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Chapter 20

The Protectors just stood there. Juza scowled at them. Gryz felt worse and worse with each passing moment.

"Juza!" shouted Ricto, "Honor dictates this: You are in danger. There is Black Energy all around us."

Juza laughed at the comment. "I know that! I serve the Darkness, it empowers me!"

"Then why do you feel so weak?" asked Tom.

Juza eyed him menacingly. "You will be the first to die!"

"No Juza," said Demi, "The Black Energy has mixed with the hazardous chemicals here. It has created a sort of radiation field throughout Nurvus. You should know that radiation has no preferences."

Gryz's eyes widened with horror. "However," said Kyra, "the healing power of the Elsydeon can help you, but only if you renounce the darkness."

Michael refused to say anything. He knew that their words were wasted and the hatred inside of him grew with each passing second as the murderer of his family just stood there.

"You don't understand, do you?" asked Juza, "I serve the Darkness, I am powerful, I...."

"...failed to destroy the Espers," said Chaz, interrupting Juza's tirade, "You know it, and I know it. And as punishment you were used to lure us down here to our supposed deaths. But Lassic didn't count on the fact that our friends here" pointing to both Wren and Demi "would discover the Black Energy and find a way to block it."

Juza screamed with pure hatred, a shot of the Black Energy Wave shot out at them, Kyra put up her Warla Spell and deflected it away, but when the Black Poison touched her spell, it seemed to effect her.

Tom took the Elsydeon and held it in front of him. He concentrated. {OH, great Elsydeon} Tom said telepathically to the holy sword, {Give me strength}

{Strength is giving' to those that give}

Tom looked puzzled for a moment and then he saw what the sword meant, they needed another ally. They needed Gryz. Tom held out the sword, he concentrated and then he let loose the power of the Elsydeon. A ray of white light shot out of the point of the sword and it flew right past Juza.

"Your aim was a little off" said Juza mockingly.

"I was aiming for you," said Tom.

Juza turned around at the next sound, for there was Gryz standing behind him with a huge grin on his face. His chair that he was bound to couldn't be identified as a chair anymore. For when the Elsydeon had restored his strength, he ripped it apart as if it was tin-foil.

"I see," said Juza, "but can you withstand the Black Energy Wave?"

Gryz just stood his ground and waited for the attack to come, but when it did come, it didn't come at him, it came at Juza, for he was paying too much attention to Gryz to notice that everyone else was still behind him.

Tom, Chaz, and Kyra fired magic spells at Juza while everybody else fired Plasma Rifles at him.

"We're not effecting him," said Tom.

"It's his magical shield!" said Kyra.

"Wait a second, where's Michael?" asked Chaz.

They looked around and Michael was indeed gone.

"Oh, protectors. I have something of yours."

They looked and Juza had overcome Gryz, the Elsydeon had helped Gryz, but by the time he had recovered, he was almost immediately overcome by the Black Energy that was all around them. They had to do something, but what? They couldn't attack for fear of hurting Gryz, not that it would do much against Juza's magical barrier, then Michael did something. Weak as he was from being outside of the barrier, he had managed to sneak around behind Juza. The Black Energy didn't effect him completely do to his overwhelming desire to avenge his family. Michael ran up to Juza and he hit him with the back of his sword, Juza stumbled forward with shock from Michael's attack, letting go of Gryz. Michael took this time to give Gryz a Sol Dew, Gryz got up, but was extremely weak, he moved to the shelter of his friends, inside the barrier. Kyra took the Elsydeon from Tom and used it to rid some of the poison from Gryz's system.

Meanwhile, Michael and Juza were fighting with great intensity and hatred.

"Murderer! You'll pay for what you did to Holly and my son!"

"My, my. Such hatred, now I know why Zio just didn't kill you off when he had the chance."

"You're the one that torched Molcum! You're the one that destroyed my life! And you're the one that's going to die!"

"I see. But, you....AUGHH!"

Juza yelled out in pain as Michael's blade struck him in the side.

"My barrier is weakening. You'll pay for this! Black Energy Wave!"

An outpouring of Black Hatred shot out and struck Michael in the chest.

"Uncle Mike!" shouted Tom at the sight that he was baring witness to.

Gryz got up weakly, and watched with the others.

