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Chapter 14

The Landale pulled out from it's position rather quickly. Inside, no one spoke. How could they? They had lost. They may have been Algo's last hope ,yet they had lost. Still, they had escaped. What was *that* worth. They had only got away, because Lassic let them go, another unanswered question. But, of all of the things that was racing through their minds was the absence of their strongest friend. The fifth Generation Lutz.

{Lassic always seemed to have something against the Espers.} thought Chaz {But not that the protective shield around the Esper Mansion is down.....}

Chaz jumped up, and ran to the back compartment of the Landale, were Tom was helping Wren reattach a spare arm onto Wren. An arm that he had ripped off with his bare hands.

"Wren," said Chaz with much urgency, "I need to know. How many ships did we destroy in Lassic's squadron?"

"There were ten ships, eleven, if you count Juza's. We destroyed four of his basic fighters, as well as Juza's Ship, but that still leaves six ships."

"And," added Tom, "based on all of those solders that we saw in Lassic's throne room, it would seem as if none of their solders were killed when we destroyed their ships. They probably used that same teleporting trick that Juza must of used."

"By the Light!" said Chaz as he ran to cockpit.

"What's going on?" asked Tom.

"We'll find out soon enough," said Wren.

Chaz ran up to the cockpit, Demi was piloting the Landale, but they weren't really going anywhere, at least, not yet.

Demi turned and looked inquisitively at Chaz. "Chaz?"

"Set a course for the Esper Mansion."

"On Dezolis?" she asked.

"Are there any other Esper Mansions that you know about?" he asked, mentally kicking himself for such a rude comment, "Demi, I..."

"Don't worry about it. This has been a troubling time for all of us."

"I know, but that's no excuse for being rude. Anyway, can you take to us to the Esper Mansion."

"Sure, but there is no place to land around..."

"Find one," ordered Chaz.

"I'll try, but what's the hurry?"

"First of all, they are the only ones that would know how to reforge the Elysdeon that Tom was cleaver enough to recover. And second, Lassic has a bunch of new toys, a grudge against all Espers, and no shield to get in his way."

Demi switched on the intercom. "Everyone sit down and buckle up. We're going to traveling at full thrust." She turned and nodded to Chaz

Wren and Tom walked up from the back compartment and gave some inquisitive looks at Chaz.

"I'll explain on the way, meanwhile, I would suggest finding a seat."

-------------------------

Michael Steiner headed towards Raja's Ice Digger as fast as he could go. Luck was with him today. But not for long, he was still limping from his encounter with the Musk Cats.

Gizo, a Musk Cat Leader, saw Michael, but more importantly, he saw what was in his hands. The Eclipse Torch.

"Hey! Just where do you think you're going with that!" Gizo shouted.

Michael looked back and saw the old cat was chasing him with amazing agility, but that wasn't what worried him. What worried him, was that he had lost sight of the two other Musk Cats. All Rajim could do was watch, but then he saw Raja lying unconscious in the snow, so he ran over to him, to help his mentor and friend.

Michael reached the Ice Digger and opened the door. "HA! I made it!"

Or did he. Kaman, the warrior in training, was the first one there and jumped at Michael and drove his claw into his side. Michael yelled in rage, spun around and used a NaFoi technique at point blank range. The technique hit Kaman square in the face and sent him flying into the control panel of the Ice Digger. Electricity flew out and engulfed him. Kaman then fell to the ground in a heap.

"Kaman!" shouted Ricto, his trainer. "Die Motavian scum!"

Michael looked up at Ricto who was standing on top of the Ice Digger. He went inside the Ice Digger and locked the door.

"If you think that that will keep me out, then..."

Instantly, the Ice Digger went into motion. Ricto started slashing and clawing his way into the Ice Digger.

"Oh, so you want to play rough huh?"

He accelerated the Ice Digger and started turning left and right, but Ricto would not be shaken off, then Michael slammed on the brakes. the Ice Digger hit an Ice spot and started doing several 360s. This was enough for Ricto to go flying off of the Ice Digger. Michael quickly got the large machine under his control. He checked his instruments and he saw that Ricto was right in front of him. He warmed up the small laser cannon that were attached to both sides of vehicle as he revved up the engine.

Ricto looked and saw the lasers had him in their crosshairs. He also noticed that this particular Motavian was planning on using him as a speedbump. He had to wait to see what he was going to do. Then he knew. The Ice Digger came straight at him with incredible speed, but just as he was about to jump on top of the Ice digger, the lasers fired. Ricto dove out of the way of the laser, jumping out of the way of the Ice Digger in the process. Michael sped off in Raja's Ice Digger, with a captive.

Ricto stood and just stared at the Ice Digger as it disappeared over the horizon, which was all that he could do. He then let loose a scream of anger that echoed across the plains of Dezolis. Gizo walked beside him and put a comforting hand on Ricto, then they both yelled a Chant of Return for their captured friend. This chant was in the Musk Cat tongue, it was a prayer to the Great Light to watch over their friend.

