Chapter 6 - A Spy for a Spy
Sam stared in sheer amazement at the block of ice containing the cute, latina girl who was now indefinitely frozen in a mode of attack. "Alex?" she asked again in utter disbelief of the fact that the suspect her and Clover had been tracking may have actually been their "best friend forever" all along.
Then, suddenly, Sam was caught off guard as a large opening appeared in the huge air-conditioning unit besides her, and Sam and the frozen Alex were sucked into it with the force of a tornado. They once again dropped through a curving, metal W.O.O.H.P tunnel until a small opening of light could be seen below them. A few seconds before they exited the shoot, though, a silver, steel tentacle came down from inside the tunnel and grabbed the block of ice with its claw to prevent the ice and Alex along with it from shattering on impact.
Sam knowing what was coming was able to position herself to land on her well-toned butt on Jerry's office couch, and received only a slightly harsh bounce on the cushion's springs as opposed to the bumps and bruises associated with the more painful landings from most of the spies' "woohpings." However, unbeknownst to her, Clover had also been "woohped" from where she had been trapped in the stair-way, and Clover's ass shortly landed on Sam's unsuspecting head.
"Clover, get off of me," Sam said, her voice muffled by the blonde's crotch.
Clover got off her face and sat down properly on the couch next to her. "Sorry Sam," she said, blushing a bit.
Lastly the mechanical arm, controlled by G.L.A.D.I.S., lowered down from the opening of the tunnel and dropped the block of ice a few feet off the stainless steel floor of the W.O.O.H.P. office. It wasn't enough to cause Alex any physical damage, but the highly sensitive, artificially intelligent computer wanted to show some disgust with her anyways. Following that, a metal cage also fell from the ceiling and slammed into the floor, entrapping the frozen spy.
Another one of G.L.A.D.I.S.'s arms lowered down, this time with a probe-like device at the end of its arm instead of a claw. From this "probe" shot a red laser beam into the cage, in between the bars. The red beam trailed down the block of ice once, and then the arm moved to behind the cage to do the same thing from the other side. The block ice then split in two, and Alex who was in between was left shivering in a fetal position on the floor. "S-s-s-s-s-o-oo ch-ch-ch-ch-cold," she was barely able to utter through her chattering teeth.
Jerry, who had been sitting behind his desk, watching the entire scene, removed a bottle of red liquid and a spoon from a drawer under his desk. He then walked over to the cage, poured the red liquid into the spoon, and held it out for Alex. "Here, drink this. It will make you warm."
Not questioning his offer for a second, Alex grabbed the spoon through the bars and gulped down the liquid. Soon her brown complexion changed to one of chili-pepper red, and she opened her mouth as flames literally spat out of it. "Hot! Hot! Hot! Hot! Hot! Hot!"
"Here, this should cool off the traitor," G.L.A.D.I.S.'s robotic voice sassed as the one sprinkler positioned over Alex's cage turned on and doused her with gallons of water, leaving her a soaking-wet mess.
"What you just tasted was one of our newest gadgets, the W.O.O.H.P. Instant Core-Temperature Raising Super Spicy Habanero Hot Sauce," Jerry explained, proudly holding out the bottle in front of the spies. It curiously had a picture on the label of Jerry dressed up in a ridiculous looking, red devil costume with horns and a pointy tail.
"Did you actually put that on for a photo-shoot, Jerr?" Clover asked. She was continually amazed by the new layers of dorkiness she was always discovering in him.
"Why, of course. Don't you think I look devilishly handsome?"
Clover and Sam both groaned at his joke. Even the humiliated and caged Alex felt embarrassed for him.
Clover then asked the obvious question, "Why do you have poor Alex in a cage? What's that about?"
"Maybe you should ask Sam about that," Jerry said leadingly.
"Well, after I cornered the suspect we were chasing up on the roof, he... or she hid behind an air conditioning unit. When I circled it, I saw the clothes the suspect was wearing on the ground. That's when I saw someone jump for me. I sprayed that person with the ice-queen perfume and then I saw it was Alex," Sam said sheepishly, still not wanting to believe the implications of what had occurred.
"Very suspicious, indeed," Jerry said. He suddenly looked very disappointed. "This story also coincides with our camera and satellite footage which miraculously switched back on again the moment Alex was frozen. Alex, do you have an explanation for this or would you rather remain silent?"
