poisonous venom immediately began to take control of her body.  The paralysis began.  She began to collapse.  “What’s wrong?” asked Rydon loudly as he grabbed her with one arm while grabbing their infant son, Art, in the other arm.

Rydon attempted to cushion her fall, while clutching their son tightly.  As she collapsed and lay struggling on the ground, the psychosis began.  She began to experience bewilderment, accompanied by mania, and delusions that were also associated with doxer fever.

An alert shop owner called for an ambulance immediately.  In only minutes, as Rydon held their now crying son, an ambulance pulled up.  Two drivers frantically jumped out.

They quickly evaluated the deathly ill mother lying on the dock.  They saw the redness and swelling on her chest and stomach as well as the sea doxer that was still flapping next to her.  “We need to get her to Tos-Xiron Mitzid Hospital is fast as possible,” said the driver to Rydon who was bewilderedly holding his infant son.  “Yes,” said Rydon, “Hurry!”

The drivers strapped her in a bed on wheels and rolled her to the ambulance.  They quickly shoved her inside.  They rushed her to the hospital that was only minutes away.

Once at Tos-Xiron Mitzid, she was immediately admitted and treated for doxer fever.  She was in the hospital there for several days while the doxer fever specialists attempted to control the advancing disease.  It was only due to the fast care that she received at that medical facility, on that dreadful day, that her doxer fever was somewhat controlled.

Because Of That Terrible Day

As Art grew up in their very poor home in Wyluxx City, his mother was in and out of Wyluxx City Memorial Hospital countless times due to her advancing symptoms of doxer fever.  She was slowly mutating into a half Seslean and half sea doxer with the accompanying mental illness.  The doctors were able to somewhat control and slow her advancing symptoms.

By the time Art graduated from high school, Lyndi’s condition had advanced to the point that she required an institution for her own safety.  The privately funded, Dunjyn Asylum, in Wyluxx City was his only option due to his lack of Joxels, desert territory currency.

After that tragic day in Tos-Xiron, Lyndi refused to speak to or see Rydon again.  She kicked him out of their decrepit home.  She even forbade him to visit his son.  She became a very angry and bitter, doxer fever stricken, Pirtt-Coterie, a resident of the desert.  She now remains a mentally insane, doxer fever mutant confined with no hope in the Dunjyn Asylum.

Chapter Two

Thirty Days Ago

The Sesla seas were welcoming as Rydon Nekuma, the Tos-Xiron resident, was steering his rented fishing boat.  Her breeze was calm, her waters steady, and her Sun was warm as he steered the older, leased schooner into position.

Soon, his position was perfect.  He dropped the anchor and quickly baited his numerous hooks and dropped the lines.

This part of the Sesla Sea was abundant with her marine life and fishing with a net is illegal.  In much of the Sesla Sea, fishing is limited to a hook and line by the local authorities.  This area of her sea was under that ordinance.

As Sesla’s sun shone brightly on his face, he waited patiently for his first fish.

A Brief Time Later

Rydon’s lines were moving.  “I’ve got fish!” he exclaimed excitedly, “I need a big catch today.”  He quickly retrieved his catch.  One by one, he removed them from his line,  re-baited the hooks, and dropped the lines again.  “I’m doing great today,” he said excitedly as he worked very steadily at his solitary trade.

As the day progressed, he not only caught numerous fish, he also snagged several much sought after sea doxers.  The doxer is a favorite in restaurants.  Many Sesleans consider them very tasty.  “The doxers sell for more Joxels that the fish,” he thought as he began to count his profits, “So far, I’m going great.  I’m making a lot of money.”

By the afternoon, he was feeling confident about his catch.  “If my luck holds out, this will be a very good day,” he exclaimed as he fished.

Suddenly, Sesla’s weather started to change.  Her clouds began to roll.  Her wind started to blow.  Her once calm waters were very choppy.

He was worried as Sesla’s weather worsened.  “I need to continue fishing.  I need more fish and doxers to sell at the market.  I really need a big catch today.  The rent on my boat is due.  I don’t have the Joxels yet.  I can’t be short again this month.  Mr. Zinqwin won’t tolerate me being short on my rent two months in a row.  Without a big catch today, I’m going to lose my boat,” he muttered as he stared at the churning, darkening Sesla sky.

He took a moment to examine Sesla’s darkening sky as his rented boat was being tossed by the increasingly rough Sesla sea.  He thought, “She seems angry, I don’t know why.  For my own safety, I need to pull up the anchor and get back to the port as quickly as possible.”

He frantically reeled in the anchor and raised the sails.  He began his disappointing and turbulent journey back to the dock.

As he speedily sailed back to the port at Tos-Xiron, Sesla blew her strong winds.  Her waters rolled.  She also began to deliver a horrific downpour.  He was completely drenched as he frantically sailed.

He was discouraged and frightened as he sailed at full speed through the turbulent waters, during the downpour, back to the marina at Tos-Xiron.

Once At The Dock
Rydon rapidly began tying down his rented, drenched schooner.  Sesla’s horrific downpour lessoned as he tied the ropes.  While being distracted by the unexpected weather and deep in thought about his dismal financial situation, he quickly finished tying down his rented schooner and began to unload his small catch.

He seemed to be on autopilot, not really paying attention to the proper handling of his cargo, as he quickly began to unload his fish and doxers into the market carts.

While being distracted by his financial hardship, he unknowingly and unwisely handled the fish and sea doxers without gloves.  Numerous sea doxer’s ridged dorsal fins stabbed him on both of his hands as he frantically worked, oblivious to his dangerous actions.

Rydon quickly placed his numerous fish and doxers in the fish carts and began pushing them to the market.  As he pushed, he was still unaware that he had forgotten to wear his gloves.

The carts were difficult to roll on the rough surface of the waterfront decking as he wheeled them into the market, oblivious to the enormous risk he had just taken.

Mr. Zinqwin, the owner of Rydon’s rented fishing boat, was standing a short distance from the fish market while watching Rydon push his cart.  He patiently waited for Rydon to exit the market.

A short time later, a very disappointed and soaked Rydon depressingly walked out of the fish market.  He was short on his rent again.  As he exited the market, he was oblivious to the redness and pain in both of his hands.  He slowly and depressingly began walking down the long dock toward his rented room.

“Rydon,” said Mr. Zinqwin, “How was your catch today?”

He was worried as he replied, “My catch was a little short today.  I had to quit early due to Sesla’s weather.”

Mr. Zinqwin coyly chuckled.  “Sorry to hear that.  Your boat rent is due.  Do you have my Joxels?”

He nervously frowned.  “I’m a little short this month.  I’ll make it up next month.”  He smiled sheepishly as he handed Mr. Zinqwin his reduced amount of rent money.

Mr. Zinqwin shook his head in disappointment as he accepted the short amount.  “This makes two months in a row that you’re short.  Next month, you’ll owe the full rent, plus the shortages.  If you’re short next month, I’m taking my boat back.  Understand?”

He embarrassingly replied, “Thanks Mr. Zinqwin.  I’ll make it all up next month.”

Mr. Zinqwin shook his head in disbelief.  “That would be wise if you want to use my boat.  Remember, I’m giving you a deal.  I can get more rent from anyone else.  Many residents would like to have my schooner for their fishing business.  Don’t forget that.”  He paused as he stared at Rydon’s red hands.  “Your hands don’t look very good.  Maybe you should see a doctor,” he said.

Rydon glanced at his red, swollen, rash covered hands.  He said, “They’re fine.”  He was still completely unaware of his extremely foolish act while unloading his doxers.

Later That Same Night; Still Thirty Days Ago
Rydon was sitting on his well-worn couch in his small, rented room.  He was watching the local channel on his very small, outdated TV set.  He was struggling to hold his glass as he sipped his drink.  His hands were painfully swollen, and covered in a rash.

As he watched TV and painfully sipped from his glass, he recalled his conversation with Mr. Punmirre, the owner of his rented room, several days ago when he gave him the short amount of rent money.

Mr. Punmirre gave him notice.  “You were short last month.  Now, you’re short again.  If you’re short again next month, I will evict you.  I will throw you out.  Do I make myself clear?”

He took a large drink from his glass as he also recalled his conversation earlier today with Mr. Zinqwin, the owner of his rented boat.  He recalled Mr. Zinqwin’s threat of taking his boat away from him and his advice to see a doctor concerning his hands.

He took another large drink from his glass and further contemplated his financial dilemma.  He continued to ignore his painfully swollen, rash covered hands.

Fourteen Days Ago
Rydon was lying on his small bed in his rented room in Tos-Xiron.  He was burning up with fever.  His red rash covered arms and hands were unbearably painful.  The grotesque red rash was spreading to his body.  He thought as he lay feverous on his bed, “I need to go to Tos-Xiron Mitzid Hospital.”

He slowly and painfully crawled out of his drooping bed.  His clothes that he was wearing were soaked with his fever perspiration.  He slowly and painfully put on fresh clothes.

He slowly exited his rented room and entered his small, older car.  He had trouble focusing as he drove due to his high fever.  He incoherently drove the short distance to Tos-Xiron Mitzid Emergency Entrance.  He parked and hobbled inside.

The emergency room attendants quickly surrounded him and evaluated his condition.  The staff recognized his condition and assigned Dr. Teqre Zewio, doxer fever specialists, to his case.  The staff took him straight to a room.

Dr. Zewio was notified of his new patient.  He prescribed the overnight treatment.  He would check on the progress of his new patient tomorrow morning.

Morning; Thirteen Days Ago
Dr. Zewio entered Rydon Nekuma’s room.  “How are you feeling?” he asked as he reviewed the charts.

Rydon painfully replied from his hospital bed, “A little better.  Last night was scary.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”

Dr. Zewio replied, “Your fever was very high last night.  It is lower today.  How is your rash?  Let me have a look.”  He rolled back Rydon’s blanket.  “Your rash is a little better.  It isn’t as red as was reported last night.  It seems to cover both of your hands, arms, and much of your torso.”  He paused to check the charts again.  “How did you acquire doxer fever?” he asked.

Rydon was shocked as he stated, “That’s impossible!  I don’t have doxer fever.”  Suddenly he remembered the storm.  “While being distracted by a storm and my financial concerns, I unloaded the fish and doxers from my boat without my gloves.  The doxer’s ridged dorsal fins stabbed me several times on both of my hands.  I didn’t even notice.  I was so distracted,” he said as a panic began.  He looked at Dr. Zewio with horror.  “Am I going to mutate?” he asked as he trembled.

Dr. Zewio replied, “At this point, I couldn’t say.  Doxer fever is a little different for each patient.  When did you encounter the doxers?”

Rydon replied as he trembled from fear, “Maybe two weeks ago.  I’m not really sure.”

Dr. Zewio was surprised as he replied, “Usually the doxer’s venom reacts much faster than that.  With many victims, it’s instantaneous.  Your symptoms are developing much slower than usual.”

Rydon replied as he trembled, “I had a small case of doxer fever once before.  I only got a small rash.  It was nothing.”

“That could explain it.  You might have some resistance to the doxer’s venom,” he said with hope.

Rydon looked hopeful as well.  “Do you think that will help?  Do you think that will stop me from mutating?” he asked as he trembled.

Dr. Zewio responded, “Only time will tell.  For now, I’m going to keep you one more day and continue with the medications that I have you on.  Your symptoms should go into remission, at least for a while.  Again, only time will tell.”

Terror gripped him as he said, “You mean, I’m going to be sick again?”

Dr. Zewio replied, “I’m afraid that’s the nature of doxer fever.  The symptoms seem to repeat.  We will get you feeling better and send you home.”  He quickly exited the room.

Instantly, he recalled Lyndi’s doxer fever.  He thought, “Her condition has slowly progressed to the point that she is in Dunjyn Asylum.”  He was horrified.  He began to imagine and fear the horrific possibilities of his mutations…

Seven Days Ago
Rydon Nekuma was lying in the hospital bed at Tos-Xiron Mitzid Hospital, again.  The high fever from his doxer fever had returned.  He was very sick again.  He was terrified as he laid waiting for Dr. Teqre Zewio, the doxer fever specialist.

Thirty minutes later: Dr. Zewio entered his room and began reading his charts again.  “I see your back.  How do you feel?” he asked.

“Not so good,” replied, the very ill Rydon, slowly.

“I see from your charts that you came in late last night with the same high fever and painful rash.  The staff restarted you on the same medications as I prescribed before.  Do you feel they are working?” asked Dr. Zewio.

“I’m not sure.  I don’t feel very good right now.  Is there anything else you can do?” asked the frightened Rydon as he trembled.

“Let me take a look at your rash,” said Dr. Zewio as he rolled back his blanket.  “Your rash is covering your torso.”  He was alarmed at what he saw.  “I’m afraid the mutations have begun.  Your hands and arms are in the beginning phase of mutating into doxer fins.”

Dr. Zewio rolled back the blanket on Rydon’s legs.  The sight was equally alarming.  “It would appear that your legs are also mutating.  Your feet are mutating into fins as well.  You’re also forming a dorsal fin.  Are you experiencing bewilderment, psychosis, or incoherence?” he asked.

With horror, Rydon replied, “I don’t know,” he replied as his inner fear and horror exploded.

Dr. Zewio replied, “That would be normal.  Patients with those symptoms are usually not aware of their condition.”  He scanned Rydon’s chart again.  “At least your fever is subsided again.  I’m afraid at this point, there isn’t anything more I can do for you.  I will have you discharged.  When the fever returns, give us another visit if you like.  I put your medications on your medical records in case you need to return here or somewhere else.  I want to make it as easy as possible for you,” he said as he put the charts away and exited the room.

Rydon was horrified.  He thought, “I’m mutating.  I’m going to be just like Lyndi.  I’m going to end up in a doxer fever asylum.”  As he waited for the staff to discharge him, he continued with his frightening and horrifying thoughts and predictions about his grim future as a doxer fever mutant…

Still Seven Days Ago; Later That Night
Rydon sighed deeply as he lay on his bed in his rented room.  “I can feel my fever returning.  My entire body is aching from this rash,” he thought as he wiped the feverish sweat from his forehead.

“My clothes are becoming soaked from my high fever perspiration,” he thought as he wiped the fever sweat from his forehead again.  “I feel sick.  I’m mutating,” he thought, “I hope I don’t have to go to the hospital again.”

He thought as he lay on his fever soaked bed, “Mr. Punmirre will want his rent money for this room soon, plus the back shortages I owe him, and I don’t have it.”

He wiped the sweat from his forehead as he thought, “My boat rent is also due.  Mr. Zinqwin will want his rent money soon plus the back shortages.  I don’t have his money either.”

He pondered his dilemma as he wiped his feverous sweat again.  “I also owe money to Dymor Zur, my gambling agent in Tos-Xiron.  Thanks to this doxer fever, I’m going to lose everything,” he thought.

The pain in his hands was becoming unbearable again.  He quickly checked his rash and mutations.  He was horrified.  He said, “I’m mutating fast!  My hands are turning into doxer fins.  I’m growing a dorsal fin.  My feet are mutating into doxer fins as well.  If I start getting the bewilderment, mania, or delusions, I will end up in a doxer fever asylum.  I would rather die!”

He tried to regain his sanity.  “I need to remain calm,” he said, “I don’t have the money that I owe.  I’ve made some very powerful enemies.  I’m not safe here.  I’d better leave Tos-Xiron before everyone that I owe money to, comes after me.  I had better leave while I still can.”

He pondered his dangerous dilemma as he feverishly sweated.  Due to his high fever, he was soaking through his clothes again.  “I will leave tonight, after midnight.  But where will I go?” he said as he wiped the fever sweat from his face again.

Two Days Ago
Rydon Nekuma awoke from his feverish sleep.  He had fallen asleep in the back seat of his car again.  Now that he had fled from Tos-Xiron, his car, and his clothes that he was wearing were his only possessions.  His clothes were soaked from his fever perspiration.  He thought, “I know my fever is very high again.  I feel very sick.”

He horrifyingly peaked at his painful, red, rash covered hands and arms.  He was horrified at what he saw.  “I’m mutating fast!  I’m mutating into a sea doxer!  My arms are becoming shorter and my hands are becoming fin-like.  This grotesque red rash covers my entire body,” he exclaimed with terror.

Rydon terrifyingly pulled up his pants legs and looked.  He was even more horrified at what he saw.  “My legs have dorsal fins growing out of the backs of them.  My feet are more like fins than feet,” he said with terror, “Can I still walk?”

He thought in horror, “I don’t know where I am.  I don’t remember how I got here.  I don’t know where this is or what time.”  He was terrified as he recalled Dr. Teqre Zewio, the doxer fever specialists warning, “A psychosis that includes prolonged bewilderment, mania, delusions, hallucinations, incoherence, and distorted perceptions of reality will soon start.”

Rydon thought, “I’m already experiencing the bewilderment, mania, hallucinations, and delusions.  I don’t remember how I got here.  I don’t know where I am.  I don’t know when this is.”

He was horrified, as he lay soaked from the high fever sweat in his back seat.  He said, “I’m mutating fast!  The mania and delusions are starting.  Soon, I won’t be able to drive or walk.”  He was horrified as he thought, “The psychosis has started.  Soon I won’t be able to think or function.”

