If Chowder had been able to move, he would have remained motionless with fear. Every second he expected the eggs to burst open. After that, it’d all be over. Frantically Chowder and the rest of the group struggled against the cocoon. However it just seemed to make them stuck more.
“There’s really no point in struggling” said Vader “Only one thing can cut through this cocoon”
The whole group stopped to listen
“For Christ’s sake tell us!” said Mcclane
“My Lightsaber” replied Vader
“You mean that laser sword you had earlier?” Chowder asked
“Correct” said Vader “If I could use that, I’d be free in no time”
“Then do it!” said Luna
“Unfortunately I can’t!” said Vader
“Why?” said Luigi “If you don’t we’ll all be dead alien mothers!”
“Because it’s over there” said Vader.
Looking down, the group could see a small silver cylinder lying on the ground. It sat a few feet away from Vader’s cocoon. It felt terrible that the only way out was so near, yet they were unable to do anything.
“If only we had a fishing line or something!” said Serena
“I might be able to get it actually” said Vader “If I can use a few Jedi powers I just might be able to grab it.”
“I’ve heard of those” said the Doctor “You could make it fly over to your hand and-“
“Well don’t just sit there!” said Mcclane “Do it!”
“Ok” said Vader “First I’ll have to get my hand free”
With that, Vader began desperately moving his hand around. The cocoon was pretty tough so an ordinary hand would never break through. Luckily for him, Vader’s hand wasn’t an ordinary hand. He’d been left inside a suit to keep him alive since becoming a Sith lord. One of the advantages was that it let him punch harder.
After wiggling his hand around for a minute or two, Vader’s hand suddenly punched through the thick casing of the cocoon. He then held his hand out and began to concentrate.
As the group watched, the Lightsaber began to wobble. The group felt as tense as they’d ever been. Serena expected the eggs to burst open any minute. Then without warning, the lightsabre shot into Vader’s hand. With a press of the button, the red light shot out of it. Within seconds, Vader had cut himself free and was on the ground. He then smashed the egg that had been placed in front of him and cut Strong Bad and the Cheat free.
“Great!” said Chowder “Now hurry up and save us”
Vader turned to face him. His voice had a slight mocking tone to it.
“Who said I’d do that?”
“What!” Mcclane was livid and his face was red with rage “You can’t leave us here!”
“Can’t I?” said Vader “I don’t know if you’ve realised this, but you and I are enemies. As far as I’m concerned, leaving you here to become alien fodder is perfectly logical”
As Vader began to walk away, Chowder felt his heart sink.
“I should’ve known” he thought to himself “He’s working for the baddies. Of course he’d never let us go free”
His train of thought was then interrupted by the Doctor shouting out
“Excuse me Vader” said the Doctor “But I really think you should help us out”
Vader turned round
“Oh really?” he said “Why should I let my most hated enemies live?”
“It’s actually quite logical” said the Doctor “If you let us get killed by those eggs, you’ll have more foes to deal with”
“I assure you they would stand no chance against a master of the dark side”
“Oh but they would” said the Doctor “A Xenomorph is the single most perfect killing machine in the known universe. Just one of them is enough to wipe all trace of you from the face of the earth”
“I’ll take that chance” Vader said
“Besides” Strong Bad added “We’ll be quick enough to snatch the rune and escape before they’ve even hatched”
“But what about the rest of the runes?” said Chowder “I’ve got them all tucked away in here. If you don’t cut me down, you’ll never get them”
“But” Vader retorted “If I cut you down, I’ll just kill you and take them”
At this point, the group were caught in a Mexican standoff of sorts. Then Mirissa had an idea
“But” he said “You need us alive for a very simple reason”
“And what’s that?” asked Vader
“Because we know where in the cave, the shard is hidden”
“Err…yeah!” said Mcclane “Cut us down and we’ll help you find it”
“We are more than capable of finding it on our own” replied Vader
“Well it’s a very big cave” said Mirissa “If you get lost, you could be trapped forever. And let’s not get started on what’ll happen if that thing finds you again”
“I say we go for it” said Strong Bad
Vader sighed. Deep down, he knew he was going to regret this and yet something else told him it was the right thing to do
“Right then” Vader said to Strong Bad “You two destroy the eggs, I’ll cut them down”
Strong Bad and the Cheat then set about smashing the eggs. They were pretty much in their element doing this. Breaking things was a talent of theirs. Vader meanwhile, walked up to Chowder.
