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  1. #1
    Cullen is offline Member
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    Planet of the Tomatoes

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    Hi everyone, this here is my second attempt at writing an Attack of the Killer Tomatoes fanfic. This is my vision of a new Killer Tomatoes saga and it takes place after the second season when the Killer Tomatoes took over the world. And the animated Killer Tomatoes series are property of Marvel and Fox. And this fanfic is rated PG.

    Planet of the Tomatoes

    By Cullen Pittman

    Chapter 1

    That’s Your Cucumber!

    In the vast plain of outer space, we see something green and long speeding through the galaxy. It looked almost like a giant cucumber, but it also looked like some kind of strange rocket ship. In truth, it was both. The cucumber shaped rocket was approaching a planet called Earth. In the old days, the third planet from the sun known as Earth would be colored blue and green, but now it looked like it had been stained completely red, almost like it was a meatball that got covered in marinara.

    The rocket curiously approached the red planet to get a closer look and then started studying the surfaces of each section of Earth. The planet seemed to be populated with vicious round red monsters known as killer tomatoes. The rocket soared past each country and studied the chaos and suffering that was going on. In Italy, the tomatoes were stomping on pizza and spaghetti parlors. In France, the tomatoes were decorating the Eiffel Tower to look like a huge ketchup bottle. In England, some Tomato guards were surrounding Buckingham Palace bowing down to a huge tomato dressed like a queen. In Australia, some huge tomatoes were hopping around with smaller tomatoes in what looked like pouches in their fronts. And in Siberia, we see a bunch of tomatoes freezing in the snow trying to do Russian dances to keep warm. If there were any people on this planet, they were either in hiding, taken prisoner, or being chased by the vicious tomatoes.

    The unseen pilot of the rocket studied everything and replied in a disgusted voice, “Otamot!” Then the rocket went back up into space to study the red colored Earth at a distance once again. Every inch of the Earth was red, except one tiny spot that seemed to be free from redness. The pilot reached out a gloved hand and took out something that looked like a photograph of a 5 year old Earth boy in a baseball cap. The pilot made a command in a strange language and the rocket started to head for the red cleared spot on Earth known as San Zucchini, California.

    * * * * * *

    San Zucchini seemed to be the only town on Earth to be free from tomato tyranny. The citizens were living peaceful happy lives. Next, we come to a place called Finletter’s Tomatoless Pizza Palace at night where customers were eating some weird looking pizzas. Some were topped with peanut butter, some with chocolate sauce, and some with caramel and whipped cream. These types of toppings might seem disgusting to people who didn’t live in a tomato controlled world, but these people didn’t care, just as long as there were no tomatoes on their pizza. The owner, Wilbur Finletter and his waitress, Tara, were at the booth watching the news on the above TV.

    “This is Whitley White bringing you the latest reports”, said the newscaster standing at the edge of the town. “So far, San Zucchini is experiencing its sixteenth day of no killer tomato attacks. And it’s all thanks to these wonderful worms guarding our beloved town, those mysterious creatures from Africa known as the Tomato Worms!” Whitley pointed to a tribe of worms about the size of a kid. They were smiling and waving to the camera with their tails. One of them was holding up a sign that said, “WOW IH.”

    “You got your sign upside-down, dimbo!” whispered one of the worms.

    “Oops!” said the other worm blushing and then turned the sign around until it said, “HI MOM!”

    “Here with me is the Chief of the Tomato Worms”, said Whitley, approaching the largest worm with a crown on his head. “May I call you Chiefie!”

    “Only if you want me to burrow inside your head and eat the part of your brain that came up with that demeaning name!” said the Chief worm.

    “Okay, how about I just call you Your Majesty instead?” said Whitley sweating.

    “That’ll make me happy”, said the Chief.

    “Your Majesty”, said Whitley. “You and your tribe used to protect the Heart of Africa from the killer tomato hordes that tried to conquer it. So why leave your precious jungle to live here in the obscure, small town of San Zucchini?”

    “Simple Whitley”, said the Chief. “Two kids from America traveled to our secret hidden village and told us about the juiciest killer tomatoes hanging out in their town. So we inched our way here and had a ball chomping away at those luscious tomato bigheads! Ever since then, the townspeople have been so good to us. Giving us stuff like TVs, stereos, videos of old sci-fi shows, and all sorts of neat stuff. And all we have to do is guard this town from any killer tomatoes that try to sneak in.”

    “And there you have it”, said Whitley. “And we should thank the two young heroes for bringing us these heroic worms. They’re 10 year old Chad Finletter and the pretty and hot teenage Tara Boumdeay.”

    “I must say Tara, I’m really glad you and my nephew traveled all the way to Africa to bring back those worms”, said Wilbur. “We really could’ve used those warriors during the Great Tomato Wars back in the old days.”

    “Thank you, Mr. Finletter”, said Tara. “I just wish there were enough Tomato Worms to free the entire world.”

    “At least San Zucchini is a start”, said Wilbur. “If only the Killer Tomato Task Force was big again, then maybe we’d have a chance to splat every killer tomato on this planet! We lost a lot of good men and women during the first Tomato War.” Wilbur then turned to a bulletin board that had a bunch of photographs of heroic looking soldiers and above it said, “IN LOVING MEMORY!”

    “I’ve never noticed that in the restaurant before”, said Tara.

    “Oh, it’s just something I decided to hang back up ever since we rebuilt the pizza palace from the last attack”, said Wilbur. “I thought I should acknowledge the brave soldiers who gave up their lives to protect us from those cold sauced tomato monsters!”

    “I can’t believe all these people lost their lives because of to-to-tomatoes!” gasped Tara, for she started out as a tomato thanks to an experiment from the evil Dr. Gangreen. She felt ashamed that her tomato race caused all those deaths.

    “Wait a minute”, said Tara, looking at a blank photo. “I think you put this picture on backwards.” She was about to unpin it and turn it the other way until Wilbur grabbed her hand.

    “If you don’t mind, Tara”, said Wilbur. “I prefer to keep this certain photo facing the board. Subject closed! Now I have to go in the back and cook some more pizzas”, and he went into the kitchen, leaving a puzzled Tara.

    Just then, the fuzzy tomato known as F.T. jumped onto the table and used his vine to grab onto the backwards photo. “No, F.T!”, said Tara, sternly. “Mr. Finletter will squash you for removing that!” She took the photo from F.T. and suddenly got a look at it. It was a photo of a couple in soldier uniforms, a man with a brown mullet and a big chin and a pretty woman with short blonde hair. They were holding a 5 year old blonde haired boy with a baseball cap.

    “Why that looks like Chad!” gasped Tara.

    “Did somebody call me?” asked a kid’s voice. Tara looked up and saw Wilbur’s nephew, Chad, coming in holding his skateboard.

    “Oh, hi Chad”, said Tara. “How did those pizza deliveries go?”

    “Just the usual”, said Chad. “That snooty rich guy tipped me with jacks again. I would’ve preferred if he tipped me with Nintendo Games.”

    “Say Chad”, said Tara showing him the photo. “Do you know anything about this picture and this couple? That little kid there looks a lot like you.”

    Chad suddenly gasped in shock as he saw the photo. He stood there silently for a minute and then tears started to form in his eyes. “Chad, are you all right?” asked Tara concerned.

    “Oh, yeah”, said Chad snapping out of it and then drying his eyes with his sleeve. He took the photo from Tara and pinned it back to the bulletin board backwards. “I don’t know if Uncle Wilbur told you this, but he says that this particular photo must be pinned on here backwards at all times”, said Chad with a somber look.

    “Okay”, said Tara. “But do you know who that couple was? Were they your….?”

    “Listen, Tara”, said Chad in a sad voice. “I really don’t have time to talk right now. I just remembered something about tonight.” And he took two breadsticks from a nearby table and picked up his skateboard again. “Please tell Uncle Wilbur I have some business to do in the park.”

    “What kind of business?” asked Tara.

    “Don’t worry”, said Chad. “Uncle Wilbur will know. See ya’!” And he skated out the door like a lightning bolt. F.T. made a questionable squeak.

    “Something seemed really wrong with Chad”, said Tara, picking up F.T. “Why is he going to the park with two breadsticks?”

    “Breadsticks?” asked Wilbur who came back in. “Oh dear!” he went over to the nearby calendar and looked at the day. “Oh yes. It’s the anniversary.”

    “Anniversary?” asked Tara.

    “Tara”, said Wilbur. “Since you’re like a big part of our family, I might as well go ahead and show you this picture.” He took the photo off the bulletin board once again and showed it to Tara and F.T. “This was Chad when he was 5 years old and these two with him are his parents.”

    “His parents?!” gasped Tara.

    “Yep”, said Wilbur. “This here is my brother Rob and his wife Elisa. They were the finest soldiers I ever got to work with during the Great Tomato War. And they were great parents to Chad as well.”

    “Wow”, said Tara, studying the couple. “I’ve always wondered what Chad’s parents were like. Wait a minute, if they were on the loving memory board….”

    “They disappeared 5 years ago”, said Wilbur with a sad look.

    “Did they get eaten by, you know whats?” asked Tara.

    “That’s my guess”, said Wilbur. “No bodies or traces of them were found. So we predicted that huge and rotten killer tomatoes must’ve devoured every inch of them! Ooooh! It boils my mozzarella just thinking about that day!”

    “How did Chad take it?” asked Tara.

    “Pretty badly”, said Wilbur. “Chad said he was the only one who saw everything. But he said it wasn’t tomatoes that made his parents go away. He claimed that a huge flying cucumber appeared in the sky and took them away.”

    “A flying cucumber?” asked Tara. F.T. made a question mark shaped cucumber appear over his head.

    “Chad was only 5 years old back then”, said Wilbur. “Maybe he only said that so he wouldn’t have to eat my famous cucumber pizza again. Or maybe he imagined the giant cucumber just so he could push the gory truth out of his mind. Ever since that day, I took the boy in and looked after him like my own.”

    “I can imagine how poor Chad feels”, said Tara as she and F.T. looked at the door the boy left through. “But why did he take two breadsticks with him?”

    “His parents really loved breadsticks”, said Wilbur looking out the night window. “In fact, they loved eating them so much that they hardly ever have room to eat one of my latest pizza recipes. It’s like they were trying to avoid my cooking.”

    * * * * * *

    In the San Zucchini Central Park, we see Chad skating on the pathway. He watched all the kids playing, having late night picnics, and having fun with their parents. One of the kids held up a giant banner that said, “HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY and another kid held up a banner that read, HAPPY FATHERS’ DAY. “Excuse me”, Chad asked the kids. “But today is not Mothers’ Day or Fathers’ Day.”

    “We know”, said the first boy.

    “We’re just thankful we have loving Moms and Dads who will never ever leave us”, said the second boy as they ran off to hug their parents.

    “Oh brother!” groaned Chad as he skated off leaving the happy families.

    Chad kept skating and soon saw a mother and father squirrel playing with their babies and a mother and father bird feeding their new baby bird. Chad flinched as he looked up in the sky and saw two airplanes along with a tiny airplane flying in between them. And it looked like they were all joining wings. “Aw, come on!” groaned Chad. “Was all this because I snatched the last doughnut from the writers’ lounge?” And he continued skating and then came to a spot on a small hill. There he approached two small rocks planted in the ground and on them had the words, MOM and DAD, written on them in marker.

    “Hi, Mom and Dad”, said Chad as he bent down and placed the two breadsticks on the ground right in front of the rocks and then looked up in the sky. “I’ve placed your favorite yearly snacks down here once again. Maybe you can come by and get them and maybe even stay a while or maybe forever. Please?” And he covered his face in his arms to hide a sad look. Then he felt some hands on his shoulders. “Mom and Dad?!” gasped Chad as he looked up but then saw somebody else.

    “Hi, Chad”, said Tara smiling while F.T. was there too.

    “Tara”, gasped Chad trying to suck in his sadness. “What are you doing out here?”

    “Uncle Wilbur told me everything”, said Tara as she saw the two rocks. “Are these your parents’ tombstones?”

    “No, these are just rocks to remind me of the spot I last saw them”, said Chad.

    “I’m sorry that your parents were killed by,..you know!” said Tara. “Now I am truly ashamed to be one of them.”

    “Listen, Tara”, said Chad. “Whatever Uncle Wilbur told you, it wasn’t tomatoes that killed my parents. My parents weren’t even killed in the first place. They were kidnapped!”

    “By a flying cucumber?” asked Tara.

    “Uncle Wilbur thinks I just imagined it”, said Chad. “But I’ll tell you what really happened 5 years ago. On second thought, could I just have a flashback please? It’s kind of painful to talk about it.”

    The screen nodded and started to ripple. We see a 5 year old Chad with his parents enjoying a nice picnic in the park. Just then, a horde of killer tomatoes started to charge at them. Chad’s mom picked up her boy and hid him inside a hole in a hollow tree and then went to join her husband. Chad watched amazed as his mom used her karate to splat the tomato villains into paste while his dad took out an egg beater gun and turned the rest of the tomatoes into soup.

    Once the battle was over, Chad smiled and saw his parents standing proudly in the sauce covered park. He was about to climb out of the tree to join them until a huge shadow covered the sky. Chad hid back in the tree as he saw a gigantic rocket cucumber appear in the sky. His parents looked up in shock and suddenly a hatch opened and a pair of huge vines dropped down, grabbed the couple and lifted them into the rocket. Then the cucumber blasted off into the sky. “MAMMA! PAPPA!” cried Chad as he ran out of the tree and tried to chase after the rocket, but then disappeared out of sight. Chad got down on his knees in the sauce covered grass and started crying. Just as his Uncle Wilbur approached the scene. Then the flashback ended.

    “That was the saddest flashback I’ve ever seen”, said Tara with teary eyes. F.T. sobbed as well. “But I’m just thankful that it wasn’t my tomato race that did away with your parents”, said Tara as she hugged Chad.

    “Thanks for listening, Tara”, said Chad getting himself back together again. “I kind of needed a friend right now.”

    “But why place breadsticks on this spot?” asked Tara. “Don’t people usually honor missing loved ones with flowers?”

    “Mom and Dad always loved breadsticks”, said Chad. “And every time I end up placing two breadsticks on this spot, they suddenly disappear. That must be a sign that they’re still alive and they’re trying to make their way back to me.” Then Chad looked down and found the breadsticks gone. “See, what did I tell you?” said Chad with hope.

    Tara looked in the distance and saw the breadsticks getting dragged away by a group of ants. She decided not to let Chad know about this.

    “A giant flying cucumber does sound out of the ordinary”, said Tara, “I wonder what it was doing here and why it took away your parents?”

    “I don’t know”, said Chad with rage. “But if that creepy cucumber ever comes back again, I’ll….”

    “Save that thought”, said Tara as she and F.T. suddenly looked up in the sky. “Because I think that’s happening now!”

    “What?!” gasped Chad as he looked up and saw a cucumber shaped rocket traveling through the night sky. “It’s finally happening!” he gasped. He quickly grabbed his skateboard and followed after the rocket.

    “Wait, Chad!” cried Tara as she took F.T. and jumped on the skateboard with him.

    * * * * * *

    Back at the pizza palace, Wilbur was stuffing a garbage bag in the dumpster that was sprouting a moving tentacle. “Giant kraken pizza wasn’t my best idea this year”, sighed Wilbur as he tried to swat back the tentacle with a cooking fork and closed the dumpster. Just then, he looked up in the sky and saw the cucumber rocket. “A flying cucumber?!” gasped Wilbur. “Then Chad was telling the truth!” He rushed back into the parlor and grabbed his war uniform. “Maybe my brother and sister in-law haven’t died a horrible ketchup death!” said Wilbur as he slipped it on.

    * * * * * *

    At the KRUD TV station, Whitley White was going home for the evening. “Interviewing worms?!” he grumbled. “I hate these slow news nights!” Just then, he saw the cucumber rocket. “Visitors from space!” gasped Whitley. “A story like this’ll get me out of this small town station and maybe on 60 minutes! Come on, crew. Let’s get….” Whitley looked around and saw the empty lot. “Oh yeah, that’s right”, sighed Whitley. “My crew’s gone home to their families! Those family things have become more addictive than video games! Oh well, I guess I’m taking this one solo!” And he took out a mini-camcorder, got into a news van, and followed the rocket.

    * * * * * *

    In a small house, we see the evil Dr. Gangreen and his surfer dude like assistant, Igor Smith, working in a garden. “Soon, Igor!” cackled Gangreen while holding a hoe. “We’ll have a new army to take over the world!”

    “Cool, your greened thumbship!” said Igor. “What kind of vicious tomato monsters are you growing this time?”

    “No more tomatoes!” shouted Gangreen. “I’m through with those turncoat little redheads! When I created my finest tomato army and took over the world, they double crossed me, kicked us out of my evil scientist’s home and we ended up living in this low rent home! Which is why I’m going to start over with a new type of vegetable army!”

    “What kind?” asked Igor, “Oooh! Let me guess! Potatoes!”

    “Of course not!” growled Gangreen. “Potatoes sound too much like tomatoes! If I grow killer potatoes, their brains might get confused and think those tomatoes are their brothers and then turn against me as well!”

    “Okay, how about jellybeans?” said Igor.

    “Jellybeans aren’t real vegetables you dope!” shouted Gangreen. “The only damage they can do to people is cause tooth decay!”

    “Cucumber!” gasped Igor, looking at the sky.

    “Yes, that is a good guess”, said Gangreen. “But I’m giving you one dufus point for saying cucumber when you should’ve used the plural form which is cucumbers!”

    “I mean one cucumber, your most grammar-obsessedness!” said Igor, pointing to the sky, “One mondo big cucumber!”

    “What the..?!” gasped Gangreen as he looked up into the sky and saw the cucumber rocket. “So, it’s come back!”

    “Do you know that cucumber?” asked Igor.

    “Let’s say I had a close encounter of a blurred kind with it 5 years ago!” said Gangreen, now making a huge evil smile. “Follow me, Igor!”

    “Where are we going?” asked Igor.

    “You’ll see!” said Gangreen, running off somewhere with Igor following him.

    “But I still don’t know what types of vegetables you’re growing” said Igor.

    “Republicans!” shouted Gangreen as he and Igor left the garden. Out of the garden sprouted little heads of familiar republican faces like Richard Nixon, George Bush Sr., as well as a George Bush Jr. “Have we got plans for this country, huh son?” George Sr. asked George Jr.

    * * * * * *

    Chad, Tara, and F.T. were still chasing after the rocket on skateboard. “Slow down, Chad”, said Tara, holding onto F.T. with one arm and onto Chad with the other. “We might bump into something or someone!”

    “I can’t worry about that now!” shouted Chad. “We have to catch that rocket before I lose my parents again!”

    “But how do you know if they’re onboard that rocket?” asked Tara. “It could be coming back trying to find more humans to take away. Maybe even you!”

    “If that happens, maybe they’ll take me to my Mom and Dad”, said Chad. “That cucumber isn’t leaving this planet until I get some answers!”

    F.T. made a nervous squeak for he had never seen Chad so determined and out of control before.

    “I know what you mean, F.T.”, whispered Tara. Soon, the kids had followed the rocket out of the town and to the camp where the Tomato Worms resided.

    “Hold it right there, kids”, said the Chief Worm. “You can’t go past the town’s limits! That’s where those killer tomatoes are searching for human flesh to eat!”

    “But we need to follow that cucumber shaped rocket up there!” demanded Chad.

    “We think it might lead to the mystery of what happened to Chad’s parents”, said Tara.

    “Well, okay”, said the Chief Worm. “But at least let one worm go with you for protection. Let’s see, who should be the one? I know! Michael, you want the job as bodyguard?”

    “Yeah, yeah!” said a worm who happened to be the same one who held up that upside-down sign on TV. He got onboard the skateboard with our heroes.

    “Thanks a lot, Chief Worm”, said the kids as they skated off into the field continuing their chase.

    “Why’d you choose Michael to go along with them?” asked another worm. “You know he was only born with two brains while the rest of us have four!”

    “I know”, said the Chief Worm. “But the poor schmuck really needs a confidence booster!”

    * * * * * *

    In a camp that consisted of giant tomato soup cans, we see the villainous tomato leaders known as the Gang of 6, gathered around a table, playing cards. “You got any twos?” asked the muscular tomato known as Tomacho.

    “Blowfish”, said the giant drooling tomato known as Ketchuck.

    “That’s Go-Fish, not blowfish, you fool!” hissed the cobra like tomato known as Fang.

    “How much do you all want to wager in this next round?” asked the tomato with bullhorns known as Beefsteak.

    “All I got left are some toothpicks, chewed gum, and a penny holder, minus the pennies”, said the bandaged tomato known as Mumato.

    “I can’t take this anymore!” shouted their leader, Zoltan, who started to smash the card table with a sledgehammer.

    “Chill out, Oh doesn’t set a good example for a calm leader, Zoltan”, said Tomacho.

    “Yeah, it’s not our fault you’re having a bad luck streak”, said Fang.

    “It’s not just that”, groaned Zoltan. “It’s just we got this entire planet conquered, except for that one little dirt bag town known as San Zucchini!”

    “Yes”, said Mumato. “It does cause us quite the frustrations. It’s like that one missing piece of a picture puzzle.”

    “Or like missing one episode in a bootlegged video series you buy off the internet”, said Ketchuck.

    “Who cares about one little town?” hissed Fang. “I’d much prefer if we took over the entire universe!”

    “Yeah”, said Zoltan. “Now that you mention it, this Earth is only a tiny little seed in this garden we call a universe!”

    “And I bet there’s no Tomato Worms in space to stop us from conquering those planets”, said Beefsteak.

    “Who are we kidding?” grumbled Zoltan. “We need some kind of rocket thingy to get us into outer space. It’s not like one’s going to drop down around here right now.”

    “You mean like that thing?” asked Ketchuck, pointing his stem somewhere. The Gang of 6 turned around and saw that rocket cucumber about to come in for a landing a mile from their camp.

    “Looks like Santa’s left us an early Christmas present!” snickered Zoltan as he and the other tomatoes started to charge to the scene.

    * * * * * *

  2. #2
    Cullen is offline Member
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    (Continued from first page above.)

    Chad, Tara, and F.T. were hiding behind a huge bush as they watched the huge rocket cucumber finally landing. “I’ve been waiting and hoping for this day in 5 years!” whispered Chad.

    “It’s landing in the Gang of 6’s mulching grounds”, gasped Tara. “I’m sure they’re not going to be pleased about this!”

    “It’s a cucumber”, said Chad. “It probably wants to land on something fertile.”

    F.T. made a squeak for a small door suddenly opened on the side of the rocket. A stairway that looked like a celery stick slid out of the door.

    “Please let two familiar people step out of that thing!” whispered Chad as he had his fingers crossed. Sure enough, something did come out of the door and went down the celery stairs. But unfortunately, it was only one being. It was short and wearing a green spacesuit. Its head was covered with a round helmet that looked like a green melon with a blue visor. And it was holding a bouquet of what looked like strange purple tulips.

    “Could it be one of your parents?” asked Tara.

    “No, it can’t be”, said a disappointed Chad. “That traveler is too short to be one of my parents. It looks like my size!”

    “Maybe the aliens on that rocket shrunk your parents”, said Tara. “And they’re sharing a spacesuit.”

    “SHRUNK MY PARENTS?!” gasped Chad.

    “Sorry”, said Tara. “It’s sometimes hard coming up with bright sides!”

    “I’m going to approach that alien”, said Chad with a determined face. Until F.T. got in his way making squeaking demands.

    “F.T. is right, Chad”, said Tara. “What if that alien is hostile?”

    “He is carrying flowers”, said Chad. “Maybe it’s a sign of peace.”

    “Or they could be poisonous man-eating flowers”, said Tara. “Or even boy-eating flowers!”

    Just then, the rocket and alien suddenly got surrounded by the Gang of 6. “Well, well. What have we got here?” laughed Zoltan. Chad quickly jumped back in the bush with his friends.

    “How do you do strange visitor to our world?” said Tomacho. “We, the killer tomatoes of Earth, have come to welcome you. And to thrash you and take your rocket for ourselves.”

    “OTAMOT! OTAMOT!” said the alien in a muffled voice from the helmet.

    “What did it just call us?” asked Beefsteak.

    “It sounded very insulting to me”, said Fang.

    “Or maybe it was a compliment”, said Mumato.

    “But I don’t like the way that space punk said it!” said Zoltan. “Let’s teach it a valuable Earth lesson! Ketchuck, do the honors.”

    Ketchuck stuck out a vine, grabbed the alien by the ankles, and started swinging it around like yo-yo.

    “Nice form!” said Tomacho. “You should compete in our first annual Tomato-lympics!”

    “My doctor said I should avoid all sports”, said Ketchuck as he continued to spin the alien around.

    “How horrible!” gasped Tara.

    “Tara, can your tomato powers save that alien?” asked Chad.

    “I’ll try”, said Tara. “But Ketchuck looks pretty strong though!” Tara concentrated and her eyes glowed red. Suddenly a red aura formed around the alien and got pulled out of Ketchuck’s grip and ended up smashing head first into a nearby tree.

    “Aw, you got buttervines!” said Mumato.

    “It ain’t me!” protested Ketchuck. “It’s that traitor tomato babe’s doing!” The Gang of 6 looked over and saw Chad, Tara, and F.T. tending to the knocked out alien.

    “It’s those meddling kids again”, said Zoltan. “And their meddling dog!”

    “Wrong cartoon!” said Fang.

    “Oh yeah”, said Zoltan. “I meant to say meddling fuzzy tomato!”

    “Let’s get ‘em!” shouted Beefsteak as the Gang of 6 started to roll right at our heroes.

    “Uh oh”, said Tara holding the unconscious alien in her lap. “It looks like we’ve been spotted!”

    “Don’t worry”, said Chad. “We got our Tomato Worm bodyguard with us. Right, Michael? Uh, Michael? Where’d you go?” Our heroes looked around and found Michael the Worm gone.

    * * * * * *

    In another part of the forest, we see Michael following after the same ants carrying the breadstick. “I’ve never seen a cute little worm like you around these parts before”, said Michael with hearts in his eyes. “And I love your perfume. Smells like seasoned dough!”

    * * * * * *

    The 6 tomatoes were getting closer and closer to the trembling heroes. “We’ll teach you to take our space munchies!” shouted Zoltan. Just then, Wilbur charged out of another bush holding his sword.

    “Hold it right there, stems for brains!” shouted Wilbur. “You’re not making meals of them!”

    “You’re going to stop us alone, Finletter?” laughed Zoltan. “Where’s the rest of your Task Force?”

    “They’re in other parts of the world trying to undo the damage you did to our fine world”, said Wilbur. “But luckily, I got an army that’s just as deadly to tomatoes!” Wilbur flung his parachute in front of the Gang of 6 revealing the things killer tomatoes fear the most.

    “TOMATO WORMS!” shouted the Gang of 6.

    “I told you Michael wasn’t really the best worm for the job”, said the second worm pointing to a clearing where Michael was romancing the breadstick.

    “I’ll give that boy a good talking to later”, said the Chief Worm. “Right now, it’s censored tomato torturing time!”

    The worms started to jump on the tomatoes while the town’s censor lady appeared and put a CENSORED card in front of the screen. For what Tomato Worms do to tomatoes was too gross and horrible to even mention on TV or even in a fanfic.

    “RETREAT!” shouted Zoltan as the Gang of 6 rolled off into the horizon while the Tomato Worms chased after them.

    “It’s not the same as my Tomato Task Force”, said Wilbur. “But those worms seem to know how to do the job.” Then Wilbur turned to the huge cucumber shaped rocket and then turned to the kids and fuzzy tomato who was with the unconscious space suited alien.

    “I guess you were right, Chad”, said Wilbur. “There really is such thing as a cucumber rocket.”

    “And that’s not all”, said Chad, pointing to the unconscious alien. Wilbur looked with rage and picked up the alien by the shoulders.

    “So it was you who took away my brother and sister in-law and caused Chad years of grief!” growled Wilbur. “What did you do with them? And if they’re still alive, you’d better bring them back before I kick alien butt!”

    “Easy, Mr. Finletter”, said Tara as she and Chad tried to pull the alien out of Wilbur’s grip.

    “We think he’s knocked out”, said Chad, pointing to the crack on the melon helmet. “That Gang of 6 seemed to really hurt him bad.”

    “I see”, said Wilbur. “I suppose we can show this alien visitor or maybe alien invader some mercy and prove to him that Earth citizens aren’t so evil. Let’s get him back to the Pizza Palace.”

    “But what about that rocket?” asked Tara, “Are we just going to leave it there where anyone can take it?”

    “I wouldn’t worry about it”, said Wilbur. “The San Zucchini citizens never seem to notice weird stuff like huge vegetables. And besides, that worm over there hugging the breadstick can guard it.”

    “Sure, whatever”, said Michael who was still hugging the breadstick, lovingly.

    “Now let’s head back to the Pizza Palace”, said Wilbur as he and the kids picked up the alien and rushed back to the town. F.T. saw the purple tulips lying on the ground and gathered them up and followed after them.

    Michael still had the breadstick wrapped around in his coils. “Oh, my popping fresh fragrance of worm!” said Michael. “Nothing will ever come between us!” Just then, the other breadstick that was carried by the second group of ants passed them by.

    “Hello, even hotter worm babe!” said Michael, tossing the first breadstick into a ditch and started following the second one. “Sorry, first babe”, said Michael. “But we’ll always have whatever that was!” and he crawled off leaving the rocket unguarded.

    Just then, Whitley White snuck out from behind a tree and got in front of the rocket. He then combed his hair, used a powder puff on his face, and finally took out a camcorder and aimed it at himself.

    “This is Whitley White, broadcasting with an extremely low budget, bringing you the biggest news report in San Zucchini, no make that the world”, said Whitley. “I’m standing right behind what looks like a huge cucumber from space. That’s right sci-fi fans, an actual alien cucumber has landed near our humble nothing ever happens town. And I’m about to bravely enter this strange vegetable vessel and bring you footage of the bizarre and unknown.”

    Whitley climbed up the celery stairs and entered the ship. “This is very interesting”, said Whitley. “So far, we know that alien cucumber rockets are very dark!” Just then, he heard something growling from above. It almost looked like some kind of carnivorous plant. “Mommy?” gasped Whitley as the toothy plant shot down from the darkness.

    * * * * * *

    Meanwhile, in the Pizza Palace’s storeroom, our heroes had the unconscious alien lying on a couch. “An actual alien life form”, said Chad, amazed. “And he’s just moments away of telling me what happened to my parents.”

    “But what if he doesn’t know?” said Tara. “Maybe he wasn’t involved with your parents’ abduction. He could only be visiting Earth.”

    “Well, we soon find out”, said Wilbur. “Let’s get this helmet off of him and see if we can wake him up.”

    “Wait, Uncle Wilbur”, said Chad. “That helmet might be his life support. Taking it off might expose him to something that’s dangerous to him in our atmosphere.”

    “Like Mr. Finletter’s cooking”, Tara whispered to F.T as they secretly giggled.

    “There’s a crack in his helmet”, said Wilbur. “If there’s any life support in this helmet, it’s probably all leaked out by now.” And he started to remove the helmet.

    “What if there’s a hideous looking alien face underneath that helmet?” asked Tara, covering her eyes. Just then, the helmet was removed and the alien’s face was finally exposed.

    “It’s a girl!” gasped Wilbur.

    “A girl?!” asked Tara, uncovering her eyes. Sure enough, it was a girl who looked like she was around 10 or 11. She looked human, only she had green skin with pointy ears. And she had bushy hair that really looked like a bush. Her hair was made of dark green leaves.

    “It’s a g.. a girl!” gasped Chad, not expecting the space creature from the flying cucumber he hated all these years to be a young girl.”

    “Don’t be fooled by appearances, Chad-boy”, said Wilbur. “This could be a clever disguise to throw us off guard. Or maybe she’s related to Dr. Gangreen. They’ve both got the same green skin!”

    “I don’t think so, Mr. Finletter”, said Tara, studying the girl’s face. “Dr. Gangreen’s greenness came from a chemical explosion. This girl’s greenness is actually chlorophyll, a substance plants develop to feed themselves.”

    “Are you sure, Tara?” asked Wilbur.

    “Yes”, said Tara. “And Dr. Gangreen never had hair made of leaves. Except for that time Igor accidentally knocked a houseplant off the shelf and landed on Gangreen’s head. He he he he!”

    Chad was standing there gawking in silence as he gazed at the mysterious green girl. “Isn’t it amazing, Chad?” said Tara, holding onto his shoulders. “A girl who’s part plant, just like me! Maybe I’ve found a kindred spirit!”

    “I’m sorry, did you say something?” asked Chad as he continued to stare at the green girl. Just then, the girl opened her eyes which were yellow. And her pupils looked like tiny little pink posies.

    “Ah, she’s awake”, said Wilbur, “Now maybe we can get some long awaited answers from her.”

    The girl suddenly looked at the group surrounding her, she nervously sat up.

    “Um, hi there”, said Tara. “Welcome to Earth. I’m sorry your first encounter here wasn’t a pleasant one. And I apologize for what those awful killer tomatoes did to you.”

    “Moova zomba grzkluv mazzi krmdc crimz”, said the girl in a strange, but pretty voice.

    “Sorry, but I don’t seem to understand you”, said Tara, puzzled.

    “Grizba mufu nspa vkvig”, said the girl.

    “She’s speaking some kind of alien language”, said Chad.

    The girl took a look at Chad, then reached into the neck of her spacesuit and pulled out a photo. She saw the 5 year old boy in the picture and studied the 10 year old boy in front of her. “Voozta, mzbx, Chad Finletter?” asked the girl.

    “Um, yes. That’s my name”, said Chad, surprised.

    “Vannizva!” said the girl happily as she hugged Chad, causing him to blush. Then she grabbed Chad’s hands and tried to drag him out the door.

    “Wait, where are you taking me?” asked Chad.

    “Pefrl mifmif gruzz Saladovia!” said the girl.

    “Hold it right there, missy!” said Wilbur, jumping in front of the door. “If you think you’re planning on taking away my nephew and doing unspeakable experiment tortures or even fanboy alien fantasies to him, you’re wrong!”

    “Kazza vnko moof!” said the girl, trying to explain to Wilbur in a calm voice.

    “Hold on a minute everyone”, said Tara getting in between them. “We all need to sit down and discuss this situation calmly.”

    “How can we discuss anything when one of us doesn’t speak English?” demanded Wilbur.

    F.T. made an annoyed squeak.

    “Okay, make that two of us who doesn’t speak English”, sighed Wilbur.

    The girl looked down at F.T. and saw him carrying those purple tulips in his stems. “Zu boink!” smiled the girl as she took the tulips from F.T. and patted his fuzzy head. Then the girl put the stems of the tulips in her mouth and started to aim the flower parts at our heroes.

    “Oh no, she’s planning to fire on us!” shouted Wilbur as he tried to push, Chad, Tara, and F.T. back. But the girl ended up blowing some kind of yellow pollen at our heroes causing everyone to cough and sneeze

    “What kind of alien evil is this?!” demanded Wilbur. “ACHOO!”

    “Please forgive me for doing that to all of you”, said the girl.

    “No problem, ACHOO!” said Tara, blowing her nose. “I usually get exposed to pepper a lot so I’m used to it, ACHOO!”

    “Wait a minute, ACHOO!” said Chad. “You’re suddenly speaking English?”

    “No, I’m actually still speaking Saladovian”, said the girl. “I just sprayed you with the pollen of the Translation Tulips grown in the Southern plains of Saladovia. It let’s you understand my language.”

    “Saladovia?” asked Wilbur. “Didn’t that used to be part of the Soviet Union?”

    “No”, said the girl. “Saladovia is my home planet. Oh, I should probably introduce myself. My name is Xylena.”

    “Xylena”, said Chad. “What an amazing name. I’m…”

    “Chad, I know”, said Xylena. “Your parents have told me such wonderful things about you.”

    “My parents?” gasped Chad. “You know them?”

    “Yes”, said Xylena. “They are my dearest friends and wish to see you again. So I’ve come to bring you to them.”

    “Where are they?” asked Chad nervously.

    “Why on my home planet of Saladovia of course”, smiled Xylena.

    “Wait a minute, hold the phone!” demanded Wilbur. “You mean you didn’t bring Chad’s parents back home?”

    “I couldn’t bring them back here”, said Xylena sadly.

    “And why not?” demanded Wilbur with rage. “And why did you take them away in your ship 5 years ago? You’d better start explaining before I make a side salad out of you!” and he pointed his sword at Xylena.

    “You must be Wilbur Finletter”, said Xylena. “Rob and Elisa warned me you were a little, if I may borrow an Earth slogan, insane in the brain.”

    “It comes from defending this country from killer tomatoes”, said Wilbur. “If you saw the horrors me and my brave comrades went through battling those ketchup creeps, you’ll see why I act like this. Now are you gonna explain why you did what you did five years ago?!” Chad and Tara tried to push Uncle Wilbur back.

    “It wasn’t me who took away Chad’s parents”, said Xylena. “I was only a little sprout back then. It was my elders who took them away.”

    “But why did they take my Mom and Dad?” asked Chad.

    “They didn’t want to do it, but our planet was in a desperate situation”, said Xylena. “If you’ll come back to my rocket, I’ll explain everything.”

    “What do you say, Uncle Wilbur?” asked Chad.

    “I don’t know”, said Wilbur. “It sounds like a trap to me.”

    “But she might be telling the truth”, said Chad. “I could actually see Mom and Dad again.”

    “Well, I know how you feel, Chad-boy”, said Wilbur. “I miss them a whole bunch too. But I’m coming along with you!”

    “Thank you”, said Xylena, bowing to him.

    “But I warn you”, said Wilbur, pointing his sword, “If you try anything funny the minute we’re on that huge cucumber. I’ll slice my way through it, and you if I have to!”

    “Gulp”, went Xylena.

    “Forgive him, please”, whispered Tara. “He’s had quite a few bad experiences with certain vegetables.”

    * * * * * *

    Later, Xylena had led our heroes back to the rocket. “Good, the coast is clear”, said Wilbur. “Okay, let’s go.” Xylena, Chad, Tara, Wilbur, and F.T. climbed the celery stairs and entered the ship.

    “It sure is dark in here”, said Chad.

    “Can you turn on the lights?” asked Tara.

    “Of course”, said Xylena. “Citrie, could you please?” Suddenly the lights went on. Our heroes found themselves in a hallway that looked like the inside of a cucumber with green walls decorated in seeds. “Thank you Citrie”, said Xylena, talking to what looked like a small glowing lemon attached to a wall.

    “My pleasure, Xylena”, said the lemon. “Always love to brighten your day.”

    “A lemon lightbulb?” gasped Chad. “And it’s talking too?”

    “Why are you surprised?” asked Tara. “Some certain plant life can talk and even glow.” Tara’s red eyes glowed at Chad.

    Xylena had led our heroes into a big room. There was a huge window in the front, the seats looked like huge pea pods, and it looked like there was also a huge salad bar with lots of vegetation.

    “Is this your ship’s galley?” asked Chad.

    “No, this is the cockpit”, said Xylena.

    “Why do you have a salad bar in your cockpit?” asked Tara.

    “This here is the control panel”, smiled Xylena as she sat down in the front pea pod and started twisting certain radishes and cherries and pulling down on a carrot like a lever. The vegetables started flashing and making strange blinking noises.

    “You mean you operate this rocket with plant life?” asked Chad.

    “Of course”, said Xylena proudly. “All of our Saladovian technology is plant life. It’s the most advanced and environmentally friendly source of technology in the universe. Right, Q-51?”

    “You’d better believe it, babe!” said a voice. Our heroes looked around in surprise and suddenly, a hatch opened in the center of the cockpit, and out rose a glass jar. And in the jar was a huge glowing seed.

    “Hey, there Earth forms”, said the seed, “The name’s Q-51. The finest, fastest, most handsomest, rocket cucumber from Saladovia.”

    “Not to mention egotistic”, sighed Xylena.

    “Amazing”, said Tara, coming closer to the seed in a jar. “A little seed that already has the ability to talk at a young age.”

    “You called me young!” said the seed as it looked like it was pouring out tears of joy. “Despite that I reached the middle aged years last month!”

    “What you’re looking at is the brain of this rocket”, sighed Xylena, “Which is in need of many more years of maturing!”

    “This is all really fascinating”, said Chad. “But I really want to know what happened to my parents.”

    “Oh yes. Your parents”, said Xylena, blushing. “You see….” But before she could answer, the rocket started to rumble and shake.

    “What’s going on?!” cried Tara as F.T. jumped into her arms.

    “Q-51, you didn’t skip breakfast again, did you?” demanded Xylena.

    “Hey, you already watered and fertilized me this morning so how could I skip it?” said Q-51 in a sarcastic voice. “And I think you all should look out the windows.” Our heroes peeked out the cockpit’s portholes and saw some things trying to bang and knock the rocket over.

    “TOMATOES!” shouted Tara.

    “OTAMOTS!” shouted Xylena.

    “Otamots?” asked Chad. “It’s the Gang of 6! They must’ve ditched the Tomato Worms somehow!”

    Sure enough, the Gang of 6 was back and they brought with them a horde of tomato soldiers banging the bottom of the rocket.

    “That’s it!” shouted Ketchuck. “Take that rocket and rock it! HA HA HA! I love puns!”

    “I prefer punch lines!” shouted Zoltan as he punched Ketchuck in the face causing drool to spout on Zoltan. “Gross!” groaned a messy Zoltan.

    “Let’s go in and really put them in orbit!” shouted Beefsteak as he tried to climb the stairs and enter the door. But he was so big that he couldn’t get through. “Blast these horns!” grumbled the bull tomato.

    “Let me go in!” hissed Fang. “I can slither my way through anything!” The snake tomato tried to squeeze in but couldn’t get through either.

    “None of us seem to be petit enough to get through that very small door”, said Mumato.

    “Maybe we should consider Atkins?” asked Tomacho.

    “Nyaaah, let’s just make a bigger door”, said Zoltan. “Men, charge up your appetites!” The tomato soldiers started to chomp their fangs like a bunch of hungry piranhas and was about to do some serious nibbling.

    “Xy baby!” said Q-51, “Be a cool kid and GET ME OUT OF HERE BEFORE I’M LUNCH!”

    “Right”, said Xylena as she sat in the main pea pod chair as vines wrapped around her waist. “You’ll all need to be seated as well.” Suddenly vines shot out of the other pea pod chairs and seized Chad and Tara by the waists and pulled them into the seats.

    “This is certainly a good way to never forget to buckle up”, said Tara as she was holding F.T.

    “Uncle Wilbur?” asked Chad as he turned his head and saw Wilbur trying to charge out of the cockpit while his parachute was being seized by the vine of his chair.

    “We’re not going to let those tomato jerks make us run like a bunch of yellow bellies!” shouted Wilbur. “I’m going down there and taking care of them myself!” Xylena just made a sigh and pushed a strawberry button on the control panel. More vines started to shoot out of the chair, seizing Wilbur, causing him to sit down. “MGMGML!” mumbled an angry Wilbur for his mouth was wrapped up to protest.

    “Prepare for blast off!” said Xylena as she took out what looked like a chili pepper and threw it into a slot on the control panel. Suddenly, the rocket started to explode at the bottom knocking the killer tomatoes back. And the rocket blasted off into space. The Gang of 6 started jumping around making censored cursing phrases as they watched the rocket disappear into the night sky.

    “This is a fine kettle of tomato soup!” groaned Tomacho. “Oops, pardon my language, please.”

    “Now how are we supposed to get hold of our only transport to outer space?” asked Zoltan.

    “Perhaps I can be of assistance”, said a voice. The Gang of 6 turned around and found Dr. Gangreen and Igor dressed in space suits.

    * * * * * *

    The rocket known as Q-51 was now seen flying in space. “Okay, we’ve seemed to have escaped”, said Xylena. “Are you all right, Q-51?”

    “Yeah, I’ll survive”, said Q-51.

    “MGFML!” mumbled Wilbur, who was still completely wrapped up in his chair.

    “Oops, my apologies”, said Xylena. “I guess I can turn off the fasten seat vines sign.” She pushed the strawberry button again and everyone was released from their seats and suddenly floated around.

    “I’m floating!” shouted Tara. “Have we become ghosts?”

    “Don’t worry, Tara”, said Chad. “There’s little gravity in space. Astronauts go through this all the time.”

    F.T. made a squeak while pointing to the front window. Our heroes floated over and saw something amazing.

    “Is that the Earth?” asked Tara. “It looks so amazing from way up here.”

    “It sure is”, said Chad. “I’ve always wanted to see the Earth all the way from space. I just wish it wasn’t that evil red color.”

    “It’s all the fault of those blasted tomatoes!” grumbled Wilbur. “Nobody turns my humble home planet into a ball of ketchup. One day I’ll make those monsters pay!”

    Suddenly, our heroes fell down to the floor in a huge pile.

    “Many pardons again”, said Xylena as she went over to offer them a hand. “I just turned on the gravity so we wouldn’t be floating around like a bunch of leaves in a gale.”

    “No problem”, said Chad as he reached for Xylena’s hand. As Chad got up, he looked into Xylena’s flower like pupils. “Man, she’s pretty”, Chad thought to himself. “What am I thinking? I should really be thinking about my lost parents! But this amazing alien girl could actually lead me to them.”

    “Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Xy”, said Q-51, “One of our guards had captured an intruder when you stepped out of me.”

    “An intruder?” asked Xylena.

    “Shall I bring him here in your presence?” asked Q-51. “Don’t worry, he seems harmless. But he sure does talk in an annoying voice though.”

    “As long as he doesn’t cause me and my new friends harm”, said Xylena.

    “Okay, Munchie. Bring in the intruder”, called out Q-51. Suddenly, a huge Venus flytrap had slithered into the cockpit. Our heroes backed away as they saw something moving in the flytrap’s jaws. The plant spit out a man covered in green saliva.

    “Whitley White?!” gasped our heroes.

    “YECHH!” grumbled Whitley as he tried to wipe off saliva. “I sure hope 60 Minutes will be worth all of this!”

    “Is he a friend of yours?” Xylena asked Chad.

    “You know, I’m not really sure”, said Chad. “He always somehow appears in the dangerous situations we’re in and usually ends up talking to himself.”

    “What do you think you’re doing here, Whitley?” demanded Wilbur. “Don’t you know that stepping into giant unknown vegetable life is dangerous?”

    “I’m a news reporter”, said Whitley, “It’s my job to take risks. If we news reporters did no such things, we’d all be weathermen!” Whitley suddenly looked around the cockpit and the green plant-like girl. “Amazing!” said Whitley. “I have to get all of this on film. Where’s my camcorder? It must still be in that carnivorous plant!”

    “Munchie, give the nice Earthman his device back please”, said Xylena.

    “Okay”, said the flytrap as he spit out the saliva covered camera back in Whitley’s hand. Only to find that it was short circuiting and it fell apart.

    “This is a fine how-do-you-do!” grumbled Whitley. “The biggest news story of my career, and I can’t get any footage of it! I wish I brought a spare camcorder!”

    “I just wish I get to see my Mom and Dad right now”, sighed Chad.

    “Don’t worry, we will”, said Xylena, getting back in her pilot’s seat. “Q-51, take us back home!”

    “Next stop, Saladovia!” said Q-51 as the rocket started to leave Earth behind and head off into the unknown reaches of the universe.

    TO BE CONTINUED
    Last edited by Cullen; 10-09-2007 at 08:56 PM.

  3. #3
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    Planet of the Tomatoes

    By Cullen Pittman

    Chapter 2

    Possessor of Their Soils

    The Gang of 6 members were looking mean-eyed at Dr. Gangreen and his clueless assistant, Igor, who were both wearing spacesuits. “Hello, my precious creations”, smiled Gangreen, “Beefsteak, you’re looking big and beefy. Tomacho, are you working out? Ketchuck, always full of yourself, huh? Mumato, did you get your bandages dry cleaned? Fang, love what you’ve done with your scales. And, Zoltan. My fine fruited Zoltan.”

