Revenge and Resistance: Part Eight
Previously: Garoo double-crossed the Resistance, returning to Sloth with the freed Skyfire in tow. When the Resistance discovered this turn of events, Gormos was discouraged and steps down as leader. Gorix and Cylara are left, without any plans, to lead the troops in battle against Sloth. Sprax, the Alien Aisha sent to take down the Neopian leaders, returns to the Space Station to find that Sloth knew he was simply imprisoning the leaders, not killing them. In response, Sprax is shot down by Sloth himself. Finally, Garoo and Skyfire are sent to destroy the Resistance headquarters.
The column of smoke was still rising from the destroyed building when the fighters landed near it. The two mercenaries, Garoo and Skyfire, emerged from their respective ships and made for the destruction.
Sloth had been immensely happy with their report when they had returned to the Station, but he told them they weren’t done yet. He instructed them to go back and look for survivors. They would be imprisoned and made to work for Sloth as punishment for their actions against him. So they were once again on Neopia’s moon. They began sifting through the rubble, looking for any signs. Problem was, they couldn’t find anything but exploded rock and twisted steel. There never was anybody in here.
Garoo was instantly nervous. He had heard what happened with the fool, Sprax. With a glance, he could tell Skyfire was imagining the same situation.
“What do we do?” he whispered fearfully.
She stared at a sheet of paper which was still on fire, adding to the plumes of smoke.
“We find them,” she said.
They had heard the explosion all the way from their temporary hideout, in the concealed basement of Café Kreludor. Quietly, Gorix and Cylara had left the others in the cramped room to see what was going on above ground. Worried though they were, the two friends assured their comrades that all would be okay.
Emerging from the false floorboard behind the bar, the two peeked over the edge of the bar to find the café nearly empty. Only an obese Skeith sat in a booth by the corner, surrounded by a few of his entourage.
“Coast is clear,” muttered an orange Skeith to their left. He was cleaning the mugs with a rag so filthy Gorix wondered whether he was making them dirtier. “He’s harmless.”
The two stood up completely, Gorix glancing at the Skeith, who seemingly didn’t even notice. “We heard explosions,” Cylara said. “What happened?”
He stopped wiping and regarded them gravely. “What you suspected would happen.”
Gorix glanced at his companion. “Do you think we need to move?”
Cylara frowned, deep in concentration. “Nah. They don’t know where we are now. They still thought we were in the mines.”
“But what if they come looking for us?” Gorix argued. “They know we can’t have gone very far—it was hard enough moving all of us here.”
“Relax, Gor, we’ll be fine,” Cylara said. “Nothing to worry about.”
“We still need to find Gormos; that’s something to worry about,” Gorix said pointedly. “We’ve been waiting this whole time for him to come back, why don’t we go find him?”
“He’s not coming back, that’s why,” Cylara retorted. “We need to do this ourselves!”
“We can’t! ” Gorix argued. “We don’t have a mind like his, nor the resources! We need to find him!”
“Guys, keep it down,” the bartender muttered. “Don’t draw too much attention to yourselves.”
Gorix frowned. “He’s right; I don’t think this is the right place for this. Let’s discuss this downstairs.”
The two lifted the floorboard and sank into the basement once more, bickering quietly.
There were hundreds of cells on the lower levels of the Space Station. Cramped, dirty, and cold, they were consistently empty—until the attacks started. Now they were nearly full. One cell block held Grundos who acted up; another block was made up of rebels from Neopia who the clones had captured. And of course, there was the group of cells holding the Neopian Times authors, who now regretted even thinking about writing.
But one cell was the most important of the whole lot. It was under constant watch by six brawny mutant Grundo guards and three cameras connected to both the command center and Sloth’s office. The cell door was unique; unlike the others, it had no windows or openings. The room was sealed round the clock, and only a key that Sloth wore on his body at all times could open the door.
The prisoner was the Space Faerie. Currently, she was lying on the metallic bench protruding from the far wall of the cell, waiting. She had consigned herself to waiting for something to happen a few hours after she was captured. There was simply nothing else to do. She could not escape; not even her magic was powerful enough for that. So she waited.
At the end of the hallway, a black head popped around the corner. She took in every detail surrounding the guards of the cell. Making quick mental notes, she pulled out a small green ball and pulled the cap out of it. She waited a split second before hurling it at the guards, who shouted when the ball landed in front of them. Emerald smoke was hissing out of the ball rapidly, and soon the Grundos were hacking loudly.
The creature moved quickly, wings propelling her forward. With a blaster, she blasted the three cameras to bits, for security in case the smoke fanned out. All six guards had fallen to the ground in a gassed stupor, out cold. The creature figured she had a minute before the command center would notice.
Quickly, she placed round time bombs on the lock and hinges of the door and stepped far enough back to protect herself. The bombs ticked down from five, and soon black smoke mixed with the green. Meanwhile, the door had fallen in and the creature could hear the Faerie inside coughing.
“Hurry!” the creature shouted. “You’ve got about thirty seconds to escape!”