Suddenly he remembered Lyndi at Dunjyn Asylum, again.  He was terrified as he thought about the horrific possibility.  “I don’t want to be in a doxer fever asylum like Lyndi.  I need help.  I don’t know where to go.  I have to think of something while I can still think.”

Later That Night

Rydon Nekuma was delirious and grotesquely mutating as he painfully drove.  He could hardly stay on the Wyluxx Hwy as he swerved back and forth while attempting to drive with his mutating feet and hands toward Wyluxx City.

“Am I on the right road?”  He wondered as his doxer fever manipulated his brain.  He drifted in and out of hallucinations as the psychosis played tricks with his very ill mind.  He was swerving back and forth, as he incoherently drove.  He wasn’t sure where he was or when it was.  “I hope I’m heading toward Wyluxx City,” he said.

The psychosis from his doxer fever was causing him to drift in and out of reality.  It was overpowering his sanity.  He was experiencing extended periods of prolonged bewilderment, mania, delusions, hallucinations, incoherence, and distorted perceptions of reality.  He was experiencing the full effects of the doxer’s powerful venom.  “I’m going insane!” he said loudly as he drove toward Wyluxx City.

The pain from his full body grotesque rash and his mutations was unbearable, as he swerved.  The venom was mutating him into a sea doxer.  His arms and hands were mutating into fin like appendages.  His legs and feet were mutating into fin like extremities as well.

He was growing a full length, ridged, very sharp, webbed dorsal fin.  His dorsal fin started at his forehead, just above his eyes and ran along his back all the way to his lumber where it split, it continued down the back of both of his mutated legs.  “The pain from my dorsal fin is excruciating!” he said loudly as he winced from the pain while driving on the Wyluxx Highway through the desert toward Wyluxx City in the blackness of night.

He was incoherent and almost unconscious as he deliriously drove into the Wyluxx City Memorial Hospital Emergency Entrance.  The emergency room staff removed him from his car and quickly evaluated his condition and reviewed his medical records.

The staff doctor admitted him into room number 1642 and notified Dr. Vinco Blixs, the hospital's doxer fever specialist.  Dr. Blixs checked Rydon’s medical records and prescribed the same treatments that Dr. Teqre Zewio, doxer fever specialist at Tos-Xiron Mitzid Hospital prescribed, only a stronger dosage.  He attempted to lower the extremely high fever and abate the quickly advancing mutations.

Yesterday Morning
Rydon was still receiving the heavily dosages of medications that Dr. Vinco Blixs prescribed the previous night in an attempt to reduce the extremely high fever and force the mutations into remission.

Dr. Blixs entered Rydon’s room.  He quickly read his patient’s chart.  He was concerned.  “Even with the higher dosages, the medications seem ineffective in abating his mutations,” he thought, “To me, the mutations seem more advanced than what the emergency room doctor previously described on this medical chart, only his fever is improving.”

With alarm and great concern, he changed the medications in a frantic attempt to stop the progressing mutations.  He thought, “I will know in a few hours if this medication works.”

With little confidence, Dr. Blixs exited the room as Rydon lay in his bed unconscious due to the heavy medication.  He still had a high fever, a grotesque red full-body rash, and was mutating rapidly.

Several Hours Later

Dr. Blixs returned to Rydon’s room.  Rydon was still unconscious.  He checked his charts again.  “At least his fever is improving,” thought Dr. Blixs.  He rolled back his fever sweat soaked blanket in anticipation of improvement.  He was alarmed and horrified at what he saw.  Rydon’s mutations were progressing at an alarming rate.  He appeared more doxer than Seslean.  Dr. Blixs shook his head as he made his grim decision.  He thought, “I am powerless to slow the mutations.”  He exited the room.

He walked to his office.  “Nurse Koytin, get me Rydon Nekuma’s family,” he said grimly.

Nurse Kaayt Koytin searched on her computer.  She was alarmed at what she read.  “His former wife Lyndi Nekuma is a resident in Dunjyn Asylum.  His son lives here in town.  His name is Arthor Nekuma.  His phone number is 577-301-22,” she stated.

Dr. Blixs dialed Arthor Nekuma’s phone number.

At Art’s Home in Wyluxx City

Arthor Nekuma, Detective Maxx Zeqster’s unlicensed apprentice, had just arrived home after buying a few groceries and a magazine at LyMuuke’s Food Center in Wyluxx City.

He was sitting on his well-worn, frugal couch while eating and reading.  He was reading his copy of The Visqaser Report, “Who is Sesla and Who Are Her Coteries,” which he purchased at the store.  He was reading the monthly geological, historical, medical and science magazine that Dr. Krag Visqaser, MD and Dr. Qen Pytmor, PhD, scientists started fifteen years ago during their later retirement.

He was reading an article by freelance science writer J.A. Ireland entitled:  Qashlet Laboratories Facilities, Dr. Rewqust, Insists Sesleans Evolved from the Sea Doxer

The Visqaser Report: Recently, my esteemed colleagues and I interviewed Dr. Rewqust at the Qashlet Laboratories Facility in Guytic City.  In attendance were Sygil Zeeg, Guytic City TV Science Editor; Ti Wopqir, Kinkorx TV Science Editor; and myself.

We discussed the genetic similarities between Sesleans and the sea doxer with the respected scientist.  Due to Dr. Rewqust’s refusal, we were unable to address the very controversial, DNA genetic engineering experiments, or the other questionable research that the scientists at Qashlet Lab are working on.

Dr. Rewqust feels that the scientific evidence is irrefutable.  He stated, “There are many genetic similarities between our species and the doxer.  Sesleans have fair, leathery skin like the doxer.  All Sesleans feet have a fin-like look and structure that is similar to the doxer.  We have a sharp row of bone in the entrance of our mouths like the doxer.

Their young hatch from eggs, as do ours.

The doxer has a webbed dorsal fin that runs the entire length of its elongated leathery body.  Sesleans have the genetic remains of the dorsal fin running down our backs and the back of our legs.  This partial dorsal fin is visible on many coteries, and is perhaps the strongest evidence of our genetic connection.

The evidence is overwhelming, even though many Sesleans do not like it.  The genetic similarities strongly suggest the evolution.  The mutations that occur because of doxer fever validate the genetic similarities as well.  Frankly, I do not understand the controversy or the outrage.”

It would seem that Dr. Rewqust agrees with his colleagues that Sesleans are genetically similar to the sea doxer.  However, he failed to prove the scientific theory that Sesleans are an evolved species, evolved directly from the doxer.  That scientific theory remains just that a theory.  The theory also remains unaccepted in most circles, circles that are non-scientific.

After reading the article, Art thought sadly, “That would explain mom’s condition.  She has mutated into half Seslean and half sea doxer.  She even swims like a doxer when she dreams.”

Suddenly he remembered his road trip to the Qashlet Lab.  He thought, “We sure outsmarted Dr. Rewqust and his Mad scientists when we rescued Dr. Leqtus Kin, the genetic engineer, from his clutches, right under his nose.  His thug, Fyrtee Huytek, was going to inject Leqtus Kin with doxer venom and enjoy watching him mutate.”  He laughed.

Suddenly his phone began to ring.  “That must be my boss, Detective Zeqster,”  He hurried to the phone.  “Hello,” he said with a smile as he anticipated his cherished employer, Detective Maxx Zeqster, to be on the line.

“This is Dr. Vinco Blixs from Wyluxx City Memorial Hospital.  Is this Arthor Nekuma?”

Art was horrified.  He wondered frantically if his mom was in the hospital.  “This is Art.  What’s wrong with my mom?”

Dr. Vinco Blixs replied grimly, “This is about your father.  He’s here at Wyluxx City Memorial, he is very ill.  Can you come over?”

Art was shocked.  “What!” he thought, “I’ve never seen my father.”  He said, “I’ll be right there.”  He hurried out of the house and jumped into his car.  He hysterically drove to the hospital.  It was a brief, but panic filled drive.

A Short Time Later

Upon arriving at the nurse’s desk, Art asked, “Rydon Nekuma’s room number please?”

“Are you a relative?” asked Nurse TeDia Beem while sitting at her desk.

He paused.  “I’m his son,” he replied uncomfortably with hesitation.

She began searching for his name.  She had difficulty finding it.  She sighed with irritation, “Spell it,” she said.

He shook his head with exasperation.  “N…E…K…U…M…A.”

She did not appreciate the demeaning, exasperated look.  She scowled as she said, “He’s in room 1642.  It’s just down the hall.”  She pointed.

“Thanks,” he said.  He hurried along the hallway to his dad’s room.

As he entered room 1642, Dr. Vinco Blixs was examining his father’s chart.  “I’m Art, we spoke on the phone,” he said while still in shock.

Dr. Blixs put down his charts.  “Your father admitted himself last night.  He is suffering from acute doxer fever.  I have him on the strongest medications that are available.  I have reduced his fever,” He frowned.  “I have been unsuccessful in slowing his mutations.  Take a look,” he said as he pulled back Rydon’s blanket.

Art was horrified at what he saw.  The unfamiliar Seslean lying there was unconscious.  He was more doxer than Seslean.  His arms and hands were long mutated fins.  His legs and feet were mutated, disfigured appendages with malformed fins.  He had a prominent dorsal fin running the entire length of his forehead, back, and the back of his mutated legs.  A grotesque red rash covered his entire mutated body.  The ghastly sights instantly made Art feel sick.

Dr. Blixs continued.  “There is nothing additional that I can do for him.  My recommendation is to assign him to a doxer fever asylum.  Asylum doctors can continue with these medications.  Hopefully in time he will improve,” said the doctor grimly.

Art was horrified.  “What about his,” he paused to control his nausea, “mutations?”

Dr. Blixs replied sharply, “As I said, there seems to be very little that I can do to lessen or even stabilize them.  An asylum doctor can continue these medications.  Let the nurse’s staff know what your decision is.”  He quickly exited the room.

Art stood next to his doxer fever stricken father.  His shock was easing.  He thought for a moment.  He made his decision.  He walked back to the nurse’s station.  Nurse TeDia Beem was still working the desk.  “What did you decide?” she asked coldly as she anticipated his decision.

“I’m putting him in Dunjyn Asylum,” he declared.

She was horrified at his cruel, uncaring decision.  “Are you sure?”

He ignored her strong body language.  “Yes,” he stated strongly.

“I will have him transported there immediately.  He will be there in less than an hour,” Nurse Beem said with a disgusted, “How can you put your parents in Dunjyn Asylum,” expression.

Art further ordered as she glared at him, “Put in room 38.  It’s the room next to Lyndi Nekuma, my mother.  It’s available.”

Nurse Beem was appalled, and shocked, “You’re in charge.  I’ll take care of it.  He’ll be there in about an hour,” she stated disgustedly.

Art walked away from the nurse’s desk.  He thought as he walked toward the exit, “I’ll check on them tomorrow.  I’m sure Dr. Neafyndrer will handle the situation properly.”  He sighed as he walked and thought, “Now both of my parents are in Dunjyn Asylum.  I have double the worries.”

Art exited the hospital and began his short drive home.

Chapter Three

Present Day

The morning desert wind was blowing across the Dunjyn Asylum parking lot, in rural Wyluxx City, as Art Nekuma parked his newer blue mid-size convertible.  “I can’t believe both of my parents are in this awful place,” he grumbled.

He exited his convertible and began the frightening walk across the cracked and sagebrush filled parking lot, and crumbling walkway to the creepy entrance the horrifying asylum.  “I don’t know how much longer I can take going in there.  It makes me sick,” he thought as he walked toward the spider web infested, creepy entrance of the spooky, gut-wrenching asylum.

He opened the old, frightening, spider web covered front door and entered the low lighted, windowless spooky asylum’s main foyer with its dirt floor, cave-like appearance.  As he entered, he heard the echoes of several loud moans and a screams coming from deep within the asylum.  “Ohhh…Ahhh…Mmo…,” echoed out of the dungeon-like asylum.  He shivered from his increasing fright as he endured the chilling sounds.

Head nurse Ilssa Grunmur smiled when she saw Art.  She thought as she smiled, “I love his deep blue eyes and gorgeous brownish blond flowing hair.”  She said from her nurse’s desk near front entrance as she smiled, “Good morning Art.”

“Morning Ilssa,” he replied as he hurried past as he cringed from the eerie echoes of the mutated doxer fever patients deep within the creepy corridors.  “Ohhh…Ahhh…Mmo…,”

“I will never get used to this gross asylum,” he thought as he hurried into the creepy dirt tunnel.  He hurried along the ghastly, dimly lit, dirt-floor, dungeon-like corridor.  “I can’t breathe.  The stench of the sick doxer fever patients is making me nauseas,” he complained.

As he walked, he passed numerous doxer fever mutants that were lying along the spooky long cavern.  “Ahhh…Uhhh…Eeerr…,” they moaned as he hurried past.

The smell and sight of the horrific mutants was difficult to endure as he hurried to room 37 and 38.

As he entered room 37, Dr. Vuyyu Neafyndrer, the head psychiatrist at the Dunjyn Asylum was examining his mother.  “Good morning Art,” said Dr. Neafyndrer as he checked  Lyndi Nekuma’s advanced doxer fever symptoms.

As Art watched, Dr. Neafyndrer continued to examine her severe doxer fever mutations.  Her arms and hands were mutated elongated fins.  Her legs were disfigured with mutated fins for feet.  She had a prominent dorsal fin that started on her forehead and continued down her spine to her lumbar where it split and continued down the backs of both legs.  She also experienced the paralysis.  It made sitting extremely difficult.  Her doxer fever had also attacked her mind.  She experienced the full effects of the schizophrenia like psychosis that accompanied doxer fever.

Art felt sick as he sat in the only chair in the dungeon-like room.  Her cave-like room had a well-worn bed, a rickety old, small table, and a dilapidated chair.  She had a door for privacy and safety with a small window to see through.

The smell in her room was equally sickening.  His nausea was over-powering as he watched Dr. Neafyndrer finish his examination.  Lyndi was quiet as she sat on her bed in her institution gown as Dr. Neafyndrer examined her.

“Your doxer fever seems to be stable, at least for now.  I’ll check on you again tomorrow,” said Dr. Neafyndrer as he smiled compassionately.  He turned to Art.  “It’s nice to see you again.  I need to check on your father.  I’ll see you later.”  He exited Lyndi’s room and walked to the next room, room #38, Rydon Nekuma’s room.

Lyndi cringed when Dr. Neafyndrer mentioned Rydon.  She looked back at Art.  “How…s…yo..ur…job?”  said Lyndi slowly with difficulty and pain as she sat painfully on her bed in her institution gown.

Art smiled.  “I can’t believe I’m a real live detective,” he said.

“Y…our a de…tect…ive n…ow,” she replied as she forced another painful smile.

“How are you and,” he quivered, “dad getting along?” he asked with concern.

Lyndi’s pleasant expression immediately changed to irritation.

He cringed as he saw her angry expression.  “I think you just answered my question.  I should let you rest.  I need to visit him briefly before I leave.  Detective Zeqster is waiting for me.  We are having a meeting this morning,” he said.

He exited her room and entered room 38, next door.  Rydon’s room was the same dungeon-like room as Lyndi’s.  He was lying on his worn out bed as Dr. Neafyndrer was examining him.  “Hi again Art.  I’m almost finished.”

Art sat in the small chair as Dr. Neafyndrer completed his examination.  “I’m still attempting to force your dad’s doxer fever into remission.  I’m administering the same medications that Dr. Teqre Zewio, doxer fever specialists at Tos-Xiron Mitzid Hospital and Dr. Vinco Blixs, the doxer fever specialists at Wyluxx City Memorial Hospital gave him.  So far, I’m afraid it seems to be a losing battle,” he smiled, “I will keep trying.  I am also afraid he will be unconscious most of the time while I attempt to abate his mutations.  Take a look.”

Dr. Neafyndrer pulled back Rydon’s blanket.  His father’s mutating appearance and the sickening putrid, stench repulsed him as he looked.  His dad was lying still in his institution gown unconscious.  A horrible red rash covered his entire disfigured body.  His mutations were more severe than his mothers.  His dorsal fin was larger than hers.  His arms and hands were even more grotesquely mutated.  They appeared elongated, disfigured fins.  His legs were disfigured into elongated, warped fins.  The sight was so gruesome that Art felt sick.  “Sorry Dr. Neafyndrer, I need to go,” he said as his face became pale, almost yellow.

Dr. Neafyndrer compassionately smiled at the very sickly looking son.  “You look sick.  I think it’s best if you go home.  I hope you feel better,” he said with concern.

Art quickly exited his father’s room and hurried past numerous grotesque mutated patients as he held his stomach.  He dodged numerous mutated patients as he hurried along the dungeon-like cavern toward the fresh air.  “Ohhh…Rrraa…Ahhh…,” echoed through the creepy corridors.

“Hi…  Art,” said one mutated patient through his window in his door as he tried at grab at him.  “Ha!” said Art shockingly as he avoided the doxer fever patients reach.

