Robots fired at Helen, but she sent their singing bullets back at them with her lightsaber. Steven ran to join her, and together they deflected the laser blasts, cutting down robots and making quick waste of the patrol.
As the last robot fell, Helen deactivated her lightsaber and looked at Steven. "I sense Emily's presence."
"How can you do that?" Steven replied, detracting his own weapon.
"I feel it in my bones," Helen replied.
"Oh," said Steven. That's no surprise. Emily Watson had beaten him downstairs, and Helen had only narrowly stopped her, but failed to give the death blow. Who else would the girls send to put an end to their raid? And this time Anakin Organa was busy elsewhere. "Let's move!"
Summer, clad in her new black cloak, entered the doorway to answer a call from Cindy. "What is it?"
"Steven and Helen are on our ship!" Cindy replied nervously. "We're tracking them."
Summer grinned. "Just as Emily foresaw!"
Meanwhile, Steven and Helen left the docking bay and wandered across a hall. In front of them was the elevator leading to the 30 floors of the spacious school.
"Do you know if Emily rewired this?" Steven asked.
Helen scratched her chin. I don't think so..."Let's go in and up. Andrew should be there."
Steven nodded, but then turned his head. "Robots!"
Robots walked in, projected shields, and opened fire. Steven and Helen deflected the blasts, but the ones they managed to aim back were absorbed by the blasts. They backed away, into an elevator.
Suddenly, the elevator rose, and numerous robots cocked their guns. "Drop your swords," said the leader.
In turn, Steven and Helen ignited their lightsabers and closed in. Their lightsabers wove through the air, cleaving through robot torsos and leaving the entire squad smoking and sparking on the floor. Then they deactivated their weapons.
The elevator finished the descent with ease. At the top, Steven led Helen outside and onto their destination.
Cautiously, the boys descended the steps from the elevator into Emil's quarters. The main room was enormous but empty, except a chair at the far end. Strapped in the chair was Boy-Team general Andrew Henderson.
"All you all right?" Helen demanded.
"Look above you!" Andrew replied with a slight gesture with his fingers, all he could manage with the steel cords restraining him.
Steven felt his eyes drop upward. Tall, elegant, and powerful, Emily Watson strode onto the balcony where they had come in from. Her face wore the same faintly amused smile Steven had remembered from their last encounter in the Bow-Tie.
Emily jumped down from the balcony, executing a neat flip. As the rescuers ignited their lightsabers, Emily ignited her own. When she lit it, two bars of light protruded from either side. In hooking the lightsaber of a fallen boy with her own, Emily was ready to test its might. In the middle of the hangar, Emily spun her lightsaber toward them, and all three engaged in a fierce battle.
As the duel progressed, Helen noticed Steven was doing fine. But for her, it felt...unfamiliar. Helen had never fought with Steven before, and she had only taken on Emily once, in her home. It took every skill she knew just to keep up.
Finally, Emily kicked Helen aside and backed away. Stevne dove in, but Emily parried his attack. Helen got up and rushed over to Steven, who had forced Emily out of the hangar and onto the edge of the school's power generator plant. Emily leaped from the bridge they were on and onto another. The two Boy-Team members followed, and their swords locked. As Steven broke the connection and took the brunt of the attacks, Helen tried to slash him from behind. However, Emily twisted and blocked the move, simultaneously kicking Steven over the edge. The bridge below was barely out of reach; Steven fell past several bridges before landing on another ramp. He looked up, searching for the quickest way to get back to the fight. His archenemy and new friend had both advanced along the catwalk. As he watched, Helen pushed Emily off the bridge.
Emily landed hard on the bridge below. Helen leaped after her, and their duel resumed. Before Emily knew it, Helen forced her back toward a small doorway. As she reached the other side, a series of laser walls went up to keep children away from a bottomless pit and their certain death.
Steven jumped forward and ran after them. When he was haflway there, their swords locked, rendering Emily and Helen unmoving. But just as Steven caught up, Emily noticed him, broke the contact, and pushed Helen away so she could duel Steven alone.
Helen landed on a balance beam and clung to it briefly before rushing back. Ahead of her Steven was dueling Emily fiercely. And then the laser fields activated, separating all three of them. Helen deactivated her lightsaber and breathed, loudly and anxiously. There were four walls between her and Steven, and five between her and Emily.
Through the sheets of laserfire, Helen could see Steven calmly sit and begin to meditate. She tried not to think about just how badly Baby Intelligence would need that rest. Burnbottom can't get much farther, the only thing I see ahead is a pit. I'll be able to catch up as soon as the fields go down.
But what if I can't?
The force fields cycled off, and Helen sprinted down the hall. Ahead she could see Steven, already dueling Emily. The two duelists circled around the pit, aiming terrible blows at each other. I will make it in time...
Something flickered in her peripheral vision; the force fields were already closing. Helen flung herself forward, but was halted by the last laser field, right behind the duelists. No! she thought, but it was too late. She was trapped again, just short of the battle, unable to help Steven triumph against the villain they had fought several times.
