A Break in Memory: Part Six
Previously: C2 leaves the antidote with Kay and rushes back to meet up with
XP as he gets off the return flight to Neopia from the Alien Aisha homeworld.
DeSoni has a fleeting memory of Khargana, but dismisses it as fantasy. C2 waits
pointlessly for an XP that hasn't returned, eventually looking for him himself,
then remembers that Hardy was wearing a special charge-displacement uniform. Realizing
XP is in grave danger, he steals an Alien Aisha cruiser and sets off for the Alien
Aisha homeworld. XP tries to escape but it unsuccessful. Khargana and Rocky meet
up with Mr. and Mrs. Sonix. XP is taken to Hardy's hideout. Khargana, Rocky, and
the Sonixes get to the secret base, but Mrs. Sonix, at her husband's request,
waits outside. Khargana, Rocky, and Mr. Sonix follow a set of faint footprints
deeper into the base and are ambushed. All three are captured. On the bright side,
C2 finds XP, releases him, and heals him with a potion. XP cleverly sets off an
alarm by starting a small fire, Hardy's henchmen run away, and Hardy, enraged,
charges at XP, ultimately crashing into a wall and collapsing. C2 and XP mutually
apologize for their earlier judgments of each other, although XP says at C2's
inquiry that they probably will never see each other again. The Alien Aisha Emergency
Response Team arrives and XP slips out without notice.
The Mega Three escorted Chief Engineer Daniel Sonix,
Ace-Detective Khargana, and superpowered Rocky down to the holding cell. Well,
'escorted' may be the wrong term for it.
Brandy, the fire Alien Aisha, was grinning nastily
and prodding Mr. Sonix forward, kicking the backs of his rear paws every few
steps. The electric Alien Aisha, Volt was huffing with exertion while dragging
the tall, strong, completely unconscious Ruki by two of his four feet. Secret,
the mysterious shadow Alien Aisha, was calmly dragging the ends of the net Khargana
was wound in, while the Wocky ineffectively continued her efforts to try slice
through the resistant netting with her claws.
They reached the cell and were roughly shoved
or dragged in, a force field zipping up to lock them inside once the Mega Three
stepped out of the cell's boundaries. Without a second glance, the three Alien
Mr. Sonix sighed and looked down at his scorched
wrists. The fur was black and the skin stung painfully. He huffed and sat down
on the bare cement floor.
Khargana broke the silence. "How's Rocky? And
can you get me out of this thing?" she asked, still messing with the netting.
"He'll be fine. Volt's charges never last more
than a few hours, and usually less than a few minutes. And I'm afraid the only
way out of one of those nets is with a level 2 blaster or an open flame. I'm
sure Secret's got another way, but she sure isn't telling."
Khargana gave up sawing at the net and retracted
her claws. After some struggling she managed to sit up, a huge improvement from
lying prone on stomach. She seemed to be trying to maneuver her paws into her
vest pockets, but the net pressed too tightly against her.
"Just how well do you know these Mega Three?"
"They're perhaps one of the biggest menaces from
our homeworld, or they would be if they applied themselves to something. They're
known for being rather lazy and small time, petty theft and the like. Brandy,
Volt, and Secret - it's easy to link the name with which Alien Aisha, considering
the way they're colored. Before you ask, I don't know how they gained their
"What can you tell me about them?"
"Brandy's the mean one. She likes to hurt people,
thinks crime is fun, I'm sure you know the type. Secret's quiet and mysterious,
always with a few tricks up her sleeve. She may be mute; as far as I know, no-one's
ever heard her talk. Volt's actually supposed to be something of a nice guy
with a mischievous streak."
"What about Galba's sister? That Terramina?"
"I've heard she goes by Mina, actually. And she's
big time. Was one of the top spies in the Alien Aisha Military before it was
discovered she was responsible for several thefts of what would have been scientific
breakthroughs. Undoubtedly she did more than that, though; she's just too smart
and good at what she does to get caught. She must've hired the Mega Three for
Khargana thought about it, then suddenly shook
her head. "Interesting, but we have more important matters. Namely, your wife."
