170 Pages

Class: Story
Status: Complete
Author: Thingguy2
Availability: The Broken Slave can also be found here.

Chapter 1Edit

Shocked Hammy Turtle dove behind a rock. He had attracted the attention of several Stromling Mechs, and they had opened fire on him. He fumbled through his backpack, searching for his sentinel shield and basic short sword of knockback. He equipped his shield, body armor and metallic legs, and dove out at the mech. He threw a Firecracker, eliminating the metal thing. He quickly built a turret, giving him a little extra firepower. He rushed past the next mech and built the satellite beacon. There was a loud whistling sound, and an explosion, destroying the mech.

Equipping his improved scythe of whirlwind, he rushed at the final mech, and in three blows, the mech was smashed. Building the mech turret, Turtle swallowed a quicksicle and ran back to Beck Strongheart. He reached Beck Strongheart unscathed, although an unlucky Stromling who got in the way didn't.

Turtle reached Beck Strongheart and saluted.

"Shocked Hammy Turtle reporting in," said Turtle, "mission completed."

"Good work," Beck Strongheart said, "now go speak to Wisp Lee, down by the Paradox research lab, she'll tell you about the Spider Queen."

As Beck said "Spider Queen," a troubled look came over his face. The name itself was enough to send shivers up Turtle's spine. 'If it's enough to trouble Beck Strongheart, I definitely don't want to meet this thing.' Turtle thought. He saluted once more, and turned towards Wisp Lee. He equipped his quality long sword and sentinel shield, and swallowed another quicksicle.

Ten to fifteen seconds later, He stood in front of Wisp Lee.

"Shocked Hammy Turtle reporting in," He said, pulling out his identification.

"Yes, I remember," Wisp said coldly. When Turtle became part of the Nexus Force, he came back to tell him, and was so excited that he accidentally cut him with my spear.

"Anyway," Turtle said, trying to change the subject, "Commander Strongheart said to report to you about the Spider Queen."

There it was again. That shiver. It seemed more violent than before.

"The Spider Queen, yes," (another shiver!) said Wisp, "A Rank three sentinel space ranger came to me and requested the job, so I've got another mission for you."

Turtle didn't know whether to be relieved or frightened. Of all the missions to be assigned, one assigned by a top paradox agent was the least appealing.

Assembly made you build something, Venture league had you scout around and try to remain from being seen (Turtle excelled at that), Sentinels had you smash something, but Paradox had you smash something in such a way that the body remained intact so they could examine it, and Turtle would rather just smash it than preserve it.

"So," Wisp Lee continued, "the Spider Queen…" (Shiver) "…Is a large Maelstrom-infected Arachnid, with weapons beyond our comprehension, although compared to the legendary Butterscorch, its quite tame."

At the word "Butterscorch," Turtle felt a slight shiver, more of a tickle then a shiver.

"I can see why you assigned a rank three to it," Turtle said.

"It was against my better judgment," said Wisp, "I wanted to assign him to this mission, but I never trusted sentinels, so I let him have the Spider Queen."

Turtle felt another shiver. It was staring to get annoying.

"So what's this other mission?" Turtle asked hesitantly. It was sounding as if this mission he was to be assigned was going to be harder than the Spider Queen.

There it was again! Just thinking about it made him shiver.

"This new mission," Wisp started, "will require all the skill you have."

Turtle was starting to get impatient.

"This new mission," Wisp said again, "will be a solo mission and will require…"

"JUST TELL ME WHAT I'M GOING TO BE FIGHTING!!!" Turtle didn't mean to shout. He acted strange when he got impatient.

Wisp looked at him for probably the longest Ten seconds in Turtle's life. Finally he said; "You'll be fighting…" This time Turtle felt the shiver even before Wisp said the next three words; "...The Spider King."

Chapter 2Edit

The shiver was so violent and harsh it made Turtle's whole body quake.

"The Spider King?" Turtle's voice was hoarse, "what's that?"

"The Spider King," (shiver) "is an even larger maelstrom-infected monster, some cross between an Arachnid and a Lobster. Unlike the Spider Queen," (shiver) "we don't know what this thing is made of because the Agent who accidentally developed this monster was smashed. Right now we're trying to find it's exact location and perhaps find out more about it so you can prepare yourself for it better," Wisp sound very calm as he said this, and as his face was totally obscured by bandages and his untidy hair, Turtle couldn't read his expression, but he guessed it was as calm as his voice, "so for now, just memorize this map of it's general location."

Turtle took the map and tried to recognize what it was a map of. But it was unfamiliar, and there was no label. Turtle looked up at Wisp Lee, hoping that he would give him some clue to where this might be. When he didn't, Turtle cleared his throat and said; "what is his general location?"

Wisp Lee pointed to the building behind him.

"Right where we left him," said Wisp.

'Well at least I'll be a first,' thought Turtle. As far as he knew, the only person who had been inside the research lab since it's completion who wasn't a Paradox Agent was Rusty Steele, who had to repair the wall when someone crashed their rocket into it and released a bunch of chain-saw wielding stromlings. He heard that now that person was a top Paradox Agent and Turtle wondered how he didn't get knocked down a few points for his terrible piloting skills.

Turtle stowed the map in his backpack and set off on his way. He wasn't sure where he should go, so for now, he just spent most of his time smashing stromlings, trying to get his mind off his upcoming mission.

Rusty Steele must have noticed he was feeling down because when he saw him around the monument he gave him three times as many missions.

"To help keep your mind off it, whatever it is," was his excuse, but Turtle thought he just enjoyed watching other people do work for him. Turtle didn't really mind, except that he noticed he was having more trouble building things, and it sometimes hurt.

Finally, Turtle decided to go to his Block yard property, where he could relax and get his mind off things. When he got there, he went and lay down on the only thing he had placed there; his bed.

He lay there for around twenty minutes, then got up and decided to do something. As he neared the launch pad, a dark red pod rocket came into view.

"Visitors?" Turtle said to himself, "my property isn't public, and I don't have any friends."

The pod rocket landed and the pilot jumped out. The first thing Turtle noticed about the newcomer was the weapon he was holding. The elite force blade of lightning. Even turtle's best weapon wasn't half that destructive.

"Is there anything I can do for you?" Turtle called over.

"Yeah," the newcomer replied, "are you the one who's trying to destroy the Spider King?"

Turtle clutched his forehead. It had changed from a shiver in the spine to an overly painful throbbing in his head.

"Yes," Turtle said back, his voice shaky, "that I am."

Now that this newcomer was closer, Turtle could see a few strange things about him. He walked kind of weird, as though his feet didn't actually make contact with the ground. And his eyes seemed empty, like the space between a Dark Ronin's collarbone and helmet.

"Well," said the strange man, "I have a message for you."

"From who?" asked Turtle.

The stranger leaned forward and said; "The Maelstrom."

Chapter 3Edit

Turtle saw the energy gather around the blade of the sword and knew he only had a second to act. Diving to the left, he just avoided the lightning bolt that had fallen from the sky.

Franticly, Turtle looked around for his backpack, before noticing that he had left it on his back. He avoided another lightning bolt, fumbled through his pack, drew his superior long sword of stunning, and turned to face the strange looking minifigure. Who was still just as strange looking. But wasn't a minifigure.

Turtle approached the Dark Ronin cautiously. He had defeated a Dark Ronin in battle once before, when one had stowed away on someone's rocket and came to Avant Gardens, and that was hard enough. This one had an Elite Force Blade of Lightning!

Turtle tried to think of what he did last time he was confronted with a Dark Ronin, but he drew a blank. The Dark Ronin lunged forward and feinted an overhand strike, but changed direction and attempted to punch Turtle in the side, which Turtle just barely escaped from.

'He's not trying to kill me,' thought Turtle, 'he's trying to infect me.'

Turtle poked his blade at the Dark Ronin's ribs, sending the Dark Ronin staggering backwards. Turtle charged up his sword and stunned the Dark Ronin, taking this opportunity to rifle through his backpack to find a firecracker or BBQ blast hot dog or something. His search was unsuccessful, so he equipped his sentinel shield and rushed at the Dark Ronin. The Dark Ronin tried to punch Turtle several times, but the shield impeded his progress, so he gave up on that tactic. With one stroke of the Dark Ronin's sword, Turtle's shield was down.

