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THE SECRET OF THE MARROT V

By ... Steve Lucky

CHAPTER SIX

Not another word was spoken until they reached the other ship. However terrifying the Ship of Death looked from the outside, it was twice as terrifying on the inside. The darkness gave a strongly enforced message of doom.

"Everyone stick together," Fern commanded as they exited the docking bay. "Logan and I can make all of you invisible as long as you stay within our range which is about 10 meters."

"Do you know where Tanbrook went?" questioned Trever.

"Yes," Logan assured him. "just follow me."

This satisfied everyone except Wentar. He had never liked authority, but taking orders from a minor was more than he could take.

"How old are you anyway, twelve?" he bellowed.

"Thirteen," corrected Logan. "and without us so called children, the Ruler's troops would have already found you."

Even Wentar was impressed with the way Logan had handled the situation. He still didn't like the idea of Fern and Logan taking charge when he was an officer and they weren't even listed in the crew, but he was content to follow them for the time being. He would get his moment of glory before the day was over.

As well as being invisible, the group was also inaudible so they passed right through some soldiers without even calling the slightest bit of attention to themselves. Peter could tell from their markings that the soldiers were from Altair 7. There was no doubt that the Ruler was involved.

Cyrenna turned to Trever with a smile on her face.

"With Tanbrook fired for obvious reasons, that makes you our new Security Officer," she told him. "What would you like us to do?"

Cyenna had never cared very much for Tanbrook, but she admired the way Trever handled things. She would much rather have Trever in charge of her than Tanbrook, or Wentar too for that matter. The Security Officer outranked the Navigation Officer and without Trever, Wentar would be in command. For Cyrenna, that was a fate worse than death.

"Just keep following Fern and Logan," ordered Trever, a delayed answer to Cyrenna's question. "I'll know what to do when we get there."

Meanwhile, Peter, Hank, Linda, and Lisa were involved in a conversation of their own.

"Where do you think he's headed?" wondered Hank directing his question towards Peter.

"From what he said just before disappearing, I'd say that he's looking for the Ruler," Peter explained. "At first, I think he was working for the Ruler. He was supposed to find the secret of hypo-psycotic powers and give them to the Ruler. Now, I'd say Tanbrook has become too powerful for his own good and is looking for a showdown with the Ruler."

"What will he do then?" Linda asked inquisitively.

"If he wins, he will take the Ruler's place and continue his quest for galactic domination," Peter replied bluntly.

"Who do you think will win?" interrupted Logan who had been listening in.

"Your powers may be great," admitted Peter. "but I'd bet my money on the Ruler."

TIME : 8:30 A.M.
PLACE : Just outside the docking bay of the Marrot V

As soon as Trever and the others took off for the Ship of Death, the Ruler sent a few ships of his own to the Marrot V. Two ships arrived in the docking bay and out of each ship came three robots and two humans. All of them were fully armed and ready to attack.

Drake immediately sealed the docking bay. He knew it couldn't keep them out of the rest of the ship forever, but at least it would delay them. The entire crew put their petty differences aside and got ready to defend the ship from whatever was out there.

In almost no time at all, there was the sound of machinery and a small hole appeared in the door to the docking bay. Soon, the hole became a line that started to take the shape of a small door.

"They're cutting through already," warned Drake.

Rinquin used his powers to see what was on the other side. One of the robots was cutting the door with something that looked like a blow torch attached to it. Rinquin concentrated on the robot and focused a sonic attack on it. The robot went down in a fancy display of sparks preventing the door from being completed.

The humans that were there was shocked at first when the robot went down, but the Ruler had expected it to happen and warned them about hypo-psycotic powers. The humans regrouped and planed their next stage of attack.

"Give us the book and we will leave you in peace!" shouted one of the humans. "If not, we will kill all who resist us and take the book anyway!"

They had decided to talk before they tried to force their way in again.

"What book are you talking about?" yelled Grendlin more to aggravate them than anything else.

"You know what book I'm talking about," the human responded. "The book with the secrets of hypo-psycotic powers in it."

"It's in a place where you'll never find it," Grendlin declared maintaining her role as the aggressor.

There was no reply. Rinquin tried to find out what they were doing, but they were too far away.

"I can't tell what they are doing," he reported to Drake. "but it doesn't look good."

TIME : 8:35 A.M.
PLACE : Inside the Ship of Death

Tanbrook had managed to stay one step ahead of his pursuers and had reached the Command Room where the Ruler was located. He knew his way around because he had served on the ship for several months before he became a double agent on the Marrot V.

To his surprise, he found the Ruler alone in the Command Room. He thought the Ruler would know that he would turn on him at the first opportunity, yet the Ruler seemed calm and relaxed. Tanbrook thought it was going to be much easier to kill the Ruler than he had thought previously.

"Hello, Tanbrook," greeted the Ruler. "Do you have the book I wanted."

Tanbrook was stunned speechless. He was supposed to be invisible, yet the Ruler knew he had entered the room.