Mr. Sonix suddenly jerked to attention. "Deanna!
I'd forgotten - she's still waiting outside!"
"I don't suppose there's any chance she thought
to bring along that two-way timepiece communicator?" asked the green Wocky.
Mr. Sonix frowned. "She might have. It's the
sort of thing she'd remember. But can you reach yours?"
"What do you think I've been trying to get at?"
grumbled Khargana, trying again to reach a pocket. She growled in exasperation.
"I can't move my paws enough. They might as well be glued in place, this stupid
net's so tight. Could you get a paw through to it? Inner, left. The one nearest
Mr. Sonix tried to squirm a paw in one of the
gaps of the net, but yelped in pain as the netting scraped against his tender
wrists. He reflexively yanked his paws back and gritted his teeth to try again.
Before he did, though, Rocky groaned.
Khargana and Mr. Sonix turned and the red Ruki
slowly sat up. His large eyes were fuzzy for a second, but he shook his head
and they cleared. "What happened?" he asked, looking around at the small, gray
room, the force field blocking them in, the funny way Mr. Sonix held his paws,
and the net Khargana was stuck in.
Khargana quickly gave him a run-down of what
he missed, ending with an impatient, "Now, for Fyora's sake! Get me out of this
Rocky grabbed the netting between his claws and
pulled. Nothing. It didn't even stretch. "Wow-tough stuff," he commented.
The Wocky growled. Rocky correctly interpreted
that as a "Hurry up or you'll regret it!" and got a tighter grip on the net.
Then, using his enormous super-strength, heaved it apart with all his might.
It still didn't break or tear, but it gradually began to stretch.
As it loosened, Khargana was able to free her
paws and help Rocky - though, as tough as she was, she knew it was the Ruki
doing all the work.
After several long minutes, Khargana was able
to squeeze through one of the stretched out holes in the net. Her fur was bushy
from a combination of anger, humiliation, and exertion. The Wocky shook herself
like a Lupe and her fur mostly settled down.
"There's an experience I never want to
repeat," she commented tensely, stretching a few times and flicking her still-bushy
tail in annoyance.
"The timepiece?" asked Mr. Sonix, anxious to
hear from his wife.
As if she hadn't heard him, Khargana reached
into a different, specially lined, pocket and pulled out a vial. She handed
it to him. "Healing Potion. You'd be much handier to have around with full use
of your paws."
Mr. Sonix laughed, popped the cork, and drank
the small potion. Instantly, the burns disappeared from his wrists and his fur
grew back, good as new, though naturally his sleeves were still charred.
"Faerie magic," he chuckled. "I never fully appreciated
why you Neopians are so reliant on it. Nothing like this back on our homeworld."
Khargana meanwhile had motioned Rocky to look
over the force field while she took out the communicator and called Mrs. Sonix.
Deanna Sonix answered on the first buzz.
"Where are you guys?" she whispered fearfully.
"Good news, DeSoni's here," said Khargana, watching
Rocky as he scanned the force field and the walls on either side with his super-vision,
trying to find a weakness, crack, or gap of some sort. He finished and shook
his head. Khargana motioned him to look over the rest of the room.
"Bad news," she continued, "so's this Mina Galba
and a bunch called the Mega Three. Guess who we ran into first? We got jumped
and are trapped in some sort of cell blocked off by a force field."
"Oh dear," fretted Mrs. Sonix. "I read a briefing
on those holding cells. They're designed to be inescapable, from the inside
Rocky backed up a few feet, then burst forward
so fast he was a blur. He slammed the point of his shoulder against the wall,
but nothing happened. On closer examination, there was a small dent. His mouth
dropped open in astonishment. It should've crumbled! He'd crashed through cement
walls before, easy.
