This is a cool story! Do you think I have a twin that was separated at birth?SCOOBY'S DOUBLE TROUBLE



The bright lights of Las Vegas shown down on the Mystery Machine as Freddy drove the van along the Strip, through the cascade of neon images, words and giant figures. While the rest of the gang marveled at the sites all around them—and at the same time, knew they were too young to yet enjoy them—Velma had her mind on other things.

"Jinkies, it’s swell they’re holding the Science Convention in Las Vegas this year", she squealed. "It’s so perfect!"

"Yeah, if we can just find the convention center", Freddy reminded her. "All this neon is blinding me."

"It should be the next right", Velma told him, reading the street map sitting on her lap. Velma had been looking forward to this years annual Scientific Inventions Convention for some time; she’d missed last years because she’d been visiting one of her uncles, and she didn’t want to miss this one. All kind of ultra-modern, futuristic scientific devices would be on display, and she wanted to be the first to get a look at most of them.

The convention center/hotel was tucked away on a side street, an area reserved primarily for business high-rises and office buildings. Freddy parked the van in the convention center’s crowded parking lot, and the gang headed inside.

There was a man standing just inside the door, reading the financial section of the local newspaper. He looked up when the gang started past, quickly tucking the paper into his back pocket.

"Well, hello! I’m Jonathan Talbert, the financial backer for this convention. Come to see the science show?"

"We sure did!", Velma told him. "Jinkies, it sure is groovy here!"

"Well, I’m glad to hear that! We’ve got all the latest inventions here this year, as well as some of the finest minds in science today. Is there anything in particular you’d like to see?"

"Like, anything with food?", Shaggy asked hopefully.

"Oh, I’ve got one for you", Mr. Talbert said with a grin. "Follow me."

He led them over to a table stacked high with all types of meats, cheeses, and vegetables. A large, stainless steel square box stood next to them; a pair of conveyor belts ran in and out either end of it. As the gang watched, a tall, skinny man with thick black hair and even thicker black frame glasses was feeding meat, cheese and bread in on one belt, and watching it come out the other end as complete sandwiches—nicely sliced, even!

"Like, wow, this is the best machine here!", Shaggy announced, rubbing his hands together.

"Let’s hope the judges think so", the man standing behind it told them. "Amos Benton, and this is my Automatic Sandwich Maker. Just put your ingredients in here, add bread, and out comes a perfectly made sandwich on this end."

"Like, can I try it?", Shaggy asked.

"I’m afraid not. It’s a prototype, you know, one of a kind, and very delicate", Amos told him. "But I’d be happy to make a sandwich for you."

"Groovy! I want liverwurst, pastrami, ham, tomatoes, lettuce, bacon, sausage, mustard, ketchup, relish, roast beef and pepperoni on white bread topped off with a scoop of ice cream!", Shaggy told him.

Amos raised his eyebrows. "All right, if that’s what you want…" He fed the ingredients into the machine and a second later the sandwich—neatly squeezed down to bite-size and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, rolled out. Shaggy snatched it up and gobbled it down. "Mmm mmm good!"

"Ret re ry!", Scooby insisted, scooping up ingredients and shoving them in despite Amos’ protests. The machine began to buck and whir as Scooby piled stuff on, and soon it began to smoke. Amos covered his head and ducked, a second before the machine exploded, sending ingredients everywhere.

Scooby ducked his head. "Roops! R’im rorry", he apologized.

"My machine! You ruined my machine!", Amos cried, livid with rage. "I’ll make you pay for that! I’ll make you all pay for ruining my machine!" Tugging at his hair, he ran out of the room.

"Oh dear", Mr. Talbert sighed. "I’m sure he’ll calm down. Maybe we should look around some more?"

"That’s okay, we’ll look around ourselves", Velma told him. "And Scooby, don’t touch anything!"

Saying their good-byes to Mr. Talbert, they continued to wander among the displays. There were all kinds of things to be seen, each one as fascinating as the item before it. Finally they came to one table displaying what looked like an elaborate metal detector. There was no sign to tell them what it was, but there was one naming the inventor—Thelma Patterson.

"Wow, gang, look!", Velma cried, pointing to a girl who was working on the device. She was short, with short, black hair, a round face, and thick black glasses. She wore a red turtleneck, a plaid skirt, white knee socks and buckle shoes, and looked to be around the same age as the rest of the gang.

She also looked exactly like Velma.

"Oh, hello. I’m Thelma Patterson", the girl said, without looking up.

