THE SPACE RATS' EPISODE GUIDE
"Escape from the Garden" (official)"The Lightning League Reborn" (mine)
"The Adventures Begin" (Golden Book version)
Teaser -- Notes --
Synopsis -- Food for Thought
-- Snapshots --
QuotesNext Episode -- Episode Index
The eternal squire, Oon, runs through the ruins of a city, on a mission for his master. He uses his lance to slice his way through the tangles of Monster Mind (MM) vines which are everywhere. He tries to stay out of sight, but the MM troops catch sight of him anyway and the chase is on.
Just outside the city limits, there is a giant domed structure that appears unaffected by the devastation surrounding it. The vines that have infested everything snake around the base of the dome, twining their way up higher and higher.
Inside the dome, it might be any perfect summer day. Jayce runs out into the center of a clearing where Gillian is working at constructing an odd collection of vehicles. Jayce notices that the vines are climbing higher on the dome, and urges Gillian to hurry with his work, since the vines are blocking more and more of the sun--the power source for the magic dome of light that is protecting Gillian's garden. Gillian explains that they may have to leave sooner than they expected, *before* Jayce's father, Audric, can come to lead them out.
Jayce protests that idea, and calls up to Flora, asking her if there is any sign of his father. Flora indignantly explains that she would tell Jayce if there *were* any sign... and then, surprised, senses that Oon is near, and that he is coming closer. Jayce takes this as a sign that his father is also on his way... but Flora insists that she doesn't feel Audric coming. Jayce tells her she's wrong, because Oon would never desert his master. If the squire is coming... that means Audric *has* to be coming too.
Outside, Oon is rapidly losing his lead on the hordes of troopers pursuing him. He comes to the top of a small rise, and looks over the edge of a cliff. Down in the valley, he sees the dome. "Finally!" Oon exclaims. "Jayce must be in there!"
Oon carreens down the incline towards the cliff. He gains speed and momentum, until he is running too fast to stop. As he runs, the tip of his lance drops and catches on a rock. The lance bends, then snaps back into shape, catapulting Oon out over the valley. Screaming, he falls straight toward the dome.
Jayce, Flora and Gillian hear the screaming and look up in time to see Oon pass through the dome and plummet down from above. The old man, the boy, and the little girl run for cover, and Oon crashes to the ground with a great metal racket. On impact, pieces of Oon are scattered every which way.
When the dust settles, Jayce rushes forward and picks up Oon's helmet-head (now disconnected from the rest of the Squire's body). "Oon!" Jayce exclaims. "Good old, Oon! You're here!"
"Oh, Master Jayce," Oon exclaims, greatly relieved, and not much bothered by the fact that he's in pieces. "It's wonderful to see you again!"
"But where's my father?" Jayce asks.
"I'll tell you the whole story," replies Oon, "meanwhile, could you put me back together again please?"
The troopers outside renew their search to find Oon. Scouring the area outside the dome.
Meanwhile, Gillian, Jayce and Flora have collected Oons pieces and reassembled him. "It was awful!" Oon exclaims, giggling as Gillian screws his head onto his torso. "Where should I begin? Boom! Crash! They broke through the walls, but before that your father almost had it figured out!"
To make the retelling of what happened more coherent, Gillian taps the top of Oon's head with a magic spell, and tells Oon to "merely think about what has happened." While Oon's voice narrates, his visor pops up and images form in the dark empty space inside his head.
The images show Audric's laboratory, in a solar system with several suns. Oon explains that Audric was trying to create a plant that would end starvation forever... and that he had found the perfect spot for his experiments "in another galaxy." Just as Audric succeeded in his experiment, one of the solar system's suns flared--washing the planet and Audric's laboratory with strange radiation. This radiation caused the plants to mutate violently... and they changed into mobile creatures with evil brains. Audric and Oon had to flee from the "ruthless" MM. Sawboss, the leader, took over Audric's laboratory, while the others covered the planet, using up all the minerals and water.