"I didn't do it!" she cried from the cage as two thick tears rolled down her already wet cheeks. "I climbed on top of the roof to investigate, because I heard some strange noises up there. Then this guy in a black mask and trench coat came out no where and chopped me in the neck. I guess I passed out for a few seconds. When I woke up, my vision was real blurry and I saw someone coming towards me. I thought it was the bad-guy, so I tried to tackle him. That's all I remember. I guess Sam froze me with her perfume. I'm sorry. Sometimes, I can be so dumb," Alex lamented, sounding truly humiliated by the whole matter.
"Clover what happened to you? Why weren't you on the roof with Sam?"
"The guy shot this cooking thingie at me and pinned me to the wall."
"Yes, we retrieved that "cooking thingie" as you called it. It was the Launching Aerial Whisk Net or L.A.W.N. for short. This is a new W.O.O.H.P. gadget that was being worked on by Research and Development. It hadn't even made it to the testing stage yet. This year there has been only one other theft of a gadget this early in the development cycle and that was the theft of the Diamond Invisibility Shield by Alex a few days ago.
"I only ever took the ring, Jerry. I swear to god I never took another gadget without your permission," she pleaded.
"I would hope so," Jerry said with a very uncomfortable attempt at a smile. "Sam you said the masked man... or woman removed his or her disguise. Did that include foot-wear?"
"Yes, he... or she was wearing black, army boots. I later saw them on the roof with the trench-coat, mask, and gloves."
"Alex do you mind telling us why exactly you are bare-foot?"
"Well, you took away my X-Powder so I couldn't transform into my spy-suit. I had just bought new designer heels at the mall. I really liked them and didn't want to ruin them by running around in the dark and climbing up brick walls." Alex then looked at Jerry and could see in his eyes that her explanation was not convincing him. "I would never do anything to David or Dean, Jerry, you have to believe me." Sam's eyes got big. If she had just climbed onto the roof from the other side after Dean had been pushed off the ledge and the villain ran away from her, how would she know that Dean was the latest victim?
"I did just get alerted of Dean's disappearance, but how did you know he was the newest target? You must have witnessed the kid-napping or come across some pretty good evidence... unless of course you are actually the kidnapper... or the murderer for that matter," Jerry said grimly.
Alex looked down again, realizing she had just unwittingly said something really damaging. "No, I didn't find any clues or anything like that... I just guessed he would be next. He was being so obvious at school in his investigation, not to mention trying to get with every girl at Bev High would make someone want to get him."
"Alex! Don't talk about Dean like that!" Clover snapped in defense of one member of her endless list of heart throbs.
"Actually, I agree with her," Sam said, shocking Clover. "Dean was acting like a complete idiot, not to mention a total pig. I'm beginning to wonder how he even became a spy."
"Because he mastered 8 different martial arts the day he was born, of course," Jerry said.
"Oh, yeah. Of course." Sam rolled her eyes.
"Unfortunately, Dean wasn't the only victim today. Another person disappeared at the same time." The large screen behind Jerry flickered on to display the image of a man in his fifties with a large glob of unkempt, gray hair on top a balding head and a face distinguished by a thick moustache and tired, old eyes.
"Oh no, not Mr. Roberts," Alex said, sounding upset.
"So you do know this man?"
"Yes, that's Mr. Roberts. He's the Chemistry and Natural Science teacher at Bev High," Sam explained.
Jerry looked down at the small monitor mounted to his desk. “According to W.O.O.H.P.'s data-base, all four suspects; Arnold Jackson, Amanda Luxe, Tara Respighi, and Alexandra Vasquez, have all been his student at one time or another. However, he only failed one of those students and forced her to repeat a class the following semester. That was Alex for Natural Science."
Alex spoke up, "Well, yeah, I wasn't happy about him flunking me, but I always liked Mr. Roberts. After I passed the class during summer school, he said he was really proud of me and we became good friends. I would never hurt him, ever."
"Yeah, Jerry. That's just crazy," Clover said. "Just because Alex got bad grades in one class doesn't mean she's the bad-guy."
"Well, perhaps it is not rock-solid evidence, but through coincidence or not, of all the suspects, Alex does appear to have the strongest motive to kidnap or harm this teacher."
