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mariostar0001 Blog

I saw two roads before me, and I chose the one less traveled. And left.

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And left. To those who didn't get the slightly subtle hint, I'm leaving, after 774 days, over 40 active forums, 50,000 posts (as of the end of today), about a dozen themes, 225 blog posts (including this one), 7.5 days of suspension (don't ask, I've already answered), 32 reviews, 427 games rated (most of them I actually played...), and a lot more stats you can view in the "about me" section in anyone's blog. All right, enough with the emotionless stats, time for the sentimental stuff! Well, as sentimental as possible, given that I'm not so much prone to sentimentality. I'd like to thank every person I'd like to thank with a paragraph, but honestly, there are far too many people who have overall impacted my over two years on this website, the number easily stretches over a hundred. Thus, the paragraphs are limited to a select group of people who has most impacted me recently, as emotionless as the number "ten" seems to be it's the one I'm stuck using. Anyone who has problems with that, don't bother, I won't be here to read them! :D Aidan129 and Courtney187 You're first on the list (as usual), don't brag about it Aidan. Anyway, I've listed them together partially because they fit so well together, and partially so I could cheat and get more people on this list. But more the former. Honestly, I've yet to go anywhere and see Aidan with Courtney, and vice versa, which makes sense given that they're a couple in real life. Good friends, both of them, and Aidan's among the few people I can manage to get into a heated debate with and walk away not feeling I've alienated someone, mainly because I know he cares highly little about my opinion anyway. :P As for Courtney, she's quite easily the first person to call me "sir", and among one of two to ever do so, and it always feels so, formal. *shrugs* Besides that, a very easy person to get along with, as most everyone who's met her would know, and how she puts up with Aidan, no one has ever figured out... zmanrwks Crazy guy, you are. And let's not get into how you spell your username... But randomness *cough* may occasionally have a place, as much as I'd prefer not to admit it, and you have a very good way of finding that place, taking possession of it, and defending it from all comers with the most/least style possible. A proper salute to you. ;) OmegaAxl and UltraZero Seems quite the pair to put on here, I know. Of course, they're a lot more different than putting them together on a list might imply, OA's more prone to being patient (as odd as it sounds), unless it's on a project of his. UZ's more rash, and when he got banned after OA everyone was most shocked, at least in JCU (as outside of it, everyone was just surprised they didn't go sooner). But despite those and a variety of other differences, they do fit together, work together, plan together, scheme together, probably among the closest "bros." on the internet. And deep down, they're not too bad, as some people seem to agree upon more than others. Cloud_765 And now, for the guy that manages to get on everyone's "best friends" list eventually, the guy who's led and left more unions than is possible for me to ever know, who's kept AON alive for as long as I've been on Gamespot, and who is practically the opposite of me when it comes to accepting/tolerating people, meaning he is, as I'm not so much. He can stand up when he needs to, but he needs to work on his aim a bit when things get rough... Overall though, he knows what he's doing, and gets it done. sonicphc To phc, I'd just like to give a (complex) thanks for managing to get me to think without necessarily trying to, for showing me the other side of the viewpoint I've placed myself staunchly against, and managing to overall have a good grasp of what's going on despite not even being on so much as I am. Thank you. :) mario-nin-freak Honestly, I don't even know if you'll see this, with how little you're on anyway. Very much a strong conscience, with an opinion on many subjects and a most inquisitive mind on everything else. I've greatly enjoyed out conversations, sparse as they may have been, and I have to say it, Mario Kart DS is still better. :D Raimgamer Here he is, the guy who, indirectly, contributed to my above-mentioned suspension because of a bit of distaste over another forum. Seriously? :P A very open person, he lets everyone know his stance, and is always prepared to defend it, with or without solid evidence. :P We don't tend to disagree too often, which might lead to claims that he's on this list just because I agree with him. Which is 100% not true. He's on this list because I agree with him and because this leads to a great amount of communication between the two of us that's not centered around debate, but mutual support. Which is, oddly enough, more beneficial than I've previously assumed... Shy_Guy_Red Let's see if I can get through this entire thing without mentioning your recent obsession... SGR, as he's decently well-known as, is a man who loves innovation. New ideas and thoughts of any quality appear to him more than the most perfect piece of something that was done before. An opinion that is surprisingly refreshing in my usual circles, which tend to prefer everything of the 80s and earlier, and leads to a variety of quite friendly debates between the two of us. Of course, it occasionaly gets him into trouble, such as that obsession I mentioned, but it also makes it quite easy to recommend games to him, just tell him the title has a passably decent new gimmick in use. Also, he's a good conversationalist (I'm talking to him now, actually), and most enjoyable to tease with soon-revealed secrets, as he's about to learn. :D wetty1 Somehow, even though I now know he's almost a year older than me, I still keep thinking of this guy as "young wetty". Philippe's easier though oddly, it sounds like an older name maybe? *shrugs* A year ahead of me, we spend a decent amount of time talking about what he's doing and I'll be doing (or am doing, in a few cases) in school, but also about everything from entertainment to literature to general life. He talks a lot about subject A, I talk about subject B, both of us learn something along the way. And together, someday, we'll find that question to 42! All right, maybe not... :P stephenage Being last on the list isn't because he's highest, lowest, or most in the middle, just that I put him on the list last. The more you waste time on it trying to find meaning, the more my little game works. :D Stephen, the man who appreciates my senses of humor, philosophy, and good video games bought cheap, is someone I've spent a great deal of time talking about, mostly those three things, along with Gamespot (which now won't be talked about much longer). Loves the question "why do you think that way?", as do all proper philosophers, I likely disagree with him as much as agree with him, and we can settle both in an oddly civil manner, with relative mutual respect (I hope). Needs to work on his trolling skills a bit though... :P To all of you on the list, thank you. ;) And with that, this is done, except for four or five last bits. First off, it's not just Gamespot I'm leaving, it's most of the internet in general, which includes AFT. I've resigned in the unions I've right now most active in, feel free to demote me from any others. Classical Lord of the Rings is staying as it is, I don't want to give anyone else the burden of dealing with another dead union. I also changed my icon one last time, Will's here for good now. Also, my alts are leaving too, including barren167 (who might pop up once or twice more, for a story summary in the near future), and NostalgiaGamer1, whom only ktulu and bak have met thus far and never really served the purpose I intended him for, which I'm okay with now. As for myself, I'll be out after I meet one last goal. Seeing me again, well, not too likely, I just have life to go with. But I won't be forgetting this place, not by a long shot. And with that: So long. God bless, Micaiah (mariostar0001)

Happy belated birthday!

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If I always am late to wish you all happy birthday, why not myself? :P Never mind that I'm only late due to being off of GS Thursday (because I felt like it) and making up for it Friday. :P So, it was my birthday yesterday, I turned 17. And no, that's not impressive. 18 is impressive, I can drive without twice as many restrictions as the average driver (despite the average driver being the one who needs them, not I), and get a job with about double the chance of being accepted (still not too impressive though :P), and even get out of high school. 17, is just a number between 16 and 18. Really, this whole "teenage" thing is overrated anyway. Too old to play, too young to work, you're told not to do anything wrong (drugs, sex, alcohol), and then people expect you to do it anyway, then roll your eyes if you do (which I don't). Really, I say end teenage years altogether. Have childhood end at 14-16 (depending on the kid), and then have them become adults, having actually been taught to work as kids. In fact, there only need to be four stages of life. Infancy (the age of helplessness), childhood (the age of learning), adulthood (the age of experiencing), and seniorhood/eldership/some respectful name (the age of teaching). It worked in the past, and our current system really sucks, so why not bring this one back? Yes, this is a sort of rant. But I have a right to do so, it's my birthday blog! And enough of you out there rant about your "rights" as a teenager, so I have the right to rant a counter! Because this is a free country, so long as you don't speak trash, and this is almost certainly far better then the average conversation out there. And with that, I leave you. Ignore this rant in your comments and just wish me happy (belated) birthday, I don't care. I can't force you to read it anyway. But I can keep saying it! :D Signing out, Micaiah.

So I got suspended but decided to wait three days to explain all that happened..

