Narrator: Drallus ducked as a plane flew overhead. (Sound
of Explosions) Dirt exploded around them, and Drallus threw herself against
the wall of the
Drallus: I can't wait to get back home where wars aren’t so blasted
uncivilized! I need to have Slotter stop in the mid twenty seventh century
so I can hug the man that did away with trench warfare. And bombs!
Narrator: Farther along the trench, Jimmy squatted in the mud, chatting with
a British Colonel.
Colonel: (Yelling) I don’t know if this’ll be of any use to you,
but since the German brigade of the Vampiro-Nazi army broke through the blockade
yesterday, it isn’t much use to us.
Jimmy: (yelling) Are you sure you don’t need this anymore?
Colonel: Not if it could be useful to you! And they’ve most likely
got the entire system mapped out by now!
Jimmy: I’m really sorry we can’t do anything more to help you!
Colonel: Don’t worry about it lad! If you can get this Khartoff guy
killed off in the past, this whole blasted war’ll be a figment of our
imaginations, and I’ll get to see the twins grow up!
Jimmy: We’ll certainly do our best! We really appreciate-
Drallus: I’d really appreciate getting out of here with minimal shrapnel
embedded in my limbs and as much of my hearing intact as possible! Let’s
Narrator: Jimmy saluted the Colonel, and he and Drallus used the transporter
belt, borrowed from Keane, to get out of the Amer-Asian trenches and into
a bigger crisis.
Molly: Could you two have taken any longer?
Drallus: Why? What’s the rush this time?
Slotter: We’ll explain on the way! Time to go!
Jimmy: Wait! Where’s Furtrace?
Narrator: The Flashpack grabbed hands and tumbled through time. They landed
and dropped, as an enormous tail flew over their heads.
Max: Great Green Dragons!
Molly: Your powers of observation astound me, Max!
Narrator: The Flashpack dove for cover under various rocks and pine trees
as Great Green Dragons dove headfirst for them, screaming their terrible,
thunderous war cries!
Keane: Where in the name of time stepping itself have you taken us, Slotter!?
Slotter: I don’t know!
Max: You don’t know!?
Slotter: Furtrace threw a leash to me right after they grabbed him!
Jimmy: Wait! Who grabbed Furtrace?
Molly: A leash? I didn’t know he was capable of making them!
Slotter: So I just followed it! I’m glad it’s in a different
Jimmy: What do you mean?
Slotter: I’m a time stepper. But I can also do Keane’s nifty
little transport bit as long as where I’m transporting to is in a different
Drallus: Lesson in time stepping later! Avoiding nasty dragons now!
Max: Great Green Dragons!
Drallus: Why do the adjectives matter?
Molly: Because they’re Great Green Dragons!
Keane: How do we find Furtrace?
Slotter: He should be here! This is where the leash ends!
Jimmy: Slotter! Dragons don’t eat cats, do they!?
Furtrace: That’s cat man, to you, mister! And Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelp
Furtrace: Get me down! Get me down! Get me down!
Drallus: where are you? You mangy cat? We cant help you if we cant find you!
Furtrace: I’m up here! On Blogmeister! He’s got blueish wings!
Keane: I see him!
Narrator: Keane reached for her handheld Incinerator 256.
Molly: No! Sara! You’ll fry Furtrace!
Keane: Who said I was aiming for Blogmeister! This one over here with orangy
wings is going down!
Slotter: Molly! What are you doing?
Molly: Just come over here and help Max hold this!
Drallus: Hold what? It’s a teacup!
Max: And teacups get pretty heavy when they’re filled with essence
Molly: Ready! FIRE!
Narrator: Whereas Keane’s handgun was more or less tickling the dragons,
the blast that Molly’s contraption shot out completely obliterated a
third dragon with spikes on its tail. In a moment, three other dragons had
been disintegrated, and Blogmeister was flapping towards a shiny skyscraper
in the distance. Out of the sky there came the whine of an engine and the
yowl of ten cat men magicians. The dragon flying off with Furtrace disappeared.
Furtrace yowled all the way to the ground, remembering at the last possible
second that not only to cats-
Furtrace: Cat men.
Narrator: Always land on their feet, but he was a magic user. Thus he fashioned
for himself a cushion to break his fall. (pause) A few moments later, the
both the Flashpack and the group of Cat-man Magic users met up in the woods.
Slotter: Hi everybody! Thanks for the help back there!
Geranium: No problem, miss. We’ve been dealing with the Great Green
Dragons for a while now.
Jimmy: (sort of to himself) why did they go after Furtrace? Don’t dragons
usually want maidens and such?
Geranium: Not the Great Green Dragons. They eat cats, and since regular felines
have gone extinct on this planet, they’ve been targeting us.
Molly: Then why are you still here?
Geranium: So that when Mr. Fuzzbotham here gets himself lined up for an appetizer,
we can swoop in and save the day. I’m Geranium Wiskerts. We used to
work for the Saladonian Embassy, but since the dragon invasion, we’ve
been running an underground refuge for Saladonians in danger.
Max: Thank you very much for your assistance! Is there anything we can do
to repay you?
Geranium: You can come to dinner, Max Thornfield, and get out of the woods
before the dragons return.
