The Lands of Meeriad
The Lands of Meeriad

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The Lands of Meeriad - Dankton Continent - Zanardio
I Will Survive (A stinking pool of manure)

At last.

Thomas lifts his beloved Bushmaster rifle up, turning it in the light, inspecting the fresh paint of stenciled lettering around the fire mode selector. It reads, in order from safest to fastest: "Parley", "ARRR", and "Plunder".

Tom: I be a pirate.

Megan, in the doorway, clears her throat.

Megan: Well, come plunder some supper. It's getting cold.

Tom lays his rifle back on the table, stands, and exits the room, heading downstairs. He enters the dining room to find John sitting at the table, staring down a plate of pork chops whilst bouncing frantically. Megan and Tom sit. The two males prepare to pig out.

Megan: The blessing.
Tom: Right...

Ordained Minister John Gibson performs the blessing of the food. They then chow down.

In nearby Quze, Jake and Jango, occupying the Sky Wolf, are at a drive-in movie theater watching a movie starring Meeriad's equivalent of Sylvester Stallone.

Jake: Ugh. I wish they'd hurry up and re-build Callice... or at least that theater we used to go to. I can hardly stand the audio here and I need to use the Wolf's HUD magnification option to see the fraggin' screen.

Jake looks over and sees Jango still yacking away on a cell phone.

Jake: Would you get off that slagging phone?! Who is that you've been talking to for an hour?
Jango: Gotta go. Bye.

He folds the phone and tosses it on the dashboard.

Jango: My new girlfriend.
Jake: Haven't you learned by now that women are evil?
Jango: Melissa was a fluke.
Jake: Bah.
Jango: You're just angry 'cause you haven't had a girlfriend in three years.
Jake: No, I'm angry because I can't see or hear this stupid movie.
Jango: Hang on.

Jango fiddles with some controls. The movie's sound, along with an obnoxious blaring hiss, floods the cockpit. The fuzzy screen fills the HUD.

Jango: How's that?
Jake: WHAT?
Jango: Exactly.

Jango sits back with a smug look, folding his hands behind his head. Jake begins to worry about the blood running out his ears.

Meanwhile, in Hirma Field, Chris is mucking stalls and feeding his horses. Amazingly, after having let them free during the invasion, they returned.

Not much more to say here.

Lastly, trouble is afoot, brewing in the mastermind of Carlos Ritan. He is trying to find a way in which to make vast sums of money on the re-construction of Callice.

Carlos: Aha!

He grabs his red phone and begins speaking.

Carlos: Buy all the construction companies.

His secretary presumably gives a curt "yes, sir" and begins the process. Carlos rests the phone receiver back in the cradle and presses his finger tips together. Fade to tomorrow...


Tom is rocking and rolling with a C-Mag in his Bushmaster. John is standing nearby wishing he could get a C-Mag for his P90. Megan is painstakingly loading her G36 C-Mag. Tom's jams suddenly. Irked, he grunts, clears the jam, and continues. Four rounds later it fails to feed again.

Tom: Rargh. Who made these things?

John, suddenly feeling better about himself, grins.

John: Beta. Watch this.

He shoulders his P90 and unloads a magazine in one pull of the trigger. No jams.

Tom: Bah.

He tosses the C-Mag aside and loads a 30-round H&K magazine. He empties it flawlessly with one pull.

Tom: That mag cost me 100 lom, but it was worth it! Super Grin
John: Crazy H&K nuts--drinkin' their Kool-Aid.

Chris rides up on a horse, holding an AKM47 in one hand.

Chris: Howdy, pardners.
Tom: What are the haps, my friend?
Chris: Carlos Ritan just bought every construction company on the planet.
John: Very proud of him.
Chris: We should expect to be called for a job pretty soon where we'll be threatened by mad men driving excavators and bulldozers.
John: Too right.

The telephone inside John's house can be heard ringing.

All exchange nervously amused looks.
Tom Fender
Member of SG&C
Not Banned
(For conforming.)

6/20/2006 2:28:04 AM

Level: 18
Experience: 26800

Total Posts: 323
RE: I Will Survive (A stinking pool of manure)

John hurries inside, P90 bobbing on its sling at his chest as he moves, and picks up the phone.

John: SG&C.
Caller: Hi, my name is Robert Pensa. I'm the owner and president of the Pensa Construction Services Company, based in southern Callice. I got a call last night from a corporation based somewhere in Wyndor that wants to buy out my company. I told them in some excessively polite wording that I wouldn't sell. Well, a little while ago a group of thugs came into my office and threatened me. I stood my ground, but I think I'm going to need some... professional assistance.
John: Mm-hm... mm-hm-mm-hm-mm-hm.

After a few more minutes of dialog, the call ends and John goes back outside. They all look at each other in silence for a short while... and it begins.

John: In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit.
John and Tom: These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground.
John, Tom, and Chris: Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune.
Tom: If you have a problem,
John: If no one else can help,
Chris: And if you can find them,
Megan: Maybe you can hire...
All: The A-Team.

John makes bad machine gun fire noises with his mouth and proceeds with the music, and they return to rocking and rolling. The next door neighbors can soon be heard tearing butt around the back yard with their own machine guns.

Shortly thereafter, they discuss the job over a few boxes of Pizza Palace pizza.

John: Hey Megan.

