AUTHOR: Jos Mous
DISCLAIMER: I don't own any of these characters, I'm not making a profit.
NOTE: A sequel to Salvage Operation. And I suppose I really either ought to make this a multi-parter or write another sequel very soon. Then again, maybe not.
Max surveyed the corridor in front of her. There were two guards in front of the doors to the vehicle bay. She needed to get past them, but, more importantly, she needed to get past them without them knowing anyone had got past them.
"Alright, any ideas?" she whispered to the rest of the squad.
"How about we just walk up to them and ask them if we can use the GPS- radar- scanner- computer-equipped hi-tech van?" Janet suggested.
"We can't do that," said Max. "They'll want to know why."
"Well, don't we want to use it to find Amy?" said Janet.
"Exactly," said Max. "We haven't been given orders to find Amy so they won't hand out really expensive equipment to us, those government pricks."
"Aren't ve zechnichally government az well?" Dominique remarked.
"Yeah, but we're not pricks," said Max.
"Yes, I can imagine 'ow that would be 'ard for us," said Dominique.
"Don't start," said Max.
"So... wait... does that mean we're about to steal that van?" Janet asked.
"Yes, Janet. Didn't I explain that to you already?" said Max.
"But... they're, you know, us. How can we be stealing from our side?"
"Oh, not again," said Max. "Look, you want to find and possibly rescue Amy, right?"
"Right. Of course."
"Right. So don't start making trouble, OK?"
"Alright ladiez," said Dominique. "Ah believe Ah've figured out a vay."
"OK, what is it?" Max asked.
"Dominique? What the... Dominique!"
But Dominique was already casually sauntering down the corridor towards the two security guards. Max couldn't hear what was said, but she quite suspected the conversation to go along the lines of 'got a light?' and 'my, what big guns you've got'. After about five minutes of that, Dominique sauntered further down the corridor with the two guards in tow.
"How does she do it?" Max asked nobody in particular.
"What do you think she's going to do with them?" Janet asked.
"I really, really don't wanna know," said Max. "Now come on, here's our chance."
Max and Janet furtively siddled towards the doors. Eventually they realised that this looked even more suspicious than just walking, but by then they'd reached the door already. Max gave it an experimental pull and wasn't surprised to find it locked. Still, as squad leader she had her very own key, so this didn't present much of a problem.
Max had never seen the inside of the vehicle bay. Normally, vehicles were just assigned to the squad depending on the mission and then they'd magically turn up on the parking lot. The bay was big and poorly lit. Well... most of it was poorly lit. One huge, bright spotlight provided a pool of light in the middle of the bay. And in that pool, there stood a sleek, black van.
"Say, isn't that the van we're here to borrow?" said Janet.
"It is," said Max. "Isn't that convenient."
"Very convenient," said Janet. "So does this mean it's a trap?"
"Who'd want to trap us?" said Max.
"I don't know," said Janet.
"'Ello girls. Still 'ere?"
Max and Janet jumped.
"Dominique, don't sneak up on us like that," Max snapped.
"Sorry, but Ah'm a spy. Ah must sneak up - it's our way."
Max glared at her. Dominique just smiled.
"Say, what did you do with those two security guards?" Janet asked.
"I just gave zem a few of my... special cigarettes," said Dominique. "Let's just say, zey're in a 'appier place right now, mm?"
"Great," said Max. "Now let's go steal us a van."
Lucy awoke slowly without the sun shining on her face. This was a bit odd, since the bed was positioned in such a way that the sun always shone down on her early in the morning, but Lucy was still too drowsy to really notice it. She turned onto her side and put her arm around pleasantly warm body next to her. That is, she put her arm where the pleasantly warm body was supposed to be. She blinked a few times, shaking off the remnant of her sleep, looked up and smiled.
Amy was up already, leaning on the windowsill, looking out at whatever was out there. She looked nice like that, with the early sun silhouetting her figure. Lucy quietly got out of bed, sneaked up behind Amy, put her arms around the girl and kissed her cheek.
"Hey," said Lucy.
"How long've you been up?" Lucy asked.
"Long enough to see the sun come up," said Amy.
"Why didn't you wake me?" said Lucy.
"Aw, you looked so cute sleeping peacefully like that, I just didn't have the heart."
Lucy kissed her cheek again. "Well, I'm up now."
Amy giggled. "So you are."
"So... what do you want to do with me now?" Lucy asked.
"I think I'd like to go see the pyramids," said Amy.
"Aw, must we?" said Lucy. "I can show you some really amazing heights right here."
"There'll be time for that later," said Amy. "I promise."
"Alright then," said Lucy. "But I don't see why you want to go. The Gizah ones are closed for repairs and those are the only ones even halfway interesting."
"No, they're not," said Amy. "Someone simply paid a fortune to some corrupt government types so that they could have the place all to themselves."
Lucy let go of Amy and took a step back. "You've been spying?" she asked. "Wasn't this supposed to be a little romantic vacation?"
Amy turned around. "I'm sorry sweetie. But some habits die hard."
"Just great," said Lucy. "OK, fine, we'll go infiltrate the great pyramid. But after that, no more saving the world, alright? It'll really be a vacation for just the two of us, OK?"
"Of course," said Amy. "I promise."
"OK then," said Lucy.
Lucy reached down under the bed and pulled out a large, black trunk. She opened it, revealing a very large amount of very heavy firearms.
"What the... where did you get those?" said Amy.
"Well, you know what you said about habits dying hard?"
Amy and Lucy lurked behind the smallest of the three pyramids. Amy held the hi-tech binoculars to survey the biggest of the pyramids. Lucy held the lo-tech gun to make sure anyone trying to survey them would be very sorry indeed.
