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 7.”
The Great VSP Saga:
The Bad Guys Strike Back
'IT'S MILLER TIME!'
Gurney made his way back to the VSP Headquarters around the time our heroes in the DragonSlayer began their liberation attempt. The Hangar was virtually empty as he walked in; he cursed as he saw even the Mad Cat was gone.
However, he looked, and he noticed a pair of Goliaths was there on the other side of the hangar. Also around were many boxes and such to hide behind from security cameras. Indeed, Gurney seemed to be home free. He realized he could take the VSP Saga Headquarters hostage and there was nothing the heroes could do to stop him. They were all after that fool Broker!
He began to hum the Mission: Impossible theme song as he slinked around the hangar towards the Goliaths. However, Gurney was not as alone as he thought he was. It seemed Mr. Murphy of Murphy's Law fame was tagging along for the ride, and indeed he couldn't let Gurney off too easily for failing to plan well. So Gurney's untied shoe eventually caused him to trip in the middle of the floor, crashing through some toolboxes and waking up everybody in a five-mile radius.
Almost instantly, Gurney was surrounded by mechanics, technicians, and Red Civilians, but he couldn't kill them because they were crowdsurfing him and his trusty gun seemed to have gotten lost in the commotion.
"What? What the hell's going on?" Gurney asked in disbelief.
"Our heroes are going to emerge victorious. It's Miller time!" Shouted a man below him.
Gurney was never one to turn down free beer, so one hour and six mugs later, Gurney was piss drunk. He'd completely forgotten why he was there or even where he was. He was laughing for no apparent reason, simply because in his drunken stupor it was beginning to impair his senses and make him think things being said, weren't, so he found just about everything funny.
Eventually, however, Gurney's stomach got the best of him, and he leaned over and barfed repeatedly on the floor, then passed out.
He was virtually unnoticed, but he'd not be waking up for hours (not even due to plot contrivance, because there is simply no cure for a hangover), and he'd be hung over horribly when he finally awoke...
Meanwhile, in Real Life, Mark Brown's mostly aimless wandering brought him near the town of Scranton, PA, where Mark knew another forumer resided.
Due to the fact that Real Life is exempt from narrator-meddling, there was nothing stopping Mark Brown from the extreme coincidence of finding the house he was looking for on the first try.
He found it, went up to the door, and knocked. When it opened, he spoke up, "Hello. Is Ruaquick1 around?"
What will become of our heroes on the DragonSlayer?
Could anything else possibly be crossed over?
What is Mark Brown doing collecting more forumers in Real Life?
How will Mark Brown dethrone the corrupt narrator?
Indiana or Los Angeles?
Find out as The Great VSP Saga: Part II continues!
BACK IN THE VSP HEADQUARTERS....
Bakjak, unlike Gurney, HAD gone unnoticed by those in the VSP HQ as he had followed Gurney there. Having never heard where the VSP had moved their Headquarters to after the original saga (where it had been Codebreaker’s basement), he was very surprised to find that it was the evil, infested Mason Wheeler clone’s old fortress. Bakjak had grinned as he had landed his stolen cloaked wraith on side of the base opposite Gurney, as he knew the inside of the base very well from before. He knew where the command room was, and assuming the VSP hadn’t cracked all the very tight codes there, he could take control of the entire fortress, as well as its complex security system, with ease. And then he could use the VSP’s own base against them when they finally returned, and have his revenge.
That is, if he could just reach the command room....
Fortunately for him, Bakjak had found this a rather simple task. He knew where most of the security cameras and gun traps were already, and the few new ones the VSP had installed were easily avoided.
He was currently getting close to the command room, and wondering why the place seemed so deserted. He knew the VSP and WASTE had several techs in their employment, and they were sure to be around SOMEWHERE. But he saw no one.
Then, he heard loud singing from down the hall. He lifted his Talon Grenade Launcher a little higher and hugged the wall as he approached the room ahead. After what seemed like an eternity, he reached the entrance and slowly turned his head around the corner.
Inside the room, he saw a dozen or so techs (all the VSP and WASTE could afford) singing loudly, clearly very drunk. On the floor, being pretty much ignored, was an unconscious Dale Gurney.
Bakjak stifled a laugh as he continued on. “Stupid Gurney never could turn down beer, could he?” he whispered to himself. “Wonder if he had himself a hot dog first....”
