I sorry, I’ve been slacking lately. Vger knows I’ve been working hard (at hardly working) .3.
Ladies, Gentleman, That guy who never leaves the Couch in your living room.
May I present to you,
Chapter 1 – Recruiting.
The day was winding to an end at the Emerald Coast Empire. The Holidays were coming and everyone who had family, or the semblance of one, were on their way out the door as fast as they could muster. Soon the building would be empty save a few people who either had no family, or a home to go to or simply could not be bothered going back to a village without a descent terrabyte internet connection.
A blood red Fox was not one of those sad sods.
Jerry Voxholm had already packed his travel bags. He had plans already laid out and he had already been dismissed for the holidays that very morning. The Fox knew where he wanted to go, knew how far he needed to travel and knew what speed limits he was going to break to get there.
Unfortunately for him, Elizabeth, his prized Speed Buster 360 v2 Hover-Cycle had other plans. Not to burden the reader with mechanical terminology even the writer has no minuet understanding, there was something wrong with the power source not producing power to the rest of the machine. Diligently, the fox has been working in his private garage on the problem, listening to the most gods awful sounds known through out the land.
Metal. Not Death. Not Acid. Just Metal.
Though he settled beside the Hover-cycle, his tail swaying to the music, his eyes, from time to time, slipped from its work to settle on the photograph that was propped up for his view. It was a picture of a female feline, bright orange fur, limp, light brown hair, clear crystal blue eyes, hugging another fox. The smaller male was gray in color, their hair different in style with green eyes, giving the on looker a peace sign. They were sitting in some nonchalant tavern bar, smiling brightly and looking happy.
Jerry looked to them and offered half a smile as he worked.
That was what was waiting for him.
Akhmin’s large, Anubis head popped into view over Elizabeth’s seat to peer down at Jerry. On their face was the most innocent looking mask one could imagine on a rather mischievous creature.
“Whats you doooooing?” he asked Jerry, looking rather curious at the bits and pieces of a power converter….thing…(how the hell am I supposed to know what the f**k that is?!) on a dolley before him.
Jerry gave Akhmin a side long glance as he continued, even going as far as adjusting the ever present cigaret in his mouth to the other side of his face, away from them. Normally, Jerry had no patience at all with anyone. He neither cared for your existence, mainly if you’re Overlander or Human, or both, nor wanted to know of it.
Akhmin however, had somehow been placed on a very small list of people that earned the infinite patience the ‘friends’ of Jerry seem to garner.
It also helped that Jerry found Akhmin’s pranks and randomness rather entertaining.
And then there was Jerry’s Niece, who adored the Anubis like he was some sort of walking, talking teddy bear.
After cutting off that racket some nut calls music, Jerry continued to work on that other thing (that I am not going to try to describe) as he responded, “Just trying to fix a problem, everyone gone?”
“Cept Rinnie,” Akhmin started to list, producing a fist and a finger to indicate the count, “John-Boy, Vger and Mort, and Rinnie, and Mort, and Me and Rinnie,” though a Mobiun’s digits only had four fingers (including the thumb…screw you people I’m going by the first set of Archie Sonic Comics) Akhmin’s hand continued to sprout digits. Such display would normally throw off someone else who did not know about Akhmin’s unique qualities.
Jerry did not give it a second glance.
“You’ve already mentioned Rina,” Jerry replied, “So the Phoenix is staying huh? Figured she’d be happy to go back to her nest,”
“She’s still feuding with her pa-pa,” Akhmin noted, his fur taking a chameleon like quality as it turned from a creamy white to the gun metal gray of the hover-cycle.
“Heard her arguing again with him did you?” Jerry asked, glancing up to find a gray colored version of Rina, though over exaggerated in some aspects, her hands were huge.
Yes her hands. Perverts.
“I demand your apology for throwing away my books!” came the exact mimicry of Rina’s almost musical voice.
“Yes yes,” Jerry grunted dismissively. Though he was fond at pushing the buttons of the staff members of the Emerald Coast, family issues were the one button he set for off limits. It would be hilarious in some cases, but he was only out to embarrass people, not actually hurt them psychologically.
Well, not the ones he worked with anyway.
“What were you doing spying on her?” Jerry asked, raising a brown eyebrow at Akhmin, who had reverted to normal.
“I was going to replace her coffee with gasoline,” the Anubis sighed rather boredly, “Instead I just left her some strawberries where all her coffee was placed,”
“She likes Strawberries,” Jerry nodded, then paused a moment, looking up. “All of the Coffee?” he asked, looking rather serious.
“Just her’s,” Akhmin smiled brightly, before his expression became thoughtful in an eye blink. “I think,”
“Akhmin,” Jerry sighed, “If they come looking for me for a ‘quick’ errand ru-,” he stopped as an ear piercing noise shot through the garage.
It was the alarm. There were intruders. Or it was Vger’s latest experiment in robotics going awry again, either would have triggered the noise.
