It had been an ordinary day at the royal palace of Carrotus. Except for one thing. Nobody had seen Lori around. Everyone, especially Jazz was starting to get worried. In fact, Jazz was so worried that he even asked Spaz if he knew where Lori was.
"Oh, sheís been kidnapped" Spaz answered. "I found this note in her room. It says Help! Iíve been kidnapped. Lori."
"Why didnít you tell me?"
"You didnít ask. Besides, this kind of thing happens all the time here. Thatís why thereís such a lot for people to write about in the War Tavern, you know." He went on for several pagesí worth, but since Jazz was already gone it doesnít really matter what he said.
The matter of the note and the disappearance of Lori was gone through many times in the palace. There were all sorts of theories involving aliens, yetis and even carrot pudding trying to take over the world, but the only reasonable explanation arrived at was that Devan Shell was behind everything. Most people (rabbits) also agreed that it was propably a trap he had set for Jazz and Spaz. That, of course didnít stop Jazz from attempting to save his sister. He had already made up his mind. And Spazís mind as well, assuming he had one. They started their journey after many bowls of carrot pudding, many glasses of carrot juice and a good nightís sleep.
"So, how are we going to find Devan?"Spaz wondered.
"Elementary, my dear Spaz"Jazz replied"He will propably try to prevent us from getting there. Therefore we will take the path with the most turtles."
"Youíre pretty clever, Jazz."
Forty-five turtles later it was already getting dark, so Jazz and Spaz stopped at a small cottage for sleep. Little did they know that this cottage actually was part of Devanís plan.
Meanwhile, back at his hideout Devan was watching the brothers. So far everything had gone according to his plans. Now he had a chance to take them both out. And even if it would fail he still had a few more tricks up his sleeve. His plan was perfect. He was prepared for anything. Nearly anything.
Jazz was woken up by a weird noise coming from the ceiling. I wasnít like any noise he had heard before. As he woke up he noticed the cottage was on fire. He tried to wake Spaz up "Wake up, Spaz, the place is on fire!" hescreamed. It took a while for Spaz to accept the situation, but once he did they both dashed for the door. But they couldnít open it. The door had been blocked and there were no windows. They thought this would be the end, but suddenly there was the soundof a blaster being fired and a hole appeared in the wall. Without thinking any more about it they both ran out. Jazz saw someone with long, floppy ears run away. No matter who it was or why he had saved them they were safe. For now.
Jazz and Spaz set off again, this time wiser and better prepared than before. Neither said a word, but both were thinking about last night. Who had saved them? Why did he do it? Why did he then run away? Their minds were full of questions. They were unprepared when a group of turtles with blasters ambushed them, but the rabbits drew their blasters and fired in every direction, nearly shooting the ear off the rabbit who was hidden in the bushes, following them, watching them. The rabbit then proceeded to destroy a hidden video camera belonging to Davan Shell.
"Gee, those turtles sure were well armed" Spaz exclaimed.
"Yes, and that might mean weíre on to something"Jazz answered "Otherwise Devan wouldnít have sent any of his elite troops. He also left us another clue" He picked up one of the blasters "This blaster says "Property of the police of Shell City", so weíre going there."
But the mysterious rabbit wasnít the only only one who had been watching them. Devan had seen everything until the camera had been destroyed. He knew enough to be certain that Jazz would find the clue, which would lead him to his doom. His next trap wasnít going to fail. He was sure of that.
The two rabbits, however were blissfully ignorant of Devanís plans. They journey went on in a rather merry fashion, along with song and an overdose of carrot pudding, confiscated from the ex-turtles. Both of them sang just enough off-key to annoy the mysterious rabbit who still followed them. At the end of the day they made a campfire and finally discussed last nightís happenings. They both had their theories about who their protector might be, ranging from a top-secret member of R.O.A.R. or a regular at the War Tavern to a hallucination caused by eating too much carrot pudding.. They had no idea that the person they were discussing was present and very amused by their theories.
"We should reach Shell City tomorrow" Jazz finally said "Weíll need some rest first. Good night, Spaz"
"Goodnight" Spaz replied and they both fell asleep almost instantly, but their protector was still awake, watching over them.
Devan had been monitoring everything. It had gone as planned. Jazz and Spaz were about to walk straight into his trap. His super-turtles were in position. This trap couldnít possibly fail. He laughed the patented evil-guy laugh.