"Like, they’re twins!", Shaggy cried.

The resemblance was uncanny; Thelma was Velma in every aspect, except the clothes. Even her voice was the same.

"Jinkies, what a coincidence!", Velma exclaimed.

"Jinkies?", Thelma asked seriously. "What, praytell, kind of term is that?"

"Um, never mind", Velma told her.

"Well, I’m glad to see that our resemblance to one another is merely physical", Thelma snorted. "Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have work to do." She turned back to the device she was working on.

"Oh, is that a semi-precious non-ferrous metal locator?", Velma asked, looking over her shoulder.

"A what?", Shaggy asked.

"A gold detector", Freddy told him.

Thelma turned around, looking shocked. "Why, yes, it is. How did you know?"

"The advanced silicon circuitry and the non-magnetic resonating surface at the end of the handle gave it away", Velma told her.

Thelma seemed to warm up instantly. "How refreshing! I guess we do have more in common than looks! Well, that changes everything! I’ve been working on this device for two years now. With it, one can detect gold anywhere, at any depth. It uses a specially developed form of silicon in its chips that allows it to detect gold and other precious minerals while ignoring such minerals as lead. Used properly, it could find gold for use in various industries. But in the wrong hands, it could result in depletion of gold ore everywhere and a resulting devaluation of the mineral!"

"This is like, too scientific for me", Shaggy moaned.

"What she means is, in the wrong hands, somebody could dig up all the gold there is and it wouldn’t be worth anything", Velma explained.

"Exactly. And lately, I’ve received numerous warnings that someone might attempt to steal it. And as if that’s not enough, there’s the Silicon Creature!"

"Silicon Creature?", Daphne asked.

"Yes, a creature made of pure silicon. I’ve seen him several times since I first manufactured the special chips for my device. I hoped that by coming here, I would be safe and he couldn’t haunt me."

"That should work", Velma agreed. "No Silicon Creature would show up here, with all these people around."

No sooner had she said that, than the lights went out. As soon as they came back on, people started screaming and clearing out.

A tall, silvery, man-like creature with huge bug eyes and fangs was standing in the center of the convention hall! It ran toward Scooby and the gang, straight for Thelma’s display. "It wants my gold detector!", Thelma cried, snatching the device up.

"Scooby, stop him!", Freddy shouted.

In a rare moment of bravery, Scooby jumped up onto the table and snarled at the creature. It stopped, backing away as Scooby advanced on it. With a cry of rage the monster then stopped and grabbed Scooby by the collar, lifting him off the floor.

Scooby giggled apologetically at it and quickly slipped out of his collar, running back to the rest of the gang. "Everybody, scram!", Velma cried.

And scram they did! With Thelma and her device in tow, they ran out of the convention hall and into the elevator. Scooby wasn’t fast enough, though, and they left him behind!

The creature kept coming. "Relp!", Scooby cried, pounding on the closed elevator door. The creature was getting closer. Looking around, he spotted a fire extinguisher. He grabbed it up from the wall and quickly laid down a spray between the door to the convention hall and the elevator, then ran back and pushed the elevator door button.

The creature, coming on full tilt, couldn’t stop. It hit the foam on the floor and slid out of control, crashing into the elevator just as the door opened. The doors closed and sent him down to the basement, at the same time as the elevator doors next to it opened. "Like, come on Scoob!", Shaggy cried, reaching out and grabbing Scooby’s collar and yanking him inside with the rest of the gang.

A few minutes later they were all safely ensconced in Thelma’s room, the device securely locked in a heavy metal box at the foot of her bed. "Oh, I knew this would happen!", Thelma cried. "It’s that Silicon Creature! He wants my gold detector."

"What would a Silicon Creature want with a gold detector?", Daphne asked.

"It isn’t the detector, it’s the rare silicon chips", Thelma explained. "I’ve theorized he must be made of the same material, and he thinks I’ve stolen his special silicon. He’s been haunting me ever since I got here. Between him and the threats to steal my device, I simply don’t feel safe anymore!"

"We’ll protect you, and your gold detector", Freddy assured her. "We’re used to dealing with scary monsters."

"Like, yeah, we’ve seen lots of them", Shaggy added.

"Reah", Scooby agreed.

"Well, I thank you for your offer to help", Thelma sighed. "But if even being here at a convention full of people, with all kinds of security around, can’t stop him, then how can you?"

"We have Scooby", Freddy told her.

