The planet Pluto lay as the silent jewel of the galaxy, the icy blue defence shield made it glow in the darkness. Behind that image of a cold, lifeless world, the glorious city of Plutan shone in a time of darkness. The towers of its three virtues, Honest, Kindness and Justice, stood in their infinite glory like a beacon of hope to its people. Plutoon’s craft flew through the swirling cosmos towards his home planet, his ship rumbling as he passed through the atmosphere and towards Plutan. The screen on his panel flashed with a red light, the communicator fuzzed.
“Plutoon is that you? We’re seeing a lot of debris down here and we don’t know what’s going on!” came the voice of his old weary father. The city came into view, smoke rising from flames in its streets against a dirty backdrop.
“Father, I’m here!” Plutoon called “What do you know?” again a fuzz from the communicator.
“The Ruffian forces are approaching the city from all sides!” his father replied “There are about two thousand civilians still in the city, but all the others have been evacuated. I’m sending two hundred men to assist you son, but there’s more. The Ruffians have spent all night building something, it was non-stop hammering, sawing and grinding all night long and halfway into the day. Every now and then we saw a violent red glare sweeping over the city and the forest like a searchlight, but then they continued. I need you to find out what it was they were doing!”
“There’s more units approaching from the south, escape will not be possible through that exit. Evacuate all troops and civilians, I shall deal with this enemy alone!” Plutoon ordered
“Son, no!” his father called, but there was a violent explosion. The ground heaved and the city walls cracked open. The clouds fled in fear, grass melted into the ground as the huge monstrosity emerged from deep in the forest. It’s head stood merely an inch lower from where the clouds once carelessly hung, a large cylinder-like body extended from the head. Claws, pincers and spikes ran down the terrible body and the feet stabbed into the ground like a sword into an enemy. Its tail was then flourished high into the air and the metal monster emitted a blast of flames from the horns upon its head.
“What in the name of Hell is that thing?” gasped Plutoon, beginning to regret giving his previous order. The huge metallic centipede lowered and began to crawl towards the city. It stopped about a mile from its target and raised itself to full height, towering over the Ruffian army. The grubby soldiers raised their weapons in triumph and cheered as the mighty machine stood above them, blotting out the sun with its great bulk. Slowly the head began to creak, steam raised from strategically placed gaps in the metal. Then the lower half of the head lowered and the top rose, revealing a control centre in which the driver sat. His large, clumsy body heaved and hairy arms and legs extended from it. His head sat like a cherry on a large dollop of cream with a tarnished bronze crown upon it. “You!” the grotesque figure cackled and laughed, the many chins shaking and wobbling.
“Well, well!” the Ruffian King bellowed, his words cracked like the walls of the city “Zanton Plutoon isn’t it? How do you like my new machine, I call it the Centadrone!” The Ruffians cheered as the head swooped over theirs and back up to full height “And there’ll be more of ‘em! Thousands! An army of unstoppable robotic monsters to push forth my will! The Galaxian Way will perish and burn to make way for the new Ruffian Empire! Not good enough for you? Well there’s more! Each Centadrone carries a weapon more powerful than the nuclear bombs of Earth, emitting a ray of death upon its target! Allow me to demonstrate the destructive power of a single Centadrone at mid-power!” The head snapped shut; it swerved, about-facing the machine to face the huge forest from whence it came.
The population stirred nervously, waiting for the strike. But the machine stood still, motionless. Only the constant clanking of gears from within its body could be heard, but the silence was soon broken. The third segment of the body opened slowly, splitting into three. A large dome slid slowly from the depths of the torso, covered in ancient patterns displaying the history of the Ruffian gods. With a clank it snapped into place, then it began spinning, rotating, different sections went different ways. The core of the dome began to glow a vicious red, the light started to swallow up the gaps in the patterns. The Ruffian King’s voice was suddenly heard, emitted from a speaker placed upon the head.
