Super Smash Quest - Story - Chapter 259: Flight of the Dauntless
Date: March 20th, 21st, and 22nd 2006.
Metal Man (GM): The Questers are at HQ; the area around base appaears to have cleared up somewhat; the soldiers have been doing a lot of work on re-landscaping it. Denon's formerly controlled lands have gone to seed; less condescending plant life has begun to grow anew. Most of Grodus's land has been ruined by Quester attacks; Port Destiny, seaside Magitek base, undersea magitek base... and the rest of it is mostly water. But he holds one important distinction; speared into Peach's castle, at the extreme north of his territory, lies Dark Exor, his true base. Through various sources, it was brought to the Quester's attention. At headquarters, the Questers are in the big room, as usual; it has been refurbished, and looks like it should. The base has also been made larger; to accommodate the soldiers, of course. Metal alone stands at the head of the long table, with a video screen behind him. "We have gone very far, Questers. Denon is dead and Grodus is on his knees. All we have to do is destroy his base and be done with him."
Aribar: "No doubt it is heavily fortified."
Metal Man pulls out some sort of pointer and points at the screen, which shows a sort of sword... dark Exor, of course. "He has projected around it enough defenses to keep out Kuja himself."
Charles holds his heavy sword, Onyx, over his left shoulder with one hand.
Aribar: "And you expect us to get through?"
Metal Man snaps his fingers, and the screen switches to a 'blueprints' view. "Well, you've gotten through worse. His first line of defense is a large variety of flying ships. That's right, flying saucers. They are equipped with basic laser cannons and shields of their own. Nasty foes in their own right."
Metal Man points to various little flying sauces circling the dark Exor. "This is only the first line; the second is that shield, which is the most powerful Magitek shield to date."
Aribar looks at the picture to see how low to the ground they patrol.
Metal Man (GM): They patrol about 50 feet off the ground.
Aribar also tries to see how much ground cover they'd have to sneak towards the base safely concealed from the saucers.
Metal Man: "Our scouts indicated the shield is projected from within; you'll need to get inside."
Charles moves his arm a bit from time to time so his shoulder doesn't become agitated from all the weight Onyx weighs.
Metal Man: "This is the second, and possibly least powerful, line of defense."
Metal Man points inwards; the area exactly around Dark Exor.
Metal Man: "Grodus has learned from Denon's mistakes; he keeps his base surrounded by a moat of magma, rather than soldiers. It is impossible to reach the front door without heat resisting equipment or a specially-used bridge. Above that are various docks for the saucers, but they only open if you know the passwords."
Metal Man points at the front door, and Dark Exor itself.
Metal Man: "This thing's doors are guarded by an array of dark-elemental beings. They can and will attack any unauthorized people. Finally, we reach the nastiest part of them all."
Metal Man points at the inside; it appears to be level after level of unending equipment.
Metal Man: "All of the floors are patrolled by magitek Ex-Nauts. That's right. EX nauts. They're a step above the real thing, even. It is up to you how you enter; stealth or no stealth, you must first enter Dark Exor. That is your first mission."
Aribar frowns. "Even if we survive all the way to the to--... First?"
Metal Man: "You have to fight your way up to the top, and then face Grodus."
Aetos: "Well it's not like we're assigned to enter Exor and then leave, Aribar."
Metal Man points to a separate screen, which shows Grodus's stats.
Metal Man: "Grodus III; Magitek Megalomaniac. He is the strongest machine currently active in the entire planet. Hence, he is equipped with a large variety of magical spells and surrounded by a variety of shield-projecting organisms. He also has controls to all of Dark Exor, whose purpose is unknown. Dark Exor itself is loaded with enough magitek to destroy the planet, so he could be up to anything."
Aribar: "Will we be at least able to get support from the soldiers? This seems more suicidal than the past few missions."
Metal Man: "It depends upon what you want. They can help you fight your way in, but at the expense of stealth. You could try to sneak in."
Charles: "This game of Kuja's is extremely difficult, and we're only on level 2."
Aetos nods. "We could try to sneak in, but?"
Metal Man: "It's difficult."
Charles: "Then we need a third option. Though Grodus knows what we know, we can probably pull off effective misdirection."
Metal Man: "You do remind me of something else."
Metal Man takes out a file labeled "PLAN B." Metal then Man shakes it on the table.
Metal Man: "We have ourselves another plan, if you want to try something else."
Garrick walks in a moment later..
Metal Man: "Though you'll have to fight your way through... we have the ruins of the Archelago II and the ruins of the Egg Carrier III."
Garrick: "...er... sorry, was finishing up some lunch... what's the deal?"
Metal Man: "If we could build a functional ship with them, we could probably crash in. However that has problems of its own."
Aetos: "What would we find in those places?"
Charles: "Dark Exor. Grodus III. Three lines of defenses. Considering alternate plans."
Metal Man: "Grodus is obsessed with predicting things. I know well enough that he has never seen us use a capital ship."
Aribar: "What happened to... Valhalla? That was the name of the ship Charles's military used, right?"
Metal Man: "Kuja annihilated it from existance."
Charles: "It was not a ship, it was a fortress. Grodus likes to predict things.......But what if we initiated every plan simultaneously?"
Garrick: "Wouldn't he just predict that as well?"
Aribar: "Be sneaky and launch an assault with ships and soldiers?"
Metal Man: "Well, plan A is easier to do. We'd need some sort of ship-building stuff to get a working ship."
Garrick: "..." *raises his hand.*
Metal Man points at Garrick "Yes?"
Garrick: "...well... I don't know if the base is still intact... but I had a LOT of equipment at the base with Nova. I know he isn't there... but I had enough stuff down in that lower level storage area to do all sorts of things."
Metal Man goes to a computer and looks through the records.
Metal Man: "...One problem. The systems are in Kuja's control, even though he doesn't appear to know they exist. But it is a suitably undefended sort of place..."
Charles: "Which Commander occupies the area which was formerly the Magnetic Wastelands?"
Garrick: "There's got to be something there, Metal. I forget half the stuff I put down there..."
Metal Man: "Uhhh... uhhh... uhhhh..." *He stares at the console and types stuff in.* "Definitely Denon's old territory."
Charles: "Since Denon was defeated, we can take a chance with that as well."
Metal Man: "That's great. That means nobody is keeping tabs on it... and it's in a big wasteland. I heard rumors it might no longer be magnetically hazardous... but you'll have to fly there in the only CAC left."
Garrick: "I'll do it."
Garrick: "...Nova was my friend... the only link back to my time."
Aribar: "How many of us cna the CAC hold?" can.*
Aetos: "...I'd go with Garrick if I am allowed?"
Metal Man: "Well, it's my old CAC, so it can hold 8 people."
Garrick: "I don't care who goes with me."
Metal Man: "I would like to drive it, of course."
Aribar: "I'll go."
Charles: "I recall the last time you drove." *walks up to Metal.*
Metal Man looks left and right. "...Wasn't it great?"
Charles silently speaks, "Digi... still has bumps from the last trip he had under it." Charles then looks to Garrick. "Nova was indeed an ally. However, I would rather face Grodus alone than take another trip with Illian."
Metal Man: "Then it's settled. Charles goes off to fight Grodus alone while we drive to Nova's old house."
Aribar: "You should write your will before you leave then, Locos."
Charles: "Confusing would with will, aren't you? Well I said that, so let it be done."
Garrick: "Exactly. You should stop going off alone for the upteenth time..."
Charles: "Garrick, you can stomach a CAC, especially with Metal behind the wheel... but I don't have enough dogged determination to sit through another one."
Garrick: "But you have the balls to go take on Grodus alone? Smart, Locos."
Metal Man: "My driving is pretty scary. Errr... wonderful!"
Charles: "There is a difference between risking your life... and risking your life for something idiotic."
Metal Man looks at some other stuff. "On the plus side, there's nothing but ruins to drive through."
Garrick turns on Charles, eyes burning. "...what the hell did you just say?"