"Reah, rey rot re", Scooby stated proudly. "Rey, rait a rinute!"

"Scooby’s an excellent guard dog", Velma told her.

"The greatest", Daphne added.

"And like, he makes a groovy sandwich, too", Shaggy added in last.

"Well, he did take care of the Silicon Creature pretty well before", Thelma agreed. "I’ll be glad to have you all guard my device."

"And Scooby will be happy to, won’t you Scooby?", Velma asked.

"Ro ray!", Scooby refused.

"Oh, come on, Scooby, it’s for science!", Velma chastised.

"Ro ray, rot re!", Scooby again refused.

"Would you do it for a box of Scooby snacks?", Velma asked.

"Ruh…reah! Reah!", Scooby agreed.

Velma handed him the box, and he gulped them all down, smacking his chops.

"Okay then. We might as well all get some sleep", Freddy suggested. "Scooby, you and Shaggy can stay here to guard Thelma’s device. Thelma, you should stay with the girls, just in case. I’ll stay here with Shaggy and Scooby."

"Like, hey, how come we have to stay here?", Shaggy asked.

"Because we have to keep the gold detector locked up, and we can’t move that heavy box into our room", Freddy told him. "Come on, you two chickens, the Silicon Creature wouldn’t dare show up in here with us guarding the device!"

Sounds of snoring filled the room shortly after Scooby and the guys settled in. Scooby took up a position on the floor in front of the box, not because it was more comfortable or he really wanted to guard the device, but because Fred and Shaggy had taken up every inch of bed space—and Scooby didn’t care to have Shaggy’s bony knees sticking him in the ribs all night! As it was, the floor was comfortable enough, and Scooby was sleeping quite well until the sound of the door knob rattling woke him. There was a click as someone turned a key, and the door swung slowly open. A figure stepped inside, looking around, moving quietly so as not to awaken anyone. Anyone but Scooby, that was!

With a snarl, Scooby lept at the figure, knocking him over. Freddy jumped up and switched on the lights, revealing Mr. Talbert lying under Scooby!

"Mr. Talbert, what are you doing here?"

"I came to check on Thelma", Mr. Talbert replied. "Could you get your dog off me?"

Scooby quickly backed off and helped the man up, brushing at his suit. "Rorry!"

"Scooby thought you were the Silicon Creature", Freddy explained. "Thelma is next door with the girls. We stayed in here to guard her device."

"Oh, I see. Well, that’s good! I came up here to make sure she was okay, after what happened down in the convention hall. I wanted to make sure she and her device were all right."

"They’re fine", Freddy assured him.

"Well, I’m glad. Thelma told me about the Silicon Creature when she came here, and the threats she’s received. I hired extra security, but it hasn’t helped. I’m glad to see she has extra help."

"She sure does", Freddy told him. "Well, good-night."

"Good night to you", Mr. Talbert told them, shutting the door.

They all returned to bed, but hadn’t slept long when someone knocked at the door. Half-asleep, Shaggy got up to answer it. "Oh, it’s just the Silicon Creature", he said when he opened it. "Hey, Fred, Scooby, the Silicon—the Silicon Creature!"

The Silicon Creature raised his hands and roared, so loud Shaggy’s hair was swept back. "Zoinks! Like, help!"

Freddy and Scooby were on their feet in a second. "He’s after the detector! Stop him!", Freddy shouted.

"Like, how?", Shaggy asked, jumping back.

The Silicon Creature stepped into the room and reached for the box. "Tackle him!", Freddy shouted. He threw himself at the Creature, only to have the monster catch him by the belt and dangle him above the floor. "Uh oh, this is not good!"

"R’I’ll rave rou!", Scooby barked, leaping at the Creature. It caught him by the collar and held him up as well.

"Shaggy, grab the detector and run for it!", Freddy shouted.

"Like, okay!", Shaggy cried, snatching the device from the box and tearing out of the room. The Creature flung Fred and Scooby onto the bed, where they landed in a heap. Then he took off after Shaggy.

Shaggy ran like the wind, calling for help at the same time. Freddy and Scooby ran out of the room and chased the Creature, while the Creature chased Shaggy. They were quickly joined by Thelma and the girls.

"He’s after Shaggy!", Velma cried. "We have to stop him!"

"He wants the device!", Thelma stated. "Don’t let him get it!"

