Revenge and Resistance: Part Four
Previously: Sophix II, a mercenary working for Sloth, was transformed into a Buzz and sent to capture the Space Faerie, which she succeeded at only after the Space Faerie sent a help message to Gormos, a Kougra on Kreludor. Gormos was instructed to start a Resistance, and did so by recruiting a young Grundo, Gorix, and Cybunny, Cylara. They began using the Kreludan Mining Corporation as their headquarters since it had been deserted since the previous Sloth attack.
Neopia was catching on slowly, but surely. As more and more people disappeared in the middle of the night, their neighbors couldn’t deny the fact that they’d seen something. And once people admitted to what they saw, they began to get worried.
“What if they’re coming for us next?” whispered one family.
“Can he really be back?” another asked their neighbors.
“We must be prepared for whatever comes next,” many others told their family members. “Board the windows, bar the doors, whatever you need to do to block those horrid clones from getting in.”
Citizens weren’t going to be taken without a fight.
Meanwhile, Garoo, the Blumaroo with the sunken face, was reporting his progress to his master. “The clones have completed the task you’ve commanded of them,” he said, awaiting praise. “Those foolish authors have been abducted and placed in holding chambers.” They were in Sloth’s control room, where Sloth was busy scribbling something on a scrap of paper. He didn’t even glance up when Garoo entered the room.
“Great,” the Doctor replied, not really paying attention. “Report back later for your reassignment.”
That was it? Garoo asked himself. Disgruntled, he left the control room just as a shadow Buzz burst into the room. He paused outside the room as he realized who it was. This he had to hear.
“Master?” the Buzz, Sophix, asked uncertainly.
“What is it?” he said, still furiously scribbling.
“I--I captured her, Sir,” she said.
Sloth paused and set down his pen. He looked up, a glimmer of excitement--no, malice--in his eyes. “You did? She’s on the Station?”
The girl nodded. “Yes, my lord. Though I must warn you–”
The Doctor had risen from his desk. “Very well done, Sophix, very well done. We’ll discuss the rest later.”
He crossed the length of his office and was out the door, walking past Garoo without even noticing him. Sophix appeared shortly after.
“Well, that went well,” Sophix remarked happily.
Garoo was silent, awestruck at the reaction that Sophix had caused. Secretly, he wished it was he who had been sent to capture that silly faerie.
“What do you mean I won’t be changed back into an Aisha?” the mercenary shrieked. She was once again in Sloth’s office, their master seated in his chair, angrily eying the mercenary.
“How could you let her send a signal?” Sloth countered furiously. “No, there is no chance now of you returning to your former self. This shall serve as your punishment; perhaps next time you’ll remember the consequences.”
“How do you even know the signal reached someone?” she screamed. “It was just a shot out of the blue!”
“Do not underestimate the Space Faerie,” Sloth said through gritted teeth. “She is a faerie, one of the best as far as I know. No, the signal was received; I’m sure of it!” he roared. “Our plans have been compromised, and for that, Sophix, you shall pay!”
Sophix was in tears now. “Please, master! Please, let me change back! I cannot stand being a Buzz any longer!”
But he was through with her. Dismissing her coldly, he returned to the papers on his desk. The Blumaroo mercenary was watching Sophix’s reaction quietly at the rear of the office, Ylana Skyfire, the blue Acara, accompanying him.
“You two,” Sloth barked. “Come here.”
The two stepped forward expectantly, each taking a seat across from their master.
“Commander, I have your next mission,” Sloth replied. “But first, we must attend to Skyfire’s news. You say it is urgent?”
The Acara nodded. “Sir--I have found someone who may be of interest to you.”
Sloth leaned forward expectantly. “And? Who is it?”
The Acara hesitated, but only for a moment. “Gormos, sir. I found him on Kreludor while I was lining up some more recruits. I don’t know how he managed to escape before, but he did.”
Sloth’s curious expression turned to hatred as the words sunk in. He pounded his fist on the desk. “What?! How can this be?”
“I asked some contacts on Kreludor, sir, and they all said they’d never seen him before a few days ago. And these contacts have eyes everywhere. And sir--” she hesitated again. “They say he’s forming a resistance.”
Sloth was fuming now. “A resistance?”
Garoo was worried. This would throw a kink in their plans; he was sure of it. On the plus side, Sloth might put Garoo in charge of squashing the newly formed rebellion, a wish Garoo secretly harbored. It’d give him the perfect opportunity to relieve his acting-up trigger finger. And surely he deserved this after getting such an icy reception after completing his last mission.
Garoo broke in. “Sir--you mentioned earlier you had my new task lined up?” he asked hopefully.
“Yes,” he replied, turning his attention to the Blumaroo. “I want you to run the training of the new recruits here at the Station. You have the most experience; you’re the best choice for the job.”