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I had a perfectly good rant prepared for this blog, but my suspension ended ten hours too early to post it. :| Basically, it was scheduled to end on midnight on Friday, it didn't end then, and I heard from a few other people it usually ends a day late, so I wrote a satirical rant about how Gamespot obviously thinks their userbase is made up of stereotypical high school drop-out gamers who can't tell eight from seven. Then, I got unsuspended a mere 14 hours late, which didn't work quite so well. Stupid? Somewhat. Satire worthy? Unfortunately, not. Ah well. :P As for how I got suspended, that's a long story, or so I like to say. Basically, raimgamer wanted JCU to invade a forum called "nerd rage", and made a topic about it, and JCU started planning to invade the place. I, being the brilliant planner I am at 10:30 PM on a day when I was already tired, made a joking post that had nothing really to do with forum invading (I suggested usernames for UZ or something like that), and a little later went to bed. Next day, the topic's gone and raim's suspended. Not thinking it all the way through I figured it would just be him getting it and thought he'd be back within the week, and left it at that. Three days later (last Thursday), I get a PM telling me I'm being suspended for a week. Right when I'm in the middle of trying to update two topics at once and send a PM. >_> Anyway, I got back Friday, responded to a few inquires as to where I'd been, and told them "I'll explain in my blog on Saturday or so". Obviously, it's Sunday. That's what "or so" meant. :P Now, for a short list of what I did on my "vacation" from Gamespot. First off, I lurked here some, though not a whole lot really. Mostly JCU, and a few "work" topics in AON. I also played a large variety of games, including a new one I picked up for free in hopes of a sleeper hit or something, "Stuart Little 2: The Journey Home." I reviewed it a few days later with a 4.0/10. Yeah. I wrote two other reviews though, both somewhat more positive. Lord of the Rings: The Third Age GBA, and Advance Wars: Days of Ruin. I also played several games (including those ones), joined wookieepedia (being a Star Wars nerd and all that), left several unions (and will eave several more) in my quest to post more but be online less, and accidentally revealed my real name to a ton of people over MSN (which a joined a few days before, at Shy_Guy_Red's insistence, and used quite a bit to keep in contact with Cloud and the like while suspended). Due to that, several people now know it, and I figure I might as well reveal it. My name is [spoiler] Micaiah. [/spoiler] And for the record, I am male. It's actually generally more used as a male then female name, it just happened to be decided as female in a certain game series. And as for games series, Fire Emblem using the name Micaiah is a literal blasphemy. Micaiah is Hebrew in origin, and means "Who is like the Lord?" As such, it belongs not in Fire Emblem, a series with many "gods", meaning that there are those, in the series, "like God." End rant. And with that, I'm done for the day. Signing out, mariostar0001 (now known as Micaiah, if anyone will believe that :P).

It's about time I did this. :P

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The title refers to two things. First off, writing this blog, which I began planning about 12 days ago. :P Second, I went in and got my license today! It was strangely easy, I drove for 15 minutes for the test, and never even needed to parallel park. :? But I now am an official Illinois under-eighteen license holder, which means my license bothers to tell me how long until I turn 18 and 21 (the former for the removal of multiple restrictions, the latter so I can drink alcoholic beverages). Of course, my insurance also doubles. :roll: Other (much older) news: I bought Sonic Classic Collection a while back, and have beaten Sonics 1 and 3 on it. I invited all my friends to a union, and my browser didn't time out for once! I changed my icon a long time ago. And I'm still going to finish my story, now that I'm finally finished with school (for the most part), and have time to do so. It'll likely be shorter then I thought though, it's king of hard to write a story with an implied meaning when you realize a flaw with your theory, and your story is forced to be planned out to end with exploiting that flaw. :| Also, I'm in Gamespot's top 75 posters! :D Now to move up in the ranks, which should be easy enough (I'm doing 100+ posts a day). I also got five new emblems at E3, bringing my total to 21. And GS Fuse is, meh. Too Facebook like, and I doubt I'll use it too much. Ah well. And finally, I have plans for another blog series, ripped off from Cloud almost totally (:P): My top 100 games. I still need to gives them descriptions/artwork/URLs and the like, but arrangement is practically done, just the 30 Mario games left. Yes, a lot of Mario. What can I say, he rocks! :D Now to head out and mow the lawn (which my Mom had to buy a new blade for after I hit a stump and bent the old one). :P signing out, mariostar (AKA the guy whose name you'll learn, if you'll ever catch any of my semi-subtle hints).

Chapter 8a: The power of the hand.

