Hello, new fic: completely unrelated to the others I've written. I'll attempt to update ASAP, but may be a few weeks before new chapter.
Please read and review, let me know if you want me to continue... Luv Sarah
A supernatural storm wrecks havoc with Hope Island one night, leading to a strange turn of events for the Planeteers. Upon waking, Linka finds herself alone and quickly realises that nothing is what it seems. A time-travelling adventure.
The low rumble of thunder accompanied the Planeteers journey home, dark clouds surrounding the Geo-Cruiser in every direction. The first sign of rain began vertically battering against the windows, forming beads which Linka watched with faint interest. She was tired now, the dark circles under eyes an indicator of the week they had experienced. Sighing heavily, she refocused her vision and found herself observing blotchy skin, red eyes and lank blonde hair with a very noticeable green tinge to it.
"Great...just great," she murmured quietly, trying unsuccessfully to restyle her hair in a way which would improve it's current condition. Finding her attempts futile, she leaned back and settled more comfortably into the chair, closing her eyes. She felt her chair lurch forward after a few minutes of rest, probably courtesy of Wheeler's unconventional way of sleeping in the seat directly behind her: knees resting on the back of Linka's chair, 'iPod' in use and one arm dangling idly over the side of the armrest. Fortunately, Wheeler could sleep almost anywhere: cars, buses, gutters, park benches, and once during one of Gaia's eco-alerts. Linka smiled as she recalled the earth spirit's booming tones which had shaken the startled American out of his stupor. Glancing one more time at her reflection, she attempted to put her green hair out of her mind as her eyes closed again.
The previous mission had been a mostly typical outing for the gang. Hoggish Greedly and Sly Sludge had cooked up another half-baked scheme, claiming that he could recycle unwanted factory chemicals and waste products into biodegradable products. He would charge corporations ridiculous prices to collect and "treat" the vast amounts of sludge being offered. Gaia was rightly suspicious and had sent the Planeteers to investigate. Not surprisingly, they had discovered that the vats of waste were being mixed with quick-lime and chlorine to hide the smell, and simply buried within the confines of an old farmhouse in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. Captain Planet had not been required for this event, since it had been a rather simple emergency.
Unfortunately for Linka, as the Swiss Guard had passed with the furious prisoners in their possession, Sly Sludge had retaliated by kicking out viciously at a nearby bucket of chemicals: drenching the top of Linka's torso.
Gi had immediately created a water shower which washed of the chlorine, but had not lessoned the after-effects of the chemical, so Linka had resigned herself to smelling like an olympic-sized swimming pool for the next few hours at least.
"Linka, how are you feeling?" Kwame's voice shook the Planeteer out of her daze. The African man was piloting the craft carefully through the storm, and had been until now maintaining a steady conversation with Gi. Rubbing her itchy eyes, she replied that she felt slightly better than before. "I just need a shower and a sleep, I think. How long until we are home?"
"Ah...about an hour," he replied after checking the instrument panel. "Give or take...the cruiser is dragging in the strong winds, so it will probably be a little longer."
Rolling her eyes, Gi looked depressed at the thought of a time delay. Grinning mischievously, she suggested that they had the option of chucking Wheeler out of the cruiser. "We'd be flying a little lighter, at least...," she added with a cheeky glance at the American who was partly awake and eyeing her with suspicion.
Wheeler pulled his earphones out and yawned loudly, stretching his arms above his head leisurely. "Nah, there's only one person on board who has a chance of surviving a drop like that," he commented dryly as Linka turned in her seat and glared at her bemused friend. "Hey, don't look at me like that. You've always said you wanna' try flying with your...geez, you look god-damn awful!" Squinting in the dim light, he studied Linka's green hair closely, causing the Russian girl to blush bright red.
"Wheeler, you really need to look up the word "tact" in the dictionary, my friend!" Ma-Ti shook his head, laughing. Subtlety had never been the American's strong point.
"Don't worry about it, I'll squeeze some lemon juice into your hair tomorrow...that should help." Gi's suggestion calmed Linka's nerves a little as she thanked her best friend and resumed watching the storm outside her window. The next thirty minutes was spent pretty much in silence, except for the dull rhythm of Wheeler's iPod, and occasionally punctuated by the low rumbling of the thunder outside.
