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GetMeOffTheMoonRockman PMTRRL
Fan Fiction by aarond
A Different Place: Chapter 31 - Destroy the L.A.S. Glyde! (Act II)

Roll knew that she needed to coax more speed out of the engines, but they weren't cooperating. "Grandpa!" she shouted into the intercom. "We need more power!"

Boom! Another torpedo slammed into the Flutter's hull. She had to pay more attention to business! All the others were counting on her. She cranked the steering wheel to the right, narrowly avoiding yet another projectile.

"She's already giving all she's got, Roll," said Barrel through the speaker. "The engine's running at almost peak efficiency. There's not much more I can do for you, but I'll try."

Roll growled as she turned the Flutter in the opposite direction. Through the hatch, she could hear Dantz and Quackard trying to hold off the projectiles with their hand weapons. Dantz was a doofus, but even though Roll didn't want anything to do with the Digger right now, she still didn't want him to get killed by a torpedo blast. Maybe just mildly injured.

Suddenly, the sounds of fire from above her stopped. It was unlikely that both of the ship's defenders had run out of ammunition at the same time, so Roll assumed that the barrage against the Flutter had ceased, at least for the moment. Now was their chance to get away! Roll tried to push the throttle past the limit, keeping pressure on it as the Flutter continued forward.

The quiet didn't last very long. Roll slipped off her feet as a jarring tremor ran through the Flutter. She pushed herself back to her feet, rubbing her sore posterior as she tried to determine what exactly had occurred. Bringing the microphone to her mouth, she asked, "Grandpa, was that the engine acting up? What happened?"

"It wasn't the engine, Roll," came Barrel's reassurance. "We're doing fine down here---I even got the efficiency ratio up a bit. Something must have hit us."

"Yeah, the rudder seems to be sticking quite a bit. I'm going to go check it out," Roll said, locking the wheel in place with her trusty autopilot: a black iron crowbar. The girl made sure the steering wheel was secured, then tentatively stepped into the Flutter's main corridor. Almost immediately Roll saw what had caused the great noise she had heard. A long, metallic object was protruding through the side wall of the Flutter. The object had ended in a point, and was painted a glossy black. Had a torpedo or larger missile impacted with the Flutter's armor and failed to explode. "That's one heck of a big torpedo," Roll said as a small, circular hole in the object opened up, and three Birdbots hopped out.

"Errerrrh! This is a robbery, in case you couldn't tell," said one of them, pointing an gun at the girl. "Get your hands up, keh!"

Roll complied as a tall, svelte figure who was dressed rather sharply tumbled out of the object, which Roll now recognized as the nose of the opposing airship. Of course, once she saw the face of the intruder, she was much less surprised by the attack itself. "Glyde!" she accused. "What are you doing here?"

"My dear young Miss Caskett," Glyde said smoothly, flouncing over to where the Birdbots were holding Roll prisoner, "such a delight to see you again!" The tall pirate ran a gloved finger down Roll's cheek. "And you're maturing into such a lovely young woman, too." Roll tried not to shiver as Glyde's lips moved closer and closer to her, stopping just short of her ear, as close as he could get without actually touching her. "I'm very, very impressed," he whispered.

"W-what do you want?" Roll stuttered, feeling a strong tingle near where Glyde was not quite touching her.

Glyde gently brushed back a lock of hair, leaving her ear fully exposed to him. Then, he gently patted her red cap. "Keep it under your hat, but we're actually after your..." he paused for suspense. "Big refractor."

"What?" said Roll, pushing the pirate away from her. "That's it?! Hold on a second." Roll darted back into the cockpit, pulled the blue refractor out of Dantz's bag, and carried it back to the pirates. As Glyde glared at the Birdbots who were supposed to have been holding her prisoner, Roll held out the large item. "Here it is. You can have it. Just get out of here, okay?"

Glyde held out his hands for the refractor, amazed at the ease of the operation. "Thank you," he said, bewildered.

At that instant, Dantz burst through the Flutter's front door, his Dantz Blaster aglow with energy. "All right, nobody move!" He stopped as he saw Roll simply handing over the large, blue refractor he'd just gone to all that trouble to obtain from the Forgotten Ruins. "What's going on in here?"


Dantz and Quackard had braced themselves against the ship's railing when they saw that the I.A.S. Glyde was going to ram the Flutter. The Birdbot nearly fell off the deck at impact, but Dantz had managed to catch Quackard's right leg as he went airborne.

"Too bad I can't fly, keh-keh!" said the Birdbot as he hung upside down in Dantz's grasp. "That would really come in handy right now."

