Gadgets the great escape, p.21
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       Gadgets: The Great Escape, p.21

           David Hancock
 
Lee-Mailer sent out an alert: via Mary and Marty to make sure all the gadgets were well hidden in the rockery while Zack was on the warpath. Blade was keeping himself concealed while his mind was working overtime on a plan to try and rescue his girlfriend, But his anger at Forque’s dreadful situation was clouding his judgement and he couldn’t think straight. He wanted to rush Zack and stab him in the leg but then he quickly realised that wouldn’t work. How could he overpower Zack? Then he thought about what The General had said about the coffee machine and his suspicions that he was dealing more than cups of cappuccino and his implication that Sympatico was a drug dealer. Maybe he could get some drugs and knock Zack out. No that wouldn’t work either. Blade would just have to wait until Zack put down his catapult and then he would have to pounce. He discussed the idea with Lee-Mailer.

  ‘Well that’s the obvious way,’ said Lee-Mailer, barely stifling a yawn. ‘But he’s unlikely to put Forque down especially as his brother wants to use the gat and you know how selfish Zack is.’

  ‘But what else can we do?’ begged Blade.

  ‘We’ll just have to watch and wait.’

  And that’s exactly what they did from their hiding place in the rockery.

  When Zack got bored with trying to kill the birds, because he was missing them all the time, he decided to start on the plants in and around the well-manicured lawn. They were easier because they didn’t move and some of them had huge petals which exploded and showered down if Zack could give them a good wallop with a pebble from his catapult. Lupins were one of Zack’s favourites but he had been destroying them day by day and now there were no petals left on any of them. Roses, of course, were a classic with lovely petals he could knock off, and when the rhododendra were in flower they didn’t last around for very long.

  ‘He’s worse than an animal,’ muttered Blade. ‘He’s destroying all those beautiful flowers for no real reason. He has to be taught a lesson. But how?’

  While Blade was in hiding, pondering how on earth he was going to rescue his girlfriend Zack began picking on his younger brother, prodding him with his finger. ‘Give it to me, give it to me,’ said Zack menacingly and continued prodding, forcing Jake to keep moving backwards. ‘Give it to me, give it to me.’

  ‘Shan’t, you’ve got one yourself. Go and get yours.’

  ‘Nah, I left mine in my room, and anyway I don’t want mine….I want yours. Now hand it over.’

  One prod too far and Jake slipped over and was on his back. It was Zack’s signal to jump on his little brother, and a fight broke out.

  ‘They’re fighting,’ said The General, noticing the squabble through his field glasses. ‘They’ve moved from the patio and they are on the lawn.’ A gasp went up from the gadgets around him. ‘Zack’s got him pinned.’

  ‘Now it’s mine,’ said Zack as he snatched up his brother’s silver iPod Nano.

  ‘Give it back,’ shouted Jake, fearful of what his brother might do. ‘Give it back now or…’

  ‘Or what?’

  ‘I’ll go and tell mum.’

  ‘Ahhh, who’s a little snitch then?’

  ‘Zack please, you’ve got one of your own. We’ve all got one, even Lucy. Why do you want mine?’ his voice now sounding desperate.

  ‘Because little brother, you’ve got the silver one.’

  ‘But you could have had the silver one and you chose the black one.’

  ‘That was then,’ he snarled, taking his weight off his brother and letting him get up. ‘This is now.

  ‘I’m going to launch it into space, Zack’s Starship. You don’t get black starships, only silver ones and this is now my starship.’

  Getting even more desperate eight year-old Jake said: ‘You can get starships in any colour you like,’ and then thought to himself, I’m getting as crackers as he is. ‘You can get pink and even rainbow-coloured starships I once saw a starship that was invisible….’

  ‘Be quiet,’ said Zack, ‘It’s time for blast-off. Ten…’

  ‘Please, please Zack use something else,’ said Jake on the edge of tears.

  ‘Don’t be silly. This starship has been chosen. Nine….eight….’

  Jake was back on his feet now and tried to rush Zack but the big bully easily pushed him off. ‘Seven….’ And he slowly loaded the iPod Nano into his home-made catapult. ‘Six….five…..four…..’

  Zack drew back the catapult as far as he could. All the gadgets hiding in the rockery held their breath fearful that lovely Forque might snap in two.

  ‘Three…..two…..’

  Jake looked dejected and resigned to what might happen. He knew that whatever the outcome his iPod would be broken because that was what happened when Zack got his hands on anything. Blade was swearing to himself under his breath, vowing to reek vengeance on the bully boy for what he was putting Forque through.

  ‘One,’ shouted Zack. ‘Blast off.’

  There was silence everywhere in the garden as the small iPod hurtled into the air. But its aerodynamics made it the worst starship the galaxy had ever seen. The little oblong music player soon started twisting over and over then began to fall, plop, right into the top bowl of the water fountain in the lawn.

  The silence was quickly shattered by a yell of: ‘Muuuum.’

