Notice: The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. The correct title is “The Great VSP/WASTE Saga, Part II, Chapter 6.”
The Great VSP Saga:
The Bad Guys Strike Back
“Where do those stupid titles keep coming from, anyway?” Mack complained.
“Hmmm...wrong story, I think,” Endarire replied. “That joke is from that ‘Mind Over Matter’ story.”
“Ooooh, right,” Mack replied.
They continued to add special equipment to their normal armament. Codebreaker, Seawolf, Phoenix, Lambda, Mack, and Zeratul all holstered their pistols. Codebreaker, Zeratul, Seawolf, and Lambda (the four “leaders”) had very large and very powerful Desert Eagle pistols, which had tremendous stopping power. Phoenix had a less powerful but very accurate 9mm pistol, and Mack was packing a German Luger.
Codebreaker grabbed an armful of photon grenades and passed them around so that everyone had a couple. He also picked out a Gauss Rifle for Gurney for more firepower than Dale’s rather wimpy pistol.
Flyspeck produced a small pouch and tied it to his belt.
“What’s in there?” Odin inquired.
Flyspeck grinned and reached into the pouch, pulling out a small metal object. He held it up for everyone to see.
“It’s...it’s a metal pretzel!” Endarire identified it. “But...why?”
“It’s not JUST a metal pretzel,” Flyspeck replied. “It’s a pretzel-shaped throwing star! Got a whole bunch in this pouch.” He put the pretzel back in and smiled.
“Ahhhh,” everyone else nodded and continued gathering stuff.
In the midst of it, Mack realized something.
“Guys,” he announced, “I just realized something.”
“And that would be...?” Codebreaker asked.
“How do we GET back to the platform? We need a ship, unless anyone thinks they can hold their breath long enough to float through space there....”
Spooky once again held her breath for a while, but eventually let it out.
“Hmmm...good point,” Codebreaker said. “So, what ships have we got?”
“The Hyperion...which is only about halfway repaired,” Seawolf replied, shaking his head. “Not ready yet.”
“The DragonSlayer...which was blown in half,” Phoenix chimed in. “Guess that’s out.”
“The PossePlane...which got a civilian caught in the engines and blew up in Silver Valley,” Lambda added. “No help there, either.”
“And that’s it....” Codebreaker sighed.
And then an idea hit Zeratul. Quite literally, in fact.
“Ow!” he yelled.
“What?” everyone else turned and asked.
“I just got hit by an idea,” Zeratul replied, rubbing his sore cheek. “Think farther back, guys. To the last saga.”
They all thought. And thought. And thought.
And then Odin’s Eye remembered. “Auspex’s arbiter!” he shouted.
“Exactly,” Zeratul smiled. “Better still, anyone remember how we got past that gate that was locked, bolted, barricaded, electrified, shielded, protected, cropped, sized, mashed, barred, deterred, and packed so that no entry would be possible?” He breathed out as he finished the long description.
“Auspex used his arbiter to recall us over!” Seawolf remembered.
“Sooo...you’re suggesting we use Auspex’s arbiter to recall us to Broker’s platform?” Codebreaker asked.
“Precisely,” Zeratul pronounced confidently.
“Hmmmm...might work,” Codebreaker scratched his chin. “Yeah...if we could somehow get the arbiter over the platform, we could recall everyone right there. Except for the pilot,” he realized.
“Well...okay, one guy couldn’t go,” Zeratul agreed. “So?”
“ACTUALLY,” the narrator’s voice suddenly cut in, “ONLY ELEVEN OF YOU CAN BE RECALLED.”
“Why?” Mack looked up and asked.
“BECAUSE IN YOUR LAST SAGA, ONLY ELEVEN WERE RECALLED, AND BECAUSE I SAY SO!” the narrator shouted back.
“Jeez...I miss Mark Brown....” Mack groaned.
“SILENCE, MORTAL!” the narrator boomed back.
“Yeah, yeah....” Mack replied dryly.
So the team agreed upon the plan, and worked on who would stay behind.
