Grand Battle S3G1! (Round Four: City of the Dead)

Grand Battle S3G1! (Round Four: City of the Dead)
Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Valter.

"Jenkin's Enraged Theropod Disposal Services, how may I help you?"

"Uh, yes, there's an enraged Theropod loose in my facility that needs to be disposed of. Can you help?"

"Well, it looks like you've got the right place, at least. Let's see, you're from Unity Plant Keter, right? Shouldn't be too... woah. Woah. Hold on."

"'Woah'? What's the problem?"

"Sir, are you aware that your plant's generators are completely offline?"

Emby puffed up with indignity. "I'm working on it, okay? Some kind of code red anomaly happened a few hours ago, and some hooligans start wrecking the place, and suddenly the foreman is dead and the generator is dead? I'd love to get started on repairs, but I'm gonna need some help, first."

"Listen, buddy, dinosaurs are the least of your trouble right now. If it makes you feel any better, I wouldn't have considered wading into full chaos even if your supervisor were still alive. You're on your-


"...Excuse me? Hello?"

"Miles Zember Embyweather."

"What? Who is this?"

"I speak on behalf of the Chief of Security. I hijacked this phone line on account of the class 6 outbreak currently underway in your facility."

Emby's face turned bright pink. "I can assure you that none of this was the fault of me or any of my coworkers, and I have the tapes to-"

"Quiet. If you're reprimanded for anything, it'll be the decay you allowed into Keter Plant in the months prior to this incident. For now, we have more important things to discuss.

"I'm not going to mince words with you, Miles; there is a absolutely astonishing amount of Chaos converging on Keter right now, and you're smack in the middle of it. We thought we were going to have to send in a platoon to secure the area... until we caught your call's signal. We weren't aware that there was anybody left alive there, but you present the perfect opportunity for us, Embyweather. You're going to do our job for us."

"What on earth do you think I can do about this," Emby shouted, gesturing needlessly at the monitors in front of him, "that you would need a platoon of soldiers for otherwise?"

"You can enter a code. We have a failsafe for class 5 chaotic breakouts and above, but it needs to be activated from the inside of the facility. There is a terminal near your position, yes? Please enter 'Override B-29' into the console."

"Uh? ...okay, it apparently wants a password. When was this implemented? I never heard anything about any overrides."

"That means our secret service agents did their job right. Password is 'omega'. Is it entered?"

"Looks like it was accepted. What exactly does this-"

"Good work. God rest your soul." -click-

huh, Emby thought as he put down the receiver. that was a bit of an odd farewe-

Then the alarms started.





"Imperialist swine!" Kerak shouted, waving his fist at the impudent speaker hanging from the ceiling.

"Your commitment to the revolution is admirable, Kerak, but I'm afraid the voices from On High have a bit of a point this time," Scofflaw said.

"Hmmph. We have five minutes. I'm sure we can break whoever is trying to poison us that quickly."

Scofflaw shook his head. "I imagine this 'whoever' is already dead. You killed him not ten minutes ago."

"Jorgansaard?" Kerak scoffed. "I have found the dead to be rather shy on words, Scofflaw, let alone actions."

"He didn't do this now. No, it was a trap, set to eradicate whoever eventually brought about his demise. It's what I would do in his shoes, at least. Actually, gamma radiation and deadly poison doesn't sound half bad..."


"I suppose I'd rather not be eradicated..." Kerak said hesitantly. He had hoped for at least one more goring before the day was out.

"Then follow me. I doubt the bunkers will present any traceable scent for your nose, and I happened upon a map during my travels here that should service us nicely." It was more that he had 'happened upon' a small army of sonar nanobot that could construct a functional 3D image of everything within a cubic mile of him in a matter of seconds, but that information was strictly 'need to know'.

"At any rate, we had best be on our way. I have extensive familiarity with turning people's lungs into paste, and I can assure you that it is not an even remotely pleasant experience."

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Dragon Fogel.

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Pinary.

As the four-minute warning echoed in the distance above them, Tengeri, Tor, and Velobo fled up the curving tunnel. Tengeri was wary, on her guard; something about this set of tunnels was making her scanners return nothing but gibberish. What few readings she got that were at all consistent were blatantly impossible, and if it hadn't been for the rust-coloured man's complete, unwavering certainty that this tunnel was the right one, the Leviath would have stopped right then and found her own way.


"Come along, children," Scofflaw chirped. "We're off to see the wizard."

Kerak, with barely a glance back at the steaming pile of fresh-cooked jumbo calamari, followed, keen as he was to track down the magic man. Tor and Tengeri, on the other hand, shared a look, one that crossed species and said, quite plainly, "yeah, that's happening." Neither of them moved. Velobo, unconscious at the time, didn't follow either.

With just one last look back and an "oh well, you're missing out" little tsk, Scofflaw closed the Chaos-spawned door behind him. It closed with a slight slam, then slowly fell forward, taking the frame with it and clattering to the floor. The stone behind it was as solid as the rest of the wall.

Just a moment later, the first warning echoed down to them, muffled a bit by distance and Chaotic interference. Tor frowned at it, listening, then turned to Tengeri, who was eyeing the downed monster.

"Right," he said, falling easily back onto the experience and instincts of a captain. His tone was curt, matter of fact- he wasn't asking if people would do things, he was simply stating it as a fact. "Tengeri, by the time I've got Velobo, you'll be with me and ready to go. You'll follow me to our escape tunnel, and we'll be out of here. Got that?"

The Leviath nodded, then turned to focus on the behemoth. Tor, meanwhile, moved slowly over to the unconscious Plazmuth. "Velobo," he asked, curt and urgent, "are you okay?" When he got no response, he grabbed the cube and lifted, heaving him up onto his shoulder.

The Telpori-Hal turned to Tengeri just as she finished gathering her samples. "Here, can you take him," he asked, and with a nod, she moved in next to him. With a grunt, Tor heaved Velobo, who was just regaining consciousness, on top of the Leviath.

"Now," Tor said, taking the lead toward the tunnel, "we need to go. We've got a bit over four minutes until that gas attack, and I rather doubt any of us want to be around when it hits. There's a tunnel this way, and it'll get us to the surface. From there, we either get to the bunkers that announcement mentioned or just get clear. I'd rather venture out into Chaos territory than get gassed, myself." Without looking back at the other two for assent, he moved quickly, breaking into a run as he neared the tunnel's entrance. His current form may not have been the best for carrying around a cube that was most of a meter in all dimensions, but running, that he could do.

As the four-minute warning echoed in the distance above them, Tor lead the group up the tunnel, his steps unerring. He knew just what was coming.

"You might see something unusual up ahead," he yelled to the two behind him, "just ignore it, it's fine."
Tengeri thought that they were taking quite a number of strange things in stride already, but when they rounded a bend to see another Tor, the last Tor, standing at a fork in the tunnel with a smoking, dying version of the current Tor at his feet, she reminded herself that, with Chaos around, things could always get weirder.

Tor didn't even glance at his past self as he raced by, turning the corner sharply and heading down the other side of the fork they'd just come from. Tengeri followed suit, Velobo still on her back, and the three continued upwards.

The walls were spattered with bits of sourceless daylight, now, and the curve started to get sharper and sharper. The tunnel still rose, but it also bent in on itself, until Tengeri's readings suggested that they really should be wrapping through the space it was already occupying. Tighter still, curving closer in, starting to feel constrictive without ever changing dimensions, tighter, curving further, unable to stop running, closer in, wrapping impossibly around itself, until-

With a slight pop, they found themselves rushing down a hallway, and as fast as they could, they stopped themselves, catching whatever breath they needed.
Velobo, for obvious reasons, wasn't terribly exhausted by the whole thing. (Though that curving tunnel had still been as strange for him as for the other two.)

After a moment more rest, Tor straightened, took a deep breath, and said, "Okay. We've got-"


Tor sighed, then started again. "We've got three minutes to get to safety. Tengeri, you're the one with the implants. Any sort of mapping system that can tell us where that bunker is?"

"chaos has rendered them useless," she formed.

"Alright then." He turned to the door nearest them. "In that case, I guess we improvise." Before he could open it, though, it opened of its own accord.

"...not much farther, just a bit down this- oh." Scofflaw stopped talking as he saw Tor staring daggers at him.

Tengeri gave her best approximation of a sigh, thoroughly expecting the pair to start throwing punches the moment they processed what they were looking at.

The first punch didn't come, though. The two just stared at each other for a few tense moments.

"You're going to the bunker," Tor sad.

"You're going to follow me," Scofflaw replied. They both knew where this was going- it was hardly a difficult conclusion to reach.

"And you can't really mislead us without ending up dead as well." Tor stood back from the door, giving the shorter man room to go by.

Scofflaw passed him and started down the hall. His voice amicable, he continued, "I could lock you out once we get there."

"You're betting Tengeri can't cut her way in and render the bunker useless for everyone, then."

They continued back and forth like that a bit, neither really putting much effort forward. Tor knew he could catch Scofflaw easily if he tried to outrun them, and Scofflaw knew that he could easily take Tor if it came down to another fight. There just wouldn't be any satisfaction in a confrontation for either of them right now.

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Solaris.

As he was being held by Tor, Velobo had had quite the ride. Drifting in and out, the tired little cubiod began to wriggle.
Rather than the nice short dreams of the past, his mind was filled with something different.
Something was resonating with the small band around his arm.
It was subtle, unnoticed, a whisper.
It was a frequency heard by none, except for the band.
The metal around his arm received it, and etched it into his mind.
It was a message. Sent from a far away place. Sent from a far away time.

<font color="darkred">If you are hearing this, then My name is Eric T. Reinhardt, and I am where you are now- trapped in a battle to the death with seven other beings likely far from your home, far from your friends, far from your family. we'd be taken again for the next battle- an all-star of the whims of an enigmatic master, Defy your captors. Live on. if you can receive this message, then you Do what you have to do, what we all have to do-come together and urge everyone who hears this to overthrow these brothers and I, Lord Eric T. Reinhardt have hope. Togetherwe canfight_orLivenevermore

This message repeated itself through Velobo’s mind as his body began to shake more and more.
He heard it, and he understood it, but it felt wrong. It felt corrupted, and it's repetition in his mind only strengthened the pain.
With a loud YELP he opened his eyes and mouth wide and he shot out his tongue right in front of him, startling the sea serpent that he had been transferred to during his slumber.
And sending the slimy, green organ right into a certain Scofflaw’s face.</font>
Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Lord Paradise.

Scofflaw prided himself on not being one of those egomaniacs who frets about personal hygiene, but being blindsided by Velobo's tongue had such a... Nickelodeon vibe to it. He was unhappy.

"WHAT!" he yelled through the slime in his mouth, which tasted like a certain family of apocryphal elements from the Periodic Dining Set.

The cube (having invited the comparison, Scofflaw was reminded of Spongebob Squarepants) apparently took the villain's exclamation as a question.
"Other battles!" Velobo blurted out, returning to his adorable little feet. "I just got... a signal. Gone now. Listen, this changes things. We aren't the only battle."

"Slow down, man. Who sent this message?" asked Kerak.

"The Fool did say 'a' Grand Battle, not 'the' Grand Battle," Tor pointed out.

"is th-re an- chan-e you cou-d s--d a -epl-?" Tengeri began to form before Scofflaw interrupted.

"Dammit all," spat Scofflaw. "That means this is just the qualifying round."

"Yes!" shouted Velobo over the hubbub. "Yes, Scofflaw, he said that there'd be another battle after this one. Reinhardt said that--"


"I think that's our cue," said Tor. "No more distractions. We'll talk about this later."


Scofflaw wiped some slime off his face and moved on. Tor sighed and followed.

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round One: Vio Maleficat)
Originally posted on MSPA by Valter.


"These are them, yes?" Kerak asked his entourage. They faced two giant round Unisteel vault doors, seemingly more appropriate for a maximum security bank than a factory. "How do you suppose we-"

"Halt! To prove you are not a being of chaos, please enter '12345' onto the keypad in front of you!"

Kerak looked at the keypad and the vaults in front of him whimsically. There were many scents here... most terminated at the entrance of one of the two vaults. Tor, Velobo, Tengeri, and Scofflaw were all with him now. That left...

Huebert was behind the vault door Kerak currently stood in front of. His scent was all over the keypad, and both his and Tinten's trails went right up to the vault. (Kerak couldn't smell anything beyond the vault doors. They must be tightly sealed, indeed!)

The other vault's keypad was devoid of any smells Kerak could recognize, although... Murdoch could probably just teleport into one of the bunkers at the last second if he wanted to! His present locations was a complete crapshoot right no-


"Oh, whatever! I guess we'll just go into the one on the left," Kerak grumbled, and slashed carelessly at the keypad in front of him.

