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Chapter 8

The Dezorian awoke with a very large headache. He opened his eyes, but nothing seemed to come into focus. He looked around, as if that might help, but nothing he seemed to do helped. He was having trouble remembering anything. What had happened? Where was he? Who was he? His mind raced with possibilities. He seemed to be lying down in a bed of an isolated room. Did he have some sort of fatal disease? Was he in isolation? He was starting to panic. He tried to scream for help, but all that came out was a barely audible sound. He felt a weird sensation in his stomach, a pain that didn't really hurt. He tried to feel his stomach, but then he came to the shocking realization that he couldn't. He had no feeling at all in his body. He tried to get up, but it was useless. Whatever his condition was, he was in no condition to do anything about it. A memory surged in his mind, three cloaked figures, and then as quickly as it had appeared, it was gone.

Someone walked in. His eyes refused to cooperate with him. He tried to get up or at least ask this person some questions, maybe get him some answers to his current situation.

"Huh? Oh! I see that you're awake now. I must say, you did give us all a scare there. You must have been out in the blizzard for hours. And by the condition of your clothes I would say that you had a battle with a bio-monster.... and lost."

He tried looking around, he was still in somewhat of a panic, he couldn't remember ever being this helpless. Then again, he couldn't remember much of anything.

"Please relax. My name is Sarah. I am the head apprentice to TemLe Kyra here at the Esper Mansion," said the woman in such a warm and soothing voice that even the Profound Darkness would have calmed down upon hearing it.

He was beginning to calm down now. And that did answer some of his questions. He must have been found by a Half-Esper, whatever that was. He also remembered hearing of a TemLe.....That's it! TemLe meant TEMporary LEader of the Espers at the mansion. A being of great power and importance wasn't always here, so a TemLe would always be assigned. WHAM!! The door that had opened in his mind that was letting all of this information out had just shut on him. He was in the dark again.

"I see your eyes have been effected by your length of time in the cold, or Cold Stroke as its more commonly called. Here this will help......" said Sarah in her soothing voice.

She seemed to be gathering her inner strength.

"Medice!"

The Dezorian felt a warm sensation all over his body and some of the feeling came back, but then it faded away. His eyes focused slowly and the Cave Mole that was living in his throat disappeared.

"Thank you," he said in a rough voice.

"Please, don't try to speak. I wish I could do more, but Cold Stroke is a very serious thing. You have to be treated one step at a time or else face VERY serious problems. But, don't worry TemLe Kyra will return soon, her healing powers will make your recovery all the more quicker. By the way, do you have a name?" asked Sarah.

"I...I...can't remember."

"Don't worry. Amnesia is a common side effect to Cold Stroke. Your memory will completely return in time," said Sarah in that same soothing voice, the Dezorian felt like he could trust her with his life, as do most people who have met Sarah. "Now get some rest," and with that she left. She then walked into her study and pulled out a medical journal. "Just as I feared," she said to herself, "amnesia and Cold Stroke are not related." She then contacted TemLe Kyra to tell her what had happened.

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"Charles?" asked Rika.

Chaz turned and faced Rika giving her his full attention. She only used his full name when it was something of great importance. The last time he could remember Rika use his full name was when he had preposed to her, wait no the last was when he had forgotten their anniversary. Chaz sometimes felt he was still in the doghouse, because of that, even though it had happened nearly four years ago.

"I didn't forget again? Did I?" asked Chaz.

Rika giggled. "No, silly. But, I do have something that I need to tell you."

"What?" asked Chaz sounding and feeling VERY concerned.

"Oh, it's nothing like that. Well, it might be something like that, but if you think about..."

"Rika! Perhaps if you just told me what's on your mind."

"Huh? Oh, sure. The fact of the matter is..." Rika hesitated.

"Is?" asked Chaz getting more and more worried.

"Well, I'm..."

Wren's voice come over the speaker of Zelan. They had to stop there to refuel and do some minor repairs from the Sandworm attack that they couldn't have done on Motavia.

"Everyone, the ship is ready. Let's go." If there was any concern for Derren, he seemed to be hiding it well.

"What were you saying?" asked Chaz.

"As I was saying, I'm..."

Rune peaked his head into their room. "Come on you two love birds, didn't you hear Wren, we gotta go."

[Perfect timing Rune] thought Chaz, he somehow had the feeling that he waiting around the corner hoping to just pop in at the wrong time. If so, he was successful.

"Rika?"

"It can wait."

Chaz didn't seem to like that answer, but it would have to do. "All right. Let's go." It's not like he had a choice anyway. Whatever important news Rika wanted to share with him, she would tell him when he was ready.

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Rajim saw the cave entrance in the distance. He felt a sense of relief, He had lost quite a bit of blood from the crash. Then, he heard something, he dove behind a rock, and crouched.

[Wait a second. What am I doing? I dove from a sound? If Raja saw me like this...]

KABOOM!!

Part of the mountain not even five yards beside was no longer there.

[Well, I guess that just goes to show you. Always trust your instincts.]

"Hey, freakshow," shouted Micheal Steiner, who had been tracking since the crash-site.

