The fleets leapt into action, blazes of lightning fired between the thousands of fighters that filled space. Frigates smashed into one another and fires erupted in the dark. Fang’s strike force moved swiftly through the battle, firing bombs at the enemy support craft. Fang himself walked on the bridge, his mind racing. He must call for aid, but whom should he call?
“Plutoon!” he blurted out, almost not knowing why he had said it. Plutoon couldn’t save them, but he could save the people “General Ynot, patch me through to Plutoon immediately!” Ynot bowed and turned on a large screen, which masked the ferocious war beyond. On the screen, Plutoon’s face fuzzed into view. “Plutoon you must get yourself and Isabelle to safety! We’ve fallen into an ambush and Mercury is not safe, forget about me and just rescue the next generation! Get our people off Mercury before it suffers the same fate as Neptune”
“What fate? Where is the head of Anton Zyphell?” Plutoon demanded
“Still firmly attached to his shoulders, now listen to me!” The ship rocked as a large beam struck its outer hull “Get to Mercury, save the people! Bring as many military units as possible, launch all Galaxian fleets. But do not try to save me!” His tone changed, it calmed “I just want to tell you, before I never see you again, I am thoroughly proud of the man you’ve become. Good fortunes in life, my friend, may Heaven be with you” The screen lost contact. Outside, a large electrical pylon dropped from the top of Freedom 1, burning and sparking. All systems on the ship slowly began to fail. “Ready the fire ship for immediate departure!” The fire ship burst into flames and slowly rolled away from Freedom 1. Zyphell surveyed the battlefield and spotted the approaching ship.
“Just as I planned!” he laughed evilly “Launch Program Beta!” again the stars around them rattled, the fire ship wobbled in space. A sudden burst of light leapt from Dominator and into the floating weapon. It was forced back along its previous road and back into Freedom 1’s side. Explosions rocked the side of the ship and flames erupted up all along it. Zyphell laughed hysterically “Counter-attack that, Fang!”
“The fire attack has failed my lord!” called Ynot “Ready the water bolts!” Large cannons poked out of their slots and fired huge balls of water towards Dominator. Engulfed in his laughter from his previous success, Zyphell failed to spot them. They struck the side of the ship, and large quantities of water flooded into the lower hull.
“Commander Zyphell, our lower decks have been flooded! We can’t access our supplies!” Zyphell slammed his fist on the windowsill and then on the window. Down below, men ran around in confusion as the waters rose without anything to cause them to do so. The water became a living creature, rising on its own instincts.
“Everyone get to higher decks, we’ll drown if we stay here!” They ran up the spiral stairs to the next floor. “Move, we have less than ten seconds to seal off this floor!” they ran and ran. One slipped, and the rest followed. Three units reached the next level; the water swallowed up their allies and burst through the hatch. The hatch was slid shut and the water ceased. “That won’t hold it for long, we must get past the Level five bulkheads!”
Outside, Plutoon’s fighter materialised and the monstrous Plutonian fleet did so as well, behind it. The king flew his ship towards the planet surface and dispersed his forces. Half followed him, whilst the others remained to engage the enemy. Fires on Freedom 1 were quickly quenched, but the waters remained on Dominator, eating away at the cables and tearing it apart. Zyphell was going completely ballistic on the bridge.
“Damage report!” he commanded
“We’ve lost the first three levels and the water is pushing hard on Level Four access hatch” came the report. Zyphell screamed in rage and grabbed one of his troops. With a second burst of fury, he threw them against the wall and stamped his foot so hard that dust clouds formed around it.
“Prepare the Death Ray for immediate fire!” he waved his hand through the air and spun his spear over his head. It twirled and glowed a sinister green, as Zyphell slammed it into the ground, green smoke rose. Energy rushed along thick power cords and into the main charger point on the ray. Sparks flew up as it grew into a large ball of power, with beams of energy reaching out to wires surrounding it.
“The weapon is heating up, we’re running out of time!” Ynot called to Fang “All forces, concentrate firepower on the cone and the skull!” Fighters flew into formation and charged the weapon. “Attention all Mercury ground staff, begin evacuation code delta!” Sparks grew around the weapon and it began to glow “Our concentrated fire is having an affect, keep firing!” But in a glare of red light, a monstrous beam emitted from the tip of the weapon and hit the surface of Mercury. “No! The people!”
