BotP Close-up 072

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Bobkat
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BotP Close-up 072

Post: # 607Post Bobkat »

This week, things are handled a little differently than usual. Zark gives us a lesson on Earth's rotation while Mark okays Keyop to go on a mission alone. When Chief Anderson discusses the situation with G-Force, he's not happy. But here we are.

Zoltar is attacking Earth with insects again, this time it's Invasion of the Locusts. With everything going on, we get more peeks into the team dynamics and how their hierarchy works, especially when Chief Anderson isn't around. No surprises though. :) There's also more hints on the relationship between Princess and Keyop. It's very fun! So, Enjoy!! :)

The Other Jason's write-up is here: https://www.battleoftheplanets.info/ep72.html

E72: Invasion of the Locusts

Act One

7-Zark-7 is in the control room of Center Neptune, the bull work of security against alien invaders who want to plunder Earth's resources or enslave its people. Zark says he's not a typical robot and his job is very important as all information goes through him concerning galactic security. He provides lots of important information as well. He's just worked out something concerning the Earth.

The Earth rotates on its axis once every 24 hours giving us day and night. However, the day is being lengthened by one second every 100,000 years. It doesn't sound like much but considering that Earth has been around about five billion years, the day used be only about ten hours long when the planet first formed. The planet has managed to add approximately 50,000 seconds and that equates to about 14 hours! Zark figures in another five billion years, a day will actually be about 38 hours! He laments that he will be working every single one of them.

Moving on, Zark tunes into Spectra to see what "new deviltry" Zoltar is up to. On Spectra, the Luminous One tells Zoltar his repeated failures have made him a mockery on Earth and the Spectran populace will not accept another misstep. Zoltar answers that his next plan will work and there will be "a glorious victory." The Luminous One is "pleased to hear it" but would be happier once Earth is theirs. Zoltar informs the ranks of his men that the heart of his plan is a very extraordinary grasshopper! He opens a box where one is kept and it flies about with one goon noticing a "metallic gleen" on it. It's not a natural locust, but rather a mechanical one! Zoltar praises Voltek for being so observant. Zoltar explains that this one mechanical locust will be a "Judas goat" leading hordes of natural locusts to devour Earth's food supply.

G-Force hangs out in their Ready Room with Mark and Jason engaged in a game of ping-pong, Tiny eating space burgers while Princess and Keyop make music. Mark asks Jason about taking classes at the "JC" with the gunner answering he's brushing up on Retro-Ignition Systems and the new Thermal Timing Transmissions. Jason adds he's entering the Australian 5000 mile Kangaroo Derby next month. Princess calls him out, "I know what's sparking your plugs, Jason." She teases him that the real reason he's taking the classes is the new female instructor! Keyop says, "Cool chick" before going into a drum solo. Mark misfires and a ping-pong hits the space burger out of Tiny's hand.

Zark calls the team via video telling them he's been contacted by Professor Chambers who wanted to speak to Chief Anderson. However, the chief is out of the office for the day. The professor is in the lounge and has some urgent information to pass on to the team. Zark says Professor Chambers is waiting for them in the lounge. Zark goes on to say that Professor Chambers is their leading entomologist, which Princess asks if that means he collects stamps. Zark corrects her that it's the study of insects and pleads with the team to go talk to the professor. They salute and ask/say, "Insects!?"

In the lounge, Professor Chambers tells the team he has discovered a "peculiar" looking locust and assumes it's from an alien planet. Mark wonders why the professor is talking to them and not another scientist. Professor Chambers agrees he needs to return to the Amazon to research and document the environmental impact this insect is having. He says, "Perhaps one of you …" but doesn't get it all out when Princess and Tiny make sour faces about he prospect of traveling to the Amazon to locust hunt. Keyop jumps on the chance because he's the perfect size for grasshoppers.

