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WAR IN THE RIGEL SYSTEM

By ... Steve Lucky

CHAPTER FOUR

"Wait!" shouted Yoblic. "Don't kill her! I'll talk!"

Yot lowered his phaser and looked at the Ruler.

"Let them live, for now," commanded the Ruler. "Take Peter, Hank, Linda, and Lisa to the first cell and leave them there. We have all four of them so there shouldn't be anyone else trying to rescue them. As for the others, put the female in the same cell as the others. I'll take the male to the interrogation room and interrogate him myself. Don't forget your lives are still in danger. Answer all my questions or I will kill the female."

The Ruler took Yoblic to the interrogation room taking no notice of his bruises. The others were forced into the first cell and left alone. The Ruler, Yot, and their subordinates considered the cell to be escape proof so they didn't bother to guard the cell. Peter, Hank, Linda, Lisa, and Jariah carefully examined the cell door. They knew that no cell was completely escape proof. All they needed to do to escape was use a little ingenuity.

TIME : 9:20 A.M.
PLACE : The M.W.G.D. base on Darius

Rextol handed Xancorra over to Geffah.

"She is an enemy of King Jake XXVIII and Queen Lynn I," he explained. "Keep her well guarded. The Ruler might try to rescue her. A short distance from here are eight more soldiers. You'll find them tied to several trees."

Geffah ordered four of his soldiers to take Xancorra to the maximum security cell and watch her constantly. He also ordered the rest of his people to find the people Rextol was talking about. Next, he ordered security around the base to be tightened.

"How is your mission progressing?" inquired Geffah when he was done.

"Not too well," confessed Rextol. "We've run into more problems than we originally anticipated. Rescuing Yoblic has been the hardest part of our mission. They are holding on to him tightly. The explosives should be in place by the time I return, but we don't want to use them until everyone is safely outside."

"I won't delay you any longer," said Geffah. "Be careful. I don't want anything to happen to any of you."

"Don't worry. I will," Rextol assured him on his way out.

TIME : 9:30 A.M.
PLACE : The interrogation room

The Ruler had ordered everyone out of the interrogation room except Yot and himself. He was confident he could handle the situation on his own. Yoblic looked at the Ruler and knew he had called his bluff. He hoped he had given Jariah the time she needed to escape.

"You were responsible for contacting M.W.G.D. Headquaters and giving them our secret location," attacked the Ruler. "I should kill you on the spot, but since you agreed to talk I might be merciful on you provided you give me the information I need."

"The people who tried to rescue you are from M.W.G.D. Headquarters. They have numerous skills and abilities and have interfered with my plans twice. Their presence here can only mean trouble. I want to know what they are planning to do to this base."

"They didn't tell me," snapped Yobic.

"What a pity," sighed the Ruler in mock sympathy. "I'm afraid your usefulness is over."

The Ruler pulled out a phaser he had hidden from Yobic and shot him. Yoblic died instantly. The Ruler didn't even give Yoblic a second thought. He approached the guards outside who had been ordered to wait for him.

"Take Yoblic's body to the prisoners," he commanded. "Perhaps the sight of him will convince them to cooperate."

TIME : 9:40 A.M.
PLACE : The cell

Peter, Hank, Linda, Lisa, and Jariah had not given up hope. They knew that if the Ruler wanted to keep them alive, someone had to feed them. If the Ruler wasn't smart enough to bring several thousand armed guards, they could easily overpower whoever came to feed them. Then they could escape.

Peter thought he heard footsteps and told the others to be quiet. Two people were moving slowly towards them. It sounded like they were dragging something. To their horror, they soon saw what it was they were dragging. The Ruler had dealt with Yoblic the only way he knew how.

Jariah felt a mixture of grief for Yoblic and rage against his murders. She kept her head remarkably well under the circumstances by reminding herself that the only way she could get revenge was too escape.

When the guards opened the cell to give them Yoblic's body, Peter, Hank, Linda, Lisa, and Jariah overpowered them. While Peter, Linda, and Lisa held the guards, Hank and Jariah removed their weapons and shot them. They quickly stole the guard's keys and locked them in the cell.

Jariah couldn't hold back the tears any longer. She put her face on Yoblic's lifeless body and kissed him for the last time. Reluctantly, the five of them set Yoblic's body on the ground and hurried to rejoin Ramos and Rextol.

TIME : 9:50 A.M.
PLACE : Just outside the Ruler's stronghold

Ramos had all the explosives in place. As soon as he pressed the button in his hand, the base would be destroyed. He waited patiently, but he was afraid that either he or the explosives would be discovered at any moment.

At last he heard Rextol returning. At the same time he heard the sound of phasers being fired near the exit. He couldn't wait for Rextol. It was now or never.