Turtle backed away. With his shield down it would only take two strokes from that sword to smash him. He estimated that three more blows would smash the Dark Ronin.

While Turtle was still thinking, the Dark Ronin lunged at him, knocking his sword away. In desperation, Turtle reached in his backpack, grabbed whatever was on top, and threw it at the Dark Ronin, who was less that a meter away.

The bottle of Strong Notion Potion hit the Dark Ronin in the ribcage, shattering and splashing liquid imagination all over its body. It gave a horrible screeching noise and started to spew purple smoke. There was a whirring sound and the Dark Ronin exploded.

"Well," said Turtle, coughing, "that's one way to deliver a message."

Chapter 4Edit

"And he talked to you, you say?" asked Vanda Darkflame.

It was three days after the attack of the Dark Ronin, and the leader of the Paradox faction and Turtle were sitting at a picnic table in the launching bay to find out more about the unexpected attack by the Dark Ronin.

"Yes indeed," said Turtle, "as sure as I'm talking to you now."

"Mmmm….this is interesting," said Vanda Darkflame, "we've heard of Dark Ronins disguising themselves as minifigures, but they never talk. As far as we know, the only maelstrom monsters that talk the ones that are actually Nexus troopers that have been infected, and usually in those cases they have enough self control to not smash someone, especially in a long confrontation like the one you had."

The Paradox leader looked at some notes she had with her, and asked one more question; "Did its voice sound guttural at all?" she asked.

"Not at all," Turtle replied, "in fact, he kind of sounded like Vance Bulwark."

"Who?" asked Vanda Darkflame.

"Vance Bulwark, the sentinel faction engineer," said Turtle, then a light clicked, "HEY!" he shouted.

"What is it?" the paradox leader turned and drew her katanas, "what did you see."

"I didn't see anything."

"Then why did you shout?"

"Because I made a connection."

"Well then say 'I made a connection,' instead of shouting 'hey' loud enough to scare away a dragon!" said Vanda Darkflame.

"That seems kind of long, doesn't it? Couldn't I say something shorter?"

"Would you rather say 'bread and butter pudding' instead?"

"That seems pretty long too," said Turtle.

"What do you suggest, then?" Vanda was starting to get angry.

"Well," said Turtle, "I kind of fancy the word 'Banana'"

"Fine then! Banana!" said Vanda Darkflame, "now what connection did you make?"

"Well," said Turtle, "once, when I was with Vance, he lifted his visor to wipe his forehead and for the first time, I actually saw his face, it all covered with scars and stuff, and this Dark Ronin looked and talked just like him!"

"Then I guess we'll just have to go have a word with this Vance Bulwark," said Vanda Darkflame.

They got up from the picnic table they were sitting at and headed for the road. When they passed Oliver Sudden, the foot race host, Turtle noticed something strange about him, but he couldn't place what it was.

"Did you notice something wrong with Oliver Sudden?" Turtle whispered to Vanda Darkflame.

"No," Vanda replied, "did you?"

"I don't know," said Turtle, "but something seemed odd about him, but I couldn't figure out what."

"Well faction leaders rarely ever come to Avant Gardens, so maybe he's just surprised," said Vanda.

"Maybe," said Turtle, still suspicious, then he discarded the thought. Vanda was probably right. Oliver Sudden always was a little odd.

When Turtle and Vanda Darkflame exited the tunnel leading from the monument to the sentinel base camp, they made their way over to Beck Strongheart.

"Excuse me, Beck, but we have a little investigation to go through," said Vanda when they reached Beck Strongheart.

"Oh? With whom?" he asked.

"Your engineer, Fitz Vanderbuilt," Vanda replied.

"Oh, right over here," he said, getting up.

He walked them over behind the bush to see Vance Bulwark assigning a mission to a ninja. Beck tapped him on the shoulder and said; "Fitz, Vanda Darkflame and Shocked Hammy Turtle have something to ask you."

"Yes," said Vanda, "a few days ago, Turtle here was attacked by a disguised Dark Ronin, and it was disguised exactly like you."

"Like me? That's weird. I don't know why that would be…" he suddenly stopped talking and pointed behind them, "what's that?"

They all turned to see what was behind them, but there was nothing there. They turned back to Fitz Vanderbuilt but instead saw a Dark Ronin.

Chapter 5Edit

Turtle staggered back.

"Not another one!" Turtle said, exasperated.

The Dark Ronin turned towards Vanda Darkflame and poked his spear at her. Vanda ducked at the last second, and the spear crashed into the rock behind her. There was a bright purple flash and the rock exploded, throwing Vanda Darkflame forward. Beck Strongheart rushed forward to help her up. She turned to thank him and instead was looking at the empty helmet of another Dark Ronin.

"Not you too!" Vanda Darkflame exclaimed.

Vanda looked at the sentinel base camp guards for help, to find Dark Ronin in their places too! Without the guards on duty, stromlings began poring in through the gates, even a mech found his way in.

The stromlings, Dark Ronin, and the mech closed in upon Vanda and Turtle.

"Fight to the end," said Vanda Darkflame, drawing her Katanas, "and never give in."

Turtle gulped. 'Easy for you to say,' he thought, 'you're a faction leader.'

He equipped his best armor and weapon, turned towards the enemy, and prepared to make his last charge. He held his weapon high, and angled his shield in front of him. Taking his first step, he….


A tornado of fire smashed its way through the crowd of stromlings. It then headed for the mech. The mech tried firing at this new obstacle, but the tornado just seemed to absorb them. It reached the mech, smashed it, and, for a split second, the tornado stopped and a ninja was visible. With a jolt, Turtle realized it was the ninja who had been given a mission by Fitz Vanderbuilt when they had got there.

The tornado started up again, this time lightning, and made its way for the nearest Dark Ronin. This went on the next twenty minutes, when the stromlings finally had sense enough to stay away.

The Dark Ronin's armor lay where they fell when the life went out of them, and Vanda Darkflame went over to one and picked up the helmet.

"Interesting. I'll take these down to Wisp Lee for him to analyze, I want to know if these were regular Dark Ronin or if All those people just transformed," said Vanda, "then again, I think I'll analyze them personally, since Wisp Lee has enough to do, tracking down the Spider King and all."

Turtle knelt to the ground, clutching his forehead. It had been days since anyone mentioned the Spider King, and now it was a blinding headache. For a moment, Avant Gardens swam before his eyes and he saw a large Arachnid/Lobster crouched in a corner, baring its enormous fangs. Then the vision passed and Turtle was sitting safely in Avant Gardens.

"Turtle? What's wrong?" asked Vanda.

"Nothing, just a headache, must've been all the excitement," said Turtle.

"Yes, speaking of which, what's your name?" asked Vanda, turning to the ninja who and saved their pants.

"Ace Magma Marvel," said the ninja, "spinjitzu master of all elements, assigned to Forbidden Valley, I'm on vacation."

"Wonderful, no need to brag," said Vanda, although she was quite impressed, "I'll see to it personally that you get recognized for this."

"Thanks!" said Ace, "thanks a lot!"

"Oh it's nothing compared to what you did for us," she said, "now, I'm going back."

After leaving some rank twos on guard duty, the three of them headed back through the tunnel, and then tackled the long trek up the monument.

"Why don't they just fix the road?" asked Turtle, gasping for breath.

"I'll see to it personally that the road is completed," said Vanda. She seemed to be using the words; "I'll see to it personally" a lot.

"Let me know your results as soon as you get back to Nexus Tower," said Turtle.

But getting back would be a problem.

The launching bay was a total wreck. In place of the four launchers, there was singed grass and a trail of it leading off the cliff, and the venders and launch pad guards were all tied up in the middle of the field, and Shouty McBullhorn was lying unconscious on the ground.

"It looks as if someone burned the launchers and dragged them into the lake," said Turtle, "but who?"

"The only person who isn't tied up there," said Vanda Darkflame, "Oliver Sudden."

Chapter 6Edit

"Oliver Sudden?" said Turtle, "was he a Dark Ronin too?"

