Authors: M.E. Castle
First published by Egmont Publishing, 2015
443 Park Avenue South, Suite 806
New York, NY 10016
Copyright © Paper Lantern Lit, 2015
All rights reserved
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Castle, M. E.
Clones vs. aliens / M.E. Castle.
1 online resource. — (The Clone chronicles ; #4)
Summary: Twelve-year-old Fisher Bas and his clone work together to save the world after aliens disguised as twelve-year-old girls invade their town.
ISBN 978-1-60684-534-9 (hardback)
1. Cloning—Fiction. 2. Extraterrestrial beings—Fiction. 3. Twins—Fiction. 4. Bullies—Fiction. 5. Middle schools—Fiction. 6. Schools—Fiction. 7. Science fiction. 8. Humorous stories. I. Title. II. Title: Clones versus aliens.
ISBN 978-1-60684-535-6 (eBook)
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher and copyright owner.
For my Grandma Martha
Who showed me every summer
That the simplest gestures of love
Leave the deepest impressions.
I walked into school one morning and destroyed a math test. I walked into school the next day and destroyed the school.
—Fisher Bas, Journal
“One … more … piece…,” Fisher Bas said. Sweat beaded on his forehead. His breathing slowed to near hibernation levels, his hand shifted tremblingly into place. It was Friday afternoon, the end of the school week, and most kids were already on their way home. He, however, had one task left. An outdoor project of unprecedented scope. He was a single piece away from completing what was without a doubt his greatest feat of engineering.
With the gentle sound of a final, perfect connection slotting home, it was done. Fisher stepped back carefully, shading his eyes against the sun. It truly was a wonder of geometric achievement, a proud symbol of humanity’s eternal struggle against gravity.
It was the world’s largest freestanding structure built entirely out of King of Hollywood Spicy Star Fry boxes—and would, Fisher hoped, serve as the basis for Wompalog’s most impressive Thanksgiving float.
“It’s beautiful,” breathed Alex, Fisher’s clone. Or, to be more specific, his first and least evil clone.
Two weeks earlier, Fisher’s second and
evil clone, Three, had attempted to take over the city with an army of androids that all looked identical to Fisher. He had very nearly succeeded. In the final showdown, the Wompalog school building had been utterly wrecked. So for now, school was a bunch of trailers hauled into the massive parking lot surrounding the King of Hollywood—which meant constant access to the mind-numbingly delicious fries, and lots of time during lunch to fiddle around with their packaging.
For the first time in a long time, Fisher was relaxed. Thanksgiving was next week. And better, Dr. X was in jail. Three was in the most secure custody the FBI could arrange for minors. Veronica was happy with Fisher. And Alex was his own person instead of a dark secret.
Fisher and Alex had been through an awful lot together in the few short months of Alex’s life, whether saving the world from Dr. X, freeing Palo Alto from Three’s clutches, or devising a method to trick their dad’s genetically engineered cookie-sniffing mongoose when she came into Fisher’s room unannounced.
Unless something fell out of the sky in the next few days, then finally,
, Fisher could take it easy for a little while.
Fisher’s ears perked up.
“Do you hear something?” he said to Alex.
“Like what?” Alex said.
“Like a hiss, or a whine, or a …” Fisher turned, horrified.
With a resounding oink, a fuzzy, pointy-eared pink missile careened right through Fisher’s fry box tower and into Fisher’s arms. Fisher tumbled backward with such force that he crashed into Alex, and the three of them—boys and pig—sank into the pile of toppled boxes.
Flying Pig, Alex and Fisher’s pet, was a loyal and lovable creature who also seemed to be, aside from a black hole or a gamma ray burst, the single most destructive force in the universe.
After a minute or two of awkward clawing, Fisher’s head finally breached the surface of the cooking oil-scented heap.
“Tell me you at least got a picture,” he said to Alex. “That was a week of work.”
Alex’s arm popped up from beneath the cardboard tide, phone clutched in his fist.
“Thank Higgs,” Fisher said, hauling Alex out of the wreckage of his masterpiece. “I would’ve had to reassemble it with glue before mounting it on the float, anyway. The important thing is that we’ve got the photo to guide us.”
FP emerged from the pile a few seconds later, a
grease-stained box hanging from each ear.
“It’s two thirty,” Alex said, dusting the oily remains of fry residue from his shoulder. “Time to head home. Maximizing our time away from Wompalog would be optimal.”
“I know,” Fisher said. “I wrote the equation.”
The pleasant residential area Fisher and Alex passed through on the way home showed barely any indication
that it had, briefly, been the victim of a hostile android takeover. FP sniffed happily at well-maintained hedges. There weren’t any scorch marks or car wrecks, no burned gears or other robotic debris. It looked like any other ordinary neighborhood, where decent people led happy lives and did not have to deal with mechanical armies commanded by under-five-foot tyrant clones.
Fisher breathed easily, hoping it would stay that way at least until the new year. That didn’t seem like so much to ask, really.
At the end of their short walk, the Bas home came into view. It was, in fact, very difficult to miss. A cluster of antennae sprang from the roof, transmitting, receiving, and collecting data from dozens of experiments. Mrs. Bas’s garden was visible from more than a block away, mostly because of the massive cornstalk that jutted higher than the house. Mr. Bas had named it Fee, as in Fi Fo Fum.
“Tomorrow’s going to be fantastic,” Fisher said. “Loopity Land will be the biggest thing in town since the first King of Hollywood opened.”
“I’m still shocked that our parents helped design an amusement park,” Alex said. “I mean, I could see Dad putting together a roller coaster for marmosets or flatworms or something, but entertaining
? New territory.”
“It’s true,” Fisher said thoughtfully. The Bas’s Liquid
Door front gate, as dense as lead when sitting idle, reduced itself to a vapor-like state as it recognized Alex and Fisher’s DNA, allowing them to pass through. “Our parents might be geniuses, but their social skills are definitely remedial.”
Mr. and Mrs. Bas had announced earlier in the week that they had secretly been working for over a year on a vast amusement park that was at last nearing completion. Tomorrow, Saturday, would be a trial run to which only the designers and builders were invited.