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ATLANTA, GEORGIA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
He opened a drawer and pulled out a book on botany. He ripped off the spine and a photo fell out. He put the book down and picked up the photo. He looked at the woman’s emerald green eyes and vibrant smile. He could plainly see the fear in her eyes, even though she wore a smile. He looked to her right and looked at her husband, who had an arm around her. The woman had her arms protectively around a little bundle, who was her bundle of joy.
It was the fear of what would happen to her newborn baby boy.
But they should have been worried about what would happen to them.
He heard a knock at the door. “Come in,” he called. He heard the door open and turned around. His father, Barry, stuck his head into the room.
“Everyone’s ready to leave. Let’s go.”
Ronald nodded. He placed the photo in a small storage compartment in the arm of his suit. He picked up his weapons and exited the room. Barry shut the door. “You were looking them, weren’t you?” he asked. Ronald began walking away, refusing to answer. “You need to move on,” Barry called after him. Ronald heard hurried footsteps and realised that his father was trying to catch up to him. “Ron-”
“Forget it, Dad! Just leave me be. Look,” and he stopped, but did not turn around. He heard his father come over and stand beside him, facing him. “You…you went through this with Mom. You know what it’s like.”
“Except he didn’t turn her in.”
Ronald turned in the direction of the voice. He knew who it was. Robin was standing in his bedroom doorway, ready to go. He met Ronald’s gaze with a cold stare. His whole body radiated hate and anger towards him. Even though it had been fifteen years, Ronald still felt a punch in the gut and fresh guilt every time he set eyes on Robin. Robin had her emerald green eyes and gentle nature while having his father’s sandy blonde hair and tall and lanky figure. It was a constant reminder of what he had done. What he had lost.
“You know I did not mean to turn your parents in,” Ronald told him.
“Yeah, I know. You were drunk.”
And I’ve constantly wished since then that I had not been, Ronald thought. His mind went over the event. He had been coming home from work when an old man stopped him and asked him to share a beer with him at the bar. Ronald had wanted to go and visit Robin and his parents, but decided a couple of drinks would not hurt. He was thirsty, anyway.
The old man had been quite generous – he had paid for all of their drinks. Ronald ended up having a lot more than two. When he had become really drunk, the old man suddenly told him that he was looking to contact people to try and start a rebellion and did he know of anyone who was planning to try and do that? In his drunken state, Robin blabbed off the names of five people he knew that were planning on doing that – including Zara and Ernie, Robin’s parents.
The next day, the old man entered Ronald’s house with two Law Enforcers and a middle-aged woman, who was dressed in a grey business suit. The old man was carrying Robin. Ronald had been nursing a hangover at the time. The old man just placed the crying Robin in Ronald’s lap and said “Thank you for your assistance” and he left.
He learned from the woman that after he had told the old man the names and he in turn told them, the Law Enforcers had went around to each of the houses and ‘disposed’ of them.
Robin was only three months old.
They had decided that he should take care of Robin until Robin turned eighteen. The woman helped him sign the documents that gave him legal guardianship of Robin and assisted him in raising Robin until he was five and then left it up to Ronald to do it. He had always wondered why he was chosen to take care of Robin, and now he knew. To constantly remind him of his betrayal and what he had helped them do.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
Robin scoffed. “You always say that,” he retorted.
“Okay, both of you, stop it!” Barry snapped. “You two are going to be working together, so I suggest you two resolve this one way or the other and get along. ‘Cause you both are going to be depending on each other.”
“I’m supposed to depend on him, huh?” Robin said, now looking at Barry. “Who’s the one that’s been taking care of him? Who’s the one that has been cooking the meals and cleaning the house? Me. Sometimes you, whenever you can, but, ultimately, it’s been me while he sits around wishing he could go back and change things.” Barry was silent. He knew it was true. “Okay, fine. That’s just the way things are. I’ll do my best to work with him. Just don’t expect me to depend on him.” He then walked straight past them, refusing to look at either of them.