"Once, we get away from all of this garbage," said Kyra, "I'll be able to use the Holy Sword to rid the rest of the Black Energy completely from your body."

Gryz merely nodded.

The Black Energy Wave had flung Michael back into the computer behind him. It exploded. The explosion encompassed Michael, and it flung Juza down into the depths below, he fell into a pool of Black Energy Sludge. Juza screamed out in pure horror as the Energy enveloped him. He lashed out with agony, it was just too much even for him. The explosion also caused some hot materials to fall into the poll of sledge. This new radioactive sledge had one very important difference, it was highly unstable. When the hot materials fell in, it started to explode.

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Rika kicked a rock as she sat there, just outside of Nurvus. She hated this. She knew that she couldn't go down there because of her unborn child, but she hated the fact that Chaz, whom was inseparable from, was now facing a terrible evil, and she couldn't do anything. How long was he going to be down there? How long could she hold out for? She wish she could do something, anything to help out, but all she could do was just stand there. That's when the earthquake started, which only aggravated her fears.

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Rune came to his senses, and he sat up with a little bit of effort. He had never experienced anything like it. For a moment, albeit a very brief moment, he had experienced what very few Espers ever would. He had become pure magic. He was actually starting to live up to his title. Rune looked up and saw him.

"Did you enjoy your little nap?" asked Lassic.

Rune stood up quickly, which he immediately wished he hadn't done, for he became very dizzy and he wanted nothing more then to lie down and sleep. He looked at his adversary with malice.

"Why am I still alive?" asked Rune.

"Because I have a proposition for you."

"What?"

"You heard me. I could use someone like you in my empire."

"You're as crazy as I thought. First of all, you should know more then anyone else that I would never join you. Secondly, your empire hasn't existed for the past 2000 years! Look outside sometime. Thanks to the Mother Brain, the only thing that you could possibly control is now in tiny little pieces. So my advise to you is to just give up."

Lassic threw his head back and laughed, "Well then, shall we see just how learned you are in the art of magic."

Rune just stared at evil warlord, "Sounds good to me."

And then the two monarchs of magic went at each others throats.

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Rika stood at the stairs of Nurvus, just staring down it, expecting everybody to come running up, and everything would be OK. Then a stream of fire shot out of the tunnel that led into Nurvus.

"CHAZ!" shouted Rika tears streaming down her face.

Then an explosion shook the ground ten yards behind her. she turned and looked as the ground exploded outward with a green flare that she recognized as Wren's Positron Bolt. Everybody stumbled out of the side-path that Wren had created. Everyone except Michael. Rika ran over to her husband.

"Chaz, I had thought the worst..."

"Don't worry. Michael....he" but there was no need for Chaz to finish.

The ground started to shake quite violently as the Radioactive Black Energy Sledge became more and more unstable.

"Wren," said Rika, "We need to get everybody outta here now!"

"You don't have to tell me twice," said Wren.

Everybody quickly got into the shuttle and it went in took off just as the ground below began to collapse. Wren took the ship out of harms way. He activated the monitor to see the ground all around Nurvus. People in Mile started to run from their homes as the ground shook. Then Nurvus exploded. The explosion was sudden and fierce. Several homes in Mile and even some of the places all the way up in Kadary felt the effect of the blast, and then within a moments notice, the ground was calm.

"The people in Mile never seem to get a break," said Chaz with a sigh.

"Radiation levels all around were Nurvus used to be has stopped. It appears that the explosion has sealed all of that dangerous sledge," said Demi.

"Actually, it appears to more than that," said Wren, "The materials that make up the sledge seems to separate into its simpler elements upon the explosive reaction."

"So, what your saying is that by the destruction of Nurvus, the toxic waste problem is taken care of," said Demi.

"Not necessarily, there could still be some toxic materials down there, but the explosion caused it to be buried under a lot of rock which will protect everyone from feeling any ill effects."

"That's great!" said Rika.

"Tom, give me the Elsydeon," said Kyra, and he did so, "Now, I'm going to use the sword to remove any ill effects of the Black Energy.

"You mean the sword can heal people from the effects of the Black Energy?" asked Chaz.

"Chaz," said Kyra, "If I had known about what Zio had done..."

"It wouldn't have mattered," said Chaz, "You didn't have a shuttle."

