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Chapter 3: Red Duck

Chapter 3: Red Duck

Tyranicus stood between the Tech Support Forum and the General Forum. He looked around. He knew that Schrodinger was outside setting up more electric pylons and that Saunders and the Almighty Doer of Stuff were down in the fluffy turtle pit. Most of the other Spiderwebbers and rats, including Azuma and Nalyd, were boarding up the windows and dragging tables over by the door so it could be barricaded easily. Jeran Korak leaned against the wall moodily. Dintiradan and the Lurker waited by the Deth Ray. Duck wandered around the forum aimlessly. Randomizer followed him with a complete lack of stealth. But where was Emperor Tullegolar?

"Randomizer!" Tyranicus waved him over.


"Where's ET?"

"Er... good question."

"Great. Just great. I think the other newbies are missing too."

"What should we do?"

"Well... I'll stay here and watch Duck. You go find ET."

Randomizer hurried off.


Thralni landed at TrueSite. "Alorael wants to know whether the magical barriers will be up in time."

Zeviz stared into the scrying pool. The bots were busy tearing down several barricades. Zeviz focused on the runes behind a damaged barricade. The runes glowed and slowly a magical barrier took shape. He repeated the process until there was a magical barrier behind every barricade in the area.

"Great. How long will they last?" Thralni asked.

Zeviz reached for an energy potion. "Long enough, I hope."

Thralni flew back to his original building just as a vehicle full of flamer captains arrived.

"Duck!" Alorael yelled.

Everyone but Nioca dropped to the floor. Nioca just looked confused. "Huh? He isn't out here, is he? Ahhh!" Nioca was killed by a fireball.

Alorael sniped one of the flamer captains. Another slammed into a nearby bot and exploded after being hit by a charm ray from Delicious Vlish. The third one was killed by Tegburi.

Alorael looked around. The magical barriers were holding, but the bots had cleared the traps almost to their building. "Hey, Salmon!"


"Can the bots climb?!"

"Yeah! At least they can't jump between buildings! Er, I don't think so, anyway!"

"Synergy! Send some people a few buildings down! Have Lord Grimm guide the rest back to Spiderweb!" Alorael ducked as another flamer captain threw a fireball at the building.


Emperor Tullegolar, Ackrovan, and Neossokrass talked in the guard tower.

"...and you want to know that the admins did next?" Emperor Tullegolar said bitterly.

"Sss. What?"

"They banned me. For two and a half weeks!"

"What! But you practically defeated the perfected rat by yourself!" Ackrovan said.

"I know. But they're jealous. Stareye and the mods are has-beens and they know it. Why do you think Drakefyre ran off? No, they won't be in charge much longer."

"You think Ecksssian'sss going to win, then?"

"What? No."

"Then who?" Ackrovan asked.

"Me, of course." Emperor Tullegolar thought for a moment. "And anyone who helps me too, I guess. What are you going to do with all that oil, anyway?"

Ackrovan was filling water balloons with boat oil. "Throw it down on the bots. Then Neossokrass will breathe fire on them. They'll all go up in flame."

"You don't see a problem with that?"

"No. Why?"

"They're bots, that's why. They're not going to stop because they're on fire."

"They'll burn up eventually."

"Right. But until then, they'll be running around setting everything else on fire too."

"Oh. Um. I guess I never thought about that."

Emperor Tullegolar shook his head. Then he caught sight of a faint glow radiating in from underneath the door. He held a finger to his lips. "Anyway, like I mentioned earlier, this here is one of my magical experiments that will enable me to take over the forums. Only an antimagic spell could stop us now and what are the odds of that?" Emperor Tullegolar kicked Neossokrass. "Ooh and ahh," he whispered.



Randomizer threw open the door and ran in. "ET! I'll--"

Emperor Tullegolar knocked Randomizer unconscious with his slith spear.


"Are you sure you should have done that?"

"Yes. Neossokrass, since you're too big to fit through the window, you'll have to wait here. Don't worry, we won't be gone too long. Ackrovan, I need your help."

"You... you aren't going to kill him, are you?"

"Of course not. He'd be resurrected too quickly." Emperor Tullegolar looked out the window. Schrodinger was working some distance away. Emperor Tullegolar dropped Randomizer out the window and jumped out.

Ackrovan hesitated for a moment before following. "Then what are we going to do with him?"

"Tie him up and leave him somewhere for now. Later we'll-- wait. Get underwater." Emperor Tullegolar grabbed Randomizer and dived into the moat. Ackrovan followed.