As he hurried toward the entrance, several more mutated, schizophrenia like patients attempted to grab him as he passed by them.  He unsuccessfully dodged their mutated arms while rushing toward the fresh air.

He entered the main foyer where Nurse Ilssa Grunmur, the head nurse was sitting at her desk near front entrance.  She noticed his sickly look.  “Rough visit, huh,”

Art hurried past her as he held his stomach.  He exited the asylum and hurried toward his car.  He stopped to breathe in the fresh air.  “I hate that place.”

He entered his convertible and began the drive through the desert to Detective Zeqster’s home.

Later At Maxx Zeqster’s Home in Bedsult
Sesla’s sun was shining brilliantly in the early afternoon, blue, cloudless sky as Detective Maxx Zeqster was taking a stroll along the streets of Bedsult.  “What a delightful afternoon,” he thought as he ambled under the hot desert sun.  “The delightful desert breeze is warm and Sesla’s sun is shining brilliantly.  I’m glad I added Sesla’s brilliant sun to my new painting.  The painting compliments my living room so well, and what a beautiful sun,” he thought as he sauntered.

He continued to walk along the streets of Bedsult as he thought, “I can’t wait to show Art what I have discovered on my database.  Qashlet lab is even more crazy and creepy than we thought.  It’s spooky what Dr. Rewqust and his team of Mad scientists are saying about Sesleans and sea doxers.  I’m also very concerned about the “Gang of Five” and the Joqzonions in the wet lands.  When I was young, the Joqzonions caused a war.”

As he strolled along Lypont Drive toward his home, he noticed Art’s newer blue mid-size convertibleparked in front of his home and Art sitting on his porch.  He glanced at his strolling watch.  He thought, “I’m late.  Art is waiting on my porch.  I hope he hasn’t been waiting long.”  He increased his pace as he hurried.

Art shouted and waved as he saw Detective Zeqster hurrying toward him, “Hi, Detective Zeqster!”

As Maxx hurriedly strolled up his walkway toward his porch, he smiled at his very talented apprentice.  “Sorry I’m late.  I lost track of time.  I hope I haven’t kept you waiting long,” he said as he stepped quickly up his short steps and onto his small porch, while breathing heavily.

Art replied, “I just got here.  It’s a nice day for a walk,” he laughed.  “As long as I’ve know you, you’ve loved your strolling and your painting.”

Maxx smiled as he attempted to catch his breath while chuckling.  “Yes, I’ve always enjoyed both.”  He paused to catch his breathe.  He smiled.  “I still remember the first time we met.  It was at the Bedsult library.  Our detective agency and our friendship have come a long way since that day,” said Maxx as he smiled.

Art replied as he smiled.  “We were both having a lot of struggles back then.  You were deep in depression over that sand trafficking issue with Chief Morxoc and I was about to be fired by Mr. Pluxxer, my former boss at Wyluxx City High School.  Shortly after that, I was fired by him.  That was the best thing that ever happened to me, because after that, you hired me,” he said as he smiled.

“It was only due to your great disguises that we solved that case.  You truly are a Master of Disguises,” said Maxx.

“We showed the media a thing or two about how a crime spree is broken,” said Art.

“We received a lot of good press coverage for that case.  We can’t buy advertising like that,” said Maxx.

“It was also fun when we out smarted Dr. Rewqust at Qashlet lab and rescued Dr. Leqtus Kin, the genetic engineer, from under their noses,” said Art as he laughed.

“That was fun, except for the spiders.  I’ve never seen so many spiders in my life,” he said as he laughed, “Please come in.”  He opened his front door.

Maxx walked into his welcoming home with Art following.  “Please, make yourself at home.”

“We have had a lot of fun solving cases together,” said Art as he entered his cool home and walked to his luxurious, leather, sectional sofa.  He sat gently on Maxx’s expensive sofa.

Maxx replied, “May I offer you a bottle of water?”

Art responded politely as the thought of consuming anything still made him nauseous.  “Thank you,” he said, as his stomach remained somewhat nauseas from the visit to Dunjyn Asylum two hours ago to visit his parents.

Maxx walked to his deluxe kitchen and removed two bottles of chilled water from his refrigerator.  He walked back to his living room.

Art was admiring his exquisite art collection in his living room as he attempted to control his nausea.  “That painting is new isn’t it?  Did you just paint it?” he asked.

Maxx smiled, “That’s very observant and perceptive of you.  Yes I did.  Do you like it?”

Art forced a smile as a wave of nausea returned.  “Yes I do.  I especially like the brilliant sun.  You painted the noon sun so awesomely in that painting.”

“Thank you,” said Maxx as he chuckled and handed him the bottle of water while noticing the un-mistakable expression of nausea on his face.

Maxx sat in his extravagant, overstuffed, recliner chair.  “You seem ill today.”

Art stared at the fine carpet on Detective Zeqster’s floor as the wave of nausea over-powered him again.  His spirits were low as he opened up to his employer.  “Dunjyn Asylum is a horrible place,” he said as he stared it the floor, “As you know, my mother has had doxer fever my entire life.  I had to put her in the asylum a few years ago due to her mutations and her psychosis.  That was the only way to protect her and get her the treatment that she needs.”

Maxx’s eyes became tear-filled as Art continued his heart-breaking story.  He remembered his late grandmother that he loved and cherished that died during his youth, due to acute doxer fever.  Her horrific death broke the young Maxx’s heart and left him scared.

Art continued, “Now, my dad that I never met is in the asylum next to my mother.  I received a call from Dr. Vinco Blixs at Wyluxx City Memorial Hospital yesterday.  I went to the hospital and saw my dad for the first time.  He was unconscious and mutating.  His disfigurement was gruesome.  Dr. Blixs recommended that I should put him in an asylum.  I put him next to my mom’s room in Dunjyn Asylum.”

Maxx’s heart was breaking as he felt the heartache that Art was displaying as the story opened still raw wounds in his heart about the horrible, tragic death of his doxer fever stricken grandmother that he loved dearly.  He sat in his chair heart-broken and helpless, with tears of compassion, as Art continued his horrific story.

“When I go into that creepy asylum, there are mutated sick doxer fever victims everywhere.  The smell makes me sick.  The mentally insane, mutated patients try to grab me.  It makes me sick.”

Maxx’s stomach was beginning to churn as he listened to the horrific conditions that Art endured.  Images of his precious grandmother’s horrific mutations and frightening death, during his fragile childhood flooded his mind.  A wave of nausea quickly replaced his tears as he listened.

“I don’t know how long I can go in there.  It makes me so sick.  But, I can’t abandon my parents,” said Art as he completed his sad tale of woe while starring at the floor.

Maxx’s lifelong painful heart wound over his loving grandmother’s tragedy was re-opened as he sat in his chair.  His heart hurt and his eyes were red from compassionate tears while his stomach was nauseous from the disgusting stories of the asylum and the mutated doxer fever patients.

Art continued, “I’m sorry I unloaded on you like that.  You’re the only one that knows my situation.  Are you ok?”  he asked with remorse.

Maxx replied with an aching heart and red eyes, “Your story breaks my heart.  It reminds me of my grandmother’s tragic death when I was young.  I loved her so much.  It broke my heart when she died horribly from doxer fever.  I’m very sorry.  If there is anything I can do to help, please tell me.  I would like to help.”

Art shook his head.  “According to the doctors, there is nothing anyone can do,” he smiled as the wave of nausea was passing, “We should get to work.”

“If you feel up to it,” said Maxx as his heart ached from his re-opened heart scar.

“I need to get my mind off my parents,” said Art as his motivation was returning.

“Let’s go into my office and begin working on my database,” said Maxx with difficulty,   “I’ll get you a chair.”

Maxx struggled to his dining room and grabbed a wooden, unpadded chair.  They walked into his office.  He sat the chair next to his database for Art.  “I hope this chair is comfortable for you.  I’m sorry it doesn’t have padding.  How is your stomach?”

Art replied, “I’m fine.  Let’s get to work.”  He sat in the dining room chair and Maxx sat in his cushioned desk chair.  “What case are we working on now?”

Maxx replied as his heart pain continued, “I’ve been investigating some of the very suspicious things we saw at Qashlet lab when we rescued Dr. Leqtus Kin.”

Art replied, “What was that creepy stuff crowing in those incubators?  Some of those things looked like they were alive.”

Maxx replied painfully, “That’s what I thought.  I’ve been reading numerous articles in The Wet Lands News and The Kvyutt Travelers News about the genetic engineering experiments in that lab.  It seems the local residents and the reporters feel that Qashlet lab is growing mutants of some type.  I’ve been looking into that.”

“I’ve been reading about a group of alien mutants that are robbing banks and killing everyone in their path in the wet lands.  The media is calling them the “Gang of Five,” said Art.

“Have you heard about the Joqzonions?  There are reports of their return.  They haven’t returned to Sesla since the wars in the wet lands when I was a child,” said Maxx.

“What does this all have to do with Qashlet lab and those incubators that we saw?” asked Art.

“Have you heard the eye-witness descriptions of this “Gang of Five”?  They sound like something that Dr. Rewqust and his Mad scientists created through genetic engineering,” said Maxx.

“I’ve read about them.  One of them is the supposed leader.  From what I’ve read, they are super intelligent creepy mutants,” stated Art.

“I’m concerned the “Gang of Five” and the Joqzonions are teaming up.  If my concerns are valid, this new gang of thieves and murders is more than anyone can handle.  We are in real trouble,” said Maxx.

“So, what do you want to do?” asked Art.

“I want to do more research on this “Gang of Five” and the eye-witness reports of the return of the Joqzonions,” said Maxx.

“I’ll start working on it.  As soon as I have something, I’ll call you,” said Art as he began to leave.

As Art began to leave, Maxx said with sympathy, “I’m really sorry about your parents.  I wish there was something I could do to help.”

“Thanks, but there isn’t anything anyone can do.  According to the doctors, no one has invented a cure for doxer fever, at least not yet,” replied Art as he exited Detective Zeqster’s home office.  He exited his home and walked to his car.

He drove down Lypont Drive and began the long drive through the open desert to Wyluxx City.

Meanwhile
Maxx sat at his database.  His heart continued to ache as he re-lived the painful memories of his cherished grandmother.  Images of her acquiring doxer fever and quickly mutating after her encounter with a sea doxer while swimming in the mystical Sesla sea, flashed into his mind.

As he sat in his chair with teary eyes and an aching heart, he relived the heartache from his youth when he watched his grandmother that he loved, mutate, and slowly die due to her advanced doxer fever.  He also imagined Art and his parents in Dunjyn Asylum.  He pondered Art’s words.  “No one has invented a cure for doxer fever, at least not yet.”

Maxx shook his head as he thought, “Is that true?  I wonder?  Could it be that with all of this genetic engineering research taking place recently, there is a cure that is perhaps illegal and isn’t public knowledge?”

As he pondered, while his heart ached, he got an idea.  “I know just the genetic engineer to call.  Dr. Leqtus Kin owes us a great debt for rescuing him from Dr. Rewqust and Qashlet lab,” he thought as he entered Tonnus Kin’s number into his database.  When the phone number came onto his screen, he clicked on it.

Meanwhile
At the home of Dr. Leqtus Kin’s parents; Tonnus and Dylora Kin in Kinkorx and now, Leqtus Kin as well, the ex-genetic scientists at Kinkorx Medical School, and genetic engineer:

Dr. Leqtus Kin, the rescued from Qashlet lab, but still unemployed genetic engineer, was watching a TV show on Kinkorx TV while reading the daily newspaper, Kinkorx Desert News.  He was reading an alarming article by science writer J. A. Ireland.  The headline read: After Many Decades the Joqzonions Return – Will There Be War?

He was quietly reading the article while gazing at the TV when the phone rang.  “I’ll get it,” he said loudly.  He thought, “I’m not doing anything important.  I’m still unemployed and living with my parents.”

He hurried to the ringing phone in the kitchen.  “Leqtus Kin,” he answered.

“Good afternoon, Dr. Kin.  This is Detective Zeqster.  I trust freedom suits you,” he said as he chuckled as his heart continued to hurt.

Leqtus laughed, “It does indeed.  Except that now, I’m bored.  I don’t have a job as of yet.  Thank you again for rescuing me from Qashlet lab before Dr. Rewqust’s thug, Fyrtee Huytek could inject me with doxer venom.”

Maxx smiled painfully.  “You are very welcome.  Be patient and enjoy the time with your family.  You’re a genetic engineer.  Someone will hire you.  Then you’ll be excessively busy again,” said Maxx painfully.

“Don’t remind me.  I have a life’s habit of becoming too busy with work and forgetting about my family, as you know,” said Leqtus as he laughed.

“We all have our areas to improve upon,” he chuckled painfully, “The reason why I’m calling is to ask you a question from your genetic engineering experience,” he paused to choose his words wisely, “As you know, Art’s mother suffers from doxer fever.  She is in Dunjyn Asylum.  Now, as of yesterday, Art’s father is suddenly in his live.  Tragically, his father is also inflicted with the disease.  They are both very sick and in Dunjyn Asylum –”

Leqtus compassionately moaned, “Oh…my.”  He collapsed into the kitchen chair as Maxx continued.

“According to the head psychiatrist at the Dunjyn Asylum, Dr. Vuyyu Neafyndrer, there isn’t anything more that can be done for them.  Do you have any suggestions that might help his parents?” asked Maxx hopefully.

Leqtus replied as he sat, while in emotional distraught, slouched in the chair.  “I developed a formula for doxer fever reversal in my lab.  When Judge Lykun stopped my research, I couldn’t complete that formula either.”

Maxx smiled with optimism.  “Do you think your formula would help Art’s parents?”

“I am confident it would help.  I was very pleased with the test results that I completed before I was forced to stop everything by the university management,” replied Leqtus angrily.  “What would you charge me for that formula?” asked Maxx.

“First off, that formula has a special ingredient that is not easily obtained.  You might call it a magical herb.  The special ingredient only grows in a certain area of the wet lands.  Have you ever heard of Melá-Jutis,” he asked while waiting for the skepticism.

Maxx responded with knowledge, “Of course, the “Enchanted City,” deep in the wet lands marsh.  From what I’ve read, there are no roads leading to Melá-Jutis.”

Leqtus was pleasantly surprised.  “You are correct.  Melá-Jutis is where you’ll find the magic herb for this formula.  Without the stigma, style, ovary, and ovule with embryo sac from the Qjmyrre Flower while in full bloom, the formula will not work.  The enchantment of the Qjmyrre Flower is the magic herb that will make my formula to reverse the doxer venom, work.”

Leqtus paused, “Secondly, the only lab on Sesla that is going to develop that formula is Qashlet Lab.  You will need to contact Dr. Rewqust to get my formula developed to completion.”

Maxx cringed at the thought of working with that group of Mad scientists as his heart continued to hurt.  He said with confidence and hope.  “I still want the information.  I’ll pay you whatever you think is fair for your formula and information.  I’ll also need a map.  I’m leaving now for Melá-Jutis.”

Leqtus replied, “In return for my formula, the instructions, and a map, I want you to return the money for the first bill that you charged my parents for only finding me.”

Maxx was floored as he slumped painfully at his database.  His mouth fell open as he pondered the large arrangement.  He attempted to regain his wits as he thought, “I’m asking for a lot from him.”

“I guess that’s fair,” he replied painfully, “I agree to your terms.  I will need the information on your doxer fever reversing formula and the Qjmyrre Flower.  I will also need directions to Melá-Jutis.  I will be there soon.”  He hung up the phone.

Maxx thought, “For this quick adventure into the wet lands wilderness, my strolling outfit and a hat will work nicely.”  He hurried into his bedroom and grabbed a hat.  “I need to make this journey to the wet lands and back, as fast as possible,” he thought as he hurried.

He hurried back to his office and quickly threw a few items into a bag that he thought he might need.  He grabbed the bag and his Id and keys.  He hurried out the door as his heart continued to ache.

Chapter Four
A brief time later, Detective Zeqster arrived at Tonnus and Dylora Kin’s suburban home in Kinkorx.  He drove into their driveway next to their new mid-sized car and parked.  He exited his car and hurried to the front door.  Leqtus walked out of the home with an envelope as Maxx approached the front door.  “Here’s the information you asked for.  Good luck,” said Leqtus as he handed Maxx the envelope.

“Thank you,” said Maxx as he grabbed it.  He hurried back to his red convertible and hopped in.  He tossed the envelope into the passenger’s seat next to his bag.

He started the engine and speeded out of the Kin’s driveway in Kinkorx.  He began his journey to Melá-Jutis, the Enchanted City in the wet lands marsh country.

As he drove, his heart continued to hurt.  He thought as he painfully drove, “My heart has never stopped hurting since I spoke with Art about his parents.  I can’t be getting the genetic heart disease that runs in the Zeqster Family.  The Zeqster’s that inherited that gene died around my age.  This has to be something else.”

He continued to drive toward the wet lands as his chest continued to ache.

