Surrounded by ninjas in the darken tomb, I looked down at the miniature mummy in my hands and wondered if it was all worth it. All this danger, all this struggle, all this excitement. I looked up and saw my best friend, Jamal Sampson, his mind trapped in the body of orangutan, his Hawaiian shirt ripped, katanas at his throat; his twelve year old daughter, Mathilda, her machine guns lying twenty feet from her behind the monstrous mutated ninja; my robot assistant, ALAN, turned into a pincushion for ancient Japanese weaponry, his arms severed, his circuits busted. All I could think was thank god I had resolved into a body with some muscles. Had I still been in that 80 year old woman we’d be in some serious trouble.
“Hand me the mummy, Frank,” the Ninja King demanded, “and maybe I won’t have to kill your friends!”
“Back away, Akuhei,” I told him, smiling. “And maybe my friends won’t have to kill you.”
The Ninja King did not appreciate my response. “You are a fool! You will all die!”
I nodded my head. Fair enough, after all it was his choice. “Ok, Tilly, let ‘em have it.”
Mathilda ran at the mutated giant, jumped, then bounced off his stomach, twisting in the air so when she landed she could run the other way.
“That was your big move?” the Ninja King laughed.
“No,” I said, seconds before the mutated ninja exploded from the mine Mathilda had planted on him. “That was.”
A group of ninja broke off from Jamal to head off his daughter, but before they could stop her the cavern shook in reply to the explosion. Unlike the ninja, Tilly didn’t stop. She rolled and when she returned to her feet her machine guns were back in her hands. As Tilly let loose with her guns, I realized that it wasn’t a reverb from the explosion, but that it was the actual ground that was shaking! There was something beneath us and it was coming up!
I dove aside as a tendril burst to the surface. Tentacles were rising from the ground. “We’ve got to get out of here!”
The tentacles began to reach for us. Tilly jumped over one that then wrapped around the ninja behind her, pulling him underground. “Run!” I yelled, as I made my way to the stairway dodging tentacles and ninjas and tentacles wrapped around ninjas. Tilly joined me, firing haphazardly at the tentacles before her. “Where’s your father?” I screamed over the tomb collapsing in on itself.
“Here I am,” Jamal called, running toward us, ape arms up in the air. “This body ain’t exactly made for running.”
“Frank!” The Ninja King yelled, standing in the middle of the chaos, severed tentacle by his feet, his swords dripping with green goo. “This isn’t over between us!”
We ran up the stairs as they shook beneath our our feet, ceiling raining down on us, being chased by the screams of dying ninja. “Oh my god, that was close!” Jamal said as we came out into the world.
I turned to him as I suddenly remembered “ALAN?”
“Don’t worry about it. I got the important bit,” Jamal said holding up ALAN’s cybernetic brain in his furry hand.
“Oh, thank god” I said as the ground beneath us began to quake. I activate my earpiece. “Hey, Doc! We could use a pickup.” A tentacle burst out of the ground. “Right now!”
“Relax, Frank,” came the reply. “I’m on my way.”
Another tentacle emerged from the ground. “Hurry!” I said.
Then the dirt beneath us exploded and a forest of tentacles thrust up onto the air. We were surrounded by tentacles. Whatever was down there was coming up and I did not want to be trapped down here when it did. We tried to get out of there, but everywhere we turned there they were. It was all we could do to dodge them. It was only a matter of time. Sooner or later, they were going to get us. One by one we would be snatched up and pulled down to whatever hell awaited us below.
I dodged as best I could with the mini mummy in my hands, but this body wasn’t as nimble as some of the others I’ve had. I stumbled and fell to the ground. When I looked up, I saw a tentacle coming my way. I wouldn’t be fast enough. It was going to get me.
A ladder dropped into view. “Grab on!” I grabbed hold and Doc began pulling me up into the QuantumPlane, hovering over head. I started to climb as best I could with only one hand free.
Jamal lobbed his daughter up at the ladder, who caught it with remarkable ease, then jumped on. Jamal climbed past us with ape-like skill when he was up he took over pulling us in. “What about the monster?”
His daughter smiled as she came into the plane. “I’ve got this. Thermite grenades.” She held a belt full of them and then dropped them overboard.
“We should probably get out if here,” I said. “Quickly!”
The grenades fell to the ground and were greedily accepted by the tentacled monster, seconds later, the beast was consumed by a fiery blast. ”Problem solved.” Mathilda grinned, proudly. “Now can we go home? We’re missing all the good cartoons.”
“As soon as we drop off the mummy,” I told her putting it safely away in a case. “The museum will be happy to see this back.”
To be continued…