Apologizes for the pathetic excuse of a twelfth chapter. It was short, boring, and . . . yeah. So that's why I wanted to be somewhat proactive with this chapter and made it action packed, drama filled, and makes you wanna hate the Fa'hu more and more.
Enjoy. The plot finally goes somewhere in this chapter.
Red watched the monitor on the control panel in front of him. A green blip indicating where he was on a universal map with a red dot showing the exact location of the Fa'hu ship. He was precisely ten miles away from the enemies.
"If Nar would've left the damn dog, he would've made this easier for me." Red groaned, looking underneath his uniform. He noticed it starting to spot on the bullet wound areas. "Shit. Hope Pur won't mind a bit of blood on his clothes." He stood and half limped back to the closet and grabbed the utility belt off the hook. The belt consisted of two gun holsters. A nine inch blade sheath. Loops to hold smoke bombs and grenades. And a small bag to carry a small pen-like laser beam, an oxygen mask, and a couple magazines of ammo. He put this equipment on then continued to browse through the closet for the two guns that went with it. It didn't take long to find a plasma blaster and revolver sitting in their cases in the back of the closet. Red twirled the two guns in his hands as if he were in a Wild West movie. "Let's see, what else we got. Mustard gas? Huh! Purple, with your Nazi: Final Solution devices." Red chuckled, snatching the mustard gas in an explosive ball form. He also found a sash-like strap that wrapped around his shoulder, across his chest. It had throwing knife holders, stocked with the blades. It also came complete with a quiver full of fifteen arrows. Red soon found the crossbow. It was a perfect portable size. It would come in handy for silent kills. The crossbow latched on the back of the sash, right next to the quiver. Red dug through the arsenal of things to see what other goods he could find. A grappling hook. That'd come in handy when he had to board the enemy's vessel. "Ho! Shit. No way!" Red spotted something goldish shimmer underneath the room lighting. He took it and inspected his finding. Brass knuckles. He slid all three fingers of both hands into the connected rings. "Sweet. What other weapons are you keeping secret from me, brother of mine?" A bullet proof vest is what he found next. "Something I'll definitely need." Red removed the sash and uniform top to put the vest on underneath. He then redressed himself. He picked up a small screen device which served as a mobile military computer. Top top everything off, he equipped himself with a satchel that was meant to latch to the thigh. Inside the satchel was a med kit. Red observed himself in the mirror, looking like a SWAT agent running into action.
"I'm coming for you, Zimmy."
Lard Nar was led down a dark corridor. The men behind him, holding guns to his back, was bringing him past a bunch of what looked to be jail cells. They came to the end of the hall. One Fa'hu opened the cell door and roughly shoved him inside. Another Fa'hu relieved him of the restraints.
"You stay here till we get monies." The ugly creature spat. Lard Nar just glared as the aliens left him alone in the cold, dim, cinder block room. The Vortian sighed, disappointed that his mission was a huge failure.
"God, I'm such an idiot. Why didn't I think of blocking my ship's magnetic signal?" He walked to the cell door and pressed his head against the bar, looking down at the floor in deep thought.
"Grandpa?" Lard Nar's head snapped up.
"Oh my God! They got you too!" The boy's voice cracked in dismay.
"Where are you, child?"
"Look across the hall." Lard Nar squinted. His eyes had yet to adjust to the darkness. Sure enough, there in the cell across from him, stood the five year old smeet.
"Aba was with you, wasn't he? Where's he?"
"Your dad is still aboard your uncle's runner."
"Is he well?"
"He will be, yes. It'll take sometime for him to heal, but he will be better." Lard Nar told the little Irken. "Oh lord, Prince, you do not look well."
"People say I have pneumonia." Lard Nar nodded.
"I've heard. Are you feeling any better?"
"No. I'm freezing, my body hurts, and I have a pile of my bloody vomit in the corner of this godforsaken chamber. I'm not doing well." The boy said. "I feel like I'm in hell."
"Prince, if this was hell, it'd be a lot warmer, don't you think?" ZIM cracked a weak smile.
"Yes. I suppose you're right." ZIM sat back down on the floor, resting his back against the wall. "Please excuse me for a second. I'm gonna add some fresh puke to my collection." ZIM crawled into the shadows of the corner. Lard Nar cringed as the painful coughing and splattering sound of bile hitting the ground. ZIM's wheezes were audible throughout the entire cell. Minutes later ZIM dragged himself back into view. "Let me tell you something, grandpa, what I have going on back there, it ain't pretty." Lard Nar couldn't help but laugh at ZIM's wittiness.
"You have Kato's good humor, my boy."
