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Book  2
Return To X
The second book in the Alpha Team saga

Chapter 11: Xaviar's Past

     Water, everywhere. Water is my life for the next hour. How dreary, healing, in this thick liquid all around me. I looked around and tried to see if any of my companions had awoken, but, unsurprisingly, they were still out cold, or at least that's the best I could see through the salve. I decided to do practically the only thing I could think of, sleep. I'm tired; there wasn't any way around that.  Just then, I heard a low, ominous, hum. My mind darted from conclusion to conclusion, trying to find a possible explanation, trying to grasp what the noise could be made by, but I couldn't do it, my mind is still too weak. Danger, that was my conclusion, danger, it has to be. Perfect, danger, and with me immobile, to just sit here. Sigh, I just have to sit and wait it out. I closed my eyes slowly and I gave in to my into my weakness, something I don't do too much, I fell asleep.
     The water, or salve, drained from the tank, I rested for a little while longer, still feeling tired after sleeping, but using all my will power I managed to get out. I looked for my friends, and saw they had awoken and safely gotten into their respective rejuvenation pods. Then it hit me, the humming, was nothing more then the other pods being turned on "oh, that makes sense" I breathed a silent sigh of relief. Well guys, I said to my self hurry up, we still have a long while to go. I walked over to a near by table and strapped on an ankle holster and put a small, but effective, laser handgun in it.
     I returned to the bridge, and I altered the designs on the robots (for the better I hope). I decided to give them more armor and gun power, well; we are going to x after all. I started typing as fast as I could. I leaned back on my chair and thought what else I could do to the robots. I leaned foreword and contacted the leading robot. "Ixyy-37" I called to the robot "mmm, yes sir?" the robot asked "I have an idea, knock down each wall and extend it one hundred yards farther, then make more manufacturing robot. Also order one hundred thousand new parts, top of the line, use the old parts first" I ordered. "Yes sir" the robot said as he saluted and the screen flashed off.
     "Nice move, Xaviar" a voice said behind me. I turned around in my chair and pulled out my gun on my ankle, but it turned out to be Incarno "what?" I replied. "In the training room" Incarno told me "Oh, well, I try my best" I said turning back to the computer, shutting it off. "Sure you were" Incarno said sarcastically. I turned around and rose an eyebrow to him "what do you mean" I asked, "you really think that I don't know about your past, huh" Incarno asked and stated at the same time. I fanned out my collar and looked around "did it just get hot in here, is it just me" I asked, "Xaviar, when you were five, you joined the galactic forces, and you broke every record there was. You broke every record there was. Written test, drills, it didn't matter, you beat every score, IQ tests, you exceeded two hundred, and you beat the crap out of your fighting instructor the first day and you were only six, so don't even try to say you were going all out in that trainer, I mean, even I know you were pulling punches left and right". For the first time in a long while, I smiled slightly.

Chapter 12: Thryfer's Determination

     Thryfer then walked onto the bridge, we exchanged hellos, and he sat down in his chair, and proceeded to work on his scythe. "So, do you actually plan on getting that to work?" I asked him. "Of course, I always finish my projects" he replied. I sighed and got up and walked over to the bin and hit its button. The bin opened and about 25 unfinished projects fell out "hey! That's not fair! Foul! Penalty 10 yards!" I rose an eyebrow to him "penalty 10 yards" I asked "sorry it's from an old sport, I haven't heard anything since Earth went under". We all bowed our heads a little in sadness. I sighed. I realized I'm only 14 and I really wanted to see what earth was like. Everyone got shipped out for some reason. "You guys ever wonder what it's like to be normal" I asked "hey! Speak for your self! I am normal" Incarno shot at me. I shook my head at Incarno "no, I mean I'm only 14, and I'm the most powerful person in the military. We should be on some planet that doesn't even know about war, enjoying ourselves, not saving every planet we come along" I said, feeling a little confused and misty "yea" Thryfer agreed "Well, I'm 19, so I could just of easily been drafted on what ever planet everyone was sent to, so I suppose no ones safe from danger and war forever, especially me" Thryfer seemed depressed, and a little angry at that. "Well" I clapped my hands, destroying the mood in the room, and returning everyone to there natural warlike self's "lets see how our robot factory is doing. Clance, can you get me a read out?” I asked. He spun his chair around and started typing feverishly. "Well, our robot population are well into the thousands, I'm going to remove the left arm from the blue print of the robot and add a machine gun instead, with maybe a shoulder mounted laser, O.K. all?" Clance asked the group "whatever" I replied to him and nodded my head in agreement for the group. The Vid Com system flashed red and an unfamiliar face appeared "To any star crafts that are in the vicinity, we are under attack." the voice said calmly "please, we are greatly out numbered, help us!" the screen went blurry and flashed off "Clance! Full speed towards wherever that transmission came from!"  

