Sham punched in a few buttons on his walkie-talkie, and within milliseconds, a klaxon was blaring, signaling a lockdown. The Mole girl noticed, and took off towards the electronics department. Leil took off running, followed by Abel and Sham. A pair of guards joined them, shouting after her. Finally, they caught her, cowering behind a stack of Wii games. Abel and Leil weren’t allowed to witness the interrogation, but they found a sheet of paper with some kind of transcript on it in the foliage surrounding Sham’s office. The two read it together.
INTERROGATION OF MOLE INVADER AKA ZALLA
Sham: So, Zalla, tell me… what were you doing, sneaking into our territory?
Zalla: Oh, sorry. Took a wrong turn. Really, are you that big an idiot? Martina sent me. I’m supposed to be the first in a huge team of invaders. You Players have to face facts-you’re all dead.
Sham: Really? We took your little communication device, and have put the entire store on lockdown. There’s no way that these invaders you speak of could get in, and even if they did, they’d be dead the second they got through the doors.
Zalla: You’re rather harsh, aren’t you?
Sham: Can’t be a good leader without some cold qualities. I’m sure your own boss has the same idea.
Zalla: Oh, she’s far more than that. When we claim NYC, every other tribe in the city will either join us or die.
Sham: She’s a little harsh, isn’t she?
Zalla: Ha, ha. I suppose your humor is masking your obvious fear, you inferior slime.
Sham: Now, aren’t you one for the cliches. Guards…
Zalla: No, wait! I can help you!
Sham: I’ve heard enough. Take her away.
Leil shook her head. “So,” she said. “Guessing we’re safe?” She didn’t sound so confident. Abel didn’t feel so safe either. A wave of shouting suddenly came from Sham’s office. A group of guards ran under the Jurassic Park arch. But perched on top of the arch was none other than the Mole girl-Zalla. She giggled. “Silly boys! I’m up here!” The guards turned around and looked up, starting to shout again. They tossed javelins at her, but she playfully dodged them, as if this were all a game to her. Yeesh, she was creepy. Playing hardened criminal one second, and then insane Little Sister the next. Abel couldn’t bear to think what Martina would be like.
Sham’s voice came over the intercom. “Attention, all Players. Please be aware that there is a dangerous fugitive loose in the store. If you see her, proceed with caution and report all information to your nearest security agent. Thank you.”
Abel grabbed his walkie talkie, and radioed Sham. The leader sounded flustered. “Abel, where’s Zalla headed?” Abel looked up and saw that Zalla had vanished. Then, he looked towards the superhero aisles, and saw her leaping across entire houses-nothing more than shacks made of blankets, really-and disappearing into the Bakugan shelves. Abel responded. “Bad news, Sham. She’s headed into Population Block M.” Sham cursed, then got a call on another line and had to stop talking, but before doing so, he spat one final message at Abel. “Well, what are you waiting for, then?”
Abel and Leil scaled a statue of Superman holding a semi truck, and surveyed the area. Nothing so far… oh, wait, there she was. She had slid herself under a rack of Dragonoids-how did she do that?-and was talking to her wristwatch again. Clearly, she had reclaimed her communication device. Abel pulled off a few astounding leaps, and before she knew it, he was standing over her. “Ordering pizza?” He asked sternly. She sneered. “Yeah. You want pepperoni on that?” This girl was snide. Abel crouched down and tried to grab her, but Zalla was faster. She grabbed his wrists, and with amazing ease, flipped Abel onto his back. She was out of the aisle in two seconds flat. When Abel caught up to her, she was standing on the statue with Leil. She was holding a knife to her throat.
“Get away from her!” Abel was shrieking now. He climbed the statue and tried to knock the knife out of Zalla’s hands, but she countered with a two-part punch that left Abel reeling. Abel responded with a scissor kick, and before long, the two were in hand-to-hand combat on top of the statue. Then Zalla did something that Abel didn’t expect-she jumped over the balcony. Abel looked down. They were at least four stories up-how could she survive? Zalla, however, had climbed into the Ferris wheel and was making her way to the other side of the store. This girl was nuts! Yet somehow, she could jump and climb over cars with no fear and no hesitation. It was almost like she was superhuman.
Meanwhile, Leil was gasping for breath and shaking all over. Abel figured that she was disturbed by having her life threatened. Then, without warning, she ran up to Abel and kissed him. It was only for a second, but suddenly, Abel felt like he was falling off the balcony himself. It took a moment for him to get steady, but by then, Leil had already jumped down and was chasing Zalla. Abel followed, but he knew that what had happened in the last ten seconds would never leave his mind.
The duo caught up to Zalla in the Barbie section, racing through the endless aisles of pink prettiness. She was carrying a blowtorch, and was setting fire to the plastic boxes of dolls. This was vandalism-a problem all too common in this new world. It wouldn’t kill, but it would undoubtedly cause Sham to lock the Barbie area down, cutting off several houses. Zalla looked up and noticed the pair, and quickly made an escape, making a sharp U-turn and running towards Sham’s office. This was bad. Leil grabbed her walkie talkie and radioed Sham. “Uh, Sham?” She said. “Zalla’s headed directly for your place.” Another round of static-laced cursing came from the receiver. Then, a militia of guards appeared from out of nowhere, chasing Zalla. Abel and Leil followed suit.
Zalla managed to get back to the bicycle section, where four more Moles were waiting there as backup. Looking through the hole in the wall, Abel could see dozens more marching up the street. The soldiers were outnumbered by a long shot, but they weren’t giving up. Not even close. Leil and Abel charged Zalla, while the other soldiers, along with Sham, attacked the other invaders. Abel grabbed Zalla by the shoulder and twisted behind her, knocking her down, where Leil grabbed her wrists and twisted them behind her back. Zalla was pinned, and she wasn’t happy. The Mole girl twisted and cursed, trying to free herself, but Leil just held tighter. Abel grabbed a helmet box, removed the twist ties that held the helmet in place, and temporarily handcuffed Zalla. “Good luck trying to break out of these babies,” he said confidently. “It takes hours to get out of them.”
With Zalla in the brig and the other invaders taken care of, Abel and Leil decided to head home. Abel readjusted the shack’s blankets, and crawled inside. Leil followed, and relaxed on her side of the house. “Well,” she said. “Exciting day, wasn’t it?” Abel just grinned, and flopped onto his bed.
“Yeah. Wingnut, Zalla, the whole Mole invasion. Will there ever be a dull moment?”
“I doubt it. No rules now, out on the streets. If there has been a dull moment today, I haven’t seen it. Wonder what it’s like, in other parts of the world?”
“I wonder. Do you think they have tribes there?”
Leil sat up, her chin perched on her fist. Her eyes looked like she was thinking about something. Then, she turned to Abel and smiled. “If you dream.” Abel grinned back. Leil leaned forward, but just then, Paco threw open the roof, his eyes wide with terror. That’s when he noticed what Abel and Leil were doing. Abel glared at him. “What are you doing?” Paco’s red cheek makeup became even redder, and quickly replied.
“Nothing. But we’ve got a big problem. Those invaders from the bike area? Well, they’ve broken through. We’re going to catch them, but Sham has declared all-out war on the Moles. And that Martina girl, their leader? She’s been sighted.”