“What kind of ‘battle music’?” The Almighty Z asked skeptically.
Jake grinned, “Jazz,” he said. The queen gave him a murderous look that clearly said ‘I can and will behead you and/or turn you into stone right now’, which made Jake throw his hands up into the air in a gesture of surrender. “I’m joking!” he exclaimed, “Please don’t behead me or turn me into stone!”
She relented, and he handed her an earbud connected to his music-playing device, placing it’s twin in his ear. She did the same, leaning in a little so as not to pull on the cord. She didn’t have to hear the whole song to agree, but she listened anyway, saying “Yes!” as soon as the song ended.
“I thought you’d agree,” Jake said, smiling triumphantly.
“Yeah, yeah. You’re in charge of making the proper arrangements.” He nodded. She looked up to address the robot hanging from the ceiling above them. “ZOK, how are the bubble shield installations going?”
“Installations are seventy-three percent complete and will be completed within the day.”
“Good. Jake is going to get you off the ceiling then I want you analyze the best time and place for our attack.” She gave Jake a look that said that this was non-negotiable, and he nodded, standing up.
This was going to be good.
Later, the Almighty Z sat in a plush chair in her darkly-colored bedroom, looking pensively out the window at the softly pattering rain as the sun set. She was deep in thought when her double doors abruptly and spontaneously swung open with a startling thunk.
This took the Almighty Z by surprise and she jumped up out of her chair, looking around wildly before her eyes rested on the intruder and she sat back down, only to stand up again.
“What on earth do you think you’re doing?! This is my private room, you can’t just barge in!”
“I’m sorry,” Jake said, a slightly wild look of excitement in his blue-green eyes, “but the attack is about to start.”
“It’s that time already?! Wait outside, I’ll be there in a minute.” Jake bowed and stepped out, closing the doors behind him. Z changed into her battle armor in record time, wearing red skinny jeans and a white shirt over it. She slipped out into the hall in her socks.
“C’mon,” she said to Jake, “Follow me.”
“Aren’t you going to put on shoes?” He inquired, eyeing her mismatched feet.
“Just come on,” she raced down a few halls before coming to a wall panel that looked just like the ones around it. Ignoring Jake’s questioning look, she knocked a specific pattern in a specific place and it backed up a few inches and slid over, revealing a dimly-lit hall space between walls.
“Seriously? How many secret passages do you have?” Jake asked as he followed her through the space, which went flat for a few yards, then down a few stairs, then flat, then around a sharp corner, then down and so forth.
“Three hundred and two,” the Queen said, pushing a nearly-invisible button to open another panel back into the main castle, right in the main entry hall.
“Three hundred and two,” Jake repeated incredulously, running beside her easily.
“Yep,” she smoothly slid down the polished stone floors and opened a door to reveal a massive coat closet. Jake shook his head as she pulled on her knee-high black converse, a black leather jacket, and a large, furry hat. She then threw a slightly confused Jake his jacket and took off back down the hall, yelling for ZOK, who promptly rocketed to her side. “Prepare my ship,” she told him, and he saluted and zoomed off.
Turning to Jake, who was (surprisingly) not out of breath like most would have been, the Almighty Z grinned. “Are you ready for this?” She asked. He nodded. “Then we’re off,” she said, breaking into a run once again.