When Lizzie got there she went straight over to the queen to see how she was. She looked concerned, “How is she?”
Parvill was haughty, proud and was also not overly concerned, “As long as she wakes up slowly then there will be nothing wrong with her.”
“So what were you doing to her then?”
“We are changing her thought processes so that she will be more amenable to the Hoo cause.”
“I thought you were Andacians?”
“No, we are Hoo.”
“But you are not giants?”
“We have been genetically manipulated to look human.”
Wagstaff was listening, “Changed Lizzie, in their bodily structure, so they look more like us. I bet he is still super strong though,” The professor threw a small metal container at Parvill who caught it and crushed it in one hand.
“See what I mean, super strong.”
“But I thought giants were supposed to have six fingers?”
Ichabod looked at the side of Parvill’s hand, “See, he has a very feint scar on the side of his hand, he has had his extra fingers surgically removed.”
Parvill put his hand in his pocket but too late because Lizzie did see the scar. He then sneered at them.
“What is it,” asked Wagstaff, “what do you know?”
“We can genetically engineer Gite without six fingers or toes. There will be no scars then to reveal us.”
“Why do you call yourselves Gite?” asked Lizzie.
“As Hoo means ‘Heroes of old’ so Gite means ‘Giants in the earth’. The Gite are the children of the Hoo and we shall rule the solar system.”
“But we have stopped your plans to invade earth.”
Parvill laughed menacingly, “That was just one plan, to take your Great British Empire by deceit. It would have made it easier on you, now you shall have to suffer invasion from the air as we fly our spaceships to earth to turn you all into slaves.”
To Simpkins she looked for backup before she spoke to Parvill again, “You have to defeat the people of Thera first.”
“That will be underway soon, the ships are readying even now to bring devastation on Tyreen, Fenega, Vurindai and Chelac.”
“What about Andacia?”
“We already rule Andacia, our clones have infiltrated all of the key positions, it is they who will help us defeat the rest of the human kingdoms, from within the electric shield.”
“Which giant kingdom are you from?”
“We are from the United Kingdoms of Grak, Flymm and Svastol.”
“How have they become united?” asked Wagstaff, “they have been at war for hundreds of years.”
“A powerful ruler has united us, Drakuum.”
This sent a chill through Lizzie’s being.
Now they needed to discuss all of these revelations more privately so Lizzie asked one of the soldiers to guard Parvill while she spoke to Wagstaff and the others. She closed the door of Victoria’s room. “The United Kingdoms of Grak, Flymm and Svastol are planning to invade both the human kingdoms on Thera and earth soon. We must warn Tyreen and the rest. Andacia has already fallen to the plot and they will also be attacking the kingdoms to the south.”
“We must tell them at once,” said Simpkins, “Andacia needs to be attacked.”
“We need to take Gersbalk first,” thought Wagstaff, “it can be used as a flying base to attack the Eastern giant kingdoms, we can even used their travel pads against them to land troops behind their lines and cause disruption.”
As they were talking the doors at the top of the amphitheatre burst open and some of the slave males who worked on Gersbalk ran in with clubs. Tran called to them, “Sot hama din got,” but too late for as the men continued into the room they attacked one of the soldiers and clubbed him to the ground. Tran continued to cry out in protest.
Lizzie brought three down with her electric pistol. Things got so desperate that the soldiers had to use their rifles as clubs because they couldn’t reload in time. Wagstaff used his last good grenade that knocked most of them out and one of the soldiers. The rest were frightened by the use of the grenade and cowered over near the right wall, dropping their weapons. “Dinat sant bund ganto,” they cried.
“What did they say Lizzie?” inquired Simpkins.
“We were made to do it.” She knew intuitively what would happen next. “Quick, the rest of the giants are about to attack!”
She was right. The other four giants came through the door shooting energy weapons. One of the soldiers fell immediately. The professor threw one of his makeshift grenades and stunned two of them who fell to their knees. Lizzie used her pistol to good effect shooting three charges at another and bringing him down. The one who was unaffected, a good seven or eight feet tall, picked up a bench and threw it at three of them, Lizzie included. All of them fell under the impact of the bench. Johnson kept firing his energy weapon at the giant, who was dressed in such a way that the material deflected the rays harmlessly.
Brown managed a reload and shot at the giant wounding him in the leg. The giant yelled in anger more than pain and charged at Brown smashing him into the wall. Lizzie had dropped her electric pistol on the floor and while she was trying to get it back saw that the two stunned giants were now preparing to shoot. Simpkins and Paul both made shots at the giant’s heads, Simpkins missed. One of the giants fell to the floor dead.
Unable to retrieve her electric pistol instead Lizzie used her DN35 and fired from the floor at one of the giants. As she did she saw Parvill grab for something from the corner of her eye. He was above her eye line so she pulled herself up onto the bed and saw him going to fire something into the Queen’s neck. “Get away from her or I’ll fire.”
“Shoot me dear and it’ll probably inject into her neck any way, as part of the nervous reaction.”
Lizzie held back. Parvill then took a small transport device from his pocket with the other hand, held on to Queen Victoria, then they both vanished. “Noooo,” cried Lizzie in despair.
Wagstaff used another grenade on the last giant and as he fell to his knees Simpkins shot him through the heart.