"I don't know, but he probably was," Vanda Darkflame replied, "I don't know how the Maelstrom is doing this, but I want a complete daily personnel check, executives and soldiers both."

Turtle and Ace looked at each other. They knew that a lot of people would be very angry about not being able to leave Avant Gardens, but now that they had to be interrogated and prodded every 24 hours, Avant Gardens was going to be a very unpleasant place.

"I'll stay here and untie and interrogate these chums," said Vanda Darkflame, pointing to the Venders and launch pad guards behind her, "and I want you two to go back to the sentinel base camp and interrogate every one there and everyone you meet on the way."

Turtle groaned. It'll be even worse if the unpleasantness was directed at him.

"Do we really have to?" said Ace.

"Well, you do, since you're in my faction," Vanda replied (Ace bowed his head and cursed under his breath), "but Turtle, not being in any faction at all, has a limited amount of freedom. How bout it, Turtle, you gonna interrogate people or stay out of the picture?"

Turtle was surprised at this, and didn't know what to say. He would dearly love to get out of it, but felt it unfair to dump all the unpleasantness on Ace, him saving their pants and all.

"Um… I guess I'll help Ace with interrogating people," Turtle said.

"Well, that's great, but in the meantime, I have to be back in Forbidden Valley tomorrow!" said Ace.

"Don't worry," said Vanda, "I'll make sure you don't get in trouble."

"Oh… there goes one excuse."

Turtle and Ace arrived in the sentinel base camp to find a heated battle taking place.

The defense had done their best to keep the maelstrom out, but a group of Dark Ronin had forced their way past a recruit and stromlings were flowing through the new gap.

"Oh, ho, ho, yes," Turtle heard Ace say.

Ace ran into the mesh of Maelstrom and Minifigures and was soon lost to sight. There was a bright flash and a tornado of fire could be seen carving a tunnel through the Maelstrom. Turtle shrugged his shoulders and followed Ace into the chaos. As long as he was next to the Spinjitzu Master, he'd be fine.

Slowly, very slowly, they pushed the Maelstrom back through the gates of the base camp. They thought they had it done, but then some stromlings who had hid in the bus jumped down on their heads, and the Maelstrom came surging back.

They finally pushed the stromlings, Mechs, Dark Ronin, and, at one point, spiderlings, back past the first slope. The twenty Nexus soldiers remaining assembled in a wedge formation, with Ace and two other ninjas in the point, and charged at the servants of corruption. Three Spinjitzu tunnels rammed into the first line of stromlings, and quickly moved onto the second, while the others quickly followed, smashing as many stromlings as they could on the way.

The wedge quickly lost momentum and it broke up, minifigures fighting in pairs or triples. There was one minifigure, a Rank three buccaneer, who was fighting solo. And he was fighting so well, Turtle would give his left arm to fight like that. His sword was an impregnable shield, blocking everything that came at him, and then stabbing at the enemy who threw the blade.

A little ways to the buccaneer's left, a Rank three Super Sentinel was also fighting solo. He was not so much blocking the strokes, but dodging them, and turning into a whirlwind to destroy enemies in close proximity to him.

The Nexus Force was making good progress. The Maelstrom forces were depleting, despite the constant flow of stromling reinforcements coming form the ground. They thought victory was near, but then a rumbling sound was heard coming from the Paradox Research Lab.

Four large purple glowing spheres broke through the doors of the Paradox Research Lab and rolled toward the mix of minifigures and maelstrom servants. They came to a stop and straitened themselves up to look like giant turtles. They had claws three feet long each and some sort of energy blaster on each arm.

For about seven seconds, everything was still. Even the Maelstrom seemed surprised to see this new creature of corruption. Then a turtle fired its energy blaster and everything was chaos.

"Quick! To the monument! We'll have a better chance fighting them there!" a rank one somewhere said. Almost everyone followed him, leaving only Turtle, Ace, and the buccaneer and Super Sentinel Turtle had noticed earlier.

Turtle knew the rank one was probably right, but letting the Maelstrom take over the Sentinel Base camp would give them occupancy of over half of Avant Gardens, and Turtle would smash before he let that happen.

The four remaining minifigures fought fiercely, but the Maelstrom forced them into a corner. One of the giant turtles made its way to the front of the group of corrupted servants and pointed its energy blaster at Turtle. It started to charge up, and Turtle could see a light forming inside the barrel. In desperation, Turtle pointed at the enormous turtle and said, to no one in particular; "Kill it!"

And kill it is did.

The sky itself seemed to open, and a blue and purple lightning bolt fell from the sky and obliterated the turtle and everything around it, sending bricks flying. For another seven seconds, everything was still. Then three more lightning bolts fell from the sky and all the turtles were smashed.

Ace turned into a light blue tornado and smashed the rest of the stromlings, with the help of the buccaneer and Super Sentinel, while Turtle just stood there, stunned.

When the last stromling had been smashed, the three other minifigures walked over to Turtle.

"Now, I'm not in Paradox," said the buccaneer, "but that looked like a Maelstrom lightning bolt to me."

"Well I am in Paradox," said Ace, "and to me, that looked almost exactly like a Maelstrom lightning bolt, except it had streaks of blue in it, kind of like imagination, and if you think about it, a Maelstrom lightning bolt with imagination in it would have supremely destructive results."

"I don't know what happened! Honest I don't!" said Turtle.

"Well, you'll probably have a pretty thorough interrogation with Vanda Darkflame, so I guess we'll leave you alone," said Ace, "and in the mean time, we'll introduce ourselves. I'm Ace Magma Marvel, my friends call me Ace."

"Cheerful Power Rover. My friends call me Rover and my enemies call me Run," said the buccaneer.

"Run?" said Turtle.

"Well that's what they scream when they see me coming."

"I'm LordBrockTree. My friends call me Brocktree, and my enemies don't call me anything, because they're speechless with fear when they see me," said the Super Sentinel, looking over at Rover.

"Well at least my name isn't Lord Broccoli," said Rover. He always had the last word in arguments.

"And I'm Shocked Hammy Turtle, I go by Turtle," said Turtle.

"Your enemies don't call you anything?" asked Brocktree.

"Nope. They're blinded by my pure awesomeness and never see me coming," he said.

"Well at least…." Rover started.

"Guys, lets argue when we're safely out of the way of that giant Maelstrom Tornado that's heading right at us," said Ace.

Chapter 8Edit

Turtle, Rover, Ace, and Brocktree dived into a small crevice as the Maelstrom tornado raged past them. It wasn't very large and forceful, but they all knew it was forceful enough to either smash them or trap them inside itself and infect them. Neither one was very appealing.

To say they got there in the nick of time would be an understatement. Turtle's foot went behind the edge of the crevice just as the Maelstrom Tornado passed them. Ace, who was farthest back, backed up a little more.

"Ow! Do you mind?" said a voice from behind them. They all turned to see a battered Rank Three Assembly crouched behind them.

"Oh. Sorry, I didn't know you were here," said Ace.

"That's understandable," said the stranger.

"What happened to you? You look pretty banged up," said Turtle.

"When the those giant turtles rolled out of the Paradox Research labs, they rolled right over me. It kinda hurt, but not as much as you would think."

"Well its still a miracle you weren't smashed," said Turtle, taking out a Nexus Force healing kit, "as soon as this tornado passes, we're getting you to a medic."

The tornado passed quickly, but it smashed a huge hole in the sentinel base camp wall.

"You're in Assembly," said Turtle, "can you fix this… uh… what is your name?"

"I'm Jamt2," said the assembly minifigure, "and of course I can fix it. I'm not known as the Assembly Lord for nothing."

"You're the Assembly Lord?" asked Ace incredulously, his jaw on the floor, "you're the guy who built Lle Mwar almost single handed?"

"You built Lle Mwar?" Rover and Brocktree said in union. They turned to each other and said, again in union, "how do you know about that place?"

"I'm in Venture League, its my job to explore and find things," said Rover, "but how did you know about it?"

"Before I joined the Nexus Force I did a lot of poking around, and when I did become part of the Nexus Force I was given command of it for a short time," said Brocktree.

"Will someone please just tell me what Lle Mwar is?" said Turtle.

"Lle Mwar is a large, mobile fortress that Paradox uses for research," said Ace, "Nexus Tower is the only structure bigger than it."