Twelve Hours Later
Maxx arrived at 3:00a.m., in a remote, swampy, wooded area of the wet lands, miles from Melá-Jutis.  “It looks like the road ends here,” thought the exhausted Maxx Zeqster as he gazed into the deep, dark marsh country.  “I’m glad my chest pain finally stopped.  It took long enough,” he thought, “I couldn’t have inherited the Zeqster heart disease gene.  That heart condition is terminal.  Every Zeqster that inherited it, died young.”

He used his small flashlight to read Leqtus Kin’s map once more.  He thought, “According to his map, Melá-Jutis is straight ahead for seven more miles through the thick marsh country.”  He sighed deeply as he pulled a note out of the envelope and began reading it.  “When you get to Melá-Jutis, find Atin Riksem.  He will help you.  Also, be careful, the Melá-Jutis residents are easily offended.  Watch what you say, and don’t stare.  Good luck, Leqtus kin.”

Maxx wondered after reading the note from Leqtus, “Can that be the Atin Riksem?  The legendary mesnuk player for the Guytic City Fighting Tobacco Farmers decades ago who lead the Tobaccos to so many Sesla Championships?  It can’t be.”

He gazed into the dark, dense wooded marshland.  “Let’s get moving,” he said to himself as he stuffed the note into his pocket while forgetting his bag on the front seat and leaving the keys in the ignition.  As he walked away, several multi-colored, creepy crawly lizards began crawling on his car.

While carrying the small flashlight, he left his car parked at the end of the two-path road, unlocked, and began the long, chilly, difficult trek through seven marshy miles of wet lands swamp, in the darkness.

Two Hours Later; In The Dark of Night

Maxx was so exhausted and cold, he was staggering.  His strolling outfit and hat were mud-covered.  He had dropped and broken his flashlight.  His legs were itching from the numerous thorn pricks.  With cold skin and complete exhaustion, he trudged on as he shivered while constantly flicking off the host of multi-colored lizards that here crawling on him and biting him.  “I’ve never been in a place with so many lizards,” he thought as he struggled through the thick boggy land in the dark, “Who would have thought this area would be infested with these creepy, crawly lizards.”

It was still hours before sunrise.  He was staggering from exhaustion and lack of sleep as well as minor hyperthermia.  His legs were mud-covered and burning.  He had numerous bleeding scrapes and cuts.  “I still have miles to go.  The walking is impossible through this never-ending swamp.”  As he swatted off another group of biting lizards, he fell into some sharp, dead sticks.  “Oh!...,” he yelled as a stick punctured his strolling suit and leg.  While exhausted and delirious, he grabbed the stick and pulled it out.  “Ah!...,” he screamed.  Blood quickly soaked his muddy strolling suit.

“I need a tourniquet,” he said as he winced from the excruciating pain, “I have to stop the bleeding.”  In the darkness, he tore off a strip from the damaged pant leg.  Along with a stick from the marshy ground, he made a crude tourniquet.  He tightened it down.  “Ah!...,” he screamed from the extreme pain.

He attempted to stand.  “Ah!...,” he yelled again from the pain.  “I need a strong stich to help me walk,” he said.  In the darkness, he searched the ground while crawling for a stick that would work for a temporary cane.  He picked up a somewhat thick, stout stick.  “I hope this works,” he said as he hoisted himself up while in tremendous pain and swatting off the biting lizards.  “Ah!!...,” he yelled again as he put some weight on his still bleeding, punctured leg.

He stood in the middle of a marshy, lizard-infested bog, while leaning heavily on the stick, in tremendous pain, while bleeding and delirious as he shivered from the cold.  He thought, while totally exhausted and feeling cold, and defeated, and lizard bitten, “I’ve lost a lot of blood.  I’m lost.  I don’t actually know if Melá-Jutis even exists.  Maybe I should turn back before I lose too much blood.  I could die in this lizard infested swamp.”  As he stood while delirious from the cold, the pain, and the exhaustion, while several creepy, crawly lizards crawled up his leg and bit him, his stick broke and he fell again.

“Ah!!!  ...,” he screamed from the enormous pain as he collapsed to the ground.  He quickly found an even larger stick.  He lifted himself again as he strained, “Ah…Ah….”  As he stood again while being covered in mud and now his own blood, while being bitten by lizards, he said, “I’m going to die in this swamp.  I better go back.”

He began to depressingly hobble in the other direction.  One step…two steps…three steps.  Suddenly his inner-strength from deep within him, took charge.  He said strongly in the darkness, “Maxx Stop!  Art would take a bullet for you!  You’re doing this for Art’s parents.  Turn around and keep going!” he ordered himself.

With a newly found sense of courage, hope, and strength, Maxx ignored his hyperthermia, exhaustion, pain, and the multitude of biting lizards.  “I’m doing this for you Art, and your parents,” he said boldly and strongly as he turned around and trudged on through the lizard-infested marsh in the darkness.

As he hobbled through the swamp in the darkness, while bleeding through his tourniquet, and fighting off the multitude of creepy crawly, biting lizards that were attacking him, he heard voices.  As he struggled through the water, and mud, and the swarm of hungry lizards, the voices became stronger.

He waved his hands and yelled, “Over here!” as he saw a light coming toward him.  He stood motionless as the light and the talking approached while the lizards swarmed and bit him.

“Hurry up,” said Earll Edwind, the wise old Seslean squirrel as he ran on his four little legs.

“We’re hurrying,” said Minsy Edwind, the smart grandma Seslean squirrel as she attempted to keep up with her speedy husband.

“I’m right behind you,” said Atin Riksem, as the retired star mesnuk player struggled to keep up while carrying a flash light.

“There he is.  See Mom, I told you someone was hurt in the swamp,” said Kelli Goodin the greenish blue Seslean humming bird, as she giggled in her cute little girl humming bird giggle.

“You were right,” said Brendi Goodin, the bright green Seslean humming bird and Mother.

“Hurry up with that light, Atin!” said Earll Edwind as he scurried toward Maxx, “I know, whoever that is, they’re terrified, and they’re being eaten alive by lizards.”

The group approached Maxx as he stood in the dark bog, while his legs and back were covered in creepy, crawly, biting lizards.  He could see someone with a light and two critters.  “whose voices am I hearing?” he said while delirious and lizard covered.

As the group came closer, and he could see due to the stranger’s flashlight, he became shocked.  “Those squirrels and humming birds are actually talking,” he said while shaking off the biting lizards and bleeding.

Atin Riksem hurried to him and supported him.  He shined his light so Maxx’s face was eliminated.  “Who are you?  What are you doing out here in the dark, just before daylight?  Do you want to be eaten alive by these swamp lizards?” asked Atin as he grabbed hold of the injured stranger and helped support him.

“Minsy, splash some of your lizard repellent on him before those biting lizards eat him,” said Earll Edwind.

“Quite right!” said Minsy as she quickly splashed her magical repellent on Maxx’s legs and back.  As she splashed it on, she said, “Don’t you read the newspapers, Atin?  This is Detective Maxx Zeqster from Kinkorx.”

Atin said embarrassingly, “Yes I do read!  I will admit however, I’m not as smart as you, Minsy,” replied Atin sarcastically.  He said to Maxx as the creepy, crawly, biting lizards were quickly fleeing his battered body, “Let’s get you back to my house and get you cleaned up.  Then Minsy will get you fixed up as well.”

With exhaustion, delusion, and utter amazement Maxx replied as he grinned, “That would be great.  I’m glad you found me.”

Late Morning

As Maxx awoke, he was amazed at what he saw.  He was in a small comfortable room, in a small building behind the main house.  He was covered with a nice, hand stitched, blanket.  Sesla’s late morning sun was shining in the window.  As he looked around, he saw several Seslean animals.  There were two squirrels, two humming birds, two turtledoves, and a hyperactive chickadee.  They were all reading The Wet Lands News and The Kvyutt Travelers News.

Minsy peeked up from her newspaper page and saw Detective Zeqster awake.  “You’re awake,” said Minsy Edwind, the smart grandma squirrel, “Look everyone, Detective Zeqster is awake.”

“Your leg looks a lot better.  Minsy fixed it while you were sleeping.  Welcome to Melá-Jutis,” said Earll Edwind, the wise old gray squirrel and Minsy’s husband.

Petin Mink, the upper class, turtledove sauntered over and said, “I am Petin Mink.  I am sure you have heard of me –”

“Pipe down, Petin,” said Wilna, “Why do you always assume that everyone has heard of you?”  She turned toward Detective Zeqster, “Oh, excuse me Detective Zeqster, I’m Wilna Beich.  It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance,” said Wilna, the middle-aged mother, turtledove.

Just then, a hyperactive chickadee flew to Maxx’s bed.  He said, “I’m Joe Winton.  It’s a pleasure to meet you, meet you.”  Then Joe fluttered back to his seat.

“I’m Kelli Goodin.  You already met me,” giggled, the greenish blue girl humming bird as she hovered.

“I’m Brendi Goodin.  I’m Kelli’s mother,” said the bright green humming bird as she hovered next to Kelli.

“Now that you’re feeling better, we were all wondering why you were walking through the swamp all alone before sunrise, this morning,” said Kelli.

“Kelli, don’t be so pushy,” said Brendi.  She smiled at Maxx.  “Please excuse my daughter.  She’s…friendly,” said Brendi.

Maxx chuckled as he thought, “I see what Leqtus meant.”  He said, “It’s quite alright.  First, I have a question for you.  Did Atin Riksem play mesnuk for the Guytic City Fighting Tobacco Farmers several decades ago?”

Earll Edwind spoke up.  “That’s him all right.  He was a lot thinner in those days.  Since he retired, he sleeps a lot and he’s just a bit heavier,” he said as he made the “just a little bit” gesture with his fingers.

“Earll, don’t be rude,” said Minsy Edwind.

“I’m just being honest,” replied Earll.

Maxx smiled as he enjoyed the enchantment of the residents.  “The reason why I came here is, I’m looking for a flower—”

“You came all the way out here for some flowers for your girlfriend?” asked Kelli Goodin as she giggled and interrupted him.

Maxx chuckled as he shook his head with enjoyment.  “Not exactly.  I have a friend who has very sick parents.  I need a flower to make them well again,” said Maxx.

As he spoke, all of the residents sat and listened compassionately as they shook their heads in sympathy.

“In order to make the medicine, I need the stigma, style, ovary, and ovule with embryo sac from the Qjmyrre Flower while it’s in full bloom,” stated Maxx.

“Is that all?” said Petin Mink sarcastically.

“What my rude relative means is that the Qjmyrre Flowers grow in a small valley not far from here.  The only problem is that Russull Tallon, the giant Seslean hawk has his nest in that valley,” said Wilna Beich, “It’s very dangerous for us to go there.”

Minsy Edwind said, “There are many enchanted flowers in Melá-Jutis.  I use many of them for my medicines and potions.”  She smiled, “Including lizard repellent.  Qjmyrre Flowers are among the most powerful herbs here.  Great care must be taken when making a potion from them.  If someone mishandles the Qjmyrre Flower,” she cringed as she said, “There’s no way of knowing what or how catastrophic the results could be.  Almost anything could happen.  The magical power in that flower is unimaginable.  Are you sure you need that one?” she asked with great concern.

Maxx smiled.  “Yes, that’s the one I need.  Can I retrieve the Qjmyrre Flower myself?” he asked.

Earll Edwind spoke up.  “How are you at flying or climbing rock walls that are straight up?” he asked sarcastically.

Maxx cringed at the thought.  “It sounds like I’ll need your help.  I will distract Russull Tallon while someone gets my flower.  Do you think that will work?” he asked.

“Great plan, great plan,” said Joe Winton, the hyperactive chickadee as he fluttered around the room, shortly.

“Just how do you plan to do that?” asked Petin Mink with skepticism.

Maxx smiled confidently as he said, “Just leave that to me.  I’m a detective remember.  I’m good at coming up with ideas.”

Just then, Atin Riksem walked into the room.  He had just waked up.  “Well, it looks like you’ve met everybody,” said Atin.

“We were just devising a plan to get his flower,” said Kelli Goodin as she giggled.

Atin stood clueless.  “Do you need my help?” he asked.

“We’ll see,” said Earll Edwind.

“Let’s go.  Let’s get Detective Zeqster’s flower,” said Minsy Edwind.

Maxx stood up from the bed.  “What do you know, it doesn’t hurt,” he thought as he walked out of the room with his stick, and the other residents, as Atin walked back to his home.

Twenty Minutes Later
The group stood in an open, rocky canyon nearby.  Minsy Edwind said as she pointed, “There’s you’re Qjmyrre Flowers.”

“And, there’s Russull Tallon’s nest.  He’s somewhere nearby.  He’s probably watching us right now,” said Earll Edwind as he pointed.

In a Nearby Tree Top

Russull Tallon, the giant Seslean hawk was watching with eager anticipation.  His mouth was watering as he watched the tasty critters.  “Which one of those tasty fools will I have for lunch?” thought Russull as he watched and smiled.

Meanwhile

Maxx turned to Minsy.  “You think Russull is watching us right now?” he asked.

She bobbed her head.  “Yes.  I’m sure he is.  He’s very crafty.  He’s waiting for an easy lunch,” she said.

Maxx bobbed his head and wiggled his lips.  He thought, “My plan will work.”  With the help of his trusty stick, he limped to the middle of the small canyon.  He shouted, “Russull Tallon, I would like a word with you!”

Russull Tallon was in the treetop near them.  He thought as he watched, “The stranger wants to talk to me?  What could he possibly have to say that I would be interested in?  He ignored the stranger and remained perched in the tall tree.

Upon seeing no movement, Maxx yelled again even louder, “Russull Tallon, I would like a word with you!”

“Fine!  Let’s see what the idiot wants,” thought Russull as he left his high perch and flew toward Maxx.

As Maxx saw the ordinary Seslean Hawk swooping down out of the tree toward him, he raised his cane and held it like a perch.  Russell flew down with great speed and landed on the stick.

The residents trembled with fear as Maxx talked with their greatest enemy.

“I’m here.  What is it that you want to tell me?” asked Russell, as he looked Maxx straight in the eye, while perched on his stick.

Maxx thought, “Just as I suspected, Russell is arrogant just like Zog Morxoc, of the Kinkorx Police.”  Maxx began his deal, “Do you ever wish these critters didn’t have anywhere to hide from you?”

Russell looked at him with surprise.  He replied, “All the time.  Why do you ask?”

“I can lead you to a place that is full of varmints and very few trees.  There is nowhere for the ground varmints to hide.  And…You would be the only hawk in the sky.  Would you be interested?” asked Maxx slyly.

Russell was intrigued.  “Where would this place be?” he asked with an evil smile.

Maxx thought, “I have him.”  He said, “Back where I live.  You will simply need to follow me from the air as I drive home.  There, you will be free to eat all you want every day with very little effort.  Not like here.”  Maxx shook his head for the effect.

“What do you require to show me this, land of plenty?” asked Russell.

Maxx inwardly smiled.  “My only condition is that you stop hunting these residents now.  I will get what I need and we can leave here quickly.  Wait for me back at the cabin,” said Maxx as he pointed to Atin Riksem’s home.

Russell thought for a moment.  “I accept your offer.  You better be telling the truth or else,” said Russell as he flew from Maxx’s perch towards Atin Riksem’s home.

The residents cheered as Russell Tallon flew away, “Ya!...Woo!...Awesome!”  Joe Winton, the hyperactive chickadee fluttered around along with Brendi and Kelli Goodin.

Maxx said, “He won’t bother you anymore.  Someone get my flowers so I can get back home with Russell.”

“We’ll get it for you,” said Earll Edwind.  He and Minsy scurried up the rock walls like they were nothing.  They quickly reached a patch of Qjmyrre Flowers.  They picked several that were in full bloom.  With their flowers, they scurried back down the steep rocky cliff back to Detective Zeqster.

After only minutes, Earll and Minsy proudly handed their bouquets of full bloom Qjmyrre Flowers to him.  “Here you are.  We hope they make your friends, parents feel better,” said Minsy.

“I hope so too,” said Maxx, “Let’s get back to the cabin.  I have a long journey.”

The residents and Maxx, with his stick, hurriedly walked back to the cabin.

At The Cabin

“Thanks for the bag, Atin.  I left mine in the car.  Thanks Minsy,  for the lizard repellent.  It will be nice to avoid being attacked by those lizards this time.  I have a long walk.  Then I have an even longer drive.  I need to go.  Thanks for your help everyone,” he said as he looked up and saw Russull Tallon circling in the air.

“What did you say to him, anyway?” asked Atin.

“He reminds me of a former acquaintance.  I appealed to his egotism,” said Maxx, as he began to walk toward the swamp with his stick and bag that is full of his precious, enchanted, Qjmyrre Flowers strapped over his shoulder, “Thanks again.”

“Remember what I said,” said Minsy loudly as Maxx walked away, “Great care must be taken when making a potion from the Qjmyrre Flowers.  The magical powers of that herb are unconceivable.”

“I’ll remember.  Thanks,” said Maxx loudly as he walked toward the swamp.

“Goodbye,” said the residents loudly as Maxx walked into the nearby marshland, as Russell Tallon circled high in the sky.

