Canto 137 – Wild Ride
Gyro was no ordinary Nebulon.
Nebulons, known to many in the Imperium as “Space Smurfs” for reasons long forgotten, were the child-like blue people who inhabited deep space in their living starships. Many thought the blue skin, yellow hair, and red apple cheeks showed evidence they were not just humanoids, but human space travelers mutated by the exotic radiations of the nebulae where Earthers and other humans had first discovered them.
Gyro had the red cheeks, the blue skin, and the bright yellow hair, but he also had qualities that were extremely rare in Nebulons. For one thing he was a Psion, a being with the right brain mutation to perform powerful brain functions that seemed like magic to the ordinary space traveler.
His own special psionic ability was even rarer than the usual Psion. He could not only use telepathy, but use the power of his “inner eye” to see and alter the molecular structure and overall organization in any finite piece of matter.
In other words, he could change lead into gold with the power of his mind alone. To Gyro it was just a matter of pushing the funny little atomic balls into new configurations in the creative imaginings of his “inner eye”.
Being a Psion inside the borders of the Galactic Galtorrian Imperium, the so-called “Thousand Worlds”, was a dangerous enterprise. The Imperials were so afraid of psionic powers and what they believed they could do, that having psionic power brought an immediate death sentence.
That was the reason that when Gyro and his family, and Billy Iowa, also a Psion, had to leave the Pan Galactican Union, they had journeyed eventually to the distant world of Gaijin to find the master of Psionics, the White Spider, Ged Aero. Ged Aero-sensei had taken in both boys, given them a home, and taught them how to master the powers of the “inner eye”.
So that was the reason that Gyro now sat on the planet Cornucopea beside a huge dead bug and pondered the possibilities of escape for himself and Billy. Ged Aero-sensei and his White Spider Mutant Space Ninjas had come as explorers to the planet, and run afoul of the living plants, specifically the Throckpods, who inhabited it.
As Gyro and Billy had been heading back to base camp, they were attacked by a large group of the ugly sentient flowers and their pet gargantuan dragonfly.
Billy, being a good student of Ged-sensei’s Martial Arts training, delivered a jump-kick to the chitinous face plate of the dragonfly that put a hole in it, driving his foot right into the thing’s syrupy brain tissue. It dropped dead next to them as Throckpods moved menacingly around them in a huge circle of weed.
“We are totally cut off,” said Billy. “And I think they mean to kill us.”
“They’re flowers! Flowers can’t eat people… can they?” asked Gyro nervously.
“They are intelligent flowers. How can you know what they eat and don’t eat? Especially after Sara told us about how they tried to take all of her blood?” asked Billy in return. His Dakota-Sioux features scrunched up into a frown. “I am at the height of my power. Let them come! In a sacred manner I resist them until my very last breath! It is a good day to die!”
Gyro’s eyes got wider. It was a very Native American sort of thing for Billy to say, but Gyro didn’t really want to hear it.
“You give me a few minutes to think,” said Gyro, “and I will find a way out of this mess.”
Billy resolutely turned to frown at the approaching grove of ugly flowers.
Gyro looked all around, and finally settled on the dragonfly. In some ways, the huge insect already resembled an anti-grav cycle. It wouldn’t take very much manipulation to…
Gyro’s imagination started turning chitin into glass-steel. The dragonfly’s bowels were easy to shape into a small fusion-powered engine. The blood only had to be separated to get the hydrogen necessary for fuel. With a few pops and crackles and one big POOM, they had a working grav cycle.
As Throckpods started throwing thorns, and Billy swatted them out of the air with Wushu defensive strikes, Gyro revved the engine and pulled Billy onto the upholstered seat behind him.
“Time to bug out!” said Gyro with a huge blue grin. The grav cycle immediately and silently lifted into the air on anti-grav repulsor lifts. Then, with a roar, they zoomed skyward, not only out of the reach of Throckpods and thorns, but also out of reach from the devilish dragonflies that were swarming towards them from somewhere in the eastern sky.
“I guess it’s a good thing you can change stuff like that,” said Billy, holding tightly onto his Texas sombrero, “but if you had never made that stink-language translator, maybe we would’ve never got into this mess.”
“I don’t think the translator is the big problem,” said Gyro. “These flowers seem to have an agenda that doesn’t include looking pretty and smelling nice. I think they don’t like us as plant-eaters and potential invaders. After all, this is their world.”
“Okay,” said Billy. “Get us back to camp and Ged Aero-sensei, and I’m all for leaving this dirtball to the plants!”
“Yeah, um… maybe you better teach me how to fly this thing first.”
“Oh, Smurf! You made the thing.”
“Yeah, well… Hang on to your hat, then!”
They managed to fly a haphazard corkscrew pattern on their way back to camp. It was unbelievably dangerous and life-threatening. But the boys made it back safely and walked away from the crash. And Gyro had some real fun with his driving skills.