"We should be reaching Shell City soon." Jazz said
"Iíve got a bad feeling about this." Spaz answered
"What do you mean?"
"Oh, nothing in particular. I just have a bad feeling. Thatís all."
"Maybe you ate too much carrot pudding."
"Not that sort of a bad feeling. I just have a feeling that we are about to walk straight into a trap."
Jazz didnít have time to answer. About twenty turtles came at them from every direction. They drew their blasters and started firing at them, to no effect.
"My blaster is useless!"Jazz yelled.
"Mine too!"Spaz yelled back.
The situation seemed hopeless, when suddenly one of the turtles was struck by something and fell down. Before anyone knew what was happening two others went down. Someone was firing at them from a cliff.
"Aim at the back of their necks!"he shouted and proceeded to shoot one in the stomach multiple times, disintegrating it. Jazz and Spaz did as they were told to and the turtles were quickly defeated.
The person who had helped them jumped down from the cliff and miraculously stopped falling a little bit above the ground, then slowly floated down to the ground. Itwas a rabbit with purple fur and a very mean-looking silver and black one-handed blaster with two very long barrels. It was clearly a blaster that had been designed to look mean. It did.
"Are you from R.O.A.R.?"Jazz asked.
"I work for myself." the rabbit answered. "My name is Arazi. I was the one who saved you from that burning house. Those turtles were super-turtles designed by Devan. Fortunately, he left an open spot at the back of their necks, who knows why. Propably to give you a chance. My blaster is powerful enough to kill them, regardless of their heavy armour. Now letís get going. Next Stop: Shell City." And so they went.
Devan was very angry. Again, he had seen it all until Arazi decided to destroy the camera. He knew enough. Someone was helping his worst enemies. "My enemiesí friends are my enemies." he thought to himself. But he had a secret weapon that couldnít fail. He would turn lori against them. They wouldnít shoot her. Still, every time he had been sure that his plan couldnít fail somethinghad gone wrong. But he was prepared for that. If they would get past Lori somehow, he still had his robot. His unbeatable robot. And a perfect escape plan. This time he couldnít fail.
"I donít really trust that guy." Spaz said, when Arazi couldnít hear him.
"But he saved our lives. Twice" Jazz said.
"Iíll keep an eye on him anyway."
"Okay, but I donít think that will be necessary."
The company arrived at Shell City, named after its evil ruler, Devan Shell. Shell City was the last place on Carrotus where Devan Shell still had power. This was illustrated by the "uncle Shell wants you" posters and the patrols of turtle police. They tried to avoid the police, but a few brief encounters took place anyway. Fortunatelythe unlucky turtles who got in their way never got a chance to alert Devan, but his espionage networks were following the rabbitsí every step. That was why Arazi was wearing a black cloak with the hood covering his face, so he wouldnít be recognised.
They eventually reached Shell Building, named after you know who. Shell Building was ranked number two in the list of the most heavily guarded places in the Universe, right before the Grel-Zakian emperorís palace and after the science centers of Arcturia.
"How will we get in there?"Jazz wondered.
"Devan wonít let his men kill us. He wants us to die according to his plan." Arazi said, as he blasted another surveillance camera. "Thatís how bad guys think."
"Hey, could someone help me with this door?" Spaz asked "It wonít open."
"Step aside and allow me." Arazi answered. Spaz did as he was told to. Arazi made a gesture with his hand and the door was blown up.
"How did you do that?" Jazz wondered
"Magic." Arazi answered and smiled. "You donít know very much about me." he added.
The company went inside and blasted a group of turtles who had come to check out what the noise was.
Meanwhile Devan was watching. The rabbits would soon come to him. Then they would see.
"Lori!" he yelled and Lori came in.
"What is thy bidding, my master?" she asked. The mind control chip was very effective, a masterpiece. This time there was nothing Jazz could do. His own sister would destroy him. Devan laughed the evil-guy laugh again.
The rabbits had arrived at the top floor now. Jazz kicked in the door of Devanís office, just for the effect. Spaz jumped in and waved his blaster around, shouting "Nobody move!". To their surprise, Devan was alone.
"We demand to see Lori!" Jazz demanded.
"Yes, we demand to see Lori" Spaz agreed. Arazi said nothing.
