Notice: The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. The correct title is “The Great VSP/WASTE Saga, Part III, Chapter 1.”
The Great VSP Saga:
Revenge of the Good Guys
A COUPLE HOURS LATER....
“Well,” Lambda announced sadly, “That’s that.”
Codebreaker swore silently, sighed for the umpteenth time that day, and rested his head on his palm. “MG, call the Hyperion.”
MysteriousGuy flipped on the intercom. “Falcon to Hyperion,” he spoke into it.
“Hyperion here,” Phoenix’s voice came back.
“Where’s Seawolf?” MG asked, surprised that the Hyperion’s captain wasn’t taking the call.
“He’s taking a nap,” a low voice cut in. “He needed it.”
“I take it you saw, Zeratul?” Codebreaker asked.
“Or rather, DIDN’T see,” Dark_T_Zeratul replied. “That’s all twenty, right?”
“Yeah,” Codebreaker said sourly. “All twenty patches.”
“I hoped our count was wrong,” Zeratul said, taking his turn in sighing.
Codebreaker knew Seawolf was going to be VERY disappointed when he woke up, and CB had heard the disappointment in Phoenix’s voice, too. Both SpecOps staffers would good friends of Mason’s, and this had to be an especially big blow for them.
And Jenni, too.... “Is Jenni there?” he asked.
A pause. “Yes,” a female voice came back. “I’m here. And before you ask, I’m okay, and thank you for wondering, Codebreaker.”
Codebreaker smiled softly. “Glad to hear it.”
“So now what’s the plan, CB?” Zeratul asked.
‘What WAS the plan?’ Codebreaker asked himself. “I guess we just head back to Auspex Studios and give the others the bad news. We know what DOESN’T work now, so hopefully they can come up with something else,” he said unenthusiastically.
“Yeah. Maybe.” Zeratul sounded just as subdued.
“All right, Posse,” Phoenix took back over, trying hard to not sound as depressed as he felt. “See you when we get there. Hyperion out.” The intercom clicked and was silent again.
For a long moment, no one moved in the Falcon’s cockpit. All that patch work, and this testing, for naught. They were right back where they’d been three months ago. And who knew how long it would take to get a working patch now? Another three months? A year? THREE years? ‘Or maybe,’ Codebreaker thought gloomily, ‘it will never happen.’ He wished again that this whole Saga had been over way back near the beginning.
“Back to Auspex Studios,” he told MysteriousGuy. “Full sublight speed.”
MG brought the ship around, falling in behind the already-departing Hyperion, and they prepared to go back...empty-handed.
Their depression was almost as black as the space around the ship.
In the carrier Nemesis, TGF smiled as he shut down the decoder/interceptor/scrambler (DIS). He had used the specially-built device to listen in on every transmission that had passed between the two Good Guy ships, and a plan was forming in his head.
“Vank,” he said to the Banned One at the conn, “Wait until those ships have entered the Earth’s atmosphere, and then set a course for Auspex Studios.”
Vank Tar turned from his station. “You want to attack the Good Guys NOW? We don’t even have Rua and Aklan here. And what about the Plan?”
TGF smiled confidently at him. “I have not forgotten. We have a number of our RoboZerg here in the ship, and I want to see how they fare in battle. I don’t intend to even TRY to destroy the VSP and their friends now,” he calmly explained, “I just want to soften them up a bit and let them know we’re still around. And, as I said, test out our latest investment in bio-robotic technology. The Good Guys are depressed now, for whatever reason.” (The Banned Ones STILL didn’t know about Mason Wheeler.) “Depressed people are always slower to respond to attack. So if we want to launch an early strike, now is the time. Besides, we may even be able to hamper this patch-making they are doing there. Whatever reasons they are trying to access the Crossover, they can’t be in our best interests.”
“The Plan remains unchanged. The VSP will still crumble before us in time.” TGF finished with another smile.
Vank nodded slowly, understandingly, and turned back to his station with a confident grin of his own.
