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X LIVES!

By ... Steve Lucky

CHAPTER SIX : A RAY OF HOPE

The surprise attack worked even better than they had expected. Even though they were well trained, the soldiers still weren't able to react in time. By the time they had established a place from which to retaliate, half of them had been shot down.

Another advantage Shawn and company had was in attacking from the air. Hank, Linda, Orn, and Detrina realized that the enemy soldiers had no protection from the air and decided to exploit that weakness. Only one of them had a jetpack and Orn took care of him easily. His phaser was only set on stun, but even stunning him could kill him when he was hovering in midair he plunged three miles below to his death.

Maylin shot another soldier bringing their total down to six. One of the soldiers realized that there was no way in the world they could win but he refused to surrender. He crept silently around the battlefield staying as low as possible so he couldn't be spotted from the air. He used everything he could find to remain hidden from the others. He might die in the attempt, but he was determined to kill Shawn Cobalt.

With the addition attack from the air, the other five soldiers surrendered. They weren't really surrendering, only pretending to so they could take the enemy off guard. Fortunately, Shawn knew all their tricks and took every precaution against such an occurrence. However, he did not take into consideration the possibility of another soldier coming around from behind. Even Shawn's acute senses did not notice the forgotten soldier carefully aiming for the back of his head.

Detrina's instinct told her that something was wrong. They had forgotten to check the other direction, so she decided to take a look. She got there just in time as the soldier took careful aim knowing he would only get one chance.

"WATCH OUT!" Detrina screamed at the top of her lungs.

Shawn ducked as the shot went sailing over his head. The soldier cursed his misfortune as Detrina shot him from above.

The soldiers looked out over the edge of the canyon and saw Peter approaching. He had come to tell the others that X had surrendered to the Ruler and had no idea there was a battle going on. One of the soldiers smiled in an evil way as he pointed his weapon at Peter With Maylin busy with another soldier, it was up to Lisa to stop him. Lisa, not normally known for her expertise with a phaser, showed amazing accuracy by knock the gun out of the soldiers hands with one shot. As he bent down to pick it up, Antru put his life to an abrupt end.

Peter arrived just in time to see him fall. All the enemy soldiers had been defeated. Peter looked around in awe wondering what possibly could have happened.

"What are you doing here?" Detrina demand as Peter finally set his feet on the ground again.

"Trying to rescue you," Peter stammered apologeticly.

When he had surrendered, Peter knew that the others were in trouble and rushed to their aid. He just got there a little bit too late.

"Well you're not doing a very good job of it," Detrina scolded sounding strangely like somebody he knew.

She and Lisa exchanged satisfied glances. Revenge was sweet! Peter just sighed. He could save the world and no one would give him credit for it, he thought to himself.

Peter told the others what he saw down below and they immediately decided to go down there and help out. That's what Peter had been waiting for. He turned on his jetpack and started to fly down to the bottom once more.

"It might be quicker if we take the ship," Shawn called out after him failing to resist the urge to rub it in.

Using the jetpack to the bottom of the canyon was like walking to the store, it was a ggreat way to get in shape, but not when there was a time factor involved and, in this case, there was very definitely a time factor involved.

"This just isn't my day," conceited Peter as they took the ship down to the bottom of the canyon.

TIME : 12:15 P.M. (12:15)
PLACE : The bottom of the Grand Canyon

X was in the brig. For the first time ever, the Ruler had X right where he wanted him.

"I should kill you right now," the Ruler remarked coldly.

"Then why don't you?" X responded not about to let the Ruler get the best of him.

X saw the Ruler hesitate for a few seconds thinking of a good answer, but X already knew why the Ruler hadn't killed him. He was afraid. Without threatening someone else's life, the Ruler was no match for X. X had seen Peter go off to get help and knew he wouldn't stay in the brig for long. It was only a matter of time.

Shawn and the others arrived even sooner than X had expected. He didn't expect them to win the battle with the Ruler's soldiers so easily. It was as if X had been helping them even though he wasn't there.

The Ruler saw them approaching and wondered what to do next. Just then, Doug arrived on the scene greatly strengthening the Ruler's powers. The Ruler knew that if he waited until the right moment, he could destroy every single one of them.

When he first escaped from Beng's clutches, Doug ran as fast as he could go without looking back. He knew the best way he could help X was by staying out of the way and not letting the Ruler use him as a hostage. Ironically, he did just that by placing the bomb on him. He was no longer a hostage, but his life was still hanging by a thread. After a while, when no one came after him, Doug decided to return and see what had happened to X. There, he was greatly relieved to see all his friends again.

He was about to join them, but Maylin told him to stay back.

"Stay right where you are," she warned him. "There's a bomb on you."

"How did she know that?" thought Shawn. "She must have some sort of power we don't know about."

No matter how she had acquired her powers, Shawn was glad she had them.

Maylin very carefully went up to Doug and removed the bomb. Then, she deactivated it making the Ruler's device powerless. The Ruler no longer had a threat to use against X. The only problem was, X didn't know it yet.

