No Time for Spies
“Are we dead yet?” screamed Max, looking over at Hymie.
“Max, you used the wrong pronoun,” replied Hymie as their roller coaster car reached a 45-degree curve. “You’re the only one that can die, so there is no we in a question of that nature.”
“Hymie,” said Max, in an impatient tone, “what do you consider your gearbox?”
“Costly repairs,” said Hymie.
Max sighed. “Hymie, somebody is trying to kill us! In fact, I think I’ve seen the ride operator before!”
“He looks like one of the agents that was in the parking garage with Seigfried when I first got here,” explained Max, craning his neck to get a better look at the ride operator. “Incidentally, how fast are these things supposed to go?”
“50 miles per hour --normally,” explained Hymie. “My internal meter lost count on this one.”
Max threw his hands up in the air out of frustration as the people in the car behind him threw their hands up in the air and screamed. He began to wonder how the other patrons felt about the increased speed. He then looked back at the car in back of him only to see nothing but track. Max blinked and gaped for a second and then turned back around. They were now coming upon something he had never seen on a roller coaster track before: a fork.
“Don’t tell me there’s a fork in the track,” whimpered Max.
“Alright,” nodded Hymie. “Max, our car is taking the fork.”
Max winced and looked at the track ahead of them. There were several more 360-degree loops to go through and then the track ended. The problem with it ending, though, was that it did not end at a ride platform, but ended in mid-air instead. In a matter of seconds they would be catapulting –car and all—through the air and crashing to the ground. As Max figured, their point of impact was lest then 150 feet away.
“Okay, Hymie, said Max, drumming his fingers on the safety bar, “I have a plan that just might save us if we time it right.”
“Max,” said Hymie, studying the oncoming turn they were approaching, "based on your past performance regarding the matter of timing, I would advise a form of meditation, prayer, or—"
Max tossed Hymie a dirty look. “Hymie, if we fall to our deaths, the Navy isn’t going to waste money fixing you. You’ll be lucky if your parts wind up being sent to a Volkswagen factory in Mexico!”
“Max,” said Hymie in a somewhat humble tone, “the parachute in my coat might help.”
“That’s what I was thinking,” said Max, pulling up on the safety bar and standing up in the seat. “I don’t have a parachute in my jacket, so we’ll have to share.”
“How?’ asked Hymie, standing up. “We will approach the end of the track in precisely 20 seconds.”
“You’re going to have to carry me,” explained Max. “Should it be piggy-back or fireman’s carry?”
Before Max could make up his mind, the car reached the end of the track. Hymie picked Max up with one arm and pulled a cord in the lining of his jacket with the other. As they began to plummet through the air, a red, white, and blue parachute shot out from the back of his jacket. Agent 86 smiled at their deft maneuver and sighed with relief. He then looked down and felt his stomach turn upside down: they were about to land on top of a perambulator.
Lucy crawled up off of the ground and dusted herself off. She looked back at the collapsed Wheel of Wrath and shook her head. She then looked over at Anté who was busy dusting the dirt off of his whites. Just as he had dusted the last smudge off of his uniform, a loud crash, followed by a thick dust cloud, filled the air around them. Lucy coughed and turned to see Max and Hymie roll off the top of a crumpled perambulator.
“Smooth move, Smart,” snapped Anté as he began to dust off his uniform again.
“All in the line of duty, Anté,” smirked Max as he crawled up off of the ground. “What are you doing here?”
“I’m reaffirming my belief that this mission is a waste of time,” frowned Anté, looking over at Hymie, who was still tangled up in the parachute. “Hymie, trash the parachute!”
“Alright,” nodded, Hymie ripping off the parachute and tearing it down the middle.
Anté looked at Hymie and groaned. “Have either of you found the time machine?”
“We were too busy being dropped out of roller coasters to have time to look,” answered Max. “This may be just a hunch, Anté, but I think someone’s trying to kill us.”