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Rune woke up inside of a damp cell, he looked up and when his eyes finally allowed him to see straight, he saw something very unusual, the door to his cell was hanging wide open. Rune looked around his cell. Something wasn't right. he half-expected Lassic to be jumping down his throat. Something must have effected Lassic in the battle, he had to find out what that 'thing' was and see if he could exploit it somehow. He turned around and saw a note on the floor with his name on it. He hesitated, but seeing in how he didn't have any real choice, he picked it up and read.

HELLO OLD FRIEND,
RIGHT NOW YOU'RE PROBABLY WONDERING WHY YOU'RE NOT DEAD.
THE ANSWER TO THAT ONE IS REALLY QUITE SIMPLE. THAT WOULD
BE A LITTLE TO QUICK. YOU'RE PROBABLY WONDERING WHERE ALL
OF THOSE NICE LITTLE BIO-MONSTERS ARE. THEY'RE ALL DOWN
THERE, AND I HAVEN'T FEED THEM IN A WHILE, SO DO BE CAREFUL.

{Gee, thanks. You're concern for my safety make me feel so much better}

YOU SEE, I'VE HAD THIS DUNGEON FOR A WHILE, AND NOBODY SEEMS
TO KNOW HOW TO ESCAPE. PITY. WELL IF YOU DO ESCAPE, I'LL BE
WAITING.

P.S. I'VE ALSO INSTALLED A SUB-SYSMIC FIELD MULTIGENERATOR,
THE GOOD PEOPLE WHO CONSTRUCTED MOTHER BRAIN DISCOVERED
THAT SUCH A FIELD PREVENTS THE USE OF MAGIC INSIDE THE
FIELD, YOU FIGURE. WELL HAVE FUN :)

Rune held out his hand "Flaeli!" .....Nothing. "Nafoi!"....Nothing "Legion!".....nothing.

Rune didn't know what was worse, the fact that he indeed could no longer use magic while he was here. Or the fact that Lassic had put a stupid smiley face at the end of his note.

"The smiley face, definitely the smiley face," said Rune to himself, "OK, such a field would require a large amount of power. I'll have to either find the power source, or find the generator. With either of those out of the way, I'll be home free."

Rune stepped out into the hallway and he heard growling coming from somewhere. {But, until I DO find either one of those. I'm in BIG trouble.} thought Rune grimly.

-------------------------

"Master Juza, the pilots are ready to take off and head for the Esper Mansion."

"Excellent. The helmets?" asked Juza.

The subordinate had a big smile on his face. "We've added a filter to the flight helmets. It will allow us to talk to each other, but it keep out and soundwaves from that robot."

Now, it was Juza's turn to smile, "You have done well. You shall be rewarded for all of your efforts, as Lassic is always in favor of those who are loyal."

The subordinate gave a respectful bow. "Thank you, Great Juza. The ships are all ready."

"The reserves?"

"We still have over thirty ships, waiting and ready, should they become necessary."

"Good. Have all of the pilots form up at once. We leave immediately for the Esper Mansion. We must be swift, before they have a chance to reforge the Elysdeon."

"Can it be reformed at all?"

"I don't know, but we can't take any chances."

"Yes, Great Juza. I shall inform the other pilot to form up at Sector 1-0-15A immediately."

"Good." Juza went over to his comm panel, for he saw that someone was trying to contact him, "Juza here."

Lassic evil face showed up. "Are you ready to leave?"

"Yes, my lord. We are almost ready."

"Good. My new toy just woke up, and I want to play with it for a while."

Juza laughed at that, "I take it that you don't want to be disturbed then."

"Yes."

"It shall be done. I will not contact you until the Mansion has been destroyed."

"Excellent. Lassic Out."

-----------------------

Lassic switched off the monitor and switched it back to the hidden security camera that was currently watching Rune. He sat back with a smile, just then his comm unit buzzed. He activated it.

"This had better be good!" he shouted.

"Oh, but it is my lord."

"Who are you?"

"Michael Steiner. My lord," Michael said with a bow. "I am pilot 12 of your armada."

"Where are you?"

"Dezolis."

"WHY AREN'T WITH THE OTHER PILOTS!!!" shouted Lassic losing his temper.

"Because of this," said Michael holding up the Eclipse Torch.

Lassic's mood lightened instantly. Wait, this pilot had stood up to his verbal assault that usually sends people to their knees. Either this man has a lot of nerve, is very brave, or he didn't care whether he lived or died. No matter what it was, it made him dangerous, he would have to rectify that later. But, in the meantime.

"You've been gone for a while. And my carnivorous Trees have been destroyed," said Lassic.

Michael bowed his head, "Yes, my lord. I ran into some difficulties." Michael then held up the limp body of the Musk Cat, Kaman. "But, it wasn't anything that I couldn't handle." He then let go of the Musk Cats body and it fell to the ground with a sickening klunk.

Lassic laughed his evil laugh. "Do you need a ship?"

"No. My lord, I hid mine close to where the stolen ship had crashed."

"Good. Take the Torch and the furball to Kuran. My wizards await will wait for you. And they DON'T like to be kept waiting."

"Understood, my lord. Steiner Out."

Lassic sat back in his throne. This was turning out better then you could have hoped for. Now, where was he.....oh, yeah. He turned on the switch the showed Rune wondering around Lassic's labyrinth.

"Time to play. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

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