The Endeavor finally arrived at the island and held position in its airspace. The plan was simple at first glance, but required the tightest of communication. Arsha would lead one team to distract Dr. Borg and her allies, Marshii would lead a medical team to get Melgem and Reb to the relative safety of the Endeavor, and Penshek would lead a team to get the Scale Sword out of its hiding place. Arsha’s team teleported to the island’s rocky northern shores. The rocks were large and offered little comfort. The team took up positions for an ambush, mental communications only. “Arsha,” Foresna called over the mental frequency, “you do realize Dr. Borg’s most likely intercepted your transmission to Reb, right?”
“It’s probable,” replied Arsha’s thoughts. “In fact, I’m counting on it.” Right on cue, Dr. Borg and Yulduk came up the steady slope. “There you are,” Arsha purred to herself.
“Might as well come out,” Dr. Borg called. “We know you’re here.”
“I would have been insulted if you didn’t,” replied Arsha. She gave a hand-signal for everyone to hold their position. “So, what’s Oyed promising you?”
“That’s between me and him,” dismissed Dr. Borg. “You have bigger concerns.”
“Like what?” scoffed Arsha.
“Like us, for starters!” called another voice. At that moment, five people revealed themselves from vantage points higher than anyone on Arsha’s team. They were a female Naga, a male Ice Elf, a male Cecaelia, a female Slime, and a male human. They all had one thing in common; they had the same ashen skin and blue veins of light as Yulduk. The only thing that indicated the Slime was a Revenant was her core having the same veins as a Revenant.
“I believe you know these Revenants,” chuckled Dr. Borg. “Eltan Sontor, Sheendii Eltraa, Drelta Meltrek, Blenter Ansii, and Entran Deltar, the people who died under your command during your first encounter with Reb Rojam.”
“Yeah, I remember them,” snarled Arsha. “I also remember their funeral, you ghoul!”
“A worthless effort!” burbled the Slime, Blenter. “All you did was put on a show and give the illusion that you would remember us!”
“Your deaths still haunt me!” argued Arsha.
“Do they?!” hissed the human, Entran. “Or is that what you tell yourself to help you keep up appearances?!”
“Tell us,” demanded the Cecaelia, Drelta, “did you actually look our families in the eye as you told them we wouldn’t be coming home or did you simply take the coward’s way out and write condolence letters?!”
“I understand you blame me,” interjected Arsha, “but I made sure you were immortalized! To answer the question, I both wrote letters AND explained your deaths in person!”
“You still considered the coward’s way out!” accused the Naga, Eltan. “Just know this, THIS is what your future will be!” She gestured to herself. “You will die and it will all be because of Realmfleet!”
“Our future has the potential of being tragic,” interjected Foresna, “but it’s not going to be Realmfleet’s fault! You’ve all been warped by Oyed and Dr. Borg’s evil!”
“I guess Arsha never told you HOW we died,” snarled the Ice Elf, Sheendii. “A pirate ran his sword through my chest! A member of the Endeavor saw it and did NOTHING!”
“I would have executed Yotek!” boasted Eltan. “But Oak wanted the glory! He held me back and allowed me to be cut down by Under-Splitter Golems!”
“No!” declared Foresna. “I don’t believe that!”
“One day,” proclaimed Blenter, “Realmfleet WILL fail you! Then, you will believe!” Arsha looked around before deciding on the next move.
“FIRE ON THE ROCKS!” she called. Everyone fired magic blasts at the rocks above them, making the Realmfleet Revenants lose balance and tumble with the rocks as Arsha and her team got away. The Revenants regrouped and attacked Arsha’s team with Eltan making her way to Arsha. Arsha raised her hands in a defensive manner as Eltan assumed a Naga’s combat stance. “You spew Oyed and Dr. Borg’s lies!” snarled Arsha. “You believe yourself to be a savior when, in reality, all you’re doing is helping that pure-blooded Sprite enslave the Realms!”
“Who’s a pure-blood?!” shouted Dr. Borg as she joined Eltan. “My bloodline is blended, thank you! And you claim I’m enslaving the Realms?! I’m liberating us all from the shackles of limitations! How was I ever so blind as to believe that we need limits?!” She and Eltan then flanked Arsha and attacked! As they fought, more Revenants joined the fray. There’s one advantage the Undead have over the living; they never tire out. The Revenants still battled as Arsha’s team steadily became tired.
“Arsha, are we even doing anything?!” gasped Gorfanth.
“Just keep it up,” panted Arsha. “We need to show them that our way is the right way.”
“You’ll fail miserably in the attempt,” scoffed Dr. Borg as she continued the attack.
While the fight went on, Penshek led his team through the winding corridors of Dr. Borg’s base. “I can feel it! It’s this way!” whispered Penshek.
“That’s what you said in the last corridor!” hissed Bashoon. “And the one before that! Heck, you said that in EVERY corridor we’ve been down!”
“Well, do YOU have a better plan?!” snapped Penshek.
“Yes, actually,” replied Bashoon. “We use the base’s computer system to find the Scale Sword’s location!”