"Over here!" yelled Ramos as soon as Peter reached the exit.

Peter, Hank, Linda, Lisa, and Jariah crouched beside Ramos.

"Is this all of you?" demanded Ramos.

"Yes," Peter replied sadly. "Yoblic was killed by the Ruler."

Ramos pressed the button and most of the base went up in flames. A few of the guards had made it out in time, but Rextol was there to disarm them.

"Good job!" commended Rextol. "I wonder if we got the Ruler?"

Unfortunately his question was answered when an escape pod took off into the air.

"Someday we'll get you," declared Linda.

The people inside the base began to panic. The base was crumbling all around them and the Ruler and Yot had deserted them. They didn't know what to do.

Knowing it was safe to contact M.W.G.D. Headquarters, Rextol called for reinforcements. The Ruler's soldiers were surrendering by the hundreds. They had won the battle on Darius.

TIME : 12:00 P.M.
PLACE : The M.W.G.D. base on Darius

The war continued to rage throughout the rest of the Rigel system, but there was peace on Darius. The Ruler was having too much trouble on the other planets to attempt a second attack. After his initial success the Ruler was being forced back on all fronts. It was only a matter of time before the Ruler would be forced out of the Rigel system. However, none of them felt like celebrating.

"We were going to be married," moaned Jariah.

All of them could feel Jariah's pain in varying degrees. Yoblic wasn't the only one killed that day. Hundreds of thousands of people had been killed and most of them had family members who would morn their deaths. The Ruler left a trail of destruction everywhere he went.

"I want to be transferred to M.W.G.D. Headquarters," declared Jariah. "I want to get as far away from Darius as possible. This place brings me nothing but pain."

"At M.W.G.D. Headquarters you'll encounter the Ruler far more than if you stay here," Geffah informed her. "They follow the Ruler wherever he goes."

"I want to stop the Ruler wherever and whenever I can," cried Jariah. "I do not want other people to suffer what I'm suffering now."

"I'll take her place here," said Ramos. "I have spent my entire life in the Rigel system and I have no intention of leaving. Some people like to explore the galaxy, but I am content to stay where I am."

"I would like to stay too," Rextol informed them. "Xancorra has been captured. I have done what I set out to do. Now I would like to assist you in helping the Rigel system recover."

"Who is going to help me learn how to use a jetpack?" wondered Peter.

"You have learned about all I can teach you," Rextol replied. "You've mastered the fundamentals. All you have to do is keep practicing and you don't need me for that."

"I'll miss you," sighed Peter.

"I'll miss you too," agreed Rextol.

After saying good bye to Geffah, Rextol, and Ramos; Peter, Hank, Linda, and Lisa returned to M.W.G.D. Headquarters taking Jariah with them. Peter thought about all the people they had met since leaving Earth. They had been all over the galaxy and had met people from dozen of different planets. People came and left constantly, but they all had a common cause. They were united in their effort to stop the Ruler.

The Ruler had extended his war to the Rigel system, the most populated system in the galaxy. There was no telling where he would strike next. Peter knew that someday the people the Ruler had attacked would eventually defeat the Ruler, but until that day they would have to keep watch over the entire galaxy.

TIME : March 21, 2012
PLACE : M.W.G.D. Headquarters

The war in the Rigel system was over. The Ruler and Yot Montesula had fled and the rest of the soldiers weren't that far behind. The people of the Rigel system had driven the Ruler out and were already recovering from the Ruler's attack. It wouldn't be long before things in the Rigel system returned to normal.

Peter, Hank, Linda, and Lisa had resumed their job of monitoring communications. From the safe vantage point of M.W.G.D. Headquarters, they could observe all the battles in the Rigel system and the Ruler was loosing every single one of them.

Jariah had been given a similar job. She was recovering from her loss and was beginning to adjust to life at M.W.G.D. Headquarters. X had returned from battle and requested that Peter, Hank, Linda, Lisa, and Jariah join him during their break.

"You did a good job on Darius," complimented X. "I couldn't have done any better. When news of the destruction of the Ruler's base reached us, it inspired all of us. I just wish all of us could have made it out safely."

Jariah handed X the silver amulet.

"It was given to me by Yoblic before he died," she explained. "There's an inscription on the back. I wonder if you could tell me what it says."

"It's an old Darian proverb," X explained. "Evil may win the battle, but good shall win the war."

X gave the amulet back to Jariah. As she put the amulet back on she thought about Yoblic. It was easier to understand why Yoblic felt it necessary to make such a sacrifice now that she understood what the inscription meant. Eventually they would be reunited in heaven, but until then she would devote her life to stopping the Ruler.

"You're one of us now," smiled Peter. "Welcome to the team."

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