Team Knight Rider - Season Two

Chapter Three: Superfuel

Kyle made the last few punches into his keyboard and sighed with relief at finishing the last of his reports. He leaned back in his chair and stretched his arms. A yawn escaped his lips. He'd spent all night writing up reports for FLAG. It was now seven-thirty in the morning and he had finally gotten all his work done.

Kyle was about to get up to get in a nap when the buzzer sounded at his door. Kyle put a hand to his forehead and sighed tiredly.

"Come in," he said resignedly.

The door opened and Erica stormed in.

"Kyle," she said right away, "You have to talk to Trek. He's got his techno-music going in his room and it woke me up. It's driving me crazy! You have to get him to stop playing his music so loud."

"I have to?" Kyle asked her.

Erica calmed down, then gave a small shrug.

"I mean, please," she said more calmly.

Kyle shook his head.

"Look, Erica," he told her, "You two are both adults. You work it out."

"But he won't listen to me!" she told him insistently, "He won't even answer his door. He sets his alarm clock for seven o'clock every Saturday morning to watch his cartoons; meanwhile I'm trying to get some sleep since Saturday is the only day I get to sleep in. Well, besides Sunday of course."

"Listen," Kyle said, leaning forward, "I'm working on exactly zero hours of sleep and I'm not really in the mood to deal with all your little run-ins with Trek. If you want someone to help you right now, go bug Jenny. OK?"

Erica stared at him a moment before answering slowly.

"Fine," she said shortly, turning her back and walking out without another word.

Kyle leaned back in his chair.

"Please, no more interruptions," he said aloud.

"Talking to yourself again?" Dante spoke up, "You know, you should really take a nap."

"Thanks, Dante," Kyle told him sarcastically, "If you don't mind, I was just about to do that."

"Good," Dante said, "You're cranky when you're tired."

Kyle turned off his communicator to silence the Expedition. He had just started to get up out of his chair when his computer announced an important incoming call from FLAG. Kyle closed his eyes and sank back into his chair.

"Great," he mumbled before opening the line.

The face of FLAG official and Team Knight Rider executive supervisor Bill appeared on Kyle's computer screen.

"Good morning, Kyle," Bill greeted him.

Kyle smiled enduringly.

"Morning, sir," he replied.

"I hope I didn't interrupt anything," Bill started, "but I have an important case for you. Do you remember the name Guillermo Muerto?"

Kyle instantly forgot his weariness and lack of sleep and sat up straight in his chair.

"Muerto?" Kyle asked, "The hit man?"

Bill nodded.

"He's been spotted in San Francisco," Bill told him, "We suspect he's there to make a hit. No target has been identified as yet, however. I want you to take your team there to investigate."

Kyle nodded.

"Yes, sir," he said.

Bill nodded and cut the com-link. As soon as his superior's face disappeared, Kyle opened his own communiqué and contacted SkyOne's pilot.

"Captain Wyatt," Kyle said, "Set a course for San Francisco."

"Yes, sir," the captain responded.

"What's our ETA?" Kyle asked.

"Uh, we're about two hours away," Captain Wyatt replied.

"Thanks, captain," Kyle said. He then brought his watch closer to his mouth.

"Jenny?" Kyle called.

There was no reply.

"Jenny?" he repeated.

"Just so you don't lose your voice calling her name - not that that would be all bad," Dante spoke up, "Jenny is in the exercise room working out. She's not wearing her watch."

"Oh," Kyle let his arm fall, "Dante, can you tell her to call a meeting exactly an hour and a half from now? And tell her we're on our way to San Francisco for a mission."

"Sure, Kyle," Dante said with mock agreeableness, "Anything else I can do for you?"

"Yeah," Kyle said, going over to lie down on his bed, "No more interruptions until then."

"I notice there was no 'please' at the end of any of those requests," Dante said.

His words were lost on unhearing ears, as Kyle was already lying on his bed, eyes closed, fast asleep.

* * *

At exactly nine a.m. that morning, Jenny, Erica, Duke and Trek were all gathered and seated in the situation room.

