Sebastian looks to Beanie, “Are you sure he’s safe? He looks a lot scarier out here than he did when he was suspended inside that pod.”
Beanie bobs his head up and down just as one of the other Dorrgroos carries the oar to the dinghy. The warrior spots the oar and his eyes get big. A mischievous grin fills his face. He grabs the oar and swings it around, sending Sebastian, Amelia and Beanie ducking for cover.
“Wahaika! I whakamahia te wahaika i tetahi pakanga rongonui!”
Sebastian is beginning to regret allowing the massive Polynesian to join the war party.
“Beanie, do something.”
Beanie steps forward and places a skinny fingertip on one of the warrior’s ear lobes. A large spark shoots up and down the side of his head. The warrior plops back down in the dinghy, rubs his ear, sticks out his tongue and wraps his thick arms around the oar.
“Ka haere te wikitoria ki te toa!”
Sebastian appears relieved, “Whatever, dude. You can keep the oar if you promise to behave.”
Amelia is not so sure, “But won’t we need it to get across the water?”
“If we can’t paddle, maybe we can tow it across. Which reminds me, where’s...”
Suddenly, a tremendous splash erupts up at water’s edge and the prehistoric Ichthyosaur launches out of the lagoon and lands next to Amelia and Sebastian.
A column of Zeppendulars descends from the craft. As they hit the ground, they begin to spread out, dropping to the ground and onto their backs to allow their green-spotted bellies to soak up the sun’s rays. Their long tails swish back and forth and they roll in the dirt like dogs rolling in dead fish.
The chortling sound the alien creatures emit awakens Sebastian and he slowly turns his head to peer down over the bow of the space craft for a view of the fifty Zepps below.
Amelia places a hand over Sebastian’s mouth and whispers, “We’ve got them right where we want them.”
Sebastian whispers back, “Should we start shooting?”
“No...stick to your plan. Look.”
Amelia gestures toward the many small green Dorrgroo heads that peek over the tops of the nearby piles of soil and brush. The coconut crab also sneaks a glimpse from around the stump.
“They’re ready for a signal from you, Sebastian.”
Sebastian offers a fist bump, “Here’s to going home soon.”
Amelia accepts, “To adventure.”
Staggering the final steps, Sebastian and Amelia reach the doorway and step into the room. Two Zepppendulars are seated facing a complex array of controls and light panels. The dead body of the third Zepp is sprawled in a corner, its long tongue extended from its bubbling, vaporous and oozing face. When they spot Sebastian and Amelia, one of the Zepps grabs a lever and pulls hard. The space craft vibrates and rocks wildly. Sebastian steps toward the Zepp and launches a stream of water. The creature tries to run, but drops to the floor in a heaping and vaporous pile of goo.
“That one’s for the pig!”
The second Zeppendular leaps off its seat, his tongue snapping out and wrapping around the barrel of the water gun. A tug-of-war struggle ensues until Amelia grabs the Zepp by its tail and pulls hard allowing Sebastian to shoot point blank. The soaked Zepp bubbles, fizzes and writhes on the floor. Sebastian gags and holds his nose, “I hate the smell of Zepp guts in the morning!” The space craft continues rocking wildly.