“Behold the true power of the Zhonta Nuxion Chaos Ray!” he boomed. The sound of the weapon charging up shook the city, rays of pure energy beamed from it, but this was not the weapon. Darkness started to gather around the Centadrone, the crows began to appear all over the city. The population panicked and ran, terrified by the ancient sign of imminent death. Outside the shroud grew and grew, a fine wall of red energy at a horizontal angle was suddenly emitted from the dome stretching for miles over the beautiful green forest. Then sparks of black light appeared all over this menacing blanket, a dark sight to the civilians. The children ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ as they would at a fireworks display, but the adults looked up in fear at this new, disturbing sight.
The moment captured the strange fact of life that adults seemed to fear a world more than the children that were so much younger than them. That children should fear only fear itself while adults should fear a change of ant’s food gathering strategy. The sparks grew larger, thin lines of lightning leapt from spark to spark. And finally, the ray unleashed its terrible power. With a bright red glare, the lightning struck the forest followed by the lowering of the sheet of energy. As it touched the tallest tree, fire leapt upon the tree consuming it. The glares flashed as the sheet touched tree after tree swallowing them up in a flash of heat.
The heat swept across the city, children whined and horses collapsed in seizures from the intensity. Plutoon shaded his eyes from the glare as, barely escaping blindness, he moved back into the city. Forcing his way through the crowds that ran in fear towards the east gate, he ran up the wall towards the com-centre. Soldier and civilian alike all ran in fear buffering him back, he was taking two steps forward then being buffered one step back.
“Get out of the way! I’m a Kong warrior now move!” he bellowed frustrated. Kong warrior or not, there was no authority that he could own to stop these helpless people from being scared. Finally he burst through the door of the centre falling to his knees in exhaustion. “What’s happening?”
“We can’t see, the heat has scolded our sensors!” reported the head mechanic; Plutoon forced his way to the screen.
“You’ve got thermal imaging, you can see through the heat” he said quickly, even he now was scared.
“We can’t, the heat is scrambling that too, the screen is white!” came the voice of Plutoon’s father. He stood in the doorway, his crown still upon his old weary head. The men all bowed in his presence, Plutoon kneeled too. “Son listen to me, you must contact Master Fang”
“I can’t, he’s on a skirmish on Jupiter with the remaining Ruffian force” Plutoon replied. He turned to the thermal imaging screen, the white light started to fade. Outside, the civilians felt the heat pass slowly and children began to cease their whining. The screen flashed madly, the feet of the machine were moving. The Centadrone was again about-facing to once again glare at the city. Again it lowered and crawled towards the city. The civilians took their chance and ran headlong towards the exit and their only chance of survival. But the monstrous Centadrone had reached the city wall and once again it drew up to full height.
“Now you shall all burn!” bellowed the Ruffian King from the hood of his new monster. High powered turrets lowered from the head and poked from the body in a hundred different spots. The rain of plasma struck the city, thousands of rays emitting from the turrets and burning the houses and shops. A large bolt struck the market and it collapsed in sheets of flames. Screaming, the women ran as if this nightmare had blocked their sense of sanity. Their men picked up their children, those with none carried friends and old people. The Centadrone spotted them in the corner of its enormous eye-like sensors. The King turned his monstrous machine to face the exodus and blared in laughter as the plasma sent them to oblivion.
“Plutoon, this is Master Tiange” said the King of Pluto, drawing his son’s despairing eyes from the window. The strategist stood wearing the traditional white and purple robes and held a curious bundle of feathers strung together. His face was old and shrivelled, a long crooked nose protruded from its middle but his kind loving eyes made up for his near frightening appearance. Tiange approached and shook Plutoon’s hand.
“Your master and I are close friends, my servant has sent a distress call to him requesting immediate assistance” he said in his calm voice “I would like a word in private with this one if I may your majesty” The King nodded, turned to his men and then they all headed downstairs to the drainage system. “Now young Plutoon, I need to tell you something very important. I can tell you how to gather the living Kong from around you, which will protect you from all enemies for a short while. But this power is very dangerous, if used inappropriately, the gods of fate will alter your destiny to that of shadow. Will you swear in oath to use this power to end this war and to prevent others from being started?”
