“Thank you. It’s exactly what I wanted, Engineer.” Stormy turned to face a scowling being seated in a giant floating chair.
“I prefer to be called, The Maker, however I have made more than a few exceptions for you.” The Celestine, a dwarf of the Deep Stars, was almost hard to see in the floating monstrosity he had built for his throne. As it hovered, it hummed with power. Lights and scanners glowed on all sides of it. The Maker’s hands rested on a pair of blank metal panels that were suspiciously void of control switches or buttons. In fact, there were no visible switches anywhere on the apparatus. “I have a hard time understanding why you play about with this plan of yours. My ship could have turned all of them to ash with a single shot.”
“It’s a matter of balance. For this to work, certain things must happen in certain ways. As I’ve said before, you needn’t worry. I promised you the Earth to strip of its resources as you will. I keep my promises.” Stormy smiled.
“Yes. You promised. I have agreed to watch you and assist as you’ve requested. Once your plan has born the fruit you desire, you claim this world will be ripe for my picking. We shall see.”
“Indeed we shall. I can tell you they will be coming for you soon.”
“I expected as much. At that point, there will be no more playing with our prey. When they come to my ship, it will be time for them to die.” The Maker’s face was stern, serious and unyielding.
Stormy stood up and held out his hands in an open and kind gesture. “Of course, Maker! They’re all yours!”
On the White House grounds, as the dust settled and the smoke blew away, the friends did their best to assist fallen soldiers before they regrouped. Washington, DC didn’t have enough ambulances and they had to call for more military support for the injured. Sandstorm didn’t even want to know how many were dead. Since Vietnam, he knew what it meant to be a soldier. The deaths of brothers-in-arms always weighed heavily on him.
“I’m sorry for those who have fallen, General.” Sandstorm said after additional support arrived. “I also wish we could help you more, but we have a lot of work to do ourselves.”
“I understand. You go get them and show them what happens to people who mess with the US.” The General said with a nod.
“I shot more Rotanians than you did.” Galose said to Blacktide.
“Big talk for a guy with all the automated targeting systems.” Blacktide said. “I think I’m more interested in learning what you know about the Rotanians.”
“You know them?” Anubis chimed in. Everyone looked to Galose.
“Yes. I know them very well. They are the reason my people are bonded with dimensional combat armor. It was all we could do to escape genocide.”
“So they’re bad enough to wipe out an entire race.” Atomizer said. “Wow.”
“Yes. The Rotanians were created by a warped and diabolical being who calls himself, The Maker. He’s also known as, The Engineer. He’s a Celestine, a dwarf from the Deep Stars who has turned his back on his own race and all organic life across the cosmos. He’s bent on domination of the universe. Let there be no doubt, my friends; they are here to strip your world of its resources. In the process they are capable of killing every living thing.”
“And they do it by blocking out the sun?” Sandstorm asked.
“No. This is not their usual method. Something else is definitely going on here.”
“Stormy Nutcase.” Anubis growled.
“Who?” Galose said.
“Stormy Knight, is what he meant to say.” Nightfall said.
“No, I said what I meant and that was just being polite.” Anubis interrupted.
“Anyway,” Nightfall elbowed the Egyptian hero. “Stormy Knight is the person who’s been behind all our woes lately. He’s probably got something to do with the Rotanians.”
“Do you know what he wants?” Galose asked.
“We know that he’s a Minion of an evil god. Past that we can only speculate.” Electrode said. “We’ve been running all over the country because of him.”
“Perhaps it is time to stop running all over the country then.” Galose said.
“How do we get on an alien starship?” Sandstorm asked.
“I couldn’t fly through the barrier myself.” Anubis said.
“I believe I can assist with that.” Galose said.
“You and I have unfinished business, oh favored one! Follow me to the depths of the dead, if you still dare!”
As quickly as it appeared, the boat was gone and Blacktide with it. Everyone scrambled to their feet.
“You gotta be kidding me!” Atomizer said. “When does the crazy stop?”
“We have to go after him.” Sandstorm said and several nodded in agreement.
“No.” Nyhtwulf said. “I will go. This is for me and me alone. I will rescue my friend and meet you on the craft above.”
“Are you sure about that?” Redeagle asked.
“I do not know that I could take all of you to the Underworld. I know that technology cannot.” Nyhtwulf nodded to Galose. “However, I served there for centuries. I know the way. Go, and I will join you soon.” With that, Nyhtwulf sank into the ground and out of sight.