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Are you ready for a hilarious, out-of-this-world road trip with a twist?
Earth needs allies, and fast! Bongo and Delilah suspect Billy Bob, the hitchhiking alien they’re helping, hasn’t been entirely honest about the reasons for his visit to Earth. The situation turns from troublesome to worse when they discover his planet embroiled in a civil war with the dolphin-like Wrothics, and that a third planet’s forces are on a collision course with Earth. With the stakes much higher than they expected, the cultural misunderstandings and political red tape make the race against doomsday a tough assignment.
Now, they must save not one, but two planets before it’s too late. Good thing they brought plenty of hooch!
Success depends on how fast they act and how much booze they consume. Make sure you don’t miss the continuing adventures of Bongo, Delilah, and Billy Bob as hilarity ensues in this action-packed sci-fi comedy escapade that keeps you on the edge of your seat and laughing out loud as the trio careens into their next space, snark, and booze filled adventure!
Be the first!
Interstate 10 is a long ass road.
“Where are we?” Delilah rubbed her temples, taking in another stretch of trees and nothin’.
“South of Tallahassee,” Mama Cafferey piped from the backseat. “We’re near the St. Marks Preserve. I’ve got kin on Mama’s side still living there.”
Quite conscious that her mama’s ghost was hanging out somewhere in the car, I nodded, eyes on the road. After the past month, a mere ghost didn’t move the needle on the weird-o-meter.
“What are they preserving?” Billy, our Hepcurtian sidekick, looked up from the gadget he held, curious.
“Everything.” Dee smiled at him between the seats. “We block off huge chunks of ground and let whatever lives there do its thing while we study. Out there,” she waved a vague hand southward, “are a mess of bug-bitten scholars trying to understand how bugs get it on, who eats what, and stuff like soil percolation. Florida is swampy.”
“Lots of gators,” I muttered, with a visible cringe.
“Snakes too,” Mama agreed with alacrity. “Snake can be good eating. Gator tail too.”
“I’m glad you did your part to keep us at the top of the food chain, but I’ll stick with a burger.”
“I want to see it,” Billy Bob interrupted. “Let’s got there now.”
“What do you hope to discover?” That came from Ghetarah, Billy’s wife. Well, they called them lifemates, since they swap genders, literally, halfway through their lives. Bye-bye, penis, hello sore nipples, menopause apron and terminal tiredness.
“Hepcurtian planet masters don’t look at an ecosystem as an entity.” Billy looked at her. “Our studies focused on a single species or subset. I’m curious.”
“And I’m hungry.” Dee glanced up from her phone. “Take the upcoming exit 225 and we’ll head south. St. Marks has an actual restaurant. Two. A veritable boom town.”
“Bright lights, here we come.” I hit the blinker, easing onto the off ramp, as a pair of dark SUVs slid in behind, followed by six cars and vans.
“We’ve still got groupies, Bongo,” Dee announced. “St. Marks is fixin’ to get slammed.”
“Team Billy does nothing half-assed.” I eyed my phone as my map reduced and a call lit the screen. Agent Jeffy. Yum. I tapped.
“Hey Jeff. BB wants to look at a nature preserve, and Delilah and Mama are ready for lunch, so we’re taking a segue.”
Jeff and I have a thing. We’re attempting discretion. No one in the mission’s inner circle is fooled, but with the FBI, boinking bosses is a road too far. The work around is to get Dee and me classified as direct reports to Billy Bob, since we’re his liaisons. Control is a weird thing, though. Once achieved, nobody wants to fucking let it go. So we’re ‘negotiating’. My money’s on BB. He did not travel ten years in a spaceship intending to save his planet, stick the landing on the mission like a total boss, just to roll over for a hierarchy wrinkle called FBI protocol.
When Dee and I found Billy Bob, well, when he found us in a Pennsylvania bar parking lot, we pulled off Earth’s first contact and only got one person killed. I’ve watched a ton of movies. That was a solid fucking performance.
Billy needs human volunteers to go to his planet. Hepcurtia wants fresh ideas to salvage the equivalent of a multi-world mash-up of competing creatures; all of which impact the planet’s ongoing health. Consider it a vanity eco-pyramid run amok. Billy and Ghetarah’s species thought they were technologically advanced intellectual powerhouses, so they took shortcuts and imported creatures from other worlds to fix imbalances.
None of which worked.
Now the other super intelligent species on Hepcurtia, the sea dwelling wrothics, are pissed. The imported critters are eating Billy’s peeps and wrothics with impunity, making the whole planetary survival thing a teetering fuck up on the cusp of a tumble; enter Billy Bob’s mission.
I understood why he wanted to see the preserve. Hepcurtia needs those scientists. After lunch, I hoped. Dee’s eyebrows leveled as my tummy growled in agreement. I didn’t grow up with a southern stomach. Mine has no manners.
Forty minutes later, we rolled into the thriving metropolis of St. Marks. I snorted. No gas or grocery store, just two restaurants and a marina. A true ‘don’t blink or you’ll miss it’ extravaganza bordered on one side by a river.
Ghetarah and BB held their heads together–they talk via telepathy–as I parked Dee’s truck, the only pink vehicle with a translucent orb perched in the cargo hold in town. I know, I was shocked, too.
