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The Rise of The Melá-Jutis

By JA All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Fantasy

Chapter 1

Three Months Ago

It was an ominous night in downtown Guytic City, the pride of the wet lands, in Inglot Territory, on Sesla. Another frequent rain shower was cascading down on the magnificently designed buildings and paved roads of the architecturally advanced town. A dense cloud blanket hovered low over the metropolis.

As the cold rain continued to fall on the sleeping city, Mustler glanced at his watch.  “It’s midnight.  Let’s go,” said the super brilliant, genetically engineered, Gang of Five mutant member from Qashlet Laboratories Facility in the swamps of rural Guytic City.

Mustler and his Gang of Five followers approached the Guytic City Police Station armory.  They were accompanied by Uy Llijc, the leader of the Joqzonions, and his group of aliens from the planet, Joqzon.

Mustler, the escaped, genetic engineering experiment, and heinous mutant, laughed.  “Ha!Ha!...Ha!Ha!Ha!”

He paused briefly and easily picked the high-security lock on the door to the armory in the basement of the Guytic City Police Station.

“Let’s go,” he said to his four mutant followers and the Joqzonion followers that had joined his group.

The large group of mutants and aliens entered the weapons vault just after midnight.  “Ha!  Ha!Ha!...Haa!...,”  laughed Muster evilly as he joyously viewed the large arsenal of weapons.

The large room was stocked full of rifles, handguns, bazookas, flame throwers, grenades, etc.  The weapons were wall to wall.

As he viewed the enormous collection of firearms, he said, “With these weapons, I’m on my way to taking over Sesla.”  He turned to Uy Llijc, the Joqzonion leader, “I need as many Joqzonions as possible.  When can I expect more of your friends to arrive?”

Uy Llijc, the leader of the Joqzonions, replied, “More are on their way.  A lot more!  They’ll be here soon!”

As the outlaw group stared at the room full of high-powered, police weapons, the armory door flew open.  A heavily armed group of city police and territory troopers ran, crawled, and rolled into the armory.  They were each wearing heavy, bulletproof armor.  The outbreak of gunfire that ensued was horrifying.  “BOOM!...BANG!...BOOM!...BANG!...,”

The heavily armored police and sheriff troopers fired upon Mustler and his gang.  Bullets sprayed the room.  Glass in the gun cases was breaking everywhere.  The walls were becoming full of bullet holes.

Mustler and his followers were well read in gunfire tactics.  Due to their fast but in-depth studying, they knew exactly how to surround the minimally trained forces.  The mutants and aliens quickly out strategized the police and began killing them one by one as the blood splattered.

The bloody gun battle continued as the police and territory troopers were shot numerous times, then quickly mutilated before dying – all to the pleasure of Mustler.

The numerous shot, then slashed into ribbons, officers fell to the floor in a puddle of their own blood – one by one.

Broken glass continued to fly through the armory.  Bullets were penetrating the glass and walls everywhere making holes.

As Mustler watched with delight, the last trooper was shot full of bloody holes.  As the dying officer lie on the floor bleeding, several of the Joqzonions rushed to him.  With their long, bloody knives, they quickly cut him to ribbons.  Blood splattered and poured from his mutilated body.

Mustler said loudly, “Grab all the weapons.  Leave nothing behind.  We are on to the next armory.  I am going to take over Sesla!”

At the command of their mentor, the group began gathering the numerous weapons and ammunition.  With full arms, they quickly exited the bloody, mutilated body filled, broken glass covered, bullet hole ridden, armory.  They fled into the night in downtown Guytic City.

As they fled with their arms full, numerous police car sirens screamed in the distance as they approached.  “Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo….,”

Standing across the street, an intoxicated, elderly Seslean coterie was watching the show.  He watched as the gang hoppled out of the armory with their hands full of weapons of all descriptions.

As he stood while being frightened, he got a good look at the apparent leader as he exited the armory first.  He watched them scurry into the ally as the sirens became louder.  “Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo….,”

When he saw the gruesome sight, he dropped his liquor.  It shattered on the ground.  He thought with horror, “They’re a gang of mutants!  They’re goulash!”

As he watched with horror, he thought, “They have enlarged heads with only had a few strands of hair.  Their faces are deformed.  Their eyes are large and uneven.  Their ears are non-existent.  Their row of sharp bone in their mouth protrudes sharply.  Their legs are crooked and stick-like with large bumps.  They have large distorted veins on their legs.  Their feet are small and chunk-like.”

As he watched with fear and horror, the siren screams were becoming deafening.  “Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo….,”

With fear and panic, the unlucky, intoxicated streetwalker fell to the ground while attempting to escape the horrific looking gang of mutants.  As he lay on the curb trembling from fear, the last of the aliens disappeared into the alley.  As he lay frightened and trembling, the first of the police drove up and stopped with a jolt.  “Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo….,”

Very quickly, as the frightened streetwalker lie quietly and invisibly, numerous police cars drove up with their sirens screaming.  “Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo….,”

The numerous police hurried into the armory.  The sight they saw was gruesome and horrific.  The entire room was shot full of gun holes.  Broken glass was everywhere.  There was blood everywhere.  There were numerous, bloody, mutilated, uniformed police officers scattered throughout the large, destroyed room.  There was a large message written in blood on the wall.  The message read; “I AM TAKING OVER SESLA!”

Seven Days Ago

At the home of Detective Maxx Zeqster in Bedsult, in suburbia Kinkorx, in the vast open desert of Sesla.

Detective Maxx Zeqster and his partner, Detective Art Nekuma were in Maxx Zeqster’s cozy living room.  They were designing and creating Maxx’s, Melá-Jutis, super-hero suit.

Maxx’s numerous self-painted landscape paintings populated the living room walls, hallway walls, custom kitchen walls, and other rooms in his comfortable, welcoming home.

Art used his creative skills to create a one of a kind costume for his mentor and now, full partner.

Art explained as he glanced at the Melá-Jutis, swamp stick that was standing in the corner of Maxx’s cool, well-decorated living room, “Since you’ve been given these incredible, enhanced sea doxer powers, and your unbelievable speed and strength, all given by Sesla, we need to create a costume that is really cool, as well as water-proof and durable.  I know how much you like to travel under water using your super-sea doxer powers.  We have to make your suit very tough and water-proof.”

As Art began to brainstorm, create, and draw, Maxx gazed at the Melá-Jutis swamp stick that he placed standing in the corner of his plush living room.  He smiled as he recalled his adventure to Melá-Jutis, the enchanted city, in the wilderness marshland of the wet lands of Sesla.  He thought as he recalled his many enchanted friends, “I will never forget my friends that I met at Melá-Jutis.  Who would have believed the legends are true about the enchanted city?  Who would believe the animals are magical – that they can read and talk?”

Suddenly his mind flashed to the horrific event at Qashlet Lab, in the marshland of rural Guytic City.  He voluntarily injected himself with sea doxer venom while the mad scientists, Dr. Rewqust and Dr. Zarqre anxiously watched.  They excitedly waited for him to begin the mutation process into a mutant sea doxer.

The paralysis and schizophrenic psychosis that accompanies doxer fever began.  As he drifted toward unconsciousness from the doxer fever venom, with his last remaining sense of reality and strength, he pushed the next syringe.  He injected the reversal drug into his vein.

The second injection contained the doxer fever, reversal drug that Dr. Leqtus Kin, the genetic engineer, invented.  Only seconds later, he became unconscious.  Several hours later, when he awoke, he was changed forever.

Maxx’s mind returned to reality.  He thought as he sat in his living room while Art worked on the drawings, “I still remember waking up while lying on the gurney in that room at Qashlet lab.  Dr. Zarqre was in the room thinking about the doxer fever, reversal drug.  I could hear his thoughts as if he was talking.  I could feel the vibrations from his movements.”

Art continued to quietly draw one costume draft after another and toss the failures onto the large leather, sectional sofa.

Maxx continued to gaze at the Melá-Jutis stick and remember, “Sesla gave me the name, The Melá-Jutis.  She needs me to fight for her.  It’s incredible that she speaks to me through my friend, the swamp stick.  Just as soon as we get my costume made, I need to make the first trip to the wet lands as, The Melá-Jutis, and fight the invaders.”

Art tossed rejected scrap paper all over Maxx’s extravagant sectional sofa and numerous rejected drawings on the carpeted floor.  As he drew, Sesla magically put Art in a trance.

As the trance continued, Sesla implanted a vision into Art’s mind.  While in the state of incoherency, he began to unconsciously draw the image he saw.

After several minutes of incoherent, unaware drawing by Art, Sesla removed the trance and he became aware of his surroundings.  With surprise, he began to examine the two drawings that were in his lap.

He bobbed his head in approval as he grinned and said excitedly, “I don’t know how I came up with these two drawings but I like them!  This suit will make you look like a real super-hero.  This cool all-terrain jeep will take you anywhere!  As The Melá-Jutis, there’s no way of knowing where you’ll need to drive.  You might need to drive deep into the wet land’s swamp or into the desert.”

He excitedly handed the drawings of the unique water suit and the small all-terrain jeep and trailer to his mentor and partner.

Maxx studied the drawings that Art had envisioned and drawn.  “Wow!  These look great,” he said with surprise as he studied the drawings, “This water suit is dark grayish, blackish, and bluish, with a swamp green cape and matching green goggles for underwater swimming.  It’s  complimented with long, white gloves with swamp green squares for pattern design matching.

I also like the drawing of this multi-colored, camouflaged, jeep, and the camouflaged trailer.  Excellent job Art!  I’ll call Reyd Pasmir, the manager of ByFuuton Auto Sales in Kinkorx, where I bought my convertible, and see if he has a vehicle like this,” declared Maxx.

Art responded as he nodded his head in approval, “Call ByFuuton Auto Sales right away.  I’ll make this suit for you in no time.  I already have some of the items in my collection of disguise equipment.  I can get the rest.  I’ll have you fixed up really fast.”  He began to stand.  “I’ll need your measurements.”

With amazement at Art’s talents, Maxx stood while holding the drawings of his new super-hero costume and jeep.  He stretched out his arms.

Art removed his measuring tape from his pocket and began to measure Maxx’s massive, muscular body.

Since the injections of doxer venom and the doxer fever reversing drug at Qashlet lab, Maxx’s muscle mass had increased incredibly.

“Wow!  I can’t believe how your muscles have grown.  They’re huge,” he said as he measured and recorded the results.  He tried to reach the top of his mentor and friend’s head.  “I’m too short to measure your height,” said Art.

Maxx chuckled, “I’m seven feet two inches tall.  The Razions are the tallest and most prestigious clans on Sesla and the Zeqsters are among the tallest Razions.  I’m also the tallest Zeqster.  I’m sure there is a Razion-Coterie that is taller than me.”  He chuckled again.  “I’ve never seen anyone yet.”

Art, the short, under-class, Pirtt-Coterie replied, “You don’t have to rub it in.  I know the Pirtt-Coteries are the shortest and least prominent clan on Sesla,” he said as he wrote down Maxx’s incredible measurements.

Maxx understood his feelings and changed the subject as Art recorded his dimensions, “How do you like your new house?” he asked.

Art smiled.  “It’s great.  I have a big office for my database.  We have three big bedrooms.  My Mom will probably always want separate rooms.  Even though my parent’s doxer fever is gone and they look normal again, they still fight all the time.  They need separate rooms.  I have a nice bedroom.”

Art continued, “We can’t thank you enough for the reversing drug that healed my parents of doxer fever and rescued them from Dunjyn Asylum.  Also, thanks for buying this house for us, and thanks for signing the paperwork to get my detective license.  Legally, I’m Detective Art Nekuma.  I never thought that dream would ever come through.”

He shook his head in disbelief.  “It wasn’t that long ago that I was a janitor at Wyluxx City High School.  I worked for Mr. Pluxxer.  I’m glad those days are over,” said Art as he completed the measurements.

Maxx smiled as Art stood ready to leave.  “I’m glad things are working out for you and your family.  Since I met you, my life and detective agency have turned around as well,” he said as he began to be choked up.

He changed the subject again.  “How long do you think it will take you to make my costume?” he asked.

Art replied, “I’ll get right on it.  I’ll bring it over in a few days.  Don’t forget to call the auto sales about your all-terrain jeep and trailer.  I know you need to make a trip to the wet lands as, The Melá-Jutis, as quick as possible, and I have a case to start.  The Zeqster-Nekuma Detective Agency has another case.”

Felling a bit sheepish due to his lack of focus on their detective agency lately, Maxx asked, “Did a new client call you?”

Art responded, “I got a call yesterday from Sirrz Debmyuo.  He saw you on the Wyluxx City TV News.  He read about us in the Nivcozz Gazette and the Wyluxx City Times.  He hired our detective agency.”

Maxx was surprised.  “You mean the Sirrz Debmyuo?” he asked, “The designer and inventor of the “Sirrz Debmyuo Signature Collection of Firearms and Knives?”

Art replied, “That’s the one.  He said he began the design of his personal line of firearms and knives when he was a teenager.  Soon after that, he made the first rifle.  Now he says his collection is available all over Sesla.”

Maxx responded, “I own several of his collectable firearms myself.  I keep them locked in my hidden gun safe.”

Art replied, “He said he had an entire collection in his home safes.  They were the entire first made of each series.  He has his special signature on each one with the words first one made in the series.  He said the writing on the collectables were different.  For example, one read,

A Sirrz Debmyuo Signature Collection Knife

SD-3  Series Knife

First Made In The Series

Sirrz Debmyuo

depending on what the collectable was, the information changed.  He also said they were all stolen out of his home safes.”

Maxx was alarmed.  “They were all stolen?”

Art replied, “That’s why he hired us.  His entire collection was stolen.  His collection was locked in his home safes.  Someone mastered the combinations and opened his safes and stole all of them.”

Maxx was curious.  “Did he notify the Zeeton Territory Sheriff Department of the theft?”  he asked.

Art replied, “He talked to Detective Brek Wolunn.  He filled out a sheriff’s report and was told to file a claim with his insurance company – as if he was going to do that.  He wants his guns and knives back.  That’s why he called us.”

“His collection must be worth a fortune,” said Maxx.

Art replied, “It’s not only the monetary value, for him, the first made of each firearm and knife series is priceless.”

Maxx said, “Of course you told him that we would recover his stolen collection for him?”

Art replied, “Yes, I told him.  He wants us to start his case immediately.”

Maxx replied, “Just as soon as you’ve finished my disguise and brought it to me, start his case.  I’ll help you after a quick trip to the wet lands.”

He paused to consider the case.  He said, “This will prove to be a very interesting case.  Whoever stole his signature collection of firearms and knives will have a difficult time selling them.  All of his signature collectables have traceable numbers and letters.  Sirrz probably owns very expensive safes in his house.  They would require an expert who is very skillful at combination lock manipulating to open them.  The list of thieves with those skills is short.”

Art replied, “I’ll make your costume as fast as possible.  I’ll bring it to you.  You should call the dealership today.  I’ll be back in a couple of days,” he said as he began to exit Maxx’s home, “After that, I’ll start Sirrz Debmyuo’s case.”

He paused to smile giddily.  “I can’t believe you’re, The Melá-Jutis, and I’m Detective Nekuma.  I’m actually running the Zeqster-Nekuma Detective Agency.  This is so exciting!”

“Tell your Mom and Dad I’m glad they’re home and feeling better.  Doxer fever is horrible.  Dunjyn Asylum was horrific,” said Maxx as Art exited his home.

Maxx sat back down in his recliner and turned on the TV.  He began to watch Kinkorx TV News.  As he watched, news anchor, Meez Broplen announced, “We have another life report from Guytic City TV News.  We’re going live to the news anchor at GCTV, Jimner Veqsen, for a life report.”

“This is Guytic City TV News Anchor, Jimner Veqsen.  We are taking you live to our roaming reporter, Wilqy Dymzet, who is in the marshland of the wet lands for a live report.”

“Thank you Jimner, this is Wilqy Dymzet, the roaming reporter for GCTV.  I’m reporting live from the rural marshland between Guytic City and Kvyutt.  As you can see in the background, there are numerous fires burning in the swamps.  According to numerous eyewitnesses, these fires have been set by the group that has been named, the Gang of Five, by wet lands residents.  Adding to the problems by this outlaw group, it is reported that many Joqzonions have joined the gang.  They are robbing, killing, and burning anything that they deem of value.  It seems their targets of choice are places where weapons are stored.  So far, the local authorities have been powerless to stop them…Can anyone stop this growing killing force?

As Maxx watched the destruction in the wet lands from the comfort of his TV and luxury recliner, he remembered the silent, crying words of his friend, the Melá-Jutis swamp stick.

She said as she cried, “You are the only one who can defeat the invaders and drive them away.  Sesla has awarded you with powers.  You must fight the intruders and save our land.”

He thought as he watched the horrific news, “I hope Art gets my costume ready quickly.  I need to fight the Gang of Five and the Joqzonions before they get any stronger with more members.  Every day, I’m reading more articles about flying saucer sightings that are arriving from Joqzon.  They are trying to take over Sesla again, like when I was a child.”

As he watched, he thought, “I need to call Reyd Pasmir at ByFuuton Auto Sales right now.  I need my all- terrain jeep, fast!”  He jumped up from his recliner and walked to his database.  He typed in ByFuuton Auto Sales.

Six Days Ago

The Morning at ByFuuton Auto Sales in Kinkorx

Detective Maxx Zeqster was standing in front of the small all-terrain jeep with trailer, that Reyd Pasmir, the manager of ByFuuton Auto Sales, had brought to the dealership over-night from the wet lands.

Reyd Pasmir stated with enthusiasm, “This small jeep has a big, turbo-charged motor and all-terrain tires.  It’s painted in wet lands camouflage with a heavy-duty trailer.  What do you think?”

Maxx smiled as he studied the small jeep and trailer.  “The trailer needs camouflage paint and the jeep needs sand color camouflage added.  I also need a tight cover for the jeep.  How soon can you have the painting finished and a cover?” he asked.

Reyd Pasmir smiled enthusiastically.  “I’ll have it ready tomorrow.  I can have it delivered to your home.  Will that work for your schedule?”

Maxx smiled.  “That’ll work perfectly.”

“I’ll send Kotor Buknus from sales with the delivery to handle the paperwork in the comfort of your home.  He and your new, turbo-charged, camo-jeep and trailer will be at your home tomorrow morning,” said Reyd Pasmir, the manager of ByFuuton Auto Sales.

Five Days Ago

The Morning

Maxx was sitting on his luxury recliner while watching Kinkorx TV News.  The roaming reporter from Guytic City TV News, Wilqy Dymzet, was doing another live report from the wet lands.  This report was from LyBeqt, in Meslerr Territory.  “From where I’m standing, I can see several businesses in LyBeqt that are burning.  My sources have confirmed that the flaming businesses contained weapons.  The Gang of Five and the Joqzonions stole the guns inside, and killed, and mutilated the business owners while setting their buildings on fire…

As he watched the horrific report from the wet lands, there was a knock on the door.  “That must be Kotor Buknus from ByFuuton Auto Sales with my new jeep and trailer,” he thought.

As the horrific news report continued from GCTV News in the wet lands, he turned off the TV.  He walked to the door and opened it.  A large smile consumed his alluring face.

He saw Kotor Buknus on his porch and the new camouflage jeep sitting on a heavy-duty camouflaged trailer in his driveway behind his new red convertible.

Kotor Buknus said as he pointed, while standing on Maxx’s porch, “As you can see, Detective Zeqster, your new jeep is in your driveway.  I drove it around the car lot before we loaded it.  That turbo-charged motor really flies.  Those all-terrain tires are awesome.  This little jeep will go anywhere,” said Kotor with excitement.

“Do you want to drive it first or shall we take care of the paperwork,” asked Kotor.

Maxx paused.  “You say it drives fast?” he asked.

Kotor said ecstatically, “It flies.  What until you drive it.  You’ll love it.”

Maxx replied, “I’ll take your word for it.  I would like it covered and hooked up to my car.”

“Right away Detective Zeqster,” he said.  He turned to his associate.  “Cover the jeep.  Connect the trailer to the red convertible,” said Kotor to his mechanic.

“Please come inside.  We can handle the paperwork at my table,” said Maxx.

“The paperwork is ready.  Just a few signatures and we’ll leave you to your privacy,” said Kotor as he entered Maxx’s artistic, very cool home.

“Please have a seat at the table,” said Maxx as he walked to his elaborate kitchen and grabbed two bottled waters from his fridge.

He walked to his wooden, dining room table and sat next to Kotor Buknus.  He handed Kotor a bottle of water as he pulled out the paperwork for Maxx to sign.

As they sat at Maxx’s exquisite, wooden table, Maxx signed the forms and paid for his new jeep.  “That’s all the paperwork.  I know you’ll love your new jeep.  That motor is powerful.  It’ll go anywhere.  Call us if we can do anything else for you Detective Zeqster,” said Kotor as he put away his paperwork.

“I’m sure I’ll be very happy with it,” said Maxx.

Maxx walked Kotor to the door and opened it.  “Thanks again for the business, Detective Zeqster.  Call us if we can do anything else for you,” said Kotor as he exited Maxx’s home with the signed paperwork and a check for the entire amount of the jeep and trailer.

As Maxx stared at his new all-terrain vehicle, while Kotor and his helper drove away, he thought, “I need a cool name for my Melá-Jutis vehicle.”  As he pondered, he walked back inside.

As he thought, he walked to the dining room and grabbed the bottled water.  “What shall I name my new jeep?” he wondered.

He walked back to his living room and turned on his TV.  As Kinkorx TV News continued, he thought, “The Melá-Jutis vehicle needs a special name, but what?”

As the TV aired, he ran one name after another through his mind.  Suddenly Sesla caused him to drift into a trance.  As he sat incoherent, Sesla implanted a vision into his consciousness.

As the momentary trance ended and he became aware of his surroundings, he smiled.  The name Sesla implanted was in his mind.  He thought enthusiastically, “The Phoenix!”

He smiled.  “Maxx Zeqster died on that table in Qashlet lab and The Melá-Jutis rose again.  The only fitting name for The Melá-Jutis vehicle is the Phoenix.

Four Days Ago

The Morning

As the Phoenix sat covered on the trailer, connected to the convertible in Maxx’s driveway, Art drove up in his newer blue mid-size convertible.  He saw the covered jeep on the camouflaged trailer.  “Wow!  That was fast!  He looks like he’s ready to go,” said Art as he parked on Lypont Drive.

He excitedly exited his convertible with the super-hero suit that he made and walked to the covered jeep.  “I can’t believe it’s here already,” he said, as he looked it over.

While carrying the waterproof suit, he walked up to Maxx’s porch and knocked on his custom door.  As he waited for the door to open, he gazed at the new jeep once again.

The door opened as Detective Zeqster stood there, smiling.  Art said, “Your jeep and trailer look great, Detective Zeqster,” said Art, “I’ve got your suit.  It looks like you’re ready for your first trip.”

Maxx nodded.  “It’s a small, turbo-charged, camouflaged jeep.  Kotor Buknus, from ByFuuton Auto Sales, says it flies.  I had him cover it.  Now that you’re here, I’m ready.  Please come in,” he said.

While carrying Maxx’s super-hero suit in a box, he entered his home and walked to the sofa.  “Do you want to try on your suit?” he asked hopefully as he sat down on the extravagant leather sectional sofa.

Maxx replied with a smile, “Yes, I would,” he said as he grabbed the box, “I’ll be right back.”  He walked into his bedroom.

After several minutes, as Art gazed at Detective Zeqster’s numerous self-painted landscape paintings, Maxx returned from his bedroom.  “What do you think?” asked Maxx.

Art was ecstatic.  “You look awesome!” he said with a large grin.

Maxx’s very muscular arms and shoulders were accentuated by the dark gray water suit and swamp green full-body cape.  He had on the dark gray, swamp green waterproof boots and white gloves with swamp green patches.  He had on the green goggles for under water swimming.

“You look like a real super-hero,” said Art.

“I am a super-hero.  I’m The Melá-Jutis.  My all-terrain jeep is the Phoenix,” declared Maxx, “I’ve been watching the news.  There’s a lot of looting and burning in the wet lands.  I’m going to make my first trip there as The Melá-Jutis, this morning.”