"Wow," said Turtle.

"It also serves as a very high destructive military assault tank," said Brocktree, "we took out an entire legion of Dark Ronin with it."

"So anyway," said Jamt2, "I can definitely rebuild the wall."

"What else can you build?" asked Turtle.

"Teleportation devices, cookie makers, cooking stove, landmines, rockets, rocket launchers, laser guns," said Jamt.

"Wait, what did you say?" said Turtle.

"Laser guns. You know, guns that shoot lasers," said Jamt.

"No, no, did you say you could build rocket launchers?"

"Yeah," said Jamt, "easy."

Turtle turned to Ace.

"Well, that's one problem solved."

Chapter 9Edit

"How much longer is this going to take?" asked Turtle.

"I'm almost done," said Jamt, "I've only ever built rocket pads that are accessible to Pod Rockets, so I have to widen my scope a bit."

Then a sound wave sent Turtle flying.


"Me," said Turtle, getting up, "what's the message?"


"Alright," said Turtle, "come on, guys, we'll have to finish that later."

"WE'LL have to finish that later?" said Jamt, "I was the only one doing anything!"

"We were keeping you company," said Ace.

"We were giving you moral support," said Rover.

"We weren't killing you for going so slow," said Brocktree.

"We…" Turtle began.

"Okay, okay, I get it," said Jamt.

They headed up the road to the monument, passing the vacant spot where Oliver Sudden usually stood. Turtle thought how strange it was that he was a Maelstrom agent. It seemed about as likely as Bob being a Maelstrom spy, or Hu Where actually being invisible.

The Nexus Force troopers reached the Sentinel Base Camp and had to stop for five minutes while the new security guards ran the Maelstrom probes over their bodies, looking for even the slightest trace of Maelstrom. When the guards were completely satisfied, they let them through, only to have to go through the same process at the other side.

They finally made it through, and headed for the Paradox Research Lab. They found Vanda Darkflame and Wisp Lee standing outside the doors of the Lab.

"You wanted to see us?" Turtle inquired when they reached the two Paradox agents.

"Yes we did," said Wisp, "but who told you?"

"Shouty McBullhorn," said Turtle, "why?"

"Well we did want to see you, but we never called for you," said Wisp, "I guess he used his Megaphone."

"His Megaphone?" said Vanda.

"Yeah, when he runs out of thing to say, he uses that giant Megaphone of his as a hearing aid," said Wisp, "he can hear conversations going on in Nexus Tower."

"This is very interesting," said Rover, "but why did you call for us?"

"We think," said Vanda, "we've found the location of the Spider King."

Turtle felt a shiver. He had been constantly saying "Spider King" to himself for the past two days, and it had gradually returned to a shiver, rather than a throbbing headache.

"Found the location of what?" said Rover.

Vanda looked at him.

"You look familiar," she said, "something about a stromling pirate."

Rover hung his head while five minifigures looked at him curiously.

"Long story," was all Rover said.

"So anyway, The Spider King," (shiver) "is an even larger maelstrom-infected monster, some cross between an Arachnid and a Lobster. Unlike the Spider Queen," (shiver) "we don't know what this thing is made of because the Agent who accidentally developed this monster was smashed. For a while, we didn't know where this thing was, but we ran an extensive radar search, and found a form too big to be anything else," said Wisp, "at first, we were going to send one minifigure, not too heavily armed, because we thought that this monster would be programmed to handle mass armies with ease, but not to handle a lightly armed minifigure who aims for its weak spot."

"So that's not the case?" Turtle was not looking forward to facing this thing alone.

"No," said Vanda, "this thing is programmed to handle both large armies and a solo attack."

"So we decided to launch a force of five of our best warriors at this thing," said Wisp.

"And that's where we come in," said Brocktree in his slow, deep voice.

Vanda looked at him for the first time.

"Lord Brocktree! So this is what you did when you quit being my advisor!" she exclaimed.

"Lord Broccoli was your advisor?" said Rover.

"Yes, and I'd like to say that his replacement isn't half as good as him! You're sorely missed, Brocktree," she added.

"So," said Turtle, getting the ship of conversation back under way, "I can understand sending them to battle this thing, but why send me?"

Turtle looked at his companions. They were all Rank threes with valiants. Turtle wasn't even in a faction.

Wisp Lee leaned forward and said, in that creepy voice of his; "you're a thinker. You make plans. You've got a stomach. And, from what I hear, you've got a darn good advisor," he pointed at Brocktree. He straitened up and said; "Vance Bulwark," (Author's note: the REAL one this time) "is already inside. He'll give you some more details and some weapons and armor. "

"I'm cool with the armor," said Rover, "but I'm fighting with Hesevalintes," Rover brandished his sword.

"Suit yourself," said Wisp Lee, shrugging his shoulders. He walked over to the gate and used his one good arm to turn the gear, "have a good time."

Chapter 10Edit

Turtle, Brocktree, Jamt, Rover, and Ace entered the Paradox Research Lab. They could see a long tunnel that seemed to go on forever in the back of the room.

"Who wants to go down the creepy tunnel into the unknown first?" said Rover.

Brocktree set his mouth in a determined line and stepped forward. The others gradually followed. They soon came across a strange corridor lined with some sort of cells on both sides.

Turtle walked over to the nearest one and looked inside.

"Hey, guys, look at this!" His voice was much deeper in the tunnel.

Ace and Brocktree walked over, while Rover and Jamt looked in the other cells curiously.

"It's a monkey," said Ace.

"I love monkeys," said Turtle. The monkey then transformed into a Maelstrom-infected Ape, "but not those monkeys."

They continued down the passageway until they reached Vance Bulwark. His blue and white armor was scorched in several places and he was leaning on his spear a bit heavily.

"Are you the alleged warriors?" called Vance.

"Yes, we are!" Turtle shouted back, "are you Vance Bulwark?"

"That I am," said Vance, "be careful on your way down, there are some sort of flame-throwing monsters down there."

Vance had a cart full of weapons and armor next to him, and when the five minifigures reached him, Jamt went over to it and looked in side.

"Whoa!" said Jamt, pulling out a Wormholer, "this is mine."

"What else is in there?" asked Rover.

"Let's see whet we got in here," said Jamt, digging through the cart, "another Wormholer, a Sniper rifle of some sort, an MKIII, ANOTHER Wormholer, whoa… some Bat Lord gear, some buccaneer pistols, another valiant weapon, and a…. what's this?"

Jamt was holding a long, curved staff, which was a dark red color and seemed to glow dark blue.

"Vanda Darkflame told me to give it to someone named Turtle," said Vance, "she said she did some research on the 'lightning' incident, and this would help channel it to your advantage."

Turtle took the staff from Jamt and looked at it. He had no doubt that by the 'lightning' incident Vanda meant the time he had made Maelstrom lightning fall from the sky, and come to a conclusion about why it had happened, and apparently had decided not to tell him her findings.

"Ace Magma Marvel," said Vance, "this is for you."

He tossed Ace a long, beautifully crafted, light blue katana.

"What does it do?" asked Ace. He already had a katana.

Instantly, a bolt of red and purple lightning shot from his new katana and hit the wall opposite him. The wall exploded, sending everyone flying backward, except Ace. He seemed unaffected by the scary-hot flames that engulfed his body.

"That is so cool," said Ace.

Vance got up and walked to his cart of weapons. He pulled out a large device that looked like it strapped onto the shoulders. Two large tubes protruded from a tank situated on the back. On the end of the tubes were two weapons; one with a long, wide barrel, and the other had six smaller barrels situated in a circular formation. A helmet was sitting next to Vance and picked it up.

"Lord Broccoli," ("not you too," Brocktree groaned) "this is for you," said Vance.

Brocktree took the strange piece of equipment and looked at it curiously.

"The larger barrel's a rocket launcher, and the other arm's a rapid fire laser blaster. Ammunition is stored in the tank on the back, and transported to the weapons through these tubes. There's a D-198 moderator on the rapid-fire arm tube, which will give you unlimited ammunition, but you only have ten missiles, so don't waste them," Vance explained, "and the helmet has heat sensors, so it'll tell you if anything alive is hidden in the shadows, waiting to ambush you."