Helen stared through the clear field, and felt a sudden chill. This is wrong, this is all wrong. I should be out there. And she had never seen Steven struggle like this. But then again, she had only witnessed one other fight. The fight between her, him, and Summer when she still served Emily blindly. Won't the laser fields ever let again?
Steven dodged one awful stroke, then parried another, then struck back. His enemy blocked--and then slammed the blade of her lightsaber into Steven's blade, causing him to fling it backward. Half-dazed from the unexpected blow, Steven staggered--then Emily made a swipe at Steven. Although the blade had missed Steven, he pretended it had. I will give her a surprise...
"NO!" shouted Helen. Thinking her new friend was dead, Helen fumed as she turned to Emily.
"I was expecting him to give me a challenge," Emily said. "I confess myself disappointed."
And then the laser field retracted, and Helen rushed forward to face her foe.
With a single strike she cut Emily's weapon neatly along the handle, leaving her with only a single blade. And then Emily attacked Helen relentlessly, driving her around the pit. Although her love for Emily was weaker than ever, Helen's efforts could not break her guard. And Helen was tiring, while her opponent seemed fresher than ever.
Halfway around the pit, Helen dodged a vicious swing. The Girl-Team leader was on her before she could recover her balance. With a spectacular use of sun djem, Helen recovered and knocked Emily's single-bladed weapon into the pit.
Helen made a swipe at Emily. But Emily moved even faster, scuttling quickly toward a wheel scooter. Helen rushed for her speeder and took off after Emily.
Emily raced into a pit and then into a secret compartment in the wall of it. Helen drove her speeder inside, and down they raced across a long, steep hall. Helen was having trouble keeping up.
As they moved further down, the hall became a tunnel ad was even more narrow than before. She zoomed in a 360 before hitting the ceiling and racing along it, gaining rapid ground on Emily.
Ahead, she could see the tunnel open onto a small landing platform. She jumped from her speeder, which halted as she jumped aboard Emily's scooter. Furious, Emily drove faster, extending the chase onto the platform.
Thousands of feet below ground, both fell to the floor. The scooter raced forward and fell off to the Earth's sun-hot core dozens of feet below. Helen could feel the scorching heat on her skin as she reached for her lightsaber--and realized it wasn't there. It must have been lost during the chase.
As Emily drew a hidden gun, Helen rushed for Emily's electric club. It wasn't as good as a lightsaber, but it would do.
Her first blow caught Emily squarely in the waist. An instant later, Emily struck Helen. Helen hit the ground hard. She got up and tried to kick Emily. Emily dodged the blow, and Helen hit the ground.
There must be some way to get her! She dodged blows from Emily's stomping foot, but one of them finally connected with her shoulder. Helen screamed as she felt her shoulder bone snap. Emily cackled and lifted her high. Then she was flying through the air, to land heavily on the far side of the platform. Half-stunned, she slid across the surface and almost over the edge. At the last minute, she grabbed hold, stopping with her legs dangling above the 25-foot drop to the Earth's core.
Dimly, Helen saw Emily pick up the electric club and start toward her. She struggled back to consciousness, thinking, I need a weapon!
Then she saw Emily's abandoned blaster lying at her side and grabbed it quickly. She fired, and the blast hit Emily's club. It fell out of her hand and broke. Helen got to her feet and cornered Emily with the blaster. Emily pleaded desperately for her life.
Helen struggled with the determination simmering in her. "I will let you go," she said finally. "But first, you must promise me something."
"Anything," Emily whimpered.
"Stop making trouble. Order the girls to end the war!"
"All right, I promise," said Emily. Helen flung aside the blaster and Emily disappeared in what looked like a small tornado. Helen was shocked, but eventually turned and leaped to the tunnel. After a short walk, she reached her speeder. She drove it across the tunnel and into the same narrow hallway. Her speeder leaped onto the edge of the melting pit. To her shock, Steven was waiting for her.
"I was going to give Emily a surprise," he said. "The blade missed my waist. But I had to keep my eyes shut in case Emily looked in my direction, and when you kicked Emily's lightsaber in, I thought you'd beaten her. Did you?"
"No," said Helen, "but she promised to end the war."
Huh? It's got to be a trick. "I doubt it. You'll see."
"I agree," said Helen. Cautiously weaving through the laser walls, they made their way back to Andrew's chamber. Andrew was still bound to the chair.
Helen freed Andrew with her lightsaber, bringing it carefully toward the bonds to avoid cutting off Andrew's hands. With Andrew by their side, they made their way through the hallway. "Let's see if we can find something in the hangar that's still flyable," said Helen.
Eventually they reached the bay. Once a band of robots stopped them, but they were no match for the squad. Inside Helen found a four-man vessel. "Climb aboard," she said.
They did. Within moments, the vessel roared to life and blasted off. Andrew was saved!