"Like I said," Erica was telling Trek, "The next time I hear that stupid alarm clock of yours, I am going to sneak into your room when you're not there and smash it to pieces."

"Relax, Erica," Trek told her calmly, "If you want me to turn down the volume, all you had to do was ask."

Erica glared at him.

"I tried to ask," she told him, "I pounded on your door for five minutes. You didn't answer."

"Oh," Trek said, "That's because I never let anything interrupt my Saturday morning cartoons."

He shrugged apologetically.

"Why don't you just grow up and sleep in like everyone else," she told him.

"I don't sleep in," Jenny spoke up.

Erica looked at her.

"You don't count," Erica said, "With your military training, you probably wake up at five a.m. every morning."

"Five-thirty, actually," Jenny corrected.

"Whatever," Erica said, then turned back to Trek and continued, "I'm just saying that if it ever happens again, I will not be a happy blonde girl. OK?"

Trek nodded, then leaned towards Duke and whispered, "Only time she's happy is when there's a push-up bra sale at Bloomington's."

Both Trek and Duke erupted in weakly retrained chuckles. Jenny gave them a stern look while Erica just narrowed her eyes at them, unimpressed. Then her frown changed to a sly smile.

"I'm surprised you can actually get up so early in the morning, Trek," she told him, "what with all that time you spend every night on the phone with those one-nine-hundred numbers."

Trek stopped chuckling, but Duke didn't. Jenny also let a smile escape her lips.

Kyle chose that moment to enter the room and take his chair.

"Look who's late for his own meeting," Dante observed.

Kyle smiled humorlessly.

"Well, if you hadn't deactivated my alarm, I wouldn't be late," Kyle pointed out.

"Sorry," Dante replied insincerely, "I wasn't aware you needed it on."

Kyle ignored that and faced the others. He turned to Jenny.

"That's for getting everyone together," he told her.

Jenny smiled.

"It's a good thing you came when you did," she said, "Trek and Erica were about to start a full-fledged battle."

"Excuse-me?" Erica asked her.

"OK, enough," Kyle told them before anything else could get started, "We have a job to do. FLAG's got an assignment for us in San Francisco."

Erica made a face.

"I hate that place," she said, "The humid air always makes my hair limp."

"Trek!" Kyle stopped him before the young genius could make a smart retort.

"FLAG recently discovered that a man named Guillermo Muerto is in the city," Kyle continued, "He's a known assassin, a free lance who'll work for anybody. We think he's in San Francisco to make a hit. It's our job to figure out who and stop him."

"Hey, no sweat," Trek said with sarcasm.

"Trek," Kyle told him, "Check the computer for any likely targets in the city this weekend."

"Okee-dokee," Trek replied, turning to the monitor in front of him.

"I take it you know this guy," Duke said to Kyle.

Kyle nodded.

"I've dealt with him before," Kyle admitted, "I can't go into it, but he's very professional and has never been caught."

"No, really?" Erica asked.

Kyle gave her a look.

"Do we know what he looks like?" Jenny asked him.

Kyle nodded and replied, "Yeah. Dante? Can you bring up the file with Muerto's picture?"

"Can I hear a please?" the obnoxious car asked.

Kyle rolled his eyes.

"Please?" he said half-heartedly.

"Now that wasn't so hard, was it?" Dante asked, right before the picture of the hit man appeared on the monitor on the wall behind Duke.

Muerto's picture revealed a homely dark-haired man in his late thirties. His expression was one of devilish contempt, his face was unshaven, and he bore a small scar under his right eye. He didn't look very friendly.

"Whoa!" Erica commented, "Is he ugly or what! No wonder he has to resort to being a hit man."

"He's very dangerous," Kyle told them, "Some people call him the Jackal."

"Bruce Willis, 1997," Plato piped up.

"Hey," Trek spoke up, "I got some possible targets here. Two, actually."

"Who are they?" Kyle asked.