...Perhaps a bit excessively carelessly, as the keypad's plastic easily yielded to Kerak's claws. He hopped away with a yelp as an arc of electricity jumped from the ruined pad, and the entire bunker door started sparking.

"What just-" Kerak started, nursing his shocked arm. He had no words to describe the sensation he had just felt. A little like burning, maybe? "What was-"

"Shut it," Tor said, shoving Kerak aside and moving to the remaining keypad. He was just about sick to death of this sideshow, and there wasn't enough time left to put up with it any longer. "I'll handle this. I'm not sure what made you think you were in charge anyway."

He mashed the simple combination into the keypad, and it emitted a satisfied beep. The bolts holding the vault door in placed, realeased, and the door began slowly sliding open. Very slowly!


"No!" At the rate it was going, even if Tor and the rest were to slide in and start closing the door immediately, it still wouldn't be enough time to shut it completely! Which meant-

Which meant that not only were all of his travel companions dead, but by attempting to open the second bunker, he had doomed everybody in there as well.

We're a creatively terrible lot, aren't we? I doubt The Fool will be particularly pleased to see five of us go in the very first round, Scofflaw thought distractedly to himself. Well, if I'm going to go down now I might as well go down swinging! "Congratulations, Tor. I never imagined you would even manage to mess up pressing five buttons in order."

...Well, that was a fairly pathetic swing. Dignified ends just weren't for everybody, he supposed.






"Oh." Scofflaw frowned. "That was a bit anticlima-"


"Ah, now that's more like it." But even more pleasing than the satisfied degree of dramatic tension was the sight that greeted Scofflaw at the other end of the fully opened bunker door: Murdoch Miles, sitting somewhat mildly by himself in the middle of the spacious bunker.

"Oh, good to see all of you," Murdoch said in greeting. "That rescheduling was a stroke of luck, wasn't it? With all of you here, we might just all make it through this okay."

"I'm afraid 'okay' would be a bit of a stretch, given what I just learned," Velobo said, trailing the procession into the bunker. The door began shutting itself behind him. "There's something we need to discuss, Murdoch, regarding a certain message I received recently from a very long way away. It is a message that I believe is pertinent to all the contestants of this battle..."

The other bunker housed TinTen Naamxe, Huebert Henderson, and a few other hapless humans, apparently all members of the Unity plant. All of them were cursing their luck at the moment, as their bunker door was currently experiencing some technical difficulties. The sparking had started a minute earlier, a worrisome occurrence on its own when the door was the only thing separating the bunker's occupants from horrifically painful death. But then the door had dragged open a few inches, and the danger everybody inside faced was now a mite bit more serious.

Huebert examined the skinny open gap. "There's no way I could fit through there. Maybe if I blast the gap a bit wider..."

"No," TinTen interrupted hastily. "No need. I'll slip through." It would be a tight squeeze even for the rubbery Meipi, but he was the only one in the bunker who had the slightest chance of making it through. "Don't worry. There is at least one other who can help us."

"Another battle?" Murdoch asked with just a trace of suspicion. "So The Fool plans to pawn us off to some other omnipotent maniac after this? I dare say this first round has been tiring enough already."

"Not 'us'," Kerak pointed out. "Most of 'us' will be dead before it even matters, right?"

"Thank you, Kerak, for that pleasant reminder," Murdoch retorted. "Say, is that the door?"

The bunker door was moving. Who could possibly still need admittance? Murdoch gathered a bit of power to view the area outside. It was TinTen Naamxe, without the human he usually traveled with.

As the bunker door finished sliding open, TinTen immediately identified the Leviath floating inside. This was no time to mince words. "Tengeri, the door to the other bunker is malfunctioning. I require your assistance in repairing it. Without your help, my companion and the rest of that bunker's occupants will perish."

"shit" was all that Tengeri wrote at first. If she had known the damage to the door was more than superficial, he would have repaired it earlier! "its probably just a frayed connection. it shouldnt be too hard to-"


"i cant," Tengeri wrote with a pained expression on her face. "theres just not enough time."

"How dare you! Without your help, Huebert's death is certain."

"oh?" Tengeri retorted. "with my help, you would merely be trading your friend's death for mine. i could fix the door, but i would be caught outside for the"

"Wait a second. Haven't I heard this before?" Kerak stepped in front of Tengeri, his face split in a wide, toothy smile. "At the generator. An unstable machine just moments from collapse, conquered by the joint efforts of Tengeri and Murdoch!"

"I do recall that happening, but there's no use I could be in this situation!"

"Isn't there? But Murdoch, your powers are the only tool among us with any chance of fighting back against this 'dispersal gas'. With your protection, perhaps Tengeri could finish her repairs!"

Murdoch wiped a bit of sweat from his shining brow. "I don't- there's no guarantee that I would be able to defend Tengeri, even if my survival were certain..."

"Hm." Kerak furrowed his brow, and then turned away. "Eh, you're probably right. Besides, there exists a simpler solution." He rounded about to face TinTen, his expression suddenly very serious. "We kick this little squid out and close the door. The Meipi and his friend are 'dispersed', whatever that means, and The Fool trots the rest of us to the next round of this merry competition. Everybody- everybody left alive, that is- is satisfied, right?

"Maybe that wouldn't be a satisfying solution, though! Not for you, Tengeri! To commit yourself so fully to opposing The Fool's sinister design, only to backstab another contestant at the barest opportunity? You embraced the spirit of this battle more quickly than I thought!

"And I hardly even need to mention your misery, Murdoch. Leaving that entire bunker of innocents to die! I didn't think you had it in you."

Kerak's smile had returned. "You know what, Murdoch? I think you still don't have it in you. I think it's in yours and Tengeri's best interests to get that malfunctioning door fixed. If the dispersion gas starts before you finish your work, Murdoch will shield you the rest of the way. And if you can shield Tengeri, then I'm sure you can shield this bunker as you return from your successful mission. You see? It's not time to give up yet!"

The dinosaur's point... was made. No amount of glaring daggers at him would reduce the impact of his speech. "Murdoch. Do you think you can-

"I will do my level best to protect you." Murdoch was glad for his glowing skin right now, as it hid his flushed cheeks from the others. "Let's go, Tengeri." They filed out of the bunker and activated the door reset.

"I hope you appreciated my help, TinTen." Kerak bragged as soon as the soundproof door was shut. "I don't know what would have happened to your comrade without my help..."

Tor snapped all at once. "Your help? You think your browbeating is all there is to thank for this?! You conceited-"

Gracious. Kerak really was the right choice for this, wasn't he? Scofflaw thought to himself at the ensuing shouting match between Kerak and Tor. Kerak's little show was doing the vitally important task of distracting everybody else in the bunker from Scofflaw's tampering. Nothing serious, mind you- he was just setting up a remote-activated barrier around the bunker door that would block not only organic matter but also all the harmful effects of the impending dispersion gas. Obviously, Murdoch had a similar shield prepared for protecting the bunker. But what if Murdoch were to accidentally trip the explosives Scofflaw was also setting up? It would be best to have a failsafe.

Just in case.

"Shut it." TinTen said in an effort to defuse the fight escalating in front of him. "Tactless as ever, Kerak. But... I'm not so sure they would agree to help without your prodding." This seemed to mollify both of them, somewhat.

"Hmph. I did only what was necessary."

"Oh, just give it a rest," Tor said, but he didn't have much energy left for the fight. The bunker trailed off to silence and all the residents listened as the prerecorded system counted once again to zero. There was no error this time. the dispersion gas began its spread on schedule, and all around the unity plant Chaos began to disintegrate.

The dispersion gas did have one fatal flaw, though- it was designed not to react with the metal the Unity plant was built with. It was this trick that allowed Murdoch to defend himself and Tengeri (using a barrier of wafer-thin Unisteel), and it was this that allowed one wayward Benjamin Jetsam to endure in the thick of the poisonous cloud. He was clad from head to toe in Unisteel now, as a result of his Chaotic modifications, and the scythe (wrench?) he held was a monstrosity.

Jetsam hated the clumsy movement his armor forced him into, and the Chaos that tried to dictate his every move, and the stupid ungainly weapon (tool?) his trusty scythe had been replaced with. But right now he hated one Mr. Murdoch Miles just a little bit more than any of that, because Murdoch life was the only thing forcing him to put up with any of these things in the first place. So despite all his loathing, he kept up his steady pace through the yellow mists of Dispersion Formula, reaching ever closer to the facility's bunker level.

"So, Kerak," TinTen said to break the silence. "Would you say that killing Jorgensaard was also 'necessary'?"


"Ahahahaha!" Kerak cawed. "Of course it was necessary! Necessary for the same reason for my actions now, even!"

"What?!" Tor repeated. "Why in Krekkad would you kill Jorgensaard? Do you really think you can just do whatever you want in every world we land on?" His skin began embering dangerously.

"Shut it, Tasty. I was simply introducing a little justice to this miserable factory. Simply demonstrating the dominance of Chaos over Unity!"

"Uh, Kerak, methinks you're tipping your hand a bit early..." Scofflaw whispered.

Tor's skin burned with his fury now, and he had to admit it was a refreshing feeling. He'd borne Scofflaw's goading without comment for just a bit too long; now he had a decent (and obvious) opportunity to vent his pent-up rage. "You're the reason this entire facility is being gassed, aren't you! Because of your stupid 'justice', the mechanic that could have pulled us out of this mess is dead. And now we're all stuffed up in this stupid bunker because you couldn't even open a door without breaking it!"

"Wait. Were you responsible for the door malfunc-"

Kerak was saved the need to defend himself again by the bunker door's third opening. Tengeri slipped through first and Murdoch followed, carefully maintaining his shield that repelled the mustard yellow gas outside the bunker. "The mission was a success, TinTen. We closed the door without any casualties, and we-"

"Finally you're back," Kerak interrupted. "Scofflaw, if you would?"

"Way ahead of you." St. Scofflaw toggled his remote, activating a barrier to block Murdoch and the dispersion gas from entering the bunker. The second switch he flipped detonated several kilos of explosives right underneath Murdoch's feet. The blast threw Mr. Miles all the way to the wall opposite the bunker, where he hit the wall with a thud and slid to the ground.

The Varalica then proceeded to pick himself up and straighten his immaculate suit. "I'm, uh, not really sure why you thought the immortal magician was the best choice of people to double cross..."

"Kerak, I'm beginning to get the feeling that we didn't think this plan through all that well." The glares the two of them were getting from Tor, TinTen, and Tengeri were beginning to get a tad bit unsettling. Velobo, to his credit, didn't really seem to give a shit about any of this.

"Well, don't do it again," Murdoch said with a sigh. "You should know that none of you have the firepower to even injure me at all. Now could you drop that field so I can get back in?"

At 'firepower' a sudden recollection hit TinTen. "Be careful, Miles! There is one with power enough. The one named- "


The shapeshifter stood at the entrance to the bunker floor, cloaked in a battle suit of Unisteel. "You've made my life very difficult, Murdoch!" He shouted, brandishing his giant wrench (or was it a scythe?) and picking up his pace toward Mr. Miles.

"Woah! Please, could we at least talk this through? Nobody needs to kill anyone."

His words were lost on Jetsam, though. There was hardly any room for thought in him at all, wracked by Chaos and his recent injuries. All he knew was that the key to release from his imprisonment was standing right in front of him, and that said key wasn't making any moves to defend himself.

So Jetsam swung, the force of the blade's blow knocking Murdoch back into the wall. It didn't harm the Varalica's flesh at all- this blade was driven by Chaos, and its bite scored much deeper. Into the very essence of Murdoch's power it struck, annihilating Murdoch's magical capacity in the breadth of an instant.

The shield he had been maintaining faded away, leaving him at the mercy of the dispersion gas. The poison's effects on him were hard to describe- somewhat like a photo, its image getting blurrier and blurrier until the original content was impossible to describe. Eventually, the blur where Murdoch once had been simply disappeared, leaving behind nothing but a cold metal floor.

So passed Mr. Murdoch Miles. Magician. Gentleman. Dead.

Someone was going to have hell to pay for this.

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round Two: The Great Battlefield)
Originally posted on MSPA by Dragon Fogel.

The briefest of moments passed between Miles' death and the disappearance of the other combatants.

A few minutes later, the speakers roared another message.


Upon hearing the message, Miles Zember Embyweather cautiously poked his head out of the broom closet. (In order to comply with confusing safety regulations, it had been designed to be airtight and the door constructed from Unisteel. Emby had been completely unaware of this and had simply locked himself inside, hoping that all the problems would somehow go away.)

