The Duckburg Incident
As soon as the front door shut behind Phineas, Ferb and Neal, Amanda asked, “Milo, how do you know those two?”
Milo, Zack and Melissa took turns telling Amanda about the Pistachion incident, which Milo realized, was a story none of them had ever told anyone before.
“I think they do this sort of thing all the time,” said Milo.
Melissa nodded. “Yeah, they knocked out the Murphy’s Law suit in no time flat.”
“From the way Phineas talked last night,” said Zack, “you’d think a particle accelerator in the backyard was completely normal.”
Milo shrugged. “Maybe, for Phineas and Ferb, it is.”
“But how do they-“ began Amanda, when her phone buzzed. She had been about ask, “how do they afford all that stuff?” She pulled out her phone and began tapping and swiping through her schedule. “I’m sorry, Milo,” she said. “That was my Mom. She will be here to pick me up in five minutes.”
“Oh, uh….OK,” said Milo. “I guess I’ll see you later then.”
Amanda gave Milo a kiss on the cheek. “See you at school,” she said. Then she went out Milo’s front door.
After Amanda left, Milo, Zack and Melissa trooped back up stairs to Milo’s bedroom, where they spent the rest of the morning cleaning up the mess the six of them had made during the night. It was only when they were almost finished, that Melissa asked, “so what was Doof doing in your kitchen last night?”
“Making a pot of coffee,” replied Milo simply. Milo had expected this. For a second he wondered how much to tell them, or if he should even tell them anything at all. Then he pushed the idea away. Zack and Melissa were his closest friends.They deserved his honesty.
“And that’s all?” asked Zack. “He was just making coffee?”
“Well, yes, but-“ Milo’s voice trailed off.
“But what?” asked Zack.
Milo took a breath and slowly exhaled. “He talked to me, or at least he tried to.”
“About what?”asked Melissa. She looked as if she already knew the answer. Milo felt the prickling sensation in the back of his skull again and he absentmindedly rubbed the rubbed the back of his scalp, as if to make it go away.
“He tried ask me about Murphy’s Law,” Milo said at last.
Zack and Melissa traded a look. Most of the people who knew Milo had heard the stories about the situations that Milo had gotten into and out of, moreover, they had often heard the stories of Milo’s misadventures directly from the hapless teenager himself. It was only natural that Milo’s friends would speculate about how Milo managed to navigate the unmitigated chaos that frequently beset him. As far as Zack and Melissa knew, no one ever openly asked Milo this question before.
“So….what did he want to know?” asked Melissa.
“Well,” amended Milo, “he didn’t ask me about Murphy’s Law or negative probability or anything like that.”
Zack and Melissa traded another look. They were totally lost. They had both assumed that Doofenshmirtz, in his usual completely tactless way, had tried to ask Milo about his negative probability field for some reason related to his time travel research, as that was practically the only thing he thought about these days. Apparently that assumption was wrong and whatever conversation he had tried to have with Milo, had left Milo completely blindsided, which Melissa had to consider something of an achievement in an of itself, as Milo was usually very, very good at reading his surroundings.
“So….what did he try to ask you?” asked Melissa a second time. Whatever question Doof had tactless tried to ask Milo, Melissa was quickly getting the impression that Milo had considered it a personal question and would have preferred to not to answer.
“He tried to ask me how I live a normal life,” replied Milo at long last.
“But you-“ Zack started to say. He had started to say, “but you don’t,” but had stopped. One of things that Zack had always admired most about Milo was his ability to put everyone before himself, especially when it came to shielding his friends from Murphy’s Law. Zack didn’t want to seem insensitive and hurt Milo’s feelings, when Milo clearly seemed to be vulnerable.
Melissa, however, perhaps, as Milo’s oldest friend didn’t seem to be as concerned about unintentionalLy hurting Milo’s feelings. “Well, you don’t live a normal life,” she said. “You’re a Murphy.”
“Yeah,” Zack nodded. “Maybe there are some things that just can’t be easily explained.”
“It’s time for danger, time for action, time for Dr. Zone!” Milo woke unexpectedly to the sound of his phone ringing early one morning a few weeks later. Blearily, he opened one eye, looking around for his ringing phone. “Chronological time is an abstraction, when you’re with Dr. Zone!” Milo groggily opened the other eye and looked at the alarm clock on the shelf next to his bed. It was broken. “He has one foot in the future and one foot in the past-“ Milo suddenly remembered that he had left his phone on his desk to recharge the night before. He pushed back the covers and climbed out of bed. He climbed down the ladder at the foot of the bed and straightened up. Milo clicked on his desk light and momentarily squinted in the sudden brightness. He picked up his phone and looked at the screen. Phineas Flynn-555-3141. Why would Phineas be calling him at, he checked the time, 6:30 in the morning? He tapped his screen, which cracked. “Phineas?” he asked trying to stifle a yawn, “what’s going? It’s 6:30. On the first day of summer vacation. What are you calling me for?”
“Hi, Milo,” said the chipper voice on the other hand end. “Yeah, I know” said Phineas excitedly, “gotta make every minute count, anyway come by my house later today. I’ve got something to show you.” He hung up.
