Baby Intelligence spoke the code once again to open the vaulted door. He saw the duel between Burnbottom and Lindsay had come full circle...and a moment later, Burnbottom's sword flicked out, scraping Lindsay's chest. Thinking she was dead, he telekinetically pushed Lindsay across the chamber, and she hit her head against Baby Strength's foot.
That's when he stepped inside. Burnbottom saw him and turned around. "Baby Intelligence," he said. His tone was almost socrnful, yet Baby Intelligence sensed an eagerness in him--eagerness, and something darker. "You have interfered with our plans for the last time."
Plans of conquest, Baby Intelligence thought sadly. And then Burnbottom raised his hand and fired a stream of lightning. Baby Intelligence had his gadget ready, and it caught the lightning and held it inside. When Burnbottom stopped, he sent the lightning back at the NoHead. A startled expression crossed Burnbottom's face at the utter failure of his attack, then he fired more lightning to block the backfired stream. Both rocketed up toward the ceiling, causing an explosion upon contact.
Burnbottom's eyes narrowed as he lowered his hand. "It is obvious that our magma swords must choose the winner." As he spoke, he raised his sword.
Burnbottom charged forward. Baby Intelligence sighed. Has he learned anything? He leaped forward and his sword moved effortlessly around Burnbottom, blocking his every stroke. At first Burnbottom could block his every move, moving his sword in circles without fail, but he began to tire, while his opponent seemed fresher than ever.
His attack grew more desperate, to no avail. Breathing hard, he finally backed away, but Baby Intelligence continued his attack. He finally landed and slashed at Burnbottom's legs. Burnbottom slowed once more, then stopped, his blade braced against Baby Intelligence's. Despite his attempts to push Baby Intelligence's blade back, Baby Intelligence's weapon proved unmovable.
"You have done well," he said gently, offering his new enemy the truth.
"Really? I should thank you," Burnbottom snarled, and extended his hand. "But I can do the next best thing!" At those words he used his telekinesis to topple a pole on top of Baby Strength and Lindsay. No decision was necessary. Baby Intelligence turned and used his telekinesis to send both babies tumbling out of the way. The pole landed on course with a giant thud, several feet away from its intended victims.
But that was all Burnbottom needed. By now he had started up his ship's engines. Brute Gunray was already aboard when he took off in the driver's seat. The NoHeads had escaped, but Lindsay and Baby Strength were alive.
For now, that was enough.
Burnbottom's escape vessel approached the central control station at the other side of the base. The speeder on the other side was gone, indicating that Mean King must have left early. He glided through the door and landed inside.
As he lowered the ramp, he was greeted by Mean King. "I failed to stop Baby Intelligence. I'm sorry. And...I told you to cower down."
"It's OK," said Mean King. "There's nothing we could have done."
Burnbottom's lips curled into a slight smile. "There's always next time."
As Gunray caught up, Mean King returned the smile. Soon we will rule the world.
The setting sun bathed the MBH in a faint red light. Inside it, Baby Intelligence and Lindsay stared out the window at the cityscape around them. It was good to be home, Baby Intelligence thought, but New York City felt different now. Peace was not yet achieved; four NoHeads were still alive. He had no idea where the fourth one was, though he suspected he was still in New York.
Treatment at the medical chamber had healed Lindsay's scrape and Baby Strength's gash. For a sickening moment Baby Intelligence had feared Force Baby had broke his skull, but when he followed them out his thoughts were relieved.
Finally, he turned to Lindsay. "I fixed up Rocken Role's voice box at the base," he said.
"Thanks," said Lindsay, not knowing what else to say.
Baby Intelligence nodded. "Nevertheless, we have a new enemy. I failed to kill Hell Burnbottom." He hung his head. "Our quest is far from over. We can only hope to have better luck next time."
I understand completely, thought Lindsay. "And remember, we're with you, no matter what happens."