At the end of the hall an elevator opened and a bellhop stepped out, carrying a tray of food. He gulped and tried to get out of the way when he saw the menagerie of people (and dogs and monsters!) coming at him, but he couldn’t move fast enough. Shaggy ran straight into him, sending the food on the tray flying. A bowl of pudding flipped over and landed right on the Silicon Creature’s head, blinding him.

The rest of the gang knocked him down and kept running for the elevator, which Shaggy had already reached and was madly pounding the buttons in. The rest of the gang slammed in behind him and rode down to the bottom floor.

As soon as the doors opened, they all spilled out. The elevator next to them opened at the same time, and the Silicon Creature stepped out, grabbing the gold detector from Shaggy’s hands. With a cackle of triumph he ran down the hall and around the corner, with the gang chasing him. Before they could catch him he disappeared out the front door.

"We can’t let him get away!", Freddy shouted. "Get him!"

They hit the front door at a run, spilling out into the street. Everyone looked both ways—but he was gone.

"He’s gone!", Velma cried.

"Vanished!", Daphne echoed.

"Like, into thin air!", Shaggy agreed.

"And he’s got the gold detector, too!", Freddy moaned. "Oh boy, we really messed up!"
"It’s okay", Thelma told them. "I can build another one, as long as I have these." She held out her hand, showing them a small pile of silvery-black chips.

"Hey, that was smart thinking!", Velma told her.

"I thought he might get the device, so I kept these with me", Thelma told her. "He’ll be back, of course."

"But this time, we’ll be ready", Freddy told her. "I hope."

The gang returned to Thelma’s room to lay out what to do next. "Thelma, when did you first start getting threats?", Freddy asked.

"Only a few weeks ago, after I finished the specs for the special chips", Thelma told him. "I showed them to the police, but there was nothing they could do. Naturally, I was careful to keep them and the device locked up. I was beginning to think the threats were just a hoax until I came here. The first night, as I was setting up, the Silicon Creature showed up and tried to grab my detector. Fortunately, some security guards scared him off. The next time it happened was last night, in my room—he didn’t get it, and right after that, Mr. Talbert showed up and called for more security."

"Like, wow", Shaggy whistled. "He must really want those chips!"

"I’m afraid he’ll get them if I’m not careful", Thelma told them. "I’d lock them in the safe at the check-in desk, but they’re too precious. That’s why I keep them with me at all times."

"But that’s not very safe for you", Daphne told her. "What if the monster grabs you instead?"

"I never thought of that", Thelma admitted.

As they were talking, Scooby thought he heard something. Scurrying over to the door, he sniffed, and frowned. Somebody was out there. Somebody who smelled like roast beef and tomatoes.

Grabbing the doorknob, he yanked it open. Amos Benton spilled into the room with a cry, and Scooby pounced, pinning him to the floor.

"You!", Thelma cried. "What are you doing here?"

"I, um, that is, um, I…"

"He was listening in on us!", Shaggy accused. "Weren’t you?"

"I, um, that is, I just wanted to make sure you were, um, okay", Amos stammered. He looked fearfully at Scooby, who was licking his chops. The smell of roast beef and tomatoes was making him hungry. "Please don’t eat me!", Amos begged.

"Why were you spying on me?", Thelma asked, pulling him to his feet. He turned beet red, but couldn’t seem to come up with an answer.
"Um, like I told you…um, I have to be going now!", he stammered, and bolted out the door before anyone could stop him.

"How do you like that?", Fred asked.

"He’s been watching me ever since I got here", Thelma told them, shutting the door. "It gives me the creeps."

"Like, maybe he’s the one who sent the notes", Shaggy suggested.

"You might be right, Shag", Freddy suggested. He turned to Thelma.

"Thelma, do you have any of the notes you were sent?", Freddy asked. "Maybe we can get a clue from them."

"Yes, among my papers in the lab", Thelma told them. "I’ll go get them."

"I’ll go with you. I’d love to see your lab", Velma told her, and the two of them walked off.

"In the meantime, the rest of us will go back to the convention center and look for clues", Freddy suggested.

Velma and Thelma headed for the lab. It was only a block from the convention center, on the third floor of a six story building. They reached it in no time, and Thelma hurried into the lab to find her notes.

Velma stood in the doorway, waiting while Thelma searched through her papers. "I know I left it here somewhere", Thelma sighed. "I really must get organized."

Suddenly, the lights went out. Both of them cried out, and suddenly Velma felt a hand clamp over her mouth and an arm snaked around her waist. Before she knew what was happening, she was being carried away.

