Dedicated to Clay Johnson, founder of KnowPost.com
The Toad Saga
by Kilnamar and Quizzard
© Chris Martin and Travis Roper All Rights Reserved.
additions by waterlin,Scrooge, brigit and WhyKnot
Frog Puzzle | Frog and Toad Sounds | Cool HUGE Toad | Pic's and Sounds | Cyber Frog
How It Began...
Just thought I'd also give a little info on how the saga started in the first place.
Way back in KP history, Quizzard and I both had a reputation for giving humorous answers and soaps. Somehow, we got into an ongoing discussion of each other's suspected animal ancestry. He claimed I was the offspring of Toads, and I claimed he was the offspring of sheep(and still had an unnerving fetish for them). it was all in good nature. :)
Anyway, via ceremail we had made casual threats of having a duel. When I posted what became the first chapter in the first saga, I had no idea that Quizzard would take that as the challenge. I simply wanted to turn his debasement of Toads into something nobel. So I was a bit surprised when he posted his own part, bringing into play the evil hunter, Quizzard, a lizard and enemy to the amphibians.
It went on from there. Most chapters were short and humorous(especially Quizzard's). We tried to use as many names of KPers as possible to try to interest and encourage participation from other mambers. After some uring, waterlin and scrooge contributed there own chapters to the first saga.
The first saga ended a bit prematurely, due to some feelings of frustration on both mine and Quizzard's sides. KP members who had characters in the saga kept switching sides and Quizzard finally said he had enough and we should end it. Thus my final battle scene was written and it was over, both villain and hero dying.
Awhile after that, Quizzard and I talked about it and decided we wanted to try again. So we started the second saga, a continuation of the first, encouraging others from the start to write their own characters. Quizzard added in tons of KP names with possible plot offshoots in hopes that people would become interested and expand the story. A couple did add their own chapter(WhyKnot, brigit).
We DID get a ton more active support from readers for the second saga, which encouraged us to make it even better. Anyone who has read both can clearly see the difference in writing quality, plot, etc. Everything was working out better than we ever expected. We started discussing each others plans for the future of the story and found that they went together almost perfectly. It was great! Quizzard even told me he had started rewriting his parts in the first saga to better match the quality and depth of the new one. We discussed copyright issues with cjoh and started considering actually getting the sagas published in the future. And then, without warning, Quizzard and his wife maxhdrm7 both disappeared. I waited quite awhile before deciding to continue writing the saga myself. Sadly, I think some of the people who were following the story gave up on it.(Quizzard had his next chapter completed at the time of his disappearance. It would be interesting to see it.)
I think a lot of what slowed me down is the fact that it was Quizzard's part to write the history of the Egar, since it was mostly his idea what happened with them.(I won't give away that part. :)
As expected, the writing of the tale has gone much slower without Quizzard. We were working off of each other's creativity, but now it all has to come from me. I am of the opinion that the saga is lacking without Quizzard's humor to offset the seriousness. I have attempted to bring some humor back into the story through benmax's character.
And here we are. :) The current saga is now over 16,000 words long--the largest work of writing that I have ever been a part of to this point. I still hold some hope that Quizzard will return and take up his reins again. But if he doesn't, I am prepared to finish it. Just bear with me and don't lose interest!
I think I will post the whole saga so far in another soap. Thanks everyone for your support in this huge undertaking!
August 23, 1999
"The Battle of the Lily Galaxy"
Chapter 1 - May the Toad be with you...always
Far, far away, in a distant galaxy, there lived the ancient Toads. The Toads were wise, and, in the beginning, very generous with the sharing of their vast knowledge. Under their rule, all was harmony and beauty. Alas, this great peace was doomed to fail.
The High Toad graciously accepted the ambassador of a small, distant solar system, feeding and housing him within his own palace. For a time, all was well. For a time, the peace continued, and the Toad people had great hopes for a strong alliance with this new species.
But, by chance, a young Toad of the Royal Leap Guards, Twead, discovered the ambassador's deceit. Under the guise of friendship, this Man had been infiltrating highly secret defense and strategic information and sending it to his starship. From there it was sent to the home world. A mass invasion of the Toad planet had been organized and was on its way.
Twead found that the High Toads would not hear his account of the ambassador's treason. In fact, he was labeled a traitor himself, and banished from the Great Swamp. Twead knew that the future of his beloved Toad people depended on him. And so he set off on his quest. To find those who would listen. To find those who would fight...
Chapter 2 - High Toads
While young Twead was off on his wild goose chase (the geese were the only people strong enough to
fight the Men), the High Toad council were in a heated debate...
High Toad, "This outrage cannot go unpunished! Summon my Royal bounty hunter, The Quizzard!"
Chancellor Rubbit, "Your Royal Toadness, not the dread Quizzard? Surely Twead does not deserve
such antipathy. He only questioned the Ambassador of Man."
