And introducing my final IC, the culmination of my part in this RPG, which is exactly 3,504 words long. It's my longest post, and I think it's possibly the second longest post, at least that I know of. Enough talk, I'll finish at the bottom. See you there!
April 30, 2011
Dr. Cyborg wandered the corridors of XERRD's new ship. It was empty, except for the robotic servants who made the food, kept it repaired, and did everything to keep the ship running but pilot it. It was to be piloted by Sub-Commander Dylan Bingham, and a recently-promoted Commander Kara Wise. After her excellent work in the Dino Attack, it was only fitting that she be promoted.
Two Weeks Ago
Kara stood in front of the door to Dr. Cyborg's office, straightening her uniform and her cap. She may be his friend, but as her boss, he was still intimidating, plus she had no idea why he called her into his office. She took a deep breath, then punched the "open" key on the door control console. The door slid open, and she walked in.
"Ah, Kara," Dr. Cyborg said as she walked in the door and stood in front of his desk. "I'm sure you're wondering why I called you in here?"
"Yes sir, I am," Kara answered.
Dr. Cyborg picked up a folder off his desk. It wasn't full, but it didn't have only one or two sheets of paper in it, either.
"This folder has reports from former Dino Attack Agents you worked with in it. Specs took these up on everybody, and we Elite Agents reviewed them to see how people behaved. I requested copies of reports dealing with you, and received them. Would you like to read me some to you?"
Kara swallowed. Dr. Cyborg, as much as she could tell, only being able to tell from his voice and half a face, was being very cold, concealing some other emotion. She tried hard in the Dino Attack, but people might not have liked how she didn't really follow the chain of command, just sorta helped who she thought needed it.
"Yes sir," she answered.
"For reasons of time, I am only going to read one to you." He opened the folder and looked down at the top sheet of paper.
"'I worked with Kara Wise the most of probably anybody except Dr. Cyborg during the Dino Attack. She seemed like she was used to working as she thought best, and therefore I did not give her specific orders, merely general directives. She did as she was told and did it well. She is quick, smart, and talented at flying. All three are skills a good pilot needs. I was proud to work with her during the short time she was with the Dino Attack team.' There are more, saying the same general thing." Dr. Cyborg suddenly smiled, dropping the emotional wall.
"I am proud of the way you worked in the Dino Attack. Many people thought highly of you. Therefore, I see fit to promote you to the rank of Commander Pilot. Congratulations." Dr. Cyborg stood up and shook hands with her.
"I also have a request. This is optional, so feel free to turn it down. I'm sure you know that UlTech has been working with XERRD scientists on building a capital ship."
"Yes sir, I've been wondering what it's for," Kara replied.
"Well, we are going to use that ship to get back to Crux Prime and Nexus Force. It will also be our mobile headquarters. We need two efficient pilots, and I've already chosen one - your former superior, Dylan Bingham, for the copilot. I want to ask you if you would like to be the main pilot, or if you would rather stay on Earth," Dr. Cyborg said.
"I will consider it, sir, and get back to you," Kara answered.
After a few days, Kara had come back with an answer. She had decided to take the offer, and be the pilot for XERRD's new ship. Dr. Cyborg was glad she had accepted. She was his friend, and also the best pilot he knew. There was nobody else who he would rather have.
As he walked down the corridors in the cabins area, he thought back to the party and time after it on Lego Island - specifically, when he said goodbye to Catless.
January 2, 2011
"Well, my old friend, we made it through alive," Catless said to Dr. Cyborg. They were sitting on the steps of her house. The party had finally died out. Very few had slept during the party, and after 72 hours of fun, nobody but robots and cyborgs could not be tired. Catless had invited some agents over to her house, and many had accepted. It was about 6:30, but most people were asleep, so the island was peaceful for once.
"We did, indeed. So, Catless, what do you plan on doing now?" Dr. Cyborg asked her.
"For right now, stay at home and help in the reconstruction of Lego Island. After that, I don't know. There will probably be another crisis soon, and I'll probably join in and help defend against it. You?" she replied.
"I need to lead XERRD. We were responsible for this war, and I need to help XERRD become what has the potential to be - an organization for beneficial science, not making mutant monsters. The best course of action is currently to leave Earth and assist Nexus Force. I'll need to go with them, which means that someone will need to run UlTech's day-to-day business. I'm not sure who, though I've got some ideas."