“Be careful.  The Gang of Five sounds dangerous.  I’ll keep up with the news from the wet lands while I work on Sirrz Debmyuo’s case.  Good luck,” said Art as he walked to the door, “I hope you like the Phoenix.

“Thanks.  Kotor said it flies.  I can’t wait to drive it,” said Maxx, “I’ll try it out tonight.”

“I’ll let you start your mission,” said Art.  He exited Maxx’s home.  “Good luck.”

“Thanks for the suit,” said Maxx as he watched Art walk toward his convertible.  He closed the door.

He thought as he walked back to his bedroom, “I need to leave as soon as possible.  I’ll fight the Gang of Five and the Joqzonions under the cover of darkness.”

He quickly changed out of his Melá-Jutis suit and into a strolling suit.  “I’ll put my super-hero suit in my bag along with some other items that I might need,” he thought as he packed.

After a few minutes of packing, he thought, “I’m ready.”

While carrying the bag with his Melá-Jutis suit inside, he walked to his friend the Melá-Jutis stick.  He thought as he smiled at the swamp stick, “I’m leaving to fight the invaders in the wet lands.  I hope Sesla knows that I’m fighting them tonight.”

As he gazed at the swamp stick that he placed standing in the corner of his extravagant living room, he heard the girl’s voice again.  “Sesla knows.  She will be with you.  You are The Melá-Jutis.  Your extraordinary powers are a gift from her.  Your Melá-Jutis suit is enchanted by her.  Sesla has made the suit magical.  It will be a part of you forever.  It will always be on you.  It is no longer in your bag.  You must say Melá-Jutis to make it appear.  Then say Melá-Jutis to make it disappear.”

With skepticism, he opened his bag and looked inside.  With shock he said, “It’s gone!  My suit is gone,” he said as he panicked.  He remembered.  “She said to say, Melá-Jutis!”

Magically, his Melá-Jutis suit appeared under his strolling suit.  He was bewildered and shocked as the Melá-Jutis suit stuffed his strolling suit.  Again, he said “Melá-Jutis!”

Magically, the super-hero suit disappeared.  “Wow!” said Maxx, “I’m going to try that again.”  He said, “Melá-Jutis!”  The suit magically appeared under his strolling suit again.

As he stood in awe, and mystified by Sesla’s magical powers, he said again, “Melá-Jutis!”  Magically, the suit disappeared and his strolling suit was comfortable again.

“That’s awesome!” he said loudly as he stood in front of the Melá-Jutis stick.

He said, “I wonder if I change if I think it.”  He thought, “Melá-Jutis?”

He said, “I didn’t change.  It only works if I say the word.  I’ll have to remember that.”

As he stood amazed at his newly found knowledge, he said, “I just thought I understood Sesla’s powers.  She’s magical.  Now, I’m ready!”

With even more confidence, and his bag, minus the Melá-Jutis suit, he headed toward his front door.  He exited his home.

“Sesla knows I’m driving to the wet lands and fighting the invaders.  She has magical powers,” he thought as he laughed.  “Of course she does,” he thought as he walked across his porch.  He crabbed his full gas can that he placed their earlier for this trip and walked to his car.

“This is going to be strange pulling the Phoenix.  It might take some time to get used to.  I have a feeling I’m going to be doing many night missions,” he thought as he opened the trunk and sat the full gas can inside.

“I wonder how the Joqzonions will like it when I burn some of their space ships like they’re burning our businesses,” he wondered as he closed the trunk.

He walked to the car door and opened it.  He entered his car.

With eager, Sesla given confidence, he slowly backed out of his driveway.  With caution, he slowly turned onto Lypont drive in Bedsult, in suburbia Kinkorx.

He began the long drive across the desert to the wet lands, while pulling the Phoenix on the camouflaged trailer.

Several Hours Later

As Sesla’s afternoon sun shone brilliantly in the desert sky, Maxx drove along the  highway in the open desert past the border of Xcuymir Territory into Inglot Territory.

As he pulled the Phoenix behind, numerous red scorpions were crossing the sandy road.  As he attempted to avoid the multitude of scorpions, he ran over many of them.

“I’ve never seen so many red scorpions.  I’ve never seen scorpions cross a highway like this, either,” he thought as he squished numerous scorpions under his tires.

As he continued to drive along the desert highway into Inglot Territory toward the wet lands, while squishing numerous red scorpions under his tires, he listened to “Radio Wet LandsClassic Rock of the Wet Lands.

As he listened to the rock music from Guytic City, the news reporter, Eyan Stomm broke in with a news bulletin, “This is Eyan Stomm, your Radio Wet Lands news reporter.  We have breaking news from Bloqxess, in Meslerr Territory.  It seems that the next target for the Gang of Five after LyBeqt is another small town in the marshland of Meslerr Territory.  According to the news wire, the Gang of Five and the Joqzonions are looting stores in Bloqxess at this very moment.  The local police are on the scene.  There is reported gunfire…

As Maxx listened to the breaking news bulletin, he thought, “It seems I have a new destination.  The Gang of Five are attacking businesses in Bloqxess.  I need to get there as fast as possible.  I need to get off this highway.”

As he continued along the desert highway toward Guytic City, the next exit sign appeared.  “LyBeqt-Bloqxess Next Right”

“That’s my exit,” he said.

Maxx slowed and exited the highway.  He merged onto the single lane road toward   LyBeqt and Bloqxess.

As he drove into the swampland, he continued to listen to Radio Wet Lands- Classic Rock for the next news bulletin.

Several Hours Later

Darkness of night was overtaking the wet lands, as he approached Bloqxess.  Eyan Stomm broke in with another news bulletin.  “This is Eyan Stomm, your news reporter from Radio Wet Lands.  We have another breaking news report from the news wire.  According to our sources, the Gang of Five and the Joqzonions have exited Bloqxess.  They have looted several businesses and killed the owners.  Upon leaving, they lit the businesses on fire.  Again, in Bloqxess, their targets have been businesses with weapons…

As the news bulletin aired, Maxx drove into the marshland city of Bloqxess.

His heartache was great as he witnessed the devastation in the darkness, first hand.  He thought as he saw the destruction, “Eyan Stomm was right, there are numerous businesses burning.”

He gasped as he saw the mutilated bodies in the doorways of the burning businesses.  “How could anyone do this?  These were innocent business owners,” he said as he witnessed the devastation.

Suddenly with his super power’s he felt strong vibrations coming from the swamp.  He thought, “The Gang of Five and the Joqzonions are down that swamp road.  From the feel of the vibrations, they’re close.  I need to become, The Melá-Jutis,” he thought.

He looked for a quick place to transform into the super-hero.  “Those Ooyseen Bushes, along with the darkness, will work nicely for cover while I make the magical switch,” he thought as he saw the group of dense, thick swamp bushes.  He hurried behind the thick group of swamp bushes.

He said loudly, “Melá-Jutis!”

Magically his super-hero suit appeared on his massive, muscular frame, beneath his strolling suit.  With magical-speed, he removed his strolling suit revealing, The Melá-Jutis.

With super-speed, he flew back to his car as his cape fluttered in the wind.  He tossed his strolling suit into the back seat.

With super-speed, he uncovered the Phoenix and jumped in.  He started the powerful turbo-charged motor.  “Rrmmm!...Rrrrmmm!...Rrrrmmm!...,”

He drove the small, camouflaged, turbo-charged jeep off the camouflaged trailer and followed the vibrations that he felt coming from the swamp road.

“Wow!  This jeep is fast.  It really flies.  Kotor was right,” he thought as he pursued the strong vibrations into the dark swamp road.

As he drove the Phoenix deeper into the dark swampland, he began to hear voices.  “I can hear them talking.  They’re just ahead,” he thought as he drove the super-charged Phoenix.

As he drove farther.  “They’re just ahead.  I’m going to surprise them from the swamp.  They won’t be expecting an attack from the water,” he thought as he stopped the Phoenix.

He jumped out and put his goggles into position.

With blinding speed, he leaped into the swamp.  He swam down deep into the marshy water.

Mustler and the Gang of Five mutants from Qashlet Lab, along with their Joqzonion followers were escaping with their stolen guns and money from the businesses in Bloqxess.

They were slowly driving along the muddy road through the dark wet lands away from Bloqxess in their stolen jeep.  “It was like you said, Boss.  There were many guns in those stores.  We chopped the owners to bits after we shot them full of holes,” said a Gang of Five member proudly.

“Ha!  Haa!  Ha!...Haa!...,” laughed Mustler evilly as they drove along the muddy, pothole-filled road, “They never knew what hit them.  Their guns were ours for the taking.”

“What’s the next job, Boss?” asked Uy Llijc, the leader of the Joqzonions.

“Tomorrow, we’re hitting a bank in Kvyutt,” said Mustler as he laughed evilly, “Ha!...  Haa!Ha!...Haa!....”

Suddenly, as they drove slowly and leisurely along the dark swamp road, something BIG  flew out of the dark marsh water next to the road.  With blazing speed, it attacked them.

“What’s that!” yelled a Joqzonion as The Melá-Jutis attacked with super speed in the darkness.

As the outlaw group grabbed their weapons, Mustler yelled, “Shoot it!”  “BANG!...BOOM!...BANG!...BANG!...BOOM!...,” sounded the many guns as the outlaws fired at the dark gray and swamp green, caped, super attacker from the swamp.

With blazing speed, The Melá-Jutis grabbed their guns, one by one, out of their hands and threw them into the water while dodging the gunfire.

“Shoot him!” yelled Mustler.  “BANG!...BOOM!...BANG!...BANG!...BOOM!...,” sounded the guns.

As the newest Joqzonion members continued to battle the caped, super-attacker, the Gang of Five and the leader of the Joqzonions, Uy Llijc, as well as other Joqzonions, fled into the dark swampland.

“BANG!...BOOM!...BANG!...BANG!...BOOM!...,” sounded the guns of the remaining Joqzonions as they battled The Melá-Jutis.

Maxx Zeqster continued to grab their guns, one by one, and throw them into the water.  He tossed several Joqzonions into the swamp as well.

As the battle raged, the Gang of Five and the leader of the Joqzonions, Uy Llijc, and many of his followers fled farther into the dark swampland.

“Shoot him!...  BANG!...BOOM!...BANG!...BANG!...BOOM!...,” sounded the guns of the remaining Joqzonions as they continued to battle The Melá-Jutis.

Maxx continued to grab their guns and throw them into the water.

He also tossed the remaining Joqzonions into the swamp.  “Ah!...” said the Joqzonions as they were thrown by the super-Seslean into the dark water.

“Ahh!...,” said the last Joqzonion as Maxx tossed him into the swamp.

With super-speed, Maxx quickly looked around.  He felt for vibrations.  “They escaped,” he thought.

He studied the water.  “They’ve all fled,” he thought, “All I see is their jeep.  It’s time for me to flee as well.  I need to get back to the Phoenix.”

With super-speed, he leaped back into the water.  He swam deep and fast with his enhanced sea doxer powers.

In only seconds, he flew out of the water next to the Phoenix.

“My suit is magically dry.  Good job Sesla!” he said.

He jumped into the turbo-charged jeep and started the large motor.  “Rrrmmm!...Rrrmm!...Rrrmmm!...,” sounded the powerful motor as he began the brief drive back to his red convertible and trailer.

After a short drive, he drove the Phoenix onto the camouflage trailer.

“Now, I need to cover the Phoenix,” he thought.  He jumped out and quickly put the cover back on.

He grabbed his strolling suit from the back seat.  He began to put it on over his Melá-Jutis suit.  When it was fully on, he said loudly, “Melá-Jutis!”

Magically, the Melá-Jutis suit disappeared.  He was only wearing his strolling suit.

He jumped into his convertible.  “It’s time to get out of here.  Next, I’m going to really get their attention.  I’m going to find some of their space ships and burn them like they’re burning these businesses.  We’ll see how they like having their valuables  burned,” he thought as he began to drive.

Several Hours Later

In the Dark Marshland Between Rural Guytic City and Kvyutt

Maxx stood next to his convertible on the rural road in the wet lands.  He gazed into the dark, dense marshland.  “According to Guytic City TV News roaming reporter, Wilqy Dymzet, there have been numerous eye-witnesses reports of space ships from Joqzon landing near hear.  With my doxer senses, they shouldn’t be hard to find – even with the darkness of night.  I’ll need my gas can and a lighter,” he thought, “I need to become The Melá-Jutis.”

He said loudly, “Melá-Jutis!”

His super-hero suit appeared under his clothing.  With super speed, he removed his strolling suit and tossed it into the back seat.

He opened his trunk and removed the full gas can.  He grabbed a lighter from his bag.  He put the items into the Phoenix.

“Let’s find the flying saucers from Joqzon,” he thought as he started the turbo-charged motor.  “Rrrmmm!...Rrrmmm!...Rrrmmm!...,” sounded the super-charged motor.

He drove the Phoenix off the trailer and speeded the all-terrain jeep into an over-grown dark swamp road.

As he drove along the dark, rough path in the wet lands, he felt for vibrations and sounds using his enhanced sea doxer sonar.  “I feel something very big just ahead,” he thought as he slung mud.

He drove speedily along the rough, muddy swamp path in the direction his senses were pointing him.

He continued to throw mud as he speeded along the dark marshy path toward the large object that he was detecting with his super-senses.

After more turns through the swamp and mudslinging, he said, “There it is.  That’s what I was sensing,” as he saw the small, gray and white space ship.  He studied the area with his super-senses.  “There are three more space ships in this area,” he thought.

He drove to the first space ship.  “Let’s see how they like having their space ships burned,” he thought as he jumped out of the Phoenix.

He grabbed the gas can and lighter and walked toward the door.  “How nice.  They left the door open,” he said.  He walked inside the small, cramped, stuffy space ship with his gas can.

“How dreadful,” he thought, “How long do the Joqzonions live in this cramped, smelly ship?” he wondered.

He quickly began to splash the gas all over the interior of the space ship.

“That will do for this one,” he thought as he exited the smelly space ship.

He put the gas can into the back of the Phoenix.  He used his lighter to light a stick.  He threw the burning stick into the ship.  Immediately, the ship was full of flames.

“That takes care of one space ship.  Now, I need to find the other three,” he thought as he jumped into the Phoenix.

He quickly scanned the area with his super-senses.  “The next ship is that away,” he thought as he slung mud while accelerating in the direction of the next space ship.

In only seconds, while slinging mad, he drove up to the next saucer.

“It was nice of them to leave the doors open for me again,” he thought as he jumped out of the Phoenix and grabbed the gas can.

He walked inside the second space ship.  He splashed gas all around and exited the ship.  “That will do for this one,” he said.  He exited the space ship.

After putting the gas can back in the Phoenix, he lit a stick and tossed it into the flying ship.  It immediately became inflamed.

“That takes care of two of them,” he thought as he jumped into the Phoenix.

As he slung mud, he speeded toward the next ship, in the darkness.

After only seconds, he saw the last two.  “How nice.  They’re sitting next to each other.  That makes my job even easier,” he thought as he jumped out of the Phoenix and grabbed the gas can.

While carrying the gas can, he entered the third space ship and splashed gas around.  He exited the third ship and walked across the swampy ground and into the forth space ship.  He quickly splashed gas around the inside of the forth one.  “That’ll do,” he said as he exited the fourth ship.

He put the gas can in the back of the Phoenix.

He picked up one stick and lit it.  He threw the burning stick into the third space ship.  It blazed immediately.

He lit another stick and threw it into the fourth space ship.  It also became ablaze immediately.

Maxx smiled as he watched the blazing, small, gray and white space ships from Joqzon.  “The Joqzonions seem to like setting our businesses on fire and killing Sesleans.  Let’s see how they like their ships set on fire,” he thought.

“It’s time to get back to Bedsult and see what the reaction is from the Gang of Five and the Joqzonions.  It’s surprising the multi-colored lizards aren’t attacking me,” he thought as he jumped in the Phoenix.

“Rrrmmm!....,” sounded the turbo-charged motor as the mud slung, as he speeded away.

He speeded through the muddy path toward the road where his convertible was parked as the flying saucers burned.  The black smoke filled the night air as he hurried along the muddy trail.

“Rrrmmm!...,” roared the motor as he drove through the trail.

The Phoenix jumped into the air as he cleared the muddy trail and drove onto the main road where his convertible and trailer were parked.

“Wow!  That’s a lot of fire and smoke,” he said as he watched the smoke and fire billowing from the four Joqzonion space ships that were ablaze, “Anyone can see the flames for miles.”

He drove the Phoenix onto the trailer.

As he watched the bellowing smoke and fire, he covered the Phoenix.  “I need to change back into my strolling suit before I drive back,” he thought.

As he watched the rising pillar of smoke, he grabbed his strolling suit and put it on over his super-hero suit.  He said loudly, “Melá-Jutis!”

His Melá-Jutis suit disappeared.  He jumped into the convertible.  As he looked at the still billowing cloud of black smoke and the flames in the night, he thought, “It’s time to drive home.”

He began the long drive through the dark, muddy wet lands roads toward the desert highway to Bedsult, under the cover of night.

Chapter Two

Present Day

At Maxx Zeqster’s Neighborhood – Bedsult

The afternoon sky was unusually overcast as Maxx strolled along the streets of Bedsult.  As he sauntered, while still recovering from his quick trip to the wet lands to battle the Gang of Five and the Joqzonions, he ambled past Grigg Bassner’s weeds and sagebrush infested yard.

Mr. Bassner was sitting comfortably on his hanging, hickory, front porch, swinging seat.

Maxx waved as he said loudly, “Good afternoon, Mr. Bassner.”

“Maxx!” grumped Grigg with irritation as he nodded slightly while swinging.

Maxx chuckled as he ambled past his stucco coated adobe brick home with cracks and his un-kept yard.  He thought, “Mr. Bassner is irritable as usual.  He continues to live up to his family reputation of antisocial behavior.  What a grouch!”

As he strolled along Lypont Drive toward his home, he gazed into the darkening afternoon sky once again.

As the wind began to increase, he thought, “According to Kinkorx TV Meteorologists, Myni Zaqypt, it’s going to rain this afternoon.  It looks like she’s right.  I better hurry home.”

He increased his walking pace as the desert rain began to fall.

He hurried past his mailbox and up his walkway as the warm rain began to fall hard.

As he approached his porch, a downpour began.  As he quickly became drenched, he hurried up the short stairs under the cover of his porch.

“Wow!  It’s really raining.  Myni Zaqypt was right for a change.  We’re having a torrential downpour.  Who would have thought,” he said as he dripped water onto the porch.

“Art will be here soon.  I hope he isn’t having trouble driving in this rain,” said Maxx as he entered his welcoming home.

As the rain cascaded down, the Phoenix quickly became soaked as it sat covered on the camouflaged trailer in his driveway.

As the pouring rain continued, he walked to his rest room and grabbed a towel.  “I can’t believe how quickly it rained.  It really poured fast.  Well, the plants need the rain – that’s for sure,” he thought as he nodded his head.

As he dried himself, he walked to his bedroom.  “I need to change my strolling suit.  This one is soaked,” he thought as he began to change, “Art will be here soon.  I need to hurry.”

As he stood in his bedroom and toweled off.  He began changing into another strolling suit.  “Knock!...Knock!...Knock!” sounded the door.

“That must be Art,” he said as he hurried to put on his top and bottom of his comfortable suit.

With his clean, dry, strolling suit somewhat on, he hurried toward the door as, “Knock!...Knock!...Knock!” sounded.

While being somewhat flustered, he opened his custom front door.

The pouring rain was continuing, as Art stood there soaked.  “Hi Art.  Please come in,” said Maxx as he opened the door wide.  “I’ll get you a towel,” he said as he walked toward his bathroom.

Art stood inside at the door shortly while he waited for the towel.  “Your trailer is muddy.  You must have been on some bad roads in the wet lands,” said Art as he stood in the hallway.

Maxx quickly returned with a large, fluffy bath towel.  “I was.  The Phoenix is awesome!” he said as he handed Art the large towel, “It’s really raining hard outside,” he said.

“Yes it is.  It’s very unusual,” said Art as he took the towel and began drying his attractive, brownish-blond, flowing hair and alluring face, “Thanks.”

He quickly dried off and handed the towel back to his mentor and full partner.

“Please make yourself at home,” said Maxx as he grabbed the wet towel.

Art walked to Maxx’s large, leather, sectional sofa and sat down while Maxx walked to his well-equipped kitchen.  He opened his deluxe fridge and grabbed two bottles of water.  He walked back to his living room and handed Art a bottle.

“Thanks,” said Art.

Maxx sat in his over-stuffed recliner with his water.

They both opened their chilled bottles and took a big drink.

“I saw the flames on the TV the next morning from Guytic City TV News,” said Art, “It looked like a big fire.  All of the news channels aired the fire.  How many space ships did you burn?”

Maxx chuckled as he replied, “I burned four Joqzonion ships, after I crashed their party in Bloqxess.”  He chuckled again.  “I came out of the swamp and attacked them on their jeep, at night.  They didn’t know what hit them.  I threw their guns into the water.”

Art asked, “Did you catch the Gang of Five?”

Maxx shook his head as he replied, “In the dark, they got away.”

“How did your jeep drive?” asked Art.

Maxx exclaimed, “It was awesome.  That little jeep flies.  I drove it into the swamp.  That’s how I got to the space ships.  I drove right to them,” declared Maxx.

Art exclaimed as he smiled, “That’s a cool jeep.  I like it.  I like the name Phoenix.”

Maxx took another drink of his water.  “How is the case coming along?”

Art smiled.  “I’ve done a lot of research on places where someone could sell Sirrz Debmyuo’s  Signature Collection of Firearms and Knives.  You’re right.  I won’t be easy to sell them.  All of his signature collectables have traceable numbers and letters, like you said.  I did find one possibility.  Have you ever heard of Wixqezzer Auctions in Kvyutt?” he asked.

Maxx responded, “Yes I have.  Wixqezzer Auctions is the best place I know of to sell stolen merchandize.  That was good research.  I haven’t been there in years.  I had forgotten all about that auction.”

Art replied, “According to the information that I found, it’s a silent auction.  They sell a wide range of merchandize.  They only accept Myluxs.  There are no questions asked and the sales are quick and final.  The auctions are all untraceable, by verbal bid only.  That auction house seems like a good place to sell Sirrz Debmyuo’s firearms and knives to me.”

Maxx replied, “I’ve been there on previous investigations.  That was a long time ago.  I agree with you.  That’s a very good place to start.”

Art added.  “The next auction is tomorrow night.  Are you up for a road trip tomorrow morning?” he asked.

Maxx replied, “That sounds like a good idea.  We should definitely check it out.  There’s a good chance Sirrz Debmyuo’s Signature Collection of Firearms and Knives will be thereWe should be able to video record the thief while they attempt to sell their stolen merchandise.  I’ll pack the proper recording equipment.”

Art responded, “I can’t wait.  I’ll bring everything we need for our disguises.  I’ll be back early tomorrow,” stated Art excitedly.

“Splendid, I’ll see you in the morning, early.  Your research was excellent as always,” he said as Art walked to the door.

Art opened the door.  “The rain has stopped.  I’ll see you in the morning,” he said as he closed the door.  He walked to his car.

Maxx thought, “That was good research.  Art is right.  Wixqezzer Auctions is the best place for the thief or thieves to sell Sirrz Debmyuo’s Signature Collection.  I don’t remember how to get there.  I need to print a map.”

Early The Next Morning

Art drove down Lypont Drive and parked his blue convertible in front of Maxx’s home.  “I better put up the top.  I don’t want my car to get soaked, if it rains again like yesterday,” he thought as he raised the automatic top.

He excitedly jumped out of the car and began transferring his disguise equipment to Detective Zeqster’s large, red convertible that was already hooked up to the trailer with Phoenix.

As Art completed the transfer, Maxx walked out of his home carrying his bag of supplies and recording equipment.  “Hi Detective Zeqster,” said Art as he finished the transfer of his disguise gear, “I filled your car again with my gear.”

Maxx replied as he approached his car, “You always do a nice job of planning.  I’m sure everything you’re bringing is important,” he said as he put his bag in the back seat.

“I planned for everything,” said Art as he grinned.  He jumped into the front seat.

Maxx jumped in the driver’s seat.  “Are you ready?”

Art responded with excitement, “I’m ready.  Let’s go.  Let’s find Sirrz Debmyuo’s Signature Collection and solve our case.”

