The trip across the Bridge of Time was surprisingly mundane, if a little unnerving. From the foot of the bridge, the steepness and height appeared moderate but manageable. From the back of the king’s go-cart on the bridge itself, the steepness was alarming, the height dizzying. Robert clung to the go-cart for dear life and was quite unable to enjoy the excellent view and the cool, bracing air. Fortunately, it was soon over, and the bridge deposited Robert and the Perpetually Eleven in the street in front of Robert’s house.
The king slowed enough that Robert could jump off and then sped away with his riders. “Guard your back, Robert Wilson,” the king called over his shoulder. Robert ran to find a place where he could do just that.
Robert had a spot in mind. In the back of his house, where the house joined the garage, there was a corner he could stand in that would protect him from rear and flank attacks. Robert ran there, wedged himself into the corner, and waited for the signal.
Robert had asked what the signal would be. “You’ll know it when you hear it, I suspect,” the king had said. “Crutchford’s attack has a distinctive sound, as I’m sure you’re aware. What’s more, the sound carries for miles. When you hear it, you’ll know that we have engaged the fiend. You can then find us and use the dismantler drone to dispatch him.”
“But what if he finds me before you find him?” Robert asked.
“Then you will have to be quick with the drone,” the king replied.
Remembering those words, Robert held the drone in shaking hands and nervously fingered the controls. Again and again, he went over in his mind the king’s instructions on how to use it. Robert was resolved in what he felt was his duty to destroy Crutchford, but he feared his abilities would fail him.
It was with these troubling thoughts that he waited. He did not have long to ponder them, however, for after only a few minutes, he heard the shrill roar of Crutchford’s attack. It seemed to be just a few blocks away. All thoughts of hesitation or apprehension were shed from Robert like water. He knew what he had to do, and he was going to do it. For Rebbecca. For the Go-cart King. For the world. He headed out from his fortified position at a run.
Thrice more came the sound of Crutchford’s attack, and thrice was Robert able to make course corrections as he careened through yards, over fences, and across ditches and flower beds in his pursuit.
At last, as he came out from between two houses, he saw them. Crutchford stood in the middle of the street with his back to Robert, turning menacingly this way and that as the riders of the Perpetually Eleven harried him. Four of the riders were frozen in frosty blocks of ice. As Robert watched, Crutchford attacked again and imprisoned a fifth.
“Bastard,” Robert muttered under his breath. “Take this.” So saying, he activated the dismantler drone. A green beam shot out from the black metal sphere in Robert’s hand. Robert trained the beam on Crutchford and released the button. Crutchford was tagged. The drone hummed to life in Robert’s hand and then flew from him and straight towards Crutchford.