This one shot takes place in medias res, 'in the middle of things'. It's part of an idea I had for a larger story. I felt a need for a break from the Jurassic Park tales I wrote for the better part of my time here, and I hope you enjoy this even in its limited context!
A teenaged Lilo propped her chin atop her elbows rested on the table, a satisfied smile fixed on her face. It was funny how the most 'civilised', manicured scene could plunge into lunacy in one, brilliant stroke. The Bathyosian hotel's restaurant was an exquisite visage of chaos, quite possibly her best work yet. Massive crustacean delicacies unleashed from the kitchen were pursuing a gaggle of patrons. Good thing their pincers and mouth parts were bound and gagged for safe preparation. A couple of guards and the four-armed feline chef were doing their best to wrangle them, for all that was worth. Aliens approximating sea slugs were plastered to the ceiling like gum (upset, but unharmed), alongside a handful of chairs. Most tables were merely overturned or broken, but a handful bedecked the chandelier. Some of the meals had exploded, outlining shapes of startled patrons on the walls. How? An artisan of anarchy never revealed her secrets. The guests who'd gathered their wits were demanding that this be fixed immediately. Meanwhile, the aquatic patrons of the tank-like dining area encompassing the air-breathers' were whining about the eyesore before them, though they remained untouched by her actions ... for the time being.
Jumba's big, boisterous belly laugh blurted through her earpiece. She briefly frowned, plucking it a short distance from her head. That way, she could hear him without the mild sensory overload spoiling the moment. After rendering her with preternatural hearing, she'd think he'd remember to keep it down a little.
"What delightful show of havoc!" he exclaimed. "You truly are being one of Jumba's best evil experiments!"
She raised an eyebrow. 'Evil'? Nuh uh. This was more like ... 'advanced mischief' ... yeah. The pompous diners deserved it. Besides, no one got hurt.
"Okay, Experiment A-113, you should be moving on for to be finishing test mission," he instructed.
She didn't respond.
"Little girl?" he pressed.
Nope. That wasn't her name either. She didn't even fit that description anymore. Then again, compared to the 500 pound Jumba, most humans qualified as 'little'.
He rifled through his memory. "Eh, um ... Lilo?"
Her smile brightened. "There. Was that so hard?"
"You should be moving on, Experimen- I mean, 'Lilo'," he repeated. "Having made scene, all security will be looking for you."
The chandelier fell, tables and all, triggering a chorus of yelps, but no one noticed cracks sneaking across the glass separating the aquatic region.
Lilo grinned. "Only the chef knows I did this, and she's busy. No one's even thinking about me."
"Yes, that is clever diversion," he admitted. "But run along now. Bidders are watching demonstration from all across galactic supercluster."
She rolled her eyes. Yeah, like she was looking forward to being auctioned off as an experimental weapon ... or an exotic pet. She wouldn't put it past them.
"'Laniakea'," Lilo corrected.
"Be pardoning Jumba?"
"That's what we call the supercluster back on Earth. It's a Hawaiian name, meaning 'open skies'. Much prettier than 'galactic supercluster', wouldn't you say?"
"Yes, is very pretty," Jumba agreed offhandedly. "Now, be running along."
"Surfing's faster," Lilo stated, snapping off the oval table's legs with her monstrous strength and examining her handiwork. "Shape's all wrong, but motor skills will compensate."
A cacophony of cracking silenced the bickering aliens. She raised her green and white camera.
"Hail the King, Scrump!" commanded Lilo.
The artificially intelligent ragdoll nodded, emanating a signal to which the restaurant's speakers blared a musical reply:
"Well, since my baby left me,
"Well, I found a new place to dwell,
"Well, it's down at the end of Lonely Street,
"At Heartbreak Hotel."
The guests looked about, baffled.
"Perfect choice!" Lilo beamed.
Not a moment later, the aquarium shattered. Patrons squealed. Priceless facial expressions abounded. Some W.E.T. (Water Emergency Technology) floatation harnesses inflated even before the wave struck. With perfect timing, Lilo lifted her camera.
Sometimes, she had to appreciate the freakishly rapid reflexes Jumba's experimentation endowed.
