Still, she had to press on. The fate of the future depended on it. And Christie was never one to let the future down..not while she still existed in the present.
Then, like a rock thrown into the smooth trickling flow of her thoughts, she heard it above. Wings. Large, leathery wings were beating above her head. Wings like nothing of this world donned. Wings that could only mean one thing....
Christie began to run faster. But the path was tangled, and there were many briars blocking her way. She began to despair. If the mothmen beat her to her prize, all would be lost. Their beady red eyes bored down on her from above as they flapped past. How could show possibly keep up with a veritable army of mutant creatures that could fly?
Still, she stumbled on. But it seemed like the vines themselves leapt out from lengthening shadows to grab at her feet. Surely dark forces were afoot.
But then another sound...far off in the distance began to intrude upon her auditory nerves.
It sounded like...no...it couldn't be, could it?
It was! The sound was growing louder, and Christie could clearly make out the high pitched, distorted wail of an electric guitar. It was playing...could it be? It was playing AC/DC!
Christie's heart began to thump. Soon another sound accompanied the guitar. The deep roaring grumble of motorcycles with exhaust pipes cut far too short began to approach along with the heavy metal ringing clearly in Christie's ears. Above, the shadows of the mothmen increased in pace. They knew what was coming, And they knew they had to hurry.
Then, like a thundercrack across the sky the gang came roaring through the forest. The dark sinister trees surrounding Christie fell to the sheer might of the mechanical hogs that thundered forward with their riders sitting strong. Like a ray of sunshine piercing the darkest clouds, the whole crew came to a screeching halt right in front of Christie. And she beheld them once again ... it had been so long ... since she had ridden with the Iron Trike Dinosaur Biker Gang.
Everyone had heard of the Iron Trikes. Their leader, a bandanna sporting Velociraptor, was said to have tamed a wild griffin and flown it to the peak of Emerald Moons to wrest the handlebars of his 2 story tall motorcycle out of the hands of the ancient titans themselves. The Iron Trikes were ferocious, but even more importantly, they were fast. And here they sat before her on their motorcycles, all for of them, Jack the Raptor, Spike the Triceratops, Bucky the Brachiosaur, and Tyrone, the T-rex....all mounted on fire spewing bikes like Hell's Angel's worst nightmares, accompanied by the ear-shattering shriek of AC-DC just as the legend said they always were.
"Christie! Come along! There's no time to spare!" Jack prowled to her through his long, sharp teeth.
And before she knew it she was back on the rear seat of his bike, shredding through the forest like a serial killer through a puppy farm.
Up ahead Christie could see the dark cloud of mothmen circling something in the distance. Her heart jumped into her throat. Were they too late? Had the mothmen found it before she had?
It didn't matter, they'd be on the hoard any second now.
Soon enough the biker gang burst into an opening. The tree line fell back from a caldera. Near the rim, upon which the gang was perched, they could look down into the smoldering, bubbling water of the blemish of the Earth. This was it!
This was the famed Bleeding-Eye Caldera Christie had heard whispered of in so many old-timers stories. And the mothmen were already descending to the center, trying to pick something out of the water! They were too late!
But the Iron Trikes didn't see it that way. Jack helped Christie slide off the back of the motorcycle. He then kicked the clutch down 11 gears, as did his fellow riders, and just like legends told, their bikes took to the sky on pillars of fire and glory. The four hulking rider lizards pulled out their battle axes and swords, snarling insults as they flew towards the massive swarm of beady-eyed mothmen circling the caldera. Soon enough the battle overhead clashed, and the dinos and mothmen tore at each other like the ancient enemies they were.
But Christie couldn't focus on that now. She had to get to that Caldera. She had to...fulfill her destiny....
She slid down the edge of the massive crater-like area on her skinny little ass, and she ran as fast as she could towards the center. The waters around her bubbled and slurped as she picked her way from rock, to sandbar, and back to rock again. Even worse, constant small tremors threatened to knock her from her makeshift balance beams as she tiptoed ever closer to the center, where the mothmen had been diving before.
Christie didn't have time to think about why the ground was shaking. She was in too much of a rush. The pink cat's eye pendant around her neck glowed as she moved nearer the center.
But, had she time to think things through, the looming threat might have broke upon her awareness, before it broke loose from the ground like an angry volcanic eruption.
Christie was knocked back at least 20 meters at she skidded to a halt on her rear-end. Why hadn't she thought of it? The Mole Man would also be after her prize, too, of course! And this time the awful sonofabitch had created himself a gigantic 10 story robotic rodent that burst the ground asunder as it breached the surface of the Earth and rose into the sky. Briefly, it glanced up at the dinos fighting the mothmen above.... Good. They were preoccupied. The Mole Man's robotic terror turned it's attention on Christie.
