The army turned with remarkable precision and bowed low to the ground. Latika was more than confused. "Why are they bowing to me?"
That is our only other problem, Shara said, again without moving her lips. "They only obey the one from whom they were created."
"So...I'm to be the commander of this army then?"
Shara chuckled gaily. "No, no of course not! That would be chaotic!"
Latika felt a little hurt, and Shara stopped laughing.
"Oh, but of course I didn't mean it that way, young Latika. Don't be offended, please. Forgive me for what I was thinking."
"We still need to figure out how to command this army without putting you in severe danger. Without a commander to take charge soon, the army of gnomes will...actually we don't know what will happen. We've never actually HAD a gnome army before, and that's yet another danger. There's still many things we have to figure out about gnomes...."
Latika's head was spinning from all the "talking".
"Sorry. It's just harder to talk aloud, and some things the gnomes shouldn't hear. I also was..."
Padding feet sounded, filling the room, and Brixie came running to Latika.
"The army of Salmar is approaching, and it's coming fast!" she said. Latika could sense Shara's sudden alarm, and the feeling was overpowering; it was too much for Latika to handle at once. She slumped to the ground, unconscious.
Latika slowly opened her eyes and looked around. Moving was not so painful now. She was in the same room she was first in. No one was there, but sound of battle was just outside the closed doors. She hurriedly got up from the table/chair and ran as fast as she could, without touching the floor, to the door and pushed them open. The weirdest sight she ever saw was before her-
All the duplicates if herself were fighting the rest of the cyborgs! The clone army outnumbered the others by only a few, but they were definitely better. Latika spotted Shara, and and Shara soon noticed Latika. She ran to Latika and the warmth of her presence filled her mind.
"As you remember, Dwank released an army of invincible fighters. However, they have not yet arrived as we had previously thought. They've sent the Alamiri- ghosts that take control of their enemy's minds, particularly Cyborg's, permanently. What a clever plan...they are making us destroy the very army we planned to use to destroy them. This is only their first wave. More powerful beings will arrive soon enough to destroy all Cyborgs as we know it."
Oh dear. That was terrible news.
"So we will fall without even a fight?"
"Yes," Shara whispered into her head. Secretly, Latika had hoped there would be some way, any way, to stop what was sure to happen to her and all of her kind. A roar sounded far away.
"What's that roar from? It sounds like a lion."
Shara looked puzzled. "That sounds like Jeyan, an old enemy of ours. He is what kept us from finding a gnome before."
"But maybe he can help us!"
A misty cloud fell over Shara. She shook her head violently. At first Latika thought that meant no, but soon she saw an icy cold glare of blue come to Shara's eyes. Then she took a knife from its sheath and lunged at Latika, severely wounding her in the arm. For a long time Latika lay where she fell, unable to move from the pain. She felt a banging coming from somewhere, and soon the sound of many feet clanking swarmed all around her, and something cold and hard picked her up and carry her away, running quickly. Then a bright light surrounded her. She was outside now. Jeyan's roar sounded again, a lot louder and closer this time. Then a motor sound grew into existence, and she was soon in a vehicle that sounded strangely like a hoverbug. Then all was black.
She awoke with the sound of Bagrasazoo (a type of bird) chirping and a strange creaking of metal. Suddenly the creaking grew to a loud crash. A voice, loud but peaceful and strangely familiar yelled, "Why did you let that fall, you lazy creature! Next time try to keep it working, alright?"
That was Shara's voice. It sounded different; she sounded evil. Latika stood up. This was the second time in one day she had been knocked out and had woken up in a totally different place. Her arm still hurt really, really badly. So her evil captors hadn't healed the wound. Suddenly Shara stood at her feet, sword in hand, with a look of disgust on her face. And she was wearing the bracelet on her wrist!
"You, prisoner, get up!" The sword pointed directly at her throat.
"Um...I can't really get up with a sword pointed at me." She automatically talked with her head, but the presence that filled her mind wasn't pleasant at all. Instead it gripped her mind and wouldn't let go.
"Very funny, young one." But she did pull her sword back, and Latika sat up and looked around. It was a jungle of some sort, only it was filled with different lumps of metal; machinery, she guessed. One piece was smoking on the ground, and one of the Latika clones was staring at her.
Oh, she wished Brixie and Jeyan were here, and she wished Shara was still on her side, and she wished so many other things hadn't happened.............