Saving the National Neopian Bank: Part Ten
Ylana had always been the best at fighting, but Rex apparently wasn't too shabby either.
And more importantly, he had decided to take out a Virtupets Energy Saber from inside his pockets. Ylana didn't have time to draw out weapons.
But, she wasn't concerned. As long as she stayed calm, she was easily able to predict and dodge Rex's attacks. And eventually, Rex let his guard down.
Ylana took the opportunity and disarmed him, then kicked him once in the stomach. She then knocked him off the ship and into the waters below.
There, Rex was out of the picture for the time being. She looked to see that the ship had already began to sail, no doubt they had somehow found a way to run it. It didn't surprise her, Sloth had to dumb down how his ships operated so that the Grudos could use them, so using one was slightly easier than riding a bicycle.
But she still had a change to succeed at what she had come there for. She looked around for a Ylana's Blaster. Both of them had become inactive thanks to her code, but she could reactivate them just as quickly. And once she had one, she could fire at the ship's engine, which would disable it. Their ship would be left stranded out at sea, and then she could reboot the 8X-Z units.
Sure, the shot was a difficult one, but she knew that she could do it. And once she did, it would mean that she had one. After all, Ylana Skyfire never failed a mission.
As she was about to reach for the nearest blaster though, something swooped out of the sky and grabbed it just as her fingers had touched it. She looked up and saw that there was a Crokabek carrying the blaster away.
"No," she muttered. "This can't be happening."
But it was. However, she wasn't one to just watch something happen in awe. She immediately went to look for the second blaster, and she spoke the activation sequence, and leveled it at the ship.
But it was too far away now.
Still, she wasn't one to give up. She could still steer the pirate ship closer to their vessel. They probably didn't know how to operate it at full speed, so she could catch up and then try to shoot again.
But when she tried turning the steering wheel, nothing happened. There was no resistance that came from the steering wheel at all, it just spun around and around like nothing.
Someone had sabotaged it, she realized. And then she realized that there was no way that she could fix the ship in time for her to catch up with them. She punched the steering wheel in rage and knocked it off.
Since when had she failed?
Far away, the Crokabek that had carried away her blaster deposited it in the hands of a neopet wearing a hood. His face and his entire body were entirely shrouded. There was one thing visible though, the fact that he wore a ring with an odd emblem on it.
"Good job," he said and stroked the Crokabek. "The Duchess will be pleased. We could not have allowed the National Neopian Bank to fall into chaos. At least, not yet."
Four hours later, Don and Hamond finally reached the docks of Neopia Central. There, they saw that there was quite a welcome party waiting for them.
As they got out, the earlier captives were taken and sent to the Neohospital to check if they had any injuries. They also wanted to take Don and Hamond into custody for questioning, but the Mayor arrived and said that he would have liked to talk to them personally.
And so, they rode on a carriage towards the Mayor's office. There, Mr. Roberts was already waiting for them and congratulated them.
"We would like to ask you all a few questions though," the Mayor said. "Starting with an account of what happened."
Don and Hamond gave a full summary of their story from that morning describing everything that had happened.
"Interesting," the Mayor said. "Well, I suppose all's well that ends well. The bank is currently safe, the Shenkuuvians are none the wiser as to the fact that we had initially hired Ylana Skyfire, and the Neopian National Bank has successfully left Krawk Island."
"And we a big thanks to you two," Mr. Roberts said. "If there's anything that I could do for you, please, ask."
"Nothing," Don said. "But did you guys catch Ylana?"
The Mayor shook his head. "Unfortunately we didn't. I've received a report just now that the merchant navy has managed to arrest a certain mercenary by the name of Rex, but Ylana remains elusive. We have issued a large bounty for her capture, though of course we're uncertain as to whether or not that will even work."
"I wouldn't worry too much about her for now," Mr. Roberts said. "After all, she's just a mercenary, it's not like she had some sort of personal problem with us. Once another bidder comes she'll probably go one to some other mission."
"One thing, however, worries me," the Mayor said. "In case that, let us say, the Governor simply wants to ruin the bank, couldn't he merely tell the Shenkuuvians that we were the ones to initially hire Ylana?"
"I doubt that that would happen," Mr. Roberts said. "For one, who would even believe what a fugitive such as Ylana Skyfire would say? If the Shenkuuvians, through some unlikely event, even manage to capture her, they can't put much stock in a statement that she'll give, and especially so since she is a mercenary and will do any job for neopoints. Furthermore, I highly doubt that she would ever say so, because if she wanted to do so, she'd have to tell the full story, and it would be apparent that she had failed at one of her jobs. And she has a perfect victory record, which is why we had hired her in the first place, and I doubt she wants to ruin that."
The Mayor nodded. "In that case it seems that we really are safe then."
"Indeed," Mr. Roberts said.
The following days were a time of bustling activity for the Neopian National Bank. Its stocks had reached all-time highs. Those bank error random events had mysteriously stopped coming. Don and Hamond were promoted to executive positions within the bank, and commerce flourished around Neopia Central.
Yes, a crisis had been avoided. But little did they know that there was another one fast approaching them.
* * * *
Ylana Skyfire trudged through the sands of Krawk Island. Her small little army of robots trailed behind her. They were clunky and probably going to get her spotted, but who did she fear? No one.
No, the problems in her life certainly weren't physical.
She could still, however, see the fact of her mentor admonishing her.
"Well done, not only have you not taken a job out for neopoints but rather for personal reasons, but you also have failed at said job. I think potato farming is a bit too good for you, why don't you go and become an insurance agent instead?" he taunted.
Of course, Ylana had a lot of things to say too. She could definitely say that the problem had been that Rex betrayed her. Or that that Crokabek had chosen a brilliant time to take her blaster.
But still, that didn't change the fact that she had failed at a mission. And that was wrong, because Ylana Skyfire did not fail.
She had no doubt that the Governor was sending his pirates to attack her right now, in order to reclaim the neopoints that they had paid her. So far, they had all been neutralized by her robot minions.
Of course, the Governor could never publicize that Ylana had failed a mission. He couldn't, of course, openly admit that he had tried to sabotage the Neopian National Bank against international treaties. And those bankers would not say that they had hired her either. So, for the time being, it seemed at least officially that her win record was perfect.
Still, just hanging around wandering aimlessly on Krawk Island couldn't possibly be productive. She needed a goal, she realized. And a wave of hatred rose in her as she thought about the bank.
For now, she thought, I will not be a mercenary. I'm no longer a soldier for rent now.
No, she was going to take that accursed bank down if it was the last thing that she would do. She whipped out her communication device and found that Mr. Robert's model was currently offline. So, he had destroyed it. Too bad that he hadn't gotten rid of the tracker that she had placed on him.
His location appeared as a red dot on a map on her device. So now she would always know where he was. All she needed was a ship, and she would go there and take her revenge, both for her recently failure, and for the past as well.
She was no longer a mercenary.
She was an avenger.
Thanks for reading! I initially got this idea from a user on the boards who commented that he/she thought it was suspicious that the bank was making so many errors and we entrusted all our neopoints to it, and that got me thinking that it was weird. I don't remember who that user was, but I want to say that in a way, this story is partially dedicated to you.