Saving the National Neopian Bank: Part Nine
"Ylana, she had betrayed us?" Mr. Roberts asked. "But I don't- well, not to say that that wasn't unexpected, but really, why? I mean, we could have certainly offered her more neopoints than those pirates ever could have. This certainly throws a wrench in the works."
Mr. Roberts scratched his chin for several seconds. "Wait, boys, can these robots fight?"
"They look scary enough, and I think they were programmed as soldiers, so yes," Don said.
"Okay then," Mr. Roberts said. "Boys, I know this a lot to ask from both of you, but I'm going to ask that you use these robots to save our employees. You don't have to do anything. I'm sure that the robots can do so based solely on your voice commands."
"What? But, we don't know how to fight," Don said.
"I know that, and I'm not asking you to. You can simply send the robots to do the job. I'm sure that they're more than capable of handling a few common pirates," Mr. Roberts said. "The only thing that you'll have to be careful about is Ylana. I'm sure that she must have kept some sort of override for those robots, but you should be able to rescue the prisoners and come back before she gets there."
Don and Hamond both gulped. The situation had gotten really extreme rather fast.
"I can understand if both of you don't want to," Mr. Roberts said. "And I really can't ask you to do this. However, it's clear that both of you can't come back here, so while you're there, if you could at least try this, then you might be able to come back safely home."
There was silence for a few minutes. "We'll try our best, Mr. Roberts," Don said.
"I really can't thank you enough," Mr. Roberts said. "Of course, I'll make sure to send some other law enforcement vessels after Ylana. They might take some time to reach there, but at least it is something. And please do remember boys, don't let anyone know that we had initially hired Ylana to do this. Best not say anything to anyone actually."
The image vanished as the call was terminated from the other side.
"Wait, core processor unit, you mentioned that we definitely had to go to Krawk Island. Is there anything else that we must definitely do?" Don asked.
"No. Going to Krawk Island was the only such command," the core processor unit replied.
"Okay, so it seems that we're free to do what we want on Krawk Island," Don said.
"So I guess we're going to be heroes then, right? We're going to save these people?" Hamond said.
"Yeah," Don said and smiled. He liked the idea of that a lot.
* * * *
Mr. Roberts stared at the blank screen, unsure of just what to do. Then he remembered, he had to ask the Mayor to deploy some ships to Krawk Island. And perhaps get the Defenders of Neopia involved as well.
He asked for a carriage and told the driver to take him to city hall. The thing was that the Mayor hadn't sent anyone after Ylana because he had assumed that she was still working for them. But since she had betrayed them, that completely changed the situation. They had to send vessels after her.
A normal person would have had to wait in line to see the Mayor, but not him. He guessed the Mayor must have informed everyone that he was expecting him.
"What's happened?" the Mayor asked as Mr. Roberts entered his office. The Mayor's office, much like the Mayor himself, was furnished odiously, no doubt funded by the high taxes that Neopia Central levied on its citizens. But that wasn't Mr. Roberts' concern for the moment.
"There's been a total change in the scenario," Mr. Roberts said. "It turns out that Ylana Syfire has betrayed us."
The Mayor sat straight up. "What? Betrayed us to whom, to Sloth?"
"No," Mr. Richards said. "Nothing like that. But she has sold us out to the pirates and now she's working for them instead. Her job was to actually prevent this mission from taking place at all."
"But why in Fyora's name would the pirates want that to happen?" the Mayor asked. "What good would that have served?"
"It seems that they planned on signing an international treaty with us saying that we would continue to do business on Krawk Island," Mr. Roberts said. "Essentially, I believe that they want us there to loot and plunder our bank as freely as possible. This also confirms the fact that the Governor is also in on all of this, which we've thought was true for quite some time."
"So then what do we do now?" the Mayor asked. "We can't allow for that kind of treaty to happen."
"No, but there is hope," Mr. Roberts said and quickly explained about Don and Hamond. "I believe that they can get the prisoners rescued, and then we can send others to handle Ylana if we act quickly enough. We need to send vessels in pursuit now."
