“Welcome to the lily pond.” Sam explained, “you’re not dreaming but we do need you with us. We will explain but no time now. Are you ok?”
Terry heard the words but they only half sank in. He had so many questions but he needed to get himself together. He answered, “I’m ok.” He may have said the words but he didn’t believe them as much as his body language gave him away. The other guy seemed to know what was going on at least. “The names Terry. What do you need me to do?”
Sam answered as quick as he could. “ok cool, I’m Sam and this here Dragonfly is Scrounger.” Scrounger nodded and Sam continued. “You’re our emergency gunner. We’re going to be crossing a lily pond and we got frogs and birds after eating us. If we get too close to the water, we may become a meal for the fishes too. Eyes sharp and trigger happy. God I hope you’re a good shot.”
“erm, well. I can play guitar!” Terry joked. “I’ve never fired a gun in my life but I’m a quick learner.”
“You’ll need to be!” And with that they were off. Sam continued. “While it’s quiet, aim and fire the gun at something for a bit of practise. Get used to the controls as well. You’re gonna need them.
Terry pressed a few of the buttons and quickly worked out which buttons pivoted his chair at different angles. He was quickly able to pick any angle and switch back in a blink of an eye.
Firing the gun however ws a different story. He just couldn’t seem to aim properly. Aiming wasn’t the issue but there was a kick-back everytime he fired and he was having trouble getting used to the motion.
As they started to move out across the pond, they noticed every team moved in different directions, leaving them alone very quickly. “Keep a sharp eye to the front Scrounger. You two Tel, you don’t mind if I call you Tel do you?, nah thought not.” He winked at Terry in a mischievous way. “keep an eye out Tel for anything coming at us from behind. I got the left and right sides. Tel, don’t worry about the firing, you just fire that pea shooter and you won’t be far wrong.” That didn’t exactly comfort Terry’s worried expression. “We’re gonna take it careful. Make sure we see trouble long before it sees us.”
Flying across the middle of the pond, they found themselves far away from the frogs and above the water enough to avoid the fishes. A barely noticeable shadow was getting larger all the time. Terry was the first to notice as he looked up and saw a bird’s belly starting to get really close. It didn’t appear to have noticed them. Without saying a word, he poked Sam and pointed up.
Sam took the controls and lowered the team close enough to the water they could touch it. Not good but they clearly hadn’t been seen. The fish weren’t so nonchalant though. Three fish had been following them across the water and were now happily preparing for a quick meal, if they could stop fighting each other that is.
In the distance, there was a birds call and the team’s worry was lifted as their bird heeded it. As they were watching the bird in complete silence, the first fish jumped out for a bite. Terry caught a glimpse just in time and fired. He missed his target but sideswiped the fish, changing it’s angle. It collided with the second fish as it was coming out of the water. The two fought as they landed back in the water just as the third fish jumped up. This time, Terry had a perfect shot, lodging the pea in the fishes throat. The fish wasn’t happy, falling back in the water choking.
It was now that Sam pulled up. He had faith in Terry but wanted to let him get his own confidence. After all, he was hand-picked to help them so he must be good at this.
Now out of danger, they carried on as before. Staying away from the edges and keeping a watchful eye. The team were visibly more focused now but they didn’t see the bird watching from the trees.
Launching itself as soon as they were in range, he almost made it before Terry hit his wing. Tumbling around trying to regain balance, the bird was the least of their worries. Sam had used evasive maneuvers to avoid the bird, putting them in range of a rather hungry frog.
The frog leapt at them to make his strike and caught Scroungers wing. Scrounger realised there was nothing that could be done. “No Scrounger. Don’t!” Sam screamed.
“I have to Sam. I’ll be fine, trust me.” And with that, he released the straps just as the frogs tongue retracted, sending him at rocket speed into it’s mouth.
“What happens now?” Terry said. He was visibly shaken by their predicament.
“Looks like this.” Sam pointed as another Dragonfly came into view.
“Add two more seats and a space for the gun please Sarah. We have two more passengers coming up at eleven-o-clock.” Sarah did so. They swung close to the new team and stopped underneath them, hovering while Mackintosh and celandine kept a watchful eye.
Terry & Sam floated down, landed and strapped themselves in, Terry setting up his gun ready for action.
With three guns and eight people to carry, Hawk was definitely feeling the weight. He didn’t let it stop him though. It was just another challenge he hoped he would win.. This time.
To be continued…