    “Cut the stem-kissing, Gangreen!” growled Zoltan. “Just what are you and your simple minded sidekick doing in our parts?”

    “Simple minded?” asked Igor looking around. “Doc, did you get another assistant? One that isn’t too smart?”

    “Igor!” grumbled Gangreen.

    “And why are you dressed in those ridiculous spacesuits?” hissed Fang.

    “I heard you were in need of a rocket to go into space”, said Gangreen. “And it so happens I have one that can fit all six of you.”

    “Oh, really?” said Mumato. “Keep talking!”

    “Whoa, whoa! Hold the phone!” shouted Zoltan. “There ain’t no way we’re working with you again!”

    “Yeah!” said Beefsteak. “Every time we follow your plans, we end up as tomato paste!”

    “What if I offer you a delight that none of you ever experienced before?” asked Gangreen.

    “You mean like seeing you swimming naked in a vat of battery acid?” asked Tomacho.

    “No, and stunts like that aren’t allowed on this kids’ network”, said Gangreen. “I’m talking about this stuff!” Gangreen took out a small burlap sack and showed them what’s inside it.

    “Soil?” asked Fang.

    “That’s nothing!” grumbled Zoltan. “This whole planet is a ball of soil. We can get it for free!”

    “Wait a minute”, said Ketchuck as he hopped over and started sniffing it. “This soil smells different from the soil we’re used to. It smells almost better.”

    “Then my dear Ketchuck”, smiled Gangreen. “You can have the honor of being the first Earth tomato to taste soil that’s out of this world!” Gangreen took a small clump of soil and put it on Ketchuck’s tongue. When the huge fat tomato rolled the soil on his tongue and swallowed it. His eyes started to swirl and a huge smile appeared on his drooling face.

    “Ketchuck, are you okay?” asked Tomacho.

    “Okay?” gasped Ketchuck. “It’s like there’s a wild party in my mouth and the cops just arrested my taste buds for going out of control!”

    “Wow!” said Mumato. “It must be good soil for Ketchuck to actually think up a metaphor like that!”

    “Free samples for everyone”, said Gangreen as he threw out more clumps of soil to the hungry tomatoes.

    “This is quite good”, said Fang.

    “Badabing, badaboom!” said Mumato.

    “It’s like I’ve died an entered the goddess Demeter’s garden!” sighed Tomacho.

    “The Doc isn’t steering us wrong!” said Beefsteak as he let out his soil covered tongue.

    “Forget it!” growled Zoltan as he looked at the clump of soil next to him for he refused to eat it. “There’s no way I’ll trust you, Gangreen. You’ve probably drugged it with something to put us under your control!”

    “I’m hurt that you don’t trust me, Zoltan”, sighed Gangreen. “Igor, show our friend that this soil is not tainted.”

    “Aw, do I have to?” moaned Igor.

    “Yes, you have to”, said Gangreen, taking out a hypo needle that read, WHEN IGOR REFUSES.

    “Oh, all right your bossiness”, sighed Igor as he picked up some of the soil and made a face as he ate it and then swallowed it.

    “So you see?” smiled Gangreen. “I’d never put my assistant’s life in danger. I only do that on bad days!”

    “Well, okay”, said Zoltan as he took a taste of the soil. Suddenly, he felt the same sensations his tomato comrades felt.

    “My stems feel all tingly!” gasped Zoltan as he started jumping up and down like a madman. “I feel like a little school-tomato! Gimme more!”

    “My pleasure”, said Gangreen as he threw the sack on the ground as Zoltan tried to pick it up.

    “Hey, quit hogging!” shouted Beefsteak.

    “Save some for me!” shouted Fang.

    “I want it all!” shouted Ketchuck. Soon the whole Gang of 6 started to fight over the sack creating a huge cartoon fight cloud.

    “Just like Thanksgiving dinner with my relatives”, smiled Gangreen wickedly, “Only with less violence.”

    Igor was too busy gargling with mouth wash, trying to get the soil taste out of his mouth. “I have a feeling I’m gonna be making fertilizer in the morning!” he groaned.

    Soon, the sack was completely torn up and all the mysterious soil had been eaten. “More, More, MORE!” growled the Gang of 6 with hypnotic like eyes.

    “Tell us where on this planet we can get more of that delicious soil before we tear you both up!” growled Zoltan in a desperate voice.

    “Oh, but it’s not on this planet”, said Gangreen calmly. “And I’m sorry to say that’s the last of it on this Earth.”

    “You can’t mean it?” wailed Ketchuck.

    “But I do know of a planet that’s full of that succulent soil”, said Gangreen. “And I know a way to get you all there.”

    “Yes, we’ll do what you say!” cried Fang.

    “Just what’s the catch?” demanded Zoltan.

    “Just give me access to my old laboratory and I’ll show you”, said Gangreen.

    The Gang of 6 huddled together, mumbled to each other, and then turned to the doctor. “Okay, but no funny business!” sneered Zoltan.

    “You won’t regret this, my friends”, said Gangreen, wickedly.

    * * * * * *

    Meanwhile, we see the rocket cucumber known as Q-51 traveling through space piloted by the mysterious plant girl, Xylena, with her passengers, Chad, Tara, F.T., Wilbur, and Whitley White.

    “Hello, Sam”, said Wilbur, talking on his cell phone. “The kids and I are going on a little trip somewhere. So you’re in command of the Killer Tomato Task Force while I’m away. Where are we going? It’s hard to explain. Let’s just say I’d rather keep it top secret for now. Goodbye.” Wilbur turns off his phone, “Gee, I hope Sam’s all right. His voice sounded almost staticky.”

    “We’re in outer space, Uncle Wilbur”, said Chad. “Your cell phone’s totally out of range from Earth.”

    “Look, Chad”, said Tara, looking out the front window. “That looks like Mars!”

    “Yes, I think so”, said Chad. “But we just left Earth a few minutes ago. You mean this rocket is fast enough to get us to Mars like that?”

    “Of course”, called out Q-51. “I’m a Q-51. The most advanced rocket in all of Saladovia. You dare doubt my speeding skill?”

    “I’m looking at all these planets and stars and I have no way to film all of this”, groaned Whitley. “It’s like I’ve died and gone to news reporter’s Heck.”

    “You’re in need of a camera, Mr. White?” asked Xylena. “I can arrange that. Oh, Sunny!”

    Suddenly, a tall sunflower with root-like feet entered the cockpit. “You called for me?” asked the sunflower who had a girl’s face.

    “Sunny, can you please provide our friend some camera service for his Earth news show?” asked Xylena.

    “But of course”, said Sunny as she folded her petals over her face and they took the form of some kind of camera lens.”

    “Amazing”, said Whitley, “A video camera that runs by flower power. You wouldn’t mind if I take some of your seeds back home with me so I can raise a news crew of flower cameras, do you?”

    “Sorry”, said Sunny. “But I don’t want my children getting involved with TV people. They’re more the home movies type.”

    “Anyway”, said Whitley. “This is Whitley White, not on Earth right now. That’s right! I’m reporting live from outer space in a cucumber shaped rocket. You heard right! And I’ll be bringing you story after story of amazing planets and possibly new life forms.”

    “Look at that huge planet out there!” gasped Tara, pointing to the front window.

    “That looks like Jupiter”, said Chad, “The largest planet in our solar system.”

    “Why does it have that red spot?” asked Tara. “I hope that’s not a huge tomato stain.”

    “No, I heard that red section of Jupiter is just a big storm”, said Chad.

    “I can give you a closer look with my zoom camera”, said Xylena, as she pushed a blueberry on her control deck and the picture of Jupiter got larger. It turned out the red spot on Jupiter were huge lips covered with lipstick and the lips blew a kiss to the rocket.

    “Oh, gee!” mumbled Q-51, “Every time I pass through this part of the galaxy, that huge planet blows me a kiss!”

    “Jupiter must be a female planet”, said Tara.

    “I hope”, said Q-51.

    Chad made a confused look at what he saw until they came across another planet. “Hey, look. There’s Saturn”, said Chad.

    “Those rings are so beautiful”, said Tara. “I wonder what they’re made of?”

    “I heard they’re a bunch of rocks and dust circling around the planet”, said Chad.

    “I was always told that those rings are a bunch of huge deep fried onion rings”, said Wilbur. Everyone looked at him funny.

    “We can find out for you”, said Xylena. “Q-51, could you please?”

    “Coming right up, Xy-doll!” said Q-51. Suddenly, a huge flytrap, like the one that seized Whitley earlier, ejected from the rocket. It pinched off a piece of Saturn’s rings and went back inside. Suddenly, a hatch opened from the cockpit’s ceiling and dropped the ring piece in front of our heroes. Wilbur took a taste of it.

    “I was right!” said Wilbur. “Saturn’s rings are big onion rings!”

    “You’re joking?” gasped Chad, surprised.

    “Taste for yourself”, said Wilbur, shoving the other end to him, Tara, and F.T. The Fuzzy Tomato took a crunch of it and squeaked, “Onion ring!”

    “He’s right, Chad”, said Tara, also tasting a piece. Chad sniffed it and then ate a piece.

    “The people at the San Zucchini planetarium aren’t going to believe this!” said Chad, puzzled.

    “And there you have it, Earth dwellers”, said Whitley. “So far on this amazing space trip, we’ve learned that red spot on Jupiter are red smooching lips and Saturn rings are really huge onion rings! You heard it first from Whitley White!” Just then, yet another planet appeared in the front screen. “And now it looks like we’re getting a close up of the seventh planet”, said Whitley. “The planet of a thousand butt-jokes, Ur…”

    “No, no, no, no!” said the Censor Lady who suddenly appeared on the screen and covered the planet with a huge CENSORED sign. “You will not do any Ura…., I mean, seventh planet jokes on this cartoon!”

    “Why can’t I?” whined Whitley. “All the other cartoons are doing Uranus jokes these days! Why can’t this one?”

    “It’s a matter of good family taste”, said the Censor Lady. “And speaking of good taste, I want to point out to all the viewers that Saturn’s rings are not made of deep fried onions and the red mark on Jupiter is not a mouth covered with red lipstick. You’re giving all the children watching misinformation! You don’t want them all getting Fs in science class, do you?”

    “And you’re forgetting one more thing”, sighed Chad. “People can’t survive in space without spacesuits.”

    “Oh dear!” gasped the Censor Lady, realizing she had been floating outside in space in her regular clothes. She started gasping for air and her head started to expand like a balloon. She quickly covered her head with the censored sign as an explosion was heard and her body floated away in space.

    “Will she be all right?” Xylena asked Chad.

    “Yeah”, said Chad. “The animators will just paint another head on her.”

    “I never knew there were so many planets in this big universe”, said Tara. “And now there’s a new one I’ve never heard of. A planet called Saladovia.”

    “Saladovia is not really new to me”, said Xylena. “It’s been around for zillions of years. And so has our evil neighboring planet, Otamot 13.”

    “Otamot?” asked Chad, “I remember that name. That’s what you called those killer tomatoes that were attacking Q-51.”

    “Which is a memory I would love to push out of my seed, thank you very much”, grumbled Q-51’s brain seed from inside its jar.

    “Well, those to-ma-toes sure do resemble the Otamots”, said Xylena, shivering, “Our planet’s arch enemies.” She then turned to F.T. sitting in Tara’s lap. “You know”, said Xylena. “Your Earth pet certainly does look a lot like an Otamot.”

    “Really?” asked Tara concerned while holding a nervous F.T.

    “But no, that can’t be”, smiled Xylena, patting F.T’s head. “This cutie is adorable and friendly. Otamots are vicious, ugly, and will harm anything just for the fun of it. In fact, they were the reason why we needed your parents, Chad.”

    “What did my parents have to do with all that?” gasped Chad.

    “Perhaps now is the time I tell you the reason”, said Xylena as she walked to a nearby TV screen on the wall. She took out what looked like a pineapple ring.

    “A pineapple ring?” asked Chad.

    “This will show you our Saladovian history”, said Xylena as she slid the ring into a slot like it was a DVD. Suddenly, a picture of a brown soil-colored planet with continents that looked like green leaves, appeared on the screen.

    “This here is my beloved, Saladovia”, said Xylena. Then it showed a close up of the planet’s surface and a bunch of houses and buildings that looked like huge fruits and vegetables such as carrots, eggplants, pears, etc. And it showed a bunch of green skinned people with leaves for hair walking around, waving hi to each other with their branch-like hands.

    “As you can see, we Saladovians are a peaceful race”, said Xylena. “We were living happily with our life of fertile soil, fresh water, and lots of sunshine, until that dreaded day when the Otamots invaded.”

    Then we see a giant tomato shaped spaceship land on Saladovia’s surface and out charged a race of hostile aliens. They had round red bodies, green muscular arms and legs, three green eyes and two mouths on each face, and green leaves on top of their heads that almost looked like antennas.

    “TOMATOES!” grumbled Wilbur.

    “Otamots, actually”, said Xylena. “We Saladovians didn’t have the skills to fight or protect ourselves from those monsters so the Otamots easily conquered us. They enslaved us, took most of our soil and water for themselves, and made our lives miserable.”

    “Just like how the killer tomatoes did to our beloved Earth”, said Tara, sadly as she saw the misery the Saladovians were experiencing, working in the fields while being whipped on the backs by the evil Otamots.

    “Our beloved King of Saladovia, who was in hiding at the time, ordered his footmen to take their hidden rockets and search for the greatest, strongest, and wisest warriors in the universe to save us all”, said Xylena. “Q-51, who was piloted by the king’s best footman, went to check out Earth. There, the footman saw two Earthlings, a male and a female, fighting off a horde of vicious Earth Otamots, or killer tomatoes to you. It was then the footman decided that these two warriors might be the ones who could save our planet.”

    “My Mom and Dad!” cried Chad, recognizing the couple on the screen, successfully defeating the killer tomatoes. Then it showed the same rocket seizing the couple with its vines and taking them away. “No, please turn it off!” cried Chad as he covered his eyes. “I don’t want to relive that memory again!”

    “Oh dear”, said Xylena, quickly turning off the screen as she watched Tara hugging the saddened Earth boy. “I’m sorry, Chad. I should’ve realized that might’ve been a too sad memory to relive.”

    “I’ll be okay”, said Chad, getting himself back together. “Go ahead and let it play. I want to see what happens next.”

    “Very well”, said Xylena. She tried to turn the screen back on but all she got was static. “What the…?” gasped Xylena as she ejected the pineapple ring and found a bite had been taken out of it. “Not again?” groaned Xylena. “The system just ate another disc! I keep forgetting that this machine plays only minus R discs. It always has an appetite for the plus R ones!”

    “Wait a minute!” said Wilbur. “I want to know something! If they were searching for the universe’s greatest, strongest, and wisest warriors, why didn’t they come for me as well?”

    “Well, um, uh”, said Xylena. “How can I put this in Earth words that aren’t insulting?”

    “Maybe the Saladovians thought you were too great, strong, and wise that they needed you to stay on Earth to protect it, Mr. Finletter”, said Tara, winking at Xylena.

    “Yes, that’s it”, said Xylena, sighing of relief.

    “I can understand that”, said Wilbur.

    “Wait a minute, Xylena”, said Chad. “You mean your people took my parents away from Earth to become warriors without asking their permission first?”

    “We were all desperate”, said Xylena, “The Otamots had to be stopped and your parents’ combat skills were our only hope. So we had to recruit them.”

    “That sure seems like a powerful draft board you can’t get out of”, said Whitley.

    “At first, your parents were reluctant during the voyage”, said Xylena. “But once we got them to Saladovia and saw those horrible Otamots hurting all of us, they decided they wanted to help us.”

    “That’s typical of Rob and Elisa”, said Wilbur. “They can’t resist defending anyone from killer tomatoes or anything that looks like a tomato.”

    “And they were great at defending”, said Xylena. “Rob and Elisa led a rebellion force that fought off those evil Otamots. It took quite a few of your Earth years, but they finally drove those Otamots off our planet making Saladovia and our people free. I remember that victorious day.”

    “But why didn’t they return my parents back home?” asked Chad.

    “Well…”, said Xylena, stuttering a little. “The king was so grateful for your parents help and courage that he made them official ambassadors of our planet.”

    “You mean Mom and Dad would rather stay on Saladovia than on Earth with me?” protested Chad.

    “Oh no”, said Xylena. “Your parents missed you very much during those days of the Otamot War. That is why I came here to bring you to them. They are very eager to see you again.”

    “How are they doing now?” asked Chad.

    “Oh, we’ve treated them very well”, said Xylena. “We gave them such praise and luxuries for their heroics. A great home, caring servants, and riches, but all they really wanted was to have their son back in their presence.”

    “What loving parents”, said Tara with tears in her eyes. F.T. had the same tears of emotion too.

    “Then what are we waiting for?” said Chad. “Q-51, can you take us to Saladovia ASAP? I have two parents waiting for me!”

    “Well, in that case”, said Q-51, revving up his motor. “It’s time to get hyper! Hyperspace that is!” And the rocket blasted off faster than usual.

    “And there you have it viewers from Earth”, said Whitley holding onto his pea pod seat while he had his microphone in his trench coat. “I’ll be bringing you more on this amazing voyage to the far off planet of Saladovia. But now, we bring you back to that disgrace of Earth, Dr. Putrid T.Gangreen!”

    * * * * * *

    Last edited by Cullen; 07-14-2007 at 02:44 PM.

  4. #4
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    (Continued from page above.)

    Back on Earth, we find ourselves at the old laboratory home of Dr. Gangreen. The Gang of 6 had let Gangreen and Igor back into their lab. “Okay, Doc”, said Zoltan. “We let you back into your former lab. But you’d better not try to clown around!”

    It showed Igor in clown makeup, trying to make some balloon animals. “Igor, this is not the time!” grumbled Gangreen as he took out a pin and popped Igor’s adorable bunny balloon.

    “And I was gonna give him a career at Warner Bros”, grumbled Igor, looking at his deflated bunny balloon.

    “So where is this so-called rocket of yours?” asked Mumato.

    “Patience”, said Gangreen, reaching for a video tape from a nearby shelf. “First, I want to show you and the viewers an interesting story.” He inserted the tape in a nearby VCR and the TV above it went on. It showed Gangreen’s laboratory home and on the right bottom side were silhouettes of a guy and two robots making wisecracks.

    “It looks like The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, said the guy.

    “Let’s do the Time Warp again”, said the gumball machine shaped robot.

    “Play the theme to the Munsters!” said the big beaked robot, “Or better yet, The Addams Family!”

    “How’d you fools get on here again?!” grumbled Gangreen as he peeled off the silhouettes like a sticker, crumpled them up, and threw them away. “Anyway”, said Gangreen. “This was filmed 5 years ago. Watch what happens.”

    The video showed the rocket cucumber zooming by a little too close to Gangreen’s home scrapping itself against the top of the weathervane on the roof causing something to spill out. Then it showed Gangreen rushing to the top of the roof seeing the unusual rocket. He took out a telescope and spied the rocket hovering over the park taking away two people and then blasting off into the sky. “What the heck is that thing?” asked Gangreen. Then he looked at his weathervane and saw something stuck on the metal rooster’s beak. Gangreen slowly and carefully picked the item off as the rooster started to snap its beak at him. “Very fascinating”, said Gangreen for the item was a piece of the rocket cucumber’s skin.

    As Gangreen was pacing around the roof studying the skin sample, he stepped into something moist. He looked down and spotted some kind of soil. “I’ve told those tomato slobs a thousand times not to leave their leftovers lying around!” grumbled Gangreen. “Wait a minute! This doesn’t look like any kind of soil I’ve seen on Earth. And what’s this?” Gangreen found a small piece of paper mixed with the soil. He dragged it out and discovered it was a map that led from Earth to some far away planet. Gangreen made a wicked smile and then the tape ended.

    “So that’s where you got that delicious soil from”, hissed Fang.

    “And I bet that planet is loaded with that soil!” said Beefsteak, snorting like a hungry bull wanting to graze.

    “So how do we get to this soil haven?” asked Mumato. “We got no mode of transport!”

    “Oh, but you’re wrong”, smiled Gangreen. “For I took that flying cucumber’s sample and mixed it with some killer tomato DNA and the results were unbelievable.” Gangreen looked over at a nearby calendar with a square marked, TODAY’S THE DAY. “Yes, it should be ripe about now”, said Gangreen in an eager voice. He went over to a nearby file cabinet and pushed it out of the way revealing a red button. He pushed it and suddenly the house started to shake and the floor started to split open. The Gang of 6 hopped to one side of the floor while Gangreen and Igor were standing on the other side. And then the entire house started to split in two leaving a huge hole in the center. Then something started to slowly rise out of the hole, something enormous.

    “It’s another rocket cucumber!” gasped Zoltan.

    “Only it seems more tomato like!” said Tomacho. Sure enough, it looked like the Q-51 rocket cucumber. Only this rocket was bigger and it was red instead of green. And it had an evil looking toothy smile on the nose of the rocket. And it was sitting in a gigantic flower pot.

    “Behold, my tomato comrades”, said Gangreen proudly. “The Galactic Gangreen Express, probably my finest creation ever. It took me 5 long years to grow, but it was worth it. Care to step inside? Unlike that last rocket, this one has a bigger door and more space for giant killer tomatoes” He pushed a button on the side of the new rocket and the door opened. The Gang of 6 slowly entered the rocket and became amazed at all the controls and technology surrounding them.

    “This is quite a vessel the doctor has grown”, said Fang.

    “And look”, said Tomacho. “There are even some seats our sizes”, Sure enough, there were 6 giant seats along with two smaller seats on the front cockpit. And each seat had the villains’ names on them.

    “I guess this one’s mine”, said Mumato as he hopped into the giant seat that had his name on it. “It fits me like a pharaoh’s sarcophagus!” The other tomatoes sat down in the seats that had their names on them.

    “How come Ketchuck gets the biggest seat?” asked Beefsteak, pointing to the extra huge seat, marched Ketchuck.

    “Because our rotund friend, Ketchuck, has a big seat!” said Fang.

    “You’d better believe it!” said Ketchuck with a slobbery smile as he snuggled into his extra wide seat.

    “What’s with those tiny seats in the front?” asked Zoltan, pointing to the front seats that read, Gangreen and Igor.

    “Those are for the pilot and the co-pilot”, said Gangreen as he and Igor had entered the cockpit.

    “You mean…?” gasped Zoltan.

    “That’s right”, said Gangreen. “I’ll be your pilot for this outer space flight and I will take you to the planet of that sweet soil.”

    “And I’ll be your daring co-pilot”, said Igor. “I had practice flying in an actual simulator.”

    “That was only a Nintendo game you played for 27 long hours when you should’ve been doing your chores!” grumbled Gangreen.

    “What if we decide to throw you both out and take this rocket for ourselves?” asked Zoltan.

    “Because only I know the directions to this soil filled planet”, said Gangreen. “Remember the map I found?”

    “Well, what if we decide to pry the map out of your green little hands?” snorted Beefsteak.

    “You can’t!” laughed Gangreen. “For I had the map torn up and burned. But before I did that, I studied and memorized the map for the past five years, so the directions are now locked away in my brilliant mind. So you all have no choice, but to make me your pilot and navigator.”

    “If we must”, hissed Fang.

    “Anything to get that soil in our stems!” drooled Ketchuck.

    “No way!” shouted Zoltan. “No soil is worth taking orders from the Doc again, no matter how delicious it is! Come on, Gang of 6, back to our camp!” The tomatoes got out of their seats and were about to leave the rocket.

    “Oh look”, said Gangreen, reaching into his spacesuit and taking out a smaller bag. “It looks like I still have a tiny bit of that soothing soil left.”

    “Gimme! GIMME!” growled Ketchuck as he jumped on top of Zoltan, bounced off of him, and charged at the bag and the other tomatoes did the same to Zoltan squashing him flat. Gangreen threw the bag on the floor and the tomatoes started to huddle around it chomping away.

    “Show some restraint you softies!” growled Zoltan, getting back up. “There’s no way this tomato’s gonna be tempted by that…. Aw, who am I kidding? You got a deal, Gangreen! Save some for me, guys!” And Zoltan joined the huddled tomatoes that were munching on that addictive soil.

    “It’s just as I predicted!” cackled Gangreen. “I’ve turned those turncoat tomatoes into soil junkies! Now they’ll have to do whatever I say if they if they want more of that precious soil. Isn’t that a beautiful sight, Igor. Igor?” asked Gangreen, looking around for his assistant. Gangreen looked over and saw Igor trying to squeeze himself through the huddling tomatoes. “Igor, what are you doing?” demanded Gangreen as he grabbed Igor by his spacesuit pants and pulled him out of the huddle.

    “But your captain-ship”, said Igor with a dazed look. “You made me taste that addictive soil in the first place. Now I’ve become a junkie like them! I need more soil. MORE SOIL!” Gangreen just bopped Igor on the head.

    “Igor, you meathead!” grumbled Gangreen. “That soil only affects the minds of plant life. Not the minds of humans, or in your case, a non-human who has no mind.”

    “That’s a relief”, said Igor. “Otherwise, I’d probably have flowers growing in my stomach.”

    “Just buckle up”, groaned Gangreen as he pushed Igor into his seat as Gangreen got into his seat and strapped himself in. “This is your captain speaking”, called out Gangreen as the tomatoes stopped tearing up the bag and looked over at him. “We’ll be blasting off in just one minute. Please take your seats, fasten safety belts, keep your seats in the upright position, no smoking, turn off all personal electrical appliances, and store all personal belongings underneath your seats.”

    “But we’re not carrying any personal belongings”, said Fang.

    “Speak for yourself”, said Ketchuck as he started drooling underneath his seat.

    “Prepare for blast off”, said Gangreen as he took a chili pepper and threw it into a slot on the control deck. Just like how Xylena started her rocket. “Start the countdown, Igor”, said Gangreen.

    “Uh, 10, 9, 17, 5, 3, 104, six million, five jillion, 2, 86”, said Igor for he didn’t know how to count. Gangreen and the Gang of 6 started to get impatient.

    “My dear Igor”, sighed Gangreen. “What is it I’ve always said your I.Q. was?”

    “Zero?” asked Igor.

    “ZERO!” shouted Gangreen, “BLAST OFF!” Suddenly, the red cucumber started to explode from the bottom and blasted off. The red rocket cucumber was seen blasting off into the night sky until it suddenly ended up stopping in its place. “Wait a minute!” grumbled Gangreen, pushing his foot on the gas. “Why aren’t we moving?”

    “I think you forgot to do some pruning, your forgetfulship”, said Igor pointing out a nearby porthole. Gangreen peeked out the porthole and became angry at what he saw. The bottom of the rocket had a long huge vine sticking from its side and the other end was still rooted into the giant pot on the ground.

    “Oh, just great!” grumbled Gangreen as the huge vine suddenly shot back down like a rubber band taking the rocket with it. The rocket ended up landing nose first in the flower pot.

    “Have we arrived?” asked Ketchuck who was sitting upside down in his chair, spewing out extra drool from that surprise landing.

    “Igor, go and fetch me my pruning sheers”, moaned Gangreen.

    * * * * * *

    Back in outer space, we see the crew of the Q-51 rocket still looking amazed at the wonders of space through the front window, except for Wilbur who seemed to be asleep in his chair.

    “It looks like your uncle is very tired”, said Xylena.

    “I guess it must be bedtime back on Earth”, said Chad. “YAWN, I’m kind of feeling sleepy myself.”

    “Me too”, said Tara, yawning while F.T. made a cute yawn too.

    “I suppose I should show you all to the sleep chamber”, said Xylena still facing the control deck. “Let me switch Q-51 to auto pilot and I’ll take you there.”

    “Well, this reporter’s wide eyed and awake”, said Whitley, still munching on the giant onion ring they got from Saturn. “I always like a snack before bedtime. But you know, this onion ring could use a little salt.”

    “SALT?!” asked Tara nervously, for she was allergic to salt.

    “Luckily, I always keep a few salt packets with me”, said Whitley as he reached into his coat and pulled out a tiny salt packet. He ripped it open and it caused a salt explosion to cover the cockpit.

    “OH NO!” cried Tara as she found herself covered with salt which caused her to transform into a small tomato.

    “TARA!” gasped Chad as he tried to search his pockets for some pepper.

    “Okay, we’re on auto pilot now”, said Xylena. “Now I can show you to…” but she became silent when she saw the small tomato sitting on the floor. “AAAAH, AN OTAMOT!” cried Xylena in a panic.

    “An Otamot inside me?!” cried Q-51. “Get it out of me, QUICK!”

    “Wait, Xylena!” called out Chad. “That’s…..”

    “Guards, apprehend that Otamot!” cried Xylena. Suddenly, a horde of flytraps slithered into the cockpit.

    “I’m not gonna be a man-eating plant’s chew toy again!” cried Whitley as he tried to seal up his pea pod seat to protect himself.

    The Tara Tomato saw the snapping flytraps and tried to hop away as the hungry plants slithered after her. One flytrap was about to snap her, until F.T. jumped on its snappers and sealed it shut with his vines. The Tara Tomato started to climb up the sleeping Wilbur for protection. Wilbur suddenly woke up and saw a tomato sitting on his face. “A TOMATO!” he shouted as he swatted Tara off his face and drew out his sword, just as a smaller flytrap ended up covering Wilbur’s head. A confused Wilbur started running around in circles as the flytrap still held onto his head.

    “Tara, over here!” called out Chad as the Tara Tomato quickly jumped into Chad’s hands.

    “Why are you defending that monster?” demanded Xylena. “Don’t you know you’re holding a deadly Otamot sprout in your hands?”

    “First of all, she’s not an Otamot”, said Chad, calmly. “She’s a tomato.”

    “But aren’t tomatoes just as bad on your planet?” demanded Xylena. “And where’s Tara? Don’t tell me that red beast ate poor Tara?”

    “Actually, this is Tara”, said Chad, placing the tomato on the floor and taking out a small pepper shaker. “Just watch.” Chad sprinkled some pepper over the tomato causing it to cry, “Ah, ah, ah, CHHOOOO!” And in a flash, the tomato turned back into Tara the girl.

    “Thanks, Chad”, said Tara as Chad handed her a tissue.

    “What the…?!” gasped Xylena in shock. “You mean you’re actually a killer tomato in disguise?”

    “Yes”, said Tara, sadly. “I am a tomato. But I’m definitely no killer.”

    “Tara’s right”, said Chad. “She’s one of the nicest tomatoes I know.” F.T. made a left out squeak. “Oh yes, and so is F.T”, said Chad.

    “I can’t believe it?!” gasped Xylena, hiding behind her flytrap guards. “How can I be sure you two aren’t tomato spies working for the enemy?”

    “Don’t you say that about my friends!” protested Chad. “Tara and F.T. ran away from their evil tomato family a long time ago. You have my word that they’re good tomatoes and want to help the Earth, not destroy it.”

    “I don’t know..”, said Xylena, rubbing her green chin.

    “Have you forgotten how Tara used her powers to save you from that fat drooling tomato back in chapter one?” Chad reminded her. Xylena suddenly became silent.

    “Please, Xylena”, said Tara. “Give me and F.T. a chance. We promise we won’t cause you any harm. Right, F.T?” The Fuzzy Tomato made an agreeable squeak.

    “Well”, said Xylena. “Okay, since you did save me and you’re just a tomato and not a horrible Otamaot. I’ll try to give you two Earth tomatoes a chance. Guards, return to your posts please.” The flytraps responded and slithered out of sight, even the one that was clinging onto Wilbur’s head.

    “What just happened?” asked Wilbur all confused and covered with green saliva. “I had a dream that I was face to face with a small killer tomato and then someone covered my face with an unusual green sack. Just like that time I was thrown into a killer tomato P.O.W. camp.”

    “Uncle Wilbur”, said Chad. “I think you really just need some sleep right now.”

    “That’s right”, said Xylena. “Come on everyone, I’ll show you to the sleep chamber.” Everyone followed Xylena out of the cockpit.

    “Is it safe to come out?” called out Whitley, opening up his pea pod chair. Suddenly, a small flytrap slithered back into the cockpit, smiled at Whitley, and made a cute BOO! Whitley panicked and sped out of the cockpit trying to catch up with the others.

    “I love hazing new crew members”, smiled the small flytrap.

    * * * * * *

    Xylena had led our heroes into a room that consisted of 4 beds. “I hope these sleep devices will help you slumber”, said Xylena. “Rob and Elisa informed me what beds were like on Earth.”

    “These mattresses are made of cotton plants”, said Chad, amazed. “And the pillows are huge cauliflowers and the blankets, huge lettuce leaves!”

    “Lettuce blankets?” gasped Wilbur. “It’ll feel like I’m sleeping in the middle of a sandwich.”

    “And I could get a bad case of cauliflower ear if I rest my head on that”, said Whitley.

    “This feels pretty comfortable to me”, smiled Tara as she lay down on the bed and snuggled her head on the cauliflower pillow. “It’s like I’m having a sleepover with vegetable friends.” F.T. made an agreeable squeak as he jumped onto the same bed Tara was on like a loving dog.

    “Where’s your bed, Xylena?” asked Chad.

    “We Saladovians have a different way of sleeping”, said Xylena as she pushed a button on a nearby wall and out slid a big flower pot filled with soil. Then Xylena took off her boots showing that her feet were small brown roots. She stuck her roots into the soil of the pot and stood there in a relaxed pose. “Ah, that feels so good”, smiled Xylena, stretching her arms out like a couple of branches, “I’m going to sleep like a sapling tonight.”

    F.T. started to sniff the soil and made a happy squeak.

    “I agree, F.T.” said Tara, also smelling the soil. “Xylena, may we have some of that soil, please?”

    “NO, NO, NO!” gasped Xylena, bending down and covering the flower pot with her body. “I’m sorry, but you cannot taste or even touch Saladovian soil!”

    “But why not?” asked Tara. “It smells so luscious. Why don’t you want to share?”

    “Because only Saladovians like me can set their roots into this soil”, said Xylena. “You see, Saladovia is famous for its finest, purest, fertile soil in the entire universe. If any non-Saladovian plant life gets a taste of our soil, they’ll become addicted to it and want it forever.”

    “It must really be that luscious”, said Tara.

    “We had to learn that the hard way when we first offered our soil to the Otamots”, said Xylena. “Our king wanted to make friends with our neighboring planet of Otamot 13 by offering them some of our soil as a gift. The results were the Otamots got addicted to it, especially their evil emperor. He sent his army to invade and conquer all of Saladovia, taking most of our soil for themselves. Even though we managed to drive them off our planet, thanks to the brave heroics of Chad’s parents, we still fear that the Otamots will once again try to invade our beloved Saladovia and take our soil once again, or any other evil creature who likes delicious soil. I don’t even want to picture that right now!”

    * * * * * *

    Somewhere in space, we see the red rocket cucumber known as the Galactic Gangreen Express traveling through space with the evil Dr. Gangreen piloting and Igor co-piloting. And behind them, were six hunger filled killer tomatoes repeating, “SOIL, SOIL, SOIL, SOIL!”

    “Patience my tempted tomatoes”, whispered Gangreen. “Soon all my, I mean, our dreams will come true. HA HA HA HA!”

    * * * * * *

    Back on Q-51, everyone was asleep in their cotton plant beds while Xylena was asleep standing in her flower pot. Everyone was asleep but Whitley, who was sitting up while holding his microphone with Sunny the sunflower camera standing over him. “Right now, it’s time for this Earth reporter to sign off for the night”, reported Whitley. “But I’ll be bringing you more footage of possible new alien life forms in my next broadcast. This is Whitley White saying, GOODDAY, no, I mean, GOODNIGHT!” and he put an American flag in front of the screen while humming the United States national anthem meaning it was time to sign off for the night. Then he put a picture of a badly drawn TV test pattern in front of the screen and started making annoying BEEEEEEEP sounds.

    TO BE CONTINUED
    Last edited by Cullen; 07-14-2007 at 02:59 PM.

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    Planet of the Tomatoes

    By Cullen Pittman

    Chapter 3

    A Restless Rest Stop

    We see Chad running through a field of cotton plants, seeing his long lost parents in the distance. He smiled and was about to run up to them to give them a welcome back hug. But just then, his parents suddenly pulled off their heads revealing vicious tomato heads each with 3 eyes and 2 mouths with sharp fangs. Then their hands turned into long green vines and seized Chad like they were tentacles. “Come our son”, said the couple in monstrous voices. “You belong with us! Our little tomato sprout!” The mother took out a mirror and Chad became horrified as he saw his head had turned into a tomato as well. “NOOOO!” he cried.

    Suddenly, Chad had awoken from his nightmare and found himself in his cotton plant bed onboard the Q-51 rocket. “Wow, that was freaky!” said Chad as he rubbed his head and looked at the others asleep in their cotton beds as well. Then he turned over to the plant girl, Xylena, still standing in her sleep in her flower pot like a small tree. “She looks so peaceful like a potted plant”, said Chad.

    Suddenly, something above him started to ring. It was a grapefruit with alarm clock features sitting on a high shelf. It started shouting, “Wake up, rise and shine, here’s your morning juice!” and he started squirting tiny bits of juice in the faces of Chad and our sleeping heroes.

    “What’s happening?” yawned Tara as she suddenly got up and rubbed her face. F.T. made a confused squeak as he woke up too and shook the juice off his furry body like a wet dog.

    “This is Whitley White, who just received a damp wake up call”, grumbled Whitley.

    “Are we under a tomato attack?!” shouted Wilbur as he leapt out of bed and drew his sword. “I felt tomato juice on me!”

    “Relax, Uncle Wilbur”, said Chad, rubbing his eye. “It’s not tomato juice. It’s grapefruit juice.” And he pointed to the smiling grapefruit alarm clock above.

    “Good morning, Squirty”, called out Xylena as she suddenly woke up and wiped her face dry. “As always, thank you for your always prompt wake up squirts.”

    “My pleasure, Xylena”, smiled the grapefruit clock as he yawned and suddenly went to sleep.

    “Good morning, my friends”, smiled Xylena as she stepped out of her flower pot revealing her roots for feet and slipping them back into her space boots. “I hope you all slept well.”

    “Yes, I did”, said Chad, “Sort of”, for he still had that nightmare about his parents on his mind.

    “F.T. and I were very comfortable”, said Tara. “I never knew my fellow plants would make excellent sleeping items.” She got out of bed and straightened out the lettuce blanket and fluffed her cauliflower pillow.

    “I just realized”, said Wilbur. “I haven’t used the bathroom since we left Earth. Xylena, which way to your restroom?”

    “Right through that door”, said Xylena pointing to a door across from the hallway.

    “Thanks”, said Wilbur, heading that way.

    “I wonder what Saladovians use for toilets?” wondered Chad, fearing it might be alive like all the other plant appliances he witnessed onboard the rocket.

    When Wilbur entered the bathroom, he saw a sink that was a huge melon rind and faucets shaped like dripping water lilies. And the shower also had a huge water lily dripping on top. “Now where’s that commode?” asked Wilbur. But when he turned around, he found in place of a toilet was a small bush. “And I thought the latrines at the Killer Tomato Task Force Base were hard to figure out”, gasped Wilbur.

    “Good morning, pal”, said the bush. “Answering the call to nature, eh? Before you go, you might want to tell Xylena that we’re low on paper.” Wilbur looked at the paper roll on the wall and discovered that Saladovian toilet paper was rolled up banana leaves.

    “Now this is awkward”, sighed Wilbur.

    * * * * * *

    Meanwhile, we look into the red rocket cucumber known as the Galactic Gangreen Express. Dr. Gangreen was still piloting the rocket with Igor co-piloting. “Pretty soon, Igor”, said Gangreen with an evil smile. “We’ll be reaching this new planet with the mysterious addictive soil that puts plant-life under my control. And once we gather enough of it, we’ll feed it to every killer tomato on Earth and soon they’ll be under my control once again and I shall be the ruler of Earth. HA HA HA!”

    “Whoa, I don’t think my hands are big enough to carry that much dirt”, said Igor. “Maybe my fingernails could carry most of it.”

    “We’ll just make several trips back and forth from Earth to that soil planet”, said Gangreen, “Until we get enough soil for every tomato on Earth.”

    “SOIL, SOIL, SOIL, SOIL!” cried monstrous voices in the back. Igor turned around and found the Gang of 6 in their seats with hypnotized eyes and hungry mouths.

    “Whoa, it’s kind of creeping me out the way those tomato dudes keep repeating that one word”, said Igor.

    “Yes”, said Gangreen. “If we don’t get them some more soil soon, who knows what havoc they might cause? Igor, I need you to keep them occupied.”

    “How, your not-enough-information-ness?” asked Igor.

    “I don’t know”, grumbled Gangreen, “Tell them a story or do some shadow puppets, anything to calm them down!”

    Igor slowly approached the Gang of 6. “Hi there, tomato dudes”, said Igor. “Enjoying your flight so far?”

    “We would if you’d transform into that mouth watering soil so we can eat you!” grumbled Zoltan.

    “How about some shadow puppets to pass the time?” asked Igor as he clicked on a flashlight and started wiggling his hands and started making shadow puppets of stuff like a dog and a butterfly.

    “This does seem kind of amusing”, said Tomacho.

    “I feel calmer already”, said Mumato.

    “And here’s my most favorite of all shadow puppets”, smiled Igor as he started wiggling his fingers around. “Tomato Worms!”

    The Gang of 6 looked in fear as they saw what looked like shadows of ten hungry worms. “TOMATO WORMS!” they all cried as they jumped out of their seats and started bouncing all over the place like racquetballs causing the rocket to twist and turn.

    “Igor, you banana brain!” shouted Gangreen, trying to straighten out the rocket. “What did you just do?”

    “Will you let me keep my fingers if I tell you the truth?” asked Igor who had a nervous Ketchuck sitting on top of him and drooling on him.

    * * * * * *

    Back on Q-51, we see our heroes gathered around a table in the galley. “I could use some breakfast right now”, said Wilbur.

    “It would be nice if we could have that soil Xylena had her roots in all night”, Tara said to F.T. “But she says we can’t.” F.T. made an agreeable squeak.

    “Yes, like I said last night”, said Xylena. “If you Earth plants try our soil, you’ll become dangerously addicted to it. But fear not, I’ve heard that most of you Earthlings like meat. I happen to be a carnivorous plant myself. So I’ve prepared for you all a meat breakfast.”

    “You mean like bacon and sausage?” asked Chad.

    “Actually, I mean a breakfast of bugs”, smiled Xylena as she placed a huge glass container on the table. Inside it was a bunch of small alien looking bugs buzzing around. Our heroes became grossed out as they watched Xylena stick her hand into the container and pulled out a green two headed fly, threw it in her mouth, and chomped it. “That sure hits the spot”, smiled Xylena. “Go on my friends, stick your hands in there one at a time and fill your plates.”

    “Eyeeew!” whispered Tara. F.T. made same squeaky, “Eyeeew!”

    “This just in”, said Whitley, “Earth reporter about to be totally grossed out!”

    “You do not like bugs?” asked Xylena.

    “No offense, Xylena”, said Chad. “But we Earth humans don’t really like to eat bugs.”

    “Oh, what you’re saying is that you Earth humans don’t like to kill bugs”, said Xylena, “You treat bugs as your equals and you let them crawl and fly around free in your homes and multiply.”

    “Not exactly”, said Chad.

    “I’m sorry, but I don’t know anything else I can feed my passengers”, said Xylena.

    “Luckily, I always come prepared”, smiled Wilbur as he placed his backpack on the table and pulled out some cans and bags of food. “I’ll make you all one of my specialty breakfast treats, a fried egg and hominy grits pizza.”

    “Maybe I could try the bugs instead”, groaned Whitley.

    “You wouldn’t happen to have an oven onboard, would you?” Wilbur asked Xylena.

    “Of course I do”, said Xylena, “Oh, Roasty!” Suddenly, a huge red pepper about the size of an oven hopped into the galley. “Roasty”, said Xylena, “this Earth man wants to cook something inside you called a pizza. Are you up to this new challenge?”

    “Sure I am”, said Roasty the Red Pepper in a deep voice. “I’m game for new cuisine.” Then Roasty ended up opening his huge mouth releasing a loud BURP belching some fire on Wilbur charring him black. “Sorry about that”, said Roasty, “Is my face red!”

    “Mine is probably too”, said Wilbur, dusting himself off, “From a first degree burn.”

    * * * * * *

    Soon, Wilbur had put together his pizza and carefully slid it in Roasty’s big mouth. “This is certainly going to leave an interesting taste in my mouth”, muttered Roasty.

    “Please don’t talk with your mouth full”, said Xylena. “It always makes the food taste funny. Remember that time you ended up saying those curse words while cooking? The food came out all dirty.”

    “My old pizza oven back home never curses”, said Wilbur. “It just usually shoots its mouth off every time it explodes.”

    “Rob and Elisa have told us what this pizza is like”, said Xylena. “I hope I will enjoy it.”

    “You don’t have pizza on your planet?” asked Tara.

    “No”, said Xylena, “The basic food groups on Saladovia are soil, water, sunlight, and bugs.”

    “Sounds like my kind of place”, smiled Tara. “Minus the bugs, that is.”

    “Xylena”, said Chad. “I’ve been wondering about something.”

    “About what?” asked Xylena.

    “If the only foods on Saladovia are soil, water, sunlight, and bugs, what have my parents been surviving on these past years?” asked Chad.

    “Well”, said Xylena, “You see….”

    “Danger, danger, danger to the extreme!” called out Q-51 in a panicky voice.

    “What is it, Q-51?” asked Xylena.

    “Come to the cockpit and I’ll show you!” cried Q-51. Our heroes rushed out of the galley and entered the cockpit. They all looked out the main window and saw two green fuzzy creatures floating in space.

    “Oh no!” gasped Xylena.

    “They look like little green rabbits”, said Chad. Sure enough, the two floating figures were cute little bunny rabbits. Only they were green and had little antennas on their ears.

    “Vegetable hungry bunnies make tomatoes like me and F.T. nervous”, trembled Tara while F.T. trembled as well.

    “Those cute little bunnies?” asked Wilbur.

    “Those aren’t cute little bunnies!” cried Xylena. “Those are SPACE BUNNIES! A Saladovian’s natural predator!”

    “They’re going to feast on my beautiful body until I’m nothing left!” cried Q-51.

    “And then they’ll come after me and my vegetable crew!” cried Xylena.

    “What about humans?” asked Whitley. “Do they eat humans like me?”

    “No, Space Bunnies only eat plants”, said Xylena in a panic.

    “That’s a relief”, said Whitley.

    “But if those bunnies eat our ship”, cried Tara. “We’ll all end up in lifeless space.”

    “I guess that’s not a relief”, said Whitley.

    “But there’s only two of them”, said Chad. “And they look pretty small. Can they really eat that much?”

    “There won’t be two of them for long”, gasped Xylena. Suddenly, the two bunnies’ bodies started to split in half and transformed into 4 bunnies. Then split into 8 bunnies, then 16, and continued to split into more bunnies.

    “Look!” said Chad. “They’re reproducing like amoebas!”

    “When I heard that rabbits can multiply, I always thought they just owned calculators”, said Tara.

    And in just an instant, Q-51 found himself surrounded by 1000 hungry space bunnies. They all jumped onboard the helpless rocket and started chomping. “OUCH, OW, OH, OOOOH!” cried Q-51 causing the cockpit to shake like crazy.

    “Is it that bad?” asked Tara.

    “That bad?!” cried Q-51, “It’s like having a bunch of fleas on you and you don’t have hands to scratch them!”

    Suddenly, a huge pair of buck teeth punctured itself through a wall causing F.T. to leap out of the way and jump into Tara’s arms.

    “Oh no!” cried Tara as she saw more buck teeth poking through the wall and started gnawing. “They’re making holes in Q-51!”

    “I’ll stop these mad march hares!” shouted Wilbur as he took his sword and started stabbing at the teeth, but also ended up stabbing the wall also.

    “Stop that, Uncle Wilbur!” shouted Chad. “You’re just making more holes!”

