Canto 129 – Spider Wars, Flamer-Style
“Yow! It’s Phoenix! He’s come back! And he’s helping the enemy!” cried a nearly-scorched ninja.
“Ow-ow-owie-owch!” cried a flaming ninja.
“Run for cover! There’s two flamers now!” cried a female ninja with blue hair.
“There are ways to battle even Phoenix!” cried the Green Phantom, the Galtorrian lizard-ninja. “Those who don’t want to burn, follow me!”
Friashqaztla, more easily known as Freddy, sniffed his way through the smoke until he found Alec and Jackie. They were chained to the floor in an alcove with sonic psionic dampers trained on them from all sides. Jackie was completely naked.
Freddy crept up silently in Black Wolf form.
“Alec! I’ve found you,” he croaked in a smoke-hampered voice.
“Freddy? That you?” the groggy prisoner replied, looking at the Black Wolf with bleary eyes.
“Yes, I’m here with Rocket and Phoenix to get you out.”
“Phoenix is here? Is he angry with me? He told me he’d kill me with the next mistake I made.”
“No. I don’t think so. He said as long as you haven’t hurt Jackie he wouldn’t burn you.”
Alec was visibly relieved.
“Why haven’t you escaped with Jackie’s teleport power?” Freddy was noticing that the girl was conscious, even though she was stark naked and bleary-eyed in the same way that Alec was.
“Psionic dampers. They are trained on our heads, making it impossible to think or use our powers.”
“If I use my wolf fangs to gnaw through the power cables, I should be able to free your minds. But can Jackie get you both out of here before Rocket and Phoenix burn the whole place down?”
“Help me to focus, furry-boy, and I will zap Alec out of here faster than you can say Herkimer Hairbloomers.”
Freddy smiled a wolf-smile. That was an old Zaranian joke. Herkimer had the psionic power of instant hair-growth. And useless as that power was, it was a good test of teleport speed. Herkimer could grow a hundred yards of hair in five seconds. So, if you were standing next to him, and the teacher said “Herkimer Hairbloomers,” and you still managed to escape being entangled in his golden locks, you were a fast-enough teleport.
“Wait here. Don’t go anywhere,” Freddy growled, still smiling. He padded off on wolf feet to look at the power-supply box.
Meanwhile, Rocket was burning Black Spider Ninjas to cinders left and right, all around the Black Spider Castle. He was having a lot of fun, but he was also wondering where Phoenix had gotten off to. These ninjas burned easier than pine boards and paper, but the White Spiders were still vastly outnumbered.
Rocket was a naturally gifted flamer, but Phoenix seemed to know so much more than he did. Especially about the evil and semi-evil stuff you could do.
The Green Phantom suddenly reappeared wearing a yellow and black fire-proof suit. Of course, Rocket didn’t know what it was, it having been invented specifically in case the BS Ninjas ever needed to defend against attacks from Phoenix. The Black Spiders seemed far more paranoid and untrustworthy than the White Spiders were used to.
Ninjas supporting hoses moved in to surround Rocket. All of them wore the yellow and black firemen’s outfits.
“So, what are you gonna do? Shoot me with water to try to put my candleflame out?”
“Something like that,” said the Green Phantom, probably smirking, but his face hidden within his firesuit.
Streams of white flame-retardant paste shot out at Rocket as if they were lines of toothpaste, sticky and cold, swirling around Rocket who was now apparently filling the role of tooth decay.
The fire was still at his command, but the piles of expended toothpaste didn’t burn. It was frustrating. After one final fire-flower decapitated an evil BS Ninja, Rocket could make no more. His hands were covered in inflammable goo.
“Get a lasso around his neck!” Green Phantom ordered.
These ninjas were in no way psionic, but they were good at ninja skills. Three loops found their way immediately around Rocket’s neck.
“Pull ‘em tight!”
The nooses cut off Rocket’s airways and he blacked out completely.
Freddy found the wire bearing current to the psionic dampers at about the same moment that the Green Phantom found him. The Green Phantom lived up to his name not only by wearing green ninja cloth-armor, but also by being a full-blooded, green Galtorrian lizard-man.
“You, little White Spider, lose this round!” the green ninja swore as his katana arched through its attack pattern and sliced cleanly through Freddy’s right front shoulder.
Swiftly Freddy rolled over on his good left shoulder, picturing the muscle re-growth through his third eye just as sensei had taught him. The black wolf-leg was replaced by the time he was ready to stand on all four legs again.
“So, a little werewolf, just like Ged Aero and his double, the Black Spider Bres.”
“Any part of you that I bite off won’t regrow as swiftly.” Freddy glowered at the ninja with bright blue wolf-eyes.
“Never mind… We’re prepared for you already…” The ninja lowered his katana, turned, and ran away at full speed.
“I will bite through the wire first and then give him the chase and the bite he deserves.”
Freddy bit cleanly through the wire, but the energy that surged through it, and through Freddy’s tongue and mouth besides, was what any werewolf would have to call “silver fire” for the effect it immediately had.
Freddy was transformed into his original naked form and fell full-length upon the stone floor, apparently dead to the world… unconscious at the very least.
As soon as Jackie sensed the return of her teleporting power, she knew she had to free both herself and Alec from their chains. She pressed her back against as much of Alec’s body as she could manage, then popped both of them out of their iron bonds.
Briefly she was standing there with him looking down at their now-empty manacles. Already she began forming a picture in her third eye of the courtyard of The Palace of a Thousand Years. It would take literally all of her remaining energy to get them there, but it would be worth it. They would both be safe. And now, she was confident that Alec really loved her, and she… well, she felt exactly the same.
“Jadalaqstbr, you have saved us,” said Alec, pronouncing her Zaranian name correctly for the first time that she could ever remember.
She turned to face him.
He put a gentle hand on her right cheek, and then his lips found hers.
“Alec, um… I have to concentrated really hard to get us out of here.”
“Yes, Jackie. But I love you.”
“I… I love you too…”
They moved together for one more kiss.
Then the Green Phantom popped them both with a stun-ray. Both youths temporarily vibrated with the shock of it. Then both of them fell to the floor. Alec first. Then naked Jackie on top of him. “Not exactly faster than I could say Herkimer Hairbloomers,” said the Green Phantom. “Too bad, Alec. You lose again.”