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All right, the votes are in, and the winner is: E! However, E was supposed to be a joke answer, you weren't supposed to vote it. >_> Do you guys realize how much work typing out 17 different storylines (It will be 17 by next chapter) every week? Sure you guys could read less (unless you really want to read over twice as much as before EVERY WEEK), but I'd be doing more; I'd probably have to make it bi-weekly! So no offense, but not happening. :P Instead, I'm going with second place, option B. I probably should have thought of it earlier, actually, but whatever. :P You'll notice this is shorter then usual, as it's only one part versus the whole thing. Four storylines an update, and I'll do my best not to leave any behind. ;) For those who want to know them all, after chapter 8b I'll be posting a list of all the current storylines and what they're doing (generally, of course). Theme 12: Advance Wars; The Shelter Beware; said theme is short, only 29 seconds.
In a room that's probably underground: Donna came to in a room she recognized, it looked like her own. Except, there were no doors, or windows, or holes in the ceiling/floor, or anything to indicate that there was a way in here. She started to get up, and walked up to the wall and stared at it. It was totally flat, like it was painted on, no furniture in reality. She touched what should have been a chair, and it vanished, along with the walls themselves. In their place was a basic, flat, metal wall, with a door on the opposite side of her. She walked to it and looked for a handle, she found none. She tried touching it, and it opened. She walked out inquisitively, and found herself in a long hall with the same decor as second set of walls in the room she'd just left. She walked onward, and the door closed behind her, though she didn't realize it. She was too busy walking ahead, until she stopped and thought about why she was walking forward. Why didn't she just stay in her room? The answer was easy enough to obtain; whether in her room or in this hall she was equally potentially unsafe, but at least here she was doing something, and had control and choice over her actions, for now. She started up again and moved forward as the lights dimmed ever so gradually, at a pace her eyes could not comprehend. Behind her quickly grew more and more distance, until she could no longer see the wall she'd started from, if she'd looked back there.
Theme 13: Advance Wars State of Alert
Between the hills and Battle Canyon: It'd been about half an hour since Shawn started his group for wherever they could. Remo claimed there was a hill cluster this way, an abandoned one that might have supplies in it, theoretically. Of course they were probably all taken, but it was more or less on the way to another place they wished to reach (the "mountain") so they figured they might as well stop there. Along the way Kratos (being carried on a kind of travois hastily put together using branches from scattered trees) started moving. He tried to get up, but Remo pushed him down. "Don't move, you'll make things worse." Kratos ignored Remo and tried to get up anyway, causing Nick to speak up. "Sure you can't stand him, but he's right, stay down." Kratos listened to him, as apparently Nick demanded more respect. He asked a question instead, "So, where did you find me, and where are we headed?" RP said, "That's two questions, not one." "Who said he was only asking one?" asked Jimmy. "The narrator, of course." RP replied. Shawn rolled his eyes. "He's all in your head still, you know." RP refused to believe that. "Someday he'll come out, and you'll realize that this really is just a story, some plot written in the mind of a bored writer. The truth will be revealed!" Everyone looked at RP, who merely smiled and kept walking. "Why does he do that?" Emmi whispered to Jimmy. Before Jimmy could reply, RP said, "Because every comedy needs a fourth-wall breaker, right?" "If this really were a story it'd certainly be a comedy with you as part of the crew," said Shawn with a hint of sarcasm. RP winced. "It's a good thing I won't be around much longer to have to deal with you." "So now you're a prophet as well as a priest?" Orion asked. "Correct, plus you're a heretic." RP said. Kratos spoke up. "Sorry to disturb this scintillating conversation, but I think my question is more important." "We found you near a tree where you'd apparently bumped your head, we're taking you to the hills to see if we can get something for you there," Nick said in reply. "If it was just a bump on the head I could be walking, what else is up?" Kratos asked with slight irritation. "Sprained arm, heavy bruising on your head and you lost some hair. Oh, and you have a metal stick of some sort lodged in your back, we didn't want to remove it without something to stop the blood flow," Shawn replied in a matter-of-fact tone of voice. Kratos said nothing, and the others went strangely silent. Shawn wondered if the extreme lack of emotion in his comment really was such a good idea, than dismissed the thought, it was over anyway and couldn't be undone. The group trudged on, rather more quietly then before.
In the underground prison complex: Into the room walked a team of the lizard-like beings. [Time up. You all go to own place now.] Alexia didn't exactly feel like leaving, not now, but the enemy was armed and she wasn't, and she didn't know how many, if any of the others could fight. Just one being unable to would mean one rather easy target, or potential hostage. She'd have to wait. "All right, we're coming." She walked forward to the group of reptilian guards, and Mike walked after her, only to be prodded by one of the beasts. [Not you, one at time. She first.] Mike scowled but did as he was told. He watched as a guard led Alexia out of the room and shut the door, only for to open again in a few moments for the next person to be lead out, himself. When he exited the room he looked about as much as he could without attracting a lot of attention, but couldn't see Alexia. He should have realized what mastermind puts his enemies into a group and leaves them to their own devices without watching them in some way? They'd fallen for it, and hard. Good thing Alexia hadn't said her plan yet. The lizard guard escorting him moved up to a wall and touched a series of slightly darker tiles on it, and it opened up to reveal a room that was a little more comfortable then the cell they were last in, it had a bed and it wasn't so dark. The guard motioned for Mike to enter, and he did so. The door, wall, whatever closed behind him, and silence ensued, he couldn't even hear his guard walk off. Was Alexia in a similar situation, or something totally different? He didn't know, and couldn't yet find out. Mike was coming to the conclusion that he really, really didn't like prison. One by one the prisoners were taken out and led to various cells, though none of them could see each other, and they were left to guess at the others' fates. Of course it wasn't too difficult to guess at, it would be a lot of work to devise about a dozen different devices for as many people, and it was highly unlikely that anyone would go to so much trouble. But not everyone thought that way, and it didn't take much motivation to get some of the more conspiracy-minded ones to fear that every single person but them were being killed in some way, and they were left for another, more sinister purpose. Ridiculous on the surface, but the human mind is a curious thing, especially when left alone, and the more excitable ones can come up with all manner of crazy ideas when not properly controlled. Lauren's mind was one such mind. She was among the last to go out, only Miyoshi and Nathan came after her. She was escorted to her cell and put inside, like the others. The door closed behind her and she was left alone. At first she tried to stand it, but after twenty minutes the lack of anything to do but think started to get to her. She started around the room, but there was nothing to it, the walls were bland grey, not even any dirt on them to catch her eye for a moment. The door was indistinguishable from the rest of the wall. She lay down and closed her eyes, but all she could think about was this predicament, what was happening to her, and her friends, and the other people she'd just met. Suddenly, she heard the door open. She jumped up, but didn't see her door opening. But she could hear, and she heard footsteps coming from outside, and voices. Human voices. "Right, take her." She heard a voice she thought she recognized say, "No, you're not, what is this-" then it was cut off as the sound of someone falling over was heard, then a dragging noise. It stopped suddenly, than Lauren heard a scream. It was loud, and long, and shrill, and it hurt. Then it stopped, for a moment, only to start again. The pain was bad, but the idea that it was happening to someone, someone she might even know, was about as bad. It kept up for two minutes, on and off, followed by one last one that lasted over a minute, it wouldn't end, and wouldn't end, and wouldn't end, and- "ENOUGH!" Lauren shrieked as she raced to her door and began pounding on it. "STOP IT! STOP IT! Please!" The first two blows did nothing but make her fists sore, but as she pounded a third time the door opened and she fell face first on the floor. She pulled herself up and looked into the face of a man, a human being. There was only one other being in sight, one of those lizard guards. The man nodded at the lizard and he walked up to Lauren and picked her up. She made as if to scream, but her mouth was covered, and one of the people spoke. "None of that, I think your friends have been through enough, don't you?" Lauren didn't reply, she couldn't speak and could barely move. She just thought, "What have I done now?" The man, started walking, and the guard, carrying Lauren, followed him outside.
In Not Completely Drained: Dodge merely stared at the man that was once behind him and now in front of him. He had no weapon, didn't look particularly strong, overall in no way threatening. "All right, what do you want?" "I just always wanted to do that, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. And you totally fell for it," said the man. "All right then, either tell me your name and help me out here, or get out." The man "tsk"ed at Dodge. "Touchy one, are we? I'm Phil." Dodge returned to Boomer. "I'm Dodge, and the one trapped under a wood pile here is Boomer." Phil rushed in to see. "Wait, really? I guess you have a good reason to be touchy then. Hang on, I'll be right back." Dodge turned around, but Phil was already gone. "He seems nice enough, I think," Boomer said. Dodge rolled his eyes. "Yeah, sure." It was about five minutes before Phil returned carrying what looked like a miniature teeter-totter. "Put this under the plank, it should be able to lift it." Dodge complied, than Phil pressed down on the other end of the plank. At first it wouldn't budge, but after an adjustment in balance the heavy plank holding Boomer down lifted, enough that he could get his trapped right arm out. "Ah, much better. Thanks Phil." Phil was about to say something in reply when the lever he was holding snapped, and the plank fell back down. He shrugged. "It was cheap anyway; I'm surprised it worked as well as it did." "All right, now that that's established, why are you even here? I mean, almost no one's heard of it outside of my hometown, and it's small enough that I'd remember you if you were there," said Dodge interrogatively. Phil replied, "Relax, I've known about you guys since you started this project. How would I not know about a group that traipses through my yard several times a day, carrying lumber and all?" "Your yard?" asked Dodge. "Yes. My home is out here, I had to get away from people before they kicked me out. I've lived here for a good ten years now, some visitors occasionally but nothing excessive. My yard's huge; you could walk on the edge of it and still not see my house, even if there were no trees. I heard about the trouble happening all over the place and figured I'd head over here, since I doubted anyone else would." Dodge got more attentive, somehow. "Trouble all over the place? As in..." Phil nodded. "An invasion. Computer Hub computers reported invasion signs early in the morning, they were there about three seconds before the system was shut down by an even better hacker then the ones in there. They were still trying to get the computers online when the invaders came; they were probably the first to fall. Communication around the island have been disabled or jammed, even my computer, sophisticated as it is, can't go anywhere else any more. It was a proper invasion, someone wanted this place. Expect us to be hunted down and wiped out soon enough." Boomer looked awed as Phil spoke. "Really?!" Phil nodded. "Yes. We need to find others, get together, and fight to keep our land!" Boomer raised his fist. "YES!" "Are you guys sure you're not overreacting?" Dodge asked. Phil looked at Dodge for a moment, as in thought, than said, "I'm sure." Dodge replied, "Okay, than count me in!" The three shook hands on it.
It's shorter then usual, obviously. But I told you guys it'd happen that way, so surprise isn't allowed. :P Also, note that we're officially up to 75 characters now, 73 of whom have had at least a few lines. Only Lucas and Blaze remain, you'll see them in the second half of this story, which I'm planning on posting on Friday. Comments about the story can be put here, or in PM if you wish (and you won't be the first, unless you already were the first. :P). New characters: Phil (the "mystery man"), the lizard guards (never got a proper introduction), the man who works in the prison (not actually new, and with this info. I'm betting you can guess within about two guesses that he is). Mentioned characters: Miyoshi, Nathan. Recurring characters: Donna, Remo, Kratos, Nick, RP, Jimmy, Shawn, Emmi, Orion, Alexia, Mike, Lauren, Dodge, Boomer. Past characters: Isaac, Damien, Andy, Feriand, Len, Thern, Ellen, Carla, Bill, Mark, Wayne, Link, The Mastermind, Marty, Preston, Timmy, Jack, Drake, Marcus, Zack, Lore, Martin, Brock, Flore, Dean, Kira, Justin, Devin, Kara, Grant, Brandon, Bob, Elmer, Dave, Chad, Danny, Jacob, Thad, Shad, Jonathon, Jake, Doc Appleby, Kathryn, Roberto, Will, Demi, Lucas (mentioned), Blaze (mentioned), Andrew, Leonard, Kevin, Ed, Earnhardt, Odic, Cathi, Green, Orland, Kyle. Not GS members: Elaine, Anna, Anne, Mastermind's Servant, Mech 1, Don (Dead), the two children. Enemy types: "Ninja" robots, generic robots, lizard robots, lizard guards (more competent lizard robots), and the Mastermind and those humans who work for him, two of which have been seen so far. GS members in: 75/75

Update blog: It's been a long time.