Chapter 13: Save the Brave Sword!

     Every meter on our ship flashed red. We blasted through the air at a cool 157 thousand miles per second. In a matter of minutes, signs of a battle were apparent. Flashing lights and bright explosions in the darkness of space. I watched as the circular explosions got bigger even in the brief second that they were visible.
     As we got closer, I glanced over to our power gauge and saw we were dangerously low on power, bordering on dangerously low "decrease speed, the ship needs a chance to get its energy back up" I yelled and Clance quickly acted. "Clance, Thryfer, man the on ship weapons, the turrets and blasted lance. Incarno, follow me, we have a serious situation on our hands, a this calls for a serious action, prepare your self" I said as I jumped out of my chair "why do I have a feeling this is going to be bad, very, very bad?" Incarno asked me. "Well, guess what, your right" I said as I started running out of the room "oh.... crap" Incarno said as he started running.
     I tore out of the room and headed for the armory. The armory was one of the few doors on the ship that actually had a code lock on it, along with our quarters, for obvious reasons. I pressed my hand against the scanner and typed in the top code. “Full access granted, Xaviar, have a nice stay” an overly cheery computerized voice greeted. I ran in as Incarno turned the corner, and started picking up speed as he saw the door timer start to go down. I ran to the very back of the immense armory, and had to type in yet another code. A red war light came on “beacon activated, all friendly ships in the vicinity noted of the opening of this door” a more accurate dark, ominous, voice said
     We ran in, and there were four sleek jet-black exo suits equipped for space battle. ”Get in” I told Incarno “but I've never been in one of these, much less been taught how to operate this… thing” Incarno objected. I put up my hand “If you can use one, you can pilot any exo suit, they're all made basically the same way, just this one is made for space, now, Get in” I ordered him. “I'll tell you what to do when you Get in” I walked over to the exo suit parallel to Incarno's. I placed my hand on the torso and it slid foreword and opened up. I put my foot in the middle of the foot shaped harness, and it automatically closed to fit my foot exactly, and then I put my hand inside the arm and grabbed into the un-moveable handle and the torso slid shut. I moved my leg, and the suit made its last minute adjustments to my body as I did the same to he suit. An exo suit is like a robot, which shapes around your body. It increases the pilot's speed and strength, so the stronger the pilot, the stronger the suit. An exo suit is simply an extension of your body and your power.
     I loosened my grip on the handle bar, and the suits hand opened. I craned my head around in the little space I had to try an analyze how to use this suit. I reached my hand behind my head and flipped on a flashing green switch. “Incarno, flip on the green switch behind your head and to the right” I said “roger” he replied as a small live picture of him appeared on the lower right corner of my screen “well, obviously, you just turned on your communicator” I quipped. “Well, lets Get moving, we have a job to do” I said as I walked over to the hatch and hit the red button. Metal locks surrounded the feat of the other suit and the other doors slammed shut preventing anything from being sucked out into space. The hatch blew open and there was a quick blast of suction pulled all of the oxygen out of the room, then it equalized. “Well, out of the pan…. “ I started as I jumped out “and into the fire” Incarno said as he followed me out.