INSIDE THE DRAGONSLAYER....
Thanks to the nanotechnology slowly repairing the DragonSlayer, the ship was well on its way to recovery. But the blow dealt by the earlier Yamato Cannon blasts had taken a serious toll, and even Mason Wheeler’s advanced nanites could not fully repair a ship that had been blown in half. The hole where the front half of the ship (now in Broker’s main hanger) had been torn off was sealed and the remaining part of the ship was, as Mason had told TGF earlier, fully functional. What Mason HADN’T revealed at the time was that the front half had a large amount of the ship’s firepower. Most of the saturation bomb launchers and almost half of the missile launchers were in the forward section of the ship.
And they were no good to our heroes in the crippled rear section of the ship now.
MysteriousGuy and Endarire were, however, making good use of what they DID have. Already, many of the first wave of enemy fighters had succumbed to the DragonSlayer’s effective anti-matter missiles, and the fully recharged shields had not yet received serious damage.
But up ahead, the two heroes saw another wave of fighters launching from the station’s hanger bays and forming up to attack. AND the Fenix wasn’t going to stay locked down forever, and once it was free to attack again....
They didn’t want to be there to see the results. MG and Endarire brought the engines online, and headed for the other side of the station. From there, hopefully, they could bail out of the ship and get into the station before the slow Fenix could catch up to them and before the DragonSlayer succumbed to fighter attacks.
Hopefully, hopefully, hopefully....
INSIDE THE STATION....
Broker was swearing almost non-stop as he entered the station’s command room.
“Report, NOW!” he shouted to the head tech.
“N...not good, sir. The VSP and WASTE have already made it far into the base, overcoming even a large battalion headed by Commander Wallace. They appear to be trying to reach Wheeler’s cell, and I have instructed our forces to set up defensive positions around that area.”
“Good,” Broker replied, some of his anger subsiding upon seeing he still had at least ONE competent officer.
“What is your name, officer?” he asked. The face seemed very familiar....
“Dvorak, sir. Tyrel Dvorak.”
Ah yes, of course. The clone of his former head of the cloning division. The original poor fool was probably still trying to figure out who he was....
“Good thinking, Dvorak. Continue.”
Encouraged, the tech went on. “It appears that our two allies have chosen very different reactions to this situation. The one known as TGF, who was responsible for letting them in in the first place, is now helping lead our defensive forces in an effort to stop them.”
Sooo, TGF was devoted to his new allies after all. Or else, Broker thought, he might just be trying to make up for his earlier mistake and evade Broker’s wrath.
“And what of Bakjak?” Broker inquired.
“Aaah...that is a more interesting case, one that has opened up several other problems,” Dvorak said, feeling sweatdrops forming on his brow. “It appears that Bakjak allowed Auspex and the Antioch staff to escape, and then killed the other guards. He fled the station, presumably in one of two wraiths that are missing.”
“So Auspex and the others are FREE?!” Broker began to shout again.
“Err...yes. Worse though, last reported sightings of the VSP and WASTE report that Auspex and the others are now armed and in the company of the invaders.”
“%$#$&^%$# ^%$%^$ @^$%# Bakjak!!” Broker shouted, making the Narrator struggle to keep up with the censoring.
Broker calmed himself down a bit, and demanded Dvorak continue.
“Well, more bad news, unfortunately.” Dvorak suddenly felt very hot. “The DragonSlayer has suddenly come back online and is attacking our fleet. It appears that the Fenix was locked down somehow and the DragonSlayer has so far fended off attacks.”
“Is it automated, or is someone controlling it?”
“I...ah...it’s hard to tell. The ship began moving to a rather remote side of the platform after it fought off the our initial attempts to destroy it....”
“It’s being flown, then,” Broker stated, “by someone who wants to land on the station and break in as well.”
Broker absently stroked his chin. “How many people were recalled into the base originally?”
Dvorak checked his logs. “Ummm...eleven, it appears.”
“Then some of the VSP and WASTE members didn’t arrive at first. They must be the ones now attempting to get in.”
“But how did they reach the DragonSlayer, sir?”
“Simple, Dvorak. One of the original eleven left in one of our wraiths to report back to the rest of the team that the DragonSlayer was operational, and they used the ship’s beaming technology to get there. You did say we had two wraiths missing, correct?”
