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Chapter 16

Tom walked up the path that was very steep and slippery, with one wrong move he might find himself back at square one. He heard some kind of explosion behind him. The attack had begun, he turned around and was about to head back, but he realized that if he didn't get the Elsydeon back to its original strength then there would be problems. And it would be his fault. No matter what he heard behind him, he had to continue.

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Ka'Glem, the fallen aid to Raja, came out of his coma just as the first wave of attack fighters came in. He stirred and groaned, Raja came over to him and helped him as best he could. Both Raja and Rajim were there, they were ready to attend to any wounded that would come in. Having taken The Oath that prohibited them from using violence, all they could do now, was wait. But that waiting wouldn't be quite so aggravating, because now they could attend to their fallen friend.

"Take it easy, Ka'Glem. You've been in a coma for nearly two weeks. Quite frankly, I thought that it would take you longer to recover," said Raja.

"Oh, Jn'Pokhan. You are with me now, after what I did. You truly live up to your title," said Ka'Glem weakly.

"Easy, my friend. Kyra meditated on what she saw when she looked at your memories. Do you remember anything?" asked Raja.

"Yes."

"You were not at fault. Last year you went on a pilgrimage into the wild."

"I remember that, but it's still kind of hazy."

Another explosion rocked the mansion.

"Strange," said Rajim.

"How so?" asked Raja.

"Well, it just seems to me like those explosions aren't doing any kind of damage," said Rajim.

"My guess would be that the Espers are working together to create a sort of make-shift forcefield to protect all of us from harm, it won't be quite as strong as the old one, but it will do for now," said Raja.

"I remember some red-robed Wizards. Three of them," said Ka'Glem.

"That's right. They're Lassic's Wizards. They cornered you, and then overtook you. They must have manipulated you somehow," said Rajim.

"I feel ashamed," said Ka'Glem.

"Don't be. You were chosen, because you were close to me," said Raja.

"There is no way to erase the past, you taught me that. Maybe, sometime in the future, I'll find some way to gain penance for my sins."

"All that I ask is that you stand with the me in the Temple when all of this is over," said Raja.

"I can't believe it." said Ka'Glem.

"Not really," said Rajim, "Jn'Pokhan Raja has always been a noble person and...."

"No not that," said Ka'Glem, "we've gone through five whole minutes, and yet there hasn't even been a hint of a bad joke."

That seemed to lighten the mood, despite the explosive battle that was taking place just outside of the building.

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The Landale stayed inside of the make-shift forcefield that the Espers had formed. An occasional hole would open up here and there allowing Wren to fire out of field. The ships were dropping bombs on the mansion, but thanks to Chaz's warning, the Espers did have time to prepare the shield, however the fleet had still managed to drop several bombs on the mansion causing a great deal of damage before the shield could have been put up. There were several injuries, but so far no one had died, they were lucky for that. Neither side was getting anywhere. The holes that opened up usually didn't allow to much in form of what to aim at. A large hole did open up at one time, large enough for a fighter to fit through, however when it went through the hole, it immediately closed up around it, cutting the back part of the ship off. The front half spun out of control and headed straight into the mansion and exploded, the room that it crashed into was right beside the room that contained the Espers that were holding the shield in place. When the wreaked ship exploded, destroying part of the mansion, it was enough of a distraction for the Espers, and the shield went down.

Juza smiled at the pilot's stupidity and at his own luck, "All units, this is our golden opportunity. FIRE!!"

Rika stood ready, "Shift!", with that her already exceptional agility increased exponentially. She sprang several feet in the air, "Double-Slash!" Rika clawed at through the ship like it was tin-foil, damaging one of the wings and sent it crashing into the snow. The pilot jumped out of the cockpit and aimed weapon, but Ricto was on top of him almost immediately, he shoved his claws into the pilot's chest, killing him.

"Nathu!" shouted Chaz. A ray of light and energy built up in Chaz's arm until he discharged it, sending of a beam of energy destroying another ship.

The Landale was having some problems, when Juza gave the order to fire, they all aimed at the Landale, which had already taken out three of their ships, instead of firing on the mansion like they should have. Wren noticed this and the ship away from the mansion in order to protect the Espers, but that also put the Landale in a very dangerous situation, because if it were to be shot down, the chances of Wren staying in one piece, was slim to none.

Then all of the sudden a series of laser fire came out of nowhere, Chaz and the rest of the protectors got ready for a barrage that never came, Chaz looked and the fire power was coming from the bottom of the hill. He looked down and saw a whole squadron of fully armed Ice Diggers, firing away at the unwanted guests. He also saw something else on the Ice Diggers, The Dezorian Presidential Seal. The President's PAE(Personnel Armed Escort) was know on the side of the Espers.

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Kuran Station. Lassic's Wizards had commandeered it were using it as their HQ. It was a very quite place. Michael walked through the empty halls of the station. With each step he took the sound of his boot touching metal echoed throughout the empty halls of the lonely station. That echo sounds the words that were echoing through his mind.

"Please." "Oh, you poor thing. NaFoi!"

His pace quickened, he was getting angrier and angrier. He had to do something, anything, then his comm unit buzzed. He activated it, and carefully said, "What do you want?"

