Eddie moved all of the camera equipment to a corner of the room as the steady stream of lively contestants slowly began to fill the studio. Once the final woman entered, Eddie discretely shut the locked door before addressing the anxious competitors. “First, I’d like to welcome each of you to Pure Adrenaline,” stated Eddie as the room erupted with applause. Once the room fell silent again, Eddie smiled, saying, “As you may know, we’re planning on wrapping up this engagement with a glorious battle deep within the hidden control room.” Pointing to the multileveled platform in the center of the room, Eddie added, “This device is a secret elevator that will transport each of you down to the battle room. We will send down two of you at a time.”
Grabbing the remote, Eddie quickly used his fingernail to pry out every button except the launching button. Handing the device to an attractive lady to his right he ordered, “You will be in charge of operating the elevator. All you have to do is press the black button on this remote to propel the contestants down the chute. Avoid pressing anything on this device other than the black button, alright?”
Nodding her approval, the stunning brunette saluted, saying proudly, “Yes, sir!”
Lillian quickly spun around Eddie, an unknown prescence to the many women gathered around. Gracefully, she prodded Eddie, saying, “Don’t forget, Eddie, we’ll need camera operators down there.”
“Oh yeah, I almost forgot,” projected Eddie to his mortally departed comrade. Grabbing the video camera off of the tripod in the corner, he slung the weighty device over his shoulder with a grunt. Then he reached into his pocket, producing the repaired camera in his other hand. Crouching down on his haunches, he secured down the record button with a small piece of masking tape, then called out to the contestants, “I will need a volunteer to help me record the scene.”
After a long pause, a seductive blonde stepped forward, saying shyly, “I’ll help you tape the action.” As he handed her the dented camera, he smiled as she grabbed the device, delicately rubbing her index finger against his during the brief exchange.
“Thank you, darling. What is your name?”
As she took her place by his side, she whispered, “Kelly Brockton. What’s your name, sir?”
Blushing, Eddie replied, “My name is Eddie Lambert.” Gently, they exchanged a delicate handshake, which made Eddie weak in the knees. Turning to the rest of the contestants, Eddie exclaimed, “Now, I want each of you to grab a weapon from one of these bins. Once properly armed, I want you to form an orderly line directly in front of the elevator.” Pointing to the brunette holding the remote, he added, “This fine woman is the key operator of this device, so I’m leaving her in charge. Please follow her orders as you wait to be transported to the battle arena.”
Grabbing Kelly by the arm, Eddie walked her up to the large device. Wrapping an arm around her, he nodded to the key operator as he waved goodbye. “Good luck, ladies! The future of the planet is in your capable hands.” Suddenly, the aperture below them opened up fully, sending Kelly and Eddie plunging down the plastic chute.
Propelling at blinding speeds, Eddie could feel Kelly screaming in his ear as they sped downward, and Eddie quickly began to echo her frantic sentiments. Almost immediately, Eddie began to wonder if they would survive the immense force of their hasty decent. However, as they began to approach the end of the expansive tube, they could feel their rapid plummet begin to slow, until they safely reached the subbasement level within the Valerian compound.
Dizzy and disoriented, they both staggered around momentarily until they spotted two armed guards searching them up and down in deep concern. Dropping to his knees, Eddie cursed himself for not bringing a weapon along for the ride.
Quickly, one guard began to walk up to the nauseous pair. Before Eddie could begin to surrender in shame, the short military officer flipped a switch then began to remove the imposing mask, revealing an attractive woman beneath the bulky armor. In a hush, she whispered, “Be quiet. There are workers everywhere down here.”
Kelly aimed her tattered camera at the disguised woman before asking, “Are you two friends or foes?”
The other guard swiftly approached, saying gruffly, “Don’t fret, we
are definitely your allies.”
Along with honing her telekinetic abilities, Godiva continued to focus on the many drifting thoughts swirling around her, trying to differentiate the various internal voices. Through the mingled mental sounds, Lieutenant Godiva could sense a familiar voice within her weary head. Focusing her power, she suddenly realized the memorable expression belonged to her dear companion, Niko. Intently, Godiva listened to Niko’s rapturous thoughts, hoping to reach her partner in earnest.
Niko struggled with the pleasurable sensations pounding through her unyielding body, yet found it nearly impossible to resist the intense urges flowing inside of her motionless figure. Far better than any drug she’d ever tried, the glorious delight overwhelmed her, as she helplessly stood to Emperor Titus’ right.
Perhaps her stay on cloud nine would have been even more tolerable if it hadn’t been for Emperor Titus’ continuous barrage of mental commands. Diligently, the rotund leader instructed his future bride, using massive amounts of energy to attempt to shape her persona to suit his will. The effects of his constant bombardment weren’t obvious to the powerless damsel, yet somehow she kept returning to his train of thought, unable to resist his coaxing orders. Over and over, she could feel him reaching her subconscious, saying persistently, “Seize your destiny, and claim your rightful place by my side.”
Suddenly transported to a regal gala, Niko smiled as she studied herself dressed in a stunning gown laced with gold and emeralds. The sense of importance began to alter her meek personality, and she began to beam with immense pride as legions of officers bowed beneath her. Gentle strings began to play a delightful waltz, and she delicately placed her tiny hand within Emperor Titus’ strong hand. Gliding across the elegantly appointed ballroom, she sighed in romantic delight as they spun around languidly, oblivious to any outside influences.