While pulling the Phoenix on the trailer, Maxx backed out of the driveway.  They began their journey to Wixqezzer Auctions in Kvyutt.

As Maxx drove along the streets of Bedsult, he said, “Wixqezzer Auctions is a large outdoor building with a lot of area.  We’ll need to split up to search the entire place.”

Art asked, “How hard can it be to find a collection of collectable knives and guns?”

Maxx responded as he drove, “The building is designed to insure the seller’s secrecy.  It’s hard to find anything if you don’t know where you’re looking.  There’s a wide range of merchandize.  It’s all mixed together.  They sell a lot of legitimate items as well as stolen merchandize.  You’ll understand it better when you see it.  Your research is correct.  They only accept Myluxs.  I brought money.  The auctions are all untraceable, by verbal  bid only.  If we want to bid on an item, we must tell the closest staff member.”

“This sounds very exciting.  I can’t wait to see it,” said Art.

Maxx and Art continued their drive through Kinkorx, while pulling the Phoenix.

They continued to talk about Wixqezzer Auctions in Kvyutt and Maxx’s adventures in the wet lands as The Melá-Jutis, as they traveled.

Several Hours Later

As Sesla’s sun was reaching its apex, they crossed the border into Inglot Territory.  The desert highway was covered with red scorpions.  “What’s with all of these scorpions?  When I drove through here several days ago, I ran over hundreds of these insects.  They’re still crossing the highway,” said Maxx as he drove the highway while squishing many of the insects.

“I’ve never seen a group of scorpions cross the road like this.  There must be millions of them.  I’d sure hate to live around here,” said Art as they drove.

They continued to drive along the desert highway toward Kvyutt as they continued to squish numerous red scorpions under the tires.

As they drove, they talked about their undercover mission at Wixqezzer Auctions.  They also chatted about Maxx’s adventure to the wet lands as The Melá-Jutis.

Several Hours Later

“Our exit should be coming up before too long.  You can read the map,” said Maxx as he handed Art his road map while driving along the desert highway, “At present speed, we should arrive at Wixqezzer Auctions in plenty of time to put on our disguises before the silent auctions begins.”

After grabbing the map from his mentor, he began to study it.  Before long he said, “There’s our exit.  We need to take Fezzn Way.”

Maxx slowed and exited the desert highway.  He turned toward Kvyutt on Fezzn Way.

“We’ll be on this road for several hours.  Then we turn off this highway and drive on some rough roads for a while again,” said Art as his stomach began to rumble.

He reached into his bag in the back seat and grabbed two bags of munch mix that he had packed.  “Would you like one?” he asked as he offered Detective Zeqster a bag.

“Thank you,” said Maxx nervously as he took the munch mix.  He recalled the disaster on their first road trip together when Art’s munch mix was all over his car after a tire blowout.

“No problem,” said Art as he munched as they drove toward Kvyutt.

Early Evening

Maxx drove the small dirt roads toward Wixqezzer Auctions, in the outer boundaries of Kvyutt, in the Meslerr Territory.  His map had directed them to turn off Fezzn Way after several hours and drive the small muddy roads of the wet lands to Wixqezzer Auctions.

When they arrived at Wixqezzer Auctions, Maxx’s car was covered in road dust and mud.  He had previously raised the top due to the chilly wind and the rain that they had experienced during the journey.

“There it is,” said Maxx as he drove close to the auction.  He pulled off the road a distance from the building and parked.

“It isn’t what I expected.  It’s really rundown and isolated,” said Art as he studied Wixqezzer Auctions, the very large, unmaintained building in the marshlands.

Maxx replied, “A lot of the sales area is on wooden walkways behind the building.  Many of the walkways are floating on boggy marshland and on stilts.  The merchandize, as well as the tables and booths, are brought in the day of the auction and then removed immediately afterward.  Some of the larger items remain temporarily, but only for a very short time.  The distinctive signature of Wixqezzer Auctions is its quick untraceable sales.”

“It looks like a lot of farmers and hunters are setting up their booths and tables for their sale items,” said Art, “We need to drive somewhere and put on our disguises.”

“We passed a road side park a little bit ago.  I’ll turn around and drive back to it,” said Maxx as he slowly began to turnaround his convertible while pulling the trailer with the Phoenix on board.

“You’re getting really good at turning around,” said Art as Maxx completed the U-turn and drove down the small back-road away from the auction house.

“I had a lot of practice when I drove here last week,” said Maxx.

As he continued to drive down the wet lands road, the roadside park came in view.  “There’s the park,” said Maxx as he slowed.

He drove into the park on drove to the back where it was over-grown, secluded, and swampy.

“We need to make sure no one knows we’re here.  Let’s get on our disguises,” said Art as they exited Maxx’s very muddy convertible.

Art walked to Maxx’s trunk as Maxx popped the latch.

“I’m not used to working around your trailer and the Phoenix,” said Art as he opened the trunk and grabbed his disguise make-up, “Stand over here.  I’ll need you to squat down again.  You’re too tall for me.”

Maxx grinned as he followed his partner and friends instructions.  He walked and squatted down next to Art.

“First, I’m going to change your wavy blond hair to a shiny black,” said Art as he began to apply the black glossy hair dye.  He gently combed in the hair dye.  He squirted the dye into Maxx’s hair and combed it in.

After several minutes, he took a moment to examine Maxx’s hair.  As he combed it tightly to Detective Zeqster’s head, he said, “I think your hair is good.  I’ll give you a hat to wear to make your hair appear short.”

Art reached into Maxx’s trunk again.  This time he removed his make-up bag.  “You’re at a really good height right now.  If you’re comfortable, stay here while apply your disguise,” said Art as he began to apply Maxx’s facial make-up.

“I’m ok.  Go ahead and apply the disguise to my face.  It’s very important that we’re not recognized,” said Maxx as he continued to squat down next to Art.

Art began to apply the disguise make-up to Maxx’s face.  He applied numerous layers of face altering paste.

He took a step back and examined his work.  “You need more paste.  Your face isn’t changed very much,” said Art as he stepped closer.

He began applying more of the face altering paste.  He applied more of the thick paste and reshaped Maxx’s face as he squatted.

Art took another step back and examined Maxx’s face.  He bobbed his head.  “That’s enough of the restructuring paste.  Your facial structure is changed.  Now you need stage make-up to make your face look real again,” he said.

He stepped closer.  He reached into his bag and grabbed the stage make-up.  He began to apply layer after layer of make-up to Maxx’s face.

Art took another step back to admire his work.  “You’re not ready yet,” he said as he stepped closer and began working again.  He applied several more layers of stage make-up.

After several minutes, “I think you’re ready,” he said as he stepped back.  He bobbed his head.  “Your face and hair are fine.  All you need now is your disguise,” said Art as he reached into Maxx’s back seat.

He grabbed a well-worn camouflage-hunting suit, camo-boots, and an old camouflage ball cap.  He handed the items to Detective Zeqster.  “Put these on.  Tuck your hair under the ball cap.  You’ll look like a local hunter who’s looking for a good buy on a gun and knife.  You’ll look great,” said Art.

Maxx said with confidence, “You’re right.  This costume will work perfectly.  I saw many farmers and hunters wearing camouflage clothing like this when we were parked down the road.  Good planning, Art.”

Art gleamed from the praise of his mentor and full partner.  “Thanks,” said Art as he shined.

Maxx walked to the back of the Phoenix and began changing his clothing in private.

Art began to process of changing his own hair color.  “I think, for this under-cover operation, I’m going to change my hair from brownish blond to deep auburn like my Aunt Lulzen Nekuma,” he thought as he reached into his bag.

He removed the auburn hair color and began to comb it in his hair while Maxx changed into his camouflaged hunters disguise.

While using his mirror to see with, he continued to apply the auburn hair coloring to his brownish blond hair and comb it in.

As he applied the reddish goo into his hair, he glanced into his mirror.  As he remembered how his Aunt Lulzen Nekuma’s hair looked, he said, “I need a little more coloring.  Her auburn hair is really deep.”

He squirted in a little more of the reddish goo and combed it in.

He looked in the mirror once more.  He bobbed his head.  “That’ll do.  My hair color is close to the color of Aunt Lulzen’s auburn hair.  Next, I need to change my facial structure and apply the make-up.  I need a completely new face,” he said.

He put the hair coloring back into his bag and grabbed the restructuring paste.  He began to squeeze the tube and apply the paste by rubbing it on his face and chin.

He squeezed and rubbed it on his face repeatedly.

He glanced in the mirror.  “That’s enough of the restructuring paste.  Now I need to make my face look normal,” he thought as he reached into his bag and grabbed the stage make-up.

While gazing into the mirror, he began to apply layer after layer of the make-up.

He paused to take a good look at his face.  He shook his head.  “I need more make-up.  My face still doesn’t look right,” he thought as he began applying more stage make-up to his altered face.

After several more minutes of applying make-up, he paused to study his face in the mirror.  He smiled.  “That will do nicely.  I don’t look like Art anymore,” he said proudly, “Now I need my costume.”

He put the make-up and hair coloring back into the bag in the trunk.

He reached into his bag in the back seat and grabbed his own camouflaged suit.  He began changing into his camouflage hunting suit, camo-boots, and camo-hat.

Maxx sat in the driver’s seat of his convertible as he waited for Art to change into his hunter’s disguise.

Art quickly finished changing into his camouflage outfit.

“Now I need to disguise the car,” said Art.  He reached into the trunk and grabbed the two special license plates that he made for this road trip and the wrench.

He quickly changed Detective Zeqster’s license plates on his car.  “Now for the trailer,” he said.

He walked to the trailer plate.  He quickly changed that plate to the phony plates as well.

“Now I need to disguise the car,” he said.  He tossed the original plates and wrench into the trunk.  He grabbed the bags of theatrical powder.

Art covered the already filthy car with theatric powder as Maxx sat in the front seat.

In only minutes, Detective Zeqster’s car was changed from a muddy red convertible with the top up to an old, dark green sedan with special license plates that Art made for this undercover operation.

He quickly put his disguise equipment back into Detective Zeqster’s car.  “I’m ready,” he said as he quickly jumped into the front seat again.

Maxx stated, “We need to put on our surveillance equipment.”

He reached for the bag in the back seat.  He grabbed it and pulled it into his lap.  As he reached inside, he said, “Let’s put yours on first.  This is a video/audio recorder,” said Maxx as he clipped the recorder to Art.

“Just remember; you must be as close as possible to whoever or whatever you want to record and facing it,” instructed Maxx.

“Now, I need my video/audio recorder,” he said as he reached into the bag again.

He pulled out a second recorder.  He attached the same type of recorder to himself.  “Let’s turn them on and make sure they’re working,” he said.

They both pushed the buttons and turned on their recorders so that Maxx could test them.

He studied them both for a moment.  “They’re working.  There’s one more thing,” he said, “As you know, Wixqezzer Auctions only except Myluxs.  Put this in your pocket, just in case.”  He handed Art a roll of Myluxs.

“Thanks,” said Art as he grabbed the roll of money from Detective Zeqster and stuffed it into his pocket.

“My pleasure,” said Maxx, “We won’t have any problems at Wixqezzer Auctions with these disguises.  Excellent job as always.”

“Thanks,” said Art as he smiled, “And thanks for the money.  I shouldn’t need it.  I hope.”

He began to drive to the front of the roadside park.  As they reached the entrance of the marshy roadside park, Maxx turned toward the auction.

In only minutes, as the evening was turning to night, they drove into the Wixqezzer Auctions parking lot while pulling the Phoenix.  The parking lot was already full of vehicles of all types.

He parked on the far side of the small parking lot so that no one would notice his car and trailer.  They exited Maxx’s car with their Myluxs in their pockets and their recording devices turned on.

With their camo-disguises, they walked in the front door.  Even though the silent auction had just started, the large building was packed with sellers and shoppers.  Many of them were wearing camouflaged clothing.  Maxx said, “As you can see, this place is ginormous.  To cover the entire auction, we need to split up.  I’ll go to the right.”

Art replied, “I’ll go left.”

“If you find Sirrz Debmyuo’s Signature Collection, act like a shopper and video record the items and the seller.  Get a lot of video of both.  Hopefully we can solve our case tonight,” said Maxx.

Art replied, “I will.  Let’s meet here when we’re finished.  It looks like our operation will take several hours.  I have my DunyII turned on.”

Maxx replied, “I’ll call you in a few hours if you’re not here.  Good luck.”

As Art walked away, he thought, “Wixqezzer Auctions is huge.”  He continued to walk and look at the enormous collection of merchandize.

“I see what Detective Zeqster meant.  This place is a giant outdoor market.  It’ll take all night to see everything that’s here.  It’s a good thing we split up,” he thought.

As he slowly walked, he thought, “I picked the right disguises.  A lot of sellers and shoppers are wearing camo clothing.  We’ll perform our operation unseen.”

Meanwhile

Maxx was making his way through the auction as he searched for Sirrz Debmyuo’s stolen Signature Collection.  Even though the entrance building was very large, the auction area continued deep into the marshland, far beyond the building.  He was walking on floating wooden platforms as well as wooden walkways supported by stilts as the auction area stretched deep into the marshy areas.

Meanwhile

Mustler and the Gang of Five drove their stolen jeep into the Wixqezzer Auctions parking lot.  “Why are we here, Boss?” asked a Gang of Five member.

“Ha!...  Haa!Ha!...Haa!...,” laughed Mustler evilly, “We’re here because there are guns to steal.  Let’s go.”

The brilliant, evil, group of mutant escapees from Qashlet Lab were disguised in stolen camouflaged hunting clothing as they hobbled to the entrance of the auction building.  They hobbled inside.  “Let’s stick together,” said Mustler, their super-brilliant leader.

The horrific gang of outlaw mutants began to hobble along the walkways as they searched for an unsuspecting gun owner in which to steal their guns.  They quietly hobbled down one walkway after another in search of a good collection of firearms in which to steal.

As they hobbled deep in the end of the marshy auction, Mustler saw someone that he recognized.  “That hunter looks familiar.  I’ve seen them before.  Let’s follow them until I remember where I know them from,” he ordered.

The evil, murdering gang of thieves followed the slow moving hunter as he shopped along the crowded walkways.

Maxx Continued

He walked along the very back of the auction area while walking on floating walkways and walkways on stilts.  He thought as he walked, “I’ve seen a lot of guns and knives but not Sirrz Debmyuo’s stolen Signature Collection.  There are so many shoppers searching through the variety of merchandize in the back, it’s very crowded.  It’s surprising how many shoppers are attending this auction,” he thought as he walked slowly.

He continued to walk along the walkways in search of Sirrz Debmyuo’s stolen Signature Collection as the darkness of night continued.

Art Continued

He slowly searched along the walkways in search of Sirrz Debmyuo’s stolen Signature Collection.  He walked down one wooden walkway after another.  “I’ve seen a lot of guns and knives for sale, but not Sirrz Debmyuo’s stolen Signature Collection.  It’s going to take hours to look at every booth and table.  We’re going to be here all night,” he thought as he walked as the night became darker.

Mustler and the Gang of Five

They followed the slow moving hunter, Mustler moved closer for a better view.  He thought as he hid behind a booth and watched the familiar hunter, “His face is disguised, but he looks familiar.”

As he observed, he made the connection in his mind.  He said to his gang, “I know who that is.  He disguised his face.  Let’s grab him.  Put a bag over his head and let’s drag him out the back,” said the evil leader.

“Are you sure, Boss?” asked one of the gang members, “You said we’re here to steal guns.”

“I said to grab him!” ordered Mustler angrily.

“You heard the Boss, let’s grab him,” said the mutant gang member.

The Gang of Five quickly hobbled to the unsuspecting shopper.  As his back was turned, they quickly taped his mouth and put a bag over his head.

As he struggled, they tied his hands behind his back.  The ruthless mutant gang forced their captive toward an exit and out of the auction building.

“Let’s get him to the jeep.  I have a few surprises for him,” said Mustler as they forced the resisting, terrified, prisoner along the side of the building toward their jeep.

Meanwhile

As Maxx walked along the wooden walkways, he continued to search for Sirrz Debmyuo’s stolen Signature Collection.  As he slowly walked and recorded, he shopped through numerous gun and knife booths and tables.  “There are a lot of guns and knives for sale here.  No doubt many of them are stolen,” he thought as he shopped and walked.

“I feel like I’ve been shopping for hours,” he thought as he walked along one walkway after another, “I’ve never seen such a variety of merchandize for sale in my life.  No doubt a lot of this merchandize is stolen, but who can tell?”

Maxx continued to walk and shop.  He walked down a narrow walkway that had one narrow, long table after another.  As he slowly walked down the wobbly wooden walkway, he saw a knife that looked hopeful.

His once genetically diseased heart, now fully healed by Sesla, began to pound in his fit chest as he saw the knife.  He leaned in close for a good video of the knife as his excitement grew.

Next, he turned to the coterie who was working the table.  He paused to make sure he had a good video of the Seslean.

“I need to be careful not to look suspicious,” he thought as he began to shop the entire table.  As he shopped, he saw more knives that were Sirrz Debmyuo’s Signature Collection.

He paused to get a good video of the next knives as well.  Then he continued to shop.

As he moved along and shopped the long table, while video recording the table, he found more Sirrz Debmyuo Signature Collection knives.  He carefully video recorded each knife and moved along, being careful not to bring attention to himself.

As he shopped and video recorded, the coterie working the table continued to talk to other hunters.  He continued to shop and video record unnoticed.

“I may have found what we’re looking for,” he thought as he shopped and recorded.

Maxx slowly moved on to the next table as the coteries working the tables continued to talk to hunters that were shopping for guns and knives.  He video recorded the Sirrz Debmyuo  Signature Collection knives as he slowly shopped.  He carefully video recorded each worker as he shopped their tables as well.

As he slowly walked along the next table, he saw several Sirrz Debmyuo Signature Collection handguns.  “Jackpot!” he thought as he cautiously shopped and video recorded.  As he slowly shopped, he carefully video recorded the coterie that was working the table.

He slowly moved to the next table.  “There are a lot of Sirrz Debmyuo Signature Collection knives and guns on these tables.  I’ve found the stolen collection,” he thought as he continued to slowly shop and video record each knife, gun, and worker.  “I have to be careful not to draw attention to myself,” he though as he recorded.

Maxx moved on to the next table in the narrow, wobbly, wooden walkway.  He slowly shopped the table.  “This table is mostly Sirrz Debmyuo Signature Collection guns.  I need to get a good picture of each, as well as the coterie working the table,” he thought as he shopped and recorded.

As he slowly and discreetly shopped the table, he carefully video recorded each gun on the long, narrow table, as well as the worker.

He slowly moved to the last table on the narrow walkway.  “This table is full of Sirrz Debmyuo Signature Collection guns as well,” he thought as he slowly shopped.

He carefully recorded each gun and the coterie working the table as the worker talked to other shoppers.

As he slowly shopped to the end of the last table, while recording all of the Sirrz Debmyuo Signature Collection firearms and knives, as well as the coterie that was working the table, he thought, “I’ve got what we came for.  I’m sure this is Sirrz Debmyuo’s stolen Signature Collection.  Those coteries working the tables either stole the collectables or were involved in their thefts somehow.  Either way, with my video, Sirrz Debmyuo can go to the local authorities.  We know who has his Signature Collection.  With this video, we can close this case.”

He glanced at his watch.  “I’ve been shopping for hours.  Art is probably waiting for me at the entrance,” he thought as he continued to walk toward the front.

He hurried his pace as he walked toward the front entrance where he and Art agreed to meet.

After several minutes of speedily walking, he approached the front entrance.  “Where’s Art.  He said he would be here.  He said his DunyII was turned on.  I’ll call him from the car,” he thought.

With concern, he exited the building and hurried to his disguised car.  “I’ll take a moment to call him now,” he thought as he removed his DunyII from his pocket.

He dialed Art’s DunyII number.

After a minute, the message displayed on his DunyII.  “The DunyII you are calling is turned off.”

Maxx was immediately concerned.  “Where is Art?  Why is his DunyII turned off?  I’m going back inside and look for him,” he thought.  He hurried back to the entrance.

He hurried back inside the building and walked around the main entrance.  “Where is Art?  Why is his DunyII turned off?” he wondered frantically as he searched.

He frantically searched into the walkways.  He looked for Art down every walkway as the closing time approached.

He frantically searched for an hour as the business was preparing to close.  “This isn’t like Art.  He’s normally very responsible.  Did something happen to him?  No one knows we’re here,” he said as he panicked.

“The auction is closing.  I have to leave.  Am I supposed to drive home without him?” he wondered frantically as he hurried to the front.

“Maybe he’s waiting at my car,” he thought.  He panicked as he hurried out the front door again, as the business was closing.

He hurried back to his car.  “Maybe his DunyII is on now.  I’ll call him again,” he thought while in a panic.  He pulled his DunyII out of his pocket and dialed Art’s number again.  The message flashed again, “The DunyII you are calling is turned off.”

As Maxx was panicked, he thought, “Has something horrible happened to him?  He wouldn’t turn off his DunyII.  Something horrible may have happened to him.”

As he panicked, he slowly entered his car.  “I don’t know what to do.  I know Art is in trouble.  He needs me.  I don’t know where he is.  Am I supposed to drive home and wait for him to contact me?” he wondered while terrified for his friend.

As he sat in his car, he thought, “That’s all I can do.  I’ll keep my DunyII turned on and I’ll drive back.  I hope he gets a message to me somehow.”

He started the motor and began the worrisome drive into the night.  As he panicking drove, he thought, “I need to change out of my disguise in case I was spotted and reported.  As soon as I get back on Fezzn Way in Kvyutt, I’ll find a car wash.”

Chapter Three

Several Hours Later

In The Darkness of Late Night

As Maxx depressingly and worrisomely drove along Fezzn Way on the outskirts of Kvyutt toward the desert highway, he spotted a car wash.  “Finally,” he thought as his anxieties still raged, “I need to change out of my disguise and wash my car.  I was probably seen as I frantically searched for Art.  Where is he?  Why doesn’t he turn on his DunyII?”

He slowly drove into the car wash and parked.  He removed his video/audio recorder and put it in the bag in the back seat.  “I need to change out of this disguise.  Then I need to clean my car and change the plates,” he thought.

He exited his car.  He removed his camouflaged hunting shirt and grabbed a towel from Art’s supplies.  He walked to the spray novel.

He began spraying his hair and face while rubbing to remove the temporary hair coloring and make-up.  “Bbbrrr!...that’s cold,” he said as he sprayed his face and hair with the cold water.

After a few moments of cold water spraying on his head, as he shivered, he dried his face and hair – all during the darkness of night.  “I need to change out of the rest of this disguise,” he thought as he walked back to his car while shivering.

He grabbed his casual clothes that were in the back seat and quickly dressed.  “I need to wash my car and change the license plates,” he said.

He walked to the trunk and opened it.  He grabbed the original plates and the wrench.  He walked to the license plate on the trailer.

“This seems really strange,” he thought as he changed the plate, “I’m used to Art doing this.  I’m worried sick about him.  I hope he calls me soon.  I don’t know where he is.  I think he’s in grave danger.”

Next, he walked to the back of his convertible.  He quickly changed that plate as well.

After tossing the phony plates and wrench into the trunk, he closed it.  “Now, I need to wash my car and the Phoenix,” he said with deep worry.

He began the depressing job of washing his muddy, disguised car, in the darkness of late night, without knowing where Art is.  “I’m terrified something horrible has happened to him,” said Maxx as he washed.

After several minutes of emotionally painful washing, he said, “That’s enough.  My car and trailer are clean.  I need to get to out of Inglot Territory as fast as possible.  I’m sure I was observed while I frantically searched for Art at the auction.”

He hung the nozzle up and hurried to his car.  He jumped in. “I’ll keep the top up until I get closer to the border.  The night wind is cold,” he said nervously as he started the motor.

He drove out of the car wash and onto Fezzn Way.  He turned toward the desert highway, again.  “I hope Art calls me soon.  I’m worried sick about him,” he said with panic as he drove into the night.

One Hour Ago

Wixqezzer Auctions had closed two hours earlier.  The employees were almost finished with their cleanup after the very long night at the auction house.  They were all very tired and wanted to go home.