He was incensed. Training?! Sloth had gone too far this time; he had to say something.
“My lord, I cannot accept this task,” he said angrily.
Sloth regarded him curiously. “And why not?”
“For too long you’ve treated me like a piece of trash! I’m your second-in-command, am I not? I deserve more recognition for my work, my years of servitude, my loyalty! And instead you put me in charge of teaching some foolish Grundos how to wield a blaster? Is this how you praise me?” he erupted, arms thrown up in the air.
Sloth was standing now, irritated. “You do not get to dictate to me what I should reward you with, Garoo. Your attacks on the authors were well done but not my main focus. Do you honestly expect me to give you everything you want? This is war, Garoo. Get used to it.”
Garoo was livid. “War, huh? Very well then. Maybe you’ll recognize this maneuver. I’m leaving.” He turned his back on his master and stormed out of the office. He was breathing heavily as he headed to the ship hangar. He was through with Sloth and his disrespect.
If Sloth won’t appreciate me, he thought to himself as he took off in one of the fighters, maybe the rebellion will.
Meanwhile, Sloth and Skyfire were still in the control room. “Follow him,” he ordered of the mercenary. “Make sure he doesn’t do anything foolish.”
“Yes, my lord.”
“I’m looking for someone, and I’ve been told you’re the one with all the info,” Garoo said to the one-eyed Skeith across the booth.
“Aye, that’s probly true,” the Skeith replied without looking up from his meal of Grundo Veggieballs. “Who?”
“A Kougra,” the Blumaroo said, watching disgustedly as the Skeith sucked out the insides of the balls with his straw. “A Kougra by the name of Gormos. Rather tall, blue fur?”
“Ah, yeah, I seen ‘im. Was in here earlier lookin’ for recruits for somethin’ or other.”
“Can you tell me where I can find him now?” Garoo asked.
The Skeith maintained concentration with his food. “Word is his headquarters are in tha old abandoned mines. You’ll probly find ‘im there.”
Garoo watched the Skeith eat hypnotically. Shaking his head, he pulled himself out of it and thanked the Skeith. He left the restaurant and made for the mines. They were rather far away from the Grundo compound, but Garoo didn’t mind. He had to admit, it was an ingenious choice for the headquarters. He would never have thought of using them.
His concern now was whether or not the Resistance would accept him. He had been foolish to leave Sloth and now he worried that he’d be without any work at all. He may have ruined any chance to come out ahead, or for that matter, alive in this silly war.
After about a half hour’s walk, he arrived at the mines. His former master’s oversized head presided over the area and he couldn’t help but feel he was being watched the whole time.
He banged on the door to the mines and waited for a reply. When none came, he banged again. He heard muffled voices from inside.
“Open up!” he shouted. “I’m here to join the resistance!”
A Cybunny appeared in a small window with black shutters to the left of the door. When Garoo noticed her, she yelped and disappeared, letting the shutters fall back against the glass loudly. The door suddenly opened and the leader himself stepped out.
“Garoo?” the Kougra asked stiffly. The Blumaroo noticed he was holding his blaster behind his back. He prepared himself for an attack as well. “What are you doing here? If this is a sneak attack from Sloth, you’re going to have to try harder. ”
“I’ve left Sloth,” he said stonily. “Let me join you. I have inside information.”
“How do I know you’re not a spy?” Gormos said, suspicious. “And that you’ve really left Sloth?”
“I know you can’t trust me, but I have a bit of leverage that may convince you,” the Blumaroo said. “Something I think you personally will like very much.”
“And? What is it?” Gormos asked expectantly, ears perked.
Garoo’s voice lowered, and he stared into the Kougra’s eyes, hoping he gave off a sincere look. “Ylana Skyfire is following me. Capture her and we’ll both be better off. That is my proof that I am not lying to you.”
Gormos’ eyes widened for a moment, but he instantly masked his surprise. “Where?” he asked nonchalantly.
“I saw her trailing me as I left the café. She’s behind that pile of unrefined rock to my right.”
Gormos couldn’t contain his joy. He grinned slyly. “Great,” he muttered. “I’ve been itching for some revenge.”
As for the Blumaroo, he was secretly relieved. This was a major weight off his back. He even smirked slightly as he replied to Gormos. “So shall we take care of her?”
He nodded and gripped his stun gun tighter. “Don’t hurt her too bad; we might need her later.”
The two suddenly turned to the mound and fired shot after shot at it. The rocks scattered everywhere as red beams of light hit it. After a moment, green streaks returned fire. But it was futile. The two former comrades easily overtook Skyfire and her single blaster and soon she was out cold, lying on the rubble.
To be continued...