Fourteen Hours Later
Sesla’s sun was dropping in the evening sky as Maxx’s sheer, bedroom curtains waved steadily with the warm desert wind. Maxx’s bedroom was beginning to dim as twilight neared. As the warm breeze blew on his face, he began to stir.
“Uuuhhh.” Maxx groaned as he awoke while lying in his bed. He opened his red, tired eyes. “What time is it?” he moaned.
With blurry, out of focus eyes, he glanced at the clock on his bed stand. “What?” he groaned. “Either I only slept for two hours or I slept all day,” he said exhaustingly with bewilderment.
He slowly crawled out of bed and gazed into his large mirror. “I’m still wearing my magical suit. Odd. There’s not a scratch on it,” he mumbles as he stands before full-length mirror.
He trudged into the living room and looked at his extravagant wall clock. “That clock reads 7:00pm as well,” he mumbled as he stood wobbly in the living room.
As he stood briefly while staring at the clock, he felt a warm breeze on his alluring face. He turned. “What,” he said with surprise. “The front door is open.”
In his mental fog, he tried to remember when he arrived home. He said, “I don’t remember closing the door.” He trudged around the interior briefly and examined his home. “Nothing’s out of place. I didn’t get another visit from the Kinkorx Police while I was sleeping – I’ll never forget that day,” he mumbled as he walked to the door.
He stepped through the open door and glazed at Sesla’s sun. “The sun is already setting in the evening sky. I slept all day,” he mumbled.
While feeling complete exhaustion, he looked toward his driveway. His exhaustion was immediately accompanied by sorrow. He gazed at his plasma bullet hole filled and burned convertible still resting on the damaged trailer. His grief was overpowering as he stared. “My beautiful convertible is destroyed. The Phoenix was shot full of machine gun bullet holes by those Joqs on the ground. I made them all pay!” he said as his exhaustion-grief quickly turned to a tired- rage. “They’re all dead! I burned their ships!”
He paused briefly as his anger overpowered the exhaustion. As he stood briefly and fumed, he saw the paper-box full of newspapers. He said, “I’ll get those later.”
He stepped inside and closed the door. “I’ll need to call Reyd Pasmir at ByFuuton Auto Sales – later!” he said.
Maxx trudged back to the living room. The over-whelming tired was crippling as he faced his friend the Melá-Jutis swamp stick. His body craved sleep as he groaned and mumbled, “I wonder if Sesla is aware of the battles I fought in the desert and the wet lands?”
He stood briefly while facing the swamp stick in the corner. Sleep began to overtake him again. He heard a girl’s voice. “Sesla was with you the entire time,” the Melá-Jutis stick replied in the usual girl’s voice. “The stones you threw were enchanted. Sesla gave you strength and guided them. She is responsible for their success. With her help, you killed almost all of the Joqzonions. You destroyed all of the space ships. With the enchanted suit, she protected you from hunger, pain, and thirst. She gave you even more strength. You are indeed pure of heart. No one else would have put their life on the line for their homeland. Sesla wishes to thank you.”
The Melá-Jutis stick paused. Maxx stood gazing as he tried to absorb what his friend was telling him. “Sesla wishes for you to know, there will be other battles. More invaders will come. Stones and Sesla’s other enchanted natural researches will be your most effective weapons. Together you and Sesla can defeat the invaders when more arrive.”
Maxx was bewildered and shocked. “I was going to use a bazooka and rocket launchers next time,” he said. “Sesla wants me to use rocks again and hang on the side of space ships? That’s crazy!”
He looked at the swamp stick briefly. “I guess that’s it. The stick is silent again,” he said. “I need to clean up and go back to bed. I’ll feel more like dealing with everything tomorrow.”
He struggled to his washroom. Upon entering it, he closed the door. “I’m glad I keep an extra strolling suit in here. At times like this, it comes in very handy,” he said as he prepared to wash. “Melá-Jutis,” he said tiredly.
The magical suit disappeared. He began to bathe…
Maxx walked out of the lavatory while wearing a very comfortable strolling suit. “Suddenly I’m starved and thirsty,” he said as he walked to the kitchen. He winced from the pain as he grabbed a bottle of water and a quick snack from the fridge.
While carrying his beverage and food, he slowly hobbled to the bedroom. “I’m aching all over. I didn’t notice the pain before I went into the washroom,” he said as he sat down on his bed and yawned.
“I’m really sore,” he said. Maxx opened his strolling suit and quickly examined his hulking upper-body. “I have a lot of bruises. That’s funny. I wasn’t in any pain until I came out of the washroom. I guess the magical suit really did protect me from pain and bruises. Now – I have both,” he said as he recoiled from pain.
Maxx began to eat. “Now that I think about it, I haven’t eaten anything since I left. The suit somehow protected me from the need for food and water. That is a very magical suit,” he said as he continued to eat while aching.
He glanced at his clock. “It’s 8:00 o’clock. I’m very tired. I need more sleep,” he said.
Maxx finished his quick meal. He spread out on the soft bed. Immediately – he was asleep.
Twelve Hours Later
Sesla’s morning sun was rising in the sky. The warm desert wind was blowing in Maxx’s bedroom window as the sunshine peered through. As the bright sunlight shined on his attractive face, he awoke. When he saw the sunshine he asked, “How long have I been asleep?”
He glanced at his clock. “How lovely, it’s 8:00am,” he said as he stretched. He winced from the pain. “I’m really sore.” He opened his strolling suit. “I have a lot of bruises,” he said as he chuckled painfully. “That was some adventure. I hope I don’t have to do that again—a least for a while.”
Maxx slowly crawled out of bed as he winced from the pain and groaned. “I need a snack. Then I think a lovely stroll will make me feel better,” he said as he hobbled slightly.
He slowly walked to the kitchen. “A cup of tea would be simply delicious. A cup of tea and a small snack. Then I’ll go for a morning stroll,” he said as he flinched with pain.