Chapter 14: Battle

     The exo suit was fairly hard to maneuver in space, but I still managed, in a member of the Alpha team, right? I learned the slightly different controls and headed to the ship that was in distress. The ship was designed so that when you moved your feet, you adjusted the direction of your thrust, instead of just walking. Also, a new weapon, the Arck arm laser system was much more powerful then the regular cannon or rifle, which made me wonder why I didn't have one on the other exo suit.
     We took a minute to relearn the controls, then we were off to the battle. I decided to send the captain of the ship a message. “Captain, hold out your defense for a while longer, reinforcements are on their way!” I yelled as we burst into battle range.
     We blasted into the battle with surprising force, and much to my astonishment they were using exo suits as well. We were ripping through them with ease, but their numbers were almost overwhelming. Almost. Both sides battled their hardest, the ships fighter pilots gaining the upper hand and the ship no longer getting hit. Suddenly, the enemy forces must of realized the reason of the power change in the battle, us. Every enemy exo suit turned to look at us. “Uh oh” I said, realizing how difficult this is going to be. “What's going on, Xaviar?” Incarno asked “Well, the enemy leader just realized we were here, and they know fighting the space fighters isn't going to help, they know that if we die, they can rip through those fighters with ease, prepare your self, there coming at us full force”. With a flash of bright light all the enemy exo suits blasted towards us.
     Dual lasers coming from my left fried most of the oncoming exo suits. “Wait, isn't our ship behind us?” Incarno asked me “yea, that's what I thought…. but” I started to reply “Hold on, were here now, stay out of our way” a new voice said as another ship appeared on my sensors. Exo suits spilled out of the ship's bottom by the hundreds. The new black exo suits with a red vertical stripe rushed into the battlefield eliminating the enemy suits quickly with a fast flash of lasers and exploding exo suits.
     I tried to hail the leader of the squadron, and the first couple of time, the magnetic energy of the exploding suits completely jammed the communication system. Finally, I got through “Greetings, I am Xaviar, leader of the alpha squad” I started “Shut up” the ship replied as a shadowed face appeared on a small corner of my view screen system. “Look, the only reason I saved you, is because these fools started attacking our ship, and no one, who want to live, attacks me” the man replied “now, where are you headed in such a hurry? What allegiance are you?” the man interrogated, I had to think quickly, answering to the wrong allegiance could have you killed, or worse. “I told you” I said, sounding as tough and as battle hardened as I could, but this man was like no other I had ever met, I was only talking to him through a small screen, and I was still intimidated. “Well boy? Who do you answer to?” the man pressed, “I answer to myself, I am the leader of the alpha squad, Xaviar. Who are you?” I tried to demand “In due time son, now, you still need to answer me about where your going” his voiced seemed calmer, but still boomed “My small crew and I are headed toward X” This got a slight laugh out of the man. “Your in an awful hurry to die, aren't you? You might as well follow us, you might Get out alive. We can use you so that their not so hungry when we start attacking” I tried to stay cool, but I was outraged that a man could just speak his mind as he very well pleased to the leader of all the military and got away with it “Who are you!?” I yelled “Calm down, in due time, we meet on the surface of the planet, if I feel you are worthy, I'll tell you more” he said as the view screen flashed out.
     I calmed my self, not used to talking to someone so sure of his word against me “I'll show him what the leader of the entire military can do, then he'll think again before talking in a descending manor to me, he'll be bowing to my feet” I reassured my self, my little self pep talk dropped me right back into battle, and I was ready for anything.
     I rehailed him “Well, you just going to sit there or help me?” I asked, sounding as manly as possible “Fool, you'll be backing me up” he said with a laugh, then he turned and took off towards the enemy ship, which had just started to retreat. I pushed the exo suit to its limit, still lagging behind the still nameless man. He and I fired our beams into the engine, having little visible effect, I fired to energy pulses into the ships engine watching the huge carrier twist and turn wildly “You were saying” I mocked to him “Don't get too arrogant child, that was nothing”. Man, I hate that guy.
Chapter 15: New Allegiances, new Enemies