Metal Man: "He thinks driving with me is an idiotic way to risk your life."
Garrick: "...yeah, he'd better have meant that..."
Charles: "I never said that, however... I give you my blessings for your trip through Hell."
Garrick: "...let's get one thing straight, Charles." *walks up to him, getting right in his face.*
Metal Man walks off to the garage while this goes on.
Garrick: "I don't like you. I think you're idiotic and foolish. You constantly go off on your own, turning your back on your friends and screwing yourself over so you can be the big man and fight all these people by yourself. You lose focus on what MADE you who you are, but heaven forbid that we keep you down in some way."
Charles: "I agree and..."
Aetos watches Metal step out and follows him.
Charles lowers his head a bit and speaks softly. "I take the path to face overwhelming odds, face an army by myself, and may not come back alive. You, on the other hand, will ride with Metal in his CAC just to go to the ruins of a dear friend to you."
Aribar decides to leave Charles and Garrick alone. He follows Aetos.
Charles sheathes his sword and turn around. "That..." *turns his head so he can see Garrick in the corner of his eye.* "Makes you a braver man than I." *turns his head again.*
Garrick: "...look. Keep your Dex on, alright? Someone is going to have to bail you out."
Garrick turns on his heel and stalks off toward the garage.
Charles: "Metal is waiting for you. Go and salvage what is left of Nova's cavern." *checks his dex.* "Well what do you know? It's off." *turns it on, puts it in his pocket, and goes off toward the direction of Dark Exor.*
Metal Man (GM): You all go into the garage, and find Metal waiting. He's inside his CAC, which, strangely enough, is in pristine condition.
Garrick: "...why do you keep this, Metal? It's forever old."
Aribar: .oO(Perhaps I should write a will... Ah well. You only live once.) *The elf hops into the CAC and wonders if he should activate his defensive spells on himself.*
Metal Man: "It is the only functioning mode of transportation."
Garrick: "Well, hopefully we'll change that at Nova's..."
Aetos shrugs and sits next to Ari, "You can protect me, right? heh."
Garrick hops into the shotgun seat, next to Metal.
Aribar: "Errm... I suppose I can be used as an elf-style airbag if we crash..."
Metal Man (GM): You notice the wide back seat; but there's only seatbelts for 3 people. You can squeeze two more in in-between.
Aribar buckles up on the back right side.*
Metal Man: "So then... that should be everyone, right?"
Garrick: "Far as I know... let's do this."
Metal Man: "Okay then. Let's see... what button is the radio... oh! Right. This one."
Metal Man presses a button and the CAC takes off, flying THROUGH the garage door.
Metal Man: "Oops..."
Garrick: "...yes, my first area of business will be to built new sets of transportion for EVERYONE..."
Aribar: "I think you might have hit the wrong button..."
Metal Man turns rapidly to the right, knocking out a tree and then leaping over a small foothill; the terrain is Kuja field, which is rocky and full of debris.
Metal Man: "This field is horrible to drive in." *BumpbumpbumpCRASHbump.* The car leaps and bumps through all the debris on the ground.
Garrick: "...why don't you fly, Metal?"
Aribar: "Perhaps flying above the field would be be-GAH! ... Better?"
Metal Man: "Oh... right. I should do that."
Metal Man leans under the dashboard, sending the car veering around the field as he presses some buttons.
Metal Man (GM): *SLAM* One of the signs is run over and flies over the windshield. "W-h-h-aaaa-t-t i-i-s-s i-i-t-t?"
Garrick points at the buttom with a picture of WINGS on it...
Aribar: .oO(Well... At least I've lived a good life.)
Metal Man presses it, sending the CAC into flight mode. It turns into an Arwing and then takes off... straight for the trees. Metal manages to pull up right before it'd normally crash.
Aetos throws his hands up shouting "WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE."
Metal Man: "Whew. That was close."
Garrick: "...the button was RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU!"
Metal Man: "Well, there is, I haven't driven anything in a long time. At least, not since I drove off a waterfall."
Garrick: "...hey, I remember that..."
Metal Man takes out a map and looks at it. "According to this... we should be... uh oh." Metal then Man puts the map away and begins banking to the left.
Garrick: "...uh oh? I don't like it when you say uh oh..."
Metal Man: "We happen to be on course to drive near Port Destiny, where all those ships were."
Aribar shudders. "Thanks for reawakening that memory... Uh oh?"
Metal Man: "You may wish to hold on... to... the doors. Yeah."
Garrick: "What? What???"
Aribar: "... It'd be wise to circle around the city, wouldn't it?"
Garrick picks up the map that Metal was looking at...
Metal Man continues driving to the left. "Yes, except I don't know where those ships are."
Aetos: "Wait uh... I blew them up... At least, 55 of them."
Metal Man (GM): The map shows Port Destiny and a river... landmarks there is below match up to the ones south of Port Destiny. The CAC is veering off to the left, which is closer to the Nova base than Port Destiny. You see, up ahead, a whole bunch of tall mountains and another river.
Aetos looks out a window .oO(I wonder if the ice cream shop survived...)
Metal Man: "We're almost there... I think we got through without being detected."
Garrick sighs and buckles his seatbelt. "You do know... that by saying that... we'll probably get shot at in the next ten seconds?"
Metal Man: "What could possibly go wrong?" *The car's computer beeps 'INCOMING MESSAGE' "Hmm... I wonder what that is."
Garrick: "...I'll get it." *hits the button next to the viewscreen thingy.*
Aetos sits patiently and follows et etc.
Sky High: *Comms* "Hello again, Questers. Have you missed me?"
Garrick turns it off. "Go faster."
Metal Man: "The computer has detected an incoming ship that's moving faster than anything I've seen before."
Metal Man steps on the gas. "I think I can outrun it."
Aribar: "Was that Skyhigh's voice?"
Garrick looks in the rearview mirror.
Metal Man: "Yes. He's flying... a Denon cargo ship? What?" Garrick see a fast approaching, sorta blocky Cargo ship. With Denon's insignia on it. It's equipped with some lasers. Skyhigh can just barely be picked out at the bridge.
Garrick: "Son of a *censored*. We gotta drop it, Metal. If he sees where we're going, we'll be surrounded when we touch down."
Metal Man: "One of you, take the weapons console. I say we shoot him down."
Garrick: "Got it." *powers up said console, hoping to Ari would do his bit with some ranged magic, and gets ready to blast the guy out of 'da sky.*
Metal Man (GM): You get to the console, which shows the current armaments:
Aribar: "Hrm... Metal, how fast are we flying?"
Metal Man (GM): A turret gun, some AA missiles, and some other thing labeled 'DO NOT TOUCH'
Garrick: "...and what's the Do Not Touch?"
Metal Man: "Well, about 500 miles per hour. He's going about 650.....Do not touch do not touch. It's untested."
Garrick: "You do know I'm gonna touch it later, right?"
Aribar: "Hrm... So opening windows and leaning out of them is a bad idea then..."
Metal Man: "Just do what you have to."
Metal Man banks left; his ship is too old to outrun Skyhigh's, which opens fire with lasers.
Metal Man (GM): Miraculously, 3 miss; two others hit. "All right, now it's your turn."
Garrick fires a big ol' spray of lasers at the sucker..
Metal Man (GM): Your superior piloting skills leave Skyhigh a bit shocked; he's hit all four times. "All right. Now to finish him!" Skyhigh's ship suddenly turns around. "Wait a minute... what is this?" Alarms go off inside the CAC. It says... 'Magnetic interference'
Aribar: "Let me guess. Magnetic fields not neutralized? Yup."
Metal Man: "Well, isn't that great. We're losing altitude."
Aribar: "Well, you should be good at crash landings, Metal..."
Metal Man shakes the wheel as the ship flies at the purple sands at high speeds.
Metal Man: "Gyaaaaaahhhhh! I hope you didn't eat lunch yet!" *ZOOM* *CRUNCH* The CAC lands into the sand, which cusions it well. Unfortunately, it's stuck. It's buried half-way into the sand; but you can get out the rear doors. All around, for miles and miles, is nothing but purple sand blowing in the wind.