    “This is just great!” groaned Q-51. “There are gluttonous space bunnies killing me outside and a sword welding psycho killing me inside! Why won’t death come for me now?”

    “Wait”, said Xylena checking the front window. “We’re saved. We’re approaching a black hole!”

    “What’s a black hole?” asked Tara.

    “A black hole’s a powerful vacuum in space”, said Chad nervously. “Nothing escapes from it. Not even light!”

    “And there it is!” said Xylena, pointing to the front window where a huge black hole was sucking every star and asteroid into it. The 1000 bunnies stopped their nibbling and looked awestruck at the huge hole. They all hopped off Q-51 and started to jump into the hole. “Space Bunnies can never resist jumping into black holes for some reason”, smiled Xylena.

    “That’s a relief”, sighed Q-51. “I feel the nibbling pain gone.”

    “But won’t we get sucked into that hole too?” cried Chad.

    “Not really”, said Xylena. “Look!” It turned out the hole was suddenly clogged up by a clump of green bunny bottoms. “That is what as known as a hare clog”, said Xylena proudly.

    “This just in”, said Whitley. “It turns out the far reaches of space has its share of bad puns!”

    “Are you okay, Q-51?” asked Xylena, studying the holes made by the bunny nibbles.

    “I think so”, groaned Q-51. “But I think I need some air for some reason.”

    “I’ll say!” cried Chad. “All the air is getting sucked out through those huge holes!” Sure enough, all the air was getting pulled out of the cockpit. Xylena quickly went to the control deck and picked up a daffodil that looked like a speaker. “Attention, coconut crew!” said Xylena. “We have a code 22! Report to duty at once!” Suddenly, a whole bunch of coconuts started to roll into the cockpit.

    “Somebody’s got a lovely bunch of coconuts”, said Whitley. But then he shouted, “OW!” when a coconut jumped up and conked him on the head.

    “Forgive him”, said Xylena. “They’re just totally sick of everyone always saying that line to them.”

    The coconuts jumped up and plugged themselves into all the holes stopping the air from leaking.

    “That’s really neat!” said Chad.

    “It’s like that classic island show where that professor turns coconuts into technology”, said Tara.

    “I think we need one more coconut over here”, said Wilbur, pointing to one last hole. Then the hole sucked up the back of Wilbur’s helmeted head sealing it up. “I didn’t mean my coconut!” cried Wilbur.

    “Thanks, coconut buddies”, said Q-51. “I can always count on you guys in case I ever go nuts.”

    “Don’t worry”, said Xylena. “We’ll soon be approaching a floating space station. We’ll be able to get you repaired there.”

    Soon, another thing appeared on the big window. It looked like a huge space station with different kinds of rocket ships and flying saucers flying in and out.

    “Just like in those sci-fi shows and movies”, said Chad.

    Q-51 flew into the station’s docking unit and came in for a landing. Then a door opened and the celery stairs ejected. Xylena and the Earthlings stepped out of the rocket, along with Sunny the Sunflower camera following and filming Whitley White around.

    “So this is the inside of an actual space station”, said Chad amazed.

    “Yes, this here is Space Station Alpha-Beta-Calculata”, said Xylena. “Space travelers come here regularly for pit stops, spaceship repairs, and to shop for supplies or just hang out.”

    “I wonder if we’ll see any actual alien life forms”, said Tara. Just then, she screamed as she saw some kind of strange creature approach them. It was a big blue blob with 5 eyes, 10 spikes on its head, and a huge mouth with fangs. And it had 6 long waving tentacles and was oozing puss on the floor.

    “Step back, everyone!” said Wilbur, taking out his sword. “I’ll slay this monster!”

    “Wait, Mr. Finletter”, said Xylena, getting in front of Wilbur and the alien creature.

    “What, there’s a monster here?” asked the alien looking around and hiding behind Xylena. “Save me, Xylena!”

    “Aw, cut it out, Blorch”, laughed Xylena. “You’re not fooling anyone with that timid act.”

    “You could always see through me, Xy”, laughed Blorch as he started spouting ooze from his huge mouth.

    “You two know each other?” asked Chad.

    “Of course”, smiled Xylena. “I’d like you all to meet Blorch, the finest rocket repairman in this part of the galaxy.”

    “Hey, you guys are Earthlings, aren’t you?” said Blorch. “Wow, we’ve never had actual Earthlings visit our space station before. This is really a treat!” He quickly slithered over and wrapped his tentacles around Chad, Tara, Wilbur, and Whitley and very tight too. “Hey, Xy”, said Blorch. “How about taking a picture of me with the Earthlings? My kids will love it!”

    “Can we do that later, please?” asked Xylena. “Right now, Q-51 needs your assistance.”

    “Oh, all right”, sighed Blorch as he released the Earthlings who had fallen on the floor and gasping for air. “Hey there, Q-five-one!” said Blorch, studying the rocket cucumber with coconuts sticking on different parts of his body. “Let me guess, had another cute little Space Bunny attack, didn’t you?”

    “Does it show?” asked Q-51, sarcastically.

    “Aw, cheer up pal”, said Blorch, reaching into his mouth and pulling out a slimey blue toolbox. “Old Blorch will fix you up like new again. Besides, you were about due for a rear end exam anyway.” And he took out some weird looking tools that looked really sharp and painful.

    “And I thought doctor’s needles were scary”, said Chad.

    “Don’t look at me when he’s looking at my rear end!” bellowed Q-51.

    “We’d all better leave Blorch to his work”, said Xylena. “In the meantime, let me show you around the station. This will be a good chance for us to stock up on supplies.”

    * * * * * *

    Our heroes followed Xylena through a tunnel and they suddenly came across what looked like the inside of a huge mall. Only the stores had funny alien writings and the people walking around and minding the stores were all aliens, different kinds of aliens. Some with scales, some with feathers, some with fur, some had three eyes or four eyes or one single eye, some had funny snouts or beaks, and some had more than two arms and legs and some had even no arms or legs.

    “For centuries, people back on Earth have always wondered if there was other life in this universe”, said Chad, amazed.

    “This is just like the time they had that sci-fi convention at the San Zucchini mall”, said Tara. “All those people dressed up in those strange alien costumes. I wonder what these real aliens sell in those stores.”

    “I can’t even read those signs above”, said Wilbur trying to make out the strange alien letters printed on the stores above.

    “I know what will help”, said Xylena as she approached some kind of strange vending machine, placed a card through the scanner, and some strange pink visors dropped down into the slot below. Xylena took the visors and approached our heroes. “Put these on”, said Xylena, handing a visor to everyone. “These special visors will scan your brains and decipher the words you’re looking at into your words.”

    “Sounds neat”, said Chad as he put the visor on like a pair of glasses. Suddenly, the alien words over the stores started to turn into English. He saw that the stores were places like a food court, a pharmacy, a jewelry store, and an army surplus store. “Outer space technology really is advanced”, said Chad. “I’d like to check out that pharmacy. I just remembered. I didn’t pack a toothbrush or toothpaste when we started on this trip.”

    “And I’d like to check out that jewelry store”, said Tara.

    “And I want to buy some stuff from that surplus store”, said Wilbur. “After that Space Bunny attack, I have a feeling I’m gonna need more artillery for this crazy space trip.”

    “Very well”, said Xylena as she reached into her spacesuit and pulled out some cards. “But first, you’ll need these.” She handed the cards to each of our heroes. Chad looked at his card which had a picture of a fiery meteor and the words, Meteor Card, below.

    “What is a Meteor Card?” asked Chad. “Is it like a credit card?”

    “Exactly”, said Xylena. “Meteor Card is one of the most popular credit cards in the universe. Just present this card to the store clerks and you can purchase anything you want. It is very important you have these cards when shopping around this space station. The alien species here use different things for currency. Things you may not have or even things that could be valuable to your life.”

    “Just like signing your soul to the devil?” asked Whitley.

    “Then I suggest you avoid that store over there”, said Xylena, pointing to a store that said, Your Greatest Fantasies Can Come True. The store was run by an alien that looked like a red devil with horns holding a contract written in flames.

    * * * * * *
    Last edited by Cullen; 04-24-2008 at 10:16 PM.

  6. #6
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    (Continued from page above.)

    Chad and Xylena were looking around the pharmacy, trying to find what looks like a toothbrush and toothpaste. “Will you look at this weird stuff”, said Chad, picking up a small device that looked like a fuzzy Q-tip. “I wonder if this is for your ear.”

    “No, Chad”, said Xylena, taking the cotton stick away from him. “It’s for melting off unsightly scabs.” She plucked a leaf from her leaf hair and applied it to the Q-tip. The leaf quickly caught on fire and disappeared.

    “I’m glad I didn’t apply that to my eardrum”, said Chad, nervously. “Say, is this stuff dental floss?” he asked as he picked up a small box that had some string sticking out.

    “No”, said Xylena. “This is cutting string used for cutting off unwanted appendages.” She turned the box around and it showed a small film of a green alien boy with 3 arms using the floss to cut off his third arm like it was a blade.

    “When Uncle Wilbur told me never to shop for pharmacy products alone, he wasn’t kidding”, gasped Chad.

    “May I help you?” asked an alien sounding voice. Chad and Xylena turned around and they saw a round orange alien with a really huge sharp toothy smile.

    “Yes”, said Chad. “I’d like to buy a toothbrush and some toothpaste.”

    “Um, I’m not familiar with either of those two things”, said the toothy alien.

    “He means do you have anything that can fix unclean teeth?” said Xylena.

    “Why sure”, smiled the alien with an even bigger toothy smile. “What kind of pharmacy would this be if there weren’t any tooth fixer-uppers? Here’s something that four out of five grvniks recommend.” The alien handed Chad something that looked like the size of a toothbrush.

    “This looks like a small jackhammer”, said Chad, puzzled.

    Correction, it’s a plaquehammer”, said the alien.

    “How will this clean my teeth?” wondered Chad.

    “Lucky for you, I just ate and my teeth are filthy”, smiled the alien taking the plaquehammer from Chad. “Just watch.” The alien turned on a switch on the plaquehammer and it started to chip away at the alien’s teeth causing them all to crumble onto the floor. “See”, said the alien, whose huge mouth was empty of teeth. “No more dirty teeth!”

    Chad looked at the now toothless alien in shock. “But now you have no teeth period! How will you ever chew stuff again?”

    “Relax”, said the alien. “Teeth like mine always grow back in a few days. I’ll just stick to soft food until then. Now, let me get you a clean plaquehammer. Using a plaquehammer somebody else used is unsanitary.”

    “Maybe I’d better wait to brush my teeth until I get back to Earth”, said Chad. “I just hope Mom and Dad will forgive my morning breath when I finally see them.”

    “Are these what you’re talking about?” asked Xylena, pointing to a cup of toothbrushes and toothpaste sitting on a bottom shelf.

    “Yes they are”, smiled Chad, studying the dental equipment. “And this is the same brand of toothpaste I use on Earth.”

    “Oh, those?” said the toothless alien. “They’re just some Earth things some guy sold to me. I try to keep them out of sight. Who knows what kind of damage they could do?”

    “Actually this stuff can protect me from damage”, smiled Chad. “Protect my teeth that is, I’ll take one and a few more for my group as well”, and he showed his Meteor Card to the alien.

    “I can’t argue with the card”, said the alien as he took a strange scanning device and scanned the card. Chad and Xylena thanked the alien and both left the pharmacy. Then the alien looked down at his destroyed teeth lying on the floor. “Clean up on aisle vlink!” he shouted.

    * * * * * *

    Wilbur was busy looking around the army surplus store studying some kind of walky-talky. “This must be some kind of communicator”, said Wilbur. “Maybe I can use it to contact the Tomato Task Force back on Earth.” He pushed the button and a laser beam suddenly shot out from the antenna, leaving a hole in the ceiling.

    “Hello soldier”, said a drill sergeant sounding voice. Wilbur turned around and found a huge brown warty alien that had four muscular arms and was wearing an army helmet. “I see you’re interested in that hand held weapon of mass destruction.”

    “This is a weapon?!” gasped Wilbur. “I thought it was a communication device!”

    “HAW HAW HAW!” laughed the alien as he took the device from Wilbur. “Every good soldier knows that this is one of the most powerful war weapons in the universe. Hmmm, you wouldn’t happen to be an old draft dodger, would you?”

    “Wilbur Finletter, a draft dodger?!” gasped Wilbur with an angry look. “I’ll have you know I’m the leader of the Killer Tomato Task Force back on Earth!”

    “You’re from Earth?” gasped the alien. “The most war obsessed planet in the universe?”

    “What do you mean war obsessed?” asked Wilbur. “We aren’t that bad, are we?”

    “See for yourself”, said the alien as a TV screen rose from the floor and he turned it on. It showed clips of every single Earth war in history and dictators like Alexander the Great, Attila the Hun, Napoleon, Hitler, and finally ending with Dr. Gangreen and his Killer Tomatoes.

    “I guess I can’t argue with that”, said Wilbur with a grim look.

    “Anyway, it’s great to meet a fellow soldier like me”, smiled the alien as he turned off the screen and patted Wilbur on the back causing him to get slammed to the ground. “And I’m giving you a discount on anything in my store.”

    “Thanks”, said Wilbur getting back up and dusting himself off. He then noticed a bazooka on the shelf and picked it up. “This looks really powerful”, said Wilbur. “It could probably turn an enemy into chopped liver.” Suddenly, the bazooka went off and a clump of something gross and gooey hit the floor. “What or who did I just shoot?!” cried Wilbur as he studied the mess, sniffed it and tasted it. “This is chopped liver!” gasped Wilbur. “That’s totally nuts!” Then the bazooka went off again and Wilbur found a huge pile of peanuts, walnuts, and all kinds of nuts on the floor.

    “Impressive, ain’t it?” said the alien. “What you’re holding in your hands is an actual grub generator used by army cooks. Just touch it and think of any food item and it’ll blast it out for you either piping hot or brain freezing cold.”

    “An actual food processor that can make any type of food in the world?” said Wilbur amazed. “Think of what this could do for my pizza business!” And a huge pizza got blasted onto the floor. “It’s a butterscotch and kipper pizza!” said Wilbur, “Just what I was thinking about! I’ll take it!” and he showed his Meteor Card to the army alien.

    * * * * * *

    We see Whitley White and his sunflower camera standing in what looked like a food court. “This is Whitley White, reporting live from the food court of an actual alien space station. You heard right, this is not a sci-fi convention where people with no lives are in disguise. These are actual alien life forms. And I’ll prove it!” Whitley approached a purple slug-like alien with arms eating some kind of strange meal at a table. Then Whitley started tugging on the alien’s antenna-like eyes. “You see”, said Whitley as he continued tugging. “It won’t come off which proves this is not a costume, but an actual alien life form! What do you think of that, Geraldo?”

    Whitley realized he just pulled the slug’s head off its body. “Oh my gosh, what have I done!” gasped Whitley. Then he became even more disgusted as he saw a bunch of little slugs crawling out of the bottom half of the big slug’s body and then slithering out of the food court. The arms of the bottom half snatched the slug’s head from Whitley and placed it back on like it was never pulled off. “How dare you, you masher!” shouted the slug in a woman’s voice.

    “You’re a lady?!” gasped Whitley.

    “How double dare you!” shouted the slug. “You pulled my head off causing my babies to be born prematurely! Wait’ll my husband gets his slime on you! Oh, Manglex!”

    “Who’s been messing with my beloved wife and my not ready kids?!” shouted a monstrous voice. Whitley became nervous as he found himself looking into the angry eye antennas of an even bigger alien slug. And the eye antennas started seizing him like tentacles.

    “This is Whitley White saying I’ll get back to you once this alien finished seeing eye to eye with me!” gasped Whitley while the alien started squeezing him even harder.

    * * * * * *

    Tara and F.T. were looking around the jewelry shop. F.T. was looking at huge red ruby with a small green emerald on top. F.T. made amazed squeaks thinking it was the world’s prettiest tomato.

    “Oh, F.T., you silly thing”, laughed Tara. “That is just a huge ruby. It’s a mineral, not a vegetable. Now these stones are very pretty.” Tara started gazing at a bunch of stones of many colors sitting on the front shelf.

    “Interested in anything, dearie?” asked a woman’s voice. Tara looked up and was surprised to see a woman who was completely made of blue crystal with spiky hair made of white crystal shards.

    “Hello”, said Tara. “I was just browsing through your store. You got so many beautiful stones.”

    “Thank you”, said the crystal woman. “I have stones from every single planet in the universe.”

    “This blue one looks very unique”, said Tara, picking up a small blue shard. “How much is it worth?”

    “Nothing really”, said the woman taking the shard away from her. “I just broke a nail and a finger as well.” The woman showed Tara her hand showing that her ring finger was broken off.

    Tara looked at the 9 fingered crystal woman funny and then saw another small stone on the counter. “This white one is very pretty”, said Tara, picking up the stone. “What planet did this come from?”

    “Oh, a couple of space travelers sold it to me”, said the woman. “It comes from a far away planet called Earth.”

    “Earth?” asked Tara. “That’s my home planet. I wonder if this is some kind of diamond.”

    “The travelers said that rock is a substance called salt”, said the woman.

    “SALT?!” cried Tara realizing that she was touching a salt rock with her bare fingers. “OH NO!” and Tara quickly transformed back into a tomato.

    “Ma’am, where’d you go?” asked the woman looking around for the Earth girl. She leaned over the counter and found the salt rock next to some small red vegetation.

    “AN OTAMOT!” cried the woman in fear as she pushed a button under her counter and a bunch of loud alarms went off. “Warning, Otamot alert! Warning, Otamot alert!” said a loud voice. The Tara Tomato, realizing she was in big trouble, started to hop out of the store. F.T. saw what happened and ran out with Tara.

    * * * * * *

    Chad and Xylena had left the pharmacy and noticed a bunch of tiny purple slugs hopping across the floor. “Some needs to call the exterminator”, said Chad.

    “Come back my babies!” cried the mother space slug as she tried to gather up the wriggling baby slugs.

    “Uh oh”, said Xylena. “It looks like someone had messed up a Sluguluff’s pregnancy.”

    “And I have a pretty good guess who did”, said Chad, pointing to an even bigger space Sluguluff strangling Whitley White while Sunny the Sunflower continued to film them.

    Just then, an alarm went off and an announcer started shouting, “Warning, Otamot alert!”

    “OTAMOTS?!” cried the giant Sluguluff as he dropped Whitley on the floor. “Hurry, honey bunch!” shouted the Daddy Sluguluff, “Let’s grab our kids and get out of here before those Otamot creeps get them!” The two Sluguluffs managed to grab their babies and slither out of sight.

    “Mr. White, are you all right?” asked Chad, rushing to Whitley’s aid.

    “All right?” said Whitley. “I’m better than ever! I was the first Earth newsman to get into a fight with an actual space alien! I’m going to go down in TV history for this!”

    “Warning, Otamot alert!” continued the announcer.

    “An Otamot is here?” gasped Xylena, “Where?”

    They suddenly saw all the aliens running around the place in panic as two small red figures started running and hopping towards our heroes. “It’s F.T.”, said Chad, “And Tara who somehow got turned into a tomato!” F.T. jumped into Xylena’s hands while Tara hopped into Chad’s hands.

    “What’s going on here?” asked Wilbur who had arrived at the scene holding what looked like a bazooka.

    “I think we’d all better head back to Q-51 immediately”, said Xylena as she pointed to what looked like a troop of robots heading their way. Our heroes tried to escape, but quickly found themselves surrounded by a squad of huge robots that looked a lot like mall security cops.

    “You’re all under arrest for being accomplices to killer Otamots!” said the head robot holding up its gun shaped hand.

    “And I thought the biggest threat I’ve ever seen were tomatoes”, said Wilbur. But then, Wilbur’s food processing bazooka went off again firing some tomatoes splattering all over the robots. The sauce caused the robots to short circuit and collapse into a pile of junk.

    “Come on, let’s go!” shouted Xylena as they all started to race back to the docking area.

    “I can’t believe it!” cried Wilbur. “I used tomatoes as a weapon! I hope the people back on Earth don’t hear about this!”

    * * * * * *

    Our heroes had arrived back on the docking bay where Blorch the mechanic had just finished repairing Q-51. “There we go”, said Blorch. “He’s as good as new.”

    “It’s like I was plucked fresh from the vine”, said Q-51. And it was true. All the bunny nibbles were completely gone from Q-51’s skin.

    “Thank you, Blorch”, said Xylena in a rushed voice. “Just put it all on my account. Sorry we can’t stay, but we have to leave now! Goodbye!” Our heroes quickly rushed back into the rocket and blasted off leaving the space station.

    “But what about my picture with me and the Earthlings?!” cried Blorch as more security robots arrived at the scene and found the rocket cucumber blasting out of sight. “Can I get a picture with you guys?” Blorch asked the frustrated robots.

    * * * * * *

    Soon, Q-51 was far away from the space station and was continuing the flight. Our heroes were sitting in their pea pod chairs exhausted. Chad was still holding the Tara Tomato in his hands. “Oops, after all the excitement, I forgot you were still a tomato, Tara”, said Chad as he placed Tara on the floor and took out his pepper shaker. Chad tried to sprinkle some pepper on the tomato, but nothing came out.

    “Oh drat!” cried Chad. “I’m all out of pepper!” F.T. made a concerned squeak.

    “I’m sorry, Tara”, said Chad, picking the tomato back up. “Until we can find some more pepper, you’ll have to stay a tomato.”

    “What’s that about pepper?” asked Wilbur who was too busy studying his food bazooka. Suddenly, a huge storm of pepper blasted from the bazooka covering the entire cockpit. Everyone started sneezing including the Tara tomato who suddenly turned back into a girl.

    “What a relief”, said Tara, sniffling.

    “Thanks Uncle Wilbur”, said Chad.

    “No problem”, said Wilbur. “With my new grub generator, we won’t be starving to death on this space trip. I can make us pizzas galore!” Then the bazooka went off again blasting pizzas everywhere. Everyone ducked down as gooey circles of cheese and crust were stuck to the walls.

    “Maybe I’d better put this thing down until mealtime”, said an embarrassed Wilbur as he set the bazooka down on the floor.

    Whitley approached a splattered pizza on the wall, pinched off a piece of it and ate it. “Not bad”, said Whitley. “This is even better than that breakfast pizza we had this morning.”

    “But we never had a chance to try that breakfast pizza, remember?” asked Chad.

    “Oh yeah, that’s right”, said Wilbur. “The last thing I remember is putting it in the oven, I mean, red pepper.” Just then, some smoke started to enter the cockpit.

    “Where’s that smoke coming from?” asked Chad.

    “It looks like it’s coming from the direction of the galley”, said Tara.

    “Oh no, ROASTY!” cried Xylena. They all rushed into the galley and found Roasty the Red Pepper Oven spewing smoke from his huge mouth.

    “Somebody get it out of me, quick!” cried Roasty.

    “Hold on”, said Wilbur as he took his pizza paddle and tried to scrape the burned pizza from Roasty’s mouth.

    “Are you all right, Roasty?” asked Xylena.

    “I’ll be fine”, said Roasty. “Even though I’m probably gonna be tasting burnt mozzarella for a week. I should’ve listened to my mom and become an Easy Bake Red Pepper. I work better with kids anyway.”

    Wilbur put the charred pizza down on the table and studied it. He then took off his helmet and put it over his heart. “Let us have a moment of silence for a brave crew member we just lost.” He said sadly.

    “What crew member?” whispered Xylena puzzled.

    “He’s talking about the pizza”, whispered Chad who had his baseball cap over his heart. “Uncle Wilbur treats his pizza creations like they were his own kids.”

    “Xylena”, said Wilbur. “Can you please have this poor pizza ejected from this rocket? I want to give it a proper burial in space.”

    “Sure”, said a confused Xylena as she led Wilbur to a nearby ejection tube. The burned pizza was placed into the tube, then got sucked away and blasted into space.

    “Farewell, young fried egg and hominy grits pizza”, said Wilbur, looking out the porthole. “It’s a shame you never got tasted during your short life.”

    “No offense”, Xylena whispered to Chad. “But you Earthlings are the strangest creatures in the universe.”

    “To tell you the truth, I think I agree”, said Chad as he watched his Uncle Wilbur pressing his sad face against the glass of the porthole.

    * * * * * *

    Back in Dr. Gangreen’s rocket, Gangreen noticed Igor talking on a cell-phone. “Hello, I’d like to order a pizza please”, said Igor.

    “Igor, what are you doing?” demanded Gangreen.

    “I was hungry and I wanted to order us some pizza”, said Igor. “But all I’m hearing is static.”

    “We’re in the middle of outer space you dweeb!” grumbled Gangreen. “We’re many miles away from the pizza place! And how exactly is a pizza supposed to come our way out here?” Suddenly, something hit their windshield.

    “It’s a pizza!” smiled Igor. “Whoa, those pizza dudes sure are making their deliveries quicker these days! I didn’t even tell them where we were too!” Igor put on a space helmet with a tube attached and stepped out the door. Gangreen watched puzzled as he saw his assistant pull the pizza off the outside of the window and then step back inside and closed the door. Then Igor removed his helmet and took at bite out of the charred pizza.

    “Aw bummer, they burned it!” said Igor. He took out his cell phone and dialed a number. “Hello, Finletter’s Pizza. I appreciate the extra fast service, but I think you should really take your time with the cooking. You brought my pizza burned and it didn’t even come in a box.”

    “Just end this chapter now!” grumbled Gangreen pulling out his hair.

    TO BE CONTINUED
    Last edited by Cullen; 04-24-2008 at 10:17 PM.

  7. #7
    Tinytooncrazy is offline Member
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    Nice chapter I EMJOYED IT

  8. #8
    Cullen is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinytooncrazy View Post
    Nice chapter I EMJOYED IT
    Thank you. I'll have another chapter out for you real quick.

  9. #9
    Cullen is offline Member
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    Planet of the Tomatoes

    By Cullen Pittman

    Chapter 4

    A Dark Seed

    As we look in on the crew of the Q-51 rocket ship, we see Whitley White in the cockpit standing next to the jar with a floating seed in it which was Q-51’s brain. “This is Whitley White bringing you another update on our amazing space trip to the far off planet Saladovia”, he replied. “You may think this thing is some kind of poppy seed floating in a jar of pickle juice, but believe it or not, this is the actual brain of our living rocket ship known as Q-51.”

    “Who are you calling a poppy seed?!” demanded Q-51. “I don’t have any kids to be a poppy seed. In order to do that, I’ll need a mommy seed, Heh heh heh!”

    “And as you can see, there are still a lot more bad puns in outer space”, sighed Whitley. “But tell me, how did you get the name, Q-51?”

    “I guess because I was the fifty first rocket cucumber ever grown and constructed”, said Q-51. “I once remember racing circles around a bigmouthed Q-23 a few years back. I sent him home crying to his mamacumber! HA HA HA!”

    “Strong words from such a tiny seed inside a huge cucumber”, said Whitley as he twirled his finger next to his head while the seed inside the jar laughed and swam around like crazy.

    * * * * * *

    F.T. and Tara entered the galley and saw Wilbur working on something. “Hello, Mr. Finletter”, said Tara. “I was wondering if you have something for F.T. to eat.”

    “You’re in luck”, smiled Wilbur. “I just had this new idea for a pizza recipe and F.T. can have the honor of being the first to try it!” And he showed them what looked like 6 tubes.

    “You’re going to feed him toothpaste?” asked Tara.

    “No, what you’re witnessing is Tomatoless Pizza in paste form”, smiled Wilbur. “The same type of paste food the astronauts use.”

    “Pizza in tube form?” asked Tara. “What do you think, F.T?” F.T. made a nervous squeak.

    “What’ll it be, boy?” smiled Wilbur. “I got 6 choices. Either pepperoni, sausage, extra cheese, anchovy, hamburger, or maybe you’d like to try my 3 flavored ice cream pizza paste?” F.T. tried to close his mouth, but Wilbur pried it open and squirted chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry paste into his mouth. Then F.T. started to shiver and turned into a tomato trapped in an ice block.

    “F.T!” gasped Tara. “You’ve got a major ice cream headache. And you’re mostly all head too!”

    “Maybe I should’ve tried cooking the ice cream pizza first”, said Wilbur studying the tube.

    * * * * * *

    Chad had entered the bathroom carrying his new toothbrush and toothpaste and was going to clean himself up. He looked over at the bush toilet sleeping away. “I’m glad he’s asleep”, said Chad. “I don’t think I want to discuss his toilet humor right now.” Chad went over to the melon rind sink and removed his cap and shirt. “I wonder how you turn these things on?” asked Chad as he looked at the water lily faucets. “And which one’s hot and which one’s cold?” Suddenly, the lilies started producing water like they knew what Chad had requested.

    As Chad looked at himself in the mirror and started brushing his teeth, he noticed something stuck out from the shower curtain behind him. It looked like a green branch grabbing a nearby towel. “What was that?” gasped Chad as he ended up spitting the watery toothpaste at the mirror in shock. Chad slowly approached the shower curtain and listened. “Is someone in there?” he asked. But then realized he didn’t hear any water running. “Maybe it’s another one of those plant appliances”, said Chad as he slowly pushed back the curtain and found the lily above wasn’t sprouting water, but sunlight. And in the shower was Xylena. She had her back turned and was unclothed.

    “Oh, hello, Chad”, said Xylena as she was about to turn around. Chad turned a beet red and sweat came down from his face. “AAAH! I’M SORRY!” he shouted as he closed his eyes, zipped out of the bathroom, and slammed the door.

    “What, what just happened?” asked the bush as he suddenly woke up. “Are we out of toilet paper again?”


    “I’m not sure, Bushy”, said Xylena, puzzled. “It’s like that Earth boy has never seen a Saladovian take a sun shower before.”

    A nervous and shameful Chad was standing outside the bathroom leaning against the wall. And you can see his pounding heart trying to leave his bare chest. “What have I done?!” wailed Chad.

    “Chad, what’s wrong?” asked Tara as she appeared. “You look like you somehow lost your innocence.”

    * * * * * *

    Meanwhile, we once again see the space station known as Alpha-Beta-Calculata. This time, the red rocket cucumber, known as the Galactic Gangreen Express, had arrived at the docking bay and Dr. Gangreen and Igor had stepped out of the rocket.

    “Just look, Igor”, said Gangreen. “We’re actually inside of a real alien space station! Think of all the high advanced technology and hopefully advanced weapons of destruction we can obtain here!”

    “Cool!” said Igor. “You mean like retro rubber bands that have double snapping power?” He took out some rubber bands and tried to fire them, only to get snapped onto the floor.

    “Whatever makes your tiny mind happy”, sighed Gangreen. “Have you sustained that Gang of 6 before we left? Who knows what damage they might do if they ever leave this ship?”

    “Don’t worry, your Captain-ship”, said Igor. “I used a highly advanced device to keep those tomato dudes from leaving and getting into trouble.”

    Inside the ship, we see the Gang of 6 trapped in what looked like a giant pink playpen. They were still in a dazed state and repeating, “SOIL SOIL SOIL SOIL!”

    “We gotta get out of here and find more soil!” grumbled Zoltan.

    “But how do we get out of this humiliating prison?” demanded Fang.

    “I saw a baby and his minions do this many times in a crudely drawn cartoon series”, said Beefsteak as he reached out his vine and grabbed a screwdriver and used it to pick the lock.

    “All right, it’s soil searching time!” shouted Zoltan as he and his tomato comrades hopped out of the playpen and started to leave the ship.

    * * * * * *

    Gangreen and Igor were exploring the shopping area of the space station and looked at all the aliens. “Whoa, look at all these alien dudes”, said Igor. “I wonder if they know E.T, Vulcans, or even Will Robinson?”

    “Just find us a food establishment before I send you into orbit”, grumbled Gangreen.

    “Right, your cranky-when-hungryness”, said Igor as he ran off.

    “What’s this?” asked Gangreen as he saw what looked like a wanted poster posted on a wall. On it were photos of Xylena, Wilbur, Whitley, Chad, F.T, and Tara as a tomato. “Those goody-goods are wanted criminals?”

    “Yes, that’s right, citizen”, said a robot security guard next to the poster. “When those fugitives came here, they were seen causing a riot by holding deadly killer Otamots.”

    “Otamots?” asked Gangreen. “What the heck is an Otamot?”

    “You are looking at them”, said the robot as he pointed to the photos of F.T. and Tara Tomato. “We tried to apprehend them, but they ended up escaping and now they’re running loose in this universe. We’ve sent out a warrant for their arrests. Now if you’ll excuse me, I should get back to my rounds”, and the robot levitated off somewhere.

    “This is wonderful”, said Gangreen happy. “The good guys are running scared like hunted criminals! Now maybe they won’t be foiling my plans to reach that soil planet! And I think I’ll take this wanted poster with me. It might come in handy”, Gangreen waited till the robot was out of sight and ripped the wanted poster off the wall and stuffed it in his lab coat.

    “Over here your doctor-ship”, called out Igor who was standing near what looked like a food stand. “I found us some grub!” Gangreen approached the stand and found it was run by a skinny blue alien with a long head, six eyes, and an aardvark snout.

    “What have you got good to dine on my good alien?” asked Gangreen.

    “I have a special on a liver sandwich”, said the alien, “With a special sauce.”

    “A special sauce, eh?”, said Gangreen. “We scientists do like taking risks. Okay, give me a liver sandwich with special sauce.”

    “Coming right up”, said the alien as he ducked down, loud splattering and chopping were heard, and he came back up holding what looked like a hero sandwich.

    Gangreen took the sandwich and took a bite of it. “Not bad”, said Gangreen as he finished his sandwich. “You know, Igor, I almost expected the alien food here to be gross and maybe even living.”

    “I’m glad you liked my liver”, said the alien as he lifted up his T-shirt and showed off a huge red scar and stitches on his side.

    “You mean you tore out your own liver and fed it to me?” gasped Gangreen as he started hacking and spitting like crazy.

    “Yep”, said the alien. “And don’t worry. My liver was totally healthy. I was going to sell kidney pie, but my doctor said my kidneys weren’t working right.”

    “I don’t think I want to know what’s in the special sauce”, said a nauseated Igor.

    “Okay”, said the alien as he started typing on a futuristic cash register. “Show me your Meteor Card so you can pay for that sandwich.”

    “Meteor Card?” demanded Gangreen. “I have no such ridiculous sounding thing!”

    “Well in that case”, said the alien. “You can just pay with my planet’s regular currency.”

    “And what might that be?” asked Gangreen.

    “One liver sandwich”, said the alien. “It won’t cost you much, just a small piece of your brain.”

    “A piece of my brai….”, gasped Gangreen. But before he could finish his word, a helmet was slammed onto Gangreen’s head and a tube started sucking something out of his head and it plopped into a little jar.

    “Whoa!” said a surprised Igor. “I wonder how much a porterhouse steak would cost you?”

    “Thank you and come again”, said the alien holding the jar that had a tiny piece of brain inside it.

    “Yeah, right”, said Igor as he escorted the dazed Gangreen away from the creepy food stand.

    “What, what, just happened?” asked Gangreen as he rubbed his head.

    “That alien dude just took a piece of your brain”, said Igor.

    “But I like my brain!” grumbled Gangreen, “Every single brilliant piece of it! Let’s see if my brain’s still working. A tomato is actually a fruit, for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. Yep, all my knowledge seems to still be in place. Come, Igor. Let’s leave this alien madhouse.”

    “Where will we be heading for now?” asked Igor.

    “Let’s see what I can remember from that map”, said Gangreen. “Let’s see, go north, or was it south? Turn at Ursa Major, or was it Ursa Minor? OH NO!”

    “What is it, your flusterdness?” asked Igor.

    “That alien must’ve taken the part of my brain that had the directions to that soil planet!” cried Gangreen. “I gotta get it back!” Gangreen quickly rushed back to the food stand.

    “I need my brain piece back, now!” shouted Gangreen.

    “Sorry, no can do”, said the alien.

    “But I need it!” cried Gangreen. “I’ll make a deal. Give me back that piece and you can take the part of my brain that has my painful high school gym class memories. I’d be more than happy to give up that!”

    “Like I said, no can do”, said the alien. “I already sold it to some kid as an ice cream topping.”

    “You what?!” cried Gangreen. He turned around and found a small red alien with a beanie copter on his head sucking up the ice cream that had a piece of Gangreen’s brain on it.

    “NO! It’s gone forever!” wailed Gangreen.

    “Look on the bright side, Doc”, said Igor. “Maybe that kid will grow up to be a genius with your brain in his bod.”

    “Don’t you get it?” grumbled Gangreen. “I no longer have the directions to get to that planet of amazing soil! And if that soil hungry Gang of 6 finds out about this, they could tear us to bits!”

    “Maybe someone on this station knows how to get to the planet”, said Igor.

    “And like who?” demanded Gangreen.

    “How about me?” called out a spooky sounding voice.

    “Who said that?” demanded Gangreen as he and Igor looked around.

    “Over here”, said the voice. Gangreen found himself looking at a stand filled with strange trinkets. One of them was a huge jar with green toxic-like water. And floating in it was a blackened seed. “Yes, that’s right. The seed is talking to you”, said the spooky voice coming from the jar.

    “How can a mere seed in some liquid filled jar be talking?” asked Gangreen amazed.

    “I could go into heavy details, but I know you’d rather be looking for that soil planet you mentioned”, said the seed.

    “You know where I can find this planet of soil that possesses plant’s free wills?” asked Gangreen.

    “First of all, the soil planet is called Saladovia”, said the seed. “And yes, I know the directions to that planet.”

    “Tell me how to get there!” said Gangreen eagerly taking out a pen and a huge paper.

    “I can do much better than that”, said the seed. “Take me with you and I can navigate you to Saladovia.”

    “Take you with us?” demanded Gangreen. “Why can’t you just tell me the directions and I’ll write them down?”

    “Trust me, it’ll be much easier and faster if I guide you there myself”, said the seed. “All you have to do is buy me from the lady who runs this cart.”

    “What lady?” demanded Gangreen.

    “This lady!” said a gooey brown puddle on the floor that suddenly rose and took the form of a blob with huge eyes and lipstick and had long drippy hands.

    “Whoa, major gross!” said Igor. “I think I’m gonna lose my lunch!”

    “Well can I have it as soon as it comes out?” said the lady blob.

    “General gross!” shouted Igor.

    “Tell me something, madam”, said Gangreen. “This black seed in a jar, is he trustworthy as a navigator?”

    “I suppose so”, said the lady blob. “I found it floating around in endless space one day and it seemed to know the way back to this space station. Just show me your Meteor Card and you can have it.”

    “I’m afraid I don’t have one of those so-called Meteor Cards”, said Gangreen. “But if you charge brains, you can take my assistant’s brain. It may be tiny, but I believe that’s a fair price for a tiny little seed.”

    “When he’s right, he’s right”, said Igor, rattling his head around.

    “Oh no”, smiled the lady blob. “I don’t use brains as currency. Only my friend, Freltz, from that food stand over there charges brains. You can pay with my planet’s currency.”

    “And what that might be?” asked Gangreen.

    “Your dignity”, smiled the lady blob.

    * * * * * *

    Later, we see Gangreen and Igor dressed in ridiculous teddy bear costumes. Gangreen’s suit was green with an atom bomb on his tummy and Igor’s suit was blue with a surf board on his tummy. They were dancing while singing, “Beneath the trees where nobody sees, they’ll hide and seek as long as they please. Today’s the day the teddy bears have their picnic.” All the aliens in the station were laughing at the humiliating sight while the lady blob was laughing too while typing on a futuristic cash register as well.

    “Okay, that’s enough!” said the blob, still laughing out loud. “You’ve given up more of your dignity than I need. I’ll just put it on store credit for you. The seed is yours!”

    * * * * * *

    Gangreen and Igor were back in their normal clothes walking back to the docking bay. Gangreen was still grumbling while Igor was carrying the jar with the black seed in it. “You’d better be worth all that humiliation!” Gangreen pointed to the seed.

    “Trust me”, said the seed calmly. “Just follow my directions and it’ll all be worth it.

    “Hey, what’s going on over there?” asked Igor as he pointed to some kind of commotion that was near their rocket. It showed some robot security guards trying to hold back an attacking Gang of 6.

    “We want soil!” shouted Zoltan as a robot was trying to push him back. “And we’ll turn you into scrap metal if we don’t get it!”

    “Yeah!” growled Ketchuck as he spat out drool on the robots causing them to short circuit and collapse.

    “Nice form my dear crude Ketchuck”, said Mumato as he was wrapping the last remaining guards in bandages.

    “Oh no!” growled Gangreen, “How did those psycho-saucebrains break loose?!”

    “Leave this minor problem to me”, said the seed as it started releasing some kind of black mist from the jar.

    “Whoa”, said Igor watching the mist getting released from the jar he was holding. “I think we’ll need to go back and buy an air freshener.”

    The mist suddenly surrounded the Gang of 6 causing them to stop their commotion. “Hey, what’s going on here?” demanded Zoltan.

    “Hello, Zoltan”, said the dark seed’s voice.

    “Who are you and how do you know my name?” demanded the Gang of 6’s leader.

    “Let’s say that I share a bond with my fellow vegetations from all over the universe”, said the dark seed. “I understand you and your group are looking for sweet succulent soil.”

    “Yeah, that’s right!” said Zoltan, calming down. “Have you got any?”

    “No, but I can safely lead you to the soil planet”, said the seed. “But in order for me to do this task, you and your comrades must quietly re-enter the rocket cucumber and let Dr. Gangreen pilot the vessel to the planet. Are you able to do that?”

    “Sure, anything to get that leafwatering soil!” said Zoltan.

    “I agree!” said Beefsteak.

    “I’ll cooperate”, said Fang.

    “I’ll be good for now”, said Mumato.

    “Same here”, said Tomacho.

    “Did somebody say soil?” asked Ketchuk, still drooling all over the damaged robots.

    “I don’t believe it”, said Gangreen as he watched the Gang of 6 calmly hopping back into the rocket. “For months, I’ve been trying to tame that unruly crop of killer tomatoes and you, a small seed, get them to obey you by spraying out some black gas.”

    “It’s a talent, I suppose”, said the dark seed. As Gangreen and Igor started to enter the rocket, the seed seemed to be studying it. “This rocket cucumber of yours is quite fascinating”, said the seed. “It looks like the ones they grow on Saladovia. Except that this one’s a lot larger and it’s a nice red color instead of dull green. No offense, Dr. Gangreen.”

    “Exactly how do you know so much about this Saladovia?” demanded Gangreen. “Are you a citizen from there?”

    “Let’s say that I have a rooted history with that planet”, said the seed as the three of them finally entered the cockpit and saw the Gang of 6 strapped into their seats patiently waiting to continue their journey.

    “Uh, oh”, said Igor. “We don’t have an extra seat for you, seed dude.”

    “Put me on that spot over there”, said the seed as it pointed its pointy head. Gangreen and Igor saw the long green spout sticking out in the center of the cockpit.

    “I’ve been wondering what that was when I first grew this rocket”, said Gangreen as he watched Igor place the seed’s jar on the spout.

    “This is normally where the brain seed of a Saladovian rocket cucumber would go”, said the seed. “But since this rocket seems to have been grown without a brain, you can make me the brain and I’ll take you to Saladovia myself.”

    “Just what do we call you anyway?” asked Gangreen as he and Igor got into their seats and strapped themselves in.

    “Just call me Darkseed”, said the seed, “For now.”

    The red rocket cucumber ended up blasting out of the space station’s docking bay and blasted off continuing their journey to Saladovia thanks to their new navigator that consisted of a dark seed.

    The head security robot stood at the docking bay and watched the cucumber blasted off. Then he turned around and saw his damaged robot comrades. “That’s the second time space travelers brought in Otamots and caused a riot”, said the robot as he transformed his metal hand into a cell phone. “Something will have to be done about that”, and he started making a call.

    * * * * * *

    Back on Q-51, we see a shirtless Chad sitting on his bed in the sleeping chamber still feeling ashamed about unexpectedly barging into the bathroom where he saw a naked Xylena. Tara and a thawed out F.T. were sitting next to him trying to soothe his nerves. “I can’t believe I saw her nude in the shower!” cried Chad. “I feel so ashamed!”

    “I thought you were always supposed to knock before entering a bathroom”, said Tara.

    “The door was open so I thought no one was using it”, protested Chad.

    “But didn’t you hear any water running in the shower?” asked Tara.

    “No”, said Chad. “I thought that branch I saw sticking out of the shower was another plant appliance. When I opened the curtain, I…I found her taking what looked like a sunlight shower NAKED! Why didn’t that censor lady come in and stop all of this from happening?!”

    “Don’t you remember?” asked Tara. “Her head exploded two chapters ago.”

    “That’s right!” wailed Chad. “I shouldn’t be blaming her. I should be blaming myself! How could I do that to an innocent girl like Xylena?!”

    “It was an accident, Chad”, said Tara, placing her hands on his shoulders. “You didn’t mean to barge in and see Xylena showering. And you weren’t thinking any naughty thoughts when you saw her, weren’t you?”

    “I just hope Xylena will forgive me”, cried Chad. “She probably doesn’t even want to talk to me after all that.”

    “Why wouldn’t I want to talk to you?” asked Xylena’s voice. Chad looked up and saw Xylena standing there with her hands behind her back.

    “Xylena?” gasped Chad as he saw that the Saladovian girl wasn’t wearing her regular spacesuit, but what looked like a tight spandex suit made of dark green tree bark. F.T. made a squeak and a quick whistle.

    “Hello, Xylena”, said Tara trying to cover up F.T’s mouth. “That’s a nice suit you’re wearing.”

    “But I am not wearing anything”, said Xylena. “I removed my spacesuit to take a sun shower. This is me in the bare bark.”

    Chad slowly looked up and saw that tight bark suit was really her skin. And it seemed to cover up her unmentionables too. Chad realized when he saw Xylena’s bare back in the shower, he was too shocked to notice that Xylena’s body was covered with dark green tree bark. “Xylena”, trembled Chad. “I’m sorry I saw you in the shower without your clothes on. I didn’t know you were in there.”

    “There’s no need for apologies” said Xylena, puzzled. “Going around in plain bark is natural for us Saladovians. We only wear clothes on formal occasions or when we need spacesuits to travel in space.”

    Then she reached out her branch-like hands and handed Chad his cap and shirt back. “I think you left these in the bathroom”, she said while smiling.

    “Thank you”, said Chad, who went from a guilty face to a relieved face as he took the items from Xylena. Then Xylena placed a branch on Chad’s bare shoulder. “You Earthlings have such unusual bark”, she said. “It’s all pink and smooth.” Chad’s face turned red at her comment. “And your face is starting to ripen as well.” Said Xylena. Tara started giggling at the words Xylena was using while watching Chad blush.

    “All right, that’s enough of that hanky-panky!” called out a familiar voice. The 3 kids and fuzzy tomato turned around and found the censor lady standing there with a new head painted on her. But all we could see was her back.

    “Put some clothes on this instant, young lady!” she scolded. “Just because it may be natural for you Saladovians to go around unclothed does not mean you can do it around the eyes of innocent Earth children! And it also appears that many filthy and disgusting things happened while I was out! Using a talking bush for toilet, aliens cutting out their own livers, sucking out brains and feeding them to alien children, and now a boy seeing a young girl in the shower! Oooh, there’s going to be heck to pay!”

    The kids started laughing while pointing to the censor lady.

    “What exactly is so funny?” demanded the lady. She looked at a nearby mirror on the wall and saw that she had the face of a turkey. “Goodness gracious!” she cried while feeling her beak. “Those animators repainted me with a turkey’s face! Gobble, gobble, gobble! I’m going to report this to the Fox president. I’ll have those animators’ heads for this!” Just then, an ear of corn started to roll across the floor. The censor lady saw the rolling corn and started chasing after it while making gobble sounds.

    “Has anyone seen an ear of corn roll by?” asked Wilbur as he entered the chamber. “I need it for my cream corned pizza recipe.”

