Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 135,120,767 Issue: 265 | 10th day of Storing, Y8
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The Battle for Kreludor: Part One

by azellica


Control room, Virtupets Moon Base 32, Kreludor:

Commander Krule stood on the cold metal tiles of the room and faced the enormous blank screen in front of him. The mutant Grundo was expecting a call from the space station and the anticipation left him with a feeling of growing anxiety. He gave a nervous glance to his watch and took a deep breath. A little ways behind him, two Virtupets officers stood respectfully with their hands behind their backs. Krule glanced back at them and forced himself not to show any signs of fear- a good leader never showed any weaknesses and he always became nervous when talking to the Boss.

      The screen before Krule suddenly flickered to life and shed an eerie green glow of light over his face. The commander straightened up and watched as the face of Dr. Sloth came into focus.

      "Good evening, Commander," Sloth's voice filtered through the speakers.

      Krule saluted and bowed at the same time resulting in him nearly losing his balance.

      "Sir," he stammered. "It's a pleasure to see you." He gave a weak smile.

      Behind him, his two officers exchanged glances.

      Sloth frowned. "You know, of course, why I am contacting you?"

      "I understand that you wish to discuss the situation on Kreludor, sir."

      "Quite right. The intelligence reports I have received from your captain seem to indicate a unification of the Resistance forces. Are you aware that they are setting up an organization to remove all of our influence from the moon?"

      "Of course, sir," Commander Krule lied.

      "I have reviewed the information," Sloth continued, "and I feel it is necessary for us to respond to their recent developments with as much force as needed. I do not want things to get out of hand on Kreludor."

      "Most understandable, sir."

      "It is important that Virtupets maintains control on the moon. I am concerned that the Resistance may influence the local colonies to become 'anti-Sloth'. Therefore I have devised a plan to permanently remove all opposing forces from Kreludor so that we can all live in peace. After all, peace is what I want most for all for Neopia." Sloth smiled sinisterly.

      "Peace is what we all want," Krule agreed. At that moment, he thought he heard a snigger from behind him, but when he spun around, he saw only his two captains standing loyally and obediently.

      Sloth leaned back into a tall chair. "Seeing as the antis are uniting across the moon, I propose that we merge all of our Kreludan bases into one force. According to the information I received, the secret headquarters of the Resistance is close to Base Thirty-two. Therefore I want this moon base to be the center of our movements. Commander, I am placing you in control of this operation."

      Krule gave a small bow.

      "You will have absolute control over the Virtupets facilities on Kreludor. I want you to unite all of my bases into one force and create an army. When you are ready, you will lead my minions to victory on Kreludor. You will destroy the Resistance group. You will ensure that I have Kreludor under my power," Sloth said. "You will start this immediately. The sooner the Resistance is destroyed, the better. I have been far too tolerant with them lately."

      "Yes sir. I will do my best." Krule tried not to smirk. He had control over all of Kreludor.

      "I expect regular reports of your progress. I am depending on your success." Sloth's voice faded as the screen turned off.

      Commander Krule turned around to face his two captains.

      "Captain Dwolt," he addressed a tall Darigan Scorchio. "I need you to send messages immediately to all of the moon bases on Kreludor. Tell their officers that I am now in charge of affairs here. I want them all to send a representative to this base and I need them to come as quickly as possible. We will hold a conference in a few days and discuss what is to be done to remove the Resistance."

      "Yes, sir." Captain Dwolt saluted and then hurried from the room.

      Krule turned to his other captain. "Zara, you submitted those reports to Dr. Sloth a few days ago?"

      "Yes sir," the shadow Kyrii replied. "I did not think they were so serious."

      "The Boss seems to believe we need to act right away. He is right, as always..."

      "I believe the evidence I uncovered indicates that the Resistance is planning some kind of attack on us in the near future. You looked at my reports as well, right?"

      "Yes, yes," Commander Krule said with annoyance. "However, I think you should have waited for my approval before you sent them in."

      "Are you unhappy with the Boss's decision of placing you in command of Kreludor?" Captain Zara asked.

      "No, not at all... but I am concerned that the responsibility for any failure we have will rest on me. I am not sure how strong the Resistance is at the moment..."

      "As I told you already in my reports, they are currently growing in numbers and strength. If we act soon, we will be able to remove them. Our soldiers are well-trained and our spies have infiltrated the Grundo colonies."

      Krule nodded slowly. "I believe we can defeat them without too much trouble. Zara, I'm going to need your spies to provide me with constant information about the Resistance's movements. Have you managed to get an agent into their headquarters yet?"