     I watched as his exo suit sped ahead of me, his was obviously faster, and I hated it. He extended his arm, and a handle appeared in his hand. He ignited the sword in a flash of blue and slices across the right engine of the ship, and the metal half broke off, half caved in, it was apparent that that ship wouldn't be moving on its own anytime soon. I sped in front of the ship, and put my hands on the nose of the cockpit, the, tapping into the ships dangerously low power level, I fired a continuous beam, slowing the ship, until it stopped. A rather bright flash of light was emitted form the battle, then my eyes adjusted again to the semi darkness of space again, the only other light source besides the blasters being the stars. I started to move back towards the other mans ship (I still need to find out his name) when the ship started moving again.
“The left engine and back up systems are back online!” I yelled, to no one really “Fool!” the other man yelled back “you were supposed to take care of the left engine!” he fumed at me “I was a little busy you know! Wasn't child's play you know” I retorted, “anything you do is child's play,” he growled back at me. We both sped off after the injured ship “I'll handle this” I said to his with as little emotion as possible. “Fool, even I know teamwork is easier, just don't screw anything up” he said as his chest plating opened up and revealed two Chaos blasters “are you insane” I yelled at him “they'll blow you up, and take me down with you, that technology is highly experimental” I lectured “you would be surprised what an intelligent mind can do when they don't have to be the baby sitters of the universe, we don't worry about safety, we worry about weaponry, and the safety of the weapons is a part of it, but I guarantee that our military scientists have never made a baby bumper'”. I felt really stupid, but the baby bumper did work really well… Oh well, he fired off a couple shots from his dual Chaos blasters, huge crushing beams lanced through the enemy ship, yes, through.
We flew up next to the ship, and I called for prison shuttles by the thousands, and gave them the coordinates. “Well, you just going to let me refer to the guy I hate” I asked him “I told you, when we get on the surface of X, ill tell you, maybe, you haven't proven yourself yet, fool” he sneered. I flew back over to Incarno “lets get back to the ship” I said, feeling a little defeated. We flew side-by-side and docked into the ships hull, and then jumped out of our exo suits. “Kinda cool how they just gave up, wasn't it? Well they were obviously over powered… Is something wrong?” he asked “Nah, ill be Ok, just a little tired, and that guy is annoying” I replied, “what were you two saying? There was a lot of interference” he asked “just general insults and put downs, now, can I get back to my seat on the bridge?” I asked him “uh, sure, I'm kinda tired too”. When we got back to the bridge, Clance had nothing but questions for us “How did they hold up? Did they go fast enough? How was the handling? Turn fast enough? Who was in the other ship? They're exo suits were tougher than ours, but at least we were stronger then the people attacking the Brave Sword, right?” Thryfer put his hand on Clance's shoulder “slow down, you might break something”. I sat down in my seat. “Ah..” I let out a sigh of relief as I hit the chair “The prison shuttles are almost here Xaviar” Thryfer reported “and did he have Chaos blasters” I sighed again “yea, he did, you could probably even use them on land too, if they were smaller you could use them like a regular blaster. I'll bet they're Exo suits will work on both land and space” I sighed; he was better than I was. Man I hate that guy.