One of the soldiers was dead, the others were badly injured. Wagstaff and Lizzie had bruises. Simpkins, Phoenix and Johnson had got away with it lightly. They now had three captured giants, Oswald and the other doctor to store somewhere.
Tran directed them to the cells that the giants locked unruly slaves in. They also found out that some of the slaves could use the Hoo technology and had been doing so without the giant’s knowledge. Lizzie and the others were told that the slaves could switch the travel pads back on and also ‘fly’ the island to wherever they wished. It was decided that they would make their way to Teredon so that Tyreen’s scientists could study her and also to receive protection from the base itself in case the Hoo tried to recapture her.
The hundred or so slaves that were on Gersbalk were very helpful to Wagstaff and the other scientists showing them how things worked on the island.
There was one more secret the slaves revealed that solved a problem that Wagstaff had encountered in his study of the metal men. He was talking to Rolf Jacquabean, one of the ex-British slaves who had been captured recently and had ended up on the island, in the metal man factory that they were getting ready to use again. Wagstaff was trying to shut down the lasers to make it safer to walk around on this part of the ship, “I still have not been able to work out the mechanism for the metal man brain. I know that it is housed in a box in the head but that when you detach it stops working. Some kind of organic material.”
“It is brains Professor,” replied Jacquabean, “they cut out human brains and put them in that box.”
“Brains?” flustered the professor, “but the box is square?”
“I have heard that they squished the brains in. They also used electronic means to control the brains so that they did what the giants wanted. This was the reason they stopped production here, they ran out of suitable human brains, that and they thought they had enough metal men made for any eventuality. Over time some went mad and others overcame the programming and attacked the Hoo. So the giants developed other technologies to counterbalance this.”
“What other technologies?” asked the professor as he cut the circuit and stopped the laser.
“The ones they are using on the planet. Up here on Gersbalk they didn’t bother to upgrade anything because it was so old and only supposed to be a transport pad overflow really. They had only started fitting newer guns more recently because they heard that Gersbalk might be a target for the human kingdoms to attack.”
Once they got back to Teredon Lizzie and the others was called into a meeting with Admiral Shore, he was most pleased that they had captured Gersbalk. “We should rename it,” he suggested.
“We had thought about renaming it New Britannia,” she replied.
“I don’t know, that might cause rankles with high command.”
“Well then, allowing Colonel Phoenix to be its new captain might cause even more rankles,” commented Wagstaff. “Also, Lizzie gets on so well with all the old slaves because she speaks Hoo that they have offered to stay on and help us.”
“You can’t be serious,” said the Admiral, his jaw dropped.
“The New Britannia would make a good base for the Empire to work from. We would not be taking over anybody else’s land, just making sure that the earth is not invaded.”
“You cannot do that!” blustered the admiral.
“We captured her and it is we who should have the biggest say,” demanded Lizzie.
“This is not right, my government shall have something to say about this.”
She opened a file she had on her, “Here is a letter to Queen Isabella, requesting said flying island for a roving base.”
Shore took the letter and dismissed them. He did not like this turn of events at all, an Empire presence on Thera with a flying weapon as powerful as the best in their fleet. Though he was originally British his allegiance was now with the kingdom of Tyreen and he would separately advise his queen against this course of action.
The VAS members of the soon to be renamed New Britannia had already been receiving reinforcements and supplies via the travel pads from earth. Wagstaff and his scientific team had figured out how the Hoo had been able to do this. As long as there was one IWTD in operation then that could direct its payload to any other travel pad.
Paul’s entire unit had come through as well as the scientists from Rookwood. Their first target was to get all of the cannons working. About ten percent of the guns were the modern ones that the giants had been fitting when they were attacked. Ten percent of the old ones were working and the rest needed either replacing or repairing. They did not have enough scientists or engineers to do this so some of the guns were sent back to the earth.
Lizzie received an invitation to meet with Queen Isabella at the Spanish Palace in the capital city of Tyreen. She travelled there on the Princess Tawa and the admiral had also ordered that Reena and her ship go with them as an escort.
Lizzie waved to both Charlie and Reena from the deck of the Tawa as they flew over the city. When they landed the Queen herself and her household was there to greet them. Lizzie bowed slightly to as they shook hands. Queen Isabella led the way into the palace.
The meeting was in the rear reception room, the queen sat first followed by Lizzie. Isabella picked up the letter from the table they were sitting at. “Thank you for your letter Miss McBean. I was advised by Admiral Shore to reject your request.” She looked over the letter before she made her statement, “However I have considered your request and after deliberation with my officials I am pleased to inform you that you can have the flying island, with one proviso, that some of the crew will be from the Tyreen air navy.”
Lizzie nodded back at her and smiled, “This is commendable Your Highness, and may our two great nations be able to defeat the giant menace.”
They both looked pleased with each other.
“This reminds me of the time I met Maximilian who became the Emperor of Mexico,” commented Lizzie.
“Most of my ancestors are either Spanish or South American, I do however have an English uncle.”
“So do I!” replied Lizzie which sounded a bit foolish really because she was English.
They left on good terms.
She rode back with Reena and her crew to catch up on the gossip. As she sat in the galley looking out of the window she saw Simpkins peering over at them with a telescope, I do believe he’s jealous! This pleased her no end.