[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Chapter 6

All of the hunters were doing their best to clean up the mess that the Sandworm had caused. The same hunters who not even ten minutes ago were at each others throats for each other's missions. Most of them want missions from the learning center in Piata, because they usually involve some rich kid who thinks that their 'significant other' is cheating on them and wants a hunter to follow them to see if it is true or not. Alys the great hunter had often called her job "the only indecent way to make a living". However, such was not the case today. Two had died from the attack and countless others were wounded. Some, like Rika, were helping the injured. Some, like Rune and Chaz, were helping to rebuild Aeido. While others were trying to remove the Sandworm from the middle the their city. Chaz had a feeling that the butchers would be having a sale the next day. Chaz stopped what he was doing when he saw Wren and Demi approach. Rika saw them too, but Chaz just held up his hand as if to say "Stay and help these people". Rika nodded and applied a Dimate to an open wound of her 'patient'.

"So, what's the news?" asked Chaz.

"The damage was heavy, but the external plating took most of the damage," said Wren matter-of-factly.

"I'm not surprised, considering the damage the Sandworm inflicted on the Landale," said Chaz reflectively.

"Indeed. However, there was still a bit of internal damage. I'll stay and continue to work on the superstructure, but Demi needs to run to the Machine Center to get some spare parts and then after that we will have to fly up to Zelan to refuel and do some minor adjustments. I estimate that the repairs will take about two-and-one-half days."

"And," added Demi," it's also a long walk, so if I could borrow one of your Landrovers to make the trip a little quicker."

"No problem," said Chaz weakly," Here's the keys to our storage shed. We have all of our LandRovers there." He pointed to a large building that had two large metal doors on it.

"Thanks," said Demi, she then moved over to Chaz and put a comforting hand on his shoulder, "you know that there was nothing you could have done to save those two hunters, they gave their lives for their home."

"I know. And Demi thanks, I needed to hear that," said Chaz trying to force a smile that didn't come.

"Sure," she said

"Good. Now come on Demi we have a lot of work ahead of us," ordered Wren.

"Sure thing Master Wren," said Demi cheerfully.

Chaz shook his head. It always amazed him that no matter how equal Wren and Demi were, she still referred to him as "Master Wren" Chaz just shook his head again. Oh well.

After the first day a lot of progress had been made. A few of the hunters were arguing with each other about who had done the most work, Rune nearly got the crap beat out of him for hitting on his wife, and the two hunters that died had been buried and had been given a nice ceremony. Chaz was feeling a lot better, and Wren and Demi had completed all of the internal repairs, and were now working on the superstructure. Things were definitely returning to normal.

"Chaz?" asked Rika.

"Yes, Rika? Is there something wrong?" asked Chaz with concern.

"Nothing. I'm just glad that everything is starting to return to normal."

"Yeah, me too," said Chaz, "Hey, it's Tom!"

Tom had gone out to the desert to retrieve their damaged LandRover that the Sandworm had wreaked.

Tom waved, then jogged over to them, "Well, we got the LandRover and Jeff says that the damage is minor, and that he'll have it fixed without too much effort."

"Good."

"Ah, Tom," said Rika, "I think Rune could use some help over there."

Rune was holding up a support for a house that was destroyed from the Sandworm attack. As he was holding it up the beautiful young owner of the house walked by distracting Rune.

"Hey Rune!" called Chaz, "Isn't she a little to young for you!"

Rune turned and called to Chaz, "Says who?"

But, that was enough for Rune to lose his grip on the beam and it slipped right out of his hand hitting him in the foot knocking him backwards into the fountain. Rune sat up in the fountain, completely drenched. The entire town erupted in laughter. Chaz's call had brought everybodys attention on Rune. Tom decided to go over and help Rune out.

Rika turned to Chaz, "Ah, Chaz..."

"Yes, Rika, what is it?"

"I, ah, have some news for you."

Now Chaz was getting concerned. "Rika, is there a....problem?"

"Problem?....No. It's just..."

Just then a shuttle zoomed in and everybody looked up at the new distraction.