Ronald watched him go. Robin was right. Robin had been the one to take care of things while he sat around, wishing he could change things. He had only chosen to join the rebellions in the hope that it would help him to make up to Robin for what he had done. But, it was ultimately in the hopes of forgetting. I’m never going to be able to make it up to him. Ever. “Dad,” he said quietly, not looking at him, “when this is over…if we’re still alive after this…look after him, will you?”
He felt his father’s eyes on him. “Yeah, sure son.”
“It’s better that way,” Ronald muttered as he walked away from Barry and over to their aircraft.
ORINOCO BELT, VENEZUELA
Abigail turned on the holo-sights. She saw one of the incoming aircraft and zoomed in on it. It’s a drone, she realized. She pressed ‘Fire‘. A missile launched from the Dragon they were in. Abigail watched it’s flight path as it flew through the air towards the drone.
The drone moved to the left.
The missile immediately moved with it to the left.
The drone shot up and then dove to the right in a curve.
The missile matched its movement perfectly. Abigail noticed the missile was gaining.
She breathed a sigh of relief as the drone exploded in mid-air. Parts of the debris and explosion hit a nearby aircraft, destroying it. Laser beams and missiles were fired from the Geckos, Beetles, Crabs and other Dragons. The aircraft and drones flew in low and fast, firing a steady stream of laser beams. Abigail gasped as several of the war machines were hit and destroyed.
The drones were coming at them again. Where is the other aircraft? Abigail wondered. Zeke turned on the comms. “All remaining aircraft, fire!”
EMPEROR’S PALACE, THE PEAK
Bellah stroked his chin with one hand while using the other hand to handle the controls. Turning on the aircraft’s invisibility shields had obviously worked. The war machines were all focused on the incoming drones. He noted that the drones were nearly all gone. He took hold of the controls with his second hand and, with remote-control, turned the aircraft around and directed them back towards the war machines.
He chuckled. They would not see it coming when the aircraft was invisible – and coming from behind them.
ORINOCO BELT, VENEZUELA
Zeke leaned back in his seat. His eyes swiveled over to Abigail. She was typing, staring at a screen. “What are you doing?” he asked.
“Scanning,” she replied.
“Anything else. Just in case,” Abigail explained. “I’m also trying to see if I can find where the aircraft is.”
“I wondered where they went,” Zeke remarked. He saw Abigail suddenly sit up straighter. “What? Did you find ’em?”
“Yeah,” she said, sounding confused. “They are twenty miles from here, flying away from us.”
I wonder why they are leaving? he wondered. Could they have been scared off? He turned on the comms. “Hello? Anyone there?”
“Yes,” several people said in unison.
“Let’s get going. We need to head to the Peak,” he ordered.
EMPEROR’S PALACE, THE PEAK
Bellah made sure that the aircraft were in the right position, then typed in a command to fire. Missiles were dropped from the aircraft. They fell through the air and hit the war machines. “Wonderful!” Clayton exclaimed from behind Bellah’s seat as they both watched the war machines explode. “It’s a good thing that they give a false radar image of where they are.”
Bellah accepted the call. A hologram of Ramses La Magne appeared. “Greetings, Honourable La Magne,” Bellah greeted, bowing slightly in his chair.
“Kingsley and Clayton,” Ramses said, “I have just been informed that there are people in one of the underground tunnels and are just about to reach the entrance to the Palace.”
Bellah logged into Security and brought up a holo-schematic of all the tunnels. The Peak looked like an octopus with many tentacles branching out of it. “Tunnel D4,” Ramses told him. Bellah brought up a holo-sidebar. He clicked on the ‘camera’ widget and a small rectangle appeared in the middle of the holo-schematic, with a bar in the middle of the rectangle. Bellah typed in Tunnel D4 and cam 5T. The rectangle and holo-schematic disappeared and was replaced by a video. Cam 5T was the ID of a camera disguised as part of the mortar between a couple of bricks on the right-hand side of the tunnel, near the entrance/exit. It was dark and he could not see anything. Then he saw a flash of light go past, then another, and another.