"Aba can be a bit more risqué with his humor though. Uncle Purple keeps telling me of all the times Aba has been slapped across the face for making certain remarks in front of women."
"Ah, yes. That's my Red for you." Nar muttered. "ZIM, there's not much more we can do right now than to just wait for our rescue. Your uncle will be making an exchange with these bastards soon. A couple billion monies for our freedom."
"A couple billion?" ZIM asked awestruck. "That money belongs to my people!"
"It was a couple trillion before Purple told them that the Massive was only holding about eight billion dollars worth of gold."
"Ugh! These fools don't know who they're messing with." ZIM muttered. Lard Nar sat up slightly.
"I told them who they were messing with. They're messing around vengeful Irken soldiers. They take the Irken Empire's pride away from them, they're taking their own lives."
"Uh, Sir." An Irken tech approached Purple who was readying himself to board the Fa'hu ship.
"What is it?"
"Erm, I really don't know how to tell you this," The tech shifted uncomfortably. "I think Tallest Red managed to override the locks on the cockpit doors and shut down the computer. He's flying directly into the Fa'hu ship's territory." Purple was speechless.
"What?" Purple shook his head in disbelief. "You're telling me Red is about to board their ship himself?"
"Most likely, yes." The tech coward under Purple's glaring eyes. "And he set up firewalls so we can't control the runner from here. We could breach the walls but it'd take a day or two." Purple ran a hand over his antenna, seething.
"That idiot." He hissed. "He's gonna get himself killed." Nata came to Purple and placed a hand on his shoulder.
"Maybe you're underestimating him." Purple sighed.
"He's hurt. Badly. I'm not underestimating him. I'm thinking logically. There's no way he will be able to board the enemy's ship and sneak about unnoticed and rescue both Prince ZIM and Captain Nar." Purple placed his own hand over hers. "He's too young to die, Nata. And I don't want to run this empire alone."
"We cannot reason with him, though. He's stubborn and hellbent on rescuing ZIM himself. That and the fact that he cut off all means of communication with us." Purple slumped down against his desk.
"I know. I know. He's an audacious, stupid, man. He's gonna get what he wants whether he likes it or not." Purple looked her in the eye. "If he does manage to make this through alive . . . He won't be alive when I'm done with him."
"When Red returns, should I get a tranquilizing dart out to make sure you won't get violent with him?"
"Whatever it takes."
"This is it." Red took in a deep breath. He cloaked the ship so it was invisible to the outside eye, but visible when inside. The runner was drifting right next to the Fa'hu's ship. Red stood by the exit of his own ship, prepared to break into the enemy's vessel. The man pressed a button on the suit he was wearing. An invisible helmet surrounded his head for oxygen. Red opened the door of the runner, readying the grappling hook gun, eyeing his target. Red knelt by the exit way, aiming the gun at the side of the big ship. He fired, the hook flew through space and pierced the side of the titanium ship. Red hooked the pulley to his harness. He pushed the button that made the pulley automatically pull. Red slowly slid out of the ship. His body weightless in the void. The machine drew him toward the ship. Red sped up the pulley and took out the laser pen from the pocket. Once he reached the side, he activated the beam, cutting a hole around the grappling hook, big enough for him to fit through. Once a circle was cut, Red used the grappling hook to pull the steel away from his entry way. He retracted the hook so he could use it again if needed. Red climbed through the hole and jumped down to the floor below. He landed softly. His eyes darted about, in search of any crew members.
Red erected himself, deactivating the helmet and crept down the hallway, peaking around the frames of open doors to make sure no one was inside. He found a small, empty room where he could take a minute to use the tablet he brought with him. Red squatted down in the corner and turned the tablet on. He punched in the code for ZIM's biosignature. A map of the vessel appeared with dots that indicated where his son and himself were at. They're was also numerous red dots scattered about the screen which told Red exactly where the enemies were on the ship. Red studied the map. Familiarizing himself with the corridors and rooms. His route to his son was fairly straightforward. However, he'd have many run ins with some of the crew. Of course, he was prepared though. Red memorized the course he had to take. He set the tablet so it'd vibrate if a foreign biosignature was approaching him or if he was nearing them. Red peaked out of the door, ready to dart down the hall and get the Prince, when suddenly the tablet started to vibrate wildly already. Red held his breath, taking out the revolver and holding it in his hand. The closer the thing was to him, the more violent the tablet would buzz. Red fingered the trigger of the handgun. The tablet was only getting more and more wild in his pocket. Red grit his teeth in determination. The tablet was now ballistic, he knew the foreign was right outside the door. Red gripped the gun and jumped from out behind the door, about to pull the trigger when he was tackled to the ground by a huge beast. He gasped as the bullet wounds seemed to reopen from under his clothes. He looked up, relieved to see that it was Ara. "Aurora. Let me up. C'mon girl." The dog backed off, sniffing Red curiously. "How did you not get caught? Where's Nar?" Red didn't expect an answer, but he was glad to see the Kurunge Dai. Especially since these dogs were meant to be in the military for special operations. Red rubbed his injuries. He's never felt worse but his ambition to complete this mission kept him going. His brain spiked an idea. He's seen ZIM do this many times before, and he himself did this a few times too back when he was training in the military. "Alright girl." Red stood up and jumped on her strong back. He held onto to the scruff of her neck. Red knew she'd be able to sniff out ZIM quicker than he could locate ZIM using the tablet. "Find ZIM." The ginormous dog didn't have to be told twice. The animal took off in a sprint down the hall. Red held on with his legs and right hand, his left occupied with the crossbow, just in case.