It was quickly pointed out that they’d need two people to pilot the arbiter, and MysteriousGuy (who had recently come to, but they still didn’t want to take him with his fainting problem) and Seawolf were chosen. But Seawolf promptly refused, wanting to personally help save his friend Mason Wheeler, so Endarire volunteered in his place.
Mat-Def opted to stay to fix up the damage to his Mech.
The team then agreed that Spooky should stay, despite her insistence upon “saving Zeusie”, remembering what had happened to her at the end of the last saga.
Mack reluctantly agreed to stay to help Spooky and the others repair the Hyperion while the rest were gone.
So it was agreed, in the end, that Codebreaker, Lambda, Zeratul, Seawolf, Flyspeck, MilkDuds, Odin, Phoenix, Tarun, Flare, and (still somewhat begrudgingly) Gurney would be recalled.
“That good, narrator?” Mack shouted up.
“FINE,” he/she/it replied. “NOW GO AND KILL MASS ENEMIES!”
“Okay, I’ll take the PosseMobile to Auspex Studios and get the arbiter,” Codebreaker stated, taking control again. “Seawolf, you come along to fly it back. But before we go, a question: how do we get the arbiter close enough to recall without it being blown to atoms by Broker’s fleet?”
Zeratul smiled and answered, “I’ve got that all planned out, too....”
TGF sat in Broker’s spaceborne fortress’s flight control center, thoroughly bored. “Why does Bakjak get sent to do all the fun stuff?” he whispered to himself.
“Sir,” a tech alerted him. “Incoming vessel. They’re hailing us.”
“I’ll take it,” TGF replied, grabbing the mic. “This is Bad Guy Headquarters Flight Control. What is your cargo and destination?”
In the arbiter, MysteriousGuy and Endarire looked at each other.
“Uhhh...” MG said to Endarire. “Think this’ll work?”
“Too late to turn back now,” Endarire pointed at the two X-Wings coming to escort them in. Or destroy them, depending on whether or not Zeratul’s plan worked....
MG flipped on the .wav player and prayed silently that they would buy it.
“I am Judicator Turmalis,” came the reply from the arbiter, followed after a brief pause by “...joining you on this mission.”
Turmalis? TGF was very surprised. But considering all the other people and ships that Broker had brought here, and the fact that Broker was here himself, plus the authenticity of “Turmalis”’s voice, TGF believed it. “Why?” he asked over the mic.
A pause, then the reply “I will be joining you on this mission to oversee your progress.” Another pause. “As we speak, three shuttles of Protoss warriors and an escort of our fastest scouts, spared from Aiur’s defenses,” another brief pause, “will be landing at the outpost momentarily.” Yet another pause. “In addition,” Turmalis’s voice continued, “a still larger fleet assembles even now in high orbit over the planet.”
“Wow,” TGF exclaimed to those around him. Broker would be most pleased with this addition to his forces. “Cool,” he said into the mic. “Come on in.”
“It actually worked!” MysteriousGuy shouted in the arbiter’s cockpit.
He and Endarire piloted the arbiter towards the platform. They reached the edge, and flew near an undefended, opened door where the recalled team would easily be able to get inside....
“Wait, Turmalis,” TGF called out to the arbiter. “Please head for the main hanger bay instead, to the left...”
“Sir!” one of the techs interrupted. “I’m reading a massive energy output from the arbiter....” the tech frowned at his board. “It’s gone. Lasted for just a second.”
“What kind of outp...” TGF trailed off as the arbiter suddenly opened fire on its X-Wing escorts, knocking the two ships out of control. They spiraled downwards and slammed into the side of the platform.
And as the base’s wall was momentarily lit by the explosion, TGF saw a group of leather jacket-clad people running inside an opened door, carrying weapons.
The VSP and their friends.
“Intruder alert!” TGF shouted out. “That energy output was the arbiter recalling the Vancouver Street Posse right into the base! Destroy that ship!”
But the arbiter was already shooting back into open space, and before any of Broker’s unprepared ships could reach it, it was already re-entering Earth’s atmosphere.
