[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Chapter 9

Raja felt the pain in his chest. He opened his eyes and tried to sit up, but his boan sent a stream of pain down his body in order to tell him to stay down. But, he would have nothing to do with that. He started to stand up, but he was forced back down, not by the pain that his body now felt, but by the sheer force of a very powerful fist, and at the other end of the fist was an android that was no longer an android, but a powerful enemy.

"Who are you?" asked Raja weakly.

"Some call me Derren, but I think you remember me better as Dark Force."

Raja was already partially drained from the blood that he had already lost. But, after hearing this news, it just about killed him.

"You seem surprised. I thought that someone with your knowledge of legends and stories should know that I cannot be killed."

"But...those....are...j...just...stories," said Raja, getting weaker by the moment. In responce Dark Force just laughed in his face.

All of a sudden the dim lights brightened and the sound of energy being transfered from the cloaking devise to the shields and the weapons array.

"Ah, they've arrived," said Dark Force.

"Who?" asked Raja even though he already knew the answer, at least he was pretty sure of the answer.

"Ah, come on. You know."

Raja jsut laid back on the floor and stared at the ceiling.

"Yeah, that's what I thought. Come on," said Dark Force, picking up Raja. "You should be proud! You're going to help capture your former friends."

Raja tried to fight, but even if he didn't feel like he had just been run over by an Ice Digger, he still would have been no match for the Derren's strength.

"Why are you doing this?"

"They have a great dental plan. HaHaHa! And my father thinks I have no sense of humor."

"Yeah right," said Raja finding Dark Force's humor to be incredibly sick, "So who is your father anyway?"

"Wren," came the blunt responce.

"What? I heard that he and Demi were working on something, but..."

"Ha! Those two couldn't tell an assimite pipe from a hole in the roof. It's not like they cared anyway."

[Intresting. Interesting indeed. Perhaps I could use this.]

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

"I think that we are in deep trouble," said Chaz with a sigh.

"Maybe not," said Wren who was walking very slowly do to the power drain on his system from the ION Cannon.

"Wren!" said Tom, "I thought that you'd have shut down from that blast, considering it shorted everything else out."

"Normally, yes. But, we were just grazed by his shot. My back-up generator has an anti-ION field around it, that can sometimes prevent shut-down."

"Sometimes?" asked Rika.

"Yes. An ION charge is no laughing matter, if it's electonic, then chances are it will wither shut-down or short out."

"Does the Landale have such a devise?" asked Tom hopefully.

"Affermitive. I was just about to check on it," said Wren.

"And Demi?" asked Chaz.

"The ION blast went straight through the main control board and through her. She took quite a bit of damage."

"Hello over there," said Juza through the still working communicator," our instruments show that your comm system still works so answer."

Chaz stood up and walked over to the comm station. "O.K. Rika, Rune. Help Wren into the back and givve him any help he needs, if he says to do something, then do it."

"O.K."

"Sure."

"Tom."

"Yeah."

"Go into the cockpit, you're good with electonics, so see what you can do about about fixing the mess that's probably up there, and make sure that the power is turned off, if Wren gets that back-up generator working...."

"I get the idea, but what are you going to do?"

"Come on Landale, or do I have to just blow your ship up?"

"I'll do what I can to stall," and with that he turned on the communicator.

"I'm very sorry, but we aren't in right now."

"Oh, please. Save what's left of your honor," said Juza mockingly.

"Honor? Honor?! You slimy little low-life! You attack without provocation, you kidnap innocent and defenseless people and use them for sacrifices, and you have the NERVE TO TELL ME ABOUT HONOR!!!" said Chaz getting more and more anger with each breath he took.

"HaHaHaHa! Oh do calm down. I've been told that your blood pressure just ain't what it used to be."

"Oh yeah, and just who told you that?"

"I did," said Derren as he moves into view of the communicator.

"Derren," said Chaz angrily.

"Ah, you remember, let me see if you remember this face." He leaves view for a few moments. all the while Chaz getting worried at what Wren and Demi's creation was going to show him. And when Derren came back into view, Chaz's heart, practically leaped out of his chest. Derren was holding Raja by the throat.

"Raja," was all Chaz could get out. Yes, Juza was definately holding all of the cards, but Wren's back-up system may be their Ace-in-the-Hole.

"Chaz, don't listen to him. He's just going to kill us all in the long run," said Raja weakly.

"Shut up Old man," said Derren while he was hitting Raja.

Chaz was using all of his strength to stop himself from punching the screen in, but he just kept telling himself that that wouldn't do any good.

"All right, two can play at that game," said Chaz and then he stormed off to the cockpit.

"What's he doing?" asked Juza, but Derren kept quiet, because he had a feeling about what was coming up.

