Operation: Share the Love (pt2)

By Brian Morden (a.k.a. *Ar-Isildur)

If you haven't already, you should catch up by reading the prologue and part one of this narrative before reading part two.

As I detailed during our first attempt, the backyard of the mansion consisted "of 200 yards of open lawn, followed by nearly a half a mile of thickly wooded terrain." Just like our previous, ill-fated attempt, Psyrixx and Moljnir now sat at the interior edge of the wooded area, both covered under camouflaged netting, both whispering to each other...

"They've strengthened their defenses since last we were here," spoke Moljnir, nonchalantly.

"Yeah, there are five camera/auto-gun systems now ... increased patrols too ... and ... hmm ... are those rocket turrets I see? Near the front?" Psyrixx said.

Moljnir took a minute to adjust his sniper scope, and take a look.

"Mmm .. yeah .. nasty looking ones too ... I think you better tell team Bunny ... those turrets have a clear shot at them," Moljnir said, and then added, "think the others are ready yet?"

"Probably. Let's give them another two minutes, and then have them all report in," Psyrixx replied.

* * * * * * *

"It ... it .. it's so beautiful ... " I stuttered, tears rolling down my cheeks.

"y ... y ... yeah dewd," SilverBrin sobbed. "..and you know ... there ... there'll never be another g ... game, or online c ... c ... community like it."

We sat in our warthog, approximately one mile from the target zone. "The Siege of Madrigal" softly serenaded us through the warthog's stereo system.

"GAD!" Howled Djof, in his french accent. "I knew it was a mistake to add a CD and stereo system! Look at you two! You are like two blubbering babies!"

Djof was seated behind the warthog-mounted rocket launcher. Enraged, I turned back from the passenger seat to face him.

"SHUT UP DJOF!" I screamed. "The Myth community was perfect. Large, yet small enough to be tight-knit and close. You french natives could not possibly understand it!"

"How many times must I tell you!? I am not from France! I am from Quebec!" He retorted.

"Djof! Go get a snack! Preferably some french food ... like french toast ... OR FRENCH FRIES!!" I shot back.

Laughing to myself from the impressiveness of my taunting, i turned back around and relaxed in my chair.

"... Ar ... " SilverBrin said, slowly.

"Yes, SilverBrin?" I inquired. His open mouth and blank stare clearly indicated that he was impressed.

"... Ar ... THAT ... WAS ... AW-" SilverBrin was cut off by the radio coming to life ... and I was left wondering what SilverBrin was about to say. Most likely "AWESOME!" or something like that.

"... this is Spartan One calling all teams," Psyrixx's voice crackled. "There has been a slight change in plans. When Team Spectre begins phase 2 (breaking in and stealing the omnistation), I will be entering in with them to find Gollum, and will be unable to cover Team Spectre. Just wanted you all to make a note of that, we should still be fine."

We heard Psyrixx clear his throat over the radio.

"Ok," he continued. "I think we are ready to begin. Team Bunny! Report in!"

"Bunny One, standing by!" Spoke SilverBrin, crisply.

"Bunny Two, standing by..." I grumbled.

"Bunny Three, standing by, " Djof said, in a normal voice.

"Good!" Psyrixx said, stoutly "Team Spectre! Report in!"

"Spectre One, standing by!" We heard Deimos say, confidently, over the radio.

"Spectre Two, standing by," 2 and 2 make 5 drawled.

"Spectre Three, st .. standing by!" Yelled Have Blue .. he sounded nervous.

"Excellent!" Psyrixx spoke, sounding excited, but still remembering to keep his voice down. "Dragon! Report in!"

A breathless, five-second pause ensued.

"Dragon! Report in!" Psyrixx repeated, this time a little louder.

Another breathless pause.

"Dragon! Are you there!?" Psyrixx said, much louder this time.

Yet another pause. "WEEEEBBYYYYY!!!" Psyrixx yelled.

WHAAAAAAT!?!?" The Webmaster finally replied. Much to our surprise and lasting dismay, however, we heard the distinct sound of gunfire emitting from the Webmaster's side beneath his voice.

"Webby!? Are you alright!? Are you under attack!?" Psyrixx yelled, frantically.

SilverBrin and I looked at each other. This could be it. It could be all over.

"I'm fine. No, I'm not under attack," The Webmaster replied, the sound of gunfire still clearly audible.

"Then WHAT IS GOING ON!?" Yelled Psyrixx.

