by Monica Marier
A FRIQUE & FRAGG STORY
Jenny Deadshot, strode into the lobby of SNIDE (Supernatural & Necronomic Investigation - Department of Enquiry) Headquarters. Her muddy boots clomped on the spotless terrazzo as the sound system played “Theme From a Summer Place.”
“Good morning, Jenny!” said Ferula from behind the front desk. The cheery receptionist’s grin died on her face as she saw Jenny’s dark, dirt-covered, expression. Jenny looked as if she’d just ridden a bomb into a construction site. Her leather catsuit was torn in places, with random nonspecific buckles dangling from their straps. She was covered in (hopefully) mud and smoking in places — various gadgets like her navi-specs or her holo-watch cracked and melted.
“I need a pass for R & D,” Jenny said to Ferula through clenched teeth.
“Um, I need to clear that with Harrison,” began Ferula in a mousey whisper.
She was interrupted by Jenny’s hands slamming onto the desk. “NOW,” she said through clenched teeth.
“I’ll say it was an emergency,” said Ferula hurriedly before giving Jenny a Class A clearance card and hitting the lock-release for the Tech Wing. The brushed metal doors opened with a sinus-rattling buzz and Jenny stormed through.
She came upon the R &D Dept. and slipped silently inside. She needn’t have bothered. Loud music was bouncing off the metal walls and reverberating through the jungle of glass and polymer lab equipment. Two men in their early thirties were jumping around to the music while spinning around in their office chairs. They were on their lunch break and the table was cluttered with soda cans, wrappers and Ziploc bags. The duo munched and nodded in time to the music.
The little red-head was built like a small irritated badger; short, stalky and with enough compressed rage to level a city block. The other one, the albino, was tall and atrociously skinny, which made him look like a stretched thirteen-year-old, who’d suddenly grown a foot overnight. Both wore glasses, and had long unkempt hair, and both wore white labcoats as a symbol of their dominance over their fellow men. As the chorus to the song started, they sang in unison with their mouths full, trying to mimick the singer’s accent… badly.
“AND-UH I WOULD WALK FIVE HUNDRED MILES,
AND-UH I WOULD WALK FIVE HUNDRED MORE!”
When the chorus was over, they took turns on the rhythmic singing.
…and then joined together on the “dum-da-da-rum-dums.”
Jenny decided she’d had enough. She raised her glock and emptied a clip into the music dock.
“HEY!” cried the redhead in horror. “My boombox!”
The next thing he felt was the barrel of a very warm gun being pressed against his temple.
“Lucas Frique, I am going to f---ing kill you,” said Jenny.
Frique’s face only spread into a wide malicious grin. “Pleasant journey, Ms. Deadshot?”
“NO! And I have you to thank for that!” snapped Jenny.
“I told you the inter-temporal module still was experimental,” said Frique calmly, taking another bite of his Italian sub. He carefully spun around in his chair until he was facing the livid Jenny. The grin on his boyish face would have made Ghandi open fire and the gun, still aimed at Frique’s head, shook in Jenny’s hand.
“I did warn you,” he said thickly through a wad of salami.
“Your exact words were ‘it might be a little buggy,’ Frique. DOES THIS LOOK ‘A LITTLE BUGGY’ TO YOU??” Jenny shrieked, pulling out a plastic Safeway bag and dumping charred bits of wire and circuitry onto Frique’s sandwich wrapper.
Frique eyed the scientific barbeque in mild disgust. “No, it looks like a waste of four months research to me,” he sniffed.
“YOU! DON’T MOVE!” said Jenny raising her Gun to point it at Elliot Fragg, who was trying to sneak away unnoticed.
“I’m just getting a broom,” whispered Fragg. He meekly pointed to the long line of muddy footprints that Jenny had left. Jenny’s gun arm relaxed long enough for Frique to pry it away from her. He was good at it by now.
"You’re not gonna kill us, it’s against company policy, so quit with the drama already,” he said. “Look, I told your people that time-travel isn’t easy as pie.”
“And pie isn’t easy! You ever try making one? It’s freaking hard!” added Fragg as he returned with the dustpan.
“Thank you, Barefoot Contessa,” said Frique rolling his eyes. “Time travel’s even harder than that. I mean there isn’t even sound scientific theorem for it. S’like trying to build a parachute while you’re falling from an airplane.”
“Or making a pie while you’re falling out —” Fragg chimed in again, not one to be deterred from a good metaphor.
“Would you quit with the pie thing already?!” Frique snapped at Fragg before tunrning again to Jenny. “So what happened? Did your circuits overheat? Temporal flux damage? Schroedinger’s Road Rash?”
“How about complete and utter system failure?”
“Woah. That sucks,” said Frique raising an eyebrow (which was the Lucas Frique equivalent of brushing away a sympathetic tear).
“How long were you stuck for?” asked Fragg looking properly horrified.
“Twenty… four… YEARS.” Jenny’s glare of death honed in on Frique who was suddenly unsure whether or not it was in his best interest to run.
“You ever tried WALKING HOME from 1799?" she said. "I’ve endured twenty-four years of time-jumping through the past and the future, hoping to stumble upon 2011!”
“But you only left on Tuesday!” said Fragg.
“Time travel, dingus!” snapped Frique.
“Ohhhh, right,” said Fragg shaking his head in annoyance.
There was a long awkward pause as Frique eyed the furious woman in front of him. Normally he got off on witnessing this kind of rage, but there was something about Jenny that made him want to shield his face. His hands instead were gripping the arms of his chair with white knuckles.
“Well you look great for Forty-eight, Jenny!” he said eventually, and then realized it was the wrong thing to say.
“I’M NOT THE JENNY YOU SENT BACK!” shouted Jenny, snatching up the glock again and aiming it at Frique. “The Jenny you sent back died in 2370 AD. I’M HER DAUGHTER!”
“Oh crud-monkeys,” said Frique.