THE SPACE RATS' EPISODE GUIDE
TITLE:"Flora, Fauna and the Monster Minds" (official)
"Water Trap" (mine)
WRITTEN BY:"The Blob"
Teaser -- Notes --
Synopsis -- Neat Stuff/Analysis --
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Meanwhile, Sawboss orders his troopers to pursue the Lighting League (LL). His troop leaders complain that there's no way to follow the league. Sawboss informs them that drill vines launched from the planet Taurau- Centaurus will soon reach the LL ship, and that the drill vines will force the league to land, and then prepare Sawboss's coming--and that he'll attack the League before they have a chance to react.
As he explains the plan, the drill vine capsule reaches the Pride. The capsule grabs on to the ship with little vine tendrils, then uses its drill to burrow through the ship's hull, emerging into a holding tank full of water. The vines start to grow.
Back on the bridge, the Zoggies finally catch Oon. They get beneath him and toss him among themselves like bucking broncos... and before long, send Oon sailing through the air. The squire crashes right into Herc's lap at the pilot's console. Immediately, smoke rises up from the control board, red lights flash, and alarms go off. Herc is understandably miffed.
Over where he is doing his system checks, Jayce is suddenly concerned. He goes over to one of the consoles and calls up a ship's schematic. Flora asks him what's wrong. "I don't know, the inertial guidance system just stopped working," Jayce replies, perplexed.
Herc gets up suddenly and throws Oon aside. He storms off to look into the problem, and tells Jayce to take over the ship's controls while he's gone.
Down in the hold, Herc is surprised to find a huge tangle of Monster Mind (MM) vines snaking their way out of a hatch in the center of a large chamber. Herc high-tails it out of there, wondering "how in the cosmos did this get aboard?" He arrives, breathless from running, back on the bridge and announces: "There's a MM vine in the water supply, it broke the guidance module!"
Oon seems incredibly relieved at first. "Thank goodness it wasn't my fault," he says. Then he realizes whose fault it must be. "M--Monster minds!" he shouts, his armor rattling now. "Here?!"
Herc theorizes that the MM must have entered through the pipes. Jayce sits calmly at the pilot's console, and enters a control sequence. Herc finally notices that Jayce is doing something and asks him what he's up to. "Dumping the water," Jayce replies matter-of-factly.
"Oh. Oh, okay." Herc replies. Then it sinks in what Jayce just said. "WHAT?!!!!!" demands Herc.
But it's too late. Valves open in the side of the ship, spewing the water out into space. The MM vines are swept out in the torrent, and then the whole mass of water freezes into a giant spaceberg and silently floats away.
"Good thinking, my master!" shouts Oon.
"Oh yeah--yeah, that was great thinking. Now we're really up the galaxy without a thruster!" grouses Herc, who slumps down into the control seat Jayce has just vacated and crosses his arms to sulk.
Gillian defends Jayce's actions, telling Herc that the water was rendered unusable by the MM, and that dumping it was the only quick remedy to their infestation problem. Looking concerned, Flora tugs at Gillian's sleeve. "The vine is gone, but I don't know..." she says in a worried tone, "I still feel strange." Gillian pats her on the head and smiles to reassure her, and tells her: "All will be well, my child."
Jayce explains that they'll have to land and find a place to get more water. Herc argues sarcastically that the closest landing site is a couple of million miles away. Jayce scans the area for a closer planet. The scanners locate an uncharted planet that has the necessary elements for a breathable atmosphere and presence of water. The planet also scans as uninhabited, and MM free. The League lands to make repairs and take on water.
Their landing site is a semi arid area surrounded by large stone spires, arches and bridges, cut across by a wide, swift flowing river. Cactus-like plants dot the area.
A hatch opens in the belly of the ship, dumping out coils of tubing which the league will use to pump new water into the holding tank. Unseen by any of our heroes, a small MM vine drops out of the open hatch, and burrows beneath the soil.