"I'll tell you what's going on! I'm mowing down this helpless flock of migrating geese! THAT'S WHAT'S GOING ON! FUCKING GEESE!! I HATE THEM!!! I'M GOING TO KILL ALL THOSE LITTLE BASTARDS!!" The Webmaster screamed.

A silence so complete, we could hear our joints creaking, followed.

"I knew it was a bad idea," I murmured softly.

"Webby, if you do not stop this instant, I will be performing an edumucation on you. I MEAN IT!" Psyrixx warned.

"Psyrixx..." the Webmaster began, calmly. "I hope you realize that the channel is completely open. *Ar just heard every word you said,"

"Edumucation?" I thought to myself. What a peculiar word. For some reason it sounded oddly familiar. Like an old dream, half-remembered.

"Wait .. what do you .. oohh SHIIIT! SILVERBRIN! GET THE TROUT!"

The trout?? What in the world? Why would a trout be usefu-

* * * * * * *

To my immense surprise I woke up, startled, and slumped to the right on my chair.

"What's going on? What happened? How long have I been out? And why does my face smell like fish?" I asked, frantically.

"You nodded off apparently, I'm not sure why. You've only been out for about 30 seconds though," SilverBrin answered.

"Oh ... but what about the fish smell?"

"What fish smell?"

"There is a DISTINCT odor of fish in this warthog! And it's ESPECIALLY concentrated on my face!"

"Oh THAT! ... uh ... er ... em ... I farted ... sorry," SilverBrin said, sheepishly.

"Wait a second. You farted ... in my face?? While I was sleeping?" I said, incredulously.

"Uh ... yeah," SilverBrin said, very uncertainly.

"WHY!?"

"Em, well anyway, we're all ready to initiate the attack as soon as you are all set. Webby calmed down while you were asleep," SilverBrin answered, obviously changing the subject. I decided not to pursue it, however.

"Yeah ... yeah I'm ready," I said, reluctantly.

With that, I heard Djof activate the power aiming system on the rocket launcher, and swivel it around a few times to get the feel for it again. I shouldered my MA-75B, and stuck a spare rifle clip between my legs.

"Spartan One," SilverBrin spoke over the radio. "We are initiating our attack."

"Understood! Good luck!" came our reply.

"Here we go guys! FOR PSYJNIR!" SilverBrin cheered.

"FOR PSYJNIR!" Djof and I rang back.

Immediately, SilverBrin kicked the ignition on, shifted gears, and peeled out towards the Omnistation.

* * * * * * *

"Psyrixx ..." Moljnir began, sounding concerned.

"Not now, Moljnir, I gotta tell team Spectre what's up." Psyrixx replied, as he keyed the radio.

* * * * * * *

Fire exploded all around us, as we barreled down the road at top speed. Bullets pinged off the warthog's heavy armor plating, as I returned fire ... while keeping as low as i could in the warthog. Djof expertly pivoted left and right, using the blast shield on the rocket turret to protect him from incoming rounds ... and occasionally firing a rocket off at large troop concentrations, or vehicles.

"This area is hot!" I yelled, as I slapped in both a fresh rifle and grenade clip, one after another

"Yeah dewd!" SiveBrin yelled back. "The mansion is just ahead!! It's barred with an iron gate though! Djof'll need to weaken it!"

"Djof!!" I yelled. I pumped two 40mm grenades into a machine gun nest that was pouring fire at us ... instantly silencing it.

"What!" He replied, it was tough to hear each other over the painfully loud sound of gunfire.

"Knock out the gate!" I yelled, pointing, and immediately laid down a prolonged burst of rifle fire at the soldiers congregating near the gate.

"You got it! Keep her steady SilverBrin!" Djof yelled, as he took aim.

* * * * * * *

*BOOOM!*

"Ha haaa!!" Laughed Psyrixx. "They've blown the gate open!"

"Psyrixx! We're in trouble!" Said Moljnir, intensely.

"Oh we'll be alright Moljnir - but what is it?" Psyrixx said, with only mild interest.

"You forgot to tell them about the rocket turrets!" Moljnir said, anxiously.

"What?" Psyrixx replied.

"THE ROCKET TURRETS!"

"... oh ..." Psyrixx said, sudden realization dawning on him. "Just great ... sometimes I really hate myself," Psyrixx sighed, as he looked on, helplessly.

* * * * * * *

"WOOHOO!" I yelled, as the powerful warthog plowed through the remainder of the gate. I was in a frenzy, expertly dropping foes left and right. The thrill of battle was upon me.

"WEEE DAWWGY!" SilverBrin joined in.