He turned on the infrared in the camera and he saw lots of people going past, with their torches on, but at an angle, the beam of light pointed at the floor as if they were making sure that they did not trip over anything. “They seem to have inside knowledge of the tunnels. They managed to slip past the security and defenses at the other end of the tunnel. They must have as we weren’t notified,” Bellah muttered to himself.
“And they are about to enter the Peak,” Clayton remarked thoughtfully.
“What is the Honourable Clayton’s and the Honourable La Magne’s recommendation?” Bellah enquired.
He looked from one to the other, watching as they thought very carefully about what to do. “Kill them as soon as they step foot inside this city,” Clayton said.
“Agreed, Clayton,” La Magne nodded towards Clayton. “Also, put the Peak on red alert. Code Z. Keep an eye out for any other intruders.”
Fergus walked over to him. “Alexei?”
“Mm-hmm?” Alexei muttered as he supervised the others entering the tunnel.
“There are security cameras around the entrance. Someone will be watching us,” Fergus complained and pointed up at the cameras at the top and sides of the entrance.
Alexei raised his right eyebrow. “Have a little faith,” he replied with a small smile.
Fergus frowned. What’s that supposed to mean? He gasped as the realization hit him. Alexei smile widened slightly, but he did not look at Fergus. “You’ve dealt with them in some way, haven’t you?”
Alexei nodded. “Upon my request, Einstein teleported a small device to me right after I was ready.” Fergus saw Alexei raise his right hand. In it was a small device that looked like a ballpoint pen. “This device sends out a signal that is imperceptible to humans that tricks any cameras into not seeing us and disables any hidden traps around the entrance. Once I walk through the entrance, the cameras and traps will turn back on.”
Ah. That one, Fergus remembered.
“Everyone’s through. Let’s get going,” Alexei commented. Fergus glanced his way. He could see he was worried. Most probably about what they were going to do. He followed Alexei through the entrance. Fergus pulled out his torch and switched it on. He felt a tap on his arm. He glanced sideways at Alexei, whom was illuminated by his and Fergus’ torch light. “Point it at the ground,” he ordered. “So you don’t trip.” Fergus complied and they continued walking in silence. Fergus focused on where he was putting his feet. According to Alexei and Zipporah, no tunnels were interconnected and to reach the Peak all they had to do was follow the tunnel to the end of it.
He knew that the “pen” that Alexei had would probably disable any other cameras or hidden microphones in the tunnel, but, just to be safe, he did not pray out loud. He prayed for YEHOVAH’s protection. He prayed that His Will be done. He prayed that they would succeed.
He prayed that they would survive.
IN THE SKIES
He turned to the co-pilot. “Take over,” he ordered. Without waiting for a reply or acknowledgement, he pressed a button on the control board and an invisible ‘bubble’ surrounded him, preventing anyone else listening in to any conversation. He pulled out his phone and dialed a number he had been given. It rang twice before being answered.
“I was wondering when you would call.”
“Bay of Bengal has been taken care of,” he reported.
“Good. One loose end tied up.”
“Heading for the Tibet Mountains. What are the exact co-ordinates of our target?” He listened as the person at the other end repeated the co-ordinates. “Over and out.” He ended the call and pocketed his phone. He turned off the ‘bubble’ and turned to the co-pilot and repeated the co-ordinates. The co-pilot just nodded and typed in the co-ordinates in the flying saucer’s computer. It plotted a route and projected a holo-map with their position and their destination with the quickest route there drawn with a black line in between them.
“Right. Good work. Take that route.”
UNDERNEATH THE PEAK
“Ares, how is the distraction going? Are you at your position to help with the assault yet?”
Just like the other three times he had tried.
Something was definitely wrong.
“Why won’t they answer?” Saul enquired.
Kyen sighed. “I don’t know. Something’s gone wrong,” he replied.
“So…what does that mean? Do we still attack the Peak?” Amelia enquired. “Or is it scrubbed?”