Oon explains that Audric worked to create a good plant that would destroy the evil MM. Oon ends Gillian's spell by pulling his visor back down into position, and explains Audric's last command before they were separated. "Get the root to Jayce, he said. He's your new master. Serve him faithfully. He'll know what to do." Oon then places the medallion containing the special new plant root in Jayce's hands.
Gillian explains that Jayce must find his father and join the root Jayce has with the root half that Audric still has. Jayce looks down at the root, a little overwhelmed by the size of his new responsibility. "Then the future of the universe depends on *this*, and on *me*," Jayce says. "How will I do it?"
Gillian smiles calmly, and motions for the others to follow him. He leads them to a giant crystal formation on a rock outcropping near a waterfall. While Flora and Oon hang back, Gillian strides up to the crystal formation. Gillian pushes at one of the crystals and causes a hidden platform to rise up. The platform supports a small, guilded box which sparkles in the sunlight. Gillian takes the box gingerly in his hands and turns to face Jayce.
"In ages past, there was a small band of heroes who guided us to victory in desperate times. They were called the Lightning League." Now Gillian opens the box. Inside, there is a ring with a faceted, greyish-violet stone. "Their leader wore this ring," Gillian explains. He takes the ring from the box, and places it into Jayce's cupped palms.
"It is time for the knowledge of the past to save the future," Gillian says. "The Lightning League is now reborn, with you, Jayce, son of Audric, as its leader!"
Jayce looks down at the ring in disbelief. "Me... wear the ring of leadership."
"It has more power than you can imagine," Gillian says. "But only if your heart and purpose are pure."
Jayce slips the ring onto the ring finger of his right hand. Immediately, a clear bright light emanates from inside the ring's stone.
"Gillian, it's glowing!" Jayce says in surprise. "It's as though it's telling me that I *will* be able to lead us!"
Jayce runs out to the edge of the ledge, thrusting his hand to the sky. The ring glows brightly. "Wherever you are father," Jayce vows, instilled with confidence, "I *will* find you. Nothing will stand in my way!"
Oon runs up to Jayce's side. "And I will serve my new master faithfully! Me and my magic lance!"
The ring's light fades, and Jayce thanks Oon for his promise to stand by his side through whatever the future holds. Flora teases Oon about the lance, sighing "if only the lance really *were* magic." Oon, gets upset at the slight to his "magic" lance, and goes over to glare at Flora. Jayce reminds them both that "we're all in this together," and Flora appologizes for her remark (even though it was true).
Outside, the troopers who had been pursuing Oon stop, looking around in some confusion. "Impossible," exclaims one. "We lost him!"
Sawboss sits on his throne, still brooding, clearly unhappy. "Fool! He has to be somewhere! Saw Trooper, scan the area!"
"Yes, Sawboss! I'm doing it Sawboss!" the saw trooper replies nervously. It swivels its vehicle-like body around, looking over the whole area.
Telepathically seeing what his trooper sees, Sawboss catches sight of the dome. "Stop! That must be where he is. Get in there, get that root--destroy it, and everything else!"
"With pleasure, Sawboss," replies the lead gun trooper.
Returning to the clearing, Gillian explains that he had built the lead fighting vehicle, Armed Force, for Jayce's father. But now it is Jayce's, and he must learn to use it well. Jayce hops into the vehicle, to take it for a test run. Oon runs after Jayce, calling for him to wait, but is tackled from behind by three brightly painted toy robots. Oon tries to shoo the robots away, asking "who are you?" in exasperation. Flora explains that the robots are her Zoggies, and that they like Oon. Oon tells her to keep them out of his way.
They are interrupted by the sound of the MM outside massing for their attack on the dome. Worried, Oon calls for Jayce--telling him that the MM are coming. Flora and Oon run up to Armed Force's side, cheering for Jayce in the upcoming battle. Flora asks of the good guys will win, and Jayce reassures her that they will... but then Gillian explains that none of the weapons systems are finished on the League's new fighting vehicles.