Later
Maxx Zeqster, while being covered in lizard repellant,  hobbled through the marshland, with the aid of his strong, trusty stick, in the direction of  his convertible, while the bag over his shoulder contained many of his precious Qjmyrre Flowers.

As he trudged along, during the early afternoon, while attempting to avoid as much of the water and thorns as possible, he occasionally glanced into the Sesla sky.  “There he is.  Russell Tallon is still following me,” he thought numerous times along his journey while carrying his magical flowers in a bag strapped over his shoulder and using his trusty stick for support.

“At least this time, I have daylight to guide me and I’m well rested.  Whatever Minsy Edwind gave me for my leg while I was sleeping, really worked.  My leg is healing so fast and that was the most restful sleep I can ever remember.  I wonder if I’m enjoying the benefits of other enchanted herbs as well?” he thought as he slowly walked through the marsh country with the help of his walking stick as Russell Tallon circled high above, without being attacked by the multicolored lizards.

As Maxx Carefully Walked

While avoiding holes, sharp sticks, and the water as much as possible, he gazed at his strolling watch.  “I’ve been walking speedily for three hours.  My car should be just up ahead,” he thought as he paused for a moment.

As he paused, he saw several lizards that seemed to be watching him from a safe distance.  “I wonder if Minsy’s lizard repellent is made of enchanted herbs as well?  It seems to be working extremely well.  In the daylight, and without being attacked, those lizards are very pretty.  Their multi-colored designs and bright colors are impressive.  I will have to add them to a painting someday,” he thought as he made a mental picture for a later painting.

He continued his trudge along the side of another bog as he avoided more thorny bushes.  “It’s a lot easier to avoid being picked to death when I can see,” he thought as he continued through the marsh country.  As he walked, he gazed at the sky again.  “Russell Tallon is still following me,” he said with surprise.

After Another Hour of Bog Trekking

Maxx saw his convertible.  “There it is,” he exclaimed with relief.  He continued the brief distance to the car.  “It’s right where I left it.  I don’t think Melá-Jutis gets very many visitors,” he thought.  “Look at all of those lizards.  They’re covering my car,” he said as he began to knock them off.  As he stood next to his convertible and removed them, the lizards quickly fled the area.  “The lizard repellent is still working,” he thought.

Maxx opened the unlocked door.  He removed the shoulder bag full of enchanted, magical, Qjmyrre Flowers and gently placed it next to the other bag on the front seat that he forgot to take.

He saw numerous multi-colored lizards inside his car as he sat the bag in place.  “How did they get into my car?” he asked as he saw the very colorful lizards lying inside his car.  “I think they will leave on their own when I sit down,” he thought as he entered his car and sat in the driver’s seat, while leaving the door open.  The numerous, multi-colored lizards quickly fled his car like their lives depended on it.

Maxx gazed at his life-saving, loyal, trusty stick.  “You served me so splendidly.  You deserve a special place in my home to remind me of this journey.  Not that I could ever forget this land that receives a large dosage of Sesla’s enchantments,” he thought.

He carefully placed his loyal stick into the back seat.  “I will paint a picture of this magical land someday.  In that painting, I will include you, my trusty friend.  Without you, I could not have completed this journey,” he said with teary eyes to his stick.

Maxx gazed into the sky once more.  He smiled in amazement.  “Russell Tallon is still following me.  He’s taking his new “land of plenty” very seriously,” he thought with a sly grin, “What I promised him was true.  I hope he likes the hot weather.”

He searched around his seat for the keys.  “Ah…I left the keys in the ignition,” he said in surprise as he saw them.  He turned on the engine.  “Rruumm…,” roared the motor.  “The car still sounds great,” he thought happily as he began to turn around in the over-grown path.

Maxx slowly and carefully turned his convertible around and began the long journey back to Kinkorx.

Twelve Hours Later
At the home of Tonnus and Dylora Kin in suburbia Kinkorx, Maxx drove into The Kin’s driveway, completely exhausted, the following morning as Sesla’s sun was beginning to rise, and parked.

He stepped out of his car with his shoulder bag full of Qjmyrre Flowers and his new friend, the stick, while wearing his bloody, muddy, torn strolling suit.  He gazed into the morning sky.  “I wonder where Russell Tallon is?  I hope he likes the desert heat,” he thought.

With the aid of his stick, he hobbled to the porch as the front door opened and Leqtus came out.  Leqtus saw his bloody, tattered, filthy appearance along with his muddy shoulder bag and long, thick swamp stick.  He asked with concern, “How was your trip?”

Maxx smiled exhaustedly as he yawned, “Splendid.  I met many new friends.  I also have numerous Qjmyrre Flowers in full bloom.”

Leqtus noticed the strange odor radiating from him.  “You look like you need a bath and some sleep,” said Leqtus.  He suddenly began to tremble with fear as he recalled, “As I previously stated, you will need to contact Dr. Rewqust to have my formula developed.  I put a copy of it in the envelope that I gave you.  He will need the formula and your Qjmyrre Flowers.  No other lab on Sesla will perform that type of work.  My formula requires the magical flower and a number of immoral, unethical, and illegal steps to produce the medication.”  He continued to tremble.  “Don’t involve me in this!  Don’t implicate me in any way!  If you do, Dr. Rewqust will come after me,” he said while panicking and trembling.

Maxx understood completely as he watched Leqtus tremble.  “I promise you, I will keep you out of this.  This will be between me and Qashlet Lab only,” said Maxx confidently, “We can forget you and I ever talked.”  He paused while he yawned.  “I’ll send your parents a check for the first bill as I promised.  They will receive it in a few days.  Have a pleasant day.”

He began to walk toward his car while yawning with his bag of Qjmyrre Flowers, and his trusty stick, while wearing his bloody, filthy, tattered strolling suit that was saturated with Minsy Edwind’s enchanted lizard repellent.

With his stick and bag, he crawled back into his convertible and began the short drive to his home in Bedsult, as Sesla’s sun was rising in the morning sky.

Chapter Five

Later That Afternoon

When Maxx awoke from his long nap after his emergency, exhausting, speedy trip to Melá-Jutis, his chest pain had returned.  With alarm, due to his families genetic history, he called his personal doctor, Dr. Tyi Rotizon in Kinkorx.  Due to Maxx’s family genetics, and his reported continuing chest pain, Dr. Rotizon requested that he drive there immediately.

Twenty Minutes Later

At the office of Dr. Tyi Rotizon, in Kinkorx, Maxx Zeqster’s personal physician, Maxx was sitting on the cold bed in Dr. Rotizon’s office while being further examined.  “I have reviewed your x-rays.  When I listen to your heart, I can hear the Zeqster family genetic heart condition that is on the x-rays.  I’m afraid I only have very bad news to report.  As with the other sufferers of this genetic condition in your family, there is very little that I can do besides make you more comfortable,” said the remorseful doctor.

As Maxx sat on the cold bed, while trembling with an aching heart, he horrifyingly asked, “Everyone in the Zeqster Family who inherited this gene died around my age.  How long do I have to live?”

Dr. Rotizon shook his head as he replied, “Your condition is advancing rapidly.  That is typical of this genetic disease.  I’m afraid you will follow the same path as the other Zeqster’s who inherited this heart disease.”

Maxx sat on the doctor’s bed as his anxieties exploded as the pain in his chest became unbearable.  “You’re telling me, I’m dying,” he said.

“I’m afraid so.  I will give you some medications to make you more comfortable.  There is very little that I can do for you besides that.  I want to see you on a month,” said Dr. Rotizon.

With horror, Maxx slowly dressed.  “I’m going to die,” he thought as he grabbed the medications and exited the doctor’s office.  He horrifyingly and painfully walked to his car.

“I’m going to die soon,” he thought as he crawled in and began to difficult drive home as his anxieties and heart pain raged.

Twenty Minutes Later

Maxx was in his back yard standing under the Red Ploss Tree, while painting depressingly.  As he down-heartedly painted, while sipping a cup of calming tea, as Sesla’s sun shined brightly and a warm breeze blew lightly, He thought, “I can’t believe it.  A week ago, I was fine.  Now, suddenly I’m dying from the Zeqster Family disease.  Everyone who inherited the gene died about my age,” he thought as he bleakly painted the last of the background onto his landscape painting.

After two hours of gloomy painting in the warm desert afternoon, he depressingly said, “That’s good enough.  The background scenery is complete.  As soon as this dries, if I’m still alive, I’ll finish with a stipplingeffect to further define the Xosyer Bushes in Grexenn Park, in Kinkorx.”

He depressingly cleaned his brushes and closed his paints.  “I’ll let this set until the next time I can paint.  If I’m still living.  It’s time to call Dr. Rewqust at Qashlet lab,” he thought as his anxieties raged from the thought of working with the mad scientists at Qashlet lab and his heart pain continued in his anxiety filled chest.

He trudged to his kitchen and opened his fridge.  He saw the bouquet of Qjmyrre Flowers that he stored on the shelf to keep them cool and fresh.  He grabbed a bottle of water.  He took a big drink.  “This water doesn’t taste very good today, for some reason,” he said as he closed his fridge.  He walked toward his office as his anxieties and chest pain was erupting.  “I’m not looking forward to working with Dr. Rewqust and the other Mad scientists at Qashlet lab,” he thought as he walked.

As he walked through his living room on the way to his office, he smiled depressingly at his friend, the Melá-Jutis swamp stick that supported him as he struggled through the lizard-infested, wet lands, swamp.  He placed his helper and friend in a corner of his living room as a reminder of his friends in Melá-Jutis.  As he gazed upon it fondly while down-heartedly passing by, he was oblivious to its extraordinary gifts of Seslean enchantments and Seslean magical powers.

While carrying his bottled water, he nervously and bleakly walked into his casual office, sat in front of his database, and turned it on.  While it booted, he remembered what Dr. Rotizon had said.  He also recalled his amazing journey to Melá-Jutis.

As he reminisced drearily and painfully, suddenly a picture of Art’s parents as doxer fever mutants in Dunjyn Asylum flashed into his mind.  He shook his head in horror at their conditions.  He took a deep breath as he typed in Qashlet lab and clicked on the phone number.

At Qashlet Laboratories Facility In The Wet Lands
The crazy scientist, and Xuro Qashlet’s top scientists at Qashlet lab, Dr. Myro Rewqust was sitting at his desk inside Qashlet lab.  He was reviewing the latest test results on their surviving genetic engineering experiments that were locked in the secret, soundproof room at the lab.  He smiled as he said, “I told Dr. Zarqre that Dr. Leqtus Kin was no longer needed.  Our latest genetic experiments are thriving and with less mutations.  They also seem to be just as intelligent and fast growing, if not more so.  We aren’t duplicating Dr. Kin’s work, we’re surpassing it,” he thought as he laughed crazily.

“Dr. Rewqust, you have a call on line #3.  It’s Detective Zeqster from Kinkorx,” said Rix Myine, the Qashlet Lab office manager.

Myro Rewqust flew into an immediate fury.  “What?  What does he want?”  he asked loudly while his temper exploded.  He grabbed the phone.  “Myro Rewqust!” he said loudly with a fury.

Maxx immediately recognized his temper explosion as he trembled with chest pain.  He attempted to remain calm as he kept his voice low.  He said, “This is Detective Maxx Zeqster.  I know we are not on the best of terms.”

Myro Rewqust’s face was bright red with rage as he asked sharply, “What do you want?”

“I have a business proposal for you.  I need to have a formula developed.  I believe Qashlet Lab is the only lab that will do this work for me,” stated Maxx as he trembled at the thought of working with the Mad scientist and dying.

Myro Rewqust anger eased as he thought, “A business proposal.  That sounds interesting.”  He asked as his temper continued to ease, “What type of formula?”  He asked with a crazy facial expression.

Maxx swallowed nervously as he continued while his heart pain persisted, “I have a doxer fever reversing formula.  The procedures are somewhat illegal—”

Myro Rewqust laughed as he interrupted, “Somewhat illegal.  We have attempted several formulas like that in the past.  They all failed and yes, the procedures are illegal and very unethical.  What makes you think you have a formula that will work?” he asked with mockery and skepticism.

Maxx thought before he answered.  He took a deep breath as he continued to tremble painfully.  “I don’t know if my formula will work or not.  I’m simply asking you to attempt to create the medication using my formula.  That’s all.  I’ll pay whatever you charge for doing this work for me,” said Maxx.

Myro Rewqust was extremely intrigued.  He thought, “I can’t pass up an offer like this.  He won’t like my conditions.”  He smiled crazily as he stated, “We will attempt to develop your formula, for a price.  You’ve stated, there’s no way of knowing whether the medication will work since all of our previous attempts to create a drug like this have failed.  Would you not agree?”  he asked.

Maxx responded as his heart ached in his chest from his family’s terminal genetic heart disease that he was diagnosed with.  “I would agree, we won’t know of its effectiveness until it’s tested,” replied Maxx.

Myro Rewqust continued as he grinned crazily.  “My conditions are simple, not only will you  pay me whatever I choose to charge you for attempting to develop your drug, I will also require the medication to be tested on you, right after we inject you with doxer venom,”  he stated boldly as he laughed crazily and loudly.

Maxx’s painful, diseased heart was pounding.  His head started spinning.  He felt faint.  He slumped in his chair as he began to pass out from the over-whelming shock and anxiety.  He was nearly collapsing.

He began to breathe deeply as he struggled to straighten back up in his chair.  He struggled to regain posture as his heart ached.  As he sat with his head spinning, he could hear Dr. Rewqust laughing loudly.  “Why does it have to be tested on me?” he asked as he struggled to breathe and sit.

“Because You have caused me a lot of problems.  I hope the formula doesn’t work and you mutate into a dis-figured doxer and end up in a doxer fever asylum,” said Dr. Rewqust as he laughed loudly and evilly.

Maxx paused for a moment to consider the Mad scientists conditions as his anxieties and chest pain raged.  As he paused, images of Art’s mutated parents in Dunjyn Asylum flew into his mind.  Images of Art walking along the horrific corridors while being grabbed by the doxer fever mutants flew through his mind.  Images of Art vomiting from the stench and filth flew into his mind.

He thought, “Leqtus Kin, the genetic engineer, believes his formula will work.  I’ve seen Sesla’s enchantment powers at Melá-Jutis.  I don’t want Art’s parents to die like my grandmother.  I’m dying anyway.  Maybe, before I die, I can save Art’s parents.  Art would take a bullet for me.  I have to try.”

He took a deep breath as his aching, diseased heart pounded in his chest and he trembled from fear.  He squeezed the arm of his chair as he said boldly, “I accept your conditions.”

Myro Rewqust laughed crazily and loudly.  Then he said, “We will begin work on your formula as soon as you send it to us.  I’ll decide later how much I will charge you for this work.”  As he laughed like a raging lunatic, Mad scientists, he hung up the phone.

Maxx slumped painfully in his chair, while gripping the armrest, as his anxieties erupted out of control.  He thought as he slumped, “I have to do this for Art.  I have to try to help his parents.  I’m dying anyway.  I don’t want Art’s parents to die like my grandmother.  I hope Leqtus’ formula works.”

He continued to painfully slump at his database while his anxieties raged out of control.  He depressingly thought as he trembled, “I need to make a copy of Leqtus’ formula to send to Qashlet lab.  I also need to send the Qjmyrre Flowers.”

He paused for a moment as he depressingly trembled.  “Just in case the first try doesn’t work, I’ll only send half of my flowers.  I’ll save the other half, just in case the formula doesn’t work and I start to mutate.”  As he trembled uncontrollably, he printed off a copy of Leqtus’ formula.

He depressingly walked to his kitchen and opened the fridge.  He grabbed the bouquet of Qjmyrre Flowers.  He removed half and put the other half back.  After closing door, he slowly and depressingly walked back to his office.  He addressed an envelope:

Qashlet Laboratories Facility in Guytic City

Attn:  Myro Rewqust

He placed the copy of the formula and the half bundle of Qjmyrre Flowers into the envelope and sealed it.  “I need to mail this before I have time to think about it,” he thought, “The mail hasn’t been delivered yet.  If I hurry I can get this in my mailbox before the carrier arrives.”

With the envelope, he trudged to his mailbox as the carrier drove up.  “Good afternoon, Detective Zeqster,” said Astir Vreblun, the mail carrier as he grabbed Maxx’s envelope, “No mail today.  Have a good day.”  He drove down Lypont Drive to the next box.

Maxx breathed deeply as he realized he could not back out of this agreement.  “I have to do this for Art,” he thought as his anxieties raged.

He walked depressingly onto his porch and grabbed the newspaper.  Without looking at it, he walked back inside and sat at his database.  In his depression, he glanced at the frightening front-page headline.  The alarming article was over the news wire from The Wet Lands News.  The article was written by Veem Weazan.  The headline read:  More Joqzonions Join Gang of Five – War Is Imminent!

The Wet Lands News: Again today at The Wet Lands News, we are reporting more flying saucer sightings over the wet lands by the residents.  We are receiving an alarming number of calls from frightened citizens who are concerned about another war.