“No, we’re not scrubbed!” Kyen told her. “I’ll try and raise Grandmother.” He turned on the comms again on the side of his sleeve and spoke into it. “Silver Dragon, this is Ameratsu. Come in. What is the status of Ares?”
The others all glanced at each other. Why isn’t Grandmother answering? “HQ, this is Ameratsu. Come in, please.” There was still no answer. What’s going on?
“What are we going to do?” the ginger-haired female asked.
“I’ll try Grandmother one more time,” Kyen muttered. “HQ, this is Ameratsu. Come in, please.”
UNDERNEATH ROME, ITALY
Tractatori rerouted the call. He turned on his voice disguise device. “This is Mary Collins. What is it, Kyen?”
“I’ve been trying to reach Ares to check on their status and whether they are on their way yet or not, but I can’t reach them. Can you reach them?”
“Yes, I was just talking to them just a few minutes ago,” Tractatori said. “They are on their way. They went black for the assault for safety precautions, but they will be helping you guys.”
He heard Kyen exhale in relief. “How did they go in Venezuela?”
Tractatori cocked an eyebrow. So, Ares was the ones who were just destroyed in Venezuela. “Just fine.”
“Great! We’re just about to enter the Peak. Over and out.”
Tractatori hung up. Kyen needed to take over the Peak and take the throne for himself. But to do that, he needed assistance. He turned to Vacarius. Vacarius bowed in obeisance. “Prepare the fleet for our departure,” he ordered as he stood up from his chair.
“As you wish, Great Tractatori,” Vacarius bowed and exited the room.
D407 kept his Shocker aimed at the cover over the the entrance/exit of the tunnel. They were in an alleyway. He and two others were around the cover while the Light Force and Super Cyborgs were positioned around the rest of the Peak. The cover started to lift. D407 saw some black wavy hair. His cybernetic eye instantly scanned the hair. IDENTIFIED AS KYEN COLLINS. Kyen’s and his eyes locked for a second. D407 fired.
The cover dropped, but not before the electric bolt entered the tunnel. He reached down and ripped the cover off. He could not see anybody. He jumped down into the tunnel. He heard the whirring of machinery as the other two cyborgs jumped down behind him.
The one on his left exploded. He and the other one dropped to the floor. He had seen what had destroyed the left one – a laser bolt. THEY CAME PREPARED. He raised his head slightly and his cybernetic eye scanned the dark area up ahead. He detected heat signatures. He and the other one knelt down on one knee and pressed a button on their suits. A laser gun popped out of their left shoulders. FIRE they mentally commanded the guns.
Laser bolts fired at the people up ahead. He heard screams. He saw a laser bolt coming towards them. He ducked and rolled out of the way. D407 heard something explode. He glanced in the direction of the other Super Cyborg – and saw the remains of the cyborg strewn around the place. DID NOT MOVE IN TIME. He looked up.
Saul lowered his laser gun, breathing heavily. “Good shot.” Saul turned to see who was speaking. Kyen clapped him on the shoulder.
“Thank you,” he replied.
“We can’t stay around here. We’ve got to get going,” and Kyen climbed out of the tunnel. Amelia and Jim began helping people climb out of the tunnel. Saul watched as everyone climbed out. Then it was just him, Amelia, and Jim. He walked over, brushing them away. He was tall enough to reach up and grip the edge of the tunnel entrance/exit and he pulled himself up and out of the tunnel.
He stood up, reached down and helped pull Amelia out. Jim climbed out after her and shut the cover. He looked around and saw Kyen off to the side, away from everyone, talking with Chris. Jim went over to them and joined in the conversation. Saul and Amelia glanced at each other and walked over to Kyen, Chris, and Jim. They fell silent and looked at Saul and Amelia as they came over. “What’s going on?” Saul asked.
“I was just telling Chris and Jim that we have to get to the Emperor’s Palace,” Kyen informed Saul and Amelia. Saul nodded – he understood. They would have to gain control of the Emperor’s Palace to have a better advantage in taking over the Peak. He realised that Kyen would have told the mercenaries something slightly different as he had admitted to lying to them to gain their help. “We are heading there now. We also need to keep an eye out – we don’t know if there are anymore of those cyborgs around.”
