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|Chapter 212: Ming the Merciless||Chapter 214: A Beast at Bay|
In a desperate bid for freedom, Queen Azura runs from Flash and out of cover. Flash rushes after her, but both are fully exposed as another bomb lands. Flash is unscathed by the blast, but Queen Azura is mortally wounded.
The bomber pilots spot their queen and immediately cease their attack.
Flash, Dale and Zarkov attend to the stricken Azura, but there is little they can do. Azura rues the fact that she has been cut down by her own soldiers. Flash tells her that this can only mean that Ming has turned them against her, and she agrees that she was foolish not to realize that he was her enemy all along. She gives Flash her white sapphire and tells him that the destruction of both the white and the black sapphire will free the Clay People from their curse. Flash tells her that was the kindest thing she could have done.
As the bomber squadron lands nearby, Azura, with her dying breath, urges Flash and his friends to get away before they are caught. Flash refuses to leave her, but Zarkov tells him the Queen is dead. Flash, Zarkov and Dale return to their Stratosled and fly to the Valley of Desolation, where Prince Barin and Happy are already waiting for them.
Telling the Clay King news of the latest events, Flash then destroys the 2 sapphires. As Azura promised, the Clay People all return to their human form. Overjoyed, they cannot thank Flash enough for what he has achieved for them. But then a messenger hurries in with news from Azura's palace: Ming is planning to make war on the Clay People and is arming the Forest People with nitron guns to use against them.
Meanwhile, Ming is still supervising work on the Nitron beam, which will be fully repaired within a week following the damage caused to it by Flash. Ming watches as a squadron of stratosleds takes off, loaded with arms and nitron, to take to the Forest People.
Flash, Barin and Zarkov fly back to the Forest Kingdom in a stratosled to see if they can prevent an attack on the Clay People. Flash and Barin overhear Turan, the leader of the Forest People, ordering his men to attack the Clay People as soon as the necessary supplies arrive in the stratosleds sent by Ming.
Zarkov has spotted the stratosleds approaching, but they are still some distance away. The three men take off once again in their own stratosled to try and stop the enemy squadron. Flash jumps from his craft using a Bat wing suit to land on the lead stratosled, and climbs aboard. He knocks out the co-pilot, but the Squadron Commander puts up more resistance than expected. As he and Flash fight, the stratosled loses height. It is on course to crash, and is carrying enough Nitron to blow up a mountain.
After helping the Clay People / regain their normal bodies, / Flash sets out to capture Ming.
Ming, now in command of the / Palace, orders a bombing squad- / ron to attack the Clay Kingdom.
Flash learns this and takes / off in a stratosled to stop / the attack.
He overtakes the squadron and / using his bat wings, drops to / the top of the leading bomber.
- When Barin and Happy were last seen in the previous chapter, they were in the Forest Kingdom and had been knocked unconscious after a bomber had attacked them. In this chapter they have arrived safely at the Clay Kingdom with no explanation as to what happened.
- Immediately after the Clay People are transformed back into their normal form, a messenger hurries in from outside of the caves to give news to the king. Apart from the strange fact that he makes no comment or reaction to why all the Clay People are normal again, it was established in earlier chapters that Clay People could not survive on the surface of Mars, so how had he come to be outside anyway?
- As Flash prepares to depart from the Clay Kingdom in a stratosled, he looks through a circular porthole which is about 12 feet off the ground as he waves goodbye to Dale and the Clay King. The shot of Dale and the King waving back shows the porthole to now be rectangular, and at head height.