“Well, I must compliment you, Arsha,” chuckled Dr. Borg as both Arsha and Bashoon’s teams were brought to the control room. “I honestly didn’t expect a two-pronged attack. Still, your attempt to interfere with my deal with the Imperium was futile.”
“When the Imperium sees that you’ve interfered with a Quest that they’re funding,” snarled Penshek, “there will be no end to their vengeance!” Dr. Borg stared at him for a moment, then chuckled.
“The Chancellor’s fooled you well, hasn’t he?” she purred.
“…What?” asked Penshek.
“Get me the Imperium,” Dr. Borg ordered Eltan. The naga keyed in a command and the Goblin Chancellor appeared on the screen.
“Chancellor Torsko?” quizzed Arsha.
“Dr. Borg, I trust things are going well,” grunted Torsko.
“As well as can be expected,” replied Dr. Borg. “We have the Goblin you sent.”
“Excellent,” purred Torsko.
“Wait, I don’t understand,” muttered Penshek.
“…I thought you would have killed him by now,” growled Torsko.
“What’s all this about?!” demanded Penshek.
“A removal of a political rival,” replied Dr. Borg.
“You’ve been insulting my views for too damn long!” continued Torsko. “Why you side with rebel youngsters when the old ways still work, I’ll never understand!”
“But…but I don’t…” stammered Penshek.
“It’s all very simple,” explained Torsko. “Dr. Borg contacted me a while ago after finding the Scale-sword on her island. Her financier and a good friend of mine, Tormo, introduced me to her.”
“After we talked, I made him an offer,” continued Dr. Borg. “He would send a political rival on a Quest for the sword and I would dispose of said rival, earning a little extra money for my experiments. After all of his rivals are gone, I will give the Imperium a position in my empire as the main bankers.”
“And we won’t have to rely on Realmfleet for profits!” growled Torsko. “Ah, I see you have a member of the Barmek family with you.”
“You did all this to spite Realmfleet?!” snarled Bashoon.
“To spite YOU and your sibling-parents, actually,” hissed Torsko.
“You did NOT just call me the product of inbreeding!” snapped Bashoon.
“Why else would you preach the notion that the Imperium is diseased with its own power?!” argued Torsko.
“Trying to enslave the Trolls all over again?!” retorted Bashoon.
“When they served us, it was declared the height of our civilization!” growled Torsko.
“Slavery’s barbarism and you know it!” shouted Bashoon.
“Slavery’s been the backbone of all civilizations!” snarled Torsko. “Once Dr. Borg publicly gives the Scale-sword to me after all my rivals are dead, we’ll be funneling money to her for generations to come and I’ll retire easy!”
“So this whole thing is a retirement plan!” growled Arsha.
“I think Varshenta Beach will be a good place to retire,” chuckled Torsko. “The ladies love the money-men there.”
“You won’t get away with this!” hissed Arsha.
“Get that from Dr. Snood?” scoffed Torsko. He then gave his attention to Dr. Borg. “Penshek’s the last of my rivals.”
“Then I’ll deliver the Scale-sword to you once I finish up here,” promised Dr. Borg. “Borg out.” The call ended and Dr. Borg turned to Weltam. “Speaking of rivals, I believe Arsha should witness the execution of yours.”
“I’ll bring her up here,” replied Weltam.
“So you’re killing Reb too?” muttered Bashoon.
“Bring Melgem up here too,” Dr. Borg directed Weltam. “My newest theory is that his spirit will be broken worse than his body.”
“So, Reb first, then let Melgem give up on living before killing him,” guessed Weltam.
“That’s the plan for this behavioral experiment,” confirmed Dr. Borg.
“Coming up,” purred Weltam. She then sauntered off to the brig.
“When Realmfleet discovers what you did…!” snarled Arsha.
“Realmfleet is ineffective in keeping the major threats under control!” argued Dr. Borg. “You lot claim to be peacekeepers, yet the Splitters and scum like Reb still exist! The denizens of Domoroto were all kidnapped and raped for 50,000 years, yet the Mega-sharks all got a slap on the wrist by being forcibly relocated! I’m giving the Realms a permanent solution to evil!”