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First off, read my last blog for my story. /mandatory advertising After that, my day. Exciting much? Yes, I played GAMES! :P Today I went to Best Buy, because my Dad was looking at Blue Ray players and a replacement modem so the internet can finally work more then half the time (He got both), and I got to look at the game section. Best Buy is not the place I go to buy games, they're a little more expensive then Gamestop overall and don't have last-gen. But they have a ton of demos set up, and I got to play several of them. First off, I finally played the 3DS! Pilotwings Resort, of course. And to tell the truth, I was a bit disappointed. The graphics were better then ever, the game was decently fun, and the controls were great, but the 3-D was rather, meh. Sure it's a floor model, a real one would be better I'm betting. Sure it was also corded so my ability to move it was limited. But still, it was a bit meh. Second, I went to a Wii demo and played Donkey Kong Country Returns, and got totally owned. :P The game was on 2-7, and either the tide or the stupid crabs would kill me. >_> And finally learning row to roll didn't help, the crabs are roll-proof. Ah well, still a decent game, doubt I'll buy it though. Third, I watched someone play Carnival Games for Kinect. Major meh, if I want to act like I'm shooting baskets I'll head to the local park and shoot baskets! Got that Microsoft? :P Finally, I played Portal 2 for the XBOX 360. And if that doesn't surprise you, how about the fact that I enjoyed it? Sure it's first-person, a rather annoying view in my opinion, but besides that I had some fun. I got in right before the "spoiler" in chapter one. Stupid blue-eyed robot whose name I never learned, what'd you have to do that for? :P I probably won't get it still, but it looks fun enough. After that we left Best Buy and eventual went to a Gamestop, the only one in the area that supposedly had Metroid: Zero Mission. You know where this is going, right? First off, we (my brother, who was hunting for Kirby Nightmare in Dreamland, and myself) asked to see Gameboy Advance games, the guy behind the counter said, "They're over here." I thought there would be the usual case and looked for one, not noticing for a bit that he pulled out two long red plastic boxes with a jumble of games in them. >_> I'd read on Gamespot about people seeing them, but seeing them for myself really made me sad. I still have seven GBA games to buy, and this Gamestop was the only one in the area with two of them, and now look! It didn't have it either, or my brother's game. He got nothing, I settled for Super Mario Advance 4. Nostalgia!!! :D They didn't have FFIV either, the other game that only it has (supposedly). So now I've got my own copy of my favorite games ever (finally). And, that's it. More eventful then most days I write about though, easily. :P See you around, mariostar

The Mind of the Master: They just keep coming. (Part 1)

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A day late, sorry about that. Theme 9: Advance Wars, Apocalypse Chaos Suite Yes I use Advance Wars Days of Ruin a lot. But it sounds right, so why switch to something that doesn't? Plus Turn-Based Strategy really fits with the "Mastermind" theme. :P
Among the few remaining houses of Niche: Isaac had found a mere two people since he left Marcus and Drake. Andy had been in his home, sleeping, supposedly dreaming of "hot girls". Just like him. He took the revelation of an invasion during the night fairly calmly, for what it was worth. Feriand, not so much. "Are you absolutely certain you have no clue who it is?" Isaac sighed, and was about to answer when Damien spoke for him. "Yes, we're certain, so shut up already." Feriand shook his head. "We need to know all we can. There must be something you remember." Andy rolled his eyes. "There's nothing, get that into your head. None of us were awake; we all managed to sleep through perhaps the biggest crisis ever to happen on Great Storlin. Like I said, we were likely drugged. None of us know anything." Feriand replied, "You sure? I think you're just faking it, trying to get me to be dragged along to the guy behind this. Right?" Isaac answered, "You do realize that most of the rest of the world sees the glass half full? You always have to assume the worst, don't you?" Feriand nodded. "Someone has to, and you don't appear to be stepping up to do so." "Are you still pulling that emo stunt?" Feriand jumped as Drake walked into the clearing, along with Marcus and Zack. "I thought I told you just how bad it looked on you." Feriand replied, "It beats macho murder man." Drake charged for Feriand, only to be tripped by Isaac. "None of that. The enemy's doing a good enough job of taking us out on his own, he doesn't need our help." Marcus nodded. "Agreed." Andy laughed as Drake got up off the ground and brushed himself off. Drake glared at Andy but said nothing. Zack spoke up, "Well, there's no one else here. This place is pretty must deserted. A ghost town." Damien said, "So we've seen. Not a soul remains, not that there ever was one anyway." Andy snickered. "Speak for yourself." Damien replied, "I am." Isaac said, "All right guys, I think it's about time we started thinking of where to go next. Any ideas?" Marcus volunteered, "The countryside should be safer, it's bigger, and less explored." Drake scoffed. "We've lived here for over 50 years, there's no place left to hide, it's all been explored." Marcus replied, "Tell that to the man who even now is hiding on this island." Isaac asked, "How do you figure that?" Marcus answered, "We're too far above the sea on this side of the island to just hop into a boat, not that anyone here cared to anyway. They'd have to trudge a long ways away via the northern sands, or trek a long way inland to avoid it. It's possible, but not while carrying a ton of unconscious people, they don't have the equipment." Drake countered, "What if they just have a bigger army, or bigger tools?" Isaac replied, "Then unless they could hover, which is practically impossible, they'll be leaving tracks, especially in the sand." Zack added, "Or they took the tunnel." Isaac stared at Zack. "The tunnel?" Zack nodded.' Yeah, the one I found that you said I couldn't tell anyone about." Isaac's stare got harder. "What do you think you're doing now?" Zack replied, "Searching every possible angle. You want to prove Marcus right, right? You don't want everyone dragged off Great Storlin to unknown places over the sea; you want them to be here. This should determine if you're right or not." Feriand spoke up, "Or wrong. They could possible have been dragged through this 'tunnel' to the sea, and be gone forever, right?" Andy punched Feriand in the arm. "Maybe, but then we can't do anything about it. This we can do something about. Assuming that they're gone for good does nothing for them, assuming they're still here could help." Feriand said, "But you have to keep in mind that it might be for nothing." Damien rolled his eyes. "If they're really gone and we're abandoned here then most everything we do is for nothing, we're just a lost bunch of people with no future, especially when all the people currently here are male." Marcus said, "Yes, exactly. We need to get out there and search for any trace that we can find our people. Agreed?" Everyone spoke up in agreement, even Feriand, though somewhat reluctantly. Marcus said, "Good. Now Isaac, where's this tunnel?" Isaac replied, "It's about three blocks to the south, come on."