We are also receiving calls from eyewitnesses who claim to have seen the “Gang of Five” with additional Joqzonions.  It is believed by the eyewitnesses that the “Gang of Five” is gaining more Joqzonion members almost daily as the number of robberies and horrific and gruesome murders continues to increase…

As Maxx painfully sat at his database and read, the images of the war in the wet lands between the Joqzonions and Seslean authorities when he was a small child flooded his mind.  The vivid memories engulfed him as he read.

The Next Morning
Sesla’s beautiful sun was rising cheerfully in the welcoming sky.  The warm gentle desert breeze was calming.  The sky was cloudless and blue.  The new morning was spectacularly renewing and revitalizing.  The morning was renewing for everyone except Maxx.

He was in his back yard at his home in Bedsult, in suburbia Kinkorx, while attempting to distract himself by painting.  As he sipped a cup of calming tea while feeling depressed and exhausted, he added the first stippling effect to his nearly complete landscape portrait of the scenery at Grexenn Park, in Kinkorx.

As he painted, his deep melancholy depression consumed him.  Images of himself lying on a lab table at Qashlet lab, while being injected with doxer venom, flooded his mind.  He was having images of the experimental doxer fever-reversing drug not working, and himself mutating.

He thought as he depressingly painted while struggling to control his trembling, “All I can think about is being injected with doxer venom by the completely Mad, Dr. Rewqust at Qashlet lab and immediately mutating into a half sea doxer, half Razion.  My nightmares kept me awake all night.  Every time I fell asleep, I dreamt of the same horrifying, mutating dream.  If that happens, at least I won’t be a mutant for long.  That’s the bright side.”

As the beautiful Sesla morning advanced, he continued to wearily apply the stippling effect to the Xosyer Bushes in his Grexenn Park landscape painting to further define their fullness.

One Week Later
It was another beautiful, sunny day, as Maxx arrived home after a late afternoon stroll through the streets of Bedsult.  Like before, his chest pain had slowly subsided and was minimal.  “Good, my newspaper is here,” he thought a he grabbed The Bedsult Daily News from its box.

He walked into his home with his newspaper.  He smiled as he walked through the living room and looked at his Melá-Jutis stick.  As always, the magical memories of the Enchanted City flooded his mind.  As he remembered Melá-Jutis, he sat in his recliner and began to read his newspaper.

As he skimmed The Bedsult Daily News quickly, an article from the news wire concerning the Gang of Five caught his attention.  The Wet Lands News headline read:  More Brutal Murders and Robberies at Guytic City Police Armory by Gang of Five

The Wet Lands News: The next in a growing list of gruesome murders and robberies took place at the Guytic City Police Armory.  Several police officers were brutally murdered and the armory was cleaned out of the arsenal stored there by the outlaw mutants known as the “Gang of Five” and Joqzonions.

The responding officers were greeted by the words that were written in blood on the wall, “I AM TAKING OVER SESLA!”

As of yet, the Guytic City Police are unsure which of the gang members wrote the message…

“Wow,” thought Maxx as he read the horrific article, “It sounds like we’re headed for another war on Sesla.  I still remember the horrible war with the Joqzonions in the wet lands when I was a child.”

As he continued to read his newspaper, his phone began to ring.  He immediately trembled as he thought, “That could be Dr. Rewqust.”

He hurried to his office and picked up the phone.  He nervously answered as his anxieties exploded, “Good evening…Detective…Zeqster.”

“Hello Detective Zeqster.  This Myro Rewqust from Qashlet Lab.  We received your envelope.  Dr. Zarqre has been working on the formula almost non-stop.  We’re ready for the test.  How soon can you get here?”  he asked as he laughed crazily and loudly.

Maxx’s heart pain returned with severity as it pounded in his chest as he collapsed into his database chair.  He couldn’t breathing.  He was petrified as he imagined mutating into a doxer mutant and living briefly in a doxer fever asylum as he quickly died.  Suddenly images of his dying, mutated grandmother and Art’s mutated parents in Dunjyn Asylum came into his mind along with images of Art vomiting uncontrollably in the corridors of the asylum.

He grabbed the arm of his chair tightly, as his diseased heart ached in his chest.  He replied as he trembled, “I’ll leave immediately.”

Myro Rewqust laughed crazily.  “We’re looking forward to seeing you,” he said as he continued to laugh crazily and loudly.

Twelve Hours Later
Maxx’s heart was aching and his hands were trembling as he drove into the front parking lot at Qashlet Lab.  He nervously and painfully opened the door of his now mud covered flaming red convertible and exited the car as he trembled.  He walked to the small front door.  He knocked as he shook from fear.

Almost immediately, the door opened.  “We’re expecting you,” said Dr. Zarqre, Dr. Myro Rewqust’s assistant scientists, “Follow me.”  He walked into the lab as Detective Zeqster trudged painfully and wearily behind.

As Maxx followed the mad scientists, his legs attempted to buckle numerous times while he trembled with horror as he envisioned his upcoming mutation.

“In here,” said the crazy scientist, Dr. Zarqre, as he led Maxx into a small room.  The room had numerous counters with sinks, test tubes, and microscopes.  There was one lab bed with numerous restraints in the middle of the room.

Dr. Zarqre handed Maxx a gown.  “Change into this,” he said as he handed it to the trembling, almost collapsing Razion.

Maxx trembled from horror and chest pain as he grabbed the gown with shaking hands.  He slowly removed his strolling suit and put on the gown.  He attempted to tie the strings but his hands trembled to severely.

“I’ll tie it for you,” said Dr. Zarqre as he walked to Maxx’s rear and tied the strings as Maxx struggled to stand.  “That’s better.  Let me help you.  Let’s lie down,” he said with a crazy smile as he helped Maxx lie on the cold lab bed.

The terminally ill, Maxx Zeqster, collapsed onto the bed as Dr. Zarqre grinned while guiding his fall.  “Let’s get the intravenous infusion into your arm,” said the crazy doctor happily.  Dr. Zarqre worked quickly to insert the flex-needle with tubing into Maxx’s vein as he lay on the lab bed while delirious from horror and pain.

Maxx lie on the cold bed with the needle in his vein while the tube was taped to his arm.  He was so terrified that he was delirious.  Images of him mutating into a sea doxer flooded his mind.  He closed his eyes as the horrifying images of his mutation flooded his subconscious.

“Dr. Rewqust, to the lab,” paged Dr. Zarqre to his boss.

Maxx lie trembling on the cold bed as the horrifying images of his grandmother’s horrible death, Art’s mutating parents, and his own mutation and death frantically raced through his mind.

The completely Mad Dr. Myro Rewqust entered the room.  He smiled crazily.  “I see our patient is ready,” he said with a crazy, malicious smile, as he laughed, “Let’s not keep him waiting.”

Maxx opened his eyes gigantically from horror.  He trembled as he watched Dr. Zarqre smile crazily as he approached with the large syringe with needle full of doxer venom.

Images of him mutating into a sea doxer, due to rapid doxer fever, continued to flood his mind as Dr. Zarqre grinned crazily as he inserted the needle into the tube hole just above the inserted needle into his vein.

Myro Rewqust grinned crazily as he watched with extreme pleasure.  Dr. Zarqre said, “Put your hand on the syringe.  You are going to inject yourself with concentrated doxer venom.  Then, if you are able, you can inject yourself with our new reversal drug.  We aren’t going to be responsible if anything…unexpected happens.”  He laughed loudly and crazily.

With trembling and shaking hands and a pounding heart, Detective Maxx Zeqster reached over and took the syringe into his free hand.  He trembled as he held the syringe as the two mad scientists watched with crazy grins.

“Remember our agreement,” said Dr. Rewqust as he grinned crazily.

Detective Zeqster trembled as images of himself mutating into a sea doxer continued to flood his mind.  He started to drop the syringe.  Suddenly images of Art’s doxer fever stricken, mutated parents, Lyndi Nekuma and Rydon Nekuma, in Dunjyn Asylum, flooded his mind.  Images of his apprentice, Detective Arthor Nekuma while vomiting in the ghastly and horrific Dunjyn Asylum flooded his mind.  Images of his dead, doxer fever stricken grandmother flooded his mind.  Images of him dying from his terminal, genetic heart condition flooded his mind.

As he trembled from fear and horror, he thought, “This medication has to be tested.  I’m dying anyway.  If I mutate, I won’t live long.  I don’t want Art’s parents to die like my grandmother.  Art would take a bullet for me.  No matter what happens, I’m doing this for Art and his parents.”  With a trembling hand, he pushed the syringe and inserted the full dose of doxer venom into his vein.

When the drug was fully inserted into his trembling body, he lay flat and closed his eyes.  He thought as he lay on the cold bed, “I’m doing this for you and your parents, Detective Arthor Nekuma.  You would take a bullet for me.  I hope it works.”

Dr. Rewqust and Dr. Zarqre watched with extreme pleasure as they grinned crazily while waiting for the reaction to begin.

After a few moments, as Maxx lay still on the cold bed with his eyes closed, Dr. Zarqre grabbed the syringe containing a full dosage of the doxer fever reversal drug.  He walked to Maxx.  He removed the first syringe and inserted the experimental drug into the same tube hole.  “Here is the new drug, if you’re still able to inject yourself.  Otherwise we’ll enjoy watching you mutate,” he said as he laughed loudly and crazily as he waited for Maxx to respond.

The doxer’s powerful venom was quickly taking control of Maxx’s body.  He was experiencing the paralysis associated with doxer fever.  His body’s motor skills were shutting down.  Due to the psychosis of doxer fever, he was already drifting from reality.  The doxer fever schizophrenia was taking control of his mind.  He somewhat understood what the Mad scientists was saying.  With all of his remaining strength, as Dr. Zarqre held the syringe while glaring crazily at his boss, Maxx reached and rather than grabbing the entire needle, he quickly pushed the end of the syringe, thus inserting the medication into his vein.

“Look at what he’s doing!” said Dr. Rewqust angrily as he saw Maxx slyly inserting the medication into his vein.

“Ha!  You have to hold the syringe yourself,” said Dr. Zarqre as Maxx finished inserting the full syringe into his vein.

The doxer venom was rapidly taking control of his body as he lay on the lab bed with his eyes closed.  He was feeling the full effects of the paralysis.  The doxer fever psychosis was taking control of his mind.  He was drifting away from reality.  As he laid cold and mutating on the lab bed, he drifted into an unconscious state.

Several Hours Later

Dr. Zarqre was quietly working in the room at Qashlet lab, as Maxx lay unconscious on the lab table in the middle of the room.  He was rechecking the doxer fever reversing formula.  “I don’t understand why he isn’t mutating.  I know that formula didn’t work.  It was completely different from anything that I’ve seen before.  None of my previous attempts to create a reversal formula have worked…,” he continued to think as he worked.

As Maxx, lie unconscious on the lab bed, while Dr. Zarqre worked and thought, He Awoke!  “Where am I?” he wondered as he quietly looked around the room quietly.  “Something is different,” he thought as he gazed around the room, “Everything seems strange.”

As he lay quietly on the bed, he heard Dr. Zarqre talking.

“All of my readings are accurate.  That formula should not have worked,” he Thought!  “I don’t understand why he isn’t mutating.  He injected himself with a very concentrated dosage of doxer venom.  He should be half sea doxer be now,” he Thought!

As Maxx lay quietly and listened to Dr. Zarqre Talk he noticed Dr. Zarqre’s mouth remained closed.  “His mouth is closed and his face isn’t moving and yet, I can hear him talking,” he thought.

As Dr. Zarqre thought and worked, he shifted his feet.  What was that?” thought Maxx, “I felt the vibration when Dr. Zarqre moved his feet.”

Dr. Zarqre shook the test tube, vigorously.  Maxx cringed from the strong vibration, “Wow, I really felt that.  The vibration was so strong it hurt,” he thought as he cringed.

Dr. Zarqre glanced over at Maxx as he lies on the table with his eyes open.  “You’re awake,” he said, “How do you feel?”

Maxx’s senses were reading everything differently as he answered, “I think I’m ok.”  He started to sit up.

“Hold on!  Wait!” he said sharply as he hurried to Maxx’s bed, “I need to remove the tube from your arm.”  He quickly removed the tape and flex-needle from his arm and vein.

“Let me help you up,” said Dr. Zarqre as he lifted him while Maxx rose to a sitting position, “Are you dizzy or light headed?”

As Maxx’s senses registered everything differently, he answered, “I think I’m fine.  I would like my clothes, and the formula, and the medication, like we agreed.”

“Of course,” said Dr. Zarqre as he quickly grabbed his strolling suit and handed it to him.  “I’ll give you the remainder of the reversing drug.  I didn’t alter the formula at all.  I will put your copy and the medication in a container for you.”

As Maxx dressed, Dr. Zarqre quickly gathered the items and put them in a protective container.  “Here you are,” he said as he handed the container to Maxx.

“Thanks,” said Maxx as he grabbed the handle of the sealed box, “I’ll be going now.  I know the way.”

As Maxx exited the room, with his container, he heard Dr. Zarqre talking.

“I can’t believe he’s ok.  He should be mutating,” thought Dr. Zarqre.

Maxx walked along the hallway to the exit door.  He opened it and walked through the small room to the front of the building.  As he stood in the open air outside of Qashlet lab, he thought, “Everything seems different.  Something has happened to me.  I seem to have new, very powerful senses,” he thought as he walked to his muddy car.

He entered his convertible and put his container in the passenger’s seat.  He began the long drive back to Bedsult as he tried to understand the changes that he was experiencing.

Chapter Six

Two Days Later

Maxx was taking a relaxing morning stroll along the streets of Bedsult as Sesla’s sun rose in the morning sky.  The warm desert breeze blew on his face as he ambled.  “I have never felt the wind like this before.  The movement of the wind is making me body tingle.  It’s like I have new senses,” he thought as he walked, “My chest isn’t hurting anymore.”

As he sauntered past Grigg Bassner’s untidy, weed infested home, Grigg was sitting while rocking in his hanging, hickory, front porch, and loveseat.  “Good morning Mr. Bassner,” he said loudly as he waved.  He thought as he walked by, “I can feel the vibrations of his rocking swing.  It’s really strange.”

Maxx continued to stroll through the streets of Bedsult as Sesla’s morning sun shone brightly, and he experienced his new senses.

An Hour Later

As Maxx finished his lengthy morning stroll and entered his home, he walked to his kitchen and opened his fridge.  He grabbed a bottle of water.  He smiled as he saw the half bouquet of Qjmyrre Flowers still fresh in the fridge.  “Those flowers really are enchanted.  They stopped me from getting doxer fever after I injected myself,” he thought as he grabbed a bottle of water and closing the door.

As he sipped the water, he walked into his living room.  He stopped to smile at the Melá-Jutis swamp stick that he placed in the corner of his living room to remind him of his friends in Melá-Jutis.

As he drank his chilled water and remembered his friends in Melá-Jutis, he began to hear a girl’s voice.  He was puzzled as he listened to the female voice that seemed to be emanating from his swamp stick, “Maxx Zeqster, you willing sacrificed your life for your friend and his parents.  That was a very noble deed.  Because you are pure of heart, and self-sacrificing, Sesla has healed your diseased heart.  Your terminal genetic illness is gone.

Sesla has also rewarded you with many enchantments.  Over time, you will discover your magical powers and learn how to use them.  You are already experiencing your enchanted senses.  Rather than allowing the doxer venom to mutate your body and mind, Sesla chose to enchant you with doxer senses as well as many other gifts.”

As he listened, he heard girl’s crying as the stick mentally talked to him, “The victims of doxer fever that you are trying to save are gravely ill and dying.  You must hurry and get the enchanted medicine to them before it is too late.  It can save them, but you must hurry.”

As Maxx listened, the crying became louder, “Sesla weeps because of the imminent war in her wet lands.  Because of your gifts, you are the only one who can fight the invaders.  You must travel to the wet lands and fight these new groups of invaders that want to destroy our home.  The survival of Sesla is in your hands.”

Maxx was over-joyed and heart-broken at the same time as he listened to his loyal friend, the Melá-Jutis swamp stick.  He wiped his teary eyes as he thought, “I hope that’s true.  All I know is my heart feels fine now.”  He thought about Art’s parents dying.  He thought, “I need to contact Dr. Neafyndrer, at Dunjyn Asylum immediately.”

He walked to his database and sat in his chair.  He quickly typed Dunjyn Asylum into his database.  He clicked on the number.

At Dunjyn Asylum

Nurse Ilssa Grunmur, the head nurse at the asylum, was sitting at her desk near the front entrance to the main foyer while quietly working.  “Ahhh!...Rrrruu!...uuhhh!” echoed from deep within the asylum corridors as she worked.

Dr. Vuyyu Neafyndrer, the head psychiatrist at the asylum walked into the foyer with a concerned expression on his face.

“Lyndi and Rydon Nekuma are getting worst aren’t they?” asked Nurse Grunmur.

Dr. Neafyndrer shook his head as he said, “Nothing I’m trying is working.  I don’t understand it.  They’re dying and I can’t seem to do anything about.  I’m trying every type of medication available.  Nothing is helping.”

“Ring!Ring!...Ring!Ring!” sounded Nurse Grunmur’s phone.  “Dunjyn Asylum.  Nurse Grunmur,” she said as she answered it as Dr. Neafyndrer walked toward his office while discouraged.