Inside the base, the still unarmed Auspex, Zeus, and Ytse ducked into cover as the intruder alert was sounded.
“They must know that Bakjak let us go!” Zeus whispered.
“Maybe,” Auspex replied. “There was that explosion a second ago....”
“You think someone else is in the base now?” Ytse asked him.
“Hope so. That can only be good.”
“Unless it’s, say, a group of bloodthirsty vorpal jackrabbits or something,” Zeus said dryly.
The arbiter rocked around them as MysteriousGuy and Endarire flew into the atmosphere. A couple wraiths and an X-Wing had just caught up and opened fire on the fleeing vessel.
“Hope those shields hold....” Endarire said nervously.
They did. The arbiter continued down to Earth, and the pursuing ships, realizing they were too late, broke off and headed back to the platform.
TGF watched them come back, and sighed heavily. Broker would NOT be pleased....
He had to take care of this problem, and fast. He grabbed his C-10 and ran out the door to help hunt down the invaders.
Now what will happen?
Will the eleven-man team be able to rescue Auspex, Zeus, Ytse, and Mason and get out before TGF finds them?
Will Bakjak really revolt against Broker, or just take the money and run?
How fast will the Hyperion be repaired?
How effective are Flyspeck’s pretzel throwing stars, and will he be able to resist the urge to eat them?
Find out next time in...the great VSP Saga, Part II!!!
Somewhat disappointed, Mack Kilimaro stayed and worked on the Hyperion at a frenzied pace, with Spooky and her music helping him. It irked him that he'd miss out on all the big fighting, but he knew the story well, and knew there'd be many more to come.... At least, he hoped there would.
He paused for a second to look up at the sky, wondering where everyone's favorite narrator, Mark Brown, was hanging out. "Man, this is too confusing. I can't even remember everyone who stayed here to help us fix stuff." he grumbled.
"Me neither! Why couldn't they take all of us, anyway? Stupid narrator..." Spooky added.
"Yeah, he's probably so busy paying attention to the battle, he doesn't even notice us here." Mack continued, as he also plugged on patching up the hole in the Hyperion's hull. 'Man,' he thought, 'being an SCV sure is BORING.'
No response came to them from the skies. Either the narrator really couldn't hear them, or he was plotting their deaths. Mack knew it was the former, because it was in the rules that nobody could kill anyone else's character off.
"Hey, it looks like we're half done." Spooky said, her voice dull. She was rather hurt that they didn't pick her to go.
"Yeah, let's keep on at this, maybe we'll be able to help them." Mack replied, his voice the same monotone.
Over on the other side of the hangar, Mat-Def finished up the repairs to his Mech and sauntered over to chip in to the effort to repair the Hyperion.
Armed to the teeth for the worst that could possibly be thrown at him, Mark Brown walked out of the door to his house, ready for loads of adventure. He was just bristling with obscure Star Wars facts to scare anyone sane away, and loaded with Star Wars gear (including his shirt, hat, socks, and green lightsaber he was brandishing.) Indeed, people stayed away from him, afraid of what he might do if annoyed.
He'd given up on narrating after that girl showed up next to him, though he almost immediately regretted it. Sure, there was fun in companionship... but then there was fun in helping out the good guys, too. As such, he didn't tell her where he was going, he knew she'd just start meddling.
Mark really didn't care about what other people thought. He was on a mission. He had to find out who this new Narrator was, and thwart his plans. Heck, if he had to, he'd find a way into the StarCraft world himself and handle things. Though he hoped it didn't come to that. He stopped for a second to wonder how he'd even manage to find out how all of his heroes were doing...
The answer was staring him in the face. Literally, that is. Where a bus had been before, there stood an Internet cafe on the other side of the street. Quickly Mark ran in to find out the status of his Antioch forumers. He saw it all, from the pretzel-wielding Flyspeck taking out a couple of red civilians, to Mack, Spooky, and Mat-Def fixing the Hyperion.
'Gurney?!? How did Gurney get in there? And, oh man, the Fenix and Jack Frost and X-Wings? This narrator truly is evil...' Mark's blood began to boil.