Hidden, somewhere: It'd been an hour with her conversation with her aunt, and Donna had taken to wandering. Wandering alone had never been something she did before, but now, with most everything mixed and most of her friends gone, it was becoming more common with her then she realized. She also didn't realize that she was being followed, but that revelation came much sooner. Donna turned around again to finally catch sight of him. "Wait, who's there? I saw you!" He came out, and stopped. Donna thought of what she should do next. Run? Talk? Talk made more sense. "Who are you?" He bowed. "My name is Len. I congratulate me on taking a mere 33 seconds to catch me; the last three people I followed took over two minutes to spot me shadowing them." Donna wasn't quite sure what to say to this, and said nothing. Len laughed. "I'm not a stalker, if that's what you're asking. No, I've a different job. I work for the big guy." Donna's eyes widened. "You mean, the Mastermind?" Len raised an eyebrow in a way that sounds silly written down. "He hasn't revealed his name to all of you yet?" Donna shook her head. "No. You know him?" Len nodded. "Oh yes, quite well. But if he won't tell you his name yet I won't be the one to do so. Tell me; just what are your opinions of your host?" Donna replied, "I've not actually seen him so far. But from what I've heard, I think he's highly stuck-up, with this "I'm the only one who can save the world from itself" business. Also, his taste in decor is very bad." Len laughed. "For the latter, there was a mix-up, you got the wrong house. For the former, you'd not be the first to say so. But telling me gains you nothing; unless I bother to report such words to him they won't matter." Donna replied, "I don't care, I'm just venting." Len asked, "But wouldn't it make more sense to actually vent at the person you're mad with?" Donna looked Len straight in the eye, thinking it would be more intimidating. "You could do that?" Len nodded. "That's why I'm here. To seek out those he should speak to. People carefully selected to help him out." Donna started. "Help him? No way, not interested." She turned around and started to walk off, but Len's words halted her. "You really think you can walk off that easily?" Donna answered, "Well, yes. Is your master going to kill me so I can't spread his little story?" Len shook his head. "He won't. But the offer's gone to far to be given back, you have to come with." Donna stood where she was. "I will not help him. There's nothing he's doing that I consider worthwhile." Len shrugged. "Too late now. You're coming" Donna said, "This is the part where you pull a dart gun out and shoot me, right?" Len smiled. "You sure watch a lot of movies, don't you kid?" Donna opened her mouth to retort, but felt a pain in her back, which she hadn't been watching. She slumped over, and another person, with a dart gun of course, walked up to converse with Len.
Theme 10: Advance Wars, Andy's Anthem (More light-hearted, which is better here) On the beaches: Finding the others wasn't really that difficult, especially when Thern decided that standing out on the sand was a worthwhile risk it made things a bit more obvious, despite the fact that Lore knew where the others had been left. "You idiot, what are you doing prancing around? That's my job; I'm the guy with a gun." Thern snorted at Lore's comment. "Good for you. Now you just need to know how to use it." Lore considered pulling it out and shooting him to make his point, but it wasn't worth the wasted ammo. Besides, more sarcasm on the team is always a good thing. He instead just pulled it out and smacked it against Thern's stomach. "Still not quite got the hang of it, I guess." Thern replied after about two seconds, "No, I think you're doing just fine." Smirking, Lore headed forward, the others trailing after him. By now Ellen and Carla had come out. Lore was glad to see they'd not gotten misplaced by Thern's lack of caring. "Good, you're still here. Come on, time to move, you've rested long enough." Ellen replied, "I wanted to watch the ocean a little longer though. Could we please stay?" Lore answered, "The view where we're going is even better, endless yards of grass and trees." Ellen said, "Goody! Let's go." The two started in the direction of the beach as Carla looked from one, to the other, than back at Martin as he walked up. "Are they always like this?" Martin laughed and replied, "Exactly this way? No, not quite. But they're quite good at blending satire and sarcasm into normal conversation, sometimes to the point that you can't tell what's what. Unless you're Thern of course, putting the three of them together can cause either one of the most sensible conversations of all time, or one of the most pointless arguments." Thern snorted (he likes doing that apparently) and added, "And when Martin joins in the world has much to fear." Martin tried to put an innocent expression on his face. "Who, me? Never." Thern nodded most seriously. "'Tis true, I've lived with it for long enough." Brock chose that moment to interrupt. "Are we just going to let them wander off ahead like that?" Martin and Thern turned at the sound of Brock's voice. "Spoilsport," they said in unison, than they headed after Ellen and Lore. Carla shrugged and followed, while Brock wandered behind, asking himself, "How come I'm always the punch line of a joke I never get?"
At Bill's cave (Bill not included): Flore knocked on the door of a cave buried within a range of good-sized hills. Most of them were natural, leftovers from when this island was submerged quite likely, and seeded with grass when their ancestors came to live here. A few though were built into the hillside, looking fairly natural but really there as houses. Over the years most were abandoned in favor of the cities, but one recluse stubbornly stayed, enjoying the solitary. That would be Bill. Dean exclaimed, "Okay, I get it. I just wanted to know who Bill was; I don't care about a discussion on hills and hermits." Flore replied, "But what fun is that?" Dean rolled his eyes and said nothing. After about a minute of waiting (and knocking twice more) Flore decided that no one would be coming to the door, so he just went in. Dean asked, "Are you sure that's okay?" Flore replied, "Relax, Bill's a friend, and he owes me. I'm sure he won't mind too much." Inside the place was fairly neat, with the humming of electronics coming from the back, and a note on what looked like an icebox. Dean grabbed it before Flore could and started reading. "To whoever drops in, I'm out camping for the week with a few friends. If you need something to drink help yourself to the water, just pull the handle when you're done so it can fill up again. Flore, if you're here asking about the "favor", forget it. I found the cats were in no way deadly, you liar. And my computer's off-limits, so go away! Thanks!" Dean looked up at Flore. "Friends, huh?" Flore replied, "At least we're still on speaking terms, which is better then I can say for half my other friends." Dean rolled his eyes. "You sure have a way with people, don't you?" Flore replied, "Just some of them. So, where should we start?" Dean stared Flore right in the eye. "You still want to redo this place as a hideout type thing after being told by the owner to get out of here? You've got guts." Flore answered, "Yeah, and I would rather keep them inside me rather then spilled out across a field here. Come on, his "secret" weapon stash is this way." Dean sighed and said, "If you must. But if he kills you, I won't avenge me." Flore replied, "And I'd do the same for you, my friend." Dean said, "I know." Dean followed Flore to a checkered floor, where Flore put his feet on two red steps at the same time, revealing a passage leading into an underground location, which the two promptly headed down. Part 2