Everything seemed quiet. He supposed Security would be arriving soon, now that the problem had sorted itself out.

He decided it would be a good idea take his lunch break when they arrived.


"One down." The Fool smiled. This had been as entertaining as he had hoped.

"Mr. Fogge, sir?"

The Fool turned around to see a four-armed man wearing a dull gray suit.

"Yes? How may I help you?"

The man spoke as though he had rehearsed the message.

"My name is Crowe. I have been sent by the Spectator to inform you that she will destroy everything to find the essence of life and..."

In an instant, Crowe's prepared speech, the Grand Battle, and indeed, the Fool's entire world were shoved aside by a single word entering his mind.


The Fool blinked behind his mask. Where had that thought come from? Why so suddenly? And why did it seem so familiar?

" short, she is going to run a battle."

"Oh, splendid. I applaud that sort of initiative! It's always so boring when they ask first. Tell her - the Spectator, was it? - I will be watching it with interest. Now, run along. I have a battle of my own to manage, after all."

"Yes, sir."

Crowe vanished, leaving the Fool alone once more.


He'd have to investigate that. But first, he had business to attend to.


The combatants found themselves in the middle of a large field. At first, their bodies were frozen in place, but after a moment's pause, they found themselves rotating, evidently to give them a better view of the scenery. It was mostly open plains, but there were some noteworthy exceptions; small forests, foothills, rivers, and even a mountain or two.

There were also clusters of tents in the distance; four of them, by the looks of it. Each carried a different colored flag.

The contestants stopped turning, and the Fool appeared before them.

"Welcome to the Great Battlefield," he said. "This world is actually something of a game. He gestured to one of the camps in the distance; a bright red flag flew above it. "Here, four armies are constantly fighting each other. I've taken them off the field for a moment so you can get a good look at it, but they'll resume their fighting when you resume yours. Ah, but let me bring some of them in so that you can understand the rules of this place, shall I?"

The Fool waved his hand, and two soldiers appeared - one dressed in green, one in blue. Both were armed.

"This is how war works around here."

The soldier in blue fired his weapon. The green soldier fell to the ground.

After a few seconds, he got up again, but his uniform had changed to blue.

"He's been recruited," the Fool said calmly. "Now he will fight for the Blue Army obediently. That's how it always works; soldiers are switching sides constantly as the battle wears on. This also applies to their vehicles and even their higher-ranking officers... in theory, if one army was to take out the general of another army, they'd take over that entire army. But in practice, that's never happened, and they maintain this perpetual stalemate."

The Fool smiled.

"Perhaps you'll be able to change that."

He snapped his fingers. In an instant, he fighters were scattered throughout the field, and released from their paralysis.

"Have fun!"

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round Two: The Great Battlefield)
Originally posted on MSPA by Solaris.

The 52nd Green Army Regiment, consisting of 10 infantry units, 5 heavy weapon soldiers, and their Squad Leader, Richard Genson, were scouting out the terrain on top of a hill. They were a tight group, having been through some of the worst and the best of this war. But they were fighting for their families, for their honor, for their country, and they were going to continue until they breathed their last breath.
Sharpshooter Tex Maxwel, was looking through his scope, searching for any blue scum who might come by. What he did see was what looked like a projectile heading right for their hill. He quickly yelled to his squad mates, "TAKE COVER!"
But the projectile passed them over, and landed lower on the hill, sans explosion. Richard immediately ordered 5 soldiers to go down and investigate while he informed HQ.
"Green Command, do you read me? This is Squad Leader Richard Genson of Regiment 52. We have spotted an unidentified flying object and it has landed near our encampment, I have sent 5 soldiers to investigate. Do you copy?"

Landing squarely on his cubular behind, or at least where it would be, Velobo was not at the top of his game. His head was still ringing with the message of Reinhardt and his body was still a bit groggy from his slumber. Looking around he was in a tall hill, the sky was a bit cloudy but for the most part incredibly bright. It was a sharp contrast to the factory, one that caused him some discomfort. Starting to get back into the swing of things, he stretched a bit, before deciding to climb the hill. As his short limbs carried him up, he thought of the events back in the factory. He remembered explaining his message to the others, and he remembered the rush to save Huebert. But who had died? With the message still ruining his focus, the moments following were a sort of blur. This message is going to be the end of me. Velobo tried to quiet the multi-universal message, and he succeeded to an extent. The entire message was still stamped into his mind, but at least he wasn’t hearing Reinhardt’s distorted voice on a loop.
"Okay that is a great improvement. Now, I need to get a plan, a list of things I will need to do here. Four armies, eternal stalemate, each of us scattered across this large battlefield." Continuing his climb, he kept thinking and plotting, completely unaware of any other movement on the hill.
"Alright. Getting to a headquarters would probably put me in the best position to find the others. So, the first order of business is to find one of the armies."

Tex Maxwell and four of his squadmates climbed down the hill to find out what had landed. To their surprise, they saw a small green cube climbing the hill and speaking to itself.
"What is that? Could it be a weapon sent to us as help? It is green... Is it a foe or not?"
Tex held up his hand to silence his fellow soldiers.
"If it was from HQ, it wouldn't have come from the blue encampment. It must be a blue trick. On three we move out and take it prisoner. "
Holding out his hands and counting up to three, Tex led the lead as the the five soldiers quickly surrounded the Plazmuth with their guns aimed squarely at his center.
Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round Two: The Great Battlefield)
Originally posted on MSPA by Pinary.

Tor, quite unfortunately, ended up near the top of one of the mountains in the area. The region's few mountains were gathered in something resembling a range, and yellow had set up camp nestled in as much cover as they could provide. From where Tor stood, he had quite the view of the base. It was really quite the view from up as high as he was.

And really, he was up quite high, now that he thought about it. He'd spent the vast majority of his life on a ship, secure in a cozy little metal shell, in full control of the gravity, air pressure, and every other condition that, on a planet, you just sort of had to take for granted. The most he'd ever set foot on a world was the occasional trip back to his home planet, and even then, he stayed pretty much exclusively in the city.

To suddenly find himself high, high above the ground, just a slipped rock or something away from a very, very long tumble down was a bit... disconcerting.

Disconcerted, he pressed himself flat against the cliff face behind him and sidled along, not really caring where he went, just as long as it wasn't very speedily down.

After a minute or two of just sidling along, his hand touched metal. Glorious, industrial-grade steel brushed his palm, and it took him barely an instant before the heavy metal door, marked "authorized personnel only," was slamming shut behind him.

He leaned back against the cool metal of the door's interior, closing his eyes and just enjoying being inside again instead of about to plummet to his death off a cliff.

Someone demanded to know his name and rank in a loud, commanding voice.

"Captain Tor Kajan," he replied, not really paying attention.

That same someone demanded to know his allegiance, using that same really-quite-rude voice.

"Private citizen, sir, my concerns are strictly... business." He trailed off and finished weakly as he opened his eyes and found a gun staring him in the face. "Ah, but you're one of the locals, I'd assume." The relief at being away from the edge of the steep fall was washing away, returning him to some semblance of himself again.

Ignoring that last sentence, the blue-clad soldier holding his sidearm on Tor replied, "Civilians are not authorized to be in this facility, Captain." He said Tor's title with a sneer. "In fact, there shouldn't be any civilians on this battlefield at all."

"Well, I could-"

The soldier, his uniform labelling him Walters, cut him off with a gesture of the gun. "You could nothing, pal. I'm locking you up until we can get you safely shipped out of here. Come with me." He stepped forward, using more gestures to indicate that Tor should step away from the door.

The Telpori-Hal stepped forward to cooperate, but he really didn't have any intention of being locked away. He had a dinosaur to hold accountable, a sea-serpent to find, and a universe-hopper to clue in. And Scofflaw, of course. He'd likely be halfway to the top of the chain of command in one or another of these armies by now, knowing him. (But knowing him from where? That question still nagged at him.)

So, instead of going along with Walters' instructions, Tor grabbed for the gun. Walters yanked back, trying to get it out of the rusty-skinned man's grasp, but Tor yanked as well, twisting around and bringing it in close to himself. The soldier reached around with his other hand, trying to grab it from both sides, only succeeding in wedging the gun even more tightly between the two.

The scuffle continued for a few more moments until one of them- neither were sure who- wrenched the wrong way. The gun fired.

Tor was left with a ringing in his ears. Walters, with a slug in his guts. The two separated. The wounded man looked down at the blood pooling in his hands, then shifted his gaze up to Tor, then fell.

The second he hit the ground, his clothes snapped to a different colour and the hole in his gut vanished, taking the blood with it. Soon after, he stood back up, brushed off his uniform, and saluted.

Tor frowned at him. The man's uniform was now brown. Not red, not blue, not green, not yellow. Brown. "Walters," he said, his confusion evident, "what are the sides in this battle?"

"Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow, Captain."

"And which side do you represent?"

"Brown, sir."

"Care to explain just how that happens?"

"You'd have to ask Rawlin, sir. Of course, she's not likely to cooperate, seeing as she's Blue, sir."

"Well then," Tor said, handing Walters back his pistol, "I suppose we'll just have to convince her."


A few minutes later, near the center of the Blue Army base, a communications officer turned to his commander. "Sir," he said, "we've just lost the Brace Mountain Reconnaissance Outpost, overlooking Yellow's base."

"So, they're coming over the mountains, then, aiming for an attack around behind? Well, then they'll have less out front to defend with! Have our artillery cover the base for now- we're going to send out a force to strike while their defences are weak."

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round Two: The Great Battlefield)
Originally posted on MSPA by Lankie.

[spoiler]Oh snap.

I suppose it's my own fault for having radio silence for the entire time/ working on my late award majig.

Ah well, My own death post would of probably turned out worse than that any-dang-ways.

[size=xx-small] One of these days I won't die in the first round
Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round Two: The Great Battlefield)
Originally posted on MSPA by Lord Paradise.

The first man he’d shot had turned a dark, sickly green. The sort that might look good on a portlier gent, especially if applied to a more ornate ensemble—something with a cape maybe—but not really something he could get behind.

He had the man—corporal something-something, a replaceable sort—show him how the gun was taken apart and put back together again, which gave him a basis enough to fiddle around and see how it worked and how it could work better. The conclusion he came to was that it shouldn’t work at all, and therefore couldn’t really be altered, except for a few aesthetic tweaks.

That would have to do. He could get rid of the green at least. It was a little too… Saint Scofflaw for his tastes. That was a terrible name, what had he been thinking?

After about ten minutes crouching under a rock playing with Corporal Something-Something’s gun, he fired it once more at his only ally (except possibly for Kerak—where had that dinosaur gone off to?) and immediately the boring green number turned to a fetching yet practical Royal Stewart plaid outfit, complete with kilt and knee-high socks.

There was something very Braveheart about it, and of course that had been his intention. He approved.

“Corporal!” he barked. “What is your name and rank and whom do you serve?”

The plaid soldier saluted and responded, “My name is—“ blah blah “—and I am a corporal serving you, sir,” as though he had rehearsed it (which he probably had).

“Not anymore,” he growled, aiming the gun at his own head. “Your name is now Scottie Gibbs, the Alfalfa Male. That is both your name and your rank. You serve me, yes—“ he fired the gun and immediately sprouted a flannel bandanna, “—and I am now to be referred to as THE TARTAN TYRANT, COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE PLAID PLATOON!

Scottie Gibbs, the Alfalfa Male, seemed as though he were considering mutiny for a moment, but then a higher programming kicked in. “Yes, sir, Commander Tyrant, sir,” he proclaimed. “May I have my gun back, sir? You have your own.”

“Yes I do,” said the Tartan Tyrant, with satisfaction. “I have three, in fact.” He had one gun slung over his back and another hanging from each side of his belt, ruffling his kilt. He felt beautiful and untranslatable. The Tyrant gave Gibbs his gun back and sounded his barbaric yawp. “ARE YOU READY TO FUCK UP THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, ALFALFA MALE GIBBS?” he yawped.

The Alfalfa Male seemed confused by this. “The doctors said my Military-Industrial Complex could only be managed through medication, never cured, sir!” he explained, after a pause. “But… I believe in you. God dammit, I believe in the Plaid Platoon!”

“YEEEEEAH!” yawped Tartan.

“HELL YEEEEEEAH!” yawped Gibbs right back.

Without needing to be told, the two men of action leapt over the rock and onto the battlefield. For freedom. For glory. For the Plaid.

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round Two: The Great Battlefield)
Originally posted on MSPA by Valter.

"Sergeant Conaway!"

"Yes sir!"

"Gather the men. I have a eulogy to deliver."

"Eulogy, sir?"

