18. Battles

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Edge gripped the plastic fork in his hand so hard his knuckles were turning white. The international multi-island broadcast had just aired, and his "friends" were gazing at him with a hint of concern in their eyes.

"Umm.Edge?" one of them said, "You okay?"

"Yes." He pushed the plate away from him and got up from the table. Seeing that they weren't entirely satisfied with the answer, he lied, "I have a headache."

Immediately, the concern floated away. They nodded and began gulping down their lunches again. He walked out of lunchroom, ignoring the stern glares of the professors and stepping out into the hall. A few tables down from where he had been sitting, a boy with dyed blonde hair got up and followed.

As he had expected, less than a minute after he had left the room, his best friend Aaron followed him.

"What the hell are we supposed to do now?" he said softly.

"Stay calm, Edge." Aaron ordered quietly, "It's not going to help if you loose your temper."

He glared.

"It was just a broadcast. It's not like they're going to change any of the restrictions. We'll still be able to.."

"That was the first international multi-island broadcast," Edge hissed back. "What if they send more patrols? You know how much people hate them. If we're responsible for more of those obnoxious ba-"

"Edge!" Aaron glared back.

"Sorry.point is if we're responsible for it then people on this island will start to hate us more than they hate the sentries. We won't be trying to free them from this oppression, we'll be isolating them further."

"I know.but we can't change the plans now. We have to hope."

"Hope. You always say that."

"Has anyone died yet?" Aaron asked.


"Then my point is proven."

"If you believed in hope so much then you would have been sitting in your flat 'hoping' the sentries would just go away like half the morons on this island."

Aaron smiled grimly. "Well sometimes it's good to mix hope in with a little action."

"You go ahead and hope. Once again I'll work my butt off to keep you guys safe while you set up the explosives. But if I die tonight then remember that I'm the one who's paying the price if your hoping doesn't work."

"Optomistic as always Edge..."


Fly could honestly say he felt like running back into the caverns.

Anywhere else other than where Deryke was. Deryke and Pocari. The red robed man's outbursts had been odd enough, but now Fly was reasonably sure that Pocari was mad as well as overly excited. And while Deryke just tried to grin and shrug it off, Fly felt like grinding something into the Colossals.

They were settled down inside MooniƩ with what seemed to be a permanent well adjustment. It had been there third day, for Fly, and the fifth for Deryke.

MooniƩ was very different. In numerous manners. Small enough so that everyone knew, or at least had heard of, each other, and could finish every one of their neighbor's sentences, but big enough for him to get lost every time. And though everyone was over thousands of years old, not one of the inhabitants had changed slightly in appearance or manner.

Oh he had asked about that, of course, but they had all simply looked, shrugged and commented, "The children grew up years ago. They're all about the same age as us now. Once they get to be about our appearance level they just..."

"They just what?" Fly had prompted.

"They just...stop growing..."

Fly wanted to leave. He wanted to leave very much.


"Ah, Mr. Wimberley I presume?" said the 6th Senator.

The mayor of Mintcastle smiled graciously at his guest. "Senator. How good of you to come."

"Recently, a member of our administration smuggled a message containing falsely top-secret information to your house, Mayor." Said the Senator. "Obviously, the information this message contains is ludicrously erroneous and the receiver of this message may become...mistaken of our good will."

"Many messages are sent to and from my house every day." Said the mayor, "I would not know exactly of which message you speak."

"One delivered and accepted by the a dangerous traitor to the Ruler."

So he knew.

The mayor did not so much as pale slightly. To the contrary, he smiled. He could use this to his advantage somehow...


Zak peered out of the crack in the door. A solider glared down at him. He closed the door again and began pacing the room once more. A few seconds later, the door cracked open again and Zak was glancing up and down the corridor. Both soldiers glared down at him this time.

"Where's Miki?" Zak asked.

One of the soldiers pushed him back into the room. "You stay here. Mayor's orders."

This time, Zak glared. This was the third time they'd said that.

Frankly he was getting tired of it.


Titen walked down the hall silently making his way towards Zak's chambers. He had no doubt that by now, the boy would've become restless. Resulting in another two guards lost and a messy cleanup in the hallway.

It was, of course, inevitable. And, of course, he'd known this would happen. He'd expected it. And Zak would not let him down.

But when he reached the hallway, he didn't see anything that needed cleaning up. He didn't see mutilation or even some sort of scuffle. Not the merest scratch on the wall. His curiosity was infinitely piqued.

But one thing was missing. The guards. Where were they?

"Took you long enough." Zak said, brushing off his hands and emerging from the room.

Titen glared. "Go back to your cell."

"My CELL?"

"I meant room."

Yeah right. He scoffed. "Where's Miki?"