Chapter 7: They just keep coming. (Part 2)

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Part 1
Just outside Feline Basin: Kira finally caught up with Justin when the latter could run no more. Fortunately for him, Kira no longer cared about catching him either, she just flopped over on the grass. "Ya' think we lost them?" Justin nodded. "Definitely. Wait, what's that?" Something walked up out of the woods behind them, and both Justin and Kira started up and began to run, only to stop when they realized who it was. "Devin!" Devin said, "Yes, I'm here. What, can't you guys run any more?" Justin shook his head. "Nope, I'm out of running." Kira nodded in agreement, and Devin laughed. "Remind me not to go into sports with either of you. And also, you might like to know that others have been around here." Kira sat up and asked, "Who? And how would you know?" Devin replied, "Marty. And I know because no one else would use toilet paper in the middle of the woods." Kira said, "I don't think I wanted to know that." Devin laughed. "I think you're correct there. They came this way, now we just need to continue on until we find where they went from here. You guys planning on getting up?" Justin sighed, "If we must I guess I can." He got up, stretched his legs, than resumed walking west. Devin asked, "Have you any idea which way you're going?" Justin shook his head. "Nope, because you do. Right?" Devin shrugged, "Not really. I know the river's to the southwest, and there are various houses scattered around it on both sides. They could be in one of them, or have gone straight past. For now, let's just keep moving, but head towards someplace we can eventually rest, and hopefully eat as well." Justin nodded. "Eat, yes, definitely." Kira said, "Yeah, it's what, almost lunch now and we last ate at breakfast?" Devin shook his head. "It's barely ten right now." Kira said, "Close enough. Right?" Justin replied, "Right!" Devin said, "If we find food I doubt we'll much care about the time. But there's no food here, so let's keep moving." They took off East again, with no one in particular leading.
Theme 11: Dark Clouds In Preston's house: It was okay, staying at home here. She didn't have to risk her life/freedom by going out hunting for people, she could instead stay at a home, with food to eat at proper times and sleep at night. It wasn't working. Kara sighed. Sure such action wasn't her specialty, but neither was boredom. She wanted to do something, even if it was here. She tried asking Preston, but he hadn't had anything for her to do. And Anne had even less, she wasn't even doing the cleaning she joked that Timmy would have to do. She tried reading, but all of Anne's books were too long for her, and Preston's were on all the wrong subjects. And there were no electronics really able to be used, no computers or TV (no signal out here) and the radio was out. So Kara was just sitting here, waiting. The boys (Timmy and Jack) had it easier; they got to play watchmen for a while, guarding against intruders. Not that they'd really do much if they did help, but it was the thought that counted, right? Deep in thought, Kara took a while to hear a person sneaking up behind her. And when she did notice them it took a bit to realize, it wasn't someone who was supposed to be here. She gasped and started to yell for help, but the man grabbed her and yanked her to the floor. "None of that, they don't know we're here and I want to keep it that way. Tie her up, boys." Three more enemies, robots Kara had heard, came out. Their appearance was startling at first, then outright ridiculous. They wore long boots with spurs, ropes at their side, and wide-brimmed hats, stereotypical cowboys at their worst. Ugh. Their leader turned and smiled at her, showing teeth that were inhumanly white. "That's right, we're takin' this place, and you got to watch. The strong guys are gone now, the rest 'ere can be taken pris'ner. And you too of course, pretty one." Kara replied, "You couldn't tell a model from a witch, mechanical brute." The man/robot/thing seemed to be "tsk"ing at her. "Now now, no need for such strong talk. Now, no shouting and I can take them quickly, and alive, perhaps even conscious. Yell and I go in shootin'. You don't want your friends dead now, do you?" Kara said nothing, and the man watched her for a while, then turned away and spoke to all four of his men. "All right boys, move out." As soon as all their backs were turned, Kara screamed. They were fast, almost like they expected her to scream (which wasn't unlikely). One made as if to shoot her, but instead slapped her across the face, then hit her atop her head. His hand was hard metal, definitely a robot, and he was easily strong enough to knock her out. At least they were warned though...
Back to Theme 9: Advance Wars, Apocalypse Chaos Suite Deep within the "great" forest: "That was the worst camping trip of my life." "Well how was I supposed to know it'd be raining all three days? I mean, you can't predict this sort of stuff." "You're the computer man Bill, use weather dot com or whatever they call it now." Bill replied, "It's now dot gov. "Official" and all that." The first person said, "Whatever. The question is, how soon until the forest is gone?" A third person spoke up, "Impatient for home, young Mark?" Mark looked indignantly at the speaker. "Young? I'm barely two years younger then you, Wayne. I suggest you watch your mouth." Bill said, "Come on guys, let's not ruin it. It was still a little fun, right?" Mark shook his head while Wayne said, "A little I guess. But not a lot, don't push it." Bill laughed. "All right. Now, the clearing's up ahead, see it?" Mark looked out and said, "Yeah, I do. And there's a kid running up too." Wayne looked out in that direction. "Wait, a kid? Seriously?" Bill said, "Looks like it, he's coming fast." The kid was about to reach the group about to exit the forest when he halted and raised his hands in fists. "No way, here too? You're not taking me!" He tried to run off, but tripped over a tree stump. Before he could get up Mark was on him, and the two flipped over simultaneously before the new kid threw Mark up and got up. "All right, I'll fight, but keep it fair, one at a time. Who's first?" Mark raised his hand, but Wayne waved him down. "Relax Link; we're not here to take you." Link, as the boy went by, looked up at Wayne. "Wait, you know me? Then you are real, the enemy just called me a generic kid." Mark started, "Well you know-" Bill cut him off. "Enemy? What enemy? Is Battle Canyon attacking or something?" Link shook his head. "Far worse. Invaders, enemies from outside, they came almost everywhere, I went to three other towns and all were destroyed, or simply had vanished." Bill seemed to wince at this, and Wayne said, "Are you certain?" Link nodded. Wayne said, "I don't believe it. I mean, who else knows of this place?" Bill shrugged. "No one I've run across." Link said, "No one that I know of at Computer Hub has talked to anyone, but there were a lot of people there, and the enemy was smart enough to hit there as well and infiltrate it fairly easily." Bill shook his head. "This is not good. Wayne, I know you wanted to get home, but for now I think we should head to my place first, use my computer and all, if it's not been hit as well." Wayne nodded. "I was about to suggest such a thing myself." Link asked, "I can come with, right?" Bill nodded. "Yes. You'd better come too Mark, if Computer Hub is in such bad shape." Mark said, "Fine by me, this sounds exciting." Wayne said, "I hope it ends up just being that, excitement."
I don't believe I've accidentally been calling Odic "Odin". :x Some new locations today, I've added them to the map but have yet to update the thing. The sandy cliffs, the primary forest, and the hill range where Bill's cave is. And 74/75 of the characters have been at least mentioned so far; expect that number to be maxed out next chapter, when I also give proper introductions to the remaining "mentioned" characters. With the introduction period over I can get to the business of information trading, mystery solving, and maybe even something even bigger. Also, expect the contest to guess identities after I write chapter 8, it will be somewhat limited though (like no guessing the mastermind's identity, for instance). And finally, expect the group progression chart soon, after I finish making groups (Which will be next week, when I finish making one and forming two or three more). In non-story news: The internet has gotten weird. It's gone from "here today gone tomorrow" to "now you see me, now you don't." The more I use it, the more likely it is to die, but it rarely stays dead for more then two minutes. It's total madness. Also, I've gotten no games recently. No money, you see, I keep having some and giving it away. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, it just means I have no money. Ah well. New Poll (Yes, several in a row, but for good reasons): I've been receiving a couple of complaints about chapter length, and am wondering about popular opinion in said matter. Should I change the way I present chapters, and how? A: Keep them the same, I like it this way. B: Cut them in half and go back to twice a week. Same amount, but more even, plus you won't have to keep splitting the story in half. C: Cut them in half and stay weekly, even if it just about doubles how long it'll take for the whole story to be written. D: Leave it, but take a break for a week or so so I can catch up. E: Tell us who everybody is and do a segment on every group every week, I'll just read the ones I care about and hope it still makes sense when groups join together. New characters: Isaac (mentioned previously), Damien (mentioned previously), Andy, Feriand, Len, Thern (mentioned previously), Ellen (mentioned previously), Carla (mentioned previously), Cowboy Robot (series), Bill (mentioned previously), Mark, Wayne (mentioned previously), Link (mentioned previously). Mentioned Characters: The Mastermind, Marty, Preston, Anne, Timmy, Jack. Recurring Characters: Drake, Marcus, Zack, Donna, Lore, Martin, Brock, Flore, Dean, Kira, Justin, Devin, Kara. Past Characters: Grant, Miyoshi, Brandon, Bob, Elmer, Dave, Chad, Lauren, Nathan, Danny, Jacob, Thad, Dodge, Boomer, Remo, Nick, Shawn, Kratos, Emmi, Alexia, Mike, Shad, Jonathon, Jake, Doc Appleby, Kathryn, Roberto, Will, Demi, Lucas, Blaze, Orion, Jimmy, RP, Andrew, Leonard, Kevin, Ed, Earnhardt, Odic, Cathi, Green, Orland, Kyle, mystery man (AKA the 75th member, will be revealed next week). Not GS members: Elaine, Anna, Anne, Mastermind's Servant, Mech 1, Don (Dead), the two children. Note that this list is because some of these characters may and will be seen again. Even Don might get a flashback, though with the rarity of those I highly doubt it. GS members in: 74/75

