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Continue To The Next Chapter - Chapter 2

THE RULER RETURNS

By ... Steve Lucky

CHAPTER ONE

TIME : March 15, 2014 10:30 A.M.
PLACE : M.W.G.D. Headquarters

Peter was about to take his lunch break when Shawn walked up to him and ordered Peter to come to his office immediately. Shawn was the leader of M.W.G.D. (Milky Way Galaxy Defense), so Peter had no choice but to obey if he wanted to keep his job.

Inside Shawn's office, Hank, Linda and Lisa were waiting for Shawn to arrive. Nothing had been said to them, but they already knew that this was going to be the most important meeting they had had since they had defeated the Ruler. Peter walked in and sat down beside them. He too knew that something big was about to take place and no words needed to be spoken.

At last, Shawn entered the room. He started pacing across the room as he began to speak. "King Jake the twenty-eighth has personally requested the five of us to have dinner at his royal palace," Shawn explained.

Lisa tried to hide her excitement, but couldn't. "Dining with royalty," she thought to herself.

"It concerns the Ruler!"

Lisa was stunned. Everyone thought the mysterious X had destroyed the Ruler a little less than a year ago, just before perishing himself. The others had felt the same way. They sat there open-mouthed as Shawn continued.

"A reliable source has told the king that the Ruler is alive somewhere on Triax."

"And he wants us to investigate," added Peter thinking that he had things all figured out.

"He didn't say what he wanted," Shawn replied. "All he said was that he wanted us to have dinner with him."

"The king must be up to something," Peter thought to himself.

Even a well respected figure such as the king could be crafty and deceitful if the circumstances allowed it.

"When do we get started?" demanded Hank. He was anxious to stop the Ruler before he could get started again.

"Unfortunately, I won't be able to come," Shawn stated sadly. "I have a previous engagement. However, I took the liberty of telling the king that the four of you would be glad to have dinner with him."

"Thanks a lot," Peter snapped sarcastically. He didn't like the idea of someone excepting invitations for him, but he knew that Shawn had to respond quickly and they both knew that he would have gone anyway.

"You still haven't answered my question," Hank stated bluntly.

"Right now," Shawn replied.

TIME : 4:45 P.M. (16:45)
PLACE : Within 5000 km of Triax

Peter, Hank, Linda, and Lisa stared in awe at the enormous planet in front of them. It was well over 1000 times the size of the earth. The swirling greens and blues of this planet was enough to amaze anyone.

Peter thought back to what the Ruler once said, "Whoever controls Triax controls the galaxy." Although Jake the twenty-eighth and his wife, Queen Lynn the first, were not the rulers of the galaxy, there was no one closer. Triax was the perfect place for the Ruler to start his second conquest of the galaxy.

The four of them had been on Triax once before. In fact, it was their first mission for M.W.G.D. Civil war had broken out between those who supported the Ruler and those who supported the king. Their mission was to disguise themselves as supporters of the Ruler and report back to M.W.G.D. to tell them what was going on.

At the time, X was the head of M.W.G.D. and Shawn only the second in command. He too had to disguise himself and report back to X.

"The king obviously remembers us, so we must have done a good job," Peter thought to himself.

TIME : 7:00 P.M. (19:00)
PLACE : Inside the Royal Palace of Triax

The king and his servants treated their guests with the upmost respect. Anything they asked for was given to them immediately, a fact Lisa was particularly fond of. In fact, the only thing that wasn't given to them were answers to their questions about the Ruler.

"The king will talk about such things at dinner time," said the servants whenever such questions were asked.

Peter, Hank, Linda, and Lisa were seated around the dinner table waiting for the king to arrive. For the first time since they arrived on Triax they were alone, a fact that Peter found most peculiar.

"Maybe they want to give us a chance to talk alone," suggested Linda.

"I don't think so," corrected Hank. "I think they want a chance to talk alone before deciding what to tell us."

"I just hope they return soon," stammered Peter as he looked around the room. It was big and deserted, enough to give anyone the creeps.

