Three lasers flew past Blast as he stood there deciding where to go next and he turned to find a helmeted Iadsgb advancing on him.
“Struggling to keep up?” he called to the U.R.S. leader with his arms spread wide and then the pair fired at each other in unison.
“Has that been Callum all along?” Blast shouted as he fired once more and then spun to the side and hid.
“Of course not!” Iadsgb shouted back from out of sight. “Callum’s just been… how shall I put this… Standing in, for Phoenix since the real one was otherwise engaged.”
R.K. took a chance and peered around the side of the vat, trying to see if he could see Iadsgb further up the aisle but he found it deserted and so slowly moved into it.
“What do you mean, otherwise engaged?”
“I mean dead, dummy.” Iadsgb called back and Blast peered into the darkness between the vats, searching for the source of the call.
“How long?” Blast called, still visually scanning the immediate area.
All of a sudden, Iadsgb leapt out of a gap and fired numerous times at Blast who fired back although taken by surprise.
The head of the U.R.S. ducked, fired a single shot back then dived for cover behind another vat.
“Just since you sent them to scout out our base. The idea was for him to assassinate you; he was willing to give it all. Even his life just so that the F.I.S. could win.” He heard Iadsgb say.
“Well I’m still here!” Blast called back, half-jokingly.
“So I see. That’s twice he’s failed me now. I’ll be having strong words with him when we’re done here.”
While Iadsgb was talking, Blast slowly unclipped his lightsaber from his belt and holstered his pistols.
After a moment of listening to the sounds of shouts and gunfire coming from elsewhere in the plant, Blast ignited his saber and with a cry, spun out from behind the vat and charged at Iadsgb.
The F.I.S. leader fired at him but all of his shots were deflected and so Iadsgb dropped his blasters and drew his own lightsaber.
With a flying leap, R.K. smashed his blade into Iadsgb’s and the pair ground against each other.
Hess was elsewhere in the maze of vats but was taking the slow and steady approach to escape, attempting to sneak past anyone without being noticed.
However his plan was foiled when he checked behind him as he walked around a vat… straight into Fixer who was coming the other way.
“Fixer!” Hess exclaimed momentarily forgetting the RC’s betrayal. He soon remembered however when Fixer swung at him with his fist and hit him straight in the side of his helmet sending him sprawling.
Fixer advanced on him but Hess kicked out and caught him in the chest, knocking him back and giving the U.R.S. leader time to stand up and lunge at his former comrade.
The pair exchanged punches for a few moments more but then Hess tried to draw his pistol, giving Fixer the opportunity to get a good kick in and sent him tumbling backwards across the ground.
Fixer started to advance on the dazed Hess but then a laser bolt from nowhere made him stumble backwards as it flew past his head and struck the vat behind him.
Slash skidded between two of the vats and fired again at Fixer who backed off and disappeared between two more close-together tubs.
The silver-colored Commando checked behind the vat but Fixer had gone.
“Come on, let’s go.” he said quietly as he offered his hand to Hess who accepted it and helped him up.
Another loud ‘CLANG!’ rang out as Rogue took a shot but missed, again by the narrowest of margins. This time it was Nightblaze who was in his sights but the commander had spotted the F.I.S. sniper just in time and had leapt to one side out of sight.
He looked up and realized he had reached one of the walls of the enormous room.
Above him towered two huge vertical turbines that stood the height of the room. He imagined that they were the power source for the factory but couldn’t work out why they’d be in the plant itself.
He spotted a control board a few meters off and carefully made his way over to it and when he got there examined it and realized that in fact the two turbines were used for cooling the chemicals. Each individual vat was connected via pipes to the turbines, which pumped coolants into the chemicals at the same time as keeping the vats themselves at a low enough temperature to keep the liquid contained.
“Bingo!” Nightblaze whispered aloud as an idea struck him.
Blast and Iadsgb were now slashing at each other, parrying deadly blows with their lightsabers. The head of the F.I.S. lunged forwards but R.K. knocked the blow aside, in turn attempting to get a hit on Iadsgb’s left time but failing, as he ducked and leapt backwards out of harm’s way.
Blast’s swipe hit the side of a vat and caused a deep gauge that starting smoking.
They traded several more attacks but then there was a loud hiss as acid started leaking through the gauge in the vat. Then the acid started eating away at the thinner metal and a steady stream started pouring onto the floor.
The two leaders took a final swipe at one another before jumping backwards away from the growing pool of lime-green chemicals.
The pair looked at each other and then Blast dashed between the vats to his left and Iadsgb between the ones to his right so that the pair ended up facing together once more in the next aisle.
They stood staring for a moment more and then started their fight once more. Blast spun around a full 360 degrees and ended up behind Iadsgb who turned to meet his oncoming blade.
As they ground together, Blast noticed a flight of stairs a few meters to his right that led up to the catwalk above. He made to strike Iadsgb’s left leg but then twisted his blade to go for his stomach. Iadsgb blocked the strike but it had given Blast the time he needed to sprint to the bottom of the stairs.
The F.I.S. leader gave chase and Blast bounded to the catwalk several steps at a time as Iadsgb started coming up.
R.K. slashed through the metal connecting the stairs to the walkway and the stairs started bending under the weight of the F.I.S. leader but before they collapsed he jumped up and just made it onto the mesh of the walkway.
He was instantly met by an attack from Blast but he blocked it and retaliated.
Rogue spotted the pair appear at the other end of the catwalk and re-trained his sights on the dueling pair, aiming at Blast.
He took a shot but missed and the pair were so close together that it was closer to hitting Iadsgb than it was Blast.
“ROGUE!” Iadsgb bellowed in anger as the shot whistled past.
BUT WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT? FIND OUT IN PART 12! COMING THURSDAY 27TH JUNE!
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