"Look who's talking!" shouted Rajim.

KABOOM!

"I've got about twenty more Palm Grenades, so if I were you I'd shut up and listen. I have been sent by the Great Juza to follow you, now that I know where the Musk Cat Cave is, I can eliminate those pesky furballs. And I owe it all to you. Just so you can feel guilty. Now, say goodnight Gracy!"

"I don't think so!" came a bellowing voice that eminated from behind Rajim.

Rajim turned around and his jaw nearly hit the snow. There standing, no flying in front of him was a VERY large cat...with wings. And under him was about twenty well armed Musk Cats, all of them were growling. Michael wasn't surprised, he had heard all about these dispicable felines. He aimed his blaster and fired, but all of them moved away from were he was aiming with remarkable speed. They were on Micheal almost instantly. He tried to struggle, but it was no good.

"Get off of me you furry little..."

He didn't say anything after that, because the Musk Cat that was on top of him had slashed at his head, it wasn't enough to kill him, but he wouldn't be ready to sing and dance once he woke up.

{Elder, we have beaten the intruder, but but didn't kill him as you have requested} said one of the Musk Cats in their language, {What about the other?}

Rajim got up feeling the attention was now on him. "Can you speak me language?" he asked diplomatically. He felt that this needed to be important, if he could convince them of the peace that was now on Dezolis, then maybe he could get the Musk Cats to rejoin society the way the Espers were now starting to do. But, then again he just lead a killer to their lair. Nice start!

"We speak your language Deso," said one of the Musk Cats.

"Easy Ricto," said another.

"Ricto is right," said Rajim "I lead that" pointing at Micheal "to your home."

Ricto's expression lightened. "I'm sorry. My mate is in the final stages of labor, but being in Hunters Class puts me in this situation. Besides, I can almost feel the good in you. You didn't send this thing," said Ricto kicking Micheal.

The Elder flew down to Rajim. "Come, you must rest in our warm cave."

"Thank you. I have much that I need to tell you," said Rajim, "oh, and by the way, my name is Rajim."

"A pleasure," said the Elder.

"What about him?" asked Rajim gesturing towards Micheal.

"I was wondering the same thing?" said one of the Musk Cats.

"Leave him," said the Elder, "make the cave look like we had caused a cave in. When he regains consciousness he will see the cave, and he'll think we have moved on, when it fact we have not. Gozt, give our friend there a trimate for his wound."

"Yes Elder," he does so.

"Good, now Rajim give your bloody cloth to Titarno, he is standing directly on your left. Good. Now Titarno, take that cloth and lead a bloody trail of to on of the mountain passes, find one of the empty boxes that are up there and leave the cloth and an empty medicine bottle there."

"Consider it done."

"Ingenious," said Rajim.

"That's why he's our leader," said one of the Musk Cats.

"Now, Rajim, please come inside. We have a lot to discuss."

"Indeed."

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No one said anything in the Landale. But, one thing was clear. Everyone wasn't looking forward to the encounter that was ahead. Then the silence was broken.

The ship rocked time and again as the Lassic's ships had decloaked and started to attack the Landale.

"What's going on?!" asked Chaz.

"We're under attack stupid!!" shouted Rune.

Chaz gave Rune a cold stare while Rune just chuckled at what he thought was a funny comment.

"This is no time for that!" said Rika.

"What do you mean they just appeared?" said Wren.

"Just that. They must have some sort of cloaking technology."

"Alright. Everybody hold on."

Wren was glued to the controls. He flanked left, then dived down, and then flew right between two ships. The one that was right behind them was caught off guard by that maneuver that he went into a flat spin and flew right into his wingman. Both ships exploded into a very impressive fireball.

"Nice," said Tom.

Tom then got up and moved over to one of the controls and started to aim the rear lasers that ere on the Landale. He aimed and fired. Direct hit.

"Nice shooting," said Chaz.

But then the Landale received a massive volley of firepower from the other ships. The Landale was just simply outnumbered and outgunned. Juza's ship then came right at them at took aim. WHAM!! Juza had fired the ION Cannon that was on his ship, he was the only ship that was large enough to have such a weapon. The ION Cannon was a special weapon that neutralized all electrical activity on any given target. Wren realized what Juza had fired on them. He backed away from the circuitry, but Demi wasn't quick enough. The ionization went through Landale like a knife through butter. Fortunately the ion beam had only grazed them, but it still served it's purpose. All of the newly repaired circuitry had either gone dead or shorted out. And just by luck, the board that Tom was standing in front of just died. Demi however wasn't quite so lucky. The ion beam had gone completely through her system shorting out most of her circuitry. Wren had only been partially effected, and his back-up systems were already kicking in.

The communicator as well as the life support systems were heavily protected, and so they still worked, although with what everybody heard they almost wish it HAD been shorted out with the rest of the ship.

"Hello, this is the Great Juza. I would highly advise surrender right at this moment. HaHaHaHa!!"

Chaz looked around at the mess that Juza had created. "Ah, guys I do believe that we are in just a little bit of trouble."

"No kidding," said Rune with a sudden feeling of dread.

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