“Then why are you talking to Oyed?!” demanded Arsha.
“That’s for me to know and members of the Realm Trinity Empire to find out,” chuckled Dr. Borg. She then turned to the Revenants. “These are the last prisoners to be executed. Make sure their executions are recorded. After that, send the recordings to Realmfleet HQ.”
“Got it,” confirmed Yulduk.
Weltam keyed in an entry code for the brig and the door opened. “Oh, Reb!” she sang. “It’s time for your haircut! Now, the barber recommends going right below the neck and…WHAT THE?!” The cells were empty! Weltam opened them and cast a spell to determine if magic was used or is in use. The spell turned up nothing. “Of all the…!” snarled Weltam. She slammed her hand on an alarm button.
The alarm rang throughout the base. Dr. Borg determined its location to be from the brig. “Command Center to brig!” she called over the intercom. “What’s going on?!”
“Reb and Melgem have flown the coop!” replied Weltam.
“Are you sure?!” yelped Dr. Borg.
“Positive! I’ve checked their cells!” answered Weltam. “They ain’t here!”
“Thank you, Marshii,” chuckled Arsha.
“…Another diversion!” snarled Dr. Borg. “My security system really IS subpar! Everyone, find them!”
“You’ll fail in the attempt,” laughed Bashoon.
“Oh? Why, pray tell?” asked Dr. Borg.
“Because the Endeavor’s long left the island with Reb and Melgem being patched up by Marshii!” boasted Arsha.
“Scalpel,” Marshii directed the nurse.
“Scalpel,” replied the nurse as he handed the tool to Marshii. She took the tool and used it to cut the excess cast wrapping off of Reb’s arm.
“Success,” declared Marshii once she finished. She turned to the nurse. “Good work.”
“Thank you, Doctor,” replied the nurse.
“My GRACIOUS thanks as well, Doctor,” bid Reb. “I already feel my POOR bones coming back together. That UNHOLY brute, Yulduk, was so base that he WOULD hurt a lady!”
“I’d save the thanks for now,” advised Marshii.
“…Why?” asked Reb. The nurse then snapped his fingers and she vanished. “WHAT IN THE DEPTHS?!” shouted Reb’s voice outside the door. Marshii and the nurse stepped out of the brig’s infirmary and smirked as Reb and the cybernetically restored Melgem roared in their cells.
“Did you really think this opportunity WOULDN’T be exploited?” asked Marshii. “A chance to arrest the most notorious pirates in all the Realms? You bet we’re gonna take it!”
“I’LL PUNCTURE YOUR SWIM BLADDER FOR THIS, YOU DRIED-OUT MINNOW!” threatened Reb. “THEY CAN’T HOLD REBARISAL ROJAM, ADMIRAL OF THE SCARLET STREAM PIRATES!”
“All we need to do,” chuckled Arsha, “is to get the Scale-sword to Dwelga and upset your little potion-cart!”
“You won’t be able to do so when your head is cut off!” snarled Dr. Borg. “Yulduk, take them to the Execution Yards! We’ll show the Realms what happens to those that defy us!”
“Understood!” replied Yulduk. He turned to the other Revenants. “You lot, get them ready for…” he didn’t get far with his command as Eltan’s tail grabbed his waist and flung him into Dr. Borg! As they tried to pick themselves up, the Realmfleet Revenants undid the prisoners’ bonds.
“Orders, Captain?” asked Eltan.
“Get us to the Scale-sword!” ordered Arsha. “After that, we’ll all clear a path to the open and summon the Endeavor for pickup!”
“Drelta, lead the way!” Eltan ordered Drelta. “I’ll bring up the rear!”
“Got it!” replied Drelta as he summoned a pair of ice blades. Eltan then slithered towards Dr. Borg and Yulduk.
“What is the meaning of this mutiny?!” demanded Dr. Borg.
