Portrait of the geek as a young man: Author Robert Gillis hard at work writing, 1985.
Portrait of the geek as a young man: Author Robert Gillis hard at work writing a story on his trusty TI-99 4/a computer, 1985.

by Robert Gillis, 1985

Historians note:

Back in the 1980s my friends and I (especially David, JB and I) liked to write stories featuring ourselves in science fiction / Star Trek type scenarios. This is one such adventure.

As we went our separate ways to college, writing these silly stories was one way for us to keep in touch and continue the madness. There are a billion in-jokes and “you had to be there” moments in this one but I’m not changing a thing — this is how we were.

The story is very typical of the type of nonsense we wrote back then and yes, it is a shameless ripoff of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. The running gag was that our buddy Robert Fuller was VERY into psychology and psychoanalysis, so I stole the Trek III idea and put Fuller’s “Katra” into David’s mind, then paralleled that Trek movie’s storyline to a ridiculous conclusion. If you haven’t seen Star Trek III, skip this one, because it won’t make sense at all.

As before, some of the names have been changed so I don’t get yelled at.

As with the other stories, none of this happened … Except there did exist a very dangerous Buick Regal, Texas Instruments computers, and JB was forever speaking of building robots named Floyd and gamma-xray lasers, and … Well, the players here exactly match my memory of who my friends were back then — that I’m sure someplace in a parallel universe this story has occurred. Either that or I’m off my meds again. In either case, enjoy.

“STAR TREK” is a registered trademark of and © CBS (or Paramount Pictures, a division of Viacom Corp). This story is fan fiction and absolutely no copyright infringement is intended by anything on these pages.

By Robert Gillis
Written 1985-1986

Robert Fuller’s car, the Buick Regal Flamemobile, is where this story begins. After being involved in a bad accident that resulted in the disappearance of the car’s owner, Dave McEntire, John Matthews and Bob Gillis are taking the alleged vehicle back home to Quincy.

“USS Flamemobile, acting captain’s personal log: With most of our accident damage repaired we are almost home. Yet, I feel uneasy, and I wonder why. Perhaps it is the emptiness of this vessel, or the erratic behavior of Dave McEntire. Bill Collins and John Bourke have elected to continue looking for Fuller in New Hampshire. And Flamemobile feels like a house with all the children gone. No, more empty even than that. The mysterious disappearance of Fuller is like an open wound; like a dying flower in the autumn twilight. Like a — ”

“Aw, shut up, Bob, willya?” John muttered.

“Sorry, John. Status?”

“Dave is sound asleep. If you continue the Shatner imitation, your status will be vaporized. Poor Fuller. This vacation really sucked. I wonder if we’ll ever see him again?”

Bob sighed. “I don’t know. John, How much refit time before we can take her out again?”

“Eight weeks, Bob. But you don’t have eight weeks because I’m going to destroy Earth next Tuesday. Refit? Ha! This car should be blown up!”


Thirty miles north of Burlington Vermont, a jeep pulled onto a deserted road. The driver, a mysterious woman in a veil, turned on the CB and spoke into it.

“Commander Crude, this is Valkrispies. I have purchased the Genesis data,” she said in Russian.

There was a crackle of static, then the response came. “Well done! Disengage hiding device!” With that, a fake piece of scenery flopped over to reveal a black van.

Valkrispies stepped out, tossed a blue soft cover book into the van, and got back into her jeep. Taking the mike, she said, “Transmission complete.”

Crude perused the book: A copy of the script for STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK.

Valkrispies then stupidly added, “You will find it interesting.”

Crude spun. “Then… You have seen it?”

“I have, my Lord.”

“Farewell, my summer love.” Crude tossed a small fusion bomb into the jeep, blasting it into many tiny flaming pieces. Then, he addressed the driver. “New course: North Conway, New Hampshire. Oh — Feed Hooty the radioactive owl, and check to see if the lemon squares are done baking.”


“Bob, this is not possible!”

Bob accelerated a little more, swerving between lanes. “John?”

“An energy reading, from the trunk!”

“John, I ordered the trunk sealed!”

“Oh, pardonnnezzzz-moi, Bubby! Had I known you’d ORDERED it sealed, I would’ve maybe paid a little attention to your ceaseless babbling.”

“I’m on my way. Have a security team meet me there.”