“And risk alerting everyone here?!” argued Penshek. As they argued, Elmar tapped Penshek’s shoulder and alerted him to a pirate rounding the corner. The pirate looked bleary-eyed, as if he just woke up from a nap. He had a cup of coffee in his hand and just shuffled down the corridor until he could see Penshek.
“Hey, who are you?” he asked, slurring his words.
“Er, we’re…uhm…” stammered Penshek.
“We’re new recruits!” supplied Bashoon. “We were told to report to where the Scale Sword was being held…”
“…but we got lost on the way!” finished Penshek.
“Huh? Oh, yeah, just take a right down the hall behind me,” mumbled the pirate. The team thanked the pirate and began moving off…when the pirate slammed his hand on an alarm button! He guzzled the rest of his coffee and looked more alert. “How dumb do you think I am?!” he snapped more clearly.
Back at the fight with the Revenants, the communicator in Dr. Borg’s arm buzzed. She tapped it and got the intruder alert. “Stop!” she called to her Revenants. “We have intruders at the base!”
“But Arsha…!” protested Blenter.
“She’s the diversion!” realized Eltan.
“Round up the prisoners and bring them inside!” ordered Dr. Borg. One quick stun spell from the Revenants and Arsha and her team were knocked out.
“NEW RECRUITS?!” shouted Penshek as he and his team ran through the corridors of the base, trying to evade the soldiers.
“I WAS PANICKING!” replied Bashoon.
“CAN WE CONCENTRATE ON RUNNING RIGHT NOW?!” interjected Elmar. It was a good enough suggestion for the two Goblins, so everyone put their energies into their feet and legs. They dashed into a hangar and avoided the shots from the base’s inhabitants. Just then, Penshek whipped out his wand and fired on the rafters. They crashed all around the enemy and almost crushed Elmar and Bashoon!
“Sorry!” he called.
“STOP HELPING!” shouted Bashoon. While the enemy soldiers were trying to get around the rubble, Bashoon and her team found a good hiding place. The enemies then got around the rubble and tried to find them.
“Where are they?!” bellowed an Earth Dragon.
“They must have doubled back!” guessed an Elf.
“With me!” called a Centaur. The enemies left the hangar, leaving Bashoon and her team to pant alone.
“Boy, we sure did a lot of running,” gasped Bashoon.
“And as soon as we catch our breath,” panted Penshek, “we’re gonna be running some more!”
“Hopefully towards the Scale Sword,” muttered Elmar. He then noticed something. He gestured for the two Goblins to carefully follow him towards a door with a golden light emanating from a door near them. The door had a numerical keypad near it, so it was a safe bet to believe it was passcode protected. Penshek then produced a device and held it near the keypad. The device bathed the keypad in green light and exposed which numbers were the ones that had been pressed the most.
“Well, we know the numbers are 3, 4, and 7,” muttered Penshek. “Now, if only we knew what the sequence is.”
“Allow me,” offered Bashoon. “Time to try something Thangred and I cooked up.” She pulled out another device with a keypad, keyed in the digits, and then brought it near the door’s keypad. The new device bathed the keypad in blue light for three seconds, then displayed 734 on its screen. Bashoon then keyed in 734 on the door’s keypad and the door opened! “We’ve already got a contract with Realmfleet to make more of these for security reasons and covert operations,” chuckled Bashoon.
“Nifty little gadget!” praised Penshek. “I hope the contract’s good to both of you.”
“It is, Penshek, I assure you,” replied Bashoon. The three then entered the room and were stunned when they saw where the glow was coming from. The light was a forcefield that held a Goblin-sized sword with the hilt’s cross-guard styled to look like a set of balance scales.
“Is that…?” asked Elmar.
“It is!” breathed Penshek.
“The Scale-sword of Yunshul!” Bashoon confirmed in a reverent whisper. The two Goblins were about to make a grab for it before Elmar held them back.
“This is too easy,” he remarked.
“He’s right,” muttered Bashoon as she shook herself out of her trance. “There should be more defenses than this. The sword IS Dr. Borg’s bargaining chip.”
“Circle the room,” directed Elmar. “We’ll approach it from three different angles.” The Goblins nodded, then went slowly along the walls, their eyes darting all around to make sure they weren’t caught by surprise. The entire three-person team then crept forward towards the forcefield. Nothing happened yet.
“This makes no sense,” muttered Bashoon.
“Er, Ms. Barmek,” observed Penshek, “all of the pillars surrounding the forcefield have gold light for trim, right?” Bashoon then observed the three pillars and, while it was true that two of the pillars had gold light, one of them had red. As Bashoon looked closer at the pillars, a memory stirred…then a frightful image!
“SIR! GET BACK! THAT’S JANSHA!” she warned Elmar. Too late. The pillar Jansha used as her disguise fell off of her and she grabbed Elmar’s head before slamming him into the forcefield and knocking him out! The two Goblins then pulled out their knifes and set their wands into them. Jansha’s eye then glowed brighter until she fired a torrent of red light at them, a massive stun spell, knocking them out. Jansha shut off the spell and checked herself over. A couple of pirates entered the room.
“It’s all right,” she assured. “The sword’s still safe. We just have some morons to throw into the brig. Get them there.” The pirates nodded and took the prisoners to the brig while Jansha reported to Dr. Borg about the situation.