Battle Force 5 Shorts - Gardening
One Sunday afternoon near the end of May found Lex, Suki, and Tezz visiting the Irishman's home in Ireland. The visit was only supposed to be a quick one to mow the lawn and do some light yard work. Due to a certain breed of invasive plant, however, the Irishman found an outlet for some built-up stress and frustration.
"Sunnova," he muttered as he grabbed one of the larger stalks of bamboo and started pulling, the stalk refusing to give any ground. Grunting and swearing under his breath, Lex put his weight into pulling and twisting. Liquid contained within the plant sprayed everywhere as the stalk cracked without breaking free from the roots located underneath the lawn, coating his arms in what he hoped was water.
When the stalk finally came away it occured with such force that he was thrown backward onto his rear, the stalk flying a few more feet before landing in a heap near his mother's lilac bush. Flipping to his feet, he sighed as he looked at how many stalks still waited to be pulled up.
"Lex-onii-sama," Suki called, startling him out of his reverie. He turned to find Suki grinning from ear to ear, a tall brunette woman with green eyes and an olive complexion standing beside her. Suki continued to grin as Lex wiped his palms against his cargo shorts before approaching the two ladies. "Onii-sama, this is Flora. Flora, this is Lex, the owner of the property."
"You have such beautiful lilac bushes," Flora said as she shook Lex's hand, her gaze wandering all over the yard.
"Thank ye," Lex replied before looking at all of the remaining bamboo as well as several climbing vines that were threatening to strangle some of the smaller trees. "I just wish I had been here ta take better care o' th' property before these dratted plants decided ta take over."
Flora walked over to one of the bamboo stalks and examined it for a few moments before grabbing hold of it. Planting her feet firmly, she pulled, easily extracting the stalk as well as large piece of root. Setting the first stalk down, she grabbed another stalk and pulled, this one coming up with two smaller stalks and another root.
"Suki, please get th' garden cart from th' shed," Lex said as he joined Flora in pulling out stalks.
Half an hour later the duo had filled the cart, both of them taking a few moments to catch their breaths before setting to the task of emptying the cart so that they could refill it. They looked up when Suki called their names, Flora's expression brightening when she saw the four young ladies who accompanied Suki.
"Hey girls, this is Lex," Flora said by way of introduction, "I... promised to help him with his gardening work. Lex, these are Terry..."
A girl with short fuchsia-dyed hair nodded and smiled.
An Asian girl with her raven hair pulled back in a long braid gave a small bow.
A redhead smiled and shook his hand.
A beautiful blond giggled before saying, "We're going to miss the bus if we don't rejoin the others by five."
Flora looked at Lex, then at the lilac bushes that were being threatened by the encroaching bamboo. She looked to her friends, all of whom smiled back at her.
"I'll see if I can't find some appropriate music," Melody said as Bloom and Stella joined Lex and Flora in bamboo pulling.
As Melody's music filled the air, Terry started looking up plant information on her PDA. "It says that you may need to dig up the root bundles to prevent the spread of the plant," she read, "though that may prove difficult, as these root systems are insane."
"Ye are nae kidding lass," Lex replied as Suki took a shovel to something that had been relieved of old and new growths of stalks. "Is there any type o' cure tha' we kin use?"
Terry frowned. "Short of digging up your lawn, dousing everything with lye, and waiting.... not really."
Lex sighed. "Any other suggestions?"
The Irishman chuckled. "Probably nae th' best 'cure' fer what ails th' property."
Work continued for another hour, with Flora borrowing a set of clippers and a saw to help the lilac bushes while the others continued with bamboo pulling and vine trimming. When they finally stopped for the afternoon Lex took a seat on the bench and sighed happily. "Thank ye," he said, "if there is ever anything I kin do ta repay ye..."
"May I have some of the lilac blossoms?" Flora asked.
Lex nodded. "Th' lilacs are what drew ye ta me home, so it is th' least I kin do."
Flora took a small set of clippers from the pile of tools that they had amassed and snipped a few branch ends that were in full bloom, handing them off to Melody as she whispered something to each branch and bush. Once she had gathered a sufficient bouquet she handed the shears to Suki. "These will look lovely in our common room," she beamed. "Thank you."
Lex began to say something, only to jump when Terry exclaimed, "Eureeka!"
When the fuchsia-haired girl turned from her PDA to a very startled Irishman she was grinning from ear to ear. "I found something that should help with your weed issues," she declared. "All you need is a gallon of white vinegar, a pound of Epsom salts, and a cup of Dawn dish washing liquid. Oh, and a large spray bottle."
"He's going to give the weeds a pedicure?" Stella asked in surprise. "Have them soak their roots after a long, hard day of making a mess of things?"
