Well folks, here it is, the sequel to my hit story Freedom Planet: The Christmas Raid! It'll be taking more plot threads from the game and featuring some more familiar elements than I did in the Christmas Raid.
And also, the return of Lord Brevon! ;)
Prologue: A Dragon's Nightmare
Lilac the Dragon Girl could hardly believe what had happened to her.
One moment she had been infiltrating an insidious base located on the outskirts of Jade Creek. Sitting just at the end of the long flowing river was a metallic base that supposedly housed the madman that she and her friends had been trying to find and take down. He was not of Avalician origin, he was as alien to them as their friend Torque was, the difference being that he was not the nice man that Torque was. He was described as very dangerous and above all, a total powerhouse with a huge army and a total disregard for life other than his own. He had crash-landed on Avalice and was stealing the Kingdom Stone to use it for his own needs. Lilac and her two friends Carol the Wildcat and Milla the Hound had teamed up with Torque to get the stone back. Without the stone, Avalice would have no energy left to survive so it was compulsory that they got it back. On their quest though, Torque had been captured by the madman's forces and Lilac had come to this very base to save him.
Now…she was the one who needed saving. And desperately. She had ended up face-to-face with the man who had stolen the Kingdom Stone. Only describing him as a man would be entirely false. More like a monster out of a child's nightmare. His name was Lord Brevon and upon seeing him, Lilac's reaction had been nothing short of pure shock and horror. He was a huge, muscular green alien with fearsome red eyes, heavy orange and silver armour and a flowing brown cape that seemed to make him appear even larger. The only non-threatening thing about his appearance was his abnormally large unibrow, perched ridiculously between his eyes but the rest of him was so fearsome that Lilac hadn't even paid attention to them. The furious dragon had tried to take down Brevon. But instead, she had been taken down in one hit. The alien moved faster than she could have anticipated and had strength beyond what she had seen before. After being beaten, the galactic warlord and taken Lilac to his torture chamber and had strapped her to a blood-red iron bed with clamps around her neck, wrists and ankles. There were wires attached to the bed and a glass casing sealed Lilac in. Even if the Avalician somehow broke free of the bed, she would still be trapped. There was a hole above her with three metal prongs jutting out from it. Was something supposed to come out and hit her? Lilac didn't want to know. The dragon also noticed that her trademark tendrils had been severed. Brevon was obviously a man who didn't leave anything to chance. She had used them to take down his forces…well not anymore. The severed tendrils lay draped on an iron rail near the bed she was fastened to, dripping with blood. Her eyes opened up and she saw the cause of Avalice's political conflicts and the shattering of its fragile peace…Lord Brevon himself. He was at a computer though he seemed to somehow know that his prisoner was awake. Without turning around, he spoke in his menacing, growling voice to her.
"Why do you fight?" he demanded.
The dragon decided not to answer that question. She closed her eyes again, pretending to still be asleep. Brevon wasn't fooled.
"I know you're awake. Answer the question! Why do you fight?!" Brevon repeated, his tone a lot more serious.
There was something not quite real about his voice. It was the kind of voice that somehow made any word he said sound like a threat. He truly was as alien as they came. Deciding not to keep up the pretence anymore, Lilac answered the alien's question.
"For my friends. I'll do whatever it takes to keep them safe from freaks like you!" the dragon spat venomously.
Surprisingly, the nefarious warlord didn't seem perturbed by the insult. It was as if Lilac hadn't said a word at all. His response was a menacing cackle before he delivered his answer.
"Keep them safe?" he sneered, "Every move you've made has put them DIRECTLY in harm's way. Destroying our property, assisting our sworn enemies, attempting sabotage against our mission which, by the way, has NOTHING to do with your world. We're leaving this barbaric planet behind as soon as our ship is repaired."
The dragon wasn't entirely sure if Brevon was lying or not. For somebody who claimed that his mission had "Nothing to do with her world", he seemed very much interested in Avalice. Especially the Kingdom Stone. It made Lilac sick to think that somebody could dare paint his own mission that way.
"You forgot the part where you took our Kingdom Stone!" the dragon retorted, "Where you ruined years of peace between my people and put thousands in danger!"
"An unfortunate side effect yes…but I wouldn't have resorted to such drastic measures if you had the common sense to stay out of our affairs!" Brevon snapped viciously, "Thanks to YOU, your companions are in more danger than ever."