"So you want to see Lori. As you wish." Devan pressed a button. A door opened, revealing Lori. She walked over to the middle of the room, then to everyoneís astonishment opened fire on her brothers and Arazi. They ducked for cover. Once it had gone on for a while Arazi, to everyoneís even further astonishment calmly raised his blaster and fired at her. She tried to dodge, but she was hit and thrown back against the wall. Then she collapsed on the floor. The same moment Jazz and Spaz attacked Arazi.
"Donít worry, sheís only stunned." Arazi explained. "Devan is getting away" he yelled, as Devan jumped out the window.
"This is floor 70. He canít survive that." Jazz said, moments before a helicopter appeared. Devan was inside.
"Did you really think I wouldnít have an escape plan?" they heard him say before he opened fire on them with five machine guns mounted on the Ďcopter. They took cover. Arazi ran over to Lori, picked her up and put her in a safe place, then opened fire on Devanís chopper. He was too occupied shooting and Jazz and Spaz dodging bullets to notice that a pair of large steel doors behind them opened to reveal a big mech-like robot. Arazi finally got a good hit on the chopper and Devan was forced to fly away.
"I think we did it" Jazz said.
"Look behind you!" Arazi screamed and fired off a few rounds at the robot, distracting its attention long enough for Jazz and Spaz to take cover and open fire at it. The robotís chest panel opened up, to reveal several machineguns, laser, rayguns, blasters etc. This was as far as it got before Arazi hit it with his magic, flinging it out through the window. The magic was the one thing Devan had not been prepared for.
"We have to get Lori somewhere safe." Jazz said. He opened a door and, as he saw what was behind it, gasped.
Meanwhile, Devan was very disappointed with the failure of his plan. He disabled all electricity from Shell Bulding and sent a message to his guards to go to the top floor and kill every rabbit they could find. They had no chance of surviving this. At least he didnít think so. He wasnít sure about Araziís magic, but he didnít think it would be strong enough to stand against all his guards. It just remained to be seen.
What Jazz saw upon opening the door was a long corridor full of cages with dead rabbits in them. There was a label on each cage telling the name of the rabbit in it and when he/she was captured. He checked some of the labels. Many of the captives had been his friends. Sddenly, he saw movement in one of the cages.
"Hey, guys!"he yelled. "Someone is alive here! The label says Eliminator."
"She was captured only two days ago." said Arazi, who now was there. "The label says so." He opened the cage, stepped inside and carried out the rabbit. She was young. Her fur was blue, purple and green, which was still clearly distinguishable, although the shades had faded a bit. She was still clutching her rainbow-striped blaster,hovering on the edge of consciousness. One could only imagine what Devan had done to her.
"Here, drink this. It will make you feel better." Arazi said, offering her a purple drink. "But it might have certain side effects." he added, as he let the warm liquid flow down her throat. She immediately lept up and started running around the place.
"Effective." Jazz remarked. Then the lights went out.
"Devan shut the power down." Arazi said. "His goons are propably coming upstairs right now to finish us off. Stop that, Eliminator!" he yelled and she did.
"Jedi mind trick, eh?" Jazz said.
"Something like that." Arazi turned to Eliminator. "Would you mind introducing yourself now?"
"My name is Eliminator, but you can call me Elim. Wow! Is that prince Jazz?"
"I am." Jazz replied ",but I think itís time we get out of here." Meanwhile, Spaz had been supergluing the door on again. Now it was kicked in once more and a turtle appeared. Then it got a blaster bolt in the chest and flew back, dead. Others came in, only to be gunned down by the rabbits, but there was an endless stream of turtles.
"Letís get going! Hold your fire!" Arazi shouted. He created a forcefield where the door had been, so the turtles couldnít get through.
"Theyíll break through the wall soon. Take these and jump out the window" he said and handed out parachutes to everybody. "Iíll stay behind for a while. Thereís something I have to do." The others jumped.
"Everyone OK?" Jazz asked, once they were on the ground.
"Yeah, except for Lori." said Spaz, who had taken her. "But sheís no worse than before we jumped."
Suddenly a blaster bolt whirled in the air beside them. The robot hadnít been destroyed after all. It attacked them with its whole arsenal of weaponry. They took cover and started firing back. What followed was a short battle. Devanís robot was winning, when suddenly a rabbit wielding something huge jumped at it from behind and sliced it in half.
"Who are you?" someone asked.
