Fire Fly Air Force-Chapter 17

Chapter 17

The Fire Fly Air Force demonstrated their flying skill for Morty as planned. They were magnificent. Morty was pleased.

“Your fliers will be the perfect way to deliver the message,” he said.

“We can begin practicing immediately,” said Luke.

Morty felt like the conductor of an orchestra. He stood in one spot and raised his hand to start. The fireflies responded just as he directed them to do. Luke’s fliers were so well trained that the job was easy. Morty taught them the message in one night.

“Your fliers are fabulous. They follow direction very well.”

“They have to fly well to avoid capture by the Phyros,” said Luke. “Gandor and his tribe are always after us.”

“Have you lost manyvfliers?”

“So far we have been lucky; we only lost one flier to a Phyro. Most of the casualties are on the ground. Phyros sneak into the crowd and catch our citizens off guard.”

Lex returned from his traitorous mission to tell Gandor about the games. He arrived just in time to begin rehearsals with Morty and Luke. No one in the air force suspected Lex as a Phyro, not even Luke. Luke was good at recognizing a Phyro because Nancy taught him all of the Phyro’s traits.

“Watch their tail lights,” she told him. “Just as it turns on, the color is a pale yellow for a moment, and then it becomes normal. Their flashes are not as sharp as ours.”

Luke studied these traits on his many secret trips into the Phyro yards. As a young firefly, he took short trips into the Phyro’s yard. He knew it was a dangerous thing to do, but he wanted to study them. His trips were always in the daytime when most fireflies rested. He kept his light off to stay undetected. When he was in Phyro territory, he walked through the grass, staying low and hidden. If Nancy ever knew what he was doing, she would have beaten him. Luke’s father had gone exploring into Phyro territory, and never returned.

Prince Lex was a Phyro, but he learned all of the Lucern habits. He had to know their traits well to be a spy. In fact, he was more like a Lucern than a Phyro, and they did not recognize him.

Lex became a spy to please his father. King Gandor did not give his son much love at all. Lex longed for his father’s love and would do anything to get his approval. Each time Lex brought information, Gandor made the same comment.

“Is this all you have for me?”

**********************************************************************

Lex learned the special message from God during the rehearsal. What a beautiful message, he thought. I wish God would send me a message like that.

After rehearsal, Lex went to see Morty.

“Morty, I understand you are the one who rescued Torch from the Phyros.”

“Yes, I am, but I only snatched Torch from capture. It was Nancy who recognized that he was in danger.”

Lex told him how much he enjoyed practicing.

“I am a spy,” he blurted to a shocked Morty.

“My father Gandor is king of the Phyros. Gandor made me join the Lucern tribe to spy on them, Luke does not know it, but his air force has been providing the Phyros with food all summer. I tell Gandor where the air force is performing, and he sends the tribe to watch. They capture unsuspecting Lucerns while they watch the games.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“I only want my father to love me, but he doesn’t. I can never make him happy enough. When I learned the special message during practice, it changed me.”

“Does your father know about the message?”

“He doesn’t know about the message, only about the games.”

“We have to tell Luke,” said Morty.

“He will kill me when he finds out what I did.”

“No, he won’t, I will talk him into sparing you.”

*******************************************************************

Luke’s tail light glowed so bright, it nearly became hot. The news about Lex displeased him. Morty calmed him and spoke to him in a gentle tone.

“Luke, use this information to your benefit. Listen, I have a plan.”

The two of them huddled alone as Morty explained his plan. Luke came out of the meeting smiling.

“Flash,” he said, “Go get Lex, and bring him to me.”

Flash brought Lex before Luke. Morty sat by quiet. Luke angrily scolded Lex.

“I should kill you, but I won’t. Instead, I want you to take this message to your father.”

“I don’t understand.”

“You don’t have to understand, just do as I ask. Take the message, or I will tell your father that you confessed,” commanded Luke. “Gandor will banish you, and the Lucerns will shun you. You will be in exile all alone. Take the message, and I will accept you as a Lucern.”

Lex flew off to find Gandor. Morty excused himself. As he left, he said,

“I’ll be back on the night when there is no moon. Meet me in Ben’s yard.”

Fire Fly Air Force-Chapter 16

Chapter 16

The Phyro King Gandor received flashes from his spy, Prince Lex. Lex told him the story of Torch’s rescue. The king became furious. He was upset that an outsider interfered with his business. A complete stranger stole a meal right out of his hands. He wanted revenge. The angry king planned an attack on Luke’s Lucern clan. Gandor sent flashes to his subjects. “Go immediately to where the air force is performing for Morty.”

Phyros sneak into the crowd at the fire fly competitions often. They loved to capture insects to eat. This time though, Gandor’s plan was to capture the air force. Gandor called for his Phyro fliers to hide in the grass to watch the show for Morty. On King Gandor’s signal, the Phyros were to fly up to capture a Lucern. He pictured thousands of Phyro’s, flashing in midair, and catching Lucerns. His tribe would meet afterward for a great feast. One by one, the Phyros took off to the meeting place with their taillights off.

Fire Fly Air Force-Chapter 14

“Morty, fly high,” said Michael Archangel.

“Is that all?”

“That’s all I can say. Just fly high.”

“Okay.”

Morty nosed Skye upward and leveled off just below some low clouds. Nancy hung onto Morty’s curl scared.

“This is higher than I’ve ever flown before,” she said. “Everything looks so small from here.”

“Look down,” said Morty. “Do you see the fire fly flashes everywhere?”

“How beautiful they look from above,” said Nancy, “Look over there.”

She pointed with her tiny front leg. Morty spotted what she saw. They were streaks of yellow light from fireflies flying in formations.

