Friday, 30 November 2007

Big Finish

JTTTLBTMI Crossover Part 4 (Strongman and Pixie Finale)

Governor Shang stood high above us all, a maniacal grin playing across his features as he surveyed the chaos and destruction before him.

I gasped. The Governer? Here? Behind all of this?

“Mr Guvnah Sir’s been a very naughty man!” said Fuschia, and she was right.

Everyone was still frozen in place, looking up expectantly at the Governor. I seized my chance and continued my dash up the stairs. The clattering of feet broke the silence and the clammer of the crowd roared back around us. Pursuing tribesman mounted the stairway behind us and as we approached the top the Governor slowly turned towards us and withdrew a small box with a single red button from his pocket.

Still a good few paces away I dived forward to tackle him, but the button was pressed, a trap door opened beneath him and he dropped through it. My hands snagged on his jacket and hair as he slipped through my grasp. I was just a moment too late to catch him, but fast enough to catch something else. With a tearing noise I found myself holding a shredded jacket and an amazingly lifelike wig and face mask – so maybe it wasn’t really the Governor after all.

Sprawled over the trap door I peered down into the darkness catching a flash of long blonde hair as the figure plummeted out a view. A lady…?

“Quick! Quick! Quick!” Shouted Fuschia as she came running up behind me. I twisted around to see tribesmen now pouring up the stairway on both sides of the dais towards us, viciously sharpened fruit at the ready. Without pausing for thought Fuschia grabbed me by my collar and leapt down into the trapdoor dragging me behind her. As we followed the Faux Governor on his speedy downwards journey, I really hoped there would be a soft landing.

The walls of the narrow tunnel had been polished and as the passage in which we plummeted jogged to the left we found ourselves starting to slide rather than fall. Fuschia was giggling about it being just like a big helter-skelter, while I nervously glanced behind us, but could see no pursuers in the gloom.

We slid into a brightly lit section of tubing, no not brightly lit, but glass, taking us through a bright white room. Below us we caught site of a huge machine churning out what looked like mechanical bunny rabbits. Then back into darkness…Then out into another cavern. This one glowed red from the sea of lava bubbling away beneath us and there on a narrow finger of rock, I’m sure that was Baron Bardhaven and Mr Abel sword fighting, Mr Benmergui holding a carved stone idol in his off hand…but no time to get a good look as we were soon back into darkness again.

I felt more than heard the mountain roar, the tunnel around us starting to crack – then fall apart and soon we were falling through darkness and then…oblivion…

I woke with a sore head, Fuschia poking me in the ribs. I was lying on my back and opening my eyes I could see a tiny grey circle of light way, way above me.

“Wake up, big ‘un, you’ve had more than enough rest.” She sounded worried and reaching up I felt the damp bandage she’d wrapped around my head. “We fell out of that slidey-tube and you hit your head and you looked like you probably needed the rest, but the mountains gone all shakey and angry again…

I winced as I got back to my feet. I ached all over. We appeared to be at the bottom of some deep shaft. In the dim light I could make out a few large rocks and animal bones, but no sign of any exits or passages. Looking up I could see the shattered remains of the tunnel-tube we’d fallen out of and far, far above it a stormy daylight coming from, I presumed, outside.

The cavern convulsed and rumbled. Dust and small stones began tumbled down around us from the walls of the cave. “It’s been doing that more and more for the last few minutes,” Fuschia said. “That’s why I woke you up – I think we’d better go.”

The last few minutes? How long had I been unconscious? Again, giving me little time to think, Fuschia grabbed me under the arms and flapping her butterfly wings began lifting me up towards the light. “Ooof! We’d better stop you eating so many fairy cakes. You’re definitely getting heavier.”

Slowly we climbed as the rock walls moaned and grumbled around us, occasionally showering us with rocks. Fuschia deftly avoided the larger ones and eventually we emerged from the cave mouth into a scene of chaos.

We were halfway up the side of the volcano and most of the jungle below us was burning. The bits that weren’t burning appeared to be falling into the sea. As Fuschia gained altitude I could see lava flowing freely between the trees and with a growing rumble one whole side of the mountain began to collapse.

“Wait! Wait!” I shouted. “We’ve got to go back for everyone else!” Fuschia began pirouetting in mid air back towards the volcano just in time for us to catch the full brunt of the island exploding.

The retina burning flash was followed a split-second later by an ear splitting crack and then we were hit by the pressure wave.

We were blasted through the air. A feeling I was getting more and more used to on this journey. We both held on to each other as we splashed down into the water as rocks, fireballs, trees and bits of mountain crashed down around us.

I struck out for a large piece of floating, smouldering debris, something to hold onto, to help us get our breath back. Beyond it I could see the blackened smoking remains of Philip sinking below the water.

The deadly rain eased, settling into a steady fall of ash. I reached the big piece of flotsam helping Fuschia on to it before pulling myself up to join her and suddenly realizing what it was.

I ran my hand along its surface feeling its soft vibration, the soot and grime coming away to reveal it’s battered, blue wooden shell and the words “Police Public Call Box”. It was Oolon’s Cabinet. And the doors we were sitting on suddenly opened and we tumbled inside.

Oolon looked up from the console as we splashed, dripping wet onto the floor just inside the doors. “Ah Fuschia, young Avalanche you’re just in time, Terry’s just put the kettle on.”

I began spluttering out “What..? How..?”.

“Oh don’t worry, I’ll explain later…” A frown played across his lips, “Don’t worry, everyone’s safe, but there are a few more people we need to fish out of the old briny.” He strode over to a tall cabinet and pulled out a pair of oars. “You couldn’t do me a favour and paddle us about a bit..? I’m afraid the Old Girl’s taken a bit of a knock and needs to get her strength back before she can do it on her own and I don’t want our friends to get too chilly.”

I took the oars as Fuschia curled up happily on the chaise long.

One thing about life in Caledon, I thought as I clambered back outside, it’s never dull…