High Toad, "I will not have the Ambassador slandered in such fashion. After all, look at all of the gifts he has brought(for me, heh, heh)"
Chancellor, "But Your Royalness, the bug zapper and wart removal creme serve no real purpose, here!"
High Toad, "ENOUGH! Let the mighty hunter come forth! We shall soon see the end of this upstart tadpole."
And so the hunt began, and the dread Quizzard looked forward to the chase...
Chapter 3 - Meanwhile, Twead prepares in the wilderness...
"Sir Twead!" The frantic young frog rushed up to the warrior panting. "Dreadful news, Sir! The High Toad has summoned The Quizzard to seek you out and destroy you!"
Twead's breath caught for a moment. The Quizzard was well known throughout the land for his merciless hunting of the lesser amphibian races. But Toad law had outlawed hunting another Toad centuries ago!
Twead pulled his short sword from it's scabbard. He was well known himself, and rightly so. For he was the youngest Master Swordtoad in over a thousand years. "Come to me Quizzard. Come to me and face your doom, as all will who stand in the way of the freedom of all Amphibia!"
And the gathering of the lesser races continued. Soon his army would be prepared for the invasion. Soon his Master Weapon would be ready. Then even the mighty Quizzard would not be able to stop the resistance...
Chapter 4 - The Hunt Begins...
Quickly gathering his instruments of war, the Quizzard contemplated his next move. Realizing the fiery tadpole would try to quickly raise an army, the Quizzard evaluated his possible allies.
The trip to the Snipe Quadrant took very little time. After hunting snipes to fill his own ranks, the Quizzard laid a trap along Twead's return path...
Chapter 5 - Twead’s Secret Path
Twead was little surprised at the report of Quizzard's trap. How foolish he had been to stand pompously on his soapbox and reveal his plans. Did he really think that there were no spies about?
But Twead was not worried. He knew these swamps like no Lizard ever would. There were other ways to return to Toadia. Secret ways. Yes, Quizzard the Lizard would never suspect where the path of Twead’s army lay.
The Snipes--they would be a problem. And worse, Twead's spies had reported a contingent of Gilas with Quizzard. It would pay to never underestimate the devious mind of his arch enemy.
Still, Twead would not worry. Even if he had inferior numbers, cruder weapons and armor, his army fought for freedom and for their homes. As long as one amphibian of his army breathed, there would be a Resistance...
Chapter 6 - Nemesis
Quizzard, furious at the security breach, brought forward a spy.
"What do you have to say for yourself before I pass sentence on you, you miserable, double-dealing, fork-tongued snake?!"
"Spare me your Great Hunterness, but the toad holds my dictionary captive, and I cannot dole out my wisdom without it!" whimpered Wordy the spy.
"You're making my nose bleed with remorse!" derided Quizzard. "Now I shall pass judgement upon you. You will have to sit mute and read all of Heyteach's articles. Not one word shall be said in your defense, not even by *G* Jeni. And, you shall also hear rebukes most banal by the unsuppressed Jaydogg for one whole day."
"Noooooooo!" screamed Wordy, "have mercy Masterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!"
Now, Quizzard knew that Twead knew about Quizzard knowing, and with that knowledge came the understanding of the thoughts of Twead, and he knew what he should do about Twead's knowing...
"Bring my lieutenant!" thundered Quizzard.
"Here sir!" replied Wesley of the Snipe Royal Guard.
"Take a battalion of Snipes to guard the back way to Toadia through the Uranus Cluster. I'll keep the Gilas here in case they're fool enough to attempt our ambush." directed Quizzard.
"Your will be done Hunt Master."
And so, the forces gathered in the war of the Lily Galaxy...
Chapter 7 - Twead’s Vision
Twead fumed when he received the news that Wordy had been captured. The Salamander spy was troublesome at times, but he was a good spy. Even when forced by the threat of losing his dictionary.
With a sigh, Twead returned to his private pond to plan the following days hopmarch. Yes, tomorrow would be a critical day in this war. Tomorrow the army would make a frantic, final dash for Toadia. Twead only wished he had more confidence in his own strategy.
Twead now knew that Quizzard the Hunter was deserving of his name. It was foolish to think that he would be able to somehow sneak past him, especially with an army behind him.
Suddenly, an idea sprang into Twead’s mind. "Of course! It's brilliant!" he said aloud. Quickening his pace, he headed for the Frog encampment.
"Captain Magnarod," Twead yelled as he came to the fringes of the sleeping Frogs, "I must speak with you immediately!"
Almost immediately, the famed Frog captain stood before him. Twead hesitated. Magnarod had never been one to blindly follow another commander. "Captain Magnarod, hop with me."