Chapter 6: What makes us so special? Part 2

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Part one (from earlier today, I hit the 20,000 character limit finally) for those who missed it. In the Maze of the Games: Sometimes it was difficult, being alone. But being alone was nothing compared to being alone, with others. At least, that's how Danny looked at it after being stuck with two people, two people he'd thought were really good friends of his, for the past twelve hours. Twelve hours hiding in a very cramped set of trees while robots lurked outside, looking for you. Twelve hours being packed together so closely you could smell each other's BO, hear their breathing, even smell the fish on their breath, which was the worst part. Twelve hours where you couldn't talk for fear of being heard. And now that they were finally out, Danny wanted a lot of distance from the others. "Are you saying you don't want to be near us any more?" "Sorry Jacob, but that was far closer to anyone then I've ever wanted to get and really ever plan on getting." "Are you serious Danny?" Danny nodded. "It's just that, well, you've not showered in three days. Four now, actually. And Thad, you really need to shower more often than that." Thad shrugged. "In case you've not noticed, there are no showers left here any more, we've got one building still standing, and no running water. You could use the river, but the people downstream count on that water for drinking as well." Danny added, "Assuming there are still people downstream." Jacob said, "Don't talk like that Jacob, of course there are. There have to be. Danny replied, "Someone has to, and if you won't I will." Jacob sighed. "I know, I guess. I wish someone else were here to do it though, I like you better when you're not like this." Danny smiled, "So do I. So let's get to work finding out how to get us back to normal." Jacob nodded, and the three of them headed back to the remains of their once secluded, secret village.
In the ruins of Not Completely Drained: Dodge woke up to a land he'd never seen before, but that seemed totally familiar to him. Rubble lay everywhere, in or near the spaces where houses that once stood stood no longer. He'd known them, in a few cases even helped to build them, now they lay in shambles. It had seemed like such a grand venture at the time, a group from Feline Basin, led by Dodge, planned to head out with him to build a new town near the end of the river, where it dipped underground before exiting through a waterfall in a cliff that hung over the ocean. They ended up building their town actually around that hole; it eventually reached a dozen houses, mostly of single people. It never got any families in, the fear of a young child falling into the water and getting swept away was one Dodge had not thought of, but more responsible parents did. In all likelihood this place would have died within the next decade or so anyway. But until then he'd loved it, a town he'd built with his own hands, and others'. And now it lay in ruins. Destroyed. With no one in sight. He should have been able to see if someone else were out there; the town wasn't all that big. But no one was left, they'd all run off when whatever disaster there was here had hit. And he was all alo- "LET ME OUT!" Lousy Boomer, didn't he realize he was interrupting a perfect good bout of self-pity? Dodge got up off the ground he'd been sitting on and looked about. There didn't appear to be anyone about, except one of the rubble piles was moving! He rushed over there and saw a hand sticking out. Moving a few boards aside he saw the currently very grubby face of young Bert, AKA Boomer, lover of things that went (what else?) boom. "I said LET ME OUT! Oh, hi Dodge. Are they gone now?" Dodge shrugged. "If I knew who 'they' were I might be able to answer you better." "I don't know either really. But I do know that they were tough, they captured people, and that when you blew them up they exploded with lots of robot parts. All gone though, they took them." Dodge blinked. "Blew them up? Where in the world did you get a bomb?" Boomer laughed. "Gunpowder of course. But it brought my house down on me and several other ones nearby as well. How you slept through it I'll never know. But they ignored me for some reason and just left. I guess the rest of us were enough to satisfy them." Dodge answered, "The rest of us? They have the other people?" Boomer nodded as best he could while trapped. "Yep. And if they come back, I'll have a lot better chance of escaping if I'm not trapped under here." Dodge got back to work trying to move debris aside, Boomer helping with his free hand. His other one was stuck under a heavy board, and even after he finally freed the rest of his friend, Dodge could not budge that stubborn board. "Can you move that arm?" Boomer nodded. "Yep, I guess so. It's weak though. Will I have to cut it off?" Dodge shook his head. "No, of course not." He didn't know really, but that knowledge wouldn't help Boomer right now. He was about to turn around and look for a better board to use as a level when a voice spoke up. "All right, that's enough. Hands in the air." Reflexively Dodge stuck his hands in the air, than turned around to see just what had snuck up on him.
Eleven new people, and with 70/75 in odds are you're in by now, even if you've only been mentioned off-hand. It won't be too long before everyone's in, than it's just getting parts to mentioned characters and then fully expanding stories while still not going beyond six or seven pieces a day. Anyway, it's time for another question: Did you like the map? A: Yes, it was helpful, though not very nice looking. B: I actually thought it looked nice. C: It sucks. D: Your art skills are pathetic, I could do way better. Warning: D is a rigged answer. :P New characters: Grant, Miyoshi, Brandon, Bob, Elmer (Mentioned previously), Dave (Mentioned previously), Chad, Lauren, Nathan, Donna, Danny, Jacob, Thad, Dodge (Previously mentioned), Boomer, mysterious man (This is really getting cliche, I should stop pointing out the unknown figures. :P). Mentioned Characters: Flore, the Mastermind, no one else (I think). Recurring Characters: Remo, Nick, Shawn, Kratos, Emmi, Alexia, Mike, Elaine, Shad, Jonathon. Not a lot really, this was more about being the last time to introduce a ton of new people. Past Characters: Marcus, Drake, Lore, Isaac (mentioned), Damien (mentioned), Timmy, Jack, Kara, Jake, Marty, Doc Appleby, Kathryn, Ellen (mentioned), Thern (mentioned), Carla (mentioned), Roberto, Wayne (mentioned), Bill (mentioned), Dean, Will, Demi, Link (mentioned), Lucas (mentioned), Blaze (mentioned), Orion, Jimmy, RP, Zack, Preston, Andrew, Leonard, Kevin, Martin, Brock, Ed, Earnhardt, Odin, Cathi, Green, Orland, Kyle, Justin, Devin, Kira. Not GS members: Elaine, Anna, Anne, Mastermind's Servant, Mech 1, Don (Dead), the two children. GS members in: 70/75