"Awesome," said Brocktree, putting it on. He looked even more tough and intimidating, if that was possible.

Jamt was duel wielding Wormholers, his usual weapons were tucked into his belt, Ace had his new katana in one hand, his scythe of quakes in the other, Broccoli… er… Brocktree had his new "elimination outfit," Turtle had his staff, and Rover had Hesevalintes.

Rover looked in the cart.

"There's still a Wormholer left?" he asked.

"Yep," said Vance.

"Well, I guess it can't hurt," said Rover. He walked over to the cart and pulled out the last Wormholer, "awesome."

Turtle hesitated for a second and quickly retrieved the MKIII from the bottom of the cart. It can't hurt to be prepared, he thought.

"Well now that you have your weapons and armor, OH! Right armor," he slapped his palm to his face, "these are for you."

He pulled multiple somethings that resembled metal discs with wires branching out in four directions.

"Just tie that to any piece of your armor and your entire body's armor strength will be multiplied by four," said Vance, "we think. We haven't tested it yet."

"I feel really safe," said Rover.

"Anyway," said Vance, "the Spider King is down the tunnel behind me. The first thing you'll do is come up to a three-way-fork. You want to take the middle, although you could take the left and take the next right and go down a long set of stairs. You'll wind up in the same place.

"If and when you take the middle, you'll come across an almost sheer drop in the tunnel. The drop will even out and you'll be in a vast chasm where the Spider King sits, ready to digest anything that's unlucky enough to fall in."

"That sounds like my stomach," said Rover.

"When you hear the Spider King roar, you won't think it sounds like your stomach," said Vance.

"Little ray of sunshine isn't he?" Ace whispered in Turtle's ear.

"Be careful on the way down, there's some sort of flame throwing monsters down there!" Vance said for the second time.

The five minifigures headed down the tunnel. As Vance said, they soon reached a three-way-fork.

"Alright," said Turtle, "has anyone received a Mythran jetpack?"

Rover and Jamt raised their hands.

"Okay, you two will go down the middle. We're going to the left. Once you get down there, take a picture using your Flash Bulb or something. We're going to go down there and analyze the situation. Then we're going to come back up here and formulate a plan," said Turtle.

Rover and Jamt headed down the middle path, while Turtle, Ace, and Brocktree headed down the left. They soon came to a fork and took the right one.

After a long trip down a staircase, they came into view of the chasm. The chasm itself was huge, as big as the launch area, monument, and spider caves combined. A huge dome covered the bottom of the chasm, and on top of it was the biggest monster Turtle had ever seen. It was probably as big as the monument, with laser cannons on both sides of its body.

Turtle saw a flash out of the corner of his eye and saw Jamt and Rover taking a picture. The Spider King noticed it too, and roared at them.

It was a blood-chilling roar, a kind of resounding roar, like you have no idea where it's coming from.

Turtle looked over at Rover and saw him say something to Jamt while holding his stomach and could pretty much guess what he was saying.

Jamt and Rover turned around and headed up the tunnel, and Turtle and the others followed their lead.

They got to the fork meeting place about the same time.

"So," said Rover, "what now?"

Turtle thought for a few seconds.

"Well," he finally said, "I have an idea."

Chapter 11Edit

Turtle looked at Rover across the chasm. He nodded his head and he and Jamt opened fire on the Spider King using their Wormholers. As planned, the Spider King was greatly perturbed by this, and charged at the cave mouth they were in. Brocktree then moved in front of Turtle and, taking careful aim, launched a rocket at the hideous monster.

The rocket hit the Spider King in the knee where the armor was weak, causing it to collapse. It stood up again and uttered a horrible screeching sound. Turtle heard hurried footsteps behind him and saw what appeared to be seven-foot tall stromlings with flamethrowers in their right arms. Several fireballs flew past Turtle and Brocktree and soared at the Arachnid King. Undaunted, the monster reared up on its hind legs and brought them down, shaking the entire chasm.

Ace looked down on the scene in horror. Nothing was going according to plan any more. They had thought the monster was going to charge at Turtle and Brocktree, and Ace would jump down on its back from a ledge that he had climbed onto. Jamt would have taken this opportunity and built a giant cannon to shoot at the giant Spider. But that had not happened, and now it looked like they were all going to die.

But maybe not.

Ace knew that throwing rocks and other natural formations wouldn't help, that thing was too heavily armored. Fire obviously isn't right; they've already proved it can withstand it. Ice probably won't work; its flame-throwing minions can just melt it. But lightning, that just might work. It was covered in metal armor, and metal is a good conductor of electricity.

To test this theory, Ace aimed his new katana down at the monster's back. The lightning bolt struck the monster and it let out a scream of pain. Ace nodded and swapped his Scythe of Quakes for his Nunchucks of Lightning. He gathered his breath and leaped down on the monster's back.

He gathered the energy into the blade of his katana (which, for further reference, shall be called Mellt Cleddyf, or just Mellt) and swung it at the beast's back. The combined force of the razor-sharp blade combined with the lightning bolt rendered the beast temporarily stunned. Jamt saw this and quickly assembled a large rotary cannon with a missile launcher in the center. He mounted one of his Wormholers an each side and pulled the master trigger.

Every single function on the cannon fired at the enormous spider. Several times, he barely avoided blasting Ace's head off.

Rover mounted his Wormholer on the underside of the cannon and unsheathed Hesevalintes. He fired up his jetpack and flew up the tunnel. He got to the top and turned down the tunnel that Turtle and Brocktree were in.

He gave a battle cry and slammed into the first Fire Stromling. He threw it against the wall and it smashed easily. Rover quickly moved on to the next Fire Stromling. He shot his buccaneer pistol and it smashed through two stromlings, and crippling the third. He swiftly moved over to it and stabbed his sword into it.

He could see Turtle on the other side of the Stromling mass, swinging his staff and then ducking behind his shield.

Rover shot a couple more shots and stabbed at another Fire Stromling. He could hear the shrieks of the Spider King in the echoing chasm, and Brocktree's rapid-fire arm going off. He saw Turtle slowly advancing into the Stromling mass, and was extremely glad Vance had given them those armor-strengthening discs, otherwise Turtle would be smashed by now.

Brocktree saw Rover at the other end of the tunnel and grunted approval. He may have horrible name pronunciation, thought Brocktree, but he has a stout heart.

Ace was making good progress. He had been repeatedly striking the same spot and the armor there was almost gone. But it was taking too long. The Spider King would probably find a way to dislodge him before he broke completely through the armor. He looked around wildly for something to use, and he got an idea. He stood up and waved over at Jamt.

"Oi!" he called, "launch a rocket at me!"

"Are you daft in the head?" Jamt screamed back.

"Just do it!" Ace yelled.

Jamt shook his head and pulled the rocket launcher trigger. The rocket raced towards Ace and, at the last second, he jumped over it and kicked it with just enough pressure to send it downwards without exploding on Ace's foot.

The rocket hit the weak spot in the armor and obliterated it. The monster was sent staggering backwards, off-balance. A second rocket smashed into it and it fell on its side with a resounding crash. Brocktree jumped down out of the cave he was in and ran at the fallen beast. Rover and Turtle, who had made mincemeat out of the Fire Stromlings, soon followed him.

The four minifigures hacked away at the giant Maelstrom menace while Jamt continued to fire at the enormous monster. The beast tried to get up but soon gave in to the tiny blades stabbing him all over. Brocktree ran over to the nuisance's head and wrenched it's fanged mouth open. He pointed his missile launcher in and fired. There was a moment of silence. Then the inside of the fiend blew up.

The four minifigures on the ground were blasted back to the other side of the chasm. Even Jamt felt the shock wave. The outer shell of the monster was still intact, but smoke was poring out of its mouth and the hole in its side.

Turtle picked himself off of the ground. There was a massive bump on his head.

"Jamt!" he called, "do you have a robot that can summon Vanda and Wisp for us?"

Then he passed out.

Chapter 12Edit

Turtle was still unconscious when Vanda Darkflame and Wisp Lee entered the chasm, led by a robot Jamt had assembled. Vanda Darkflame was trying not to run, and Wisp Lee was on a brown horse, due to his horrible limp.