“Be careful” said Chowder “I don’t wanna end up split in two”
Vader ignored him and stabbed the beam into Chowder’s cocoon. Chowder could feel hotness near his body. Even so, Vader cut through it without even scratching a hair on Chowder’s body.
When Vader had cut through enough, the cocoon split and Chowder fell to the floor.
“Thanks” he said to Vader who didn’t even acknowledge him in return.
Eventually, Vader had freed the whole group while the eggs had been destroyed.
“Now” said Vader “Keep your side of the bargain and show me where the shard is hidden”
“Well the thing is...” The Doctor began, but Vader interrupted him
“Well” said the Doctor “We’re not promising to give it to you. Just to show you where it is”
“What!” Vader exclaimed
“Err….yeah” said Mike “Thing is, we kinda need that shard piece as well and-“
“Don’t you dare say you’re going to break your promise!” Vader replied, causing the whole group to stand back slightly
“If you do not take me to the shard right this instant, than rest assured I shall wipe you all from the face of the earth in the blink of an eye!”
The group took the hint
“Right” said Mcclane “Let’s get outta here before that thing comes back.”
The whole group silently agreed and the Doctor led them through the caves. Chowder thought it was strange that he was teaming up with three guys who’d tried to kill him and his friends several times. In fact, Chowder knew that they could easily kill him and his friends at the drop of a hat. So he decided to be on top guard. And to watch out for hats being dropped.
At first the charade went fine. The Doctor continued to lead the group through the caverns. They were eerily quiet. The group hadn’t seen any sign of Xenomorphs which was a positive thing, but it was narrowed out by the fact that they hadn’t seen any signs of the rune shard anywhere. Eventually Vader began to get impatient
“I trust that we are getting close to the shard” said Vader
“Oh don’t worry “said the Doctor “We’re nearly there.
The Doctor then grinned. Inside though, he was getting worried. Mainly because he wasn’t sure where the rune shard actually was. If Vader realised he’d been tricked the results weren’t not going to be pretty. But that was not all. The group had travelled so far inside the caverns that the Doctor was starting to worry about how they’d get back. Especially in a hurry. And to complicate the matters even more, they also had to contend with what would happen when they got to the shard (if they did of course), then they’d have to find a way to get it. Without being killed by Vader of course. The Doctor sighed quietly to himself. Sometimes a Time Lord could get far more problems than he needed.
A little while later, the group turned a corner and found themselves at a dead end. The whole group collectively sighed as they prepared to start trekking back through the caverns again.
“I think we’ve been here already” said Luigi while Serena whined “Can we go home!” The rest of the group simultaneously began to argue or cry or any number of emotions.
“Enough!” Vader suddenly yelled. The whole group went silent
“What is the meaning of this? You said that you would take me to the shard! We’ve been wandering around these blasted caverns for the better part of half an hour. And you still haven’t found it!”
Vader stopped for a moment
“You lied didn’t you!”
The whole group scrambled to think of an explanation that would satisfy Vader and not end with their guts splattered all over the cavern walls.
“Nuh uh!” said Serena “We know exactly where it is!”
“Then why have we not found it yet!” said Vader
“Because….” said Mcclane, pausing for thought
Chowder leaped to Mcclane’s defence “Because we’re taking the scenic route”
“How the crap can this place have a scenic route!” said Strong Bad
“Well you’d be surprised” said Tom “The different kinds of rocks can be really interesting to learn about. Take the mystic basalt which is formed as an intrusive rock in a lava flow. Or-“
“ENOUGH!” Vader yelled.
“Either you present to me the shard in the next 10 seconds or so help me I shall leave the lot of you as nothing more than a greasy stain on the floor!”
The whole group went completely silent. None of them dared to speak, knowing full well that if they did, a very good chance existed that it’d be the last thing they ever said. Finally Chowder plucked up the courage to say something
“Ok” he said “I admit it. We’re lost”
At that, Vader began advancing on him. Chowder started backing up
“Now come on” he said nervously “Let’s not get too hasty. I’m sure we can worked this whole thing out and-“
“Shut up!” Vader had finally run out of patience. Without thinking, he picked up a stone off the ground and hurled it at Chowder. As he ducked, it sailed over his head and flew into the wall. However instead of merely bouncing off the wall, it caused it to shatter into pieces like a window.
When the group looked up from where they’d been cowering on the floor, they were both excited and relieved. Sitting on a pedestal just down the end of the cavern where the wall had been was a small brown stone.
“The shard!” Mario exclaimed.
Walking up to the pedestal, Chowder took out the nearly completed rune. When he got close enough to grab it, both the rune and the shard lit up. Chowder picked up the shard and held it to the near complete rune which then fused together.
