This is the first exclusive look at Beat Down - Episode 1 : Clones. In this section, our heroes are in hot pursuit of Kurt Sniveller, but are experiencing a few problems ....
‘Have some schnapps,’ Cap’n Nerv said with a wide grin.
‘Thanks.’ Russell took a cup and drained it in one gulp. Almost immediately they heard a rumbling from the ground below them. ‘Good God, Captain,’ Russell exclaimed, ‘I think that stuff has given me the trots.’
‘It’s not you, Russ!’ Rip shouted, standing up. ‘It’s something below us!’
The earth began to shake, and sand rushed to fill little cracks that appeared in the ground. Russell had the sensation of being lifted up into the air. He grabbed hold of a nearby rock.
‘It’s rising!’ Rip shouted as the whole area beneath them suddenly jerked upwards.
‘One o’ you lads grab the schnapps!’ Cap’n Nerv shouted, as Bert flew off to perch in the safety of a nearby tree, cackling, ‘Chav, chav!’ all the while.
Rip managed to grab the barrel under one arm as it rolled towards the edge of what now revealed itself as a giant door. With the other he held on to the trunk of a nearby sapling. Russell had climbed up as far as the chalet, and was standing with his feet braced against the door frame as the whole building rose into the air.
Beneath them they heard a roaring sound, like a huge waterfall.
‘It’s a secret entrance!’ Russell shouted. ‘That bounder Sniveller must have his base underground!’
Below them, a flood of water gushed out of the open entrance as their barbeque spot became a gurgling river. The chalet continued to rise until they were almost thirty metres in the air.
‘I can’t hold on!’ Rip shouted. ‘That row really took it out of me!’
Russell looked around for the others. Bert was frantically cawing, ‘Chav, chav!’ from a nearby tree. Cap’n Nerv had managed to hobble to high ground, and now stood on a rock just above the rushing water. Rip was hanging on to a tree poking out of the side of the huge door, with the barrel of schnapps under his free arm. Back on the beach, Marny was watching the whole scene unfold with a look of horror on his face.
A huge shape appeared from out of the opening, moving swiftly below them on the now raging flood of water.
‘It’s the whaling ship!’ Russell shouted. ‘They must going back to get more sharks! What can the bounders be doing with them all?’
‘I . . . can’t . . .’ Rip began, then Russell watched with dismay as the barrel fell down into the raging waters in the ship’s wake.
‘The schnapps!’ the captain roared. ‘Save the schnapps, ye heathen coward!’
Rip’s face was a picture of suffering. ‘I can’t –’
‘Yes, ye can!’
Then, with the athleticism of a professional soccer player, Cap’n Nerv flicked up a rock with his good leg and swung at it with the cricket bat embedded into the stump of his other one. The ball struck the middle of the bat and flew through the air like a bullet. With the accuracy of a royal archer, the rock struck the top of Rip’s fingers.
‘Dammit!’ Rip shouted, his fingers jerking and letting go. His legs flapped as he hung comically in the air for a moment, then he plunged down into the raging waters.
‘That’s it, me hearty!’ Cap’n Nerv hollered, cackling with laughter. ‘Sacrifice yeself for the booze!’
For a few seconds Rip struggled in the water. Russell saw one arm slip around the barrel, and he marveled at Rip’s selflessness. However, he would later assume, he friend could have just been looking to hold on to something that floated.
The water had begun to rush back into the opening, as if pulled by a suction pump. One moment Rip was there and the next he had been sucked down into that deep, dark hole.
Coming to Kindle November 7th 2012