As they hopped along, away from any of the encamped army, Twead told Magnarod of his plan. "Tomorrow will be a deciding day for all of Amphibia, maybe all of the Lily Galaxy. We will either make it through to fight another day, or we will be stopped by Quizzard and his goons. We both know that we cannot allow the latter to happen."
Magnarod remained expressionless. "Sir Twead, my Frog troops will follow me anywhere I lead. But I need not tell you that if I doubt for a single moment your competency in leading this army to victory, not only will I cease to follow, but I will assure you are cast down from your position and terminated. Is THAT clear? It is more than your own race's future that hangs in the balance here."
Twead stopped. He fought down the rage at Magnarod's rebellious words. No, he could not lose his patience. Too much depended on this alliance. "Captain, you know I value your race as much as my own. And you know that I have complete confidence in your abilities. Listen to my plan, then judge for yourself if I am competent or not."
Captain Magnarod shrugged.
"You will take captains WhyKnot, Bodytalk and Amyshea to position one. Captains Sherrry, Waterlin and Mom2B will accompany me to position two. And the remaining captains, Heyteach, Pickle, Vicnice and Ethmer will go for position three."
They continued their hop, long into the night. Magnarod listened as Twead spoke. At first he was skeptical, but by the time Twead finished, Magnarod's eyes shown with excitement....
Chapter 8 - Quizzard’s Myopia
"Good, my plan is working...Little does that salamander bait know, but Captain Heyteach and her flying circus are really my ace in the hole. Tomorrow, when the fools advance, Heyteach and her merry band will hang back, and cut off all chance for escape. Let that young twit marshal his pitiful forces against me. I shall recruit new warriors and champions to lead my troops to victory! Boohahaha..."
"Who shall I call, let's see...there's Jaschem1 the Traveler, Shy the Bold, MaxHdrm7 the Gas Oracle, and Scrooge the Unruly. Oh, and I can't forget Buffy the Toad Slayer, Horatio the Crass, Random the Unexpected, and Seedy69 the Prolific..."
Quizzard sets his scribes to work, composing the calls to arms, and the galaxy holds it's breath...
The battle lines were drawn. Nobody knew who would be first to act. The Quizzard waited impatiently in his spaceship...
"Where could that whale turd be?" wondered Quizzard. "He MUST act soon, or else he will be overwhelmed with my reinforcements. Bring that historian! I need to reread the soaps for a clue to his next move."
"You rang, Quizzard?"
"Yes DFront, I'd like to read your notes on the development of this issue."
"No." stated DFront.
"What did you just say to me?!" roared Quizzard.
"No, I must stay neutral on all issues if I am to relate this history accurately."
"I care not for such things! I demand you release that notepad!"
"Never! I'll erase it first!"
*DFront flees with computer and whiteout...
...And that's when the reports started coming in...
Chapter 10 - A Good Day to Kill a Lizard
Twead stretched as he awoke. The sky was just showing the first signs of daylight. Today would be the day. Twead had reveled in the reports of Quizzard's impatience and anger. No matter. The evil hunter could not comprehend that Twead might tarry on his way to provide service to the amphibian communities along his march.
Twead donned his armor quickly and proceeded to the war council meeting. His captains were all waiting for him, eager for the day's events.
"I need not tell you of the importance this day holds for our future," Twead stated, pacing before them. "All of the free folk of the Lily Galaxy are depending on us. Our spies report a complete barricade of enemies before us. There will be no sneaking past. We must fight!"
"Sir Twead," said WhyKnot, the brilliant commander of the Newt squadron, "DFront has asked for our protection for the endurance of this battle. He also asks that we not query him as to the strategies of the enemy."
Twead thought for only a moment before answering. "We shall give him what he asks. Choose a small number of your troops to remain here with him and protect him. Someday all Amphibia will need to know of these events that will shape our world. Now, if there are no further matters that must be addressed?"
"Twead..." The soft voice came from the back of the group. They moved away to revel Mom2B, a small Toad with teary eyes. "Perhaps you should stay here as well. We cannot risk losing you in the initial battle. You must stay alive to assure a continuance of hope if we fail today."
Twead choked back his own tears at the statement. He had always loved Mom2B. He felt the same about HER going into battle, but he needed her brilliance in this fight. "We both know I cannot remain behind," Twead said softly. "I started this resistance, and I have to stay with it all the way. I will not let others fight in my stead."
Mom2B sighed and nodded. Twead was being as stubborn as always.
"Now then. We all know our battle plans. I believe in you all. We WILL stand victorious this day! Freedom to Amphibia!" Twead exclaimed!
"FREEDOM TO AMPHIBIA!" his captains all yelled in unison.
The well-trained army formed ranks speedily, and the march to battle began. The ground shook with their hops and footsteps. Great would be the battle this day, thought Twead as he surveyed the unending lines of warriors in every direction.