Down below, the beam tore through the giant city of Mercan as though it were paper. The sky turned red, and the ground shook, people panicked and burned in the Armageddon that rained upon them. Walls melted and towers tumbled as the rescue forces finally arrived. People grew intensely scared, terror shone in their eyes and Plutoon carried the children to the escape vehicles.
“We can’t take them all!” he called over the rioting “We must pull back for now with the children” Trying hard not to look at the prying fingers of desperate civilians, Plutoon prepared to lift off. But the door banged and a familiar voice called through
“Plutoon, my friend, open the door!” came the voice of Prime Minister Troton. Plutoon crossed the transport with fire in his eyes and ripped the door open “Oh, thank Heaven for you boy. I thought for sure-!” He groaned, Plutoon’s blade was stuck through his chest
“You created the most evil man in the galaxy!” Plutoon cursed “Your fate shall be the same as his!” The body slid from his blade and into the crowd and Plutoon slammed the transport door. When it closed, his mind flashed. Images of horror cursed his mental screen, he saw the Galaxians and himself wielding his blade in rage. Cutting them down, placing a bomb on the transport and laughing as it pulled away. He fell back into the ship, clutching his head. This was not the time, he would address this later
Plutoon lifted the transport from the ground and moved away. The engines were loud, but nothing could drown out the screams, the cries of pain and fear. A second lump moved down the Death Ray and volcanoes began to thrust up through the ground as it cracked and creaked.
“The planet is being melted, my lord,” reported one of Zyphell’s soldiers
“Aah! The wind, the skies! All is filled now with the screams of my enemies!” the vicious man stroked his beloved trident “Soon, the wrath of the Unbreakable Curse shall fall upon my foes! With this planet obliterated in flames, I shall never experience disobedience again” he slammed the butt of his spear into the ground, before spinning it around his head and slashing the air. “Now, all troops advance and destroy that pathetic excuse for a fleet!”
The Dominator fleet moved forward and smashed, headlong, into the defence frigates. They crumbled and fell slowly out of the sky as the massive force approached Freedom 1. Fang ran about on the bridge and barked his orders
“Evasive action!” he shouted, “Prepare the boarding tubes!”
“Commander Fang, General Plutoon is boarding” came the voice of General Ynot
“No! I strictly told him not to help me!” Fang ran from the bridge and down the corridor. The ship rocked and a beam punched a hole in the side of Freedom 1, flames erupted down the corridor and Fang fell against a pipe. Outside, Dominator was growing dangerously close to Freedom 1, and with shields that powerful it would tear them apart. Fang slowly rose and rubbed his head, then raised his staff and jets of ice sprung over the flames and put them out. Then he charged down towards the hanger. “Plutoon! Where are the children?” Plutoon looked down at him from a raised platform
“They’re here, in that ship” he pointed at a ship that now sat in the hanger. Whilst looking at the ship, Fang’s eyes moved to the open hanger door and widened with fear.
“No!” he screamed. One of the enemy frigates smashed in through the door and into the hanger. The transport was crushed and the hanger began to collapse, flames scorched the metal ground as the bridge from the frigate dropped into the room and shattered. Plutoon leapt towards Fang as his platform dropped to the fiery abyss below. “Come on, we have to get off this ship”
“Surrender?” blurted Plutoon
“It’s over my pupil!” Fang’s eyes went dark “Our struggle is ended. Zyphell has outsmarted me”
“Not this time!” Plutoon checked his scanner “Look! He has made a fateful error! The Death Ray is within our cannon range!” he lifted his wrist and spoke into his communicator “All cannons, fire on the Death Ray!” Within seconds, beams of energy erupted from Freedom 1 and sank into the Death Ray. It shook violently before a blinding flash imploded in its core and it shattered with a piercing screech. Shards of metal fell through space and sparks began their dance on the base of Dominator.
“Well done!” Fang raised his wrist-link “All crew, code red! Infrastructure critical! All staff and forces evacuation code beta-alpha-beta!” The ship rocked viciously and fire erupted up the sides of the outer hull. Fang looked at the roof of the hanger and saw up into the infrastructure, where beams of metal snapped like twigs and erupted into flames. “Hull breach!” Another frigate smashed into the centre of the hull and burst into flames. The monstrous ship snapped down the middle and all the airlocks exploded. The flames of a fiery explosion raced towards Plutoon and Fang and opened its hellish jaws. They flinched and covered their faces for the impact.