    The censor lady ended up chasing the corn that had landed near the door leading outside. The minute she pounced on it, the door ended up swinging open and out she went as the door slammed shut again. “OH NO, NOT AGAIN!” cried the censor lady as she was floating in space and felt her turkey head puffing up like a Thanksgiving balloon. She quickly took out her CENSORED card and covered her head as an explosion was heard. Our heroes looked through the portholes and saw the headless censor lady float off into space once again.

    “We seem to be getting away with a lot of stuff in this Killer Tomatoes story”, said Tara.

    “Welcome to the world of internet fanfic writing”, said Whitley.

    TO BE CONTINUED
    Last edited by Cullen; 07-20-2007 at 09:19 PM.

  10. #10
    Tinytooncrazy is offline Member
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    Please contiue this its a great fic

  11. #11
    Cullen is offline Member
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    Planet of the Tomatoes

    By Cullen Pittman

    Chapter 5

    The Otamot Empire

    As we look in on the crew of the rocket cucumber known as Q-51, Chad was standing in one of the hallways, looking out the porthole gazing at all the stars and comets in the blackness of space. “I can’t believe it”, sighed Chad. “An average kid like me traveling through space and meeting new life forms.”

    “Hello, Chad”, said a voice. Chad turned around and saw Xylena carrying what looked like two mugs made out of green peppers.

    “Oh, hi Xylena”, said Chad, blushing.

    “I made us some beverages”, said Xylena, handing a mug to Chad.

    “Thank you”, said Chad, then he thought. “I hope this isn’t fertilizer.” He took a sniff of the pink and glowing colored drink and took a sip of it, then started drinking it up. “This is good stuff”, smiled Chad. “What kind of drink is it?”

    “Neon tulip nectar”, said Xylena, taking a sip from her mug, “One of our planet’s specialty beverages. It’s milked from the shining neon tulips of Saladovia. It’s your parents’ favorite drink.”

    “My parents!” sighed Chad. “I sure can’t wait to see them soon.” He then started looking in outer space once again.

    “You find space amazing?” asked Xylena.

    “All my life”, sighed Chad. “I’ve always wanted to be an astronaut when I grow up, even before my parents disappeared. I remember playing with toy space ships and stuffed aliens when I was little and enjoying sci-fi movies and TV shows. Now I can’t believe I’m actually in a rocket cucumber flying through space about to visit a new planet! You’re making my dream come true, Xylena!”

    Xylena became silent and flattered what the Earth boy had said to her and smiled a huge smile. And it looked like the posy pupils in her eyes were blooming. Chad had amazing feelings about this girl who was part plant. As a typical 10 year old boy, he wasn’t into that romance stuff and kind of felt uneasy whenever the sexy Tara wanted to hug or cuddle him. But Xylena was a girl who looked like she was the same age as Chad and he somehow felt very comfortable around her. Chad suddenly woke up from his thoughts as he saw some of the nectar from his mug had spilled onto the floor.

    “Oh, I’m sorry, Xylena”, gasped Chad seeing the small mess on the floor. “And I’m sorry too, Q-51.”

    “It happens a lot”, called out Q-51. “I’m used to crew members being total slobs.”

    “No worries”, said Xylena. “I know how to take care of that. Oh, Vakky!”

    “Another plant appliance?” wondered Chad. “Sure enough, a watermelon had rolled into the room. It had huge eyes on the front and a long vine with a yellow tulip at the end.

    “You called, Xylena?” asked the watermelon who was using his tulip to talk.

    “Would you mind taking care of this mess, Vakky?” asked Xylena.

    Vakky sniffed the puddle with his tulip and said. “Neon tulip nectar, my favorite!” and he slurped the floor clean like a vacuum cleaner. “There we go”, smiled Vakky. “It’s so clean, you can sprout off the floor!”

    “Thank you, Vakky. That will be all”, smiled Xylena. Vakky nodded his vine and started rolling down the hall.

    “You have such amazing appliances, Xylena”, said Chad. “It kind of reminds me of this Earth cartoon where cavemen and cavewomen use live birds, mammoths, and dinosaurs as appliances.”

    “You’re funny”, laughed Xylena. “I didn’t understand what you just said, but I like it.”

    Chad smiled and blushed as he stood there looking at the green skinned girl with pretty leaves for hair. Xylena silently stared at the Earth boy as well.

    Tara and F.T. were peeking around the corner smiling while looking at the gazing kids. “They make such a sweet couple, don’t you agree, F.T?” asked Tara. F.T. made a sinister squeak while whistling.

    “F.T!” scolded Tara. “You know, it’s funny. Usually, I’ve been having these visions of an alternate universe where Chad and I are young adults in love and we’re battling Gangreen who doesn’t have green skin at all. And Chad’s best friend is this obnoxious guy who looks a lot like George Clooney. Weird, huh?”

    F.T. looked at Tara funny, but then started glowing red for some reason.

    “I sense something too!” gasped Tara as her eyes glowed red as well. Tara and F.T. looked out a nearby porthole and saw something red and tiny zooming through space.

    * * * * * *

    It was the red rocket cucumber known as the Galactic Gangreen Express. Piloting it was Dr. Gangreen with Igor as his co-pilot. Behind them was their new companion, Darkseed, a dark and sinister seed floating in a jar of green liquid. And behind the seed were six giant Killer Tomatoes hungry for some soil.

    “Look your captain crookedness”, said Igor, pointing to the screen. “Somebody must’ve dropped their rubber pickle from their spaceship.”

    “That’s no rubber pickle you rubberbrain!” said Gangreen. “It’s that original rocket cucumber piloted by those goody-goods.”

    “You mean those jerks who left our tomato kingdom without our permission?!” growled Zoltan. “Let me at ‘em!”

    “I agree!” growled Fang as well as the other Gang of 6.

    “Well then in that case”, said Gangreen wickedly as he turned his rocket around and started heading for the direction of our heroes.

    “No, you can’t!” called out Darkseed from inside the jar. “You’re turning this ship in the wrong direction! I’m supposed to take you straight to Saladovia!”

    “Well get back on course once we tomatoize some space heroes!” said Gangreen as he was getting closer to the green rocket cucumber.

    “But, Gangreen…” said Darkseed.

    “Silence small seed!” demanded Gangreen. “I’m the captain of this ship and I command that we destroy first and think about Saladovia later!”

    “Wait a minute!” shouted Ketchuck. “Going after that rocket means we’ll have to wait longer until we get that soil!”

    “You actually said something smart there, Ketchuck”, said Mumato.

    “I agree”, said Tomacho. “Eating scrumptious soil is much better than going after good guys, and probably safer too.”

    “Yes, they agree with me”, said Darkseed. “You heard the vicious bigger than you tomatoes, Dr. Gangreen. Let’s get back on course to Saladovia!”

    “Before we chew you and your clueless co-pilot to fertilizer!” shouted Zoltan.

    “But wait, my dear gluttonous gang”, said Gangreen as he pushed a button on the control deck. “Let’s see what cargo this rocket might contain.” An x-ray beam was shot from Gangreen’s rocket and it started scanning Q-51’s body. And in the center contained a room filled with containers of brown stuff.

    “Is that what I think it is?” gasped Beefsteak as he looked at the substance.

    “IT IS!” shouted Mumato. “IT’S THE SOIL!”

    “Correct, my bandaged comrade”, said Gangreen. “That ship is loaded with the soil I fed all of you back on Earth. What do you say we become space pirates and attack that ship and plunder their soil?”

    “Sure”, said Zoltan, “And I got me trusty eye-patch as well ya’ land lovers”, said Zoltan in a pirate’s accent.

    “YEAH!” said the Gang of 6 hopping around like mad tomatoes.

    “Oh, just great!” grumbled Darkseed. “And may I please ask how are you going to attack that ship, oh mighty captain?”

    “Why with these”, said Gangreen as he pushed a button on the control deck. Suddenly, two huge ketchup squirt bottles popped out of the nose of the red rocket and started blasting red ketchup beams at the green rocket.

    “Who didn’t see this coming?” sighed Darkseed.

    * * * * * *

    “Danger, Danger to the extreme!” called out Q-51 as the entire rocket started to shake. Our heroes rushed into the cockpit. “What’s going on, Q-51?” asked Xylena, who was holding onto the main control deck.

    “I think some rocket has a serious case of space road rage!” cried Q-51. Xylena and the others looked out the main window and saw a red rocket cucumber blasting red beams at Q-51.

    “It looks like one of our Saladovia rocket cucumbers!” gasped Xylena. “Only it’s red!”

    “It looks like a cross between a cucumber and a tomato!” cried Chad.

    “It is a tomato!” shouted Tara as her eyes glowed red. Q-51 ended up getting a huge zap from a red laser causing the cockpit to shake mega hard. Then suddenly, red ooze started to cover the window.

    “Oh no, Q-51’s bleeding!” cried Tara.

    “YIKES!” called out Q-51. “Someone break out the band-aids!”

    “It’s not blood!” said Wilbur, taking out a magnifying glass and studying the mess on the outside of the window. “It’s ketchup! Not only that, it looks like spicy ketchup!”

    “And it’s burning my skin too!” cried Q-51. “Somebody do something!”

    More blasts started to hit Q-51 causing everyone in the cockpit to run around and hold onto their seats while Whitley White stood there calmly while Sunny the Sunflower camera filmed him. “This is Whitley White bringing you another exciting update on our space voyage to Saladovia”, said Whitley. “Actually, exciting is too mild a word for this situation. We’re getting blasted to bits by another rocket cucumber. And get this, viewers, we’re being blasted by ketchup stains! Let’s just hope this ketchup covered pickle doesn’t get caught between two all beef space patties! Heh heh, just a little humor to keep our spirits up during these scary times.”

    “Can’t we fire back?” called out Chad.

    “Q-51 doesn’t have weapons installed in him”, cried Xylena. “We Saladovians are a peaceful race who don’t believe in weapons or war. And neither do our vehicles!”

    “Though a hood ornament slingshot might come in handy right now!” cried Q-51 as he got hit again, “ANYTHING RIGHT ABOUT NOW!”

    “Well, this rocket now has a weapon!” said Wilbur, bravely. “And that weapon is ME!”

    “Uncle Wilbur?!” gasped Chad.

    “That’s right, Chad boy”, said Wilbur as he reached for the grub generating bazooka he purchased from an alien surplus store. “I’ll show that red space demon we can’t be beat!” Suddenly a huge beet blasted from the bazooka and hit his foot. “Oops, I forgot”, said Wilbur looking at the beet and turning the bazooka around. “I have to watch what I say and think when I’m holding this grub generator. Our safeties are at stake!” And a T-bone steak blasted onto the ceiling.

    “That’s going to leave some marks on the ceiling”, said Tara.

    “Grill marks that is”, said Chad.

    “You got an extra space suit?” Wilbur asked Xylena, “One my size?”

    * * * * * *

    Gangreen continued blasting at the smaller rocket cucumber while laughing like a madman. “That’s angryman, not a madman!” shouted Gangreen as he continued blasting. “Look at that, Igor”, cackled Gangreen. “I’ve definitely got that obsolete rocket cucumber in a major pickle! HA HA HA HA!”

    “Gosh, Doc”, said Igor. “You’re like a kid at Christmas!”

    “Funny you should say that”, said Gangreen. “I was just imagining that rocket is Santa’s sleigh and I’m getting revenge on St. Nick for not getting me that Dr. Jekyll and Hyde chemistry set on my tenth Christmas. Ages 11 and up my fanny!”

    “So when do we start pillaging some soil?” called out Zoltan in his pirate voice.

    “Hold on a minute”, said Gangreen as he stopped his firing. A door opened on the side of Q-51 and out floated a figure in a green space suit with a melon helmet that had a long vine sticking out of it which was obviously the air tube. “It looks like one of those goody-goods is trying to make contact with us.”

    “What’s he carrying?” asked Igor.

    “Maybe it’s a white flag signaling their surrender”, said Gangreen happily.

    * * * * * *

    The person in the space suit was actually Wilbur holding his trusty grub generator. “All right you freak tomato from the darkness of limbo”, he shouted. “Wilbur Finletter’s in the house and he’s bringing home the bacon too!” He aimed his bazooka and blasted gobs of strange goop at the window of Gangreen’s rocket.

    “That’s a funny looking white flag he’s sending us”, said Igor.

    “Take cover, you dweeb!” shouted Gangreen as the stuff splattered itself on the front window.

    “What is that stuff?” asked Zoltan as he saw the goop with tiny red specks all over it.

    “Maybe its some giant alien bug that got splattered on the windshield”, said Igor. “I know how to take care of that.” And he pushed the button that read, windshield wipers. Two giant carrot sticks popped out and started scraping the window clean. Only to be hit with more goop from Wilbur’s bazooka.

    “Wait, I recognize that smell”, said Fang worried.

    “I do too!” gasped Ketchuck. “And it’s the one thing I actually won’t dare eat!”

    “Oh no! He wouldn’t be shooting that stuff?!” gasped Zoltan.

    “What stuff?” asked Igor.

    “The other thing killer tomatoes fear more than Tomato Worms”, said Gangreen, nervously. “House dressing with bacon bits!”

    “House dressing!” cried Tomacho.

    “Bacon bits!” shouted Mumato.

    The Gang of 6 started bouncing off the walls in panic causing the red rocket to shake like crazy. “Calm down you fools!” shouted Gangreen, trying to straighten out his rocket. “You’re just making things worse! Igor, continue firing!”

    “I can’t your captainship”, said Igor, trying to push some buttons that were shooting static. “Something’s not working!”

    “The cholesterol from the bacon bits must be clogging our firing systems!” shouted Gangreen. “No wonder why a healthy food like a tomato would hate that stuff!”

    Wilbur ended up firing one final blast of dressing at the red rocket. A mega blast that sent Gangreen’s rocket spinning out of control.

    “We’re gonna feel this in the morning!” shouted Igor, holding onto his seat.

    “You’re gonna feel even more if you don’t shut your mouth!” shouted Gangreen, holding onto the control deck.

    “How did I get myself into this mess?” sighed Darkseed as he floated calmly in his jar while watching the humans and tomatoes bounce around the ship in panic.

    All the good guys on Q-51 cheered as they watched the red rocket spin away out of sight. “And there you have it Earth viewers”, said Whitley. “Our resident hero of Earth, Wilbur Finletter, has saved the day with a blast of house dressing with bacon bits. I bet Neil Armstrong never performed a feat like that. And this story is brought to you by Whitley White, the first reporter from Earth to report an actual live space battle!”

    “Amazing”, said Xylena. “Your parents were right about your Uncle Wilbur, Chad.”

    “About how much a great hero my uncle is?” asked Chad.

    “Actually, they told me how much your uncle was obsessed with food”, said Xylena, “And how he uses it for almost everything, as nourishment, as weapons, and even as clothing.”

    “I know”, sighed Chad. “He once showed me the banana leaf underwear he made during the war, even though I begged him not to.”

    * * * * * *

    Outside, Wilbur was checking the ketchup wounds on Q-51’s skin. “Does it hurt that much?” asked Wilbur.

    “Pretty much”, groaned Q-51. “This ketchup stuff feels like lava.”

    “I wish I had some cold cream to heal those wounds”, said Wilbur. Just then, his bazooka went off and blasted cold vanilla ice cream on Q-51’s skin. “Oops, sorry, Q-51”, said Wilbur. “I wanted you to have cold cream, not ice cream, which is a pretty cold cream, but not the same cream though.”

    “It’s okay”, said Q-51. “It’s soothing my burns. Can you splatter some more on me?”

    “Whatever you say”, said Wilbur as he started spraying more ice cream all over Q-51’s ketchup wounds.

    “Ahhh, that feels so sweet!” sighed Q-51.

    “It’s too bad my customers never say that when I serve them my ice cream and cucumber pizzas”, sighed Wilbur as he continued with his ice creaming.

    * * * * * *

    In another part of space, we see Gangreen’s rocket floating around lost while Igor was outside in his space suit scraping off the house dressing and bacon bits with a spatula. “If only there was some kind of rocket wash out here in space”, sighed Igor as he tried to lick his fingers clean, but forgot he was wearing a space helmet. He just ended up making dressing spots on his visor.

    Inside, Gangreen and the Gang of 6 were recovering from that crazy attack. “We almost had that soil in our vines!” wailed Fang.

    “Instead, we got the foul stench of bacon and house dressing”, said Mumato.

    “A stench even worse than Ketchuck’s”, said Beefsteak. Then Ketchuck made a quick noise. “Well, almost as worse”, groaned Beefsteak as he held his nosering.

    “What have you got to say for yourself, oh great and wise captain?” grumbled Zoltan.

    “It is not wise to bug your superior captain when he’s recovering from an attack”, grumbled Gangreen as he was drawing a sketch of our heroes getting sucked down a black hole.

    “I warned you we should’ve continued our journey”, sighed Darkseed, “Serves you right for not listening to me!”

    “Well then stop with your smart mouth, or whatever you use since you don’t have a mouth, and start guiding us to the planet”, grumbled Gangreen.

    “I wish it were that easy”, sighed Darkseed. “But thanks to that blast we received, we were knocked off course sending us miles away from our path.”

    “What do you mean?” demanded Gangreen. “How long will it take us to get to Saladovia now?”

    “Let’s say I hope you brought enough magazines to read during the long trip”, said Darkseed, “Maybe 2 million magazines.”

    “You mean it’s going to take us that long?” demanded Gangreen.

    “That means it’ll be forever before we get that delicious soil!” groaned Ketchuck.

    “I say we eat Gangreen!” shouted Zoltan. “He may not taste like soil, but we consider him dirt!” The Gang of 6 started to march at a nervous Gangreen while showing their teeth.

    “No, wait, my friends”, said Darkseed as he released his black mist again calming down the tomatoes. “It looks like lady luck has visited our galaxy. Look out the front window.” Our villains looked outside and saw a white glowing hole slowly starting to open.

    “What’s that?” asked Fang.

    “Does the universe need to zip its fly?” asked Tomacho.

    “It’s a wormhole”, said Darkseed.

    “Wormhole?” gasped Beefsteak. “As in TOMATO WORMS?!!” The Gang of 6 started bouncing around the ship in panic. Ketchuck ended up flattening Gangreen. But then Darkseed released his dark mist again calming them down once again.

    “Do not panic, my cowardly comrades”, said Darkseed, “This is not a hole that contains worms.”

    “I’ve heard of wormholes”, said Gangreen, crawling back into his seat. “They’re like shortcuts to different galaxies.”

    “And I recognize this particular worm…”, said Darkseed, but then stopped when he saw the nervous tomatoes. “I mean, I recognize this particular hole”, said Darkseed. “It opens every 1000 years. And this hole will lead us to our destination in about, let’s say, 5 minutes.”

    “Are you serious?” said Gangreen in a now happy voice. “Well what are we floating around here for? Strap your saucy selves in and let’s rocket!”

    “Wait a minute”, said Tomacho as he strapped himself in. “Aren’t we forgetting something?”

    “Nyaaah, there’s no time to be thinking about forgetting something”, said Gangreen. “We got a planet of soil to get to!” And he turned on the ignition and the rocket blasted off.

    “Uh, was it something or someone?” wondered Tomacho.

    They had forgotten something. Poor Igor was still outside the rocket and he was holding onto his dear life as the rocket zoomed over to the wormhole. “I hope that hole has a pay booth so we can stop!” shouted Igor as the rocket went through the hole. “Oooh, pretty!” said Igor as he was surrounded by a sea of stars, not caring that he was outside the rocket right now. Soon, the stars cleared for they had exited the wormhole.

    “We made it!” said Darkseed. “And look what’s coming in our view.

    “It’s a planet!” said Gangreen. Sure enough, a huge light brown planet was coming their way. “Is that Saladovia?”

    “It is the planet of our destination”, said Darkseed.

    “Well, then it that case”, said Gangreen. “We’re coming in for a landing!”

    “YAY! SOIL AT LAST!” shouted the Gang of 6 happily. The rocket approached the atmosphere and came in for a landing on the planet’s surface. Once the rocket landed, Igor quickly slid off its side and landed face first on the ground.

    “One small step for dude, one giant leap for dude-kind!” said Igor in a dazed voice and plopped his helmeted face back down.

    “Igor, you worthless sack of astronaut meat!” shouted Gangreen as he stepped out of the rocket carrying Darkseed’s jar. “I was supposed to be the first Earthling to step on another planet, not you! How dare you steal the honor that rightfully belongs to me?”

    “Sorry, your denied-ship”, said Igor as he pulled his head out of his helmet. “Would it make you feel better if you set one foot on the dude who first landed on this planet?”

    “I don’t know if that’ll feel the same”, said Gangreen. “But I have the urge to do it now!” And he set his foot on Igor’s head squashing it down into the soil.

    “Hey, leave some of that soil for us!” shouted Zoltan as he and the other tomatoes stormed out of the rocket. They started scooping up soil with their tongues and started chewing on it. Suddenly, they ended up spitting it out.

    “Eyuck! That’s awful!” shouted Beefsteak.

    “It’s leaving a horrible taste in my mouth!” shouted Tomacho.

    “This substance does lack delight”, said Mumato.

    “When this tomato eats something he doesn’t like, he gets ANGRY!” shouted Ketchuck.

    “This isn’t the same soil we tasted back on Earth”, said Fang.

    “Yeah, what gives?” demanded Zoltan. “Gangreen, you said the planet we were going to was filled with that great soil we ate earlier!”

    “Well, I, uh, I..” stuttered Gangreen as he started tugging on his spacesuit collar. “Darkseed buddy. Can you help me out here?” asked Gangreen as he held the jar out in front of the hostile looking Gang of 6.

    “Actually, this isn’t Saladovia”, said Darkseed, calmly. “This is my home planet, Otamot 13.”

    “WHAT?!!” shouted the Gang of 6.

    “You said we were heading for Saladovia!” shouted Gangreen, pointing his finger at Darkseed’s jar.

    “I said we were heading for our destination”, said Darkseed, “Not Saladovia.”

    “You double crossed me!” shouted Gangreen, shaking the jar around causing the seed and the liquid to bubble like a carbonated drink. “You only said all that stuff so I’d take you back to your home planet!”

    “I say we squash that seed!” said Zoltan. “And the Doc and his dope of a henchmen too!” The other tomatoes agreed.

    “I think you tomato dudes might want to take a number”, said Igor. “It looks like these other tomato dudes might want to go first.”

    “What the…?!” gasped Gangreen and the Gang of 6 as they suddenly found themselves surrounded by huge 10 feet tall monsters. They resembled killer tomatoes, only they each had 3 eyes and 2 mouths and 2 pointy green antennas on their heads. And they had green muscular legs and arms, each holding weapons like axes and swords.

    “You’re a bunch of weird looking tomatoes”, said Zoltan.

    “We are not tomatoes, we are called Otamots”, said the head monster. “And you’re the ones who are weird looking with your single mouths and only two eyes. The head Otamot nodded and some of the other Otamots took out some strange guns and shot some green nets at the Gang of 6 sealing them up.

    “Hey, what gives?!” demanded Zoltan, struggling to get free.

    “I’ll just eat my way, OUCH!” cried Ketchuck as he found his tongue covered with green thorns.

    “Don’t even think about breaking those nets”, said the head Otamot. “They’re woven from special defending vines. If you try to bite or snap them, they’ll sprout out thorns to protect themselves!”

    “Commander Paste”, said another Otamot, pointing to Gangreen and Igor. “Get a look at these two unusual creatures.”

    “Hmmm”, said the head Otamot, known as Paste. “The smaller green skinned being looks like one of those worthless Saladovians, but without leaves. And the big creature with the clueless looking smile looks like some kind of galactic gorilla.”

    “Whoa, I didn’t know I was a galactic gorilla”, said Igor. “Maybe I’m not really from Earth.”

    “I’ve already figured that about you all these years!” grumbled Gangreen and then turned to the Otamot commander. “And who do you think you are calling the great Putrid T. Gangreen a worthless Saladovian you poor excuse for a cherry tomato?!”

    “How dare you insult us you lowly life form!” shouted Paste aiming his sword at Gangreen. “I ought to stab your very life force out of your soul and I’ll start with that ridiculous container you’re protecting yourself with!” The vicious Otamot slowly approached and was about to stab a nervous Gangreen, until the seed inside the jar started releasing his usual black mist causing Paste and the other Otamots to stop and look shocked.

    “Always the strike first and ask questions never kind of guy, huh Paste?” said Darkseed.

    “Emperor Darkseed?!” gasped Paste as he dropped his weapon while all the other Otamots did the same things with their weapons.

    “Emperor Darkseed?” gasped Gangreen and Igor together. Gangreen almost dropped Darkseed’s jar in surprise until Paste caught it.

    “Yes, that’s me”, said the tiny black seed.

    “But I thought we lost you forever in that fierce battle?” said Paste.

    “Alas, my strong and mighty body was lost forever”, sighed Darkseed. “But at least my brilliant brain seed survived and now I’ve returned to my loyal Otamot minions ready to lead you all again.”

    “All, hail Emperor Darkseed!” said all the Otamots getting down on their green knees and bowing.

    “I can’t believe this!” grumbled Zoltan, still stuck in his net straitjacket. “A bunch of big strong tomatoes like them groveling to an itty bitty seed!”

    “For the last time, we are not tomatoes!” shouted Paste as he bopped Zoltan on the head with his fist. “We are Otamots, the most feared beings in the galaxy! And that seed you’re insulting is out beloved leader, whom we are happy to see again. So you 6 get down on your knees and give praise to the great Emperor Darkseed!”

    “But we don’t have knees!” said Beefsteak.

    “Not our problem!” said Paste. “For now we will squash you!” The Otmaots picked up their weapons and were about to turn the frightened Gang of 6 into sauce.

    “No, wait!” said Darkseed whose jar was still being held by Paste. “These beings could become very useful. Take me back to my castle along with those so called tomatoes.”

    “And what about the two funny looking beings?” asked Paste pointing to Gangreen and Igor who were trying to look innocent by whistling and rocking their heels.

    “They helped me get back home so for now, they are my guests”, said Darkseed. “Dr. Gangreen, you and Igor will come back to my palace with me so we can discuss some more about Saladovian soil.”

    “You mean you still plan on getting me some of that soil?” asked Gangreen.

    “But of course. That was my intent all along”, said Darkseed. “But first, we needed to stop here on my home planet so we can prepare for the trip to Saladovia and for collecting the soil as well.”

    “SOIL?” gasped Zoltan and the other Gang of 6 started repeating, “SOIL, SOIL, SOIL, SOIL!” while still trapped in those nets.

    “Shall we release these unusual creatures, your majesty?” asked Paste.

    “That probably wouldn’t be a good idea right now”, said Darkseed. “Just drag them back to the palace still restrained.”

    “Yes, your highness”, said Paste as he signaled the other Otamots to drag the netted tomatoes by the strings of the nets and drag them through the dirt.

    “Why couldn’t it be Saladovian dirt we’re dragged through?” whined Ketchuck.

    * * * * * *

    Next, we see a huge black and scary castle that was shaped like a huge black blender. Then we look inside the throne room and we Gangreen and Igor looking around the place. The Gang of 6 was released from their nets and Darkseed used his black mist to calm them down once again. Darkseed and his jar were seated on a throne made of black twisted thorns.

    “Let me get this straight”, said Gangreen. “You, a tiny little seed floating in a jar of filth, is actually the emperor of this planet of hulking red heads?”

    “I know it may seem farfetched”, sighed Darkseed. “But I wasn’t always a helpless little seed. I once had a strong, mighty, handsome Otamot body. Until the day my Otamot army and I tried to conquer our neighboring planet, Saladovia. I had finally succeeded and taken over Saladovia and its delicious soil. But then one day, two surprise warriors ended up destroying my body leaving me nothing but a small seed floating endlessly in space. That humiliating memory stayed in my seed for a long time! It festered inside me wanting revenge on those miserable Saladovians and the two warriors who did this to me!”

    “Talk about a bitter seed”, said Igor.

    “And all these Otamot peasants still obey you?” asked Gangreen. “I’d thought these hostile beings would squash you seeing that their mighty ruler is now a helpless little seed.”

    “Let’s just say that I have an influence on my subjects”, said Darkseed. “An influence that leaves them all misty eyed”, and he released more black mist causing his two Otamot Guards to smile and start polishing his jar.

    “Emperor Darkseed”, said Paste as he entered the throne room while two other Otamot lackies were rolling in something that was covered with a huge sheet. “We’ve searched the royal attic and found the item you requested.”

    “Excellent”, said Darkseed as his liquid bubbled with happiness. “Let’s see it.” The lackies removed the sheet and they were all looking at what looked like an Otamot made of black metal. It had three red headlights, two mouth shaped vents, muscular arms and legs made of metal, and a black metal helmet covering the back of its head.

    “Whoa, looks like Darth Vader’s put on weight”, said Igor.

    “It’s still the same as I remember when I built it during my secret spare times”, said Darkseed. “Now I finally have an excuse to use it! Paste, go ahead and insert me into it, if you please.”

    “Yes, your majesty”, said Paste as he removed Darkseed from his jar, walked over to the metal Otamot, opened up a slot on the helmet, and dropped the seed into it making a metal popping sound.

    “I said insert me into it, not drop me into it!” grumbled Darkseed. “Ouch!”

    “Sorry, your highness”, said Paste.

    “Flunkies”, sighed Gangreen. “I know your pain my dear Darkseed.”

    Suddenly, the metal Otamot started to spark and quake and black mist started oozing from the two mouth vents. Then dark scary laughter started coming out of the two mouths, the 3 red headlights started to light up with an evil red glow, and the metal monster raised its arms and made huge scary fists. Red lightning started to shoot out of the monsters fists while the dark laughter grew louder.

    “Whoa”, said Igor. “Maybe that scene will win us an Emmy for best cartoon special effects!”

    “In this cartoon?” said Gangreen. “Forget it!”

    “Yes, this is perfect!” said Darkseed’s voice coming from the metal Otamot, but now in a monstrous voice. “I have a body again! Though it’s not as handsome and dashing as my old one, but now I can seek my revenge on those disgusting Saladovians and the two human soldiers who destroyed my old handsome body! HA HA HA!”

    “Two human soldiers?” wondered Gangreen.

    “Paste, give me an update on Saladovia”, said Darkseed. “Have you and my minions been able to gather any more soil from them during my absence?”

    “I’m sorry, your highness”, said Paste, sadly. “After we recovered from that last battle and were mourning your loss, we tried to launch another attack on Saladovia, but they somehow built some protective force field all over the planet.”

    “What kind of force field?” asked Darkseed.

    “I’ll show you, your majesty”, said Paste as he took out a remote and clicked on a giant view screen above. There in space, it showed a leaf covered planet locked inside some kind of crystal floating house.”

    “It’s a giant space greenhouse!” gasped Gangreen.

    “I’ve heard of a greenhouse effect”, said Igor. “But this is major warped!”

    “Is there any way the Saladovians can get in and out of their own force field?” asked Darkseed.

    “There is this one single door on the force field that lets Saladovian rockets in and out”, explained Paste. “But it’s always guarded. And every time we try to get through, the guards quickly shut the door. We’ve tried blasting it, blowing it up, even getting alien opera singers to sing high notes to shatter that glass house, but nothing seems to penetrate it.”

    “Hmmm”, said Darkseed. “A very interesting force field those Saladovians built. But what if we sent in a spy disguised as a Saladovian so he can get through that force field and find the secret of sabotaging it?”

    “We’ve tried doing that many times”, said Paste. “But those Saladovians guards always seem to recognize us somehow.” He pointed to some Otamot soldiers each wearing 3 rimmed glasses with two noses and two mustaches.

    “You all were totally lost without me”, sighed Darkseed. “What we need is someone who actually looks like a Saladovian to get through that smart security.” He turns his three eyes to Gangreen.

    “You think I look like a Saladovian?” asked Gangreen.

    “With that green skin of yours, you’re a dead ringer”, said Darkseed. “But still, you need some work done to make you look like a full Saladovian. But don’t worry, my royal make up and wardrobe ladies will help out.” Darkseed clapped his metal hands and two female Otamots came in carrying some objects.

    “You expect me to dress up in those ridiculous things?!” demanded Gangreen. “Me, Dr. Putrid T. Gangreen?! Forget it! Find yourself another pasty!”

    “I see it’ll have to be this way”, sighed Darkseed as he raised his hand and released some dark mist. The mist surrounded Gangreen’s neck, lifting him up and choking him.

    “GAUGH! What are you doing?!” gasped Gangreen, trying to pull himself free from the dark misty chokehold, but with no luck.

    “Now you listen and you listen good!” grumbled Darkseed in a vicious voice. “I am no longer a helpless seed you can shake around anymore, I am once again the all powerful Emperor Darkseed and you’re in my kingdom now. So you’ll obey all my orders or else I’ll have to persuade you. And I do love to persuade!” and he started increasing his dark grip on Gangreen’s neck causing his eyes to bulge out.

    “Whoa, Doc”, said Igor. “You look like that puppet frog dude!”

    “Okay, I’ll do what you say, oh great and powerful Emperor Darkseed!” gasped Gangreen.

    “That’s more like it”, said Darkseed as he released Gangreen, causing the wheezing scientist to fall onto the floor. “And if you do everything I command and are successful, I’ll send you and your henchmen back to Earth with a huge load of Saladovian soil to help you with your plans.”

    “Take the offer! Take the offer!” shouted the Gang of 6, hopping up and down with soil lust.

    “Maybe giving that simple minded Gang of 6 soil was a bad idea”, sighed Gangreen.

    “Ladies, if you would, please”, Darkseed asked the female Otamots.

    “We’ve got a lot of work with this fashion challenged space thing”, said the first female Otamot, “Let’s take him to fashion school!” The two female Otamots pushed Gangreen behind a changing screen and started doing some stuff to the doctor.

    “He’s green, but he can be even greener!” said the second female Otamot.

    “Watch it!” grumbled Gangreen. “You’re hands, I mean, stems are cold.”

    “Quit whining!” snapped the first Otamot. “We’re professionals! Now let’s do something about that dying gray bush on top of your head.” Igor and the Gang of 6 were standing there wondering what was going on behind that screen.

    Soon, the two female Otamots stepped out from behind the screen and approached Darkseed. “Well?” asked the Emperor.

    “Your most dark, but cool dressed, highness”, said the first female Otamot. “It wasn’t easy, but we were finally successful.”

    “Feast your royal eyes on Gangreen the Saladovian”, said the second female Otamot. “Greenie, get your now bark covered butt out here!”

    “Oh, all right”, grumbled Gangreen as he slowly stepped out from behind the screen. Igor and the Gang of 6 became shocked as they saw their master. Gangreen was wearing a tight jumpsuit made of dark green tree bark along with brown boots that looked like roots. He had on a wig made of green leaves with green pointy ears connected to the wig, and a moss mustache. “Igor, I swear if you say that I look like the Jolly Green Giant’s son, I’ll hoe-hoe-hoe you straight down into my garden!” grumbled Gangreen.”

    “Amazing”, said Darkseed as he got off his throne and marched around the now Saladovianized Gangreen.

    “I feel like a piece of meat”, grumbled Gangreen, “I mean piece of vegetable!”

    “You look exactly like a Saladovian”, said Darkseed, “Every little detail. No wait, there’s something wrong with your face.”

    “At least I don’t have three eyes and two mouths like a freak”, whispered Gangreen.

    “Oops, I forgot the contact lenses”, said the first Otamot girl as she took out two yellow contacts and inserted them in Gangreen’s eyes. “There”, said the Otamot girl. “Now you look like a total Saladovian”, She took out a mirror and showed Gangreen his reflection. His jaw dropped when he saw his moss mustache, leaf hair, and yellow eyes with pink posies for pupils.

    “There should be a law against men having pink posies for pupils!” grumbled Gangreen.

    “Now he’s perfect”, laughed Darkseed. “All right, Dr. Putrid T. Saladovian. Here’s what I want you to do. First, you will fly your rocket over to the guarded door of the Saladovian force field. And if you will look outside, it’s being painted green for an Otamot colored rocket might bring those cowardly Saladovians suspicion and fear.” Gangreen looked outside the front door and saw some Otamots spraying green paint all over his red rocket cucumber.

    “Yes, I like the green color better”, said Gangreen.

    “Next, I must blow this translation tulip pollen into your face”, said Darkseed as he showed Gangreen some pollen. “This will allow you to speak and understand the Saladovian’s complex language.” Darkseed tried to blow on it, but nothing came out of Darkseed’s vent-like mouths. “That’s right, I’m a machine”, sighed Darkseed. “I don’t have any breath of life anymore. Paste, if you would please?”

    Paste took the pollen from Darkseed, took a huge breath, and blew the pollen into Gangreen’s face. But Paste’s breath was so powerful, that he blew Gangreen into the wall.

    “Whoa, you should get a job blowing houses down, Otamot dude”, said Igor. “I know a lot of big bad wolves would pay you a lot for it.”

    “Has anybody got any tissues?” groaned Gangreen, while still stuck in the wall. “One for my nose and the rest for my other bleeding body parts.”

    “It’ll pass”, said Darkseed, pulling Gangreen out of the wall and back on his rooted feet. Then he handed Gangreen a small bag. “Once you get past the force field and enter the Saladovian Kingdom”, explained Darkseed. “You will…..” And he started whispering to Gangreen causing him to smile a sinister smile.

    “Ooooh, very devious!” cackled Gangreen. “Emperor Darkseed, you’re my kind of guy, er tomato, I mean Otamot!” and then the two villains started laughing while the Otamots started laughing as well and Igor and the Gang of 6 joined in too.

    * * * * * *

    Later, we see the now green painted Galactic Gangreen Express blast off with Gangreen piloting and was heading for Saladovia. Darkseed and his Otamot subjects, along with Igor and the Gang of 6 were watching the rocket heading for the greenhouse covered green planet in the sky.

    “I wish I could be joining my master right now”, sighed Igor.

    “I wish we could be joining him too”, sighed Ketchuck, “He’s gonna be the first to get that soil!”

    “Yeah!” growled the other Gang of 6.

    “Patience my vegetable friends from another planet”, said Darkseed. “As soon as Gangreen gives us the signal, we attack and then we conquer and then we feast! HA HA HA HA!”

    “Let’s see if I got all of that”, said Igor, writing stuff down on a pad. “Signal, attack, conquer, and feast. That’s kind of a hard order to remember. Can we do it alphabetically?”

    “Of course not”, said Darkseed. “That would mess up my plan.”

    “Just as well”, said Igor. “I don’t know my alphabet anyway!”

    * * * * * *

    Gangreen’s rocket had soon approached the door to the greenhouse that kept Saladovia protected. “So now that I’m here, who’s going to let me in?” wondered Gangreen.

    “Who goes there?” said a voice. Gangreen turned on his vid-screen and saw a male Saladovian dressed in a green security suit.

    “Uh, it’s just me, a fellow Saladovian like you”, said Gangreen. “I just came back from vacation and I’d like to return to my home planet please.”

    “Do you have a passport to enter Saladovian turf?” asked the guard. “If you don’t, I can’t let you pass.”

    “Passport?” gasped Gangreen. “Darkseed never mentioned anything about a passport!” He looked into the bag that Darkseed gave him and found a piece of paper. “Uh, will this do?” asked Gangreen as he shoved the paper onto the screen. It had the word PASSPORT written on it in red crayon.

    “Yep, it says passport all right”, said the guard. “You may enter.” The door on the greenhouse slowly slid open and Gangreen’s rocket was able to pass through.

    “I can’t believe it was that easy”, said Gangreen, looking at the paper with crayon writing. Gangreen flew closer to Saladovia and got to get a good look at the main city. There were houses and buildings shaped like fruits and vegetables and lots of Saladovians doing their every day things. Then Gangreen landed his rocket in an empty field. “Now to put Darkseed’s plan, which I might take all the credit for myself, to work", cackled Gangreen. "HA HA HA HA!”

    TO BE CONTINUED
    Last edited by Cullen; 03-07-2007 at 01:58 PM.

  12. #12
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    Planet of the Tomatoes


    By Cullen Pittman


    Chapter 6

    A Ripe Reunion

    We see the citizens of Saladovia walking around saying hi to each other on the streets while others were rushing to their places of work either on hovering flower pots or in strange looking carrot shaped cars and double decker corn on the cob buses.

    In a dark alley, we see a sinister looking Saladovian peeking through the darkness. He was actually Dr. Gangreen disguised as a Saladovian thanks to the wicked plan of the evil Darkseed, Emperor of Otamot 13. “Just look at these alien beings”, said Gangreen. “Half people, half plants. A total freak planet! Well, I’d better get going with Darkseed’s plan. The sooner I can get out of this demeaning costume, the better.”

    Gangreen took out the sack Darkseed had given him, reached inside, and pulled out what looked like three tiny red balloons. He pulled the strings connected to each balloon and they suddenly expanded into three giant rubber Otamots. “Okay, you Otamot imposters. Go and work your black magic”, said Gangreen as he pushed the blow up Otamots out of the alley and they started bouncing into the street.

    “OTAMOTS!!!” shouted a pretty Saladovian girl screaming while pointing her branchy finger at the three vicious looking beings. All the Saladovians started running around in terror and fear while the three rubber Otamots just stood there motionless for everyone was in too much of a panic to notice that they were fakes.

    “Fear not my fellow Sala, uh, Sala, uh Saladovians, is that it?” asked Gangreen as he stepped out of the alley in a heroic voice. “I shall save you from these nasty Otamot bullies!”

    “No, you can’t!” cried a Saladovian guy. “They’ll kill you!”

    “Not if I kill them first”, said Gangreen. “No, kill does not sound like a heroic word. Remove them is much more virtuous!” Gangreen calmly approached the motionless Otamots and took out a small pin. He ended up popping each of the Otamot balloons while the Saladovians watched in amazement.

    “Did you see that?” gasped the same Saladovian guy. “He destroyed the evil ones with some kind of thorn attached to his branches.

    “He must be some kind of ultra evolved Saladovian”, said another Saladovian guy.

    “He even defeated those Otamots even quicker than our beloved Finletters did many years ago”, said a Saladovian woman.

    “And he’s cute too!” said an elderly Saladovian woman.

    Everyone cheered as they gathered around Gangreen who stood there heroically. Saladovian news reporters along with their sunflower cameras started approaching him and asking many questions.

    “Now, now, it was the least I can do for my fellow Saladovian brothers and sisters”, said Gangreen with a fake sincere smile. “I would do anything to protect my home planet.”

    Suddenly, a huge limo in the shape of a long lima bean started to drive up. The door on the lima-limo opened and out stepped an official looking Saladovian man wearing a green fancy uniform and had brown leaf hair and a leaf mustache like he was an elder.

    “Pardon me, fellow Saladovian”, the man asked Gangreen. “But did you do away with those horrid Otamots just now?”

    “Yes I did”, said Gangreen, trying to sound innocent. “Is there a problem, my good man, er, plant?”

    “Not at all”, said the man. “You’re a regular hero. His royal majesty, the King of Saladovia, wishes to have an audience with you, immediately.”

    “A king wants to see me?” said Gangreen. “Me Dr. Pu…. er, wait! I can’t use my real name. I’m in disguise”, he thought to himself.

    “What did you say your name was again?” asked the elder.

    “Uh, Neergnag”, said Gangreen. “Yeah, that’s it. Doctor Neergnag, an expert in Otamot removal.”

    “Well Dr. Neergnag”, said the elder. “My name is Sir. Photosynth, the official rootman of the king.”

    “Rootman?” asked Gangreen. “Don’t you mean footman?”

    “What is this foot you speak of?” asked Photosynth. “I am a rootman like the roots that help us stand. I’m also the king’s right branch man.”

    “Sure, whatever”, said Gangreen as he followed Photosynth into the lima-limo and drove off while all the Saladovian citizens cheered and followed their new hero.

    * * * * * *

    The next morning onboard Q-51, we see Chad in bed having another dream. He was dreaming that he was in a beautiful garden with lovely flowers and trees. Suddenly, there was the lovely Xylena rooted into the ground smiling and waving at him with her beautiful branch-like hand. Chad started to run to her with a loving smile. Suddenly, a huge 6 foot weed sprouted from the ground. The weed had Gangreen’s face to Chad’s horror. The Gangreen weed swatted Chad away with his long green claw, then turned over to a frightened Xylena and started strangling her neck.

    “XYLENA!” cried Chad as he watched in horror. He ran up and started beating on the weed’s back, but the weed ended up swatting Chad away again and continued strangling poor Xylena. Chad lay on the ground in horror wondering what to do. Suddenly, two pairs of hands lifted him up. Chad looked up and saw his parents looking down at him with loving smiles. Chad’s father handed his son an egg beater gun and Chad’s mother gave her son a loving kiss of power. Chad suddenly felt a warm surge of energy and determination as he switched on the egg beater gun and charged right at the Gangreen weed. The weed looked in fright as he pulled himself out of the ground and ran away in fear just as the blades of the egg beater touched his green bottom.

    “Chad, you saved me my Earth hero”, said Xylena with pretty grateful eyes. Chad blushed and smiled at Xylena and then turned to his Dad who was giving him a thumb’s up and his Mom who was blowing him a kiss. Chad nodded to his parents thanking them and then turned to Xylena who suddenly had him in a branchy embrace. The two were about to kiss….”

    Just then, Chad woke up and found himself kissing F.T. instead. “F.T?” gasped Chad. The fuzzy tomato made a squeak while blushing.

    “Oh, sorry F.T.” said Chad. “I guess I was dreaming.”

    “Good morning, Chad”, said Tara who was sitting on her bed. “Having sweet dreams about a certain Saladovian girl? Wink, wink, nudge, nudge?”

    “What, what are you talking about?!” gasped Chad while covering his face with his cap. “I was just dreaming about my parents. Yeah, and that’s the truth! I just can’t wait to see them again.”

    “Well, I have a feeling it might be very soon”, said Tara. “Like maybe today. You have to come up to the main deck now!”

    “Oh. Okay”, said Chad as he stretched himself and climbed out of bed and slipped on his sneakers. Chad and Tara left the sleeping chamber while F.T. straightened out the lettuce blanket on Chad’s bed and then followed after them.

    * * * * * *

    Chad, Tara, and F.T. had entered the main deck where Wilbur, Whitley, and Xylena in the pilot’s seat were waiting for them. “Good morning, Chad boy”, said Wilbur. “Are you ready for a truly amazing sight?”

    “What is it, Uncle Wilbur?” asked Chad.

    “It’s my home”, smiled Xylena, winking at Chad.

    “And my home sweet home too”, called out Q-51. Chad watched amazed as he saw a giant green cabbage floating in the middle of outer space.

    “Is that Saladovia?” asked Chad.

    “And we’ll be arriving very shortly”, said Xylena. “Oh, I can’t wait to show you my beloved home world. You’ll love it!”

    “This is Whitley White, reporting live from the cucumber shaped spaceship known as Q-51”, said Whitley, talking into Sunny the Sunflower camera. “Well, it had been a long amazing journey through space, but we’re finally reaching our destination, the newly discovered planet known as Saladovia. Who knows what new life we will encounter once we set foot on this planet? Whitley White, the soon to be most famous reporter in history, will be bringing you the story!”

    As Q-51 slowly approached the planet, our heroes noticed a huge floating greenhouse surrounding Saladovia. “That looks like a giant greenhouse!” gasped Chad.

    “Yes”, said Xylena. “Not only does it keep evil Otamots from attacking our planet, but it also keeps us Saladovians nice and warm during harsh winter weathers.”

    “A house that will keep a planet warm?” asked Tara. “That sounds so cozy. Don’t you agree, F.T?”

    F.T. only made a squeaky, “Eh!”

    “I guess you would know about being warm all the time with that fur coat of yours”, said Tara.

    “It almost looks like the old greenhouse my parents used to own”, sighed Chad.

    “That’s because your parents helped us design and build it”, said Xylena. “They suggested that building a protective greenhouse would keep our planet safe and warm.”

    “My parents suggested that?!” gasped Chad.

    “Your parents came up with all sorts of wonderful ideas that really helped us Saladovians live more peaceful and healthier lives”, said Xylena. “We wouldn’t know what we’d do without them.”