The march slowed and then stopped as the army crested a rise and saw Quizzard's army across the small valley. Twead heard gasps of dismay as his troops beheld the seemingly limitless numbers of the enemy.
"Good courage, valiant warriors!" Twead yelled, urging his captains to pass the enthusiasm behind. "Never was a reptile a match for an amphibian!"
The army separated into battle formations, preparing for the first charge. Just then, a frantic Frog ran up to him. "Sir Twead! We are betrayed! Heyteach and her soldiers have turned on us! We are cut off from retreat! What are we..."
The Frog's words were cut off by a huge roar as Quizzard's army began their advance. Even from this distance, he could see the mighty foes Quizzard had leading his forces. He caught a smell that made his worst fear reality--Maxhdrm7, the Gas Oracle was among the enemy! Twead began to panic. Heyteach had controlled a critical unit of his army. "Defensive formations, everyone!" he screamed. "Soldier, tell Pickle, Vicnice and Ethmer to take care of Heyteach! Someone alert Waterlin to prepare the secret weapon! No one touches Quizzard--He is mine!"
Quizzard's army broke upon Twead's defenses with incomprehensible force. Amazingly, the lines held. And the world exploded with the screams of wounded and dying...
Chapter 11 - The Battle Rages...
...The reports of the staging armies rolled in...
"Finally, that horny toad has finished servicing those communities. It's now time to get to work! Armies advance! Ready the catapults! Fire!" commanded Quizzard.
"Sir? We don't have any catapults. You forgot to have them built.", Captain Dargla whispered.
"What? You get yourself down to the tree line with Pahlavan and the other engineers, and build me some. You have 1 hour, or I'll put you in a Klein bottle." Quizzard fumed, "Archers, ready volley, FIRE!"
"Sir, uhhhh," hesitated kgspot, "we don't have any archers either."
"Arrrrrrrgh! Is everyone conspiring against me? Get me some projectiles, or I'll start throwing you Captains, myself."
...Confusion erupts in the camp as Captains scramble to carry out the orders...
"Send in the Gilas, let them grind up the pond scum for a while. ATTACK!"
The not-to-bright, but massive (and obedient) Gilas thundered toward the battlefield. The thunderous crash when the armies met, shook the ground, and Quizzard danced with glee...
"Orders to the rear...Captain Wesley of the Snipes is to take his rear guard and flank the enemy. He will reinforce Heyteach and her Flying Circus. When they have overcome Twead's rearguard, they are to advance to the center. We will crush that tadpole between us!"
"Sir, sir! Communication from Heyteach, she says she's penned in on three sides, and retreat from the bottleneck is blocked by...a bunny rabbit?" the radio operator, ChrisLK7, broke in.
"Tell her to hold fast, reinforcements are on their way. What? a bunny rabbit? What's this?"
"She says it's a bunny rabbit, WITH BIG TEETH!"
"Tell her that I don't care how fierce that flop-eared cotton-tail is, she's to hold until the Snipes get there."
"Bring the Gas Oracle. I need some advice."
A miasma of rotten flatulence preceded the powerful fortune teller...
"(Cough, wheeze) Oracle, please tell me what this new ally of that upstart is."
"(Brrrap, poof, pthhhh) It is not an ally of the amphibians, but a dangerous natural resident of the caves of the bones. It serves no Lizard or toad.(Pffft)"
"(cough, hack) Uh, how do I defeat it?"
"(Brrrap) You cannot, but I will send my familiar, the Bog Squirrel, to deal with that coney of destruction. Leave it to me.(psssssh)"
"Thank you, O master of the sphyncter, I'll (cough, cough) reward you later, after the final victory."
So, the gas oracle sent her henchman to deal with the deadly fluff for Wesley and Heyteach. And the battle continued...
Chapter 12 - An Unforseen Hope
"Twead!" yelled Mom2B, "I have just received a report that the Shepherd Bunny has attacked Heyteach's forces!"
Twead smiled, despite the dying all around him. The Shepherd Bunny was a fanatical creature of limitless strength and voracity. And while it allied itself with no one, it tolerated Amphibians far more than reptiles. "Very good! Signal the rear troops to finish the traitors, but be careful to not get in the Shepherd's way!"
Just then another report came in. "Sir Twead! We are being flanked by the Snipes! They seek to reinforce Heyteach. And...and...well, there seems to be some small hairy creature attacking the Shepherd Bunny! And it is impervious to our normal weapons!"
"Arrrrggggh! Am I to forever be plagued with traitors and unexpected foes this day?" Twead exclaimed. "Notify Waterlin that the first target of the secret weapon MUST be the enemy attacking the Shepherd Bunny!"
At that moment, a contingent of Salamanders broke through the mass surrounding Twead, leading a bedraggled, dirty form between them. "Sir, Twead," The leader said, "This Iguana marched on our left flank and surrendered. He says he wants to join us, sir."
