The fight between the pirates and the Endeavor crew continued. Reb and Arsha were dueling atop one of the stronghold’s buildings. “Why don’t you just give up?!” shouted Reb. “It will be MUCH easier!”
“Not a chance!” replied Arsha. She swung her blade but the swing was blocked by Reb’s blade.
“You cannot win this one!” she snarled. “It will bring NOTHING but suffering and DREADFUL misery!”
“And YOU can’t try anything to my ship,” growled Arsha, “without the Master Key!”
“I already have it!” argued Reb. She fished out a key. Arsha smirked.
“That ain’t it!” she laughed.
“…Well, that is just SIMPLY cheating!” sighed Reb. She was then punched in the stomach.
“This coming from a pirate!” snarled Arsha. Reb shouted, then swung her blade with great ferocity.
Bashoon was in the middle of a grappling match with a Lamia, a genetic cousin of Nagas, called Drensek. He was trying to get his coils around her but she was too quick. “STAND STILL!” he roared.
“Bite me!” snapped Bashoon.
“I’m TRYING to! Hold still!” hissed Drensek. He finally got his tail around her and squeezed. She tried to get out but the coils squeezed tighter and tighter. Bashoon then opened her mouth and bit into his tail, making him scream and thrash around, causing him to let go of her.
“Are you really sure this is…?” asked the guard mermaid into a communicator. The caller interrupted. “No, no, I get that, but…no…understood, Sir.” She ended the call and sighed. She then gathered her skirt collection and dove into the water, her legs fusing and morphing into her tail. She then swam off into a secret Realmgate leading to the Over-realm.
“You biting…!” hissed Drensek as Bashoon got ready to grapple him. A shot then flew between them, destroying a wall. A female Frostik joined Bashoon’s side.
“Two against one!” observed the Frostik, Galii, “You’re out-numbered.”
“Galii, tell your people to check their fire!” hissed Bashoon. “I almost got hit!”
“What are you talking about?!” yelped Galii. “That was from YOUR crew!”
“Well, if it wasn’t from us,” guessed Bashoon, “it must be the pirates!”
“Don’t be absurd!” snarled Drensek. “That was a hand-held Punch Cannon! You guys use them!”
“No, we don’t!” snapped Bashoon. “The recoil alone makes them illegal!”
“Not even Frostiks are powerful enough to withstand the recoil!” supplied Galii.
“…You DON’T use them?” asked Drensek.
“No!” confirmed Galii.
“Well, we don’t use them!” replied Drensek. “If neither side has them, then where…?” A horrible thought struck the three of them. “Golems!” realized Drensek.
“Under-Splitters!” yelped Galii.
“We’ve been tricked!” cried Bashoon. All three dashed towards their commanders and stopped them from continuing their fight as Delga entered the fight with Arsha and Reb.
“WHAT IN THE DEPTHS!” protested Delga.
“Ensign, what’s going on?!” snapped Arsha.
“Drensek, you have about TWO seconds to explain your DISGRACEFUL mutiny!” snarled Reb.
“We’ve got Under-Splitters here!” answered Drensek.
“What?!” quizzed Arsha.
“A hand-held Punch Cannon was fired!” explained Drensek. “Only the Golems of the Splitters have such technology!”
“And can withstand the recoil!” continued Bashoon.
“It interrupted our fight!” supplied Galii.
“I require…” remarked Delga.
“I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!” shouted a voice. A Golem then revealed itself from behind a rock, its massive, featureless, hulking form carrying a large cannon for its four-fingered hands to use. Its eyes were nothing more than holes with a red light and the mud and clay that it was made of was reddish-brown. You could see the red light in its mouth. As soon as it shouted, multiple blasts from the afore-mentioned weapons erupted from the rocks behind the main stronghold, the shouting Golem firing as well.
“TAKE COVER!” shouted all three commanders as everyone scattered. The fight between the pirates and the crew of the Endeavor was halted as everyone fired at the sources of the shots, the Golems. Bashoon then noticed that Yotek was running TOWARDS the Golems.
“STOP SHOOTING!” ordered Yotek. “STOP!!” The Golems didn’t stop until Yotek jabbed his wand under a Golem’s chin. “YOU WERE JUST ORDERED TO CEASE FIRING!” he roared. The Golem then waved his hand to stop the others. They all hid behind the rocks as magic blasts struck their cover. “Our orders were clear!” snarled Yotek. “We were to let the others destroy themselves! Who fired first?!”
“I did!” answered the Golem that shouted.
“What position are you?!” demanded Yotek.
“Position Five,” replied the Golem.
“You are now Position Six!” declared Yotek. “You will shroud and return to base camp!”
“I have not had a decent mana infusion,” reported the Golem. “I am no longer able to shroud myself.” Yotek turned to the other Golems who just shook their heads. Yotek sighed. Islands in ANY Realm are poor in terms of natural mana.
“Positions Eight and Two!” barked Yotek. “You will help me provide cover fire as we return to base camp!”
“Understood,” rumbled the two Golems.
“WITHDRAW!” ordered Yotek as he and the two Golems fired on their enemies. It was suppression fire only.
“Grand Yotek,” called Position Six, “I regret my disobedience.” Yotek waved the Golem off as it and its unit ran back into the jungle.
“My Ex!” snarled Bashoon. “An Under-Splitter!”
“I’ve had those DREADFUL Under-Splitters RIGHT under my nose,” hissed Reb, “and I NEVER suspected!”
“Looks like we have a new mission,” muttered Delga.
“CEASE FIRE!” ordered Arsha.
“YOU TOO, YOU BILGE-RATS!” shouted Reb. All forces stopped shooting.
“Admiral,” called Drensek, “with Splitters here, I don’t see any reason to have the crew of the Endeavor as our hostages. Now, as our allies, that might make it more profitable.”
“IF we get a Splitter to explain their FOUL operations,” muttered Reb.
“Leave that to Nazay,” replied Arsha. “He’s one of the best interrogators in the Mid-Realm. His hypnosis will make any Splitter spill it.”
“If he interrogates Yotek,” countered Bashoon, “he’s going to have a hard time of it. Goblins are resistant to hypnosis.”
“He’s made a Goblin talk before,” assured Arsha. “Admiral Rojam, if we help you get the Splitters out of your territory, will you let the Endeavor go in peace?”
“You have my most SACRED word,” replied Reb. She expanded her slime-suit into its mound form and led Arsha and Delga to her stronghold to plan the strike against the Splitters.
“Operative Yotek at the Scarlet Stream Pirate Fleet Stronghold to Supreme Under-Splitter Ansark,” Yotek called into his communicator.
“Report,” replied Ansark.
“The operation has suffered a hiccup,” reported Yotek. “The stray shots we fired did NOT incite the pirates and the Realmfleet crew into further fighting. A Golem had finally snapped from lack of proper mana infusions and encouraged the others to fire on them. They stopped fighting amongst themselves.”
“What about the spare mana we sent you?” asked Ansark. Yotek winced.
“It was necessary to use it to prime the mana bomb,” he explained. “All of our mana is in it.”
“You have been inefficient,” hissed Ansark. “Fix this mistake.”
“As you command,” replied Yotek. The call ended as Yotek planned his counter attack.