He speaks through a mouthful of cheese, crust, and meat byproduct.

John: Open up NAP and put this in as Operation Slartibartfast.
Megan: Slartibartfast?
John: It's not important.

Megan shrugs and does it.
John Gibson
2nd In Command of SG&C

6/21/2006 4:42:37 PM

Level: 19
Experience: 31580

Total Posts: 442
RE: I Will Survive (A stinking pool of manure)

The next day, Chris and John are sitting near a desk at Pensa Construction Services' office. Robert Pensa himself rests on the opposite side of the desk. They have just finished discussing pricing when a man in a three-piece suit bearing black, slicked-back hair steps in.

Robert: Excuse me, guys.

Robert gets out of his chair to meet the man.

Robert: Can I help you?
Suit: Yes, you need to sell. My company's offer is extremely generous. I do not understand your hesitation.
Robert: I'm sorry, sir, but there is no hesitation whatsoever. I will not sell my family's company.
Suit: Then you leave us no choice.

The man exits, leaving Robert confused.

The door opens again and three thugs shouldering UMP45s enter. John and Chris jump to their feet, Berettas drawn. As soon as the muzzle of one UMP goes toward them, they let the thug have it. The other two go down as soon as their muzzles meet the same criteria.

Chris: All you really have to do is go buy yourself an MP5 or an AR15 and you could've done this yourself. It's not hard.
Robert: I know. I have an MP5 already, but I'm just afraid I can't use it effectively.
John: Don't worry. Us too.

Robert looks somewhat stunned at John's remark.

Chris: Don't mind him. We accept the job.
Robert: Thanks.

Suddenly, the phone rings. John's gut jumps into his mouth. He hates it when phones ring. And this one was particularly frightening.

Robert picks up the receiver and puts it to his head.

Robert: Pensa Construction.

His face gradually turns to a horrified expression.

Robert: I'm sending someone. Hang on.

Clearly enraged, he slams the phone down and turns to Chris and John.

Robert: They're attacking my workers on a job in downtown Callice.
Chris: Where exactly?
Robert: You know the Spend-a-Lot grocery store on South Palms Road?
Chris: Yeah.
Robert: It's two blocks south of that. You can see it from there. It's a two story building under construction.
Chris: We're on our way.

Chris and John run to the Jeep. Chris cranks it up and floors it, slinging dust and gravel all over. John calls the others to relay the orders. He then readies their rifles and magazine pouches.

At the construction site in downtown Callice, the Sky Wolf, occupied by Jake, Jango, Tom, and Megan, arrives. It comes to a hover low overhead. Tom and Megan release the fastropes and slide down. Jake takes a couple shots at some thugs on the ground. Once Tom and Megan land and provide cover, Jake slides down. Jango releases the ropes by remote just as a 43mm HE grenade fired by a thug slams into the side of the Wolf. Warning buzzers and lights come to life annoyingly. Jango, gritting his teeth, quickly takes the ship out of range. Jake, watching in horror, dang near has a fit.

They quickly observe that the construction workers are armed merely with pistols, save one who happens to have an MP5K. The thugs, who arrived by the car load, are equipped with AR15 and G3 rifles, various pistols, and, apparently, a grenade launcher.

The team takes cover, returning fire. The thugs are shredding the construction site. Police sirens can be heard wailing in the distance.

A couple of thugs notice a Jeep Wrangler approaching quickly. One grabs the GM94 grenade launcher from the car and turns to the Jeep... only to find he's been hit by it and is now flying helplessly through the air.

Chris and John exit the vehicle quickly, firing point blank into the bad guys. John takes a .223 to the chest. Fortunately, his body armor defeats it. He neutralizes the culprit. They both dive behind a wheel well of one of the thugs' cars and fire over the hood. Bullets riddle the opposite side of the car.

The thugs begin to push into the new building shell. A stray pops one worker in the arm, forcing him to drop his gun. He seizes the opportunity to grab him in a chokehold and use him as a shield. He soon catches a .40 caliber round to the back of the head from another worker.

Soon the police arrive to add fuel to the fire. Some thugs start shooting the patrol cars. Police return fire with AR15s of varying configurations.

One wounded thug feeling particularly suicidal crawls into one of the cars and drives at full speed toward several construction workers. They try to get out of the way, but the thug turns toward them. Tom and Megan are pouring steel into the car. The thug's head is virtually gone and the car crashes into a nearby fence, eventually coming to a halt. Two construction workers are severely injured from the impact of the car.

The few remaining thugs finally toss away their weapons and throw up their hands.
Tom Fender
Member of SG&C
Not Banned
(For conforming.)

6/25/2006 3:57:11 AM

Level: 18
Experience: 26800

Total Posts: 323
RE: I Will Survive (A stinking pool of manure)

--Carlos Ritan's Office, Callice--

Carlos sits in his high-backed office chair, staring out the large window. A man in a suit walks into the office. He stares at the back of Carlos' chair.

Man: Sir, we've lost twenty of our men trying to take one small construction company. Reportedly, the mercenaries SG&C were there. Shall we--?

Carlos continues to stare out the window. The man can't see him at all.

Carlos: Forget it. One small company is not worth the man power it would require. They'd never get any contracts anyway.
Man: Yes, sir.

The man turns promptly and leaves.