Aribar groans. "We're alive... Right?"
Metal Man: "Next time, remind me when we're about to fly into magnetic areas. Ugh."
Aribar exits the CAC and looks around.*
Garrick: "...c'mon, let's get deeper into it so Sky High doesn't strafe us..." *gets out as well.*
Metal Man gets out, and... starts digging his car out. "I'll be right out here."
Aribar nods, and unsheathes Moonlight. "You know the way, Garrick... Hopefully."
Garrick: "...give me a second to remember..."
Metal Man (GM): Garrick: This place looks totally alien. In fact... it all looks like purple sand. For miles.
Garrick does what he always did when he was outside Nova and had to get back... he used the stars.
Metal Man (GM): You look to the sky... and realize it is cloudy now. Even the desert is clouded by Kuja's evil.
Garrick: "...well, crap."
Metal Man (GM): The sun burns a deep purple in the sky from the blowing sand.
Garrick: "...Metal, give me that map you were using."
Metal Man: "Oh? Here." *Gives Garrick the map.* Garrick acquired: Current Map of the World.
Garrick looks it over... he'd at least remember where the general area of one of Nova's entrance doors were...
Metal Man (GM): You can't tell where you are in the featureless purple section of the map. It doesn't show the location of Nova's place either.
Garrick: "Oh, you've got to be kidding me..."
Metal Man: "I must say, this place looks even less inviting than the last time we went here. Anything else you need?"
Garrick: "...I can't tell where we are... a map... stars... a compass... it's ALL useless!"
Metal Man digs some more; it's slow going. "Now that you mention it, compasses are worthless here. Stupid magnetic fields..."
Aribar hrms...* "Perhaps this was a lost cause?"
Metal Man: "Maybe this is why nobody found it. It can't be found easily..."
Garrick: "...no. I'm going. If I have to look for ages, I'll find it."
Metal Man: "I'd think there would be something still functional around here."
Garrick starts moving onward into the purple desert, keepig his eyes peeled for any glints of metal..winking lights... Garrick then makes sure his Dex is completely useless...
Metal Man (GM): You see endless purple sand, as you walk outward into the desert. You open your dex, and receive a strange display of garbled color on it. It becomes less garbled when you walk one direction.
Aribar frowns, wondering whether to stay with Metal or stay with Garrick... In the end he rushes towards Garrick.* "Wait up!"
Garrick: "...Dex? Dex, can you scan anything that might be similar to Nova's signature out there?"
Dex: "QPOT!O#GTO!#TOG$ BJORK."
Garrick: "...right." *would try to make sense of that, but he doesn't really care. He closes his Dex and moves onward..*
Metal Man (GM): You walk into the desert, feeling rather hopeless against the endless purple horizon.
Aribar follows Garrick. "Well... At least this inhospitable land means we don't have to fear any creatures... For the miles and miles we'll wander."
Garrick: "...I don't care. I'm going to find Nova..."
Metal Man (GM): This place feels strangely safe, as nothing, not even Skyhigh, would follow you here. However the only thing there ism to be making are foot tracks in the sand.
Garrick looks around... trying, vainly most likely, to find even a glint of metal...
Metal Man (GM): All there is is sand. all you hear is sand in the wind... and your dex sputtering out static.
Garrick makes sure to listen to his Dex...
Aribar: "I wonder what the north pole of Nintendus is like?"
Metal Man (GM): You listen to it; it seems to be less staticy whenever you walk one way, but more staticy in any other direction.
Garrick: ".......Nova's... blocking components..."
Garrick makes for the direction where the Dex is less staticy.
Metal Man (GM): You begin to hear less and less static as you walk towards that direction.
Garrick: "Come on, please let me be right..."
Aribar: "Aren't we walking away from the wastelands?"
Metal Man (GM): The sand actually gets darker around here. Then... you begin picking out something really odd. Signals... Kuja's signals.
Garrick: "I'm hoping that we're walking toward Nova's electrical protection..."
Dex: "Massive hub of signals detected ahead."
Garrick: "Can you find base traces of Nova's signiture?"
Aribar: "Huh. That sounds good..."
Dex: "Planetwide control system signatures are detected."
Garrick: "Yes!" *hurries onward, moving into a lumbered sorta run.*
Aribar starts after Garrick and then begins to wonder how they'll ever find Metal again.
Metal Man (GM): You run on through the sand... and then to the exact spot where it originates from. The signal, that is. It's like any other sandy spot, though.
Garrick: "Dig. Gotta dig." *gets on his hands and knees, pushing sand away, trying to find metal...*
Metal Man (GM): You begin digging; the sand feels rather rough on your fingers.
Garrick: "Dex! How far down is it?"
Dex: "3 feet d---"
Aribar drops his sword and starts digging.*
Metal Man (GM): *CLONG* You hit solid metal rather quickly. An old, weathered access hatch, really. One with a handle on it.
Aribar: "Hm... This it?"
Garrick: "It's his emergency hatch... I remember making this... I made it to get out quickly... his main hatch had all the important info on it... All the security..." *pulls at the handle..*
Aribar blinks, finally realizing all that they could do here. "Hey... Could we use Nova against the enemies?"
Garrick: "I don't know... I don't even know if he's running..."
Metal Man (GM): You pull it open; the smell of old air difts out. A rather steep ladder is below it, which you can climb down.
Garrick quickly starts downward..
Aribar frowns at that and stands back, picking up his sword and sheathing it. He starts descending after Garrick.*
Metal Man (GM): You climb on down, the open hatch providing the only light. You soon reach the bottom; you're in a large control room, with one main screen. The screen lights up, showing Kuja's data flowing through it. A wide variety of keyboards are in front of it. No voice issues through the console; many of them show "OVERRIDE" in red letters.
Garrick hits the ground with a loud THUMP and races for the keyboards... he stands there, looking at the large screen... "...Nova...?"
Metal Man (GM): You get no response.
Aribar stands back and surveys the scene.
Metal Man (GM): The room is ancient; dusty; and most of all, it is completely untouched. You can see old fingerprints and boot prints, which are obviously Garrick's. The keyboards are accessible.
Garrick: "...Nova... NOVA!" *rapidly fires off commands on the keyboards as if he built the things himself... which he probably did.*
Aribar walks over and puts a hand of Garrick's shoulder. "I don't think there's much you can do... Nova's probably been offline for a long time."
Metal Man (GM): You hear no response; just endless amounts of data. You type in 'NOVA' and the such, but get a long string of error messages.
Garrick: "No! He's got to be in there!"
Metal Man (GM): ERROR: NOVA.EXE IS AN INVALID COMMAND. MAIN CONTROLLER IS KUJA.ATLANTIS.
Aribar stands back and lets Garrick do what he needs to do.*
Metal Man (GM): ALL CONSOLES ARE IN OVERRIDE MODE; TERMINALS SERVE AS BACKUP.
Garrick slams his fist into the console.
Metal Man (GM): WORLDWIDE POWER SYSTEM SET TO ROUTE POWER THROUGH KUJA. It then shows a large disk divided in three, with Kuja at the center, and all of the power routed through him.
Aribar: "After this war with Kuja is over we'll revive Nova."
Metal Man (GM): And the Atlantis floating city with him standing on it.
Garrick: "...I'll kill him..."
Metal Man (GM): The computer isn't entirely dead, though; CONTROLS RESTRICTED TO LOCAL RESOURCES.
Garrick: "I'll kill Kuja... with my bare hands, if I have to.......computer, list available resources... and print out a list of all storaged equipment in this chamber. Ari, there should be an access door off in the right corner that leads down to the storage room..."
Metal Man (GM): It lists the stuff, which fills up the screen; then it prints out. You have enough weaponry to arm a small army; and, just as you thought, a large repair bay for ships. There's also a teleporter, but you'll need to hack the power scheme to get that running.
Garrick: "...Dex... Dex!"