"Yeah," Dantz agreed, grabbing the latch on the door that led down to the bridge. "Let's go on in and see what---huh? It's stuck!" Apparently, the shock of Glyde's ship crashing into the Flutter had warped the doorframe enough to seal it completely shut. "We can't get in this way." Dantz looked over the side of the ship. "I think if we slide down onto the nose of their ship then we might be able to get in the front door. What do you think?"

Quackard had no objections, so the two slid onto the nose of the I.A.S. Glyde. As Dantz prepared himself for a flying leap to the Flutter's main entrance, the Birdbot quacked noisily. "I've gotta go get something," said the Birdbot, dashing up the I.A.S. Glyde's hull. By this time, Dantz had already made his jump, arms flailing. The Digger latched onto the door's handle, unsealed it, and swung inside.

"All right, nobody move!" He entered the Flutter's hallway just in time to see Roll handing over his refractor to Glyde. Just giving it to him! "What's going on in here?"

Glyde looked very nervous for someone who clearly had the upper hand. "I, uh, we were just..."

"He's taking the refractor and leaving!" Roll shouted. "Do you have a problem with that?!"

"Yes, I have a problem with that! It's my refractor, I got it fair and square!"

Roll shoved the refractor into Glyde's grip, then placed her hands accusingly on her hips. "You must not have realized how valuable and important that refractor was, or you would have kept it close to you! But you just thought it would always be there, and took it for granted, and now you've lost it for good!"

"What are you talking about?" demanded Dantz. "You gave it to pirates! I didn't lose it!"

"You are such a doofus sometimes!"

Glyde and the Birdbots took advantage of this delicate moment to flee the scene of their crime. Glyde normally would have looted the Flutter for all it was worth, but this particular job had gone so quickly and easily that it seemed a shame to complicate it. One by one, the Birdbots and their leader hopped back into the hatch, the last one sealing it shut.

"You gave my refractor to Glyde! What other way is there of looking at it?"

"Try to read between the lines, if your head isn't too thick! You lost something because you didn't realize how much you loved---" Roll's next words were drowned out as the I.A.S. Glyde's engines roared and the skyship's giant nose withdrew from the Flutter's hull. Roll's mouth was still moving, despite the deafening noise. "---and I'm not going to end up as some shriveled old hag because I waited too long!" She strode into her room and slammed the door, ignoring the gaping hole in the wall of the Flutter.

"I don't know what her problem is," Dantz admitted, staring at a lone Birdbot Glyde seemed to have left behind. "Are you lost or something?"

"Waaaak! What do I have to do, paint a huge 'Q' on my chest so you'll know which one I am?"

"Yeah, that wouldn't hurt." Dantz ignored Quackard's mild tantrum and went back to the bridge. As he took control of the helm, he asked the Birdbot, "Would you look take the chart and find a good place for us to land? I think we should get the wall repaired as soon as we can."

"What an ingenious idea," said Quackard, picking up the map near the navigation console.

"Hey, Quackard," called Dantz as he tossed the Roll's crowbar aside, "what were you doing on the pirate ship, anyway?"

"Oh, I destroyed the I.A.S. Glyde," the Birdbot said nonchalantly. "I went to their engine room and scratched 'Quackard Rulez' into their main refractor. Errrerrrgg! It's equivalent to setting a timed explosive. In fact, I think the refractor will shatter right about---"

Dantz shielded his eyes as a massive detonation went off in the distance. Even at his current relative position, Dantz could feel the pressure as the I.A.S. Glyde's power reactors went critical, the initial explosion setting up a chain that would destroy the entire ship. Compared to Glyde, Dantz and the others had gotten out cheaply. Well, he still had his looming emotional problems to deal with, but those would have been there in either case.

"Keh-keh! I found an island for us to touch down on. It's about fifty miles to the west."

"What's it called?"

Quackard checked the chart again. "Kattleox."


Glyde coughed as he climbed onto the floating Enarban Fell, one of the few pieces of technology which had survived his skyship's destruction. "Good thing I installed the floatation devices into this thing," he said to the Birdbots dog-paddling, or more accurately, bird-paddling in the ocean. "Did you save all the big refractors?"

"Keh-keh, sir!" said one of the Birdbots. "We have the two large refractors we've acquired, plus the Iscreme Cone. All of the refractors involved in the running the ship were lost, I'm sorry to say..."

"That's all right," Glyde said, although he wished he could get those pesky bomb stains out of his clothes. "We'll land at the closest island, steal some refractors, and be right back in business in no time!" He couldn't help himself. Glyde laughed in time with his Birdbots' squawks, pitying the poor unsuspecting fools who inhabited the next island.




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