Rex gripped the Eldoan Death Fish, only a hands-breadth from his face.

The smell of doom was in the air.

As the monster slipped towards his throat, a bolt from one of his Corral Specials ended it’s life and saved his.

Limp in his hands now, he dropped it to the floor and grinned at the Princess, poised with his gun still raised and smoking, nearby.

“Not the only thing smoking,” he thought to himself.

Tossing him his weapon, she rummaged in the pile of dead fish at her feet and retrieved her own gun. They’d both dropped theirs in the first chaotic moments after falling through the trapdoor into the elaborate fish-trap. They had disabled most of the deadly creatures with a vial of The Professor’s anti-fish gas.

They should have never accepted the invite to the Sultan’s Ball. Rex had feared a trap, and was certain this would be where the Princess would disappear, if he couldn’t prevent it somehow. He couldn’t convince her though, not without revealing that he was dead, and only alive due to some accident of time-travel. So he’d gone with her to the ball and despite the death-fish he was enjoying himself quite a bit.

Until the walls started to close in.

“I’m sorry I got us into this mess Rex,” said Anrianna. “You were right about the trap, but I can’t possibly see how you knew!”

As she talked she produced a bright lipstick from somewhere on her person, and peered at it.

“I actually have a confession to make about that,” began Rex.

Anrianna found the secret button she’d been searching for and the lipstick sprang open into a long metal pole.

“What’s that?” asked the Princess continuing the conversation casually.

“Where in space did you get a spring-loaded nesball cue?” asked Rex, momentarily forgetting what he was saying.

The Princess wedged the cue between the walls as they began to press in. The cue bowed slightly but held, and the walls groaned to a halt. Rex was sure he could hear gears slipping and grinding behind the walls.

“I love nesball, so The Professor made me my own cue, that also happens to be made of solidium. And now we should be able to shimmy up the walls to the trap door we came through.”

“I have jetboots if that’s easier,” suggested Rex.

Anrianna smiled conspiratorially and grabbed Rex in a full hug, stepping onto his feet. “Get us out of here!” she cried over the explosive punch of takeoff.

At the sound of the rockets, the two goons who had been set to watch guard over the trapdoor peered in.

Rex’s fist caught the first in a jet-powered uppercut as they exited the hole. The other had enough time to look up at the duo before Anrianna lashed out with a kick to the head that sent him spinning and stumbling into the death-trap. A “sproing” sound told the two the goon had dislodged the cue, seconds before his scream echoed around the hall followed by a sickening crunch.

The Princess grimmaced at Rex, “I was hoping I might get that cue back.”