Kyen went over to the rest of the groups and quietly told them about where they were headed. Gripping their weapons, Kyen led them further into the maze of alleyways, taking them to the Emperor’s Palace.
They all stopped and, without a word, all reached up and pulled a Hover Board off of their backs. Holding each of end of the Hover Board, Zipporah held it in the air above the floor and let it go. It fell, then stopped three inches from the floor, and stayed there. A bluish light came on underneath her Hover Board and the tunnel was filled with the humming noise of the Hover Boards. Making sure her Shocker was slung securely over her shoulder, she gripped her light saber in one hand and her laser gun in the other. She put her right foot on the Hover Board and a metal strap automatically came up out of the Board and over her boot, securing her in place. She kept her left foot on the floor and with it began pushing herself forward. She kept propelling the Hover Board forward. Once she had built up speed, she quickly raised her foot and placed it on the Board.
Her Hover Board continued picking up speed, going faster and faster. She glanced around her at everyone else flying on their Hover Boards. They would be arriving at the Peak soon.
IN THE SKY
Andrew turned on the comms. “Zion II this is Z6. ETA to the Peak: six minutes,” he reported.
“Copy. Let us know as soon as you land,” Anne said, her hologram to his left.
“Copy. Will do.” Anne nodded and hung up. Andrew turned off the comms. He hoped everything would turn out alright. He was rather excited, but at the same time nervous, about what they were about to do. He was also rather excited, and nervous, about seeing Anastasia again…
Whom he had not seen when Alexei called in to discuss the plans for bringing down the Peak. Wonder why she wasn’t there? He went over in his mind their plan, making sure he remembered everything. Sure hope this works.
TIBET MOUNTAINS, CHINA
Petrus stepped out of the aircraft with Anastasia on his heels. He chuckled as he thought of how helpless Anastasia was right then, following him around like some lost puppy. The door slid shut. “What are we doing out here?” Anastasia demanded.
“Fresh air. It’s getting stuffy in there,” he replied without bothering to look at her. He stopped several metres from the fighter fleet and looked out at the view. He heard Anastasia come over next to him. She was silent for a few minutes.
“When exactly are you planning on taking the throne for yourself?” she asked.
“Soon. We’ve been working on our plan of attack,” Petrus replied. “In the Peak, there are air defense systems in case there is an attack on the Peak by air, so we have got to fly in with our invisibility shields on as well as our Silencer.”
Anastasia nodded. The Silencer would prevent any sound being heard from the fighter fleet. That also meant that in the aircraft themselves, no-one could hear themselves or anyone else talk. What a magnificent view, she thought. It truly was beautiful up there. Tears stung her eyes. She wished that she could be seeing it under different circumstances. She looked sideways at Petrus. She felt broken, shattered. The man she thought he was all those years – loving and taking care of her, raising her like a father – was all a mask. He had agreed to the experiments done on her. He had helped her escape, but only to keep her alive so he could use her later. He planted explosives in her ear, forcing her to obey him and keep him alive, so that she would live.
He was one of the ones who had killed her father.
Her whole life was a lie. She had been played at every turn. Even Kyen and Andrew had lied to her.
Who am I to trust now?
She felt Petrus look at her. “Why what?” he asked.
“Why was I kidnapped?”
“Because we needed you.”
Anastasia turned and faced Petrus. “Why me?”
“We originally planned to kill all of you, but it was decided to keep you alive.”
“Why me?” she repeated. “What was the point in my existence?”
Petrus just turned and looked out at the view. She waited for him to answer. She saw his eyes narrow and him frown. “What?” he muttered.
Anastasia looked where he was looking. There was something shining in the sun, coming towards them. What?
He looked through the holo-sights. He smiled as he saw Petrus and Anastasia standing on the mountain in a clear shot. He turned on the comms and called the rest of the fleet. “Fire.”
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