"The name is BæÅüMàÑ." the rabbit answered, stepping into the light. He had gold fur and a gold blaster. It was an impressive sight. Of course, a rabbit capable of even lifting a Kaiser Blade usually is.
Devan didnít know that his plans had once again failed due to an outside party. Neither did he know that Shell Building was about to be wiped off he face of Carrotus. He thought that for once, everything was going as planned. He was, of course, wrong.Chapter 6: The Chase Begins
"Hey, hands up!" an unusually dumb turtle shouted to Arazi, who had just placed the last batch of explosives. Arazi slowly raised his hands, when suddenly the turtle screamed and staggered backwards. If youíve ever been hit in the face with an invisible whip you know what he felt. Then Arazi shot him.
"Two hundred and forty-two." he said calmly and prepared to leave, shooting another turtle on the way.
"Two hundred and forty-three." he said to himself. Then he jumped out a window. This was the bottom floor.
"BaeÖ Bea.. what?" Spaz tried to sort out BæÅüMàÑís name.
"Just call me Beau. Thatís what everyone else does."
"Well, okay. What was that thing you sliced the robot in half with?"
"A Kaiser Blade." another voice answered. Arazi was back. "Donít ask me where he got it."
"Yeah, itís a long story." BæÅüMàÑ said "I might tell you later."
"Later it is, then. I planted some explosives in Shell Building. Letís step back a bit and enjoy the show." As he said this he pressed a button a small remotecontrol and the first few floors of Shell Building exploded, taking the rest down with them. It was a magnificient display.
"Well worth the explosives." Arazi said.
This wasnít exactly something Devan could miss. He was furious, but none too furious to start thinking on another clever plan to destroy Carrotus once and for all. He thought he had something that might help back on Sandion, so he gave his spaceship crew orders to get him there.
"It seems like Lori has is under the influence of some sort of mind control chip." Arazi said. "The problem is that removing it would propably kill her. Devan propably knows of some way to remove it. I think we should pay him a visit, eh? Heís propably going to Sandion."
"How do you know?" Jazz asked.
"I just do."
"Whereís Beau?" Spaz wondered. "He was here just a minute ago."
"Heís bending light around himself. Itís an old Dark templar trick. Very funny, Beau." Arazi answered.
"You seem to know a lot." said BæÅüMàÑ, who had just shifted back into visibility.
"More than you think. Weíll have to follow Devan to Sandion, but letís drop Lori off at the castle first. We canít keep carrying her around all the time."
They went over to the royal castle to drop off Lori, eat some carrot pudding and get some sleep. The next day they went over to the spaceport in order to pursue Devan Shell to Sandion.
Meanwhile, Devan had found what he was looking for. Having nothing to lose, he would release his most fearsome weapon, one which he wouldnít even be able to control himself, one that would destroy Carrotus, once and for all. He laughed his evil-guy laugh again.
"You want to leave me behind just because Iím so young. Itís unfair." Eliminator complained.
"No, itís because you ate too much carrot pudding." Jazz replied and left, not hearing Elimís counterarguments.
"Weíre ready now." he said to the others who were waiting outside. They went to the spaceport by train.
"My ship should be in docking bay five." Arazi said. Upon going there they saw only one ship, a ship whose beauty couldnít be described, so I wonít even try to.
"Wow." Was all BæÅüMàÑ managed to say. They others stood silent, gaping. Clearly, they recognised a good ship when they saw one.
Finally, Jazz had recovered enough to remark that the ship didnít seem to have any weapons.
"She does." Arazi answered. (For some reason, ships are always referred to as either "it" or "she". A ship like this couldnít be called "it", so everyone was content with saying "she") "She has more weapons than a smaller country. Keeping them visible all the time wouldnít necessarily be a good move. We want them to be a surprise."
A pair of large steel doors opened and a group of twelve monks stepped outside. They marched up to the top of a high tower, formed a ring around a pillar in the center and started chanting. Then they walked to the pillar one by one, getting killed by a man standing there. The pillar was colored red by their blood. When they all were dead the man who had killed them did the same to himself. Fora while nothing happened. Then the pillar began to rise. Then it fell down. There was a hole under it that something crept out of. Something huge, about to fly to Carrotus without a spaceship.
Devan watched with satisfaction. His secret weapon had been released. Soon Carrotus would be history. He laughed his evil-guy laugh again (This guy laughs quite a lot).
Araziís ship was suddenly hit by something.