"I AM HAVING A WONDERFUL TIME!" Djof, not wanting to be left out, yelled.

*FWOOSH**FWOOSH**FWOOSH**FWOOSH*

I had been firing to the right of the warthog when I heard those four sounds. I swung my head forwards, just in time to see a rocket whiz by my head ... so close .. the right side of my face later swelled into first (and second) degree burns. We must have caught the soldiers manning the turrets off-guard, because the other 3 rockets went wild as well.

SilverBrin immediately screeched the warthog to a halt. It was a miracle that we were still breathing.

"Em... em... em..." SilverBrin stuttered, completely frozen with fear. The mercenaries were reloading the rocket turrets.

"SilverBrin!" I yelled, barely keeping down my panic.

"Em..! Em..! Em..!" SilverBrin continued to stutter, the volume and pitch rising rapidly.

"SilverBrin! Get us out of here!" I yelled, very scared now.

"EM!! EM!! EM!!" SilverBrin screamed, earsplittingly.

"TURN AROUND AND GET US THE HELL OUT NOW SILVERBRIN!" My voice cracked with panic, and I struck SilverBrin on the head hard. The mercenaries were almost finished.

Immediately SilverBrin snapped out of his frozen state, and put the peddle to the metal in a 180 degree turn, and accelerated out the gate. Just in time, another salvo of four rockets fires. Two flew several feet overhead, and the other two smashed into the remainder of the gate to the left of us, just as we passed through. The shockwave nearly flipped us over, as the warthog balanced on the two right wheels for no less than four seconds before righting itself.

The three of us were now screaming almost non-stop.
View the Comic!

"Drive faster! Drive faster!" I yelled, as explosions rocked the landscape all around us. Apparently the heavy armor was starting to get mobilized, we saw silhouettes of tanks in the distance, coming from various directions, and firing upon us.

"Djof!" SilverBrin yelled. "Tank! Up ahead of us! Fire!"

To our horror, a tank had pulled up onto the road perpendicular to us, and was swinging the barrel around towards us. We had only seconds to spare. Closer and closer it came to getting a firing solution. Suddenly, finally, Djof fired - and the rocket impacted on the turret just as the tank fired - sending the tank round wild, and impacting on a tree some 30 yards behind us.

The tank was a burning hulk. Bungie sure didn't mess around when it came to high-explosives. SilverBrin swerved to the right of the road, driving around the mess of metal, and continued to accelerate away from the hell-hole.

"I'm out of ammo!" Djof yelled. "I have to reload the rocket launcher! So, um, try not to pick any fights with anyone for about 30 seconds!" The rocket launcher could hold five rockets at a time. Djof had depleted this. Fortunately, we were carrying ten spares in a compartment at the back of the warthog. The rockets had to be loaded one at a time in each chamber, so it was a time-consuming and difficult process .. even moreso with the warthog jostling everywhere. Mercifully, the firing had died down - we had apparently left most of our foes behind. Behind us, however, we heard the rumor of several engines, and at least one helicopter far overhead - though at the moment we could see nothing. It was plain that we were being pursued, and unless my ears were betraying me, they were slowly catching up. I radioed in to Psyrixx.

"Psyrixx, as much as I loathe and despise you right now, I have to say that Phase One is complete. Make your move." I said, dripping with spite.

"Bunny Two, I meant to warn you about those rocket turrets. I really did. I just, uh, forgot," Psyrixx carefully replied.

"Die," I said, and turned off the radio.

* * * * * * *

"They all hate me," moaned Psyrixx.

"No, just Ar and the Webmaster ... and possibly Djof and SilverBrin," comforted Moljnir.

"That's just about everybody," Psyrixx whined.

"Well, if it makes you feel better, I don't hate you."

"That's not much comfort at all."

"Look, we better initiate Phase Two."

"Right."

Psyrixx keyed the radio.

"Attention all teams, Phase Two will be commencing NOW!" Psyrixx spoke, sternly.

"Understood," Came Deimos's curt reply.

"Ok Moljnir, start knocking out those cameras. They must have captured Jester before he got to the control system," Psyrixx commanded.

Moljnir took aim through the scope, and scanned for his first target. Finding it, he made several small adjustments with the zoom level on his scope.

"Here's one for the Complex!" He yelled.

Instantly, several things happened.