"Something like that," Terry giggled. "Mix everything together and spray at the roots, or in your case, on the roots early in the day, and by the end of the day your weed problems should be history."
"I'll have ta give it a shot and let ye know what th' results were," Lex said as Suki jotted down the data from Terry's PDA.
"It was nice meeting you," Bloom said as the other four girls followed Suki back toward town. "Take care."
"Thank ye lass," Lex said, waving as the redheaded girl ran to catch up to her friends. Dragging the back of his glove across his forehead, he let out a sigh of frustration. "Buggeration," he muttered, "do I even have all o' th' necessary ingrediants fer th' all natural weed killer?"
"I can go check," Suki said. She fell back as a certain hyperactive yellow sentient put in an appearance. "Or we can ask Fay-chan to gather everything up for us."
"Fay-chan is here to help!" Fay giggled, snagging Lex's list before teleporting. She reappeared a moment later, her arms full with a gallon of vinegar, a large spray bottle, a package of Epsom salts, and what appeared to be glowing dish detergent. Handing the items to Suki, she asked, "What is it Suki-chan is concocting?"
"Something a new friend said would help with Lex-kun's bamboo issues," Suki replied as she poured the vinegar and epsom salts into the spray container. Picking up the glowing bottle, she said, "Are you sure this is dish soap?"
"It was on the sink near the dishes in the kitchen, so it must be a new brand," Fay replied, pouring the liquid into the container.
The duo clamped the top onto the container and shook it up. Suki pumped the nozzle to prime it before handing it off to Lex. "All set Lex-kun."
"Thank ye," the Irishman replied as he set to applying the mixture to the bamboo roots.
On the other side of town Bloom and her friends were standing at the bus stop, the redhead checking her watch every few minutes. "They're late," she said.
"They'll be here Bloom," Flora said, "They know what time the bus leaves for home. I don't think they'd risk getting left behind."
Stella tapped Bloom on the shoulder before pointing up the street, where a dark skinned woman was running toward them. Behind her were three young men, all of whom were loaded up with packages. "We're coming!" she called.
"And here comes the bus," Melody said, pointing down the opposite end of the road.
"Aisha! Hurry up!" Flora called.
"HELP!" a new voice cried in the distance. Something on the other end of town erupted from the ground and made its way into the sky.
"Oh hell," Terry muttered, "that sounded like Suki."
"Who's Suki?" Aisha asked as she and the men came to a stop with the rest of their group.
"A new friend," Melody explained as she squinted toward the waving objects, "Tecna, do you have an explanation for what we're seeing?"
"It appears that the bamboo was somehow subjected to a mutagenic agent," Terry / Tecna replied, data flowing over the screen of her PDA. "What we are seeing is a rather angry version of the plant."
"Want us to hold the bus?" one of the boys asked as Flora shoved the lilac blossoms into his hands.
"We'll either catch the next bus or find another way to get home," Bloom called over her shoulder as she and the other girls started running back through town. To her friends she said, "It's time to transform."
"Magic Winx! Believix!"
Lex had no idea that bamboo could turn carnivorous, or gain semi-sentient / rational thought. Behind him Fay was chain teleporting in an attempt to keep their new foe on its toes.
"Fay-chan is sorry," the yellow sentient apologized, "I thought I had grabbed the dish detergent and may have grabbed...."
"One o' Tezzy's chemical concoctions," the Irishman said, bringing his hands together to summon a shield. "Fay, I need ye ta get ta th' Guardian and find me sword."
Fay nodded and vanished. She reappeared a moment later, her eyes widening milliseconds before she was catapulted into the stratosphere by rapidly growing weeds. The sword fell to the ground on the other side of the clearing, where it promptly thrust itself into the ground up to the hilt.
"Fuck me gently with a chainsaw," he muttered under his breath. "Damn weeds are nae giving me a chance ta use me nano armor o' ta get me sword."
The roar of a dragon shook the countryside. A glowing red dragon made its appearance a second later, the mighty beast breathing flames upon the errant bamboo and mutated weeds. Bursts of colored light struck other clumps of bamboo, opening a path for the Irishman to retrieve his weapon and gain some much needed breathing room.
Pulling the blade from the sheath, he turned the dial on his watch and pressed the face plate. Golden light surged around his body, creating a skeletal framework of nanite-composed armor. He found himself flanked by two familiar female forms, now sporting fairy wings. "Flora? Melody?"
"It's Musa, actually," the fairy of music replied, erecting a sound wall with a wave of her hand. "What happened?"