"Hmm, that's strange," said Amy.
"What is?" Lucy asked.
"They seem to be... fueling the pyramid."
Lucy considered this, then said, "What?"
"They're... putting fuel into the pyramid."
"I don't know. Let's go find out."
"Alright then," Lucy said, gun at the ready.
"No, wait, I think we'd better try to infiltrate stealthily."
"Yeah? How do we do that?"
"Simple," said Amy. "Just find the airducts."
"Airducts," Lucy said. "So that's how all those spies managed to infiltrate my lairs undetected. Why didn't I think of that before?"
"Don't know," said Amy. "Now let's go."
The girls had been crawling through airducts for five minutes, when something occurred to Lucy.
"How old would you say this pyramid is?"
"Oh I don't know," said Amy. "A couple of thousand years, maybe?"
"That's what I thought," said Lucy. "So, did the ancient Egyptians also construct steel airducts?"
Amy opened her mouth to reply. Then she closed it again. Then she said, "Hmm, that's pretty strange, now that you mention it."
"Yeah, I thought so too," said Lucy.
Amy peered down a grate. "Ah, here we are. The control room."
"The control room?"
But Amy had already kicked out the grate, jumped down and was happily fighting the guards.
"Oh, for the love of..." said Lucy, jumping down after her.
The fight was furious, but short. Somehow, a large number of heavily armed guards never stand a chance against a pair of women with something on their minds. Once the guards were lying everywhere in a serious state of unconsciousness, someone clapped.
"Well done, girls. Well done indeed," someone purred.
Lucy looked up and saw, sitting haughtily in front of the many gleaming panels with impressive little lights, a woman. She was very obviously a villain, but one from a more classical turn of mind. She had also gone to great lengths to make herself look like Cleopatra or someone like that.
"So, you're Egypt's greatest archnemesis, I take it?" said Lucy.
"Not yet," said the woman. "But soon enough. And not just Egypt."
"Oh, but the entire world as well, right?" said Amy.
Amy rolled her eyes. "So much for originality."
"So this used to be an ancient pyramid, eh?" said Lucy. "I love what you've done with the place."
"The past should serve the present," said the woman. "Soon, this pyramid, once a symbol for ancient greatness, will become a symbol for my greatness."
"Wouldn't you know it," said Lucy.
"The whole world will bow before me, Bastet! Ahahaha!"
"Bastet?" said Amy. "As in the ancient cat goddess?"
"The same," said Bastet. She pushed an impressively large red button.
Project Goddess will commence in 60 seconds, a pleasant female voice calmly announced.
"And no-one can stop a goddess."
Amy sighed. "Bastet. You know, I could make so many really bad pussy jokes about that, it's not even funny. So I guess I'll just have to stop you right now."
"Pah, you'll never be able to..."
Whatever it was that Amy would never be able to do probably did not include Amy running up to Bastet and punching her lights out.
"There, that was easy," said Amy, shaking some life back into her hand. "Now to find the abort button."
... 30 seconds remaining...
"What makes you think there's an abort button?" said Lucy.
Amy gave her a look. "There's always an abort button."
"Really? Well, if you say so."
"Now all we need to do is find it," said Amy.
"What kind of really bad pussy jokes could you make?" Lucy asked, looking over a panel with buttons marked 'widespread destruction', 'security lasers', 'motion-detecting mines' and 'room service'.
"Oh, you know," said Amy. "Like, how I normally like pussies, but how I'm willing to make an exception for her and all that."
Lucy frowned. "What?"
"You know, how I..."
"Yeah, I heard you, but I thought, you know, I was your first. And now you're talking about pussies?"
"Look, it was just a joke."
Lucy looked at Amy, arms crossed across her chest. "Well it's not a very funny one."
Amy looked up. "Oh come on, you're not going to make a big deal about this, are you?"
"I just heard you're looking at other women. How do you think that makes me feel?"
"I'm not looking at other women. I only have eyes for you."
"Oh, right, you say that now."
"Lucy, you know I only love you, so why do you always have to..."
Project Goddess commencing.
A sleek, black van raced through the Egyptian desert.
"You know, Amy's been in some strange places," said Max. "But how on Earth did she get all the way to Egypt?"
"Vouldn't know," said Dominique.
"And hey, didn't she disappear just after Lucy came to the States again?" Janet said. "Do you think there could be a connection?"
"What? I didn't hear about Lucy arriving in the States," said Max.
"Well, she didn't commit any crimes," said Janet. "So, you know, we didn't get sent to stop her because there was nothing to stop, right?"
"But... zo you think she came to America just to capture Amy?" Dominique asked.
"Could be," said Janet.
"Oh come on, be sensible," said Max. "I mean, OK, Lucy kidnaps Amy at every opportunity, but she doesn't hatch all those evil plots just to capture Amy, right?"
Dominique suddenly smiled. "Ah, l'amour."
"And what's that supposed to mean?" said Max.
"Nothing," said Dominique.
"Oh, hey, there're the pyramids," Janet gushed. "Oh, I always wanted to see them."
Max looked at the little green display sitting in the dashboard. "According to this, you'll get your chance. Seems like Amy is inside one of them."
Dominique frowned. "Say, aren't there supposed to be tree of them?"
"Well yeah," said Max. "Why?"
"Well, vy then can I only spot two?"
"Don't be ridicu-"
Max stopped. Then she stopped the van. The girls got out. They looked around.
There were two pyramids.
Then, as if by some unspoken command, the three girls looked up. And there, like a kind of rocket with no sense of aerodynamics, was the third pyramid, making a determined bid to reach orbit.
"I knew we should've stolen the jets," said Max.