Herc and Jayce begin the process of pumping water from the river. Flora and Brock frolic in the air around the landing site, glad to be outdoors. Gillian also comes out for a stroll. Jayce asks Gillian what can be done to fix the inertial guidance--to which Gillian replies that he needs a new Cobalt 49 crystal, and that such a crystal should be easy to find, since "this part of the galaxy is full of Cobalt 49."
Jayce offers to take Gillian out in Armed Force to look for a new crystal, as soon as the water is aboard. Gillian ignores this sound advice and tells Jayce not to worry, that he won't go too far. Declaring that a walk will do his old legs some good, Gillian heads off into the wilderness. Flora and Brock glide on air currents above him, and head off to explore.
Meanwhile, the little drill vine has been very busy. Vines grow and proliferate like mad, getting larger and wrapping around some of the cacti for support. The vines begin to flower.
Completely unaware of the growing danger [no pun intended] Jayce and Herc have a new problem. The water hose has become kinked, stopping the flow of water into the tank. "Maybe we can shake the kink out," Jayce suggests. Oon rushes forward, eager to help. "I'll get it out! I'll do it with my magic lance." Oon declares. Despite Jayce's protests, Oon rushes forward, jumps into the river, and immediately starts to sink. Jayce pulls him out, and holds him upside down by his feet to let the water drain out. A small, pink amphibian--kind of like a cross between a fish and a frog--also comes spilling out with the water and hops away. Jayce takes Oon back inside the ship to get him dried off before he rusts, while Herc shakes the kink out and gets the pump started again.
Not far from our heroes, the first of the new MM troopers is now mature. Sawboss contacts his forces on the planet. The Terror Trooper is now in position. It explains it will keep the League separated. "When the trap is ready, prepare the receptacle for me. I'll finish this boy off myself!" orders Sawboss.
Alone by a small, still pool of clear water, Gillian picks up a crystalline stone from beneath the water. "Diamonds," Gillian replies, disappointed. "Just old diamonds. Where's Cobalt 49 when you need it?" he says with frustration. Not far from where he kneels by the pool, a tiny MM vine breaks the surface of the soil.
Out of sight from Gillian, Flora and Brock settle in for a conversation with one of the ubiquitous cacti. "Hi, we came to your planet for some water--" Flora begins. But she is distracted by a sudden, overwhelming sensation of the MM as vines explode from the ground around her, flowering and spilling jelly-like blobs to the ground. Flora tries to tell Brock to watch out, but the fish is knocked into the air by a vine that comes out of the ground right beneath them. Flora is tossed from Brock's back, and falls between more flailing vines and ends up surrounded by four maturing MM troopers.
Flora screams as the gelatinous sacks form organs, then grow into full sized, mature MM troopers. She seems to have nowhere to run. At the last moment, Brock swoops down from the sky. Flora grabs the saddle, and the two of them escape the trap. Flora and Brock then make their way as quickly as they can to Gillian.
Miffed, Gillian has only managed to find more diamonds--not the Cobalt 49 he's seeking. He is startled when Flora and Brock zoom in at top speed, with Flora calling his name in distress. They land, and Flora leaps off Brock's back. "We're in trouble," she tries to explain. "The MM are--"
Before she can finish, MM vines erupt from the ground right beneath where Brock is floating. Brock gets catapulted up into the air. Flora and Gillian run at top speed back toward the ship. The vines anticipate this and cut them off before they can get there. Flora then leads Gillian to a cave with an entrance too small for the MM, or even Brock to fit through. Brock swoops up to the top of the rock outcropping where a a narrow crack allows him to see down to where his friends are hiding.
Flora sends Brock back to the ship to get Jayce and bring help. Brock flies off as fast as his wings can take him, but Flora and Gillian quickly discover that they can't stay where they are. The MM terror trooper that followed them is burrowing its way into the cave.
