Freeing the voices in my head

Posts tagged ‘lab’

Hoisted By Her Own Petard

The Tangled Web of B.L.O.G.

Hoisted By Her Own Petard

The jacket thief had been found and normal secret agent business was still in a lull.  Most of the elite agents of B.L.O.G. indulged in a rare morning to sleep late.  A few took the time to catch up on hobbies and more normal pursuits. High above the unsuspecting sleepers, in the attic of the barracks (which was on the third floor of the large building Marvin, the B.L.O.G. boss, had erected within a gigantic warehouse on the outskirts of town, but that’s his secret) , Doctor Guppa was busy in her secret lab.  Her friend and fellow agent, Saber, had been invited in.

Guppa walked the length of her work table, sniffing at the numerous bubbling flasks suspended over Bunsen burners.  “Oh, excellent. It’s ready.”   She poured the contents of one bottle into two cups.  “Saber, I know I don’t even have to ask – you’ll find the cream in the mini-fridge.  Do you take sugar in your tea?”

Saber nodded, “One lump, please.  And if you tell anyone I drink tea…”

Guppa laughed and finished the statement, “…you’ll shoot me.  I know, dear.  Poor Russian Ralph, but, you know, the eye-patch does add an air to him.”

“Nah, that’s just normal for him.  He hasn’t bathed since the Cold War ended.”  Saber leaned over one of the flasks and sniffed.  “Mmm, this smells good.  Coconut, hibiscus, a hint of saltwater – what is this?”

The scientist gave her friend a wink.  “Insta-Tan in a potion.  Drink one teaspoonful every month and you’ll glow like an island beauty.  Of course, the secret ingredient was provided by Island Bronze, so I must be careful with it. She only gave me enough of her sweat for this batch.”

Saber grinned.  “You’ll make millions, as long as no one else knows the secret.  Good thing your concoctions are nature-based ‘supplements’ – no FDA approval needed.” They both cackled wickedly at that.

“Ah, the life of a secret agent; no one questions what you need to do your job.  Fetch Emma for me, would you?  She’s the only one strong enough to carry all those boxes downstairs in one trip.”

“But, Guppa, she’s a remedial agent and a thief.  How can you trust her?”

“I don’t, dear, but part of her discipline for stealing the jackets and infusing them with my Syrup of Truth Serum is to be my go-fer for six months.   Actually, I admire her
gumption.  I think I shall groom her as my new lab assistant for when you’re out in the field.”

Saber’s grin widened.  “That should be interesting.  Someone new to test your products on.”
She left the lab as Guppa called out, “I apologized for that a hundred times!  And your eyebrows DID grow back!”

Guppa was finishing the note when Saber returned with Emma.  The super-strong trainee scowled at the five boxes by the door.  “I gotta post all of these?”

“Yes, indeed.  Here’s the last packing slip, attach it to that top box.”  Guppa turned back to her burbling potions.  Emma glanced at the note inside the packing slip and read, “Mountain King: Syrup antidote still unstable.  Side effects of the hellsbore include copious sweating, dehydration and possibly death.  Use judiciously. Love, D.G.”  The girl shrugged and sealed the slip.  Hefting the stack of boxes, she turned to go and asked, “How much of this truth serum and antidote does he need?”

Guppa chuckled.  “Oh, none of it for his own use.  I’m sending M.K. a little of this, a little of that…Europe…makes an excellent testing ground.  Careful with that bottom box.  The cherry bombs shouldn’t be jostled.”

“You’re sending our double-double-trifecta agent firecrackers?” Saber asked.

The scientist giggled madly.  “Much more than mere firecrackers.  They look like normal brandied cherries, but mix with alcohol and munch them with your drink and moments later, BOOM!  I do hope M.K. can send me a photo of the results.  Off you go, dear, the post office closes soon.”

Emma tromped out and Saber hopped up on a stool.  There was a commotion by the door and Emma’s voice growled, “Hey, watch where you’re going!”  Talon walked backwards into the lab, shouting, “I was Chewie last night, and the Wookie always wins!”

