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|Chapter 308: The Fiery Abyss||Chapter 310: The Death Mist|
Using his spear, Flash manages to lever a huge rock off the ledge. It lunges down onto the lodestone, shattering it and covering it up once more, thereby neutralizing its magnetic force. Flash then carries the weary Rock Prince down from the precipice.
Meanwhile, in the caves, Roka breaks free of his guards and grabs Dale before she is shoved into the pit of fire. The pair make a dash for freedom, and Rock Men give chase.
On his way back to the caves, Flash encounters Zarkov and explains how he rescued the Prince. He tells Zarkov to hurry on ahead and to tell the Rock King that his son is safe.
Dale and Roka are rounded up before they can escape from the caves and they are taken back to the sacrificial chamber. Once again Dale is about to be thrown to the flames but this time intervention comes from Dr Zarkov, who rushes in calling for an immediate halt to the proceedings. He tries to explain to the King what has happened, but the King is having none of it until Flash finally arrives on the scene with the missing Prince. The Prince explains to his father how Flash bravely rescued him from the lodestone. The grateful Rock King grants Flash and his friends their freedom. However, Captain Torch and his group use the distraction to make their own escape from the caves. Flash asks the Rock Men to assist in their recapture as he leads the pursuit.
Finding that their own ship has been destroyed in the earthquake, Torch's party decide to commandeer the enemy rocket ship where Barin and Ronal are still awaiting the return of their friends. However, they lose the element of surprise when a passing Iguanthion causes Sonja to scream out loud. Barin and Ronal shut the door of their ship and sound an alarm. Not too far away, Flash's party hear the alarm signal. They spot Torch's group who flee. Flash and friends give chase, splitting up when the Rock Prince tells them he knows a shorter route he can use to head off Torch.
Torch's party reach a high ledge and try to make a stand by rolling boulders off it towards their pursuers, but they are caught out by the Rock Prince who manages to sneak up around their rear unseen. This allows Flash and Roka to join in the scrap, and eventually the fugitives are overcome. Flash has Dr Zarkov thank the Rock Prince for his help, then they return to their rocket ship with Torch, Sonja, and Thong held as prisoners. They figure that Ming might be willing to exchange Princess Aura for them.
After taking off, Barin speaks of planning to attempt a rescue of Princess Aura by gaining access to Ming's palace via the underground caverns, hopefully with the help of Captain Sudan. Flash suggests it may be possible to establish contact with Sudan by radiophone, and calls Karm.
At that moment, Karm is in a cell, being visited by Aura and Sudin, and he is bemoaning the fact that he does not have his radio. When he explains that it was left behind in the laboratory, Aura and Sudan manage to retrieve it for him. They then receive contact from Flash's party and are told of the plan to rescue Aura. Sudan agrees to open the gates to the caverns at midnight when Barin is due to land there.
The time comes. Dale and Ronal stay aboard the rocket ship to guard the prisoners while Flash, Zarkov, Barin and Roka slip quietly into the caverns once Sudan opens the gates at the appointed time. They creep along the tunnels but run into a group of Ming guards. A fight breaks out. One of the guards activates an alarm which is heard throughout the palace.
Alerted to the presence of his enemies, Ming orders Captain Sudan to flood the caverns. As a torrent of water rushes to wards them, Barin yells a warning to his companions: "Run for your lives! That flood will sweep us all into a bottomless pit!"
But their retreat is quickly cut off when a steel shutter drops down before them, barring their path. The men are engulfed as a huge wave of water sweeps over them.
EMPEROR MING is holding his daughter, Princess Aura, as a hostage in his war against Prince Barin, Flash Gordon and Doctor Zarkov.
LEAVING the Land of the Dead, and with Torch, Sonja and Thong prisoners, Flash and his friends accompany Barin in his ship to Ming's palace, in a daring attempt to rescue the Princess.
THROUGH the co-operation of Captain Sudan, of Ming's guards, they enter the tunnels beneath the palace; but they are attacked by a party of Ming guards, who sounds an alarm and....
- At the climax of the previous chapter, Zarkov had already left Flash to run on ahead back to the caves of the Rock Men, and had encountered an Iguanthion. At the beginning of this chapter, Flash inexplicably catches up with him and again asks him to run on ahead to get urgent word to the Rock king, but doesn't ask Zarkov why he isn't already doing so. Nor does Zarkov warn Flash that a deadly Iguanthion is prowling around.
- Dale, Zarkov and a Rock Man see their friends fighting for their lives with Torch and Thong, but they just stand back and watch instead of rushing to their assistance.
- When Flash calls Karm on his radio, Dale looks a little sheepish, and neglects to mention her earlier blunder when Sonja caught her in the act of contacting the scientist and taking her radio from her.
- The whole reason that Flash and his friends traveled to the Land of the Dead was to use the Nullitrion device, which Zarkov had gone to a lot of effort of building in order to cripple Ming's infrastructure. After being released by the Rock Men, the group now just fly away from the area and the Nullitrion is not even mentioned, nor is the plan to disable Ming's power plants. Granted, they may now be reluctant to activate the device in an area they now know to be populated by the Rock Men, but why has the whole plan suddenly been forgotten about?
- Why are Flash and his friends so concerned about not letting Captain Torch escape when he flees from the Rock Men?
- When Barin stayed aboard the ship, Flash and the others were just venturing out to have a quick look around. In their absence, Barin felt a huge explosion followed by an earthquake, after which his friends did not return for the Nullitrion as expected. Why did he and Ronal not venture out in search of them?
- Flash's party wonder if Ming might be willing to exchange Princess Aura in return for their prisoners (Captain Torch, Sonja, and Thong), but embark on an extremely dangerous rescue attempt before even exploring this option.
- They realized that Ming would employ a double cross at the exchange.
- Curiously, the hands on the clock in Captain Sudan's post are both pointing straight downwards when he opens the gates to the caverns. The agreed time to open the gates was "midnight". This would suggest that clocks on Mongo are inverted versions to those found on Earth, however this idea is contradicted by the earlier chapter when a clock said to be pointing to 11 was indeed pointing to that hour as we would recognize it on Earth clocks. Therefore, are we to assume that the middle of the night on Mongo falls at 6:30?
- Yet again, ray guns are carried but not used. Requiring stealth and secrecy as they attempt to enter the palace, Flash and his friends spot some guards coming and have the options of either hiding or holding the guards at gunpoint and demanding that they surrender, but instead they choose foolish recklessness in trying to engage the guards in physical combat.
- Like Earth, Mongo has a species called rats. Also as on Earth, that species has given rise to a phrase "caught like rats in a trap".