Shawn knew what he had to do. He told the others to leave the area and approached the ship alone. The Ruler noticed that Maylin had stopped Doug and searched him before he could join the others and thought she had found the bomb. To see if he was right, he pushed the button. Nothing happened. He pushed it again, still nothing. Finally he gave up. He would have to find another way to stop them.

When he saw Shawn coming to confront him, he decided that it was his best chance to kill Shawn since he first declared war on the Triax government. He stepped out of the ship ready to kill Shawn in cold blood.

Unknown to everyone, Doug has disobeyed Shawn's orders to leave the area and hid under the Ruler's ship instead he had caused nothing but trouble ever since the mission began and wanted to redeem himself. Finally, he had his chance. When the Ruler left the ship to go after Shawn, Doug slipped inside the Ruler's ship and freed X from captivity. X thanked Doug for freeing him and immediately challenged the Ruler once more. The Ruler took a cheap shot at Shawn, but Shawn was expecting it and rolled out of the way in plenty of time.

The Ruler looked around and saw that he was surrounded. The showdown was over and X was clearly the winner, but no one said that the Ruler had to play by the rules. The Ruler darted at X taking him completely by surprise. He shoved X out of the way and fought his way back to his ship. X tried to hold him back, but it was no use. The Ruler had escaped into his ship.

Everyone ran away as the Ruler took off and headed to wherever it was he was going.

Just when Shawn thought things were over disaster struck. He was still out in the open when the Ruler took off. The Ruler, not about to let his last opportunity to kill Shawn slip away, fired the ships lasers at him. There was a tremendous explosion as the lasers hit the wall of the canyon. An avalanche started and Shawn was caught in the path of the falling debris.

Peter clinched his fist at the Ruler's ship as it disappeared from sight. The Ruler had gotten away again, but it wasn't a total loss. They had captured Beng and about ten of his soldiers and had killed about fifteen, plus the Ruler had lost some of his confidence which was bound to show up in future battles.

As X and the others cleared away the debris, X saw something he had never expected to see and laughed. Shawn had disappeared without a trace leaving only two words carved into the surrounding rock, "SHAWN LIVES!"

TIME : 2:53 P.M. (14:53)
PLACE : The camp

Shawn had returned with his ship that he found in Megaplexx Docking Bay #47 which no one tried to steal. It was time for the M.W.G.D. officers to say good bye to Maylin, Orn, Neurt, Yung-mai, and Antru and head back to M.W.G.D. Headquarters. X had already left and it was time for them to leave as well.

"By the way, how did you know a bomb was planted on Doug," Shawn asked Maylin in hindsight.

"X told me," she replied vaguely and then decided to tell the whole truth for a change. "I'm telepathic. X sent me a mental message that there was a bomb on Doug and I received it. It really wasn't that hard."

Shawn wondered if X had sent a telepathic signal to her when he was stranded on Earth. It went along with everything she had told him so far. He figured that someone with the ability Maylin had was bound to team up with M.W.G.D. again. Perhaps he could learn more about her in the future.

Peter, Hank, Linda, Doug, Mac, and Shawn were all inside the ship and the ones remaining on Triax had went off to do other things leaving Detrina and Lisa on their own.

"Um. ..I just want to say I'm sorry for all the things I said about you in the past," Lisa began. "I thought that just because you betrayed us once, you'd betray us again. Now, I can see I was wrong. You probably saved Shawn's life back there and I am greatful for it."

"If the situation was reversed, I wouldn't have trusted you either," Detrina admitted as the two of them entered the ship together.

Peter looked out the window at Triax and watched it get smaller and smaller until it disappeared from sight.

"How long do you think the war will last?" Peter wondered out loud.

"With all the allies we have, I think the war will be over by the end of the month," predicted Shawn.

TIME : October 31, 2014
PLACE : The Royal Palace of Triax

The Ruler had surrendered and the government of Triax remained in tact. King Jake XXVIII and Queen Lynn I had declared the day to be a holiday so they could celebrate their victory and honor their war heroes, most notably Neurt, Yung-mai, and Antru who had aspired to greatness in spite of the death of their commanding officer. They were to be honored by the king and queen in front of a live television audience.

Possessing the greater rank, Antru was chosen to give the acceptance speech.

"I would like to thank numerous people," he began. "without any one of which, this day wouldn't be possible. X, of course, is the first person who comes to mind. Then there is Admiral Quaff who taught me so much before he died, my loyal partners Yung-mai and Neurt and anybody else who was with us, Naylin, Orn, and of course Shawn and the other members of M.W.G.D."

Peter looked at Detrina and smiled, they hadn't been forgotten after all. Peter and Detrina had taken the day off and went over to Capitol City to join in the celebration. They were currently in the audience watching their friends being honored.

Peter relaxed knowing he finally had what he wanted. He was with Detrina at someplace special. He was still not alone with her, but he didn't care. The celebration had begun.

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