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 4.”
The Great VSP Saga:
Revenge of the Good Guys
Mark Brown stared blankly at his computer screen, waiting for something to happen. An hour ago, he had been gleefully watching the Hyperion engage in a dogfight with several RoboZerg flyers. He was thinking about intervening, but decided that he should watch a little longer. Then, all of a sudden, his computer had crashed. He called Deos over to him, then rebooted and opened the Narrator Tools. When he opened the file entitled, "VSP/WASTE SAGA," his computer crashed again. He realized instantly that something was wrong. He rebooted his computer once again, and told Deos that he had to go in and see what was wrong. Then he opened the Narrator Tools again, but instead opened his Debug file. This handy-dandy little file enabled him to trace Deos' movements. Unfortunately, it too was not working properly and all he saw was a blurry image. The only thing clear was Deos. And the sound wasn't working, either, so he couldn't hear what was happening. He was waiting for some sort of signal from Deos to bring him back. Then he would know what was happening. But for the moment, he watched...
Deos Arcana stumbled through the twisted mound of wreckage that had once been the Hyperion's reactor core. The thing was completely demolished. He was surprised that it hadn't gone into critical meltdown and vaporized the area. Upon closer inspection, he discovered some acidic spores on the outer hull. He concluded that some Devourers must have completely eaten away the reactor's protective shield, enabling a Scourge to score a lucky shot. He inspected the area a bit more, and discovered something shocking. Zeus Legion was lying face down in a pool of his own blood. Several pieces of jagged metal were sticking out of his body. Deos bent down and picked one up. It was excruciatingly hot, but being phantasmal it didn't bother him. After prying out all of the shards, he decided that he'd seen enough. He pulled out something that he had been saving for a dire emergency, and this was it. It was a small crystal, imbued with a small amount of Narrator Power. They were incredibly difficult and costly to make, and took eons to completely charge. Therefore it was the only one in existence. He pointed it at Zeus, spoke the mystical words of resurrection, activated it, and prayed that it would work.
Will the Crystal of Narration be able to revive Zeus Legion?
Will Deos find the source of the Narration disruption?
Will the Bad Guys actually win?
Will Bakjak become a Good Guy?
Find out in the next addition of the VSP/WASTE Saga!
Coming soon to a Forum near you!
All Heroes are expendable! (J/K!!)
The SCVs must not die!
Darkness. Sweet, silent darkness. So easy...just to sink in, let the world worry about itself.
Pain. Intense pain.
Phoenix opened his eyes, and instantly regretted it. He closed his eyes again.
'Damn that hurts.' He gathered his thoughts for a second.
'All right. Status check. Legs, functional. Arms, functional. Body, at least I can move it. Head, hurts like hell, but okay. I'd say I'm okay.'
He slowly raised himself off the ground, and became aware of his surroundings.
'Where the hell am I?'
It looked like a small town, in might-time. Pretty much reminded him of Sunnydale.
'Sunnydale? As in Buffy's Sunnydale? This can't be...'
"Of course it can, there's no solid rules in these worlds anymore."
He looked around. No one in sight.
"Mark? Mark Brown? I need explanations here..." he said, aiming his voice for the Narrator.
But there was no answer.
"Where is everybody?" he said out loud.
Three hisses and a growl was heard from behind him.
Phoenix whirled around and unsheathed his katanas, which he liked to call 'Gray' and 'Silver', named after the color of the blades.
He found himself looking at three vampires, taken straight out of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer.
"Well, I wanted action..." he said aloud.
The vampires charged him, one of them jumping high at him.
Gray and Silver got to work, slashing and striking the demons, finding the flesh they had sought for since Phoenix had found them.
A short while later, the vampires lay in parts on the ground around him.
"Who needs stakes, crosses, or sunlight when you can cut their heads off?"
He smiled, despite the situation. It had felt good to fight again.
He took off in the night, seeking to find the answers to why he was here, and where his friends were.
Why did Phoenix end up in Sunnydale?
What's the story behind Gray and Silver?
What happened to the rest of the gang?
Find out... in the next episode of Buffy: The-
Oops. The VSP/WASTE Saga Part III: Revenge of the Good Guys!
All heroes are expendable!
Keep the critters alive!
Why had his computer crashed? That was the only question playing through Mark Brown's mind. Something had caused it - something inside the Game World. Whoever or whatever it was directly challenging him as the Narrator of the story. But he had no way of knowing who or what had done it at that time... he'd have to find out later.
Before even that, though, he had some problems to fix, and he had to fix them FAST. He didn't know the specifics, but he felt something had gone terribly wrong... more so than his screwed up screen reflected as he watched Deos' progress. Mark Brown knew there was only one place for him to go. Yes, that's right, he hopped on his bike and tore out of the house towards the Reisterstown branch of the Baltimore County Public Library.
There, he waited patiently for about 5 minutes while a bunch of stupid little kids surfed Pokemon websites, but after awhile he could take no more, so he paid one of the kids $5000 in Monopoly money for him to get up. He chuckled to himself. Who knew kids were that stupid? Was he even ever that stupid? Probably. Some would probably argue he was that stupid now, going to the public library just to narrate some story... Well, they wouldn't understand anyway, so he didn't care.
No Narrator Tools were present at the library computer so he couldn't affect the storyline too much... but he could see the progress of the story. Another curious thing about The Antioch Chronicles Forum is that when accessed from the Real World, it displayed the Saga's progress in real time. (Or at least, it did for Mark Brown, but since he'd always been the narrator when looking, he didn't know if it did for others. He'd ask Mason Wheeler about that if he ever got the chance.)
What had gone down would be termed by the more vulgar Marines as a serious clusterf-ck. He looked at what had transpired and nearly cried. Something had gone wrong... very wrong. He couldn't even get readings for most of WASTE, Seawolf was captured, Tarun was in some whacked-out mental state, Phoenix was off in Sunnydale, California... Deos was still trying to revive Zeus, bless him. He couldn't even get readings on Auspex or Ytse-Jam... and where the hell was Jenni? Or Mason Wheeler, for that matter. Well, as he checked, he found Mason was in good shape, except for the fact that he was heading right into a trap laid by Kurt Broker... There was only one thing Mark Brown could do for any of them. It was the most restricted narrator power, so restricted that it had never even been used before... no, as much as he hated to regret it, things weren't that bad yet, considering the VSP was still all safe in The Rez.