If Red's map was correct, they'd reach the bottom level of the ship in five minutes unless they confront the Fa'hu's, which they no doubt will, it'd probably take a couple minutes longer because of that.
The Kurunge Dai swiftly ran through the maze of hallways, turning left and right and left again. Her acute sense of smell never misleading her. Not too much longer did she come to a halt. Her ears perked. Red cocked a brow and raised his antenna to better listen as well. Just beyond the corner, several voices of crew members talking was heard. Red nodded. "Of course it can't be too easy." Red looked through his arsenal, trying to decide the best weapon of choice would be for this situation. If Red's antenna were correct, he'd believe that there had to be at least eight enemies just beyond the wall. Red finally made his choice. He figured taking them all out at once would be best, in case one would be quick enough to pull an alarm to alert the others. Red grabbed a hand grenade. He got off the dog and pressed himself against the wall. He scooted to the edge and pulled the ring from the grenade then quickly tossed it behind him. The grenade was meant to be a small, muted explosion. Perfect for this situation. Red jumped back onto the dog's back. The Fa'hu's suddenly started to shout when they realized it was a grenade, but by the time they figured it out, it was too late. The thing detonated, engulfing them all in a powerful ball of fire. As soon as the bomb exploded, Red ordered the dog to sprint again, jumping over the bodies of dead Fa'hu.
"Too easy, huh girl?" Ara growled, warning Red that there was a Fa'hu ahead. He lifted his crossbow up, waiting till he was closer. The Fa'hu saw the massive dog bounding straight toward him. He raised his own gun, pointed it at the dog, but Red was too quick for him. The Irken shot the arrow, impaling him right in the large eye. "We make a good team, you and I." Red scratched the dog behind the ear. "I'm sort of glad Purple adopted you now." The two reached the flight of stairs leading down to the main floor. Once on the main floor they'd have to run halfway across the ship in order to get to the staircase that led to the base floor. This floor was swarming with Fa'hu. Red and Ara would no doubt have a good time with this. The tablet in Red's pocket began to vibrate constantly. He could only imagine how many crew members were at the base of the stairs. "Get ready, Ara." The dog burst from the stair well and into the open area of the ship. The dog stopped dead in her tracks. Red froze too at the scene before him. Thirty, if not more, Fa'hu were standing right there, all his size, if not taller. Some were armed, some were completely bare. Red smirked, sliding off the dog's back. "Right then." Red got out the bow on his back and held the plasma gun in one hand and the nine inch blade in the other. "Who wants to challenge the king of the Irken empire?"
"Sir! Red has boarded the ship successfully." A tech informed Purple. "And he's on a killing spree as we speak." Purple narrowed his eyes at her.
"How do you know this?" He asked. The technician pointed to the huge monitor just behind the violet tallest's back.
"This is transmitting live from on of their security camera feeds." Purple looked, jaw dropping at what he saw. His little brother, showing no mercy. Killing multiple Fa'hu's at once. Nata was equally shocked. "We hacked into their security system to shut down all the cameras to help him out." Purple couldn't utter a word, too flabbergasted at what he was beholding. It took him a good minute before he could speak.
"Maybe I did underestimate him."
Red ducked out of the way of a fist, about to collide with his head. He thrusted his blade deep within his aggressor. To his right, Ara was tearing up the enemies. Biting off their hands and legs. Her wings were spread out wide as if she were about to take off in flight. Red had a gun drawn on him. A shot was fired which he dodged the bullet and returned fire with his plasma blaster, hitting the Fa'hu dead on in the chest.