As he winced and groaned, he prepared the tea and a bit of food. “There are several newspapers in my box. I’ll grab them while my tea is warming,” he thought.
He struggled to his front door while wincing and groaning.
Maxx opened his welcoming door and walked onto the porch. His spirits crumbled as he saw his bullet hole filled and burned convertible along with his bullet hole covered jeep. He flew into a rage as he saw the devastation. “I’ll kill those Joqs wherever they’re hiding. I am The Melá-Jutis. I’ll keep making them pay!” he declared angrily.
He grabbed the group of newspapers that were stuffed into his paper box. He gazed again with anger at his damaged vehicles before walking back inside.
After closing the door, with his anger still smoldering, he walked back to the kitchen. “My tea should be ready,” he thought as he placed the collection of newspapers on the kitchen counter. As his anger still raged a bit, he grabbed the tea and took a sip. “Delightful.”
He began eating his breakfast and sipping tea as he briefly examined the front page of the newspapers. “I don’t see anything exciting. It’s time for a lovely morning stroll,” he declared.
“I’ll call Art and ByFuuton Auto tomorrow. I need today to recover,” he said. “Before I go for a stroll, I need a fresh suit.”
He left the snack remains and newspapers lying on the counter and walked to his bedroom. He opened the dresser drawer and grabbed another of his numerous extravagant strolling suits. “This one will do nicely,” he said. He winced from the pain as he slowly changed.
After several minutes, he had on a fresh strolling suit. “Now it’s time to go.”
Maxx winced as he walked to the door. He opened his extravagant front door and walked outside. “The sun is warm and bright. It’ll make me feel better,” he said as he walked.
After walking across the porch and down the steps, he began strolling toward Lypont Drive while ignoring his damaged vehicles. He was casting a large shadow as Sesla’s morning sun shone brilliantly in the sky.
“I’ll definitely call Art and ByFuuton tomorrow. Today I’m going to relax and recover from my trip,” he said as he walked onto Lypont Drive.
He was strolling with a slight limp as he headed down the street. “I’m still tired and sore but I feel a lot better than I did yesterday,” he said as he sauntered.
As he ambled, he began to reminisce about his trip. “There was a lot of Joqs hiding in the wet lands. I’ve read newspaper articles about the numerous sightings recently. It seems the reports were accurate. I don’t know how many Joqs I killed or how many of their ships I destroyed. I know it was a lot,” he thought as he walked.
He laughed as he strolled. “I can’t believe those rocks were enchanted. It makes perfect sense. I could never throw a stone that hard or that true. Without Sesla’s help, I would have been killed,” he thought as he walked.
“I miss this sunshine when I travel to the wet lands,” he thought as he ambled. “The weather there is always cold and rainy. I was cold when I drove the Phoenix in the rain toward Kvyutt.”
He continued to saunter along the streets of Bedsult. “I hope it’s a long time before I have to fight the Joqs again. Hanging from flying saucers and climbing trees to throw rocks is not fun. I was really lucky I didn’t get shot by one of those plasma guns.”
Sesla’s morning sun was rising higher in the shy as he strolled. “Someday I’m going to catch the Gang of Five before they escape. I want to put an end to their terror. Every time I get close to Mustler and his gang, they escape. One day, with a little help from Sesla, I’ll get them!” He said angrily as he walked.
“This stroll is making me feel better,” he said as he gazed into the beautiful clear sunny sky while walking. “The warm sun is calming my pains.”
Before long, as he strolled in Sesla’s warm comforting sun, while reminiscing about his trip, he walked past the Bedsult school. “Hi Detective Zeqster,” a schoolchild said loudly while playing in the schoolyard.
Maxx was lost in his thoughts when the child’s voice drew him instantly back to reality. He was startled as he looked up. He smiled when he saw the schoolchild waving.
He smiled. “Pleasant morning,” he replied as he waved and sauntered past.
Another child yelled, “Hi Detective Zeqster. My dad really likes you. My mom thinks you’re handsome.”
Maxx chuckled as he waved at the child while ambling past. “Have a pleasant day,” he gestured. He continued to remember his adventure as he strolled.
“I wonder if there’s been anything in the news about the Joq ships I burned. I’ll skim through my newspapers and watch the news when I get back. I wonder if the local media in the wet lands covered the story,” he thought as he walked.
“Beep!” sounded a car horn. Dr. Kipzer Uignix blew his car horn as he slowly drove by.
“Pleasant morning,” Maxx said loudly as the Kinkorx Zwerqus Hospital doctor drove by. “He must have had a late night emergency surgery. He’s going to work unusually late this morning. I hear he’s an excellent surgeon. Zwerqus is lucky to have a doctor with his talents. I like his daughter. She’s an excellent librarian.”
Maxx continued to stroll through the neighborhood as Sesla’s warm sun eased his pain.
Soon, as he ambled, a horned hare hopped speedily across the street in front of him. Maxx paused briefly and stared as the large desert rabbit hurried across the road and into a vacant lot. “Wow,” he said as he paused to watch the desert rabbit. “That’s a huge hare. What a splendid set of antlers. I haven’t seen a horned hare in Bedsult in years. The last one was just after I lost my detective job at the Xcuymir Sheriff Department. I remember strolling depressed and seeing one. I’ve read numerous times – their beautiful antlers are due to the abundant supply of natural Keratin in the desert plant life.”
Maxx stared and made a mental picture of the hare. “I’m going to add that rabbit to my painting,” he thought as he gazed and memorized.
After the large horned hare disappeared into the vegetation, Maxx continued with his stroll. “With the large quantity of desert horned hares in this area, its little wonder the Kinkorx Horned Hares mesnuk team adopted them as their mascot,” he said as he walked.
Sesla’s warm sun was steadily rising in the late morning sky as he sauntered.
