Narrator: (obviously shaken) The Flashpack stared bug-eyed in
horror at Drallus’ blaster.
Furtrace’s smoking body lay where he’d fallen, his spellbook reduced
to ashes by the blast.
Dex: Excellent shot, dear sister!
Molly: You killed him! You crazy murdering bitch! He was your friend!
Drallus: I have no friends, human! Only my brother and those we shall CRUSH
under our heel!
Slotter: (mildly hysterical) Why are you using heel in the singular? I mean,
even if you crush under one heel each you’re using at least –
Max: (harshly, obviously upset) Now’s not the time, Slotter.
Slotter: (obediently) Right.
Dex: You were right, sister! See how they weep at the death of their frail
and banal comrade!
Narrator: Dex’s unfeeling words were accompanied by a wave of his hand
at his clone-troopers.
Dex: My loyal minions: destroy the hoo-mans.
Troops: Yes sir.
Dex: Come, sister; we have a reign of terror to begin.
Drallus: Indeed, brother dearest.
Narrator: The troops leveled their blasters at the Flashpack, but a sudden
flash of light (shazam!) made them reel back, covering their eyes. The Flashpack
turned and ran.
Keane: I thought we were out of Flash grenades.
Max: We were, so I gave those clones a little Thornfield Special.
Molly: A glamour of bright light! Brilliant!
Max: Thanks, Molly. But we need to get going. Without Furtrace’s spells
we’ll need to get creative to escape from El Paso. Let’s split
up, make it more difficult for them to track us. We’ll meet back at
Keane, Molly, Slotter: Flashpack!
Narrator: Our intrepid heroes each took off down a different street. The
evacuation of the city hours earlier made running easy, but the clone troopers
would sweep the streets before too long. Max fled into a public library.
Max: (to himself) Galloping Galileo. To think that Drallus, one of my dearest
friends, has fallen under the control of that tyrant from another world. Getting
past those clones will require more than the glamours I can do. It’d
take some powerful magic to get out of this…
Puck: Did somebody call for a hobgoblin?
Max: (confused) Umm…no…
Puck: Then it’s a good thing I’m here anyway! How ya doing, Max?
Narrator: Out of the shadows stepped a familiar figure – a lithe, pointy-eared
male in a bomber jacket. He smiled a big smile that indicated he was physically
incapable of wrongdoing of any kind.
Max: (surprised) Puck?
Puck: Thou speakst aright, I am that merry wanderer of the –
Max: (not in the mood for it) Can it, Puck.
Puck: Canning it!
Max: What do you want this time?
Puck: To help you out of this mess.
Max: That’s not your style. You’re more of the "helping
me into this mess" guy.
Puck: Well, I figured it was time to change my routine. Besides, there’re
some people who need your help.
Max: What do you mean?
Puck: The Catmen of Saladon are in mortal danger. You need to come with me
and help them.
Max: Is this the same as that time when Atlantis had been launched to the
Moon and you needed me to come and drag it down?
Puck: No, this time it’s actually happening. Come on.
Max: Why should I trust you?
Troops: (distant) Unit Epsilon, commencing sweep of sector 7-G!
Puck: Because I’m not them.
Max: I’m convinced. Let’s go.
Narrator: Puck waved his hands around Max, rendering the pair of them invisible.
Meanwhile, several blocks away, Molly was having a little less luck in navigating
the mean streets of El Paso.
Molly: (to herself) What were these Texans thinking when they designed this
city? It’s the third worst-designed metropolis I’ve ever seen,
and the second was El-Dorado. Maybe it’s the ‘el’ thing.
Maybe I can rig together an aerial view by connecting my hand-computer to
the power grid…(*SCIENCE NOISES*) Let’s see…okay, a little
more of that… (explosion) Lord Looking Down!
Crisp: Hold it right there!
Crisp: (all business) I’m going to kill you now, ma’am.
Crisp: (suddenly human-sounding) I don’t have a good answer for that.
Molly: That’s probably for the best. It’s a tough question.
Crisp: Master Dex ordered us to kill the Flashpack.
Molly: But sometimes the orders we most need to obey are given by ourselves.
Crisp: Now that just doesn’t make sense.
Molly: It’s not supposed to. It’s called Zen.
Crisp: It isn’t supposed to make sense?
Molly: Nope. Until it does. Then we call you enlightened.
Crisp: Now I’m really confused.
Molly: That’s okay. If you don’t kill me I’ll try to help
you make sense of it.
Crisp: That seems acceptable. (blaster dropping)
Molly: I’m Molly Singh. What’s your name?
Crisp: Clone Sergeant 8215.
Molly: Hmm…lacks oomph. Let’s try something snappy. Christopher…Chris?
Crisp: Crisp. I like it.
Molly: No, it’s…actually, I like it too. Crisp. Let’s go
Narrator: Molly and her new friend took off at a dash, on the lookout for
any other dangers.
Molly: So what’s the fastest way out of here?
Crisp: I am unable to answer that. Our tactics are merely to surround the
city and sweep through it in shifts until all your comrades are found.
Molly: Great. Sounds like a job for some mad science.
Crisp: Mad science?
Molly: It’s like that other kind, but less reliable and a lot more
Crisp: That doesn’t seem terribly efficient…
Molly: The other kind isn’t really either, and this way there’s
more blinking lights.
Narrator: Molly pulled out her Bag of Random Objects and searched frantically.
Molly: A paper clip, some tuna and a heads-up display. Perfect! All I have
to do is set up a feedback loop and we should be able to get a good idea of
the location of the other troopers. (SCIENCE NOISES!) I hope this works.
Crisp: Me too. Otherwise we’ll die.