"What is your name, lizard?" Twead asked, a bit skeptical.
"I am Captain Scrooge, The Unruly, oh great Twead! I have come to join your ranks. The Quizzard treats me so poorly. And he had my good arm removed just because I didn't give him a Christmas gift! I bring many Iguanas with me. Let us fight for you!"
Twead thought for only a moment before accepting. He could not afford to turn away any offered aid or he was doomed. "Very well. Take your troops and advance to the rear guard! You must take out those Snipes!"
"Yes, Sir Twead. And can we keep a few of their females as our slaves?"
"What?? Are you mad?? Of course not! Now march!"
Twead finally returned his attention to the battle in the front. The Gila warriors were mighty foes, but they were very slow. His own troops had quickly learned how best to avoid the monstrosities' attacks and were steadily advancing. He could see Quizzard in the far distance, pacing in a rage and obviously furious. Occasionally the Hunter would double over, as if coughing or gagging. Good, thought Twead, perhaps he is sick.
Twead was startled by a huge noise behind and to his right--like the scream of fingernails on a chalkboard; like the roar of a huge waterfall; like the howling wail of a dying soul. The secret weapon was functional...
Twead covered his ears, but it didn't help. Somehow, over the piercing shriek of the weapon, he heard the agonized squeak of something as it died. Hopefully it was the enemy creature, and not Shepherd being blasted to an eternity in Hell.
"Now there is hope," Twead said to himself as the tumult continued.
After what seemed an endless time, the sound was gone, as soon as it had come. The battle was still around Twead as friend and foe alike stared about in amazement.
"FREEDOM FOR AMPHIBIA!" Twead screamed! "FIGHT ON BRAVE WARRIORS!"
The clash of battle ensued once again, even more frantically. The frightened enemy was obviously shaken, and ground was gained more quickly.
Then the reports came in... Heyteach was wounded and her forces were fleeing, but Vicnice and Pickle had both been wounded also. The creature sent to attack the Shepherd had been destroyed, but the Bunny itself had fled from the unknown power of Twead's weapon. The Snipes were in full attack, nearly impervious from the air. And still, Twead advanced. Growing ever closer to the foul fiend who had caused so many innocent deaths.
"QUIZZARD!!" Twead shrieked above the fighting, "You will die the worst death anyone has ever known for what you do this day!"
And Twead joined the fray himself, wreaking a path of bloody death among the enemy with his enchanted sword.
Chapter 13 - Abandon All Hope
"DAAAAAAARRRGLA!!!!" screamed Quizzard, "The Gilas are being overrun! You had better be done with those catapults, or I'll have your head on a pole!"
"Just finished sir, but they haven't been tested! We're not sure what the range will be!" Dargla exclaimed.
"We can't wait to test them. I think that motherlover's secret weapon has come into play. I see a rustling in the trees and troops are fleeing the vicinity as fast as they can. Take your best shot at that weapon. We must get it, before it gets us!"
"Okay, boys, let's get those wagons moving. We've got a weapon to pound!"
Dargla and the engineers quickly rolled the massive engines of war into position. Forty lizards started the arduous task of winding them into firing readiness. Finally, the lock pin secured, a ten ton boulder was lifted into place. Standing well clear, the order was heard, "Fire!".
The massive missile erupted from the sling and flew up, up, up...wait, it was going straight up, no, now it was coming down, and the engineers of destruction were scrambling to move the catapult before it got smashed. Barely in time, the engine was removed as the errant missile slammed into the ground with a massive boom!
"DAAAARGLA! You sorry excuse for a reptile! You get that fixed NOW!"
"Sir, we forgot to factor in the forward force vector, we'll do it right this time..."
Again the massive engine was wound, and the boulder was loaded. Carefully taking aim, Dargla gave the order, and the boulder screamed out into the distance.
With a maniacal laugh, the Quizzard watched the meteoric missile speed on target, and true. It disappeared behind the trees..............BOOM!
"Did it hit, did we get it?" breathed Quizzard.
"Sir, we had better have. The engine collapsed after the second throw, and we don't have enough materials to build another."
"Wait a minute...forget the catapults, is that Twead's banner I see coming to the fore? Finally, a chance to complete my task. Bring my light company and my armor! Let me welcome my foe to the battlefield, and his death..."
The mighty hunter girded up, and headed off to battle, leading his light company of Kimono Dragon guards, and a demonic gleam in his eye...
Chapter 14 - More Allies Join the Fight for Right
Through the red haze of Twead’s battle rage, he was distantly aware of the huge projectile flying past overhead. He knew he should be concerned about this, but the lust for victory held him.
“Sir Twead,” came a distant voice through his muffled awareness, “Sir...SIR!”
