Master Cyclonis was pleased. Her personal cruiser had the doorway in its hold and soon she would have all she needed to complete Operation Exodus. She was trying to contact Cyclonia but was thus far unable to get through, when her cruiser was rocked by an explosion.
"Commander what happened," She said into the intercom.
"We're under attack, Master," The Night Crawler Commander said.
"Storm Hawks," Master Cyclonis said.
"No Master," The commander answered. Cyclonis was surprised it was so rare someone else tried to thwart her plans. "I've never seen anything like them, they're three times bigger than a sky ride and they're moving so fast that they broke the air speed record on approach. They're coming around for another pass." The air ship was rocked by explosions.
"Commander, report," Cyclonis said.
"They've broken off," The Commander answered. "But we lost all our weapons."
"It makes no sense to retreat after destroying our weapons," Master Cyclonis said. "Unless… Commander watch out for a second wave of attack!"
"I see them," He answered. "They're above us in the stratosphere and they're dropping something on us." Cyclonis braced for impact but no impact came. What happened? Cyclonis thought. Did they miss?
"All hands repel borders on the starboard side," The commander's voice announced over the intercom.
Cyclonis left her personal chambers and addressed the squad of night crawlers watching her door. "Come on we shall have to meet our guests," She said. "And show them how unwelcome they are." She and her night crawlers didn't have to go far before they ran into three men. Each one was wearing a light blue uniform with white trim. The uniforms consisted of a trench coat, jackboots, and a high collar shirt with brass buttons. The one in front had a double breasted shirt instead of single, Cyclonis assumed him to be the leader. Then she noticed the symbol on they had on their right shoulders a winged serpent coiled around a wing. Very interesting she thought.
"Mistress Cyclonis," The leader said. "I am Air Marshall Tepes of the Grand Empire Air Guard. I order you to surrender your forces and your territory at once." He drew two long knives from behind his back and held them underhanded. Master Cyclonis almost felt like laughing, his knives had no crystals and wouldn't be much use against her night crawlers armor.
Master Cyclonis laughed. "I'm not going to surrender to anyone, and my name is MASTER CYCLONIS. DESTROY HIM!" She ordered her night crawlers. They fired their energy cross bows at Tepes he dodged them with great ease, closed in on them with lightning speed, the first night crawler tried to claw at Tepes, the Air Marshall got under his arm inside his reach and slit the night crawlers throat. Another one tried to shoot Tepes in the back he spun around and stabbed it in the temple before it got the shot off. Tepes then swung his knives into the overhand position and stabbed two more night crawlers in their hearts. The last night crawler managed to shoot Tepes in the chest repeatedly. Tepes fell to the ground Master Cyclonis looked at the two Air guardsmen that were with him neither of them moved. Then Tepes floated back to his feet, got within an inch of the night crawlers face, a stream of white energy flowed out of the night crawlers mouth and eyes then went into Tepes mouth. The night crawler fell onto the ground. Cyclonis looked at Tepes his eyes had turned completely red and his teeth were now hideous fangs.
"Perhaps I didn't make myself clear," Tepes said. He raised his two long knives, they were now chipped broken and very dull looking. "You will surrender to the Grand Empire," Cyclonis felt an overwhelming desire to submit to him then she shook it off.
"Never," Master Cyclonis said.
"You may have the will power to resist my power of domination but you will not win Mistress Cyclonis." Tepes said. "Your crystal tricks are no match for me."
Cyclonis held up her staff and pointed it at Tepes a wave of energy washed out pinning him and his two men against the bulk head.
"You should have picked someone besides me to try your luck against." Cyclonis said as she pinned him harder against the wall. "Now I think I'll teach you why you should show me more respect and remember my name is Master Cyclonis." Using the crystals in her staff Cyclonis threw both Tepes and his men against the bulkheads battering them repeatedly. "Still think my crystal's are little more than tricks." Then she felt it, her powers were fading Tepes landed on his feet, bashed away her staff grabbed her by the back of the head then slammed her forehead against a window the last thing Cyclonis saw before she passed out was the one place in the Atmos she was afraid to go: The Black Gorge.
Tepes tossed her limp form to the two men that accompanied him.
"Restrain her but keep her alive," Tepes ordered. "I may need Mistress Cyclonis later." Tepes flew down the corridors to the ships bridge as it kept plunging to the bottom of the Black Gorge. He found a few dozen dead Night Crawlers and one of his three man teams standing at the failing controls.
"What is happening?" Tepes asked.
"Sir, we directed the ship into the Black Gorge to disable our enemy's equipment." The higher ranked officer said.
"I gave no such order," Tepes said.
"We were acting on our own initiative sir." The ranked officer explained. "We had read the report Axurhotep made that recommended this strategy and-" The officer was cut off as Air Marshall Tepes threw him out the bridge window.
"I AM IN COMMAND OF THIS MISSION, NOT AXURHOTEP" Tepes yelled. "YOU ARE TO FOLLOW MY ORDERS NOT THOSE OF SOME SNOT NOSED BRAT TWO WORLDS AWAY." The ship went down and was rapidly consumed by Metal Eating Vulka Bats. Tepes and his Airmen took Cyclonis as their prisoner and proceeded to their citadel. A massive concrete fortress built right into the side of the Black Gorge surrounded by electrified barbed wire. Tepes and his men entered the base. The base commander came to great Tepes.
"Sir all preparations you requested are at the ready," The commander said. "You can begin your broadcast to all of Atmos and the Cyclonian Empire."
"Glad to see at least one of my men follows orders." Tepes said.
The Storm Hawks were tracking down a lead on Master Cyclonis and operation exodus when they started receiving a signal. That sounded like drum beats.
"What is that?" Aerrow asked.
"I don't know," Piper answered. "It's on every frequency."
"Whatever It is its started saying stuff." Finn said
"Attention People of Atmos," The voice over the radio said. "I am Air Marshal Tepes of the Grand Empire Dawn Guard; I have captured Mistress Cyclonis and defeated the Cyclonian Empire."
"Whoa, somebody beat Cyclonis." Finn said.
"Know that she now bows to me," Tepes said.
"I will not bow," Master Cyclonis's distinct voice said over the radio.
"I said BOW," Tepes voice said accompanied by a hard wet thud. "Those who do not bow get stepped on until they do." The Storm Hawks herd Cyclonis groan accompanied by another thud.
"I shall soon conquer all of Atmos," Tepes said. "Those that don't surrender will be wipped from the sky."
"His base," Cyclonis said. "Is hidden in the-" She was cut off by what sounded like a kick to the face.
"You all have a day to surrender to me," Tepes said. "Then I make an Example of Terra Rex."
"Stork Head for Terra Rex," Aerrow said. "Piper find out where that transmission came from."
Piper looked over some equipment then took out a map and drew a line. "According to my calculations the transmission came from somewhere along this line."
"Can you be any more specific?" Aerrow asked. "This is a big search area."
"I'd need a second reading to triangulate," Piper answered. "If we're lucky we can get one on Terra Rex."
"Let's hope so," Aerrow said. "Because I have a feeling we're going to need a lot of luck."