“Why don’t we regroup,” suggested Lucy. “It might throw Kaos off the track if we split up again.”
“Lucy,” interrupted Max, “this is my mission. I’ll make the suggestions around here.”
“Whatever,” shrugged Lucy.
Max smiled smugly. “Anté, I thing we could throw Kaos off the track if we split up again.”
“As you wish,” sighed Anté.
“Jack,” smiled Lucy, “why don’t we go into the Tunnel of Love over there?”
Max made a confused face at Lucy and Anté. “Lucy that’s ride is called the Tunnel of Loath. It probably has gollywoggles in it!”
“For once Smart is right,” nodded Anté. “You’ll never get me in there alive! I’m going on the Chaos Cars.”
“What a copout,” muttered Lucy. Then she grabbed Hymie by the hand and glared at Anté. “Hymie will just have to escort me instead!”
“I just want you to know, Smart” said Anté as they walked into the Chaos Car rink, “that this is the most unproductive case in the history of the Navy!”
“Thank you!” smiled Max as they moved through the line.
Since the line for the Chaos Cars was one of the faster paced ones, Max and Anté found themselves with their choice of cars immediately. Max fastened the shoulder strap in his bumper car and studied the signage on the walls. He noticed that most of the signs were warnings that forbid the exiting of the cars while the ride was in operation. He then turned to Anté to comment on the signs, when he felt his car jolt forward slightly.
“Smart,” called Anté as he maneuvered his car to avoid being hit an oncoming car, “whatever you do, stay in the car!”
“Why?” shouted Max as he cut his wheel and turned into another car.
“If you step outside of this car while the ride is running, you’ll get electrocuted from the current running in the wires that connect the cars to the track in the ceiling,” hollered Anté as he steered away from a pimply faced boy that was trying to side swipe him.
“Anté, I know perfectly well how bumper cars work! I can handle this myself,” sniffed Max as he proceeded to plow his car into a little yellow car that was being driven by a very hefty and very tattooed woman.
The next five minutes of Maxwell Smart's life were a constant cycle of scanning the rink for possible Kaos agents and extracting his bumper car from other bumper cars. He noticed that one of the drivers that regularly rear ended him was a swarthy man with an eye patch draped across his right eye. Taking every precaution necessary, Max finally managed to steer past the man in eye patch and crash into Anté.
"Smart," hissed Anté, leaning over to Max as another car plowed into them, "I think we're being watched! Have you seen the man in the eye patch before?"
"No," admitted Max as the burly tattooed woman plowed her car into his rear bumper, "but I've definitely seen his Kaos insignia patch before!"
"This is just swell," snapped Anté, sarcastically. He noticed that more and more cars, including the one driven by the Kaos agent, were piling up around them. "We're both sitting ducks, Smart!"
"Well it's not all gravy, you know," Max reminded him.
At that point every car in the rink was rammed into another car. Max looked up from the tangle of bumper cars in time to watch Anté be the first to break free from the pile-up. As expected, the man in the eye patch was the next to pull out from the melee. Seeing his opportunity to slow down Anté’s pursuer, Max pulled out his gun and aimed it at the Kaos agent. Max pulled the trigger just as his car jolted forward, causing him to misfire and drop his gun out onto the floor. Anté whizzed past him again with the Kaos agent on his tail. Before Max could even blink, the two had disappeared.
“That’s strange,” remarked Max. “Where did they go?”
“Through the garage door, ding-a-ling,” snapped the tattooed woman, leaning into Max’s car.
Max looked over at the wall that everyone else seemed to be gaping at and discovered that there was indeed a white washed garage door smack in the middle of it. The bumper cars then clicked off and the crowd of gapers disbursed while Max remained in his car. He looked down at his watch and wondered how long Kaos would take before they shipped Anté back to the NEA out of frustration.
Lucy settled into her seat as her car began to creep forward in the Tunnel of Loath. She looked over at Hymie who was smiling a lopsided grin at her. Lucy smirked to herself and stared at the walls of the tunnel. Aside from being lined with torches, they were practically wallpapered with the Kaos emblem.