Aribar looks about the room and to the right corner.* "That one?" *The elf says that while moving towards the door.*
Garrick: "Yeah, that one. There should be all sorts of stuff down there. Get to it."
Dex: "What function is needed?"
Aribar starts to open the door, but freezes just as he opens it...* "Is the security still active?"
Garrick: "See if you can get a message to Metal. Tell him where we are... and make SURE you encrypt the carrier beam." *presses rapidly on the console.* "...no. They're down. Get moving."
Aribar: "Okay..." *The elf opens the door and heads inside.*
Dex: "Error; unable to send message. Local descramble ordinance is locked into pre-set paths."
Garrick: "...fine. He'll find his own way. Okay... now... let's get to it."
Metal Man (GM): Aribar opens the door, and walks into the storage room, which is filled with all manner of guns, shields, and the like. It also has a bunch of parts. There's a hallway from there which leads downwards.
Aribar: "Woah... There's a ton of stuff here."
Garrick cracks his knuckles... then starts a-hackin'. He tries as best as he can to break into Kuja's powergrid, trying to get more power to this location. He tries to piggyback the wave on the signal that is being fed to this place to keep it unnoticeable.
Metal Man (GM): You manage to hack into some old, abandoned stuff and turn on the lights; however it says you need to override it manually, which entails going downstairs.
Aribar looks at all of the shields and guns, wondering if they're better than their own soldier's equipment.
Garrick: "Right..." *walks down... then lands right next to Ari as he hops down the pathway like a pro.* "...what a man does when he's away from home with nothing to do, huh?" *motions to all the equipment.*
Metal Man (GM): The equipment appears to be somewhat obsolete, but effective. Not as good as Ivan's.
Aribar: "I hope you take no offense to this, but you REALLY must have been bored... What are we going to do with all of this?"
Garrick: "It's not this that we're gonna use." *points down the tunnel.* "It's that."
Aribar: "... I just thought of something. How are we supposed to transport the ships we're to repair here?"
Garrick keeps walking. He then chuckles... "You'll see. I thought of that when I built this place."
Metal Man (GM): You walk on down, and into the first room; a massive one with a generator in the center.
Aribar: "Huh." *The elf follows Garrick.*
Garrick goes over to one of the pannels, pulls out his multi-tool and starts to manually override the power lockout..
Metal Man (GM): Without a problem, you override the power. A few alarms go off, though.
Garrick: "When I was at the stadium, I studied the teleporter as best as I could..."
Metal Man (GM): *Cinema.* Up above... far away from you guys. Inside Atlantis, at the main control panel... a red light lights up. But no one is there. It shows... "POWER OVERRIDDEN; STATION 3 OFFLINE." The camera goes back down to the people down in the base.
Garrick: "I looked at the thing inside and out..."
Metal Man (GM): The lights power up, and everything seems back to normal... but still, no Nova. There's one more door up ahead.
Garrick: "Oak 'bout chased me out dozens of times.....but if he saw what I did... oh, boy... He'd crap himself." *closes the panel and pockets his tool, motioning Ari to follow him into the next room.*
Aribar follows Garrick, wondering if Oak's still alive...
Garrick: "The main problem I knew I'd have if I built a bay would be how to get ships out without them slamming into the ground because of the magnetic interference."
Metal Man (GM): You see a large room, with a giant constructor arm and a control panel, which is currently active.
Garrick: "...so... I decided. Why fly out... when you could warp out?"
Aribar: "... You built a gigantic transporter?"
Garrick: "Built it, yes. Used it... no."
Metal Man (GM): Garrick reaches the control panel.
Garrick powers up the room...
Aribar: "Untested... Oookay..."
Garrick: "As you can imagine, it takes a LOT of power to make the thing work."
Metal Man (GM): The room is powered up, and it prepares for warping of stuff.
Garrick: "...I don't know how much we can do... or if we can... but I think it's time we tried... computer!"
Metal Man (GM): The computer is unable to react to voice commands anymore.
Garrick: "...*sigh.*...right.......okay... we'll do it by hand."
Metal Man (GM): You have the coordinates on your dex.
Garrick starts typing... he tries to lock in on the crashed CAC...
Metal Man (GM): It can be seen, through a bunch of static.
Garrick: "Metal had us be the lab rats all the time... I think it's time we settled the score... cross your fingers." *makes sure he has plenty of backup power... then warps Metal and the CAC in..*
Aribar does so.* "Okay..."
Metal Man (GM): The CAC and Metal warp in, covered in sand. "Hey... I must have dug clear through to China."
Garrick: "...welcome to my laboratory, Metal."
Aribar: "'allo, Metal."
Metal Man: "Yours? This here is that crashed satellite planet controlling device. Yeah..."
Garrick: "No, that is up there." *jabs his thumb upward.* "This... this is all my doing."
Metal Man shrugs. "No big deal to me."
Garrick: "Well, what do you think, Metal? I kinda like it, myself..."
Metal Man: "I don't know... wasn't this facility linked to Kuja? DO NOT QUESTION THE ALMIGHTY ANGRY PERSO---I mean, I'm just fine."
Garrick: "Yes, but it's a very backdoor kinda place. I doubt he even knows we're here."
Metal Man: "Well, yeah. But the machinery used to run Nintendus... it's all here."
Garrick: "Indeed it is. Plus more."
Metal Man: "...That's why I'm saying Kuja has to know something related to it. We should get started before anything can go wrong."
Garrick: "Well, I was about to go back to the main computer room and try to bring up my old ship blueprints... we can check there."
Aribar: "Hopefully we won't encounter too much defense..."
Aetos: "If all else fails, we can blow this place up, right?" he lightly smiles, he said it jokingly... and in a please don't hurt him for it way.
Metal Man: "I don't think it's defense we have to worry about... now... which way to the computer room?"
Garrick still looks down... if Metal would hazzard to look, he might notice the saddness in Garrick's eyes that flarred to a silent anger as he glared at Aetos. "...say that again I won't hesitate to rip you inside out by your corn hole."
Garrick turns on his heel and makes out of the Warp Dock.
Metal Man follows, probably up the same corridor as usual, to the main (semi-darkened) computer room and through storage.
Aribar leans over to Aetos and whispers, "He loves this place like it was his own son... He's built tons of stuff here and... Well, it means alot to him. I'm a bit surprised he didn't go at you there." Aribar then then heads to catch up to the others.
Aetos heads alongside Aribar, "What is this place exactly?"
Garrick just silently moves onward toward the computer room.
Aribar: "This is where Nova, the computer that controlled all of Nintendus, was. Kuja's deactivated Nova now, though... So this place is just a big, empty place with lots of computers and tools. Helpful stuff."
Metal Man (GM): You reach the computer room... and notice something new. Various 'SYSTEM ALERT' things on the screen. They're much like this.
Metal Man (GM): INCOMING MESSAGE.
Aetos: "A computer... that can control a planet. This world never ceases to amaze and confuse..." he listens.
Metal Man (GM): The screen flickers once, then twice, and then Kuja appears on the screen, sitting in his chair.
Garrick stares at the screen... his hands slowly clenching into fists...
Kuja: "How sneaky of you to climb into the plumbing of the planet... I must say... you are resourceful. But you cannot occupy the property of Kuja Tribal without paying the price--your lives."
Metal Man: "You can't stop us, Kuja. You're only delaying the end."
Aribar frowns... It looks like they'll be caught and the resistance against Kuja finally killed.
Kuja: "Strong words, coming from the destroyer of Earth." He suddenly turns his chair and presses a single button. "I don't happen to need this pitiful facility that you've stolen. So, you can have it... if you can save it from THIS."
Metal Man (GM): The screen pops up, covered in alarms. There it shows the impossible; Magitek soldiers, one by one, approaching the base. They have a full complement of artillery and destructive weaponry.
Aribar flinches as the button is pressed and wonders what unspeakable evil Kuja has unleashed upon them.*
Kuja: "That's only the surface, mind you. I wouldn't send a toothpick to kill ants like you. Good day."