He knew there was only one place to go. Only one place could have spawned such a horrible, twisted creation...
Mark Brown stormed out of the Internet cafe, and began a long, hard journey to...
What could possibly be at Blizzard Headquarters?
How are our heroes going to escape from the platform?
What else will become fodder for crossover?
Will the Hyperion be any use?
What no good is Gurney going to try to pull?
Find out next time in...the great VSP Saga, Part II!!!
"Well, aren't we the proud little hacker, sitting alone in a dungeon cell?"
Mason looked up and saw Broker standing at the door.
"What do you want with me, Broker?"
"Nothing that I don't already have. I only locked you up to keep you from sabotaging my conquest."
"You could have done that by killing me, yet you ordered your lackey TGF to bring me in alive. So what do you want with me?"
"Very perceptive of you. All I need you to do is continue with what you have already done for me."
"That Crossover you invented was very clever. My scientists had been working on such a device for several years. We had barely begun to breach the barrier between our plane and the realm of the Implementers, but it was enough. For four months I have spied on your pitiful Forum and your inane chatroom, waiting and learning. And now the time is right. It was I who bugged your map, knowing that only you of all the fans of Antioch had the skill to bring my will to pass. You are so predictable; I knew you'd play Antioch to escape and get your mind off your silly campaign, and you did. I knew you'd see Rockwell and become angry, and you did. And I knew you'd kill him, and you did. And in doing so, you perfected the Crossover. It was a simple matter from there to force it into total stability."
"So basically, you used me to get the job done, and I fell for the entire thing. This feels like Brood War. And now you want me to keep programming for you, so you can conquer everything."
"Exactly." Broker laughed evilly.
"And how will you make me do that? I'd sooner die than help a villain. I'm a good guy."
"You forget. I've been spying on your conversations for the last three months. You good guys are so predictable. For example, when presented with a situation like this, you always decide to help the villain."
Mason didn't see Broker press any button, but the wall opposite his cell slid aside, revealing another cell. Mason saw a young woman sitting on the bench, her back to the door, and his blood ran cold. She turned around at the sound of the wall moving, and Mason's worst fears were confirmed.
"Mason! What's going on?!?" she asked.
"It's a long story. Basically, he's a villain escaped from Starcraft who's come to take over the world."
"I thought that Starcraft was just a game. You and my brother played it all the time..."
"Like I said, it's a long story." said Mason. Then, to Broker, "If you hurt her, I'll never work for you, so how will having her as a prisoner help you?"
Broker decided to call his bluff. "Because I plan to do it the other way around. If you *don't* work for me, I'll have her killed slowly and painfully."
"LEAVE HER OUT OF THIS!!!" Mason screamed. "She has no clue what's going on; she's never even played Starcraft!!!"
"So, do we have a deal?" asked Broker.
Mason sadly nodded his head. Things had suddenly stopped going according to plan.
Suddenly, a loud alarm started blaring. Broker pulled out some sort of communicator and spoke into it. "What's going on?!?"
"We're being attacked by the VSP and WASTE. They got recalled by an arbiter."
"How in the XXXX did an Arbiter get past our defenses?" asked Broker, using a word so horrible that the Narrator smacked him with a censor.
"He... err... it..."
"The pilot of the Arbiter tricked us by claiming to be Judicator Turmalis. We assumed that you had brought him here like all the rest."
"Why would I do that, you nincompoop?!? He's a good guy!" Broker turned off the communications device, did something unseen that closed the door to Jenni's cell, and turned towards Mason's cell. "I have a bit of business to take care of. I'll return for you when it's... finished. By the way, don't count on using your Narrator powers to get out of here by some plot contrivance. I've separated your narrator-self from your character." He walked away, laughing.
Mason tried to open his cell door by plot contrivance and found that he could not. Broker had indeed separated him from his Narrator alter-ego. This was very bad indeed. Mason cared more about a story being interesting more than about it being fair, and if the Narrator now saw him as just another character, things could get very ugly very quickly.