What truly made Lilac feel nervous about that statement wasn't just the thought of her friends in more peril than before, but the sheer and utter confidence in Brevon's voice. He delivered his lines as if he held all the cards and that he was on top of the game. And as far as Lilac knew, the warlord very likely was on top of the game. Terrible images filled her head, images of her friends suffering grievously and possibly dying all around her. Was it all her fault? Had she endangered them all just by wanting to do the right thing? Maybe staying out of it all might have been wiser after all. Brevon smirked at his prisoner's frightened face.
"Allow me to show you the consequences of your stupidity." he crowed.
The huge alien turned around and pressed a button on the keyboard to the computer he had been standing by the whole time. What was Brevon intending to show her? Lilac was cautiously curious as a nearby shutter opened up and revealed a surprising sight for her. In another room but able to see her thanks to the open shutter before him was the captured Torque! The alien's arms were spread out beside him with heavy iron cuffs keeping them in place. There were two of Brevon's minions standing guard beside him. They were hideous aliens with one eye and encased in an armour that had green liquid swirling around their heads, presumably to keep them alive or to feed them in some way. Torque's eyes widened in horror at the sight of Lilac restrained and in Brevon's power. The alien had developed a fondness for the dragon and her friends and knowing that his enemy was as dangerous as they could get, the mere sight of Lilac in trouble made him feel very afraid for her.
"Lilac!" Torque blurted in horror.
"I had to do something!" Lilac shrieked back at her friend.
"Answers commander. Give them to me." Brevon purred menacingly, his malevolent voice resonating in the commander's ears and making him shudder.
Torque was in torment. He didn't know what to do. Having been in this situation many times before, he was never sure whether giving in to the demanding question was a good idea anymore. He could easily tell Brevon what he wanted but any information to Brevon could be dangerous. He knew that the alien was very smart, so smart in fact that his intelligence alone had given him his fearsome reputation. Brevon truly proved that the brain was the deadliest weapon anybody could wield. On the other hand, Torque knew that the wrong decision could get him and Lilac killed, maybe Lilac before him. Having to watch her die was the worst thing that he could go through. Lilac was only sixteen, far too young to die at Brevon's hands. He couldn't let it happen. But he couldn't let Brevon get his way either. The armour-clad alien narrowed his eyes at his prisoner.
"Don't be a fool. You know how far I'll go to get the information I need." he snarled.
The green-skinned alien knew full well what Brevon meant. He had seen it many times before and was likely about to see it again. But even if he caved in, Brevon might torture Lilac anyway. No matter what Torque thought, the choices he had swimming in his head seemed to be the wrong ones. Lilac, despite her fear, seemed willing to let whatever was about to happen to her happen. Lilac was the kind of person who'd stake her life on the line then let the enemy get what he or she wanted.
"Don't tell him anything!" she pleaded.
Torque lowered his head and closed his eyes, seeming to confide with Lilac's pleads. But in his heart, he knew that it wouldn't do either of them a bit of good. Though he supposed it would be better to take whatever secrets he had to his grave. Brevon smirked at Torque wickedly, his hideous face somehow looking even uglier with that single smirk.
"Very well. Don't say I didn't warn you." he sneered.
Without another word, the sadistic world-conqueror turned a switch on the computer's keypad. As he turned around to witness what was about to happen, a sinister whirring sound filled his prisoner's ears. Lilac's heart stopped. What was going to happen to her now? Never in her life had she been so scared. Then suddenly the whirring sound stopped and there was a nasty silence. A very brief nasty silence. Then it happened. Before Lilac knew what was happening, a giant streak of blue lightening shot down from the top of Lilac's glass prison and hit her like a punch to the face. The dragon howled in agony as electricity coursed through her veins. She was in total agony. The lightening streak attacked every inch of her body and began tearing away at her skin. Brevon watched, clearly enjoying what he was doing to the insolent girl who had the gall to get in his way. She deserved this and he was happy to be giving her what she deserved. Torque's head raised and his eyes shot open as he saw what he had been dreading happening before him. Lilac's screams made his heart ache with grief and his eyes began to feel hot with tears that wanted to fall down his face. How could he let this happen to an innocent girl like her? He should have given in to Brevon's demands and spared Lilac the agony she was going through. As Lilac's howls got louder, the alien finally cracked.
"I'm the last one! There's no one else left! There, you happy?!" spat Torque angrily.
The electricity stopped and Lilac was given one precious moment to breathe. She didn't seem too damaged by the ordeal though she could still feel the crackling electricity in her veins. Brevon grinned. How pathetic these heroes were. The moment their friend gets hurt, they suddenly pour out the answers like water from a running tap. Why did the morally good constantly waste their emotions on pointless things such as love and compassion for others? Didn't they know that all that did was make them weak and easy to exploit? Sentimentality was something he never understood and Brevon was glad he didn't understand it. He would be as weak as his enemies otherwise. Brevon then turned around to his computer and turned the switch again. Torque's eyes widened so much that he swore they were going to leap out of his sockets.