No sooner had Phineas hung up than, Milo’s phone rang again. “Now what,” muttered Milo. He tapped his screen again. “Phineas-“ he began.
Zack’s voice cut him off. “Hi, Milo,” he said, “did you just get a call from Phineas?”
“Hi Zack,” replied Milo, “Yeah, I did.”
“It’s the first day of summer action,” said Zack. “Does he not sleep or something?”
“What did he want?” asked Milo.
“To drop by his house,” answered Zack. “He said he wanted to show me something. You?”
“He said the same thing to me too,” said Milo. As he spoke his phone pinged twice. Melissa and Amanda were trying to text him. “So, are you going to go over to his house?” asked Zack.
Milo hesitated. “I don’t know,” he said, “I mean me and high energy physics…..” Milo let his voice trail off. He remembered the light show that Phineas had put on with his little tech toy. He could imagine the kinds of thing Phineas might want to show him.
Zack seemed to sense Milo’s hesitation. “C’mon, Milo, you’ve been abducted by aliens-“
“Twice,” Milo interjected, his voice edged with dry sarcasm.
“-how dangerous can this be?”
Milo decided that Zack had a point. Whatever Phineas and Ferb had cooked up couldn’t be worse than being asked to single handily save an alien planet. “I’ll see you there,” he said, and hung up. After Milo hung up, he pulled open a drawer in his desk and took out a new phone. He unwrapped it, took it out of the box and laid it in his desk. He quickly disassembled his old phone, took out the SIM card and slotted it into his new one, which he left on his desk to charge. He got up and walked down the hall to the bathroom with the usual clatter in his wake to shower and brush his teeth before going downstairs for breakfast.
After a quick breakfast, Milo walked out to the garage and took his bike down from the bike rack on the wally. He walked out to the driveway which was bathed in bright morning sunshine, hopped on his bike and peddled off in the direction of Phineas’ neighbourhood. The ride from Milo’s house to Phineas’ only took 20 minutes. Milo was only forced to detour by Murphy’s Law three times. Just a block from the end of his own street, Milo was forced to detour around a cement truck that had taken a corner too fast and overturned. Three blocks later, the ground collapsed beneath him and Milo ended up in the sewer, however, Milo had an excellent knowledge of the Danville sewer system and he was able to extricate himself with little difficulty. As he emerged from a storm drain, Milo dodged around a spilled load of structural steel. As he turned on to Phineas’ street, he was joined by Zack, Melissa and Amanda. He gave them a friendly wave.
As the four of them turned onto Phineas’ street, they approached a large, rambling two storey house. The four of them dropped their bikes in the driveway and walked up to the front door. Milo rang the doorbell and a second later a tall man with half moon glasses opened the door. “Well, hello,” said Lawrence Fletcher brightly. Lawrence was Ferb’s father and Candace and Phineas’ stepfather. “Come in.You must be friends of Phineas and Ferb, they’re in the backyard.” They followed him through the house to the backyard. From somewhere upstairs, they heard a teenage girl say, “those two little brainiacs! They’ve built a clean room in the backyard! And a particle accelerator! They are so busted!”
Zack leaned over and whispered in Milo’s ear. “What do they need a clean room and a particle accelerator for?”
Milo shrugged. “I have no idea,” he said.
Milo, Zack, Melissa and Amanda followed Mr. Fletcher into the large backyard. In the middle of the yard stood a tall, leafy tree. At one end a large white cube, like some kind of minimalist sculpture, stood as high as the second storey. Heavy power cables snakes across the yard to what appeared to be a large magnetic coil.
“Boys,” called Mr. Fletcher, “your friends have arrived.”
At this, Phineas pushed up a welding mask with a gloved hand. He spotted Milo at once and his face split into a big grin. “Hi, Milo.” Phineas shut off the blowtorch and dropped it into the grass.
Milo walked across the yard to where Phineas was standing. The nine year old genius was clearly in his element. He looked like a kid on Christmas morning surrounded by a huge pile of presents. Ferb finished welding shut a panel on top of the magnetic coil, which was twenty feet in diameter, and climbed down to join his stepbrother and Milo. “Hi, guys.” Milo cast his gaze around the yard, which was littered with tools, spare parts and empty packing crates. “So, what is all this?” Phineas rubbed his hands with excited glee. “C’mon, I’ll show you.” Milo, Zack, Melissa and Amanda followed him from one end of the yard to the other, eventually stopping in front of the two storey clean room. Phineas opened a storage locker and began passing out white smocks. “You’ll need to put these on,” he said.
As Milo shrugged off his backpack and pulled on the smock that Phineas had handed him, he thought he caught a slight look of apprehension on Zack’s face. Milo hadn’t seen that look in awhile and suddenly remembered that Zack was claustroavoidant. “Are you going to be OK?” he asked.
Zack took a deep steadying breath. “Yeah, I’ll be fine,” he said. He sounded as if he was trying to reassure himself as much as Milo.
“I’ve got a spare Kevlar vest in my backpack if you want to borrow it,” offered Milo.
“Wait, why did you pack a second Kevlar vest?” asked Zack.
Milo shrugged and shouldered his backpack. “In case of Murphy’s Law.” Milo finished zipping up his smock and prepared to go inside.