Sultan of Ice
Slotter: (audibly tired) You have GOT to be kidding me.
Narrator: The valorous Flashpack leaned from their seats in the Flashpack’s
ship, the Marvin II, and peered at Max’s videophone, staring into the
face of a thin fae creature with severely pointed ears and a tattered bomber
Puck: Certainly not, lovely lady! I never kid, though often jest.
Slotter: So you’re jesting?
Puck: My, my, my! No, no! Now please, dear friends, do an old companion a
Drallus: Look. Puck. We just defeated Nova, sent Stragon the Annihilator
into the fortieth dimension, and the Princess of Cute hasn’t even been
EMO for ten whole minutes. We’re going home.
Puck: Max, come on. Help an old friend out?
Furtrace: Who is this pointy man, anyway?
Narrator: Furtrace had unstrapped himself from his seat and came to peer
into the videophone at the strange, spry imp.
Puck: Forgive me, good sir! I am called Puck! I be that merry wanderer of
Max: He’s an old friend whose finest feature is his wondrous ability
to get me into messes.
Puck: And out of them again!
Molly: But mostly into them.
Puck: Ah! Lady Molly! I-
Molly: Is this going to be a repeat of the Atlantis Fiasco?
Puck: Oh…you heard about that, did you?
Narrator: There was an awkward silence in which Puck ran through a series
of innocent smiles, Max thought, and Molly idled the ship, not wanting to
exit the atmosphere over Hawaii in their tattered ship unless she really had
Puck: Look, Max. All I ask is for one afternoon. Fun, revelry, hot beverages!
How bad can it be? Total rest and relaxation on your part! (beat) Come on!
Max: What do you think guys?
Keane: How bad can it be? At least I won’t have to make dinner for
Jimmy: Let’s do it!
Slotter: I want to go to BED!
Max: I’m sure we can throw something together for you, Jill. All right,
Puck, we’ll do it. Feed us your coordinates and we’ll be right-
Narrator: The Flashpack lurched forward in their seats as the Marvin II plowed
into an enormous snow bank.
Drallus: Gods, Molly, are you ever going to learn how not to crash this thing?
Molly: A) I’ve only been crashing it since that blast from the
Spiders from Mars ripped out the landing gear. B) I haven’t touched
the controls since Puck called in. He transported us here. And C) No,
I’m not going to learn. Because the engine just died.
Drallus: Oh. Can’t you fix it.
Molly: No. It died.
Drallus: Oh. It was alive.
Molly: Yes. And the impact jolted the last of the energy out of the salinite
crystal. So now it’s dead. But I have the backup ship.
Drallus: We have a backup ship?
Molly: Well, yeah. I fixed up the ship that Furtrace crashed into us.
Furtrace: Magic user. Not Pilot.
Molly: And miniaturized it. Just in case we were ever stranded in, let’s
say, the most desolate patch of ice on Earth.
Drallus: Speaking of desolate, where’s Puck?
Keane: I’m guessing on there.
Max: Fried Flying Flounders!
Narrator: Before the Flashpack, dominating the expanse of ice, snow, and
more snow, rose a massive palace, carved entirely from ice.
Drallus: No way…
Slotter: I TOLD you we should have gone home.
Molly: We fell for it again. MAX!
Max: What!? How was I supposed to know Puck was working for the Sultan of
Drallus: Why do you always have to agree to that hobgoblin’s hijinks?
Keane: Hi, guys?
Max: The Ice Sultan is a notorious Friend Monger.
Molly: As you might expect from a man who lives all alone on a continent
of ice populated mostly by penguins and encased in a radio-protective
Jimmy: Erected in 2085, whereas the dome keeping the northern glaciers
from melting and flooding out humanity were established twenty years
prior to that due to the Anglo/European concern over the welfare of their
own “more culturally advanced” people and cities rather than
the less “scientifically advanced” societies in the Southern
hemisphere. Which was-
Drallus: Now is not the time for a history lesson, Jimbo.
Jimmy: Sorry, I just wrote an essay about it for my meteorolo-political
Max: Anyhow, the Sultan of Ice likes to lure heroes and big name millionaires
to his home, and keep them there under threat of, you know, destroying
the world if they don’t cooperate.
Slotter: So don’t drink the tea.
Keane: That sounds like it comes from experience.