"That was a laser." Arazi said. "Someone is on to us. Check the outdoors camera." The ship was hit again.
"Come here!" yelled BæÅüMàÑ, who was the first one to check the camera. "You wonít believe this!"
What they saw on the monitor was a huge, decidedly organic creature. It was in a vacuum, but still alive and shooting them with lasers.
"What is that?" Spaz managed to ask.
"The great Wargod of Sandion." Arazi answered. "I always thought it was just a legend. Itís not really a god, of course, but it exists. Unbelievable." He pressed a button part of the ships hull slid aside to reveal assorted weapons from chainguns to missile launchers and omega cannons. The "Wargod" was bombarded with everything, to no effect.
"There might be one more way." Arazi said, pressing some buttons. "The shipís autopilot will take you to Sandion. Just donít touch any buttons." He put the weapons in again.
"What will you do?" Jazz asked.
"Youíll see." Arazi answered. He moved over to the front of the ship. There he pressed a few buttons and the front part of the ship was dislodged from the back part. He pressed another button and several rows of long arallium spikes came out in the front. He made a complete U-turn, put the engines on full and proceeded to crash right into the Wargod, spikes first. It might have screamed, but since there is no sound in space weíll never know. Then Arazi channeled some of his magic and all of the shipís power through the spikes and into the Wargod, who counterattacked by exploding.
The others watched in horror as the Wargod exploded, taking Arazi with it, although they all had a strange feeling that heíd still come back.
Devan didnít know anything about this. He thought his secret weapon was heading for Carrotus as planned. He knew that somebody would come looking for him to get the information on how to save Lori. It wouldnít matter anymore, since by the time they got there everyone on carrotus would be dead. Including Lori. As always, he did have an escape plan, just in case. He laughed again.
A hyperspace jump later they were on Sandion, but it seemed like their arrival had been expected. They were ambushed by a group of turtles. BæÅüMàÑ was the first one to exit the ship. He cast a weapon recall spell and his Kaiser Blade made short work of the turtles. Then he was hit in the back of his head with something hard and lost consciousness. The inside of the ship was sprayed with knockout gas and a group of turtles proceeded to carry it away.
Once they arrived at Devanís secret hideout they were removed from the ship and tossed into a prison cell. The door was locked and two very tough-looking turtles were dispatched as guards. The situation seemed hopeless.
Devan was very pleased, except for one little detail. The ship they had come in looked strangely familiar. He took two of his guards with him and went to investigate it. His suspicions were confirmed. This ship decidedly belonged to Arazi. Arazi had brought him trouble before. He decided to interrogate his prisoners. He wanted to know where Arazi was now.
The prisoners were woken up by a strange sound. It was the sound of the door hitting the wall.
"Come quickly." a familiar voice said to them. It was Arazi.
"We thought you were dead." Jazz was the first one to say.
"Yeah, I get that a lot." Arazi replied. "You didnít really think I would die that easily, did you. We have to hurry. Devan is on his way here. I know where weíre going."
They started running towards their destination, Arazi first, the others following him. The reached a large metal door. Arazi placed his hand on it and slid open soundlessly. As they went to the other side it closed.
"Iíll try to get the data from the computer." Arazi said. "it could take a while to download it."
Devan had already noticed the emptiness of their cell and sent all turtles looking for them. He knew Arazi would be there, so he was ready to escape any minute. He would only stay around long enough to make sure he had lost. Then he would flee.
"Data downloaded. Please remove disk." the computer said. Arazi took the disk.
"Fine. Now we can go." he said. "Letís jump out the window." As he said this the large window behind them shattered.
They all knew better than to question Arazi, so they jumped, landing right on the roof of Araziís ship.
"Thereís a door on the roof, too." Arazi said. "In case something like this would happen." He opened the door and they al climbed in. Quickly overpowering the few guards they took control of the ship and went off.
Devan had seen enough. He used his teleportation machine prototype to teleport himself to another planet, just before his hideout on Sandion exploded. He might have gone with it if he hadnít known Araziís obsession with explosives.
This story has, as always, a happy ending.. They returned to Carrotus, removed the mind control chip from Lori and ate far too much carrot pudding.
Devan had lost this battle, but he was yet to win the war. The data on his computer had been misleading. A part of the chip was still inside Lori, waiting to take control of her again. That time wasnít near, but he could wait. He laughed a dark and sinister laugh.