“Who was that tall hunter in the camo-clothes who was running around like he was crazy right at closing time?” asked Motmer Breks, manager of Wixqezzer Auctions in Kvyutt.

“I don’t know.  Someone said he didn’t buy anything.  He was probably stealing stuff,” said Deen Messer, a staff member at Wixqezzer Auctions in Kvyutt.

“I saw him several times throughout the night.  In all that time, he didn’t bid on anything?” asked Motmer Breks, the manager.

“That’s what everyone says.  That’s why I think he stole some merchandize.  I saw his car as he was leaving.  He drove an old, dark sedan with a rusty trailer.  He was hauling something on the back.  Probably trash.  It was too dark to see and I was a long ways away,” said Deen Messer.

“Thanks for telling me.  Mr. Wixqezzer will want to know about this.  If I know by boss, he’ll go right after that tall thief.  He doesn’t tolerate anyone stealing from him,” said Motmer Breks.

He walked to his small messy office.  He sat in his dilapidated chair and dialed the owner of Wixqezzer Auctions phone number.

Meanwhile; At The Home of Durris Wixqezzer

The Owner of Wixqezzer Auctions in Kvyutt

Durris and his wife, Gimie were sleeping in their bedroom as their phone began to ring.  “Ring!Ring!...Ring!Ring!” sounded their phone.

As Durris awoke, he turned on the light.  “It’s 2:00a.m.  Tonight was auction night.  There better not be a problem!” he grumbled angrily as he grabbed the phone.

“Durris Wixqezzer!” he grumbled with irritation as he sat up in the bed.

Motmer began nervously.  “Mr. Wixqezzer, this is Motmer Breks from the auction.  My employees have reported a thief at the auction tonight.  Someone tall was here the entire night.  He didn’t bid on anything.  We all saw him acting crazy at closing time.  My employees think he stole a lot of merchandize,” said Motmer Breks, the manager nervously.

Durris Wixqezzer immediately went into a rage.  “I don’t tolerate thieves!  If I allow one thief, before long they’re stealing me blind.  I need a description!” he demanded angrily.

Motmer Breks nervously replied,  “I saw him several times.  He was tall.  He was dressed in camouflaged  hunting clothing, even his boots and cap.  His face was very rough.  You know, weathered looking.  He had short black hair.  According to Deen Messer, my employee, he drove an old, dark sedan with a rusty trailer.  He was hauling something on the back.  It looked like trash.  It was too dark to see and he was a long ways away,” reported  Motmer Breks as his heart pounded.

“Good work Motmer.  I’ll get Sheriff DyRull on this right away,” said  Durris Wixqezzer.  He hung up the phone and immediately dialed   Sheriff DyRull’s number.

The phone at the Meslerr Territory Sheriff Department began to ring.  The night operator answered, “Meslerr Territory Sheriff Department, what’s the nature of your emergency?” asked Miss Gris Muiton sarcastically, the very tired and irritable receptionists.

“This is Durris Wixqezzer .  Get Sheriff DyRull on the line right away!” he demanded.

“One moment,” said Miss Muiton as she yawned.  She pushed the line #2 button.

“Sheriff DyRull, you have a call on line #2,” said Gris Muiton loudly, “It’s Mr. Wixqezzer.”

General Sheriff  Azar DyRull was setting at his desk in the next office.  “Tonight was auction night,” he thought with concern.  He picked up his phone and pushed line #2.  “Sheriff DyRull,” he replied.

“Sheriff  DyRull, this is Durris Wixqezzer.  There’s been a security breach.  Apparently, someone was at the auction tonight.  All night!  We don’t know what they saw or stole.  They didn’t bid on anything.  They cased the auction the entire night,” stated Durris Wixqezzer while in a panic.

Sheriff DyRull’s face became red with rage.  “I need a description!” he said angrily.

Durris Wixqezzer stated as he panicked, “According to Motmer Breks, my manager, the intruder was tall with short black hair.  His face was very rough, weathered looking.  He was dressed in camouflaged  hunting clothing, even his boots and cap.  According to Deen Messer, his employee, he drove an old, dark sedan with a rusty trailer.  He was hauling trash.  It was too dark to see a license plate.”

Sheriff DyRull replied with anger, “Do you think he saw anything?” he asked angrily.

Durris replied, “I don’t know.  That’s why you need to find him.  We need to know what he saw.”

Sheriff DyRull said angrily, “I’ll take care of this right away.  He won’t get out of the wet lands.”

A Meeting

Mustler and the Gang of Five, along with the Joqzonions were having a meeting.  “You still haven’t told us who he is,” said one member of the Gang of Five as he knocked away a red scorpion from his pants.

Mustler laughed evilly as he answered, “Ha!...  Haa!Ha!...Haa!..., You remember that hit we took last week in Bloqxess?  You remember your four ships that were mysteriously burned.  Does anyone know who hit us?”

“It was dark.  I saw someone in a black and green suit.  They came out of the water like a fish,” said a Joqzonion as he stomped on a red scorpion next to his foot.

“Whoever it was, they were really strong,” said a Gang of Five member.

“They were really fast,” said another Joqzonion.

Mustler laughed evilly.  “Ha!...  Haa!Ha!...Haa!..., You don’t know who hit us.  Not one of you knows who it was,” he said as he laughed.  “Ha!...  Haa!Ha!...Haa!”

“Tell us Boss.  Who hit us?” asked Uy Llijc, the leader of the Joqzonions as he slapped a red scorpion that was crawling on his leg.

“Do any of you read the newspapers?” he asked sarcastically.

“I do!...I do!...We all do,” said a Joqzonion.

“If you read the newspapers, as you say, you would have recognized that Seslean that hit us.  It was Detective Maxx Zeqster – from Kinkorx,” said Mustler.

“It was dark,” said a Gang of Five member as he squished a red scorpion next to his foot.

“How could you see?  I couldn’t see his face.  He was so fast,” said a Joqzonion.

Mustler, the super-intelligent mutant became angry.  “You idiots!  The coterie that hit us at Bloqxess was Maxx Zeqster,” he scolded angrily.

A gang member pointed to their prisoner.  “Is that Detective Zeqster?”  he asked.

Mustler laughed evilly.  “Ha!...  Haa!Ha!...Haa!...,No that’s not Maxx Zeqster.  Detective Zeqster is over seven feet tall.  Does he look seven feet tall to any of you?” he said as he turned to their captive.

“If that’s not Maxx Zeqster, who is it?” asked a Joqzonion.  He squished another red scorpion that was trying to crawl on his foot.

“You idiots!  That’s his partner, Detective Art Nekuma,” said Mustler as he laughed,  “Ha!...  Haa!Ha!...Haa!”

“Why did we bring him here, Boss?” asked Uy Llijc, the leader of the Joqzonions.

Mustler shook his head.  “You’re all idiots.  He’s here to draw Maxx Zeqster into our trap.  We’re going to hold him here and lure Maxx Zeqster to us.”

“Why do we want Maxx Zeqster here?” asked a gang member as he squished another scorpion with his shoe.

“Ha!...  Haa!Ha!...Haa!”  Mustler laughed evilly, “We owe Detective Maxx Zeqster a payback for hitting us at Bloqxess and burning those ships, that’s why!”

“He’s really fast,” said a gang member.

“He’s really strong,” said another gang member.

“Are you sure you want to bring him here?” asked Uy Llijc as he squished another red scorpion.

“Ha!...  Haa!Ha!...Haa!”  Mustler laughed evilly, “We owe Detective Maxx Zeqster a payback for hitting us at Bloqxess and burning your ships.  We’re going to use his partner to lure him here and kill him!”  “  Ha!...  Haa!Ha!...Haa!”

As the gang of murders and thieves plotted their revenge on Detective Maxx Zeqster, Art Nekuma was sitting in a chair only feet away.  He was bloody, gagged, and tied to the chair.  The Gang of Five and the Joqzonions brought him here after they abducted him from Wixqezzer Auctions in Kvyutt.  They battered and beat him as they transported him to this secret location.

As Art sat bloody and tied to the chair, red scorpions kept crawling on his camo-boots and his thin, worn out, camouflage- hunting suit.  He kicked them off as they crawled on him.

As he sat tied, while listening to the gang as they plotted their revenge against Detective Zeqster, he continually kicked the red scorpions away.  As he kicked, he felt his DunyII in his pocket.  “They don’t know I have  a DunyII in my pocket.  I have to find a way to send Detective Zeqster a ziq com. Somehow I have to find a way.  They’re planning to kill him,” he thought as he sat while being gagged and tied.

A gang member asked, “What are we going to do, Boss?”

“First, I need more Joqzonions.  How long before there are more of you?” he asked to Uy Llijc.

“More are on their way,” said Uy Llijc.

Mustler replied, “Good.  We’re going to give Maxx Zeqster time to get back to Kinkorx.  Then, I’ve got plans for Art Nekuma.”  “  Ha!...  Haa!Ha!...Haa!”

Meanwhile

Maxx was worriedly driving along Fezzn Way as the night was progressing.  As he drove closer to the desert highway, he thought, “It’s 5:00a.m.  Sesla’s sun will be rising before long.  I’ll be in Xcuymir Territory by then.”

As he drove on Fezzn Way, he saw the exit that he was looking for.  “Kinkorx Next Right.”  “There’s my exit,” he thought.  He slowed and exited the wet lands road and merged onto the desert highway to Kinkorx.

As he accelerated, while pulling the Phoenix, he thought, “Sesla’s sun will be rising soon.  Where is Art?  He must be in terrible trouble.  He needs me.  I have no idea where he is.”

He continued along the desert highway toward Xcuymir Territory.

Two Hours Later

As Sesla’s sun began to rise, Maxx was driving closer to the border of Xcuymir Territory on the desert highway.  As he drove, while still in Inglot Territory, he began to see red scorpions in the road again, in his headlights.

As he continued to worry about Art and his safety, he thought, “What’s with these red scorpions?  There seems to be millions of them in this area.”

As he continued toward the border, he began to run over numerous scorpions.  “Squish!...Squish!...Squish!...,” they sounded as he ran over numerous red scorpions as he continued along the highway toward the border.

As he continued to drive, he began to hear sirens.  “Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo….,” the sound of police sirens was fast approaching from his rear.

As his panic erupted, he looked in his rear view mirror as two police cars rapidly approached him.  “Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo….,” the sound of the police sirens quickly increased.

As his heart pounded in his fit chest, he continued to panic.  “I know I was spotted at the auction.  I was panicking as I searched for Art.  The police wouldn’t be coming after me – would they?” he thought as he panicked while driving over scorpions.

“Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo….,” the sound of police sirens was fast approaching as the two police cars speeded toward him.

As Maxx’s anxieties were exploding, the police cars speeded up to him.  “Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo….,” the screaming police sirens were deafening as the police cars were upon him.

“Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo….,” the screaming sirens were deafening as the two police cars speeded past.

He thought as his heart pounded and his face and hands perspired nervously, “I didn’t think they were after me.  Even if I was noticed at the auction, there wouldn’t be a reason for a road block, or would there?” he wondered as he considered the possibility while his anxieties raged.

The police continued to drove at a great speed farther and farther ahead of him.  “Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo….,” the sound of the sirens was diminishing as the police hurried away.

He thought as he drove, “Could it be that either the owner or the manager, or both, are selling stolen merchandize at their own auction?  Goods that they themselves had stolen.  If that’s the case, they have quite a racket going.  If that’s true, since I was very suspicious at closing time, the police are looking for me.”

“Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo….,” the sound of police sirens was growing less and less as the police were farther away.

As he continued to drive over numerous scorpions, he saw the roadblock.  Suddenly he realized as his heart pounded with anxieties, “I forgot to put the top down.  It’s too late now.  If I stop, I’ll look like I’m hiding something,” he thought as he approached the police.

His heart was pounding  in his chest and his hands were perspiring as he approached the police.  “Squish!...Squish!...,” The sound of red scorpions being mashed under the tires was disgusting as he nervously drove closer to the roadblock.

“I’m the only car on the road,” he thought as he began to tremble.

“They’ll assume I’m the suspect they’re looking for,” he thought as he panicked as he approached the roadblock.

He trembled with fear as he slowed and approached the police.  “I know they’re looking for me.  I must calm down!  If I don’t calm down, I’ll get caught,” he thought as he drove up to the officer.

He stopped next to the tall, largely built sheriff.

“Where are you headed?” asked General Sheriff Azar DyRull as he looked at Maxx coldly and suspiciously.

“Bedsult,” said Maxx as he tried to control his trembling.

“What’s on the trailer?” he asked suspiciously.

“Remain calm Maxx!” he thought.  He replied, “It’s my turbo-charged, camouflaged jeep with all-terrain tires.”

“Nice!” said the trooper loudly that was sitting in the second sheriff’s car.

General Sheriff Azar DyRull turned to his trooper and hurled a sharp scowl.  The trooper looked at the ground as his boss cruelly stared.

“You say you’re hauling a jeep.  What is the reason why you’re traveling tonight?” asked Sheriff DyRull with an angry scowl.

Maxx paused for a moment as his heart pounded in his chest.  He thought quickly and said, “I’ve been doing some four-wheeling in Guytic City.”

“Where in Guytic City?” he asked as he watched Maxx’s face for nervousness.

Maxx smiled confidently as he said, “The Melá-Jutis area.  It’s been fun.  Are you familiar with that part of the wet lands?” he asked with a confident smile.

Sheriff DyRull scowled angrily as he was caught off guard by the strangers answer.  “Ok.  Move along,” he said with irritation.

Without saying anything else, Maxx slowly drove away from the sheriff and his trooper as his heart pounded.  He signed deeply as he drove farther away from the police.  “That was close.  For a minute, I wasn’t sure Sheriff DyRull was going to let me through.  Thanks to Art’s disguises, he had the wrong information.  Art’s disguises worked perfectly again,” he thought.

Suddenly he remembered Art.  “He still hasn’t called .  I know something horrible has happened to him,” he thought as he drove.

As he continued to drive farther from the roadblock, while continuing to run over numerous scorpions, he saw the sign.  “You are leaving Inglot Territory.”

He was breathing easier as he continued to drive along the desert highway.  As he drove, he ran over numerous red scorpions as Sesla’s sun was rising in the morning sky.

As his anxieties continued to ease, the next sign became visible.

Very soon, he passed the next highway sign, “Welcome to Xcuymir Territory.”

As he crossed the border into Xcuymir Territory, he thought, “I sense Art is in horrible trouble.  I hope he finds a way to contact me.”

He continued to drive toward Kinkorx as he worried about Art and his safety.  “All I can do is wait for a clue of some type as to where he is,” he thought as he drove through the vast desert.

Several Hours Later

Maxx was in low spirits and exhausted as he approached the outer limits of Kinkorx on the desert highway without Art.  “All I can think about is Art.  I know he’s in grave danger.  He would call me if he could,” he thought as he drove while pulling the Phoenix behind.

As he depressingly drove, while worrying, he thought, “He has to find a way to contact me.  Hopefully he can get his hands on his duny.”

As he drove, while feeling completely exhausted from worry and a lack of sleep, as  Sesla’s sun rose higher in the morning shy, he remembered depressingly the under-cover investigation that he and Art performed at an abandoned roadside park in the old business district of downtown Kinkorx.  Together, they solved the ongoing sand trafficking crime spree case in Xcuymir Territory.

He depressingly thought, “It was only due to Art’s brilliant disguises that we solved that ongoing crime spree.”

As he drove, while being over-whelmed by exhaustion, grief, and worry, he remembered another case.  He thought as his red, tired eyes filled with tears, “It was only due to Art’s brilliant disguises and his incredible planning that we entered Qashlet lab undetected and obtained the proof that Dr. Leqtus Kin, the genetic engineer was there.  Due to that brilliant under-cover work, we closed that case.”

As he continued to depressingly drive and reminisce, with red, tired eyes, he thought, “When I met Art, my life was falling apart.  The reporters were crippling me in the newspapers over a small mistake that I supposedly made with Chief Zog Morxoc.  I couldn’t get a case.  I was in financial and professional ruin.

When Art joined my agency, he went under-cover and discovered information that led us to solving the crime spree in Xcuymir Territory.”

As he depressingly drove into the outer-limits of Kinkorx, he continued to reminisce, “Art has helped me so much since he joined my detective agency.  His planning and research skills are brilliant.  His under-cover skills are cleaver and resourceful.”

He shook his head as he thought, “He’s been collecting his under-cover equipment since he was a child.  He continues to grab anything that he sees in a throw away pile, if he thinks it will be a valuable tool as an under-cover disguise.  It’s amazing how he can turn something that has been discarded into a brilliant, under-cover disguise.”

He continued to depressingly, and exhaustingly drive into the outer-limits of Kinkorx as Sesla’s sun continued to rise in the morning sky, as he pulled the Phoenix behind.

He thought as he drove with red, tired eyes, “My eyes are so tired.  Sesla’s sun is burning them.  I need my sunglasses.  I’ll enjoy Sesla’s sunrise another time.”

He grabbed his sunglasses and put them on.  “That’s better.  Now I can see,” he thought as he depressingly drove into Kinkorx, while pulling the Phoenix behind.

Meanwhile

Mustler and the Gang of Five, and their Joqzonion follows were in their hideout.  They were plotting their revenge on Maxx Zeqster for his attack on them in Bloqxess.  They were also plotting their revenge for his burning of the four space ships in the rural wet lands.

As they plotted, Art was sitting in the chair only feet away.  He was bleeding from the beating he sustained from the Gang of Five and the Joqzonions as they transported him to this secret location.

The mutants had tied a cloth around his head and through his bleeding mouth.  He was unable to talk.  His hands were tied to the chair behind his back.  His thin, well-worn camouflaged hunters clothing was stained in numerous places with his blood from the beating.

Art listened to Mustler, as he talked about his plan to lure  Detective Maxx Zeqster into a trap.  He quietly struggled to free his hands from the ropes as the outlaw gang planned.  He quietly tried to get a hand free as he continued to kick numerous red scorpions off his legs while listening to the details of the plan.

“We’ll keep Arthor Nekuma tied to that chair until more of your friends arrive,” Mustler said to Uy Llijc, the leader of the Joqzonions.

“Every day more of my friends fly in.  We’ll have an army before long.  We’re going to make him pay for burning our ships and hitting us at Bloqxess,” said Uy Llijc.

“He threw all our guns into the swamp.  He has to pay for that.  We stole some nice weapons from the stores in Bloqxess,” said a gang of five members.

“How are we going to lure him here, Boss?” asked another gang member.

“Ha!...  Haa!Ha!...Haa!...,”  Mustler laughed evilly as he said, “When it’s time, we’re going to send Detective Maxx Zeqster a message that only he will understand.”  “Ha!...  Haa!Ha!...Haa!...,”  he laughed evilly.

“What kind of message, boss?” asked a gang member.

“We’re going to let his friend over there lure him here,” he said as he pointed at Art.  “Ha!...  Haa!Ha!...Haa!...,”  laughed Mustler evilly, “Then we’re going to cut him to pieces before we kill him.”  “Ha!...  Haa!Ha!...Haa!...,”  he laughed.

As Art listened from his chair, while being tied and gagged, he thought as he kicked another red scorpion off his leg, “I’ve got to send a ziq com to Detective Zeqster.  They’re going to use me to lure him here.  Then they’re going to kill him first, then me.”

He struggled to get a hand loose.  As he struggled, he thought, “My duny is still in my pocket.  They don’t know it’s there.  I don’t know if it’s turned on.  When they threw me into the back of their jeep, I may have fallen on it and turned it off.”

With all his strength, he tried to stretch a hand to his duny.  “I’m almost there.  Stretch Art!” he thought.

Mustler continued to discuss his evil plan and laugh.  “Ha!...  Haa!Ha!...Haa!...,”  Mustler laughed crazily.

Art stretched with all his strength.  The ropes cut into his wrists as he stretched his hand.  The blood began to drip from the cuts in his wrists from the rope as it cut into him.  “I can almost reach my duny,” he thought as he stretched.

He continued to stretch as the ropes cut into his wrists and his blood continued to drip onto the floor.  “I can barely touch my duny through these thin camo-pants.  I don’t think it’s turned on.”

As he stretched farther, he thought, “I can touch my duny with one finger.  That’s got to work.”  As he stretched, he thought, “I don’t think it’s turned on.”

He felt for the on/off button.  “It’s hard to feel the buttons through these pants.  I’ve got to send a message to Detective Zeqster.”

“I hate these scorpions!” he  thought as he kicked another off his leg.  “I think this is the on/off button,” he thought as he pushed it.

After several seconds, his DunyII vibrated for several seconds.  With excitement, he thought, “I did it!  My duny is on.  Now I’ve got to send Detective Zeqster a ziq com.”

Using one finger, through his thin, well-worn camouflage hunting pants, he carefully identified the number pad on his DunyII with his finger.  “You can do this Art!  Concentrate!” he quietly ordered himself.

He carefully typed in a ziq com message through the thin pants and pushed send, as a red scorpion crawled up his pants and stung him several times on his leg.

“Ouch!” he muttered loudly through the cloth in his mouth.  He immediately kicked to knock the scorpion out of his pants as he jerked in his chair.

The evil gang of murdering thieves turned to look at Art as he jerked and kicked to knock off the scorpion that stung his leg, as well as several other scorpions.

“What’s wrong Detective Arthor Nekuma?  Did a little red scorpion sting you?” asked a Joqzonion sarcastically.

“Did it hurt?” asked a gang of five members.

“Ha!...  Haa!Ha!...Haa!...,”  Mustler laughed.  “That had to hurt, Detective Arthor Nekuma.  I’m sure that won’t be the last time you are stung by a red scorpion.  Before we kill you that is,” the evil, super-intelligent mutant said as he began to laugh again, “Ha!...  Haa!Ha!...Haa!”

As Art sat tied in the chair, the scorpion venom began to over-take his body.  The pain was tremendous as he began to tremble from the poison.

“I got stung several times by that scorpion.  I hope I don’t die before Detective Zeqster can find me.  I don’t even know if I typed in a readable message.  I don’t know if it went out,” he thought as he began to lose consciousness from the poison of the scorpion.

Chapter Four

As Sesla’s sun rose higher in the morning sky, Maxx depressingly and exhaustingly drove through downtown Kinkorx.  “I’ll be home soon.  Art still hasn’t called me.  I hope he’s still alive.  I can’t bear to think of something tragic happening to him,” he thought as his red, tired eyes began to tear again.

As he drove into the morning sun, while wearing his sunglasses to ease the irritation in his red, tired eyes, his DunyII began to sing.  It was singing a funeral song.  With alarm, he  grabbed it.  A ziq com displayed, “abductedcavered scorpions

While being only minutes from his home, he immediately pulled over to the side of the road.  He studied the ziq com. “Art’s alive!” he exclaimed loudly with joy, “He was abducted at the auction.  He’s being held in a cave with red scorpions.”

He thought for a moment.  “I’ve been running over hundreds of red scorpions in Inglot Territory just across the border.  He’s being held prisoner somewhere around the border close to the desert highway.”

Suddenly his exhaustion was replaced with rage.  His red, tired eyes were eyes of fury.  “Whoever abducted Art will pay!” he proclaimed loudly, “The Melá-Jutis is on the way!”

Magically his super-hero suit appeared under his strolling suit.  “Oh!  I forgot.  Melá-Jutis!” he said again, loudly.  The suit magically disappeared as he turned his car and trailer around.

He speeded in the other direction toward the border.  “The border is a three hour drive at normal speed.  Art’s in grave danger.  Let’s see just how fast my convertible will go,” he said as he pushed the accelerator to the floor.

As he speeded toward the border, he passed one vehicle after another.

He had both hands on the wheel and he leaned forward as he drove excessively fast.  In minutes, he was out of Kinkorx and driving into the open desert.

His face was focused and his head extended as he drove at double the speed limit.  “I’ve got to reach Art before something tragic happens to him,” he thought as he speeded like a rocket along the desert highway while pulling the Phoenix behind.

As he pushed his convertible to its higher limits, he passed numerous vehicles like they were sitting still.  As he approached them, almost all quickly moved so the speeding motorists would have room.

After speeding along the desert highway, at twice the normal speed for what only seemed a short while, he was coming into the area of the desert near the border.  “That was fast.  It’s a good thing there weren’t any police on the highway this morning,” he thought as he speeded toward the border.