Drallus: Look, it’s not generally assumed that the guy put in charge
of making sure supervillains don’t show up with plans to tear down
the dome is going to start making threats to dismantle it himself. So-
Narrator: Drallus bounced back a few paces, rubbing her face. The Flashpack
found themselves face to- literally, in Drallus’ case- face with
a giant wall of intricately carved ice.
Penguin: You must be the flashpack.
Narrator: The Flashpack snapped out of their amazement and into confusion
at the sound of the surprisingly good English being spoken by what appeared
to be a severely oversized emperor Penguin.
Penguin: Thornfield, Thornfield, Singh, Slotter, Kovacs, Keane, and one
guest: Fuzzbotham. His Majesty is expecting your presence and will be
positively thrilled to see you. Right down that corridor, if you please.
Narrator: The Pack slid along the grand entranceway, not quite certain
if they were more enthralled by the exquisite sculptures that they found
all around them, or fearful of the outcome of a random earthquake or
global warming. They rounded one final corner and found themselves standing
at the entrance of a vast throne room. At least they assumed it to be
a throne room. It was huge, and decorated with ice, kind of like the
rest of what they had seen of the place. But a highly bejeweled individual
sat on what could have been a throne, if it wasn’t so well blended
into its surroundings, and was at the opposite end of a long stretch
of, well, ice that appeared to be dyed red. Dyed with what, the Flashpack
was not eager to find out.
Sultan: Come in! Come in, my Friends!
Narrator: The man was rather short, and bald as an egg, but made up for
it with a mad long mustache. He hopped out of his too large throne and
stumbled over his too long robes in his rush to get to the other end
of the hall and shake the hands of the Flashpack. A highly embarrassed
Puck followed behind at a much more somber speed.
Sultan: Oh, welcome, welcome! How are you? Was your trip too exhausting?
I hope the temperature isn’t too unacceptable. I cant exactly turn
the heat up. Was the guard at the gate rude to you? I do hope he wasn’t
Molly: er…no. He was fine.
Sultan: Excellent! Come, come! Into the parlor! Everyone follow me!
Narrator: The Flashpack shuffled out behind their cheery nemesis. Drallus,
Molly, and Max surrounded Puck, who attempted a sheepish smile.
Molly: (Hushed convo.) So. What do you get out of this?
Puck: Out of what? (totally lost)
Drallus: The part where you lure us, the Flashpack, the group whom Mr. Frosty
over there has been trying to re-lure here for years!
Puck: Oh. That. well….I uh. Look, it’s not like you were really
otherwise engaged anyway.
Max: Out with it, Puck!
Puck: I stepped into one of his traps while on my way visit your-MY…uh…friend.
I was visiting a friend, taking a nice jaunt down the street and the next
thing I knew, I was very cold. He knew I had connections with you.
Molly: So you sold us out to him?
Puck: He threatened me!
Max: You’re a sprite!
Puck: And I didn’t want to spend eternity here by myself! I figured
you’d come up with a good plan of escape!
Sultan: Ho there! Ye stragglers, keep up! We don’t want to miss the
Narrator: Seven hours, four cups of steaming cocoa, a game of scrabble, four
rounds of charades, one upset Ladders and Gravity board later, and a significant
amount of time spent surreptitiously glaring at Puck, Molly finally found
the opportunity to speak to Max.
Molly: Max, we need to get out of here. Stellof has been beeping in every
half hour. I’m worried that something’s going on out there
that we should be taking care of. I mean, its one thing if we cant save
Belgium because we’re busy liberating the planet Zoom, but if this
trend of flash backs to villains of the past continues, I think the Kriegmeister
might be next. And…and…I’m just worried.
Max: I know, Molly. Puck and I are working on a-
Sultan: Plan of escape? You…you’re escaping me? But….but…you’re
Molly: Yes. Winston. We are your friends. We love spending time with
you. But we do have other friends as well.
Molly: We promise to come back for an afternoon sometime. But right now
we really really need to get going.
Sultan: Oh…very well. I’ll show you out.
Max: (beat) Um…thank you.
Narrator: The Flashpack and company, confused at the lack of obstacles
between them and their exit, followed the Sultan of ice to the door.
He stood back to let them pass, and once the entire Flashpack had stepped
through the door, the Ice Sultan pulled a small, frozen lever, and the
ground underneath the feet of the Flashpack fell away to nothing.
Max: Is everyone mostly all right?
Max: Can anybody tell where we are?
Narrator: The Pack stood up and looked around them.