Maxx walked along the street and approached Grigg Bassner’s un-kept home. “It’s surprising Mr. Bassner isn’t sitting in his hanging, hickory, front porch, loveseat,” Maxx said as he strolled in front of the untidy home and yard. “He always lets his home and yard remain rundown. I’ve never understand how he can live in a cracked stucco home with peeling paint. His weed-infested yard always looks awful. I’d be embarrassed.”
He continued to amble as fatigue began to start. “I’m feeling a little tired again. It’s time to head toward home,” he said. He walked and turned onto Lypont Drive.
As he sauntered toward his home, his fatigue increased. “I feel like I’ve had enough strolling,” he said as he approached his home. He glanced at his car, trailer, and jeep. “They look just awful. I’m too tired today. I’ll call Reyd Pasmir at ByFuuton Auto tomorrow and get a replacement. Reyd can have his mechanics drive them back to his dealership. Maybe the Phoenix and trailer are repairable. My convertible is headed for the scrapyard.”
Sesla’s late morning sun was casting less of a shadow from his massive frame as he trudged up his walkway. “I’m defiantly feeling lethargic. I need another day to recover,” he said. He glanced at his damaged vehicles again briefly as he struggled up the short steps and onto his porch. “I still can’t believe it. I made them all pay,” he said as he entered his home.
He walked to the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of contained water from the fridge. He opened the bottle and took a big drink. “That’s refreshing,” he said. Maxx glanced at the pile of newspapers on the counter. “Before I catch up on the news, I’m going to paint for a while.”
While carrying his partial bottle of water, he tossed the empty snack container that he previously left on the counter into the trash. He walked to the dining room. He smiled at his friend the Melá-Jutis swamp stick before picking up the easel with painting. “This will be interesting,” he said as he picked up the painting tools in the same hand as his water.
With both hands full of painting supplies and water, he walked to the back door.
“I’m starting to feel better. That was definitely enough strolling for today,” he said as he backed out of his back door and onto the small porch while carrying the supplies. He slowly stepped down the steps. He winced from the pain as he trudged down.
Maxx looked into the sky as he slowly walked toward his Red Ploss tree in his back yard while carrying his landscape painting with tools and water. “I really like living in the desert,” he said. He carefully placed the easel with painting next to the base of his ornamental tree. He sat the tools in the easel tray.
He took another big drink of his water leaving the bottle almost empty. “Sesla’s sun is warm and brilliant. The wind is pleasant and fresh. I could never live in the wet lands.”
Maxx placed his nearly empty water bottle on the porch and opened the paints. He picked up the brush and continued to work on his landscape painting. As Sesla’s sun was at the zenith of the sky, he continued to add more detail to his desert landscape.
“I’m anxious to hear what Art learned from the horned hares game films. If Art’s theory is correct and Zith Fleen is a serial killer, there may be a pattern to his killing,” he thought as he added more thick color to the stones in the background.
Maxx thought as he added more definition to the flowers in the front of the scenery, “If we can understand Zith Fleen. Maybe we can anticipate his next move.”
“We should be able to catch him before he kills anyone else,” he thought as he painted more clouds into the sky of the painting.
Maxx thought confidently as he continued to add to the sky, “When we find Zith Fleen, I hope his wolf is with him. It should only take The Melá-Jutis a few seconds to insure that grey wolf doesn’t kill anyone else.”
“Oh yes. I just remembered. I wanted to paint the large desert hare that I saw on my stroll,” he said as he began adding the initial markings of the large rabbit and the antlers.
Maxx thought as he added more lines, “That was a large hare with spectacular antlers.” He continued to add the beginning marks and lines for the desert rabbit and its antlers. “I promised Jeqrix Grexenn when he hired us that we would work with Chief Pomur and the Kinkorx Police,” he thought. He chuckled while painting. “Chief Pomur won’t be happy about that. I told Jeqrix—local authorities don’t like private detectives. They especially dislike the Zeqster-Nekuma Detective Agency. We have a way of making local law enforcement look incompetent.”
“That’s enough for now,” he thought as he worked on the rabbit. “I’ll add more paint after this dries. A little more on the rest of this painting and I’ll let this set for another day.”
Maxx continued to add paint to the flowers. “After this, I’m going to catch up on the news. I wonder if any of the wet lands reporters covered the burning saucers?”
He added the last touches to the sky as he thought, “I’ll skim through my newspapers and see what articles are from The Wet Lands News and The Kvyutt Travelers News.”
“After the stone formations, I’ll stop for today,” he thought as he added the final brush marks. “While I skim my papers, I’ll watch Kinkorx TV news.”
After several more minutes of adding brush marks, he stopped painting and stepped back. He quickly examined his work. Maxx smiled as he said proudly, “That looks good. I’ll let it set for now. It’s time to clean my brushes and catch up on the news.”
Maxx closed his paints and put them away. “I need water,” he thought. “Where’s my paint can? I think I left it inside,” he said as he began to walk inside.
He opened the door. “There it is.” He walked inside and grabbed the paint-cleaning can off his shelf. “I need water,” he said as he walked to the kitchen with his cleaning can.
After filling the paint covered can with water, he walked back outside.
Maxx quickly stirred the brushes in the water. “Good enough,” he said as he briefly cleaned the water base paint off his old brushes. Without thinking, he sat the can on his porch next to the almost empty water bottle with the brushes still in it. He walked back inside.
“I’m going to catch up on the news,” he thought as he walked into his kitchen. Maxx grabbed another bottle of chilled water and another snack from his fridge. With his hands already full, he grabbed the newspapers on the counter.
With his hands and arms full, he sauntered past his wall clock as he entered the living room. He sat in his over-stuffed leather recliner. After glancing at the clock and sitting, he thought, “I can’t believe it. I painted for several hours. No wonder I’m hungry.”
He placed the newspapers along with his water and snack on the extravagant wooden side table. Maxx grabbed his remote. “Let’s see what’s on the TV,” he said as he pressed the button and turned on his big screen TV. Immediately Kinkorx TV began.