Then Chaz came back into view, dragging Demi, the other occupants of the Landale had stopped what they were doing to watch. Chaz pointed directly at Derren.

"All right Derren, take a look at this. Take a good hard look! This is your mother, by the Great Light. Look at what you've done!" shouted Chaz.

Juza laughed at what used to be Demi. But, he was the only one laughing. Even some of Juza underlings in teh other ships didn't laugh or even smile, and Derren just stared at her.

Demi just lay limp in Chaz's arms. There were several areas of her armor that were swinged from the shorted-out circuits. Her left shoulder got the worst of the short-outs, considering it was no longer there. It had completely blown off showing several exposed circuits and her left arm was on staying attached by what seemed like a few threads. Her hair was all singed, and sparks will still eminating from what was left of her right eye. Wren knew that the damamge could be repaired, but it might take a while.

"That damage..." started Derren.

"Is permanent! Wren has already told me that she is beyond repair." Chaz lied, "what do you think of that, huh? You are a murderer, not only that, but you've killed your own mother!"

"She's not..."

"You know that what he says make sense, don't you?" said Raja.

"Shut up!" shouted Derren hitting Raja so hard that he flew against the bulkhead with a thud.

Derren was starting to emerge and Dark Force was losing control. Juza was starting to notice this.

"Dark Force wake up!" shouted Juza slapping Derren.

[Dark Force? Had that thing somehow gotten a hold of Derren? This changes a few things]

"Derren! I know that you're still in there. Remember this! You did not kill your mother. Juza did."

Derren turned to look at Juza, hatred in his eyes.

"You pathetic little..."

"Derren." It was Wren, "Don't worry, my son. We can pull through this together."

Wren using the word 'son' was all that was needed. Derren now completely regained control of himself.

"By the Light, what have I done?" said Derren.

"Yes!" said Tom and Rika at the same time.

"I knew that using you was a bad idea. Negatis!"

"Oh no," said Wren.

Derren felt that same surge of pain as the Negatis technique surges through his system. He could fell his systems overloading, and his life started flashing before his eyes. He saw his mother's smile working with his programs, he saw his father scolding him for writing on the walls on Zelan during his adolensence stage of development. His eyes turned and he saw Juza smiling evilly at him.

"If I have to die, then so do you!" said Derren.

Derren grabbed Juza by the throat and then stuck his hand into a power outlet and an overwhelming powersurge went through Derren, but since he was holding onto Juza, it was going through him as well.

"Derren!" shouted Wren.

"Got it!" shouted Rune.

All of a sudden, the Landale came to life as the back-up generators kicked in.

"The circitry in the pilots side is fixed, but the co-pilots side received too much damage," said Tom.

"I'll only need the one side," said Wren.

Derren's shuttle that was still docked with Juza's ship seperated where is was attached.

On the comm screen Derren and Juza were both in a lot of pain with all of the electricity that was flowing through both people then the screen went blank. They looked outside and Juza's ship exploded from the overload.

"Derren," said Wren the emotional pain that he was feeling was very apparent.

The comm screen came to life. It was Raja in Derren's shuttle.

"I think that now would be a good time to leave." said Raja "I couldn't agree more," said Chaz, "Wren, believe me, I know how you feel, but we need to get out of here, now."

"I'm alright," said Wren reverting to his former self, "Let's go."

Tom went over to the weapons display, it seemed to be unharmed and it still had some charge left in the battery, most of the bursts had been useless because of that ION blast, but it still had two good shots left. Tom saw the ships form up and he saw that six ships were close to each other in three by three formation with one ship in the lead and two in stand-by position. Tom aimed the battery for the two lead ships. He had to make these shots count. He fired once. KA-BOOM! It was a direct hit. The explosion also took out the ship on the right causing it to explode as well. The left ship was spared, but it went spinning out of control and it hit one of the other ships, neither were destoyed, but neither of them were any good.

"All right Tom!" said Rika very enthusiasticly.

"Thanks."

Tom aimed for the other one, he fired....and missed. They were expecting it this time and moved out of the way. Then they armed their forward batteries. They weren't about to let the murderers of their leader, the Great Juza, get away. BOOM! The ship on the left exploded, but it didn't really effect the other two.

"Where....?"

"It's Raja! I didn't think that little shuttle that we found had any weapons on it," said Chaz.

"Well guess what short-stuff, it does," said Rune.

"Enough."

"Alright. that does it, NOW can we leave," said Raja.

"Where did you learn how to fly?" asked Tom.

"I'm not," said Raja.

"What?" asked Rune, Rika, Tom, and Chaz all at the same time.

"I am," said Wren.

Both ships then turned and headed towards the Air Castle. One thing was for sure: Lassic's fleet wouldn't be bothering anyone for a long, long time, if ever.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]