    “Maybe that’s why they couldn’t come back to Earth”, thought Chad. “I have so many questions I want to ask them along with 5 years of other things I want to say to them.”

    “Don’t worry, Chad”, said Xylena, “We’ll be landing very shortly, as soon as the guard opens the front door of the greenhouse.” Xylena pushes a raspberry button on the control deck and an image of a Saladovian guard appears on the front window.

    “Halt, who goes there?” said the guard.

    “It’s me, Saladovian’s favorite rocket cucumber”, called out Q-51.

    “You mean Q-23?” asked the guard. “I thought he was out exploring Venus.”

    “Guess again”, said an annoyed Q-51.

    “Uh, Q-Number 1?” asked the guard.

    “NOOO!” grumbled Q-51, “Well, basically yes. Since everyone in Saladovia thinks so. I guess I just said that because I wanted to feel important. Oh well, it’s me, Q-51.”

    “Oh yeah, Q-51, the princess’s favorite rocket”, said the guard. “Is the princess onboard you?”

    “Whatever do you mean?” asked Q-51.

    “Don’t act so innocent”, said the guard. “We all know that our beloved Princess Xylena loves to sneak out of the palace and go on adventures in outer space. Especially those times when I end up falling asleep on guard duty. And you’re the only rocket cucumber she can sweet talk into going with her.”

    “Princess Xylena?!” gasped Chad, looking over at a blushing Xylena.

    “All right, I was hoping you all wouldn’t find out the truth just now”, sighed Xylena. “Yes, it’s me. Xylena, the Princess and heir to the throne of Saladovia.”

    “Oh, your highness”, said the guard. “Why do you always have to do this constant sneaking away all the time? If your father, the king, finds out about this, he’s going to blow his branches! And probably kill me for falling asleep and not watching you sneak into my control room and opening the door to the greenhouse so you and Q-51 can blast off.”

    “Don't worry. I’ll explain everything to Daddy and get you off the hook”, said Xylena. “Now please let us in so that we may return home.”

    “Whatever you say, your highness”, sighed the guard as he pushed a button and the door to the giant greenhouse slid open. Q-51 rocketed through and was approaching Saladovia’s surface.

    “I didn’t know you were a princess, Xylena”, said Tara with stars in her eyes. “I bet you must have a wide variety of beautiful dresses and jewelry! Oooh! You must tell me everything about your royal life!”

    “How come you never told us you were a princess?” asked Chad. “And how come Q-51 and all your vegetable appliances never call you princess or your highness?”

    “It’s because I asked them not to”, said Xylena. “You see, I do get quite tired of being a well known princess on this planet. Everywhere I go, Saladovians always charging up to me wanting my autograph, photographs with them, and demanding why there are so many problems in Saladovia and what my father and I are going to do about them. So there are times I need to escape for a while. And thanks to my dear friend, Q-51, I can sneak off and visit other planets pretending to be an average peasant.”

    “I understand”, said Chad. “I’ve heard that being royalty is a big responsibility and are the subjects of cruel scandals.”

    “Especially from nosey news reporters”, said Wilbur, looking over at Whitley White.

    “Why are you all looking at me?” asked Whitley with an innocent sounding voice. “Oh, forget it! I know what you’re all thinking and you’re right!” He takes out his mike and runs up to Xylena. “Princess Xylena, or can I call you Princess Xy?”

    “Well, I’d prefer…” said Xylena nervously.

    “That’s terrific”, said Whitley, interrupting her. “Tell me, Princess. Are you one of those sweet princesses or are you sour like a lemon or spoiled like a bad apple? And does sneaking out of your home kingdom in a rocket prove that you’re spoiled and love embarrassing your planet and your father the king?”

    “Well, I, I, I,…” gasped Xylena who was too confused and a little hurt to answer the annoying newsman.

    “Say, Xylena”, said Chad. “Maybe Mr. White would like to interview your friend, Munchie, first.” Xylena saw Chad winking at her.

    “Oh yes”, smiled Xylena. “Mr. White, before I can give you an interview, you’ll have to talk to my bodyguard. Oh, Munchie!”

    The same flytrap that first tried to eat Whitley slithered into the cockpit and looked at Whitley with hungry fangs. “So you have some personal questions you want to ask my princess, eh?” asked Munchie. “Let me ask you some personal questions. What kind of sauce goes good on you, barbecue or ranch?”

    “Aw, well”, stuttered Whitley while sweating. “I’m sorry, Princess. But it looks like this reporter actually has no comment! Goodday!” Whitley rushes into his seat and tries to hide himself from the smiling flytrap.

    “Thank you, Munchie”, smiled Xylena, patting the flytrap’s head. “And thank you, Chad”, smiled Xylena as she gave the boy a kiss on the cheek causing Chad to smile and blush.

    * * * * * *

    Soon, Q-51 had landed on a hill somewhere in Saladovia. The hatch on his side opened and ejected the celery stairs. Then Xylena, Chad, Tara, F.T., Wilbur, and Whitley walked down the stairs with Sunny the Sunflower camera following Whitley. “Here we are, my friends from Earth”, said Xylena, proudly. “You’re about to set foot on my home planet of Saladovia.”

    As our heroes set foot on Saladovia, Q-51 started to hover into the air. “Well everybody, it was a mondo awesome trip”, said Q-51, “But can I please fly on back to my cucumber comrades please? I was in the middle of a growing perfectly still game with Q-21 and I was winning until you requested me, Xy-baby.”

    “Sure, go off and have fun”, giggled Xylena.

    “I’ll see you folks around!” said Q-51 as he blasted off and headed over to a far distance where a garden of giant cucumbers was waiting for him.

    “I can’t believe we’re actually on another planet”, said Chad, amazed.

    “And that we’re standing on alien grass”, said Wilbur as he saw the green grass next to his boots. It sounded like the grass was yelling squeaky cuss words at him.

    “Oops, sorry”, said Wilbur as he lifted up his boot and dusted off the little blades of grass that suddenly scattered over back to their designated growing spots.

    “Sorry, I forgot”, said Xylena, “We have sort of a keep off the grass rule here. It annoys them when you stand or sit on them. Let’s step over to that land of soil over there.”

    Our heroes got off the grass and stepped onto the soil while the grass made squeaky sighs of relief.

    “Is this the famous Saladovian soil you mentioned?” Tara asked Xylena. “The one that’s so pure and delicious?”

    “Yes it is”, smiled Xylena. “But I must remind you, only Saladovians can taste this soil. It’s very addictive and dangerous to other species of plant life.”

    F.T, who was in Tara’s arms, just wanted to leap mouth first on all that luscious soil until Tara held him tighter. “No, F.T.” said Tara. “Though I wish I could taste that soil too, we cannot. But don’t worry, when we get back to Earth, I’ll treat you to a bag of delicious Earth fertilizer.” F.T. just made a mediocre squeak.

    “Look at that city over there!” called out Chad as he pointed to another far distance that consisted of buildings made of carrots, celery, corn, and other large vegetables.

    “That there’s Produceopolis”, said Xylena, “Saladovia’s main capital where the royal palace, which is my home, resides. Oh no, I forgot!”

    “You forgot where you home is?” asked Wilbur.

    “No, I just realized something!” gasped Xylena clasping her branches to her cheeks, “If we just walk over to the city out in the open, all of my subjects will see me with a bunch of Earthlings and they’ll come charging at us asking lots of questions. Not to mention nosey news reporters. No offense, Mr. White.”

    “I’m used to it”, said Whitley.

    “What’s that coming up the road?” asked Tara, pointing to what looked like a lima bean shaped limo driving up the hill. The limo stopped and out stepped the same Saladovian who greeted Gangreen earlier.

    “Sir Photosynth?” gasped Xylena, meekly.

    “Princess, there you are!” said Photosynth, rushing up to the plant girl and hugging her. “Oh, we thought we lost you once again! You went on another joyride in space again, didn’t you?”

    “I must warn you”, said Xylena nervously, “Daddy says I always make a cute irresistible face whenever I lie.” She started showing her innocent looking eyes while bulging her posie pupils.

    “It’s a good thing your father was attending important royal meetings for the past few days and never realized you were gone”, said Photosynth, “Otherwise, he’d have both our barks!”

    “But I had a good reason for my latest trip”, said Xylena, “Just look who I brought back with me.” Photosynth’s jaw dropped when he saw the Earthlings.

    “Oh no! You didn’t!” gasped Photosynth, “You traveled to Ear..Ear..EARTH! The most violent, war obsessed, planet in the universe! And you brought back barbaric Earthlings on our peaceful planet! If the king ever finds out about this, that will really raise his sap pressure!”

    “Have you forgotten that two Earthlings saved our entire planet from those even more barbaric Otamots?” demanded Xylena. “Besides, one of these Earthlings I brought back with me is the son of our beloved Rob and Elisa.”

    “It can’t be”, gasped Photosynth as he approached Chad, took out a pair of glasses made of onion rings and studied the boy. “You are the Finletters’ child! I recognize you from your parents’ photographs, but only a few years older!”

    “You know my parents?” asked Chad.

    “Everyone on Saladovia knows your parents”, said Photosynth, making a salute with his branch, “The great heroes who saved us from the appalling Otamots and came up with ideas to help our planet’s survival. All of you step into the lima-limo before somebody comes around and sees you. I’ll take you to the royal palace.”

    “Can you also take us to my parents?” asked Chad.

    “That’s where we’re going, Chad”, smiled Xylena, “Your parents have their own suite in the royal palace.”

    “That’s right”, said Photosynth. “Nothing is too good for our beloved heroes and ambassadors.” As Photosynth watched our heroes step into the lima-limo one at a time, he noticed Tara carrying F.T. “That is an unusual Earth pet you have there, young lady”, said Photosynth. “He almost resembles an Otamot. I sure hope he isn’t one.”

    “Actually, he’s a tomato”, said Tara, “Oops!” she stuttered, realizing she actually said the word that strikes fear on the planet Earth.

    “Tomato?” asked Photosynth. “I’ve heard the Finletters mention that word a few times. Something about tomatoes getting squashed and splattered. I wasn’t really paying attention.”

    F.T. made a quivering squeak about those words.

    “But I don’t think this cute little fellow will cause us any trouble”, smiled Photosynth, scratching the fuzzy tomato’s head, “Unless he makes a mess on the car’s upholstery. He is greenhouse broken, right?”

    * * * * * *

    Soon, the lima-limo had driven into the city of Produceopolis. Our heroes were looking through the car windows being amazed at the sights. Tall buildings made of vegetation like celery, eggplants, apples, and oranges and cars on the road shaped like different kinds of vegetables and fruits. One bean car zoomed past them leaving the lima-limo in a pile of dust. “What kind of car was that?” asked Wilbur.

    “A baked bean model”, said Xylena, “They’re loaded with gas.”

    “Look over there!” called out Tara. There was a banana shaped building called the Banana Strip Club. And on the screen above, it showed dancing banana girls peeling off their skins.

    “Cover your eyes, children!” shouted Photosynth covering both Chad and Xylena’s eyes. “Where is that Saladovian censor lady when you need her?”

    Suddenly, the screen went blank and there standing below was a Saladovian lady that resembled the Earth’s censor lady. She was twirling the plug shaped vine while making a proud satisfied smirk.

    “That’s better”, sighed Photosynth as he released his branches from Chad and Xylena’s sight. “What would our kingdom do without her?”

    “No, it can’t be!” gasped Chad as he saw the familiar looking Saladovian lady as the lima-limo continued to drive.

    Soon, the limo came to a stop at a cornstalk with three glowing berries attached, one red, one yellow, and one green. The red berry flashed signaling the limo to stop.

    “I truly detest stopping at this light”, sighed Photosynth. “It takes almost forever for the green berry to shine.”

    As our heroes looked out the car windows some more, they saw the Saladovian citizens all walking around, chatting with each other. They even saw some Saladovians standing in and moving around what looked liked hovering flower pots. “Are those flower pots floating?” asked Tara.

    “Yes, those are called transpots”, said Xylena, “They’re very useful for our handicapped citizens.”

    “You mean they’re like wheelchairs?” asked Chad.

    “You see”, explained Xylena, “While some Saladovians like me are fortunate enough to walk around on our own two roots, others aren’t so lucky and must remain planted in soil. But thanks to these hovering transpots filled with soil, our planted citizens can now move around and contribute to society.”

    “That’s an amazing invention”, said Chad.

    “It was your parents who came up with that idea”, smiled Xylena.

    “Wow, they really did seem to do a lot for this planet”, said Chad.

    “Rob and Elisa were always coming up with weird ideas for inventions”, said Wilbur. “But I’ve always told them to keep their heads out of the clouds. That was the day they invented that crazy cloud making machine.”

    Just then, another Saladovian citizen came floating around in a transpot. He had green moss for hair and a beard and had onion rings for glasses. He hovered in the middle of the sidewalk and said calmly, “Otamot.” All the Saladovian citizens panicked and started to run around and hover around like crazy.

    “That lunatic’s done it again!” grumbled Photosynth.

    “Who was that?” asked Wilbur.

    “That’s just our resident Otamot Guy”, sighed Xylena. “He just loves to cause trouble by saying the name of the race that once terrorized our planet.”

    “Just like our friend, Tomato Guy, back home”, said Tara.

    “You’ve caused enough trouble Mr. I Love Saying the Name of our Arch Nemesis”, said the Saladovian Censor Lady as she lassoed the Otamot Guy with a vine and dragged him away.

    “Where’s your sense of humor?” called out Otamot Guy.

    “In the retirement home with my sense of mercy” grumbled the Saladovian Censor Lady.

    Soon, the green berry on the cornstalk flashed signaling the limo to keep driving. Soon, our heroes came to a huge sight. It was a giant pumpkin carved to look like a huge castle.

    “Now that’s what I call The Great Pumpkin”, gasped Chad.

    “I wonder if it’s filled with toys?” said Tara.

    “This here is Pumpkingham Palace”, said Xylena, “My home, my father’s home, and the home of your parents, Chad.”

    “That’s right”, thought Chad, nervously. “I’m just a few steps away from meeting them after all these years.”

    * * * * * *

    Our heroes had stepped out of the lima-limo and were approaching the castle. “This is Whitley White, lean, mean, and being seen on a planet of green, about to enter the royal palace of Saladovia”, said Whitley, looking into his sunflower camera partner. “In just a few moments I’m about to give an interview to the all mighty king of Saladovia. Is he a wise and kind ruler or will he be a tyrant? Only this reporter from Earth will be bringing you the story.”

    Just as Xylena and our heroes entered the castle, Photosynth stopped Whitley and Sunny at the front gate. “Hold on a minute, sir”, said Photosynth, “Did you say you were a reporter?”

    “Yes, that’s right”, said Whitley, “The first Earth reporter in history who gets to interview an actual king from space.”

    “Sorry sir, but I can’t let you in”, said Photosynth. “The media is never allowed in the royal palace. That’s the law.”

    “Now see here my good man, er tree”, demanded Whitley, “Haven’t you ever heard of the freedom of the press? It’s a traditional Earth motto.”

    “Yes, we have that freedom of the press motto on Saladovia too”, said Photosynth. “My royal bouncers have the freedom to press their teeth into nosey scandalous reporters like you. Oh, guards!” Suddenly, a bunch of those familiar fly traps slithered out of the palace door and looked hungry at the shaking news reporter.

    “I see your point”, gasped Whitley nervously as he backed away. “All of your pointy teeth that is!”

    “Thank you for understanding”, said Photosynth as he stepped into the castle while the flytraps settled down blocking the gate.

    “This is just great”, Whitley said to Sunny. “Now how am I gonna get the big royal story?”

    * * * * * *

    Inside the palace, we find Chad, Tara, Wilbur, and F.T. standing in a hallway next to twin doors that led to some kind of suite. F.T. made an impatient squeak.

    “Please be patient, F.T”, said Tara, “Xylena said she needed some time to tell Chad’s parents that their son is here right now. Aren’t you excited, Chad? Uh, Chad?”

    Chad was too busy combing his hair nervously to pay any attention to Tara. “Oh, sorry, Tara”, said Chad as he was tucking his shirttail in, “It’s just that Mom was always big at me being neat and tidy whenever we go out to public places and I want to be prepared for her and Dad. I’m so nervous! I just hope I don’t say or do anything that’ll screw things up the minute I meet them after all these years.”

    “Relax, Chad”, smiled Tara, “I’m sure your parents will just be happy to see you again. Isn’t that right, Mr. Finletter?” Wilbur was too busy lifting a small barbell up and down with his right arm.

    “Sorry, can’t talk”, said Wilbur nervously, “I have to get in shape. My big brother Rob was always big at me being strong and bulky whenever we were training or going off to battle some tomato foes!”

    “Like nephew, like uncle”, sighed Tara, “I wonder what Chad’s parents will be like?”

    Just then, the doors opened and out stepped Xylena. “Chad Finletter of Earth”, announced Xylena, “I am proud to reunite you with Rob and Elisa Finletter, otherwise known as your parents!” Chad’s mouth silently went open as he saw a touching sight. There were his parents stepping into the light. His Dad had the same brown mullet and huge chin and his Mom had the same short blonde hair. And they were both wearing long green royal robes that covered their feet.

    “Mom? Dad?” asked Chad with tears in his eyes.

    “SON!” shouted the couple as they smiled and held out their arms. Chad smiled and ran to his parents giving them a loving hug. They stood there hugging each other in silence while Tara, Wilbur, F.T, and Xylena stood there smiling and wiping their tears at the touching sight.

    “I’m hoping this will win us the most touching scene in a cartoon award”, said Wilbur with a proud face.

    “My baby!” cried Elisa as she started pinching Chad’s cheeks. “We got our baby back!”

    Correction”, said Rob, “We got our boy back! Look how much he’s grown!”

    “I know”, cried Elisa, “It’s been so long that I thought we’d never see him again. Oh, Chad, honey! I dreamed of this day for five long years!”

    “I have too, Mom”, said Chad in an emotional happy voice as Elisa kissed his forehead.

    “How’ve you been, sport?” laughed Rob as he ruffled Chad’s cap and hair. “I hope you haven’t been too devastated since we suddenly disappeared from your life.”

    “I managed to survive, Dad”, said Chad, “More surviving than you’ll ever know these past 5 years.”

    “Have you been keeping your Uncle Wilbur out of trouble while we were gone?” laughed Rob.

    “You haven’t changed a bit, have you, brother?” sighed Wilbur.

    “Hey, it’s my goofy little brother!” smiled Rob as he approached Wilbur, put him in a headlock, and gave him a noogie on his helmet.

    “Nice to feel you again too”, grumbled Wilbur as he squeezed himself out of Rob’s grip. “This war helmet you gave me certainly serves its purposes, including protecting my skull from annoying big brother noogies!”

    “Hello, Wilbur”, smiled Elisa as she went over and gave Wilbur a kiss on the cheek. “You seem well.”

    “And you’re looking well and pretty too”, smiled Wilbur. Elisa then went over and lifted up Wilbur’s parachute from the floor.

    “Are you still dragging this silly parachute with you wherever you go?” laughed Elisa.

    “Only when I’m fighting deadly killer tomatoes”, said Wilbur.

    “You never seem to keep this thing in your pack”, said Elisa. “That’s a sign of a sloppy soldier. What do you say, Hearthrob Rob?”

    “You got that right, Honey Muffin”, smiled Rob, “Maybe we should assign Wilbur to a month of KP duty for that!”

    “You guys definitely haven’t changed a bit”, sighed Wilbur. Chad smiled at the sight for he remembered his parents and his uncle always had these good natured family teasings.

    “And who is this lovely young lady?” asked Rob looking at the blushing Tara.

    “This is Tara”, said Chad, “My best friend.”

    “And my best waitress”, said Wilbur, “Actually, my only waitress.”

    “How do you both do?” smiled Tara.

    “Very well, my dear”, smiled Elisa.

    “Our boy sure has great tastes in friends”, said Rob.

    “And what a cute little pet you have?” smiled Elisa as she saw F.T. in Tara’s arms. “I’ve never seen an animal like this before. What exactly is it anyway?”

    “Well, F.T. is a to….”, said Tara, but Chad interrupted.

    “F.T. is our dog”, said Chad, imagining what his parents might say or do if they found out his friends were really tomatoes.

    “Funny, I’ve never seen this kind of species of dog before”, said Elisa.

    “I guess we have been away too long to remember what an Earth dog looks like”, said Rob.

    “Anyway”, continued Elisa, “Why don’t you all come into our suite? This family has a lot of catching up do.”

    Our heroes had entered the Finletters’ suite and it was a fancy luxurious place. Vegetable shaped furniture all over the place and a chandelier that looked like a huge fruit salad,

    “This place is beautiful”, said Tara, “A toma…, I mean, girl like me would want to stay here forever.”

    “It’s just Elisa’s and my reward for fighting off killer Otamots”, said Rob.

    “Oh yes, Chad”, said Elisa, picking up some kind of green cloth from a nearby watermelon shaped table, “I knitted you this in case I ever got to see you again.” Elisa covered Chad with the cloth. When the boy yanked his head through, he found he was wearing a green sweater with the words, # 1 SON, on the front.

    “Wow, thanks Mom”, smiled Chad as he admired his gift. “It looks and feels great!” He was about to hug his mother, but the sleeves were so long, they ended up drooping over his hands. Chad also noticed that the bottom of the sweater was so long that it covered his knees.

    “I’m sorry the sweater might be a bit too big, honey”, said Elisa blushing, “It’s just that I didn’t know when I’d ever see you again and I assumed you’d be big enough for it when the time came.”

    “That’s okay, Mom”, smiled Chad, “It’s just great seeing and getting something from you again.”

    “I suppose we can make it shrink in the washing machine when we get back home”, said Wilbur.

    “I wouldn’t do that”, said Rob, “Exposing it to water will probably make it grow bigger.”

    “It’s made of moss”, said Elisa, taking out a ball of yarn that was actually a ball of thin moss.”

    “All of the Saladovian’s clothing are made of moss”, said Xylena, tugging at the fabric of her green spacesuit.

    “Including those fancy robes Mr. and Mrs. Finletter are wearing?” asked Tara.

    “You’d better believe it”, said Rob, “This fancy royal wear is what we get for being the first Earth ambassadors to Saladovia.”

    “Xylena told me that you were both made ambassadors”, said Chad, “And why you could never return to Earth.”

    “Oh my”, said Elisa nervously.

    “So you know, son?” said Rob with a somber look.

    “Yes”, said Chad with a proud smile that made his parents surprised, “Xylena also told me how you helped saved Saladovia from their arch enemies, the Otamots. And how you came up with inventions and ideas that helped their planet survive. You were needed here on Saladovia more than you were needed on Earth. I understand and I’m proud of you both.”

    “You mean you’re not upset and mad that we suddenly disappeared out of your life?” gasped Elisa.

    “It wasn’t your fault”, said Chad, “Yes, at first I was scared and sad when I saw you being taken away by a giant space cucumber. I went through a few years of depression, but I had Uncle Wilbur looking after me and he helped me through those rough times. Then a few years later, Tara and F.T. joined our family and I was soon able to move on with my life. But I was still always thinking of you both and I had faith that one day you’d get back to me, so I kept watching the sky hoping I’d see that flying cucumber again and you both stepping out of it.”

    “But instead, it turned out to be our own Princess Xylena who came and brought you to us”, said Rob.

    “Yes”, said Elisa. “Even though we now live in a luxurious palace with lots of modern vegetation conveniences and servants answering our every call and need, all we ever wanted was our son back in our lives. And Xylena answered our wish.”

    “I had to”, said Xylena, “You’re both very dear to me and I just couldn’t stand to see you unhappy any longer, so I had to sneak out, travel to Earth in my favorite rocket cucumber and bring Chad back to you.”

    “And I’m so thankful you did”, smiled Chad as he went over and kissed Xylena on the cheek without thinking.

    “The cootie fearing Chad actually kissed a girl?” gasped Tara, “I can’t believe it!”

    “I can’t either”, said Chad. “And it almost tasted like spinach too.”

    “That’s what my daddy always says whenever he kisses me goodnight”, giggled Xylena.

    “Speaking of daddies”, said Photosynth who had suddenly entered the suite, “His royal majesty wishes to see you all in the royal throne room at once.”

    “Uh oh!” said Xylena, “I hope he won’t be too mad that I snuck out of the palace and our planet for the umpteenth time.”

    * * * * * *

    Soon, our heroes were standing inside a huge fancy room that had paintings all over the walls. They were pictures of Saladovians that looked like many kings and queens.

    “Now, Chad dear”, said Elisa, “I want you to be nice and show good manners to the king, even though he did have us taken away from you.”

    “Yeah, son”, said Rob, “My kingly buddy is usually a pretty jolly, fun loving, guy. I think you’ll like him.”

    “Okay, I’ll try to be on my best behavior”, said Chad. Mainly because he wanted to make a good impression on Xylena’s father.

    “Is this the throne room?” asked Tara. “But I don’t see any throne.”

    “Daddy always takes his throne with him wherever he goes”, said Xylena. “He’s quite rooted to it.”

    Suddenly, a bunch of tall daffodils entered the room. They ejected their trumpet shaped snouts and started tooting a royal fanfare. Then Photosynth walked in between the two rows of daffodils and announced, “Presenting his healthy shade of green royal majesty, King Xylem.”

    Our heroes watched as something huge had entered the throne room. The bottom consisted of a huge hovering flower pot that was painted gold and silver. Rooted in the giant pot was a huge 20 foot tall green oak tree. But it was wearing a green royal robe with huge strong branches sticking out of the sleeves. There was a crown made from the skin of a peeled yellow mango on top of its huge afro made of green leaves. The face of the tree had yellow eyes with blue flowers for pupils, a short branch for a nose, and huge bushy green beard that was a huge green bush. The great and tall King Xylem set his royal flower pot, which was also his throne, down and looked at the group and made a silent stern face for a minute. “My daughter”, said Xylem in a majestic voice, “Approach me and explain yourself.”

    “Oh, forgiving and understanding father”, pleaded Xylena, “I know you must be furious with me for sneaking out once again and you’ll probably be even angrier when you find out I went to Earth and brought some Earthlings here to Saladovia and into our home, but please understand….”

    “Enough!” said Xylem. He looked down at the nervous Earthlings, then reached his branch hand down and picked up Chad. The boy watched nervously as he looked into the stern eyes and was trapped in the barky talon of the king of Saladovia.

    “H, Hello, your majesty”, said Chad nervously, “It’s nice to meet you.” The king became startled at what this tiny Earth boy said to him. Then Xylem made a huge bushy smile and started laughing.

    “HA, HA, HA, HA!” laughed Xylem, “You are the son of the Finletters! You made the same expression and polite greeting when I first came face to face with our planet’s greatest heroes. It is truly an honor to have you in my presence!” He set Chad down and patted his capped head. Chad smiled and made a sigh of relief and so did our heroes.

    “So you’re not mad about what I did?” asked Xylena, “Or worried that I was gone.”

    “Well, to be honest with you, my precious plant princess”, said Xylem, “I was too busy handing royal affairs to know what was going on with my branch-full daughter. But when Photosynth told me where you just came from and how you brought home these Earthlings, including the young Finletter child, I just had to drop everything and see this myself. Oh daughter!” said the king as he picked up Xylena and hugged her, “If only your mother were still potted and I had more time to spend with you, you probably wouldn’t have the need to go on these outer space joyrides.”

    “It’s okay, father”, said Xylena, “I’ll try harder to keep my roots rooted to home.”

    Then Xylem put down Xylena and turned to Chad. “I hope you can please forgive me for having your parents taken away from you”, said Xylem in a humble voice. “But my people and I were desperate. Those evil Otamots had conquered our planet and were hurting my innocent subjects. We lacked the fighting skills to defend ourselves, so we had no choice but to go to other planets and recruit the strongest warriors of the galaxy to help save our planet.”

    “More like abduct”, whispered Wilbur.

    “Please be nice, Mr. Finletter”, said Tara, nudging Wilbur while F.T. whipped at his boot.

    “Back then, I didn’t realize how my consequences would affect the families and loved ones of the warriors we took”, said Xylem, sadly. “I never meant to make my problems all of your problems. I’m sorry, young Chad Finletter.”

    “It’s okay, I suppose”, said Chad. “I’m just happy to see my parents again.” Rob and Elisa silently smiled and draped their arms around their boy.

    “You seem to have your parents’ kindness and compassion”, smiled Xylem. “Yes, my boy. Rob and Elisa were truly our greatest warriors and heroes. When we sent them into battle, the Otamots couldn’t take it anymore and they hot rooted it off our planet making Saladovia safe and peaceful once again.”

    “When we were first taken here by force, we were reluctant to help them”, said Rob.

    “But when we saw those awful Otamots hurting those innocent Saladovians, we couldn’t help ourselves”, said Elisa, “We just had to go out and protect them.”

    “It took us a couple of years”, said Rob, “But we managed to chase away every evil Otamot from Saladovia.”

    “And good King Xylem was so grateful, that he made us ambassadors to his wonderful green planet”, said Elisa.

    “Wow, that is so cool!” smiled Chad, “I can’t believe my own parents are heroes of another planet. The kids back at school will be so jealous. That is if they believe my story.”

    “We just pictured those Otamot scum as those dirt bag tomatoes back on Earth”, said Rob, with vengeance in his eyes. “If there’s anything we despise more than Otamots are rotten killer tomatoes!”

    “You said it, Robbie!” said Elisa, also with vengeance in her eyes. “If one or even two of those nasty tomatoes are in my presence, I’ll squash both of them with my bare hands!”

    Both Tara and F.T. gulped and hoped that Chad’s loving parents would never find out that they’re really tomatoes in disguise.

    “But that’s in the past”, smiled Rob. “Saladovia’s peaceful again and we got our boy back.”

    “So everything’s all right with the world again”, smiled Elisa as she kissed Chad on the cheek while Rob patted Chad’s shoulder. The boy silently smiled and hugged his long lost parents.

    “I’m glad my two ambassadors are happy again”, smiled the king. “And this son of yours does look like the one from his baby pictures.”

    “Baby pictures?” gasped Chad.

    “I sort of showed the king and all of our new Saladovian friends some of your baby pictures I had in my wallet”, explained Elisa. “They found them so precious.”

    “And in gratitude, I had them all enlarged and posted on the ceiling of the royal throne room so that everybody could see them”, smiled Xylem as he pulled on a nearby vine. Everyone looked up and saw the ceiling split open revealing another ceiling. And there were all of Chad’s embarrassing baby pictures posted on the ceiling, mega-sized.

    “I don’t believe this!” gasped Chad turning red with embarrassment.

    “It’s like the Sistine Chapel”, said Tara, “Most of those pictures show Chad bare bottomed.”

    “Our baby never liked wearing diapers”, said Elisa pointing to a picture of baby Chad tearing up a dirty diaper with his teeth.

    “Somebody, shoot me!” groaned Chad, hiding his face under his new sweater.

    “Sorry, Chad”, said Rob, “I wanted to protest all of this, but your mother and the king outnumbered me.”

    “Hey, look”, said Wilbur. “There’s the picture we took when I fed Chad his first strained carrot and banana pizza. And then he ended up throwing up for some reason.”

    “Et tu, Uncle Wilbur?!” pleaded Chad.

    “Daddy”, said Xylena, “Could you please put away those pictures of Chad? You’re kind of embarrassing him right now.”

    “Anything for you, my daughter”, said Xylem as he tugged on the vine again. “I’ll just show everyone your acorn pictures instead.”

    “OH NO!” cried Xylena as she watched the ceiling with Chad’s pictures split open revealing yet another ceiling. This one had pictures of a cute green acorn with Xylena’s face on each one.

    “The one in the center is my favorite”, said Xylem. “This picture has my daughter soiling the soil I planted her in. I warned that girl drinking plant food before bed was a bad idea.”

    “Somebody, snip me!” pleaded Xylena while covering her embarrassed face with her branches.

    “I guess parents are kind of the same throughout the universe”, said Chad, holding Xylena’s branches causing her to smile a little.

    “I think we should have a celebration tonight to honor the mighty Finletters’ reunion”, said Xylem. “But first, I must ask you something serious, Xylena.”

    “What is that?” asked Xylena.

    “When you snuck out of our planet, you didn’t happen to see 3 Otamots sneak through the greenhouse door, did you?”

    “You mean Otamots tried to invade our planet again?!” gasped Xylena.

    “It was reported that they were seen yesterday”, said Xylem. “But don’t worry, all 3 of them were destroyed by a great hero.”

    “Which hero?” asked Xylena, “Rob or Elisa?”

    “It wasn’t either of us”, said Elisa.

    “They were defeated by one of our fine Saladovian citizens”, said Xylem. “When I heard the news, I had to meet him face to face. I rewarded him by making him a member of my staff. Oh, Neergnag, please enter.”

    “At once, your great oakness”, called out a familiar voice. In stepped Gangreen, still in his Saladovian disguise, along with wearing one of those fancy green robes Rob and Elisa were wearing.

    “My daughter and her friends”, said Xylem, “I’d like you to meet Dr. Neergnag. He made those three awful Otamots vanish by just touching them.”

    “Aw, it was nothing”, said Gangreeen in a pretend humble voice, “I’d lay my own life down for my beloved Saladovia and my king.”

    F.T. sensed something wrong and bad about this Dr. Neergnag and squeaked to Tara.

    “You’re right F.T”, said Tara, “He does look kind of familiar, but I can't figure out who he looks like.”

    “Your majesty, you never told me your royal daughter was a lovely peach”, smiled Gangreen as he took Xylena’s branch and kissed it causing the girl to blush.

    “Actually, she got over her peach phase when she turned 6”, laughed Xylem. “Tiny sticky peaches were popping out of her face like crazy.”

    “Daddy, you’re embarrassing me again!” grumbled Xylena.

    “Something doesn’t seem right”, said Rob.

    “What’s wrong, Dad?” asked Chad.

    “It took us years to fight and slay thousands of Otamot jerks”, grumbled Rob. “And a lot of us have gotten injured and even killed doing it! And all of a sudden, this guy we never met before manages to do away with 3 Otamots by just touching them?”

    “Maybe he knows something we don’t know, dear”, said Elisa, calming her frustrated husband down. “Come to think of it, where was he when those Otamots first invaded those 5 years ago?”

    “I wonder?” thought Chad as he looked at the mysterious Dr. Neergnag who was busy praising the Saladovian king and his daughter.

    TO BE CONTINUED
    Last edited by Cullen; 11-03-2007 at 12:02 AM.

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    nuce update

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    Planet of the Tomatoes

    By Cullen Pittman

    Chapter 7

    Traumatizing Truths

    We see Whitley White standing outside the back of Pumpkingham Palace looking through a window and seeing a bunch of Saladovians having a royal party. “This is Whitley White, standing out in the cold”, said Whitley, “No, scratch that, I’m on a planet inside a greenhouse, so it’s not really cold here. Anyway, I’m standing outside what is known as Pumpkingham Palace, which is the royal home of the King of Saladovia. There seems to be a royal party going on, but there’s no way this reporter from Earth can get inside to bring you the big scoop. Sunny, are you paying attention?”

    Sunny the Sunflower Camera was busy looking down at a smaller sunflower that was only 5 inches tall. “Oh, sorry, Mr. White”, said Sunny, “It’s just that one of my kids came here to see me. Jasun, this here is Mr. White.” The little sunflower made a tiny squeak that sounded like, Hello.

    Just then, Whitley looked at the tiny sunflower and then saw a small crack on the palace wall. “This crack looks small enough for a tiny sunflower camera to squeeze through”, said Whitley, with a sly look on his face. “Jasun, my boy”, smiled Whitley. “How good are you at filming?”

    * * * * * *

    Next, we see little Jasun squeezing his way though the crack and was now inside the palace. Whitley then peeked through the crack. “Remember, kid”, said Whitley. “Just film everything that’s going on in this palace. Your mother and I will be here outside the whole time.” The little sunflower nodded, formed his head into a camera shape and started walking around the palace.

    “I’m not sure if I like this”, said Sunny. “I told you that I don’t like my children getting involved in showbiz.”

    “This isn’t really showbiz”, said Whitley, “This is just news.”

    * * * * * *

    Jasun found himself inside a huge ballroom where a party was going on. Lots of Saladovian men and women were talking, dancing, having snacks, and enjoying themselves. The music was being played by a band that consisted of a string bean quartet.

    Next, we see Chad and Wilbur entering the party dressed in green tuxedos with light green ruffled shirts. “This tux actually feels comfortable”, said Chad. “Not stiff and starchy at all.”

    “The royal tailors who made these said that the coats, pants, and bowties are made out of moss and the shirts are made from lettuce leaves”, said Wilbur. “But I’m kind of worried that I might break out in mold spots though.”

    Just then, Tara came over, dressed in a green spaghetti strap dress while holding onto a vine leash that was attached to a vine collar worn by F.T. “Hi guys”, said Tara. “You both look nice tonight.”

    “And so do you, Tara”, said Chad.

    “Thank you”, smiled Tara. “The royal wardrobe ladies chose this dress for me.”

    “Is that dress made of kale leaves?” asked Wilbur

    “But of course”, said Tara. “Xylena said kale is the biggest fashion craze in all of Saladovia. And she said no kale creatures were harmed in making this dress. They only use the leaves that have been shed from the friendly creatures.”

    “Why is F.T. on a leash?” asked Chad, looking down at the frustrated fuzzy tomato who was trying to nibble himself free from the collar.

    “They told me that it was a rule that pets in the palace need to be kept on leashes”, said Tara. “And also because I think F.T. might get one of his forbidden soil urges.”

    F.T. was staring at a group of Saladovians taking off their shoes and sticking their roots into a huge pool of soil and wished he could be swimming along in there.

    “No, F.T”, said Tara, picking up the hungry fuzzy tomato. “It’s not wise to go eating and swimming at the same time.” F.T. made his usual grumpy squeak.

    “Say, where’s Xylena?” asked Chad, looking around for his crush.

    “She’s still getting ready”, said Tara. “She said she wanted to style every leaf on her head perfect.”

    “Hey, look. It’s our favorite group of fellow Earthlings”, called out Rob as he and Elisa approached our heroes.

    “My little boy looks so nice and spiffy tonight”, smiled Elisa as she straightened out Chad’s moss bowtie. “I could just eat you up.”

    “Why not”, said Chad. “I feel like I’m wearing a salad.”

    “Yeah, it took your mother and me about 5 years to get used to plantwear”, said Rob, showing off his ambassador’s robe. “But in time, you’ll get used to it.”

    “Seriously, Wilbur”, said Elisa. “I just want to thank you for raising and taking care of Chad during our absence. It really means a lot to us.”

    “It was my pleasure”, said Wilbur. “Chad is a great and helpful kid to be with. I’d do anything to keep him happy and safe from harm.”

    “And you’ve done a fine job with him too”, said Rob. “And I bet you did a Jim Dandy job protecting the Earth from those dirtbag killer tomatoes.”

    “Um, yeah”, said Wilbur, sheepishly, for he didn’t have the heart to tell Rob and Elisa what the killer tomatoes did to the entire Earth.

    “Look, Chad”, said Tara pointing to two Saladovian women pushing in a baby carriage that was actually one of those floating transpots. “That looks like a baby they have there.”

    “A baby peanut”, said Chad. Sure enough, inside the pot was soil with a baby sized peanut lying quietly. The two women approached King Xylem and Sir Photosynth who were standing in the center of the room.

    “Why what do we have here, Photosynth?” asked Xylem with a delighted smile.

    “Forgive me for interrupting your majesty’s party fun”, said Photosynth. “But these two ladies claim to be the mother of this darling baby peanut.”

    “Your most wise majesty”, said the first woman. “As you can plainly see, I happen to be this baby’s rightful mother. He has my stem.”

    “Please don’t listen to her, your highness”, said the second woman. “He’s mine. He sprouted from my vines.”

    “Oh, please”, groaned the first woman. “The only thing that ever comes out of you is corn!”

    “The only way this peanut resembles you is the size of your brain!” shouted the second woman.

    “Please, be silent, ladies”, said Xylem. “I know how to settle this dispute.” He reached into his robe and took out a giant nutcracker. “I will divide this baby in two so you both can share him.”

    “He’s going to cut that poor baby in half?!” gasped Tara, covering her eyes, “How can that king be so cruel and thoughtless?”

    “Relax, Tara”, said Chad. “This is just like a story back on Earth. The king figures that a true mother would rather give up her baby than see him get hurt. That way, the liar will be exposed and the true mother will get her baby back unharmed. Just watch.”

    “Okay, that sounds fair”, said the first mother.

    “The same goes for me”, said the second mother. “Go ahead and start cracking.”

    “WHAT?!” gasped Chad.

    “Very well”, said Xylem, “Photosynth, if you would?” Photosynth picked up the peanut and put it between the blades of the king’s nutcracker.

    “I can’t watch!” cried Tara as she covered her eyes, but then heard two babies crying.

    “Look, Tara. It’s okay, I think”, said Chad. Tara looked and saw a cracked peanut shell on the floor and the two Saladovian women each holding a nut with cute baby faces.

    “That’s the joy about giving birth to a peanut”, smiled Xylem, “You end up getting twins.”

    “And I got the prettiest twin”, smiled the first woman.

    “Are you kidding?” demanded the second woman, “My child is obviously the prettiest!” And the two women and nut babies were seen getting escorted out of the palace while the women were still arguing with each other.

    “So how’s the rest of our Killer Tomato Task Force?” Rob asked Wilbur. “Has Sam the Sham come up with any new disguises lately?”

    “Every day”, said Wilbur. “One time Sam disguised himself as my pizza oven. It’s a good thing I found out before I lit him on fire. The town’s censor lady would’ve really gotten on my case if that happened.”

    “How about Floyd Bridgework?” asked Elisa, “Is he still wearing that ridiculous scuba suit 24-7?”

    “Afraid so”, said Wilbur. “But I do keep reminding Floyd to wipe and dry his flippers before coming indoors like the way you used to remind him.”

    “And how about that Mary Jo?” asked Elisa, winking, “Have you two become a couple yet?”

    “What, what are you talking about?” asked Wilbur, sweating. “Mary Jo is just a good friend, a worthy soldier comrade, and a caring substitute mother to Chad. Why would you think she and I would be a couple?”

    “Aw, come on little bro”, said Rob, putting Wilbur in a headlock, “We’ve seen how sweet MJ looks at you and how you look at her.”

    “And Rob and I both knew you two were perfect for each other”, said Elisa, “Ever since the first day we hired her to be your exercise instructor when you had that weight problem.”

    “Weight problem?” asked Tara.

    “Yeah”, said Rob. “Back when the Tomato Task Force first got started, Wilbur was 300 pounds overweight. You could write over 10 Good Years all over Wilbur’s bottom and still have plenty of leftover space.”

    “Please, Rob”, grumbled Wilbur. “That was in the past.”

    “Wilbur thought if he dragged that parachute around, he’d feel lighter”, laughed Elisa.

    “How I’ve missed both of you’re witty banters”, sighed Wilbur.

    “Please, Mom and Dad”, said Chad. “I think you’re making Uncle Wilbur feel small.”

    “Well, Mary Jo sure seemed to help him get down to a small size”, laughed Rob as he started pinching Wilbur’s side, while Wilbur looked annoyed at his brother.

    “Aw, we’re just messing with ya”, laughed Rob, “Come on everybody, let’s have some chow at the buffet table.” They all turned around and found a table filled with appetizing delicacies. That is if you’re a Saladovian. All of the food was made from soil. Soil meat loaf, soil cupcakes, even a dish called Soil-oin steak.

    “Gross!” groaned Chad, trying to cover his mouth.

    “YUM!” squeaked F.T. for he wanted to get up on that table and eat some soil delights, but Tara kept whispering to him, “No F.T., remember that soil is dangerous to us", F.T. sighed yet again.

    “I guess I forgot to tell you”, said Rob. “The only food sources here are things plants eat.”

    “But we do have an alternative choice for our carnivorous citizens”, said a Saladovian chef who came to the table with a tureen. He lifted the lid and it consisted of insects. Some broiled, some fried, and even some still alive and crawling all over the plate.

    “Double gross!” groaned Chad, turning green.

    “You rude child!” said the chef disgusted. “I worked my twigs off to make these treats!”

    “Please forgive our son, Chef Chloro”, said Elisa, “His body can’t digest insects.”

    “At least the royal guards seem to like them”, said Chef Chloro as he saw the flytraps slither up to the table and start gobbling up the bugs.

    “Thank you”, sighed Chad, not having to see those crawly things anymore.

    “Don’t worry, Chad-boy”, said Wilbur reaching into his backpack. “I figured us Earthlings wouldn’t be able to eat this stuff, so I asked the chef to let me use his kitchen so I can make one of my specialty pizzas”, and he pulled one of his famous pizza boxes out of his backpack.

    “Are you still making those weird pizza recipes?” asked Rob.

    “They aren’t weird”, protested Wilbur, “They’re tomatoless, which is what a good pizza should be. Try my newest recipe. My frozen yogurt and beef jerky pizza.”

    “Oh dear!” said Elisa trying not to look disgusted.

    “There were some things about Earth we really didn’t miss”, sighed Rob.

    “I hope you aren’t even more grossed out, Chad”, said Tara.

    “You know”, said Chad, “After seeing what Saladovian food is like, I don’t think I’ll ever complain about Uncle Wilbur’s pizzas again.”

    “Come on you guys”, said Wilbur picking up two slices of the pizza and offering them to Rob and Elisa. “Try some pizza. And I got 5 years of pizza recipes I want to catch up with you.”

    “Wait, Uncle Wilbur”, said Chad, “Don’t you remember that Mom and Dad always like breadsticks before eating your pizzas?”

    “Oh yeah, that’s right”, said Wilbur as he pulled his grub generating bazooka out of his backpack while all the Saladovians looked in shock. “Relax everyone”, said Wilbur, “I’m just providing appetizers.” He blasted his bazooka onto the floor and out came a pile of delicious golden breadsticks. “Breadsticks for everyone”, called out Wilbur.

    “Breadsticks?” asked Chef Chloro as he picked one up and studied it, “I’ve never seen a stick like this before. Do breadsticks come from something called a breadtree?”

    “Okay, here are your breadsticks”, said Wilbur to Rob and Elisa, “But don’t fill up on them too much, otherwise you won’t have room for my pizza.”

    “Thank you, Chad”, smiled Elisa, “You remembered how much your father and I love breadsticks and how they saved us many times from your uncle’s cooking.”

    “I haven’t had a good doughy breadstick in 5 years”, said Rob while chewing on one.

    “I’ve been meaning to ask you and Mom something”, said Chad, “If you spent 5 whole years on Saladovia, what kind of food have you been eating? It can’t possibly be just water, sunlight, soil, or even, ugh, bugs.”

    “Well, it’s like this…” said Rob in an uncomfortable voice. But before he could continue, the royal daffodil trumpeters started to play a loud fan fare. “Wheh, saved by the bells, er, horns”, said Rob.

    “Presenting our most beloved princess of Saladovia, Princess Xylena”, announced Photosynth. Everyone became silent and bowed as Xylena slowly entered the ballroom. But she wasn’t wearing her familiar green space suit. Instead she was wearing a bright red strapless gown that was made from red cabbage leaves. She had her leaf hair styled pretty with a small bushy ponytail in the back. Her pointy ears had earrings that were bright blue berries, and she was wearing a tiara made of curled golden parsley.

    “Wow”, gasped Chad quietly, “She’s even more beautiful than before.” Chad became even more nervous as Xylena approached him.

    “Good evening, Chad”, smiled Xylena, “You look so dapper tonight.”

    “You look really pretty yourself”, said Chad, nervously. “Is that tiara you’re wearing made of parsley?”

    “Yes it is”, said Xylena, “This is what all of the princesses in my family have been wearing for many centuries. But when I take my father’s place as ruler of Saladovia, I shall be wearing his royal crown. But hopefully I won’t be replacing my father for a long time.”

    Just then, the string bean quartet started to play a soothing slow song. “Oh, this is my favorite song”, smiled Xylena, taking Chad’s hands. “Please, dance with me, Chad.”

