The Duckburg Incident
The other kids were staring at Milo as he walked from his house down the street to the bus stop the next morning. Melissa, Zack and Amanda were already waiting at the bus stop in the early morning sunshine. Milo waved at them. “Hi guys,” he said brightly.
“Morning, Milo,” said Amanda.
Milo heard somebody snort loudly behind him. He turned to see who had made the noise and found a boy with black hair and rimless glasses looking incredulously at him. “Oh, hi, Bradley,” he said in a slightly flat voice.
Bradley Nicholson stared at Milo in annoyance. “Typical,” he exclaimed, waving his arms, one of which ended in a woody tendril, “just typical, Milo disappears and everyone welcomes him back like he’s some sort of hero or something.” For reasons that Milo had never really understood, Bradley had never liked him.
“Hi, Amanda,” said Milo, ignoring Bradley’s outburst. Milo felt a large, heavy hand land on his shoulder. He turned to see who it belonged to and found himself staring at the broad, fleshy face of Mort Schaeffer. “Hi Mort,” said Milo genially, “how’s your blocked chakra?”
“Hi Milo,” said Mort. “My chakras are balanced again, thanks for asking. I figured you three would turn up again. I felt emanations from my rose quartz.” The quarterback for the Jefferson Middle School Geckos, Mort was a broad shouldered, barrel chested boy a couple of inches taller and a good ten pounds heavier than Milo.
“Well, it’s nice to know I was missed,” said Milo.
“Oh, yeah,” said Chad Van Coff, appearing at Mort’s side as if out of nowhere, “we noticed you were gone, because Bradley kept complaining about how quiet everything was without you around.”
Milo was slightly confused. “Really?” he asked, “because Bradley has never exactly liked me.”
Mort nodded, “Oh yeah,” he said, “he put out all kinds of bad emanations.” Mort pointed to a spot in the middle of his forehead. “I could really feel it in my Third Eye. I had to spend a lot of time meditating on my second chakra.” Mort shrugged. “I offered to show him some relaxation techniques from my yoga class, but he wasn’t interested.”
Milo’s conversation with Mort was interrupted by the squealing of tires on asphalt. Milo turned along with everyone else to watch as the school bus came barreling around the corner. It rode up on two wheels as it skidded into the turn, then fell heavily back on to all four tires with a distant thud. It sped down the street toward where all the kids were standing and Milo’s hand whipped out, grabbing the back of Zack’s belt and pulling him backward out of the way. The bus careened off the road and hit a nearby tree with a loud crunch of rending metal.
Zack uttered a startled, “hey what the-“ then turned to see who had grabbed him and found Milo standing behind him. He smiled sheepishly. “Thanks, Milo.”
Milo shrugged and smiled at Zack, “anytime,” he said.
Bradley snorted again and rolled his eyes. “Well, it looks like the Milo show is back on the air.”
Amanda pulled out her phone and began flicking through her schedule. “We should get going if we don’t want to be late for school,” she said. “I only allow fifteen minutes to get from the bus stop to school and it’ll take twenty minutes to walk.” She set off without waiting to see if the others were following her.
Melissa stared at Amanda’s retreating back. “Well, it looks like we’re walking to school today.”
Milo hefted his heavy backpack higher on to his shoulders. “At least it’s nice morning for a walk,” he said.
The sun shone through the large windows of the engineering lab at the Danville Academy for Gifted Children, casting Phineas and his drafting board in a large square of bright sunlight. The mop of unruly red hair on top of his head made him look as though he was on fire. He frowned, chewing on the end of his drafting pencil, and stared at the half completed set of drawings. He turned away from his half finished plans and bent over without getting out of his chair. Pausing momentarily to give Perry a scratch behind the ear, Phineas rummaged in his bag and pulled a battered looking project book from his bag. It was full of sketches, scribbled notes and calculations. Phineas quickly rifled through it until he found the page he wanted. He studied the drawing on the page carefully for several minutes, then made several additions to the plans on the drafting board, which consisted primarily of a pair of upright carbon fibre panels on a raised platform. Phineas waved to get Ferb’s attention. “Ferb,” he said, “hey, Ferb, come over here and tell me what you think.”
A boy with tousled dark green hair and a slightly cocked eyed appearance got off his chair and walked over to where Phineas was working. Ferb studied Phineas’ half completed technical drawings with a critical eye. “Hmmmm,” he said thoughtfully, “yes this looks good.” Ferb rattled of a list of additional modifications.
Phineas flipped to a blank page in his project book and began scribbling. He looked at his notes and then back at the plans on the drafting board in front of him. He pointed at several places on the drawings. “We could place muon traps here, here and here,” he said.
Ferb studied the indicated positions carefully. “That would interfere with the antiproton array,” he said.
Phineas thought for a moment. “Maybe we need some sort of shielding for the antiproton array?” he suggested.
Ferb nodded, “yes that would seem to be a reasonable solution,” and he rattled off a list of possible shielding materials.
Phineas scribbled more notes and then studied the drawings again. “Hmmm,” he said after several minutes contemplation, “this is really more Baljeet’s area than mine.” He turned again and waved to a brown skinned Indian boy what was smaller that he was. “Hey, Baljeet,” he called, “come over here for a second.” Baljeet Tjinder walked over to where Phineas and Ferb were examining Phineas’ drawings. As soon as he saw them, Baljeet shook his head. “These are wrong,” he said in his high pitched voice. He pointed at the locations of the muon traps, “if you put these here,” he pointed to a different of locations, then pointed to the antiproton array, “and put this over here,” he pointed to another location, “they will not interfere with each other and you are more likely to achieve a stable event horizon.”
Phineas scribbled out some calculations. “Yeah,” he said, “that’s much better.” He turned his attention back to the unfinished set plans on his drafting board and began to make Baljeet’s modifications.