“Lucy,” said Hymie in a low voice, “my super-sensitive-sticky-situation-sensor is going off.”
“Then tell it to stop,” shrugged Lucy.
“I can’t. It’s trying to tell us we’re in trouble,” explained Hymie as he put a protective arm around her.
Lucy was about to squirm away from the amorous robot when she saw something fall into their car. Squinting, she could see a multi-legged and spindly creature moving across her shoe. Screaming, she shook it off and jumped right into Hymie’s lap.
Hymie then reached down, still balancing Lucy on his lap, and picked up the creature. It was, as far as Lucy could tell, a spider. Hymie, since he had a 200+ IQ, could tell that too. What he could not tell, though, was whether the spider was poisonous. He decided to do an analysis of the pest’s composition, and moved to stick it in his mouth. Lucy, however, grabbed him by the wrist and shook his hand so that the creature broke free.
“What were you trying to do?” hissed Lucy as the spider bounced into the car behind them.
“I was going to test it for poison,” explained Hymie in a matter of fact tone.
“Don’t you think that it could have been hazardous to your health?”
“Actually,” said Hymie, “spider poison is good for my wiring.”
Lucy raised an eyebrow and shook her head. "Uh… okay. Hymie, I believe I have a personal problem. It’s Jack… I just don’t know what to—"
Lucy’s emotional outpouring was then cut off by a thud in the front of the car. Lucy sat up in the seat and discovered that one of the torches had fallen into the row of seats in front of them. Within seconds they were sitting directly behind a blazing furnace. Lucy cringed as the ride continued to move. She then began to wish that she had sought out all fire exits before hopping on the ride.
“Hymie, I hate to complain, but—"
“That’s all robots are good for—complaints!” moaned Hymie. “You get fruit cake and socks for Christmas, but all I get is complaints. I never even get to unwrap my complaints! You get pretty paper, pretty ribbons…”
“Just hold your britches there, Roy Orbison28.,” snapped Lucy. "What I was going to say was—"
“You were going to start complaining about how you think Anté takes you for granted! Then you were going to ask me for advice. I think that was cruel, rude, and inconsiderate on your part, Lucy,” frowned Hymie.
“Yes,” nodded Lucy, squirming in her seat, “but that’s all in the past. Hymie, I think we ought to leave.”
“That’s not fair, Lucy,” pouted Hymie. “Just because you like Anté better than me doesn’t mean that we can’t finish the ride together.”
It was then that a shot rang out. Lucy cringed and ducked down in the seat while Hymie continued to sulk. Another shot fired and recoiled off of Hymie’s shoulder. Lucy then pulled out her gun and aimed in the direction the shots were coming from. She then pulled the trigger only to hear the click of a blank. Lucy moaned and then pulled a slingshot, her back-up weapon, from her purse. As she started to take aim again, she recalled that she had no ammunition with her. She looked over at Hymie and thought about tearing one of the buttons off of his jacket. That idea, however, was out of the question since the robot was already angry with her. She then looked down into the seat behind and spied the spider staring up at her.
“Hymie, pick that spider up and stick it in my slingshot,” commanded Lucy, thrusting the slingshot at him.
Hymie did as he was told and then turned to Lucy for approval. “What do you want me to do with it?”
Hymie then pulled out his pistol and shot the spider. “Now what?”
“Hymie!” cried Lucy, slapping her hand on her forehead. “I wanted you to shoot the spider at the guy that’s trying to kill us!”
Lucy then snatched the gooey, spidery, slingshot from the robot and stomped her foot on the floor out of frustration. The ride came to an abrupt stop, leaving her and Hymie to bounce around in their seat. Seeing their window of opportunity, the two then made their way out of the car and onto a ledge that ran along the walls of the tunnel.