As John rolled his eyes, Bob swooped into the breakdown lane, causing three accidents, and stepped out to open the trunk.


Bob froze. It was unmistakably Fuller’s voice.

“You left me… In New Hampshire… Why did you do that… Help me!”

Bob ripped open the trunk. Dave squinted in the bright sunlight and put down a copy of Freud’s Civilization and its Discontents.

“Help me Bob! Take me home…”

“Dave, what are you doing in the trunk? We are home!”

“Then perhaps it’s not too late! Climb the steps, Bob! Climb the steps of Mount Michigan!”

“Mount Michigan? Dave, Mount Michigan is near Montigo Bay. We’re home! In Boston!”

Dave slumped in Bob’s arms. “REMEMBER!”


Finally, they arrived at Fuller’s house. Admiral Morrow, the Commander of Starfleet, watched in awe as the Flamemobile docked in the front yard of Fuller’s home.

Morrow strode over and said, “You’ve all done remarkably well. You’ll be receiving Starfleet’s highest commendation, and more importantly, a Mr. Spock lunch box.”

John smiled. “Thank you, sir. How long until the car is repaired?”

“I’m sorry, Mr. Matthews, but there will be no refit.”

“But Admiral!” Bob cried.

“Bob, the Flamemobile is getting old! We feel that her day is over.”

Bob stammered, “But we’d requested… We’d hoped to take her back to New Hampshire.”

“That is out of the question.”

“May I ask why?”

“In your absence, The Flamemobile has become a neighborhood controversy.”


Meanwhile, Crude’s men finished reading the script. Crude indicated that he wanted some opinions. One of his henchmen, Skippy, groveled, “Great power to zap, kill and mutilate!”

Crude nodded to another henchmen, Wally. The second responded, “Sir, with all respect, this is a script for a movie! Genesis was a special effect in Star Trek — ”

“FOOL!” Crude exploded. “That’s precisely what the United States wants us to think! This is the ultimate weapon! Even more so than SDI, or the anti-matter Frisbee! It says right here that Genesis has already created an entire world! We shall go to this government agency called PARAMOUNT at the New Hampshire headquarters.”


Bill and JB looked at the blinking device Bill had brought along. It was beeping and displaying the words “LIFE FORM” repeatedly.

“I don’t believe it,” JB said.

“What is it?”

“A human life form. Could it be Fuller?”

“Hmmm. I hope so. C’mon.”

“Wait, Bill. Let me clear the path.” He produced something that looked like a compact disc and whipped it into a clump of trees. They, and a small lake, vanished into purple smoke.

“Fabulous, JB. Just fabulous.”


“To absent friends.”

John, Bob and Dave clinked their Coke cans together. “How do you feel, Dave? Any better?”

Dave cocked an eyebrow and crossed his arms. “Are you frustrated, Bob?”

“No, why?”

“It’s just the way you’re holding that can.”

“Dave — ”

Dave plopped onto the couch and curled up. “Getting defensive, eh?” Instantly asleep, he fell to the floor with a solid thud.

Suddenly, the doorbell gonged. Bob skipped over and opened the door. A hooded figure with pointed ears and graying hair entered. John placed his drink down. “Hey, Mark Lenard!”

“Ambassador, what brings you to Boston?” Bob asked.

Lenard looked pretty ticked off, even for a Vulcan. “Fuller. Why did you leave him in New Hampshire?”

“I had no choice in the matter. Say — I thought you were great in the Actors play. Wanna Pepsi?”

“Fuller. Why did you leave him in New Hampshire?”

“Oh,” John explained, “he got lost after the accident. It wasn’t his fault, but he went flying through the windshield. When we all came to, he was gone.”

“Only his body was in death, Matthews! You denied him his future, and that not of the body, his soulthingy, his katra!”

“Wha?” asked Bob.

John sighed. “You humans are so stupid! His soul, Bob!”

Lenard stepped forward. “May I join your mind, Gillis?”

“No. Then you’ll know all my dark secrets.”

“It is necessary. I must see if Fuller mind-melded with you.”

John laughed again. “He couldn’t have. Bob’s first act would have been to toss out his Enterprise model.”

“Then perhaps he mind-melded with you, Matthews?”

“Nope. We of the Valinor do not allow such things. We haven’t used our telepathic ability for what you might call an infinite amount of time.”

