"A Cadillac?" Ivan asked.
"Yeah," Ace said. "That's what I think is in the bedroom. A fucking Cadillac."
The two spoke in the sickbay next to the still-comatose Elvis Presley lying on a medical table beside them.
"Huh," Ivan said. "You know. That actually makes sense. I've been hitting the mansion pretty hard with Betty's sensors for the past few hours. It's still pretty cloudy, but I did pick up a faint outline of something that could be a car. But what could he want with a car? And why is it protected by so much super-advanced tech? And—"
"There's too many questions and not enough answers!" Ace said. "We gotta get back over there and figure this shit out. Something is going on here that's bigger than all of this. Has he, ya know, done the astral-thing again?"
"Not since last time, when we first got into Memphis," Ivan said. "He's had a few spikes in brain activity but nothing like before."
"He's controlling Elvis impersonators now," Ace said and immediately felt ridiculous. But facts were facts. Fat Elvis confirmed that the comatose Elvis lying in Betty's sickbay was able to possess or control them.
"That would explain why so many have been showing up," Ivan said. "And why the impersonators are so keen on protecting Graceland."
"Protecting Graceland?" Ace asked.
"Yeah," Ivan said. "They keep trying to get the cops to leave Graceland. A bunch have been doing crazy stuff and leading the cops away. Most looked like they were just looking for a reason to start rioting. When you did your Nadia Comăneci routine, they all just went nuts. I wonder what it all means."
"I don't know, Ivan! I don't know what the shit any of this means!" Ace glared at Ivan and held his elbows wide from his body with his chest thrust out. He let out a forced laugh that had a hard edge to it.
"I mean," Ace shouted. "I thought we were just bringing a zombie rock star back to his house so he could see a special doctor and then pay us off for our troubles. Remember? Gold? There was supposed to be gold, Ivan."
Ace took off his hat and ran his hand through his hair, laughing at the insanity of it all. "Also, he's got a talking dog and a security system that only Elvis can disarm guarding the place. Oh! And I ran into the cop who jumped us at the rest stop. He knows we're not from around here. As in, he knows we're from off-world. And apparently, he's in contact with the shiny asshole who shot Elvis. And—"
"Dude. Calm down." Ivan spoke slow and gentle like he approached a pissed-off tiger who just ate a circus clown. "We'll figure this out. We've been in tougher scrapes than this. Let's work out the facts we know. Ok?"
Ace let out an exasperated sigh and cracked his knuckles. "Ok...you're right. OK. What do we know?"
Ivan started counting on his long fingers. "One. Elvis is in a coma 'cause some shiny jerk shot him. Two. Elvis wants something that's in the mansion across the street that apparently only he can physically access. Three. There's a riot of Elvis impersonators separating us from the mansion. Four. We're in a spaceship that is currently cloaked to look like a Winnebago, but it could just as easily be invisible..."
Ivan paused for effect.
"What?" Ace said. "You're saying we can make Betty invisible and just fly across the street, land it in front of the mansion, and then just walk Elvis up to the master bedroom? What about the dazzler? It keeps fucking up every time we get close to the mansion. Last time it exploded!"
"Yeah," Ivan said. "I've had time to figure that out. All I have to do is keep modulating the neutrino dissipators, and it should hold steady. I've run a few computer simulations, and it looks like it will work. Besides, there's a full-blown riot on the street right now. Everyone's focused on that. We can set Betty down in the yard nice and easy. Then you carry Elvis up and see what the hell is in that bedroom he wants so bad."
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Ace Tucker Space TruckerScience Fiction
Ace Tucker thinks Earth can eat a turd sandwich... Ace Tucker is a man who was raised in outer space and taught how to be human by a Russian cyborg chimpanzee. He earns a living as a rock-and-roll roadie and cargo hauler for the greatest band in the...