The old, decrepit librarian that Mark Brown hated came over and tapped on his shoulder. "Excuse me, sir, but your time is up."
Mark cursed under his breath some more. He only had time to mentally send out three short messages before he got up. The three who got the messages were the only ones he could speak to in such a way. He hoped they would be enough for now...
A voice spoke in Mack Kilimaro's head. "Get out of The Rez. Get to Auspex Studios. Now." He recognized the voice instantly; it was Mark Brown.
He looked over to Codebreaker and Lambda Corps. "Guys, we've got to get out of here and get to Auspex Studios."
Both blinked and looked at him. "Why?"
"Mark Brown told me. I didn't get more details," he replied. The team exchanged looks and nodded. They all knew Mark Brown wouldn't lie to them if they were needed. Now, to find the PossePlane...
The message Deos Arcana got was much simpler: "Get the hell out of there as soon as you're done with the crystal. We've now got bigger fish to fry."
He nodded and continued the incantation.
Mason Wheeler, as a former narrator, was also able to be spoken to by Mark Brown telepathically. The message he got contained no specifics, but nonetheless it was welcome to hear.
"May the Force be with you," Mark Brown's voice said in his head.
Mason allowed himself a slight smile. Well, he thought, at least he knew Mark Brown was still out there.
Somewhere inside of the Antioch Universe, Nannoth/Taeradun sensed all of this transpire and began laughing. If things kept going as they were, he'd be able to take over the Real World, and thus the Game World, too...
What is this forbidden power Mark Brown possesses?
How is Nannoth/Taeradun connected to this whole thing?
Will anyone remember poor Mason Wheeler's plight?
Can Deos Arcana revive Zeus Legion?
What the hell DID happen in that battle?
Stay tuned for this and more as the VSP/WASTE Saga III continues!
Seawolf looked around the dank, dark chamber. Well, he couldn't REALLY look, since it
was almost pitch black. He had lost all his equipment, including his trusty Gauss Rifle, and the Hyperion was destroyed.
There could be no rescue attempt if they all thought he was dead. Seawolf raised himself
to his feet and spread out his hands. He walked forward, blind and stumbling, until he
found a wall. The wall felt moldy, sort of damp. But whatever soft, earthen covering it
had, it was definitely solid. Solid rock, from the feel. Where was he? He didn't know. He
felt like he was deep beneath the earth, but he could hear the hum of an engine somewhere.
He was on a ship.
"Goddamn TGF..." Seawolf said to himself. He deduced that he was on the Nemesis. He walked forward, his hands against the wall. Carefully, feeling his way along. He couldn't tell how big his cell was in the dark. He couldn't find a door, a window, anything. No
separation between bricks, no line between door and wall. But suddenly, he saw something.
It was small and faint, but it was light! Seawolf moved towards it carefully, feeling his
way. It was only about 5 meters away... he could reach it... it was just a simple light,
in a world of black. It was now about 2 meters away. But still, Seawolf could not see
anything but a simple light. Like a dot of white paint on a totally black canvas. Seawolf
reached out, and when he did, he realized that the light was still meters away. Seawolf
walked forwards, faster this time, but the light seemed to outrun him. Seawolf stopped
and stared. Then, he broke into a dead sprint towards the light. It was still moving away, but not fast enough. He was almost there... suddenly, he was tumbling forwards, into blackness, into space. For a moment, he couldn't breath. He thought he had flown out of an airlock. Then he came down on the hard floor, realizing he had tripped. He looked up, and the light was gone.
"What the hell?" Seawolf yelled.
There was the sound of laughter, then silence.
"Freaks, screwing with my mind!" Seawolf grumbled and sat down, totally disoriented.
What other sick mind games are in store for Seawolf?
Where is he?
Who is his demented torturer?
What has happened to the rest of the Alliance?
Find out, yadda yadda, same VSP channel, whatnot. :)
The DualArchon stretched out a hand towards Dark_T_Zeratul. As energy started collecting within his palm, he spoke. "So this is how it ends, eh Dark One? Such an easy victory. I had hoped that it would be more exciting. Ah well. You can’t have everything in life. Or half-life, as in my case. Anyway, it’s time you shuffled off this mortal coil. DIE!!!" The DualArchon opened his hand. An enormous wave of energy fired out, enveloping Zeratul in psychic energy. After what seemed like an eternity, the wave passed. Somehow, he had survived. Though just barely. The sounds of the reverberating energy of the DualArchon could be heard no longer. Zeratul started to open his eyes to see what had saved him, but the pain was too great. In fact, his entire body felt as if it had been torn apart then put back together again. As he slipped into unconsciousness, he began to wonder what was happening to the others in the real world...
"Ugh. That sure was a doozy."
Mat slowly opened his eyes and looked up too see...desert. Vast expanses of sand and mountains, as far as the eye could see, since he only had one open. "Ah, there we go. Yep, as far as the EYES can see too. Damn, what happened back there?"
The last he could remember was the Hyperion under attack and going down, when Seawolf had instructed him to alert the rest of the crew to evacuate the ship.
"Oh God, that's right. The Hyperion's gone. What's happened to everyone?" Mat pulled himself up, despite a sharp pain in his right shoulder. He looked behind him and saw the escape pod that had saved his life. It was banged up badly. The door hung haphazardly off of its hinges, and there were numerous gaping holes in the armor where acid spores had made contact with it.
"Well, at the very least I can grab some emergency equipment and some weapons." He said to himself. Inside the escape pod there were some emergency rations, along with a few bottles of water. There was also his sword, the Fandango, and a 9mm pistol he liked to have stored in his pod just in case.
"Well, looks like this is all I'm getting out of this thing. It's toast." Mat loaded his equipment in a bag and slung it over his shoulder and sheathed the Fandango at his side. "Whoopee. Time to trek across a frickin' desert." He said to himself as he took the first of what could turn out to be very many steps.
It wasn't. He tripped over a rock.
Spooky came out of her SCV after four hours straight of work. Almost nothing had been accomplished (nothing notable, at least), because there was so much damage dealt to the sublight drives.
The up and down (and up and down and up...) of it was that the Falcon was simply irreparable. And Mack had told the group that they had to go to Auspex Studios as fast as they could, and a road trip to NC wasn't exactly fast.
"What's the thick and thin (and thick and thin and thick and thin...) of it, Spookz?" asked Endarire, who was getting ready to take his work shift.