Things were definitely not going according to plan anymore. Mason hadn't anticipated Broker taking a hostage, but it seemed that Broker hadn't anticipated his friends, either. Oh well. Mason never had been big on plans.
Suddenly the realization hit him hard. Quite literally in fact. Mason groaned, half at the pain and half at the running gag. If the VSP and WASTE had recalled in here, they'd be on an infiltration mission. If they were infiltrating here instead of assaulting the platform directly, they were probably coming for him. They weren't his friends anymore.
Will Mason be able to escape?
Will our heroes forgive him once they hear his side of the story?
Will he have time to present his side of the story before they kill him?
Will there be any Zerg in this story?
Does anyone besides Mason have friends outside of the Antioch community?
What will come through the Crossover next?
Find out next time in...the great VSP Saga, Part II!!!
The alert sounded off. "Did they already find out that I let Auspex, Zeus, and Ytse go?" Bakjak asked aloud.
Bakjak took out his really big gun and started scanning the area. He heard men shouting and the sounds of fighting going on somewhere in the installation. He clutched the suitcase tightly to his chest with one hand while his gun was held straight out in front of him. Bakjak walked at a slow pace as not to make any noise. He turned the corner and saw a battalion of Broker's Marines in front of him. Bakjak's jaw dropped as he said, "Oh Sh—." The narrator narrowly caught the censor on the word.
Bakjak's first reaction was to jump to the side while pressing the trigger on his Talon Grenade Launcher. An On-Contact Grenade flew from the launcher and hit the front row of Marines killing five of them off. Bakjak landed hard on the floor rolling out of the way of concentrated gunfire. During the course of those actions, Bakjak had dropped the suitcase on the floor.
When Bakjak looked up again, Marines fired potshots at him while taking cover. He quickly dropped down. Bakjak had to get that suitcase back. It only seemed as though half of Broker's Marines in the battalion were firing at him now. When Bakjak looked up again, he saw Marines firing at another corridor. Then he heard the Commander of Broker's Marines shout, "It's the VSP! Get them!"
What will happen in the 3 way battle?
Where are Auspex, Zeus, and Ytse?
Will Bakjak get his money back?
“Uh-oh,” almost everyone in the eleven-man team said together.
Up ahead, a very large group of Broker’s men was assembled. They seemed to be firing on something else as the team rounded the corner. But it only took a moment for the marines, ghosts, and firebats up ahead to notice our heroes, and they quickly threw a barrage of firepower their way.
The team dove to the sides and hid behind a series of support beams along the walls, the only real cover around, and fired back. But the continuous fire from Broker’s men kept them mostly pinned to the walls and unable to effectively fight.
“NOW what?” Zeratul shouted out. His warp blades useless, he had shut them down and switched to his pistol.
“Wish there was a grate leading to the trash compactors nearby,” Phoenix groaned, thinking of the classic Star Wars detention center shootout.
As the team continued to fire back potshots at the enemy, Lambda Corps noticed that they still occasionally fired down another corridor, where they had been focusing their attention before the VSP and WASTE had encountered them. He stopped firing for a moment and listened carefully. Sure enough, he heard another source of firepower. It sounded like a single weapon, but a large one. And it was coming from the other corridor.
“Hear that, Seawolf?” he asked the WASTE second-in-command next to him.
“Yeah, I hear it. Who the heck IS that?”
“Dunno. But they’re keeping Broker’s guys’ attention split,” Lambda replied.
“You know what they say...the enemy of my enemy...” Seawolf started.
“...is my friend,” Lambda finished. “Yeah. CB!”
“What?” Codebreaker shouted back from the other side of the hall.
“We got a friend up ahead. Any way we can press our way up there to em?”
“You nuts? How?!”
“The stranger seems to be firing at regular intervals,” Tarun spoke up. “If you could coordinate a large amount of firing at the same moment that the other person attacks...” he lit up his psi blades and motioned for Zeratul, Odin, and Phoenix to do the same, “...we should be able to rush in and deal with those troops.”
“Like Mack did before,” Flare remembered, hoisting his flamethrowers to join in.
“Okay,” Codebreaker agreed. “Let’s see if lightning CAN strike twice.”
