Rafeneita smirked as soon as she saw Rialowe go down, but as soon as she turned her back on him, Gwynivara saw that he started breathing again! She admired his foresight in feigning his death, and she breathed a sigh of relief to know that he would survive! That feeling, however, did not last long- Rafeneita now turned her attention to the Rebels! They were still tied up, and while Gwynivara could see everyone’s intense concentration as they all tried to channel their incantation ability despite the obstruction created by their restraints, she didn’t think anyone would break through in time to defend themselves! As Rafeneita glared at them, all Gwynivara could think to do was stall for time. Gwynivara opened her mouth to speak, but Rafeneita silenced her before she could get any words out, “No! Don’t think that you can talk your way out of this! Nothing is gonna stop me from saving my planet, do you hear me? It ends today!”
As she raised her palms up to strike them, Gwynivara’s whole body flooded with an icy quiver! She couldn’t believe it would end like this, with the bad guys winning! She felt so sure they could save the world, but as they stared directly at their own demise, she had to accept her fate! She didn’t want to go down shivering from fear though, so she put on her bravest face and waited for the inevitable…
All of a sudden, the door burst open, and Gwynivara’s heart overflowed with joy to see Kierram standing there! Rafeneita stared at him in total astonishment, and her eyes flickered between the rest of the Rebels and Kierram. She stammered, “How…? How did you…?”
“How did I get out of there? I didn’t!” As Kierram explained himself, Gwynivara noticed that he was hiding something behind his back. She had no idea what this mysterious object could be, but she hoped that it could get used to take Rafeneita down before it was too late! “A friend of mine brought me here. We have a special delivery for you…” He revealed what he had hidden- it was a newspaper with a headline that read: “Venenatus Sanguis Cure Found!” The Rebels’ jaws all dropped, and Rafeneita truly seemed confused as she glanced at her grandmother’s ornate vial in pieces on the floor. Kierram grinned mischievously as he informed her, “The medical team performing Professor Chadron’s autopsy found a small vial of the cure in his stomach, and they immediately connected it to the one Joanette Joules featured on her news segment!” All of the Rebels were elated to hear this, and Gwynivara teared up knowing that those two did not die in vain! Kierram tossed the newspaper towards Rafeneita and taunted her, “Sorry, but Vulpes Press is done dishing out your fake information!”
The Rebels all cheered, but Rafeneita cut them off as she conjured another ball of light! She leered, “You think you won? I have the advantage here! Goodbye and good riddance to all of you!”
Before she could hurl the incantation at Kierram, Rialowe lifted his hand and relased an incantation of his own! He aimed it for the Rebels, and for a second, Gwynivara worried that he used his last ounce of strength to destroy them! Instead, Gwynivara felt the rope around them loosen! She picked herself up, and when the others realized that Rialowe had freed them, they followed suit! Rafeneita panicked about the odds coming against her, and the Rebels prepared themselves to deliver her a final blow…
Suddenly, the walls in Rialowe’s dressing room came down, and they were surrounded by security guards who immediately began pelting them with incantations! They were outnumbered, but the Rebels could hold them off! Gwynivara tried to finish off everyone who had her in their periphery because, out of the corner of her eye, she could see Rafeneita slipping away! She couldn’t let her disappear! The Public Health Center may have had the cure’s formula in their possession right then, but Gwynivara knew that Rafeneita wouldn’t surrender so easily! She would find some other way to destroy Earth, and she refused to let that happen! She had to free herself from this battle and stop her from leaving! She intended to finish this once and for all!
The rally attendees screamed and scrambled all over each other trying to get away. “This way! Everyone, this way! Now!” Rafeneita directed in a loud and firm voice. The people around her heeded her commands as if they had been waiting for someone to give them directions. Cody and Justin each did the same at other entrances as Susie, Cedric, and Easton gathered as many Rebels as they could to go assist their comrades!
Gwynivara tried her hardest to both defend herself and see how the others were doing. She could sense Rafeneita’s presence nearby, and while she felt grateful that she hadn’t vanished yet, she didn’t know how long that would last, so she still worked as hard as she could to get to a point where she could slip out and go after her. She didn’t know how she could do that as the security guards seemed to be gaining traction! She inwardly prayed for reinforcements, and instead of getting her wish, she saw Naama fall to the floor! “No!” she cried out. The Rebels all had to fight extra forefully to make up for losing someone, and Gwynivara could tell everyone was starting to get exhausted! She wouldn’t accept defeat, but she didn’t know what they were going to do!
A security guard stood over Naama and tried to take advantage of her weakened state. He conjured up a ball of light to disable her for good, and instead, that security guard went down! Susie moved his body aside and made a beeline for Naama to tend to her. Easton and Cedric shielded them so Susie could continue her rescue efforts, and while they fended people off, some of the other Rebels arrived and joined in the foray! They now outnumbered the security guards, and Gwynivara finally found the opportunity she had waited for! She snuck out and began searching for Rafeneita!