Flora and Gillian climb the steep incline a the back of the cave, hoping to get out through the crack in the ceiling before the MM terror trooper gets in. Flora climbs quickly ahead of Gillian. Exhausted, Gillian asks Flora to climb a little slower. "Age does have his drawbacks," he says, breathing hard.
The terror trooper finally manages to brute force its way into the cave. Far above, Flora is now climbing more slowly, holding Gillian's hand in one of hers. She sees the trooper come into the cave below them and gasps.
Brock has flown back to the barge. Unfortunately, the MM vines have started to grow around the ship, blocking his access to the ramp. Brock sees that the water hose is still deployed. He flies to the river, squeezes his way into the hose, and swims up the pipe into the Pride's water tank.
In the hold, Herc secures the hatch on the top of the water tank, glad that the job is done. But then there is a thud from within the water tank. Herc looks at the hatch curiously. There is another couple of thuds, and the metal of the hatch gives slightly as it is hit from the other side. Cautiously, Herc opens the hatch, and Brock explodes out into the hold, showering Herc with water. Brock flies close to Herc, squeaking furiously, trying to tell Herc what's happened to Flora and Gillian. But Herc can't understand him.
"Now what?!" Herc says angrily. Brock squeaks like crazy... but still is unable to get his message across to Herc. Herc turns and walks away, waving his arms in frustration. Believing Brock to be just goofing around, Herc tells Brock to knock it off, and then comments to himself on how strange his life has become: "If my old friends could see me now... talking to a fish!" Brock watches Herc go, then turns on his tail and flies off to find Jayce instead.
Flora and Gillian have made it to the top of the cave. Flora climbs out through the crack, then helps Gillian out. The two of them run across a rock bridge by a waterfall, with the river far below them. A MM trooper appears at the far end of the bridge, and the troopers that have been perusing Flora and Gillian close in from behind. They have no where left to run. As the troopers approach, Flora clings to Gillian fearfully. "I think we're in trouble," Gillian surmises.
Outside, the MM have set their trap. Flora and Gillian are tied to a couple of huge MM vines in plain sight at the end of a long canyon. Hordes of troopers move to hide themselves on the surrounding cliff-tops. The commanding Terror Trooper reports that everything is ready. Sawboss can teleport to the planet whenever the time seems right.
Jayce has mustered Herc and Oon to the bridge. "We can't take the risk of having the Pride attacked on the he ground," he says. Herc agrees. He says he can keep the ship in the air, but won't have directional control until they fix the guidance module. Jayce and Oon rush to the vehicles--Jayce in AF and Oon in Spike Trike (ST). Brock leads the way. Jayce and Oon hurry after him to implement their rescue plan, while the Pride takes off just in time to avoid getting tangled by the nearby MM vines.
The two LL vehicles make a bee-line for the place where Gillian and Flora are being held. Sawboss gleefully notices that Jayce is falling right into his trap and orders his troopers to be ready for the attack. Jayce pushes AF up to full throttle. He catches site of Gillian and Flora at the end of the canyon.
Flora screams for Jayce to stop, but there is no way he can hear her over the great distance between them. Brock flies ahead of Jayce--rushing up to Flora's side. Flora tells Brock to go back and stop Jayce. "It's a trap!" she informs her friend. Brock immediately flies back to AF and starts squeaking like crazy. Jayce notices that something is wrong, but before he can figure out what Brock is trying to tell him, vines erupt from the ground in front of AF, stopping the vehicle dead in its tracks. Brock's momentum carries him on forward and away.
Vines quickly engulf Jayce's vehicle. They entwine around everything, blocking off the gun ports and tangling up the claw so that Jayce can not move it. "No!" shouts Jayce. He tries to force his way out of the vines, but the vehicle is held so soundly that AF's engines do not have enough power to break free. Jayce realizes he is trapped. Oon, in Spike Trike, notices his master's peril. Spike Trike comes roaring in and a few well placed shots disintegrate the vines holding AF captive. Jayce quickly drives free. He and Oon press deeper into the canyon-- and now have to fight the masses of troopers that come crashing out of hiding.