He smiled as he drove like a rocket.  “Even if there were cops, I wouldn’t slow down.  Nothing is going to stop me from saving Art,” he thought as he continued to grip the steering wheel with both hands and fly down the highway.

As he drove super-fast on the highway, he started seeing the first of the red scorpions.  As he speeded, he began to run over them.  “As soon as I cross the border, I’ll park and take the Phoenix from there.  Art will be somewhere around the border,” he thought as he continued to rocket down the road.

“I’m really glad there are no cops today.  That’s trouble that I don’t need right now,” he thought as he neared the border.

Soon, as he speeded along the desert highway, while running over many red scorpions, he saw the sign that read, “You are leaving Xcuymir Territory.”

In only what seemed seconds, he saw the sign that read, “Welcome to Inglot Territory.”

As he rocketed past the sign, while driving double the normal speed, plus a little, he ran over a multitude of red scorpions and squished them under his tires.

He thought, “Coming up ahead is the area where the red scorpions are the worst.  My Melá-Jutis instincts are telling me that Art is near the highway, in a few miles,” he thought as he speeded like a rocket along the desert highway into Inglot Territory.

As he rocketed along, the number of scorpions on the highway intensified.  “I think Art is around here somewhere,” he thought as he gripped the steering wheel while driving at a rocket speed.

He began to slow his speed as he ran over numerous red scorpions.  Squish!  Squish!  Squish!  Squish!” sounded the venomous insects as he ran over them.

He slowed and pulled over to the side of the road.  He glanced at his watch.  “Wow!  I drove like a rocket.  I made a three hour drive in less than half the time.  How to find Art!” he said.

He jumped out of the car.

He said, “I need become, The Melá-Jutis!

Magically the Melá-Jutis suit appeared under his clothing.  He quickly remover his strolling suit revealing The Melá-Jutis.  He tossed the strolling suit into the back seat.

“It’s time to uncover the Phoenix,” he said.  He quickly untied and rolled off the cover to his turbo-charged, camouflaged, all-terrain jeep.

He jumped into the driver’s seat and started the super-charged motor.  “Rrmm!...Rrrmmm!...Rrrmmm!...,” sounded the turbo motor.

He drove the Phoenix off the trailer and spun sand in the air as he drove into the hills of the desert.

“In Art’s ziq com, he said he was in a cave with red scorpions.  I need to look for a rock formation that’s large enough to contain a cave,” he thought as he gunned the motor while slinging multi-colored sand.

As he drove around one rock formation after another, while slinging sand and scorpions with his off-road tires, he got an idea.  He wiggled his lips as he drove his turbo jeep.

“Art said there were red scorpions in the cave.  Maybe the scorpions live in the cave and that’s where they’re coming from.  I’m going to drive into the scorpions and see where they’re coming from,” he thought as he turned the Phoenix into the flow of scorpions.

As he drove into the venomous insects, the trail was taking him away from the highway and into the open desert.

“Even though this doesn’t make sense to me, I’m going to play my Melá-Jutis instincts and follow them,” he thought as he drove straight into the flow of scorpions.

He drove farther into the open desert as he drove into the herd of  red scorpions.

As he  drove his super-charged jeep, he began to feel vibrations, other that the scorpions.  “The vibrations are coming from up ahead.  There is something ahead other than scorpions.  I can feel it,” he thought as he continued to drive into the desert.

As he continued to drive into the red scorpions, the vibrations became stronger.  “There’s definitely something ahead.  All I see is desert,” he thought as he continued at a high rate of speed toward the vibrations.

“The vibrations are getting stronger.  I’m close.  I better slow down and drive quietly,” he thought as he slowed the Phoenix.

As he slowly drove into the red scorpions, he saw where the vibrations that he was feeling were coming from.  He stopped.

“There’s a cave ahead.  That’s strange.  I think the multi-colored sand  is covering the stones that form the cave.  That’s where the scorpions are emanating from.  Someone is running them out of their home,” he thought, “The scorpions would like that cave.  It’s secluded.”

He paused for a moment to feel the vibrations.  Instantly he flew into a rage.  “Art’s in that cave.  I can feel his vibrations.  His vibrations are unique.  Someone is holding him in that cave.  It’s also full of Red Scorpions!” he said with rage.

With his super-speed, he jumped out of the Phoenix and hurried toward the cave entrance.  He paused to look inside.

“That’s the same group that I attacked at Bloqxess.  Those five mutants are the Gang of Five.  Those others are Joqzonions.  I’d know a Joqzonion anywhere.  Their elongated head and big eyes give them away,” he thought as he studied the cave.

Suddenly he panicked.  “There’s Art.  They abducted him at the auction house.  He’s bleeding and unconscious.  He’s gagged and tied to that chair.  There are red scorpions  crawling all over him.  He’s probably been stung by several of them.  I’ve got to get him to the hospital,” he thought as his fury returned and his eyes turned red with rage.

With Sesla given, super-speed, he raced into the cave and grabbed a Joqzonion.  With his enhanced strength, he threw the alien  against the cave wall.  Bones cracked and blood squirted as the Joqzonion hit the solid, stonewall.

“Ha!” yelled another Joqzonion, “It’s Maxx Zeqster!”

“Get him!” yelled Mustler.

“Kill him!” yelled Uy Llijc.

 The Joqzonions obeyed their leader and quickly attacked Maxx from all sides.

Maxx fought with a fury that he didn’t know he possessed.  With super-speed and enhanced strength,  he hit and kicked.  “Ah!...Uhhh!...,” said the Joqzonions as The Melá-Jutis attacked.

In his rage, Maxx broke their bones and  cracked  their skulls.  “You’ll pay for what you did to Art and what you’re doing to Sesla!” he exclaimed with fury as he broke their bones with every mighty punch and kick.

“Ohhh!...Uhhh!...,” Joqzonion blood splattered everywhere in the cave.

As the foolish Joqzonions fought Maxx Zeqster, Mustler and the other members of the Gang of Five, along with Uy Llijc, the Joqzonion leader, fled the cave.  They ran into the desert away from his jeep.

“Ah!...Uhhh!...,” said the Joqzonions as The Melá-Jutis continued to attack.

Maxx continued to punch and kick.  He threw some against the wall.  The cave was quickly becoming splattered with Joqzonion blood.

“Ohhh!...Uhhh!...,” said another Joqzonion as Maxx delivered a deathblow with his mighty fist.  The alien’s blood splattered as he hit the wall before falling to the cave floor dead.

The last remaining Joqzonion, while being over-whelmed with exhaustion and pain, foolishly attempted to kick Maxx.

With his super-speed, he grabbed the extended leg and threw the foolish Joqzonion into the wall with a force that resembled being hit by a large semi-trailer.  The Joqzonion’s bones and skull cracked  as he hit the wall.  He fell to the floor dead, in a puddle of blood.

As numerous Joqzonions lay bleeding, broken, and dead  on the floor, with scorpions crawling on them, Maxx quickly studied the cave for more invaders.  “That’s it for the Joqzonions.  The Gang of Five fled again.  Cowards!” he said.

Suddenly he saw Art.  His heart sank.  “Oh no!” he said.  Art was sitting in a corner of the cave.  He was bleeding and unconscious while being gagged and tied to a chair.  Several scorpions were crawling on him.

Maxx rushed to his friend.  “You can’t be dead,” he said sorrowfully as he brushed the scorpions off.  He checked for a pulse.  He checked for a breath.  He signed deeply with relief.

“You’re breathing is shallow.  Your pulse is slow, but they’re not that bad.  I think you’re simply very sick and unconscious from the scorpion bites.  Let’s get you untied and out of this cave.  I need to get you to a hospital,” he said to his unconscious friend and partner.

He quickly untied Art’s bleeding hands and picked him up in his powerful arms.  As the scorpions covered the bloody, dead Joqzonions,  he quickly exited the scorpion-infested cave while carrying his unconscious friend.

As he hurried toward the Phoenix, he saw the strange looking, chunk-like  footprints in the sand from the escaping gang.  “They got away, again.  I have a feeling I’ll do battle with them again, very soon,” he said.

He carefully placed Art in the front seat.  “I’ll have you to the hospital in Kinkorx soon.  Hang in there Art,” he said as he gently positioned Art so he would not slide around.

He ran around to the other side of the Phoenix and jumped in. “Rrmmm!...Rrmmm!...,” He fired up the turbo motor and carefully began the drive along the multi-colored sand back to his car.

“That’s odd.  The scorpions are returning to the cave.  I guess they didn’t like the Joqzonions,” he thought as he drove carefully.

As he drove back to the desert road, the flow of scorpions continued coming at them.  “They seem to be returning back to their home.  I don’t blame them, I don’t like Joqzonions  either,” he said as he drove.

He slowed as he approached his car and the highway.  He looked at Art who was still unconscious as he stopped.  “Let’s get you into my convertible,” he said as he jumped out of the Phoenix.  He hurried around to Art.

With his mighty arms, he lifted Art out of the Phoenix.  He walked and put him in the front seat of his convertible.  “Lie back and sleep.  I’ll get you to the hospital in no time,” said Maxx.

He hopped back into the Phoenix.  “Rrrmm!...Rrrmm!”  He drove it onto the trailer.  “That’ll do.  Now to cover it,” he said.

He jumped out and grabbed the cover.  He rolled it over the Phoenix and quickly tied it down.

He grabbed his strolling suit that he tossed into the back seat.  He quickly put the walking suit on over his super-hero suit.  He said, “Melá-Jutis!”  His super-hero suit magically disappeared.

“It’s time to get Art to the hospital,” he thought as he jumped into his convertible.  He started the motor and pulled ahead.

He quickly increased his speed and drove down the highway.

“Hold on Art.  I’ll have you to the hospital as fast as I can,” said Maxx as he began the drive back to Kinkorx.

As he drove along the desert highway toward the border, the scorpions were going the other way as he ran over many of them.  “It seems the scorpions are going back to their cave.  I guess they don’t like the Joqzonions either,”  he said as he chuckled.

Ninety Minutes Later

Sesla’s sun moved past its apex as Maxx speedily drove into the outer-limits of Kinkorx.

Art continued to lay unconscious in the front seat of his convertible.  “The scorpion venom is keeping him unconscious.  He appears to have a high fever,” he thought as he touched Art’s forehead and felt the fever perspiration.

“Hold on Art!  We’re almost to the hospital!” he said frantically as he speeded into Kinkorx on the desert highway.

He worrisomely felt of Art’s forehead again as he rocketed toward the hospital.  He was now driving double the speed limit again.

“His breathing is slowing.  The scorpion venom is killing him.  I’ve got to drive faster,” he said as he pushed the accelerator to the floor.

“We’re almost there Art!  Hold on!  Don’t die!” he said frantically as he prepared to exit the main highway at Mirchester Road, “The hospital is just down the road.”

He slowed and exited the highway.  He stopped at the traffic light.

He shielded his burning eyes from Sesla’s bright afternoon sun as he watched the traffic light.  “The traffic is too heavy to turn.  Come on!  How long is this light going to take?” he asked frustratingly as he felt of Art’s feverish forehead again.  “His fever is getting worse!” he said as he began to panic.

“There’s a gap!” he said.  He pushed the accelerator to the floor and rocketed into the traffic while pulling the Phoenix behind.

“Beep!...Beep!...Beep!...,” sounded the angry motorists as she stomped her brakes hard to avoid hitting the convertible with trailer that pulled right out in front of her.  “You’re a maniac!  Where’d you learn to drive, Joqzon?” she yelled out the window of her old, compact, rusty car as she hit her breaks hard.

“Sorry!  Medical Emergency!” he yelled loudly as he speeded past her like a rocket launching from its launch pad.

As he rocketed down Mirchester Road toward the hospital, he felt of Art’s forehead again.  “His forehead is cold and white.  He’s dying!” said Maxx frantically, “I’ve got to go faster!”

As he panicked, he passed motorists and pushed the accelerator to the floor again.  “Beep!...Beep!...Beep!...,” sounded the panicking drivers as Maxx flew passed them quickly.

“There it is!” he said as he approached Kinkorx Mirchester Hospital, “There’s the hospital!”

With alarming and unsafe speed, he drove into the Emergency Room Entrance, drop-off overhang at Kinkorx Mirchester Hospital.  He parked with a jolt.

While panicked, he quickly exited his convertible and ran around to the passenger side.  With his incredibly powerful arms, he hoisted the dying Art.

As he hurried, he rushed toward the emergency entrance while carrying Art.

The ER nurse, Nurse Bennick, asked loudly, “Is he breathing?”

“Just barely!  He’s dying!” said Maxx frantically as he entered the ER.

The quick thinking nurse said, “You look like you’ve got him!  Follow me!”

Nurse Bennick hurried down the hall toward emergency care, with Maxx following close behind, while carrying the almost dead Art Nekuma.

She used her pager as she ran, “I need a code team in the code blue room – STAT!  I have a code blue patient!” she yelled into her pager as she ran toward the emergence care room.

Nurse Bennick ran into their code blue room with Maxx following close behind, while carrying the completely white, multiple scorpion sting victim; Art.

“Put him on the bed!  Fast!” she ordered.

Maxx gently but quickly laid his completely white, not breathing friend and partner on the gurney.

As Nurse Bennick began to frantically check the code blue patient, a stampede of emergency, code team members, rushed into the room.

“He’s code blue!  Get him hooked up!  Fast!  Move!” she ordered loudly and strongly.  “What’s his name?” she asked.

“Art Nekuma,” replied Maxx as he stood back and painfully watched.

The code team frantically cut off his camouflaged suit and connect  a multitude of wires and tubes to the code blue patient.  As they removed the bloody camo clothing and connected the wires,  Nurse Bennick saw several red, swollen puncture marks on his  legs.

She turned to Maxx and asked, “Are those scorpion stings?”

He nodded his as he said, “Yes!”

“Did you see the scorpions?” she asked frantically, as the code team quickly worked.

“Yes,” he replied.

With irritation, she asked sharply, as the emergency team worked frantically to connect the equipment to the dying patient, “What did they look like?”

Maxx replied, “They were large and red.”

She said loudly to her team, “Red scorpions!  Get the anti-venom!  Move!” she ordered.

The code team worked quickly to insert the anti-venom into Art’s vein.  “He’s flat lining!” said Nurse Bennick, “Get the defibrillator!”

A code team nurse quickly removed the defibrillator from the shelve as the anti-venom began mixing with his poisoned blood.  She handed the paddles to her boss.  “Charging!” said the assistant nurse.

“Ready!” she said after a moment.

“Clear!” said Nurse Bennick as she put the paddles on the code blue, Art Nekuma.  He jerked from the surge of electricity that shot into his white, lifeless torso.

Everyone in the code blue room stared at the heart monitors.

“He can’t be dead,” said Maxx as his heart was breaking while watching the flat lines on the monitors.

“Not on my watch!” said Nurse Bennick.  She bent down to Art’s white face.  “Art!  You must fight!  Your life depends on it!  Fight for life!  Fight hard!  Fight Now!” she yelled into the flat lined patient’s face.

“Ready!” said the staff nurse again, as the charge on the defibrillator was ready.

Nurse Bennick said, “Clear!”  She put the paddles on the flat lined, scorpion bite victim’s chest again.

The electricity shot through Art’s lifeless chest again.  The lifeless body jerked.

The planet stopped revolving in its orbit shortly as everyone stared hopefully at the monitors.  Time stood still.  No one breathed.

Suddenly, the monitors began to beep as a faint heartbeat began to register on them.

They all sighed deeply with relief, as Art’s heartbeat slowly grew stronger on the monitors.

“Get more anti-venom into him!  Move!  We have a live patient!  Finish hooking him up,” ordered Nurse Bennick, “Page me if there any problems.”

She turned to Maxx, who had a face full of tears.  “Art will be ok now.  My team will take good care of him.  You need to come with me,” she said as she began to leave the code blue room.

Nurse Bennick and Maxx, with his teary eyes and face, exited the code blue room and  walked along the hallway to admittance.  “He’ll be ok now,” said Nurse Bennick as they walked.

They entered the small office.  “We need to assign Art a doctor and get him admitted.  He should be fine now.  The anti-venom works fast.  By tomorrow, he should be awake and talking.  Shall I assign a physician or do you have a preference?” she asked as she sat at her desk.

Maxx responded, “The Zeqster family physician works at this hospital.  If you don’t mind, I’d like to have Dr. Tyi Rotizon assigned to Art.”

She smiled.  “That will be just fine Detective Zeqster.  Dr. Rotizon is one of our finest doctors.  Art will be in good hands,” she said as she assigned Dr. Rotizon to Art’s case.

“I’m putting him in room 2021.  That’s on Dr. Rotizon’s floor.  I’m notifying his office now that he has a new patient.  I’ll add a note that Detective Zeqster asked for him.  He’ll be here in a few hours to see Art,” she said as she worked.

She paused for a moment and smiled sympathetically.  “You look exhausted.  You might as well go home and get some rest.  Art will be a lot better tomorrow,” she said.

As Maxx stood there with red eyes, looking exhausted, he asked, “Are you sure he’s going to be ok?”

She responded with compassion, “The anti-venom is already working to neutralize the scorpion poison in his blood.  Since I haven’t heard from my team, he’s fine.  Get some rest.  If there’s a problem, we’ll call you.  Don’t expect a problem.  We  treat scorpion stings all the time.  As long as we get the patient in time, they always recover quickly.”

With strong feelings of apprehension, Maxx replied, “I am exhausted.  I need some sleep.  I’ll be back tomorrow morning.  Thank you.”

“My pleasure,” she said compassionately, “Get some rest.  Art will be better tomorrow.”

Maxx was uneasy as he walked toward the emergency room entrance.  “I hope Nurse Bennick is right.  At least Dr. Rotizon is Art’s doctor.  He’s a good physician.  I feel better knowing that,” he thought as he exited the hospital.

He walked to his convertible that he left parked at the emergency entrance, and climbed in.  He started the engine.  “I better put on my sun glasses.  My eyes can’t take the afternoon Sesla sun.  They’re too tired,” he thought as he put on his sunglasses and drove away from the emergency entrance.

With complete exhaustion, he began the emotionally painful drive through downtown Kinkorx, as Sesla’s afternoon sun was shining brightly in the shy.

“Watching Art lying on that gurney as he flat lined, broke my heart.  I will never  forget how he looked.  He looked dead,” he thought, “I’m glad he didn’t die.  I can’t imagine my life without him.  I’ll visit him tomorrow morning when he’s feeling better.”

He continued to drive toward his home as he pulled the Phoenix behind.

Chapter Five

Late The Next Morning

The hospital staff continued to treat Art’s blood with the anti-venom during the night.  When Dr. Rotizon checked on Art earlier this morning, he was pleased with the blood readings and with Art’s response to the medication.  His orders were to flush Art’s system for several hours before treating him with more anti-venom to neutralize the remaining scorpion venom in his blood.

As Art’s system was being flushed, he was sitting up in the hospital bed while enjoying his breakfast.  As he ate, while watching Kinkorx TV News, Maxx walked in.

As Maxx entered Art’s room and saw him sitting up, while eating and watching the news, he became over-joyed.  With a large smile, he said, “You look a lot better today.”

Art smiled when he saw his friend and mentor.  “Hi Detective Zeqster.  I feel a lot better.  The staff  is taking really good care of me,” he said as he shoved another bit of his delicious breakfast into his mouth.  “The food is really good here.  I get to eat all I want,” he said as he chewed.

Maxx smiled and laughed as he sat in the hospital chair.  “I’m glad you’re feeling better.  You gave me quite a scare yesterday,” he said as he grinned with joy.

“That’s what Dr. Rotizon told me this morning when he was here,” he said as he continued to eat.

“He’s the Zeqster Family physician.  Do you like him?” asked Maxx.

“Oh, yes.  He’s really nice.  He says I can probably go home tomorrow,” he said as he continued to gobble down his breakfast.

Suddenly, Nurse Bennick walked into the room.  “Well, look at you,” she said with a big smile, “Dr. Rotizon said you were feeling a lot better this morning.  I just had to come and see you – after that scare you gave us yesterday.”

Art paused for a moment.  He remembered his dream.  “I remember your voice.  You were in my dream last night.  You were yelling at me,” he said.

Nurse Bennick declared proudly, “That was me alright.  You were slipping away.  I have a firm policy.  No one dies on my watch.  Sometimes I have to get my patients attention.”

“You sure got my attention, all right.  I can still hear you screaming at me in my dream,” said Art as he ate.

Maxx and Nurse Bennick laughed with joy as they watched Art eating heartedly.

“I’m glad you’re doing so well.  Dr. Rotizon is going to keep you here one more day to continue the anti-venom.  You will probably go home tomorrow afternoon.  You can enjoy the hospital food for another day,” she said as she and Maxx laughed.

“I’ve got more patients to see.  I’ll stop in tomorrow,” she said.  Then she quickly left.

“I’m glad you’re back.  Are you feeling all right?” asked Maxx.

“I feel a little sick, still.  Dr. Rotizon said I would feel that way until tomorrow.  Then I’ll be fine,” said Art.  “I almost forgot; did you find Sirrz Debmyuo’s stolen Signature Collection at  Wixqezzer Auctions?” he asked.

Maxx replied, “I did.  His collectables were in the back, down a narrow row of tables.  It would be easy to miss them.”

“Did you get a good video of them?” asked Art as the news aired.

Maxx nodded his head.  “I believe I did.  With the video, we can close that case.  We’ll need to give Sirrz Debmyuo a copy of it.  He can take it to Detective Wolunn at the sheriff department in Zeeton.”

Maxx thought, “I better not tell him about my magical Melá-Jutis  suit.  He’ll want me to show it to him.  I better switch the conversation.”  He said, “So, tell me about what happened to you.”

Art replied, “I was shopping at the auction when a group approached me from behind.  I didn’t see them.  They taped my mouth and put a bag over my head.  As I struggled, they tied my   hands behind my back.  I think they forced me to an exit and out of the auction building.  They forced me, I think, along the side of the building.  They threw me into maybe a jeep.  When I landed, I landed on my duny.  I think it was turned off when I landed on it.

They drove a long ways.  As we drove, they kept kicking me.  That’s where all of my bruises came from.  Finally they stopped.  We were at a cave in the desert.  They forced me inside.

The tape was coming off so they tied a cloth around my head and through my mouth, so I couldn’t talk.  They tied me to a chair.  There were red scorpions everywhere.  I kept kicking them off my legs.

They were planning how they were going to use me to lure you to the cave.  They were going to kill both of us for your attack on them last week.

I managed to turn on my duny and send a short ziq com to you.  As I sent it, a scorpion stung me on the leg several times.  I started feeling sick and passed out.  That’s all I remember until I woke this morning.”  He paused.  “As you already know, I had a dream where Nurse Bennick was screaming at me,” he reported.

Maxx was in a rage as he shook his head.  “I got your ziq com.  I drove like a rocket to where the red scorpions were crossing the desert highway.  I jumped on the Phoenix and found you in that cave.  It was full of red scorpions.  I made them pay for what they did to you.  I killed several Joqzonions inside the cave.  Unfortunately, the Gang of Five and a few Joqzonions got away.  I could have gone after them, but I had to get you here as fast as I could,” he said as his eyes became red with emotion, “I was almost too late.”

Art replied, “You found me and I’m fine.  That’s all that matters.”

They paused as a special news report came on the TV.  “I’m Kinkorx TV News Anchor, Meez Broplen.  This morning, the Chief of Police of Kinkorx Police Department, Chief Aazon Pomur is reporting another gruesome murder of a Kinkorx Horned Hares mesnuk player.

According to Chief Pomur, Ti Gurmis, the star player for the Kinkorx Horned Hares, was found brutally murdered and dismembered early this morning.  He was found by passing motorists on their way to work.

The body of Ti Gurmis was mutilated and dumped in a drainage ditch next to a road where it was sure to be found quickly.  This is the second Kinkorx Horned Hares mesnuk player that has been found brutally murdered recently.

We are now taking you to a live report from roaming reporter, Pymur Muxx.  He is reporting live from the Xcuymir Territory Correctional Facility in Jxobslyn.”

