The Shasta Caper
by John Pirillo
Jimbo sneered at the self righteous bastards that had intended to kill him and his friends. But only for a moment. He heard a scream and saw that a portion of the balcony had fallen and Nanny was buried partially beneath it.
"Hang on, Sammie!" Jimbo roared, then aimed the platform towards the battle arena.
Above him the Dragon Snake made a quick snack of those in the balcony, then coiled and shot to the next balcony, landing with a bloody crunch on the ones there.
It never occured to Jimbo or Samuel why they didn't save themselves by exiting the destruction at the time.
Nanny struggled to get the debris off her. Her left leg was pinned so tight she couldnt' budge it. She felt a shadow cross her and looked up in alarm.
Jimbo's grinning face and Samuel hanging on by his hands to the railing caught her attention immediately. "About time you guys showed up. I could use a little help here."
Jimbo landed the platform and leaped off, the same time as Samuel dropped to the arena floor and rushed to Nanny's side. He saw what had happened and looked around. He spotted a broken body with a ceremonial sword sticking out from beneath some rubble. He plucked at the sword. It wouldn't budge at first, then it broke free.
He went back to Nanny's side, where Jimbo was tossing debris to lighten the weight of the debris on her. She looked strained and ready to collapse, but she held up bravely as Samuel stuck the sword under a piece of rubble and used it like a lever to move the debris pinning her leg down.
Jimbo saw what he was doing and helped.
In a matter of moments the debris lifted. Only a slight bit, but enough for her to roll free. The debris collapsed immediately afterwards and buried where she had lain.
Jimbo gave her a hand. "Don't you know better than to kick down walls, Missy?"
"Funny!" She said, then gave him a big smack on the cheek, then Samuel.
They looked up just as the Dragon Snake finished off the next to the last of the balconies of the crowd.
"Looks like snack time is going well for our friend up there." Jimbo mused.
"All the more reason for us to leave. Immediately." Samuel urged. "There' s bound to be help on the way."
They climbed onto the platform and Jimbo guided them through the exit, they had to fly low to avoid scraping the ceiling with their heads. They flew swiftly along the corridor before them.
"Any idea where this leads?" Jimbo asked.
Samuel shook his head. "My invisible friends are still hiding."
Al popped into view a moment alongside Samuel and shook his index finger at him, then vanished.
"Or whatever it is they're doing." Samuel amended.
Jimbo freaked when he saw a huge metallic door swinging downwards ahead of them.
"Hang on!" He urged and then gave the platform all it had.
It shot towards the closing gap at breakneck speed.
They all had to drop down low, but they made it with only the back railing being torn off by the descending door.
They stood back up to see the door crunching the metal like it was candy.
"Could have had a V-8." Samuel joked.
Nanny scolded him with a glance and he looked away.
"Look out!" Samuel shouted.
Jimbo reversed their course, but too late. They struck a descending door just as it slammed into the floor, closing off their way out.
They were flung to the floor, rolling over and over, until they crashed into the walls. They lay there stunned a long time, then finally Nanny spoke.
"You guys sure know how to show a girl a good time."
"Then you're going to love us." Robin said to her as he stepped from a side door, with Smarn rising beside him.
Nanny saw Robin. "Hi! Gorgeous!"
Then she saw Smarn. "Uh."
Smarn snorted. "They never like me."
Samuel laughed. "Sounds like my lines."
He looked over at Jimbo, who was getting to his feet. Jimbo shook his head and then shrugged. "Some of us got it and some..."
"Are like me." Smarn finished with a grin.
Samuel liked the giant immediately.
Robin half bowed again. "You'll have to pardon my midget friend here's manners. I'm Robin and he's Little Smarn."
"Smarn!" Smarn said simply.
"Indeed you are." Nanny agreed, backing behind Jimbo.
"I don't understand why you two are here now." Samuel said. "I've never met any of you before. How did you even know where to find..."
A trumpeting sound rose.
The mother elephant and her swarm of miniature elephants came out of the room Robin and Smarn had.
"They wouldn't stay behind."
Smarn held his nose. "We had to sneak them aboard the flying ship. Stunk."
Robin scolded Smarn. "You should be used to the smell of poo by now, Smarn. You herd the Gelfers in your village and they smell ten times worse."
"Yes. But they also not in a closed room."
Robin grinned. "Still." He swept around to look at the new people standing before him.
Samuel, trying to make sense of what was going on, stuck out a hand. "At the risk of sounding stupid, I'm Samuel, the big guy is Jimbo and the awestruck girl is Nanny. Shouldn't we be thinking of getting the hell outta here?"
Robin half bowed.
"I think the locked doors on the balconies should hold them a bit longer.
"You mean if there's any left to hold." Nanny shot back.
Robin gave her a blank look.
"The Dragon Snake was snacking on the last balcony when we split." Samuel explained.
Smarn suddenly tensed. "Are you talking about a creature about thirty yards long and a body as thick as a large tree with sharp scales and a jaw that could swallow..." Gulps. "...Me?"
Everyone spins around.
Slithering at breakneck speed down the corridor at them is the Dragon Snake. It sees they've spotted it and opens its mouth and lets out the first sound they've ever heard from it. It's so loud that they have to clamp their hands over their ears to stop from collapsing from the pain.
Then the Dragon Snake stops, coils itself and launches towards them, its jaws opening wide enough to swallow everyone and everything in the corridor. Its mouth is a slimy red and oozing gallons of saliva that is a slimy green from the corners of its mouth.