While fighting the MM, Jayce gets in a lucky shot. The vines holding Gillian and Flora are disintegrated. Gillian and Flora drop to the ground-- freed from their bonds. Brock rushes down to them. Flora climbs on Brock's back. Gillian tells Brock to take Flora to Jayce. "But, Gillian, what about you?" Flora asks with concern. "I have a magic spell up my sleeve," Gillian promises, seeing that the MM troops are approaching, "Now go, Brock!"
Brock flies skyward with Flora. Gillian turns and runs away from the canyon, back toward the rock bridge by the waterfall. MM give chase. Gillian runs out onto the bridge, but is once again surrounded by troopers at both ends of the bridge. "Too bad I can't remember it," Gillian says, regarding the magic spell he told Flora he would use to save himself. As the troopers inch their way toward Gillian, their weight becomes too great for the bridge to hold them. The rocks crumble and split. Gillian and the two troopers are sent plummeting into the river far below.
"No, Gillian, no!" shouts Flora in horror. She and Brock swoop down to the river at the base of the waterfall and search for Gillian, but the old wizard has disappeared under the water and doesn't come back up again.
Sawboss has been watching the battle, and is not pleased with the chaos that has ensued from his well thought out plan. "You incompetent fools!" he shouts to his troopers. "Must I do everything myself?" He gives the order to have his HQ teleported to the planet: "For the glory of the black light, I go!"
Jayce fights with the MM troopers, dispatching them one at a time. Through the fray, he sees Flora and Brock flying overhead. He pulls AF out of the battle, and in a moment of calm, Brock swoops down to AF. Flora jumps into Jayce's arms. Jayce tells her that she's safe now, but she pulls away and tells him what has happened to Gillian. Jayce sends Brock off to look for Gillian under the water, and promises to get Flora safely back to the ship.
Bolts of energy suddenly rip through the air above the canyon where AF is sitting idle. The sky turns a dark and angry purple-ish black, and a giant fortress materializes on the bluff--towering above AF. Jayce and Flora look up at this new sight, awed by it. "What is that?" Jayce wonders. "Jayce, I sense a strong evil force," Flora declares ominously.
Jayce, Oon, and Flora head back to the ship. Brock arrives back at the ship just as the vehicles roar up the ramp. The Pride blasts skyward again. Our heroes assemble on the bridge, and Flora translates Brock's bad news: he wasn't able to find Gillian. "Turn it around, Herc!" Jayce commands. "We must find Gillian!" But Herc refuses. Grim faced, Herc says: "I'm sorry, kid, but he's gone. We have to save ourselves." "Herc!" Jayce exclaims, shocked at the space captain's new course of action. Herc keeps the ship on an escape course.
Sawboss is understandably furious at his troopers for messing everything up. "You let them go!" he fumes. Sawboss then realizes that he has an ace up his sleeve. "But they'll return for the wizard. Find him!" Sawboss commands.
In a quiet pool in the center of a subterranean cave, a globe of light suddenly breaks the surface and rises to float above the water. The light fades and reveals a rather mirthful Gillian, levitating in the air. "I'm glad I remembered the magic spell," Gillian says to himself with a chuckle. "It was beginning to get humid down there." Gillian levitates himself over to solid ground, realizing that he must somehow let his friends know that he's still alive. He clutches his staff and closes his eyes in concentration. "The ring, Jayce," he whispers... "the ring...."
Back on the Pride the ring of light begins to glow, but Jayce doesn't notice. His attention is focused on Herc and Flora. Flora pulls at Herc's arm, desperately trying to get him to go back. "Gillian's alive, I can sense it!" Flora explains. "I know how you feel about Gillian, but he's gone, Flora," Herc says, a bit more gently than he had been saying it before. "No!" Flora argues. "He's alive, I can sense him. He's definitely alive!"