Chapter 16: The Decent

     “Well Xaviar, that battle took us off course, and drained our energy, but were on course to X, were due to arrive in thirty hours” the news was both surprising and sad. “Well, how is our robot factory doing? If you do the math, a robot will get shredded every couple of seconds” I walked next to Clance and reached over and started typing on the keypad, bringing up the robot factory's status. I looked deeply into the numbers until they started to mesh together. I had them knock down another wall to add another place for a different model of robots to be built. I modeled them to move very fast, and have a large sensor area, scanning the most they could into a 3d model of the planet and send it into our console. “Wow, Xaviar, that's huge, that little change in the existing robots will revolutionize colonizing planets, millions of lives” “Well, I plan to have more information on the than that guy” I practically snarled. I turned away and walked halfway back to my chair and stopped in mid step, turning to look back at Clance, his stare wide “Ummm, Xaviar, aren't you getting a little obsessed over that guy? I mean, I think its pretty unhealthy, he's going to lead you to your death” Clance said, his voice quivering slightly “see what I mean! He wouldn't be leading me anywhere!” I yelled, then stopped for a second “yea, I see what you mean, its just I've never met someone who was as good as me, but wasn't on my team” I said, then settled back into my chair.
     “How much longer till we get there” I asked “Ummm, twenty nine hours and thirty minutes” replied Clance “Well, I'm getting something to eat something, ill be back” I said as I walked into the hallway. I walked down a couple of hallways, and getting anywhere has become all but automatic, I've been in this ship for countless hours. I walked into the white kitchen and sat down at the circular table. I watched as the AFD (Automated Food Dispenser) screen slid up out of the table “hello sir, what would you like” it asked me “surprise me” I muttered, rubbing the side of my face with my hand. I watched as something got tossed into a pan, and other ingredients were added in, and other pans were started. I stared at the green flame under the pan hungrily, as I'm dangerously underfed. In a couple more minutes, a plate slid off the conveyor belt and onto the table right in front of me “Enjoy sir, I have prepared for you a large fillet min yon, served with a lemon sauce with a touch of butter, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and corn, with a glass of wine to drink, any requests” the face asked “Yea, don't tell any one about the wine” I said, the face smiled, nodded, then disappeared.
     I haven't heard of most of the food in front of me (except for the wine), but it was good, very filling, and recharging in a way. I finished the whole plate, and when I was done sipping my whine, I set the plate and glass in front of me, and the conveyor belt started again, dumping the plate into the washer. I walked down the hall, and back onto the bridge, and sat back down in my chair. “ETA Clance” I asked him “twenty seven hours” he said, not taking his eyes off the screen. Everyone was keeping themselves busy with preparation for X. Clance was taking control of a construction robot and speeding up the process, Incarno was fine tuning all of his weapons, and Thryfer is working on his scythe still, and I was sitting, getting fat.
     “OK, we cant just rush in, we need strategy, what are we going to do” I asked everyone “Well, first we should send down those probe droids that you made to get what the surface looks like, and that will also pick up squads or roaming enemies” Clance replied and turned back around to his console “incoming message Xaviar” he reported to me “from who” I asked, but he didn't have a chance to answer “Hello alpha team” the voice spat “I see your headed to X, I thought you would of got scared and ran away by now” he said, his face still shadowed over “oh, its you” I said “what do you want now, did your ship break down and need a ride” I asked “on the contrary fool, were with in an hours distance of X, I was wondering how you've every won a space battle before with such a slow ship” he insulted again “its quite simple, our strategy is different from yours, we don't run and hide, like you” I shot back “very well, were setting up a base on the planet, join us, if you get there before we've already won” he said, then the screen flashed off. “See what I mean? That guy deserves a severe” bad word I care not to repeat, “kicking” “yea, I see what you mean now” Thryfer said, taking a brief break from his scythe. “Clance, start sending those robots down to the planets to graph the surface” I ordered “yes sir” he said as he turned to start typing at the console.
I watched as a transparent sphere appeared in the air, and four tiny specks appeared on the surface. The specks started moving, making a little more of the planet solid. Just the, I saw one of the specks disappear, and then another one went out. “Clance, make sure that there's at least 5 droids on the planet at one time” I ordered. “OK, everyone getting ready? Good, Clance, hours left” I asked “twenty six hours” he replied “I want everyone to get some thing to eat, and get a little sleep, we need to be fully charged when we get there. I'm going to bed, give me 10 hours, and I see you when we get to sixteen hours left” I left my chair a walked down the hall, put my code and voice recognition into the lock, and I walked into my room. I started to jog over to the bed, jumped and landed in there middle of my twenty square foot bed, and fell asleep almost instantly.   
“Xaviar, time to get up” Incarno's voice rang through my room “man, why did they have to send you to wake me up” I asked groggily “because no one is as annoying and no one else would have been able to wake you up” he replied “good answer” I said to my self. “Well, you getting up or am I going to have to use force” he asked, “force” I replied, rolling over to the other side of my bed. I heard running and I realized that I just got tackled out of my bed. “Ahh!” I let out a surprised yelp as I hit the ground, and then he flipped me over, lifted me up by the covers, and then dumped me onto the ground. “Ouch, was that necessary” I asked as I stood up and rubbed my head “yes it was” he said as he walked out of my room, obviously very proud of himself. I walked over to the far end of my room and stepped into my shower room. I slipped off my clothes and jumped into the shower. Much washing and cleaning was at hand. I got dressed and into my clothes, then suited up in my armor.
I walked back onto the bridge of the ship, and took my seat. “Hey, where's Incarno” I asked, “He's sleeping” Thryfer replied “Figures” I sighed “Clance, ETA” I asked “sixteen hours, just as you asked” he replied. I decided to make sure all of my weapons were in working condition, there would be any margin for error on X.
Apparently I went into my own little world in my weapons, because when I looked back up we were five hours from X. I looked over to the 3d map and realized that it was almost completed, excepted for a large circle in which none of the robots could get near. I scanned the faces of my teammates and I saw that the pre battle butterflies had set in, except in Thryfer, who just looked sad. “Hey, Thryfer, what's up” I asked, “welcome back” Incarno muttered snidely, not looking up from his gun to talk “what?” Thryfer said as he looked up at me, his scythe looking quite impressive. “I said, what's up? You look bummed” I repeated “oh, not really, just concentrating on my scythe here, it finally works, I'm just getting it stronger” he replied, obviously something was bugging him, he just didn't want to say “well, congratulations” I replied quickly.
ETA: Two Hours
  “OK, everyone need to suit up” I yelled “were going into the final hours, let's get moving” I said, making sure everyone was ready. Incarno was holstering his twelfth gun, Thryfer sheathed his scythe on his back, and Clance transferred the 3d map and control of the robot factory into his hand held computer. I made my finishing touches on my guns and laser weaponry and I sharpened my sword, just incase the rumors were true, and the warriors on X weren't effected by bullets. Time started to fly by.
ETA: One Hour
“There it is” I pointed to a speck on our visual sensors “unusually large solar system X is in, what is this, nine planets? And only one has life on it” Clance remarked “I wouldn't be surprised if the Xyans (what other species call the people from X) didn't wipe them out” Incarno remarked “actually, Xyans have little to no technology, well, to our knowledge, this is the closest an official ship has been to X”. I hailed the fortress I just saw go up within the last 6 hours “Alpha team hailing fortress on X, reply mandatory” I said into the blank screen “hello, Darke Fire's X base here, what's your business” a new face said, I think I recognized him from the space battle “Inform Darke Fire that well be landing soon, were here to help” I replied “he will be notified” the man said then the screen flashed off “awful rude bunch, aren't they” Incarno said, still looking at the screen. “OK, this is it! Brace for landing!”