“Then…” Lenard stepped over Dave’s body, “…Who could he have joined with?”

Bob shrugged and poured another Pepsi. John muttered something about, “It’s always the Valinor who does the dirty work,” and began altering Bob’s TV.

“Hey, c’mon, John! Sheena Easton’s new video is on in ten minutes!”

“This won’t take long. Mark, I’ve utilized Valinorian technology, and modified Bob’s TV. Watch.”

EARTH DATE JUNE 1, 1985 3:31 PM

“Go,” John instructed, and an image formed. The Flamemobile rounded a corner at 101 mph and took down three trees as it plunged through the guardrail. Fuller went flying through the windshield, and the other occupants were knocked out.

“Back, Point 30,” John barked. The video scrambled and backed up.

EARTH DATE JUNE 1, 1985 3:30 PM


The Flamemobile sped down the road, burning rubber. Dave was screaming at Fuller. “Don’t you know you could kill someone driving like this?”

JB added, “Yeah! How about the rules of the road? Remember them?”

The radio was playing Bruce Springsteen’s “Wreck on the highway” so loudly that Fuller could not hear. As he swerved to avoid a dead chipmunk, he yelled, “REMEMBER? WHAT DID YOU SAY? REMEMBER WHAT?” The car flipped up on two wheels, and Fuller’s head bumped Dave’s.

“Freeze!” John suddenly yelled. Bob and Lenard stared transfixed at the screen as John ordered, “REPEAT AND AUGMENT!”

Bob whispered, “Augment?”

“Make bigger,” Lenard explained.


The image flashed again. “REMEMBER!”

“McEntire!” John shuddered.

“Yeah?” They all looked at Dave, who was suddenly awake. “Hey, guys! What’s up?”

“Dave! Are you okay?”

“Just fine, Bob! Say, mister, did you know you look a lot like Mark Lenard! By the way, where’s Fuller?”

“Missing, Dave. Remember? REMEMBER?”

“Oh, That’s right. Geez, look at the time! I’ll be late for work. Well, bye!”

He left.

John batted Bob’s yo-yo off the recliner. “What must we do?”

Lenard reflected. “You must bring them both to Mount Michigan, at Montigo Bay. Only there, can both find peace.”


The next day in New Hampshire, Bill waved to JB and gestured him toward the scene of the accident. There were skid marks, smashed glass, metal, charred trees, a little radioactive fallout, and a crater one quarter mile in diameter.

JB looked around. “I think this is about where it happened, Bill. Find anything?”

Bill held up a jacket. “His coat. He may be still alive.”

“So, what do we do now?”

“We keep looking. I, for one, would like to know who’s doing all that screaming we keep hearing. I’d also like to know why the clouds are red. Any ideas, JB?”

JB squirmed for a moment, then said, “Hey, did I show you this?” He pulled out his lightsabre.

“Oh, JB! Put that thing away!”

“Look, Bill! I fixed it!” The weapon proceeded to release a rainbow-colored beam, causing a major forest fire.

“Good move, JB. Just swell.”


Later, Dave sat down at a table in one of the more expensive restaurants of the Back Bay. An observer would note that he seemed to be having a conversation with himself.

He was.

“Tacky. Very Tacky. Only you could choose a place like this, Dave.”

“Shut up, Fuller.”

“Dave — ”

“Fuller — ”

An attractive waitress, Felicity by name, placed a menu on the table. “Long time, Dave!”

“Yeah. Anyone been looking for me?”

“Every girl in town has. What’ll it be?”

“Pina Colada.”

She laughed. “That’s not your usual poison!”

“Make it a cola,” he amended.

As the waitress walked away, a distinguished yet bizarre looking foreign man sat down at Dave’s table. “Your city welcome!”

Dave gave him a bemused look. “That’s my line, stranger.”

“Oh! Forgive! I here am new, yet you are known, being McEntire from Harvard!”

“Sir, this is a private table. You are?”

“Oh, I name not important! You seek I! Message received! Available license here.” He tapped his pocket.

“Good. How much?”

“How much is WHERE.” The weird man ordered scrambled eggs on pizza, lobster, a head of lettuce and a side order of Snickers bars.

“Somewhere… Around here.” Dave whispered.

“Oh, around here restricted by Back Bay Association. Ice cream store build not around here!”