As Justin ushered the frantic bystanders, he saw Agent Cecilio approaching the vicinity! He urged him, “Oh, please don’t go after them! Not now! They’re fighting for us!” He indicated to the jumbo tron where Agent Cecilio could see the intense combat in full swing. “Thousands of witnesses can tell you they’re innocent! Don’t do this!”
“I’m not here for them!” Agent Cecilio let him know. He quickly pulled out his walkie-talkie and rapidly let dispatch know, “We need backup at the Rayburn Jeans stadium stat!” He then drew out his gun, cocked it, and ran towards the turmoil. Justin knew that if he meant what he said just now, he would need help. If he didn’t, then Justin deemed that he still needed to be there, so he pulled out his weapon and followed him.
Gwynivara never understood the connection between herself and Rafeneita, and she never wanted to encourage the visions, not until that day! Now, despite the chaos brewing all around her, she closed her eyes and relaxed her mind as much as she could to get inside of Rafeneita’s head. For a minute, nothing happened, but thankfully, she caught a glimpse of Rafeneita scurrying around like a rat getting chased by cat while she desperately sought out a place to be alone so she could teleport to somewhere safer. Gwynivara recognized that she had gone outside of the arena and currently situated herself by the ticket booth, so she opened her eyes and ran in that direction.
As Emorick fought alongside the other Rebels, he kept an eye out for them just as much as he did his adversaries. He assumed that Gwynivara had remained close to his side, and when he noticed that she no longer stood in his visual range, a nerve got struck as he fretted about her safety. Bella used this momentary distraction to sneak up on him, but before she could strike, Emorick caught sight of her and launched his own attack! Bella fell to the ground to avoid it, and as she got back up, she growled, “You ruined everything!”
“Aw, giving up on your boss’s plan so soon?” Emorick mocked her. She angrily got up and sent a voltaic force towards him. He sent one of equal magnitude her way, and the tow met in the middle. Each of them struggled to keep their incantation up, and both of them tried to push their effect on the other. Emorick’s previous affliction began to catch up with him, and he felt himself weakening. Bella’s face lit up with a devilish delight as she compelled her spell to go forward. Just as Emorick thought about finding a way out, he heard a deafening crack! As Bella stared at the pool of blood expanding on her chest, Emorick forced both of the incantations her way. An electric cloud enveloped her before it disintegrated into thin air! Emorick saw that shot had come from Agent Cecilio! As both Justin and Kierram entered into the purview to assist, Emorick instructed them, “Go find Gwyn!” Emorick’s small victory incited his adrenaline to give him the stamina to continue fighting, and while Agent Cecilio joined in the battle, Justin and Kierram rushed to find Gwynivara.
Gwynivara spotted Rafeneita racing into the room leading into the box office chambers, and knowing that she wanted privacy for her getaway, Gwynivara summoned a billowing energy and thrust it at the walls of her hiding spot. The structure crumbled, and Gwynivara saw that she had lost her usual moxie as she cowered in the open area that used to represent a safe haven for her! Gwynivara marched over to her and seethed, “It’s no use retreating to your home planet! Wherever you go, I’m gonna find you!”
“It’s not easy to find something with absolutely no clues to its whereabouts!” Rafeneita responded as she regained her usual poise. “If it was, I would’ve gotten your parents!” That statement stunned Gwynivara, she had no idea that Rafeneita had any inkling to do such a thing! Rafeneita could see that she struck a chord, so she expounded on the subject further, “You have some distant relatives in Florida, they were there! Somehow, they knew we caught on to them, and we temporarily lost sight of them.” Gwynivara felt relieved to hear that her parents avoided peril, but it disturbed her to know how close they came to their demise! Rafeneita attempted to nettle her more, “The more you pursue me, the more I’ll pursue them! So, it’s your choice! If you want to-!”
Gwynivara’s fright dissolved just knowing that her family was in danger, and before Rafeneita could even finish her sentence, she fired an incantation at her! Rafeneita richoted it back to her, but Gwynivara dodged it. Rafeneita threw incantations of her own at Gwynivara, and Gwynivara could see how much more formidable her skills were than hers, but she didn’t care! She knew sooner or later she’d find a way to break through, she didn’t dare to feel discouraged as she fought back!
Kierram discovered Gwynivara facing Rafeneita alone, and he hurried to go help her! Little did he know that Abigor appeared out of nowhere and attempted to ambush him! Before he could launch his assault, Justin shot a bullet in the exact location of his previous wound! Abigor glared at Justin before disappearing again! Kierram gave Justin a quick nod before joining Gwynivara.