Trek replied, "One is Kenneth Michaels, secretary of the department of space exploration. He's in town for the weekend for a science convention introducing new space technology. It's taking place at the civic center this afternoon. He's the most important person in the city."

Kyle nodded.

"OK," he said, "Who else?"

Trek continued.

"A scientist named Nicolas Rivers," he told them, "He's a researcher and inventor, working for the space science technology department in a local laboratory. He recently developed an experimental Superfuel he says is capable of getting rockets and space ships to go longer and faster on less fuel. It’s also supposed to make the extra fuel tanks and booster rockets obsolete. Right now it's being kept at a high-security chemical plant on the outskirts of the city."

"That could solve the problem of Beast having too much hot air," Duke spoke up.

"Very funny, Duke," Beast growled.

"Either of those two could be likely targets," Kyle mused.

"Fortunately," Trek said, "we won't have to stake out two places, since they'll both be at the convention this afternoon."

"That helps," Kyle agreed, "Erica and I will go to the convention to keep an eye on Michaels and Rivers. Jenny, I want you to head over to the laboratory just as a precaution. Find out more about this Superfuel in case it's something people would want to pay a lot of money for."

Jenny nodded.

"What about us?" Trek asked, indicating himself and Duke.

"You two will stay here to dig up all you can on Muerto and who could have hired him for this hit," Kyle told them.

Trek frowned and sat back in his chair to sulk.

"How come you guys get to have all the fun?" Duke wondered aloud.

"You know what they say," Erica told him, "Girls just wanna have fun."

"Cindy Lauper, 1983," Plato spoke up.

"That's getting really annoying," Erica told the eccentric motorcycle.

Plato ignored her.

"What's really annoying," Kat told her, "is you complaining all the time."

Trek smiled.

"Now I'll have to agree with her," he said.

Erica made a face.

"Why can't I have a car that takes my side every once in a while?" she appealed to herself.

"I would take your side, if you were right," Kat told her reasonably.

"Kyle," Erica told him, "We have to have a serious talk about changing Kat's programming."

"Not now," Kyle said, "Right now we have a job to do."

"Right," Jenny said, standing up.

Erica then Kyle followed as she left the room, leaving Duke and Trek behind to look through computerized files until they returned.

* * *

Dante pulled up to the convention center an hour later, carrying both Kyle and Erica inside. Both were dressed semi-formally in order to fit in with the high society convention guests. Kyle and Erica walked inside past armed policemen who were providing security for the convention.

Inside, the huge convention hall was packed with important political and scientific figures. Along one of the walls, extravagant displays were being shown of recent inventions and newly discovered technology. One display held a small model of a recently built space station to be sent up into space only days from now. It would replace the broken-down MIR station that was deemed too dangerous to contain human life only weeks ago. Russian scientist Olav Birschwitz, Japanese physicist Jun Long and American space engineer Adam Powell were the ones who designed and built the new station that would be named Ulysses.

"Humph," Erica grunted as she glanced at the displays, "This looks more like Trek's thing."

"Just keep a look-out for Muerto," Kyle told her.

"Muerto," Erica repeated to herself, the continued, "That sounds sort of ominous or something."

"It should," Kyle told her, "It means death."


* * *

"I hate busy city streets and industrial roads," Domino complained, "They're bad for my complexion. Give me a nice empty highway anyday."

Jenny smiled.

"If there was any other way in, you know I'd take it," she told her car.

"I know, Hon," Domino told her, the continued, "I guess this isn't so bad. There's lots of cute guys on the road today."

Jenny laughed at her sex-oriented car. Presently they were driving through the city the long way - along the busy city streets. Since the only way to the industrial roads leading to the chemical plant was by side streets, Jenny and Domino had to forego taking the highway.

"We're almost past all the intersections," Jenny told her car, "Once we get past those, we won't have to start and stop so much."

They turned off one of the busy main streets and turned down a quieter one. They passed three more traffic lights before they saw the long, near-empty industrial roads ahead.

"Uh-oh," Domino spoke up.

"What is it?" Jenny asked.

"There's a train track up ahead," Domino told her, "And if my sensors aren't deceiving me, that's a train coming."