Metal Man (GM): The transmission fades out.
Metal Man: "...Well, that's just great. According to this big timer, we have 15 minutes until a base-wide breach."
Garrick: "...not this time."
Metal Man: "We should get a ship running and get the heck outta here."
Garrick: "No! I will not let Kuja take this place over!"
Aribar: "Garrick, do you really think that this base could withstand such an army? I know you've put your life and soul into this place, but... This is a lost cause."
Metal Man: "Take it over? He wants to destroy it. He already took it over. How else would the computers disobey you?"
Garrick begins typing furiously on the keyboard... trying to bring up whatever defenses he can...
Metal Man takes out his dusty logbook. On it are some recent additions.
Metal Man: "He deactivated Nova and Avon and replaced them both. The only reason this facility exists is because he wasn't informed of it existing..."
Metal Man (GM): You type out on the keyboard... Computer.
Metal Man: "Well, you're free to do what you want. I'll handle the ship stuff. Try and protect the base long enough for us to have a functional ship, please? Oh. The rest of you help Garrick... somehow."
Metal Man salutes. "I'll be dealing with the non-important ship stuff. Your blueprints will come in handy."
Metal Man (GM): Garrick types, and types, and types. He gets a whole line, nay, screenful of "INADEQUETE COMMAND PRIVELEDGES."
Aribar: "I'm not really good with computers so I'm not sure what help I can be... Any commands for me, Garrick?"
Metal Man: "What am I supposed to do? These are old fashioned computers."
Garrick kicks a nearby compartment open and throws Metal a tube.
Metal Man grabs the... tube?
Garrick: "Try that one... it was my latest... Blueprints for the Mark 7..."
Metal Man: "I see. Well, don't be surprised if I have to modify it a bit, we're working with some rather broken up ship pieces." *He runs downstairs.*
Garrick: "NO WEIRD CRAP ON MY SHIP!"
Metal Man: "It isn't 'crap'!" *Goes out of earshot.*
Garrick: "If I see one exploding toaster gun or the thing running on gumballs, so help me, I'll rip you to pieces! DAMN it!"
Metal Man (GM): You guys are now in the computer room, which is your only defense against these people. Mainly because they'd kill ya quick if you went outside.
Garrick goes back to typing, trying to get the defenses up...
Metal Man (GM): You have 10 minutes.
Garrick: "Aribar, there should be a command key book in the far left compartment. Grab it for me. Aetos, go with Metal. Give him a hand."
Aribar rushes to where Garrick indicated and starts looking for said book.*
Aetos glares at Garrick, then leaves.
Metal Man (GM): Garrick manages to bring up an archaic looking defense menu. It lists a force field as being the only undepleted resource; Otherwise, it only has a handful of useful laser turrets and the like. Aetos run on down, and see Metal warping in bits and pieces of old ships and welding them together haphazardly.
Aetos clears his throat, "Is there anything you need me to do?"
Garrick: "...base one defenses? Lord... okay, bring up what I can... Computer, divert power from the main reactor to the shield. Give the rest of it to the ship building tools in the Warp Dock."
Metal Man: "Well, Aetos, I don't know what you can do for me; this system requires an exact amount of effort and only takes one person." The computer does not respond, lacking voice recognition modules.
Garrick: "...right.......Ari, that book?"
Garrick TYPES that command in then..
Metal Man (GM): You attempt to divert power, and find it already diverted (manually) It tries to bring up the shields and asks for a password.
Metal Man (GM): Aribar finds a copy of Where's Waldo?
Aetos searches around the hangar/whatever room he's in for some boxes or weapons or anything fun looking.
Metal Man (GM): 6 minutes left.
Metal Man completes the bridge of the new ship; he's working really fast.
Aribar: "Can't find it..." *The elf puts the thing back and starts looking in a different compartment...*
Garrick smiles slightly, looking down...
Garrick types in "Homeward Bound."
Metal Man (GM): Aetos discovers some old and dusty looking things. Why, it looks like some sort of... well, you're having a hard time identifying what it is; it's an all-black cube.
Aribar: "Hrm... Anything in this one?"
Garrick (Base System Hologram): "Access denied." Then it shows a picture of Kuja waving his finger at you for a few moments before the password thing pops up again.
Garrick: "You've got to be... DAMN KUJA!"
Metal Man (GM): Aribar finds the book, but only after so much time has passed.
Aetos looks at it with a puzzled face, then picks it up, examining it.
Aribar roots around a bit in this compartment, finding it.* "Ah!" Aribar then takes it and rushes over to Garrick.* "Here!"
Metal Man (GM): Aetos: It reminds you of those cube things Metal said they had in the old days. Except it's waaay too big to be one.
Metal Man completes segment one of the ship's body.
Metal Man (GM): 3 minutes left.
Garrick snags the book, taking it in his hands and flipping to a predetermened page he marked... he begins bypassing the password to get the shields up.
Aetos: "Metal, if you have time to look this way, could you tell me what this is?"
Metal Man: "What?" A crane arm flies off course and nearly destroys a wall. "Sorry, I can't help you right now!"
Aetos blinks, "Sorry to distract..." he starts dragging it onto the ship Metal is building.
Metal Man (GM): Aetos: cranes and pieces of old ships whiz about, nearly missing you. Luckily, you drag it into the bridge before he can drop a huge room on you by accident.
Aetos: "This is dangerous..."
Garrick: "Aribar, if I were you, I'd go search through all the junk I found. There MIGHT be a silver case in there... large. Big as a crate. Is has some of my most advanced creations in it..."
Metal Man (GM): You use some pre-input shortcuts made to override controls to operators of your descent; it works, but just barely in the nick of time... the clock hits about 20 seconds remaining when it goes up. BAM! BAMBAMBAM! BAM! The shields come up and are now under heavy fire. The power to the shields begins to trickle down. Another timer appears; this one is ten minutes.
Metal Man (GM): Kuja appears on the comms temporarily.
Kuja: "Nice try. Think harder, bonehead."
Metal Man (GM): *Zoop.*
Aribar: "Err... Okay." *The elf rushes towards the stuff Garrick found and starts searching.*
Aetos: "Ooh that's not good... I think I should figure out what this is... then maybe search for some more things... Garrick might appreciate some of this stuff being saved." *pulls out his dex and scans the big black cube..*
Garrick: "Okay, okay..."
Metal Man (GM): Aetos notice the bridge has the view of the Archelago II's bridge, but the control settings (with some control panels off the Archelago I) of the Egg Carrier 3.
Dex: "...DING! Unknown dark cube."
Aetos: "That's no good..."
Dex: "Posesses high readings of... Dorkiness?"
Garrick reroutes into the reactor downstairs, trying to get the think to turn on... if he can get it on, he'd have enough power for a while...
Dex: "Enscribed 'JEFF MAXWELL'. End of entry."
Metal Man (GM): Garrick try, and it says "MANUAL REROUTE NEEDED."
Garrick: "Damn it..."
Metal Man (GM): 8 minutes.
Aetos: "...Hmm... I'll just save it for later." he walks over to the control panel on the ship.
Metal Man (GM): Aribar finishes searching and discovers not what he was looking for.
Aetos checks the button colors.
Aribar: "Sorry, Garrick, I can't find anything here."
Garrick turns on his heel and races as fast as he can to the reactor room, slidding down a nearby ladder and racing inside. He moves over to the console and starts punching in a few things, then takes out his tool and hits a few separate switches..
Metal Man finishes the wings. "Be careful in there, Aetos! I don't have time to bug-test ANYTHING!"
Garrick: "Search harder!"
Metal Man (GM): The buttons aren't colored; there's about four control panels and one main one, each one with a bunch of expensive looking keys.
Aribar frowns and starts searching for that silver case again.
Aetos: "Ok..." he says in a distracted tone..
Metal Man (GM): BAM BAM BAAAMMMM!!! there is something else unwelcome.
Garrick: "Come on... come on..."
Aetos looks up outside the windshield, seeing what is in front of him.