"Apparently you're right," sighed the detective.
"Would a particle phase level 6 blaster be able to break through the force field?"
"I don't know, but surely you don't have one
of those on you."
Mr. Sonix stared as Khargana pulled out just
such a weapon from a pocket and tossed it to him. "You're probably the best
guy to try," she commented casually.
"It is fairly easy to break into such cells from
outside. It's the main flaw with the internal pressure equalizer they use around
the cell to redistribute - never mind. I could try to get in to get you guys
Mr. Sonix had aimed the blaster at the exact
center of the field and fired. Nothing happened. He sighed and tried in a few
more places known to be weak points in force fields. Nothing. He glanced at
the Wocky Detective and shook his head sadly.
"You'd just get caught like us. What we really
need is to find DeSoni. Is there any unmonitored way you could find and contact
DeSoni? Air ducts, maintenance shafts?"
The yellow Alien Aisha engineer brightened. "I
believe this type of base has both, combined. They were called, rather unimaginatively,
maintenance ducts. If Deanna could find the outside vent-"
"Did you hear that, Mrs. Sonix?"
"Okay, find DeSoni first. And try figure out
what they're planning while you're at it."
"And don't get caught!" warned Mr. Sonix, the
worry as clear on his face as in his voice.
Rocky, who'd given up trying to bash their way
out of the room, shuddered at the thought. If Mrs. Sonix was caught then they'd
really be in trouble.
"I'll try," said Mrs. Sonix bravely. The link
ended and Khargana flicked the red button to turn off the device. Then she tossed
it to Mr. Sonix, correctly assuming he'd feel better if he had a means of contacting
his wife, even if not the opportunity to use it. He smiled in thanks and slipped
it in one of his silver uniform's pockets.
"What are our chances, Mr. Sonix?"
He sighed. "Zero. Not even with this baby." He
held the blaster out to return it to the detective.
"Keep it," said Khargana. "I rarely use blasters.
The red Ruki lowered his head and shook it miserably.
It'd been a long time, pre-superpowers, since such a small thing as a wall had
stood in his way. But most walls aren't designed incorporating Alien Aisha technology.
"Just as well," sighed the Wocky. "If we're so
absolutely out of their way, hopefully Mrs. Sonix can slip in without notice."
Mrs. Sonix, from the words, "I'll try," had resolutely
disconnected the communicator and started examining the sides of the entrance.
Her husband was far better than her at the newer maintenance pathways, but she
was his equal at the older bases. She had been a Chief Engineer as well until
only about a year ago when she had been honored with the appointment of Ambassador
There! She almost laughed with delight as she
spotted the old vent cover.
Deanna Sonix rushed over and pulled on the cover.
It was old and rusted and, to her relief, popped right off. She got down on
all fours and crawled into the small shaft.
DeSoni, or Derek Sonix, I should say, was daydreaming
again. It had been a long day-or he assumed it had been, since it'd been well
into the afternoon when he'd woken up from whatever.
His headache was pounding again, and he'd been
bothered with some silly pictures of his mom, as an ambassador of all things!
To the Space Station! She looked older too, but she was still beautiful. How
silly - his mom was a Chief Engineer back on their homeplanet, working alongside
his dad. His dad...
He couldn't help wondering how his dad felt about
him now. They'd fought so often growing up, but since he had left for college
things had been a little better. Not that they were really on speaking terms,
but the atmosphere was slightly less tense. When he'd visited his parents just
before leaving for Neopia - when was that? A couple weeks ago? One week? A month?
Wow, his brain was really fuzzy... Anyway, neither of his parents had been too
happy with his assignment. But whereas his wonderful mother had kissed him goodbye
and wished him the best, his dad had frowned doubtfully and repeated that going
to Neopia was a bad idea.