“Look, Newbury is a great location for a store! There are lots of people and I could sell croissants. Convince the Back Bay Association that I must have that location!”

“Newbury allowed is not! Is zoning law forbidden!”

“Excuse me, gentlemen, but your voices are carrying.” A very large man slid into the booth. “The Back Bay Association doesn’t like talk of Newbury in public.”

Dave said, “No Fuller! Don’t!” as his hand picked up the glass of cola and tossed it in the newcomer’s face. He smiled. “Don’t blame Dave. I did it. Now I’ll psychoanalyze you.”

The stranger grabbed Dave. “Back Bay Security, sir. You’re coming with me.”


“…Make it quick, Mr. Gillis. They’re moving him to Mattapan Mental Hospital.”

Bob nodded sympathetically as the Station 11 officer unlocked Dave’s cell. “Yes, my poor friend. I hear he’s fruity as a fruitcake with fruit in it.”

The guard left (it was time to for “All my Children”) as Bob shook Dave awake.

“What took you so long?” Dave demanded.

“Look, I don’t know how to tell you this, so I’ll just say it. Fuller somehow mind-melded with you.”

“That son of a bitch! It’s his revenge for all those chess games he lost, and all those arguments he lost, and all those debates he lost, and all those…”

Meanwhile, John walked over to the officer at the desk. “I’m here for the Terran McEntire.”

“McEntire… Oh, yeah. The nut in cell 29. What’s YOUR name?”

“Matthews. John Matthews.”

“Are you related to this McEntire guy?”

“I consider all humans my children.”

“And what’s your occupation, Mr. Matthews?”

“I create and destroy multiverses. I want McEntire released immediately, or I unleash the wrath of the Anti-Fluffy.”

The officer stepped back. “Stay right there, weirdo.”

John flipped the officer over his shoulder and onto the floor, knocking them both senseless. All of the other pol
ice were at Doughboy Donuts, so Bob easily whisked Dave out. When John woke up, he kicked the officer in the side, then added, “Don’t call me weirdo!”

Bob flipped open his wallet. “Unit two to unit one: The Kobayashi Maru has set sail for the Promised Land.”

John frowned. “Oh, grow up, Bob! Be normal for once, huh?”

Dave put on his jacket. “We’re riding out tonight to case the Promised Land?”

Bob smiled. “What are friends for?”


Hours later, the three arrived at Fuller’s house. John broke the window and climbed into the garage, and soon all were working on the car. While Dave wired his Texas Instruments 99/4a computer into the console, and John tinkered with the engine and crossed wires, Bob had neatly stenciled “NCC 1701” on the passenger side door.

“Engage auto systems. Clear all moorings.”

“Get a life, Bob,” John muttered, finally starting the car. He floored the accelerator and crashed through the doors.

“John,” Dave said, “The MDC Police are coming over the hill! They’re powering up, with orders to pursue.”

“The MDC? But this isn’t their jurisdiction!”

“That never stopped them before. Move it!”

As the wounded Buick sped down the road, Dave yelled, “Six MDC vehicles are right behind us, and they are readying the psionic laser weapons. We’ll need everything you have!”

John giggled his chipmunk giggle as a tornado touched down and sucked all of the police vehicles into a parallel universe.

Bob’s mouth fell open. “John, how… No. This is impossible.”

“How many clues do I have to give you before you catch on, Bob? Best speed to New Hampshire!”


It was snowing in June again, and Bill was sure JB had something to do with it. In a small igloo with a “GO AWAY” sign on it, they’d located the lifesign. It was Fuller, exactly as they’d last seen him.

“He’s alive!” JB said.

“Obviously. I’ll try to talk to him.” He addressed Fuller. “Can you speak?”

“Gleep? Blooch vnarp?” Fuller replied, looking strangely annoyed that he could not properly express himself.

“Damn. He’s mindless. He must’ve transferred his soulthingy into someone else just prior to almost dying.”

JB crossed his arms. “How do you know all of this, Bill?”

Bill shrugged. “Wild guess.”

JB whipped open a communicator. “Floyd, This is JB. Come in, Mister Roboto!”

Back at Bill’s car, the little robot replied, “BLOOP! HI, JAYBEE! WHERE YOU AM?”

“Floyd, we have found the reading. It’s Fuller! He’s alive!”


