The Service Is a Drag

Part 3

by Dr. Susan Calvin (StrangeRelations at

I've escaped the mind-binders!!! Quick, take this info and run!!!!! They're a-comin' fer me! AHAHAHAAAAAAAAA!!! Free for now!!!!!!!

Jo clamped on to Duane's arm and dragged him out into the hallway where Mack was waiting expectantly. His craggy face wrinkled up in mirth. "Hey, pretty baby!!!" he catcalled, "Show me some leg!!!"

"That's the problem," whined Jo. She unabashedly lifted up Duane's skirt to show off a hairy limb.

Duane, pretending to be embarrassed and outraged, shrilly screeched, "Do you mind?!? The nerve!!" and slapped at them with a limp wrist. Mack chortled as Jo pointed out their problem.

"I forgot about hose. I definitely don't have any of that, and I forgot to ask Garth to buy some when we sent him shoreside to get Duane-ette here some pumps."

Mack shrugged and replied, "So what? Ya know, during the WAR no one had any nylons, cuz the army was usin' it all. So the ladies, they all had ta draw backseams down their legs with a marker or a pencil."

"Good idea!" piped Jo, and pushed Duane back into the bathroom.

"What are we doing now?!?" he inquired weakly.

Rummaging in Duane's personal belongings, Jo triumphantly produced his razor. "Shave," she declared. "And that's an order."

Duane rolled his eyes.

By the time Garth returned in his chopper it was almost six-thirty and the sun was making its slow descent. As he hurried through the corridors with his package for Duane, shouting, "Important Big Guy Business! Make way!!!" He wondered what the head honchos would say if they found out that they were abusing their army privileges and equipment just to raid a department store for size 11 women's shoes. Fortunately, it looked as if everyone was believing his excuses about getting 'special parts' for a modification of Big Guy's assemblage. As long as General Thornton never found out, they would be home free. Rounding the Big Guy bay, he came across his partners in crime.

"I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaack...." he presented his package as if it held the 8th wonder of the world. As he opened it, everyone except for Duane "ooh'd" and "ahhed."

"Precious!!!!" exclaimed Mack, fingering the spectator navy and white Mary Janes. They sported medium height heels and the adorable rounded toes of each shoe had a peekabooo hole.

Jo nodded her head in agreement with Mack. "You have great taste, Garth!"

"Why, thank you," Garth said politely, then solemnly handed the package over to Duane. "Oh, and you look lovely, Duane-ette," he complimented. Duane scowled again.

"I'm bald!!!!" he whined, lifting his skirt and gesturing at his now smooth and silky limbs, divided down the back by black eyeliner.

"Whoah, enough of the peep show! I'm a very sensitive and easily offended man!!" laughed Garth, crossing his dark, burly arms. "Someone has to teach you some manners, lady!" Duane's scowl transformed back into a smirk, and he busied himself with buckling on his shoes. Jo fussed with Duane-ette's hair, deciding to leave it casually mussed. They had washed his trademark pomade out of it earlier, leaving his surprisingly lengthy brown locks limp and hard to manage.

"Awwright, get up n' show yerself off fer us, an' then we're outta here," Mack stated with a twinkle in his eye. Jo and Garth unconsciously clung to each other in anticipation. Muttering, Duane slowly got to his feet and paraded himself in a small circle, showing absolutely no discomfort in balancing on his heels. In fact, the man seemed almost graceful in his new attire. Everyone applauded in amazement, then roughly grabbed his arms as Duane tried to use their distraction to make a quick getaway.

Jo tutted at him. "Whatever happened to being a "man of your word"?? She admonished.

"Ah, I'm getting cold feet. You'll have to assist me in that area." Duane trembled, the prospect of meeting Slate in his ridiculous condition looming over him. It was no longer something vague and far away; it was something right here and now that threatened to make him either throw up or pass out from trepidation.

"You heard the man, give him some help! Let's drag this drag off the ship!" Garth boomed, unable to restrain his random bursts of laughter. They all pushed and pulled him through the corridors towards Garth's chopper, Jo dashing back only after she realized that she forgot Duane's purse. Having successfully avoided being seen by most of their other shipmates, everyone boarded the vehicle and strapped themselves in as Garth radioed the tower for permission to take off, touting more Big Guy Business. They were cleared for take off after a practice squadron landed. "Everything squared away?" inquired Garth, shouting to be heard over the whine of the engines.

Jo and Mack gave him a thumbs up, grasped Duane's hand, and forced his stiffened fingers into a thumbs up as well. Duane closed his eyes and felt the ground fall away, his amplified heartbeat overpowering the beating of the chopper's blades.


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