Chapter 17: X

     I felt the pressure pushing me back into my seat, the compensatory cant do much against entry to an atmosphere. The horizontal pressure stopped as I leveled the ship, then lowered it to the ground with a dull thud. “Clance, is the air here breathable” I asked “never thought to check, let me run a few tests, don't go outside of the ship” he replied. A couple of bars rose and fell on the screen, then he turned and stood up “yea, its breathable” he pressed a button on his hand held computer and attached it to his arm “well, lets get moving” I said as we got off the ship. The foul stench of decay hit us as soon as we walked out of the outer lair, as I looked around there were green clouds floating close to the ground, a few leafless trees were clinging on to life, and splintered houses stood burned down and smashed in. “Dear god, what happened here” I asked myself, we all stood in aw of what this planet has been through, but we all new we couldn't back out now. “If these people start traveling to other planets, the death toll will be unopposed” Clance said angrily “I now fully see why we were really sent here, we have to wipe out this species, completely, or all the planets as we know them will be destroyed” I said, even angrier than Clance “Clance, beam down our robot army” I said, ready for anything that's ready for us “yes sir” he replied “and his base is 50 feet north of here” Clance said as he started typing, and behind us a huge column appeared, easily 5000 assorted robots “lets get going” I said as I started to walk foreword.
     The robots marched behind us, and it wasn't until we got twenty feet from the base until we saw it, the green fog very thick. As we continued walking, a horn of solders jumped out, guns in hand, their red and black capes flapping in the wind behind them, the golden letters DF shined on their chest. “Halt! Any closer and we shoot!” the leader yelled sliding a microphone and earphone into his helmet. “Were here to help, were the alpha team” I said “oh, follow me” he said as he pushed his helmet functions back up, his tinted glasses and earphone still displaying information and speaking to him. Our robots circled the fort and helped survey the area. His teammates parted for the four us to walk through, and I thought I heard one of them growl “pretty boy” as I walked by. He led us into a surprisingly large fort for only having a couple of hours, the stone hallways and pillars looking new and clean. He stopped at a large golden door “go in here, don't try anything though, the elite will be all over you in a matter of seconds” he warned, the he turned on his heels, cape flying into the air, and walked back down the way we came. “Well, lets go” I said, pushing the door open. I squinted down the long hallway to see a dark figure sitting on a throne, while two men on each side of him bowed on one knee, wrapped in their capes. We started walking down the hallway, and as I looked over I saw something odd about the light source. “Hey Clance, what's different with those candles, they look different” I whispered back to him “looks like they have a…..shadow over them, but it still emits light, odd indeed” Clance whispered back up to me. As we walked closer, the four solders stood up in unison, and jumped off the platform and in front of us, with swords in their hands.
     “Stop” a voice rang out from behind them “they're..allies” he said, pausing on the allies, as if he wasn't sure. The solders jumped back and sheathed their blades on their left side, and returned to their one kneed bow again now bowing there heads this time though. The man on the throne stood up and walked toward “so, now you've met my elite, best solders I've trained yet, their almost Souljah, but not quite powerful enough with beams” he started “so, your Darke Fire, aren't you” I questioned “yes, I don't know how you figured it out, but you did, I'm sure your very proud of yourself. Well, what's the plan? You going to do anything?” he asked snidely “well, we know were the main enemy concentration is, and we have a powerful robot army we can use” I shot back, starting to get annoyed with him “well, do what you will, were attacking there bases around the planet starting at seven hundred hours, maybe we'll see you there” he said, dismissing us with a snap of his wrist. I turned around and motioned for my teammates to follow me.
     When we made it outside, and our robots made a column behind us again. “Clance, find a spot where we can set up our own base, were going to need one” I said “well, the best place would be on the opposite side of our ship, ill get the robots on it immediately” he replied. “You know what, I really don't like that guy at all” I remarked as the robots sprang foreword and started building a safe house for us.

