The Furtastic Four
by ff_b

When the military defenses of earth had been devastated by the invasion of insectoid creatures from outer space, the battered remnants of humanity had no one to turn to but the sacred elemental animals. The forces of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water met with the representatives of men in the United Nations Assembly.

"Why should we help you?," asked the Owl, the Earth elemental surrounded by a green aura which pulsed and fluttered with varying intensity. "You have abused the very planet which spawned and sustained you."

The Cat, elemental of Air, hovered surrounded by a yellow aura. "You have forgotten the old ways," he said accusing the humans. "You are far removed from nature!"

The Fox, Fire elemental, nodded his head in agreement. "Perhaps we should just permit the insectoids to cleanse the earth of you!," he declared, his red aura intensifying with his passion.

"Yes, the humans are unworthy!," interjected the Dolphin, the Water elemental with a blue aura. "But the insectoids are invaders, an infection of the planet! The ancient humans lived closer to us, and perhaps if we help them they will return to the old ways, and again live in harmony with nature!"

"Not all humans are bad," admitted the Fox. "We must remember the Fur Masons!"

"Yes," agreed the Cat, "such as Hairy Truman!"

"How about Thomas Jeffurson?," asked the Dolphin.

"No," said the Fox, "he was of the Illumfurati."

"Very well," said the Owl, "but we will deal with the invaders for the sake of the planet, not for the naked apes. If we are successful, there must be an understanding with the humans that their questionable stewardship of the world and its life must change!"

Yes, of course!, promised the assembled representatives of humanity.

And so it came to pass that the animal elementals went forth to battle and repel the insectoid invaders, who scuttled about in their enormous motherships above the burning earth cities. It was the Cat who attacked them first, summoning forth powerful wind storms of hurricane force in hopes of battering the alien crafts apart. The insectoids, however, withdrew their craft to above the atmosphere, where no forces of air could be marshalled against them.

"I require air to sustain my fire," lamented the Fox. "I fear that I cannot use my powers against the insectoids in the airless void of space."

The Owl directed planetary debris against the insectoid ships, but they were too well shielded. Whatever he cast against the aliens was harmlessly deflected.

"I'm not much good, either," moaned the Dolphin. "My water element resides on the planetary surface, and is distant and useless against the invaders!"

"Wait!," declared the Cat. "As the elements exist and operate harmoniously and in concert upon the earth, so we must work together to deal with the insectoids! Consider the great cross in the capital city of Washington, the four points of which represent Earth, Air, Fire, and Water!"

"One voice!," declared the Fox, extending his paw. Soon two paws, a wing, and a fin were stacked together as the elemental animals pledged their unified efforts to defeat the otherworldly invaders.

In a whirlwind provided by the Cat, the animal elementals were transported to the outer reaches of the earth's atmosphere. "I'm beginning to dissipate in the vacuum of space!," cried the Cat.

"Focus air in a spinning vortex around me," advised the Fox. "Fuel my fire so that I may envelop the insectoid fleet," he asked.

Elongating themselves and extending their energies into space, the Cat funneled oxygen to the Fox, who enveloped the alien fleet with elemental fire supplemented with magma drawn by the Owl from the molten core of the earth itself. It was sufficient to raise the hull temperatures of the otherworldly vessels by thousands of degrees, although the alien metals, crafted by unknown technologies, could not be dissolved.

"It is enough!," declared the Fox. "Now, Cat, carry the waters of the Dolphin to deliver it against the alien craft!"

"I like where this is going!," grinned the Cat, again mustering and focusing powerful spirals of wind at hurricane force to draw enormous volumes of water from the ocean's depths and hurl it against the superheated alien craft. The extremes of temperature exceeded even the tolerances of the alien technology, and fissures began to open up in the previously seamless hulls. There was no sound in the airless void of space as the great craft ruptured, chunks of them flying off as deadly projectiles to accelerate the explosions of adjoining ships.

"Bones of the Saints, that was fun!," declared the Fox, his fiery aura dramatic in the darkness.

"Now that the planet has been defended, I suppose that we must become dormant again until there is another threat," sighed the Owl.

"To hell with that!," cried the Cat with a dismissive gesture of his paw. "I say let's get the band back together!"

And so the sacred animal elementals began to play the music of the spheres, deciding that the 21st century might not be so bad after all, at least until the year 2012 arrived...