Days (and forty-seven games of chess) pass without another word from the potential buyer of Pensa Construction Services. Robert Pensa decides to relieve SG&C of their duties. They return home, all 1,500 lom richer and 400 experience points heavier.

The next day, quickly blowing their recent pay, the team is at the Electric Griddle in Legivve. Today, they are sitting in a booth in the back, well away from the large windows at the front. They have since learned from their last visit to the Electric Griddle in which John was shaved by a .30-06 and the place promptly stormed by mobsters. (The upshot, though, is they got free guns.) Today, they're just hoping for a quiet breakfast.

Tom: Hey, guys. I'm taking a poll. How many rounds of ammunition do you suppose will be expended in our direction today? Super Grin

John groans and slams his back into the rear of the booth, closing his eyes.

John: I don't want to think about it...

Suddenly, John and Chris are engulfed in a blinding green light and vanish.

Tom: OMG
Jake: What the frag?!

Tom and Jake are enveloped in the same light and vanish as well.

Megan raises her hand half-heartedly.

Megan: Not Amused Check, please.

Jango tosses 30 lom on the table just before he and Megan vanish.

Chris and John pop out of a rift in reality and land in a dark metal hallway. They immediately draw their Beretta handguns.

Chris: What... in the slag... was that?
John: I don't know.
Chris: Got your M10 on you today?

John pats his vest, beneath which is his M10.

John: Sure do.
Chris: Well, that makes me feel slightly better.
John: So, shall we go down that creepy hallway or that creepy hallway?
Chris: How 'bout that creepy hallway?
John: All right.

They start down one of two hallways. Which is irrelevant.

In a disturbingly similar hall, Jake and Tom are standing.

Jake: Welp...
Tom: We're standing.
Jake: Indeed.

Jake draws his .50 caliber Desert Eagle. Tom tries to stop himself from laughing. A mere snort escapes.

Jake: Shut up. I didn't actually expect to have to use it today, so I thought I'd carry one.

Tom's attention turns elsewhere. He sluggishly makes note of the stones, growing increasingly large, being heaved at them from the darkness. He half-heartedly lifts a finger, attempting to point at the rocks, but Jake doesn't really notice.

Tom: I am troubled.
Jake: Hello?

Bad move. Freaking bats shoot out of the darkness. And I don't mean two or three. I mean two or three million.

They proceed to run in the opposite direction, screaming like the adolescent females of their species.

In yet another not disimilar hallway stand Jango and Megan.

Jango: I have a bad feeling.
Megan: I hope you are packing today.
Jango: I have packed every day since my second day of working with SG&C.

She gives a curt nod.

Megan: Good.

Suddenly, from down a pitch black hallway a light appears. It slowly gets brighter. They stare dumbfounded, unsure of what to expect. Suddenly, it's close enough to see. Too close. It's a fireball, and it's approaching quickly.


Megan dives to the ground, pulling down a petrified Jango by his shirt collar. It zips overhead, searing their backs.

Jango: ... Ow.

They stand up. Jango dusts himself off and rubs his charred back, making sucking noises.

Megan: Who's out there?!

No response.

They turn around to see the fireball returning. It has grown large enough to fill the entire hallway. Their eyes widen. Megan begins running. Jango, screaming, draws his Kimber M1911 and unloads it into the fireball.

Megan: Are you an IDIOT?!

It soon shatters into hundreds of smaller flaming bits that collide with the floor and burn out. Jango reloads his pistol, lip quivering, and holsters it. Megan steps up beside him and shrugs her shoulders slightly.

Megan: ... Huh. I guess not.

Jango finally gets ahold of himself and looks at Megan.

Jango: Where to?
Megan: Now, St. Peter? ... Uh... The way the fireball came from.

Jango and Megan depart in opposite directions.

Megan: No--I mean the original way.
Jango: ... Oh.

He follows Megan.

Elsewhere, Chris and John find themselves locked in mortal combat with two eight-foot bipedal creatures covered in thick armor from head to toe and wielding medieval weaponry. They've already proven their pistols ineffective against the strange armor. They are fighting with two large battle axes they happened upon during the melee.

John: This is not... how I wanted... to spend the weekend.
Chris: Coincidentally, I planned on going to the... battle axe... show this weekend.

Similarly, Jake and Tom find themselves battling bat man--not the Batman but a bat man.

Jake: We're screwed.
Tom: I have reason to believe this giant bat man was created via a combination of the two to three million bats by which we were harrassed.
Jake: Oh, ya think?!

Tom holds up his right hand, palm outward. His fingers are split evenly.

Tom: Greetings, bat man, we come in piece.

The bat man takes a swing at them with razor sharp claws.

Jake counters with a double-tap from his Desert Eagle. The rounds go center-of-mass but don't seem to faze the beast.


Jake grasps Tom's collar firmly and begins moving swiftly.

Jake: What is going on?!
Tom: Universal greeti--
Jake: Not you! Them! This place!

Tom shrugs as much as he can given that Jake is yanking his collar.
Tom Fender
Member of SG&C
Not Banned
(For conforming.)

7/1/2006 2:01:08 AM

Level: 18
Experience: 26800

Total Posts: 323
RE: I Will Survive (A stinking pool of manure)

After a bout of short-term memory loss, Tom and Jake find themselves behind some steel crates inside a warehouse. Being shot at.

Jake: ...What just happened?
Tom: I figured it was just me.