"A long story, lass," Lex replied, "th' short version is tha' me husband, th' mad scientist, left some o' his chemical goop where we usually keep th' dish soap and I may ha' brewed up a super fertilizer rather than a weed killer."
"Which means that these plants aren't going to listen to reason," Flora sighed.
"We need to protect the other plants while also striking the heart of this bamboo pest," Bloom said as she and the other fairies joined them.
"Th' bush tha' we need ta keep safe from th' ravenous appetite is th' one in th' center o' th' clearing," Lex said, shifting his grip on his sword.
"Flora, Aisha, you're on defense," Bloom instructed, "Tecna, tactical. Musa, Stella, help Lex find the heart."
"And ye, lass?" Lex asked.
Bloom smiled. "I'll act as the fail safe in case our foe gets out of hand."
The Irishman nodded. "Lead on," he said.
Musa sent bursts of sound at their weedy foe, each impact weakening it slightly. Stella added blades of light and the powers of the sun to the mix, burning leaves and cutting into roots. Lex charged into the clearing opened by the two fairies, his sword gaining a sentient blue glow as he cleaved through several stalks of bamboo. He flipped backward as several more stalks of the pesky plant erupted from the earth, the first nearly skewering him. He continued to back flip until he was picked up by Bloom and carried into the air, away from the plants.
"This thing is worse than a Hydra," Aisha remarked as they retreated to a safe distance, "at least with one of those you can keep the heads from regrowing by cauterizing the cuts."
"Standard bamboo removal practices state that if you can find the root cluster and cut that off you can pretty much kill the colony," Tecna reported.
Lex pondered for a moment before putting his fingers to his lips. Giving off a shrill whistle, they found themselves rejoined by a rather stunned Fay.
"Fay-chan discovered that free fall without a parachute kinda sucks," the yellow sentient reported.
"Fay, I need ye ta get th' Rigsaw from Spectramotors," Lex instructed.
The yellow sentient nodded, her pigtails bobbing as she teleported.
"What's a Rigsaw?" Musa asked.
Lex smirked. "Ye'll see, lass. Ye'll see. In five... four... three... two..."
As if on cue the vehicle that resulted from the fusion of the Saber and the GearSlammer appeared in the middle of the lawn, AJ and Vert at the controls with Fay standing on the roof. "CHARGE!" the yellow sentient directed before blowing a note on an old ram's horn.
Those flying above the battlefield cringed as the Rigsaw chewed through the mutant bamboo, ripping it down to the root cluster in a matter of seconds. One of the hatches on the Rigsaw popped open, ejecting Vert and his sword. The blond man drove his blade into the heart of one of the root clusters. AJ joined him a moment later, an axe in hand.
"Goodness," Flora squeaked, averting her eyes at the ensuing carnage. "Haven't they ever heard of a surgical strike?"
"With AJ everything has ta be taken ta th' extreme," Lex sighed, "Vert just gets caught up in th' moment."
"All clear," Vert called as he and AJ hopped back into the Rigsaw, which Fay teleported away before the fusion could come undone.
The fairies and the Irishman descended to view the resulting damage to the property. Lex sighed in frustration, as the morning's work had been undone in a matter of minutes and now things looked several hundred times worse. "Buggeration," he muttered under his breath as he righted the bench and took a seat.
"No worries," Flora said as she nodded to her friends. "Lex, we will leave you with one final gift."
"You just need to do two things for us," Musa added. "One, close your eyes."
Lex closed his eyes. "And two?" he asked.
"Believe in magic with all of your heart," Bloom replied.
Lex looked deep into his heart. He already believed in just about everything that 'normal' people said was impossible. Believing in magic wasn't all that much of a stretch, especially since he'd witnessed such magic first-hand.
He felt a warm breeze rush up around him, and he could smell the scent of rain on a summer evening mix with that of the lilac blooms and fresh mowed lawn. "Open your eyes," he heard Stella direct, and upon opening his eyes he saw that the lawn was fixed; the bamboo was no longer an issue; and that there were more wildflowers mixed in with the lawn than he recalled.
Turning to thank the six girls, he found himself alone. "Thank ye," he said in a whisper as the SplitWire pulled into the driveway.
"Lapushka!" Tezz called as he crossed the lawn, "How was your day?"
"Oh, ye know," Lex replied with a chuckle as he kissed his husband, "uneventful."
"Is that so?" the Russian asked with an arched eyebrow. "Why did Vert say that Fay needed to borrow the Rigsaw to combat a plant monster?"
Lex shrugged and sighed. "Me love, I will explain everything over dinner. Right now I need a shower."
As they ascended the porch Tezz looked around, the Russian fairly certain that he heard the sound of bells on the breeze. Finding that they were alone, he followed the Irishman inside and closed the door.