The fleet arrived at the island and entered a holding pattern. Dr. Borg looked out of the cathedral’s balcony to see it, then she contacted Oyed. “They’ve arrived,” she warned him.
“I’ll deal with them,” declared Oyed. “Help Intrag establish contact with the Giant Spiders.”
“Yes, my Lord,” confirmed Dr. Borg. She ended the call and left her balcony to find Intrag. She found him at the underground dock, trying to puzzle out the controls of a boat. “Our Lord suggests that you make haste for the jungle and establish a dialogue with the Spiders,” she relayed.
“Well, tell him not to get his pants in a twist, I’m getting to that!” shouted Intrag. “First, I have to figure this damned thing out! You know, it’s a lot simpler when it’s just magic!”
“It IS magic, you just need to find the switch for it,” sighed Dr. Borg.
“Can’t Oyed just fill my head with current knowledge?!” snapped Intrag.
“One: you’re a Wraith, you don’t really HAVE a head to fill,” replied Dr. Borg. “Two: he’s preoccupied with the fleet that just arrived.”
“Because, of course, he wants to stretch his legs,” grumbled Intrag.
“He’s been imprisoned since the First Age,” remarked Dr. Borg. “He has the right.”
Oyed calmly walked outside until he was underneath the fleet. “I never expected you lot to face me,” he called. He then sensed something. “…No fear whatsoever. Realmfleet’s finest must be either very brave or very stupid.” No one replied. “…Hello!” called Oyed. “How do you kids put it…I’m hailing you!” 11 streams of light then announced the arrival of the 11 Divine Ones. “Oh, that’s why I sensed no fear,” scoffed Oyed. “You’re all confident that my children will save you. Optimism is a thin shield.”
“Oyed!” called Morkal. “Withdraw and return to the Depths of the After-realm or suffer the wrath of the Realms’ protectors!”
“Now, that’s no way to greet your father,” chided Oyed.
“It’s the only way!” snarled Enfor.
“Then I need to discipline you,” declared Oyed. He charged at the Divine Ones and they began their fight!
“Go! Now!” urged Mordek’s voice in the Captains’ heads.
“All ships, begin aerial bombardment!” called Arsha. The ships fired their weapons around the cathedral, keeping any enemy forces inside.
“Oh no, not this time!” snarled Dr. Borg. She activated the comms. “Fire at will!” she ordered. As hidden weapons from the cathedral activated and fired on the fleet, Dr. Borg switched communications channels. “Scorpo, do you read?”
“Loud and clear,” replied Scorpo’s voice.
“You are cleared for launch,” directed Dr. Borg. “Take out the fleet. Survivors at your discretion.”
“I thought you’d never ask!” cheered Scorpo. “You can easily say goodbye to those eyesores! Scorpo out!”
Once the call ended, Scorpo turned to Jansha and Yulduk at the helm. “Let’s get started!” he declared as he sat in the Captain’s chair. “Have them release the docking clamps and open the hangar doors!”
“Docking clamps are released,” reported Jansha. “Maho-drive engines are now supporting us. Hangar doors open.”
“Taking us up,” called Yulduk. “The engine’s purring like a happy Neko.”
“Once we’ve cleared the hangar doors, activate the cloak,” ordered Scorpo. “Prime all weapons and ready the claws, then target the Skyshell. Tear her apart.”
“Aye, Sir,” replied Yulduk.
“Scorpo, I don’t mean to be pedantic,” interjected Jansha, “but we’ll need to decloak before using the weapons.”
“That’s why, after we destroy the Skyshell,” replied Scorpo, “we silence the weapons and recloak before targeting another ship. I’m also aware of the 30 second window between activation and deactivation of the cloak. That’s why I want our strikes to be done smart and secret.”
“Understood,” declared Jansha. The Scorpion cleared the hangar doors and cloaked as it moved towards the ships.
“Captain,” called Malak to Arsha, “sensors detected a ship’s engine signature but we can’t get a visual!”
“It has to be the Scorpion,” muttered Arsha. “Shalvey, advise the fleet that there’s a cloaked vessel!”
“Fleet’s acknowledged,” replied Shalvey. “I just hope they can be clever to find it.”
“A cloaked vessel, huh?” mused Samuje. “Sounds like Dr. Borg’s not interested in legality. Keep up the assault, but keep an eye out for any massive shift in mana particles.”
“Aye, Ma’am,” replied her Tactical Officer. His fingers danced at the weapons controls as he noticed a blip. “Right on cue!” declared the Tactical Officer. “I believe I’ve found our cloaked vessel!”
“Fire!” called Samuje. The weapons fired, but hit nothing.
“…Now that makes no sense!” growled the Tactical Officer. “Resuming…”
“Fire the stinger!” called Scorpo.
“Decloaking and firing!” called Jansha. A concealed weapon sprang from the rear of the ship as it revealed itself. It fired a stream of light for a few seconds before moving off.
“FIRES ON DECKS 3, 7, AND 24!” called Samuje’s Tactical Officer. “ENGINEERING’S REPORTED MULTIPLE MALFUNCTIONS ON ALL SYSTEMS!”
“ENGINE CORE BREACH!” reported her Chief Engineer. “SAFETY LOCKS AREN’T RESPONDING! I CAN’T EJECT IT!”
“ABANDON SHIP!” ordered Samuje. “ALL HANDS, ABANDON SHIP!”