Gantu stormed through the corridor, flanked by UFG troopers. A voice on the P.A. system was apologising for some fiasco in a restaurant. Then the lights went out for reasons he presumed related, leaving the sprawling, oceanic panorama beyond the hall's glass wall to be viewed in all its glory. Though miles underwater where nary a ray of light pierced the depths, everything glowed in this bioluminescent world, from coral blooms the size of skyscrapers to twinkling plankton and enigmatic predators streaking by on the hunt.
"Light's out, huh?" one of the raptorstellus troopers remarked. "Bagging the human should be easily. They're practically blind in these conditions."
"Forget what you know about humans!" Gantu snapped. "That little Earth girl can be a gigantic pain in the rear. Keep your guard up or you'll never see her coming."
Whoever ran the P.A. system was dethroned by Elvis:
"Now, the bell hop's tears keep flowin',
"And the desk clerk's dressed in black,
"Well, they've been so long on Lonely Street,
"They'll never, never look back."
A raptorstellus began to bob to the music, only to be slapped by a fellow trooper.
"What is that obnoxious sound?" Gantu grimaced.
Then came the miniature tsunami from the end of the hall, surfed by a girl on a tabletop of all things.
"ALOHAAAA!" she laughed at the top of her lungs.
"TROOOOOOOOG!" Gantu boomed.
That was all he could say before the wave engulfed him.
Within his panic room, Ambassador Cray trembled at the ruckus. He couldn't imagine what was going on outside, but he would be safe. Nothing got into a room like this without his consent, he had been assured.
"Ooh! You're like a lobster!" Lilo exclaimed. "I always wanted one of those! 'Ambassador Cray', is it?"
He turned to see an Earth girl in a vivid, hula-reminiscent outfit that almost seemed to be part of her, welding the door shut with a weapon akin to the fire knife of a Samoan dancer. He wanted his money back!
"I say, how did you get in here?!" Cray demanded. "Furthermore, what manner of madness is transpiring out there?!"
Lilo snickered. "Trust me, it's not as bad as it sounds."
A muffled scream insisted otherwise.
"Yep. All good," she nodded, repressing a smirk. "Anyway, I'm here to shoot you, but-."
He bristled. "Shoot me?! Now, see here, human!"
With strength and speed belying her size, she grappled him into a helpless position.
"Hold still. It won't hurt,"
"NO!" He struggled with all his might to no avail.
"Listen, I'm not-"
"No, YOU listen!" he snarled. "I have a daughter! She's only seven, and I don't care how strong you are or who sent you! I will not leave her alone in this world! Do you hear me?!"
Lilo froze, gaze fixed on him. The downside of having a mind enhanced by Jumba's meddling? It was easy to get lost in memories that felt real enough to touch. Cray's exclamation was enough to resurrect a little girl drowning in grief, mourning what was and could never be. Her parents ... her island ... her sister ... her planet - all gone, thanks to that renegade Experiment 626 who fled to Earth and painted a bullseye on her world. Tears welled at the edge of her eyes.
In the lull, only Elvis' lament could be heard:
"Where I'll be, I'll be so lonely baby,
"Well, I'm so lonely,
"I'll be so lonely, I could die."
The Ambassador's face softened at the sight of her reaction. "You know what it's like to be a father, don't you?"
Lilo frowned, snapping back to the present. "I'm female."
He blanched. "Oh! My apologies."
Before he could react, she'd raised a device.
He flinched as the flash briefly blinded him. "AAAAAAH! You MONSTER! You FOUL FIEND! You-! Wait ... I'm alive? You ... didn't shoot me?"
"Sure I did," she smiled, showing him the camera. "It was a snapshot. I agreed to 'shoot' you, and I did. Win win."
The Ambassador blinked before finding himself laughing. Maybe it was the stress and relief, but he liked this human!
From the sound of it, Jumba was massaging his temples. "A-113, that was not mission."
"Don't be surprised, Jumba," Lilo growled. "That's not how I roll, even if this is just a sim."
"Is not simulation," the scientist corrected.
Her eyes fluttered. "Say what now?"
A booming knock made the room quaver.
"Open up, Trog!" Gantu thundered. "You are under arrest!"