"It's just too busted to be fixed," replied Spooky, "There's no way we can make it fly again. Not without Han Solo himself here, and there's no way that that's going to happen."
‘Of course, with all these unrealistic Gauss Rifles, ion cannons, Protoss interceptors and a whole lot of other sci-fi equipment littered throughout the Plot’, thought Mark Brown, ‘there might be a way someone would write him in. Fat chance I'll let THAT happen.’ Of course, these VSP characters are too dull to notice that.
"Heh," said Endarire, "With all these unrealistic Gauss Rifles, ion cannons, Protoss interceptors and a whole lot of other sci-fi equipment littered throughout the Plot, there might be a way that someone would write him in."
"Well," answered Spooky, almost sarcastically, "I'm not going to bet any big money on that, especially with all this weird crap going around. Did you see MG's explosive M&Ms?"
"Yeah," said MG, "They're crazy. I saw one explode at the target range, and I don't think I've ever eaten M&Ms since."
For the vastly uninformed (a.k.a. idiots), the VSP's version of a target range was a bunch of cardboard boxes set up in CB's backyard. For the even more uninformed (a.k.a. morons), CB is short for Codebreaker. As MG is short of MysteriousGuy. And no, I didn't just call you a moron. That was your imagination. Yes, imagination. It comes hand in hand with reading, so you better get used to thinking that you heard someone call you a moron.
The VSP held a meeting after Spooky's assessment of the damage. It was held in CB's basement (yes, Codebreaker. Good job! You remembered!). The decision was that they should go out for KFC instead McDonalds, since McDonalds is a bunch of crap between two burger buns.
At KFC, Spooky announced her assessment. The VSP immediately took a bus to Edmonton, where they could buy a really cool new PossePlane that Lambda Corps saw there on sale when he was looking for potential members.
"May The Force be with you"? It had been thirty nanoseconds since Mason received that message from Mark Brown, and he still had no idea what it meant. He had never had The Force with him. Once, in the Uber-world (the place above the Real World where the Narrators dwell), he had dueled with a lightsaber, but that had been a plot contrivance. There had been no Force involved.
"Warning. Incoming SCX. Warning. Incoming SCX."
Mason looked around, but didn't see any Gamecube. It must be in some other Sector, then. There were many Sectors of the Antioch Universe, and there were many Guardians. Mason was the resident Guardian for an area that hadn't had one before he arrived.
Suddenly an idea hit him hard. He groaned with the pain for an obligatory moment, then realized that if there were many Guardians, he could perhaps leave his Sectors in their care for a while while he set out for Broker's place.
Mason opened a VidWindow to Sector 00101111001001000100010010001001's guardian, Steve. "Guardian Steve, how are you?"
"Fine, Guardian Mason. It's been much easier lately since you showed us how to do anti-cheating triggers. What do you need?"
Mason smiled. He had given all the other Guardians the code for his Anti-Cheating Triggers that he had designed for Common Foe, leveling the playing field quite a bit. "Do you think you could watch my Sectors for a while? It could be as long as half a minute."
"That's a long time, Mason. Why do you need my help?"
Mason had an idea ready that would be sure to convince the Guardian. "I've found the hideout of the virus who trapped me here. He stole some of my Code, and I need to infiltrate it to get it back. But he has some control over the Gamecubes. Every time I've tried until now, a Game has dropped on my sectors. I need someone to watch them while I'm away."
As he suspected, Steve was all for the idea. "Sure. I can watch your Sectors for a while. It'll be difficult, but I can do it."
"Once I get the rest of my Code back, I'll be able to help upgrade your systems a bit. I could show you a few new AI tricks, probably."
"You got a deal."
Guardian Steve arrived soon on his Zipboard. "I just hope this Virus of yours doesn't try to drop Games on *my* sectors," he said.
"Don't worry. I've made sure he can't do that. I've gotta go now." Mason left, thinking about how he was going to infiltrate Broker's HQ.
When he was safely away from his Sectors, he got another idea. Mark Brown had said "May The Force be with you." That could be a clue. He could probably send a message now, and there was nothing that Broker could do about it, since he wasn't in his Sectors anymore. He was in Guardian Sarah's jurisdiction now. (Yes, all of the Guardians in the Antioch Universe have normal people names.) He could send a message, and the person Saga who Mark Brown was closest to was...
Mack Kilimaro was in the middle of a game of Go Fish on the bus to Edmonton when he suddenly fell into a trance, Final Fantasy 8 style. (Like the parts where Squall faints and his power gets transferred to Laguna.) He saw Mason Wheeler.
"Mack. Help me. I'm trapped in the Antioch Universe."
"Well duh! We all know that!"
"I need you to get Auspex to play a game of Antioch so I can communicate with him. Tell him to—" suddenly Mason looked over his shoulder, gasped, and vanished. Mack woke up again.
"Tell him to" what?
Will the plan succeed?
What did Mason see?
What's going to happen when he runs into Jenni (not to mention Seawolf)?
All heroes must survive.
The VSP encountered various challenges and crap on the bus ride, but in a comic fashion, leaped over each one and made it to Edmonton. Once there, they met The Nemesis, the newest member of the VSP. Yes, there're 8 members now. No, there are no more spots available. Take further questions to the help desk on your right. No, your other right. Good job.
The Nemesis showed them around and took them to where LC (no, not short for Codebreaker, short for Lambda Corps) saw the sale. It will be described in the next segment, if you ask nicely.
After watching Tarun take off, Bakjak started walking in the direction of the last known location of the Magius. He seemed to be walking forever in this desert like environment. His black hair as well as his dark colored clothing was absorbing mass amounts of heat. Before his eyes, he saw hundreds of naked women... "Oh yes! Want some apples?" Bakjak said through a parched voice.
They just stared at him, saying nothing. Bakjak embraced one of them and closed his eyes. When he next opened them he was hugging a cactus. Doesn't cactus have needles that hurt... OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Half his face was quite numb and in frustration he took out his staff and whacked the cactus so hard that part of it got knocked off. Some liquid starting coming out of the cactus. Quickly, he cupped his hand and got some of the liquid quenching as much of his thirst as fast as he could.
