Burt, in his 'beloved' Power Wagon, rode through the desert towards his town. Today was a very normal day, nothing strange seemed to be up. He laughed to himself at this, knowing how drastically-and often- this changed suddenly. He soon made it to Chang's, heading inside.
"Hiya, Burt!" Tyler greeted him as he walked through the door, his blue eyes sparkling with some sort of secret excitement.
"Hey, Tyler," Burt greeted, giving his friend a curious look. "What's got you in such a good mood?" he asked, taking off his dark sunglasses and raising an eyebrow questioningly.
"No idea," Tyler admitted. "Just this strange feeling that something really awesome is about to happen." He grinned, practically bouncing in his seat. Behind him Jodi rolled her eyes and made sure the sugar was well out of sight before setting his coffee down on the counter.
Burt gave him a strange look. "You're acting almost as strange as Larry," he mumbled.
As if on cue, the sci-fi fanatic rushed in excitedly. "Am I the only one who has a great feeling about today?" he asked.
"Almost," Burt re-enforced under his breath.
"No, but do you have a reason?" Tyler asked.
"Not really," Larry said, shaking his head. "You?" he asked. "Hey, you ever seen that movie Premonition with Sandra Bullock?" he added suddenly.
"Oh yeah, the ending to that was weird," Tyler frowned. "But I highly doubt that's what this is."
"Well, whatever it is, it better not be another destructive monster," Jodi said sternly. "I'm still replacing the merchandise I lost to the last creature."
“Yeah, that one had quite an appetite for sweets, didn’t it?” Tyler chuckled.
"Who would have thought that of a feline?" Burt said. "Must of been the wasp in it," he grumbled.
"What do cats have to do with it?" Larry asked curiously.
Burt rolled his eyes. "They can't taste sweet."
Nancy walked in as he said this. "I always thought that was strange, because I had a cat that liked chocolate mints."
"Chocolate mints are strange," Tyler commented. "They're all chocolaty and...and...minty."
Nancy sighed. "Nice way to put it, Tyler," she teased.
"Hey, Jodi, could I get my coffee?" Burt asked a tad impatiently.
"Mm, sure thing," Jodi replied.
"Soooooooo, Burt," Tyler leaned forward and gazed at the survivalist intently. "What're we doin' today?"
"I have a small Survival School group coming today," Burt reported, sounding annoyed. "A couple of incompetent college kids. Don't you have some tours or something?" he asked.
"Noop," Tyler replied happily. "Can I-?"
"Actually, Tyler," Jodi interrupted quickly. "You do. A group called in late last night, they'll be here around two."
Tyler slumped in his stool sadly. "Man, and I was looking forward to watching Burt go all militanoid on innocent city folk too."
"You can watch that anytime," Nancy promised jokingly.
"I wonder what I'll do today," Larry wondered, sub-consciously rearranging some stuff on a shelf.
"I hear honking," Tyler said suddenly, tilting his head to the side curiously.
"Must be one of our groups," Burt commented. "Let's go see." He stood and walked towards the door.
Tyler followed eagerly but stopped in confusion on the porch. "I don't see any vehicles," he said, looking around carefully as the honking slowly grew louder.
Burt looked around, brow furrowed in confusion. Nancy walked up behind them. "This is very strange," she said.
"I think it's getting louder," Larry stated, kind of covering his ears.
Suddenly there was a flash of light, or darkness really, as something passed overhead at an unbelievable speed. If it had not been for the forceful shaking that made them all lose their footing, Tyler would have thought he imagined the whole thing. His aching bottom however, was painful proof that that was not the case.
"For the love of Pete!" Burt shouted as he scrambled to his feet. "What was that?"
Larry stood and helped Nancy do the same. "That was awesome!" he laughed excitedly.
Tyler pulled himself up and rubbed his back, his eyes glancing across the street momentarily before gazing towards the sky. He stared up for a moment before suddenly looking back across the street again.
He blinked. "Where's my jeep?"
"Where’re all our vehicles?" Jodi added coming out of the store.
Burt's eyes narrowed angrily. "My Power Wagon!" he growled, walking to where his vehicle had been parked. "It was right here!" he said.
Larry's eyes widened. "It stole our cars!"
"Why would it do that?" Jodi asked. "And what was it anyway?"
Burt made a 360 degree turn. "Whatever it was, I won't even be able to track it! There aren't any cars left."
"Maybe Rosalita or Harlow has theirs," Nancy added hopefully.
"Yeah, but they're in Bixby remember?" Tyler pointed out. "And Roger took Casey's truck when he left for that seminar. Our vehicles were the only ones here."
"What are we going to do?" Nancy asked Burt nervously.
"We have to go after it!" Larry said enthusiastically.
"How!?" Jodi cried. "All our cars are gone!"
"We could use Rosalita's horses," Tyler suggested. "Her place is only a couple miles from here, we could walk there easily."
"With that thing flying around?" Jodi asked in disbelief. "You've gotta be kidding!"
"I don't think we have much of a choice, Jodi," Nancy said. "Well, we could stay here while they go investigate."
Jodi frowned, not quite sure she liked that idea either.
"How 'bout this," Tyler suggested. "We can stop by Burt's on the way. You guys can stay there and we can get some fire power while we're at it."
"Well, let's get moving!" Larry smiled. "Y'know, this is just like in the newest War of Worlds where all the cars stop working because of the lightning!"
Tyler looked at him in amazement. "On the whole planet?"
"Oh, is this really the time for that?" Jodi snapped, stomping off the porch in a huff.
"...What's her problem?" Tyler asked, looking too innocently confused for his own good.
Larry shrugged. "I dunno, bro. Maybe she doesn't wanna walk to Rosalita's."
Nancy trotted after Jodi. "You okay?" she asked.
Jodi sighed. "Sorry. I'm just feeling really off today. I don't know why."
"It'll be okay. We've been in worse situations," Nancy comforted.
"How long will it take us to get up to Rosalita's?" Larry asked.
"On foot, over an hour," Burt informed.
"Welp, might as well get a move on," Tyler hopped to the ground and headed in the direction of Burt's bunker. "Last one there's Shadow food!"
Jodi groaned. "Burt?" she asked pleadingly.
Burt shook his head. "Tyler, could you please calm down..." he sighed. "You'd think this Shadow thing is messin' with everyone’s' minds," he added under his breath.
“Come on, guys!” Tyler called one last time and with mixed sighs of annoyance and an excited little whoop from Larry, the others followed quickly, Burt covering the rear. Jodi walked just in front of him wearily. She felt tired and decided that when they got to Burt’s she was going take a nice long nap, with no disruption from any giant shadows or hyperactive tour guides and sci-fi geeks. She couldn’t wait.