    “But I’m not much of a dancer”, said Chad, nervously.

    “Our beloved princess has asked you to dance”, said Elisa, “That is truly an honor.”

    “So get your dancing shoes on and show her the Finletter charm”, said Rob, pushing Chad closer to Xylena. The two kids went to the center of the ballroom and began their dance.

    “I’m kind of new at ballroom dancing”, said Chad, “So please forgive me if I accidentally step on your feet, I mean, roots.”

    “Don’t worry”, said Xylena. “I’ll just stand on your feet like this.” Chad looked down and saw Xylena’s roots rested on his shoes. Then the two took each other’s hands and branches started to do a slow waltz.

    “You dance very well, Chad”, said Xylena.

    “Thank you”, said Chad, “I never thought I’d be dancing with an actual princess before.”

    “And I’d never thought I’d be dancing with the son of our two great heroes”, said Xylena, “I’ve only known you from the photograph of you as a five 5 year old. But now I get to meet you face to face as a handsome young man.” Chad blushed at her remark.

    “And it was you who brought me here”, said Chad, “And I got to see my parents again. Plus I got to meet and know you as a bonus. This has got to be the happiest moment of my life.” And without thinking, he wrapped his arms around Xylena. Xylena smiled and wrapped her branches around the boy and continued their slow waltz. Everyone in the ballroom watched happily at their princess and her Earthling dance partner.

    “That’s our boy”, smiled Rob as he hugged Elisa’s shoulder.

    “They grow up so fast”, sighed Elisa, but then she looked over at Tara who was smiling, but with tears in her eyes. “Is there anything wrong, dear?” asked Elisa.

    “Oh, I’m fine”, said Tara, sniffling. “It’s just that I’ve never seen Chad this happy before. And also, I have this feeling that I might be losing a best friend.”

    “Nonsense”, said Elisa, taking Tara’s hand and patting it. “I know my little Chad. He was always friendly to everyone whenever we took him to places. I’m sure Chad will always be your friend. It’s just that he now seems to have a case of puppy love.”

    “But I always thought I’d be the special plant girl in Chad’s life”, Tara whispered to herself.

    King Xylem was watching his daughter dance with Chad and smiled a huge leaf covered smile. “That is the most precious thing I’ve seen in my entire growth cycle”, sighed Xylem, “My own daughter dancing with the son of our beloved heroes. Isn’t that touching, Dr. Neergnag? Uh, Dr. Neergnag?”

    Dr. Neergnag, who was actually Dr. Gangreen in disguise, was too busy looking at his party snack to notice the two kids dancing. “A broiled grasshopper on a cracker made of soil?” gasped Gangreen disgusted. “I may have to look like a Saladovian, but that doesn’t mean I have to eat like one!” And he tossed the snack like it was a Frisbee and it was caught by a flytrap guard who munched on it happily.

    “Dr. Neergnag?” asked Xylem. “Are you listening to me?”

    “Oh, forgive me, your highness”, said Gangreen with a pretend smile. “I was just feeding your loyal guards who’ll always protect you from harm.”

    “And you’ve done the same thing for me and my subjects with your mysterious Otamot removing skills”, smiled Xylem, patting Gangreen’s back with his huge branch causing the scientist to get knocked down. “But let’s not worry about those awful Otamots tonight”, laughed Xylem, “Let’s just enjoy this wonderful party and my daughter’s happiness.”

    Gangreen got himself back up and looked mean eyed at the happy king who was busy watching the dancing going on. “That brutish oaf on an oak!” grumbled Gangreen, taking out his sack. “Just for that, it’s now time to put the next phase of Darkseed’s plan into action!” He stuck his hand into a sack and pulled out what looked like a small red bottle. “Now Darkseed said to pour this stuff into the king’s pot when he isn’t looking”, said Gangreen as he got behind Xylem’s flower pot and was about to open up the bottle.

    “Excuse me, Dr. Neergnag”, said Photosynth, tapping Gangreen’s back.

    “Oh, good evening, Sir Photosynth”, said Gangreen, hiding the bottle behind his back and trying to look innocent, “I wasn’t doing anything wrong.”

    “If you don’t mind, I need you to leave the king alone”, said Photosynth, “These important Salaodovian officials need to discuss some important matters of state with the king.”

    “But, Sir Photo….” Protested Gangreen.

    “Thank you, that is all”, said Photosynth as he pushed Gangreen away while a group of important looking Saladovians surrounded the king and started telling him some stuff.

    “DRAT!” grumbled Gangreen as he stood next to the dining table while he saw Xylem discussing some stuff with the bigwigs. “Now how am I gonna expose the king to this stuff with all those stuffed shirts surrounding him?” Then he looked over at Tara and smiled a wicked smile. “Maybe I need a pretty little distraction like her”, snickered Gangreen as he took another object from his sack.

    Tara was busy watching Chad and Xylena dance until she felt someone nudge her shoulder. “Oh, Dr. Neergnag”, said Tara.

    “Many pardons, my dear”, said Gangreen with a fake smile. “I was just admiring this marvelous party our beloved king has thrown.”

    F.T. sniffed Gangreen’s root covered foot and recognized who it was immediately. He started making growling squeaks at Gangreen while nibbling on Gangreen’s leg.

    “Let go you miserable, I mean, please let go of my foot, er, root you cute little creature”, said Gangreen, still trying to keep his smile.

    “F.T., you naughty pet!” scolded Tara as she pulled on F.T’s leash and yanked him away from Gangreen. “Please forgive F.T, Dr. Neergnag”, said Tara, “He’s just cranky that he’s not allowed to taste any of that Saladovian soil. But he should not be taking it out on you.”

    “Oh, that’s quite all right”, said Gangreen. “I guess having this, um, delicious soil in sight would tempt anyone. Speaking of delicacies, I was wondering since you’re from Earth, can I show you something please?”

    “What is it?” asked Tara.

    “It’s some kind of strange condiment that comes from the planet Earth”, said Gangreen, “I wonder if you could sample it and tell me the name of the condiment.”

    “Okay”, said Tara, “Just as long as it’s not SALLLLT!” cried Tara as she recognized the salt shaker that was in Gangreen’s hand.

    “Oopsy-daisy!” said Gangreen as he spilled the salt all over Tara. “I’m such a butterbranch.”

    “OH NO!” cried Tara as she suddenly transformed back into a tomato once again.

    “Uh oh!” squeaked F.T. as he saw that his leash was now in the leaf of a small tomato.

    “AN OTAMOT!” cried a nearby Saladovian as she pointed to the Tara Tomato. All the Saladovians in the ballroom screamed in panic.

    “What’s happening?” asked Xylena as she and Chad stopped dancing.

    “Tara’s become a tomato again!” cried Chad. “But how can that be? There’s no salt anywhere around here!”

    “Oh no! Not another Otamot!” cried King Xylem as he covered his eyes.

    “Guards! Seize that Otamot intruder!” commanded Photosynth. About ten flytraps slithered into the ballroom surrounding F.T. and Tara Tomato.

    “Don’t worry, your highness”, said Gangreen jumping in front of the king. “I’ll protect you from that round red beast! Just cover your eyes and it’ll all be over soon!”

    “I trust you completely, oh goodhearted Neergnag”, trembled Xylem as he covered his eyes with his branches.

    “Excellent”, said Gangreen as he took back out the bottle and started sprinkling what looked like little red bugs into the king’s flower pot throne.

    The Tara Tomato managed to slip and hop away before one of the flytraps could snap at her while F.T. followed after her. Everyone ran around in panic trying to avoid the hopping little tomato.

    “Wait a minute!” said Elisa. “That little thing doesn’t look like any Otamot I know.”

    “Yeah”, said Rob, “I recognize that stench. It’s a tomato!”

    “You know what that means, stud muffin?” smiled Elisa.

    “Sure do, lambchop”, smiled Rob, taking out his trusty egg beater gun. “Something we haven’t done in 5 years. KICK SOME TOMATO STEM!”

    “Wait, you guys!” shouted Wilbur. But before he could say another word, the couple ran past the confused flytrap guards and cornered the two tomatoes against a wall. F.T. begged them not to hurt Tara in his tomato language.

    “Nice job, boy. Trapping that tomato scum into a corner”, said Rob, patting the fuzzy tomato.

    “Now please move aside like a good little puppy”, said Elisa as she pushed F.T. away leaving the Tara Tomato unprotected.

    “We get to make tomato paste once again!” laughed Rob as he turned on his egg beater gun and the blades started spinning around. Tara started sweating sauce from her leaf at the sight. “Care to do the honor, my bride?” asked Rob offering her the gun.

    “With pleasure, my love”, said Elisa. “But I prefer the hands on approach!” She raised her hand and was about to karate chop the frightened tomato. “Those Ginsu knife commercials claim that a hand can’t cut a tomato in half”, shouted Elisa. “They obviously haven’t met, Elisa. The mistress of finding the right pressure points on a tomato!” She raised her hand high and slammed it on the floor, but not before a pair of hands snatched Tara away just in time.

    “What gives?” asked Elisa, puzzled. “Where’s my sliced tomato?”

    “Our boy has it”, gasped Rob as he pointed to Chad cradling the trembling tomato in his hands. “Son, what do you think you’re doing?” gasped Rob.


    “Put down that monster this instant, young man!” demanded Elisa, “Before it bites your hands off!”

    “Don’t worry”, said Chad, “She won’t bite me. She’s my friend.”

    “This, tomato’s you’re friend?!” gasped Elisa. “And it’s a she?”

    “Our only son’s a friend to a to-to-tomato?!” gasped Rob, in shock. “Wilbur, what kind of morals have you been teaching our boy while we’ve been gone?!”

    “Please, let me explain”, said Wilbur. But before he could answer, King Xylem hovered over to the scene.

    “Let me understand this”, said Xylem in a stern, disappointed voice, “The son of our beloved heroes is an Otamot lover?”

    “That’s not an Otamot, father”, said Xylena. “That is called a tomato.”

    “A creature that’s just as deadly as an Otamot”, said Elisa.

    “I agree with the lady”, said Gangreen. “And that fuzzy little beast over there is actually a furry mutant tomato. Trust me, your majesty. I’m an expert in all killer life forms.”

    “No wonder why he’s the ugliest dog in the world”, said Rob, “He’s actually an ugly tomato!” F.T. scowled at that remark.

    “No Dad”, said Chad, calmly. “He’s actually a fuzzy tomato. And he’s our lovable pet.”

    “A tomato lovable?” gasped Rob. “That’s impossible!”

    “And what about that so called, she tomato you’re holding?” demanded Elisa. “Is that your pet too?”

    “No”, said Chad, “Tara’s my friend.”

    “TARA?!” gasped both Chad’s parents.

    “Oh boy, I might as well show you both the truth”, sighed Chad as he placed the tomato on the floor while everyone in the room watched nervously. Chad took out some pepper and sprinkled it on the tomato causing it to sneeze and change back into Tara the girl.

    “You mean that nice Tara was actually an evil tomato?!” said Elisa trying to shake the thought out of her head.

    “When they called hot girls tomatoes back in the old days, I never thought it would lead to this kind of disaster!” gasped Rob.

    “You see”, said Chad, “Tara and F.T. were both victims of evil experiments by a mad scientist.”

    “I’m not mad, I’m ang….” Said Gangreen, but then quickly covered his mouth. “Uh oh”, whispered Gangreen. “I almost gave myself away to those goody-goods.”

    “The scientist wanted to use them to help him conquer the world”, continued Chad, “But Tara and F.T. didn’t have the hearts to do such a thing. So they escaped and found their way into Uncle Wilbur’s life and my life too. And we became good friends ever since.”

    “Did you know that you had tomatoes in your company, little brother?” Rob asked Wilbur.

    “Well”, said Wilbur. “At first I thought Tara was the best waitress I ever hired and that F.T. was just a funny looking two-legged dog. I had no clue they were actually tomatoes at first. But later on, I learned the truth. But then I realized I couldn’t stay mad at them. Tara’s a great waitress and a great friend to Chad. And F.T may be annoying and ugly, but I’ve grown to love him like a pet. You have my word they’re trustworthy.”

    “If you please”, said Xylena, “I too had my doubts when I first found out Tara was one of your infamous Earth tomatoes. But then I got to know her and F.T. during our voyage to Saladovia. And they are worthy to have as friends and comrades. Your princess decrees it!”

    “Hmmm”, said King Xylem, listening to the words of her daughter. “Maybe this so-called tomato girl isn’t so bad.”

    “Don’t be fooled, your majesty”, said Gangreen, “These Earth creatures called tomatoes are just as vicious and untrustworthy as those Otamots. They’ll multiply and conquer this planet like the Otamots once did.”

    “Do you have any proof of this, Dr. Neergnag?” asked Xylem.

    “I didn’t want to have to show you this”, said Gangreen reaching into his bag, “Seeing how it might disgrace our beloved princess. But I found this when I was visiting the space station known as Alpha-Beta-Calculata.” Gangreen handed Xylem a wanted poster and the king became shocked at what he saw. On the wanted poster were pictures of Xylena, Whitley, Wilbur, Chad, F.T. and Tara as a tomato.

    “It turned out your daughter, these Earthlings, and these two killer tomatoes caused a riot on that space station and scared the living daylights out of the good citizens and travelers there”, said Gangreen. “I’m sorry I had to tell you this, your highness.”

    “My own royal daughter, on a wanted poster?!” gasped Xylem as he tore up the poster and looked at Xylena with forest fires in his eyes. “Xylena, how could you?!”

    “I’m, I’m sorry, Daddy”, gasped Xylena. “I never meant for all of that to happen.”

    “And our son on a wanted poster!” gasped Elisa.

    “Not to mention my own little brother”, said Rob, shaking his head and looking sorry at Wilbur.

    “It wasn’t our fault”, explained Chad. “When all the aliens on the space station saw F.T. and Tara as a Tomato, they all just panicked. Tara and F.T. did nothing wrong.”

    “If you’ll just listen to me”, said Wilbur, but before he could speak, Gangreen spoke out.

    “We need to capture and destroy that tomato girl”, demanded Gangreen, “Before she spreads her seeds and releases more of those deadly tomatoes onto our beloved Saladovia!” Gangreen took out what looked like a funny looking green gun and aimed it at a nervous Tara. And one blast sent a long green vine at Tara, tying her up.

    “TARA!” gasped Chad.

    “I can’t move!” cried Tara as she tried, but couldn’t get her arms free. She made her eyes glow red so she could use her tomato powers to free herself. But Gangreen shot a small vine at Tara’s face covering her eyes so she couldn’t use her powers, nor could see.

    “You let her go!” shouted Chad as he ran over to help free a frightened Tara, but Gangreen jumped in between them.

    “Stay back, young man”, said Gangreen, placing his branch covered hand on Chad’s head pushing him back. “This girl is dangerous and will eat you up if you try to free her.”

    “That’s not true!” cried Chad, “Tara is…” But Rob and Elisa pulled Chad back.

    “Watch it, son”, said Rob. “She may look like a girl, but she’s actually a killer tomato.”

    “But…” pleaded Chad.

    “Listen to your father, dear”, said Elisa. “We can’t have any bad influences like her in your life. She already got you on a galactic wanted poster.”

    “What should we do with her, Dr. Neergnag?” asked Xylem. “Are you going to make her disappear like you did with those 3 Otamots yesterday?”

    “I’m afraid it’s not that simple”, said Gangreen, “To remove a vile creature like her, you need something more extreme.” Gangreen took out yet another item from his bag. It looked like a small brown box. Gangreen pushed a small button on the side of the box and put it down on the floor. Everyone watched in shock as they saw the small box unfold and grow into something deadly.

    “What’s happening?” cried Tara, for the blindfolded girl couldn’t see that standing in front of her was a giant guillotine. Then Gangreen, grabbed Tara’s hair and placed her head down on the chopping block below.

    “NO, TARA!” cried Chad.

    “Am I in trouble?” asked Tara.

    “What sort of device is this?” asked Xylem. “It looks like something that might make a head of lettuce lose its head.”

    “Fear not, my king”, said Gangreen as he placed his hand on the lever. “Just one throw of this switch and this blade will remove the evil head of this tomato girl. But you all might want to cover yourselves up with towels or tablecloths. Sauce might get all over the place.”

    “Switch, blade, REMOVE HEAD?”! gasped Tara, now realizing the situation she was in. “NOOOOO!”

    “Are you sure this is necessary?” asked Xylem. “You know how I feel about executing people. Isn’t there another way?”

    “Please don’t go soft on me, oh great king who will lose your subjects’ faith and respect if you don’t authorize this execution”, said Gangreen. “If we don’t destroy this girl now, our planet will be doomed!”

    “Well….” Said Xylem, trying to make a decision, “Oooh, my branches hurt!”

    “Hold it!” shouted Chad as he broke free from his parents’ grasp, ran up to the guillotine, and placed his own head on the chopping block next to Tara’s head.

    “Son, what are you doing?!” gasped Rob.

    “Chad, get away from that sharp thing!” shouted Elisa.

    “I can’t!” shouted Chad, “Listen up, everyone. Tara is my best friend and one of the nicest innocent girls I know. And if you’re going to cut her head off, you’re going to have to cut off mine too!”

    “Chad?” gasped Tara.

    “Our own son sacrificing his life for a tomato?!” gasped Rob.

    “He really does care about her”, said Xylena.

    “Oh dear”, said Xylem. “We definitely can’t cut off the head of the son of our greatest heroes. Rob and Elisa might think badly of us if that happened.”

    “Somebody get that little wart’s head off my chopping block”, shouted Gangreen, “I get queasy if I have to chop off a human boy’s head.”

    “How about a Saladovian’s head?” shouted Xylena as she placed her own head on the chopping block next to Chad’s.

    “Xylena?” asked Chad looking over at the smiling Saladovian princess.”

    “Daugther, have you lost your mind?” demanded Xylem. “Get away from that death device before I lose your pretty royal head.”

    “I’m sorry, father”, said Xylena. “But Chad and Tara are really dear to me and if you execute them, you’ll have to execute me. Feel free to punish me after I lose my head.”

    “Oh no, this is a pickle indeed”, cried Xylem.

    “No, I’m a pickle”, said a nearby guest who was a small pickle.

    F.T. quickly crawled over and placed his fuzzy head next to Tara’s. “Oh, F.T!” smiled Tara as she felt F.T's cozy fur next to her cheek. F.T. made a squeak demanding if his 3 friends lose their heads, he’d lose his too.”

    “Drat!” grumbled Gangreen, “Maybe I shouldn’t’ve built a portable guillotine that’ll fit four heads.”

    “Is that fuzzy little tomato defending those kids?” asked Rob in amazement. “Maybe certain tomatoes are good.”

    “Or maybe that fuzzy thing is just defending his own tomato kind”, said Elisa, still suspicious.

    “Stop the execution!” bellowed Xylem. “I will not allow anyone to be executed tonight, especially my own daughter!”

    “You can’t be serious!” demanded Gangreen as he was about to pull down on the switch.

    “You heard what the king said!” said Wilbur as he raised his sword and stopped the blade from falling, then knocked it down onto the floor. “You’ll have to answer to my blade if you want to use your blade on these four!”

    Chad and Xylena quickly helped Tara on her feet and untied her. “Thank you, guys”, said Tara as she removed her blindfold and wiped the tears from her eyes, “I was so frightened.”

    “Don’t worry, Tara”, said Chad. “F.T. and I are always there for you.” F.T. made an agreeable squeak.

    “And I want you to know that I trust you completely, Tara”, said Xylena.

    “Thanks, Xylena”, smiled Tara as she took Xylena’s branches in friendship.

    Chad looked over at his parents. They were looking at their son with silence and probably disappointment. “Please, Mom and Dad”, pleaded Chad, “About my actions…”

    “We’ve seen enough, boy”, said Rob.

    “I must say, your father and I were pretty shocked to see our son trying to save a tomato from us. Not to mention risking his own head for a tomato”, said Elisa.

    Chad felt pretty ashamed, but then surprised when he saw his parents smiling.

    “But it took major guts to stand up for a friend like that”, smiled Rob as he gave his son a noogie, “You do have the Finletter honor and bravery in your soul.”

    “Do you mean it?” asked Chad with tears in his eyes.

    “Yes we do, dear”, smiled Elisa as she kissed Chad’s forehead. “Just try not to do anything that crazy again, otherwise if you lost your head, I’d have to find another part of your anatomy to kiss.”

    “Okay, Mom”, laughed Chad.

    “Your majesty!” demanded Gangreen. “You’ve gotta let me destroy that tomato wench! If we let her live, she’ll cause suffering to us all!”

    “My own daughter just defended her”, said Xylem, “And risked her own life to save this so called tomato girl. So she must be worthy if our beloved princess believes so. If this lady were an Otamot, I would have my worries. I give my royal decree that Tara Boumdeay will live. Now if you will excuse me, I must get some rest tonight. My trunk seems to be killing me for some reason.” Said the king as he started rubbing his back and hovered away.

    Gangreen quickly took out a small magnifying glass and saw little red bugs nibbling on the back bark of Xylem as the king had left the room. “Perfect!” snickered Gangreen, “I may not have been able to eliminate that turncoat Tara, but at least I’ll be rid of that annoying king. Darkseed’s plan seems to be working so far. HA HA HA HA!”

    Just then, Gangreen felt Photosynth tapping his back once again. “Oh, hello again, Sir P”, said Gangreen. “Pretty exciting party, wasn’t it?”

    “And it was quite messy too”, said Photosynth pointing to the damaged guillotine on the floor. “This device was your mess so you must clean it up!” and he handed Gangreen a broom and dustpan. “Now please get cleaning post haste!” said Photosynth, clapping his branches.

    “I’d like to go postal haste on you, Mr. Fancy Plants”, grumbled Gangreen as he started to clean up the mess.

    * * * * * *

    Later that night, we see Chad and Tara walking down the palace hallways back in regular clothes. “Chad”, said Tara. “I just wanted to thank you again for saving me at that party.”

    “It was nothing”, said Chad, “I’ve saved you hundreds of times.”

    “But that was when I got transformed back into a tomato”, said Tara. “But when I was trapped in that scary guillotine, you actually tried to sacrifice your own life to have me spared. I’ll never forget that.”

    “Hey, you’re my best friend”, said Chad, blushing. “And I’d know you’d do the same for me.”

    “Thank you, Chad”, smiled Tara. “Say, where are you off to?”

    “I’m going to my parents’ suite to spend some alone time with them”, said Chad. “I just want to catch up on a lot of lost time with them.”

    “I just hope your parents still don’t hate me after they found out I was really a tomato”, said Tara. “And I wonder what they think of you after they saw you defending me like that.”

    “Don’t worry”, said Chad, “I’m going to talk to Mom and Dad and do everything in my power to convince them that you’re friendly.”

    “I appreciate that”, said Tara as she yawned and headed off to the palace bedroom she was assigned to”, goodnight Chad.

    “Goodnight, Tara”, said Chad as he entered the suite of Rob and Elisa. As Chad was entering the living room, he heard his parents talking.

    “I thought that party would never be over”, said Rob.

    “Me too”, said Elisa, “Let’s just hurry up and eat before somebody comes in and sees us, especially our son.”

    “Mom, Dad?” asked Chad with curiosity

    “Son?” gasped Rob and Elisa in surprise. Chad saw his parents sitting at the kitchen counter holding spoons and eating a bag of something brown and dirty looking.

    “That, that looks like fertilizer!” gasped Chad.

    “Fertilizer?”! gasped Rob.

    “Um, um, why would you think your own parents would eat such a thing?” asked Elisa trying to think up a better story. “It’s just Sloppy Joes.”

    “And everyone knows how gross Sloppy Joes look”, said Rob.

    “It is fertilizer!” cried Chad as he looked at it even closer before Elisa could snatch it away from the counter. Then Chad had a flashback. Back when he first met Tara and F.T., Chad went into the pizza palace's storeroom to check up on his new friends to see if they needed any help with the supplies. But to Chad’s surprise, he saw both Tara and F.T. scooping up fertilizer from a bag and actually eating it. That’s when Chad found out that his new friends were actually tomatoes. Then the flashback ended.

    “Now, son”, said Rob, “There’s a very good explanation for what your mother and I were doing.”

    “You’re both tomatoes!” cried Chad.

    “We are no tomatoes!” protested Rob.

    “Don’t ever call us by that horrid name, young man”, scolded Elisa, “Or else, I’ll wash out your mouth with mineral water!” Chad became really shocked when Elisa and Rob got up from their counter stools and stood up. “AHHHHH!” shouted Chad while pointing.

    “Oh, great!” groaned Rob, “We left our robes unbuttoned!” Chad saw that his parents’ ambassador robes were unbuttoned. But instead of legs, his parents had long green stems planted in two hovering transpots.

    “You two are p, p, p, p,” stuttered Chad in horror.

    “Yes, Chad”, said Rob sadly, “Your parents are now potted plants.”

    “We were hoping you’d never have to see our new makeovers”, sighed Elisa, twiddling the leaves on her stem of a waist. “But I guess the truth had to sprout out sooner or later.”

    “I think I’m going to be sick!” groaned Chad as he tried to cover his mouth.

    “Here’s a bag to get sick in”, said Rob, handing Chad a bag.

    “Wait, dear. That’s bag has our fertilizer dinner”, said Elisa.

    “Now I know I’m going to be sick!” groaned Chad as he looked at his so called vomit bag filled with smelly fertilizer and then fainted.

    TO BE CONTINUED
    Last edited by Cullen; 11-03-2007 at 12:04 AM.

  15. #15
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    Planet of the Tomatoes

    By Cullen Pittman

    Chapter 8

    Caring Parental Plants

    The next morning, everyone was gathered in the king’s throne room staring at Rob and Elisa and their bottom halves that were stems stuck in potted transpots.

    “My parents are plants! My parents are plants!” was all that Chad could reply in shock.

    “I’ve heard of stem cell research”, said Tara. “But I’ve never seen humans with stems.”

    “It isn’t so bad once you get used to it”, said Rob. “It certainly cured my athlete’s foot forever.”

    “And we even learned how to make our own chlorophyll”, said Elisa.

    “My parents make their own chlorophyll?!” cried Chad. “I can’t believe I’m hearing this!”

    Dr. Gangreen, still disguised as Neergnag, was watching everything with amazement. “Replacing people’s legs with stems”, thought Gangreen, “How vile and twisted! I can’t wait to try that when I get back home.”

    “Yes, this is quite surprising”, said Wilbur, studying Rob and Elisa.

    “You don’t seemed so shocked and appalled as much as Chad is”, said Rob.

    “I’ve seen and experienced worse things during the Great Tomato Wars”, said Wilbur. “Getting swallowed by giant gluttonous tomatoes and seeing my fellow soldiers get transformed into tomatoes. So seeing my brother and sister in-law as potted plants is kind of minor.”

    “How did this all happen?” cried Chad. “Please someone give me an explanation!”

    “It was during the last days of the Saladovian-Otamot war”, said Rob. “Your mother and I had finally tracked down that dastardly Otamot Emperor in an abandoned warehouse.”

    “He tried to trap us and kill us both with a powerful weapon of destruction and then planned to escape”, said Elisa. “But we managed to stop him from leaving.”

    “Then there was that huge kablooey!” said Rob. “And that scumlord Emperor was destroyed forever.”

    “But your father and I also ended up losing our bottom halves in the explosion”, said Elisa. “Trust me. It was no mere tickle.”

    “Oh, that’s horrible!” cried Chad, trying not to picture the gory sight of his parents without their legs.

    “I ordered our finest doctors and surgeons to help out our two mighty heroes”, continued King Xylem. “And thanks to modern Saladovian medical procedures, we fitted Rob and Elisa with special life support stems and got them back on their brand new roots.”

    “This is too weird!” cried Chad.

    “After the war was over, I sent all of my borrowed warriors back to their home planets”, continued Xylem.

    “Unfortunately”, said Rob. “Thanks to our new life support systems, your mother and I now needed Saladovian soil to keep us alive.”

    “Which meant we could never return home to Earth”, said Elisa sadly. “We spent years in frustration knowing the thought that we could never go back to our beloved son.”

    “I’m so sorry, Chad”, said Xylena, patting Chad’s shoulders. But the boy ended up pushing her away.

    “Did you know that all of this happened to my parents?!” Chad asked Xylena.

    “Well, yes”, said Xylena with a somber look.

    “And you never told me?!” demanded Chad. “Why, Xylena?!”

    “I was afraid to”, said Xylena, meekly.

    “Please don’t blame Xylena, Chad”, said Elisa. “We asked her not to tell you. We were afraid if she told you the truth, you’d never want to see us ever again.”

    “I guess we were hoping we could hide our stem secret from you until our deathbeds”, said Rob, “We’re so sorry, son.”

    “No, it’s not your fault”, said Chad calmly. “It’s all YOUR FAULT!” he shouted in an angry voice pointing to King Xylem.

    “Chad?!" gasped Tara.

    “You gave the orders to abduct innocent people from their home planets, including my parents, so you could have them fight dangerous enemies without their say so!” screamed Chad. “It’s because of you I lost my parents for 5 years and that they now need dirt to survive! This is all your royal majesty’s fault and I’ll never forgive you for this!”

    “Chad, quiet down!” pleaded Elisa.

    “How dare you talk to the king that way!” said Photosynth in a shocked voice.

    “No, Photosynth. I deserved to be yelled at”, said Xylem, with a sad voice. “Chad, I just want to tell you that, that, AUUUUGH!”

    “Father, what’s wrong?” asked Xylena as she saw her father holding his back side in pain.

    “It’s my bottom trunk!” cried Xylem. “It’s like a huge pain that’s gnawing at my very soul. ARRRRGGH!” And suddenly, he ended up falling off his flower pot throne and landed on the floor on his back.

    “FATHER!” cried Xylena as everyone watched in horror as they saw the mighty oak tree king lying on his back like a giant majestic monumental tree that was cut down at the prime of his life.

    “Oh, my dear mother’s bark!” cried Photosynth as he watched a frightened Xylena rush to her father’s aid. Everyone gathered around the fallen king and watched brown sap oozing out of his cut off bottom. Gangreen silently took a rag and started to wipe up some of the sap.

    “Father, are you all right?” cried Xylena. “Please speak to me!”

    “I think I’ll take a nap now”, said a dazed Xylem, “An eternal nap! I’d like to set a royal wake up call for my next life. Goodnight!” and Xylem passed out to Xylena’s horror.

    Photosynth looked over at the giant flower pot throne that now consisted of just soil and a huge green stump and noticed tiny red crawly things. He took out a flower shaped magnifying glass and studied the tiny creatures. “Oh dear! Timbermites!” cried Photosynth. “Here in the royal palace! Guard, remove these little beasts at once before they eat the rest of us!”

    A flytrap slithered over to the stump and started to suck up all the bugs like a vacuum. “Very good”, said Photosynth, “You’ve gotten rid of every one of those evil pests.”

    “What kind of bugs were those things?” asked Wilbur.

    “Timbermites”, said Photosynth, “They may be tiny, but those little demons love to nibble on the trunks of giant sized Saladovians leaving them separated from their roots.”

    “But I don’t understand it”, wailed Xylena, still holding onto her father’s passed out head. “Timbermites are only found on that awful Otamot 13 planet. How could they have gotten here?”

    “I think I know why!” said Gangreen pointing to Tara. “That tomato girl must’ve smuggled them in!”

    “Me?” gasped Tara.

    “Her?”! gasped Rob and Elisa.

    “Didn’t I warn all of you that tomatoes couldn’t be trusted?” demanded Gangreen. “I bet she’s in league with the Otamots and they gave her those Timbermites so she could help them overthrow the king! Oh, why didn’t you listen to me, Oh Too Trusting King of Saladovia!”

    “But I never did anything like that”, pleaded Tara. “You’ve got to believe me!”

    “Excuse me”, called out a tiny little voice. Everyone looked down and saw a tiny sunflower standing in the center of the room.

    “That looks like the sunflower camera that’s been following Whitley White around”, said Chad, “But only smaller.”

    “What are you doing here little sunflower?” asked Elisa.

    “My name is Jasun”, said the small flower. “And I have something you need to see.”

    “I’m sorry, young plant”, said Photosynth, “But we don’t have time to entertain you right now. As you can see, our king has been assassinated and we….”

    But before Photosynth could say another word, Jasun folded his petals forming a video camera and broadcasted a film on the top ceiling. It was the party that happened last night. Jasun fast forwarded to the scene where everyone was in panic when they saw the Tara Tomato.

    “Why must I relive that nightmare last night?”, cried Tara.

    “Wait, look!” said Chad. “There’s Dr. Neergnag trying to protect the king. But what’s that bottle the doctor’s holding?”

    “Oh, gee”, trembled Gangreen as he and everyone else watched as Jasun zoomed into what the doctor was holding in the film. It was a bottle of Timbermites and he was pouring it into Xylem’s flower pot throne. Then the film stopped.

    “You did this to my father?” cried Xylena. “But, why?”

    “Uh, uh, um, er”, was all that the nervous Gangreen could say while the angry people in the room surrounded him. “I got nothing!” was all he could say.

    “No one does that to my buddy, the king!” growled Rob as he grabbed Gangreen by his leaf wig, but ended up pulling it off along with his phony pointed ears. Everyone became shocked when they saw Gangreen’s gray hair.

    “You’re not a Saladovian!” gasped Photosynth. “Who are you?”

    “He’s Dr. Putrid T. Gangreen!” shouted Chad.

    “A very evil man!” said Tara with a scowl.

    “Dr. Gangreen?” asked Elisa. “You mean that guy who first created the killer tomatoes a long time ago?”

    “The very same!” growled Wilbur as he took out his sword and aimed it at the now exposed doctor. “I don’t know how you got all the way here to Saladovia, but I’m gonna make sure you don’t leave here in one piece!”

    “Guards, seize that evil monster!” shouted Xylena with sadness and rage in her voice. Then all of a sudden, 10 flytraps with anger in their teeth slithered and surrounded Dr. Gangreen.

    “Uh, oh. Time to go”, said Gangreen as he fiddled through his bag and pulled out a small gun that looked like a squeezable ketchup bottle. He started firing red sauce on the floor that suddenly burned small holes into the carpet. The flytraps slithered back in caution.

    “What is that stuff?” gasped Rob.

    “Why it’s my specialty 5000 alarm spicy ketchup”, said Gangreen with a wicked smile as he grabbed Chad and put him in a headlock.

    “You let go of our boy!” shouted Elisa, as she Rob, and Wilbur were about to charge at the scientist.

    “Hold it right there!” said Gangreen as he put his ketchup gun against Chad’s head. “One false move and I’ll inject my red hot condiment into this boy’s head. And his brain will become more than well done!”

    “NOOOO! Not my baby!” cried Elisa.

    “I knew you’d caring parents types would see things my way”, laughed Gangreen as he clicked on a device attached to his collar. Suddenly, Gangreen’s rocket cucumber smashed through the palace wall and the door to the rocket opened. Everyone fell back as Gangreen entered the rocket taking Chad with him.

    “MOM, DAD!” cried Chad as the door slammed and the rocket quickly backed up and blasted away.

    “Our son!” cried Rob and Elisa.

    “My nephew!” cried Wilbur.

    “CHAD!” cried both Tara and Xylena together.

    “And my father too!” cried Xylena as she looked down at her injured father and back over to the escaping rocket.

    Photosynth took out a squash shaped cell-phone and started to dial it. “Hello, greenhouse security”, said Photosynth. “Do listen up. A rocket cucumber piloted by a dastardly villain is likely going to try to escape our planet. So keep that door shut tightly. Add more doors if you have to. Just don’t let that rocket escape Saladovia!”

    “Finally, a way to get inside”, called out Whitley White as he and Sunny the Sunflower camera entered through the giant smashed hole in the wall. “Whitley White, finally reporting from inside the royal palace of Saladovia”, said Whitley, “And I am about to get an exclusive interview with his highness, the king.” Whitley then looked down and became surprised as he saw King Xylem on the floor unconscious and everyone still looking shocked. “Um, it looks like the king isn’t available for comments right now”, said Whitley, tugging at his collar. “So this is Whitley White signing off for now. Where do you keep the royal snacks, I’m starving!”

    * * * * * *

    The Saladovian Security guard was watching the door on the giant greenhouse through his monitor and then saw the evil rocket cucumber zooming at high speed. The guard quickly pushed a lot of buttons on his control deck and about 20 different doors started to cover up the original door. Some of the doors had different TV logos written on them like Bobby’s World, Tom and Jerry Kids, Peter Pan and the Pirates, Beetlejuice, Taz-Mania, Little Shop, and The Fox Kids Club. Then a final strong steel door slammed down causing the rocket to stop. But the rocket ended up ejecting a cannon and firing what looked like a giant tomato bomb causing all the doors to explode leaving a giant hole in the greenhouse. Then the rocket escaped and headed straight for Otamot 13.

    “Wow, whoever’s piloting that thing is sure an expert locksmith”, said the guard. “I wonder if he can help me get my keys out of my locked car?”

    * * * * * *

    Next, we look inside Darkseed’s castle. A tied up Chad was walking down a hallway while Gangreen was following behind pointing his ketchup gun to Chad’s back. “That’s it”, said Gangreen, “Just keep walking like a good smart little boy and don’t try anything funny.”

    Chad was just too depressed to think about anything funny. His parents were potted plants and now Xylena’s own father had just been de-potted. Just then, Igor started running down the hallway.

    “Doc, you made it back in one piece!” said Igor in a panting exhausted voice.

    “What happened to you while I was gone?” asked Gangreen.

    “Those Otamot dudes sure have a weird way of having fun”, said Igor. “They wanted to play volleyball with me, but I was the ball. Then they wanted to play baseball with me, only this time I was the bat. And then they wanted to play Scrabble with me!” Igor turned around and showed off connected words like doofus, dweeb, and bonehead written on his coat. Then he turned around and saw Chad. “Hey, Chadster”, said Igor. “How are you doing?”

    “I could be a lot better”, sighed Chad.

    “Enough with the pleasantries”, said Gangreen, “I gotta report to Darkseed now. Move it, you brat!” and he continued marching while pushing Chad in front of him while Igor followed behind.

    As they entered the throne room of the castle, the Gang of 6 approached them. “Hey, Doc”, said Zoltan. “You better have brought back some of that soil for us. But at least enough for me though.”

    “Sorry, Zoltan”, said Gangreen. “I suddenly had to rush back right away. No time to pick up any soil.”

    “WHAT!” growled the Gang of 6 in angry voices.

    “Aw, man!” groaned Ketchuck, “And I was hoping to wet my whistle with some more succulent Saladovian soil you gave us a couple of days ago.”

    “You whistle is always wet, Ketchuck”, said Tomacho, trying to catch the plops of drool coming from Ketchuck’s mouth.

    “You gave those tomatoes Saladovian soil?” Chad asked Gangreen as he saw the dazed Gang of 6 with bloodshot eyes.

    “Why not?” said Gangreen. “I think it’s really improved my army of turncoat tomatoes.”

    “Wait a minute”, said Beefsteak as he started sniffing Chad’s sneakers with his bull-like nose. “I think this kid had been standing on Saladovian soil.”

    “Well then it’s time for some sole food”, said Zoltan as he picked up Chad by the ankles. “Soil covered foot soles that is!” And he started looking at the boy’s shoes.

    “Hey, make sure you leave some for us!” shouted Mumato.

    “Nyahh, forget it!” grumbled Zoltan.

    “What, you’re not gonna share with us you selfish tomato pig?!” demanded Fang.

    “Don’t judge me!” growled Zoltan as he showed his comrades Chad’s feet. “It’s just that there ain’t one ounce of soil on his shoes to even share. This twerp would have to wipe his feet before going indoors!” And he threw Chad back to Gangreen.

    “So when in this century are we gonna get some Saladovian soil?” wailed Ketchuck.

    “How about you, Gangreen?” asked Mumato. “You wouldn’t happen to have any soil stuck to those root boots you’re wearing?”

    “If it’ll shut all of you up, they’re yours!” grumbled Gangreen as he pulled off his root shaped boots and threw them to the Gang of 6.

    “There is soil on these soles!” said Mumato studying the root boots.

    “MEALTIME!” shouted the tomatoes as they pounced on the boots like a pack of jackals and started tearing them up. Then they all lay there on the floor with dazed looks and started giggling like mindless dolts.

    “Xylena wasn’t kidding when she said that Saladovian soil was dangerous to other plant life”, gasped Chad.

    “Dr. Gangreen”, bellowed a monstrous voice. “Come forth and report!”

    “On my way, oh great Emperor Darkseed”, said Gangreen as he and Igor pushed Chad along leaving the soil filled Gang of 6 behind. Suddenly, Chad found himself facing a huge black metal Otamot sitting on a dark throne.

    “Dr. Gangreen”, said Darkseed in sort of a disturbed voice. “Why have you returned? You were supposed to give us the signal to start the invasion.”

    “The ending part of your plan sort of got snafued, oh hopefully forgiving emperor”, said Gangreen nervously. “But at least I still followed the beginning part of your instructions to the letter. I implanted those so-called Timbermites into the king’s pot causing him to go down like a precious rainforest. I even got his sap to prove it!” and he showed Darkseed the sap covered rag.

    “Excellent”, cackled Darkseed as he took the rag. “With the Saladovian’s precious king gone, those sorry Saladovians will feel even more sorrier! Oh my dear Gangreen, after you’ve done away with the king, you were originally supposed to take control of the main control room that operates the greenhouse door so you can open it up and let us all in to invade. But instead, it looks like you blasted away the door leaving a huge hole for us to come through anytime. That’s even better! And I wasn’t expecting you to get me the sap of the Saladovian king, but this will come in very useful to me! You actually did good Gangreen.”

    “Thank you, your majesty”, said Gangreen as he watched Darkseed laughing wickedly.

    Gangreen started laughing with Darkseed as well while Igor started laughing his dopey laughs too. “Come on, kid. Laugh with us”, Igor told Chad. “Laughter’s more fun when it’s a group effort.”

    “Sorry, but I’m not in the mood right now”, sighed Chad.

    Darkseed stopped laughing and noticed the tied up boy standing between the laughing Gangreen and Igor. “And just who is this rather small life form?” asked Darkseed.

    “Oh, just some brat named Finletter that I was forced to take as a hostage”, said Gangreen.

    “FINLETTER?!” gasped a shocked Darkseed as smoke blew out of the sides of his helmet, “As in Rob and Elisa Finletter?”

    “They’re my parents”, said Chad. “Do you know them?”

    “Let’s say that my life was changed not for the better because of those two”, grumbled Darkseed in an angry voice, but then calmed down, “I think I’ll let this explain everything.” The dark emperor released a black cloud over his head and it showed what looked like a flashback.

    Chad watched as he saw his own parents, who still had their legs back then, rushing through the Saladovian streets and ending up in front of a watermelon shaped warehouse. “I just saw Darkseed go in there”, said Elisa.

    “Well then let’s go kick some dark emperor duff!” shouted Rob as he kicked the door down and he and Elisa entered the dark place. “Darkseed”, shouted Rob. “It’s over! Come out with your vines up!”

    “Oh, yes it is over”, said Darkseed, stepping out of the darkness. Back then, he was a regular red fleshed Otamot. “Over for you two Earth worms!” And he turned on the light and exposed a giant tomato shaped bomb that was bigger than all of them. “In just a minute, this warehouse will explode along with you two.”

    “Not if we, hey we’re stuck!” gasped Rob as he and Elisa looked down and saw some sticky red goo on the floor and found both their feet stuck in it.

    “What is this stuff?” gasped Elisa.

    “It’s what I like to call psycho glue”, laughed Darkseed, “We wouldn’t want you two to be execution dodgers?” Then Darkseed activated the rocket pack he was wearing and started to float up to a hole in the roof. “Farewell, my dear Finletters”, said Darkseed. “You were worthy foes and it’s been fun. But I fear our fun will soon be over forever. HA HA HA HA!” and Darkseed started to rocket out through the hole in the roof.

    “I can’t believe this is the end!” gasped Elisa, who was trying to get her legs free, but couldn’t. “We’re both going to die and we'll never see our Chad again!”

    “If that’s so, we’ll make sure that dirtball who caused all of this goes down with us!” shouted Rob as he took out his eggbeater gun and blasted a twirling beater at Darkseed’s rocket pack.

    “What the…” gasped Darkseed as he saw sparks coming out behind him. Then his rocket pack suddenly short circuited and stopped working causing the evil emperor to fall back down into the warehouse and landing on top of Rob and Elisa.

    “Oh, sauce!” gasped Darkseed as he and the two Earthlings saw the bomb explode and the entire warehouse blew up causing seeds and juice to cover the neighborhood. Then it showed a black seed zooming into outer space because of the explosion. The seed turned out to be Darkseed who had lost his original body forever and ended up floating in space for a long time, until he was picked up by a traveling alien saleswoman who was looking for space artifacts to sell as souvenirs. Then the flashback stopped and the dark cloud over the metal Darkseed’s head dissolved.

    “That’s a cool trick, Emperor dude”, said Igor. “Can you pick up the sand castle building channel with that trick?”

    “So it was you who hurt my parents you rotten evil space vegetable!” shouted Chad in an angry voice while tears filled his eyes. “And now they’re forced to live on life supporting stems with no way to return to Earth! I’LL KILL YOU FOR THIS!” and he charged at the curious emperor. But since Chad’s arms were tied, all he could do was slam his side against Darkseed’s metal cheek and kick his metal shins. Darkseed just silently grabbed Chad with both his metal hands and looked at the angry boy.

    “Yes, you are brave, but angry. Just like your parents”, said Darkseed and he squeezed Chad causing the boy to shed tears and faint. Then Darkseed signaled for Commander Paste to come forth.

    “Shall I gather up the troops so we can start the invasion, your majesty?” asked Paste.

    “No, not yet”, said Darkseed. “I dare not attack right now knowing that those two meddlesome Finletters could ruin my plans. I’ll need to get them out of the way first.”

    Darkseed then threw the unconscious Chad into the commander’s arms. “For now, lock this annoying child in our darkest, smelliest dungeon”, commanded Darkseed.

    “At once, my emperor”, said Paste as he took the boy out of the throne room. Darkseed’s black metal started to turn a red hot red.

    “Are you mad, Emperor Darkseed?” asked Gangreen.

    “He’s not mad, he’s angry”, said Igor.

    “Quiet, you knucklehead”, whispered Gangreen. “That’s my line!”

    “Oh no, I’m perfectly all right”, said Darkseed as his metal turned black again and his double mouth vents turned into two evil smiles. “In fact, I’m happy that my two arch enemies have survived my death trap. It gives me the chance to torment them once again, along with a third little Finletter. Yes, this will be a glorious day for the Otamot Empire. HA HA HA HA!”

    * * * * * *

    Back at Pumpkingham Palace in Saladovia, Tara, F.T, Photosynth, and Xylena were sadly looking through the window of the royal infirmary. Xylena was in tears as she saw her father, the kind King Xylem, lying on a medical vat of soil with little tulip vines stuck all over his body that were all connected to a melon shaped monitor. A group of Saladovian doctors and nurses were doing everything in their power to keep their king alive. “I can’t believe this happened to my own father”, wailed Xylena. “And it’s all my fault!”

    “Please don’t say that, Xylena”, said Tara placing her hands on Xylena’s shoulders. “It was that awful Dr. Gangreen’s fault. He was the one who did this to your father.”

    “But if I hadn’t brought all of you here to my planet, that evil Gangreen wouldn’t have followed us and wouldn’t have found a way to get into our world and earn my father’s trust”, wailed Xylena. “I started all of this!”

    “Please try to forgive yourself, my princess”, said Photosynth. “As you can see, we have the finest medics in Saladovia doing what they can to help your father and our beloved king. We just have to wait and hope.”

    “And not only that”, wailed Xylena. “Poor Chad is now in the clutches of that evil doctor. Who knows where he has taken Chad and what’s in store for him right now?”

    “I too am worried”, cried Tara, looking up in the air. “Chad, please try to survive what you’re going through right now.”