‘A good man, Vank is,’ TGF thought, turning his attention back to the viewscreen. ‘Not afraid to speak up, and a quick thinker. An excellent asset to the Banned Ones.’
As were his new RoboZerg. It was time for the VSP and their friends to meet them.
TGF could hardly contain his laughter. “The end of the Vancouver Street Posse begins here,” he said aloud.
The other three Banned Ones shouted with excitement and prepared for battle.
Bakjak’s mouth went dry as another ship suddenly registered on his sensors, only a few hundred yards away. Was it coming this way? If it was, he wouldn’t have time to flee now....
It wasn’t. The ship, a carrier—he could see it now—was coming out of a sensor shadow from the moon. It turned towards Earth and ignited its engines, making a beeline for the distant Good Guy ships.
Bakjak did a more thorough scan of the vessel. He was somewhat surprised to find it had a non-Protoss name: Nemesis. ‘Hmmm.’ That didn’t sound like the name of a Good Guy ship. Besides, the Alliance already had the Hyperion, the Millennium Falcon, the DragonSlayer II, and the TAC arbiter (which, Bakjak had recently learned, had finally been named: the Judicator). There was certainly no need for them to have ANOTHER ship, and certainly not one as big as a carrier.
It couldn’t be Broker’s. He was presumably still in the Antioch Universe where Wheeler had thrown him. Besides, Broker’s fleet was all Terran ships, wasn’t it?
So who’s...? “Of course,” Bakjak hissed, realization dawning on him.
He swore silently and laid in a course to follow the Nemesis. It had to be the Banned Ones. It just HAD to be.
And even if it meant briefly assisting the VSP again and fighting his on-again, off-again ally TGF, he couldn’t let the Banned Ones hurt the Alliance. Not until they had rescued Wheeler, something Bakjak was relying on them to do.
He swore again and punched the engines up to full.
And far away in the Antioch Universe, Kurt Broker frowned. The VSP had tried to break into the Crossover...and failed. He could FEEL it, using his special “narrator sense” that he had acquired somewhere during Part II.
Wheeler had eluded him thus far. After they had both been thrown here into the Antioch Universe, Broker had been stunned by Wheeler’s unexpected flipping of his attacker. When Broker had recovered, Wheeler had vanished, and Broker had been unable to find him again. He knew Wheeler was nearby...being injured and lacking a ship, money, and any allies, he HAD to still be nearby.
And now Wheeler’s friends would find him for Broker.
Broker had suspected all along that the VSP and their allies would come for their lost comrade. This feeling now confirmed it.
The VSP would find Wheeler, and Broker would follow them. ‘Then’, he thought with a smile, ‘I will destroy them all together.’
He laughed evilly and went to plan the coming battles.
The FINAL battles.
What will happen next?
Will the Banned Ones do some serious damage to the Good Guys?
Will Bakjak really intervene and help PROTECT the Alliance?
What is TGF’s evil ‘Plan’?
Where is Mason Wheeler?
What will happen between Jenni and Seawolf?
Find out next time in...The Great VSP/WASTE Saga: Part III!!
Bakjak put on his thermal goggles which allowed him to see the heat coming from the engines of the ship designated Nemesis. He followed close behind, making sure he stayed far enough behind so that the Nemesis could not pick up his cloaked scout. Bakjak flicked open the safety on his flight stick and put his thumb on the red button on top. He looked up at his viewscreen and grinned evilly.
"TGF," said Vank. "There seems to be two objects heading straight for us, starboard side."
"Onscreen," replied TGF. The monitor flickered on and a view of space was shown as two small objects got larger and larger. "You idiot! Those are anti-matter missiles. Evasive maneuvers!"
Bakjak watched his viewscreen as one anti-matter missile found it's mark, impacting the Nemesis with such force that his own ship rocked with glee. The other anti-matter missile had been destroyed by a counter-measure. Bakjak made haste to input a new course to flee from the Nemesis' wrath. He would keep tabs on the Nemesis until he could make what he determined a safe skirmish with it.
Fenrir slept. It was just your normal sleep, no it was the kind of sleep you only get after doing absolutely nothing all day. In other words, fitful.