Of course... his dad hadn't been far wrong. His
partner, Lieutenant Galba, had never warmed up to him. He was always playing
tricks on him and degrading him in front of everyone. The other researchers
were always crosschecking his work, never taking him at his word. As for Neopia
itself, or at least the Neopians he'd met, they were horrible. Smelly, vastly
overweight as often as not, cruel, suspicious - for good reason, Derek Sonix
supposed. He was a spy, after all.
Funny. He'd never used that word before: spy.
Somehow... he didn't like it.
What were other Neopians like? He had no business
wondering, but he couldn't help himself. What about the faeries? That Queen
Fyora everyone was so worried about? Something in him knew they weren't
bad sorts. That they were compassionate, friendly, good-humored, just. Why,
he was sure he'd be much happier on their side...
Derek shook his head roughly to shake such thoughts
out. Where had they come from anyway? He'd be branded a traitor if he let such
wild ideas slip out. Not that he had any basis for such daydreams - he'd only
been in Neopia a week, after all. Yes, definitely a week. He was sure of it.
The small yellow Alien Aisha frowned and looked
up. His reflection caught on the shining paint of the small cruiser on which
he'd just finished repairing the landing brakes.
He looked different... Not just the weird Neopian
clothes, which he supposed could've been a disguise or something. What was it?
He still looked like a Neopian, of course. That was a given. Yellow, two earstalks,
and short. But somehow he didn't look like an Alien Aisha research/espionage
agent. If he hadn't known better, he'd say he looked like a youthful, somewhat
grubby shop owner...
Mina burst into the room, interrupting his thoughts.
"Sonix! Are you almost done?" she asked restlessly.
Derek gestured around. There were a few more
gadgets and a couple tools left that still needed some work, but the bulk was
"Good," said the pretty, pink Alien Aisha, nodding
in approval. "We leave in ten minutes. Is that enough time for you to finish?"
DeSoni was astonished. "Ten minutes? Of course,
Mina. But I thought we were leaving tomorrow morning...?"
Mina hesitated for a split second, then smiled
sweetly. "Oh, you can tell something's wrong? I just got a message from a contact
of mine. The Space Station is upping security for some reason, starting tomorrow.
We can get the new security plans, easy, but we'd have to scrap all our current
plans, a lot of work down the drain and it would take another couple
weeks if we start back at square one. So we leave tonight, ten minutes. Okay?"
"Fine," said Derek Sonix, known to us as DeSoni,
sighing and getting back to work.
Kay was reading the latest Neopian Times, trying
desperately to pass the time but failing miserably. Her eyes stared blankly
at the pages, even following the words, but her mind kept reverting to how everyone
was getting along. Had they even found DeSoni yet?
The purple communicator-flower on her desk buzzed.
The human teenager sighed, reached over, and twisted the top bloom.
"Kay? I'm sure you know how long it's been. Four
hours. I'm sorry, but remember what I told you?"
"Fyora, please. What kind or rescue operation
takes less time? Besides, I have the antidote, and half an hour ago the
Sonixes told me they were joining up with Khargana and Rocky, who had located
"I know you don't know Rocky or the Sonixes besides
what you can read in a file, but you know me, Fyora. And you know Khargana.
I wouldn't be asking for more time if I didn't think they would succeed."
There was a short silence on the other end, then
the Faerie Queen replied. "I'll give you another two hours, Kay. Then I'm sending
in my agents."
Kay considered it irritably. Two hours? 120 minutes?
That wasn't much time at all. You couldn't read a good novel in that time. "Okay,
Fyora," she replied testily. "I'll call you back with an update in two
hours. If you're still of the opinion that our efforts have been inadequate,
by all means call in the troops."
"Now, Kay, I didn't mean-"
The girl angrily twisted the bloom backwards,
ending the connection. Fyora was one of her best friends, and a great and compassionate
queen, but one of Kay's pet peeves was people 'pulling rank' on her. She respected
her friend, but she was mad at her for belittling her with such things as 'time
limits'. There was no harm in Fyora giving them until the next day, especially
with her knowing of Khargana and Rocky's abilities, as well as the Sonixes's
specialist knowledge. Just because someone doesn't work fast does not mean his
or her work is any less efficient. Quite the opposite, in Kay's experience.