They all concentrated on getting the firing intervals of their strange ‘friend’ around the corner. Once they had it, Codebreaker got everyone’s attention and lifted up three fingers. He began counting down silently. As his last finger dropped, he jabbed it forward and pointed, then everyone who had guns jumped out from behind their cover and fired, just as a shot rang out from the mysterious stranger. They ran towards the wall opposite of where they had been before and ducked behind the pillars there.
Meanwhile, Tarun led Zeratul, Odin, Phoenix, and Flare as they charged down the hall towards Broker’s temporarily off-guard men.
Broker’s troops were professional, though. After just a second or two of ducking behind cover, they went back on the offensive and raised their weapons again.
Odin’s Eye saw a ghost aim his C-10 at Tarun, and quickly pulled out his Hrungnir spear and threw it. The mighty spear hit the ghost and knocked him into a fellow marine behind him, impaling them both on a large crate Broker’s men were using as cover. A split-second later, the VSP and WASTE reopened fire, once again situated behind the support beams down the hall.
The combination of these events caused Broker’s troops to once again pause for a moment, giving the charging heroes the extra time they needed. Tarun reached the group first, and quickly rammed his psi blades into an unprepared firebat.
Zeratul reached the infantrymen next, and used one of his large warp blades to cut a marine’s left arm off. He then followed with the other blade, impaling it in the marine’s chest.
Odin came in with psi blades swinging, and ran between a marine and a firebat, slashing each with a blade as he passed.
Phoenix claimed his first personal kill of the saga against a ghost, whose C-10 he knocked aside and whose chest he stabbed with a psi blade.
Flare opened up with his flamethrowers, simultaneously toasting four of Broker’s men before they even had time to bring their weapons to bear.
In a matter of seconds, the enemy troops were all down. Odin, seeming to always be the unlucky one when people wrote about him in battle, had taken a Gauss round in his left arm, and Tarun had been singed a little by a firebat that had gotten too close. But otherwise the team was uninjured.
The rest of the heroes left their cover and walked up to the melee attackers.
“Nice work, guys,” Codebreaker breathed. “And good thinking, Tarun.”
Tarun smiled and nodded. “No prob.”
Lambda Corps was scanning the hallway where their mysterious ally had been. Emphasis on the HAD.
Whoever it had been, they were gone now.
“Hey hey, lookie here,” Seawolf said, proudly holding up a security card he had plucked out of the enemy group’s commander’s pocket. He examined it for a moment and then stuffed it into his own pocket.
Gurney made a face (though no one noticed it), thinking about the now seemingly-useless card he had pilfered from Phoenix. He still had it, though fortunately recent events had ensured that Phoenix hadn’t noticed. Yet.
Codebreaker smiled as he pulled out an even better treasure from the commander’s uniform...a data disk.
He pulled out his laptop and inserted the disk. “Awesome,” he murmured, examining its contents on his computer.
Everyone crowded around to see. “What is it?” Flyspeck asked.
“Pretty much everything you’d want to know about the station. Floor plans, armament, number of personnel, prison cell information...”
Codebreaker trailed off as he realized what this could tell him. He quickly searched around the prison logs.
“There’s Mason!” he shouted triumphantly. “Cell number AA-23.”
Everyone groaned at the overly-obvious Star Wars reference.
CB ignored them and continued searching. Where was the Antioch crew?
He couldn’t find them. “I can’t find Auspex and the others,” he said. “That means one of three things.”
“They could have been executed. Hope not, but it’s possible.”
“They could purposefully not be listed so that, just in case we got our hands on this information, we wouldn’t know where they were. Unlikely, though, since Mason is there clear as day.”
“Or...they could have escaped.”
“Then where are they?” Seawolf wondered aloud.
“Not far away,” a voice said behind them.
They all turned...and there was Auspex Turmalis, Zeus Legion, and Ytse-Jam, looking very tired and dirty but otherwise okay.
“Wha...why...who...” Codebreaker stumbled over his words.
“HOW did you escape?” Zeratul said for him.