Suddenly, a door opened on the opposite side of the room and out stepped the king and queen. A third figure followed them into the room. He was short and thin with a grim look of determination in his eyes.

"I have seen the Ruler. I swear!" he blurted out.

He realized too late how rude he had sounded and looked at the king apologeticly.

"I am sorry for my behavior, but I don't like the idea of being cross examined." He paused for a few seconds and then continued, "For years I have been monitoring an organization called Triax People for the Ruler. They were largely responsible for the war that occurred here a few years back."

"Recently, no one has paid too much attention to this group. Most people consider them to be bunch of harmless lunatics, but now the Ruler has returned. He is personally leading his newly found army into battle for his second conquest of the galaxy, starting with Triax."

At last, the king spoke. "Before I begin, I think an introduction is necessary." He tapped the newcomer on the shoulder indicating he wanted him to begin.

"My name is Orn. I come from Remic," Orn stated simply.

Peter got up and shook hands with him.

"I'm Peter, from Earth," Peter replied.

After everyone was introduced, the king spoke again.

"I am sorry for all the secrecy," he began. "but the Triax People for the Ruler are everywhere. Even my own servants are not above suspicion."

"Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to find the Ruler and stop him from starting another uprising. You will be given clothing, weapons, and other accessories to complete your mission. Orn has already arranged for you to join Triax People for the Ruler. From there, I want you to use your own initiative. I know from experience that you will know more about this than I do and any orders I give with my limited knowlege will only slow you down."

The king looked up to indicate he was through speaking.

"Are there any questions?" he asked.

"Yes," declared Peter. "Why did you choose us?"

"He remembers how you stopped the Ruler the last time you were on Triax," the queen explained. "No one else is as reliable as you are when it comes to dealing with the Ruler."

Peter's suspicions were confirmed. The king felt like the four of them were the only ones who could do the job and no one else even came close.

"Oh yes, one more thing," the king announced. "If you succeed, you will be highly rewarded."

Once again, Lisa failed to hide her excitement. She was quite wealthy, but a reward from a king was an honor she had not yet received she wondered what the reward might be.

"I volunteer!" she exclaimed while the other three were still thinking things over.

Peter, Hank and Linda nodded their approval.

"I knew I could count on you," the king laughed showing the faintest hint of a smile on his face.

TIME : 9:00 P.M. (21:00)
PLACE : Guest Room #1 at the Royal Palace of Triax

Peter decided to retire early. Everything was all taken care of. In the morning, they would change into some clothes commonly worn on Triax. Then, Orn would guide them to where the Triax People for the Ruler were allocated. The king, of course, would provide them with clothes, weapons, and some spending money to use along the way.

Peter looked out his window. Far away, he could see the people of Capitol City. They were busy as always hurring to and fro to get to wherever it was they were going. Peter guessed that none of them had any idea that the Ruler was back to seek revenge on Triax for his hard fought, bitter defeat.

"I wonder what the Ruler is doing," Peter thought to himself. "Probably preparing for spy groups such as ourselves."

He turned out the light and went to bed, tossing and turning for most of the night before finally going to sleep.

TIME : 9:30 P.M. (21:30)
PLACE : Guest Room #2

Lisa too had decided to retire early, but not quite as early as Peter. Everything had happened so suddenly that she hardly had a chance to think thing over.

Lisa sat up in bed. She thought she had heard a noise, but it was only her nerves playing tricks on her. The Ruler had tortured her on numerous occasions and the idea of him returning was enough to make her scared of almost anything.

She got out her diary and began to read. Her diary was the only thing that helped her keep her sanity ever since she decided to leave Earth in the first place. She began to wonder if she should have stayed on Earth.

It was true that she owed her life to Peter, Hank, and Linda, but they owed her their lives too. If she had stayed on Earth, Peter, Hank, Linda, and even Shawn would have perished and without them, the Ruler would still be ruling a large chunk of the galaxy. She smiled with her secret knowledge that she was the unsung hero in the group.