"I wish I knew where the Magius was," he said to himself as he sat down. He touched what he thought was the ground behind him and felt hot metal. He looked behind and saw that he was sitting on the Magius. He rolled his eyes and opened the cockpit. The Magius could only take him a few miles, so he had to find a place to repair it. He procured his Big Gun and slung it over his shoulder. Bakjak then decided that the best course of action for now was to plot a course to Antioch HQ.
Tarun was on a course to Auspex Studios, idly flying the Corsair as his mind wandered. Without thinking he jerked the stick left, swinging the Corsair around, back the way he came. In a few moments he arrived at the wreck of Havoc Wreaker, and brought the Corsair down a few yards away. He climbed out of the Corsair and walked over to the mangled Scout. He pulled a micro beacon he had stowed in the cockpit of the Scout out, activated it, and dropped it on the ground, hoping it would work. Tarun smirked as a probe appeared a few moments later. He immediately sent the probe to work reconstructing the severely damaged Scout. In a few hours Havoc Wreaker was good as new, he opened a compartment behind the cockpit and tossed the probe in, then climbed into Havoc Wreaker, did a systems check, and blasted off, destroying the Corsair as he resumed his course to Auspex Studios. He chuckled darkly as the Corsair exploded before his eyes, which were becoming black as the moonless night. He punched the throttle and barreled towards Auspex Studios. He made a quick stop at WASTE HQ, what he did there only he knows. He quickly resumed his trip to AS.
The trip was rather uneventful, much to Tarun's disappointment. He was hoping for some bloodshed. He pulled back on the throttle, slowing down to 1/4 speed as Auspex Studios loomed up before him. He brought Havoc Wreaker down after checking his sensors. He climbed out of Havoc Wreaker and went to work searching for The TAC Staff.
What has become of Tarun?
What has caused his nature to darken in such a way?
Where are Auspex and Crew?
This and more, blah, blah, blah. You know.
'This is not working. I'm not supposed to be here. I need to get out of here.'
While slaying vampires sure was the action he'd wished for before, Phoenix was disturbing the effects on the Buffyverse, and he wasn't sure of his immortality in this other realm.
'I think I need help.'
As if on cue, a voice sounded in his head.
"Phoenix, find the portal. This is Mark. You gotta get out of there."
And it was gone. Still, it was nice to hear from Mark again. Hopefully, things would start to work out soon.
Phoenix sheathed his blades, and took off into the dawn.
Will Phoenix find the portal?
Find out in Phoenix: The Series (also vaguely known as the PSG Saga, or something, and...I dunno)
One by one, the Good Guys began converging on what remained of the command center of Auspex Studios.
Auspex Turmalis, Desler, Ytse-Jam, Pure Orange, and Fenrir had been some of the first to arrive. They had cleaned up the few Zerg that had made it past the base's cannon defenses with relative ease. It was the air battle that had gone so horribly. On the ground, the Good Guys had done very well for themselves.
They had found Zeus Legion there, unconscious but alive. For reasons they could not explain, Zeus' body was not injured, though he DID have several scars that hadn't been there before and he was laying in a pool of now-dry blood. If Auspex and the others hadn't known any better, they would have thought that he had received several serious wounds that had healed in a matter of minutes, leaving only scar tissue behind. Zeus, after he awoke, remembered nothing except the sight of a lucky mutalisk hitting the command room head-on with a couple glaves and his body being flung hard into the wall as the room seemed to just explode around him.
Dark_T_Zeratul had been close nearby, also unconscious. The Warpsphere was banged up a bit, but not really damaged. It appeared that Zeratul had found something very unpleasant in the Dark Patch, and the fact that he was back now indicated that one way or another, he had finished his trek into the Warpsphere, at least for now. But it was unclear whether he had been successful or not, since he had yet to regain consciousness.
Flyspeck, Ixyon, Mat-Def, and most of the rest of WASTE had arrived as well, and by now everyone was accounted for except Tarun, Phoenix, and Seawolf. No one knew where Tarun and Phoenix were, but by now, everyone had been caught up on the air battle's final moments, and they all knew Seawolf's fate.
"I can't..." Orange started, but had to stop for a moment, blinking back tears. "I can't believe he's gone."
"He wanted to go down with his ship," Mat said with much less emotion than he felt. "There was no other way. He knew it."
"But why...why SEAWOLF?!" Flyspeck said angrily. First it had been MilkDuds, and now he had lost his OTHER good friend in WASTE. It just wasn't fair.
"It just isn't fair!" Jenni sobbed.
Everyone looked over at her. She'd been hustled into an escape pod by NovaSeaker, who had made sure she was safely away before finding a pod himself. It had almost cost him his life...Nova had been the last one to eject, and had only done so as the Hyperion had exploded around him. His pod had shot right through the flames as it had ejected, and its maneuvering jets had been all but destroyed. His pod had hit the ground particularly hard, and Flare and Lucainan had found Nova's unconscious form in the wreckage and drug him here.
Anyways, everyone was still looking at Jenni while that last section was typed. But that was already said, so....
Everyone looked over at Jenni. She was a mess, just as bad as she had been when she'd found out about Mason's sacrifice. It seemed to her almost as if she HAD lost Mason again. 'Why do the men that I love get taken from me?!' she thought, miserable and angry at the same time. Looking back, she realized she HAD loved Seawolf, the man who had been willing to give everything, even his own life, to save those he cared about. Jenni didn't really care at the moment how she could love two men at the same time...she was too devastated.
Everyone else still stared, unsure how to comfort her.
Auspex was quite devastated himself at the moment, having lost his air force and a good chunk of his base. He, Zeus, and Ytse were too distraught to really be a comfort to someone else now.
Mat-Def thought about telling Jenni to spin in a circle, but he held his tongue. That hadn't helped much in the past....
Desler, Fenrir, and Orange were completely unsure of what to do, as they both knew Jenni very little compared to the others....
WASTE was still numb with the loss of their second-in-command....
Only Flyspeck knew what to do. Saying nothing, he simply walked up to Jenni and hugged her. She didn't know Flyspeck incredibly well, but she held him hard and cried into his shoulder, as she had done so many times with Seawolf.
Outside, they could hear the sound of a ship touching down, but no one had the energy to go see who it was at the moment. They hoped it was Tarun, but even if it was a Bad Guy come to kill them all, at this point they cared little. Even light-hearted Typhoon was too gloomy to say or do anything.
A lone figure entered, and a few of the WASTErs quickly shook off their grief and raised their weapons.