“Thank you Meez.  I’m reporting live at the Xcuymir Territory Correctional Facility in Jxobslyn.  According to our unnamed sources here, Zith Fleen, the mentally insane, ex-Kinkorx Horned Hare, that has repeatedly threatened to take revenge on the entire Kinkorx Horned Hares mesnuk team for his head injury, escaped from this facility nearly one month ago.

As we all remember, he was hit brutally during a mesnuk game.  The head collision left him with brain damage.  After being convicted of one brutal murder of a Kinkorx Horned Hares mesnuk player, he was sentenced to life in this correctional facility, in the psychiatric wing.

Today, Zith Fleen is being blamed for the two recent brutal murders of Kinkorx Horned Hares players.  This is Pymur Muxx.  I’m reporting live from the Xcuymir Territory Correctional Facility in Jxobslyn.  Now back to you Meez.”

“I’m Meez Broplen, your Kinkorx TV News Anchor.  Our other top story that we would like to bring you on this special news bulletin is a report from the news wire from the wet lands.  According to Guytic City TV News Anchor Jimner Veqsen, the Gang of Five seem to be taking some time off from their looting, killing, and burning in the wet lands.  Their last known attack was in Bloqxess, in Meslerr Territory.  Since that attack, the gang hasn’t been seen.

In other news from the wet lands, it’s being reported by numerous eyewitnesses that more Joqzonion space ships are landing in the wet lands almost daily.

Are the Joqzonions attempting to form an army in which to take over Sesla?  Only time will tell.  For now, we are all grateful that the attacks by the murdering outlaw group, the Gang of Five, have slowed at least temperately.  This is  Meez Broplen, your Kinkorx TV News Anchor.  We are returning you back to our regular programming.”

“It looks like my attack had an effect on them,” said Maxx.

Art replied, “Yes it does.  That’s good.  I’m also concerned about these killings of the Kinkorx Horned Hares mesnuk players.  I hope the police catch Zith Fleen before he kills any more players.”

“So do I,” said Maxx, “I should let you get more rest.  I’ve probably been here too long already.  It sounds like Dr. Rotizon is going to release you tomorrow afternoon.  I’ll be back around that time and take you home.  If you need me before then, don’t hesitate to call.”

Maxx began to leave.  “Thanks for visiting me.  Thanks for getting me here before it was too late,” said Art.

“It was my pleasure,” said Maxx, “I’ll see you tomorrow afternoon.”

Maxx exited the room as Art continued to watch TV and eat.

The Next Day: The Afternoon

It was early afternoon as Maxx walked along the hospital hallway toward room 2021, on Dr. Rotizon’s floor, while carrying a bag with Art’s clothes.  As he walked past the nurse’s desk, Karee Bien, the staff nurse said, “Dr. Rotizon is releasing  Art this afternoon.  It sounds like he’s ready to go home.”

“Thank you.  I hope so,” said Maxx as he walked by.  He continued along the hallway to Art’s room.

As he entered the room, Art was sitting on the bed in his hospital gown.  He was watching TV while eating his lunch.  “Hi Detective Zeqster.  Are my clothes in your bag?” he asked as he ate his last hospital meal.

“I threw some of my clothes together.  Hopefully you can roll up the legs and sleeves and we can get you back to my house,” said Maxx as he handed the bag to Art.

“Thanks,” he said, “Let me finish my lunch.  Then I’ll change.”

Maxx chuckled as he said, “That’ll be fine.  I’m glad you like the  hospital food.”  He sat down in the chair and began watching the TV as Art finished his meal.

“I called your parents.  I told then you were fine.  That you were coming home today.  I told them not to worry.  Apparently, you keep the house full of groceries for them.  They don’t need anything.  They thanked me again for their medication and for buying the house for the three of you,” said Maxx as he glanced at the TV.

As they both watched TV and talked while Art ate his lunch, Nurse Bennick walked into the room.  “Hi you two,” she said.

“Hi Nurse Bennick,” said Art.

Maxx replied, “Hi Nurse Bennick.”

“It sounds like you’re going home this afternoon,” she said.

Art replied, “I’m waiting for Dr. Rotizon to come back.  He said he would be back mid- afternoon.  While I’m waiting, I’m finishing my last hospital meal.  I’m going to miss the good food here.”

“Ha!…Ha!Ha!...Ha!...,” everyone in the room laughed.

“How are you feeling?” asked Nurse Bennick.

“I’m feeling fine today.  Dr. Rotizon said I would feel better by today.  I’m glad that scorpion venom is out of my system,” said Art.

“We’re all glad,” said Maxx as he chuckled while sitting in the hospital chair.

“You never told us how you were stung by the scorpion,” said Nurse Bennick.

As Maxx sat in his chair nervously, Art replied, “There’s not much to tell.  I was exploring a cave, you know – looking for treasures and a scorpion crawled under my camo-pants and stung me.  I got off a ziq com to Detective Zeqster before I passed out.  It wasn’t much of a message because I was feeling sick  fast.  Because of my poor ziq com, it took him a while to find me.  That’s about all there is to tell,” said Art confidently.

Nurse Bennick replied, “We could all use a friend like Detective Zeqster.”

Maxx chuckled as he replied, “At least I found him and got him here in time.”

“Yes you did.  We are all grateful for your efforts.  My record remains unbroken because of you, Detective Zeqster,” she added.

As they talked, Dr. Rotizon entered the room.  “Hi Art.  How are you feeling?” he asked.

Art replied, “I feel great!”

Dr. Rotizon checked Art’s chart.  “Your vitals are good.  The scorpion venom is  out of your system.  If you feel good, I’ll release you,” he said as he turned to Detective Zeqster, “Are you driving him home?”

“Yes.  I have his clothes in this bag, Dr. Rotizon,” said Maxx.

“Very good,” said Dr. Rotizon as he signed the release form.  He turned to Art.  “Don’t play with any more scorpions.  We don’t want to lose you,” he said as he handed Art’s copy of the form to him, “Go ahead and change your clothes.  You’re free to leave.”

He turned to his other patient in the room.  “How are you feeling lately, Maxx?”

Maxx happily replied, “I feel good.”

“No pain in your chest?  No shortness of breath?” he asked.

Maxx happily replied, “My heart has never felt better.  I’m in tip top shape.”

“I will admit, you look good.  Strong.  You have more muscle mass than the last time I saw you.  Especially in your chest, shoulders, and arms.  Have you been working out?” asked Dr.  Rotizon, the Zeqster Family’s personal doctor.

Maxx was caught off guard by the questions.  “Yes,” he replied, “I’ll call your office soon.  I’ll come in for a physical.  You can check my heart.”

“Call my office soon,” he said.  He turned to Art.  “You’re free to go – as soon as you give me back my gown,” he smiled.

“Nice seeing you again Nurse Bennick,” he said as he began to exit the room.

“Nice seeing you again, Dr. Rotizon,” she said, “I’ll see you in the morning.”

He smiled at her as he exited the room.

“I guess that’s it,” said Nurse Bennick, “Detective Zeqster, you look just like your pictures in the Kinkorx Desert News.  I recognized you the second I saw you.  Good luck you two.”  She exited the room.

“I’ll get changed,” said Art.  He grabbed the bag from Detective Zeqster and walked to the rest room.

In less than a minute, he walked out with the baggy clothes on.  He had the legs and sleeves rolled way up.  “I knew they’d fit perfectly,” said Art.

Maxx laughed, “You’re right.  They fit perfectly.  Let’s get out of here.”

As Maxx carried his bag, they both happily exited the room and walked along the hall toward the nurse’s desk.

“Good luck Art.  Leave those scorpions alone,” said Karee Bien, a staff nurse as they walked by.

Art smiled.  “I’ll do that.  Thanks,” he said as they walked past.

They continued along the hallway toward the stairs.  “We need to go down one floor.  Are you up for the stairs,” asked Maxx.

“You bet,” said Art as he turned and walked down the steps as Maxx followed.

At the bottom of the stairs, they turned toward the exit.

“I parked as close to the door as I could,” said Maxx as they approached the emergency entrance.

“Where ever you parked, is fine,” said Art as they exited the hospital.

“I’m parked over there,” he said as he pointed.

They walked toward Maxx’s red convertible.

“It’s nice to be in the afternoon sun again,” said Art as they approached the car, “I never thought I would say that.  I never liked the sun when I worked at the high school – as a janitor.”

Maxx said, “That was another life.  Let’s go.”

They entered Maxx’s red convertible and began the drive back to Maxx’s home in Bedsult.

Chapter Six

Several Days Later

Sesla’s morning sun was rising in the welcoming sky as Maxx strolled along the streets of his neighborhood in Bedsult.  The warm, steady breeze was blowing on his alluring face as he ambled.

As he happily sauntered under the cloudless, blue sky, on the way back to his home, his mind was on Art and closing their case.

“I’ve given Art several days to spend  with his parents and recover from his ordeal.  When I finish my stroll, I should call him.  We need to close Sirrz Debmyuo’s case,” he thought as he strolled past the Bedsult School, as children played in the playground.

As he sauntered along Lypont Drive toward his home, he thought, “I’ve reviewed the video of the auction house several times.  I have several copies of it.  With our video, Sirrz Debmyuo shouldn’t have any trouble getting Detective Brek Wolunn of Zeeton Territory Sheriff Department to get a few search warrants.  He can find and recover his stolen collectables.”

As he ambled up his walkway toward  his porch, he thought, “I’ll call Art this morning.  We need to get the video to Sirrz Debmyuo.  We need to close that case.”

He opened his front door and walked in, he thought, “From now on, I’ll need to be on high alert.  I’ve made some dangerous enemies.  The Gang of Five and the Joqzonions know who I am and where I live.”

He walked into his deluxe kitchen and opened his extravagant refrigerator.  He grabbed a bottle of water.  “No doubt they’re planning their next attack of revenge on me and Art right now,” he thought as he took a big drink of his water.

“I see continuing  news reports about more Joqzonion flying saucers landing in the wet lands.  They’re building their strength.  Very soon, they’ll have a small army.  I’m going to have to travel to the wet lands constantly and take them out and burn their ships,” he thought as he walked to his office while carrying his bottled water.

“I know they want war.  I’m not sure they wanted a war with The Melá-Jutis,” he thought as he sat in his cushioned database chair.

“I still remember when I was a child.  I watched the reports on the news about the Joqzonions  looting, killing, and burning business’ in the wet lands.  It took an army of police from across Sesla to defeat them.  Many Sesleans died.  They burned a lot of the marshland,” he thought as he dialed Art’s DunyII number on his duny while sitting at his database, under two of his recent, self-painted, landscape paintings.

The Melá-Jutis  is more effective than an entire army.  I can take the fight right to them when they least expect it,” he thought as Art’s DunyII began to sing.

“Just as I’m planning my attacks on them, they’re plotting their attack on me.  I must remain on high alert.  They will no doubt try to get to me through my family and friends, again.  If they do, I’ll be ready and I’ll make them pay with their lives.  I am The Melá-Jutis!” he thought.

Meanwhile

At Art’s Home in the Upper-Class Suburb of Wyluxx City

Art was sitting at his database in his large, well- decorated home office while continuing to work on the Sirrz Debmyuo case.

His parents were fully recovered from their horrific nightmare with doxer fever.  They were sipping beverages while sitting in lounge chairs in their spacious, well-landscaped, back yard.  They were continuing with their usual arguing, in the isolation of the back yard.

Thanks to the selfless, life-threatening act by Detective Maxx Zeqster, they were rescued from the frightening, ghastly Dunjyn Asylum.

Weeks ago, Art had requested, until they learned to get along better, their negotiating place should be the back yard.  To ensure their comfort while they worked out their lifelong differences, he purchased a deluxe patio set for them.

As Art worked on his database, his DunyII began to sing.  It sang a mellow song that reflected his mood.  He smiled as he thought, “That’s Detective Zeqster.”

With eager anticipation, he picked it up and put it to his attractive face.  “Hi Detective Zeqster,” he said cheerfully.

“Hi Art.  How are you feeling?” he asked.

“I feel great.  The scorpion stings on my leg are almost healed,” he replied excitedly.

“I’m glad to hear that.  How are your parents?” asked Maxx.

“They’re fine.  They’re in the back yard.  They’re arguing as always.  I bought them a nice patio set so they can sit out there comfortably and work out their problems,” said Art.

“That was very nice of you.  Is it working?” he asked.

“It keeps the noise in the back yard.  Besides that, I haven’t seen any improvements.  I think they like to argue,” he replied.

Maxx chuckled and asked, “If you feel up to it, we should drive to Nivcozz and visit Sirrz Debmyuo.  We need to close his case.”

Art grinned happily.  “How about today?” he asked excitedly, “It’s still early.  I’d like to get out of the house for a while.”

Maxx replied, “I’ll call Sirrz Debmyuo right now.  He’s retired.  I’m sure he won’t have a problem with a visit from us this afternoon.  I’ll call you back in a few minutes.”

“I hope he lets us drive there today.  I’m getting bored,” said Art.

Maxx laughed.  “I’ll call you right back,” he said.  He sat down his DunyII.

“It’s time to call Sirrz Debmyuo,” thought Maxx.

He typed Sirrz’s name into his database.  Instantly the screen filled with the collectables designer’s information.  He clicked on his phone number.

Meanwhile

At Sirrz Debmyuo’s Home in Nivcozz; in Zeeton Territory

Sirrz Debmyuo was lying on his lounge recliner, in his back yard, while enjoying the beautiful desert morning.  As he relaxed, he was reading yesterday’s copy of the Nivcozz Gazette.  He was reading the front-page article from the Kinkorx Desert News, via the news wire, by reporter Vigtor Zertus.  The front-page headline read:

Will the Kinkorx Horned Hares Slasher Kill Again?

Nivcozz Gazette : During a statement earlier today at the Kinkorx Police Department by  Kinkorx Police Chief, Aazon Pomur, Chief Pomur stated, “We do not believe Zith Fleen, the escaped mental patient is responsible for the recent, brutal slayings of the Kinkorx Horned Hares mesnuk players.  At this time, we have no evidence to link him to those heinous crimes.  We are aiding the Xcuymir Territory  Sheriff Department with their continuing search for him.  We expect to capture and return him to the correctional facility in Jxobslyn, where he escaped from, very soon.”

Chief Pomur refused to answer this reporter’s questions after the brief statement.

The last Kinkorx Horned Hares player to be found brutally murdered, slashed, and dismembered was the star player, Ti Gurmis.  He was found by passing motorists in a drainage ditch close to the road several days ago.  It is believed, due to the placement of the body parts,  the Slasher wanted the dismembered body of his victim to be found quickly.  This is the second Kinkorx Horned Hares mesnuk player’s mutilated  body that has been found recently in a public place.  Both players were brutally murdered, slashed, and dismembered.

It is widely believed that Zith Fleen, the mentally insane, ex-Kinkorx Horned Hare, that was imprisoned a year ago in Xcuymir Territory Correctional Facility in Jxobslyn after brutally murdering  a Kinkorx Horned Hares mesnuk player, in the same manner, is responsible for these two recent murders.

Before his escape one month ago, he was serving a life sentence in the psychiatric wing for the murder of the Kinkorx Horned Hare, more than a year ago, which he was convicted of.

As we all remember, Zith Fleen suffered a tragic head injury during a brutal hit in a mesnuk game against the Wyluxx City Generals, a year and a half ago.

After emergency brain surgery, he was left with permanent brain damage to his anterior rostral prefrontal cortex and temporal poles.  The correctional facility doctors believe his brain damage is what has led to his antisocial personality and psychopathy disorder.

It has been widely reported by numerous members of the staff at the correctional facility that, while being incarcerated, Zith Fleen repeatedly threatened to take revenge on the entire Kinkorx Horned Hares mesnuk team for his head injury.

He insists his mesnuk collision was a conspiracy by his teammates to get him off the team.  He insists the players didn’t understand his unique visions.  As we all remember, the members of the Kinkorx Horned Hares denied the allegations, at that time...

As Sirrz continued to relax in his lounge recliner, he skipped to another article.  He began  reading an article from the news wire in The Wet Lands News.  The headline read:

Gang of Five and Joqzonion looting, killing, and burning slows.

According to The Wet Lands News sources, since the horrific attack in Bloqxess, in Meslerr Territory by the evil, murdering gang known as the Gang of Five over a week ago, the group hasn’t been seen sense.  At Bloqxess, the Gang of Five, along with many Joqzonions looted, killed, and burned many weapons selling businesses…

As Sirrz read the article, his phone began to ring.  “Ring!Ring!...Ring!Ring!”

He sat his newspaper down and walked inside to the ringing phone.  “Ring!Ring!...Ring!Ring!”  He grabbed the phone and said, “Sirrz Debmyuo.”

“Hi Sirrz.  This is Detective Maxx Zeqster.”

“Hi Detective Zeqster.  I was expecting to hear from Art – but that’s ok.  Do you have information on my stolen collection?” he asked.

“Yes I do.  I would prefer to discuss it in person.  Is your schedule free for this afternoon?” asked Maxx.

“Why yes.  I’m retired you know.  I’m home all day, most days.  Come on over as soon as you can,” said Sirrz.

“We’ll do that.  Art and I will drive to your home.  We’ll see you this afternoon,” said Maxx.

“I’ll see you when you get here.  If I don’t answer the door, I’m in the back yard and I can’t hear.  I don’t hear so good anymore.  Just walk through to the back,” said Sirrz.  He hung up the phone.

Maxx laughed.  “He sounds happy and nice.  It’s going to be a pleasure to meet him.  I have several of his collectables in my safes.  Now, I need to call Art,” he thought as he picked up his DunyII.  He dialed Art duny number.

Meanwhile

Art was still sitting at his database while his parents were sitting in lounge chairs in their nicely landscaped, spacious back yard.  They were enjoying beverages while continuing with their never ending arguing.

As he worked, his DunyII began to ring.  “That must be Detective Zeqster,” he said.  He picked it up and put it to his attractive face.  “Hi Detective Zeqster,” he said happily.

“Hi Art.  I talked to Sirrz.  He said to drive right over.  Shall I pick for up?” asked Maxx.

“That would be awesome.  You can meet my parents and see my house,” said Art with excitement.

“I’ll get a copy of the video and print a map to his home.  I’ll be there in a couple of hours,” said Maxx.

“I’ll tell my parents you’re coming.  They’ll be thrilled.  See you in a while,” said Art.  He sat down his DunyII.  “I’ll tell them right now, before I forget,” he said.

He began walking to his back yard.  “I hope they’ve stopped arguing,” he thought as he walked.  As he walked closer to the sliding patio door, he could hear the bickering.

“How many times do I have to say I’m sorry for throwing that sea doxer at you that day at Tos-Xiron.  How was I supposed to know it would give you doxer fever,” said Rydon Nekuma, Art’s father, as he lounged.

“I think you were trying to kill me.  I had your son in my arms.  How could you do that?” asked Lyndi Nekuma, Art’s mother, as she lounged a distance away from him.

Art opened the sliding patio door.  “I see you two are enjoying the morning sun.  I wanted to let you know, Detective Zeqster is driving over.  He’ll be here in a couple of hours.  He wants to meet both of you and see our home,” said Art.

“We can’t wait to meet him,” said Rydon.

“I’m looking forward to thanking him personally for the medicine that cured my doxer fever and rescued me from Dunjyn Asylum,” said Lyndi.

“There you go again,” said Rydon, “Why can’t…

Art shook his head as he walked back into the house and slid the patio door closed.  “They’ll never get along,” he thought, “At least I have my parents healthy and at home now.”

He walked back to his database and continued his research on Sirrz Debmyuo.

Two Hours Later

Maxx drove down Sunny Trail Drive and into Art’s nicely paved driveway that was next to his upper-class home in suburbia Wyluxx City.  He parked next to his blue convertible.

“Art has a nice house.  This is the first time I’ve seen it.  He got a good buy on it.  When the realtor called me, I sent the check to purchase it for him.  From the amount of the bill, I expected a smaller home,” he thought.

He exited his red convertible and walked to the front door.  “Ding!Dong…Ding!Dong!” sounded the doorbell as he pushed it.

“That’s Detective Zeqster,” said Art joyfully.

He jumped up from his database and hurried to the door.  He opened it.  “Hi Detective Zeqster.  Come in,” said Art as he held his front door open.

“Thank you,” said Maxx as he entered Art’s new home.

As he walked inside, he said, “I really like your home.  It’s in a good neighborhood.  It looks like you got a good buy on it,” said Maxx.

“I did what you said.  I looked for a home in this neighborhood with three large bedrooms and a large office for me to run our detective agency.  I also wanted a big back yard.  When the realtor found this home, I put a low bid on it.  I was surprised but ecstatic when the owner accepted my offer,” said Art.

“You did a wonderful job, as always,” said Maxx, “This is an awesome home.”

Art beamed from the praise of his mentor and friend.  “Thanks for buying it for us,” he said with a smile.

Maxx smiled.  “It was my pleasure.  Now, where are your parents?  I’m anxious to meet them,” he asked.

“They’re in the back yard.  They’ve been arguing all day.  Again,” he said.  He walked toward his patio door with Maxx following.

Art slid open the glass door.  “Mom.  Dad.  Detective Zeqster is here.  He wants to meet you,” said Art as he walked through the door with Maxx following behind.

Art and Maxx walked onto the patio.  “Hi Detective Zeqster,” said Lyndi from her lounger, “It’s nice to finally meet you.”

Rydon stood up.  “It’s nice to meet you Detective Zeqster.  Thank you for all you’ve done for my family—” said Rydon, as he was interrupted by Lyndi.

“Thank you for the medicine that healed my doxer fever.  Because of you, I’m out of Dunjyn Asylum.  Thanks for buying this home for us,” said Lyndi.

Maxx smiled, “You’re all very welcome.  It was all my pleasure.  Really.  I believe I’m the lucky one.  When Art came into my life, I wasn’t doing very well.  My live has completely changed since he joined my detective agency.”

Art shined like the brightest star as his partner and friend bragged about him.

Lyndi said, “I didn’t realize how tall you are.  You’re taller than you look in the newspapers and on TV.”

Art said, “Ok…We need to go.  We have a case to close.  I’ll be back in a few hours,” said Art.

As Maxx was chuckling, he said, “It was really nice to finally meet both of you.”

“Nice to meet you,” said Lyndi.

“It was nice to finally meet you.  Thank you for everything,” said Rydon.

Art and Maxx walked back through the sliding patio door.  Maxx asked, “Are you ready?”

“I’m ready,” said Art.

They walked to the front door.  Art opened it.

Maxx and Art walked to Maxx’s car.  “I have the video and a map to Sirrz Debmyuo’s home in Nivcozz.  He’s expecting us.  He sounds like a happy retiree,” said Maxx as they entered his car.

With Art safely seated, Maxx backed out of Art’s driveway.

He turned toward Nivcozz and drove down the suburban road.  They were on their way to Sirrz Debmyuo’s home.

One Hour Later

Maxx and Art were driving along the Nivcozz Highway into the outer limits of the small desert town in rural Zeeton territory.  “The map to Sirrz Debmyuo’s home is in my briefcase,” said Maxx.

Art reached into the back seat.  He grabbed Maxx’s briefcase and pulled it into his lap.  After opening it, he grabbed the map that was on top.

After putting the briefcase back, he began studying the map.

“According to this map, we drive into Nivcozz.  We turn left on Smidhay Road.  Then we turn right on MyLokk Road.  He lives at 2945 MyLokk Road,” said Art.

Maxx drove into Nivcozz.  He followed Art’s directions.

After several minutes, he slowed and drove into Sirrz’s driveway.  Maxx grabbed his briefcase.  “With our video, Detective Wolunn can get a few search warrants and recover the stoles collectables,” he said.

They stepped out of the car.  “After we give the video to Sirrz, we can close the case and get paid,” said Maxx as they both walked away from Maxx’s car.

They walked to the front door.  Maxx knocked on it.  They pause.  “Should we knock again?” asked Art.

“He’s in the back yard and can’t hear us.  He wants us to walk through his home to the back,” said Maxx.  He opened the door.

“Are you sure?” asked Art apprehensively.

“That’s what he said to do,” said Maxx.

“Ok…,” said Art as he hesitantly walked into Sirrz’s home behind Maxx.

They walked through the common home to the back door.  Maxx slid the patio door open and they walked into the back yard.

Sirrz Debmyuo was asleep on his lounge recliner, in his back yard, with a copy of the Nivcozz Gazette covering his faceHe was snoring loudly under the newspaper.