“Gods dammit,” Jerry snarled as he leaped to his booted feet and shot to a locker. He had no time to clean the grease stains out of his fur, so he threw on an already dirty hoody and quickly belted on weapons.
Akhmin was already gone. They did not need weapons and had already set out to start solving, in his own way, the problem affecting the Empire.
Belting his dagger and his falchion over his hoody, he did not bother with a string of ammunition or armor as he picked up a Mobiun sized rifle and stormed out of the Garage. Along the way Jerry was swearing to whatever gods who were listening that he was going to skin someone alive.
John BlueFox, a blue haired, yellow furred fox, was head of the Emerald Coast Security, and on the Ground Floor just as Jerry emerged from the Garage area of the west wing. Though, in this universe there were no real defining details in his muscularity, he was, to most Mobiuns, taller and more then likely could bench press a hover-cycle just for kicks.
John hid this beneath powered armor, though he sported an odd, wide brim hat atop his sonic blue mess of hair instead of a helmet. Seeing Jerry, the former super soldier nodded to his elder, Jerry having just turned forty to John’s late twenties, and pointed upstairs, “Top floor,”
“If Vger fell on the button,” Jerry growled, dawning a bandana to keep the loose strands of his hair from covering his eyes.
“He was sober twenty minutes ago,” John replied.
“Like that means sh*t,” Jerry swore, heading to the elevator.
“We’re not supposed to use that,” the yellow fox stated, snatching up his own weapon, an odd combination of rifle and mini-gun. He joined Jerry as the doors parted.
“I don’t give a flying f**k,” Jerry snapped, “I should be on my way home by now, everything seems to be out to stop me from leaving,”
“U mad bro?” John asked, and was rewarded with a slow, piercing stare from Jerry. John simply smiled down at the more diminutive Mobiun. Height wise, ‘Van-Damm’ to a Dolph Landren…yeah I went there!
Jerry knew the procedures of an emergency, and frankly ignored them. Though he was still in remarkable shape for someone his age (if you add on the decade or so he spent robotized, he’d be over fifty), his body has already seen extensive abuse and trauma, both self inflicted or otherwise. Jerry wasn’t going to risk running out of breath heading up twenty flights of stairs to get to Vger’s office.
The red Fox also wasn’t going to quip the cliche phrase of “I’m too old,” especially with anyone in hearing distance to mock him about it.
They exited the elevator on the floor below Vger’s office and headed to the stairs. John flicked his ears, slowing Jerry down as his eyes snapped too and fro in alarm. “What?” the Older Fox asked.
“I’m hearing a crackling noise, and some swooshing,” John explained.
“You don’t hear grinding gears or Akhmin’s insane giggling?” Jerry asked, straining with his own ears to hear what John’s sharper senses where picking up.
John frowned, “No,”
“That’s not good,”
The yellow furred fox said nothing as he double checked his magazine.
As they made it up the stairs, they quickly executed a rather professional looking tactical entry, flaunting years of experience in the field. With no one shooting, or screaming murder at them, they proceeded to Vger’s office door.
John tested the handle, then glanced to Jerry, making a motion that it was open out of habit.
Jerry not only responded understanding, but he made a counter motion for John to split left while he goes right.
When they entered, they found the office, and all its lavish furnishing either concealed by empty Port bottles, made of empty port bottles, or the floor littered with said port bottles. This would be normal and no cause for alarm whatsoever, if not for the gaping, twisting vortex that dominated the center of the room.
And maybe the odd stick figure men who just tossed a rusty red fox right into it.
“Well crap,” John muttered, just as they both snapped their weapons up and opened fired.
They both fell back behind the door, emptying their magazines into the strange things that seem to break apart like glass on bullet impact. Jerry did not carry any further ammunition, and offered no hesitation in flinging the rifle right into the face of another that sprouted from the portal.
The air seemed to shift, and another portal opened up a few paces from John. The Yellow furred Fox turned on it, reloading and firing with his assault rifle with such precision that there was almost no lag time between the two actions. More of those odd things poured out of both Portals, and their first target it seemed, was the Mobiun in Power Armor.
Like a flood of twisting, brittle limbs, they charged John, who waded into them, hosing bullets in almost every direction. Soon it became a viscous melee as he used his assault rifle as a club, battering them to pieces with each strike like they were made of little else then clay.
Jerry had drawn steel, and though they seemed to ignore him, he dove into their ranks, the falchion cleaving through their thin limps. He weaved and danced between them, dropping them two at a time with each pass. Despite the fact that neither of the Foxes had seen heavy fighting for almost ten years, both were making their enemies look rather pathetic
But even pathetic enemies could overwhelm even the best.
They just kept coming through the Portals, bodily pushing John backwards by sheer weight of numbers. “Run Jerry!” he shouted, not knowing how long he could hold them. “Ru-.” as John was about to repeat himself, a third portal opened. Black glass hands reached out and snatched at John. With those pushing him into it, the power armored soldier was dragged in before he could finish
The concept of fleeing before a foe was repellent to Jerry. Normally someone would have to convince him to leave, that he will get his fight later. There was no one here he respected enough to listen to reason. No leash was going to be pulled.