Narrator: Several hours later, the Flashpack, stuffed to the brim from the
buffet prepared for them by the Saladonians and Keane, lounged around the
common area of the suite they had been given. Most of them sat on the floor,
however, as Furtrace was the only being the correct size to partake of the
Drallus: So what did the Master Archivist of 1844 have to say?
Molly: She referred us to the Master Archivist of 4044.
Keane: Supposedly he managed to recover almost everything
that was lost in the great library fires of 1699.
Max: And the Master Archivist of 4044 is supposed to be THE expert in Vampiros
lore, legend, myth, archaeological evidence-
Jimmy: But can he give us a concise list of Vampiros through history? I don’t
really care how they came into being! I just want them to come out of being!
Slotter: AND he’s got a database of every Vampiros who ever lived.
Drallus: So we just go through it and pick out the key ones?
Molly: Pretty much.
Jimmy: I hope this works.
Molly: Well, we’ve hit a lot of the big ones, the rest should be a
piece of cake!
Furtrace: Can't we just ignore them until they go away? I like it here. They
have good food.
Drallus: That’s because Keane helped them.
Max: Sorry Furtrace, but if they’re vampiros, they have to be stopped.
Keane: Hey… are we going to be resting here for a while? I think I
should um…go log our current situation in my cyber-register…
Slotter: In a minute, I’ve got something important.
Max: What’s up, Slotter?
Slotter: Someone’s fifteen today.
Slotter: Don’t Slotter me yet, Jimbo. You haven’t gotten your
Drallus: Please tell me this one isn’t going to explode.
Max: Or turn us all that nasty pulsing shade of neon orange.
Slotter: So cooking isn’t my forte!
Molly: I think what they all mean to say is, Happy Birthday Jimmy.
Furtrace: (Sings part of Birthday by The Beatles- Joined
Jimmy: Thanks guys! You’re the best!
Slotter: You thought we forgot, didn;t you?
Keane: Ok! Sentimental part over! I’m heading out!
Jimmy: Wait. Where are you going? Cant you fill in the register from here?
Keane: Uh…no. I have to go outside. And away a little bit. The…reception
is bad here because, um…the dragons’ auras have a cyber block
on this whole area…
Jimmy: Oh. Ok. Good luck then. And be careful!
Keane: Thanks! Toodles everybody!
Narrator: Keane pushed a button on her transporter belt and disappeared from
the Saladonian Embassy. She reappeared much farther North, in front of a large,
desolate ditch that had once been a moat. She pushed another button to signal
her presence, and one Sir William Alfred Whickersham, fourteenth lord duke
of blackmoor, formerly part of the greater north sea continent of Britain,
flashed through time and space to materialize directly outside of the large
carved door on the opposite end of the lowered drawbridge.
William: Greetings, my darling Sara! How I have missed thee!
Narrator: Sir William Alfred Whickersham, fourteenth lord duke of blackmoor,
formerly part of the greater north sea continent of Britain bowed low with
a swish of his feathered cap. He offered Sara Keane his arm and together they
walked into his immense black castle.
William: So you are on the hunt for Alabaster?
Keane: Yes. Apparently Jimmy made some promise to a doomed man of the future
(beat). Wait. Are you on a first name basis with him?
William: (Clears throat) Was! My angel, was. I have not spoken to him since
he turned. But I have heard of his reputation.
Keane: Do you know anything beyond the fact that he’s a brutal monster?
Because that would really help right now.
William: Please do not interrupt me when I speak.
Keane: Forgive me?
William: But of course, my beautiful moonbeam. As I was saying, he’s
a nasty one, but not the worst of them. What are your plans after that?
Keane: Probably going to see the Master Archivist of 4044. Supposedly he
has some fantastic collection of Vampiros knowledge.
William: Ah. I…uh. Recommend going to see him first. It will serve
the purpose of granting you more information about Alabaster which could lead
to a…quicker demise.
Keane: Do you really think so? I would love for this mission to be over.
Then I would be free to spend my time how I wished...
William: (sadly) Aye. I had hoped to have this…situation resolved before
the coming autumn, but at the rate your Flash Pack is going, no offense meant
of course, it will never be over.
Keane: I wish Max would be open to changing his mind once he’s got
a course of action set. But I suppose it cant be helped.
William: Alas, I too wish it were so. But either way, be sure to visit the
Master Archivist of 4044 directly after you have finished with Alabaster,
if not sooner. He is your man.
Keane: Oh no, William. You are my man.
Narrator: Several hours later, Keane reappeared at the Saladonian Embassy
to see her friends packing up.
Molly: And it’s probably the best way to do this that wont leave the
Pack any more shorthanded than it already is.
Narrator: There was a momentary pause in the hustle and bustle.
Drallus: I miss Julie…
Keane: Um…where are we going?
Max: Alabaster Khartoff.
Keane: Big Jerk. What about him?
Molly: Where did you forget the part that we’re tracking these guys
down and killing them? He started out as some hot shot merchant monopolist
right at the end of what would have been the Italian Renaissance.
Slotter: He’s running a port in some port town with a horribly unpronounceable
Drallus: So we go in, slaughter, and get out?
Jimmy: And then the Colonel can see his kids grow up…
Narrator: Will the Flashpack be able to defeat Alabaster Khartoff, like they
have so many others? Will his death really prevent World War two? Is the
underground cave network really safe? Will the Master Archivist of 4044
be able to help
the Flashpack? Find out next week in "Vampiros of the Deep."