Maxx sat comfortably in his luxury recliner while reading his many newspapers as Kinkorx TV aired. He munched as he read. As he skimmed through the many publications of The Bedsult Daily News, he saw what he was looking for. “Here’s something interesting,” he thought as he began to read the news wire article from The Wet Lands News.
The headline read: Numerous Reports of Burning Joqzonion Ships in Wet Lands
The Wet Lands News: Over the past twenty-four hours, the staff of this newspaper has received numerous reports of burning Joqzonion space ships in the area. Many of these sightings have been confirmed by the Guytic City Police Department.
Crashed and burning Joq ships have been seen from the rural areas of the wet lands all the way to Guytic City.
We all remember several decades ago when the Joqs tried to take over Sesla. It was their mission at that time to control our planet and strip mine the bountiful natural researches. It is believed by most Sesleans that the Joqzonions have the same goal now.
Many residents are concerned that with Mustler and the Gang of Five’s help, the Joqs are more equipped to carry out their mission.
At The Wet Lands News, we share that concern. The positive news is that many Joqzonion space ships were destroyed in the last twenty-four hours. I contacted the Guytic City Police for a possible reason for this unexplained occurrence. At this time, the police are without an explanation for these incidences. Guytic City Police Chief, Chief Fesyur Cuobyn was unavailable for comment.
We will keep the residents of the wet lands informed as we learn more. This article was written by The Wet Lands News reporter Veem Weazan.
Maxx grinned as he read the article while sitting in his recliner. He thought, “I’m glad The Melá-Jutis wasn’t spotted by the GCPD.
He continued to read and skim through the collection of papers as Kinkorx TV aired on his flat screen. He glanced at his clock again. “The news will be on soon,” he thought as he read.
Maxx read while snacking. He quickly skimmed the numerous copies of The Bedsult Daily News. As he continued to read, the evening news began. “I am Meez Broplen – the chief news anchor for Kinkorx TV News. We start this evening’s news with our top story. We are sending you to the Kinkorx Police Station for a live report.”
The Station Switched to Kinkorx Police Station in Downtown Kinkorx
“Thank you Meez. I am Kinkorx TV News roaming reporter Pymur Muxx. I’m with Police Chief Aazon Pomur.” He turned to Chief Pomur.
“There is growing concern for the safety of the Horned Hares players. Can you comment on your investigation to find the killer?” asked Pymur.
Chief Pomur replied, “We are working several leads at this time. Do to the complexity of the case, I can’t comment on the investigation.”
Pymur asked, “Are you still looking for a different killer? Do you still believe Zith Fleen is not involved in these recent murders?”
Chief Pomur glared angrily at Pymur as he responded, “As I’ve stated before, we do not believe Zith Fleen is responsible for these murders. We are working with General Sheriff Kein Mairytin of Xcuymir Territory to find the killers…Also let me say, we do not believe these are revenge motivated killings in any way. We believe these were random murders. However, at this time, we do not have a strong motive for the murders. Now if you will excuse me.”
Pymur Muxx began to ask another question. “Chief Pomur. Don’t you think –” Chief Pomur walked away in the middle of the question and entered his office.
Pymur continued, “Chief Pomur is keeping with his earlier decision. He does not believe Zith Fleen is The Kinkorx Horned Hares Slasher—nor does he believe a there is a Slasher. I am Pymur Muxx. Reporting live from the Kinkorx Police Station. How back you Meez.”
The Broadcast Switched Back to Kinkorx TV News Studio
“In other news,” said Meez Broplen, “there are reports…
Maxx laughed as the news broadcast continued. He said mockingly and loud, “Jeqrix Grexenn thinks Chief Pomur will work with us. He’s looking for the wrong killer. I’ll do what he asked. After I talk with Art tomorrow, I’ll call the Kinkorx Police. Chief Pomur won’t like it.”
He continued to sit on his deluxe recliner and read the old newspapers as Kinkorx TV News continued. Before long, he found another news wire article from The Kvyutt Travelers News that caught his eye. The headline by reporter Alina Smizeen read:
Gang of Five and Joqzonions Terrorize Businesses in Wet Lands
The Kvyutt Travelers News: Mustler and his Gang of Five, along with numerous Joqzonions, continued with their rampage of terror today. After attacking numerous shops in Durston Mill and Bloqxess – both in Meslerr Territory, they traveled to rural Guytic City. Mustler and his evil gang targeted Jirgston Bank and Trust before moving on to Wyden Hutt Sporting Goods – both in rural Guytic City.
During the heinous attacks in Durston Mill, Bloqxess, and at Wyden Hutt Sporting Goods, the gang murdered the shop owners before stealing money and weapons. Before they exited, the Joqzonion followers set fire to the buildings.
At Jirgston Bank in rural Guytic City, a security guard was murdered execution style as the bank was robbed. Also before exiting, Joqs started several fires inside.
During this same time, in several areas of the wet lands, numerous Joq space ships were reported crashed and burned. Many of the spacecraft appeared to be damaged by small asteroids.
We contacted Dr. Meeber Ros at Guytic City Observatory. During a brief phone interview, Dr. Ros stated, “The wet lands have not experienced a meteor shower in several weeks. I cannot offer an explanation for the apparent meteors that disabled the Joqzonion space ships.”
At this time, General Sheriff Azar DyRull of Meslerr Territory and Police Chief Fisur Coubyn of the GCPD are also without an explanation for the destroyed Joq spacecrafts.
Whatever the explanation, we are all grateful that the Joqzonion spacecrafts were destroyed. Many Sesleans remember several decades ago when a similar invasion took place. The goal of that invasion was to strip mine Sesla’s natural researches. It is believed that this invasion carries a similar goal…
Maxx smiled as he read the article. He thought, “Yes Alina, there was a meteor shower. Those Joq ships encountered a meteor shower courtesy of The Melá-Jutis.” He laughed.