As they sauntered along the narrow ledge, the ride groaned and creaked to a shaky restart. Amidst the hum of the motor, gunfire began to crack through the air again. Lucy looked over her shoulder just as the car that carried the Kaos agent in the trench coat was about to pass her. Knowing they were easy targets, she tried to think of a way to stall. She glared at the Kaos agent and then grabbed the torch that was jutting out from the wall beside her.
“Say your prayers, Bently,” sneered the Kaos agent.
Lucy turned and smiled at the Kaos agent. “God bless Prometheus!29.”
The Kaos agent tossed her a confused look. He then poised to shoot just as Lucy threw the torch into his car. Startled, the man dropped his pistol and looked down into the car. Breathing a small sigh of relief Lucy and Hymie continued to slither along the wall to an emergency exit a few feet away. As the two lunged through the doors and into the daylight, they found themselves walking directly into a disheveled Maxwell Smart.
“It’s about time,” remarked Max, looking down at his watch.
“I thought it was about the time machine,” said Hymie.
Max shook his head and pulled a cigarette out of his cigarette case. “Lucy, I don’t know how to break this too you, but Anté drove his bumper car right into ‘the old hidden garage door in the bumper car rink trick.’”
Lucy looked down at the ground and then back up at Max. “Gee… I hope he was wearing his seatbelt.”
After Max and Lucy exchanged notes on their problems and their pursuers, they decided to stick together. Lucy made the suggestion that they stick together outside of the park, but Max adamantly refused and lead them into another roller coaster line. His rational was that Kaos was trying to scare them away from the park for a reason. It was some 60 long minutes later, though, that his rational was to be proved correct.
“Lucy,” whispered Max as he began to fidget in line, “don’t tell me that the man in the trench coat that’s wearing the vulture mask is behind us.”
“The man in the trench coat that’s wearing the vulture mask is behind you, Max,” droned Hymie. “I thought you should know since you requested that Lucy not speak on the matter.”
Max rolled his eyes at Hymie while Lucy took a deep breath. According to the sign they passed, they still had two and a half hours to wait in line. That was approximately two and a half hours of waiting for the Kaos agent behind them to make his move. Lucy, however, decided that she just could not wait any more.
“We’ve got to get out of here,” she whispered to Max and Hymie as the line started to move again.
“Maybe we’re jumping to conclusions about that guy back there,” said Max, hoping he could put off what was most definitely an inevitable entanglement with Kaos.
“Max! He tried to kill Hymie and me in The Tunnel of Loath!” Lucy reminded him, stomping her foot on the ground for emphasis.
“Alright,” nodded Max. “I think we should have Hymie ask OPAL about this before we do anything rash.”
“I can’t Max,” frowned Hymie. “OPAL’s not speaking to me anymore. It claims you transmitted too many stupid questions earlier.”
Max gave Hymie a poisonous look and took off his shoe. “We’ll just have to try dial-up whether OPAL likes it or not.”
Lucy pulled a modem cable out of Hymie’s back pocket and plugged it into the phone jack on bottom of Max’s shoe. She then pressed his tie tack and, after a few minutes of dialing and redialing, Hymie’s modem began to squeal. A second later a long piece of tickertape pushed through his lips. Lucy tore off the tickertape and read it.
“OPAL claims that there is a mole in the NEA and that he’s probably standing right behind us,” read Lucy, looking up at Max. “Does that answer your question?”
“No!” retorted Max, as he unhooked his shoe from Hymie and put it back on. “That was a pretty vague message and, furthermore, it failed to give me a good reason not to be concerned.”
“Max, I think we should hop the railing and blow this joint,” suggested Lucy.
“Lucy, have you no respect for rules or common courtesy? The signs clearly say that absolutely positively no line jumping will be tolerated!” said Max, motioning towards a sign above their head that was marked with a skull and crossbones.
“Max,” interrupted Hymie, “my super sensitive sticky situation sensory mechanism has just picked up the scent of nitroglycerin.”
“I didn’t know that nitro had a smell,” commented Max.
