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Defender Scarlet Shadow in the Gem of Rundeth: Part Two


by orisasda

--------

      Snow covered every flat inch of Happy Valley in a thick white blanket and Sopherie watched in amusement as Jaidenenk tried to keep up with her, obviously unfamiliar with the snow. Jaidenenk did spend his time in warmer climates. Jaidenenk turned to glare at Sopherie.

      "Admit it! You're finding this funny!" Jaidenenk said accusingly at her. They had left the docks half an hour ago and they were heading to the Advent Lodge, which was where the Advent Calendar was held. Even though it wasn't the month of Celebrating, the Advent Lodge still had plenty of visitors and it was the ideal place to get information.

      "Oh, man up and use that multi-coloured fur of yours! We're only a little ways away from the Advent Lodge." Sopherie smartly replied as she lead the way. As the Advent Lodge appeared, Jaidenenk's pace quickened as it represented warmth to him, leaving Sopherie struggling to keep up with him. As soon as they passed through the lodge's doors, the warmth of a merry fire in the fireplace enveloped them.

      "Ah, much better." Jaidenenk purred. "So, how do we start looking for clues?"

      "Just listen into conversations. Happy Valley is an isolated place, so nothing within it happens without someone noticing and spreading it to the rest of the town. Surely you can be inconspicuous, right?" Sopherie said.

      "Who do you think I am, Sopherie? It's part of my job to be inconspicuous." Jaidenenk said.

      "I know, I know. Let's each take a different side. I'll take the right side and you take the left. We'll meet back at the entrance." Sopherie said.

