Where there's a Weewoo, there's a way Circulation: 97,025,825 Issue: 191 | 21st day of Hunting, Y7
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Savak: The Redemption - Part Four


by zephandolf

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The spaceport Lukas had mentioned wasn’t too hard to find. It was situated on top of a tall cliff by the sea, clearly visible from the outer limits of the city. It didn’t take Savak long to reach the facility, and under the cover of darkness he managed to slip inside the perimeter fence without any trouble. Now, all he had to do was find a ship heading to Virtupets Station.

    The spaceport was, for the most part, one large, flat piece of reinforced tarmac and concrete, littered with hangers along the southern fence, and a number of taxiways between the southern and northern perimeters. A Launch Control tower rose high above the terminals and other buildings on the east side of the spaceport, while on the north end, facing the sea, was the Launch Pad and Gantry. This was currently empty. Although, even in the darkness, Savak could see the silhouette of a small shuttlecraft making its way to the Launch Gantry.

    After observing his surroundings for a moment, Savak dashed to the nearest hanger and snuck inside, hiding behind a container just inside the door. When he peeked out from behind the container, he was impressed at the vessel he saw.

    Most people would call it a beat-up, boxy-looking freighter, whose dull yellow coloring and unusual features were further emphasized by a large, stubby nose, and darkly tinted view ports along its hull. The only thing that stood out on the craft was the large, aptly fitting name carelessly painted in red on the nose of the vessel: the Ugly Duckling. An apt name, Savak thought, to such a hideously colored ship. The two massive engines set in the rear end of the craft, though inactive, were still radiating heat as if they had been used recently. What attracted Savak’s attention were the mutant Grundos hauling containers into the vessel by way of a large loading door in the side. Standing at the door with a clipboard was a small blue Grundo who was completely focused on his work.

    When Savak saw this Grundo, he couldn’t help but find him almost adorable. The only Grundos he had ever seen were the big green brutes like the ones loading the ship now. The blue Grundo by the door was by far the smallest Grundo he had ever seen. His thoughts were distracted as a red Kyrii walked up to the Grundo from inside the vessel. As she addressed him, Savak strained to hear them.

    “We’re almost ready with this load,” the Kyrii said, peeking at the Grundo’s clipboard. “It’s been a busy day, hasn’t it, Bulthor?”

    “Tell me about it,” the Grundo replied, still marking off items on the clipboard. “This is the fourth load of supplies we’ve taken to the Vengeance in the past six hours! That thing isn’t even finished yet and he’s loading up munitions like he’s going to conduct an invasion in the next week. What’s Sloth thinking? The way I see it, that battleship of his won’t be fully operational for another month, the way construction is going now.”

    The Kyrii shrugged. “I don’t know. No one’s told me anything about how work on the Vengeance is proceeding. But I’ll tell you, the commander he put on that ship…She’s a nutcase!”

    Bulthor looked up from his clipboard for a second. “I’ve heard something similar. I was told she was only appointed a month or two ago.” He smirked. “If you ask me, Megan, I think she’s done a good job on keeping the troops in order. Just about as good as Sloth does…which is what has me worried.”

    Megan smirked. “Even that Lupess can’t outperform…” Her words were cut short as a door down the side of the hanger was thrown open and a pair of mutant Grundos walked in. From where Savak stood, it almost seemed as if they were dragging something, but he couldn’t see it over the crates and containers that were strewn along the hanger. As they approached Bulthor, the Grundo let his clipboard rest at his side as he regarded the massive Grundos that approached him.

    “Who is this?” he asked.

    “We found her snooping outside the hanger, sir,” one of the Grundos said. “When we attempted to apprehend her, she resisted and…this buffoon knocked her out before she could be questioned.”

    Bulthor sighed, looking to Megan, who only shrugged. Rolling his eyes, Bulthor gestured to the loading doors. “Lock her in one of the crews quarters, we’ll deal with her later,” he said.

    Saluting to Bulthor, the Grundos hauled their prisoner into the ship. As they came fully into view, it was all Savak could do to keep from gasping in shock. The blue Lupess they were dragging along was unmistakable, wearing that charm necklace. It was Heysha!

    As the other Grundos continued to load the ship, many thoughts ran through Savak’s mind. He still had to find Lilia, but he couldn’t leave Heysha to those Grundos. How could he save her, though? If he took one step from his hiding place toward that ship, he was sure to be caught by one of those Grundos!

    His options were suddenly cut in half when Bulthor tucked his clipboard under his arm and walked into the ship, saying, “Alright, that’s it. Start up the engines, Megan. We’re taking off in a few minutes.”

    Savak’s fur stood on end as he realized that if he didn’t get on the ship now, Heysha would be lost to him! Acting quickly, and making sure no one was watching, Savak made a dash for the loading doors, which were beginning to close. He made it inside with a few inches to spare, and quickly ducked between the containers that the Grundos loaded. Here, he waited silently, trying to keep himself from jumping at each strange sound that met his ears as the Ugly Duckling came to life. A few minutes later, as Savak lay nervously in his hiding spot, the ship rose off the ground, moved out of the hanger, and flew away from Neopia’s surface, into space.