"We'll both be busy for the next few months," Catless said. "Will we see each other before again before you leave?"
"No, I'm afraid we won't. So this will be a long-lasting goodbye when we leave. I'll miss you, Catless," Dr. Cyborg said.
"I'll miss you too, my friend."
Later that day it was time for them to part. Dr. Cyborg had to leave with most of the Dino Attack Agents back to the mainland.
"Well, this is it," Catless said as they walked back towards the transit station. She had been carrying a box wrapped in wrapping paper with a snowflake design since they left.
"You're right. We can email, and maybe video chat, but we won't see each other face-to-face for a long while," Dr. Cyborg said.
"Before you leave, here is a late Christmas/birthday present, to make up for all the ones I missed," Catless said, handing him the box.
It was heavier than Dr. Cyborg expected, and dipped towards the ground before he compensated. He used his free hand to pull the wrapping paper off, revealing a brown cardboard box. Opening it, he saw a slim silver Asus ultrabook.
"Catless, you shouldn't have," he said, pulling it out and looking at it.
"Well, I felt guilty about not giving you presents these past few years just because we fell out of contact. It wasn't that expensive anyways. I was wearing my Dino Attack uniform for some reason when I went to buy it, and when I walked up to the checkout, they took a huge chunk out of the price because I was a Dino Attack veteran. It's not enough to make up for the past few years, but I hope you like it," Catless said.
"I do like it, and I appreciate it. Thank you, Catless," Dr. Cyborg said. He turned to leave, but stopped and said, "Goodbye, Johanna. I'll miss you."
"Goodbye, Matthew. I'll miss you too." She turned to leave, but turned back around and hugged Dr. Cyborg for a few seconds before releasing him and walking away.
He had now reached the engine section of the ship. Robotic drones were scurrying around him back here, keeping everything working. He entered the large reactor compartment that took up most of the stern of the ship. He looked at the gigantic plasma reactor in the middle of the room, looking like a mutant spider with all of the pipes and wires running from it into the walls. He walked over to a console near it, checking its status. He thought back to merely two months ago, reflecting on how different his situation was now from then.
February 25, 2011
"Gah!" Dr. Cyborg cried. The new model of plasma reactor he and some XERRD and UlTech technicians were working on was throwing up problems left and right. He was half-convinced it had developed sentience and was literally refusing to be fixed.
"Check the polarity reverser coupling!" He ordered a XERRD tech named Anthony. Dr. Cyborg moved back against the wall of the reactor chamber, 100 feet underground. He opened his ultrabook and booted it up. He pulled up his calculations and hooked himself up to the laptop. He ran some more simulations, matching up every variable he knew of, but still the actual reactor behaved differently.
"Polarity Reverser Coupling's fine, sir!" Anthony cried out. "However, Dorsal Gaseous Capacitor 7 was being short-circuited. It blew out, and we'll need it replaced. I think there are some replacements in the workshop where they were fabricated. Would you like me to go get them?"
"No thank you, I'll get them. In the meantime everyone, keep troubleshooting." Dr. Cyborg left and went to the elevator that took the workers back to the surface. UlTech had constructed this underground chamber years ago for dangerous research, but so far nothing had gone wrong.
He reached the surface and left the elevator. He remembered that the gaseous capacitors, among other reactor parts, were made in workshop 3. He went to the east wing of the lab building he was in, and found the capacitors. At this point, he was wondering if they were ever going to build this reactor and get it working. It seemed that, since it's formation, XERRD and anything it touched was under a curse, this reactor included. It simply denied Dr. Cyborg the pleasure of getting it to work.
He grabbed two or three of the capacitors and returned to the chamber. On the elevator ride down, he realized that nothing was working right. XERRD was definitely not popular among the people, even after the work they had already done to prove they were reforming, and it didn't seem like they would ever be. The reactor wasn't working, and didn't seem like it would in the near future. Finally, every day, more members of XERRD revealed themselves to be as power-hungry as the members Dr. Cyborg had already kicked out.