Keyop travels with Professor Chambers to the Amazon region with their last leg being in a floatplane. While they're flying above the jungle, Keyop calls it "paradise" but Professor Chambers says it's never that. While Professor Chambers looks over a map, the plane encounters a huge swarm of locust! The professor is shocked; he's never seen locusts fly that high before. He tells the pilot he needs to go over or under them. The swarm changes altitude with the plane and continue to close in.

The locusts gum up the plane's flight controls and engine. The pilot has had enough and bails out! Keyop takes the controls as the swarm continues to surround them even breaking a window. Professor Chambers tells Keyop their best chance is to land in the river. Keyop does the best he can with a nose down altitude but they ditch safely with the floats underwater!

As they sit in the plane, Keyop says they're in one piece while the professor wonders where the enormous swarm came from. Meanwhile, Zark contacts Mark on the Phoenix saying he's getting "fuzzy" signals from Keyop but can't nail anything down. Mark surmises it's Zoltar again and they shouldn't have let Keyop go alone with Professor Chambers.

Keyop sits on a riverbank as the sun sets in the Amazon region. Behind him, a locust lands on a leaf. Keyop pulls out his knife and throws it, hoping to spear the creature. But Keyop misses. However, a larger mech in the shape of a locust watches the interaction. Inside the mech, Zoltar has been busy breeding destructive locusts making them even more detrimental than the naturally occurring ones. When a crop is ready, Zoltar orders their release led by the mechanical grasshopper that was made specifically for this mission.

At his hut, Professor Chambers studies a captured specimen and is certain it’s a mutant. He tells Keyop to take a pair of binoculars to the lookout shack to see if he can locate any others. Keyop spots the huge swarm heading for them! Keyop says there's even more than what they encountered with the plane. Professor Chambers was afraid of this scenario and begins spraying his shack with a poisonous insecticide on the slim chance it may repel the swarm. Keyop wants to help but the professor tells him to stay back and out of the way – that's the best thing he can do to help. Professor Chambers keeps spraying while Keyop asks if it'll kill the locusts and it might, but at the least it should keep them away. Keyop says it smells awful and cracks, "Maybe G-Force will smell us."

At Center Neptune, Chief Anderson chews out the team for allowing Keyop to go alone with Professor Chambers, calling it "a big mistake." Mark takes responsibility for the decision – "20/20 hindsight." Chief Anderson goes on to say the whole world may need to be rescued due to hordes of locusts devouring the Earth's food reservoirs causing mass starvation. Tiny sits down asking why are they just talking about it rather than rescuing Keyop and the professor. Chief Anderson briefs the team that's exactly what they're going to do. Their mission is two-fold: locate Keyop and Professor Chambers and to "stop Zoltar in his tracks." They need to go to South America to stops the millions of locusts that have been reported. The locusts are multiplying so the problem is worsening by the minute and not only threatens the food supply but Earth's very existence! The chief adds that one locust can lay 300 eggs. Mark stands up saying G-Force can handle this and Tiny's right, they need to get cracking.

The team flies to South America where Professor Chambers and Keyop wait in the shack that the professor treated. The swarm makes its way there and starts eating the nearby foliage. The swarm eats its way to the shack.

Act Two

Zark paces in the control room worried about Keyop and Professor Chambers "being lost" in the Amazon. He does feel better that Chief Anderson sent the rest of the team to the area. Zark flies to his monitors trying to contact Keyop.

At the shack, the mechanical locusts attack, shooting lasers from their antennae and gaining Keyop's attention. Professor Chambers hears the "weird noise" as well. Keyop throws his knife again onto the locust before it goes airborne. This time he nails it and the professor breaks it down. Professor Chambers discovers the mini-robot gives off a frequency to make the locust swarm to follow it. Breaking it down further, they begin studying it using scientific methods. The first test uses the Electrode Analyzer and they realize the frequency emitted is "high frequency." Professor Chambers tells Keyop the natural insects find it irresistible and Zoltar can direct the locusts to any site he wants to destroy. Keyop asks what do they like to eat and the professor answers anything in their way! The locusts break into the shack and Professor Chambers knows the only way to defeat them is by fire.