“Floyd, just lock onto us and PORT us back to the car!”


“Floyd! Standby for evasive!”


“No, you self-aware garbage can! Get the hell out before the Russians spot you!”


In the Russian van, Crude said, “Gunner, target only the photon control and warp drive. Fire!”

Bill’s car and Floyd instantly evaporated like so much cheese-whiz.

“I wanted prisoners, you idiot!” Crude shouted as he machine-gunned the hand-grenade thrower.

Wally waved his hand. “Commander Crude, I’m reading life signs that way. Perhaps the very movie-makers…” He paused as Crude pointed the machine gun at him and amended, “…Perhaps the very scientists you seek.”

JB tightly gripped the communicator. “Jaybee … I mean JB calling Floyd! Come in, Floyd!”

“Forget it, JB. It’s those stupid Russians again. Let’s get the hell out of here before they find us!”

They grabbed Fuller and fled.


On Route 93 North, the Flamemobile whizzed at quasi-warp. Inside, Bob put down his CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS comic book and tapped John on the shoulder. “Is there supposed to be an eclipse or something today?”

John shook his head. “No. It must be JB. Boy, it’s getting dark.”

Bob nodded. “JB’s really gone overboard this time. Even the leaves are changing colors: Red, blue, cyan…”

Dave said in Fuller’s voice, “These computers are so useless. Gillis, you only like them because of Star Trek anyway. All ahead two thirds, Admiral Bonehead!”

“Listen, you!”

“He’s gone, Bob.”


“For the moment.”

“Hey!” John said. “Look at the sky!”


Bill, JB and Fuller took cover in a cave just as Mount Washington exploded. Volcanic ash fell in sixteen colors.

“Another little extra touch, JB?”

“Bill — ” said JB.

“Zwoopy gralley bnark?” Fuller demanded.

“Look, I won’t go into the fact that New Hampshire is having weather that is by definition impossible if you answer me one question. WHAT WENT WRONG?”

JB sighed. “I used Nutrasweet in the Genesis matrix.”

Bill blanched. “Nutrasweet? NUTRASWEET? JB, that stuff’s been denounced by every ethical scientist in the galaxy!”

“It was the only way to solve certain problems. How do you think I was able to make lavender colored ash? Besides, it regenerated Fuller, didn’t it?”

“Vuggy vnerp!” Fuller affirmed.

“Well, most of him.”

JB began toying with something Bill knew wasn’t due to be invented for three centuries. “Relax, Bill! It’s not like this will cause the Earth to rapidly age or anything! Well, not a whole lot, anyway. Look, you know me!”

“This is true. Wait, did you hear that?”

“Those Russians are getting closer.”

“I’ll go.”

“No, Bill. You stay here with Fuller. Look at this!” He ripped out a gleaming sword, tipped with a nuclear disintegrater. At the touch of a button, it sprouted a propeller. JB took off like a shot. “Be back soon!”

“Nifty. Just nifty.”


Bob noticed the “Welcome to Conway” sign and said, “We are secure from warp speed. Now entering North Conway sector.”

John pounded his head on the dash. “Make him stop, Dave! I’m an Humanti Valinor, and he’s driving ME crazy! Oh! Why did you ever introduce him to STAR TREK anyway?!”

One of the Russians put down his telescope. “Vessel entering sector!”

“Yes. Federation battle cruiser.”

“No, actually a Buick Regal.”

“Have they scanned us?”

“Not yet.”

“Activate hiding device.”


“I swear there was something there, John.”

“What did you see, Bob?”

“For an instant, a scout-class Russian van.”

“Patch in a hailing frequency.”

Bob grabbed the CB and said, “Breaker, breaker! Any enemy agents out there waiting to ambush us?” After a moment he added, “Nope, guess not. They would’ve answered.”

The Russians woke up Bill and Fuller and tossed them next to JB, who was busily constructing a gamma x-ray laser from some equipment he’d found lying around.

“Hiya, Bill! It was the Russians! Talk about old times, huh? Oh, Floyd’s alive! The shock of the explosion tossed him ahead two weeks in time. I did make a big mistake, though.”

JB pointed to the recently fallen snow he’d created. It was navy blue, and fell in one foot square blocks.

Crude swore. “I’ve come a long way for the secrets of Genesis, and what do I find? A weird American, a sleeping American, and a mindless American.” He pointed at JB. “You will tell me the secret of the Genesis torpedo.”