Thelma, lost in the darkness, stumbled around to find the light switch. She flicked it on and gasped when she saw Velma was missing. "Velma? Velma, where did you go?" Getting no answer, she realized what had happened—the Silicon Creature had taken Velma by mistake!

Velma was mad. It wasn’t enough that she’d been kidnapped ala Daphne style, but she was bound and gagged as well. Seated in a chair, with her hands tied behind the back, her ankles tied, and a gag over her mouth. It was humiliating! Oh well, at least her kidnapper had put her in someplace appropriate—a lab. Test tubes and all types of scientific equipment was scattered across tables that took up most of the brightly lit room. She’d have been in heaven if she wasn’t tied up!

Now what would Daphne do in a situation like this?, Velma wondered. Oh, right. Sit here and go mmmph mmmph and be totally helpless until somebody finds her. Well, I’m not gonna be like that. I have to get free!

Her eyes swept the room around her. There were a thousand different things she could try, any one of which would get the ropes free—if she could just reach them. The problem was, did she have the strength to move herself and the chair near any of them?

Summoning up everything she had, she stood up, taking the chair with her. She hopped over to the nearby lab table and twisted around, grabbing for a scalpel lying there. After several failed attempts, she finally managed to get it with her fingers and manipulate it so she could saw at the ropes.

Ha, let’s see Daphne do that!, she thought to herself. The ropes started to loosen, and finally gave way. Velma quickly undid the ropes around her ankles and removed the gag. "There, that’s better!", she said aloud. "Now, how do I get out of this place?"

She suddenly realized, for the first time, that the room had no door. "Of course it does, silly. You didn’t just materialize in here, did you? This isn’t Star Trek." She thought hard, applying logical principles of size and dimension versus potential width of a door, and finally came up with the answer—she’d tap on the wall until she found it.

Knock, knock, tap, tap. She rapped on the wall until she heard a dull thump, the happy sound of hollowness. She gave it an experimental push, and let out a cry of triumph when the door clicked and popped inward.

"Jinkies, I did it!" She stuck her head out the door and looked around. There was a dark hallway beyond it, and it was empty. Now all she had to do was figure out where the gang was, and she’d be home free!

Stepping out into the hallway, she used her favorite scientific method to decide which way to go—she guessed. She opted to go right, and strode into the darkness.

And was it ever dark! She could hardly see her hand in front of her face. She could hardly see her glasses! She felt along the wall, to keep from stumbling into something. She was doing pretty good when her hand brushed against something soft, like cloth. Soft and warm, like…

"Uh oh, I think I’m in biiiig trouble!", she moaned.

"Going somewhere?", a voice asked, and someone grabbed her, pressing a pungent smelling cloth over her face. A moment later, the darkness around her became complete…

"What do you mean, the Silicon Creature got her?", Freddy asked. "Velma? That never happens!"

"Well, it did this time", Thelma told them. "One minute she was there, the next, she was gone. And I have no idea where he’d take her!"

"It couldn’t be far. We should spread out and search", Fred suggested. "Daphne and I can search the hotel, while you, Thelma, and Shaggy and Scooby can check out the the office building where Thelma’s lab is. If she’s here, we’ll find her."

"Like, what if we find the Creature first?", Shaggy asked.

"Grab him", Freddy told him. "Then we’ll make him tell us where Velma is."

"Grab him, he says. Oh boy!", Shaggy moaned.

Searching the hotel part of the convention center was anything but easy for Fred and Daphne. Most of the doors were locked, leaving lots of places where Velma could be—and those that weren’t locked proved to be empty. They could only hope Shaggy, Scooby and Thelma were having better luck.

The two of them finally ended up in the convention hall. Only a few people still remained, mostly inventors adding a few last-minute touches and adjustments to their devices. Freddy and Daphne were about to leave when Daphne pointed toward Thelma’s table and whispered, "Look!"

Freddy looked, and saw Amos poking around there, as if searching for something. Several times he unfolded a piece of paper in his hands, read it, then jotted something on it with a pen and folded it back up again. Curious, Fred moved closer, hoping to get a glimpse of what he was doing.

Unfortunately, before he could get there, Daphne managed to trip over an extension cord lying across the carpet and crashed into Fred. Fred went flying, screaming "Aiiiieeee!" as he landed face down on Thelma’s table and went sliding across it. Amos ran off in panic, and was gone from sight before Fred could get up again.

Dusting himself off, Fred climbed off the table, his foot crinkling on something as it hit the floor. Looking down, he spotted a section of folded newspaper lying there. Quickly he picked it up and examined it. It was the stock market page.