Metal Man (GM): A giant ribbon of white light hits the shield, halving your time. 3 minutes left. Aetos sees Metal at the controls of the combination warp/construction machine, working feverishly.
Garrick is STILL trying to get the reactor running!!
Metal Man (GM): Garrick, meanwhile gets to the reactor room, and finds it a little hot inside.
Aetos: "I wonder if that death ray is on this ship..."
Metal Man (GM): He sees a huge amount of energy going into the warp room... gonna need some precision setting to keep it from exploding, either way. Aribar finds whatever Garrick told him to find.
Garrick: "...Metal better be doing a good job in there... fine..."
Metal Man (GM): The third body segment is finished.
Garrick races back to the main computer room... there's only one thing he can do now...
Aribar: "Garrick, I'm not finding anything... Perhaps we should see what luck Metal and Aetos are hav... Hm?" *The elf notices the silver case, starts crying out Garrick's name, and picks the case up before rushing over Gar.*
Metal Man (GM): Aetos finds, on the main control panel, a big button with a deathray symbol on it. With a key hole next to it. And it's covered by a glass cover.
Aetos snaps his fingers.
Garrick: "Get to the Warp Dock, Ari... I'll be right behind you."
Metal Man (GM): Garrick runes to the room... 10 seconds left.
Aetos screams, "Metal, where is the key to the death ray!?!?"
Metal Man: "I need a little time... what? Don't use it now! It's pointed at me!"
Garrick runs to the keyboard, quickly typing in a last two commands.
Aribar nods and starts towards the dock, carring the case.*
Metal Man (GM): 0 seconds left. BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
Garrick: *Over the Dex* "METAL! You have that ship done?!"
Aetos growls and florishes his keyblade off his back and quickly aims the tip to the keyhole, "This will work, this will work, this will work..." he shuts his eyes and tries unlocking the glass case.
Metal Man (GM): The top of the base, I.E. the computer room, is first to start taking damage. Garrick runs as well as Aribar, so they get out of harm's way before it is fully breached. Aetos sticks his huge keyblade into the tiny key slot and nothing happens. Metal doesn't reply over the dex; as you run all the way down, there is he's using the last of the power to finish the ship. The ship itself is like this: --<- and missing a tail. "I have no choice; we're going to have to blast our way out of here! Get aboard, quickly!"
Aetos mutters something about untrusting people, then looks for some minor weapon buttons.
Aribar: "Gar, what should I do with this case?"
Metal Man (GM): Aetos see buttons marked with missiles and lasers, most likely stolen from other ships.
Aetos: "Metal, are you out of the way of the lasers and missiles and whatnot?"
Garrick snags the case out of Aribar's hands... he might notice Garrick push a cube the size of a Rubic's Cube slip into his pocket. "I've got it Metal... just get us outta here. And fast."
Metal Man (GM): The warp sends in the last of the parts; the ship isn't too big, but it looks like a strange fusion of the Egg Carrier, both Archelagos, some ruined Space Pirate stuff... and the tail warps in just in time. It's a piece of the ruined Wing Fortress. All the parts have been dynamically selected. "Aetos, the weapons are pointed right at me."
Garrick: "...good lord, Metal... Just get on the blasted ship and lets go!"
Metal Man leaps aboard the strange-looking hodgepodge and pushes Aetos out of the main console. "Room for four more... for controlling it, that is!"
Garrick takes over the helm, this time. "I'LL fly the thing, thank you."
Aetos: "Gack!" as he slides away, back toward the big cube.
Metal Man: "Let's see... secondary weapons, communications and enemy spotting, and defenses, oh, and finally, ship status." *BOOM* You hear the main computer room become overrun. The hangar opens from above, and a ton of sand begins pouring in.
Aribar rushes into the ship and hopes it works...*
Aetos whistles. "My computer skills may be naught, but I know how to operate a vehicle."
Metal Man is already in the helm. "I'll let you fly it after I'm sure it works!"
Garrick growls at Metal... then takes over the secondary weapons. He opens his Dex... "Dex, activate marco number one. Pool whatever power we have left into warping us out of here..."
Metal Man: "Somebody raise the shields!"
Dex: "Error. Power is empty."
Metal Man: "I had to use it to complete the ship; we're gonna blast our way through!"
Garrick: "...great... fine then... Aribar, raise the shields!"
Aetos mutters as he inspects the cube more.
Metal Man (GM): A button lights up on the defense console.
Aribar: "Ummm... How?" *The elf looks over the nearest control panel, wondering what to do.*
Garrick: "Aetos, stop looking at the blasted cube and GET ON A STATION!"
Metal Man (GM): Aetos: It looks like a piece of clear plastic.
Metal Man sets a course.
Metal Man (GM): Aribar: The lit-up button has a shield icon on it.
Aribar presses that button.
Metal Man: "Let's see... secondary weapons, communications and enemy spotting, and defenses, oh, and finally, ship status."
Metal Man (GM): *ZOOM!* A blue shield appears on the ship as it rises out of the sand.
Garrick: "About time..."
Aetos: "Enemy spotting... my scouting skills are top notch..." *walks over to the comm. station.*
Metal Man (GM): The ship flies up into the air as there is an endless sea of Magitek soldiers in the base. The base then explodes, wiping out a whole ton of them.
Garrick moves over the window and looks down...
Aetos examines all the buttons on his console.
Metal Man (GM): Aribar's console beeps; you're apparently taking heavy damage from incoming attacks. Garrick see the base explode, making a giant pit of burning fire. The soldiers are torn to shreds.
Aribar: "Ummm... I think we're going to be destroyed soon..."
Garrick: "...burn in hell, you fools..."
Metal Man (GM): Aetos see a variety of buttons. They stand for Open communication, Close communication, and... it has a small radar screen showing all possible communications you can talk to. "Someone activate the weapons on them; we don't have time to charge up the main cannon."
Garrick: "...right." *turns to his station and activates all main weapons, unloading on whatever he finds..*
Metal Man (GM): Garrick: The weapons are as follows:
Aetos typically looks over the radar screen, "I wonder who I can talk to..."
Metal Man (GM): Main Lasers, Gatling Lasers, and Homing Missiles. Aetos see several things. Grodus's tower, Kuja, Quester HQ, and a weird dot off to the side with ??? by it. Aribar: Shields 75% and holding. Power is going down, though.
Garrick: "...alright... here we go."
Aetos: "Hrm, I don't like things, especially ships with that name."
Garrick brings up all targeting systems and unloads with Main Lasers.
Metal Man (GM): Garrick's only target are the soldiers; his lasers make short work of them, though, and the incoming laser fire ceases.
Aribar: "Maybe we won't die... Shields are at three-fourths, but they're going down..."
Aetos: "...Or maybe it's Locos?" he opens comms. with the mysterious blip.
Sky High: (Comms) "Hello hello, what do we have here? An unauthorized ship in my airspace? THE AIRSPACE WHICH IS NO LONGER MAGNETICALLY UNSTABLE?"
Garrick: "...Sky High... perfect."
Aetos: "How did I know it was you?"
Metal Man: "Just what we need. The wrath of Skyhigh."
Aribar: "We're doomed..."
Metal Man (GM): Aribar's panel lights up; incoming deathray.
Aetos: "I mean..."
Garrick: "Metal! Bank right!"
Aribar: "Incoming... Thing!"
Metal Man: "Evasive manuevers!" *Steers right, the ray barely missing.* "That ship is coming on us quickly. We can't outmaneuver it. I'm going to teach him a lesson this time..."
Garrick: "Then take the guns, Metal..."
Metal Man gets out a key and unlocks the deathray, and begins charging it.
Metal Man: "No need; you just hold him off with secondary weapons before this so-called Deathzooka class deathray is ready."
Garrick: "Ah, yes... I remember that... Fine." *targets every last little bit of something he has. Missiles, Gattling and Regular Lasers... he concentrates them on separate targets on the ship and gives it everything he has.*
Aetos starts chatting with Skyhigh, "So, uh... do you enjoy tea?"