Jerry looked at the three girls. Clover looked absolutely furious with him like she was a second away from running up and slapping the taste of his mouth. Sam also looked to be angry with him, but he could also see a look of immense concern and uncertainty in her eyes. Alex just looked deeply depressed like someone she had loved and respected had just stabbed her squarely in the back.
"I'm terribly sorry girls. Believe me, as much as anyone, I don't want Alex to be guilty. However, my job isn't to act on my feelings. It's to take actions based on facts. Sometimes my job is excruciatingly difficult."
Jerry paused for a second and looked at Alex who swallowed her breath, preparing for the worst. He averted eye-contact with her before he continued, "Unfortunately, I must tell you that due to this recent occurrence of events, Alex has now become the prime suspect for committing such crimes as kidnapping and possibly the murder of civilians and W.O.O.H.P. agents, theft of top-classified W.O.O.H.P. gadgets, and sabotage including tampering with W.O.O.H.P. camera and satellite surveillance. Because of the seriousness of the suspected crimes committed, Alex is deemed to be a major threat to global security. As such, the due process of law will have to be ignored. Alex will be retained in W.O.O.H.P. prison until her name is cleared. If not, she must remain there for the rest of her natural life." Jerry looked more than bit regretful. Despite the evidence of betrayal, he still felt deeply for Alex. She was one of his most favorite employees, and in some ways she even felt like a daughter to him.
Two burly men in black suits and impregnable, tinted sunglasses appeared through the door into Jerry's office. One of the men approached Alex's cage and pressed his thumb against a certain bar where a finger print reader had been hidden. A secret door composed of several of the bars then swung open. Alex walked out of the cage, staring at the ground. Her wrists were immediately moved to her back and hand-cuffed.
Just as the men were about to take Alex away, Sam and Clover jumped out of their seats, ran up to her, and engulfed her in a warm hug. When the two men looked at Jerry, he nodded his head, signaling to them that it was ok.
"Don't worry Alex, we'll exonerate you if it's the last thing we do," Sam said with tears in her eyes.
"Yeah, Alex, we know you didn't do it. And when we find the bad guy who did this, I'm going to kick his ass real good for you," Clover said, also not being able to hold back her tears. "Just stick in there for us, ok?"
"I will and thanks guys. I love you two so much. I'm so glad you are my friends. Come visit me in jail, ok? "
"We love you too," Sam and Clover both said.
"And we'll visit you every day, we promise," Sam said. Jerry then moved two of his fingers at his side to signal to his men again. The men pushed Sam and Clover off her as they started leading Alex away. Clover and Sam both waved her good-bye as she disappeared out the door.
As Alex was escorted down the lifeless, sterile metal hallway, her eyes glanced a familiar, young female spy.
"So you're replacing me again, huh?" Alex asked, sounding more depressed than spiteful.
"I'm truly sorry, Alex," Britney said. Alex didn't respond back as she was lead silently down the hall.
The mechanical door to Jerry's office slid open, and in walked the asian, blue-haired beauty in her skin-tight, blue spy-suit. Her usual look of sweet kindness combined with cool confidence, however, seemed to be replaced by obvious uncomfortableness with the situation.
"Due to Alex's arrest, I have relieved Britney from her regular team and reassigned her to yours since you have worked so well together in the past. If Alex is not guilty, I trust you three can clear her name and solve this case," Jerry said.
Britney immediately went up to Clover and Sam who were currently latched onto each other for emotional support and still balling their eyes out. She put her hands over the two girls’ shoulders and joined their embrace. "I'm so sorry. I don't believe Alex did this either. I'm going to work as hard as I possibly can to help you find the real perpetrator. I just feel so guilty about having to replace her again."
Sam sniffled before she spoke, "Its ok, Britney. It's not you're fault. Thanks so much for helping us."
"Yeah, you're an angel, Britney," Clover said. "I'd act happier to see you, but you know..."
Despite the touching display, Jerry went on with business. "I want you three to continue the mission of investigating the three other suspects. Britney will be under-cover as another new transfer to your school. Just make sure to keep a lower profile than Dean did. I think I may have to demote him if he's ever found. Regarding Dean, while I was reviewing W.O.O.H.P. camera footage earlier, I do believe I found some evidence that may support one of the other suspects as being the culprit. Perhaps, it was a lovers' quarrel."