Jayce is shocked by this. Oon falls backward in a dead faint.
Jayce looks at the line of advancing troopers. He steels himself to the job ahead, clutching one hand in a determined fist. "Lasers or no lasers, they're not taking us without a fight!"
Gillian, still very calm, explains that it is wise never to fight unless it is necessary. Jayce tries to argue that *this* is certainly a necessary time. Gillian looks toward the attacking MM and tells Jayce simply to watch.
The troopers charge the dome. As they make contact, the walls are impenetrable. They crash against the dome, destroying themselves in their attempts to break through. The gun trooper leading the Monster Mind forces outside the dome sees the futility of the charge. "No no NO!" he yells, "Pull back! Pull back!"
Jayce expresses concern that the ship will crash on the wall of light, but as the ship passes safely through the dome, leaving a trail of sparks behind it, Gillian explains that his wall only stops evil, and that good can enter without a problem. Our heroes go to meet the ship's pilot.
The pilot is not happy that his ship has broken down *again*. He asks for a spare part, which Gillian provides, and then is about to leave when Jayce asks him to take the League with him. The captain replies that moving "anybody and anything" is his business... and says he'll take Jayce and co along... but then balks on the deal when Jayce tries to get on board without *paying* for his ride. The captain explains that he doesn't work for free.
"Where would we get money?" Jayce protests.
"Sorry, kid. No cash, no *Herc*," the captain replies, then turns to leave.
"Would gold be acceptable?" Gillian interrupts.
The captain immediately salutes, grinning broadly. "Herc Stormsailor, captain of _The_Pride_of_the_Skies_... at your service."
Jayce pulls Gillian aside and asks where they are going to get gold. Instead of answering, Gillian just shushes him.
The Lightning League (LL) loads their stuff onto _The_Pride_, and Jayce explains to Herc that Gillian built a battle base to go with the five defensive vehicles. Carrying a heavy box, Herc trips and falls forward, dropping the box, and almost crushing a small white flower. Flora and Brock zoom down out of the sky, and Flora rushes up and asks the *plant* if it's okay... then talks to it for a while. Herc remarks to himself that "That kid is really strange!"
To which Flora replies, now nose to nose with Herc, "I am *not*!" She explains that Gillian and Audric created her from a plant... and she can talk to plants and animals and *even people*.... sort of.
Gillian calls Herc to see his payment. In a cargo bay, a pile of gold ten feet on a side and fifteen feet high sparkles and gleams. "Is this enough, Mr. Stormsailor?" Gillian asks. "Please, call me *Herc*," Herc replies, eyes wide.
Jayce confronts Gillian about the gold again, and Gillian admits that he got it from lead using a magic spell, and that before long the gold will revert back to lead. "I had to work fast," says Gillian, chuckling.
Everybody is now on board, and it is time for take off. Herc raises the command column at the center of the Battle Base's bridge, which now also functions as the bridge for _The_Pride_ and complains that his "old control bridge wasn't so darn complicated."
Herc starts the lift off sequence, and quickly discovers that the ground is too soft in Gillian's garden--_The_Pride_ is just digging a hole instead of taking off. He has Jayce hit the leeway thrusters, and the ship moves laterally towards the hard ground outside the dome. Once the ship passes through the dome, the MM vines twine around the landing struts. Herc tries to take off, but the vines hold fast, and drag the ship back down to the ground.
Jayce and Oon run to the vehicles to hold off the MM long enough for Herc to find a way to lift off. Gillian informs Jayce that he can use his wrist communicator to control the vehicles with voice commands. Jayce and Oon lead the battle from Armed Force. With a voice command, Jayce leads the attack from Armed Force.