Chapter 18: Seven Hundred Hours

     The base was constructed in a matter of hours, but wasn't nearly as impressive as Darke Fire's, but it will work for the time being. Darke Fire's base was only 100 yards away, but the thick green fog made it impossible to see 20 yards, much less 100 yards, and with darkness falling, we decided to move indoors. “Clance, I have another task for you, I want to make horn leaders, so the robots can act in horns, not just as individual. You'll have to give them a strategy guide and an intelligence boost, get moving” I ordered as we stepped in, the robots surrounding the fort, protecting against attacks unforeseen.
     “IT'S DONE!” he yelled, jumping up from his chair, thrusting the scythe into the air “at long last, its finally done” Thryfer yelled “wow, that makes once” I shot at him “oh, shut up, just be happy, this is the best think that has happened to me in a long time” he said back. “Well, as you all know, today is the first day we start our full frontal assault on the Xyans base and main territory, lets suit up, it's almost time” I said, making a last check on all my weapons. “Xaviar, look!” Clance said, walking out of the fort before I did “what is it” I asked, then turned to look at the four Exo Suits, black on top with fire on the lower torso, and a Chaos blaster in each hand. “Wow, top of the line” Clance said, examining the suits “and look here, we can even control the robots from the console inside” Clance continued in aw. “Run a full check on everything on each of those ships, I don't trust him” I growled, and he nodded in reply and got to work, obviously seeing my point.
     “Well, looks like their all right, all the parts are top of the line and operational, the wiring isn't faulty, and the computer systems and sensors work to their fullest capability” he said, and I have to admit, I was a little excited to be able to try out these new suits. “Ok, everyone suit up!” I yelled, pressing on one of the ships torso, opening it up, then jumping in, and as soon as I grabbed the handles, the torso slammed shut and locked with a click. I jumped once, and ran a couple of steps, and the power boosters were amazing, at least one hundred times your normal strength. I turned on the communication system “Ok Clance, keep a constant beam down of new robots being made at the factory, and keep 20 squads around to protect the base and the ship, I doubt they'll try to attack this area with Darke Fire's men here too, but it might happen” I ordered “OK, move out the squads! Lets go!” I said, and started running towards the area where we suspected the enemy bases were.
     We covered ground insanely fast, and a couple times we had to slow to a jog to get let the robot squads catch up. “Don't make all the robots attack head on, have some of the other ones run around to the other sides, we need to completely destroy this race” I said, and I saw some of the squads on my sensors peel off in different directions. “OK, that's the first base” Clance yelled as he pointed it out with a red dot on our map, and no sooner did he say that then the Xyans came into view. Grotesque, mutilated, twisted faces that seemed to once be human, but were all wrong, eyeballs on there forehead and noses on the back of their necks, each of their faces twisted differently from the rest. “Oh dear god” I whispered “their…human, just like us….” They each were holding a club, and they were closing fast. I slammed my foot down and turned sideways bringing my guns to the archer position, and then I started firing away with the dual Chaos blasters, and realizing that the shots only knocked them down, not killed them.
     “We have to aim for a perfect head shot, unless you turn their heads inside out, they'll still get back up” I yelled to the group, just them getting a perfect head shot myself, watching the head shrink then puff out violently, exploding all over the Xyans around him. After holding the Xyans off for a couple of minutes, a couple of squads of robots joined us, just long enough for Clance to scan the base. “OK, here's the deal, we've lucked into finding the central defense system of their whole base, if we don't do something fast, were just going to get overrun” he informed, and he was right, it looked as if they cold just bust foreword and pound us into a mechanical pulp. “So, we need to take out that little stone hut and the underground defense center, and we wouldn't all be killed, and the main base will be open” Thryfer asked “Yea, that's about the size of it” Clance replied “what do you have in mind” I asked. His face appeared in the corner of my view screen, his face seemed very sad “It's been a pleasure working with you all, these long years, but I've had enough, I'm ready to give something back to you guys, and Xaviar, I want you to have my scythe, its yours” he said, his exo suit bounding towards the main building, jumping over the sea of men “Thryfer….NO! DON'T DO IT!” I yelled, but it was too late, he had already landed on top of the hut, the enemy's crowding around him “we can't let him die in vain” I sighed heavily “move out!” I yelled the retreat command, and started to run myself. The last thing I remember seeing is the huge flash of blue light as Thryfer's picture flashed out off my screen”