"Let me see that", Daphne offered. "My father taught me how to read the stock page when I was five." She studied the stocks. "They’re losing money, all right. A lot of money. Whoever owns them would have to be very rich, or he’d be going broke right now."

Freddy tucked the paper into his pocket. "I’ll hold onto it. It might be useful later."

Meanwhile, a few blocks away, Scooby, Shaggy and Thelma were just finishing up their own search and were about to head back. They’d had no luck either; not only had they found no sign of Velma, they hadn’t seen hide nor hair of the Silicon Creature, either.

As they were about to leave the building, Thelma suddenly ducked behind a pillar near the door, yanking Scooby and Shaggy after her.

"Like, what’s going on?", Shaggy whispered.

"Look who just walked in", Thelma whispered back.

It was Amos. He looked a bit disheveled, and very nervous. His eyes darted about as he walked right past them, and headed for the elevator. The three of them watched him get into the elevator car, then rushed over to see what floor he’d gone to. The third floor—Thelma’s lab!

"Quickly, the stairs!", Thelma cried, racing for a nearby door. With Shaggy and Scooby in hot pursuit, they ran up the stairs, emerging just in time to see Amos get off the elevator. He didn’t see them, however, as he headed over to the closed door of Thelma’s lab.

Hiding around a nearby corner, the trio watched as Amos looked about nervously, then slipped a paper under the door. He just about ran back to the elevator, looking over his shoulder the whole time.

As soon as he was gone, Thelma hurried over to the door and started to unlock it—only to realize she’d left her keys inside! "Oh no! I don’t believe I did that. Can either of you two help me get it open?"

"Like, that’s your cue, Scoob", Shaggy told his dog pal.

Extending one claw, Scooby stuck it into the lock and poked around, listening for a click. As he was doing this, the elevator behind them pinged, and the doors swung open. Just as the door clicked, a heavy, silvery hand came down on Shaggy’s shoulder, freezing him in place.

"Uh, gang, like, I think we’re in trouble", he whimpered.

"No we’re not. Scooby got the door open, see?", Thelma asked, pushing the door open. "Now I can go and—yaaaiiiiieeee!"

As soon as she saw the Silicon Creature standing behind Shaggy, that was all she could utter. Scooby couldn’t even do that; his voice just kind of wouldn’t come out. What he did manage to do was scramble for the elevator, leaving the other two behind. But not for long. Grabbing Shaggy’s hand, Thelma ran for the elevator, piling in behind Scooby.

"Chips! Chips!", the Silicon Creature cried.

"Chips? Like, I got a bag of pretzels here", Shaggy called, yanking out a small bag of pretzels. "Here, have these instead!"

"I don’t think he means those kind of chips!", Thelma cried, pounding on the down button to make the door close. The Creature was almost on top of them.

"What kind then? Rippled? Sour cream? Chocolate?", Shaggy asked.

"Silicon, silly!", Thelma replied.

"Oh, right! Silicon chips for a silicon creature!", Shaggy quipped, just as the door shut. "Now why didn’t I think of that?"

It was still dark when Velma awoke. She was lying down this time, and after a few seconds, realized she’d been bound and gagged again. Whatever she was lying on hummed softly, and felt like it was moving…

She was in a car! In the trunk, to be exact. Now she was starting to get scared—where was she being taken? She’d gotten away once, but could she do it again?

The car stopped, and a moment later, the trunk lid opened. The Silicon Creature reached in and lifted her out. She was in an alleyway; it was hard to tell where. The creature carried her through a doorway and dropped her onto a stool. "You thought you would get away, did you?", he asked. "Never! I will have those chips, do you hear me? I will have them! And those nosy kids will bring them to me—or they’ll never see you again, my dear Thelma!"

Uh oh, Velma thought. He thinks I’m Thelma! I should have guessed. Boy, am I ever in trouble now!

Scooby and the gang, along with Thelma, gathered in the convention hall. They shared what they’d seen, and Thelma told them about the Silicon Creature wanting the chips. "Lucky for us, we got away", she told Fred and Daphne.

A few exhibits were still going, but most of the people had already gone to bed. "All this technology, and none of it will help us find the Silicon Creature", Thelma sighed. "Or Velma."

A phone on a nearby table started ringing. Freddy picked it up. After a few minutes, he hung it up.