"I'M TELLING THE TRUTH!" he protested.
Brevon ignored him as the eerie whirring of the machine started up again and Lilac found herself receiving another round of electric-torture. Once again, the dragon howled in pain as she was brutally electrocuted. It was much worse the second time around for the pains of the first time were with her. Her pained body screamed in protest to the horrible electric shock that coursed through her veins. It got even worse though for as the shocks carried on, Lilac's skin began to blacken in areas and the strand of hair over her eye ended up disintegrating into nothing but strands of blackened skin. Torque could only watch helplessly. Lilac didn't deserve this hell. How could he have dragged her into this? Why hadn't he convinced her to stay out of it? She could be back at home safe and sound without this horror happening to her now! Brevon switched the machine off and allowed Lilac the pleasure of resting from the torture. The dragon gasped and panted, relieved that the torture was over. Her scaly skin had charred and blackened, her face and horns being the only parts that still retained her proper colours. She looked terrible. Her beauty had been snatched away by two single jolts of lightening fired upon her by a single, horrible alien with a terrible way of life. Lilac not only looked terrible, she felt absolutely rotten. She could barely remain conscious due to how much pain she was in. But she was more disgusted at how she had allowed herself to be subjected to this. Why hadn't she been more careful? How could she have let Brevon take her out so easily? Brevon smiled at Torque, briefly ignoring the charred prisoner he had just been torturing.
"That's nice to know, but I was more interested in your resolve." Brevon replied, "You crack easily, it seems."
So that was it. Brevon had mostly tortured Lilac for his own sadistic pleasure. And seeing Torque's reaction had just made it even better for him. The alien couldn't believe that he had given Brevon such satisfaction. He lowered his head in shame as the alien walked over to Lilac, his heavy metal feet making an ominous clanking sound that seemed to spell doom with every step he took. He observed Lilac, pleased with what he had done to her. She wouldn't be of any use to his enemy now in this terrible state. With a sadistic smile, he spoke to the blackened dragon.
"And this one…I have a funny feeling about you." he snorted "I bet I could hack at your limbs all day and you'd STILL find a way to bite back."
He had seen many people like Lilac before, he knew what they were like and how they worked.
"I'LL DO MORE THAN THAT YOU MONSTER!" Lilac shrieked at the top of her voice.
It was as if she knew those were the last words she would ever speak and she wanted Brevon to remember them until the day he died. But the words had no effect on the alien warlord. It was as if he hadn't even taken them into consideration.
"When we've lured the rest of your group into our hands, you'll be at the top of our execution list." the alien growled menacingly…
Sash Lilac sat up in her bed and opened her eyes, screaming loudly as her nightmare ended. The purple-skinned dragon allowed herself to pant for a moment as she took in what had just happened. She felt her pounding heart and replayed the events of her nightmare. She had been brutally tortured for Brevon's sick amusement and to make Torque crack. The experience had been traumatizing and though she still remained optimistic and carefree, the whole scene still haunted her like the bad memory it was. On many occasions Lilac had dreamt about her horrible experiences in Brevon's torture room. And the dreams were all the same, horrible and a painful reminder on what had happened to her all those months ago. It had happened a long time ago but Lilac felt that it may as well have happened yesterday. The dragon sighed, her heartbeat now slower and her breathing more controlled.
"Phew…thank goodness…just a nightmare…" the dragon whispered to herself, "That's all it was…and all it'll ever be."
She lay back down, her head sinking gently into the pillow. She was lying on the top bunk of her bunk bed with her best friend Carol Tea snoozing peacefully beneath her. The reptilian girl could still hear the feline girl's snoring underneath her. She hadn't woken her up. That was good. Lilac knew that Carol HATED having her sleep disturbed. The dragon closed her eyes, hoping she could relax again. But the nightmare had made it harder for her to fall back asleep. She wasn't sure if she would even be able to now.