The Faerie shot out of the cell like a rocket, looking for her rescuer. She found the creature watching her from a few yard away. “You!” she gasped. “But you’re the one who—”
“Captured you, yes, I know,” Sophix interjected. She still had the form of a Buzz. “I needed some revenge, okay? Now just go! You’ll never get out if you waste time talking to me!”
The Space Faerie nodded and shot off through the halls. Sophix turned. Now it was her turn to escape. She could only hope that her home planet would accept an Alien Aisha-turned-Buzz.
“I remember you,” the Skeith said with conviction. “Yeh were lookin’ for that Kougra.”
“Yes, but we need to find him again.” Garoo sighed. This was taking too long; if they didn’t hurry it up, Sloth would wonder what was going on.
“Actually, I haven’t been seein’ the Kougra aroun’ at all lately,” he replied sincerely. “Use’ ta see him aroun’ near daily.”
“He might be with that small Grundo and his friend, the Cybunny,” Skyfire added. “Seen ‘em?”
The Skeith lowered his voice. “Aye, now I have seen them, last night, actually,” he muttered. He still would not make eye contact with either of the mercenaries. “In this very café.”
“Really, now?” Garoo said with a hint of surprise. To hide in a public place such as this was gutsy, even for the Resistance. But he was more surprised to hear that Gormos had disappeared.
“Where?” Skyfire asked.
The Skeith pointed to the bar. “They appeared behind that bar there and talked to the ‘tender.”
The two glanced at each other. Did they dare raid the bar and whatever was underneath now, in broad daylight, with the café so busy? It would give them away, for sure. But this was a matter of utmost importance to the two. If they didn’t succeed in either finding or killing the Resistance totally, they could consider themselves done for. Mutually, they agreed—it was for the best. They would attack now.
They thanked the Skeith and slowly made their way across the café, pulling out their ray guns discreetly so as not to alarm anyone. Not that it mattered, since in a few seconds everyone would be screaming and fleeing anyways. They slid behind the bar quietly.
“Hey, this is for—” He was silenced by a blaster aimed at his head. A woman at the bar screamed, and the loud chatting quieted down as they noticed what was happening.
The bartender’s orange eyes widened as he got a better look at the two.
“You,” he whispered fearfully.
“Us,” Skyfire said with a sneer. She enjoyed the reactions she elicited.
Meanwhile, Garoo was stomping around on the floorboards, listening carefully for any sound different from the rest. The Resistance already knew they were under attack; with a smile Garoo imagined their faces as they awaited their fates.
With a resounding crack, a floorboard broke in two, one half falling into darkness below. Skyfire watched Garoo rip open the rest of the board as well as the rest of the trap door leading into the secret basement. Garoo shone a light into the hole.
Knock knock knock.
Gormos was woken up by a quick succession knocking on his front door. The brawny Kougra rose from his bed somberly. He decided to ignore the noise. There was no one he wanted to talk to right now. No one could cheer him up. But then the knocks sounded again, and he wondered if it was urgent.
“Nonsense,” he said to himself. “No one needs me anymore.”
I do, said a voice that resonated from inside his head. He recognized that voice. But could it be true? Surely, it was an elaborate joke. He hurried to the door nonetheless. Wrenching the door open, he greeted the slender figure of the Space Faerie with amazement.
“It is true,” he said breathlessly.
“Hello, Gormos,” she smiled. “We have much to go over.”
The Kougra stepped back to allow the Faerie entrance, which she accepted gracefully.
“How did you escape?”
“That is an interesting story, though not the one to be discussing now. I have heard some interesting things, Gormos. Is it true you have abandoned your efforts of a Resistance?”
He swallowed and nodded. “I couldn’t handle it,” he sighed. “It was too much.”
“It is too much for all of us. Yet we cannot give up. You must never give up, even when you feel you cannot take any more of it, for when you surrender, you are not only letting everyone else down, but more importantly, you are letting yourself down. And that is the most despicable crime a person can commit,” she said solemnly. “You have wronged yourself deeply, Gormos. Are you ready to right that wrong?”
Gormos was silent. Was he ready? He didn’t think so. There was too much pain. He didn’t think he’d ever be the same again.
“Nonsense,” the Space Faerie said, reading his thoughts. “You have always been ready to fight that menace.”
“But I cannot do it alone, and the Resistance is unstable as it is,” Gormos argued. “It is impossible to take him down.”
“He is less powerful than you think,” she replied. “He has wronged too many to count, and there will eventually be a crack in his fortress. There was for me.”
He thought it over. She had a point. “Will you help me?”
“I will do what I can, but I will not be the one to finish him off. I am better suited freeing Neopia from his clutches. You are the one to end this, Gormos. It is in the stars.”
He nodded slowly. “I suppose so. You are right, as always.”
She smiled. “Very good. Now we both must be off. I do believe the rest of your group is back at the mines.”
He nodded. “Thank you, Space Faerie. Thank you for redeeming me.”
“You did that yourself,” she said with a smile. “I just encouraged it.”
With that, she zoomed out of the containment unit and towards the blue and green planet below them. Gormos watched her until she blended in with the seas of Neopia, and then he set off for the mines. They had a lot of work to do.
To be continued...