Keyop hears the roar of some bigger engines and believes it to be the Phoenix except it's the main locust mech! The mech lands and Zoltar who is on board tells Voltek they'll stay put until G-Force arrives. Keyop and Professor Chambers check out the main mech with Keyop disappointed it's not the Phoenix. On board, Zoltar wants to know exactly when the Phoenix will arrive. Voltek says he can track the Phoenix in radar with Zoltar telling him to do it. Voltek wonders how Zoltar knows that G-Force is on their way. The leader says he's left an arrow in the shape of their "secret emblem" thinking it's from "the small one."

The Phoenix continues flying toward the Amazon as Mark tells Princess to keep an eye on her scope. She reports a lot of interference, which Jason explains it's because of "the rough jungle terrain." He adds their search "won't be easy." Tiny gasps upon seeing the terrain cleared out and Mark wants to check it. When they close in, they see the G-Force secret emblem. Mark says it has to be Keyop because he knows they would never pass that by. The Phoenix moves in as Zoltar watches them comparing them falling into his trap "like iron to a magnet."

Keyop and Professor Chambers stand on a hill watching the Phoenix approach. Keyop waves to the ship thinking their troubles are over. Professor Chambers comments, "Oh, the optimism of youth. I would say our troubles are just beginning." Keyop assures the professor that G-Force will handle it. At the same time, Zoltar orders the release of the mini-mech and the swarm of genetically engineered locusts.

The main mech spits out the swarm and they soon meet up with the Phoenix. They try to overpower it like they did with the floatplane. Tiny says they're in for it while Princess tells them to "hang on." The ride is more than bumpy and Mark tells Tiny to get above the swarm. When nothing happens, Mark yells at him but Tiny can't get the ship to budge. Mark orders them to transmute to the Fiery Phoenix. The Fiery Phoenix flies through the swarm seemingly to leave the bugs on fire.

Zoltar is undeterred saying the games have only just begun. Zoltar orders them to fly to their target and the main mech takes off. Keyop feels like the team won but Professor Chambers knows different. He tells Keyop, "Go to your friends," as he stays behind to continue his work. Keyop runs to the landing point of the Phoenix beyond some hills. The team leaps down to meet him and he immediately hugs Princess. Keyop is very relieved to see his teammates, especially when Mark asks if he thought they forgot him. Keyop nods with tears streaming down his face.

The main locust mech flies on with Zoltar allowing G-Force "their victory in the Amazon." He orders the swarm released to decimate Earth's cities. The Phoenix pays catch up as Mark studies different paperwork sent by Chief Anderson. The news is bad: the locusts have destroyed several cities. Mark hands the papers to Princess who turns to Keyop asking about what Professor Chambers discovered – the locusts are following a high frequency beam. Mark is frustrated because they don't know the frequency Zoltar is using. If they did, the team could end the attacks.

Jason asks Keyop if he has any idea, he was with Professor Chambers after all. Keyop answers, "Three thousand meg, I think." The Phoenix begins emitting a signal at that frequency and they soon have the swarm following them! The Phoenix flies them toward "The King Locust" mech. Upon seeing it, Mark tells Jason, "Let 'em have it!" Jason presses the button for the missile, "It's on its way."

The missile pierces the King Locust mech and it quickly loses altitude. Zoltar orders the ship abandoned as the swarm moves in. The Phoenix clears out as Zoltar and his men take off in an escape ship. The King Locust and the swarm descend over the ocean and explode.

The Phoenix heads home with a reunited team and a successful mission in defeating Zoltar once again. Zark would like to do something nice for the team when they arrive back. He thinks a surprise party would be great in the Ready Room but 1-Rover-1 reminds him that Zark has never given a party. Zark doesn't know any funny stories, he can't sing or dance. He decides to send some nice flowers and a note saying what an honor it is to work for G-Force. Zark and Rover make the G-Force salute.

This plot summary Copyright Bobbi Baker ©2021. No reproduction of any kind without permission.
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