On the sight of the smoking remains of the Spider King, Wisp Lee's horse reared up and charged in the opposite direction of the dead monster. Wisp Lee had been thrown off his horse and lay on the ground, motionless. Vanda hurried to help him while Brocktree tried to revive Turtle. The two minifigures sat up and looked around wildly.

"What… where's the Spider King?" asked Turtle. The bump on his head was more serious than Brocktree thought.

"I was just about to ask the same question," said Wisp, "because that isn't it."

"It what?" asked Rover.

"That thing's way too small to be the Spider King," said Wisp, "that's a Riverstyx, another monster that was accidentally developed, there are several of them roaming these caves. They're even breeding."

"That's very interesting," said Ace, "but did you just say that that thing is way too SMALL to be the Spider King?"

"Oh, yes," said Wisp, "the only thing in this chasm big enough to be the Spider King is the giant mound we're standing on."

Jamt looked at the mound Wisp was referring to. It covered the entire floor.

Turtle, whose mind was still a bit foggy, didn't see this in such a depressing way.

"Well," he said, "if you're like me and always look on the bright side of things, you'll see that the floor is not alive. Now what's for dinner?"

As if on cue, a large section of the floor rose up and turned it's five massive eyes towards them.

"Hmm," said Turtle, "I seem to have miscombobulated."

Brocktree picked the giggling Turtle up onto his shoulders and ran for the nearest cave entrance.

He turned and saw Wisp Lee limping across the giant monster's tail. He would not have made it, except the Spider King was so large, he hit his head on the ceiling of the cavern, distracting it while Brocktree ran over to Wisp Lee and picked him up. He made it back to the cave he left Turtle in to find Turtle missing. He turned and saw the drunken minifigure waving his staff around and shooting the same Maelstrom-Imagination lightning bolts at it that he had shot at the turtles two days previously. And it was having tremendous effect.

The Spider King thrashed around the chasm screaming and shooting missiles and lasers out of the tips of the thousands on horns that cover it's head and body. Wisp lee had said it was a cross between a lobster and a spider, but it looked more like a Scorpion. A scorpion with a laser-shooting tail.

The giant Scorpion reached at Turtle with its claw and picked him up. The pain was excruciating and it jerked Turtle back into reality. The monster dropped Turtle and thrashed around the chasm. The pain Turtle had felt was apparently present in the Spider King's body as well.

Turtle looked around desperately for his staff and was just in time to see it smashed in half by a boulder. The maelstrom menace walked over to Turtle and opened its enormous fanged mouth. Two armored tentacles slithered out of the beast's mouth and reached for Turtle. They almost wrapped around Turtle's body when a rocket sent from Brocktree slammed into them and knocked away from Turtle.

Brocktree leaped between The Spider King and his friend and shouted; "get out of here!"

Turtle didn't know if he was talking to him or the Spider King grabbed Brocktree and threw him at the chasm wall across from him. Brocktree hit it hard and his "elimination outfit" smashed and he barely avoided doing the same. Rover, Jamt, and Ace ran towards the Spider King, ready to smash or be smashed, but another Riverstyx leaped down from the ceiling and blocked them from going any farther.

The Spider King's armored tongues reached out for Turtle again. They wrapped around Turtle's body and lifted him into the air. Turtle tried to summon lightning but it wasn't working. He reached into his backpack and started hurling stuff into the monster's mouth. An improved scimitar, a quality long sword, a nexus force healing kit, an armor brush a firecracker, a bottle of strong notion potion, a…

The bottle of strong notion potion soared into the monster's open mouth and shattered on the armored roof of its mouth.

The beast thrashed and wriggled and screamed and crashed into the walls. It lay still for a moment and blew up. The shockwaves expanded the chasm and threw Turtle back against the cave wall. He avoided several more falling rocks and looked at the center of the chasm to see a most horrifying and unexpected sight.

The Spider King was limp and injured, but it was still alive, and even as Turtle watched, it was regaining strength. It spread two massive wings and launched a fireball at the roof of the cavern. It opened up and twelve spiderlings fell through the hole and smashed. They were under the spider caves.

The monster flapped its wings and took off through the hole. It barely made it, but it had muscle under all the armor, and forced its way out.

The chaos died down and Turtle came out from behind the massive boulder he had hid in the wake of. He looked around and yelled; "Hello! Who's not dead? Sound off!"

He heard Vanda Darkflame swear at the top of her lungs, Rover complained about being hungry, Ace said his ninja outfit was dirty, Jamt said something about a cupcake, and Wisp Lee gave a groan. But Brocktree didn't say anything.

Turtle remembered him getting thrown into the wall and ran to where he thought that was. The cavern had changed so much. He reached the designated spot and scanned the rocks and stone. A gloved hand was sticking out from between the rocks.

He dug with all his might and eventually came to Brocktree's limp body. It was still. Turtle hung his head and cried. He remembered the heroic actions Brocktree had taken to save his life, and now he was dead.

He slowly lifted his body and slung it over his shoulders. The others saw him and said nothing. Everything was silent until they were about halfway back to daylight.

"You don't have to carry me, I can walk," said a familiar voice.

"BROCKTREE!" Rover actually said his name right for once.

Brocktree grimaced.

"At your service, as long as I don't have to do anything," he said.

Turtle was speechless. He thought Brocktree had died. And now here he was, making jokes and being lazy. Everything was normal.

"Fine and dandy," said Wisp Lee, "now where's my horse?"

Chapter 13Edit

Turtle jumped out of his rocket in Nimbus Plaza. He turned and saw Nexus Jay, just as Sky Lane had described him. He walked over to Jay and heard him call out.

"Hey, kid," he said, "here to join a faction?"

"Yes, I am," said Turtle.

"Which faction would you like to join?"

Without a moment's hesitation, Turtle said; "Venture league."

"Good choice," said Nexus Jay, "now go see your faction vendor to get some gear."

Turtle went over to the appropriate faction vendor (author's note: I can't remember his name!) and bought a buccaneer pistol. He interested in anything else.

He turned to return to Nexus Jay when a black-hooded ninja came up to Turtle and said;

"Some ninjas hide in plain sight," said Hu Where, "wait, you see me?"

"Er… yes," said Turtle, "now what do you want?"


Turtle could see a major melt down coming so he decided to cover up his mistake.

"No wait!" he said, "I can't actually see you! I just thought I did!"

"Oh, goodie," said Hu Where. His wailing is so abrupt, "now since you can't see me, come with me."

"Um…" Turtle decided it would be better to not say anything.

He followed the emotionally challenged ninja through the crowds of people. Hu Where kept on kicking people in the small of the back and giggling.

"Its even more fun knowing that they can't see me," said Hu Where.

They reached the launch pad by the water's edge and Hu Where pulled out his basic pink rocket.

"Nimbus Isle?" asked Turtle, "we're going to Nimbus Isle?"

"No," said Hu Where, still giggling, "w-we we're go-going to Nex-Nexus Tower. W-we we're going t-to change course-courses halfway there."

"Why don't we just take the Nexus Tower launch pad?" asked Turtle.

Hu Were did a face-palm.

"For the love of all things Elvis, why didn't I think of that?" he said, "its too late now, you would probably lose sight of me if we headed for the other launcher. I am invisible."

Turtle rolled his eyes and pulled out the unique rocket Jamt had built for him.

It was your basic Steampunk rocket, except a pod rocket engine was attached to either side of the cockpit.

"That's a mighty rocket," said Hu Where, "but my super-fast rocket will definitely beat you to Vanda Darkflame's office."

"Vanda Darkflame's office?" asked Turtle, "is that where we're going?"


"Okay! Okay!" said Turtle, "I didn't hear anything!"

"Oh, goodie," said Hu Where, "I am still the bestest ninja in the universe."

Hu Where mounted his rocket on the launcher and sped off through the atmosphere. They broke through the cloud cover and a loud banging sound was heard coming from Hu Where's rocket. It sounded as though he had lost six of his eight cylinders.

Turtle looked at the now almost immobile pink rocket and put extra thrust in his engines, zooming past Hu Where. He was soon lost to sight and as planned, Turtle changed directions and headed towards Nexus Tower.

