Dodging lava bombs.
Davina woke to a pained cry as the hiss of a lava bomb flew past.
‘What happened?’ she croaked.
‘Johnny flew into a Grote,’ Wanda replied.
Sparks from trails of lava missed her by centimetres. ‘Hold on Davina,’ called Wanda, when she saw another coming and dodged by swooping right. The pair darted and dipped in all directions. Now a whole Git of Grotes, carrying lava bombs, was on their case. Davina groggily sat up. To her left, one particularly aggressive Grote was pursuing Johnny. He attempted to out manoeuvre him while to her right more Grotes were on their way. Thousands of Grotes were now flying in their direction and she was too weak to do anything.
With a deep breath, Davina attempted to focus as she clung to Wanda. Wanda was swift in her motion as she glided and manoeuvred away from all the Grotes. Wanda called for Johnny’s Goyle to follow her.
Davina weakly rotated on her seat and scanned all directions. The Grotes were closing in fast and intending to pelt the Goyles with hot lava. She made a call, which directed the Goyles to move in towards Wanda. Davina closed her eyes and tapped the Shamaventus rhythmically. The tapping increased in tempo as sparks of light from the multi-coloured flame materialised and surrounded them. ‘Ghost, Johnny, Susie move into where I am now!’ she cried.
Davina, although exhausted, used her last remaining energy reserves and formed a small cyclone about them. She waited until the last Goyle was inside the calm eye of the storm and made her final tap. ‘We allow a shield to protect us. We allow a wind to push outwards and we gain power as we move. To the four winds, please join us… Please join us now. I welcome you. We are protected,’ she said pointing the Shamaventus to the sky. With each spark of light that shot from the Shamaventus, Davina lost life force.
Ghost noticed Davina was unsteady; her tiny frame trembled with all the effort. Yet, she still clung to the Shamaventus. She would sacrifice herself to protect them.
Wanda growled, the smell of Grotes unsettled her. The other Goyles joined Davina’s chant to enable her more power. In seconds, the wind arrived in a gust and swirled about them.
With a large sway Davina fell forwards. Ghost directed Solomon parallel, leapt onto Wanda and forgot the massive drop below.
When the wind reached full power, Davina lost consciousness and collapsed forwards.
Ghost caught the Shamaventus and raised it to the sky, ‘Allow us to see what is happening on the other side of the cloud,’ he called. The cloud cleared and an astounding image was revealed – the Grotes were blasted away.
‘I want a go!’ Johnny demanded flying parallel.
‘There’s no way! Your actions drew attention to us! Look what you made happen to Davina. Now the only way you’ll get near the Shameventus is by taking it from me!’ said Ghost protecting the Shamaventus from Johnny’s reach
‘I’ll take it from you, when you least expect it! ’ Johnny snarled,
Ghost stared into Johnny’s eyes; something was bothering him. What was going on with Johnny? Why was he biting the hand that had saved him? Ghost didn’t like it one bit; if Johnny hadn’t been there they would have all been fine. Ghost intended to keep an eye on him; actually more than one eye and when Davina was conscious he was going to warn her.
‘Johnny keep away from me. I mean it!’
‘You reckon you can make me?’ Johnny taunted.
‘What’s got into you Johnny?
Johnny ignored him.
Ghost shook his head as he stared curiously at Johnny. Something in Johnny’s eyes caught his attention. Was there something cat-like about Johnny’s eyes? Ghost jolted but subtly scanned Susie and Johnny for lights. Ghost recognised something, but it was just a speck of light. What did that mean? Why had only those two survived the Grote attack? Ghost felt a terrible ache in the pit of his stomach. Something was very wrong!
Leaning forwards, Ghost whispered into Wanda’s ear. Wanda yipped and barked at the others and spoke in Gargantuan to the Beargoyles. She purposely spoke in such a way that if a person originated from Gargantuan they would understand. In that strange moment of darkness, where the only light came from the moon, Ghost focused all his eyes on Johnny. He wanted to see whether he understood. If he did, Ghost knew he had a problem on his hands.
While all the commotion was going on Davina stirred, ‘Ghost, I need some algae. Can you make some up for me?’
Ghost felt inside his pocket, made a paste quickly and carefully fed Davina what he could. He carefully leaned forward and whispered in her ear.
‘You may be right. You will have to test them,’ she croaked.
‘Do you still want us to go to the cities if that’s the case?’
Davina was too tired to make decisions. ‘The group has diverted from the original plan. If we don’t fulfil our plan to save the city, it means it’s a wasted journey. I am not willing to put my father’s life in jeopardy unless we have a worthwhile outcome. Ghost no matter what state I am in we keep going – you hear? I hope there will be more Goyles coming soon. While I was chanting, I sent word on the wind. So, until I regain my strength you are in charge. Use the Shamaventus wisely and make sure you state exactly what is needed. I mean exactly.’
‘But I’m not ready to take charge,’ he said.
‘I’m sorry Ghost but you have no choice. If they are what you think they are, there is no way we’re going to allow them to take charge of the Shamaventus. We have to think survival… Ghost I can’t talk anymore. I need to…’ With that, Davina slipped into a deeply shaken sleep.
As soon as Davina fell into sleep, the cyclone surrounding them calmed, the Grotes were gone. Ghost used all his eyes to check ahead. Had Johnny purposely led them into an ambush? Or maybe he intended to lead the group to the Chimera and have them all killed. Did he plan to exchange Davina for his parents? Ghost shook his head. What they had just experienced was the tip of the molten lavaberg. When Ghost glanced towards the city, the sight that filled his multiple-vision was catastrophic. Thousands upon thousands of red glowing specks were being dropped onto a helpless city; hideous looking Grotes transported thousands of fire-bombs. It was like a swarm of giant, burning wasps. People screamed and traffic chaotically fought to evacuate. They didn’t stand a hope in lava encrusted dollop!
Ghost glanced over at Johnny who seemed transfixed by the commotion. In that moment, Ghost made a decision. No matter what happened, he was going to keep what he knew quiet. He wondered about Susie too, although, so far she hadn’t done anything to suggest she was a problem. Was it just a matter of time?