He shattered more and more of these glass things, knowing how this was going to end. By the Gods they were going to know they fought a Voxholm.
“Scream,” Jerry jeered at them, though they needed no prompting, they just charged at him mindlessly, “Scream for me you sons of b**ches! SCREAM!” he hissed, freeing his hand to deck another. The impact was hard, and it felt like he was punching the very material they seemed to be made from. Even as its brittle body collapsed and shattered, Jerry turned into the punch, his sword cutting into several of the hands that reached out for him over their comrades’ body.
Then the giggling started.
Akhmin bounced into their mass in the form of a giant, cream colored ball. Crushing or smashing everything around Jerry, the stick figures seem to react to Akhmin instantaneously. They ran right back into their portals, leaving behind a mess of whatever material they were made out of decorating the floor. The Portals closed just as the last of them crested the threshold.
“Aww! I wanted to play more!” Akhmin whined as he uncurled himself into the thickest mess.
“Might get the chance.” Jerry stated, heading back to the elevator. “They snatched The Boss and John.”
Akhmin perked, sitting up with his ears being held high over his head. “Who be they?”
“Dunno. You said Rina and Mort are in the building too?”
Akhmin nodded once and sprang to his feet, quickly followed after Jerry. “And Mort and Rina and Mort.” they declared merrily.
Jerry frowned a moment and nodded, “Of course.” he muttered as he rolled his eyes.
The Elevator jerked downward, and Akhmin continued to list the employees. All two of them, as if he had yet to mention either.
Jerry’s reaction, other then a sigh and a twitch of his eye, responded with a emotionless ‘uh-huh’.
The door binged and Akhmin shot out of the entrance with a ear splitting ‘Weee!’ as he set off to find himself something to smash.
Jerry lagged behind. He sheathed the falchion, tore open a panel near the elevator and got his hands on what was, in simple terms, a fully automatic shot gun.
The MARS Program which originally developed the Mobian made weapon system, called it a Boomer. Vger got his hands on the weapon and nearly doubled the ammunition capacity, as well as the completely done away with the recoil.
John may have been head of Security, but Jerry had placed weapons through out the building.
Because unlike John, Jerry acted on his paranoid ideas, and fought dirty.
Jerry also pulled out a vest, and ammunition, and hastily threw it on before quickly running after playful Anubis.
Rina’s door was open, and Akhmin sat outside it with his ears, once more, shooting straight up as he listened. Jerry burst inward, not waiting to be polite.
The Phoenix however, was just stepping through one of the Portals, her tail feathers disappearing just as the portal closed.
“Oh F**k me.” Jerry snarled, turning on Akhmin.
“She wanted to go.” the Anubis stated, his tail flicking from side to side. “The guy was real nice and was needing her help on something.”
“Right. F**k her then.” the Fox declared. “Next!”
“I don’t think Rina nor your Wife would-.”
“I said NEXT.” Jerry growled, and the Anubis bounced back to the Elevator. They did not have to go far. Technical was only a floor up and Mortimor was already scrambling downstairs.
He heard Jerry and Akhmin, and crashed through the door, nearly getting shot by the older fox.
“Don’t shoot!” Mortimor quickly fell on his knees with his hands up.
Jerry adjusted the barrel to aim it safely away as he looked over the blue furred fox with some scrutiny. “How many?”
“A lot, right behind me!” Mortimor said, scrambling away from the door.
They entered, and Jerry let them have it. The Boomer unleashing loud thumps as the pellets ripped through the air and tore into multiple creatures. Like before, they shattered under the impact, but they were rushing in, blindly heading straight for Mortimor.
Akhmin waited like a blood hound for Jerry to reload before rushing into the thick of them, swinging wildly and sending glass like shards in all directions.
“Reloading!” Jerry shouted, dropping the magazine. “Mort weapons at the Elevator!!”
The Arctic Fox rushed passed him.
As Jerry cocked the Boomer, he half turned to check on Mortimor.
A portal was closing behind him. As for the Blue Fox, he was no where to be seen.
Jerry growled rabidly, and instead of standing where he was shooting, he pressed into the thick of them, holding the trigger down.
He continued fighting even as the weapon clicked dry. He continued fighting even as they dragged him to the landing. Jerry could hear Akhmin trying to get to him. The insane giggling had ceased when they realized that they lost track of the blood red fox.
They eventually overwhelmed Jerry, and dragged him through a Portal while the Fox continued to punch, kick, swing and bite in defiance.
Akhmin was there to see the Portal close, the last of Jerry’s string of curses cut short. The clattering of his falchion against the floor emphasis the point that he was gone, the mobiun never went far without that particular blade. Soon the glass things retreated from whence they came, and the debris they left behind faded away in Akhmin’s creamy paws.
Sitting down on the landing, Akhmin frowned in utter disappointment. “I wanted to go too~”
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