Looking at the rune in his hand, Chowder could see that it had a pattern on it which looked like a large circle with lines containing smaller circles leading off of it. Chowder then walked back to the group
The rest of the group gathered around Chowder who showed them the rune
“Great!” said Mario “We’re past the half-way point now!”
“At this rate, we’ll be done in no time!” said Serena
“Very good” said Vader “Now I’m afraid you’ll have to hand over the runes.
The whole group spun round and stared at him
Chowder started to speak “I can’t…”
“Don’t give me that” said Vader “If it wasn’t for me, you’d all be dead by now. I think we can agree that it’s only fair that you give me something in return”
“You don’t understand” said Mcclane “If we give em to you, we screw over millions of people”
“That’s not my problem” said Vader “I have a duty to my leader”
“Really now?” said the Doctor raising an eyelid “And what is that”
“To serve him and aid him in accomplishing his goals”
Serena nodded “Uh huh. And what goals are they?”
“Why to conquer this universe and bring it back to its glory days of course” said Vader
“And what will that be like?” The Doctor asked “Mass killings? No freedom of speech? Dissidents sentenced to death without trial?”
“Of course not!” Vader replied “We shall create freedom and equality under one glorious leader”
“No you won’t!” Mcclane replied “I’ve met people like you before. You only want freedom for those who think like you. Anyone who thinks differently? Screw them!”
At that, Vader withdrew his lightsaber and activated the beam
“Never insult Loki in front of me”
“And why not!!!” Mirissa said standing in front of the group “From what I’ve heard, your leader sounds like the most unlikable individual in the galaxy. If anything, he deserves to be insulted-!”
At that Mirissa made a fatal error. She got just within reach of Vader. Quick as a flash, he wrapped his arm around her and held his lightsaber to her throat
“Now” he said “We play by my rules. Either you give me the runes or I cut her throat. “None of the group dared make a move. He went completely silent. Inside he felt like crying. This was the exact choice he didn’t want to make. If he held onto the runes, then he’d be responsible for Mirissa’s death. If he saved her, then he’d condemned millions to death. So whatever he did, he’d be forever damned for it.
After a second tears formed in Chowder’s eyes.
“I’m sorry!” he said “I can’t give them!”
“Really?” said Vader “Do you want her life on your conscious for the rest of your days?”
“Shut up!” Chowder yelled “You’re nothing but a big bully! Does it feel good to hurt others!”
“Oooh” said Strong Bad “Big words!”
“Unfortunately they do not mean a thing” said Vader “Now where were we?”
Mirissa closed her eyes and waited for the inevitable. She just hoped she’d die quickly and painlessly. Then a roar sounded out from behind them.
Everything that happened next seemed to happen in slow motion. The Xenomorph queen emerged from the darkness, knocking over Vader in the process. He let go of Mirissa who fell to the ground and scurried over to the group. Before Strong Bad and the Cheat had a chance to react, the queen knocked them out of the way.
At this point, the group panicked. They had nowhere to run and no cover to hide behind. Everything seemed hopeless. In desperation, Mcclane drew his gun. The second he was about to fire, the queen swung her claw towards him and he jumped back. This caused him to accidentally pull the trigger and the pistol exploded with a burst of gunfire. However the bullet sailed over the queens head and instead struck a loose rock on the ceiling. It fell down and whacked the queen clean on the head, knocking her over.
“Now!” said the Doctor “Run for it!”
The group hurried down the corridor. With so little time though, the queen recovered in seconds and grabbed hold of Tom and Crow. The two of them screamed as the queen held them up to her hideous head. She held them so close, they could clearly make out the slime dripping from her jaw.
“Do something!” Servo yelled.
Without thinking, Mario hurled himself at the queen and struck her back with his foot. The blow sent her toppling forwards. For a second, the group thought she’d lost her balance. But unfortunately, not only did she quickly recover, but also managed to keep a strong hold on the bots. To make matters worse, the blow also outraged her. She spun round and roared in anger.
At the same second, Chowder saw Vader’s lightsabre handle. When he’d been knocked over by the queen, he dropped it on the floor. Chowder dived over to it and picked it up.
The rest of the group meanwhile, were frantically throwing everything they had at the queen. But nothing they did seemed to hurt her. All it did was make her madder. Serena jumped out of the way as the queen swung her free hand in her direction causing it to strike the rock with a force that made the walls crack. But she didn’t appear to show any pain, instead swinging her claw back with another blow.