But it never came. And instead of extreme heat, a soft breeze waved their hair and dust covered their shoes. When Plutoon opened his eyes, it looked as if Fang’s eyes were never closed. Instead his eyes stared far away in their strange new surroundings. Plutoon took time to observe his location; it was a dusty stone ring, like the coliseum on Mercury and Earth. The sky was blood red and the ground was a sea of sand.
“What is it?” Plutoon looked bewildered as his master looked around to reply
“It isn’t” Fang said blankly, his face wiped clean of all emotions and expressions “It was Mercury, so this is the effect of Zyphell’s weapon eh?” he folded his arms “Not my sort of planet if I must comment”
“You don’t like it then?” came a sinister sneer from across the sand. On the opposite side of the coliseum, his cape flapping in the wind, stood the unmistakable figure of Anton Zyphell. His eyes were mad with the rage of a thousand dragons and a long sneer spread across his face. “Welcome to my Coliseum of Doom! Where you’ll find pain and suffering lurking beneath every grain of sand” he scooped up a handful of dust from the ground and let the wind carry it away “And, of course, the main event!” he spun his spear around it twirls and stamped its butt into the ground “Me!” Fang let out a single shot of laughter “What?”
“You call yourself the main event?” Fang’s voice took on its old sarcastic tone “But Zyphell, I’m in the area! And compared to me, you are nothing” Zyphell’s eyebrows slanted into the middle of his face and his eyes flashed with rage. Plutoon put his hand on the tip of his father’s sword and began to draw it from his sheath.
“You pretentious fool!” Zyphell lifted his spear “Would you like to test the edge of my blade? Then accept my challenge! Two on one! Right here, right now!” he spun his spear over his head and pointed the tips at his foes. Again, Fang laughed.
“Do you need to be taught how weak you are?” Fang lifted his staff “Then, only if you insist, bring it on!” Plutoon stepped forward
“That counts the both of us!” he drew his long sword and pointed to the sky “I shall make you pay for the lives of the people of this planet!” they charged him together and raised their weapons. Zyphell caught their attacks with a slight wave of his spear and counter-attacked them. Fang created a small shield to deflect the attack, while Plutoon somersaulted over his enemy’s head. Zyphell stamped the ground with his foot and both his targets fell to the floor, then with a wave of his spear, scraped the side of Plutoon’s face. Zyphell leapt through the air and landed on the opposite side of the arena.
“Now!” he folded his arms around himself “Witness my immeasurable power and behold my skilful might!” He opened up his arms and black clouds erupted around his body. He held his hands up to the sky and called out in a thick voice “Armageddon, God of War, smite these foolish infidels and pulverise their pitiful bodies!” A pillar of fire shot up from the very caverns of Hell and into the sky, Fang walked forwards.
“Leave this affair to me” he raised his staff and pointed it at the pillar. Fireballs began to leap from its sides and fall to the ground as Fang chanted a silent ritual, light began to grow on the end of his staff. With a flash, a beam shot from the light and into the side of Hell’s pillar. It rocked slightly and began to tumble, it fell through the sky and Zyphell leapt to the side to avoid being crushed. Aware of his pride, he quickly got back up again.
“Very good, let’s see you handle this!” he began a lightning attack with his weapon waving in all different directions. Plutoon leapt in front of his master and spun his sword around, catching all of Zyphell’s attacks. With a swift slice, Plutoon cut Zyphell’s side and backed up. Zyphell fell to one knee and growled as he clutched his injury. But his face was not one with pain, rage spread across his expression. His eyes widened and he gritted his yellow teeth, as storm clouds began to gather above. Rain pattered on his armour and the feather upon his helmet began to flop. But none of the three warriors moved, they stood still as the rain got heavier. Zyphell’s breathing was heavy, slowly he looked up at Plutoon, whose blade was now at his throat.
“Taste my father’s blade, oh ‘fearsome one’!” Plutoon smirked. Zyphell slowly rose to his feet and glared down at Plutoon. He raised his armoured hand and grabbed Plutoon’s wrist, he squeezed his foe’s hand until he screamed and dropped the blade. Then Zyphell brought his knee up into Plutoon’s chin and he fell violently onto his back.
“Your father’s blade eh?” Zyphell kicked the tip of the blade and it flipped up into his hand. With a grin, he blew slightly onto the sword and it turned bone white, before shattering into a thousand pieces. “Now it is just like your father, broken!” He kicked Plutoon hard in the chest and sent him flying through the air and against the stone wall. “Now Fang, let’s see what you’ve got!”