“Right. Bakjak took the other. We will find and deal with that traitor after this is over with. For now, we must stop that ship from unloading its passengers. Already my men are struggling to repel the ones already inside the station. Any more will make it very hard to keep Wheeler out of their hands.”
“Yes, sir. We are currently deploying all our fighters, but their crews are taking time to reach the ships, as they have been assisting in fighting the VSP inside the station.”
Broker put a hand on the younger man’s shoulder. “You have done well, Dvorak. They will not escape us,” he said in a deadly tone.
What will happen now?
Will Bakjak be able to turn the VSP’s own headquarters against them?
Will TGF overcome his hatred for the VSP and help them, or not?
Will MysteriousGuy, Endarire, Mack, Spooky, and Mat-Def reach be able to get out of the DragonSlayer before it is blown to space dust?
Will the other heroes be able to reach Mason Wheeler through all the soldiers in the way?
Find out in the next thrilling installment of...The Great VSP Saga: Part II!!!
On board the DragonSlayer, the five heroes were all in the cockpit so they could all hear any orders being shouted out and all see the situation. In a battlefield, after all, it's better not to trust your comm units lest they fail and you be left SOL. They were beginning to distance themselves from the Fenix; however, it seemed the second wave of fighters was catching up to them. The ship rocked as a few X-Wings strafed it.
"Shields at 63%," Endarire stated. MG and the others grimly looked ahead at the platform. It seemed they wouldn't make it before the shields failed.
Things somehow managed to get even worse as the lockdown finally wore off of the Fenix and it began its slow trek towards the half-destroyed DragonSlayer. "There's no way we're going to make it. We're going to have to shuttle out and leave this as a decoy," MG stated, a glum tone in his voice.
"Not necessarily. I've got another crazy idea..." Mack began.
Seconds after hearing it, MG and Endarire had put the DragonSlayer on auto-pilot and moved aft to where they could escape.
"What is it with you and crazy ideas, Mack?" Spooky asked as they loaded themselves onto pods a la Starship Troopers.
Mack simply pointed upwards. "I learned everything I know from Mark Brown."
The five heroes were strapped in and ready for the ride. The autopilot kicked in with its extra speed and began a beeline towards the hanger of Broker's platform. The extra speed came as the shield power began being drained into the engines. It automatically returned fire until they were about halfway there, then weapon systems were shunted into the engines as well to increase speed. A beacon was being broadcast on all friendly frequencies...
"This is MysteriousGuy and Endarire on board the DragonSlayer. To all VSP and WASTE members on Broker's platform - hit the ground and stay there. I repeat, hit the ground and stay there. Reinforcements will be entering from the hangar. You'll know when we've arrived."
The pods jettisoned and began following in the DragonSlayer's wake seconds before it ran straight into the hangar of Broker's platform.
The TAC Staff and VSP and WASTE heroes heard the message on their comm systems with about twenty seconds to spare. Ten seconds of bickering later, they were all on the floor ducking fire for another nine seconds.
Then it felt like an earthquake rocked the platform. All of Broker's forces were thrown in every which direction, but our heroes, with their advance notice, just stood up and capitalized on their advantage.
Sick of all the piddling around, our five heroes in the hangar emerged from their protective pods and mopped up the few men that weren't killed or sucked into space from the ramming into the hangar. They regrouped and nodded, then headed into the bowels of Broker's platform themselves, ready to cause mayhem that only members of the VSP and WASTE could.
Mark Brown continued his trek across the continent of North America, gathering forumers for an as-yet-to-be-determined purpose. His entourage was at that particular moment three. Big Dave, Kultcher, and Ruaquick1 had all joined his ersatz trek as he found his way to their dwellings and told them of his quest to save the TAC staff stuck in the game world, as well as the battle-persona of most of the forumers. Having gotten to Big Dave, that left him in the state of Washington.
He would have gone looking for more forumers, except between the VSP, WASTE, and TAC staff already there, as well as the ones he had with him, there weren't many others to find. But Mark also knew that four crazed Antioch Zealots would be something not even the most evil of narrators could contend with...
Where _is_ Blizzard Headquarters, and what could the four in Real Life possibly have in store for them?
Who is the evil narrator?
How will the heroes on Broker's platform escape?
What is Bakjak up to?
Find out next time as The Great VSP Saga: Part II continues!