Sky High: (Comms) "If steeped with your blood, it could be quite tasty."
Metal Man (GM): You hit him with everything you've got, but his shields continue to hold up. He's flying straight at you. "This isn't good... only 10% charged and he's already in range to hit us with a deathray."
Aetos mutters. "This comms. console is useless." he walks back over to the cube.
Metal Man (GM): You walk away from it while Skyhigh laughs.
Sky High: (Comms) "Your crew is more shiftless than Kuja's commanders!"
Metal Man (GM): Aribar's panel lights up---BOOM! The ship shakes. Shields at 25%.
Metal Man: "Gah! Garrick, do you have any ideas?"
Aribar: "Uh oh! We're gonna be dead soon!"
Garrick: "...yes, I do." *first diverts all energy from weapons and communications to the deathray charge, then he slowly stands up on the ship and walks over the silver case that Ari brought up.*
Sky High: (Comms) "What's this? Your---" *Cuts off.*
Aetos: "Metal, do we have any rope?"
Metal Man: "No. We don't have any rope. Or bananas, either."
Garrick opens it and slowly routes around inside it... it seems to be a lot larger than it first let's on... he finally pulls out a small silver sphere.
Metal Man (GM): Garrick's got his case. The ship banks quickly while a deathray barely misses it.
Garrick: "I've got five of these in here... I think the first should go to this situation. This... is a specially made Phazon grenade."
Aetos blink. "Where have I heard of those?"
Garrick: "It should be enough to bring his shields down."
Metal Man: "...Just don't use it without proper eye protection!" Aribar's console beeps as the deathrays get closer and closer to hitting the shields.
Garrick races down to the missile loading bay and places it into the warhead of the next to be launched missle... "Metal, percentage of deathray?"
Metal Man (GM): You stick it in there. "75%. Also, you do know the power is off to those systems!"
Garrick: "Just tell me when it's at 95%..."
Aribar: "You better hope this works... I doubt we'll be able to survive much more."
Metal Man (GM): *BAM!* The shields are knocked offline. "...95%! Aieeeeee!!!"
Garrick moves to his console, diverts power from the ship status to the missles and fires that single missle..
Aribar: "One more hit and we're gonners!"
Metal Man (GM): Aribar's console goes dead as the deathray is fired; Skyhigh dodges it. He then moves to attack, only to be hit dead-on with the grenade. All the other systems come online.
Sky High: "Gahhhhh! What is this? AN UNPREDICTABLE ATTACK? I'll get you for this!"
Garrick: "Nicely timed."
Metal Man (GM): His ship flies off, the rear end of it on fire; a whole bunch of stuff falls off.
Metal Man (GM): Meanwhile, Aetos stares into the cube.
Garrick: "Get us back to base, Metal..."
Metal Man: "Aye aye." *Flip.* *Click.* *ZOOM.*
Garrick moves down to the computer core room of the ship..
Metal Man (GM): You walk to the core. It's a large, rectangular pillar in the center of the ship. There's plenty of slots to stick data into it.
Garrick moves to it... and takes out that small cube... he slowly inserts it into one of the ports...
Aetos: "Metal... who is Jeff Maxwell?"
Metal Man: "A Fallen Quester, who was killed long ago." Garrick inserts the cube; the computer scans it and finds it full of loose data; mostly control codes for Kuja's energy routing system. the last few moments of a log on it indicates he diverted activities to a different station.
Aetos: "And, this cube was his..."
Garrick: "...computer... is there anything in there similar to an A.I.?"
Aetos stares at the enscription.
Metal Man: "Huh. Well, he was a misguided scientist." Garrick: The screen comes up showing a whole lot of bits and pieces. Nothing major in it, though; mostly tiny, tiny bits.
Garrick: "...can you string them together in proper order and then run it?"
Metal Man (GM): The computer lights up and then respondes. The screen says that there aren't enough pieces; I.E. you only have a fragment of Nova, if you have a fragment of any AI at all.
Garrick: "...damn it to hell..."
Metal Man (GM): And we end part I on that note. Part II: Magellean's One-Man Mission is next.
Metal Man (GM): Charles's Journey. While all the other Questers drove off with Metal, it was Charles's unique decision to face Dark Exor and Grodus's goons by himself. The platinum warp pipe leading to it sits in the warp room. One can see Ivan and his soldiers shuffling about the base, as usual; they ensure the place is secure.
Charles arrives to the warp room. He checks the sharpness of both his swords, ready to unsheathe them in a moments notice. He takes out his dex and puts it on a manner mode so it won't beep loud and direct attention. He taps on the top of the platinum pipe a couple times.
Metal Man (GM): It rings. That pipe's made out of solid steel coated in platinum. You hear someone walk up behind you.
Charles: "Been thirty years since I've been on a covert mission to take down a magitek base."
Ivan Robotnik: "Oh Charles. I almost missed you."
Metal Man (GM): It is distinctly the same voice as Ivan's always has been; brings back memories of when he hid his name from you.
Charles looks towards Ivan. "Truly good to see an old ally since The Void once ravaged this world. Something you wish to say about before I go?"
Ivan Robotnik: "Yes... about that... there's certain concerns I have for this planet. Well, not really for it, but for us. Seeing as I have had a lot of time on my hands... I would like to use a prototype archive machine on you before you go, especially since the odds are stacked against you."
Metal Man (GM): He pulls out something that looks like a whacked-out barcode scanner.
Charles: "The odds are stacked against the others of them having enough constitution for Illian and his driving."
Metal Man (GM): The highest-tech thing to come into the hands of an ally for a long time, you'd reckon.
Ivan Robotnik: "...I wish to archive your data, and yours alone, as the only living Lunarian to be left on this planet."
Metal Man (GM): Data? Archive? Strange terms to hear; his device must be something above what you're accustomed to. It even makes Magitek sound a little old; it requires no big crystals or radioactive cores to function.
Charles raises an eyebrow slight. It lowers .2 seconds later.
Metal Man (GM): You think hard on it... You detect that he wants it very badly. It sounds like he wants to preserve the Lunarian genome. The gun looks like a DNA scanner to you.
Charles: "Sounds more like you want to... scan for something, rather than archive."
Ivan Robotnik: "The scanning is what is needed to archive it, sir."
Charles: "Curious. Now, I should be on my way." *turns around, stepping with one foot but stops with his right foot angled towards Ivan.*
Charles turns to face Ivan once more. "I... have a favor to ask."
Ivan Robotnik: "...If I could just make one scan... I would gladly do such a favor."
Charles: "It's a daunting task, perhaps for the limited resources we have, but nontheless---for a while, I've been wondering how the people not allied to Kuja have survived his wrath. I was able to track down one before he got away. I was wondering if you could create some kind of tracking signal that can locate those who do not bear a Kuja or Commander insignia. To find allies... and find the deeper mystery of how they survived."
Ivan Robotnik: "It would be very difficult. Anything with an easily detectable beacon would have been shot by Kuja by now. The only thing I can think of is searching for a specific type of radiation present on Kuja's enemies who were hit by the initial wave of magic but were not killed and not warped."
Charles: "Can it be done?"
Ivan Robotnik: "Hmmm... possibly. I would use the emeralds to power it if I did. I could get to work on it now, if I just was able to scan you."
Charles: "Thank you. Now I must go."
Metal Man (GM): He turns to leave, looking dissappointed. The pipe awaits; it looks very... shiny.
Charles gives a look of concern, yet cannot be distracted. Charles turns his right foot towards the pipe. He looks left and right... wondering where Vladimir is... He jumps in.
Metal Man (GM): You fall on through, and in a split second, appear in front of Dark Exor's lair, a good couple of paces away from the outer reaches of the force field.
Charles looks to the left and right several times.
Metal Man (GM): The monstrous thing towers over everything; UFOs dart about it in a circle. It is surrounded by magma, and shielded. The doors look almost evil.
Charles: "Most difficult. I've never seen such a security force protecting a magitek base before."