Kyra nodded, "I'm glad you understand."

Chaz smiled at Kyra, "I know. Well, get to work in eliminating the effects of the Black Energy. But, in the meantime, Wren, take us to the Ladea Tower."

"Roger," said Wren.

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Kaman regained consciousness. He looked around at where he was. There were some panels around and a huge metal door that seemed to be the only exit. He wondered were he was exactly. When he looked at the schematics for the station, he noticed that there wasn't any kind of a holding cell, and now that he thought about it, the door looked just like a fire door. But, fire doors are there to prevent the spread of fire, they are air tight and when the Oxygen runs out the fire extinguishes itself, so how come he was still alive? He looked around and he saw that there were no air vents around anywhere. But, as he walked around his "cell" he felt a breeze, Kaman turned and he saw that the door had a small rip in it. It had scorch marks on it, it appeared to play the purpose of an airhole. The wizards wanted him alive. Kaman looked around for something to use. There had to be some way to convince the system that there was no need for the fire doors to be closed.

Then Kaman got an idea.

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Gryz got his Defeat Axe from Tonoe and joined everyone in their quest to defeat Lassic once and for all. The shuttle arrived at the Ladea Tower and Gryz opened the tower for everybody.

"How did you do that?" asked Tom.

"I don't really know, I just open it," said Gryz.

"It's too bad we can't just beam in," said Chaz.

"Yes, but the tower is made of pure Laconian, the transporter beam would just bounce off and then who knows where you'll end up," said Wren, "That is if you end up anywhere at all."

"Well then," said Ricto, "shall we get this CycleWand or whatever it's called."

"PsychoWand," corrected Kyra, "It's the only thing that will get through Lassic's Magic Barrier."

"Unless we just blow his castle to hell and back," offered Ricto reflecting on how they had defeated Juza.

"Well, I don't think it will be that easy," said Tom.

"You call that easy?" asked Ricto.

They all went up to the top of the Ladea Tower without so much as a hint of life.

"I don't like this," said Ricto.

"I know. Normally, I like it when a job is this easy. But, this place should be crawling with bios."

"Well then," said Tom, "Let's just get the staff and get outta here."

They came to the chest and Kyra cast a spell and the field surrounding the chest containing the PsycoWand disappeared. Tom turned around and the sight nearly made him faint. For standing behind them was a couple hundred bio-monsters.

"Ah, guys" said Tom.

"Is there a prob..." Chaz was unable to finish his sentence when he saw what Tom was so choked up about.

Everyone turned and backed up the platform. Kyra quickly got out the PsycoWand. Everyone made ready as a swarm of hungry bio-monster's stampeded towards them.

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Rune fired a Flaeli at Lassic, but it has no effect against his magic barrier. Lassic in turn fired Another Gate, but Rune put up a magic wedge in front of the spell and the spell broke off into two different directions which cascaded harmlessly off of the walls.

"Impressive. But, this is getting us nowhere," said Lassic.

"I was thinking the same thing," said Rune.

"Were you? Good. Then, how about this?"

Rune's eyes widened as he realized what Lassic had planned. As Lassic fired the Black Energy Wave Rune dove down a hallway immediately to his right. Lassic moved to the hallway. And he was gone. It was a long thin hallway. Lassic didn't have a clue as to where he went off to. He fired Another Gate down the long hallway, but it didn't hit anything.

"Odd. Unless....Zan!"

The walls along the hallway crumbled a little bit with the exception of one spot. He looked directly at that spot and the wall disappeared revealing a side passageway.

"I must quit underestimating you Lutz."

Lassic went to the side passage and Rune was cornered at another dead-end.

"It looks like this is it," said Lassic with an evil grin.

"Just shut up and do it," said Rune with a sneer.

Then all of the lights went bright and Rune could feel an invisible blanket overcame them.

"Nice timing you idiots!" said Lassic to nobody.

"The field is back up, huh?" said Run.

"It would appear so," said Lassic as he unsheathed a long black sword, "It looks like I'm going to have to do this the old fashioned way."

Rune held up his staff defensively, he was still weakened from when he had overloaded the shield before, there was no way he could do it now with this guy on his back. He looked around and tried to think of what to do now, since Lassic clearly had the advantage in hand-to-hand combat.

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