"You didn't expect me not to wear my infrared glasses," taunted the Ruler.

Tanbrook's pursuers had finally caught up, but Trever motioned for them to hide. Even though they were invisible, he knew the Ruler could be quite crafty. However, they stayed close enough to listen in on them and their ultimate showdown.

"Yes," lied Tanbrook. "I have the book."

"Give it to me!" ordered the Ruler.

"If you insisted," Tanbrook snapped coldly.

With that, he gave the Ruler his most powerful sonic attack that was within his capability. The Ruler just laughed and pushed a button under his desk. Instantly, a huge vat of acid came pouring down over Tanbrook. The Ruler's clothes and personal possessions were acid proof, but Tanbrook wasn't. He gave a cry of pure terror as the acid consumed him. Only his bones and parts of his clothing remained.

Cyrenna saw her chance to be a hero and rid the galaxy of the Ruler once and for all. Before anybody could stop her, she darted in full speed with her phaser drawn. She thought that the Ruler wouldn't expect her after Tanbrook had failed to stop him.

"No!" cried Trever when he realized what Cyrenna was doing.

He started to take off after her but Linda held him back. A few seconds later, he calmed down and thanked Linda for stopping him, but he still couldn't stand seeing Cyrenna race to her doom.

Cyrenna was right that the Ruler wasn't expecting her, however, it made little difference. Some computer controlled lasers locked in on her and fired. Cyrenna was killed instantly.

The lasers fired automaticly unless the Ruler instructed otherwise. The only reason he let Tanbrook past the lasers is because he wasn't sure what it would take to kill him. He was afraid that the lasers might have given him a warning about the acid which could kill him.

As soon as he saw Cyrenna's body, the Ruler wasted no time in issuing a red alert throughout the entire ship.

"Attention!" announced the Ruler. "Be on the look out for anyone out of the ordinary. A member of the crew of the Marrot V was killed trying to attack me. There are probably more of them. They are armed and dangerous. If you see them, notify me at once."

The last sentence was a coded message for the soldiers to wear their infrared glasses. They were to be brought to the Ruler as soon as they were captured.

Trever pointed to a passage to the right motioning for the others to follow him. He couldn't help remembering how the Ruler was directly responsible for the death of two of his would be assassins in less than a minute without giving it a second thought.

The group took an abrupt turn when they spotted a group of soldiers directly ahead of them. Even with infrared glasses, the intruders were still hard to spot. Once of the soldiers thought he saw a figure slip into the shadows, but he ignored it.

"That was a close one!" exclaimed Wentar whispering.

Trever put his fingers to his lips telling Wentar not to make any noise. They were still not out of danger. The soldiers searched the area half-heartedly and left as quickly as they had come.

Trever came out of hiding and slowly looked around to see if the coast was clear. When he was convinced it was safe, he motioned for the others to continue down the passage they had chosen earlier.

Fern and Logan took turns using their powers to keep the group invisible. What they forgot to tell the others was that the invisibility wasn't permanent. They had to keep concentrating the entire time. The slightest lapse in concentration would cause them to become visible again. Fern and Logan had both used their powers of invisibility before, but never for this long a time span. They were both getting weak from the continuous strain of keeping everyone invisible.

The group became visible for a split second. Fortunately, none of the Ruler's troops were in the area. The other noticed what had happened and turn to Fern and Logan.

"I can't keep it up," Logan cried out softly.

"Just try a concentrate a little bit longer," Trever encouraged. "I'm sure there's a good hiding place up ahead."

"I can go a little while longer," said Fern. "Just try to relax and save your strength for when we need it."

It was true that the younger one was, the better his changes of getting hypo-psycotic powers, but the powers themselves, like a fine wine, got better with age. Fern was more powerful than Logan and Rinquin was more powerful than both of them combined.

Trever led the way once more looking for a place to rest. After what seemed like hours of searching he came to what looked like a good spot. Unfortunately, the room he had chosen turned out to be occupied and worse still, he was wearing infrared glasses.

The man got a good look at Trever and immediately signaled the other to come to the area. Trever ordered them to separate. His voice could be heard by anyone quite easily, but that was the least of his worries.

Trever and Wentar were captured right away, but they gave the others enough time to spread out. Peter and Hank almost ran straight into one of the soldiers and Linda was captured later on. This left only Lisa, Fern, and Logan Lisa had crawled into what she thought was a spare closet. She didn't know what it was really, but none of the soldiers even thought about looking in there. Then, Lisa got smelled what was inside and knew why. Fern and Logan used their powers to levitate above all the confusion. Surprisingly, none of the soldiers ever bothered to look up. From the air, Fern and Logan looked around to see if anyone else had escaped.

Lisa thought she had been caught when the door opened, but it turned out to be Fern and Logan. They were both very powerful, but still quite young and they needed someone to help them out of there predicament. They closed the door behind them and waited.

Copyright MCMLXXXIX, MCMXCIX