“Should we wake him?” asked Art, “He sounds like he’s sleeping really good.”

“He’s expecting us,” replied Maxx.  “Cough!  Cough!  Cough!” he coughed loudly.

“What!  Huh!” said Sirrz as he awoke quickly.  He knocked the newspaper off his face.  “You’re finally here,” he said grumpily.

“I’m Detective Zeqster and this—”

“I know who you are,” he said with grumpiness as he woke up, “Did you find my guns and knives?”

Maxx grinned as he thought, “He’s really grumpy.  Sorry I woke him.”

Art cringed and looked at the ground without saying anything.  “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” he thought.

Maxx replied, “We found your signature guns and knives.  They’re being sold at Wixqezzer Auctions Kvyutt.  I made a video of them.  You can give the video to Detective Brek Wolunn of Zeeton Territory Sheriff Department.  He can get search warrants –”

Sirrz sharply interrupted, “Are you telling me you have a video?  I want my guns and knives!” he said with irritation.

Maxx said, “You can take the video to Detective Wol—”

Sirrz interrupted again, “I talked to him once.  He’s an idiot.  You say my collectables are being sold at Wixqezzer Auctions.  That explains everything!” he said with anger and sarcasm.

“Durris Wixqezzer is a gangster!  He has his goons steal expensive merchandize.  Then he sells it at his auction.  He gives Sheriff DyRull a big cut for leaving his illegal business alone.  I should have known,” he said, as his anger grew while sitting in his lounger.

Maxx and Art both stood bewildered and silent as Sirrz fumed.

“That snake in the grass keeps his stolen goods in a warehouse on Welzech Road  across  from Sytternun Night Rest Hotel.  Are you familiar with area?” asked Sirrz as he became more red-faced from anger.

“Yes we are,” said Maxx as he kept his head low.

Sirrz continued with his rant, “I’ve known that low-live snake for a long time.  I can’t believe he had his thugs break into this house and steal my collectables.”  He paused.  “Actually, I can.  He’s that much of a scum-bag cockroach,” he exclaimed.

He continued to fume.  “You can keep your video!  Forget about Detective  Wolunn.  That won’t work.  That incompetent detective won’t cross Sheriff DyRull.  He won’t go into DyRull’s jurisdiction for anything,” he said angrily.

He paused as he pondered while fuming.  “I want you to steal my collectables from his warehouse.  It’s across the street from that night rest hotel.  It’s the only warehouse in the area.  You can’t miss it,” he ordered as he fumed.

Maxx replied, “We know the warehouse.”

Art swallowed as he recalled that area.  He thought, “Great! Spiders!”

Maxx thought quickly.  He grinned slightly.  He said, “We’ll be happy to accept another case.  We’ll go back to the wet lands and steal your collectables for you, if that’s what you want.”

Sirrz said angrily, “That’s what I want!  You can keep your video!  It’s worthless!” he said loudly as he huffed.

Maxx replied, “We’ll leave tomorrow morning.”  He paused.  “I’ll bill you for both cases when we return with your stolen items,” he said confidently.

With anger Sirrz said, “You do that!”

“I’ll call you when we get back in town,” said Maxx.  They walked back through the open patio door as Sirrz continued to fume in his lounger.  “What good it a worthless video?  I can’t believe it…,” Sirrz muttered angrily.

They quietly walked through his house and out the front.

They walked to Maxx’s car and entered it.  He tossed his briefcase into the back seat.  “Let’s go back to your house,” said Maxx as he started his car.

He backed out of Sirrz’s driveway.  “I can’t believe it.  I can already feel the spiders.  I hate spiders,” said Art as Maxx backed onto MyLokk Road.

“That wasn’t what I was expecting,” said Maxx as he turned onto MyLokk Road.

“I got a bad feeling when he woke so cranky,” said Art.

“Look at the bright side.  We have another case,” said Maxx as he turned onto Nivcozz Highway.

“All I can think about are the spiders at the Sytternun Night Rest Hotel across the road from the warehouse.  We parked in that warehouse parking lot to watch the night rest hotel and change into our disguises when we rescued Dr. Leqtus Kin.  It looked really creepy and spooky,” said Art.

“I remember,” said Maxx as he drove through Nivcozz.

As they talked about their road trip tomorrow, they continued along the Nivcozz Highway to Art’s home in Wyluxx City.

One Hour Later

Maxx drove into Art’s driveway at his home, on Sunny Trail Drive, in Suburbia, Wyluxx City and parked.

“Let’s get an early start.  I want to break into that warehouse under the cover of night.  We’ll steal his collectables tomorrow night and drive back,” said Maxx.

“I’ll drive to your home early tomorrow morning,” said Art as he exited Maxx’s car, “I’ll bring supplies for our disguises.”

“Make it early.  We need to get on the road as early as possible,” said Maxx.  He backed out of Art’s driveway.

As Art entered his home, Maxx drove down Sunny Trail Drive toward the Wyluxx Highway to Kinkorx.

Chapter Seven

The Next Morning

With his convertible full of disguise equipment, and other related supplies, including food, Art drove along Lypont Drive toward Maxx’s home, in Bedsult, in suburbia Kinkorx.

He slowed and drove into Maxx’s driveway and parked next to his red convertible and trailer, with the Phoenix aboard.  “I’m glad he’s taking the Phoenix,” he thought as he saw the trailer already hooked up to Detective Zeqster’s car, “We might need his turbo-charged jeep.”

Art quickly and excitedly exited his convertible and began transferring his numerous bags and loose items, and food, into Maxx’s car.

“I need to open Detective Zeqster’s trunk.  I have a lot of things to put in there,” he thought.  He walked to the driver’s seat and opened the trunk using the remote switch.

The trunk popped open.  “There we go,” he said.

He began to transfer the numerous items from his trunk into Detective Zeqster’s trunk.

In minutes, he was finished with the transfer.  “That’s it.  Everything’s in Detective Zeqster’s car,” he said.  “Slam!...Slam!” the trunks sounded as he closed one after the other.

Meanwhile; Inside Maxx’s Home

Maxx was preparing for their road trip to the warehouse on Welzech Road, in Guytic City, in the wet lands.  As he printed a map and packed his equipment that they would need, he remembered the Sytternun Night Rest Hotel on Welzech Road.  “I still remember the spiders at that hotel.  They were everywhere.  I’ve never seen so many spiders and bugs,” he thought as he packed.

As he worked and remembered, he heard a knock at the door.  “Knock!  Knock!  Knock!”  “  That must be Art.  He’s early,” said Maxx.

He walked to the door.  He opened it.  “Good morning Art,” he said.

“Hi Detective Zeqster.  Everything’s in your car.  I’m glad you’re taking the Phoenix.  We never know what type of trouble we could get into.  Did you pack your Melá-Jutis suit?” he asked.

Maxx thought, “Now is not the time for a lengthy explanation and a demonstration of my magical Melá-Jutis suit.”  He replied, “I have my Melá-Jutis suit packed along with the other items we’ll need for our break in.  Come on in, while I grab them.”

He held the door open as Art walked in. “I’ll only be a minute,” said Maxx, “Make your- self comfortable while I get my bags.”

As Art waited at the door, Maxx walked into his office.  He grabbed his bags.  He walked back to Art.  “This is all I need.  I’m ready,” he said.

“I’m ready, too,” said Art.

“Let’s get on the road.  We have some collectables to steal,” said Maxx as they walked through his extravagant door.

After locking the door, they hurriedly walked to Maxx’s car.  Art jumped in while Maxx placed his bags in the back seat.  He jumped in.  He started the motor.

“We’re off,” said Maxx as he backed out of his driveway while pushing the trailer with the Phoenix.

“I hope the warehouse isn’t full of spiders,” said Art as he quivered, “I hate spiders.”

As Sesla’s morning sun was rising brilliantly in the cloudless sky, and the warm desert wind blew calmly, Maxx drove down Lypont Drive.

“If we have good luck driving, we’ll arrive at the warehouse by the time it’s getting dark.  If not, it’ll be really dark when we arrive,” he said as he chuckled.

“It shouldn’t take us long to find the collectables, once we’re inside the warehouse.  We should be able to find them, bag them, and leave quickly,” said Art, “Hopefully there won’t be any spiders.”

They continued to drive into Kinkorx, as they talked about their burglary of the warehouse in Guytic City.  Sesla’s spectacular morning sun continued to rise in the cloudless, blue sky, and the warm desert breeze continued to blow as they drove.

Several Hours Later

As they approached the border of Xcuymir Territory, as Sesla’s hot afternoon sun was shining down on them, Maxx said, “I wonder if the red scorpions are still crossing the road,   ahead?”

Art replied, “So far, I don’t see any.  I’ll never forget those red scorpions.”

Maxx said sympathetically, “I’m sure you won’t.  Those scorpions almost killed you.”

Several miles later, as they continued to talk about the ordeal with the red scorpions, and the Gang of Five, and the Joqzonions, they crossed the border into Inglot Territory.  Maxx said, “This area was full of red scorpions before.  Now I don’t see any scorpions at all.  Maybe they’re all  back in their cave.  I guess they really didn’t like the Joqzonions.”

“I didn’t like the Joqzonions, or the Gang of Five, or the scorpions.  I’m glad that nightmare’s over,” said Art.

As Maxx drove farther into Inglot territory, he said, “That gang knows who we are and where we live.  From now on, we need to be on high alert.  They will no doubt try something like that again.”

“That time, the gang caught me off guard.  From now on, I’ll be a lot more careful,” said Art, “I’ll also keep a close watch on my mom and dad.”

“I’ll do the same,” said Maxx said as he drove toward Guytic City, “Our families are an easy way for them to get to us.  We’ll need to keep a close eye on them.”

Several Hours Later

As the evening was turning into night, Maxx and Art approached the outer-limits of Guytic City, while driving the desert highway, Maxx said, “We need to take the Welzech Road exit.  Again.”

Art replied, “That exit will be several miles yet.”

“It would seem, we have the area memorized,” said Maxx as he chuckled, “We may not need the map that I printed.”

After several more miles, while they chatted about their upcoming break in, Art said, “Our exit is coming up next.”

After another minute, Maxx said, “There it is.”  He began to slow.

He exited the desert highway at the Welzech Road exit.  He merged onto Welzech Road.

“At least we don’t have to drive on this road very long,” said Art, “The creepy, spider infested, Sytternun Night Rest Hotel is only a few miles away.  The warehouse is across the street.  I hope it isn’t spider infested as well.”

“It’s taken us longer than I thought  to drive here.  It’s well after dark,” said Maxx as he drove along Welzech Road toward the warehouse, while pulling the Phoenix behind.

After several miles of driving on Welzech Road, Art said, “We need to change into our disguises and disguise the car before we arrive at the warehouse.”

“That’s a good idea,” said Maxx, “We need to look for a place to change.”

As they drove on Welzech Road toward the warehouse, as the nighttime continued to darken, Art said, “There’s the abandoned warehouse we parked behind when we rescued Dr. Leqtus Kin.”

“That will do nicely.  Again,” he said.  He slowed and drove into the dark, dilapidated parking lot.  He drove to the back of the spider-infested warehouse.

“It’s really secluded back here.  No one will see us while you put on our disguises and disguise my car,” said Maxx.

In the darkness, they exited the car.  “Open your trunk,” said Art.

As Maxx popped his trunk, Art walked to it and opened it.  “Squat down over here and I’ll disguise your face.  There will probably be security cameras in the warehouse and parking lot,” said Art.

“You’re the Master of Disguises,” said Maxx as he obeyed his partner’s instructions.  He walked to where Art was standing and squatted down on both knees.  “I’m ready,” he said as he chuckled slightly.

“Don’t be cynical,” said Art as he began to work on his mentor’s face.  “Without my disguises, we’ll be recognized and we won’t make it through a road block, if there is one,” said Art as he began to apply the make-up to Maxx’s face.

“I was only being humorous.  I’ll behave so you can concentrate on your work,” said Maxx, “I know how important our disguises are.”

Art continued to apply layer after layer of stage makeup to his partner’s face as the light from Maxx’s opened trunk illuminated the area, slightly.

“It’s a good thing our disguises don’t need to be very good.  I can barely see,” said Art as he applied the make-up to Maxx’s face.

“That’s one strong advantage to a night time operation.  Our disguises don’t need to be as good,” said Maxx as he squatted on both knees while Art applied numerous layers of make-up.

Soon, Art said, “I can’t see very well, but I think your face is disguised enough.  If there is a security camera,  it will only see a very dark face.  I’ll get your disguise out of the trunk.”

He reached into the open trunk and removed Detective Zeqster’s disguise.  “Put these on.  Under the cover of night, you’ll look like a shadow with your dark face and these old, dark clothes,” said Art as he handed the black pants and black, long sleeve sweater, and black knit hat  to his partner.

Maxx grabbed the very-worn, black clothing from Art.  “Thanks,” he replied.

“They’re probably too short.  For this mission, they’ll work fine,” said Art.

“I’m sure they’ll be fine,” said Maxx, “I’ll change in the front of my car while you put on your disguise.”  He walked to the front of his car.  In the darkness, he began to change into his disguise.

As Maxx changed, Art began to apply his own dark make-up.

“This warehouse sure looks scary in the dark.  With this small light from the trunk, I can see hundreds of spooky spider webs on the side of the building.  They’re giving me the creeps,” said Art as he applied the make-up to his face.

Art applied layer after layer of dark make-up as he endured his arachnophobia.

He looked into his mirror.  “I think that’s enough,” he said as he trembled slightly, due to his fear of spiders, “Now I need my black clothes.”

He put his makeup into the bag in Maxx’s trunk and grabbed his own black pants, black sweater, and black knit hat.  He began to change as Maxx waited at the front of his convertible.

As Art finished changing, Maxx walked back to  where he was standing.  “You’re right, as usual.  These disguises will work perfectly.  If we are recorded, all the camera will see is a shadow.  Excellent work, as always, Art,” said Maxx as he put his other clothes in the back seat.

“Thanks,” said Art as he put his clothes in the back seat as well, “Now, I need to change the license plates on your car and the trailer.”

He walked back to the trunk and removed the wrench and two phony license plates that he created just for this operation.  He began changing the plates on Maxx’s car.

In only minutes, the first plate was complete.  “How for the other one,” said Art.

He walked to the back of the trailer and quickly changed that plate as well.

After he finished the second license plate, he walked back to the trunk.  “If we are spotted and someone reads the license plates, they’re going to love these,” said Art as he put the wrench and real plates into Maxx’s truck.  He gently closed the lid.

“I’m ready,” said Art.

“Let’s get to the warehouse and steal some guns and knives,” said Maxx.

Under the cover of darkness, they entered Maxx’s convertible.  “Maybe you should put the top up.  If someone sees us, they’ll report seeing a dark sedan,” said Art.

“Good idea,” said Maxx.  He engaged the automatic switch.  The top on his convertible slowly rose.

When it was fully raised, he locked it into place.  “Now we can go,” said Maxx.

“We should be safe now,” said Art.

Maxx started the motor and drove around the back of the spider-infested, abandoned warehouse, while pulling the Phoenix on the trailer behind.

He drove to the front of the creepy warehouse and turned on Welzech Road again, toward the Sytternun Night Rest Hotel.

“The creepy, bug and spider-infested hotel is just down Welzech Road a short distance.  The warehouse is across the street.  We’ll be there in a few minutes,” said Maxx as he drove.

“Don’t remind me,” said Art as he quivered due to his arachnophobia.

In only minutes, as they drove along Welzech Road, Maxx said, “There’s the warehouse.”

Art replied, “It sure looks creepy,” as he saw the dark, spider web covered, seemingly abandoned warehouse.

While pulling the Phoenix behind, Maxx drove into the decrepit, cracked, weed-filled parking lot.  He drove to the rear of the dark warehouse and parked.

“This looks like an abandoned warehouse.  I hope Sirrz Debmyuo is right and his stolen guns and knives are in there,” said Maxx.

Art looked at the creepy and spooky warehouse.  “Let’s get this over with.  The sooner we’re out of there, the better,” he said.

They exited Maxx’s car.  “I’ll need my bag,” said Maxx as he reached into the back seat and grabbed one of his bags.  While carrying the bag, he walked to the dark, spider web infested building.

He removed a small flashlight from his bag and shined it on the back of the small warehouse.  “There’s a loading door for trucks and a walking door for us,” he said as he shinned his dim, small light on the building, “I’ll need to pick the lock on the costumer door.”

He sat his bag down and grabbed his special tools from the bag.

“I’ll hold the light for you,” said Art.

Maxx handed Art his small flashlight.  As Art shinned the light on the low-security lock, Maxx inserted his lock pick tool into the inexpensive lock.

“This will be easy,” said Maxx as he twisted and worked the small tool, “I’m surprised how cheap this lock is.  An amateur lock picker could open it.”

In only seconds, “I think I’ve got it,” he said.  He carefully held the tool with one hand  and turned the doorknob with his other hand.  The door opened.

“That was too easy,” said Maxx.

Art said, “From what you’re saying, the lock is very cheap.  I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

Maxx put his lock-picking tool into his bag and grabbed a second small flashlight.  He grabbed his bag with the other hand.  As he shined the flashlight into the dark building, he said, “Let’s find Sirrz Debmyuo’s collectables.”

They slowly entered the building, as several security cameras recorded their every move and a silent alarm was blinking at the police headquarters.

As Art shinned the small flashlight around the dark warehouse, he trembled as he saw the multitude of spiders and bugs as they crawled along the ceiling, walls, and floor.  “There are spiders, and spider web, and bugs everywhere,” he said as he shook from fear.

“You’re right.  There are a lot of spiders and other bugs in this warehouse,” said Maxx as he walked and shinned his flashlight around the old, decrepit warehouse.

“Check in those boxes over there,” he said to Art as he motioned with his flashlight, “I’ll check in these.”

As the two detectives began their search through the numerous boxes, the army of spiders and other insects began their attacks on their tasty meal.

Art opened one box after another of stolen items as spiders crawled onto his shoes and pants legs.  “This is so creepy,” said Art as he knocked the hungry insects off his body.

While Maxx opened one box after another of stolen merchandize, he also kicked off numerous spiders and other hungry bugs off his pants and shoes.

They continued their search through the many dusty boxes that were sitting on the floor and on old, dusty shelves.

While they searched, the host of hungry spiders attacked them, and other hungry insects continued to crawl, drop down, and land on them, as well.

“I hope we find Sirrz’s stolen collection soon,” said Art, “I can’t take much more of these spiders.  They’re coming from everywhere.”

“Keep searching,” said Maxx, “I know his collectables are here somewhere.”

As Art searched, at the back of the old, creepy warehouse, more and more spiders were collecting around him.  They were forming an army, in which to pin him in, to prevent their tasty meal from escaping.

Maxx continued to frantically open box after box of stolen merchandize as he knocked and slapped off numerous spiders and other hungry insects.  “Sirrz Debmyuo wasn’t lying.  This warehouse is full of stoles merchandize.  From what I’m seeing, most of what is sold at Wixqezzer Auctions is stolen.  The owner, Durris Wixqezzer has quite a racket going.  He’s making a lot of money selling stolen goods, that he stole,” thought Maxx as he frantically searched while kicking and knocking hungry spiders and bugs off his shoes, pants, and body.

As they searched, Art was being surrounded in the back corner of the creepy, dark warehouse, by more and more hungry spiders.  Millions of the blood thirsty, smart insects were forming a wall around him.  They were barricading him in the back corner of the spooky storage building.

As Maxx searched, while slapping off numerous hungry spiders off his massive body, he opened a large box.  He quickly looked inside.  “I’ve found them,” he said enthusiastically, as he examined the large assortment of Sirrz Debmyuo Signature collectable guns and knives.

“There are  three boxes like this on this shelf next to each other.  I wonder if all three are full of his collectables,” he thought.

He quickly opened the other two.  “Jackpot!” he said, “I found Sirrz’s collectables!” he said loudly to Art.

Art looked toward Detective Zeqster and shinned his flashlight in his direction.  He panicked as he saw the millions of spiders that were forming a barricade around him.  “I’m trapped!” he yelled loudly as he trembled with fear, “The spiders are forming a wall around me!”

Maxx turned and shinned his small flashlight toward the back corner of the creepy, dilapidated building.  “Oh no!” he gasped when he saw the wall of spiders that had trapped Art in the back corner of the warehouse.  “Hold on!” he yelled, “I’m coming to get you!”

Maxx’s Melá-Jutis instincts kicked in.  With super-speed, he ran to the delivery entrance of the spooky warehouse.  Using his incredible, Sesla given strength, he broke the flimsy lock on the roll-up door.  He pushed it up with a mighty shove of his powerful arms.

He rushed outside and tossed his bag onto the trailer.  With super-speed, he uncovered the Phoenix.  He said loudly, “Melá-Jutis!”  The magical Melá-Jutis suit appeared under his black clothing.  With super-speed, he removed his black clothing and tossed them onto the ground.

He jumped in and started the turbo-charged motor.  “Rrmmm!...Rrmmm!” sounded the powerful super-charged motor as he drove the Phoenix off the trailer.

He drove the Phoenix into the dark warehouse, toward the back corner.

As the headlights shown , he was horrified at what he saw.  The millions of spiders formed a wall around Art.  “Oh no!” said Maxx, “I’m coming, Art!” he yelled.

Maxx drove the Phoenix into the wall of spiders.  Spiders flew everywhere as the turbo-charged jeep collided with them.  Maxx jumped off the Phoenix.

Immediately the over-aggressive, smart spiders began attacking him.  As he fearlessly slapped, mashed, and stomped the bloodthirsty creatures, he said loudly, “Get in the Phoenix, Art!”

Art immediately jumped into the super-jeep as The Melá-Jutis continued to battle the multitude of aggressive spiders with his super-speed.

The hostile, intelligent spiders crawled all over Maxx and attempted to sink their bloodthirsty, poisonous fangs into him.  His magical Melá-Jutis suit protected him as he battled the ferocious, savage insects.

When Art was safely seated, with a mighty leap, Maxx jumped into the Phoenix.  “Rrrmmm!....Rrrmmm!” sounded the motor as Maxx turned the Phoenix around in the spider-infested warehouse.

As he knocked dozens of rampaging spiders off his magical suit, he drove to the shelf with the three boxes of  Sirrz Debmyuo’s stolen collectables.  As Art sat horrified in the passenger’s seat, with super-speed, Maxx jumped out and grabbed the three boxes.  After putting them into the back of the Phoenix, he jumped back in.

“Rrrmm!...Rrrmmm!” roared the motor as he slung spiders and hit boxes  as he drove out of the infested warehouse.

He drove the Phoenix onto the trailer.  He looked at the army of spiders as they approached.  “Get in my car!  Hurry!  The spiders are coming after us,” said Maxx.

As Art trembled from paralyzing fear, they exited the Phoenix.  Maxx frantically threw his black, disguise clothing into the back seat.  He threw the cover onto the trailer next to his bag.

They hurried to Maxx’s car and jumped in.  Maxx frantically started the motor as the army of spiders began to climb onto the convertible, as the security cameras continued to record everything.

He peeled away from the back of the creepy warehouse.  Thousands of spiders were knocked off his car by his speed.  Dozens of the bloodthirsty insects remained on and inside his car.

The angry spiders continued to crawl on them both as Maxx turned on Welzech Road toward the desert highway.  They slapped and stomped them as they drove down the road.

“I’ll stop at the same warehouse.  You can change out of your disguise.  We can get rid of these spiders,” said Maxx as he drove.

“Yes!  Do that!  I hate spiders!” said Art terrifyingly.

In only  minutes, Maxx drove into the same decrepit warehouse parking lot as before.  He drove to the rear of the spider- infested building and parked.

Art immediately jumped out.  He began knocking several spiders off him.  He shivered as he removed the bloodthirsty creatures from his body.

Maxx exited the  car equally fast and began knocking the hungry insects off his magical suit.  “Who needs expensive locks when the warehouse is full of blood thirsty, attacking spiders and insects,” said Maxx as he knocked the last of the spiders off his Melá-Jutis suit.

“Due to your ease of picking the lock, I’m sure we were video recorded.  We need to change out of our disguises and get across the border quickly.  I hope you have a safe place to hide the guns and knives in case we’re searched,” said Art as he continued to tremble with fear.