Chaz smiled, "It's Derren's shuttle! I'm sorry Rika, what were you going to say?"

Rika just smiled and said, "We'll talk later."

Chaz looked really confused and waited for her to say something else, but when she didn't he decided to go see what had taken Derren so long.

The shuttle landed right beside the Landale. Derren came out and saw the condition of the Landale. "Nice landing."

"Derren! I was beginning to worry about you! Could a simple glitch have been that difficult to fix?"

"What would you know?" said Derren curtly.

Demi was taken a back by Derren's harsh words.

"So, what happened here," Derren said looking at Aeido, "did pop not like the architecture and decided to remodel?"

"Derren?" asked Demi wondering what had happened to him.

Wren walked over to Derren, "Derren, we need to talk."

Chaz walked up to them. The tension was so thick you could cut it with a dull blade.

Derren turned and looked at Chaz, "Hey, Chaz is it? I love what you've done with your city. I wonder, did anyone die? I bet that reminded you of your failure to save Alys."

Chaz was visibly wounded by Derren's verbal assault.

"Derren!" shouted Demi with more anger then she had ever felt in her 600 years of life.

"Don't take that tone with me!" shouted Derren.

Tom, Rika, and the still soaking wet Rune heard the commotion and decided to join them in hopes of lighting the mood. But, as soon as they arrived Rika and Rune could feel an intense sensation that grabbed a hold of both of them.

Tom looked from Rika, to Rune, then back to Rika, "Are you two alright?"

Rune was the first to recover, "It's the Black Energy Wave, and it's coming from you." Rune pointed at Derren.

"What?" asked Demi.

Derren threw his head back and laughed evilly, "So, you feel you can stop me, well can can't you fools!" He then laughed again, it was the scarest thing that any of them had ever seen, one of their own was now in the hands of evil.

"Derren," said Wren, "you are not yourself. Something corrupted you on Kuran didn't it?"

Derren just stared at his creator, "Well, duh."

Derren then turned and ran into his shuttle and took off.

"Derren, come back!" pleaded Demi.

Wren ran into the Landale, Demi followed him into the Landale, she was curious to what he was doing since the Landale was in no condition to follow Derren. Tom was helping Rune who was still suffering from the Black Energy Wave. And Rika was consoling her husband who was still upset from what Derren had said. After a few moments had passed Demi ran to the top ramp that went into the Landale.

"Everyone, I think you need to see this."

Everyone went into the Landale to see what Demi was talking about. When they looked at the monitor that Wren was stationed at, they all held a collective breath, for what was on the screen was something that had supposedly been destroyed ten years ago. It was the Air Castle.

Rune leaned in closer, "When do we leave?"

"The repairs will still take another fourteen hours," said Wren.

"That's O.K., we still need to finish rebuilding Aeido." said Tom Chaz smiled inwardly, because he knew that Alys WAS proud of him, and that his own partner and friend had turned out quite well, much the same as Alys was with him, "Your right." he said with new found confidence "Let's finish what we started."

"Hey, Chaz," said Rune with a smirk, "quit trying to talk charge all of the time."

Chaz laughed, "Oh, shut up you arrogant jerk."

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

Juza's ship lead the fleet of ships that searched the mountains for their stolen ship, and for the Eclipse Torch.

"This is getting us nowhere, Lassic is impatient and he'll want a report soon."

"Lassic Fighter 12 to Lead ship."

"Go ahead."

"Great Juza, I would..."

"Permission granted. Our great leader will want a report, Lassic fighter 12, I leave you in charge of the squad. Find that green thief and find our lord's torch!"

"Yes sir, but what about you?"

"I will deliver my report to Lord Lassic, and I'll also give him his prize," said Juza referring to the unconscious Raja. After saying that laughter could be heard over the radio from several of his men.

"With pleasure, Great Juza. I will not disappoint you."

"See that you don't."

With that Juza's ship left orbit.

The pilot smiled, "You'll regret stealing a ship from Michael Steiner green boy."

[an error occurred while processing this directive]