He whips out his USP40 and returns fire... unsure of who he's shooting at, however. Jake pulls the magazine out of his Desert Eagle. It has two rounds in it. He swaps it with a fresh one and sticks his head out a bit to survey their situation. Automatic fire walks across the floor toward him and he quickly withdraws his melon.

Tom: Good thing we have this hulking steel crate for cover, huh?

Jake hears a clinking sound over by Tom.

Tom: Oh, check this out!

Jake looks at Tom. Tom is holding an armed grenade rather calmly. Jake's eyes widen and he lets out a yelp before Tom throws it back in the general direction of the gunfire. Just after the explosion, they hear a loud bang--like a door being kicked in--and six shots that don't quite sound like the others that have been deafening them for an unknown amount of time. The gunfire stops completely. Jake leans out from behind the crate. He yells and falls back on his butt when he finds a man directly around the corner. Looking upward, he sees it's Don Willis, John's Hulk Hogan look-alike friend. He is wielding two M1911s and wearing a black and white three-piece suit as well as a bandana and sunglasses.

Don: Hey guys.

Jake almost chuckles at the thought that he was just rescued by Hulk Hogan.

Don: My limo's outside. Let's go before some more pretards try to ventilate you.
Jake: Limo?
Tom: Limo!

Don reloads one 1911 as they proceed to the front door, double-checks the perforation of one of the shooters' heads, and reloads that one.

Outside, the sky looks like a giant circuit board. Just in front of the warehouse sits a limousine with no wheels. It's not designed to be a hovering limousine, it just lost its wheels and decided to fly from there on out. Don tactically slides across the hood and gets in the passenger side while Tom and Jake get in the back. A man decked out in tactical gear is driving. There are MP5 holsters built into the center console and a gun rack in the back with a DSA FAL, FN SCAR-L, and Benelli M3 on it. At the rate of acceleration the limo suddenly achieves, it would have screeched if it had tires.

Jake: Do you know where everyone else is?

Don grabs one of the MP5s, hangs out the window, and rips off a burst. He leans back in, rolls up the window, and turns to Jake.

Don: There's a few places we know to check out.

He passes a glance out the window behind Jake.

Don: Keep an eye out, there's a lot of flaming skulls in this 'hood.

The driver rolls down his window and shoots something unseen with his Glock.

Jake: How long have you guys been here?
Don: I don't know.

He looks at the driver.

Don: Three days?
Driver: Somewhere around there.
Jake: ...Oh. We just got here.

Tom takes a bag of Skittles out of a mag pouch on his vest and begins munching.
John Gibson
2nd In Command of SG&C

8/11/2006 12:55:01 AM

Level: 19
Experience: 31580

Total Posts: 442
RE: I Will Survive (A stinking pool of manure)

Tom's expressions turns to one someone would have having eaten something extremely bitter. Jake notices.

Jake: Tom, your expressions looks to be one someone would have having eaten something extremely bitter. What's up?
Tom: My teeth are rotting. I haven't brushed in two hours. Now I'm eating Skittles. What's wrong with me?
Jake: I'm... not sure...

Jake turns to look back out the window and nearly jumps into Tom's lap. A grinning, flaming skull has its bony face pressed right up against the glass. It soon eats some steel jacketed lead from the driver's Glock.

Jake: Jeez Louise.
Tom: And Uncle Fester.
Jake: ... Huh?
Driver: Hold on.

The floating limo speeds up even more. Jake struggles to turn around and sees three huge flaming boulders chasing them. He quickly turns back around, bug-eyed.

Jake: I didn't want to see that.
Don: Slow down, slow down. This is it.

The driver does so, much to Jake and Tom's dismay. The limo makes a sharp 90-degree turn and the environment changes drastically. It appears to be the inside of an empty and unlit warehouse with a single small wooden door.

Tom: Well. That was drastic.
Jake: Quite.

Don and the driver exit the car.

Don: Come on.

Jake and Tom follow. Don and the driver are walking at a brisk pace toward the lone door.

Jake: Do you have any idea what's going on?
Don: Not really.
Driver: We're working on it.

Don draws an M1911 and takes the door knob out. He kicks in the door and keeps moving, all in one smooth motion.

Tom: Remember that movie the... the Array or something?
Jake: The Arra--?
Tom: No... The Matrix. That's it.
Jake: Oh--yeah. Why?
Tom: Maybe we're in "the Matrix." This is all a virtual reality and we can do whatever we want if we can just "free our minds."
Jake: ... That is very disturbing. How do we get out?
Tom: Take the red pill.
Don: Quiet!

People can be heard talking faintly in the dark, maze-like room.

Female voice: It's gotta be this way. Come on.

A burst of flame can be heard.

Female voice: SLAG!
Jake: Megan?!
Female voice: Jango?
Male voice: I didn't say anything.
Jake: Megan! Jango! It's Jake!
Don: ... Slag.

The hall is bathed in flickering light. A huge flaming skull bolts toward Don, Jake, Tom, and the driver. Don is already pouring steel into it with his two 1911s. The rest are firing as they duck out of the room.

Gun shots can be heard from Megan and Jango.

Megan: Anybody else think this is ridiculous?!
Tom: Absolutely!

Megan and Jango dash around a corner only to meet the flaming skull.

