The Bender robot snapped to attention, immediately unleashing a barrage of lasers across the rooftop. Maphira and Vai dived, narrowly avoiding the attack. When Bender’s lasers were gone, they sprung back up and went straight for Dr Con Dew Ratroti.
Con dodged Maphira’s swing, then stepped back to avoid another Bender laser. Maphira ducked, the blast going just over her head.
She had to be careful, otherwise, this Bender bot would be the death of her. For a moment, she considered whether it would be worth retreating, doing some commercial energy monitoring to see where Bender might go next and planning another attack. The thing was, they were so close. So close to the end, so close to victory. Just a final push would do it.
“Mai, we have to get out of here!” called Vai from several metres away. “We have to retreat!”
Maphira shook her head. “No, we finish this now!”
Ahead, Con grinned from ear to ear. “I couldn’t agree more. It’s time my convoluted plans come to an end and I sit back, enjoying my complete and total world domination. You can’t imagine how many small-scale technology certificates I’ve gained over the last few years – perhaps I’ll use them to fund my next trip away.”
As the evil mastermind spoke, Maphira weaved between Bender’s deadly lasers, edging her way closer to the man. His overconfidence would be his downfall. He believed he couldn’t be defeated. Well, Maphira was about to prove that belief horribly incorrect.
“Bender, shock blast!” shouted Con.
Sucking all of the solar energy from the building, Bender unleashed a horrible wave of electricity. As it passed over Maphira, she felt her body become paralysed, her skin tingling.
Maphira could only contemplate her own overconfidence as Bender and Con bound her hands. There was nothing she could do to fight back. She couldn’t even speak.
Maphira and Vai were defenceless and in the hands of the Conclave of Mechanists’ leader. It seemed this really was over, but not at all in the way Maphira had hoped.