Bakjak quickly raised his hands in a sign of peace. "WhoawhoawhoaHOLDIT!!" he shouted.
If the Good Guys had been their normal selves, they probably would have shot him dead. But as it was, they held their fire. A couple even lowered their weapons.
"What do you want, Bakjak?" Flyspeck said, one arm still around Jenni and the other pointing his C-10 directly at Bakjak's face.
Bakjak took a quick look around the room, then stared directly at Flyspeck. "They hit you good, didn't they?"
Flyspeck would have shot him dead if he hadn't heard a hint of sadness behind that voice. But he HAD heard genuine grief there...at least a hint of it. "Don't make me ask again," he told Bakjak, keeping his voice hard.
Bakjak paused. "Believe it or not, I'm here to help."
"We've heard THAT before," a low voice rumbled.
Everyone turned to the back of the room, where Zeratul stood with Illumina warp blades ignited. He was still a bit shaky, but his eyes were pure fire...
...aimed at Bakjak.
"I haven't forgotten your betrayal at Broker's moon station," Zeratul continued, walking forward. He reached Bakjak and held a blade directly under his chin, forcing him to lift his head up a bit. "You said to trust you then, and you betrayed us. So why should we trust you NOW?!"
The room was dead silent except for the humming of Zeratul's blades. All eyes were fixed on Bakjak. Even Jenni, tears still flowing from her reddened eyes, watched with grim fascination.
"Well?!" Zeratul asked loudly.
Bakjak sighed. In this moment, he regretted ever opposing these people. And as he thought about it, he couldn't remember why he ever had. He told himself it was over Rockwell, but he had ceased to be an issue long ago, and yet he had still fought the Alliance...why? His actions in the past had helped lead to this...this despicable event. Why SHOULD they trust him?
"You have no reason to trust me," he finally said. "If you killed me right now, it would be...fair. But whether you believe me or not, I DO want to help."
Zeratul pondered this, keeping his blade ready.
Bakjak decided to play his trump card. "Seawolf is still alive, and I don't want to see him killed any more than you! He's an honorable person, and...."
"He's ALIVE?!" Jenni asked. The room suddenly came alive with excitement.
"Yes," Bakjak replied. "He's being held on TGF's carrier, the Nem...."
"That was TGF that attacked us, eh?" Auspex said.
Zeratul lowered the blade, just a bit.
"Ye...yes," Bakjak continued. "He captured me, too. I was fighting him because I wanted to see you save Wheeler, and he was going to...."
"You fought TGF to defend US?" Ixyon asked.
"Yes. He captured me, but I escaped in a corsair and came here."
"How do you know Seawolf is alive?" Zeratul asked, still holding up his blade. He'd come to just as Jenni had begun bawling into Flyspeck's now-very-wet shoulder, and heard the others murmuring about Seawolf's sacrifice. Zeratul was very good at hiding his emotions, but he was having trouble hiding his grief. That was why he was letting only rage show.
Bakjak gulped and explained. "I saw a file about TGF wanting to kill Seawolf,..." "Probably because Seawolf is the one that wrecked TGF's control of VSP HQ at the end of the last Part of the Saga," Orange mused as Bakjak continued "...and then, as I escaped, TGF said he thought I was Tarun coming to save Seawolf. So he's obviously being held on that carrier...where is it, by the way?"
"Gone," Desler said. "We saw it recall its fighters and robotic Zerg after the Hyperion blew up and it left the planet."
"Those Zerg are robotic?!" Lucainan turned and asked, gaping.
"Later," Zeratul said. He gave Bakjak one final hard look. "I said two words to you when you helped us before, and you ignored them and betrayed us. So you pay better attention this time, or else I will have fun making a jumprope out of your spine."
Bakjak gulped. "What words?"
"Be good," Zeratul said. He stared for a moment more and then lowered his blade, turning away and heading back to the middle of the room, going to confer with Auspex and Desler about his trip in the Warpsphere.
But before any more discussing could take place, a modified scout landed outside, and Tarun climbed out and walked up to the open entrance to the building.
"Tarun!" Typhoon shouted.
Tarun smiled and walked in. His eyes went back to normal as he entered, quickly enough that no one saw the darkness that was replaced....
"This," Seawolf said aloud, "has been a very bad day."
He was sitting in his cell, alone and cold as he had been for...how long now? Minutes? Hours? Days?! It didn't matter anymore. Seawolf wished that TGF had left him with a gun so that he could just end it here and now.
He shook his head clear furiously. "NO!" he shouted. He wasn't ready to die. He wasn't going to let himself die, at his hand or someone else's.
He had lost everything. The Hyperion, his beloved ship; the Alliance, his friends; Mason, his BEST friend; and Jenni, his...his beloved. Yes, he couldn't deny it. He loved her.
He shook his head again. 'I let Jenni down,' he thought gloomily, 'letting Mason get sucked into the Crossover, too late to help. I let Mason down, falling for HIS girl. I let the Alliance down, getting blown out of the sky. Who knows if they're still alive? They could all be dead now, and it's ALL my fault.'
He sighed in the darkness, forcing himself not to think about it. "I've been through worse," he said, lying to make himself feel a little better. 'Yeah,' that nagging voice in his head said, 'SURE you have.'
He threw his head back against the wall, hard. "Ow," he said afterwards, rubbing his aching cranium.
And in that moment, he remembered Deos Arcana. A messenger from Mark Brown.
Mark hadn't deserted them. He never would. Seawolf didn't understand how Mark could have allowed all these bad things to happen, but he'd been part of this Saga long enough to know that no matter what happened, Mark was always there. He would do everything within his power to help them.
And completely at the end of his rope, with nothing left save a vengeful heart and a clouded, weary mind, Seawolf called out to the Narrator. "Help me, Mark Brown," he whispered into the darkness, tears welling in his eyes. "You're my only hope."
He kept calling out to Mark in his mind until he finally fell into a deep sleep.
What will become of the desolate Seawolf?
Will Mark and Deos be able to help him and the others?
What plan will WASTE and the others hatch to try and save their comrade?
Will Bakjak really "be good"?
What's the VSP up to? What's their new ship like?
What's happening with Phoenix?
What's happening in the Land of the Banned?
What's the point to all these pointless questions?
Find out in the next exciting installment of...The Great VSP/WASTE Saga: Part III!!