Twead turned in a violent, fluid motion...and barely avoided taking off Magnarod’s head with his sword. (The Frog captain did not look pleased at that.) “I suggest you control your rage if you want to live, Sir,” Magnarod said bitterly. I bear bad news–Bodytalk and Amyshea are wounded. I have appointed Cjoh and Yates in their places. Unless you disagree, of course.” Magnarod’s tone said disagreement would not be well taken.
“Very well,” said Twead, coming out of his battle fog, “I guess those will do. Have you any GOOD news?”
Magnarod smirked. “Of course. But should I give it to you?”
“Why you little....Don’t forget who is in command of this army! Now give me the reports before I finish my sword stroke!”
“Fine,” Magnarod pouted,”Jeni and her Morphopolis Chameleons squadron have disappeared from the battle. It is unclear where they are, only that they are not attacking us. Wesley of the Snipes appears to have had some sort of seizure and can no longer fly. And the enemy catapult seems to be broken.”
“Catapult. What catapult?” asked Twead.
“The catapult that just shot at our secret weapon, Sir.”
“What!? Has the weapon been damaged??”
“Unknown, Sir. Reports have yet to come in from Captain Waterlin or Captain Sherrry.”
“Arrrrrrghhhhh! I need answers! Find out the status of that weapon...NOW!”
“Yes, Sir.” Magnarod grumbled, and dashed off in the direction of the tree cover.
Twead turned back to view the front lines of battle. The Gila platoons were devastated, but the Amphibian forces still had to fight for every step of ground they gained.
Twead was about to move forward to the fight once more, when an apparent log on the damp ground began to move and rise up. Colors shifted, and a Chameleon stood before him.
“Hehe, I scared you, didn’t I? *S*” the reptile said, giggling. “You are Sir Twead, right? *G*”
Twead aimed his sword at the lizard’s heart. “Who are you, and what are you doing here?!” He looked around suspiciously for more of the hidden soldiers.
“Well...I am Captain Jeni, of course, silly! *S* It looks like your army is having a bad day. *S* I offer the services of my Chameleon squadron, in return for a one-way passage off this swamp ball of a planet to the Plymouth Rock of Missouri. *grin* My warriors await my word not far from here. And my ally, Denise62 of the Tsopwonk Alligators is waiting not far beyond that. *G* So? Do we have a deal, or what? *S*”
“Ummm...,” Twead spluttered, “I see that Quizzard has a fine spacecraft. Help me to capture it and you will have what you desire.”
“Yes, Sir! What do you want me to do? *G* I’m a wonderful fighter. *S*”
“Ummm...,” said Twead again, bewildered, “Very well. Here is what you will do...” The rest of what Twead told Jeni was drowned out by deafening shouts from all around him.
“Hehe. He won’t know what hit him, Sir. *S*” And with that, she changed colors again and disappeared before Twead’s eyes.
“I’m getting too old for this,” Twead said to himself. He turned to find what everyone was shouting about. And there in the far distance, he saw a terrible sight. Quizzard and his Komodo force were on the move–and heading right for him.
Chapter 15 - Three Rights Make A Left
With broken and bloody bodies of amphibians all around him, Quizzard takes a short breather...
"Sir, SIR!" panted Random, arriving late with seedy69 to the grisly scene.
"What now, can't you see I'm taking a break?" complained Quizzard.
"Well, sir, we've just receive some more reports. The Battle of Bunny Bevy is over, with no survivors. Captain Scrooge was hiding in a tree, and someone waved to him. He broke his neck in the resulting fall. Captain Wesley killed Captain Ethmer while in the throes of a fit, and then expired himself. There's nothing breathing in that valley, now. Captain Jeni's Chameloid spies had to report about the grim details. She also reports that she has some plan to get next to Twead, and deliver him to you. What plans those are, she didn't relate.--LOOK OUT!"
Seedy69 deftly parried a crushing blow at Quizzard's back, and Random smoothly ran the attacker through.
"Good reflexes, troops. I'll remember this when it comes time to divide the spoils. What news of Twead's secret weapon? I haven't heard anything since the BOOM!"
"One of Wesley's last reports before he was grounded, was that the weapon was not hit, but the impact of the boulder collapsed an underground cavern, and the weapon fell into it. Nothing has been seen of it yet, nor of Captains Waterlin or Sherrry." detailed Random.
"Did he at least manage to describe what the weapon was?" queried Quizzard.
"No." replied Random, "We lost communication before he could give any information."
"Well, find out what *G* game those *S* chameloids are playing. I don't want any more distractions on my way to dealing with...THERE HE IS! CHARGE!!"
Like a dreadnought, the Quizzard and his Kimono Dragons broke the enemy lines and rolled onward to the banner of the doomed amphibian...
