The Adventures of Fox Staubest! - Part III
Jorge can't hold his breath much longer - so he eases the nose of his "specially modified" F-18 down gently to approach the stratosphere. A light cloud cover lay far below as he adjusts the flaps to slow to mach 8 by the time he reaches them. Ignoring the jet's standard issue internal radio gear he quickly uses his secret agent wristwatch (relaying via Langley) to notify NASA at Houston Control of his re-entry... while being careful to not skip off the Earth's atmosphere. But foremost in Jorge's mind is that he must reach Gary in time!

The evil Dr. Rash Behindend laughs hideously as he suddenly ejects - bursting up out of the speeding Porsche, leaving Gary with mere seconds before certain doom. That's right, you see it really is quite impossible for Gary to escape. Here's why: The auto's self-destruct sequence cannot be reversed or interrupted as the advanced dual timer mechanism (encased in titanium) would go off instantly if it sensed a deviance of only .00012 seconds. Also the car is traveling at 92 MPH going downhill on a curving gravel mountain road. And the steering column broke free an instant before Dr. Behindend ejected leaving no way to steer down the narrow road with its sheer cliffs on both sides; and - just a few seconds before that - the evil scientist went to the trouble of closing the sunroof and enabling child-locks on the doors. (Darn!, evil scientists make me so mad sometimes!!) Finally Gary hasn't eaten in 4 days and right after Rash ejected, a poisonous deadly toxic bad-smelling nerve gas began releasing into the passenger compartment. Time before the car's self-destruct - 16 seconds! (..if nothing else kills Gary first). Gary sucks in a last breath of air and quickly begins typing an E-sit (emergency situation) into his secret agent watch.

Jorge breaks through the cloud cover and sees the Porsche directly in front of him below. He also notices far to the left and speeding away an unmarked shiny black helicopter with a single occupant. Suddenly the chopper slows then turns around, appearing to face the F-18 above. Jorge's watch lights up indicating the reception of Gary's terse warning for any nearby agents to clear the area before the explosion. Gary's message concludes with a short sentence about his great pride at having served as a secret agent and asks that someone look after his three-legged deaf dog with one eye, bad teeth, worms, raspy bark, and a shedding problem, named "Lucky".

Jorge continues to move in closer. He switches armaments to guns and blasts off a few rounds to flatten the tires. The car slows way down to 89 MPH and the ride gets extremely bumpy inside. Gary continues to hold his breath while removing his shirt and dislodging the seat back. 11 seconds left!

Back in London Fox Staubest stares at his watch in sheer disbelief and suddenly sits bolt upright in his seat. The boring presentation up front pauses as all heads turn to look at him. They query about the problem but he doesn't hear them. Fox does a quick status check of available agents and sees that only Jorge is in the same vicinity. Both are in danger! He can't afford to lose Gary, but it would be even worse to lose Jorge as well ... he orders Jorge out of the area immediately and types that he'll be sure to feed Lucky when he gets back to Portland later tonight. He concludes typing to Gary with "Bye and thanks alot, man".

Jorge does not receive his message. A small red light comes on inside the chopper at the same time that Jorge hears a loud piercing screech enveloping his cockpit - all weapons controls suddenly become inoperative! Jorge veers up quickly then jolts to the right - he has trouble controlling the jet. ...The evil Dr. Rash Behindend laughs boisterously from inside his black helicopter!! Gary has 7 seconds left as he sets the tiny self-destruct on his secret agent pocket knife (which he has set to detonate in 6 seconds, by the way), then ties it on the end of his shirt sleeve, throws it into the corner of the rear window and puts up the dislodged seat back as a crude shield, while still holding the end of the other sleeve. His eyes water from the thick poisonous gas and he sure feels hungry. And then - the car swerves off the edge - going over a sheer 1,000 foot cliff with sharp rocks, rusty nails (which can cause infection), and broken glass below. At 5 seconds left Gary's hopeless situation becomes even more really, really hopeless!! ...Meanwhile Jorge struggles desperately just to avert crashing! The evil scientist casually maneuvers out of blast range - and he has a big smile on his face - that darned jerk!

But what they don't know below ... is that special agent Travis is on an ultra tip-top secret assignment right now. The current space shuttle mission doesn't list him aboard; he doesn't show up in their PR photos ... but Travis has been quietly conducting SDI (star wars) experiments. Just now the orbiting shuttle is about to rise up over the distant horizon. Travis aborts the 17 current SDI programs running and sets all coordinated systems to standby. Under his unique liaison status he then takes temporary command of the whole mission and orders the pilot to change heading to 42.8594921º. But all this takes 3 seconds! He simultaneously gets the new advanced (and very hush-hush) long range over-the-horizon radar set to identi-map the area around Gary and Jorge for 100 miles. There are three anomalies which stand out (after accounting for overnight tree growth and subtracting a flock of geese): a smoothly gliding black chopper, an erratic F-18, and a lime green Porsche going off a cliff.

After 2 more seconds he immediately targets a narrow blue laser beam set to medium intensity onto the chopper, just enough to fry its antenna array. Jorge's F-18 lurches up and he begins to regain control just as Rash screams at his controls which appear to have malfunctioned. One second later the falling Porsche reaches terminal velocity right as Gary's pocket knife detonates - blowing out the back window - his specially tied shirt billows open into a makeshift small parachute as he throws down the seat back shield, the shirt pulls him out and away from the tumbling car! He's free of the car and can at last take a breath of air. One second later the car explodes below him - but it's too close - the blast hits Gary hard! It slams him upward so quickly that he almost loses consciousness.

Dr. Behindend decides to make a quick getaway. He'll have to get Jorge another day. But at least, he consoles himself, Gary has been terminated! He kicks in the chopper's jet engine and speeds off. Jorge cuts hard left and slices down just over the edge of the cliff with its still swirling dust from where Gary went off only seconds before. He accelerates downward while punching open the cockpit - but without ejecting. A short stack of cards gets sucked out and flutters into the wind. From space Travis can't tell who or what is in the speeding black chopper but he is trying to scan the Porsche's hurtling wreckage. Above the chunks of metal, rubber, and plastic though appears to be a shirtless tumbling adult male with unkempt blonde hair and three gold molar fillings. But the stats don't quite add up right - wait!, ...unless Gary hadn't eaten in approximately 3-5 days! Hmmm, Travis mulls this over.

Jorge yanks the throttle and flaps back hard as his F-18 careens parallel to the cliff wall - only inches away. Gary lets go of his shirt with perfect timing to sync with Jorge and falls into the back seat of the jet just below him! But without an extra helmet inside for Gary, Jorge knows that he must land as soon as possible because otherwise this would be a violation of the law and it just would not be safe! However, on the way he quickly types into his secret agent watch a thank you to Travis, a request that Fox meet them in New York - and with this verified, Jorge adds two more to his reservations for dinner that evening. Gary tries to get his hair combed down, but with 600 MPH winds rushing past the open cockpit he soon decides to wait on this - till they reach the runway.

Part IV  >>