“I will” said Plutoon firmly
“Very well, listen closely” Tiange said calmly.
Outside the chaos was spreading. The Centadrone cut down the wall with its blasters, as though the stone fortifications were but paper, and towered over the city. The people, split off into many different groups from the previous attack, found themselves aiding those they had hated in early times. As one of the groups ran across the flaming ruin that was once the proud courtyard, Ruffians poured into the city. The Centadrone lowered huge articulated claws, raising houses to search beneath them for survivors. The mechanical monster seemed to act as though it were alive and not just a devise of metal and gears. Growing in rage and frustration, the Ruffian King swung his enormous metal creation around and smashed a large tower.
“Come out, come out wherever you are!” he yelled. His machine picked up a large clump of ruin and threw it into the sky. It came crashing down up a shelter that a group had chosen, debris caved them in. Unaware of the Centadrone’s presence they began to call for help, forcing their arms out of the debris to call to soldiers. “Ready or not here I come!” The large beast lowered right down so its sensors glared into the terrified, watery eyes of the trapped people. The blasters charged, but another struck the back of the head. Instantly the head swung forwards in shock then raised back up to full height. It turned and the Savage King looked straight into the determined eyes of Zanton Plutoon.
“Come out and play, your highness!” he called his voice almost weighed down completely from his sarcasm. In a blare of bitter rage, the King raised his metal monster’s head and fired constant blazes of lightning at the young Plutoon. Zanton rolled across the wall firing a large gun he held tight in his grasp. The gun had a long tube that extended from it into Plutoon’s head, it absorbed all his anger and hatred and fired it in deadly bolts of plasma. The Centadrone decapitated the wall and forced Plutoon onto the ground below its deadly claws. As the warrior ran, claw after claw lunged in for the attack, striking the floor then raising again. Then Plutoon stopped running and thought hard about the thing that made him more angry than anything else; being bossed around.
Sure enough, more powerful bolts of lightning were emitted from the gun and struck the claws as they attacked. Smoking and glowing hot, the claws dropped from their master and fell to the ground laying motionless forever more. The head lunged in between its own legs and attacked, forcing Plutoon to the floor and pushing him against a wall. Large pincers, like the jaws of a spider emerged from the metal and snapped at the trapped warrior. The gun rolled across the floor out of Plutoon’s reach, he struggled as the Centadrone lifted him higher up the wall. As he breathed in, the Centadrone crushed him harder like an anaconda crushes its prey.
“End of the line scum!” blurted the King as he forced his beast closer and closer to completely crushing Plutoon. Suddenly an idea hit Plutoon as hard as the Centadrone was crushing him. He constantly thought about being bossed around, being made to feel small and punitive. His rage blared like summer lightning, his face screwed up in anger. The funnel that extended from his head steamed from his extreme anger. Just as Plutoon planned, the gun began to lift from the ground. It raised higher and higher as if lifted by a string, soon its barrel glared through the Centadrone’s monstrous eyes. The eagerness faded rapidly from the Ruffian King’s eyes and formed fear. “Noooo!”
With a glare the anger, aggression and hatred that Plutoon had been marshalling blasted a bolt five thousand times more powerful than lightning through the windshield of the Centadrone’s head and out the other side. Plutoon quickly put his foot on the machine’s head and kicked his way to the top of the wall with a graceful flip. Just then the head exploded and wires were all that remained of it, the Centadrone wobbled and swayed. The power in the wires attracted clouds rapidly, they swirled around the titan, lightning leaping between each other. Then a second bolt struck the top of the machine and lightning ran down the body. The legs gave way and the metal goliath tumbled upon the west wall, on contact it exploded in a brilliant red blast. The Centadrone and its terrible master were no more.