“Oh, no I won’t!”

“Then I hope broccoli is something you enjoy.”

Wally interrupted. “Sir! Buick Regal approaching!”

Crude grabbed a skateboard. “Exit, stage left!” He zipped into the van. “Status?”

“We are cloaked. Enemy vessel approaching, 5000 fribbles.”

“Good. This is just the turn of luck I’ve been waiting for fate’s deck of cards to shuffle me from the great destiny wheel of fortune.”

“I’m glad, sir.”


“There… That distortion there… Do you see it?”

Bob nodded. “Yes, John. Looks like a matte painting instead of reality.”

“A big
enough matte painting to hide a van, wouldn’t you say, Bob?”

“A hiding device!”

John smiled. “Red alert, Dave.”

Bob screwed a red bulb into the inside light to simulate a battle alert glow. “All power to the weapons systems!”

Dave pressed a few buttons on the TI to get the menu:



Dave selected 3, then asked, “No shields?”

John shook his head. “If my guess is right, they’ll have to de-hide before they can fire.”

“May all of your guesses be right.”

The Russian van was suddenly in plain view, thanks to the timely intervention of a deer running by which knocked over the fake scenery. Bob screamed, “RUSSIAN BIRD OF DEATH, JOHN! SHE’S ARMING TORPEDOES!”

John spat out, “Fire, Dave!”

Grabbing the joystick, Dave pressed the FIRE button. The Flamemobile shot out two photon torpedoes that slammed into the Russian van, making it sputter, wheeze and explode in nine places. Inside, Crude and his buddies were tossed around like oatmeal-filled beanbags. Crude’s owl, Hooty, said, “Damn!” and died.

Crude, to say the least, was not a happy man at this point. “EMERGENCY POWER! KILL THE BASTARD!”

“Good shooting, Dave! Shields up!”

Dave fumbled with the keyboard. “John, the shields are non-responsive!”

John took this in a bad kind of way. “Leave it to Fuller to choose tinted windows over defense screens. I don’t suppose we have a spare hydrogen bomb, either.”

“John, the Russians are returning fire!”

A blinding white flash of light illuminated the wounded Flamemobile. Small fires broke out everywhere. The steering wheel fell off, and the cruise control was totaled.

John brushed some dirt off his face. “Now I am really upset. Dave, can we return fire?”

Dave’s smoldering TI computer was clearly dying. “No way, John. They knocked out the TI EXTENDED BASIC. I’ve got no control over anything!”

“What about you, Bob?”

“Looks pretty bad here, John.”

John grabbed the CB. “Yo! You in the Commie van! This is John Matthews, Humanti Valinor of the third circle, Tricommander, Praetor of the Terran star region.”

Crude scowled. “So … The battle fleet commander himself.”

“Your presence here is an act of war and also won’t do much for your bargaining position in Geneva. If you elect to leave now and promise not to build SDI weapons, I’ll consider not destroying you.”

Crude grabbed the CB. “Humanti Valinor and friends: This is your opponent speaking. By creating this Genesis thingy, you have become intergalactic bad guys! It is not I who will surrender, it is you!”

John spread his hands. “Couldn’t we settle this on The People’s Court?”

“Nope! Not far from here I have three prisoners. I will allow you to speak to them.”

John turned to Bob. “They took prisoners. Can they do that?”

Back at the clearing, Wally thrust a portable CB in front of Bill. Taking it, Bill said, “Hi!”

“Bill! Is JB with you?” Bob asked.

“Yes he is, and someone else: An erratic driver from Quincy of your acquaintance.”

Shocked, Bob stammered, “This… Erratic driver from Quincy… Is he alive?”

“He is not himself, but he lives.”

JB was given the mike. “Hey, dudes! Pretty wild time, huh? How’d you like the weather on the way up?”

Dave said, “I thought the basketball-sized glowing hail had your touch to it, JB.”

Crude rudely interrupted. “Now to show that my intentions are sincere, I shall kill one of my men.”

With that, Wally withdrew a Ginsu knife and stabbed Herbie in the chest six times.