"Now, now, don't panic, human," Cray began. "Should you surrender, I'll put in a good word. They might even lower your sentence to 200 years!"
She raised an eyebrow. "And that's a good thing?"
"Beats capital punishment," he shrugged.
A volley of plasma burst through the supposedly impervious blast door. Cray flinched. He was definitely getting a refund!
"TROG!" spat Gantu. "In the name of the Galactic Federation, I-!"
"Yeah, yeah, right to remain silent and all that jazz," Lilo interrupted. "Now, I know this looks bad, but-"
Gantu fired plasma into the ceiling, a warning. "Be QUIET! As a human, your rights are null! Even your sentience remains under question! I have Every. Justification. to BLAST you on the spot if you give even the slightest resistance!"
Lilo's eyes narrowed. So that's how it was gonna be? Fine.
"What's your name?" Lilo asked in a low, sepulchral snarl.
He nearly stuttered at her unflinching, piercing gaze. "You are in NO position to-!"
"I'm gonna call you 'Pudge'," Lilo cut in.
A raptorstellus chuckled. Gantu was practically effervescing fury.
"I'm giving you FIVE seconds!" he raged.
"I'm giving you TWO!" Lilo snarled back. "BACK OFF!"
That was it. The tipping point. Ambassador in the line of fire or not, Gantu unleashed a barrage of plasma.
Cray cowered, eyes squeezed shut. He felt the air heat to a near-boil as ultra hot blasts came cashing in ... but there was no pain. He opened his eyes to see the unthinkable: the human was rotating that torch-like stick of hers at absolutely unbelievable speeds, deflecting the plasma in a whirling inferno.
"Scrump, shield him, whatever it takes!" Lilo commanded.
The doll nodded before conjuring a force field around itself and Ambassador Cray.
"I'm sorry, Ambassador! This is my fault!" Lilo apologised. "You're gonna see your daughter again, I promise!"
With the ambassador out of harm's way, the UFG troopers flanked her and fired. Lilo's nanosecond reflexes redirected plasma like fireworks, searing her surroundings, but it wasn't enough. She dodged, stepped, swayed. It looked like a dance, and that's exactly what it was: hula and Samoan fire knife dancing, dialed to the nth degree. They couldn't figure out how they always kept missing, how she subtly tricked and cheated their aim with carefully calculated movements. She made it look easy, but Lilo was in the fight of her life, that supercomputer brain of hers taxed to the max.
She needed an opening, and she found it: a fraction of a fraction of a second's reprieve between the onslaught. The long, fine 'leaves' of Lilo's hula skirt revealed their true nature: tendrils that extended bullet-fast like a living creature, slamming Gantu and the UFG troopers against the walls.
Her assailants' jaws hung ajar at the startling turn of events. Her skirt, or whatever that thing was, had even disarmed them.
"Weird, huh?" smirked Lilo. "Between you and me, my outfit isn't actually an outfit. It's a shape-shifting, symbiotic experimental lifeform, one of several different organisms intertwined in my messed up biology."
Gantu blinked in incredulity.
Lilo shrugged. "What can I say? Jumba's a mad scientist."
"I prefer to be called 'EVIL GENIUS'!" Jumba barked over the communicator.
Gantu's anger reignited as he smacked aside the tendrils and barreled towards the insolent human.
All memories of Kapu Kuʻialua sprang to the forefront of Lilo's enhanced mind. As a child, she wasn't particularly fond of the Hawaiian martial art, but now? It was useful. More than useful. It was like an old friend. Hawaii was gone, but not completely. Not yet. It was alive in the way she fought, the way she danced, the way she lived every moment of her life, an orphan cast to the mercy of a universe that cared nothing of her species or heritage. She'd be the raging volcanos. She'd be the ocean's mighty waves. She was Lilo Pelekai, and all that name implied. So longs as she lived, so would Hawaii.
"Let's dance, Pudge!" she jibed at the advancing goliath.
Thanks for reading, and have a great day/night! As you can see, this version of Lilo has evolved some Stitch-like tendencies, such as a penchant for mischief. In my mind, Stitch is still around, though. He's just stranded on the shattered remains of Earth, evolving in his own independent way. What do you think? Please review and reveal your thoughts.