"You're here to follow orders, not give me sass! Now get to it!"

"Y- yes sir!"


A troop of about a hundred soldiers stood at attention in front of the officer's tent. They were Crimson Company, a forward branch of Red Army's foot soldiers dedicated to scouting and espionage behind enemy lines. Their present mission (investigating a path through a nearby forest that would have allowed them to flank Green Army's forces) had been cut short when some sort of monster had ripped into their ranks, converting the entire company in a matter of minutes.

The monster in question stepped out of his tent now: Brigadier Kerak, new master of the Crimson Company. A shako with a red feather sat atop his head to denote his newfound leadership role. He'd been a bit put out when he learned the soldiers he tried to eat would just stand up and start fawning over him, but the chance to order some people around without any strings attached was a welcome perk. It reminded him of life on the top back in his tribe.

"First order of business, gentlemen and ladies!" Kerak shouted at his soldiers. "From this point forth, we will be known as Chartreuse Company!" A slight ripple took place as the color of every uniform present, the tents, and the feather on Kerak's hat changed to accommodate his order. "Very good. That's a much better color."

"Does this mean we're now affiliated with Green Army, sir?" Conaway asked.

Kerak shrugged. "Doesn't matter to me. Would it help?"

"Allying with one of the major forces would be an immeasurable boon, sir."

"Uh, okay. Consider it done!" A green stripe appeared on the uniforms of Kerak's soldiers. And on the tents. And Kerak's hat.

"Anyway! As you all doubtless have no knowledge of who I am-"

"Actually, sir, we learned all that when you converted us," Conaway pointed out. "You're Kerak, a Deinonychus, shaman by trade, participant in something called a Grand Battle. We're briefed on all new commanders."

"Oh, phooey." Kerak stomped the ground a bit in frustration. "You're taking all the fun out of this. New order: you are not to disrupt me while I am expositing! Okay?"

"Yes, sir."

"Okay! Where was I? Right: as Sergeant Conaway so kindly pointed out, I am from a far away land, and a far away time. There are six others like myself, members of an intergalactic competition, whom I will be discussing at some other time, but my words right now concern none of them. Right now I will be addressing the eighth competitor; a man who unfortunately no longer travels with us.

Murdoch Miles

A glowing man, he was! Member of a race called the 'Varalica'. Pleasant-mannered and pacifistic to the extreme. An inspiration to us all, really.

But he toyed with forces well beyond his control. You see, the last world we visited was defined by a battle between two concepts: Chaos and Unity. Sort of like this place, i guess? Well, you're not concepts so much as people, but i think its the same idea with the way you're all fighting.

ANYWAY: Chaos and Unity, in a never ending battle! It was here that Murdoch made his fatal mistake, you see. He chose a side! He became a servant of Unity, trying to disrupt the natural balance of that world by spreading Unity whenever he could!

And disrupt it he did! Time and time again, he tampered with the balance, until the very fabric of the world rose up in rebellion against him. A warrior was created, to hunt him down and end his life for his meddling.

Murdoch made a pledge not to kill any living being. But he committed a sin far more dear than murder when he landed on that world. He declared war on the very foundation of that world, and paid for his brashness with his life.


"So, soldiers! Do not fight against the natural order of any world! Or you could face Dire Consequences!"

"Uh, sir?" a corporal in the first row of the formation asked. "It was a wonderful eulogy, sir, but we were really hoping someday we'd end the 'balance' between the four major armies someday and unify the map under one color! Sir," she added hastily.

"Oh." Kerak frowned. "That's a pretty good point, I guess. I wouldn't mind conquering the world much either. How about this: don't tamper with forces beyond your ken, or you could face Dire Consequences! It sorta works with the story."

"Very good, sir."

"Excellent! In that case, this meeting is adjourned. You may all finish one last meal, and then we will be breaking camp. It's high time we set out to show this land what Chartreuse Company is capable of!"

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round Two: The Great Battlefield)
Originally posted on MSPA by Schazer.

Satisfaction. Chaos tempestuous, roiling with an arrhythmic lull like the purr of a many-throated beast that couldn't make up its mind just how many throats it had. The Unisteel shell bit back even as it rewrote the Varalica, corroding toxic into Chaos - into Jetsam - as Vio's primal energy surged through it.

Jetsam tried to ignore the sting of his armour and the toxin's deleterious effects, until he checked himself getting caught in Chaos' elation. The pain was a preferable delusion. Respite'd come shortly; the facility's other interlopers forgotten in a moment's peace.

A door slammed on Jetsam. He conceded he should've expected that, and conceded straight after he could only expect this kind of thing in retrospect. Just like he always did.

Somewhere else. Human-centric. War. With the Fool's paralysis preventing his essence from wrapping a new form around itself, Jetsam couldn't discern much more from the new locale at present. Movement, barely perceived without a body or eyes to be disoriented by it.

A trench. An unfortunate soldier lay spread-eagled at the bottom of it, the scarlet on his uniform preserved on its bullet-straight path to yellow by gravity's indiscriminate pot-shot into the melee. The body disintegrated; the same body landed lightly on its feet, scrambled over some rocks, and ran a hand over a patch of blood. Jetsam mulled over the new suite of instincts his new form was using to nag at him, before something deeper and far more worrying resurfaced.

That squidman. He'd mentioned some kind of battle. Jetsam himself, a contestant. "Glowing magician", too. They knew his name. He hadn't used it in twelve universes or so. Jetsam snatched up the gun; it didn't help his baser, instinctual worries any, though his soldier shell felt a little better for it.

Would he have told Jetsam? Kept him in the dark? Hard to say, though "Fool" didn't seem like his type of moniker. The squid had mentioned conscription, but maybe that didn't apply to all of them.

More to the point, how would he get the biggest kick out of this?

A bullet grazed Jetsam's arm; he spun around and couldn't see a soul in the chasm. Another caught him in the chest like a bolt from the blue, bringing with it a kind of blossoming rewiring of his recently-acquired mind. The Jetsam that fretted over TinTen's words, best-described as the bitter electricity that darted from neuron to borrowed neruon, could normally ignore the shufflings, restructurings, and other idiosyncrasies unless they suited him.

On the other hand, ignorance was bliss. And he'd be far less entertained by a cerulean soldier's tribulations than an agonising Jetsam.

"Glad to see you survived that drop, Lieutenant. We were afraid we'd lost you when those yellow scumbags shot you off the cliff, sir."

The lieutenant's hands barely moved to the spot he'd been struck, though it took him a moment to rise to his feet and snap the three soldiers a salute. "Name and rank, soldiers."

"Sergeant Towser, sir! Acting officer over Privates Gilchrist and Zita, sir! The remainder of Cobalt Squad was caught in Red-Yellow crossfire, sir!"

"Lieutenant Anzhi," answered the lieutenant. It sounded about right. "We're falling back to the nearest Blue outpost to relay our casualties. Lead the way."

"Sir, yes sir!"

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round Two: The Great Battlefield)
Originally posted on MSPA by Anomaly.

Corporal Lacatus of the Red Army's Crimson Squad hurried down a number of twisting corridors, toward the equipment locker. Even during their off-time, no one could get any rest during this war. Apparently, some off-duty private had seen a Blue-colored projective splash down in the river, dangerously close to Headquarters. Or maybe it was Green. The private was too panicked to make up his mind. General Németh didn't feel like taking any chances, so the half the Crimson Squad was sent to investigate. Just another good way to get "enlisted". Typical.

The Corporal was greeted at Equipment Locker 32B by his subordinates: Private Lakatos, Private Molnár, and Private Petrović. The three were already outfitted in their standard Red Army uniforms - uniforms that for some reason couldn't even defend against a bullet. In another two minutes the Corporal was prepared for combat as well, and the fireteam shoved off.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Air. Falling. And then, water. Clear, cold water.

Tengeri took a moment of solace after crashing down into the large river, letting herself sink to its enveloping depths. Her HUD idly flashed a few notifications, noting that her Telekinetic Enhancement Unit and Hypermanipulators were fully repaired, and that vocal repairs would be complete in another hundred microcycles. For the first time in a while, she finally had time to think.

Miles is dead. One of the only people in this battle I could trust, just another innocent, dead. And for what, entertainment? This is going to happen to all of us if we don't stop this "Fool". And now what? A war game? But one without any death? Just brainwashing. Nearly as bad. Need to avoid getting shot by those soldiers. Maybe unite the armies if possible, but it's probably too dangerous. Just need to avoid them and find anyone I can trust. Tor and Velobo for sure. Probably Huebert and TinTen as well. Kerak had something to tell me, but after that last round I'm not sure I can go near him... Then again, he just doesn't understand how society works. Maybe he needs me more than anyone. On the plus side, I'll be able to speak to them soon enough. For now I just need to

Tengeri's thoughts were disrupted by a warning flashing before her eyes and the warning sirens that came with it.

"POTENTIAL THREAT DETECTED - Four armed individuals approaching river. Appear to be of the 'Red Army' mentioned by GB-1. Tentative threat level 5. Approach with caution."

Soldiers of the Red Army? They must have heard me fall into the river. I could just swim away, or I could try making peace... It would help to get more allies, in any case. Just hope they're friendly.

Tengeri surfaced, attempting to look as nonthreatening as possible. Not that it was at all possible for a cybernetic sea serpent to look nonthreatening to common human soldiers. As her HUD had told her, four soldiers in bright red uniforms stood at the riverbank, pointing their rifles directly at her, all wearing expressions in varying degrees of "surprised" and "horrified".

"What the hell is that?!" shouted the stout one on the left, whose uniform helpfully labeled him as "PVT. LAKATOS".

"Some kind of monster? Should we shoot it, Corporal?" questioned the tall, wirey one on the right, identified as "PVT. MOLNÁR". Tengeri hurriedly began forming words in the air.

"Could be a Blue or Green weapon, for all we know. Might be best to... hold one, what's it doing now?" responded the Corporal.

"don't shoot. i'm dr. tengeri nyoka, brought here against my will for a battle to the death against seven others. there are only seven of us left now. need help to survive this round, find a few others. may be working with other armies, cannot tell."

"It can write? With water? ...In the air? Am I hallucinating?" asked a very confused Private Petrović.

"You're not hallucinating, Petrović," replied Lakatos. "But wait... It's saying that it has allies in other armies! It's an enemy!"

"You don't know that for sure, Lakatos," responded Corporal Lacatus.

"I know damned well! This thing is Green, anyway! We can fix that, now, can't we?" Tengeri heard a distinctive click from the soldier's gun.

"Private, I'm giving you a direct ord-" Corporal Lacatus was cut off by the bang of the private's gun.

Tengeri felt a sharp pain in her side, and saw her blue-green blood leaking out, running through her partial field of water and into the river. But the bloodflow was soon overshadowed by a multitude of flashing warnings on Tengeri's HUD, once more accompanied by her own voice.

"Warning. Level Seven Memetic Hazard detected. Unknown memetic agent dispersing rapidly from bullet wound, attempting partial rewrite of neural patterns. Attempting to surpress spread of agent...


Attempt successful. Spread of memetic agent stopped at 14%. Side-effects such as discoloration of skin potentially unintended by agent; unable to fully analyze. Memetic agent disregards several known laws, but differs greatly from "Chaos" phenomenon. Agent has also completely healed wound by unknown means."

Tengeri noted with some disconcertation that her scales had turned a vaguely reddish color, although other then that it was as if she had not been shot at all. She slowly dragged herself from the riverbed and out of the river entirely, deciding to levitate above the water's surface instead.

"...private tengeri nyoka of the red army, sir!" Tengeri quickly wrote out.

"Whatever army she was with before, she's on our side now, men," said the Corporal. "Who knows... she might even help us win this war. We can only hope so."

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round Two: The Great Battlefield)
Originally posted on MSPA by SleepingOrange.

Huebert handed the binoculars back to TinTen. "Yep. Just turned kind of greenish. Then, uh... Plaid."

The Meipi dialed back the zoom on his own goggles. "Yes, yes, saw it myself. Illogical. Nonsensical. ... Confusing."

"And did you see the serpent-lady?"

TinTen's mouthparts jiggled as he shook his head. "Missed her. Focused on Scofflaw."

"Well, she got shot. By some of the red guys. She started bleeding, then her scales all turned red and she stopped."


There was silence for a few moments (save for the omnipresent sounds of occasional gunfire), which Huebert felt compelled to fill.

"So we Battlers can be recruited too? And we don't die?"