Three Fa'hu advanced on him, surrounding Red, only one had a gun. Red knew better, always take the one out with the weapon first. He shot his blaster at the alien. Surprisingly, the Fa'hu was fast and lurched at Red before it hit him. The alien shot the blaster right out of Red's hand. Startled, Red inspected his hand for a split second before pulling one of the throwing knives out of it's sheath. Another bullet was fired his way. He threw the knife while doing a rather impressive tumble-flip to evade the bullet. The knife stuck into the Fa'hu's neck. Red spun around and slashed an ambusher that tried to get him from behind. Red wasn't expecting to decapitate the attacker, but he did. Kind of an unintentional overkill, but he'd take it.
Red shouted out, startled when he felt someone jump on his back. He turned around to face the man. The two started to fight with just fists. Red having the advantage thanks to his brass knuckles. Red was pinned, but that didn't stop him from slamming a powerful fist into the Fa'hu's jaw. The crew member grabbed one of the knives Red was equipped with and pressed the edge of the blade against Red's throat. Red grabbed his attacker's arm, struggling to not get his neck slit open. The sharp edge was cutting into Red's flesh, blood pooled out of the mark.
Red was taken by surprise when the Fa'hu was suddenly pushed off his body. The knife slicing deeply into Red's neck and part of his jaw, but was spared from death. Red looked to his side just in time to see Ara's razor sharp fangs sink into the alien's head and crush it's skull, brains strewn over the floor. Red nearly gagged at the sight. He got himself back up. Thirteen left. They weren't even attempting to attack him. Red decided not to waste any energy on the remaining Fa'hu.
He whistled for Ara. Red hopped on her back again. He placed the oxygen mask over his face. He grabbed the mustard gas pellet. He threw it at the wall where the thirteen were huddling for safety. As soon as the ball made contact with the wall, it burst into a cloud of deadly and painful gas. The members were coughing and screaming. Red smiled feeling accomplished. The more they coughed and screamed, the quicker it was for them to die. "Go Ara, go! Find ZIM!" The Kurunge Dai bolted out of the area before the gas could reach them. The dog and her rider raced down the hall. The dogs footsteps nearly mute. The loudest noise she made was breathing. She skidded to a stop when they came up to the downward staircase that led to the cells. Red got off the massive beast and inched toward the top of the stairway, listening intently to hear if there were any Fa'hu that needed to be taken down. He heard silence. Very curious, he began to wonder how the rest of the Fa'hu crew members didn't see him yet, or even heard the commotion of the mass genocide that just happened in the other room. Red assumed the rest were probably in the engine room or command center. He just hoped none of them walked upon the corpses.
"Come, Ara." Red whispered to her. Slowly trudging down the steps. The dog following. "I bet our ZIM is down here."
The plan to distract the Fa'hu as Red got ZIM was a go. Purple stood boldly in the middle of the command center, right underneath a transportation beam where it'd take him and four others to the Fa'hu flagship.
"My Tallest, please reconsider going yourself to them. If we loose both you and Tallest Red, we'll have an empire in shambles."
"You have little faith, Urii." Purple said, darkly, not making eye contact. "Tallest Red will be fine. He's a master of stealth and executing missions like these. And I'm probably the best damn negotiator to ever rule Irk. That's not me bragging, that's me giving you the facts." Urii sighed.
"See to it that you come back safe and sound."
"See to it that you take care of whatever tasks that need to be done here while I'm gone." Urii saluted the violet-eyed Tallest. "Thank you. Now then, beam us there." The other soldiers that tagged along stood by Purple. A control operator pushed a button that sent them through space and to the enemies. As they were being transported, they saw nothing but bright flashes of light and a haze. Once it cleared, they found themselves surrounded by two dozen Fa'hu and the captain, Huck. He had his typical evil smile on and sat behind a large desk.
"Nice to see you under better circumstances." He smiled.
"And how does me saving my sick and dying nephew from your ransom and hoping my brother doesn't perish along with the fact that you now captured my good friend and are also holding him for ransom as well, and if we don't cooperate, you threaten to kill the Captain of the Redemption flagship and rape the Pride of Irk is under a better circumstance?" Huck didn't say anything. A long awkward pause ensued. "Your race truly is idiotic." Huck growled.
"You came to pay up, not make a mockery of my race!" Huck snapped. Another moment of quietness. A scowl apparent on Huck's face but his permanent smile never leaving. "Sit Almighty Tallest Nikolaos."
"I resent that name. You call me by my title then the color I'm associated with. Proper and not to mention elementary Irken etiquette."
"Is it that you're self conscious?"