“There’s a compartment in the trunk that’s concealed.  We can hide the collectables in there,” he replied.

“Let’s get out of these disguises,” said Art as he began to relax.  He grabbed two towels from the back seat.

“Here’s a towel.  Use it to clean the dark make-up off your face, then change back into your clothes.  I’m going to change the license plates, while you change out of your Melá-Jutis suit,” said Art.

Maxx thought as he grabbed the towel and popped the trunk, “I’ll tell him later.”  He grabbed his casual clothing and walked to the front of the car.

After he wiped his face aggressively to remove the dark make-up, he said softly, “Melá-Jutis.”  His magical suit disappeared.  He stood there in his shorts.  He quickly put on his casual clothing.

Also while using the dim lighting from the open trunk, Art removed the wrench and proper license plates from the trunk.  He changed the license plate on the convertible, first.

“Now to change the plate on the trailer,” he thought.  He tossed the first phony plate into the ground and walked to the back of the trailer.  He quickly changed that plate.

He gave the second phony plate a toss while walking  to the back seat.  He tossed the wrench in. “If we get caught, we don’t want those phony plates in the car,” he said as he grabbed a towel.  He began removing his make-up as Maxx finished changing into his regular clothes.

After Maxx finished dressing, he tossed the make-up covered towel into the back seat.

Art grabbed his clothes from the back seat and began to change.

“I’m going to check the car for spiders, then, I’ll cover the Phoenix,” said Maxx as he opened the car doors.  He saw several spiders crawling around the car.  He began flicking the angry, confused spiders out of his car.

“Don’t forget to hide Sirrz’s collectables in your secret compartment,” said Art as he finished changing.

“I’ll get that as soon as I get rid of some of these spiders,” said Maxx as he continued to flick them out of his car.

Art finished changing.  “I’ll empty the trunk,” said Art.  He began to move items from the trunk into the back seat.

“Thanks.  I don’t see any more spiders.  I’ll start hiding the guns and knives,” he said.  He walked to the Phoenix.

As he looked in the three boxes that he placed in the storage area in the back of the jeep, he saw many spiders in the boxes.  “Wow!  There are a lot of spiders in these boxes,” he said.  He picked up the boxes, one at a time and dumped them out on the ground.  As he dumped them, the spiders ran.

“Now I can pick up the guns and knives and put them in my trunk,” he said.  Maxx carried the first handful of collectables to his trunk.  He sat them in the trunk.  He removed the carpet, and then the false bottom, that concealed the secret compartment.  He placed the group of collectables into the large compartment.

“Now for the rest of his collectables,” he thought.

He continued to pick up the collectables off the ground and carry them to his trunk as Art attempted to cover the Phoenix.

As he put the last knife and gun into the compartment, he thought, “The compartment isn’t big enough.  The cover isn’t going to lie properly.  I hope it isn’t noticeable.”

As Art struggled with the cover, he said, “If you’ll put this cover on, I’ll transfer our stuff back to the trunk,” he said with frustration.

Maxx replied, “I’ll get the cover.”  He grabbed the cover from Art and began covering the Phoenix as Art began with the transfer of the items back to the trunk.

In only minutes, they were finished.

“It looks like we’re ready to drive,” said Maxx.

“I think so.  I knocked a few more spiders off the disguise gear.  I hope that’s got them all.  I hate spiders,” said Art.

Art closed the trunk.  “Slam!”

In the darkness of night, they walked to the front of the car and jumped in.

Maxx glanced at his watch.  “It’s 3:00a.m.  Let’s go,” he said, “At the best we can do, we won’t be home until late afternoon.”

“It’s going to be a long drive.  We need to get past the border as fast as possible.  Hopefully we won’t get stopped,” said Art.

Maxx drove around the back of the creepy, spider-infested  warehouse and to the front.  He drove out of the decrepit parking lot and onto Welzech Road again toward the desert highway.

“Our exit will be coming up in a few miles,” said Maxx.

“I’ll feel a lot better when we cross the border into Xcuymir Territory,” said Art.

Under the cover of darkness, they continued along Welzech Road toward the desert highway exit to Kinkorx.

Two Hours Later

At Guytic City Police Department

GCPD Officer, Yyble Buk was working a double shift at the police station.  As he slumped at his desk with his arms crossed and head down, he slept.  As he slept, the silent alarm from a warehouse on Welzech Road was blinking.

As Guytic City Police Chief, Fisur Coubyn entered the police station for the early shift, he saw his officer sleeping at his desk.  He immediately flew into a rage.  In a huff, he hurried to the sleeping officer.

As he approached the sleeping Officer Buk, he saw the blinking silent alarm.  “How long has that silent alarm been going off?” he demanded loudly.

“What…Ha,” said Officer Buk as he awoke instantly, “Silent Alarm!”

Chief Coubyn angrily pointed to the blinking light.  “That silent alarm!” he said angrily.

“Oh!...Let’s see.  I think it just came on,” said the bewildered police officer as he pulled up the alarm on his database screen.

As they watched the video of the break-in and noticed the time on the video, Chief Coubyn said with rage, “That break-in occurred almost three hours ago.  You’ve been sleeping that long?”

They watched the video.  Chief Coubyn said as he studied the poor quality, very dark recording, “I can’t make out their faces.  Maybe I can get a plate number.”

As Chief Coubyn adjusted the video, the license plate came into focus.

“I think the number is MTS 268,” said Officer Buk.  He began to search the license plate on his police database.

Chief Coubyn flew into a rage when he saw who matched the plate number.  “That’s Sheriff DyRull’s license plate number,” he said angrily, “Someone counterfeited his plate number.”

While in his rage, Chief Coubyn said, “We have two suspects.  One is tall and one is short.  They’re driving a dark sedan with a trailer.  A jeep is on the trailer.  Take Officer Parry and put up a roadblock at the border on the desert highway toward Kinkorx.  I’ll get the other borders covered by radio.  The perpetrators are getting away!  Move!” ordered Chief Coubyn while in a fury.

“Yes Sir!” said Officer Buk as he hurried toward the police parking lot.

Meanwhile

Maxx and Art were driving speedily along the desert highway toward the border as Sesla’s morning sun was preparing to rise.

“At my present speed, we’ll be at the border before long.  Now that there’s no traffic, we’re making much better time,” said Maxx.

Art replied, “You’re driving a lot faster going back.  That’s for sure,” he said as he yawned.

“We’re coming up on the area where the scorpions were.  There don’t seem to be any of the insects on the road,” Maxx said as he yawned.

As they drove closer to the outer border of Inglot Territory, Art was getting nervous as he stomped on another spider.  “Where are all of these spiders coming from?  Every time I look down, I see another spider,” he said with irritation.

Maxx replied, “There can’t be very many left.  Keep killing them.”

As they drove considerably faster than the speed limit, they approached the border.

“We’ll cross the border into Xcuymir Territory in a few minutes at present speed,” said Maxx as he continued to drive toward the border at a high rate of speed.

As they drove, they began to hear sirens behind them.  “Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo….,”

They both looked back and saw two police cars in the distance.  The police cars were fast approaching.  “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” said Art.

“We’ll be fine.  Your disguises were excellent,” said Maxx as he drove confidently while reducing his speed.

“Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo….,” the sound of the sirens was fast becoming louder as the police approached.

“I’m concerned about what they saw on the video,” said Art as his anxieties were increasing.

“They didn’t see anything except dark silhouettes of us,” said Maxx as the sirens grew louder as the police cars fast approached.  “Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo….,”

The sirens were becoming deafening as the police cars approached them.  “Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo….,”

As Art’s anxieties were exploding, he said loudly over the deafening sirens, “I hope you’re right.  I’ve got a bad feeling.”

“Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo….,” the screaming sound of police sirens were ear-piercing as the two police cars speeded upon them.

“Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo….,” the loud, deafening, screaming sirens continued as the police drove past them at high speed.

“Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo….,” sounded  the screaming police sirens as the police drove farther  ahead of them.  “You know what they’re doing?” asked Art loudly.

“They’re no doubt forming a road block at the border,” said Maxx loudly as he drove at a more normal speed.  “Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo….,” sounded the sirens as they became easier to endure.

“I’m sure of it.  I hope we make it through the road block,” said Art as his anxieties continued to rage.  “Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo…,” the sound continued to grow softer.

As they continued toward the border, Maxx said, “The border is just ahead.  If the police are there, we should see them soon.”

As his heart pounded, he replied, “I’m sure there’s a road block ahead,” said Art.

In only minutes, with very little anxieties, Maxx said, “There they are.”

As Art saw the two police cars that had formed a road block ahead, he said, “I would have  been surprised if they weren’t there.  I hope we get through.”

As Maxx began to slow, he replied, “We’ll be fine.  We always make it through the road blocks, thanks to your disguises.”

Maxx continued to slow as he confidently drove closer to the two police cars.

He slowed and stopped next to the one Guytic City Police Officer as the other officer began inspecting his trailer.  “Good morning officer,” said Maxx confidently as Art attempted to control his trembling.

“Where are you two heading?” asked Guytic City Police Officer, Yyble Buk as

Guytic City Police Officer, Silton Parry inspected the trailer.

Maxx answered confidently, “We’re driving back home to Kinkorx.”

Officer Buk asked, “What was your business in Guytic City?”

Maxx smiled as he said, “We were doing some four wheeling in Melá-Jutis.  Are you familiar with that area?”

Officer Parry said loudly, “They’ve got a jeep under the cover.”

Officer Buk ordered, “Pull off the road.  Officer Parry is going to search your vehicle and trailer.”

Maxx immediately panicked.  “Is that necessary?  We’d like to get home.  We’re tired,” he asked as his anxieties exploded like a bomb.

Officer Buk’s eyes turned red with rage.  “Did you hear me?  I said pull off the road and prepare for a thorough search!” ordered Yyble Buk angrily.

As Maxx and Art’s anxieties raged, he slowly drove off the highway and onto the side.

“Exit your vehicle.  Stand back while I conduct a detailed search of your vehicle and trailer,” said Officer Parry angrily.

As Sesla’s sun was rising in the morning sky, with panic and raging anxieties, Maxx and Art exited the convertible and stood back.  They watched as Officer Parry began removing items from the car and throwing them on the ground.

“What is all of this stuff for?” asked Officer Parry as he tossed one thing after another onto the side of the road.

“It’s all for a few days of four wheeling,” replied Maxx as he panicked.

As Art watched with panic, he thought, “I’m glad I threw away the phony license plates with Sheriff DyRull’s license number on them.”

After Officer Parry emptied the back seat onto the ground, he reached down and popped the trunk.  “I’ll need to check your trunk next,” he said as he walked to the rear of the car.

As he began to empty the contents of the trunk onto the ground, he said, “Did you know you have a lot of spiders in your car?”

Maxx nervously replied, “There are a lot of spiders in the swamps of the wet lands.”

“I suppose there are,” said Officer Parry as he finished emptying the items in the trunk onto the ground, as Maxx and Art watched with panic.

“I need to check your jeep,” said Officer Parry.

He began to untie the cover.

In only minutes, he had the cover untied and was removing it.  “More spiders!” he said as he pulled the cover off.

He looked inside the camouflaged jeep.  “You must have driven into a bed of spiders as you four wheeled,” he said as he saw numerous spiders crawling all around in the jeep.

He turned to Maxx.  “What kind of motor do you have in this jeep?” he asked.

Maxx replied as his anxieties continued to rage almost out of control, “It’s a super-charged turbo.  It really flies.”

“Nice!” he said.  He turned to Officer Buk who was continuing with the roadblock.  He reported, “There’s nothing suspicious here.  They’re not who we’re looking for.”

Maxx and Art silently breathed a sigh of relief as they stood next to their items that were thrown onto the side of the road.

Officer Buk said to Maxx and Art callously as Officer Parry rejoined the roadblock, “You’re free to go.”

With relief, Maxx and Art began silently putting their items back into the car.

As Art tossed their things into the back seat, Maxx put the cover back on the Phoenix and tied it down.  Then he joined Art in putting the remaining items into the back seat and trunk.

As Sesla’s sun continued to rise in the morning shy, they finished loading and quickly jumped in the car.  Maxx started the motor and drove away from the officers.

“That was close,” said Art as he breathed deeply.

“Too close,” said Maxx as he began to breathe deeply to calm his exploding anxieties, “I hope we don’t ever have to go through that again.”

“In the business we’re in, we probably will,” said Art as he began to relax.

“The border is just ahead,” said Maxx as he drove.

After a few miles, they passed the sign that said, “Welcome to Xcuymir Territory.”

“We’re home free,” said Art.

“We’ll be home by mid-afternoon,” said Maxx as he drove toward Kinkorx at an accelerated speed.

Several Hours Later

It was late afternoon as Maxx exhaustedly drove into his driveway in Bedsult, in suburbia Kinkorx, and parked.  “We’re home.  Finally!” he declared.

“I’m exhausted,” said Art, “That was a lot tougher road trip than I was expecting.”

With great fatigue, they exited the car.  “I’m going to grab my disguise gear and drive home.  I need to check on my parents and go to bed,” said Art.

“I’ll help you,” said Maxx.

Together they transferred Art’s disguise equipment to Art’s convertible.

In only minutes, they were finished.  “That’s the last of it,” said Art.

Maxx said, “I’ll call Sirrz Debmyuo in a few days.  We’ll drive to his house and close the case.  I’ll call you after I talk to him.”

Art replied as he yawned, “That’ll be fine.  Call me in a few days.”  He slowly and exhaustedly climbed into his convertible.  He started the motor and backed out of Maxx’s driveway.

As he repeatedly yawned, he turned and drove down Lypont Drive toward the Wyluxx Highway.

Maxx thought as he watched Art drive away, “I’ll leave Sirrz’s collectables in the hidden compartment in my trunk.  No one knows it’s there.  They’ll be safer there than anywhere else, until we can deliver them.  I’m going inside and go to bed.”

He slowly walked up his walkway and onto his porch.  “I have two newspapers to read,” he thought as he grabbed them from the newspaper box.

He unlocked the door and walked inside.  He walked to his bedroom and tossed the newspapers on the dresser.  He collapsed onto the bed and fell fast asleep.

Several Days Later

As Sesla’s sun shone brightly in the cloudless, morning sky, Maxx was strolling along the streets of Bedsult.  “It’s nice to be in the desert again,” he thought as he enjoyed the warm desert breeze on his attractive, thin face.

As he walked , he thought, “We’ve had a few days to rest.  I’m going to call Sirrz Debmyuo when I get back and see if we can drive to his house today.”

He leisurely strolled under the cloudless, blue morning sky.  He breathed deeply as he ambled past the Bedsult School.  “Um…The desert air smells fresh and clean,” he thought.

He continued to saunter down the street.  He turned onto Lypont Drive and walked toward his home.  “I hope Art is feeling rested.  We need to get the collectables delivered and close that case,” he thought as he strolled toward his walkway.

He walked up the walkway and onto his porch.

He opened the door and walked into his home.  He sauntered to his kitchen and opened his fridge.  He grabbed a bottle of chilled water and took a drink.  “That’s refreshing,” he said.

“It’s time to call Sirrz Debmyuo,” he said, “I hope he’s home.  I’d like to close his case today.”  With his bottle of water, he walked to his office and sat in his cushioned database chair.

He dialed Sirrz Debmyuo’s phone number.

Meanwhile

At Sirrz Debmyuo’s Home in Nivcozz; in Zeeton Territory

Sirrz was watering his front bushes and his flower garden under the warm, morning sun.  “If we don’t get rain soon, my plants are going to wither and die,” he said with irritation as he watered.

As he continued to water the plants in his yard, his phone began to ring.  Ring!Ring!

Ring!Ring!...Ring!Ring!  “I hope that’s Detective Zeqster.  He should have called days ago,” said Sirrz with irritation as he dropped the hose and walked into his home.  Ring!Ring!  Ring!Ring!

He walked to the kitchen as the phone continued to ring.  Ring!Ring!...Ring!Ring!

With irritation, he answered it, “Sirrz Debmyuo!”

“Hi Sirrz.  This is Detective Zeqster,” said Maxx.

Sirrz asked quickly, “Do you have my collectables?”

“I do…Can Art and I drive to your house later today and deliver them?” asked Maxx politely.

“Yes!  I’ll be home all day.  Drive over as soon as you can,” said Sirrz.

“We’ll be there this afternoon.  See you then,” said Maxx.  He hung up the phone.

“Now, I need to call Art,” he said.  He dialed Art’s phone number.

Meanwhile

At Art Nekuma’s Home in Suburbia Wyluxx City

Art was researching the dismembered bodies that had been found recently in Kinkorx and the Kinkorx Horned Hares Slasher, on his database.  “I think there’s a serial killer in Kinkorx,” he thought as he researched.

As he researched further, he thought, “I hope Detective Zeqster calls soon.  We need to close that case so I can concentrate on the Slasher case.”

Lyndi and Rydon, Art’s parents, were enjoying the morning in their back yard, while continuing to work out their problems.

As Art researched the recent, gruesome murders in Kinkorx, his phone began to ring, “Ring!Ring!”  Art said, “I hope that’s Detective Zeqster.  Surprisingly he isn’t calling me on my DunyII.”

“Ring! Ring!” As his phone rang,  he hurried to the kitchen .  He answered the phone.  “Art Nekuma,” he said.

“Hi Art,” said Maxx.

“Hi Detective Zeqster,” said Art happily, “I was just thinking about you.  Have you called Sirrz Debmyuo yet?”

Maxx replied, “I just spoke with him.  He’s expecting us at his home in a few hours.”

“Awesome!” said Art excitedly and loudly, “Are you picking me up again?”

Maxx replied, “Yes.  I’m leaving now.  I’ll be there in a little while.”

“I’ll be ready,” said Art.  He excitedly hung up the phone.  “I need to tell my parents,” he said.  He walked toward the back yard.

He slid open the patio door.  As his parents bickered, he interrupted and said, “Detective Zeqster will be here in a little while.  We’re driving to Nivcozz to close a case.  I won’t be gone very long,” said Art.

“That’s wonderful,” said Lyndi, “Good luck.”

“That’s terrific,” said Rydon, “Great work.”

Art slid the patio door closed.  As he walked away, he heard his parents as they continued their arguing.  “Are they ever going to get along?” he wondered as he walked back to his office.

Two Hours Later

Maxx drove along Sunny Trail Drive toward Art’s modern home in suburbia Wyluxx City.  As he approached  house number, 26, he said, “There’s Art’s home.  He sure has a nice home.  I’m glad he chose that one.”

He slowed and drove into Art’s driveway.  As he parked, Art opened his front door and exited his home.  He hurried toward Maxx’s red convertible.  “I was watching for you.  I told my parents we were driving to Nivcozz,” said Art as he jumped in.

“So we’re ready to go?” asked Maxx.

“We’re ready.  I told them we’d be gone for a few hours.  They’re in the back yard arguing,” he said.

“Ok,” said Maxx as he chuckled.  He began to back out of Art’s newly paved driveway.

He turned onto Sunny Trail Drive again and drove down the road in the direction of the Nivcozz Highway.  “We’ll be there in an hour,” said Maxx as he drove.

One Hour Later

Maxx and Art were driving along the Nivcozz Highway toward the isolated, small, desert community.  “We’ll be in Nivcozz soon,” said Maxx as they discussed how they were going to close their case.

As they entered the remote town, Art said, “We won’t need a map this time.  I remember how to get to Sirrz Debmyuo’s home.”

Maxx replied,  “We keep driving into town.  Then we turn left on Smidhay Road.”

Art responded, “Then we turn right on MyLokk Road.  He lives at 2945 MyLokk Road.”

Maxx replied, “That sounds right,”  as he drove into Nivcozz.

After several minutes, he slowed and drove into Sirrz’s driveway.

They exited  the car.  “Let’s leave the guns and knives in the trunk for now.  We’ll talk to Sirrz first,” said Maxx.

They walked to the front door.  As Maxx started to knock, the door opened.  Sirrz Debmyuo stared at them as he asked strongly, “So where is my collection?”

They were caught off guard by his coldness.  Maxx replied, “They’re in my trunk.”

Sirrz said impatiently, “Don’t just stand there, and get my guns and knives!  I want to see them.”

“As you wish,” said Maxx.  They walked back to the car.  As Maxx popped the trunk, Art reached into the trunk.  Without saying anything, he knocked the spiders away and rolled back the carpet.  He removed the lid.

As Maxx stood next to him, and Sirrz waited impatiently, Art grabbed a handful of collectables.  He walked toward Sirrz while carrying his guns and knives.

Maxx grabbed a large hand full and followed Art.

Sirrz smiled excitedly as they approached with his stolen collection.  “Bring them inside.  Put them on the table,” said Sirrz as he held the door open.

As Maxx and Art put the first load on the table, Maxx said, “There’s more.”

They walked out of his home and to the car.  Maxx grabbed most of the remaining guns in the secret compartment.  He began to walk back to Sirrz’s front door.

Art grabbed the last two guns and the remaining knives.  He walked to the door.  “That’s the last of them,” said Art as he entered Sirrz’s home behind Maxx.

They walked to the table and carefully sat the remaining guns and knives  down.  As the dirty, dusty collectables lay on his table, several spiders crawled around them.

As Sirrz studied them, he said, “This looks like all of them.  It looks like they were in that warehouse for a while.  Durris Wixqezzer was hiding them in his warehouse until it was safe to sell them.”

He paused to examine his collection.  He read the writing on a collectable knife: The print on the knife read,

A Sirrz Debmyuo Signature Collection Knife

SD-3 Series Knife

First One Made in The Series

Sirrz Debmyuo

He said, “Thank you for returning them to me.  Send me a bill for both cases.  I’ll get a check in the mail as soon as I get your bill,” said Sirrz Debmyuo happily.

Maxx said, “I’m glad we were able to recover them before any were sold at the auction.”

Sirrz smiled, “If he had sold any, I would have you two steal them back,” he laughed.

Art said, “We should go.  I’m sure you want to clean your collection.”

Maxx and Art exited his home.  Maxx closed the trunk as Art entered his car.  Maxx jumped in.  He started the motor and backed out of the driveway.

“I’d say Sirrz Debmyuo is a very happy customer,” said Maxx as he drove toward the main street in Nivcozz.

“That was one of the hardest cases we’ve had so far,” said Art, “I’ll never forget those red scorpions or the spiders in the warehouse.”

“That case definitely had its moments,” said Maxx as he drove out of Nivcozz on the Nivcozz Highway.  “We’ll be back at your home in an hour.  While we drive, I have a story to tell you.  You won’t believe how my Melá-Jutissuit works,” said Maxx.

His super-hero suit magically appeared under his clothes.

As he drove toward Wyluxx City on the Nivcozz Highway, he began to explain how his magical suit works, “When I say Melá-Jutis…

One Hour Later

Maxx drove along Sunny Trail Drive, in suburbia Wyluxx City, and drove into Art’s driveway.  “Thanks Detective Zeqster.  Your magical Melá-Jutis suit is awesome!  Call me when you’re ready to start the next case.  Until then, I’m going to do more research on the Kinkorx Horned Hares Slasher.  The Kinkorx Police don’t seem to know who the Slasher is,” said Art as he happily exited Maxx’s car.

“I’ll call you in a few days,” said Maxx.  He backed out of Art’s driveway as Art entered his home.

Maxx drove down Sunny Trail Drive.

As he drove toward the Wyluxx Highway, he thought, “When I get home, maybe I’ll do some research on the Slasher.”

The Next Day

Maxx was relaxing in his luxury recliner, in his comfortable, very cool living room as he sipped a bottle of chilled water while watching Kinkorx TV News.

As he watched the news program,  the news anchor, Meez  Broplen reported, “So far, Police Chief Aazon Pomur, of the Kinkorx Police Department doesn’t have a suspect in the Kinkorx Horned Hares Slasher killings.  In a statement earlier today, Chief  Pomur stated, “We are conducting an ongoing investigation into these horrific murders.  I am confident we will find the perpetrator of these brutal dismemberments  soon.  At this time, we do not have a suspect in the bloody, gruesome, murders.”

As he watched the Kinkorx TV News, he thought, “It sounds like the Kinkorx Police could  use some help on the Kinkorx Horned Hares Slasher case.  I think the Zeqster-Nekuma Detective Agency should get involved in that case.”

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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