TinTen, who had by now zoomed back in and located Tengeri, shrugged amorphously. "Unsure. Now appears to be following red soldiers who presumably wounded her. body language and gestures of soldiers indicates commands given and followed. No aggression. Perhaps unrecruited, faking it; perhaps recruited, color simply anomalous on ophidiform. Too little data to guess. Cannot be certain of mechanics without testing; perhaps death by soldiers simply recruitment, by Battlers real death. Perhaps limited 'lives', and death occurs by repeated recruitment. Unlikely Fool would place us in situation where death cannot occur."

The scientist lapsed back into silence; Huebert took the binoculars back and began scanning the battlefield; TinTen's tone of voice, though intended to sound nonchalantly typical, clearly broadcast how worried and upset he was, and Huebert figured it was best to let him sort out his own demons. Best just to quietly reconnoiter for a while.

The pair's appearance in the sniper's nest had been a real boon; it bore the appearance of having been abandoned, bright-yellow paint flaking off at corners, but gave an excellent view of much of the battlefield. Nestled in the mountains, such as they were, made it hard to see for anyone not right on top of it. The only weakness was that a forest made a large portion of the battlefield unseeable; judging from the dearth of green soldiers, their base and most of their forces were either in the forest or on its far side.

Some motion caught Huebert's eye, though, and he panned across in time to see a large red company ripple and become a yellowish-greenish one. He tightened the focus and... The commander was that dinosaur. Wearing a hat which grew a stripe as Huebert watched.

"Hey, TinTen. Look over by those trees. At that big greenish encampment."

There was another period of quiet, then the cephalopod tapped his goggles, reverting their zoom to normal. He gestured to Huebert to hand over the binoculars, then packed them away again.

"Allowing Battlers to gather armies unacceptable. Arena unconducive to copperation or planning. Some contestants similarly unconducive to mutual aims. Goal becomes clear: eliminate dangerous competitors before significant vanguard assembled."

With speed that surprised Huebert, TinTen began descending the ladder into the nest. Huebert followed, asking "Who are we going after then?"

"Scofflaw and dinosaur impediments to peaceable escape; obvious choices. Dinosaur has significant followers; attack may prove difficult, and recruitment disastrous. Scofflaw must be eliminated before plaid army forms."

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round Two: The Great Battlefield)
Originally posted on MSPA by Solaris.

"So, what you are saying, is that you’re not from any country?"
"That is correct, I come from somewhere far, far away, I was brought here for cruel reasons against my will, like you I am fighting for my freedom in a battle that I did not start."
"That's a lot to take in, so..."
"So... I was informed some things about your technology... your guns, they convert people that they shoot? Then why didn't you shoot me?"
The soldier went silent... he tilted his head back, closed his eyes, and looked back at Velobo "Well... that's a long story..."


The 52nd Green Army Regiment, consisting of 20 infantry units, 10 heavy weapon soldiers, and their Squad Leader, Roy Charles Madison were currently in a dangerous predicament. Sent on a simple night reconnaissance mission, the squad split up in the forest, hoping to cover the most ground. It was dark, but manageable. It would just be a quick search and return, done perfectly thousands of times. This was not one of those times. A smaller group of yellow soldiers spotted the split marching groups and devised a plan. Cutting in between the two groups, they attracted the attention of both groups, and then ducked. The result was the loss of three soldiers, including their Squad Leader, and Tex's best friend. The yellow soldiers shot out at a few, and quickly retreated, content with the damage done. Tex kneeled next to Roy, and comforted him in his last moments. Roy was sent back home and Richard Genson was made the new Squad Leader. But that night, and the death that it brought, would never leave the mind of any of the soldiers.


"I am sorry for your loss."
There was a silence between the two, as the rest of the Regiment continues their duties as normal. Finally, Tex stood up and asked Velobo, "What are you going to do now?"
Velobo thought for a moment, This is just horrible, if you don’t die at the hands of your own country you fight forever. This entire thing is just repugnant. They say they fight for their country, but what if they are converted? This is a sham. Another cosmic game I’ve been entered into. No.
"No", The Plazmuth stood up with his exclamation.
"No, what?"
"No more fighting, no death, no conversion. This war will end."
"Really now? This has been going on for as long as I can remember. As long as any of us can. What makes you think that you can end it?" Tex asked in a defiant tone.
"I don’t think I can. I will. I have only been alive for a few hours now, but I have seen enough death and destruction to last a lifetime. I will not let this, yet another atrocity stand. "
"Bu-", Tex’s inquiry was cut off by a shouting infantry who was scouting the terrain below the hill.
The soldier informed the party of a yellow army artillery that was approaching over on the horizon.
"Well, we’ll just get three mechs an-"
"No. I will go." Without another word, the cuboid ran down the hill to meet the yellow soldiers.

Squad Leader Richard Genson was caught in a predicament. He could follow the orders of this alien cube, or do what logic and all of his training told him to do. Could he really trust this Calidad fellow? In the end, he went with what all good leaders go with, his gut. "Alright Soldiers, we'll give the cube a chance, but if he can't stop that yellow artillery, we can't let let ourselves get caught off guard." Without another word, the regiment began to reenforce their defenses.
Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round Two: The Great Battlefield)
Originally posted on MSPA by Pinary.


What had originally been a straightforward and boring place had, over the course of months, turned into a textbook example of stylistic dissonance. The main observation deck of the Brace Mountain Reconnaissance Outpost, a room which took up half of the bottom floor of the two-story building, had started out with nothing but bland, military-standard trappings. The most colourful things in the room had been the pair of fake plants to either side of the massive window that made up most of one wall of the room, and they just served to emphasize the blandness of the rest of the place.

After nearly five months of occupation by the most astoundingly well-matched group of intelligence analysts, it was barely recognizable. The fake plants were still there, but they were now joined by a number of their more naturally-produced cousins, taken from the mountain outside and stuck in the same pots. For each of the TV shows that, by some amazing coincidence, everyone there could agree were plain awesome, there was at least one poster on the walls, each one a thumbed nose in the face of the thick layer of military discipline slathered on the walls before their arrival. If asked, none of them could even remember how they'd managed to get a couch. Now that they thought of it, they'd reply, that's a good question. Where had the well-worn, saggy-in-the-center, so-far-beyond-regulations-it's-leaving-the-stratosphere sofa come from? (Never mind that a check of the shipping logs would show that every spare inch of space had been packed with fluff, fabric, or wood for the frame, or that Rawlin had spent several summers in high school working at her parents' furniture repair business and could've easily put a couch just like it together.)

All in all, the place reeked of insubordination and individuality. It was exactly the sort of place that would make anyone above a colonel blow a blood vessel.

It was also home, if you asked the five intelligence analysts the Blue Army had stationed there. Ester Rawlin, for example, liked to sprawl on the couch she certainly hadn't made and crunch numbers on enemy troop movements. If she was awake, the odds were good that she was there.

When her walkie-talkie crackled to life, though, she beat the odds by being in the kitchenette instead. (The group had created the kitchenette by altering the structure of the wall between the observation deck and the outpost's small kitchen. Some would say demolished. The analysts would say altered. They would also be demoted.)

"Yeah, what's up?" She, like the others stationed there, was very big on protocol and formality.

"Lieutenant Rawlin?" Her spine stiffined. The voice wasn't one she knew; whoever it was, they didn't belong on their radio frequencies.

She decided to play it cool. "Yeah. What's it to you?"

"Ester, I need you to think. Would you call Mike Walters a friend of yours?"

She blinked. "Yeah, sure."

"Well, I'm not from around here. I don't know the history of this war of yours, and I don't particularly like the methods used. Walters and I have been talking. He's told me about the brainwashing, the conversions, the deaths by friendly fire. He's told me as much as I want to hear, and I'm not about to stand for it."

"I'm Captain Tor Kajan, Brown Army. If you don't listen to what I have to say, I'm going to shoot your friend." Ester whirled, turning to see the source of the voice that had stopped coming from her radio and started coming from the far side of the room. There, the man introducing himself as Kajan held himself behind Walters, one arm wrapped around her friend's throat and the other holding a gun to his throat. A thin wisp of smoke curled up from them, and the captain's eyes blazed with a anger. Both men were clad in brown, a colour that stirred an instinctual distrust in the woman.

"This war is just the status quo for you people," Kajan said. "There's no attempt at peace, no striving for an end, just constant violence, brainwashing, and death. I intend to stop that. Here. Today."

Ester eyed her own gun, holster slung casually over one of the opening lever for one of the windows, too far away for her to reach. "What," she said, half listening and mostly stalling, "you think you can just sit everyone down and get them to play nice?"

"Don't kid yourself. No one's going to just give up, not after so many years of war. No, I'm going to do something a bit more direct. I'm going to slap everyone in the face."

"Oh? And just how are you going to do that?"

"Simple. With an open hand." He took his arm away from Walters' neck, freeing him. The man continued to stand between Tor and Ester. Tor continued, his voice losing some of the anger and became almost pleading. "Ester Rawlins, why are you fighting this war?"

"Because it's the right thing to do," she replied automatically.

"Why? What makes it so right?"

"It just is."

"Oh, please," Tor replied, tone dismissive, "you're brainwashed, just look at you."

"I am not," she said non-committally, glancing again at her gun on the far side of the room.

"Look at yourself," Tor reiterated. "You're seriously considering shooting a total stranger and a good friend. Do you honestly believe either of us deserves that?"

"You wouldn't die," she replied.

"No, you'd just rewire our brains and fundamentally alter our existence. You can't really believe that's right."

Something itched at her mind, but she pushed it down, shaking her head a bit. "Of course it is. You're Brown, you're the enemy."

Walters took a half-step forward, holding out his arms to her. "Come on, Ester," he said, almost pleading, "think about it. You were never even interested in the war! You were going to repair furniture for a living, then the draft came by and suddenly you went all 'for kin and country' on everyone!"

Ester was a patriot.

"Ester, you're an analyst. You're a nerd with a penchant for Scary Door and Galaxy Quest. I know that, deep down, you're not the soldier we've been programmed to be."

Ester was a patriot. She loved her country.

"Ester." Tor stepped forward, holding the gun on her now. "Do you want to be shot? Converted, brainwashed, and rewired into supporting a completely different cause?"

She shook her head.

He lowered his voice. "They why would you want to be brainwashed to support the army you do now?"

Ester was a patriot. Brainwashing was wrong. Her gaze shot back and forth between her gun and Walters. She loved her country. She wanted to work with furniture. She was crying, big rolling tears down her face. She wanted to convert the enemy. She wanted to be herself. She was on the floor, not remembering how she'd gotten there. She wanted to serve with honour. She wanted to spend time with her parents. Something escaped her lips- not words, just a sound of confusion and anguish and fear, a child's whimper in the face of darkness. Ester was a patriot. Ester loved her country. Ester-

The shot echoed through the room, cutting through the girl's torment with the easy way out.

Ester stood, faced Tor, and saluted.

Tor grimaced at her. "Stop that," he said, and she did so obediently. "Now, I'm going to give you some orders. I've told Walters already, so listen up. You're to think for yourself and not be a sentrali drone, alright? You want to head off right now and get back home? Go ahead. I'm not about to lead anyone by dragging their rettal brain around on a leash."

Ester took a deep breath, let it out, then replied, "Sir, if it's alright, I'm going to stay. That was... that was hard, but you're right. This war is wrong, and if there's anything I can do, I want to do it."

"Alright, glad to have you aboard." He took her hand, shook it, and then turned towards the door. "Now, Walters and I locked your three companions upstairs."

Ester squared her shoulders, grabbed her gun, and joined the other two by the door. "They don't deserve their brainwashing any more than any other soldier. Let's go dirty their minds up."

Tor gestured for her to lead the way, and she did so, Walters following. Tor took up the rear.

He was a captain, and that didn't mean leading a bunch of mindless drones. That meant leading a crew, and he wasn't going to accept any loyalty he hadn't earned the old-fashioned way. Walters had been an unfortunate half-accident, but conversation had Tor convinced that he was behind him for the ideas, not just because a bullet had said so. Still, though, he'd been a niggling little worry for the captain. With Rawlin on his side as well, though, now he could be confident. She'd fought her programming, and all he'd done had been to help her along. If she followed her programmed orders, she'd do what she thought was right, and if that was to follow Tor, well... that was loyalty he could accept.

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round Two: The Great Battlefield)
Originally posted on MSPA by Solaris.

Velobo ran down the hill away from the green encampment. Upon reaching the bottom half of the hill, he slowed down as he saw the advancing yellow forces. Taking a deep breath and raising his hands he slowly walked to the yellow clad soldiers, yelling, "Do not shoot, I come in peace."
"State your allegiance!" A soldier among the force yelled out.