"You do realize you're talking to a man who shamelessly came here to butcher an imbecile with small talk. I don't even feel good about lowering myself to your level of rude, witty, remarks to make conversing with you embarrassing to you in front of your crew and my crew observing me as if I were a cocky high schooler." Purple muttered, taking a seat where he was told. "Let's just make the damn exchange and all leave peacefully." Huck was lost for words. He was slowly inching closer and closer to being furious at the humiliation the Tallest was putting him through. Never would he have thought that the Irkens were so clever when it came to a normal conversation.
"Right then. The monies. Where is it?" The other four Irkens stood by their Tallest. Two on each side. Purple held up a finger.
"The Captain and Prince, where are they?"
"In a holding cell until the money is brought to us." Purple nodded. He motioned with his finger to Nata to lower herself to his level. He whispered into her antenna. She nodded and pulled out a communication device and began to type into it.
"She's contacting our ship. They'll beam the gold to us." Huck grinned.
"Excellent." Huck hissed. Purple just sneered at him. A few seconds later, thousands of pounds of gold was beamed into the room. They were staked like blocks. The Fa'hu crew began to make calls in their native tongue with excitement.
"Few million monies like you wanted. Now where's my-"
"Now, now." Huck interrupted. "I did not ask for just a few million dollars worth of gold. I asked for eight billion, did I not?" Purple bit his lip.
"Listen, we made the deal-"
"And you failed to fulfill the deal. Therefore, we're keeping the Prince, Captain, and . . ." He stood up, drawing a long bladed knife and stepping up to Nata. With one swift movement, he caught her in a head lock, pressing the blade up to her neck. "This pretty little thing until you get the rest of the monies to me." The other Irken soldiers all readied their weapons, aiming them at Huck who hid behind the Invader. Purple stood up, furiously.
"You bastard! You're whole race, they're no good! I should've known better than to trust an unadvanced, unruly, hideous race like yours."
"Now, now. Those comments hurt my feelings." He chided, digging the sharp edge into Nata's skin. She gasped, eyes wide.
"Nikol, help me-" She gasped, reaching out for him. Huck's jaw went slightly agape.
"Nikol, eh?" A sinister look crept across his features. "A pet name, huh? You two must be close." Purple ground his teeth and clenched his fists tightly. "Let me guess, lovers?"
"No. Friends. What's it to you anyway?" Purple asked.
"Maybe I can make your time here even more tormenting." The reptile-like creature licked Nata's cheek. Purple shook with pure rage. "This is what you get for not paying in full price. You're stealing from us. Breaking a deal."
"You sick monster, you stole from us!" Purple bellowed. "Get your hands off her!" Huck teased him further by slipping a hand under her shirt, rubbing her torso. She cussed loudly at him. "I'll kill you!" Purple stalked toward him. Huck looked at his other men and nodded to them. All at once, the crew took out their own guns and pointed them at Purple and the three other soldiers.
"Bring the rest of the gold. Then I'll give you back the Prince and Captain." Huck said. "But I think I may just keep this gem." All Purple saw was white. The fury that overtook him was so intense, he could barely function.
"You all will die." Purple growled. "All. Of. You."
Red neared the base of the steps and looked out from behind the wall he pressed himself against. He saw a lone guard, sleeping on a chair at the end of the corridor full of cells on both sides. He decided to take the guard down first then he'd look for ZIM. Red saw no need to be slow or even silent for any reason. He ran down the hall as fast as his injured body would allow. His footsteps echoed loud enough to wake the sleeping guard. But Red was much too quick for him. By the time the guard was able to focus on what was coming after him, Red grabbed his jaw with one hand and his forehead with the other and violently, twisted the guard's head to the side, almost turning it completely backwards. A loud, sickening crunch and snapping sound was heard from the breaking neck. Red took a deep breath, pushing the corpse off to the side.
"That was so cool." Red jumped and whirled around to face the voice. There, inside the jail cell, little ZIM sat, looking up at his father with big, admirable eyes. "This is why you're a badass." Red sucked in as much air as his lungs would allow. He sunk to his knees, in front of the cell. Red reached his arms through the bars and embraced his smeet as best as he could, tears of joy rolling down his cheeks.
"Oh my God, thank you. I was so worried, ZIM."
"You fool." Red turned around and saw Lard Nar in the opposite cell. "I told you to stay on the ship."
"No, you're the fool. You got caught within five minutes!"
"Half an hour, thank you very much!"
"Whatever. It doesn't matter. What matters is getting out of here."
"Which you most certainly won't do." A fourth voice joined in. Red looked to his side and saw ten, Fa'hu guards, holding guns pointed directly at Red. Ara growled, standing protectively in front of her masters. "Caught you."
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