“While we DID wish we could see our families one last time before we died,” hissed Eltan, “we gave our lives to protect them! We feigned rage towards Arsha! The thought of having died DOES sicken me, but I don’t blame Arsha for it! Her life was just as on the line as mine and she was willing to give it up if it meant the mission could succeed back then!”
“Yulduk, stay behind and deal with this traitor,” commanded Dr. Borg. “I’ll take a team with me to stop Arsha’s advance.”
“Understood,” replied Yulduk. He then got into a defensive stance as he faced Eltan. “The Revenant Spell was your chance to take revenge on those who left you behind! You OWE Dr. Borg!”
“You were convinced to join her after she brought you back!” snarled Eltan as the two combatants circled one another. “She needed to use her words! That’s never a guarantee that a Revenant will join her!”
“Ungrateful Shrew!” roared Yulduk. “Reborn to a new privilege which you throw away!”
“Privilege?! This?!” Eltan swept her hand over her tail and indicated the Revenant veins.
“You clearly never knew a life of failure!” replied Yulduk. “If you did, you would value the gift Dr. Borg gave you!”
“This is a curse, not a gift!” argued Eltan.
“I say it’s a blessing and a second chance!” roared Yulduk. He threw a pair of fireballs at her, but Eltan absorbed them and unleashed a torrent of flames at his feet.
“Just once,” Dr. Borg griped to herself, “I’d like things to be easy!” Her pursuit of Arsha and her group led her to the new room the Scale-sword was resting in. Bashoon had lowered the force-field already and Penshek was making a grab for it. “Back away from the sword!” demanded Dr. Borg. Penshek didn’t listen and grabbed the sword’s hilt, pulling it free from its bonds. “Disobedience on this scale is punishable by death!” snarled Dr. Borg as she flew at the team in a rage. Sheendii fired a blast of ice at her wings and knocked her to the ground.
“Get going!” urged Sheendii. “I’m undead right now! I’ll cover the escape!”
“I’m not leaving you again, Lieutenant Eltraa!” argued Arsha.
“With respect, Captain, you don’t have a say in the matter!” countered Sheendii. “Go! Now!”
“Arsha!” interjected Foresna. “We don’t have a choice!”
“…Withdraw!” called Arsha. Everyone ran as Sheendii fired ice blast after ice blast, slowing down the enemy forces.
Eltan had gotten her coils around Yulduk and slammed him repeatedly against a console, forcing him to fall unconscious. She let him drop to the floor and caught her breath. “I won’t be a slave to her cruelty,” Eltan declared. She then noticed Arsha’s team on the monitor making their way towards the exit. “Near enough,” declared Eltan as she keyed in a command to the power core.
“Warning. Warning,” droned the computer as an alarm sounded. “Reactor core contamination. Unable to purge. This base will self-destruct in three minutes.”
The announcement rang throughout the base. “Self-destruct?!” yelped a pirate.
“Unable to purge?!” wailed Jansha. “Mother, what do we do?!”
“…Evacuate the base,” declared Dr. Borg. “This venture is no longer worth pursuing.”
“Plunder Island Stronghold can accept you,” offered Rochak.
“With the amount of loyalists Reb has?!” argued Jansha.
“Had,” corrected Rochak. “The loyalists fled when we took over.”
“In that case, we accept your offer of asylum,” declared Dr. Borg.
Yulduk finally got up and shook his head to clear his headache. He heard the alarm and saw the status of the power core with everyone clearing out. He then put two and two together and snarled before dashing towards the exit.
The Realmfleet Revenants and Arsha’s people got outside as the inhabitants of the base continued with a ruthless evacuation of the base. “Okay, Endeavor,” called Arsha over a communicator, “we have the sword and we’re all here! We also have five new arrivals! Get us out of here!” Light surrounded everyone and they all ended up in the teleport room! The officers manning their stations saw the Revenants and leveled their wands at them. “Wait! Hold your fire! They’re friendlies!” The crewmembers arched their eyebrows in confusion. “Okay, we’ve got a story to tell you…” muttered Arsha.