    * * * * * *

    Outside the palace, Rob, Elisa, and Wilbur were pacing around in circles. Actually, Wilbur was the only one pacing while Rob and Elisa were hovering in their transpots. They were looking at the huge hole in the palace wall made by Dr. Gangreen’s rocket cucumber and then they looked up in the sky where another huge hole was in the giant greenhouse. “I can’t believe he took away our baby!” wailed Elisa.

    “Everything will be okay, doll-face”, said Rob, trying to comfort her. “We’ll do everything in our power to get our son back safe and sound!”

    “I can’t believe that nice Dr. Neergnag was actually that rat, Dr. Gangreen!” grumbled Wilbur. “I can’t believe he fooled me. For the 134th time! But don’t worry!” said Wilbur as an American flag appeared behind him. “As long as I have one ounce of life in me, I’m going to search this endless universe until I track down Gangreen and rescue Chad. Even when I turn old and gray, I still won’t surrender my fanny to any wheelchair. I’ll keep my parachute behind me and my sword in my wrinkled decaying hand until I bring my dear nephew and your son back in one piece!”

    “That was an interesting speech, brother”, said Rob as he and Elisa looked puzzled at Wilbur who was wiping the dust off the American flag that suddenly appeared out of nowhere.

    “Rob”, asked Elisa. “How does your brother make giant flags appear like that?”

    “I don’t really know”, said Rob. “But that talent of his sure worked great in our grade school Presidents Day pageants.”

    Just then, something round and red started to rocket through the giant hole in the greenhouse.

    “What’s going on out here?” asked Photosynth, as he and the others ran outside and saw what looked like a tomato shaped spaceship landing in the royal courtyard.

    “It looks like a giant space tomato”, gasped Tara.

    “Even worse”, said Xylena, “An Otamot mini-cruiser.”

    “Stay back everyone”, said Rob, taking out his gun. “Who knows how many of those savage Otamots could come out?” Sure enough, the door to the spaceship opened, but instead of Otamots, out came a hovering TV screen and on the screen they saw a black metal Otamot sitting on a throne.

    “Greetings my dear Saladovian neighbors”, said Darkseed in a pleasant voice. “Long time no seize!”

    “Who or what is that metal bodied creature?” gasped Tara as her eyes glowed red.

    “I recognize that voice”, gasped Xylena. “It’s Darkseed! That horrible Emperor of the planet Otamot 13!”

    “And it’s nice to see your sweet face again, Princess Xylena”, said Darkseed, “And when I mean sweet, I mean served in a salad with sweet dressing!”

    “What are you doing alive you creep?!” demanded Rob in an angry voice.

    “Rob and I thought we destroyed you!” demanded Elisa.

    “And I thought I destroyed the both of you as well”, sighed Darkseed. “I guess fate felt like being kind to all three of us. We should all have a get together, which I think should happen right now! Now do listen good, I have a young guest in my deepest, smelliest dungeon. He goes by the name of Chad.”

    “My baby?!” cried Elisa.

    “I take it that you know the boy?” asked Darkseed.

    “I’m warning you Darkseed”, shouted Rob. “Lay one metal leaf on our son and we’ll….”

    “Don’t worry, Robert”, said Darkseed. “Your son is unharmed for now. Here’s what I want you and your wife to do. In about 10 minutes, the automatic pilot of this spaceship will be heading back to Otamot 13. And I want you two to be onboard it. But no one else and you will leave your weapons behind. Otherwise, if my minions find anything that isn’t Otamot related, your sweet little boy will pay the price. And I doubt the highest allowance you give him won’t be able to fill that price.”

    “You ugly monster!” shouted Elisa.

    “Yes, I do miss my original handsome face”, sighed Darkseed. “Remember, you both have 10 minutes to board. And one more thing, this message will self destruct in 10 seconds. Bye bye!” Then the screen went off.

    “Everyone down!” shouted Rob. Everyone got down on the ground as they heard an explosion and found themselves covered with red stuff.

    “Is it blood?” gasped Tara.

    “Nope”, said Wilbur tasting the stuff. “It’s tomato juice. The same type of brand Gangreen likes to leave behind.”

    “So this Gangreen must be working for Darkseed”, said Rob.

    “And they have our Chad”, cried Elisa. “We have to help him!” And she made her way to the entrance of the spaceship while Rob followed her.

    “You two aren’t really going into that evil spaceship?” asked Photosynth.

    “They have to”, said Xylena. “It’s the only way to insure Chad’s safety.”

    “I’m coming with you guys”, said Wilbur, taking out his sword. “I’ll show that armored freak what happens when you mess with the Finletters!”

    “No, only Rob and I can go”, said Elisa. “Darkseed said he would send his minions into the ship to check for anyone else and any weapons. Who knows what they could do to Chad if they find you in there welding a sword?”

    “But..” said Wilbur.

    “Elisa’s right”, said Rob, handing his eggbeater gun to Wilbur. “You’ve protected Chad for 5 years. Now it’s Elisa’s and my turn to save our son. So just us two are going to Otamot 13 unarmed, and also unlegged thanks to that evil Darkseed!”

    “Wait”, said Tara, “F.T. and I can go with you.”

    “But we just said earlier”, said Elisa. “Darkseed doesn’t want anyone else in the spaceship.”

    “He only said he didn’t want anything that isn't Otamot related”, said Tara. “But what if F.T. and I disguise ourselves as stowaway Otamots? That way, we can sneak around the castle and find where Chad is.”

    “Can you two pull it off?” asked Rob.

    “Watch this”, said Tara as she took out a black marker and drew an extra eye in the center of F.T.’s face and drew an extra mouth under his real mouth making him kind of look like a small fuzzy Otamot.

    “That does look kind of convincing”, said Elisa. “But how will you disguise yourself, Tara?”

    “I really hate to do this to myself”, sighed Tara taking out a salt shaker. “But this is for Chad”, Tara sprinkled some salt on herself transforming her into a small tomato once again. Then F.T. took the marker and drew 3 eyes and two mouths on the front of Tara Tomato. Then the two tomatoes ran and hopped into the spaceship and wiggled their leaves signaling Rob and Elisa to come in.

    “Can we really trust our son’s safety in the hands of two tomatoes?” Elisa asked Rob.

    “Chad was willing to sacrifice his own head for the tomato girl”, said Rob. “So I have a feeling things will be okay with those two little redheads on our side.” Elisa nodded as she and Rob stepped into the spaceship as well. Soon, the door automatically closed and the Otamot spaceship blasted off through the hole in the greenhouse.

    “Good luck my brother and sister in-law”, said Wilbur saluting.

    “Please bring Chad back safely”, whispered Xylena.

    “This is Whitley White reporting live from an official Saladovian crisis”, said Whitley. “The king has been assassinated, young Chad Finletter has been taken prisoner by an evil emperor from a neighboring planet, and the two Earth heroes, Rob and Elisa Finletter, are off to the dangerous planet of Otamot 13 with whose fates are in the hands of two small heroic tomatoes. If only I could get the whole story. Um, Sunny. Are you filming me?”

    Whitley saw Sunny looking around the ground frantically. “Jasun, where are you?” she said in a panic. “Oh no! I can’t find my son! Where has he gone?!”

    “And it looks like the news gets even more exciting”, continued Whitley. “My own film crew has lost her sunflower son. This is Whitley White who’ll be bringing you more updates, Goodday!” and Whitley got whacked on the head by an angry sunflower. “OW!” cried Whitley, rubbing his thick hair. “My comb over is my most sensitive body part!”

    * * * * * *

    Soon, the Otamot spaceship had landed in the front of Darkseed’s palace. Commander Paste and two Otamot guards were waiting as the door of the spaceship automatically opened.

    “Step outside with your hands up, both of you”, commanded Paste. Rob and Elisa obeyed and slowly moved out of the spaceship. The two Otamot soldiers handcuffed the two Earthlings with green colored cuffs.

    “I certainly don’t miss the smell of Otamot breath!” said Elisa frowning.

    “The only Otamot breath I like is an Otamot’s last breath”, grumbled Rob.

    “Very funny!” sneered Paste, then turned to the guards. “Search the spaceship and see if they have anyone or anything deadly in there.” He commanded. The two Otamot guards took out some axes and rushed into the spaceship. A minute later, the Otamots exited.

    “Have you found any weapons or stowaways in there?” asked Paste.

    “No”, said the first Otamot soldier, “But we found these two little Otamot kids hanging around”, and the soldiers showed Paste the two creatures in their hands that were F.T. and Tara Tomato.

    “They must’ve snuck onboard before the spaceship left our planet”, said the second soldier as they put the two tomatoes down.

    “Why did you two sprouts climb onboard an official Otamot spaceship?” demanded Paste. “And aren’t you supposed to be in Otamot Kindergarten?”

    F.T. and Tara made unclear squeaks in tomato language.

    “Aw, sprout talk”, said the first Otamot soldier.

    “Ain’t they cute?” said the second soldier.

    “Yeah, cute”, sighed Paste. “Let’s just take the prisoners to Emperor Darkseed. And you two sprouts, go back home to your mother so she can severely punish you like a good Otamot parent does best!”

    As F.T. watched the Otamots take Rob and Elisa into the palace, Tara squeaked for F.T. They were looking at a vent around the bottom outside wall of the palace. F.T. took a screwdriver out from his fur, unscrewed the vent cover, and both tomatoes entered the ventilation shafts.

    As the two small tomatoes wandered through the shafts, they looked through the vent windows and saw different rooms like a battle arena where Otamots were kicking and beating the sauce out of one another, a lab where Otamot scientists were doing experiments on smaller weaker Otamots and a cafeteria where Otamot soliders were eating dirt patties. F.T. watched as he saw an Otamot eating a dirtburger. The fuzzy tomato made a horrible smirk for the dirt inside that bun didn’t look appetizing at all. It lacked the smell and ripe color of the Saladovian soil he never got to taste. Tara squeaked at F.T. telling him to come over to another vent.

    The two tomatoes were looking at a dungeon and they saw Chad sitting on the floor, tied up with a chain that was attached to the wall. He looked like his spirit had been squashed like a tomato. F.T. took out his screwdriver again and opened up the vent.

    “What was that?” gasped Chad as he saw the vent window on the top wall fall onto the floor. Then he saw two tomatoes jump down and come to him. “F.T, Tara?” asked Chad.

    F.T. made a correct squeak as he reached into his fur, pulled out a tiny pepper shaker, and sprinkled it over Tara’s tomato head. Then the tomato sneezed and transformed back into a girl. “Chad, I’m so glad we found you”, said Tara, hugging the chained up boy. “Don’t worry, Chad. Everything’s going to be all right.”

    “I wish that were true”, sighed Chad with tears in his eyes, “I don’t think anything’s going to be all right anymore, knowing that my own parents are now rooted plants.”

    “Hey, my parents were rooted plants too”, said Tara. “At least you got to be reunited with your parents for a while. But as for me, my own tomato mother and father got turned into sauce and poured into a can of microwavable ravioli! I hardly ever got a chance to know them as a little seed.”

    “I’m sorry, Tara”, said Chad. “I never saw it that way. I guess I should be grateful that my parents are still alive.”

    “I’m afraid they may not be for long”, said Tara. “Some awful Otamot guards just took your parents away to meet that evil Darkseed.”

    “No, that can’t happen!” cried Chad. “Darkseed hates Mom and Dad for what they did to him. We gotta save them!” Chad tried to get up, but forgot he was chained to the wall.

    “Allow me”, said Tara as she used her tomato powers to release Chad from his metal coils.

    “Thanks Tara”, said Chad. “Now how do we get out of this cell?”

    “The same way F.T. and I got in”, said Tara as she picked up F.T. and placed him back in the above ventilation shaft. Then she pushed Chad who was just small enough to fit though the shafts. Chad took Tara’s hand and tried to pull her in, but she couldn’t seem to fit through.

    “Oh yes, I forgot”, sighed Tara as she took out the salt shaker again and sprinkled some salt on herself. Chad found himself holding a small tomato in his hand. Then the Tara Tomato hopped off and signaled Chad and F.T. to follow her through the shafts.

    Suddenly, F.T. looked through another vent window and made a squeak. “What did you find, F.T?” asked Chad as he and Tara crawled over and peeked through. There they saw a room filled with many tomato shaped bombs. “I recognize those”, gasped Chad. “They’re bombs! Darkseed used one of them to hurt my parents which caused them to be what they are today! There must be over ten thousand bombs in that room. Think of the more people he could hurt with those deadly things!”

    Tara Tomato patted Chad’s hand with her leaf comforting him. “I’ll be okay, Tara”, said Chad. “Let’s continue finding my Mom and Dad.”

    Soon, our heroes came to one last vent window. They peeked through and found Darkseed’s throne room. Darkseed, Gangreen, and Igor were looking evil-eyed at Rob and Elisa, who were standing there in handcuffs. “Mom and Dad!” gasped Chad, but then covered his mouth to make sure no one heard him.

    “Well, well. Rob and Elisa Finletter”, smiled Darkseed while twiddling his metal fingers. “Here we are meeting face to face to face again!”

    “If you can call that scrap iron you’re wearing a face, Dirtseed!” growled Rob. “And I think it’s an improvement from your original ugly face!”

    “Still a sarcastic smart mouth, are we, Mr. Finletter?” sighed Darskeed. “And by the way, I loved what you’re now using for legs. Stems and floating flower pots. I can’t help to think I was responsible for all of this. That’s right. I was! HA HA HA HA!”

    “And you, Dr. Neergnag, or Gangreen”, demanded Elisa. “What have you done to my Chad? You had better not hurt him!”

    “Oh no”, said Gangreen politely. “I would never dream of actually harming the dear boy. He has been a worthy adversary back on Earth, always foiling my evil plans of world domination. You should be very proud of him.”

    “Well, thank you for those kind words about my son”, said Elisa, proudly. “But I’m still going to kick your butt if you don’t tell me where Chad is!”

    “Unfortunately, I’m afraid you won’t be seeing your boy right now or actually never”, said Darkseed. “You see, I want you two Finletters out of the picture before I start my invasion of Saladovia. I can’t afford you two destroying my body a second time, which is why I’m going to destroy yours right now!” And Darkseed pushed a button on the side of his throne causing the floor under Rob and Elisa to split open revealing a dark pit. Then a vacuum started to pull Rob and Elisa down into the darkness.

    “You’re gonna suffer for this you metal sleazeball!” shouted Rob from the pit as the floor started to close.

    “Mom and Dad!” gasped Chad who was watching from the vent.

    “Now that I had my fun, it’s time for me to have even more fun”, laughed Darkseed as he released his dark mist causing the soil happy Gang of 6 to get back up and approach the emperor.

    “What do you want this time?” said Zoltan in a groggy voice.

    “I just need you and your minions to partake in a little experiment”, said Darkseed, “If you all would just follow me into the palace laboratory?”

    “Is there soil in that lab?” asked Ketchuck.

    “Not yet”, said Darkseed. “But if things are successful. We’ll be up to our stems in Saladovian soil.”

    “YEAH!” said the hyper Gang of 6 as they followed Darkseed into another room while Gangreen and Igor followed after them.

    Once the throne room was empty, Chad managed to kick the vent window off and jump into the throne room. F.T. and Tara Tomato jumped out too while Chad caught them. Then Chad put down the two tomatoes, took out some pepper, and returned Tara to her girl form once again.

    “My parents are down there!” cried Chad. “Who knows how far they’ve fallen into that dark pit!”

    “Maybe it’s not so far”, said Tara. “I’ll try using my tomato powers to get it open.” Tara’s eyes glowed red and the floor doors started to twitch a little, but they just wouldn’t open. “Sorry, Chad”, said an exhausted Tara. “But these doors are too strong for my powers to open.”

    “I saw Darkseed hit a button on the side of his throne”, said Chad. “I think it was on the right side.” F.T. found the button and pushed it. And sure enough, the doors opened. But when F.T. took his leaf off the button, the doors slammed shut again.

    “Keep your leaf on the button, F.T.”, called out Chad, “Until we get my parents out of that pit.” F.T. nodded and kept his leaf on the button causing the doors to the pit to stay open.

    “Should we just step in there?” asked Tara. But then that vacuum force ended up pulling both Chad and Tara into the pit while F.T. squeaked in fear.

    “Don’t worry, F.T”, called out Tara’s voice. “We’re perfectly safe. We didn’t fall far at all.”

    “Just keep those doors open”, called out Chad. F.T. made a sigh of relief.

    Inside the pit, Chad and Tara stood up and found themselves facing Rob and Elisa.

    “Chad honey, you’re all right!” cried Elisa as she draped her cuffed hands around Chad and kissed him.

    “I knew those Otamot creeps couldn’t keep our son down”, said Rob.

    “Don’t worry, Mom and Dad”, said Chad. “We’re going to get you both out of here, right Tara?”

    “You’d better believe it”, said Tara as she used her tomato powers to break Rob and Elisa free from their cuffs.

    “Thanks, Tara”, said Elisa, hugging the girl. “You truly are a nice tomato.”

    “My feelings exactly, Tara babe”, said Rob winking.

    “Aw, thank you”, smiled Tara.

    “Hey, what’s that slowly coming over here?” asked Chad. It looked like a moving wall with pointy objects attached to it. “Don’t tell me they’re using the old spikes on a moving wall cliché?” asked Chad.

    “Moving wall, yes”, gasped Tara, “But no spikes! They’re using silverware!” Sure enough, the moving wall had giant kitchen knives and forks attached to it. And they were slowly getting closer to our heroes.

    “I guess vegetable heads like Otamots would consider knives and forks death traps”, said Rob.

    “Anyone got any ideas how we can get out of here?” asked Elisa.

    “I’ll use my tomato powers to lift us out of this pit”, said Tara. “Everyone get ready”, but before she could start up her powers, the top doors slid closed preventing them from escaping.

    “F.T., what’s going on up there?” shouted Chad as our heroes watched nervously as the utensils of doom were moving closer.

    The reason the floor doors closed was because F.T. found himself backed in a corner by Darkseed, Gangreen, and Igor. “What sort of Otamot child is this?” asked Darkseed.

    “The little Otamot dude really needs a haircut”, said Igor.

    “Fool!” grumbled Gangreen as he took a rag and wiped the Otamot makeup off of F.T.’s face. “That’s no Otamot! It’s that failed fuzzy tomato experiment of mine! He’s trying to free the prisoners!”

    “Shall I squash him?” asked Igor while F.T. started shaking nervously.

    “No, I think he’s kind of adorable”, said Darkseed.

    “You think what…?” demanded Gangreen.

    “I think such a cute little vegetable child would make a worthy companion to me”, said Darkseed as he reached into his armor and pulled out something. “Tell me, my little fuzzy friend. How would you like a treat?” F.T. looked at what Darkseed was holding and became shocked, but delighted at what he saw.

    “That’s right”, smiled Darkseed. “It’s Saladovian soil, the last few bits of it on this planet. But once my plan succeeds, Otamot 13 will be filled with mounds of Saladovian soil for life. And you can be part of my soon to be fertile empire.” F.T. looked at the soil and then looked at the closed pit where his friends were being held prisoner.

    “Come on, Fuzzy Tomato”, said Darkseed, pushing the soil even closer. “I know you want this stuff. Cross over to the Darkseed side!”

    F.T’s eyes started to swirl at the smell of the luscious soil and was about to give in. Until a small kid’s voice shouted, “STOP, F.T!” F.T. turned around and saw Jasun the tiny sunflower rushing to him.

    “It’s that sunflower pipsqueak who exposed me!” said Gangreen. “How did he get all the way here?”

    “I snuck aboard your rocket while you were dragging Chad onboard”, explained Jasun. “I wanted to film the entire story for Mr. White. But now I want to show you something I recorded a few minutes ago, F.T.” Jasun put himself in camera form once again and showed them something he taped earlier. It was the Gang of 6. They were all lying on the floor with bloodshot eyes while drool was oozing from their mouths. Ketchuck was covered with so much drool that he looked disgusting. F.T. made a disgusted face at the sight.

    “SOIL, SOIL, SOIL, SOIL!” said the tomatoes in doped up voices. “Look, I found a tiny speck of Saladovian soil”, said Mumato as he stuck his bandaged tendril on the soil and ate it, “Ahhh, sweet soil bliss.”

    “Hey, how dare you eat the last bit of soil and not give it to your leader!” shouted Zoltan.

    “Let’s cut him open and get that soil!” shouted Fang as the five demented tomatoes started to surround the nervous mummy tomato. But Darkseed’s dark mist appeared calming down the Gang of 6 once again. And then Jasun stopped the film.

    F.T. was horrified at seeing what his fellow tomatoes had become. Even though the Gang of 6 were his enemies, even they didn’t deserve to become soil junkies. F.T. realized if he had even tasted that soil Darkseed was holding, he’d end up just like that too and his life would be ruined.

    “Don’t be taken by that cheap B movie!” said Darskeed. “That Gang of 6 just couldn’t handle the stuff. But you’re too cute and innocent to be controlled like that. And you can prove it by tasting this soil. Come on, be a pal.”

    F.T. slowly approached Darkseed with a hypnotized look. But instead of going for the soil, the fuzzy tomato rushed under Darkseed’s legs and headed straight for the button on the throne. “NO STOP!” shouted Darkseed as he threw the soil down in anger. But F.T. managed to hit the button causing the floor doors to slide open once again. And immediately, Rob, Elisa, Chad, and Tara floated out of the pit with the help of Tara’s tomato powers.

    F.T. made a happy squeak as he let go of the button and leaped into Tara’s arms. “Oh thank you F.T”, sighed Tara. “I knew you wouldn’t let us down.” F.T. made a squeaky thank you to Tara for keeping him away from that addictive soil during their whole journey, then turned his head and thanked the smiling Jasun for making him see the light.

    “Quick, follow me this way”, shouted Rob as he and our heroes rushed out of the throne room door.

    “They’re getting away!” shouted Gangreen.

    “Not for long”, said Darkseed as he pushed another button on the other side of his throne to activate his intercom. “Attention guards”, he shouted. “The Earthlings are trying to leave the palace. Do not let them escape!”

    * * * * * *

    “There it is!” called out Elisa, pointing to the palace exit. But then was covered by about 10 Otamot soldiers with Paste out in front. “You prisoners aren’t leaving this place without a fight!” said Paste with a sinister voice.

    “I was hoping you’d say that”, smiled Rob as he looked at his wife who was smiling like a female warrior, “Ready, warrior queen?”

    “You bet, macho man”, smiled Elisa as they both took out some giant knives and forks which they had collected from the wall in the pit. “I’m in the mood for some Otamot salad!” said Elisa.

    “But wait!” called out Chad. “Are you sure you can fight these guys in your, um, conditions?”

    “Son, there’s one rule we learned during our time in Saladovia”, said Rob.

    “Never underestimate the powers of the potted plant!” said Elisa. And the two parents charged at the Otamots and did battle. And what a battle it was. Rob and Elisa were slicing and dicing the Otamots with their cutlery while jumping all over the place. It was like they were using their stems as built in springs. And they were kicking the Otamots around with their transpots like giant boots.

    “Awesome!” said Chad, amazed. “Even though they’re now plants, they can still kick evil vegetable butt.”

    F.T. made a squeak, warning Chad that Paste was about to sneak up from behind and clobber him with a club. But Tara used her tomato powers to push Paste back and then made Paste start hitting himself with his own club causing him to get knocked out.

    Soon, all the Otamot soldiers had been turned into sauce thanks to Rob and Elisa’s fighting skills. Then the couple looked at each other all covered with sauce stains and then started hugging and kissing each other.

    “Ew, gross!” said Chad, covering his eyes. “They usually always do this whenever they win a great battle. Yes, they’re still my same wonderful parents.”

    “I hate to interrupt this romantic scene”, said Tara. “But I think we all should be leaving now.”

    “Oh yeah”, said both Rob and Elisa as our heroes exited the castle leaving behind a pile of splattered Otamot guards and a knocked out Paste who had a huge green lump growing out of his head with a small pink flower sprouting out.

    Our heroes found themselves leaving Darkseed’s castle and were running through the dry plains of Otamot 13. “Well, we escaped the castle”, said Rob. “Now the only problem is how do we escape this planet?”

    “I think I see our answer up there”, said Elisa as they saw a rocket cucumber flying through the sky.

    “Is it a friendly cucumber or a foe cucumber?” asked Chad.

    “I try to be friendly on good days”, replied the cucumber in a familiar voice, “Even on bad days too.”

    “It’s Q-51!” smiled Tara. “We’re saved!”

    “Along with his pilot”, said Wilbur who was standing outside the door of Q-51. “Here, I’ll drop you guys a vine”, said Wilbur as he tossed out a vine which our heroes caught and Wilbur started dragging them in.

    “Good old Uncle Wilbur”, smiled Chad.

    “My brother does have his moments”, said Rob.

    Soon, our heroes were onboard Q-51 safe and sound. “Next stop, Saladovia!” called out the rocket cucumber as he left Otamot 13 while Darkseed, Gangreen, and Igor watched them head off to Saladovia.

    “Razzin frazzin rocket!” shouted Gangreen, jumping up and down.

    “Whoa, Doc”, said Igor, trying to calm Gangreen down. “You know those razzin frazzin remarks are bad for your blood pressure.”

    “Those goody goods just escaped!” shouted Gangreen. “We gotta get them back!”

    “No, let them go”, said Darkseed. “There’s nothing they can do to stop us. The invasion will still go on once I add one little touch to my plans.” And Darkseed took out a vile that contained the sap of a Saladovian king.

    TO BE CONTINUED
    Last edited by Cullen; 08-28-2007 at 04:58 PM.

  16. #16
    Tinytooncrazy is offline Member
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    pretty good look forward to the next part

  17. #17
    Cullen is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinytooncrazy View Post
    pretty good look forward to the next part
    Thank you. I'll have it out soon.

  18. #18
    Cullen is offline Member
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    Planet of the Tomatoes

    By Cullen Pittman

    Chapter 9

    Dem Clones, Dem Clones!

    Xylena and Photosynth were outside the palace pacing like crazy waiting for a certain rocket cucumber to come back from a rescue mission. Just then, they saw Q-51 coming in for a landing. “Q-51!” cried Xylena as she rushed over. “Did everything go all right?”

    “All right?” asked the cucumber. “You’re talking to your favorite rocket cucumber here, my princess. Does this answer your question?” and he opened his door and out stepped Chad, Tara, F.T. Wilbur, Rob and Elisa.

    “Chad, you’re safe!” cried Xylena as she went over and hugged the boy causing him to blush. “I thought those horrible Otamots would finish you off.”

    “Hi, Xylena”, said Chad. “It’s nice to be back with you again.”

    “Are you still mad at me for not telling you about your parents’ condition?” asked Xylena.

    “Don’t worry, I forgive you”, smiled Chad. “I guess it was better that I found out later and for myself. Yeah, I’m still shocked and sad that my Mom and Dad lost their legs because of that rotten Darkseed. But I’m glad your doctors helped them get better and are able to get around again.”

    “Thank you, Chad”, said Xylena with tears in her posy eyes. “Oh look. I’m watering myself.”

    “That’s so sweet!” cried Elisa as tears came from her eyes as well.

    “And it looks like you’re watering yourself too, love blossom”, said Rob, smiling.

    “Jasun?” asked Sunny the Sunflower as she approached the group. “Has any of you seen my son?”

    “He’s right here”, said Tara stepping back and showing off the little sunflower standing at the door of Q-51.

    “Hi, Mom”, said Jasun, covering his petals in embarrassment.

    “Just what were you thinking getting onboard a space vehicle heading for Otamot 13?!” shouted Sunny. “I ought to tan your stem for that!”

    “Please go easy on him, Mrs. Sunflower”, said Tara. “Jasun helped us by saving our lives and showing F.T. here a very educational and life saving film. Your son is a little hero!” F.T. made an agreeable squeak.

    “I’m sorry, Mommy”, said Jasun. “I just wanted to get the whole news story for Mr. White.”

    “You mean you got me footage of Otamot 13 and those evil Otamots?” said Whitley excited. “You wonderful little flower! You’ve got to show me everything!”

    “Not so fast”, said Sunny as she snagged Whitley by the necktie. “Your suggestion got my dear son sent off to one of the most dangerous planets in the galaxy. I demand you give us both double hazard pay if you want us to give you the stuff we filmed and keep filming for you!”

    “Double hazard pay?!” gasped Whitley.

    “Okay, triple hazard pay”, said Sunny.

    “You’ve got to be kidding?” demanded Whitley.

    “Quadruple hazard pay”, said Sunny. “We can go at this all day.”

    “Okay, you win”, grumbled Whitley as he took out a watering can and started watering the two sunflowers on their roots. “Great, I’ll be stuck here for 4 long hours”, sighed Whitley.

    Just then, a woman Saladovian, dressed in a white doctor’s suit with a tulip shaped stethoscope around her neck, stepped out of the palace. “Excuse me, your highness”, she asked Xylena.

    “How is my father doing, Dr. Polleny?” asked Xylena worried.

    “I’m afraid not too well”, said Dr. Polleny, “And he’s asked to see all of you right away.”

    * * * * * *

    Our heroes had entered the royal infirmary where they saw the mighty King Xylem still lying down and looking worse than ever. His bark was turning gray and chipping off and his leaf hair and beard had all fallen off leaving him with a top of bald branches. “Father?!” asked Xylena as she saw the tulip vines stuck to the king’s body which were attached a melon monitor where the small green vine on the screen was making slow murmurs.

    “Oh, my sweet princess of a daughter”, said Xylem in a weak voice. “I’m afraid I don’t have that much time left.”

    “No, don’t say that!” pleaded Xylena, taking her father’s branch hand. “We’ll do everything in our power to get you back on your stump. Right, doctor?”

    Dr. Polleny sadly shook her head no.

    “Can’t you fit him with a life support stem like you did with me and Elisa?” asked Rob.

    “I’m afraid we don’t have any life support stems that are king sized”, sighed Dr. Polleny.

    “Just a big disadvantage of being the King of Saladovia”, coughed Xylem. “Chad, can I speak to you please? I have something I need to say to you.” The boy approached the king with a somber look.

    “Before you speak, your majesty”, said Chad. “I just wanted to tell you that I’m sorry for yelling at you earlier. I was angry and confused and I shouldn’t have blamed you for what happened to my parents.”

    “You’re wrong, Chad”, said Xylem. “You had every right to be angry with me. I was the one who was responsible for your parents’ conditions and caused all of your suffering for 5 of your Earth years.”

    “But I just learned it was that evil Darkseed who did this to my Mom and Dad”, said Chad. “Not you.”

    “But I was the one who took your parents away from you so they could fight Darkseed for me”, gasped Xylem. “All my life, I’ve been a coward and I was afraid to defend my subjects against Darkseed and his horrid Otamot Empire. So I tried to draft other warriors from other planets to fight my battle for me.” Then he turned to Rob and Elisa.

    “Oh, my heroic and dearest Earth friends”, said Xylem. “Even though I had you abducted from your home world and your loved ones, you still agreed to help us fight off those Otamots and bring freedom back to my planet. But in the process, you both ended up getting hurt and being forced to become permanent citizens of Saladovia with no way of ever returning home to your son. I suppose this is my punishment for destroying all three of your lives, I am so sorry Finletter family.”

    “Please don’t say that your majesty”, said Rob. “Elisa and I were honored to defend a good king like yourself and all your kind subjects.”

    “And you’ve all been so kind to us during our forced citizenship here”, said Elisa. “I’m just sorry we can’t protect you from what you’re going through right now.”

    “Xylena, my precious flower”, said Xylem, placing his weakened branch against his daughter’s cheek. “It looks like it’s up to you now to rule my people. Please be a kind and caring queen and try not to make the same mistakes I did.”

    “No, you can’t mean that!” cried Xylena. “YOU CAN’T MEAN THAT!!”

    “Photosynth, my old friend”, said Xylem, weakly turning his head to the elderly Saladovian. “It will be up to you to guide my daughter through her great responsibility. Please assist her and give her wisdom to make Xylena a kind and wise ruler.”

    “You have my word, your highness”, said Photosynth in a sad voice.

    “I love you, my daughter”, said Xylem and then he started coughing out some sap. Chad looked over at the melon monitor and became horrified when he saw the moving green vine had stopped its bleeping.

    Then the Saladovian Censor Lady appeared with a sad face and placed a card in front of the king’s face that read, NVZREK, which meant censored in Saladovese. Everyone in the infirmary watched in silence as they saw the grieved Princess Xylena plop her head down on her father’s deceased body while silently crying.

    * * * * * *

    Back on Otamot 13, we see the Gang of 6 locked up in a glass box with needles stuck on their sides. The needles were attached to some long tubes that seem to lead somewhere.

    “Darkseed said there was soil in this glass box”, said Beefsteak. “But I certainly don’t see any in here.”

    “Maybe it’s invisible soil”, said Ketchuck.

    “Invisible soil?” asked Tomacho.

    “That has to be dumbest thing you’ve ever said in your entire life, Ketchuck!” growled Zoltan.

    “It could be invisible”, said Ketchuck, “You know, soil that’s so low carb, that you can hardly taste it or even see or feel it.”

    “Whatever”, said Mumato, “If Darskeed said he’d give us soil, he’d give us soil.”

    “The Emperor does seem more trusting”, said Fang, “Unlike, that stem stabber, Dr. Gangreen.”

    The tomatoes were too busy babbling to notice that some of their juice was getting pumped out of them.

    “Whoa”, said Igor, looking at the imprisoned Gang of 6, while watching the red liquid go through the tubes. “Those tomato dudes are so doped up, they don’t even know they got needles stuck in them. I wonder if the Doc ever does that to me whenever I get all spacey?” Igor rolled up his sleeves and found his arms covered with lots of bandages. “I must fall down a lot”, said Igor puzzled.

    The juice traveled through the tubes and made their stop in 6 large test tubes. “Okay, it’s done”, said Gangreen as he took the test tube case and showed it to Darskeed. “I got my Gang of 6’s DNA stored in these beakers. Now what’s your plan?”

    “Come outside and I will educate you”, said Darkseed as he instructed Gangreen and Igor to follow them.

    “What about them?” asked Igor, pointing to the Gang of 6 who looked pale from being drained of some of their juice.

    “I don’t think it would be wise for them to see what I’m about to do”, said Darkseed. “It might give them an identity crisis.”

    Igor looked puzzled more than ever as he left the lab with the other two villains. The Gang of 6 still sat there in their glass cell wondering what just happened. “I could sure use a sugar cookie right now”, said a drained Tomacho.

    “Or maybe a cookie salesman”, said Ketchuck who felt too weak to even belch.

    * * * * * *

    Our villains found themselves outside Darkseed’s palace looking at a huge plowed field. “This field has such dry, unfertile soil”, said Gangreen, “There’s no way anything can grow in this dust bowl.”

    “That’s where you’re wrong”, said Darkseed as he watched his Otamot lackies push in a huge black machine. “With the help of modern Otamot 13 technology, I can create a whole army of destruction.” Then he took the test tubes from Gangreen and started pouring each of the Gang of 6’s DNA juice into different slots of the machine.

    “Whoa, are you making mixed drinks?” asked Igor. “I’ll have a V-6.”

    “Quiet, numbskull”, grumbled Gangreen.

    “Now that I got the final ingredient to start my life long dream scheme”, said Darkseed. “I can actually get my invention to work. It’s the sap from an actual Saladovian king!” and he poured the sap of King Xylem into a main larger slot of the machine and then turned on the side switch. The machine started to shake and sputter and then the spout on the side started to shoot out seeds, about 6000 tiny seeds that completely covered the plowed field.

    “Is that all that primitive looking device can do?” demanded Gangreen. “Make seeds?”

    “Patience Gangreen”, said Darkseed with two sinister smiles. Just then, one of the seeds started to shake and grow and grow. And it grew into a giant tomato that looked very familiar.

    “It’s Zoltan!” gasped Gangreen.

    “No, only a clone of Zoltan”, said Darkseed in a pleased voice. Suddenly, more of the seeds started to grow into exact copies of Tomacho, Fang, Beefsteak, Ketchuck, and Mumato.”

    “Does this mean that the Gang of 6 is now a Gang of 12?” asked Igor. “Ow! That math hurt my brain!”

    “Well then I suggest you don’t add what’s coming next”, said Darkseed. Suddenly, all the seeds started to grow and soon the entire field was filled with 1000 Zoltans, 1000 Tomachos, 1000 Fangs, 1000 Beefsteaks, 1000 Ketchucks, and 1000 Mumatos. All the tomato clones started to growl in fierce voices.

    “Amazing”, said Gangreen. “They look exactly like my original Gang of 6. Only it’s a Gang of 6000!”

    “Yes, my clone machine works!” laughed Darkseed. “Now, instead of me and my Otamot warriors invading Saladovia, my new army of tomato clones will do the invading for us. They’ll bring us back the tasty Saladovian soil and destroy anyone who gets in their way, especially that bothersome Finletter family.”

    “Wait a minute”, said Gangreen. “What if these carbon copies of yours decide to eat all the soil for themselves instead of bringing it to us?”

    “Oh, that won’t be happening thanks to the modifications I made to their DNA designs”, said Darkseed as he went to a Zoltan clone, pryed open his mouth, and showed them the inside of it. “See, no tongues”, said Darkseed. “None of my clones have any tongues. That way they won’t have a taste for the soil once they obtain it. So they’ll continue their mission without any taste distractions.”

    “Now why didn’t I think of doing that when I first made my original Gang of 6?” said Gangreen, “Without a tongue, that annoying Zoltan wouldn’t be such a smart mouth!”

    “At least you don’t have to worry about me being a smart mouth, your doctorship”, said Igor.

    “Yes, my dear Igor”, sighed Gangreen. “There’s nothing smart about you.”

    “Attention, my newly born clones”, said Darkseed. “Since today is your birthday, I’m going to let you rest up today so you’ll be fully charged to invade the peaceful goody-good planet of Saladovia tomorrow. You will bring back all of the Saladovian soil to me until the planet looks like a bare apple core. Here’s a diagram of what I expect Saladovia to look like once your mission is done.” Darkseed showed the clones a drawing that looked like a world that had been eaten down to the core like a huge apple. The tomato clones started laughing and growling like crazy.

    * * * * * *

    The next day on Saladovia, all the Saladovians and the Earthlings were gathered around an empty grave where they watched a group of Saladovians, dressed in black moss suits, carrying a coffin that looked like a gigantic pea pod. Inside the pod, was the deceased King Xylem. Xylena watched in tears as she saw the pod that contained her father getting lowered into a huge grave and being buried while a band of watermelons started tooting bagpipe music through their flowered vines. Even Whitley White was silent for once for he didn’t have the heart to speak during this tragic moment in Saladovian history.

    Xylena approached the now buried tomb and looked at the royal fancy looking tombstone that was in the shape of King Xylem himself. Then she watched tiny daisies running to the dirt and planting themselves to honor their deceased king.

    Before Xylena could say her last words, suddenly the Saladovian known as Otamot Guy appeared and shouted, “OTAMOTS!” But everyone was too busy mourning over the loss of their king to panic.

    “Please, Mr. Otamot Guy”, pleaded Xylena. “Now is not the time for your old pranks.”

    “Yes, this is a sad moment for Saladovia”, scolded Photosynth. “Show some respect!”

    “But Otamots are coming!” shouted Otamot Guy in a panic. “I saw their space cruisers in the sky!”

    “Enough!” shouted Photosynth. “One more word out of you and you’ll be planted in our royal dungeon!”

    “Wait, I think he’s telling the truth”, said Tara as her eyes glowed red. “I sense evil vegetables approaching.”

    “Hold on a minute”, said Wilbur as he took out his binoculars and looked into the sky. “Yes, I see lots and lots of tomato shaped space ships slowly heading our way!” said Wilbur.

    “Oh no!” gasped Photosynth. “I remember the last time this happened! The Otamots ended up conquering our planet!”

    “And it looks like they might do it again”, said Elisa.

    “Darkseed would pick this time to invade now that he knows the Saladovian king has fallen”, said Chad.

    All the Saladovians started to run and scream in panic at the thought of the evil Otamots invading them again.

    “Let them come!” said Rob as he charged up his egg beater gun. “Elisa and I defeated them once and we can do it again!”

    “But, Rob”, said Elisa. “Don’t you remember, we had an army of alien soldiers by our side fighting the Otamots. I don’t think just the two of us can take on that whole entire fleet.”

    “And there isn’t time to send the rocket cucumbers out to bring back our brave alien soldiers”, said Photosynth.

    “Well, you now got Wilbur Finletter on your side”, said Wilbur as he bravely took out his bazooka, “Equipped with a new weapon that’ll send those Otamots back home in small chunks!”

    “Well, I would like to fight alongside my little brother again”, said Rob. “But I’m afraid Elisa’s right. Even three of us are still no match for those countless Otamot-scum.”

    “If only I had the rest of the Killer Tomato Task Force with me”, said Wilbur. “We’d have a slight chance of victory. But they’re back on Earth and scattered around the globe.”

    All the Saladovians were still running around in panic until a loud trumpet was heard. Everyone became silent as they saw a royal daffodil trumpeter blasting as Xylena stood there sadly and calm. “Please do not panic my royal subjects”, said Xylena. “For now, everyone will take shelter in the royal palace. Just move along slowly and calmly please.” All the Saladovians saw the huge hole in the palace wall that was caused by Gangreen’s rocket and everyone started to rush inside it.

    * * * * * *

    Soon, every citizen in Produceopolis was safely inside the throne room of Pumkingham Palace. Our heroes were in the front looking at the vacant flower pot throne that once seated King Xylem. Xylena looked down at the fresh new soil in the pot and then turned to Photosynth. “Are you sure all the timbermites are cleared from the royal throne?” she asked.

    “Yes”, said Photosynth. “Our guards have scrounged and eaten every last timbermite there is in the palace.” The flytraps next to Photosynth nodded in agreement.

    “Very well then”, said Xylena in a sad voice as she was about to set one root into the pot.

    “Xylena, what are you going to do?” asked Chad.

    The plant princess slowly turned around and placed her branches on Chad’s shoulders. “Chad Finletter of Earth”, said Xylena, “I want to thank you for the time we shared together and I will never forget it.” She gave Chad a kiss on the cheek and then walked over, jumped into the royal pot and planted both her roots into the soil.

    “What’s she doing?” Chad asked Photosynth.

    “Our princess is taking over the royal family business”, said Photosynth. Xylena closed her eyes and stretched out her branches. Suddenly, Xylena started to glow a green color and it looked like she was growing very rapidly. Everyone in the palace watched in amazement and Xylena grew and grew and suddenly changed her shape. Now planted in the royal flower pot was a giant adult female tree. She looked a lot like King Xylem, only she was wearing a pink robe, her hair was now a gigantic green leaf afro with different colored flowers growing out. And her face looked older with green bark covering it.

    “Talk about a growth spurt”, gasped Tara. “I don’t think I want to be in her roots right now.” F.T. made an agreeable squeak.

    Then Photosynth took out King Xylem’s old mango crown, started climbing a huge stepladder, and placed the crown on top of Xylena’s now huge leaf hair. “I crown you Queen Xylena, the new ruler of all Saladovia”, said Photosynth. All the Saladovians started to bow down to their new queen while Xylena looked at all of her subjects with a sad smile.

    “The pretty little plant princess we’ve known for 5 years is no more”, whispered Rob.

    “If only her father were alive to see her now”, sighed Elisa.

    “Xylena!” said Chad with tears in his eyes knowing that his first crush had grown up way before he could.

    “I am so sorry, Chad”, said Xylena in a now wise and elderly woman’s voice. “When I told you I would be taking over my father’s duties someday, I didn’t realize that someday would be today.”

    “I understand, Xylena”, said Chad, trying to hold his sadness in, “It can’t be helped. Your people need a strong and kind leader like you right now.”

    Xylena silently nodded to Chad and turned to Wilbur. “Wilbur”, she asked. “What parts of Earth are the members of your task force located?”

    “My task force?” asked Wilbur, still in shock from Xylena’s sudden transformation. “Oh, right. Sam is located in Tokyo, Floyd is somewhere in the Caribbean, and Mary Jo can be found in Berlin.”

    “Very well”, said Xylena as she reached her now huge branches to her leaves and plucked three flowers from herself. Then she put the flowers on the floor in front of her and suddenly, they grew into giant sized flowers. The buds suddenly got replaced with glowing portals.

    “What are those?” asked Tara.

    “They’re my portal posies”, said Xylena, “It’s a special ability only the Queens of Saladoiva possess. Once you step through these portals, you will be meeting the other members of your Killer Tomato Task Force. Please go and fetch them. You are all of Saladovia’s last hope.”

    “Okay”, said Wilbur, “This may seem kind of weird, but I’ve lived with weirdness for many years. I’ll take the first flower, Chad the second, and Tara, the third.”

    “Right!” said both Chad and Tara and everyone watched as the three humans stepped through the three mystical flowers.

    * * * * * *

    Next, we see Tokyo, Japan were a group of Killer Tomatoes with anime looking faces were about to destroy an ancient temple. “Hold it right there, tomatoes of Tokyo!” called out a voice. The tomatoes turned around and found Sam Smith, the disguise man of the Killer Tomato Task Force, dressed like a samurai. “If you want to wreck this sacred temple, you’ll have to get past Sam the Samurai Smith first!” And he took out a long sword and a long salad fork as well. The tomatoes looked in fear at the weapons and quickly sped off and boarded a train out of the city.

    As Sam put away his weapons in triumph, a huge glowing flower suddenly appeared in front of him. “What’s this?” asked Sam puzzled. “Am I back in Woodstock?” Suddenly, a familiar person stepped out of the flower. “Wilbur?” asked Sam.

    “Yes, it’s me, Sam”, said Wilbur, “And yes, I came out of a huge flower. And I need you to come through it with me. Another planet needs you!”

    “This is totally freaky”, said Sam as he saw Wilbur step back into the glowing bud of the flower and decided to follow him. “It’s like something you’d see in a Japanese cartoon”, said Sam as he stepped through the flower and the flower suddenly closed its petals up and disappeared.

    * * * * * *

    Somewhere in the Caribbean Sea, we see a giant tomato octopus seizing and wrecking fishing boats with all eight of its sauce covered tentacles. Suddenly out of the sea rose Floyd Bridgework, the skin diving member of the Tomato Task Force. The Tomatopus saw Floyd reach into the water and take out a huge harpoon gun.

    “Prepare to become marinated calamari!” shouted Floyd in a gurgly voice as he fired non-stop harpoons at the Tomatopus. But the sea monster managed to seize all the harpoons with its eight tentacles. The Tomatopus started laughing wickedly, but then stopped when it saw one last and huge harpoon coming its way striking it the face and causing the sea creature to explode into sauce.

    “You didn’t count on my 9 shooter harpoon gun”, laughed Floyd, but then stopped laughing as the sea turned red from tomato soup. “I wish something would come along to get me out of this soup”, moaned Floyd. Just then, another magic flower appeared hovering above Floyd and Chad stuck his head out of the flower’s bud.

    “Hi, Floyd”, said Chad, “My Uncle Wilbur needs you right now.”

    “How convenient!” gurgled Floyd as Chad took his hands and pulled him out of the red water and through the flower portal.

    * * * * * *

    In Berlin, Germany, we see a group of small killer tomatoes trying to build a new Berlin Wall out of old tomato soup cans. Just as they were about to put on the last can, the wall started to get knocked down thanks to the athletic karate kick from Mary Jo Nagamininashy, the gymnast member of the Killer Tomato Task Force. “Ha, you tomato fiends will not be making another wall of restrictions”, said Mary Jo, proudly.

    The angry tomatoes started to charge at Mary Jo, but she managed to leap out of the way and then karate chop and kick all the tomatoes into paste. The remaining tomatoes started to climb into the empty cans and hop away in fear.

    “That’s right”, said Mary Jo, proudly. “You be running back home to your mamma-matoes like bad little plants.” Then Mary Jo turned around and became surprised as she saw a giant flower portal and saw Tara popping her head out of it. “What are you, a flower child?” gasped Mary Jo.

