Dr. Smith woke up.
His back and neck hurt, as if he had been sleeping on the ground all night.
He opened his eyes,
He was in a tent.
Ah, That explains it, then. He thought.
He could smell something cooking, bacon.
He realised he hadn't eaten in eight or nine hours.
Dr. Smith walked out of the tent into the sunshine. Capt. Brown was cooking a pan on the campfire, “Good Morning!” He said, brightly.
Dr. Smith grumbled.
Wayne King and His orchestra played “ Josephine” Somewhere nearby, Capt. Brown had found a record player and some records in Dr. Smith's suitcase, thoughtfully providing dining music.
|-=fig. 650: good morning, middle of nowhere=-|
“Coffee,” Capt. brown said, with a hurt expression. He didn't like seeing his cooking spat out all over the ground. “I percolated it myself. Just now.”
Dr. Smith examined the remains of the foul drink. Percolated coffee. Well, they were on the run, he hadn't expected espresso every morning.
Actually, he had.
“So, Where are we?” He asked.
“France…Somewhere. West of Legopolis, near a dried-up riverbed. That's all I know.” Capt. Brown sipped his coffee, he had never had any trouble drinking percolated coffee. The trick, he knew, was to drink it fast. He surmised that Dr. Smith's problem was he expected coffee to taste good. Where Capt. Brown drank solely for the caffeine content.
“Why'd we stop here?” Asked Dr. Smith as he procured a slice of bacon and what could have once been scrambled eggs.
“Oh, uh. No reason.”
“Fine! The car ran out of gas. We're stuck.”
Dr. Smith laughed, “Gas? We have plenty of that. Did you look in the trunk?”
“Yes, James, the trunk. As you know, it's like my briefcase in that it links back to a room in my house. Except this room is filled with gas, and tyres, and spare engine parts.” As he talked Dr. Smith opened the trunk, set the false bottom aside, and climbed down the ladder.
He disappeared into the darkness. The ratchet style click of a pull-chain light-switch, and the darkness wasn't so dark at all.
“One tankful of gas?” Asked his voice, from far-off.
“Right.” Answered Capt. Brown. He couldn't believe he had forgotten about the trunk.
Dr. Smith appeared climbing up the ladder, dragging one tankful of gas. “Gas is…really heavy.” he wheezed.
Capt. Brown, who was bigger and stronger than Dr. Smith, gave him a hand.
“Haut les mains, les intrus!”
|-=fig. 651: les intrus=-|
“Qu'entendez-vous, les intrus?” Shouted Capt. Brown. France was a huge country whose borders nearly engulf the tiny country/city of Legopolis, and you wouldn't last long as mayor if you didn't know some french.
“Je veux dire simplement que. C'est ma terre, ce sont mes hommes, et ce sont…leurs armes.” Said the man in front, with the green suit and stupid red feather in his hat.
“AaaAaah…*gulp*” Said. Capt. brown.
“What? WHAT?” Asked Dr. Smith, He didn't speak french.
“Private property.” Capt. Brown said, “Trespassers will be shot.”
“Are you…Armed, James?”
“It's eight-o’clock in the morning, Zachary Of course I'm armed.”
“Lay down cover fire, but don't kill any of them.”
“Because we're in the wrong here, James, and also I have a better idea but I need their heads down.”
Capt. Brown ducked behind the Jag, The french started shooting, and Dr. Smith dove into the tent, all in the same moment.
Capt. Brown drew his guns, two automatic machine pistols, from the recesses of his jacket. Capt. Brown took an ambidextrous approach to weaponry.
The french rushed forward, but their distinct lack of co-ordination meant that mainly what they did was trip on each other.
Dr. smith emerged from the tent.
|-=fig. 652: dr. smith's better idea=-|
Blue light arced from the thing he has holding, and encased the frenchmen in a semi-transparent blue bubble.
|-=fig. 653: taget neutralised=-|
“I encased them in a…Let's call it a time bubble. They're going to relieve the last five, six seconds of their life for the next hour or so.”
“So what benign purpose did you design this one for?” Asked Capt. Brown.
“Organ transplants. But it's not really ready yet, too temperamental. For example, I have no idea how long that time bubble will last, I set it for an hour, but it could be a day, could be six minutes. I think it's a power distribution issue. Oh, yes, what that means to us is we need to really hurry, pack up and leave. I'll put the gas in while you collapse the tent.” Dr. Smith never could figure out tents.
|-=fig. 654: flying off=-|
“Not yet. Come on, James, we're fugitives in the wilds of france! How much more exciting can you get!”
Capt. Brown held the private belief that his life had become much too exciting as of late. Usually because of Dr. Smith.
He hardly had any time for mayoring, anymore. He couldn't remember the last time he'd done any paperwork…filing…reviewed zoning permits…Maybe Dr. Smith wasn't so bad after all.