Velobo took another deep breath and began
"I am Velobo Calidad and I am aligned to none of your warring governments. I am however, aligned with all of you, and all of your countries. Please, let me speak, I want to end this war the best way possible, not just for the green side or the red side or the blue side, but for all of the sides."
The commanding yellow soldier listened to of Velobo’s words. He was an older soldier, with many years under his belt. And in all that time, he had never seen or heard of such a thing, and while he was a bit confused, in the end he motioned for the artillery to hold its fire. Chuckling, he called out, asking and deciding to humor the creature, "What is a little cube like you going to do that all of our forces and resources couldn’t do?"

Velobo smirked, "I am glad you asked. As you may have guessed, I am not from around here. I might not even be from this universe to be honest. However, regardless of our exterior differences, we do share one large thing in common. We are all fighting for our lives. I was created on a desolate moon where my people where enslaved and made stupid for the entertainment of others. Shortly afterward, I was abducted against my will and entered in to a battle that I now may never escape. And now, I am here, amongst you all, soldiers with families and friends, who just like me, fight for your current life each and every waking moment. You don’t just fight for your lives, you fight for your loyalty to your country, you fight so that you can stay with your families, and you fight so that you can continue to fight for your fellow soldiers."
"And? What does that have to do with us? We’ve been fighting those treacherous greens, reds, and blues for as long as I can remember, and as long as anyone can. Some square olive isn’t going to come and change that. And furthermo-"

Velobo’s mouth lost its smirk. This obviously wouldn’t be as easy as he had hoped. After all, asking people to fight against their own country was miles away from uprising against a tyrant. And from the yellow commander’s words, his being a cube wasn’t going to be beneficial. So Velobo stopped fully listening to the commander’s rant on how terrible all of the other countries were, and he began to plot how he would bypass these two obstacles. Meanwhile, the yellow commander kept prattling on and on all about the terrors that all of the other armies had committed and how above them all the yellow army was, all getting to the point of getting in the way of his thoughts. Velobo now had a full on annoyed frown. This is going to difficult.

After a few moments, Velobo’s eyes perked up, he had it. Or at least he thought he did. Straightening himself up, he pointed at the commanding officer and began. "Sir, you have fought for many years, I suspect you have had your share of loss and sorrow, you’ve fought in this war for ages without moving a single inch forward, an eternal stalemate, one that has only given the world death or worse. Do you have a family back in your country? Don’t you fear being converted and losing all that you have back home? Don’t you fear having a friend one day, and fighting him the very next day? Can’t you see the inhumanity in this war? Please, as a living being can you not see how atrocious this war is?"

The yellow soldiers listening to the conversation were beginning to do what every good brainwashing government despised. They were thinking. And their commanding officer knew that. He began to twitch and shake, he was beginning to be angry, clenching his fist he replied "Most war is, olive boy, it is an evil that is necessary to protect our country!"
"And what if you are shot by an opposing army? Then what is your reason for fighting? "

Rather than deal with this with words, the officer decided that enough and he drew his gun and pointed it at Velobo. Velobo had seen this coming. Upon seeing the soldier reach for his weapon, Velobo made a slight sigh, followed by the launching of his tongue. The awkward and sudden jerking of his gun, right when he put his finger around the trigger, led to a shot ringing out right back on the commanding officer.

"Uaw mam. Thad. Wathent un purputh..."

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round Two: The Great Battlefield)
Originally posted on MSPA by SleepingOrange.

The snipers' nest had been a real boon. The view was excellent and the intelligence the pair had been able to gather was even better. Coupled with the ability to be effectively invisible to the rest of the battlers, it was essentially the perfect starting place.

Essentially, in this case, fell pretty far short of actually.

The position that gave the nest its superlative qualities also turned out to be incredibly inconvenient; descending the mountain was proving to be intolerably complicated and slow. As TinTen had said during one frustrating outburst, "Scofflaw likely to rule entire battlefield before descent successful!"

Chasms and ravines opened at every turn, paths were few and far between, and navigable stretches had a tendency to u-turn and leave anyone walking them higher up the rocky peaks than when they started. The amiable Huebert was actually rather enjoying the excursion, recalling a time when he'd lived happily on such terrain, but the truth inherent in TinTen's dire portents and muttered invectives niggled at the back of his mind.

Eventually, man and squid found themselves facing a sheer wall of craggy rock; it stood resolutely between them and the side of the mountains they wanted to be on, and went on for a considerable distance in both directions. Going back the way they came would, aside from getting them nowhere new, be extremely difficult given the grade of the slope they descended.

The pair stared at the obstacle for a few moments, not sure of how to proceed. Huebert opened his mouth and started to say "Well, should we–" but was quickly cut off by a snapped "Enough of this!"

TinTen drew his laser pistol in one hand analogue and began emptying its battery into the rock, each shot ablating a bit of the surface. His other manipulator appendage drew a large concussive grenade from his bandolier. It was pretty clear what he intended to do, but Huebert bit his tongue in spite of the self-evident foolishness of this course of action; whatever TinTen had to do to feel better. He spent several seconds scanning the rock face, trying to ignore his friend's venting frustration. Something caught his attention out of the corner of his eye, though, and he put a hand on the barrel of TinTen's gun.

"Hey. Why don't we just use the door?"


"Single slughole here. Recent. Indicative of accident or small-scale struggle rather than real firefight."

Huebert continued sauntering down the brightly-lit brushed-steel tunnel. "Not much more you can tell just staring at the wall. 'S probably just some clumsy soldier letting his gun go off."

At about that point, they heard another gunshot from deeper inside the complex. Huebert muttered "On the other hand...", and they sped up.


The oppressively-liberating individuality of the room they arrived in was rather lost on TinTen and Huebert as they did their best to identify the source of the retort without making themselves obvious targets. No-one seemed to be around, but there was another slughole in the floor, and TinTen happened to see a nearby door finish swinging shut. He gestured towards it, and the pair crept across the intelligence analysis room; TinTen withdrew a small flexible-cable camera from his toolkit and threaded it under the door. After a few seconds of calibration and observation, he started and pulled the camera back.

"Two soldiers, uniforms brown," he hissed. "Tor with them, apparently peaceful."

Huebert's brow scrunched up. "Uh, I guess we should probably try contacting him. It'd be better to have, you know, a united front against Scofflaw, right?"

The Meipi nodded wobblingly. "Good thought."

Huebert pulled the door open barked up the stairs. "Hey, Tor!"

TinTen sighed quietly as he mounted the plasma pack. "Not quite my plan."

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round Two: The Great Battlefield)
Originally posted on MSPA by Valter.

Brigadier Kerak and the fine soldiers of Chartreuse Battalion burst from the Northern Woods in smart formation. During his stay in the forest, Kerak had picked up a few more lessons on organized warfare, and also tripled the size of his army.

Oddly, he'd encountered soldiers from Blue, Yellow, and Green army during his exploration of the woods, there for much the same reason as the red company he'd converted. The Green soldiers he met couldn't be ordered around, apparently, despite being on his side, but they had pointed him toward Green Headquarters, so Kerak had decided to let them continue their work without biting all their heads off.

"Halt!" Kerak shouted, as soon as his soldiers fully gathered outside the heavy brush of the forest. "Sergeant! Do you have your binoculars with you?"

"Yes, sir. Are we returning to HQ?"

"Of course not!" Kerak said with genuine astonishment. "Where on earth did you get that idea?"

"You mentioned to the company we crossed paths with-"

"Nuts to them! We've got bigger fish to fry than the bigwigs back at HQ!"

Conaway hesitated. "Uh, are you talking about meeting up with hq, or fighting them, sir? The way you're saying it, I'm not really sure what-"

Kerak waved his arms. "Does it really matter? Now stop sassing and focus. I need your eyes for a bit."

"Yes sir," Conaway said with a sigh, and readied his binoculars. "What exactly am I looking for?"

"This 'dossier' thing you got on me mentioned a 'Grand Battle', right?"


"Well, there's seven more contestants out there, and we're gonna need their help to really get this war off the ground."

Conaway started scanning the battlefield. The fields were dotted by several active skirmishes, but there didn't appear to be any major campaigns under way. "I'm gonna need specific details on appearance, sir. Lot of people out there."

"Hmm. Three of them mostly look like you. Humans, yes? But the rest are more distinct. Tengeri, she's an eel with wings, okay? And feathers."


"Then there's the squid. He calls himself a 'Meipi'. Well okay, he looks a bit like you all. But he's definitely got a bad case of squidhead."

"If you say so, sir..."

"Maybe you could look for Jetsam? He looks like- well okay, he doesn't really look like anything, on account of changing forms so often. Do you see any polymorphs out there?"


"Oh, whatever. I guess we can just go back to converting units..."

"You've only mentioned six of the seven contestants, sir."

"Oh right! Some kinda cuboid. His name's Velobo. He didn't do much that I saw last round, though. I doubt I'll even see him again until-"

"Actually, he's running across the field by himself right now."

"Really?" Kerak face split into a toothy smile. "I guess he'll be better than nothing. Pick out our twenty best soldiers, Sergeant, and order the rest to make camp. We've got some errands to run."


As endearing as it was to have a soldier suddenly under his command, the sudden bout of violence really wasn't doing Velobo any favors.

The revived CO stood up and quickly wiped down his uniform before saluting. His outfit was now olive green. "Reporting for duty, sir!"

"Not helping..." Velobo muttered at his enthusiastic charge. At least the other yellow soldiers weren't reacting yet. Maybe they needed a few moments to sort out their chain of command, now that their officer had converted? ...Maybe they would forgive him if he gave their CO back? "Uh, if you'll all just stop milling around and listen-"

"An excellent suggestion!" At least a dozen Green Army soldiers made their positions apparent from around the light cover dotting the battlefield. Velobo would have easily sensed them under other circumstances, but... well, he'd made an excellent distraction for himself and the rest of the yellow squadron.

Velobo's eyes narrowed just a touch as Kerak strode happily toward them. "I wouldn't make any sudden movements, gentlehumans! My boys and girls have you quite shamelessly surrounded, and if you try to fight back I can personally guarantee this'll be the last day you ever spend wearing yellow. Understood?"

"What are you playing at, Kerak?" Velobo demanded. "You've had time enough to convert us all already."

"I've no intention of killing any of you," Kerak said with a sly smile that suggested the opposite of his words. "Converted units follow orders exceptionally well, but that's not quite what I'm looking for right now. Come over here, Velobo. Away from yours and my units." He beckoned Velobo away from the corralled Yellow Army units. "You're headed off to war with Yellow Army, aren't you Velobo?"

Velobo approached Kerak cautiously. "I've no interest in murder, Kerak. Uh, no further interest, that is. I am going to negotiate peace!"

"I'm working toward peace too! This war doesn't need to continue, does it? If all the soldiers were united under a single color, the conflict would end. Right?

Kerak dropped his smile. "I'll give it to you straight, Velobo. This war's been going on for longer than any of my soldiers can remember. Decades spent shooting at each other with nothing to show for it! wasteful. How about we end it? We're the wild cards! we can change the face of the battlefield in a way none of the armies could possibly dreamed of."

Velobo just rolled his eyes. "Do you really think I've already forgotten what you tried to do to Murdoch? I have no intention of working with an established backstabber."

Kerak shook his head. "Velobo, I wouldn't dream of betraying you, but that's neither here nor there. I didn't intend to travel with you! I just wanted to help you along with your mission! And if you could convince Yellow Army to convert en masse to Green, my own work would be made a great deal simpler. "

"I would rather convince them to lay down their weapons entirely than simply change uniforms..."

"Oh?" Kerak ruffled his plumage a bit. "This war won't be ending without more bloodshed anyway, and doubling Green Army's size would guarantee victory! It's not like the soldiers actually dye, anyway! Not for long."


"Look, it's clear you're not making a decision right now. I'll give you a tip anyway: order your shiny new CO to convert back to yellow and arrest you. He'll take you as far into HQ as his ranking allows."

Velobo frowned. "You can do that?"

"Oh, yes. There's almost no end to what you can order your units to do. This entire world runs on loyalty, Velobo. You could probably convince a few errant soldiers here and their to lay down their weapons, but if you want to stop an entire Army? You'll have to take your 'negotiations' straight to the top."

"Hmph. That was where I was planning to go anyway. And I should probably get moving." Not that the work ahead of Velobo was particularly appealing, but it was a welcome opportunity to put distance between him and Kerak.

Another smile from Kerak. "I wouldn't want to keep you waiting, then. Warriors!" Kerak shouted as Velobo worked his way back to the Yellow squadron. "This operations clearly a bust. Let's retreat!