      "No, I am trying to get in myself... it isn't easy, though. They are very careful about who they talk to." The Kyrii frowned slightly. "I have been to the nearby Grundo colony in disguise; I am slowly gaining their trust... These things take time."

      "We don't have a lot of time. Dr. Sloth always expects things to be done as quickly and efficiently as possible," Commander Krule said. "I want you to talk to your agents. Tell them to gather as much information as they can. I want one of you to join the Resistance under cover and get into their headquarters. This must be done right away."

      "Yes, sir." Zara gave a small salute and then left the room.

      Commander Krule was left alone. He stroked his 'commander' badge and smirked. All of Kreludor was under his control. Perhaps eventually Neopia would be as well...

Supply Closet, Virtupets Moon Base 32, Kreludor:

      After a few moments of silence, the metal door to a small supply closet drifted open and a fire Grundo peered out. He glanced swiftly across the control room and tucked a recording device into his utility belt. He saw that the Virtupets Commander had currently occupied himself with a victory speech to an invisible audience. Hiding a smile, the Grundo adjusted his cloak and stepped into the shadows of the room. He crept behind the computers and wove through the jungle of wires.

      The fire Grundo waited for Commander Krule to admire his green reflection in a computer screen and then darted to the exit. The fire Grundo jogged down the empty corridors of the moon base and escaped through an emergency door. Outside, Kreludor was cool and still. Oen pushed his hood over his head and then ran out into the Kreludan night. He had a lot to report to the Resistance.

Hallway 14-B, Virtupets Moon Base 32, Kreludor:

      Zara watched as the fire Grundo ran past her. She had suspected someone had been in the control room and had been waiting by the nearest exit for them to leave. The Kyrii had pulled a purple space suit over her Virtupets uniform and had tucked a Virtublaster 3000 in her belt. Zara left the moon base and followed the path of the Grundo. She crept quietly a little ways behind him and watched as he turned away from the main road and down into a lunar ravine.

Command Center, Resistance Headquarters, Kreludor:

      The Resistance headquarters was completely empty except for a royal Lupe. He was peering over a huge map of Kreludor and recording all of the known Virtupets stations by burning the paper with a laser beam. He sighed with boredom and glanced at his watch. He knew that at this moment, somewhere on Kreludor, Doctor Sloth would be meeting with one of his Commanders.

      The Lupe tossed the map aside and began to pace in circles. Sloth would know of their activities by now, he thought. They had caught several Virtupets spies around the local colonies... it was only a matter of time before ship loads of Virtutroops arrived to remove the resistance. Retep knew that the Resistance would not last long if too many reinforcements came to Kreludor. They had to strike quickly and gain control of the moon bases. It was not a fight for domination of the moon; it was a fight for freedom. The Grundos on Kreludor had been oppressed by Sloth for a long time. In some colonies they were forced to work in Kreludite mines and factories to provide Virtupets with shiny new weapons. They were paid hardly anything for their work. It was nothing but slavery, Retep thought angrily. The Resistance would free them, though. No matter what, they would fight until all of Kreludor was free of Sloth's soldiers.

      Retep's thoughts were interrupted by the sound of someone knocking on the door. The Lupe unbolted it and saw that a fire Grundo was standing in the corridor.

      "I've been waiting for you for hours, Oen," Retep said. "Did you get any information?"

      "Definitely," Oen grinned and pulled an electronic recording device from his belt. "I have the entire meeting recorded."

      Retep took the device and turned it on. An image of Sloth speaking to his commander immediately appeared on its tiny screen.

      "I couldn't get much closer, I'm afraid," Oen said. "I was hiding in a closet during the whole thing."

      Retep frowned, "Sloth is ordering his troops here to unite?"

      "Looks like it. And this Krule guy is in charge of it all."

      "We're going to have to act as soon as possible in response to this. The Resistance may not be strong enough to hold off an attack made by all the minions on Kreludor."

      "We have many good fighters," Oen said, "and many good spies."

      "We're going to have to improve our security by the looks of things." Retep gestured to the recorder. "It seems that they are sending Virtupets agents into the colonies."

      "I think we can identify them easily enough if we know what we're looking for. I'm more concerned about how long we'll survive a military attack." The Grundo picked up the map of Kreludor and spread it out again on a table. "There are a lot of minions on Kreludor... if they unite, we will be in trouble."

      "They're only minions," Retep said dismissively. "If they worship Sloth they can't have any intelligence. Defeating them will hardly take any effort from us."

To be continued...

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