Molly: That’s no big deal. We’ll just come back as something
better. There we go! I don’t see Max anywhere, but he’s probably
glamoured up the wazoo. Now, it looks like we can travel along…let’s
Crisp: Then I guess we should.
Narrator: Armed with their new helmet, the duo made their way to the airport.
Crisp: What are we doing here? All of the planes have been removed from the
Molly: All the ASSEMBLED planes. But with more than enough spare parts to
build a whole new one, we should be out of here in no time. Just tell everyone
who asks that the coast is clear.
Crisp: Is it?
Molly: No, but telling them that will doom us both.
Crisp: So it would seem. (tramping of boots)
Molly: Here’s a squad. Remember: nothing is wrong.
Crisp: Wha- (boots halt)
Troop: Sergeant 8215, report!
Crisp: (too quickly, too loudly) Everything is fine nothing is wrong!
Troop: Sounds good. Carry on! (boots tramp away)
Crisp: Wow. That was easy!
Narrator: Within a few minutes, Molly had constructed a small passenger jet.
With its ragtag variety of parts, it didn’t inspire much confidence,
but a little urging from Molly had Crisp inside. They took off immediately.
Crisp: Why aren’t we being pursued?
Molly: Cloaking device. Houston’s home to the Glassman and his invisible
jet, so any airport within an hour’s flight has an extra one. Only strong
enough for the one trip, but it’ll keep us hidden.
Crisp: Amazing. Why doesn’t everyone have one?
Molly: Well, they’re expensive and don’t have much practical
application. Not to mention all the science-crooks who’d have a field
day with them.
Crisp: Interesting. Under Master Dex there is no crime or civic disorder.
Molly: Also no freedom, I’m guessing.
Molly: Guess not.
Narrator: While Molly and Crisp swooped home to Flashpoint, Keane was desperately
trying to find a place where her Transport Belt would work.
Keane: (running, beep beep, near frantic voice) Damn! (running,
beep beep) Damn! (running, beep beep) Damn! That psycho must have raised some nullifier
fields. Stupid alien technology. (calming down, breathing slowly) Okay. That’s
enough of being upset. Let’s try to think our way out of this. Fact:
Dex has thousands of clone soldiers at his immediate disposal. Fact: Drallus
has, to all appearances, joined Dex, giving him complete knowledge of our
methods and secrets. Fact: The first two facts are common knowledge to all
members of the Flashpack. Analyzing all possible scenarios give current circumstances,
that’s… (mumbled calculation) an 85% chance at least one of us
will be captured and/or terminated. Molly’s superior technical knowledge
assures her escape, and her affection for Max means she’ll probably
bring him if at all possible. Slotter’s luck surpasses my ability to
interpret – we must assume she will escape. That leaves only myself.
(beat) Unacceptable. An alternate course of action must be devised. Assessing… (more
mumbled calculation) Ah. Acceptable.
Narrator: Several hours later, Molly and Crisp landed at Flashpoint. Molly
gave him the nickel tour, only to find Keane waiting in the canteen.
Molly: Sara? When did you get here?
Keane: Hours ago. Used the Transport Belt as soon as I left the city limits.
Molly: (professionally concerned) It worked all right?
Keane: Just fine. I think there’s only power left for one Transport,
though. I’ll have to make it count.
Molly: Any idea where the others are? Jill, Max?
Keane: Max isn’t with you?
Molly: No, he must have left too –
Keane: Oh my god, one of the clones followed us!
Crisp: Well, no, technically I only followed HER…
Molly: Crisp, this is Sara Keane. Sara, this is Crisp. He’s one of
Keane: Interesting. Pleased to meet you.
Crisp: Your stance indicates otherwise.
Keane: I have a very deceptive stance.
Crisp: Okay. My mistake.
Molly: So where are they?
Keane: Good question. We can call Max using his communicator, but Jill never
Molly: Maybe they’re together. Let’s find out.
Narrator: Molly, Keane and Crisp headed toward the communications room and
activated the very large screen.
Molly: Max? Max, this is Flashpoint, do you read?
Max: Yes, Molly, I’m here.
Molly: Where are you?
Max: I’m with Puck. There’s something I need to take care of,
but I’ll be back soon. Molly, you’re in charge. Thornfield out.
Molly: But – darn, he cut off.
Keane: That’s Max; giving orders and taking off.
Molly: Well, we’ll just need to wait for Slotter, I guess.
Narrator: And so the trio waited. Three days and one hundred and forty-six
games of Ping-Pong later, a slightly weathered ice cream truck parked in front
Slotter: Hey guys!
Molly: Jill! Thank the Blessed One you’re alive!
Keane: What’s with the ice cream truck?
Slotter: Someone abandoned it in El Paso. I drove it out here.
Molly: What about the clone troopers?
Slotter: Um, hello, ice cream?
Crisp: We are incapable of resisting delicious pistachio.
Slotter: After that, it was just a matter of finding the right highway. So
what’s the deal with this guy?
Crisp: My name is Crisp.
Slotter: No way.
Crisp: No way what?
Slotter: Crisp? Like a potato chip in England?
Crisp: A who in a where?
Slotter: Confused. I like you already. I’ll call you Crispy.
Crisp: That sounds very undignified.
Slotter: I know. Jill Slotter, it’s a pleasure to meet you!
Keane: That’s all of us accounted for. Now we need for Max to get back.
Molly: The Dangerometer!
Slotter: Great. I’m home four minutes and already an emergency.
Narrator: What new crisis has arisen for the Flashpack to fight? Can they
face it without their intrepid leader? And just what kind of mission awaits
Max as he adventures with the most famous trickster in the galaxy? Find out
in our next episode: A Midsummer Night’s Tea.