The Legend of Toontown


Chapter 12

Gray Rising

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	The wind blew the droplets of sweat off his face as he tumbled. He was trying to have faith that this wouldn't be the end of him, or anyone else he cared about.
	The fall lasted so long; it felt like forever, and even the thing couldn't do enough to calm him. Finally, he thought he noticed something. He saw a beautiful light coming into view. It wasn't his mother, and he knew he wasn't dead yet. He seemed to be approaching a ground. Yes, it was amazing to discover that a ground existed down here, like a world inside a world. And it was covered in little buildings with lights that broke through the vast darkness. It momentarily made him feel like he was flying up to towards the stars, even though it was quite the opposite. He closed his eyes and braced for impact. If this was the end then he would take it with dignity.
	A kind of static field formed around him and braced his fall. He hit the concrete ground and it felt like the softest of all mattresses. As he stood up, he couldn't help but laugh. He was overjoyed to still be alive, and not even the least bit hurt.
	Yet the momentary bliss only lasted until someone shouted at him. "Stop!" One of the aliens had landed some kind of ship nearby and looked confused as to who had fallen from the sky. Evina was dizzy from the fall and it took his eyes a moment to adjust to the image. Unlike the guards Evina had seen, this guy was wearing armor that looked stronger. It was shiny and decorated with spikes. This was most likely a soldier. He slowly approached Evina with a fist in an iron glove. There were electric sparks jumping off of it.
	The duck fired his laser and then jumped into the soldier's ship. The controls looked simple enough. They were much more familiar than the buttons at the security room. The engines roared to life and he lifted off the ground. The thing inside him was like a compass and he went speeding in the direction that it was leading him.
	A few minutes passed before he arrived at the right place. It was a small building much like the myriad others all around this place, except it had no windows. Evina landed the ship in a hurry which caused it to hit the ground with a bang. He cringed and hoped it wouldn't be suspicious and draw attention to him.
	As he found the entrance, a locked door, he realized that the handle was strong and wouldn't break so easily, so he had to do it the hard way. He sustained the beam of laser to cut away around the handle. The metal began to glow orange and there was sizzling heard.
	It was hard to control his breathing, and every few seconds he jerked his head around to see if anyone was coming, but for the moment it looked like he had stopped being pursued.
	Come on... why is this taking so long?
	Eventually he finished and the red hot door handle fell out and clanked on the ground. He had essentially bypassed any lock on it, and he swung the door open.
	It appeared like a normal library, with the exception of the futuristic art design and the cold lights that weren't present back in Toontown. There were full shelves everywhere, and things began to make sense to him now.
	This is their vault. It's what they value the most, the things they want to hide and preserve. Anything that they find interesting they bring here. Each shelf is labeled with the name of a planet which its contents have been stolen from. This planet... is a war machine! It is generating countless clones to conquer and enslave as many toon worlds as it can! It made Evina nauseous to think about it.
	The thing was creating a lot of internal noise trying to get Evina where it wanted him to go, but the duck still wanted to learn more about this place, even if it did made him angrier. It wasn't long though before he gave in and followed the directions to the place he was looking for.
	This shelf was marked only with a mysterious question mark, and somehow the peculiarity of it frightened him more than anything else in the room.
	I wonder if this means the aliens don't know where these items are from. Could they really be that unusual?
	He stretched out his hand and it was guided to a dusty rectangular item which he picked up.
	All that he had done to get down here, everything that he had risked, was for this reason. This had to be the answer to everything. This was the key to the success of their adventure and the future of the tooniverse. He blew the dust off lightly and stared at it.
	"It's... a book?"
	"I don't know. What did you think it was?"
	Evina spun around at record speed and he couldn't believe who he saw. "Kate?"
	"Yeah, it's me." She smiled lightly. "I figured I could save myself in order to save you the trouble of saving me."
	"But... how did you find me? You're not possessed with that thing!"
	"Oh it's pretty easy. I just followed all of that 'red alert' shouting and the fleet of ships flying off into the dark."
	"Seriously, dude, there's like a million weirdo soldiers looking for you right now. I'm surprised I got here before them. Now do you want a ride out of this place or what?"
	"Let's go!" The duck exclaimed, running to the door without hesitation. They got in the ship and flew into the sky within seconds.
	"Oh, and about that energy disturbance..." she said, "It is caused by this huge amount of energy they are hoarding below us in the core. I have no idea what they plan on using all that for."
	"How do you know this? Um, alright, let's not talk about it now. We need to focus on escaping in one piece."