Visions of the Yamato Cannon obliterating his house kept surfacing. First the horrible light, then the roaring whoosh. And when he could see again, his lemonade was gone. Picking up his bashing bat, he went to hunt the ones who had perpetrated this act, only to be intercepted by his mother.
His thoughts turned to rage at the ten page essay on dirt. It took him nearly a year, but he finished it. Each day he sustained himself on thoughts of dismembering bakjak and TGF and each day The Voice sounded in his head "Patience young one, your time will come." Now his time had come and someone was going to pay...
Fenrir woke up to the intercom. "All Crew, this is Phoenix. We're coming into Earth, up and at em!"
Things had been somewhat interesting in Mark Brown's world - the Real World, as far as those things went, but was it really? Such ideals could be argued time and time again with interested parties - but, there weren't usually any, considering only Mark was enough of a geek to spend his time narrating a story in a world he wasn't even a part of! The physics of it all were confusing, and it did lead to some regrets. After all, Mark had been following the activities on the Antioch Forum (a rather curious beast, considering it had visitors both from the Real World and the Game World) and was somewhat regretful of what he had made take place in the previous portions of the Saga.
It was for that reason that Ruaquick1 found him/herself in the Game World as a member of the Banned Ones, despite the fact that Rua wasn't banned. Mark didn't know how Rua got INTO the Game World, but once there, he could subtly affect how things transpired.
There were so many heroes, it was becoming too much of a task for poor Mark to oversee them all and make sure that the VSP Saga remained a fantasy story where the Good Guys always win. He considered it HIS fault that MilkDuds fell. If he hadn't been so stupid and surrendered the control of the story to the depths...
But then, Deos Arcana, the Master of Illusion appeared with a solution to the problem. As a Master of Illusion, he could project himself into the Game World and keep track of things first hand - and then report back to Mark and tell what was going on. Sort of like in The Matrix, but only sort of. Mark himself was able to directly transfer himself into the Game World, but he tried not to do that often. In fact, he'd only done it once.
So it was that Deos Arcana became the narrator's assistant. Less than a narrator but more than a sidekick, he was the one keeping Mark somewhat sane. Of course, none of the heroes in the Game World knew of Deos' existence yet, but that was something Mark would have his charge deal with in time.
Something in the story triggered an impulse in his mind. He turned to Deos.
"It looks like something is going on. Perhaps it is time to reveal yourself." Mark said to the Master of Illusion.
His response was a nod, and then Deos got to work.
The Hyperion and the PossePlane descended down to Earth, headed towards the Auspex Studios complex. The atmospheric descent wasn't too bad, the Falcon only got a few bumps and scratches and the Hyperion was too big to take much damage.
"Hyperion, this is the Plane," tapped in Codebreaker, "We've cleared the atmosphere, but we're not picking up Auspex Studios on our limited scanners."
"Don't worry," replied Ixyon, over the line, "We'll feed you the coordinates. Just keep going...the way you're going...isn't there a sophisticated way to say that? I think I forgot."
Phoenix tapped into the line. "Er, that'd be "Do not deteriorate from your present flight plan'."
"I never figured out why those people always had to sound so high and mighty with their big vocabulary," commented Ixyon, "Can't they talk so people understand?"
"This is the Plane," said Codebreaker, "We're still waiting for your coordinates, and we're approaching the surface."
"But I thought we already sent them to you," replied a startled Ixyon, "I did it myself."
"Well, we didn't get it. That right, MG?" Codebreaker looked over at MysteriousGuy, who was futilely searching for the missing coordinates, who nodded his head back at CB.
"That's right, we haven't received anything from you guys except for your voices. What's going on?"
On the Hyperion, Phoenix thought to himself what the problem could be. He'd ask Ixyon, but Phoenix knew that he wouldn't be able to do anything. There'd be no point in asking.
"What the hell?" exclaimed Zeratul. "Ixyon, what's the problem down there?"
"Er...I have no idea, sir," replied Ixyon, "I transmitted the coordinates to them, but..."