Auspex smiled. “A little bribe.”
“You bribed BROKER?” Odin exclaimed. “And he ACCEPTED it?!”
“No, not Broker,” Zeus corrected. “Aus bribed Bakjak.”
“Cool,” was all Codebreaker could manage.
The team grabbed a couple C-10s from fallen ghosts for Auspex and Ytse, and Zeratul handed Zeus a pair of backup warp blades.
Now, there were fourteen of them. Or so they thought....
“Hey, where’s Gurney?” MilkDuds asked.
“Gurney? As in DALE Gurney?” Ytse inquired.
“Yeah,” Codebreaker replied. “Long story. Where IS he?”
No one had seen him slip away, and no one knew where in Auspex’s name he could be going or doing.
But no one was too concerned, either. They knew, as had been pointed out earlier, that Antioch heroes had an uncanny ability to survive, and besides, they had never trusted him anyway.
So they all shrugged and dismissed it, and, following the directions from the data disk, began to make their way to detention cell AA-23.
Down the hall, hidden in the shadows, Bakjak watched them head the other direction. He had been more than happy to recover his suitcase and slip away after the VSP and WASTE had taken out Broker’s men up close and personal. He still hated the VSP for what they had done to him, and was half-tempted to open fire on them as they turned away. But Bakjak wasn’t stupid. He knew he was outnumbered, especially with the TAC crew joining the Good Guys again. Instead, he decided to follow Dale Gurney, who had slipped away while the group had been chatting. Perhaps Gurney knew where to go to get out of here, and Bakjak desperately wanted to do just that....
Gurney did indeed know where he was going. He had studied the map on Codebreaker’s laptop very carefully, and pinpointed the location of the main hanger bay. He had taken the opportunity presented by the Antioch staff’s arrival to slip away.
Now, all he had to do was get a ship, get back to the VSP Headquarters, and get that Mad Cat....
Now what will happen?
Will our heroes reach Mason and Jenni before TGF and Broker’s men overwhelm them?
Will Gurney and Bakjak escape the station successfully?
How will our heroes escape the station?
Will the five heroes back at VSP HQ be able to stop Gurney from getting the Mad Cat?
And speaking of those heroes, how close is the Hyperion to being ready?
Find out next time in...the Great VSP Saga: Part II!!!
"There. All finished."
Spooky set down her fusion-cutter and got out of the SCV suit. It got really hot inside those things in the middle of June with the sun shining, and she was drenched with sweat and horribly thirsty. She fumbled in her pocket for a bit of change and got a bottle of Gatorade from the vending machine next to the VSP HQ's front door. She gulped it down, bought a second one, and gulped it down too. With her thirst finally satisfied, she went inside and told Mack that she was finished. She had been the last one to complete repairs to her assigned section of the ship, due to a fair amount of zoning out while listening to her music, so now the Hyperion was back in perfect condition. Mat-Def had just finished fixing his Mad Cat, and the team was ready to fight. MysteriousGuy was unconscious again, so they carried him onto the Hyperion.
Due to a plot contrivance, he woke up right as they were setting him down. "Are we ready to go?" he asked, looking around.
"Yeah," said Spooky. "You can pilot this thing, right?"
"I think so," said MG, taking the controls. He and Endarire turned on the engines, flew up out of the atmosphere, and set a course for Broker's space station, when they were hailed by a ship that looked like a huge white tennis shoe off the port bow.
They opened a channel, and they saw a man on the other ship, holding a towel. "Pardon me," he asked with a British accent, "do you know where the planet Stavromueller Beta is?"
None of them had ever heard of a planet by that name before, and they told him so. "Thank you anyway," he said, closed the channel, and flew off. They resumed course for Broker's station. They weren't sure how they would get past the myriads of ships guarding the station, but they knew that the narrator wouldn't let they die, so they'd have to make it somehow.
They received another transmission, from a Battlecruiser on the platform. Mat-Def traced the source and found that it was coming from the DragonSlayer. They put it on screen. It was Mason Wheeler.