The Evening Progressed
Maxx Read the Old Newspapers With His Flat Screen On
Suddenly he realized as he read. “Today’s copy of The Bedsult Daily News is on the porch,” he thought as he watched Kinkorx TV. Maxx stood and walked to the front door.
He opened it and stepped outside onto his porch. He shook his head when he saw his damaged vehicles and trailer. “At least I made those Joqs pay,” he said. “I’ll call Reyd Pasmir at ByFuuton Auto in the morning.”
Maxx grabbed his newspaper from the paper-box and walked back inside.
After closing and locking the front door, while carrying his newspaper, he walked to the kitchen. He mumbled as he grabbed a snack from his fridge, “Another snack while I skim this paper – then I’m going to bed. I’m tired again.” While carrying the next snack and newspaper, he exited the kitchen.
Maxx walked back to his recliner. He sat and began eating as he quickly breezed through the paper. He began to yawn as he read. After several minutes, he found an article that caught his attention from The Wet Lands News. The news wire headline read:
Only Silence From Gang of Five After Day of Terror
The Wet Lands News: It was only days ago that Mustler and his evil gang attacked several businesses in the rural wet lands. The gang of outlaws attacked shops in Durston Mill and Bloqxess – both in Meslerr Territory. They killed the storeowners before pilfering the stores of cash and firearms. Before leaving both businesses, they set fire to the buildings.
Local authorities expected the next target to be LyBeqt – also in Meslerr. LyBeqt police and territory troopers planned for an ambush there. The police gathered and waited in the small Meslerr Territory village. The gang never showed.
During that time, Mustler and his heinous gang traveled to rural Guytic City. They attacked Jirgston Bank and Trust. Afterward they attacked Wyden Hutt Sporting Goods – both in rural Guytic City. The bank and sporting goods store both received similar acts of terrorism compliments of the murderous gang of outlaws.
Also during that day of terror, the Joqzonion’s entire fleet of space ships were destroyed by an unknown source. The only explanation that is being made public by the GCPD is that the ships suffered direct hits by a severe and unexpected meteor shower.
Since that day, no one has seen Mustler and the Gang of Five. Also since that day of evil, no one has reported seeing a Joqzonion or a Joq space ship. Could it be that whatever caused the destruction of the alien ships was successful in destroying the entire fleet? Also, the entire population of Joqs that were invading Sesla was killed as well. We can only hope for such luck. Reporting for The Wet lands News, I am Veem Weazan.”
Maxx smiled exhaustingly as he finished the article. He said as he yawned, “That’s the best news I’ve read so far. I knew I killed many Joqs and burned many ships. I hope Veem Weazan is right and I eliminated them all and all their ships. We’ll know soon enough. If there are more Joqs on Sesla, there will be sightings.”
He yawned. “I’m really tired. I’m going to retire early. Tomorrow’s going to be a busy day.” Maxx stood and carried his old newspapers and trash to the kitchen and tossed all into the trashcan under the sink.
He yawned as he walked toward the washroom. “A quick wash and a change into some sleep-ware. Then I’m retiring for the evening,” he thought as he entered the washroom and closed the door.
In minutes, he exited and walked toward his bedroom. He yawned repeatedly as he walked past his leather sectional sofa while heading into his bedroom.
“I can’t believe I’m so tired. That trip to the wet lands really took a lot out of me,” he said. He glanced at his clock on the bed stand. “It’s only 9:00 o’clock. I never go to bed this early.” He yawned again. “Except for tonight. I’m really sleepy,” he said as he sat on the edge of his king sized bed. He rolled into the middle.
He yawned again. “Tomorrow’s going to be a big day,” he said.
Maxx closed his eyes. In seconds, he was drifting asleep.
Early The Next Morning
Sesla’s brilliant morning sun was shining in Maxx’s open bedroom window. The warm desert breeze was blowing through. His sheer curtains were moving as the breeze increased and decreased.
As the warm sun reached and complimented Maxx’s attractive, thin face, he began to stir. He stretched and rolled as he slowly awoke. He smiled when he saw the sunshine and his curtains blowing in the breeze. “It looks like a beautiful day,” he said.
He turned and looked at the clock sitting on his small table. He smiled as he saw the time. He thought, “It’s early. I have plenty of time for a delightful morning strolled before I start today’s business.”
Maxx rushed out of bed. He winced from the pain. “Easy Maxx,” he said as he grabbed a fresh strolling suit from his dresser. While he slowly dressed he thought, “I feel much better today. The pain is less. I’m still glad I took yesterday off.”
He finished putting on his strolling suit and watch. “Can’t go walking without my shoes,” he said as he put on his strolling shoes. He hurried toward the kitchen.
Maxx opened the fridge and grabbed a bottle of contained water. He opened the container and took a sip. “That’s refreshing,” he said. He took another then looked at the label. “Refsax Juysaw bottled water – delicious.”
As the door open ringer sounded, “Ding…Ding” Maxx twisted the top back on the bottle of water from The Refsax Juysaw Company. “Ok – ok. I know I’ve left the door open,” he said as the alarm continued. “Ding…Ding”
He placed the half-empty bottle inside and closed the door. “Glad that stopped,” he said.
As he walked toward his custom front door, he said, “Time for a lovely morning stroll.” Maxx opened the door and walked through. He closed the door and hurried across his porch.
Sesla’s bright sun shone in his eyes as he ventured along the walkway. He glanced at his damaged vehicles and trailer as he sauntered past. “I’m not upset in the slightest about my car and jeep. The damage was worth it if those Joqs are gone. I’ll call ByFuuton Auto when I get back.” He chuckled as he walked. “It was time for a new convertible. That one was several years old.”
Maxx ambled down Lypont Drive as the morning sun shone warmly on his face. “Sesla’s sun feels really good today. I’m feeling much better. I have less pain today,” he thought as he strolled.
