Revenge and Resistance: Part Five
Previously: Sloth’s mercenary, Sophix II, captured the Space Faerie after transforming into a Buzz, but on return to the Space Station was not changed back to an Aisha, which upset her greatly. Ylana Skyfire, another of Sloth’s mercenaries, discovered the fledgling resistance on Kreludor run by Gormos, a former agent of Sloth’s. Garoo, Sloth’s second-in-command, deserted his master after feeling he wasn’t appreciated. Sloth ordered Skyfire to follow Garoo in case he did something foolish, but she was captured by Garoo and Gormos.
The factions were growing. The Resistance had coerced nearly every Grundo living on Kreludor to work for them in some way or another. The headquarters were overflowing with people hurrying to complete some job or another. Plans were drawn up and regiments were formed, each with its own leader. Some were sent to take their places on Neopia or Kreludor; others were simply stationed at headquarters until they were needed in one place or another.
As for Sloth, his troops were now bordering on unstoppable. Robots and mutant Grundos crowded the halls of the Space Station. Sloth’s highest officers held meetings nearly every day to plot out strategy. New recruits were flowing out of the secret laboratory every minute. Robots, usually a rare color for pets, had been increased tenfold in the past weeks, and all were programmed to work for the overlord in the Space Station. Transmogrification Potions were being handed out in scores a day and more and more mutants were roaming the streets trying to coerce more people into service. And of course, thousands and thousands of Sloth clones were being churned out every week, simply waiting for their time to fight, their time to dominate.
And the general public had noticed. The streets were deserted, save for the newly transformed robots and mutants; the stores were out of stock all the time after citizens had gone to stock up. Houses were boarded up; the Times had become a daily delivery to keep civilians up to date, though it was unknown who exactly was producing the newspaper. Nearly every article included information on Sloth or tips on how to guard yourself from him and his forces.
People weren’t taking chances.
Glancing at his new ally, Gormos hurried to Skyfire’s side and grabbed her arms. Garoo took the Acara’s legs and together they dragged her to the overbearing metallic doors blocking the entrance to the mines.
Gormos knocked three times, paused, then knocked twice more rapidly. The door was quickly opened by a miniscule azure Grundo.
“Who is that?” he asked, amazed.
“Someone you don’t want to meddle with,” Gormos said as he gazed at the unconscious Acara. “C’mon, let’s put her in that room with all the broken mine cars. And hurry—the meeting will be starting soon.”
The small group of Neopets tied up their new prisoner and blocked the door to the room with more unrefined rock, which was strewn about the abandoned mines. As they were leaving, the small Cybunny, Cylara, pulled Gormos to the side. The others joined the rest of the group, which had convened in the largest office of the building. It was presumably the one Sloth used when he visited the mines; a fitting choice for their meetings.
“I don’t like him,” the scrappy girl muttered uneasily. “He’s too dirty to be forgiven this early.”
“I agree with you,” he replied. “But I couldn’t let him know that. For now let’s let him think he’s one of us, but we really shouldn’t let him in on our real plans. Keep him in the dark as much as possible.”
Cylara hesitated. “I still am not convinced,” she muttered.
“Don’t worry. I’ll keep a close watch.”
The Cybunny sighed. “If I catch a whiff of anything, I won’t let you keep him here any longer. This is too risky of a plan to play around with.”
Gormos smiled. “I’m glad I found you when I did. You’re smarter than you look.”
At this the Cybunny punched Gormos playfully. “Watch what you say or I’ll be outta here too!”
The meeting went well, Gormos thought. The new recruit had been regarded with fear at first, but soon enough the other rebels warmed up to the Blumaroo. He had sat alone to the side, taking everything in but saying nothing unless asked. He shared little about his servitude with Sloth, but what he did share held his audience’s interest immensely. As for the resistance’s plan, it was decided that they would build up troops and then defend Neopia when Sloth’s troops decided to attack.