Deos staggered through the hulking wreckage that had once been Hyperion, blindly seeking for some place to hide. He couldn't understand how things had degenerated so quickly into madness, but they had, and it was his duty to find a way to put it to rights.
Even for an illusion, his appearance was haggard and worn, his entire body wavering. At times he seemed doomed to fade from existence, but barely managed to coalesce once more. Shaking his head wearily, he plodded onward, his one thought being to hide before his presence was discovered and the Saga became even more erratic. As he vainly searched the debris, he reminisced on how he had come to this sorry state of affairs...
EARLIER THAT DAY
Deos literally oozed sweat as he continued to mutter incantation after incantation, trying to activate the dormant powers of the Narrator's Jewel. He wondered why Mark couldn't have just put a freaking button on the damned thing to activate it, but it wasn't his place to judge the Narrator.
It was his duty to save Zeus Legion, for his death would shatter the fragile TAC Universe like a hammer upon a crystal glass. So he would do what was needed, sacrifice what he must, to save this man.
Looking down at the still useless gem, Deos suddenly became furious and kicked the thing. After bouncing harmlessly off a nearby piece of wreckage (apparently one of the broken off walls of the former rec room), the crystal came to rest with its largest facet up. And what should be upon that side, glaring at him like he was the dumbest fool on the planet, but a large red button that said 'Push Me Doofus!'
Feeling much the fool, Deos picked up the crystal, poised it over Zeus' fallen body and pressed the button. The Narrator's Jewel suddenly came alive, a deep flame kindling within its depths. With a loud *CRACK*, the gem shattered, and lightning blazed forth from within, to engulf Deos entirely.
Screaming at the untold agony of being consumed in raw energy, Deos fell to his feet, feeling his very life force being drained away from him, and being fed directly into Zeus Legion. As Deos slowly began to fade from view, he noticed that Zeus' wounds were miraculously closing themselves up, the only sign of their appearance being small scars that might never fully heal.
But that wasn't his concern right now, his only thought was to preserve his very existence from annihilation. Though the crystal was imbued with the power of a Narrator, it extracted a heavy price for its use. It literally siphoned off the life energy from the user to aid in whatever endeavor he or she hoped to accomplish. It was this sacrifice, if nothing else, that limited the abuse of the Narrator's Jewel.
With an iron clad will born of desperation, Deos slowly returned from the brink of destruction and returned to his original form.
But he was tired, oh so very tired. All he wanted to do was rest, but to do so would be to give into the darkness, and forever fade into non-existence.
His job accomplished, Deos called upon his Portal Program to return him to the Real World. Blinking in annoyance at the lack of any response, he attempted to activate his escape once more. And still nothing happened.
With an icy feeling of dread settling in the pit of his stomach, Deos realized he was stuck in the VSP/WASTE Saga. The Narrator's Jewel had severed his connection to the real world, and Deos couldn't tell if it was permanent or not. Even worse, he was slowly but surely falling apart, the fragile globe that housed his consciousness becoming more and more visible as his entire body faded.
Lost in this tragic string of thoughts, Deos barely heard Zeus' groan as his broken body attempted to wake itself.
'Oh !@#$ ! Oh %^&* ! Oh Son of a @*#$% !' As each of his attempts at expressing the gravity of the situation was censored, Deos suddenly realized he had to get the hell out of there before he had to explain his presence to Zeus Legion himself. Jerking himself to his feet, against the overwhelming pain, he shuffled off into the wreckage, hoping to lose himself before someone else found him, and the Saga was thrown into chaos...
And that was the extent of the situation. Deos was numbly aware that there was some sort of hindrance blocking his path, but in the state he was in it took some time to realize what it was.
For some time now he had been plodding into a window, his pain-fogged mind unable to realize he'd been smacking his head against it for at least five minutes. Looking inside, Deos was surprised to see the remains of WASTE and the TAC Staff, with a much-befuddled Zeus at their side, gathered in discussion. Even more surprising was the presence of Bakjak, who rather than being blasted to pieces on sight was actually being accepted into the fold to some extent.
Looking himself over, and realizing his situation was hopeless without some sort of assistance, Deos came to a despairing conclusion. He would have to finally show himself to the entire cast.
Things looked very bleak indeed.
Can Deos pull himself together?
Is he permanently trapped in the Saga universe?
Will the members of WASTE, TAC, and VSP be able to accept him?
Is Zeus really going to be OK?
What's going on with TGF?
How are the VSP doing, and what's the new PossePlane look like?
Is the whole Saga going to go to Hell in a Handbasket?
And if so, are there biscuits?
Stay tuned for the Many Manic Adventures of...The VSP/WASTE Saga: Part III!
"What in the name of Auspex?!" yelled Bakjak as he pulled out his Big Gun and put his finger on the trigger of the Talon Grenade Launcher. Several members of WASTE pulled out their weapons and pointed them at him. "Put your guns away and look in that corner. Something just materialized."
Only Zeratul kept his eye on Bakjak as the Antioch Staff and the rest of WASTE turned their attention to the new visitor. ‘Zeratul is such a meanie,’ Bakjak thought. ‘Maybe he'll accidentally trip and fall on a on-contact grenade.’ He chuckled a bit in spite of himself.
Deos materialized behind the Antioch Staff and WASTE. Only Bakjak had a clear view, and this was shown by him quickly drawing his weapon. The other members of WASTE seemed more concerned with Bakjak at first until he pointed him out. "Who are you?" asked Auspex.
Deos started to explain himself...
Fenrir pulled open the door to the lobby after a short trip to the ‘fresher. He walked inside and glanced around, his eyes falling first on the man he did not recognize, and then...him. Bakjak, destroyer of hammocks.
Yelling a battle cry, he grasped at his side for the Bashing Bat™. Realizing that he had left his weapons in his room, he instead decided to rely on his Mad Kung-Fu. Leaping into the air, he attempted to deliver a flying kick to Bakjak. Unfortunately, Bakjak dodged, and Fenrir hit the wall next to him. Bakjak, who was no novice at unarmed combat, swung his staff at Fenrir's head. Ducking low, Fenrir delivered a devastating three hit combo consisting of two mid-section punches and a spinning back kick. Bakjak stumbled back and assumed his fighting stance sans the staff that he had dropped. Fenrir stumbled back and took the drunken boxing posture.