Titen's eyes narrowed to slits; hand on the hilt of his blade already.


She crawled back slowly, carefully avoided the areas of the roof that looked particularly damaged. Pantile shingles that would completely break off and thunder down the roof if she so much as touched them. Someone was having a conversation in the room below. Miki could hear bits and pieces of their conversation as she crawled.

Something about a deal...

Miki paused. A deal? Concerning....prisoners.


She stopped, and, after making sure the evidence was kept safely away from damage, slowly, painstakingly flipped herself down so she was hanging off the roof, her feet hooked securely on a smokestack through the roof.


"What did you lock her up in a room and throw away the key too?" Zak asked sarcastically. "Did you put these measly 'guards' around her door to 'protect' her?"


"-thinks she's here on behalf of....doesn't realize she's actually a pris-"

"Keep her here for....up security...make sure she doesn't leave..."


"What about the boy?"

There was a sudden stiff pause. "What boy?"


Titen's eyes flashed. "So you want to be the one to protect her is that it? Miki, the daughter of the Ruler-"


"-you'll be her knight in shining armor is that it?? YOU? You can't protect anyone Zak, all you do is destroy. That's the only thing you were ever good for back in Gumi. You can't protect anyone, much less MIKI. You're just a puppet. A nasty little puppet used and beaten and broke-"

CRUNCH. Titen dodged the blow and the dull edge of Zak's blade smashed into the wall beside him instead and whipped out his blade. He was ready.


Hacking the files hadn't been really that hard. Not that time. There was an enormous difference in the amount of security in applied to the mayor's documents, as compared with the Ruler's. In this case, it was much easier to obtain what she needed.


Shipping times. Schedules. And at last, some sort of transportation that could take her to Trove. Anything that could take her.

And she'd found it.

Miki clutched the papers in her fist and squeezed her eyes shut. "Fly. Deryke. I'm almost there..."


"YOU-" Zak grunted out between clashes. "have no RIGHT to even by TALKING about my life!" Another thrust. Titen dodged again and shot forward, their blades clashed and suddenly they found themselves staring at each other, eye to eye.

He could see the whites of Zak's eyes. And the dark irises. Dark blue. They were angry at the moment, angry at HIM.

"I HAVE NO RIGHT??? What are you TALKING ABOUT? I'm not the one who RAN. I'm not the one who couldn't take it anymore and just LEFT. You're the one who didn't have the right! You should be locked and thrown away in some filthy prisonhouse!!!"

"I didn't even need to be there in the FIRST PLACE! It was YOU and the others that made me stay!! YOU HAD ME THERE AGAINST MY WILL."


"BULLSHIT." He snarled. "You obviously have NO idea what the commander was REALLY LIKE."

"You have NO right to be talking about my commander in that tone."

"HE's not even your commander any more."

Titen switched subjects on him. "Why haven't you left already then? You're waiting for that GIRL. MIKI. You're violating ALL the old rules!!"

"I don't ABIDE my the RULES." Zak said. "I make my own." His eyes flashed.

It wasn't hard to find them either. In fact, it was simple. She followed the noise.

Zak and the boy from before, Titen, were obviously fighting. Miki could hear every clash of their blades, which was quickly replaced by high angry voices loud enough to wake anyone previously comatose, and suddenly, silence.


She stood in front of them now, who were brawling, kicking, punching, wrestling and smashing each other down. She waited quietly. And suddenly, Titen noticed her. He jerked back, received a smashing blow in the nose, winced and rolled back. Zak, having sensed something different, looked up.


"Um. You guys...okay?"

They glared balefully at each other, each rubbing something soar on their jaws or arms. Titen scrunched up his nose cautiously and winced from remarkable pain.

"I have all my stuff." She said. "We're leaving now, Zak." She walked past them and then glanced back. "Titen you might want to bail while you have the chance. You wouldn't want to bump into the Mayor anytime soon when we're gone."


She paused.


She didn't answer. "We have battles to fight, Zak. And there's still Trove to get to. Meet me on the bridge. I'll be waiting."

They stared after her as she left. Zak was left to wonder just what about her was different. Something had changed already. In such a short amount of time, before his very eyes, something about her had changed.

And he didn't know what it was.

A/n: thank you soooo much for reading..i appreciate the time you take just to skim over anything I post =) hopefully you liked my fic. I actually just went back and re-edited all the chapters. Didn't change ne thing major. Just tried to fix some spelling/grammatical errors and other bloopers you (hopefully) never noticed before.

um I don't even know if anyone likes this fic..or will even read it ne more.. =/ sorry it took so long to get out. every author hits a depression stage.. This chapter was basically just to see if anyone would read on if I continued posting or not. =) r&r if you read please.