Jenny looked ahead just in time to see the railway crossing barriers coming down and the bells start clanging. Two lanes of vehicles stopped to let the freight train go by. Domino and Jenny were the first ones to reach it. A metallic blue mustang pulled up beside them in the other lane. Jenny sat back in her seat and let her hands dangle over the steering wheel as they waited.

"Don't look now," Domino spoke up, "But there's a cute criminal in the car beside us."

"What?" Jenny asked.

Jenny turned her head to look at the driver of the mustang. He was a young man in his early-mid twenties with short brown hair and a handsome face. His eyes were hidden behind sunglasses and he wore an expensive-looking navy blue suit. The man, sensing her eyes on him, turned to meet her gaze. As soon as he saw her, his passive face broke out into a wide grin. He then lowered his sunglasses to reveal baby blue eyes. Jenny's eyes widened slightly as she recognized him.

"James!" she said aloud.

Before Jenny could even take action, James had his car in gear and drove out of traffic, off the road, onto the narrow dirt path beside the train tracks. Jenny immediately followed him. She chased James down the gravel road alongside the fast-moving train.

"What's he doing here?" Jenny wondered out loud.

"Maybe he's just here sightseeing," Domino suggested.

"Somehow I doubt that," Jenny said, "It looks like he's on his way to the chemical plant too."

"You mean to steal the Superfuel?"

"That's my guess," Jenny agreed.

They chased James, who seemed to be holding his lead on them. Jenny knew that she couldn't get Domino to use her lasers on his car since the impact might knock him right into the train, which would prove fatal.

Slowly James pulled ahead of the train and started edging his way closer to it.

"What's he doing?" Jenny asked.

"It looks like he's trying to race the train," Domino said.

"He's going to kill himself," Jenny said.

"I'm sure Kyle wouldn't mind," Domino told her.

Jenny shook her head.

"We need him for questioning," Jenny insisted.

Just as she said it, James suddenly yanked the steering wheel to the left and disappeared from view. Jenny quickly applied the breaks and Domino came to a stop. Jenny made an annoyed sound as her hands clenched the steering wheel.

"Darn!" Jenny muttered, then said, "At least we have a pretty good idea of where he's going."

As soon as the train was by, Jenny and Domino crossed and continued their pursuit. By this time James' blue sports car was out of sight.

Jenny punched a button on her control monitor.

"Kyle?" she asked.

Kyle's miniaturized holographic face appeared on the screen.

"What is it Jenny?" he asked.

"We ran into James on the way to the plant," Jenny told him, "I lost him, but I think he's heading there. I'm on my way right now."

"James?" Kyle asked, his voice and expression revealing his surprise. He quickly recovered.

"Keep on him," he told her, "I'm sending Duke and Trek to assist."

Jenny nodded.

"Any luck with Muerto?" she asked.

"Not yet," Kyle told her, "Keep in touch, OK?"

"I will," Jenny promised.

Kyle's face disappeared.

"The chemical plant is just around this next turn," Domino announced.

They made the turn and approached a large set of inter-connected buildings called Alverton Chemicals. As they approached the front gate, they could see James passing through as the guard waved him by. Jenny pulled up just as the gate was closing.

"Do you have an appointment?" the guard asked her.

"No," Jenny told him, "but I need to get in. I work for FLAG. It's--"

"I'm sorry," the guard interrupted her, "but I can't let you in without either an appointment or a pass."

"Don't worry, Jenny," Domino spoke up, "I'll get us in."

By the time Domino's smooth-talking sexy voice got them an appointment, Duke and Trek arrived inside Beast. Then they all passed through the gate and parked in the visitor's parking lot near James' parked car, which was empty. The three people headed inside, where a balding overweight man in a plain gray suit met them.

"I'm Richard Buttons," he greeted them, shaking hands, "I'm the vice-president of Alverton. I'm sorry about the hold-up at the gate. I just found out a few minutes ago that you were waiting to get in."