And the last thing she wanted was for someone to make a blunder at this
Mrs. Sonix crept through the ducts, peeking through
every cover and maintenance point. She accidentally found the holding cell with
Khargana, Daniel, and Rocky first, but, knowing it might take too long to free
them, kept on going. She came to a hidden office, with none other then that
terrible Terramina Galba within, mumbling over blueprints and computer printouts.
Mrs. Sonix didn't bother to stick around.
Finally she came to a vent that she could spot
DeSoni through. Her precious little Derek. He was replacing a battery unit in
an old 3-point blaster, humming softly to himself, his mind obviously drifting.
She scanned the room, spying those three delinquents, the Mega Three, from back
home. They were too far away to hear her she just whispered to her son. Actually,
there was a maintenance opening just ahead...
She crept forward, pulled it open, and stealthily
dropped down, out of sight from the Mega Three but close enough to get DeSoni's
"DeSoni!" she whispered urgently. His earstalks
flicked thoughtfully, but he shook his head and kept working.
For Jierdana's sake! He didn't even acknowledge
his Neopian name! But maybe...
"Derek!" she pleaded softly.
This time he stood up straight in attention and
turned her way. He stared in shock for a second, glanced back at the lazy Mega
Three - Brandy and Volt were whispering urgently, Secret listening attentively
- then casually walked her way. Once out of their sight, he broke into a run,
caught up to his mom, and hugged her tightly around the waist.
They stood hugging for a while, then Deanna gently
pushed him to arms length.
"Oh, honey, I've been so worried," she said softly.
There was something in her tone that scared Derek.
"Mom? What's going on? What are you doing here?
"Oh, Derek. I'm so sorry, but there's no time
to explain. You were exposed to something, love, and it's destroying your memory.
We have to go now, honey - please."
The small Aisha's eyes widened in horror. For
a second, he didn't believe it - but this was his mom. The only person he had
ever been able to trust. And he did trust her - completely, even if he didn't
Her eyes met his, hers brimming with more than
enough tears to convince him that something really was wrong with him. And it
made sense too, more sense than Mina's story.
"Okay, mom," he said softly. His eyes flicked
back towards where the Mega Three were. "What do we do?"
Mrs. Sonix opened her mouth to answer, but was
cut off when Mina Galba entered. The pink Alien Aisha slammed the door open
and charged in, glanced around, then stared in horror and rage at the female
yellow Alien Aisha with Derek. She screamed in anger and suddenly the Mega Three
had DeSoni and Mrs. Sonix surrounded.
Deanna Sonix took her son's paw in her own and
Mina grabbed a repaired photon-blaster from a
worktable and marched over, stiff with annoyance.
"I knew it was all too likely if that blasted
Daniel Sonix was sniffing around, the missus wouldn't be too far behind!"
Dad? Here? thought DeSoni. Just how
much have I forgotten?
He bravely lifted his own blaster and aimed it
at Mina. "Don't you dare touch my mom!" he said warningly.
Mina casually shot the blaster from his paw and
it went spinning across the floor.
"Take her to join the others!" Mina ordered Volt.
The electric Alien Aisha nodded, approached Mrs. Sonix, and grabbed her forepaws,
pulling them behind her back.
Derek angrily lunged forward, but Secret had
snuck up behind him and grabbed his shoulders, holding him back. He struggled,
but it didn't take much in the way of brute strength to hold the tiny Alien
Aisha in place.
Mina gestured with her photon-blaster and Volt
pushed Mrs. Sonix forward and out of the room. Then the pretty Alien Aisha turned
and watched the struggling Derek Sonix for a few second before shaking her head
sadly. "You aren't going to work for us anymore, are you, Derek?"
"You let my mom go! And my dad!"
