1-Rover-1 paced aimlessly back and forth across the small expanse of metal flooring in Zark's Ready Room, Susan's 'binocular' device hanging over his head.
"Wap!" he barked mournfully.
"I can't help but be worried too, right now." Susan admitted. "G-Force has just discovered a sleeping gas in Christmas presents distributed all over the Planet Erat! The gifts are supposed to be opened at midnight, and it is almost certain that Spectra will attack at that very moment! Now it's up to G-Force to stop them!"
"Wap, wap!" Rover added, his whole body sparking in response.
"You're right, 1-Rover-1." Susan agreed. "If anyone can prevent this disaster, it's G-Force!"
At that very moment, the members of G-Force gathered in the home where Mark had discovered the sleeping gas.
"No matter what we do, they won't wake up!" Princess reported.
"They'll probably be asleep for hours." Mark deduced. "Spectra wouldn't have wanted to take chances."
"What's going to happen when they attack, and everyone is sleeping?" Princess asked, tears in her eyes.
"They won't be able to get to bomb shelters!" Jason noted in disgust. "A dirty trick…"
Yet even as G-Force unraveled Spectra's dastardly plan, Vice-President Dander was cackling nastily.
"It won't be long now!" he smirked. "Only two hours to midnight, and then the attack begins! Spectra will be in control of Erat, and all of its resources!"
"I'd rather the President surrendered." Taranto growled, clutching at his glass of wine in an awkward fashion, as if he would be more comfortable with a mug of beer.
"Even if he doesn't it won't matter." Dander gloated. "With everyone sleeping for hours, there will be no one to resist as we take over the planet!"
"If the President's even awake right now, he's probably trembling in his boots." Taranto laughed nastily.
"Erat belongs to Spectra, and already would be under our control, if these idiot citizens hadn't decided to exile you, Taranto." Zoltar agreed. "We'll claim it again."
"No more leniency for these people!" Taranto declared. "They will go to work in the mines and munitions factories, excavating resources and building war robots for you, Lord Zoltar."
"The only fly in the ointment is G-Force." Zoltar pointed out. "If they should get here before the attack, there could be problems. If only we could be certain that they aren't aware of our plan…"
"We'll just lay a trap for them, in case they do show up!" Taranto declared. "In fact, I've already got a little something prepared."
"Taranto and I came up with this idea a few days ago." Dander admitted. "In fact, I asked Galaxy Security myself for their 'assistance'."
"Trust me, Zoltar, G-Force will never escape from the trap we've set for them!" Taranto assured the Spectran Leader. "They'll never know what hit them! Gone before you know it!" He raised his wine glass for a drink.
"Why was I not informed of this change in plans?" Zoltar asked angrily, although his facial expression remained calm. "You should have told me what you were doing! You've compromised this entire operation! The Luminous One will not be pleased! You had better make sure that this invasion goes off without any problems whatsoever, or it will be your head, Taranto!"
And indeed, the G-Force Team was on alert, scouring the city for signs of Spectran activity. They saw a small group of boys dressed in the traditional cloaks and caps of Erat, moving toward the ice statues.
"Look, those boys are still awake!" Princess noted.
"Jack… and friends…" Keyop burbled.
"Do you know those boys, Keyop?" Mark asked.
"Met them… before…" Keyop explained. "In city…"
"Spectra attacks in less than two hours." the Commander said. "They're in danger. We need to get them to safety." In short order, the G-Force Team was dashing through the dark streets.
"They're heading toward the ice statues." Mark realized.
Indeed, the boys were staring in wonder at the ice statues. Next to a statue of the Snow Queen was one of…
"The reindeer!" Jack declared. "Santa's workshop has got to be underneath the reindeer statue! Let's get digging!"
"Yeah!" the other boys agreed.
And yet, the reindeer statue's eyes glowed strangely… or was it strange after all? A Spectran soldier was behind those eyes, looking out at the night below.
"What is that?" he goggled, as he saw five shapes dart across the square below. Just to be certain, he checked another monitor.
"G-Force!" he gasped.
"G-Force?" Zoltar cried, upon hearing the news. "They're here?"
"Yes, my lord!" the soldier reported. "They're at the base of the reindeer statue!"
"This trap of yours had better be good!" Zoltar growled at Taranto and Dander.