"What?" exclaimed Typhoon, "You 'transmitted' them?"
"Well, that's what they do in Science Fiction, anyways," said Ixyon.
"THAT'S it," said Typhoon, "The Falcon can't get the coordinates because there's no technology available to. That only worked in Star Wars, anyways."
"Then what the hell can they do?" asked NovaSeaker, who had been watching the incident.
"Maybe we can land first and set up a beacon," said Phoenix, "Then broadcast the coordinates on a frequency that we know the Posse will be able to pick up."
"Er, we've been over that already," said Typhoon, "no fancy-shmancy coordinate exchanging anymore, remember?"
"Hmm." snorted Phoenix, "We could do it in Star Wars, and this is almost the same thing."
"Well, this is the VSP Saga, dammit, not Star Wars," retorted Zeratul, "We can't just let everything be the same as it or else this would be really boring. Almost as boring as...well, school," he added.
"Ixyon, tell them that we can't do anything and that they'll have to try and get close enough for their scanners to pick it up."
Back on the PossePlane, the whole VSP waited for the Hyperion's lengthy decision. They had nothing else to do but observe. They observed many interesting things, particularly the ground where the Falcon was headed to crash.
"Er, MG," said Lambda Corps, "We're getting pretty close to the ground, don't you think?"
"We're waiting for WASTE to give us their decision," said Codebreaker. They waited for a few more seconds, at least until they could see the waves in the ocean.
"On second hand..." said Codebreaker, "MG...PULL UP!"
MysteriousGuy pulled back on the throttle as hard as it would go, throwing the Falcon into an abrupt turn straight up. Various objects slid across the floor. Odin was especially dismayed that his Go Fish cards flew across the room. MysteriousGuy was a bit too slow on the throttle, though, and the rear of the PossePlane slapped the water as it began to come out of the sudden curve, rocking the ship about severely. MG was still able to pull out of the maneuver, however.
There was silence for a few seconds as everyone recollected themselves. Then, there was a little static coming out of the ComBox as Ixyon's voice came through.
"*static*Falcon, we can't *static* you. We'll *static* at Auspex St *static* and, hopeful*static*, we'll be *static*to *static*to communicate*static* with *static* from there...*static**static*..."
Everyone breathed a huge sigh of relief.
"It was a good thing that we didn't wait for WASTE to send us their reply," said Codebreaker.
"Hey, uh, guys," said Spookz, who had just entered the cockpit, "I was listening to some Paradigm Blue on the radio during MG's "maneuver" and now it's all static. What happened to the ComBox?"
Lambda gave the ComBox a few good kicks (which rattled the various parts around that Han Solo was constantly repairing) and gave Spookz a shrug.
"*shrug*," shrugged Lambda Corps. Who cares if it didn't need to be in quotations?
"It was either busted when we hit the water," said Codebreaker, "or this really IS the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy."
"Frankly, I'd put my money on both of those," said MysteriousGuy.
"Well, either way, it looks like we can't communicate at all with Auspex Studios even if we could find it with this crappy scanner equipment," said a depressed Spooky.
Endarire burst into the now crowded cockpit with even more bad news.
"The sublight engines are messed up," said Endarire, "I doubt that we'd even be able to get to Mexico with a busted sublight drive."
"Where exactly are we?" asked Spooky.
MysteriousGuy pressed a few buttons and looked at some information.
"Well..." said an impatient Endarire, "Where are we?"
"Huh?" said MysteriousGuy, "I was checking the forum for posts."
"Well, figure out where we are!"
"Oh...sure, we're somewhere on the Pacific coast."
"That means..." said Codebreaker..."That we can land at Vancouver!"
And so, Mark Brown watched as the VSP adapted to the curve ball that the narrator had just thrown at them. It would be interesting to see how the heroes dealt with the separation and the lack of communication with each other, he thought. Very interesting indeed.
Deos sketched a quick bow in Mark Brown's direction and replied “Yes sir, perhaps the time is right to make my presence known to the others. But they are a rowdy and trigger-happy bunch, I do not believe my sudden appearance would exactly be greeted with open arms and milk and cookies.”
