A few Light years away, Planet Voris shone under the bright glows of its two Suns. If either of the Suns had eyes, they would have seen Herb and Beebul flying at high speed on their Aircutter towards the main city, Arkwell. Beebul was getting anxious. Herb was flying so fast he was swerving left right and, well, mainly left and right avoiding Puffball trees and several of the flying birds, animals and other strange Vorisian creatures that had evolved to use the sky to move around. Voris was generally a safe world, but, certain areas were slightly more dangerous, including the one they were just about to enter.
‘I don’t think it’s wise to take this shortcut Herb’
‘Don’t be silly Beebul. I’ve flown through here lots of times and, I’m still here’
‘How many times?’
‘Okay…..maybe not through this actual quatsus, but, it can’t be that different from Dearus, and it’s full of scary things’
‘Father always told us to avoid coming here, and, I, for one, always listened to him’
‘Yes, yes, yes, and if he was here now, instead of catching Spuka in some weird and wonderful place off planet, I’d take his advice but he isn’t, and I can’t. There’s something BIG happening in Arkwell. We have to reach there before Freik. I want to be there, when whatever it is, is announced’
‘You know you shouldn’t liste……………WATCH OUT!!!!!!’
A giant migrating Bladderguck was floating right in their path. Beebul had never seen one so close before. It’s bright blue skin glinting in the sunshine. There it was though, completely blue and blissfully unaware, two stupid Vorisians, well, one stupid Vorisian and his passenger, were about to give it a huge fright and probably kill both of them at the same time.
Herb pulled the controls up so hard he could hear them creaking, croking and cracking. Beebul closed his eyes. Beebul closed his eyes really tight, remembering the conversation from the day before.
‘Beebul, you don’t have to come with me if you don’t want to’
‘But, may I remind you, Arkwell has some of the finest Treen and Mirka in the universe, never mind Voris. You wouldn’t want to miss out on that would you?’
So. bribed by food and drink, Beebul had signed up for this potential near or most definitely death experience………
‘Whahoo that was close’ screamed Herb
Beebul opened one eye. Then another one, then a third one, and so on until he could picture a world he thought he’d never see again. He then started breathing.
‘You’re completely mad. Completely madder than a Frunch!! Dare I say it if you were not the best pilot in the world, we’d be gone now’
‘You’re probably right Beebul. But, I am and we’re not. Another hour of flying then we’ll have to land and rest for the night’
‘Land and rest where?’
‘Down there somewhere’
‘ HERB, you know what father would say about having a sleepover in one of the most dangerous places on Voris’
‘Yes Beebul, but he’s not here to ask. Flying in these skies in the dark is probably more dangerous than what’s down there’
Beebul rolled all of his eyes and sighed.
An hour later Herb banked the Aircutter toward the ground. It was already getting dark quite quickly but it wasn’t long before they’d set up camp next to a large rock face.
‘What on Voris are they?’ screamed Herb
Beebul woke with a start. Herb was frantically pressing buttons while keeping one eye on what was happening outside.
‘Canthus……they are Canthus…………..’ stuttered Beebul
‘But they are from folklore. They don’t exist in real life………..!!!’
‘They do now……..’
‘Why won’t this thing start??’
‘……….because your switching the outside lights on and off, instead of engine start………….best pilot in the world you said……………’
‘Oh shut up Beebul!!!!’
Canthus were a mythical animal. Only seen in hologram readers. Allegedly able to swallow most Vorisians whole, they had been used by parents for millenia, to scare Vorisian offspring from going into dangerous places.
‘I told you not to go this way’
‘Oh Beebul, please shut up or I’m going to open the door and kick you outside’
Theoretically the Clanthus’s claws were so powerful they could crush rocks into powder. Herb didn’t want to wait to find out what that might mean to himself and Beebul.
Herb finally pressed the correct button…..
‘Why won’t it start?!!’
‘We’re going to die!!’
‘Beebul…..will you shut up!’
‘Crushed to death by a mythical animal that didn’t exist until you brought us here!’
‘Right that is it….I’m going to….’
Herb’s words were lost. Drowned out by a noise so deafening it could probably be heard on the Vorisian moon.
Suddenly the Clanthus, who had been within seconds of crushing the Aircutter and it’s two petrified inhabitants, were scattering in all directions.
‘Whhhhhhhhhat is that!’
‘Another mythical creature from folklore that doesn’t exist…… a Mahon’
‘A Mahon…….what on Voris is a Mahon?’
‘Beebul…..you don’t want to know…..’
Herb pressed the start button again. This time the Aircutter spluttered into life. Luckily for Herb and Beebul, the Mahon was too busy eating a Clanthus to even notice them as they soared past it’s left ear.
Arkwell’s Tower of Light shone high into the night sky. Herb never tired of the view. The valley which led to the city was covered in multi-coloured vegetation, strewn like ribbons on either side of the most beautiful city Herb had ever seen. The city was one big circle with low dome shaped buildings which mimicked the tapestry of the valley walls, from striking blues, to mauve, right through the spectrum, every building reflecting the light from Arkwell’s Tower.
His friend Gero lived in the northern part of the sprawling city. He was a trader of bewerleaf oil, an expensive oil extracted from the rare Bewer tree which grew in a secret location only known to a few Vorisians. Although Vorisian culture was one of sharing things. Certain items were hard to find, therefore, hard to share. Bewerleaf oil was one such item and Vorisians were prepared to trade many things to secure it.
Herb drifted the Aircutter down towards Gero’s large yellow domed house, landing it with a soft plumph near the rear entrance.
Gero greeted them with his usual loud voice.
‘Herb……….Beebul……….may the Tower of Light shine upon you both. Come in, come in’
Soon, they were huddled around the fire sipping warm husa, a drink made from the berries of the Husa bush.
‘Have you heard anything Gero. Rumours in Kasic are of an important announcement tomorrow? I’ve never known anything like this ever’.
‘Yes, but you must promise not to tell anyone until after tomorrow’s announcement……..promise?’
‘You think you are here because you heard a rumour. That is not true. You are here for a reason Herb. A very important reason. One which you might choose not to pursue’
Herb’s eyes widened.
Even Beebul was getting nervous. He thought they’d come to Arkwell, hear an announcement and go home. It didn’t sound like that was going to happen.
‘The Merid and Skewnus are being readied. We need flyers Herb, and, you’ve been chosen’
Herb gasped. The Merid and Skewnus were Voris’s largest battleships. Voris was a peaceful planet in a peaceful part of the universe. However, they’d come across a few cultures during their off planet explorations to warrant building technologies of defence.
‘For the first time in our history Herb, we may be at war…………..and, you, my friend….might just save us all’
Crane Intergalactic Hero – Episode x The War Cometh was brought to you by David linden aka @qosfc1919 ©️Dodo Productions 2022