The Spectre roared through the trees, passing over Moljnir by a mere 10 feet above Moljnir's head. He jumped and shouted as he pulled the trigger. The shot went very wild. As a matter of fact, it struck a small bunny some 200 yards away in the woods, killing it instantly .. (:( i like bunnies). The cameras caught sight of the fast approaching Spectre, and immediately, autoguns (linked to the camera feed) rose up from underground servos and began opening fire.

The Spectre landed amidst the autoguns and came to a fairly quick stop - sitting there, flickering shimmering blue as each round impacted upon it - clearly Deimos was not joking about an energy shield surrounding it. Ponderously slow, a concealed plasma turret automatically unfolded ontop of the Spectre. It swiveled around a few times, then began firing on the autoguns. Three well-aimed shots took care of each autogun, and within 30 seconds of the Spectre's arrival, all five autoguns were taken care of. After a short pause, the Spectre then executed a 180 degree turn, and backed up to within ten feet of the back-door of the mansion.

In the distance, a dog barked.

"I hate them so much," sighed Psyrixx, as he began sprinting across the lawn - rocket launcher slung over his back, both barettas in his hands.

* * * * * * *

"HEAD FOR THE TREES!" I screamed, absolute panic in my voice.

SilverBrin skidded off the road, just in time to dodge a pair of air-to-ground missiles, launched from the pursuing Apache helicopter. They exploded where we would have been, had SilverBrin not changed course. Behind us into the underbrush headed six other light vehicles.

At that moment, i wanted nothing more than to be under the comforting protection of my mommy.

* * * * * * *

"We're ready to move in anytime, Psyrixx," Deimos said, after getting out of the car to meet him.

"Let's not waste time," Psyrixx replied, very stiffly.

"Right," Deimos said, warily. "Ok team let's move out!" He yelled back at the Spectre

"The plasma turret is now autotracking by the way, it'll cover us," Deimos added, as both 2 and 2 make 5 and Have Blue opened the doors and climbed out. Deimos and Have Blue were dressed in their strange purple armor, with their weapons slung over their shoulders. 2 and 2 make 5 was dressed in his WWII American GI uniform ... but now also sported a pair of sunglasses.

"2 and 2 make 5," Psyrixx began. "Why are you wearing sunglasses during a nighttime operation such as this?"

"Don't worry about it, I can see fine," replied 2 and 2.

"Are you sure??"

"Yes."

"Completely sure??"

"Yes."

"Uh, ok.." Psyrixx, frankly, didn't care anymore.

The four of them turned to regard the solid wooden door of the mansion.

"Well, how shall we go about getting past-" Deimos started.

*BOOOOOM*

No sign of the door remained. Psyrixx had his SPNKr in hand ... barrel smoking.

"That's how," he growled. "You guys get to work, I'll find Jester"

"Oh that's a fine thing, now they probably know we're here," complained Deimos.

"Well, you subnova guys are so l33t, we should be out of here long before anything bad could happen," Psyrixx mocked.

Deimos decided not to reply, and moved into the mansion with his team without another word. Psyrixx took a deep, exasperated breath, then followed.

* * * * * * *

The Webmaster sat on a bar-stool inside the (apparently) popular truck stop, named "Bubba & Joe's." He was having a dilemma. He was trying to decide whether to order the 2 lb or the 3 lb hamburger.

"Ahh, gotta love these truck stops and their heart-stoppingly good food," The Webmaster said aloud, to himself.

"WHAT DID YOU JUST CALL ME!? YOU FRICKIN GOTH!!" A voice screamed right in his ear.

The trucker beside the Webmaster was 3 inches from the Webmaster's left ear. The veins in his forehead were bulging.

Everyone in the truck stop went completely silent. The Webmaster slowly panned his head to the left.

"I'm sorry, did you say something?" He asked - a broad, evil smile on his face.

The trucker stood up. He was almost seven feet tall, and weighed at least 350 lbs. With an angry yell, he drew his fist back, and threw it straight at the Webmaster's face.
View the Comic!

* * * * * * *

"I think we lost the apache for the moment," yelled Djof.

"Maybe, but I can still hear it ... it's not far off," I replied.

We had come to a complete stop, and had cut the ignitiion, and the lights. I was no longer in the passenger seat. Instead, I was in the back with Djof, crouched below the turret. Our pursuers had come from behind, and there was not a clear shot from the passenger seat.

"SilverBrin, hand me the rest of my ammunition please ... they're stacked in front of the passenger seat," I said.

SilverBrin did so, I had 5 spare rifle clips, and 1 spare grenade clip. Truly, we had not overdone it when we had brought that much ammunition.