A minute later, Ash Lael and Feo Takahari crossed over the bridge and entered Spiderweb.

Emperor Tullegolar poked his head out of the water to make sure Schrodinger wasn't looking their way. He swam to the far side of the moat and climbed out, dragging Randomizer with him. Ackrovan climbed out a moment later.

They carried Randomizer to the nearest abandoned building.

"So, I have a question," Emperor Tullegolar said.


"How long have you known Neossokrass?"


Emperor Tullegolar shrugged. "It's just that most creations I've known went rogue eventually. And I wasn't surprised that DV snapped."

"Neossokrass would never go rogue. Never."

"Okay, okay, I meant no offense."

Emperor Tullegolar and Ackrovan tied Randomizer up and left him in the building. They hurried back to Spiderweb and made it back just before Lord Grimm and the others arrived.

Emperor Tullegolar wrung water out of his hair. "Quick, Neossokrass, breathe hot air on us to dry us off."


The bots had cleared a path halfway to TrueSite now. Alorael reached the roof Fatalclaw was on and climbed up. Several barriers appeared across the route he had taken. "How is it going?"

"Well enough, I suppose." Fatalclaw threw another javelin. It missed.

Lith shot another bot. "There's too many of them. We won't be able to stay here much longer. I'm also running low on arrows."

Alorael drank another bottle of skribbane. "Oh well."

Not far away, Student of Trinity launched another rock at the bots. It smashed through a bot's helmet.

"They're getting awfully close to us," Goldenking said.

"Right. We'll head down a bit more."

Student of Trinity and Goldenking started to climb down. They were halfway there when three armored figures stepped out from behind a dumpster.

"How could those bots possibly get there?" Goldenking asked, "Wait. They're actually 1337 h4x0rs."

Student of Trinity winced as a throwing ax bounced off his armor. "So I noticed. Keep climbing down." He reached for his sling.

Another ax flew at him. He tried to lean out of the way but lost his footing and fell. The 1337 h4x0rs killed him before he could get up. Then they ran off.

Goldenking reached the ground. "Hey! Get back here, you cowards!"

Another trap went off. Goldenking picked up Student of Trinity's sling and ran for TrueSite.

Slartucker watched as Archmage Alex passed by with the second group to retreat. *****, Drew, and Goldenking climbed up a moment later.

The pile of energy potions by Zeviz was noticeably smaller now, though there were still plenty left. "Student of Trinity just got killed and it looks like a building is on fire, but other than that we're-- uh-oh."

"What?" Slartucker asked.

"Some of the bots that just arrived at the Google station are starting to repair the damaged ones."

"How quickly?"

"I don't know yet, but they've got plenty of tools and supplies."

"Could a group of us get down there and stop them?"

"I could drop some barriers to get a group there, but surviving long enough to do anything would be almost impossible."

"Still, we should try. Thralni, would you fly down and bring back a set of armor off one of the bots?"


"Thank you. Get some rest now." Stareye nodded after he heard Ash Lael and Feo Takahari's message. "Tyranicus, where is ET?"

"I don't know! I'm sorry. I've been trying to keep track of everyone else and ET slipped away somehow. Ackrovan and Neossokrass are gone too. I was right here this whole time, so I know they have to be in General somewhere. Randomizer is looking for them, but I haven't seen him in a while either."

Stareye sighed. "You're sure they didn't get past you?"


"Well, at least there aren't many places to look." Stareye went to the door. "Schrodinger, are you almost done? I need you in here. You too, Saunders. Find ET and Randomizer. Hurry."

Schrodinger was the first one to check the guard tower. "They're up here, Stareye."

"I'm sorry, is there a problem here?" Emperor Tullegolar asked.

Stareye hurried up the stairs. "What are you doing up here?"

"Ackrovan and Neossokrass came up here because they thought they had a good idea. I came up here to tell them it wasn't." Emperor Tullegolar prodded one of the oil-filled balloons with the butt of his spear.

"Where is Randomizer?"

Emperor Tullegolar shrugged. "I don't know. I haven't seen him in a while."

Stareye heard Lord Grimm's group arrive. "Fine. The three of you, get down there and stay in my sight at all times." He followed them down the stairs. "Lord Grimm, is anyone hurt?"


"Good. Rest for now. We'll need you all soon enough."


Drew helped get the armor onto Slartucker.

"Well?" Slartucker asked.

"It doesn't quite fit, but they'll probably think you're just a flamer and keep their distance."

"Okay. *****, you're in charge now. Do not wait up for me."