“We will go there,” Ghetarah pointed at the larger, thatched roof building. “The other option has nothing raw on the menu and is therefore unacceptable.”
My jury was still deciding with Ghetarah. I wanted to get along with her, because I love Billy Bob, but so far, she was bossy and haughty, a combo high on my suck list. Very different from BB, whose funky laugh cracked us up on the regular. BB was ready for any adventure, and he cross dressed like a pro, which ended up being a useful skill.
Ghetarah’s tone and body language told me she thought humans were stupid and annoying. Here’s hoping for a short adjustment period; otherwise, we were in for a long-assed gambit in New Orleans. Plus, I’m not the most patient bitch on Earth.
The two FBI vehicles pulled in on either side of the pink wonderment, and the entourage of Agents Jeff, Jim, Bob, Habib, along with Delilah’s twin sister Daisy piled out, stretching. Jeff’s shades slid my way with a near imperceptible smile. Excellent.
The groupies parked, wary to keep a distance between their motley collection of sci-fi tee shirts and Jim’s ham-sized hands. Fast learners. Around twenty-five strong, they sidled along behind us, snapping indiscreet selfies.
“To be fair, I expected more of them,” Dee murmured, adjusting her baby pink shades adorned with serious bling on the temples.
The staff was chill with Billy and Ghetarah’s order of raw grouper and salads. They finished first, wandering out onto the restaurant’s tiki bar and dock. I watched them stand, heads touching.
“Working a new marriage in front of the entire world ain’t for the faint of heart,” Mama Cafferey said. “Just look at Hollywood.”
“No argument here.”
Billy’s head withdrew from Ghetarah’s and swiveled. Maybe he was catching her shade, too.
Oh well, theirs to work out.
Daisy beamed at me.
I can be patient.
Her beam became a laugh.
What? It’s possible.
Daisy was a psychic on steroids, and Billy believed she’d be Earth’s breakthrough to learn next-level abilities. What I knew was she calculated math at a capacity that left MIT in the dust.
“Do you intend to drive through to New Orleans?”
I glanced at Agent Bob, the questioner, who functioned as the supreme allied requisitions dude. When it came to digits, Bob was a freaking wiz.
“It’s only a six or seven hour trip from here. Why shouldn’t we?”
Bob’s eyes slid to Mama, then back to me and Dee.
“Mama Cafferey, what are your thoughts on spending six more hours on the road?”
“I’ll be fresher in the morning, honey.”
“Bob, can you find us something?”
Fingers tapped, tapped again, and he shrugged.
“There’s not much west of here.”
“East of here was a sea of asphalt and trees.”
“Agreed. I’ll secure accommodations in Tallahassee.”
Billy crooked a finger at me. Since I’d inhaled my burger, I grabbed my beer, excused myself and headed toward the sunshine.
“Bongo, who manages this preserve? It’s teeming with life!”
“It is gorgeous here, Billy. I’m guessing, but based on acreage, I bet they have a multitude of rangers and scientists working on a bunch of projects. Are you curious regarding any specific topic?”
“What’s over there?”
“Bugs, BB. Lots and lots of bugs. Snakes. Alligators. Things that eat you.”
“But I saw humans! They stood on the bank over there, waved, and boats helped them cross the water.”
Delilah selected a stool facing the flowing river and pointed southwest. “There’s a nature trail there, Billy Bob. Folks walk for miles. Once they get here, boaters bring the hikers across to the next section.”
My brows leveled, and I stared at Dee, whose closet never entertained a hiking boot, ever. I’d bet a fair chunk on that.
“I dated a US Ranger. Briefly.” She shrugged. “The man was stacked.” She leaned toward Billy. “You can study the maps, but if you’d prefer to talk to ecologists, start with a few universities. I expect a chance to chat with you would open those doors right quick.”
BB stared at the fast-moving river as a huge bull gator surfaced and let the tidal driven current push him upriver.
“You do not want to tramp those trails, Billy Bob.” Dee finished her wine and stood. “But we are stopping for the night near Florida State University. I’ll ask an agent to get you an appointment.”
“Us.” Ghetarah rose and adjusted her sundress. “And we won’t need liaisons.”
My eyebrows did the thing they do before my mouth engaged, but Billy shook his head.
So it’s like that?
“Of course,” Ghetarah answered. “You’re superfluous.”
I detest the mind reading. It’s rude as shit. BB and I would have a conversation. Soon. Right now, my words were for the bossy green bitch eyeing me with impunity. Let the lessons rain.
“Coming from someone whose planet is well and truly fucked up, that’s rich. You need us more than we need you.”
“La-dies,” Billy sing-songed, trying to be funny. I wasn’t amused. Based on the set of Delilah’s lips, the feeling was mutual.
“Ghetarah, I’m happy you came here, honey. I surely am. If you think for a single minute that your arrival changed the mission and Earth no longer has a stake, you’re in for the rudest of awakenings. Don’t make me wish we had a pflug in the wings.”
“One with your name on it,” I muttered.
Billy’s massive forehead wrinkled. “What does that mean?”
“It means, sugar, we need to make the effort to get acquainted and get along together. Acting superior to someone you’ve not properly met makes as much sense as moonshine for breakfast.”