Voice of the Neopian Pound Circulation: 94,333,932 Issue: 184 | 1st day of Eating, Y7
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Rage Alone III: Ambitions - Part One


by nomad2

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Far above the surface of Neopia, on the dark side of Kreludor, a Virtupet battle cruiser hid from the eyes and sensors of the station and all Neopets on it. The ship's hull was as black as the expanse of space, and the lights on the turrets and along the bridge wore an eerie, crimson glow. It stretched nearly three kilometers long and one kilometer wide. The gun placements stretched across both sides, along the top and bottom, and even places between the two main engines in the back.

      In the cold, dark captain's room, where there was nothing but a desk with a small computer resting on it at the center, and a massive window stretched across the back wall, a figure watched over the surface of Neopia past the moon. The tall figure wore a thick, black cape over his body, and his eyes had a slight glow to their redness.

      The door behind him opened, and a large, bulky, green Grundo stepped into the room. One hand was adorned with a Mutant Gauntlet, and a pair of Roboto Shoulders guarded his upper torso. In a voice as deep as space, the Grundo said to the figure, "Welcome back, Sloth. Did you get the information you needed?"

      Dr. Sloth continued to look through the window as he responded with a bland voice, "Not entirely. There's still something to be done before we can continue with the plan."

      The Grundo asked, "Something inconclusive about the scans?"

      "No," Sloth answered, "I know all I need about the crystal. What I need is the location, and I know just who to go to for it." Sloth turned around and ordered, "Prepare a drone to go down the planet's surface. I'll be guiding it from here myself."

      After a few seconds of silence, the Grundo said, "Master, is that a wise choice? We are still trying to keep in hiding from the Neopets. A drone could attract some unwanted attention."

      Sloth returned his gaze to the window and told the Grundo, "It won't matter either way. Once we have the location, all will be ours."

      The Grundo nodded his head before he left the room. A matter of minutes afterwards, the monitor on Sloth's computer lit up with the drone interface. The sound it caused Sloth to turn around to notice it and he sat down to control it.

      The visual from the probe showed a bright light from when it entered the atmosphere of Neopia. Sloth's eyes didn't blink once as he activated reverse thrusters to slow its decent. The light subsided to show the forests and plains several miles south of Neopia Central. As the probe continued to drop in altitude, the ground became closer to the drone's camera until it impacted the ground with a couple seconds of static. When the picture returned, the drone was being brought two feet above the ground by the engine on the bottom.

      Sloth took a disc from the pocket of his cloak and inserted it into his computer. Within a minute, the sensors isolated an energy signature a kilometer west of its location. With a grin on his face, Sloth directed the drone to head straight for it.

      Meanwhile, at the location where the drone was nearing, Jyrados, the shadow Shoyru, slowly walked with his friends. There was Draicus, a red Buzz, Simpha, a silver Zafara, and Gorrem, a red Eyrie. None of them were at full energy, as they had just finished the battle with the Techo, Trum.

      Simpha whined to the others, "How much longer? I'm exhausted and we've been walking since yesterday. Shouldn't we have gotten home by now?"

      Gorrem sighed and told him in a tired voice, "We should reach it by nightfall. We're all tired and want to go home, but it's not like we have too much of a choice here."

      Jyrados, who was being held up by Gorrem as they walked, quietly said, "I think I'm feeling a little better. I can probably walk on my own now to speed things up."

      Draicus chuckled and said, "You feel better, but that's because you've gotten some rest. I'm sure if you tried to walk the rest of the way, you would collapse in no time."

      Jyrados tried to laugh, but more coughs came out than laughs. "I can handle myself, Draicus. Thanks for the concern, though."

      Gorrem gradually took Jyrados' arm off his shoulder and let him walk on his own power. Jyrados stumbled a little, but regained his balance enough to walk. It wasn't a good pace, but it was still enough to keep up with them.

      Rather suddenly, Simpha stopped in his tracks and his ears perked up. He looked at the others and asked, "Does anyone else hear a slight whistling sound?"

      The other looked around in curiosity and just shrugged. They continued their except for Simpha who kept looking around the area. Nothing was in sight behind them, but when he looked to his right, he noticed a light off in the distance. He pointed to it and yelled, "Over there! Something's coming!"

      Everyone looked over and saw the light, which came closer at a fast rate. They didn't know what to do, so they waited to see what it was. When it became clear, it looked to be a sphere of metal twice the size of a basketball with a lens at the front and a thin, blue flame holding it up. Just below the lens was a small door with a tesla coil extended from it.

      The drone stopped five meters from the Neopets and pointed the tesla coil straight at Jyrados. A charge of electricity surrounded the coil, and Simpha instinctively jumped at the drone with a foot extended. Just before making contact with it, an energy barrier rippled and singed his foot before sending him flying several feet away. He landed on his back, and had trouble returning to his feet to do anything further.

      Before the others could react, a green particle beam shot out from the coil and struck Jyrados in the chest. He fell straight to the ground, which is when a beacon no larger than a nickel flew out and attached itself to Jyrados' left wing. Instantly, he dematerialized from the surface of Neopia.

      The drone remained still after that long enough for the others to charge at it. When they slammed into its hull, there was no barrier in the way. The drone's engines shut off and it slammed to the ground. Without the others doing anything else, the lens cracked and smoke rose from the compartment with the coil. They stood there and stared in awe; unsure of what happened to Jyrados, what the machine was, or why it attacked them.

      Sloth muttered a laugh through his grin, which turned into a maniacal laughter with a huge smile on his face. The screen showed a malfunction message and he closed the interface as he said to himself, "This is too perfect."

      On the ship's speakers, the Grundo said, "Dr. Sloth to the bridge. We have a situation, sir."

      Sloth immediately rose from his chair and exited the room, and straight into the bridge. Along the walls of the bridge were computer consoles with Grundos both big and small manning the controls. At the forward section of the bridge was a screen covering the majority of the thirty-foot wall. On the screen was a three-dimensional diagram of Neopia, Kreludor, and the Virtupets Space Station. Outlined between them was a line stretching from the surface of Neopia to Kreludor, then a red light showing the position of the cruiser. At the center of the room was a chair with a control panel on both sides, and the Grundo who Sloth spoke with before.

      As Sloth walked to his seat, the Grundo announced, "The transmissions between you and the drone was picked up by the sensors on our old station. It'll be a matter of time before we're discovered."

      Sloth responded, "I fried the internal systems of the drone, so they won't get anything useful from it. As for the signal, I routed it through a relay station on Kreludor to slow them up. We have the prisoner in our holding cell now, so everything is according to plan."

      The Grundo replied, "It will only be a matter of time before they see where the station relayed the message to. Sensors estimate seven minutes, which isn't enough time for an interrogation."

      Sloth laughed and said, "This vessel wasn't built to hide. Let them send what limited space forces they have. They will know the power of the Virtuclaw's defense systems. Bring all weapons online."

      The crew waited to see what the ship's sensors would pick up. After four minutes passed, one of the Grundos behind Sloth turned around and said, "Sir, we have something on radar. It's too small to be another ship, and moving fast."

      Sloth looked at his control panel and brought up the hostile signature on the main screen. His eyes narrowed and he said, "Well now, this is rather unpleasant. It's the space faerie. Charge the primary weapon. If she thinks we haven't been planning for this, she's mistaken."

      "Sir," responded a Grundo to his left, "the weapon is fully charged and waiting for your command."

      Another Grundo to his back-right said, "Two-hundred kilometers... one-fifty... one-hundred... fifty..."

      As Sloth bared his teeth into a smile and his eyes filled with a sadistic rage, he said, "Fire."

To be continued...

 
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