      "Aye aye, mon capitaine." Jaidenenk replied somewhat mockingly.

~~~

      Half an hour later, Jaidenenk had the information they were looking for.

      "There's apparently a structure just outside the outskirts of Happy Valley." Jaidenenk said. "They say looks like a pair of Lupe ears."

      Sopherie shook her head, every one of Baltove's hideouts looked like one part of a Lupe.

      "Unlike you and me, he's as subtle as a flying mallet. As usual." Sopherie remarked. She thought she heard Jaidenenk growl at the remark, but when she looked at him, nothing had suggested that he did. "Anyway, let's stop by the Happy Valley Defender Substation first."

      "To change into the Scarlet Shadow, I assume. Okay, every hero does need to be properly equipped to face their enemy." Jaidenenk said.

      One quick stop to the Defender Substation for a change of clothing and identity and trek to the outskirts of Happy Valley later, they were at Baltove's hideout. Sopherie was ready to go in her Scarlet Shadow attire. Like everything else about Baltove's hideout, the entrance was quite easily spotted. But when the handle turned easily in her hand, Sopherie felt something was wrong. Usually the entrances to Baltove's hideouts had puzzle locks that she'd need to solve before it would open. But this one had nothing of the sort. This was far too easy for Sopherie's liking.

      "What are you waiting for?" Jaidenenk hissed, his voice sounding slightly weird. But before Sopherie could grasp why it sounded that way, Jaidenenk pushed past her and went inside.

      "Jaidenenk, wait!" Sopherie called to him, but her words were unheard. Sopherie reluctantly followed. She knew something was up, but she couldn't let Jaidenenk go ahead on his own. Jaidenenk was already far ahead of her by the time she followed him, but Sopherie finally found him waiting in the centre of a large room with a large control panel and one giant monitor with a few smaller ones lining the bottom of it. There was also a rather big and menacing looking ray cannon, pointing down at the floor. Sopherie estimated that with a power source like the Gem of Rundeth, it could take out the whole of Happy Valley and the Ice Caves in one shot. She shuddered to think of what Baltove was planning to do that ray cannon. She began to make her way over to Jaidenenk. But as she did, the floor suddenly slid away from underneath her, making her fall into a deep, stainless steel pit. As she lay at the bottom in shock, she heard a deep and sinister chuckle, a very familiar chuckle. Then she heard something unzip.

      "Oh Scarlet Shadow, if only I had known you were so easy to fool." Came a voice. Then the voice's owner came into view as a jelly, blue head looked down at her.

      "Baltove! Then you were..." Sopherie said, putting the pieces together. She remembered that Jaidenenk hardly ever called her Sopherie, even in the most serious of times, it was always Sophs and Baltove had sometimes slipped up with his imitation of Jaidenenk's voice and mannerisms. But other than that, he'd been very convincing, convincing enough to fool her. "But how did you manage to look just like him?"

      "Actually, I wore a skin tight fur suit and molded myself into Jaidenenk's body shape inside it. Ingenious, I know." Baltove said with pride.

      "What have you done with the real Jaidenenk?!" Sopherie growled.

      "Oh, I just have him out of the way. I haven't harmed him if that's what you're worried about. But really, you should be less worried about him and start worrying about yourself." Baltove replied.

      "What do you mean?" Sopherie asked him.

      "Oh, you have no idea about what you're in for now that you're in that pit. I'm sure you've noticed that you can't escape." Baltove drawled.

      "What are you getting at?"

      "Well, you might want to stop looking at me and see what else is staring back at you."

      Sopherie looked around and she went pale as she saw the giant barrel of the ray cannon pointing straight at her. She began to shake her head and back away as she put the pieces together.

      "No way..." She whispered.

      "Ah yes. That ray cannon is my pride and joy. Made it from parts I swiped from the Virtupets Space Station and of course it's going to be powered with this." Baltove said and he pulled out a cloud grey gem.

      "Is that...?" Sopherie said only to be cut off by Baltove.

      "The Gem of Rundeth? Why, yes it is." Baltove said gleefully.

      "But, if you power that ray cannon with the Gem of Rundeth, I'll be disintegrated into nothing!" Sopherie protested, her voice beginning to shake with fear. Baltove chucked menacingly.

      "Well, that's the idea now, isn't it? I'll get to test the cannon out and be rid of you. But I do have to calibrate it first. But when I'm finished, you're going to be history." Baltove gloated. He moved away from the edge and out of Sopherie's sight.

      "You won't get away with this!" Sopherie yelled at him, knowing how cliched of a line it was.

      "Ohoho. And who's going to stop me? Not you and not any of your other Defender friends. Face it, Scarlet Shadow, I've won this round. Soon, I will have won it, permanently!"

      Sopherie's legs seemed to collapse beneath her without her volition. She knew that Baltove was right. Her clasped her hands together and decided to pray for a miracle. She was trapped with high stainless steel walls with no way of escape, what else could she do?

      Meanwhile in a different area of Baltove's hideout, Jaidenenk opened his eyes to a rather depressing dimly lit and dank room. His head ached and he couldn't quite remember how he came to be here. He tried to lift a hand to his head when he realised that he was bound. He looked down and found he was tied in rope to a metal chair nailed to the floor. He sighed, this scenario wasn't anything new to him. Being a Treasure Seeker had often lead to stuff like his happening to him. He also realised in annoyance that his cloak was missing too. He ran his tail across his waist and smiled when he found that his knife, which he always carried with him was still attached to his belt in it's sheath. He carefully used his tail to slip the knife out of the sheath, Jaidenenk prided himself on having trained his tail to be prehensile and it had gotten him out of many scrapes in the past. He first used the knife to cut his hands free, then switched the knife to his right hand to cut free his legs. He got up out of the chair and stretched, glad to be free of the ropes and suddenly, the memories back flowing back to him. He was walking along the road to the Lost Desert on another adventure when it happened. Baltove the Jelly Destroyer had come out of nowhere and blocked the path in front of him. Jaidenenk had angrily demanded what he wanted, having heard about him from Sopherie. Baltove had said to him, "No hard feelings but I must do this to be rid of the Scarlet Shadow and had used his stretchy powers to fight Jaidenenk and knock him out. No wonder my head hurts. Jaidenenk thought to himself as he rubbed his head. He padded up to the only door in the room. Jaidenenk knew he had to get out of that room as from what Baltove had said to him, Sopherie was in trouble and he may already be too late to help her. He smirked as the handle of the door turned easily in his hand. Baltove had underestimated him which was a very bad mistake, one he'd be very sorry for. And if he had hurt Sopherie, Jaidenenk would make sure that he was doubly sorry.

      To be continued…

 
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