Chapter 6: On The Move

In the General Forum, Emperor Tullegolar put his hate list away. He simply had too many suspects to figure out who could have messed up his hat. Now he needed more allies. He looked around carefully until he spotted Iffy.

Iffy looked around nervously when he saw Emperor Tullegolar approaching.

"Hey, Iffy."

"Uh, hi."

"You know, I could use your help for something."

"Er, no. I've, um, heard all about you. You're bad."

"I'm bad? Who's telling you such crackpot tales?"

Iffy ran. "Stay away! I need to be good!"

Emperor Tullegolar sighed and added Iffy's name to his list. "Fine. Be that way. It's your loss."

Iffy bumped into Goldenking. "Sorry."

"No, it's quite all right. Say, I couldn't help but overhear your last comment. And I know exactly what you're going through."

"You do?"

"Yes. I was once exactly like you. I used to be foolish and get into all sorts of trouble. But I learned, and I can help you learn too."

"You can?"

"Yep. Just stick with me and I'll teach you everything I know."

"Wait a minute. Is this some sort of trick?"

"Of course not!" Goldenking's eyes flashed red for a split second.

Iffy didn't notice. "Well, okay then. What can you teach me?"

Lazarus entered the forum. "Hey, Zorro, could you revive Ephesos?" He tossed the copper at Zorro.

"Bah. Is that all I'm good for around here?"

Lazarus found Stareye and Drakefyre sitting at a table. "The stat-removing script worked perfectly. But Zephyr isn't happy with us at all. He--"

"I'll take care of it," Stareye said.

Zorro revived Ephesos.

"That was fast." Ephesos saw Stareye and Lazarus leave the forum. "Oops. Got to go." He hurried after them.

"Don't I even get a thank you?" Zorro shouted after him.

"Thanks!" Ephesos called back.

Zorro sat back down. "I should revolt. Well, just as soon as I play one more game, anyway. Prepare to have lost three Wednesdays after yesterday, Icshi!"

---

Student of Trinity, Nikki, and the rats reached Google.

"Where do we start searching?" A'p'd'r asked.

"Well... we don't know where he is and Google doesn't turn anything up. But he'll have to use Google eventually, so if we check it regularly, we have a very good chance of finding him," Student of Trinity said. "So half of us should stay here while the other half searches elsewhere." He remembered the 1337 h4x0rs. "Well, maybe not here, but any Google station will do."

Fatalclaw shook her head. "I don't think we should split up. We're a small group as it is."

"We shouldn't all camp at Google, because we still might miss him. But if we search elsewhere, then all we're really doing is hoping to get lucky.

"Wikipedia," Nikki said, "He'll have to go to Wikipedia for something, I guarantee it. It also has a Google station inside it, so we can check on that too."

Fatalclaw nodded. "Yes. That does seem like a good idea. Besides, Wikipedia just might have information on this Ecksian that Google doesn't."

---

Stareye, Lazarus, and Ephesos entered the Blades of Avernum Editor Forum. Niemand and Nioca were taking the scripting platform down. Zephyr Tempest was just beginning to regain consciousness. Stareye promptly marched over to him and placed a foot on his chest so he couldn't get up.

"Listen carefully now. It was an administrative decision that you could no longer be trusted with summoning spells. You may learn and use other spells, but if you attempt to learn any summoning spells without Drakefyre's or my express permission, you will be permabanned. Understood?"

Zephyr Tempest muttered something under his breath.

Stareye pressed his foot down harder. "Is that understood?"

"Yes."

"Good." Stareye lifted his foot a bit. "On the plus side, we've decided this was sufficient punishment and will not reinstate your temporary ban. But I feel I must repeat the warning I gave earlier. If you attack anyone or do anything to hinder the defense of Spiderweb, you will be banned instantly. Got it?"

Zephyr Tempest nodded.

Stareye took his foot of Zephyr Tempest's chest and helped him up. "Well then, you're ready to go."

Zephyr Tempest limped out of the forum, muttering savagely to himself.

"Now, I'll take the script," Stareye said.

Niemand handed it over.

"Thank you. Who actually worked on it?"

"Just me, Lazarus, Ephesos, and Nioca."

"It probably goes without saying that I do not want to see you four--or anyone else here--recreate this script or help someone else recreate it. I really don't want to find out what would happen if everyone could alter stats at will."

---

*****, Cheese, and Terry sat in the Mod Board.

"...still be a few days before a sizeable number of bots are ready," Terry said, "And that's with him pushing himself too hard. You know how he's been since the death of Anonymous. I made him get something to eat and told him to take a nap." Terry wrinkled his nose. "And a shower."

"Well, it seems he needs a new assistant. We can ask for volunteers later. But first, we need a new mod, otherwise we'll be in trouble when something comes up."

"Do you really think Garzad is guilty?" Cheese asked.

"I don't know. If he is, he's a very good actor. And patient enough to not attack me despite having the opportunity, if that was his goal. But if it wasn't him, then who got inside the Mod Board and how?" ***** tapped his claws on the table as he spoke.

"I think Danielle is the obvious choice," Terry said.

Cheese nodded. "Definitely. She'd be a great mod."

"Hmm. You're probably right. But I--"

Suddenly, Timestweleve hammered on the door. "You won't believe it, but G'ree, Att, and all the others are back. They're still alive! You have to come see it!"

---

Eternal Flame stood outside the building, dressed in a fire-proof suit and giving orders to his captains. "You have a few more hours to get everyone ready and moving. Make sure everyone knows that if there are any problems, I will deal with the ones responsible. PiperBot and I are going with the pyroroamer unit to scout the place and hopefully weaken their defenses. Now go."

The captains quickly returned indoors.

Ecksian nodded. "You've certainly got them under control."

"Flamers learn slowly, but eventually they do learn. If only because the ones that don't are dead." Eternal Flame was about to say more, but then he caught sight of PiperBot hovering nearby.

"Are we ready to go now?" PiperBot asked impatiently.

"Yes," Eternal Flame said.

"Here. Take this. It's a map of Bots Aplenty and instructions on the quickest route." Ecksian handed a piece of paper to PiperBot.

PiperBot grabbed it and zoomed away. Eternal Flame hurried after it. They soon caught up with the pyroroamer unit. The pyroroamers snarled and pulled on the leashes while the trainers desperately tried to keep them in line. There had already been a mishap that had claimed three pyroroamers and two trainers. Eternal Flame pulled down the hood of his suit and picked up a heavy stick to prevent any future mishaps as they all marched towards Google.