"We're going to get them!" the General promised. "Dander and I spent a long time on this plan! It will succeed!"
"If it doesn't, the Great Spirit will be furious with us!" Zoltar countered. "Soldier, activate the trap doors!"
"Yes, Zoltar!" the man saluted.
Even now, the five boys were arriving at the base of the reindeer statue. As they approached, they realized how massive it truly was.
"Wow… Santa lives here!" Jack was clearly impressed.
"We can't break this!" one boy threw his club away. "We'll have to find another way to get down to the workshop!"
"Why… here?" Keyop wondered, as the G-Force Team caught sight of the boys.
"Maybe we can go up!" Jack replied, climbing a nearby set of stairs and leading his friends. But the floor fell away beneath them, and the boys dropped out of sight.
"Spectra!" Mark gasped. Indeed, another door had opened on the side of the statue's base, revealing a Spectran soldier.
"Spectra's base must be in there!" the Commander said.
"Rescue… boys!" Keyop burbled.
"Tiny, go get the Phoenix!" Mark ordered.
"You got it!" Tiny rushed off.
The Spectran soldier had come out to inspect the area. He was completely surprised when the Commander dropped down behind him.
Inside the reindeer statue-cum-Spectran Base, Zoltar, Taranto, Dander and a few Spectran guards entered a darkened room in which five cloaked figures crouched on the floor.
"Welcome, G-Force! It seems that you have fallen into our little trap. This will be the end of you!" Zoltar declared triumphantly.
But the figures grinned, and it was suddenly clear that these five were Jack and his friends.
"G-Force?" they called out, wide grins splitting their faces from ear to ear.
"I love G-Force!" one of them declared, pulling off his cap and waving it.
"What is this?" Zoltar was aghast. "And where is the real G-Force?"
"We don't like bullies and thugs!" Jack cried. "It's not nice to take things…"
"That don't belong to you!" the boys all finished in unison, approaching Zoltar and his cronies with their hands held up in a 'stop' gesture.
"You're not really going to hurt us, are you, Mister?" Chester asked innocently, approaching Zoltar. "You're not that mean, right? I can tell!"
But Zoltar's response was to push the boy away from him.
"I hate kids!" he yelled in disgust.
"You are mean!" Chester shouted as he stood up again.
"I cannot believe that your wonderful 'trap' caught nothing but these children!" Zoltar ranted. "Where is the real G-Force?"
"Right over here, Zoltar!"
"What?" Zoltar turned in fear, only to see the G-Force Team standing behind him. "It can't be!"
"We won't let you push around small children any more!" Mark declared. "We're here to stop your invasion!"
"Wow, it's G-Force!" the boys all shouted.
The shadows of the G-Force members flew across the wall as the Team prepared to defend itself. Flashes could be seen of Mark and Keyop kicking at the Spectran guards. The boys cheered on their heroes, thrilled to be in the midst of such action. Princess threw out her yo-yo, while Keyop flew head first into Dander's stomach. Mark, Princess and Keyop leapt and flew while Keyop bit the head of a Spectran soldier attempting to attack.
"We need to get these boys out of here!" the Commander cried, and the shadows flew across the wall again, this time with a group of children in tow.
"Everyone, evacuate this section!" Zoltar's voice was heard across the din as the Spectran guards began to run. The Commander pulled a handful of minibombs from his pouch and threw them into the base, before grabbing Ted and leaping through a window, to better flee the forthcoming explosion.
The G-Force Team flew out of the reindeer statue's eye, but easily glided to the ground with the aid of their wings, despite carrying the rescued boys along with them. Yet the crisis was not over. The door at the base of the statue opened, and a hundred evacuating Spectran soldiers stormed out, ready for action!
Yet the soldiers saw no sign of their quarry. Indeed, G-Force was hiding in the bushes, knowing that they did not risk another confrontation with the Spectrans when there was the all-too-real possibility that the boys could be hurt on the sidelines.
"They're everywhere, Mark!" Princess whispered.
"We can't risk the lives of these boys." the Commander answered her unspoken question.
"We can fight too!" Chester stood up, shouting with pride. "We're with G-Force!"