"And Velobo: you can preach for peace if you want, but Green Army will be winning this war. Plan accordingly."
A wink and a nod, and suddenly Kerak and his soldiers were gone, making their way posthaste out of the field and back over a nearby hillock. Leaving Velobo by himself with an angry, confused squadron of Yellow soldiers, one vassel CO, and, refreshingly enough, a plan.
Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round Two: The Great Battlefield)
Originally posted on MSPA by Solaris.

"This is going to be one hell of a report..."
Safe above from any ruckus and insanity, watching through his binoculars, one of 52nd Green Army Regiment's sharpshooters was trying to make sense of what he just saw. Having been ordered to spy on the cube outsider while the rest of the group armed themselves, the sharpshooter would not enjoy the conversation he would have with the Squad Leader.

He could handle the inanity of the yellow soldiers suddenly stopping. He could handle his surprise when Velobo went and shot one of the yellow soldier. He could even keep the binoculars in his hand after a dinosaur, apparently in company of some soldiers, went up to talk to Velobo. However, when the previously shot soldier turned back to yellow, apparently arrested the cube alien, and then left the site inside the artillery, the befuddled soldier dropped his binoculars, along with his jaw.

"Sir, sir! I have news!"

Roy Charles Madison was mapping out the regiments course when the sharpshooter barged in. "Well, it can wait. We need to plan out a course before any other army's get over here."
"B-but sir, it is about the cube, he just left with the approaching yellow soldiers, but that isn't it!"
"What? What could he have done that would warrant such a-"
"He talked to a dinosaur! And he's heading this way!"

Running out to see this situation for himself, Squad Leader Roy Madison first made a note to make sure that his soldier went to see a shrink when they got back to base, the heat must have gotten to him or something. Then he saw the approaching dinosaur, just reaching the top of a hill. Cubes and dinosaurs? What was next, a zombie vacuum cleaner? This day was already odd, and now it was starting to fly off the deep end. After looking at Kerak for a few moments, Roy made a second mental note, give out demerits for any soldier who fails to mention that the approaching dinosaur has a damn army behind him.
"Damn it.."
Running back to the center of the camp, Roy Charles Madison, Squad Leader of the 52nd Green Army Regiment ordered and immediate return to base.

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round Two: The Great Battlefield)
Originally posted on MSPA by Schazer.

The gorge sprawled out, after a few minutes’ marching, into something more like a sheer-walled dip in the ground as it snaked its parched way to a bend in the River Shrin. The three survivors of Cobalt Squad fanned out on Anzhi’s tacit command, hopping across the rocks to scout out the chokepoint. Zita scrambled atop a particularly large boulder, peered upriver, then turned and waved with a little more enthusiasm than strictly recommended under protocol. Isolation must be getting to him, pondered his commander. Probably getting to all of us. Best regroup; being stuck behind enemy lines’ll just strain morale.

Anzhi took one step. He then swore as the private keeled slowly over and tumbled off the rock - a rude bloodied mess of bullet where his eye should’ve been. “PLATOON, WE’RE UNDER FIRE!” he roared, trying to mask his desperation.

Corporal Lacatus, downriver, was struggling to figure who had earned his uneasy admiration more - the sharpshooting Petrović, clutching his rifle as though scared it would spin possessedly round and deal his pancreas a similar fate to the Blue’s eye; or the cyber-snake calmly relaying that its sensors detected no periwinkle platoon ready to jump them in the gorge.

“Petrović, Lakatos, hold the bend –Nyoka and Molnár, follow me. We’ll ford the river downstream, out of their sight, and hit them from behind.”

Gilchrist was an understandably nervous wreck at this point; the more-than-adequate number of years he'd spent training as a loyal soldier of the Blue army had never really prepared him for any kind of heroics. Hell, his near-hour of comparative peace with Zita and Towser post-massacare, wandering the gorges, being oblivious (with a nagging sort of realisation at the fact) to the rattle of gunfire from above - all that was right out of the soldier's comfort zone. Gilchrist had about ten minutes - not content to merely let the fact it was Zita dashed across the riverbed sink in, but to let the thought ferment into the realisation he couldn't have matched a single other face to a name in his entire platoon.

This was all very distressing, but not nearly as bad as when Zita jerkily stood with a ripple of red, snatching for his rifle without the slightest hesitation when he caught Gilchrist's eye. The Blue private had to actually choke back a sob at this point, and Molnár's crossfire catching him unawares was something of a relief. Towser had retreated, sharpish, to the scree-slip Anzhi had hidden behind, until he bit a freshly crimson Zita's bullets. Anzhi grabbed the sergeant's pistol before kicking him away, then emptied the gun into Molnár's chest.

A series of clicks echoed through the gorge - perhaps accompanied by a faint curse, before the scuffle concluded with the retort of Corporal Lacatus' gun.

There was an oddly introspective moment of silence, interrupted only with the shufflings of Red soldiers rising to their feet. With Anzhi their effective commanding officer, everyone (including Tengeri, who'd prudently placed herself out of harm's way for the duration of the firefight) saluted.

"Excellent work, corporal." Anzhi’s face betrayed no pain. He even looked pleased, much to Tengeri's well-disguised horror. "That’s the last of the Blue infantry that got pinned between us and those - hold it." He snatched Lacatus' gun before the corporal could argue, and shot Molnár smartly between the eyes as his uniform began to darken. "Right. That's the last of them. Now," he concluded, tossing the pistol back and glaring at Tengeri, "I haven't been briefed on…"

"private tengeri nyoka of-"

"Recently recruited, sir. No indication of duplicity; she's got an array of sensors and appear to act in a purely intel-based capacity."

"Riiight. I was going to request the private speak for, uh - themselves, but I assume that's beyond them?"

"only until my vocals chords are repaired," fumed Tengeri, but she needn't have bothered, considering the attention the lieutenant was paying her. Anzhi had, after all, not attained his respectable rank by eschewing protocol.

"I trust," glowered the lieutenant, "you only came to... retrieve myself as Towser, Zita, Gilchrist and I were directly en route to base? Where you would've reported Private-" he flashed the glare of one already dismissive at Tengeri- "Nyoka's… recruitment to your superiors without delay?"

"Of- of course, sir."

"Good. We're heading back, pronto. I've had enough of creeping round these trenches like a goddamn blue rat."

Anzhi ran a hand through his greying hair, shot Tengeri with a glance so brazenly mistrustful it was almost wounding, and followed Corporal Lacatus out of the gorge without another word.

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round Two: The Great Battlefield)
Originally posted on MSPA by Pinary.

"This shouldn't be too difficult," Ester was explaining, her voice hushed as the three started up the stairs, "Jen and Charlie both probably have their headphones on, so they won't hear us if we're quiet, and around this time of day, Allen's always in the flight simulator. He claims he's keeping up his piloting skills, but it may as well be Helicopter Command for all he cares. He and I know each other from back home, and more often than not, he was down at the classic arcade racking up the points. Once, he-"

Walters cut her off with a sharply hissed "Ester."

"What, Mike?"

"You told me to stop you if you ever startled rambling."

She glared at him but didn't contradict him. "We should go for Allen first. He should be fairly easy to convince, and having him around for the other two will be useful."

"Right," Tor said, "let's-"

Huebert's booming voice echoed up the stairs. "Hey, Tor!"

Swearing, Tor whirled. "Stealth," he hissed, "generally doesn't work when people are shouting!"

Walters pressed an ear to the door, then reported, "They heard that, they're coming!"

It was Ester's turn to swear. "Captain," she urged, "we need to go. Now."

She didn't need to tell him twice. He lead the way down the stairs, clattering along with his two allies in tow, running away from people who'd shoot them without question despite being as close as family not fifteen minutes before.

Huebert stood back to let them pass, then matched pace with the retreating trio and asked, "So, what's the plan?"

"The plan," Tor shot back, his tone accusatory, "is to get out of here as fast as possible before we're all shot and made to sing Blue Skies Forever or something! Once we're safely away, we can figure out what to do next!"

It sounded good to Huebert, so he didn't reply, just kept jogging along behind the three who were running full pelt through the base. Walters, on the other hand, said, "If we can get to the roof, we can take the helicopter out of here!"

"Doesn't that mean going upstairs?"

"Shouldn't be a problem," Ester replied, "they're probably all-" A bullet winged into the wall to her left, and she turned her head to glimpse a woman with a shock of red hair and big, angry eyes, flanked by a pair of men in matching blue uniforms. "Yeah," she confirmed, lunging for cover as she did, "they're all downstairs."

Walters jabbed Tor in the side and pointed to a door on the other side of the hall they were in. It wasn't labelled, but he trusted the man to not point him towards a supply cupboard. Sure enough, when he slammed his weight into the door and barged through, he found himself in a narrow service stairway, steep steps leading upwards.

In short order, the whole group was once more pounding along, heading for the roof and whatever a helicopter was.

It was, Tor discovered, a bulbous-looking craft with thin blades sticking out from a spoke on the roof. An atmospheric craft, he could only assume, and when Walters jumped into the front and started the thing going. As the engines started up, the thing's paint-job rippled, the colours shifting from a vaguely-camouflaging blue to a muddy brown.

"We're in back," Tor told the two other battlers, "we need to talk. Ester, you go up front with Walters. I want you monitoring comms."

She saluted and ran around to clamber in the other side, and Tor held stood back to let TinTen and Huebert enter before him. He was barely in himself by the time Jen, Charlie, and Allen reached the roof behind them and opened fire. Their shots dinged steadily off of the chopper's plating, gradually dying away as the craft put distance between itself and the facility.


A bit later, Tor spoke into the headset he'd discovered to be quite useful in the near-deafening din of their ride's engines. "Right," he said, looking mostly at TinTen, "we need to talk. We didn't exactly see much of each other last round, but from what I can tell, you're more reasonable and level-headed than some of the other beings in this... competition."

"Could say similarly," the Meipi responded. "You would propose alliance?"

Tor nodded. "I'm not saying we have any chance at taking down the Fool. I can't speak for either of you, but he's obviously got power orders of magnitude above anything I could claim. If given the chance, I don't think there's anyone here who wouldn't take the chance to take him out, but aiming for that is just unrealistic."

"Of course. You have more feasible goals?"

Tor nodded again, leaning forward in a way that made it quite clear who he was and wasn't talking to. "Kerak murdered a good man in cold blood. There will be justice. You can help me or not, that's your call, but I am not going to let that feathery beast get away with this."

TinTen hesitated, choosing his words carefully. "Would not Scofflaw merit greater concern?"

Tor snorted derisively, not wanting to give the Saint the concern that he probably deserved. "He's done nothing but bumble around and get into brawls," he said, neglecting to mention that that could probably sum up his own activities last round the same way. "If he ever does show himself to be worthy of his grand reputation as master villain, then maybe I'll take him seriously, but for now, I'm going to focus on someone who's actually proven themselves to be dangerous: Kerak."

"Yeah?" Huebert was a bit miffed at the Telpori-Hal's rudeness. "What about Jetsam, he's the-"

"Jetsam's not actually out to hurt anyone," Tor interrupted, "it's not in his hal." He said it like it was obvious, the sort of thing anyone with half a brain could see. "He's only a danger to anyone stupid enough to get on his bad side."

"If you say so. Ten, what do you think?"

"Makes certain amount of sense." The Meipi rifled briefly through his book, stopping to scan a page before closing it and turning his attention back to Tor. "Am in agreement, then; Kerak is most dangerous, should take-" He was interrupted as the radio crackled and Ester joined the conversation.

"I don't mean to butt in," she said, "but there's something you should hear. I picked it up on a Blue frequency- apparently, someone calling himself the 'Tartan Tyrant' has set up shop near here and it's disrupting things."

Tor exchanged a glance with TinTen, who then exchanged one with Huebert. Kerak, it seemed, was going to have to wait.

Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round Two: The Great Battlefield)
Originally posted on MSPA by Lord Paradise.

TinTen and Huebert peered over the ridge. Ester and Walters were quaking in their boots behind them, probably wondering what psychological torment accompanies being converted to Plaid.

TinTen confessed to himself that he’d been expecting some sprawling, technologically advanced encampment, but the so-called “Tartan Tyrant” had no more property to his name than a rotted-out bunker with a single, plaid-clad soldier guarding the entrance. Still, the various skirmishes dotting the landscape seemed to be keeping these coordinates a curiously wide berth.

He relayed all this information to Tor over the walkie-talkie. “Neon sign above bunker door reads ‘the Trench.’ Stupidly ostentatious and bothersome: whole operation stinks of Scofflaw.”

”Get back to the chopper,” counseled Tor, who had volunteered to stay behind and cover their exit. ”We’ll regroup and see if we can’t come up with a better strategy than ‘sneak up on the front door’.”

”Negative,” said TinTen. “Going in with Huebert.”

