Friday, 3 February 1995

Refuge on Ikotia - Chapter Four

    The wind swept through T’Chuka’s hair as he sat in a jeep that sped across the island towards the presidential mansion. All seemed to be going well until they suddenly had to swerve. They rammed into the grassy bank which lined the road. They had to swerve to avoid a man - Thundarr.
    The guards jumped out of the jeep as Thundarr approached them. T’Chuka was not far behind them as Thundarr took out his sword and destroyed the jeep. This was enough to send the guards scurrying down the long road, running for their lives. T’Chuka, however, was not scared as easily. From a position on the ground the Voltanian watched as Thundarr approached him. He was surprised when the Barbarian lowered his sword and extended his hand, helping him to his feet. Then Thundarr reached into his pocket and took out a small device that looked like a key. He handed it to T’Chuka.
    “You will need this.” he said. “It will deactivate the collars.”
    T’Chuka took the device and inserted it into his collar. There was a slight hum as the collar was switched off. It then fell off T’Chuka’s neck and hit the ground.
    “Who are you?” asked T’Chuka.
    “I am called Thundarr. The device I have given you will release the other prisoners. Use it to free them and overthrow the government of this island.”

    Then, without another word, Thundarr ran in the opposite direction. As Thundarr disappeared towards the horizon T’Chuka started his transformation, taking on his mighty Tiger persona. He then raced away back down the road, in the direction of the prison camp.
    In his Tiger persona it didn’t take T’Chuka long to reach the prison. Leaping over the perimeter fence he soon found where the others were working. The guards had not noticed him enter. They seemed more preoccupied with making sure the work on the dam was being carried out. Creeping around as quietly as he could he soon found the computer that controlled the collars. Another one had been put in place after Amarus has destroyed the last one. Then, with one leap, he barged into the guard, knocking him away from the computer. The sound of the scuffle brought the attention of the other guards. T’Chuka knew he had to work quickly. He inserted the device Thundarr had given him into the slot on the computer, and a second later every one of the collars began to fall to the ground. The mutants were free.
    “Attack!” T’Chuka shouted. “Liberate yourselves!”
    They took their cue. Now with their powers regained the mutants used their powers to attack the guards. They did this, and also helped to free some of the other prisoners. During the battle T’Chuka grabbed hold of one of the other mutants.
    “Where are my two friends, McCloud and Amarus?”
    “They were put in the cooler. Birdman is still there!”
    Leaving the battle with the guards to the others T’Chuka raced over to where the cooler was. He then unleashed his razor-sharp claws and smashed through each of the locks. He then reached inside and helped the occupants out. He soon found a pale of water and gave it to McCloud, Amarus and Birdman. Amarus looked up at T’Chuka.
    “What are you doing here?” he gasped. “I thought you’d deserted us!”
    “It was part of the plan James and I discussed just before we left.” T’Chuka replied. “He had a feeling something like this might happen!”
    In his office Richards watched a bank of monitors. Each screen carried the scene of the battle between the mutants and the guards. He could tell that his world was falling apart around him. He was loosing his grip on power. It was then that Garner entered the office.
    “The battle is starting to move away from the construction site.” he reported. “They could be here any minute!”
    Richards switched off the screens and turned to his advisor.
    “Call the airfield and tell them to start the engines on the jet.”
    With a nod Garner left the room and carried out his order. Richards barely escaped as the battle neared his office. Driving at top speed he reached the airport within two minutes. With Garner not far behind him he boarded the aeroplane and they were soon in the sky.
    About three minutes later, when they were just reaching the Atlantic Ocean, Richards jet nearly collided with a smaller, faster aircraft. They only just managed to get out of the way. Richards made a mental note to fire the pilot once they reached his home in Switzerland.
    The craft Richards had nearly crashed into was none other than an Anglo-Force sky-jet. The jet soon found the airport and landed. The occupants of the jet, James Watt, Daniel Reid and White Knight, soon made their way to the construction site. When they arrived they found the guards totally defeated, and T’Chuka, McCloud and Amarus helping the other mutants. Watt approached T’Chuka.
    “What are you doing here?” asked T’Chuka.
    “When we didn’t hear from you for a couple of days we started to get worried. We nearly collided with a private jet just before we landed.”
    Watt looked around at the number of mutants and super-powered men and women around him.
    “Our suspicions were correct.” he said.
    McCloud then approached them.
    “Why didn’t you tell us of this plan?”
    “We thought that the less who knew about it the better.” Watt replied. “But now it looks like we have to decide what do with all of these mutants.”
    Then Watt was surprised when he saw Birdman approach him.
    “Birdman? I thought you’d vanished since the last time we met!”
    “I’m not the original Birdman. In the sixties he found me after my parents were killed. When he retired a few years ago I took over the Birdman name.”
    “The question still remains.” said Reid. “How do we help all of these men and women?”
    “This island is now without a president.” said Birdman. “And that means they have no government as well. Perhaps I could help these people until they get such a government.”
    Birdman then turned towards Watt.
    “While we were in the cooler McCloud here told me why they had come to Ikotia. If an elected government is set up soon I will make sure that all of Anglo-Force will be welcome here, should they need to come here.”
    “I have a feeling we’ll need to one day.” said Watt. “But if you’re willing to help us then we’ll help you whenever you need it. Just give us a call.
    The two heroes then shook hands, and after helping the islanders out they returned to England the next day. They knew that there would be more troubles ahead.

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