Miko's Muzzy Mess (AstroKids Book 4 )

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9780764223594: Miko's Muzzy Mess (AstroKids Book 4 )

Things quickly get out of hand on CLEO-7 after Miko feeds chocolate to a pair of hybrid critters called "muzzies."

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About the Author:

Robert Elmer is a graduate of St. Mary's College and Simpson College in San Francisco. He has written four series for middle-grade readers: ADVENTURES DOWN UNDER, THE YOUNG UNDERGROUND, PROMISE OF ZION, and ASTROKIDS. He got his writing start as a newspaper reporter but has written everything from magazine columns to radio and TV commercials. Now he writes full time from his home in rural northwest Washington state, where he lives with his wife Ronda, and their three busy teenagers.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Invasion of the Plasma Blobs
“They’re coming through the ceiling!” screamed the first officer of the Pluto Explorer. A green blob of plasma dropped onto his arm and sizzled.

Tzzssss.

“Aii-EEE!”

It was too late for the crew of the star cruiser. They should have known something like this would happen. They were on a five-year mission to explore new worlds, after all. To boldly go where no one had gone before.

So much for space exploring. The horrible green plasma blob from Planet X-20 had eaten through the outside skin of the ship. No one could stop it.

“This is the end, Captain Quirk!” someone gasped.

“That would be highly illogical,” said another officer.

“What does ‘illogical’ mean?” Tag asked. He was not traveling through space on the Pluto Explorer. He was just watching the ship and its crew on a holo-vid.

“Shh!” answered DeeBee. She tapped her little brother on the shoulder. “You’re illogical.”

“Oh? Well, that green stuff reminds me of when someone sneezes,” whispered Tag.

The other boys watching the 3-D holo-vid laughed.

Boys? I mean Buzz, the leader of the AstroKids, and Mir. He’s the space-station commander’s son.

“Grow up, Tag.” It was DeeBee’s job to keep her brother in line. “Miko and I are trying to watch.”

Miko. That would be me.

“Saw-ree,” Tag giggled. “It’s just too funny.”

“Star Wreck isn’t supposed to be funny.”

“It’s snot?” Tag hooted at his rude joke while the plasma globs dropped all around us. That is how holo-vids are—the picture and sound are all around you, just like you are really there.

Tzzzsss. A blob branded Captain Quirk on the hand.

Double ouch.

Not even Tag giggled at that. I could see him pull his own hand back in the green light.

Now, please don’t ask me how Tag went from nose-blowing jokes to shaking in his chair. But his teeth began to chatter as if he had just stuck his finger in one of CLEO-7’s power generators.

Tzzzsss. Another plasma blob connected. I covered my eyes. You might have done the same thing, if you had been there.

I’m very sorry, but by that time, my stomach was not feeling too well.

“Go to warp drive, Snotty!” cried Captain Quirk. “Get us out of here.”

“Ach, I’m sorry, Captain,” a Scottish voice answered. “But we’ve a wee problem in the engine room. The blobs are oozin’ through the ceiling, they are.”

Tzzzsss.

I got up and slipped out the door.

“Snotty? Snotty?” the captain called with his last breath.

“Miko? Miko?” DeeBee followed me out into the hallway. “Are you okay?”

I should tell you the truth: I was not okay. My stomach felt upside-down, inside out. And my dinner was ready to ... But no, I don’t want to be rude; I will spare you the details. All I could think of were the blobs coming through the walls.

“They’re not going to get me,” I whispered.

“Miko?” DeeBee caught up to me. “It wasn’t that scary, was it? It was just a holo-vid.”

I shook my head. DeeBee was the nicest person I knew. But she did not understand.

“I’m sorry,” I told her. “I ... uh—”

“Don’t apologize.” DeeBee patted me on the shoulder. “Besides, nobody’s going to get you. Buzz and I, we’ll make sure of it!”

She put up her fists and showed me her muscles, like a champion arm wrestler.

I tried to smile and not look so worried. (Not always so easy for me!)

“Maybe I just needed some fresh air,” I told her.

About a minute later, so did Tag. Zero-G, the dog, hurried out next, his tail tucked between his legs. Even Buzz joined us.

“Hmm.” DeeBee smiled.

Tag held his face in his hands, and Buzz’s eyes were twice their normal size. Both boys looked pale.

“Whoaa,” groaned Tag. “That was gross.”

“Mercy.” Buzz leaned against the wall.

So. I was not the only one who had to leave. They couldn’t say it was because I was a girl. That made me feel a little better.

But not much.

“You left Mir in there?” DeeBee asked the boys.

“Hey, guys?” The door to the holo-room swooshed open and Mir Chekhov peeked out. His wavy blond hair stood up straight, and he was breathing hard. “Buzz? Where did you go, buddy?”

“Over here.” Buzz waved his hand.

Mir slicked down his hair—you know, as if nothing were wrong. But I saw his wide-eyed look.

“So, how’d you like the holo-vid?” Mir shuffled up to join us. “Pretty tame, huh? Just a few gross parts.”

A few bad parts were enough to ruin the whole thing, I thought. Just like a few little meteors could put a hole in a space shuttle.

Mir went on. “I’d love to stay for the rest of it, of course, but I have—”

“Mir—” began DeeBee.

“No, hey, it’s all right.” Buzz put up his hand. “I understand if you can’t stay for the ending. I’ve got some stuff I need to do for my dad. Gotta go.”

Ah, Buzz, the Master of AstroCool. I smiled—until something brushed up against the back of my neck.

A plasma blob?

“AHHHHHH!”

I screamed.

Mir screamed.

We all screamed.

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