“Follow me and stick to the shadows.” Redbird whispered as she crept through the door with Ishmael right on her heels. She cursed Artemis for making her take Ishmael along. She could move faster and quieter if she didn’t have a walking tuna following her. “And keep quiet.”
Ishmael nodded. He had been out of the water for a while now and it was starting to become uncomfortable. He knew he could last a bit longer on the surface, but he needed to be back in the water and soon or else he could begin to be in trouble. He followed the yellow haired girl as she crept down the corridor; their foot falls making a whispered sound across the stone floor as they walked.
In the distance Ishmael could hear the chattering of, what the others called gorillas all conversing in almost inaudible grunts that were a mix of their own language and English. He caught a few smatterings of words, but nothing that made sense.
The two took several turns in the passage ways. As they did, the sounds of the gorillas became louder and louder. Redbird slowed even more. There was a room in front of them that bathed the rest of the corridor they were in with bright yellowish light. She knew they couldn’t go any further with out checking this room first making sure that it if they walked past they wouldn’t be seen or discovered.
Redbird flattened against the wall and motioned for Ishmael to do the same. The Girl Wonder pulled a small mirror from her utility belt and used it to peer safely around the corner. Drawing the mirror back she swore softly under her breath.
“Four of them.” She whispered to Ishmael. “All look like military. Each carrying those shock spears like the others.” She eased the mirror back across the door way again. “It appears that there is a fifth.” She looked again. “In some kind of…box. It looks to be made from some reinforced glass. He seems to be some kind of prisoner.”
“Should we help them?” Ishmael whispered leaning in towards her.
Redbird pulled one of her tonfa out of its holster. “We do it quickly and quietly.” She pulled a small disk that emanated a slight blue glow. Peaking around the corner one last time The Girl Wonder tossed the glowing blue disk at one of the apes.
There was a pop and small almost inaudible explosion. The next thing heard, was the tinkling of crystallizing ice as it quickly grew around the Gorilla, freezing him solid. The other three gorilla soldiers turned their heads quickly in panic.
“Go.” Redbird tossed herself into the room, quickly landing the blunt edge of her tonfa onto the side of the gorilla soldier’s temple. The blow buckled the gorilla’s legs dropping him to his knees. Another blow to the back of the gorilla’s neck and it dropped harmlessly to the ground.
She then spun around to face the other two gorillas. Both had lowered their spears toward her, electricity sparking from their tips.
Redbird pulled her second tonfa from its holster and spun it in between her fingers. She waited for the gorillas to make the first move. She studied both still standing guards, waiting on them to move.
The two gorillas looked at each other for a moment, and then one spoke. “Kill her, I will alert Lord Grodd.”
The other nodded and bared his teeth at Redbird and charged.
He was quick and strong, but clumsy. Redbird could see him telegraphing his movements. She feinted to the left, trying to get the gorilla to follow her that way. When he committed, Redbird moved quickly again to the right and slammed the end of her tonfa as hard as she could into the soft underside of the gorilla’s chin.
The guard gagged hard as he stumbled, his forward momentum sent him sprawling against the floor. The gorilla coughed and sputtered as he attempted to regain his composure.
The Girl Wonder moved quickly and jumped into the air landing her knee hard into the guards back, and she stabbed the long tip of her tonfa into the gorilla’s back. She flicked a small button on the tonfa which sent a concentrated charge of electricity into the guard rendering unconscious.
The second guard ran to the door where Ishmael stood looking at the violence inside. The guard smiled as he raised the staff high above his head and went to lower it toward Ishmael energy sparking from its tip.
Ishmael stood his ground. Slowly, almost rhythmically, parts of his body began glow.
The gorilla’s staff stayed above his head. His head tilted slightly to the side as he watched the glow. The anger washed away from his face and becoming replaced by a compliant, calm look. His grip on the spear slackened and it fell onto his own back sending a jolt of electricity coursing through him before he fell helplessly to the ground.
“Wow.” Redbird said with an impressed smile on her face. “That was impressive Ishmael. Now lets check on our the one in the box.”
Redbird pulled a set of lock picks out of her belt and set to work. Once the door was open, the gorilla that was inside stumbled out of his cage and fell to the floor.
