Louie came up sputtering with an
indignant glare at Big Brown Bear. White suds clung to his ears and his
wet fur clung sadly to his frame.
“Never again! I swore I'd never take another bath after Caro washed me! Let me out of here!”
“Nein, du must einmal decontamination wash getaken,” Herr Professor Bear stated flatly.
Big Brown Bear, easily ten times Louie's size, pushed the little monkey back under the soapy water and sloshed him around vigorously.
“Das ist genuch,” Herr Professor said as he glanced up from his pocket watch.
Louie flew out of the bucket and immediately scrambled up the Wisteria and glared back down at the assembled Bears Home Front Brigade below. Many chuckled at Louie's misfortune, Little Schlepp tried unsuccessfully to hide his smirk, and Terrance bobbed his head in the slow nod that passed for a box turtle laughing out loud. Big Schlepp signaled for quiet and quickly got it.
“OK, so now we know we're dealing with something highly pseudo-radioactive. Its not immediately dangerous, but we don’t yet understand how it effects stuffed critters. Stay away from that green goo and if you find Lightfeather, get her back here to the Professor as fast as you can. You all have your orders--get to your posts.”
Despite his wet, matted fur, Louie quickly obeyed. He joined Terrance and Travel Schlepp as they headed towards the back fence. Behind the big yellow yarrow they crawled into the hole left by Sammy Skunk or Sammy Squirrel. On the other side, they cautiously worked their way across the front yard, turning up the sidewalk, and making Best Speed (for a turtle), they struck out for one of the few places where they knew radioactive green goo might be found.
“How are we going to get across town?” asked Louie.
“Don't worry, we'll take public,” replied Schlepp. “Number 12 will take us downtown.”
“They're public transportation—buses and such.”
“Oh, yeah, Mandy and I used to take buses all over the ward. You could ride clean across the parish.”
“Karl and I use them all the time in Vienna. The trick is the first step. Usually Karl just carries me up, but we'll need a plan to get on board without him. Here's what we'll do....”