Buck & Jane
A Death in the Family
Decker & Hayes
Epic Echoes
The Great Muppet Debate
Guard Duty
Like Mother, Like Daughter
Stage Blood



Epic Echoes
Episode 4 - Call Off Cthulhu

By Jordan D. White

Max Thornfield

Narr: Drallus' face filled the screen of all the monitors around the astronomical monitoring station. Her lips were curled into a sly grin, her brow drawn in disdain. She licked her lips as she let her words sink in.

Drallus: That gives you... approximately six hours to get your affairs in order and prepare to hand over complete leadership of the world Governments to me- officially. Otherwise, this planet, and everyone on it, will be destroyed. Oh, and if the Flashpack is watching this... I know my brother Dex is dead, Thornfield. It's no matter to me... He served his purpose- the field is up and running. I'll find another lover sooner than you can say 'We cede the planet to you, oh most beloved Mistress...' Six hours, planet Earth. Enjoy them.

Narr: The screens went blank.

Max: No! That can't be all! There's got to be a way to stop the field!

Narr: Max rushed over to Dex's dead body, the wounds in his chest still smoking from the twin blasts that took out his two hearts. Max began to search him.

Slotter: What are you looking for?

Max: Anything- anything we can use to shut down this field!

Crisp: No, Max - Dex was telling the truth. They were only using this station for calculations, none of the actual field generators are on planet- their off world with Drallus' NovaCarrier.

Max: There has to be something... notes, keycards, information... something!

Keane: He destroyed it all! We saw him do it!

Max: But there has to be- what? Why would...

Molly: What is it?

Max: Drallus' locket... why would Dex have it? She never took it off when we were young, remember Moll?

Molly: How does that help us?

Max: It doesn't... I was just surprised. Forget it. Leave it to burn with the body.

Cthulhu: Oh, it will burn- it will burn in the same fires of destruction as will you all! You may have thwarted me before, but now... now you feel the pangs of utter destruction at the all-powerful hands of... Cthulhu!

Narr: The Flashback spun on their heels and turned to face the Great Old One. He stood in the doorway they had entered through, his many tentacles writhing and swishing about in anticipation. His booming voice still resonated in the fear centers of their brain, even though he now stood an unimposing two feet tall. His wings were still slightly torn from the explosion back on Pluto.

Slotter: Did you say 'the pangs of utter destruction'? Because I always thought utter destruction might be a little more painful than that.

Crisp: That or not painful at all. I mean, if you've been utterly destroyed, how could you feel anything?

Molly: It depends on which view of the soul one takes. It is possible that nothingness could greet you upon you destruction, or that a part of you will remain with-

Cthulhu: Silence, worthless piddlings! You may have reduced the stature of the mighty Cthulhu in our last encounter, but all that has done is assure that your destruction will be slower and more painful than you could-

Max: Look, this... this really isn't a good time for this. You might not have noticed, but there is a real threat to the planet right now that we need to deal with, so if you don't mind...

Cthulhu: If Cthulhu does not mind?!? The great and mighty Cthulhu wastes not time on the concerns of you puny wretches! You are so far beneath me as to be below any conscious concern of mine whatsoever!

Slotter: If we're so far below your concern, why did you take the time to track us down to get revenge on us?


Cthulhu: Cthulhu need not answer your questions, human! My ways are my own, alien to minds as simple as yours, rooted as they are in right and wrong, slaves to-

Keane: Ok, this is old.

Narr: Keane kicked out her foot and swiped the Old One's legs out from underneath him. As he fell, her arm shot out in his direction and grabbed a fistful of tentacle. She swung Cthulhu around by his facial appendages a few times before releasing him, sending him flying into the astral imaging display controls. The green god-creature's eyes closed as he slumped to the floor.

Keane: Can we go now? We should get to Jimmy.

Molly: Jimmy? Does he need us?

Max: No, that's a good idea, Keane. With Drallus giving this ultimatum, we really should stand by our friend the president. Let's head back to the trolley.

Crisp: Max... Max, I'm sorry.

Max: What? What for?

Crisp: I let you down... with Dex. I was scared. I... he was going to kill me, and I... I was just so scared...

Max: Don't worry, Crisp. It comes with being free. Besides, free people are free to make mistakes, too. You've proven yourself plenty since you've joined us.

Crisp: But this was the whole reason I joined up with you in the first place, to stop the creation of Drallus' field, to free the Earth from her reign.

Max: We're going to stop her, Crisp. This is just a temporary setback.

Crisp: Oh. Oh, ok. I just thought... well, I just thought since we had no leads and really no ideas how to stop her that we were sort of out of luck.

Max: Well, yes... There is that. Uh, why don't you run ahead, help unload the banana crate. We're going to want to move a little faster, I think.

Crisp: Sure thing.

Narr: Max watched as Crisp ran up to the trolley and joined in with the rest of the Flashpack, each taking passing large boxes of fruit off the trolley and piling it up on the edge of the docking platform on the edge of the astronomical monitoring station. Keane accidentally threw one of the crates a little too far, and it plummeted off the edge of the floating station through the thousands of feet to the Himalayas below.

Keane: Oops...

Narr: Suddenly, reality seemed to slow around Max until, for a fraction of a second, it stood completely still. Then it promptly reversed. The crate flew up over the side of the station's rim and into Keane's hands before she placed it back in the trolley. As everything Max had just seen began crawling slowly backwards, he felt a hand on his shoulder.

Alyssa: You need to come see me.

Max: Alyssa?

Alyssa: Outside time. It's the only way.

Max: How can we do that?

Alyssa: I'm sure you'll think of something... You do have a time turner with you, do you not?