"Mandy! I knew it!" Clover shouted, damning her to hell. "She knew Dean was mine, and when she couldn't have him, she got rid got him."
"Not quite," Jerry said simply as the video began to play up on the screen.
It was a W.O.O.H.P. surveillance camera shot of the inside of one of Beverly Hills High School's boys' rest-rooms. It was abandoned save for Dean, who was leaning against the wall, trying to seem cool, in a pose reminiscent of photos of James Dean. The camera then recorded the door swinging open and zoomed in on the freckled, glasses wearing face of Arnold Jackson who had just entered the room.
"Hi, Dean. Is there anyone else in here?" he asked, scanning the room and the four toilet-stalls in the back nervously.
"No, it's just you and me, little buddy," Dean answered, grinning suspiciously.
"I wanted to talk about what happened earlier. I'm just not sure about this thing between us," Arnold said, looking at the ground through his thickly brimmed glasses, as he began to blush.
"Talk is cheap. I prefer action," Dean said as he walked over and lifted up Arnold's chin with his hand, forcing him to stare into his eyes. Arnold didn't look away. Instead, he seemed to be completely mesmerized by his glance. Dean then took that opportunity to move in with his lips and press them against Arnold's. Arnold struggled for a moment to move away from him, but Dean caught him with his powerful arm and moved his lips back to his with his hand. Shortly enough, he gave in, and they both enjoyed a very long, sensual kiss.
Watching in Jerry's office, Clover, Sam and Britney's jaws all nearly dropped to the floor in utter disbelief.
Back up on the screen, Arnold finally removed himself from Dean's lips and arms. "I'm sorry, Dean, I don't know if I can do this. I never liked a boy like this before."
"Come on. You know what I say, there’s enough Dean to go around for everyone." Arnold turned and left out the door. "He'll be back. They always come back," he said smugly.
The camera kept rolling as the boy's room door swung open again. Clover, Sam, and Britney's jaws dropped even further at who they saw.
"Hey, sexy," Clover said on the screen.
"Wow, in the boy's room," Dean said, impressed. "You sure know how to be forward."
"Yeah, but that's what you like about me, don'cha?"
"You got that right!" he said before Clover jumped on him, and they started mashing their lips together savagely. The camera kept recording their lips and hands going all over each other until they backed into one of the toilet's stalls, and the door closed behind them. The video then ended.
Clover looked absolutely flabbergasted like her concept of reality had been destroyed by a universe turned upside down. "Dean made out with Arnold... I made out with Dean... I made out with Dean after he made out with Arnold... I made out with Arnold!" The girl then let out a horrifying shriek that lasted several uncomfortable moments. Both Sam and Britney had to massage her back and tell her that it would be ok as she huffed in air greedily, trying to regain her breath and sanity.
"I guess there really is enough Dean to go around for everyone," Sam said, utterly stunned.
"One can only hope," Jerry said. The three girls gave him a weird look. "... that he's ok." He then coughed a bit into his hand. "I think there's one thing that still needs to be examined. How exactly did the criminal make two people disappear without a trace in such a short period of time?"
Sam spoke up, "Well, I actually saw Dean disappear."
"Really?" Jerry asked.
"Well... kinda. The villain, whoever that was, had Dean on top of the roof all tied up and put a noose around his neck. The bad-guy pushed Dean off the roof. I tried to rescue him, but I was blinded by this bright flash of light. I don't know what happened, but after the light was gone, so was Dean."
"Hmmm..." Jerry said with his hand cupping his chin. "Very interesting, we'll have to investigate this strange occurrence further. However, now it's time for gadgets," he said as the top of his desk flipped over to reveal a number of different contraptions. "First up are two old stand-bys, the Laser Lipstick and the Expandable Cable Bungee Belt. I know you are all very familiar with them already, so I won't explain further," he said, holding up one of the small tubes of phony lip-stick which hid the power to shoot deadly heat rays, as well as one of the belts with a heart-shaped buckle that was attached to a hidden, extendable cable. He then went on, "And next I'm going to give you all wang."
Clover and Sam both shrieked as they buried their heads into each other's chests for protection. "I always thought Jerry could be an old lech, but this is ridiculous!" Clover cried.
