Saving the National Neopian Bank: Part Seven
Somehow, realizing that she was after the bank for her own personal reasons weighed heavily on Ylana. It was a messed up sort of thing, she had been trained to fight for neopoints, and that was all that she answered to: the click of a coin.
But now she was fighting for something that she believed in. She was fighting for something just because it felt right to her. What sort of nonsense was that? If her trainer back at Virtupets had known, he would have told her to surrender her weapons and go become a potato farmer.
She was considering just leaving this job to her subordinates, but the thing was that this whole thing had gone messy. And she didn't want to leave someone else cleaning up her mess. Not to mention that it might make her look weak, and after all, her reputation depended on getting the job done.
Those were heavy thoughts, heavy enough to slow her down enough for Rex to notice.
"Captain Skyfire, is there a problem?" he asked.
"No, we have to reach the docks as quickly as possible," she said. With the way the robots on board were programmed, they just had to get there before those two did.
* * * *
"Wow," Hamond said. The docks were breathtaking. But where were they supposed to go?
"It says on some of these papers on here 'to the head of the docks,'" Don said. "I think we should talk to him."
It took them fifteen minutes to find the main office and fifteen minutes more to convince them that they actually had real business.
The head was a burly Red Jetsam who seemed to enjoy barking things at the top of his voice, even though he was indoors.
"Well? What do you want?" he asked when he saw the two. Don noticed he had a heavy accent, and wondered if he might have been from Krawk Island himself.
Hamond handed the papers over to Red Jetsam, whose expression changed so quickly that it was almost comical. He looked at Don and Hamond differently, as if he had suddenly realized that they were aliens or something.
"Okay then, yer ship is out there by port nine," he said softly. At least, it was softly by his standards, but it was still louder than a normal person's voice. He then ushered for them to go out as if he thought both of them were carrying the plague.
"That was weird, but I think I see our ship," Don said. It wasn't hard to spot it, there was only one ship next to a badly painted sign that had the number nine on it.
The ship was totally different from the others around them. It was completely white and looked more like a spaceship meant to sail rather than a real ship. It even stood out from the Shenkuuvian flying ships. It didn't have a mast or anything like that, so both of them assumed it worked on an engine.
Don walked near the ship and found something that looked like a door. He tried knocking but got no response.
"There's a small scanner next to the door," Hamond said. "Maybe you have to scan one of those documents?"
"I'm not sure, but it looks sort of like the size of those tickets," Don said. "Let's try it."
Don swiped one and the monitor read out the numeral one.
But the door still didn't open. Don tried pushing it, but this time it showed something on the readout: ONE TICKET READ. PLEASE SCAN ONE TICKET PER PERSON.
"It must have a sensor or something," Hamond said.
Don scanned the next one, and then it flashed green. The door opened.
"Hello? Anyone in there?" Hamond called. There was no reply.
"Let's see if there's something in here," Don said.
"But that's trespassing, right? This is the bank's property?" Hamond said.
"Yeah, but they gave us these tickets right?" Don said. "I don't think it'd be wrong to take a look around. And if someone asks, we can just say that it was a mistake, right?"
Hamond reluctantly agreed.
The moment they walked in the door closed behind them. How unexpected.
But, the lights came up instantly. And so did a bunch of robots which were glaring at them. They all looked like miniature versions of the S750 Kreludan Defender Robot.
Hamond screamed. Don was too paralyzed to do anything.
But, after a minute or two, they noticed that the robots weren't trying to attack them.
"Um, hi?" Hamond said.
The robots turned to look at Hamond. "I am the core processor of the 8X-Z robotic units developed by Kreludean technology," one robot said that whose plating was in gold unlike the others.
"Hello, I'm Hamond," Hamond said nervously.
"I'm Don," Don added.
The head robot said, "Don, Hamond, I have recorded both of your biological readings as well as voice patters. I can now distinguish you from other life forms. Do know that we are hear to do as you command."
"Hamond, what is this?" Don asked.
"I don't know," Hamond said. "But I guess maybe we could find out. Um, core processor unit, is there any other information that you'd like to give us?"
"The amount of information stored within my database and completely available is huge," the robot replied. "At the rate I am talking, it would take approximately twelve thousand years to complete."
"Yeah, we're kind of hoping to finish things up before that," Don said.
"Do you have any information that is specific for us? Like a message from the Neopian National Bank?" Hamond asked.
"Indeed I do. There is an audio-visual file from one by the name of Mr. Richards. Shall I play it?"
"Yes," both of them chorused.
A monitor unfolded itself from inside the core processor unit's stomach and showed a picture of Mr. Richards. The file began to play:
"Your mission is to do the following, I need you to travel to Krawk Island to rescue some bank employees taken hostage by pirates there. I'll send you the locations and more detailed information later on."
"What? Rescue some people?" Hamond asked. "I thought we were supposed to be something like receptionists!"
"Is there any more mission information that you have?" Don asked.
"Affirmative. There is a file labeled second mission, as well as one that contains certain geographical coordinates."
"We want to see the second mission file," Hamond said.
The screen flickered and this time showed an old Green Krawk wearing a pirate's hat.
"Isn't it that shady Krawk who called himself the Governor of Krawk Island?" Don asked.
"Now see here, the plan is to make sure that those prisoners cannot go. We can't have the bank up and moving off of Krawk Island. So, instead, sabotage all efforts to return those prisoners, and then we'll strike a deal with the National Neopian. They can 'ave their employees back, but only if they continue to work on Krawk Island."
The message ended.
"That was weird," Hamond said. "What else is there?"
"There are coordinates to the location of a certain port, where we will be arriving at in approximately three hours and twenty minutes," the core processor said.
It was then and only then that Hamond and Don realized that the ship they were on was moving.
"Wait, we can't go ahead like this! Turn back!" Hamond said.
"I cannot comply with that order," the core processor said. "I have been programmed to ensure that this ship goes to Krawk Island without fail. The only one who may override this command is Ylana Skyfire."
"Ylana Skyfire?" Don said. "You mean the mercenary for Sloth?"
"Indeed," the core processor said. "I do have some information stored in my central processing unit which would give substance to what you have just said."
"So what do we do now?" Hamond asked.
"A part of my programming is busy in directing this ship," the core processor said. "However, I am still able to perform some basic functions as per your requests."
"Wait a minute, why are you listening to us if Ylana Skyfire is your maker?" Don asked.
"The reason for my programming to be such was that Ylana Skyfire feared that it might have been possible that she may have failed or would need to send someone in her place to this mission, so she programmed us to obey the first two who entered this ship, though only she can override certain commands like the one to sail towards Krawk Island," the core processor said. "Are there any other functions that you would like to access?"
The brothers weren't sure what to do.
* * * *
"No," Ylana said. She watched the ship set off while they were standing too far away to do anything.
She clenched her fist; the situation was getting out of hand. It would have to be remedied. In a way, the rush of adrenaline that she was getting was good. It made her focus on the task at hand, rather than dwelling on what had been bothering her before.
To be continued...