“This is Detective Maxx Zeqster.  I need to speak with Dr. Neafyndrer.  Is he available?” he asked.

“Yes.  He just walked away,” she said.  “Dr. Neafyndrer.  It’s for you,” she said to her boss.

Dr. Neafyndrer walked quickly back to Nurse Grunmur’s desk.  He grabbed the phone.  “Dr. Neafyndrer,” he said.

“This is Detective Zeqster.  I’m Art Nekuma’s employer.  I’m calling about Art’s parents.  How are they?” he asked with concern.

Dr. Neafyndrer  signed.  “I’m afraid their conditions are rapidly deteriorating.  I’m trying every medication available.  Their doxer fever seems to be killing them,” he shook his head, “They’re both dying and there seems to be nothing that I can do to stop it,” he said with frustration.

Maxx paused to choose his words carefully.  “I might be able to help you.  A new doxer fever reversal medication has just been created.  It is so new that I doubt you’ve heard of it.  I will purchase the medication and bring it to you if you will allow me to do so,” he said.  He nervously waited for the response.

Dr. Neafyndrer said with surprise, “I’m not aware of any doxer fever reversing medication on the market, but given the nature of this asylum, if there was, it would be too costly for our patients.”  He sighed.  “I will also admit, I’m not up on the latest medical advances.”

Maxx signed with relief.  He asked, “Would you allow me to purchase the medication and bring it to you?”

“Sure.  You buy it and bring it here.  I’ll administer it to Lyndi and Rydon.  I would get it here quickly.  They are both dying,” he said as he shook his head again, “Their poor son, Art.  He’s been here day and night for the past week.  He just left to get some sleep.”

Maxx heart broke again.  “I’m leaving right now.  I’ll purchase the medication and drive there immediately,” he said as he wiped the tears from his eyes and hung up the phone.

Maxx hurried into his office and grabbed the sealed container from Qashlet lab that contained the formula and the doxer fever reversal, medication.  “I better keep the formula here,” he thought as he removed it and closed the container.  He grabbed the container and his keys and hurried out of his home.

Later

Maxx drove into the Dunjyn Asylum parking lot and parked.  “What a dreadful place,” he thought as he looked at the spider web infested front entrance and the cracked and weed infested parking lot and walkway, “This place is creepy.  It looks like it is completely under-ground.”

He exited his car with the container in hand and walked along the creepy walkway to the spooky entrance.  “Oh!...The putrid smell,” he thought as he stood outside the front entrance.

He opened the door.  Immediately, the stench of the asylum assaulted his senses.  “Ohh!...,” he cringed and moaned as he got a whiff of the sick doxer fever patients and their droppings.  He walked inside as nausea quickly over-whelmed him.

“You’re Detective Maxx  Zeqster.  I recognize you from the newspapers.  Is that the medication that Dr. Neafyndrer is waiting for?” asked Nurse Ilssa Grunmur from her desk in the foyer.

“Yes,” said Maxx as he walked to her desk while carrying the container and fighting the immediate need to vomit, due to the incredible, putrid stench.

As he quickly turned yellow, he handed Nurse Grunmur the container.  “Can you see that Dr. Neafyndrer gets this?  I need to get out of here.  I don’t feel very good,” he said as he held his nauseas stomach.

“Oh my,” she said with sympathy as she grabbed the container with both hands and placed it on her desk, “You don’t look good at all.  He’s waiting for this medication.  I’ll let him know it’s here.  You should get some fresh air.”  She picked up the phone and pushed the intercom button.  She said, “Dr. Neafyndrer the medication is here.”

He bobbed his head as he fought the need to vomit.  “I’m going to leave.  Excuse me,” he said.  He hurried to the door and opened it as he held his stomach.  He hurried outside and closed the spider web infested door.

Maxx took several deep breaths as he walked toward his car while bent over from the nausea.  “I don’t know how Art can go in that horrible asylum.  I got sick just standing at the door,” said Maxx as he opened his car door.  He slowly entered and closed the door.

As he continued to breathe deeply, he started the motor.  “That asylum reeks of sick doxer fever patients.  I don’t know how Art can go in there every day.  I hope the medicine works and his parents can leave that horrible place,” he thought as he drove out of the asylum parking lot while continuing to hold his stomach.

He began the long drive through the open desert back to Bedsult, as his nausea persisted.

Meanwhile; At Dunjyn Asylum
When Dr. Neafyndrer heard Nurse Grunmur’s message over the intercom, he hurried to her desk and grabbed the container that Detective Zeqster had left.  He hurried to Lyndi Nekuma’s room, room 37 with the container.  He quickly injected Lyndi with a full syringe of the doxer fever, reversal medication, as she lay mutating and dying.

He walked next door and injected the dying, Rydon Nekuma with a full syringe of the reversing medication as well.

He walked back and forth from room to room as he watched to see what Lyndi and Rydon’s reaction would be to the medication, that he was unfamiliar with, as they both lay in their beds while dying from  acute doxer fever.

The Next Morning
Art Nekuma was cheerfully sitting in the small chair in his mother’s room at Dunjyn Asylum while Dr. Neafyndrer examined her.  “Your mother’s improvement is remarkable.  The new medication that Detective Zeqster brought me yesterday seems to be working rapidly,” he said to Art.  He continued with his examination of Lyndi.  “How are you feeling this morning, Lyndi?” he asked.

“I’m fee..ling bet…ter,” she said as she struggled.

Dr. Neafyndrer covered his rapidly improving doxer fever patient and said.  “I’m so pleased with your progress, Lyndi.  I will check in on you again this afternoon.  I’m going to see how Rydon is doing,” said the head psychiatrist at the Dunjyn Asylum.

“Walk over there with me while I do my examination,” said Dr. Neafyndrer to Art.

“I’ll be back in a minute, mom,” said art as he followed the doctor.

They walked next door to room 38.  Art sat in the small chair as Dr. Neafyndrer began his examination of the conscious Rydon Nekuma.  “How are you feeling, Rydon?” asked the doctor.

“I’m fee…ling b…ett…er,” said Rydon as he struggled painfully to talk.

Dr. Neafyndrer and Art both smiled cheerfully.  “That’s the first time I’ve heard you speak,” said Dr. Neafyndrer.

“Me too,” said Art, “I’ve never even seen you completely awake.”

Dr. Neafyndrer continued with his brief examination of Rydon.  “I did not know there was a doxer fever reversing medication available.  According to your boss,  Detective Zeqster, it’s very new to the market.  I would have to think it was very costly for him to purchase it,” he said as he continued with his exam, “It seems to be helping both of your parents.  Only time will tell just how successful it truly is.  At least for now, both of your parents are rapidly improving.  I’ll check on them again this afternoon,” said Dr. Neafyndrer.  He covered the improving patient and left the room.

“I’m going back to mom’s room and talk with her.  Close your eyes, dad, and get some more rest,” said Art.  He walked out of room 38.  He crossed the hall and entered room 37 again.  He sat in the small chair and began to talk with his improving mother again.

Several Days Later
As Art sat in the small chair in his mother’s room, Dr. Neafyndrer examined his mother who was sitting up on her bed, practically pain-free, and actually talking.  “Lyndi, I’m so pleased with your progress.  Your fever is gone and your mutations are actually reversing,” he smiled as he shook his head, “I’ve never seen anything like this in my entire medical career.  How are you feeling?” he asked Lyndi.

“I haven’t felt this good in  twenty years.  I want to go home,” she said with a smile.

Dr. Neafyndrer laughed, “Let’s see how you’re doing in a few more days,” he said, “I’m going next door to see how Rydon is doing.”  He exited the room.

“Mom, I’ve never seen you look so strong.  You’re talking is so much better,” said Art cheerfully.

“I feel a better.  It’s nice that you’re spending day and night here with me.  I hope I can go home soon,” she said.

“I should see how dad is doing while Dr. Neafyndrer is there.  I’ll be right back,” he said.  He exited his mom’s room and walked across the hall to his father’s room.  He sat in the small chair while Dr. Neafyndrer examined his quickly improving father.

“As you can see Art, your father is also rapidly improving, just like your mother,” said Dr. Neafyndrer as he examined Rydon.

“I’m feeling a lot better.  I thought I was going to die.  Thanks to Detective Zeqster, I’m getting better fast.  My mutations are reversing.  How soon can we get out of here?” asked Rydon.

Dr. Neafyndrer replied as he chuckled, “As I just told Lyndi, let’s see how you’re doing in a few days.”

Two Days Later
As Art walked along the dungeon-like corridor toward his parents’ room, he noticed him mom pacing in the hall.  “Mom, what are you doing,” he asked with surprise.

“I felt like walking,” she said as she continued to pace back and forth.

Dr. Neafyndrer walked down the corridor toward them.  He smiled joyfully as saw Lyndi walking.  He said, “It’s so good to see you up and walking.  How are you feeling?”

“I feel fine.  I want to go home!” she said strongly as she paced.

“Let’s go into your room and let me examine you,” said the doctor.

Lyndi walked into her cave-like room and sat on the slumping bed as Dr. Neafyndrer and Art followed.  Art sat in the chair as Dr. Neafyndrer began his exam.

As he examined, he said, “Your fever still hasn’t returned.  Your mutations are quickly reversing.  Your dorsal fin is almost gone.  Your arms and hands are returning to normal.”  He pulled back the gown on her legs.  “Your legs are returning back to normal.  You are amazing.”

“When can I go home?” asked Lyndi strongly.

“I don’t see any reason to keep you here much longer.  Let’s give you one more day to improve.  Unless a problem arises, I will release you tomorrow,” he said.

Lyndi and Art smiled at the terrific news.  “That’s great Mom,” said Art joyfully.

Dr. Neafyndrer said, “I will release Rydon tomorrow as well, if he continues to improve.  I’m going to check on him next.  Unless I find something wrong, I’ll tell him the same thing.  I’ll be right back to talk to you, Art.”

“I'll be right here,” Art replied as he continued to rejoice with his Mom.

Dr. Neafyndrer exited Lyndi’s room and walked across the hall to Rydon Nekuma’s room.

Rydon was sitting in the small chair while reading an old newspaper as he entered.  Dr. Neafyndrer smiled when he saw Rydon reading in the chair.  “Let me take a look at you, Rydon,” said Dr. Neafyndrer, “Set on your bed.”

Rydon quickly placed the old copy of the Wyluxx City Times on his table and moved to the bed.  Dr.  Neafyndrer began his examination.

As he looked over the rapidly recovering doxer fever patient, he said, “Just like Lyndi, your fever still hasn’t returned and your mutations are quickly reversing.  You still have more of a dorsal fin than she does but your fin is also quickly going away.  Your arms and hands are quickly returning to normal.”  He pulled back his gown on his legs.  “Your leg mutations are returning back to normal as well.  You two are amazing.”

He smiled.  “Unless I see a problem, I am releasing both you and Lyndi into Art’s care, tomorrow.  I need to talk with him about your and Lyndi’s release.  Please excuse me,” said Dr. Dr. Neafyndrer.

He walked back to Lyndi’s room.  Art and his mom were still talking.  “I have examined Rydon.  He is also improving quickly.  Unless something changes, I will release both of your parents into your care tomorrow.  Do you need time to prepare your home?” asked Dr.  Neafyndrer, to Art.

“Yes!  If mom and dad are coming home with me tomorrow, I need to get their rooms ready.  Right now, there’s no place for dad to sleep,”  said Art with excitement.

“I can’t release them until your home is ready.  Maybe you should leave and start working on their rooms,” said Dr. Neafyndrer with a joyous smile.

“I think you’re right,” said Art to Dr. Neafyndrer.  He said to his mom, “I’ll see you in the morning mom.  I’ve got a lot of work to do.”

He hurried out of her room and walked along the horrific, dungeon-like corridor as “Ahha!....Uhoo!...Rarre!...,” echoed through the ghastly, dirt floor halls.

As he hurried past numerous doxer fever mutants, and his nausea quickly returned, they attempted to grab him with their mutated, gruesome arm-like elongated fins.  “Aaaa!...Rrrra!...Uhhuu!...,” echoed through the horrific corridors as he hurried.

As the nausea increased and he held his stomach, he hurried to the foyer where Nurse  Grunmur was sitting at her desk.  He blurted excitedly as he held his stomach while rushing  toward the exit door, “Dr. Neafyndrer is releasing my mom and dad tomorrow morning.  I have to get their rooms ready.”

She smiled.  “That’s great.  I’m so glad for you,” she said.

“Thanks,” he said as he opened the door and hurried out.  He closed the creepy, spider web infested front door and took several deep breathes to cleanse his lungs of the putrid stench of the doxer fever mutants and their droppings.

“I’ve got work to do.  I have to get their rooms ready,” he thought, “I need to hurry.”  He hurried to his convertible and excitedly jumped in.  Sand flew as he spun his wheels to begin his joyous drive home.

As he speeded home in his convertible, he thought, “I only have one more day to come in this horrible asylum and see those creepy mutants.”

The Next Morning
Art drove into the cracked, weed- filled parking lot at Dunjyn Asylum as his heart raced in his chest.  He parked his convertible and exited the car.  “Today’s the day,” he said, “Today is the last time I have to go in this creepy, horrible place.”

He walked along the cracked, weed-infested walkway to the creepy, spider web infested entrance.  He took a deep breathe.  “This is the last time I have to breathe the putrid air in there,” he said.

“Here goes,” he said as he opened the spider web covered front door.  He entered the asylum as the horrible sick stench attacked his nose once again.

“Good morning Art,” said Nurse Grunmur, “Dr. Neafyndrer  says your parents are going home today.  He is with them now.  Congratulations.”

Art smiled and said, “Thanks,” as he hurried by.

“This is the last time I have to go in here,” he thought as he hurried along the dungeon-like corridor.  As he hurried, “Uhh!...Ereer!...,” echoed through the dirt floor, dimly lit halls.

As he hurried, he dodged several doxer fever mutated patients.  Some of them tried to grab him with their mutated, fin-like dis-figured arms.  “Ha!” he said as he dodged their reach.

As he rushed through the horrific, dungeon-like corridors, while enduring the putrid stench of the sick doxer fever patients, he avoided numerous piles of the mutated, doxer fever patient’s droppings.  “Oh!...The smell is making me sick again.  I can’t wait until we’re out of here,” he thought as he hurried along the dropping covered corridors.

He hurried to his mother’s room and entered.  Dr. Neafyndrer had finished his examinations and was talking to Lyndi and Rydon.  “Good morning, Art,” said his mother as she sat on her bed, “I was just saying goodbye to Dr. Neafyndrer.

“Good morning son,” said Rydon as he smiled while standing, “We were saying goodbye.”

“Good morning Art,” said Dr. Neafyndrer, “They are ready to go.  I just need you to sign the release forms.  Did you get everything prepared at home?” he asked as he handed Art the clipboard.

“Yes,” he replied as he grabbed the paperwork.  He signed both release forms.  “Thanks,” he said as he handed it back to Dr. Neafyndrer.

“Here are your copies,” he said as he handed Art’s copies to him, “Your parents are in your legal custody as of now.  They are officially released.”

Lyndi immediately jumped up from her bed and hugged her son.  “I want to get out of here,” she said.

“So do I,” said Rydon.

“Let’s go,” said Art as he stuffed the paperwork in his pocket, “Thank you Dr. Neafyndrer.”  Art walked out of room 37 with his mother and father following him.  Together they walked along the dungeon-like corridor.

As they walked, numerous doxer fever patients had tears in their eyes.  “Do..n’t  le..ve  us,” one patient painfully mumbled. “Uhhh!...Ereer!...Uhuuh!...,” echoed through the ghastly, sick smelling halls.

They dodged numerous piles of droppings, and doxer fever mutants as they walked toward the entrance. “Ehhh!....Pouum!....Rruuu!...,” echoed through the sickening, smelling corridors.

Art, Lyndi, and Rydon walked to the foyer. As they entered, Nurse Grunmur smiled and said, “Today is a great day for the Nekuma Family. Congratulations. Stop in and see up sometime,” she said.

As Art opened the door for his mom and dad, he mumbled, “I don’t think so.”  He said, “Thanks,” to Nurse Grunmur as he exited behind his parents and closed the creepy front door.

Immediately Lyndi and Rydon covered their eyes from Sesla’s bright sun while taking numerous deep breathes to enjoy the fresh air.  After a minute, they continued toward Art’s convertible as they continued to shade their eyes.

“Is that your car?” asked Lyndi as they approached his newer blue mid-size convertible.

“That’s it. Do you like it,” he asked as he opened the doors for his parents.

“It’s an awesome car,” said Rydon as he sat in the small back seat.

“I’m glad you have a new car,” said Lyndi as she sat in the front passenger’s seat.

As Art stood beside his convertible, with his parents safely inside, he gazed at Dunjyn Asylum one last time.  As he gazed, his feelings were bitter sweet. He thought, “Dr. Neafyndrer and Nurse Grunmur took good care of my parents. But, I hate that place so much. The doxer fever patients are so disgusting, and the smell. It’s so sickening, it’s vomitus.”