    “I’ll explain later”, said Tara. “Right now, we need your help.”

    * * * * * *

    A few minutes later, we find all the members of the Killer Tomato Task Force inside Pumpkingham Palace while Wilbur, Chad, and Tara were trying their best to explain everything to them.

    “So let me get this straight”, said Sam. “We’re all on another planet where the people here are plants and vegetables. Rob and Elisa, who had disappeared for 5 years, had been here all along and are now potted plants in hovering pots. And now we need to defend this planet from a race of creatures called Otamots that somehow resemble the Killer Tomatoes back home?”

    “That’s pretty much it”, said Wilbur.

    “All I be caring about is kicking some killer vegetable buttocks!” said Mary Jo.

    “I think you’ll be having your chance now”, said Chad, “Because they’ve landed!” Everyone looked out of the huge hole in the castle wall and saw the numerous Otamot space cruisers landing at the edge of Produceopolis.

    “Don’t worry, my Saladovian friends”, said Wilbur, “Now that the Killer Tomato Task Force is here on Saladovia and is reunited with our missing soldiers, Rob and Elisa, we will wipe out whatever will come out of those spaceships and keep your home planet free from harm!” Then Wilbur pulled out his bazooka, charged out of the palace, and starting shouting stuff like, “Live long and prosper! May the force be with you! To boldly go where no man has gone before! Soylent green is people!”

    “Why does your brother always say such weird stuff before going into battle?” Elisa asked Rob.

    “I don’t really know”, said Rob, “I just let Wilbur be him. Now, what do you say we join my bro in battle?” Elisa nodded as she and Rob charged up their transpots and hovered after Wilbur.

    “What a way to travel”, said Floyd as he rushed after them.

    “Floating on flower pots means lack of exercise”, said Mary Jo as she cartwheeled after them.

    “Oh yeah, I almost forgot”, said Sam as he pulled out some kind of box and handed it to Chad, “This is for you, Chad. I saw it in a Tokyo mall and I thought of you.”

    “Oh, thanks Sam”, said Chad as he watched Sam leave the castle.

    * * * * * *

    The 6 members of the Killer Tomato Task Force were waiting for the enemies to leave their space cruisers so they could do battle. Then the first cruiser’s door opened and out came their familiar enemies. “It’s the Gang of 6!” scowled Wilbur.

    “You know these guys?” asked Elisa.

    “I wish I didn’t!” growled Wilbur, “After all the mess they caused to my Pizza Palace and the world. All right, Zoltan! Why are you here and are you all in league with the Otamots?” The Zoltan clone just stood there and said nothing along with the other tomato clones.

    “Answer me, or else!” demanded Wilbur. The tomato clones still said nothing and started making vicious growling faces at our heroes.

    “So that’s how you want to do it”, demanded Wilbur as he activated his grub generating bazooka. “Then eat house dressing with bacon bits!” Wilbur blasted the substance that killer tomatoes fear the most at the clones. But the clones just laughed as their faces were covered with dressing and bacon bits and started charging towards our heroes.

    “This can’t be!” gasped Wilbur. “Killer tomatoes are supposed to fear house dressing and bacon bits!”

    Sam took out his binoculars and got a closer look at them, “Those tomato dudes got no tongues!” gasped Sam, “Which means they can’t fear what they can’t taste!”

    “That’s all right”, said Wilbur, putting away his bazooka and taking out his sword. “I prefer battling the old fashioned way. CHAARGGE!” and the 6 heroes and the 6 tomato villains did battle.

    Elisa and Mary Jo used their acrobat skills against the Tomacho and Fang clones. Mary Jo splattered the Tomacho clone with her kicks and Elisa charged up her transpot to stomp on the Fang clone non-stop until it was a pile of green scaly sauce.

    “How impressive”, said Mary Jo, “You can be having a good workout with that flower pot.”

    “Not to mention having a strong springy stem”, said Elisa winking.

    The Beefsteak clone started to charge at Sam. But Sam appeared dressed as a bullfighter and started waving a giant ketchup covered tablecloth around. “Toro, I mean Tomato!” said Sam. The angry bull tomato snorted at the sight of the red sauce and started to charge like crazy. But Sam yanked the cloth away revealing an anvil. The Beefsteak clone tried to slow down, but ended up getting splattered with only his horns and nose ring left. “I love the classic combat skills of 1940’s cartoons”, smiled Sam.

    The Mumato clone was about to sneak up behind Sam and eat him. But Rob snagged the mummy tomato’s bandage with his egg beater gun and switched the power on. The Mumato clone started to get unraveled leaving him nothing but a pair of huge confused eyeballs.

    “This almost looks like ancient Egyptian spaghetti”, said Rob looking at his gun that was tied up in a huge bandage ball. But then the Zoltan clone jumped in from him. Rob tried to use his gun, but it was tied up in bandages to work.

    Just as the Zoltan clone was about to devour Rob, a voice shouted. “Nobody tries to eat my brother and lives to tell about it!” Then Wilbur snagged the Zoltan clone with his parachute and started jumping up and down on it. Then Wilbur poured out all the squished sauce and giant eye-patch from his parachute. “Are you okay, Rob?” asked Wilbur.

    “I’ll be fine”, said Rob. “Thanks little brother, I mean, Commander! That parachute of yours is a worthy weapon after all.” Wilbur smiled at his brother’s kind remark.

    Just then, the Task Force found themselves getting washed away in a red sea. It was the Ketchuck clone spewing out gallons of tomato soup from his mouth. Luckily, Floyd started to swim his way through the red soup and shot his harpoon into the fat tomato clone’s mouth causing it to explode. Then the flood stopped and our heroes got back up all covered with red goop.

    “How do we tell which is sauce and which is our blood?” asked Sam.

    “Elisa and I can always tell by our sap”, said Rob.

    “Which I think we might be seeing more of!” gasped Elisa as she pointed to the space cruisers that opened up all of their doors. And more Gang of 6 clones started to come out and charge at our heroes. “Wilbur!” called out Elisa. “I thought you said they were only a Gang of 6!”

    “Gangreen must be behind this somehow”, said Wilbur. “All we can do is keep fighting!”

    * * * * * *

    Back at Otamot 13, Darkseed, Gangreen, and Igor were watching the battle on a big screen TV. The Killer Tomato Task Force was trying their best to slay the tomato clones but they just kept coming. “This is so delightful!” said Darkseed with sinister eyes. “Nothing can stop my wonderful creations!”

    “Excuse me”, said Gangreen. “But the Gang of 6 were my creations!”

    “But I created these tomato clones”, said Darkseed, “Who seem to be more fierce and competent than your original Gang of flunkies.”

    “He’s got you there, Doc”, said Igor as he pointed to the original Gang of 6 who were still locked in the glass box still dazed from the soil and drained of most of their juice.

    “How did I get reduced from being the main villain of this cartoon to a secondary villain?” groaned Gangreen.

    * * * * * *

    Back at Pumpkingham Palace, Chad, Tara, F.T, and all the Saladovians were watching the battle go on. “It’s looks bad for our side”, said Tara.

    “I’ll say”, said Chad, “I don’t want to lose Uncle Wilbur or my parents again!”

    “There’s no hope for us!” cried a Saladovian guy.

    “We’re all doomed again!” cried another. All the Saladovians started to panic again.

    “That’s enough!” bellowed Queen Xylena. Everyone looked up and saw their new queen hovering in her new transport throne, heading out of the palace.

    “Xy, I mean, Queen Xylena”, said Chad, “Where are you going?”

    “I’m going to help with the battle”, said Xylena. “As queen, it is part of my royal duty to protect my planet and my people.”

    “But you could get killed just like our last ruler”, said a Saladovian woman.

    “My father thought it was a wise idea to get other warriors from other planets to protect us 5 years ago”, said Xylena, “But now I think it’s time we stop letting others take care of us like a bunch of houseplants and learn how to take care of ourselves. Anyone who wants to join me in battle and keep our freedom can join me now.” And she silently left the palace.

    “Our queen is right”, said Photosynth as he took out a sword shaped cactus. “I’m going to join her majesty in battle. For the honor of Saladovia and our deceased king!” and Photosynth ran out the exit too.

    “I suddenly have the urge to create a new recipe for tomato fertilizer”, said Chef Chloro as he took out his rolling pin and cutlery.

    “As a doctor, it’s my job to help the sick and injured”, said Dr. Polleny, “But now that I’m off duty…” The doctor took out some needles and a surgeon’s knife and followed Chef Chloro out the exit. Soon all the Saladovians felt a surge of courage course through their stems and marched off to battle leaving Chad, Tara, and F.T. left in the palace.

    “I have a feeling Xylena will make a great queen”, said Tara.

    “I’ll still think of her as a princess”, sighed Chad sadly. F.T. then started making some squeaks to Tara.

    “F.T. wants to know if we can help out”, said Tara.

    “Maybe Sam’s gift might help”, said Chad, “Whatever it is”, Chad opened up the box and became delighted at what he saw. It was a fancy looking red skateboard with all sorts of famous Japanese heroes and monsters painted on them.

    “Cool!” smiled Chad as he got on the board. “What do you say, guys?” Chad asked Tara and F.T. “Want to kick some tomato stems? Oops, I mean bad guy tomato stems?”

    “You know you can’t stop us”, smiled Tara as she picked up F.T. and got on the skateboard behind Chad. Then the threesome started to skate off to the battleground.

    * * * * * *

    Soon, all the Saladovians were on the battlefield assisting the Killer Tomato Task Force. The Saladovians were using weapons like cactus swords, coconut maces, and asparagus spears to slash, squash, and stab the tomato clones. Photosynth seemed to have a ball slicing up tomato clones with his sword.

    As the battle continued, Whitley White and his two sunflower cameras, Sunny and Jasun, were hiding in an alley filming the action, “This is Whitley White bringing you the most exciting moment of this outer space news report”, said Whitley, “Right now, the Earthlings and the Saladovians are trying to defend themselves from a horde of evil tomato clones. I tell you, this battle is more epic that the ones from Star Wars, Willow, and The Cannonball Run 1 and 2! But it looks like the new queen of Saladovia is just standing there making flower necklaces. Doesn’t she care about her people?”

    Sure enough, Queen Xylena was just calmly standing at the edge of the battlefield picking flowers out of her leaf hair and creating what looked like a long flower ring. “What are you doing?” asked Tara. “Shouldn’t you be helping your subjects?”

    “I will when I get finished”, replied Xylena as she continued making her flower ring. F.T. squeaked for just then, some Zoltan, Tomacho, and Ketchuck clones were heading their way. Tara quickly used her tomato powers to freeze the three clones, lift them up in the air, and toss them against a squash shaped building causing them to get completely squashed.

    A Mumato clone had some helpless Saladovians cornered and weaponless. Until Chad zoomed by on his skateboard, grabbed a bandage from the Mumato clone’s body causing him to get unraveled and become a pair of harmless eyes. The Saladovians started jumping and dancing on the helpless pair of eyeballs.

    A Fang and Beefsteak clone were about to devour some more Saladovians, but Chad managed to skateboard around the clones and tie them up with the long strip of mummy bandages he just required.

    “Isn’t our son a true warrior?” Elisa asked as she squashed a Tomacho clone.

    “Why not?” smiled Rob as he splattered a Ketchuck clone. “He’s inherited our sap, I mean blood.”

    Suddenly, Q-51 started flying through the sky shouting, “INCOMING!” He opened his door and out came the plant appliances. Roasty the Red Pepper Over blasted fire at a Beefsteak clone turning it into a giant sirloin steak, Vakky the vacuum cleaner watermelon vacuumed up the bandage of a Mumato clone unraveling it, and Squirty the grapefruit alarm clock squirted juice into the single eye of a Zoltan clone causing him to go blind and fall into the jaws of Munchie the Flytrap and all his fellow flytraps.

    “At last, I’m finished”, said Xylena as she looked at the huge flower ring then tossed it in the air. “I hear by banish all your killer tomatoes from my planet forever!” All the remaining tomato clones stopped attacking and looked above at the huge flower ring that looked like it had another portal inside it. Then the ring started to move around and suck up each tomato clone like a vacuum making them disappear. Soon every killer tomato clone was gone from sight leaving the Earthlings and Saladovians safe from harm. Sure, they were all covered with tomato sauce, but they were all safe.

    “That was awesome, Queen Xylena”, said Chad, “I never new you had such a talent!”

    “I never knew it either until today” smiled the Queen.

    “Where did you send those evil tomatoes?” asked Tara.

    “Let’s say where I sent them, their attitudes will be a whole lot sunnier”, said Xylena with a sneaky smile.

    * * * * * *

    Next we see the surface of the sun. Then a flower ring appeared and dropped all the tomato clones on the surface. The surprised tomato clones were hoping like crazy as their bottoms were getting burned and then they melted into bubbling marinara.

    * * * * * *

    Back at Otamot 13, Gangreen and Igor were watching the Saladovians and Earthlings cheer and do a victory dance in the sauce covered streets. “Whoa, that party looks fun”, said Igor, “I wish we could be attending!”

    “We can’t, you lunkhead!” grumbled Gangreen, “Because we’re not the victors!”

    “Can we go if we legally change our first names to Victor?” asked Igor.

    “Emperor Darkseed”, grumbled Gangreen, “What should we do about this now? Um, my emperor?” Gangreen noticed that Darkseed was sitting on his throne silently and his black armor was turning red while steam was blowing out of it. Then Darkseed made a long angry roar causing the armor to shoot bolts and collapse into pieces.

    “What’s going on in here?” demanded Paste as he stormed in and saw the pieces of Darkseed’s armor all over the floor. Then he turned angrily at Gangreen and Igor, “What have you two meatbags done with my emperor?!” growled Paste as he pointed his sword at the nervous villains.

    “He just blew up on his own!” gasped Gangreen. “It wasn’t our fault. I swear!”

    “That’s good”, said Igor, “If you swear, that Censor Lady will be on our backs big time.”

    “I will destroy you both!” shouted Paste as he was about to strike the terrified Gangreen and Igor.

    “Paste, restrain yourself”, called out Darkseed’s voice, “It wasn’t the doctor’s nor the assistant’s fault. I caused my own destruction thanks to those annoying Saladovians and Earthling heroes. They just tick me off so much!”

    “Emperor Darkseed!” gasped Paste as he scrounged through the metal and found the mighty Darkseed back to being a small helpless seed. “You’re still alive?!”

    “Yes, I’m alive”, said the little black seed, “As soon as I get me another body, I’ll finish off those annoying pests once and for all!”

    “Shall I have our finest Otamot blacksmiths build you a new body, my leader?” asked Paste.

    “That won’t be necessary”, said Darkseed, “Just take me outside and everything will be all right with the world. And I do mean this world.”

    Paste quickly rushed Darkseed out of the palace while Gangreen and Igor followed after them. “Now what do you suppose Darkseed’s up to?” wondered Gangreen.

    Once they were all outside the palace, Darkseed said, “All right, Paste. Plant me into the ground.”

    “But, my emperor”, said Paste. “I’m afraid you won’t be able to sprout very well from the weak soil of Otamot 13.”

    “Trust me, okay?” said Darkseed. Paste nodded and buried the small seed in the ground and covered him up.

    Just then, there was a huge earthquake that knocked Gangreen, Igor, and Paste down. “What’s going on?” shouted Gangreen.

    Just then, a huge vine shot out of the ground and seized Paste by the ankle and started dragging him down into the dirt. “My emperor!” gasped Paste as he was still being dragged down. “What are you doing?”

    “Why, I’ve decided to make all my loyal subjects a big part of me”, called out Darkseed’s voice, “Starting with you, my mighty commander of the guards.”

    “NOOOO!” shouted Paste as he was completely pulled down into the dirt.

    “Now that’s what I call getting down with your bad self”, said Igor, surprised.

    Just then, they saw more of the Otamots started to get dragged down thanks to vines that seemed to pop up out of everywhere. One of them even grabbed Gangreen’s ankle and started pulling him down. “IGOR, DO SOMETHING!”cried Gangreen.

    “Right, your about to go underness”, said Igor as he managed to pull Gangreen free.

    “Quick, head for the rocket!” shouted Gangreen as he and Igor rushed back to their rocket cucumber and blasted off before a huge vine could seize them. Gangreen and Igor watched as more helpless Otamots were getting dragged down and then watched as Darkseed’s fortress started crumbling down. Then in the center of the destruction was that glass box that held imprisoned Gang of 6.

    “Shouldn’t we take them along too?” asked Igor.

    “I suppose so”, said Gangreen. “Though annoying and traitorous, I still think of them as my spoiled little children.” A claw ejected from the rocket and picked up the glass box while the tomatoes were lying in there repeating, “SOIL, SOIL, SOIL, SOIL!” unaware of the danger the planet was facing.

    Once the Gang of 6 was onboard, the rocket cucumber blasted off into space. The rocket turned around so our villains could watch what was happening to Otamot 13. To their horror, they saw the dry brown planet turn a bright red while two green antennas popped out of the top. Then it grew three green evil eyes and two vicious mouths.

    “Amazing!” said Gangreen, “The entire planet has turned itself into a giant tomato.”

    “Actually, it’s an Otamot”, said Igor.

    “You say Otamot, I say tomato!” shouted Gangreen. “I say let’s call everything off before that thing eats us!” Gangreen went to his controls to turn the rocket around started to blast away.

    The giant Otamot planet watched Gangreen’s rocket blast away. “Oh, Dr. Gangreen”, said the planet in Darkseed’s voice, “It’s a pity that our partnership has ended. I guess that means more Saladovian soil for me, which was my intent from the beginning. HA HA HA HA!” And Darkseed, who was now a giant hungry tomato planet, began to move himself closer and closer to Saladovia with hunger in all 3 of his eyes and both of his mouths.

    TO BE CONCLUDED
    Last edited by Cullen; 06-28-2008 at 11:12 PM.

  19. #19
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    Planet of the Tomatoes

    By Cullen Pittman

    Chapter 10

    The Climatic Ketchup Covered Conclusion

    The Saladovians were dancing in the streets cheering for their great victory against the tomato clones. They formed a circle around Xylena who was now a giant queen tree and started singing a praise song to her while doing a ring around the rosey dance. Our Earth heroes were watching as the Saladovians were celebrating their victory.

    “I think Xylena will make a wonderful leader”, said Elisa.

    “Of course”, said Rob, “She’s got guts, I mean, sap.”

    “Oh no!” cried Tara as her eyes started to glow red again.

    “What’s wrong, Tara?” asked Chad. “Are more Otamot spaceships coming?”

    “No!” cried Tara. “I sense something worse than spaceships!” F.T. squeaked for he sensed something too and then shrieked as he pointed to the sky. Everyone looked up and became frightened at what they saw. It was a giant Otamot coming closer and closer to Saladovia.

    “Now that’s the biggest and ugliest Otamot I’ve ever seen”, gasped Rob.

    “It looks almost as big as a planet”, said Wilbur.

    “That’s because it is a planet!” shouted Chad.

    “Greetings my diminutive Saladovian neighbors”, said the planet in a loud monstrous voice.

    “I know that voice”, gasped Xylena. “It’s Darkseed!”

    “But how did he get so huge?” asked Elisa.

    “As your tiny seeds of brains have figured out, you’re looking at the planet of Otamot 13”, said Darkseed. “I just simply merged myself with my home planet making me a force not to tangle with. It’s just a shame I had to sacrifice my dear Otamot subjects in order for this miracle to happen, but maybe a snack will cheer me up. Like your whole soil covered planet!”

    Then Darkseed started to open both his mouths and began to gnaw on the giant greenhouse that was protecting Saladovia. “This is like nibbling on a giant gingerbread house”, said Darkseed, “Without the fattening sugar that is!” And he continued nibbling.

    The Saladovians panicked as they watched the greenhouse sky forming cracks little by little. “My word!” gasped Photosynth, “He’s not actually doing this?”

    “Queen Xylena”, asked Elisa, “Can you make another flower ring to send that ketchup ball out of here?”

    “I’m afraid not”, sad Xylena, sadly as she pointed to the single blue flower on her leaf afro. “I’ve run out of flowers and even if I could grow them back, there still wouldn’t be enough to make a ring big enough to transport a planet that big away.”

    “How long do you think that greenhouse can hold out?” asked Wilbur.

    “Elisa and I did design and construct that thing to be mega strong”, said Rob, “But I’m afraid not ultra strong. I predict that psycho planet will break through in about 15 minutes.”

    “If that’s so”, said Wilbur, “I’m not giving up without a fight!” Wilbur took out his bazooka and aimed it at the still nibbling planet.

    “I’m with you, bro”, said Rob as he charged up his eggbeater gun.

    “The same with me”, said Elisa as she posed her arms in karate mode while Mary Jo did the same. Floyd got his harpoon gun ready, Photosynth aimed his sword, and Sam took out a small toy pistol with a, BANG, flag sticking out. They all stood there aiming their weapons ready to fight when Darkseed does manage to break through the protective greenhouse.

    “This is Whitley White, bringing you what will probably be my last newscast”, said Whitley. “The evil emperor Darkseed has merged himself with his own planet and is trying to break through and eat up all of Saladovia and probably us too. That’s surely going to make property values go way down here! Yes, I can see those cracks in the greenhouse getting bigger and soon there’ll probably be a hole even bigger than that one over there on the right.”

    Chad looked over and saw the hole where the greenhouse door used to be and remembered it got blasted away by Dr. Gangreen’s rocket cucumber. Then he suddenly had an idea and rushed off. “Chad, where are you going?” asked Tara as she and F.T. followed after him.

    “I have an idea”, said Chad, rushing over to a trembling rocket cucumber, “And I’ll need Q-51’s help to do it.” And Chad, Tara, and F.T. entered the rocket’s door.

    * * * * * *

    Soon, Q-51 blasted off and went through the blasted hole in the greenhouse. “I sure hope planet face doesn’t spot me”, said Q-51 nervously.

    “Don’t worry”, said Chad as he was in the pilot’s seat while Tara and F.T. were behind him. “Darkseed’s too busy trying to eat his way through the greenhouse. He doesn’t even notice us. I just need you to land where Darkseed’s palace is located.”

    “I sure hope you know what you’re doing, kid”, said Q-51 as he got closer to Darkseed and landed on his forehead. The giant tomato planet was still too busy gnawing to notice that a tiny rocket cucumber had landed on his forehead.

    Q-51 ejected his celery stairs while the kids and fuzzy tomato exited. “I hope you kids don’t take too long”, said Q-51, “I feel way too uncomfortable sitting on this planet’s sweaty brow.”

    “We’ll be right back”, said Chad, “We just need to find Darkseed’s palace.” F.T. made a squeak pointing to what looked liked a demolished building.

    “What just happened?” asked Tara.

    “Somehow, Darkseed’s evil home must’ve collapsed”, said Chad.

    “I guess it’s just as well”, said Tara, “Darkseed wouldn’t be able to fit inside it anyway now that he’s been supersized.”

    “I just hope the things we saw earlier have survived”, said Chad as he started searching through the ruins of the castle. F.T. made a squeak as he pointed over to the far distance.

    “F.T. found them”, said Tara as she, Chad, and F.T. rushed over and found a pile of countless Otamot shaped bombs sitting there undamaged.

    “Perfect”, said Chad, “Now all we need to do is activate all these bombs. But it’ll probably take a long time to turn on over ten thousand switches.”

    “Let me try something”, said Tara as she used her tomato powers to lift two bombs in the air and merge them into one big bomb.

    “Wow, that’s amazing, Tara”, said Chad, “I never knew you could do that with your powers.”

    “It’s something Dr. Gangreen taught me during my first days as a human”, said Tara, “It’s not easy, but I have to do this for the sake of Saladovia and our loved ones.” Tara concentrated again and used her tomato powers to combine all the bombs together. Chad and F.T. watched amazed for it looked like the animators were going all out to draw these bomb merging scenes. And soon, our heroes were looking at one gigantic Otamot bomb that was the size of the Epcot Center. F.T. made an amazed squeak.

    “You said it, F.T”, said Chad, “That bomb should be big enough to blow Darkseed to tomato chunks. Are you okay, Tara?”

    “I’ll be fine”, said Tara, rubbing her head, “That trick took a lot out of my tomato powers. Now go ahead and flip the switch”

    Chad went over and set the timer on the bomb for 10 minutes. “Okay, the time is set”, said Chad, “Now we have to figure out a way to get this bomb inside Darkseed.”

    “Even if my tomato powers were fully recharged”, said Tara, “I don’t think they’re strong enough to move this giant thing into Darkseed’s mouth.”

    Just then, Darkseed turned his 3 huge eyes and saw the red shaped sphere on his forehead. “That looks like the biggest Otamot subject I’ve ever seen”, said Darkseed, “How could I have missed such a big guy?” Darkseed sprouted his vines out of the ground and pulled the giant bomb down under.

    “That was surprisingly convenient”, said Chad, “Now let’s leave this death planet.” Chad, Tara, and F.T. rushed back into Q-51 and blasted off Darkseed’s forehead.

    As Darkseed continued nibbling on the greenhouse, he suddenly noticed a little rocket cucumber hovering in front of his face. “Hey, Darkbutt”, said Q-51, “I got a little present for you!” And Q-51 squirted some pickle juice into Darkseed’s center eye causing him to stop nibbling and scream.

    “You’ll pay for that you insolent vegetable speck!” growled Darkseed as he saw the rocket cucumber zoom off into space while the giant planet chased after him.

    * * * * * *

    All the Saladovians and Earthlings watched in surprise as they saw Darkseed turn around and leave. “He stopped his terrifying nibbling”, said Photosynth.

    “Yeah, what gives?” wondered Rob.

    “Perhaps that giant red menace realized he was no match for the KTTF”, said Wilbur as he patted his bazooka. “He’s nothing but a big cream puff.” And the bazooka shot a cream puff into his face. “Hmmm, Bavarian cream!” said Wilbur as he tasted it.

    “Wait, where’s Chad?!” gasped Elisa as she and Rob started to look around worried.

    * * * * * *

    What Rob and Elisa didn’t know was that Chad, Tara, and F.T. were still inside Q-51 and they were all being chased by an annoyed Otamot planet. “Wow, that planet sure is mad”, said Tara.

    “Yep, nothing ticks off an Otamot than having his center eye get sprayed with a rocket cucumber’s own juice”, said Q-51.

    “But at least we’re getting him away from Saladovia”, said Chad, “That way he can blow up without hurting anyone near him.”

    “But he’s getting very close to us!” cried Tara as she looked out the porthole and saw Darkseed’s twin mouths getting closer and closer.

    “Can’t you go any faster, Q-51?” asked Chad.

    “I’d love to”, groaned Q-51, “But this is the fastest I can go! Why couldn’t it be Q-23 in this situation instead of me?!”

    F.T. started sniffing a nearby closed door and started squeaking at it. “F.T., what did you find?” asked Tara as she pushed the button that opened the door. There, they found a giant cylinder of soil. “That looks like Saladovian soil”, said Tara.

    “That must’ve been Xylena’s and her plant appliances’ food source during their trip to Earth and back”, said Chad. F.T. started squeaking while jumping up and down.

    “F.T”, scolded Tara, “Haven’t you yet learned that Saladovian soil is dangerous to you? Why do you still crave it?”

    F.T. just shook his head no and started pointing out the window.

    “I get it”, said Chad, “F.T. says we should send that addictive soil to Darkseed. Q-51, is there a way you can jettison this cylinder?”

    “Piece of carrot cake”, said Q-51, “No offense to all carrots watching this show.” Suddenly, the floor under the cylinder split open and the cylinder ended up dropping out. Then the floor closed up again.

    As Darkseed continued to chase after the rocket cucumber, a cylinder of soil that looked like the size of a tiny pill in Darkseed’s view, ended up falling into his first mouth. Suddenly, the giant planet stopped his chasing and suddenly felt a tingling sensation. “Soil, soil, glorious soil!” said Darkseed as all 3 of his eyes started swirling and drool started dripping out of both of his mouths dampening some of the poor stars.

    “It worked”, said Chad as he and our heroes looked out the window, “Darkseed’s too crazed on Saladovian soil to chase us.”

    “That was smart thinking, F.T”, smiled Tara as she patted the proud fuzzy tomato’s head.

    Then Q-51 turned direction and zoomed passed the too dazed planet and headed back for Saladovia.

    * * * * * *

    Everyone on Saladovia watched as they saw Q-51 return through the hole in the greenhouse and land. Chad, Tara, and F.T. stepped out of the rocket while everyone rushed over to them, staring with Rob and Elisa. “Chad, son”, said Rob, “Why were you kids riding around that rocket during an interplanetary emergency?”

    “You had your father and I so worried”, cried Elisa as she hugged Chad. “Just what were you thinking?!”

    “I’m sorry, Mom and Dad”, gasped Chad for Elisa’s hug was strong as a strangler vine. “But we had to put a stop to Darkseed now!”

    “Say, where did Darkseed go?” asked Wilbur.

    “I think I see him far away”, said Xylena as she pointed to a small red dot in the sky.

    “What is that fiend doing out there?” asked Photosynth.

    “Let’s just say he’ll be going out with a bang”, said Chad.

    * * * * * *

    Darkseed was still floating in space still in a dazed state and said, “I wonder if I stick out my tongue, more surprise soil will suddenly land on it?” Darkseed stuck out his giant tongue and found what looked like a bomb timer with wires that seemed to lead inside his mouth. “What’s this?” asked Darkseed, “5, 4, 3, 2, 1?” Then Darkseed started to feel his insides shake. “This might not be good.” He said and suddenly, he exploded in a big red bang causing red smoke to cover the galaxy. And all that was left of the evil Otamot Emperor was a tiny black seed floating in space.

    * * * * * *

    Back on Saladovia, everyone was gathered at the palace courtyard facing Queen Xylena who was addressing her subjects and heroes. “My dear Saladovian subjects”, said Xylena, “Today marks a big day in Saladovian history. We no longer have to fear the ruthless Darkseed nor even the entire evil Otamot Empire anymore. And it’s all thanks to these wonderful heroes from Earth you see before you.” Everyone cheered as they saw Chad, Tara, F.T, and the Killer Tomato Task Force standing in front of them wearing medals that consisted of round orange slices with long red apple peelings draped around their necks.

    “I could just keep this medal forever”, smiled Tara as she sniffed the orange.

    “Say, Wilbur”, asked Sam, “Where’s that grub generating bazooka of yours? Are you really gonna use it for your pizza business?”

    “No, Sam”, said Wilbur, “I made an important decision. I donated my bazooka to Chef Chloro to help him with the new business I started for him.”

    “What kind of business?” asked Mary Jo.

    “Well, even though Saladovia is blessed with pure water, fresh air, warm sunlight, ripe insects, and fertile soil”, explained Wilbur. “I noticed there was one thing that this poor planet lacked and I wanted to provide it with that one thing.”

    “What’s that?” asked Floyd.

    “Why, Saladovia’s very first pizza palace”, said Wilbur proudly as he pointed over to a smaller pumpkin palace next door to the large pumpkin palace. There was a sign above that read Chloro’s Otamotless Pizza Palace.

    Inside, we see Chef Chloro, in his new kitchen, taking out Wilbur’s bazooka and firing out a pizza. Then he took the pizza to a Saladovian couple sitting at a nearby table. “Here you go”, said Chloro, “One fertilizer and housefly pizza.” Then Chloro went over to another table and asked the Saladovian sitting there, “What kind of pizza would you like to order?”

    “I’d like a pizza with OTAMOTS!” said the Saladovian. All the other customers screamed and panicked while the Saladovian, who turned out to be the annoying Otamot Guy, was sitting there laughing while Chloro stood there steamed. “I think I’m going to like this place a lot”, smiled Otamot Guy.

    * * * * * *

    Sunny and Jasun approached Whitley and handed him a small flat box, “This is for you, Mr. White”, said Sunny. “Inside is a disc that has everything Jasun and I filmed for you during this adventure.”

    “You mean it’s all here?” smiled Whitley with delight, “Thank you my flowery friends. Once everyone on Earth sees this out of this world news report, I’ll be famous. My house will be loaded with Pulitzer Prizes! No, I’ll have so many Pulitzer Prizes, that I’ll have to build a huge mansion out of them with plenty of leftover Pulitzers for a summer house!”

    * * * * * *

    Chad looked over at Xylena and to his shock he saw the Saladovian queen and Photosynth standing with her in the flower pot throne. They were hugging each other and kissing. “Xylena!” gasped Chad.

    “Oh, Chad”, said Xylena as both she and Photosynth blushed, “I guess I owe you an explanation.”

    “You and Photosynth are….?” trembled Chad.

    “Yes”, said Xylena, “Ever since I was a little sprout, I always had this crush on the mighty Sir Photosynth.”

    “And I too had feelings for the little princess who is now the big queen”, said Photosynth, “But back then, we knew it couldn’t be for I was an adult plant and she was a minor plant.”

    “But now that I’ve reached adulthood early”, said Xylena, “Photosynth and I can truly be together. It’s like a miracle had blossomed.”

    “I’m so happy for both of you”, lied Chad, trying to hold in his disappointment.

    “I can tell that you’re lying”, said Xylena as she reached out her giant branch hand and picked up Chad like he was a small doll. “And I’m sorry it had to be this way between us.”

    “Don’t sweat it”, said Chad, “I’m still grateful that you’ve reunited me with my Mom and Dad. So you deserve your happiness as well.”

    “Oh, Chad, you are so kind hearted and understanding like your parents”, said Xylena, “And I’ll never forget the time we shared together.” And she placed her now giant lips over Chad’s face and gave him a huge wet kiss getting his cap and hair wet.

    “Maybe it wouldn’t really work out between us”, Chad thought to himself as Xylena put him back down and Chad wringed the wetness from his cap.

    “Poor Chad”, said Elisa, “His first love was never meant to be.”

    “Don’t worry, our son is tough”, said Rob, “He got over us being potted plants and I’m sure he can get over this.”

    “This was a fun and exciting trip we all took, but the Tomato Task Force and the kids and I need to get back home”, said Wilbur, “There are still killer tomatoes roaming around terrorizing the Earth, and without us, there’s no hope for our home planet.”

    “Then you should go back home, Wilbur”, said Rob, “If anyone can take on those villainous veggies, it’s you, little brother.”

    “And please continue to do a good job raising Chad”, said Elisa, “We’re grateful to you on how he turned out.”

    “Will do”, said Wilbur.

    “Then in that case”, said Xylena as she plucked the last flower from her leaf hair and put it on the ground. The flower grew into another giant portal. Our heroes looked through it and saw it led back to San Zucchini and Wilbur’s Pizza Palace.

    “Ah, pizza palace sweet pizza palace”, smiled Wilbur.

    “I guess this is goodbye”, said Chad as he looked at his parents.

    “I know”, said Elisa, “I guess your father and I didn’t get a chance to say it the last time we left you.”

    “It wasn’t your fault”, said Chad. “But now it looks like I’ll have to say goodbye for real. I have to go home and I guess you both can’t come back with me.”

    “Yep, that’s true”, said Rob, pointing to his plantish bottom half. “We need Saladovia soil to survive and you can hardly find that stuff at any Earth nursery.”

    “But, buck up, dear”, said Elisa, stroking Chad’s face, “Xylena told me that once she starts blooming more flowers, she can create portals so we can visit you anytime or so that you can visit us. So it’s not goodbye forever.”

    “Is this true, Xylena?” Chad asked the queen.

    “I do believe I feel a bud starting to grow on my forehead”, smiled Xylena.

    “So, we’ll be seeing you again soon”, smiled Elisa as she hugged and kissed her boy. “Maybe we’ll even spend this Christmas together.”

    “You can even decorate us like Christmas trees”, laughed Rob, “And place presents under our stems.”

    Chad laughed and hugged both his parents lovingly. Tara and F.T. watched with happiness for their friend. Then Tara turned around as she saw Xylena looking at her. “Tara”, said Xylena, “It’s up to you to look after Chad now. Please care for him and protect him from harm like the way he always does for you.”

    “You don’t even have to command it, your majesty”, said Tara bowing to the queen.

    Just then, everyone looked up and saw Q-51 racing around writing a smoke message in the sky. It read, “LATER YOU COOL EARTHLINGS”, in big letters.


    Soon, Rob and Elisa and all the Saladovians watched as the Earthlings stepped through the flower portal back to Earth one at a time. Then Chad and Tara were the last ones to step through it. As the portal started to shrink, the kids waved goodbye to everyone while the portal slowly disappeared and the petals fell onto the ground. Rob and Elisa stood there silently thinking about their son, then looked at each other and kissed.

    “You majesty”, Photosynth asked Xylena, “Do you remember that those Earthlings have been declared wanted criminals for the space station incident? Including you?”

    “Don’t worry, my love”, said Xylena, “I contacted the galactic council and had them all officially pardoned, including me. No intergalactic police will be coming to Earth and arresting them.”

    “What about that evil Dr. Gangreen?” asked Photosynth.

    “Don’t worry”, said Xylena, “He will get what’s coming to him very soon.”

    * * * * * *

    Back on the Galactic Gangreen Express, Dr. Gangreen was piloting his ship through endless space grumbling, “I can’t believe all my plans have gone down the drain!” he griped. “I got used and abused by a windbag of an Emperor and almost eaten by him. Now we’re roaming around lost in space!”

    “And what’s worse”, wailed Ketchuck, “We didn’t get any soil!”

    “Yeah!” grumbled Zoltan, “Gangreen you fink, you promised we’d come back to Earth with sweet soil. But all we got was zilch!”

    “We ought to start yet another mutiny and throw you and your surfer flunky off this ship!” shouted Fang. All the other Gang of 6 agreed as they growled from inside their glass box holding.

    “Well, you can’t!” shouted Gangreen, “You ill-tempered tomatoes are locked up in that glass prison, so keep quiet before I turn this rocket to the sun and have you all thrown out and turned into stew!”

    “Hey, Doc”, said Igor. “Some kind of thing is coming our way.”

    “It’s probably just a satellite”, said Gangreen. “Let’s just go around it.”

    “It might take a major long time to do that”, said Igor. Gangreen looked at the front window and saw what looked like a giant rocket powered building heading their way.

    “It’s a giant courthouse”, gasped Gangreen, “What’s it doing out here in space?”

    “Maybe it’s a higher court!” giggled Igor, “Huh, huh, huh!” Before Gangreen could take out his ruler to smack Igor, an antenna on top of the courthouse shot out a beam and hit the rocket. Suddenly, the villains found themselves disappearing and then suddenly reappeared in what looked like a courtroom.

    “What happened to my rocket?” demanded Gangreen as he found himself sitting next to Igor in front of a table while the Gang of 6 was behind them still in their glass box.

    “It’s been placed in a rocket impound lot”, said a robot bailiff. “And I have a feeling you won’t be flying a rocket ever again once the judge throws the book at you! All rise for the honorable Judge Uni-trial”, said the bailiff.

    Just then, two twin doors opened and out came a giant computer screen wearing a judge’s wig. A green pixilated hammer appeared on the screen and started banging. “A computer is going to decide our fates?” gasped Gangreen.

    “Order in the court”, said the judge in a computer sounding voice.

    “I’ll have a…” said Igor, but couldn’t finish his line when Gangreen covered his mouth.

    “Say it and I’ll have your funny bone removed and fed to laughing hyenas”, grumbled Gangreen.

    “Dr. Putrid T. Gangreen”, said the judge. “You have been charged with the following crimes. For going 3 billion in a 2 billion MPH zone, for not having license plates or expiration stickers on your rocket, for bringing these monstrous vegetables to Space Station Alpha-Beta-Calculata, causing a panic. And now I just received news from Saladovia’s new queen that you assassinated and caused the death of good King Xylem, the now former king of Saladovia.”

    “It wasn’t my idea”, pleaded Gangreen, “An evil Otamot Emperor made me do it! I felt really bad about it too!”

    “Gee”, said Igor, taking out a small drawing, “Then why did you draw this picture of a dead tree king with a tombstone that says, “Good riddance, King Xylem?”

    “Can you do the universe a favor and give this blabbermouth the chair?” Gangreen asked the judge.

    “No”, said the judge, “All these guilty crimes will call for something more extreme! Bailiff, activate the transport ray.” The bailiff ejected an antenna from his forehead and aimed a beam at Gangreen, Igor, and the Gang of 6.

    “What are you going to do to us?” cried Gangreen as he saw his feet, then his legs disappearing.

    “I’m sentencing all of you to exile!” said the judge. “To the most evil, violent, war obsessed planet in the whole universe!”

    “You don’t mean?!” gasped Gangreen, who saw his arms and torso disappearing.

    “I’m sending you all to Earth”, said the judge as the villains completely disappeared from the courtroom.

    * * * * * *

    Suddenly, Gangreen found himself back in one piece standing on green grass. He looked up at the night sky and said, “We’re back on Earth? But where on Earth did we get sent to?”

    “I don’t know”, said Igor. “But that building over there looks weird. Maybe we’re at Disneyworld.”

    “It’s our old laboratory home”, gasped a delighted Gangreen. “That foolish judge sent us back safe and sound to San Zucchini. And in our own backyard too! It looks like we got off easy in the end.”

    “I wouldn’t say that”, said Igor as he pointed somewhere. Gangreen turned around and found the angry Gang of 6 standing there free from their glass box prison.

    “Hey guys”, said Gangreen, “You’re not still holding a grudge are you?”

    “Holding grudges is what killer tomatoes do best!” growled Zoltan.

    “We may be back home”, grumbled Beefsteak, “But we still got no Saladovian soil beneath our roots!”

    “And we’re hungry!” growled Ketchuck.

    “You dudes aren’t gonna have one of those cliché cartoon fantasies where you imagine us as food, are you?” asked Igor.

    “No, but it’s a nice suggestion”, said Tomacho. The Gang of 6 looked at Gangreen and Igor and saw them as giant clumps of soil.

    “What’s better than snowmen are soilmen!” said Mumato.

    “LET’S EAT!” shouted the whole Gang of 6 as they started to chase after Gangreen and Igor.

    “I guess we’re being punished after all, huh, Doc!” said Igor.

    “For the last time, DON’T CALL ME DOC!” shouted Gangreen as he and Igor continued running from the crazy killer tomatoes and disappeared over the horizon.

    * * * * * *

    Back at Wilbur’s Pizza Palace, the Killer Tomato Task Force was throwing a party celebrating their amazing journey and victory. Wilbur was serving all kinds of weird pizzas which everyone tried to avoid. “Why won’t you all try my wild cherry and white chocolate victory pizzas?” asked Wilbur. “I made it with my own loving hands instead of a bazooka.”

    F.T. was sitting at a table eating a big bag of Earth soil. Sure it wasn’t that luscious smelling Saladovian soil, but F.T. learned that sometimes home food from your own home is more satisfying and safer.

    Tara looked around the place and found Chad missing. She went into the storeroom and saw Chad sitting at Wilbur’s office desk lost in thought. Chad had drawn a sketch of Xylena as a child and started smiling. Then started flipping through the other papers for he had made a cartoon flip book and it showed the young Xylena transforming into a fully grown adult tree and then frowned.

    Tara saw the depressed look on Chad’s face and said, “I can’t stand to see him sad again.” She snuck over to a CD player sitting on the shelf and turned it on.

    “What the…” gasped Chad as he heard some slow playing dance music and turned around and found Tara standing there smiling. “Tara?” asked Chad, puzzled.

    “Come on, Chad, we’re having a party”, said Tara, “And I was hoping I would find a handsome dance partner. Would you be my partner and dance with me?”

    “Sorry, Tara”, said Chad, turning back around, “But I’m not really in the mood to dance.”

    “I said, DANCE WITH ME!” demanded Tara as she used her powers to pull Chad out of his seat and into her arms. “Let’s just do a slow dance”, said Tara as she took Chad’s hand and placed her other hand on his shoulder and started dancing.

    For the first time, Chad didn’t feel so uncomfortable or nervous when he was this close to Tara. For the time he spent with Xylena helped him get over his fear of girls. “You know, Tara”, said Chad as they continued dancing, “With those tomato powers, you certainly won’t have any problems with stubborn boyfriends.”

    “Yes, and I hope to be rid of these powers someday”, sighed Tara, “You know I’m not really a human teenage girl, I’m actually a tomato in disguise. And until I find a way to become fully human, I’ll probably be stuck in this teenage body until I’m an old tomato.”

    “Don’t worry, Tara”, said Chad, “As long as I’m alive, we’re going to find a way to make you permanently human for good. We’ll force Gangreen to create a formula that will make you human. And if that doesn’t work, I’ll try to make the formula myself with my junior chemistry set. I’ll even take chemistry classes in high school and college until I can find you a way to make you human so you can live a normal peaceful life.”

    “Maybe I’ll finally become human the day you become a teenager”, smiled Tara.

    “What was that?” asked Chad.

    “Oh, nothing”, said Tara as she dipped Chad and raised him back up and continued dancing. “Let’s just focus on tonight.” And the two continued to dance.

    Above the kids, a small flower portal opened and Rob and Elisa looked down at their son and the tomato girl who were busy dancing to notice who was above them. “Can you believe it, dear?” smiled Elisa, “Our own son is best friends with a tomato.”

    “And not a killer tomato”, smiled Rob, “A real tomato! Way to go, son!” And the parents just silently watched the kids dancing not wanting to disturb this touching moment.

    * * * * * *

    At the KRUD TV station, Whitley entered the control room and fired up his DVD player. “I can’t wait to see how I look reporting from another planet”, said Whitley as he opened up the small box. But instead of a disc, he found a pineapple ring. “A pineapple ring?!” gasped Whitley, but then remembered back on Q-51 when Xylena played the same type of ring like a DVD. “That’s right”, said Whitley, “This is what Saladovians use for DVDs. So it should work on my system.”

    Whitley inserted the pineapple ring into the DVD slot and turned on the TV. But all he got on the screen was static. “What’s this?” demanded Whitley, “Why aren’t you showing my greatest news story?!” Then he saw the DVD player shooting out sparks and pineapple jam oozing from the machine, for Saladovian technology wasn’t compatible with Earth technology.

    “No, this isn’t fair!” wailed Whitley while pulling at his combover, “This was going to make me the most famous news reporter in history! And this happened?! WHY?!!!” But then Whitley started to smell something. He looked down at the bubbling pineapple ooze and tasted it. “Hey, it’s smoked pineapple jam”, smiled Whitley, “One of my favorites. This is a happy ending after all!” and he took out a spoon and started chowing down on the stuff while the cartoon’s closing credits started to roll.

    * * * * * *

    Once the credits had stopped, we see a black seed drop down to Earth landing in the grassy fields of San Zucchini. “Perfect”, said the seed in Darkseed’s sinister voice. “Once I take root here, I’ll be back on my stems ready to get revenge on everyone. HA HA HA HA!” but then Darkseed stopped laughing when an innocent little bird flew down, plucked the helpless black seed from the ground and swallowed him. Then the bird happily flew off not realizing he had saved Earth from the wrath of an evil vegetable emperor.

    THE END
    Last edited by Cullen; 10-02-2007 at 10:35 PM.

  20. #20
    Cullen is offline Member
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    AUTHOR’S NOTES: Well that’s the end of my Planet of the Tomatoes story. And I want to thank FOX Kids for airing this great cartoon back in the early 90’s.

    The people at Marvel for making this cartoon.

    The voice artists John Astin, Chris Guzek, Kath Soucie, Neil Ross, Thom Bray, Cam Clarke, S. Scott Bullock, Maurice LaMarche, Chuck McCann, Susan Silo, and Rob Paulsen for lending their voice talents to this neat cartoon.

    Costa Dillon for creating the idea of the Killer Tomatoes.

    The fanfiction sites that let me post this fanfic and the fans who have been praising me for my work.

    And a very special thanks to God my Heavenly Father for giving me the gift of imagination.

    Thank you for reading and watch out for any tomatoes that suddenly appear in your homes by surprise. The other day when I got home from the store, I discovered a box of cherry tomatoes that was put in my grocery bag by mistake.

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