Unusually, the storm seemed to follow the geo-cruiser to Hope Island, greeting them with the same odd horizontal rain as they exited the cabin. Flashes of light streaked across the sky as the Planeteers reached the safety of the Crystal Chamber, drenched to the bone and feeling a little rattled by the high winds and deafening claps of thunder.
For about 20 minutes the small group sat under the protection of the chamber porch and watched the spectacular light show. All present seemed vaguely unsettled by the ferocity of the storm. Kwame had checked the weather forecast before touching down, with no storm activity reported in the area. Surprisingly, clear skies and low humidity levels were expected.
"You reckon Gaia's in a bad mood?"
"I don't know, Wheeler- could she be capable of something like this? It seems a little..." Gi was cut off mid sentence as a bolt of lightning hit an elm tree near the shore, causing a branch to explode. "...extreme," she finished hesitantly.
Ma Ti was now on his feet and peering into the distance, an anxious look on his face. "I don't know about you guys, but it's the rain that's bothering me. The wind has died off, but the water is still falling at an angle."
"It's the Twilight Zone, man," agreed Wheeler. "Can you feel the energy? There's electricity in the air." As if to prove his point, the American leaned over and touched Linka's arm, a jolt of static electricity making her yelp in surprise and pain. He received an elbow to the ribs in retaliation for his effort.
"Sorry babe, couldn't resist. But seriously, this isn't normal. I'm half expecting an alien spacecraft to land in front of us."
"That is just stupid, Yankee. It is a natural weather phenomenon, not an interstellar excuse for another species to visit a bunch of tired, overworked Planeteers." Linka was glaring intently at Wheeler now, her hair whipping around her face in a tangled halo of bright green. Wheeler couldn't help laughing at her appearance, causing Linka's fury to grow further. She knew she was tired and irritable, but Wheeler was always an easy target for her fractured moods.
Checking that the other's attention was diverted by the storm, he moved closer in an effort to placate to the emotional Russian.
"Lighten up, babe. You know I'm joking. Quit being so touchy..."
"Well, you joke all the time and we could all do without it once in a while. You need to start acting more professionally, especially on the job, "she seethed, at the same time regretting what she said immediately. "Boshe moi, Wheeler. I am sorry. I do not know where that came from. I am just tired and a little... what is the word?"
"Grouchy." He corrected, having briefly considered the first response that had popped into his head before thinking better of it. He seemed to be getting better at that.
"One day, you might start appreciating my outlook on life, Linka." Bemused, he studied her lovely profile as she worriedly watched the other three Planeteers darting in and out of the rain like children. Their screams and laughter were drowned out by the sound of the rain falling heavily in the roof of the structure they were standing under. The thunder had abated for now, replaced by silent flashes of light on the horizon that lit up the entire surface of the island.
She bade the American a weary goodnight and trod heavily back to her room across the field, unaware and oblivious as always to the full extent of Wheeler's feelings. He watched her go until she was out of sight, his expression mirroring both the frustration and knowledge that she was simply not interested in him. Sighing, he started back to his own room as well, feeling dejected and depressed.
Maybe it was time to concentrate his efforts on someone else. After 5 years, that was a scary thought.
A loud crack of thunder echoed over the island, startling Linka as she hurried towards her room on the other side of the island. The island went strangely quiet for several seconds in its aftermath.
Linka jumped again as a crack of lightning hit a tree near the shore, eliciting appreciative yells from what sounded like Kwame's voice. Smiling to herself, Linka quickly jumped into the shower and washed the remains of the chlorine from her body. Grabbing her towel, she dried herself and fastened the towel around her tightly. Gazing into the mirror, she breathed in sharply: her hair was still bright green. On a more positive note, the irritation in her skin and eyes had subsided.
Yawning silently, she changed into her pyjamas and threw her clothes into the washing pile. Bright light flooded her room for a moment, before plunging her into darkness once more as she glanced out the window to check on her friends across the field. Three shadowy figures were seeking refuge from the torrent of rain that was now worsening again. The storm seemed to be returning.
Linka pulled the blankets back and climbed into bed. For a while she listened to the steady drum of the rain, somewhat comforting after the day's events. Her last thought before sleep overtook her senses was regret. She'd been too hard on her American friend, as per usual.Linka slept soundly that night. She slept through the strange, pulsating noise that was emanating though the walls. She slept through the sound of another elm tree being violently uprooted and sent flying by the gale force winds. She would therefore be unaware of the panic and confusion that eventuated immediately after the same tree brought the roof of her room down in one almighty crash some two hours after she fell asleep.