He got there fifteen minutes later and jumped down from his rocket. He ran through the giant doors and walked up to the nearest official-looking person and asked where Vanda Darkflame's office was. After receiving the necessary instructions, He ran to the elevator. Twenty-seven floors later, he was on the right level.

He walked down the corridor and scanned the doors for a sign or something. An eagle, that was Duke Exeter, a skull, that was Hæl Storm, an orange lightning bolt, that was Dr. Overbuild, and an eye, that was Vanda Darkflame.

He walked into the office and saw Jamt, Rover, Ace and Brocktree sitting next to Vanda Darkflame.

"Where's Hu Where?" asked Vanda Darkflame.

"Last time I saw him he blew six of his cylinders," said Turtle.

"How long ago was this?" asked Vanda.

"About fifteen minutes ago," said Turtle.

"He'll be here in about five minutes then," said Vanda, "when ever he gets stranded in space, which is quite often, we think Swabby Bilgebarrel sabotages his rocket out of jealousy, he panics for about twenty minutes then remembers his teleporting flash bang."

"Interesting," said Turtle.

"Now, to the reason I called you here," said Vanda, "whenever somebody mentioned the Spider King, or Spider Queen, do you get a headache or a shiver in your spine?"

Turtle grabbed his forehead. The headache had returned.

"Yeah," said Turtle.

"And when the Spider King picked you up, did you feel excruciating pain?" asked Vanda.

"Yeah," said Turtle, "why?"

The door banged open and a sobbing Hu Where entered the room.

"You left me hanging in space!" he accused Turtle, "you left me to die! In the name of everything flat and tasty why did you do that?"

"You were invisible!" said Turtle, "I didn't see you stop!"

"Oh, goodie," said Hu Where. Now he was giggling, "I'm the stealthiest ninja in the world!"

"Hu Where!" shouted Vanda, "I have another mission for you!"

"What mission should the most awesomeness-filled ninja tackle next?"

"I want you to go to Frostborough and get me a bucket of wild flowers," said Vanda, "do it immediately."

"The ninja of pure awesome is on his way!" said Hu, "not that you can see me going, I'm invisible."

"JUST GET GOING!" hollered Vanda.

"What a deluded little fellow," Rover snickered when Hu Where left the room.

"Any who," said Turtle, "why do you want to know all this stuff?"

"Well," said Vanda, "if my theory is correct, you are partially infected with Maelstrom."

Chapter 14Edit

"Infected with Maelstrom?" asked Turtle, bewildered.

"Yes. You see," said Vanda, "the Spider King and the Spider Queen are major Maelstrom channels, so the mention of the name would trigger a repercussion, resulting in a shiver or a headache. The more times it is triggered, the stronger and more perturbing it gets."

"But how did it happen?" asked Turtle.

"Well, if it was because you were touched by a stromling or something, you would look like a stromling, or some branch of one," said Vanda, "Rover here knows this from experience."

Turtle looked at Rover. He didn't look like a stromling.

"So you can disinfect me, right?" he asked hopefully.

"Well," said Vanda, "we think so but we're not certain. You see, the cause of your infection, or this is what we think at least, is because of when you were on the Venture explorer."

"The Venture explorer?" said Turtle.

"Yes," said Vanda, "the Venture explorer is an extremely massive starship, almost every single member of the Nexus Force is from the Venture explorer. Minifigures are still waking up on the Venture explorer today. Now when the Venture explorer crashed, a strong presence of Maelstrom entered the starship, seeking a pure source to infect, and of the two billion minifigures on the starship, you were the one it picked."

"Me?" Turtle asked shakily.

"Yes, you," said Vanda Darkflame, "and it has been slowly taking control of more of your body. You're a slave of the Maelstrom. A broken slave, yes, but still a slave."

Vanda Darkflame stood up and headed for the door.

"Now if you'll just follow me," said Vanda.

Vanda, Turtle, Ace, Rover, Brocktree, and Jamt got back into the elevator Turtle had come up here on. Vanda walked over to the floor selection panel and instead of pressing one of the buttons, pushed the panel to the side to reveal a number pad and a display screen. She entered the code; 386-7950, and the elevator slid down the shaft.

When the elevator stopped moving, the monitor over the door said they were on level negative twenty-one. The doors slid open and the six minifigures walked into what looked like a research lab.

On the other side of the room, Dr. Overbuild was fiddling with a control panel to a large machine with a solitary doorway attached to it.

"Ah, Vanda," said Overbuild, "I've got everything ready."

"Good work, Albert," said Vanda, "now, Turtle."

Turtle stepped forward.

"This machine is something Albert and I developed a while back," said Vanda, "we've since updated it to accommodate the present situation."

Vanda had stopped talking, but Turtle sensed that something was bothering her.

"Is there anything else?" he asked.

"Well," said Vanda hesitantly, "I didn't want to tell you this, but there's a 97% chance that when you walk into the portal that we're about to conjure up, you won't come back out."

Turtle turned as pale as a minifigure could get.

"Whoa! Wait a second! If there's a 97% chance that Turtle's going to die, then why are we doing this?" asked Rover indignantly.

"Because if we don't do anything about it, then in three weeks he'll become a psychopath that's determined to destroy us," said Vanda Darkflame, "and a powerful psychopath at that."

"Yeah, but…" Rover began.

"Rover, its alright," said Turtle. He gritted his teeth and turned to Dr. Overbuild, "fire it up."

There was a whirring sound and a bright light appeared in the middle of the doorway. A ramp extended and Turtle walked up it. He got to the top and turned back to look at his friends.

Jamt looked like he was going to cry, Ace was just looked bewildered, Rover looked infuriated, and Brocktree was expressionless. Turtle tried to think of something to say, but nothing seemed to fit, so he just turned back and stepped into the portal.

Chapter 15Edit

Turtle was in the portal. Or was he? It was hard to tell. He felt like he had been separated from his body and his spirit was floating around. A fiery figure appeared in front of him. Or was it in front of him? He couldn't tell. The fiery figure brandished a spear. He poked it at Turtle and he felt a jab of pain.

"Well, I must have body if I can feel pain," said Turtle.

The fiery figure screamed and disappeared. A blue glowing cavalryman charged through Turtle's line of sight. His scope widened and he saw a force of fiery figures ten thousand strong. Spears and arrows flew at the horseman, and he wheeled around. He jumped off his horse and drew his sword and unslung his shield from his back. He gave a battle cry and charged into the crowd of fiery figures.

"Don't!" cried Turtle. He was hopelessly outnumbered.

There was a rumbling sound and a mass of cavalrymen rushed past the original horseman. The original horseman turned and ran in the opposite direction. He disappeared into a cave while the cavalrymen smashed into the army of fire.

A roar was heard and the first rider came out from the cave riding a dragon. The sight of the dragon sent the fiery figures running, but the riders were faster. Soon enough there was not a single fiery figure left on the battlefield. The original rider dismounted his dragon and walked over to Turtle and held out his hand. Turtle took it and the rider drew him close.

"Harwr o'r nifer," he whispered into his ear.

Then everything zoomed back and Turtle staggered out of the portal.

Chapter 16Edit

"Turtle!" said Rover.

Turtle lurched forward and his friends rushed forward to help him.

"I'm alright!" said Turtle, "just a little off balance, that's all."

Vanda Darkflame didn't give them much time to celebrate.

"Good, because the Spider King is still out there, and more and more of our executives are being replaced by Dark Ronin," said Vanda, "now, I've analyzed the Dark Ronin armor, and I've discovered that they are just regular Dark Ronin. Do you remember when we questioned Fitz Vanderbuilt?"

Turtle nodded his head. He was not forgetting that any time soon.

"Well, you know how he pointed behind us and said; 'what is that?'" asked Vanda.

"Yeah," said Turtle.

"At the time," said Vanda, "I thought he was trying to distract us while he transformed, but now I think he saw some sort of ghost that transported them into a cavern or dungeon, and replaced him with a Dark Ronin."

"But we didn't see any ghost," said Turtle.

"I think its only visible to its victim," said Vanda, "Albert and I are trying to develop some armor that will make you immune to this ghost or whatever it is."

"So what do we do in the meantime?" asked Ace.