Bakjak donned his Ray-Ban™ sunglasses and stood in the hallway to the VSP control room. His black robes adorned with runes flowed around him. He coughed a bit, but recovered himself in time to see a drunken VSP Tech come out of the control room.
"He—hey, what are you do—oing here?" the drunk VSP Tech giggled.
Bakjak started talking like Gurney, "It's Miller Time!"
The drunk VSP Tech started roaring with laughter then passed out.
Bakjak looked under the mat and found a keycard. He slipped into the control room, now aware of the enormous power he wielded. Bakjak started the process of turning the VSP HQ into his own, but saw a big red flashing button. His eyes were attracted to it and he couldn't resist. He pushed down the button. The monitor turned to a view of Broker's platform and a prompt.
Enter Your Message Here>
Bakjak thought for a moment then typed:
Enter Your Message Here> Bakjak r0x0rs you!
Then he heard the Adjutant say, "Nuclear launch detected."
"Oops," Bakjak said.
Will the nuclear missile wipe out Broker's platform?
What will Broker do when he sees the message on the nuclear missile?
Will the VSP/WASTE and the Antioch crew rescue Mason Wheeler in time and escape?
Where _is_ Blizzard Headquarters, and what could the four in Real Life possibly have in store for them?
Who is the evil narrator?
Find out next time as The Great VSP Saga: Part II continues!
“Sir!” Dvorak shouted out to Broker. “I am detecting a nuclear missile lock on the station!”
“What? Where is the source?” Broker leaned over the tech’s shoulder to look at the displays.
“Earth. I cannot ascertain an exact source, but it’s somewhere in the northern United States, very near the Canadian border.”
“It must be the VSP. $#@%!!” Broker shouted.
“Shall we evacuate, sir?” Dvorak had no desire to be blown into nuclear oblivion.
“In our moment of triumph?” Broker replied. The rest of the command staff around them groaned, one of them whispering “How many Star Wars references is this Seawolf guy gonna use?” to his neighbor.
Broker continued. “The DragonSlayer is ours. Our fighters are about to destroy it, and look!” He pointed out the viewscreen. “The Fenix is once again operational. That ship, and any who are flying it in a vain effort to help their friends, is doomed. And the friends they are here to help are outnumbered. Thanks to your quick thinking, Wheeler’s cell is surrounded by my best troops, and the VSP and their friends will die trying to save Wheeler. Victory is within our gra...”
Broker was cut off as a message from the DragonSlayer was intercepted and instantly translated on the screen, then played over the room’s comm. The first few words were lost, but they all clearly heard "...eriousGuy and Endarire on board the DragonSlayer. To all VSP and WASTE members on Broker's platform - hit the ground and stay there. I repeat, hit the ground and stay there. Reinforcements will be entering from the hangar. You'll know when we've arrived."
“Impossible!” Broker shouted out. But even as he, Dvorak, and the command staff watched, the DragonSlayer began picking up speed and headed straight for the main hanger. The fighters continued to pound her, but couldn’t break through her shields fast enough, and a small group of escape pods jettisoned out the rear of the Proto-Cruiser and followed the ship in its suicide run.
“Noooo!” Broker screamed as the DragonSlayer slammed full-force into the hanger. It exploded dramatically, and the pods trailing behind it broke to the sides and flew into the all but destroyed hanger.
“Dvorak. Send out the alert. Evacuate. Recall our forces and evacuate them all. Have my battlecruiser prepared. You will come with me.”
“Yes, sir,” Dvorak replied, and made the necessary alert on his board.
But something was wrong. “Sir, the comm has been damaged in the crash. All lower decks are unreachable by radio!”
And Wheeler’s cell was on one of the lowest decks. They had no way of calling off Broker’s forces there.
“Then leave them!” Broker shouted. “Signal everyone you CAN reach!!”
“The VSP and WASTE can have Wheeler, fine. They will reunite with their friend, and all die together. We still win, Dvorak. They have no ships to escape with now.” Broker smiled at the younger man. “Don’t overestimate their chances.”
In the hallways surrounding Mason Wheeler’s cell, the fighting was fast and furious. The impact from the DragonSlayer’s death run had given the VSP and WASTE a much-needed advantage against Broker’s forces, but one only a few seconds long. They had taken out large numbers of enemy troops, but were still outnumbered.