“Bring it on!” they leapt into action, kicking and swinging their weapons wildly at each other. Flashes erupted around the blades as they crossed, staff and trident, each trying to outdo the other. As they fought, black clouds grew around Zyphell, while white clouds grew around Fang. With one tremendous swing, the two were sent flying in opposite directions. But they re-found their feet quickly and jumped back into action. They deadlocked their weapons and pushed hard on each other, the clouds flashed with lightning. With a glare, Fang broke the lock and flipped up, kicking Zyphell in the face and pushing him back. Zyphell fell to the floor and supported himself on his trident.
“Most impressive Master Fang” he panted like a dog. With a glint of surprise in his eye, Zyphell wiped his brow and held his hand out to Fang “Look! I broke a sweat! Most impressive indeed!” he pulled himself up and rubbed his injury “Well, I suppose we should test our Kong powers next!” Without warning a blast of energy leapt from his open palm and towards Fang, who flicked his staff and sent it to one side.
“Is that the best you can do?” Fang sneered, as if their personalities had swapped. Zyphell looked stunned at him
“All that effort with miniscule result!” he gasped “Well, I’ve shown my best now show me yours!” Fang put his ands on his hips and sighed
“You don’t want to see my best” he sighed “Trust me, I can destroy you” Zyphell laughed
“You can’t destroy me!” he mocked “I can deflect anything, why else do you think this spear is known as ‘The Unbreakable Curse’? Come on, hit me with everything that you’ve got!” Fang tilted his head and fired a golden beam into his foe, Zyphell held his spear in a defensive stance. But the beam went through the spear and struck his chest. He somersaulted through the air and hit the ground hard, Fang straightened up and stroked some dust from his shoulder. Zyphell shook his head and slowly found his feet, raising his spear he stopped and gasped with horror. “What have you done?” Like the decorative peeling of a candle, bits of metal began to lift from is trident and fall off. Before long, the blades were curvy and as good as harmless. “Why you incompetent little-!” he raised his hand to perform a curse, his hand sparked and did nothing else.
“That’s right Anton” Fang smirked “Your powers have been desolated. With a powerful blast from my hands, I have scanned your brain and processed the information. In doing this, the real gods of Kong have been able to investigate your intentions and have cut off your Kong powers for good” Zyphell fell to his knees, he held himself up with his trident and tried to catch his breath. “It’s over Zyphell”
“No my friend, it is just beginning!” Zyphell flicked a switch on his belt and the planet lurched “I have just issued a new order. Look up, if you dare!” Fang looked to the sky and gasped in terror. “Yes, my beloved Dominator is setting course for its final destination. A suicide collision course with this planet” Above, Dominator was growing closer and closer to the planet, flames began to erupt around the nose as it forced its way towards the surface. “But do not fear Fang, I have a larger ship awaiting me on Neptune”
“Neptune is dead!” blurted Fang “Thanks to you! Tiange is dying of grief because of what you did!” Zyphell clapped his hands on his cheeks.
“Dying? Are you serious” he burst out laughing at his own sarcasm “You’ve just made my day! Anyway, the planet is dead its true, however the core isn’t! My ship is being constructed by absorbing the planet’s life force; my ship is mining the Kong energy. And when it is ready, like a chick from an egg, it shall burst from the case and a new era of darkness shall fall upon the galaxy! I shall name her Shadowcaster!”
“When you are quite finished dictating,” Fang said sarcastically “How do you plan to get off this planet and how do you plan to get past me to do so?” Zyphell smiled and pointed at two more switches on his belt.
“I have both planned out perfectly” he pointed to a red button “This is a teleport to my factory under Neptune and this one” he pointed to a skull shaped one “does this!” he pushed it and thirty archers leapt out of the walls and pulled their arrows back. Fang looked around and smiled.
“I might of known, ‘all alone where’s the ambush?’ is what Tiange always used to warn me” he looked into Zyphell’s eyes “You insolent wretch!” Zyphell growled and folded his arms“Kill him” the arrows leapt from the bows at lightning speed and flew towards Fang. As he groaned in pain, they sank their steel teeth into his body and let out a cry of appreciation as he fell to one knee. Fang put his hand on his side as his second knee hit the floor, he looked towards the attackers. His vision was impaired and fading, but he saw the arrows being taken from their holders and loaded before his vision went and he felt a final blow of sharp pain.