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Blurred scenery.


How long had he been running? Two days? Three? The only thing keeping him conscious was the Loric salt from his pouch; and he had almost exhausted that resource.


At least the others could send him more if he runs out, even if it would take half a year to get here. I wonder how the restoration process is going. Have the resources begun replenishing? No, stop. Now is not the time to daydream, not when there’s a Mog battalion on my tail.


11 had been the one to volunteer to stay behind when the others departed for Lorien. While they worked on restoring their home planet, he worked on cleansing Earth of the Mogadorian scourge. That was four years ago. The contingent following him now was the last one on the planet; of that, 11 was certain. He’d been scouting this base for a month—learning their routines, counting their numbers, taking stock of their weapons. He wanted to be prepared to decimate them when he attacked. Of course, of COURSE, they had been watching for him too. They hadn’t spotted him when he had arrived, not for a month. Then, when he was going through the town toward their base, the Mogs attacked. ONE DAY before he was going to attack.


According to his count, there were 500 Mogadorians at this base. He’d killed more in the past few years, no big deal; but there were civilians present. He’d had to lead the Mogs away from the town to avoid casualties.


Hence his current position: 11 looked ahead and saw that the woods were ending in half a mile. A farm; or just some random field? I REALLY hope I don’t destroy someone’s property. 11 flew out of the woods and kept running until he reached the field of tall grass. Looks like wheat; sorry whoever owns this. Sliding to a stop, he dropped his duffle bag and pulled his pouch from his back. The salt under his tongue had just dissolved and he could feel the loss of the energy it provided; he felt in his pouch and groaned, “One left, better make it count.” He calmed his breathing and focused on sweeping the woods with his telekinesis. How many left? 1, 2, 3 . . . He counted their troops as they amassed behind the trees, no doubt preparing to attack en masse. Fifty three, fifty three more and my mission is complete. Come on, you can do this. He slipped the tasteless crystal under his tongue.




Subdued breathing.


A slight breeze.


Then all hell broke loose. With a loud war cry, all the Mogadorians swarmed out of the woods, firing their weapons with trained accuracy, blanketing the area. 11 took a deep breath and focused on the clouds above him, building them, swirling them, stoking them into a terrible, dark storm. He could feel the hairs on his arm stand on end as the static built in the storm; but he didn’t let it release, not yet. The Mogadorian canons set the grass on fire. I can use that. Still building up the lightning, 11 used his telekinesis to draw the fire into the air and mix it with his deadly storm, just as he drew down a funnel. As he directed the tornado through the Mog soldiers, he finally released the static electricity from the clouds—it was starting to become palpable—in a beautiful series of electric blue lightning bolts. It was three seconds of lightning strikes and the tornado before he released the storm and observed the damage.


This section of the field was now a barren wasteland; Mogadorian dust piles covered the area, there didn’t seem to be any survivors. Is this it? Is it over?


Without warning, a hand closed around his throat from behind, lifting 11 off the ground and turning him toward the owner of the hand. It was a Trueborn Mog; the others were Vatborn, cannon fodder, grown to die. This one would have been esteemed as royalty by his companions, had there been any more to esteem him. He looked furious, his hatred clear in his sneer and the tight grip on 11’s neck.


Spots swirled around his vision and he struggled to draw a breath. Is this it? The last Mogadorian and I fail at the very end? Cruel.


The Mog opened his mouth to say something, but before he got a word out, a hiss sounded from 11’s left and something pierced the Mog’s head, killing him instantly.


His vision darkening, 11 looked at the object in the Mog’s head as it let go of him and fell to the ground.


An arrow?


And then: nothingness.