"No problem," Jenny said, getting down to business, "Listen, about eight minutes ago I watched a known criminal come in here. We think he's here to steal Dr. Rivers' Superfuel."

"The Superfuel?" Mr. Buttons asked, "No need to worry about that. We keep it under lock and key."

"That may not be good enough," Jenny insisted, "This guy is a professional."

"Yeah," Trek spoke up, "He even had the guts to steal from another dangerous criminal."

Buttons looked from one to the other.

"I'm sure you don't understand," he assured them, "We keep the Superfuel in our most highly protected vault. Nothing can get inside without our knowing, not even an ant."

"I don't think you understand," Jenny told him, stepping closer, "James wouldn't have come here unless he meant to steal the Superfuel, and he probably wouldn't be trying if he didn't think he could do it."

Buttons regarded her for a moment before shrugging.

"All right," he said unconcernedly, "I'll show you."

He led them to a nearby security booth with a young guard sitting, idly watching the security cameras.

"Pete," Buttons asked him, "Has anybody been inside A-1 vault recently?"

Pete immediately started tapping buttons on his computer terminal.

"Just one person sir," he announced, "An employee named James Arthur entered just a minute ago. He had the proper security pass and identification."

"See?" Buttons told the TKR members, "No criminals."

"Only James Arthur happens to be the criminal we're after," Duke informed him.

Mr. Buttons' face dropped.

"If we hurry, we might be able to stop him," Jenny suggested.

Buttons immediately turned to Pete.

"Get some men over there now!" he ordered. To the others he commanded, "Follow me!"

So Jenny, Duke and Trek followed the VP as he led them through the plant. It took them three minutes to reach the vault the Superfuel was kept in. By that time a security team had already arrived.

"There's no one here, sir," one of the guards informed them, "The thief managed to get away with one of the Superfuel canisters."

"Darn!" the VP cursed, then angrily slammed his hand against the steel wall. He immediately regretted it.

"Domino, Beast," Jenny told them through the com-link in her watch, "James got away with the Superfuel. He should be on his way out."

"Don't worry, Jenny," Beast assured her, "I'll catch him for ya."

"Suck-up," Domino accused.

* * *

Outside in the parking lot, James suddenly emerged from one of the emergency exits and headed right for his car, a small silver canister of Superfuel under one arm. Before he could reach the car, however, a big black monster truck blocked his way.

"Hold it," Beast ordered him, "Set the canister down slowly and put your hands in the air before I have to get nasty."

Instead of being scared or annoyed at being caught, James instead appeared to be amused.

"Is that you Beast?" he asked, "You know, you should really work on your people skills."

"You want me to get ugly?" Beast asked, revving his engine intimidatingly.

"Actually," James said with a hint of regret in his voice, "I don't have time to play with you today. Maybe some other time."

"OK," Beast growled, advancing, "You asked for--"

"Override code Sierra Tango L1987," James said suddenly, cutting him off.

Beast immediately obeyed his override codes and backed off.

"Much obliged," James told him, passing the big truck and climbing into his car. Seconds later he was gone.

"What happened, Beast?" Domino asked, driving up.

"Damn!" Beast swore.

Jenny, Duke and Trek ran out just then to join the two vehicles.

"Where is he?" Jenny asked.

"I'm sorry, Jenny," Beast told her in an embarrassed voice, "I let him get away."

"Actually, it wasn't his fault," Domino said, "James somehow had Beast's override codes. Beast had to back down."

"How could James get your override codes?" Duke asked his truck.

"How should I know?" Beast asked irritably.

"So he got away," Jenny said, also annoyed, "That's just great."

"I said I was sorry," Beast said apologetically.

Jenny softened and put her hand on the truck's hood.

"That's OK," Jenny told him, "It wasn't your fault, Beast. I don't blame you. It's James I'm annoyed at."

"It's pretty impressive, though," Trek said, "I mean, only Duke, Jenny and Kyle know Beast's override codes. Not even the head guys at FLAG know them. How could James have gotten them?"

They were all silent, as none knew the answer to that mystery.