John screamed out, “YOU KLINGON BASTARD! YOU LINGERING STAGNANT MALIGNANT CLOUD! YOU DESTROYER OF OTHER PEOPLE’S FUN!” He collapsed to the floor. “(sob) Okay, (gasp) you win…” (Pause for effect) “I’ll (sniff) surrender. Give me a (choke) minute to inform my crew.”

Crude smiled wickedly. “I give two minutes.”


John climbed back into the seat. “Dave, will the computer still work on voice command?”

“It should, John. What do you want to do?”

“Why, scuttle the Flamemobile, of course. Now is the best excuse we’ve ever had!”

Fuller suddenly became dominant as Dave shouted, “Oh, no you don’t! I’m not letting you destroy my car!” Dave smacked himself on the head with the steering wheel, knocking Fuller’s persona unconscious again. Then he addressed the computer. “Computer, this is Dave McEntire, owner of Dave’s, the ice cream store with the best oreo cookie ice cream in town, period. Request security access.”


“Computer, Destruct sequence one, Code: 1-1-A.”

“Computer, this is John Matthews, Humanti Val — ”


“Good. Destruct sequence two. Code: 1-1-A-2-B.”

“Computer, this is Robert Gillis, author of “The Abucs Scenario,” as well as this book. Destruct sequence three, Code: 1-B-2-B-3.”

The computer took all of this in, then responded:





All three dove from the car. Grabbing a portable CB, John said, “Commie Commander! We’ve all said our tearful good-byes, so please feel free to skip on over and steal the many US military secrets we have hidden in the glove compartment.”

As they raced for cover in the bushes, Crude’s men stormed the Flamemobile. Not being too bright, they all got in and locked the doors. Then, another henchman named Bunny signaled Crude.

“Sir, they’re not here! But the Buick seems to be run by computer. It is the only thing speaking. Listen.”

She placed the CB next to the speech synthesizer.

6… 5… 4…

Crude screamed, “Get out! Get out of there!”

3… 2… 1… ZERO… DESTRUCT.

The computer’s last instruction ordered the matter/antimatter in the wiper fluid to mix, causing a fireball. A chain of explosions began tearing apart the Buick, completely destroying the inside, as well as the Russians. The headlights blazed to life in final glory while the hood cracked apart like an arid desert. The license plate melted away as the entire car was engulfed in hot white light. The explosion that followed launched the Flamemobile right into space, where it arced brilliantly and then burnt up as it plunged back to Earth.

Looking upward, Bob said, “My God, what have we done?”

John responded, “Look, this is something we had to do. Be thankful we had such a nice excuse. Dave, surface life signs?”

There, John.”

(Dave pointed there.)

They raced there, dodging fireballs and volcanic ash. All three agreed to murder JB once they were done. These weather experiments had gone too far. Arriving at the camp, they found Bill, JB, Fuller and Wally.

John zapped the Russian with a phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range, then asked JB, “I suppose this was all planned? The eclipse, the fog actually made out of pea soup, the evaporating lakes — ”

Suddenly, John had just enough time to leap away as purple fire exploded from a nearby tree.

Grinning sheepishly, JB said, “Hey, guys! You know me!”

All replied, “YOU BET WE DO!”

John placed his rifle in its holster and said, “Well, we have to get him out of here. Why, if I’m not mistaken, that’s a Russian communicator.”

He picked it up, and said into it, “Commie Commander! This is John Matthews! Sorry about your crew, but as we say on Earth, It’s not real, it’s Saint Elmo’s Fire. Anyway, we have the secret of Genesis. As a matter of fact, we also have the secret of particle acceleration, relative entropism and underwater lovemaking. Look, human! I want an answer! Are you co
ming down here, or do I tell every hostile planet in the galaxy where Earth is?”

Mount Cranmore shuddered and split in half, and from the cracks, Hershey syrup began to pour. JB said, “So that’s what happens when you mix those two molecules together!”

Crude popped out of nowhere. “Drop all weapons!” He motioned to everyone to get into the van. “Oh, no! Everyone does not include you, Matthews!”

“You should take the Quincy driver, too!” John said.


“Oh, be nice.”

“Genesis! I want it!”

John began filing his nails. He seemed completely oblivious to the fact that it was now raining green fire. “No. I forbid it, human.”

Crude dove for John and punched him in the head. John laughed and retaliated with a series of short quick jabs. Crude kicked John in the shin, and John twisted Crude’s arm.