It had been three months since Christmas had come and gone. It was now March and Spring was beginning to blossom over the world of Avalice. During that faithful December, Lilac and her friends had foiled The Christmas Raid, a nefarious plan carried out by the leader of the Red Scarves herself, Natalya. The dragon girl had once been part of the Red Scarves along with her green-furred companion but a murder committed by Spade the Panda had given them all the reasons in the world to leave Natalya and the Red Scarves for good. Killing was the one line they wouldn't cross and they refused to be associated with murderers. Then came last December and they had ended up tangling with their former crime boss again. Natalya had subdued the two traitors, as well as their new friend Milla the Hound, and forced them to rejoin the Red Scarves for her precious plan to rule all of Avalice. Her ambitions had become her own undoing for Lilac, Carol and Milla had fought against Natalya and won. The Christmas Raid had been ruined and the Red Scarves had been locked up. Natalya however had vanished before she could even be punished, as had Spade so the two were still on the loose and had been for the past three months. Surprisingly, even though Natalya's injuries should have healed by now, Lilac hadn't run into her again. It was as if Natalya had been practicing "How Not To Be Seen" and it was working. That hadn't been good for Lilac at all. The anxious dragon had had nightmares about her too, worried that at some point, she was going to come back and kill her. One nightmare had involved Natalya killing her in her sleep. She worried that it could happen and she'd be powerless to stop her. But it hadn't happened, there was nothing to worry about.
Lilac thought back to meeting Natalya again last year. She had been surprised and disgusted at how sick and twisted the woman was, more so than she had remembered. It made her feel sick to think she had once worked for her. But what had been the most surprising thing about Natalya was the fact that she had turned out to be a dragon herself. Lilac had been gobsmacked. She remembered all too well how she had kicked the evil woman's helmet clean off her head and exposed her for the first time. She had never expected her to be a dragon. But it made sense considering Natalya's fascination with them and how the evil dragon considered the very race to be special given they had blessed Avalice with their Kingdom Stone and inspired the three kingdoms that the Avalicians took refuge in today. Lilac did consider herself to be special since she was a dragon, but not in the way Natalya did. She was special for more reasons than being a dragon and fighting for something special was more special to her than being a dragon. Despite hating Natalya, the teenage Avalician actually felt sorry for her in one aspect. If only she could see that being a dragon wasn't an excuse to consider herself greater than everybody else. She could have been VERY special but she was wasting her special gifts on petty crime and hatred. Lilac wished the woman could see things her way and that Avalice wasn't just a kingdom to rule. Unable to fall back asleep, Lilac sat up again. Brevon and Natalya were both on her mind now and she knew that she needed a way to get them out of her mind.
"Maybe a little fresh air will help…" the dragon mused to herself.
She climbed out of bed, allowing her bare feet to carry her to the floor. The wooden floor felt cold against her skin but her feet were soon warm again as she slipped her trademark boots on. Glancing over at the still sleeping Carol, she walked away from the bed and slipped out through the bedroom door, keeping as quiet as possible. But Carol had heard her. The sound of Lilac climbing out of bed had disturbed her and Carol had opened her eyes just as the bedroom door closed. Curious, the wildcat climbed out of her bunk and pulled on her shoes. What was Lilac doing up at this time of night? Carol had NEVER seen Lilac get out of bed so early before, and she had been living with Lilac for a long time. The feline tomboy sneaked out of the bedroom and saw that Lilac had gone through the door at the other end of the corridor and onto the balcony. She, Lilac and the Basset family (Milla and her parents Miguel and Lela) lived up in a treehouse, which Lilac had built herself. The house had two floors with the bedrooms on the upper floor. Outside, perched above the front door of the bottom floor, was a balcony. Lilac was now standing in the balcony and observing the beautiful, starry night sky up above. The dragon only did this if she was troubled. Carol shook her head sadly. She hated seeing Lilac looking troubled. What was on her best friend's mind? Coral just had to know. She walked up behind Lilac, the dragon's attention focused on only the night sky. Judging by how dark it was, it must be midnight. There was hours to go before morning. The moon shone, its soft, luminous glow making the sky less dark. Lilac was staring at it as if hoping to find an answer to her problems.
"Lilac? Are…are you alright?" Carol asked worriedly.
Lilac gasped in alarm and turned around, relieved that it was just Carol who had said that.
"Oh phew…it's just you Carol. Sorry, I was miles away for a moment." the female dragon said.
"I heard you getting out of bed and I wondered where you was going so I looked for you and found you here." explained Carol, "What's the matter Lilac? You worried about something?"
"What makes you think I'm worried Carol?" Lilac asked as if the question was a stupid one to ask.
"You NEVER come out here unless you're worried about something." said Carol with concern in her voice, "Please Lilac, tell your best friend what's up. I hate it when you're worried."
Lilac nodded. She knew it was mean of her to try and ignore her friend's concern and pretend nothing was the matter. Sighing, she leaned back against the wooden rail and answered.
"I had a nightmare." the dragon murmured.
"Was it Natalya or Brevon?" asked Carol.
She had experienced most of Lilac's nightmares. It had gotten to a point she now knew that it was either about one or the other.