The Mayor nodded. "Very well, I'll believe you on this, but if you do happen to be lying and are hoping to manipulate things for your own benefit, you will pay."
* * * *
"We are approaching Krawk Island," the core processor said. "We will be arriving at our destination in approximately twenty minutes. Our destination is a ship currently teeming with various neopet life forms. There are twenty-five ruffians holding weapons that we can detect and ten hostages. What are we to do now?"
"Take out the pirates," Don said. "And bring back the hostages to this ship."
"Affirmative," the robot said.
Very soon, the robots were going to engage the pirates on the stolen ship, The Misty Marionette. It would be a quick fight.
Perhaps fight isn't the right work. After all, in a fight you have to have two sides with roughly equal chances of winning. The pirates, even if they had known that the robots were going to attack them would have stood no chance. The 8X-Z robotic units were armored so that even lasers couldn't cut through them, so what chance did steel cutlasses have?
And all that said, the pirates weren't worried about the ship that was approaching them. They had heard from the Governor that all it had were people that were going to be helping them after all. That just made the robot's jobs easier.
Within three minutes, the 8X-Z robotic units had secured the ship and released the hostages. Don and Hamond even got out of the ship despite Mr. Robert's suggestions in order to help the prisoners. They all looked weary but were otherwise unharmed. Don and Hamond congratulated themselves on a job well done.
And, in accordance with the laws of the universe, that's when everything went terribly wrong.
* * * *
Ylana growled. It had taken much longer for her to get used to the Shenkuuvian ship than she had expected, and that had cost them a whole fifteen minutes. But they were approaching Krawk Island right now, and both of them had swiped some parachutes from the supply closet.
"We should be above our target, right about... now," Ylana said. Both she and Rex jumped off the deck of the ship. Speed was of the essence, and Ylana had no time to worry about the abandoned Shenkuuvian ship. It would probably go for some time and then crash into the sea. That didn't bother her, she could reprogram the Virtupets ship herself. The only thing to do now was to take care of those pesky nuisances to her plan.
The deck of The Misty Marionette zoomed into view. In the last few seconds, she curled up into a ball, and then uncurled, bringing her to a smooth descent onto the ship.
"Hello there," she said with a smile to the bewildered dozen or so Neopets.
"Get her," Don told the robots.
"Deactivation code Ylana nine-four-two-nine-seven," she said and the 8X-Z units collapsed to the floor. She had made sure to keep the deactivation code as a failsafe, but the problem was that now it would take the robots a few hours to reboot. Time that she didn't have.
"All of you, go downstairs and don't bother coming up!" she shouted. She still had to make sure that the hostages were safe, otherwise the Governor couldn't finish his deal.
All of them looked defiant, but they all still reluctantly agreed. Even the Red Wocky and the Green Ruki.
Everything's going alright, Ylana thought to herself.
And that's when Rex shot her blaster and knocked it to the ground.
"What is this, Rex?" she snarled.
Rex smiled. "Sorry, captain, just the thing is that we all knew that you were losing your wits about you ever since you betrayed the bank. What kind of mercenary goes to the enemy advertising that they want to betray their employers? We all read up on your file, so apparently you have a personal grudge against the bank? Just think about it, the bank could've paid us much more than these pirates ever could, but you couldn't see that, could you? I'm going to finish you right here and take this ship back and bargain with them."
"Ylana code nine-five," Ylana said. Rex pulled the trigger on his blaster, but nothing happened. Ylana smirked. "Are you sure that you wanted to attack me with a weapon that I invented?"
Rex roared and ran towards Ylana with his fists raised. Ylana sidestepped his attack and attempted to trip him. Behind her, she noticed that the captives were escaping. They must have noticed the commotion above deck, she thought, and they were taking the initiative to escape.
First take him out, then take back the hostages, she thought as she braced for Rex's next attack.
To be continued...