Milo walked across the yard and pushed open the back door into the kitchen. As he stepped into the brightly lit space he smelled his mother’s cooking. He stopped and took a deep sniff. It smelled wonderful and Milo suddenly realized that his mouth was watering. As he surveyed the kitchen, taking in the smells wafting from the stove, he suddenly envisioned Scrooge, his nephew and Della sitting down to dinner and he wondered what they were doing. His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the door bell ringing. He walked from the kitchen through the rest of the house to the front door. He opened it and found Cavendish and Dakota standing on the threshold.
“Hello, Milo,” said Cavendish.
“Hi Cavendish, Dakota,” said Milo. “Why don’t you come in.” He took a step back and they walked in side. “Everyone’s in the yard,” said Milo, shutting the front door. Cavendish and Dakota followed Milo back through to the kitchen, where everyone had congregated around the dinner table. Milo’s mother was stirring something in a pot on the stove and Sara had gotten extra chairs for Zack, Melissa and Amanda and was setting three extra places. Milo’s father was balancing on his crutches while shutting the back door. Everyone was sitting down. Milo felt the comforting weight of Diogee pressing against his right leg. He reached down and patted the top of his head. Diogee’s tail thumped happily against the floor.
“So, Milo,” asked Sara as their mother set a plate of roast chicken and bowls of vegetables on the table, “you went to see Phineas and Ferb this morning, but you said that was two weeks ago? What happened?”
As Milo helped himself to chicken, mashed potatoes and carrots, he thought he saw Cavendish and Dakota exchange a look that clearly said, “well this ought to be good.” They were well aware of the kinds of predicaments that Milo and his friends often landed in as a result of Murphy’s Law, having landed in a few of them themselves, but as far as either of them could recall Milo had never admitted to experiencing two weeks worth of events that nobody else could remember. Without preamble and around mouthfuls of food, he told them the story.
“And I thought the Octalian incident was weird,” said Dakota, when Milo had finished talking.
“Actually, it sounds like the four of you were very lucky,” replied Cavendish earnestly. “You could have ended up anywhere in the multiverse.”
That thought had occurred to Milo as well, on a couple of occasions during their stay in Duckburg. He had supposed at the time that they should be grateful that Scrooge had turned out to be reasonable person.
“Yeah, it was strange at first,” said Zack, “but once you got to know them, they were actually OK.”
“Well, to be fair, Launchpad was kind of dense,” said Melissa. “He kept going on about all the airplanes he’s crashed.”
“Actually, Milo,” began Dakota slowly, “we’ve been meaning to talk to the four of you.”
“Oh,” asked Milo, his curiosity piqued, “what about, Dakota?”
Milo, Zack and Melissa all had the sense that Cavendish and Dakota had rehearsed this conversation more than once, and even Amanda, who hardly knew Cavendish and Dakota at all could tell that the usual easy rapport that they normally had with Milo, Zack and Melissa had suddenly changed.“Well, the four of you are all pretty good at looking out for each other.”
“Well, I’ve got the three best friends in the world,” said Milo.
“High praise indeed,” said Cavendish, with a note of approval in his voice,“but first there were the
“-And the Octalians,” interjected Dakota.
“Twice,” riposted Milo.
“-And now this,” continued Cavendish.“Look,” said Dakota matter of factly, “as much I think that Cavendish is being motivated the fact he wasn’t able prevent Milo from being abducted, doesn’t mean he isn’t right.”
Milo’s father looked from his son to Dakota and back again, a mix of confusion and alarm on his face. “Dakota, what are you suggesting?” he asked.
Sara caught Dakota’s meaning at once. “Are you suggesting that someone would,” she paused, as if trying to find the right words, “try to take Milo?”
Dakota shrugged, “Well Milo’s not your typical teenager. Its entirely possible that there are people with nefarious motives who’d be interested in Milo.”
Cavendish sighed. This conversation clearly wasn’t going the way he and Dakota had intended. “We don’t know of direct threats to Milo’s safety,” said Cavendish, “but the Octalians were sufficiently interested in Milo to study him and abduct him twice.” Cavendish and Dakota were both watching Milo, as though gaging the hapless teenager’s reaction. “And the Octalians had benign intentions.”
“Look, Milo,” said Dakota, “we’re your friends and we’re trying to watch your back, so that’s why we’d to make a proposal to the four of you.”
“What did you have in mind?” asked Milo.
“We’d like you to consider joining the Bureau mentorship program,” said Cavendish. “In essence, you’d shadow us.”
“Yeah, it’s not as if we get the cool missions,” said Dakota, “mostly we just pick up alien garbage.”
Milo was silent for what silent seemed like several minutes, as he digested what Cavendish and Dakota had said. He felt as though Cavendish and Dakota were still watching him, as though waiting for him to react. Milo shot a look at a his father, as though hoping to find some sign there, but evidently Milo’s father was also still digesting the implications of the conversation.
It was Melissa who finally broke the silence. “So what about Phineas and Ferb?” she asked.
