Voice of the Neopian Pound Circulation: 111,440,479 Issue: 193 | 2nd day of Relaxing, Y7
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Savak: The Redemption - Part Six


by zephandolf

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Passage after passage, Savak and Lilia moved along the ducts, searching every room they could find for Heysha. After about three hours, they were beginning to lose hope of finding anything when, unexpectedly, Savak heard another voice he had not heard in some time. It was a voice less familiar to him, as he had only heard it once. But the tone of authority in his voice was unmistakable. Lilia recognized it as well.

    “That’s Dr. Sloth!” she exclaimed.

    “Yeah, I know,” Savak said. “And he’s not too far away. Come on, let’s check it out.”

    The Lupes didn’t have to go far before they found the duct that the voice came from. They hesitated briefly when the vent creaked under their weight. When it didn’t shift any further, Savak exchanged a look with Lilia before he continued further into the vent.

    As they moved down the duct, Savak recognized another voice conversing with the first. The voice was Kaylee’s. Savak’s fur stood on end as he approached the vent. He was so close to the Lupess, but he was in no position to do anything about her. All he could do was observe her from the duct, which creaked again as he approached the vent. The Lupes hesitated again as they heard this. Savak was starting to feel uneasy about remaining in the duct, but Lilia seemed to shrug it off as she peered into the vent herself.

    Looking through the vent, Savak saw a small, furnished office. Like the other offices and quarters on board the Vengeance, Kaylee’s office was the same dull gray that the white Lupe had come to expect. Though, unlike the other offices, this office had finer furniture. There were several cushioned seats in front of Kaylee’s large oak desk. Behind this was a plush, and expensive looking leather armchair, which Savak doubted was standard equipment. Wooden filing cabinets lined one wall, and on the other, the white Lupe spotted the shadow Lupess standing in front of a large monitor set in the wall. Displayed on the screen was a clear picture of a very displeased Dr. Sloth.

    “It’s Kaylee,” Lilia growled when she saw the Lupess. “Oh, what I would give to have a shot at her.”

    “You had one several hours ago,” Savak pointed out.

    “I guess you’re right,” she agreed, shrugging.

    Savak said nothing more as his attention was drawn to the conversation between Dr. Sloth and Kaylee. It was clear that the Lupess had upset the doctor. The question was, how?

    “I expected that battleship to be fully operational by now!” Dr. Sloth exclaimed. “Do you know how much this one delay has set me back? Every day, the Grundos on Kreludor build up their defenses, and I have to counter their actions every time just to keep on par with them!”

    “I’m sorry, doctor,” Kaylee said. “Building this ship took longer than any of us expected. The engineering of the Mutation Beam Array alone…”

    “I don’t care about any of that technical riffraff!” Sloth exclaimed, waving it aside. “When I designed that array, I knew exactly how long it would take to build it.”

    “There have been some supply problems,” Kaylee tried to explain. “Some of the freighters have been tied up at the spaceport on Neopia with shipping regulations.”

    “I see,” the doctor said, leaning back in his chair. “Well, if your freighters were so tied up, how could you afford to send one of them after a single Lupe, hmm?”

    Kaylee stood silently for a moment, twitching her ears in embarrassment. When she opened her mouth to reply, Dr. Sloth interrupted her. “This is your second strike against me, Kaylee,” he said. “Pray that it is your last.”

    The Lupess sighed despondently as the monitor blipped from an image of Dr. Sloth to the Virtupets emblem. For a moment, Savak couldn’t help but feel sorry for the Lupess. She had gotten herself tied helplessly to a tyrannical mastermind who was far more devious than she ever could be, and it was all her fault. Now, having angered him twice, it was possible that her life was in jeopardy.

    For a moment, Kaylee remained where she was, her head bowed. Then, she touched the control panel on her monitor. After a moment, a blue Grundo appeared on the screen. Savak immediately recognized him as Bulthor.

    “You called, commander?” Bulthor asked.