"That was the Creature. He thinks he has Thelma! What’s more, he says if we ever want to see her again, we have to wait for him with the chips outside the convention center", Freddy told them.

"Poor Velma", Daphne moaned. "We’ve got to save her!"

"We will", Freddy assured her.

"It’s curious that the Silicon Creature uses phones and kidnaps people", Thelma mused. "But that’s okay, because I know where he is."

"You do?", everyone else chorused.

"Yep. See?" She held up a bulky black box that was attached to the phone by a cord. The sign over the device read WHO’S CALLING ID BOX. On the front of the box was a little screen with a phone number.

"Now, all we have to do is look up the number, and—", Thelma leafed through a phone book lying on the table. "Bingo! It’s a building about two blocks from here. I’ll bet that’s where he’s got Velma!"

"Great! Shaggy, Scooby, you check it out. The rest of us will stay here and wait for the Creature if he shows up."

"Like, why us?", Shaggy asked.

"You two are the best at hiding. If you see him coming, you can hide, then sneak in and look for Velma after he’s gone."

"Oh, right. Like, who’d think being a chicken would be a bad thing, eh?", Shaggy chuckled nervously. "Like, let’s go, Scoob."

"Rall right", Scooby moaned. The two of them headed out the convention center and down the block, looking for the address Thelma had found. It didn’t take very long for them to find it.

"Like, this is the place, Scoob", Shaggy stated nervously. "But like, where’s the Creature?"

"Ri ron’t row", Scooby replied.

"Well, we better look around. And be quiet! We dont’ want him to like, find us first!"

The two of them crept closer to the building. They spotted the car parked there, and the door. Next to it was a window. Scooby crept up to the window and peeked in.

"Relma!", Scooby hissed.

"Velma? Where?", Shaggy asked.

"Rin rere. Rook!"

Shaggy peeked over the windowsill. Sure enough, it was Velma, bound and gagged on a stool while the Silicon Creature paced back and forth.

"We like, have to get her out of there", Shaggy whispered. "I got an idea."

The Silicon Creature continued to pace. Almost time. Soon he would have his chips. Soon he could get rid of Thelma Patterson and be far, far away from here.

A sudden knock at the door made him look up. Growling, he walked over and yanked it open. Two people stood there, dressed in suits. "Good day sir! We’re from the Super Duper Acme Wackme Vacuum Cleaner Company and we’d like to demonstrate our latest products just for you! May we come in?" Without waiting for a response, they pushed inside. "Oh, I see the little missus is home! Well well, just for you, a special home demonstration!" The taller, skinnier one stuck his arm out the door and pulled a vaccuum cleaner in. "As you can see sir, this is our latest model. And just look at how it cleans!" He hit the ON switch and suddenly dust began to fill the room. In seconds the whole place was totally obscured.

"Like, oops, that’s reverse! Sorry about that sir, we’ll be sure to come back and give you a full clean-up and refund!", the skinny one was saying, though the Creature could no longer see him, or anything else. "Bye now!"

A second later Scooby and Shaggy, carrying a still bound and gagged Velma between them, ran out of the dust cloud and down the street. "Like, we did it!", Shaggy cried.

"Mmmph mmmph mmmph mmm mmmph!", Velma shouted.

"Like, what’s that Velma? Here, let me get this gag off", Shaggy offered, removing her gag.

"I said, untie me!", Velma shouted.

"Oh, like, sorry", Shaggy responded. They set Velma down and quickly untied her. "Wow, now you and Daphne like, having something in common", Shaggy chuckled.

"Yes, we’re both girls", Velma replied. "Now let’s get lost before that Creature finds us!"

"Good work you two!", Freddy shouted when Shaggy and Scooby reappeared with Velma.

"Yeah, they’re a couple of heroes", Velma beamed. "But that Creature still wants those chips. What are we going to do?"

"Trap him", Freddy said. "I’ve got an idea. Let’s go into the show room."

They entered the show room, which was empty now, given the late hour. Freddy walked over to a display labeled "The Ultimate Mousetrap." It was a cage suspended by a rope above a metal plate, the whole of it sitting just inside the door. "This is an electromagnetic cage", Thelma stated. "But it won’t catch mice. The cage is too big."

"But it will hold a Silicon Creature", Freddy explained. "Okay, this is my plan. Thelma, you’ll go out to meet the Silicon Creature with the chips. He’ll chase you, and when you get here", he pointed to where the hallway went left and right, "Velma will step out and get him to chase her. Velma will then get him to chase her back into the convention room, where Scooby and Shaggy will be waiting on either side of the door with fire extinguishers. They’ll lay out a path of foam, and the Creature will slide right in and land on the metal place under the cage. Then, bang! We drop the cage on him and catch him."