The heroes had split up into three teams. Codebreaker, Lambda Corps, and Flyspeck were all huddled together behind a stack of crates, exchanging fire with a large group of marines and ghosts. Codebreaker and Lambda mowed down any marines that showed themselves with their Gauss rifles, and Flyspeck was racking up kill after kill with his pretzel throwing stars and C-10, though he favored the seemingly endless metal pretzels.
Zeratul, Phoenix, Odin, Tarun, and Flare were engaged in some melee action with a group of firebats, and Zeratul and Phoenix also had their pistols out to deal with the occasional marine that would open up on them. They, like the first group, were doing well.
In another hallway nearby, Seawolf, MilkDuds, Auspex, Zeus, and Ytse were tackling another group of marines, backed up by a pair of goliaths someone had brought out of storage. Auspex and MilkDuds had quickly locked the goliaths down on their appearance, but had been unable to destroy them before the lockdown wore off. Ytse had then locked one down, but the other was now making it very difficult to make any progress, and the small group of heroes was beginning to lose hope.
And then, suddenly, the locked down goliath exploded and toppled forward. The active goliath and several of the marines turned at the unexpected occurrence, and the five heroes took the opportunity and laid down a wall of firepower. The marines began dropping quickly. Too quickly, in fact.
“We can’t be hitting them THAT fast!” Seawolf shouted out over the battle sounds around him. “We got more unexpected friends?”
“Why do you think that goliath exploded?” MilkDuds replied, and pointed.
Behind the remaining goliath, they saw another group of five, one of them being a large walker. From here, they couldn’t see exactly who it was, but they didn’t need to. They knew already.
The other goliath was too slow to turn on the new threat behind it and also fell forward as it was blown to bits by the other walker. More specifically, a Mad Cat OmniMech.
The marines turned and fled, and MysteriousGuy, Endarire, Spooky, Mack, and Mat-Def let them go and joined up with Seawolf, MilkDuds, and the TAC staff.
“Howdy, guys,” Auspex greeted them. “Glad to see...”
He was interrupted as Spooky knocked him aside and charged at Zeus, embracing him in a huge hug. “ZEUSIE!” she shouted.
Zeus blushed and kissed her. “Hey, Spook,” he said as they broke apart.
“Cool,” Seawolf said. “Now, let’s get Mason and get out of here!”
What happens now?
Will the team be able to get Mason and Jenni and escape before the station is blown apart by the nuke?
With no ships left at the station, and the Hyperion too far away, HOW will they escape?
Will they even REALIZE there is an incoming nuke in time?
Where will Broker go now?
And where is TGF?
The answers to these questions and more will (hopefully) be answered next time. So check in for the next great installment of The VSP Saga: Part II!!!
Mason Wheeler, the Narrator, watched as his story unfolded. He had always believed that the best way to tell a good story was to let it tell itself, but this was the first time he had taken it so literally. He reread the starting chapters, laughing at the VSP and WASTE's attempts to figure out what was going on. He read of the battles between the Good Guys and Broker's fleet, mentally rejoicing that MysteriousGuy had given him the inspiration for such a perfect plot contrivance. He reluctantly helped the Hyperion's crew gain entry to the DragonSlayer. This was shaping up to be a very interesting story indeed. There was only one small problem.
The old Narrator was coming to reclaim his position.
Mason had seen that as well. This story was told from a third-person-omniscient perspective, and he was the omniscient Narrator. He could sense the interference of another Narrator from its influences on the fabric of his storyline. (Sorta like feeling a disturbance in the Force, but different.) He sensed Mark Brown and his three helpers moving off towards Blizzard HQ. He had no idea what they were doing. Perhaps they were invading it. That would be appropriate; this story was done in the style of the Operation CWAL saga. But whatever he was doing, he had made three fatal mistakes.
1.) He had left Washington to head for California, where Blizzard HQ was. But Mason lived in Washington.
2.) Kultcher was Mason's right-hand man from Common Foe, and Ruaquick1 and BigDave were good friends of Mason's. When they found out who the Narrator was that they were trying to overthrow, they would surely switch sides.
3.) Mason still controlled the only copy of the Narrator Tools.
Mason Wheeler, the Narrator, sat back in his chair, laughed for several minutes at Mark Brown's folly, and began to think of what the next chapter of the Great VSP Saga, Part II should contain.