“You mean the Flynn kid?” asked Dakota, in slight surprise. He hadn’t thought of Phineas and Ferb as a possible means of getting to Milo.
“I let them study me,” said Milo. “You know, we built the Murphy’s Law Suit, to stop the
“Of course,” said Cavendish, in realization, “I had forgotten that.”
Dakota nodded, “we’ll have to talk to the Flynn kid and his family.”
The battered van pulled into the driveway of the large rambling house in suburban Danville the next day. Cavendish turned the key in the ignition, shutting off the engine, and he, Dakota and Milo got out. They walked up the sidewalk to the front door. Milo rang the door bell. A second or two later the door opened to reveal a long necked sixteen year old girl with a long mane of red hair flowing down her back, almost to her waist. “Hi, Candace,” said Milo. ”We need to talk to Phineas and Ferb. Are they around?”
“They’re in the backyard building another one of their crazy contraptions,” she said.
Milo, Cavendish and Dakota walked through the house, pushed open the back door and stepped out into the yard.
Cavendish and Dakota looked around the yard in amazement. A tall leafy tree stood in the middle of the yard. Packing crates and thick power cables were strewn everywhere. A sleek blue and white space plane stood half completed in the middle of the yard. Cavendish and Dakota looked around in a amazement. They both turned to Milo.
“Does his yard always look like this?” asked Dakota.
Milo nodded. “I think so,” he said. “at least it did last time.” Milo was still having trouble deciding if last time was two weeks ago or yesterday morning. As they walked across the yard, in addition to Phineas and Ferb’s usual collection of friends, Milo noticed several figures who he had had not seen before. They seemed to be composed of ghostly blue white light, which was emanating from some kind of projector on a tripod. One of the figures was a boy with a mop of shaggy black hair in a T-shirt, running shoes and baggy looking shorts that came down to the middle of his shins. Overhead a crane was lowering what appeared to be a heavy looking jet engine onto a pylon that stuck out from the fuselage of the space plane. As he crossed the yard, Milo heard the hologram of the boy with the shaggy black hair say, “Baymax, perform another structural integrity scan.” From somewhere that Milo evidently couldn’t see, he heard a calm, precise voice say, “scan complete. Structural integrity has improved by 24%.”
At these words a mop of unkept red hair appeared above the lip of the cockpit. “Thanks, Hiro,”said Phineas.
Hiro started say, “No problem, Phineas,” however, before he could completely get the words out, the crane with the jet engine suddenly swung sideways. The momentum of the sudden movement pulled the cable supporting the jet engine taught, which snapped with a crack like a gunshot, sending the heavy piece of machinery flying across the yard, leaving a furrow of plowed earth in its wake and knocking over the holographic projector. The hologram of Hiro Hamada flickered and once and blinked out.
Phineas looked in dismay at the wreckage strewn across the yard. “It took us half the morning to set up that move. How could this happen?” He caught sight of Milo, Cavendish and Dakota walking across the yard. “Oh, of course,” he thought, “it would have to be Murphy’s Law.” He hopped down from the cockpit of the space plane and walked across the yard to where Milo, Cavendish and Dakota were picking their way over a particularly thick tangle of cables. They met in the middle of the yard. “Hi, Milo,”said Phineas, “I’m glad you’re OK after yesterday.”
“Thanks,” said Milo, “and actually ‘yesterday’ was two weeks ago.”
Phineas looked intrigued. “Really?” he asked, “how did-“
“That’s not really important,” said Milo.
Phineas’ face fell a little, “Oh, well, OK then.” He gestured to the mess that Murphy’s Law had made of the yard. “It’s just that we have this mess to clean up and we have to make a very tight launch window in order to make our landing on Europa.”
“Wait, hang on a second,” said Dakota. His eyebrows went up as his eyes widen behind his sunglasses in surprise, “you’re going to Europa? Aren’t you a little young to be an astronaut?”
The young genius gazed steadily up at the much older man. “Yes, yes I am.”
“Well, ummmm, OK, then,” muttered Dakota.
“We are getting away from why we came here,” interjected Cavendish. “Phineas, we came because we wanted to talk to you about the study you conducted on Milo during the second Pistachion invasion.”
“Oh, OK,” said Phineas, “what did you want to know?”
“We want to know if you shared your Murphy’s Law data with anyone,” replied Dakota.
Phineas thought for a second. “No,” he said, “I haven’t shared that data with anyone.” He looked searchingly at Milo.
“Milo, what’s going on?”
Milo shrugged. “Probably nothing,” he said. “It’s just that a lot of weird stuff has happened lately, even for me, and Cavendish and Dakota just want to make sure nothing happens without us knowing about it.”
“The Bureau of Time Travel runs a mentorship program, which Milo and his friends have agreed to join,” explained Cavendish. “We’d like you to join them.”
“Yeah, we don’t get the cool missions,” explained Dakota, casting a slightly envious eye over the sleek space plane dominating Phineas’ backyard, “we mostly just pick up alien garbage, but the Bureau has a bunch STEM programs you might be interested in.”
Phineas appeared intrigued again. “Well, OK,” he said at last.