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Volume 3, Issue 1, February 28, 2008
Lancelot Nova and the Hidden Peril
by Tim McDaniel

        "And now, Lancelot Nova, you will meet your doom!" crowed Drig the Dread. His tiny, piggy eyes - all three of them - glowed red, and his tusks clacked. "And when you are dashed against the rocks at the base of this cliff, your red blood sinking into the blue desert of this alien world, you will be unable to warn Earth of my cunning plan. The Terra Defense Rangers will be caught unaware when my marauder fleet pounces!"
        The hot suns of Trilgar beat upon Lancelot and sweat creased his brow. He faced Drig's battalion, their yellow faces glistening not from heat, but from battle lust, their tails punctuating this murderous craving by beating the dusty ground. Behind Lancelot a few short steps was the cliff's edge and a very long fall. He threw his drained blaster at Drig's scaly feet. "You'll never win, Drig! We of Earth have never tolerated tyranny. We'll fight!"
        "Ah, you will try, of that I am sure," said Drig nodding, drool sliding from his protruding lower lip. "In the past you bested Morkar the Alarming, fought Ixor the Insensitive to a standstill, and defeated the Spidermen of Ullock-tos. Most impressive." His tusks clapped thrice in acknowledgement. "But now, Ranger, you have met your match," he jabbed his own chest, "in me. I will crush you and your miserable little planet!" He turned to his minions. "Attack, minions!"
        The battalion surged forward, forgoing their decomposer guns and reaching instead with their taloned digits to grasp and rip Lancelot's throat and limbs. Their howls and bellows vibrated across the valley below.
       Lancelot stepped back, and the ground crumbled under his heel. Jaw set, he met the onslaught with the only weapons he had left, his powerful fists and even quicker wits. Each blow laid warriors low or catapulted them over the cliff, but they pressed in, unceasing, ugly yellow faces, piercing claws, slitted red eyes, nasty body odors, all forcing him back toward that long fall and the boulders below....
        "Uh huh," said Joe Spinuzza, Lancelot's next-door neighbor, leaning against the white picket fence that separated their yards. He glanced at his atomimower clipping his grass, looked back. "Then what'd you do, Lance?"

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