M.O.P.S. in Space
By Douglas E. Gogerty
The mob of teens and pre-teens slowly pressed in where Angus was standing. There was no escape for him, and there was nothing the other MOPS members could do to help.
Suddenly, the first screaming individual calmed down enough to hand Angus a piece of paper and a pen. He, she, or it shook terribly. It appeared that tears were welling up under his or hers or its eyes.
Angus scribbled something on the paper and handed it back to the individual who looked at it and fainted dead away. The rest of the crowd shrieked with glee and each pushed various merchandise at Angus for him to scribble something. Some just pawed at him to determine if he was real.
Slowly and methodically, Angus scribbled something on each of the things someone had given him and worked his way towards the mouth of the alley. When he passed the remaining MOPS members, they formed a line to protect Angus. The once shrieking mob had degenerated into a whimpering huddled mass. Each one of them was content with the scribbles on their objects.
Angus rushed out of the alley as the other MOPS members slowly backed out of the alley. In this way, they were assured that the mob would not regroup and attack Angus again.
Unfortunately, there was another mob outside the alley. They scooped Angus up and carried him off. There was nothing the others could do except follow. They chased after the shouting mob carrying their friend.
The group carried Angus past the café, past the bench, back to where Angus encountered the first mob. At the far end of this street, there was a large arena. The group carried Angus inside this structure with the MOPS members following.
At the far end of the arena sat a table. Four navy blue individuals stood guarding the table. Temporary barriers stood in various places to facilitate orderly lines. The lines of smallish individuals snaked around the inside of the arena and out into the street. There were thousands and thousands of them.
In the seats sat much larger versions of these individuals. The people in the seats spotted Angus first, and they roared to life when the small mob carried him in. They took him to his place at the table.
Several individuals in line fainted at the sight of him. The throngs around them held them up. The still conscious ones shrieked with excitement from a mere glance at him. Inside the arena, the sound was nearly unbearable. The shrill screams were probably driving the dogs on earth crazy. I am talking about the earth where the MOPS members lived. If there were dogs on this earth, they were probably howling as well.
One of the very blue, official-esque looking individuals yelled, "Gort deklato rosco!"18
The crowd quieted except for a few whimpers here and there. The first individual handed Angus a poster with his image upon it. Angus scribbled something and handed it back. Tears in the individual's eyes began to form. With shaky hands, he, she, or it grabbed the poster. No longer able to contain calmness, the individual let out a scream. Like a huge set of auditory dominoes, a chain reaction occurred and screams worked their way through the line.
Again, Gort deklato rosco was yelled and the crowd quieted.19 Each shaky teen and pre-teen had something with Angus's image on it. There were magazines, posters, romance novels, and even a few had handmade artworks featured the MOPS member.
Every time the other MOPS members attempted to get to Angus, either the throngs of people or the blue officials thwarted their effort. Thus, they decided to simply go to the end of the line and wait their turn. It was going to be a long wait, and they stood out from the local teen and pre-teen population.
Meanwhile, Angus was busily scribbling things on the vast array of memorabilia with his likeness upon it. He signed lunchboxes, action figures, backpacks and the gamut of items teens and pre-teens purchase.
After scribbling on an item, Angus looked at one of the guarding individuals and made a drinking-type motion.
"Gin and tonic -- okay?" asked the guard.
"Perfect!" replied Angus to the guards blank stare, so he added with a nod, "Okay."
"Gin and tonic!" the guard shouted.
"Gin and tonic!" the individuals in the stands shouted.
After a brief amount of time, a large, sweaty glass filled with a bubbly liquid was place upon the table near Angus. He scribbled on a few more things, and then took a sip from the glass. "Gin and tonic!" he shouted.
"Gin and tonic!" the individuals in the stands replied.
With a few more gestures, they brought him something that looked like a plate of doughnuts, a plate that looked like cookies, and a plate of something that looked like sandwiches. He washed down a bit of each with a sip of from his glass and a shout and reply of gin and tonic.
The line progressed with the occasional scream processional, and the regular fainting fits. With the progression of the line, the stands likewise slowly dwindled. Angus continued to scribble on things and nibble on the items provided. The remaining MOPS members got closer and closer to where he sat.
Hours passed by, and Angus continued his scribbling and nibbling. His friends gradually closed in on his position at the table, and the food goodies that he accumulated. They were 17 people from reaching the table when a blue official looking individual entered with all four of his arms in the air. An enormous wave of disappointment washed over the remaining individuals.
This navy blue individual said something and the disappointed crowd's collective shoulders hunched down. No one moved as the four individuals whisked Angus away. After several minutes, an announcement came over the loudspeaker that the MOPS members assumed was "Angus has left the building."20
The crowd slowly filed out, but the MOPS members worked their way to the table. They would find Angus later; right now, they wanted to get to his remaining goodies. It had been several hours since they had eaten, and they naturally had no qualms about devouring Angus's leftovers.
They were the last ones out of the building and Angus was nowhere to be found. They managed to return to the café, and he was not there. They could not imagine where he would be.
They were lost on a strange planet, and now one of their members was missing. It was now late in the evening and very dark. They had no place to spend the night. Further, they had no notion on where to begin looking for their missing friend.
19: Ibid. The Day the Earth Stood Still (In case you didn't recognize it.)
20: A cultural reference to the end of Elvis Presley concerts. They would not let the crowd leave until Elvis himself had left.