“That must be Luke,” said Nancy. “We found him. We found him.”

Actually, it was not Luke. It was Jaime, and his squadron. Ben ran into the yard. Morty and Nancy watched as he captured Jaime, and placed him into a jar. They also watched the beautiful formation break up as the squadron scattered to avoid capture. Just then, Morty spotted the very bright signal again.

Short, short, short; pause, long, long, long; pause short, short, short, then darkness. Ben’s friend grabbed at the light just after it went dark.

“That’s him,” shouted Morty.

“It’s Torch, the firefly whose signal I saw once before, he disappeared just as Ben’s friend went to grab him.”

“Hold on,” shouted Morty. He made himself and Skye invisible, and landed in the yard. He hopped onto Ben’s shoulder. Nancy clung to his curl. They peered into the bottle to look for Luke.

“He’s not in there,” said Nancy. “It’s not Luke.”

Next, Morty went to the boy who swiped at Torch. They looked in his bottle. Torch was not there either. Neither Morty nor Nancy saw the bright light.

“He must have escaped,” said Morty, “I missed him again.”

“Look up,” said Gracie, “there in the sky over the next yard.”

Morty spotted the light too. It was bright. It blinked the same way as before, short, short, short; pause, long, long, long; pause, short, short, short.

Morty pushed the turbo-blaster button. They streaked through the sky chasing Torch. Morty leveled off and slowed just as Torch began his dive toward the Phyros.

“Oh no!” said Nancy.

“What?”

“Look below,” she said, “Those are Phyros.”

“What are Phyros?” he asked. Torch dropped fast, and Nancy could see that the Phyros were ready for him. She lost her husband to the Phyros. Nancy knew, by the way they blink their lights. These fireflies were not as friendly as they looked.

“No time to explain, we have to rescue him, dive, dive, dive,” she screamed.

Morty nosed Skye downward and dropped fast, but Torch stayed ahead of him. Morty pushed the turbo button again. Everything became a blur. Morty leaned to his right, and held out his hand while he used the other to steer out of the dive. Skye pulled up just before hitting the grass. Morty caught Torch in the palm of his hand, and closed his fist around him just as Torch floated in front of the Phyros.

Skye soared upward with Nancy still clinging to Morty’s curl. Torch was safe in Morty’s hand. The Phyros below all flashed, and chased after Morty. They were very angry since they had lost a meal. The scooter leveled off and hovered above the Phyro yard. Nancy breathed more easily, now that they had flown out of the reach of the Phyros. Morty opened his hand to free Torch.

“Where am I? What happened?” asked the frightened Torch.

“Safe in Morty Angel’s hand,” said Nancy, “He just saved you from becoming a Phyro-burger.”

“I don’t believe it,” Torch exclaimed.

“Look down there,” she said. “See the Phyros swarming; Morty caught you just in time.”

“No, no, I don’t believe I found Morty Angel,” said Torch.

“It’s more like he found you,” she said.

“He did find me,” interrupted Morty, “if I had not seen his signal, and his bright light, I couldn’t have known who he was.”

“Thank-you for saving me Morty, I have a message for you.”

“I know. I found Stretch. He told me all about your work to find me to give me the message.”

“Can we go find Luke now?” asked an impatient Nancy.

“Of course,” said Morty. He moved Skye slowly through the air above the yards.

The three of them, Morty flying the scooter, Nancy and Torch resting on his curl, could see that the flurry of activity caused by the children had subsided. All the lightening bugs had shut off their lights to hide from the kids. I am sure Gracie helped with that, thought Morty to himself.

Ben and his friend had gone back into the house for the night. They were in Ben’s dark bedroom watching the fireflies in the bottle. A short time later, the friend’s father came to take him home.

Morty waited until the house went dark and everyone was asleep. He landed by the Arbor Vitae tree next to the house.

“It will be safe here,” he told Nancy and Torch, “Wait for me to come out. I’m going to set your friends free.”

The bedroom was quiet. Ben was asleep. Gracie lay on the pillow next to his head. The jar with the lightening bugs was on the dresser. The lid was on loose. A few of the beetles flashed dimly. Morty could hear them crying softly. Jaime clung to the underside of the lid looking for a way to get out. The bedroom window was open, and a cool breeze swept into the room. The curtains moved ever so gently.

Gracie was almost asleep when Morty entered. He put his hand gently on her shoulder not to startle her.

“Morty, what are you doing here? I thought you would be gone longer?”

“I’m here just for a moment,” he said. “I have some friends waiting for me outside. I came to free the fireflies.”

“Ben will be disappointed if they disappear,” whispered Gracie.

“I’ll make it look like they escaped,” said Morty.

“How will you do that?”

“Watch me.” Morty gently tipped the bottle on its side then turned the lid just a bit. The lid came off and fell next to the jar.

“Come out little beetles.” Jaimie, who was on the underside of the lid, was airborne and heading into the breeze that came from the window.

“Thanks,” he flashed to Morty. Morty blinked his halo in response.

“Go to the arbor vitae. Friends are waiting there.”

Morty lifted the screen further for the beetles to escape. One by one, the fireflies flew out to the arbor vitae. While they left, Morty told Gracie the whole story about Nancy, Torch, Stretch, and the Phyros.

“Gosh,” said Gracie. “You have been busy.”

“I have to go now. I have a special message to deliver, but I need your help to deliver it.”

Morty explained his plan to Gracie. He would be gone with the fireflies. She was to bring Ben to the patio behind the house on the night when there was no moon.

“Please have all of the house-lights out too,” he said. “It will make the delivery more special.” He blinked goodbye then disappeared into the night.

To Be Continued . . .

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