“Who cares!” cried Lucy. “Max, we’re leaving! This assignment is not worth winding up in a casket!”
“Lucy,” said Max in a firm tone, “remember your duty! The fate of the free world is at stake!”
“I don’t make enough money to be concerned with the free world! Anyhow, if we leave now, we still have a shot at finding the time machine,” she reminded Max.
In one synchronized move, Max, Lucy, and Hymie all hopped over the railing faster than an unexpected sneeze. As soon as their feet touched the ground on the other side of the railing, sirens began to wail throughout the park. That, however, failed to phase even one of the granite faced park patrons. The trio then darted through the crowds and made their way to the exit. Lucy was about to push her way through the turnstile she was approaching when the trench coated figure appeared in the ticket booth and aimed a gun at her through the bars.
“Leaving without a pass Bently?” sneered the man.
Max defensively pulled Lucy back to him. “Don’t move,” he whispered in her ear. He then turned to the trench coated man and managed a nervous smile. “We’ve decided to stay a bit longer! Last one to the Chinese acrobats is a rotten egg!”
“Hold it, Smart,” said the man as he slowly stepped out of the booth, his gun still trained on them. “You have the most annoying habit of bungling up my assassination attempts!”
“But you screw things up so well!” said Max in a cheery voice. “Don’t you want to take credit for your fine workmanship?”
“Stop stalling, Smart!” barked the man, cocking his pistol. “This is the end!”
“Look out there!” exclaimed Max, pointing to something behind the man in the trench coat. “It’s Jim Morrison!”
The man turned around and moved to the turnstile. Just as Max was about to pull out his gun, the man bumped against the turnstile. The next second was filled with a series of screams, hissing, and popping that seemed to bounce about in Max’s ears even after the incident had ended.
“He’s dead,” gasped Lucy, cautiously peeking at the body from behind Hymie.
“Who?” asked Max. “Jim Morrison or that Kaos killer over there?”
“Both –but how?”
“The Kaos agent was electrocuted,” explained Hymie as he walked over to the turnstile and touched one of the bars. A series of sparks shot into the air and voltage raced through Hymie’s wires. He pulled his finger away and smoke began to emerge from his collar. Hymie then turned to Max and Lucy and smiled. “I think it likes me.”
Max then knelt down near the Kaos agent and pulled off his floppy fedora and dark sunglasses to reveal the half snarl and half smirk of the vulture mask. He then yanked off the mask and did a double take at what it had been hiding. The face staring up at him with bulging vacant eyes was none other than Admiral Dushinka. Max knitted his brow in confusion and looked at a slack jawed Lucy.
“Dushinka was the mole?” asked Max.
“That’s right, Schmart,” said a familiar voice in his ear.
Max turned around to see that Seigfried was standing behind him with a gun aimed at Lucy’s head. “Well, Seigfried, it’s too bad for you that we found out about it because now you’re going directly to jail!”
“Wrong, Schmart!” smirked Seigfried, pulling a wriggling Lucy closer to him, “It’s too bad for you because now you and the young lady will die!”
Max sighed. “I knew it was too bad for somebody.”
Seigfried then snapped his fingers and barked some sort of garbled command. Instantaneously, and almost magically, Shtarker appeared with a very large toolbox tucked under his arm. He then marched over to Hymie and started to open the robot’s gearbox. Hymie, however, responded to this invasion of privacy by plowing Shtarker in the nose.
“Schmart, tell your robot friend to cooperate or I’ll blow Miss Bently’s pretty little face apart,” growled Seigfried.
Hymie frowned and opened up his gearbox. He then pushed a small red button that caused the whirring of a motor for half a minute. Then Hymie slumped over on top of Shtarker.
“He hit the 'Panic' button,” explained Max. “It shuts him down completely.”
“Very well,” sighed Seigfried. “Shtarker, finish dismantling the robot and meet us at the midway.”
“Seigfried,” frowned Max, “you’ve stooped to an even lower level of deceit! It’s one thing to kill a spy, but it’s another thing when you start fooling around with Microsoft!”
