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Planet of the Rovers

by Scott Oliverson

CHAPTER XXII

     The sky over the canosapien camp glowed red with the light of a
thousand fires. In the camp itself, all was still. Exile was the first
to detect someone approaching out of the night.

               EXILE
Stop! <He challenged> Who goes there? Come closer and identify
yourself!

     A huge, hulking figure moved out of the darkness and into the
light of a sentry fire. It was Thunderbolt, Exile's blood-brother. The
husky sled-dog recognized him immediately.

               EXILE
You, you dare show your face here?
               THUNDERBOLT
It was not my decision senior Exile, it was her idea.

     Out from behind the german shepherd K9 police dog stepped
Colleen, her voice thin but her frame erect and confident.

               COLLEEN
I wish to speak with Hunty Wunty.
               EXILE <Sneers>
Impossible. You have betrayed your race.
               THUNDERBOLT
And you, former communist KGB! <Spat back> have betrayed everything I
taught you about the nWo.
               EXILE
I could have you killed on that spot for that insult.
               THUNDERBOLT
Si, you could try senior brother, but I doubt you have the courage to
strike me down.

     Colleen stepped forward, putting herself between the two angry
Rovers, acting as a referee, the third man in the ring.

               COLLEEN
Stop it right now! Don't you ever think we Rovers have lost our way.
Don't you ever have doubts?

     Exile raised his lip in another sneer, but this one faded away.
 It had seemed to him to be the will of Pyro that canosapiens destroy
humans. But the night of the bright light had shaken his confidence.
What he had thought was the return of his savior had been nothing but a
trick. At first this had made him furious at the humans. But though
General Hunter was directly descended from his GOD, Pyro, Hunter had
simply used the moment to further his own ambitions. With a brief nod,
Exile allowed them to pass. Hunter got word of Colleen's presence long
before she reached his HQ tent. By the time she passed into his
pavilion, he was standing with his hands behind his back, face set in a
reprimanding scowl.

               HUNTER
Why have you come? <He demanded as she entered>

     Outside, Exile and T-Bolt stood like opposing forces of nature
about to clash.

               COLLEEN
To be with you. Isn't that what you want?

     Hunter understood her perfectly, too perfectly that is.

               HUNTER
Let me get this straight...you are proposing a trade? Yourself for the
colonists. <Snorted> Even when you were young you took in stray humans.
 Your family always indulged your every whim.

     He reached out, and Colleen tensed. But Hunter merely flicked a
speck of dust from her armor-suit.

               HUNTER
Now look at what you've become.

     Colleen knew this was her only chance. If Hunter worked himself
into a temper tantrum, she would never convince him. She fell to her
knees, submitting herself to him again.

               COLLEEN
Hunty please, it's what you want, isn't it? I will be with you again.

     Hunter looked away from her, almost sad expression on his face
as he spoke.

               HUNTER
I hate to hurt your feelings Lassie, but I have no feelings for you now,
sorry but no.

     He was disgusted by her boundless loyalty to humans. He had
squelched his last bit of desire for her. Then his eyes fell on a
tripod of hot coals used to heat his meals. One of his servants had
used a branding iron to stoke the coals, and the iron lay in the fire,
still hot. Hunter smirked, grinned evilly and snatched up the iron.

               HUNTER
You want to be human? Leader of the colonists! Then wear their mark!

     He grabbed the collie's hand and pressed the iron down into it,
Colleen screamed in agony as pain shot through her body.

               COLLEEN
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!

     Thunderbolt was inside the tent in a flash, but Exile was
faster. He appeared as if by magic between T-Bolt and Hunter, ready for
a fight. The two blood-brothers stalked each other for a moment, but
Hunter waved them apart and let go of Colleen's hand. Colleen fell to
her knees, face twisted into painful convulsions as she clutched her
burning hand and glared up at her ex-boyfriend through stinging tears
down her eyes. He sneered back at her, a look that meant he had nothing
more to say to her or wanted no more part of her forever. Exile backed
off and Thunderbolt rushed forward, helping Colleen to her feet. Her
hand still smoked where the skin had burned.

               HUNTER
Let the traitors go. Tomorrow they will die with the humans. Victory
to the New World Order forever!
               COLLEEN
Hunter! <Screams back> I'll see you in dante's h***! I'll have my
revenge against you someday.
               HUNTER
Yeah? I'll see you on the playground after school coward.
               THUNDERBOLT
You will pay for this senior Hunter!
               EXILE
Ha! You and whose army comrade?
               COLLEEN
Space Ace! The CHOSEN ONE, my new lover, my new boyfriend.

     This caused Hunter and Exile to both gasp in suprise & shock
with open mouths.

               HUNTER
What did you say?
               COLLEEN <Still in pain>
You heard me...Space Ace! The one from the stars, the stranger who came
from another planet who defied you, plans to destroy you once and for
all and why? Because I love him! <Spat out the words>
               EXILE
Nyeh! You can't be serious, lady?
               HUNTER
You dare make love with this, this stranger!
               COLLEEN
Yes I do...<Sneers back> We made love one night and he promised to take
me back home to his world where we will be happily forever as friends.
               THUNDERBOLT
I wish you luck seniorita.
               HUNTER
I can't believe this...<Looks stunned> You really are a traitor to the
nWo. In that case, I will kill you and this CHOSEN ONE tomorrow along
with all the colonists, then Alpha Prime will be mine to control!

     He and Exile whooped & jeered evilly, doing a victory dance.
Angered & disgusted, T-Bolt lifted Colleen in his powerful arms and
stormed out the tent and into the night. They never looked back...

               END OF PART XXII

               Proceed to Chapter 23