He reached the chamber and replaced Dorsal Gaseous Capacitor 7, along with one that was blackened on the inside. He saw two pieces of metal framework that were too close to each other, and were discolored from electric discharge and magnetic aura interaction. "Tony, give me a hammer," Dr. Cyborg said. He took the hammer that Tony held out to him and hit one piece of metal, pushing it away from the other. He crawled out from under the reactor, and moved to behind the blast shield, along with the other techies. He took a deep breath, expecting this to be failure #187, and pressed the button. Nothing happened, and then - then something happened! Blue light from the plasma filled the chamber as the reactor initialized, pumping plasma into itself and metabolizing it into incredulous amounts of electricity, using just ounces of plasma to create hundreds of kilowatts. Dr. Cyborg smiled. For once, the future of XERRD wasn't so bleak, after all.
He put the console into sleep mode and left the engine section. As he went back towards the bow of the ship, he passed by the cabins on the command deck. He, Solomon, Dylan, Kara, and some other ranking members of XERRD had cabins here. As he passed by them, he remembered a meeting he had, when they were being the victim of countless court cases. He closed his eyes as he called more memories to the fore of his mind.
January 23, 2011
"Dr. Cyborg, we've been called into court again," Solomon said.
"What is it this time, Solomon?" Dr. Cyborg asked.
"It's another property damage claim. This time, it's some family out in the Midwest, claiming their storm cellar was caved in by the Mutant Dinos out there. I don't think there is any way to tell if that is true or not."
"There actually is. If one were to dig around there, one could see how fresh the cave-in is. If it's older than nine months, or newer than a month, then it is not the result of Mutant Dinos, it was natural or they did it themselves."
"Great. I'll call our lawyers and have them and a couple operatives out there as soon as possible. Thanks for your insight." Solomon walked out of the office, and Dr. Cyborg leaned back in his chair. In the month since the Dino Attack ended, anyone wanting some money had crawled out of the woodwork, suing XERRD for all they could get their sticky little mitts onto. Dr. Cyborg had set up a division of XERRD made up of lawyers and laymen simply to disprove as many claims as possible. He had narrowly avoided having the entire organization brought up on charges of war crimes. It was only thanks to some quick thinking, four lawyers, three laptops, two slide shows, and a roll of toilet paper that they weren't. (Don't ask Dr. Cyborg about it, he won't tell you.)
Normally, he'd just pay the claims, because they most likely had merit, but XERRD was a little strapped for cash at the moment, plus most of the claims were just baloney. There were some sensible ones that had a basis in fact, (Brik-mart suing them for destroyed warehouses, stores, and merchandise) and some that did not.
"Dr. Cyborg," Solomon said as he came in again, "sorry to bother you so soon again, but I just got a phone call from the legal division. We're being sued, yet again."
"Oh, joy. What is it this time?" Dr. Cyborg asked.
"Some guy said his great-aunt's sister Anna developed an allergy to wheat as a result of some Mutant Lizards attacking them just as they were evacuating their house last year," Solomon informed him.
Case in point.
"Is that even possible?" Dr. Cyborg asked in disbelief.
"I don't think so. However, there is no way I know to disprove it, so we will most likely have to pay this time. Can you think of anything?" Solomon asked.
"Nope, not this time. I guess we will. This guy's lawyer actually believing the story?"
"Whether he does or not is irrelevant. What matters is whether the judge believes it."
"Let's hope he doesn't. In the meantime, get Legal Division on it."
"Yes sir, Dr. Cyborg," Solomon said as he left.
Those days had been very harrowing, Dr. Cyborg remembered. Thankfully, the most of them had slowed down, although he expected them to continue for at least another month. He sighed and continued on towards the center of the ship.
He went to the mess hall and logged onto the console in there, except this one was part of the ship-wide network run by Cortana(2) instead of being dedicated to the upkeep of the engine. As he entered his username and password, and saw the screen that welcomed him to the ship's network, he smiled. That reminded him, not of memories, but of what was to come.
Three hours later
Dr. Cyborg stood behind the curtain. A small stage had been set up in front of the dock the new ship was resting in. A large cloth had been draped over the bow where the name was painted. Nobody but those who painted it on and the ones who came up with the name knew what was under the sheet.
UlTech employees, XERRD members, and others from Lego city had come. The majority of those who had come were those who had forgiven XERRD, although some troublemakers were expected. That is why UlTech Infiltrators armed with stunning electrostaffs were spaced throughout and around the crowd. Most did not notice them, but if one tried to do something rash, the Infiltrators would definitely be noticed.