When Rafeneita espied Kierram’s incantation flying her way, she created a force field around her that blocked everything from getting to her! Rafeneita laughed at them and jeered, “It’s been fun, but I think I’ll take off now!” She slowly ascended into the air, but Gwynivara refused to let her get away! She sent a freezing incantation her way, and it slowed Rafeneita down. Kierram did the same, and soon Bernadette came to them and copied their actions. Riley arrived next, then José, Cedric, John, Easton, Niqun, Susie, Naama, and a few other Rebels who had helped them fight the security guards. Once Emorick showed up and joined in, Rafeneita’s protection began to falter. Her alarm heightened to its limit as the last bit of the barrier broke, and she screamed as she tumbled towards the ground! Once again, all of the Rebels raised their hands to give her a final blow, only this time…
Abigor appeared out of thin air! He flew towards Rafeneita, scooped her up, and elevated her to the sky before they both disappeared like a firework! The Rebels all witnessed this in fury at first since she had gotten away after all, but soon, the crowd from the rally clamored for them! It took a while since it almost seemed too incredible to believe, but it finally dawned on them- they had vanquished her! They knew she had the ability to return, but for the time being, victory was theirs, and that was reason enough to celebrate!
Gwynivara had to find Kierram, she would have been devastated if he hadn’t survived this! When they beheld each other, they sped into each other’s arms and gave one another a passionate kiss! After they took a breath, Gwynivara gratefully croaked out, “You came back!”
“I left ’cause my feelings were hurt, but you know what hurt worse? Being without you!” He gave her a big grin before kissing her again.
“Justin!” Riley called out when he found him.
Justin turned to him and spurted out, “Riley! I learned the truth, and I decided to help! I led the Rebels to you to give you as much assistance as possible, and when I went back to make sure they made it to you, I found Kierram! We thought you may have gone here, and you did! I know we just met, but I just… I felt… I wanted to…”
Riley squeezed him tightly and expressed gratefully, “Thank you!”
Justin hugged him back and echoed his sentiments, “No, thank you!” They held each other and savored their embrace.
Agent Cecilio found Rialowe on the floor starting to awaken. He picked him up and cuffed him right away! “You’re under arrest for knowingly spreading a deadly virus!” Rialowe didn’t object. Although he would have liked to have seen his cohorts go down too, he walked away knowing that he deserved this punishment.
A week later, Gwynivara’s heart pounded as she walked into a voting booth. She had been on the run for so long that she didn’t recognize the majority of the people on the ballot, but she still got a thrill just having the ability to do this! After she finished, she dipped her left index finger in ink, a gesture that the other Rebels had already done. As the photographer prepared to get a picture of them, Linda Knucker smiled as she addressed them, “Congratulations!” They returned her smile until she joked, “You didn’t get your voting advice from this guy, right?” She held up a newspaper that featured a picture of Rialowe talking to adoring fans through a plexi-glass wall in a prison uniform, and the Rebels all grimaced seeing that, despite seeing the reality of the situation for themselves, he still had a political influence! “Alright, alright, I was kidding! This is a happy day, I need you to smile for me again!” She put the paper away, and the Rebels all beamed for the camera knowing that she was right- this was a momentous occasion, they were truly free!
Kierram woke up in his bed still posed as if he were holding onto someone. He peered outside and saw that Gwynivara stood outside in the nearby field. She appeared to be attempting some kind of incantation that didn’t manifest itself for her. Curious, he put on some clothes and went outside to check on her. He exited the apartment building that had a sign, which read: Special Services Headquarters. He found her staring out over a small cliff that overlooked the Great Dismal Falls cemetery. He asked her, “What are you up to?”
“I’m trying to teleport,” Gwynivara answered. “If Abigor can do it, then so can we!”
“Carter’s new administration has an excellent vaccine plan,” Emorick conversed as he joined them outside. “I take it you’re opting out?” he kidded.
Gwynivara replied to that quip seriously, “Of course not! Good lord, no one else in the Rebellion… I mean Special Services… is actually considering that, are they?”
Bernadette assured her, “Nope! Don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere!”
“Although we are practicing our incantations inside where it’s clear and warm!” Riley joshed .
“I just thought that Nialla might be able to help us out.” Gwynivara held the orb in view of Nialla’s grave below them. As Niqun, John, José, Naama, Rebekah, Cody, Cedric, Susie, Easton, and Justin all trickled out, Gwynivara graciously regarded them, “I’m glad you’re all here! It makes it easier to be away from the rest of my family!” She sighed and then went on, “My parents won’t be safe ’til our mission is complete, and obviously you know that won’t happen ’til we get Rafeneita! She’s still out there, and we still don’t know if she will try to target Earth again now that President Carter is getting the cure out there, but her planet’s still on the brink of destruction, so she’s gonna try something somewhere! We can’t let her do that to anyone! We gotta do all we can to beat her this time! No one else should have to suffer! Wherever she goes, we’re gonna find her! We gotta hurry though! We may not have long…” She held up the orb towards the sky, and they saw a small planet amongst a sea of stars that seemed to grow weaker and weaker by the second! As they all stared at it, they wondered what Rafeneita’s next move would entail…