"I guess I made the right decision after all," she mumbled quietly to herself as she continued to read her diary.

TIME : 10:15 P.M. (22:15)
PLACE : Guest Room #3

Linda was next to retire for the night. Of the four, she had been the least effected by the news of the Ruler's return. She had always kept in the back of her mind the possibility that the Ruler was not yet dead and would launch another attack sometime in the near future. She hoped that her predictions would never come true, but at least she was prepared.

Besides being the biggest planet, Triax was one of the most advanced and Linda wondered what kinds of high tech gizmos they would receive. Whatever they got, one thing was for sure, the Ruler was about to have a real battle on his hands.

TIME : 10:20 P.M. (22:20)
PLACE : Guest Room #4

Orn saw Linda go into her room and decided to do the same thing. He was the new kid on the block and wondered how the others would treat him. Unlike the others, he had actually seen the Ruler recently and knew what the Ruler was up to. It was up to him to guide the others safely and to make sure they didn't get into trouble. However difficult it may become he would see things through. The future of the galaxy depended on it.

TIME : 11:00 P.M. (23:00)
PLACE : Guest Room #5

At last, Hank went into his room for the night. He had stayed up to watch T.V., something he hadn't had much of a chance to do recently.

While he watched, he let his mind wonder through the days events. The more he thought about what had happened, the more he wanted to know. "Why has the Ruler chosen to reappear on Triax?" and "What does the Ruler plan to do next?" were some of the questions he had asked himself. He knew no one there had the answers to his questions, but he couldn't help being curious.

If the Ruler was going to do anything big in the near future, they would have set off immediately, so he just settled to be content with the fact that could answer his own questions. All the answers would still be there tomorrow.

TIME : March 16, 2014 7:00 A.M.
PLACE : Inside the Royal Palace of Triax

After a good, hearty breakfast, Orn gave each of them a gun and a small vial filled with a clear liquid. The others stared at the liquid wondering what it could be.

"The gun is a Triax Regulation Phaser," the king explained. "All my guards have one. It is a combination freeze ray, heat ray, stun gun, cutting device, and even a death ray if necessary. It comes equipped with a communicator and homing device, so you will know where each member of you party is located at any given time."

"The vial contains a small amount of the miraculous healing drug Xanamite," the queen added. "It comes from the planet Debanon. All you have to do is pour some of the liquid on your own wounds or the wounds of one of your friends and they will be instantly healed. It is highly potent and high addictive, so be sure to use it only in emergencies."

Peter noticed that once again the five of them plus the king and queen were the only ones in the room, but such precautions have to be taken if their mission was to be kept a secret. It made Peter realize just how important their mission really was. As far as he knew, trillions of lives could be depending on them.

Peter, Hank, Linda, Lisa, and Orn said good bye to the king and queen and headed for the other side of Triax where the Triax People for the Ruler were located. Orn lead the way.

TIME : 8:52 A.M.
PLACE : Somewhere in the woods about 250 km west of Megaplexx, Triax

Onward and onward Orn led his party through the cobwebs and briars of a rugged climb into the mountains. To an inexperienced traveler, it looked like they were traveling in circles, but Orn had been there many times before and knew what to look for.

"Are you sure we're traveling in the right direction?" groaned Peter. He was sure Orn knew what he was doing, but he was worn out from all twists and turns in their path and doubts were beginning to surface.

At last, Orn stopped in front of a small cave and motioned for the others to go inside.

"This is it," Orn declared smugly.

One by one, they entered the cave until only Orn was left outside. Orn uncovered a secret panel on one of the rocks. He opened the panel and pushed a small red button inside. Then, he ran inside the cave as fast as he could go. Ten seconds later, a door closed over the mouth of the cave and a force started pulling them down.

"A secret elevator," thought Peter. "to take us to the enemy hideout."

Everything up until that point had only been preparation, the real adventure was about to begin.

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