"I don't want to see Jerry's wang," Sam said, very frightened. A large sweat-drop appeared on the side of Britney's head as she smiled nervously.
"Why would you not want to see my wang?"
"Because it's probably all old, shriveled up, and gross! That's why!" Clover screamed.
"I can assure you that the Water-Resistant Air-Tight Night-Vision Goggles or W.A.N.G., for short, is not all old, shriveled up, and gross," Jerry said, perplexed, the reason for their alarm having flown straight over his balding head.
Clover and Sam opened their eyes and looked over to Jerry. He was completely dressed in one on his innumerous, drab black suits and holding a pair of the W.O.O.H.P swimming goggles with the hidden feature of night-vision.
"Jerry, don't you know what that word means?" Sam asked.
"Yes, Water-Resistant Air-Tight Night-Vision Goggles. I came up with the acronym myself," the more than middle-aged Briton explained, completely ignorant of the American slang usage of the word.
Sam and Clover stared at him incredulously as Britney laughed nervously next to them.
"Well, in any event, it is a new gadget. I was having Dean field-test it for W.O.O.H.P., but he of course went missing, so now it is your job. Simply press the button on the side of the right goggle, and both goggles will extend out to become night-vision goggles. They will work both on land and under water."
"I also have a couple more new gadgets for you." He then picked up the familiar looking whisk Clover had been ensnared by earlier. "Despite it being tested earlier than usual, W.O.O.H.P.'s L.A.W.N., or Launching Aerial Whisk Net, appeared to have operated perfectly against Clover in combat. So I've decided to have you give it further testing. Just simply press the small button on the handle, and the wires of the whisk shoot out at your target to form a large, steel net."
"And now for your final gadget." He then dramatically whipped his arm up into the air and held the gadget high above his head like it was the sword Excalibur. "The Spoon of Doom."
The girls blinked. "Spoon... of doom?" Sam asked, not knowing what to think.
"Yes, the Spoon of Doom."
"What does this Spoon of Doom do, Jerry?" Britney asked.
"It launches projectiles. To operate it, simply put your ammunition into the bowl shaped head of the spoon, pull back the head to an angle of almost 33 degrees while holding the handle still, let go, and your ammo will launch into the air. It's a very effective weapon similar in design to a catapult."
"A normal spoon can do that," Clover said, rolling her eyes harshly.
"That's why you each will be receiving two cans of ammunition, W.O.O.H.P. brand Pea Grenades and Corn Cluster Bombs," he said, holding out the two cans in front of him. Both had labels with even more embarrassing photos of Jerry, this time of him decked out in green body paint, pointy ears, elf slippers, and a wreath and tunic composed of spinach leaves.
All three girls groaned. "What's with all these weird gadgets lately, Jerry?" Sam asked.
"Yeah, Jerr, I can't accessorize with a spoon and a can of peas. Can't you give us ear-rings, ankle bracelets, ya know something remotely fashionable?"
"Sorry, Clover, but the designer of our more feminine gadgets, Frederico, has taken a sabbatical. As his replacement, I have chosen Agent Hung, who is also a world famous chef. As such, most of his gadget designs will be cooking and food based."
"I think I heard of him. Wasn't he on some cooking reality show or something? If Alex was here, she would know. She really loves that stuff," Sam said before she looked down, feeling sad. It had only been a few minutes, and she was already really missing her.
Three of G.L.A.D.I.S.'s arms then descended from the ceiling to drop the multitude of gadgets into the arms of the three spies.
"Well, you better get going. The safety of any future victims, not to mention Alex's freedom, may be in your hands."
"We'll do our very best, Jerry," Britney said. The spies then sat for several uncomfortable moments on his couch, clinching at the fact that a frightful drop could occur at any given moment. However, nothing happened.
"Aren't you going to W.O.O.H.P. us or something, Jerr?" Clover asked.
"No... Some how, I just don't have the heart to today. You can use my office door and the elevator. Consider this your one free pass."
The three girls walked out of his office and down the hall. Despite the lack receiving a near heart-attack from the fright of being suddenly "woohped" when they were least expecting it, the lack of it was some how very unsettling to Sam. She was beginning to get the feeling that a lot of the fun and joy of spying may have left with Alex.
To Be Continued