Chapter 6: What makes us so special? Part 1

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First off, by popular request: The map. Self-proclaimed master Photoshop/GIMP users may wish to avert their gaze. :P Link It's in Google Documents, since I can never link from there for some reason. :x And don't say I didn't warn you. Theme 8: Advance Wars Deep Trouble
To the East of Battle Canyon: Remo spotted him first. Laying up against a tree it a sitting position it'd almost have looked like he had fallen asleep if it weren't for a nasty gash on his head, and a look of combined shock and hatred on his face. Nick checked that he was still breathing, and then he and Shawn worked together to lift their leader away from the tree and to softer, more level grounds. "See, I told you heading in the sound of the explosion was a good idea," Said Shawn as he hefted Kratos' head. Remo commented, "You headed the opposite direction from the first one." Shawn shook his head resolutely. "Flore said to get away, how was I supposed to know he wouldn't know what way we went?" Nick replied, "You're not fooling anyone. You ditched him in hopes of being able to lead this place yourself, right?" Shawn laughed. "Yes, of course I did. And you're with me, right?" "All the way," Nick said. Shawn answered, "Good. The rest of you, do you know anything about this place? Anywhere we can take him, or get someone to come to him?" One by one they all shook their heads. Remo commented, "Nearest place's over to the north, towards the Maze. The mountain's to the East, it's further but a lot easier to get into once you find it. Computer Hub's North-East, and while it's about as far as the Maze it's even more difficult to get into, they've been stepping up security the last year or so." Emmi stared at Remo. "How do you know all this?" "Knowing other people's business is my specialty," Remo said. Shawn spoke as if talking to himself. "Yes, that's true, isn't it? Why you bother here instead of heading out where people might actually care what you think remains a mystery." Remo said nothing. They wouldn't understand, why would they? They never did before. And who really cared anyway? They were doomed from the start. He had said so, and he had yet to be wrong.
In the prison: Inside of the room she was pushed into Alexia saw several other prisoners, alone or in pairs, talking arguing, or just sitting, whatever. She didn't recognize them, so when she could finally control herself a few minutes later (Apparently the affects of the net she'd been wrapped in didn't last long after the net was removed) she walked over and tried to introduce herself to them. "Hi, I'm Alexia. What's going on here, who's in charge?" One man got up and walked up to her, extending his hand. "The name's Grant. As for who's in charge here, well, no one rightly knows. He calls himself the Mastermind, we've never seen him before today, and very few have seen him even today. We've been locked up, set aside for some special purpose of his, or so she thinks. Mike walked up behind Alexia. "She?" Grant motioned to a woman sitting on a chair in the corner; the others seemed to be silently avoiding her. "Her. Claims she can see his purpose, that we've been set aside for his master game, or some such thing. Also claims that things will go easier on us if we repent, whatever that means." The woman got up. "Not repent, remend. Fix it, stop worrying that you are so upset with each other in the past and fix it." Another man spoke up, "You do realize that remend isn't actually a word?" The woman snapped back at him, "I don't care right now, Brandon. All I know is that we're sitting here in this, prison, and we can't talk to each other, face to face, because of a stupid disagreement by our leaders ten years ago. Haven't we learned anything?" Brandon shook his head. "Sorry Miyoshi, I'm afraid we haven't. That's why I left politics long ago." The woman turned to Alexia. "Sorry to come across so, aloof. I'm Miyoshi. Don't ask me why, I always asked my parents why I had to be named that, no one else had such a crazy name. But they were insistent, and after several years I grew rather fond of it. Anyway, are you any good as a negotiator?" "If your idea of negotiation involves knocking heads in, then yes," said Mike as he dodged a playful swipe from Alexia. "Perfect, I was hoping for someone like that. I'd do it myself, but I'm not the strongest of people, and my knife was taken, so I've no real power. It's those two right there, Bob and Elmer, they've been at it ever since we got here two hours ago, arguing about American Glory Niche versus Great Mountain View. No one can convince them that we have more important worries at the moment. Think you could at least settle them down?" asked Miyoshi with a hopeful look in her face. "Watch me," Alexia said as she walked over to them. She reached them as another round of "discussion" continued. "Old-fashioned indeed! And your "democratic" system is any better? Please. When will you young people ever learn?" "About the same time you men stop being blind, I'd assume. Basically, never." "You rebelled against the system, the one that keeps us in peace, the system that created our way of life. You rebelled against Great Storlin itself." "We rebelled against a way of life that no longer worked for us. Seriously? A single man who leads for life based on his family's power, with no way to get him out short of an uprising? What sort of sense does that make anyway? We wanted democracy, the right to vote in our people, to choose our own leaders." "Such a way has failed in the past, why do you think we left to come here? To get away from that nonsense. Your people perverted all that we stand for." "And you perverted all that makes us free beings who live as we choose." "Insolent- Oof! Owwww..." That last part came from both as Alexia, unable to make any sense out of what they were saying, kicked first the one then the other of them in the stomach as Miyoshi and Mike backed her up. "Seriously people? We're arguing politics in prison? Grow up already. We need to get out of here, not argue over, whatever that is." The younger man was the first to rise up. He looked no older then 18 or so, hardly old enough to have been a major voice in the spilt all those years ago, when two towns formed from one, and the older eventually drove the younger to the other side of the island to create their own land. "I will not work with him. Their stubborn pride makes him impossible-" "To work with them is as equally difficult as they claim to be, they refuse to see the truth." said the older man, who was now up on his feet and winced when he brushed up against his chest. Older was merely a comparative word here, he was in his late twenties, maybe early thirties. "They cannot see how their way will lead to their own destruction." Alexia rolled her eyes. "Sorry to break up your little death party, but our destruction will come a lot faster at the hands of our captors if we're too busy worrying about democracy versus dictatorship again. Do you really think that's why we're in this prison? Unless this "mastermind" comes in here and starts asking us about how we want to run our country I suggest we shut up about it and get working on something more logical." The older man nodded. "I think she speaks something worth listening to." The younger man rolled his eyes. "Please. You only say that because she's one person taking charge. I say we should vote on it. Who says we should listen to her, raise your hand?" Nine hands went up, with only Alexia's and the younger man's staying down. He waited until it was obvious that he'd lost, than said, "Fine, what is your plan?" Alexia hadn't really thought of a plan yet, so she tried stalling for time. "First, could everyone tell me their names? I'm Alexia, and this is my friend Mike." The younger man said, "I'm Robert, though I'm usually called Bob." Snickers went around room, but were quickly hushed with a glance from Bob's less then courteous (at the moment) face. "I go by Elmer," The older man involved with the debate said. "I'm Dave," said one man. Another man said, "I'm Chad." "My name is Lauren," said a woman who sat near Chad. Miyoshi, Brandon and Grant introduced themselves, and that left just one person in the room. Alexia walked up to him. "And who might you be?" The man looked her over for a bit, and she felt oddly uncomfortable. Then he nodded, and as if that signified something good she felt a strange relief. "I'm called Nathan. Unlike most of those here I wasn't knocked out when I was taken, I was actually conscious. They took me through a long, winding route that appeared to lead nowhere, I could not replicate it. However, I am certain that we are deep underground." Alexia sighed. She'd sort of figured that was the case, it was either underground or under the ocean. Personally, she preferred underground, they could at least tunnel up if all else failed. "Pleased to meet you, Nathan." She tried to extend her hand, but he wouldn't take it, and eventually she had to put it down. She turned around, and everyone was looking at her. Something clicked in her brain suddenly: In her haste to get them all united they she'd jumped out as leader, and for now they accepted her. People she'd never met were looking to her for a plan to get, well, something done. Not that she minded too much, it beat being told what to do by someone that was less then competent. And she did have a plan now, at least. She was about to open her mouth to speak when the door she (and though she had yet to think about it, everyone else) entered in by slammed open.
In a large village in a larger room: Donna didn't know how much longer she could take it. Sure her house was here, or at least one resembling it. Sure the place was huge, with almost everyone she knew and a ton of room to explore. In fact, it'd take a day of walking to reach the walls. But walls they were, and that meant limitations. Someone wanted her here, and if Aunt Elaine was right, they were here merely to be out of the way while that someone played with other people chosen instead of her to play a role in some grand scheme. And that hurt, especially when two of her friends were chosen over her. She heard someone walk up behind her, and looked up. Yep, it was Aunt Elaine again. Or, as she'd sometimes call her more personally once she got older, just Elaine. She got up and asked, "So, when does he plan to speak with you again?" Elaine shrugged. "Whenever he feels he can take a break, I guess. His face suggests confident, but inside of him he's constantly second guessing himself, always afraid he'll make a wrong move, and he feels he has to constantly watch to be able to clean up after any move he makes. Mastermind indeed, he may be a tactical genius but fears the unknown far too much. I'm not sure even he can see it all the time." Donna asked, "Do you really hate him like you told him?" Elaine shrugged again. "I don't really know. He got Don killed, and by all rights that's more then enough to hate him. Then he tried apologizing, while at the same time adding in some propaganda for his scheme of course. And yet, he really does think he's doing the right thing. But then again, so did Hitler and look how that turned out." Donna nodded. "Hey, do you think I could go with you next time? You know, to speak with him as well?" "I'm afraid not, I think he wants as few people as possible to know anything of this," said Elaine while shaking her head. Donna sighed. "Underestimated again. I just don't like it at all, being locked up here while he allows others to take part in this, even Dave and Zack got in over me. What does he see in them that he doesn't see in me? What is it that they have that I lack?" Elaine added, "Or that you have that they lack?" Donna nodded. "Yes. That's what I want to ask him." Elaine said, "I guess I'll ask him if you can come with. But I can't promise he'll say anything." Donna replied, "Thank you Aunt Elaine." She hugged her aunt, then got up and went back into the house she lived in with her parents. Elaine stood there about a minute more before returning to her own home. No, not her home, just her own, temporary house. She didn't care for it, and Don wasn't in it, and it wasn't even permanent. It could never be her home; it might as well have been a flat piece of wood on four posts for all she cared for it. Yes, she would ask about taking Donna along. She wasn't certain he'd say yes, or even answer her question if the younger woman came with, but Elaine just wanted to see how far she could push him, how much he was willing to go along with her. Not as far as she'd like, of course, the idea of being allowed to escape and disclose what she knew was impossible. But within these boundaries there had to be a line eventually, one you didn't see until you rammed into it. And that's what Elaine planned to do.
Near Jonathon's house: It was a good hour and a half of walking before they reached Jonathon's house. It'd have been shorter, but they took a longer route to reach the bridge over the main river, versus wading through the stream (Which isn't really a pleasant thing to do). Along the way, Shad asked Jonathon just what is was the older man needed. "We couldn't really carry a lot of supplies, and you said yourself you have no weapons. So what else could you possibly need?" Jonathon replied without looking at Shad, concentrating on moving forward. "I'm surprised it took you so long to ask. I'm going back for a map. A digital map of this entire island, so far as the original discoverers (and our ancestors) explored it, plus new info. added since then. It's got the major towns, rivers, the waterfall, the beach, even that new place at the place where the river sinks into the ground, Not Totally Drained or whatever." Shad replied, "That sounds cool, and useful." Jonathon didn't reply, and the two kept moving. Then Shad thought of another question. "Just why did you leave your house anyway? If we're returning to it than it apparently wasn't touched or destroyed, so what made you leave?" Jonathon said, "Not much to tell really. A few wandering kids showed up at my doorway, asking for shelter. I asked where they were from, they said the town. I asked what town, they pointed to the North. Stalled Seam according to my map. I asked why they were here, they said that their Dad said they had to, it was no longer safe. The enemy was here, it wanted them." "And the enemy wasn't far behind." Jonathon stopped. Shad waited a bit, than asked, "What did they do?" Jonathon sighed. "They burst into my house when I was still talking with the kids. Six of them, I couldn't fight that many. I tried, believe me. But two held me up while three more grabbed the kids and dragged them out, and the last one knocked me out. When I awoke they were all gone, robots and kids. I wasn't tied up or anything, so I walked outside and ran into Preston. He too had had people show up at his doorway, but unlike me he could defend them. Why he went to see me I don't know, but apparently it was important enough to him to leave his charges at home. He's always been telling me to get out more anyway, that might be it." Shad nodded. "That makes sense." Jonathon replied, "No it doesn't, not really." Shad said, "Well, I guess. How about this: Basically, you headed out to look for people so you don't look so harshly on yourself for losing the children?" Jonathon sighed. "Well... Yes. Anyway, we're here." Shad looked up, there was a house coming into sight. No one around it fortunately, and no one sprung out to attack when they entered three minutes later. That was a good sign at least. Part 2, since I hit the 20,000 character limit finally. :o