"Ah, Ms. Perkins. I'm so glad you could join me to see my victory over the rest of humanity. Surely you won't mind standing aside as I usurp what I am sure you considered to be rightfully yours!"
The Mole Man gloated through a looudspeaker in the mouth of the robotic behemoth he piloted.
But Christie knew something the Mole Man didn't. Christie knew this was her destiny, and the nearer she got to her goal, the stronger her power grew. Her pendant nearly blazed through her shirt it shone so bright now.
Christie stood, slowly, deliberately. "Wind Whistler," she whispered to herself, "Let's show this rat what humans can do!"
The horses bray pierced the chaos around her like a banshee's cry on the wind. For a split second, it seemed as if the world itself stood still to look for the source of this amazing cry.
Then, like the sun breaching the dawn over the horizon, Wind Whistler, Christie's lifelong companion and the most beautiful rainbow haired unicorn on the face of the planet galloped down the caldera rim to Christie's side. She leapt upon Wind Whistler's back and encouraged her friend to charge.
"Whistler! To the Sky!"
And with that the unicorn leapt onto the jet of rainbows spraying from its feet. Christie pulled her pendant off of her necklace, and, as the energy pulsed into her body, her hair turned pink. The blaze of her power-sword erupted around her hand. The minigun of Gallant Justice formed on her back and aimed over her shoulder as if out of thin air. Her targeting recticle wrapped itself around her head, and settled over her right eye.
And she opened fire.
Purple, pink, and indigo pellets of pure badass-unicorn-power burst from the minigun at a rate so high they defied counting. The projectiles peppered the Mole Man's mechanical terror with the power of righteous awesome. Holes began to form in the giant robotic robot and Christie could hear the Mole Man shrieking in frustration. Briefly the creation began to spurt flame from its mouth, but the damage was already done.
As Wind Whistler blazed through the sky nearing hypersonic speeds, Christie thrust her power-sword emblazoned arm forward like a spear and the flying pair ripped through the head of the robotic rodent like a flaming arrow through a sheet of paper. The Mole Man's creation sputtered and died as it crumbled back into the hole it came out of.
Christie and Wind Whistler settled down at the center of the caldera. She dismounted and rushed to the blinking crystalline console she knew was there. When she got there, she thrust her pendant into the only open hole on it, and the world went quiet.
It was as if a snow had settled on the chaotic scene. The Iron Trikes slowed their bikes, mid-battle, and stared above at the new light that shone through the dark dusky sky.
A voice boomed from the spacecraft as it descended.
"Christie. We sent you here a millenia ago. To seed a species, and bring virtue, and wonder, and unicorn-power to an untamed world. After decades of struggle with the darker beings of this planet ... "
A blinding light burst from the side of the spaceship and obliterated all of the remaining mothmen in the sky ...
"... you managed to erect a species in your own image... Humanity."
"You chose a good name, for a good race. But they are maturing. And they must find their own allies and sources of power to rely on."
A pink light leapt out of the spacecraft as it hovered above the caldera, and encompassed Christie's pendant. The pendant began to rise into the sky.
"The remainder of your power will be spread to the corners of the Earth, to give the Humans the one thing you forgot in your creation of them.... Epicness. For that, Christie, is your true legacy. You are the epoch hero of this world, and you are it's protector. You have made fine friends."
A blue light illuminated the Iron Trikes as they sat, transfixed on the spectacle before them.
"And they will help bring to maturity your infant race. But it is time for you to return home. For there are matters to attend to. You and Wind Whistler are the only creatures that can attend to them. So, come."
Christie mounted her trusty steed once more. As they rode on a rainbow bridge towards the spacecraft, she kissed each of the Iron Trikes on their large reptilian snouts one last time. She boarded the spacecraft, and, just as suddenly as it had arrived, it disappeared, taking Christie and Wind Whistler with it.
Jack turned to Tyrone: "I always knew that pink ape was special."
Tyrone just nodded.
Bucky spoke up, "You guys want to get some KFC?"
"Hell Yeah!" chimed Spike.
Jack mentioned to Bucky, "KFC. we gotta make sure to show the humans that one. That recipe can't ever be lost!"
And with that banter, they rode off into the starry sky, flames belching from the exhaust pipes of their mountainous motorcycles....AC-DC blaring across the landscape as they rode.
Moral of the Story: Know your roots.
Brady C. Jackson