Megan and Jango: Wide Eyes

They grab floor as the skull grazes their backs. They jump up and run toward the door before the skull has a chance to turn around. Don pulls the two of them through and slams the door shut, but it swings back open due to its lack of latch. It doesn't matter. The gang are already climbing into the limo. If it could screech, it would, right back "outside."

Megan: Just what the heck is going on?
Tom: A lot o' mondo weird slag.

Megan, breathing heavily, assumes nobody knows and lays her head back, closing her eyes.

Tom: Are you dead?
Megan: No. I'm not dead. Do I smell?
Tom: We--
Megan: Shut up.
Jake: Not Amused Nobody saw that coming...

After some uncomfortable silence, Jake turns to Jango.

Jake: What's up?
Jango: I want my mommy.
Jake: Me too.
Jango: You want my mommy?
Jake: ... No. Mine. Not Amused

Megan opens her eyes and props her head back up.

Megan: Figures that today we don't carry our rifles, right?
Tom: Totally.
Don: Feel free to use ours. They're on the rack, and there's more under the seat.

They painfully check beneath the seats. A treasure trove meets their saucer-like eyes.

Jango: Wow.
Jake: That's a lot.
Tom: Dibs on the G3Ks.
Megan: You don't need three.

I get two.

Jake: Well, you two can fight over those. I get this lovely FAL here...

Jake grabs the DSA FAL off the rack. They pop open the .50 caliber ammo cans strewn about and find many loaded magazines for their appropriate rifles.

Don: Check here.

The driver again pulls through another tear in reality. They find themselves in what appears to be the exact same dark, empty warehouse. The door knob is intact though. Not for long.

It is blown away by some 00 buckshot from Don's M3. Amazingly, he's using it in the semi-auto mode because it works just fine and this isn't a movie and there's no need to look stylish.

Don kicks the door in once again.

John: Who's out there?!
Don: It's Don.
John: We're coming to you. Stay there.

A moment later, Chris and John turn around a corner and spot everybody else. They rush out the door and get into the limo.

Chris: Has anybody noticed that none of this is very well described?
Tom: Yes, I have, in fact. It has been irking me for a good while now. Yes...
Jake: What do you mean?

Fortunately, conversation about the author's flaws is cut short by many small flaming skulls pelting the limo.

Jake: Where are we headed now?
Don: Don't know.
John: How long have you been here, Don?
Don: Three days.
John: Cripes. Any idea why?
Don: Nope.
Tom: Guys, I'm telling you now. We're in the Matrix.

John leans toward Tom ominously. Tom's expression of stone cold determination remains unchanged.

John: So... where... are all the "agents"?

Don grunts as gun fire is heard. Bullet holes appear in the windshield. Trails that seem to ripple the very air pass straight through them.

Tom: Uhm...

They all look out the windshield and see two suits with .44 Magnum Desert Eagles firing at the limo.

John: I should learn when to shut up.
Jake: This is only because Tom said something. If he had kept his dang mouth shut, we'd only have flaming skulls!
Megan: It's irrelevant now.

The car seems to have been disabled. Everybody rolls out of the limo and ducks behind it. The men continue to pour ammo into it.

Chris: We'll wait till they're empty--shouldn't be long--and see if we can get some answers.

About twelve rounds a piece later, they're still firing without interruption.

Tom (deep tone): The mind makes it real.
Chris: They don't reload.
Jake: I want those guns.
Tom: Don't follow me.

Everybody looks confused for a moment. Tom jumps up from behind the quickly deteriorating car, roaring, and bum rushes the two suits. They focus their fire on his center of mass. The bullets pass through him harmlessly.

Chris: Did you see that?
John: I think so.
Jake: He's nuts.
Megan: He's good.

Tom pulls some Jason Bourne, disarming the two men, and quickly has them sprawled unconscious on the ground.

Tom: It's safe... for now.

They all come out from behind the last Swissed piece of car left.

Megan: How did you do that?
Tom: I am nuts, remember? You guys did it.
Jake: This is Jawesome.
Tom: Jake.... don't risk it. You're way more sane than I am. It'd never work.
Jake: Slag.

With a smug grin plastered to his face, Jake picks up the two men's Desert Eagles and shoves them into his waistband.

Chris smacks one back into consciousness.

Chris: What is this? Where are we? Who did this?

The man gives Chris a blank stare. He remains silent.

Reality suddenly fades to black. All that remains are SG&C, Don, and the driver. They stand in an infinite field of black.

John: I'm scared.
Jango: I think I just pooped my pants.

Gruff voice: You've ruined my whole test. You broke the rules. You h4xx0rz.
Megan: Who the slag are you?

The owner of the voice steps out of the reality-defying shadow. It appears to be one of the Sunny's colored brown.

Drut: I am Drut. The Drut. I needed to test you. I am recruiting the ultimate soldiers for my ultimate army to conquer the ultimate Meeriad--egh--Meeriad.

Tom steps forward and points defiantly.

Tom: YEAH?! You and whose ARMY?!
Drut: Uhm...
John: ... Tom.
Tom: ... Oh.

He takes a step back sheepishly.

Chris: Do the Dominion Masters know about this?
Drut: Not at all.

Chris whips out his cell phone and hits speed dial for "Dominion Masters."

Drut: I think not.

With a simple movement of his hand, the phone flies into the abyss.