Mark Brown crossed his arms in such a way that he could hold his chin while he pondered this dilemma. Even as he did this, Deos could see the Mark's arms shaking ever so slightly. The work of narrating the story and tracking all the characters spread across the VSP universe was beginning to wear the man down. His eyes were haggard from the work of juggling the Saga and his personal life, but regardless he continued to narrate. Deos couldn't have found a better boss.
Suddenly Mark's eyes lit up, and the run-down man of before was suddenly replaced with an energetic and lively person. “I've got it! While it is true that some of the gang are a bit, how shall we say, over-enthusiastic, you can definitely depend on Seawolf to keep a level head no matter the situation.” Turning to face Deos, he prodded him once in the chest for emphasis and said “Seawolf's your man, and by introducing yourself to him, you not only reveal your presence to WASTE, you will also have their second-in-command on your side.”
Deos nodded once, “If all goes well, of course.” Mark merely waved his hand in a dismissive gesture, “It will go well, trust me,” before returning to his work narrating the story. “Now go, they will need you eventually, and it is best if they are aware of you beforehand.”
Deos bowed again to Mark, though only to his back as the man was once again fully involved in overseeing the story. He turned towards his workstation, a powerful computer he had brought with him from home. It was fully equipped with all the latest gadgetry, and enough hard drive space to hold all the many different Starcraft campaigns and maps.
But it also had one more thing, a tool of vital importance. It possessed the gateway program that Deos had created to allow himself to slip into the VSP world. Even now he activated the program, and a small login window popped up.
Deos quickly tapped away his login name and password into the computer, and activated the program. A whirling vortex appeared on the screen, and he stared into it as if hypnotized. With a small shudder, Deos Arcana was gone, in the mind if not in the flesh.
Aboard the Hyperion, en route to Auspex Studios
Seawolf tossed and turned fitfully upon his bed. Images flashed through his mind, seemingly at random, with neither purpose nor sense to any of them.
Suddenly, the ghostly image of Mason Wheeler appeared, haggard and torn, bleeding from numerous grievous wounds. “You betrayed me Seawolf. I thought you were my friend...”
Seawolf shuddered upon the bed, while in his dream he cried, “Never Mason! You're my friend, and I swore to find you no matter what the cost.”
Mason merely jammed a frail and tattered hand at him, his eyes blazing with accusation, “Liar! Even as we speak you are laying in your bed, thinking about Jenni, thinking about the one *I* love! You are worse than even the most unholy of the Banned Ones, Seawolf, for you have betrayed your own kind!”
Seawolf begged and pleaded with his friend to no effect, Mason was as cold and dead to him as if their friendship had never been. Once more, Mason turned to him and spoke. “Fear not Seawolf, for despite your attempts to destroy me, I shall return from the Antioch Universe, and I shall bring with me forces that will shatter your world. And I will laugh as I watch you SUFFER!” Mason cackled evilly, a sound so hideous and filled with malevolence that Seawolf could do nothing but scream, and scream, and scream, and -
With a start, Seawolf burst upward upon his bed, his chest heaving from exertion, cold sweat pouring down his back. He shuddered as he contemplated the meaning of his dream. Was it prophecy? Or was it merely the fomenting emotions that had built up within him seeking for release? Guilt, Anger, Fear, and...Love. All vying for his attention, all equally valid emotions.
Seawolf shook his weary head and turned on the light near his bed. He cast the sheets aside and rose up to slip into some clothes that weren't drenched in cold, clammy sweat. He reached into his dresser drawer for a new shirt, when a hollow voice reached his ears.
“Hello Seawolf, I've been waiting a long time for this moment.”
Throwing himself sideways, Seawolf whipped out the pistol he never kept far from his side, and fired off a round of shots into the ghostly apparition that for a brief instant he had believed was Mason come for revenge.
The shots passed through Deos to clang into the wall behind him with a shower of sparks. Deos looked down at his unfazed body, then looked at Seawolf with an arched eyebrow, “And Mark tells me you're the calm one.”