"Brevon." replied Lilac, "I was back in his torture chamber and reliving the events of last year again. Brevon's smug face, Torque's worried face, the horrible torture I went through and his threat of executing me atop of everybody else. That moment was so horrible! I can't get it out of my mind…"
"Oh Lilac, you've had that nightmare so many times before, you know that it's in the past now. No biggie." said Carol casually, "It's never gonna happen again my friend. Please don't worry about it anymore."
"I'm sorry Carol but it was just such a horrible moment that…it's hard to keep it out of my mind." Lilac said solemnly, "I'm trying to forget about it but…bad memories are harder to get rid of than you think. It's like trying to clean a permanent stain…a task that's near impossible to accomplish."
Carol nodded agreeably.
"Yeah…sometimes it's hard for me to forget about the terrible day Spade crossed our line…" the wildcat muttered bitterly, "Yeah…I know what you mean Lilac."
"Glad you do Carol." the dragon replied softly, "But it's not just Brevon who's on my mind a lot these days. I worry about Natalya too."
"Why are you worried about her? She's a demon in dragon's clothing! I hope we never see her again." the wildcat said with a scowl.
"It's not in the way you think Carol." Lilac said, a slight tone of anger in her voice, "I mean in the sense that like Brevon, she got away before she could suffer any punishment. Brevon got away after I half-beat him to death and so has Natalya. So now I worry about seeing either of those two again. Brevon might come to Avalice for revenge and Natalya might be hunting me down right now. Brevon hasn't been seen in months I know and Natalya hasn't been seen since Christmas Eve…but it could still happen that either one of them comes back for us. Or worse…what if we end up fighting them BOTH? I don't think I can bear with a thought like that! Brevon and Natalya on their own are bad enough but if they were together…I think that would be the end of us."
The horrible image began to piece itself inside Lilac's head. Brevon was a sadistic world-conquering warlord and Natalya was a cold-hearted dragon with a criminal streak. If they ever joined forces or anything along those lines, Avalice could well be in its darkest hour. Carol could see the fear in Lilac's face. Pretty much, the dragon girl had made two VERY big enemies so it was perfectly normal for her to be worried about them joining forces or encountering them both at the same time. And she agreed with Lilac, it would be Zero Hour for them all if Brevon and Natalya ever teamed up. But the wildcat decided not to let the thought bother her. Carol put her hands on Lilac's shoulders and looked into her frightened eyes.
"Lilac…don't worry about it." said Carol gently, "Lord Brevon won't come near us. Remember? He wasn't interested in us. All he wanted to do was leave. He won't bother coming back. And Natalya? We can handle her. She won't hurt us. The two will never meet, nor will we ever fight against both of them at once. So please my best friend, don't worry over something that'll never happen. I don't want you to be worried all the time. I worry for you when you're worried Lilac. I want you to be happy and carefree like you used to be."
The dragon took in the cat's words. She supposed that Carol had a point. Why would Brevon come back to a planet he had been so keen to get away from? True he might come back for revenge but maybe Brevon wouldn't consider them worth it. Maybe he'd ignore them and just continue doing what he was doing. And Carol was right, they could handle Natalya. Lilac herself had been the one to send her packing after all. If Natalya came for her, she'd just beat her into submission again and Carol and Milla could help her with that. Smiling, the dragon embraced her best friend gratefully.
"You're right…I'm too edgy for my own good. Thank you very much Carol." said Lilac kindly, "You're truly the best friend a dragon could ask for."
"You're welcome Lilac." said Carol sweetly, "I want nothing but the best for you Lilac. I care for you very much and I just want you to be happy."
"And I appreciate it. Thank you." said Lilac appreciatively, "I think I'm OK going back to bed now."
"That's good to hear." said Carol, "And I hope you'll dream more pleasantly for the rest of the night."
"I think I might." said Lilac with an optimistic smile.
The two girls walked back into the bedroom, leaving the night to carry on without them. Lilac now felt more positive about her life and was sure that she was safe from her two biggest enemies. She wouldn't have to worry about them anymore, not just for the rest of the night, but for the rest of her life. She could now sleep easy and dream more pleasantly. And as she and Carol climbed back into their beds to allow themselves the luxury of sleep to return to them, the dragon was lying back against her pillow with a smile on her face. The rest of the night was going to be much more pleasant indeed…more so, then what was going to happen the next morning…
Aww, Carol's such a sweetheart! ^^
So Lilac has nothing to worry about anymore...or does she? The plot begins to thicken next time as we enter Chapter 1. Get ready readers, it's gonna be an exciting ride...