Drut: Actually... I could've let you do that. It's not like it actually works here. This isn't real. I just wanted to pretend like I had actual telekinetic powers. Anyway, you guys are either wit' me or again' me. What it is, yo?

Long, awkward silence.

Chris: ... What?

Drut's shoulders slump as he releases an exasperated sigh.

Drut: Are you going to join my army or not?
Megan: We'll get back to you. Don't call us, we'll call you.
Drut: I'm afraid I'll need an answer now. Actually, I'm not afraid. I'll just need an answer now. As in.... this instant.
Megan: Uhh...
John: What do you hope to accomplish with an army? Genocide?
Drut: Uhm... Uh... That's classified until you actually join my army.
John: Okay, we join. What do you hope to accomplish with an army?
Drut: Uhh... I haven't... actually... thought of that.
John: I don't believe this.
Drut: Okay, okay, okay. Here. There's a conspiracy that involves several large companies and two governments to make a major power grab. As it is now, the governments of this world really don't have much power. That's how it should remain. These greedy people think otherwise.

John's face is growing red.

Drut: Testing you to make sure you were up to par. It seems you figured out how to break my simulation so you couldn't die.

Tom raises his hand in arrogance.

Tom: Thank you. Thank you.
Drut: I'm actually an agent of the Dominion Masters. They once again call upon your services and a few others to put an end to this power grab.
Chris: Why don't they just nuke it from orbit?
John: Yeah. That is the only way to be sure after all.

Everyone else nods in agreement.

Drut: We'd like to avoid another "Liebrel" incident.
Chris: You guys nuked Liebrel?
Drut: Not exactly. We hit it with a bigbutt ion blast.
Jake: Is that a technical term? "Bigbutt"?
Drut: YES. Anyway, it used to be a thriving country. Then it all went downhill once politicians gained more and more power and fortune. They started restricting people's rights, slowly at first. They planted ideas into everybody's heads about "political correctness" and "racism."

Jake: What the heck's that?

Drut doesn't seem to hear him and continues.

Drut: Soon, people were afraid to speak any more. They became hypnotized by dedicated "news" television channels--barely-disguised propaganda dispensers. They spouted claims of evil doers wanting to destroy their wonderful "eutopia." Eventually, they were outlawing weapons of all kinds for the "protection" of the people. They even went so far as to ban martial arts of any kind. The nation was gripped in fear of a non-existant enemy. Helpless, they depended upon the government more and more--

Tom: Wait, hang on. Back up. They outlawed weapons to protect people? Huh?
Megan: That doesn't make any kind of sense.
Drut: Tell me about it, but that's how it goes. I actually know of another planet where similar events are going on right now. I've heard rumors that the Dominion Masters for that one are going to blow it up pretty soon. It's pretty bad. So, you going to help nip this in the bud so we don't have to roast half the planet?
Chris: This is a little fishy... I find it very hard to believe that that could ever happen... Are people that dumb?
John: Yeah, and why didn't we just hear this straight from the DMs like we have in the past? Why the bullslag?
Drut: Okay, I was just told to take care of it and some Sungineers got done with this new virtual reality program I wanted to test out.
John: You're crazy.

Everybody's vision turns a blinding white. They wake up staring at the ceiling of a very sterile, steely room.

Drut: Welcome... to the real world.

They all sit up quickly, strainers resting on their heads. They look ridiculous.

Drut: You're onboard the Dominion Master mother ship. Come, I'll take you to them.

They follow Drut out of the room and down an insanely long hall to a tram. They board it and travel at a very high speed, presumably to the chamber of the Dominion Masters.
Tom Fender
Member of SG&C
Not Banned
(For conforming.)

8/31/2006 1:50:33 AM

Level: 18
Experience: 26800

Total Posts: 323
RE: I Will Survive (A stinking pool of manure)

The team is beamed to the surface.


It is excruciating. John is lying on the ground whimpering and sucking his thumb.

The matter rebuilding process fails for a Blick that came with them. He is a mangled mass of tissue. Everybody pukes. It and a million other dead Blicks are beamed into the local star to keep it burning.

Another Blick is beamed down wearing some sort of ambassadorial garb and holding an FN SCAR-L. As John was in the worst pain, he crouches on his knees, pets John's head, and lays the SCAR gently on the ground next to him.

He then raids John's wallet for 1100 lom. John whimpers a little more, hugging the SCAR.

A ghostly blue image of the Drut from before appears to them.

Drut: Luke. You must go to the Dagobah system. There you will find Yoda, the Jedi master who instructed me.

John, still lying on the ground, reaches out to the image weakly.

John: ...Ben...?
Drut: No, you gibbering fool. It's Drut. Go out and kick some yeah.

John jumps to his feet and raises the SCAR above his head.


With heroic music in tow, they walk in slow motion down an empty road in Callice. After they bask in their own glory, the ghostly blue image of Drut flies up in front of them again.

Drut: Dudes. You don't even know who you're after.
Chris: ...You're absolutely right.
Drut: So take this.

He withdraws a scroll from... behind himself. Our heroes hope it wasn't his butt. He holds it out.

Chris: You're a hologram.

Or... something.
Drut: ...What? .....Oh, OH, right.

The scroll materializes and falls to the ground. Chris picks it up and unrolls it. It is written in olde timey font.

Chris: I can't read it.
Drut: DANG, I said I got GAMECAST! I can't afford it!

He starts flinging papers everywhere and they materialize in front of our heroes.