"Seawolf, if you're seeing this, then I've been captured and you're coming to rescue me. Stop the ship where it is; any closer and you'll trip Broker's security network." MG quickly stopped the ship upon hearing this. "Don't worry about me; I wanted to get captured. It's part of my plan to stop Broker. He's somehow found a way to disrupt the boundaries between reality and games, and is gathering an army of evil from all sorts of games to take over the world with. I'm sure you've already noticed some of them. But I'm going to stop him. You can't do any good here; the ships guarding the platform are too powerful. But I know you well enough to know you're about to disregard my advice entirely. A bit of external chaos will be a welcome distraction, so check your email. In it is a Common Foe patch that will let all your Marines and Firebats equip themselves with either Burrowing capability or jetpacks. Since the Hyperion will never survive long enough to get you to the platform, use the access code in the email to beam to the DragonSlayer and deploy from there. DragonSlayer out."
Spooky silently counted to ten, realized that that hadn't helped much, counted to ten again, then shouted "Now what are we going to do?!? Seawolf isn't here, we can't get to the fortress without being blown to bits, and Mason's entire message was worthless!!!"
They sat around for about 5 minutes coming up with "I got it! ... ... No, that won't work" ideas, until MysteriousGuy thought of asking the Narrator.
"Hey Narrator, can you help us out a bit?" he asked.
"WHY SHOULD I DO THAT?" boomed the Narrator. "I'M NOT INTERESTED IN MAKING THE STORY EASY FOR YOU; I WANT IT TO BE INTERESTING."
"Because if you don't, we won't be able to get into Broker's fortress and this part of the story will come to a boring standstill." said Spooky.
There was silence for a few moments, then the Narrator replied "GOOD POINT. AS MUCH AS I HATE CREATING WORTHLESS PLOT CONTRIVANCES, I WILL HACK INTO SEAWOLF'S EMAIL ACCOUNT AND FORWARD THE MESSAGE TO YOU, SPOOKY."
Spooky used a computer which was conveniently located on the bridge to check her email. She downloaded the patch, and sent the access code to the DragonSlayer, which caused it to lock onto all the lifesigns aboard the Hyperion and beam them to its cargo bay, as well as Mat-Def's Mad Cat. Mack decided to take Burrowing, since a flamethrower wouldn't be very useful in air combat, and MysteriousGuy, who had taken a Marine suit and Gauss rifle from the armory, chose a jetpack. Mat-Def took a jetpack as well and powered up his Mad Cat. Spooky, as a Hero Ghost, couldn't use the patch, so she carried it in her pocket in case they met up with the rest of the heroes. Endarire, being a zealot hero, also couldn’t use it, so he just hoped his psi blades and Calvinius sword would be enough. They deployed from the cargo bay onto the platform.
The first thing that noticed them was The Fenix. It came about and launched its interceptors at the party. Spooky quickly locked it down, but then several Wraiths and X-wings came flying towards them. Spooky didn't have enough power left to lock them all down, so she cloaked instead. Mat-Def, MysteriousGuy, Mack, and Endarire realized that they were outclassed and reboarded the DragonSlayer. Spooky got back in as well, and decloaked. MysteriousGuy and Endarire hurried to the bridge, realizing that if they could bring the ship's anti-matter missiles to bear on the enemies, they might just stand a chance. Luckily, Mason's computer was still running. They ran Mason's "Battlefield scanner/builder" program, activated the "DragonSlayer control" patch, and turned to face the oncoming onslaught. The Narrator, not wanting to make the story boring by killing these characters off, used a plot contrivance to keep the Wraiths and X-wings from attacking until MG finished loading SC and pulled up the battlefield map. The second MysteriousGuy clicked on the DragonSlayer, however, the contrivance wore off, and the ships came around to attack.
Will the DragonSlayer be able to fight off Broker's ships before the lockdown on The Fenix wears off?
Will Gurney come back to the platform to steal the Goliath?
What will Flyspeck do when he runs out of pretzel throwing-stars?
Will TGF become a good guy after all?
Find out all this and more tomorrow, same Antioch-time, same Antioch-channel. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)