Mina shrugged. "Don't worry about them, Sonix.
We'll be leaving momentarily. When we do, the power will automatically shut
down and I'm sure they'll find a way out eventually. Not soon enough to stop
us, of course."
Something in Mina's self-assured smirk raised
DeSoni's suspicions. "You don't need me anymore. I've fixed all your junk. If
we can't stop you anyway, you might as well lock me up with my family."
"On the contrary!" laughed Mina, grabbing a utility
belt and fitting it to her waist. "While not vital, I like to think of you as
a pleasant factor in my plot." She began slipping equipment and weapons into
the belt, including the large photon-blaster she'd been holding.
"What?" asked DeSoni, just as much out of puzzlement
as a reaction to her attitude. How could he possibly be included any further
in her plans? He was a researcher, an engineer, even a messenger - certainly
not a break-in artist or anything of the like. Besides, she still had the Mega
"You're coming with us. Unfortunately, shall
I say, you won't be returning." She threw back her head and laughed. Brandy
smiled nastily. Secret fidgeted, but her grip on DeSoni remained firm.
Volt very slowly and thoughtfully escorted Ambassador
Deanna Sonix to the holding cell to join her husband and those Neopians. He
didn't even notice the glare she gave him or her look of disgust. She didn't
make any attempts to escape, however, so it was a quick march to the room.
The electric Alien Aisha opened the door, shoved
Mrs. Sonix in, then entered himself, shutting the door firmly. But he didn't
do anything. He stood there holding Mrs. Sonix's arms, completely oblivious
to the groans of Mr. Sonix and Rocky or the low, exasperated growl of Khargana.
He must've stood there a full minute thinking
to himself. Absolutely still. Mrs. Sonix began fidgeting.
Rocky, after the initial groan that Mrs. Sonix
had been caught after all, was getting edgy. What was the electric Alien Aisha
thinking? Why didn't he do something?! He glanced at Mr. Sonix, whose earnest
eyes were locked with his wife's, then at Khargana, who suddenly seemed thoughtful.
Volt nodded to himself, in confirmation of some
decision he had reached, and pulled Mrs. Sonix over to a wall with pawcuffs.
He cuffed her paws together and turned to look at everyone.
Khargana was smiling ever so slightly, though
everyone else was as confused as ever. Volt gently pressed down on Mrs. Sonix's
shoulder and, taking the hint, she sat on the bench along the wall, probably
meant for guards.
"Derek's a good guy, and it's wrong for Mina
to take advantage of him. Besides, something about her plan I just don't like.
Wish I was sure what." He casually set a paw against a panel alongside the force
field that blocked Mr. Sonix, Rocky, and Khargana's escape. Gold sparks flew
from the panel, it whined for a second, then it buzzed and went dark.
"Shield will be down in five minutes. That's
how long until the power currently in the field runs out. Mina's greedy, ya
know - we have five cruisers, but we only need four to get to the Space Station.
Shame, isn't it? Derek has it fixed up all pretty, and I have every intention
of making sure it doesn't need a key."
He smirked and turned to leave, then twisted
around just as he reached the door. He looked over the foursome - Mr. and Mrs.
Sonix, Rocky, and Khargana - one more time, as if to impress them in his memory.
"I don't expect to see you lot ever again, but you'll see Derek." He nodded,
just as much to himself as to them. "You'll find him before the security team,
long as you don't waste time."
Volt slipped out, the door shutting firmly behind
"What just happened?" asked Rocky, blinking his
giant eyes as he tried to make sense of the situation.
"It would appear Volt's loyalty to Miss Galba
has its limits," said Khargana. "And he's giving us one last chance to save
DeSoni before it's all too late."
To be continued...
Thanks for sticking around this long! As usual, all neomails are greatly
appreciated, especially about the plot or the characters. Oh, and I would really
like to know what you think of the Mega Three, but you might want to wait until
after the next part to tell me that.