The Shasta Caper
by John Pirillo
The Mother of the tiny elephants raised her trumpeting nose and blew hard. The tribe behind her did likewise and the corridor filled with the sound of tiny trumpet like sounds tearing through the air.
The Dragon Snake put on the brakes, catching itself between the walls, its eyes going wide with terror as the tiny swarm of elephants, still trumpeting charged it.
"This is ridiculous!" Nanny said. "They're all going to die!"
Samuel noticed the platform was still intact and hurried over to it.
He righted it, then turned it about so it was facing the Dragon Snake.
"Jimbo, feed the snake!"
"I beg your pardon!" Jimbo roared indignantly.
Then he saw what Samuel was planning.
"Sure thing, Boss." He snapped next, then he ran after the elephants, catching up to them, screaming at the top of his lungs.
"You two crazy!" Nanny screamed. "It's going to eat him for a snack and then come for us!"
Samuel smiled, then engaged the platform. It took him a few moments to master its controls, then he flung it forward.
The Dragon Snake overcame its fear of the tiny things charging it, and then it opened its moutn wide again. It slithered forward rapidly, frothing at the mouth.
Jimbo braked, then threw himself flat to the floor as he felt something approaching from behind.
Samuel flew overhead on the platform, gaining speed.
"Come on, baby!" Samuel urged the platform as it moved faster and faster.
The Dragon Snake's attention went to Samuel, just as he leaped from the platform and hit the floor rolling. But it was too late to close its jaws. The platform flew into his mouth and kept on going down into its throat.
The Dragon Snake made a horrible roar that ended in a choking sound, then it coiled upwards, banging its head against the ceiling, trying to dislodge the platform from its throat.
Smarn and Robin stepped in front of Nanny.
Robin raised his bow and fired first one arrow, then another rapidly.
One struck the snake in its throat and another in its other eye.
The Dragon Snake tried to roar again, but only succeeded in lodging the platform deeper in its throat, blocking its air passage. It struggled mightily to breathe, flailing about.
Samuel jumped to his feet and urged the tiny elephants to follow him. They stood their ground.
The Dragon Snake fell back down, almost smashing into the elephants, just inches shy of them, sending a cloud of dust into the air.
Samuel ran up to his friends.
The Mother elephant raised her trunk in triump and trumpeted. The others followed, then they all turned around and headed back to the humans.
"Well, that should do it for now." Robin said with a grin. "I suggest we make ourselves scarce before they figure out we're the reason for their pet's death."
They ran back through the side door that Robin and Smarn had come through, elephants and all, making a strange scene to the few soldiers who were heading down the side corridor to stop them.
This time the Mother elephant didn't stop. She rammed the nearest of the guards, goring him with her horns.
Before the other could do anything, Smarn smashed him into the air, sending him sailing backwards.
Robin bashed the gored guard in the head with the butt of his knife, dropping him like a stone.
Then they cut into a new corridor, dashed about twenty yards to the sound of new soldiers coming loudly behind them and entered a hanger, where numbers of flying vessels were anchored.
One was disgorging soldiers. They saw Robin and his friends and raised the alarm.
Robin fired arrow after arrow, dropping the men before they could fire.
When the last had fallen, Robin turned to Samuel. "Our ride awaits us."
They rushed into the ship, helping the tiny elephants mount the stairway until all were inside. They slammed the door shut, just as dozens of soldiers entered the hanger, firing their weapons. Energy beams splashed along the outer hall, but did no significant damage, as Robin and Smarn settled into the cockpit.
Robin looked over at Smarn. "Your turn, Little Smarn."
"Smarn!" Smarn replied, then delicately began manipulating the controls, until the air ship floated several feet above the ground, then turned on its axis, facing the other end of the hanger.
"Hold onto something!" Robin warned Samuel and his friends. "It might get a bit rough from here!"
Smarn jammed a control on the floor with his right foot and the air ship shot for the opening, amidst a volley of energy blasts behind them.
"We have to get to safety before they can follow us." Robin explained. "
They shout out the opening.
That was when Samuel and his friends realized they were inside the Floating City. The air ship spun to the left and they could see how small and insignificant the ship was next to the huge floating city.
"Smarn!" Smarn swore as the craft began to wobble uncertainly.
Robin looked at him. "Stabilize!"
"Not know how."
Robin swore. "Now you tell me! I thought you knew how to fly these things."
"Smarn never said he could fly it all the way. Just fly it part of the way."
Robin cursed, then looked at the others as the ship began loosing altitude and hurtling towards a vast range of mountains below, thickly forested. "Hold on, this is going to be a rough landing!"
Smarn looked at the controls and flipped a switch. The ship turned upside down and everyone tumbled to the ceiling.
Elephants and people screamed and trumpeted as they tried to get back on their feet, panic and fear gripping the cockpit.
Samuel looked over at Jimbo. "You all right?"
"Do I look all right?"
Jimbo gripped a chair, then put an arm about Nanny. She shoved him off. "I can handle this."
She gripped him with both arms.
She punched him and that was the last thing she did before the air ship crashed.