Seawolf shook his head violently, clearing the last fuzzy remnants of sleep from his mind, and focused his eyes upon the apparition once more. Apparently it was neither Mason Wheeler returned, or just a mad delusion induced by lack of sleep. As he puzzled this out, he suddenly registered what the strange ghost had said to him.
“Wait...You know Mark Brown? The *Narrator* Mark Brown?” Seawolf lifted himself off the floor, his gun still aimed at this strange newcomer, his anxiety not totally appeased.
Deos looked at the gun in Seawolf's hand, then looked at him and smiled. “I do so wish you'd put that thing away. It really hinders my attempts at polite conversation you know. And it's not like it would hurt me anyway.”
Seawolf slowly walked towards the apparition. On closer inspection, the thing didn't resemble Mason Wheeler at all. More like a slightly undersized man in a full suit of black battle armor. There was even a sword peeking out from behind the man's back. “Thanks, I think I'll hold onto it just in case. What's you name anyway stranger, and how the hell did you get past the Hyperion's security?”
Deos merely shrugged his shoulders and circled around Seawolf towards the desk he had commandeered along with the room once he'd given his old one to Jenni. Deos swiveled the chair around and looked to Seawolf, “Mind if I sit down? I may be just an illusion, but my feet are killing me from standing up all day.” After receiving a terse nod from him, Deos sat down in the chair with a gusty sigh.
Now it was Seawolf's turn to cock an eyebrow at him. “You know, for an 'illusion' you sure do seem real to me.” He gestured with the gun towards the chair Deos had just moved by himself.
“Yeah, that, well even though I'm an illusion, I still have a real presence, therefore I can affect objects to a certain degree. There's even a fragile core imbedded within me that contains my mind, so if you were wondering, yes I can be killed, but it's very difficult.”
Seawolf nodded once before sitting down upon his bed and lowering the gun to a more defensive position, but still with enough leeway that he could empty the entire clip into his mysterious guest before the man could cross the room. “I still didn't catch your name, stranger.”
Deos rose to his feet in started amazement, causing Seawolf to lift his gun in surprise as well. Deos put out his hands in a gesture of peace before replying “Sorry about that, I guess in all the excitement I've forgotten my manners.” With a flourish, Deos reached back and set his cape (yes he even had a cape, a black one too) to twirling in the air, before bowing deeply to Seawolf and saying, “I am Deos Arcana, Master of Illusion, Delusion, and All-Around Confusion, and I am at your service.”
Seawolf could only grin slightly at the entire pretentious affair, but he decided to humor this dapper fellow anyway. “Well then Deos, why don't you explain why you're here, and who sent you?”
Deos sat back down in his chair and leaned forward, a happy little grin on his face, “I'd be delighted to, kind sir. As I've already said, or at least tried to, my name is Deos Arcana, and I work for Mark Brown. And I have a story to tell you. But first shouldn't you call your friends and explain those shots you fired?”
Seawolf waved a dismissing hand, reminding Deos of Mark Brown very much. “Don't worry about that, this room is totally sound-proof. It was an interrogation chamber before we renovated it and turned it into part of the crew quarters. Now then, please continue with your story.”
Deos beamed once more, “Gladly my friend. Now where was I? Oh yes! Well, as I was saying, I work for Mark Brown, and he's sent me here on a mission...”
And as Deos began to tell his story, Seawolf gradually lowered the gun. And the two began what would probably be a long discussion.
Who is this mysterious new addition?
What is he really after?
And why is he dressed so damned funny?
Find out in the next installment of the VSP/WASTE Saga III!
That was the fourth best rollercoaster ride Endarire had been on that wasn't on a rollercoaster. "After that, I need a rest."
Endarire headed to his room, which conveniently enough, was right under his feet. The walls were a light gray, the carpet, gray, door gray, dresser brown, ceiling gray and bedspread pink. It wasn't that he liked gray, it just so happened that the switch that colored his room was set to 'gray' and the rest of the crew didn't want to see Endarire shirtless, as he was right now.