Huebert was taken aback by this. “Pardon?”

“Scofflaw too monomaniacal to risk ending the round before done playing with new toys.” The Meipi hopped over the ridge and approached the entrance to the Trench, appendages and weapons raised. "Worst case scenario is conversion, risk of death minimal." Huebert sighed and motioned for the two Browns to follow.

TinTen had been counting on the Plaid at the door (a six-foot-six monster of a man) menacing them with a rifle and forcefully escorting them to his leader; he was far more disturbed when the man wasn’t even carrying a gun, but seemed to be watching over a pile of two dozen weapons of different colors. “Weapons check,” he said, smiling.

TinTen glanced over at Huebert to make sure his partner was equally unamused by this turn of events. “Fire,” he ordered the Ester and Walters.

The two Browns diligently raised their weapons and pulled the triggers, achieving a series of impotent clicking noises. Ester cursed. The Plaid broke out laughing. “You don’t know what this place is, do you?” he chuckled. “Leave your weapons and come in, the big man told me to send any funny-looking fellas right to him.”

Walters panicked and grabbed for his walkie-talkie. “Captain!” he screamed. “Weapon malfunction! Brown alert! I think this Plaid might punch me pretty hard!” The Plaid patted the soldier comfortingly on the shoulder. “He’s touching me,” Walters told Tor.

TinTen took control of the situation. “Private, lay weapon aside,” he commanded, pulling out his own radio. “No need to worry, captain. Some of Scofflaw’s… believe phrase is ‘dortul.’”

”Be careful,” cautioned Tor.

TinTen, Huebert, and the two browns relinquished their weapons, each slightly more reluctant than the next, and allowed themselves to be led into the bunker.

“Figures,” said Huebert when they were inside.

It was a bar. “’Figures,’ indeed,” sneered TinTen. Soldiers of all four colors were drinking and playing at cards alongside a dozen Plaids. Tending the bar was the figure TinTen had come to hate above all others in the battle, except now wearing a kilt. Scofflaw was embroiled in a discussion with two Blues and a woman whose color could not be identified, because she wasn’t wearing any clothes.
“Richard Chamberlain was one of the great gay icons of Hollywood. When Shogun first premiered I must have worn out my—TINTEN FUCKING NAAMXE! Come here!” Scofflaw pounded his hand on the bar and made enough of a scene that TinTen felt socially obliged to comply, walking up and taking a stool. ”So, guys, this is TinTen and Huebert. They’re each half a contestant in that battle I was telling you about. TinTen, Huebert, this is Little Boy Blue, Little Boy 2, and Jessica. It’s Jessica’s birthday.”

Jessica nodded and groped for one of the shots that Scofflaw was pouring. A voice that seemed to be coming from the floor behind the bar made a sound that probably was supposed to be a giggle, but came out as a gurgle. “Charmed,” said TinTen. Huebert looked as though he wanted to say something to Jessica, but didn’t.

It occurred to TinTen that Scofflaw was going a miraculous job at keeping them off-guard.
”So the Browns over there, I assume they’re Tor’s? He’ll be taking the pacifist route, I imagine. Trying to put an end to the brainwashing. I considered that, briefly. What do you think will happen if Tor does his phoenix thing and comes back a slightly paler shade of brown, hmmm?”

”If not taking pacifist route,” asked TinTen, “What’s endgame of all this? Doesn’t seem to be first step towards conquering the battlefield.”

”Conquering the battlefield… Yes, I considered that, too. Here, Huebert, help yourself to a beer.”

”Don’t help self to beer,” barked TinTen.

“I wasn’t going to.” Huebert pouted slightly.

”Anyway,” continued Scofflaw, continuing to refill the blues’ glasses, ”My ‘endgame’ is to make the war more fun. And there’s little enough fun to be had in a game where every server is PvP, hmm? So, I jury-rigged a device that casts a field about a mile across where the weapons don’t work, and guess what it produced as a byproduct? Tell them what it produced as a byproduct, Alfalfa Male!”

Scofflaw stomped on the ground and that voice from the floor shouted “ALCOHOL!” The shouter sounded very, very drunk.

”Alcohol,” agreed Scofflaw, as though he were saying “amen.” ”And thus was born ‘the Trench.’”

TinTen considered this. “Peace, for a mile all around?” he asked cautiously.

”To a point. These people are terrible at peace. See, that red keeps buying rounds for that yellow in the hopes that he can get the yellow drunk enough to let some missile launch codes slip. That green and that red have each decided that the other army sounds way better, so they’re planning on going out of the safe zone and shooting each other at the same time, but of course they’re both plotting to betray each other. And that blue over there in the corner? She’s a yellow. She stole Jessica’s clothes and she’s planning to infiltrate the blue base.”

”They make her look fat,” chimed in Jessica. “Give those back,” she added, to nobody in particular. Scofflaw gave her another shot, and she apparently decided that that was what she had meant.

“This device,” offered TinTen. “Could range be expanded to encompass entire battlefield?”

Scofflaw shrugged.
”That’s not the next step. The next step is to rework the field so that it actually nullifies the soldiers’ colors. Destroys their allegiances altogether, reestablishes free will until they leave. I’m a couple hours of hard work away from that particular breakthrough, and I’m not working particularly hard at the moment, so I could use your help, or Dr. Nyoka’s.”

No allegiances, thought TinTen. The war could end in one move. Common sense interjected, in the form of Huebert: “You’re up to something,” he accused the bartender.

”Usually,” admitted Scofflaw. ”But the question is, are you boys down for something? Jessica! Have you ever been with a cephalopod before?”

”Not on m’birthdaaaaay!” Jessica clapped her hands, at no point becoming cognizant of TinTen three stools over.

“Focus,” said TinTen. The Meipi paused for a moment, knowing he was making a mistake. “Huebert, step outside, tell Captain Kajan everything that happened here. Scofflaw.”

”It’s ‘the Tartan Tyrant’ now, actually.”

”No. Scofflaw. Show the generator.”
Re: Grand Battle S3G1! (Round Two: The Great Battlefield)
Originally posted on MSPA by Solaris.

As he retreated from his position, Squad Leader Madison made sure to send a report to the Green Headquarters. After its arrival, some met it with full-blown laughs, others met it with sighs, but one met it with an almost odd seriousness. This one soldier knew that this was a serious report. That Madison would never just make this up and then send it in. He immediately began to pull strings and set things in motion to make sure that the Green General himself would get the report.

"We've arrived."
Velobo and the members of the yellow squad arrived at the Yellow Base with little fan-fare. He and the soldiers entered the bustling building, and were immediately joined by another group of soldiers. Most of the group then left to elsewhere in the base, but a few, including the leader he had converted, stayed. As they walked, the soldiers exchanged a few whispers, but Velobo was focused on other things. He was observing the path and each and every room and soldier. He was going to map out this building. And then he was going to find the Yellow General.

"Are you joking?" The Green General stared at the latest report handed to him by one of his officers. The large man, of course dressed fully in green, had one hand on his large desk and the other on his mustache. Across from him was one of his more trusted officers, although after reading the report he was certainly rethinking that status... "I had a meeting today and instead you want me to waste time with some report on some cube... thing?"
"I am very sorry Sir, but if you know Madison like I do then you would understand that this is a completely accurate report of real events."
The General continued fondling his mustache, still skeptical. "You are aware there was a dinosaur. A dinosaur!"
"Sir, please. If it was any other soldier I wouldn't even think of having this report on the same floor as you. But Madison is one of our best. He's telling the truth. He has to be."
The General sighed. "I'm going to have to speak with... some consultants first. Please leave, everyone, clear out, that's an order."
As his soldiers left the room the General pressed a button on his desk. The windows were slowly covered and the room went dark. He turned his desk around and faced the large screen that lowered from the ceiling. As the windows finished being covered and the room went completely black, the screen became illuminated. Four grey silhouettes appeared, all sitting in various poses awaiting a response from the General who had summoned them.
"My gracious benefactors. I am afraid that we may have a problem."

"Hmpf, a simple briefing room? What were they thinking?" Locked inside with the soldier that was actually under his control, Velobo almost couldn't believe his luck. Staring at a crude map of the facility made from his observance on the way there, he began to chart a path to where he thought he would find his general. "If memory serves this path should lead to that room, and then this room was the one with all of the guards in front of it. Yes, this should go along perfectly."
"And what of I, sir?" Asked the loyal yellow.
"Huh. oh yea... I guess if things go sour I will need a quick form of escape... go commandeer an escape vehicle for me. Yes, that should work out well. And don't let them catch you or report you to the higher officers or anything." The cuboid, content with his orders then sent him off while he entered an air duct and began his plan.

"And that is the situation." The Green General had just finished giving his report to his benefactors. His mustache was a mess and he was sweating bullets. Having to give such a ridiculous report, I can't believe I said half the things I did. Oh this just won't end well.
The Top Left Silhouette was the first to reply. A garbled voice was emitted from the screen. "Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I can see how this can be a problem to our efforts."
The Bottom Right Silhouette spoke next, "I think that this Velobo is not to be trusted, he pulled wool over our soldier’s eyes once, he will do it again. General, I suggest that you begin plans to mobilize troops against these anomalies. They are detrimental to our efforts to end the war. Tell your troops to be on alert for anything out of the ordinary."
The Top Right Silhouette spoke next. "We will converse privately, and get back to you on how better to act. But for now continue matters as normal after giving the warning. Do not inform them of the cube or his conversion, nor of the dinosaur."
The Green General's mouth was agape; he was shocked at the nonchalant response of the four figures. However, he brought himself back to Earth and responded with a loud and strong "Yes Sirs, Yes Madame."
And the room was dark once more.
As he deactivated the screen and re-lighted the room, the still sweating general called his secretary. "Jessica, please bring me a glass of water."
"And a to-"
"And yes, a towel. Thank you."
Sitting alone in his office, the Green General simply sighed in relief.

Velobo continued his trek in the vents. They were quite large and he didn't really have to struggle to go through them. He contently continued through until he reached the room that he remembered being guarded. Stopping at the vent and looking through, it was empty except for the glow of a large screen, a desk, and a few scattered chairs. Velobo squinted and whispered to himself, "Why is the General's room so dark?" He removed the vent and then stepped inside.
As he did he felt odd, he couldn't tell what or why, he just did. His side and back eyes looked all over the room for anyone or anything that could have been hiding in the darkness while walking toward the glowing screen with a protruding control station. The large monolith only showed a black screen with a few colored numbers. There was red 0, a blue 1, and green 2, and then a yellow 3. Under then were much larger numbers that continued fluctuating. As Velobo walked closer he noticed that there was more to the screen, there was a scroll bar on the bottom. Velobo climbed up the large keyboard on the bottom of the screen and then slowly began to scroll.


"So we are in accordance?"
"Yes, these seven anomalies must be dealt with before they tip the balance."
"Yes, as we have seen from the serpent, they run a risk of severely unbalancing the battle."
"And then there is that field set up as well."
"Yes, we will need to send in our best to prevent any one of them from breaking the stalemate that we've kept going."
"And if they can't? The one who set up that field has done the impossible, and the dinosaur’s army still grows."
"We must be prepared to do anything to stop the balance from being upset. They must be dealt with, quickly, and with minimal interaction with the soldiers."
"Then it is agreed. They will be dealt with. At any cost."
The four silhouettes each began to call the appropriate people. Soon, the intruders to the Great War would be dealt with the best that their infinite funds could afford. And if they failed, then they were prepared to initiate any contingency to erase the anomalies. No matter the cost.

More numbers appeared on the screen, a chartreuse colored 4, a plaid 5, and a brown 6, and finally, an olive 7. The first had much larger numbers, while the others were only one or a few. Velobo stepped back for a bit. "This... this keeps track of all of the armies?" As he made this conclusion, his confusion grew. "Why does the yellow army have this? Why isn't someone in here monitoring this? What is going on.?" The flustered cube pressed at the keyboard, trying to find something that would explain this. But before he could get far, the only thing he heard was a *click*.
<font color="black">"Velobo, hold still or I'll shoot."

Velobo's eyes darted around the room, it was completely empty, and nothing had changed. "Where are you?" he slowly asked, trying to find the source of this voice.
The voice chuckled. "Well, if you must know, I'm right behind you."
Velobo's back eye stared directly behind the small cube, focusing, he saw a faint outline. Slowly, the outline made itself more apparent. Velobo was shocked to see arms and legs slowly appear out of the air. Where there was nothing, there was now a man dressed fully in black, wearing a black helmet, and aiming a gun directly at him.
"Now that I have your attention, we are going to have a little chat."
Velobo growled in response.</font>