Molly: It looks like we’re in a maze. Keane, can you-
Keane: I’m over here, Molly.
Narrator: Molly looked confusedly at Keane, walked over to her, and smacked
into a wall.
Keane: They appear to be super reflective walls of ice.
Drallus: Jill! Are you ok?
Slotter: I know Julie had a thing for clowns, and I could deal with that.
But THIS is too much.
Narrator: The rest of the Flashpack and company looked up, above the
labyrinthine walls of ice to see a series of giant clown figures leering
down at them, teeth bared. They all jumped again as loud carnival style
music began to emanate loudly from nowhere, and several evil sounding
cackles floated from somewhere out of sight, but definitely near by.
Keane: What is this? Some kind of fun house?
Slotter: Of death?
Puck: Looks to be.
Max: Any suggestions on how to get out of this place?
Puck: Don’t die.
Keane: I scanned the area. It is indeed a labyrinth. The exit is about
half a mile that way. We can follow the image I built of the scan on
my infoglasses, but we must stay together. And I cant identify any potential
Max: Excellent Keane!
Keane: Max, you’re talking to a wall. I recommend we all take hands.
That way we know who’s flesh and who’s reflection.
Furtrace: Can I hold your hand, Drallus?
Jimmy: *scream* It’s got my hand!!!
Narrator: The flashpack turned to look down the line at Jimmy, and the
large axe wielding penguin who had his hand in a vice like grip. Drallus,
in turn, whipped out her own double headed extra-tita-steel mono-molecular
axe, and charged at the Penguin. The Flashpack broke into a run. Keane
tossed Jimmy her handheld Incinerator 256 so that she could focus on
guiding the group out of the maze.
Jimmy: This is ridiculous! *fires* penguins are supposed to be nice!
And cute! And share eggs!
Molly: Not Elementary Penguins! They’re deeply religious and good
for one thing!
Jimmy: And what would that be?
Slotter: Jumping out from crevices in walls and trying to hack us to
death with axes!
Max: Why couldn’t he have just glued us to the Twister mat like
Drallus: Apparently his majesty has moved on to bigger and better ideas!
Slotter: I am never going to a carnival again!!
Molly: Keane! Are we almost out of here?
Keane: No! It looks like the end of the path keeps moving and changing
and looping back around the farther along we get!
Sultan: *evil laugh*
Narrator: The flashpack halted again as the mirrored walls of their never
ending prison flickered and showed the vastly magnified face of the Ice
Sultan: Run, little Flashpack! Run! You think you can escape my magical
fun-house? I had it built specially for you! You’ll never get out
alive! *evil laugh- if possible, continue in background until they get
Jimmy: Uh, guys, we need a new escape plan! They’ve got us surrounded!
Drallus: SHUT UP! I AM GOING TO GET RID OF YOU MYSELF!
Narrator: Drallus charged the nearest wall, intent on putting her fist
right through the sultan’s nose, but the panel slid out of sight
just in time. Drallus staggered to a halt and looked around. The rest
of the pack fought in vain to slow the Penguins’ approach, there
was no real end to the maze, and the walls kept moving. There was only
one solution. Drallus pushed the power button on her miniature jet pack.
Drallus: Jimmy! Set that thing to the highest setting and melt me a chunk
Narrator: Jimmy, slightly confused, raised the Incinerator 256 and carved
out a circular chunk of ice. Drallus boosted herself into the air, blasting,
with the sheet of ice as a shield, through several floors of the Ice Sultan’s
frozen palace. She had almost gotten through to the open sky when she started
to lose her grip.
Keane: Uh oh.
Narrator: Puck shot into the air, his arms outstretched, and caught the
far end of the ice pile. The two continued to soar upwards, finally crashing
through the roof, before dropping the mass of frozen water onto the nearest
balcony. The rest of the Flashpack, squashed into the newly unminiaturized
catship, Marvin III, were parked on the roof. Drallus squeezed in, but
Puck merely doffed his cap and with an
Puck: Until next time, my fine friends! May we encounter and overcome
the many surprises to come!
Narrator: Was gone. Molly fired a Localized Shockwave, collapsing the
Frost Palace in on itself, before zooming into space, towards home. Will
the Flashpack get a break between foes? Will the Kreigmeister really
show up next? Or was he actually vanquished to the fourteenth dimension?
Will Max ever get to finish his conversation with Puck? You’ll
have to wait for next week’s episode when Epic Echoes continues
with: Cry Havoc.