“You alright?” Redbird helped the gorilla to his feet.
This gorilla was different than the others. For one he was smaller, only a few inches taller than her. Second his fur was grey, not brown or black like the rest of them. The gorilla stood up to his full size. He was weakened by his time in the cage but he still had strong piercing brown eyes. They studied Redbird for a moment before he finally spoke.
“I am Prince Solovar, son of King Nnamdi.” He bowed low toward Redbird. “I thank you for your help in rescuing me.”
“Redbird.” The girl nodded. “This is my…associate Ishmael. We’re here to try to stop Grodd. We have other people here with us as well.”
“Thank the ancestors.” The Prince gave a sigh of relief. “Once my father along with most of the members of the council and military disappeared, Grodd stepped in immediately and took over. I tried to fight him, but he is too powerful. He locked me away here, using my telepathic abilities to augment his own.”
Redbird placed her hand on the Prince’s shoulder, “What can you tell us about Grodd’s plan Solovar?”
“Before we discuss things,” the Prince looked over at the four unconscious guards. He seemed to concentrate on them for a moment, and then dropped to one knee with exhaustion.
“You okay?” Redbird helped him to his feet once again.
“I-I will be fine.” Solovar stammered. “like the others of the ruling caste of Gorilla City, I have telepathic powers. Mine have not fully developed yet however and wiping the memories of the four guards nearly took every thing I had.”
“Will you be alright to walk?” Redbird said with concern in her voice.
“I will.” He nodded. “We need to leave this room though, they will wake soon. I know a good place for us to hide and discuss our next move.”
It took several minutes of slow moving through the dark corridors until they reached what Solovar called a safe place, hidden from Grodd’s eyes.
“Solovar we need information.” Redbird said as she leaned back against the wall of the room, her arms folded across her chest. “What is Grodd planning? And how can we stop him?”
Solovar sighed heavily. The young gorilla looked older than he had just a few moments ago. “A long time ago before my birth, my namesake the first King Solovar went to the world of men and attempted to join with them. He was murdered by another of the ruling caste, my Uncle Ulgo. He was never in line to rule as he was not a telepath like the rest of the ruling caste. He used some of our scientists to create a machine capable of turning your species into gorillas like us. The machine had a limited range however. The plot was stopped by your Justice League and Ulga was defeated along with his benefactor Grodd were defeated.”
Solovar sighed again. He fell back into a chair and rubbed his head. “When Earth’s heroes including my father disappeared, Grodd assumed control of Gorilla City with a cult of loyal followers. He and his scientists have resumed making the Gorilla Bomb. This time, when it is activated it will be connected to Grodd himself, using his own vast telepathic powers to beam the force of the bomb across the whole world all at the same time turning your entire species into apes. This time however, they will not have the intelligence that we or you have, but will be more like our less evolved brethren.”
“God.” Redbird put her hand to her mouth. “That is insane.”
“That is Grodd.” Solovar said solemnly.
“So where is this Gorilla Bomb?” The Girl Wonder said with resolve in her voice as she crossed the room to what looked like a computer terminal. She sat down and started playing with the keys.
“It is still in the labs. There was a…” for the first time she knew him a smile played on the Prince’s lips, “a bit of a, we shall say accident that set them back. “
“You?” Redbird smiled back at him from over the monitor.
“Why else would I have been thrown into that cage Redbird?” Solovar shrugged his shoulders. ” I did my best to delay them, hopefully until my father could return and stop Grodd.”
“Damn.” Redbird slammed her fists on the console. “I can’t get into this system. Solovar?”
“I can try.” Solovar took the seat in front of the computer that Redbird had occupied a few moments before. “What are you looking for?”
“I want to try to link my communicator to the Justice League mainframe, see if we can get a signal out.” She pulled a commlink from her belt.
“That would not be advisable.” The Prince shook his head.
“Why?” Redbird leaned onto the desk.
“Grodd would be watching,” Solovar said solemnly.
Redbird swore under her breath again. “You’re right.” She put her commlink back in her pocket. “So where is this gorilla bomb?”
The Simian Prince stood. “That I can help you with.” Solovar gave another grin. “Follow me.”