"Like, you mean, we don’t gotta be the bait this time?", Shaggy asked.

"No, he wouldn’t chase you", Velma told him. "But he’ll chase me. I’ll be he’s pretty made right now that I got away."

"That’ll work for us", Freddy told her. "Okay gang, let’s do it!

The Silicon Creature was mad—very mad that now twice he’d lost Thelma! Well, he was going to get her, and the chips, back—no matter what. Stomping into the main hall of the convention center, he made his way toward the convention hall, determined that this time he’d seize both Thelma and the chips at the same time. Just then, Thelma popped out from the left hand hallway.

"Yoo hoo, Mr. Silicon Creature, look what I’ve got!", Thelma teased, holding up the chips. The Silicon Creature stared at her—dressed in Velma’s clothes—then at the chips. "How did you—give me those!", he cried, running after her.

"Gotta catch me first!", Thelma called back, and took off running.

She raced past where Velma was standing, and Velma jumped out.

"Can’t catch me!", she laughed, taking off down the other hall!

By now, the Silicon Creature was thoroughly confused—he had two Thelmas to chase, but which was the right one? He opted to chase Velma, only to have Thelma switch off with her and race past him. Round and round they went, teasing him with the chips, popping up behind and in front of him, sometimes at the same time. Finally, with a cry of rage, he took off after Velma, chasing her down the hallway—and right into Freddy’s trap.

"Here they come!", Daphne shouted for her vantage point.

"Scooby, Shaggy, now!", Fred shouted.

Just as Velma cleared the doorway, Scooby and Shaggy stepped out and laid out a stream of foam from the extinguishers. The Creature, unable to stop, let out a cry of surprise and went sliding.

"Now Fred!", Shaggy cried as the Creature slid right under the cage.

"Alley oop!", Fred shouted, letting go of the cage. It crashed down on top of the Silicon Creature and sealed itself to the floor, trapping him.

"Let me out of here! Let me out!", the Creature shouted.

Velma and Thelma stepped up to look at him. "Looks like we got him", Thelma said.

"Chalk up one for science", Velma agreed.

Defeated, the creature hung his head. Freddy stepped up then and reached through the bars, grabbing hold of the top of the Creature’s head. "Now let’s see who this is!" With a tug, he yanked the mask off and revealed—

Mr. Talbert!

"Mr. Talbert, why?", Thelma cried.

"I think I know", Velma told them. "Mr. Talbert is going broke—remember that newspaper we found? All those circled stocks were his--that's what he was doing when we first met him.. He’s lost everything. That’s why he needed the chips, to sell them. Only we got him first!"

"Those chips are worth a fortune, more than all the gold that device would have found", Mr. Talbert groaned. "I knew if I could scare you away, I could steal them. And I would have succeeded, if it wasn’t for you pesky kids!"

"You know, there’s one thing that’s bugging me", Freddy said. "Why was Amos listening in on us that night? And why was he always watching Thelma?"

"I think I know", Daphne answered. "He’s in love."

"In love, with me?", Thelma asked. "Impossible." But she was blushing anyway.

"How do you like that", Shaggy chuckled. "He has a crush on her. Now me, I have a crush that machine of his. I’m glad he got it fixed." He nodded toward the table where Amos’ device was being judged.

"Looks like you’re next, Thelma", Freddy announced.

"Oh, this is so exciting!", Velma giggled. "I hope you win, Thelma!"

Thelma nodded excitedly. "And if I do, it’ll be thanks to you guys. Without you, Mr. Talbert would have taken my chips, and my device wouldn’t have worked at all."

They all watched as the convention judges came over to Thelma’s table, the last one in line. Everyone held their breath as the judges looked the device over, poked and prodded and read the specs, and then…

Put a blue ribbon on it.

"Good work, Ms. Patterson", one of the judges told her. "Your gold detector will be a real boon to mankind."

"Thank you", Thelma beamed. She turned to the gang. "And thank you! I couldn’t have done it without you."

"Like, can you set that thing to detect hamburgers? I’m starving!", Shaggy chuckled.

"Not again!", Velma cried.

"That’s one thing modern science will never be able to solve", Freddy laughed.

"What’s that?", Thelma asked.

"How to figure out how deep Shaggy’s stomach is!"



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