He paused for another moment. “Goodbye Dunjyn Asylum. Thanks to Detective Zeqster,  my parents have escaped your dungeon-like tomb,” he thought as he smiled.

He opened his door and jumped in. He started the motor. “Are we ready?” he asked his parents.

“Ready,” said Rydon.

“I’m ready,” said Lyndi, “We owe a great debt to Detective Zeqster for that medication. He saved our lives.

“Yes we do. I need to call him soon. For now, let’s get home. Your rooms are ready,” said Art as he gently drove out of the Dunjyn Asylum parking lot toward their home.

Chapter Seven

The Next Day

It was an unusually cloudy morning in Bedsult as Maxx was strolling along the  streets of his neighborhood.  As he sauntered, he gazed at the cloudy sky. “I don’t think it’s going to rain today,” he thought as he strolled, “It’s just an unusually cloudy day.”

As he ambled along in front of the Bedsult School, he thought, “I hope Art’s parents are improving.  According to Dr. Neafyndrer, they were both dying and Art has been here day and night for the past week. I hope my medication worked.”

As he walked along Lypont Drive toward his home, he thought, as he gazed at the sky once more, “It doesn’t look like rain to me. I think there are simply a few clouds in the sky today. I think I’ll be fine to paint today.”

He strolled up his walkway and onto his porch. “I think I’ll paint for a while. My painting is almost finished. I will finish it today if I can,” he thought as he entered his home.

He walked to his kitchen and grabbed a bottle of water from his fridge. He opened it and took a big drink. “Delicious,” he said. Suddenly he realized, “My heart doesn’t hurt anymore. I hope my friend is right and I’m cured,” he thought.

With his bottled water, he walked to the back yard. “I want to finish my painting if I can,” he thought as he sat his bottled water down.

As he stood under his Red Ploss Tree, with its large red berries that cover the tree all year long, he began to add more background detail along with some final stippling to his all most complete landscape painting.

As he enjoyed the cloudy, warm morning while painting he thought, “I hope Art’s parents are doing all right. I’m trying not to bother him. I know he isn’t getting very much sleep right now.”

As continued to paint he thought, “I wonder what’s in the news today about the Gang of Five and the Joqzonions.”

After another hour of painting, he stood back and studied his painting. He bobbed his head and pouched his lips. He smiled. “It’s finished. My landscape painting of Grexenn Park is finally complete. This painting will look very good in my office. Now I need to clean my brushes,” he thought.

He cleaned his brushes and closed his paints.  “It’s time to grab some lunch and see what the latest news is on Kinkorx TV News,” he thought.

He walked into  his home.  He smiled as he walked through the living room and paused to look at his Melá-Jutis stick that he had placed standing in the corner.  As he stared at the swamp stick momentarily, he heard the same voice crying again. The mental girl’s voice was saying to him as she cried, “The invaders are attacking more areas of Sesla’s wet lands. You are the only one who has the powers to fight them. For Sesla, you must travel to the wet lands and fight these invaders.

Before you travel there and fight the intruders, for your own safety as well as the safety of your family and friends, you must disguise yourself.  These aliens are very intelligent and ruthless.

As you fight under a disguise, you will need a new name.  Sesla has chosen a name for you. Your name shall be, The Melá-Jutis. That means the gifted one.

You must hurry. The aggressors are gaining strength every day. You must travel to the wet lands and fight them before the gang grows too strong to be defeated.”

As Maxx stood in his living room and listened, his eyes were full of tears. He thought, “I will answer this call from Sesla. I will design a special costume and  I will became, The Melá-Jutis. I will travel to the wet lands as, The Melá-Jutis and fight these invaders. I will fight them until I drive them back to their planet, Joqzon, where they came from.”

As he envisioned his new calling, he thought, “I need to call Art.  Where did I put my DunyII?”  He wondered around his home briefly looking for his portable phone. “There it is,” he thought as he found it in his kitchen.

He picked it up and apprehensively dialed Art’s Duny II number.  “I hope he is doing ok,” he thought with concern.

Meanwhile; At Art’s Home in Wyluxx City
Art was sitting at his desk, in his small living room, while trying to work on his database.  He had moved his database, as well as his personal items, to the living room. His small living room was functioning as his bedroom. His short, well-worn couch was serving as his new bed. “Uhhh!...,” he moaned as he shifted in his desk chair while rubbing his aching back from the rough night’s sleep on the short, uncomfortable couch.

Due to his father’s sudden presence in his small home, the living room was now his room and his father was in his former bedroom.

As he attempted  to work on the “Gang of Five” and the eye-witness reports of the Joqzonions return research assignment that Detective Zeqster had given more than a week ago, the bickering between his still rapidly improving mom and dad continued.

“What were you thinking when you threw that doxer at my and Art, that day on the boardwalk at Tos-Xiron, when Art was just a baby?”  asked Lyndi Nekuma loudly with anger as her mutations were almost fully reversed.

“Lyndi!  I’ve told you a hundred times, I wasn’t thinking about anything. It was a childish, foolish, act. How many times do I have to say that I’m sorry,” asked Rydon Nekuma with frustration and guilt. His mutations were still more noticeable than Lyndi’s but still rapidly reversing.

Art thought as he exasperatedly tried to work in his living room, “Are they ever going to stop fighting and get along?  It’s hard to concentrate with all of this yelling.”

“When life’s surprises…cause headaches…,” sang his DunyII.

Art smiled. “That’s probably Detective Zeqster,” he thought as he answered it. “Art Nekuma,” he said.

“Good afternoon Art. This is Detective Zeqster,” he said with apprehension and concern.

“Hi Detective Zeqster!” said Art. “It’s so nice to hear from you. It feels like we haven’t talked in ages. So much has happened that I haven’t been able to work on the assignment that you gave me,” he said sheepishly.

Maxx asked with concern as he heard bickering in the background, “How are your parents?”

“That doxer fever reversing drug worked so well,” Art, exclaimed, “My parents doxer fever is reversing so fast. Dr. Neafyndrer released them from the Dunjyn Asylum yesterday, into my custody. They are both here and improving ever hour. I’m sure you can hear them bickering in the background. I can’t thank you enough for that medicine.”

Maxx’s eyes immediately became full of tears. He said,  “I’m so happy for you and your parents. It was breaking my heart that they were suffering from doxer fever and you had to visit them in that horrific asylum.” He wiped his tear-filled eyes, again.

“How did you get that medication?” asked Art as his parents continued to bicker in their rooms, “Dr. Neafyndrer said he had never heard of it.”

“That is a very long story, which I would love to tell you about. When do you think you can drive over here so we can talk in person?” asked Maxx.

“Are you kidding? Now!” he exclaimed. “My mom and dad have a list of food and clothing they want me to buy for them. I thought I ate a lot. My dad never stops eating.  I need to pick up these items before the list gets too long. I also need a break from all of this bickering. I’ll be there as soon as I can,”  he said. He disconnected his DunyII and sat it down.

He walked into his mom’s room where she and his dad were talking and bickering loudly. He said, “I just talked to Detective Zeqster on my duny. He wants me to drive to his house so we can have a meeting. While I’m gone, I’ll pick up  the items on your list. Are you two going to be ok?”

“We’re fine,” said Rydon as his dorsal fin and other mutations were as almost completely reversed, and receded, “Tell Detective Zeqster thank you for us. Without his medication, we would be dead by now.”

Lyndi spoke up as her doxer fever symptoms were hardly noticeable. “Tell him thank you for me. I’ve had doxer fever for so long, I feel like he has given me a new life,” she said. She glanced with irritation at Rydon, “Even if I have to put up with you, it’s still so wonderful to be free of doxer fever.”

Rydon questioned, “What’s that supposed to mean?

Art chuckled as he thought, “Here they go again.”  He said as they continued to argue, “I’ll be back in a few hours. Call me on my duny if you want anything else.”

With his DunyII clipped to his belt, he walked out his small, rented home and hopped into his convertible.  He spun the tires as he speeded out of his crumbling driveway.  Gravel and pieces of rubble flew as he accelerated out of the broken driveway.

“It’s so nice to have them home, even if they do argue a lot,” he thought, “I’m so glad Detective Zeqster’s medication worked and they escaped the Dunjyn Asylum.”

He speeded toward the open desert with the top down in his convertible, toward Detective Zeqster’s home in Bedsult, as he continued to rejoice over his parent’s escape from Dunjyn Asylum.

Later At Maxx’s Home

Art drove his blue convertible into Detective Zeqster’s driveway and parked next to his flaming red convertible.  He quickly exited and hurried to the front door. As he knocked, he thought, “I haven’t been nauseous since yesterday. It’s nice to not feel sick.”

The door opened and Detective Zeqster stood in the doorway.  “Good afternoon Art. It’s nice to see you. Please come in,” he said.

“Thanks,” said Art as he entered his welcoming home. Maxx closed the door. “Make yourself comfortable,” said Maxx.

Art walked to the living room and casually sat on his extravagant leather sofa.

“You look like you feel better,” said Maxx as he walked to the fridge and grabbed two bottles of water. He walked to Art and handed him one. “Thanks,” said Art.

Maxx sat in his comfortable recliner and opened his water.  He took a quick drink and closed the bottle.  He thought, “Due to my new senses, Art seems different. I never knew he gave off so many vibrations.  I’ll keep my heart issue to myself. That will be better. I won’t know what has really happened until my next appointment with Dr. Rotizon. All I know for sure is that my heart doesn’t hurt anymore.”  He asked, “So, how are your parents?”

Art replied with joy, “My mom and dad are great, except they’re arguing a lot.  That medicine you took to Dr.  Neafyndrer worked so fast. It was like magic. Their fevers went away over-night. Their mutations began reversing the next day. They recovered so fast it was amazing. Now, they’re in my custody, in my home.”

Maxx’s eyes were red with tears of joy as Art told his amazing tale.

“I have a list to pick up on my way back home.  They both want new clothes and more food. My dad never stops eating,” he laughed with joy. “I gave up my room to my dad. I’m using the living room for a bedroom. I’m sleeping on our worn-out couch,”  he exclaimed with joy as he laughed.

Maxx was overjoyed, still with teary eyes, as he listened to Art’s joyous story.

“My mom and dad both want to thank you for buying that medication and taking it to Dr. Neafyndrer, and so do I,” said Art.

Maxx replied as he wiped his eyes again, “It was my pleasure, but I didn’t actually purchase it. At least not with money. It was a bit more complicated than that.”

Art was confused.  He asked, “How did you get the medication?”

Maxx smiled as he began his long story about Melá-Jutis.

Maxx Tells His Story

Art was amazed as Maxx described the mythical, Enchanted City, known as Melá-Jutis.  “So the enchanted city actually exists,” said Art.

“It does indeed,” said Maxx.

“So what did you do with Leqtus Kin’s doxer fever reversing formula and the Qjmyrre Flowers?” he asked.

Maxx replied, “The rest of my story must remain a secret between you and me. No one else can know. Do you agree?”

Art replied, “Of course. A lot of our work is confidential.”

Maxx said, “You’re right as usual.  The next thing I did was to call Dr. Rewqust, at Qashlet lab.

Maxx Tells The Next Story

Art’s eyes were full of tears as he learned how his mentor willingly sacrificed his life at Qashlet lab for his doxer fever stricken parents.  “My family owes you a debt that we can never repay. It was because of your willing self-sacrifice that my parents escaped Dunjyn Asylum,” he said with tears.

Maxx said, “There’s more to the story,” he said as he smiled at the Melá-Jutis swamp stick.  “Before I begin this next unbelievable part, I swear on my honor that what I am about to tell you is true. The stick communicates with me…

Art’s eyes grew large as Maxx told his incredible story.  “So you were given magical powers; Awesome!” he said.  He continued to listen to the story.

“You have to go to the wet lands as The Melá-Jutis and fight the invaders.  That’s so awesome! I can help you with your super-hero costume. I’ll help you put it together,” said Art with excitement.

Maxx continued, “Since I’m going to be traveling to the wet lands a lot for a while, you will be running our detective agency. I think it’s only fair, under the circumstances that I make you a full partner. Starting today, our agency will be known as the Zeqster - Nekuma Detective Agency.  As a full partner, you will receive half of the proceeds.”

Art beamed with joy at his mentor’s generosity. “You really mean it. I’m going to be a full partner,” he said ecstatically.

Maxx replied, “Yes, I really mean it. I will also file the appropriate paperwork with Xcuymir and Zeeton Territories to get your detective license. I will vouch for your experience and get you licensed. Starting today, your official title will be Detective Arthor Nekuma. I’ll have your detective license mailed to this house since you’ll be moving soon.”

Art was overjoyed but confused. He asked, “I’m going to be a licensed detective like you and I’m going to be moving?”

Maxx replied, “Yes you are. Your detective skills are extraordinary. You deserve to be licensed.” He paused for a moment. “I’m so happy that your parents are home and doing so well. Part of the reason why they are bickering is because they are feeling cramped.  You don’t have room you them in your small home. I would like you to find a new home that you like, that is big enough for your family, with a nice office to run our detective agency. You should do this quickly.  Purchase the newer home and have the realtor send me the bill.  I want to buy it for you, if you will allow me to do that for you.”

Art was stunned.  “I don’t know what to say,” he said with great surprise.

Maxx smiled.  “Say yes.  I really want to do this for you.  When you entered my detective agency when I was floundering.  You are the best thing that has ever happened to my agency.  You and your skills have added strength to this detective agency that I didn’t know was possible.  Now, I will be asking even more from you as I battle these invaders.  He paused.  “Please say you will accept my offer.”

Art smiled overwhelmingly.  “You changed my life, too.  Before I met you, I was a disgraced janitor at Wyluxx City High School.  Since I joined your detective agency, my dreams have come true and more than that.  Now, I have both of my parents living in my home.  I owe that all to you.  Now you’re going to vouch for my experience and get me licensed and make me a full partner.  Not only that, you want to buy me a nice house.  You’re the only true friend I’ve ever had.  My answer is, Yes!  I will let you by a house for me and I will make it up to you.  I will keep your identity a secret while you battle the Gang of Five and the Joqzonions in the wet lands as, The Melá-Jutis.  All while I run the Zeqster – Nekuma Detective Agency,” he said while being ecstatic.

Maxx smiled.  “I’ll take you up on the offer to help me design a costume for The Melá-Jutis.  We can talk in a few days about that, for now you have food, clothes, and a house to buy.”

Art replied excitedly, “Oh yes, I forgot about my list.  I had better go.  I’ll start looking for a bigger house tomorrow.  I don’t know how to thank you.”

Maxx smiled as he replied, “As you said, you will be running the Zeqster – Nekuma Detective Agency while I secretly fight the invaders.  That is a lot to ask from you.  You will earn this home and title, Detective Nekuma.”

Art was overwhelmed as he said, “I should go.  I’ll call you when I have a house.  I’ll also begin thinking about your super-hero costume.”  He jumped up from Maxx’s extravagant sectional sofa and hurried out of his home.

He rushed into his convertible.  As his head was spinning, due to the incredible changes in his life in the past few days, he drove out of Maxx’s driveway and onto Lypont Drive.

He drove toward Wyluxx City as he imagined the possibilities of his next home, and the Zeqster – Nekuma Detective Agency, and a super-hero for a boss.  “Detective Zeqster is The Melá-Jutis.  That’s Awesome!” he said as he drove.

Meanwhile; At Maxx’s Home
Maxx sat in his over-stuffed recliner and remembered his friends in Melá-Jutis.  As he recalled the enchanted animals that he met, he smiled at his friend and loyal companion, the Melá-Jutis swamp stick.

“I’ll never forget my enchanted friends in Melá-Jutis,” he thought.

As he continued to sit in his recliner, he thought, “I still remember the fighting and burning in the wet lands when I was a child.  I watched the frightening war on the TV.  More and more Joqzonions kept landing in the wet lands in their flying saucers and joining their comrades.

It was only after forces from all over Sesla teamed together that the invaders were defeated and driven back to Joqzon.  I saw it on TV as a child.

The wet lands are still scared in areas from the fighting and burning.  There are areas between Guytic City and Kvyutt that are still recovering from the enormous fires that the Joqzonions started in an attempt to take over the wet lands.

I’m sure, if that evil group of invaders had been successful in taking over the wet lands, Sesla would have been next.

Sesla has enchanted me with gifts and powers that no one else has.  Because of my powers, I am the only one who can track them down, fight them individually, and defeat them one by one.  I must begin preparations at once for this new calling.”

He continued to plan for how he was going to meet this new calling in his life as the afternoon and evening progressed.

The Next Morning

As Maxx sat in his recliner in his living room, while watching the news on Kinkorx TV and reading yesterday’s copy of The Bedsult Daily News, while sipping a cup of morning tea, he thought, “The battle is just beginning in the wet lands.  The Gang of Five and the Joqzonions will destroy the wet lands first, then, they will take over Sesla unless I stop them.”

He stared at the swamp stick standing in the corner of his living room.  He thought, “I will stop them.  I will stop them because; I am The Melá-Jutis!

The End

“May Good Fortune Guide Your Path”

J. A. Ireland


Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, JA
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