Round 1 - Zakiyah
It was washday at the Treehouse, and everyone was lending a hand. Roxton was busily bringing bundles of dirty clothes and sheets from the Treehouse to the pond and hauling the wet clean clothes back to Marguerite, who hung them up to dry and made note of what needed mending. Veronica washed the clothes in the pond, and Malone was in charge of rinsing and wringing once Veronica deemed an article clean enough. Even Challenger helped by testing out his experimental "auto-washing tub" and latest soap substitute with a small load of the explorers' oldest and most expendable garments.
"You'll see. This will be a great time saver," Challenger beamed as he cranked the handle on his invention to get it started. The gears beneath ratcheted up with a loud series of clacks and clangs as the spring coiled tighter.
"I'm sure it will," Roxton smiled at the professor, although privately he had his doubts.
"Yeah, just as soon as it's blown up a couple of times," Malone muttered to Veronica, fighting to hide his grin.
"Not to mention destroyed at least half of the things he tests in it," Veronica snickered back.
"He'd better not – we don't have that many clothes to spare."
"Hm." Veronica gave him a half-quizzical, half-humorous look. "Between what stores we have from my parents' expedition and what you brought, we haven't done too badly – but maybe you should start making plans for wearing Zanga outfits, just in case." She laughed aloud at Malone's horrified look.
"What's so funny?" Challenger called over the racket of his invention.
"Oh, just talking about clothes," Malone shouted back, making shushing movements at Veronica, who continued to laugh at Malone's expression.
Challenger gave them an odd look, but he was too preoccupied with his invention to inquire further. "There, that should do it," he said, giving the crank one last turn and straightening up. "Now all I have to do is release this lever, and in a few minutes we should have clean clothes!"
He reached for the lever, but before he could pull it, Veronica suddenly raised a hand in warning. "Wait!"
"What is it?" the scientist asked irritably.
Veronica's face was contorting, and nearby Malone was turning pale. "Eugh!" Veronica cried, covering her face with one hand.