Bakjak charged and threw a mad flurry of blows, striking at all parts of Fenrir's body with kicks and punches. Fenrir, in true drunken style, blocked each attack with a combination of inhuman gymnastic maneuvers and feats of flexibility, finally succeeding in grabbing hold of one of Bakjak’s arms and executing a hip toss. Bakjak hit the ground hard. Fenrir was not yet finished however. Jumping high into the air Matrix style, he plummeted back to Earth in a falling punch. With a resounding sonic boom, Fenrir's fist slammed into Bakjak and finally knocked him unconscious. Fenrir didn't care and was about to proceed in beating Bakjak to death when a heavy weight smashed into him and drove his head into the floor, stunning him...
Tarun got off Fenrir and grinned.
How will Bakjak take the beating?
Why did Tarun knock Fenrir out?
Find out in the next VSP thingy...
Back at his house, Mark Brown fired up his computer again with hopes that things might somehow be better having left it off for a time. That wasn't the case, unfortunately. It seemed, oddly enough, that game time had passed exactly as real life time passed for that stretch of time. Very odd indeed. Mark knew there had to be some outside force acting on things...the entire mess was too much of a coincidence for it not to be. The only problem was, in his current predicament, there was only one way that he could find out what had gone on and how to fix it. It wasn't even a 'restricted' technique, it was almost entirely forbidden.
Mark Brown's only known solution would be to enter the Saga and directly affect the plot from there. That was something he never thought he'd do...he never thought things like this would happen. But could he really do that? To go into the Saga wouldn't be taxing his resources or anything - except it would be placing him at risk, because his actual body would be there. He'd be vulnerable and could be killed. As much as he trusted his heroes, could he trust them that much? It was a question he'd ponder countless times over as it became more apparent that his only solution was that course of action.
He'd been able to tell that everyone was at least alive; as the narrator he'd know if one of his characters perished in action. That was something good. Just about the only thing good, for that matter. It was times like those that he wondered why he relinquished controls of the Narration to the Real Life Mason Wheeler that one time... well, he'd never do it again.
All Mark was able to do was sit and stare at the computer screen. Maybe he could influence the plot in minor ways, but until his dad came home from work, he was out of luck... With nothing else to do, he pondered whether or not he should enter the Saga to deal with whatever evil was screwing things up now.
Will Mark Brown's dad be able to fix the computer problem?
Is Nannoth/Taeradun the real bad guy here?
Where would Mark Brown _go_ in the Saga?
What's going on with Deos Arcana?
Will Little Timmy and Sam catch up to the VSP?
Find out next time!
All heroes must survive.
Tarun looked over at Fenrir, chuckling to himself. Everyone else was too busy attending to Fenrir and Bakjak to notice Tarun's demeanor. Fenrir came to first, and was the only to notice Tarun's sneer, and an underlying darkness almost visible in his eyes.
"What the HELL was that for?" Fenrir groaned as he rubbed his head.
"Can't have you killing the only guy who can help us rescue Seawolf, can we?" Tarun calmly replied despite his sneer. Fenrir stood, now glaring at Tarun.
"The hell has gotten into you? You gonna defend the Banned Ones cuz your Aklan is now one of 'em? That it?" Fenrir said, just this side of losing his temper. Tarun's eyes went black upon hearing these words, he snarled and lunged at Fenrir and started delivering powerful blows to his chest and head. Zeratul and Ixyon quickly rushed over and pulled Tarun off the bleeding Fenrir before he could use his Psi blades on him. Zeratul threw Tarun back and ignited his blade, pointing it at Tarun just as he was about to rush Zeratul.
"Back off, Tarun!" Zeratul shouted.
Tarun snarled, "Fine!" He stormed out to his Scout, where he remained for quite some time.
What has caused Tarun's sudden change of personality?
Why did he go after an ally?
Will the VSP show up anytime while we're alive?
Find out in the Great VSP/WASTE Saga: Part III!!!
Seawolf was soon unconscious inside his own little corner of despair. His sleep was distorted, accompanied with flashes of pain and anguish. It cannot be revealed what took place inside these disturbed dreams, but there was one significant thing that must be shown.
After one of Seawolf's many nightmares, he suddenly heard a faraway voice. Somewhere far away, he thought, somewhere out of this hole...
"Seawolf," the voice boomed, "I cannot even tell you how disturbed my mind is for you."
It was Mark Brown! thought Seawolf, Now everything will be fine! If anyone can get me out of here, he can!
"I am sorry," said the sad voice now identified as Mark's, "But there is no way that I can help you out of this situation. I have seen horrible things happening in the Saga, and rivers and rivers have been created from the tears of grief from your comrades."
"But," he continued, "They know that you are here, on The Nemesis. This will truly be your greatest challenge, Seawolf, not because it is an incredible feat to escape. That cannot happen, no matter what you think. This will be your most intimidating obstacle, Seawolf, because you cannot rely on yourself to escape. You must trust that your friends will rescue you."
And then Seawolf realized his greatest weakness. He knew that he was a great leader, but looking back on his life, he could see that he had never entrusted much to anyone else. He had to be in complete control of a situation to be satisfied, he realized. And now, he had to have complete trust in his friends, or else he would be flung into the unpredictable void of insanity.
"I cannot rescue you," said Mark Brown, "Because such would seriously dissipate the Saga into nothingness. Now, your friends will have to decide between attempting a rescue with you, or continuing to explore paths into the Crossover, where they can save Mason. It has been foreseen that they must do this on their own, and that you cannot help them to do so, let alone leave this room. I am genuinely sorry that I cannot help you." concluded Mark.
And by his voice, Seawolf knew that he WAS sorry that he couldn't help him.
And then, Mark Brown left.
For once, he had to trust that he would be rescued from a situation that he couldn't get out of. But would he? Seawolf was in command of the Hyperion, it was his responsibility to protect the rest of the crew, and he had almost forgotten about them until Mat-Def reminded him. Had they even survived? Even so, they would undoubtedly blame Seawolf for the losses that were sure to have happened. No, thought Seawolf, they could never even think to save him with all their own troubles. And could Seawolf even trust them to save Mason? Oh, how Seawolf wished Mason were here. If he could, Seawolf would rescue him...
No! thought Seawolf, I'm doing it again! I have to have faith! I have to stay sane, knowing that they'll rescue me!
And so, Seawolf began one of the greatest internal wars ever fought, with the potential to destroy himself in the process. And it looked as if he would.
