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Chapter Twelve

Rune sat a the pilot controls of the shuttle. The small ship bounced around a little as the atmosphere rushed over the outer hull. Alys sat at the copilot controls. She marveled at the sights of space travel. Although she had been to Dezolis before, she had never traveled in space. The travel technique Star Step did not let you see the void through which you traveled.

The shuttle passed through some thick clouds as it descended. As soon as the clouds washed away the landscape of Motavia became clear. Though most of the planet was desert, it had many small green patches that pocked it's sandy surface. Some of these patches of green had towns and people. Thanks to her and Rune, Chaz became a warrior that had saved them all. Most of the population would never know of what he and his friends had done for them.

Alys scanned the surface of the planet looking for Zema. She felt the shuttle roll slightly to its left. She looked at Rune. They had been on course and he had turned the craft away from Zema. Granted the shift in course was only marginal.

"What is it, Rune?"

Runes eyes were fixed at a space a few miles from Zema. The closer they got to the planet's surface, the harder he seemed to stare.

"The scanner picked up some movement. It looked to be non biological. I think we should check it out. It could just be a Motavian caravan, but I doubt it."

Alys began to stare at the spot that held Rune's attention. As they drew closer she could see glints of metal reflecting light. And slowly the glints seemed to move towards Zema.

Suddenly Rune shifted the shuttle back to its original heading and pushed the throttle forward. Alys caught a glimpse of what demanded his speed just before the view was lost from the view port. A small army of robots transporting large weapons.

"How long before we Reach Zema?"

"Only a few minutes. Twenty at the most."

* * * * *

The chemical light that Hahn held in his hand continued to burn brightly. The orange glow drove away the shadows as they continued down the spiral staircase. Hahn felt that if he walked in circles much longer he would become ill. He doubted that Wren would appreciate that since he was in front of him.

Kyra Was following Hahn. She scanned her surroundings casually. The spiral stairs were surrounded by heavy metal wall. She could not see anything but her comrades and the step under her feet. It was the sound of Wrens footsteps that told her he had touched the floor. Upon exiting the stairway every one took up a defensive position expecting an attack.

The Stairs emptied into a room roughly forty meters by thirty. Unlike the rest of the facility, this room was in excellent condition. To most in the group the room seemed as clean as a surgical chamber.

Built into the far wall was an interface terminal. Hahn looked at it and noticed it had no power running to it. The view screen was blank with no hope of flickering to life. Wren walked over to the system and stared at it intently.

"So," Hahn began, "What now?"

"I shall activate the system and see if Seed transferred to the storage module."

Niya stamped her foot in mild aggravation.

"Wren, the system has no power. How can you activate it?"

Wren grabbed his right hand with his left. Small snap-clicks could be heard coming from his arm. Suddenly his right hand detached from his wrist. He then shoved the now handless limb into some sort of interface jack.

"I shall power it from my own power system."

The system jumped to life almost immediately. Wren used his left hand to type in information requests.

"Excellent. Seed did transfer his programming and experience to the storage module."

Wren typed a few more lines of data. A panel clicked open near the terminal. Inside the wall compartment was a glass container filled with a bluish liquid.

Kyra stepped forward and looked at the container. "Is this the Storage module, Wren?"

"Yes."

Kyra gently removed the container from its resting place. Wren was about to disconnect from the interface terminal when something caught his attention. He scanned the view screen and called up more data.

"What is it, Wren," Hahn asked.

"Apparently there is more here than Seed's conscientiousness."

A much larger panel opened on the adjacent wall. Inside was what appeared to be a large robot. Wren walked over to the machine and examined it. He looked at it for a moment and then looked at each of his comrades in turn.

"Kyra, you will have to pilot this out."

"ME??!!"

"Yes. This is a battle suit that was designed for Demi. It is very simple to operate."

Wren punched a button on the side of the battle suit and it opened. The inner compartment would just barely be large enough for Kyra. Sometimes being the smallest in the group was not the best thing.

* * * * *

Chaz was busy paying for the supplies he and his family needed when Orus came running into the store. Chaz noted that Orus was markedly excited and had a broad grin on his face.

"Dad, it's them," He quickly stated. "It's Alys and Rune. The shuttle just came into view."

Chaz told the clerk to deliver the supplies to their room at the inn. He then paid an extra handful of mesetas for the service and followed Orus outside. It had been nearly three days since Rune and his daughter had left for Dezolis. He was anxious to see them both.

Chaz made it outside just in time to see the shuttle touch down. He waited impatiently for the boarding ramp to lower. He could not wait to see his daughter and Rune again.

The boarding ramp extended and the hatch opened with a hiss. Rune came bounding down the ramp at a quick lope.

"Chaz," Rune called. "There is a small army of robots heading this way and they are carrying what looks like some pretty major weaponry."

Chaz instantly put aside the emotions he had for a warm reunion. His mind switched to a tactical mode.

"Which way are they coming from?"

"They are about four miles to the North."

Chaz cursed under his breath. With Wren, Hahn, Kyra, and Niya still in the Ruins they were severely undermanned for a large battle.

"Chaz," called a voice not heard in nearly twenty years.

Chaz froze with shock. He looked to the shuttle hatch and saw Alys Brangwin. She was dressed in full battle uniform. Her slashers were hanging at her side.

"Alys?"

"Been a long time Chaz."

Chaz ran up the ramp and hugged Alys fiercely. Alys had to fight to breathe because Chaz hugged her so hard.

"I love the welcome, Chaz, but we have to get ready for a rough battle."

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