    “Bulthor,” Kaylee said. “I want you to remain on board the Vengeance for now. Coordinate with the engineers to get the array online as soon as possible.”

    “But commander,” Bulthor objected. Kaylee cut him off.

    “You have your orders, Bulthor,” she said. “Dr. Sloth is displeased with our progress, and I do not relish the thought of remaining on his bad side. Do you want to be on mine?” she asked darkly.

    “N-no ma’am. I’ll get right on it.” Giving a brief salute, the Grundo disappeared from the screen.

    Savak looked up at Lilia quizzically. “Alright, I’ve heard this three times already,” he said. “What is this Mutation Beam Array?”

    “You mean you don’t know?” Lilia asked. Savak shook his head. “Have you heard of the Lab Ray?”

    Before Savak could reply, the doors to Kaylee’s office opened. Savak stared in disbelief as Heysha was escorted into the room. The blue Lupess walked defiantly next to her Grundo guard, then hesitated as she saw Kaylee. When she entered the room, Kaylee turned to her, then looked to her guard.

    “What’s all this about?” she asked. “Why have you brought her here?”

    “Bulthor ordered me to bring this prisoner to you, ma’am,” the Grundo replied. “She was caught snooping around at the spaceport prior to his last shipment.”

    Kaylee nodded as she padded forward. “I see,” she said. “Very well. You may go. Leave the prisoner with me.”

    The Grundo guard nodded as he turned to leave. As he did so, the duct Savak was in suddenly lurched. The Lupe’s fur stood on end as he tried to keep his footing. The sudden shift in weight, however didn’t help his situation.

    With a clang, the duct cracked straight down the middle, opening a gap below the two Lupes, who immediately slipped through, hitting hard on the floor below. Once he was aware of what had happened, Savak suddenly scrambled to his paws. As he did, he heard the shocked gasp from Kaylee, and a clicking noise from the direction of the Grundo guard. Before he knew what was happening, an energy blast seared through the air, aimed directly at Savak’s chest.

    A massive burst of energy erupted in the room, knocking everyone off their feet. Savak suddenly felt numb, and he didn’t know why. He tried to get up, but he couldn’t move his legs more than a few inches. He could barely move his head as he saw the other three Lupes stand up. No one seemed harmed, though the Grundo guard didn’t move at all. And Savak could only watch as Heysha looked in his direction, then gasped.

    “What did you do to him?” she asked. “His fur is turning red!”

    No one was more shocked to hear of his change of color than Savak was. Sure, suddenly turning from white to red was unnerving, but only he knew what that change signified. He didn’t know exactly what happened, but the shot from the laser must have damaged the medallion, releasing its energy in one burst. The realization that he was now powerless against Kaylee only further strengthened his need to get away, if only to get away from her. Summoning up all his strength, Savak tried to stand. As he did, he felt Heysha push up against him to help him get to his feet. Though he was grateful, he didn’t have the energy to signal it.

    “Come on,” she said. “We need to get out of here.”

    “No, you cannot leave!” Kaylee growled. When she said this, Savak felt a presence enter his mind. He tried to resist, pushing her from his mind. He felt himself move when he didn’t make himself move. A voice entered his head, but it wasn’t Kaylee’s voice who spoke to him.

    You’ll pay for your interference, Lupe! the voice said. I’ll kill you all, and Jearii will never know!

    When the voice said this, Savak immediately knew who it was. Kaylee couldn’t have known about his involvement with Jearii, and he didn’t know of anyone else working with the shadow Lupess who did, which left only one person.

    Velora! Savak thought. You’ve been involved this whole time, haven’t you?

    The dark Faerie’s presence didn’t respond, even as it burrowed deeper into his mind. Savak continued to try to push her back, but even with his resistance, he felt himself biting into Heysha’s shoulder! He heard her cry out in pain and collapse to the ground, slipping from his grasp. With the loss of his support, Savak felt himself stagger as his body lost its balance and fell into a crouch.