"Obviously James is involved in this somehow," Jenny said, "Whoever hired Muerto must have hired James as well to steal the Superfuel."

"That could mean that Dr. Rivers is the likely target, since he invented the Superfuel," Trek suggested.

Jenny and Duke looked at him. Jenny nodded.

"We have to tell Kyle," she decided.

* * *

Meanwhile, back at the convention, Kyle had his eyes peeled for Muerto while Erica, right beside him, was about to die of boredom.

"Can these speeches be any duller?" she asked aloud.

Kyle ignored her.

"If you were paying any attention to what they were saying," Dante spoke up, "you would realize their scientific importance and significance to the evolution of the world of space exploration."

Erica waited a moment before replying.

"Oh, I'm sorry, Dante!" she spoke up suddenly, "I wasn't listening. What was that?"

"Never mind," Dante muttered.

Just then the MC took the podium on the small stage to speak.

"Our next speaker is a well-renowned scientist and chemical engineer," the MC announced, "Please welcome Dr. Nick Rivers."

There was polite applaud as a skinny man in a tacky suit and thick glasses went to take his spot at the podium. He straightened his jacket and resettled his glasses on his nose before speaking.

"Thank-you, all," he told them, "It is a great honor to be speaking to all of you today. I realize the gravity of many of the breakthroughs and new technology being introduced today. I am here to announce another one..."

Erica tuned out as Rivers proceeded to go into a long speech about his own Superfuel invention and how it could revolutionize space travel and, quite possibly in the future, regular transportation and fuel consumption. Erica was just about to retreat to the ladies room to freshen up and maybe take a nap when Kyle suddenly grabbed her arm.

"There he is!" he hissed, nodding towards a second floor balcony.

Erica frowned at Kyle, then glanced up at the ugly-looking man in the black suit hanging around the balcony. She recognized Muerto from the picture she'd seen in the SR that morning.

"Muerto?" she asked.

"That's him," Kyle said.

Kyle quickly headed for the stairs leading up to the balcony. Just as he was climbing them, he heard a single thwip! and recognized the sound of a silencer. He doubled his pace when he heard astonished screams and shouts pierce the air. When he reached the top, he saw Muerto sliding his gun into his jacket. Below, people were panicking and heading for the exits. Dr. Rivers lay on the stage in a pool of blood.

Muerto suddenly turned to Kyle and they made eye contact. Then Muerto sneered, turned, and ran in the opposite direction. Kyle followed.

"Kyle!" Jenny suddenly said through his com-link, "Muerto's target is Dr. Rivers."

"Yeah! I know!" Kyle said in a hurry as he raced to catch the killer.

Muerto ran to the nearest window and broke it with his elbow. He had crawled out onto the fire escape at the back of the building by the time Kyle reached it. He climbed out after him and raced to catch the murderer. Kyle started down one of the ladders. Meanwhile Muerto reached the pavement below, reached into his jacket, and pulled out his gun. He then started shooting at Kyle, who futily tried to dodge the bullets.

Suddenly Dante rounded the corner and drove towards the killer, revving his engines threateningly.

"I wouldn't do that!" he said aloud.

Muerto spared Dante a glance just as the SUV aimed his lasers at the weapon he held in his hand. Muerto dropped the heated steel, glared first at Dante, then up at Kyle, and hightailed it in the opposite direction. By the time Kyle reached the ground, the hit man was long gone.

"Thanks for covering my back, Dante," Kyle told his car as he climbed in.

"Don't I always?" Dante asked.

They drove around front, where an ambulance had just arrived and were rolling a stretcher inside. Erica was milling about out front, waiting. As soon as she saw Dante, she went right over and got in.

"I take it you didn't catch him?" she asked.

Kyle shook his head.

"No, he got away," he told her, "How about Rivers?"

Erica looked at him and shook her head.

"He's, uh, dead," Erica said.

"Damn," Kyle swore softly.

"What now?" Erica asked him.

Kyle sighed, shaking his head.

"We regroup with the others and figure out what's going on," Kyle decided.