Cheers and applause rang out as the idyllic couple celebrated their love for everyone to enjoy and cherish. As she melted with pure adoration, she could hear his voice in her ear whispering, “Have you ever felt this much contentment in your life, my love?”
Quickly succumbing to the glorious atmosphere, Niko sighed in a pleased expression of gratitude. To her powerful king she replied, “You are everything to me now, Lord Titus. I shall never leave your side.”
Bravely dipping her in his strong arms, he prodded, “Do you ever miss your family or that distant planet, Earth?”
“Never,” replied the enraptured maiden without any trace of doubt. “Everything else has merely been a prelude to this very moment, my love. The stars in the sky have always been pulling me to you, and I am helpless to resist you now that we’ve finally been drawn together.”
Lieutenant Godiva felt herself growing frustrated as she peered into
the grim fantasy; her headstrong ally was quickly losing her resolve against
this deceptive tyrant. Longing to alert her precious friend of the
danger, she found herself completely unable to reach Niko within her haunting
vision of glory. ‘I’m losing her,’ mourned Godiva in regret as she
felt her arms and legs slowly beginning to heat up, the softening potion
quickly working to return her body back to flesh. In horrifying anguish,
Lieutenant Godiva thought fearfully, ‘What will happen to her once Titus
discovers our little secret?’
Sergeant Magnum took a humble bow before saying, “Reports of my demise were gravely miscalculated.” Looking into Eddie’s darting eyes, he asked, “By the way, how do you know my name?”
Eddie smiled, saying elliptically, “Let’s just say I’m a big fan of your work, Magnum! You’ve been a popular contestant on Pure Adrenaline for quite some time. I’ve been told there are several bags of fan mail waiting for you somewhere within the publicity office.”
Meg smiled as she said, “See, I knew you’d have a fan club, mister. Just remember, darling, I’m your biggest fan, and don’t forget it!”
Magnum smiled briefly, thoroughly amazed by his surprising popularity. Returning to the task at hand, he said, “Well, that is all fine and good, but if we don’t get through this alive, my new popularity will be a poor consolation prize.” Swiftly, another pair of huddled contestants stumbled out of the thick plastic tube. Gently, Magnum reached out and pulled them to a safe corner of the room.
After briefly introducing Kelly and himself to all gathered around, Eddie quickly organized his troops, saying defiantly, “Welcome to the battle, ladies! I’m sorry the transport device is so abrupt, but I’m happy to see you both have arrived safely.” Checking his watch, he made a mental notation regarding the amount of time it took for them to be delivered. “Did you guys head down right after us?”
“No,” offered a beaming brunette. “The elevator operator waited a minute for you guys to arrive safely. However, they should be sending them down on a regular basis now.”
“Good,” replied Eddie with a grin. “Won’t Emperor Titus be surprised!” Quickly, the antsy editor began to peek his head around the corner, searching for a viable way into the control room. “Sergeant Magnum, is there any way to get me past all of these workers? I need to do some filming inside the control room.”
Slowly, Sergeant Magnum snapped his fingers as he secured his helmet. Urgently, he said, “I suppose it’s important to record some evidence of those elemental generators, huh?” As Eddie nodded in affirmation, Magnum replied, “Alright, then. Meg, I want you to stay and assist over here while I get Eddie through the preparation room. If anyone spots you in here, make certain to neutralize them before they can warn the others, alright?”
Meg frowned reluctantly before replying, “Yes, Magnum. I will make sure to hold the fort. You be careful out there, okay?”
Warmly, Sergeant Magnum nodded before switching his armor back on. Turning to Eddie, he asked, “How many can Meg expect to arrive?”
Eddie scratched his head for a moment before answering, “Well, there are at least one or two hundred up there. I’d say once we have a solid fifty contestants in position, we should easily be able to overpower them.”
Meg smiled then said, “Alright, Eddie. Once we have a troop of about fifty, we’ll storm into the preparation room.”
Waving somberly, Sergeant Magnum guided Eddie out into the preparation room. Quickly, the foreman approached, asking in a confrontational manner, “Where are you taking him?”
Sergeant Magnum quickly bluffed, saying in a harsh tone, “Don’t you recognize the famous Eddie Lambert? He’s been ordered by Emperor Titus to make a propaganda film about our triumphant victory here on Earth. I have orders to escort him through the control room, young man.”
Slowly, the slight man began to back away while his workers began to ham it up for the camera. Immediately, Eddie switched on the record button, instantly making a record of every worker gathered around before slyly strolling into the unguarded control room.
From her hidden location, Meg sighed as she assisted another pair of
queasy competitors out of the clear tubing. Silently, she thought
proudly, ‘That’s my man! He must have a Ph.D. in bullshit!’
Slowly, a frantic voice replied, “Sir, we’re loosing power down here in the control room. I haven’t been able to ascertain where the drain is emanating from, but I felt I should contact you immediately, sir.”
Quickly realizing the urgency of the situation, Scientist Turner barked, “Alright, Wilkerson, I’ll be right down to investigate. Keep searching for the leak, soldier. We can’t afford any more delays!”
“Yes, sir, I will,” replied the confused voice before the line fell silent.
As Turner slammed the door behind himself, he thought in a panic, ‘It’s
all starting to fall apart, Emperor Titus. I only hope we didn’t
underestimate these persistent humans.’
To be continued...
On to Part Nineteen