    * * *

    Long after the freighter left Neopia’s atmosphere, Savak emerged from his hiding spot between the containers and had a brief look around. The cargo-bay was just about as tall and wide as the ship was, and about half as long. Catwalks lined the walls, which were painted a solid gray, and a yellow crane hung, unused, from the ceiling. The entire cargo-bay was filled top to bottom with containers. Most of them were marked as food and water. Some of them held equipment as well, though the labels indicated no specifics.

    Losing interest in them, the Lupe wandered the outer wall of the bay. If he wanted to find Heysha, he needed to find a way to sneak around the ship unnoticed. He hoped to find a vent or something that could lead around the less traveled areas of the vessel. He grew dismayed when he realized that the only vents in the room were too small, even to fit a Slorg. All that remained was the main corridors of the ship. Savak couldn’t remember who or what remained on board the vessel. He could only remember the Kyrii and the blue Grundo, who were probably on the bridge. There could have been a mutant Grundo or two on board, but he wasn’t keeping track of how many were going in and out of the cargo bay.

    Deciding he would have to risk it, Savak found the hatch leading from the cargo-bay to another section of the ship. Taking a deep breath, he reached for the control panel to open the door.

    Before he touched the panel, the door suddenly swished open. Surprised as he was, Savak barely managed to slip to the side and out of sight before the mutant Grundo on the other side stepped through the door. He bore a weapon in his arms; a laser riffle, Savak guessed. Once he entered the cargo-bay, the Grundo walked along the outer wall, sweeping the room. As he did this, Savak, who was keeping a wary eye on the Grundo, slipped through the still open door and into the corridor.

    Like much of the ship, the main corridor was boxy and featureless, gray like the cargo-bay was. It wasn’t much longer than the hallway in Jason’s house, and another corridor crossed the first about halfway down. Further along the first corridor was a single door. The Lupe couldn’t imagine where it led, although he guessed that it would bring him closer to the bridge than he wanted to be. Noting this, Savak padded silently up to the junction, peeking around the corner. It was empty. No one in either direction. Doors lined either side of the corridor, and port holes were set into the bulkheads on either end, revealing the void of space outside the vessel.

    Savak guessed that the rooms along this corridor were crew quarters. He couldn’t imagine what else they would be. But he had no way of knowing which one Heysha was in. Picking a direction along the adjoining corridor, Savak walked to each door, looking at the label and holding his ear up to each one as he passed. After he covered all the rooms on one side of the corridor, Savak started searching the other side. He was beginning to wonder if he would have to enter each room to find the Lupess when, at the last door, he heard a muffled sobbing. He listened closely to the door. Yes, there was someone crying in there. It had to be Heysha.

    Touching a panel by the door, the door opened up, revealing yet another gray, featureless room. Two bunk-beds were set against one wall, and several lockers lined another. There was a table in the room by the window, which had an excellent view of Neopia.

    It was by this window that Heysha sat, looking forlornly out to her home. She was so far from it, and Savak couldn’t blame her for being upset. Feeling deeply for her, Savak stepped into the room and walked toward the Lupess. The door shut behind him with a soft metallic “thunk”. This caught Heysha’s attention, and she whirled around, bearing her teeth. Her angry and vengeful look was quickly replaced with surprise as she saw Savak standing in the middle of the room.

    “Savak!” the Lupess exclaimed as a tear rolled down her cheek. She shook her fur out before she walked over to the white Lupe. “What…what are you doing here?”

    “Shouldn’t I be asking you that?” Savak asked, a little sternly. “What are you doing here? Why did you follow me again?”

    Heysha sniffed before replying. “I…I couldn’t let you go alone,” she said. “Savak…What you said about going to find Lilia…you worried me.”

    “Didn’t you think I would worry about you if I let you come along?” he asked. Then he shook his head. “Nevermind. We’ll discuss this later. Right now, we have to figure out how to get off…”

    As he spoke, the ship rocked slightly as if it ran into something. Looking out the window, Savak was surprised to find not open space outside, but the broad side of a large vessel surrounded by a steel superstructure. It had to be the battleship that Bulthor mentioned.

    “Where are we?” Heysha asked, looking out the window again.

    “Docking with the Vengeance, I think,” Savak replied. Shaking his head, he moved to the door. “Come on, we need to get off this crate and get you back home.”

    Savak pressed the panel to open the door again, but nothing happened. When he pressed it again, Heysha could only smirk in grim amusement. “I’ve tried that many times already,” she said. “They’ve deactivated this panel.”

    “I should have known it wouldn’t be that easy,” Savak said, mostly to himself.

    “So, we’re both trapped in here,” Heysha said.

    “Not yet,” Savak said, trying to stay optimistic. He started pacing the wall. “Is there a grate or a loose panel anywhere?”

    “No, I’ve already checked.”

    Savak sighed as he checked the last wall. “Alright, they don’t know I’m here,” he said, looking thoughtfully toward the lockers. “Do you think I could fit in those?”

    “The lockers?” Heysha asked. She shrugged. “I wouldn’t know. Why would you want to?”

    “It’s the best place to hide,” Savak said. “I just need to be able to get out once you’re gone. Now, here’s the plan…”

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Savak: The Redemption - Part One
» Savak: The Redemption - Part Two
» Savak: The Redemption - Part Three
» Savak: The Redemption



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