“What the–” Guppa fumed.  “What part of secret lab do you not understand?”

Saber shook her head.  “It’s Talon, ya know.”

“Of course, my bad.”

Falcon’s sidekick whirled around. “Hi!”  Her yellow cape breezed over the burners, catching on fire.  As she leaped away, one flask slipped and spilled into Saber’s lap.  The elite agent was able to rescue most of the contents and then froze, staring down at her legs. “Um, Guppa?”

Busy dousing the inferno of Talon’s costume with the fire extinguisher while holding the teen down with one foot, the scientist said, “One moment, hon, the flame retardant isn’t working right.  Oh, stop screeching, child, your hair will grow back.  There.  Now, what is it, Saber?”

She turned and joined her friend in staring.  “Hmm, well, that is an interesting side effect.  Perhaps I brewed it too long?  Stop fussing, Saber, I’m sure a turpentine sponge bath will remove the problem.”

Talon leaned over and sniffed.  “Hey, Saber, your legs are bronze!  That’s gonna make it hard to pee!  But you sure smell good!”

The growl from the older agent sent chills running down Talon’s spine.  “You are so lucky my gun has been bronzed, kid.”

Guppa kicked one of Saber’s legs.  The metallic thunk confirmed her fears.  “Yes, I brewed it too long.  While I believe this new effect has potential – spray it on a fleeing villain and stop him cold, and,” she rubbed her hands together, “we could make a bundle selling unique bronze statues!”  Another growl sobered her.  “However, I don’t think having metal legs makes you very useful, Saber.”

Saber snarled, “Antidote, Guppa, now.  I gotta pee – thanks for mentioning it, kid.”

Talon smiled vacantly and wandered over to the other side of the table. “You’re welcome!”

“Talon, since you’re here, fill out these labels.  Even you can’t get into trouble writing out a label,” Guppa ordered.  “Just copy my original instructions onto each one: Island Insta-Tan.  Take one teaspoonful every month.  Swallow only, avoid contact with skin.  Got it?”

“It doesn’t all fit,” Talon whined. “Can I abbreviate?”

Guppa swiped at Saber’s legs with a turpentine soaked rag.  “Yes, yes, whatever.  Oh, good, you wiggled your toes, dear!  And you do have a lovely tan!”

Finally able to move, Saber ran from the lab, vowing never to return, and made a beeline for the nearest bathroom.  Guppa sighed and finished bottling her newest potion.  Talon was pressed into service licking the labels and gluing them on the boxes.  Glue on her tongue did little to stop her incessant babbling.  An hour later, Guppa shooed the chattering teen out of the attic to send the box of tanning potion off in the post and removed the earplugs she’d tucked in her ears after Saber had left.

“Goodness, what a day.  I think this calls for a libation.”  The scientist went to her secret compartment in the attic lab and removed the bottle of 100 year old reserve brandy. She mixed an Alexander, plucking a brandied cherry from one of the two bowls on her work table.  Feet up on her newly bronzed stool, she munched and sighed contentedly.  A moment later, she spit out the cherry and watched it explode on the lab’s floor, leaving a human-sized crater in the hardwood.  “Drat, so distracted I was almost hoisted by my own petard!  Hmm, I should send M.K. a note.  The cherry bombs do have a delightfully explosive taste.”

Two weeks later in a small town in the Netherlands…

“King, my new tanning solution arrived!”   The Mountain King glanced up from his newspaper at his lovely dungeon assistant.  “That’s nice, Igora.  The sun is so bad for your skin.”

The woman peered at the label.  “I think a doctor scrawled this.  Well, my cover as a nurse at the insane asylum has made me adept at interpreting the horrible
handwriting of physicians.  Let’s see, that’s the abbreviation for, hmm, ah-ha, got it.  King dear, do we have a tablespoon?”


(Author’s Note:  A petard is an explosive device that harms others.  To be hoisted by your own petard is to be trapped in your own trap.)