He heard Solomon finish up his speech, then introduce him. Dr. Cyborg came out from behind the curtain, carrying a Nexus 7 in his hand. He walked up to the lectern, placed the tablet on top of it, then adjusted the microphone.
"The majority of the important things have already been said," he started off. "Not that I'm jealous or anything, I hate making speeches." The crowd laughed. "But I was suggested, no, told, by all the members of XERRD and many UlTech employees that I should make the speech to name the ship. I couldn't really refuse, so I went with it."
He turned and gestured to the ship behind him. "This ship represents a new direction for XERRD. As such, the name should be a fitting one. It can't be anything simple. There must be symbolism behind it, a meaning to the name. It must show the new XERRD, that we are different from the organization that started the Dino Attack one year ago. The majority of XERRD came up with names, voted on them, and gave me a little slip of paper with the winner on it. What was written on that sheet of paper was the name Cyrista. Everybody wanted the ship named after me, for I was changing XERRD for the better. So, I decided to name the ship-" He trailed off and mentally activated the motors to release the sheet from the ship's bow. The sheet fell, revealing the name of the ship. "the Dawn! XERRD's previous capital ship was named the New Age, for it did start a new age. However, this new age was one of death. To represent the new direction of XERRD, I named the ship the Dawn. Today, we leave a New Age of doom, death, destruction, and terror behind! Today, starts the Dawn of a newer age, a better one for the world, one without destruction done simply For Science!" The crowd burst into cheers, and Dr. Cyborg stepped back, thankful the naming went so well, without any violence.
May 1, 2011
It was time. The entire organization of XERRD, many supplies, and assorted vehicles and pieces of equipment had been loaded onto the Dawn. Everybody had said their goodbyes to their friends and family. Everyone except Dr. Cyborg. The friends he was leaving behind, he had said goodbye to months ago.
Sadly, his parents weren't speaking to him. They believed him responsible for his sister's death, and he supposed he was, in a way. However, from what Catless had told him, his sister had forgiven him even as she died from wounds inflicted by those which he helped create. That plus his memories, which he no longer took for granted, which told him Elizabeth would forgiven him, made him sure she truly did.
He mentally laughed. His sister forgave bullies even as they shoved her and stole her stuff. He at least waited a few minutes before forgiving them. They were both popular targets for bullies in school. It was ironic, because once UlTech Industries got up and running, most of the same bullies came to them asking for money and good jobs, because they were, as they put it, "old school friends". After the assorted bullies left his office, he and Elizabeth always looked at each other and simultaneously said, "Nah!" He missed his sister. He got along better with her than his high school friends did with their sisters.
He sighed, then got out of the captain's chair and walked to just behind and between the two pilot seats. Kara was to his left, Dylan to his right. Solomon was against the bulkhead to his right, about 10 feet away, checking the reports sent in from all areas of the ship.
"Reactor's running fine!" he cried. "All gear is stowed, all hatches shut, all lines detached from the dock, and the docking clamps are released! We are ready to roll!"
Dr. Cyborg put a hand on top of both pilot's headrests. He took a deep breath, now was the moment of triumph.
"Kara, start all engines."
There was a dull *thwump* felt and heard throughout the ship as the main drives engaged, then the thrusters initialized, preparing to steer the ship.
"Now, Dr. Cyborg?" Kara asked.
"Now," he agreed.
Kara pushed forward on the sticks, and the Dawn lifted out of the dock and tilted upward, pointing it's nose towards the sky. The main drives fired up and it slowly left the dock, thundering towards the sky. A few minutes later, it left the atmosphere, steadily making its way into space. Dr. Cyborg looked up at the monitor above the main viewport, connected to the stern camera. He saw a green and blue sphere slowly shrinking as it receded into the distance and into the past. He took a deep breath. Onward into the future, he thought as he watched the endless reaches of space through the viewport.
And that is how one ends two years worth of story, spanning five original, developed characters, interaction with countless other characters, a couple personal stories, and great times with great friends. It's my turn to, as Brikman put it, ride off into the sunset. I'll still be here, reading and occasionally posting, but the majority of my devotion now goes to the Alien Conquest RPG. I'll hope to see most of you there! Farewell, my friends. *sniff, sniff* I'll miss you all. Goodbye.