Metal Man (GM): The first problem is getting through the force field.
Charles attempts to judge the distance from where he is to where the saucers hover in circles.
Metal Man (GM): About 20 feet; you're behind a line of bushes and, as you look closer, some debris.
Charles gets out his dex. "...*nods.*" *attempts to scan a passing saucer.*
Dex: "...DING. Grodus I Saucer; has self-generated force field and omnidimensional laser cannons. Can move in all directions and senses all movement within 10 feet of the force field. There is about 1 saucer for every 40 feet in circumfrance of the shield. End of entry."
Charles: "Amazing. It can move in a way a normal person can rarely do: Dennis."
Charles uses the information he scanned of one of the saucers and reads through what security measures it has.
Dex: "Is protected from people warping in it; electronically monitored from Dark Exor. Posesses high amounts of foolproof circuitry."
Charles: "Sir Grodus the ackler. He truly is making sure none get in."
Metal Man (GM): The flying saucers continue their endless guarding; no openings present themselves.
Charles cycles through some of the items the dex has. He begins pressing specific buttons to attempt to create a trojan program in his dex.
Metal Man (GM): You successfully program one.
Charles: "Never thought something like that could be created on this."
Metal Man (GM): You have your program; it seems relatively tranquil, at the base itself.
Charles: "With specific commands, I might be able to beam it to one of the saucers and it'll go seemingly unnoticed and go on its routine, still. Then, I'll be able to control it. If those saucers are linked, then the trojan will spread to the others and I'll be able to control them simultaneously... but this is all theortical." *points the dex upward.* "Let's give this opportunity a chance..." *points it at the nearest saucer and beams the trojan.* "Moment o truth."
Metal Man (GM): Your trojan is sent up into the saucer; it suddenly stops mid-course and alarms go off.
Charles: "...Not what I expected. Let's see if the others were affected."
Metal Man (GM): The dex screen shows some sort of high-tech firewall blocking the trojan.
Charles scrolls to the main menu. He cycles through various menus and uses the buttons for moving. "Dammit..."
Metal Man (GM): Nothing happens from it; the saucers begin scanning the area instead. You're still hidden, but it appears they'd now be on alert.
Charles squats and backtracks through the menu and selects the trojan. He points the dex to the trojan-carrying saucer and attempts to hack into the security system.
Metal Man (GM): The security system is disabled; the weakened state of it allows the trojan through. More alarms go off. The information from the saucer suggests that a self-destruct mechanism may be deployed soon.
Charles directs the flowing of the trojan to see if it's linked to the other saucers. "System schematics... self-destruct mechanism..."
Metal Man (GM): It is, indeed; but as quickly as it takes them over, a self-destruct program begins to activate.
Charles directs them to the force field. He uses various buttons to impact the force field simultaneously as the self-destruct commences. While flying towards it, he attempts to order them to fire at it.
Metal Man (GM): They all crash into the field simultaneously; the field holds, but the saucers are gone.
Charles: "Damnit... Magitek has definitely grown stronger than the ones the Solarians used." *attempts to scan the force field.*
Metal Man (GM): You get a whole lot of data. The dex sums it up simply.
Dex: "This field is made to withstand Kuja's wrath by compacting under pressure; it becomes stronger from being hit but weaker when untouched and in normal mode."
Charles wonders why Grodus wouldn't want Kuja to enter Dark Exor... he uses this time to cycle through the data of the force field to understand the harmonics of it.
Metal Man (GM): The force field is an insanely complex thing; it is built out of constantly energized particles, those of which operate on a far higher frequency (and temperature) than most. When touched, it compacts to increase damage absorbing capabilities and converts damage taken into energy, which it then absorbs. Some of the controlling code in it has a "Copyright Magellean Military (TM)" on it. You can see, very plainly, he stole some of your shield information and then amplifed it with Magitek.
Charles: "He's using my shields and using it with evil existance."
Metal Man (GM): It makes you... angry. In fact... you pick out more things stolen from you. It resembles Magellean tower from this distance, and yet... surrounded by such an evil field. The field continually oozes magitek evil from its pores; the lack of any attacks or speech from within makes it seem to mock you.
Charles feels a bit angry... but then looks at the chaos emerald. He shakes his head, smiling at himself.
Metal Man (GM): You... smile. You hear something crack. Nothing far away; but you can't see it either.
Charles: "I'm not bound to you anymore, little thing. I'm thinking with my head and heart and not out of you." *puts his emerald away again. He is curious... wait.*
Metal Man (GM): You look at the emerald; IT is what cracks this time. You begin to sense some sort of other being; it appears pained. But you can't truly see it; and it doesn't do anything but seem to groan in an almost inaudbile way.
Metal Man (GM): As for the field and assorted stuff underneath it, it hasn't changed; you could probably continue trying to break in. The thing fades into view; it clutches its forehead and stares at you.
Charles re-adjusts his contacts. He begins to chuckle a bit, shaking off the weird thing that happened. Charles then clears his throat and looks at the force field.
???: "You... you... you... deny your true self... look at me... failure."
Metal Man (GM): It seems to fade in and out, almost as if your attitude has effected it for the worse. It could just vanish entirely; but it continues to speak coherently.
???: "He... stole... your... intelligence... there is no way inside... but with chaos."
Charles takes a deep breath and turns his head to where the voice is coming from.
???: "You must... destroy it... with rage... burn it all to the ground..."
Metal Man (GM): It resembles a dark version of yourself, but it seems mostly a dark shadow. It seems to waver at your stare; you can partially see through it.
???: "Raise the red emerald and let no one survive."
Metal Man (GM): You can't tell who or what it is; it could be several people.
Charles turns his head to the force field.
???: "... You will... regret this."
Metal Man (GM): It fades out entirely; the emerald cracks, and a strange gas comes out.
Charles: "No more. I have let blind anger control me for too long."
Metal Man (GM): It becomes... no longer blood red. It then heals, somehow, and the vestiges of your anger vanish from this plane. You still have the force field in your way, though. It's annoying.
Charles: "'If I had an X-blaster, I'd shoot down the fiiieellld..."
Metal Man (GM): Without the irrational destructive powers of your anger, you're going to have to outsmart this wall of energy.
Charles ponders for a moment... "If I use it again, I'll go back to where I was with Maximillian, where as if I just do this..." *walks up to the force field. Re-adjusting his contacts, he holds up his emerald and places it to the force field.*
Metal Man (GM): The force field attempts to repulse it; it compacts, pushed backwards by it.
Charles pulls back the emerald. "Evidently, that's not working."
Metal Man (GM): The field snaps back into place. It acts sorta like a rubber band; the rest of it ripples from doing so.
Charles: "...Rubber band...!" *scans the force field again. This time trying to getting a reading on a way for it to expand, rather than compress.*
Dex: "The field contracts when pushed or damaged; it expands from more energy."
Charles: "That's all I needed. If I can get it to expand enough, in theory it should eventually break apart if stretched out like a rubber band... question is how to give it energy." *equips his Star Rod, its powers radiating in Charles's hands. He uses its power of Healing and touches the force field with that power.*
Metal Man (GM): The field expands a little. That's not enough energy.
Charles tries it again.
Metal Man (GM): It expands a little more; you're going to have to do this all day and night.
Charles has an idea. Charles then steps back about 20-40 feet. He holds, in front of him, the red emerald in his right hand, and using his left hand he activates the power of Healing again, but this time he lets it flow through the emerald.
Metal Man (GM): The emerald acts dead. It's like somebody sucked all the power out of it. At least, it doesn't work with the star rod.
Charles: "...I suppose this is penance.....!" *uses his dex again. He points it at the force field one more time. He attempts to tap into it.*
Metal Man (GM): You can't really tap in it, per se, but you can tell that it can be energized externally.
Charles comes 10 feet closer. Using the dex, he tries to reroute the energy absorbed by the force field to feedback on itself and see what happens from there.
Metal Man (GM): As Charles reroutes the energy, we fade away for now, back to the Questers. (To be continued)