Max: Slotter? Yeah, but she doesn't know how to-

Alyssa: You may want to take care of your personal business first. Just in case.

Narr: Alyssa gestured to Max's front pocket, where he could feel the brooch sitting heavily.

Max: How did you-

Narr: But Alyssa was gone, replaced with Crisp.

Crisp: Oh. Oh, ok. I just thought... well, I just thought since we had no leads and really no ideas how to stop her that we were sort of out of luck.

Max: (laughs) Who said we didn't have a lead? Come, on, we've got a course to set! Let's go unload those banana crates. Keane, be careful!

Keane: Yes, boss!

Narr: The Flashpack unloaded the crates quickly without mishap.

Slotter: Here, Crispy- have a bite of your first banana!

Crisp: All... all right. Am I just supposed to... >Glom!< >Kack!<

Slotter: No, you're not supposed to eat the whole thing at once, you... well, you were supposed to take bites. But forget it now, it's wasted. Chuck it.

Max: All right, gang, we've got places to go and worlds to save. First we need to head off to-

Cthulhu: You're not going anywhere, Flashpack, except into the eternal burning acids of my gullet, when I devour you whole!

Max: Oh for Pete's sake...

Cthulhu: Your precious Peter cannot save you now. The time has come for you to feel the unfeeling wrath of the Great Old One, Cthulhu!

Narr: Cthulhu stood astride the trolley's control panel dashboard, his head a little bruised, but his inhuman eyes agleam once more with hatred.

Molly: Can one be a great old one when one is the size of a toddler?

Crisp: Is that Zen?

Molly: Wait, guys, look! This is serious!

Cthulhu: Ah, at last, someone recognizes the threat of the great Cthulhu! Yes, I am a mighty, imposing figure!

Max: Oh, my God, how did... OK! Ok, Cthulhu, we'll do whatever you like!

Cthulhu: Ha ha! Yes, at last, the Might Cthulhu will have Max Thornfield and his pathetic Flashpack bowing before him! Get down on your knees, whelps!

Max: Do it...

Narr: The Flashpack got down on their knees, and bowed their heads, supplicating themselves before the mighty creatureling.

Cthulhu: Yes! That's right, recognize me as the superior being I am! I shall take this flying station as my throne vehicle and you all shall remain as my servants, fulfilling my every whim while I overtake the entire planet, as I rightfully should. Sound off, slaves- does that sound like a good idea to you?

Max: Yes... most Greatest One.

Molly: We all bow before your magnificence.

Slotter: Even if it is slightly diminished.

Keane: You certainly are impressive.

Crisp: Yes. As they said.

Cthulhu: Yes, yes I am. And yet, I don't trust your conversion just yet. Likely you will try to escape my clutches the moment my back is turned. Thornfield! Take out this vehicle's Salinite Crystal!

Max: The crystal?

Cthulhu: Yes. I intend to crush it beneath my foot here before you, thus destroying your transport's power.

Crisp: But nothing can break Salinite.

Cthulhu: See there! You doubt your master! Give me the crystal here, I shall show you Cthulhu's true power!

Narr: Max reached down below the control panel near the garbage can. He winked at the Flashpack, and they could see the twinkle in his eye that told them he was casting a small glamour, the one magical ability he seemed to have intrinsically. His hand came up holding the Salinite Crystal, which he delicately placed on top of the controls, about a foot to Cthulhu's left.

Cthulhu: Now, you misbegotten charlatans, you will witness my might in all its glory! You thought Cthulhu was a being you could mess around with, but witness now his awe-inspiring strength, creating destruction on a level you have never dreamed of achieving!

Narr: The beastling positioned himself beside the crystal and raised his foot above it, preparing to destroy it with a mighty down stroke. As he brought the foot down, however, Max released his glamour, and the crystal was revealed for the banana peel it truly was. As Cthulhu's foot came down upon it, it slid off the panel, pulling the green critter off balance. As his arms swung wildly, attempting to grab onto anything he could, he slipped off the front of trolley and into the air filling the void between the station and the Himalayas it hovered above. Cthulhu flapped his injured wings at Bumblebee-like speeds, but to no avail- their torn and charred skin would not hold him aloft. With one last cry, the beast fell out of sight.

Cthulhu: Nooooooooo! (but not goofy)

Molly: Thank the spirits. Do you think he even noticed?

Max: He seemed pretty oblivious. How the hell did this happen? Who primed the trolley to send out a distress signal? If the Great Old One's had stood an inch to the right, he would have hit the execute button, screaming our whereabouts to every ship on the planet! We can't afford Drallus finding us right now!

Keane: Maybe he accidentally primed it with his feet as well.

Max: Well, I suppose that's possible... (sigh) Regardless, we don't have time to deal figure it out right now. If we're going to stop Drallus, we've got somewhere to be.

Slotter: That little glamour power of yours sure is a useful thing to have, eh, Thornfield?

Narr: Max smiled awkwardly. He still hadn't told the rest of the 'pack that he'd met his father, Puck, which had explained his strange ability. He felt again the weight of the brooch he taken from the dying spirit in his pocket.

Max: We just have one thing to do before we get to our appointment.

Molly: What? We have something more important to do than save the world?

Max: It's just going to be a quick stop.

Keane: Your mom's just a quick stop.

Max: Exactly.

Narr: Max kicked the trolley into gear, and as it tapped into the interplanetary ley-cable power, it vanished in a flash of light. Where is Max headed? How can the Flashpack get outside time? Will Drallus' field destroy the planet? Come back next Episode for "A Stitch in Time."

Go to Episode 5