    Then, as suddenly as Velora’s presence had entered his mind, it disappeared. Shaking the eerie presence from his mind, Savak looked to Kaylee. She was crouched on the ground under Lilia who had tackled her. But the Lupess didn’t seem to be resisting. Lilia even stood and backed off when she realized that Kaylee was gripping her head, gruffly muttering to herself. Her fur seemed lighter than it should have, and it was paling even further. Shaking her head, Kaylee growled fiercely, loud enough for everyone to hear, and with a voice that didn’t seem her own.

    “No! The medallion! I’m losing contact!”

    Wearily, Savak pushed himself to his paws and limped over to Kaylee. The shadow Lupess ignored everything around her as she gripped her head, growling and snarling. Even as he approached, it was clear that her fur was changing color. It was reverting to the Lupess’ original color; that much was clear. But the reason for it escaped Savak. Kaylee’s medallion wasn’t damaged in the blast, so why would it release its hold on her?

    “What’s she doing?” Lilia asked in a worried tone. Savak shook his head.

    “I’m not entirely sure,” he said. “But…I think she’s losing her power.”

    “How?” Heysha asked, limping over from the other side of the room.

    “Do you think I know?” Savak asked, glancing over at the blue Lupess.

    “You’re the one who knows all about these medallions,” she pointed out.

    A moan from Kaylee made the three of them turn to her. Every trace of dark colored fur was gone, leaving only a light brown Lupess behind. Shaking her head, she stood up, her shoulders hunched. She first looked to Heysha, then to Savak, and to Lilia in turn. Then, after looking at her daughter, she turned away, almost in shame. Savak could only guess what was on her mind.

    “The Medallion of Submission is powerless,” she said. Raising her head, she straightened her shoulders, adding, “I am finally free.”

    A wave of relief passed over Savak when she said this. Though he didn’t know how, it was clear that, without the power of her Medallion, Velora would no longer have the influence over Kaylee that she did before. But, though he felt safer near Kaylee than he had since he first saw her, Heysha and Lilia were still uneasy.

    “Free?” Lilia asked skeptically. “What do you mean?”

    Before she could get an answer, the Grundo guard groaned and sat up, rubbing his head. When he saw the Lupes, he quickly got to his feet, brandishing his laser, and bringing it to bear on the group.

    “What have you done with the commander?” he demanded. “Where is she?”

    Before any of them could respond, the Grundo pulled a communicator from his belt. “Intruder alert! Security to the commander’s office!”

    “Wait a minute!” Savak said, taking a step forward. When he moved, the Grundo gripped his weapon tighter aiming it directly at Savak. When he realized what was happening, Savak tried to sidestep, but he stumbled instead, which was enough to dodge the blast from the riffle. When the Grundo fired, Lilia dashed for the guard, knocking his feet out from under him. As the Grundo hit the ground, Heysha came forward and swatted the weapon from his hand as Lilia knocked him back into unconsciousness.

    “Nicely done,” Savak said, impressed with both of them.

    “Yes, but there are a dozen Grundo troops on their way here,” Kaylee pointed out. “We need to get out of here, now.”

    Heysha bristled slightly as she turned to the Lupess. “Oh really?” she said. “And you want us to go so we can fall into a trap?”

    “Not at all,” Kaylee replied, startled by Heysha’s fierceness. “It’s just that…”

    “How are we supposed to trust you after all you’ve done?” Heysha cut in. “If we leave, I’ll bet you she’ll lead us into a band of guards as soon as she gets the chance!”

    “Heysha, be quiet,” Savak said. Heysha, though she looked hurt, did as she was told. “Kaylee’s right,” he went on. “We can’t stay here. The sooner we leave this office, the better. Lilia, Heysha, we need to get back into that duct so we can get back to that docking port.”

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Savak: The Redemption - Part One
» Savak: The Redemption - Part Two
» Savak: The Redemption - Part Three
» Savak: The Redemption - Part Four
» Savak: The Redemption - Part Five
» Savak: The Redemption - Part Seven
» Savak: The Redemption - Part Eight



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