  ‘Shut up,’ Zack shouted at his brother, suddenly realising that this time he really could be in for it.

  ‘You’re in trouble,’ hissed Jake with a smirk on his face. ‘Big, big trouble.’

  Zack thought he could brazen it out. ‘What are you going to say? After all I saw you throw the iPod up there yourself. It’ll be just your word against mine.’

  ‘Exactly,’ replied Jake. ‘My word against yours. And just who do you think they are going to believe?’ He stood still and calm to let the words sink in. The brothers stared at each other.

  ‘Don’t worry,’ said Zack with contempt. ‘I’ll just climb up and get it for you. No problem.’

  ‘You know what mum says about climbing the fountain.’

  ‘You know what mum says about climbing the fountain,’ mimicked Zack in a childish voice. And with that he stuck his catapult in his back pocket and approached the fountain on the lawn.

  It was an easy fountain to climb because it was ornate with lots of gargoyles that could be used as steps. and the three bowls got narrower as they reached the top. But Rebecca had never liked the children playing around the fountain and climbing it in case they fell. It was strictly out of bounds and Zack had been told that many times.

  But with Forque stuffed in his back pocket Zack started to climb on to the lower fountain bowl.

  ‘Now is our chance,’ whispered Blade to Lee-Mailer.

  ‘What do you mean?’

  ‘Get Toaster here and Crock Pot and maybe the coffee machine Sympatico. I have a hunch about him. Tell the others to stay in hiding.’

  Lee-Mailer sent out a message for the three gadgets to come to the edge of the rockery. ‘What do you think Blade wants with that coffee machine?’ said Deep Fat to Jane.

  ‘I’ve no idea. The General thinks he’s a wrong ‘un. I hope Blade knows what he’s doing.’

  ‘Why do they want me? What have I done now?’ said Toaster to no one in particular.

  When the small squad of gadgets were assembled Blade explained the plan to them.

  ‘You’ll never be able to do it,’ said Crock Pot, shaking his lid.

  ‘Maybe not,’ replied Blade. ‘But we have to try.’

  Toaster was up on one end and carefully tilted at a 45 degree angle being held by Crock Pot. ‘A little more to the right,’ said Blade. ‘A little more, that’s it.’ The Toaster was on the second patio as near to the edge as possible and facing the fountain. Zack had easily got to the first water bowl and was climbing to the second one.

  ‘Let’s give him a little more time, ‘ said Blade. Zack heaved himself on to the second bowl and was trying to reach up to the top to get Jake’s iPod. The coffee machine was pulling back on Toaster as hard and as far as h
e could while Lee-Mailer was holding Blade over one of Toaster’s slots.

  All of a sudden there was a shout from the top patio. ‘Zack, what on earth are you doing. Get down from that fountain immediately.’ Zack turned to look at his mother in horror.

  ‘Now!’ said Blade.

  Lee-Mailer dropped Blade into Toaster’s slot while Sympatico hit the pop-up lever as hard as he possibly could. Blade bounced once and then shot out of the top of the toaster. In all the commotion and with Rebecca shouting at her eldest son and ordering the children back inside no one saw a state-of-the-art carving knife hurtling towards the fountain like a streamlined starship. As Blade hit one of the gargoyles, klunk, he immediately wrapped his power cord round the devilish looking face to secure his landing and give him an opportunity to study where he was.

  He was just below the second bowl and Zack was still above him, trying to climb down while his mother kept shouting at him. ‘Zack, get down at once,’ she cried out.

  I’m trying mum, I’m trying.’ But he found descending wasn’t quite as easy as climbing up.

  In all the commotion Blade saw his chance. Jake and Lucy had already gone inside, Now Blade swung out from where he was tethered to the gargoyle and with one slash of his serrated tungsten carbide knife neatly tore open Zack’s back pocket allowing Forque to fall through. At least that was the idea. But Forque’s prongs were too wide and half of her was still stuck. ‘Nothing else for it.’ thought Blade as he swung across, made a mighty grab for Forque’s handle and yanked it. Zack’s back pocket came clean away and Forque was free to fall to the ground exactly where Crock Pot had positioned himself.

  ‘Thank you very much,’ said the slow cooker opening his lid to let Forque land in his bowl. ‘And the next one please.’

  Blade unfastened his power cord from the gargoyle and dived head first into Crock Pot’s bowl. Then the lonely Damini 670 slow cooker put his lid back on and hurried back up to the second patio and hid in the rockery.

  ‘What was that,’ said Zack, looking behind him and seeing his trouser pocket had been ripped off. ‘Oh, no,’ he thought, ‘I’m in for it now.’

  ‘Forque, Forque, how are you?’ Blade said tenderly to his girlfriend while they were both lying in Crock Pot’s bowl. ‘My darling, how are you?’ But there was no reply. Blade started to get worried. He gently shook the carving fork. ‘Wake up sweetheart, it’s me, it’s Blade. You are all right now, you’ll be safe now.’ But there was no response, nothing… nothing at all.

  *

 
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