“WHAT?!?!?!?!” shrieked Jake. “Matt, are you CRAZY?!?! You can’t just choose to go on a mission in outer space like that. We have parents, Matt. And more importantly, lives. Normal kid lives. This will change our lives into mega-unique lives.” He changed the subject. “By the way, how did you decide to go so quickly? It would take me weeks to decide that type of life-changing choice.”
Matt shrugged. “I just suspected that since Mr. Chang is an alien hunter guy, he would have these cool alien gadgets that would take care of everything Another thing, Jake. Stop saying lives. It’s driving me crazy.”
Mr. Chang nodded. “That’s right.” he said. “ I’ll tell you more about it on our way to the ASL clearing. Now, who’s ready to go?”
Matt was nodding so hard, Jake thought his head would fall off. Pete didn’t need to do anything- his clenched fists and determined stare told everything. Jake was skeptical, though. “Are you sure about this? I mean, do you have some kind of gadget that will keep us alive?”
Mr. Chang smiled slyly. “If you go, I’ll give you a box of supergalactic dominos that float in midair and will only fall when you press a button on a remote control.”
“I’m in!” Jake squealed.
A few minutes later, the small group was in the ASL clearing. Mr. Chang had whipped out his cell phone and was dialing his ex-boss, Mr. Renneila. “John? Yeah, it’s me, Scott.” He paused. “No, I’m not going back into the business. But I’ve found 3 other people who want to be part of it. My son, Peter, (Pete winced. He hated to be called Peter) and his friends, Matt Timberson and Jake Linklen.” Another pause. “Oh, age? Pete is ten and so are his buddies.” “Buddies?” Matt muttered to Jake. ” That’s so seven thousand years ago.” Jake giggled as Mr. Chang continued to talk. “Yes, I said ten. Three ten year olds are going on a space mission.” He cringed as he held the phone far from his ear. It sounded like somebody was screaming. The boys could not hear everything Mr. Renneila was saying, but it sounded something like this:
“SCOTT, THEESE BOYZ AH TOO IMMATURE! THEESE MISHON ISS DANDERIS AND LIFE-RISKING!” Mr. Renneila’s strange jabbering quieted down. The boys couldn’t here what he was saying anymore, but Mr. Chang frowned and said, “Really?”
Then Mr. Chang scowled. “Very funny, John. But I’m serious. I really think these boys are mature enough to go on a space mission.” He frowned.
“In fact, I don’t even know why I called you. You’re not my boss anymore. Good day!”
Mr. Chang hung up, than turned brightly toward the boys. “Well, boys, looks like you’re going on
an adventure. Here, let me show you the tools you’ll need.” He sat on the ground. Pete, Matt, and Jake sat next to him. “This is called a time keeper,” Mr. Chang said, placing it on the ground. The time keeper had only two buttons, labeled play and stop. “The stop button is for stopping time,” Mr. Chang said. “Press that button every time before you leave on a mission”
“Every mission?” Jake repeated nervously. “I thought we were only going on this one.”
Mr. Chang chose to ignore that. “The play button does the opposite.” he said. “Push that button every time you finish a mission.”
“What?!?” Matt exclaimed. “That’s it? No cool gadgets?”
Mr. Chang glowered. “In case you haven’t noticed, Matthew,” he snapped, “This is not a game, and this is not a toy. This is real life. We don’t exactly have cool gadgets yet. People haven’t invented Joikins or Teleguests or Virturacing yet,” Matt shot Pete a confused look. Pete shrugged. Where was the quiet, orderly dad he used to have?
Mr. Chang was still talking. “And anyway, that’s not all of the inventions I’m going to show you.” He placed a glowing orb on the ground in front of him. “This is called an Illuminorb. It will light your way on dark planets, as well as keeping you safe from other aliens.”
“What do you mean?” Pete asked. Mr. Chang sighed. “Well, certain aliens who work for King Vervox will try to attack you.” Jake shuddered.”Who’s King Vervox? And how will the light protect us?”
“King Vervox is a tyrant who is trying to take over the universe.” Mr. Chang replied. “His subjects hate light, so the Illuminorb will keep them away. So anyway,” He continued, “It’s time for me to explain our last invention.” He took out a small, closed item that looked like a red Nintendo with two bumps on the top part. “This is called a Mini Alien Information Computer And Guide. We call it the MAICAG for short. But the odd part is,” Mr. Chang added, lowering his voice to a whisper, “it has a mind of its own.”
The MAICAG suddenly lit up and snapped open. “I heard that,” it snarled. Eyes appeared in the bumps on the top section.