Chapter 19: The Final Encounter

     “What happened” I said, trying to shield my eyes from the bright white light through the blurry slits, still trying to open my eyes  “you know your friend was a noble person, I respect him, he died so that everyone else in this solar system, and even people beyond can live” Darke Fire's voice boomed over me “wake up, it's time for the final assault, your teammates and robots are already surrounding the main base, and thanks to your friends sacrifice, we have a fighting chance, your just lucky I decided to swing back for you” He said as I jumped to my feet “well, what's the plan” I asked “everyone but you and I will be on the outside of the fort, drawing attention, knocking down walls and making sure that we can get in, our reconnaissance shows that their sacred figure is in the basement of the fort, we destroy it, all of the brains of the Xyans will cease to function. Failure is not an option” he told me as we started walking back outside.
     “OK, you take this one, meet me there, and be prepared” he said as he expertly jumped into his exo suit and took off at full speed. I ran back into my fort and grabbed Thryfer's scythe, put it on my back, then followed Darke Fire's trail. In a matter of minutes we were there, and my two surviving members of my team and Darke's Souljah were destroying the fort, and making us a hole to get in, as I saw the opening I quickly sped through after Darke, and I doubt that they even saw us.
     “Time to get out” Darke said, jumping back out of his exo suit “why” I asked “because the hallways aren't big enough” he replied, I decided that he didn't insult me, and it made since, so I jumped out of the exo suit. “You might as well take off all your guns now, there only going to slow you down, Xyans don't take any damage from bullets, only cold steel will kill them” he said, with an edge on his voice, I at least knew he was ready. I took off all my guns, and only left my sword, some shurikens, and of course Thryfer's scythe “well, lets get moving” he said as he unsheathed his sword and ran through a caved in wall, and I unsheathed my blade and followed him. We were able to run almost half of the way there with out much of a problem, usually only an occasional Xyan jumped in Darke's way, and I had to duck under the decapitated head as it flew past me, his sword being one of the finest I've ever seen.  We continued running until we reached a room, with easily 50 Xyans, all very angry at our intrusion.
     “Get moving” he yelled back, waiting no time himself, jumping into the crowd, slicing off arms and legs that got in the way of a clean decapitation. I tried to do the same, but when my blade hit their arm, it wouldn't go through, their skin being scaly and tough. I was doing Ok until I got trapped against the wall with at least 20 Xyans pushing, punching, and slamming me into the wall, and I couldn't even get a yelp for help out, but just then I hear his voice, booming and almost sounding amplified “Power of the Perfect Blade, lend me your strength, cast your incantation, and destroy these weak fools that stand against us!” he yelled, holding his sword high into the air, as a golden griffin and a deep blue flame burst from his sword, brutally tearing apart our enemies.
     I looked over to him, and I just saw the flame and the griffin disappearing into the sword, and him hit the ground, I rushed over to him and turned him over “are you OK” I questioned “yes, but you have to go it alone from here, I fear that last bit of magic took everything out of me” he said sadly “that's fine, but what I want you to do is make it out side, as far away as possible, when its all over, get in there and save me” I said, helping him to his feet, and he limped out of the room without another word, but he knew what I meant.
     I turned to look at the narrow hallway, a thick green smoke was rolling fro the hallway at least knee high, so with sword in hand, I knew there was only one thing left to do, go in there. I ran down the hallway, and burst into a completely black room, the door sealing behind me. Slowly a green light was engulfing the room, and a heavy breathing shook the walls, just then, the green light blared on, I was staring at a huge green blob that resembled a human brain “this must be it” I thought to my self as I walked up to it. “Wow, this will be a little too easy” I said touching the blob, which was a huge mistake. Four tentacles, each one hundred times bigger than me rose into the air, and started swinging madly at me, and I couldn't of panicked more. I jumped away and to the side avoiding the tentacles crashing to the ground beside me, I had one last plan. I jumped to the right as the tentacle hit the ground, and I jumped as high as I could and sliced of the tip of the tentacle, and the beast gave a horrendous shriek and raised all of it's tentacles into the air, my one chance, I dropped my sword, and grabbed Thryfer's scythe off by back in a fluid motion, and started to run toward the beast, I jumped into the air, shoved the scythe into the soft outer lair of the beasts skin, and pressed the electric button, a huge flash of light engulfed the room and the beast screamed even louder, I kept the button down as long as I could, my mind fading fast, another bright flash of white was all I saw as I lost consciousness……