“Thank-you, Schmart!” smiled Seigfried.
“Now, Schmart,” smiled Seigfried as he lead them through Vinnyville’s midway, “since I am in need of entertainment, I have decided to recruit you and your lovely assistant here as my new carnies.”
“What if I told you I have stage fright?” asked Max
“Relax, Max!” smiled Seigfried, giving Max a playful punch in the arm. “You get to work in the dunking booth! Shtarker! Get out here!”
Shtarker then appeared from behind a building. Lucy took one look at him and burst out laughing. Max, trying to stifle a smirk, could not blame her since Shtarker’s new attire of a straw hat and a red and white striped sports coat made him look more like an overgrown candy cane than a side show barker.
After he growled a particularly nasty comment at the still laughing Lucy, Shtarker grabbed Max by the arm and pushed him into another nearby booth. Max then, hoping to avoid another one of Shtarker’s shoves, walked out onto a platform that overlooked the midway. Hoping he could manage to climb down, he peered over the edge to see that below him was what appeared to be the largest jar he had ever seen. It was filled to its brim with a briny and sour smelling liquid that really did not resemble water. Max winced and turned on his heal only to run head first into Shtarker’s chest.
“What is that?” scoffed Lucy as she squinted at the glass jar.
“I have decided,” smiled Seigfried, “not only to put Mr. Smart in a pickle, but also to make him a pickle all in one delightfully rotten move.”
“A pickle?” asked Max, wrinkling his nose. “Surely Kaos could come up with a better death trap than… this.”
“No Kaos cannot do better than this,” snapped Shtarker. “and don’t call Seigfried Shirley.”
“Shtarker,” sighed Lucy while Max and Seigfried exchanged confused glances, “this is Kaos! We don’t do Airplane30.jokes here!”
“Seigfried,” said Max, “it would be much more considerate if we let ladies go first.”
“Thanks a bundle, Max,” snapped Lucy as she shot him a dirty look.
“Sorry Schmart,” said Seigfried as he smiled his wickedest smile at Lucy, “but I have other plans for the cute little Fräulein. This device is Kaos’ version of the ducking stool –only you don’t get a stool. Miss Bently, here, will be the one who gets to drown you.”
“What if I don’t want to?” asked Lucy.
Seigfried stared down at the girl and muttered something under his breath. “If you don’t button your lips while I’m explaining things, then I’ll shoot them both off of you!” Seigfried then regained his composure and turned back to Max. “Miss Bently will be throwing baseballs at the target that is hung above the platform. Once the target is hit, Schmart, the floor below you will break away and you will fall into the vat of vinegar below while Shtarker seals the jar with its lid.”
Max winced and then turned to Shtarker who was nonchalantly leaning up against a life size jar lid. “Shtarker, what would you say to the idea of you trading places with me?”
“Don’t worry, Max” called Lucy as she eyed the red bull's-eye target that hung just above Max’s head, “I’ll never be able to hit that bull's-eye so you have nothing to worry about!”
“That is where you are wrong, Miss Bently,” smirked Seigfried. “I took into consideration your lack of coordination when I built this, so you don’t have to hit the bull's-eye in order to drown Smart.”
“Why do I think this is really all too bad?” asked Lucy.
“Because you have to hit the bull's-eye to keep him alive,” said Seigfried as an evil glint began to glow in his eyes. “It’s every other area on the board that, if hit, will cause the floor to open.”
Max and Lucy exchanged pained glances. They were now positioned right in the middle of their ultimate demise, which really did not seem all that attractive. Max then straightened his posture, cleared his throat, and looked squarely at Seigfried.
“I just want to know one thing before you kill me, Seigfried,” said Max. “Will I be a kosher dill or a sweet gherkin?”Updated 8-9-01
COPYRIGHT ©1999-2016 BY AMANDA HAVERSTICK.
Max get out of this pickle? Find out in Part Eight which is Here!)
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