"First impressions wuz importants m' maw tolds me," he said in a mocking-of-the-dumb-southerner voice. "Which shirt to wear?," he said, returning to his most-used voice. "I couldn't have more than four, five, sixteen shirts packed. "This? Nae. Nae, nae, nae, nae, hey, who put this cat skin in here? Nae, nae, nae, nae, ahh!" Just then, Endarire found what he was looking for, a purple pen. Then he recalled that he was shirtless.
"Oh, nevermind. Nae, nae, nae, nae, ahah!" This was the sound of Endarire finding the shirt he wanted. He took it and examined it in an examining matter, with three fingers. "Ahh, my great "Do You Boo?" shirt, meant to confuse and hurt anyone's brain who read it and thought about it enough. I looove it!"
Endarire equipped the shirt in the proper fashion, which was nowhere. He just realized, "You can't equip shirts.". He then decided to untangle it and wear it correctly.
There was a knock on the door. *knock* Alright, NOW there was a knock on the door.
"Umm... You sure? The display on the door says, -Leave Endarire alone. This door has anti-Don't Disturb Me, Damnit!™ traps set-." said Codebreaker.
"I'm sure. Hang on while I remedy that."
There was a click. *click*
"Damn. Remote's out of juice. You can operate the door and disable the traps from outside the room. Look for the console right of the door. Type in ENDARIRE for LOGIN and THERUNNINGGENIEBRIGADEWASMOWEDDOWNBYTHEANTI-MASTURBAITIONSQUAD." *breath* "ANDWHENYOUBRUSHYOURTEETHYOUSHOULDN'TBRUSHBEHINDYOUREARSWITHTHESAMEBRUSHEXCEPTONWEDNESDAYSWHENBIGGEORGEUSESITLAST."
"Uhh, is that all?"
"Aye, sir." Endarire said with a smile.
"Well, screw it. Change your password to something that fits in this millennium and I'll come in some time."
"Anyway, Enders, I just came to tell ya to get ready for landing. We should be in Vancouver within 29 minutes, 48 seconds. It may seem early, but the Man Show's now and I wanted to get back to watching it before the next dance. Oh, and bring Calvinius and Gennen. Never know when rabid mutant toast that mated with a 7-foot-high killer bunny may want to hand out jelly to all the hockey fans."
Codebreaker tried to leave, but couldn't, because he never came in.
"Okay, now if I only knew how much space crack he'd been smoking... Anyway, may as well focus on the task ahead."
10.43 seconds later...
"Screw this. Every time I try to focus on my training, I hear Atlantis. Now what would happen if our VSP combined with Paradigm Blue and became Paradigm Posse?"
Endarire thought there've been worse things. Like the 2000 election.
Bakjak had plotted a course to a secret Pirate station nearby. He already knew the Nemesis' heading and would catch up later. ‘Magius’ was Bakjak's call sign and neither Friend or Foe would know anything different due to the heavy modifications he made to the comm (voice changed when he communicated with anyone) and to the entire scout (cloak, among other things) itself. "This is the Magius. Over," he said.
"Ah, my friend Magius," the radio crackled back at him.
"Let's make this short and sweet. I don't usually deal with you scumbags," Bakjak said disgustedly.
"The Death's Legion is at your service, so long as the price is right! Get it? Bob Barker," laughed the Pirate.
Bakjak smacked his head and grimaced. These guys were more idiotic then TGF and the Banned Ones, he thought. Though they did have flying ability and air to air superiority which he so desperately needed. It was difficult to take these guys seriously however. "How does 250000 creds look to you?" he remarked with a smirk.
"500000 creds, me matey," the Pirate's negotiating voice came back.
Bakjak flipped off the comm and said to himself, "*#@$%! That's half the money I have." This guy probably won't make it out alive. I'll make sure he meets an unexpected and untimely demise. He could then cancel the transfer of funds. He flipped the comm back on, "Deal."
Its engines failing from their near-crash earlier and its altitude diminishing, the Millennium Falcon burst through the clouds.
"There's Vancouver!" Lambda shouted, pointing. "I see it!"