He fights brilliantly, using the multiple weapons to incapacitate charging troopers and then using the claw to grab hold of a MM trooper and do something like a judo throw, tossing the MM trooper up and over Armed Force--so that it crashes upsided down into the ground. Gillian and Flora watch the battle on the bridge monitors, pleased to see how well Jayce is doing.
Meanwhile, Jayce is chased by a saw trooper. He maneuvers Armed Force backwards, towards BeastWalker's feet, then turns at the last moment. The maneuver causes the saw trooper to get smashed, but also sends Armed Force skidding down and incline and into a ditch, where it gets stuck. Jayce voice commands the rest of the vehicles out to help him.
He commands Trail Blazer to walk up such that the bulk of its body is over the line of MM troops who are shooting at Armed Force, then commands Trail Blazer to lower its body at the right moment to squish the attacking troopers. Jayce commands Drill Sargent to defend him, but the vehicle seems to act on its own, driving down and drilling through the tangle of MM vines that Armed Force is stuck up against, freeing the vehicle.
Clear of the fight for a moment, both vehicles stop. The canopy of Drill Sargent rises up, revealing that Flora is the driver. Jayce thanks her, but then orders Oon to take her back to the ship before she gets hurt. Oon hops over to Drill Seargent. He and Flora make it back to the ship without incident.
Back on the bridge, Sergeant flips a switch to electrify the hull. He vines pull back, and the ship begins to rise. "We're going to make it this time!" Herc exclaims, just as OOn and Flora make it back to the bridge. Oon begs for Herc to wait, because his Master Jayce is still outside fighting.
Jayce sees that the ship can move again, and takes that as his cue to retreat. He has all the vehicles drive up into Trail Blazer, and the large transport vehicle stomps its way back up and into the ship. Herc tries to lift off, but is not quick enough. The vines grab the struts again and pull the ship back down.
Jayce runs through the ship, and takes the lift up to the telescoping gun turret at the top of Battle Base. He shoots at some of the vines that are holding the ship, but only gets a few before a MM trooper scores a direct hit on the turret.
The turret overloads, and Jayce jumps free just as it explodes. As Jayce plummets towards the ground far below, Gillian concentrates. "The ring, Jayce," he wills. "The RING!"
The ring responds with a burst of light. Immediately, Jayce is tranformed into an engergy blade which he can control. It swoops and dives its way around the landing struts, severing all the vines which hold the ship. Then the Jayce-Blade rises up to the top of Battle Base. It spins for a second in the air, then re-tranforms into Jayce. Jayce runs for the airlock. The ship blasts off.
Sawboss sees his defeat. He yells for his troopers to stop the ship, and teleports to the planet--but he is too late. _The_Pride_ zooms past Sawboss's headquarters as the building materializes, and the Lighting League gets away.
Seething, Sawboss vows to find the "son of Audric." To destroy him and his root... that Jayce and his father will never be safe. That he will track them through the universe forever....
Safely in space, Herc engages the auto-pilot and goes to check out his gold. He holds a bar in one hand, and faces his treasure pile, happy as can be. "Oh, isn't that the prettiest sight in the universe?" he says, just as the whole pile stops glittering... turns dull and gray. Needless to say, Herc is not happy that his payment has just turned into a worthless pile of lead. Gillian explains that he had a little problem, but that Herc *will* get his payment. Jayce *promises* Herc will get his payment... and Herc says they're right--because he plans to stick with them until he gets his loot.
Later, Jayce stands before a window, looking out at bolts of space lightning that flash against the darkness. Gillian, Flora and Oon come to stand at his side. "We'll find you, father, wherever you are..." Jayce vows, "because, like that space lightning, we're unstoppable. We're the Lightning League, and together we'll destroy the monster minds forever!"
And so, the adventures begin....
Ep. 1 "Escape from the Garden":
Teaser -- Notes --
Synopsis -- Food for Thought
-- Snapshots --
Next Episode --
-- Main Wheelies Index