“I wonder what Reyd Pasmir is going to say? He should have a loaner that I can drive until the new convertible arrives,” he thought as he continued along Lypont Drive. “The Phoenix and trailer are new. Except for the bullet holes in the exterior, they’re both drivable.”
Maxx turned and walked toward the Bedsult School. “It looks like classes are beginning,” he thought as he ambled past. “I don’t see any children in the yard.”
“I see a lot of kids in the class rooms. That school has a lot of students,” he thought as he walked past. “I should pick up the pace. I need to make this a quick stroll.”
Maxx began walking slightly faster as he continued. The bright sun shone on his face as he ventured farther. “How do coteries stand living in the wet lands? All that rain and the cool temperatures. I wouldn’t like it at all,” he thought as he sauntered.
“I don’t like it when I have to drive there for a case. I’m always glad to get back to the desert,” Maxx thought. He continued along the Bedsult streets as the sun continued to rise in the morning sky.
Soon, he ambled past Grigg Bassner’s home. The retired engineer and business owner was swinging in his front porch swing. “Pleasant morning, Mr. Bassner,” said Maxx as he waved politely while passing.
Grigg again demonstrated his unpleasant disposition that he inherited from his family. He only nodded as he continued to swing in the shade of his decrepit porch as Maxx ventured past.
“Typical,” Maxx thought as he strolled, “The Bassner’s are KyMox-Coteries. KyMoxs are one of the most irritable clans on Sesla.”
While continuing to saunter, he approached Lypont Drive. Maxx glanced at his extravagant strolling watch. “I’ve been walking for forty-five minutes. I should start back. I have a lot to do today,” he thought.
As he enjoyed the warm morning sun, he turned onto Lypont Drive.
Soon, he ambled in front of Dr. Kipzer Uignix’s home. “It looks like Dr. Uignix and his daughter Vytta are both at work.”
Maxx continued along Lypont Drive toward his home. “I’m anxious to talk with Art. I wonder what he discovered?” he said.
He saw his burned convertible as he approached his home. “I’ll call Reyd Pasmir first. That call will only take a few minutes,” he thought as he approached his walkway.
The shadow that Maxx was casting was still very large as he walked up his walkway and onto his porch. He opened the front door and walked inside.
Maxx walked straight to the fridge and opened the door. He grabbed the half-full bottle of water and finished it off. “Aahhh. That’s refreshing,” he said. “Maybe another.” He tossed the empty bottle in the trash and grabbed a second before closing the door.
He opened the bottle and took a big drink. “Delicious,” he said as he screwed the top back on. “It’s time to call ByFuuton Auto.” While carrying his half-empty bottle of contained water, he walked to his office.
Maxx sat in the cushioned chair and placed the water on the desk. As he sat beneath two of his landscape paintings, he turned on his database. In seconds, his very powerful home computer was ready. He typed in ByFuuton Auto Sales in Kinkorx.
The business was on his data base screen. “Here it is,” he thought as he clicked on the downtown dealership’s phone number.
The phone at the secretaries desk began to ring. She quickly answered, “ByFuuton Auto Sales Downtown. We have a great deal just waiting for you. How may I direct your call?” asked Mrs. Voilet Suu, the secretary.
Maxx chuckled. “This is Detective Maxx Zeqster. Please connect me with Reyd Pasmir.”
Violet smiled. “Good morning Detective Zeqster. It’s so nice to hear from for again. I’ll get Reyd on the line right away. May I place you on hold?”
Maxx smiled as he thought, “I love that dealership.” He said, “Of course.”
Violet replied, “It’ll just be a moment.” She placed Maxx on hold before speaking into the intercom, “Reyd Pasmir. You have an important costumer holding on line one. It’s Detective Zeqster.”
Reyd Pasmir was at his desk. He quickly picked up the phone and pushed extension one. “Good morning Detective Zeqster. I’m thrilled that you’re calling. How can I and ByFuuton Auto help you?”
Maxx smiled. “Good morning Reyd. It’s good to talk with you and Violet again.” He paused briefly.
As he gathered his thoughts and chose his words, Reyd asked, “Has there been a problem with your vehicles? If there has, I’ll see to it that we take care of you immediately.”
Maxx replied, “You might say – I’ve had a few problems.”
Reyd asked with concern, “With both your convertible and jeep?”
“Yes,” he replied. “It’s a long story.”
“Do you need a loaned,” asked Reyd.
“That would probably be best,” Maxx replied sheepishly.
The manager replied, “I have a new silver convertible that’s fully loaded on our Desert Lot. I can have Kotor Buknus drive it to your home this afternoon. Will that be soon enough?” he asked with panic.
Maxx replied, “This afternoon will be fine.”
“When Kotor gets there with the loaner, he’ll decide what to do next. I’ll be at my desk in case he needs approval for something,” said Reyd.
“That will work perfectly,” said Maxx. “I look forward to seeing Kotor and the convertible.” He hung up the phone. “That was easy. They’re going to flip when they see the convertible. Now it’s time to call Art.”
Maxx dialed Art’s DunyII number.
At the Home of Detective Arthor Nekuma in Suburbia Wyluxx City
Art and his parents were relaxing in the back yard of their upper-class home. They were lounging in recliners under patio umbrellas as the morning sun warmed the back yard. Art was skimming through several newspapers while his dad and mom played cards.
“Give me another card,” said Lyndi Nekuma.
“Are you sure?” asked Rydon Nekuma. “If you take another card. I bet you go bust.”
As Art read his newspapers, his DunyII began to sing a happy song. He looked at the caller Id on his portable phone and texting device. “It’s Detective Zeqster,” he said happily.
Rydon said as he handed his wife another card, “I should say— your duny would be ringing with a happy song. You’ve been ecstatic ever since you discovered a pattern to that killer.”
Art grinned as he picked up his touch activated wireless phone. “Hi Detective Zeqster. I’m so glad you’re calling,” he said with a giant grin.
Maxx chuckled. “It’s good to hear your voice.”