"It appears that moron Juza is having trouble at with the Espers," said one of the wizards, Michael smiled at the that news. "The Mighty Lassic has ordered you to return to Dezolis and assist Juza."

"But my ship was damaged."

"I know, the Mighty Lassic has ordered us to....give you our own personnel shuttle, it has a wide variety of weapons. It is your reward for retrieving the Eclipse Torch and defeating that Musk Cat, even though defeating the cat was what damaged your ship in the first place."

Again, Michael smiled. He would have superior firepower against Juza, they didn't know that the Musk Cat was still alive, and Lassic was favoring HIM over his precious wizards.

"As you wish," said Michael in a cocky voice.

Michael could almost here the wizard sneering at him through the comm unit. This gave him an enormous amount of satisfaction. But, first he to check on the Musk Cat before departing.

Michael opened the panel to the Musk Cat's hidden compartment, and he wasn't there. He must have moved shortly after Michael left the ship, he didn't have time to worry. Michael just hoped that the Musk Cat didn't do anything stupid, but in the meantime he had a bride and child to avenge.

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Tom came to the end of the path, it went straight into a rock face that shot sixty feet straight up.

"You have GOT to be kidding me," said Tom as he looked up the rock face. Tom walked up to the wall and he tried to think of what to do next, then he felt a slight breeze on his face, there was wind all around him, giving his high altitude, but this breeze seemed to come from the rockface, interesting.

After examining the rockface at the end of the path, he noticed that the rock in front of him was almost like a door. But, the question remained as how to open it. Tom tried to push and pull the rock, but it wouldn't budge. Maybe, I'm not supposed to open it, thought Tom. Maybe it should open for me, like a door that needs an ID-Card. Only knowing the Espers, the "ID-Card" would probably be some kind of a magical imprint.

Tom looked in his bag at the broken sword and then he looked back down at the battle in the distance, he had to think of something. He felt like he should be down with his friends, defending the Espers. The boulder moved revealing a passageway. {Can you read my thoughts} thought Tom.

[Yes, enter.]

Tom almost feel over backwards at the response. "OK" he said.

[For what purpose have you come to us.]

"Well," said Tom still feeling awkward, like he was talking to himself, "I'm looking for someone called Thunder."

Silence.

[Thunder, you say.]

"Yes, the Elsydeon was broken into four pieces from Lassic's content onslaught."

"The sword - BROKEN?!" said a startled voice, that actually wasn't quite as far away as Tom had thought him to be.

"Hello?"

A green dragon with long white hair that went down it's back stepped out from behind a corner. Tom jumped back instinctively, but he regained his composure quickly. "Are you Thunder?"

The dragon laughed heartily at the human's comment, "No," she said in a warm and soothing voice. "My name is Daystar. May I see the sword?"

"I don't see why not," said Tom.

Daystar walked over to Tom who stood his ground without showing the slightest bit of fear at the fact that he was being approached by a dragon. Daystar was impressed at that. She looked inside and she almost gasped at the sight, it was indeed the Great Sword, and it needed Thunder's attention...NOW!

"Follow me," she said.

She lead Tom down a corridor making sure not get left behind, she was moving very fast and it was difficult to keep up, there were a lot of twists and turns it wouldn't be that difficult to get lost in here. They eventually arrived at what felt like an inferno. A very large man that would make Wren seem like a dwarf regarded his new arrivals.

"Are you Thunder?" asked Tom.

"Yes," said Thunder cautiously.

"Thunder," said Daystar urgently, "this man was sent by the Espers...the sword..."

Tom offered him the bag. He was sweeting buckets in the room that they were in, but Tom took the heat with a grain of salt. Thunder seemed to notice the pool of water that was forming around Tom for the first time.

"Oh, sorry about that," Thunder's deep voice said. He waved his hands at the flames and they instantly went down. The temperature also went down considerably. It was still hot, but at least now Tom didn't have to worry about heat stroke or anything like that. "Better?"

"Much better, thank you Mr. Thunder," said Tom politely.

Thunder looked at broken sword in the bag, "So, you just want me to repair a simple sword do you?"

Tom raised one eyebrow and looked at Daystar who chuckled at Tom's response.

"Thunder, you've been in this furnace too long. This human seems to have the ability to recognize this sword, yet YOU didn't realize that this sword is...."

"The Elsydeon," finished Thunder with a little bit of irritation in his voice. "Wait outside, I'll have the sword finished soon."

"You must hurry..." started Tom.

"Don't rush me kid," said Thunder, "you rush miracles, then you get rotten miracles. Remember that."

"Oh, will you stop with the corny sayings," said Daystar irritably, "The Esper Mansion is under attack!"

"OH! Well then, I had better get started. You had better leave, it's going to get quite hot in here."

Tom nodded and stepped outside with Daystar. Tom started thinking about his friends and about the Espers.

"Now I know why the sword choose you. You stood up to both Thunder and myself and you have a natural concern for your friends. You have the skill."

"What skill?" asked Tom.

"All will be revealed in time," said Daystar.

"Great," said Tom, clearly disappointed.

Daystar gave Tom a wry smile, "Don't you hate it when us old folks do that?"

Tom laughed. "How long until the sword is finished?"

"I don't know," said Daystar, "but, I have a feeling that Thunder is going to make sure that this doesn't happen again. Now, tell me exactly what happened."

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