Megan: This is scaring me.
Tom: I feel right at home.

Drut points at one of the papers on the ground.

Drut: Try that one.

Chris picks it up. It's a list of names with just about every background detail they could ask for.

Chris: ...That's pretty... uhh...
Jake: Jawsome.
Chris: Exactly.
Jake: I know. Isn't it jawsome?
Chris: Okay, stop it.

Chris looks back up at the Drut from the paper.

Chris: Couldn't you have just sent an army of your furry guys to take these guys out? They seem pretty expendable.

The image disappears.

Chris: ...I really hate that man.

They find themselves in front of the capitol.

John: Anybody know how we got here?
Chris: Blind luck.
Tom: I'm hungry.
John: Whatever. Anyway...
Chris: Let's go kick some yeah!

With the sound of an army of barbarians, they charge into the capitol building with guns raised high. Tom wakes up hugging a concrete column in the front of the building.

Tom: Did anybody see that? Or hear that?
Chris: ...No.
John Gibson
2nd In Command of SG&C

9/15/2006 1:16:12 AM

Level: 19
Experience: 31580

Total Posts: 442
RE: I Will Survive (A stinking pool of manure)

Megan: So what do we do? Assassinate these people?
Chris: I don't know. Probably.
Megan: Are... we going to?
Chris: I doubt it--Tom, get down from that column.

Tom slides down the decorative column and stands up straight, dusting himself off and clearing his throat.

Some men in suits sporting black shades and earpieces seem to appear from nowhere.

Suit #1: SG&C, you're under arrest.
John: ... Huh?

Jake chuckles, crossing his arms in an attempt to look menacing. It actually does work, but it doesn't affect the suits.

Jake: On what charge?
Suit #1: Conspiracy to destroy the government and assassinate national leaders.
Jake: Blink

Aboard the Mothership, a cloak-clad Kyle Blizzard stares intently out the large viewport.

Kyle: Slag.
Clint: What it is, my brother?
Kyle: Events are already set in motion, and it is further along than we thought.

Clint raises an eyebrow.

Clint: You... can see that by looking out that window?
Kyle: Uh--no. I actually read it on the computer over there, but I came over here to start talking about it.
Clint: ... Ah.
Jon: SG&C will once again be fugitives and have to work against all odds to achieve our goals.
Rob: Sure didn't take long to get into that meat grinder.

Back on the surface, SG&C find themselves looking down the barrels of several Glock 21s.

Tom: Conspiracy to destroy the government. What a joke.
Suit #1: Throw all your weapons on the ground and interlock your fingers behind your heads. I'm not going to ask again.

The team exchange glances.

Chris: I've got one quick question first.

Against his better judgement, Suit #1 responds.

Suit #1: What is it?
Chris: How bad are you guys at shooting?

Taking advantage of the miniscule distraction, the team scatters into alleyways and stores.

Chris ran into a Save-A-Bunch grocery store. He rips his bandana off his head and shoves it into a pocket. Since no one has ever actually seen him without it, he figures it's a great way to go unnoticed. He grabs a cart and heads toward the canned goods to load up on tuna. One of the suits enters the store in an attempt to locate Chris among the crowd.

Outside, Megan and Jake have taken separate alleys. Jake manages to lose a suit, but the other is still in pursuit of Megan.

Megan: Why's it always dudes in suits? At least they're not shooting at us... yet.

Obviously, her assailant fires at her. She hears and feels the round sail past her head and strike a wall ahead. This action only serves to anger her. She stops dead in her tracks and spins around dropping to one knee to face the suit. TLE/RL drawn, she unloads the entire magazine in his direction, forcing him to dive for cover. She turns to run again, reloading on the way, and weaves through the various alleyways to lose him.

Back aboard the Mothership, the Dominion Masters gather 'round the excessively large conference style table.

Jon: It's already quite out of hand.
Clint: Agreed. Drut left them in the virtual training world too long. We needed them months ago.
Kyle: We may have no other choice but to fry the planet.
Jon: Again.
Kyle: Right.

SG&C finally reunite at a bus stop several blocks away from their insertion. The ghostly blue image of Drut appears to them once again.

Drut: This is urgent. The Dominion Masters will fry the planet by the end of the day if you don't stop this. I'm cereal.
Jake: Super cereal?
Drut: Ultra cereal.
Jake: OMG
Chris: Dude, we're not assassins.
Drut: Then you'll be bacon. Your choice.

The image fades away, leaving our heroes no alternatives.

Tom: So, by waxing a few people, we make everything better?

John shrugs.

John: That's what they seem to think.
Chris: Who's first on the hit list?

John pulls the piece of paper from an inside vest pocket.

John: James Adler Greer.
Jake: Isn't he CEO of G&T Holdings?
John: Yeah...
Tom: I've always wondered--that is such a huge company with more money than you can imagine--what do they do?
Jake: Make... money...?
Tom: How?!
Chris: Probably by owning everything.
Tom: That doesn't make sense.
John: It's too big to comprehend. It boggles the mind.
Tom: So for what do they need more power and money?

Chris shrugs.

Megan: None of you guys are seriously considering assassinating any of these people, are you?
Chris: No, Megan. Don't get excited.

A bus pulls up to the curb and several people get off. A police car power slides around a corner. It reaches the bus stop and grinds to a halt, driver's side window rolling down.