The other three Posse members in the cockpit looked. It was still quite a ways off.
MysteriousGuy swore silently and tried to get them there, but the sick ship was fighting him. He tugged at the control stick, grunting from the strain.
"CB! Help me out here!"
Codebreaker grabbed at the co-pilot's controls, helping to try and pull the Falcon out of its practical nosedive.
And slowly, very slowly, they began to approach Vancouver, Canada.
BACK IN SPACE....
The Nemesis recalled its interceptors from their futile search for the ship's attacker.
"Who WAS that?!" TGF asked for the dozenth time.
"They must have been cloaked," Vank observed, "whoever it was."
There were only two ships TGF knew of that had anti-matter missiles. The first was the DragonSlayer, and he presumed that that didn't have cloaking ability. The other was a Protoss scout, but those didn't have cloak ability either. Hmmmm....
So TGF figured that either he must have been wrong and the DragonSlayer DID have cloak ability, or it was another new ship entirely.
Either way, it meant the Good Guys.
"Now what do we do, TGF?" TELE asked.
TGF thought for a moment. "Proceed as we were. The missile impact didn't manage to get through the shields, and barring further attack, they will be fully recharged when we reach Auspex Studios. Besides, cloaked ships are revealed when they try to enter the atmosphere, so if our attacker comes in again as we descend, we will be able to see him. Bond, I want you to start going over the logs of that attack and see if you can determine exactly when and where those missiles originated from."
Bond nodded, and he and the other two Banned Ones turned back to their stations.
'NOW,' TGF thought, 'we will begin the undoing of the VSP.'
Now only about fifty feet off the ground, the Falcon flew over Vancouver, MG at the controls, twisting and turning to avoid buildings and larger trees.
He was following Codebreaker's directions to a place where he said they could land. It was known only as "The Rez"...a large clearing near the woods that was the heart of all underworld activities in the city. But it was the best clearing around...at least the only one they could reach before crashing.
CB, Lambda, and Spooky watched in dismay as MG lost more and more control over the damaged ship. They fell to forty feet. Thirty feet. Twenty.
"There it is!" Codebreaker pointed.
MG gunned it, and the Falcon's engines kicked in with what little power they had left. The ship got closer and closer, but continued to lose altitude....
18 feet. 17...16....
The Rez was nearer....
MG extended the landing gear, which needed five feet of clearance.
They were SOOO close. "C'mon," MG grunted, pulling at the stick. "Come...on...."
7 feet. 6 feet. They heard the Falcon's landing gear begin to scrape the ground...
...just as they came to a skidding stop, right in the middle of The Rez.
They all hooted and hollered, and MG got several congratulatory slaps on the back.
"Well done!" Codebreaker congratulated him. "Now, let's get the others, secure the ship, and get out of here. AFTER we get our WEAPONS."
"Why do we need those?" Spooky asked. "This is a nice city, isn't it?"
CB and Lambda, long-time residents of Vancouver, just stared at her. "This is The Rez," Lambda finally said.
"What's that?" Spooky asked innocently.
"Only the most wretched hive of scum and villainy in all of North America," Codebreaker said. "You want to participate in some illegal activity? You go to The Rez. You want to hide from the cops? You go to The Rez. You want to fight? You come to The Rez. You want to kill someone and never have anyone find out about it?" He pointed out the canopy to a prominent bloodstain on the ground. "You do it right here at The Rez."
Spooky gulped. "Ye...yeah. Let's get our weapons."
And nearby, the boy known only as Little Timmy and his 6'8, 400lb brother Sam, both long-time enemies of the Vancouver Street Posse, watched the heroes disembark from the Millennium Falcon, grinning evilly.
Will The Banned Ones wreak havoc on the now VSP-less heroes at Auspex Studios?
Will the VSP make it out of The Rez okay? And where are they going?
What are Little Timmy and Sam up to?
When will we finally get to see Flyspeck munching on pretzels again?!
Find out next time in the next exciting installment of...The Great VSP/WASTE Saga: Part III!!