"You should return to Forbidden Valley," said Vanda, "your friends may come with you, but they don't have to."

"I think I will," said Brocktree, "I haven't been to Forbidden Valley in a while."

"I'll come too," said Jamt.

"I kind of want to get back in the action at Crux Prime," said Rover, "but I guess I don't have a problem with Forbidden Valley."

"Well, I guess I'll come with you," said Turtle.

"Good," said Vanda Darkflame, "I have a lead on the location of the Spider King, I'll contact you as soon as I can prove it."

The five minifigures trooped back onto the elevator. Brocktree walked over to the floor selection panel and hit the "one," and soon they were zooming up towards the ground level.

They got out of the elevator and marched over to the rocket launcher.

"Ladies first," said Rover, bowing to Brocktree. Brocktree scowled and pulled out a black Steampunk rocket and took off. Rover followed in his classic yellow rocket, Ace in his pod rocket, Turtle in his Steampunk/Pod rocket, and Jamt in his totally original rocket.

They raced to Forbidden Valley and Jamt touched down first, Turtle soon after. Rover bumped Brocktree out of the way and landed third, only to have Brocktree land on his head. Ace's rocket came sputtering into fifth, having crashed into an asteroid, and the five minifigures drew their best weapons.

"Okay, Turtle," said Ace, "welcome to Forbidden Valley."

Turtle looked at the dark, foreboding rocks.

"It doesn't look very welcoming to me," said Turtle.

"That's just at first glance," said Rover, "at second glance, it'll look like the most horrid place you've ever been to."

Chapter 17Edit

"Turtle!" said Rover.

Turtle lurched forward and his friends rushed forward to help him.

"I'm alright!" said Turtle, "just a little off balance, that's all."

Vanda Darkflame didn't give them much time to celebrate.

"Good, because the Spider King is still out there, and more and more of our executives are being replaced by Dark Ronin," said Vanda, "now, I've analyzed the Dark Ronin armor, and I've discovered that they are just regular Dark Ronin. Do you remember when we questioned Fitz Vanderbuilt?"

Turtle nodded his head. He was not forgetting that any time soon.

"Well, you know how he pointed behind us and said; 'what is that?'" asked Vanda.

"Yeah," said Turtle.

"At the time," said Vanda, "I thought he was trying to distract us while he transformed, but now I think he saw some sort of ghost that transported them into a cavern or dungeon, and replaced him with a Dark Ronin."

"But we didn't see any ghost," said Turtle.

"I think its only visible to its victim," said Vanda, "Albert and I are trying to develop some armor that will make you immune to this ghost or whatever it is."

"So what do we do in the meantime?" asked Ace.

"You should return to Forbidden Valley," said Vanda, "your friends may come with you, but they don't have to."

"I think I will," said Brocktree, "I haven't been to Forbidden Valley in a while."

"I'll come too," said Jamt.

"I kind of want to get back in the action at Crux Prime," said Rover, "but I guess I don't have a problem with Forbidden Valley."

"Well, I guess I'll come with you," said Turtle.

"Good," said Vanda Darkflame, "I have a lead on the location of the Spider King, I'll contact you as soon as I can prove it."

The five minifigures trooped back onto the elevator. Brocktree walked over to the floor selection panel and hit the "one," and soon they were zooming up towards the ground level.

They got out of the elevator and marched over to the rocket launcher.

"Ladies first," said Rover, bowing to Brocktree. Brocktree scowled and pulled out a black Steampunk rocket and took off. Rover followed in his classic yellow rocket, Ace in his pod rocket, Turtle in his Steampunk/Pod rocket, and Jamt in his totally original rocket.

They raced to Forbidden Valley and Jamt touched down first, Turtle soon after. Rover bumped Brocktree out of the way and landed third, only to have Brocktree land on his head. Ace's rocket came sputtering into fifth, having crashed into an asteroid, and the five minifigures drew their best weapons.

"Okay, Turtle," said Ace, "welcome to Forbidden Valley."

Turtle looked at the dark, foreboding rocks.

"It doesn't look very welcoming to me," said Turtle.

"That's just at first glance," said Rover, "at second glance, it'll look like the most horrid place you've ever been to."

Chapter 18Edit

Turtle felt a surge of pleasure as he smashed his sixth mounted Dark Ronin that day. Rover had been right about the second glance thing, but he soon got used to it. Ace had shown him how to do a special twist that would deflect a Dark Ronin's lance and would drive the butt of the lance up through the chest plate, knocking off the helmet. Brocktree had shown him how to throw a sword so that it comes back to you, Jamt2 had taught him how to build a missile launcher in less than six seconds, and Rover had shown him how to fail at shooting a Ronin off his mount.

"That was intentional!" said Rover after Turtle had done the twist Ace had shown him and smashed the Dark Ronin, "I was showing you how not to do it!"

"I sorry I doubted your teaching methods," said Brocktree, sharpening his sword, Verminbane, "I should have done the same thing."

"Now I'll show you how to do it," said Rover. He straitened up and shot his Buccaneer pistol at a Dark Ronin. The imagination bullet ricocheted off the Dark Ronin's helmet and soared at a second one. The bullet did the same thing with that Dark Ronin and the bullet hit Rover in the face.

While Jamt2, Brocktree, and Ace laughed at Rover, Turtle drew his buccaneer pistol and shot it at a Dark Ronin. The bullet soared into the helmet and started bouncing around in the helmet. The helmet soon got so out of shape that it just fell off. The Ronin remaining Dark Ronin fell to the ground and the lance rolled to the side.

"See?" said Rover, "he saw the way I did it and immediately knew not to do it that way!"

"Good job, Rover," said Brocktree sarcastically.

"Actually, he's right," said Turtle, "it's far easier to do something differently than what your mentor did, than to do the same exact thing."

"That's what I said," said Brocktree, "good job, Rover."

"Never doubted you for a second," said Jamt2.

"Well, I did doubt you for one second, when you were rolling on the ground and clutching your nose," said Ace.

Brocktree, Turtle, Ace and Jamt2 started laughing again. Even Rover joined in. They continued to laugh until a cry of help came over the wind.

"HELP!" a strangled voice called, "SOMEBODY HELP!"

The five minifigures got up and ran towards the source of the yelling. They found a ragged minifigure clutching his arm and crying out into the wind.

"HELP! SOME… oh, thank goodness," said the ragged figure, "my… my camp was attacked by dragons."

"Dragons?" said Brocktree incredulously, "this far south?"

"They weren't just dragons," said the minifigure, "they were spurned on by a figure in red and black."

"What's your name?" asked Ace.

The minifigure looked up at Ace.

"My name is Power Hungry Weasel," he said.

Ace, Jamt2, Rover and Brocktree looked at each other.

"What…" Turtle started, but Rover put a warning finger to his lips.

"How long ago was this?" asked Jamt2.

"Couldn't have been more than five minutes ago," said Weasel.

"We better get going then," said Turtle.

Brocktree pulled Turtle to the side, out of earshot of Weasel.

"Have you ever heard of Power Hungry Weasel?" he asked.

"No," said Turtle, "should I have?"

"Well, he was a Nexus force member, a faction leader in fact," said Brocktree, "and his faction was called the Masquerade, due to the fact that their job was to disguise themselves and blow up an enemy base from the inside."

"What happened?" asked Turtle.

"Well, he was accused and found guilty of detonating half of Nimbus Station," said Brocktree, "but because he had detonated so many Maelstrom bases, he was excused from the death sentence and was only banished. Most of his faction followed, but a few, including Persevering Black Crate, Intrepid Hidden Box, and Cheerful Power Rover, converted over to Venture League."

"And you think Weasel is trying to lure us into a trap," said Turtle. It was more of a statement then a question.

"Well, when he and his faction, which is now called Gwersyll Symudol, left," said Brocktree, "he swore to get revenge on the Nexus Force for their unjust accusation."

"Well, he certainly is eager for revenge if he'll go that far," said Turtle, looking at the unwashed figure in ragged clothing.

"People will do many things to get revenge," said Brocktree.

"Well, we'll just have to be on our guard," said Turtle.

Brocktree sighed and the five minifigures followed Weasel through the mountains.

To be continued in Dark Spyral...