Canto 135 – Applying Weed Killer
With Gyro driving, a rather unnerving prospect for those riding with him, the first pink Cadillacko swooped down on the planet Cornucopea out of the clouds. They were supposed to be establishing a base camp on the planet.
Besides Gyro, the Nebulon boy who gave the first Cadillacko its air bubble field and its silly Nebulonin nickname, the grav speeder held Billy Iowa, wearing his cowboy sombrero and leather moccasins, Luigi the Onion Guy, for whom they had no workable space suit, and Mai Ling, scantily dressed in form-fitting battle armor and wearing the ring-sleeve device that could amplify her telekinetic throwing arm.
The second Cadillacko carried Hassan Parker, who had to wear a full space suit instead of being nude like usual, Taffy King and Shu Kwai, all suited and combat ready.
The third grav speeder carried Ged Aero-sensei, Junior Aero, his adopted Nebulon nephew, and Sara Smith, the strongest telepath and healer of the group.
The drop zone looked like a field of flowers undulating in a high wind. But as they zoomed closer, you could see the large daisy-heads and thistle-heads were all ripping into and damaging the other plants.
“What do we do, Sensei?” Billy radioed through the comm dot on his neck.
“Clear the landing zone. Weed-killer weapons and mowers! We have to cut the weeds down to size.”
Gyro, being Gyro, nose-dived the pink-and-white Space Cadillac into the soft dirt of the field of fighting flowers. It plowed a deep furrow in a semi-circle in the middle of the large open space. Shu-Kwai landed his gray-and-white Space Cadillac much more gently beside it.
The telekinetics, Shu and Taffy King, leaped out of their vehicle with weapons that were more like chainsaws than the lawnmowers they were supposed to be. Each had two, one controlled by each hand. So, four flying blades whirled through the air, slicing and dicing, turning Throckpods into salad.
Mai-ling leaped out with a razor pistol in her hand. She fired round throwing-star-like objects in groups of five, then whipped the blades through the air sawing thorns neatly off of every violent flower-person she saw.
Hassan manned the spray-gun with the toxic weed-killer in it, spraying withering death upon Throckpods to a range of fifty feet.
Soon an army of violent flowers was reduced to smoking piles of flower-chips and salad-squares.
By the time Ged-sensei and Sara and Junior disembarked from their pink-and-white Cadillac, the battle was already over.
Luigi the Onion Guy came bouncing furiously across the field to confront Ged.
“nO! Oh, nO! You muSt nOt spILl, ChloroPhyll!” he shouted in his weird little Onion-guy accent.
“But you wanted help in driving away to evil Throckpods and their master, did you not?”
Luigi just stank out a lot of foul smells that the translator couldn’t begin to translate. It is well known that bad words are more a matter of disgustingly figurative language that does not translate well to beings who have no reference for flower emotions, flower body parts, flower behavior, or flower-based bad thoughts.
“Luigi is swearing at you, Sensei,” Gyro tried to explain while adjusting the translator’s many translation-equivalents adjustment bars.
“We need to understand him better. Can anyone read his mind?”
Sara looked at Ged with a sorrowful expression on her face. “I am beginning to sense some of the stronger emotions coming from plant-minds. He is upset because to them, all flower-life is sacred, including the Throckpods. That’s what he wants us to cure about the Throckpods. Their leader makes them render and kill other plant-life sacrilegiously.”
“Very well, then. We will set up base-camp in this cleared field and try hard to understand these flower-people better.”
“Yes, we need to study them and do some research,” said Hassan Parker. “I can get out of this space suit and start research immediately as the rest of you set up the camp.”
“I think I have seen enough of your naked body. And you really should join us in the physical labor before doing the mental work.” Shu Kwai was not making suggestions. He was issuing commands. “And while we are here, everybody wears protective body coverings. There are many unknown plant-based dangers here, and we want no one to be at risk.”
So, eight student ninjas, their ninja sensei, and one irate Onion began building a base camp.