"TWEAD! Heyteach needs new science experiments for class. I'm going to serve you up for DISSECTION!"
captains waterlin and sherry appeared before Twead, looking bedraggled and very put out... "sir! we regret our delay in reporting, but we have had our hands full...excavating fly20 and his legion of kamikaze dragon flies, as well as most of our supplies from the cavern after we were hit...but all is now in readiness sir!" waterlin seemed exhausted and almost frantic... "I have kept fly20 entranced with my charms as long as possible sir, but I doubt he will be interested much longer! even I cannot come up with much more salacious nonsense... last time I spoke with him he told me his flies were trained and ready to hover over the enemy and attack on your order... but he and his legion will not be ready to give their lives for us if you do not call this weapon into play immediately! sherry and her troops have seen to it that all on our side are well fed, so that they will not be affected...we beg you sir, use your weapon while the reptiles are hungry and demoralized, I assure you they will stop fighting us and start gobbling up dragon flies, if you employ it at once! it should work as planned and have them trampling each other and fighting among themselves in an effort to reach the flies!"
waterlin and sherry faded back from the battle to do what they could to ensure the continued readiness of Twead's troops and fly20 and his legion of suicidal dragon flies...
Chapter 17 - The Secret Weapon
Twead watched silently as Waterlin and Sherrry returned to their positions. He was filled with pride at their loyalty and spirit for his cause. he could not let them down.
The reports of the deaths of Ethmer and Scrooge saddened him. He had appointed anyman and Orpheus to command in their stead. Too many good soldiers were dying in this war. "You will pay for what you have done, Quizzard," Twead grumbled under his breath.
Twead watched the swift form of Quizzard, doing his macabre dance of death in the nearing distance. And where his weapon went, amphibians died. Twead ached to join battle with his nemesis now, but too much of his strategy depended on what was about to happen. He would have his fight with Quizzard.
"Prosaic1!" Twead yelled.
"Yes, Sir?" said Prosaic1. "What do you require, Sir?"
"Get you to Captain Waterlin and tell her to prepare to fire the Weapon on our chosen signal! And...get rid of that lollipop!"
"Yes, Sir Twead!" Prosaic1 dropped his lollipop and ran off with Twead's message.
Twead turned again to watch Quizzard's advance. How silly his dragon guard looked in their cute little kimonos. For a moment he wondered at the cost of importing such exotic clothing. They must have been gifts from Earth's ambassador.
"Just a little closer...a little closer..." Twead waited impatiently. "NOW! CALL THE RETREAT!" He screamed. The air filled with horn calls and shouting as Twead's army reversed direction as one and ran back towards him. A considerable gap opened between the opposing forces.
And Twead gave the secret signal for waterlin to fire. Nothing happened...
"Blast that slow messenger!" Twead signaled again. Again, nothing happened. Twead began to panic. A third time he signaled....
And the air exploded in the screeching, tearing, splitting roar of the Weapon. The massive structure that was the weapon shook with the force. Driven by the propulsion of hundreds of pumping Knurple feet inside, millions of Fly20's Dragon Fly force exploded from the weapon in a dense, lightning fast burst of many-legged bodies. They slammed against Quizzard's troops with a force that killed some enemies outright, then swarmed over all, clinging and buzzing.
Quizzard's famished troops went berserk. All was chaos as reptiles of all type went into a feeding frenzy. Lizards were crushed and trampled. The last of the Gilas tore each other apart in there hunger. Everywhere was confusion as the screech of the weapon stopped and the frenzy continued. Twead's troops stood, forgotten by their enemy.
Twead watched with a smile. It had worked perfectly. "ATTACK! Finish them while they are confused!" And Twead's army rushed forth with screams of victory.
Twead turned and gasped. Quizzard was almost to his position, his Kimono Captain the only soldier remaining with him. He could not see who it was. Quizzard's face was mad with rage. Spittle flew from his snarling mouth. Oh yeah, Quizzard was a little bit upset.
Quizzard and his crony stopped 20 yards away, bloody weapons in hand.
"We meet at last," said Twead, surprisingly calm. "Let us fight alone, Amphibian to Lizard, as it was meant to be from the beginning. What say you? Will you fight me honorably, or will you sick that hulking behemoth on me as I stand here alone?"
Twead waited for Quizzard's answer...
Chapter 18 - Return To Battle
Alas, Scrooge lives! Landed on head. No new scars discernable! Attempts to feebly climb unambidextrously back into tree!
Chapter 19 - The Clash of the Titans
"Twead, yes, finally, let's have an end to this. I've been chasing you for a long time, but now your time is at an end." Quizzard continued, "Yes, let's fight this one on one. I'll leave my captain behind, if you will leave yours."
Twead whirled in confusion, for there stood Jeni, Ethmer, and Scrooge One-Arm.