“Hi Detective Zeqster!” Lyndi said loudly.
“Good to hear from you detective!” Rydon said loudly.
Lyndi threw down the card. “I want another card. Make it a good one!” she said loudly to her husband.
Art said into his duny, “My mom and dad are playing cards. We’re in the back yard.”
Maxx replied, “It sounds like they’re getting along better.”
“They are,” Art replied as he smiled at his parents as they continued to play their card game. “Everything’s a lot better now.”
Maxx said, “I’m glad. There’s nothing like a happy home.”
Lyndi threw down that card as well. “I want a good card,” she said loudly to Rydon.
“I can’t look at the cards before I draw one. That would be cheating,” Rydon replied as he handed her another card.
Art said, “I watched several breaking news reports from the wet lands. The reporters showed smoke and fire from burning Joq ships. That was you wasn’t it?”
Maxx boasted, “It was all me. I have so much to tell you. I have something to show you that you won’t believe.”
Lyndi and Rydon continued playing cards as they talked. “Another card,” said Lyndi.
Rydon placed a card on the table. “How’s that?” he asked as Lyndi turned the card over.
Art replied, “What is it?”
“Let’s just say, my vehicles didn’t fare as well as I did,” said Maxx.
“Wow! I can’t wait to see,” Art said excitedly. “I mean – that’s terrible!”
Maxx laughed. “It’s ok. I’m over my rage. You can see them when you get here.”
Art said excitedly, “I’ll leave right now.”
“Don’t rush,” Maxx replied. “I’m not going anywhere.”
“I’ll be there in an hour and a half,” Art replied.
“I’m looking forward to it,” said Maxx. He disconnected the call.
Lyndi threw down two cards. “I want two cards,” she said.
“Lyndi. You can’t keep drawing cards until you get a perfect hand,” Rydon complained as he handed her the cards.
“Who says I can’t?” asked Lyndi as she looked meanly at her husband.
Art stated, “I’m going to Detective Zeqster’s. I won’t be home for dinner.”
“Ok honey. Have fun,” Lynda replied as she stared at her cards.
“Drive carefully son,” said Rydon as he grabbed another card.
Art stood and began to leave. “I have my duny if you need anything,” he said as he walked toward the patio door.
“Ha! You can’t draw your own card,” Lyndi insisted.
“I’ve been drawing my own cards the entire game,” said Rydon.
Art entered the house as his parents continued with their card game. “It’s nice to see them getting along. For a while there, I thought they’d never stop fighting,” he said as he walked through the house.
Art grabbed the keys to his blue convertible and walked out the front door.
“I can’t wait to see his convertible and jeep,” he said as he walked to his mid-sized convertible. He jumped in and started the motor. The Rock music began to play.
Art backed out of his driveway and onto Sunny Trail Drive. He quickly stopped and put the car in drive and headed down the road. “I can’t wait to tell him what I learned,” he said as he drove with the loud rock music playing.
Art drove through suburbia Wyluxx City on route to the Wyluxx Highway as he prepared what he was going to say to his partner. “I watched all the films. I think we can catch Zith Fleen before he kills another Kinkorx Horned Hares mesnuk player,” he said as he drove.
Several minutes later, he turned onto the Wyluxx Highway. “I knew those breaking news reports of the burning Joq ships was The Melá-Jutis. According to the reporters, most if not all of the Joq ships were destroyed. I can’t wait to hear how he did it.”
Art continued along the Wyluxx Highway as he continued to imagine how his partner and mentor destroyed the Joq ships. “The Guytic City Police think the ships were destroyed by a meteor shower,” Art said as he laughed while the loud rock music played.
As the morning progressed, Art continued across the open desert. “This is the area where the Kinkorx Police captured Zith Fleen,” he said as he drove closer to Kinkorx.
“I can’t believe Zith Fleen was hiding in the desert off the Wyluxx Highway,” he said as he drove with his music playing loud.
Before long, he was approaching Bedsult. “I’m almost there. I can’t wait to see his cars. I wonder what kind of damage there is?”
Soon, Art turned off the Wyluxx Highway and drove into Bedsult. “Detective Zeqster said his cars didn’t fare very well. What did he mean by that?” he wondered as he drove closer.
Before long, Art turned onto Lypont Drive and drive toward Maxx’s home.
Sesla’s sun was passing the apex as he drove closer to Detective Zeqster’s home on Lypont Drive. “His home is coming up,” Art said as he continued along Lypont Drive.
As he approached Maxx’s home, his jaw dropped. While being shocked, he slowed and parked on the street. All he could do was stare. He said as he gawked shockingly, “His beautiful convertible was shot full of holes and burned. The Phoenix was shot numerous times. The trailer was shot and burned. I can’t believe it.” He continued to stare while stunned.
In his shock, he exited his beautiful, blue convertible and walked up the walkway to Maxx’s home. He stared at the catastrophe as he walked by.
He stumbled as he walked up the steps to Maxx’s porch. While still gawking, he walked to Maxx’s front door and began to knock.
In seconds, the door opened. “Hi Art,” said Maxx as he stood there.
Art’s mouth was still hanging open as he gazed at the devastation. He said, “Hi, Detective Zeqster. I see what you mean. What happened?”
Maxx replied, “Come on in. I’ll tell you all about it.” He turned and walked back inside. While still in shock, Art followed and closed the door.
Art walked to Maxx’s extravagant leather sectional sofa and sat. As he waited and anticipated the story, he gazed in amazement at his friend’s large collection of exquisite, self-painted, landscape paintings.
Maxx walked to his kitchen and grabbed two bottles of contained water from his expensive, double-door refrigerator. While carrying the waters, he walked to his living room. He handed Art a bottle.
“Thanks,” said Art as he grabbed the cold bottle of water. “I can’t believe your convertible was burned. It looks like the Phoenix was shot several times. What happened?”