Of course, this was enough to catch the notice of the Spectran guards, and laser fire immediately blanketed the area. A frustrated Commander covered Chester with his wings, even as the remaining members of G-Force did the same for the other boys.
"Let me go! I can fight! We want to help G-Force!" Chester continued to cry.
But help was on the way. The Phoenix appeared in the night sky. This fact wasn't lost on the Spectrans.
"It's the Phoenix!" one of the soldiers cried.
"It's coming this way!" shouted another. But before the Spectrans could react, the spaceship had swooped down, sending them all tumbling to the ground in its wake. Mark, Princess, Jason and Keyop lost no time in jumping aboard, taking the boys with them, in order to ensure their safety. Tiny immediately took off, as soon as everyone was safely on the Bridge.
"G-Force is getting away!" Zoltar said angrily, raising his fist in front of his viewscreen. "We cannot let them stop our invasion! They must be destroyed!" A Spectran soldier obediently pressed a number of buttons at his control panel, and suddenly the reindeer statue disappeared, only to be replaced by a red and black reindeer robot! Yet the robot transformed into a different creature: wings sprouted from its side, and two of its four legs retracted into its body. The remaining two were left behind as the rest of the robot launched from what was left of the statue's pedestal. The reindeer robot had become a Christmas partridge! The flying partridge robot began pursuit of the Phoenix.
"Spectran ship at coordinates 5.6.9!" Princess called out.
"Tiny, lose that thing!" the Commander ordered simply.
"You've got it, Mark!"
The boys cheered from the back of the Bridge, where Princess and Jason watched over them.
But the partridge robot began firing at the Phoenix, and Tiny had to pull the ship straight up.
"Boys, buckle your seatbelts!" Princess instructed, as the spaceship shook from the stress of this maneuver.
"Make sure you're strapped in tight, kids." Jason advised. "As you've seen, the Happiness Boys don't always play nice."
"Zoltar sure isn't giving up easy!" Mark noted.
The Commander's words were proven correct by a barrage of missiles that came from the nose of the partridge robot. Tiny swerved the Phoenix upward, but the missiles swerved as well, moving along right behind.
"Commander, they're following us!" the Pilot cried. The Phoenix continued to swerve and dive in an attempt to lose the projectiles, all to no avail.
"They must be heat-seeking missiles." Mark said. "They're attracted to our heat output!"
"That means the Fiery Phoenix is out." Princess noted.
"No, we have to avoid those missiles!" Chester gibbered, grabbing alternately at Keyop and Princess. "Get us out of here, G-Force!"
"Bring us up to those snow clouds, Tiny! They should lower out hull temperature." Mark ordered.
"Roger." Tiny agreed, a determined expression on his face.
"G-Force, I have you this time!" Zoltar crowed, watching the chase from his partridge robot. "There is no way you can avoid those heat-seeking missiles. It doesn't matter how high you go! You are doomed! Erat is mine! The Federation is mine!"
The Phoenix continued to streak straight up toward the sky.
"Hull temperature is at -30 degrees!" Tiny reported.
"I think I'm gonna be sick…" Jack moaned. None of the boys were looking very good. Keyop and Jason were barely hanging on, since they had given up their seats to the Phoenix's young passengers, and were now forced to stand.
"Lord Zoltar, we can't find the Phoenix in all of these clouds!" one of the Spectran soldiers onboard the partridge robot announced. "We don't know where it is!"
"It doesn't matter! Our heat-seeking missiles will find them!" Zoltar crowed. And sure enough, the missiles were still following the Phoenix.
"Now, Tiny! To the partridge robot! From behind!" the Commander barked his orders.
"10-4!" Tiny agreed. With a sudden burst from the engines, the Phoenix burst out of the clouds, to the rear of the Spectran robot.
"They're behind us! Everyone evacuate!" one of the Spectran soldiers cried, ready to run.
"Thrusters up, Tiny!" Mark shouted.
The Phoenix flew up at a sharp angle, soaring over the partridge robot. But the missiles behind them did not follow, instead crashing head-on into the Spectran ship. The partridge robot began to explode. Onboard, Taranto and Dander were thrown to the floor.
"Zoltar, we must escape!" Taranto begged, his hand on Zoltar's shoulder.
"Let's evacuate! Follow me!" Zoltar cried, running off toward an open door.