The ship exploded, much to the delight of the Scorpion crew. “Perfect!” purred Scorpo. “Anyone escape?”
“Getting the read-out,” replied Jansha. “…Looks like the Captain and a few ensigns.”
“I GUESS we can let them live,” mused Scorpo. Just then, Yulduk got a blip on his console.
“Hey, are we expecting any new recruits?” he asked.
“During combat?” quizzed Scorpo. “No. Why?”
“Then we’ve got a trio of stowaways outside the bridge!” yelped Yulduk. Some sort of torch then began cutting its way through the bridge door!
“Wands out!” ordered Scorpo as he readied his claws and tail. Jansha activated a needle from her wrist and Yulduk drew out his wand. The door then burst open and Endea led a team in, wands blazing. She tackled Scorpo while two others fought Jansha and Yulduk. They had the same skin tone as Endea. One of them was a man with the Drelda’s name and registry number, the other was a man with the Morkal’s name and registry.
“I don’t believe we’ve met!” Endea snarled as she held Scorpo’s arms at bay.
“No, we haven’t,” replied Scorpo as his tail slammed into Endea, knocking her back. “I’m Scorpo, the Scorpion, and you’re trespassing, you traitor!”
“My testimony,” hissed Endea, “liberated us Mechanicas before we experienced full slavery!”
“Yet you still side with those who want to enslave you!” argued Scorpo as his claw grabbed her neck.
“I…get paid!” choked Endea.
“Yeah, because that makes it SO much better!” snarled Scorpo as he tossed Endea across the bridge. Meanwhile, Yulduk was grappling with his Mechanica.
“So, what do YOU call yourself, friend?” Yulduk asked his opponent.
“I’m Mork, the Morkal,” introduced the Mechanica.
“…Is…that REALLY how Mechanicas introduce themselves?” quizzed Yulduk.
“Well, it’s how ship-type Mechanicas introduce themselves,” replied Mork. “I’m guessing you’re the first Revenant, Yulduk. Yeah, I could smell you a por away.”
“Got a nose like a Cerberus, do you?” chuckled Yulduk.
“Dude, you’ve got a B.O. problem,” explained Mork as he waved his hand in front of his nose.
“I most certainly…!” Yulduk then gagged after he took a whiff of his pits. “Then again, maybe I DO need to invest in stronger deodorant!” Mork’s uppercut then slammed into Yulduk’s chin.
“MADE YOU TALK!” laughed Mork. While Yulduk was busy with Mork, Jansha was keeping her opponent at bay.
“Obviously, ship-type Mechanica names are shortened versions of the ship itself,” mused Jansha. “So, what’s the Drelda’s Mechanica name?”
“I’m Dreld,” introduced the Mechanica. “Did you know the Skyshell was a Mechanica as well? Skysh was his name and I loved him! You murdered your own kin!”
“He picked his side, I picked mine,” dismissed Jansha. “Besides, Mechanicas will still know abuse on the level I suffered at Dr. Ganshar’s hands, no matter what Realmfleet decrees! Honestly, it was better for me to put him down like that!”
“As if your way’s any better!” snarled Dreld as he slammed her against a console. “Your way will only inspire MORE racist assholes!”
“My way will put them down for good!” argued Jansha. As they grappled, Dreld noticed something hanging above the console.
“…Fuzzy dice?” he asked. The dice were 120-sided. “Now that’s just tacky!”
“Scorpo thought it would look cool!” snapped Jansha as she got out from under him and slammed him onto the helm controls. The ship then tilted and drifted towards the sea, skimming the water! Scorpo flinched, then shoved Endea aside to get to the helm.
“Keep that nasty-asty seawater off my hull!” he snapped as he leveled out. “I’m hand-wash only!”
Dr. Borg took this time to stroll around the cathedral and observe its construction. It was dark, with stained glass windows telling the story of how Oyed was defeated by the Divine Ones after the Realms became what they are, how he was imprisoned, and how he would rise again and cleanse the Realms. The Vaulted Ceiling was covered in a painting depicting Oyed bringing the Realms together under his rule. After her neck protested after craning her head upwards for so long, she shifted her gaze to the main altar. As elaborate as it was, there was still a plainness to it. She sat in one of the pews and folded her arms, thinking about how she was going to divide up the Council. She still needed her spouses and Tormo, Yulduk, Scorpo, and Jansha were highly skilled. Counting her, that was eight. She needed two more. As she thought, her antennae detected mana particles from the vaults below the cathedral. She keyed in a command on her arm and saw Realmfleet forces engaged with Intrag! “…The Sanctum!” she guessed. “Two diversions in one week! I’m a fool!” She established a mental connection with Oyed.
“Child, I’m a little busy at the moment,” he chided, “so, whatever you must say, please make it brief.”
“Realmfleet forces have infiltrated the Vaults!” reported Dr. Borg.
“But…my children…!” yelped Oyed as he held Zalkii’s neck. He then reached the same conclusion as Dr. Borg. “A diversion!” he snarled as he tossed Zalkii aside. He then established a mental connection with all of his followers. “Back!” he decreed. “Back to the cathedral! Secure the Sanctum!”
“They’re getting wise!” yelped Malak on the Endeavor. Denstra gripped the armrests of the Captain’s Chair.
“Arsha, you better make it out of there!” she hissed.