Dark_T_Zeratul walked back over to Auspex and Desler. "Guys," he started, "I'm going back into the Dark Patch. I can't quite explain why I have to, but there's something that I need to take care of. All I'll need is some serious protective gear."
Auspex and Desler conferred between themselves for a few moments, then turned to face Zeratul again. "We have decided... that we will allow you to reenter the Dark Patch. HOWEVER, we will have to give you this communicator. That way we will be able to let you know if something arises and we need your help," said Auspex.
"As for protective gear," started Desler, "this is a Protoss Shield Generator. It can generate a maximum of 500 Shield Points at a time, but it does not regenerate on it's own. It MUST be in contact with a Shield Battery in order for it to recharge."
"Thank you," said Dark_T_Zeratul, activating the generator. "Now I must go. Good luck finding Seawolf. I wish I could help, but I must take care of this. En Taro Adun!"
And with that, Auspex turned on the Warpsphere and Zeratul jumped in.
This time he was ready. Zeratul readied himself for the gravity well, and was shot through it with little resistance. This time he did not see his mortal enemy, the DualArchon, but he did see a door. He swam through the gravity-free void towards the door, and entered.
He found himself inside a temple of some sort. He turned around, but the door he had come through was gone. In its place was a solid wall, inscribed with the crest of the Dark Templar.
"So you've returned," said a voice behind him.
Zeratul activated his blades and whirled around, glaring menacingly at the figure.
"Easy there, Zeratul. I'm on your side. This is the Temple of Kranix. I am Kryptus, your old mentor. I didn't think you'd recognize me."
Dark_T_Zeratul instantly deactivated his Warp Blades as he realized that the figure really was who he said he was. "Kryptus? Is that really you? I thought that the DualArchon murdered you!"
"He did, just as you murdered him to avenge me. But as you may or may not know, this is not the world you know. Here in the Dark Patch, we have been researching the various Dark Templar technologies, melding them with other Protoss technologies. This is the result of an Arbiter/Dark Templar cross."
The aging Templar indicated a space at the other end of the room. Before Zeratul could mention that there was nothing there, an Arbiter shimmered into place. Correction, it was not an Arbiter. For one thing, it could obviously cloak. For another, a Dark Templar was piloting it.
"We call it the Dark Arbiter," said Kryptus. "It a regular Arbiter with several modifications. Such as the cloaking device you just saw. In addition, its cloaking field has been modified. It now makes any Dark Templar warrior like a specter; formless will in its range. The Dark Templar can not be harmed be any physical force, though they seem to be particularly susceptible to Psi Storms."
"I see, very interesting. But does this have anything to do with the DualArchon? I returned here because I saw him last time. It's a miracle I survived his Psionic Blast."
"Ah yes, that. We saw your plight and immediately ejected you from this dimension. The DualArchon, assuming that you had been entirely consumed, departed. But I can still sense his presence, and he can undoubtedly sense yours, now that you have returned. We must prepare for the difficult battle ahead of you. First of all, remove that comm circuit."
"But my friends—" Kryptus swiftly ignited a small Warp Blade and sliced the comm circuit in two. It lay on the floor, smoking. It was obviously broken beyond repair.
"You cannot afford to be disturbed during your training, lest you lose the one opportunity you have. Once you overcome the DualArchon, you will return to your world. For now, though, we must train. You will learn to utilize new weapons and techniques, and learn to stop using others. For instance, that pistol. Get rid of it. It is not the proper weapon of a Dark Templar."
Dark_T_Zeratul removed his Desert Eagle Pistol, a gift from Seawolf, from its holster, and with only a moment’s hesitation, tossed it up in the air and sliced it apart with a Warp Blade before it hit the ground.
"Now, let us begin."
'There it is... the portal.'
Phoenix stood outside a cemetery, looking at the swirling vortex of colors. He'd just taken care of a demon, this one being harder to vanquish than any of the others. His adventure in Sunnydale had improved his swordsmanship, as it had been some time since he'd used both his katanas in a fight. In the last adventure, he'd fought with his Psi Blades, for the sake of fitting in in the StarCraft world.
"Well, nothing left but to enter the portal and pray for the best," he said out loud.
Entering the portal was cold, extremely cold. He gasped at entering, but only for a second.
He found himself standing in a desert, with nothing but sand and the sun visible in any direction.
No portal either.
"Well, this is just great."
There was little to do other than start walking. So, sheathing his swords, he did.
It appeared the Phoenix's adventures ended abruptly. Who knows, maybe some other time they will be more explored.
Phoenix is now ready to be picked up. Feel free to include him in the main story again.
See what happens in the next chapter of... the Great VSP/WASTE Saga, Part III!
Bakjak was pissed, but he was only able to conceal his feelings for a full minute. "Fenrir, how was that Yamato blast?" he grinned.
Fenrir reached for his Bashing Bat™. He watched as Bakjak walked over to one corner of the room and examined a desk.
Bakjak looked down to see a neatly binded research paper written in pencil. He read the title silently to himself, "Dirt" by Fenrir. Bakjak reached into his coat pocket and procured a lighter. He flicked the lighter to life, it's flame dancing as if excited from coming into existence. He held the research paper in mid-air and burned the research paper. Fenrir got up and charged him, "NoOoOoooOoOooo!!!!!!!!!"
"Must've been an accident," Bakjak said with a sarcastic smile. He brought up his staff to deflect the blow from the bat. Bakjak held off Fenrir long enough for Auspex to intervene. "I'm really sorry about that, honest."
Bakjak walked out to his scout, the Magius. The repairs were done quicker then he had expected...almost impossibly faster then he thought. He wanted to save both Seawolf and Mason Wheeler, who had believed in him unlike Zeratul and several of the others. "Hey Tarun, forget these jokers. I say we go find Seawolf on our own. We got the Havoc Wreaker and the Magius...Who can stop us?" Bakjak said with a grin.
Tarun looked up and simply said, "Let's do it."
As the others tried to calm the still-livid Fenrir, they heard the whine of starting engines outside.
Flyspeck got it first. “Noooo!” he shouted, charging out the door. The others jumped to their feet and followed.
They all got outside just in time to see Tarun and Bakjak lifting off in their scouts. They starting waving their arms frantically to get the two heroes’ attention, but to no avail. The Magius and the Havoc Wreaker lifted into the sky and shot away from Auspex Studios, a number of obscenities following them.