Driver: SG&C!
SG&C: Mr. President?
Keith: Not anymore. Just Keith.

Several more police cars slide around the same corner.

Keith: Get in!

Without hesitation, the team pile into the car. It peels out and screams down the road, police in hot pursuit.

Megan: What the heck is going on?! Why are you no longer president?
Tom: And running from the cops, might I add?
Keith: Guess you guys don't keep up with current events. I was arrested for treason several weeks ago and was awaiting death. I managed to break out and borrow this car.

They look stunned.

Chris: What'd you do?
Keith: Stood in the way of our new lords and masters.
John: Okay, where the heck were we for several weeks?!
Chris: I guess we must've been in that virtual reality thing for weeks. Wow. Blink
John: Everything is making less and less sense as we go.
Jake: It's Apocolypse II.

The others pretend to get Jake's joke and so move on with their lives.

Keith: There is no longer direct voting by the population. It's all done by proxy now, but it's all just a show. The huge corporations run things now and so put on the whole voting show to keep people happy. I'm fairly confident their first order of business was to drop a stupid bomb on the country.
Chris: Wow. Glad we were off the planet. All this happened in a few weeks?
Keith: Months.
John: o.o

Keith is casually sliding around corners and catching air on speed bumps in an attempt to outrun the police. Now two helicopters appear to be chasing them.

Chris: We're in a pickle.
Tom Fender
Member of SG&C
Not Banned
(For conforming.)

1/7/2007 2:57:14 AM

Level: 18
Experience: 26800

Total Posts: 323
RE: I Will Survive (A stinking pool of manure)

Keith: Mr. Storms, you're probably a better driver than I am. Let's switch.

Chris's eyes light up. John's eyes open up. He grips the door. He sounds grave.

John: Chris! No! Bored

Keith takes a corner on two wheels. Chris flies into the door--which wasn't entirely latched. The door flies open and Chris catches himself on it, face three inches away from the asphalt that is currently moving upwards of 80 miles per hour.

Megan: No we didn't. Calm down.

Chris pushes himself back into the car just as Keith cuts a little close to a telephone pole. The door is nearly ripped from its hinges, but actually just closes and latches firmly--with a huge dent in it.

John: Okay! Maybe we should let Chris drive! Bored

John firmly grips Megan, who is sitting in his lap due to lack of space in the car. This is possibly the worst driving he has ever experienced.

Tom: This is no worse than that time Jango was driving us to Pancake Emperor.
Jango: Heeey!
John: ...That's a terrible restaurant name.
Tom: But they had some good pancakes...

Tom looks wistful. He licks his lips.

Chris: Guys! Shut up! We're about to switch!
John: NO YOU'RE NOT. Wide Eyes

John reaches for his CCW. Chris looks back at him and sees the aforementioned action.

Chris: We're not switching.

The passenger side rear view mirror snaps off as the car presses up against the wall of an off-ramp it is now travelling up.

Chris: You're actually going UP an OFF-RAMP?
Keith: They'd be crazy to follow us, wouldn't they?

Dispatch: Yes, sergeant?
Sergeant Piett: We've sighted the stolen vehicle, but it's entered an off-ramp and we cannot risk--
Dispatch: Off-ramps do not concern me, sergeant. I want that vehicle, not excuses.


The car turns some 30 degrees to the side as it climbs the highway median to return to the proper flow of traffic.

John: In ten seconds, if Jango isn't already, I'm going to start screaming.

Five seconds later, Jango starts screaming.

Keith: Look, I hope you guys are coming up with a plan.
Jake: Why?

Keith points at the gas gauge. Jake is the only one who can see it, being in the middle front seat. Everybody else is silent.

Keith: It's... It's empty.

Everybody remains silent. John is actually visibly relieved.

Keith: Luckily, my good friend Jones McCarthy is right above us with a military helicopter.
Jango: JONES?! OH SLAG YES!!!!

The car stalls and slowly rolls to a halt. Luckily, this causes a traffic jam preventing the police behind them from reaching them. The sound of a helicopter--different from the police helicopters that have been following them--grows ever louder. Since the car has power windows and it just stalled, Jango gets out to look up.

Jango: It's Jones! Everybody out!

Slowly and with much difficulty, everybody manages to get out of the car. John almost falls as soon as he applies weight to his legs, as they have become cramped from the extremely cramped car and numb from Megan's weight. Tom manages to catch him as he leaves the car. An MH-53J Pave Low lands across the highway, blocking traffic entirely.

Jango: That crazy fragger got a Pave Low!

Jango RUNS to the helicopter.

Tom: ...Fragger?

John howls in pain.

Megan: Get moving, you sissy!

They proceed to the enormous heavy-lifting chopper. Police open fire. It all misses our heroes and bounces off the helicopter's hull.

Jones is standing in the cockpit doorway, saluting. He is wearing a flight jacket and some sweet goggles.

Jones: You guys've better been taking great care of my baby!

He turns and leaps back into the pilot seat. Jango joins him. The chopper lifts off. Our heroes adopt positions at the mounted guns, firing on the police. Hey--they didn't have to follow orders.
John Gibson
2nd In Command of SG&C

1/7/2007 10:49:40 PM

Level: 19
Experience: 31580

Total Posts: 442
The Lands of Meeriad - I Will Survive (A stinking pool of manure)

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