Jayce then hears Gillian's voice in his mind. "The ring!" Gillian's voice seems to say. Jayce looks down at his hand, and now notices that the ring is glowing. He recognizes the signal. "Look, it's Gillian! I know he's alive, and so does Flora. We have to go back. *Now*!" Jayce explains. There is a tense moment, where Jayce, Flora and Oon look at HErc with determination. Finally, Herc gives in. He says they'll go back, but tells Jayce he's making a big mistake.
Sawboss sees the Pride's return through the eyes of the troopers positioned outside his fortress. "Just as I predicted, they return for the wizard. Go!" he orders his troopers. "And do not fail this time!"
All four of the regular LL vehicles go out on the rescue foray. Jayce and Oon are in AF, Flora and Brock are in Drill Sergeant (DS), and Spike Trike and Quick Draw run in automatic battle mode. The MM troopers form up in ranks to meet them. In DS, Flora suddenly gets a sense of Gillian. "He's very near! I can sense him Jayce!" she exclaims. Forgetting all about Jayce's battle plan, Flora goes driving off alone in a different direction. Concerned about her safety, Jayce shouts after her, but she keeps going.
Jayce fights his way free of the ranks of MM troopers and has his vehicles do an about face to follow Flora. Monitoring the battle from the bridge of the Pride, Herc cautions Jayce against going into a box canyon, fearing a trap. Jayce protests that he has no choice, since Flora and Gillian are in there, and does not heed Herc's warning.
Flora feels that she is getting closer to Gillian. She activates DS's super drill, and the vehicle burrows stright into the side of a cliff.
Deep in his subterranean cave, Gillian pulls a large crystal that glows with a faint blue light from the wall. He examines the crystal and smiles. "I knew it. Cobalt-49, a perfect specimen," he says to himself. The cave begins to tremble, and a moment later, DS breaks through into the cave itself. Flora raises the canopy and waves, calling Gillian's name happily.
Outside, things aren't going as well for Jayce. He sees a wall of troopers blocking his way, and is being chased by several others. "Uh oh," he exclaims, skidding AF to a halt. Sawboss's voice thunders down from his fortress--which looms over the canyon. "The root, Jayce!" Sawboss demands.
"You're not getting the root yet, Sawboss," Jayce says. He balls his right hand into a fist and points the ring of light skyward, then calls upon the ring in his moment of need: "Ring, in the name of the Lightning League, help me with your powers!"
The ring glows brightly. All around the canyon, the cliffs begin to shake and tremble. Huge blocks of rock plummet downward, crushing the MM troops beneath them. The bluff beneath SB's headquarters begins to break apart. When Sawboss realizes that the ground is coming apart beneath him, he orders his headquarters teleported away to a safer location. The fortress vanishes in a flash of light, and the gloom and darkness clears from the sky. Now in bright sunlight, the remaining MM troopers are crushed as the cliffs tumble down around them. As the dust settles, Jayce looks down at the ring, which gleams triumphantly.
At the sound of an engine, Jayce turns to see Drill Sergeant drive up the canyon and stop. The canopy opens, and Flora and Gillian wave to him-- safe at last.
Some time later, the Pride flies through space. Our heroes are gathered around the pilot's console. Herc sits at the controls. "How's the guidance system operating?" Gillian asks with a smirk. "It's hard to admit it," Herc says, "but good work, Gillian." Herc then turns and looks back over his shoulder at Jayce. "Well, hot shot, what are your orders?" he asks.
"Simple," replies Jayce. "Let's find my father." And, with that, the ship flies onward, and the quest continues!
Ep. 3: "Flora, Fauna and the Monster Minds":
Teaser -- Notes -- Synopsis -- Neat Stuff/Analysis -- Snapshots -- Quotes
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