"What's this? I was told you were dead!" exclaimed the bewildered toad.
"She sent me false reports, obviously. That snake never did have my full confidence." sneered Quizzard.
"Didn't you find ANY allies that weren't traitorous?" wondered Twead.
"That's what I get for hiring mercenaries." stated Quizzard.
"Yes, *G*!" smiled Jeni. "Let's take him Twead, it's four on two, let's have an end to this quickly!"
"No!" fumed Twead. "I'll have no more traitors fighting for my just cause! I will settle this on my own terms!"
"You should have taken up her offer, tadpole!" yelled Quizzard, as he and the dragon attacked...
The scene explodes into a frenzy of flashing thrusts and parries, as Quizzard and Twead face off, and the dragon takes on the three undead captains...
Chapter 20 - Infinite Sacrifice
Ethmer, Jeni and Scrooge spread out and circled the mighty dragon, staying just out of range of it's deadly grasp. The kimono dragons were well known as elite fighters, both cunning and agile.
Jeni smiled, then changed color and disappeared into her surroundings. The dragon, momentarily surprised, twisted its head, looking around for her. At that moment, Ethmer and Scrooge both darted in to the exposed flank, slashing furiously before returning quickly out of reach once more.
The dragon howled in pain and fury, rushing Ethmer with death in its eyes. Ethmer deftly sidestepped the rush, getting in a vicious swipe at the beast's left arm. Blood sprayed, and another roar of pain filled the air.
The dragon turned on Ethmer, holding it's wounded arm, more wary now. Ethmer stood poised, awaiting another onrush. To his shock, the creature instead whipped around viciously. It's massive tail catching him square in the chest, sending him flying through the air. He landed with a heavy, cracking thud and lay there, stunned.
The beast gave a roar of victory and rushed in to finish its helpless victim. It stopped short with a sudden howl, shaking violently. Jeni came into view where she had leaped onto the dragon's back, chopping and stabbing wildly with her free hand. Her attacks did little damage, unable to find an exposed spot in the armor.
At that moment, Scrooge dashed in, his one arm waving his hunting knife before him. He looked helpless against such a huge foe. And then, with surprising speed, the crippled Iguana captain dived at the monstrosities feet...and skillfully slashed the Achilles tendon.
The dragon gave a screech of agony and tried to back away, but it's wounded leg failed it and it fell heavily, Jeni barely leaping free in time to avoid being crushed. Fluidly, she brought her sword to the creature's neck and finished its torment.
Meanwhile...Twead faced off against the evil Quizzard.
Twead saw right away that Quizzard's reach was much farther than his own, and the cruel lizard had a finely made longsword, extending his reach even more. Twead was vaguely aware of the clash of his Captain's weapons behind him as he circled his enemy.
Quizzard shot off a few casual sword techniques, gauging Twead's abilities. Twead parried them easily and threw a few inquisitive thrusts himself. Quizzard was good. But so was Twead. It took great skill to become a member of the Royal Leap Guard.
They circled for a moment more, then Quizzard attacked with a long series of skilled, deadly blows. Twead dodged and parried furiously, backing a few steps. Then it was his turn. Twead darted in and out of Quizzard's longer defense, slashing and stabbing with lightning speed. Somehow, the Hunter managed to avoid every blow.
Both fighters circled again for a moment, breathing heavily.
"Is that the best you can do, pip squeak?" Quizzard panted. "You fight like my grandlizard."
"And you fight like a one-finned tadpole, you arid scalebelly," Twead gasped.
Quizzard's face reddened in rage. "How dare you...!"
With a lightning rush, Quizzard renewed his attack, forcing the smaller Toad back with his violent sword blows. Twead cried out as a barely parried thrust slid down his armored left arm and nicked his hand. Quizzard, seeing his advantage pressed harder, his sword a blur of confident death.
Twead knew he was in trouble--knew he could not last much longer against this onslaught. He saw the wicked gleam of a sure victory glowing in his enemy's eyes, and knew there was only one thing to do.
Twead watched Quizzard's moves, waiting for his chance. Both combatant's swords flew in an infinitely complex dance of promised doom. And then, Quizzard made his mistake. A mistake that would only matter to what Twead planned.
With all his remaining strength, Twead parried Quizzard’s sword and leaped forward. He knew Quizzard's sword had returned, but it didn't matter now. Twead gasped as the sharp steel of Quizzard's sword bit through his armor, through his skin, through his chest. Twead looked up through a growing cloud of blackness to where his own sword stood, driven to the hilt through Quizzard's exposed neck.
As one, they fell to the ground, locked into a deadly embrace of cold steel and locked grips. "It is finished," Twead choked, coughing a spray of blood. And as the darkness swallowed him, Twead was at peace, sure of the fact that his army had survived and would continue on to defeat the Human invasion.
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