THE ALT.RIDERS STORY CHALLENGE SPECTACULAR The Net.Elementalist sighed and returned the book to the stack. This was going nowhere fast. Dva looked over at him, asking, "Hey, why so down?" "No matter what we do, this is going to happen." "Agent has a plan," Morph said, tapping his nose. "And this has been planned for over a century." Dva pointed out "We˙˙ve still got a week." Agent strode in, tossing another book onto the table, saying, "You'd better appreciate this as it cost me an arm and a leg." "Yeah, yeah, we'll remember..." "Shove everything in the bag. We're heading out." Unfortunately, it was several more days before the Alt.Riders were ready to act. This now made time a factor, a fact they could all appreciate. To get through this unscathed now would require a lot of luck. The Net.Elementalist compared where they were with the image in his book. "We're in the right place now." Dva shrugged, adding "Just as long as we have fewer deaths than in 'Arsenic and Old Lace.' So, what now, oh master?" Agent pointed at Morph, saying "You're up, bait. We have to be done by dusk." Morph nodded, changing to become something resembling a gigantic spider. Although the jungle surrounded them, he focused on the gigantic statue before him, as he knew it had a deeper meaning. The statue looked like a giant monkey, some Aztec version of it at least, with wide eyes, screeching mouth, and perched upright on legs and tail. Morph leapt and landed on the statue, ensuring a safe landing by turning into dough. He could still recall when Agent dropped the folder on what passed for his desk. Basically, this was another evil rising out of the past. There was a prophecy about a statue coming to life in the middle of Mexico, and Agent had managed to acquire a copy. The terror that the statue would cause was enough to make anyone turn as white as a ghost. Still, if Agent knew anything, it was how to operate a plan of attack like a surgeon. Hopefully, this time, without any loss of blood. They had until, as it was called, the "Chameleon's Moon." Then this statue would come alive and it would be more dangerous than an exploding bomb. Oh, the things they did in the name of peace. Now Morph was near the statue, but saw something he knew to be wrong. The strange sight caused him to scratch the top of his new-formed sun-shading cap. To say that seeing a glove and a pumpkin sitting serenely before the statue was weird was to say a major under-statement. The choice, or rather, to be honest, the trap, was so obvious it made him squirm. Perhaps he could poke something with a branch? Still, these had to be here for a point. Swallowing, Morph decided to grab an item, then back off, hoping that it wouldn't then be hung on him as a wreath. Not sure of the best course of action, Morph reached down, grabbed the glove, and then scampered off with his prize. Immediately the ground started to shake, and the statue started to shiver, its outer shell of stone during into something darker and more wrinkled skin like, making Morph get out of there quick. Dva stared at Morph when he returned, asking "Why did you do that, you clown?" Morph bristled at this, saying "What I think-" Dva interrupted him with "We could do with less of that thinking unless you want to wear this jungle as a vest!" Agent raised his hand, saying "Let's just see if this is a good or bad blessing. Morph may not have been entirely thick. Now, where did I put that piece of paper...?" Meanwhile, the statue wasn't staying still, instead lurching into animation and walking towards them like a jerky puppet. Its feet stomped into the ground, making the entire jungle floor shake, and incidentally smashing the pumpkin. The Net.Elementalist launched himself into the air, directing a burst of flame right at the statue, which didn't even cause its new skin (if that's what it was) to peel. Dva tried to quieten the jungle, but the shaking caused an unfortunate branch to hit him, sending him spinning like a top. The Net.Elementalist tried to lag the statue, but its tail was took quick for even that, managing to knock him to the ground and made him feel as shattered as a broken bottle. Dva managed to sit up, but for the moment was having a hard enough time just trying to take a breath. The statue was unfazed by all this, and continued to stomp its feet in a manner that was as welcome as a tax inspector that had called to collect. A massive earthquake sent them all to their knees, and opened the ground behind the statue into a tremendous abyss. The Net.Elementalist flew towards the statue, but it simply reached out and grabbed him, putting on the squeeze. Although he resisted all he could, he was quickly nearing his limit. He was certainly getting fed up with anything related to the moon of Chameleon. Any more pressure and he would turn into a diamond. Finally, his flame enabled him to overcome the force, allowing him to an escape so sweet he felt there should be an angel chorus. Agent shook his head at the efforts of the others, and it was time for his glory. Not that he particularly wanted it to play out with him in the lead, but it happened so often. Agent stood in the statue's path, with merely a piece of paper in his hand, but faced the statue calmly, like a high-noon gunfighter. Morph flew into the air, hovering himself right above the statue, then transformed himself into a giant brick. The statue's tail simply lashed out, knocking Morph to one side and dazing him so badly he wouldn't soon be feeling his oats. Agent took one last look at the piece of paper, which supposed contained the one word that would put a stop to everything the statue was doing, then turned his gaze back to the statue, and said that one word "Quit." The statute slowed, and then halted, already reverting back to stone. Dva reached out carefully and touched the skin, finding it cold. "It's dead." Agent grinned, and said "Then we're in the pink." "That's 'red'," Morph corrected, then he looked closely at the statue and announced, "Sweet." Dva sighed, saying "All this from one glove." The Net.Elementalist gave the statue a shove with his flame, sending it tumbling into the nearby chasm. "That's it," said Morph, "next time, I'll pick the vegetable." Author's Notes: Ew, there is some really awkward phraseology in that. And too many uses of similes to get around some of those words. Still, not a bad effort. I wrote this going backwards and forwards, seeding earlier words that I would be forced to use later. Having more words being past-tense verbs or adverbs would make things easier. Hey-ho. As for the plot itself...what did you expect in 75 lines?Back to the Index.