Now, a few hours later, he had successfully warned everyone about his plan to deal with the Blumaroo, and all had agreed to it. Gormos had also told them all about their true plan: a frontal attack on the Space Station itself. Garoo hopefully had no idea about their scheme, and he hoped that Garoo’s switch of sides would be a help, not a hindrance.
“Skyfire’s been WHAT?!”
“Captured, my lord,” the yellow Grundo said timidly. No one in the command center had wanted to deliver the bad news; it was only by an unlucky draw of straws that this one had been chosen to do so. An hour or so had passed since Skyfire’s communication link had gone offline.
Sloth cursed. “By those fools that call themselves a resistance?”
The Grundo nodded, taking a large step backwards.
Sloth swore again. “That leaves me with two mercenaries left.” He stood up and began to pace, muttering to himself. The Grundo had inched himself closer and closer to the door and had nearly pressed the button to open the door when his master glanced up and called him back.
“Call in Sprax,” he said. “Immediately.”
The Grundo nodded and set off to find the green Alien Aisha, one of the two aforementioned mercenaries. He was simply happy to be farther away from Sloth and his stash of various blasters.
“Yes, my lord?” the green Aisha asked, wiping the sleep from his eyes. He had been awoken by the yellow Grundo messenger and told to hightail it to Sloth’s office. When Sloth gave you an order, you didn’t dilly-dally.
“Sprax,” he said, voice rather calm considering the mood he had been in a few minutes ago. “What have you been doing since we began this campaign?”
“Recruiting, sir. Aishas from my home planet. Like you told me to,” he replied uneasily, ears drooping. Was he going to get punished for following orders?
“And that is all well and good, but now I have a better job for you. We need to show that foolish resistance we mean business.”
His ears were at full height again as he awaited his orders. “Yes, my lord. What is it that you require of me?”
“Fyora. Go after her. I want the palace and the Queen captured. Do you understand?”
Sprax nodded, nearly grinning. This was much better than recruiting.
“Good. The 322nd regiment of clones and a few mutants as well are waiting for you in the hangar. Don’t let me down, Sprax. We need this win.”
The Aisha saluted and left the office. He set off on a run towards the hangar. Things were picking up.
The cruiser was fast, as it had to be. Sloth’s directions were simple, but he stressed that it must be done quickly and with as little interference from anyone, especially that silly “resistance.”
Luckily, the 322nd regiment was huge. At least six hundred clones, all awaiting orders from Sprax. Plus, there were the ten or so mutant Grundos, one of which had informed him there were even more robots waiting in Faerieland to assist with the attack. Sprax smiled. This would be all too easy.
A half hour had elapsed when they passed through Neopia’s atmosphere. As they rocketed towards the purple cloud palace, Sprax readied himself. Armed with two Virtublasters, he prepared to drop from the ship into the courtyard of the palace with the assistance of the jetpack on his back. The Grundos followed suit, and Sprax ensured the clones would be ready to drop when the time came.
After a few moments, the time had come. He punched the release button for the cargo hold, and soon he could see hundreds of clones plummeting towards the castle. The Grundos followed suit from the passenger door and Sprax leapt into the sky after them.
The palace must have noticed the ship, for soon the falling clones had to dodge purple beams of magic that were shot at them from the castle below. For the most part, the clones were able to bypass them, but occasionally one or two of them exploded, dragging into the explosion the clones surrounding it.
The beams hardly hindered them. The regiment landed in the courtyard and was ambushed by faeries of all type surrounding them. More beams of magic, this time of all colors of the rainbow were flying through the air as soon as they landed, but by now the clones had drawn their blasters and were firing right back.
Meanwhile, Sprax and the Grundos had hurried through the battle towards the closest doors they could find, blasting any faerie that got in the way. Once through the entrance, they began looking for the throne room, where they assumed Fyora to be.
A voice crackled in Sprax’s ear: the Grundo still aboard the cruiser. “Sir,” it said. “Fyora’s just about to take off from the west tower with a small group of guards!”
“Hold them off!” he shouted. “She cannot escape!”
“Yes sir,” it replied, crackling out.
“We have to get to the west tower,” Sprax said hurriedly. “Move!”
To be continued...