Six hours, seven minutes and twenty three seconds. That’s how long it took John to finish outfitting my new army and march over to where the grid could be activated. How did he outfit twelve thousand people in less than half a day? Not that it really mattered, as long as they had everything we needed. The mob of Iropolician people swarmed around me, making a rough circle, and John emerged from within their ranks. “We looted the place, and we’ve got everything. We probably have four times more equipment than we can use. So, how will we take back Iropolice?” “I’m not sure about not being able to use the equipment, but we’ll talk about that later. Are you sure about taking Iropolice back though? I mean, look around. Your city is burning to the ground, and will probably be completely gone within hours. It’s a miracle that the weapon place didn’t burn down. Tell me, what is it you want to save here?” John frowned. Many of the others were looking around nervously at each other. A woman walked up to us and handed John a mirror shaped device- a scanner. It pinged, and we all peered at it. A red wave washed across the screen of the scanner, and a 3D model of Iropolice appeared on the screen. It pinged again, and more than seventy percent of the buildings on the screen collapsed to the ground burning. The remaining buildings were all scorched and smoking. Several red dots moved quickly through the city, setting fire to anything still standing. John tapped on one of the red dots, and the scanner pinged. It zoomed in on the dots, and several shapes clad in black simmered into appearance. They were flying down the street. They reached a surviving building, and one threw a grenade into it. A moment later, fire roared out of the windows, and the building collapsed on itself. The figures suddenly shot up into the air, and we all looked up from the scanner to scan the sky. Instantly, my eyes picked up on a green grid covering the sky. The three figures reached the center circle, and instantly disappeared, along with the grid. “What happened? Did those guys just disappear?” John asked. I paled, and stared mutely up at the offending spot where the three had disappeared. The Unknown Enemy could use the grid. “We’re in big trouble. The enemy that was attacking the Pisces Empire is now attacking you. And, they have the same power that I do. We no longer have the upper hand. He can easily send in a massive force to demolish us before we can think about fighting back. So far, we haven’t even seen ten of his people, yet the managed to smash Iropolice completely. We should withdraw.” John shrugged. “Your call, Commander. We’re part of your army now, so you call the shots.” Oh, great. That’s just a politically correct way of saying that if I screw up, it’s all my fault. “Ok, I need everyone to be still for a moment, and don’t panic. Closing your eyes might help.” I stepped forward, and entered the circle, and the Void swallowed us whole. There was a lot of confusion when we first re-entered the Void. The Ronsard soldiers weren’t too happy about a mob of unknown soldiers suddenly waltzing into their tea party. The Iropolicians were milling around, wondering what the heck had just happened, and I was hungry. Just between us, I think we all know what the most troubling part was. I held up a hand for silence, and both mobs looked at me. “Listen! As you know, I am building an army to fight back against the Unknown Enemy who is currently attacking the Pisces Empire. You are both vital parts to this fight! Iropolician people, please listen to me! Hand out those weapons you brought with you to the Ronsard soldiers. And John, where are those armored vehicles you were talking about?” He held up a briefcase. “Right here, Commander. They’re transportable. I’ll help get the weapons and gear handed out, you focus on whatever it is that needs doing.” The Ronsard soldiers were suddenly much more friendly to the Iropolice ones when they were given new, shiny guns. I don’t think they gave a rat’s posterior about the gear though. I collapsed backwards into a bed, and closed my eyes. There were many things that needed doing, but they could all wait. It’s not like I had a time limit when I was in the Void anyways. Just as I was about to doze off, Lilly’s face appeared in my vision. I sighed. “What now?” “There is stuff that needs doing! We don’t have time for sleep!” “Yes we do. We have all the time we need. Now buzz off, I’m tired. You need to loosen up a little, Lilly.” She yanked me out of my bed, and it disappeared. “I know we have all the time we need! But still, sleeping while the Pisces Empire is in danger is just wrong. We need to get this war over with as soon as possible. We should head to our next stop immediately.” I sighed. Even if I kept arguing, I doubted that I would ever get more than thirty seconds of sleep in the Void. Oh well, I guess I might as well get this over with. I shook Lilly’s hands off of my shoulders, and went to find a Ronsard Soldier. “You there! About how long were we gone?” I asked. The soldier frowned. “Well Commander, I can’t really tell ‘ya for sure, but It feels like you were gone for maybe two or three weeks. Something like that, I think.” I thanked him, and asked several other soldiers. One told me that it felt although I had left a few minutes ago, and another told me that it felt like it had been a year. According to the documentaries I had read, that was all wrong. Since the Void was outside of time, we should have returned the very instant we left. Instead, soldiers felt although time had actually passed in the Void, which should be impossible. That could only mean one thing: time was moving in the Void, although not very well. If Lilly figured that out, she would flip. I shuddered at the thought. “Lilly and I will be going to continue expanding the army. We will be returning as soon as possible!” I yelled. The soldiers around me from both worlds said they would pass the message on, and Lilly and I headed over to the grid and swept through the green planes. I chose one at random, and tapped one of the dots. A moment later, the darkness was gone.