A few seconds later, an escape ship was seen zooming away from the doomed partridge.
Onboard the Phoenix, everyone watched the destruction of the Spectran warship with intense relief.
"Yay for G-Force!" Jack grinned. "They did it!"
"Three cheers for G-Force!" the other boys added. "Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!"
The cheers echoed as the remnants of the partridge robot fell into the uninhabited mountains of Erat, far from the sleeping citizens of Okra.
"Aw, man, I wanted to be the one to blast them!" Chester sulked.
"Just be glad you're safe." Princess said kindly.
"And it's Christmas!" Ted reminded him.
"Merry Christmas, Spectra!" Chester stuck his tongue out at the fleeing Spectran ships.
The dawn was breaking, and the sky was beginning to lighten as G-Force dropped the boys back in Okra.
"Go home to your families. Everyone should be waking up shortly." the Commander told them.
"I'm glad everyone's going to be okay!" Jack said in relief.
"I wish we had gotten real Christmas presents though." Chester sighed.
"Maybe… could…" Keyop burbled.
"Keyop, that's a terrific idea!" Princess agreed, before turning to the boys. "I think we can arrange for some real presents to be delivered. After all, today is Christmas Eve."
"Wow, that's great!" Chester lit up with excitement, rushing toward Princess. "You're the best!"
"Thanks so much!" Ted added, running to Keyop.
"G-Force is the greatest!" another boy shouted, raising his fist in the air.
"Hey, guys, stop!" Jack shouted. "Princess said it before. We're alive! We're safe! And General Taranto is gone! That's the best present we could have. Peace!"
"Peace!" the boys agreed happily, throwing their arms into the air.
"Jack is right. Peace on Earth… and on Erat… is what Christmas is all about." the Commander concurred. "Merry Christmas, everyone. I know you're going to have a great holiday."
"Yeah! And Santa's still coming tonight…" Jack mused. "He'll bring presents!"
"Santa's the greatest." Princess giggled.
"It's time to get back, everyone." Mark ordered. The members of G-Force turned and leapt into the air, flying up high to the hull of the Phoenix.
"That was incredible!" Jack's jaw fell.
"Don't forget us, G-Force!" Chester called out.
"Won't… forget…" Keyop burbled, waving from the top of the ship.
"Merry Christmas!" Chester called back. "I hope Santa brings you presents too!" But then he blinked, realizing something.
"What would G-Force want for Christmas? They have everything…" Chester wondered.
"What would G-Force want for Christmas?" Susan asked 1-Rover-1, as they observed the proceedings. "I think they would like to have a day off, to relax with their family and friends, and to enjoy the love they all share for each other." She sighed as she watched the Phoenix fly off into the sunrise.
"I'm sure Chief Anderson has something special planned for them, when they arrive home." Susan continued.
"Wap, wap, wap!" 1-Rover-1 agreed.
"It's wonderful that G-Force will get to spend Christmas together." Susan sighed, unhappiness evident in her tone. "I wish I could spend Christmas with someone. I'm all alone here, on the Planet Pluto."
"Wap, wap!" Rover replied.
"Oh, thank you, 1-Rover-1." Susan said gratefully. "I appreciate your company. Really, I do. But you know…"
"You're right, 1-Rover-1. Zark is the one I'd truly like to be with for Christmas. I know he didn't think we could do this job… but we have, haven't we? And I do miss him. After all, it isn't a holiday unless you're with the one you love?"
"Did I hear my name?" Zark shuffled into the room, inching along the smooth, metallic floor.
"Zark!" Susan's voice was surprised, but pleased. "I didn't expect to see you back so soon. What happened to your grandfather?"
"He was invited to spend Christmas with the designers at Quanto Tobor Labs." Zark sighed. "Oh, what I would give for such an honor! But they only wanted 4-Zark-4, not 7-Zark-7…"
"We want you, 7-Zark-7." Susan gushed. "After all, what's Christmas without our favorite robot?"
"Really?" Zark tittered, his colored lights flashing in an embarrassed pattern.
"Wap! Wap, wap!"
"Really." Susan confirmed. "Now it will be a merry Christmas after all!"
"Merry Christmas to you too, Susan!" Zark giggled briefly before saluting. "To you, and to everyone working for… G-Force!"