Suddenly, abruptly, chaingun fire rained on us from the sky. Djof hastily pointed the turret towards the source, and I ducked behind him ... the turret's blast shield barely sheltered us. Unfortunately, Djof did not have a clear shot.

SilverBrin kicked the warthog on, and hit the gas. The hunt continued.

* * * * * * *

The Webmaster sat once more in the cockpit of the Night Hawk ... gliding serenely about 1,000 feet in the air. He had escaped from the truck stop with nary a scratch, he observed. In retrospect, however, he had probably overdone it by setting fire to the building. He looked with a very sordid expression at the bright orange blaze burning behind and below him.

All of this could have been avoided if he hadn't suddenly gotten the munchies, he thought to himself. Why couldn't he have been stronger? Why couldn't he have waited? Why did Anna Nicole Smith have her own TV show when he did not?

These were questions that the Webmaster did not feel he wanted to answer at this time, as he reached into a secret compartment for his bottle of whiskey. "This will help ease my grief and shame," The Webmaster said, habitually.

* * * * * * *

Psyrixx cautiously peered around a corner, deep in the basement of the mansion. He had both his pistols out, since using the rocket launcher in close quarters like these would be pretty suicidal.

He had encountered no guards so far, and had actually come across the security terminal that Jester was supposed to disable. Within two minutes, Psyrixx had done Jester's job for him, and then moved on.

"Where in blazes is he," wondered Psyrixx. As if on cue, Psyrixx immediately heard an outbreak of a human male's screams:

"AAAAHH! NO STOP! DON'T DO THAT! NO! AAAAHHHHH!!"

The source came from a room at the end of the hallway Psyrixx was traversing, and was unmistakably Jester's. With horror coursing through his veins, Psyrixx dashed as fast as he could to the room, and burst in through the already opened door, pistols drawn.

His jaw dropped open.

The room he had just run into was apparently a bedroom ... and there on the bed was Jester, stripped down to his boxers, with three bikini clad women.

All of them looked like they were having the time of their lives.

To say that Psyrixx was flabbergasted would have been a ridiculous understatement.

"JEEEEEESSSSSSSSTEEEEEERRRRRR!!!!!!!" Psyrixx bellowed.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!" Jester screamed.
View the Comic!

* * * * * * *

Moljnir sat under cover and pumped a round into yet another soldier as he advanced towards the Spectre. They were really coming in droves, he reflected. The Spectre's automated plasma turret was providing excellent cover for team Spectre. They had already brought two loads out, and were going back for more.

Moljnir reloaded, and continued scanning for targets.

* * * * * * *

"I can't find my clothes!" Shouted Jester. (The bikini babes had fled as soon as Psyrixx had yelled)

"BUT YOU HAD NO TROUBLE FINDING YOUR SHOTGUNS!!" Shrieked Psyrixx.

"Well, yeah..." Jester looked down at his dual shotguns in his hands, then looked up.

"AND WAIT .. DON'T TELL ME .. YOU HAVE NO SPARE SHELLS!" Psyrixx howled.

"They were with my clothes.. uh .. all i have are the ones already loaded in the weapons," Jester replied, sheepishly.

"If we get out of this alive, I'm going to kill you," growled Psyrixx.

With this final observation, both Psyrixx and Jester left the room, continuing the search for his clothes.

* * * * * * *

"The plasma turret is almost out of ammunition!" Yelled Have Blue, as he checked the gauge inside the Spectre.

"We still have at least three more loads to go! I'll drop the AOL Free Trial CDs down the plasma chute," replied Deimos, grabbing the box of AOL CDs. "This was my fault by the way, I turned the power up very high to take out the auto-guns .. and accidentally left it there when we went outside."

"People make mistakes, don't worry about it, just reload us," said Have Blue.

Deimos held the box over the plasma chute, savoring the moment. At last, in a great voice, he spoke.

"AOL! For years you have been a source of never-ending annoyance for me! For long, your Free Trial CDs were only useful within my domain as beverage coasters and occasionally clay pigeons! But now! Your true calling has come! With your sacrifice, we will gain the last bit of ammunition necessary for our complete victory! Farewell, and Godspeed!" He cried, and poured the trial CDs down the chute.

A small explosion rocked the Spectre from its bowels, and all the lights and power went out. The Spectre had died completely within seconds of dumping the AOL CDs down the plasma chute.

"Uh..." Deimos said.

"That did not sound promising," 2 and 2 make 5 said, his voice expressionless.

"WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!" Have Blue howled.

* * * * * * *

Continue to Part 3