	Kate was nearing the dock now and her landing of the ship was no better than Evina's attempt. They hopped out. Evina had his laser ready and Kate had her sword.
	"Don't stop. Show no fear. Trust me." She ordered. They ran into the main hanger where alien soldiers already blocked every exit. There was a deafening noise as dozens of lasers were fired at them. Evina realized his special power was now useless compared to theirs. But then he saw what Kate was doing and he was astonished.
	She spun the sword in circles and it absorbed all of the laser beams shot at them. It began to glow a very bright white which soon became overwhelming. The aliens ceased their shooting to stare at it.
	"Now let the fun begin." She grinned.
	The sword emitted an intensely hot stream of white fire that destroyed any obstacle in their way and made all the soldiers flee in fear. Windows shattered and doors were blasted off their hinges until the blade stopped glowing.
	"Ahhhhhhh...!" Evina was speechless.
	"I know, right? But it does require a lot of power. I only discovered this trick before picking you up when I destroyed the main power converter coming from the core. Oh, did I mention this place is going to explode in a few minutes?"
	They did not stop running. Evina and Kate were quick and they managed to avoid all the soldiers and their deadly beams. They followed the signs to the exit of this evil place.
	Finally, they saw it. It was the final staircase to the surface. The door burst open and literally hundreds of soldiers came out and surrounded the area. Even Kate looked scared now. She couldn't block all of them. This was too much to escape from.
	Then it happened. Time seemed to slow down. The sounds of the laser blasts faded. Evina's fear vanished and the thing took over every cell in his body. He had become something else. His eyes opened again. They were pure dark grey and full of incredible power. They were the eyes of some other being. It had happened once before, but now the hero was reborn, and stronger than ever before.
	He grabbed the sword out of Kate's hand and sprinted into the madness. He could see every individual beam of laser in motion but he didn't care. He embraced the power. He conducted it like metal. He soared through it like a storm of warm rain. The less he resisted the less it hurt. He let the heat flow through him and he was unstoppable, and all the excess energy was shifted into his hand and into the sword. It began to glow immediately.
	"You better use it now!" Kate screamed, but Evina didn't listen. He knew exactly what to do, and there was nothing that could stop him. He was titanium. The soldiers were knocked off the stairs left and right like they were only annoying mosquitoes. With the girl right behind him they soon emerged from the ground into the frigid snowy wind. Fortunately, the book was still strapped inside the pocket on his waist.
	Evina squeezed his left wrist lightly to signal his father, but then he saw it wasn't needed.
	"I won't leave you again, Evina!" Gyro shouted through the voice of his white battle armor. He charged full speed towards them.
	This wasn't something Evina had been expecting at all and for a moment he lost his focus. His father was shooting lasers at the soldiers still coming up the stairs. "Dad, this place is going to explode!"
	"Then you better get to the ship!"
	Kate was staring at the sword which was glowing so bright now it was almost blinding. "I don't think you should do that!"
	Evina grabbed the book and tossed it to her. "Get to the ship! We'll be right there!"
	She didn't look like she was going to cooperate, but then a sudden earthquake caused her to change her mind.
	A colossal hole had suddenly opened in the planet and countless ships flew out to space like a swarm of insects. Lastly, a gigantic battle ship emerged from the ground. It was pure black and one the scariest things Evina had witnessed in a long time. The aliens were trying to escape the explosion, but it was obvious that they were livid as well. They turned towards Gyro's tiny ship and began preparing to attack.
	Evina returned to full focus and the thing regained control of his senses. He remembered Kate's words and tried to be a ninja. He looked for every little detail. It seemed like there was a piece of a lower wing that looked thinner than any other part of the ship, and it was probably close to the ship's energy reserve.
	Evina focused all of the energy, including the energy of his suit and the energy of his whole body. All of it went into the sword which was brighter than anything he had ever seen before.
	With pinpoint accuracy he aimed for the weak part of the wing and unleashed every bit of the energy all at once. Of all the lasers seen that day, there was none brighter or more spectacular than the pure white beam which shot from the blade. The whole sky was lit up and felt hot even in the snow. There was no way the ship's shields could've stopped it. The fuel tank exploded in a ball of fire and the giant metal monster dropped to the ground. The ground shook violently and billows of smoke poured out in every direction.
	With his eyes softening the thing's influence went away. All the energy had been used up and the duck collapsed in the snow.
	Gyro scooped his son off the ground, whose hand was still clenched to the sword, and he ran with him to his ship. Their work there was finished. They rose above the cursed planet and rocketed away into space just before the explosion came, the energy core collapsed, and everything vanished in a burning flash.

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