Chowder frantically fiddled with the lightsabre. He wished he’d paid more attention to Vader when he’d used it. He shook it around and pressed every button he could. Just when he felt like getting up, the red light blade shot out of the handle nearly taking his face off in the process. Chowder then spun round. The queen was almost on top of the group and was still holding onto Tom and Crow.
Chowder charged towards the queen. When the lightsabre’s blade hit, its beam penetrated the skin like a knife through butter. Green blood splattered out and the queen roared in pain, dropping Tom and Crow. Chowder ran over to the group (Leaving Vader’s lightsabre on the ground. He didn’t want to take it, because that would be stealing)
“Let’s get outta here!” Mike said. The group did so, fleeing down the caverns.
“Where’s that damn Sub?” Mcclane said as the group bolted through the tunnels of the cave.
The Doctor whipped out his Sonic Screwdriver and scanned.
“Hang on” he said “I think it’s back the way we came”
Without thinking as to whether the Alien Queen was behind them, the group spun round and shot back through the cavern. After a few seconds they came to a tunnel in the left wall. In their hurry to escape the Xenomorph queen they’d completely missed it.
As they ran through the tunnel, Chowder suddenly spoke up.
“Ya know, I wish we hadn’t left Darth and the other two back there”
“Why” said Mcclane “In case you didn’t remember, he’s tried to kill us multiple times”
“I know” said Chowder “But you know what?”
“What?” said Mcclane
“I don’t know if he’s really as bad as he says” said Chowder “Mung always says there’s good in everyone”
“Get real kid!” Mcclane said “The guy’s a psycho! That should be pretty obvious by now!”
“I dunno” said Chowder “Earlier he acted like he didn’t know what his goal really was”
“What’s your point?” Mario chimed in
“I’m just saying that maybe there’s more to all this than meets the eye” said Chowder.
A little while later, the group breathed a sigh of relief as they entered the egg bowl (As Chowder would later call it) from earlier.
“We’re nearly there!” said the Doctor “Just a little more”
Sure enough, once the group made it around the bowl, they were met with the sight of the submarine still parked where’d they’d left it.
The group climbed into the submarine in record time. Mirissa then ran up to the controls and pressed a few buttons. Nothing happened
“What’s happening?” said Luna “Why aren’t we moving?”
“The engine’s stalled” said Mirissa “I can get it working, but it’ll take some time”
“Ah well” said Mike “At least things can’t get any worse”
Right on cue, this was followed by a familiar roar. A few seconds later, the Xenomorph queen lumbered into the cavern
“You had to open your big mouth, didn’t you?” said Crow
As the queen drew closer to the sub, the whole group felt a combined wave of terror and despair. “Do something for crying out loud! Anything!” Serena said to Mirissa with tears in her eyes
“I’m trying!” Mirissa replied while frantically working with the sub’s control panel.
A few seconds later, the queen slammed her fist into the subs’ front window. The whole sub shook, but surprisingly the glass stayed intact.
For a second the group felt a slight relief. It looked like the glass would hold long enough for them to escape. Unfortunately this was dimmed when the queen punched the glass a second time, causing a small crack to appear.
As everything seemed hopeless, Chowder spied a button on the panel. He then remembered what Mirissa had said earlier about the torpedoes. At first he hesitated. The queen was so close that a very real chance existed that the sub would be blown to bits in the blast. This doubt was shattered when the queen punched the glass a second time and the crack grew slightly bigger.
The whole group watched as Chowder leaped forward and pressed the button
“NO!” Mirissa yelled. But before anyone could stop him, he’d already pressed it.
“Torpedoes launching now” said a calm female voice “Please stand back”
With that, a torpedo shot out of the front of the submarine and into the queen. However instead of exploding, it sent the queen flying backwards into a wall. A second later, a massive explosion shook the cavern as the torpedo and queen both exploded in a terrific blast that threw Chowder and co to the ground.
“Am I dead?” Chowder asked.
The Doctor picked himself up from the ground
“I don’t think so”
As the rest of the group got up, Mcclane turned to Chowder
“What the hell is wrong with you!” he exploded “You could have vaporised all of us!”
Then his expression softened
“But you also saved our lives. I suppose that nullifies it a bit”
Chowder blushed and looked at the floor smiling.
The Doctor meanwhile waved his sonic screwdriver over the cracks in the glass until they disappeared.
“Right” he said “That should hold until we get back to land. How long until the controls are fixed”
“I’d say, about five minutes” Mirissa replied
“Good” said Luna “Now we just have to twiddle our thumbs until we can get out of this blasted place”