After this nonsense had gone on for a while, John said, “Yuri Andropov! I thought you were dead!”

Crude spun around, and John pressed the surprise to the fullest as he booted him off a cliff. Then, he decided to have a little mercy. “Give me your hand!”

Crude cursed and tried to pull John to his death as orange clouds rolled in from the west, dropping tornadoes in random locations. A second sun began to rise in the south. Clearly, North Conway was not going to be the usual tourist spot this summer.

John pointed into the burning valley below and shouted, “Crude, help Stalin carry those groceries!”

Crude let go to take the Premier’s shopping bags, only to find himself clutching at empty air. He fell rather ungracefully to his death a mile below.

It began to rain Pepsi-Cola, and the valley exploded as a third sun rose into the sky. John shielded his eyes and muttered something about “getting Bourke for messing up my garden” as he grabbed Fuller and raced to the van. He pounded on the door and said in perfect Russian, “Kindly open the door, Comrade, so I may escape impending death from the firestorm unleashed by Bourke.”

The final henchmen slid the door open, and John yanked him out into the holocaust consuming much of Bartlett, Glen and North Conway. Leaping into the driver’s seat, he said, “Best speed to Mount Michigan.”


Mount Michigan, an almost mythical place overlooking Montigo Bay, finally welcomed the tired searchers. Bob, Dave, JB, Bill and John carried Fuller to the holy temple. Mark Lenard greeted them.

Dave was exhausted. “He’s alive, Mark. Is there some sort of refusion ritual?”

“Yes. The Fal-Tor-Onto. The rejoining. We shall summon the high priestess.”

He passed along the message, and then added, “McEntire, I thank you. What you have done — ”

“What we did, we had to do.”

“But at what cost? The Flamemobile, North Conway, Bartlett, Glen…”

Dave was noble. “If we hadn’t tried, the cost might have been my ice cream store.”

“WHO IS THE KEEPER OF THE SOULTHINGY?” Everyone spun around in the direction of the sexy voice. It was Valerie Bertinelli.

All gaped, and John moaned. “She’s the high priestess?”

Dave stepped forward. “I am the keeper. David McEntire. One man can summon the future. I am that man.”

Bertinelli’s hair fell across her cheek. “My, my, you are a cute one. Okay. I’ve got some time before I have to get back to Eddy’s concert.”

Fuller and Dave were instructed to recline on two stylish chairs. Bertinelli leaned forward and gave Dave the most erotic, sensual, unbelievable kiss ever seen in the history of recorded time. A full twenty-nine minutes later, she finally released him.

Valerie continued, “I have extracted all of Fuller’s soulthingy from McEntire. I shall now transmit it back to its rightful owner, via high-speed transfer.”

She kissed her hand for a brief second, and slapped Fuller on the head. “Transmission complete. Hey, can I have a beer?”

Dave was still reeling from the kiss, and fell down the steps of the alter.

“Dave? Are you okay?”

“Bob, I have never, ever been better in my entire life.”

John addressed Lenard. “What about Fuller?”

“He is well. Observe.”

Fuller walked over. “Wow! That was wild! I was totally mindless.”

Bob made a very exaggerated coughing noise. Fuller continued, “What an unusual experience. Some memories are still cloudy, but you wouldn’t believe the things I found out about Dave. For instance, his pillow is filled with money!”

Everyone lined up, and Fuller took turns greeting each one: “Interesting weather, JB! And Bill, I underestimated your resourcefulness. I’d like to play chess with you sometime.”

He glared at John. “What about my car?”

John smiled. “Think of all the lives I’m saving.”

Fuller looked at Dave for a long moment. “Thank you, Dave. For everything. Perhaps we can learn something about each other from all of this.”

Dave nodded serenely. “Yes. Next time I drive. Excuse me, but Valerie wants to verify that the Fal-Tor-Onto was successful.”

Fuller smiled and walked over to Bob with genuine confusion on his face. “I’m sorry, I can’t…”

Bob saddened. “Don’t you remember?”

Fuller shook his head. “Give me a moment. It’s so confusing, and I have so many half-memories. Wait…” He cocked an eyebrow. “Kirk!”

Bob looked up.

“Your name is Captain Kirk!”

“This is too good to be true,” Bob thought to himself. “Yes, Fuller. Yes. That’s exactly correct.”


© 1986-2007 Robert Gillis

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