* * *

Back at SkyOne, the five TKR members met in the situation room to regroup and discuss their next move.

"OK," Kyle said, getting into thinking mode, "Someone hired both Muerto and James to kill Dr. Rivers and steal his invention, the Superfuel. There's obviously a connection. This guy wants the Superfuel, but for some reason he wants its inventor dead. Duke? Trek? Have you two managed to pull out something useful?"

"Well," Trek started, "We did find out something interesting about the Superfuel. Apparently it's practically useless on its own. It has to be mixed with regular fuel in order to work. It's so concentrated, you only need a few drops per gallon. From there it concentrates the regular fuel, so it actually lasts more than five times longer than conventional fuel. If the formula was altered to accommodate regular land vehicles, then this could totally minimize fuel consumption by over a fifth."

"Which means?" Kyle asked.

"Duke and Trek have a theory," Domino spoke up, "Tell him, boys."

Duke spoke up.

"Since this stuff is supposed to be so powerful," he told them, "It could probably not only make the rockets go faster and for a longer time, it could also make them go farther."

"Which means," Trek picked up, "that man in theory could soon be walking on Mars."

"But wait," Duke continued, "What if there were alien life forms living on Mars? And what if they didn’t want to be disturbed? Now it’s not right for us to impose on someone else’s home right? Not to mention the fact that if we found them, we’d most likely abuse them."

"So therefore," Trek told them all seriously, "some Alien Rights Activists could want to try to prevent the astronauts from ever getting to Mars, sequentially attempting to stop the thing that would let them be able to go - the Superfuel."

Erica rolled her eyes and put a hand to her forehead. Jenny merely had a smile on her face, while Kyle stared back and forth between the two men with an expression a mixture of puzzlement and disbelief.

"You think some people who believe in aliens gathered together to kill Dr. Rivers and steal his Superfuel so it can’t be used to take people to Mars?" he asked them skeptically.

Duke and Trek exchanged glances and shrugs.

"It could happen," Duke said.

"Yeah," Trek said, "People have done stupider things."

"Yeah, like think up incredibly idiotic theories," Erica supplied.

Trek frowned at her.

"OK," Kyle said, looking around at all of them, "Anybody have any genuine ideas?"

"Excuse-me, Kyle," Kat spoke up, "but I've been monitoring the news on Dr. Rivers' murder. A few minutes ago the ambulance carrying Dr. Rivers' body had an accident along the highway. The police dispatch says it was run off the road. It exploded so all the bodies inside were burned. The funny thing is that it hadn't been heading for the hospital. It was way off course."

"Something's not right," Kyle said, "Why would they go to all the trouble of hiring Muerto to kill Rivers and then drive his ambulance off the road to burn his body? That doesn't make sense."

"Here's something that might help," Dante spoke up, "I've been going through flight passenger lists to see if Muerto or James were making a get-a-way out of the city. I found two passengers by the names of James Arthur and Guillermo Pasqualez taking a flight this evening to Cape Canaveral in Florida."

"Cape Canaveral?" Jenny asked, "That's where NASA headquarters is."

"Too much to be a coincidence," Kyle said, "since we just left a space science convention. Let's assume they're taking the Superfuel to NASA. Why would they do that?"

"Well, they're launching the new space station up into orbit tomorrow," Trek said, "That might be connected somehow."

"But what would the launch have to do with the Superfuel?" Kyle asked.

"Maybe they wanted to catch a show?" Trek suggested.

Kyle gave him a look.

"Or, maybe not."

"Maybe we can get a better idea if we talk to someone at NASA," Jenny suggested.

Kyle nodded, then contacted the captain to take them to Cape Canaveral.

"Domino," Kyle told her, "Call ahead and let them know we're coming."

"Sure thing, Kyle," Domino replied.

"Trust the bimbo-mobile to sweet-talk a man on the telephone," Dante said.

"You're just jealous, Dante," Domino told him.

"Of what?" he asked, "Your bimbo personality?"

"Just leave it, Dante," Kyle ordered.

* * *

On to Part Two