The Red Menace

Hits and Flops

Episode 22

We began in the air, as Penelope and Crispin raced toward the market. As they neared the open space, they were spotted by a martian atop a guard tower. He ducked down and Crispin sent out a flock of paper birds from his sleeve to distract their fire.

Other turned to see the cause of its concern and began to fire. Penelope swung the airscrew wide and descended to avoid their fire. Shots were exchanged and Penny was hit, but held firm on the controls. As the reached the center of the market, they spotted two of the flying spheres dogging their path. The machine was struck by gunfire and the two realized their goal might be too dangerous to reach.

They decided to crash the airscrew into the Tower of Light and Life instead. She banked right and raced just a few feet above the busy market while Crispin activated the bomb. The two shadowing machines seemed to be unwilling to descend to their level. Unfortunately, she had to ascend to get to the tower’s main door and the two spheres closed rapidly.

They exploded as Crispin released the lever dropping them into the ornithopter. Penelope was stunned by the blast, but had enough of her wits about her to talk Crispin through the controls of the strange machine. He managed to pull up and away from the looming walls of the tower as fire and debris rained down on the crowd below.

Meanwhile, the group inside was being surrounded by enemies. Charley, Joe and Dash had moved paste and reached the door they believed held their goal. But it was sealed by an electric curtain and a gray martian and tow green guards waited within. They also noted that the control box had what seemed to be a human head grafted onto it.

Two green martians rushed out of the darkened chamber at the other end of the corridor bringing their blades down on Opal. Percy was gripped by a strange fear from the darkness and stepped away from the entry. With no other choice, Opal swung her rifle at the foes.

Dash saw that the doorway had a full control screen rather than the simple button panel the other doors had. While shots rang out around them, he tried to maneuver the strange interface. Joe and Charley kept guard through their wounds while he continued to work on the device. He quickly found icons for both humans and martians, and touched the human icon. The controls switched to coptic, and called Charley over to read the now decipherable controls.

The two green martians beat Opal to unconsciousness and turned on the the trio. The gray martian left his shadowy chamber and battered at Percy and Frankie. It shot a cylinder of fluid into itself and seemed to flush with color. It also seems enraged and continued to push two toward the dead end of the passage.

Charley quickly disable the lock and the two guards rushed at them. The strange bodiless head seemed to be mouthing at him, and he shot it trying to turn off the defenses. Joe and Dash moved on the guards and Dash noted the head smiling at him approvingly. He called to Charley to tell it in Coptic that they were here to help — and to apologize for shooting it. He did so and the man-machine seemed to understand.

The two guards fell before them, while the grey seemed to be frustrated by trying to control the system. He gave up and jumped atop the table and brought his sword down on big Joe. They fought while shots fired around them and brought the enemy low. Suddenly the automated weapons fired, and the two remaining green martians were felled by their own defenses.



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