Maxx sat on his leather recliner and opened his water. “I was just as surprised as you are when I found my convertible like that. I must admit, I flew into a rage at that moment,” he said as he took a drink. His anger was growing as he remembered the event.
“I would have been so mad…I’d want to kill all the Joqs and burn all their space ships,” said Art angrily. As he fumed, he took a sip.
“That’s exactly how I felt—and…that’s exactly what I did. According to the papers, I took them all out,” said Maxx angrily. “It seems for now, the Joqs are gone, and the Gang of Five is in hiding.”
“When did your convertible get shot and burned?” Art asked.
“I saw several Joq ships land in the forest,” Maxx replied. “I jumped in the Phoenix and went after them. I found a cave where they were hiding and killed them all. I took out several ships that were fighting me from the air. After that, I burned all their ships that were on the ground.”
Art was bewildered as he asked, “How did you fight Joq saucers in the air?”
Maxx chuckled as he answered. “You won’t believe it. I used stones.”
“What? You threw rocks?” Art asked with great surprise as his eyes grew large.
Maxx chuckled as he explained, “I used heavy, metallic, fist-sized stones. I found plenty in the streams.”
Art continued to listen as his eyes bulged from shock and surprise.
Maxx laughed lightly as he boasted, “I climbed to the top of trees and hid. When the pilots flew their ships close, I threw the stones. At another location, I hid in a stone formation and threw stones.”
Art continued to be amazed. “That’s why the GC police thought there was a meteor shower. I had no idea,” he said with astonishment. “Do you think – next time you fight the Joqs you should take a rocket launcher or maybe a bazooka – or something like that?”
“I thought that a lot while I was fighting them. After I got back, my swamp stick spoke to me. She said Sesla enchanted the stones as well as my magical suit. That’s why I was successful,” Maxx replied. “It was because of Sesla’s enchantments.”
Art grinned. “That’s awesome!”
Maxx continued. “I didn’t feel pain at all. Once I got back and changed out of my suit, I got sore fast. I still have a lot of bruises…Did I tell you? I fell out of several trees— And! I hung from the side of several Joq ships to make them crash land.”
“You did!” Art said loudly with amazement. “That’s Awesome!”
“I did,” Maxx replied. “I let go just before the ships crashed into the ground.”
“No wonder you have bruises,” said Art. “Are you still in a lot of pain?”
“It’s getting better,” said Maxx.
“How did you kill the Joqs?” Art asked.
“That was the easiest part. Joqs are weak and fragile. Their bones fracture easily,” Maxx, replied, “At least I find it easy to break their bones.”
Art responded, “I think The Melá-Jutis would find it easy to break anyone’s bones. Just look at the size of your arms and shoulders. Talk about Sesla’s enchantments. Since you voluntarily injected yourself with doxer fever drugs, you’ve become huge. Your muscle mass is enormous –”
Maxx interrupted, “The Phoenix was shot when I fought the Joqs in Guytic City. I tried to hide it in thick vines and underbrush in the forest but they found it.”
As they talked, there was a knock on his door.
“I hope that’s my loaner?” Maxx said. He stood and walked to his front door. He opened it. Kotor Buknus, the sales associate from ByFuuton Auto Sales Downtown was standing on his porch.
“Good afternoon Detective Zeqster,” said Kotor with a bewildered, shocked expression.
Maxx replied, “Good afternoon Kotor. As you can see, there’s been an incident.”
Kotor was very careful as he replied professionally, “I have your loaner. Is the jeep drivable?”
Maxx replied, “Yes. I’ll get the keys.” He walked to his bedroom and grabbed the jeep keys—then returned. “Here,” he said.
Kotor took the keys. “We’ll drive the damaged vehicles out and drive in the new convertible. I’ll be right back,” he said. Kotor walked swiftly down the steps and to the jeep.
He jumped in and started the motor. Kotor slowly drove the jeep with the trailer and convertible out of the driveway and onto Lypont Drive—and parked.
As he climbed out of the jeep, he motioned to his assistant.
The other driver drove the new, silver convertible into Maxx’s driveway and parked. As Kotor approached the new convertible, his helper handed him the keys. Kotor grabbed the keys. “Wait in the jeep. I’ll only be a minute,” he said.
As his assistant exited the new, silver convertible and walked toward the jeep, Kotor walked up the short steps toward Detective Zeqster. He handed Maxx the keys. “I hope this convertible is satisfactory,” he said.
“I’m sure it’ll be fine,” Maxx replied as he stood inside the doorway. “Is it new?” he asked.
Kotor smiled. “Right off our Desert Lot. I drove there after you’re called. I drove it straight here,” said Kotor. “It has everything. It’s more equipped than your old car. Every year, there are more gargets. You’re going to love it.”
Maxx smiled. “I’m sure I will – silver I see.” He pouched his lips and bobbed his head. “Silver’s cool,” he said.
Kotor replied, “We’ll drive the damaged vehicles back. We’ll come up with a plan. Reyd Pasmir will call you as soon as we have all the details worked out. In the meantime, enjoy the new convertible.”
“Thank you,” said Maxx. “I will.” With the new keys, he closed the door. Maxx walked back to the living room.
Kotor walked hurriedly across the porch and down the steps. He hurried along the walkway toward the jeep. “Hop in. We’re ready to go,” he said to his assistant. They both crawled into the bullet shot jeep. Kotor started the motor and began the drive to their downtown lot.
Art asked as Maxx sat in his recliner, “Do you have another car?”
Maxx replied as he tossed the keys onto the end table, “I have a new, silver convertible. Kotor says it has even more accessories. If I like it—I might keep it.” He bobbed his head at the idea.
“I want to see it,” Art said. He jumped up and hurried to the door. He opened it and stepped onto the porch. He gazed briefly at the new silver convertible in the driveway.
Art stepped back inside and closed the door. “Nice!” he said loudly. He walked back to the living room. “It sure looks new,” he said as he sat back down.